[SJR: 0.696] [H-I: 34] [7 followers] Follow
Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 0953-4180 - ISSN (Online) 1875-8584
Published by Hindawi [334 journals]
- The Effect of Dopaminergic Medication on Joint Kinematics during Haptic
Movements in Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease
Abstract: This study examined whether altered joint angular motion during haptic exploration could account for a decline in haptic sensitivity in individuals with PD by analyzing joint position data during haptic exploration of a curved contour. Each participant’s hand was passively moved by a robotic arm along the edges of a virtual box (5 cm × 15 cm) with a curved left wall. After each trial, participants indicated whether the contour was curved or straight. Visual, auditory, and tactile cues were occluded, and an electrogoniometer recorded shoulder and elbow joint angles during each trial. The PD group in the OFF state had a higher mean detection threshold (4.67 m−1) than the control group (3.06 m−1). Individuals with PD in the OFF state also had a significantly greater magnitude of shoulder abduction than those in the ON state () and a smaller magnitude of elbow flexion than those in the ON state or compared to the control group (both ). These findings suggest that individuals with PD employ joint configurations that may contribute to haptic insensitivity. Dopamine replacement therapy improved joint configurations during haptic exploration in patients with PD, suggesting a role for dopaminergic dysfunction in PD-related haptic insensitivity.
PubDate: Wed, 19 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +000
- Prior Knowledge of Target Direction and Intended Movement Selection
Improves Indirect Reaching Movement Decoding
Abstract: Objective. Previous studies have demonstrated that target direction information presented by the dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) during movement planning could be incorporated into neural decoder for achieving better decoding performance. It is still unknown whether the neural decoder combined with only target direction could work in more complex tasks where obstacles impeded direct reaching paths. Methods. In this study, spike activities were collected from the PMd of two monkeys when performing a delayed obstacle-avoidance task. We examined how target direction and intended movement selection were encoded in neuron population activities of the PMd during movement planning. The decoding performances of movement trajectory were compared for three neural decoders with no prior knowledge, or only target direction, or both target direction and intended movement selection integrated into a mixture of trajectory model (MTM). Results. We found that not only target direction but also intended movement selection was presented in neural activities of the PMd during movement planning. It was further confirmed by quantitative analysis. Combined with prior knowledge, the trajectory decoder achieved the best performance among three decoders. Conclusion. Recruiting prior knowledge about target direction and intended movement selection extracted from the PMd could enhance the decoding performance of hand trajectory in indirect reaching movement.
PubDate: Thu, 13 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +000
- Apathy and Reduced Speed of Processing Underlie Decline in Verbal Fluency
Abstract: Objective. Reduced verbal fluency is a strikingly uniform finding following deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson’s disease (PD). The precise cognitive mechanism underlying this reduction remains unclear, but theories have suggested reduced motivation, linguistic skill, and/or executive function. It is of note, however, that previous reports have failed to consider the potential role of any changes in speed of processing. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine verbal fluency changes with a particular focus on the role of cognitive speed. Method. In this study, 28 patients with PD completed measures of verbal fluency, motivation, language, executive functioning, and speed of processing, before and after DBS. Results. As expected, there was a marked decline in verbal fluency but also in a timed test of executive functions and two measures of speed of processing. Verbal fluency decline was associated with markers of linguistic and executive functioning, but not after speed of processing was statistically controlled for. In contrast, greater decline in verbal fluency was associated with higher levels of apathy at baseline, which was not associated with changes in cognitive speed. Discussion. Reduced generativity and processing speed may account for the marked reduction in verbal fluency commonly observed following DBS.
PubDate: Mon, 20 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +000
- Neuroprotective and Antiamnesic Effects of Mitragyna inermis Willd
(Rubiaceae) on Scopolamine-Induced Memory Impairment in Mice
Abstract: Aim. To assess memory improvement and neuroprotective and antioxidant effects of Mitragyna inermis (M. inermis) leaf decoction on the central nervous system. Methodology. Leaf decoction of M. inermis was tested on learning and memory in normal and scopolamine-induced cognitive impairment in mice using memory behavioral tests such as the Morris water maze, object recognition task, and elevated plus maze. Oxidative stress enzymes—catalase, superoxide dismutase, and the thiobarbituric acid reactive substance, a product of lipid peroxidation—were quantified. In each test, mice 18 to 25 g were divided into groups of 5. Results. The extract reversed the effects of scopolamine in mice. The extract significantly increased discrimination index in the object recognition task test and inflexion ratio in the elevated plus maze test. The times spent in target quadrant in MWM increased while the transfer latency decreased in mice treated by M. inermis at the dose of 196.5 mg/kg. The activity levels of superoxide dismutase and catalase were significantly increased, whereas the thiobarbituric acid reactive substance was significantly decreased after 8 consecutive days of treatment with M. inermis at the dose of 393 mg/kg. Conclusion. These results suggest that M. inermis leaf extract possess potential antiamnesic effects.
