Next Issue
Volume 12, May
Previous Issue
Volume 12, March
 
 

Brain Sci., Volume 12, Issue 4 (April 2022) – 98 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to study whether individual differences in empathy traits can be traced to the local topological features of brain networks. Empathy was conceived as composed of two psychometric dimensions within the concept of pre-reflective, intersubjective understanding. The results linked the vicarious experience dimension and the intuitive understanding dimension to distinct (frontoparietal versus somatomotor and subcortical) as well as common (salience) networks. Sex differences in such brain–behavior coding were also observed. The findings may help to explain how the intrinsic architecture of brain networks predisposes empathic inclinations and to understand the impact of alterations of empathy-related network integrity by brain damage or stimulation. View this paper
  • 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 Reader to open them.
Order results
Result details
Section
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
11 pages, 1809 KiB  
Article
Changes in the Intranetwork and Internetwork Connectivity of the Default Mode Network and Olfactory Network in Patients with COVID-19 and Olfactory Dysfunction
by Hui Zhang, Tom Wai-Hin Chung, Fergus Kai-Chuen Wong, Ivan Fan-Ngai Hung and Henry Ka-Fung Mak
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 511; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040511 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2668
Abstract
Olfactory dysfunction (OD) is a common symptom in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Moreover, many neurological manifestations have been reported in these patients, suggesting central nervous system involvement. The default mode network (DMN) is closely associated with olfactory processing. In this study, we [...] Read more.
Olfactory dysfunction (OD) is a common symptom in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Moreover, many neurological manifestations have been reported in these patients, suggesting central nervous system involvement. The default mode network (DMN) is closely associated with olfactory processing. In this study, we investigated the internetwork and intranetwork connectivity of the DMN and the olfactory network (ON) in 13 healthy controls and 22 patients presenting with COVID-19-related OD using independent component analysis and region of interest functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) analysis. There was a significant correlation between the butanol threshold test (BTT) and the intranetwork connectivity in ON. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 patients with OD showed significantly higher intranetwork connectivity in the DMN, as well as higher internetwork connectivity between ON and DMN. However, no significant difference was found between groups in the intranetwork connectivity within ON. We postulate that higher intranetwork functional connectivities compensate for the deficits in olfactory processing and general well-being in COVID-19 patients. Nevertheless, the compensation process in the ON may not be obvious at this stage. Our results suggest that resting-state fMRI is a potentially valuable tool to evaluate neurosensory dysfunction in COVID-19 patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Systems Neuroscience)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

11 pages, 1350 KiB  
Article
The Efficacy of an Ultrasound-Guided Improved Puncture Path Technique of Nerve Block/Pulsed Radiofrequency for Pudendal Neuralgia: A Retrospective Study
by Dan Zhu, Zhenzhen Fan, Fujun Cheng, Yuping Li, Xingyue Huo and Jian Cui
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040510 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3876
Abstract
Objectives: To investigate the efficacy and safety of an improved ultrasound-guided pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) and nerve block (NB) for patients with pudendal neuralgia (PN). Methods: This retrospective analysis included 88 adults with PN treated in the Pain Department of Southwest Hospital from November [...] Read more.
Objectives: To investigate the efficacy and safety of an improved ultrasound-guided pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) and nerve block (NB) for patients with pudendal neuralgia (PN). Methods: This retrospective analysis included 88 adults with PN treated in the Pain Department of Southwest Hospital from November 2011 to June 2021, with treatment including NB (n = 40) and PRF (n = 48). The primary outcome variable was pain severity, measured by a standardized visual analog scale (VAS). VAS values were collected at 1, 3, 7, and 14 days and 1 and 3 months after patients were treated with NB or PRF. Results: Compared with patients treated with NB (n = 40) and those treated with PRF (n = 48), no significant difference in pain reduction was observed in the short term (p = 0.739 and 0.981, at 1 and 3 days, respectively); however, in the medium and long term (1 to 3 months), there were statistically significant improvements in the PRF group over the NB group (p < 0.001). Moreover, it was noted that the average pain severity of primary PN and PN due to sacral perineurial cyst was significantly reduced with PRF therapy in the medium and long term when compared to other secondary PNs, including surgery, trauma, and diabetes. Discussion: The ultrasound-guided, improved, and innovative PRF/NB puncture path technique allows for gentler stimulation and faster identification of the pudendal nerve. The PRF technique may provide better treatments for primary PN and sacral perineurial cyst causing secondary PN in the medium and long term. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

