Behavioural Neurology The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Patterns of Objective and Subjective Burden of Informal Caregivers in Multiple Sclerosis Wed, 20 May 2015 09:42:42 +0000 Background. Home care for patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) relies largely on informal caregivers (ICs). Methods. We assessed ICs objective burden (Resource Utilization in Dementia measuring informal care time (ICT)) and ICs subjective burden (Zarit Burden Inventory (ZBI)). Results. ICs () were spouses (70%), mean age 52 years, assisting disabled patients with a mean EDSS (Expanded Disability Status Scale) of 5.5, with executive dysfunction (mean DEX (Dysexecutive questionnaire) of 25) and a duration of MS ranging from 1 to 44 years. Objective burden was high (mean ICT = 6.5 hours/day), mostly consisting of supervision time. Subjective burden was moderate (mean ZBI = 27.3). Multivariate analyses showed that both burdens were positively correlated with higher levels of EDSS and DEX, whereas coresidency and IC’s female gender correlated with objective burden only and IC’s poor mental health status with subjective burden only. When considering MS aggressiveness, it appeared that both burdens were not correlated with a higher duration of MS but rather increased for patients with severe and early dysexecutive function and for patients classified as fast progressors according to the Multiple Sclerosis Severity Score. Conclusion. Evaluation of MS disability course and IC’s personal situation is crucial to understand the burden process and to implement adequate interventions in MS. E. Bayen, C. Papeix, P. Pradat-Diehl, C. Lubetzki, and M. E. Joël Copyright © 2015 E. Bayen et al. All rights reserved. Chronotypes in Patients with Epilepsy: Does the Type of Epilepsy Make a Difference? Wed, 20 May 2015 06:32:03 +0000 Circadian rhythms govern all biological functions. Circadian misalignment has a major impact on health. Late chronotype is a risk factor for circadian misalignment which in turn can affect the control of seizures in epilepsy patients. We compared a group of 87 confirmed epilepsy patients regardless of subtypes with age- and sex-matched healthy controls. We compared generalized epilepsy patients with localization related epilepsy patients and with healthy controls. We found that primary generalized epilepsy patients were 5 times more likely to have a late chronotype than healthy controls. We did not find any significant differences between localization related epilepsy patients and healthy controls or between the overall epilepsy cohort and healthy controls. Generalized epilepsy patients are more likely to be evening types as compared to those with focal epilepsy or subjects without epilepsy. Epilepsy patients do not experience the same age related increase in morningness as do age-matched healthy controls. This is important in regard to timing of AED, identifying and preventing sleep deprivation, and integrating chronotype evaluations and chronotherapy in comprehensive epilepsy care. Further studies, using objective phase markers or the impact of chronotherapy on seizure control, are necessary. Hallie Kendis, Kelly Baron, Stephan U. Schuele, Bhavita Patel, and Hrayr Attarian Copyright © 2015 Hallie Kendis et al. All rights reserved. Self-Reported ADHD Symptoms and Interhemispheric Interaction in Adults: A Dimensional Approach Tue, 19 May 2015 13:28:09 +0000 The present study applied the dimensional approach to test whether self-reported symptoms of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adults are associated with the speed of interhemispheric interaction. A sample of first grade students () completed Conners’ Adult ADHD Rating Scales and letter matching reaction time tasks. In the tasks, participants had to match a single target letter displayed below the fixation cross, either on left or right visual field, with one of two letters displayed above the fixation cross, one letter on each visual field. For each task, identical letters were presented either within the same visual field (within hemisphere condition) or across visual fields (across hemisphere condition). Interhemispheric interaction was indexed as the difference in mean reaction time between within and across hemisphere conditions. Comorbid problems such as depression, anxiety, and stress may affect task performance and are controlled for in this study. Findings indicated that self-reported ADHD symptomology, especially hyperactivity, in the presence of stress was weakly but significantly associated with fast interhemispheric interaction. Saleh M. H. Mohamed, Norbert A. Börger, Reint H. Geuze, and Jaap J. van der Meere Copyright © 2015 Saleh M. H. Mohamed et al. All rights reserved. Screening Mild and Major Neurocognitive Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease Tue, 19 May 2015 12:38:46 +0000 Introduction. Among the nonmotor features of Parkinson’s disease (PD), cognitive impairment is one of the most troublesome problems. New diagnostic criteria for mild and major neurocognitive disorder (NCD) in PD were established by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition (DSM-5). The aim of our study was to establish the diagnostic accuracy of widely used screening tests for NCD in PD. Methods. Within the scope of our study we evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of different neuropsychological tests (Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination (ACE), Mattis Dementia Rating Scale (MDRS), Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)) in 370 PD patients without depression. Results. MoCA and ACE feature the finest diagnostic accuracy for detecting mild cognitive disorder in PD (DSM-5) at the cut-off scores of 23.5 and 83.5 points, respectively. The diagnostic accuracy of these tests was 0.859 (95% CI: 0.818–0.894, MoCA) and 0.820 (95% CI: 0.774–0.859, ACE). In the detection of major NCD (DSM-5), MoCA and MDRS tests exhibited the best diagnostic accuracy at the cut-off scores of 20.5 and 132.5 points, respectively. The diagnostic accuracy of these tests was 0.863 (95% CI: 0.823–0.897, MoCA) and 0.830 (95% CI: 0.785–0.869, MDRS). Conclusion. Our study demonstrated that the MoCA may be the most suitable test for detecting mild and major NCD in PD. Tivadar Lucza, Kázmér Karádi, János Kállai, Rita Weintraut, József Janszky, Attila Makkos, Sámuel Komoly, and Norbert Kovács Copyright © 2015 Tivadar Lucza et al. All rights reserved. On Colour, Category Effects, and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Critical Review of Studies and Further Longitudinal Evidence Sun, 17 May 2015 09:16:29 +0000 The role of colour in object recognition is controversial; in this study, a critical review of previous studies, as well as a longitudinal study, was conducted. We examined whether colour benefits the ability of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients and normal controls (NC) when naming items differing in colour diagnosticity: living things (LT) versus nonliving things (NLT). Eleven AD patients were evaluated twice with a temporal interval of 3 years; 26 NC were tested once. The participants performed a naming task (colour and greyscale photographs); the impact of nuisance variables (NVs) and potential ceiling effects were also controlled. Our results showed that (i) colour slightly favoured processing of items with higher colour diagnosticity (i.e., LT) in both groups; (ii) AD patients used colour information similarly to NC, retaining this ability over time; (iii) NVs played a significant role as naming predictors in all the participants, relegating domain to a minor plane; and (iv) category effects (better processing of NLT) were present in both groups. Finally, although patients underwent semantic longitudinal impairment, this was independent of colour deterioration. This finding provides better support to the view that colour is effective at the visual rather than at the semantic level of object processing. F. Javier Moreno-Martínez and Inmaculada C. Rodríguez-Rojo Copyright © 2015 F. Javier Moreno-Martínez and Inmaculada C. Rodríguez-Rojo. All rights reserved. Errors on the Trail Making Test Are Associated with Right Hemispheric Frontal Lobe Damage in Stroke Patients Wed, 13 May 2015 08:18:50 +0000 Measures of performance on the Trail Making Test (TMT) are among the most popular neuropsychological assessment techniques. Completion time on TMT-A is considered to provide a measure of processing speed, whereas completion time on TMT-B is considered to constitute a behavioral measure of the ability to shift between cognitive sets (cognitive flexibility), commonly attributed to the frontal lobes. However, empirical evidence linking performance on the TMT-B to localized frontal lesions is mostly lacking. Here, we examined the association of frontal lesions following stroke with TMT-B performance measures (i.e., completion time and completion accuracy measures) using voxel-based lesion-behavior mapping, with a focus on right hemispheric frontal lobe lesions. Our results suggest that the number of errors, but not completion time on the TMT-B, is associated with right hemispheric frontal lesions. This finding contradicts common clinical practice—the use of completion time on the TMT-B to measure cognitive flexibility, and it underscores the need for additional research on the association between cognitive flexibility and the frontal lobes. Further work in a larger sample, including left frontal lobe damage and with more power to detect effects of right posterior brain injury, is necessary to determine whether our observation is specific for right frontal lesions. Bruno Kopp, Nina Rösser, Sandra Tabeling, Hans Jörg Stürenburg, Bianca de Haan, Hans-Otto Karnath, and Karl Wessel Copyright © 2015 Bruno Kopp et al. All rights reserved. Coexistence of Gait Disturbances and Chorea in Experimental Huntington’s Disease Wed, 06 May 2015 11:14:44 +0000 Huntington’s disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease caused by an expanded CAG repeat. The clinical features are progressive motor dysfunction, cognitive deterioration, and psychiatric disturbances. Unpredictable choreic movements, among the most characteristic hallmarks, may contribute to gait disturbances and loss of balance in HD individuals. In this study, we aimed to investigate and characterize the gait abnormalities and choreic movements in a transgenic rat model of HD (tgHD). TgHD presents typical neuropathological, neurophysiological, and behavioral aspects mimicking some of the key features of human HD and is the only described experimental model for HD that exhibits choreiform movements. We used the Catwalk, with emphasis on static and dynamic gait parameters, to test the hypothesis that at symptomatic age (9 months) the dynamic measures of gait in HD are altered and coexist with choreiform movements. Our results showed that the dynamic parameters seem to be more affected than static parameters at this age in tgHD rats. The number of steps and step cycles and swing speed of the paws were increased in tgHD rat in comparison to wild-type controls. Our study demonstrates that gait abnormalities coexist with chorea rather than being caused by it. These symptoms may originate from distinct networks in the basal ganglia and downstream connections. João Casaca-Carreira, Yasin Temel, Marloes van Zelst, and Ali Jahanshahi Copyright © 2015 João Casaca-Carreira et al. All rights reserved. Physical Activity Protects the Human Brain against Metabolic Stress Induced by a Postprandial and Chronic Inflammation Tue, 05 May 2015 09:45:15 +0000 In recent years, it has become clear that chronic systemic low-grade inflammation is at the root of many, if not all, typically Western diseases associated with the metabolic syndrome. While much focus has been given to sedentary lifestyle as a cause of chronic inflammation, it is less often appreciated that chronic inflammation may also promote a sedentary lifestyle, which in turn causes chronic inflammation. Given that even minor increases in chronic inflammation reduce brain volume in otherwise healthy individuals, the bidirectional relationship between inflammation and sedentary behaviour may explain why humans have lost brain volume in the last 