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Brain Sci., Volume 8, Issue 5 (May 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The brain integrates input across modalities to perceive the world around us. Sometimes, the actual [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Chemogenetic Enhancement of Axon Regeneration Following Peripheral Nerve Injury in the SLICK-A Mouse
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(5), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8050093
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 17 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 22 May 2018
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Abstract
The effects of chemogenetics on axon regeneration following peripheral nerve transection and repair were studied in mice expressing a Cre-dependent excitatory designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADD) and Cre-recombinase/yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) in a subset of motor and sensory neurons and
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The effects of chemogenetics on axon regeneration following peripheral nerve transection and repair were studied in mice expressing a Cre-dependent excitatory designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADD) and Cre-recombinase/yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) in a subset of motor and sensory neurons and cortical motoneurons (SLICK-A). Sciatic nerves were cut and repaired and mice were treated either once, at the time of injury, or five days per week for two weeks with clozapine N-oxide (CNO) (1 mg/kg, i.p.), or were untreated controls. Two weeks after injury, the lengths of YFP+ axon profiles were measured in nerves harvested from euthanized animals. Compared to untreated controls, regenerating axon lengths were not significantly longer in mice treated only once with CNO, but they were more than three times longer in mice receiving CNO repeatedly. Based on results of retrograde labeling experiments, axons of more sensory and motor neurons had regenerated successfully in mice receiving multiple CNO treatments than animals receiving only one treatment or no treatments. The increase in numbers of labeled sensory, but not motor neurons could be accounted for by increases in the proportion of retrogradely labeled neurons also expressing the DREADD. Chemogenetic increases in neuronal excitability represent a potent and innovative treatment to promote peripheral nerve regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation in Peripheral Nerve Regeneration—Clinical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Intensity of Multilingual Language Use Predicts Cognitive Performance in Some Multilingual Older Adults
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(5), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8050092
Received: 22 March 2018 / Revised: 15 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 19 May 2018
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Abstract
Cognitive advantages for bilinguals have inconsistently been observed in different populations, with different operationalisations of bilingualism, cognitive performance, and the process by which language control transfers to cognitive control. This calls for studies investigating which aspects of multilingualism drive a cognitive advantage, in
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Cognitive advantages for bilinguals have inconsistently been observed in different populations, with different operationalisations of bilingualism, cognitive performance, and the process by which language control transfers to cognitive control. This calls for studies investigating which aspects of multilingualism drive a cognitive advantage, in which populations and under which conditions. This study reports on two cognitive tasks coupled with an extensive background questionnaire on health, wellbeing, personality, language knowledge and language use, administered to 387 older adults in the northern Netherlands, a small but highly multilingual area. Using linear mixed effects regression modeling, we find that when different languages are used frequently in different contexts, enhanced attentional control is observed. Subsequently, a PLS regression model targeting also other influential factors yielded a two-component solution whereby only more sensitive measures of language proficiency and language usage in different social contexts were predictive of cognitive performance above and beyond the contribution of age, gender, income and education. We discuss these findings in light of previous studies that try to uncover more about the nature of bilingualism and the cognitive processes that may drive an advantage. With an unusually large sample size our study advocates for a move away from dichotomous, knowledge-based operationalisations of multilingualism and offers new insights for future studies at the individual level. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Multiplicative Effects of Social and Psychological Risk Factors on College Students’ Suicidal Behaviors
