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Brain Sci., Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2013), Pages 1417-1634

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Open AccessArticle Potential for Cell-Mediated Immune Responses in Mouse Models of Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(4), 1417-1444; doi:10.3390/brainsci3041417
Received: 24 July 2013 / Revised: 13 August 2013 / Accepted: 18 September 2013 / Published: 30 September 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3013 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although activation of the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system are undoubtedly involved in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases, it is unclear whether immune system activation is a primary or secondary event. Increasingly, published studies link primary metabolic stress to secondary
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Although activation of the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system are undoubtedly involved in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases, it is unclear whether immune system activation is a primary or secondary event. Increasingly, published studies link primary metabolic stress to secondary inflammatory responses inside and outside of the nervous system. In this study, we show that the metabolic stress pathway known as the unfolded protein response (UPR) leads to secondary activation of the immune system. First, we observe innate immune system activation in autopsy specimens from Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD) patients and mouse models stemming from PLP1 gene mutations. Second, missense mutations in mildly- and severely-affected Plp1-mutant mice exhibit immune-associated expression profiles with greater disease severity causing an increasingly proinflammatory environment. Third, and unexpectedly, we find little evidence for dysregulated expression of major antioxidant pathways, suggesting that the unfolded protein and oxidative stress responses are separable. Together, these data show that UPR activation can precede innate and/or adaptive immune system activation and that neuroinflammation can be titrated by metabolic stress in oligodendrocytes. Whether or not such activation leads to autoimmune disease in humans is unclear, but the case report of steroid-mitigated symptoms in a PMD patient initially diagnosed with multiple sclerosis lends support. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Myelin Repair)
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Open AccessArticle Development of Brain EEG Connectivity across Early Childhood: Does Sleep Play a Role?
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(4), 1445-1460; doi:10.3390/brainsci3041445
Received: 4 September 2013 / Revised: 21 October 2013 / Accepted: 29 October 2013 / Published: 12 November 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (628 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Sleep has beneficial effects on brain function and learning, which are reflected in plastic changes in the cortex. Early childhood is a time of rapid maturation in fundamental skills—e.g., language, cognitive control, working memory—that are predictive of future functioning. Little is currently known
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Sleep has beneficial effects on brain function and learning, which are reflected in plastic changes in the cortex. Early childhood is a time of rapid maturation in fundamental skills—e.g., language, cognitive control, working memory—that are predictive of future functioning. Little is currently known about the interactions between sleep and brain maturation during this developmental period. We propose coherent electroencephalogram (EEG) activity during sleep may provide unique insight into maturational processes of functional brain connectivity. Longitudinal sleep EEG assessments were performed in eight healthy subjects at ages 2, 3 and 5 years. Sleep EEG coherence increased across development in a region- and frequency-specific manner. Moreover, although connectivity primarily decreased intra-hemispherically across a night of sleep, an inter-hemispheric overnight increase occurred in the frequency range of slow waves (0.8–2 Hz), theta (4.8–7.8 Hz) and sleep spindles (10–14 Hz), with connectivity changes of up to 20% across a night of sleep. These findings indicate sleep EEG coherence reflects processes of brain maturation—i.e., programmed unfolding of neuronal networks—and moreover, sleep-related alterations of brain connectivity during the sensitive maturational window of early childhood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep and Brain Development)
Open AccessArticle White Matter Loss in a Mouse Model of Periventricular Leukomalacia Is Rescued by Trophic Factors
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(4), 1461-1482; doi:10.3390/brainsci3041461
Received: 8 August 2013 / Revised: 15 October 2013 / Accepted: 28 October 2013 / Published: 12 November 2013
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Abstract
Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is the most frequent cause of cerebral palsy and other intellectual disabilities, and currently there is no treatment. In PVL, glutamate excitotoxicity (GME) leads to abnormal oligodendrocytes (OLs), myelin deficiency, and ventriculomegaly. We have previously identified that the combination of
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Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is the most frequent cause of cerebral palsy and other intellectual disabilities, and currently there is no treatment. In PVL, glutamate excitotoxicity (GME) leads to abnormal oligodendrocytes (OLs), myelin deficiency, and ventriculomegaly. We have previously identified that the combination of transferrin and insulin growth factors (TSC1) promotes endogenous OL regeneration and remyelination in the postnatal and adult rodent brain. Here, we produced a periventricular white matter lesion with a single intracerebral injection of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA). Comparing lesions produced by NMDA alone and those produced by NMDA + TSC1 we found that: NMDA affected survival and reduced migration of OL progenitors (OLPs). In contrast, mice injected with NMDA + TSC1 proliferated twice as much indicating that TSC1 supported regeneration of the OLP population after the insult. Olig2-mRNA expression showed 52% OLP survival in mice receiving a NMDA injection and increased to 78% when TSC1 + NMDA were injected simultaneously and ventricular size was reduced by TSC1. Furthermore, in striatal slices TSC1 reduced the inward currents induced by NMDA in medium-sized spiny neurons, demonstrating neuroprotection. Thus, white matter loss after excitotoxicity can be partially rescued as TSC1 conferred neuroprotection to preexisting OLP and regeneration via OLP proliferation. Furthermore, we showed that early TSC1 administration maximizes neuroprotection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Myelin Repair)
