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2022 ◽  
Vol 68 ◽  
pp. 89-95
Paolo Formenti ◽  
Silvia Coppola ◽  
Michele Umbrello ◽  
Sara Froio ◽  
Alessio Cacioppola ◽  

2022 ◽  
Vol 13 ◽  
Chiara F. Tagliabue ◽  
Greta Varesio ◽  
Veronica Mazza

Electroencephalography (EEG) studies investigating visuo-spatial working memory (vWM) in aging typically adopt an event-related potential (ERP) analysis approach that has shed light on the age-related changes during item retention and retrieval. However, this approach does not fully enable a detailed description of the time course of the neural dynamics related to aging. The most frequent age-related changes in brain activity have been described by two influential models of neurocognitive aging, the Hemispheric Asymmetry Reduction in Older Adults (HAROLD) and the Posterior-Anterior Shift in Aging (PASA). These models posit that older adults tend to recruit additional brain areas (bilateral as predicted by HAROLD and anterior as predicted by PASA) when performing several cognitive tasks. We tested younger (N = 36) and older adults (N = 35) in a typical vWM task (delayed match-to-sample) where participants have to retain items and then compare them to a sample. Through a data-driven whole scalp EEG analysis we aimed at characterizing the temporal dynamics of the age-related activations predicted by the two models, both across and within different stages of stimulus processing. Behaviorally, younger outperformed older adults. The EEG analysis showed that older adults engaged supplementary bilateral posterior and frontal sites when processing different levels of memory load, in line with both HAROLD and PASA-like activations. Interestingly, these age-related supplementary activations dynamically developed over time. Indeed, they varied across different stages of stimulus processing, with HAROLD-like modulations being mainly present during item retention, and PASA-like activity during both retention and retrieval. Overall, the present results suggest that age-related neural changes are not a phenomenon indiscriminately present throughout all levels of cognitive processing.

BMC Genomics ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 23 (1) ◽  
Biplabendu Das ◽  
Charissa de Bekker

Abstract Background Circadian clocks allow organisms to anticipate daily fluctuations in their environment by driving rhythms in physiology and behavior. Inter-organismal differences in daily rhythms, called chronotypes, exist and can shift with age. In ants, age, caste-related behavior and chronotype appear to be linked. Brood-tending nurse ants are usually younger individuals and show “around-the-clock” activity. With age or in the absence of brood, nurses transition into foraging ants that show daily rhythms in activity. Ants can adaptively shift between these behavioral castes and caste-associated chronotypes depending on social context. We investigated how changes in daily gene expression could be contributing to such behavioral plasticity in Camponotus floridanus carpenter ants by combining time-course behavioral assays and RNA-Sequencing of forager and nurse brains. Results We found that nurse brains have three times fewer 24 h oscillating genes than foragers. However, several hundred genes that oscillated every 24 h in forager brains showed robust 8 h oscillations in nurses, including the core clock genes Period and Shaggy. These differentially rhythmic genes consisted of several components of the circadian entrainment and output pathway, including genes said to be involved in regulating insect locomotory behavior. We also found that Vitellogenin, known to regulate division of labor in social insects, showed robust 24 h oscillations in nurse brains but not in foragers. Finally, we found significant overlap between genes differentially expressed between the two ant castes and genes that show ultradian rhythms in daily expression. Conclusion This study provides a first look at the chronobiological differences in gene expression between forager and nurse ant brains. This endeavor allowed us to identify a putative molecular mechanism underlying plastic timekeeping: several components of the ant circadian clock and its output can seemingly oscillate at different harmonics of the circadian rhythm. We propose that such chronobiological plasticity has evolved to allow for distinct regulatory networks that underlie behavioral castes, while supporting swift caste transitions in response to colony demands. Behavioral division of labor is common among social insects. The links between chronobiological and behavioral plasticity that we found in C. floridanus, thus, likely represent a more general phenomenon that warrants further investigation.

Valentin Max Vetter ◽  
Christian Humberto Kalies ◽  
Yasmine Sommerer ◽  
Dominik Spira ◽  
Johanna Drewelies ◽  

