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Brain Sci., Volume 13, Issue 4 (April 2023) – 176 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Little is known empirically about connectivity and communication between the two hemispheres of the brain in the first year of life, and theoretical opinion that exists is at variance with anatomical evidence. This electrophysiological study investigated the interhemispheric transmission of information in 4-month-old human infants. Amidst the repetition of stimulus presentation in one hemisphere, infants’ contralateral hemisphere “recognized” the familiar stimulus and “discriminated” a feature-equivalent different stimulus. These findings demonstrate connectivity and communication between the two hemispheres of the brain in the first year of life and lead to a better understanding of the functional integrity of the developing human infant brain. View this paper
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19 pages, 1721 KiB  
Article
Is Specific Learning Disorder Predicted by Developmental Language Disorder? Evidence from a Follow-Up Study on Italian Children
by Pasquale Rinaldi, Arianna Bello, Ilaria Simonelli and Maria Cristina Caselli
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040701 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1983
Abstract
Specific Learning Disorder (SLD) is a complex disorder with a strong genetic component, characterized by varying manifestations and considerable differences among children. Several studies have highlighted that difficulties in language acquisition and the presence of Developmental Language Disorders (DLDs) are frequently associated with [...] Read more.
Specific Learning Disorder (SLD) is a complex disorder with a strong genetic component, characterized by varying manifestations and considerable differences among children. Several studies have highlighted that difficulties in language acquisition and the presence of Developmental Language Disorders (DLDs) are frequently associated with SLD, suggesting a continuity between the two disorders. This study aimed to add evidence on the proximal and distal predictors of SLD, focusing on the eventual continuity for the presence of DLD at 4–5 years, on some linguistic and communicative abilities at 27–30 months, and on biological and environmental factors. Our sample consisted of 528 families, whose children (Italian monolingual) participated in a screening program at the age of 27–30 months. When children were on average 8.05 years old, parents were asked to answer an interview aimed at collecting information about the children’s language and learning development. Results showed that the prevalence of children with an SLD (7.01%) was in line with those reported in other similar studies. The diagnosis of SLD was significantly predicted by the previous diagnosis of DLD, by male sex/gender, and by the familial risk of SLD. Children with these characteristics had a 54% probability of presenting an SLD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuropsychological Analysis of Language Disorders)
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12 pages, 1383 KiB  
Article
Neurophysiological and Clinical Effects of Upper Limb Robot-Assisted Rehabilitation on Motor Recovery in Patients with Subacute Stroke: A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial Study Protocol
by Sanaz Pournajaf, Giovanni Morone, Sofia Straudi, Michela Goffredo, Maria Rosaria Leo, Rocco Salvatore Calabrò, Giorgio Felzani, Stefano Paolucci, Serena Filoni, Andrea Santamato, Marco Franceschini and the Italian PowerUPS-REHAB Study Group
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040700 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2141
Abstract
Background: The efficacy of upper limb (UL) robot-assisted therapy (RAT) on functional improvement after stroke remains unclear. However, recently published randomized controlled trials have supported its potential benefits in enhancing the activities of daily living, arm and hand function, and muscle strength. Task-specific [...] Read more.
Background: The efficacy of upper limb (UL) robot-assisted therapy (RAT) on functional improvement after stroke remains unclear. However, recently published randomized controlled trials have supported its potential benefits in enhancing the activities of daily living, arm and hand function, and muscle strength. Task-specific and high-intensity exercises are key points in facilitating motor re-learning in neurorehabilitation since RAT can provide an assisted-as-needed approach. This study aims to investigate the clinical effects of an exoskeleton robotic system for UL rehabilitation compared with conventional therapy (CT) in people with subacute stroke. As a secondary aim, we seek to identify patients’ characteristics, which can predict better recovery after UL-RAT and detects whether it could elicit greater brain stimulation. Methods: A total of 84 subacute stroke patients will be recruited from 7 Italian rehabilitation centers over 3 years. The patients will be randomly allocated to either CT (control group, CG) or CT plus UL-RT through an Armeo®Power (Hocoma AG, CH, Volketswil, Switzerland) exoskeleton (experimental group, EG). A sample stratification based on distance since onset, DSO (DSO ≤ 30; DSO > 30), and Fugl–Meyer Assessment (FM)-UL (FM-UL ≤ 22; 22 < FM-UL ≤ 44) will be considered for the randomization. The outcomes will be recorded at baseline (T0), after 25 + 3 sessions of intervention (T1), and at 6 months post-stroke (T2). The motor functioning assessed by the FM-UL (0–66) will be considered the primary outcome. The clinical assessments will be set based on the International Classification of Function, Disability and Health (ICF). A patient satisfaction questionnaire will be evaluated in the EG at T1. A subgroup of patients will be evaluated at T0 and T1 via electroencephalography. Their brain electrical activity will be recorded during rest conditions with their eyes closed and open (5 min each). Conclusion: The results of this trial will provide an in-depth understanding of the efficacy of early UL-RAT through a whole arm exoskeleton and how it may relate to the neural plasticity process. The trial was registered at ClinicalTrial.gov with the registration identifier NCT04697368. Full article
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9 pages, 535 KiB  
Article
The Be-Home Kids Program: An Integrated Approach for Delivering Behavioral Therapies to Adolescents with Episodic and Chronic Migraine
by Licia Grazzi, Danilo Antonio Montisano, Alberto Raggi and Paul Rizzoli
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 699; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040699 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1183
Abstract
Migraine disorders are common in populations of children and adolescents. There are different pharmacological treatments for migraine in young patients, but none have specific indications, and doubts about their efficacy exist. The feasibility and effectiveness of behavioral approaches have already been documented in [...] Read more.
Migraine disorders are common in populations of children and adolescents. There are different pharmacological treatments for migraine in young patients, but none have specific indications, and doubts about their efficacy exist. The feasibility and effectiveness of behavioral approaches have already been documented in clinical experiences, and they are generally associated with fewer or no unpleasant effects. Among them, mindfulness practice offers a suitable alternative to other adolescent treatments. We present the results of a pilot study, the Be-Home Kids program, performed during the COVID-19 emergency. It was delivered by web and included education on drug use, lifestyle issues, and six sessions of mindfulness-based behavioral practice. We assessed headache frequency, medication intake, and other psychological variables and followed twenty-one adolescents with chronic or high-frequency episodic migraine without aura for 12 months. Results indicated an overall clinical improvement, particularly a 64% reduction in headache frequency over 12 months. In conclusion, our results indicate that a combined treatment which includes patients’ education and six sessions of mindfulness-based practice delivered over the web, can be of great support in reducing headache frequency, medication intake, and the associated psychological burden disability in adolescent migraine patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migraines in Children and Adolescents)
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28 pages, 2269 KiB  
Systematic Review
Betting on Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation to Treat Gambling Disorder: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Lilia Del Mauro, Alessandra Vergallito, Gaia Gattavara, Lucrezia Juris, Alessia Gallucci, Anna Vedani, Laura Cappelletti, Pietro Maria Farneti and Leonor J. Romero Lauro
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040698 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2349
Abstract
Gambling disorder (GD) is a behavioral addiction that severely impacts individuals’ functioning, leading to high socioeconomic costs. Non-invasive brain stimulation (NiBS) has received attention for treating psychiatric and neurological conditions in recent decades, but there is no recommendation for its use for GD. [...] Read more.
