Open AccessArticle
Alzheimer’s Disease Early Diagnosis Using Manifold-Based Semi-Supervised Learning
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(8), 109; doi:10.3390/brainsci7080109 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and recent estimates indicate that the disorder may rank third, just behind heart disease and cancer, as a cause of death for older people. Clearly, predicting
[...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and recent estimates indicate that the disorder may rank third, just behind heart disease and cancer, as a cause of death for older people. Clearly, predicting this disease in the early stages and preventing it from progressing is of great importance. The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) requires a variety of medical tests, which leads to huge amounts of multivariate heterogeneous data. It can be difficult and exhausting to manually compare, visualize, and analyze this data due to the heterogeneous nature of medical tests; therefore, an efficient approach for accurate prediction of the condition of the brain through the classification of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images is greatly beneficial and yet very challenging. In this paper, a novel approach is proposed for the diagnosis of very early stages of AD through an efficient classification of brain MRI images, which uses label propagation in a manifold-based semi-supervised learning framework. We first apply voxel morphometry analysis to extract some of the most critical AD-related features of brain images from the original MRI volumes and also gray matter (GM) segmentation volumes. The features must capture the most discriminative properties that vary between a healthy and Alzheimer-affected brain. Next, we perform a principal component analysis (PCA)-based dimension reduction on the extracted features for faster yet sufficiently accurate analysis. To make the best use of the captured features, we present a hybrid manifold learning framework which embeds the feature vectors in a subspace. Next, using a small set of labeled training data, we apply a label propagation method in the created manifold space to predict the labels of the remaining images and classify them in the two groups of mild Alzheimer’s and normal condition (MCI/NC). The accuracy of the classification using the proposed method is 93.86% for the Open Access Series of Imaging Studies (OASIS) database of MRI brain images, providing, compared to the best existing methods, a 3% lower error rate. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Assessing Sensory Processing Dysfunction in Adults and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Scoping Review
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(8), 108; doi:10.3390/brainsci7080108 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Sensory reactivity is a diagnostic criterion for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and has been associated with poorer functional outcomes, behavioral difficulties, and autism severity across the lifespan. Yet, there is little consensus on best practice approaches to assessing sensory processing dysfunction in adolescents
[...] Read more.
Sensory reactivity is a diagnostic criterion for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and has been associated with poorer functional outcomes, behavioral difficulties, and autism severity across the lifespan. Yet, there is little consensus on best practice approaches to assessing sensory processing dysfunction in adolescents and adults with ASD. Despite growing evidence that sensory symptoms persist into adolescence and adulthood, there is a lack of norms for older age groups, and pediatric assessments may not target appropriate functional outcomes or environments. This review identified approaches used to measure sensory processing in the scientific literature, and to describe and compare these approaches to current best practice guidelines that can be incorporated into evidence-based practice. Method and Analysis: A search of scientific databases and grey literature (professional association and ASD society websites), from January 1987–May 2017, uncovered 4769 articles and 12 clinical guidelines. Study and sample characteristics were extracted, charted, and categorized according to assessment approach. Results: There were 66 articles included after article screening. Five categories of assessment approaches were identified: Self- and Proxy-Report Questionnaires, Psychophysical Assessment, Direct Behavioral Observation, Qualitative Interview Techniques, and Neuroimaging/EEG. Sensory research to date has focused on individuals with high-functioning ASD, most commonly through the use of self-report questionnaires. The Adolescent and Adult Sensory Profile (AASP) is the most widely used assessment measure (n = 22), however, a number of other assessment approaches may demonstrate strengths specific to the ASD population. Multi-method approaches to assessment (e.g., combining psychophysical or observation with questionnaires) may have clinical applicability to interdisciplinary clinical teams serving adolescents and adults with ASD. Contribution: A comprehensive knowledge of approaches is critical in the clinical assessment of a population characterized by symptomatic heterogeneity and wide-ranging cognitive profiles. This review should inform future development of international interdisciplinary clinical guidelines on sensory processing assessment in ASD across the lifespan. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
A Review of the Neuropsychological Dimensions of Tourette Syndrome
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(8), 106; doi:10.3390/brainsci7080106 -
Abstract
Neurocognitive functioning in Tourette syndrome (TS) has been the subject of intensive research in the past 30 years. A variety of impairments, presumably related to frontal and frontostriatal dysfunctions, have been observed. These impairments were found in various domains, such as attention, memory,
[...] Read more.
