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New brain research

Sara M Freeman, Michelle C Palumbo, Rebecca H Lawrence, Aaron L Smith, Mark M Goodman, Karen L Bales
The prosocial hormone oxytocin (OXT) has become a new target for research on the etiology and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a condition characterized by deficits in social function. However, it remains unknown whether there are alterations in OXT receptor (OXTR) levels in the ASD brain. This study quantified the density of OXTR and of the structurally related vasopressin 1a receptor (AVPR1a) in postmortem brain tissue from individuals with ASD and typically developing individuals. We analyzed two regions known to contain OXTR across all primates studied to date: the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM), which mediates visual attention, and the superior colliculus, which controls gaze direction...
December 4, 2018: Translational Psychiatry
Fabio De Sio
Contemporary neurosciences have grown beyond the limits of a natural science. To its most vocal advocates, the study of the human brain can provide nothing short of the basis for a new science of man-the link between the "natural" and "human" sciences-as a simple consequence of the growing mass of facts relating to this most marvelous organ, accumulated in the last four decades. This straightforward picture of the growing import of the neurosciences simplifies and obscures the myriad different interpretations and images of "the brain" that have inspired the development of the neurosciences...
2018: Progress in Brain Research
Brian L Edlow
Consciousness may evade detection by bedside behavioral examination. New research suggests that an electrophysiologic screening tool can identify people with severe brain injuries who are likely to be covertly conscious.
December 3, 2018: Current Biology: CB
Pawel J Matusz, Nora Turoman, Ruxandra I Tivadar, Chrysa Retsa, Micah M Murray
In real-world environments, information is typically multisensory, and objects are a primary unit of information processing. Object recognition and action necessitate attentional selection of task-relevant from among task-irrelevant objects. However, the brain and cognitive mechanisms governing these processes remain not well understood. Here, we demonstrate that attentional selection of visual objects is controlled by integrated top-down audiovisual object representations ("attentional templates") while revealing a new brain mechanism through which they can operate...
December 4, 2018: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Norman Scheel, Eric Franke, Thomas F Münte, Amir Madany Mamlouk
Spontaneous fluctuations of resting-state functional connectivity have been studied in many ways, but grasping the complexity of brain activity has been difficult. Dimensional complexity measures, which are based on Eigenvalue (EV) spectrum analyses (e.g., Ω entropy) have been successfully applied to EEG data, but have not been fully evaluated on functional MRI recordings, because only through the recent introduction of fast multiband fMRI sequences, feasable temporal resolutions are reached. Combining the Eigenspectrum normalization of Ω entropy and the scalable architecture of the so called Multivariate Principal Subspace Entropy (MPSE) leads to a new complexity measure, namely normalized MPSE (nMPSE)...
2018: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Damien Gulliver, Eryn Werry, Tristan A Reekie, Timothy A Katte, William Jorgensen, Michael Kassiou
Deficits in social behavioral domains, such as interpersonal communication, emotion recognition, and empathy, are a characteristic symptom in several neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) has emerged as a key regulator of diverse social behaviors in vertebrates and, thus, has been identified as a potential therapeutic target for improving social dysfunction. In recent years, the field of OT research has seen an explosion of scientific inquiry, producing a more comprehensive picture of oxytocinergic signaling and the pathways that regulate its release and degradation in the brain...
November 30, 2018: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
N A Fineberg, Z Demetrovics, D J Stein, K Ioannidis, M N Potenza, E Grünblatt, M Brand, J Billieux, L Carmi, D L King, J E Grant, M Yücel, B Dell'Osso, H J Rumpf, N Hall, E Hollander, A Goudriaan, J Menchon, J Zohar, J Burkauskas, G Martinotti, M Van Ameringen, O Corazza, S Pallanti, S R Chamberlain
The Internet is now all-pervasive across much of the globe. While it has positive uses (e.g. prompt access to information, rapid news dissemination), many individuals develop Problematic Use of the Internet (PUI), an umbrella term incorporating a range of repetitive impairing behaviours. The Internet can act as a conduit for, and may contribute to, functionally impairing behaviours including excessive and compulsive video gaming, compulsive sexual behaviour, buying, gambling, streaming or social networks use...