Open AccessArticle Olfactory Hallucinations without Clinical Motor Activity: A Comparison of Unirhinal with Birhinal Phantosmia
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(4), 1483-1553; doi:10.3390/brainsci3041483
Received: 26 June 2013 / Revised: 11 October 2013 / Accepted: 12 October 2013 / Published: 15 November 2013
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Abstract
Olfactory hallucinations without subsequent myoclonic activity have not been well characterized or understood. Herein we describe, in a retrospective study, two major forms of olfactory hallucinations labeled phantosmias: one, unirhinal, the other, birhinal. To describe these disorders we performed several procedures to elucidate
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Olfactory hallucinations without subsequent myoclonic activity have not been well characterized or understood. Herein we describe, in a retrospective study, two major forms of olfactory hallucinations labeled phantosmias: one, unirhinal, the other, birhinal. To describe these disorders we performed several procedures to elucidate similarities and differences between these processes. From 1272, patients evaluated for taste and smell dysfunction at The Taste and Smell Clinic, Washington, DC with clinical history, neurological and otolaryngological examinations, evaluations of taste and smell function, EEG and neuroradiological studies 40 exhibited cyclic unirhinal phantosmia (CUP) usually without hyposmia whereas 88 exhibited non-cyclic birhinal phantosmia with associated symptomology (BPAS) with hyposmia. Patients with CUP developed phantosmia spontaneously or after laughing, coughing or shouting initially with spontaneous inhibition and subsequently with Valsalva maneuvers, sleep or nasal water inhalation; they had frequent EEG changes usually ipsilateral sharp waves. Patients with BPAS developed phantosmia secondary to several clinical events usually after hyposmia onset with few EEG changes; their phantosmia could not be initiated or inhibited by any physiological maneuver. CUP is uncommonly encountered and represents a newly defined clinical syndrome. BPAS is commonly encountered, has been observed previously but has not been clearly defined. Mechanisms responsible for phantosmia in each group were related to decreased gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) activity in specific brain regions. Treatment which activated brain GABA inhibited phantosmia in both groups. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Brain-Computer-Interface for the Detection and Modulation of Gamma Band Activity
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(4), 1569-1587; doi:10.3390/brainsci3041569
Received: 19 August 2013 / Revised: 6 November 2013 / Accepted: 8 November 2013 / Published: 18 November 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (936 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Gamma band oscillations in the human brain (around 40 Hz) play a functional role in information processing, and a real-time assessment of gamma band activity could be used to evaluate the functional relevance more directly. Therefore, we developed a source based Brain-Computer-Interface (BCI)
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Gamma band oscillations in the human brain (around 40 Hz) play a functional role in information processing, and a real-time assessment of gamma band activity could be used to evaluate the functional relevance more directly. Therefore, we developed a source based Brain-Computer-Interface (BCI) with an online detection of gamma band activity in a selective brain region in the visual cortex. The BCI incorporates modules for online detection of various artifacts (including microsaccades) and the artifacts were continuously fed back to the volunteer. We examined the efficiency of the source-based BCI for Neurofeedback training of gamma- and alpha-band (8–12 Hz) oscillations and compared the specificity for the spatial and frequency domain. Our results demonstrated that volunteers learned to selectively switch between modulating alpha- or gamma-band oscillations and benefited from online artifact information. The analyses revealed a high level of accuracy with respect to frequency and topography for the gamma-band modulations. Thus, the developed BCI can be used to manipulate the fast oscillatory activity with a high level of specificity. These selective modulations can be used to assess the relevance of fast neural oscillations for information processing in a more direct way, i.e., by the adaptive presentation of stimuli within well-described brain states. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergence of Novel Brain-Computer Interface Applications)
Open AccessArticle Altered Neuronal Dynamics in the Striatum on the Behavior of Huntingtin Interacting Protein 14 (HIP14) Knockout Mice
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(4), 1588-1596; doi:10.3390/brainsci3041588
Received: 22 October 2013 / Revised: 1 November 2013 / Accepted: 12 November 2013 / Published: 20 November 2013
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Abstract
Huntington’s disease (HD), a neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expanded CAG repeat in the huntingtin gene, impairs information processing in the striatum, which, as part of the basal ganglia, modulates motor output. Growing evidence suggests that huntingtin interacting protein 14 (HIP14) contributes to
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Huntington’s disease (HD), a neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expanded CAG repeat in the huntingtin gene, impairs information processing in the striatum, which, as part of the basal ganglia, modulates motor output. Growing evidence suggests that huntingtin interacting protein 14 (HIP14) contributes to HD neuropathology. Here, we recorded local field potentials (LFPs) in the striatum as HIP14 knockout mice and wild-type controls freely navigated a plus-shaped maze. Upon entering the choice point of the maze, HIP14 knockouts tend to continue in a straight line, turning left or right significantly less often than wild-types, a sign of motor inflexibility that also occurs in HD mice. Striatal LFP activity anticipates this difference. In wild-types, the power spectral density pattern associated with entry into the choice point differs significantly from the pattern immediately before entry, especially at low frequencies (≤13 Hz), whereas HIP14 knockouts show no change in LFP activity as they enter the choice point. The lack of change in striatal activity may explain the turning deficit in the plus maze. Our results suggest that HIP14 plays a critical role in the aberrant behavioral modulation of striatal neuronal activity underlying motor inflexibility, including the motor signs of HD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Huntington's Disease)
