Open AccessReview
Systematic Review of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder in Psychosis
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(5), 45; doi:10.3390/brainsci7050045 -
Abstract
Background: Social anxiety is highly prevalent among people with psychosis and linked with significant social disability and poorer prognosis. Although cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) has shown to be effective for the treatment of social anxiety in non-psychotic populations, there is a lack of evidence
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Background: Social anxiety is highly prevalent among people with psychosis and linked with significant social disability and poorer prognosis. Although cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) has shown to be effective for the treatment of social anxiety in non-psychotic populations, there is a lack of evidence on the clinical effectiveness of CBT for the treatment of social anxiety when this is co-morbid in psychosis. Methods: A systematic review to summarise and critically appraise the literature on the effectiveness of CBT interventions for the treatment of social anxiety in psychosis. Results: Two studies were included in the review assessing the effectiveness of group CBT for social anxiety in schizophrenia, both of poor methodological quality. Preliminary findings suggest that group-based CBT is effective in treating symptoms of social anxiety, depression and associated distress in people with schizophrenia. Conclusion: The evidence-base is not robust enough to provide clear implications for practice about the effectiveness of CBT for the treatment of social anxiety in psychosis. Future research should focus on methodologically rigorous randomised controlled trials with embedded process evaluation to assess the effectiveness of CBT interventions in targeting symptoms of social anxiety in psychosis and identify mechanisms of change. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Neurobehavioral Outcomes of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Mini Review
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(5), 46; doi:10.3390/brainsci7050046 -
Abstract
Traumatic brain injury outcomes can be classified as acute or chronic. Acute outcomes refer to injuries that occur immediately at the time of the injury and subsequent short-term consequences. Chronic outcomes refer to adverse outcomes that are more long-term. In mild traumatic brain
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Traumatic brain injury outcomes can be classified as acute or chronic. Acute outcomes refer to injuries that occur immediately at the time of the injury and subsequent short-term consequences. Chronic outcomes refer to adverse outcomes that are more long-term. In mild traumatic brain injury, recovery from acute outcomes typically occurs very rapidly, i.e., within 2 weeks, with full recovery expected by 90 days. However, some 10%–15% individuals can remain symptomatic for much longer with an outcome termed post-concussive syndrome. This outcome is difficult to predict since there are very few rigorous, prospective studies of this syndrome. Full article
Open AccessReview
A Comprehensive Diverse ‘-omics’ Approach to Better Understanding the Molecular Pathomechanisms of Down Syndrome
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(4), 44; doi:10.3390/brainsci7040044 -
Abstract
Diverse ‘-omics’ technologies permit the comprehensive quantitative profiling of a variety of biological molecules. Comparative ‘-omics’ analyses, such as transcriptomics and proteomics, are powerful and useful tools for unraveling the molecular pathomechanisms of various diseases. As enhanced oxidative stress has been demonstrated in
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Diverse ‘-omics’ technologies permit the comprehensive quantitative profiling of a variety of biological molecules. Comparative ‘-omics’ analyses, such as transcriptomics and proteomics, are powerful and useful tools for unraveling the molecular pathomechanisms of various diseases. As enhanced oxidative stress has been demonstrated in humans and mice with Down syndrome (DS), a redox proteomic analysis is useful for understanding how enhanced oxidative stress aggravates the state of individuals with oxidative stress-related disorders. In this review, ‘-omics’ analyses in humans with DS and mouse models of DS are summarized, and the molecular dissection of this syndrome is discussed. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Integrating Spatial Working Memory and Remote Memory: Interactions between the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Hippocampus
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(4), 43; doi:10.3390/brainsci7040043 -
Abstract
In recent years, two separate research streams have focused on information sharing between the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and hippocampus (HC). Research into spatial working memory has shown that successful execution of many types of behaviors requires synchronous activity in the theta range
