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Brain Sci., Volume 11, Issue 5 (May 2021) – 146 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Participants suffering from autism show self-paradoxical symptoms. On one hand, they are isolated from others and focus only on themselves especially on body and its physical self. On the other hand, they rarely refer to themselves in the first-person, they display weak autobiographical memory, and they are unaware of their own emotional feelings – their mental self is weakened. What is the neural basis of such paradoxical symptoms? This review highlighted the consistent hypofunction in anterior and posterior regions of the default-mode network (DMN) in both rest and task with decreased self-non-self differentiation – this relates to the weakened mental self. While, at the same time, the non-DMN and subcortical regions are relatively stronger increasing subjects’ focus on their physical self. View this paper
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Article
Manipulations of the Response-Stimulus Intervals as a Factor Inducing Controlled Amount of Reaction Time Intra-Individual Variability
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 669; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050669 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 612
Abstract
Aggrandized fluctuations in the series of reaction times (RTs) are a very sensitive marker of neurocognitive disorders present in neuropsychiatric populations, pathological ageing and in patients with acquired brain injury. Even though it was documented that processing inconsistency founds a background of higher-order [...] Read more.
Aggrandized fluctuations in the series of reaction times (RTs) are a very sensitive marker of neurocognitive disorders present in neuropsychiatric populations, pathological ageing and in patients with acquired brain injury. Even though it was documented that processing inconsistency founds a background of higher-order cognitive functions disturbances, there is a vast heterogeneity regarding types of task used to compute RT-related variability, which impedes determining the relationship between elementary and more complex cognitive processes. Considering the above, our goal was to develop a relatively new assessment method based on a simple reaction time paradigm, conducive to eliciting a controlled range of intra-individual variability. It was hypothesized that performance variability might be induced by manipulation of response-stimulus interval’s length and regularity. In order to verify this hypothesis, a group of 107 healthy students was tested using a series of digitalized tasks and their results were analyzed using parametric and ex-Gaussian statistics of RTs distributional markers. In general, these analyses proved that intra-individual variability might be evoked by a given type of response-stimulus interval manipulation even when it is applied to the simple reaction time task. Collected outcomes were discussed with reference to neuroscientific concepts of attentional resources and functional neural networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cognitive Neuroscience)
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Review
A Recent Investigation on Detection and Classification of Epileptic Seizure Techniques Using EEG Signal
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 668; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050668 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 717
Abstract
The benefits of early detection and classification of epileptic seizures in analysis, monitoring and diagnosis for the realization and actualization of computer-aided devices and recent internet of medical things (IoMT) devices can never be overemphasized. The success of these applications largely depends on [...] Read more.
The benefits of early detection and classification of epileptic seizures in analysis, monitoring and diagnosis for the realization and actualization of computer-aided devices and recent internet of medical things (IoMT) devices can never be overemphasized. The success of these applications largely depends on the accuracy of the detection and classification techniques employed. Several methods have been investigated, proposed and developed over the years. This paper investigates various seizure detection algorithms and classifications in the last decade, including conventional techniques and recent deep learning algorithms. It also discusses epileptiform detection as one of the steps towards advanced diagnoses of disorders of consciousness (DOCs) and their understanding. A performance comparison was carried out on the different algorithms investigated, and their advantages and disadvantages were explored. From our survey, much attention has recently been paid to exploring the efficacy of deep learning algorithms in seizure detection and classification, which are employed in other areas such as image processing and classification. Hybrid deep learning has also been explored, with CNN-RNN being the most popular. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Disorders of Consciousness)
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Article
Explicit Training to Improve Affective Prosody Recognition in Adults with Acute Right Hemisphere Stroke
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 667; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050667 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 689
Abstract
Difficulty recognizing affective prosody (receptive aprosodia) can occur following right hemisphere damage (RHD). Not all individuals spontaneously recover their ability to recognize affective prosody, warranting behavioral intervention. However, there is a dearth of evidence-based receptive aprosodia treatment research in this clinical population. The [...] Read more.
Difficulty recognizing affective prosody (receptive aprosodia) can occur following right hemisphere damage (RHD). Not all individuals spontaneously recover their ability to recognize affective prosody, warranting behavioral intervention. However, there is a dearth of evidence-based receptive aprosodia treatment research in this clinical population. The purpose of the current study was to investigate an explicit training protocol targeting affective prosody recognition in adults with RHD and receptive aprosodia. Eighteen adults with receptive aprosodia due to acute RHD completed affective prosody recognition before and after a short training session that targeted proposed underlying perceptual and conceptual processes. Behavioral impairment and lesion characteristics were investigated as possible influences on training effectiveness. Affective prosody recognition improved following training, and recognition accuracy was higher for pseudo- vs. real-word sentences. Perceptual deficits were associated with the most posterior infarcts, conceptual deficits were associated with frontal infarcts, and a combination of perceptual-conceptual deficits were related to temporoparietal and subcortical infarcts. Several right hemisphere ventral stream regions and pathways along with frontal and parietal hypoperfusion predicted training effectiveness. Explicit acoustic-prosodic-emotion training improves affective prosody recognition, but it may not be appropriate for everyone. Factors such as linguistic context and lesion location should be considered when planning prosody training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emotions and the Right Hemisphere)
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Case Report
Neurophysiological Changes Induced by Music-Supported Therapy for Recovering Upper Extremity Function after Stroke: A Case Series
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 666; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050666 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 895
Abstract
Music-supported therapy (MST) follows the best practice principles of stroke rehabilitation and has been proven to instigate meaningful enhancements in motor recovery post-stroke. The existing literature has established that the efficacy and specificity of MST relies on the reinforcement of auditory-motor functional connectivity [...] Read more.
