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Neuroplastic training

Maria Pasquini, Stefano Lai, Cristina Spalletti, Marina Cracchiolo, Sara Conti, Alessandro Panarese, Matteo Caleo, Silvestro Micera
Rodent models are decisive for translational research in healthy and pathological conditions of motor function thanks to specific similarities with humans. Here, we present an upgraded version of the M-Platform, a robotic device previously designed to train mice during forelimb retraction tasks. This new version significantly extend its possibilities for murine experiments during motor tasks: (a) an actuation system for friction adjustment allows to automatically adapt pulling difficulty; (b) the device can be used both for training, with a retraction task, and for assessment, with an isometric task; (c) the platform can be integrated with a neurophysiology systems to record simultaneous cortical neural activity...
August 8, 2018: IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Yu-Chi Huang, Tun-Wei Hsu, Chau-Peng Leong, Han-Chin Hsieh, Wei-Che Lin
Background: Early detection and intervention for post-stroke dysphagia could reduce the incidence of pulmonary complications and mortality. The aims of this study were to investigate the benefits of swallowing therapy in swallowing function and brain neuro-plasticity and to explore the relationship between swallowing function recovery and neuroplasticity after swallowing therapy in cerebral and brainstem stroke patients with dysphagia. Methods: We collected 17 subacute stroke patients with dysphagia (11 cerebral stroke patients with a median age of 76 years and 6 brainstem stroke patients with a median age of 70 years)...
2018: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Abel Torres-Espín, Eric Beaudry, Keith Fenrich, Karim Fouad
Rehabilitative motor training is currently one of the most widely used approaches to promote moderate recovery following injuries of the central nervous system. Such training is generally applied in the clinical setting, whereas it is not standard in preclinical research. This is a concern as it is becoming increasingly apparent that neuroplasticity enhancing treatments require training or some form of activity as a co-therapy to promote functional recovery. Despite the importance of training and the many open questions regarding its mechanistic consequences, its use in preclinical animal models is rather limited...
August 15, 2018: Journal of Neurotrauma
Weitao Zhang, Fangshi Zhao, Wen Qin, Lin Ma
Recent resting-state fMRI studies have revealed neuroplastic alterations after long-term training. However, the neuroplastic changes that occur in professional traditional Chinese Pingju opera actors remain unclear. Twenty professional traditional Chinese Pingju opera actors and 20 age-, sex-, and handedness-matched laymen were recruited. Resting-state fMRI was obtained by using an echo-planar imaging sequence, and two metrics, amplitude of low frequency fluctuation (ALFF) and regional homogeneity (ReHo), were utilized to assess spontaneous neural activity during resting state...
2018: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Jed A Diekfuss, Dustin R Grooms, Weihong Yuan, Jonathan Dudley, Kim D Barber Foss, Staci Thomas, Jonathan D Ellis, Daniel K Schneider, James Leach, Scott Bonnette, Gregory D Myer
OBJECTIVES: We aimed to present a unique prospective neurological dataset for participants who experienced an ACL injury. DESIGN: Prospective longitudinal case-control. METHODS: High school female soccer athletes were evaluated using functional magnetic resonance imaging to capture resting-state brain connectivity prior to their competitive season. Two of these athletes later experienced an ACL injury (ACLI). We matched these ACLI participants with eight teammates who did not go on to sustain an ACL injury (uninjured controls, Con) based on age, grade, sex, height, and weight to examine differences in preseason connectivity...
July 10, 2018: Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Kathrin Rehfeld, Angie Lüders, Anita Hökelmann, Volkmar Lessmann, Joern Kaufmann, Tanja Brigadski, Patrick Müller, Notger G Müller
Animal research indicates that a combination of physical activity and sensory enrichment has the largest and the only sustaining effect on adult neuroplasticity. Dancing has been suggested as a human homologue to this combined intervention as it poses demands on both physical and cognitive functions. For the present exploratory study, we designed an especially challenging dance program in which our elderly participants constantly had to learn novel and increasingly difficult choreographies. This six-month-long program was compared to conventional fitness training matched for intensity...
2018: PloS One
Ann-Kathrin Rogge, Brigitte Röder, Astrid Zech, Kirsten Hötting
Physical exercise has been shown to induce structural plasticity in the human brain and to enhance cognitive functions. While previous studies focused on aerobic exercise, suggesting a link between increased cardiorespiratory fitness and exercise-induced neuroplasticity, recent findings have suggested that whole-body exercise with minor metabolic demands elicits beneficial effects on brain structure as well. In the present study, we tested if balance training, challenging the sensory-motor system and vestibular self-motion perception, induces structural plasticity...
