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Brain Sci., Volume 12, Issue 8 (August 2022) – 157 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Dimensional Structural models have been developed to counter issues, including comorbidity and poor diagnostic stability prevalent within traditional psychopathology diagnostics. Deficits in neurocognitive abilities have been claimed to be an etiological feature of psychopathology, but explorations of the association between neurocognition and psychopathology have typically taken a linear approach, overlooking the potential interactive dynamics of neurocognitive abilities. We propose that within-person interactions between neurocognitive domains are fundamental to understanding the role of neurocognition within psychopathology. In this study, we compared the predictive accuracy of linear models to artificial neural network models regarding dimensional psychopathology. View this paper
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12 pages, 1971 KiB  
Systematic Review
Gray Matter Abnormalities in Patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Voxel-Based Morphometry Studies
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1115; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081115 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1807
Abstract
Current findings on brain structural alterations in complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) are heterogenous and controversial. This study aimed to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis to explore the significant gray matter volume (GMV) abnormalities between patients with CRPS and healthy controls (HCs). [...] Read more.
Current findings on brain structural alterations in complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) are heterogenous and controversial. This study aimed to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis to explore the significant gray matter volume (GMV) abnormalities between patients with CRPS and healthy controls (HCs). A systematic search of the PubMed, Web of Science, and MEDLINE databases was performed, updated through 27 January 2022. A total of five studies (93 CRPS patients and 106 HCs) were included. Peak coordinates and effect sizes were extracted and meta-analyzed by anisotropic effect size–signed differential mapping (AES-SDM). Heterogeneity, sensitivity, and publication bias of the main results were checked by the Q test, jackknife analysis, and the Egger test, respectively. Meta-regression analysis was performed to explore the potential impact of risk factors on GMV alterations in patients with CRPS. The main analysis exhibited that patients with CRPS had increased GMV in the left medial superior frontal gyrus (SFGmedial.L), left striatum, and an undefined area (2, 0, −8) that may be in hypothalamus, as well as decreased GMV in the corpus callosum (CC) (extending to right supplementary motor area (SMA.R), right median cingulate/paracingulate gyri (MCC.R)), and an undefined area (extending to the right caudate nucleus (CAU.R), and right thalamus (THA.R)). Meta-regression analysis showed a negative relationship between increased GMV in the SFGmedial.L and disease duration, and the percentage of female patients with CRPS. Brain structure abnormalities in the sensorimotor regions (e.g., SFGmedial.L, SMA.R, CAU.R, MCC.R, and THA.R) may be susceptible in patients with CRPS. Additionally, sex differences and disease duration may have a negative effect on the increased GMV in SFGmedial.L. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurotechnology and Neuroimaging)
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13 pages, 281 KiB  
Article
Support Needs and Parent Outcomes in Arab Families of Children with Autism Living in the United Kingdom
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1114; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081114 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1931
Abstract
Research on the experiences of Arab families of children with autism living in non-Arab countries is scarce. A survey investigated the support needs, psychological distress, and parental relationships of Arab parents (n = 100) of children with autism living in the United Kingdom [...] Read more.
Research on the experiences of Arab families of children with autism living in non-Arab countries is scarce. A survey investigated the support needs, psychological distress, and parental relationships of Arab parents (n = 100) of children with autism living in the United Kingdom (UK). The survey consisted of five main questionnaires: a demographic questionnaire, the GO4KIDDS Brief Adaptive Scale, the Family Needs Survey, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Descriptive analysis indicated that the most frequently identified support needs were information, community services, and explaining to others. Parents reported high levels of psychological distress, a high level of parental relationship satisfaction with their spouse, and few parental disagreements about their child with autism. Regression analyses showed that increased child behavior problems predicted more total family needs. Higher levels of child prosocial behavior, the better health status of parents, and a larger number of children in the family were associated with lower levels of parental psychological distress. A longer time living in the UK was associated with more parental disagreement over issues related to the child with ASD. Reducing child behavior problems and increasing child prosocial behavior may be important targets for support and intervention to improve outcomes for Arab parents of autistic children. Full article
15 pages, 277 KiB  
Review
Re-Examining Labels in Neurocognitive Research: Evidence from Bilingualism and Autism as Spectrum-Trait Cases
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1113; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081113 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1640
Abstract
Despite the fact that the urge to investigate bilingualism and neurodevelopmental disorders as continuous indices rather than categorical ones has been well-voiced among researchers with respect to research methodological approaches, in the recent literature, when it comes to examining language, cognitive skills and [...] Read more.
Despite the fact that the urge to investigate bilingualism and neurodevelopmental disorders as continuous indices rather than categorical ones has been well-voiced among researchers with respect to research methodological approaches, in the recent literature, when it comes to examining language, cognitive skills and neurodivergent characteristics, it is still the case that the most prevalent view is the categorisation of adults or children into groups. In other words, there is a categorisation of individuals, e.g., monolingual vs. bilingual children or children with typical and atypical/non-typical/non-neurotypical development. We believe that this labelling is responsible for the conflicting results that we often come across in studies. The aim of this review is to bring to the surface the importance of individual differences through the study of relevant articles conducted in bilingual children and children with autism, who are ideal for this study. We concur with researchers who already do so, and we further suggest moving away from labels and instead shift towards the view that not everything is either white or black. We provide suggestions as to how this shift could be implemented in research, while mostly aiming at starting a discourse rather than offering a definite path. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Developmental Neuroscience)
11 pages, 1006 KiB  
Article
Potential Targets for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation on Depersonalization-Derealization Disorder
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1112; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081112 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2947
Abstract
Introduction: Non-invasive brain stimulation seems to be beneficial for DPD patients. However, the sites used in previous studies were empirical. Exploring new stimulation locations via functional magnetic resonance imaging may improve the efficacy. Objectives: The objective was to find potential locations for non-invasive [...] Read more.