Music-supported therapy (MST) follows the best practice principles of stroke rehabilitation and has been proven to instigate meaningful enhancements in motor recovery post-stroke. The existing literature has established that the efficacy and specificity of MST relies on the reinforcement of auditory-motor functional connectivity in related brain networks. However, to date, no study has attempted to evaluate the underlying cortical network nodes that are key to the efficacy of MST post-stroke. In this case series, we evaluated changes in connectivity within the auditory-motor network and changes in upper extremity function following a 3-week intensive piano training in two stroke survivors presenting different levels of motor impairment. Connectivity was assessed pre- and post-training in the α- and the β-bands within the auditory-motor network using magnetoencephalography while participants were passively listening to a standardized melody. Changes in manual dexterity, grip strength, movement coordination, and use of the upper extremity were also documented in both stroke survivors. After training, an increase in the clinical measures was accompanied by enhancements in connectivity between the auditory and motor network nodes for both the α- and the β-bands, especially in the affected hemisphere. These neurophysiological changes associated with the positive effects of post-stroke MST on motor outcomes delineate a path for a larger scale clinical trial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue At the Frontiers of Neurorehabilitation)
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Review
Pain Perception in Disorder of Consciousness: A Scoping Review on Current Knowledge, Clinical Applications, and Future Perspective
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 665; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050665 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 723
Abstract
Pain perception in individuals with prolonged disorders of consciousness (PDOC) is still a matter of debate. Advanced neuroimaging studies suggest some cortical activations even in patients with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS) compared to those with a minimally conscious state (MCS). Therefore, pain perception [...] Read more.
Pain perception in individuals with prolonged disorders of consciousness (PDOC) is still a matter of debate. Advanced neuroimaging studies suggest some cortical activations even in patients with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS) compared to those with a minimally conscious state (MCS). Therefore, pain perception has to be considered even in individuals with UWS. However, advanced neuroimaging assessment can be challenging to conduct, and its findings are sometimes difficult to be interpreted. Conversely, multichannel electroencephalography (EEG) and laser-evoked potentials (LEPs) can be carried out quickly and are more adaptable to the clinical needs. In this scoping review, we dealt with the neurophysiological basis underpinning pain in PDOC, pointing out how pain perception assessment in these individuals might help in reducing the misdiagnosis rate. The available literature data suggest that patients with UWS show a more severe functional connectivity breakdown among the pain-related brain areas compared to individuals in MCS, pointing out that pain perception increases with the level of consciousness. However, there are noteworthy exceptions, because some UWS patients show pain-related cortical activations that partially overlap those observed in MCS individuals. This suggests that some patients with UWS may have residual brain functional connectivity supporting the somatosensory, affective, and cognitive aspects of pain processing (i.e., a conscious experience of the unpleasantness of pain), rather than only being able to show autonomic responses to potentially harmful stimuli. Therefore, the significance of the neurophysiological approach to pain perception in PDOC seems to be clear, and despite some methodological caveats (including intensity of stimulation, multimodal paradigms, and active vs. passive stimulation protocols), remain to be solved. To summarize, an accurate clinical and neurophysiological assessment should always be performed for a better understanding of pain perception neurophysiological underpinnings, a more precise differential diagnosis at the level of individual cases as well as group comparisons, and patient-tailored management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Disorders of Consciousness)
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Article
Physical Activity and Inhibitory Control: The Mediating Role of Sleep Quality and Sleep Efficiency
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 664; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050664 - 19 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 594
Abstract
Objectives: the current study aimed to investigate the relationship between physical activity (PA) level and inhibitory control performance and then to determine whether this association was mediated by multiple sleep parameters (i.e., subjective sleep quality, sleep duration, sleep efficiency, and sleep disturbance). Methods: [...] Read more.
Objectives: the current study aimed to investigate the relationship between physical activity (PA) level and inhibitory control performance and then to determine whether this association was mediated by multiple sleep parameters (i.e., subjective sleep quality, sleep duration, sleep efficiency, and sleep disturbance). Methods: 180 healthy university students (age: 20.15 ± 1.92 years) from the East China Normal University were recruited for the present study. PA level, sleep parameters, and inhibitory control performance were assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index Scale (PSQI), and a Stroop test, respectively. The data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Results: A higher level of PA was linked to better cognitive performance. Furthermore, higher subjective sleep quality and sleep efficiency were associated with better inhibitory control performance. The mediation analysis revealed that subjective sleep quality and sleep efficiency mediated the relationship between PA level and inhibitory control performance. Conclusion: our results are in accordance with the literature and buttress the idea that a healthy lifestyle that involves a relatively high level of regular PA and adequate sleep patterns is beneficial for cognition (e.g., inhibitory control performance). Furthermore, our study adds to the literature that sleep quality and sleep efficiency mediates the relationship between PA and inhibitory control performance, expanding our knowledge in the field of exercise cognition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Function and Health, Sports, and Exercise)
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Review
Mechanisms of Drug Resistance in the Pathogenesis of Epilepsy: Role of Neuroinflammation. A Literature Review
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 663; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050663 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 644
Abstract
Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by recurring spontaneous seizures. Drug resistance appears in 30% of patients and it can lead to premature death, brain damage or a reduced quality of life. The purpose of the study was to analyze the drug [...] Read more.
Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by recurring spontaneous seizures. Drug resistance appears in 30% of patients and it can lead to premature death, brain damage or a reduced quality of life. The purpose of the study was to analyze the drug resistance mechanisms, especially neuroinflammation, in the epileptogenesis. The information bases of biomedical literature Scopus, PubMed, Google Scholar and SciVerse were used. To obtain full-text documents, electronic resources of PubMed Central and Research Gate were used. The article examines the recent research of the mechanisms of drug resistance in epilepsy and discusses the hypotheses of drug resistance development (genetic, epigenetic, target hypothesis, etc.). Drug-resistant epilepsy is associated with neuroinflammatory, autoimmune and neurodegenerative processes. Neuroinflammation causes immune, pathophysiological, biochemical and psychological consequences. Focal or systemic unregulated inflammatory processes lead to the formation of aberrant neural connections and hyperexcitable neural networks. Inflammatory mediators affect the endothelium of cerebral vessels, destroy contacts between endothelial cells and induce abnormal angiogenesis (the formation of “leaky” vessels), thereby affecting the blood–brain barrier permeability. Thus, the analysis of pro-inflammatory and other components of epileptogenesis can contribute to the further development of the therapeutic treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy. Full article
Article
Frontotemporal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Decreases Serum Mature Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Schizophrenia
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 662; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050662 - 19 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 604
Abstract
Although transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) shows promise as a treatment for auditory verbal hallucinations in patients with schizophrenia, mechanisms through which tDCS may induce beneficial effects remain unclear. Evidence points to the involvement of neuronal plasticity mechanisms that are underpinned, amongst others, [...] Read more.
