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Brain Sci., Volume 12, Issue 2 (February 2022) – 174 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): We performed a literature review on the cognitive deficits observed in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS). A bibliographic search was carried out. Studies suggest that there is an association between the duration of the disease and the frequency and extent of cognitive disorders. Studies also showed that SPMS is associated with an increased frequency of cognitive impairment and with an increased severity compared to relapsing–remitting MS. Compared to RRMS, progressive forms of MS are associated with more severe impairment in certain cognitive areas, such as episodic verbal memory, information processing speed, working memory or verbal fluency. View this paper
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Article
Effects of Tongue Pressure on Cerebral Blood Volume Dynamics: A Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020296 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 451
Abstract
Tongue pressure measurement (TPM) is an indicator of oral function. However, the association between tongue pressure and cerebral activation remains unclear. We used near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to examine the correlation between cerebral cortex activation and tongue pressure stimulation against the anterior palatal mucosa. [...] Read more.
Tongue pressure measurement (TPM) is an indicator of oral function. However, the association between tongue pressure and cerebral activation remains unclear. We used near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to examine the correlation between cerebral cortex activation and tongue pressure stimulation against the anterior palatal mucosa. We measured voluntary maximum tongue pressure (MTP) using a TPM device; a pressure value of approximately 60% of the MTP was used for the experimental tongue pressure (MTP60%). We examined the effect of oral functional tongue pressure stimulation against the anterior palatal mucosa on cerebral activation using NIRS in 13 adults. Tongue pressure stimulation caused significant changes in cerebral blood flow in some areas compared with controls (p < 0.05). We performed a correlation analysis (p < 0.05) between MTP60% and changes in oxygenated hemoglobin in all 47 NIRS channels. MTP60% triggered activation of the right somatosensory motor area and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and deactivation of the anterior prefrontal cortex (APFC). TPM balloon-probe insertion in the oral cavity activated the bilateral somatosensory motor area and deactivated the wide area of the APFC. Moreover, MTP60% via the TPM balloon probe activated the bilateral somatosensory and motor cortex areas. Tongue pressure stimulation changes cerebral blood flow, and NIRS is useful in investigating the relationship between oral stimulation and brain function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurotology and Neuro-ophthalmology)
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Communication
Changes of Spasticity across Time in Prolonged Disorders of Consciousness: A Retrospective Study
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020295 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 430
Abstract
Objectives: In this retrospective study, we investigated how spasticity developed in patients diagnosed with a prolonged DOC over an almost two-year observation period (21 months), and how it related to the patients’ age, gender, time since injury, etiology, level of consciousness, and anti-spastic [...] Read more.
Objectives: In this retrospective study, we investigated how spasticity developed in patients diagnosed with a prolonged DOC over an almost two-year observation period (21 months), and how it related to the patients’ age, gender, time since injury, etiology, level of consciousness, and anti-spastic medications. Methods: In total, 19 patients with a severe brain injury and prolonged DOC admitted to a long-term care facility were included in this study (14 male, age: 45.8 ± 15.3 years, 10 traumatic brain injury, 1.01 ± 0.99 years after brain injury, 11 minimally conscious state vs. 8 vegetative state). Each patient was assessed at admission and then quarterly, totaling eight assessments over 21 months. Spasticity was measured with the Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS) for both upper and lower limbs. The Western Neuro Sensory Stimulation Profile (WNSSP) was administered to assess the level of consciousness. Any other medical and demographic information of interest was obtained through medical records. Linear mixed models were used to assess each variable’s impact on the change of spasticity over time. Results: Significant differences were observed in the evolution of spasticity in patients based on their etiology for the upper limbs [F (7, 107.29) = 2.226; p = 0.038], and on their level of consciousness for the lower limbs [F (7, 107.07) = 3.196; p = 0.004]. Conclusion: Our preliminary results suggest that spasticity evolves differently according to the type of brain lesion and the level of consciousness. Spasticity in DOCs might therefore be mediated by different mechanisms and might have to be treated differently among patients. Future longitudinal studies should be performed prospectively in a bigger cohort and with data collection beginning earlier after brain injury to confirm our results and better understand the evolution of spasticity in this population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Treatments for Patients with Disorders of Consciousness)
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Communication
Prognostic Significance of Admission Glucose Combined with Hemoglobin A1c in Acute Ischemic Stroke Patients with Reperfusion Therapy
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020294 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 411
Abstract
Background: Elevated admission glucose and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels have been suggested to be associated with 90-day functional outcomes in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients with endovascular thrombectomy (EVT). However, whether the prognostic significance of admission glucose and that of HbA1c have a [...] Read more.
Background: Elevated admission glucose and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels have been suggested to be associated with 90-day functional outcomes in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients with endovascular thrombectomy (EVT). However, whether the prognostic significance of admission glucose and that of HbA1c have a joint effect on patients with intravascular thrombolysis (IVT) and/or EVT remains unclear. This study aimed to explore the association between admission glucose combined with HbA1c and outcomes in patients with reperfusion therapy. Methods: Consecutive AIS patients treated with IVT and/or EVT between 2 January 2018 and 27 February 2021 in West China hospital were enrolled. Admission glucose and HbA1c levels were measured at admission. Participants were divided into four groups according to admission glucose level (categorical variable: <7.8 and ≥7.8 mmol/L) and HbA1c level (categorical variable: <6.5% and ≥6.5%): normal glucose and normal HbA1c (NGNA), normal glucose and high HbA1c (NGHA), high glucose and normal HbA1c (HGNA), and high glucose and high HbA1c (HGHA). The primary outcome was an unfavorable functional outcome defined as a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) ≥ 3. The secondary outcome was all-cause mortality at 90 days. Results: A total of 519 patients (mean age, 69.0 ± 13.4 years; 53.8% males) were included. Patients in the HGHA group had a significantly increased risk of unfavorable functional outcome (OR, 1.81; 95%CI, 1.01–3.23) and mortality (OR, 1.75; 95%CI, 1.01–3.06) at 90 days compared with those in the NGNA group after adjustment for confounders. There was no significant association between NGHA (OR, 0.43; 95%CI, 0.12–1.53) or HGNA (OR, 1.46; 95%CI, 0.84–2.56) and outcomes compared to the NGNA group. Conclusion: The combination of high admission glucose and high HbA1c level was significantly associated with unfavorable functional outcome and mortality at 90 days in AIS patients with reperfusion therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurorehabilitation)
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Article
Deciding on Optical Illusions: Reduced Alpha Power in Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020293 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 417
Abstract
Background: Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a psychiatric disorder characterized by excessive preoccupation with imagined defects in appearance. Optical illusions induce illusory effects that distort the presented stimulus, thus leading to ambiguous percepts. Using electroencephalography (EEG), we investigated whether BDD is related to [...] Read more.