13 pages, 1465 KiB  
Article
Influence of Weight Loss on Cognitive Functions: A Pilot Study of a Multidisciplinary Intervention Program for Obesity Treatment
by Emma Chávez-Manzanera, Maura Ramírez-Flores, Michelle Duran, Mariana Torres, Mariana Ramírez, Martha Kaufer-Horwitz, Sylvana Stephano, Lizette Quiroz-Casian, Carlos Cantú-Brito and Erwin Chiquete
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 509; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040509 - 17 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2457
Abstract
There is a relationship between obesity and cognitive functioning. Our aim was to assess weight loss influence on global cognition and executive functioning (EF) in adults with obesity under a multidisciplinary weight loss program. In this six-month longitudinal study, we assessed 81 adults [...] Read more.
There is a relationship between obesity and cognitive functioning. Our aim was to assess weight loss influence on global cognition and executive functioning (EF) in adults with obesity under a multidisciplinary weight loss program. In this six-month longitudinal study, we assessed 81 adults (age < 50 years) with body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30. EF and global cognitive performance were evaluated with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), Neuropsychological Battery of Executive Functions (BANFE-2) and Trail Making Test-Part B (TMT-B). Median age was 40.0 years (IQR: 31.5–47, 61% women), and the median BMI was 41.4 (IQR: 36.7–45.9). At a six-month follow-up, the mean weight loss was 2.67% (29.6% of patients achieved ≥5% weight loss). There was an improvement in EF evaluated with BANFE (p = 0.0024) and global cognition with MoCA (p = 0.0024). Women experienced more remarkable change, especially in EF. Weight loss did not correlate with cognitive performance, except for TMT-B (r-0.258, p = 0.026). In the regression analysis, only years of education predicted the MoCA score. This study showed that patients improved cognitive performance during the follow-up; nevertheless, the magnitude of weight loss did not correlate with cognitive improvement. Future studies are warranted to demonstrate if patients achieving ≥5% weight loss can improve cognition, secondary to weight loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuropsychology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 3385 KiB  
Article
Learning by Exposure in the Visual System
by Bogdan F. Iliescu
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 508; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040508 - 17 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1780 | Correction
Abstract
It is increasingly being understood that perceptual learning involves different types of plasticity. Thus, whereas the practice-based improvement in the ability to perform specific tasks is believed to rely on top-down plasticity, the capacity of sensory systems to passively adapt to the stimuli [...] Read more.
It is increasingly being understood that perceptual learning involves different types of plasticity. Thus, whereas the practice-based improvement in the ability to perform specific tasks is believed to rely on top-down plasticity, the capacity of sensory systems to passively adapt to the stimuli they are exposed to is believed to rely on bottom-up plasticity. However, top-down and bottom-up plasticity have never been investigated concurrently, and hence their relationship is not well understood. To examine whether passive exposure influences perceptual performance, we asked subjects to test their orientation discrimination performance around and orthogonal to the exposed orientation axes, at an exposed and an unexposed location while oriented sine-wave gratings were presented in a fixed position. Here we report that repetitive passive exposure to oriented sequences that are not linked to a specific task induces a persistent, bottom-up form of learning that is stronger than top-down practice learning and generalizes across complex stimulus dimensions. Importantly, orientation-specific exposure learning led to a robust improvement in the discrimination of complex stimuli (shapes and natural scenes). Our results indicate that long-term sensory adaptation by passive exposure should be viewed as a form of perceptual learning that is complementary to practice learning in that it reduces constraints on speed and generalization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Collection on Systems Neuroscience)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 3571 KiB  
Article
ER Stress in COVID-19 and Parkinson’s Disease: In Vitro and In Silico Evidences
by Zahara L. Chaudhry, Mahmoud Gamal, Ingrid Ferhati, Mohamad Warda and Bushra Y. Ahmed
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040507 - 16 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2913
Abstract
The outbreak of COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) signifies a serious worldwide concern to public health. Both transcriptome and proteome of SARS-CoV-2-infected cells synergize the progression of infection in host, which may exacerbate symptoms and/or progression of other [...] Read more.
The outbreak of COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) signifies a serious worldwide concern to public health. Both transcriptome and proteome of SARS-CoV-2-infected cells synergize the progression of infection in host, which may exacerbate symptoms and/or progression of other chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s disease (PD). Oxidative stress is a well-known cause of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress observed in both SARS-CoV-2 and PD. In the current study, we aimed to explore the influence of PKR-like ER kinase (PERK) stress pathway under SARS-CoV-2-mediated infection and in human cell model of PD. Furthermore, we investigated whether they are interconnected and if the ER stress inhibitors could inhibit cell death and provide cellular protection. To achieve this aim, we have incorporated in silico analysis obtained from gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA), a literature review and laboratory data. The neurotoxin, 6-hydroxy dopamine (6OHDA), was used to mimic the biochemical and neuropathological characteristics of PD by inducing oxidative stress in dopamine-containing neurons differentiated from ReNVM cell line (dDCNs). Furthermore, we explored if ER stress influences activation of caspases-2, -4 and -8 in SARS-CoV-2 and in stressed dDCNs. Our laboratory data using Western blot, immunocytochemistry and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazolyl-2)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) analyses indicated that 6OHDA-induced toxicity triggered activation of caspases-2, -4 and -8 in dDCNs. Under SARS-CoV-2 infection of different cell types, GSEA revealed cell-specific sensitivities to oxidative and ER stresses. Cardiomyocytes and type II alveolar epithelial-like cells were more vulnerable to oxidative stress than neural cells. On the other side, only cardiomyocytes activated the unfolded protein response, however, the PERK pathway was operative in both cardiomyocytes and neural cells. In addition, caspase-4 activation by a SARS-CoV-2 was observed via in silico analyses. These results demonstrate that the ER stress pathway under oxidative stress in SARS-CoV-2 and PD are interconnected using diverse pathways. Furthermore, our results using the ER stress inhibitor and caspase specific inhibitors provided cellular protection suggesting that the use of specific inhibitors can provide effective therapeutic approaches for the treatment of COVID-19 and PD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection COVID-19 and Brain)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 956 KiB  
Article
High Estrogen Levels Cause Greater Leg Muscle Fatigability in Eumenorrheic Young Women after 4 mA Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
by Justin R. Deters, Alexandra C. Fietsam, Craig D. Workman and Thorsten Rudroff
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 506; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040506 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1724
Abstract
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) research has shown great outcome variability in motor performance tasks, with one possible source being sex differences. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effects of estrogen levels on leg muscle fatigability during a fatigue task [...] Read more.
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) research has shown great outcome variability in motor performance tasks, with one possible source being sex differences. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effects of estrogen levels on leg muscle fatigability during a fatigue task (FT) after 4 mA tDCS over the left motor cortex (M1). Ten young, healthy eumenorrheic women received 4 mA anodal active or sham stimulation over the left M1 during periods of high and low estrogen levels. A fatigue index (FI) was calculated to quantify fatigability, and the electromyography (EMG) of the knee extensors and flexors was recorded during the FT. The findings showed that tDCS applied during high estrogen levels resulted in greater leg muscle fatigability. Furthermore, a significant increase in EMG activity of the right knee extensors was observed during periods of active stimulation, independent of estrogen level. These results suggest that estrogen levels should be considered in tDCS studies with young healthy women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensory and Motor Neuroscience)
Show Figures

Figure 1

28 pages, 18716 KiB  
Review
Tumor Microenvironment in Glioma Invasion
by Sho Tamai, Toshiya Ichinose, Taishi Tsutsui, Shingo Tanaka, Farida Garaeva, Hemragul Sabit and Mitsutoshi Nakada
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 505; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040505 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 4784
Abstract
A major malignant trait of gliomas is their remarkable infiltration capacity. When glioma develops, the tumor cells have already reached the distant part. Therefore, complete removal of the glioma is impossible. Recently, research on the involvement of the tumor microenvironment in glioma invasion [...] Read more.
A major malignant trait of gliomas is their remarkable infiltration capacity. When glioma develops, the tumor cells have already reached the distant part. Therefore, complete removal of the glioma is impossible. Recently, research on the involvement of the tumor microenvironment in glioma invasion has advanced. Local hypoxia triggers cell migration as an environmental factor. The transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) -1α, produced in tumor cells under hypoxia, promotes the transcription of various invasion related molecules. The extracellular matrix surrounding tumors is degraded by proteases secreted by tumor cells and simultaneously replaced by an extracellular matrix that promotes infiltration. Astrocytes and microglia become tumor-associated astrocytes and glioma-associated macrophages/microglia, respectively, in relation to tumor cells. These cells also promote glioma invasion. Interactions between glioma cells actively promote infiltration of each other. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy transform the microenvironment, allowing glioma cells to invade. These findings indicate that the tumor microenvironment may be a target for glioma invasion. On the other hand, because the living body actively promotes tumor infiltration in response to the tumor, it is necessary to reconsider whether the invasion itself is friend or foe to the brain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Glioma Invasion)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