Although transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) shows promise as a treatment for auditory verbal hallucinations in patients with schizophrenia, mechanisms through which tDCS may induce beneficial effects remain unclear. Evidence points to the involvement of neuronal plasticity mechanisms that are underpinned, amongst others, by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in its two main forms: pro and mature peptides. Here, we aimed to investigate whether tDCS modulates neural plasticity by measuring the acute effects of tDCS on peripheral mature BDNF levels in patients with schizophrenia. Blood samples were collected in 24 patients with schizophrenia before and after they received a single session of either active (20 min, 2 mA, n = 13) or sham (n = 11) frontotemporal tDCS with the anode over the left prefrontal cortex and the cathode over the left temporoparietal junction. We compared the tDCS-induced changes in serum mature BDNF (mBDNF) levels adjusted for baseline values between the two groups. The results showed that active tDCS was associated with a significantly larger decrease in mBDNF levels (mean −20% ± standard deviation 14) than sham tDCS (−8% ± 21) (F = 5.387; p = 0.030; η2 = 0.205). Thus, mature BDNF may be involved in the beneficial effects of frontotemporal tDCS observed in patients with schizophrenia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Stimulation and Neuroplasticity)
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Article
Proteomic Profile of Saliva in Parkinson’s Disease Patients: A Proof of Concept Study
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 661; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050661 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 719
Abstract
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. It affects many organs. Lewy bodies—a histopathological “hallmark” of PD—are detected in about 75% of PD submandibular gland samples. We hypothesize that saliva can be a source of biomarkers of PD. The aim of the [...] Read more.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. It affects many organs. Lewy bodies—a histopathological “hallmark” of PD—are detected in about 75% of PD submandibular gland samples. We hypothesize that saliva can be a source of biomarkers of PD. The aim of the study was to evaluate and compare the salivary proteome of PD patients and healthy controls (HC). Salivary samples from 39 subjects (24 PD patients, mean age 61.6 ± 8.2; 15 HC, mean age 60.9 ± 6.7) were collected. Saliva was collected using RNA-Pro-Sal kits. Label-free LC-MS/MS mass spectrometry was performed to characterize the proteome of the saliva. IPA analysis of upstream inhibitors was performed. A total of 530 proteins and peptides were identified. We observed lower concentrations of S100-A16, ARP2/3, and VPS4B in PD group when compared to HC. We conclude that the salivary proteome composition of PD patients is different than that of healthy controls. We observed a lower concentration of proteins involved in inflammatory processes, exosome formation, and adipose tissue formation. The variability of expression of proteins between the two groups needs to be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurodegenerative Diseases)
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Article
Web-Based Assessment of the Phenomenology of Autobiographical Memories in Young and Older Adults
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 660; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050660 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 743
Abstract
Autobiographical memories (ABMs) produce rich phenomenological experiences. Although few standardized and comprehensive measures of the phenomenology of ABMs have been developed, a web-based assessment of the full range of phenomenological properties is still missing. In the present study, we aimed to fill this [...] Read more.
Autobiographical memories (ABMs) produce rich phenomenological experiences. Although few standardized and comprehensive measures of the phenomenology of ABMs have been developed, a web-based assessment of the full range of phenomenological properties is still missing. In the present study, we aimed to fill this gap and tested the psychometric properties of a web-based version of the Assessment of the Phenomenology of Autobiographical Memory (APAM) in a group of young and older adults. Specifically, taking advantage of the flexibility of web-based assessment methodology, we tested the rating consistency of APAM items, asking participants to rate the phenomenology of their ABMs with respect to seven cues, administered in one per day in seven different days. In each session, we also collected ratings of mood and arousal. Using linear mixed modeling (LMM), we could examine whether the phenomenology ratings differed with respect to age group while controlling for sex, age of the memory, arousal, mood, and specificity of the memory. Results revealed an adequate level of consistency of ratings in both young and older adults. Moreover, LMMs revealed a more intense experience of recollection and reliving (i.e., sensory and emotional) and a higher confidence in memory accuracy in older compared to younger adults. The theoretical and practical usefulness of a web-based assessment of the phenomenology of ABMs are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Technology in the Assessment and Rehabilitation of Memory)
Article
Imaging of Functional Brain Circuits during Acquisition and Memory Retrieval in an Aversive Feedback Learning Task: Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography of Regional Cerebral Blood Flow in Freely Behaving Rats
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 659; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050659 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 685
Abstract
Active avoidance learning is a complex form of aversive feedback learning that in humans and other animals is essential for actively coping with unpleasant, aversive, or dangerous situations. Since the functional circuits involved in two-way avoidance (TWA) learning have not yet been entirely [...] Read more.
Active avoidance learning is a complex form of aversive feedback learning that in humans and other animals is essential for actively coping with unpleasant, aversive, or dangerous situations. Since the functional circuits involved in two-way avoidance (TWA) learning have not yet been entirely identified, the aim of this study was to obtain an overall picture of the brain circuits that are involved in active avoidance learning. In order to obtain a longitudinal assessment of activation patterns in the brain of freely behaving rats during different stages of learning, we applied single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). We were able to identify distinct prefrontal cortical, sensory, and limbic circuits that were specifically recruited during the acquisition and retrieval phases of the two-way avoidance learning task. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Stress and Glucocorticoids in Learning and Memory)
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Review
The Participation of Microglia in Neurogenesis: A Review
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 658; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050658 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 630
Abstract
Adult neurogenesis was one of the most important discoveries of the last century, helping us to better understand brain function. Researchers recently discovered that microglia play an important role in this process. However, various questions remain concerning where, at what stage, and what [...] Read more.