Abstract DNA methylation age acceleration (DNAmAA, derived from an epigenetic clock) and relative leukocyte telomere length (rLTL) are widely accepted biomarkers of aging. Nevertheless, it is still unclear which aspects of aging they represent best. Here we evaluated longitudinal associations between baseline rLTL and DNAmAA (estimated with 7-CpG clock) and functional assessments covering different domains of aging. Additionally, we made use of cross-sectional data on these assessments and examined their association with DNAmAA estimated by five different DNAm age measures. Two-wave longitudinal data was available for 1,083 participants of the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II) who were re-examined on average 7.4 years after baseline as part of the GendAge study. Functional outcomes were assessed with Fried’s frailty score, Tinetti mobility test, falls in the past 12 months (yes/no), Finger-floor distance, Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Activities of Daily Living (ADL), Instrumented ADL (IADL) and Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA). Overall, we found no evidence for an association between the molecular biomarkers measured at baseline, rLTL and DNAmAA (7-CpG clock), and functional assessments assessed at follow-up. Similarly, a cross-sectional analyses of follow-up data did also not show evidence for associations of the various DNAmAA measures (7-CpG clock, Horvath’s clock, Hannum’s clock PhenoAge, and GrimAge) with functional assessments. In conclusion, neither rLTL nor 7-CpG DNAmAA were able to predict impairment in the analyzed assessments over a ~7-year time-course. Similarly, DNAmAA estimated from five epigenetic clocks was not a good cross-sectional marker of health deterioration either.

2022 ◽  
James A Hay ◽  
Stephen M Kissler ◽  
Joseph R Fauver ◽  
Christina Mack ◽  
Caroline G Tai ◽  

Background. The Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant is responsible for a major wave of COVID-19, with record case counts reflecting high transmissibility and escape from prior immunity. Defining the time course of Omicron viral proliferation and clearance is crucial to inform isolation protocols aiming to minimize disease spread. Methods. We obtained longitudinal, quantitative RT-qPCR test results using combined anterior nares and oropharyngeal samples (n = 10,324) collected between July 5th, 2021 and January 10th, 2022 from the National Basketball Association's (NBA) occupational health program. We quantified the fraction of tests with PCR cycle threshold (Ct) values <30, chosen as a proxy for potential infectivity and antigen test positivity, on each day after first detection of suspected and confirmed Omicron infections, stratified by individuals detected under frequent testing protocols and those detected due to symptom onset or concern for contact with an infected individual. We quantified the duration of viral proliferation, clearance rate, and peak viral concentration for individuals with acute Omicron and Delta variant SARS-CoV-2 infections. Results. A total of 97 infections were confirmed or suspected to be from the Omicron variant and 107 from the Delta variant. Of 27 Omicron-infected individuals testing positive ≤1 day after a previous negative or inconclusive test, 52.0% (13/25) were PCR positive with Ct values <30 at day 5, 25.0% (6/24) at day 6, and 13.0% (3/23) on day 7 post detection. Of 70 Omicron-infected individuals detected ≥2 days after a previous negative or inconclusive test, 39.1% (25/64) were PCR positive with Ct values <30 at day 5, 33.3% (21/63) at day 6, and 22.2% (14/63) on day 7 post detection. Overall, Omicron infections featured a mean duration of 9.87 days (95% CI 8.83-10.9) relative to 10.9 days (95% CI 9.41-12.4) for Delta infections. The peak viral RNA based on Ct values was lower for Omicron infections than for Delta infections (Ct 23.3, 95% CI 22.4-24.3 for Omicron; Ct 20.5, 95% CI 19.2-21.8 for Delta) and the clearance phase was shorter for Omicron infections (5.35 days, 95% CI 4.78-6.00 for Omicron; 6.23 days, 95% CI 5.43-7.17 for Delta), though the rate of clearance was similar (3.13 Ct/day, 95% CI 2.75-3.54 for Omicron; 3.15 Ct/day, 95% CI 2.69-3.64 for Delta). Conclusions. While Omicron infections feature lower peak viral RNA and a shorter clearance phase than Delta infections on average, it is unclear to what extent these differences are attributable to more immunity in this largely vaccinated population or intrinsic characteristics of the Omicron variant. Further, these results suggest that Omicron's infectiousness may not be explained by higher viral load measured in the nose and mouth by RT-PCR. The substantial fraction of individuals with Ct values <30 at days 5 of infection, particularly in those detected due to symptom onset or concern for contact with an infected individual, underscores the heterogeneity of the infectious period, with implications for isolation policies.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
pp. 110
Eleni Zoe Gkoritsa

