Behavioural Neurology The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Pain Assessment in Neurodegenerative Diseases Tue, 21 Jun 2016 06:26:10 +0000 Marina de Tommaso, Lars Arendt-Nielsen, Ruti Defrin, Miriam Kunz, Gisele Pickering, and Massimiliano Valeriani Copyright © 2016 Marina de Tommaso et al. All rights reserved. Sleep Deprivation Influences Circadian Gene Expression in the Lateral Habenula Sun, 19 Jun 2016 09:17:02 +0000 Sleep is governed by homeostasis and the circadian clock. Clock genes play an important role in the generation and maintenance of circadian rhythms but are also involved in regulating sleep homeostasis. The lateral habenular nucleus (LHb) has been implicated in sleep-wake regulation, since LHb gene expression demonstrates circadian oscillation characteristics. This study focuses on the participation of LHb clock genes in regulating sleep homeostasis, as the nature of their involvement is unclear. In this study, we observed changes in sleep pattern following sleep deprivation in LHb-lesioned rats using EEG recording techniques. And then the changes of clock gene expression (Per1, Per2, and Bmal1) in the LHb after 6 hours of sleep deprivation were detected by using real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). We found that sleep deprivation increased the length of Non-Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (NREMS) and decreased wakefulness. LHb-lesioning decreased the amplitude of reduced wake time and increased NREMS following sleep deprivation in rats. qPCR results demonstrated that Per2 expression was elevated after sleep deprivation, while the other two genes were unaffected. Following sleep recovery, Per2 expression was comparable to the control group. This study provides the basis for further research on the role of LHb Per2 gene in the regulation of sleep homeostasis. Beilin Zhang, Yanxia Gao, Yang Li, Jing Yang, and Hua Zhao Copyright © 2016 Beilin Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Validation of the Turkish Version of the Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behavior Disorder Questionnaire Wed, 01 Jun 2016 07:17:47 +0000 The aim of this study was to assess the validity and reliability of a Turkish version of the rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder questionnaire (the RBDSQ-T) for identifying patients with rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD) and to ensure that this tool can be applied in Turkish language. Three groups were enrolled to validate the RBDSQ-T: 78 healthy controls, 17 patients previously diagnosed with RBD, and 28 patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). Based on a cut-off score of five, the RBDSQ-T was able to discriminate RBD patients from healthy controls with sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 87%. Accordingly, 63% of patients were correctly diagnosed using the RBDSQ-T. Similarly, with a cut-off score of five, the RBDSQ-T was able to discriminate RBD from OSAS with sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 64%. Assessment of test-retest reliability and internal consistency reliability using Kuder-Richardson 20 analysis revealed a test-retest correlation coefficient of 0.95 and a Kuder-Richardson 20 value of 0.82. The findings demonstrate that the RBDSQ-T is a valid and reliable tool. Itır Tarı Cömert, Zerrin Pelin, Tolga Arıcak, and Saadet Yapan Copyright © 2016 Itır Tarı Cömert et al. All rights reserved. Intra- and Extracranial MR Venography: Technical Notes, Clinical Application, and Imaging Development Tue, 31 May 2016 07:30:38 +0000 Scientific debate over chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) has drawn attention to venous system involvement in a series of pathologic brain conditions. In the last few decades, the MRI venography (MRV) field has developed a number of valuable sequences to better investigate structural anatomy, vessel patency, and flow characteristics of venous drainage in the intra- and extracranial systems. A brief two-tier protocol is proposed to encompass the study of intra- and extracranial venous drainage with and without contrast administration, respectively. Contrast-enhanced protocol is based on time-resolved contrast-enhanced MRV of the whole region plus extracranial flow quantification through 2D Cine phase contrast (PC); non-contrast-enhanced protocol includes intracranial 3D PC, extracranial 2D time of flight (TOF), and 2D Cine PC flow quantification. Total scanning time is reasonable for clinical applications: approximately seven minutes is allocated for the contrast protocol (most of which is due to 2D Cine PC), while the noncontrast protocol accounts for around twenty minutes. We believe that a short though exhaustive MRI scan of the whole intra- and extracranial venous drainage system can be valuable for a variety of pathologic conditions, given the possible venous implication in several neurological conditions. M. Paoletti, G. Germani, R. De Icco, C. Asteggiano, P. Zamboni, and S. Bastianello Copyright © 2016 M. Paoletti et al. All rights reserved. Pain in Neurodegenerative Disease: Current Knowledge and Future Perspectives Mon, 30 May 2016 15:37:50 +0000 Neurodegenerative diseases are going to increase as the life expectancy is getting longer. The management of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementias, Parkinson’s disease (PD) and PD related disorders, motor neuron diseases (MND), Huntington’s disease (HD), spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA), and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), is mainly addressed to motor and cognitive impairment, with special care to vital functions as breathing and feeding. Many of these patients complain of painful symptoms though their origin is variable, and their presence is frequently not considered in the treatment guidelines, leaving their management to the decision of the clinicians alone. However, studies focusing on pain frequency in such disorders suggest a high prevalence of pain in selected populations from 38 to 75% in AD, 40% to 86% in PD, and 19 to 85% in MND. The methods of pain assessment vary between studies so the type of pain has been rarely reported. However, a prevalent nonneuropathic origin of pain emerged for MND and PD. In AD, no data on pain features are available. No controlled therapeutic trials and guidelines are currently available. Given the relevance of pain in neurodegenerative disorders, the comprehensive understanding of mechanisms and predisposing factors, the application and validation of specific scales, and new specific therapeutic trials are needed. Marina de Tommaso, Lars Arendt-Nielsen, Ruth Defrin, Miriam Kunz, Gisele Pickering, and Massimiliano Valeriani Copyright © 2016 Marina de Tommaso et al. All rights reserved. The Interactive Relationship between Pain, Psychosis, and Agitation in People with Dementia: Results from a Cluster-Randomised Clinical Trial Mon, 09 May 2016 10:54:02 +0000 Background. Neuropsychiatric symptoms are common in people with dementia, and pain is thought to be an important underlying factor. Pain has previously been associated with agitation, and pain treatment has been shown to ameliorate agitated behaviour. So far, the association between pain and psychosis and the effect of pain treatment on psychotic symptoms is unclear. Furthermore, the impact of opioid treatment on psychosis is not established. Aim. To investigate the efficacy of a stepwise protocol for treating pain (SPTP) on psychosis and agitation measured with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory, Nursing Home version, and to explore the impact of opioid analgesics on psychosis. Method. Secondary analyses are from a cluster-randomised controlled trial including 352 patients with advanced dementia and agitation from 18 nursing homes in Western Norway. The intervention group received pain treatment according to SPTP. Results. Pain was associated with disinhibition (adjusted OR: 1.21, 95% CI: 1.10–1.34) and irritability (adjusted OR: 1.10, 95% CI: 1.01–1.21) at baseline. Pain treatment reduced agitation (p < 0.001, df = 1; 300) and aberrant motor behaviour (p = 0.017, df = 1; 300). Psychosis was reduced in people with at least one symptom at baseline (p = 0.034, df = 1; 135). The use of opioid analgesics did not increase psychotic symptoms. Study Registration. This trial is registered with (NCT01021696), Norwegian Medicines Agency, EudraCT (EudraCTnr: 2008-007490-20). Torstein F. Habiger, Elisabeth Flo, Wilco P. Achterberg, and Bettina S. Husebo Copyright © 2016 Torstein F. Habiger et al. All rights reserved. The Influence of Executive Functioning on Facial and Subjective Pain Responses in Older Adults Thu, 05 May 2016 16:31:15 +0000 Cognitive decline is known to reduce reliability of subjective pain reports. Although facial expressions of pain are generally considered to be less affected by this decline, empirical support for this assumption is sparse. The present study therefore examined how cognitive functioning relates to facial expressions of pain and whether cognition acts as a moderator between nociceptive intensity and facial reactivity. Facial and subjective responses of 51 elderly participants to mechanical stimulation at three intensities levels (50 kPa, 200 kPa, and 400 kPa) were assessed. Moreover, participants completed a neuropsychological examination of executive functioning (planning, cognitive inhibition, and working memory), episodic memory, and psychomotor speed. The results showed that executive functioning has a unique relationship with facial reactivity at low pain intensity levels (200 kPa). Moreover, cognitive inhibition (but not other executive functions) moderated the effect of pressure intensity on facial pain expressions, suggesting that the relationship between pressure intensity and facial reactivity was less pronounced in participants with high levels of cognitive inhibition. A similar interaction effect was found for cognitive inhibition and subjective pain report. Consequently, caution is needed when interpreting facial (as well as subjective) pain responses in individuals with a high level of cognitive inhibition. Joukje M. Oosterman, Juliane Traxler, and Miriam Kunz Copyright © 2016 Joukje M. Oosterman et al. All rights reserved. Persons with Epilepsy: Between Social Inclusion and Marginalisation Tue, 26 Apr 2016 13:17:08 +0000 Background. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that can lead to complex psychosocial consequences. Epilepsy can change the social status of persons with epilepsy (PWE) and has an effect on their social inclusion as well as their perception of social inclusion. This study aims to explore subjective experiences with social inclusion of PWE in Slovenia. Methods. This study takes a qualitative approach. Eleven semistructured interviews were conducted with eleven participants. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis. Results. Epilepsy has physical, emotional, and social consequences. Physical consequences of epilepsy are mainly tiredness and exhaustion following an epileptic episode, frequently accompanied by headaches. Emotional consequences are different forms of fear. The main social consequence identified is a negative effect on PWE’s social network, which leads to (self-)isolation and social distrust. Conclusion. PWE experience of social inclusion depends on various psychosocial factors and differs from person to person. The consequences of epilepsy are shown in PWE social contacts and their sense of social inclusion and autonomy. Simona Mlinar, Davorina Petek, Živa Cotič, Metka Mencin Čeplak, and Marjan Zaletel Copyright © 2016 Simona Mlinar et al. All rights reserved. Human Neural Stem Cells Overexpressing Choline Acetyltransferase Restore Unconditioned Fear in Rats with Amygdala Injury Mon, 21 Mar 2016 10:48:55 +0000 Amygdala is involved in the fear memory that recognizes certain environmental cues predicting threatening events. Manipulation of neurotransmission within the amygdala affects the expression of conditioned and unconditioned emotional memories such as fear freezing behaviour. We previously demonstrated that F3.ChAT human neural stem cells (NSCs) overexpressing choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) improve cognitive function of Alzheimer’s disease model rats with hippocampal or cholinergic nerve injuries by increasing acetylcholine (ACh) level. In the present study, we examined the effect of F3.ChAT cells on the deficit of unconditioned fear freezing. Rats given N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) in their amygdala 2 weeks prior to cat odor exposure displayed very short resting (freezing) time compared to normal animals. NMDA induced neuronal degeneration in the amygdala, leading to a decreased ACh concentration in cerebrospinal fluid. However, intracerebroventricular transplantation of F3.ChAT cells attenuated amygdala lesions 4 weeks after transplantation. The transplanted cells were found in the NMDA-injury sites and produced ChAT protein. In addition, F3.ChAT-receiving rats recuperated freezing time staying remote from the cat odor source, according to the recovery of brain ACh concentration. The results indicate that human NSCs overexpressing ChAT may facilitate retrieval of unconditioned fear memory by increasing ACh level. Kyungha Shin, Yeseul Cha, Kwang Sei Kim, Ehn-Kyoung Choi, Youngjin Choi, Haiyu Guo, Young-Hwan Ban, Jong-Choon Kim, Dongsun Park, and Yun-Bae Kim Copyright © 2016 Kyungha Shin et al. All rights reserved. Laser Evoked Potentials in Early and Presymptomatic Huntington’s Disease Mon, 21 Mar 2016 07:23:29 +0000 Pain was rarely studied in Huntington’s disease (HD). We presently aimed to extend our previous study on pain pathways functions by laser evoked potentials (LEPs) to a larger cohort of early unmedicated HD patients and a small group of presymptomatic HD (PHD) subjects. Forty-two early HD patients, 10 PHD patients, and 64 controls were submitted to LEPs by right-hand stimulation. Two series of 30 laser stimuli were delivered, and artifact-free responses were averaged. The N1, N2, and P2 latencies were significantly increased and the N2P2 amplitude significantly reduced in HD patients compared to controls. In the HD group, the LEPs abnormalities correlated with functional decline. PHD subjects showed a slight and insignificant increase in LEPs latencies, which was inversely correlated with the possible age of HD clinical onset. Data of the present study seem to suggest that the functional state of nociceptive pathways as assessed by LEPs may be a potential biomarker of disease onset and progression. The assessment of pain symptoms in premanifest and manifest HD may also open a new scenario in terms of subtle disturbances of pain processing, which may have a role in the global burden of the disease. Marina de Tommaso, Giovanni Franco, Katia Ricci, Anna Montemurno, and Vittorio Sciruicchio Copyright © 2016 Marina de Tommaso et al. All rights reserved. Long-Term Functional and Psychosocial Consequences and Health Care Provision after Traumatic Brain Injury Thu, 10 Mar 2016 09:25:27 +0000 Nada Andelic, Solrun Sigurdardottir, Juan Carlos Arango-Lasprilla, and Alison K. Godbolt Copyright © 2016 Nada Andelic et al. All rights reserved. Dream Recall Frequencies and Dream Content in Wilson’s Disease with and without REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder: A Neurooneirologic Study Tue, 08 Mar 2016 07:16:26 +0000 Objective. Violent dream content and its acting out during rapid eye movement sleep are considered distinctive for rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder (RBD). This study reports first quantitative data on dreaming in a cohort of patients with treated Wilson’s disease (WD) and in patients with WD with RBD. Methods. Retrospective questionnaires on different dimensions of dreaming and a prospective two-week home dream diary with self-rating of emotions and blinded, categorical rating of content by an external judge. Results. WD patients showed a significantly lower dream word count and very few other differences in dream characteristics compared to age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Compared to WD patients without RBD, patients with WD and RBD reported significantly higher nightmare frequencies and more dreams with violent or aggressive content retrospectively; their prospectively collected dream reports contained significantly more negative emotions and aggression. Conclusions. The reduction in dream length might reflect specific cognitive deficits in WD. The lack of differences regarding dream content might be explained by the established successful WD treatment. RBD in WD had a strong impact on dreaming. In accordance with the current definition of RBD, violent, aggressive dream content seems to be a characteristic of RBD also in WD. Gotthard G. Tribl, Mateus C. Trindade, Michael Schredl, Joana Pires, Iris Reinhard, Thais Bittencourt, Geraldo Lorenzi-Filho, Rosana Cardoso Alves, Daniel Ciampi de Andrade, Erich T. Fonoff, Edson Bor-Seng-Shu, Alexandre A. Machado, Manoel J. Teixeira, and Egberto R. Barbosa Copyright © 2016 Gotthard G. Tribl et al. All rights reserved. Assessment of Internal Jugular Vein Size in Healthy Subjects with Magnetic Resonance and Semiautomatic Processing Mon, 29 Feb 2016 09:33:58 +0000 Background and Objectives. The hypothesized link between extracranial venous abnormalities and some neurological disorders awoke interest in the investigation of the internal jugular veins (IJVs). However, different IJV cross-sectional area (CSA) values are currently reported in literature. In this study, we introduced a semiautomatic method to measure and normalize the CSA and the degree of circularity (Circ) of IJVs along their whole length. Methods. Thirty-six healthy subjects (31.22 ± 9.29 years) were recruited and the 2D time-of-flight magnetic resonance venography was acquired with a 1.5 T Siemens scanner. The IJV were segmented on an axial slice, the contours were propagated in 3D. Then, IJV CSA and Circ were computed between the first and the seventh cervical levels (C1–C7) and normalized among subjects. Inter- and intrarater repeatability were assessed. Results. IJV CSA and Circ were significantly different among cervical levels (). A trend for side difference was observed for CSA (larger right IJV, ), but not for Circ (). Excellent inter- and intrarater repeatability was obtained for all the measures. Conclusion. This study proposed a reliable semiautomatic method able to measure the IJV area and shape along C1–C7, and suitable for defining the normality thresholds for future clinical studies. M. M. Laganà, L. Pelizzari, E. Scaccianoce, O. Dipasquale, C. Ricci, F. Baglio, P. Cecconi, and G. Baselli Copyright © 2016 M. M. Laganà et al. All rights reserved. Why Current Doppler Ultrasound Methodology Is Inaccurate in Assessing Cerebral Venous Return: The Alternative of the Ultrasonic Jugular Venous Pulse Wed, 24 Feb 2016 13:06:45 +0000 Assessment of cerebral venous return is growing interest for potential application in clinical practice. Doppler ultrasound (DUS) was used as a screening tool. However, three meta-analyses of qualitative DUS protocol demonstrate a big heterogeneity among studies. In an attempt to improve accuracy, several authors alternatively measured the flow rate, based on the product of the time average velocity with the cross-sectional area (CSA). However, also the quantification protocols lacked of the necessary accuracy. The reasons are as follows: (a) automatic measurement of the CSA assimilates the jugular to a circle, while it is elliptical; (b) the use of just a single CSA value in a pulsatile vessel is inaccurate; (c) time average velocity assessment can be applied only in laminar flow. Finally, the tutorial describes alternative ultrasound calculation of flow based on the Womersley method, which takes into account the variation of the jugular CSA overtime. In the near future, it will be possible to synchronize the electrocardiogram with the brain inflow (carotid distension wave) and with the outflow (jugular venous pulse) in order to nicely have a noninvasive ultrasound picture of the brain-heart axis. US jugular venous pulse may have potential use in neurovascular, neurocognitive, neurosensorial, and neurodegenerative disorders. Paolo Zamboni Copyright © 2016 Paolo Zamboni. All rights reserved. Determinants of Noncompliance to Clinic Appointments and Medications among Nigerian Children with Epilepsy: Experience in a Tertiary Health Facility in Enugu, Nigeria Sun, 21 Feb 2016 12:28:43 +0000 Purpose. To determine the frequency and determinants of noncompliance to clinic appointment and medication among Nigerian children with epilepsy. Method. This is a cross-sectional survey of noncompliance to clinic appointments and medication among 113 consecutive children with epilepsy attending the Paediatric Neurology Clinic of University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, southeastern Nigeria. Results. Noncompliance to clinic appointment and medication was 23% and 15.3%, respectively. The major reasons given were lack of finance, clashing with school time, and forgetting to take the drugs. Children whose mothers were less educated and unemployed were more likely to miss clinic appointments. Noncompliance to medication was associated with poor seizure control. Children that were on phenobarbitone were more likely to be noncompliant with medication than those on sodium valproate and/or carbamazepine. Conclusion. Missed clinic appointment and medication noncompliance are common among Nigerian children with epilepsy and financial constraint is the most common reason. Roland Chidi Ibekwe, Appolos Chidi Ndukuba, Ann Ebele Aronu, Christopher Bismarck Eke, MaryAnn Ugochi Ibekwe, and Ngozi Chinyelu Ojinnaka Copyright © 2016 Roland Chidi Ibekwe et al. All rights reserved. Predictors for Return to Work in Subjects with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Sun, 14 Feb 2016 11:09:28 +0000 Objective. To predict return to work (RTW) at 12 months for patients who either were sick-listed or were at risk to be sick-listed with persistent postconcussion symptoms (PCS) at six to eight weeks after injury. Method. A prospective cohort study of 151 patients with mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) admitted consecutively to outpatient clinics at two University Hospitals in Norway. The study was conducted as part of a randomised clinical trial. Injury characteristics were obtained from the medical records. Sick leave data from one year before to one year after MTBI were obtained from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service. Self-report questionnaires were used to obtain demographic and symptom profiles. Results. We observed a significant negative association between RTW at 12 months and psychological distress, global functioning, and being sick-listed at two months after MTBI, as well as having been sick-listed the last year before injury. Conclusion. Psychological distress, global functioning postinjury, and the sick leave trajectory of the subjects were negative predictors for RTW. These findings should be taken into consideration when evaluating future vocational rehabilitation models. Eirik Vikane, Torgeir Hellstrøm, Cecilie Røe, Erik Bautz-Holter, Jörg Aßmus, and Jan Sture Skouen Copyright © 2016 Eirik Vikane et al. All rights reserved. Orofacial Pain during Mastication in People with Dementia: Reliability Testing of the Orofacial Pain Scale for Non-Verbal Individuals Mon, 08 Feb 2016 07:21:17 +0000 Objectives. The aim of this study was to establish the reliability of the “chewing” subscale of the OPS-NVI, a novel tool designed to estimate presence and severity of orofacial pain in nonverbal patients. Methods. The OPS-NVI consists of 16 items for observed behavior, classified into four categories and a subjective estimate of pain. Two observers used the OPS-NVI for 237 video clips of people with dementia in Dutch nursing homes during their meal to observe their behavior and to estimate the intensity of orofacial pain. Six weeks later, the same observers rated the video clips a second time. Results. Bottom and ceiling effects for some items were found. This resulted in exclusion of these items from the statistical analyses. The categories which included the remaining items () showed reliability varying between fair-to-good and excellent (interobserver reliability, ICC: 0.40–0.47; intraobserver reliability, ICC: 0.40–0.92). Conclusions. The “chewing” subscale of the OPS-NVI showed a fair-to-good to excellent interobserver and intraobserver reliability in this dementia population. This study contributes to the validation process of the OPS-NVI as a whole and stresses the need for further assessment of the reliability of the OPS-NVI with subjects that might already show signs of orofacial pain. Merlijn W. de Vries, Corine Visscher, Suzanne Delwel, Jenny T. van der Steen, Marjoleine J. C. Pieper, Erik J. A. Scherder, Wilco P. Achterberg, and Frank Lobbezoo Copyright © 2016 Merlijn W. de Vries et al. All rights reserved. Assessment of Health-Related Quality of Life after TBI: Comparison of a Disease-Specific (QOLIBRI) with a Generic (SF-36) Instrument Mon, 01 Feb 2016 14:33:37 +0000 Psychosocial, emotional, and physical problems can emerge after traumatic brain injury (TBI), potentially impacting health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Until now, however, neither the discriminatory power of disease-specific (QOLIBRI) and generic (SF-36) HRQoL nor their correlates have been compared in detail. These aspects as well as some psychometric item characteristics were studied in a sample of 795 TBI survivors. The Shannon index absolute informativity, as an indicator of an instrument’s power to differentiate between individuals within a specific group or health state, was investigated. Psychometric performance of the two instruments was predominantly good, generally higher, and more homogenous for the QOLIBRI than for the SF-36 subscales. Notably, the SF-36 “Role Physical,” “Role Emotional,” and “Social Functioning” subscales showed less satisfactory discriminatory power than all other dimensions or the sum scores of both instruments. The absolute informativity of disease-specific as well as generic HRQoL instruments concerning the different groups defined by different correlates differed significantly. When the focus is on how a certain subscale or sum score differentiates between individuals in one specific dimension/health state, the QOLIBRI can be recommended as the preferable instrument. Nicole von Steinbuechel, Amra Covic, Suzanne Polinder, Thomas Kohlmann, Ugne Cepulyte, Herbert Poinstingl, Joy Backhaus, Wilbert Bakx, Monika Bullinger, Anne-Lise Christensen, Rita Formisano, Henning Gibbons, Stefan Höfer, Sanna Koskinen, Andrew Maas, Edmund Neugebauer, Jane Powell, Jaana Sarajuuri, Nadine Sasse, Silke Schmidt, Holger Mühlan, Klaus von Wild, George Zitnay, and Jean-Luc Truelle Copyright © 2016 Nicole von Steinbuechel et al. All rights reserved. The Effect of Task-Irrelevant Fearful-Face Distractor on Working Memory Processing in Mild Cognitive Impairment versus Healthy Controls: An Exploratory fMRI Study in Female Participants Mon, 01 Feb 2016 11:19:41 +0000 In mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a risk state for Alzheimer’s disease, patients have objective cognitive deficits with relatively preserved functioning. fMRI studies have identified anomalies during working memory (WM) processing in individuals with MCI. The effect of task-irrelevant emotional face distractor on WM processing in MCI remains unclear. We aim to explore the impact of fearful-face task-irrelevant distractor on WM processing in MCI using fMRI. Hypothesis. Compared to healthy controls (HC), MCI patients will show significantly higher BOLD signal in a priori identified regions of interest (ROIs) during a WM task with a task-irrelevant emotional face distractor. Methods. 9 right-handed female participants with MCI and 12 matched HC performed a WM task with standardized task-irrelevant fearful versus neutral face distractors randomized and counterbalanced across WM trials. MRI images were acquired during the WM task and BOLD signal was analyzed using statistical parametric mapping (SPM) to identify signal patterns during the task response phase. Results. Task-irrelevant fearful-face distractor resulted in higher activation in the amygdala, anterior cingulate, and frontal areas, in MCI participants compared to HC. Conclusions. This exploratory study suggests altered WM processing as a result of fearful-face distractor in MCI. Amer M. Burhan, Udunna C. Anazodo, Jun Ku Chung, Amanda Arena, Ariel Graff-Guerrero, and Derek G. V. Mitchell Copyright © 2016 Amer M. Burhan et al. All rights reserved. Mechanism of Forelimb Motor Function Restoration after Cervical Spinal Cord Hemisection in Rats: A Comparison of Juveniles and Adults Thu, 28 Jan 2016 14:08:29 +0000 The aim of this study was to investigate forelimb motor function after cervical spinal cord injury in juvenile and adult rats. Both rats received a left segmental hemisection of the spinal cord after C3-C4 laminectomy. Behavioral evaluation of motor function was monitored and assessed using the New Rating Scale (NRS) and Forelimb Locomotor Scale (FLS) and by measuring the range of motion (ROM) of both the elbow and wrist. Complete left forelimb motor paralysis was observed in both rats. The NRS showed motor function recovery restored to in juvenile rats and in adult rats. FLS was in juvenile rats and in adult rats. ROM of the elbow and wrist were and in juvenile rats and and in adult rats. Thus, the NRS and ROM of the elbow showed a significant difference between age groups. These results indicate that left hemisection of the cervical spinal cord was not related to right-sided motor functions. Moreover, while motor paralysis of the left forelimb gradually recovered in both groups, the improvement was greater in juvenile rats. Atsushi Hasegawa, Masahito Takahashi, Kazuhiko Satomi, Hideaki Ohne, Takumi Takeuchi, Shunsuke Sato, and Shoichi Ichimura Copyright © 2016 Atsushi Hasegawa et al. All rights reserved. Cox-2 Plays a Vital Role in the Impaired Anxiety Like Behavior in Colchicine Induced Rat Model of Alzheimer Disease Sun, 10 Jan 2016 07:53:52 +0000 The anxiety status is changed along with memory impairments in intracerebroventricular colchicine injected rat model of Alzheimer Disease (cAD) due to neurodegeneration, which has been indicated to be mediated by inflammation. Inducible cox-2, involved in inflammation, may have important role in the colchicine induced alteration of anxiety status. Therefore, the present study was designed to investigate the role of cox-2 on the anxiety behavior (response to novelty in an elevated open field space) of cAD by inhibiting it with three different doses (10, 20, and 30 mg) of etoricoxib (a cox-2 blocker) in two time points (14 and 21 days). The results showed anxiolytic behavior in cAD along with lower serum corticosterone level, both of which were recovered at all the doses of etoricoxib on day 21. On day 14 all of the anxiety parameters showed similar results to that of day 21 at high doses but not at 10 mg/kg body weight. Results indicate that the parameters of anxiety were dependent on neuronal circuitries that were probably sensitive to etoricoxib induced blocking of neurodegeneration. The present study showed that anxiolytic behavior in cADr is predominantly due to cox-2 mediated neuroinflammation induced neurodegeneration in the brain. Susmita Sil and Tusharkanti Ghosh Copyright © 2016 Susmita Sil and Tusharkanti Ghosh. All rights reserved. STEADFAST: Psychotherapeutic Intervention Improves Postural Strategy of Somatoform Vertigo and Dizziness Wed, 30 Dec 2015 12:38:07 +0000 Patients with somatoform vertigo and dizziness (SVD) disorders often report instability of stance or gait and fear of falling. Posturographic measurements indeed indicated a pathological postural strategy. Our goal was to evaluate the effectiveness of a psychotherapeutic and psychoeducational short-term intervention (PTI) using static posturography and psychometric examination. Seventeen SVD patients took part in the study. The effects of PTI on SVD were evaluated with quantitative static posturography. As primary endpoint a quotient characterizing the relation between horizontal and vertical sway was calculated (), reflecting the individual postural strategy. Results of static posturography were compared to those of age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers (); baseline measurements were compared to results after PTI. The secondary endpoint was the participation-limiting consequences of SVD as measured by the Vertigo Handicap Questionnaire (VHQ). Compared to the healthy volunteers, the patients with SVD showed a postural strategy characterized by stiffening-up that resulted in a significantly reduced body sway quotient before PTI (patients: versus controls: ; ). After PTI the postural behavior normalized, and psychological distress was reduced. PTI therefore appears to modify pathological balance behaviour. The postural strategy of patients with SVD possibly results from anxious anticipatory cocontraction of the antigravity muscles. Christoph Best, Regine Tschan, Nikola Stieber, Manfred E. Beutel, Annegret Eckhardt-Henn, and Marianne Dieterich Copyright © 2015 Christoph Best et al. All rights reserved. Sex Differences in the Study of Neurological Illnesses Tue, 29 Dec 2015 09:16:26 +0000 Hrayr Attarian, Jan Brandes, Rima Dafer, Elizabeth Gerard, and Barbara Giesser Copyright © 2015 Hrayr Attarian et al. All rights reserved. Loss in Executive Functioning Best Explains Changes in Pain Responsiveness in Patients with Dementia-Related Cognitive Decline Mon, 14 Dec 2015 06:40:36 +0000 There is ample evidence that dementia changes the processing of pain. However, it is not known whether this change in pain processing is related to the general decline in cognitive functioning or whether it may be related to specific domains of cognitive functioning. With the present study we tried to answer this question. We assessed different cognitive domains (orientation, memory, abstract thinking/executive function, aphasia and apraxia, and information processing speed) in 70 older patients with cognitive impairment (mild cognitive impairment up to moderate degrees of dementia). Pain responsiveness was assessed by measuring the nociceptive flexion reflex (NFR) threshold and facial responses to noxious electrical stimulation. Using regression analyses, we assessed which domain of cognitive functioning best predicted variance in pain responsiveness. Variance in pain responsiveness (NFR and facial expressions) was best explained by those items assessing executive functioning even when controlling for overall cognitive performance and memory functioning. The close association between executive functioning and pain responsiveness suggests that dementia-related neurodegeneration in prefrontal areas might result not only in reduced executive functioning but also in a loss of pain inhibitory potency, rendering the patient more vulnerable to pain. Our findings also suggest that pain assessment in dementia should be regularly completed by tests of cognitive functions. Miriam Kunz, Veit Mylius, Karsten Schepelmann, and Stefan Lautenbacher Copyright © 2015 Miriam Kunz et al. All rights reserved. The Oscillating Component of the Internal Jugular Vein Flow: The Overlooked Element of Cerebral Circulation Wed, 09 Dec 2015 08:45:03 +0000 The jugular venous pulse (JVP) provides valuable information about cardiac haemodynamics and filling pressures and is an indirect estimate of the central venous pressure (CVP). Recently it has been proven that JVP can be obtained by measuring the cross-sectional area (CSA) of the IJV on each sonogram of an ultrasound B-mode sonogram sequence. It has also been proven that during its pulsation the IJV is distended and hence that the pressure gradient drives the IJV haemodynamics. If this is true, then it will imply the following: (i) the blood velocity in the IJV is a periodic function of the time with period equal to the cardiac period and (ii) the instantaneous blood velocity is given by a time function that can be derived from a flow-dynamics theory that uses the instantaneous pressure gradient as a parameter. The aim of the present study is to confirm the hypothesis that JVP regulates the IJV blood flow and that pressure waves are transmitted from the heart toward the brain through the IJV wall. Francesco Sisini, Eleuterio Toro, Mauro Gambaccini, and Paolo Zamboni Copyright © 2015 Francesco Sisini et al. All rights reserved. Cognitive Impairment after Severe Traumatic Brain Injury, Clinical Course and Impact on Outcome: A Swedish-Icelandic Study Wed, 09 Dec 2015 07:55:32 +0000 Objective. To assess the clinical course of cognitive and emotional impairments in patients with severe TBI (sTBI) from 3 weeks to 1 year after trauma and to study associations with outcomes at 1 year. Methods. Prospective, multicenter, observational study of sTBI in Sweden and Iceland. Patients aged 18–65 years with acute Glasgow Coma Scale 3–8 were assessed with the Barrow Neurological Institute Screen for Higher Cerebral Functions (BNIS) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Outcome measures were Glasgow Outcome Scale Extended (GOSE) and Rancho Los Amigos Cognitive Scale-Revised (RLAS-R). Results. Cognition was assessed with the BNIS assessed for 42 patients out of 100 at 3 weeks, 75 patients at 3 months, and 78 patients at 1 year. Cognition improved over time, especially from 3 weeks to 3 months. The BNIS subscales “orientation” and “visuospatial and visual problem solving” were associated with the GOSE and RLAS-R at 1 year. Conclusion. Cognition seemed to improve over time after sTBI and appeared to be rather stable from 3 months to 1 year. Since cognitive function was associated with outcomes, these results indicate that early screening of cognitive function could be of importance for rehabilitation planning in a clinical setting. Maud Stenberg, Alison K. Godbolt, Catharina Nygren De Boussard, Richard Levi, and Britt-Marie Stålnacke Copyright © 2015 Maud Stenberg et al. All rights reserved. The Relationship between Training and Mental Health among Caregivers of Individuals with Polytrauma Mon, 07 Dec 2015 14:06:49 +0000 This was a hypothesis-generating exploration of relationships between caregiver training during TBI/polytrauma rehabilitation and caregiver mental health. In this cross-sectional study, 507 informal caregivers to US service members with TBI who received inpatient rehabilitation care in a Veterans Affairs’ Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center from 2001 to 2009 completed a retrospective, self-report survey. Embedded in the survey were measures of caregiver mental health, including the National Institutes of Health’s Patient Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Anxiety and Depression Short Forms, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale, and the Zarit Burden Short Form. Though no groups endorsed clinical levels, mental health symptoms varied by caregiver training category (Trained, Not Trained, and Did Not Need Training). Caregivers who did not receive training on how to navigate healthcare systems endorsed higher depression and burden and lower self-esteem than those who did. Caregivers who did not receive training in supporting their care recipients’ emotions endorsed higher anxiety, depression, and burden and lower self-esteem than those who did. Analyses also suggested a different association between training and mental health based on caregivers’ relationship to the care recipient and the intensity of care recipient needs. Potential hypotheses for testing in future studies raised by these findings are discussed. Lillian Flores Stevens, Treven C. Pickett, Kathryn P. Wilder Schaaf, Brent C. Taylor, Amy Gravely, Courtney Harold Van Houtven, Greta Friedemann-Sánchez, and Joan M. Griffin Copyright © 2015 Lillian Flores Stevens et al. All rights reserved. Mortality and One-Year Functional Outcome in Elderly and Very Old Patients with Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries: Observed and Predicted Tue, 24 Nov 2015 06:44:53 +0000 The aim of the present study was to evaluate mortality and functional outcome in old and very old patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and compare to the predicted outcome according to the internet based CRASH (Corticosteroid Randomization After Significant Head injury) model based prediction, from the Medical Research Council (MRC). Methods. Prospective, national multicenter study including patients with severe TBI ≥65 years. Predicted mortality and outcome were calculated based on clinical information (CRASH basic) (age, GCS score, and pupil reactivity to light), as well as with additional CT findings (CRASH CT). Observed 14-day mortality and favorable/unfavorable outcome according to the Glasgow Outcome Scale at one year was compared to the predicted outcome according to the CRASH models. Results. 97 patients, mean age 75 (SD 7) years, 64% men, were included. Two patients were lost to follow-up; 48 died within 14 days. The predicted versus the observed odds ratio (OR) for mortality was 2.65. Unfavorable outcome (GOSE < 5) was observed at one year follow-up in 72% of patients. The CRASH models predicted unfavorable outcome in all patients. Conclusion. The CRASH model overestimated mortality and unfavorable outcome in old and very old Norwegian patients with severe TBI. Cecilie Røe, Toril Skandsen, Unn Manskow, Tiina Ader, and Audny Anke Copyright © 2015 Cecilie Røe et al. All rights reserved. Biomarkers of Eating Disorders Using Support Vector Machine Analysis of Structural Neuroimaging Data: Preliminary Results Mon, 16 Nov 2015 09:52:12 +0000 Presently, there are no valid biomarkers to identify individuals with eating disorders (ED). The aim of this work was to assess the feasibility of a machine learning method for extracting reliable neuroimaging features allowing individual categorization of patients with ED. Support Vector Machine (SVM) technique, combined with a pattern recognition method, was employed utilizing structural magnetic resonance images. Seventeen females with ED (six with diagnosis of anorexia nervosa and 11 with bulimia nervosa) were compared against 17 body mass index-matched healthy controls (HC). Machine learning allowed individual diagnosis of ED versus HC with an Accuracy ≥ 0.80. Voxel-based pattern recognition analysis demonstrated that voxels influencing the classification Accuracy involved the occipital cortex, the posterior cerebellar lobule, precuneus, sensorimotor/premotor cortices, and the medial prefrontal cortex, all critical regions known to be strongly involved in the pathophysiological mechanisms of ED. Although these findings should be considered preliminary given the small size investigated, SVM analysis highlights the role of well-known brain regions as possible biomarkers to distinguish ED from HC at an individual level, thus encouraging the translational implementation of this new multivariate approach in the clinical practice. Antonio Cerasa, Isabella Castiglioni, Christian Salvatore, Angela Funaro, Iolanda Martino, Stefania Alfano, Giulia Donzuso, Paolo Perrotta, Maria Cecilia Gioia, Maria Carla Gilardi, and Aldo Quattrone Copyright © 2015 Antonio Cerasa et al. All rights reserved. Gender Differences in the Behavioral Symptom Severity of Prader-Willi Syndrome Sun, 08 Nov 2015 09:59:01 +0000 Objectives. This study measured gender differences in Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) in regard to the severity of behavioral symptoms. Methods. The Food Related Problem Questionnaire (FRPQ), the Aberrant Behavior Checklist Japanese Version, the Childhood Routines Inventory, the Pervasive Developmental Disorders Autism Society Japan Rating Scale, and Japanese ADHD-RS were administered to PWS patients (45 males aged 6 to 58 and 37 females aged 6 to 45). To examine the effects that gender and genotype have on the severity of each symptom, two-way ANOVAs were conducted. Results. Significant interactions were found only in regard to FRPQ scores, such as FRPQ total score ( = 8.43, ). The FRPQ of male deletion (DEL) individuals was higher than that of female DEL and male mUPD. The FRPQ of male maternal uniparental disomy (mUPD) was lower than that of female mUPD. Conclusions. In terms of problem behaviors, routines, autistic behaviors, and hyperactivity, no significant differences were found. Food-related behaviors in DEL were more severe in males, although those in mUPD were less severe in males. Masao Gito, Hiroshi Ihara, Hiroyuki Ogata, Masayuki Sayama, Nobuyuki Murakami, Toshiro Nagai, Tadayuki Ayabe, Yuji Oto, and Kazutaka Shimoda Copyright © 2015 Masao Gito et al. All rights reserved.