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Brain Sci., Volume 7, Issue 10 (October 2017)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Advances in Neuroimmunology
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(10), 124; doi:10.3390/brainsci7100124
Received: 20 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 27 September 2017
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Abstract
It is now widely accepted that an innate immune system exists within the brain and plays an important role in both physiological and pathological processes [1,2].[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Neuroimmunology)

Research

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Open AccessArticle Integrity of Cerebellar Fastigial Nucleus Intrinsic Neurons Is Critical for the Global Ischemic Preconditioning
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(10), 121; doi:10.3390/brainsci7100121
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 15 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract
Excitation of intrinsic neurons of cerebellar fastigial nucleus (FN) renders brain tolerant to local and global ischemia. This effect reaches a maximum 72 h after the stimulation and lasts over 10 days. Comparable neuroprotection is observed following sublethal global brain ischemia, a phenomenon
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Excitation of intrinsic neurons of cerebellar fastigial nucleus (FN) renders brain tolerant to local and global ischemia. This effect reaches a maximum 72 h after the stimulation and lasts over 10 days. Comparable neuroprotection is observed following sublethal global brain ischemia, a phenomenon known as preconditioning. We hypothesized that FN may participate in the mechanisms of ischemic preconditioning as a part of the intrinsic neuroprotective mechanism. To explore potential significance of FN neurons in brain ischemic tolerance we lesioned intrinsic FN neurons with excitotoxin ibotenic acid five days before exposure to 20 min four-vessel occlusion (4-VO) global ischemia while analyzing neuronal damage in Cornu Ammoni area 1 (CA1) hippocampal area one week later. In FN-lesioned animals, loss of CA1 cells was higher by 22% compared to control (phosphate buffered saline (PBS)-injected) animals. Moreover, lesion of FN neurons increased morbidity following global ischemia by 50%. Ablation of FN neurons also reversed salvaging effects of five-minute ischemic preconditioning on CA1 neurons and morbidity, while ablation of cerebellar dentate nucleus neurons did not change effect of ischemic preconditioning. We conclude that FN is an important part of intrinsic neuroprotective system, which participates in ischemic preconditioning and may participate in naturally occurring neuroprotection, such as “diving response”. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Multifaceted Communication Problems in Everyday Conversations Involving People with Parkinson’s Disease
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(10), 123; doi:10.3390/brainsci7100123
Received: 23 August 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
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Abstract
It is known that Parkinson’s disease is often accompanied by a motor speech disorder, which results in impaired communication. However, people with Parkinson’s disease may also have impaired word retrieval (anomia) and other communicative problems, which have a negative impact on their ability
[...] Read more.
It is known that Parkinson’s disease is often accompanied by a motor speech disorder, which results in impaired communication. However, people with Parkinson’s disease may also have impaired word retrieval (anomia) and other communicative problems, which have a negative impact on their ability to participate in conversations with family as well as healthcare staff. The aim of the present study was to explore effects of impaired speech and language on communication and how this is managed by people with Parkinson’s disease and their spouses. Using a qualitative method based on Conversation Analysis, in-depth analyses were performed on natural conversational interaction in five dyads including elderly men who were at different stages of Parkinson’s disease. The findings showed that the motor speech disorder in combination with word retrieval difficulties and adaptations, such as using communication strategies, may result in atypical utterances that are difficult for communication partners to understand. The coexistence of several communication problems compounds the difficulties faced in conversations and individuals with Parkinson’s disease are often dependent on cooperation with their communication partner to make themselves understood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathophysiology and Genetics of Movement Disorders)
Open AccessArticle Impact of Prenatal and Subsequent Adult Alcohol Exposure on Pro-Inflammatory Cytokine Expression in Brain Regions Necessary for Simple Recognition Memory
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(10), 125; doi:10.3390/brainsci7100125
Received: 17 August 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 29 September 2017 / Published: 30 September 2017
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Abstract