Recovery nystagmus in vestibular neuritis patients is a reversal of spontaneous nystagmus direction, beating towards the affected ear, observed along the time course of central compensation. It is rarely registered due either to its rarity as a phenomenon per se, or to the fact that it is missed between follow-up appointments. The aim of the manuscript is to describe in detail a case of recovery nystagmus found in an atypical case of vestibular neuritis and discuss pathophysiology and clinical considerations regarding this rare finding. A 26-year-old man was referred to our Otorhinolaryngology practice reporting “dizziness” sensation and nausea in the last 48 h. Clinical examination revealed left beating spontaneous nystagmus (average slow phase velocity aSPV 8.1°/s) with absence of fixation. The head impulse test (H.I.T.) was negative. Cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (cVEMP) and Playtone audiometry (PTA) were normal. Romberg and Unterberger tests were not severely affected. A strong directional preponderance to the left was found in caloric vestibular test with minimal canal paresis (CP 13%) on the right. The first follow-up consultation took place on the 9th day after the onset of symptoms. Right beating weak (aSPV 2.4°/s) spontaneous nystagmus was observed with absence of fixation, whereas a strong right directional preponderance (DP) was found in caloric vestibular test. A brain MRI scan was ordered to exclude central causes of vertigo, which was normal. The patient was seen again completely free of symptoms 45 days later. He reported feeling dizzy during dynamic movements of the head and trunk for another 15 days after his second consultation. The unexpected observation of nystagmus direction reversal seven days after the first consultation is a typical sign of recovery nystagmus. Recovery nystagmus (RN) is centrally mediated and when found, it should always be carefully assessed in combination with the particularities of vestibular neuritis.

Molecules ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 27 (2) ◽  
pp. 507
Rachel Kelly ◽  
Alexis-Pierre Bemelmans ◽  
Charlène Joséphine ◽  
Emmanuel Brouillet ◽  
Declan P. McKernan ◽  

Since the discovery of α-synuclein as the major component in Lewy bodies, research into this protein in the context of Parkinson’s disease pathology has been exponential. Cannabinoids are being investigated as potential therapies for Parkinson’s disease from numerous aspects, but still little is known about the links between the cannabinoid system and the pathogenic α-synuclein protein; understanding these links will be necessary if cannabinoid therapies are to reach the clinic in the future. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the time-course of alterations in components of the endocannabinoid system after viral-mediated α-synuclein overexpression in the rat brain. Rats were given unilateral intranigral injections of AAV-GFP or AAV-α-synuclein and sacrificed 4, 8 and 12 weeks later for qRT-PCR and liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry analyses of the endocannabinoid system, in addition to histological visualization of α-synuclein expression along the nigrostriatal pathway. As anticipated, intranigral delivery of AAV-α-synuclein induced widespread overexpression of human α-synuclein in the nigrostriatal pathway, both at the mRNA level and the protein level. However, despite this profound α-synuclein overexpression, we detected no differences in CB1 or CB2 receptor expression in the nigrostriatal pathway; however, interestingly, there was a reduction in the expression of neuroinflammatory markers. Furthermore, there was a reduction in the levels of the endocannabinoid 2-AG and the related lipid immune mediator OEA at week 12 post-surgery, indicating that α-synuclein overexpression triggers dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system. Although this research does show that the endocannabinoid system is impacted by α-synuclein, further research is necessary to more comprehensively understand the link between the cannabinoid system and the α-synuclein aspect of Parkinson’s disease pathology in order for cannabinoid-based therapies to be feasible for the treatment of this disease in the coming years.

2022 ◽  
Matthew Frederick Lefebvre ◽  
Nikolas Heinrich Claussen ◽  
Noah Prentice Mitchell ◽  
Hannah J Gustafson ◽  
Sebastian J Streichan

The actomyosin cytoskeleton is a crucial driver of morphogenesis. Yet how the behavior of large scale cytoskeletal patterns in deforming tissues emerges from the interplay of geometry, genetics, and mechanics remains incompletely understood. Convergent extension flow in D. melanogaster embryos provides the opportunity to establish a quantitative understanding of the dynamics of anisotropic non-muscle myosin II. Cell-scale analysis of protein localization in fixed embryos suggests that there are complex rules governing how the control of myosin anisotropy is regulated by gene expression patterns. However, technical limitations have impeded quantitative and dynamic studies of this process at the whole embryo level, leaving the role of geometry open. Here we combine in toto live imaging with quantitative analysis of molecular dynamics to characterize the distribution of myosin anisotropy and corresponding genetic patterning. We found pair rule gene expression continuously deformed, flowing with the tissue frame. In contrast, myosin anisotropy orientation remained nearly static, aligned with the stationary dorsal-ventral axis of the embryo. We propose myosin recruitment by a geometrically defined static source, potentially related to the embryo-scale epithelial tension, and account for transient deflections by the interplay of cytoskeletal turnover with junction reorientation by flow. With only one parameter, this model quantitatively accounts for the time course of myosin anisotropy orientation in wild-type, twist, and even-skipped embryos as well as embryos with perturbed egg geometry. Geometric patterning of the cytoskeleton suggests a simple physical strategy to ensure a robust flow and formation of shape.

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