30,000 years and also intelligence in the last 30 years. We review evidence that lack of physical activity induces chronic low-grade inflammation and, consequently, an energy conflict between the selfish immune system and the selfish brain. Although the notion that increased physical activity would improve health in the modern world is widespread, here we provide a novel perspective on this truism by providing evidence that recovery of normal human behaviour, such as spontaneous physical activity, would calm proinflammatory activity, thereby allocating more energy to the brain and other organs, and by doing so would improve human health. Leo Pruimboom, Charles L. Raison, and Frits A. J. Muskiet Copyright © 2015 Leo Pruimboom et al. All rights reserved. Stress Assignment Errors in Surface Dyslexia: Evidence from Two Italian Patients with a Selective Deficit of the Orthographic Input Lexicon Thu, 30 Apr 2015 14:06:29 +0000 Surface dyslexia designates a selective impairment in reading irregular words, with spared ability to read regular and novel words, following a cerebral damage usually located in the left dominant hemisphere. In Italian language, which is regular at the segmental level, surface dyslexia is characterized by stress assignment errors. Here we report on two cases of Italian surface dyslexic patients who produced stress assignment errors, mainly in reading irregular words. In reading nonwords they usually applied the regular stress pattern. Both patients were also impaired in lexical decision and in semantic discrimination tasks when the processing of homophones was required. Our patients’ performance relied almost exclusively on the phonological coding of the stimulus, revealing a deficit in accessing the orthographical input lexicon. In addition, one patient showed a cerebral lesion limited to the right thalamus, providing evidence of a possible role of the right hemisphere in the reading process. Alessia Folegatti, Lorenzo Pia, Anna Berti, and Roberto Cubelli Copyright © 2015 Alessia Folegatti et al. All rights reserved. Hyperthermia-Induced Febrile Seizures Have Moderate and Transient Effects on Spatial Learning in Immature Rats Thu, 30 Apr 2015 13:29:56 +0000 The aim of this study was to characterize a novel animal model hyperthermia-induced febrile seizure and to investigate the impacts of repetitive febrile seizures on spatial learning and memory performances in immature rats. Methods. Rats were subjected to hyperthermia exposure one, two, or three times in 10-day intervals during 30 min in a water bath warmed at 45–50°C and their behaviour was monitored. Morris water maze spatial learning and memory were examined for control and treated groups. Results showed that rats subjected to 30-minute hyperthermia hot water developed rapidly myoclonic jerks and then generalized seizures. After a single hyperthermia exposure, the time for generalised tonic-clonic seizures appearance was 16.08 ± 0.60 min and it decreased gradually with repetitive exposure to reach 12.46 ± 0.39 min by the third exposure. Febrile seizures altered the spatial learning and memory abilities in Morris water maze and increased the time spent to attain the platform after one or two exposures, while after a third exposure rats exhibited the same latency compared to controls. Similar results were obtained in probe test where rats, subjected to hyperthermia for one or two episodes, spent less time in the target quadrant compared to corresponding controls. Further, when platform was moved from northwest to southwest quadrant, memory transfer test indicated that after one or two hyperthermia exposures cognitive performances were slightly altered, while after a third exposure the latency to escape increased significantly compared to untreated group. It was concluded that 30 min of hyperthermia hot water was sufficient to induce febrile seizures in immature rats and an increase of susceptibility was observed with repetitive hyperthermia exposure. Hyperthermia treatment impaired cognitive performances but the effects were mostly transient and moderate. Nawel Yagoubi, Yosra Jomni, and Mohsen Sakly Copyright © 2015 Nawel Yagoubi et al. All rights reserved. The Classical Pathways of Occipital Lobe Epileptic Propagation Revised in the Light of White Matter Dissection Thu, 30 Apr 2015 12:49:27 +0000 The clinical evidences of variable epileptic propagation in occipital lobe epilepsy (OLE) have been demonstrated by several studies. However the exact localization of the epileptic focus sometimes represents a problem because of the rapid propagation to frontal, parietal, or temporal regions. Each white matter pathway close to the supposed initial focus can lead the propagation towards a specific direction, explaining the variable semiology of these rare epilepsy syndromes. Some new insights in occipital white matter anatomy are herein described by means of white matter dissection and compared to the classical epileptic patterns, mostly based on the central position of the primary visual cortex. The dissections showed a complex white matter architecture composed by vertical and longitudinal bundles, which are closely interconnected and segregated and are able to support specific high order functions with parallel bidirectional propagation of the electric signal. The same sublobar lesions may hyperactivate different white matter bundles reemphasizing the importance of the ictal semiology as a specific clinical demonstration of the subcortical networks recruited. Merging semiology, white matter anatomy, and electrophysiology may lead us to a better understanding of these complex syndromes and tailored therapeutic options based on individual white matter connectivity. Francesco Latini, Mats Hjortberg, Håkan Aldskogius, and Mats Ryttlefors Copyright © 2015 Francesco Latini et al. All rights reserved. Cognitive Impairment and Brain Imaging Characteristics of Patients with Congenital Cataracts, Facial Dysmorphism, Neuropathy Syndrome Tue, 28 Apr 2015 09:50:32 +0000 Congenital cataracts, facial dysmorphism, neuropathy (CCFDN) syndrome is a complex autosomal recessive multisystem disorder. The aim of