15 pages, 617 KiB  
Review
The Concept of «Peritumoral Zone» in Diffuse Low-Grade Gliomas: Oncological and Functional Implications for a Connectome-Guided Therapeutic Attitude
by Melissa Silva, Catalina Vivancos and Hugues Duffau
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 504; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040504 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2907
Abstract
Diffuse low-grade gliomas (DLGGs) are heterogeneous and poorly circumscribed neoplasms with isolated tumor cells that extend beyond the margins of the lesion depicted on MRI. Efforts to demarcate the glioma core from the surrounding healthy brain led us to define an intermediate region, [...] Read more.
Diffuse low-grade gliomas (DLGGs) are heterogeneous and poorly circumscribed neoplasms with isolated tumor cells that extend beyond the margins of the lesion depicted on MRI. Efforts to demarcate the glioma core from the surrounding healthy brain led us to define an intermediate region, the so-called peritumoral zone (PTZ). Although most studies about PTZ have been conducted on high-grade gliomas, the purpose here is to review the cellular, metabolic, and radiological characteristics of PTZ in the specific context of DLGG. A better delineation of PTZ, in which glioma cells and neural tissue strongly interact, may open new therapeutic avenues to optimize both functional and oncological results. First, a connectome-based “supratotal” surgical resection (i.e., with the removal of PTZ in addition to the tumor core) resulted in prolonged survival by limiting the risk of malignant transformation, while improving the quality of life, thanks to a better control of seizures. Second, the timing and order of (neo)adjuvant medical treatments can be modulated according to the pattern of peritumoral infiltration. Third, the development of new drugs specifically targeting the PTZ could be considered from an oncological (such as immunotherapy) and epileptological perspective. Further multimodal investigations of PTZ are needed to maximize long-term outcomes in DLGG patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Neurooncology and Neurosurgery)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 1032 KiB  
Protocol
Music and Psychology & Social Connections Program: Protocol for a Novel Intervention for Dyads Affected by Younger-Onset Dementia
by Samantha M. Loi, Libby Flynn, Claire Cadwallader, Phoebe Stretton-Smith, Christina Bryant and Felicity A. Baker
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040503 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3590
Abstract
Psychosocial interventions targeting the specific needs of people affected by younger-onset dementia are lacking. Younger-onset dementia refers to dementia where symptom onset occurs at less than 65 years old. Because of its occurrence in middle age, the impact on spouses is particularly marked [...] Read more.
Psychosocial interventions targeting the specific needs of people affected by younger-onset dementia are lacking. Younger-onset dementia refers to dementia where symptom onset occurs at less than 65 years old. Because of its occurrence in middle age, the impact on spouses is particularly marked and dyadic-based interventions are recommended. Music And Psychology & Social Connections (MAPS) is a novel online intervention, informed by the theory of adaptive coping by Bannon et al. (2021) for dyads affected by younger-onset dementia. MAPS combines therapeutic songwriting, cognitive behaviour therapy, and a private social networking group that focuses on the dyads. This will be a randomised controlled trial with a waitlist control. The primary aims are to assess whether MAPS improves depressive, anxiety, and stress symptoms in caregivers, with secondary aims to assess whether MAPS improves depressive symptoms in people with younger-onset dementia. The trial also aims to assess dyadic social connectedness; caregiver coping skills; and neuropsychiatric symptoms in people with younger-onset dementia. We will recruit 60 dyads to participate in a group-based weekly online program for 8 weeks facilitated by a credentialed music therapist and psychologist. Sessions 1 and 8 will include both caregivers and people with younger-onset dementia and Sessions 2–7 will involve separate group sessions for caregivers and those with dementia. There will be focus groups for qualitative feedback. Due to its online administration, MAPS has the potential to reach many dyads affected by younger-onset dementia. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 764 KiB  
Review
NKCC1 Deficiency in Forming Hippocampal Circuits Triggers Neurodevelopmental Disorder: Role of BDNF-TrkB Signalling
by Jacek Szymanski and Liliana Minichiello
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040502 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2618
Abstract
The time-sensitive GABA shift from excitatory to inhibitory is critical in early neural circuits development and depends upon developmentally regulated expression of cation-chloride cotransporters NKCC1 and KCC2. NKCC1, encoded by the SLC12A2 gene, regulates neuronal Cl homeostasis by chloride import working opposite [...] Read more.
The time-sensitive GABA shift from excitatory to inhibitory is critical in early neural circuits development and depends upon developmentally regulated expression of cation-chloride cotransporters NKCC1 and KCC2. NKCC1, encoded by the SLC12A2 gene, regulates neuronal Cl homeostasis by chloride import working opposite KCC2. The high NKCC1/KCC2 expression ratio decreases in early neural development contributing to GABA shift. Human SLC12A2 loss-of-function mutations were recently associated with a multisystem disorder affecting neural development. However, the multisystem phenotype of rodent Nkcc1 knockout models makes neurodevelopment challenging to study. Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)-NTRK2/TrkB signalling controls KCC2 expression during neural development, but its impact on NKCC1 is still controversial. Here, we discuss recent evidence supporting BDNF-TrkB signalling controlling Nkcc1 expression and the GABA shift during hippocampal circuit formation. Namely, specific deletion of Ntrk2/Trkb from immature mouse hippocampal dentate granule cells (DGCs) affects their integration and maturation in the hippocampal circuitry and reduces Nkcc1 expression in their target region, the CA3 principal cells, leading to premature GABA shift, ultimately influencing the establishment of functional hippocampal circuitry and animal behaviour in adulthood. Thus, immature DGCs emerge as a potential therapeutic target as GABAergic transmission is vital for specific neural progenitors generating dentate neurogenesis in early development and the mature brain. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 6117 KiB  
Article
Immune Landscape in PTEN-Related Glioma Microenvironment: A Bioinformatic Analysis
by Alice Giotta Lucifero and Sabino Luzzi
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040501 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2473
Abstract
Introduction: PTEN gene mutations are frequently found in the genetic landscape of high-grade gliomas since they influence cell proliferation, proangiogenetic pathways, and antitumoral immune response. The present bioinformatics analysis explores the PTEN gene expression profile in HGGs as a prognostic factor for survival, [...] Read more.
Introduction: PTEN gene mutations are frequently found in the genetic landscape of high-grade gliomas since they influence cell proliferation, proangiogenetic pathways, and antitumoral immune response. The present bioinformatics analysis explores the PTEN gene expression profile in HGGs as a prognostic factor for survival, especially focusing on the related immune microenvironment. The effects of PTEN mutation on the susceptibility to conventional chemotherapy were also investigated. Methods: Clinical and genetic data of GBMs and normal tissue samples were acquired from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA)-GBM and Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) online databases, respectively. The genetic differential expressions were analyzed in both groups via the one-way ANOVA test. Kaplan–Meier survival curves were applied to estimate the overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS). The Genomics of Drug Sensitivity in Cancer platform was chosen to assess the response of PTEN-mutated GBMs to temozolomide (TMZ). p < 0.05 was fixed as statistically significant. On Tumor Immune Estimation Resource and Gene Expression Profiling Interactive Analysis databases, the linkage between immune cell recruitment and PTEN status was assessed through Spearman’s correlation analysis. Results: PTEN was found mutated in 22.2% of the 617 TCGA-GBMs patients, with a higher log2-transcriptome per million reads compared to the GTEx group (255 samples). Survival curves revealed a worse OS and DFS, albeit not significant, for the high-PTEN profile GBMs. Spearman’s analysis of immune cells demonstrated a strong positive correlation between the PTEN status and infiltration of Treg (ρ = 0.179) and M2 macrophages (ρ = 0.303). The half-maximal inhibitor concentration of TMZ was proven to be lower for PTEN-mutated GBMs compared with PTEN wild-types. Conclusions: PTEN gene mutations prevail in GBMs and are strongly related to poor prognosis and least survival. The infiltrating immune lymphocytes Treg and M2 macrophages populate the glioma microenvironment and control the mechanisms of tumor progression, immune escape, and sensitivity to standard chemotherapy. Broader studies are required to confirm these findings and turn them into new therapeutic perspectives. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