PubDate: Sun, 12 Mar 2017 08:44:40 +000
- Vascular Cognitive Impairment through the Looking Glass of Transcranial
Abstract: In the last years, there has been a significant growth in the literature exploiting transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with the aim at gaining further insights into the electrophysiological and neurochemical basis underlying vascular cognitive impairment (VCI). Overall, TMS points at enhanced brain cortical excitability and synaptic plasticity in VCI, especially in patients with overt dementia, and neurophysiological changes seem to correlate with disease process and progress. These findings have been interpreted as part of a glutamate-mediated compensatory effect in response to vascular lesions. Although a single TMS parameter owns low specificity, a panel of measures can support the VCI diagnosis, predict progression, and possibly identify early markers of “brain at risk” for future dementia, thus making VCI a potentially preventable cause of both vascular and degenerative dementia in late life. Moreover, TMS can be also exploited to select and evaluate the responders to specific drugs, as well as to become an innovative rehabilitative tool in the attempt to restore impaired neural plasticity. The present review provides a perspective of the different TMS techniques by further understanding the cortical electrophysiology and the role of distinctive neurotransmission pathways and networks involved in the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of VCI and its subtypes.
PubDate: Sun, 26 Feb 2017 06:57:41 +000
- Peptide Selank Enhances the Effect of Diazepam in Reducing Anxiety in
Unpredictable Chronic Mild Stress Conditions in Rats
Abstract: It was shown that the anxiolytic effect of Selank is comparable to that of classical benzodiazepine drugs and that the basis of their mechanism of action may be similar. These data suggest that the presence of Selank may change the action of classical benzodiazepine drugs. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated the anxiolytic activity of Selank and diazepam in rats both under conditions of unpredictable chronic mild stress and in its absence, after the individual and combined administration of these compounds using the elevated plus maze test. We found that, even in the absence of chronic stress, the administration of a course of test substances changed anxiety indicators toward their deterioration, but the changes after the administration of a course of Selank were less pronounced. In conditions of chronic stress, anxiety indicator values after the simultaneous use of diazepam and Selank did not differ from the respective values observed before chronic stress exposure. The data obtained indicate that the individual administration of Selank was the most effective in reducing elevated levels of anxiety, induced by the administration of a course of test substances, whereas the combination of diazepam with Selank was the most effective in reducing anxiety in unpredictable chronic mild stress conditions.
PubDate: Thu, 09 Feb 2017 07:28:01 +000
- Optimizing Neuropsychological Assessments for Cognitive, Behavioral, and
Functional Impairment Classification: A Machine Learning Study
Abstract: Subjects with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) show loss of cognitive functions and change in behavioral and functional state affecting the quality of their daily life and that of their families and caregivers. A neuropsychological assessment plays a crucial role in detecting such changes from normal conditions. However, despite the existence of clinical measures that are used to classify and diagnose AD, a large amount of subjectivity continues to exist. Our aim was to assess the potential of machine learning in quantifying this process and optimizing or even reducing the amount of neuropsychological tests used to classify AD patients, also at an early stage of impairment. We investigated the role of twelve state-of-the-art neuropsychological tests in the automatic classification of subjects with none, mild, or severe impairment as measured by the clinical dementia rating (CDR). Data were obtained from the ADNI database. In the groups of measures used as features, we included measures of both cognitive domains and subdomains. Our findings show that some tests are more frequently best predictors for the automatic classification, namely, LM, ADAS-Cog, AVLT, and FAQ, with a major role of the ADAS-Cog measures of delayed and immediate memory and the FAQ measure of financial competency.
