Neuroscience Journal The latest articles from Hindawi © 2017 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Corrigendum to “Young-Adult Male Rats’ Vulnerability to Chronic Mild Stress Is Reflected by Anxious-Like instead of Depressive-Like Behaviors” Thu, 06 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0000 José Jaime Herrera-Pérez, Venus Benítez-Coronel, Graciela Jiménez-Rubio, Olivia Tania Hernández-Hernández, and Lucía Martínez-Mota Copyright © 2017 José Jaime Herrera-Pérez et al. All rights reserved. Variability in Diagnosing Brain Death at an Academic Medical Center Thu, 02 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Objective. Research continues to highlight variability in hospital policy and documentation of brain death. The aim of our study was to characterize how strictly new guidelines of American Academy of Neurology (AAN) for death by neurological criteria were practiced in our hospital prior to appointment of neurointensivists. Method. This is a retrospective study of adults diagnosed as brain dead from 2011 to 2015. Descriptive statistics compared five categories: preclinical testing, neurological examination, apnea tests, ancillary test, and documentation of time of death. Strict adherence to AAN guidelines for brain death determination was determined. Result. 76 patients were included in this study. Preclinical prerequisites were fulfilled in 53.9% and complete neurological examinations were documented in 76.3%. Apnea test was completed in 39.5%. Ancillary test was completed in 29.8%. Accurate documentation of time of death occurred in 59.2%. Overall, strict adherence to current AAN guidelines for death by neurological criteria was correctly documented in 38.2%. Conclusion. Our study shows wide variability in diagnosing brain death. These findings led us to update our death by neurological criteria policy and increase awareness of brain death determination with the goal of improving our documentation following current AAN guidelines. Ashutosh Pandey, Pradeep Sahota, Premkumar Nattanmai, and Christopher R. Newey Copyright © 2017 Ashutosh Pandey et al. All rights reserved. Determining the Optimal Number of Stimuli per Cranial Site during Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Mapping Sun, 26 Feb 2017 11:26:41 +0000 The delivery of five stimuli to each cranial site is recommended during transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) mapping. However, this time-consuming practice restricts the use of TMS mapping beyond the research environment. While reducing the number of stimuli administered to each cranial site may improve efficiency and decrease physiological demand, doing so may also compromise the procedure’s validity. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the minimum number of stimuli per cranial site required to obtain valid outcomes during TMS mapping. Map volume and centre of gravity (CoG) recordings obtained using five stimuli per cranial site were retrospectively compared to those obtained using one, two, three, and four stimuli per cranial site. For CoG longitude, one stimulus per cranial site produced valid recordings (ICC = 0.91, 95% CI 0.82 to 0.95). However, this outcome is rarely explored in isolation. As two stimuli per cranial site were required to obtain valid CoG latitude (ICC = 0.99, 95% CI 0.99 to 0.99) and map volume (ICC = 0.99, 95% CI 0.99 to 0.99) recordings, it is recommended that a minimum of two stimuli be delivered to each cranial site during TMS mapping in order to obtain valid outcomes. Rocco Cavaleri, Siobhan M. Schabrun, and Lucy S. Chipchase Copyright © 2017 Rocco Cavaleri et al. All rights reserved. Gait Training in Chronic Stroke Using Walk-Even Feedback Device: A Pilot Study Thu, 24 Nov 2016 09:37:26 +0000 Asymmetrical gait and a reduction in weight bearing on the affected side are a common finding in chronic stroke survivors. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the effectiveness of a shoe insole device that we developed, called Walk-Even, in correcting asymmetric gait in chronic stroke survivors. Six individuals with chronic (>6 months) stroke underwent 8 weeks of intervention with 2 sessions/week, each consisting of 20 minutes of gait training and 20 minutes of lower-extremity strength training. The 2 control participants underwent conventional gait training, while 4 participants underwent gait training using the Walk-Even. Following intervention, all the participants improved on most of the gait measures: peak pressure of the foot, time of transfer of weight from heel-to-forefoot, center of pressure (COP) trajectory, COP velocity, asymmetry ratio of stance, mean-force-heel, mean-force-metatarsals, Timed “Up and Go,” and Activities-specific Balance Scale. The improvement was more pronounced in the 4 participants that underwent training with Walk-Even compared to the control participants. This pilot study suggests that a combination of strength and gait training with real-time feedback may reduce temporal asymmetry and enhance weight-bearing on the affected side in chronic stroke survivors. A large randomized controlled study is needed to confirm its efficacy. V. Krishnan, I. Khoo, P. Marayong, K. DeMars, and J. Cormack Copyright © 2016 V. Krishnan et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Knee Proprioception and Factors Related to Parkinson’s Disease Thu, 08 Sep 2016 11:40:25 +0000 Background. Changes in proprioception may contribute to postural instability in individuals with neurological disorders. Objectives. Evaluate proprioception in the lower limbs of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and the association between proprioception and cognitive ability, motor symptoms, postural instability, and disease severity. Methods. This is a cross-sectional, controlled