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(5), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8050091
Received: 4 May 2018 / Revised: 12 May 2018 / Accepted: 14 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract
Less is known about the multiplicative effects of social and psychological risk and protective factors of suicidality on college campuses. The current study aimed to investigate the multiplicative effects of social (identifying oneself as gay/lesbian, financial difficulty, violence victimization, and religiosity) and psychological
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Less is known about the multiplicative effects of social and psychological risk and protective factors of suicidality on college campuses. The current study aimed to investigate the multiplicative effects of social (identifying oneself as gay/lesbian, financial difficulty, violence victimization, and religiosity) and psychological (anxiety, depression, problem alcohol use, drug use) and risk/protective factors on suicidal behaviors among college students in the United States. Using a cross-sectional design, the Healthy Mind Study (HMS; 2016–2017), is a national online survey of college students in the United States. Social (identifying oneself as gay/lesbian, violence victimization, financial difficulty, and religiosity) and psychological (anxiety, depression, problem alcohol use, and drug use) risk/protective factors were assessed among 27,961 individuals. Three aspects of suicidality, including ideation, plan, and attempt, were also assessed. Logistic regression models were used for data analysis. Financial difficulty, violence victimization, identifying oneself as gay/lesbian, anxiety, depression, and drug use increased, while religiosity reduced the odds of suicidal behaviors. Multiplicative effects were found between the following social and psychological risk factors: (1) financial difficulty and anxiety; (2) financial difficulty and depression; (3) depression and drug use; (4) problem alcohol use and drug use; and (5) depression and problem alcohol use. There is a considerable overlap in the social and psychological processes, such as financial stress, mood disorders, and substance use problems, on risk of suicide in college students. As social and psychological risk factors do not operate independently, comprehensive suicidal risk evaluations that simultaneously address multiple social and psychological risk factors may be superior to programs that only address a single risk factor. Full article
Open AccessArticle Frameless Stereotaxis for Subthalamic Nucleus Deep Brain Stimulation: An Innovative Method for the Direct Visualization of Electrode Implantation by Intraoperative X-ray Control
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(5), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8050090
Received: 18 March 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 11 May 2018 / Published: 15 May 2018
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Abstract
The recent introduction of frameless devices has enabled stereotactic neurosurgery to reach a level of accuracy that is comparable to traditional frame-based methodologies. Among frameless devices, the Nexframe appears to be very useful in implanting electrodes into the subthalamic nucleus or other structures
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The recent introduction of frameless devices has enabled stereotactic neurosurgery to reach a level of accuracy that is comparable to traditional frame-based methodologies. Among frameless devices, the Nexframe appears to be very useful in implanting electrodes into the subthalamic nucleus or other structures for deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease. However, frameless devices, including the Nexframe, limit the possibility of intraoperative visual control of the placement of electrodes in the brain. Utilizing intraoperative O-arm Computed tomography (CT) scan or high-field Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) could overcome this limitation, but their high cost restricts their use. Thus, in this paper we propose an innovation in Nexframe surgical planning that allows the intraoperative use of a C-arm X-ray apparatus to establish: (1) the progression of the electrode guide tube and the electrode in the brain; (2) the accuracy of the electrode trajectory; and (3) the correct attainment of the target. The proposed frameless technique using the Nexframe has been developed and successfully applied in our practice. It was shown to be helpful in overcoming the major issues that are usually encountered when electrodes are placed in the brain with frameless neurosurgery and reduced the risk of having to re-operate on patients to reposition the electrodes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Dyslexia and Fonts: Is a Specific Font Useful?