8 pages, 1451 KiB  
Article
Circulating Exosomal-DNA in Glioma Patients: A Quantitative Study and Histopathological Correlations—A Preliminary Study
by Amedeo Piazza, Paolo Rosa, Luca Ricciardi, Antonella Mangraviti, Luca Pacini, Antonella Calogero, Antonino Raco and Massimo Miscusi
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040500 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1695
Abstract
Glial neoplasms are a group of diseases with poor prognoses. Not all risk factors are known, and no screening tests are available. Only histology provides certain diagnosis. As already reported, DNA transported by exosomes can be an excellent source of information shared by [...] Read more.
Glial neoplasms are a group of diseases with poor prognoses. Not all risk factors are known, and no screening tests are available. Only histology provides certain diagnosis. As already reported, DNA transported by exosomes can be an excellent source of information shared by cells locally or systemically. These vesicles seem to be one of the main mechanisms of tumor remote intercellular signaling used to induce immune deregulation, apoptosis, and both phenotypic and genotypic modifications. In this study, we evaluated the exosomal DNA (exoDNA) concentration in blood samples of patients affected by cerebral glioma and correlated it with histological and radiological characteristics of tumors. From 14 patients with diagnosed primary or recurrent glioma, we obtained MRI imaging data, histological data, and preoperative blood samples that were used to extract circulating exosomal DNA, which we then quantified. Our results demonstrate a relationship between the amount of circulating exosomal DNA and tumor volume, and mitotic activity. In particular, a high concentration of exoDNA was noted in low-grade gliomas. Our results suggest a possible role of exoDNAs in the diagnosis of brain glioma. They could be particularly useful in detecting early recurrent high-grade gliomas and asymptomatic low-grade gliomas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Neurooncology and Neurosurgery)
Show Figures

Figure 1

6 pages, 5060 KiB  
Brief Report
First Report of Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) Therapy for Glioblastoma in Comorbidity with Multiple Sclerosis
by Rebecca Kassubek and René Mathieu
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040499 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2166
Abstract
Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) therapy is FDA approved and has the CE mark for treatment of newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma. To our knowledge, to date TTFields therapy remains unstudied in glioblastoma patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) as a comorbidity. Here, we present [...] Read more.
Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) therapy is FDA approved and has the CE mark for treatment of newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma. To our knowledge, to date TTFields therapy remains unstudied in glioblastoma patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) as a comorbidity. Here, we present a patient who was diagnosed with MS at the age of 34. Treatment included several corticoid pulse treatments and therapies with interferon beta-1a and sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor modulator fingolimod. At the age of 52 the patient was diagnosed with glioblastoma, after experiencing worsening headaches which could not be attributed to the MS condition. After subtotal resection and concomitant radiochemotherapy, the patient received temozolomide in combination with TTFields therapy. For two years, the tumor condition remained stable while the patient showed high adherence to TTFields therapy with low-grade skin reactions being the only therapy-related adverse events. After two years, the tumor recurred. The patient underwent re-resection and radiotherapy and restarted TTFields therapy together with chemotherapy and is currently still on this therapy regime. Although having not been studied systematically, the case presented here demonstrates that TTFields therapy may be considered for newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma patients with previously diagnosed multiple sclerosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuro-oncology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1165 KiB  
Article
Alteration in the Expression of Genes Involved in Cerebral Glucose Metabolism as a Process of Adaptation to Stressful Conditions
by Mariola Herbet, Iwona Piątkowska-Chmiel, Monika Motylska, Monika Gawrońska-Grzywacz, Barbara Nieradko-Iwanicka and Jarosław Dudka
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040498 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2059
Abstract
Exposure to chronic stress leads to disturbances in glucose metabolism in the brain, and changes in the functioning of neurons coexisting with the development of depression. The detailed molecular mechanism and cerebral gluconeogenesis during depression are not conclusively established. The aim of the [...] Read more.
Exposure to chronic stress leads to disturbances in glucose metabolism in the brain, and changes in the functioning of neurons coexisting with the development of depression. The detailed molecular mechanism and cerebral gluconeogenesis during depression are not conclusively established. The aim of the research was to assess the expression of selected genes involved in cerebral glucose metabolism of mice in the validated animal paradigm of chronic stress. To confirm the induction of depression-like disorders, we performed three behavioral tests: sucrose preference test (SPT), forced swim test (FST), and tail suspension test (TST). In order to study the cerebral glucose metabolism of the brain, mRNA levels of the following genes were determined in the prefrontal cortex of mice: Slc2a3, Gapdh, Ldha, Ldhb, and Pkfb3. It has been shown that exogenous, chronic administration of corticosterone developed a model of depression in behavioral tests. There were statistically significant changes in the mRNA level of the Slc2a3, Ldha, Gapdh, and Ldhb genes. The obtained results suggest changes in cerebral glucose metabolism as a process of adaptation to stressful conditions, and may provide the basis for introducing new therapeutic strategies for chronic stress-related depression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

