Ginsenoside Rg1 Prevents Cognitive Impairment and Hippocampal Neuronal Apoptosis in Experimental Vascular Dementia Mice by Promoting GPR30 ExpressionRead the full article
Neural Plasticity is an interdisciplinary journal dedicated to the publication of articles related to all aspects of neural plasticity, with special emphasis on its functional significance as reflected in behavior and in psychopathology.
Chief Editor, Professor Baudry, is currently University Professor at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA. His research focuses on understanding the molecular/cellular mechanisms of learning and memory and neurodegeneration.
Latest ArticlesMore articles
Assessment of Cortical Plasticity in Schizophrenia by Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Neural plasticity refers to the capability of the brain to modify its structure and/or function and organization in response to a changing environment. Evidence shows that disruption of neuronal plasticity and altered functional connectivity between distinct brain networks contribute significantly to the pathophysiological mechanisms of schizophrenia. Transcranial magnetic stimulation has emerged as a noninvasive brain stimulation tool that can be utilized to investigate cortical excitability with the aim of probing neural plasticity mechanisms. In particular, in pathological disorders, such as schizophrenia, cortical dysfunction, such as an aberrant excitatory-inhibitory balance in cortical networks, altered cortical connectivity, and impairment of critical period timing are very important to be studied using different TMS paradigms. Studying such neurophysiological characteristics and plastic changes would help in elucidating different aspects of the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying schizophrenia. This review attempts to summarize the findings of available TMS studies with diagnostic and characterization aims, but not with therapeutic purposes, in schizophrenia. Findings provide further evidence of aberrant excitatory-inhibitory balance in cortical networks, mediated by neurotransmitter pathways such as the glutamate and GABA systems. Future studies with combining techniques, for instance, TMS with brain imaging or molecular genetic typing, would shed light on the characteristics and predictors of schizophrenia.
Deep Sequencing of the Rat MCAO Cortexes Reveals Crucial circRNAs Involved in Early Stroke Events and Their Regulatory Networks
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are highly enriched in the central nervous system and significantly involved in a range of brain-related physiological and pathological processes. Ischemic stroke is a complex disorder caused by multiple factors; however, whether brain-derived circRNAs participate in the complex regulatory networks involved in stroke pathogenesis remains unknown. Here, we successfully constructed a cerebral ischemia-injury model of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Preliminary qualitative and quantitative analyses of poststroke cortical circRNAs were performed through deep sequencing, and RT-PCR and qRT-PCR were used for validation. Of the 24,858 circRNAs expressed in the rat cerebral cortex, 294 circRNAs were differentially expressed in the ipsilateral cerebral cortex between the MCAO and sham rat groups. Cluster, GO, and KEGG analyses showed enrichments of these circRNAs and their host genes in numerous biological processes and pathways closely related to stroke. We selected 106 of the 294 circRNAs and constructed a circRNA-miRNA-mRNA interaction network comprising 577 sponge miRNAs and 696 target mRNAs. In total, 15 key potential circRNAs were predicted to be involved in the posttranscriptional regulation of a series of downstream target genes, which are widely implicated in poststroke processes, such as oxidative stress, apoptosis, inflammatory response, and nerve regeneration, through the competing endogenous RNA mechanism. Thus, circRNAs appear to be involved in multilevel actions that regulate the vast network of multiple mechanisms and events that occur after a stroke. These results provide novel insights into the complex pathophysiological mechanisms of stroke.
A New Classification System for Postinterventional Cerebral Hyperdensity: The Influence on Hemorrhagic Transformation and Clinical Prognosis in Acute Stroke
Background. Postinterventional cerebral hyperdensity (PCHD) is commonly seen in acute ischemic patients after mechanical thrombectomy. We propose a new classification of PCHD to investigate its correlation with hemorrhagic transformation (HT). The clinical prognosis of PCHD was further studied. Methods. Data from 189 acute stroke patients were analyzed retrospectively. According to the European Cooperative Acute Stroke Study criteria (ECASS), HT was classified as hemorrhagic infarction (HI-1 and HI-2) and parenchymal hematoma (pH-1 and pH-2). Referring to the classification of HT, PCHD was classified as PCHD-1, PCHD-2, PCHD-3, and PCHD-4. The prognosis included early neurological deterioration (END) and the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score at 3 months. Results. The incidence of HT was 14.8% (12/81) in the no-PCHD group and 77.8% (84/108) in the PCHD group. PCHD was highly correlated with HT (, ). After stepwise regression analysis, PCHD and the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score at admission were found to be independent factors for END (, , respectively). The area of curves (AUC) of PCHD, the NIHSS at admission, and the combined model were 0.810, 0.667, and 0.832, respectively. The optimal diagnostic cutoff of PCHD for END was . PCHD, the NIHSS score at admission, and good vascular recanalization (VR) were independently associated with 3-month mRS (all ). The AUC of PCHD, the NIHSS at admission, good VR, and the combined model were 0.779, 0.733, 0.565, and 0.867, respectively. And the best cutoff of PCHD for the mRS was . Conclusion. The relationship of PCHD and HT suggested PCHD was an early risk indicator for HT. The occurrence of PCHD-3 and PCHD-4 was a strong predictor for END. PCHD-1 is considered to be relatively benign in relation to the 3-month mRS.