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In recent years, two separate research streams have focused on information sharing between the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and hippocampus (HC). Research into spatial working memory has shown that successful execution of many types of behaviors requires synchronous activity in the theta range between the mPFC and HC, whereas studies of memory consolidation have shown that shifts in area dependency may be temporally modulated. While the nature of information that is being communicated is still unclear, spatial working memory and remote memory recall is reliant on interactions between these two areas. This review will present recent evidence that shows that these two processes are not as separate as they first appeared. We will also present a novel conceptualization of the nature of the medial prefrontal representation and how this might help explain this area’s role in spatial working memory and remote memory recall. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Virtual Reality for Research in Social Neuroscience
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(4), 42; doi:10.3390/brainsci7040042 -
Abstract
The emergence of social neuroscience has significantly advanced our understanding of the relationship that exists between social processes and their neurobiological underpinnings. Social neuroscience research often involves the use of simple and static stimuli lacking many of the potentially important aspects of real
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The emergence of social neuroscience has significantly advanced our understanding of the relationship that exists between social processes and their neurobiological underpinnings. Social neuroscience research often involves the use of simple and static stimuli lacking many of the potentially important aspects of real world activities and social interactions. Whilst this research has merit, there is a growing interest in the presentation of dynamic stimuli in a manner that allows researchers to assess the integrative processes carried out by perceivers over time. Herein, we discuss the potential of virtual reality for enhancing ecological validity while maintaining experimental control in social neuroscience research. Virtual reality is a technology that allows for the creation of fully interactive, three-dimensional computerized models of social situations that can be fully controlled by the experimenter. Furthermore, the introduction of interactive virtual characters—either driven by a human or by a computer—allows the researcher to test, in a systematic and independent manner, the effects of various social cues. We first introduce key technical features and concepts related to virtual reality. Next, we discuss the potential of this technology for enhancing social neuroscience protocols, drawing on illustrative experiments from the literature. Full article
Open AccessArticle
How Hyperarousal and Sleep Reactivity Are Represented in Different Adult Age Groups: Results from a Large Cohort Study on Insomnia
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(4), 41; doi:10.3390/brainsci7040041 -
Abstract
Hyperarousal is a 24-h state of elevated cognitive and physiological activation, and is a core feature of insomnia. The extent to which sleep quality is affected by stressful events—so-called sleep reactivity—is a vulnerability factor for developing insomnia. Given the increasing prevalence of insomnia
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Hyperarousal is a 24-h state of elevated cognitive and physiological activation, and is a core feature of insomnia. The extent to which sleep quality is affected by stressful events—so-called sleep reactivity—is a vulnerability factor for developing insomnia. Given the increasing prevalence of insomnia with age, we aimed to investigate how hyperarousal and sleep reactivity were related to insomnia severity in different adult age groups. Data were derived from a large cohort study investigating the natural history of insomnia in a population-based sample (n = 1693). Baseline data of the Arousal Predisposition Scale (APS) and Ford Insomnia Response to Stress Test (FIRST) were examined across age and sleep/insomnia subgroups: 25–35 (n = 448), 35–45 (n = 528), and 45–55 year olds (n = 717); good sleepers (n = 931), individuals with insomnia symptoms (n = 450), and individuals with an insomnia syndrome (n = 312). Results from factorial analyses of variance (ANOVA) showed that APS scores decreased with increasing age, but increased with more severe sleep problems. FIRST scores were not significantly different across age groups, but showed the same strong increase as a function of sleep problem severity. The findings indicate that though arousal predisposition and sleep reactivity increase with more severe sleep problems, only arousal decreases with age. How arousing events affect an individual during daytime thus decreases with age, but how this arousal disrupts sleep is equivalent across different adult age groups. The main implication of these findings is that treatment of insomnia could be adapted for different age groups and take into consideration vulnerability factors such as hyperarousal and stress reactivity. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Is Decompressive Surgery for Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy Effective in Patients Suffering from Concomitant Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s Disease?
