Functional NeuroCognitive ImagingTM and Notus NeuroCogsTM: A Novel Use of fMRI in the Assessment of Cognitive Function in Major Neurocognitive Disorder

Caleb T. Epps, Braden J. Tucker, Alina K. Fong and Mark Allen

Abstract

Background: Current diagnostic approaches to MND rely heavily upon the history of present illness and neurocognitive testing with functional neuroimaging playing a minimal role. The use of fMRI as a clinical tool has been limited due to the lack of a standardized protocol of cognitive testing appropriate for the scanning environment and lack of normalized data to which the individual patient can be compared. We therefore present Functional NeuroCognitive ImagingTM and Notus NeuroCogsTM, a unique protocol for the assessment of MND.
Methods: The fNCITM and Notus NeuroCogsTM protocol was initially performed on a population of 60 normative reference volunteers (32 Female, 28 Male) between the ages of 19-57 years old to produce a normative atlas. Four patients with clinical complaints of cognitive impairment underwent fNCITM and Notus NeuroCogsTM imaging and were compared to the normative atlas.
Results: Structural imaging of Patient A-D alone could not confirm the diagnosis of MND. Patient A demonstrated severe cognitive deficits in 16 of 57 regions of interest (ROI), patient B in 26 of 57 ROI, patient C in 20 of 57 ROI, and patient D in 14 of 57 ROI. These results correspond with Moderate, Severe, Severe, and Moderate neurovascular uncoupling, respectively.
Conclusions: This report outlines the novel use of fMRI in the assessment of MND and demonstrates its effective use in four patients. Specifically, we show the protocol’s possible use as a clinical tool in characterizing the severity of cognitive impairment and early detection of cognitive impairment in patients at risk for MND.

Published on: August 17, 2017
doi: 10.17756/jnpn.2017-015
Citation:  Epps CT, Tucker BJ, Fong AK, Allen MD. 2017. Functional NeuroCognitive ImagingTM and Notus NeuroCogsTM: A Novel Use of MRI in the Assessment of Cognitive Function in Major Neurocognitive Disorder. J Neuroimaging Psychiatry Neurol 2(1): 11-19.

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