Gambling disorder (GD) is a behavioral addiction that severely impacts individuals’ functioning, leading to high socioeconomic costs. Non-invasive brain stimulation (NiBS) has received attention for treating psychiatric and neurological conditions in recent decades, but there is no recommendation for its use for GD. Therefore, this study aimed to systematically review and analyze the available literature to determine the effectiveness of NiBS in treating GD. Following the PRISMA guidelines, we screened four electronic databases up to July 2022 and selected relevant English-written original articles. We included ten papers in the systematic review and seven in the meta-analysis. As only two studies employed a sham-controlled design, the pre–post standardized mean change (SMCC) was computed as effect size only for real stimulation. The results showed a significant effect of NiBS in reducing craving scores (SMCC = −0.69; 95% CI = [−1.2, −0.2], p = 0.010). Moreover, considering the GD’s frequent comorbidity with mood disorders, we ran an exploratory analysis of the effects of NiBS on depressive symptoms, which showed significant decreases in post-treatment scores (SMCC = −0.71; 95% CI = [−1.1, −0.3], p < 0.001). These results provide initial evidence for developing NiBS as a feasible therapy for GD symptoms but further comprehensive research is needed to validate these findings. The limitations of the available literature are critically discussed. Full article
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12 pages, 2328 KiB  
Article
D2 Receptors and Sodium Ion Channel Blockades of the Basolateral Amygdala Attenuate Lithium Chloride-Induced Conditioned Taste Aversion Applying to Cancer Chemotherapy Nausea and Vomiting
by Zhi-Yue Gao, Chung Ming Huang, Cai-N Cheng and Andrew Chih-Wei Huang
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 697; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040697 - 21 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1576
Abstract
Cancer patients regularly suffer from the behavioral symptoms of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Particularly, it is involved in Pavlovian conditioning. Lithium chloride (LiCl) was used as the unconditioned stimulus (US) and contingent with the tastant, for example, a saccharin solution (i.e., the conditioned [...] Read more.
Cancer patients regularly suffer from the behavioral symptoms of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Particularly, it is involved in Pavlovian conditioning. Lithium chloride (LiCl) was used as the unconditioned stimulus (US) and contingent with the tastant, for example, a saccharin solution (i.e., the conditioned stimulus; CS), resulted in conditioned taste aversion (CTA) to the CS intake. The present study employed an animal model of LiCl-induced CTA to imitate chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting symptoms. Recently, the basolateral amygdala (BLA) was shown to mediate LiCl-induced CTA learning; however, which brain mechanisms of the BLA regulate CTA by LiCl remain unknown. The present study was designed to test this issue, and 4% lidocaine or D2 blocker haloperidol were microinjected into BLA between the 0.1% saccharin solution intake and 0.15M LiCl. The results showed lidocaine microinjections into the BLA could attenuate the LiCl-induced CTA. Microinjections of haloperidol blunted the CTA learning by LiCl. Altogether, BLA via the sodium chloride ion channel and D2 receptors control LiCl-induced conditioned saccharin solution intake suppression. The findings can provide some implications and contributions to cancer chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting side effects, and will help to develop novel strategies to prevent the side effects of cancer chemotherapy. Full article
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14 pages, 1310 KiB  
Article
Gender Congruency Effects in Spanish: Behavioral Evidence from Noun Phrase Production
by Ruixue Wu and Niels O. Schiller
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 696; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040696 - 21 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1553
Abstract
Grammatical gender as a lexico-syntactic feature has been well explored, and the gender congruency effect has been observed in many languages (e.g., Dutch, German, Croatian, Czech, etc.). Yet, so far, this effect has not been found in Romance languages such as Italian, French, [...] Read more.
Grammatical gender as a lexico-syntactic feature has been well explored, and the gender congruency effect has been observed in many languages (e.g., Dutch, German, Croatian, Czech, etc.). Yet, so far, this effect has not been found in Romance languages such as Italian, French, and Spanish. It has been argued that the absence of the effect in Romance languages is due the fact that the gender-marking definite article is not exclusively dependent on the grammatical gender of the head noun, but also on its onset phonology (e.g., lo zucchero is ‘the sugar’ in Italian, not il zucchero, il being the default masculine determiner in Italian). For Spanish, this argument has also been made because feminine words starting with a stressed /a/ take the masculine article (e.g., el água is ‘the water’, not la água). However, the number of words belonging to that set is rather small in Spanish, and it may be questionable whether or not this feature can be taken as an argument for the absence of a gender congruency effect in Spanish. In this study, we investigated the gender congruency effect in native Spanish noun phrase production. We measured 30 native Spanish speakers’ naming latencies in four conditions via the picture–word interference paradigm by manipulating gender congruency (i.e., gender-congruent vs. gender-incongruent) and semantic relatedness (i.e., semantically related vs. semantically unrelated). The results revealed significantly longer naming latencies in gender-incongruent and semantically related conditions compared to gender-congruent and semantically unrelated conditions. This result suggests that grammatical gender as a lexico-syntactic feature in Spanish is used to competitively select determiners in native Spanish speakers’ noun phrases. Our findings provide an important behavioral piece of evidence for the gender congruency effect in Romance languages. Full article
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11 pages, 5717 KiB  
Article
Prolonged Intrinsic Neural Timescales Dissociate from Phase Coherence in Schizophrenia
by Stephan Lechner and Georg Northoff
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 695; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040695 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1415
Abstract
Input processing in the brain is mediated by phase synchronization and intrinsic neural timescales, both of which have been implicated in schizophrenia. Their relationship remains unclear, though. Recruiting a schizophrenia EEG sample from the B-SNIP consortium dataset (n = 134, 70 schizophrenia [...] Read more.