the current study is to evaluate the degree of cognitive impairment in a cohort of 22 CCFDN patients and its correlation with patients’ age, motor disability, ataxia, and neuroimaging changes. Twenty-two patients with genetically confirmed diagnosis of CCFDN underwent a detailed neurological examination. Verbal and nonverbal intelligence, memory, executive functions, and verbal fluency wеre assessed in all the patients aged 4 to 47 years. Brain magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 20 affected patients. Eighteen affected were classified as having mild intellectual deficit, whereas 4 had borderline intelligence. In all psychometric tests, evaluating different cognitive domains, CCFDN patients had statistically significant lower scores when compared to the healthy control group. All cognitive domains seemed equally affected. The main abnormalities on brain MRI found in 19/20 patients included diffuse cerebral atrophy, enlargement of the lateral ventricles, and focal lesions in the subcortical white matter, different in number and size, consistent with demyelination more pronounced in the older CCFDN patients. The correlation analysis of the structural brain changes and the cognitive impairment found a statistically significant correlation only between the impairment of short-term verbal memory and the MRI changes. Teodora Chamova, Dora Zlatareva, Margarita Raycheva, Stoyan Bichev, Luba Kalaydjieva, and Ivailo Tournev Copyright © 2015 Teodora Chamova et al. All rights reserved. Feasibility and Safety of Continuous and Chronic Bilateral Deep Brain Stimulation of the Medial Forebrain Bundle in the Naïve Sprague-Dawley Rat Wed, 15 Apr 2015 14:10:25 +0000 Objective. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the superolateral branch of the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) has provided rapid and dramatic reduction of depressive symptoms in a clinical trial. Early intracranial self-stimulation experiments of the MFB suggested detrimental side effects on the animals’ health; therefore, the current study looked at the viability of chronic and continuous MFB-DBS in rodents, with particular attention given to welfare issues and identification of stimulated pathways. Methods. Sprague-Dawley female rats were submitted to stereotactic microelectrode implantation into the MFB. Chronic continuous DBS was applied for 3–6 weeks. Welfare monitoring and behavior changes were assessed. Postmortem histological analysis of c-fos protein expression was carried out. Results. MFB-DBS resulted in mild and temporary weight loss in the animals, which was regained even with continuing stimulation. MFB-DBS led to increased and long-lasting c-fos expression in target regions of the mesolimbic/mesocortical system. Conclusions. Bilateral continuous chronic MFB-DBS is feasible, safe, and without impact on the rodent’s health. MFB-DBS results in temporary increase in exploration, which could explain the initial weight loss, and does not produce any apparent behavioral abnormalities. This platform represents a powerful tool for further preclinical investigation of the MFB stimulation in the treatment of depression. Luciano L. Furlanetti, Máté D. Döbrössy, Iñigo A. Aranda, and Volker A. Coenen Copyright © 2015 Luciano L. Furlanetti et al. All rights reserved. Long-Term Neuropsychological Sequelae in HIV-Seronegative Cryptococcal Meningoencephalitis Patients with and without Ventriculoperitoneal Shunts: A Cine MRI Study Thu, 09 Apr 2015 11:41:03 +0000 Background. Hydrocephalus in cryptococcal meningoencephalitis is most commonly managed with a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. This study applied cine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to evaluate initial disease severity on long-term cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow dynamics and associated neuropsychological sequelae in cryptococcal meningoencephalitis patients with and without ventriculoperitoneal shunts. Methods. Eighteen human immunodeficiency virus-seronegative cryptococcal meningoencephalitis patients (10 with shunts versus 8 without shunts) were compared with 32 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers. All subjects underwent complete neurologic examination and neuropsychological testing. Cine MRI was conducted to evaluate CSF flow parameters. Initial CSF laboratory analysis and imaging findings were correlated with present CSF flow parameters and neuropsychological scores. Results. Patients without shunts had higher average flow than controls, suggesting chronic hydrocephalus. Initial Evans ratios and CSF glucose levels were associated with CSF peak velocity and flow. Worsening CSF flow parameters correlated with decreased neuropsychological performance. Conclusions. CSF flow parameter differences between the cryptococcal meningoencephalitis patients both with and without ventriculoperitoneal shunts could be detected by cine MRI and correlated with acute stage disease severity and chronic stage neuropsychological results. Cine MRI is useful for assessing the chronic hydrocephalus that may lead to neuropsychological deficits in cryptococcal meningoencephalitis patients. Meng-Hsiang Chen, Cheng-Hsien Lu, Hung-Chen Wang, Hsiu-Ling Chen, Nai-Wen Tsai, Shau-Hsuan Li, Nai-Wen Hsu, Wei-Ming Lin, Chia-Te Kung, and Wei-Che Lin Copyright © 2015 Meng-Hsiang Chen et al. All rights reserved. The Motor Recovery Related with Brain Lesion in Patients with Intracranial Hemorrhage Tue, 31 Mar 2015 12:00:43 +0000 Although studies have demonstrated that several specific brain lesions are related to the severity of functional outcomes, the effects of specific brain lesions are not yet clear. This study investigated the effects of hemorrhagic stroke lesions on motor recovery. Eleven subjects with hemorrhagic stroke were assessed. Using the Fugl-Meyer Assessment and functional ambulation category, clinical motor and sensory impairments were tested four times in total: initially within 2 weeks and 1, 3, and 6 months after the onset of stroke. Brain lesions and size were evaluated using MRIcron, SPM8, and Talairach Daemon software. Trunk