Next Issue
Volume 9, September
Previous Issue
Volume 9, July

Table of Contents

Brain Sci., Volume 9, Issue 8 (August 2019)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story (view full-size image) Alzheimer's disease is a neurological disorder characterized by brain cell death, memory loss and [...] Read more.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle
Genetic Relationships Between Ethanol-Induced Conditioned Place Aversion and Other Ethanol Phenotypes in 15 Inbred Mouse Strains
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080209 - 20 Aug 2019
Viewed by 500
Abstract
The genetic relationships between different behaviors used to index the aversive effects of ethanol are unknown. To address this issue, ethanol-induced conditioned place aversion (CPA) was tested in a genetically diverse panel of 15 inbred mouse strains. Mice were exposed to an unbiased [...] Read more.
The genetic relationships between different behaviors used to index the aversive effects of ethanol are unknown. To address this issue, ethanol-induced conditioned place aversion (CPA) was tested in a genetically diverse panel of 15 inbred mouse strains. Mice were exposed to an unbiased place conditioning procedure using ethanol doses of 0, 2, or 4 g/kg; all injections were given immediately after 5-min exposure to distinctive tactile cues. There were dose-dependent effects of ethanol on CPA and on the change in pre-injection activity rates between the first and last conditioning trials. Most strains (80%) developed CPA, demonstrating the generalizability of this behavior. Moreover, genotype had significant effects on CPA magnitude and locomotor activity rates. Strain means from this study and previously published studies were then used to examine genetic correlations. These analyses showed significant genetic correlations between CPA and ethanol intake/preference, conditioned taste aversion, and drug withdrawal (but not blood ethanol concentration or conditioned place preference), supporting the idea of commonality in the genes underlying CPA and each of these behaviors. The overall pattern of findings is consistent with previous data suggesting that genetic differences in sensitivity to ethanol’s aversive effects play a role in determining strain differences in ethanol drinking. The broader implication is that individuals who are more sensitive to the aversive effects of ethanol may be protected from developing the excessive drinking behaviors characteristic of alcohol use disorders. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Entropy Analysis of High-Definition Transcranial Electric Stimulation Effects on EEG Dynamics
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080208 - 20 Aug 2019
Viewed by 479
Abstract
A foundation of medical research is time series analysis—the behavior of variables of interest with respect to time. Time series data are often analyzed using the mean, with statistical tests applied to mean differences, and has the assumption that data are stationary. Although [...] Read more.
A foundation of medical research is time series analysis—the behavior of variables of interest with respect to time. Time series data are often analyzed using the mean, with statistical tests applied to mean differences, and has the assumption that data are stationary. Although widely practiced, this method has limitations. Here we present an alternative statistical approach with sample analysis that provides a summary statistic accounting for the non-stationary nature of time series data. This work discusses the use of entropy as a measurement of the complexity of time series, in the context of Neuroscience, due to the non-stationary characteristic of the data. To elucidate our argument, we conducted entropy analysis on a sample of electroencephalographic (EEG) data from an interventional study using non-invasive electrical brain stimulation. We demonstrated that entropy analysis could identify intervention-related change in EEG data, supporting that entropy can be a useful “summary” statistic in non-linear dynamical systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Collection on Clinical Neuroscience)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCase Report
Syncope as Initial Presentation in an Undifferentiated Type Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patient with Acute Intracranial Hemorrhage
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080207 - 20 Aug 2019
Viewed by 551
Abstract
Intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) is a catastrophic complication in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). AML cells, especially in the acute promyelocytic leukemia subtype, may release microparticles (MPs), tissue factor (TF), and cancer procoagulant (CP) to promote coagulopathy. Hyperfibrinolysis is also triggered via release [...] Read more.
Intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) is a catastrophic complication in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). AML cells, especially in the acute promyelocytic leukemia subtype, may release microparticles (MPs), tissue factor (TF), and cancer procoagulant (CP) to promote coagulopathy. Hyperfibrinolysis is also triggered via release of annexin II, t-PA, u-PA, and u-PAR. Various inflammatory cytokines from cancer cells, such as IL-1β and TNF-α, activate endothelial cells and promote leukostasis. This condition may increase the ICH risk and lead to poor clinical outcomes. Here, we present a case under a unique situation with acute ICH detected prior to the diagnosis of AML. The patient initially presented with two episodes of syncope. Rapidly progressive ICH was noted in follow-up computed tomography (CT) scans. Therefore, we highlight that AML should be among the differential diagnoses of the etiologies of ICH. Early diagnosis and timely intervention are very important for AML patients. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
How Therapeutic Tapping Can Alter Neural Correlates of Emotional Prosody Processing in Anxiety
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080206 - 19 Aug 2019
Viewed by 759
Abstract
Anxiety disorders are the most common psychological disorders worldwide resulting in a great demand of adequate and cost-effective treatment. New short-term interventions can be used as an effective adjunct or alternative to pharmaco- and psychotherapy. One of these approaches is therapeutic tapping. It [...] Read more.
