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Brain Sci., Volume 11, Issue 12 (December 2021) – 109 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Recent developments in the neuroscience of music consider the multifarious phenomenon of listening in all its forms, including incidental listening up to the skillful attentive listening of experts, and all its possible effects. The latter range from objective and sensorial effects directly linked to the acoustic features of the music to the subjectively affective and transformational effects for the listener, which may be modulated or even biased by the personality and learning history of each individual listener. The neural activity in the reward circuit of the brain, moreover, is likely to be a key component of conscious listening experience. View this paper.
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12 pages, 1253 KiB  
Article
Early Pupillometry Assessment in Traumatic Brain Injury Patients: A Retrospective Study
by Thomas Luz Teixeira, Lorenzo Peluso, Pierluigi Banco, Hassane Njimi, Layal Abi-Khalil, Mélanie Chanchay Pillajo, Sophie Schuind, Jacques Creteur, Pierre Bouzat and Fabio Silvio Taccone
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1657; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121657 - 20 Dec 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2752
Abstract
Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the early assessment of neurological pupil index (NPi) values derived from automated pupillometry could predict neurological outcome after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Methods: Retrospective observational study including adult (>18 years) TBI patients admitted [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the early assessment of neurological pupil index (NPi) values derived from automated pupillometry could predict neurological outcome after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Methods: Retrospective observational study including adult (>18 years) TBI patients admitted from January 2018 to December 2020, with available NPi on admission. Abnormal NPi was considered if <3. Unfavorable neurological outcome (UO) at hospital discharge was considered for a Glasgow Outcome Scale of 1–3. Results: 100 patients were included over the study period (median age 48 (34–69) years and median GCS on admission 11 (6–15)); 49 (49%) patients had UO. On admission, 20 (20%) patients had an abnormal NPi (NPi < 3); median worst (i.e., from both eyes) NPi was 4.2 (3.2–4.5). Median worst and mean NPi on admission were significantly lower in the UO group than others (3.9 (1.7–4.4) vs. 4.4 (3.7–4.6); p = 0.005–4.0 (2.6–4.5) vs. 4.5 (3.9–4.7); p = 0.002, respectively). The ROC curve for the worst and mean NPi showed a moderate accuracy to predict UO (AUC 0.66 (0.56–0.77); p = 0.005 and 0.68 (0.57–0.78); p = 0.002). However, in a generalized linear model, the prognostic role of NPi on admission was limited. Conclusions: Low NPi on admission has limited prognostic value in TBI. Full article
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13 pages, 6422 KiB  
Article
Deterministic Tractography Analysis of Rat Brain Using SIGMA Atlas in 9.4T MRI
by Sang-Jin Im, Ji-Yeon Suh, Jae-Hyuk Shim and Hyeon-Man Baek
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1656; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121656 - 18 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3327
Abstract
Preclinical studies using rodents have been the choice for many neuroscience researchers due totheir close reflection of human biology. In particular, research involving rodents has utilized MRI to accurately identify brain regions and characteristics by acquiring high resolution cavity images with different contrasts [...] Read more.
Preclinical studies using rodents have been the choice for many neuroscience researchers due totheir close reflection of human biology. In particular, research involving rodents has utilized MRI to accurately identify brain regions and characteristics by acquiring high resolution cavity images with different contrasts non-invasively, and this has resulted in high reproducibility and throughput. In addition, tractographic analysis using diffusion tensor imaging to obtain information on the neural structure of white matter has emerged as a major methodology in the field of neuroscience due to its contribution in discovering significant correlations between altered neural connections and various neurological and psychiatric diseases. However, unlike image analysis studies with human subjects where a myriad of human image analysis programs and procedures have been thoroughly developed and validated, methods for analyzing rat image data using MRI in preclinical research settings have seen significantly less developed. Therefore, in this study, we present a deterministic tractographic analysis pipeline using the SIGMA atlas for a detailed structural segmentation and structural connectivity analysis of the rat brain’s structural connectivity. In addition, the structural connectivity analysis pipeline presented in this study was preliminarily tested on normal and stroke rat models for initial observation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases and Stroke)
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10 pages, 929 KiB  
Article
Differential Regulation of the EGFR/PI3K/AKT/PTEN Pathway between Low- and High-Grade Gliomas
by Alveiro Erira, Fernando Velandia, José Penagos, Camilo Zubieta and Gonzalo Arboleda
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1655; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121655 - 18 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2780
Abstract
Gliomas represent 70% of all central system nervous tumors and are classified according to the degree of malignancy as low- or high-grade. The permanent activation of the EGFR/PI3K/AKT pathway by various genetic or post-translational alterations of EGFR, PI3KCA, and PTEN has been associated [...] Read more.
Gliomas represent 70% of all central system nervous tumors and are classified according to the degree of malignancy as low- or high-grade. The permanent activation of the EGFR/PI3K/AKT pathway by various genetic or post-translational alterations of EGFR, PI3KCA, and PTEN has been associated with increased proliferation and resistance to apoptosis. The present study aimed to analyze the molecular/genetic changes in the EGFR/PI3K/AKT/PTEN pathway between low-grade and high-grade gliomas in a sample of Colombian patients. A total of 30 samples were tested for PI3K and PTEN mutations, EGFR, PI3K, and AKT gene amplification, AKT, PI3K, BAX, Bcl2 expression levels, and phosphorylation of AKT and PTEN, EGFR and/or PI3K gene amplification was found in 50% of low-grade and 45% of high-grade ones. AKT amplification was found in 25% of the low-grade and 13.6% of the high-grade. The expression of PI3K, AKT, Bcl2, and BAX was increased particularly to a high degree. AKT phosphorylation was found in 66% of low-grade and 31.8% of high-grade. Increased phosphorylation of PTEN was found in 77% low-grade and 66% high-grade. Our results indicate that alterations in the EGFR/PI3K/AKT/PTEN pathway could be important in the initiation and malignant progression of this type of tumor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuropharmacology and Neuropathology)
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20 pages, 399 KiB  
Review
Can SARS-CoV-2 Infection Lead to Neurodegeneration and Parkinson’s Disease?
by Lea Krey, Meret Koroni Huber, Günter U. Höglinger and Florian Wegner
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1654; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121654 - 18 Dec 2021
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 4370
Abstract
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has affected the daily life of the worldwide population since 2020. Links between the newly discovered viral infection and the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases have been investigated in different studies. This review aims to summarize the literature concerning COVID-19 and [...] Read more.