PubDate: Tue, 31 Jan 2017 14:13:29 +000
- Mice with Catalytically Inactive Cathepsin A Display Neurobehavioral
Abstract: The lysosomal carboxypeptidase A, Cathepsin A (CathA), is a serine protease with two distinct functions. CathA protects β-galactosidase and sialidase Neu1 against proteolytic degradation by forming a multienzyme complex and activates sialidase Neu1. CathA deficiency causes the lysosomal storage disease, galactosialidosis. These patients present with a broad range of clinical phenotypes, including growth retardation, and neurological deterioration along with the accumulation of the vasoactive peptide, endothelin-1, in the brain. Previous in vitro studies have shown that CathA has specific activity against vasoactive peptides and neuropeptides, including endothelin-1 and oxytocin. A mutant mouse with catalytically inactive CathA enzyme () shows increased levels of endothelin-1. In the present study, we elucidated the involvement of CathA in learning and long-term memory in 3-, 6-, and 12-month-old mice. Hippocampal endothelin-1 and oxytocin accumulated in mice, which showed learning impairments as well as long-term and spatial memory deficits compared with wild-type littermates, suggesting that CathA plays a significant role in learning and in memory consolidation through its regulatory role in vasoactive peptide processing.
PubDate: Wed, 04 Jan 2017 09:01:17 +000
- Vestibular Migraine: Clinical Challenges and Opportunities for
Abstract: Migraine and vertigo are two very prevalent conditions in general population. The coexistence of both in the same subject is a significant clinical challenge, since it is not always possible to understand whether they are causally related or associated by chance, requiring different diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. In this review we analyze and summarize the actual knowledge about vestibular migraine (VM), focusing on the new concepts proposed by the International Classification of Headache Disorders 3-beta and by the Bárány Society and also addressing the former concepts, which are still present in clinical practice. We conclude that clinical studies using a multidisciplinary approach are crucial in this field, since different specialists observe the same pathology with different eyes. Clinical presentation of VM is variable in what concerns vestibular symptoms temporal relation with migraine headache, as well as in their accompanying manifestations. Biomarkers, either genomics or functional, and molecular imaging techniques will be helpful to clarify many aspects of the complexity of this entity, helping to define to what extent can VM be considered a separate and independent clinical entity.
PubDate: Mon, 19 Dec 2016 14:22:59 +000
- Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury and Autism: Elucidating Shared Mechanisms
Abstract: Pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are two serious conditions that affect youth. Recent data, both preclinical and clinical, show that pediatric TBI and ASD share not only similar symptoms but also some of the same biologic mechanisms that cause these symptoms. Prominent symptoms for both disorders include gastrointestinal problems, learning difficulties, seizures, and sensory processing disruption. In this review, we highlight some of these shared mechanisms in order to discuss potential treatment options that might be applied for each condition. We discuss potential therapeutic and pharmacologic options as well as potential novel drug targets. Furthermore, we highlight advances in understanding of brain circuitry that is being propelled by improved imaging modalities. Going forward, advanced imaging will help in diagnosis and treatment planning strategies for pediatric patients. Lessons from each field can be applied to design better and more rigorous trials that can be used to improve guidelines for pediatric patients suffering from TBI or ASD.
PubDate: Thu, 15 Dec 2016 12:42:11 +000
- Antiepileptic Drug Nonadherence and Its Predictors among People with
Abstract: Introduction. Antiepileptic drugs are effective in the treatment of epilepsy to the extent that about 70% of people with epilepsy can be seizure-free, but poor adherence to medication is major problem to sustained remission and functional restoration. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and associated factors of antiepileptic drug nonadherence. Methods. Cross-sectional study was conducted on 450 individuals who were selected by systematic random sampling method. Antiepileptic drug nonadherence was measured by Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS) and logistic regression was used to look for significant associations. Result. The prevalence of AEDs nonadherence was 37.8%. Being on treatment for 6 years and above [AOR = 3.47, 95% CI: 1.88, 6.40], payment for AEDs [AOR = 2.76, 95% CI: 1.73, 4.42], lack of health information [AOR = 2.20, 95% CI: 1.41,3.43], poor social support [AOR = 1.88, 95%, CI: 1.01, 3.50], perceived stigma [AOR = 2.27, 95% CI: 1.45, 3.56], and experience side effect [AOR = 1.70, 95% CI: 1.06, 2.72] were significantly associated with antiepileptic drug nonadherence. Conclusion. More than one-third of people with epilepsy were not compliant with their AEDs. Giving health information about epilepsy and its management and consequent reduction in stigma will help for medication adherence.