Adult neurogenesis was one of the most important discoveries of the last century, helping us to better understand brain function. Researchers recently discovered that microglia play an important role in this process. However, various questions remain concerning where, at what stage, and what types of microglia participate. In this review, we demonstrate that certain pools of microglia are determinant cells in different phases of the generation of new neurons. This sheds light on how cells cooperate in order to fine tune brain organization. It also provides us with a better understanding of distinct neuronal pathologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Evolution, Development, and Diseases)
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Article
Changes in the Brain Activity and Visual Performance of Patients with Strabismus and Amblyopia after a Compete Cycle of Light Therapy
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 657; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050657 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 1454
Abstract
This research assesses the brain activity and visual performance at baseline and after light therapy (LTH), of seventeen patients with strabismus and amblyopia (SA), and eleven healthy controls (HCs) from Querétaro, México. Quantitative electroencephalogram analysis (qEEG) was used to record the brain activity, [...] Read more.
This research assesses the brain activity and visual performance at baseline and after light therapy (LTH), of seventeen patients with strabismus and amblyopia (SA), and eleven healthy controls (HCs) from Querétaro, México. Quantitative electroencephalogram analysis (qEEG) was used to record the brain activity, and clinical metrics such as the visual acuity, angle of deviation, phoria state, stereopsis, and visual fields determined the visual performance. Results showed a constant higher alpha-wave frequency for HCs. Low voltages remained negative for HCs and positive for SA patients across stimulation. After LTH, high voltage increased in SA patients, and decreased in HCs. A second spectral peak, (theta-wave), was exclusively recorded in SA patients, at baseline and after LTH. Positive Spearman correlations for alpha-wave frequency, low and high voltages were only seen in SA patients. Synchronized brain activity was recorded in all SA patients stimulated with filters transmitting light in the blue but not in the red spectrum. Enhancement in the visual performance of SA patients was found, whereas deterioration of the phoria state and a decrease in the amount of stereopsis was seen in HCs. To conclude, only a suffering brain and a visual pathway which needs to be enabled can benefit from LTH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Neuroscience)
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Article
A Network Analysis of the Relationship among Reading, Spelling and Maths Skills
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 656; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050656 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 556
Abstract
Background. Skill learning (e.g., reading, spelling and maths) has been predominantly treated separately in the neuropsychological literature. However, skills (as well as their corresponding deficits), tend to partially overlap. We recently proposed a multi-level model of learning skills (based on the distinction among [...] Read more.
Background. Skill learning (e.g., reading, spelling and maths) has been predominantly treated separately in the neuropsychological literature. However, skills (as well as their corresponding deficits), tend to partially overlap. We recently proposed a multi-level model of learning skills (based on the distinction among competence, performance, and acquisition) as a framework to provide a unitary account of these learning skills. In the present study, we examined the performance of an unselected group of third- to fifth-grade children on standard reading, spelling, and maths tasks, and tested the relationships among these skills with a network analysis, i.e., a method particularly suited to analysing relations among different domains. Methods. We administered a battery of reading, spelling, and maths tests to 185 third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade children (103 M, 82 F). Results. The network analysis indicated that the different measures of the same ability (i.e., reading, spelling, and maths) formed separate clusters, in keeping with the idea that they are based on different competences. However, these clusters were also related to each other, so that three nodes were more central in connecting them. In keeping with the multi-level model of learning skills, two of these tests (arithmetic facts subtest and spelling words with ambiguous transcription) relied heavily on the ability to recall specific instances, a factor hypothesised to underlie the co-variation among learning skills. Conclusions. The network analysis indicated both elements of association and of partial independence among learning skills. Interestingly, the study was based on standard clinical instruments, indicating that the multi-level model of learning skills might provide a framework for the clinical analysis of these learning skills. Full article
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Article
Is the Age of Developmental Milestones a Predictor for Future Development in Down Syndrome?
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 655; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050655 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 705
Abstract
Down Syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic alteration responsible for intellectual disability, which refers to deficits in both intellectual and adaptive functioning. According to this, individuals with Down Syndrome (DS) reach developmental milestones (e.g., sitting, walking, and babbling) in the same order [...] Read more.
Down Syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic alteration responsible for intellectual disability, which refers to deficits in both intellectual and adaptive functioning. According to this, individuals with Down Syndrome (DS) reach developmental milestones (e.g., sitting, walking, and babbling) in the same order as their typically developing peers, but later in life. Since developmental milestones are the first blocks on which development builds, the aims of the current study are to: (i) expand the knowledge of developmental milestone acquisition; and (ii) explore the relationship between developmental milestone acquisition and later development. For this purpose 105 children/adolescents with DS were involved in this study, divided in two groups, Preschoolers (n = 39) and School-age participants (n = 66). Information on the age of acquisition of Sitting, Walking, Babbling, and Sphincter Control was collected, together with cognitive, motor, and adaptive functioning. Sitting predicted later motor development, but, with age, it became less important in predicting motor development in everyday life. Babbling predicted later language development in older children. Finally, Sphincter Control emerged as the strongest predictor of motor, cognitive, language, and adaptive skills, with its role being more evident with increasing age. Our data suggest that the age of reaching the milestones considered in the study has an influence on successive development, a role that can be due to common neural substrates, the environment, and the developmental cascade effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Individuals with Down Syndrome)
Systematic Review
Developmental Language Disorder: Early Predictors, Age for the Diagnosis, and Diagnostic Tools. A Scoping Review
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 654; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050654 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 1073
Abstract
Background. Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is frequent in childhood and may have long-term sequelae. By employing an evidence-based approach, this scoping review aims at identifying (a) early predictors of DLD; (b) the optimal age range for the use of screening and diagnostic tools; [...] Read more.
