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Brain Sci., Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2013), Pages 1-414

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Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Early Life Adversity Alters the Developmental Profiles of Addiction-Related Prefrontal Cortex Circuitry
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(1), 143-158; doi:10.3390/brainsci3010143
Received: 25 October 2012 / Revised: 11 December 2012 / Accepted: 24 January 2013 / Published: 4 February 2013
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Abstract
Early adverse experience is a well-known risk factor for addictive behaviors later in life. Drug addiction typically manifests during adolescence in parallel with the later-developing prefrontal cortex (PFC). While it has been shown that dopaminergic modulation within the PFC is involved in [...] Read more.
Early adverse experience is a well-known risk factor for addictive behaviors later in life. Drug addiction typically manifests during adolescence in parallel with the later-developing prefrontal cortex (PFC). While it has been shown that dopaminergic modulation within the PFC is involved in addiction-like behaviors, little is known about how early adversity modulates its development. Here, we report that maternal separation stress (4 h per day between postnatal days 2–20) alters the development of the prelimbic PFC. Immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy revealed differences between maternally-separated and control rats in dopamine D1 and D2 receptor expression during adolescence, and specifically the expression of these receptors on projection neurons. In control animals, D1 and D2 receptors were transiently increased on all glutamatergic projection neurons, as well as specifically on PFC→nucleus accumbens projection neurons (identified with retrograde tracer). Maternal separation exacerbated the adolescent peak in D1 expression and blunted the adolescent peak in D2 expression on projection neurons overall. However, neurons retrogradely traced from the accumbens expressed lower levels of D1 during adolescence after maternal separation, compared to controls. Our findings reveal microcircuitry-specific changes caused by early life adversity that could help explain heightened vulnerability to drug addiction during adolescence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Addiction and Neuroadaptation)
Open AccessArticle Therapeutic Effect of Caffeine Treatment Immediately Following Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Injury on Spatial Memory in Male Rats
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(1), 177-190; doi:10.3390/brainsci3010177
Received: 22 December 2012 / Revised: 16 February 2013 / Accepted: 21 February 2013 / Published: 5 March 2013
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Abstract
Hypoxia Ischemia (HI) refers to the disruption of blood and/or oxygen delivery to the brain. Term infants suffering perinatal complications that result in decreased blood flow and/or oxygen delivery to the brain are at risk for HI. Among a variety of developmental [...] Read more.
Hypoxia Ischemia (HI) refers to the disruption of blood and/or oxygen delivery to the brain. Term infants suffering perinatal complications that result in decreased blood flow and/or oxygen delivery to the brain are at risk for HI. Among a variety of developmental delays in this population, HI injured infants demonstrate subsequent memory deficits. The Rice-Vannucci rodent HI model can be used to explore behavioral deficits following early HI events, as well as possible therapeutic agents to help reduce deleterious outcomes. Caffeine is an adenosine receptor antagonist that has recently shown promising results as a therapeutic agent following HI injury. The current study sought to investigate the therapeutic benefit of caffeine following early HI injury in male rats. On post-natal day (P) 7, HI injury was induced (cauterization of the right common carotid artery, followed by two hours of 8% oxygen). Male sham animals received only a midline incision with no manipulation of the artery followed by room air exposure for two hours. Subsets of HI and sham animals then received either an intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of caffeine (10 mg/kg), or vehicle (sterile saline) immediately following hypoxia. All animals later underwent testing on the Morris Water Maze (MWM) from P90 to P95. Results show that HI injured animals (with no caffeine treatment) displayed significant deficits on the MWM task relative to shams. These deficits were attenuated by caffeine treatment when given immediately following the induction of HI. We also found a reduction in right cortical volume (ipsilateral to injury) in HI saline animals as compared to shams, while right cortical volume in the HI caffeine treated animals was intermediate. These findings suggest that caffeine is a potential therapeutic agent that could be used in HI injured infants to reduce brain injury and preserve subsequent cognitive function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroprotection against Ischemic Brain Injury)
Open AccessArticle The Protective Effect of Glibenclamide in a Model of Hemorrhagic Encephalopathy of Prematurity
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(1), 215-238; doi:10.3390/brainsci3010215
Received: 6 January 2013 / Revised: 21 February 2013 / Accepted: 22 February 2013 / Published: 7 March 2013
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Abstract
We studied a model of hemorrhagic encephalopathy of prematurity (EP) that closely recapitulates findings in humans with hemorrhagic EP. This model involves tandem insults of 20 min intrauterine ischemia (IUI) plus an episode of elevated venous pressure induced by intraperitoneal glycerol on [...] Read more.