Microglia, the immune cells of the brain, are important and necessary for appropriate neural development; however, activation of microglia, concomitant with increased levels of secreted immune molecules during brain development, can leave the brain susceptible to certain long-term changes in immune function associated
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Microglia, the immune cells of the brain, are important and necessary for appropriate neural development; however, activation of microglia, concomitant with increased levels of secreted immune molecules during brain development, can leave the brain susceptible to certain long-term changes in immune function associated with neurological and developmental disorders. One mechanism by which microglia can be activated is via alcohol exposure. We sought to investigate if low levels of prenatal alcohol exposure can alter the neuroimmune response to a subsequent acute dose of alcohol in adulthood. We also used the novel object location and recognition memory tasks to determine whether there are cognitive deficits associated with low prenatal alcohol exposure and subsequent adulthood alcohol exposure. We found that adult rats exposed to an acute binge-like level of alcohol, regardless of gestational alcohol exposure, have a robust increase in the expression of Interleukin (IL)-6 within the brain, and a significant decrease in the expression of IL-1β and CD11b. Rats exposed to alcohol during gestation, adulthood, or at both time points exhibited impaired cognitive performance in the cognitive tasks. These results indicate that both low-level prenatal alcohol exposure and even acute alcohol exposure in adulthood can significantly impact neuroimmune and associated cognitive function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol Induced Central Nervous System Damage)
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Open AccessArticle Child Community Mental Health Services in Asia Pacific and Singapore’s REACH Model
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(10), 126; doi:10.3390/brainsci7100126
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 26 September 2017 / Accepted: 27 September 2017 / Published: 6 October 2017
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Abstract
In recent decades, there have been concerted efforts to improve mental health services for youths alongside the challenges of rising healthcare costs and increasing demand for mental health needs. One important phenomenon is the shift from traditional clinic-based care to community-based mental health
[...] Read more.
In recent decades, there have been concerted efforts to improve mental health services for youths alongside the challenges of rising healthcare costs and increasing demand for mental health needs. One important phenomenon is the shift from traditional clinic-based care to community-based mental health services to improve accessibility to services and provide patient-centred care. In this article, we discuss the child and adolescent community mental health efforts within the Asia-Pacific region. We also discuss Singapore’s community and school-based mental health service, known as the Response, Early Intervention and Assessment in Community Mental Health (REACH). This article discusses how REACH has evolved over the years in response to the changing needs of youths in Singapore. Finally, we discuss the current challenges and future directions for youth mental health care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Illness in Children)
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Open AccessArticle Propofol Induces Apoptosis of Neurons but Not Astrocytes, Oligodendrocytes, or Neural Stem Cells in the Neonatal Mouse Hippocampus
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(10), 130; doi:10.3390/brainsci7100130
Received: 4 August 2017 / Revised: 2 October 2017 / Accepted: 12 October 2017 / Published: 14 October 2017
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Abstract
It has been shown that propofol can induce widespread apoptosis in neonatal mouse brains followed by long-term cognitive dysfunction. However, selective brain area and cell vulnerability to propofol remains unknown. This study was aimed to dissect toxic effect of propofol on multiple brain
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It has been shown that propofol can induce widespread apoptosis in neonatal mouse brains followed by long-term cognitive dysfunction. However, selective brain area and cell vulnerability to propofol remains unknown. This study was aimed to dissect toxic effect of propofol on multiple brain cells, including neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and neural stem cells (NSCs). Seven-day-old mice were intraperitoneally administrated propofol or intralipid as a vehicle control for 6 hours. To identify vulnerable cells undergoing apoptosis following propofol exposure, brain sagittal sections were co-stained with antibodies against an apoptosis marker along with neuron, astrocyte, oligodendrocyte, or NSC markers using immunofluorescence staining. The results showed widespread apoptosis in propofol-treated brains (apoptotic cells: 1.55 ± 0.04% and 0.06 ± 0.01% in propofol group and intralipid-treated control group, respectively). Apoptotic cell distribution exhibits region- and cell-specific patterns. Several brain regions (e.g., cerebral cortex and hippocampus) were more vulnerable to propofol than other brain regions. Most apoptotic cells in the hippocampus were located in the cornus ammonis 1 (CA1) subfield. These apoptotic cells were only detected in neurons and not astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, or NSCs. These data demonstrate that different brain regions, subfields, and different types of neuronal cells in mice exhibit various vulnerabilities to propofol. Understanding region- and cell-specific susceptibility to propofol will help to better understand cellular contribution to developmental neurotoxicity and further develop novel therapeutic targets. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Three Lipidated Oxytocin Analogs on Behavioral Deficits in CD38 Knockout Mice