Neurocognitive functioning in Tourette syndrome (TS) has been the subject of intensive research in the past 30 years. A variety of impairments, presumably related to frontal and frontostriatal dysfunctions, have been observed. These impairments were found in various domains, such as attention, memory, executive functions, language, motor and visuomotor functions, among others. In line with contemporary research, other neurocognitive domains have recently been explored in TS, bringing evidence of altered social reasoning, for instance. Therefore, the aims of this review are to give an overview of the neuropsychological dimensions of TS, to report how neuropsychological functions evolve from childhood to adulthood, and to explain how various confounding factors can affect TS patients’ performance in neuropsychological tasks. Finally, an important contribution of this review is to show how recent research has confirmed or changed our beliefs about neuropsychological functioning in TS. Full article
Open AccessReview
Propofol’s Effects on the Fetal Brain for Non-Obstetric Surgery
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(8), 107; doi:10.3390/brainsci7080107 -
Abstract
While the use of Propofol has been increasing in usage for general surgical procedures since its release to market, there has been little work done on its potential link to neurotoxicity in humans. Only recently, following the release of a warning label from
[...] Read more.
While the use of Propofol has been increasing in usage for general surgical procedures since its release to market, there has been little work done on its potential link to neurotoxicity in humans. Only recently, following the release of a warning label from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) regarding a potential link to “neurotoxicity” in the neonate, did the surgical and anesthesiology communities become more aware of its potential for harm. Given the widespread use of this drug in clinical practice, the warning label naturally raised controversy regarding intrapartum Propofol usage. While intended to generate further studies, the lack of a viable anesthetic alternative raises issues regarding its current usage for surgical procedures in pregnant women. To answer the question whether current evidence is supportive of Propofol usage at its current levels in pregnant women, this review summarizes available evidence of fetal Propofol exposure in animal studies. Full article
Open AccessReview
Evaluation and Treatment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: The Role of Neuropsychology
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(8), 105; doi:10.3390/brainsci7080105 -
Abstract
Awareness of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and persisting post-concussive syndrome (PCS) has increased substantially in the past few decades, with a corresponding increase in research on diagnosis, management, and treatment of patients with mTBI. The purpose of this article is to provide
[...] Read more.
Awareness of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and persisting post-concussive syndrome (PCS) has increased substantially in the past few decades, with a corresponding increase in research on diagnosis, management, and treatment of patients with mTBI. The purpose of this article is to provide a narrative review of the current literature on behavioral assessment and management of patients presenting with mTBI/PCS, and to detail the potential role of neuropsychologists and rehabilitation psychologists in interdisciplinary care for this population during the acute, subacute, and chronic phases of recovery. Full article
Open AccessReview
Myoclonic Disorders
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(8), 103; doi:10.3390/brainsci7080103 -
Abstract
Few movement disorders seem to make a straightforward approach to diagnosis and treatment more difficult and frustrating than myoclonus, due to its plethora of causes and its variable classifications. Nevertheless, in recent years, exciting advances have been made in the elucidation of the
[...] Read more.