study that evaluated proprioception in PD patients and healthy age- and sex-matched individuals. Kinetic postural proprioception of the knee was evaluated using an isokinetic dynamometer (Biodex® Multi-Joint System 4 Pro). Participants were evaluated using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), the Hoehn and Yahr rating scale and postural instability (pull test and stabilometric analysis), and motor function (UPDRS-III) tests. Results. A total of 40 individuals were enrolled in the study: 20 PD patients and 20 healthy controls (CG). The PD patients had higher angular errors on the proprioceptive ratings than the CG participants (). Oscillations of the center of pressure () were higher in individuals with PD than in the controls. Proprioceptive errors in the PD patients were associated with the presence of tremors as the dominant symptom and more impaired motor performance. Conclusion. These findings show that individuals with PD have proprioceptive deficits, which are related to decreased cognitive ability and impaired motor symptoms. Nathalie Ribeiro Artigas, Giovana Duarte Eltz, Alexandre Severo do Pinho, Vanessa Bielefeldt Leotti Torman, Arlete Hilbig, and Carlos R. M. Rieder Copyright © 2016 Nathalie Ribeiro Artigas et al. All rights reserved. IPS Interest in the EEG of Patients after a Single Epileptic Seizure Sun, 21 Aug 2016 12:20:23 +0000 Objective. This study aims to evaluate the incidence of pathological cerebral activity responses to intermittent rhythmic photic stimulation (IPS) after a single epileptic seizure. Patients and Methods. One hundred and thirty-seven EEGs were performed at the Neurophysiology Department of Mohamed V Teaching Military Hospital in Rabat. Clinical and EEG data was collected. Results. 9.5% of our patients had photoparoxysmal discharges (PPD). Incidence was higher in males than in females, but value was not significant (), and it was higher in children compared to adults with significant value (). The most epileptogenic frequencies were within the range 15–20 Hz. 63 patients had an EEG after 72 hours; among them 11 were photosensitive (). The frequency of the PPR was significantly higher in patients with generalized abnormalities than in focal abnormalities (). EEG confirmed a genetic generalized epilepsy in 8 cases among 13 photosensitive patients. Conclusion. PPR is age related. The frequencies within the range 15–20 Hz should inevitably be included in EEG protocols. The presence of PPR after a first seizure is probably more in favor of generalized seizure rather than the other type of seizure. PPR seems independent from the delay Seizure-EEG. Our study did not show an association between sex and photosensitivity. Fatima Zahra Taoufiqi, Jamal Mounach, Amal Satte, Hamid Ouhabi, and Aboubaker El Hessni Copyright © 2016 Fatima Zahra Taoufiqi et al. All rights reserved. An Outcome Study of Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion among Iranian Population Thu, 18 Aug 2016 09:50:02 +0000 Background and Aim. First-line treatment strategy for managing cervical disc herniation is conservative measures. In some cases, surgery is indicated either due to signs/symptoms of severe/progressive neurological deficits, or because of persistence of radicular pain despite 12 weeks of conservative treatment. Success for treatment of cervical disc herniation using ACDF has been successfully reported in the literature. We aim to determine the outcome of ACDF in treatment of cervical disc herniation among Iranians. Methods and Materials/Patients. In a retrospective cohort study, we evaluated 68 patients who had undergone ACDF for cervical disc herniation from March 2006 to March 2011. Outcome tools were as follows: (1) study-designed questionnaire that addressed residual and/or new complaints and subjective satisfaction with the operation; (2) recent (one week prior to the interview) postoperative VAS for neck and upper extremity radicular pain; (3) Japanese Orthopaedic Association Myelopathy Evaluation Questionnaire (JOACMEQ) (standard Persian version); and (4) follow-up cervical Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and lateral X-ray. Results. With mean follow-up time of 52.93 (months) ± 31.89 SD (range: 13–131 months), we had success rates with regard to ΔVAS for neck and radicular pain of 88.2% and 89.7%, respectively. Except QOL functional score of JOAMEQ, 100% success rate for the other 4 functional scores of JOAMEQ was achieved. Conclusion. ACDF is a successful surgical technique for the management of cervical disc herniation among Iranian population. Ali Haghnegahdar and Mahsa Sedighi Copyright © 2016 Ali Haghnegahdar and Mahsa Sedighi. All rights reserved. Cerebral Blood Flow, Heart Rate, and Blood Pressure Patterns during the Tilt Test in Common Orthostatic Syndromes Tue, 12 Jul 2016 11:53:38 +0000 Objective. The head-up tilt test is widely used for evaluation of orthostatic intolerance. Although orthostatic symptoms usually reflect cerebral hypoperfusion, the cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFv) profile in orthostatic syndromes is not well described. This study evaluated CBFv and cardiovascular patterns associated with the tilt test in common orthostatic syndromes. Methods. This retrospective study analyzed the tilt test of patients with history of orthostatic intolerance. The following signals were recorded: ECG, blood pressure, CBFv using transcranial Doppler, respiratory signals, and end tidal CO2. Results. Data from 744 patients were analyzed. Characteristic pattern associated with a particular orthostatic syndrome can be grouped into abnormalities predominantly affecting blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension, orthostatic hypertension syndrome, vasomotor oscillations, and neurally mediated