November 2018: European Neuropsychopharmacology: the Journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Pengbo Zhang, Xue Wang, Weihang Zhang, Junfeng Chen
Mental workload assessment is essential for maintaining human health and preventing accidents. Most research on this issue is limited to a single task. However, cross-task assessment is indispensable for extending a pre-trained model to new workload conditions. Because brain dynamics are complex across different tasks, it is difficult to propose efficient human-designed features based on prior knowledge. Therefore, this study proposes a concatenated structure of deep recurrent and 3D convolutional neural networks (R3DCNN) to learn EEG features across different tasks without prior knowledge...
December 3, 2018: IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
E Garcia-Rill, S D'Onofrio, S Mahaffey, V Bisagno, F J Urbano
OBJECTIVES: This limited review examines the role of the reticular activating system (RAS), especially the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN), one site of origin of bottom-up gamma, in the symptoms of bipolar disorder (BD). METHODS: The expression of neuronal calcium sensor protein 1 (NCS-1) in the brains of BD patients is increased. It has recently been found that all PPN neurons manifest intrinsic membrane beta/gamma frequency oscillations mediated by high threshold calcium channels, suggesting that it is one source of bottom-up gamma...
December 1, 2018: Bipolar Disorders
Miriam E Bocarsly
Purpose of review: Obesity in the United States has been on a constant rise since the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began tracking it over 50 years ago. Despite focused attention on this epidemic, pharmacological treatments aimed at obesity are lacking. Here, we briefly give perspective on the central and peripheral mechanisms underlying feeding behaviors and describe the existing pharmacological treatments for obesity. With this lens, I suggest future targets for the treatment of obesity...
June 2018: Current Addiction Reports
Jessica A Wojtalik, Shaun M Eack, Matthew J Smith, Matcheri S Keshavan
Mental health interventions do not yet offer complete, client-defined functional recovery, and novel directions in treatment research are needed to improve the efficacy of available interventions. One promising direction is the integration of social work and cognitive neuroscience methods, which provides new opportunities for clinical intervention research that will guide development of more effective mental health treatments that holistically attend to the biological, social, and environmental contributors to disability and recovery...
2018: Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research
Ran Kim, Pilseog Kim, Chang Youn Lee, Seokyeon Lee, Hwayoung Yun, Min Young Lee, Jongmin Kim, Kyungmin Baek, Woochul Chang
Alternative medicines attract attention because stroke is rarely expected to make a full recovery with the most advanced medical technology. Angelica gigas (AG) is a well-known herbal medicine as a neuroprotective agent. The present study introduced mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to identify for the advanced treatment of the cerebrovascular disease. The objective of this research is validation of the enhanced effects of multiple combined treatment of AG extract with MSCs on stroke through angiogenesis. Our results confirmed that AG extract with MSCs improved the neovascularization increasing expression of angiogenesis-regulated molecules...
2018: Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Jonathon P Fanning, Louise E See Hoe, Margaret R Passmore, Adrian G Barnett, Nchafatso G Obonyo, Jonathan E Millar, Allan J Wesley, Jacky Y Suen, John F Fraser
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have consistently identified a high incidence of silent brain infarction (SBI) after cardiac intervention. The frequent occurrence, objective measurement and clinical sequelae of SBI have seen interest in their detection for both research and clinical purposes. However, MRI is expensive, time-consuming, unsafe in acutely-ill patients, and not always available, limiting its use as a routine screening tool. For this purpose, a blood biomarker of SBI would be the "Holy Grail...
November 6, 2018: American Journal of Cardiology
John P Powers, Kevin S LaBar
Distancing is a type of emotion regulation that involves simulating a new perspective to alter the psychological distance and emotional impact of a stimulus. The effectiveness and versatility of distancing relative to other types of emotion regulation make it a promising tool for clinical applications. However, the neurocognitive mechanisms of this tactic are unclear, and inconsistencies in terminology and methods across studies make it difficult to synthesize the literature. To promote more effective research, we propose a taxonomy of distancing within the broader context of emotion regulation strategies; review the effects of this tactic; and offer a preliminary neurocognitive model describing key cognitive processes and their neural bases...