Open AccessArticle Reorganization and Stability for Motor and Language Areas Using Cortical Stimulation: Case Example and Review of the Literature
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(4), 1597-1614; doi:10.3390/brainsci3041597
Received: 16 October 2013 / Accepted: 14 November 2013 / Published: 26 November 2013
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Abstract
The cerebral organization of language in epilepsy patients has been studied with invasive procedures such as Wada testing and electrical cortical stimulation mapping and more recently with noninvasive neuroimaging techniques, such as functional MRI. In the setting of a chronic seizure disorder, clinical
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The cerebral organization of language in epilepsy patients has been studied with invasive procedures such as Wada testing and electrical cortical stimulation mapping and more recently with noninvasive neuroimaging techniques, such as functional MRI. In the setting of a chronic seizure disorder, clinical variables have been shown to contribute to cerebral language reorganization underscoring the need for language lateralization and localization procedures. We present a 14-year-old pediatric patient with a refractory epilepsy disorder who underwent two neurosurgical resections of a left frontal epileptic focus separated by a year. He was mapped extraoperatively through a subdural grid using cortical stimulation to preserve motor and language functions. The clinical history and extensive workup prior to surgery is discussed as well as the opportunity to compare the cortical maps for language, motor, and sensory function before each resection. Reorganization in cortical tongue sensory areas was seen concomitant with a new zone of ictal and interictal activity in the previous tongue sensory area. Detailed neuropsychological data is presented before and after any surgical intervention to hypothesize about the extent of reorganization between epochs. We conclude that intrahemispheric cortical plasticity does occur following frontal lobe resective surgery in a teenager with medically refractory seizures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain and Language)
Open AccessArticle Pitch and Plasticity: Insights from the Pitch Matching of Chords by Musicians with Absolute and Relative Pitch
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(4), 1615-1634; doi:10.3390/brainsci3041615
Received: 26 September 2013 / Revised: 5 November 2013 / Accepted: 25 November 2013 / Published: 3 December 2013
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Abstract
Absolute pitch (AP) is a form of sound recognition in which musical note names are associated with discrete musical pitch categories. The accuracy of pitch matching by non-AP musicians for chords has recently been shown to depend on stimulus familiarity, pointing to a
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Absolute pitch (AP) is a form of sound recognition in which musical note names are associated with discrete musical pitch categories. The accuracy of pitch matching by non-AP musicians for chords has recently been shown to depend on stimulus familiarity, pointing to a role of spectral recognition mechanisms in the early stages of pitch processing. Here we show that pitch matching accuracy by AP musicians was also dependent on their familiarity with the chord stimulus. This suggests that the pitch matching abilities of both AP and non-AP musicians for concurrently presented pitches are dependent on initial recognition of the chord. The dual mechanism model of pitch perception previously proposed by the authors suggests that spectral processing associated with sound recognition primes waveform processing to extract stimulus periodicity and refine pitch perception. The findings presented in this paper are consistent with the dual mechanism model of pitch, and in the case of AP musicians, the formation of nominal pitch categories based on both spectral and periodicity information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music and Neural Plasticity)

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Open AccessOpinion Patient Machine Interface for the Control of Mechanical Ventilation Devices
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(4), 1554-1568; doi:10.3390/brainsci3041554
Received: 19 August 2013 / Revised: 12 September 2013 / Accepted: 8 November 2013 / Published: 15 November 2013
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Abstract
The potential of Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) to translate brain activity into commands to control external devices during mechanical ventilation (MV) remains largely unexplored. This is surprising since the amount of patients that might benefit from such assistance is considerably larger than the
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The potential of Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) to translate brain activity into commands to control external devices during mechanical ventilation (MV) remains largely unexplored. This is surprising since the amount of patients that might benefit from such assistance is considerably larger than the number of patients requiring BCI for motor control. Given the transient nature of MV (i.e., used mainly over night or during acute clinical conditions), precluding the use of invasive methods, and inspired by current research on BCIs, we argue that scalp recorded EEG (electroencephalography) signals can provide a non-invasive direct communication pathway between the brain and the ventilator. In this paper we propose a Patient Ventilator Interface (PVI) to control a ventilator during variable conscious states (i.e., wake, sleep, etc.). After a brief introduction on the neural control of breathing and the clinical conditions requiring the use of MV we discuss the conventional techniques used during MV. The schema of the PVI is presented followed by a description of the neural signals that can be used for the on-line control. To illustrate the full approach, we present data from a healthy subject, where the inspiration and expiration periods during voluntary breathing were discriminated with a 92% accuracy (10-fold cross-validation) from the scalp EEG data. The paper ends with a discussion on the advantages and obstacles that can be forecasted in this novel application of the concept of BCI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergence of Novel Brain-Computer Interface Applications)
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