From Neuron to Neuropathology: Innovation in Conceptual Frameworks, Diagnosis, Interventions and Treatment

A special issue of Behavioral Sciences (ISSN 2076-328X). This special issue belongs to the section "Cognition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 May 2024) | Viewed by 9668

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Centre for Behavioural Science and Applied Psychology, Department of Psychology, Sociology & Politics, Sheffield Hallam University, Collegiate Crescent, Sheffield S10 2BQ, UK
Interests: traumatic brain injury; innovative assessment and treatment options for neurological conditions; cognitive evaluation; microbiome and neurological conditions

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Guest Editor
Neurorehabilitation Services, Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, Doncaster, UK
Interests: neurorehabilitation approaches; social cognition and awareness deficits following Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

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Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
Interests: head injury; neurodegeneration; micronutrients and brain function; microbiome and brain function

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Brain injury and neuropathological conditions are a global public health problem, adversely affecting the quality of life, employment status and life expectancy of those affected, and placing a strain on healthcare provision and neurorehabilitation services. It is now time for a step-change in approaches to diagnosing and treating neuropathological conditions, including the introduction of new theoretical frameworks, and innovative methods for diagnosing and treating these conditions. Further, linking these advances with clinical service models and delivery in practice is an area in need of urgent attention and dissemination within the literature. Accordingly, this Special Issue calls for papers focused on new and innovative approaches to the treatment and management of neuropathological conditions.  

Dr. Lynne A. Barker
Dr. Nick Morton
Dr. Rebecca Denniss
Guest Editors

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Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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22 pages, 696 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Emotion Recognition and Social Inference Ability in Traumatic Brain Injury: An Eye-Tracking Comparison Study
by Leanne Greene, John Reidy, Nick Morton, Alistair Atherton and Lynne A. Barker
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(10), 816; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13100816 - 3 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1286
Abstract
Emotion recognition and social inference impairments are well-documented features of post-traumatic brain injury (TBI), yet the mechanisms underpinning these are not fully understood. We examined dynamic emotion recognition, social inference abilities, and eye fixation patterns between adults with and without TBI. Eighteen individuals [...] Read more.
Emotion recognition and social inference impairments are well-documented features of post-traumatic brain injury (TBI), yet the mechanisms underpinning these are not fully understood. We examined dynamic emotion recognition, social inference abilities, and eye fixation patterns between adults with and without TBI. Eighteen individuals with TBI and 18 matched non-TBI participants were recruited and underwent all three components of The Assessment of Social Inference Test (TASIT). The TBI group were less accurate in identifying emotions compared to the non-TBI group. Individuals with TBI also scored lower when distinguishing sincere and sarcastic conversations, but scored similarly to those without TBI during lie vignettes. Finally, those with TBI also had difficulty understanding the actor’s intentions, feelings, and beliefs compared to participants without TBI. No group differences were found for eye fixation patterns, and there were no associations between fixations and behavioural accuracy scores. This conflicts with previous studies, and might be related to an important distinction between static and dynamic stimuli. Visual strategies appeared goal- and stimulus-driven, with attention being distributed to the most diagnostic area of the face for each emotion. These findings suggest that low-level visual deficits may not be modulating emotion recognition and social inference disturbances post-TBI. Full article
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14 pages, 279 KiB  
Article
Infra-Low-Frequency Neurofeedback Treatment in Dysthymia: A Case Study
by Reinhard Tschiesner
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(9), 711; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13090711 - 28 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1297
Abstract
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders worldwide. Dysthymia, a long-lasting form of depressive disorder that is also known as persistent depressive disorder (PDD) with pure dysthymic syndrome according to the Diagnostical and Statical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), is characterised [...] Read more.
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders worldwide. Dysthymia, a long-lasting form of depressive disorder that is also known as persistent depressive disorder (PDD) with pure dysthymic syndrome according to the Diagnostical and Statical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), is characterised by being difficult to treat. The most prominent therapeutic approaches in treating dysthymia are pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, but recent studies also demonstrate the success of neurofeedback in treating individuals with depressive disorders. However, infra-low-frequency (ILF) neurofeedback, the main new neurofeedback protocol, lacks empirical evidence, and there is no evidence that it can treat dysthymia. This case report investigates the ILF neurofeedback method in a male patient with dysthymia. After 45 sessions of ILF neurofeedback combined with ILF synchrony, a decrease in symptom severity was found on assessment after treatment, and these results remained consistent at a low level at a 6-month follow-up. Additionally, the patient reported benefits on interpersonal and cognitive levels and in daily life situations. This study should incentivise further investigations into using ILF neurofeedback to treat dysthymia and all variations of depressive disorders. Full article
12 pages, 496 KiB  
Article
The Measure of an Outcome: Comparing Norming and Stacking to Benchmark the Effectiveness of Brain Injury Rehabilitation Services
by Sara D. S. Ramos and Rudi Coetzer
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(9), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13090705 - 25 Aug 2023
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Abstract
Practitioners have a clinical, ethical, academic, and economic responsibility to dispassionately consider how effective their services are. Approaches to measure how “good” or “bad” healthcare is include clinical audit, satisfaction surveys, and routine outcome measurement. However, the process of comparing the clinical outcomes [...] Read more.
Practitioners have a clinical, ethical, academic, and economic responsibility to dispassionately consider how effective their services are. Approaches to measure how “good” or “bad” healthcare is include clinical audit, satisfaction surveys, and routine outcome measurement. However, the process of comparing the clinical outcomes of a specific service against the ‘best’ services in the same specialism, also known as benchmarking, remains challenging, and it is unclear how it affects quality improvement. This paper piloted and compared two different approaches to benchmarking to assess clinical outcomes in neurorehabilitation. Norming involved comparing routine measures of clinical outcome with external validators. Stacking involved pooling and comparing internal data across several years. The analyses of routine clinical outcome data from 167 patients revealed significant differences in the patient characteristics of those admitted to the same service provider over time, but no differences in outcomes achieved when comparing with historical data or with external reference data. These findings illustrate the potential advantages and limitations of using stacking and norming to benchmark clinical outcomes, and how the results from each approach might be used to evaluate service effectiveness and inform quality improvement within the field of brain injury rehabilitation. Full article
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13 pages, 2043 KiB  
Article
Effects of θ High Definition-Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex on the Dominance of Attention Focus in Standing Postural Control
by Shun Sawai, Shin Murata, Shoya Fujikawa, Ryosuke Yamamoto and Hideki Nakano
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(6), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13060477 - 6 Jun 2023
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Abstract
Attention focus affects performance in postural control while standing, and it is divided into internal focus (IF) and external focus (EF). Each individual has a predominant attention focus, and research has revealed that the dominance of attention focus may be an acquired trait. [...] Read more.
Attention focus affects performance in postural control while standing, and it is divided into internal focus (IF) and external focus (EF). Each individual has a predominant attention focus, and research has revealed that the dominance of attention focus may be an acquired trait. However, the impact of non-invasive brain stimulation on attention-focus dominance remains unexplored in the current literature. Here, we examined the effect of high-definition transcranial alternating current stimulation (HD-tACS) on θ waves in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) on standing postural control tasks in an EF condition for IF- and EF-dominant groups. The effect of θ HD-tACS on the ACC differed between IF- and EF-dominant groups, and θ HD-tACS in the IF-dominant group decreased the performance of standing postural control under the EF condition. The forced activation of the ACC with θ HD-tACS may have conversely reduced the activity of brain regions normally activated by the IF-dominant group. Additionally, the activation of ACC prioritized visual information processing and suppressed the superficial sensory processing that is normally potentially prioritized by the IF-dominant group. These results highlight the importance of changing the type of rehabilitation and sports training tasks to account for the individual’s dominance of attention focus. Full article
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Review