Few movement disorders seem to make a straightforward approach to diagnosis and treatment more difficult and frustrating than myoclonus, due to its plethora of causes and its variable classifications. Nevertheless, in recent years, exciting advances have been made in the elucidation of the pathophysiology and genetic basis of many disorders presenting with myoclonus. Here, we provide a review of all of the important types of myoclonus encountered in pediatric and adult neurology, with an emphasis on the recent developments that have led to a deeper understanding of this intriguing phenomenon. An up-to-date list of the genetic basis of all major myoclonic disorders is presented. Randomized studies are scarce in myoclonus therapy, but helpful pragmatic approaches at diagnosis as well as treatment have been recently suggested. Full article
Open AccessReview
Melanocortins, Melanocortin Receptors and Multiple Sclerosis
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(8), 104; doi:10.3390/brainsci7080104 -
Abstract
The melanocortins and their receptors have been extensively investigated for their roles in the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, but to a lesser extent in immune cells and in the nervous system outside the hypothalamic axis. This review discusses corticosteroid dependent and independent effects of melanocortins
[...] Read more.
The melanocortins and their receptors have been extensively investigated for their roles in the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, but to a lesser extent in immune cells and in the nervous system outside the hypothalamic axis. This review discusses corticosteroid dependent and independent effects of melanocortins on the peripheral immune system, central nervous system (CNS) effects mediated through neuronal regulation of immune system function, and direct effects on endogenous cells in the CNS. We have focused on the expression and function of melanocortin receptors in oligodendroglia (OL), the myelin producing cells of the CNS, with the goal of identifying new therapeutic approaches to decrease CNS damage in multiple sclerosis as well as to promote repair. It is clear that melanocortin signaling through their receptors in the CNS has potential for neuroprotection and repair in diseases like MS. Effects of melanocortins on the immune system by direct effects on the circulating cells (lymphocytes and monocytes) and by signaling through CNS cells in regions lacking a mature blood brain barrier are clear. However, additional studies are needed to develop highly effective MCR targeted therapies that directly affect endogenous cells of the CNS, particularly OL, their progenitors and neurons. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Structural and Neuronal Integrity Measures of Fatigue Severity in Multiple Sclerosis
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(8), 102; doi:10.3390/brainsci7080102 -
Abstract
Fatigue is a common and disabling symptom in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). However, consistent neuroimaging correlates of its severity are not fully elucidated. In this article, we study the neuronal correlates of fatigue severity in MS. Forty-three Relapsing Remitting MS (RRMS) patients with MS-related
[...] Read more.
Fatigue is a common and disabling symptom in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). However, consistent neuroimaging correlates of its severity are not fully elucidated. In this article, we study the neuronal correlates of fatigue severity in MS. Forty-three Relapsing Remitting MS (RRMS) patients with MS-related fatigue (Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) range: 1–7) and Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) ≤ 4, were divided into high fatigue (HF, FSS ≥ 5.1) and low fatigue groups (LF, FSS ≤ 3). We measured T2 lesion load using a semi-automated technique. Cortical thickness, volume of sub-cortical nuclei, and brainstem structures were measured using Freesurfer. Cortical Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) parameters were extracted using a cross modality technique. A correlation analysis was performed between FSS, volumetric, and DTI indices across all patients. HF patients showed significantly lower volume of thalamus, (p = 0.02), pallidum (p = 0.01), and superior cerebellar peduncle ((SCP), p = 0.002). The inverse correlation between the FSS score and the above volumes was significant in the total study population. In the right temporal cortex (RTC), the Radial Diffusivity ((RD), p = 0.01) and Fractional Anisotropy ((FA), p = 0.01) was significantly higher and lower, respectively, in the HF group. After Bonferroni correction, thalamic volume, FA-RTC, and RD-RTC remained statistically significant. Multivariate regression analysis identified FA-RTC as the best predictor of fatigue severity. Our data suggest an association between fatigue severity and volumetric changes of thalamus, pallidum, and SCP. Early neuronal injury in the RTC is implicated in the pathogenesis of MS-related fatigue. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Infants Investigated by the Child Welfare System: Exploring a Distinct Profile of Risks, Service Needs, and Referrals for Support in Ontario
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(8), 101; doi:10.3390/brainsci7080101 -
Abstract
The science of early childhood development underscores that maltreatment and other adversities experienced during infancy heightens the risk for poor developmental and socio-emotional outcomes. Referrals to supportive services by the child welfare system are particularly critical during infancy given the rapidity of brain
[...] Read more.
