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Sample records for adult brain plasticity

  1. Experience-Dependent Neural Plasticity in the Adult Damaged Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kerr, Abigail L.; Cheng, Shao-Ying; Jones, Theresa A.

    2011-01-01

    Behavioral experience is at work modifying the structure and function of the brain throughout the lifespan, but it has a particularly dramatic influence after brain injury. This review summarizes recent findings on the role of experience in reorganizing the adult damaged brain, with a focus on findings from rodent stroke models of chronic upper…

  2. Sleep and synaptic plasticity in the developing and adult brain.

    PubMed

    Frank, Marcos G

    2015-01-01

    Sleep is hypothesized to play an integral role in brain plasticity. This has traditionally been investigated using behavioral assays. In the last 10-15 years, studies combining sleep measurements with in vitro and in vivo models of synaptic plasticity have provided exciting new insights into how sleep alters synaptic strength. In addition, new theories have been proposed that integrate older ideas about sleep function and recent discoveries in the field of synaptic plasticity. There remain, however, important challenges and unanswered questions. For example, sleep does not appear to have a single effect on synaptic strength. An unbiased review of the literature indicates that the effects of sleep vary widely depending on ontogenetic stage, the type of waking experience (or stimulation protocols) that precede sleep and the type of neuronal synapse under examination. In this review, I discuss these key findings in the context of current theories that posit different roles for sleep in synaptic plasticity. PMID:24671703

  3. Regeneration, Plasticity, and Induced Molecular Programs in Adult Zebrafish Brain

    PubMed Central

    Cosacak, Mehmet Ilyas; Papadimitriou, Christos; Kizil, Caghan

    2015-01-01

    Regenerative capacity of the brain is a variable trait within animals. Aquatic vertebrates such as zebrafish have widespread ability to renew their brains upon damage, while mammals have—if not none—very limited overall regenerative competence. Underlying cause of such a disparity is not fully evident; however, one of the reasons could be activation of peculiar molecular programs, which might have specific roles after injury or damage, by the organisms that regenerate. If this hypothesis is correct, then there must be genes and pathways that (a) are expressed only after injury or damage in tissues, (b) are biologically and functionally relevant to restoration of neural tissue, and (c) are not detected in regenerating organisms. Presence of such programs might circumvent the initial detrimental effects of the damage and subsequently set up the stage for tissue redevelopment to take place by modulating the plasticity of the neural stem/progenitor cells. Additionally, if transferable, those “molecular mechanisms of regeneration” could open up new avenues for regenerative therapies of humans in clinical settings. This review focuses on the recent studies addressing injury/damage-induced molecular programs in zebrafish brain, underscoring the possibility of the presence of genes that could be used as biomarkers of neural plasticity and regeneration. PMID:26417601

  4. Removing brakes on adult brain plasticity: from molecular to behavioral interventions

    PubMed Central

    Bavelier, D.; Levi, D.M.; Li, R.W.; Dan, Y.; Hensch, T.K.

    2010-01-01

    Adult brain plasticity, although possible, remains more restricted in scope than during development. Here, we address conditions under which circuit rewiring may be facilitated in the mature brain. At a cellular and molecular level, adult plasticity is actively limited. Some of these “brakes” are structural, such as peri-neuronal nets or myelin, which inhibit neurite outgrowth. Others are functional, acting directly upon excitatory-inhibitory balance within local circuits. Plasticity in adulthood can be induced either by lifting these brakes through invasive interventions or by exploiting endogenous permissive factors, such as neuromodulators. Using the amblyopic visual system as a model, we discuss genetic, pharmacological, and environmental removal of brakes to enable recovery of vision in adult rodents. Although these mechanisms remain largely uncharted in the human, we consider how they may provide a biological foundation for the remarkable increase in plasticity after action video game play by amblyopic subjects. PMID:21068299

  5. Wnts in adult brain: from synaptic plasticity to cognitive deficiencies

    PubMed Central

    Oliva, Carolina A.; Vargas, Jessica Y.; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.