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has affected the daily life of the worldwide population since 2020. Links between the newly discovered viral infection and the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases have been investigated in different studies. This review aims to summarize the literature concerning COVID-19 and Parkinson’s disease (PD) to give an overview on the interface between viral infection and neurodegeneration with regard to this current topic. We will highlight SARS-CoV-2 neurotropism, neuropathology and the suspected pathophysiological links between the infection and neurodegeneration as well as the psychosocial impact of the pandemic on patients with PD. Some evidence discussed in this review suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic might be followed by a higher incidence of neurodegenerative diseases in the future. However, the data generated so far are not sufficient to confirm that COVID-19 can trigger or accelerate neurodegenerative diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19, Parkinson’s Disease and Other Neurodegenerative Disorders)
22 pages, 1720 KiB  
Article
Virtual Reality for Aggression Assessment: The Development and Preliminary Results of Two Virtual Reality Tasks to Assess Reactive and Proactive Aggression in Males
by Jill Lobbestael and Maaike J. Cima
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1653; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121653 - 17 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3539
Abstract
Validly measuring aggression is challenging because self-reports are plagued with biased answer tendencies and behavioral measures with ethical concerns and low ecological validity. The current study, therefore, introduces a novel virtual reality (VR) aggression assessment tool, differentially assessing reactive and proactive aggression. Two [...] Read more.
Validly measuring aggression is challenging because self-reports are plagued with biased answer tendencies and behavioral measures with ethical concerns and low ecological validity. The current study, therefore, introduces a novel virtual reality (VR) aggression assessment tool, differentially assessing reactive and proactive aggression. Two VR tasks were developed, one in an alley environment (N = 24, all male, Mage = 23.88, 83.3% students) and an improved second one in a bar (N = 50, all male, Mage = 22.54, 90% students). In this bar VR task, participants were randomly assigned to either the reactive condition where they were triggered by a cheating and insulting dart-player or to the proactive condition where they could earn extra money by aggressing. Participants’ level of self-reported aggression and psychopathy was assessed, after which they engaged in either the reactive or proactive VR task. Changes in affect and blood pressure were also measured. Aggression in the reactive VR task was evidenced to mostly display convergent validity because it positively correlated with self-reported aggression and total and fearless dominance factor scores of psychopathy, and there was a trend relationship with increased systolic blood pressure. The validity of the proactive aggression variant of our VR bar paradigm received less support, and needs more refinement. It can be concluded that VR is a potentially promising tool to experimentally induce and assess (reactive) aggression, which has the potential to provide aggression researchers and clinicians with a realistic and modifiable aggression assessment environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dimensions of Pathological Aggression: From Neurobiology to Therapy)
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20 pages, 1388 KiB  
Review
From Action to Cognition: Neural Reuse, Network Theory and the Emergence of Higher Cognitive Functions
by Radek Ptak, Naz Doganci and Alexia Bourgeois
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1652; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121652 - 17 Dec 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3790
Abstract
The aim of this article is to discuss the logic and assumptions behind the concept of neural reuse, to explore its biological advantages and to discuss the implications for the cognition of a brain that reuses existing circuits and resources. We first address [...] Read more.
The aim of this article is to discuss the logic and assumptions behind the concept of neural reuse, to explore its biological advantages and to discuss the implications for the cognition of a brain that reuses existing circuits and resources. We first address the requirements that must be fulfilled for neural reuse to be a biologically plausible mechanism. Neural reuse theories generally take a developmental approach and model the brain as a dynamic system composed of highly flexible neural networks. They often argue against domain-specificity and for a distributed, embodied representation of knowledge, which sets them apart from modular theories of mental processes. We provide an example of reuse by proposing how a phylogenetically more modern mental capacity (mental rotation) may appear through the reuse and recombination of existing resources from an older capacity (motor planning). We conclude by putting arguments into context regarding functional modularity, embodied representation, and the current ontology of mental processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrating Neurocognitive Knowledge into Psychology)
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13 pages, 1398 KiB  
Article
Towards-Person Vocalization Effect on Screening for Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Context of Frustration
by Min Feng, Mengyao Zhai, Juncai Xu, Ning Ding, Nana Qiu, Huan Shao, Peiying Jin and Xiaoyan Ke
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1651; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121651 - 16 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2144
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to investigate the vocalization characteristics of infants with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the context of frustration. The duration and frequency of vocalization in 48 infants with ASD and 65 infants with typical development (TD) were followed [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the vocalization characteristics of infants with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the context of frustration. The duration and frequency of vocalization in 48 infants with ASD and 65 infants with typical development (TD) were followed up to 24 months later for subsequent diagnosis. The typical vocalizations of infants with ASD were retrospectively analyzed, such as speech-like vocalizations, nonspeech vocalizations, vocalizations towards the person and non-social vocalizations. The results showed that, compared with the TD group, vocalizations of infants with ASD during the still-face period had lower typical vocalizations and characteristics associated with social intention, and that these characteristics were closely related to the clinical symptoms of ASD, among which vocalizations towards the person accompanied by social intention had discriminative efficacy. Full article
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11 pages, 644 KiB  
Article
Aberrant Auditory and Visual Memory Development of Children with Upper Limb Motor Disorders
by Maria Koriakina, Olga Agranovich, Ekaterina Petrova, Dzerassa Kadieva, Grigory Kopytin, Evgenia Ermolovich, Olesya Moiseenko, Margarita Alekseeva, Dimitri Bredikhin, Beatriz Bermúdez-Margaretto, Ioannis Ntoumanis, Anna N. Shestakova, Iiro P. Jääskeläinen and Evgeny Blagovechtchenski
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1650; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121650 - 15 Dec 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2769
Abstract
The current study aimed to compare differences in the cognitive development of children with and without upper limb motor disorders. The study involved 89 children from 3 to 15 years old; 57 children with similar upper limb motor disorders and 32 healthy children. [...] Read more.
The current study aimed to compare differences in the cognitive development of children with and without upper limb motor disorders. The study involved 89 children from 3 to 15 years old; 57 children with similar upper limb motor disorders and 32 healthy children. Our results showed that motor disorders could impair cognitive functions, especially memory. In particular, we found that children between 8 and 11 years old with upper limb disorders differed significantly from their healthy peers in both auditory and visual memory scales. These results can be explained by the fact that the development of cognitive functions depends on the normal development of motor skills, and the developmental delay of motor skills affects cognitive functions. Correlation analysis did not reveal any significant relationship between other cognitive functions (attention, thinking, intelligence) and motor function. Altogether, these findings point to the need to adapt general habilitation programs for children with motor disorders, considering the cognitive impairment during their development. The evaluation of children with motor impairment is often limited to their motor dysfunction, leaving their cognitive development neglected. The current study showed the importance of cognitive issues for these children. Moreover, early intervention, particularly focused on memory, can prevent some of the accompanying difficulties in learning and daily life functioning of children with movement disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensory and Motor Neuroscience)
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10 pages, 4110 KiB  
Communication
Histopathological Investigation of Dura-like Membrane in Vestibular Schwannomas
by Yumiko Oishi, Ryota Tamura, Kazunari Yoshida and Masahiro Toda
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1649; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121649 - 15 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2055
Abstract
The dura-like membrane (DLM) is an outermost membranous structure arising from the dura mater adjacent to the internal auditory meatus (IAM) that envelops some vestibular schwannomas (VSs). Its recognition is important for the preservation of the facial and cochlear nerves during tumor resection. [...] Read more.