We studied a model of hemorrhagic encephalopathy of prematurity (EP) that closely recapitulates findings in humans with hemorrhagic EP. This model involves tandem insults of 20 min intrauterine ischemia (IUI) plus an episode of elevated venous pressure induced by intraperitoneal glycerol on post-natal day (P) 0. We examined Sur1 expression, which is upregulated after focal ischemia but has not been studied after brief global ischemia including IUI. We found that 20 min IUI resulted in robust upregulation of Sur1 in periventricular microvessels and tissues. We studied tandem insult pups from untreated or vehicle-treated dams (TI-CTR), and tandem insult pups from dams administered a low-dose, non-hypoglycemogenic infusion of the Sur1 blocker, glibenclamide, for 1 week after IUI (TI-GLIB). Compared to pups from the TI-CTR group, pups from the TI-GLIB group had significantly fewer and less severe hemorrhages on P1, performed significantly better on the beam walk and accelerating Rotarod on P35 and in tests of thigmotaxis and rapid learning on P35–49, and had significantly greater body and brain weights at P52. We conclude that low-dose glibenclamide administered to the mother at the end of pregnancy protects pups subjected to IUI from post-natal events of elevated venous pressure and its consequences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroprotection against Ischemic Brain Injury)
Open AccessArticle Compensating for Language Deficits in Amnesia I: H.M.’s Spared Retrieval Categories
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(1), 262-293; doi:10.3390/brainsci3010262
Received: 5 November 2012 / Revised: 28 February 2013 / Accepted: 5 March 2013 / Published: 14 March 2013
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Abstract
Three studies examined amnesic H.M.’s use of words, phrases, and propositions on the Test of Language Competence (TLC). In Study 1, H.M. used 19 lexical categories (e.g., common nouns, verbs) and one syntactic category (noun phrases) with the same relative frequency as [...] Read more.
Three studies examined amnesic H.M.’s use of words, phrases, and propositions on the Test of Language Competence (TLC). In Study 1, H.M. used 19 lexical categories (e.g., common nouns, verbs) and one syntactic category (noun phrases) with the same relative frequency as memory-normal controls, he used no lexical or syntactic category with less-than-normal frequency, and he used proper names (e.g., Melanie) and coordinative conjunctions (e.g., and) with reliably greater-than-normal frequency. In Study 2, H.M. overused proper names relative to controls when answering episodic memory questions about childhood experiences in speech and writing, replicating and extending Study 1 results for proper names. Based on detailed analyses of the use (and misuse) of coordinating conjunctions on the TLC, Study 3 developed a syntax-level “compensation hypothesis” for explaining why H.M. overused coordinating conjunctions relative to controls in Study 1. Present results suggested that (a) frontal mechanisms for retrieving word-, phrase-, and propositional-categories are intact in H.M., unlike in category-specific aphasia, (b) using his intact retrieval mechanisms, H.M. has developed a never-previously-observed proposition-level free association strategy to compensate for the hippocampal region damage that has impaired his mechanisms for encoding novel linguistic structures, and (c) H.M.’s overuse of proper names warrants further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain and Language)
Open AccessArticle NADPH Oxidase and Angiogenesis Following Endothelin-1 Induced Stroke in Rats: Role for Nox2 in Brain Repair
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(1), 294-317; doi:10.3390/brainsci3010294
Received: 21 December 2012 / Revised: 7 February 2013 / Accepted: 19 February 2013 / Published: 19 March 2013
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Abstract
NADPH oxidases contribute to brain injury, yet they may also have a role in brain repair, particularly in vascular signaling and angiogenesis. This study determined the temporal and spatial profile of NADPH oxidase subunit expression/activity concurrently with angiogenesis in the brain following [...] Read more.
