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Brain Sciences

Vinod K Ravikumar, Allen L Ho, Jonathon J Parker, Elizabeth Erickson-DiRenzo, Casey H Halpern
Tremulous voice is characteristically associated with essential tremor, and is referred to as essential vocal tremor (EVT). Current estimates suggest that up to 40% of individuals diagnosed with essential tremor also present with EVT, which is associated with an impaired quality of life. Traditional EVT treatments have demonstrated limited success in long-term management of symptoms. However, voice tremor has been noted to decrease in patients receiving deep brain stimulation (DBS) with the targeting of thalamic nuclei...
October 10, 2016: Brain Sciences
Francesca Pistoia, Simona Sacco, Janet Stewart, Marco Sarà, Antonio Carolei
The experience of pain in disorders of consciousness is still debated. Neuroimaging studies, using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), multichannel electroencephalography (EEG) and laser-evoked potentials, suggest that the perception of pain increases with the level of consciousness. Brain activation in response to noxious stimuli has been observed in patients with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS), which is also referred to as a vegetative state (VS), as well as those in a minimally conscious state (MCS)...
October 8, 2016: Brain Sciences
Adam M Nagy, Christopher M Tolleson
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a unique, functional neurosurgical therapy indicated for medication refractory movement disorders as well as some psychiatric diseases. Multicontact electrodes are placed in "deep" structures within the brain with targets varying depending on the surgical indication. An implanted programmable pulse generator supplies the electrodes with a chronic, high frequency electrical current that clinically mimics the effects of ablative lesioning techniques. DBS's efficacy has been well established for its movement disorder indications (Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, and dystonia)...
October 8, 2016: Brain Sciences
Alianna J Maren
Effective Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) require that the time-varying activation patterns of 2-D neural ensembles be modelled. The cluster variation method (CVM) offers a means for the characterization of 2-D local pattern distributions. This paper provides neuroscientists and BCI researchers with a CVM tutorial that will help them to understand how the CVM statistical thermodynamics formulation can model 2-D pattern distributions expressing structural and functional dynamics in the brain. The premise is that local-in-time free energy minimization works alongside neural connectivity adaptation, supporting the development and stabilization of consistent stimulus-specific responsive activation patterns...
September 30, 2016: Brain Sciences
Christian Ineichen, Heide Baumann-Vogel, Markus Christen
During the last 25 years, more than 100,000 patients have been treated with Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). While human clinical and animal preclinical research has shed light on the complex brain-signaling disturbances that underpin e.g., Parkinson's disease (PD), less information is available when it comes to complex psychosocial changes following DBS interventions. In this contribution, we propose to more thoroughly investigate complex personality-related changes following deep brain stimulation through refined and reliable instruments in order to help patients and their relatives in the post-surgery phase...
September 7, 2016: Brain Sciences
Fabiola Alonso, Malcolm A Latorre, Nathanael Göransson, Peter Zsigmond, Karin Wårdell
New deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrode designs offer operation in voltage and current mode and capability to steer the electric field (EF). The aim of the study was to compare the EF distributions of four DBS leads at equivalent amplitudes (3 V and 3.4 mA). Finite element method (FEM) simulations (n = 38) around cylindrical contacts (leads 3389, 6148) or equivalent contact configurations (leads 6180, SureStim1) were performed using homogeneous and patient-specific (heterogeneous) brain tissue models. Steering effects of 6180 and SureStim1 were compared with symmetric stimulation fields...
September 7, 2016: Brain Sciences
Lars Wojtecki, Stefan Jun Groiss, Christian Johannes Hartmann, Saskia Elben, Sonja Omlor, Alfons Schnitzler, Jan Vesper
Huntington's disease (HD) is one of the most disabling degenerative movement disorders, as it not only affects the motor system but also leads to cognitive disabilities and psychiatric symptoms. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the pallidum is a promising symptomatic treatment targeting the core motor symptom: chorea. This article gives an overview of preliminary evidence on pathophysiology, safety and efficacy of DBS in HD.