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(10), 132; doi:10.3390/brainsci7100132
Received: 14 September 2017 / Revised: 3 October 2017 / Accepted: 11 October 2017 / Published: 16 October 2017
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Abstract
Oxytocin (OT) is a nonapeptide that plays an important role in social behavior. Nasal administration of OT has been shown to improve trust in healthy humans and social interaction in autistic subjects. As is consistent with the nature of a peptide, OT has
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Oxytocin (OT) is a nonapeptide that plays an important role in social behavior. Nasal administration of OT has been shown to improve trust in healthy humans and social interaction in autistic subjects. As is consistent with the nature of a peptide, OT has some unfavorable characteristics: it has a short half-life in plasma and shows poor permeability across the blood-brain barrier. Analogs with long-lasting effects may overcome these drawbacks. To this end, we have synthesized three analogs: lipo-oxytocin-1 (LOT-1), in which two palmitoyl groups are conjugated to the cysteine and tyrosine residues, lipo-oxytocin-2 (LOT-2) and lipo-oxytocin-3 (LOT-3), which include one palmitoyl group conjugated at the cysteine or tyrosine residue, respectively. The following behavioral deficits were observed in CD38 knockout (CD38−/−) mice: a lack of paternal nurturing in CD38−/− sires, decreased ability for social recognition, and decreased sucrose consumption. OT demonstrated the ability to recover these disturbances to the level of wild-type mice for 30 min after injection. LOT-2 and LOT-3 partially recovered the behaviors for a short period. Conversely, LOT-1 restored the behavioral parameters, not for 30 min, but for 24 h. These data suggest that the lipidation of OT has some therapeutic benefits, and LOT-1 would be most useful because of its long-last activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autism Spectrum Disorder: From Etio-Pathology to Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Predictive Factors on Minors’ Mental Health According to the Spanish National Health Survey
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(10), 135; doi:10.3390/brainsci7100135
Received: 5 September 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 17 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
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Abstract
Research on minors’ mental health is an increasingly developing area. Given the increased prevalence of disorders, it seems necessary to analyze the factors that can affect poor mental health. This study analyzes the influence of occupational class, educational level, age, sex and perceived
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Research on minors’ mental health is an increasingly developing area. Given the increased prevalence of disorders, it seems necessary to analyze the factors that can affect poor mental health. This study analyzes the influence of occupational class, educational level, age, sex and perceived mental health of Spanish children, which is measured through the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. The sample consists of 3599 minors between 4 and 14 years old, who were interviewed through the Spanish National Health Survey 2011. Our results indicating the significant (p < 0.05) relationship between mental health, occupational class (OR 0.533) and minors’ health in the last year (OR 0.313) are shown. However, gender (OR 1.187) and educational level of Pre-School Education in relation to Secondary Education (OR 1.174) and Primary Education (OR 0.996) do not generate significant differences. In conclusion, we consider it necessary to design and implement public policies aimed at improving the care system for children who have had poor or regular health in the last year, and whose parents are positioned in the lowest part of the occupational scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Illness in Children)
Open AccessArticle Metacognitive Precursors: An Analysis in Children with Different Disabilities
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(10), 136; doi:10.3390/brainsci7100136
Received: 23 August 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
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Abstract
The analysis of Metacognitive skills is a key element to guide the learning process. Current research has shown the initiation of these skills from an early age. The present study had two aims: (1) to validate a Scale Measuring Precursor Metacognitive Skills (SMPMS)
[...] Read more.
The analysis of Metacognitive skills is a key element to guide the learning process. Current research has shown the initiation of these skills from an early age. The present study had two aims: (1) to validate a Scale Measuring Precursor Metacognitive Skills (SMPMS) in children with diverse disabilities, and (2) to study possible significant different between different disabilities in precursor metacognitive skill use. We worked with 87 children with different disabilities, with an average age range of 24–37 months. The results have shown high indicators of reliability and validity of the SMPMS. We isolated two factors related to cognitive and metacognitive and self-regulation skills response to an adult. We also found significant differences in the acquisition of metacognitive and self-regulation skills among children with global developmental retardation as compared to children with expressive language and comprehension disability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurological Research on Learning, Reward and Decision Making)
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Open AccessArticle Investigation of Sex Differences in the Microglial Response to Binge Ethanol and Exercise
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(10), 139; doi:10.3390/brainsci7100139
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 7 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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Abstract
The female brain appears selectively vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of alcohol, but the reasons for this are unclear. One possibility is an exaggerated neuroimmune response in the female brain, such that alcohol increases microglia number and reactivity to subsequent stimuli, such as
[...] Read more.
The female brain appears selectively vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of alcohol, but the reasons for this are unclear. One possibility is an exaggerated neuroimmune response in the female brain, such that alcohol increases microglia number and reactivity to subsequent stimuli, such as exercise. It is important to better characterize the interactive neural effects of alcohol and exercise, as exercise is increasingly being used in the treatment of alcohol use disorders. The present study compared the number of microglia and evidence of their activation in alcohol-vulnerable regions of the brain (medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus) in male and female rats following binge alcohol and/or exercise. Binge alcohol increased microglia number and morphological characteristics consistent with their activation in the female brain but not the male, regardless of exercise. Binge alcohol followed by exercise did increase the number of MHC II+ (immunocompetent) microglia in females, although the vast majority of microglia did not express MHC II. These results indicate that binge alcohol exerts sex-specific effects on microglia that may result in enhanced reactivity to a subsequent challenge and in part underlie the apparent selective vulnerability of the female brain to alcohol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol Induced Central Nervous System Damage)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Changes in Cognition and Decision Making Capacity Following Brain Tumour Resection: Illustrated with Two Cases
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(10), 122; doi:10.3390/brainsci7100122
Received: 18 August 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 24 September 2017
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Abstract
Changes in cognition, behaviour and emotion frequently occur in patients with primary and secondary brain tumours. This impacts the ability to make considered decisions, especially following surgical resection, which is often overlooked in the management of patients. Moreover, the impact of cognitive deficits
[...] Read more.
Changes in cognition, behaviour and emotion frequently occur in patients with primary and secondary brain tumours. This impacts the ability to make considered decisions, especially following surgical resection, which is often overlooked in the management of patients. Moreover, the impact of cognitive deficits on decision making ability affects activities of daily living and functional independence. The assessment process to ascertain decision making capacity remains a matter of debate. One avenue for evaluating a patient’s ability to make informed decisions in the context of brain tumour resection is neuropsychological assessment. This involves the assessment of a wide range of cognitive abilities on standard measurement tools, providing a robust approach to ascertaining capacity. Evidence has shown that a comprehensive and tailored neuropsychological assessment has greater sensitivity than brief cognitive screening tools to detect subtle and/or specific cognitive deficits in brain tumours. It is the precise nature and severity of any cognitive deficits that determines any implications for decision making capacity. This paper focuses on cognitive deficits and decision making capacity following surgical resection of both benign and malignant, and primary and secondary brain tumours in adult patients, and the implications for patients’ ability to consent to future medical treatment and make decisions related to everyday activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Adult and Pediatric Brain Tumor Management)
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Open AccessReview An Overview of Recent Findings on Social Anxiety Disorder in Adolescents and Young Adults at Clinical High Risk for Psychosis
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(10), 127; doi:10.3390/brainsci7100127
Received: 9 September 2017 / Revised: 3 October 2017 / Accepted: 5 October 2017 / Published: 11 October 2017
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Abstract
Background: Some studies have shown that anxiety is particularly frequent in the Clinical High Risk (CHR) for psychosis population. Notably, social anxiety disorder is identified as one of the most common anxiety disorders in CHR adolescents and young adults. Despite this, the frequency
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Background: Some studies have shown that anxiety is particularly frequent in the Clinical High Risk (CHR) for psychosis population. Notably, social anxiety disorder is identified as one of the most common anxiety disorders in CHR adolescents and young adults. Despite this, the frequency and the clinical significance of social anxiety in this population have been underestimated. Methods: A selective review of literature published between 2011 and 2017 on social anxiety disorder in CHR adolescents and young adults. Results: Five studies are included. In particular, three studies demonstrated that CHR adolescents and young adults have higher levels of anxiety compared to controls. Furthermore, anxiety, including social anxiety, is related to the severity of psychotic symptoms. The other studies included show inconsistent results regarding the possible relationship between social anxiety and social functioning. Conclusions: To date, the eidence concerning the comorbidity of social anxiety disorder and CHR in adolescents and young adults is not sufficient to provide clear guidelines for clinical practice. Future longitudinal studies on larger samples of the CHR adolescents and young adults are required to examine the relationship between social anxiety disorder and the presence of attenuated psychotic symptomatology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Anxiety Disorder in Emerging or Early Psychosis)
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Open AccessReview Protein Misfolding and Aggregation as a Therapeutic Target for Polyglutamine Diseases
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(10), 128; doi:10.3390/brainsci7100128
Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 30 September 2017 / Accepted: 10 October 2017 / Published: 11 October 2017
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Abstract
The polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases, such as Huntington’s disease and several types of spinocerebellar ataxias, are a group of inherited neurodegenerative diseases that are caused by an abnormal expansion of the polyQ tract in disease-causative proteins. Proteins with an abnormally expanded polyQ stretch undergo
[...] Read more.
The polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases, such as Huntington’s disease and several types of spinocerebellar ataxias, are a group of inherited neurodegenerative diseases that are caused by an abnormal expansion of the polyQ tract in disease-causative proteins. Proteins with an abnormally expanded polyQ stretch undergo a conformational transition to β-sheet rich structure, which assemble into insoluble aggregates with β-sheet rich amyloid fibrillar structures and accumulate as inclusion bodies in neurons, eventually leading to neurodegeneration. Since misfolding and aggregation of the expanded polyQ proteins are the most upstream event in the most common pathogenic cascade of the polyQ diseases, they are proposed to be one of the most ideal targets for development of disease-modifying therapies for polyQ diseases. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the molecular pathogenic mechanisms of the polyQ diseases, and introduce therapeutic approaches targeting misfolding and aggregation of the expanded polyQ proteins, which are not only effective on a wide spectrum of polyQ diseases, but also broadly correct the functional abnormalities of multiple downstream cellular processes affected in the aggregation process of polyQ proteins. We hope that in the near future, effective therapies are developed, to bring hope to many patients suffering from currently intractable polyQ diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polyglutamine (PolyQ) Disorders)
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Open AccessReview Neural Hyperexcitability in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(10), 129; doi:10.3390/brainsci7100129
Received: 5 September 2017 / Revised: 29 September 2017 / Accepted: 5 October 2017 / Published: 13 October 2017
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Abstract
Despite the progress that has been made in research on autism spectrum disorders (ASD), the understanding of the biological basis of ASD to identify targets for novel, effective treatment remains limited. One of the leading biological theories of autism is a model of
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Despite the progress that has been made in research on autism spectrum disorders (ASD), the understanding of the biological basis of ASD to identify targets for novel, effective treatment remains limited. One of the leading biological theories of autism is a model of cortical hyperexcitability. While numerous genetic and epigenetic studies support this model, how this particular biological alteration relates to known phenotypes in ASD is not well established. Using examples of sensory processing alterations, this review illustrates how cortical excitability may affect neural processes to result eventually in some core clinical phenotypes in ASD. Applications of the cortical excitability model for translational research and drug development are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autism Spectrum Disorder: From Etio-Pathology to Treatment)
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Open AccessReview Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 and Oligodendrogenesis: Significance in Alcohol Use Disorders
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(10), 131; doi:10.3390/brainsci7100131
Received: 6 September 2017 / Revised: 1 October 2017 / Accepted: 7 October 2017 / Published: 16 October 2017
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Abstract
Alcoholism is a chronic relapsing disorder with few therapeutic strategies that address the core pathophysiology. Brain tissue loss and oxidative damage are key components of alcoholism, such that reversal of these phenomena may help break the addictive cycle in alcohol use disorder (AUD).
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Alcoholism is a chronic relapsing disorder with few therapeutic strategies that address the core pathophysiology. Brain tissue loss and oxidative damage are key components of alcoholism, such that reversal of these phenomena may help break the addictive cycle in alcohol use disorder (AUD). The current review focuses on platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule 1 (PECAM-1), a key modulator of the cerebral endothelial integrity and neuroinflammation, and a targetable transmembrane protein whose interaction within AUD has not been well explored. The current review will elaborate on the function of PECAM-1 in physiology and pathology and infer its contribution in AUD neuropathology. Recent research reveals that oligodendrocytes, whose primary function is myelination of neurons in the brain, are a key component in new learning and adaptation to environmental challenges. The current review briefly introduces the role of oligodendrocytes in healthy physiology and neuropathology. Importantly, we will highlight the recent evidence of dysregulation of oligodendrocytes in the context of AUD and then discuss their potential interaction with PECAM-1 on the cerebral endothelium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol Induced Central Nervous System Damage)
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Open AccessReview Progress in Genetic Studies of Tourette’s Syndrome
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(10), 134; doi:10.3390/brainsci7100134
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 3 October 2017 / Accepted: 17 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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Abstract
Tourette’s Syndrome (TS) is a complex disorder characterized by repetitive, sudden, and involuntary movements or vocalizations, called tics. Tics usually appear in childhood, and their severity varies over time. In addition to frequent tics, people with TS are at risk for associated problems
[...] Read more.
Tourette’s Syndrome (TS) is a complex disorder characterized by repetitive, sudden, and involuntary movements or vocalizations, called tics. Tics usually appear in childhood, and their severity varies over time. In addition to frequent tics, people with TS are at risk for associated problems including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, depression, and problems with sleep. TS occurs in most populations and ethnic groups worldwide, and it is more common in males than in females. Previous family and twin studies have shown that the majority of cases of TS are inherited. TS was previously thought to have an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance. However, several decades of research have shown that this is unlikely the case. Instead TS most likely results from a variety of genetic and environmental factors, not changes in a single gene. In the past decade, there has been a rapid development of innovative genetic technologies and methodologies, as well as significant progresses in genetic studies of psychiatric disorders. In this review, we will briefly summarize previous genetic epidemiological studies of TS and related disorders. We will also review previous genetic studies based on genome-wide linkage analyses and candidate gene association studies to comment on problems of previous methodological and strategic issues. Our main purpose for this review will be to summarize the new genetic discoveries of TS based on novel genetic methods and strategies, such as genome-wide association studies (GWASs), whole exome sequencing (WES) and whole genome sequencing (WGS). We will also compare the new genetic discoveries of TS with other major psychiatric disorders in order to understand the current status of TS genetics and its relationship with other psychiatric disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cerebral Etiology and Treatment of the Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome)
Open AccessReview Immunotherapy for Pediatric Brain Tumors
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(10), 137; doi:10.3390/brainsci7100137
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 20 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
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Abstract
Malignant brain tumors are the most common cause of solid cancer death in children. New targeted therapies are vital to improve treatment outcomes, but must be developed to enable trafficking across the blood brain barrier (BBB). Since activated T cells cross the BBB,
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Malignant brain tumors are the most common cause of solid cancer death in children. New targeted therapies are vital to improve treatment outcomes, but must be developed to enable trafficking across the blood brain barrier (BBB). Since activated T cells cross the BBB, cancer immunotherapy can be harnessed to unlock the cytotoxic potential of the immune system. However, standard of care treatments (i.e., chemotherapy and radiation) applied concomitant to pediatric brain tumor immunotherapy may abrogate induction of immunotherapeutic responses. This review will discuss the development of immunotherapies within this paradigm using emerging approaches being investigated in phase I/II trials in children with refractory brain tumors, including checkpoint inhibitors, vaccine immunotherapy, and adoptive cell therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Adult and Pediatric Brain Tumor Management)
Open AccessReview Pattern Recognition of the Multiple Sclerosis Syndrome
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(10), 138; doi:10.3390/brainsci7100138
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 29 September 2017 / Accepted: 17 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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Abstract
During recent decades, the autoimmune disease neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), once broadly classified under the umbrella of multiple sclerosis (MS), has been extended to include autoimmune inflammatory conditions of the central nervous system (CNS), which are now diagnosable with serum serological tests.
[...] Read more.
During recent decades, the autoimmune disease neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), once broadly classified under the umbrella of multiple sclerosis (MS), has been extended to include autoimmune inflammatory conditions of the central nervous system (CNS), which are now diagnosable with serum serological tests. These antibody-mediated inflammatory diseases of the CNS share a clinical presentation to MS. A number of practical learning points emerge in this review, which is geared toward the pattern recognition of optic neuritis, transverse myelitis, brainstem/cerebellar and hemispheric tumefactive demyelinating lesion (TDL)-associated MS, aquaporin-4-antibody and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)-antibody NMOSD, overlap syndrome, and some yet-to-be-defined/classified demyelinating disease, all unspecifically labeled under MS syndrome. The goal of this review is to increase clinicians’ awareness of the clinical nuances of the autoimmune conditions for MS and NMSOD, and to highlight highly suggestive patterns of clinical, paraclinical or imaging presentations in order to improve differentiation. With overlay in clinical manifestations between MS and NMOSD, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, orbits and spinal cord, serology, and most importantly, high index of suspicion based on pattern recognition, will help lead to the final diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathophysiology and Imaging Diagnosis of Demyelinating Disorders)
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Other

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Open AccessCommentary A Diagnosis of Denial: How Mental Health Classification Systems Have Struggled to Recognise Family Violence as a Serious Risk Factor in the Development of Mental Health Issues for Infants, Children, Adolescents and Adults
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(10), 133; doi:10.3390/brainsci7100133
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 6 October 2017 / Accepted: 10 October 2017 / Published: 17 October 2017
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Abstract
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) routinely overlook assessing for, and providing treatment to, infants and children living with family violence, despite family violence being declared endemic across the globe. As contemporary neuro-developmental research recognises the harm of being exposed to early
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Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) routinely overlook assessing for, and providing treatment to, infants and children living with family violence, despite family violence being declared endemic across the globe. As contemporary neuro-developmental research recognises the harm of being exposed to early relational trauma, key international diagnostic texts such as the DSM-5 and ICD-10 struggle to acknowledge or appreciate the relational complexities inherent in addressing family violence and its impacts during childhood. These key texts directly influence thinking, funding and research imperatives in adult services as well as CAMHS, however, they rarely reference family violence. Their emphasis is to pathologise conditions over exploring causality which may be attributable to relational violence. Consequently, CAMHS can miss important indicators of family violence, misdiagnose disorders and unwittingly, not address unacceptable risks in the child’s caregiving environment. Notwithstanding urgent safety concerns, ongoing exposure to family violence significantly heightens the development of mental illness amongst children. CAMHS providers cannot and should not rely on current diagnostic manuals alone. They need to act now to see family violence as a significant and important risk factor to mental health and to treat its impacts on children before these develop into enduring neurological difficulties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Illness in Children)
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