November 28, 2018: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Cristina Trejo-Solís, Norma Serrano-Garcia, Ángel Escamilla-Ramírez, Rosa A Castillo-Rodríguez, Dolores Jimenez-Farfan, Guadalupe Palencia, Minerva Calvillo, Mayra A Alvarez-Lemus, Athenea Flores-Nájera, Arturo Cruz-Salgado, Julio Sotelo
Glioblastoma multiforme is the most malignant and aggressive type of brain tumor, with a mean life expectancy of less than 15 months. This is due in part to the high resistance to apoptosis and moderate resistant to autophagic cell death in glioblastoma cells, and to the poor therapeutic response to conventional therapies. Autophagic cell death represents an alternative mechanism to overcome the resistance of glioblastoma to pro-apoptosis-related therapies. Nevertheless, apoptosis induction plays a major conceptual role in several experimental studies to develop novel therapies against brain tumors...
November 27, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Eva-Maria Bendel, Christian F Kammerer, Nikolay Kardjilov, Vincent Fernandez, Jörg Fröbisch
Gorgonopsia is one of the major clades of non-mammalian synapsids, and includes an array of large-bodied carnivores that were the top terrestrial predators of the late Permian. Most research on the clade has focused on these largest members; small-bodied gorgonopsians are relatively little-studied. Here, we redescribe a small gorgonopsian skull (MB.R.999) from the late Permian (Tropidostoma Assemblage Zone) of South Africa on the basis of neutron and synchrotron CT reconstructions, which yield new data on internal cranial morphology in Gorgonopsia...
2018: PloS One
Kazuyoshi Tsutsui, Takayoshi Ubuka
It is essential to discover novel neuropeptides that regulate the functions of pituitary, brain and peripheral secretory glands for the progress of neuroendocrinology. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), a hypothalamic neuropeptide stimulating gonadotropin release was isolated and its structure was determined by Schally's and Guillemin's groups at the beginning of the 1970s. It was subsequently shown that GnRH is highly conserved among vertebrates. GnRH was assumed the sole hypothalamic neuropeptide that regulates gonadotropin release in vertebrates based on extensive studies of GnRH over the following three decades...
2018: Frontiers in Endocrinology
Jingyue Ellie Duan, Kaleigh Flock, Nathaniel Jue, Mingyuan Zhang, Amanda Jones, Sahar Al Seesi, Ion Mandoiu, Sambhu Pillai, Maria Hoffman, Rachel O'Neill, Steven Zinn, Kristen Govoni, Sarah Reed, Hesheng Jiang, Zongliang Carl Jiang, Xiuchun Cindy Tian
Ohno's hypothesis predicts that the expression of the single X chromosome in males needs compensatory upregulation to balance its dosage with that of the diploid autosomes. Additionally, X chromosome inactivation ensures that quadruple expression of the two X chromosomes is avoided in females. These mechanisms have been actively studied in mice and humans but lag behind in domestic species. Using RNA sequencing data, we analyzed the X chromosome upregulation in sheep fetal tissues from day 135 of gestation under control, over or restricted maternal diets (100%, 140% and 60% of National Research Council Total Digestible Nutrients), and in conceptuses, juvenile, and adult somatic tissues...
November 27, 2018: G3: Genes—Genomes—Genetics
Junghoon Yu, Jinkyoo Moon, Joonyoung Jang, Jee In Choi, Jooeun Jung, Sunyoung Hwang, MinYoung Kim
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide, and its incidence is increasing. To overcome impairment from stroke, translational research for developing new therapeutic technologies has been conducted and middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) in rat is the representative model. Since recovery from neurological impairment in contralateral limbs caused by brain damage is the major goal of treatment, behavioral tests that assess the relevant function are used. To determine therapeutic effect, obtaining reliable results of behavioral assessment is a prerequisite...
November 27, 2018: Laboratory Animals
Misun Kim, Eleanor A Maguire
Recent human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and animal electrophysiology studies suggest that grid cells in entorhinal cortex are an efficient neural mechanism for encoding knowledge about the world, not only for spatial location but also for more abstract cognitive information. The world, be it physical or abstract, is often high-dimensional, but grid cells have been mainly studied on a simple two-dimensional (2D) plane. Recent theoretical studies have proposed how grid cells encode three-dimensional (3D) physical space, but it is unknown whether grid codes can be examined non-invasively in humans...
November 24, 2018: NeuroImage
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