Introduction: Non-invasive brain stimulation seems to be beneficial for DPD patients. However, the sites used in previous studies were empirical. Exploring new stimulation locations via functional magnetic resonance imaging may improve the efficacy. Objectives: The objective was to find potential locations for non-invasive brain stimulation on the depersonalization-derealization disorder. Methods: We explored the potential brain surface regions from three pipelines: pipeline 1: activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis (five studies with 36 foci included); pipeline 2: functional connectivity analysis based on DPD-network (76 subjects included); and pipeline 3: functional connectivity analysis based on DPD regions of interest from the meta-analysis. Potential targets were the 10–20 system coordinates for brain surface regions. Results: We identified several potential brain surface regions, including the bilateral medial prefrontal cortex, dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex, superior parietal gyrus, superior temporal gyrus, and right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex as potential sites. Conclusion: Our findings of the potential stimulation targets might help clinicians optimize the application of non-invasive brain stimulation therapy in individuals with DPD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Stimulation in Psychiatric Disorders)
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13 pages, 1796 KiB  
Brief Report
Changes in Oral Microbial Diversity in a Piglet Model of Traumatic Brain Injury
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1111; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081111 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1668
Abstract
Dynamic changes in the oral microbiome have gained attention due to their potential diagnostic role in neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States, but no [...] Read more.
Dynamic changes in the oral microbiome have gained attention due to their potential diagnostic role in neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States, but no studies have examined the changes in oral microbiome during the acute stage of TBI using a clinically translational pig model. Crossbred piglets (4–5 weeks old, male) underwent either a controlled cortical impact (TBI, n = 6) or sham surgery (sham, n = 6). The oral microbiome parameters were quantified from the upper and lower gingiva, both buccal mucosa, and floor of the mouth pre-surgery and 1, 3, and 7 days post-surgery (PS) using the 16S rRNA gene. Faith’s phylogenetic diversity was significantly lower in the TBI piglets at 7 days PS compared to those of sham, and beta diversity at 1, 3, and 7 days PS was significantly different between TBI and sham piglets. However, no significant changes in the taxonomic composition of the oral microbiome were observed following TBI compared to sham. Further studies are needed to investigate the potential diagnostic role of the oral microbiome during the chronic stage of TBI with a larger number of subjects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurodegenerative Diseases)
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12 pages, 600 KiB  
Article
Dual Diagnosis in Adolescents with Problematic Use of Video Games: Beyond Substances
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1110; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081110 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1757
Abstract
The technological revolution has led to the birth of new diagnoses, such as gaming disorder. When any addiction, including this one, is associated with other mental disorders, it is considered a dual diagnosis. The objectives of this current work were to estimate the [...] Read more.
The technological revolution has led to the birth of new diagnoses, such as gaming disorder. When any addiction, including this one, is associated with other mental disorders, it is considered a dual diagnosis. The objectives of this current work were to estimate the prevalence of dual diagnoses in the adolescent general population while also considering the problematic use of video games and substance addiction and assessing its psychosocial risk factors. Thus, we carried out a cross-sectional study with a sample of 397 adolescents; 16.4% presented problematic videogame use and 3% presented a dual diagnosis. Male gender increased the probability of both a dual diagnosis (OR [95% CI] = 7.119 [1.132, 44.785]; p = 0.036) and problematic video game use (OR [95% CI] = 9.85 [4.08, 23.77]; p < 0.001). Regarding personality, low conscientiousness, openness, and agreeableness scores were predictors of a dual diagnosis and problematic videogame use, while emotional stability predicted a dual diagnosis (OR [95% CI] = 1.116 [1.030, 1.209]; p = 0.008). Regarding family dynamics, low affection and communication increased both the probability of a dual diagnosis (OR [95% CI] = 0.927 [0.891, 0.965]; p < 0.001) and problematic video game use (OR [95% CI] = 0.968 [0.945, 0.992]; p = 0.009). Regarding academic performance, bad school grades increased the probability of a dual diagnosis. In summary, male gender, certain personality traits, poor communication, and poor affective family dynamics should be interpreted as red flags that indicate an increased risk of a dual diagnosis in adolescents, which could require early intervention through specific detection programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychiatric Diseases)
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12 pages, 1459 KiB  
Article
Quantitative Distribution of Cerebral Venous Oxygen Saturation and Its Prognostic Value in Patients with Acute Ischemic Stroke
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1109; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081109 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1368
Abstract
This study investigated the quantitative distribution of cerebral venous oxygen saturation (SvO2) based on quantitative sensitivity mapping (QSM) and determined its prognostic value in patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS). A retrospective study was conducted on 39 hospitalized patients. Reconstructed QSM was used [...] Read more.
This study investigated the quantitative distribution of cerebral venous oxygen saturation (SvO2) based on quantitative sensitivity mapping (QSM) and determined its prognostic value in patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS). A retrospective study was conducted on 39 hospitalized patients. Reconstructed QSM was used to calculate the cerebral SvO2 of each region of interest (ROI) in the ischemic hemisphere. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and Bland–Altman analysis were conducted to define the best resolution of the distribution map. The correlation between the cerebral SvO2 in hypoxic regions (SvO2ROI < 0.7) and clinical scores was obtained by Spearman and power analysis. The associations between cerebral SvO2 and unfavorable prognosis were analyzed using multivariate logistic regression. Excellent agreement was found between the cerebral SvO2 in hypoxic regions with a resolution of 7.18 × 7.18 × 1.6 mm3 and asymmetrically prominent cortical veins regions (ICC: 0.879 (admission), ICC: 0.906 (discharge)). The cerebral SvO2 was significantly negative with clinical scores (all |r| > 0.3). The cerebral SvO2 and its changes at discharge were significantly associated with an unfavorable prognosis (OR: 0.812 and 0.866). Therefore, the cerebral SvO2 in hypoxic regions measured by the quantitative distribution map can be used as an indicator for evaluating the early prognosis of AIS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurodegenerative Diseases)
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10 pages, 1407 KiB  
Article
Spatial Olfactory Memory and Spatial Olfactory Navigation, Assessed with a Variant of Corsi Test, Is Modulated by Gender and Sporty Activity
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1108; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081108 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2119
Abstract
Many studies have focused on navigation, spatial skills, and the olfactory system in comparative models, including those concerning the relationship between them and physical activity. Although the results are often in contrast with each other, it is assumed that physical activity can affect [...] Read more.