Background: Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a psychiatric disorder characterized by excessive preoccupation with imagined defects in appearance. Optical illusions induce illusory effects that distort the presented stimulus, thus leading to ambiguous percepts. Using electroencephalography (EEG), we investigated whether BDD is related to differentiated perception during illusory percepts. Methods: A total of 18 BDD patients and 18 controls were presented with 39 optical illusions together with a statement testing whether or not they perceived the illusion. After a delay period, they were prompted to answer whether the statement was right/wrong and their degree of confidence in their answer. We investigated differences of BDD patients on task performance and self-reported confidence and analyzed the brain oscillations during decision-making using nonparametric cluster statistics. Results: Behaviorally, the BDD group exhibited reduced confidence when responding incorrectly, potentially attributed to higher levels of doubt. Electrophysiologically, the BDD group showed significantly reduced alpha power at the fronto-central and parietal scalp areas, suggesting impaired allocation of attention. Interestingly, the lower the alpha power of the identified cluster, the higher the BDD severity, as assessed by BDD psychometrics. Conclusions: Results evidenced that alpha power during illusory processing might serve as a quantitative EEG biomarker of BDD, potentially associated with reduced inhibition of task-irrelevant areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychiatric Diseases)
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Perspective
COVID-19 Vaccination and Mental Disorders, What Has Been Accomplished and Future Direction
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020292 - 20 Feb 2022
Viewed by 620
Abstract
The consequences of the pandemic on mental health are among the most important side effects of COVID-19. Wide concerns have emerged both regarding vaccine hesitation in the general population, and the vaccine’s implementation plan. The aim of this study is to evaluate how [...] Read more.
The consequences of the pandemic on mental health are among the most important side effects of COVID-19. Wide concerns have emerged both regarding vaccine hesitation in the general population, and the vaccine’s implementation plan. The aim of this study is to evaluate how the scientific community has investigated the relationship between the COVID-19 vaccine and mental disorders. Contrary to expectations, having a full-blown psychiatric pathology seems to positively affect the attitude towards the vaccine, except for PTSD. The intense fear that accompanied the current world emergency has made this pandemic unique; we discuss how it might be one of the factors involved in this result. Further experimental investigations are needed to estimate how personality traits, hyperarousal, and negative emotions influence vaccine compliance both in the general population and in people living with mental disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychiatric Diseases)
Review
Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Challenges of Glioma Invasion
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020291 - 20 Feb 2022
Viewed by 529
Abstract
Glioma is the most common primary brain tumor, and its prognosis is poor. Glioma cells are highly invasive to the brain parenchyma. It is difficult to achieve complete resection due to the nature of the brain tissue, and tumors that invade the parenchyma [...] Read more.
Glioma is the most common primary brain tumor, and its prognosis is poor. Glioma cells are highly invasive to the brain parenchyma. It is difficult to achieve complete resection due to the nature of the brain tissue, and tumors that invade the parenchyma often recur. The invasiveness of tumor cells has been studied from various aspects, and the related molecular mechanisms are gradually becoming clear. Cell adhesion factors and extracellular matrix factors have a strong influence on glioma invasion. The molecular mechanisms that enhance the invasiveness of glioma stem cells, which have been investigated in recent years, have also been clarified. In addition, it has been discussed from both basic and clinical perspectives that current therapies can alter the invasiveness of tumors, and there is a need to develop therapeutic approaches to glioma invasion in the future. In this review, we will summarize the factors that influence the invasiveness of glioma based on the environment of tumor cells and tissues, and describe the impact of the treatment of glioma on invasion in terms of molecular biology, and the novel therapies for invasion that are currently being developed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Glioma Invasion)
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Case Report
Visual Neglect after PICA Stroke—A Case Study
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020290 - 19 Feb 2022
Viewed by 624
Abstract
After cerebellar stroke, cognition can be impaired, as described within the framework of the so-called Cerebellar Cognitive Affective Syndrome (CCAS). However, it remains unclear whether visual neglect can also be part of CCAS. We describe the case of a patient with a subacute [...] Read more.
After cerebellar stroke, cognition can be impaired, as described within the framework of the so-called Cerebellar Cognitive Affective Syndrome (CCAS). However, it remains unclear whether visual neglect can also be part of CCAS. We describe the case of a patient with a subacute cerebellar stroke after thrombosis of the left posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA), who showed a left-sided visual neglect, indicating that the cerebellum also has a modulatory function on visual attention. The neglect, however, was mild and only detectable when using the sensitive neuro-psychological Five-Point Test as well as video-oculography assessment, yet remained unnoticed when evaluated with common neglect-specific paper-pencil tests. Three weeks later, follow-up assessments revealed an amelioration of neglect symptoms. Therefore, these findings suggest that visual neglect may be a part of CCAS, but that the choice of neglect assessments and the time delay since stroke onset may be crucial. Although the exact underlying pathophysiological mechanisms remain unclear, we propose cerebellar–cerebral diaschisis as a possible explanation of why neglect can occur on the ipsilateral side. Further research applying sensitive assessment tools at different post-stroke stages is needed to investigate the incidence, lesion correlates, and pathophysiology of neglect after cerebellar lesions. Full article
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Review
Focused Ultrasound Stimulation as a Neuromodulatory Tool for Parkinson’s Disease: A Scoping Review
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020289 - 19 Feb 2022
Viewed by 922
Abstract
Non-invasive focused ultrasound stimulation (FUS) is a non-ionising neuromodulatory technique that employs acoustic energy to acutely and reversibly modulate brain activity of deep-brain structures. It is currently being investigated as a potential novel treatment for Parkinson’s disease (PD). This scoping review was carried [...] Read more.