PubDate: Thu, 08 Dec 2016 15:28:10 +000
- Clinical and Preclinical Cognitive Function Improvement after Oral
Treatment of a Botanical Composition Composed of Extracts from Scutellaria
baicalensis and Acacia catechu
Abstract: Dementia and cognitive impairment have become the major concerns worldwide due to a significantly aging population, increasing life span and lack of effective pharmacotherapy. In light of limited pharmaceutical drug choices and the socioeconomic implications of these conditions, the search for safe and effective alternatives from natural sources has gained many attractions within the medical food and dietary supplement industry. Two polyphenol extracts derived from roots of Scutellaria baicalensis and heartwoods of Acacia catechu containing free-B-ring flavonoids and flavans, respectively, were combined into a proprietary blend called UP326. A similar bioflavonoid composition, UP446, has been reported with modulation of pathways related to systemic inflammation. To test the effect of UP326 on memory and learning, a radial arm water maze (RAWM) and contextual fear conditioning (CF) were utilized in aged F344 rats fed with UP326 at doses of 3, 7, and 34 mg/kg for 11 weeks. The 7 and 34 mg/kg dosage groups had significantly fewer errors than aged vehicle control animals and their performance was equivalent to young animal controls. In a separate human clinical trial, test subjects orally given 300 mg of UP326 BID for 30 days showed marked improvement in speed and accuracy of processing complex information in computer tasks and reduced their standard deviation of performance compared to baseline and the placebo group. This data suggest that UP326 may help maintain memory, sustain speed of processing, and reduce the number or memory errors as we age.
PubDate: Wed, 30 Nov 2016 12:30:39 +000
- Influence of Binasal and Uninasal Inhalations of Essential Oil of Abies
koreana Twigs on Electroencephalographic Activity of Human
Abstract: Objectives. The present work investigates the effect of essential oil from the twigs of Abies koreana on electroencephalographic (EEG) activity of human brain in order to understand the influence of binasal and uninasal inhalations. Methods. To accomplish this study, the essential oil from the twigs of A. koreana (AEO) was isolated by steam distillation and the EEG readings were recorded using QEEG-8 system from 8 grounding electrodes according to the International 10-20 System. Results. D-Limonene (25.29%), bornyl acetate (19.31%), camphene (12.48%), α-pinene (11.88%), β-pinene (6.45%), and eudesm-7(11)-en-ol (5.38%) were the major components in the essential oil. In the EEG study, the absolute alpha (left frontal and right parietal) and absolute fast alpha (right parietal) values significantly increased during the binasal inhalation of AEO. In the uninasal inhalation, absolute beta and theta values decreased significantly, especially in the right frontal and left and right parietal regions. The results revealed that the AEO produced different EEG power spectrum changes according to the nostril difference. Conclusion. The changes in EEG values due to the inhalation of AEO may contribute to the enhancement of relaxation (binasal inhalation) and alertness/attention (right uninasal inhalation) states of brain which could be used in aromatherapy treatments.
PubDate: Wed, 30 Nov 2016 07:09:45 +000
- A Systematic Review of Research on Autism Spectrum Disorders in
Abstract: The burden of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is not well known. We carried out a systematic review of the literature to identify published work from SSA. We have systematically searched four databases, namely, Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and Child Development & Adolescent Studies, through EBSCO and identified studies from across SSA. Based on predefined inclusion criteria, 47 studies were included in this review. Most of the identified studies (74%) were conducted in only 2 African countries, that is, South Africa and Nigeria. Additionally, most of these studies (83%) were carried out in the last decade. These studies had four major themes: development of measurement tools of ASD in Africa, examining the prevalence of ASD, identifying risk factors and risk markers, and examining psychosocial issues. We identified only a single population level study aimed at documenting the prevalence of ASD and could not identify a single case-control study aimed at examining a comprehensive set of potential risk factors. All intervention studies were based on very small sample sizes. Put together, our findings suggest that current evidence base is too scanty to provide the required information to plan adequately for effective intervention strategies for children with ASD in Africa.
