Brain Sci.2016, 6(3), 38; doi:10.3390/brainsci6030038 (registering DOI) - published 30 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Huntington’s disease (HD) is one of the most disabling degenerative movement disorders, as it not only affects the motor system but also leads to cognitive disabilities and psychiatric symptoms. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the pallidum is a promising symptomatic treatment targeting the core motor symptom: chorea. This article gives an overview of preliminary evidence on pathophysiology, safety and efficacy of DBS in HD.
Abstract: There is a long-standing debate as to whether recollection is a continuous/graded process or a threshold/all-or-none process. In the current spatial memory functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we examined the hippocampal activity distributions—the magnitude of activity as a function of memory strength—to determine the nature of processing in this region. During encoding, participants viewed abstract shapes in the left or right visual field. During retrieval, old shapes were presented at fixation and participants classified each shape as previously in the “left” or “right” visual field followed by an “unsure”–“sure”–“very sure” confidence rating. The contrast of left-hits and left-misses produced two activations in the hippocampus. The hippocampal activity distributions for left shapes and right shapes were completely overlapping. Critically, the magnitude of activity associated with right-miss-very sure responses was significantly greater than zero. These results support the continuous model of recollection, which predicts overlapping activity distributions, and contradict the threshold model of recollection, which predicts a threshold above which only one distribution exists. Receiver operating characteristic analysis did not distinguish between models. The present results demonstrate that the hippocampus operates in a continuous manner during recollection and highlight the utility of analyzing activity distributions to determine the nature of neural processing.
Abstract: Over the last few decades, brain signals have been significantly exploited for brain-computer interface (BCI) applications. In this paper, we study the extraction of features using event-related desynchronization/synchronization techniques to improve the classification accuracy for three-class motor imagery (MI) BCI. The classification approach is based on combining the features of the phase and amplitude of the brain signals using fast Fourier transform (FFT) and autoregressive (AR) modeling of the reconstructed phase space as well as the modification of the BCI parameters (trial length, trial frequency band, classification method). We report interesting results compared with those present in the literature by utilizing sequential forward floating selection (SFFS) and a multi-class linear discriminant analysis (LDA), our findings showed superior classification results, a classification accuracy of 86.06% and 93% for two BCI competition datasets, with respect to results from previous studies.
Abstract: Tourette syndrome (TS) is a childhood neurobehavioural disorder, characterised by the presence of motor and vocal tics, typically starting in childhood but persisting in around 20% of patients into adulthood. In those patients who do not respond to pharmacological or behavioural therapy, deep brain stimulation (DBS) may be a suitable option for potential symptom improvement. This manuscript attempts to summarise the outcomes of DBS at different targets, explore the possible mechanisms of action of DBS in TS, as well as the potential of adaptive DBS. There will also be a focus on the future challenges faced in designing optimized trials.
Abstract: The efficacy of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for an expanding array of neurological and psychiatric disorders demonstrates directly that DBS affects the basic electroneurophysiological mechanisms of the brain. The increasing array of active electrode configurations, stimulation currents, pulse widths, frequencies, and pulse patterns provides valuable tools to probe electroneurophysiological mechanisms. The extension of basic electroneurophysiological and anatomical concepts using sophisticated computational modeling and simulation has provided relatively straightforward explanations of all the DBS parameters except frequency. This article summarizes current thought about frequency and relevant observations. Current methodological and conceptual errors are critically examined in the hope that future work will not replicate these errors. One possible alternative theory is presented to provide a contrast to many current theories. DBS, conceptually, is a noisy discrete oscillator interacting with the basal ganglia–thalamic–cortical system of multiple re-entrant, discrete oscillators. Implications for positive and negative resonance, stochastic resonance and coherence, noisy synchronization, and holographic memory (related to movement generation) are presented. The time course of DBS neuronal responses demonstrates evolution of the DBS response consistent with the dynamics of re-entrant mechanisms. Finally, computational modeling demonstrates identical dynamics as seen by neuronal activities recorded from human and nonhuman primates, illustrating the differences of discrete from continuous harmonic oscillators and the power of conceptualizing the nervous system as composed on interacting discrete nonlinear oscillators.
Abstract: Ethanol induces neurodegeneration in the developing brain, which may partially explain the long-lasting adverse effects of prenatal ethanol exposure in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). While animal models of FASD show that ethanol-induced neurodegeneration is associated with glial activation, the relationship between glial activation and neurodegeneration has not been clarified. This review focuses on the roles of activated microglia and astrocytes in neurodegeneration triggered by ethanol in rodents during the early postnatal period (equivalent to the third trimester of human pregnancy). Previous literature indicates that acute binge-like ethanol exposure in postnatal day 7 (P7) mice induces apoptotic neurodegeneration, transient activation of microglia resulting in phagocytosis of degenerating neurons, and a prolonged increase in glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive astrocytes. In our present study, systemic administration of a moderate dose of lipopolysaccharides, which causes glial activation, attenuates ethanol-induced neurodegeneration. These studies suggest that activation of microglia and astrocytes by acute ethanol in the neonatal brain may provide neuroprotection. However, repeated or chronic ethanol can induce significant proinflammatory glial reaction and neurotoxicity. Further studies are necessary to elucidate whether acute or sustained glial activation caused by ethanol exposure in the developing brain can affect long-lasting cellular and behavioral abnormalities observed in the adult brain.