Background. Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is frequent in childhood and may have long-term sequelae. By employing an evidence-based approach, this scoping review aims at identifying (a) early predictors of DLD; (b) the optimal age range for the use of screening and diagnostic tools; (c) effective diagnostic tools in preschool children. Methods. We considered systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and primary observational studies with control groups on predictive, sensitivity and specificity values of screening and diagnostic tools and psycholinguistic measures for the assessment of DLD in preschool children. We identified 37 studies, consisting of 10 systematic reviews and 27 primary studies. Results. Delay in gesture production, receptive and/or expressive vocabulary, syntactic comprehension, or word combination up to 30 months emerged as early predictors of DLD, a family history of DLD appeared to be a major risk factor, and low socioeconomic status and environmental input were reported as risk factors with lower predictive power. Optimal time for screening is suggested between age 2 and 3, for diagnosis around age 4. Because of the high variability of sensitivity and specificity values, joint use of standardized and psycholinguistic measures is suggested to increase diagnostic accuracy. Conclusions. Monitoring risk situations and employing caregivers’ reports, clinical assessment and multiple linguistic measures are fundamental for an early identification of DLD and timely interventions. Full article
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Comment
The Implementation of Preconditioned Epidermal Neural Crest Stem Cells to Combat Ischemic Stroke. Comment on Othman, F.A.; Tan, S.C. Preconditioning Strategies to Enhance Neural Stem Cell-Based Therapy for Ischemic Stroke. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 893
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 653; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050653 - 17 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 585
Abstract
In the recent review published in Brain Sciences, Othman and Tan suggested several preconditioning strategies to improve stem cell therapy after ischemic brain injury [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Evolution, Development, and Diseases)
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Article
Savouring as an Intervention to Decrease Negative Affect in Anxious Mothers of Children with Autism and Neurotypical Children
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 652; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050652 - 16 May 2021
Viewed by 866
Abstract
Savouring is an emotion regulation strategy and intervention that focuses on the process of attending, intensifying and prolonging positive experiences and positive affect associated with these memories. Personal savouring involves a reflection on positive memories that are specific to the individual and do [...] Read more.
Savouring is an emotion regulation strategy and intervention that focuses on the process of attending, intensifying and prolonging positive experiences and positive affect associated with these memories. Personal savouring involves a reflection on positive memories that are specific to the individual and do not involve others. In contrast, relational savouring entails reflecting on instances when people were responsive to the needs of their significant others. Such interventions hold potential benefits in enhancing positive affect (PA) and reducing negative affect (NA) for both parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and parents of neurotypical children. Adults with greater symptoms of generalised anxiety have been found to have less PA and more NA. However, no study has investigated the effects of a mother’s anxiety symptoms on the efficacy of savouring in enhancing PA and reducing NA. Thus, this paper combined personal and relational savouring to investigate whether savouring may enhance PA and reduce NA of a pooled sample of mothers of neurotypical children and mothers of children with ASD. 52 mothers of neurotypical children and 26 mothers of children with ASD aged 3–7 years old were given a series of questionnaires and randomly assigned to either relational savouring or personal savouring conditions. In relational savouring, mothers were asked to reflect upon a shared positive experience with their child while in the personal savouring condition, a personal positive experience was recalled. Across mothers of children with ASD and neurotypical children, findings suggest that savouring leads to a decrease in NA (p < 0.01) but not increases in PA. Similarly, mothers with higher levels of anxiety experience a greater decrease in NA (p < 0.001) compared to mothers with lower levels of anxiety post-savouring. This study proposes that a brief savouring intervention may be effective among mothers of preschoolers. As lower levels of negative affect is linked to healthier psychological well-being, mothers might be able to engage in more effective and warm parenting after savouring exercises, which would cultivate positive mother-child relationships that benefit their children in the long-term. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Interaction in Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders)
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Article
One-Year Demographical and Clinical Indices of Patients with Chronic Disorders of Consciousness
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 651; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050651 - 16 May 2021
Viewed by 656
Abstract
This work aims to evaluate the prognostic value of the demographical and clinical data on long-term outcomes (up to 12 months) in patients with severe acquired brain injury with vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (VS/UWS/UWS) or a minimally conscious state (MCS). Patients (n [...] Read more.
This work aims to evaluate the prognostic value of the demographical and clinical data on long-term outcomes (up to 12 months) in patients with severe acquired brain injury with vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (VS/UWS/UWS) or a minimally conscious state (MCS). Patients (n = 211) with VS/UWS/UWS (n = 123) and MCS (n = 88) were admitted to the Federal Research and Clinical Center of Intensive Care Medicine and Rehabilitology after anoxic brain injury (n = 53), vascular lesions (n = 59), traumatic brain injury (n = 93), and other causes (n = 6). At the beginning of the 12-month study, younger age and a higher score by the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R) predicted a survival. However, no reliable markers of significant positive dynamics of consciousness were found. Based on the etiology, anoxic brain injury has the most unfavorable prognosis. For patients with vascular lesions, the first three months after injury have the most important prognostic value. No correlations were found between survival, increased consciousness, and gender. The demographic and clinical characteristics of patients with chronic DOC can be used to predict long-term mortality in patients with chronic disorders of consciousness. Further research should be devoted to finding reliable predictors of recovery of consciousness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Disorders of Consciousness)
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Article
Assessment of a Reliable Fractional Anisotropy Cutoff in Tractography of the Corticospinal Tract for Neurosurgical Patients
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 650; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050650 - 16 May 2021
Viewed by 547
Abstract
Background: Tractography has become a standard technique for planning neurosurgical operations in the past decades. This technique relies on diffusion magnetic resonance imaging. The cutoff value for the fractional anisotropy (FA) has an important role in avoiding false-positive and false-negative results. However, there [...] Read more.