PubDate: Sun, 30 Oct 2016 12:49:31 +000
- Neuroprotective Effects of Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Bilateral
Common Carotid Arteries Occlusion Model of Cerebral Ischemia in Rat
Abstract: Cell therapy is the most advanced treatment of the cerebral ischemia, nowadays. Herein, we discuss the neuroprotective effects of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) on rat hippocampal cells following intravenous injection of these cells in an ischemia-reperfusion model. Adult male Wistar rats were divided into 5 groups: control, sham (surgery without blockage of common carotid arteries), ischemia (common carotid arteries were blocked for 30 min prior to reperfusion), vehicle (7 days after ischemia PBS was injected via the tail vein), and treatment (injections of BMSC into the tail veins 7 days after ischemia). We performed neuromuscular and vestibulomotor function tests to assess behavioral function and, finally, brains were subjected to hematoxylin and eosin (H&E), anti-Brdu immunohistochemistry, and TUNEL staining. The ischemia group had severe apoptosis. The group treated with BMSCs had a lower mortality rate and also had significant improvement in functional recovery (). Ischemia-reperfusion for 30 min causes damage and extensive neuronal death in the hippocampus, especially in CA1 and CA3 regions, leading to several functional and neurological deficits. In conclusion, intravenous injection of BMSCs can significantly decrease the number of apoptotic neurons and significantly improve functional recovery, which may be a beneficial treatment method for ischemic injuries.
PubDate: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 14:36:31 +000
- A Correlative Classification Study of Schizophrenic Patients with Results
of Clinical Evaluation and Structural Magnetic Resonance Images
Abstract: Patients with schizophrenia suffer from symptoms such as hallucination and delusion. There are currently a number of publications that discuss the treatment, diagnosis, prognosis, and damage in schizophrenia. This study utilized joint independent component analysis to process the images of GMV and WMV and incorporated the Wisconsin card sorting test (WCST) and the positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS) to examine the correlation of obtained brain characteristics. We also used PANSS score to classify schizophrenic patients into acute and subacute cases, to analyze the brain structure differences. Finally, we used brain structure images and the error rate of the WCST as eigenvalues in support vector machine learning and classification. The results of this study showed that the frontal and temporal lobes of a normal brain are more apparent than those of a schizophrenia brain. The highest level of classification recognition reached 91.575%, indicating that the WCST error rate and characteristic changes in brain structure volume can be used to effectively distinguish schizophrenia and normal brains. Similarly, this result confirmed that the WCST and brain structure volume are correlated with the differences between schizophrenia and normal participants.
PubDate: Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:40:47 +000
- Recent Advances in the Understanding of Vestibular Migraine
Abstract: Approximately 1% of the general population and 10% of patients with migraine suffer from vestibular migraine (VM). However, this condition remains relatively unknown; therefore, it is often underdiagnosed despite the recent adoption of international diagnostic criteria for VM. The diagnosis of VM is based on the symptoms, degree, frequency, and duration of the vestibular episodes, a history of migraine, the temporal association of migraine symptoms with vestibular episodes in at least 50% of cases, and the exclusion of other causes. Physical examination and laboratory findings are usually normal in patients with VM but can be used to rule out other vestibular disorders with similar symptoms. The pathophysiology of VM remains incompletely understood; however, several mechanisms link the trigeminal system, which is activated during migraine attacks, and the vestibular system. Because few controlled trials have specifically investigated VM, the treatment options for this order are largely the same as those for migraine and include antiemetics for severe acute attacks, pharmacological migraine prophylaxis, and lifestyle changes.
PubDate: Sun, 16 Oct 2016 12:00:54 +000
- Cognitive Impairment Involving Social Cognition in SPG4 Hereditary Spastic
Abstract: Objectives. To describe cognitive assessment including social cognition in SPG4 patients. Methods. We reported a series of nine patients with SPG4 mutation with an extensive neuropsychological examination including social cognition assessment. Results. None of our patients presented with mental retardation or dementia. All presented with mild cognitive impairment with a high frequency of attention deficit (100%), executive disorders (89%), and social cognition impairment (78%). An asymptomatic patient for motor skills presented with the same cognitive profile. No correlation was found in this small sample between cognitive impairment and motor impairment, age at disease onset, or disease duration. Conclusions. SPG4 phenotypes share some cognitive features of frontotemporal lobar degeneration and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Cognitive disorders including executive disorders and social cognition impairment are frequent in SPG4 patients and might sometimes occur before motor disorders. Therefore, cognitive functions including social cognition should be systematically assessed in order to improve the clinical management of this population.
