Publications by authors named "Bruce Ramphal"

8 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Prenatal environmental tobacco smoke exposure alters children's cognitive control circuitry: A preliminary study.

Environ Int 2021 May 6;155:106516. Epub 2021 May 6.

The Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry, Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, NY 10032, USA.

Background And Objectives: Prenatal exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is associated with increased attention problems in children, however, the effects of such exposure on children's brain structure and function have not been studied. Herein, we probed effects of prenatal ETS on children's cognitive control circuitry and behavior.

Methods: Forty-one children (7-9 years) recruited from a prospective longitudinal birth cohort of non-smoking mothers completed structural and task-functional magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate effects of maternal ETS exposure, measured by maternal prenatal urinary cotinine. Attention problems and externalizing behaviors were measured by parent report on the Child Behavior Checklist.

Results: Compared to non-exposed children, exposed children had smaller left and right thalamic and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) volumes, with large effect sizes (p-FDR < .05, Cohen's D range from 0.79 to 1.07), and increased activation in IFG during the resolution of cognitive conflict measured with the Simon Spatial Incompatibility Task (38 voxels; peak t(25) = 5.25, p-FWE = .005). Reduced thalamic volume was associated with increased IFG activation and attention problems, reflecting poor cognitive control. Mediation analyses showed a trend toward left thalamic volume mediating the association between exposure and attention problems (p = .05).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that maternal ETS exposure during pregnancy has deleterious effects on the structure and function of cognitive control circuitry which in turn affects attentional capacity in school-age children. These findings are consistent with prior findings documenting the effects of active maternal smoking on chidlren's neurodevleoment, pointing to the neurotixicity of nicotine regardless of exposure pathway.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106516DOI Listing
May 2021

Contributions of Cerebellar White Matter Microstructure to Social Difficulty in Nonverbal Learning Disability.

Cerebellum 2021 Apr 15. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

New York State Psychiatric Institute and Department of Psychiatry, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, 1051 Riverside Drive, Box 74 / Room 2403, New York, NY, 10032, USA.

Emerging evidence suggests that the cerebellum may contribute to variety of cognitive capacities, including social cognition. Nonverbal learning disability (NVLD) is characterized by visual-spatial and social impairment. Recent functional neuroimaging studies have shown that children with NVLD have altered cerebellar resting-state functional connectivity, which is associated with various symptom domains. However, little is known about cerebellar white matter microstructure in NVLD and whether it contributes to social deficits. Twenty-seven children (12 with NVLD, 15 typically developing (TD)) contributed useable diffusion tensor imaging data. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) were used to quantify fractional anisotropy (FA) in the cerebellar peduncles. Parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist, providing a measure of social difficulty. Children with NVLD had greater fractional anisotropy in the left and right inferior cerebellar peduncle. Furthermore, right inferior cerebellar peduncle FA was associated with social impairment as measured by the Child Behavior Checklist Social Problems subscale. Finally, the association between NVLD diagnosis and greater social impairment was mediated by right inferior cerebellar peduncle FA. These findings provide additional evidence that the cerebellum contributes both to social cognition and to the pathophysiology of NVLD.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12311-021-01265-4DOI Listing
April 2021

Frontoparietal and default mode network connectivity varies with age and intelligence.

Dev Cogn Neurosci 2021 Apr 27;48:100928. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

The Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, United States. Electronic address:

Background: Anticorrelated resting state connectivity between task-positive and task-negative networks in adults supports flexible shifting between externally focused attention and internal thought. Findings suggest that children show positive correlations between task-positive (frontoparietal; FP) and task-negative (default mode; DMN) networks. FP-DMN connectivity also associates with intellectual functioning across the lifespan. We investigated whether FP-DMN connectivity in healthy children varied with age and intelligence quotient (IQ).

Methods: We utilized network-based statistics (NBS) to examine resting state functional connectivity between FP and DMN seeds in N = 133 7-25-year-olds (M = 15.80). Linear regression evaluated FP-DMN associations with IQ.

Results: We detected NBS subnetworks containing both within- and between-network connections that were inversely associated with age. Four FP-DMN connections showed more negative connectivity between FP (inferior frontal gyrus and precentral gyrus) and DMN regions (frontal medial cortex, precuneus, and frontal pole) among older participants. Frontal pole-precentral gyrus connectivity inversely associated with IQ.