syncope—cardioinhibitory, vasodepressor, and mixed), cerebral blood flow (orthostatic hypoperfusion syndrome, primary cerebral autoregulatory failure), and heart rate (tachycardia syndromes: postural tachycardia syndrome, paroxysmal sinus tachycardia, and inappropriate sinus tachycardia). Psychogenic pseudosyncope is associated with stable CBFv. Conclusions. The tilt test is useful add-on in diagnosis of several orthostatic syndromes. However diagnostic criteria for several syndromes had to be modified to allow unambiguous pattern classification. CBFv monitoring in addition to blood pressure and heart rate may increase diagnostic yield of the tilt test. Peter Novak Copyright © 2016 Peter Novak. All rights reserved. Transcription Factor EB Is Selectively Reduced in the Nuclear Fractions of Alzheimer’s and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Brains Tue, 28 Jun 2016 12:22:24 +0000 Multiple studies suggest that autophagy is strongly dysregulated in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as evidenced by accumulation of numerous autophagosomes, lysosomes with discontinuous membranes, and aggregated proteins in the patients’ brains. Transcription factor EB (TFEB) was recently discovered to be a master regulator of lysosome biogenesis and autophagy. To examine whether aberrant autophagy in AD and ALS is due to alterations in TFEB expression, we systematically quantified the levels of TFEB in these brains by immunoblotting. Interestingly, cytoplasmic fractions of AD brains showed increased levels of normalized (to tubulin) TFEB only at Braak stage IV (61%, ). Most importantly, normalized (to lamin) TFEB levels in the nuclear fractions were consistently reduced starting from Braak stage IV (52%, ), stage V (67%, ), and stage VI (85%, ) when compared to normal control (NC) brains. In the ALS brains also, nuclear TFEB levels were reduced by 62% (). These data suggest that nuclear TFEB is selectively lost in ALS as well as AD brains, in which TFEB reduction was Braak-stage-dependent. Taken together, the observed reductions in TFEB protein levels may be responsible for the widely reported autophagy defects in these disorders. Hongjie Wang, Ruizhi Wang, Shaohua Xu, and Madepalli K. Lakshmana Copyright © 2016 Hongjie Wang et al. All rights reserved. Young-Adult Male Rats’ Vulnerability to Chronic Mild Stress Is Reflected by Anxious-Like instead of Depressive-Like Behaviors Tue, 28 Jun 2016 11:55:21 +0000 In a previous study, we found that chronic mild stress (CMS) paradigm did not induce anhedonia in young-adult male rats but it reduced their body weight gain. These contrasting results encouraged us to explore other indicators of animal’s vulnerability to stress such as anxious-like behaviors, since stress is an etiologic factor also for anxiety. Thus, in this study, we evaluated the vulnerability of these animals to CMS using behavioral tests of depression or anxiety and measuring serum corticosterone. Male Wistar rats were exposed to four weeks of CMS; the animals’ body weight and sucrose preference (indicator of anhedonia) were assessed after three weeks, and, after the fourth week, some animals were evaluated in a behavioral battery (elevated plus maze, defensive burying behavior, and forced swimming tests); meanwhile, others were used to measure serum corticosterone. We found that CMS (1) did not affect sucrose preference, immobility behavior in the forced swimming test, or serum corticosterone; (2) decreased body weight gain; and (3) increased the rat’s entries into closed arms of the plus maze and the cumulative burying behavior. These data indicate that young male rats’ vulnerability to CMS is reflected as poor body weight gain and anxious-like instead of depressive-like behaviors. Herrera-Pérez José Jaime, Benítez-Coronel Venus, Jiménez-Rubio Graciela, Hernández-Hernández Olivia Tania, and Martínez-Mota Lucía Copyright © 2016 Herrera-Pérez José Jaime et al. All rights reserved. Supramaximal Stimulus Intensity as a Diagnostic Tool in Chronic Demyelinating Neuropathy Thu, 16 Jun 2016 09:58:11 +0000 Objective. The ability to correctly identify chronic demyelinating neuropathy can have important therapeutic and prognostic significance. The stimulus intensity value required to obtain a supramaximal compound muscle action potential amplitude is a commonly acquired data point that has not been formally assessed as a diagnostic tool in routine nerve conduction studies to identify chronic neuropathies. We postulated that this value was significantly elevated in chronic demyelinating neuropathy. Methods. We retrospectively reviewed electrophysiology laboratory records to compare the stimulus intensity values recorded during median and ulnar motor nerve conduction studies. The groups studied included normal controls () and the following diagnostic categories: chronic inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy (CIDP) (), acquired inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy (AIDP) (), Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT) type 1 or 4C (), carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) (), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (). Results. Supramaximal intensities were significantly higher in patients with CMT (median nerve: 43.4 mA) and CIDP (median nerve: 38.9 mA), whereas values similar to normal controls (median nerve: 25.3 mA) were obtained in ALS, CTS, and AIDP. Conclusions. Supramaximal stimulus intensity may be used as an additional criterion to identify the pathophysiology of neuropathy. We postulate that endoneurial hypertrophic changes may increase electrical impedance and thus the threshold of excitation at nodes of Ranvier. Vivien Parker, Jodi Warman Chardon, Julie Mills, Claire Goldsmith, and Pierre R. Bourque Copyright © 2016 Vivien Parker et al. All