Input processing in the brain is mediated by phase synchronization and intrinsic neural timescales, both of which have been implicated in schizophrenia. Their relationship remains unclear, though. Recruiting a schizophrenia EEG sample from the B-SNIP consortium dataset (n = 134, 70 schizophrenia patients, 64 controls), we investigate phase synchronization, as measured by intertrial phase coherence (ITPC), and intrinsic neural timescales, as measured by the autocorrelation window (ACW) during both the rest and oddball-task states. The main goal of our paper was to investigate whether reported shifts from shorter to longer timescales are related to decreased ITPC. Our findings show (i) decreases in both theta and alpha ITPC in response to both standard and deviant tones; and (iii) a negative correlation of ITPC and ACW in healthy subjects while such correlation is no longer present in SCZ participants. Together, we demonstrate evidence of abnormally long intrinsic neural timescales (ACW) in resting-state EEG of schizophrenia as well as their dissociation from phase synchronization (ITPC). Our data suggest that, during input processing, the resting state’s abnormally long intrinsic neural timescales tilt the balance of temporal segregation and integration towards the latter. That results in temporal imprecision with decreased phase synchronization in response to inputs. Our findings provide further evidence for a basic temporal disturbance in schizophrenia on the different timescales (longer ACW and shorter ITPC), which, in the future, might be able to explain common symptoms related to the temporal experience in schizophrenia, for example temporal fragmentation. Full article
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16 pages, 1906 KiB  
Article
A Cross-Sectional Study: Structural and Related Functional Connectivity Changes in the Brain: Stigmata of Adverse Parenting in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder?
by Zhaowen Nie, Xinhui Xie, Lijun Kang, Wei Wang, Shuxian Xu, Mianmian Chen, Lihua Yao, Qian Gong, Enqi Zhou, Meng Li, Huiling Wang, Lihong Bu and Zhongchun Liu
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040694 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1597
Abstract
Background: There is a high correlation between the risk of major depressive disorder (MDD) and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) such as adverse parenting (AP). While there appears to be an association between ACEs and changes in brain structure and function, there have yet [...] Read more.
Background: There is a high correlation between the risk of major depressive disorder (MDD) and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) such as adverse parenting (AP). While there appears to be an association between ACEs and changes in brain structure and function, there have yet to be multimodal neuroimaging studies of associations between parenting style and brain developmental changes in MDD patients. To explore the effect of AP on brain structure and function. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 125 MDD outpatients were included in the study and divided into the AP group and the optimal parenting (OP) group. Participants completed self-rating scales to assess depressive severity, symptoms, and their parents’ styles. They also completed magnetic resonance imaging within one week of filling out the instruments. The differences between groups of gender, educational level, and medications were analyzed using the chi-squared test and those of age, duration of illness, and scores on scales using the independent samples t-test. Differences in gray matter volume (GMV) and resting-state functional connectivity (RS-FC) were assessed between groups. Results: AP was associated with a significant increase in GMV in the right superior parietal lobule (SPL) and FC between the right SPL and the bilateral medial superior frontal cortex in MDD patients. Limitations: The cross-cultural characteristics of AP will result in the lack of generalizability of the findings. Conclusions: The results support the hypothesis that AP during childhood may imprint the brain and affect depressive symptoms in adulthood. Parents should pay attention to the parenting style and avoid a style that lacks warmth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychiatric Diseases)
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14 pages, 1462 KiB  
Article
Probing the Association between Cognition, Suicidal Behavior and Tryptophan Metabolism in a Sample of Individuals Living with Bipolar Disorder: A Secondary Analysis
by Pasquale Paribello, Alessio Squassina, Claudia Pisanu, Anna Meloni, Stefano Dall’Acqua, Stefania Sut, Sofia Nasini, Antonella Bertazzo, Donatella Congiu, Mario Garzilli, Beatrice Guiso, Federico Suprani, Vittoria Pulcinelli, Maria Novella Iaselli, Ilaria Pinna, Giulia Somaini, Laura Arru, Carolina Corrias, Federica Pinna, Bernardo Carpiniello, Stefano Comai and Mirko Manchiaadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040693 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1527
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Alterations in hot cognition and in the tryptophan metabolism through serotonin (5-HT) and kynurenine (KYN) pathways have been associated with an increased risk of suicidal behavior. Here, we aim at probing the association between Stroop test performances and tryptophan [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Alterations in hot cognition and in the tryptophan metabolism through serotonin (5-HT) and kynurenine (KYN) pathways have been associated with an increased risk of suicidal behavior. Here, we aim at probing the association between Stroop test performances and tryptophan pathway components in a sample of individuals with bipolar disorder (BD). Materials and Methods: We explored the association between the Emotion Inhibition Subtask (EIS) performances of the Brief Assessment of Cognition for Affective Disorders (BAC-A) and plasmatic levels of 5-hydroxytriptophan (5-HTP), 5-HT, KYN, 3-hydroxykynurenine (3-HK), quinolinic acid (QA), and kynurenic acid (KYNA) among subjects reporting lifetime suicide ideation (LSI) vs. non-LSI and subjects reporting lifetime suicide attempts (LSA) vs. non-LSA. Results: In a sample of 45 subjects with BD, we found a statistically significant different performance for LSA vs. non-LSA in the color naming (CN) and neutral words (NW) EIS subtasks. There was a significant association between CN performances and plasma 5-HTP levels among LSI and LSA subjects but not among non-LSI or non-LSA. Conclusions: In our sample, patients with LSA and LSI presented lower performances on some EIS subtasks compared to non-LSA and non-LSI. Moreover, we found an inverse correlation between plasma 5-HTP concentration and some EIS performances in LSA and LSI but not among non-LSA or non-LSI. This may represent an interesting avenue for future studies probing this complex association. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychiatric Diseases)
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14 pages, 1693 KiB  
Article
Increased Functional Connectivity Involving the Parahippocampal Gyrus in Patients with Schizophrenia during Theory of Mind Processing: A Psychophysiological Interaction Study
by Xucong Qin, Huan Huang, Ying Liu, Fanfan Zheng, Yuan Zhou and Huiling Wang
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040692 - 20 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1516
Abstract
Background: Theory of Mind (ToM) is an ability to infer the mental state of others, which plays an important role during social events. Previous studies have shown that ToM deficits exist frequently in schizophrenia, which may result from abnormal activity in brain regions [...] Read more.
Background: Theory of Mind (ToM) is an ability to infer the mental state of others, which plays an important role during social events. Previous studies have shown that ToM deficits exist frequently in schizophrenia, which may result from abnormal activity in brain regions related to sociality. However, the interactions between brain regions during ToM processing in schizophrenia are still unclear. Therefore, in this study, we investigated functional connectivity during ToM processing in patients with schizophrenia, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Methods: A total of 36 patients with schizophrenia and 33 healthy controls were recruited to complete a ToM task from the Human Connectome Project (HCP) during fMRI scanning. Psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analysis was applied to explore functional connectivity. Results: Patients with schizophrenia were less accurate than healthy controls in judging social stimuli from non-social stimuli (Z = 2.31, p = 0.021), and displayed increased activity in the right inferior frontal gyrus and increased functional connectivity between the bilateral middle temporal gyrus and the ipsilateral parahippocampal gyrus during ToM processing (AlphaSim corrected p < 0.05). Conclusions: Here, we showed that the brain regions related to sociality interact more with the parahippocampal gyrus in patients with schizophrenia during ToM processing, which may reflect a possible compensatory pathway of ToM deficits in schizophrenia. Our study provides a new idea for ToM deficits in schizophrenia, which could be helpful to better understand social cognition of schizophrenia. Full article
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12 pages, 4147 KiB  
Article
Enhanced Integrity of White Matter Microstructure in Mind–Body Practitioners: A Whole-Brain Diffusion Tensor Imaging Study
by Yingrong Xie, Kelong Cai, Jingang Dai and Gaoxia Wei
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 691; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040691 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1365
Abstract
Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) is an increasingly popular multimodal mind–body practice with potential cognitive benefits, yet the neurobiological mechanisms underlying these effects, particularly in relation to brain white matter (WM) microstructure, remain largely unknown. In this study, we used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) [...] Read more.
Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) is an increasingly popular multimodal mind–body practice with potential cognitive benefits, yet the neurobiological mechanisms underlying these effects, particularly in relation to brain white matter (WM) microstructure, remain largely unknown. In this study, we used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and the attention network test (ANT) to compare 22 TCC practitioners and 18 healthy controls. We found extensive differences in fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AD), and radial diffusivity (RD) between the two groups. Specifically, TCC practitioners had significantly different diffusion metrics in the corticospinal tract (CST), fornix (FX)/stria terminalis (ST), and cerebral peduncle (CP). We also observed a significant correlation between increased FA values in the right CP and ANT performance in TCC practitioners. Our findings suggest that optimized regional WM microstructure may contribute to the complex information processing associated with TCC practice, providing insights for preventing cognitive decline and treating neurological disorders with cognitive impairment in clinical rehabilitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Exercise-Driven Brain Plasticity)
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13 pages, 1508 KiB  
Article
Machine Learning-Based Routine Laboratory Tests Predict One-Year Cognitive and Functional Decline in a Population Aged 75+ Years
by Karina Braga Gomes, Ramon Gonçalves Pereira, Alexandre Alberto Braga, Henrique Cerqueira Guimarães, Elisa de Paula França Resende, Antônio Lúcio Teixeira, Maira Tonidandel Barbosa, Wagner Meira Junior, Maria das Graças Carvalho and Paulo Caramelli
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 690; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040690 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1556
Abstract
Background: Cognitive and functional decline are common problems in older adults, especially in those 75+ years old. Currently, there is no specific plasma biomarker able to predict this decline in healthy old-age people. Machine learning (ML) is a subarea of artificial intelligence (AI), [...] Read more.
Background: Cognitive and functional decline are common problems in older adults, especially in those 75+ years old. Currently, there is no specific plasma biomarker able to predict this decline in healthy old-age people. Machine learning (ML) is a subarea of artificial intelligence (AI), which can be used to predict outcomes Aim: This study aimed to evaluate routine laboratory variables able to predict cognitive and functional impairment, using ML algorithms, in a cohort aged 75+ years, in a one-year follow-up study. Method: One hundred and thirty-two older adults aged 75+ years were selected through a community-health public program or from long-term-care institutions. Their functional and cognitive performances were evaluated at baseline and one year later using a functional activities questionnaire, Mini-Mental State Examination, and the Brief Cognitive Screening Battery. Routine laboratory tests were performed at baseline. ML algorithms—random forest, support vector machine (SVM), and XGBoost—were applied in order to describe the best model able to predict cognitive and functional decline using routine tests as features. Results: The random forest model showed better accuracy than other algorithms and included triglycerides, glucose, hematocrit, red cell distribution width (RDW), albumin, hemoglobin, globulin, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), creatinine, lymphocyte, erythrocyte, platelet/leucocyte (PLR), and neutrophil/leucocyte (NLR) ratios, and alanine transaminase (ALT), leukocyte, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c), cortisol, gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), and eosinophil as features to predict cognitive decline (accuracy = 0.79). For functional decline, the most important features were platelet, PLR and NLR, hemoglobin, globulin, cortisol, RDW, glucose, basophil, B12 vitamin, creatinine, GGT, ALT, aspartate transferase (AST), eosinophil, hematocrit, erythrocyte, triglycerides, HDL-c, and monocyte (accuracy = 0.92). Conclusions: Routine laboratory variables could be applied to predict cognitive and functional decline in oldest-old populations using ML algorithms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurodegenerative Diseases)
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11 pages, 273 KiB  
Article
Polymorphisms in Oxytocin and Vasopressin Receptor Genes as a Factor Shaping the Clinical Picture and the Risk of ASD in Males
by Krzysztof M. Wilczyński, Aleksandra Stasik, Lena Cichoń, Aleksandra Auguściak-Duma and Małgorzata Janas-Kozik
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040689 - 20 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1165
Abstract
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a heterogeneous group of disorders affecting virtually every population, regardless of their ethnic or socioeconomic background. Their pathogenesis is multifactorial, based on interactions between genetic and environmental factors. The key symptom of ASD are deficits in social communication, [...] Read more.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a heterogeneous group of disorders affecting virtually every population, regardless of their ethnic or socioeconomic background. Their pathogenesis is multifactorial, based on interactions between genetic and environmental factors. The key symptom of ASD are deficits in social communication, which are the basis of many difficulties in everyday functioning. The aim of the presented study was to analyze the clinical picture of social cognition deficits in boys with autism spectrum disorders and to relate its elements with the frequency of alleles of selected polymorphisms within the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) and vasopressin receptor 1A (AVPR1A) genes. The study included 58 boys with IQ > 90, who were divided into two groups based on a confirmed or excluded ASD diagnosis based on the DSM-5 and ICD-10 criteria and then using the ADOS-2 protocol. The results indicated that polymorphism rs10877969 (T) within the AVPR1a gene was the only one to show a statistically significant association with a higher risk of autism spectrum disorders and has an impact on clinical presentation in the ADOS-2 study, primarily in terms of the social affect subscale. Polymorphisms in the OXTR gene showed no significant association with ASD risk and severity of autistic traits in the ADOS-2 study. In the group of people with ASD and those who are neurotypical, the rs53572 (A) genotype in the OXTR gene significantly increased the severity of the clinical picture of social cognition disorders in reading mind in the eyes test (RMiE) and empathy quotient (EQ) studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Autism: Molecular Bases, Diagnosis and Therapies)
13 pages, 317 KiB  
Article
Mixed Depression in the Post-COVID-19 Syndrome: Correlation between Excitatory Symptoms in Depression and Physical Burden after COVID-19
by Alessio Simonetti, Evelina Bernardi, Stella Margoni, Antonello Catinari, Antonio Restaino, Valentina Ieritano, Marta Palazzetti, Federico Mastrantonio, Delfina Janiri, Matteo Tosato, Francesco Landi and Gabriele Sani
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040688 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1554
Abstract
The relationship between depression and post-COVID-19 disease syndrome (post-COVID-19 syndrome) is established. Nevertheless, few studies have investigated the association between post-COVID-19 syndrome and mixed depression, i.e., a specific sub-form of depression characterized by high level of excitatory symptoms. Aims of the present study [...] Read more.