August 30, 2016: Brain Sciences
Brittany M Jeye, Jessica M Karanian, Scott D Slotnick
There is a long-standing debate as to whether recollection is a continuous/graded process or a threshold/all-or-none process. In the current spatial memory functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we examined the hippocampal activity distributions-the magnitude of activity as a function of memory strength-to determine the nature of processing in this region. During encoding, participants viewed abstract shapes in the left or right visual field. During retrieval, old shapes were presented at fixation and participants classified each shape as previously in the "left" or "right" visual field followed by an "unsure"-"sure"-"very sure" confidence rating...
August 26, 2016: Brain Sciences
Ridha Djemal, Ayad G Bazyed, Kais Belwafi, Sofien Gannouni, Walid Kaaniche
Over the last few decades, brain signals have been significantly exploited for brain-computer interface (BCI) applications. In this paper, we study the extraction of features using event-related desynchronization/synchronization techniques to improve the classification accuracy for three-class motor imagery (MI) BCI. The classification approach is based on combining the features of the phase and amplitude of the brain signals using fast Fourier transform (FFT) and autoregressive (AR) modeling of the reconstructed phase space as well as the modification of the BCI parameters (trial length, trial frequency band, classification method)...
August 23, 2016: Brain Sciences
Ladan Akbarian-Tefaghi, Ludvic Zrinzo, Thomas Foltynie
Tourette syndrome (TS) is a childhood neurobehavioural disorder, characterised by the presence of motor and vocal tics, typically starting in childhood but persisting in around 20% of patients into adulthood. In those patients who do not respond to pharmacological or behavioural therapy, deep brain stimulation (DBS) may be a suitable option for potential symptom improvement. This manuscript attempts to summarise the outcomes of DBS at different targets, explore the possible mechanisms of action of DBS in TS, as well as the potential of adaptive DBS...
August 19, 2016: Brain Sciences
Erwin B Montgomery, Huang He
The efficacy of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for an expanding array of neurological and psychiatric disorders demonstrates directly that DBS affects the basic electroneurophysiological mechanisms of the brain. The increasing array of active electrode configurations, stimulation currents, pulse widths, frequencies, and pulse patterns provides valuable tools to probe electroneurophysiological mechanisms. The extension of basic electroneurophysiological and anatomical concepts using sophisticated computational modeling and simulation has provided relatively straightforward explanations of all the DBS parameters except frequency...
August 17, 2016: Brain Sciences
Adam Basiago, Devin K Binder
Over the course of the development of deep brain stimulation (DBS) into a well-established therapy for Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, and dystonia, its utility as a potential treatment for autonomic dysfunction has emerged. Dysfunction of autonomic processes is common in neurological diseases. Depending on the specific target in the brain, DBS has been shown to raise or lower blood pressure, normalize the baroreflex, to alter the caliber of bronchioles, and eliminate hyperhidrosis, all through modulation of the sympathetic nervous system...
August 16, 2016: Brain Sciences
Catherine E Creeley
The fetal and neonatal periods are critical and sensitive periods for neurodevelopment, and involve rapid brain growth in addition to natural programmed cell death (i.e., apoptosis) and synaptic pruning. Apoptosis is an important process for neurodevelopment, preventing redundant, faulty, or unused neurons from cluttering the developing brain. However, animal studies have shown massive neuronal cell death by apoptosis can also be caused by exposure to several classes of drugs, namely gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) agonists and N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) antagonists that are commonly used in pediatric anesthesia...
August 16, 2016: Brain Sciences
Mariko Saito, Goutam Chakraborty, Maria Hui, Kurt Masiello, Mitsuo Saito
Ethanol induces neurodegeneration in the developing brain, which may partially explain the long-lasting adverse effects of prenatal ethanol exposure in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). While animal models of FASD show that ethanol-induced neurodegeneration is associated with glial activation, the relationship between glial activation and neurodegeneration has not been clarified. This review focuses on the roles of activated microglia and astrocytes in neurodegeneration triggered by ethanol in rodents during the early postnatal period (equivalent to the third trimester of human pregnancy)...
August 16, 2016: Brain Sciences
Abouch V Krymchantowski, Stewart J Tepper, Carla Jevoux, Marcelo M Valença
UNLABELLED: Medication-overuse headache (MOH) is a challenging neurological disease, which brings frustration for sufferers and treating physicians. The patient's lack of adherence and limited treatment evidence are frequent. The aim of this study was to compare the outcome and treatment strategies between consecutive MOH patients with daily and near-daily headache from a tertiary center. METHODS: Every consecutive patient seen between January and December 2014 with the diagnosis of MOH was included...
August 15, 2016: Brain Sciences
Fin Biering-Sørensen, Vanessa K Noonan
Increased survival after spinal cord injury (SCI) worldwide has enhanced the need for quality data that can be compared and shared between centers, countries, as well as across research studies, to better understand how best to prevent and treat SCI. Such data should be standardized and be able to be uniformly collected at any SCI center or within any SCI study. Standardization will make it possible to collect information from larger SCI populations for multi-center research studies. With this aim, the international SCI community has obtained consensus regarding the best available data and measures for use in SCI clinical practice and research...
August 12, 2016: Brain Sciences
Jean-Philippe Langevin, James W Y Chen, Ralph J Koek, David L Sultzer, Mark A Mandelkern, Holly N Schwartz, Scott E Krahl
The amygdala plays a critical role in emotion regulation. It could prove to be an effective neuromodulation target in the treatment of psychiatric conditions characterized by failure of extinction. We aim to describe our targeting technique, and intra-operative and post-operative electrodiagnostic findings associated with the placement of deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrodes in the amygdala. We used a transfrontal approach to implant DBS electrodes in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLn) of a patient suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder...
August 10, 2016: Brain Sciences
Yang Zhang, Bing Cheng, Tess K Koerner, Robert S Schlauch, Keita Tanaka, Masaki Kawakatsu, Iku Nemoto, Toshiaki Imada
This magnetoencephalography (MEG) study investigated evoked ON and OFF responses to ramped and damped sounds in normal-hearing human adults. Two pairs of stimuli that differed in spectral complexity were used in a passive listening task; each pair contained identical acoustical properties except for the intensity envelope. Behavioral duration judgment was conducted in separate sessions, which replicated the perceptual bias in favour of the ramped sounds and the effect of spectral complexity on perceived duration asymmetry...
August 5, 2016: Brain Sciences
Sangeetha Madhavan, Aishwarya Sriraman, Sally Freels
BACKGROUND: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is emerging as a promising adjuvant to enhance motor function. However, there has been increasing reservations about the reliability and variability of the neuromodulatory effects evoked by tDCS. OBJECTIVE/HYPOTHESIS: The main purpose of this study was to explore the test-retest reliability and inter-individual variability of tDCS of the lower limb M1 and the relationship between transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)-related measures and tDCS-induced changes...
July 27, 2016: Brain Sciences
Darin J Knapp, Kathryn M Harper, Buddy A Whitman, Zachary Zimomra, George R Breese
Stress is a strong risk factor in alcoholic relapse and may exert effects that mimic aspects of chronic alcohol exposure on neurobiological systems. With the neuroimmune system becoming a prominent focus in the study of the neurobiological consequences of stress, as well as chronic alcohol exposure proving to be a valuable focus in this regard, the present study sought to compare the effects of stress and chronic ethanol exposure on induction of components of the neuroimmune system. Rats were exposed to either 1 h exposure to a mild stressor (restraint) or exposure to withdrawal from 15 days of chronic alcohol exposure (i...
July 27, 2016: Brain Sciences
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