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(5), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8050089
Received: 2 April 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 May 2018 / Published: 14 May 2018
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Abstract
Nowadays, several books published in different fonts advertised as being particularly suitable for dyslexics are available on the market. Our research aimed to assess the significance of a specific reading font especially designed for dyslexia, called EasyReading™. The performances of good readers and
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Nowadays, several books published in different fonts advertised as being particularly suitable for dyslexics are available on the market. Our research aimed to assess the significance of a specific reading font especially designed for dyslexia, called EasyReading™. The performances of good readers and dyslexics were compared. Fourth grade primary school students (533 students in total) were assessed based on reading tasks presented with two different layouts: the popular Times New Roman and EasyReading™, in order to investigate whether children’s performances were influenced by the fonts used. The results of the study were both statistically and clinically significant, proving that EasyReading™ can be considered a compensating tool for readers with dyslexia, and a simplifying font for all categories of readers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Related Developmental Disorders)
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Open AccessCase Report Transitioning Bodies. The Case of Self-Prescribing Sexual Hormones in Gender Affirmation in Individuals Attending Psychiatric Services
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(5), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8050088
Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 11 May 2018 / Published: 14 May 2018
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Abstract
Self-prescribing of sexual hormones for gender affirmation is a potentially widespread and poorly studied phenomenon that many clinicians are unaware of. The uncontrolled use of hormones poses significant health hazards, which have not been previously reported in the literature. We have collected seven
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Self-prescribing of sexual hormones for gender affirmation is a potentially widespread and poorly studied phenomenon that many clinicians are unaware of. The uncontrolled use of hormones poses significant health hazards, which have not been previously reported in the literature. We have collected seven clinical cases in general adult psychiatry settings (both inpatient and outpatients), describing transgender and gender non-conforming individuals’ (TGNC) self-prescribing and self-administering hormones bought from the Internet without any medical consultation. Among these cases, two were taking androgens, and the rest were taking oestrogens. The main reason for self-administration of hormones seems to be the lack of access to specialised care due to discrimination and long waiting lists. We advocate for clinicians to be aware of the phenomenon and proactively help TGNC individuals by enquiring about self-prescribing of hormones, providing information and referring to the most appropriate treatment centre as well as encourage a public debate on the discrimination and the stigma that TGNC population suffer from. Overall, there is an urgent need for the implementation of different and innovative health care services for TGNC individuals as well as more targeted prevention strategies on such underreported and highly risky behaviours. Furthermore, it is necessary for every clinician involved in the care for TGNC people to be aware of their special needs and be able to be an allied and an advocate to help in reducing stigma and discrimination that affect the access to care for this often underserved population. Full article
Open AccessArticle Rapid Automatized Naming, Verbal Working Memory, and Rhythm Discrimination as Predictors of Reading in Italian Undergraduate Students with and without Dyslexia
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(5), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8050087
Received: 29 April 2018 / Revised: 9 May 2018 / Accepted: 10 May 2018 / Published: 13 May 2018
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Abstract
Whereas the clinical manifestations and the neuropsychological predictors of Developmental Dyslexia (DD) are already well documented in Italian-speaking children, empirical evidence on DD in Italian adults is in contrast rather scarce. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of
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Whereas the clinical manifestations and the neuropsychological predictors of Developmental Dyslexia (DD) are already well documented in Italian-speaking children, empirical evidence on DD in Italian adults is in contrast rather scarce. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of a subset of neuropsychological skills, which have been identified by previous literature to be related to reading, in the decoding abilities of a group of Italian undergraduates with and without DD. For this purpose, 39 university students aged between 19 and 27 years, 19 of whom with a diagnosis of DD, underwent an assessment battery including standardized reading tests, rapid automatized naming (RAN), verbal working memory, and rhythmic pattern discrimination tests. Cross-group differences confirmed significantly lower performances of undergraduates with DD in all measures but rhythm discrimination, compared to typical readers, thus showing a non-compensated neuropsychological profile. Regression analyses showed that, while reading speed was strongly and uniquely predicted by RAN speed, reading accuracy was concurrently predicted by RAN and rhythmic abilities. Finally, RAN speed emerged as a strong predictor of reading performance and risk of receiving a diagnosis of DD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Related Developmental Disorders)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of 2-Year Cognitive–Motor Dual-Task Training on Cognitive Function and Motor Ability in Healthy Elderly People: A Pilot Study