rights reserved. Sex and Gender Differences in Central Nervous System-Related Disorders Mon, 30 May 2016 14:50:52 +0000 There are important sex differences in the brain that seem to arise from biology as well as psychosocial influences. Sex differences in several aspects of human behavior and cognition have been reported. Gonadal sex steroids or genes found on sex chromosomes influence sex differences in neuroanatomy, neurochemistry and neuronal structure, and connectivity. There has been some resistance to accept that sex differences in the human brain exist and have biological relevance; however, a few years ago, it has been recommended by the USA National Institute of Mental Health to incorporate sex as a variable in experimental and clinical neurological and psychiatric studies. We here review the clinical literature on sex differences in pain and neurological and psychiatric diseases, with the aim to further stimulate interest in sexual dimorphisms in the brain and brain diseases, possibly encouraging more research in the field of the implications of sex differences for treating these conditions. Emanuela Zagni, Lucia Simoni, and Delia Colombo Copyright © 2016 Emanuela Zagni et al. All rights reserved. Association of Cognitive Abilities and Brain Lateralization among Primary School Children in Kuwait Thu, 26 May 2016 09:19:32 +0000 Background. Many studies have explored the cognitive variation between left- and right-handed individuals; however, the differences remain poorly understood. Aim of the Work. To assess the association between brain lateralization indicated by handedness and cognitive abilities. Material and Methods. A total of 217 students aged between 7 and 10 years of both genders were identified for the study. Males and females were equally distributed. All left-handed students were chosen. An equal group with right-handed students was randomly selected. Handedness was assessed using traditional writing hand approach as well as the WatHand Cabient Test and the Grooved Pegboard Test. Cognition was measured using Cambridge University’s CANTAB eclipse cognitive battery. Pearson Correlation Coefficient Test “” was calculated to measure the strength of association between quantitative data. Results. Right-handed children had superior visuospatial abilities (, ), visual memory (, ), and better scores in reaction time tests which incorporated elements of visual memory (, ). Left-handed children proved to have better simple reaction times (, ). Conclusion. Right-handed children had superior visuospatial abilities and left-handed children have better simple reaction times. Jasem Y. Al-Hashel, Samar Farouk Ahmed, Hanouf Al-Mutairi, Shahd Hassan, Nora Al-Awadhi, and Mariam Al-Saraji Copyright © 2016 Jasem Y. Al-Hashel et al. All rights reserved. Adaptive Neuromorphic Circuit for Stereoscopic Disparity Using Ocular Dominance Map Tue, 03 May 2016 13:52:23 +0000 Stereopsis or depth perception is a critical aspect of information processing in the brain and is computed from the positional shift or disparity between the images seen by the two eyes. Various algorithms and their hardware implementation that compute disparity in real time have been proposed; however, most of them compute disparity through complex mathematical calculations that are difficult to realize in hardware and are biologically unrealistic. The brain presumably uses simpler methods to extract depth information from the environment and hence newer methodologies that could perform stereopsis with brain like elegance need to be explored. This paper proposes an innovative aVLSI design that leverages the columnar organization of ocular dominance in the brain and uses time-staggered Winner Take All (ts-WTA) to adaptively create disparity tuned cells. Physiological findings support the presence of disparity cells in the visual cortex and show that these cells surface as a result of binocular stimulation received after birth. Therefore, creating in hardware cells that can learn different disparities with experience not only is novel but also is biologically more realistic. These disparity cells, when allowed to interact diffusively on a larger scale, can be used to adaptively create stable topological disparity maps in silicon. Sheena Sharma, Priti Gupta, and C. M. Markan Copyright © 2016 Sheena Sharma et al. All rights reserved. How Extended Is Wernicke’s Area? Meta-Analytic Connectivity Study of BA20 and Integrative Proposal Tue, 23 Feb 2016 09:44:15 +0000 Understanding the functions of different brain areas has represented a major endeavor of contemporary neurosciences. The purpose of this paper was to pinpoint the connectivity of Brodmann area 20 (BA20) (inferior temporal gyrus, fusiform gyrus) in language tasks. A meta-analysis was conducted to assess the language network in which BA20 is involved. The DataBase of Brainmap was used; 11 papers corresponding to 12 experimental conditions with a total of 207 subjects were included in this analysis. Our results demonstrated seven clusters of activation including other temporal lobe areas (BA3, BA21), the insula, and the prefrontal cortex; minor clusters in the cingulate gyrus and the occipital lobe were observed; however, the volumes of all the activation clusters were small. Our results suggest that regardless of BA20 having certain participation in language processes it cannot be considered as a core language processing area (Wernicke’s area); nonetheless, it could be regarded as kind of language processing marginal area, participating in “extended Wernicke’s area” or simply “Wernicke’s system.” It is suggested that “core Wernicke’s area” roughly corresponds to BA21, BA22, BA41, and BA42, while a “language associations area” roughly corresponds to BA20, BA37, BA38, BA39, and BA40 (“extended Wernicke’s area” or “Wernicke’s system”). Alfredo Ardila, Byron Bernal, and Monica Rosselli Copyright © 2016 Alfredo Ardila et al. All rights reserved. The Progress of Mitophagy and Related Pathogenic Mechanisms of the Neurodegenerative Diseases and Tumor Tue, 08 Dec 2015 07:04:57 +0000 Mitochondrion, an organelle with two layers of membrane, is extremely vital to eukaryotic cell. Its major functions are energy center and apoptosis censor inside cell. The intactness of mitochondrial membrane is important to maintain its structure and function. Mitophagy is one kind of autophagy. In recent years, studies of mitochondria have shown that mitophagy is regulated by various factors and is an important regulation mechanism for organisms to maintain their normal state. In addition, abnormal mitophagy is closely related to several neurodegenerative diseases and tumor. However, the related signal pathway and its regulation mechanism still remain unclear. As a result, summarizing the progress of mitophagy and its related pathogenic mechanism not only helps to reveal the complicated molecular mechanism, but also helps to find a new target to treat the related diseases. Ying Song, Wei Ding, Yan Xiao, and Kong-jun Lu Copyright © 2015 Ying Song et al. All rights reserved. Fingolimod Real World Experience: Efficacy and Safety in Clinical Practice Thu, 26 Nov 2015 10:30:56 +0000 Fingolimod is a multiple sclerosis treatment licensed in Europe since 2011. Its efficacy has been demonstrated in three large phase III trials, used in the regulatory submissions throughout the world. As usual, in these trials the inclusion and exclusion criteria were designed to obtain a homogeneous population, with interchangeable characteristics in the different treatment arms. Although this is the best strategy to achieve a robust answer to the investigation question, it does not guaranty the treatment efficacy in the clinical practice, since in the real world there are concomitant treatments, comorbidities, adherence, and persistence challenges. But, to make informed treatment decision for a real life patient, we need to have evidence of the treatment efficacy, what has been called treatment effectiveness. This work aims to review fingolimod effectiveness, using, as source of information, abstracts, posters, and manuscripts. This unorthodox strategy was developed because more than half of the published experience with fingolimod is still on abstracts and posters. Only a small part of the studies reviewed are already published in peer reviewed journals. Fingolimod seems to be, at least, as effective and safe as it was on clinical trials, and with its long-term experience no new safety signals were observed. Joaquim Fonseca Copyright © 2015 Joaquim Fonseca. All rights reserved. Do Three Different Passive Assessments of Quadriceps Spasticity Relate to the Functional Activity of Walking for Children Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy? Tue, 20 Oct 2015 09:41:59 +0000 A stiff-knee gait pattern is frequently associated with several impairments including quadriceps spasticity in children diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP). The relationship of clinical measures of quadriceps spasticity and the stiff-knee gait pattern in children diagnosed with CP has not been well established. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the ability of clinical measures of quadriceps spasticity (modified Ashworth scale [MAS], Ely tests, and pendulum test) to categorize a stiff-knee gait pattern in children with CP. Children were categorized as having a stiff-knee gait pattern based on kinematic and EMG gait data. Results of a logistic regression model revealed that the only significant measure was A1 of the pendulum test. Discriminant analysis functions were used to predict group membership (stiff-knee, not stiff-knee gait pattern) for each measure. The A1 of the pendulum test demonstrated the highest classification accuracy and the highest sensitivity compared to the other measures. Therefore, a negative pendulum test (indicated by an A1 value of 45 degrees or more) is more useful for ruling out a stiff-knee gait pattern compared to the other clinical measures. Hank White, Tim L. Uhl, and Sam Augsburger Copyright © 2015 Hank White et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Motor Neuron Excitability by CMAP Scanning with Electric Modulated Current Thu, 27 Aug 2015 06:08:15 +0000 Introduction. Compound Muscle Action Potential (CMAP) scan is a noninvasive promissory technique for neurodegenerative pathologies diagnosis. In this work new CMAP scan protocols were implemented to study the influence of electrical pulse waveform on peripheral nerve excitability. Methods. A total of 13 healthy subjects were tested. Stimulation was performed with an increasing intensities range from 4 to 30 mA. The procedure was repeated 4 times per subject, using a different single pulse stimulation waveform: monophasic square and triangular and quadratic and biphasic square. Results. Different waveforms elicit different intensity-response amplitude curves. The square pulse needs less current to generate the same response amplitude regarding the other waves and this effect is gradually decreasing for the triangular, quadratic, and biphasic pulse, respectively. Conclusion. The stimulation waveform has a direct influence on the stimulus-response slope and consequently on the motoneurons excitability. This can be a new prognostic parameter for neurodegenerative disorders. Tiago Araújo, Rui Candeias, Neuza Nunes, and Hugo Gamboa Copyright © 2015 Tiago Araújo et al. All rights reserved. Change in Motor and Nonmotor Symptoms Severity in a “Real-Life” Cohort of Subjects with Parkinson’s Disease Thu, 20 Aug 2015 16:14:12 +0000 Background. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic and progressive disorder. Rates of change in motor symptoms have been more studied compared to nonmotor symptoms. The objective was to describe these changes in a real-life cohort of subjects with PD. Methods. A cohort study was carried out from 2011 to 2013. Consecutive patients with PD were recruited from a movement disorders clinic. MDS-UPDRS, PDQ-8, and NMSS were applied to all subjects at an initial evaluation and a subsequent visit ( months). Disease severity was categorized using a recent classification of MDS-UPDRS severity. Results. The MDS-UPDRS Part III showed a significant decrease of points () between evaluations. A mean increase of points () in the MDS-UPDRS Part IV was observed. An increase of points () in the NMSS total score was found; when assessed individually, the difference was statistically significant only for the perceptual problems/hallucinations item. Quality of life remained unchanged. Conclusion. Motor improvement was observed accompanied by an increase in motor complications possibly as a result of treatment optimization. Nonmotor symptoms worsened as a whole. The overall effect in the quality of life was negligible. Adib Jorge de Saráchaga, Amin Cervantes-Arriaga, Rodrigo Llorens-Arenas, Humberto Calderón-Fajardo, and Mayela Rodríguez-Violante Copyright © 2015 Adib Jorge de Saráchaga et al. All rights reserved. Sex Differences and the Impact of Chronic Stress and Recovery on Instrumental Learning Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:05:26 +0000 We have previously shown that 21-day chronic restraint stress impacts instrumental learning, but overall few studies have examined sex differences on the impact of stress on learning. We further examined sex differences in response to extended 42-day chronic stress on instrumental learning, as well as recovery from chronic stress. Rats were tested in aversive training tasks with or without prior appetitive experience, and daily body weight data was collected as an index of stress. Relative to control animals, reduced body weight was maintained from day 22 through day 42 across the stress period for males, but not for females. Stressed males had increased response speed and lower learning efficiency during appetitive acquisition and aversive learning. Males overall showed slower escape shaping times and more shock exposure. In contrast, stressed females showed slower appetitive response speeds and higher appetitive and aversive efficiency but overall reduced avoidance rates during acquisition and maintenance for transfer animals and during maintenance for aversive-only animals. These tasks reveal important nuances on the effect of stress on goal-directed behavior and further highlight sexually divergent effects on appetitive versus aversive motivation. Furthermore, these data underscore that systems are temporally impacted by chronic stress in a sexually divergent pattern. Angela L. McDowell, Kathryn M. H. Fransen, Kevin S. Elliott, Alhasan Elghouche, Polina V. Kostylev, Pamela K. O’Dea, and Preston E. Garraghty Copyright © 2015 Angela L. McDowell et al. All rights reserved. Motorcycle-Related Traumatic Brain Injuries: Helmet Use and Treatment Outcome Mon, 23 Mar 2015 09:14:15 +0000 Summary. With increasing use of motorcycle as means of transport in developing countries, traumatic brain injuries from motorcycle crashes have been increasing. The only single gadget that protects riders from traumatic brain injury is crash helmet. Objective. The objectives were to determine the treatment outcome among traumatic brain injury patients from motorcycle crashes and the rate of helmet use among them. Methods. It was a prospective, cross-sectional study of motorcycle-related traumatic brain injury patients managed in our center from 2010 to 2014. Patients were managed using our unit protocol for traumatic brain injuries. Data for the study were collected in accident and emergency, intensive care unit, wards, and outpatient clinic. The data were analyzed using Environmental Performance Index (EPI) info 7 software. Results. Ninety-six patients were studied. There were 87 males. Drivers were 65. Only one patient wore helmet. Majority of them were between 20 and 40 years. Fifty-three patients had mild head injuries. Favorable outcome among them was 84.35% while mortality was 12.5%. Severity of the injury affected the outcome significantly. Conclusion. Our study showed that the helmet use by motorcycle riders was close to zero despite the existing laws making its use compulsory in Nigeria. The outcome was related to severity of injuries. Mathias Ogbonna Nnanna Nnadi, Olufemi Babatola Bankole, and Beleudanyo Gbalipre Fente Copyright © 2015 Mathias Ogbonna Nnanna Nnadi et al. All rights reserved. Age- and Sex-Dependent Changes in Androgen Receptor Expression in the Developing Mouse Cortex and Hippocampus Tue, 03 Feb 2015 08:23:16 +0000 During the perinatal period, male mice are exposed to higher levels of testosterone (T) than females, which promotes sexual dimorphism in their brain structures and behaviors. In addition to acting via estrogen receptors after being locally converted into estradiol by aromatase, T also acts directly through androgen receptor (AR) in the brain. Therefore, we hypothesized that AR expression in the developing mouse cortex and hippocampus was sexually dimorphic. To test our hypothesis, we measured and determined AR mRNA and protein levels in mouse cortex/hippocampus collected on the day of birth (PN0) and 7 (PN7), 14 (PN14), and 21 (PN21) days after birth. We demonstrated that, as age advanced, AR mRNA levels increased in the cortex/hippocampus of both sexes but showed no sex difference. Two AR proteins, the full-length (110 kDa) and a smaller isoform (70 kDa), were detected in the developing mouse cortex/hippocampus