Background: Tractography has become a standard technique for planning neurosurgical operations in the past decades. This technique relies on diffusion magnetic resonance imaging. The cutoff value for the fractional anisotropy (FA) has an important role in avoiding false-positive and false-negative results. However, there is a wide variation in FA cutoff values. Methods: We analyzed a prospective cohort of 14 patients (six males and eight females, 50.1 ± 4.0 years old) with intracerebral tumors that were mostly gliomas. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was obtained within 7 days before and within 7 days after surgery with T1 and diffusion tensor image (DTI) sequences. We, then, reconstructed the corticospinal tract (CST) in all patients and extracted the FA values within the resulting volume. Results: The mean FA in all CSTs was 0.4406 ± 0.0003 with the fifth percentile at 0.1454. FA values in right-hemispheric CSTs were lower (p < 0.0001). Postoperatively, the FA values were more condensed around their mean (p < 0.0001). The analysis of infiltrated or compressed CSTs revealed a lower fifth percentile (0.1407 ± 0.0109 versus 0.1763 ± 0.0040, p = 0.0036). Conclusion: An FA cutoff value of 0.15 appears to be reasonable for neurosurgical patients and may shorten the tractography workflow. However, infiltrated fiber bundles must trigger vigilance and may require lower cutoffs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging Human Brain Connectivity in Health and Disease)
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Article
Gross and Micro-Anatomical Study of the Cavernous Segment of the Abducens Nerve and Its Relationships to Internal Carotid Plexus: Application to Skull Base Surgery
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 649; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050649 - 16 May 2021
Viewed by 646
Abstract
The present study aims to provide detailed observations on the cavernous segment of the abducens nerve (AN), emphasizing anatomical variations and the relationships between the nerve and the internal carotid plexus. A total of 60 sides underwent gross-anatomical study. Five specimens of the [...] Read more.
The present study aims to provide detailed observations on the cavernous segment of the abducens nerve (AN), emphasizing anatomical variations and the relationships between the nerve and the internal carotid plexus. A total of 60 sides underwent gross-anatomical study. Five specimens of the AN were stained using Sihler’s method. An additional five specimens were subjected to histological examination. Four types of AN course were observed: a single nerve along its entire course, duplication of the nerve, division into separate rootlets at the point of contact with the cavernous part of the internal carotid artery (ICA), and early-branching before entering the orbit. Due to the relationships between the ICA and internal carotid plexus, the cavernous segment of the AN can be subdivided into a carotid portion located at the point of contact with the posterior vertical segment of the cavernous ICA and a prefissural portion. The carotid portion of the cavernous AN segment is a place of angulation, where the nerve always directly adheres to the ICA. The prefissural portion of the AN, in turn, is the primary site of fiber exchange between the internal carotid plexus and either the AN or the lateral wall of the cavernous sinus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurosurgery and Neuroanatomy)
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Article
TMS-Induced Central Motor Conduction Time at the Non-Infarcted Hemisphere Is Associated with Spontaneous Motor Recovery of the Paretic Upper Limb after Severe Stroke
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 648; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050648 - 15 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 687
Abstract
Background: Stroke affects the neuronal networks of the non-infarcted hemisphere. The central motor conduction time (CMCT) induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) could be used to determine the conduction time of the corticospinal tract of the non-infarcted hemisphere after a stroke. Objectives: Our [...] Read more.
Background: Stroke affects the neuronal networks of the non-infarcted hemisphere. The central motor conduction time (CMCT) induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) could be used to determine the conduction time of the corticospinal tract of the non-infarcted hemisphere after a stroke. Objectives: Our primary aim was to demonstrate the existence of prolonged CMCT in the non-infarcted hemisphere, measured within the first 48 h when compared to normative data, and secondly, if the severity of motor impairment of the affected upper limb was significantly associated with prolonged CMCTs in the non-infarcted hemisphere when measured within the first 2 weeks post stroke. Methods: CMCT in the non-infarcted hemisphere was measured in 50 patients within 48 h and at 11 days after a first-ever ischemic stroke. Patients lacking significant spontaneous motor recovery, so-called non-recoverers, were defined as those who started below 18 points on the FM-UE and showed less than 6 points (10%) improvement within 6 months. Results: CMCT in the non-infarcted hemisphere was prolonged in 30/50 (60%) patients within 48 h and still in 24/49 (49%) patients at 11 days. Sustained prolonged CMCT in the non-infarcted hemisphere was significantly more frequent in non-recoverers following FM-UE. Conclusions: The current study suggests that CMCT in the non-infarcted hemisphere is significantly prolonged in 60% of severely affected, ischemic stroke patients when measured within the first 48 h post stroke. The likelihood of CMCT is significantly higher in non-recoverers when compared to those that show spontaneous motor recovery early post stroke. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Stimulation and Neuroplasticity)
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Review
Neuroergonomics: A Perspective from Neuropsychology, with a Proposal about Workload
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 647; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050647 - 15 May 2021
Viewed by 701
Abstract
In a brief overview of neuroergonomics, including some personal reminiscences of Raja Parasuraman, it is recognized that the field of human factors and ergonomics has benefitted greatly from the inclusion and integration of neuroscientific methods and theory. It is argued that such synergistic [...] Read more.
In a brief overview of neuroergonomics, including some personal reminiscences of Raja Parasuraman, it is recognized that the field of human factors and ergonomics has benefitted greatly from the inclusion and integration of neuroscientific methods and theory. It is argued that such synergistic success can work in the other direction as well with the inclusion of methods and theory of human factors by a neuro field, in this case, neuropsychology. More specifically, it is proposed that neuropsychology can benefit from the inclusion of workload measures and theory. Preliminary studies on older adults, persons living with HIV, and patients with a traumatic brain injury or multiple sclerosis, are reviewed. As an adjunct measure to neuropsychological tests, the construct of workload seems perfectly suited to provide an additional vector of information on patient status, capturing some of the large individual differences evident in clinical populations and facilitating the early detection of cognitive change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Perspectives on Neuroergonomics)
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Article
Intraoperative Computed Tomography-Based Navigation with Augmented Reality for Lateral Approaches to the Spine
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 646; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050646 - 15 May 2021
Viewed by 674
Abstract
Background. Lateral approaches to the spine have gained increased popularity due to enabling minimally invasive access to the spine, less blood loss, decreased operative time, and less postoperative pain. The objective of the study was to analyze the use of intraoperative computed tomography [...] Read more.
