Investigation of changes in the activity and function of dry eye-associated brain regions using the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations method. Biosci Rep 2022;42(1)Abstract.
OBJECTIVE: The local characteristics of spontaneous brain activity in patients with dry eye (DE) and its relationship with clinical characteristics were evaluated using the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) method. METHODS: A total of 27 patients with DE (10 males and 17 females) and 28 healthy controls (HCs) (10 males and 18 females) were recruited, matched according to sex, age, weight and height, classified into the DE and HC groups, and examined using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans. Spontaneous brain activity changes were recorded using ALFF technology. Data were recorded and plotted on the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, reflecting changes in activity in different brain areas. Finally, Pearson correlation analysis was used to calculate the potential relationship between spontaneous brain activity abnormalities in multiple brain regions and clinical features in patients with DE. GraphPad Prism 8 (GraphPad Software, Inc.) was used to analyze the linear correlation between the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and ALFF value. RESULTS: Compared with HCs, the ALFF values of patients with DE were decreased in the right middle frontal gyrus (MFG)/right inferior orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), left triangle inferior frontal gyrus, left MFG, and right superior frontal gyrus. In contrast, the ALFF value of patients with DE was increased in the left calcarine. CONCLUSION: There are significant fluctuations in the ALFF value of specific brain regions in patients with DE versus HCs. This corroborates previous evidence showing that the symptoms of ocular surface damage in patients with DE are related to dysfunction in specific brain areas.