PubDate: Sun, 04 Sep 2016 11:16:41 +000
- Stress Recovery Effects of High- and Low-Frequency Amplified Music on
Heart Rate Variability
Abstract: Sounds can induce autonomic responses in listeners. However, the modulatory effect of specific frequency components of music is not fully understood. Here, we examined the role of the frequency component of music on autonomic responses. Specifically, we presented music that had been amplified in the high- or low-frequency domains. Twelve healthy women listened to white noise, a stress-inducing noise, and then one of three versions of a piece of music: original, low-, or high-frequency amplified. To measure autonomic response, we calculated the high-frequency normalized unit (HFnu), low-frequency normalized unit, and the LF/HF ratio from the heart rate using electrocardiography. We defined the stress recovery ratio as the value obtained after participants listened to music following scratching noise, normalized by the value obtained after participants listened to white noise after the stress noise, in terms of the HFnu, low-frequency normalized unit, LF/HF ratio, and heart rate. Results indicated that high-frequency amplified music had the highest HFnu of the three versions. The stress recovery ratio of HFnu under the high-frequency amplified stimulus was significantly larger than that under the low-frequency stimulus. Our results suggest that the high-frequency component of music plays a greater role in stress relief than low-frequency components.
PubDate: Tue, 30 Aug 2016 15:25:02 +000
- The Intimate Relationship between Vestibular Migraine and Meniere Disease:
A Review of Pathogenesis and Presentation
Abstract: Vestibular migraine (VM) has only recently been recognized as a distinct disease entity. One reason is that its symptoms overlap greatly with those of other vestibular disorders, especially Meniere disease (MD). The pathophysiology of neither VM nor MD is entirely elucidated. However, there are many theories linking migraine to both disorders. We reviewed the current understanding of migraine, VM, and MD and described how VM and MD are similar or different from each other in terms of pathophysiology and presentation, including hypotheses that the two share a common etiology and/or are variants of the same disease.
PubDate: Mon, 29 Aug 2016 14:07:17 +000
- Are “Theory of Mind” Skills in People with Epilepsy Related to How
Stigmatised They Feel? An Exploratory Study
Abstract: Feelings of stigma are one of the main burdens reported by people with epilepsy (PWE). Adults with temporal or frontal lobe epilepsy and children with idiopathic generalised epilepsy are at risk of Theory of Mind (ToM) deficits. ToM refers to social cognitive skills, including the ability to understand the thoughts, intentions, beliefs, and emotions of others. It has been proffered that ToM deficits may contribute to the feelings of stigma experienced by PWE. In this study we tested this for the first time. We also determined the association between clinical and demographic factors and ToM performance. Five hundred and three PWE were recruited via epilepsy organisations and completed measures online. Feelings of stigma were measured using Jacoby’s Stigma Scale, whilst the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test and the Faux Pas Test measured ToM. The median age of participants was 37 years, their median years living with epilepsy were 15, and 70% had experienced seizures in the prior 12 months. Feelings of stigma held a negligible, negative, and nonsignificant association with ToM performance ( −0.02 and ). Our results indicate that the ToM model for understanding epilepsy stigma has limited utility and alternative approaches to understanding and addressing epilepsy-related stigma are required.
PubDate: Thu, 18 Aug 2016 09:29:58 +000
- Degraded Impairment of Emotion Recognition in Parkinson’s Disease
Extends from Negative to Positive Emotions
Abstract: Because of dopaminergic neurodegeneration, patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) show impairment in the recognition of negative facial expressions. In the present study, we aimed to determine whether PD patients with more advanced motor problems would show a much greater deficit in recognition of emotional facial expressions than a control group and whether impairment of emotion recognition would extend to positive emotions. Twenty-nine PD patients and 29 age-matched healthy controls were recruited. Participants were asked to discriminate emotions in Experiment 1 and identify gender in Experiment 2. In Experiment 1, PD patients demonstrated a recognition deficit for negative (sadness and anger) and positive faces. Further analysis showed that only PD patients with high motor dysfunction performed poorly in recognition of happy faces. In Experiment 2, PD patients showed an intact ability for gender identification, and the results eliminated possible abilities in the functions measured in Experiment 2 as alternative explanations for the results of Experiment 1. We concluded that patients’ ability to recognize emotions deteriorated as the disease progressed. Recognition of negative emotions was impaired first, and then the impairment extended to positive emotions.