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22 pages, 432 KiB  
Review
Brain Trauma and the Secondary Cascade in Humans: Review of the Potential Role of Vitamins in Reparative Processes and Functional Outcome
by Rebecca J. Denniss and Lynne A. Barker
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(5), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13050388 - 8 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3887
Abstract
An estimated sixty-nine million people sustain a traumatic brain injury each year. Trauma to the brain causes the primary insult and initiates a secondary biochemical cascade as part of the immune and reparative response to injury. The secondary cascade, although a normal physiological [...] Read more.
An estimated sixty-nine million people sustain a traumatic brain injury each year. Trauma to the brain causes the primary insult and initiates a secondary biochemical cascade as part of the immune and reparative response to injury. The secondary cascade, although a normal physiological response, may also contribute to ongoing neuroinflammation, oxidative stress and axonal injury, continuing in some cases years after the initial insult. In this review, we explain some of the biochemical mechanisms of the secondary cascade and their potential deleterious effects on healthy neurons including secondary cell death. The second part of the review focuses on the role of micronutrients to neural mechanisms and their potential reparative effects with regards to the secondary cascade after brain injury. The biochemical response to injury, hypermetabolism and excessive renal clearance of nutrients after injury increases the demand for most vitamins. Currently, most research in the area has shown positive outcomes of vitamin supplementation after brain injury, although predominantly in animal (murine) models. There is a pressing need for more research in this area with human participants because vitamin supplementation post-trauma is a potential cost-effective adjunct to other clinical and therapeutic treatments. Importantly, traumatic brain injury should be considered a lifelong process and better evaluated across the lifespan of individuals who experience brain injury. Full article
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