Non-invasive focused ultrasound stimulation (FUS) is a non-ionising neuromodulatory technique that employs acoustic energy to acutely and reversibly modulate brain activity of deep-brain structures. It is currently being investigated as a potential novel treatment for Parkinson’s disease (PD). This scoping review was carried out to map available evidence pertaining to the provision of FUS as a PD neuromodulatory tool. In accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis Extension for Scoping Reviews, a search was applied to Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials on 13 January 2022, with no limits applied. In total, 11 studies were included: 8 were from China and 1 each from Belgium, South Korea and Taiwan. All 11 studies were preclinical (6 in vivo, 2 in vitro, 2 mix of in vivo and in vitro and 1 in silico). The preclinical evidence indicates that FUS is safe and has beneficial neuromodulatory effects on motor behaviour in PD. FUS appears to have a therapeutic role in influencing the disease processes of PD, and therefore holds great promise as an attractive and powerful neuromodulatory tool for PD. Though these initial studies are encouraging, further study to understand the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms is required before FUS can be routinely used in PD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dimensions of Synaptic Diseases: From Neurobiology to Therapy)
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Article
Direct Gaze Holds Attention, but Not in Individuals with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020288 - 19 Feb 2022
Viewed by 512
Abstract
The attentional response to eye-gaze stimuli is still largely unexplored in individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Here, we focused on an attentional phenomenon according to which a direct-gaze face can hold attention in a perceiver. Individuals with OCD and a group of matched [...] Read more.
The attentional response to eye-gaze stimuli is still largely unexplored in individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Here, we focused on an attentional phenomenon according to which a direct-gaze face can hold attention in a perceiver. Individuals with OCD and a group of matched healthy controls were asked to discriminate, through a speeded manual response, a peripheral target. Meanwhile, a task-irrelevant face displaying either direct gaze (in the eye-contact condition) or averted gaze (in the no-eye-contact condition) was also presented at the centre of the screen. Overall, the latencies were slower for faces with direct gaze than for faces with averted gaze; however, this difference was reliable in the healthy control group but not in the OCD group. This suggests the presence of an unusual attentional response to direct gaze in this clinical population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Cognition across Healthy and Neuropsychiatric Conditions)
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Article
Disrupted Resting State Attentional Network Connectivity in Adolescent and Young Adult Cannabis Users following Two-Weeks of Monitored Abstinence
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020287 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 407
Abstract
Background. Numerous neuropsychological studies have shown that cannabis use during adolescence and young adulthood led to deficits in sustained and selective attention. However, few studies have examined functional connectivity in attentional networks among young cannabis users, nor have characterized relationships with cannabis use [...] Read more.
Background. Numerous neuropsychological studies have shown that cannabis use during adolescence and young adulthood led to deficits in sustained and selective attention. However, few studies have examined functional connectivity in attentional networks among young cannabis users, nor have characterized relationships with cannabis use patterns following abstinence. Methods. Differences in resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) within the dorsal (DAN) and ventral (VAN) attention networks were examined in 36 adolescent and young adult cannabis users and 39 non-substance using controls following two weeks of monitored abstinence. Observed connectivity differences were then correlated with past-year and lifetime cannabis use, length of abstinence, age of regular use onset, and Cannabis Use Disorder symptoms (CUD). Results. After controlling for alcohol and nicotine use, cannabis users had lower RSFC within the DAN network, specifically between right inferior parietal sulcus and right anterior insula, as well as white matter, relative to controls. This region was associated with more severe cannabis use measures, including increased lifetime cannabis use, shorter length of abstinence, and more severe CUD symptoms. Conclusions. Findings demonstrate that regular cannabis use by adolescents and young adults is associated with subtle differences in resting state connectivity within the DAN, even after two weeks of monitored abstinence. Notably, more severe cannabis use markers (greater lifetime use, CUD symptoms, and shorter abstinence) were linked with this reduced connectivity. Thus, findings support public policy aimed at reducing and delaying cannabis use and treatments to assist with sustained abstinence. Future longitudinal studies are needed to investigate causation. Full article
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Article
High-Pressure Game Conditions Affect Quiet Eye Depending on the Player’s Expertise: Evidence from the Basketball Three-Point Shot
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020286 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 560
Abstract
Research on attention in sport using eye-tracking methodology has highlighted that the highest levels of expertise and performance are characterized by a specific gaze behavior consisting of a perception–action variable named quiet eye. The present study aimed to understand the role of quiet [...] Read more.
