Brain Sciences
Latest Publications


TOTAL DOCUMENTS

3419
(FIVE YEARS 3242)

H-INDEX

35
(FIVE YEARS 30)

Published By Mdpi Ag

2076-3425
Updated Thursday, 28 October 2021

2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (11) ◽  
pp. 1411
Author(s):  
Dan Luo ◽  
Lu Han ◽  
Shengqiao Gao ◽  
Zhiyong Xiao ◽  
Qingru Zhou ◽  
...  

Neuroinflammation is often accompanied by central nervous system (CNS) injury seen in various CNS diseases, with no specific treatment. Drug repurposing is a strategy of finding new uses for approved or investigational drugs, and can be enabled by the Library of Integrated Network-based Cellular Signatures (LINCS), a large drug perturbation database. In this study, the signatures of Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) were compared with the signatures of compounds contained in the LINCS dataset. To the top 100 compounds obtained, the Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR)-based tool admetSAR was used to identify the top 10 candidate compounds with relatively high blood–brain barrier (BBB) penetration. Furthermore, the seventh-ranked compound, dutasteride, a 5-α-reductase inhibitor, was selected for in vitro and in vivo validation of its anti-neuroinflammation activity. The results showed that dutasteride significantly reduced the levels of IL-6 and TNF-α in the supernatants of LPS-stimulated BV2 cells, and decreased the levels of IL-6 in the hippocampus and plasma, and the number of activated microglia in the brain of LPS administration mice. Furthermore, dutasteride also attenuated the cognitive impairment caused by LPS stimulation in mice. Taken together, this study demonstrates that the LINCS dataset-based drug repurposing strategy is an effective approach, and the predicted candidate, dutasteride, has the potential to ameliorate LPS-induced neuroinflammation and cognitive impairment.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (11) ◽  
pp. 1403
Author(s):  
Annalysa Lovos ◽  
Kenneth Bottrill ◽  
Stella Sakhon ◽  
Casandra Nyhuis ◽  
Elizabeth Egleson ◽  
...  

Across all ages, individuals with Down syndrome (DS) experience high rates of sleep problems as well as cognitive impairments. This study sought to investigate whether circadian rhythm disruption was also experienced by people with DS and whether this kind of sleep disorder may be correlated with cognitive performance. A cross-sectional study of 101 participants (58 with DS, 43 with typical development) included individuals in middle childhood (6–10 years old), adolescence (11–18 years old), and young adulthood (19–26 years old). Sleep and markers of circadian timing and robustness were calculated using actigraphy. Cognitive and behavioral data were gathered via a novel touchscreen battery (A-MAPTM, Arizona Memory Assessment for Preschoolers and Special Populations) and parent questionnaire. Results indicated that children and adolescents with DS slept the same amount as peers with typical development, but significant group differences were seen in phase timing. The circadian robustness markers, interdaily stability and intradaily variability of sleep-wake rhythms, were healthiest for children regardless of diagnostic group and worst for adults with DS. Amplitude of the 24-h activity profile was elevated for all individuals with DS. In analyses of the correlations between sleep quality, rhythms, and cognition in people with DS, interdaily stability was positively correlated with reaction time and negatively correlated with verbal and scene recall, a finding that indicates increased stability may paradoxically correlate with poorer cognitive outcomes. Further, we found no relations with sleep efficiency previously found in preschool and adult samples. Therefore, the current findings suggest that a thorough examination of sleep disorders in DS must take into account age as well as circadian robustness to better understand sleep-cognitive correlations in this group.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (11) ◽  
pp. 1406
Author(s):  
Aleksandra Kacprzak ◽  
Daniel Malczewski ◽  
Izabela Domitrz

Background: Many studies have confirmed headache as one of the most common COVID-19-related neurological symptoms. There are some reports concerning migraine attacks during SARS-CoV-2 infection with an unusual course of migraine attack. Our aim was to recognize and characterize accurately the features of headaches accompanying this disease. Methods: Research based on questionnaire study gathered 100 randomly chosen medical healthcare employees who experienced symptoms associated with COVID-19 disease, 96 with confirmed COVID-19 (positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR laboratory test or positive rapid COVID-19 antigen test). Conclusion: Headaches reported in the study did not fulfill criteria for migraine with/without aura, tension-type headache according to ICHD-3.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (11) ◽  
pp. 1408
Author(s):  
Jacqueline McKechnie ◽  
Mostafa Shahin ◽  
Beena Ahmed ◽  
Patricia McCabe ◽  
Joanne Arciuli ◽  
...  

Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) commonly affects the production of lexical stress contrast in polysyllabic words. Automated classification tools have the potential to increase reliability and efficiency in measuring lexical stress. Here, factors affecting the accuracy of a custom-built deep neural network (DNN)-based classification tool are evaluated. Sixteen children with typical development (TD) and 26 with CAS produced 50 polysyllabic words. Words with strong–weak (SW, e.g., dinosaur) or WS (e.g., banana) stress were fed to the classification tool, and the accuracy measured (a) against expert judgment, (b) for speaker group, and (c) with/without prior knowledge of phonemic errors in the sample. The influence of segmental features and participant factors on tool accuracy was analysed. Linear mixed modelling showed significant interaction between group and stress type, surviving adjustment for age and CAS severity. For TD, agreement for SW and WS words was >80%, but CAS speech was higher for SW (>80%) than WS (~60%). Prior knowledge of segmental errors conferred no clear advantage. Automatic lexical stress classification shows promise for identifying errors in children’s speech at diagnosis or with treatment-related change, but accuracy for WS words in apraxic speech needs improvement. Further training of algorithms using larger sets of labelled data containing impaired speech and WS words may increase accuracy.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (11) ◽  
pp. 1404
Author(s):  
Ersilia Vallefuoco ◽  
Giulia Purpura ◽  
Giovanna Gison ◽  
Andrea Bonifacio ◽  
Luca Tagliabue ◽  
...  

Due to its complexity and high variability in symptomology, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) requires a coordinated and multidisciplinary intervention to better support the different programs over time and to promote social interactions in all contexts of life. Telemedicine can offer a valuable contribution in this regard, providing low-cost and portable applications. In this paper, we presented an Italian project, SUPER, which aimed to foster collaboration and information sharing between ASD families, health services, and schools. SUPER provided a digital platform with several tools that were useful both to enhance general and specific ASD knowledge and to promote personalized programs for children with ASD. We conducted a preliminary user test for the platform with 30 participants (18 therapists and 12 parents of children with ASD) using the system usability scale (SUS). The total mean SUS score (89.2) showed that SUPER is an excellent, usable system. Moreover, we extracted the usability and learnability mean components from the SUS scores, which were 96.1 and 61.7, respectively. Our preliminary results indicate that SUPER is a very user-friendly application and its innovative telemedicine approach could be ahelpful communication and collaboration tool among the different contexts of care for children with ASD.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (11) ◽  
pp. 1405
Author(s):  
Harilanto Razafindrazaka ◽  
Veronica Pereda-Loth ◽  
Camille Ferdenzi ◽  
Margit Heiske ◽  
Omar Alva ◽  
...  

While recent advances in genetics make it possible to follow the genetic exchanges between populations and their phenotypic consequences, the impact of the genetic exchanges on the sensory perception of populations has yet to be explored. From this perspective, the present study investigated the consequences of African gene flow on odor perception in a Malagasy population with a predominantly East Asian genetic background. To this end, we combined psychophysical tests with genotype data of 235 individuals who were asked to smell the odorant molecule beta-ionone (βI). Results showed that in this population the ancestry of the OR5A1 gene significantly influences the ability to detect βI. At the individual level, African ancestry significantly protects against specific anosmia/hyposmia due to the higher frequency of the functional gene (OR ratios = 14, CI: 1.8–110, p-value = 0.012). At the population level, African introgression decreased the prevalence of specific anosmia/hyposmia to this odorous compound. Taken together, these findings validate the conjecture that in addition to cultural exchanges, genetic transfer may also influence the sensory perception of the population in contact.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (11) ◽  
pp. 1407
Author(s):  
Cinzia Calluso ◽  
Maria Giovanna Devetag ◽  
Carmela Donato

Temporal and probability discounting are considered two fundamental constructs in economic science, as they are associated with phenomena with major societal impact and a variety of sub-optimal behaviors and clinical conditions. Although it is well known that positive and negative affective states bear important cognitive/behavioral consequences, the effect of emotional experiences on decision-making remains unclear due to the existence of many conflicting results. Inspired by the need to understand if and to what extent the current COVID-19 pandemic has determined changes in our decision-making processes by means of the unusual, prolonged experience of negative feelings, in this study we investigate the effect of anger, fear, sadness, physical and moral disgust on intertemporal and risky choices. Results show that all emotions significantly increase subjects’ preferences for immediate rewards over delayed ones, and for risky rewards over certain ones, in comparison to a “neutral emotion” condition, although the magnitude of the effect differs across emotions. In particular, we observed a more pronounced effect in the case of sadness and moral disgust. These findings contribute to the literature on emotions and decision-making by offering an alternative explanation to the traditional motivational appraisal theories. Specifically, we propose that the increased preference for immediate gratification and risky outcomes serves as a mechanism of self-reward aimed at down-regulating negative feelings and restore the individual’s “emotional balance”.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (11) ◽  
pp. 1396
Author(s):  
Ermanno Quadrelli ◽  
Elisa Roberti ◽  
Silvia Polver ◽  
Hermann Bulf ◽  
Chiara Turati

The present study investigated whether, as in adults, 7-month-old infants’ sensorimotor brain areas are recruited in response to the observation of emotional facial expressions. Activity of the sensorimotor cortex, as indexed by µ rhythm suppression, was recorded using electroencephalography (EEG) while infants observed neutral, angry, and happy facial expressions either in a static (N = 19) or dynamic (N = 19) condition. Graph theory analysis was used to investigate to which extent neural activity was functionally localized in specific cortical areas. Happy facial expressions elicited greater sensorimotor activation compared to angry faces in the dynamic experimental condition, while no difference was found between the three expressions in the static condition. Results also revealed that happy but not angry nor neutral expressions elicited a significant right-lateralized activation in the dynamic condition. Furthermore, dynamic emotional faces generated more efficient processing as they elicited higher global efficiency and lower networks’ diameter compared to static faces. Overall, current results suggest that, contrarily to neutral and angry faces, happy expressions elicit sensorimotor activity at 7 months and dynamic emotional faces are more efficiently processed by functional brain networks. Finally, current data provide evidence of the existence of a right-lateralized activity for the processing of happy facial expressions.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (11) ◽  
pp. 1402
Author(s):  
Lidija Preglej ◽  
Ksenija Marinkovic ◽  
Hrvoje Hećimović

We examined whether word processing is associated with subjective self-evaluation of cognition in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) as a function of their depressive symptoms. MTLE patients with (MTLE +d, N = 28) or without (MTLE -d, N = 11) depression were compared to pair-matched healthy control participants on free recall and self-relevance ratings of emotionally valenced words. Correlation and hierarchical analyses were conducted to investigate whether the subjective self-evaluation of cognition in MTLE patients is predicted by the negative emotional bias reflected in task performance. MTLE +d patients endorsed as self-relevant fewer positive words and more negative words than the MTLE -d patients and healthy participants. They also self-evaluated their cognition poorer than the MTLE -d patients. Analyses indicated that recall and self-endorsement of emotional words predicted both self-evaluation of cognition as well as epilepsy duration. Our findings indicate that negative self-relevance emotional bias is observed in MTLE patients and is predictive of subjective self-evaluation of cognition. Application of brief behavioral tasks probing emotional functions could be valuable for clinical research and practice in the patients with MTLE.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (11) ◽  
pp. 1400
Author(s):  
Anna Maria Sobczak ◽  
Bartosz Bohaterewicz ◽  
Magdalena Fafrowicz ◽  
Aleksandra Domagalik ◽  
Ewa Beldzik ◽  
...  

Background: Cataract is one of the most common age-related vision deteriorations, leading to opacification of the lens and therefore visual impairment as well as blindness. Both cataract extraction and the implantation of blue light filtering lens are believed to improve not only vision but also overall functioning. Methods: Thirty-four cataract patients were subject to resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging before and after cataract extraction and intraocular lens implantation (IOL). Global and local graph metrics were calculated in order to investigate the reorganization of functional network architecture associated with alterations in blue light transmittance. Psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) was conducted. Results: Graph theory-based analysis revealed decreased eigenvector centrality after the cataract extraction and IOL replacement in inferior occipital gyrus, superior parietal gyrus and many cerebellum regions as well as increased clustering coefficient in superior and inferior parietal gyrus, middle temporal gyrus and various cerebellum regions. PVT results revealed significant change between experimental sessions as patients responded faster after IOL replacement. Moreover, a few regions were correlated with the difference in blue light transmittance and the time reaction in PVT. Conclusion: Current study revealed substantial functional network architecture reorganization associated with cataract extraction and alteration in blue light transmittance.


Sign in / Sign up

Export Citation Format

Share Document