Conclusions: FP-DMN connectivity was more anticorrelated at older ages, potentially indicating dynamic network segregation of these circuits from childhood to early adulthood. Youth with more mature (i.e., anticorrelated) FP-DMN connectivity demonstrated higher IQ. Our findings add to the growing body of literature examining neural network development and its association with IQ.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2021.100928DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7848769PMC
April 2021

Associations between Amygdala-Prefrontal Functional Connectivity and Age Depend on Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status.

Cereb Cortex Commun 2020 23;1(1):tgaa033. Epub 2020 Jul 23.

New York State Psychiatric Institute and Department of Psychiatry, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.

Although severe early life stress has been shown to accelerate the development of frontolimbic resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC), less is known about the effects of socioeconomic disadvantage, a prolonged and multifaceted stressor. In a cross-sectional study of 127 participants aged 5-25, we examined whether lower neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES; measured by Area Deprivation Index and neighborhood poverty and educational attainment) was associated with prematurely reduced amygdala-ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) RSFC. We further tested whether neighborhood SES was more predictive than household SES and whether SES effects on connectivity were associated with anxiety symptoms. We found reduced basolateral amygdala-vmPFC RSFC at earlier ages in participants from more disadvantaged neighborhoods; this effect was unique to neighborhood SES and absent for household SES. Furthermore, this reduced connectivity in more disadvantaged youth and increased connectivity in more advantaged youth were associated with less anxiety; children who deviated from the connectivity pattern associated with their neighborhood SES had more anxiety. These results demonstrate that neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage is associated with accelerated maturation of amygdala-vmPFC RSFC and suggest that the pathophysiology of pediatric anxiety depends on a child's neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics. Our findings also underscore the importance of examining SES effects in studies of brain development.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/texcom/tgaa033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7503474PMC
July 2020

Altered structure and functional connectivity of the hippocampus are associated with social and mathematical difficulties in nonverbal learning disability.

Hippocampus 2021 Jan 19;31(1):79-88. Epub 2020 Sep 19.

The Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, The New York State Psychiatric Institute and the College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA.

The hippocampus is known to play a critical role in a variety of complex abilities, including visual-spatial reasoning, social functioning, and math. Nonverbal learning disability (NVLD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in visual-spatial reasoning that are accompanied by impairment in social function or mathematics, as well as motor or executive function skills. Despite the overlap between behaviors supported by the hippocampus and impairments in NVLD, the structure and function of the hippocampus in NVLD has not been studied. To address this gap in the literature, we first compared hippocampal volume and resting-state functional connectivity in children with NVLD (n = 24) and typically developing (TD) children (n = 20). We then explored associations between hippocampal structure, connectivity, and performance on measures of spatial, social, and mathematical ability. Relative to TD children, those with NVLD showed significant reductions in left hippocampal volume and greater hippocampal-cerebellar connectivity. In children with NVLD, reduced hippocampal volume associated with worse mathematical problem solving. Although children with NVLD exhibited more social problems (social responsiveness scale [SRS]) and higher hippocampal-cerebellar connectivity relative to TD children, greater connectivity was associated with fewer social problems among children with NVLD but not TD children. Such an effect may suggest a compensatory mechanism. These structural and functional alterations of the hippocampus may disrupt its putative role in organizing conceptual frameworks through cognitive mapping, thus contributing to the cross-domain difficulties that characterize NVLD.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hipo.23264DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7749072PMC
January 2021

Brain connectivity and socioeconomic status at birth and externalizing symptoms at age 2 years.

Dev Cogn Neurosci 2020 10 30;45:100811. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, United States.

Low childhood socioeconomic status (SES) predisposes individuals to altered trajectories of brain development and increased rates of mental illness. Brain connectivity at birth is associated with psychiatric outcomes. We sought to investigate whether SES at birth is associated with neonatal brain connectivity and if these differences account for socioeconomic disparities in infant symptoms at age 2 years that are predictive of psychopathology. Resting state functional MRI was performed on 75 full-term and 37 term-equivalent preterm newborns (n = 112). SES was characterized by insurance type, the Area Deprivation Index, and a composite score. Seed-based voxelwise linear regression related SES to whole-brain functional connectivity of five brain regions representing functional networks implicated in psychiatric illnesses and affected by socioeconomic disadvantage: striatum, medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC), and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. Lower SES was associated with differences in striatum and vlPFC connectivity. Striatum connectivity with frontopolar and medial PFC mediated the relationship between SES and behavioral inhibition at age 2 measured by the Infant-Toddler Social Emotional Assessment (n = 46). Striatum-frontopolar connectivity mediated the relationship between SES and externalizing symptoms. These results, convergent across three SES metrics, suggest that neurodevelopmental trajectories linking SES and mental illness may begin as early as birth.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2020.100811DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7451824PMC
October 2020

Estimated Prevalence of Nonverbal Learning Disability Among North American Children and Adolescents.

JAMA Netw Open 2020 04 1;3(4):e202551. Epub 2020 Apr 1.

Center for the Developing Brain, Child Mind Institute, New York, New York.

Importance: Nonverbal learning disability (NVLD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in visual-spatial processing but not in reading or verbal ability; in addition, problems in math calculation, visual executive functioning, fine-motor skills, and social skills are often present. To our knowledge, there are no population-based estimates of the prevalence of NVLD in community samples.

Objective: To estimate the prevalence of the NVLD cognitive profile in 3 independent samples of children and adolescents from studies centered around brain imaging in the US and Canada.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This cross-sectional study used data from 2 samples recruited from the community and overselected for children with psychiatric disorders (Healthy Brain Network [HBN], January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2019, and Nathan Kline Institute-Rockland Sample [NKI], January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2018) and 1 community-ascertained population sample (Saguenay Youth Study [SYS], January 1, 2003, to December 31, 2012) overselected for active maternal smoking during pregnancy.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Prevalence of NVLD. Criteria for NVLD were based on clinical records of deficits in visual-spatial reasoning and impairment in 2 of 4 domains of function (fine-motor skills, math calculation, visual executive functioning, and social skills). Sample weighting procedures adjusted for demographic differences in sample frequencies compared with underlying target populations. Inflation factor weights accounted for overrepresentation of psychiatric disorders (HBN and NKI samples).

Results: Across 3 independent samples, the prevalence of NVLD was estimated among 2596 children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 years (mean [SD] age, 12.5 [3.4] years; 1449 male [55.8%]). After sample and inflation weights were applied, the prevalence of NVLD was 2.78% (95% CI, 2.03%-3.52%) in the HBN sample and 3.9% (95% CI, 1.96%-5.78%) in the NKI sample. In the SYS sample, the prevalence of NVLD was 3.10% (95% CI, 1.93%-4.27%) after applying the sample weight. Across samples and estimation strategies, the population prevalence of NVLD was estimated to range from 3% to 4%. When applied to the US population younger than 18 years, 2.2 million to 2.9 million children and adolescents were estimated to have NVLD.

Conclusions And Relevance: The findings suggest that the prevalence of NVLD in children and adolescents may be 3% to 4%. Given that few youths are diagnosed with NVLD and receive treatment, increased awareness, identification of the underlying neurobiological mechanisms, and development and testing interventions for the disorder are needed.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.2551DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7148441PMC
April 2020

Spatial Network Connectivity and Spatial Reasoning Ability in Children with Nonverbal Learning Disability.

Sci Rep 2020 01 17;10(1):561. Epub 2020 Jan 17.

The Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry, the New York State Psychiatric Institute and the College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, 1051 Riverside Drive, New York, NY, 10032, USA.

Nonverbal Learning Disability (NVLD) is characterized by deficits in visual-spatial, but not verbal, reasoning. Nevertheless, the functioning of the neural circuits supporting spatial processing have yet to be assessed in children with NVLD. We compared the resting state functional connectivity of a spatial brain network among children with NVLD, children with reading disorder (RD), and typically developing (TD) children. Seventy-five participants (7-15 years old) were included in the study (20 TD, 24 NVLD, and 31 RD). Group differences in global efficiency and functional connectivity among 12 regions comprising a previously defined spatial network were evaluated. Associations with behavior were explored. Global efficiency of the spatial network associated positively with spatial ability and inversely with socioemotional problems. Within the spatial network, associations between left posterior cingulate (PCC) and right retrosplenial cortical activity were reduced in children with NVLD relative to those without spatial deficits (RD and TD). Connectivity between left PCC and right posterior cerebellum (Crus I and II) was reduced in both groups of children with learning disabilities (NVLD and RD) relative to TD children. Functional connectivity of the spatial network was atypically associated with cognitive and socioemotional performance in children with NVLD. Identifying a neurobiological substrate for NVLD provides evidence that it is a discrete clinical entity and suggests targets for treatment.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-56003-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6969178PMC
January 2020