Background. Lateral approaches to the spine have gained increased popularity due to enabling minimally invasive access to the spine, less blood loss, decreased operative time, and less postoperative pain. The objective of the study was to analyze the use of intraoperative computed tomography with navigation and the implementation of augmented reality in facilitating a lateral approach to the spine. Methods. We prospectively analyzed all patients who underwent surgery with a lateral approach to the spine from September 2016 to January 2021 using intraoperative CT applying a 32-slice movable CT scanner, which was used for automatic navigation registration. Sixteen patients, with a median age of 64.3 years, were operated on using a lateral approach to the thoracic and lumbar spine and using intraoperative CT with navigation. Indications included a herniated disc (six patients), tumors (seven), instability following the fracture of the thoracic or lumbar vertebra (two), and spondylodiscitis (one). Results. Automatic registration, applying intraoperative CT, resulted in high accuracy (target registration error: 0.84 ± 0.10 mm). The effective radiation dose of the registration CT scans was 6.16 ± 3.91 mSv. In seven patients, a control iCT scan was performed for resection and implant control, with an ED of 4.51 ± 2.48 mSv. Augmented reality (AR) was used to support surgery in 11 cases, by visualizing the tumor outline, pedicle screws, herniated discs, and surrounding structures. Of the 16 patients, corpectomy was performed in six patients with the implantation of an expandable cage, and one patient underwent discectomy using the XLIF technique. One patient experienced perioperative complications. One patient died in the early postoperative course due to severe cardiorespiratory failure. Ten patients had improved and five had unchanged neurological status at the 3-month follow up. Conclusions. Intraoperative computed tomography with navigation facilitates the application of lateral approaches to the spine for a variety of indications, including fusion procedures, tumor resection, and herniated disc surgery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurosurgery and Neuroanatomy)
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Article
Effects of Transcranial Ultrasound Stimulation on Trigeminal Blink Reflex Excitability
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 645; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050645 - 15 May 2021
Viewed by 655
Abstract
Recent evidence indicates that transcranial ultrasound stimulation (TUS) modulates sensorimotor cortex excitability. However, no study has assessed possible TUS effects on the excitability of deeper brain areas, such as the brainstem. In this study, we investigated whether TUS delivered on the substantia nigra, [...] Read more.
Recent evidence indicates that transcranial ultrasound stimulation (TUS) modulates sensorimotor cortex excitability. However, no study has assessed possible TUS effects on the excitability of deeper brain areas, such as the brainstem. In this study, we investigated whether TUS delivered on the substantia nigra, superior colliculus, and nucleus raphe magnus modulates the excitability of trigeminal blink reflex, a reliable neurophysiological technique to assess brainstem functions in humans. The recovery cycle of the trigeminal blink reflex (interstimulus intervals of 250 and 500 ms) was tested before (T0), and 3 (T1) and 30 min (T2) after TUS. The effects of substantia nigra-TUS, superior colliculus-TUS, nucleus raphe magnus-TUS and sham-TUS were assessed in separate and randomized sessions. In the superior colliculus-TUS session, the conditioned R2 area increased at T1 compared with T0, while T2 and T0 values did not differ. Results were independent of the interstimulus intervals tested and were not related to trigeminal blink reflex baseline (T0) excitability. Conversely, the conditioned R2 area was comparable at T0, T1, and T2 in the nucleus raphe magnus-TUS and substantia nigra-TUS sessions. Our findings demonstrate that the excitability of brainstem circuits, as evaluated by testing the recovery cycle of the trigeminal blink reflex, can be increased by TUS. This result may reflect the modulation of inhibitory interneurons within the superior colliculus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Systems Neuroscience)
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Article
Effect of Allopregnanolone on Spatial Memory and Synaptic Proteins in Animal Model of Metabolic Syndrome
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 644; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050644 - 15 May 2021
Viewed by 710
Abstract
Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is considered a common disorder, especially with a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy food consumption. Cognitive impairment is one of the MetS consequences that worsens the quality of life of the patients. The study aimed to assess the therapeutic effect of [...] Read more.
Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is considered a common disorder, especially with a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy food consumption. Cognitive impairment is one of the MetS consequences that worsens the quality of life of the patients. The study aimed to assess the therapeutic effect of the neurosteroid Allopregnalonone on spatial memory and, therefore, the expression of two synaptic plasticity markers in the hippocampus. Thirty-two male rats were divided into four groups: control groups, MetS, and MetS + Allopregnalone. Spatial memory has been evaluated by the Y-maze task and blood pressure measured by the rat tail method. Biochemical evaluation of serum glucose, insulin, lipid profile, and hippocampal expression of Synaptophysin and Associated Protein 43 (GAP-43) were performed for assessing Allopregnanolone on serum and hippocampal markers. Allopregnanolone therapy improved working spatial memory, hypertension, and biochemical markers measured in the serum and hippocampus. Full article
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Article
Relationship between Speed of Response Inhibition and Ability to Suppress a Step in Midlife and Older Adults
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 643; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050643 - 15 May 2021
Viewed by 494
Abstract
In young adults, performance on a test of response inhibition was recently found to be correlated with performance on a reactive balance test where automated stepping responses must occasionally be inhibited. The present study aimed to determine whether this relationship holds true in [...] Read more.