Research on attention in sport using eye-tracking methodology has highlighted that the highest levels of expertise and performance are characterized by a specific gaze behavior consisting of a perception–action variable named quiet eye. The present study aimed to understand the role of quiet eye during the three-point shot, especially in game conditions in which even a single point may determine victory or defeat. Twenty-one basketball players (twelve competitive elites and nine semi-elites) with a high-shooting style performed three-point shots in four game scenarios different from each other for the time available (time pressure) and the relevance of the score (performance pressure). The results showed that competitive elites performed a longer quiet eye online duration and a shorter QE preprogramming duration than semi-elites, especially in the highest-pressure condition. On the one hand, these results suggest that quiet eye during three-point shots could fulfill an online control function. On the other hand, the findings stressed the importance of implementing experimental conditions that can resemble as closely as possible actual sport situations. Finally, we suggest that sport professionals interested in administering to athletes a quiet eye training protocol in order to improve three-point shot performance consider the shooting style of the players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Behavioral Neuroscience)
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Article
Mindfulness-Based Interventions and Body Awareness
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020285 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 536
Abstract
Body awareness (BA) has long been proposed as a working mechanism of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs), yet research on the mediating role of BA is scarce. Hence, the present study assesses the impact of an 8-week MBI on self-reported and indirect measures of BA, [...] Read more.
Body awareness (BA) has long been proposed as a working mechanism of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs), yet research on the mediating role of BA is scarce. Hence, the present study assesses the impact of an 8-week MBI on self-reported and indirect measures of BA, investigates the potential mediating role of BA in the relationship between an MBI and symptomatology, evaluates the impact of an MBI on important psychological processes (i.e., experiential avoidance, rumination, self-efficacy, and self-discrepancy), and explores whether these variables act alongside BA in mediating the relationship between an MBI and symptomatology. A non-randomized controlled trial was conducted with 148 participants (n = 89 in the MBI group; n = 59 in the control group) who completed questionnaires assessing BA and the above-mentioned psychological processes before and after an MBI. A sub-sample of participants (n = 86) completed a task that evaluates BA indirectly. Results showed a significant effect of MBI on the self-reported BA but not on the indirect measure of BA. The MBI significantly reduced symptomatology, and this effect was mediated by regulatory and belief-related dimensions of BA. Multiple mediator models showed a significant mediation via various pathways involving improved BA and various transdiagnostic psychological processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mindfulness, Interoception, and the Body)
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Article
mdka Expression Is Associated with Quiescent Neural Stem Cells during Constitutive and Reactive Neurogenesis in the Adult Zebrafish Telencephalon
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020284 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 587
Abstract
In contrast to mammals, adult zebrafish display an extraordinary capacity to heal injuries and repair damage in the central nervous system. Pivotal for the regenerative capacity of the zebrafish brain at adult stages is the precise control of neural stem cell (NSC) behavior [...] Read more.
In contrast to mammals, adult zebrafish display an extraordinary capacity to heal injuries and repair damage in the central nervous system. Pivotal for the regenerative capacity of the zebrafish brain at adult stages is the precise control of neural stem cell (NSC) behavior and the maintenance of the stem cell pool. The gene mdka, a member of a small family of heparin binding growth factors, was previously shown to be involved in regeneration in the zebrafish retina, heart, and fin. Here, we investigated the expression pattern of the gene mdka and its paralogue mdkb in the zebrafish adult telencephalon under constitutive and regenerative conditions. Our findings show that only mdka expression is specifically restricted to the telencephalic ventricle, a stem cell niche of the zebrafish telencephalon. In this brain region, mdka is particularly expressed in the quiescent stem cells. Interestingly, after brain injury, mdka expression remains restricted to the resting stem cell, which might suggest a role of mdka in regulating stem cell quiescence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience)
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Article
Eye Tracking Research on the Influence of Spatial Frequency and Inversion Effect on Facial Expression Processing in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020283 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 465
Abstract
Facial expression processing mainly depends on whether the facial features related to expressions can be fully acquired, and whether the appropriate processing strategies can be adopted according to different conditions. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulty accurately recognizing facial expressions and [...] Read more.
Facial expression processing mainly depends on whether the facial features related to expressions can be fully acquired, and whether the appropriate processing strategies can be adopted according to different conditions. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulty accurately recognizing facial expressions and responding appropriately, which is regarded as an important cause of their social disorders. This study used eye tracking technology to explore the internal processing mechanism of facial expressions in children with ASD under the influence of spatial frequency and inversion effects for improving their social disorders. The facial expression recognition rate and eye tracking characteristics of children with ASD and typical developing (TD) children on the facial area of interest were recorded and analyzed. The multi-factor mixed experiment results showed that the facial expression recognition rate of children with ASD under various conditions was significantly lower than that of TD children. TD children had more visual attention to the eyes area. However, children with ASD preferred the features of the mouth area, and lacked visual attention and processing of the eyes area. When the face was inverted, TD children had the inversion effect under all three spatial frequency conditions, which was manifested as a significant decrease in expression recognition rate. However, children with ASD only had the inversion effect under the LSF condition, indicating that they mainly used a featural processing method and had the capacity of configural processing under the LSF condition. The eye tracking results showed that when the face was inverted or facial feature information was weakened, both children with ASD and TD children would adjust their facial expression processing strategies accordingly, to increase the visual attention and information processing of their preferred areas. The fixation counts and fixation duration of TD children on the eyes area increased significantly, while the fixation duration of children with ASD on the mouth area increased significantly. The results of this study provided theoretical and practical support for facial expression intervention in children with ASD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Developmental Neuroscience)
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Article
Immunohistochemical Expression of p27Kip1, p57Kip2, Cyclin D1, Nestin, and Ki-67 in Ependymoma
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020282 - 17 Feb 2022
Viewed by 421
Abstract
p27 and p57 are tumor suppressors that are dysregulated in many cancers. We investigated the immunohistochemical expression of p27 and p57 in ependymoma, with a secondary emphasis on cyclin D1, nestin, and Ki-67. Sixty-five patients diagnosed with ependymoma were included. Clinical and tumoral [...] Read more.