The dura-like membrane (DLM) is an outermost membranous structure arising from the dura mater adjacent to the internal auditory meatus (IAM) that envelops some vestibular schwannomas (VSs). Its recognition is important for the preservation of the facial and cochlear nerves during tumor resection. This study analyzes the histopathological characteristics of the DLM. The expression of CD34 and αSMA was histopathologically analyzed in tumor and DLM tissue of 10 primary VSs with and without a DLM. Tumor volume, resection volume percentage, microvessel density (MVD), and vessel diameter were analyzed. Volumetric analysis revealed that the presence of a DLM was significantly associated with lower tumor resection volume (p < 0.05). Intratumoral vessel diameter was significantly larger in the DLM group than the non-DLM group (p < 0.01). Larger VSs showed a higher intratumoral MVD in the DLM group (p < 0.05). Multilayered αSMA-positive vessels were identified in the DLM, tumor, and border; there tended to be more of these vessels within the tumor in the DLM group compared to the non-DLM group (p = 0.08). These arteriogenic characteristics suggest that the DLM is formed as the tumor induces feeding vessels from the dura mater around the IAM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vestibular Neurology)
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14 pages, 2135 KiB  
Article
Longitudinal Changes in Temporospatial Gait Characteristics during the First Year Post-Stroke
by John W. Chow and Dobrivoje S. Stokic
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1648; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121648 - 15 Dec 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2662 | Correction
Abstract
Given the paucity of longitudinal data in gait recovery after stroke, we compared temporospatial gait characteristics of stroke patients during subacute (<2 months post-onset, T0) and at approximately 6 and 12 months post-onset (T1 and T2, respectively) and explored the relationship between gait [...] Read more.
Given the paucity of longitudinal data in gait recovery after stroke, we compared temporospatial gait characteristics of stroke patients during subacute (<2 months post-onset, T0) and at approximately 6 and 12 months post-onset (T1 and T2, respectively) and explored the relationship between gait characteristics at T0 and the changes in gait speed from T0 to T1. Forty-six participants were assessed at T0 and a subsample of twenty-four participants were assessed at T2. Outcome measures included Fugl-Meyer lower-extremity motor score, 14 temporospatial gait parameters, and symmetry indices of 5 step parameters. Except for step width, all temporospatial parameters improved from T0 to T1 (p ≤ 0.0001). Additionally, significant improvements in symmetry were found for the initial double-support time and single-support time (p ≤ 0.0001). As a group, no significant differences were found between T1 and T2 in any of the temporospatial measures. However, the individual analysis revealed that 42% (10/24) of the subsample showed a significant increase in gait speed (Welch's t-test, p ≤ 0.002). Yet, only 5/24 (21%) of the participants improved speed from T1 to T2 according to speed-based minimum detectable change criteria. The increase in gait speed from T0 to T1 was negatively correlated with gait speed and stride length and positively correlated with the symmetry indices of stance and single-support times at T0 (p ≤ 0.002). Temporospatial gait parameters and stance time symmetry improved over the first 6 months after stroke with an apparent plateau thereafter. A greater increase in gait speed during the first 6 months post-stroke is associated with initially slower walking, shorter stride length, and more pronounced asymmetry in stance and single-support times. The improvement in lower-extremity motor function and bilateral improvements in step parameters collectively suggest that gait changes over the first 6 months after stroke are likely due to a combination of neurological recovery, compensatory strategies, and physical therapy received during that time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underlying Mechanisms and Neurorehabilitation of Gait after Stroke)
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9 pages, 3729 KiB  
Article
Brain Imaging of the GLP-1 Receptor in Obesity Using 68Ga-NODAGA-Exendin-4 PET
by Laura N. Deden, Jan Booij, Joanes Grandjean, Judith R. Homberg, Eric J. Hazebroek, Martin Gotthardt and Marti Boss
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1647; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121647 - 15 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3224
Abstract
Stimulation of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptors increases the insulin release in the pancreas during high glucose levels, and also stimulates a feeling of satiety. Likewise, synthetic GLP-1 receptor agonists derived from exendin are used successfully in the treatment of type-2 diabetes mellitus and [...] Read more.
Stimulation of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptors increases the insulin release in the pancreas during high glucose levels, and also stimulates a feeling of satiety. Likewise, synthetic GLP-1 receptor agonists derived from exendin are used successfully in the treatment of type-2 diabetes mellitus and obesity. Interestingly, preclinical and clinical studies further suggest that GLP-1 receptor agonists may decrease motor, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms in (animal models) Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease and may slow down neurodegeneration. These observations suggest stimulation of GLP-1 receptors in the brain. The GLP-1 positron emission tomography (PET) tracer 68Ga-NODAGA-exendin-4 has been developed and successfully used for imaging in humans. In an ongoing study on the effects of bariatric surgery on GLP-1 receptor expression, we performed 68Ga-NODAGA-exendin-4 PET in obese subjects. Here we evaluated whether GLP-1 receptor binding could be visualized in the central nervous system in 10 obese subjects (seven woman; body mass index: mean ± SD: 39 ± 4.4 kg/m2) before bariatric surgery. Although we observed clear uptake in the pituitary area (mean SUVmax 4.3 ± 2.3), we found no significant uptake in other parts of the brain. We conclude that 68Ga-NODAGA-exendin-4 PET cannot be used to analyze GLP-1 receptors in the brain of obese subjects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Brain and Obesity)
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14 pages, 1383 KiB  
Article
Hearing Rehabilitation with Cochlear Implants after CyberKnife Radiosurgery of Vestibular Schwannoma: A Report Based on Four Clinical Cases
by Sophia M. Häußler, Agnieszka J. Szczepek, Stefan Gräbel, Carolin Senger, Franziska Löbel, Markus Kufeld and Heidi Olze
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1646; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121646 - 14 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2503
Abstract
Severe sensorineural hearing loss can be a symptom of the benign tumor vestibular schwannoma (VS). The treatment of VS with non-invasive stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) offers a high local tumor control rate and an innovative possibility of sequential hearing rehabilitation with cochlear implantation. This [...] Read more.