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(4), 39; doi:10.3390/brainsci7040039 -
Abstract
A subset of patients with a demyelinating disease suffer from concurrent cervical spondylotic myelopathy, both of which evince similar symptomatology. Differentiating the cause of these symptoms is challenging, and little research has been done on patients with coexisting diseases. This review explores the
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A subset of patients with a demyelinating disease suffer from concurrent cervical spondylotic myelopathy, both of which evince similar symptomatology. Differentiating the cause of these symptoms is challenging, and little research has been done on patients with coexisting diseases. This review explores the current literature on the appropriate surgical management of patients with concurrent multiple sclerosis (MS) and cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM), and those with both Parkinson’s disease (PD) and CSM. MS and CSM patients may benefit from surgery to reduce pain and radiculopathy. Surgical management in PD and CSM patients has shown minimal quality-of-life improvement. Future studies are needed to better characterize demyelinating disease patients with concurrent disease and to determine ideal medical or surgical treatment. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Hippocampal Neuronal Loss in Infant Macaques Orally Infected with Virulent Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV)
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(4), 40; doi:10.3390/brainsci7040040 -
Abstract
The neurological impact of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) on children includes loss of brain growth, motor abnormalities and cognitive dysfunction. Despite early antiretroviral treatment (ART) intervention to suppress viral load, neurological consequences of perinatal HIV-1 infection persist. Utilizing the pediatric simian immunodeficiency virus
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The neurological impact of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) on children includes loss of brain growth, motor abnormalities and cognitive dysfunction. Despite early antiretroviral treatment (ART) intervention to suppress viral load, neurological consequences of perinatal HIV-1 infection persist. Utilizing the pediatric simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection model, we tested the hypothesis that early-life SIV infection depletes neuronal population in the hippocampus. A total of 22 ART-naïve infant rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) from previous studies were retrospectively analyzed. Infant macaques were either intravenously (IV) inoculated with highly virulent SIVmac251 at ~1 week of age and monitored for 6–10 weeks, or orally challenged with SIVmac251 from week 9 of age onwards with a monitoring period of 10–23 weeks post-infection (19–34 weeks of age), and SIV-uninfected controls were euthanized at 16–17 weeks of age. We have previously reported that the IV SIVmac251-infected neonatal macaques (Group 1) displayed a 42% neuronal reduction throughout the hippocampal cornu ammonis (CA) fields. The orally-infected infant macaques displayed a 75% neuronal reduction in the CA1 region compared to controls and 54% fewer neurons than IV SIV infants. The CA2 region showed a similar pattern, with a 67% reduction between orally-infected SIV subjects and controls and a 40% difference between IV-and orally-infected SIV groups. In the CA3 region, there were no significant differences between these groups, however both SIV-infected groups had significantly fewer pyramidal neurons than control subjects. There was no correlation between plasma viral load and neuronal populations in any of the CA fields. The loss of hippocampal neurons may contribute to the rapid neurocognitive decline associated with pediatric HIV infection. While each subfield showed vulnerability to SIV infection, the CA1 and CA2 subregions demonstrated a potentially enhanced vulnerability to pediatric SIV infection. These data underscore the need for early diagnosis and treatment, including therapeutics targeting the central nervous system (CNS). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Seed Location Impacts Whole-Brain Structural Network Comparisons between Healthy Elderly and Individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(4), 37; doi:10.3390/brainsci7040037 -
Abstract
Whole-brain networks derived from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data require the identification of seed and target regions of interest (ROIs) to assess connectivity patterns. This study investigated how initiating tracts from gray matter (GM) or white matter (WM) seed ROIs impacts (1) structural
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Whole-brain networks derived from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data require the identification of seed and target regions of interest (ROIs) to assess connectivity patterns. This study investigated how initiating tracts from gray matter (GM) or white matter (WM) seed ROIs impacts (1) structural networks constructed from DTI data from healthy elderly (control) and individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and (2) between-group comparisons using these networks. DTI datasets were obtained from the Alzheimer’s disease Neuroimaging Initiative database. Deterministic tractography was used to build two whole-brain networks for each subject; one in which tracts were initiated from WM ROIs and another in which they were initiated from GM ROIs. With respect to the first goal, in both groups, WM-seeded networks had approximately 400 more connections and stronger connections (as measured by number of streamlines per connection) than GM-seeded networks, but shared 94% of the connections found in the GM-seed networks. With respect to the second goal, between-group comparisons revealed a stronger subnetwork (as measured by number of streamlines per connection) in controls compared to AD using both WM-seeded and GM-seeded networks. The comparison using WM-seeded networks produced a larger (i.e., a greater number of connections) and more significant subnetwork in controls versus AD. Global, local, and nodal efficiency were greater in controls compared to AD, and between-group comparisons of these measures using WM-seeded networks had larger effect sizes than those using GM-seeded networks. These findings affirm that seed location significantly affects the ability to detect between-group differences in structural networks. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Role of HIV Infection in Neurologic Injury
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(4), 38; doi:10.3390/brainsci7040038 -
Abstract
The central nervous system (CNS) is a very challenging HIV-1 sanctuary, in which HIV-1 replication is established early on during acute infection and can persist despite potent antiretroviral treatments. HIV-1 infected macrophages play a pivotal role acting as vehicles for HIV-1 to spread
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The central nervous system (CNS) is a very challenging HIV-1 sanctuary, in which HIV-1 replication is established early on during acute infection and can persist despite potent antiretroviral treatments. HIV-1 infected macrophages play a pivotal role acting as vehicles for HIV-1 to spread into the brain, and can be the major contributor of an early compartmentalization. HIV-1 infection in CNS may lead to a broad spectrum of neurological syndromes, such as dementia, mild neurocognitive disorders, and asymptomatic impairment. These clinical manifestations are caused by the release of neurotoxins from infected cells (mainly macrophages), and also by several HIV-1 proteins, able to activate cell-signaling involved in the control of cellular survival and apoptosis. This review is aimed at highlighting the virological aspects associated with the onset of neurocognitive disorders and at addressing the novel therapeutic approaches to stop HIV-1 replication in this critical sanctuary. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Hybrid Mental Spelling Application Based on Eye Tracking and SSVEP-Based BCI
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(4), 35; doi:10.3390/brainsci7040035 -
Abstract
Steady state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs)-based Brain-Computer interfaces (BCIs), as well as eyetracking devices, provide a pathway for re-establishing communication for people with severe disabilities. We fused these control techniques into a novel eyetracking/SSVEP hybrid system, which utilizes eye tracking for initial rough
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Steady state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs)-based Brain-Computer interfaces (BCIs), as well as eyetracking devices, provide a pathway for re-establishing communication for people with severe disabilities. We fused these control techniques into a novel eyetracking/SSVEP hybrid system, which utilizes eye tracking for initial rough selection and the SSVEP technology for fine target activation. Based on our previous studies, only four stimuli were used for the SSVEP aspect, granting sufficient control for most BCI users. As Eye tracking data is not used for activation of letters, false positives due to inappropriate dwell times are avoided. This novel approach combines the high speed of eye tracking systems and the high classification accuracies of low target SSVEP-based BCIs, leading to an optimal combination of both methods. We evaluated accuracy and speed of the proposed hybrid system with a 30-target spelling application implementing all three control approaches (pure eye tracking, SSVEP and the hybrid system) with 32 participants. Although the highest information transfer rates (ITRs) were achieved with pure eye tracking, a considerable amount of subjects was not able to gain sufficient control over the stand-alone eye-tracking device or the pure SSVEP system (78.13% and 75% of the participants reached reliable control, respectively). In this respect, the proposed hybrid was most universal (over 90% of users achieved reliable control), and outperformed the pure SSVEP system in terms of speed and user friendliness. The presented hybrid system might offer communication to a wider range of users in comparison to the standard techniques. Full article
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Open AccessBrief Report
Brief Report: Using the Internet to Identify Persons with Cognitive Impairment for Participation in Clinical Trials
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(4), 36; doi:10.3390/brainsci7040036 -
Abstract
Identifying, recruiting, and enrolling persons in clinical trials of dementia treatments is extremely difficult. One approach to first-wave screening of potential participants is the use of online assessment tools. Initial studies using the Dementia Risk Assessment (DRA)—which includes a previously validated recognition memory
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Identifying, recruiting, and enrolling persons in clinical trials of dementia treatments is extremely difficult. One approach to first-wave screening of potential participants is the use of online assessment tools. Initial studies using the Dementia Risk Assessment (DRA)—which includes a previously validated recognition memory test—support the use of this self-administered assessment to identify individuals with “suspected MCI” or “suspected dementia.” In this study, we identified between 71 and 622 persons with suspected dementia and between 128 and 1653 persons with suspected mild cognitive impairment (depending on specific criteria) over the course of 22 months. Assessment tools that can inexpensively and easily identify individuals with higher than average risk for cognitive impairment can facilitate recruitment for large-scale clinical trials for dementia treatments. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Neurophysiological Perspective on a Preventive Treatment against Schizophrenia Using Transcranial Electric Stimulation of the Corticothalamic Pathway
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(4), 34; doi:10.3390/brainsci7040034 -
Abstract
Schizophrenia patients are waiting for a treatment free of detrimental effects. Psychotic disorders are devastating mental illnesses associated with dysfunctional brain networks. Ongoing brain network gamma frequency (30–80 Hz) oscillations, naturally implicated in integrative function, are excessively amplified during hallucinations, in at-risk mental
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Schizophrenia patients are waiting for a treatment free of detrimental effects. Psychotic disorders are devastating mental illnesses associated with dysfunctional brain networks. Ongoing brain network gamma frequency (30–80 Hz) oscillations, naturally implicated in integrative function, are excessively amplified during hallucinations, in at-risk mental states for psychosis and first-episode psychosis. So, gamma oscillations represent a bioelectrical marker for cerebral network disorders with prognostic and therapeutic potential. They accompany sensorimotor and cognitive deficits already present in prodromal schizophrenia. Abnormally amplified gamma oscillations are reproduced in the corticothalamic systems of healthy humans and rodents after a single systemic administration, at a psychotomimetic dose, of the glutamate N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonist ketamine. These translational ketamine models of prodromal schizophrenia are thus promising to work out a preventive noninvasive treatment against first-episode psychosis and chronic schizophrenia. In the present essay, transcranial electric stimulation (TES) is considered an appropriate preventive therapeutic modality because it can influence cognitive performance and neural oscillations. Here, I highlight clinical and experimental findings showing that, together, the corticothalamic pathway, the thalamus, and the glutamatergic synaptic transmission form an etiopathophysiological backbone for schizophrenia and represent a potential therapeutic target for preventive TES of dysfunctional brain networks in at-risk mental state patients against psychotic disorders. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Intensive Sleep Re-Training: From Bench to Bedside
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(4), 33; doi:10.3390/brainsci7040033 -
Abstract
Intensive sleep re-training is a promising new therapy for chronic insomnia. Therapy is completed over a 24-h period during a state of sleep deprivation. Improvements of sleep and daytime impairments are comparable to the use of stimulus control therapy but with the advantage
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Intensive sleep re-training is a promising new therapy for chronic insomnia. Therapy is completed over a 24-h period during a state of sleep deprivation. Improvements of sleep and daytime impairments are comparable to the use of stimulus control therapy but with the advantage of a rapid reversal of the insomnia. The initial studies have been laboratory based and not readily accessible to the patient population. However, new smart phone technology, using a behavioral response to external stimuli as a measure of sleep/wake state instead of EEG determination of sleep, has made this new therapy readily available. Technological improvements are still being made allowing the therapy to provide further improvements in the effectiveness of Intensive Sleep Re-training. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling the Development of Audiovisual Cue Integration in Speech Perception
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(3), 32; doi:10.3390/brainsci7030032 -
Abstract
Adult speech perception is generally enhanced when information is provided from multiple modalities. In contrast, infants do not appear to benefit from combining auditory and visual speech information early in development. This is true despite the fact that both modalities are important to
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Adult speech perception is generally enhanced when information is provided from multiple modalities. In contrast, infants do not appear to benefit from combining auditory and visual speech information early in development. This is true despite the fact that both modalities are important to speech comprehension even at early stages of language acquisition. How then do listeners learn how to process auditory and visual information as part of a unified signal? In the auditory domain, statistical learning processes provide an excellent mechanism for acquiring phonological categories. Is this also true for the more complex problem of acquiring audiovisual correspondences, which require the learner to integrate information from multiple modalities? In this paper, we present simulations using Gaussian mixture models (GMMs) that learn cue weights and combine cues on the basis of their distributional statistics. First, we simulate the developmental process of acquiring phonological categories from auditory and visual cues, asking whether simple statistical learning approaches are sufficient for learning multi-modal representations. Second, we use this time course information to explain audiovisual speech perception in adult perceivers, including cases where auditory and visual input are mismatched. Overall, we find that domain-general statistical learning techniques allow us to model the developmental trajectory of audiovisual cue integration in speech, and in turn, allow us to better understand the mechanisms that give rise to unified percepts based on multiple cues. Full article
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Open AccessCorrection
Correction: Krymchantowski, A.V.; et al. Medication-Overuse Headache: Differences between Daily and Near-Daily Headache Patients; Brain Sciences 2016, 6, 30
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(3), 31; doi:10.3390/brainsci7030031 -
Open AccessReview
The Role of Adenosine Signaling in Headache: A Review
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(3), 30; doi:10.3390/brainsci7030030 -
Abstract
Migraine is the third most prevalent disease on the planet, yet our understanding of its mechanisms and pathophysiology is surprisingly incomplete. Recent studies have built upon decades of evidence that adenosine, a purine nucleoside that can act as a neuromodulator, is involved in