control, motor function in the lower limbs, and sensory function improved significantly within 3 months, after which the change was no longer significant. Upper limb function and gait were unchanged within 1 month but improved significantly 3 months after onset and continued to improve for 6 months. Involvement of the anterior putamen, internal capsule, thalamus, periventricular white matter, and premotor cortex was related to poor upper limb recovery in patients with hemorrhagic stroke. These results should be useful for planning rehabilitation strategies and understanding the prognosis of hemorrhagic stroke. Kyung Bo Lee, Joon Sung Kim, Bo Young Hong, Young Dong Kim, Byong Yong Hwang, and Seong Hoon Lim Copyright © 2015 Kyung Bo Lee et al. All rights reserved. “Forget to Whom You Have Told This Proverb”: Directed Forgetting of Destination Memory in Alzheimer’s Disease Mon, 30 Mar 2015 12:54:21 +0000 Destination memory is the ability to remember the receiver of transmitted information. By means of a destination memory directed forgetting task, we investigated whether participants with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) were able to suppress irrelevant information in destination memory. Twenty-six AD participants and 30 healthy elderly subjects were asked to tell 10 different proverbs to 10 different celebrities (List 1). Afterwards, half of the participants were instructed to forget the destinations (i.e., the celebrities) whereas the other half were asked to keep them in mind. After telling 10 other proverbs to 10 other celebrities (List 2), participants were asked to read numbers aloud. Subsequently, all the participants were asked to remember the destinations of List 1 and List 2, regardless of the forget or remember instructions. The results show similar destination memory in AD participants who were asked to forget the destinations of List 1 and those who were asked to retain them. These findings are attributed to inhibitory deficits, by which AD participants have difficulties to suppress irrelevant information in destination memory. Mohamad El Haj, Marie-Charlotte Gandolphe, Philippe Allain, Luciano Fasotti, and Pascal Antoine Copyright © 2015 Mohamad El Haj et al. All rights reserved. Sleep Duration and Sleep Quality following Acute Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Propensity Score Analysis Tue, 17 Mar 2015 07:09:46 +0000 Introduction. Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) has been widely studied and the effects of injury can be long term or even lifelong. This research aims to characterize the sleep problems of patients following acute mTBI. Methods. A total of 171 patients with mTBI within one month and 145 non-mTBI controls were recruited in this study. The questionnaire, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), was used to evaluate seven aspects of sleep problems. A propensity score method was used to generate a quasirandomized design to account for the background information, including gender, age, Beck’s Anxiety Index, Beck’s Depression Index, and Epworth Sleepiness Scale. The effect was evaluated via cumulative logit regression including propensity scores as a covariate. Results. Before adjustment, about 60% mTBI patients and over three quarters of control subjects had mild sleep disturbance while one third mTBI patients had moderate sleep disturbance. After adjusting by the propensity scores, the scores of sleep quality and duration were significant between mTBI and control groups. Conclusion. Our study supports that sleep problem is common in mTBI group. After adjusting the confounders by propensity score, sleep duration and subjective sleep quality are the most frequently reported problems in mTBI patients within one month after the injury. Ting-Yun Huang, Hon-Ping Ma, Shin-Han Tsai, Yung-Hsiao Chiang, Chaur-Jong Hu, and Juchi Ou Copyright © 2015 Ting-Yun Huang et al. All rights reserved. The Neural Correlates of Spatial and Object Working Memory in Elderly and Parkinson’s Disease Subjects Mon, 16 Mar 2015 09:59:23 +0000 This fMRI study deals with the neural correlates of spatial and objects working memory (SWM and OWM) in elderly subjects (ESs) and idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (IPD). Normal aging and IPD can be associated with a WM decline. In IPD population, some studies reported similar SWM and OWM deficits; others reported a greater SWM than OWM impairment. In the present fMRI research, we investigated whether compensated IPD patients and elderly subjects with comparable performance during the execution of SWM and OWM tasks would present differences in WM-related brain activations. We found that the two groups recruited a prevalent left frontoparietal network when performing the SWM task and a bilateral network during OWM task execution. More specifically, the ESs showed bilateral frontal and subcortical activations in SWM, at difference with the IPD patients who showed a strict left lateralized network, consistent with frontostriatal degeneration in IPD. The overall brain activation in the IPD group was more extended as number of voxels with respect to ESs, suggesting underlying compensatory mechanisms. In conclusion, notwithstanding comparable WM performance, the two groups showed consistencies and differences in the WM activated networks. The latter underline the compensatory processes of normal typical and pathological aging. Silvia P. Caminiti, Chiara Siri, Lucia Guidi, Angelo Antonini, and Daniela Perani Copyright © 2015 Silvia P. Caminiti et al. All rights reserved. Recent Advances in Methamphetamine Neurotoxicity Mechanisms and Its Molecular Pathophysiology Thu, 12 Mar 2015 13:29:54 +0000 Methamphetamine (METH) is a sympathomimetic amine that belongs to phenethylamine and amphetamine class of psychoactive drugs, which are widely abused for their stimulant, euphoric, empathogenic, and hallucinogenic properties. Many of these effects result from acute increases in dopamine and serotonin neurotransmission. Subsequent to these acute effects, METH produces persistent damage to dopamine and serotonin release in nerve terminals, gliosis, and apoptosis. This review summarized the numerous interdependent mechanisms including excessive dopamine, ubiquitin-proteasome system dysfunction, protein nitration, endoplasmic reticulum stress, p53 expression, inflammatory molecular, D3 receptor, microtubule deacetylation, and HIV-1 Tat protein that have been demonstrated to contribute to this damage. In addition, the feasible therapeutic strategies according to recent studies were also summarized ranging from drug and protein to gene level. Shaobin Yu, Ling Zhu, Qiang Shen, Xue Bai, and Xuhui Di Copyright © 2015 Shaobin Yu et al. All rights reserved. The Short-Term Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Electroencephalography in Children with Autism: A Randomized Crossover Controlled Trial Thu, 12 Mar 2015 12:03:14 +0000 Abnormal synaptic maturation and connectivity are possible etiologies of autism. Previous studies showed significantly less alpha activity in autism than normal children. Therefore, we studied the effects of anodal tDCS on peak alpha frequency (PAF) related to autism treatment evaluation checklist (ATEC). Twenty male children with autism were randomly assigned in a crossover design to receive a single session of both active and sham tDCS stimulation (11 mA) over F3 (left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex). Pre- to postsession changes in a measure of cortical activity impacted by tDCS (PAF) and ATEC were compared between groups. We also examined the associations between pre- and postsession changes in the PAF and ATEC. The results show significant pre- to postsession improvements in two domains of ATEC (social and health/behavior domains) following active tDCS, relative to sham treatment. PAF also significantly increased at the stimulation site, and an increase in PAF was significantly associated with improvements in the two domains of ATEC impacted by tDCS. The findings suggest that a single session of anodal tDCS over the F3 may have clinical benefits in children with autism and that those benefits may be related to an increase in PAF. Anuwat Amatachaya, Mark P. Jensen, Niramol Patjanasoontorn, Narong Auvichayapat, Chanyut Suphakunpinyo, Suparerk Janjarasjitt, Niran Ngernyam, Benchaporn Aree-uea, and Paradee Auvichayapat Copyright © 2015 Anuwat Amatachaya et al. All rights reserved. Toxicant Exposure and Bioaccumulation: A Common and Potentially Reversible Cause of Cognitive Dysfunction and Dementia Wed, 04 Feb 2015 06:00:41 +0000 Juxtaposed alongside the ongoing rise in the incidence and prevalence of dementia, is the surge of recent research confirming widespread exposure and bioaccumulation of chemical toxicants. Evidence from sources such as the Centers for Disease Control reveals that most people have accrued varying degrees of assorted toxic pollutants including heavy metals, flame retardants, and pesticide residues within their bodies. It has been well established that many of these toxicants have neurodegenerative as well as neurodevelopmental impact as a result of various pathophysiologic mechanisms including neuronal mitochondrial toxicity and disruption of neurotransmitter regulation. Elimination of stockpiled toxicants from the body may diminish adverse toxicant impact on human biology and allow restoration of normal physiological function. Incorporating a review of medical literature on toxicant exposure and dementia with a case history of a lead-exposed individual diagnosed with dementia, this paper will discuss a much overlooked and potentially widespread cause of declining brain function and dementia. Stephen J. Genuis and Kasie L. Kelln Copyright © 2015 Stephen J. Genuis and Kasie L. Kelln. All rights reserved. Modulatory Role of Simvastatin against Aluminium Chloride-Induced Behavioural and Biochemical Changes in Rats Sat, 31 Jan 2015 14:22:36 +0000 Objectives. Aluminium, a neurotoxic agent in humans, has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. In this study, we examined the behavioral and biochemical effects of aluminium in rats with special emphasis on memory centres, namely, hippocampus and frontal cortex. Further, the effect of simvastatin treatment on aluminium intoxication was evaluated. Methods. Rats were exposed to aluminium chloride (AlCl3) for 60 days. Simvastatin (10 mg/kg/p.o.) and rivastigmine (1 mg/kg/p.o.) were administered daily prior to AlCl3. Behavioral parameters were assessed using Morris water maze test and actophotometer followed by biochemical investigations, namely, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity, TNF-α level, antioxidant enzymes (GSH, catalase), lipid peroxidation, and nitrite level in hippocampus and frontal cortex. Triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL, and HDL levels in serum were also determined. Key Findings. Simvastatin treatment improved cognitive function and locomotor activity in rats. Simvastatin reversed hyperlipidemia and significantly rectified the deleterious effect of AlCl3 on AChE activity. Further, in hippocampus and frontal cortex, aluminium-induced elevation in nitrite and TNF-α and reduction in antioxidant enzymes were inhibited by simvastatin. Conclusion. To conclude, the present study suggests that simvastatin per se protects the neurons in hippocampus and frontal cortex from AlCl3, an environmental toxin. Madhavan Nampoothiri, Jessy John, Nitesh Kumar, Jayesh Mudgal, Gopalan Kutty Nampurath, and Mallikarjuna Rao Chamallamudi Copyright © 2015 Madhavan Nampoothiri et al. All rights reserved. Language and Visual Perception Associations: Meta-Analytic Connectivity Modeling of Brodmann Area 37 Mon, 12 Jan 2015 05:59:23 +0000 Background. Understanding the functions of different brain areas has represented a major endeavor of neurosciences. Historically, brain functions have been associated with specific cortical brain areas; however, modern neuroimaging developments suggest cognitive functions are associated to networks rather than to areas. Objectives. The purpose of this paper was to analyze the connectivity of Brodmann area (BA) 37 (posterior, inferior, and temporal/fusiform gyrus) in relation to (1) language and (2) visual processing. Methods. Two meta-analyses were initially conducted (first level analysis). The first one was intended to assess the language network in which BA37 is involved. The second one was intended to assess the visual perception network. A third meta-analysis (second level analysis) was then performed to assess contrasts and convergence between the two cognitive domains (language and visual perception). The DataBase of Brainmap was used. Results. Our results support the role of BA37 in language but by means of a distinct network from the network that supports its second most important function: visual perception. Conclusion. It was concluded that left BA37 is a common node of two distinct networks—visual recognition (perception) and semantic language functions. Alfredo Ardila, Byron Bernal, and Monica Rosselli Copyright © 2015 Alfredo Ardila et al. All rights reserved. Prefronto-Cerebellar Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Improves Sleep Quality in Euthymic Bipolar Patients: A Brief Report Sun, 07 Dec 2014 00:10:35 +0000 Introduction. Sleep problems are common in bipolar disorder (BD) and may persist during the euthymic phase of the disease. The aim of the study was to improve sleep quality of euthymic BD patients through the administration of prefronto-cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Methods. 25 euthymic outpatients with a diagnosis of BD Type I or II have been enrolled in the study. tDCS montage was as follows: cathode on the right cerebellar cortex and anode over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC); the intensity of stimulation was set at 2 mA and delivered for 20 min/die for 3 consecutive weeks. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was used to assess sleep quality at baseline and after the tDCS treatment. Results. PSQI total score and all PSQI subdomains, with the exception of “sleep medication,” significantly improved after treatment. Discussion. This is the first study where a positive effect of tDCS on the quality of sleep in euthymic BD patients has been reported. As both prefrontal cortex and cerebellum may play a role in regulating sleep processes, concomitant cathodal (inhibitory) stimulation of cerebellum and anodal (excitatory) stimulation of DLPFC may have the potential to modulate prefrontal-thalamic-cerebellar circuits leading to improvements of sleep quality. Amedeo Minichino, Francesco Saverio Bersani, Francesco Spagnoli, Alessandra Corrado, Francesco De Michele, Wanda Katharina Calò, Martina Primavera, Baoran Yang, Laura Bernabei, Francesco Macrì, Lucilla Vergnani, Massimo Biondi, and Roberto Delle Chiaie Copyright © 2014 Amedeo Minichino et al. All rights reserved. Counterfactual Thinking in Tourette’s Syndrome: A Study Using Three Measures Sun, 30 Nov 2014 00:10:18 +0000 Pathophysiological evidence suggests an involvement of frontostriatal circuits in Tourette syndrome (TS) and cognitive abnormalities have been detected in tasks sensitive to cognitive deficits associated with prefrontal damage (verbal fluency, planning, attention shifting, working memory, cognitive flexibility, and social reasoning). A disorder in counterfactual thinking (CFT), a behavioural executive process linked to the prefrontal cortex functioning, has not been investigated in TS. CFT refers to the generation of a mental simulation of alternatives to past factual events, actions, and outcomes. It is a pervasive cognitive feature in everyday life and it is closely related to decision-making, planning, problem-solving, and experience-driven learning—cognitive processes that involve wide neuronal networks in which prefrontal lobes play a fundamental role. Clinical observations in patients with focal prefrontal lobe damage or with neurological and psychiatric diseases related to frontal lobe dysfunction (e.g., Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and schizophrenia) show counterfactual thinking impairments. In this work, we evaluate the performance of CFT in a group of patients with Tourette’s syndrome compared with a group of healthy participants. Overall results showed no statistical differences in counterfactual thinking between TS patients and controls in the three counterfactual measures proposed. The possible explanations of this unexpected result are discussed below. Stefano Zago, Adriana Delli Ponti, Silvia Mastroianni, Federica Solca, Emanuele Tomasini, Barbara Poletti, Silvia Inglese, Giuseppe Sartori, and Mauro Porta Copyright © 2014 Stefano Zago et al. All rights reserved. Cadmium Increases the Sensitivity of Adolescent Female Mice to Nicotine-Related Behavioral Deficits Sun, 16 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 This study investigates spatial and nonspatial working memory, anxiety related behavior, and motor activities in cadmium and/or nicotine exposed female adolescent mice. P28 female adolescent mice (albino strain) were divided into four groups of five () mice each. A set of mice (Nic) received subcutaneous nicotine (2.0 mg/kg) while a separate set (Cd) was treated with 2.0 mg/kg cadmium (subcutaneous). For the combined treatments of cadmium and nicotine, we administered 2.0 mg/kg Nicotine and 2.0 mg/kg of Cd. Subsequently, a separate group of animals (; control) received normal saline. The total duration of treatment for all groups was 28 days (P28–P56). At P56, the treatment was discontinued, after which the animals were examined in behavioural tests. Nicotine and cadmium increased the metabolism and food intake in the female adolescent mice. This also corresponded to an increase in weight when compared with the control. However, a combined nicotine-cadmium treatment induced a decline in weight of the animals versus the control. Also, nicotine administration increased the motor function, while cadmium and nicotine-cadmium treatment caused a decline in motor activity. Both nicotine and cadmium induced a reduction in memory index; however, nicotine-cadmium treatment induced the most significant decrease in nonspatial working memory. Philip Adeyemi Adeniyi, Babawale Peter Olatunji, Azeez Olakunle Ishola, Duyilemi Chris Ajonijebu, and Olalekan Michael Ogundele Copyright © 2014 Philip Adeyemi Adeniyi et al. All rights reserved. Can Meditation Influence Quality of Life, Depression, and Disease Outcome in Multiple Sclerosis? Findings from a Large International Web-Based Study Wed, 12 Nov 2014 08:48:19 +0000 Objectives. To explore the association between meditation and health related quality of life (HRQOL), depression, fatigue, disability level, relapse rates, and disease activity in a large international sample of people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods. Participants were invited to take part in an online survey and answer questions relating to HRQOL, depression, fatigue, disability, relapse rates, and their involvement in meditation practices. Results. Statistically and potentially clinically significant differences between those who meditated once a week or more and participants who never meditated were present for mean mental health composite (MHC) scores, cognitive function scale, and health perception scale. The MHC results remained statistically significant on multivariate regression modelling when covariates were accounted for. Physical health composite (PHC) scores were higher in those that meditated; however, the differences were probably not clinically significant. Among those who meditated, fewer screened positive for depression, but there was no relationship with fatigue or relapse rate. Those with worsened disability levels were more likely to meditate. Discussion. The study reveals a significant association between meditation, lower risk of depression, and improved HRQOL in people with MS. Adam B. Levin, Emily J. Hadgkiss, Tracey J. Weiland, Claudia H. Marck, Dania M. van der Meer, Naresh G. Pereira, and George A. Jelinek Copyright © 2014 Adam B. Levin et al. All rights reserved. Mental Practice Combined with Physical Practice to Enhance Hand Recovery in Stroke Patients Sun, 09 Nov 2014 12:08:18 +0000 Objectives. To evaluate whether combining mental practice with physical practice training enhances hand function in patients with stroke. Methods. 10 for treatment and 10 for control were recruited for this pre/posttraining matched case control study. In the treatment group, subjects underwent combining mental practice with physical practice for four weeks. In the control group, subjects only participated in physical practice. Change of hand function and the number of activated voxels of the contralateral somatosensory motor cortex (SMC) acquired by functional magnetic resonance imaging were measured. Results. After training, the Action Research Arm Test score increased by 12.65 for treatment and by 5.20 for control. There was a significant difference in the Action Research Arm Test score between the two groups (). The activated voxels number of the contralateral SMC increased in both groups, but the activated voxels number in the contralateral SMC and the improvement of hand function for treatment were greater than for control. In the treatment group, the number of activated voxels of the contralateral SMC was positively correlated with better hand function scores. Conclusions. Combining mental practice with physical practice may be a more effective treatment strategy than physical training alone for hand recovery in stroke patients. Hua Liu, Lu-ping Song, and Tong Zhang Copyright © 2014 Hua Liu et al. All rights reserved. Modafinil Effects on Behavior and Oxidative Damage Parameters in Brain of Wistar Rats Thu, 06 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 The effects of modafinil (MD) on behavioral and oxidative damage to protein and lipid in the brain of rats were evaluated. Wistar rats were given a single administration by gavage of water or MD (75, 150, or 300 mg/kg). Behavioral parameters were evaluated in open-field apparatus 1, 2, and 3 h after drug administration. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and protein carbonyl formation were measured in the brain. MD increased locomotor activity at the highest dose 1 and 3 h after administration. MD administration at the dose of 300 mg/kg increased visits to the center of open-field 1 h after administration; however, 3 h after administration, all administered doses of MD increased visits to the open-field center. MD 300 mg/kg increased lipid damage in the amygdala, hippocampus, and striatum. Besides, MD increased protein damage in the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus; however, this effect varies depending on the dose administered. In contrast, the administration of MD 75 and 300 mg/kg decreased the protein damage in the striatum. This study demonstrated that the MD administration induces behavioral changes, which was depending on the dose used. In addition, the effects of MD on oxidative damage parameters seemed to be in specific brain region and doses. Felipe Ornell, Samira S. Valvassori, Amanda V. Steckert, Pedro F. Deroza, Wilson R. Resende, Roger B. Varela, and João Quevedo Copyright © 2014 Felipe Ornell et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Autism: A Randomized Double-Blind Crossover Trial Thu, 30 Oct 2014 08:34:15 +0000 The aim of this study was to evaluate the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC), and Children’s Global Assessment Scale (CGAS) after anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in individuals with autism. Twenty patients with autism received 5 consecutive days of both sham and active tDCS stimulation (1 mA) in a randomized double-blind crossover trial over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (F3) for 20 minutes in different orders. Measures of CARS, ATEC, and CGAS were administered before treatment and at 7 days posttreatment. The result showed statistical decrease in CARS score (). ATEC total was decreased from 67.25 to 58 (). CGAS was increased at 7 days posttreatment (). Our study suggests that anodal tDCS over the F3 may be a useful clinical tool in autism. Anuwat Amatachaya, Narong Auvichayapat, Niramol Patjanasoontorn, Chanyut Suphakunpinyo, Niran Ngernyam, Benchaporn Aree-uea, Keattichai Keeratitanont, and Paradee Auvichayapat Copyright © 2014 Anuwat Amatachaya et al. All rights reserved.