p27 and p57 are tumor suppressors that are dysregulated in many cancers. We investigated the immunohistochemical expression of p27 and p57 in ependymoma, with a secondary emphasis on cyclin D1, nestin, and Ki-67. Sixty-five patients diagnosed with ependymoma were included. Clinical and tumoral data were retrieved, and the expression of p27, p57, cyclin D1, nestin, and Ki-67 was measured. Pearson’s χ2 test was used to measure associations and the Kaplan–Meier method was used for survival analysis. p27 underexpression was significantly associated with pseudopalisading necrosis in tumors with foci of necrosis (p = 0.004). Cyclin D1 overexpression was associated with intracranial (p = 0.044), recurrent (p = 0.022) and grade 3 tumors (p = 0.016); nestin overexpression was associated with supratentorial (p = 0.025), mitotically active (p < 0.001), and grade 3 tumors (p = 0.004); Ki-67 overexpression was associated with supratentorial (p = 0.044) and grade 3 tumors (p < 0.001) and the 3 main features of anaplasia. None of the markers were intercorrelated or predictive of overall survival. In conclusion, p27 underexpression in tumors with foci of necrosis signals a pseudopalisading pattern. Cyclin D1, nestin, and Ki-67 are useful markers in ependymoma, but evidence-based cutoff values are required to standardize this interpretation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuro-oncology)
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Article
A Hebbian Approach to Non-Spatial Prelinguistic Reasoning
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020281 - 17 Feb 2022
Viewed by 368
Abstract
This research integrates key concepts of Computational Neuroscience, including the Bienestock-CooperMunro (BCM) rule, Spike Timing-Dependent Plasticity Rules (STDP), and the Temporal Difference Learning algorithm, with an important structure of Deep Learning (Convolutional Networks) to create an architecture with the potential of replicating observations [...] Read more.
This research integrates key concepts of Computational Neuroscience, including the Bienestock-CooperMunro (BCM) rule, Spike Timing-Dependent Plasticity Rules (STDP), and the Temporal Difference Learning algorithm, with an important structure of Deep Learning (Convolutional Networks) to create an architecture with the potential of replicating observations of some cognitive experiments (particularly, those that provided some basis for sequential reasoning) while sharing the advantages already achieved by the previous proposals. In particular, we present Ring Model B, which is capable of associating visual with auditory stimulus, performing sequential predictions, and predicting reward from experience. Despite its simplicity, we considered such abilities to be a first step towards the formulation of more general models of prelinguistic reasoning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Computational Neuroscience and Neuroinformatics)
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Article
Effects of Repetitive Peripheral Magnetic Stimulation through Hand Splint Materials on Induced Movement and Corticospinal Excitability in Healthy Participants
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020280 - 17 Feb 2022
Viewed by 382
Abstract
Repetitive peripheral magnetic stimulation (rPMS) is a non-invasive neuromodulation technique. Magnetic fields induced by rPMS pass through almost all materials, and it has clinical applications for neurorehabilitation. However, the effects of rPMS through clothing and orthosis on induced movement and corticospinal excitability remain [...] Read more.
Repetitive peripheral magnetic stimulation (rPMS) is a non-invasive neuromodulation technique. Magnetic fields induced by rPMS pass through almost all materials, and it has clinical applications for neurorehabilitation. However, the effects of rPMS through clothing and orthosis on induced movement and corticospinal excitability remain unclear. The aim of this study was to determine whether rPMS induces movement and enhances corticospinal excitability through hand splint materials. rPMS was applied directly to the skin (L0) and through one (L1) or two (L2) layers of splint material in 14 healthy participants at 25-Hz, 2-s train per 6 s for a total of 20 min. rPMS was delivered to the forearm with the stimulus intensity set to 1.5-times the train intensity-induced muscle contractions under the L0 condition. We recorded induced wrist movements during rPMS and motor-evoked potentials of the extensor carpi radialis pre- and post-application. The results showed that rPMS induced wrist movements in L0 and L1, and it facilitated corticospinal excitability in L0 but not in L1 and L2. This suggests that rPMS can make electromagnetic induction on periphery even when applied over clothing and orthosis and demonstrates the potential clinical applications of this technique for neurorehabilitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Stimulation and Neuroplasticity—Series II)
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Review
Mindfulness-Based Interventions for the Treatment of Aberrant Interoceptive Processing in Substance Use Disorders
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020279 - 17 Feb 2022
Viewed by 634
Abstract
Altered interoception, or the processing of bodily signals, has been argued to play a role in the development and maintenance of substance use disorders (SUD). Therefore, interoceptive interventions focusing on bodily awareness, such as mindfulness meditation, may improve treatment outcomes for individuals with [...] Read more.
Altered interoception, or the processing of bodily signals, has been argued to play a role in the development and maintenance of substance use disorders (SUD). Therefore, interoceptive interventions focusing on bodily awareness, such as mindfulness meditation, may improve treatment outcomes for individuals with SUD. Here we review: (1) subjective, behavioral and brain evidence for altered interoceptive processing in SUD, focusing on insular and anterior cingulate cortices (INS, ACC), key regions for interoceptive processing; (2) research highlighting links between mindfulness and brain function; and (3) extant brain research investigating mindfulness-based interventions in SUD. SUD tend to be characterized by heightened INS and ACC responses to drug cues but blunted interoceptive awareness and attenuated INS and ACC responses during tasks involving bodily attention and/or perturbations. In contrast, mindfulness interventions in healthy individuals are linked to enhanced INS and ACC responses and heightened interoceptive awareness. It is crucial for future research to identify: (1) whether mindfulness-based treatments are efficacious across substance classes; (2) what particular approaches and dosages show the largest effect sizes in enhancing INS and ACC function to non-drug stimuli and reducing responsivity to substance cues, thereby improving SUD treatment outcomes (reducing drug craving and relapse). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mindfulness, Interoception, and the Body)
Article
Immediate Temporal Information Modulates the Target Identification in the Attentional Blink
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020278 - 17 Feb 2022
Viewed by 444
Abstract
It has been shown that learned temporal information can be exploited to help facilitate the target identification in the attentional blink task. Here, we tested whether similar exploitation also worked on short-term temporal information, even when it did not reliably predict the target [...] Read more.