Severe sensorineural hearing loss can be a symptom of the benign tumor vestibular schwannoma (VS). The treatment of VS with non-invasive stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) offers a high local tumor control rate and an innovative possibility of sequential hearing rehabilitation with cochlear implantation. This study evaluated the feasibility, complications, and auditory outcomes of such a therapeutic approach. Three males and one female (mean age 65.3 ± 9.4 years) scheduled for cochlear implantation and diagnosed with sporadic VS classified as T1 or T2 (according to Samii) were enrolled in this study. All patients had progressive hearing loss qualifying them for cochlear implantation. First, the tumor was treated using CyberKnife SRS. Next, sequential auditory rehabilitation with a cochlear implant (CI) was performed. Clinical outcomes and surgical feasibility were analyzed, and audiological results were evaluated using pure tone audiometry and speech recognition tests. All patients exhibited open-set speech understanding. The mean word recognition score (at 65 dB SPL, Freiburg Monosyllabic Test, FMT) improved after cochlear implantation in all four patients from 5.0 ± 10% (with hearing aid) preoperatively to 60.0 ± 22.7% six months postoperatively. Our results suggest that in patients with profound hearing loss caused by sporadic vestibular schwannoma, the tumor removal with SRS followed by cochlear implantation is an effective method of auditory rehabilitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuro-otology and Neuro-ophthalmology)
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23 pages, 3990 KiB  
Article
The Active Segmentation Platform for Microscopic Image Classification and Segmentation
by Sumit K. Vohra and Dimiter Prodanov
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1645; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121645 - 14 Dec 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4054
Abstract
Image segmentation still represents an active area of research since no universal solution can be identified. Traditional image segmentation algorithms are problem-specific and limited in scope. On the other hand, machine learning offers an alternative paradigm where predefined features are combined into different [...] Read more.
Image segmentation still represents an active area of research since no universal solution can be identified. Traditional image segmentation algorithms are problem-specific and limited in scope. On the other hand, machine learning offers an alternative paradigm where predefined features are combined into different classifiers, providing pixel-level classification and segmentation. However, machine learning only can not address the question as to which features are appropriate for a certain classification problem. The article presents an automated image segmentation and classification platform, called Active Segmentation, which is based on ImageJ. The platform integrates expert domain knowledge, providing partial ground truth, with geometrical feature extraction based on multi-scale signal processing combined with machine learning. The approach in image segmentation is exemplified on the ISBI 2012 image segmentation challenge data set. As a second application we demonstrate whole image classification functionality based on the same principles. The approach is exemplified using the HeLa and HEp-2 data sets. Obtained results indicate that feature space enrichment properly balanced with feature selection functionality can achieve performance comparable to deep learning approaches. In summary, differential geometry can substantially improve the outcome of machine learning since it can enrich the underlying feature space with new geometrical invariant objects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroinformatics and Signal Processing)
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24 pages, 410 KiB  
Review
Is There a Causal Link between the Left Lateralization of Language and Other Brain Asymmetries? A Review of Data Gathered in Patients with Focal Brain Lesions
by Guido Gainotti
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1644; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121644 - 13 Dec 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3370
Abstract
This review evaluated if the hypothesis of a causal link between the left lateralization of language and other brain asymmetries could be supported by a careful review of data gathered in patients with unilateral brain lesions. In a short introduction a distinction was [...] Read more.
This review evaluated if the hypothesis of a causal link between the left lateralization of language and other brain asymmetries could be supported by a careful review of data gathered in patients with unilateral brain lesions. In a short introduction a distinction was made between brain activities that could: (a) benefit from the shaping influences of language (such as the capacity to solve non-verbal cognitive tasks and the increased levels of consciousness and of intentionality); (b) be incompatible with the properties and the shaping activities of language (e.g., the relations between language and the automatic orienting of visual-spatial attention or between cognition and emotion) and (c) be more represented on the right hemisphere due to competition for cortical space. The correspondence between predictions based on the theoretical impact of language on other brain functions and data obtained in patients with lesions of the right and left hemisphere was then assessed. The reviewed data suggest that different kinds of hemispheric asymmetries observed in patients with unilateral brain lesions could be subsumed by common mechanisms, more or less directly linked to the left lateralization of language. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurolinguistics)
13 pages, 2365 KiB  
Article
Unlike Brief Inhibition of Microglia Proliferation after Spinal Cord Injury, Long-Term Treatment Does Not Improve Motor Recovery
by Gaëtan Poulen, Sylvain Bartolami, Harun N. Noristani, Florence E. Perrin and Yannick N. Gerber
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1643; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121643 - 13 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2435
Abstract
Microglia are major players in scar formation after an injury to the spinal cord. Microglia proliferation, differentiation, and survival are regulated by the colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF1). Complete microglia elimination using CSF1 receptor (CSF1R) inhibitors worsens motor function recovery after spinal injury (SCI). [...] Read more.
Microglia are major players in scar formation after an injury to the spinal cord. Microglia proliferation, differentiation, and survival are regulated by the colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF1). Complete microglia elimination using CSF1 receptor (CSF1R) inhibitors worsens motor function recovery after spinal injury (SCI). Conversely, a 1-week oral treatment with GW2580, a CSF1R inhibitor that only inhibits microglia proliferation, promotes motor recovery. Here, we investigate whether prolonged GW2580 treatment further increases beneficial effects on locomotion after SCI. We thus assessed the effect of a 6-week GW2580 oral treatment after lateral hemisection of the spinal cord on functional recovery and its outcome on tissue and cellular responses in adult mice. Long-term depletion of microglia proliferation after SCI failed to improve motor recovery and had no effect on tissue reorganization, as revealed by ex vivo diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Six weeks after SCI, GW2580 treatment decreased microglial reactivity and increased astrocytic reactivity. We thus demonstrate that increasing the duration of GW2580 treatment is not beneficial for motor recovery after SCI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Function of Microglia in Neurodegenerative Diseases)
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11 pages, 751 KiB  
Communication
An Analysis of Characteristics of Post-Stroke Fatigue in Patients without Depression: A Retrospective Chart Review
by Yu Jin Lee, Woo-Sang Jung, Seungwon Kwon, Chul Jin, Seung-Yeon Cho, Seong-Uk Park, Sang-Kwan Moon, Jung-Mi Park, Chang-Nam Ko and Ki-Ho Cho
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1642; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121642 - 13 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2529
Abstract
Post-stroke fatigue (PSF) is among the most common stroke sequelae and affects rehabilitation, resulting in poor recovery. A main influencing factor may be depression, which has been investigated with fatigue in several clinical trials. We aimed to evaluate the characteristics of fatigue in [...] Read more.