NADPH oxidases contribute to brain injury, yet they may also have a role in brain repair, particularly in vascular signaling and angiogenesis. This study determined the temporal and spatial profile of NADPH oxidase subunit expression/activity concurrently with angiogenesis in the brain following transient ischemic stroke induced by prolonged constriction of the middle cerebral artery by perivascular injection of endothelin-1 in conscious Hooded Wistar rats (n = 47). VEGF mRNA expression was increased in the ipsilateral cortex and striatum between 6 h and 28 days post-stroke concurrently with a marked increase in Nox2 mRNA expression up to 7 days, and increased Nox4 mRNA expression detected between 7 and 28 days. Point counting of blood vessels using Metamorph imaging software showed increased vascular sprouting between 3 and 7 days after stroke with new vascular networks detected in the core infarct region by 14 days. Angiogenic blood vessels 3 and 7 days post-stroke were observed to co-localise with both Nox2 antibody and dihydroethidium fluorescence suggesting a role for Nox2 generated superoxide during the phase of vascular remodeling, whilst Nox4 expression was detected once new cerebral vessels had formed. These results indicate for the first time that ROS signaling through a cerebrovascular Nox2 NADPH oxidase may be important in initiating brain angiogenesis. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sleep Patterns and Homeostatic Mechanisms in Adolescent Mice
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(1), 318-343; doi:10.3390/brainsci3010318
Received: 30 December 2012 / Revised: 30 January 2013 / Accepted: 27 February 2013 / Published: 19 March 2013
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Abstract
Sleep changes were studied in mice (n = 59) from early adolescence to adulthood (postnatal days P19–111). REM sleep declined steeply in early adolescence, while total sleep remained constant and NREM sleep increased slightly. Four hours of sleep deprivation starting at [...] Read more.
Sleep changes were studied in mice (n = 59) from early adolescence to adulthood (postnatal days P19–111). REM sleep declined steeply in early adolescence, while total sleep remained constant and NREM sleep increased slightly. Four hours of sleep deprivation starting at light onset were performed from ages P26 through adulthood (>P60). Following this acute sleep deprivation all mice slept longer and with more consolidated sleep bouts, while NREM slow wave activity (SWA) showed high interindividual variability in the younger groups, and increased consistently only after P42. Three parameters together explained up to 67% of the variance in SWA rebound in frontal cortex, including weight-adjusted age and increase in alpha power during sleep deprivation, both of which positively correlated with the SWA response. The third, and strongest predictor was the SWA decline during the light phase in baseline: mice with high peak SWA at light onset, resulting in a large SWA decline, were more likely to show no SWA rebound after sleep deprivation, a result that was also confirmed in parietal cortex. During baseline, however, SWA showed the same homeostatic changes in adolescents and adults, declining in the course of sleep and increasing across periods of spontaneous wake. Thus, we hypothesize that, in young adolescent mice, a ceiling effect and not the immaturity of the cellular mechanisms underlying sleep homeostasis may prevent the SWA rebound when wake is extended beyond its physiological duration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep and Brain Development)
Open AccessArticle White Matter Integrity Pre- and Post Marijuana and Alcohol Initiation in Adolescence
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(1), 396-414; doi:10.3390/brainsci3010396
Received: 24 December 2012 / Revised: 5 February 2013 / Accepted: 12 March 2013 / Published: 22 March 2013
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Abstract
Characterizing the effects of alcohol and marijuana use on adolescent brain development is important for understanding potential alterations in neurodevelopment. Several cross sectional studies have identified group differences in white matter integrity after initiation of heavy alcohol and marijuana use, however none [...] Read more.