October 1, 2018: NeuroImage
Glen M Doniger, Michal Schnaider Beeri, Alex Bahar-Fuchs, Amihai Gottlieb, Anastasia Tkachov, Hagar Kenan, Abigail Livny, Yotam Bahat, Hadar Sharon, Oran Ben-Gal, Maya Cohen, Gabi Zeilig, Meir Plotnik
Introduction: Ubiquity of Alzheimer's disease (AD) coupled with relatively ineffectual pharmacologic treatments has spurred interest in nonpharmacologic lifestyle interventions for prevention or risk reduction. However, evidence of neuroplasticity notwithstanding, there are few scientifically rigorous, ecologically relevant brain training studies focused on building cognitive reserve in middle age to protect against cognitive decline. This pilot study will examine the ability of virtual reality (VR) cognitive training to improve cognition and cerebral blood flow (CBF) in middle-aged individuals at high AD risk due to parental history...
2018: Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions
K Hoorelbeke, E H W Koster
2007 marks a shift in scientific literature on the cognitive vulnerabilities of depression. Preceded by a vast amount of studies exploring neuroplasticity and cognitive transfer effects, Siegle e.a. (Cognit Ther Res 2007; 31: 235-62) published the findings of a proof-of-principle study in which cognitive control training (cct) was applied to treat depression. This denotes an evolution towards clinically oriented cct studies targeting reduction of the vulnerability mechanisms of depression. Following this publication, several studies tested the effects of cct on emotional vulnerability...
2018: Tijdschrift Voor Psychiatrie
Elisa H Kozasa, Joana B Balardin, João Ricardo Sato, Khallil Taverna Chaim, Shirley S Lacerda, João Radvany, Luiz Eugênio A M Mello, Edson Amaro
Meditation as a cognitive enhancement technique is of growing interest in the field of health and research on brain function. The Stroop Word-Color Task (SWCT) has been adapted for neuroimaging studies as an interesting paradigm for the understanding of cognitive control mechanisms. Performance in the SWCT requires both attention and impulse control, which is trained in meditation practices. We presented SWCT inside the MRI equipment to measure the performance of meditators compared with non-meditators before and after a meditation retreat...
2018: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
D Mercerón-Martínez, W Almaguer-Melian, E Alberti-Amador, J A Bergado
The relationships between affective and cognitive processes are an important issue of present neuroscience. The amygdala, the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex appear as main players in these mechanisms. We have shown that post-training electrical stimulation of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) speeds the acquisition of a motor skill, and produces a recovery in behavioral performance related to spatial memory in fimbria-fornix (FF) lesioned animals. BLA electrical stimulation rises bdnf RNA expression, BDNF protein levels, and arc RNA expression in the hippocampus...
June 19, 2018: Brain Research Bulletin
M Kent, S Scott, S Lambert, E Kirk, B Terhune-Cotter, B Thompson, S Neal, B Dozier, M Bardi, K Lambert
Prior research with a rat model of behavioral therapy [i.e., effort-based reward (EBR) contingency training] suggests that strengthened associations between physical effort and desired outcomes enhance neurobiological indices of resilience. In the current study, male and female Long-Evans rats were exposed to either six weeks of EBR training or noncontingent training prior to 10 days of exposure to chronic unpredictable stress (CUS). Subsequently, all animals were exposed to a problem-solving task and then trained in a spatial learning/foraging task, the Dry Land Maze (DLM)...
August 21, 2018: Neuroscience
Callum G Brownstein, Paul Ansdell, Jakob Škarabot, Ash Frazer, Dawson Kidgell, Glyn Howatson, Stuart Goodall, Kevin Thomas
NEW FINDINGS: What is the central question of this study? In order to discern information about testing modalities when assessing neuroplastic responses to squat resistance training, the present study investigated whether corticospinal and intracortical function was different between a joint-angle-matched isometric squat and isometric knee extension. What is the main finding and its importance? The present data show poor agreement of corticospinal and intracortical function between the isometric squat and isometric knee extension...
June 21, 2018: Experimental Physiology
Natalia Kowalczyk, Feng Shi, Mikolaj Magnuski, Maciek Skorko, Pawel Dobrowolski, Bartosz Kossowski, Artur Marchewka, Maksymilian Bielecki, Malgorzata Kossut, Aneta Brzezicka
Experienced video game players exhibit superior performance in visuospatial cognition when compared to non-players. However, very little is known about the relation between video game experience and structural brain plasticity. To address this issue, a direct comparison of the white matter brain structure in RTS (real time strategy) video game players (VGPs) and non-players (NVGPs) was performed. We hypothesized that RTS experience can enhance connectivity within and between occipital and parietal regions, as these regions are likely to be involved in the spatial and visual abilities that are trained while playing RTS games...
June 20, 2018: Human Brain Mapping
Dana M Otzel, Jimmy Lee, Fan Ye, Stephen E Borst, Joshua F Yarrow
Neuromuscular impairment and reduced musculoskeletal integrity are hallmarks of spinal cord injury (SCI) that hinder locomotor recovery. These impairments are precipitated by the neurological insult and resulting disuse, which has stimulated interest in activity-based physical rehabilitation therapies (ABTs) that promote neuromuscular plasticity after SCI. However, ABT efficacy declines as SCI severity increases. Additionally, many men with SCI exhibit low testosterone, which may exacerbate neuromusculoskeletal impairment...
June 7, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Fatma Inanici, Soshi Samejima, Parag Gad, V Reggie Edgerton, Christoph P Hofstetter, Chet T Moritz
Upper extremity function is the highest priority of tetraplegics for improving quality of life. We aim to determine the therapeutic potential of transcutaneous electrical spinal cord stimulation for restoration of upper extremity function. We tested the hypothesis that cervical stimulation can facilitate neuroplasticity that results in long-lasting improvement in motor control. A 62-year-old male with C3, incomplete, chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) participated in the study. The intervention comprised three alternating periods: 1) transcutaneous spinal stimulation combined with physical therapy (PT); 2) identical PT only; and 3) a brief combination of stimulation and PT once again...
June 2018: IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Kihwan Han, Sandra B Chapman, Daniel C Krawczyk
Cognitive control is the ability to coordinate thoughts and actions to achieve goals. Cognitive control impairments are one of the most persistent and devastating sequalae of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). There have been efforts to improve cognitive control in individuals with post-acute TBI. Several studies have reported changes in neuropsychological measures suggesting the efficacy of cognitive training in improving cognitive control. Yet, the neural substrates of improved cognitive control after training remains poorly understood...
2018: NeuroImage: Clinical
Roger Gassert, Volker Dietz
The past decades have seen rapid and vast developments of robots for the rehabilitation of sensorimotor deficits after damage to the central nervous system (CNS). Many of these innovations were technology-driven, limiting their clinical application and impact. Yet, rehabilitation robots should be designed on the basis of neurophysiological insights underlying normal and impaired sensorimotor functions, which requires interdisciplinary collaboration and background knowledge.Recovery of sensorimotor function after CNS damage is based on the exploitation of neuroplasticity, with a focus on the rehabilitation of movements needed for self-independence...
June 5, 2018: Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
A Pietrelli, L Matković, M Vacotto, J J Lopez-Costa, N Basso, A Brusco
Aerobic exercise (AE) benefits brain health and behavior. Serotonin (5-HT) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are known to mediate and shape cognitive processes. Both systems share some actions: BDNF is involved in the maturation and function of 5-HT neurons. In turn, 5-HT is involved in neuroplasticity phenomena mediated by BDNF and stimulated by exercise. The aim of this work was to study the long-term effects of AE on BDNF- 5-HT systems and cognitive function in rats at different ages. A lifelong moderate-intensity aerobic training program was designed, in which aerobically exercised (E) and sedentary control (C) rats were studied at middle (8 months) and old age (18 months) by means of biochemical, immunohistochemical and behavioral assays...
May 23, 2018: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Takako Fujioka, Deirdre R Dawson, Rebecca Wright, Kie Honjo, Joyce L Chen, J Jean Chen, Sandra E Black, Donald T Stuss, Bernhard Ross
Neuroplasticity accompanying learning is a key mediator of stroke rehabilitation. Training in playing music in healthy populations and patients with movement disorders requires resources within motor, sensory, cognitive, and affective systems, and coordination among these systems. We investigated effects of music-supported therapy (MST) in chronic stroke on motor, cognitive, and psychosocial functions compared to conventional physical training (GRASP). Twenty-eight adults with unilateral arm and hand impairment were randomly assigned to MST (n = 14) and GRASP (n = 14) and received 30 h of training over a 10-week period...
May 24, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
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