Anxiety disorders are the most common psychological disorders worldwide resulting in a great demand of adequate and cost-effective treatment. New short-term interventions can be used as an effective adjunct or alternative to pharmaco- and psychotherapy. One of these approaches is therapeutic tapping. It combines somatic stimulation of acupressure points with elements from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Tapping reduces anxiety symptoms after only one session. Anxiety is associated with a deficient emotion regulation for threatening stimuli. These deficits are compensated e.g., by CBT. Whether Tapping can also elicit similar modulations and which dynamic neural correlates are affected was subject to this study. Anxiety patients were assessed listening to pseudowords with a different emotional prosody (happy, angry, fearful, and neutral) prior and after one Tapping session. The emotion-related component Late Positive Potential (LPP) was investigated via electroencephalography. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) served as control intervention. Results showed LPP reductions for negative stimuli after the interventions. Interestingly, PMR influenced fearful and Tapping altered angry prosody. While PMR generally reduced arousal for fearful prosody, Tapping specifically affected fear-eliciting, angry stimuli, and might thus be able to reduce anxiety symptoms. Findings highlight the efficacy of Tapping and its impact on neural correlates of emotion regulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurobiology of Fear: From Basic Mechanisms to Therapeutic Approaches)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Corticospinal-Evoked Responses from the Biceps Brachii during Arm Cycling across Multiple Power Outputs
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080205 - 19 Aug 2019
Viewed by 549
Abstract
Background: We examined corticospinal and spinal excitability across multiple power outputs during arm cycling using a weak and strong stimulus intensity. Methods: We elicited motor evoked potentials (MEPs) and cervicomedullary motor evoked potentials (CMEPs) in the biceps brachii using magnetic stimulation [...] Read more.
Background: We examined corticospinal and spinal excitability across multiple power outputs during arm cycling using a weak and strong stimulus intensity. Methods: We elicited motor evoked potentials (MEPs) and cervicomedullary motor evoked potentials (CMEPs) in the biceps brachii using magnetic stimulation over the motor cortex and electrical stimulation of corticospinal axons during arm cycling at six different power outputs (i.e., 25, 50, 100, 150, 200 and 250 W) and two stimulation intensities (i.e., weak vs. strong). Results: In general, biceps brachii MEP and CMEP amplitudes (normalized to maximal M-wave (Mmax)) followed a similar pattern of modulation with increases in cycling intensity at both stimulation strengths. Specifically, MEP and CMEP amplitudes increased up until ~150 W and ~100 W when the weak and strong stimulations were used, respectively. Further increases in cycling intensity revealed no changes on MEP or CMEP amplitudes for either stimulation strength. Conclusions: In general, MEPs and CMEPs changed in a similar manner, suggesting that increases and subsequent plateaus in overall excitability are likely mediated by spinal factors. Interestingly, however, MEP amplitudes were disproportionately larger than CMEP amplitudes as power output increased, despite being initially matched in amplitude, particularly with strong stimulation. This suggests that supraspinal excitability is enhanced to a larger degree than spinal excitability as the power output of arm cycling increases. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Pro-Nerve Growth Factor Induces Activation of RhoA Kinase and Neuronal Cell Death
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080204 - 19 Aug 2019
Viewed by 618
Abstract
We have previously shown that the expression of pro-nerve growth factor (proNGF) was significantly increased, nerve growth factor (NGF) level was decreased, and the expression of p75NTR was enhanced in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) hippocampal samples. NGF regulates cell survival and differentiation by [...] Read more.
We have previously shown that the expression of pro-nerve growth factor (proNGF) was significantly increased, nerve growth factor (NGF) level was decreased, and the expression of p75NTR was enhanced in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) hippocampal samples. NGF regulates cell survival and differentiation by binding TrkA and p75NTR receptors. ProNGF is the precursor form of NGF, binds to p75NTR, and induces cell apoptosis. The objective of this study is to determine whether the increased p75NTR expression in AD is due to the accumulation of proNGF and Rho kinase activation. PC12 cells were stimulated with either proNGF or NGF. Pull-down assay was carried out to determine the RhoA kinase activity. We found the expression of p75NTR was enhanced by proNGF compared to NGF. The proNGF stimulation also increased the RhoA kinase activity leading to apoptosis. The expression of active RhoA kinase was found to be increased in human AD hippocampus compared to control. The addition of RhoA kinase inhibitor Y27632 not only blocked the RhoA kinase activity but also reduced the expression of p75NTR receptor and inhibited the activation of JNK and MAPK induced by proNGF. This suggests that overexpression of proNGF in AD enhances p75NTR expression and activation of RhoA, leading to neuronal cell death. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Collection on Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effects of Sound-Pressure Change on the 40 Hz Auditory Steady-State Response and Change-Related Cerebral Response
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080203 - 16 Aug 2019
Viewed by 555
Abstract
The auditory steady-state response (ASSR) elicited by a periodic sound stimulus is a neural oscillation recorded by magnetoencephalography (MEG), which is phase-locked to the repeated sound stimuli. This ASSR phase alternates after an abrupt change in the feature of a periodic sound stimulus [...] Read more.