Characterizing the effects of alcohol and marijuana use on adolescent brain development is important for understanding potential alterations in neurodevelopment. Several cross sectional studies have identified group differences in white matter integrity after initiation of heavy alcohol and marijuana use, however none have explored white matter trajectories in adolescents pre- and post initiation of use, particularly for marijuana users. This study followed 16 adolescents with minimal alcohol and marijuana use at ages 16–18 over three years. At follow-up, teens were 19–22 years old; half of the participants initiated heavy alcohol use and half initiated heavy alcohol and marijuana use. Repeated-measures ANOVA revealed 20 clusters in association and projection fibers tracts (p < 0.01) in which a group by time interaction was found. Most consistently, white matter integrity (i.e., fractional anisotropy) decreased for those who initiated both heavy alcohol and marijuana use over the follow-up interval. No effect of time or change in white matter integrity was seen for those who initiated alcohol use only in the majority of clusters. In most regions, at the baseline time point, teens who would later initiate both alcohol and marijuana use demonstrated white matter integrity greater than or equal to teens that initiated alcohol use only. Findings suggest poorer tissue integrity associated with combined initiation of heavy alcohol and marijuana use in late adolescence. While pre-existing differences may also be related to likelihood of substance use, the present data suggest an effect on tissue integrity for these teens transitioning to combined alcohol and marijuana use in later adolescence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethanol Neurotoxicity)

Review

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Open AccessReview Long-Term Consequences of Developmental Alcohol Exposure on Brain Structure and Function: Therapeutic Benefits of Physical Activity
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(1), 1-38; doi:10.3390/brainsci3010001
Received: 15 October 2012 / Revised: 1 December 2012 / Accepted: 10 December 2012 / Published: 21 December 2012
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Abstract
Developmental alcohol exposure both early in life and during adolescence can have a devastating impact on normal brain structure and functioning, leading to behavioral and cognitive impairments that persist throughout the lifespan. This review discusses human work as well as animal models [...] Read more.
Developmental alcohol exposure both early in life and during adolescence can have a devastating impact on normal brain structure and functioning, leading to behavioral and cognitive impairments that persist throughout the lifespan. This review discusses human work as well as animal models used to investigate the effect of alcohol exposure at various time points during development, as well as specific behavioral and neuroanatomical deficits caused by alcohol exposure. Further, cellular and molecular mediators contributing to these alcohol-induced changes are examined, such as neurotrophic factors and apoptotic markers. Next, this review seeks to support the use of aerobic exercise as a potential therapeutic intervention for alcohol-related impairments. To date, few interventions, behavioral or pharmacological, have been proven effective in mitigating some alcohol-related deficits. Exercise is a simple therapy that can be used across species and also across socioeconomic status. It has a profoundly positive influence on many measures of learning and neuroplasticity; in particular, those measures damaged by alcohol exposure. This review discusses current evidence that exercise may mitigate damage caused by developmental alcohol exposure and is a promising therapeutic target for future research and intervention strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Brain Function)
Open AccessReview Exercise Benefits Brain Function: The Monoamine Connection
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(1), 39-53; doi:10.3390/brainsci3010039
Received: 13 September 2012 / Revised: 29 October 2012 / Accepted: 7 January 2013 / Published: 11 January 2013
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Abstract
The beneficial effects of exercise on brain function have been demonstrated in animal models and in a growing number of clinical studies on humans. There are multiple mechanisms that account for the brain-enhancing effects of exercise, including neuroinflammation, vascularization, antioxidation, energy adaptation, [...] Read more.
The beneficial effects of exercise on brain function have been demonstrated in animal models and in a growing number of clinical studies on humans. There are multiple mechanisms that account for the brain-enhancing effects of exercise, including neuroinflammation, vascularization, antioxidation, energy adaptation, and regulations on neurotrophic factors and neurotransmitters. Dopamine (DA), noradrenaline (NE), and serotonin (5-HT) are the three major monoamine neurotransmitters that are known to be modulated by exercise. This review focuses on how these three neurotransmitters contribute to exercise affecting brain function and how it can work against neurological disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Brain Function)
Open AccessReview Physical Activity and Brain Function in Older Adults at Increased Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(1), 54-83; doi:10.3390/brainsci3010054
Received: 15 September 2012 / Revised: 16 November 2012 / Accepted: 20 December 2012 / Published: 14 January 2013
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Abstract
Leisure-time physical activity (PA) and exercise training are known to help maintain cognitive function in healthy older adults. However, relatively little is known about the effects of PA on cognitive function or brain function in those at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease [...] Read more.