In young adults, performance on a test of response inhibition was recently found to be correlated with performance on a reactive balance test where automated stepping responses must occasionally be inhibited. The present study aimed to determine whether this relationship holds true in older adults, wherein response inhibition is typically deficient and the control of postural equilibrium presents a greater challenge. Ten participants (50+ years of age) completed a seated cognitive test (stop signal task) followed by a reactive balance test. Reactive balance was assessed using a modified lean-and-release system where participants were required to step to regain balance following perturbation, or suppress a step if an obstacle was present. The stop signal task is a standardized cognitive test that provides a measure of the speed of response inhibition called the Stop Signal Reaction Time (SSRT). Muscle responses in the legs were compared between conditions where a step was allowed or blocked to quantify response inhibition of the step. The SSRT was significantly related to leg muscle suppression during balance recovery in the stance leg. Thus, participants that were better at inhibiting their responses in the stop signal task were also better at inhibiting an unwanted leg response in favor of grasping a supportive handle. The relationship between a seated cognitive test using finger responses and leg muscle suppression when a step was blocked indicates a context-independent, generalized capacity for response inhibition. This suggests that a simple cognitive test such as the stop signal task could be used clinically to predict an individual’s capacity for adapting balance reactions and fall risk. The present results provide support for future studies, with larger samples, to verify this relationship between stop signal reaction time and leg response during balance recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Behavioral Neuroscience)
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Article
Serotonin Levels and Cognitive Recovery in Patients with Subacute Stroke after Rehabilitation Treatment
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 642; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050642 - 15 May 2021
Viewed by 632
Abstract
Post-stroke depression and cognitive impairment are common conditions affecting patients after stroke. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in modulating, among others, mood, cognition, learning, and memory. Sub-optimal serotonin activity may be in part responsible for cognitive deficits seen in depression. In this pilot [...] Read more.
Post-stroke depression and cognitive impairment are common conditions affecting patients after stroke. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in modulating, among others, mood, cognition, learning, and memory. Sub-optimal serotonin activity may be in part responsible for cognitive deficits seen in depression. In this pilot study serotonin levels were evaluated in 29 patients with sub-acute stroke before and after a rehabilitation treatment (consisting of a program of upper limb robotic rehabilitation in addition to conventional physical therapy treatment). We employed the Back Depression Inventory scale to evaluate symptoms of depression, and specific tools to evaluate cognitive functions. We found a significant reduction of the serotonin levels after rehabilitation in the whole group (T0: 85.9 ± 92.4 ng/mL; T1: 61.9 ± 58.4 ng/mL; p = 0.0018), as well as in the subgroup of patients untreated with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SRRI), (mean serotonin at T0: 154.0 ± 102.3 ng/mL; mean serotonin at T1: 92.9. ± 68.7 ng/mL at T1; p = 0.005). We also found a correlation with cognitive assessment: in particular, the change from baseline of the serotonin (ΔSerotonin) was correlated with the changes from baseline of the Rey’s Figure (ΔROCF) (r = 0.535; p < 0.05), the Tower of London (ΔToL) (subscore point: r = 0.621; p < 0.005; subscore time: r = −0.619; p < 0.005) meaning that a serotonin levels decrease is associated with a worsening of cognitive functions. Considering patients treated and untreated with SSRIs separately, in patients treated with SSRIs (n = 16) we found only a positive correlation between ∆Serotonin and ∆ToL (subscore point: r= 0.587; p = 0.045), whereas in patients untreated with SSRIs (n = 13) we found a positive correlations between ΔSerotonin and ΔROCF (r = 0.700; p = 0.036), ∆Stroop (subscore time: r = 0.750; p = 0.020) and ∆Tol (subscore point: r = 0.740; p = 0.023) and a negative correlation between ΔSerotonin and ∆Tol (subscore time: r= −0.833; p = 0.005). These results suggest that variation of serotonin levels should be monitored in patients during a rehabilitation program, not only for their relationship with depression symptoms, but also for the correlation with cognitive performance. Full article
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Article
Online Movement Correction in Response to the Unexpectedly Perturbed Initial or Final Action Goals: An ERP and sLORETA Study
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 641; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050641 - 15 May 2021
Viewed by 754
Abstract
In this experiment, we explored how unexpected perturbations in the initial (grip posture) and the final action goals (target position) influence movement execution and the neural mechanisms underlying the movement corrections. Participants were instructed to grasp a handle and rotate it to a [...] Read more.
In this experiment, we explored how unexpected perturbations in the initial (grip posture) and the final action goals (target position) influence movement execution and the neural mechanisms underlying the movement corrections. Participants were instructed to grasp a handle and rotate it to a target position according to a given visual cue. After participants started their movements, a secondary cue was triggered, which indicated whether the initial or final goals had changed (or not) while the electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded. The results showed that the perturbed initial goals significantly slowed down the reaching action, compared to the perturbed final goals. In the event-related potentials (ERPs), a larger anterior P3 and a larger central-distributed late positivity (600–700 ms) time-locked to the perturbations were found for the initial than for the final goal perturbations. Source analyses found stronger left middle frontal gyrus (MFG) activations for the perturbed initial goals than for the perturbed final goals in the P3 time window. These findings suggest that perturbations in the initial goals have stronger interferences with the execution of grasp-to-rotate movements than perturbations in the final goals. The interferences seem to be derived from both inappropriate action inhibitions and new action implementations during the movement correction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Intention in Motor Cognition)
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Systematic Review
Two Faces of a Coin? A Systematic Review of Source Monitoring and Its Relationship with Memory in Autism
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 640; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/brainsci11050640 - 15 May 2021
Viewed by 518
Abstract
The ability to discriminate the origin of stimuli, known as source monitoring, is crucial for self–other distinction and the integration of internally generated and externally generated experiences. Despite its valence, evidence on source monitoring in autism is yet scarce and unclear. We systematically [...] Read more.
The ability to discriminate the origin of stimuli, known as source monitoring, is crucial for self–other distinction and the integration of internally generated and externally generated experiences. Despite its valence, evidence on source monitoring in autism is yet scarce and unclear. We systematically reviewed literature concerning source monitoring in autism and its relationship with other constructs, such as memory type, encoding effects, social cognition, general intelligence, and clinical factors. Source-monitoring performance (operationalized as error or accuracy) was reduced in autistic participants in 9 of the 15 studies that met the inclusion criteria. When explicitly investigated, free-recall memory impairments in autism were shown to influence source monitoring deficits. General intelligence was another important factor linked to source-monitoring performance. Conversely, other memory types or encoding effects were not impaired in autism, and no univocal association could be found with source monitoring. Social cognition and clinical symptoms were rarely assessed in spite of their possible involvement in source monitoring. The heterogeneity of the task design, outcome measures and demographical factors limited study comparability. As a research framework on source monitoring as a construct of primary interest in autism is still lacking, we propose preliminary indications for future investigations based on the collected findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder)
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