It has been shown that learned temporal information can be exploited to help facilitate the target identification in the attentional blink task. Here, we tested whether similar exploitation also worked on short-term temporal information, even when it did not reliably predict the target onset. In two experiments, we randomly manipulated either the interval between targets (T1 and T2; Experiment 1) or the temporal regularity of stimulus presentation (Experiment 2) in each trial. The results revealed evidence of effects of immediate temporal experience mainly on T2 performances but also occasionally on T1 performances. In general, the accuracy of T2 was enhanced when a longer inter-target interval was explicitly processed in the preceding trial (Experiment 1) or the temporal regularity, regardless of being explicitly or implicitly processed, was present in the stimulus stream, especially after T1 (Experiment 2). These results suggest that, under high temporal uncertainty, both interval and rhythmic cues can still be exploited to regulate the allocation of processing resources, thus, modulating the target identification in the attentional blink task, consistent with the view of flexible attentional allocation, and further highlighting the importance of the interplay between temporal processing and attentional control in the conscious visual perception. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Behavioral Neuroscience)
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Editorial
The Role of Body in Brain Plasticity
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020277 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 413
Abstract
Our bodily experience arises primarily from the integration of sensory, interoceptive, and motor signals and is mapped directly into the sensorimotor cortices [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Body in Brain Plasticity)
Article
Differences in Odor Identification in Early-Onset and Late-Onset Depression
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020276 - 16 Feb 2022
Viewed by 728
Abstract
(1) Background: Odor identification (OI) dysfunction is a potential predictor of developing dementia in late life depression (LLD). However, it is not clear whether patients with early onset depression (EOD) and late onset depression (LOD) may exhibit different OI dysfunctions. The aim of [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Odor identification (OI) dysfunction is a potential predictor of developing dementia in late life depression (LLD). However, it is not clear whether patients with early onset depression (EOD) and late onset depression (LOD) may exhibit different OI dysfunctions. The aim of this study was to compare OI between EOD patients and LOD patients and its relationship with cognitive function. (2) Methods: A total of 179 patients with LLD and 189 normal controls were recruited. Participants underwent clinical assessment, olfactory testing, and comprehensive neuropsychological assessment. The OI scores of EOD patients and LOD patients were compared, and correlation analyses and mediation analyses were used to explore the relationship between OI and cognition. (3) Result: LOD patients exhibited lower OI scores than EOD patients and normal controls (NCs). Additionally, the LOD patients exhibited a higher percentage of OI dysfunction than the EOD patients. Moreover, OI scores were associated with global cognition, memory, language, and visuospatial ability in the EOD group (p < 0.05) but were not associated with any cognitive score in the LOD patients (p > 0.05). Finally, the scores of the Auditory Verbal Learning Test Immediate recall and Boston Naming Test exhibited a partially mediating effect on the difference in OI scores between the EOD and LOD patients. (4) Conclusions: LOD patients exhibited worse OI than EOD patients, and their difference in OI was mediated by their memory and language function. Full article
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Article
Dimensions of Tinnitus-Related Distress
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020275 - 16 Feb 2022
Viewed by 678
Abstract
Objectives: (1) To determine which psychosocial aspects predict tinnitus-related distress in a large self-reported dataset of patients with chronic tinnitus, and (2) to identify underlying constructs by means of factor analysis. Methods: A cohort of 1958 patients of the Charité Tinnitus Center, Berlin [...] Read more.
Objectives: (1) To determine which psychosocial aspects predict tinnitus-related distress in a large self-reported dataset of patients with chronic tinnitus, and (2) to identify underlying constructs by means of factor analysis. Methods: A cohort of 1958 patients of the Charité Tinnitus Center, Berlin completed a large questionnaire battery that comprised sociodemographic data, tinnitus-related distress, general psychological stress experience, emotional symptoms, and somatic complaints. To identify a construct of “tinnitus-related distress”, significant predictive items were grouped using factor analysis. Results: For the prediction of tinnitus-related distress (linear regression model with R2 = 0.7), depressive fatigue symptoms (concentration, sleep, rumination, joy decreased), the experience of emotional strain, somatization tendencies (pain experience, doctor contacts), and age appeared to play a role. The factor analysis revealed five factors: “stress”, “pain experience”, “fatigue”, “autonomy”, and low “educational level”. Conclusions: Tinnitus-related distress is predicted by psychological and sociodemographic indices. Relevant factors seem to be depressive exhaustion with somatic expressions such as sleep and concentration problems, somatization, general psychological stress, and reduced activity, in addition to higher age. Full article
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Article
The Functional Interactions between Cortical Regions through Theta-Gamma Coupling during Resting-State and a Visual Working Memory Task
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020274 - 16 Feb 2022
Viewed by 657
Abstract
Theta phase-gamma amplitude coupling (TGC) plays an important role in several different cognitive processes. Although spontaneous brain activity at the resting state is crucial in preparing for cognitive performance, the functional role of resting-state TGC remains unclear. To investigate the role of resting-state [...] Read more.
Theta phase-gamma amplitude coupling (TGC) plays an important role in several different cognitive processes. Although spontaneous brain activity at the resting state is crucial in preparing for cognitive performance, the functional role of resting-state TGC remains unclear. To investigate the role of resting-state TGC, electroencephalogram recordings were obtained for 56 healthy volunteers while they were in the resting state, with their eyes closed, and then when they were engaged in a retention interval period in the visual memory task. The TGCs of the two different conditions were calculated and compared. The results indicated that the modulation index of TGC during the retention interval of the visual working memory (VWM) task was not higher than that during the resting state; however, the topographical distribution of TGC during the resting state was negatively correlated with TGC during VWM task at the local level. The topographical distribution of TGC during the resting state was negatively correlated with TGC coordinates’ engagement of brain areas in local and large-scale networks and during task performance at the local level. These findings support the view that TGC reflects information-processing and signal interaction across distant brain areas. These results demonstrate that TGC could explain the efficiency of competing brain networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurotechnology and Neuroimaging)
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Article
Functional Connectivity Signatures Underlying Simultaneous Language Translation in Interpreters and Non-Interpreters of Mandarin and English: An fNIRS Study
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020273 - 16 Feb 2022
Viewed by 611
Abstract
Recent neuroimaging research has suggested that interpreters and non-interpreters elicit different brain activation patterns during simultaneous language translation. However, whether these two groups have different functional connectivity during such a task, and how the neural coupling is among brain subregions, are still not [...] Read more.