Post-stroke fatigue (PSF) is among the most common stroke sequelae and affects rehabilitation, resulting in poor recovery. A main influencing factor may be depression, which has been investigated with fatigue in several clinical trials. We aimed to evaluate the characteristics of fatigue in post-stroke patients without depression through a retrospective chart review. The medical records of stroke patients hospitalized in the Stroke and Brain Disease Center, Kyung Hee University Korean Medicine Hospital were reviewed. Stroke patients without depression were divided into a PSF group and control group (without fatigue). The demographic characteristics, type of stroke, medical history, laboratory examinations, clinical features, and pattern identification of each patient were recorded and compared between the study groups. The medical records of 216 patients were reviewed; 85 and 131 patients were assigned to the PSF and control group, respectively. Apolipoprotein A1 levels were significantly lower in the PSF than in the control group (105.6 ± 16.5 vs. 116.2 ± 21.8). We found a significantly higher occurrence of reversal cold of the extremities and a lower probability of fire-heat pattern in the PSF group than in the control group. This study suggests that apolipoprotein A1 levels are lower and cold manifestations are more common in PSF patients without depression than in those without fatigue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases and Stroke)
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24 pages, 356 KiB  
Article
Cerebral Vein Thrombosis in the Antiphospholipid Syndrome: Analysis of a Series of 27 Patients and Review of the Literature
by Alba Jerez-Lienas, Alexis Mathian, Jenifer Aboab, Isabelle Crassard, Miguel Hie, Fleur Cohen-Aubart, Julien Haroche, Denis Wahl, Ricard Cervera and Zahir Amoura
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1641; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121641 - 13 Dec 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2475
Abstract
(1) Background: The Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) is a systemic autoimmune disorder characterized by arterial and/or venous thrombosis, pregnancy morbidity and raised titers of antiphospholipid antibodies. Cerebral vein thrombosis (CVT) is a rare form of cerebrovascular accident and an uncommon APS manifestation; the information [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) is a systemic autoimmune disorder characterized by arterial and/or venous thrombosis, pregnancy morbidity and raised titers of antiphospholipid antibodies. Cerebral vein thrombosis (CVT) is a rare form of cerebrovascular accident and an uncommon APS manifestation; the information in the literature about this feature consists of case reports and small case series. Our purpose is to describe the particular characteristics of CVT when occurs as part of the APS and compare our series with the patients published in the literature. (2) Methods: We conducted a retrospective observational study collecting data from medical records in three referral centers for APS and CVT, and a systematic review of the literature for CVT cases in APS patients. (3) Results: Twenty-seven APS patients with CVT were identified in our medical records, the majority of them diagnosed as primary APS and with the CVT being the first manifestation of the disease; additional risk factors for thrombosis were identified. The review of the literature yielded 86 cases, with similar characteristics as those of our retrospective series. (4) Conclusions: To our knowledge, our study is the largest CVT series in APS patients published to date, providing a unique point of view in this rare thrombotic manifestation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Neuropsychiatric Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)
14 pages, 1310 KiB  
Article
Facilitation of Motor Evoked Potentials in Response to a Modified 30 Hz Intermittent Theta-Burst Stimulation Protocol in Healthy Adults
by Katarina Hosel and François Tremblay
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1640; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121640 - 12 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2380
Abstract
Theta-burst stimulation (TBS) is a form of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) developed to induce neuroplasticity. TBS usually consists of 50 Hz bursts at 5 Hz intervals. It can facilitate motor evoked potentials (MEPs) when applied intermittently, although this effect can vary between [...] Read more.
Theta-burst stimulation (TBS) is a form of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) developed to induce neuroplasticity. TBS usually consists of 50 Hz bursts at 5 Hz intervals. It can facilitate motor evoked potentials (MEPs) when applied intermittently, although this effect can vary between individuals. Here, we sought to determine whether a modified version of intermittent TBS (iTBS) consisting of 30 Hz bursts repeated at 6 Hz intervals would lead to lasting MEP facilitation. We also investigated whether recruitment of early and late indirect waves (I-waves) would predict individual responses to 30 Hz iTBS. Participants (n = 19) underwent single-pulse TMS to assess MEP amplitude at baseline and variations in MEP latency in response to anterior-posterior, posterior-anterior, and latero-medial stimulation. Then, 30 Hz iTBS was administered, and MEP amplitude was reassessed at 5-, 20- and 45-min. Post iTBS, most participants (13/19) exhibited MEP facilitation, with significant effects detected at 20- and 45-min. Contrary to previous evidence, recruitment of early I-waves predicted facilitation to 30 Hz iTBS. These observations suggest that 30 Hz/6 Hz iTBS is effective in inducing lasting facilitation in corticospinal excitability and may offer an alternative to the standard 50 Hz/5 Hz protocol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Stimulation and Neuroplasticity—Series II)
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20 pages, 314 KiB  
Study Protocol
Neuropsychological Characterization of Aggressive Behavior in Children and Adolescents with CD/ODD and Effects of Single Doses of Medications: The Protocol of the Matrics_WP6-1 Study
by Carla Balia, Sara Carucci, Annarita Milone, Roberta Romaniello, Elena Valente, Federica Donno, Annarita Montesanto, Paola Brovedani, Gabriele Masi, Jeffrey C. Glennon, David Coghill, Alessandro Zuddas and the MATRICS Consortium
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1639; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121639 - 11 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3656
Abstract
Aggressive behaviors and disruptive/conduct disorders are some of the commonest reasons for referral to youth mental health services; nevertheless, the efficacy of therapeutic interventions in real-world clinical practice remains unclear. In order to define more appropriate targets for innovative pharmacological therapies for disruptive/conduct [...] Read more.
Aggressive behaviors and disruptive/conduct disorders are some of the commonest reasons for referral to youth mental health services; nevertheless, the efficacy of therapeutic interventions in real-world clinical practice remains unclear. In order to define more appropriate targets for innovative pharmacological therapies for disruptive/conduct disorders, the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) funded the MATRICS project (Multidisciplinary Approaches to Translational Research in Conduct Syndromes) to identify neural, genetic, and molecular factors underpinning the pathogenesis of aggression/antisocial behavior in preclinical models and clinical samples. Within the program, a multicentre case-control study, followed by a single-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over, randomized acute single-dose medication challenge, was conducted at two Italian sites. Aggressive children and adolescents with conduct disorder (CD) or oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) were compared to the same age (10–17 y) typically developing controls (TDC) on a neuropsychological tasks battery that included both “cold” (e.g., inhibitory control, decision making) and “hot” executive functions (e.g., moral judgment, emotion processing, risk assessment). Selected autonomic measures (heart rate variability, skin conductance, salivary cortisol) were recorded before/during/after neuropsychological testing sessions. The acute response to different drugs (methylphenidate/atomoxetine, risperidone/aripiprazole, or placebo) was also examined in the ODD/CD cohort in order to identify potential neuropsychological/physiological mechanisms underlying aggression. The paper describes the protocol of the clinical MATRICS WP6-1 study, its rationale, the specific outcome measures, and their implications for a precision medicine approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disruptive Behavior Disorders: Symptoms, Evaluation and Treatment)