Changes in Gait Characteristics of Stroke Patients with Foot Drop after the Combination Treatment of Foot Drop Stimulator and Moving Treadmill Training
Objective. To study the changes in gait characteristics of stroke patients with foot drop after the combination treatment of foot drop stimulator and moving treadmill training and thus provide a basis for the improvement in a foot drop gait after stroke. Methods. Sixty patients with hemiplegia and foot drop caused by stroke were randomly divided into two groups of 30: the test group and the control group. Both groups received basic rehabilitation training. On this basis, the test group received the combination treatment of foot drop stimulator and moving treadmill training. The control group received foot drop stimulator training. Both groups received consecutive treatment for 3 weeks, five times a week, and every single time lasted for 30 minutes. Before and after the treatment, a gait watch three-dimensional gait analysis system was used to measure and record the maximum angles of flexion of the affected side’s hip, knee, and ankle; the pace; the step length asymmetry; the iEMG of the tibialis anterior muscle; the functional ambulation category; and Ashworth’s modified spasticity classification of the gastrocnemius. Results. After treatment, in the two groups, the maximum angles of flexion of the affected side’s hip, knee, and ankle improved, the pace increased, the step length asymmetry decreased, the iEMG of the tibialis anterior muscle increased, the functional ambulation category improved, and Ashworth’s modified spasticity classification of the gastrocnemius decreased, but the above changes in the test group were better than those in the control group. The difference is statistically significant (). Conclusions. The combination treatment of the foot drop stimulator and moving treadmill can significantly improve stroke patients’ foot gait and promote the normalization of hip flexion, knee flexion, and ankle flexion. It can increase the pace, significantly reduce the step length asymmetry, reduce the muscle tone of the gastrocnemius, and improve walking function.
Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on Pain and Sleep in Adults with Traumatic Brain Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
The objective of this study was to systematically review the literature on the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) on insomnia and pain in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Library, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health, and Web of Science databases were searched. Outcomes, including pain, sleep quality, and adverse events, were investigated. Differences were expressed using mean differences (MDs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The statistical analysis was performed using STATA 16.0. Twelve trials with 476 TBI patients were included. The included studies did not indicate a positive effect of CBT on pain. Significant improvements were shown for self-reported sleep quality, reported with the Pittsburgh Self-Reported Sleep Quality Index (MD, -2.30; 95% CI, -3.45 to -1.15; ) and Insomnia Severity Index (MD, -5.12; 95% CI, -9.69 to -0.55; ). No major adverse events related to CBT were reported. The underpowered evidence suggested that CBT is effective in the management of sleep quality and pain in TBI adults. Future studies with larger samples are recommended to determine significance. This trial is registered with PROSPERO registration number CRD42019147266.
Structural and Functional Deficits in Patients with Poststroke Dementia: A Multimodal MRI Study
Although many neuroimaging studies have reported structural and functional abnormalities in the brains of patients with cognitive impairments following stroke, little is known about the pattern of such brain reorganization in poststroke dementia (PSD). The present study was aimed at investigating alterations in spontaneous brain activity and gray matter volume (GMV) in PSD patients. We collected T1-weighted and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 20 PSD patients, 24 poststroke nondementia (PSND) patients, and 21 well-matched normal controls (NCs). We compared the differences among the groups in GMV and the fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF). Then, we evaluated the relationship between these brain measures and cognitive assessments and explored the possible distinguisher for PSD by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. PSD patients showed smaller GMV in the right superior temporal gyrus and lower fALFF values in the right inferior frontal gyrus than both PSND patients and NCs, but such differences were not observed between PSND patients and NCs. Moreover, GMV in the left medial prefrontal cortex showed a significant positive correlation with the Mini-Cog assessment in PSD patients, and GMV in the left CPL displayed the highest area under the ROC curve among all the features for classifying PSD versus PSND patients. Our findings suggest that PSD patients show dementia-specific structural and functional alteration patterns, which may help elucidate the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying PSD.