Many studies have focused on navigation, spatial skills, and the olfactory system in comparative models, including those concerning the relationship between them and physical activity. Although the results are often in contrast with each other, it is assumed that physical activity can affect cognition in different ways—both indirectly and through a certain influence on some brain structures. In contrast, there is little research that focuses on the relationship between spatial abilities and olfactory abilities in humans. This research aimed to evaluate and compare the performance in working memory tasks of athletes and non-athletes who require good visual–spatial navigation, olfactory–spatial navigation, and olfactory–semantic skills. The study involved 236 participants (83 athletes) between the ages of 18 and 40. All subjects were matched by age or sex. The standard Corsi Block Tapping Test (CBTT) was administrated to investigate the visual-spatial memory. Olfactory–spatial navigation and olfactory–semantic skills were assessed with two modified versions of CBTT: Olfactory CBTT (OCBTT) and Semantic–Olfactory CBTT (SOCBTT) respectively. The results show differences between the CORSI conditions in direction of a poor performance for athletes. A gender effect in favor of men was also found, particularly in the classic version of the CBTT. Both groups performed better in the classic version of the CBTT than OCBTT and SOCBTT. The mean of SOCBTT results is markedly lower, perhaps due to the different information processing systems needed to perform this kind of task. It is possible to explain how sports practice can affect tasks that require spatial skills and olfactory perception differently, thus supporting new hypotheses and opening new scientific horizons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemosensory Perception and Chemosensory Cognition)
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3 pages, 653 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Zhang et al. The Effect of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation on the Downregulation of Negative Emotions: A Meta-Analysis. Brain Sci. 2022, 12, 786
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1107; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081107 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 983
Abstract
In the original article [...] Full article
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19 pages, 5455 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Functional Connectivity of Emotion Processing in Beta Band with Naturalistic Emotion Stimuli
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1106; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081106 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1848
Abstract
While naturalistic stimuli, such as movies, better represent the complexity of the real world and are perhaps crucial to understanding the dynamics of emotion processing, there is limited research on emotions with naturalistic stimuli. There is a need to understand the temporal dynamics [...] Read more.
While naturalistic stimuli, such as movies, better represent the complexity of the real world and are perhaps crucial to understanding the dynamics of emotion processing, there is limited research on emotions with naturalistic stimuli. There is a need to understand the temporal dynamics of emotion processing and their relationship to different dimensions of emotion experience. In addition, there is a need to understand the dynamics of functional connectivity underlying different emotional experiences that occur during or prior to such experiences. To address these questions, we recorded the EEG of participants and asked them to mark the temporal location of their emotional experience as they watched a video. We also obtained self-assessment ratings for emotional multimedia stimuli. We calculated dynamic functional the connectivity (DFC) patterns in all the frequency bands, including information about hubs in the network. The change in functional networks was quantified in terms of temporal variability, which was then used in regression analysis to evaluate whether temporal variability in DFC (tvDFC) could predict different dimensions of emotional experience. We observed that the connectivity patterns in the upper beta band could differentiate emotion categories better during or prior to the reported emotional experience. The temporal variability in functional connectivity dynamics is primarily related to emotional arousal followed by dominance. The hubs in the functional networks were found across the right frontal and bilateral parietal lobes, which have been reported to facilitate affect, interoception, action, and memory-related processing. Since our study was performed with naturalistic real-life resembling emotional videos, the study contributes significantly to understanding the dynamics of emotion processing. The results support constructivist theories of emotional experience and show that changes in dynamic functional connectivity can predict aspects of our emotional experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience)
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12 pages, 1121 KiB  
Communication
New Insights into In Vivo Dopamine Physiology and Neurostimulation: A Fiber Photometry Study Highlighting the Impact of Medial Forebrain Bundle Deep Brain Stimulation on the Nucleus Accumbens
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1105; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081105 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2559
Abstract
New technologies, such as fiber photometry, can overcome long-standing methodological limitations and promote a better understanding of neuronal mechanisms. This study, for the first time, aimed at employing the newly available dopamine indicator (GRABDA2m) in combination with this novel imaging technique. [...] Read more.
New technologies, such as fiber photometry, can overcome long-standing methodological limitations and promote a better understanding of neuronal mechanisms. This study, for the first time, aimed at employing the newly available dopamine indicator (GRABDA2m) in combination with this novel imaging technique. Here, we present a detailed methodological roadmap leading to longitudinal repetitive transmitter release monitoring in in vivo freely moving animals and provide proof-of-concept data. This novel approach enables a fresh look at dopamine release patterns in the nucleus accumbens, following the medial forebrain bundle (mfb) DBS in a rodent model. Our results suggest reliable readouts of dopamine levels over at least 14 days of DBS-induced photometric measurements. We show that mfb-DBS can elicit an increased dopamine response during stimulation (5 s and 20 s DBS) compared to its baseline dopamine activity state, reaching its maximum peak amplitude in about 1 s and then recovering back after stimulation. The effect of different DBS pulse widths (PWs) also suggests a potential differential effect on this neurotransmitter response, but future studies would need to verify this. Using the described approach, we aim to gain insights into the differences between pathological and healthy models and to elucidate more exhaustively the mechanisms under which DBS exerts its therapeutic action. Full article
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11 pages, 261 KiB  
Brief Report
Update on an Observational, Clinically Useful Gait Coordination Measure: The Gait Assessment and Intervention Tool (G.A.I.T.)
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1104; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081104 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1679
Abstract
With discoveries of brain and spinal cord mechanisms that control gait, and disrupt gait coordination after disease or injury, and that respond to motor training for those with neurological disease or injury, there is greater ability to construct more efficacious gait coordination training [...] Read more.
With discoveries of brain and spinal cord mechanisms that control gait, and disrupt gait coordination after disease or injury, and that respond to motor training for those with neurological disease or injury, there is greater ability to construct more efficacious gait coordination training paradigms. Therefore, it is critical in these contemporary times, to use the most precise, sensitive, homogeneous (i.e., domain-specific), and comprehensive measures available to assess gait coordination, dyscoordination, and changes in response to treatment. Gait coordination is defined as the simultaneous performance of the spatial and temporal components of gait. While kinematic gait measures are considered the gold standard, the equipment and analysis cost and time preclude their use in most clinics. At the same time, observational gait coordination scales can be considered. Two independent groups identified the Gait Assessment and Intervention Tool (G.A.I.T.) as the most suitable scale for both research and clinical practice, compared to other observational gait scales, since it has been proven to be valid, reliable, sensitive to change, homogeneous, and comprehensive. The G.A.I.T. has shown strong reliability, validity, and sensitive precision for those with stroke or multiple sclerosis (MS). The G.A.I.T. has been translated into four languages (English, Spanish, Taiwanese, and Portuguese (translation is complete, but not yet published)), and is in use in at least 10 countries. As a contribution to the field, and in view of the evidence for continued usefulness and international use for the G.A.I.T. measure, we have provided this update, as well as an open access copy of the measure for use in clinical practice and research, as well as directions for administering the G.A.I.T. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underlying Mechanisms and Neurorehabilitation of Gait after Stroke)
11 pages, 541 KiB  
Review
Self-Enhancement and the Medial Prefrontal Cortex: The Convergence of Clinical and Experimental Findings
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1103; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081103 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 7634
Abstract
Self-enhancement (SE) is often overlooked as a fundamental cognitive ability mediated via the Prefrontal Cortex (PFC). Here, we present research that establishes the relationship between the PFC, SE, and the potential evolved beneficial mechanisms. Specifically, we believe there is now enough evidence to [...] Read more.
Self-enhancement (SE) is often overlooked as a fundamental cognitive ability mediated via the Prefrontal Cortex (PFC). Here, we present research that establishes the relationship between the PFC, SE, and the potential evolved beneficial mechanisms. Specifically, we believe there is now enough evidence to speculate that SE exists to provide significant benefits and should be considered a normal aspect of the self. Whatever the metabolic or social cost, the upside of SE is great enough that it is a core and fundamental psychological construct. Furthermore, though entirely theoretical, we suggest that a critical reason the PFC has evolved so significantly in Homo sapiens is to, in part, sustain SE. We, therefore, elaborate on its proximate and ultimate mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Neural Correlates of Self-Awareness and Self-Knowing)
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20 pages, 1015 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of Somatosensory Stimulation for the Lower Limb and Foot to Improve Balance and Gait after Stroke: A Systematic Review
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1102; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081102 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2962
Abstract
This systematic review’s purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness of lower-limb and foot somatosensory stimulation to improve balance and gait post-stroke. PRISMA reporting guidelines were followed. Included studies: randomized controlled trials (RCTs), published in English with ethical approval statement. Studies of conditions other [...] Read more.
This systematic review’s purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness of lower-limb and foot somatosensory stimulation to improve balance and gait post-stroke. PRISMA reporting guidelines were followed. Included studies: randomized controlled trials (RCTs), published in English with ethical approval statement. Studies of conditions other than stroke, functional electrical stimulation, and interventions eliciting muscle contraction, were excluded. AgeLine, AMED, CINAHL PLUS, EMBASE, EMCARE MEDLINE, PEDro, PsycARTICLES, PsycINFO, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science and Cochrane central register of controlled trials were searched from 1 January 2002 to 31 March 2022. Two authors independently screened results, extracted data and assessed study quality using Cochrane Risk of Bias 2 tool; 16 RCTs (n = 638) were included. Four studies showed a medium or large standardized between-group effect size (Cohen’s d) in favor of somatosensory stimulation, in relation to: customized insoles (d = 0.527), taping (d = 0.687), and electrical stimulation (two studies: d = 0.690 and d = 1.984). Although limited by study quality and heterogeneity of interventions and outcomes, with only one study’s results statistically significant, several interventions showed potential for benefit, exceeding the minimally important difference for gait speed. Further research with larger trials is required. This unfunded systematic review was registered with PROSPERO (number CRD42022321199). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroscience and Touch after Stroke)
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15 pages, 2244 KiB  
Article
High-Level Visual Encoding Model Framework with Hierarchical Ventral Stream-Optimized Neural Networks
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1101; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081101 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1451
Abstract
Visual encoding models based on deep neural networks (DNN) show good performance in predicting brain activity in low-level visual areas. However, due to the amount of neural data limitation, DNN-based visual encoding models are difficult to fit for high-level visual areas, resulting in [...] Read more.
Visual encoding models based on deep neural networks (DNN) show good performance in predicting brain activity in low-level visual areas. However, due to the amount of neural data limitation, DNN-based visual encoding models are difficult to fit for high-level visual areas, resulting in insufficient encoding performance. The ventral stream suggests that higher visual areas receive information from lower visual areas, which is not fully reflected in the current encoding models. In the present study, we propose a novel visual encoding model framework which uses the hierarchy of representations in the ventral stream to improve the model’s performance in high-level visual areas. Under the framework, we propose two categories of hierarchical encoding models from the voxel and the feature perspectives to realize the hierarchical representations. From the voxel perspective, we first constructed an encoding model for the low-level visual area (V1 or V2) and extracted the voxel space predicted by the model. Then we use the extracted voxel space of the low-level visual area to predict the voxel space of the high-level visual area (V4 or LO) via constructing a voxel-to-voxel model. From the feature perspective, the feature space of the first model is extracted to predict the voxel space of the high-level visual area. The experimental results show that two categories of hierarchical encoding models effectively improve the encoding performance in V4 and LO. In addition, the proportion of the best-encoded voxels for different models in V4 and LO show that our proposed models have obvious advantages in prediction accuracy. We find that the hierarchy of representations in the ventral stream has a positive effect on improving the performance of the existing model in high-level visual areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Brain Dynamics: Latest Advances and Prospects—2nd Edition)
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14 pages, 5199 KiB  
Article
Effect of Electroacupuncture at Fengchi on Facial Allodynia, Microglial Activation, and Microglia–Neuron Interaction in a Rat Model of Migraine
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1100; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081100 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1827
Abstract
The purpose of the work was to investigate whether electroacupuncture (EA) could ameliorate migraine central sensitization by modulating microglial activation and the subsequent release of inflammatory cytokines in the trigeminal nucleus caudalis (TNC) in a rat model. Establishment of a rat model of [...] Read more.
The purpose of the work was to investigate whether electroacupuncture (EA) could ameliorate migraine central sensitization by modulating microglial activation and the subsequent release of inflammatory cytokines in the trigeminal nucleus caudalis (TNC) in a rat model. Establishment of a rat model of recurrent migraine was achieved through repeated dural electrical stimulation (DES). After nine sessions of acupuncture treatment at Fengchi (GB20), facial mechanical thresholds were measured by electronic von Frey measurements. Microglial activation and cytokine receptors of TNC were evaluated by immunofluorescence staining. The expression of microglial biological marker Ibal-1, proinflammatory cytokines, and cytokine receptors in the TNC were evaluated by Western blot and/or real-time polymerase chain reaction. In addition, the effects of inhibition of microglial activation on facial thresholds and neuronal activation (i.e., expression of c-Fos in the TNC) induced by DES were observed. After consecutive EA-GB20 treatments, the facial withdrawal threshold was significantly higher than in the model group at different time points (p < 0.05). The hyperreactivity of microglia induced by DES was significantly inhibited, and the expressions of Ibal-1, interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, and their receptors in the TNC were also significantly decreased (p < 0.05). Inhibition of microglia by minocycline demonstrated an acupuncture-like role, which was manifested by ameliorated mechanical hyperalgesia and decreased neuronal expression of c-Fos, Iba-1, and inflammatory factors. EA at GB20 could ameliorate migraine facial allodynia by inhibiting microglial activation and the subsequent release of inflammatory cytokines and their receptors in the TNC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuroglia)
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12 pages, 1163 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Noise Trauma and Deep Brain Stimulation of the Medial Geniculate Body on Tissue Activity in the Auditory Pathway
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1099; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081099 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1557
Abstract
Tinnitus is defined as the phantom perception of sound. To date, there is no curative treatment, and contemporary treatments have failed to show beneficial outcomes. Deep brain stimulation has been suggested as a potential therapy for refractory tinnitus. However, the optimal target and [...] Read more.
Tinnitus is defined as the phantom perception of sound. To date, there is no curative treatment, and contemporary treatments have failed to show beneficial outcomes. Deep brain stimulation has been suggested as a potential therapy for refractory tinnitus. However, the optimal target and stimulation regimens remain to be defined. Herein, we investigated metabolic and neuronal activity changes using cytochrome C oxidase histochemistry and c-Fos immunohistochemistry in a noise trauma-induced rat model of tinnitus. We also assessed changes in neuronal activity following medial geniculate body (MGB) high-frequency stimulation (HFS). Metabolic activity was reduced in the primary auditory cortex, MGB and CA1 region of the hippocampus in noise-exposed rats. Additionally, c-Fos expression was increased in the primary auditory cortex of those animals. Furthermore, MGB-HFS enhanced c-Fos expression in the thalamic reticular nucleus. We concluded that noise trauma alters tissue activity in multiple brain areas including the auditory and limbic regions. MGB-HFS resulted in higher neuronal activity in the thalamic reticular nucleus. Given the prominent role of the auditory thalamus in tinnitus, these data provide more rationales towards targeting the MGB with HFS as a symptom management tool in tinnitus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neural Plasticity in Tinnitus Mechanisms)
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11 pages, 771 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Bilateral Anodal tDCS over Left and Right DLPFC on Executive Functions in Children with ADHD
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1098; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081098 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2142
Abstract
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is increasingly used for therapeutic purposes in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is the most targeted region of tDCS studies in ADHD. There is limited knowledge and mixed results about the relevance of left [...] Read more.
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is increasingly used for therapeutic purposes in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is the most targeted region of tDCS studies in ADHD. There is limited knowledge and mixed results about the relevance of left or right DLPFCs in ADHD’s cognitive deficits. No study so far has investigated the impact of the increased excitability of both left and right DLPFC with anodal tDCS on cognitive deficits in ADHD. Here, we explored the impact of online bilateral anodal left and right DLPFC tDCS on executive dysfunction in children with ADHD. Twenty-two children with ADHD (mean age ± SD =8.86 ± 1.80) received bilateral anodal online tDCS over the left and right DLPFC (1.5 mA, 15 min) in two separate sessions in active and sham states. They underwent a battery of four neuropsychological tasks of executive functions during stimulation that measured working memory, cognitive flexibility, response inhibition, and executive control. Bilateral anodal left and right DLPFC tDCS did not improve performance on working memory, cognitive flexibility, and response inhibition. Executive control was, however, partially improved for those who received active tDCS first. The upregulation of bilateral DLPFC tDCS with anodal polarity does not improve executive dysfunction in children with ADHD. The unilateral modulation of DLPFC with anodal tDCS may be more beneficial to cognitive deficits in ADHD in light of previous works targeting only left and/or right DLPFC. Full article
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19 pages, 355 KiB  
Review
The Development of Human Navigation in Middle Childhood: A Narrative Review through Methods, Terminology, and Fundamental Stages
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1097; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081097 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1831
Abstract
Spatial orientation and navigation are fundamental abilities in daily life that develop gradually during childhood, although their development is still not clear. The main aim of the present narrative review was to trace the development of navigational skills in middle childhood (6 to [...] Read more.
Spatial orientation and navigation are fundamental abilities in daily life that develop gradually during childhood, although their development is still not clear. The main aim of the present narrative review was to trace the development of navigational skills in middle childhood (6 to 12 years old) by means of studies present in the literature. To this aim, this review took into account the terminology, methodologies, different paradigms, and apparatuses used to investigate egocentric self-centered and allocentric world-centered representations, besides the different types of spaces (reaching/small/large; physical/virtual). Furthermore, this review provided a brief description of the development of navigational strategies and competences in toddlers and preschool children (0–5 years). The main result of this review showed how middle childhood is a crucial period for the improvement and development of allocentric strategies, including metric information. In fact, during this developmental window, children learn to handle proximal and distal cues, to transpose paper and virtual information into real environments, up to performing similarly to adults. This narrative review could represent a starting point to better clarify the development of navigation and spatial orientation, finalized to trace a development curve useful to map normal development and to have a term of comparison to assess performance in atypical development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Educational Neuroscience)
16 pages, 1313 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Effects of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Tinnitus in a Guinea Pig Model
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1096; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081096 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1551
Abstract
The auditory phantom sensation of tinnitus is associated with neural hyperactivity. Modulating this hyperactivity using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has shown beneficial effects in human studies. Previously, we investigated rTMS in a tinnitus animal model and showed that rTMS over prefrontal cortex [...] Read more.
The auditory phantom sensation of tinnitus is associated with neural hyperactivity. Modulating this hyperactivity using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has shown beneficial effects in human studies. Previously, we investigated rTMS in a tinnitus animal model and showed that rTMS over prefrontal cortex (PFC) attenuated tinnitus soon after treatment, likely via indirect effects on auditory pathways. Here, we explored the duration of these beneficial effects. Acoustic trauma was used to induce hearing loss and tinnitus in guinea pigs. Once tinnitus developed, high-frequency (20 Hz), high-intensity rTMS was applied over PFC for two weeks (weekdays only; 10 min/day). Behavioral signs of tinnitus were monitored for 6 weeks after treatment ended. Tinnitus developed in 77% of animals between 13 and 60 days post-trauma. rTMS treatment significantly reduced the signs of tinnitus at 1 week on a group level, but individual responses varied greatly at week 2 until week 6. Three (33%) of the animals showed the attenuation of tinnitus for the full 6 weeks, 45% for 1–4 weeks and 22% were non-responders. This study provides further support for the efficacy of high-frequency repetitive stimulation over the PFC as a therapeutic tool for tinnitus, but also highlights individual variation observed in human studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neural Plasticity in Tinnitus Mechanisms)
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15 pages, 3455 KiB  
Article
Functional Connectivity Increases in Response to High-Definition Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Patients with Chronic Disorder of Consciousness
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1095; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081095 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1519
Abstract
High-definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS) has been shown to play an important role in improving consciousness in patients with disorders of consciousness (DOCs), but its neuroelectrophysiological evidence is still lacking. To better explain the electrophysiological mechanisms of the effects of HD-tDCS on [...] Read more.
High-definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS) has been shown to play an important role in improving consciousness in patients with disorders of consciousness (DOCs), but its neuroelectrophysiological evidence is still lacking. To better explain the electrophysiological mechanisms of the effects of HD-tDCS on patients with DOCs, 22 DOC patients underwent 10 anodal HD-tDCS sessions of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). This study used the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R) to assess the level of consciousness in DOC patients. According to whether the CRS-R score increased before and after stimulation, DOC patients were divided into a responsive group and a non-responsive group. By comparing the differences in resting-state EEG functional connectivity between different frequency bands and brain regions, as well as the relationship between functional connectivity values and clinical scores, the electrophysiological mechanism of the clinical effects of HD-tDCS was further explored. The change of the phase locking value (PLV) on the theta frequency band in the left frontal–parietooccipital region was positively correlated with the change in the CRS-R scores. As the number of interventions increased, we observed that in the responsive group, the change in PLV showed an upward trend, and the increase in the PLV appeared in the left frontal–parietooccipital region at 4–8 Hz and in the intra-bifrontal region at 8–13 Hz. In the non-responsive group, although the CRS-R scores did not change after stimulation, the PLV showed a downward trend, and the decrease in the PLV appeared in the intra-bifrontal region at 8–13 Hz. In addition, at the three-month follow-up, patients with increased PLV in the intra-bifrontal region at 8–13 Hz after repeated HD-tDCS stimulation had better outcomes than those without. Repeated anodal stimulation of the left DLPFC with HD-tDCS resulted in improved consciousness in some patients with DOCs. The increase in functional connectivity in the brain regions may be associated with the improvement of related awareness after HD-tDCS and may be a predictor of better long-term outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensory and Motor Neuroscience)
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19 pages, 2973 KiB  
Article
Decoding Task-Based fMRI Data with Graph Neural Networks, Considering Individual Differences
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1094; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081094 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4027
Abstract
Task fMRI provides an opportunity to analyze the working mechanisms of the human brain during specific experimental paradigms. Deep learning models have increasingly been applied for decoding and encoding purposes study to representations in task fMRI data. More recently, graph neural networks, or [...] Read more.
Task fMRI provides an opportunity to analyze the working mechanisms of the human brain during specific experimental paradigms. Deep learning models have increasingly been applied for decoding and encoding purposes study to representations in task fMRI data. More recently, graph neural networks, or neural networks models designed to leverage the properties of graph representations, have recently shown promise in task fMRI decoding studies. Here, we propose an end-to-end graph convolutional network (GCN) framework with three convolutional layers to classify task fMRI data from the Human Connectome Project dataset. We compared the predictive performance of our GCN model across four of the most widely used node embedding algorithms—NetMF, RandNE, Node2Vec, and Walklets—to automatically extract the structural properties of the nodes in the functional graph. The empirical results indicated that our GCN framework accurately predicted individual differences (0.978 and 0.976) with the NetMF and RandNE embedding methods, respectively. Furthermore, to assess the effects of individual differences, we tested the classification performance of the model on sub-datasets divided according to gender and fluid intelligence. Experimental results indicated significant differences in the classification predictions of gender, but not high/low fluid intelligence fMRI data. Our experiments yielded promising results and demonstrated the superior ability of our GCN in modeling task fMRI data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Computational Neuroscience and Neuroinformatics)
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23 pages, 2500 KiB  
Article
The Affect Misattribution in the Interpretation of Ambiguous Stimuli in Terms of Warmth vs. Competence: Behavioral Phenomenon and Its Neural Correlates
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1093; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081093 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1318
Abstract
Warmth and competence are fundamental dimensions of social cognition. This also applies to the interpretation of ambiguous symbolic stimuli in terms of their relation to warmth or competence. The affective state of an individual may affect the way people interpret the neutral stimuli [...] Read more.
Warmth and competence are fundamental dimensions of social cognition. This also applies to the interpretation of ambiguous symbolic stimuli in terms of their relation to warmth or competence. The affective state of an individual may affect the way people interpret the neutral stimuli in the environment. As previous findings have shown, it is possible to alter the perception of neutral social stimuli in terms of warmth vs. competence by eliciting an incidental affect with the use of emotion-laden words. In the current experiment, we expected the valence and origin of an affective state, factors ascribing emotionally laden words, to be able to switch the interpretation of the neutral objects. We have shown in behavioural results that negative valence and reflective origins promote the interpretation of unknown objects in terms of competence rather than warmth. Furthermore, electrophysiological-response-locked analyses revealed differences specific to negative valence while making the decision in the ambiguous task and while executing it. The results of the current experiment show that the usage of warmth and competence in social cognition is susceptible to affective state manipulation. In addition, the results are coherent with the evolutionary perspective on social cognition (valence effects) as well as with predictions of the dual mind model of emotion (origin effects). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience)
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11 pages, 7646 KiB  
Article
Functional Connectivity as an Index of Brain Changes Following a Unicycle Intervention: A Graph-Theoretical Network Analysis
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1092; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081092 - 17 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1318
Abstract
Grey matter volume reductions in the right superior temporal gyrus (rSTG) were observed in young adults who learned to ride a unicycle. As these decreases were correlated with the acquired ability in unicycling, the authors interpreted the change as a brain tissue reorganization [...] Read more.
Grey matter volume reductions in the right superior temporal gyrus (rSTG) were observed in young adults who learned to ride a unicycle. As these decreases were correlated with the acquired ability in unicycling, the authors interpreted the change as a brain tissue reorganization to increase postural control’s automated and efficient coordination. The current study aims to further corroborate this interpretation by looking at changes in the functional brain network in the very same sample of participants. For this reason, we applied graph theory, a mathematics field used to study network structure functionality. Four global and two local graph-theoretical parameters were calculated to measure whole brain and rSTG specific changes in functional network activity following the three-week-unicycle training. Findings revealed that the Local Efficiency of the rSTG was significantly elevated after the intervention indicating an increase in fault tolerance of the rSTG, possibly reflecting decentralisation of rSTG specific functions to neighbouring nodes. Thus, the increased Local Efficiency may indicate increased task efficiency by decentralising the processing of functions crucial for balance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Exercise-Driven Brain Plasticity)
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14 pages, 1947 KiB  
Article
Hyperprolactinemia Associated with Attentional Processing and Interference Control Impairments in Patients with Prolactinomas
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1091; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081091 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1612
Abstract
The cognitive impairment of pituitary adenomas (PAs) has received increasing attention. Hyperprolactinemia and tumor mass effect are the potential causes. The aim of this study was to identify possible cognitive impairment and to further explore the correlation between these indices and prolactin (PRL) [...] Read more.
The cognitive impairment of pituitary adenomas (PAs) has received increasing attention. Hyperprolactinemia and tumor mass effect are the potential causes. The aim of this study was to identify possible cognitive impairment and to further explore the correlation between these indices and prolactin (PRL) levels, based on the control of tumor size. Twenty-seven patients with prolactinomas (patient group) and twenty-six matched health control group (HC group) were enrolled in this study. All participants performed the flanker task while we continuously recorded electroencephalography data. On the behavioral performance level, patients showed a significantly slower reaction time (RT) in both flanker types. Concerning the event-related potentials level, patients elicited reduced P2 and enhanced N2 amplitudes compared with the HC group, suggesting an impairment of attentional processing (P2) and conflict monitoring (N2). Moreover, the patient group also induced lower P3 amplitudes relative to the HC group in both types, indicating that there were deficits in attentional resource allocation ability. We also found a significant correlation between the P3 amplitudes and incongruent condition RTs, as well as the subsequent PRL levels in the patient group. In conclusion, this is an innovative study that reveals the impaired cognition abilities in prolactinomas, and also proposes the possible cognitive toxicity of oversecreted PRL levels, which provides evidence for further research on the cognitive decline in PAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience)
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14 pages, 1472 KiB  
Review
Beneficial Influence of Exendin-4 on Specific Organs and Mechanisms Favourable for the Elderly with Concomitant Obstructive Lung Diseases
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1090; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081090 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1886
Abstract
Exendin-4 (Ex-4), better known in its synthetic form and used clinically as exenatide, currently applied in the treatment of diabetes, induces a beneficial impact on nerve cells, and shows promising effects in obstructive lung diseases. At an advanced age, the development of the [...] Read more.
Exendin-4 (Ex-4), better known in its synthetic form and used clinically as exenatide, currently applied in the treatment of diabetes, induces a beneficial impact on nerve cells, and shows promising effects in obstructive lung diseases. At an advanced age, the development of the neurodegenerative process of brain tissue is masked by numerous concomitant diseases. The initial latent phase of neurodegenerative disease results in occurrence of manifestations at an advanced stage. To protect the brain and to simultaneously ensure proper treatment of common coexisting conditions in late life, such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or asthma, a pleiotropic medication should be chosen. Molecular mechanisms of Ex-4 exert neuroprotective effects or lead to secondary neurogenesis. Additionally, Ex-4 plays an important role in anti-inflammatory actions which are necessary both in the case of asthma and Parkinson’s disease. Specific receptors in the lungs also reduce the secretion of surfactants, which decreases the risk of exacerbation in chronic obstructive lung disease. In a great number of patients suffering from diabetes, asthma, or chronic lung disease, there is a great potential for both treatment of the main condition and protection against brain neurodegeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuropharmacology and Neuropathology)
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11 pages, 558 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Outcomes of Local Tirofiban Infusion for Intracranial Atherosclerosis-Related Occlusion
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1089; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081089 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1354
Abstract
Local tirofiban infusion has been reported as a rescue strategy for intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis (ICAS)-related stroke. However, the long-term outcomes of local tirofiban infusion during endovascular reperfusion therapy (ERT) for ICAS-related stroke are still uncertain. This study aimed to investigate the long-term outcomes [...] Read more.
Local tirofiban infusion has been reported as a rescue strategy for intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis (ICAS)-related stroke. However, the long-term outcomes of local tirofiban infusion during endovascular reperfusion therapy (ERT) for ICAS-related stroke are still uncertain. This study aimed to investigate the long-term outcomes of local tirofiban infusion during ERT. We retrospectively analyzed acute patients with ICAS-related stroke who were treated with local tirofiban as a rescue strategy during ERT. The primary outcomes were ischemic stroke, transient ischemic stroke (TIA), and stroke-related death within 30 days. Secondary outcomes included ischemic stroke and TIA beyond 30 days and up to 2 years after ERT in the corresponding treated vessel, symptomatic brain hemorrhage, any stroke, and non-stroke-related death. During a median follow-up of 24.0 months, 12 patients developed an ischemic stroke and TIA (4 within 30 days and 8 afterward). The 1-year risk of stroke and TIA was 9.2% (95% confidence interval, 8.0–18.6%). This study demonstrates that 1-year outcomes of local tirofiban infusion were comparable to the results of intracranial stenting in patients with symptomatic ICAS. Local tirofiban infusion for ICAS-related stroke may be a feasible rescue strategy that can have a bridging role until the maximum effect of antiplatelet agents is achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurosurgery and Neuroanatomy)
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18 pages, 3115 KiB  
Article
The Pre-Operative Duration of Symptoms: The Most Important Predictor of Post-Operative Efficacy in Patients with Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1088; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081088 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1468
Abstract
Objective. To explore the most important predictors of post-operative efficacy in patients with degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM). Methods. From January 2013 to January 2019, 284 patients with DCM were enrolled. They were categorized based on the different surgical methods used: single anterior cervical [...] Read more.
Objective. To explore the most important predictors of post-operative efficacy in patients with degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM). Methods. From January 2013 to January 2019, 284 patients with DCM were enrolled. They were categorized based on the different surgical methods used: single anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ACDF) (n = 80), double ACDF (n = 56), three ACDF (n = 13), anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion (ACCF) (n = 63), anterior cervical hybrid decompression and fusion (ACHDF) (n = 25), laminoplasty (n = 38) and laminectomy and fusion (n = 9). The follow-up time was 2 years. The patients were divided into two groups based on the mJOA recovery rate at the last follow-up: Group A (the excellent improvement group, mJOA recovery rate >50%, n = 213) and Group B (the poor improvement group, mJOA recovery rate ≤50%, n = 71). The evaluated data included age, gender, BMI, duration of symptoms (months), smoking, drinking, number of lesion segments, surgical methods, surgical time, blood loss, the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), CCI classification, imaging parameters (CL, T1S, C2-7SVA, CL (F), T1S (F), C2-7SVA (F), CL (E), T1S (E), C2-7SVA (E), CL (ROM), T1S (ROM) and C2-7SVA (ROM)), maximum spinal cord compression (MSCC), maximum canal compromise (MCC), Transverse area (TA), Transverse area ratio (TAR), compression ratio (CR) and the Coefficient compression ratio (CCR). The visual analog score (VAS), neck disability index (NDI), modified Japanese Orthopedic Association (mJOA) and mJOA recovery rate were used to assess cervical spinal function and quality of life. Results. We found that there was no significant difference in the baseline data among the different surgical groups and that there were only significant differences in the number of lesion segments, C2–7SVA, T1S (F), T1S (ROM), TA, CR, surgical time and blood loss. Therefore, there was comparability of the post-operative recovery among the different surgical groups, and we found that there were significant differences in age, the duration of symptoms, CL and pre-mJOA between Group A and Group B. A binary logistic regression analysis showed that the duration of the symptoms was an independent risk factor for post-operative efficacy in patients with DCM. Meanwhile, when the duration of symptoms was ≥6.5 months, the prognosis of patients was more likely to be poor, and the probability of a poor prognosis increased by 0.196 times for each additional month of symptom duration (p < 0.001, OR = 1.196). Conclusion. For patients with DCM (regardless of the number of lesion segments and the proposed surgical methods), the duration of symptoms was an independent risk factor for the post-operative efficacy. When the duration of symptoms was ≥6.5 months, the prognosis of patients was more likely to be poor, and the probability of a poor prognosis increased by 0.196 times for each additional month of symptom duration (p < 0.001, OR = 1.196). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cervical Myelopathy: Current Hurdles and Future Perspectives)
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10 pages, 1461 KiB  
Article
Continuous Repetition Motor Imagery Training and Physical Practice Training Exert the Growth of Fatigue and Its Effect on Performance
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1087; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081087 - 16 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1302
Abstract
Continuous repetition of motor imagery leads to mental fatigue. This study aimed to examine whether fatigue caused by motor imagery training affects improvement in performance and the change in corticospinal excitability. The participants were divided into “physical practice training” and “motor imagery training” [...] Read more.
Continuous repetition of motor imagery leads to mental fatigue. This study aimed to examine whether fatigue caused by motor imagery training affects improvement in performance and the change in corticospinal excitability. The participants were divided into “physical practice training” and “motor imagery training” groups, and a visuomotor task (set at 50% of maximal voluntary contraction in participants) was performed to assess the training effect on fatigue. The measurements were recorded before and after training. Corticospinal excitability at rest was measured by transcranial magnetic stimulation according to the Neurophysiological Index. Subjective mental fatigue and muscle fatigue were assessed by using the visual analog scale and by measuring the pinch force, respectively. Additionally, the error area was evaluated and calculated at pre-, mid-, and post-terms after training, using a visuomotor task. After training, muscle fatigue, subjective mental fatigue, and decreased corticospinal excitability were noted in both of the groups. Moreover, the visuomotor task decreased the error area by training; however, there was no difference in the error area between the mid- and post-terms. In conclusion, motor imagery training resulted in central fatigue by continuous repetition, which influenced the improvement in performance in the same manner as physical practice training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurorehabilitation)
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36 pages, 1125 KiB  
Review
Objective Detection of Tinnitus Based on Electrophysiology
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1086; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081086 - 16 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2020
Abstract
Tinnitus, a common disease in the clinic, is associated with persistent pain and high costs to society. Several aspects of tinnitus, such as the pathophysiology mechanism, effective treatment, objective detection, etc., have not been elucidated. Any change in the auditory pathway can lead [...] Read more.
Tinnitus, a common disease in the clinic, is associated with persistent pain and high costs to society. Several aspects of tinnitus, such as the pathophysiology mechanism, effective treatment, objective detection, etc., have not been elucidated. Any change in the auditory pathway can lead to tinnitus. At present, there is no clear and unified mechanism to explain tinnitus, and the hypotheses regarding its mechanism include auditory plasticity theory, cortical reorganization theory, dorsal cochlear nucleus hypothesis, etc. Current theories on the mechanism of tinnitus mainly focus on the abnormal activity of the central nervous system. Unfortunately, there is currently a lack of objective diagnostic methods for tinnitus. Developing a method that can detect tinnitus objectively is crucial, only in this way can we identify whether the patient really suffers from tinnitus in the case of cognitive impairment or medical disputes and the therapeutic effect of tinnitus. Electrophysiological investigations have prompted the development of an objective detection of tinnitus by potentials recorded in the auditory pathway. However, there is no objective indicator with sufficient sensitivity and specificity to diagnose tinnitus at present. Based on recent findings of studies with various methods, possible electrophysiological approaches to detect the presence of tinnitus have been summarized. We analyze the change of neural activity throughout the auditory pathway in tinnitus subjects and in patients with tinnitus of varying severity to find available parameters in these methods, which is helpful to further explore the feasibility of using electrophysiological methods for the objective detection of tinnitus. Full article
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