8 pages, 751 KiB  
Article
SIRT1 Contributes as an Invasiveness Marker in Pituitary Adenoma
by Domantas Vaiciulis, Alvita Vilkeviciute, Greta Gedvilaite, Brigita Glebauskiene, Loresa Kriauciuniene and Rasa Liutkeviciene
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1638; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121638 - 11 Dec 2021
Viewed by 2054
Abstract
The aim of the study was to find the association between SIRT1 concentration, SIRT1 rs3758391, rs3818292, rs7895833 polymorphisms and clinical manifestations of pituitary adenoma (PA). The study included 108 patients with PA and 216 healthy individuals. Using commercial kits, DNA was extracted from [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to find the association between SIRT1 concentration, SIRT1 rs3758391, rs3818292, rs7895833 polymorphisms and clinical manifestations of pituitary adenoma (PA). The study included 108 patients with PA and 216 healthy individuals. Using commercial kits, DNA was extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes. To determine the PA and control group subjects genotypes was used real-time PCR method, for SIRT concentration measurement we used ELISA method. The statistical data analysis was completed using the “BM SPSS Statistics 20.0” software. Results: We performed statistical analysis of SNPs in the patient and healthy controls and patients’ subgroups and found statistically significant differences in rs7895833 genotype (A/A, A/G, G/G) distributions between the active PA and control groups (67.9%, 24.6%, 5.7% vs. 72.2%, 27.3%, 0.5%; p = 0.02) Also, the results showed that the rs7895833 G/G genotype is associated with about 13-fold increased odds of active PA development compared to the A/A (OR = 13.95% CI: 1.314–128.632; p = 0.028) and both A/A and A/G genotypes (OR = 12.9; 95% CI: 1.314–126.624; p = 0.028). There is ample evidence that SIRT1 in the pituitary and other target organs modifies the synthesis, secretion, and activity of hormones to trigger adaptive responses, thus we decided to include this in our study. When determining the serum concentration of SIRT1, we did not find a statistically significant difference between the PA group and the control group. SIRT1 serum level was statistically significantly higher in women with PA than in healthy control women (1.115 (3.748) vs. 136 (0.211); p = 0.008). To conclude—SIRT1 rs7895833 G/G genotype is associated with about 13-fold increased odds of active PA development compared to the A/A and both A/A and A/G genotypes. SIRT1 serum levels are higher in women with PA than in healthy women. Full article
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13 pages, 984 KiB  
Article
Changes in Brain Volume Resulting from Cognitive Intervention by Means of the Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment Program in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI): A Pilot Study
by Tzvi Dwolatzky, Refael S. Feuerstein, David Manor, Shlomit Cohen, Haim Devisheim, Michael Inspector, Ayelet Eran and David Tzuriel
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1637; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121637 - 11 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3140
Abstract
There is increasing interest in identifying biological and imaging markers for the early detection of neurocognitive decline. In addition, non-pharmacological strategies, including physical exercise and cognitive interventions, may be beneficial for those developing cognitive impairment. The Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment (FIE) Program is a [...] Read more.
There is increasing interest in identifying biological and imaging markers for the early detection of neurocognitive decline. In addition, non-pharmacological strategies, including physical exercise and cognitive interventions, may be beneficial for those developing cognitive impairment. The Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment (FIE) Program is a cognitive intervention based on structural cognitive modifiability and the mediated learning experience (MLE) and aims to promote problem-solving strategies and metacognitive abilities. The FIE program uses a variety of instruments to enhance the cognitive capacity of the individual as a result of mediation. A specific version of the FIE program was developed for the cognitive enhancement of older adults, focusing on strengthening orientation skills, categorization skills, deductive reasoning, and memory. We performed a prospective interventional pilot observational study on older subjects with MCI who participated in 30 mediated FIE sessions (two sessions weekly for 15 weeks). Of the 23 subjects who completed the study, there was a significant improvement in memory on the NeuroTrax cognitive assessment battery. Complete sets of anatomical MRI data for voxel-based morphometry, taken at the beginning and the end of the study, were obtained from 16 participants (mean age 83.5 years). Voxel-based morphometry showed an interesting and unexpected increase in grey matter (GM) in the anterolateral occipital border and the middle cingulate cortex. These initial findings of our pilot study support the design of randomized trials to evaluate the effect of cognitive training using the FIE program on brain volumes and cognitive function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurodegenerative Diseases)
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12 pages, 1262 KiB  
Review
Effects of Intraoperative Dexmedetomidine Infusion on Postoperative Pain after Craniotomy: A Narrative Review
by Nesjla Sofia Syrous, Terje Sundstrøm, Eirik Søfteland and Ib Jammer
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1636; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121636 - 11 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3188
Abstract
Craniotomy involves procedures with high incidences of postoperative pain. Dexmedetomidine, a highly selective a2-adrenoreceptor agonist, has been shown to be beneficial in neuroanaesthesia. The purpose of this narrative review was to assess the effect and safety of dexmedetomidine given intraoperatively during [...] Read more.
Craniotomy involves procedures with high incidences of postoperative pain. Dexmedetomidine, a highly selective a2-adrenoreceptor agonist, has been shown to be beneficial in neuroanaesthesia. The purpose of this narrative review was to assess the effect and safety of dexmedetomidine given intraoperatively during anaesthesia compared to placebo and demonstrate the effect on acute postoperative pain in adult patients undergoing craniotomy. Literature published from 1996 until 2021 were analysed through a search of PubMed, Medline and Embase. Randomised controlled trials investigating intraoperative administration of Dexmedetomidine with evaluation of postoperative pain were included. Medical Subject Headings terms and free-text words were used to identify articles related to the intraoperative use of Dexmedetomidine and postcraniotomy pain. Thirteen distinct randomized controlled trials with 882 recruited patients undergoing craniotomy were identified as eligible for final inclusion. Intraoperative administration of dexmedetomidine is associated with decreased postoperative pain and opioid consumption, and it assures haemodynamic stability. Dexmedetomidine is an efficacious adjunct in craniotomy in adults, showing benefits in reduction of postoperative pain and analgesic consumption. Dexmedetomidine also offers haemodynamic stability. However, widespread methodological heterogeneity of the papers prohibits a valid meta-analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurosurgery and Neuroanatomy)
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11 pages, 946 KiB  
Article
Relationship between Resting-State Alpha Coherence and Cognitive Control in Individuals with Internet Gaming Disorder: A Multimodal Approach Based on Resting-State Electroencephalography and Event-Related Potentials
by Minkyung Park, So Young Yoo, Ji-Yoon Lee, Ja Wook Koo, Ung Gu Kang and Jung-Seok Choi
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1635; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121635 - 11 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3142
Abstract
The human brain is constantly active, even at rest. Alpha coherence is an electroencephalography (EEG) rhythm that regulates functional connectivity between different brain regions. However, the relationships between resting-state alpha coherence and N2/P3 components associated with response inhibition and cognitive processes have not [...] Read more.