The science of early childhood development underscores that maltreatment and other adversities experienced during infancy heightens the risk for poor developmental and socio-emotional outcomes. Referrals to supportive services by the child welfare system are particularly critical during infancy given the rapidity of brain development and infants’ sensitivity to their environment. The main objectives of the current study are to: (1) examine age-specific differences in clinical and case characteristics; (2) determine the factors associated with the service referral decision involving infants; and (3) explore the types of services families have been referred to at the conclusion of a maltreatment-related investigation. Using data from the Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect for 2013, descriptive analyses were conducted, as was a logistic regression to identify factors associated with the decision to refer families of infants to supportive services. Overall, the findings reveal that the profile of infants and their families differs distinctly from those of older children with respect to risks, service needs, and service referrals, although this is rarely reflected in child welfare practice and policy. Investigations involving infants were most likely to have a referral made to supportive services, least likely to have an infant functioning concern identified; most likely to have a primary caregiver risk factor identified; and, the greatest likelihood of experiencing economic hardship. Multiple risks, identified for the primary caregiver of the infant are correlated to referral decisions for infants. However, the needs of the infant are likely under-identified and require cross-sectorial collaboration. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Autonomic Dysfunction after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(8), 100; doi:10.3390/brainsci7080100 -
Abstract
A mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a complex pathophysiologic process that has a systemic effect on the body aside from solely an impairment in cognitive function. Dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) has been found to induce abnormalities in organ systems
[...] Read more.
A mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a complex pathophysiologic process that has a systemic effect on the body aside from solely an impairment in cognitive function. Dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) has been found to induce abnormalities in organ systems throughout the body, and may contribute to cardiovascular dysregulation and increased mortality. Autonomic dysfunction, also known as dysautonomia, has been studied in moderate and severe TBI, and has emerged as a major contributing factor in the symptomatology in mTBI as well. Analysis of the ANS has been studied through changes in heart rate variability (HRV), pupillary dynamics, eye pressure, and arterial pulse wave in those with mild TBI. Graded exercise testing has been studied as both a method of diagnosis and as a means of recovery in those with mild TBI, especially in those with persistent symptoms. Given the studies showing persistence of autonomic dysfunction after symptomatic resolution of concussions, further research is needed to establish return to play protocols. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Binasal Occlusion (BNO), Visual Motion Sensitivity (VMS), and the Visually-Evoked Potential (VEP) in mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI/TBI)
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(8), 98; doi:10.3390/brainsci7080098 -
Abstract
The diagnosis and treatment of the possible visual sequelae in those with traumatic brain injury (TBI) represents an important area of health care in this special population. One of their most prevalent yet elusive visual symptoms is visual motion sensitivity (VMS). In this
[...] Read more.
The diagnosis and treatment of the possible visual sequelae in those with traumatic brain injury (TBI) represents an important area of health care in this special population. One of their most prevalent yet elusive visual symptoms is visual motion sensitivity (VMS). In this review, we present the basic VMS phenomenon and its related symptoms, clinical studies in the area, clinical research investigations using the visual-evoked potential (VEP) as a cortical probe, and possible mechanisms and related neurophysiology that may underlie VMS. Lastly, therapeutic interventions are briefly described, as well as future directions for clinical research and patient care in those with VMS and TBI. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Novel Computer Oculomotor Rehabilitation (COR) Program for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(8), 99; doi:10.3390/brainsci7080099 -
Abstract
Individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) manifest a wide range of visual dysfunctions. One of the most prevalent involves the oculomotor system, which includes version, vergence, and accommodation. However, until recently, there has been no comprehensive, computer-based program for remediation of these oculomotor
[...] Read more.
Individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) manifest a wide range of visual dysfunctions. One of the most prevalent involves the oculomotor system, which includes version, vergence, and accommodation. However, until recently, there has been no comprehensive, computer-based program for remediation of these oculomotor deficits. We present such an oculomotor rehabilitation program that has been tested in a clinical trial in patients having TBI with a high degree of success based on before-and-after objective system recordings, performance measures, and related visual symptomotology. The basic program components include a versatile stimulus package incorporating the attentional paradigm of rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP), the ability to add a visual and/or auditory distractor to the training to increase difficulty level (“task loading”), automated assessment of RSVP errors, and automated assessment of visual performance over the training period. Program limitations and future directions are also considered. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessEditorial
Mental Illness in Children: Childhood Illness and Supporting the Family
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(8), 97; doi:10.3390/brainsci7080097 -
Abstract
Childhood is a stage of life that is filled with potential for development, and the early years of childhood see immense physical changes in growth; mastery over body functions like movement; the acquisition of language and cognitive development to understand their own and
[...] Read more.
Childhood is a stage of life that is filled with potential for development, and the early years of childhood see immense physical changes in growth; mastery over body functions like movement; the acquisition of language and cognitive development to understand their own and others’ thinking and reasoning; and the psychosocial development of trust in the world, comfort in the care they receive from parents and caregivers, and the sense of being secure in themselves that this engenders. [...] Full article
Open AccessReview
Assessing the Effectiveness of Neurofeedback Training in the Context of Clinical and Social Neuroscience
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(8), 95; doi:10.3390/brainsci7080095 -
Abstract
Social neuroscience benefits from the experimental manipulation of neuronal activity. One possible manipulation, neurofeedback, is an operant conditioning-based technique in which individuals sense, interact with, and manage their own physiological and mental states. Neurofeedback has been applied to a wide variety of psychiatric
[...] Read more.
Social neuroscience benefits from the experimental manipulation of neuronal activity. One possible manipulation, neurofeedback, is an operant conditioning-based technique in which individuals sense, interact with, and manage their own physiological and mental states. Neurofeedback has been applied to a wide variety of psychiatric illnesses, as well as to treat sub-clinical symptoms, and even to enhance performance in healthy populations. Despite growing interest, there persists a level of distrust and/or bias in the medical and research communities in the USA toward neurofeedback and other functional interventions. As a result, neurofeedback has been largely ignored, or disregarded within social neuroscience. We propose a systematic, empirically-based approach for assessing the effectiveness, and utility of neurofeedback. To that end, we use the term perturbative physiologic plasticity to suggest that biological systems function as an integrated whole that can be perturbed and guided, either directly or indirectly, into different physiological states. When the intention is to normalize the system, e.g., via neurofeedback, we describe it as self-directed neuroplasticity, whose outcome is persistent functional, structural, and behavioral changes. We argue that changes in physiological, neuropsychological, behavioral, interpersonal, and societal functioning following neurofeedback can serve as objective indices and as the metrics necessary for assessing levels of efficacy. In this chapter, we examine the effects of neurofeedback on functional connectivity in a few clinical disorders as case studies for this approach. We believe this broader perspective will open new avenues of investigation, especially within social neuroscience, to further elucidate the mechanisms and effectiveness of these types of interventions, and their relevance to basic research. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Brain Injury and Severe Eating Difficulties at Admission—Patient Perspective Nine to Fifteen Months after Discharge: A Pilot Study
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(8), 96; doi:10.3390/brainsci7080096 -
Abstract
The purpose of this pilot study was to explore and interpret the way that individuals with acquired brain injury, admitted to inpatient neurorehabilitation with severe eating difficulties, experienced eating nine to fifteen months after discharge. Four individuals with acquired brain injury were interviewed
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this pilot study was to explore and interpret the way that individuals with acquired brain injury, admitted to inpatient neurorehabilitation with severe eating difficulties, experienced eating nine to fifteen months after discharge. Four individuals with acquired brain injury were interviewed via qualitative semi-structured interviews. An explorative study was conducted to study eating difficulties. Qualitative content analysis was used. Four main themes emerged from the analysis: personal values related to eating, swallowing difficulties, eating and drinking, meals and social life. Three predominating experiences were: fed by tube, “relearning” to eat, and eating meals together. The preliminary results regarding the four participants suggest that the meaning of food and being able to eat and take part in meals may be nearly the same as before the injury; however, having the ability to eat reduced or lost completely, even temporarily, was unexpected and difficult, and caused strong emotional reactions, even 18 months after injury. Time spent using a feeding tube had a negative, but not persistent, impact on quality-of-life. The preliminary findings provide knowledge regarding the patient perspective of adapting to and developing new strategies for activities related to eating, however, further prospective, longitudinal research in a larger scale and with repeated interviews is needed. Full article
Open AccessReview
From the Brain to the Field: The Applications of Social Neuroscience to Economics, Health and Law
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(8), 94; doi:10.3390/brainsci7080094 -
Abstract
Social neuroscience aims to understand the biological systems that underlie people’s thoughts, feelings and actions in light of the social context in which they operate. Over the past few decades, social neuroscience has captured the interest of scholars, practitioners, and experts in other
[...] Read more.