The auditory steady-state response (ASSR) elicited by a periodic sound stimulus is a neural oscillation recorded by magnetoencephalography (MEG), which is phase-locked to the repeated sound stimuli. This ASSR phase alternates after an abrupt change in the feature of a periodic sound stimulus and returns to its steady-state value. An abrupt change also elicits a MEG component peaking at approximately 100–180 ms (called “Change-N1m”). We investigated whether both the ASSR phase deviation and Change-N1m were affected by the magnitude of change in sound pressure. The ASSR and Change-N1m to 40 Hz click-trains (1000 ms duration, 70 dB), with and without an abrupt change (± 5, ± 10, or ± 15 dB) were recorded in ten healthy subjects. We used the source strength waveforms obtained by a two-dipole model for measurement of the ASSR phase deviation and Change-N1m values (peak amplitude and latency). As the magnitude of change increased, Change-N1m increased in amplitude and decreased in latency. Similarly, ASSR phase deviation depended on the magnitude of sound-pressure change. Thus, we suspect that both Change-N1m and the ASSR phase deviation reflect the sensitivity of the brain’s neural change-detection system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cognitive Neuroscience)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessEditorial
Towards Mechanism-Based Treatments for Fragile X Syndrome
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080202 - 16 Aug 2019
Viewed by 600
Abstract
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common heritable form of intellectual disability, as well as the most common known monogenic cause of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), affecting 1 in 4000–8000 people worldwide [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
EEG Signals Feature Extraction Based on DWT and EMD Combined with Approximate Entropy
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080201 - 14 Aug 2019
Viewed by 633
Abstract
The classification recognition rate of motor imagery is a key factor to improve the performance of brain–computer interface (BCI). Thus, we propose a feature extraction method based on discrete wavelet transform (DWT), empirical mode decomposition (EMD), and approximate entropy. Firstly, the electroencephalogram (EEG) [...] Read more.
The classification recognition rate of motor imagery is a key factor to improve the performance of brain–computer interface (BCI). Thus, we propose a feature extraction method based on discrete wavelet transform (DWT), empirical mode decomposition (EMD), and approximate entropy. Firstly, the electroencephalogram (EEG) signal is decomposed into a series of narrow band signals with DWT, then the sub-band signal is decomposed with EMD to get a set of stationary time series, which are called intrinsic mode functions (IMFs). Secondly, the appropriate IMFs for signal reconstruction are selected. Thus, the approximate entropy of the reconstructed signal can be obtained as the corresponding feature vector. Finally, support vector machine (SVM) is used to perform the classification. The proposed method solves the problem of wide frequency band coverage during EMD and further improves the classification accuracy of EEG signal motion imaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Collection on Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommunication
Adjunct Diagnostic Value of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Mucopolysaccharidosis-Related Cervical Myelopathy: A Pilot Study
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080200 - 14 Aug 2019
Viewed by 587
Abstract
Background: Cervical myelopathy (CM) is a common cause of morbidity and disability in patients with mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) and, therefore, early detection is crucial for the best surgical intervention and follow-up. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) non-invasively evaluates the conduction through the cortico-spinal tract, also [...] Read more.
Background: Cervical myelopathy (CM) is a common cause of morbidity and disability in patients with mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) and, therefore, early detection is crucial for the best surgical intervention and follow-up. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) non-invasively evaluates the conduction through the cortico-spinal tract, also allowing preclinical diagnosis and monitoring. Methods: Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) to TMS were recorded in a group of eight patients with MPS-related CM. Responses were obtained during mild tonic muscular activation by means of a circular coil held on the “hot spot” of the first dorsal interosseous and tibialis anterior muscles, bilaterally. The motor latency by cervical or lumbar magnetic stimulation was subtracted from the MEP cortical latency to obtain the central motor conduction time. The MEP amplitude from peak to peak to cortical stimulation and the interside difference of each measure were also calculated. Results: TMS revealed abnormal findings from both upper and lower limbs compatible with axonal damage and demyelination in six of them. Notably, a subclinical cervical spinal disease was detected before the occurrence of an overt CM in two patients, whereas TMS signs compatible with a CM of variable degree persisted despite surgery in all treated subjects. Conclusions: TMS can be viewed as an adjunct diagnostic test pending further rigorous investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surgery for Spine Disease and Intractable Pain)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Long-Term Cognitive Performance of Retired Athletes with Sport-Related Concussion: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080199 - 13 Aug 2019
Viewed by 795
Abstract
Objective: The purpose of this systematic review is to quantitatively estimate (or invest) the impacts of sports-related concussions (SRCs) on cognitive performance among retired athletes more than 10 years after retirement. Methods: Six databases including (MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science, SPORTDiscus, CINAHL, and [...] Read more.
Objective: The purpose of this systematic review is to quantitatively estimate (or invest) the impacts of sports-related concussions (SRCs) on cognitive performance among retired athletes more than 10 years after retirement. Methods: Six databases including (MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science, SPORTDiscus, CINAHL, and PsycArtilces) were employed to retrieve the related studies. Studies that evaluate the association between cognitive function and the SRC of retired athletes sustaining more than 10 years were included. Results: A total of 11 studies that included 792 participants (534 retired athletes with SRC) were identified. The results indicated that the retired athletes with SRCs, compared to the non-concussion group, had significant cognitive deficits in verbal memory (SMD = −0.29, 95% CI −0.59 to −0.02, I2 = 52.8%), delayed recall (SMD = −0.30, 95% CI –0.46 to 0.07, I2 = 27.9%), and attention (SMD = −0.33, 95% CI −0.59 to −0.06, I2 = 0%). Additionally, meta-regression demonstrated that the period of time between testing and the last concussion is significantly associated with reduced verbal memory (β = −0.03681, p = 0.03), and increasing age is significantly associated with the verbal memory (β = −0.03767, p = 0.01), immediate recall (β = −0.08684, p = 0.02), and delay recall (β = −0.07432, p = 0.02). Conclusion: The retired athletes who suffered from SRCs during their playing career had declined cognitive performance in partial domains (immediate recall, visuospatial ability, and reaction time) later in life. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Evaluating Alternative Correction Methods for Multiple Comparison in Functional Neuroimaging Research
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080198 - 12 Aug 2019
Viewed by 898
Abstract
A significant challenge for fMRI research is statistically controlling for false positives without omitting true effects. Although a number of traditional methods for multiple comparison correction exist, several alternative tools have been developed that do not rely on strict parametric assumptions, but instead [...] Read more.