Recent neuroimaging research has suggested that interpreters and non-interpreters elicit different brain activation patterns during simultaneous language translation. However, whether these two groups have different functional connectivity during such a task, and how the neural coupling is among brain subregions, are still not well understood. In this study, we recruited Mandarin (L1)/English (L2) interpreters and non-interpreter bilinguals, whom we asked to perform simultaneous language translation and reading tasks. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) was used to collect cortical brain data for participants during each task, using 68 channels that covered the prefrontal cortex and the bilateral perisylvian regions. Our findings revealed both interpreter and non-interpreter groups recruited the right dorsolateral prefrontal hub when completing the simultaneous language translation tasks. We also found different functional connectivity between the groups. The interpreter group was characterized by information exchange between the frontal cortex and Wernicke’s area. In comparison, the non-interpreter group revealed neural coupling between the frontal cortex and Broca’s area. These findings indicate expertise modulates functional connectivity, possibly because of more developed cognitive skills associated with executive functions in interpreters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Systems Neuroscience)
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Article
Parietal Gamma Band Oscillation Induced by Self-Hand Recognition
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020272 - 16 Feb 2022
Viewed by 643
Abstract
Physiological studies have shown that self-body images receive unique recognition processing in a wide range of brain areas, from the frontal lobe to the parietal-occipital cortex. Event-related potential (ERP) studies have shown that the self-referential effect on the image of a hand increases [...] Read more.
Physiological studies have shown that self-body images receive unique recognition processing in a wide range of brain areas, from the frontal lobe to the parietal-occipital cortex. Event-related potential (ERP) studies have shown that the self-referential effect on the image of a hand increases P300 components, but such studies do not evaluate brain oscillatory activity. In this study, we aimed to discover the self-specific brain electrophysiological activity in relation to hand images. ERPs on the fronto-parietal midline were elicited by a three-stimulus visual oddball task using hand images: the self-hand, another hand (most similar to the self-hand), and another hand (similar to the self-hand). We analyzed ERP waveform and brain oscillatory activity by simple averaging and time-frequency analysis. The simple averaging analysis found no significant differences between the responses for the three stimulus tasks in all time windows. However, time-frequency analysis showed that self-hand stimuli elicited high gamma ERS in 650–900 ms at the Cz electrode compared to other hand stimuli. Our results show that brain activity specific to the self-referential process to the self-hand image was reflected in the long latency gamma band activity in the mid-central region. This high gamma-band activity at the Cz electrode may be similar to the activity of the mirror neuron system, which is involved in hand motion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Behavioral Neuroscience)
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Communication
Differences in Cognitive Functioning in Two Birth Cohorts Born 20 Years Apart: Data from the Interdisciplinary Longitudinal Study of Ageing
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020271 - 15 Feb 2022
Viewed by 515
Abstract
We compared neuropsychological functioning and prevalence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in two birth cohorts born 20 years apart when participants had reached the same age, i.e., the mid-60s. The study followed up 500 volunteers born 1930–1932 (C30) and 502 born 1950–1952 (C50). [...] Read more.
We compared neuropsychological functioning and prevalence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in two birth cohorts born 20 years apart when participants had reached the same age, i.e., the mid-60s. The study followed up 500 volunteers born 1930–1932 (C30) and 502 born 1950–1952 (C50). Participants underwent medical, neuropsychological, and psychiatric examinations in 1993–1996 (T1), 1997–2000 (T2), 2005–2008 (T3), and 2014–2016 (T4), including assessment of abstract thinking, memory performance, verbal fluency, visuo-spatial thinking, psychomotor speed, and attention. Healthy participants from C30 at T2 (n = 298) and from C50 at T4 (n = 205) were compared using multivariate ANCOVAs. Groups slightly differed with respect to age (C50: 63.86 ± 1.14 vs. C30: 66.80 ± 0.91; p < 0.05) and years of education (13.28 ± 2.89 vs. 14.56 ± 2.45). After correcting for age, C50 significantly outperformed C30 in all domains except concentration and verbal fluency. After additionally adjusting for education, C50 significantly outperformed C30 in declarative memory performances and abstract thinking only. Prevalence rates of MCI were 25.2% in C30 and 9.6% in C50 (p < 0.001). Our findings confirm the association between better educational attainment and enhanced cognitive performance in “younger” old individuals. While this association corresponds to the Flynn effect, various life course influences may have also contributed to better performance, including improvements in healthcare provision, medication, and lifestyle factors. Their overall effects may foster cognitive reserve and thus translate into the decline in MCI prevalence reported here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Recognition of Alzheimer´s Disease)
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Article
Semantic Feature Extraction Using SBERT for Dementia Detection
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020270 - 15 Feb 2022
Viewed by 790
Abstract
Dementia is a neurodegenerative disease that leads to the development of cognitive deficits, such as aphasia, apraxia, and agnosia. It is currently considered one of the most significant major medical problems worldwide, primarily affecting the elderly. This condition gradually impairs the patient’s cognition, [...] Read more.
Dementia is a neurodegenerative disease that leads to the development of cognitive deficits, such as aphasia, apraxia, and agnosia. It is currently considered one of the most significant major medical problems worldwide, primarily affecting the elderly. This condition gradually impairs the patient’s cognition, eventually leading to the inability to perform everyday tasks without assistance. Since dementia is an incurable disease, early detection plays an important role in delaying its progression. Because of this, tools and methods have been developed to help accurately diagnose patients in their early stages. State-of-the-art methods have shown that the use of syntactic-type linguistic features provides a sensitive and noninvasive tool for detecting dementia in its early stages. However, these methods lack relevant semantic information. In this work, we propose a novel methodology, based on the semantic features approach, by using sentence embeddings computed by Siamese BERT networks (SBERT), along with support vector machine (SVM), K-nearest neighbors (KNN), random forest, and an artificial neural network (ANN) as classifiers. Our methodology extracted 17 features that provide demographic, lexical, syntactic, and semantic information from 550 oral production samples of elderly controls and people with Alzheimer’s disease, provided by the DementiaBank Pitt Corpus database. To quantify the relevance of the extracted features for the dementia classification task, we calculated the mutual information score, which demonstrates a dependence between our features and the MMSE score. The experimental classification performance metrics, such as the accuracy, precision, recall, and F1 score (77, 80, 80, and 80%, respectively), validate that our methodology performs better than syntax-based methods and the BERT approach when only the linguistic features are used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Recognition of Alzheimer´s Disease)
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Article
An EEG-Based Investigation of the Effect of Perceived Observation on Visual Memory in Virtual Environments
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020269 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 782
Abstract
The presence of external observers has been shown to affect performance on cognitive tasks, but the parameters of this impact for different types of tasks and the underlying neural dynamics are less understood. The current study examined the behavioral and brain activity effects [...] Read more.
The presence of external observers has been shown to affect performance on cognitive tasks, but the parameters of this impact for different types of tasks and the underlying neural dynamics are less understood. The current study examined the behavioral and brain activity effects of perceived observation on participants’ visual working memory (VWM) in a virtual reality (VR) classroom setting, using the task format as a moderating variable. Participants (n = 21) were equipped with a 57-channel EEG cap, and neural data were collected as they completed two VWM tasks under two observation conditions (observed and not observed) in a within-subjects experimental design. The “observation” condition was operationalized through the addition of a static human avatar in the VR classroom. The avatar’s presence was associated with a significant effect on extending the task response time, but no effect was found on task accuracy. This outcome may have been due to a ceiling effect, as the mean participant task scores were quite high. EEG data analysis supported the behavioral findings by showing consistent differences between the no-observation and observation conditions for one of the VWM tasks only. These neural differences were identified in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and the occipital cortex (OC) regions, with higher theta-band activity occurring in the dlPFC during stimulus encoding and in the OC during response selection when the “observing” avatar was present. These findings provide evidence that perceived observation can inhibit performance during visual tasks by altering attentional focus, even in virtual contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurotechnology and Neuroimaging)
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Communication
Zonisamide Ameliorates Microglial Mitochondriopathy in Parkinson’s Disease Models
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020268 - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 699
Abstract
Mitochondrial dysfunction and exacerbated neuroinflammation are critical factors in the pathogenesis of both familial and non-familial forms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). This study aims to understand the possible ameliorative effects of zonisamide on microglial mitochondrial dysfunction in PD. We prepared 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine and lipopolysaccharide [...] Read more.
Mitochondrial dysfunction and exacerbated neuroinflammation are critical factors in the pathogenesis of both familial and non-familial forms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). This study aims to understand the possible ameliorative effects of zonisamide on microglial mitochondrial dysfunction in PD. We prepared 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) co-treated mouse models of PD to investigate the effects of zonisamide on mitochondrial reactive oxygen species generation in microglial cells. Consequently, we utilised a mouse BV2 cell line that is commonly used for microglial studies to determine whether zonisamide could ameliorate LPS-treated mitochondrial dysfunction in microglia. Flow cytometry assay indicated that zonisamide abolished microglial reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation in PD models. Extracellular flux assays showed that LPS exposure to BV2 cells at 1 μg/mL drastically reduced the mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and extracellular acidification rate (ECAR). Zonisamide overcame the inhibitory effects of LPS on mitochondrial OCR. Our present data provide novel evidence on the ameliorative effect of zonisamide against microglial mitochondrial dysfunction and support its clinical use as an antiparkinsonian drug. Full article
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Article
Psychopathology and Integrity of the Superior Longitudinal Fasciculus in Deficit and Nondeficit Schizophrenia
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(2), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12020267 - 14 Feb 2022
Viewed by 624
Abstract
The superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) is a white matter bundle that connects the frontal areas with the parietal areas. As part of the visuospatial attentional network, it may be involved in the development of schizophrenia. Deficit syndrome (DS) is characterized by primary and [...] Read more.
The superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) is a white matter bundle that connects the frontal areas with the parietal areas. As part of the visuospatial attentional network, it may be involved in the development of schizophrenia. Deficit syndrome (DS) is characterized by primary and enduring negative symptoms. The present study assessed SLF integrity in DS and nondeficit schizophrenia (NDS) patients and examined possible relationships between it and psychopathology. Twenty-six DS patients, 42 NDS patients, and 36 healthy controls (HC) underwent psychiatric evaluation and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). After post-processing, fractional anisotropy (FA) values within the SLF were analyzed. Psychopathology was assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, Brief Negative Symptom Scale, and Self-evaluation of Negative Symptoms. The PANSS proxy for the deficit syndrome was used to diagnose DS. NDS patients had lower FA values than HC. DS patients had greater negative symptoms than NDS patients. After differentiating clinical groups and HC, we found no significant correlations between DTI measures and psychopathological dimensions. These results suggest that changes in SLF integrity are related to schizophrenia, and frontoparietal dysconnection plays a role in its etiopathogenesis. We confirmed that DS patients have greater negative psychopathology than NDS patients. These results are preliminary; further studies are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Neuroimaging and Neurophysiology in Psychiatry)
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