The relationship between depression and post-COVID-19 disease syndrome (post-COVID-19 syndrome) is established. Nevertheless, few studies have investigated the association between post-COVID-19 syndrome and mixed depression, i.e., a specific sub-form of depression characterized by high level of excitatory symptoms. Aims of the present study are: (a) to compare the post-COVID-19 syndrome’s burden in depressed and non-depressed patients, and (b) to investigate the correlation between post-COVID-19 syndrome’s burden and the severity of mixed depression. One thousand and forty six (n = 1460) subjects with post-COVID-19 syndrome were assessed. Subjects were divided into those with (DEP) or without (CONT) depression. Sociodemographically, post-COVID-19 syndrome’s symptoms number and type were compared. In DEP, association between levels of excitatory symptoms and the presence of post-COVID-19 syndrome’s symptoms were additionally assessed. DEP showed greater percentages of family history of psychiatric disorders than CONT. DEP showed higher percentages of post-COVID-19 symptoms than CONT. A greater level of excitatory symptoms were associated to higher frequencies of post-COVID-19 syndrome’ symptoms. Higher levels of post-COVID-19 syndrome’s symptoms in DEP corroborate the evidence of a common pathway between these two syndromes. Presence of excitatory symptoms seem to additionally add a greater illness burden. Such findings might help clinicians choose the appropriate treatment for such states. More specifically, therapies aimed to treat excitatory symptoms, such as antipsychotics and mood stabilizers, might help reduce the illness burden in post-COVID-19 patients with mixed depression. Full article
12 pages, 616 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Shock Wave Therapy on Spasticity and Walking Ability in People with Stroke: A Comparative Study of Different Application Sites
by Jung-Ho Lee and Eun-Ja Kim
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 687; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040687 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1360
Abstract
Background: This study was conducted to investigate the effects of extracorporeal shock wave therapy on the improvement of walking ability through a reduction in spasticity in stroke patients. Methods: Thirty-three patients diagnosed with ischemic stroke by a rehabilitation medicine specialist were randomly assigned [...] Read more.
Background: This study was conducted to investigate the effects of extracorporeal shock wave therapy on the improvement of walking ability through a reduction in spasticity in stroke patients. Methods: Thirty-three patients diagnosed with ischemic stroke by a rehabilitation medicine specialist were randomly assigned to three groups. The patients were divided into experimental group 1 in which shock waves were applied to the muscle–tendon junction, experimental group 2 in which shock waves were applied to the middle of the muscle, and experimental group 3 in which shock waves were applied to both the muscle–tendon junction and the middle of the muscle. The MAS was used to evaluate spasticity in the subjects, and the Dartfish software was used to measure knee and ankle angles during heel-off when walking. Results: Based on the results of the study, a significant decrease in spasticity and increased joint angles were found in experimental groups 1 and 3 compared to experimental group 2, and the change in joint angle was significantly greater in experimental group 3 than in experimental groups 1 and 2. Conclusions: These results indicate that treatment effect may vary depending on the application site of the shock wave, and to obtain the best treatment effect, the shock wave should be applied to both the muscle–tendon junction and the middle part of the muscle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurorehabilitation)
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18 pages, 5520 KiB  
Article
High Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation Stimulates Neuronal Growth and Hippocampal Synaptic Transmission
by Shaoqing Ma, Zhiwei Li, Shixiang Gong, Chengbiao Lu, Xiaoli Li and Yingwei Li
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 686; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040686 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1798
Abstract
Terahertz waves lie within the rotation and oscillation energy levels of biomolecules, and can directly couple with biomolecules to excite nonlinear resonance effects, thus causing conformational or configuration changes in biomolecules. Based on this mechanism, we investigated the effect pattern of 0.138 THz [...] Read more.
Terahertz waves lie within the rotation and oscillation energy levels of biomolecules, and can directly couple with biomolecules to excite nonlinear resonance effects, thus causing conformational or configuration changes in biomolecules. Based on this mechanism, we investigated the effect pattern of 0.138 THz radiation on the dynamic growth of neurons and synaptic transmission efficiency, while explaining the phenomenon at a more microscopic level. We found that cumulative 0.138 THz radiation not only did not cause neuronal death, but that it promoted the dynamic growth of neuronal cytosol and protrusions. Additionally, there was a cumulative effect of terahertz radiation on the promotion of neuronal growth. Furthermore, in electrophysiological terms, 0.138 THz waves improved synaptic transmission efficiency in the hippocampal CA1 region, and this was a slow and continuous process. This is consistent with the morphological results. This phenomenon can continue for more than 10 min after terahertz radiation ends, and these phenomena were associated with an increase in dendritic spine density. In summary, our study shows that 0.138 THz waves can modulate dynamic neuronal growth and synaptic transmission. Therefore, 0.138 terahertz waves may become a novel neuromodulation technique for modulating neuron structure and function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurological Changes after Brain Stimulation)
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17 pages, 2959 KiB  
Article
Emotion Recognition from Spatio-Temporal Representation of EEG Signals via 3D-CNN with Ensemble Learning Techniques
by Rajamanickam Yuvaraj, Arapan Baranwal, A. Amalin Prince, M. Murugappan and Javeed Shaikh Mohammed
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 685; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040685 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2076
Abstract
The recognition of emotions is one of the most challenging issues in human–computer interaction (HCI). EEG signals are widely adopted as a method for recognizing emotions because of their ease of acquisition, mobility, and convenience. Deep neural networks (DNN) have provided excellent results [...] Read more.
The recognition of emotions is one of the most challenging issues in human–computer interaction (HCI). EEG signals are widely adopted as a method for recognizing emotions because of their ease of acquisition, mobility, and convenience. Deep neural networks (DNN) have provided excellent results in emotion recognition studies. Most studies, however, use other methods to extract handcrafted features, such as Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC), Principal Component Analysis, Higuchi Fractal Dimension (HFD), etc., even though DNN is capable of generating meaningful features. Furthermore, most earlier studies largely ignored spatial information between the different channels, focusing mainly on time domain and frequency domain representations. This study utilizes a pre-trained 3D-CNN MobileNet model with transfer learning on the spatio-temporal representation of EEG signals to extract features for emotion recognition. In addition to fully connected layers, hybrid models were explored using other decision layers such as multilayer perceptron (MLP), k-nearest neighbor (KNN), extreme learning machine (ELM), XGBoost (XGB), random forest (RF), and support vector machine (SVM). Additionally, this study investigates the effects of post-processing or filtering output labels. Extensive experiments were conducted on the SJTU Emotion EEG Dataset (SEED) (three classes) and SEED-IV (four classes) datasets, and the results obtained were comparable to the state-of-the-art. Based on the conventional 3D-CNN with ELM classifier, SEED and SEED-IV datasets showed a maximum accuracy of 89.18% and 81.60%, respectively. Post-filtering improved the emotional classification performance in the hybrid 3D-CNN with ELM model for SEED and SEED-IV datasets to 90.85% and 83.71%, respectively. Accordingly, spatial-temporal features extracted from the EEG, along with ensemble classifiers, were found to be the most effective in recognizing emotions compared to state-of-the-art methods. Full article
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16 pages, 1535 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of Computerized Cognitive Training by VIRTRAEL on Memory and Executive Function in Older People: A Pilot Study
by Sandra Rute-Pérez, Carlos Rodríguez-Domínguez, María Vélez-Coto, Miguel Pérez-García and Alfonso Caracuel
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040684 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1984
Abstract
The prevalence of people over 60 years of age with cognitive impairment has increased in recent decades. As a consequence, numerous computerized cognitive trainings (CCT) have been developed. This pilot study aimed to determine the effectiveness of the CCT with VIRTRAEL in improving [...] Read more.