A significant challenge for fMRI research is statistically controlling for false positives without omitting true effects. Although a number of traditional methods for multiple comparison correction exist, several alternative tools have been developed that do not rely on strict parametric assumptions, but instead implement alternative methods to correct for multiple comparisons. In this study, we evaluated three of these methods, Statistical non-Parametric Mapping (SnPM), 3DClustSim, and Threshold Free Cluster Enhancement (TFCE), by examining which method produced the most consistent outcomes even when spatially-autocorrelated noise was added to the original images. We assessed the false alarm rate and hit rate of each method after noise was applied to the original images. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuroimaging)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Manual Therapy Reduces Pain Behavior and Oxidative Stress in a Murine Model of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type I
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080197 - 10 Aug 2019
Viewed by 842
Abstract
Complex regional pain syndrome type I (CRPS-I) is a chronic painful condition. We investigated whether manual therapy (MT), in a chronic post-ischemia pain (CPIP) model, is capable of reducing pain behavior and oxidative stress. Male Swiss mice were subjected to ischemia-reperfusion (IR) to [...] Read more.
Complex regional pain syndrome type I (CRPS-I) is a chronic painful condition. We investigated whether manual therapy (MT), in a chronic post-ischemia pain (CPIP) model, is capable of reducing pain behavior and oxidative stress. Male Swiss mice were subjected to ischemia-reperfusion (IR) to mimic CRPS-I. Animals received ankle joint mobilization 48h after the IR procedure, and response to mechanical stimuli was evaluated. For biochemical analyses, mitochondrial function as well as oxidative stress thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), protein carbonyls, antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) levels were determined. IR induced mechanical hyperalgesia which was subsequently reduced by acute MT treatment. The concentrations of oxidative stress parameters were increased following IR with MT treatment preventing these increases in malondialdehyde (MDA) and carbonyls protein. IR diminished the levels of SOD and CAT activity and MT treatment prevented this decrease in CAT but not in SOD activity. IR also diminished mitochondrial complex activity, and MT treatment was ineffective in preventing this decrease. In conclusion, repeated sessions of MT resulted in antihyperalgesic effects mediated, at least partially, through the prevention of an increase of MDA and protein carbonyls levels and an improvement in the antioxidant defense system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuromodulation for Intractable Pain)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
α-Tocopherol Modulates Non-Amyloidogenic Pathway and Autophagy in an In Vitro Model of Alzheimer’s Disease: A Transcriptional Study
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080196 - 10 Aug 2019
Viewed by 722
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia worldwide. The hallmarks of AD are the extracellular amyloid plaques, which are formed by amyloid β (Aβ) aggregates derived from the processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP), and the intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles, [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia worldwide. The hallmarks of AD are the extracellular amyloid plaques, which are formed by amyloid β (Aβ) aggregates derived from the processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP), and the intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles, which are formed by the hyperphosphorylated tau protein. The aim of this work was to study the effects of α-tocopherol in retinoic acid differentiated SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells exposed to Aβ1-42 evaluating the transcriptional profile by next-generation sequencing. We observed that α-tocopherol was able to reduce the cytotoxicity induced by Aβ treatment, as demonstrated by Thiazolyl Blue Tetrazolium Bromide (MTT) assay. Moreover, the transcriptomic analysis evidenced that α-tocopherol treatment upregulated genes involved in the non-amyloidogenic processing of APP, while it downregulated the amyloidogenic pathway. Moreover, α-tocopherol modulated the expression of the genes involved in autophagy and the cell cycle, which are both known to be altered in AD. The treatment with α-tocopherol was also able to reduce oxidative stress, restoring nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-like 2 (Nrf2) and decreasing inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) levels, as demonstrated by immunocytochemistry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuroglia)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Improved Central Nervous System Symptoms in People with HIV without Objective Neuropsychiatric Complaints Switching from Efavirenz to Rilpivirine Containing cART
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080195 - 09 Aug 2019
Viewed by 734
Abstract
Objective: Occult central nervous system (CNS) symptoms not recognized by people living with HIV (PLWH) receiving efavirenz or their clinicians could occur and impact people’s quality of life. The aim of this study was to determine whether CNS parameters improve in PLWH when [...] Read more.
