Brain changes detected by functional magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy in patients with Crohn’s disease.
World J Gastroenterol. 2017 May 28;23(20):3607-3614
Authors: Lv K, Fan YH, Xu L, Xu MS
Crohn’s disease (CD) is a chronic, non-specific granulomatous inflammatory disorder that commonly affects the small intestine and is a phenotype of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). CD is prone to relapse, and its incidence displays a persistent increase in developing countries. However, the pathogenesis of CD is poorly understood, with some studies emphasizing the link between CD and the intestinal microbiota. Specifically, studies point to the brain-gut-enteric microbiota axis as a key player in the occurrence and development of CD. Furthermore, investigations have shown white-matter lesions and neurologic deficits in patients with IBD. Based on these findings, brain activity changes in CD patients have been detected by blood oxygenation level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-fMRI). BOLD-fMRI functions by detecting a local increase in relative blood oxygenation that results from neurotransmitter activity and thus reflects local neuronal firing rates. Therefore, biochemical concentrations of neurotransmitters or metabolites may change in corresponding brain regions of CD patients. To further study this phenomenon, brain changes of CD patients can be detected non-invasively, effectively and accurately by BOLD-fMRI combined with magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). This approach can further shed light on the mechanisms of the occurrence and development of neurological CD. Overall, this paper reviews the current status and prospects on fMRI and MRS for evaluation of patients with CD based on the brain-gut-enteric microbiota axis.
PMID: 28611513 [PubMed – in process]