with an age-dependent increase in protein levels of both AR isoforms at PN21 and a transient masculine increase in expression of the full-length AR protein on PN7. Thus, we conclude that the postnatal age and sex differences in AR protein expression in combination with the sex differences in circulating T may cause sexual differentiation of the mouse cortex/hippocampus. Houng-Wei Tsai, Saori Taniguchi, Jason Samoza, and Aaron Ridder Copyright © 2015 Houng-Wei Tsai et al. All rights reserved. Language Development across the Life Span: A Neuropsychological/Neuroimaging Perspective Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:28:46 +0000 Language development has been correlated with specific changes in brain development. The aim of this paper is to analyze the linguistic-brain associations that occur from birth through senescence. Findings from the neuropsychological and neuroimaging literature are reviewed, and the relationship of language changes observable in human development and the corresponding brain maturation processes across age groups are examined. Two major dimensions of language development are highlighted: naming (considered a major measure of lexical knowledge) and verbal fluency (regarded as a major measure of language production ability). Developmental changes in the brain lateralization of language are discussed, emphasizing that in early life there is an increase in functional brain asymmetry for language, but that this asymmetry changes over time, and that changes in the volume of gray and white matter are age-sensitive. The effects of certain specific variables, such as gender, level of education, and bilingualism are also analyzed. General conclusions are presented and directions for future research are suggested. Mónica Rosselli, Alfredo Ardila, Esmeralda Matute, and Idaly Vélez-Uribe Copyright © 2014 Mónica Rosselli et al. All rights reserved. Impact of Age and Duration of Symptoms on Surgical Outcome of Single-Level Microscopic Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion in the Patients with Cervical Spondylotic Radiculopathy Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:08:21 +0000 We aim to evaluate the impact of age and duration of symptoms on surgical outcome of the patients with cervical spondylotic radiculopathy (CSR) who had been treated by single-level microscopic anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). We retrospectively evaluated 68 patients (48 female and 20 male) with a mean age of (ranged from 24 to 72 years old) in our Orthopedic Department, Imam Reza Hospital. They were followed up for months (ranged from 25 to 65 months). Pain and disability were assessed by Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Neck Disability Index (NDI) questionnaires in preoperative and last follow-up visits. Functional outcome was eventually evaluated by Odom’s criteria. Surgery could significantly improve pain and disability from preoperative and to and (1–21) at the last follow-up visit, respectively. Satisfactory outcomes were observed in 89.7%. Symptom duration of more and less than six months had no effect on surgical outcome, but the results showed a statistically significant difference in NDI improvement in favor of the patients aged more than 45 years (), although pain improvement was similar in the two groups. Farzad Omidi-Kashani, Ebrahim Ghayem Hasankhani, and Reza Ghandehari Copyright © 2014 Farzad Omidi-Kashani et al. All rights reserved. Age-Dependent Increase of Absence Seizures and Intrinsic Frequency Dynamics of Sleep Spindles in Rats Mon, 23 Jun 2014 08:56:02 +0000 The risk of neurological diseases increases with age. In WAG/Rij rat model of absence epilepsy, the incidence of epileptic spike-wave discharges is known to be elevated with age. Considering close relationship between epileptic spike-wave discharges and physiologic sleep spindles, it was assumed that age-dependent increase of epileptic activity may affect time-frequency characteristics of sleep spindles. In order to examine this hypothesis, electroencephalograms (EEG) were recorded in WAG/Rij rats successively at the ages 5, 7, and 9 months. Spike-wave discharges and sleep spindles were detected in frontal EEG channel. Sleep spindles were identified automatically using wavelet-based algorithm. Instantaneous (localized in time) frequency of sleep spindles was determined using continuous wavelet transform of EEG signal, and intraspindle frequency dynamics were further examined. It was found that in 5-months-old rats epileptic activity has not fully developed (preclinical stage) and sleep spindles demonstrated an increase of instantaneous frequency from beginning to the end. At the age of 7 and 9 months, when animals developed matured and longer epileptic discharges (symptomatic stage), their sleep spindles did not display changes of intrinsic frequency. The present data suggest that age-dependent increase of epileptic activity in WAG/Rij rats affects intrinsic dynamics of sleep spindle frequency. Evgenia Sitnikova, Alexander E. Hramov, Vadim Grubov, and Alexey A. Koronovsky Copyright © 2014 Evgenia Sitnikova et al. All rights reserved. Association of Metabolic Syndrome and Inflammation with Cognitive Decline in Adults Aged 60 Years and Older: Findings from a National Health Survey in the United States Thu, 26 Dec 2013 18:35:25 +0000 Objectives. We aimed to test the hypothesis that metabolic syndrome (MetS) is significantly associated with cognitive decline (CoD) in elderly adults and further assess whether MetS and inflammation have a significant joint effect on CoD. Methods. Data () from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999–2002) in participants aged ≥60 years who had Digit Symbol Substitution Tests (DSS: a standard measure of cognitive function) were