Objective: Occult central nervous system (CNS) symptoms not recognized by people living with HIV (PLWH) receiving efavirenz or their clinicians could occur and impact people’s quality of life. The aim of this study was to determine whether CNS parameters improve in PLWH when switching from efavirenz to rilpivirine. Methods: PLWH receiving tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, emtricitabine, efavirenz (Atripla™) with undetectable HIV RNA, and no CNS symptoms were switched cART to tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, emtricitabine, rilpivirine (Eviplera™). CNS parameters including sleep, anxiety, and depressive symptoms were evaluated using patient-reported outcome measures at baseline, 4, 12, and 24 weeks after switching therapy. A median CNS score was derived from the sum of CNS toxicities of all the grades collected in the study questionnaires. Cognitive function was assessed using a computerized test battery. Results: Of 41 participants, median age was 47 years, Interquartile range (IQR) 31, 92% were male and 80% were of white ethnicity. A significant reduction in total CNS score (10 to 7) was observed at 4 weeks (p = 0.028), but not thereafter. Significant improvements in sleep and anxiety were observed 4, 12 and 24 weeks after switching therapy (p < 0.05). No significant change in global cognitive scores was observed. Conclusions: Switching from efavirenz to rilpivirine based regimens in virologically suppressed PLWH without perceived CNS symptoms was well tolerated and slightly improved overall CNS symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Collection on Clinical Neuroscience)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessPerspective
The Roles of Statistics in Human Neuroscience
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080194 - 08 Aug 2019
Viewed by 788
Abstract
Statistics plays three important roles in brain studies. They are (1) the study of differences between brains in distinctive populations; (2) the study of the variability in the structure and functioning of the brain; and (3) the study of data reduction on large-scale [...] Read more.
Statistics plays three important roles in brain studies. They are (1) the study of differences between brains in distinctive populations; (2) the study of the variability in the structure and functioning of the brain; and (3) the study of data reduction on large-scale brain data. I discuss these concepts using examples from past and ongoing research in brain connectivity, brain information flow, information extraction from large-scale neuroimaging data, and neural predictive modeling. Having dispensed with the past, I attempt to present a few areas where statistical science facilitates brain decoding and to write prospectively, in the light of present knowledge and in the quest for artificial intelligence, about questions that statistical and neurobiological communities could work closely together to address in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuroimaging)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessPerspective
Brain White Matter: A Substrate for Resilience and a Substance for Subcortical Small Vessel Disease
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080193 - 08 Aug 2019
Viewed by 799
Abstract
Age-related brain white matter disease is a form of small vessel disease (SVD) that may be associated with lacunar and other small subcortical infarcts, cerebral microbleeds, and perivascular spaces. This common form of cerebrovascular disease may manifest clinically as cognitive impairment of varying [...] Read more.
Age-related brain white matter disease is a form of small vessel disease (SVD) that may be associated with lacunar and other small subcortical infarcts, cerebral microbleeds, and perivascular spaces. This common form of cerebrovascular disease may manifest clinically as cognitive impairment of varying degrees and difficulty with mobility. Whereas some persons show cognitive decline and mobility failure when there are brain white matter hyperintensities (WMH) and acute stroke, others recover, and not everyone with brain white matter disease is disabled. Thus, repair or compensation of brain white matter may be possible, and furthermore, certain vascular risks, such as raised blood pressure, are targets for prevention of white matter disease or are administered to reduce the burden of such disease. Vascular risk modification may be useful, but alone may not be sufficient to prevent white matter disease progression. In this chapter, we specifically focus on WMH of vascular origin and explore white matter development, plasticity, and enduring processes of myelination across the health span in the context of experimental and human data, and compare and contrast resilient brain white matter propensity to a diseased white matter state. We conclude with thoughts on novel ways one might study white matter resilience, and predict future healthy cognitive and functional outcomes. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Event-Related Potential Evidence of Implicit Metric Structure during Silent Reading
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080192 - 08 Aug 2019
Viewed by 774
Abstract
Under the Implicit Prosody Hypothesis, readers generate prosodic structures during silent reading that can direct their real-time interpretations of the text. In the current study, we investigated the processing of implicit meter by recording event-related potentials (ERPs) while participants read a series of [...] Read more.
Under the Implicit Prosody Hypothesis, readers generate prosodic structures during silent reading that can direct their real-time interpretations of the text. In the current study, we investigated the processing of implicit meter by recording event-related potentials (ERPs) while participants read a series of 160 rhyming couplets, where the rhyme target was always a stress-alternating noun–verb homograph (e.g., permit, which is pronounced PERmit as a noun and perMIT as a verb). The target had a strong–weak or weak–strong stress pattern, which was either consistent or inconsistent with the stress expectation generated by the couplet. Inconsistent strong–weak targets elicited negativities between 80–155 ms and 325–375 ms relative to consistent strong–weak targets; inconsistent weak–strong targets elicited a positivity between 365–435 ms relative to consistent weak–strong targets. These results are largely consistent with effects of metric violations during listening, demonstrating that implicit prosodic representations are similar to explicit prosodic representations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Neurocognition of Music and Language)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Gambling Problems and Alexithymia: A Systematic Review
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080191 - 07 Aug 2019
Viewed by 788
Abstract
Among the factors that are thought to underlie gambling problems, alexithymia has been recognized to contribute to their development. For the first time, we reviewed the literature on the relationship between alexithymia and gambling. A systematic search of literature was run in the [...] Read more.
Among the factors that are thought to underlie gambling problems, alexithymia has been recognized to contribute to their development. For the first time, we reviewed the literature on the relationship between alexithymia and gambling. A systematic search of literature was run in the major reference databases including PubMed, Cochrane Database for Systematic Review, PsycINFO, Web of Science, Scopus until April 2019. The search produced 182 articles that produced 20 papers included in the review. Fourteen studies were conducted with community samples of pathological gamblers while six studies with clinical samples of disordered gamblers. All studies assessed alexithymia with the Toronto Alexithymia Scale while gambling problems were assessed mostly with the South Oaks Gambling Screen. Alexithymic features were significantly more prevalent in pathological gamblers both at the community and clinical levels, increased symptom severity, and showed interactive mechanisms with personality, psychiatric, and cognitive factors. Alexithymia is likely to associate with gambling as a coping behavior to increase emotional arousal and avoid negative emotions, according to the affect dysregulation model. Further studies are needed to widen the knowledge on this association. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessPerspective
Neuroimaging in Pediatric Epilepsy
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080190 - 07 Aug 2019
Viewed by 711
Abstract
Pediatric epilepsy presents with various diagnostic challenges. Recent advances in neuroimaging play an important role in the diagnosis, management and in guiding the treatment of pediatric epilepsy. Structural neuroimaging techniques such as CT and MRI can identify underlying structural abnormalities associated with epileptic [...] Read more.
Pediatric epilepsy presents with various diagnostic challenges. Recent advances in neuroimaging play an important role in the diagnosis, management and in guiding the treatment of pediatric epilepsy. Structural neuroimaging techniques such as CT and MRI can identify underlying structural abnormalities associated with epileptic focus. Functional neuroimaging provides further information and may show abnormalities even in cases where MRI was normal, thus further helping in the localization of the epileptogenic foci and guiding the possible surgical management of intractable/refractory epilepsy when indicated. A multi-modal imaging approach helps in the diagnosis of refractory epilepsy. In this review, we will discuss various imaging techniques, as well as aspects of structural and functional neuroimaging and their application in the management of pediatric epilepsy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuroimaging)
Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Electrode Montages for the Lower Limb Motor Cortex
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080189 - 06 Aug 2019
Viewed by 741
Abstract
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been widely explored as a neuromodulatory adjunct to modulate corticomotor excitability and improve motor behavior. However, issues with the effectiveness of tDCS have led to the exploration of empirical and experimental alternate electrode placements to enhance neuromodulatory [...] Read more.
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been widely explored as a neuromodulatory adjunct to modulate corticomotor excitability and improve motor behavior. However, issues with the effectiveness of tDCS have led to the exploration of empirical and experimental alternate electrode placements to enhance neuromodulatory effects. Here, we conducted a preliminary study to compare a novel electrode montage (which involved placing 13 cm2 electrodes anterior and posterior to the target location) to the traditionally used electrode montage (13 cm2 stimulating electrode over the target area and the 35 cm2 reference electrode over the contralateral orbit). We examined the effects of tDCS of the lower limb motor area (M1) by measuring the corticomotor excitability (CME) of the tibialis anterior muscle using transcranial magnetic stimulation in twenty healthy participants. We examined behavioral effects using a skilled motor control task performed with the ankle. We did not find one electrode montage to be superior to the other for changes in the CME or motor control. When the group was dichotomized into responders and non-responders (based on upregulation in CME), we found that the responders showed significant upregulation from baseline after tDCS for both montages. However, only the responders in the traditional montage group showed significant changes in motor control after tDCS. These results do not support the superiority of the new anterior–posterior montage over the traditional montage. Further work with a larger cohort and multiple cumulative sessions may be necessary to confirm our results. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Collection on Clinical Neuroscience)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Scanpaths of Subjects with Developmental Prosopagnosia during a Face Memory Task
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080188 - 02 Aug 2019
Viewed by 686
Abstract
The scanpaths of healthy subjects show biases towards the upper face, the eyes and the center of the face, which suggests that their fixations are guided by a feature hierarchy towards the regions most informative for face identification. However, subjects with developmental prosopagnosia [...] Read more.
The scanpaths of healthy subjects show biases towards the upper face, the eyes and the center of the face, which suggests that their fixations are guided by a feature hierarchy towards the regions most informative for face identification. However, subjects with developmental prosopagnosia have a lifelong impairment in face processing. Whether this is reflected in the loss of normal face-scanning strategies is not known. The goal of this study was to determine if subjects with developmental prosopagnosia showed anomalous scanning biases as they processed the identity of faces. We recorded the fixations of 10 subjects with developmental prosopagnosia as they performed a face memorization and recognition task, for comparison with 8 subjects with acquired prosopagnosia (four with anterior temporal lesions and four with occipitotemporal lesions) and 20 control subjects. The scanning of healthy subjects confirmed a bias to fixate the upper over the lower face, the eyes over the mouth, and the central over the peripheral face. Subjects with acquired prosopagnosia from occipitotemporal lesions had more dispersed fixations and a trend to fixate less informative facial regions. Subjects with developmental prosopagnosia did not differ from the controls. At a single-subject level, some developmental subjects performed abnormally, but none consistently across all metrics. Scanning distributions were not related to scores on perceptual or memory tests for faces. We conclude that despite lifelong difficulty with faces, subjects with developmental prosopagnosia still have an internal facial schema that guides their scanning behavior. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Multimodal Approach to Stratification of Patients with Dementia: Selection of Mixed Dementia Patients Prior to Autopsy
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080187 - 01 Aug 2019
Viewed by 954
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID) are major causes of dementia, and when combined lead to accelerated cognitive loss. We hypothesized that biomarkers of neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation could be used to stratify patients into diagnostic groups. Diagnosis of AD [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID) are major causes of dementia, and when combined lead to accelerated cognitive loss. We hypothesized that biomarkers of neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation could be used to stratify patients into diagnostic groups. Diagnosis of AD can be made biologically with detection of amyloid and tau proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and vascular disease can be identified with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). We recruited patients with cognitive complaints and made an initial clinical diagnosis. After one year of follow-up we made a biological diagnosis based on the use of biomarkers obtained from DTI, CSF AD, and inflammatory proteins, and neuropsychological testing. Patients with AD had primarily findings of neurodegeneration (CSF showing increased tau and reduced amyloid), while patients with neuroinflammation had abnormal DTI mean diffusion (MD) in the white matter. Using the biological biomarkers resulted in many of the clinically diagnosed AD patients moving into mixed dementia (MX). Biomarkers of inflammation tended to be higher in the MX than in either the AD or VCID, suggesting dual pathology leads to increased inflammation, which could explain accelerated cognitive decline in that group. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Taste Modulator Influences Rare Case of Color-Gustatory Synesthesia
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080186 - 31 Jul 2019
Viewed by 702
Abstract
We investigated the effect of a sweetness blocker on the synesthetic taste experience of a rare color-gustatory synesthete, E.C., for whom specific colors elicit unique tastes. Blocking E.C.’s sweetness receptors while the tongue was otherwise unstimulated left other taste components of the synesthesia [...] Read more.
We investigated the effect of a sweetness blocker on the synesthetic taste experience of a rare color-gustatory synesthete, E.C., for whom specific colors elicit unique tastes. Blocking E.C.’s sweetness receptors while the tongue was otherwise unstimulated left other taste components of the synesthesia unaltered but initially reduced her synesthetic sweetness, which suggests a peripheral modulation of the synesthetic illusion. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessPerspective
Association between Interictal Epileptiform Discharges and Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080185 - 30 Jul 2019
Viewed by 883
Abstract
It has been reported that bioelectric alterations in an electroencephalogram (EEG) may play an etiological role in neurodevelopmental disorders. The clinical impact of interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs) in association with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is unknown. The Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) is one [...] Read more.
It has been reported that bioelectric alterations in an electroencephalogram (EEG) may play an etiological role in neurodevelopmental disorders. The clinical impact of interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs) in association with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is unknown. The Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) is one of the gold standards for the diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder. Some studies have indicated high comorbidity of IED and ASD, while other studies have not supported an association between the central symptoms of autism and IED. This review examines the high comorbidity and clinical impact of IED; patients with epilepsy are excluded from the scope of this review. ASD can be disabling and is diagnosed at an average age of 5 years old, at which point the greatest neurological development has occurred. If an association between IED and ASD is identified, a clinical tool that entails an innocuous procedure could enable diagnosis in the first years of life. However, in the absence of reports that prove an association between IED and ASD, patients should not be subjected to expensive treatments, such as the administration of anticonvulsant therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disrupted Functional Connectivity in Autism Spectrum Disorder)
Open AccessArticle
Anoctamin 3: A Possible Link between Cluster Headache and Ca2+ Signaling
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080184 - 30 Jul 2019
Viewed by 1811
Abstract
Cluster headache is a severe primary headache characterized by extremely painful attacks of unilateral headache. Verapamil is commonly used as a prophylactic treatment with good effect. In order to search for new pathways involved in the pathophysiology of cluster headache, we analyzed genetic [...] Read more.
Cluster headache is a severe primary headache characterized by extremely painful attacks of unilateral headache. Verapamil is commonly used as a prophylactic treatment with good effect. In order to search for new pathways involved in the pathophysiology of cluster headache, we analyzed genetic variants that were previously linked to verapamil response in migraine in a Swedish cluster headache case-control sample. We used TaqMan qPCR for genetic screening and performed a gene expression analysis on associated genes in patient-derived fibroblasts, and further investigated which reference genes were suitable for analysis in fibroblasts from cluster headache patients. We discovered a significant association between anoctamin 3, a gene encoding a calcium-activated ion channel, and cluster headache. The association was not dependent on verapamil treatment since the associated variant, rs1531394, was also overrepresented in patients not using verapamil. No difference was found in the anoctamin 3 gene expression between controls and patients. Also, we determined that TBP, IPO8 and PDHB were suitable reference genes in cluster headache fibroblasts. This finding is the first report of an association between a variant in a gene encoding an ion-channel and cluster headache, and the first significant genetic evidence of calcium involvement in cluster headache pathophysiology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances and New Insights in Cluster Headache)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Subtype 5 in Alcohol-Induced Negative Affect
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080183 - 30 Jul 2019
Viewed by 806
Abstract
Allosteric modulators of metabotropic glutamate 5 receptors (mGlu5 receptors) have been identified as a promising treatment to independently alleviate both negative affective states and ethanol-seeking and intake. However, these conditions are often comorbid and might precipitate one another. Acute and protracted ethanol [...] Read more.
Allosteric modulators of metabotropic glutamate 5 receptors (mGlu5 receptors) have been identified as a promising treatment to independently alleviate both negative affective states and ethanol-seeking and intake. However, these conditions are often comorbid and might precipitate one another. Acute and protracted ethanol withdrawal can lead to negative affective states. In turn, these states are primary drivers of alcohol relapse, particularly among women. The current review synthesizes preclinical studies that have observed the role of mGlu5 receptor modulation in negative affective states following ethanol exposure. The primary behavioral assays discussed are ethanol-seeking and intake, development and extinction of ethanol-associated cues and contexts, behavioral despair, and anxiety-like activity. The work done to-date supports mGlu5 receptor modulation as a promising target for mediating negative affective states to reduce ethanol intake or prevent relapse. Limitations in interpreting these data include the lack of models that use alcohol-dependent animals, limited use of adolescent and female subjects, and a lack of comprehensive evaluations of negative affective-like behavior. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Management of Sickle Cell Disease Pain among Adolescent and Pediatric Patients
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080182 - 30 Jul 2019
Viewed by 811
Abstract
Management of sickle cell pain in adolescent and pediatric patients is inadequate, and the employment of proper management guidelines and practices are highly variable among different regions and populations. APPT, the multidimensional adolescent pediatric pain tool, promotes optimal pain management and introduces best [...] Read more.
Management of sickle cell pain in adolescent and pediatric patients is inadequate, and the employment of proper management guidelines and practices are highly variable among different regions and populations. APPT, the multidimensional adolescent pediatric pain tool, promotes optimal pain management and introduces best practical guidelines for pain management. The goal of this study is to assess pain and pain management among young patients diagnosed with sickle cell disease (SCD) by introducing the APPT as a tool for pain management, and analyze factors contributing to pain management. Information relevant to demographic data, SCD characteristics, APPT assessment, and satisfaction of patients regarding pain management were collected using a structured questionnaire. Results showed that SCD is highly associated with gender (p = 0.022), consanguinity (p = 0.012), and number of surgeries (p = 0.013). Most patients (58.9%) indicated the involvement of more than six body areas affected during pain crisis. Severe pain was described by more than half the patients (55.6%), while moderate pain was reported by 31.1%. Most patients described their pain by sensory, affective, and temporal words. The number of painful areas, pain intensity, and use of descriptive pain words was correlated and interpreted by age, BMI, school absence, and number of surgeries. Results of this study could provide guidance to healthcare providers to improve current practices for SCD pain management in order to improve health outcomes and patients’ satisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Collection on Systems Neuroscience)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Magnetic Source Imaging and Infant MEG: Current Trends and Technical Advances
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080181 - 27 Jul 2019
Viewed by 1044
Abstract
Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is known for its temporal precision and good spatial resolution in cognitive brain research. Nonetheless, it is still rarely used in developmental research, and its role in developmental cognitive neuroscience is not adequately addressed. The current review focuses on the source [...] Read more.
Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is known for its temporal precision and good spatial resolution in cognitive brain research. Nonetheless, it is still rarely used in developmental research, and its role in developmental cognitive neuroscience is not adequately addressed. The current review focuses on the source analysis of MEG measurement and its potential to answer critical questions on neural activation origins and patterns underlying infants’ early cognitive experience. The advantages of MEG source localization are discussed in comparison with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), two leading imaging tools for studying cognition across age. Challenges of the current MEG experimental protocols are highlighted, including measurement and data processing, which could potentially be resolved by developing and improving both software and hardware. A selection of infant MEG research in auditory, speech, vision, motor, sleep, cross-modality, and clinical application is then summarized and discussed with a focus on the source localization analyses. Based on the literature review and the advancements of the infant MEG systems and source analysis software, typical practices of infant MEG data collection and analysis are summarized as the basis for future developmental cognitive research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in EEG/ MEG Source Imaging)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effects of Ethanol Exposure and Withdrawal on Neuronal Morphology in the Agranular Insular and Prelimbic Cortices: Relationship with Withdrawal-Related Structural Plasticity in the Nucleus Accumbens
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080180 - 27 Jul 2019
Viewed by 830
Abstract
The present study investigated the effects of chronic intermittent ethanol exposure and withdrawal on dendritic morphology and spine density in the agranular insular and prelimbic cortices. Adult male Sprague–Dawley rats were passively exposed to vaporized ethanol (~37 mg/L; 12 h/day) or air (control) [...] Read more.
The present study investigated the effects of chronic intermittent ethanol exposure and withdrawal on dendritic morphology and spine density in the agranular insular and prelimbic cortices. Adult male Sprague–Dawley rats were passively exposed to vaporized ethanol (~37 mg/L; 12 h/day) or air (control) for ten consecutive days. Dendritic length, branching, and spine density were quantified in layer II/III pyramidal neurons 24 hours or seven days following the final ethanol exposure. Compared to unexposed control animals there were structural alterations on neurons in the prelimbic cortex, and to a lesser extent the agranular insular cortex. The most prominent ethanol-related differences were the transient increases in dendritic length and branching in prelimbic neurons at 24 h post-cessation, and increased mushroom-shaped spines at seven days post-cessation. The results obtained in the prelimbic cortex are the opposite of those previously reported in the nucleus accumbens core (Peterson, et al. 2015), suggesting that these regions undergo distinct functional adaptations following ethanol exposure and withdrawal. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop