ResearchPad - temporal-lobe https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Differences in splicing defects between the grey and white matter in myotonic dystrophy type 1 patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14627 Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is a multi-system disorder caused by CTG repeats in the myotonic dystrophy protein kinase (DMPK) gene. This leads to the sequestration of splicing factors such as muscleblind-like 1/2 (MBNL1/2) and aberrant splicing in the central nervous system. We investigated the splicing patterns of MBNL1/2 and genes controlled by MBNL2 in several regions of the brain and between the grey matter (GM) and white matter (WM) in DM1 patients using RT-PCR. Compared with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, as disease controls), the percentage of spliced-in parameter (PSI) for most of the examined exons were significantly altered in most of the brain regions of DM1 patients, except for the cerebellum. The splicing of many genes was differently regulated between the GM and WM in both DM1 and ALS. In 7 out of the 15 examined splicing events, the level of PSI change between DM1 and ALS was significantly higher in the GM than in the WM. The differences in alternative splicing between the GM and WM may be related to the effect of DM1 on the WM of the brain.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of brain magnetic resonance imaging between myotonic dystrophy type 1 and cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cf6dd5eed0c4849145d0

Background

Anterior temporal lobe hyperintensities detected by brain MRI are a recognized imaging hallmark of cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL). Because similar findings may be present in patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1), the brain MRI in these two diseases is often misinterpreted. We compared the MRI findings between the two entities to examine whether they display distinctive characteristics.

Methods

This retrospective, cross-sectional study reviewed medical records of patients with DM1 or CADASIL admitted to Asan Medical Center between September 1999 and September 2017. We compared the frequency and grades of white matter changes in specific spatial regions between the groups according to age-related white matter change scores. We also evaluated the presence of cerebral microbleeds.

Results

A total of 29 patients with DM1 and 68 with CADASIL who had undergone MRI were included in the analysis. The overall prevalence of white matter hyperintensities was 20 (69%) and 66 (97%) in DM1 and CADASIL, respectively (p < 0.001), whereas the frequency of anterior temporal lobe hyperintensities was comparable between the groups (10 [34.5%] in DM1 vs. 35 [51.5%] in CADASIL, p = 0.125). The brain MRI of patients with DM1 revealed more limited involvement of the frontal, parieto-occipital, external capsule and basal ganglia regions compared with imaging in patients with CADASIL. Cerebral microbleeds were not observed in any case of DM1 but were present in 31 of 45 (68.9%) cases of CADASIL.

Conclusions

Anterior temporal lobe involvement in DM1 is not infrequent compared with CADASIL. However, because brain MRI in patients with DM1 lacks other distinctive features seen in CADASIL, imaging might assist in differentiating these two conditions.

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<![CDATA[In-vivo and numerical analysis of the eigenmodes produced by a multi-level Tic-Tac-Toe head transmit array for 7 Tesla MRI]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c06f05dd5eed0c484c6d7f8

Radio-frequency (RF) field inhomogeneities and higher levels of specific absorption rate (SAR) still present great challenges in ultrahigh-field (UHF) MRI. In this study, an in-depth analysis of the eigenmodes of a 20-channel transmit Tic-Tac-Toe (TTT) RF array for 7T neuro MRI is presented. The eigenmodes were calculated for five different Z levels (along the static magnetic field direction) of the coil. Four eigenmodes were obtained for each Z level (composed of 4 excitation ports), and they were named based on the characteristics of their field distributions: quadrature, opposite-phase, anti-quadrature, and zero-phase. Corresponding finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations were performed and experimental B1+ field maps were acquired using a homogeneous spherical phantom and human head (in-vivo). The quadrature mode is the most efficient and it excites the central brain regions; the opposite-phase mode excites the brain peripheral regions; anti-quadrature mode excites the head periphery; and the zero-phase mode excites cerebellum and temporal lobes. Using this RF array, up to five eigenmodes (from five different Z levels) can be simultaneously excited. The superposition of these modes has the potential to produce homogeneous excitation with full brain coverage and low levels of SAR at 7T MRI.

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<![CDATA[Differential Susceptibility of Interneurons Expressing Neuropeptide Y or Parvalbumin in the Aged Hippocampus to Acute Seizure Activity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9fab0ee8fa60ba51b9

Acute seizure (AS) activity in old age has an increased predisposition for evolving into temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Furthermore, spontaneous seizures and cognitive dysfunction after AS activity are often intense in the aged population than in young adults. This could be due to an increased vulnerability of inhibitory interneurons in the aged hippocampus to AS activity. We investigated this issue by comparing the survival of hippocampal GABA-ergic interneurons that contain the neuropeptide Y (NPY) or the calcium binding protein parvalbumin (PV) between young adult (5-months old) and aged (22-months old) F344 rats at 12 days after three-hours of AS activity. Graded intraperitoneal injections of the kainic acid (KA) induced AS activity and a diazepam injection at 3 hours after the onset terminated AS-activity. Measurement of interneuron numbers in different hippocampal subfields revealed that NPY+ interneurons were relatively resistant to AS activity in the aged hippocampus in comparison to the young adult hippocampus. Whereas, PV+ interneurons were highly susceptible to AS activity in both age groups. However, as aging alone substantially depleted these populations, the aged hippocampus after three-hours of AS activity exhibited 48% reductions in NPY+ interneurons and 70% reductions in PV+ interneurons, in comparison to the young hippocampus after similar AS activity. Thus, AS activity-induced TLE in old age is associated with far fewer hippocampal NPY+ and PV+ interneuron numbers than AS-induced TLE in the young adult age. This discrepancy likely underlies the severe spontaneous seizures and cognitive dysfunction observed in the aged people after AS activity.

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<![CDATA[Brain Connectivity Variation Topography Associated with Working Memory]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadcab0ee8fa60bba486

Brain connectivity analysis plays an essential role in the research of working memory that involves complex coordination of various brain regions. In this research, we present a comprehensive view of trans-states brain connectivity variation based on continuous scalp EEG, extending beyond traditional stimuli-lock averaging or restriction to short time scales of hundreds of milliseconds after stimulus onset. The scalp EEG was collected under three conditions: quiet, memory, and control. The only difference between the memory and control conditions was that in the memory condition, subjects made an effort to retain information. We started our investigation with calibrations of Pearson correlation in EEG analysis and then derived two indices, link strength and node connectivity, to make comparisons between different states. Finally, we constructed and studied trans-state brain connectivity variation topography. Comparing memory and control states with quiet state, we found that the beta topography highlights links between T5/T6 and O1/O2, which represents the visual ventral stream, and the gamma topography conveys strengthening of inter-hemisphere links and weakening of intra-hemisphere frontal-posterior links, implying parallel inter-hemisphere coordination combined with sequential intra-hemisphere coordination when subjects are confronted with visual stimuli and a motor task. For comparison between memory and control states, we also found that the node connectivity of T6 stands out in gamma topography, which provides strong proof from scalp EEG for the information binding or relational processing function of the temporal lobe in memory formation. To our knowledge, this is the first time for any method to effectively capture brain connectivity variation associated with working memory from a relatively large scale both in time (from a second to a minute) and in space (from the scalp). The method can track brain activity continuously with minimal manual interruptions; therefore, it has promising potential in applications such as brain computer interfaces and brain training.

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<![CDATA[Profiles of Multidrug Resistance Protein-1 in the Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells of Patients with Refractory Epilepsy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db48ab0ee8fa60bd93df

Background

About one third of patients with epilepsy become refractory to therapy despite receiving adequate medical treatment, possibly from multidrug resistance. P-glycoprotein, encoded by multidrug resistance protein-1 (MDR1) gene, at the blood brain barrier is considered as a major factor mediating drug efflux and contributing to resistance. Given that peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNCs) express MDR1, we investigated a MDR1 status of PBMNCs in various subsets of epilepsy patients and demonstrated their association with clinical characteristics.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Clinical and MDR1 data were collected from 140 patients with epilepsy, 30 healthy volunteers, and 20 control patients taking anti-epileptic drugs. PBMNCs were isolated, and basal MDR1 levels and MDR1 conformational change levels were measured by flow cytometry. MDR1 profiles were analyzed according to various clinical parameters, including seizure frequency and number of medications used in epilepsy patients. Epilepsy patients had a higher basal MDR1 level than non-epilepsy groups (p<0.01). Among epilepsy patients, there is a tendency for higher seizure frequency group to have higher basal MDR1 level (p = 0.059). The MDR1 conformational change level was significantly higher in the high-medication-use group than the low-use group (p = 0.028). Basal MDR1 (OR = 1.16 [95% CI: 1.060–1.268]) and conformational change level (OR = 1.11 [95% CI: 1.02–1.20]) were independent predictors for seizure frequency and number of medications, respectively.

Conclusions/Significance

The MDR1 profile of PBMNCs is associated with seizure frequency and medication conditions in patients with epilepsy.

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<![CDATA[Impact of Corticosterone Treatment on Spontaneous Seizure Frequency and Epileptiform Activity in Mice with Chronic Epilepsy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa9ab0ee8fa60ba8889

Stress is the most commonly reported precipitating factor for seizures in patients with epilepsy. Despite compelling anecdotal evidence for stress-induced seizures, animal models of the phenomena are sparse and possible mechanisms are unclear. Here, we tested the hypothesis that increased levels of the stress-associated hormone corticosterone (CORT) would increase epileptiform activity and spontaneous seizure frequency in mice rendered epileptic following pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus. We monitored video-EEG activity in pilocarpine-treated mice 24/7 for a period of four or more weeks, during which animals were serially treated with CORT or vehicle. CORT increased the frequency and duration of epileptiform events within the first 24 hours of treatment, and this effect persisted for up to two weeks following termination of CORT injections. Interestingly, vehicle injection produced a transient spike in CORT levels – presumably due to the stress of injection – and a modest but significant increase in epileptiform activity. Neither CORT nor vehicle treatment significantly altered seizure frequency; although a small subset of animals did appear responsive. Taken together, our findings indicate that treatment of epileptic animals with exogenous CORT designed to mimic chronic stress can induce a persistent increase in interictal epileptiform activity.

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<![CDATA[Hippocampal Desynchronization of Functional Connectivity Prior to the Onset of Status Epilepticus in Pilocarpine-Treated Rats]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac0ab0ee8fa60bb06e9

Status epilepticus (SE), a pro-epileptogenic brain insult in rodent models of temporal lobe epilepsy, is successfully induced by pilocarpine in some, but not all, rats. This study aimed to identify characteristic alterations within the hippocampal neural network prior to the onset of SE. Sixteen microwire electrodes were implanted into the left hippocampus of male Sprague-Dawley rats. After a 7-day recovery period, animal behavior, hippocampal neuronal ensemble activities, and local field potentials (LFP) were recorded before and after an intra-peritoneal injection of pilocarpine (350 mg/kg). The single-neuron firing, population neuronal correlation, and coincident firing between neurons were compared between SE (n = 9) and nonSE rats (n = 12). A significant decrease in the strength of functional connectivity prior to the onset of SE, as measured by changes in coincident spike timing between pairs of hippocampal neurons, was exclusively found in SE rats. However, single-neuron firing and LFP profiles did not show a significant difference between SE and nonSE rats. These results suggest that desynchronization in the functional circuitry of the hippocampus, likely associated with a change in synaptic strength, may serve as an electrophysiological marker prior to SE in pilocarpine-treated rats.

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<![CDATA[Prefrontal Lobe Brain Reserve Capacity with Resistance to Higher Global Amyloid Load and White Matter Hyperintensity Burden in Mild Stage Alzheimer’s Disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da79ab0ee8fa60b97ac2

Background

Amyloid deposition and white matter lesions (WMLs) in Alzheimer's disease (AD) are both considered clinically significant while a larger brain volume is thought to provide greater brain reserve (BR) against these pathological effects. This study identified the topography showing BR in patients with mild AD and explored the clinical balances among BR, amyloid, and WMLs burden.

Methods

Thirty patients with AD were enrolled, and AV-45 positron emission tomography was conducted to measure the regional standardized uptake value ratio (SUVr) in 8 cortical volumes-of- interests (VOIs). The quantitative WMLs burden was measured from magnetic resonance imaging while the normalized VOIs volumes represented BR in this study. The cognitive test represented major clinical correlates.

Results

Significant correlations between the prefrontal volume and global (r = 0.470, p = 0.024), but not regional (r = 0.264, p = 0.223) AV-45 SUVr were found. AD patients having larger regional volume in the superior- (r = 0.572, p = 0.004), superior medial- (r = 0.443, p = 0.034), and middle-prefrontal (r = 0.448, p = 0.032) regions had higher global AV-45 SUVr. For global WML loads, the prefrontal (r = -0.458, p = 0.019) and hippocampal volume (r = -0.469, p = 0.016) showed significant correlations while the prefrontal (r = -0.417, p = 0.043) or hippocampal volume (r = -0.422, p = 0.04) also predicted better composite memory scores. There were no interactions between amyloid SUVr and WML loads on the prefrontal volume.

Conclusions

BR of the prefrontal region might modulate the adverse global pathological burden caused by amyloid deposition. While prefrontal volume positively associated with hippocampal volume, WMLs had an adverse impact on the hippocampal volume that predicts memory performance in mild stage AD.

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<![CDATA[Heterogeneous Aging Effects on Functional Connectivity in Different Cortical Regions: A Resting-State Functional MRI Study Using Functional Data Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db49ab0ee8fa60bd989c

Brain aging is a complex and heterogeneous process characterized by the selective loss and preservation of brain functions. This study examines the normal aging effects on the cerebral cortex by characterizing changes in functional connectivity using resting-state fMRI data. Previous resting-state fMRI studies on normal aging have examined specific networks of the brain, whereas few studies have examined cortical-cortical connectivities across the entire brain. To characterize the effects of normal aging on the cerebral cortex, we proposed the Pearson functional product-moment correlation coefficient for measuring functional connectivity, which has advantages over the traditional correlation coefficient. The distinct patterns of changes in functional connectivity within and among the four cerebral lobes clarified the effects of normal aging on cortical function. Besides, the advantages of the proposed approach over other methods considered were demonstrated through simulation comparisons. The results showed heterogeneous changes in functional connectivity in normal aging. Specifically, the elderly group exhibited enhanced inter-lobe connectivity between the frontal lobe and the other lobes. Inter-lobe connectivity decreased between the temporal and parietal lobes. The results support the frontal aging hypothesis proposed in behavioral and structural MRI studies. In conclusion, functional correlation analysis enables differentiation of changes in functional connectivities and characterizes the heterogeneous aging effects in different cortical regions.

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<![CDATA[Decreased Functional Connectivity of Homotopic Brain Regions in Chronic Stroke Patients: A Resting State fMRI Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da43ab0ee8fa60b8ab13

The recovery of motor functions is accompanied by brain reorganization, and identifying the inter-hemispheric interaction post stroke will conduce to more targeted treatments. However, the alterations of bi-hemispheric coordination pattern between homologous areas in the whole brain for chronic stroke patients were still unclear. The present study focuses on the functional connectivity (FC) of mirror regions of the whole brain to investigate the inter-hemispheric interaction using a new fMRI method named voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC). Thirty left subcortical chronic stroke patients with pure motor deficits and 37 well-matched healthy controls (HCs) underwent resting-state fMRI scans. We employed a VMHC analysis to determine the brain areas showed significant differences between groups in FC between homologous regions, and we explored the relationships between the mean VMHC of each survived area and clinical tests within patient group using Pearson correlation. In addition, the brain areas showed significant correlations between the mean VMHC and clinical tests were defined as the seed regions for whole brain FC analysis. Relative to HCs, patients group displayed lower VMHC in the precentral gyrus, postcentral gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, middle temporal gyrus, calcarine gyrus, thalamus, cerebellum anterior lobe, and cerebellum posterior lobe (CPL). Moreover, the VMHC of CPL was positively correlated with the Fugl–Meyer Score of hand (FMA-H), while a negative correlation between illness duration and the VMHC of this region was also detected. Furthermore, we found that when compared with HCs, the right CPL exhibited reduced FC with the left precentral gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, inferior parietal lobule, middle temporal gyrus, thalamus and hippocampus. Our results suggest that the functional coordination across hemispheres is impaired in chronic stroke patients, and increased VMHC of the CPL is significantly associated with higher FMA-H scores. These findings may be helpful in understanding the mechanism of hand deficit after stroke, and the CPL may serve as a target region for hand rehabilitation following stroke.

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<![CDATA[The value of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging for detecting epileptogenic zones in patients with focal epilepsy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc88a

Objective

To determine the value of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI) based on the local analysis methods regional homogeneity (ReHo), amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF), and fractional ALFF (fALFF), for detecting epileptogenic zones (EZs).

Methods

A total of 42 consecutive patients with focal epilepsy were enrolled. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) of visually assessed RS-fMRI, MRI, magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), video electroencephalography (VEEG), and positron-emission tomography computed tomography (PET-CT) in EZ localization were evaluated to assess their diagnostic abilities. ReHo, ALFF, and fALFF were also compared for their diagnostic values.

Results

RS-fMRI showed comparable sensitivity to PET (83.3%) and specificity to VEEG (66.7%), respectively, for EZ localization in patients with focal epilepsy. There were no significant differences between RS-fMRI and the other localization techniques in terms of sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV. The sensitivities of ReHo, ALFF, and fALFF were 69.4%, 52.8%, and 38.9%, respectively, and for specificities of 66.7%, 83.3%, and 66.7%, respectively. There were no significant differences among ReHo, ALFF, and fALFF, except that ReHo was more sensitive than fALFF.

Conclusions

RS-fMRI may be an efficient tool for detecting EZs in focal epilepsy patients.

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<![CDATA[Representing Representation: Integration between the Temporal Lobe and the Posterior Cingulate Influences the Content and Form of Spontaneous Thought]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e4ab0ee8fa60b6abf2

When not engaged in the moment, we often spontaneously represent people, places and events that are not present in the environment. Although this capacity has been linked to the default mode network (DMN), it remains unclear how interactions between the nodes of this network give rise to particular mental experiences during spontaneous thought. One hypothesis is that the core of the DMN integrates information from medial and lateral temporal lobe memory systems, which represent different aspects of knowledge. Individual differences in the connectivity between temporal lobe regions and the default mode network core would then predict differences in the content and form of people’s spontaneous thoughts. This study tested this hypothesis by examining the relationship between seed-based functional connectivity and the contents of spontaneous thought recorded in a laboratory study several days later. Variations in connectivity from both medial and lateral temporal lobe regions was associated with different patterns of spontaneous thought and these effects converged on an overlapping region in the posterior cingulate cortex. We propose that the posterior core of the DMN acts as a representational hub that integrates information represented in medial and lateral temporal lobe and this process is important in determining the content and form of spontaneous thought.

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<![CDATA[VEGF Receptor-2 (Flk-1) Overexpression in Mice Counteracts Focal Epileptic Seizures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da6fab0ee8fa60b942e7

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was first described as an angiogenic agent, but has recently also been shown to exert various neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects in the nervous system. These effects of VEGF are mainly mediated by its receptor, VEGFR-2, which is also referred to as the fetal liver kinase receptor 1 (Flk-1). VEGF is up-regulated in neurons and glial cells after epileptic seizures and counteracts seizure-induced neurodegeneration. In vitro, VEGF administration suppresses ictal and interictal epileptiform activity caused by AP4 and 0 Mg2+ via Flk-1 receptor. We therefore explored whether increased VEGF signaling through Flk-1 overexpression may regulate epileptogenesis and ictogenesis in vivo. To this extent, we used transgenic mice overexpressing Flk-1 postnatally in neurons. Intriguingly, Flk-1 overexpressing mice were characterized by an elevated threshold for seizure induction and a decreased duration of focal afterdischarges, indicating anti-ictal action. On the other hand, the kindling progression in these mice was similar to wild-type controls. No significant effects on blood vessels or glia cells, as assessed by Glut1 and GFAP immunohistochemistry, were detected. These results suggest that increased VEGF signaling via overexpression of Flk-1 receptors may directly affect seizure activity even without altering angiogenesis. Thus, Flk-1 could be considered as a novel target for developing future gene therapy strategies against ictal epileptic activity.

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<![CDATA[Association of Common Polymorphisms in the Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Alpha4 Subunit Gene with an Electrophysiological Endophenotype in a Large Population-Based Sample]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da17ab0ee8fa60b7bb1a

Variation in genes coding for nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits affect cognitive processes and may contribute to the genetic architecture of neuropsychiatric disorders. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the CHRNA4 gene that codes for the alpha4 subunit of alpha4/beta2-containing receptors have previously been implicated in aspects of (mostly visual) attention and smoking-related behavioral measures. Here we investigated the effects of six synonymous but functional CHRNA4 exon 5 SNPs on the N100 event-related potential (ERP), an electrophysiological endophenotype elicited by a standard auditory oddball. A total of N = 1,705 subjects randomly selected from the general population were studied with electroencephalography (EEG) as part of the German Multicenter Study on nicotine addiction. Two of the six variants, rs1044396 and neighboring rs1044397, were significantly associated with N100 amplitude. This effect was pronounced in females where we also observed an effect on reaction time. Sequencing of the complete exon 5 region in the population sample excluded the existence of additional/functional variants that may be responsible for the observed effects. This is the first large-scale population-based study investigation the effects of CHRNA4 SNPs on brain activity measures related to stimulus processing and attention. Our results provide further evidence that common synonymous CHRNA4 exon 5 SNPs affect cognitive processes and suggest that they also play a role in the auditory system. As N100 amplitude reduction is considered a schizophrenia-related endophenotype the SNPs studied here may also be associated with schizophrenia outcome measures.

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<![CDATA[GABAergic Neuron Deficit As An Idiopathic Generalized Epilepsy Mechanism: The Role Of BRD2 Haploinsufficiency In Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3aab0ee8fa60b877a6

Idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE) syndromes represent about 30% of all epilepsies. They have strong, but elusive, genetic components and sex-specific seizure expression. Multiple linkage and population association studies have connected the bromodomain-containing gene BRD2 to forms of IGE. In mice, a null mutation at the homologous Brd2 locus results in embryonic lethality while heterozygous Brd2+/− mice are viable and overtly normal. However, using the flurothyl model, we now show, that compared to the Brd2+/+ littermates, Brd2+/− males have a decreased clonic, and females a decreased tonic-clonic, seizure threshold. Additionally, long-term EEG/video recordings captured spontaneous seizures in three out of five recorded Brd2+/− female mice. Anatomical analysis of specific regions of the brain further revealed significant differences in Brd2+/− vs +/+ mice. Specifically, there were decreases in the numbers of GABAergic (parvalbumin- or GAD67-immunopositive) neurons along the basal ganglia pathway, i.e., in the neocortex and striatum of Brd2+/− mice, compared to Brd2+/+ mice. There were also fewer GABAergic neurons in the substantia nigra reticulata (SNR), yet there was a minor, possibly compensatory increase in the GABA producing enzyme GAD67 in these SNR cells. Further, GAD67 expression in the superior colliculus and ventral medial thalamic nucleus, the main SNR outputs, was significantly decreased in Brd2+/− mice, further supporting GABA downregulation. Our data show that the non-channel-encoding, developmentally critical Brd2 gene is associated with i) sex-specific increases in seizure susceptibility, ii) the development of spontaneous seizures, and iii) seizure-related anatomical changes in the GABA system, supporting BRD2's involvement in human IGE.

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<![CDATA[Human Fetal Brain-Derived Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells Grafted into the Adult Epileptic Brain Restrain Seizures in Rat Models of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad8ab0ee8fa60bb8f30

Cell transplantation has been suggested as an alternative therapy for temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) because this can suppress spontaneous recurrent seizures in animal models. To evaluate the therapeutic potential of human neural stem/progenitor cells (huNSPCs) for treating TLE, we transplanted huNSPCs, derived from an aborted fetal telencephalon at 13 weeks of gestation and expanded in culture as neurospheres over a long time period, into the epileptic hippocampus of fully kindled and pilocarpine-treated adult rats exhibiting TLE. In vitro, huNSPCs not only produced all three central nervous system neural cell types, but also differentiated into ganglionic eminences-derived γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic interneurons and released GABA in response to the depolarization induced by a high K+ medium. NSPC grafting reduced behavioral seizure duration, afterdischarge duration on electroencephalograms, and seizure stage in the kindling model, as well as the frequency and the duration of spontaneous recurrent motor seizures in pilocarpine-induced animals. However, NSPC grafting neither improved spatial learning or memory function in pilocarpine-treated animals. Following transplantation, grafted cells showed extensive migration around the injection site, robust engraftment, and long-term survival, along with differentiation into β-tubulin III+ neurons (∼34%), APC-CC1+ oligodendrocytes (∼28%), and GFAP+ astrocytes (∼8%). Furthermore, among donor-derived cells, ∼24% produced GABA. Additionally, to explain the effect of seizure suppression after NSPC grafting, we examined the anticonvulsant glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) levels in host hippocampal astrocytes and mossy fiber sprouting into the supragranular layer of the dentate gyrus in the epileptic brain. Grafted cells restored the expression of GDNF in host astrocytes but did not reverse the mossy fiber sprouting, eliminating the latter as potential mechanism. These results suggest that human fetal brain-derived NSPCs possess some therapeutic effect for TLE treatments although further studies to both increase the yield of NSPC grafts-derived functionally integrated GABAergic neurons and improve cognitive deficits are still needed.

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<![CDATA[Different Emotional Disturbances in Two Experimental Models of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy in Rats]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa0ab0ee8fa60ba5921

Affective symptoms such as anxiety and depression are frequently observed in patients with epilepsy. The mechanisms of comorbidity of epilepsy and affective disorders, however, remain unclear. Diverse models are traditionally used in epilepsy research, including the status epilepticus (SE) model in rats, which are aimed at generating chronic epileptic animals; however, the implications of different SE models and rat strains in emotional behaviors has not been reported. To address this issue, we examined the emotional sequelae of two SE models of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) – the lithium-pilocarpine (LIP) model and the kainic acid (KA) model – in two different rat strains (Wistar and Sprague-Dawley), which differ significantly in the pattern and extent of TLE-associated brain lesions. We found differences between LIP- and KA-treated animals in tests for depression-like and anxiety-like behaviors, as well as differences in plasma corticosterone levels. Whereas only LIP-treated rats displayed increased motivation to consume saccharin, both SE models led to reduced motivation for social contact, with LIP-treated animals being particularly affected. Evaluation of behavior in the open field test indicated very low levels of anxiety in LIP-treated rats and a mild decrease in KA-treated rats compared to controls. After exposure to a battery of behavioral tests, plasma corticosterone levels were increased only in LIP-treated animals. This hyperactivity in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis was highly correlated with performance in the open field test and the social interaction test, suggesting that comorbidity of epilepsy and emotional behaviors might also be related to other factors such as HPA axis function. Our results indicate that altered emotional behaviors are not inherent to the epileptic condition in experimental TLE; instead, they likely reflect alterations in anxiety levels related to model-dependent dysregulation of the HPA axis.

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<![CDATA[Schizophrenia Patients Demonstrate Both Inter-Voxel Level and Intra-Voxel Level White Matter Alterations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da8bab0ee8fa60b9de28

Fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) are the most frequently used metrics to investigate white matter impairments in mental disorders. However, these two metrics are derived from intra-voxel analyses and only reflect the diffusion properties solely within the voxel unit. Local diffusion homogeneity (LDH) is a newly developed inter-voxel metric which quantifies the local coherence of water molecule diffusion in a model-free manner. In this study, 94 schizophrenia patients and 91 sex- and age-matched healthy controls underwent diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) examinations. White matter integrity was assessed by FA, MD and LDH. Group differences in these metrics were compared using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS). Compared with healthy controls, schizophrenia patients exhibited reduced FA and increased MD in the corpus callosum, cingulum, internal capsule, fornix and widespread superficial white matter in the frontal, parietal, occipital and temporal lobes. We also found decreased LDH in the corpus callosum, cingulum, internal capsule and fornix in schizophrenia. Our findings suggest that both intra-voxel and inter-voxel diffusion metrics are able to detect impairments in the anisotropic white matter regions, and intra-voxel diffusion metrics could detect additional impairments in the widespread isotropic white matter regions in schizophrenia.

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<![CDATA[Decreased Fronto-Temporal Interaction during Fixation after Memory Retrieval]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da22ab0ee8fa60b7f7b2

Previous studies have revealed top-down control during memory retrieval from the prefrontal cortex to the temporal cortex. In the present functional MRI study, we investigated whether the fronto-temporal functional interaction occurs even during fixation periods after memory retrieval trials. During recency judgments, subjects judged the temporal order of two items in a study list. The task used in the present study consisted of memory trials of recency judgments and non-memory trials of counting dots, and post-trial fixation periods. By comparing the brain activity during the fixation periods after the memory trials with that during the fixation periods after the non-memory trials, we detected heightened brain activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex, the lateral temporal cortex and the hippocampus. Functional interactions during the fixation periods after the memory vs. non-memory trials as examined using a psychophysiological interaction revealed a decreased interaction from the lateral prefrontal cortex to the lateral temporal cortex, but not to the hippocampus. The functional interaction between the same frontal and temporal regions was also present during the memory trials. A trial-based functional connectivity analysis further revealed that the fronto-temporal interaction was positive and decreased during the fixation periods after the memory trials, relative to the fixation periods after the non-memory trials. These results suggest that the fronto-temporal interaction existed during the post-trial fixation periods, which had been present during the memory trials and temporally extended into the fixation periods.

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