The prevalence of people over 60 years of age with cognitive impairment has increased in recent decades. As a consequence, numerous computerized cognitive trainings (CCT) have been developed. This pilot study aimed to determine the effectiveness of the CCT with VIRTRAEL in improving older adults’ cognition. Fifty-five participants (x¯ = 72.7 years; SD = 6.5) underwent CCT, and twenty participants (x¯ = 76.1 years; SD = 7.6) received face-to-face cognitive stimulation with a paper-and-pencil methodology. Both trainings were conducted in nine sessions (45–60 min each). Participants completed a pre-post training neuropsychological assessment. ANCOVAs and the standardized clinical change were performed. VIRTRAEL’s group showed a significant and greater improvement in verbal learning (p < 0.006) and delayed recall (p ≤ 0.001), working memory (p < 0.005), abstract (p < 0.002) and semantic reasoning (p < 0.015), and planning (p < 0.021). Additionally, more large clinical changes (d > 0.8) were found in the VIRTRAEL condition (in verbal learning and delayed free and cued recall) than in the standard group. Here we show that the CCT with VIRTRAEL is effective in improving cognitive function in older adults and is superior to the standard format. These preliminary findings indicate that CCT is a useful tool potentially applicable in the fight against cognitive symptomatology associated with aging and neurodegenerative diseases. VIRTRAEL represents a breakthrough in this field as it is inexpensive and easily accessible to any older person, regardless of whether they live far from health care resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurodegenerative Diseases)
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30 pages, 2821 KiB  
Review
Analysis of IoT Security Challenges and Its Solutions Using Artificial Intelligence
by Tehseen Mazhar, Dhani Bux Talpur, Tamara Al Shloul, Yazeed Yasin Ghadi, Inayatul Haq, Inam Ullah, Khmaies Ouahada and Habib Hamam
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040683 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 5006
Abstract
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a well-known technology that has a significant impact on many areas, including connections, work, healthcare, and the economy. IoT has the potential to improve life in a variety of contexts, from smart cities to classrooms, by automating [...] Read more.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a well-known technology that has a significant impact on many areas, including connections, work, healthcare, and the economy. IoT has the potential to improve life in a variety of contexts, from smart cities to classrooms, by automating tasks, increasing output, and decreasing anxiety. Cyberattacks and threats, on the other hand, have a significant impact on intelligent IoT applications. Many traditional techniques for protecting the IoT are now ineffective due to new dangers and vulnerabilities. To keep their security procedures, IoT systems of the future will need AI-efficient machine learning and deep learning. The capabilities of artificial intelligence, particularly machine and deep learning solutions, must be used if the next-generation IoT system is to have a continuously changing and up-to-date security system. IoT security intelligence is examined in this paper from every angle available. An innovative method for protecting IoT devices against a variety of cyberattacks is to use machine learning and deep learning to gain information from raw data. Finally, we discuss relevant research issues and potential next steps considering our findings. This article examines how machine learning and deep learning can be used to detect attack patterns in unstructured data and safeguard IoT devices. We discuss the challenges that researchers face, as well as potential future directions for this research area, considering these findings. Anyone with an interest in the IoT or cybersecurity can use this website’s content as a technical resource and reference. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligent Neural Systems for Solving Real Problems)
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20 pages, 2785 KiB  
Review
Systematic Review and Future Direction of Neuro-Tourism Research
by Abeer Al-Nafjan, Mashael Aldayel and Amira Kharrat
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040682 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2403
Abstract
Neuro-tourism is the application of neuroscience in tourism to improve marketing methods of the tourism industry by analyzing the brain activities of tourists. Neuro-tourism provides accurate real-time data on tourists’ conscious and unconscious emotions. Neuro-tourism uses the methods of neuromarketing such as brain–computer [...] Read more.
Neuro-tourism is the application of neuroscience in tourism to improve marketing methods of the tourism industry by analyzing the brain activities of tourists. Neuro-tourism provides accurate real-time data on tourists’ conscious and unconscious emotions. Neuro-tourism uses the methods of neuromarketing such as brain–computer interface (BCI), eye-tracking, galvanic skin response, etc., to create tourism goods and services to improve tourist experience and satisfaction. Due to the novelty of neuro-tourism and the dearth of studies on this subject, this study offered a comprehensive analysis of the peer-reviewed journal publications in neuro-tourism research for the previous 12 years to detect trends in this field and provide insights for academics. We reviewed 52 articles indexed in the Web of Science (WoS) core collection database and examined them using our suggested classification schema. The results reveal a large growth in the number of published articles on neuro-tourism, demonstrating a rise in the relevance of this field. Additionally, the findings indicated a lack of integrating artificial intelligence techniques in neuro-tourism studies. We believe that the advancements in technology and research collaboration will facilitate exponential growth in this field. Full article
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16 pages, 1984 KiB  
Article
Neural Indicators of Visual Andauditory Recognition of Imitative Words on Different De-Iconization Stages
by Liubov Tkacheva, Maria Flaksman, Yulia Sedelkina, Yulia Lavitskaya, Andrey Nasledov and Elizaveta Korotaevskaya
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 681; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040681 - 19 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1068
Abstract
The research aims to reveal neural indicators of recognition for iconic words and the possible cross-modal multisensory integration behind this process. The goals of this research are twofold: (1) to register event-related potentials (ERP) in the brain in the process of visual and [...] Read more.
The research aims to reveal neural indicators of recognition for iconic words and the possible cross-modal multisensory integration behind this process. The goals of this research are twofold: (1) to register event-related potentials (ERP) in the brain in the process of visual and auditory recognition of Russian imitative words on different de-iconization stages; and (2) to establish whether differences in the brain activity arise while processing visual and auditory stimuli of different nature. Sound imitative (onomatopoeic, mimetic, and ideophonic) words are words with iconic correlation between form and meaning (iconicity being a relationship of resemblance). Russian adult participants (n = 110) were presented with 15 stimuli both visually and auditorily. The stimuli material was equally distributed into three groups according to the criterion of (historical) iconicity loss: five explicit sound imitative (SI) words, five implicit SI words and five non-SI words. It was established that there was no statistically significant difference between visually presented explicit or implicit SI words and non-SI words respectively. However, statistically significant differences were registered for auditorily presented explicit SI words in contrast to implicit SI words in the N400 ERP component, as well as implicit SI words in contrast to non-SI words in the P300 ERP component. We thoroughly analyzed the integrative brain activity in response to explicit IS words and compared it to that in response to implicit SI and non-SI words presented auditorily. The data yielded by this analysis showed the N400 ERP component was more prominent during the recognition process of the explicit SI words received from the central channels (specifically Cz). We assume that these results indicate a specific brain response associated with directed attention in the process of performing cognitive decision making tasks regarding explicit and implicit SI words presented auditorily. This may reflect a higher level of cognitive complexity in identifying this type of stimuli considering the experimental task challenges that may involve cross-modal integration process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Neural Basis of Multisensory Plasticity)
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12 pages, 849 KiB  
Article
Influence of Cannabinoid Treatment on Trajectories of Patient-Related Outcomes in Chronic Pain: Pain Intensity, Emotional Distress, Tolerability and Physical Disability
by Anna Marie Balestra, Katharina Chalk, Claudia Denke, Nashwan Mohammed, Thomas Fritzsche and Sascha Tafelski
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 680; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040680 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1105
Abstract
The treatment of chronic pain with cannabinoids is becoming more widespread and popular among patients. However, studies show that only a few patients experience any benefit from this treatment. It also remains unclear which domains are affected by cannabinoid treatment. Therefore, the present [...] Read more.
The treatment of chronic pain with cannabinoids is becoming more widespread and popular among patients. However, studies show that only a few patients experience any benefit from this treatment. It also remains unclear which domains are affected by cannabinoid treatment. Therefore, the present study is novel in that it explores the effects of cannabinoid treatment on four patient-related outcome measures (PROMs), and includes patients with chronic refractory pain conditions who have been given the option of cannabinoid treatment. A retrospective design was used to evaluate the impact of cannabinoid treatment on patients with refractory pain in two German outpatient pain clinics. The present study shows that pain intensity (mean relative reduction (−14.9 ± 22.6%), emotional distress (−9.2 ± 43.5%), pain-associated disability (−7.0 ± 46.5%) and tolerability of pain (−11 ± 23.4%)) improved with cannabinoid treatment. Interestingly, the trajectories of the PROMs seemed to differ between patients, with only 30% of patients responding with respect to pain intensity, but showing improvements in other PROMs. Although the mean treatment effects remained limited, the cumulative magnitude of change in all dimensions may affect patients’ quality of life. In summary, a singular evaluation with pain intensity as the sole outcome does not cover the multidimensional effects of cannabinoids. Therefore, the treatment effects of cannabinoids should be evaluated with different PROMs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cannabinoids, Brain and Pain: Novel Perspectives and Understandings)
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25 pages, 1133 KiB  
Systematic Review
Relative Neuroadaptive Effect of Resistance Training along the Descending Neuroaxis in Older Adults
by Mattias Romare, Guilherme H. Elcadi, Elin Johansson and Panagiotis Tsaklis
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040679 - 18 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1568
Abstract
Age-related decline in voluntary force production represents one of the main contributors to the onset of physical disability in older adults and is argued to stem from adverse musculoskeletal alterations and changes along the descending neuroaxis. The neural contribution of the above is [...] Read more.
Age-related decline in voluntary force production represents one of the main contributors to the onset of physical disability in older adults and is argued to stem from adverse musculoskeletal alterations and changes along the descending neuroaxis. The neural contribution of the above is possibly indicated by disproportionate losses in voluntary activation (VA) compared to muscle mass. For young adults, resistance training (RT) induces muscular and neural adaptations over several levels of the central nervous system, contributing to increased physical performance. However, less is known about the relative neuroadaptive contribution of RT in older adults. The aim of this review was to outline the current state of the literature regarding where and to what extent neural adaptations occur along the descending neuroaxis in response to RT in older adults. We performed a literature search in PubMed, Google Scholar and Scopus. A total of 63 articles met the primary inclusion criteria and following quality analysis (PEDro) 23 articles were included. Overall, neuroadaptations in older adults seemingly favor top-down adaptations, where the preceding changes of neural drive from superior levels affect the neural output of lower levels, following RT. Moreover, older adults appear more predisposed to neural rather than morphological adaptations compared to young adults, a potentially important implication for the improved maintenance of neuromuscular function during aging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Exercise-Driven Brain Plasticity)
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11 pages, 1312 KiB  
Study Protocol
Innovative Therapy Combining Neck Muscle Vibration and Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Association with Conventional Rehabilitation in Left Unilateral Spatial Neglect Patients: HEMISTIM Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial
by Sarah Millot, Jean-Marie Beis, Jonathan Pierret, Marina Badin, Verginia Sabau, Laurent Bensoussan, Jean Paysant and Hadrien Ceyte
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040678 - 18 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1699
Abstract
Unilateral spatial neglect (USN) rehabilitation requires the development of new methods that can be easily integrated into conventional practice. The aim of the HEMISTIM protocol is to assess immediate and long-term recovery induced by an innovative association of left-side neck-muscle vibration (NMV) and [...] Read more.
Unilateral spatial neglect (USN) rehabilitation requires the development of new methods that can be easily integrated into conventional practice. The aim of the HEMISTIM protocol is to assess immediate and long-term recovery induced by an innovative association of left-side neck-muscle vibration (NMV) and anodal transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) on the ipsilesional posterior parietal cortex during occupational therapy sessions in patients with left USN. Participants will be randomly assigned to four groups: control, Left-NMV, Left-NMV + sham-tDCS or Left-NMV + anodal-tDCS. NMV and tDCS will be applied during the first 15 min of occupational therapy sessions, three days a week for three weeks. USN will be assessed at baseline, just at the end of the first experimental session, after the first and third weeks of the protocol and three weeks after its ending. Our primary outcome will be the evolution of the functional Catherine Bergego Scale score. Secondary outcome measures include five tests that investigate different neuropsychological aspects of USN. Left NMV, by activating multisensory integration neuronal networks, might enhance effects obtained by conventional therapy since post-effects were shown when it was combined with upper limb movements. We expect to reinforce lasting intermodal recalibration through LTP-like plasticity induced by anodal tDCS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurological Changes after Brain Stimulation)
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12 pages, 1539 KiB  
Review
The Role of High-Resolution Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Cerebrovascular Disease: A Narrative Review
by Xiaohui Li, Chengfang Liu, Lin Zhu, Meng Wang, Yukai Liu, Shuo Li, Qiwen Deng and Junshan Zhou
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 677; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040677 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1874
Abstract
High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (HRMRI) is the most important and popular vessel wall imaging technique for the direct assessment of vessel wall and cerebral arterial disease. It can identify the cause of stroke in high-risk plaques and differentiate the diagnosis of head and [...] Read more.
High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (HRMRI) is the most important and popular vessel wall imaging technique for the direct assessment of vessel wall and cerebral arterial disease. It can identify the cause of stroke in high-risk plaques and differentiate the diagnosis of head and carotid artery dissection, including inflammation, Moya Moya disease, cerebral aneurysm, vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage, reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome, blunt cerebrovascular injury, cerebral arteriovenous malformations, and other stenosis or occlusion conditions. Through noninvasive visualization of the vessel wall in vitro, quantified assessment of luminal stenosis and pathological features of the vessel wall can provide clinicians with further disease information. In this report, technical considerations of HRMRI are discussed, and current clinical applications of HRMRI are reviewed. Full article
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3 pages, 178 KiB  
Editorial
Challenges and Perspectives of Neurological Disorders
by Dina Nur Anggraini Ningrum and Woon-Man Kung
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040676 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1435
Abstract
Neurological disorders pose significant challenges to healthcare systems worldwide [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges and Perspectives of Neurological Disorders)
16 pages, 2403 KiB  
Article
Effect of Post-COVID-19 on Brain Volume and Glucose Metabolism: Influence of Time Since Infection and Fatigue Status
by Justin R. Deters, Alexandra C. Fietsam, Phillip E. Gander, Laura L. Boles Ponto and Thorsten Rudroff
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040675 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3384
Abstract
Post-COVID-19 syndrome (PCS) fatigue is typically most severe <6 months post-infection. Combining magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with the glucose analog [18F]-Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) provides a comprehensive overview of the effects of PCS on regional brain volumes [...] Read more.
Post-COVID-19 syndrome (PCS) fatigue is typically most severe <6 months post-infection. Combining magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with the glucose analog [18F]-Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) provides a comprehensive overview of the effects of PCS on regional brain volumes and metabolism, respectively. The primary purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate differences in MRI/PET outcomes between people < 6 months (N = 18, 11 female) and > 6 months (N = 15, 6 female) after COVID-19. The secondary purpose was to assess if any differences in MRI/PET outcomes were associated with fatigue symptoms. Subjects > 6 months showed smaller volumes in the putamen, pallidum, and thalamus compared to subjects < 6 months. In subjects > 6 months, fatigued subjects had smaller volumes in frontal areas compared to non-fatigued subjects. Moreover, worse fatigue was associated with smaller volumes in several frontal areas in subjects > 6 months. The results revealed no brain metabolism differences between subjects > 6 and < 6 months. However, both groups exhibited both regional hypo- and hypermetabolism compared to a normative database. These results suggest that PCS may alter regional brain volumes but not metabolism in people > 6 months, particularly those experiencing fatigue symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurotechnology and Neuroimaging)
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17 pages, 1083 KiB  
Review
The Critical Role of Sirt1 in Subarachnoid Hemorrhages: Mechanism and Therapeutic Considerations
by Zhonghua Zhang, Cong Liu, Xiaoming Zhou and Xin Zhang
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 674; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040674 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1802
Abstract
The subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is an important cause of death and long-term disability worldwide. As a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-dependent deacetylase, silent information regulator 1 (Sirt1) is a multipotent molecule involved in many pathophysiological processes. A growing number of studies have demonstrated that Sirt1 [...] Read more.
The subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is an important cause of death and long-term disability worldwide. As a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-dependent deacetylase, silent information regulator 1 (Sirt1) is a multipotent molecule involved in many pathophysiological processes. A growing number of studies have demonstrated that Sirt1 activation may exert positive effects on SAHs by regulating inflammation, oxidative stress, apoptosis, autophagy, and ferroptosis. Thus, Sirt1 agonists may serve as potential therapeutic drugs for SAHs. In this review, we summarized the current state of our knowledge on the relationship between Sirt1 and SAHs and provided an updated overview of the downstream molecules of Sirt1 in SAHs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Collection on Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience)
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17 pages, 545 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Relationship between Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Executive Functioning in Adults with ADHD
by Michelle Ogrodnik, Sameena Karsan, Victoria Cirone and Jennifer J. Heisz
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040673 - 17 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1925 | Correction
Abstract
Objective: Associations between measures of executive functioning (EF) and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) were examined for adults with and without ADHD. Method: Measures of executive functioning including the Stroop task, Wisconsin Card Sorting task, and Operation Span Task were completed virtually (n = 36 [...] Read more.
Objective: Associations between measures of executive functioning (EF) and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) were examined for adults with and without ADHD. Method: Measures of executive functioning including the Stroop task, Wisconsin Card Sorting task, and Operation Span Task were completed virtually (n = 36 ADHD; n = 36 Control). Participants completed the Six-Minute Walk Test to estimate CRF. Results: Mean performance measures of executive function did not differ by group. However, higher estimated CRF was associated with better Stroop task performance, and the association was strongest for individuals with ADHD. Conclusion: In adults with ADHD, higher estimated CRF was associated with better inhibitory control, but not with other measures of executive functioning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in ADHD)
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9 pages, 862 KiB  
Brief Report
Discriminating Paradoxical and Psychophysiological Insomnia Based on Structural and Functional Brain Images: A Preliminary Machine Learning Study
by Mortaza Afshani, Ahmad Mahmoudi-Aznaveh, Khadijeh Noori, Masoumeh Rostampour, Mojtaba Zarei, Kai Spiegelhalder, Habibolah Khazaie and Masoud Tahmasian
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 672; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040672 - 17 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1656
Abstract
Insomnia disorder (ID) is a prevalent mental illness. Several behavioral and neuroimaging studies suggested that ID is a heterogenous condition with various subtypes. However, neurobiological alterations in different subtypes of ID are poorly understood. We aimed to assess whether unimodal and multimodal whole-brain [...] Read more.
Insomnia disorder (ID) is a prevalent mental illness. Several behavioral and neuroimaging studies suggested that ID is a heterogenous condition with various subtypes. However, neurobiological alterations in different subtypes of ID are poorly understood. We aimed to assess whether unimodal and multimodal whole-brain neuroimaging measurements can discriminate two commonly described ID subtypes (i.e., paradoxical and psychophysiological insomnia) from each other and healthy subjects. We obtained T1-weighted images and resting-state fMRI from 34 patients with ID and 48 healthy controls. The outcome measures were grey matter volume, cortical thickness, amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation, degree centrality, and regional homogeneity. Subsequently, we applied support vector machines to classify subjects via unimodal and multimodal measures. The results of the multimodal classification were superior to those of unimodal approaches, i.e., we achieved 81% accuracy in separating psychophysiological vs. control, 87% for paradoxical vs. control, and 89% for paradoxical vs. psychophysiological insomnia. This preliminary study provides evidence that structural and functional brain data can help to distinguish two common subtypes of ID from each other and healthy subjects. These initial findings may stimulate further research to identify the underlying mechanism of each subtype and develop personalized treatments for ID in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep Disorders and Neural Networks)
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