The human brain is constantly active, even at rest. Alpha coherence is an electroencephalography (EEG) rhythm that regulates functional connectivity between different brain regions. However, the relationships between resting-state alpha coherence and N2/P3 components associated with response inhibition and cognitive processes have not been investigated in addictive disorders. The present study investigated the relationships between alpha coherence during the resting state and N2/P3 components of event-related potentials during the Go/Nogo task in healthy controls (HCs) and patients with Internet gaming disorder (IGD). A total of 64 young adults (HC: n = 31; IGD: n = 33) participated in this study. Alpha coherence values at left fronto-central and bilateral centro-temporal electrode sites were significantly correlated with P3 latency in HCs, whereas inverse correlations were observed in patients with IGD. Furthermore, significant differences were observed in the correlation values between the groups. Our results suggest that patients with IGD lack dynamic interactions of functional connectivity between the fronto-centro-temporal regions during the resting state and the event-related potential (ERP) index during cognitive tasks. The findings of this study may have important implications for understanding the neurophysiological mechanisms linking resting-state EEG and task-related ERPs underlying IGD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Neuroimaging and Neurophysiology in Psychiatry)
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16 pages, 5597 KiB  
Article
Changes in the Orexin System in Rats Exhibiting Learned Helplessness Behaviors
by Chung-Wei Hsu and Sabrina Wang
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1634; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121634 - 10 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2566
Abstract
Orexin-A (OX-A) and orexin-B (OX-B) are neuropeptides produced in the hypothalamus. Preclinical and clinical studies suggest that depression and anxiety are associated with the orexin system. In the current study, we used the learned helplessness (LH) animal model of depression to identify rats [...] Read more.
Orexin-A (OX-A) and orexin-B (OX-B) are neuropeptides produced in the hypothalamus. Preclinical and clinical studies suggest that depression and anxiety are associated with the orexin system. In the current study, we used the learned helplessness (LH) animal model of depression to identify rats displaying LH behaviors (LH rats) and those that did not (No-LH rats). We compared the number of orexin-containing neurons in the hypothalamus of LH, No-LH, and control rats. Orexin peptides, orexin receptor 1 (OXR1) and 2 (OXR2) in brain areas involved in major depression and serum OX-A and corticosterone (CORT) concentrations were quantified and compared between rat groups. We found that LH and No-LH rats displayed higher serum OX-A concentrations compared with control rats. Comparison between LH and No-LH rats revealed that No-LH rats had significantly higher OX-A levels in the brain, more OX-A neurons, and more OX-A neuron activation. LH rats had more OX-B neurons and more OX-B neuron activation. Orexin peptides and receptors in the brain areas involved in major depression exhibited different patterns in LH and NoLH rats. Our findings revealed that activation of OX-A neurons could promote resilient behaviors under stressful situations and OX-A and OX-B neuropeptides exhibit dissimilar functions in LH behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Behavioral Neuroscience)
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33 pages, 565 KiB  
Review
Biological, Psychological, and Social Determinants of Depression: A Review of Recent Literature
by Olivia Remes, João Francisco Mendes and Peter Templeton
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1633; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121633 - 10 Dec 2021
Cited by 82 | Viewed by 35541
Abstract
Depression is one of the leading causes of disability, and, if left unmanaged, it can increase the risk for suicide. The evidence base on the determinants of depression is fragmented, which makes the interpretation of the results across studies difficult. The objective of [...] Read more.
Depression is one of the leading causes of disability, and, if left unmanaged, it can increase the risk for suicide. The evidence base on the determinants of depression is fragmented, which makes the interpretation of the results across studies difficult. The objective of this study is to conduct a thorough synthesis of the literature assessing the biological, psychological, and social determinants of depression in order to piece together the puzzle of the key factors that are related to this condition. Titles and abstracts published between 2017 and 2020 were identified in PubMed, as well as Medline, Scopus, and PsycInfo. Key words relating to biological, social, and psychological determinants as well as depression were applied to the databases, and the screening and data charting of the documents took place. We included 470 documents in this literature review. The findings showed that there are a plethora of risk and protective factors (relating to biological, psychological, and social determinants) that are related to depression; these determinants are interlinked and influence depression outcomes through a web of causation. In this paper, we describe and present the vast, fragmented, and complex literature related to this topic. This review may be used to guide practice, public health efforts, policy, and research related to mental health and, specifically, depression. Full article
18 pages, 999 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Relationships of P3b with Negative Symptoms and Neurocognition in Subjects with Chronic Schizophrenia
by Giulia M. Giordano, Andrea Perrottelli, Armida Mucci, Giorgio Di Lorenzo, Mario Altamura, Antonello Bellomo, Roberto Brugnoli, Giulio Corrivetti, Paolo Girardi, Palmiero Monteleone, Cinzia Niolu, Silvana Galderisi, Mario Maj and The Italian Network for Research on Psychoses
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1632; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121632 - 10 Dec 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2593
Abstract
Neurocognitive deficits and negative symptoms (NS) have a pivotal role in subjects with schizophrenia (SCZ) due to their impact on patients’ functioning in everyday life and their influence on goal-directed behavior and decision-making. P3b is considered an optimal electrophysiological candidate biomarker of neurocognitive [...] Read more.
Neurocognitive deficits and negative symptoms (NS) have a pivotal role in subjects with schizophrenia (SCZ) due to their impact on patients’ functioning in everyday life and their influence on goal-directed behavior and decision-making. P3b is considered an optimal electrophysiological candidate biomarker of neurocognitive impairment for its association with the allocation of attentional resources to task-relevant stimuli, an important factor for efficient decision-making, as well as for motivation-related processes. Furthermore, associations between P3b deficits and NS have been reported. The current research aims to fill the lack of studies investigating, in the same subjects, the associations of P3b with multiple cognitive domains and the expressive and motivation-related domains of NS, evaluated with state-of-the-art instruments. One hundred and fourteen SCZ and 63 healthy controls (HCs) were included in the study. P3b amplitude was significantly reduced and P3b latency prolonged in SCZ as compared to HCs. In SCZ, a positive correlation was found between P3b latency and age and between P3b amplitude and the Attention-vigilance domain, while no significant correlations were found between P3b and the two NS domains. Our results indicate that the effortful allocation of attention to task-relevant stimuli, an important component of decision-making, is compromised in SCZ, independently of motivation deficits or other NS. Full article
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11 pages, 597 KiB  
Article
Is There a Foreign Accent Effect on Moral Judgment?
by Alice Foucart and Susanne Brouwer
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1631; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121631 - 10 Dec 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4763
Abstract
Recent studies have shown that people make more utilitarian decisions when dealing with a moral dilemma in a foreign language than in their native language. Emotion, cognitive load, and psychological distance have been put forward as explanations for this foreign language effect. The [...] Read more.