Leisure-time physical activity (PA) and exercise training are known to help maintain cognitive function in healthy older adults. However, relatively little is known about the effects of PA on cognitive function or brain function in those at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease through the presence of the apolipoproteinE epsilon4 (APOE-ε4) allele, diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), or the presence of metabolic disease. Here, we examine the question of whether PA and exercise interventions may differentially impact cognitive trajectory, clinical outcomes, and brain structure and function among individuals at the greatest risk for AD. The literature suggests that the protective effects of PA on risk for future dementia appear to be larger in those at increased genetic risk for AD. Exercise training is also effective at helping to promote stable cognitive function in MCI patients, and greater cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with greater brain volume in early-stage AD patients. In APOE-ε4 allele carriers compared to non-carriers, greater levels of PA may be more effective in reducing amyloid burden and are associated with greater activation of semantic memory-related neural circuits. A greater research emphasis should be placed on randomized clinical trials for exercise, with clinical, behavioral, and neuroimaging outcomes in people at increased risk for AD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Brain Function)
Open AccessReview An Evidence-Based Exercise Regimen for Patients with Mild to Moderate Parkinson’s Disease
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(1), 87-100; doi:10.3390/brainsci3010087
Received: 15 October 2012 / Revised: 3 December 2012 / Accepted: 21 December 2012 / Published: 16 January 2013
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Abstract
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurological disorder that is manifested in the form of both motor and non-motor symptoms such as resting tremor, bradykinesia, muscular rigidity, depression, and cognitive impairment. PD is progressive in nature, ultimately leading to debilitating disruption of activities [...] Read more.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurological disorder that is manifested in the form of both motor and non-motor symptoms such as resting tremor, bradykinesia, muscular rigidity, depression, and cognitive impairment. PD is progressive in nature, ultimately leading to debilitating disruption of activities of daily living. Recently, a myriad of research has been focused on non-pharmacological interventions to alleviate the motor and non-motor symptoms of the disease. However, while there is a growing body of evidence supporting exercise as a viable therapy option for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, there is a lack of literature enumerating a specific exercise sequence for patients with PD. In this literature review, we analyze the success of specific modalities of exercise in order to suggest an optimal exercise regimen for Parkinson’s disease patients. Full article
Open AccessReview Promoting Motor Function by Exercising the Brain
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(1), 101-122; doi:10.3390/brainsci3010101
Received: 5 November 2012 / Revised: 24 December 2012 / Accepted: 19 January 2013 / Published: 25 January 2013
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Abstract
Exercise represents a behavioral intervention that enhances brain health and motor function. The increase in cerebral blood volume in response to physical activity may be responsible for improving brain function. Among the various neuroimaging techniques used to monitor brain hemodynamic response during [...] Read more.
Exercise represents a behavioral intervention that enhances brain health and motor function. The increase in cerebral blood volume in response to physical activity may be responsible for improving brain function. Among the various neuroimaging techniques used to monitor brain hemodynamic response during exercise, functional near-infrared spectroscopy could facilitate the measurement of task-related cortical responses noninvasively and is relatively robust with regard to the subjects’ motion. Although the components of optimal exercise interventions have not been determined, evidence from animal and human studies suggests that aerobic exercise with sufficiently high intensity has neuroprotective properties and promotes motor function. This review provides an insight into the effect of physical activity (based on endurance and resistance exercises) on brain function for producing movement. Since most progress in the study of brain function has come from patients with neurological disorders (e.g., stroke and Parkinson’s patients), this review presents some findings emphasizing training paradigms for restoring motor function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Brain Function)
Open AccessReview The Role of Substance P in Ischaemic Brain Injury
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(1), 123-142; doi:10.3390/brainsci3010123
Received: 5 January 2013 / Revised: 23 January 2013 / Accepted: 23 January 2013 / Published: 30 January 2013
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Abstract
Stroke is a leading cause of death, disability and dementia worldwide. Despite extensive pre-clinical investigation, few therapeutic treatment options are available to patients, meaning that death, severe disability and the requirement for long-term rehabilitation are common outcomes. Cell loss and tissue injury [...] Read more.