studied. CoD was defined as those in the lowest quintile of DSS score. MetS was defined as having ≥3 of 5 MetS traits (large waist circumference (WC), high blood pressure (BP), elevated glucose, triglycerides, and decreased high density lipoprotein cholesterol). Results. Of 2975 participants, the prevalence of CoD (DSS score <25) was 12.1%. After adjusting covariates, individual large WC, high BP, elevated glucose level, and MetS were significantly associated with CoD in logistic regression models (). There was a significant dose-response relationship between an increased number of MetS traits and CoD (). A significant joint effect of MetS and CRP on the odds of CoD was observed. Conclusion. The study, using a nationally representative sample, extended previous studies by highlighting a significant MetS-CoD relationship and a joint effect of MetS and CRP on CoD. These novel findings add to our understanding of the association of neurometabolic disorders and cognition and have implications that may be relevant to primary care practice. Zuolu Liu and Carol F. Lippa Copyright © 2013 Zuolu Liu and Carol F. Lippa. All rights reserved. Brain SERT Expression of Male Rats Is Reduced by Aging and Increased by Testosterone Restitution Wed, 18 Dec 2013 10:04:26 +0000 In preclinical and clinical studies aging has been associated with a deteriorated response to antidepressant treatment. We hypothesize that such impairment is explained by an age-related decrease in brain serotonin transporter (SERT) expression associated with low testosterone (T) levels. The objectives of this study were to establish (1) if brain SERT expression is reduced by aging and (2) if the SERT expression in middle-aged rats is increased by T-restitution. Intact young rats (3–5 months) and gonad-intact middle-aged rats with or without T-restitution were used. The identification of the brain SERT expression was done by immunofluorescence in prefrontal cortex, lateral septum, hippocampus, and raphe nuclei. An age-dependent reduction of SERT expression was observed in all brain regions examined, while T-restitution recovered the SERT expression only in the dorsal raphe of middle-aged rats. This last action seems relevant since dorsal raphe plays an important role in the antidepressant action of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. All data suggest that this mechanism accounts for the T-replacement usefulness to improve the response to antidepressants in the aged population. José Jaime Herrera-Pérez, Alonso Fernández-Guasti, and Lucía Martínez-Mota Copyright © 2013 José Jaime Herrera-Pérez et al. All rights reserved. The mGlu2/3 Receptor Agonists LY354740 and LY379268 Differentially Regulate Restraint-Stress-Induced Expression of c-Fos in Rat Cerebral Cortex Tue, 19 Nov 2013 13:41:59 +0000 Metabotropic glutamate 2/3 (mGlu2/3) receptors have emerged as potential therapeutic targets due to the ability of mGlu2/3 receptor agonists to modulate excitatory transmission at specific synapses. LY354740 and LY379268 are selective and potent mGlu2/3 receptor agonists that show both anxiolytic- and antipsychotic-like effects in animal models. We compared the efficacy of LY354740 and LY379268 in attenuating restraint-stress-induced expression of the immediate early gene c-Fos in the rat prelimbic (PrL) and infralimbic (IL) cortex. LY354740 (10 and 30 mg/kg, i.p.) showed statistically significant and dose-related attenuation of stress-induced increase in c-Fos expression, in the rat cortex. By contrast, LY379268 had no effect on restraint-stress-induced c-Fos upregulation (0.3–10 mg/kg, i.p.). Because both compounds inhibit serotonin 2A receptor ()-induced c-Fos expression, we hypothesize that LY354740 and LY379268 have different in vivo properties and that activation and restraint stress induce c-Fos through distinct mechanisms. M. M. Menezes, M. A. Santini, M. J. Benvenga, G. J. Marek, K. M. Merchant, J. D. Mikkelsen, and K. A. Svensson Copyright © 2013 M. M. Menezes et al. All rights reserved. Detecting Silent Vocalizations in a Locked-In Subject Thu, 07 Nov 2013 13:52:23 +0000 Problem Addressed. Decoding of silent vocalization would be enhanced by detecting vocalization onset. This is necessary in order to improve decoding of neural firings and thus synthesize near conversational speech in locked-in subjects implanted with brain computer interfacing devices. Methodology. Cortical recordings were obtained during attempts at inner speech in a mute and paralyzed subject (ER) implanted with a recording electrode to detect and analyze lower beta band peaks meeting the criterion of a minimum 0.2% increase in the power spectrum density (PSD). To provide supporting data, three speaking subjects were used in a similar testing paradigm using EEG signals recorded over the speech area. Results. Conspicuous lower beta band peaks were identified around the time of assumed speech onset. The correlations between single unit firings, recorded at the same time as the continuous neural signals, were found to increase after the lower beta band peaks as compared to before the peaks. Studies in the nonparalyzed control individuals suggested that the lower beta band peaks were related to the movement of the articulators of speech (tongue, jaw, and lips), not to higher order speech processes. Significance and Potential Impact. The results indicate that the onset of silent and overt speech is associated with a sharp peak in lower beta band activity—an important step in the development of a speech prosthesis. This raises the possibility of using these peaks in online applications to assist decoding paradigms being developed to decode speech from neural signal recordings in mute humans. Elina Sarmah and Philip Kennedy Copyright © 2013 Elina Sarmah and Philip Kennedy. All rights reserved.