Recent studies have shown that people make more utilitarian decisions when dealing with a moral dilemma in a foreign language than in their native language. Emotion, cognitive load, and psychological distance have been put forward as explanations for this foreign language effect. The question that arises is whether a similar effect would be observed when processing a dilemma in one’s own language but spoken by a foreign-accented speaker. Indeed, foreign-accented speech has been shown to modulate emotion processing, to disrupt processing fluency and to increase psychological distance due to social categorisation. We tested this hypothesis by presenting 435 participants with two moral dilemmas, the trolley dilemma and the footbridge dilemma online, either in a native accent or a foreign accent. In Experiment 1, 184 native Spanish speakers listened to the dilemmas in Spanish recorded by a native speaker, a British English or a Cameroonian native speaker. In Experiment 2, 251 Dutch native speakers listened to the dilemmas in Dutch in their native accent, in a British English, a Turkish, or in a French accent. Results showed an increase in utilitarian decisions for the Cameroonian- and French-accented speech compared to the Spanish or Dutch native accent, respectively. When collapsing all the speakers from the two experiments, a similar increase in the foreign accent condition compared with the native accent condition was observed. This study is the first demonstration of a foreign accent effect on moral judgements, and despite the variability in the effect across accents, the findings suggest that a foreign accent, like a foreign language, is a linguistic context that modulates (neuro)cognitive mechanisms, and consequently, impacts our behaviour. More research is needed to follow up on this exploratory study and to understand the influence of factors such as emotion reduction, cognitive load, psychological distance, and speaker’s idiosyncratic features on moral judgments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurocognitive Underpinnings of the Foreign Language Effect)
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16 pages, 459 KiB  
Systematic Review
Upper Limb Robotic Rehabilitation for Patients with Cervical Spinal Cord Injury: A Comprehensive Review
by Giovanni Morone, Alessandro de Sire, Alex Martino Cinnera, Matteo Paci, Luca Perrero, Marco Invernizzi, Lorenzo Lippi, Michela Agostini, Irene Aprile, Emanuela Casanova, Dario Marino, Giuseppe La Rosa, Federica Bressi, Silvia Sterzi, Daniele Giansanti, Alberto Battistini, Sandra Miccinilli, Serena Filoni, Monica Sicari, Salvatore Petrozzino, Claudio Marcello Solaro, Stefano Gargano, Paolo Benanti, Paolo Boldrini, Donatella Bonaiuti, Enrico Castelli, Francesco Draicchio, Vincenzo Falabella, Silvia Galeri, Francesca Gimigliano, Mauro Grigioni, Stefano Mazzoleni, Stefano Mazzon, Franco Molteni, Maurizio Petrarca, Alessandro Picelli, Marialuisa Gandolfi, Federico Posteraro, Michele Senatore, Giuseppe Turchetti and Sofia Straudiadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1630; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121630 - 10 Dec 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 4474
Abstract
The upper extremities limitation represents one of the essential functional impairments in patients with cervical spinal cord injury. Electromechanics assisted devices and robots are increasingly used in neurorehabilitation to help functional improvement in patients with neurological diseases. This review aimed to systematically report [...] Read more.
The upper extremities limitation represents one of the essential functional impairments in patients with cervical spinal cord injury. Electromechanics assisted devices and robots are increasingly used in neurorehabilitation to help functional improvement in patients with neurological diseases. This review aimed to systematically report the evidence-based, state-of-art on clinical applications and robotic-assisted arm training (RAT) in motor and functional recovery in subjects affected by cervical spinal cord injury. The present study has been carried out within the framework of the Italian Consensus Conference on “Rehabilitation assisted by robotic and electromechanical devices for persons with disability of neurological origin” (CICERONE). PubMed/MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, and Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) databases were systematically searched from inception to September 2021. The 10-item PEDro scale assessed the study quality for the RCT and the AMSTAR-2 for the systematic review. Two different authors rated the studies included in this review. If consensus was not achieved after discussion, a third reviewer was interrogated. The five-item Oxford CEBM scale was used to rate the level of evidence. A total of 11 studies were included. The selected studies were: two systematic reviews, two RCTs, one parallel-group controlled trial, one longitudinal intervention study and five case series. One RCT was scored as a high-quality study, while the systematic review was of low quality. RAT was reported as feasible and safe. Initial positive effects of RAT were found for arm function and quality of movement in addition to conventional therapy. The high clinical heterogeneity of treatment programs and the variety of robot devices could severely affect the generalizability of the study results. Therefore, future studies are warranted to standardize the type of intervention and evaluate the role of robotic-assisted training in subjects affected by cervical spinal cord injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Neurorehabilitation and Neuroplasticity)
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6 pages, 238 KiB  
Opinion
Deriving Implications for Care Delivery in Parkinson’s Disease by Co-Diagnosing Caregivers as Invisible Patients
by Franziska Thieken and Marlena van Munster
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1629; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121629 - 10 Dec 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2253
Abstract
For persons with Parkinson’s disease, the loss of autonomy in daily life leads to a high level of dependency on relatives’ support. Such dependency strongly correlates with high levels of perceived stress and psychosocial burden in informal caregivers. Global developments, such as demographic [...] Read more.
For persons with Parkinson’s disease, the loss of autonomy in daily life leads to a high level of dependency on relatives’ support. Such dependency strongly correlates with high levels of perceived stress and psychosocial burden in informal caregivers. Global developments, such as demographic change and the associated thinning infrastructure in rural areas cause a continuously growing need for medical and nursing care. However, this need is not being adequately met. The resulting care gap is being made up by unpaid or underpaid work of informal caregivers. The double burden of care work and gainful employment creates enormous health-related impairments of the informal caregivers, so that they eventually become invisible patients themselves. Expectedly, those invisible patients do not receive the best care, leading to a decrease in quality of life and, in the end, to worse care for PD patients. Suggested solutions to relieve relatives, such as moving the person affected by Parkinson’s to a nursing home, often do not meet the wishes of patients and informal caregivers, nor does it appear as a structural solution in the light of demographic change against an economic background. Rather, it requires the development, implementation and evaluation of new, holistic approaches to care that make invisible patients visible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Caregiver Burden in Movement Disorders and Neurodegenerative Diseases)
20 pages, 1182 KiB  
Article
What Do Cognitive Networks Do? Simulations of Spoken Word Recognition Using the Cognitive Network Science Approach
by Michael S. Vitevitch and Gavin J. D. Mullin
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(12), 1628; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121628 - 10 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3296
Abstract
Cognitive network science is an emerging approach that uses the mathematical tools of network science to map the relationships among representations stored in memory to examine how that structure might influence processing. In the present study, we used computer simulations to compare the [...] Read more.
Cognitive network science is an emerging approach that uses the mathematical tools of network science to map the relationships among representations stored in memory to examine how that structure might influence processing. In the present study, we used computer simulations to compare the ability of a well-known model of spoken word recognition, TRACE, to the ability of a cognitive network model with a spreading activation-like process to account for the findings from several previously published behavioral studies of language processing. In all four simulations, the TRACE model failed to retrieve a sufficient number of words to assess if it could replicate the behavioral findings. The cognitive network model successfully replicated the behavioral findings in Simulations 1 and 2. However, in Simulation 3a, the cognitive network did not replicate the behavioral findings, perhaps because an additional mechanism was not implemented in the model. However, in Simulation 3b, when the decay parameter in spreadr was manipulated to model this mechanism the cognitive network model successfully replicated the behavioral findings. The results suggest that models of cognition need to take into account the multi-scale structure that exists among representations in memory, and how that structure can influence processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Auditory and Phonetic Processes in Speech Perception)
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