10 pages, 533 KiB  
Article
The Feasibility and Acceptability of Neurologic Music Therapy in Subacute Neurorehabilitation and Effects on Patient Mood
by Naomi Thompson, Jodie Bloska, Alison Abington, Amber Masterson, David Whitten and Alexander Street
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040497 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2993
Abstract
Music interventions support functional outcomes, improve mood, and reduce symptoms of depression in neurorehabilitation. Neurologic music therapy (NMT) has been reported as feasible and helpful in stroke rehabilitation but is not commonly part of multidisciplinary services in acute or subacute settings. This study [...] Read more.
Music interventions support functional outcomes, improve mood, and reduce symptoms of depression in neurorehabilitation. Neurologic music therapy (NMT) has been reported as feasible and helpful in stroke rehabilitation but is not commonly part of multidisciplinary services in acute or subacute settings. This study assessed the feasibility and acceptability of delivering NMT one-day-per-week in a subacute neurorehabilitation centre over 15 months. Data were collected on the number of referrals, who referred, sessions offered, attended, and declined, and reasons why. Staff, patients, and their relatives completed questionnaires rating the interventions. Patients completed the Visual Analog Mood Scales (VAMS) pre and post a single session. Forty-nine patients received 318 NMT sessions (83% of sessions offered). NMT was rated as helpful or very helpful as part of the multidisciplinary team (n = 36). The highest ratings were for concentration, arm and hand rehabilitation, and motivation and mood. VAMS scores (n = 24) showed a reduction in ‘confused’ (−8.6, p = 0.035, effect size 0.49) and an increase in ‘happy’ (6.5, p = 0.021, effect size = 0.12) post NMT. The data suggest that a one-day-per-week NMT post in subacute neurorehabilitation was feasible, acceptable, and helpful, supporting patient engagement in rehabilitation exercises, mood, and motivation. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 1002 KiB  
Article
Young Adults with a Parent with Dementia Show Early Abnormalities in Brain Activity and Brain Volume in the Hippocampus: A Matched Case-Control Study
by Ian M. McDonough, Christopher Mayhugh, Mary Katherine Moore, Mikenzi B. Brasfield, Sarah K. Letang, Christopher R. Madan and Rebecca S. Allen
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040496 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2469
Abstract
Having a parent with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related dementias confers a risk for developing these types of neurocognitive disorders in old age, but the mechanisms underlying this risk are understudied. Although the hippocampus is often one of the earliest brain regions to [...] Read more.
Having a parent with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related dementias confers a risk for developing these types of neurocognitive disorders in old age, but the mechanisms underlying this risk are understudied. Although the hippocampus is often one of the earliest brain regions to undergo change in the AD process, we do not know how early in the lifespan such changes might occur or whether they differ early in the lifespan as a function of family history of AD. Using a rare sample, young adults with a parent with late-onset dementia, we investigated whether brain abnormalities could already be detected compared with a matched sample. Moreover, we employed simple yet novel techniques to characterize resting brain activity (mean and standard deviation) and brain volume in the hippocampus. Young adults with a parent with dementia showed greater resting mean activity and smaller volumes in the left hippocampus compared to young adults without a parent with dementia. Having a parent with AD or a related dementia was associated with early aberrations in brain function and structure. This early hippocampal dysfunction may be due to aberrant neural firing, which may increase the risk for a diagnosis of dementia in old age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Approaches to Memory and Aging)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 1728 KiB  
Article
Memantine Disrupts Motor Coordination through Anxiety-like Behavior in CD1 Mice
by Anton N. Shuvaev, Olga S. Belozor, Oleg I. Mozhei, Aleksandra G. Mileiko, Ludmila D. Mosina, Irina V. Laletina, Ilia G. Mikhailov, Yana V. Fritsler, Andrey N. Shuvaev, Anja G. Teschemacher and Sergey Kasparov
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040495 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2885
Abstract
Memantine is an FDA approved drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. It reduces neurodegeneration in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex through the inhibition of extrasynaptic NMDA receptors in patients and mouse models. Potentially, it could prevent neurodegeneration in other brain areas and [...] Read more.
Memantine is an FDA approved drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. It reduces neurodegeneration in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex through the inhibition of extrasynaptic NMDA receptors in patients and mouse models. Potentially, it could prevent neurodegeneration in other brain areas and caused by other diseases. We previously used memantine to prevent functional damage and to retain morphology of cerebellar neurons and Bergmann glia in an optogenetic mouse model of spinocerebellar ataxia type-1 (SCA1). However, before suggesting wider use of memantine in clinics, its side effects must be carefully evaluated. Blockers of NMDA receptors are controversial in terms of their effects on anxiety. Here, we investigated the effects of chronic application of memantine over 9 weeks to CD1 mice and examined rotarod performance and anxiety-related behaviors. Memantine-treated mice exhibited an inability to adapt to anxiety-causing conditions which strongly affected their rotarod performance. A tail suspension test revealed increased signs of behavioral despair. These data provide further insights into the potential deleterious effects of memantine which may result from the lack of adaptation to novel, stressful conditions. This effect of memantine may affect the results of tests used to assess motor performance and should be considered during clinical trials of memantine in patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurorehabilitation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

49 pages, 3285 KiB  
Study Protocol
Home-Based Music Therapy to Support Bulbar and Respiratory Functions of Persons with Early and Mid-Stage Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis—Protocol and Results from a Feasibility Study
by Alisa T. Apreleva Kolomeytseva, Lev Brylev, Marziye Eshghi, Zhanna Bottaeva, Jufen Zhang, Jörg C. Fachner and Alexander J. Street
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 494; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040494 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4234
Abstract
Respiratory failure, malnutrition, aspiration pneumonia, and dehydration are the precursors to mortality in ALS. Loss of natural communication is considered one of the worst aspects of ALS. This first study to test the feasibility of a music therapy protocol for bulbar and respiratory [...] Read more.
Respiratory failure, malnutrition, aspiration pneumonia, and dehydration are the precursors to mortality in ALS. Loss of natural communication is considered one of the worst aspects of ALS. This first study to test the feasibility of a music therapy protocol for bulbar and respiratory rehabilitation in ALS employs a mixed-methods case study series design with repeated measures. Newly diagnosed patients meeting the inclusion criteria were invited to participate, until the desired sample size (n = 8) was achieved. The protocol was delivered to participants in their homes twice weekly for six weeks. Individualised exercise sets for independent practice were provided. Feasibility data (recruitment, retention, adherence, tolerability, self-motivation and personal impressions) were collected. Bulbar and respiratory changes were objectively measured. Results. A high recruitment rate (100%), a high retention rate (87.5%) and high mean adherence to treatment (95.4%) provide evidence for the feasibility of the study protocol. The treatment was well tolerated. Mean adherence to the suggested independent exercise routine was 53%. The outcome measurements to evaluate the therapy-induced change in bulbar and respiratory functions were defined. Findings suggest that the protocol is safe to use in early- and mid-stage ALS and that music therapy was beneficial for the participants’ bulbar and respiratory functions. Mean trends suggesting that these functions were sustained or improved during the treatment period were observed for most outcome parameters: Maximal Inspiratory Pressure, Maximal Expiratory Pressure, Peak Expiratory Flow, the Center for Neurologic Study—Bulbar Function Scale speech and swallowing subscales, Maximum Phonation Time, Maximum Repetition Rate—Alternating, Maximum Repetition Rate—Sequential, Jitter, Shimmer, NHR, Speaking rate, Speech–pause ratio, Pause frequency, hypernasality level, Time-to-Laryngeal Vestibule Closure, Maximum Pharyngeal Constriction Area, Peak Position of the Hyoid Bone, Total Pharyngeal Residue C24area. Conclusion. The suggested design and protocol are feasible for a larger study, with some modifications, including aerodynamic measure of nasalance, abbreviated voice sampling and psychological screening. Full article
12 pages, 620 KiB  
Article
The Detection of Face-like Stimuli at the Edge of the Infant Visual Field
by Chiara Capparini, Michelle P. S. To and Vincent M. Reid
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 493; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040493 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1999
Abstract
Human infants are highly sensitive to social information in their visual world. In laboratory settings, researchers have mainly studied the development of social information processing using faces presented on standard computer displays, in paradigms exploring face-to-face, direct eye contact social interactions. This is [...] Read more.
Human infants are highly sensitive to social information in their visual world. In laboratory settings, researchers have mainly studied the development of social information processing using faces presented on standard computer displays, in paradigms exploring face-to-face, direct eye contact social interactions. This is a simplification of a richer visual environment in which social information derives from the wider visual field and detection involves navigating the world with eyes, head and body movements. The present study measured 9-month-old infants’ sensitivities to face-like configurations across mid-peripheral visual areas using a detection task. Upright and inverted face-like stimuli appeared at one of three eccentricities (50°, 55° or 60°) in the left and right hemifields. Detection rates at different eccentricities were measured from video recordings. Results indicated that infant performance was heterogeneous and dropped beyond 55°, with a marginal advantage for targets appearing in the left hemifield. Infants’ orienting behaviour was not influenced by the orientation of the target stimulus. These findings are key to understanding how face stimuli are perceived outside foveal regions and are informative for the design of infant paradigms involving stimulus presentation across a wider field of view, in more naturalistic visual environments. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 2522 KiB  
Article
Dysarthria Subgroups in Talkers with Huntington’s Disease: Comparison of Two Data-Driven Classification Approaches
by Daniel Kim, Sarah Diehl, Michael de Riesthal, Kris Tjaden, Stephen M. Wilson, Daniel O. Claassen and Antje S. Mefferd
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040492 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2136
Abstract
Although researchers have recognized the need to better account for the heterogeneous perceptual speech characteristics among talkers with the same disease, guidance on how to best establish such dysarthria subgroups is currently lacking. Therefore, we compared subgroup decisions of two data-driven approaches based [...] Read more.
Although researchers have recognized the need to better account for the heterogeneous perceptual speech characteristics among talkers with the same disease, guidance on how to best establish such dysarthria subgroups is currently lacking. Therefore, we compared subgroup decisions of two data-driven approaches based on a cohort of talkers with Huntington’s disease (HD): (1) a statistical clustering approach (STATCLUSTER) based on perceptual speech characteristic profiles and (2) an auditory free classification approach (FREECLASS) based on listeners’ similarity judgments. We determined the amount of overlap across the two subgrouping decisions and the perceptual speech characteristics driving the subgrouping decisions of each approach. The same speech samples produced by 48 talkers with HD were used for both grouping approaches. The STATCLUSTER approach had been conducted previously. The FREECLASS approach was conducted in the present study. Both approaches yielded four dysarthria subgroups, which overlapped between 50% to 78%. In both grouping approaches, overall bizarreness and speech rate characteristics accounted for the grouping decisions. In addition, voice abnormalities contributed to the grouping decisions in the FREECLASS approach. These findings suggest that apart from overall bizarreness ratings, indexing dysarthria severity, speech rate and voice characteristics may be important features to establish dysarthria subgroups in HD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Profiles of Dysarthria: Clinical Assessment and Treatment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

9 pages, 900 KiB  
Article
Gender Influences Virtual Reality-Based Recovery of Cognitive Functions in Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial
by Roberta Bruschetta, Maria Grazia Maggio, Antonino Naro, Irene Ciancarelli, Giovanni Morone, Francesco Arcuri, Paolo Tonin, Gennaro Tartarisco, Giovanni Pioggia, Antonio Cerasa and Rocco Salvatore Calabrò
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040491 - 12 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2240
Abstract
The rehabilitation of cognitive deficits in individuals with traumatic brain injury is essential for promoting patients’ recovery and autonomy. Virtual reality (VR) training is a powerful tool for reaching this target, although the effectiveness of this intervention could be interfered with by several [...] Read more.
The rehabilitation of cognitive deficits in individuals with traumatic brain injury is essential for promoting patients’ recovery and autonomy. Virtual reality (VR) training is a powerful tool for reaching this target, although the effectiveness of this intervention could be interfered with by several factors. In this study, we evaluated if demographical and clinical variables could be related to the recovery of cognitive function in TBI patients after a well-validated VR training. One hundred patients with TBI were enrolled in this study and equally randomized into the Traditional Cognitive Rehabilitation Group (TCRG: n = 50) or Virtual Reality Training Group (VRTG: n = 50). The VRTG underwent a VRT with BTs-N, whereas the TCRG received standard cognitive treatment. All the patients were evaluated by a complete neuropsychological battery before (T0) and after the end of the training (T1). We found that the VR-related improvement in mood, as well as cognitive flexibility, and selective attention were influenced by gender. Indeed, females who underwent VR training were those showing better cognitive recovery. This study highlights the importance of evaluating gender effects in planning cognitive rehabilitation programs. The inclusion of different repetitions and modalities of VR training should be considered for TBI male patients. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

8 pages, 1758 KiB  
Brief Report
SIRT1 Interacts with Prepro-Orexin in the Hypothalamus in SOD1G93A Mice
by Gan Zhang, Rong Liu, Zhaofu Sheng, Yonghe Zhang and Dongsheng Fan
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040490 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1925
Abstract
The participation of silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1 (SIRT1) in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been reported in many studies. However, the role of the expression and function of SIRT1 in the hypothalamus in ALS remains unknown. In the current [...] Read more.
The participation of silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1 (SIRT1) in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been reported in many studies. However, the role of the expression and function of SIRT1 in the hypothalamus in ALS remains unknown. In the current study, we performed western blot, co-immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence analyses to determine the expression and in-depth mechanism of SIRT1 in the hypothalamus in SOD1G93A transgenic mice. We found that SIRT1 was overexpressed in the hypothalamus after motor symptom onset. In addition, SIRT1 interacted with prepro-orexin, a molecule involved in energy balance and the sleep/wake cycle, in both preclinical and clinical ALS regardless of whether SIRT1 levels were elevated. These findings indicate that SIRT1 might participate in sleep and metabolic changes in ALS, suggesting that SIRT1 is a new target for ALS treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases and Stroke)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 786 KiB  
Article
Eye Movement Abnormalities in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
by Xintong Guo, Xiaoxuan Liu, Shan Ye, Xiangyi Liu, Xu Yang and Dongsheng Fan
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040489 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2452
Abstract
It is generally believed that eye movements are completely spared in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Although a series of eye movement abnormalities has been recognized in recent years, the findings are highly controversial, and bulbar disabilities should be considered in relation to eye [...] Read more.
It is generally believed that eye movements are completely spared in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Although a series of eye movement abnormalities has been recognized in recent years, the findings are highly controversial, and bulbar disabilities should be considered in relation to eye movement abnormalities. The present study aimed to determine whether eye movement abnormalities are present in ALS and, if so, to investigate their characteristics and their association with bulbar disability in ALS patients. A total of 60 patients and 30 controls were recruited and underwent the standardized evaluations of the oculomotor system using videonystagmography. Square-wave jerks (OR: 16.20, 95% CI: 3.50–74.95, p < 0.001) and abnormal cogwheeling during smooth pursuit (OR: 14.04, 95% CI: 3.00–65.75, p = 0.001) were more frequently observed in ALS patients than in the control subjects. In subgroup analyses, square-wave jerks (OR: 26.51, 95% CI: 2.83–248.05, p = 0.004) and abnormal cogwheeling during smooth pursuit (OR: 6.56, 95% CI: 1.19–36.16, p = 0.031) were found to be more common in ALS patients with bulbar involvement (n = 44) than in those without bulbar involvement (n = 16). There were no significant differences in the investigated eye movement parameters between bulbar-onset (n = 12) and spinal-onset patients (n = 48). ALS patients showed a range of eye movement abnormalities, affecting mainly the ocular fixation and smooth pursuit systems. Our pioneering study indicates that the region of involvement could better indicate the pathophysiological essence of the abnormalities than the type of onset pattern in ALS. Eye movement abnormalities may be potential clinical markers for objectively evaluating upper brainstem or supratentorial cerebral lesion neurodegeneration in ALS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurodegenerative Diseases)
Show Figures

Figure 1

9 pages, 2506 KiB  
Communication
Stress Evaluation by Hemoglobin Concentration Change Using Mobile NIRS
by Shingo Takahashi, Noriko Sakurai, Satoshi Kasai and Naoki Kodama
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040488 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1829
Abstract
Previous studies have reported a relationship between stress and brain activity, and stress has been quantitatively evaluated using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). In the present study, we examined whether a relationship exists between salivary amylase levels and brain activity during the trail-making test (TMT) [...] Read more.
Previous studies have reported a relationship between stress and brain activity, and stress has been quantitatively evaluated using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). In the present study, we examined whether a relationship exists between salivary amylase levels and brain activity during the trail-making test (TMT) using mobile NIRS. This study aimed to assess stress levels by using mobile NIRS. Salivary amylase was measured with a salivary amylase monitor, and hemoglobin concentration was measured using Neu’s HOT-2000. Measurements were taken four times for each subject, and the values at each measurement were evaluated. Changes in the values at the first–second, second–third, and third–fourth measurements were also analyzed. Results showed that the value of the fluctuations has a higher correlation than the comparison of point values. These results suggest that the accuracy of stress assessment by NIRS can be improved by using variability and time-series data compared with stress assessment using NIRS at a single time point. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience)
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 783 KiB  
Article
It Takes a Village: Using Network Science to Identify the Effect of Individual Differences in Bilingual Experience for Theory of Mind
by Ester Navarro, Vincent DeLuca and Eleonora Rossi
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 487; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040487 - 09 Apr 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2500
Abstract
An increasing amount of research has examined the effects of bilingualism on performance in theory of mind (ToM) tasks. Bilinguals outperform monolinguals in ToM when comparing groups. However, it is unclear what aspects of the bilingual experience contribute to this effect in a [...] Read more.
An increasing amount of research has examined the effects of bilingualism on performance in theory of mind (ToM) tasks. Bilinguals outperform monolinguals in ToM when comparing groups. However, it is unclear what aspects of the bilingual experience contribute to this effect in a dynamic construct like ToM. To date, bilingualism has been conceptualized as a dichotic skill that is distinct from monolingualism, obscuring nuances in the degree that different bilingual experience affects cognition. The current study used a combination of network science, cognitive, and linguistic behavioral measurements to explore the factors that influence perspective-taking ToM based on participants’ current and previous experience with language, as well as their family networks’ experience with language. The results suggest that some aspects of the bilingual experience predict task performance, but not others, and these predictors align with the two-system theory of ToM. Overall, the findings provide evidence for the extent to which individual differences in bilingualism are related to different cognitive outcomes. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 1230 KiB  
Review
Molecular Imaging of Central Dopamine in Obesity: A Qualitative Review across Substrates and Radiotracers
by Lieneke Katharina Janssen and Annette Horstmann
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040486 - 08 Apr 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3589
Abstract
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in adaptive behavior. A wealth of studies suggests obesity-related alterations in the central dopamine system. The most direct evidence for such differences in humans comes from molecular neuroimaging studies using positron emission tomography (PET) [...] Read more.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in adaptive behavior. A wealth of studies suggests obesity-related alterations in the central dopamine system. The most direct evidence for such differences in humans comes from molecular neuroimaging studies using positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). The aim of the current review is to give a comprehensive overview of molecular neuroimaging studies that investigated the relation between BMI or weight status and any dopamine target in the striatal and midbrain regions of the human brain. A structured literature search was performed and a summary of the extracted findings are presented for each of the four available domains: (1) D2/D3 receptors, (2) dopamine release, (3) dopamine synthesis, and (4) dopamine transporters. Recent proposals of a nonlinear relationship between severity of obesity and dopamine imbalances are described while integrating findings within and across domains, after which limitations of the review are discussed. We conclude that despite many observed associations between obesity and substrates of the dopamine system in humans, it is unlikely that obesity can be traced back to a single dopaminergic cause or consequence. For effective personalized prevention and treatment of obesity, it will be crucial to identify possible dopamine (and non-dopamine) profiles and their functional characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Brain and Obesity)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 661 KiB  
Study Protocol
The Impact of Music on Stress Biomarkers: Protocol of a Substudy of the Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial Music Interventions for Dementia and Depression in ELderly Care (MIDDEL)
by Naomi L. Rasing, Sarah I. M. Janus, Gunter Kreutz, Vigdis Sveinsdottir, Christian Gold, Urs M. Nater and Sytse U. Zuidema
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040485 - 08 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3332
Abstract
Recently, a large cluster-randomized controlled trial was designed—Music Interventions for Dementia and Depression in ELderly care (MIDDEL)—to assess the effectiveness of music interventions on depression in care home residents with dementia (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03496675). To understand the pathophysiological mechanisms, we observed the effect of [...] Read more.
Recently, a large cluster-randomized controlled trial was designed—Music Interventions for Dementia and Depression in ELderly care (MIDDEL)—to assess the effectiveness of music interventions on depression in care home residents with dementia (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03496675). To understand the pathophysiological mechanisms, we observed the effect of repeated music interventions on stress in this population since chronic stress was associated with depression and an increased risk for dementia. An exploratory study was designed to assess: (1) changes in hair cortisol concentrations as an indicator of longer-term stress; (2) whether baseline stress is a predictor of therapy outcome; (3) pre- and post-treatment effects on salivary α-amylase and cortisol response as an indicator of immediate stress in 180–200 care home residents with dementia and depressive symptoms who partake in the MIDDEL trial. Insights into mediatory effects of stress to explain the effect of music interventions will be gained. Hair cortisol concentrations were assessed at baseline and at 3, 6, and 12 months along with the Perceived Stress Scale. Salivary α-amylase and cortisol concentrations were assessed at 1, 3, and 6 months. Saliva was collected just before a session and 15 and 60 min after a session, along with a stress Visual Analogue Scale. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

23 pages, 1684 KiB  
Systematic Review
Determining the Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Tinnitus, Depression, and Anxiety: A Systematic Review
by Bas Labree, Derek J. Hoare, Lauren E. Gascoyne, Polly Scutt, Cinzia Del Giovane and Magdalena Sereda
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040484 - 08 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2970
Abstract
(1) Background: Tinnitus is the awareness of a sound in the absence of an external source. It affects around 10–15% of people, a significant proportion of whom also experience symptoms such as depression or anxiety that negatively affect their quality of life. Transcranial [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Tinnitus is the awareness of a sound in the absence of an external source. It affects around 10–15% of people, a significant proportion of whom also experience symptoms such as depression or anxiety that negatively affect their quality of life. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a technique involving constant low-intensity direct current delivered via scalp electrodes. It is a potential treatment option for tinnitus, as well as tinnitus-related conditions such as depression and anxiety. This systematic review estimates the effects of tDCS on outcomes relevant to tinnitus. In addition, it sheds light on the relationship between stimulation parameters and the effect of tDCS on these outcomes; (2) Methods: Exhaustive searches of electronic databases were conducted. Randomised controlled trials were included if they reported at least one of the following outcomes: tinnitus symptom severity, anxiety, or depression. Where available, data on quality of life, adverse effects, and neurophysiological changes were also reviewed. GRADE was used to assess the certainty in the estimate; (3) Results: Meta-analyses revealed a statistically significant reduction in tinnitus (moderate certainty) and depression (low certainty)-but not anxiety-following active tDCS compared to sham control. Network meta-analyses revealed potential optimal stimulation parameters; (4) Conclusions: The evidence synthesised in this review suggests tDCS has the potential to reduce symptom severity in tinnitus and depression. It further narrows down the number of potentially optimal stimulation parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neural Plasticity in Tinnitus Mechanisms)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1400 KiB  
Case Report
The Importance of Material Used in Speech Therapy: Two Case Studies in Minimally Conscious State Patients
by Alice Sautet, Laura Hurtado, Anna Fiveash, Leslie Baron, Mélaine De Quelen and Fabien Perrin
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040483 - 08 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2127
Abstract
Speech therapy can be part of the care pathway for patients recovering from comas and presenting a disorder of consciousness (DOC). Although there are no official recommendations for speech therapy follow-up, neuroscientific studies suggest that relevant stimuli may have beneficial effects on the [...] Read more.
Speech therapy can be part of the care pathway for patients recovering from comas and presenting a disorder of consciousness (DOC). Although there are no official recommendations for speech therapy follow-up, neuroscientific studies suggest that relevant stimuli may have beneficial effects on the behavioral assessment of patients with a DOC. In two case studies, we longitudinally measured (from 4 to 6 weeks) the behavior (observed in a speech therapy session or using items from the Coma Recovery Scale—Revised) of two patients in a minimally conscious state (MCS) when presenting music and/or autobiographical materials. The results highlight the importance of using relevant material during a speech therapy session and suggest that a musical context with a fast tempo could improve behavior evaluation compared to noise. This work supports the importance of adapted speech therapy for MCS patients and encourages larger studies to confirm these initial observations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Treatments for Patients with Disorders of Consciousness)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 3125 KiB  
Article
Association between Changes in White Matter Microstructure and Cognitive Impairment in White Matter Lesions
by An-Ming Hu, Yan-Ling Ma, Yue-Xiu Li, Zai-Zhu Han, Nan Yan and Yu-Mei Zhang
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(4), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12040482 - 07 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1989
Abstract
This study investigated the characteristics of cognitive impairment in patients with white matter lesions (WMLs) caused by cerebral small vessel disease and the corresponding changes in WM microstructures. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data of 50 patients with WMLs and 37 healthy controls were [...] Read more.
This study investigated the characteristics of cognitive impairment in patients with white matter lesions (WMLs) caused by cerebral small vessel disease and the corresponding changes in WM microstructures. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data of 50 patients with WMLs and 37 healthy controls were collected. Patients were divided into vascular cognitive impairment non-dementia and vascular dementia groups. Tract-based spatial statistics showed that patients with WMLs had significantly lower fractional anisotropy (FA) and higher mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AD), and radial diffusivity (RD) values throughout the WM areas but predominately in the forceps minor, forceps major (FMA), bilateral corticospinal tract, inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, superior longitudinal fasciculus, inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF), and anterior thalamic radiation, compared to the control group. These fiber bundles were selected as regions of interest. There were significant differences in the FA, MD, AD, and RD values (p < 0.05) between groups. The DTI metrics of all fiber bundles significantly correlated with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (p < 0.05), with the exception of the AD values of the FMA and ILF. Patients with WMLs showed changes in diffusion parameters in the main WM fiber bundles. Quantifiable changes in WM microstructure are the main pathological basis of cognitive impairment, and may serve as a biomarker of WMLs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurosurgery and Neuroanatomy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop