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Brain Sci., Volume 13, Issue 3 (March 2023) – 155 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Telerehabilitation has proven to be a useful tool for neurodevelopmental disorders in allowing timely and intensive intervention and preventing relapses; it is also widely used for specific learning disabilities (SLD), showing significant effects on reading abilities, but the variables linked to its effectiveness have not been studied yet. The present study was aimed at testing the effectiveness of telerehabilitation on reading and writing in SLD children, comparing different treatment pathways, and considering the impact of training intensity and executive functions. Training based on the learning task and the underlying processes significantly increased not only reading speed, according to previous studies, but also writing accuracy. View this paper
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12 pages, 2138 KiB  
Article
Cannabinoid Receptor Agonist WIN55, 212-2 Attenuates Injury in the Hippocampus of Rats after Deep Hypothermic Circulatory Arrest
by Ming-Huan Yu, Qin Yang, You-Peng Zhang, Jia-Hui Wang, Ren-Jian-Zhi Zhang, Zhi-Gang Liu and Xiao-Cheng Liu
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030525 - 22 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1824
Abstract
Objectives: Postoperative neurological deficits remain a challenge in cardiac surgery employing deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA). This study aimed to investigate the effect of WIN55, 212-2, a cannabinoid agonist, on brain injury in a rat model of DHCA. Methods: Twenty-four male Sprague Dawley [...] Read more.
Objectives: Postoperative neurological deficits remain a challenge in cardiac surgery employing deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA). This study aimed to investigate the effect of WIN55, 212-2, a cannabinoid agonist, on brain injury in a rat model of DHCA. Methods: Twenty-four male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups: a control group (which underwent cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) only), a DHCA group (CPB with DHCA), and a WIN group (WIN55, 212-2 pretreatment before CPB with DHCA). Histopathological changes in the brain were evaluated by hematoxylin–eosin staining. Plasma levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and proinflammatory cytokines including interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) were determined using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The expression of SOD in the hippocampus was detected by Western blot and immunofluorescence staining. Levels of apoptotic-related protein caspase-3 and type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R) in the hippocampus were evaluated by Western blot. Results: WIN55, 212-2 administration attenuated histopathological injury of the hippocampus in rats undergoing DHCA, associated with lowered levels of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α (p < 0.05, p < 0.001, and p < 0.01, vs. DHCA, respectively) and an increased level of SOD (p < 0.05 vs. DHCA). WIN55, 212-2 treatment also increased the content of SOD in the hippocampus. The protein expression of caspase-3 was downregulated and the expression of CB1R was upregulated in the hippocampus by WIN55, 212-2. Conclusions: the administration of WIN55, 212-2 alleviates hippocampal injury induced by DHCA in rats by regulating intrinsic inflammatory and oxidative stress responses through a CB1R-dependent mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurorehabilitation)
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25 pages, 725 KiB  
Review
Somatic Cell Reprogramming for Nervous System Diseases: Techniques, Mechanisms, Potential Applications, and Challenges
by Jiafeng Chen, Lijuan Huang, Yue Yang, Wei Xu, Qingchun Qin, Rongxing Qin, Xiaojun Liang, Xinyu Lai, Xiaoying Huang, Minshan Xie and Li Chen
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030524 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3685
Abstract
Nervous system diseases present significant challenges to the neuroscience community due to ethical and practical constraints that limit access to appropriate research materials. Somatic cell reprogramming has been proposed as a novel way to obtain neurons. Various emerging techniques have been used to [...] Read more.
Nervous system diseases present significant challenges to the neuroscience community due to ethical and practical constraints that limit access to appropriate research materials. Somatic cell reprogramming has been proposed as a novel way to obtain neurons. Various emerging techniques have been used to reprogram mature and differentiated cells into neurons. This review provides an overview of somatic cell reprogramming for neurological research and therapy, focusing on neural reprogramming and generating different neural cell types. We examine the mechanisms involved in reprogramming and the challenges that arise. We herein summarize cell reprogramming strategies to generate neurons, including transcription factors, small molecules, and microRNAs, with a focus on different types of cells.. While reprogramming somatic cells into neurons holds the potential for understanding neurological diseases and developing therapeutic applications, its limitations and risks must be carefully considered. Here, we highlight the potential benefits of somatic cell reprogramming for neurological disease research and therapy. This review contributes to the field by providing a comprehensive overview of the various techniques used to generate neurons by cellular reprogramming and discussing their potential applications. Full article
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12 pages, 1672 KiB  
Article
Antidepressant Activities of Synthesized Benzodiazepine Analogues in Mice
by Faizan Ul Haq, Mohammad Shoaib, Syed Wadood Ali Shah, Haya Hussain, Muhammad Zahoor, Riaz Ullah, Ahmed Bari, Amal Alotaibi and Muhammad Faisal Hayat
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030523 - 21 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2161
Abstract
Depression is a serious psychological disorder which negatively affects human feelings and actions. The use of antidepressants is the therapy of choice while treating depression. However, such drugs are associated with severe side effects. There is a need for efficient and harmless drugs. [...] Read more.
Depression is a serious psychological disorder which negatively affects human feelings and actions. The use of antidepressants is the therapy of choice while treating depression. However, such drugs are associated with severe side effects. There is a need for efficient and harmless drugs. In this connection, the present study was designed to synthesize several substituted benzodiazepine derivatives and explore their antidepressant potentials in an animal model. The chalcone backbone was initially synthesized, which was then converted into several substituted benzodiazepine derivatives designated as 16. The synthesized compounds were identified using spectroscopic techniques. The experimental animals (mice) after acclimatation were subjected to forced swim test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST) after oral administration of the synthesized compounds to evaluate their antidepressant potentials. At the completion of the mentioned test, the animals were sacrificed to determine GABA level in their brain hippocampus. The chloro-substituent compound (2) significantly reduced the immobility time (80.81 ± 1.14 s; p < 0.001 at 1.25 mg/kg body weight and 75.68 ± 3.73 s with p < 0.001 at 2.5 mg/kg body weight dose), whereas nitro-substituent compound (5) reduced the immobility time to 118.95 ± 1.31 and 106.69 ± 3.62 s (p < 0.001), respectively, at the tested doses (FST). For control groups, the recorded immobility time recorded was 177.24 ± 1.82 s. The standard drug diazepam significantly reduced immobility time to 70.13 ± 4.12 s while imipramine reduced it to 65.45 ± 2.81 s (p < 0.001). Similarly, in the TST, the compound 2 reduced immobility time to 74.93 ± 1.14 s (p < 0.001) and 70.38 ± 1.43 s (p < 0.001), while compound 5 reduced it to 88.23 ± 1.89 s (p < 0.001) and 91.31 ± 1.73 s (p < 0.001) at the tested doses, respectively, as compared to the control group immobility time (166.13 ± 2.18 s). The compounds 1, 3, 4, and 6 showed weak antidepressant responses as compared to compounds 2 and 5. The compounds 2 and 5 also significantly enhanced the GABA level in the brain’s hippocampus of experimental animals, indicating the possible involvement of GABAergic mechanism in alleviating the depression which is evident from the significant increase in mRNA levels for the α subunit of the GABAA receptors in the prefrontal cortex of mice as well. From the results, it can be concluded that compound 2 and 5 could be used as alternative drugs of depression. However, further exploration in this connection is needed in other animal models in order to confirm the observed results in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Impairment and Depression)
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23 pages, 3174 KiB  
Systematic Review
Does Music Therapy Improve Gait after Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury? A Mini Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Shashank Ghai
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030522 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3026
Abstract
There is a growing body of research examining the potential benefits of music therapy-based auditory stimulation (MT) for individuals with movement disorders in improving gait performance. However, there is limited knowledge about the effects of MT on gait outcomes in individuals with traumatic [...] Read more.
There is a growing body of research examining the potential benefits of music therapy-based auditory stimulation (MT) for individuals with movement disorders in improving gait performance. However, there is limited knowledge about the effects of MT on gait outcomes in individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal cord injury (SCI). A previous review of MT’s impact on gait in TBI had limitations, and there are no studies on its effects on gait in SCI. In this study, we conducted a meta-analysis to more thoroughly evaluate the impact of MT on gait outcomes in individuals with TBI and SCI. We systematically searched through eight databases and found six studies on MT in TBI and four on SCI. Our meta-analysis showed that MT has positive medium effect improvements on spatiotemporal aspects of gait in individuals with TBI (Hedge’s g: 0.52) and SCI (0.53). These findings suggest that MT could be a practical intervention for enhancing different aspects of gait in these populations, although the limited number and “fair” quality of the studies included in the meta-analysis may affect the generalizability of the outcomes. Further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms by which MT may influence gait and determine the optimal parameters for its use. Full article
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13 pages, 653 KiB  
Review
Preventive Strategies for Cognitive Decline and Dementia: Benefits of Aerobic Physical Activity, Especially Open-Skill Exercise
by Takao Yamasaki
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 521; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030521 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 5405
Abstract
As there is no curative treatment for dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), it is important to establish an optimal nonpharmaceutical preventive intervention. Physical inactivity is a representative modifiable risk factor for dementia, especially for AD in later life (>65 years). As physical activity [...] Read more.
As there is no curative treatment for dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), it is important to establish an optimal nonpharmaceutical preventive intervention. Physical inactivity is a representative modifiable risk factor for dementia, especially for AD in later life (>65 years). As physical activity and exercise are inexpensive and easy to initiate, they may represent an effective nonpharmaceutical intervention for the maintenance of cognitive function. Several studies have reported that physical activity and exercise interventions are effective in preventing cognitive decline and dementia. This review outlines the effects of physical activity and exercise-associated interventions in older adults with and without cognitive impairment and subsequently summarizes their possible mechanisms. Furthermore, this review describes the differences between two types of physical exercise—open-skill exercise (OSE) and closed-skill exercise (CSE)—in terms of their effects on cognitive function. Aerobic physical activity and exercise interventions are particularly useful in preventing cognitive decline and dementia, with OSE exerting a stronger protective effect on cognitive functions than CSE. Therefore, the need to actively promote physical activity and exercise interventions worldwide is emphasized. Full article
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43 pages, 2423 KiB  
Article
Turning Back the Clock: A Retrospective Single-Blind Study on Brain Age Change in Response to Nutraceuticals Supplementation vs. Lifestyle Modifications
by Andrew A. Fingelkurts and Alexander A. Fingelkurts
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030520 - 21 Mar 2023
Viewed by 3501
Abstract
Background: There is a growing consensus that chronological age (CA) is not an accurate indicator of the aging process and that biological age (BA) instead is a better measure of an individual’s risk of age-related outcomes and a more accurate predictor of mortality [...] Read more.
Background: There is a growing consensus that chronological age (CA) is not an accurate indicator of the aging process and that biological age (BA) instead is a better measure of an individual’s risk of age-related outcomes and a more accurate predictor of mortality than actual CA. In this context, BA measures the “true” age, which is an integrated result of an individual’s level of damage accumulation across all levels of biological organization, along with preserved resources. The BA is plastic and depends upon epigenetics. Brain state is an important factor contributing to health- and lifespan. Methods and Objective: Quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG)-derived brain BA (BBA) is a suitable and promising measure of brain aging. In the present study, we aimed to show that BBA can be decelerated or even reversed in humans (N = 89) by using customized programs of nutraceutical compounds or lifestyle changes (mean duration = 13 months). Results: We observed that BBA was younger than CA in both groups at the end of the intervention. Furthermore, the BBA of the participants in the nutraceuticals group was 2.83 years younger at the endpoint of the intervention compared with their BBA score at the beginning of the intervention, while the BBA of the participants in the lifestyle group was only 0.02 years younger at the end of the intervention. These results were accompanied by improvements in mental–physical health comorbidities in both groups. The pre-intervention BBA score and the sex of the participants were considered confounding factors and analyzed separately. Conclusions: Overall, the obtained results support the feasibility of the goal of this study and also provide the first robust evidence that halting and reversal of brain aging are possible in humans within a reasonable (practical) timeframe of approximately one year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurotechnology and Neuroimaging)
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11 pages, 1336 KiB  
Article
A Pilot Study: Extraction of a Neural Network and Feature Extraction of Generation and Reduction Mechanisms Due to Acute Stress
by Mi-Hyun Choi
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030519 - 21 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1174
Abstract
This study aimed to compare the functional connectivity (FC) assessed during acute stress and recovery after stress using the Montreal imaging stress task (MIST) in adults in their 20s and 30s with Korean Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) scores between 15 and 19 points [...] Read more.
This study aimed to compare the functional connectivity (FC) assessed during acute stress and recovery after stress using the Montreal imaging stress task (MIST) in adults in their 20s and 30s with Korean Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) scores between 15 and 19 points inclusive. Four seed networks, including the salience network, default mode network, frontoparietal network, and dorsal attention network, were specified to extract the results. Healthy male and female adults who were required to make an effort to relieve stress were exposed to acute stress tasks, and the most common FCs were observed in the salience network, default mode network, and frontoparietal network during the stress and recovery phases. Compared to the stress phase, the increased effect size was significantly different in the recovery phase. In the stress phase, characteristically common FCs were observed in the dorsal attention network. During the recovery period, Salience network (Anterior Insula, R) and Salience network (anterior cingulate cortex, ACC)/Salience network (rostral prefrontal cortex, RPFC), Salience network (AInsula) and Salience network (RPFC), and Default Mode network (posterior cingulate) cortex, PCC) and fronto-parietal network (lateral prefrontal cortex, LPFC) FC were characteristically observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychiatric Diseases)
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3 pages, 196 KiB  
Editorial
Novel Approaches to Memory and Aging: The Editorial
by Caterina Padulo and Beth Fairfield
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 518; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030518 - 21 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1132
Abstract
Heightened average life expectancy, which is increasing the number of older adults destined to live alone in the future, is forcing society to acknowledge the strong positive correlation between health costs and age [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Approaches to Memory and Aging)
18 pages, 5414 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Using Virtual Reality on Thai Word Order Learning
by Nitiwat Watthanapas, Yung-Wei Hao, Jian-Hong Ye, Jon-Chao Hong and Jhen-Ni Ye
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 517; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030517 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1892
Abstract
Thai has its own unique spelling system and grammatical rules. Its word order is quite different from that of Mandarin and English, thus making it more difficult for students in Taiwan to learn. Past studies also point out that learning word order is [...] Read more.
Thai has its own unique spelling system and grammatical rules. Its word order is quite different from that of Mandarin and English, thus making it more difficult for students in Taiwan to learn. Past studies also point out that learning word order is one of the most difficult aspects when learning foreign languages. As science and technology advance, emerging technologies have been widely applied in foreign language learning. This research aims to explore the effect of using a multi-language VR learning assessment system on assisting Thai learners to learn grammatical word order, and to investigate the correlates between Thai self-efficacy, Thai language anxiety, word order learning retention, and task value of VR learning. In order to accomplish this purpose, we invited Thai learners who took Thai courses in the continuing education division of a national university in northern Taiwan to participate in a 5-week teaching experiment, during which the participants were asked to practice Thai word order for 20 min. They were administered a questionnaire to fill out after five weeks of practice and were tested for retention one month after the experiment. A total of 84 valid questionnaires were collected, with an effective return rate of 93.3%. Of the respondents, 30 were male (35.7%), and 54 were female (64.3%). The data were subjected to item analysis, reliability and validity analysis, and then underwent PLS-SEM for research model validation. The results revealed that: (1) Thai language self-efficacy was positively related to learning retention and task value; (2) Thai language anxiety was negatively related to learning retention and task value; (3) Learning retention was positively related to the task value of learning and continuous usage intention. Full article
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14 pages, 15006 KiB  
Article
Identification and Characterization of TMEM119-Positive Cells in the Postnatal and Adult Murine Cochlea
by Mohamed Bassiouni, Alina Smorodchenko, Heidi Olze and Agnieszka J. Szczepek
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 516; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030516 - 20 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2192
Abstract
Transmembrane protein 119 (TMEM119) is expressed in a subset of resident macrophage cells of the brain and was proposed as a marker for native brain microglia. The presence of cells expressing TMEM119 in the cochlea has not yet been described. Thus, the present [...] Read more.
Transmembrane protein 119 (TMEM119) is expressed in a subset of resident macrophage cells of the brain and was proposed as a marker for native brain microglia. The presence of cells expressing TMEM119 in the cochlea has not yet been described. Thus, the present study aimed to characterize the TMEM119-expressing cells of the postnatal and adult cochlea, the latter also after noise exposure. Immunofluorescent staining of cochlear cryosections detected TMEM119 protein in the spiral limbus fibrocytes and the developing stria vascularis at postnatal Day 3. Applying the macrophage marker Iba1 revealed that TMEM119 is not a marker of cochlear macrophages or a subset of them. In the adult murine cochlea, TMEM119 expression was detected in the basal cells of the stria vascularis and the dark mesenchymal cells of the supralimbal zone. Exposure to noise trauma was not associated with a qualitative change in the types or distributions of the TMEM119-expressing cells of the adult cochlea. Western blot analysis indicated a similar TMEM119 protein expression level in the postnatal cochlea and brain tissues. The findings do not support using TMEM119 as a specific microglial or macrophage marker in the cochlea. The precise role of TMEM119 in the cochlea remains to be investigated through functional experiments. TMEM119 expression in the basal cells of the stria vascularis implies a possible role in the gap junction system of the blood–labyrinth barrier and merits further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuro-otology and Neuro-ophthalmology)
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15 pages, 4004 KiB  
Review
Current Advances in Papillary Craniopharyngioma: State-Of-The-Art Therapies and Overview of the Literature
by Gianpaolo Jannelli, Francesco Calvanese, Luca Paun, Gerald Raverot and Emmanuel Jouanneau
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 515; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030515 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1822
Abstract
Craniopharyngiomas are commonly classified as low-grade tumors, although they may harbor a malignant behavior due to their high rate of recurrence and long-term morbidity. Craniopharyngiomas are classically distinguished into two histological types (adamantinomatous and papillary), which have been recently considered by the WHO [...] Read more.
Craniopharyngiomas are commonly classified as low-grade tumors, although they may harbor a malignant behavior due to their high rate of recurrence and long-term morbidity. Craniopharyngiomas are classically distinguished into two histological types (adamantinomatous and papillary), which have been recently considered by the WHO classification of CNS tumors as two independent entities, due to different epidemiological, radiological, histopathological, and genetic patterns. With regard to papillary craniopharyngioma, a BRAF V600 mutation is detected in 95% of cases. This genetic feature is opening new frontiers in the treatment of these tumors using an adjuvant or, in selected cases, a neo-adjuvant approach. In this article, we present an overview of the more recent literature, focusing on the specificities and the role of oncological treatment in the management of papillary craniopharyngiomas. Based on our research and experience, we strongly suggest a multimodal approach combining clinical, endocrinological, radiological, histological, and oncological findings in both preoperative workup and postoperative follow up to define a roadmap integrating every aspect of this challenging condition. Full article
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14 pages, 2350 KiB  
Article
Altered Postcentral Connectivity after Sleep Deprivation Correlates to Impaired Risk Perception: A Resting-State Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study
by Jie Chen, Xinxin Gong, Letong Wang, Mengmeng Xu, Xiao Zhong, Ziyi Peng, Tao Song, Lin Xu, Jie Lian, Yongcong Shao and Xiechuan Weng
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 514; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030514 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2050
Abstract
Background: Previous studies revealed that sleep deprivation (SD) impairs risk perception and leads to poor decision-making efficiency. However, how risk perception is related to brain regions’ communication after SD has not been elucidated. In this study, we investigated the neuropsychological mechanisms of SD-impaired [...] Read more.
Background: Previous studies revealed that sleep deprivation (SD) impairs risk perception and leads to poor decision-making efficiency. However, how risk perception is related to brain regions’ communication after SD has not been elucidated. In this study, we investigated the neuropsychological mechanisms of SD-impaired risk perception. Methods: Nineteen healthy male adults were recruited and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging during a state of rested wakefulness and after nearly 36 h of total SD. They then completed the balloon analog risk task, which was used to measure the risk perception ability of risky decision-making. Regional homogeneity (ReHo) and voxel-wise functional connectivity were used to investigate neurobiological changes caused by SD. Correlation analysis was used to investigate the relationship between changes in ReHo, function, and risk perception. Results: At the behavioral level, risk perception decreased after 36 h of SD. At the neural level, SD induced a significant increase in ReHo in the right postcentral gyrus and was positively correlated with risk perception changes. The functional connectivity between the right postcentral gyrus, left medial temporal gyrus, and right inferior temporal gyrus was enhanced. Critically, increased right postcentral gyrus and right inferior temporal gyrus connectivity positively correlated with changes in risk perception. Conclusions: SD impairs the risk perception associated with altered postcentral connectivity. The brain requires more energy to process and integrate sensory and perceptual information after SD, which may be one possible reason for decreased risk perception ability after SD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Cognition, Emotion, and Behavior)
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13 pages, 2184 KiB  
Article
Application of C5.0 Algorithm for the Assessment of Perceived Stress in Healthcare Professionals Attending COVID-19
by Juan Luis Delgado-Gallegos, Gener Avilés-Rodriguez, Gerardo R. Padilla-Rivas, María De los Ángeles Cosío-León, Héctor Franco-Villareal, Juan Iván Nieto-Hipólito, Juan de Dios Sánchez López, Erika Zuñiga-Violante, Jose Francisco Islas and Gerardo Salvador Romo-Cardenas
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 513; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030513 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1984
Abstract
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) represents one of the greatest challenges to public health in modern history. As the disease continues to spread globally, medical and allied healthcare professionals have become one of the most affected sectors. Stress and anxiety are indirect effects of the [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) represents one of the greatest challenges to public health in modern history. As the disease continues to spread globally, medical and allied healthcare professionals have become one of the most affected sectors. Stress and anxiety are indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, it is paramount to understand and categorize their perceived levels of stress, as it can be a detonating factor leading to mental illness. Here, we propose a computer-based method to better understand stress in healthcare workers facing COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic. We based our study on a representative sample of healthcare professionals attending to COVID-19 patients in the northeast region of Mexico, at the beginning of the pandemic. We used a machine learning classification algorithm to obtain a visualization model to analyze perceived stress. The C5.0 decision tree algorithm was used to study datasets. We carried out an initial preprocessing statistical analysis for a group of 101 participants. We performed chi-square tests for all questions, individually, in order to validate stress level calculation (p < 0.05) and a calculated Cronbach’s alpha of 0.94 and McDonald’s omega of 0.95, demonstrating good internal consistency in the dataset. The obtained model failed to classify only 6 out of the 101, missing two cases for mild, three for moderate and one for severe (accuracy of 94.1%). We performed statistical correlation analysis to ensure integrity of the method. In addition, based on the decision tree model, we concluded that severe stress cases can be related mostly to high levels of xenophobia and compulsive stress. Thus, showing that applied machine learning algorithms represent valuable tools in the assessment of perceived stress, which can potentially be adapted to other areas of the medical field. Full article
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18 pages, 3542 KiB  
Article
Minocycline Attenuates Sevoflurane-Induced Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction in Aged Mice by Suppressing Hippocampal Apoptosis and the Notch Signaling Pathway-Mediated Neuroinflammation
by Junjie Liang, Shanshan Han, Chao Ye, Haimeng Zhu, Jiajun Wu, Yunjuan Nie, Gaoshang Chai, Peng Zhao and Dengxin Zhang
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 512; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030512 - 19 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1887
Abstract
Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD), an important postoperative neurological complication, is very common and has an elevated incidence in elderly patients. Sevoflurane, an inhaled anesthetic, has been demonstrated to be associated with POCD in both clinical and animal studies. However, how to prevent POCD [...] Read more.
Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD), an important postoperative neurological complication, is very common and has an elevated incidence in elderly patients. Sevoflurane, an inhaled anesthetic, has been demonstrated to be associated with POCD in both clinical and animal studies. However, how to prevent POCD remains unclear. Minocycline, a commonly used antibiotic can cross the blood-brain barrier and exert an inhibitory effect on inflammation in the central nervous system. The present work aimed to examine the protective effect and mechanism of minocycline on sevoflurane-induced POCD in aged mice. We found that 3% sevoflurane administered 2 h a day for 3 consecutive days led to cognitive impairment in aged animals. Further investigation revealed that sevoflurane impaired synapse plasticity by causing apoptosis and neuroinflammation and thus induced cognitive dysfunction. However, minocycline pretreatment (50 mg/kg, i.p, 1 h prior to sevoflurane exposure) significantly attenuated learning and memory impairments associated with sevoflurane in aged animals by suppressing apoptosis and neuroinflammation. Moreover, a mechanistic analysis showed that minocycline suppressed sevoflurane-triggered neuroinflammation by inhibiting Notch signaling. Similar results were also obtained in vitro. Collectively, these findings suggested minocycline may be an effective drug for the prevention of sevoflurane-induced POCD in elderly patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Study on Postoperative Delirium)
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16 pages, 1170 KiB  
Article
The McGurk Illusion: A Default Mechanism of the Auditory System
by Zunaira J. Iqbal, Antoine J. Shahin, Heather Bortfeld and Kristina C. Backer
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030510 - 19 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2146
Abstract
Recent studies have questioned past conclusions regarding the mechanisms of the McGurk illusion, especially how McGurk susceptibility might inform our understanding of audiovisual (AV) integration. We previously proposed that the McGurk illusion is likely attributable to a default mechanism, whereby either the visual [...] Read more.
Recent studies have questioned past conclusions regarding the mechanisms of the McGurk illusion, especially how McGurk susceptibility might inform our understanding of audiovisual (AV) integration. We previously proposed that the McGurk illusion is likely attributable to a default mechanism, whereby either the visual system, auditory system, or both default to specific phonemes—those implicated in the McGurk illusion. We hypothesized that the default mechanism occurs because visual stimuli with an indiscernible place of articulation (like those traditionally used in the McGurk illusion) lead to an ambiguous perceptual environment and thus a failure in AV integration. In the current study, we tested the default hypothesis as it pertains to the auditory system. Participants performed two tasks. One task was a typical McGurk illusion task, in which individuals listened to auditory-/ba/ paired with visual-/ga/ and judged what they heard. The second task was an auditory-only task, in which individuals transcribed trisyllabic words with a phoneme replaced by silence. We found that individuals’ transcription of missing phonemes often defaulted to ‘/d/t/th/’, the same phonemes often experienced during the McGurk illusion. Importantly, individuals’ default rate was positively correlated with their McGurk rate. We conclude that the McGurk illusion arises when people fail to integrate visual percepts with auditory percepts, due to visual ambiguity, thus leading the auditory system to default to phonemes often implicated in the McGurk illusion. Full article
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20 pages, 1433 KiB  
Article
Exploring Whether Iron Sequestration within the CNS of Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease Causes a Functional Iron Deficiency That Advances Neurodegeneration
by Steven M. LeVine, Sheila Tsau and Sumedha Gunewardena
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 511; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030511 - 18 Mar 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2733
Abstract
The involvement of iron in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may be multifaceted. Besides potentially inducing oxidative damage, the bioavailability of iron may be limited within the central nervous system, creating a functionally iron-deficient state. By comparing staining results from baseline and [...] Read more.
The involvement of iron in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may be multifaceted. Besides potentially inducing oxidative damage, the bioavailability of iron may be limited within the central nervous system, creating a functionally iron-deficient state. By comparing staining results from baseline and modified iron histochemical protocols, iron was found to be more tightly bound within cortical sections from patients with high levels of AD pathology compared to subjects with a diagnosis of something other than AD. To begin examining whether the bound iron could cause a functional iron deficiency, a protein-coding gene expression dataset of initial, middle, and advanced stages of AD from olfactory bulb tissue was analyzed for iron-related processes with an emphasis on anemia-related changes in initial AD to capture early pathogenic events. Indeed, anemia-related processes had statistically significant alterations, and the significance of these changes exceeded those for AD-related processes. Other changes in patients with initial AD included the expressions of transcripts with iron-responsive elements and for genes encoding proteins for iron transport and mitochondrial-related processes. In the latter category, there was a decreased expression for the gene encoding pitrilysin metallopeptidase 1 (PITRM1). Other studies have shown that PITRM1 has an altered activity in patients with AD and is associated with pathological changes in this disease. Analysis of a gene expression dataset from PITRM1-deficient or sufficient organoids also revealed statistically significant changes in anemia-like processes. These findings, together with supporting evidence from the literature, raise the possibility that a pathogenic mechanism of AD could be a functional deficiency of iron contributing to neurodegeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellular and Molecular Basis of Neurodegenerative Disease)
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12 pages, 973 KiB  
Article
Familiarity Facilitates Detection of Angry Expressions
by Vassiki Chauhan, Matteo Visconti di Oleggio Castello, Morgan Taylor and Maria Ida Gobbini
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 509; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030509 - 18 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1350
Abstract
Personal familiarity facilitates rapid and optimized detection of faces. In this study, we investigated whether familiarity associated with faces can also facilitate the detection of facial expressions. Models of face processing propose that face identity and face expression detection are mediated by distinct [...] Read more.
Personal familiarity facilitates rapid and optimized detection of faces. In this study, we investigated whether familiarity associated with faces can also facilitate the detection of facial expressions. Models of face processing propose that face identity and face expression detection are mediated by distinct pathways. We used a visual search paradigm to assess if facial expressions of emotion (anger and happiness) were detected more rapidly when produced by familiar as compared to unfamiliar faces. We found that participants detected an angry expression 11% more accurately and 135 ms faster when produced by familiar as compared to unfamiliar faces while happy expressions were detected with equivalent accuracies and at equivalent speeds for familiar and unfamiliar faces. These results suggest that detectors in the visual system dedicated to processing features of angry expressions are optimized for familiar faces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue People Recognition through Face, Voice, Name and Their Interactions)
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26 pages, 2983 KiB  
Review
Neurocognitive Psychiatric and Neuropsychological Alterations in Parkinson’s Disease: A Basic and Clinical Approach
by Héctor Alberto González-Usigli, Genaro Gabriel Ortiz, Claudia Charles-Niño, Mario Alberto Mireles-Ramírez, Fermín Paul Pacheco-Moisés, Blanca Miriam de Guadalupe Torres-Mendoza, José de Jesús Hernández-Cruz, Daniela Lucero del Carmen Delgado-Lara and Luis Javier Ramírez-Jirano
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 508; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030508 - 18 Mar 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4231
Abstract
The main histopathological hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease (PD) are the degeneration of the dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta and the loss of neuromelanin as a consequence of decreased dopamine synthesis. The destruction of the striatal dopaminergic pathway and blocking of [...] Read more.
The main histopathological hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease (PD) are the degeneration of the dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta and the loss of neuromelanin as a consequence of decreased dopamine synthesis. The destruction of the striatal dopaminergic pathway and blocking of striatal dopamine receptors cause motor deficits in humans and experimental animal models induced by some environmental agents. In addition, neuropsychiatric symptoms such as mood and anxiety disorders, hallucinations, psychosis, cognitive impairment, and dementia are common in PD. These alterations may precede the appearance of motor symptoms and are correlated with neurochemical and structural changes in the brain. This paper reviews the most crucial pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric alterations in PD. It is worth noting that PD patients have global task learning deficits, and cognitive functions are compromised in a way is associated with hypoactivation within the striatum, anterior cingulate cortex, and inferior frontal sulcus regions. An appropriate and extensive neuropsychological screening battery in PD must accurately assess at least five cognitive domains with some tests for each cognitive domain. This neuropsychological screening should consider the pathophysiological and clinical heterogeneity of cognitive dysfunction in PD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Associated Diseases)
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16 pages, 2875 KiB  
Systematic Review
Cerebrolysin in Patients with TBI: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Konrad Jarosz, Klaudyna Kojder, Agata Andrzejewska, Joanna Solek-Pastuszka and Anna Jurczak
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030507 - 17 Mar 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3223
Abstract
TBI (traumatic brain injury) is one of the most common causes of deaths and failure to return to society according to the latest statistics. Cerebrolysin is a drug approved for use in patients diagnosed with TBI. It is a mixture of neuropeptides derived [...] Read more.
TBI (traumatic brain injury) is one of the most common causes of deaths and failure to return to society according to the latest statistics. Cerebrolysin is a drug approved for use in patients diagnosed with TBI. It is a mixture of neuropeptides derived from purified porcine brain proteins and multiple experimental studies have proven its neuroprotective and neurorestorative properties both in vitro and in vivo. In our meta-analysis, we analyze the latest clinical study reports on the use of Cerebrolysin in patients with TBI. The authors searched the databases: Pub Med, Cinahl, Web Of Science, and Embase from database inception until 11th July 2022. Ten clinical studies were eligible and included in the final analysis, including both retrospective and prospective studies of 8749 patients. Treatment with Cerebrolysin was associated with a statistically significant change in GCS and GOS. Mortality of any cause and the length of stay was not affected by the treatment. Our findings support and confirm the beneficial effects of Cerebrolysin treatment on the clinical outcome of patients after TBI. Further multi-center studies to optimize dosing and time of administration should be conducted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurorehabilitation)
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12 pages, 1459 KiB  
Article
Genetics of Neurogenic Orthostatic Hypotension in Parkinson’s Disease, Results from a Cross-Sectional In Silico Study
by Guenson Chevalier, Lucas Udovin, Matilde Otero-Losada, Sofia Bordet, Francisco Capani, Sheng Luo, Christopher G. Goetz and Santiago Perez-Lloret
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 506; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030506 - 17 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2217
Abstract
The genetic basis of Neurogenic Orthostatic Hypotension (NOH) in Parkinson’s disease (PD) has been inadequately explored. In a cross-sectional study, we examined the association between NOH and PD-related single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and mapped their effects on gene expression and metabolic and signaling pathways. [...] Read more.
The genetic basis of Neurogenic Orthostatic Hypotension (NOH) in Parkinson’s disease (PD) has been inadequately explored. In a cross-sectional study, we examined the association between NOH and PD-related single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and mapped their effects on gene expression and metabolic and signaling pathways. Patients with PD, free from pathological conditions associated with OH, and not taking OH-associated medications were included. NOH was defined as per international guidelines. Logistic regression was used to relate SNPs to NOH. Linkage-disequilibrium analysis, expression quantitative trait loci, and enrichment analysis were used to assess the effects on gene expression and metabolic/signaling pathways. We included 304 PD patients in the study, 35 of whom had NOH (11.5%). NOH was more frequent in patients with SNPs in SNCA, TMEM175, FAM47E-STBD1, CCDC62, SCN3A, MIR4696, SH3GL2, and LZTS3/DDRGK1 and less frequent in those with SNPs in ITGA8, IP6K2, SIPA1L2, NDUFAF2. These SNPs affected gene expression associated with the significant hierarchical central structures of the autonomic nervous system. They influenced several metabolic/signaling pathways, most notably IP3/Ca++ signaling, the PKA-CREB pathway, and the metabolism of fatty acids. These findings provide new insights into the pathophysiology of NOH in PD and may provide targets for future therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuromuscular and Movement Disorders)
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21 pages, 2801 KiB  
Review
Biological Factors Underpinning Suicidal Behaviour: An Update
by Maya N. Abou Chahla, Mahmoud I. Khalil, Stefano Comai, Lena Brundin, Sophie Erhardt and Gilles J. Guillemin
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 505; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030505 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3786
Abstract
Suicide, a global health burden, represents the 17th leading cause of death worldwide (1.3%), but the 4th among young people aged between 15 and 29 years of age, according to World Health Organization (WHO), 2019. Suicidal behaviour is a complex, multi-factorial, polygenic and [...] Read more.
Suicide, a global health burden, represents the 17th leading cause of death worldwide (1.3%), but the 4th among young people aged between 15 and 29 years of age, according to World Health Organization (WHO), 2019. Suicidal behaviour is a complex, multi-factorial, polygenic and independent mental health problem caused by a combination of alterations and dysfunctions of several biological pathways and disruption of normal mechanisms in brain regions that remain poorly understood and need further investigation to be deciphered. Suicide complexity and unpredictability gained international interest as a field of research. Several studies have been conducted at the neuropathological, inflammatory, genetic, and molecular levels to uncover the triggers behind suicidal behaviour and develop convenient and effective therapeutic or at least preventive procedures. This review aims to summarise and focus on current knowledge of diverse biological pathways involved in the neurobiology of suicidal behaviour, and briefly highlights future potential therapeutic pathways to prevent or even treat this significant public health problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Behavioral Neuroscience)
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14 pages, 3072 KiB  
Article
Remotely Programmable Deep Brain Stimulator Combined with an Invasive Blood Pressure Monitoring System for a Non-Tethered Rat Model in Hypertension Research
by Žilvinas Chomanskis, Vytautas Jonkus, Tadas Danielius, Tomas Paulauskas, Monika Orvydaitė, Kazimieras Melaika, Osvaldas Rukšėnas, Vaiva Hendrixson and Saulius Ročka
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 504; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030504 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1783
Abstract
The control circuits of blood pressure have a strong neural regulatory element important in the pathogenesis of essential drug-resistant hypertension. Targeting lower medullary neural control mechanisms of blood pressure by electrical stimulation could be beneficial, and therefore, a novel device is needed. This [...] Read more.
The control circuits of blood pressure have a strong neural regulatory element important in the pathogenesis of essential drug-resistant hypertension. Targeting lower medullary neural control mechanisms of blood pressure by electrical stimulation could be beneficial, and therefore, a novel device is needed. This paper presents a remotely programmable deep brain stimulator with an invasive continuous blood pressure monitoring system in a non-tethered rat model. The device is designed for lower medullary deep brain stimulation research with minimal interference to a daily animal routine. Electrodes were implanted in the caudal ventrolateral medulla. Animal survivability, catheter patency rates, and device data drift were evaluated. Eight out of ten rats survived the surgery and testing period with no or mild temporary neurological compromise. The study revealed that carotid catheters filled with heparinized glycerol ensure better catheter patency rates and blood pressure transduction. There was no significant drift in the device’s pressure sensitivity during the experiment. To our knowledge, this is the first experimental study to show considerable animal survival after lower medullary implantation. Combining the ability to measure and monitor invasive blood pressure with a closed-loop brain pulse generator in a single device could be of potential value in future hemodynamic animal research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurotechnology and Neuroimaging)
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7 pages, 446 KiB  
Case Report
Neurosyphilis Presenting as Syndrome of Limbic Encephalitis Mimicking Herpes Simplex Virus Neuro-Infection Diagnosed Using CXCL13 Point-of-Care Assay—Case Report
by Eliška Marešová, Stanislav Šutovský, Hana Štefucová, Alena Koščálová and Peter Sabaka
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030503 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1849
Abstract
The syndrome of limbic encephalitis is a severe clinical condition with heterogenous aetiopathogenesis. A common pathogen causing the infectious syndrome of limbic encephalitis is herpes simplex virus (HSV), but rare cases caused by Treponema pallidum have also been reported. We present the case [...] Read more.
The syndrome of limbic encephalitis is a severe clinical condition with heterogenous aetiopathogenesis. A common pathogen causing the infectious syndrome of limbic encephalitis is herpes simplex virus (HSV), but rare cases caused by Treponema pallidum have also been reported. We present the case of a 46-year-old man who presented with sudden onset of headaches, nausea, vomiting, and short-term loss of consciousness with clonic convulsions and subsequent disorientation and aphasia. Examination of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) revealed lymphocytic pleocytosis and magnetic resonance of the brain revealed bilateral temporal lesions. Clinical, radiologic, and biochemical examinations of CSF suggested encephalitis caused by HSV. However, the positivity of CXCL-13 chemokine in the CSF by a rapid point-of-care assay suggested active spirochetal infection and led to further serologic investigation. The definitive diagnosis of neuro-syphilis was concluded by positive intrathecal synthesis of immunoglobulins against Treponema pallidum. Penicillin therapy led to a rapid improvement, and the patient was discharged home after three weeks. Due to memory problems and irritability, after eighteen months, he came for a follow-up neurological and psychological examination. The psychological examination revealed a significant deficit in executive functions and behavioural changes. Neurosyphilis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of limbic encephalitis with lymphocytic pleocytosis in cerebrospinal fluid, and CXCL-13 may help to achieve diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuropathology)
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23 pages, 1223 KiB  
Systematic Review
Cardiorespiratory Assessments in Panic Disorder Facilitated by Wearable Devices: A Systematic Review and Brief Comparison of the Wearable Zephyr BioPatch with the Quark-b2 Stationary Testing System
by Daniela Caldirola, Silvia Daccò, Massimiliano Grassi, Alessandra Alciati, William M. Sbabo, Domenico De Donatis, Giovanni Martinotti, Domenico De Berardis and Giampaolo Perna
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030502 - 16 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2432
Abstract
Abnormalities in cardiorespiratory measurements have repeatedly been found in patients with panic disorder (PD) during laboratory-based assessments. However, recordings performed outside laboratory settings are required to test the ecological validity of these findings. Wearable devices, such as sensor-imbedded garments, biopatches, and smartwatches, are [...] Read more.
Abnormalities in cardiorespiratory measurements have repeatedly been found in patients with panic disorder (PD) during laboratory-based assessments. However, recordings performed outside laboratory settings are required to test the ecological validity of these findings. Wearable devices, such as sensor-imbedded garments, biopatches, and smartwatches, are promising tools for this purpose. We systematically reviewed the evidence for wearables-based cardiorespiratory assessments in PD by searching for publications on the PubMed, PsycINFO, and Embase databases, from inception to 30 July 2022. After the screening of two-hundred and twenty records, eight studies were included. The limited number of available studies and critical aspects related to the uncertain reliability of wearables-based assessments, especially concerning respiration, prevented us from drawing conclusions about the cardiorespiratory function of patients with PD in daily life. We also present preliminary data on a pilot study conducted on volunteers at the Villa San Benedetto Menni Hospital for evaluating the accuracy of heart rate (HR) and breathing rate (BR) measurements by the wearable Zephyr BioPatch compared with the Quark-b2 stationary testing system. Our exploratory results suggested possible BR and HR misestimation by the wearable Zephyr BioPatch compared with the Quark-b2 system. Challenges of wearables-based cardiorespiratory assessment and possible solutions to improve their reliability and optimize their significant potential for the study of PD pathophysiology are presented. Full article
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10 pages, 583 KiB  
Article
Perceptions of Knowledge, Disease Impact and Predictive Genetic Testing in Family Members at Risk to Develop Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease (EOAD) and Their Levels of Suicidal Ideation: A Mixed Study
by Yesica Arlae Reyes-Domínguez, Luis E. Figuera and Aniel Jessica Leticia Brambila-Tapia
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030501 - 16 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1434
Abstract
Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (EOAD) is an autosomal dominantly inherited disease, in which a founder effect has been described for A431E mutation in the PSEN1 gene, with most of the affected patients being residents of a small town in the state of Jalisco in [...] Read more.
Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (EOAD) is an autosomal dominantly inherited disease, in which a founder effect has been described for A431E mutation in the PSEN1 gene, with most of the affected patients being residents of a small town in the state of Jalisco in Mexico. To date, no studies have been performed in order to know the impact of the disease on this population. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the perceptions in the knowledge, the impact of the disease and the intention to take the predictive genetic testing in the population at genetic risk of Jalisco. For this objective, we performed a mixed study that included a qualitative methodology (semi-structured interviews), and, in addition, we measured suicidal ideation, stress and depression with quantitative instruments in order to compare them with a control group. Of the 28 invited individuals, 9 accepted to participate, from which, 5 (55.56%) participants did not know their genetic risk to develop the disease and 5 (55.56%) would want to take the predictive genetic testing in order to be prepared to face the disease; however, among those who did not want to know, 2 individuals (22.22%) mentioned that they would consider suicide if they were positive for the pathogenic variant. On the impact of the disease, we detected that the adaptation to the familiar’s needs was the most frequent answer, including changes in their lifestyle (being responsible since very young, changes in social life and familiar dynamic), this being their main stressor, followed by changes in plans for the future and contemplating the possibility of being affected. Although no differences in stress and depression between groups were observed, we detected that suicidal ideation was significantly higher in the group of cases. These results highlight the importance to involve all the family in genetic counseling in order to clarify any doubts and also to attend to them psychologically to prevent suicidal ideation and attempts. Full article
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26 pages, 441 KiB  
Review
Among Gerontogens, Heavy Metals Are a Class of Their Own: A Review of the Evidence for Cellular Senescence
by Samuel T. Vielee and John P. Wise, Jr.
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030500 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2381
Abstract
Advancements in modern medicine have improved the quality of life across the globe and increased the average lifespan of our population by multiple decades. Current estimates predict by 2030, 12% of the global population will reach a geriatric age and live another 3–4 [...] Read more.
Advancements in modern medicine have improved the quality of life across the globe and increased the average lifespan of our population by multiple decades. Current estimates predict by 2030, 12% of the global population will reach a geriatric age and live another 3–4 decades. This swelling geriatric population will place critical stress on healthcare infrastructures due to accompanying increases in age-related diseases and comorbidities. While much research focused on long-lived individuals seeks to answer questions regarding how to age healthier, there is a deficit in research investigating what aspects of our lives accelerate or exacerbate aging. In particular, heavy metals are recognized as a significant threat to human health with links to a plethora of age-related diseases, and have widespread human exposures from occupational, medical, or environmental settings. We believe heavy metals ought to be classified as a class of gerontogens (i.e., chemicals that accelerate biological aging in cells and tissues). Gerontogens may be best studied through their effects on the “Hallmarks of Aging”, nine physiological hallmarks demonstrated to occur in aged cells, tissues, and bodies. Evidence suggests that cellular senescence—a permanent growth arrest in cells—is one of the most pertinent hallmarks of aging and is a useful indicator of aging in tissues. Here, we discuss the roles of heavy metals in brain aging. We briefly discuss brain aging in general, then expand upon observations for heavy metals contributing to age-related neurodegenerative disorders. We particularly emphasize the roles and observations of cellular senescence in neurodegenerative diseases. Finally, we discuss the observations for heavy metals inducing cellular senescence. The glaring lack of knowledge about gerontogens and gerontogenic mechanisms necessitates greater research in the field, especially in the context of the global aging crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Study of Neurotoxic Chemicals in the Environment)
10 pages, 289 KiB  
Review
The Role of Telemedicine in the Treatment of Cognitive and Psychological Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease: An Overview
by Desirèe Latella, Giuseppa Maresca, Caterina Formica, Chiara Sorbera, Amelia Bringandì, Giuseppe Di Lorenzo, Angelo Quartarone and Silvia Marino
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030499 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1716
Abstract
Background: This literature review evaluates the use and efficacy of telemedicine in cognitive and psychological treatment in Parkinson’s disease. Methods: Studies performed between 2016 and 2021 that fulfilled inclusion criteria were selected from PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane, and Web of Science databases. All articles [...] Read more.
Background: This literature review evaluates the use and efficacy of telemedicine in cognitive and psychological treatment in Parkinson’s disease. Methods: Studies performed between 2016 and 2021 that fulfilled inclusion criteria were selected from PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane, and Web of Science databases. All articles were evaluated by title, abstract, and text. All studies that examined the cognitive and psychological/psychotherapy treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease by telemedicine were included. Results: Telehealth improved cognitive status and emotional/behavioral disorders in this population, and had positive effects on the patients’ and caregivers’ quality of life. Conclusions: Our literature review supports the development and efficacy of cognitive and psychological treatment with telemedicine, but the methodology of the study must be reviewed considering its limitations so as to highlight the benefits and risks of treatment via telemedicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurodegenerative Diseases)
11 pages, 4555 KiB  
Article
Standardization of Strategies to Perform a Parafascicular Tubular Approach for the Resection of Brain Tumors in Eloquent Areas
by Nadin J. Abdala-Vargas, Giuseppe E. Umana, Javier G. Patiño-Gomez, Edgar Ordoñez-Rubiano, Hernando A. Cifuentes-Lobelo, Paolo Palmisciano, Gianluca Ferini, Anna Viola, Valentina Zagardo, Daniel Casanova-Martínez, Ottavio S. Tomasi, Alvaro Campero and Matias Baldoncini
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030498 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 5420
Abstract
Objective: The aim of this work is to define a methodological strategy for the minimally invasive tubular retractor (MITR) parafascicular transulcal approach (PTA) for the management of brain tumors sited in eloquent areas. Methods: An observational prospective study was designed to evaluate the [...] Read more.
Objective: The aim of this work is to define a methodological strategy for the minimally invasive tubular retractor (MITR) parafascicular transulcal approach (PTA) for the management of brain tumors sited in eloquent areas. Methods: An observational prospective study was designed to evaluate the benefits of PTA associated with MITRs, tractography and intraoperative cortical stimulation. They study was conducted from June 2018 to June 2021. Information regarding white matter tracts was processed, preventing a potential damage during the approach and/or resection. All patients older than 18 years who had a single brain tumor lesion were included in the study. Patients with a preoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score greater than 70% and a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score > 14 points were included. Results: 72 patients were included in the study, the mean age was 49.6, the most affected gender was male, 12.5% presented aphasia, 11.1% presented paraphasia, 41.6% had motor deficit, 9.7% had an affection in the optic pathway, the most frequently affected region was the frontal lobe (26.3%), the most frequent lesions were high-grade gliomas (34.7%) and the measurement of the incisions was on average 5.58 cm. Of the patients, 94.4% underwent a total macroscopic resection and 90.2% did not present new postoperative neurological deficits. In all cases, a PTA was used. Conclusion: Tubular minimally invasive approaches (MIAs) allow one to perform maximal safe resection of brain tumors in eloquent areas, through small surgical corridors. Future comparative studies between traditional and minimally invasive techniques are required to further investigate the potential of these surgical nuances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Strategies for Surgery of Brain Tumors in Eloquent Areas)
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14 pages, 1676 KiB  
Article
Prefrontal Cortex Hemodynamics and Functional Connectivity Changes during Performance Working Memory Tasks in Older Adults with Sleep Disorders
by Jiahui Gao, Lin Zhang, Jingfang Zhu, Zhenxing Guo, Miaoran Lin, Linxin Bai, Peiyun Zheng, Weilin Liu, Jia Huang and Zhizhen Liu
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030497 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3827
Abstract
Objective: Older adults with sleep disorders (SDs) show impaired working memory abilities, and working memory processes are closely related to the prefrontal cortex (PFC). However, the neural mechanism of working memory impairment in older adults with SD remains unclear. This study aimed to [...] Read more.
Objective: Older adults with sleep disorders (SDs) show impaired working memory abilities, and working memory processes are closely related to the prefrontal cortex (PFC). However, the neural mechanism of working memory impairment in older adults with SD remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate changes in PFC function among older adults with SD when carrying out the N-back task by functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Method: A total of 37 older adults with SDs were enrolled in this study and matched with 37 healthy older adults by gender, age, and years of education. Changes in PFC function were observed by fNIRS when carrying out the N-back task. Results: The accuracy on the 0-back and 2-back tasks in the SD group was significantly lower than that in the healthy controls (HC) group. The oxygenated hemoglobin (oxy-Hb) concentration of channel 8 which located in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) was significantly reduced in the SD group during the 2-back task, and the channel-to-channel connectivity between the PFC subregions was significantly decreased. Conclusions: These results suggest that patients with sleep disorders have a weak performance of working memory; indeed, the activation and functional connectivity in the prefrontal subregions were reduced in this study. This may provide new evidence for working memory impairment and brain function changes in elderly SDs. Full article
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14 pages, 2863 KiB  
Article
Locomotion Outcome Improvement in Mice with Glioblastoma Multiforme after Treatment with Anastrozole
by Irene Guadalupe Aguilar-García, Ismael Jiménez-Estrada, Rolando Castañeda-Arellano, Jonatan Alpirez, Gerardo Mendizabal-Ruiz, Judith Marcela Dueñas-Jiménez, Coral Estefania Gutiérrez-Almeida, Laura Paulina Osuna-Carrasco, Viviana Ramírez-Abundis and Sergio Horacio Dueñas-Jiménez
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(3), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13030496 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1758
Abstract
Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is a tumor that infiltrates several brain structures. GBM is associated with abnormal motor activities resulting in impaired mobility, producing a loss of functional motor independence. We used a GBM xenograft implanted in the striatum to analyze the changes in [...] Read more.
Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is a tumor that infiltrates several brain structures. GBM is associated with abnormal motor activities resulting in impaired mobility, producing a loss of functional motor independence. We used a GBM xenograft implanted in the striatum to analyze the changes in Y (vertical) and X (horizontal) axis displacement of the metatarsus, ankle, and knee. We analyzed the steps dissimilarity factor between control and GBM mice with and without anastrozole. The body weight of the untreated animals decreased compared to treated mice. Anastrozole reduced the malignant cells and decreased GPR30 and ERα receptor expression. In addition, we observed a partial recovery in metatarsus and knee joint displacement (dissimilarity factor). The vertical axis displacement of the GBM+anastrozole group showed a difference in the right metatarsus, right knee, and left ankle compared to the GBM group. In the horizontal axis displacement of the right metatarsus, ankle, and knee, the GBM+anastrozole group exhibited a difference at the last third of the step cycle compared to the GBM group. Thus, anastrozole partially modified joint displacement. The dissimilarity factor and the vertical and horizontal displacements study will be of interest in GBM patients with locomotion alterations. Hindlimb displacement and gait locomotion analysis could be a valuable methodological tool in experimental and clinical studies to help diagnose locomotive deficits related to GBM. Full article
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