PubDate: Sun, 31 Jul 2016 08:27:39 +000
- The Efficacy and Safety of Antipsychotic Medications in the Treatment of
Psychosis in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease
Abstract: Psychotic symptoms are present in up to 50% of patients with Parkinson’s disease. These symptoms have detrimental effects on patients’ and caregivers’ quality of life and may predict mortality. The pathogenesis of psychotic symptoms in Parkinson’s disease is complex, but the use of dopaminergic medications is one of the risk factors. The treatment of psychotic symptoms in Parkinson’s disease is complicated due to the ability of antipsychotic medications to worsen motor symptoms. The efficacy of clozapine in the treatment of psychosis in patients with Parkinson’s disease has been confirmed in several clinical trials; however, the adverse effects and the necessity of blood count monitoring are the reasons why the use of this drug is challenging. The studies on safety and efficacy of other antipsychotics conflicting results. The use of antipsychotics in these patients is also associated with increased mortality. Psychotic symptoms in Parkinson’s disease per se are also proven predictors of mortality. Thus it is necessary to treat psychotic symptoms but the choice of an antipsychotic should be based on careful risk/benefit assessment. Pimavanserin as a novel therapeutic option with more favorable adverse effects profile is now available for this indication, but careful postmarketing monitoring is necessary to establish the true picture of this drug’s long-term safety and efficacy.
PubDate: Mon, 18 Jul 2016 16:37:20 +000
- The Effect of Chronic Alprazolam Intake on Memory, Attention, and
Psychomotor Performance in Healthy Human Male Volunteers
Abstract: Alprazolam is used as an anxiolytic drug for generalized anxiety disorder and it has been reported to produce sedation and anterograde amnesia. In the current study, we randomly divided 26 healthy male volunteers into two groups: one group taking alprazolam 0.5 mg and the other taking placebo daily for two weeks. We utilized the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) software to assess the chronic effect of alprazolam. We selected Paired Associates Learning (PAL) and Delayed Matching to Sample (DMS) tests for memory, Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVP) for attention, and Choice Reaction Time (CRT) for psychomotor performance twice: before starting the treatment and after the completion of the treatment. We found statistically significant impairment of visual memory in one parameter of PAL and three parameters of DMS in alprazolam group. The PAL mean trial to success and total correct matching in 0-second delay, 4-second delay, and all delay situation of DMS were impaired in alprazolam group. RVP total hits after two weeks of alprazolam treatment were improved in alprazolam group. But such differences were not observed in placebo group. In our study, we found that chronic administration of alprazolam affects memory but attentive and psychomotor performance remained unaffected.
PubDate: Mon, 04 Jul 2016 12:20:21 +000
- Pain Assessment in Neurodegenerative Diseases
PubDate: Tue, 21 Jun 2016 06:26:10 +000
- Sleep Deprivation Influences Circadian Gene Expression in the Lateral
Abstract: Sleep is governed by homeostasis and the circadian clock. Clock genes play an important role in the generation and maintenance of circadian rhythms but are also involved in regulating sleep homeostasis. The lateral habenular nucleus (LHb) has been implicated in sleep-wake regulation, since LHb gene expression demonstrates circadian oscillation characteristics. This study focuses on the participation of LHb clock genes in regulating sleep homeostasis, as the nature of their involvement is unclear. In this study, we observed changes in sleep pattern following sleep deprivation in LHb-lesioned rats using EEG recording techniques. And then the changes of clock gene expression (Per1, Per2, and Bmal1) in the LHb after 6 hours of sleep deprivation were detected by using real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). We found that sleep deprivation increased the length of Non-Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (NREMS) and decreased wakefulness. LHb-lesioning decreased the amplitude of reduced wake time and increased NREMS following sleep deprivation in rats. qPCR results demonstrated that Per2 expression was elevated after sleep deprivation, while the other two genes were unaffected. Following sleep recovery, Per2 expression was comparable to the control group. This study provides the basis for further research on the role of LHb Per2 gene in the regulation of sleep homeostasis.
PubDate: Sun, 19 Jun 2016 09:17:02 +000
- Validation of the Turkish Version of the Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behavior
Abstract: The aim of this study was to assess the validity and reliability of a Turkish version of the rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder questionnaire (the RBDSQ-T) for identifying patients with rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD) and to ensure that this tool can be applied in Turkish language. Three groups were enrolled to validate the RBDSQ-T: 78 healthy controls, 17 patients previously diagnosed with RBD, and 28 patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). Based on a cut-off score of five, the RBDSQ-T was able to discriminate RBD patients from healthy controls with sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 87%. Accordingly, 63% of patients were correctly diagnosed using the RBDSQ-T. Similarly, with a cut-off score of five, the RBDSQ-T was able to discriminate RBD from OSAS with sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 64%. Assessment of test-retest reliability and internal consistency reliability using Kuder-Richardson 20 analysis revealed a test-retest correlation coefficient of 0.95 and a Kuder-Richardson 20 value of 0.82. The findings demonstrate that the RBDSQ-T is a valid and reliable tool.