Stroke is a leading cause of death, disability and dementia worldwide. Despite extensive pre-clinical investigation, few therapeutic treatment options are available to patients, meaning that death, severe disability and the requirement for long-term rehabilitation are common outcomes. Cell loss and tissue injury following stroke occurs through a number of diverse secondary injury pathways, whose delayed nature provides an opportunity for pharmacological intervention. Amongst these secondary injury factors, increased blood-brain barrier permeability and cerebral oedema are well-documented complications of cerebral ischaemia, whose severity has been shown to be associated with final outcome. Whilst the mechanisms of increased blood-brain barrier permeability and cerebral oedema are largely unknown, recent evidence suggests that the neuropeptide substance P (SP) plays a central role. The aim of this review is to examine the role of SP in ischaemic stroke and report on the potential utility of NK1 tachykinin receptor antagonists as therapeutic agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroprotection against Ischemic Brain Injury)
Open AccessReview Neuroadaptive Changes Associated with Smoking: Structural and Functional Neural Changes in Nicotine Dependence
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(1), 159-176; doi:10.3390/brainsci3010159
Received: 22 December 2012 / Revised: 9 January 2013 / Accepted: 25 January 2013 / Published: 15 February 2013
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Abstract
Tobacco smoking is the most frequent form of substance abuse. We provide a review of the neuroadaptive changes evidenced in human smokers with regard to the current neurobiological models of addiction. Addiction is thought to result from an interplay between positive and [...] Read more.
Tobacco smoking is the most frequent form of substance abuse. We provide a review of the neuroadaptive changes evidenced in human smokers with regard to the current neurobiological models of addiction. Addiction is thought to result from an interplay between positive and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcing effects of the drugs are mediated by striatal dopamine release, while negative reinforcement involves the relief of withdrawal symptoms and neurobiological stress systems. In addition, drug-related stimuli are attributed with excessive motivational value and are thought to exert a control on the behavior. This mechanism plays a central role in drug maintenance and relapse. Further neuroadaptive changes associated with chronic use of the drug consist of reduced responses to natural rewards and in the activation of an antireward system, related to neurobiological stress systems. Reduced inhibitory cognitive control is believed to support the development and the maintenance of addiction. The findings observed in human nicotine dependence are generally in line with these models. The current state of the research indicates specific neuroadaptive changes associated with nicotine addiction that need to be further elucidated with regard to their role in the treatment of nicotine dependence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Addiction and Neuroadaptation)
Open AccessReview Neuroprotective Therapies after Perinatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(1), 191-214; doi:10.3390/brainsci3010191
Received: 7 January 2013 / Revised: 13 February 2013 / Accepted: 22 February 2013 / Published: 5 March 2013
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Abstract
Hypoxic-ischemic (HI) brain injury is one of the main causes of disabilities in term-born infants. It is the result of a deprivation of oxygen and glucose in the neural tissue. As one of the most important causes of brain damage in the [...] Read more.
Hypoxic-ischemic (HI) brain injury is one of the main causes of disabilities in term-born infants. It is the result of a deprivation of oxygen and glucose in the neural tissue. As one of the most important causes of brain damage in the newborn period, the neonatal HI event is a devastating condition that can lead to long-term neurological deficits or even death. The pattern of this injury occurs in two phases, the first one is a primary energy failure related to the HI event and the second phase is an energy failure that takes place some hours later. Injuries that occur in response to these events are often manifested as severe cognitive and motor disturbances over time. Due to difficulties regarding the early diagnosis and treatment of HI injury, there is an increasing need to find effective therapies as new opportunities for the reduction of brain damage and its long term effects. Some of these therapies are focused on prevention of the production of reactive oxygen species, anti-inflammatory effects, anti-apoptotic interventions and in a later stage, the stimulation of neurotrophic properties in the neonatal brain which could be targeted to promote neuronal and oligodendrocyte regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroprotection against Ischemic Brain Injury)
Open AccessReview Stem Cell Transplantation for Neuroprotection in Stroke
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(1), 239-261; doi:10.3390/brainsci3010239
Received: 7 December 2012 / Revised: 22 February 2013 / Accepted: 26 February 2013 / Published: 7 March 2013
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Abstract
Stem cell-based therapies for stroke have expanded substantially over the last decade. The diversity of embryonic and adult tissue sources provides researchers with the ability to harvest an ample supply of stem cells. However, the optimal conditions of stem cell use are [...] Read more.