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(5), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8050086
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 1 May 2018 / Accepted: 10 May 2018 / Published: 11 May 2018
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Abstract
We aimed to examine the effect of 2-year cognitive–motor dual-task (DT) training on cognitive functions and motor ability of healthy elderly people without marked cognitive impairment. From the 25 participants of our 12-week DT trial conducted in 2014, we recruited 8 subjects who
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We aimed to examine the effect of 2-year cognitive–motor dual-task (DT) training on cognitive functions and motor ability of healthy elderly people without marked cognitive impairment. From the 25 participants of our 12-week DT trial conducted in 2014, we recruited 8 subjects who voluntarily participated in a new DT training program once a week for 2 years (exercise (EX) group). Their cognitive functions were evaluated by the Modified Mini-Mental State (3MS) examination and the Trail Making Test, and results were compared with those of the 11 subjects who discontinued the training and did not perform any types of exercise for 2 years (non-exercise (NO) group). Subjects in the NO group showed deterioration in the 3MS examination results, especially in the cognitive domain of attention. Meanwhile, participation in DT training maintained the scores in almost all domains of cognitive function, as well as the total 3MS scores. However, both groups had impaired quadriceps muscle strength and motor ability after the 2-year observation period. These results suggest that participating in exercise program comprising DT training for 2 years may be beneficial for maintaining the broad domains of cognitive function in healthy elderly people, although further verification is needed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Language Experience Changes Audiovisual Perception
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(5), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8050085
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 5 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 11 May 2018
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Abstract
Can experience change perception? Here, we examine whether language experience shapes the way individuals process auditory and visual information. We used the McGurk effect—the discovery that when people hear a speech sound (e.g., “ba”) and see a conflicting lip movement (e.g., “ga”), they
[...] Read more.
Can experience change perception? Here, we examine whether language experience shapes the way individuals process auditory and visual information. We used the McGurk effect—the discovery that when people hear a speech sound (e.g., “ba”) and see a conflicting lip movement (e.g., “ga”), they recognize it as a completely new sound (e.g., “da”). This finding that the brain fuses input across auditory and visual modalities demonstrates that what we hear is profoundly influenced by what we see. We find that cross-modal integration is affected by language background, with bilinguals experiencing the McGurk effect more than monolinguals. This increased reliance on the visual channel is not due to decreased language proficiency, as the effect was observed even among highly proficient bilinguals. Instead, we propose that the challenges of learning and monitoring multiple languages have lasting consequences for how individuals process auditory and visual information. Full article
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Open AccessReview Informed Consent Decision-Making in Deep Brain Stimulation
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(5), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8050084
Received: 2 May 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 11 May 2018
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Abstract
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has proved useful for several movement disorders (Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia), in which first and/or second line pharmacological treatments were inefficacious. Initial evidence of DBS efficacy exists for refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder, treatment-resistant major depressive disorder, and impulse control
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Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has proved useful for several movement disorders (Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia), in which first and/or second line pharmacological treatments were inefficacious. Initial evidence of DBS efficacy exists for refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder, treatment-resistant major depressive disorder, and impulse control disorders. Ethical concerns have been raised about the use of an invasive surgical approach involving the central nervous system in patients with possible impairment in cognitive functioning and decision-making capacity. Most of the disorders in which DBS has been used might present with alterations in memory, attention, and executive functioning, which may have an impact on the mental capacity to give informed consent to neurosurgery. Depression, anxiety, and compulsivity are also common in DBS candidate disorders, and could also be associated with an impaired capacity to consent to treatment or clinical research. Despite these issues, there is limited empirical knowledge on the decision-making levels of these patients. The possible informed consent issues of DBS will be discussed by focusing on the specific treatable diseases. Full article
Open AccessReview The Effects of Trauma, with or without PTSD, on the Transgenerational DNA Methylation Alterations in Human Offsprings
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(5), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8050083
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 8 May 2018
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Abstract
Exposure to psychological trauma is a strong risk factor for several debilitating disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Besides the impact on mental well-being and behavior in the exposed individuals, it has been suggested that psychological trauma can affect the biology
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Exposure to psychological trauma is a strong risk factor for several debilitating disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Besides the impact on mental well-being and behavior in the exposed individuals, it has been suggested that psychological trauma can affect the biology of the individuals, and even have biological and behavioral consequences on the offspring of exposed individuals. While knowledge of possible epigenetic underpinnings of the association between exposure to trauma and risk of PTSD has been discussed in several reviews, it remains to be established whether trauma-induced epigenetic modifications can be passed from traumatized individuals to subsequent generations of offspring. The aim of this paper is to review the emerging literature on evidence of transgenerational inheritance due to trauma exposure on the epigenetic mechanism of DNA methylation in humans. Our review found an accumulating amount of evidence of an enduring effect of trauma exposure to be passed to offspring transgenerationally via the epigenetic inheritance mechanism of DNA methylation alterations and has the capacity to change the expression of genes and the metabolome. This manuscript summarizes and critically reviews the relevant original human studies in this area. Thus, it provides an overview of where we stand, and a clearer vision of where we should go in terms of future research directions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Prevalence of Developmental Dyslexia in Spanish University Students
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(5), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8050082
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 4 May 2018 / Published: 8 May 2018
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Abstract
A recent concern in the field of dyslexia studies is the lack of awareness and attention to university students suffering from this condition. If this problem is serious in countries where the relative opacity of the writing system allows for an early detection
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A recent concern in the field of dyslexia studies is the lack of awareness and attention to university students suffering from this condition. If this problem is serious in countries where the relative opacity of the writing system allows for an early detection and, therefore, effective interventions, it is most critical in countries where transparent spelling makes such detection difficult, except in the most severe cases. In Spain, the diagnosis of dyslexia is rare among university-level adults. The present study pursues three aims: (a) to put forward a screening instrument for the detection of university students at risk of dyslexia, (b) to determine the ratio of university students that could be at risk of dyslexia by means of two different procedures, and (c) to create awareness for a disorder that causes hitherto unrecognized difficulties for an important subgroup of the college population. Six hundred and eighty-six university students in four different fields of study within the general area of Social Sciences from a public University in Madrid completed a Spanish-adapted version of a protocol including stress assignment, spelling words and nonwords, and timed phonological working memory of reading and writing task. Results showed that between 1.6% and 6.4% of this population could be at risk of suffering dyslexia. Such risk is not evenly distributed across the four fields of study. As for gender, the first criterion used yields 1.8 males at risk for every female, but the second criterion has as many males as females at risk. Women were significantly better than men in word spelling. Spelling was best predicted by the timed phonological working memory task of reading and writing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Related Developmental Disorders)
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Open AccessReview Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS): A Promising Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder?
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(5), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8050081
Received: 7 March 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 6 May 2018
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Abstract
Background: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) opens new perspectives in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), because of its ability to modulate cortical excitability and induce long-lasting effects. The aim of this review is to summarize the current status of knowledge regarding
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Background: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) opens new perspectives in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), because of its ability to modulate cortical excitability and induce long-lasting effects. The aim of this review is to summarize the current status of knowledge regarding tDCS application in MDD. Methods: In this review, we searched for articles published in PubMed/MEDLINE from the earliest available date to February 2018 that explored clinical and cognitive effects of tDCS in MDD. Results: Despite differences in design and stimulation parameters, the examined studies indicated beneficial effects of tDCS for MDD. These preliminary results, the non-invasiveness of tDCS, and its good tolerability support the need for further research on this technique. Conclusions: tDCS constitutes a promising therapeutic alternative for patients with MDD, but its place in the therapeutic armamentarium remains to be determined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Major Depression)
Open AccessReview Depression, Olfaction, and Quality of Life: A Mutual Relationship
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(5), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8050080
Received: 13 April 2018 / Revised: 2 May 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 4 May 2018
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Abstract
Olfactory dysfunction has been well studied in depression. Common brain areas are involved in depression and in the olfactory process, suggesting that olfactory impairments may constitute potential markers of this disorder. Olfactory markers of depression can be either state (present only in symptomatic
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Olfactory dysfunction has been well studied in depression. Common brain areas are involved in depression and in the olfactory process, suggesting that olfactory impairments may constitute potential markers of this disorder. Olfactory markers of depression can be either state (present only in symptomatic phases) or trait (persistent after symptomatic remission) markers. This study presents the etiology of depression, the anatomical links between olfaction and depression, and a literature review of different olfactory markers of depression. Several studies have also shown that olfactory impairment affects the quality of life and that olfactory disorders can affect daily life and may be lead to depression. Thus, this study discusses the links between olfactory processing, depression, and quality of life. Finally, olfaction is an innovative research field that may constitute a new therapeutic tool for the treatment of depression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Major Depression)
Open AccessArticle Reliability and Validity of the Japanese Version of the Kinesthetic and Visual Imagery Questionnaire (KVIQ)
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(5), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8050079
Received: 28 March 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 29 April 2018 / Published: 2 May 2018
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Abstract
In this study, we aimed to (1) translate the English version of the Kinesthetic and Visual Imagery Questionnaire (KVIQ), which assesses motor imagery ability, into Japanese, and (2) investigate the reliability and validity of the Japanese KVIQ. We enrolled 28 healthy adults in
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In this study, we aimed to (1) translate the English version of the Kinesthetic and Visual Imagery Questionnaire (KVIQ), which assesses motor imagery ability, into Japanese, and (2) investigate the reliability and validity of the Japanese KVIQ. We enrolled 28 healthy adults in this study. We used Cronbach’s alpha coefficients to assess reliability reflected by the internal consistency. Additionally, we assessed validity reflected by the criterion-related validity between the Japanese KVIQ and the Japanese version of the Movement Imagery Questionnaire-Revised (MIQ-R) with Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients. The Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for the KVIQ-20 were 0.88 (Visual) and 0.91 (Kinesthetic), which indicates high reliability. There was a significant positive correlation between the Japanese KVIQ-20 (Total) and the Japanese MIQ-R (Total) (r = 0.86, p < 0.01). Our results suggest that the Japanese KVIQ is an assessment that is a reliable and valid index of motor imagery ability. Full article
Open AccessArticle Effects of Excitatory Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation of the P3 Point in Chronic Stroke Patients—Case Reports
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(5), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8050078
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 15 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 28 April 2018
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Abstract
Objective: To evaluate the effects of excitatory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the international 10–20 system P3 point (intraparietal sulcus region) in chronic patients with a frontal lesion and parietal sparing due to stroke on the impaired upper (UL) and lower limb
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Objective: To evaluate the effects of excitatory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the international 10–20 system P3 point (intraparietal sulcus region) in chronic patients with a frontal lesion and parietal sparing due to stroke on the impaired upper (UL) and lower limb (LL) as measured by the Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA). Methods: Three patients (C1: 49.83/2.75, C2: 53.17/3.83, C3: 63.33/3.08-years-old at stroke/years post-stroke, respectively) received two weeks (five days/week) of rTMS at 10 Hz of P3. A patient was treated in similar conditions with a sham coil (S1: 56.58/4.33). Patients were evaluated before, after, and two months post-treatment (A1, A2, and A3, respectively). Results: For LL, the scores of the motor function subsection of C1 and C3 as well as the sensory function of C2 increased by A2 and remained by A3. For UL, the score of the motor function of C2 and C3 also increased, but the score of C3 decreased by A3. The score of the range of motion subsection of C3 increased by the two follow-up evaluations. Conclusion: This study suggests excitatory rTMS over P3 may be of use for some chronic stroke patients, but these findings need to be verified in a future clinical trial. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Musical Experience, Sensorineural Auditory Processing, and Reading Subskills in Adults
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(5), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8050077
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
Developmental research suggests that sensorineural auditory processing, reading subskills (e.g., phonological awareness and rapid naming), and musical experience are related during early periods of reading development. Interestingly, recent work suggests that these relations may extend into adulthood, with indices of sensorineural auditory processing
[...] Read more.
Developmental research suggests that sensorineural auditory processing, reading subskills (e.g., phonological awareness and rapid naming), and musical experience are related during early periods of reading development. Interestingly, recent work suggests that these relations may extend into adulthood, with indices of sensorineural auditory processing relating to global reading ability. However, it is largely unknown whether sensorineural auditory processing relates to specific reading subskills, such as phonological awareness and rapid naming, as well as musical experience in mature readers. To address this question, we recorded electrophysiological responses to a repeating click (auditory stimulus) in a sample of adult readers. We then investigated relations between electrophysiological responses to sound, reading subskills, and musical experience in this same set of adult readers. Analyses suggest that sensorineural auditory processing, reading subskills, and musical experience are related in adulthood, with faster neural conduction times and greater musical experience associated with stronger rapid-naming skills. These results are similar to the developmental findings that suggest reading subskills are related to sensorineural auditory processing and musical experience in children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Related Developmental Disorders)
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Open AccessArticle Chiropractic Manipulation Increases Maximal Bite Force in Healthy Individuals
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(5), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8050076
Received: 28 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
Recent research has shown that chiropractic spinal manipulation can alter central sensorimotor integration and motor cortical drive to human voluntary muscles of the upper and lower limb. The aim of this paper was to explore whether spinal manipulation could also influence maximal bite
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Recent research has shown that chiropractic spinal manipulation can alter central sensorimotor integration and motor cortical drive to human voluntary muscles of the upper and lower limb. The aim of this paper was to explore whether spinal manipulation could also influence maximal bite force. Twenty-eight people were divided into two groups of 14, one that received chiropractic care and one that received sham chiropractic care. All subjects were naive to chiropractic. Maximum bite force was assessed pre- and post-intervention and at 1-week follow up. Bite force in the chiropractic group increased compared to the control group (p = 0.02) post-intervention and this between-group difference was also present at the 1-week follow-up (p < 0.01). Bite force in the chiropractic group increased significantly by 11.0% (±18.6%) post-intervention (p = 0.04) and remained increased by 13.0% (±12.9%, p = 0.04) at the 1 week follow up. Bite force did not change significantly in the control group immediately after the intervention (−2.3 ± 9.0%, p = 0.20), and decreased by 6.3% (±3.4%, p = 0.01) at the 1-week follow-up. These results indicate that chiropractic spinal manipulation can increase maximal bite force. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Different Hemodynamic Responses of the Primary Motor Cortex Accompanying Eccentric and Concentric Movements: A Functional NIRS Study
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(5), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8050075
Received: 18 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
The literature contains limited evidence on how our brains control eccentric movement. A higher activation is expected in the contralateral motor cortex (M1) but consensus has not yet been reached. Therefore, the present study aimed to compare patterns of M1 activation between eccentric
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The literature contains limited evidence on how our brains control eccentric movement. A higher activation is expected in the contralateral motor cortex (M1) but consensus has not yet been reached. Therefore, the present study aimed to compare patterns of M1 activation between eccentric and concentric movements. Nine healthy participants performed in a randomized order three sets of five repetitions of eccentric or concentric movement with the dominant elbow flexors over a range of motion of 60° at two velocities (30°/s and 60°/s). The tests were carried out using a Biodex isokinetic dynamometer with the forearm supported in the horizontal plane. The peak torque values were not significantly different between concentric and eccentric movements (p = 0.42). Hemodynamic responses of the contralateral and ipsilateral M1 were measured with a near-infrared spectroscopy system (Oxymon MkIII, Artinis). A higher contralateral M1 activity was found during eccentric movements (p = 0.04, η² = 0.47) and at the velocity of 30°/s (p = 0.039, η² = 0.48). These preliminary findings indicate a specific control mechanism in the contralateral M1 to produce eccentric muscle actions at the angular velocities investigated, although the role of other brain areas in the motor control network cannot be excluded. Full article
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