PubDate: Wed, 01 Jun 2016 07:17:47 +000
- Intra- and Extracranial MR Venography: Technical Notes, Clinical
Application, and Imaging Development
Abstract: Scientific debate over chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) has drawn attention to venous system involvement in a series of pathologic brain conditions. In the last few decades, the MRI venography (MRV) field has developed a number of valuable sequences to better investigate structural anatomy, vessel patency, and flow characteristics of venous drainage in the intra- and extracranial systems. A brief two-tier protocol is proposed to encompass the study of intra- and extracranial venous drainage with and without contrast administration, respectively. Contrast-enhanced protocol is based on time-resolved contrast-enhanced MRV of the whole region plus extracranial flow quantification through 2D Cine phase contrast (PC); non-contrast-enhanced protocol includes intracranial 3D PC, extracranial 2D time of flight (TOF), and 2D Cine PC flow quantification. Total scanning time is reasonable for clinical applications: approximately seven minutes is allocated for the contrast protocol (most of which is due to 2D Cine PC), while the noncontrast protocol accounts for around twenty minutes. We believe that a short though exhaustive MRI scan of the whole intra- and extracranial venous drainage system can be valuable for a variety of pathologic conditions, given the possible venous implication in several neurological conditions.
PubDate: Tue, 31 May 2016 07:30:38 +000
- Pain in Neurodegenerative Disease: Current Knowledge and Future
Abstract: Neurodegenerative diseases are going to increase as the life expectancy is getting longer. The management of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementias, Parkinson’s disease (PD) and PD related disorders, motor neuron diseases (MND), Huntington’s disease (HD), spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA), and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), is mainly addressed to motor and cognitive impairment, with special care to vital functions as breathing and feeding. Many of these patients complain of painful symptoms though their origin is variable, and their presence is frequently not considered in the treatment guidelines, leaving their management to the decision of the clinicians alone. However, studies focusing on pain frequency in such disorders suggest a high prevalence of pain in selected populations from 38 to 75% in AD, 40% to 86% in PD, and 19 to 85% in MND. The methods of pain assessment vary between studies so the type of pain has been rarely reported. However, a prevalent nonneuropathic origin of pain emerged for MND and PD. In AD, no data on pain features are available. No controlled therapeutic trials and guidelines are currently available. Given the relevance of pain in neurodegenerative disorders, the comprehensive understanding of mechanisms and predisposing factors, the application and validation of specific scales, and new specific therapeutic trials are needed.
PubDate: Mon, 30 May 2016 15:37:50 +000
- The Interactive Relationship between Pain, Psychosis, and Agitation in
People with Dementia: Results from a Cluster-Randomised Clinical Trial
Abstract: Background. Neuropsychiatric symptoms are common in people with dementia, and pain is thought to be an important underlying factor. Pain has previously been associated with agitation, and pain treatment has been shown to ameliorate agitated behaviour. So far, the association between pain and psychosis and the effect of pain treatment on psychotic symptoms is unclear. Furthermore, the impact of opioid treatment on psychosis is not established. Aim. To investigate the efficacy of a stepwise protocol for treating pain (SPTP) on psychosis and agitation measured with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory, Nursing Home version, and to explore the impact of opioid analgesics on psychosis. Method. Secondary analyses are from a cluster-randomised controlled trial including 352 patients with advanced dementia and agitation from 18 nursing homes in Western Norway. The intervention group received pain treatment according to SPTP. Results. Pain was associated with disinhibition (adjusted OR: 1.21, 95% CI: 1.10–1.34) and irritability (adjusted OR: 1.10, 95% CI: 1.01–1.21) at baseline. Pain treatment reduced agitation (p < 0.001, df = 1; 300) and aberrant motor behaviour (p = 0.017, df = 1; 300). Psychosis was reduced in people with at least one symptom at baseline (p = 0.034, df = 1; 135). The use of opioid analgesics did not increase psychotic symptoms. Study Registration. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01021696), Norwegian Medicines Agency, EudraCT (EudraCTnr: 2008-007490-20).
PubDate: Mon, 09 May 2016 10:54:02 +000