Stem cell-based therapies for stroke have expanded substantially over the last decade. The diversity of embryonic and adult tissue sources provides researchers with the ability to harvest an ample supply of stem cells. However, the optimal conditions of stem cell use are still being determined. Along this line of the need for optimization studies, we discuss studies that demonstrate effective dose, timing, and route of stem cells. We recognize that stem cell derivations also provide uniquely individual difficulties and limitations in their therapeutic applications. This review will outline the current knowledge, including benefits and challenges, of the many current sources of stem cells for stroke therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroprotection against Ischemic Brain Injury)
Open AccessReview The Role of Ghrelin in Neuroprotection after Ischemic Brain Injury
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(1), 344-359; doi:10.3390/brainsci3010344
Received: 10 December 2012 / Revised: 19 February 2013 / Accepted: 7 March 2013 / Published: 19 March 2013
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Abstract
Ghrelin, a gastrointestinal peptide with a major role in regulating feeding and metabolism, has recently been investigated for its neuroprotective effects. In this review we discuss pre-clinical evidence suggesting ghrelin may be a useful therapeutic in protecting the brain against injury after [...] Read more.
Ghrelin, a gastrointestinal peptide with a major role in regulating feeding and metabolism, has recently been investigated for its neuroprotective effects. In this review we discuss pre-clinical evidence suggesting ghrelin may be a useful therapeutic in protecting the brain against injury after ischemic stroke. Specifically, we will discuss evidence showing ghrelin administration can improve neuronal cell survival in animal models of focal cerebral ischemia, as well as rescue memory deficits. We will also discuss its proposed mechanisms of action, including anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects, and suggest ghrelin treatment may be a useful intervention after stroke in the clinic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroprotection against Ischemic Brain Injury)
Open AccessReview Non-Coding RNAs as Potential Neuroprotectants against Ischemic Brain Injury
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(1), 360-395; doi:10.3390/brainsci3010360
Received: 28 December 2012 / Revised: 19 February 2013 / Accepted: 6 March 2013 / Published: 20 March 2013
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Abstract
Over the past decade, scientific discoveries have highlighted new roles for a unique class of non-coding RNAs. Transcribed from the genome, these non-coding RNAs have been implicated in determining the biological complexity seen in mammals by acting as transcriptional and translational regulators. [...] Read more.
Over the past decade, scientific discoveries have highlighted new roles for a unique class of non-coding RNAs. Transcribed from the genome, these non-coding RNAs have been implicated in determining the biological complexity seen in mammals by acting as transcriptional and translational regulators. Non-coding RNAs, which can be sub-classified into long non-coding RNAs, microRNAs, PIWI-interacting RNAs and several others, are widely expressed in the nervous system with roles in neurogenesis, development and maintenance of the neuronal phenotype. Perturbations of these non-coding transcripts have been observed in ischemic preconditioning as well as ischemic brain injury with characterization of the mechanisms by which they confer toxicity. Their dysregulation may also confer pathogenic conditions in neurovascular diseases. A better understanding of their expression patterns and functions has uncovered the potential use of these riboregulators as neuroprotectants to antagonize the detrimental molecular events taking place upon ischemic-reperfusion injury. In this review, we discuss the various roles of non-coding RNAs in brain development and their mechanisms of gene regulation in relation to ischemic brain injury. We will also address the future directions and open questions for identifying promising non-coding RNAs that could eventually serve as potential neuroprotectants against ischemic brain injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroprotection against Ischemic Brain Injury)

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessNew Book Received Neurodevelopmental Disorders across the Lifespan: A Neuroconstructivist Approach. Edited by Emily K. Farran and Annette Karmiloff-Smith, Oxford University Press, 2012; 394 pages. Price: £49.99, ISBN 978-0-19-959481-8
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(1), 84-86; doi:10.3390/brainsci3010084
Received: 10 January 2013 / Accepted: 11 January 2013 / Published: 15 January 2013
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Abstract
The first book to consider atypical development across multiple levels (genes, brain, behavior, environment), encouraging readers to think dynamically and developmentally, rather than examining static snapshots of neurodevelopmental disorders.Provides the most comprehensive review of development across cognitive domains (and their interactions), making [...] Read more.
The first book to consider atypical development across multiple levels (genes, brain, behavior, environment), encouraging readers to think dynamically and developmentally, rather than examining static snapshots of neurodevelopmental disorders.Provides the most comprehensive review of development across cognitive domains (and their interactions), making clinicians more sensitive to looking for underlying cognitive and neural differences even when behavioral scores are in the normal range.Considers development from infancy to adulthood, encouraging the reader to think about the importance of development in understanding neurodevelopmental disorders, for example, by considering the impact that differences in low-level processes in infancy can have on later developing cognitive processes. Full article

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