Social neuroscience aims to understand the biological systems that underlie people’s thoughts, feelings and actions in light of the social context in which they operate. Over the past few decades, social neuroscience has captured the interest of scholars, practitioners, and experts in other disciplines, as well as the general public who more and more draw upon the insights and methods of social neuroscience to explain, predict and change behavior. With the popularity of the field growing, it has become increasingly important to consider the validity of social neuroscience findings as well as what questions it can and cannot address. In the present review article, we examine the contribution of social neuroscience to economics, health, and law, three domains with clear societal relevance. We address the concerns that the extrapolation of neuroscientific results to applied social issues raises within each of these domains, and we suggest guidelines and good practices to circumvent these concerns. Full article
Open AccessReview
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors for Treating Neurocognitive and Neuropsychiatric Disorders Following Traumatic Brain Injury: An Evaluation of Current Evidence
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(8), 93; doi:10.3390/brainsci7080093 -
Abstract
The prevalence of neuropsychiatric disorders following traumatic brain injury (TBI) is 20%–50%, and disorders of mood and cognition may remain even after recovery of neurologic function is achieved. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) block the reuptake of serotonin in presynaptic cells to lead
[...] Read more.
The prevalence of neuropsychiatric disorders following traumatic brain injury (TBI) is 20%–50%, and disorders of mood and cognition may remain even after recovery of neurologic function is achieved. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) block the reuptake of serotonin in presynaptic cells to lead to increased serotonergic activity in the synaptic cleft, constituting first-line treatment for a variety of neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders. This review investigates the utility of SSRIs in treating post-TBI disorders. In total, 37 unique reports were consolidated from the Cochrane Central Register and PubMed (eight randomized-controlled trials (RCTs), nine open-label studies, 11 case reports, nine review articles). SSRIs are associated with improvement of depressive but not cognitive symptoms. Pooled analysis using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale demonstrate a significant mean decrease of depression severity following sertraline compared to placebo—a result supported by several other RCTs with similar endpoints. Evidence from smaller studies demonstrates mood improvement following SSRI administration with absent or negative effects on cognitive and functional recovery. Notably, studies on SSRI treatment effects for post-traumatic stress disorder after TBI remain absent, and this represents an important direction of future research. Furthermore, placebo-controlled studies with extended follow-up periods and concurrent biomarker, neuroimaging and behavioral data are necessary to delineate the attributable pharmacological effects of SSRIs in the TBI population. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Coagulopathy in the Setting of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Truths and Consequences
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(7), 92; doi:10.3390/brainsci7070092 -
Abstract
Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a common, although poorly-defined clinical entity. Despite its initially mild presentation, patients with mTBI can rapidly deteriorate, often due to significant expansion of intracranial hemorrhage. TBI-associated coagulopathy is the topic of significant clinical and basic science research.
[...] Read more.
Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a common, although poorly-defined clinical entity. Despite its initially mild presentation, patients with mTBI can rapidly deteriorate, often due to significant expansion of intracranial hemorrhage. TBI-associated coagulopathy is the topic of significant clinical and basic science research. Unlike trauma-induced coagulopathy (TIC), TBI-associated coagulopathy does not generally follow widespread injury or global hypoperfusion, suggesting a distinct pathogenesis. Although the fundamental mechanisms of TBI-associated coagulopathy are far from clearly elucidated, several candidate molecules (tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), tissue factor (TF), and brain-derived microparticles (BDMP)) have been proposed which might explain how even minor brain injury can induce local and systemic coagulopathy. Here, we review the incidence, proposed mechanisms, and common clinical tests relevant to mTBI-associated coagulopathy and briefly summarize our own institutional experience in addition to identifying areas for further research. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Transgenerational Social Stress Alters Immune–Behavior Associations and the Response to Vaccination
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(7), 89; doi:10.3390/brainsci7070089 -
Abstract
Similar to the multi-hit theory of schizophrenia, social behavior pathologies are mediated by multiple factors across generations, likely acting additively, synergistically, or antagonistically. Exposure to social adversity, especially during early life, has been proposed to induce depression symptoms through immune mediated mechanisms. Basal
[...] Read more.
Similar to the multi-hit theory of schizophrenia, social behavior pathologies are mediated by multiple factors across generations, likely acting additively, synergistically, or antagonistically. Exposure to social adversity, especially during early life, has been proposed to induce depression symptoms through immune mediated mechanisms. Basal immune factors are altered in a variety of neurobehavioral models. In the current study, we assessed two aspects of a transgenerational chronic social stress (CSS) rat model and its effects on the immune system. First, we asked whether exposure of F0 dams and their F1 litters to CSS changes basal levels of IL-6, TNF, IFN-γ, and social behavior in CSS F1 female juvenile rats. Second, we asked whether the F2 generation could generate normal immunological responses following vaccination with Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG). We report several changes in the associations between social behaviors and cytokines in the F1 juvenile offspring of the CSS model. It is suggested that changes in the immune–behavior relationships in F1 juveniles indicate the early stages of immune mediated disruption of social behavior that becomes more apparent in F1 dams and the F2 generation. We also report preliminary evidence of elevated IL-6 and impaired interferon-gamma responses in BCG-vaccinated F2 females. In conclusion, transgenerational social stress alters both immune–behavior associations and responses to vaccination. It is hypothesized that the effects of social stress may accumulate over generations through changes in the immune system, establishing the immune system as an effective preventative or treatment target for social behavior pathologies. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Brain Interaction during Cooperation: Evaluating Local Properties of Multiple-Brain Network
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(7), 90; doi:10.3390/brainsci7070090 -
Abstract
Subjects’ interaction is the core of most human activities. This is the reason why a lack of coordination is often the cause of missing goals, more than individual failure. While there are different subjective and objective measures to assess the level of mental
[...] Read more.
Subjects’ interaction is the core of most human activities. This is the reason why a lack of coordination is often the cause of missing goals, more than individual failure. While there are different subjective and objective measures to assess the level of mental effort required by subjects while facing a situation that is getting harder, that is, mental workload, to define an objective measure based on how and if team members are interacting is not so straightforward. In this study, behavioral, subjective and synchronized electroencephalographic data were collected from couples involved in a cooperative task to describe the relationship between task difficulty and team coordination, in the sense of interaction aimed at cooperatively performing the assignment. Multiple-brain connectivity analysis provided information about the whole interacting system. The results showed that averaged local properties of a brain network were affected by task difficulty. In particular, strength changed significantly with task difficulty and clustering coefficients strongly correlated with the workload itself. In particular, a higher workload corresponded to lower clustering values over the central and parietal brain areas. Such results has been interpreted as less efficient organization of the network when the subjects’ activities, due to high workload tendencies, were less coordinated. Full article
Figures

Figure 1