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Migraine is the third most prevalent disease on the planet, yet our understanding of its mechanisms and pathophysiology is surprisingly incomplete. Recent studies have built upon decades of evidence that adenosine, a purine nucleoside that can act as a neuromodulator, is involved in pain transmission and sensitization. Clinical evidence and rodent studies have suggested that adenosine signaling also plays a critical role in migraine headache. This is further supported by the widespread use of caffeine, an adenosine receptor antagonist, in several headache treatments. In this review, we highlight evidence that supports the involvement of adenosine signaling in different forms of headache, headache triggers, and basic headache physiology. This evidence supports adenosine A2A receptors as a critical adenosine receptor subtype involved in headache pain. Adenosine A2A receptor signaling may contribute to headache via the modulation of intracellular Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) production or 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity in neurons and glia to affect glutamatergic synaptic transmission within the brainstem. This evidence supports the further study of adenosine signaling in headache and potentially illuminates it as a novel therapeutic target for migraine. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Predictors of Nightly Subjective-Objective Sleep Discrepancy in Poor Sleepers over a Seven-Day Period
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(3), 29; doi:10.3390/brainsci7030029 -
Abstract
This study sought to examine predictors of subjective/objective sleep discrepancy in poor sleepers. Forty-two individuals with insomnia symptoms (mean age = 36.2 years, 81% female) were recruited to take part in a prospective study which combined seven days of actigraphy with daily assessment
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This study sought to examine predictors of subjective/objective sleep discrepancy in poor sleepers. Forty-two individuals with insomnia symptoms (mean age = 36.2 years, 81% female) were recruited to take part in a prospective study which combined seven days of actigraphy with daily assessment of sleep perceptions, self-reported arousal, sleep effort, and mood upon awakening. A high level of intra-individual variability in measures of sleep discrepancy was observed. Multilevel modelling revealed that higher levels of pre-sleep cognitive activity and lower mood upon awakening were significantly and independently predictive of the underestimation of total sleep time. Greater levels of sleep effort predicted overestimation of sleep onset latency. These results indicate that psychophysiological variables are related to subjective/objective sleep discrepancy and may be important therapeutic targets in the management of insomnia. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Insomnia and Personality—A Network Approach
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(3), 28; doi:10.3390/brainsci7030028 -
Abstract
Studies on personality traits and insomnia have remained inconclusive about which traits show the most direct associations with insomnia severity. It has moreover hardly been explored how traits relate to specific characteristics of insomnia. We here used network analysis in a large sample
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Studies on personality traits and insomnia have remained inconclusive about which traits show the most direct associations with insomnia severity. It has moreover hardly been explored how traits relate to specific characteristics of insomnia. We here used network analysis in a large sample (N = 2089) to obtain an integrated view on the associations of personality traits with both overall insomnia severity and different insomnia characteristics, while distinguishing direct from indirect associations. We first estimated a network describing the associations among the five factor model personality traits and overall insomnia severity. Overall insomnia severity was associated with neuroticism, agreeableness, and openness. Subsequently, we estimated a separate network describing the associations among the personality traits and each of the seven individual items of the Insomnia Severity Index. This revealed relatively separate clusters of daytime and nocturnal insomnia complaints, that both contributed to dissatisfaction with sleep, and were both most directly associated with neuroticism and conscientiousness. The approach revealed the strongest direct associations between personality traits and the severity of different insomnia characteristics and overall insomnia severity. Differentiating them from indirect associations identified the targets for improving Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia with the highest probability of effectively changing the network of associated complaints. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Leisure Activities and Change in Cognitive Stability: A Multivariate Approach
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(3), 27; doi:10.3390/brainsci7030027 -
Abstract
Aging is traditionally associated with cognitive decline, attested by slower reaction times and poorer performance in various cognitive tasks, but also by an increase in intraindividual variability (IIV) in cognitive performance. Results concerning how lifestyle activities protect from cognitive decline are mixed in
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Aging is traditionally associated with cognitive decline, attested by slower reaction times and poorer performance in various cognitive tasks, but also by an increase in intraindividual variability (IIV) in cognitive performance. Results concerning how lifestyle activities protect from cognitive decline are mixed in the literature and all focused on how it affects mean performance. However, IIV has been proven to be an index more sensitive to age differences, and very little is known about the relationships between lifestyle activities and change in IIV in aging. This longitudinal study explores the association between frequency of physical, social, intellectual, artistic, or cultural activities and age-related change in various cognitive abilities, considering both mean performance and IIV. Ninety-six participants, aged 64–93 years, underwent a battery of cognitive tasks at four measurements over a seven-year period, and filled out a lifestyle activity questionnaire. Linear multilevel models were used to analyze the associations between change in cognitive performance and five types of activities. Results showed that the practice of leisure activities was more strongly associated with IIV than with mean performance, both when considering overall level and change in performance. Relationships with IIV were dependent of the cognitive tasks considered and overall results showed protective effects of cultural, physical and intellectual activities on IIV. These results underline the need for considering IIV in the study of age-related cognitive change. Full article