    2013-01-01

    During development of the central nervous system the Wnt signaling pathway has been implicated in a wide spectrum of physiological processes, including neuronal connectivity and synapse formation. Wnt proteins and components of the Wnt pathway are expressed in the brain since early development to the adult life, however, little is known about its role in mature synapses. Here, we review evidences indicating that Wnt proteins participate in the remodeling of pre- and post-synaptic regions, thus modulating synaptic function. We include the most recent data in the literature showing that Wnts are constantly released in the brain to maintain the basal neural activity. Also, we review the evidences that involve components of the Wnt pathway in the development of neurological and mental disorders, including a special emphasis on in vivo studies that relate behavioral abnormalities to deficiencies in Wnt signaling. Finally, we include the evidences that support a neuroprotective role of Wnt proteins in Alzheimer’s disease. We postulate that deregulation in Wnt signaling might have a fundamental role in the origin of neurological diseases, by altering the synaptic function at stages where the phenotype is not yet established but when the cognitive decline starts. PMID:24348327

  6. Fetal Alcohol Exposure Reduces Adult Brain Plasticity. Science Briefs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2007

    2007-01-01

    "Science Briefs" summarize the findings and implications of a recent study in basic science or clinical research. This Brief summarizes the findings and implications of "Moderate Fetal Alcohol Exposure Impairs the Neurogenic Response to an Enriched Environment in Adult Mice" (I. Y. Choi; A. M. Allan; and L. A. Cunningham). Observations of mice…

  7. Plasticity of Brain Networks in a Randomized Intervention Trial of Exercise Training in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Voss, Michelle W.; Prakash, Ruchika S.; Erickson, Kirk I.; Basak, Chandramallika; Chaddock, Laura; Kim, Jennifer S.; Alves, Heloisa; Heo, Susie; Szabo, Amanda N.; White, Siobhan M.; Wójcicki, Thomas R.; Mailey, Emily L.; Gothe, Neha; Olson, Erin A.; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F.

    2010-01-01

    Research has shown the human brain is organized into separable functional networks during rest and varied states of cognition, and that aging is associated with specific network dysfunctions. The present study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine low-frequency (0.008 < f < 0.08 Hz) coherence of cognitively relevant and sensory brain networks in older adults who participated in a 1-year intervention trial, comparing the effects of aerobic and non-aerobic fitness training on brain function and cognition. Results showed that aerobic training improved the aging brain's resting functional efficiency in higher-level cognitive networks. One year of walking increased functional connectivity between aspects of the frontal, posterior, and temporal cortices within the Default Mode Network and a Frontal Executive Network, two brain networks central to brain dysfunction in aging. Length of training was also an important factor. Effects in favor of the walking group were observed only after 12 months of training, compared to non-significant trends after 6 months. A non-aerobic stretching and toning group also showed increased functional connectivity in the DMN after 6 months and in a Frontal Parietal Network after 12 months, possibly reflecting experience-dependent plasticity. Finally, we found that changes in functional connectivity were behaviorally relevant. Increased functional connectivity was associated with greater improvement in executive function. Therefore the study provides the first evidence for exercise-induced functional plasticity in large-scale brain systems in the aging brain, using functional connectivity techniques, and offers new insight into the role of aerobic fitness in attenuating age-related brain dysfunction. PMID:20890449

  8. Transsynaptic trophic effects of steroid hormones in an avian model of adult brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Brenowitz, Eliot A.

    2014-01-01

    The avian song control system provides an excellent model for studying transsynaptic trophic effects of steroid sex hormones. Seasonal changes in systemic testosterone (T) and its metabolites regulate plasticity of this system. Steroids interact with the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) to influence cellular processes of plasticity in nucleus HVC of adult birds, including the addition of newborn neurons. This interaction may also occur transsynpatically; T increases the synthesis of BDNF in HVC, and BDNF protein is then released by HVC neurons on to postsynaptic cells in nucleus RA where it has trophic effects on activity and morphology. Androgen action on RA neurons increases their activity and this has a retrograde trophic effect on the addition of new neurons to HVC. The functional linkage of sex steroids to BDNF may be of adaptive value in regulating the trophic effects of the neurotrophin and coordinating circuit function in reproductively relevant contexts. PMID:25285401

  9. Optimal level activity of matrix metalloproteinases is critical for adult visual plasticity in the healthy and stroke-affected brain.

    PubMed

    Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Fortuna, Michal G; Löwel, Siegrid

    2016-01-01

    The ability of the adult brain to undergo plastic changes is of particular interest in medicine, especially regarding recovery from injuries or improving learning and cognition. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been associated with juvenile experience-dependent primary visual cortex (V1) plasticity, yet little is known about their role in this process in the adult V1. Activation of MMPs is a crucial step facilitating structural changes in a healthy brain; however, upon brain injury, upregulated MMPs promote the spread of a lesion and impair recovery. To clarify these seemingly opposing outcomes of MMP-activation, we examined the effects of MMP-inhibition on experience-induced plasticity in healthy and stoke-affected adult mice. In healthy animals, 7-day application of MMP-inhibitor prevented visual plasticity. Additionally, treatment with MMP-inhibitor once but not twice following stroke rescued plasticity, normally lost under these conditions. Our data imply that an optimal level of MMP-activity is crucial for adult visual plasticity to occur. PMID:26609811

  10. Optimal level activity of matrix metalloproteinases is critical for adult visual plasticity in the healthy and stroke-affected brain

    PubMed Central

    Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Fortuna, Michal G; Löwel, Siegrid

    2015-01-01

    The ability of the adult brain to undergo plastic changes is of particular interest in medicine, especially regarding recovery from injuries or improving learning and cognition. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been associated with juvenile experience-dependent primary visual cortex (V1) plasticity, yet little is known about their role in this process in the adult V1. Activation of MMPs is a crucial step facilitating structural changes in a healthy brain; however, upon brain injury, upregulated MMPs promote the spread of a lesion and impair recovery. To clarify these seemingly opposing outcomes of MMP-activation, we examined the effects of MMP-inhibition on experience-induced plasticity in healthy and stoke-affected adult mice. In healthy animals, 7-day application of MMP-inhibitor prevented visual plasticity. Additionally, treatment with MMP-inhibitor once but not twice following stroke rescued plasticity, normally lost under these conditions. Our data imply that an optimal level of MMP-activity is crucial for adult visual plasticity to occur. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11290.001 PMID:26609811

  11. Seasonal regulation of structural plasticity and neurogenesis in the adult mammalian brain: focus on the sheep hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Migaud, Martine; Butrille, Lucile; Batailler, Martine

    2015-04-01

    To cope with variations in the environment, most mammalian species exhibit seasonal cycles in physiology and behaviour. Seasonal plasticity during the lifetime contributes to seasonal physiology. Over the years, our ideas regarding adult brain plasticity and, more specifically, hypothalamic plasticity have greatly evolved. Along with the two main neurogenic regions, namely the hippocampal subgranular and lateral ventricle subventricular zones, the hypothalamus, which is the central homeostatic regulator of numerous physiological functions that comprise sexual behaviours, feeding and metabolism, also hosts neurogenic niches. Both endogenous and exogenous factors, including the photoperiod, modulate the hypothalamic neurogenic capacities. The present review describes the effects of season on adult morphological plasticity and neurogenesis in seasonal species, for which the photoperiod is a master environmental cue for the successful programming of seasonal functions. In addition, the potential functional significance of adult neurogenesis in the mediation of the seasonal control of reproduction and feeding is discussed. PMID:25462590

  12. 3D Standard Brain of the Red Flour Beetle Tribolium Castaneum: A Tool to Study Metamorphic Development and Adult Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Dreyer, David; Vitt, Holger; Dippel, Stefan; Goetz, Brigitte; el Jundi, Basil; Kollmann, Martin; Huetteroth, Wolf; Schachtner, Joachim

    2009-01-01

    The red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum is emerging as a further standard insect model beside Drosophila. Its genome is fully sequenced and it is susceptible for genetic manipulations including RNA-interference. We use this beetle to study adult brain development and plasticity primarily with respect to the olfactory system. In the current study, we provide 3D standard brain atlases of freshly eclosed adult female and male beetles (A0). The atlases include eight paired and three unpaired neuropils including antennal lobes (ALs), optic lobe neuropils, mushroom body calyces and pedunculi, and central complex. For each of the two standard brains, we averaged brain areas of 20 individual brains. Additionally, we characterized eight selected olfactory glomeruli from 10 A0 female and male beetles respectively, which we could unequivocally recognize from individual to individual owing to their size and typical position in the ALs. In summary, comparison of the averaged neuropil volumes revealed no sexual dimorphism in any of the reconstructed neuropils in A0 Tribolium brains. Both, the female and male 3D standard brain are also used for interspecies comparisons, and, importantly, will serve as future volumetric references after genetical manipulation especially regarding metamorphic development and adult plasticity. PMID:20339482

  13. Music drives brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Music is becoming more and more of an issue in the cognitive neurosciences. A major finding in this research area is that musical practice is associated with structural and functional plasticity of the brain. In this brief review, I will give an overview of the most recent findings of this research area. PMID:20948610

  14. Psychotherapy and brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Collerton, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, I will review why psychotherapy is relevant to the question of how consciousness relates to brain plasticity. A great deal of the research and theorizing on consciousness and the brain, including my own on hallucinations for example (Collerton and Perry, 2011) has focused upon specific changes in conscious content which can be related to temporal changes in restricted brain systems. I will argue that psychotherapy, in contrast, allows only a focus on holistic aspects of consciousness; an emphasis which may usefully complement what can be learnt from more specific methodologies. PMID:24046752

  15. Brain tumor - primary - adults

    MedlinePlus

    ... Vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma) - adults; Meningioma - adults; Cancer - brain tumor (adults) ... Primary brain tumors include any tumor that starts in the brain. Primary brain tumors can start from brain cells, ...

  16. Imaging brain plasticity after trauma

    PubMed Central

    Kou, Zhifeng; Iraji, Armin

    2014-01-01

    The brain is highly plastic after stroke or epilepsy; however, there is a paucity of brain plasticity investigation after traumatic brain injury (TBI). This mini review summarizes the most recent evidence of brain plasticity in human TBI patients from the perspective of advanced magnetic resonance imaging. Similar to other forms of acquired brain injury, TBI patients also demonstrated both structural reorganization as well as functional compensation by the recruitment of other brain regions. However, the large scale brain network alterations after TBI are still unknown, and the field is still short of proper means on how to guide the choice of TBI rehabilitation or treatment plan to promote brain plasticity. The authors also point out the new direction of brain plasticity investigation. PMID:25206874

  17. NF-KappaB in Long-Term Memory and Structural Plasticity in the Adult Mammalian Brain

    PubMed Central

    Kaltschmidt, Barbara; Kaltschmidt, Christian

    2015-01-01

    The transcription factor nuclear factor kappaB (NF-κB) is a well-known regulator of inflammation, stress, and immune responses as well as cell survival. In the nervous system, NF-κB is one of the crucial components in the molecular switch that converts short- to long-term memory—a process that requires de novo gene expression. Here, the researches published on NF-κB and downstream target genes in mammals will be reviewed, which are necessary for structural plasticity and long-term memory, both under normal and pathological conditions in the brain. Genetic evidence has revealed that NF-κB regulates neuroprotection, neuronal transmission, and long-term memory. In addition, after genetic ablation of all NF-κB subunits, a severe defect in hippocampal adult neurogenesis was observed during aging. Proliferation of neural precursors is increased; however, axon outgrowth, synaptogenesis, and tissue homeostasis of the dentate gyrus are hampered. In this process, the NF-κB target gene PKAcat and other downstream target genes such as Igf2 are critically involved. Therefore, NF-κB activity seems to be crucial in regulating structural plasticity and replenishment of granule cells within the hippocampus throughout the life. In addition to the function of NF-κB in neurons, we will discuss on a neuroinflammatory role of the transcription factor in glia. Finally, a model for NF-κB homeostasis on the molecular level is presented, in order to explain seemingly the contradictory, the friend or foe, role of NF-κB in the nervous system. PMID:26635522

  18. Plasticity of Adult Sensorimotor System in Severe Brain Infarcts: Challenges and Opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Sterr, Annette; Conforto, Adriana Bastos

    2012-01-01

    Functional reorganization forms the critical mechanism for the recovery of function after brain damage. These processes are driven by inherent changes within the central nervous system (CNS) triggered by the insult and further depend on the neural input the recovering system is processing. Therefore these processes interact with not only the interventions a patient receives, but also the activities and behaviors a patient engages in. In recent years, a wide range of research programs has addressed the association between functional reorganization and the spontaneous and treatment-induced recovery. The bulk of this work has focused on upper-limb and hand function, and today there are new treatments available that capitalize on the neuroplasticity of the brain. However, this is only true for patients with mild to moderated impairments; for those with very limited hand function, the basic understanding is much poorer and directly translates into limited treatment opportunities for these patients. The present paper aims to highlight the knowledge gap on severe stroke with a brief summary of the literature followed by a discussion of the challenges involved in the study and treatment of severe stroke and poor long-term outcome. PMID:22548196

  19. Oxytocin and Maternal Brain Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sohye; Strathearn, Lane

    2016-09-01

    Although dramatic postnatal changes in maternal behavior have long been noted, we are only now beginning to understand the neurobiological mechanisms that support this transition. The present paper synthesizes growing insights from both animal and human research to provide an overview of the plasticity of the mother's brain, with a particular emphasis on the oxytocin system. We examine plasticity observed within the oxytocin system and discuss how these changes mediate an array of other adaptations observed within the maternal brain. We outline factors that affect the oxytocin-mediated plasticity of the maternal brain and review evidence linking disruptions in oxytocin functions to challenges in maternal adaptation. We conclude by suggesting a strategy for intervention with mothers who may be at risk for maladjustment during this transition to motherhood, while highlighting areas where further research is needed. PMID:27589498

  20. Ben's Plastic Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaplan, Susan L.

    2010-01-01

    This article shares a story of Ben who as a result of his premature birth, suffered a brain hemorrhage resulting in cerebral palsy, which affected his left side (left hemiparesis) and caused learning disabilities. Despite these challenges, he graduated from college and currently works doing information management for a local biotech start-up…

  1. [Brain development and plasticity].

    PubMed

    Martinez-Morga, M; Martinez, S

    2016-01-01

    Neurodevelopmental disorders are associated to functional anomalies of the brain that become manifest early on in life. Traditionally, they have been related almost exclusively to the appearance of intellectual disability and delayed psychomotor development. The causes of these disorders have been partially described, and include anomalies due to genetic causes (Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, etc.), exposure to toxic factors during pregnancy (foetal alcohol syndrome), infections (cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, etc.) or other alterations, including a status of great immaturity at birth (very preterm). Epidemiological data based on a better knowledge of the diseases affecting the central nervous system suggest that some mental disorders, which appear in adolescence or early adulthood, also have their origin in anomalies in brain development. This review aims to offer an overview of brain development. Some of the cellular and molecular processes that may account for the similarities and differences in the phenotypes that generate alterations affecting normal development are also analysed. The study is conducted with a view to clearly identifying processes that are susceptible to modification by means of therapeutic intervention consisting in an early care programme. PMID:26922956

  2. The subependymal zone neurogenic niche: a beating heart in the centre of the brain: how plastic is adult neurogenesis? Opportunities for therapy and questions to be addressed.

    PubMed

    Kazanis, Ilias

    2009-11-01

    The mammalian brain is a remarkably complex organ comprising millions of neurons, glia and various other cell types. Its impressive cytoarchitecture led to the long standing belief that it is a structurally static organ and thus very sensitive to injury. However, an area of striking structural flexibility has been recently described at the centre of the brain. It is the subependymal zone of the lateral wall of the lateral ventricles. The subependymal zone--like a beating heart--continuously sends new cells to different areas of the brain: neurons to the olfactory bulbs and glial cells to the cortex and the corpus callosum. Interestingly, the generation and flow of cells changes in response to signals from anatomically remote areas of the brain or even from the external environment of the organism, therefore indicating that subependymal neurogenesis--as a system--is integrated in the overall homeostatic function of the brain. In this review, it will be attempted to describe the fundamental structural and functional characteristics of the subependymal neurogenic niche and to summarize the available evidence regarding its plasticity. Special focus is given on issues such as whether adult neural stem cells are activated after neurodegeneration, whether defects in neurogenesis contribute to neuropathological conditions and whether monitoring changes in neurogenic activity can have a diagnostic value. PMID:19773354

  3. Age, Plasticity, and Homeostasis In Childhood Brain Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Maureen; Spiegler, Brenda J.; Juranek, Jenifer J.; Bigler, Erin D.; Snead, O. Carter; Fletcher, Jack M.

    2013-01-01

    It has been widely accepted that the younger the age and/or immaturity of the organism, the greater the brain plasticity, the young age plasticity privilege. This paper examines the relation of a young age to plasticity, reviewing human pediatric brain disorders, as well as selected animal models, human developmental and adult brain disorder studies. As well, we review developmental and childhood acquired disorders that involve a failure of regulatory homeostasis. Our core arguments are: Plasticity is neutral with respect to outcome. Although the effects of plasticity are often beneficial, the outcome of plasticity may be adaptive or maladaptive.The young age plasticity privilege has been overstated.Plastic change operates in concert with homeostatic mechanisms regulating change at every point in the lifespan.The same mechanisms that propel developmental change expose the immature brain to adverse events, making it more difficult for the immature than for the mature brain to sustain equilibrium between plasticity and homeostasis.Poor outcome in many neurodevelopmental disorders and childhood acquired brain insults is related to disequilibrium between plasticity and homeostasis. PMID:24096190

  4. Brain plasticity-based therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Merzenich, Michael M; Van Vleet, Thomas M; Nahum, Mor

    2014-01-01

    The primary objective of this review article is to summarize how the neuroscience of brain plasticity, exploiting new findings in fundamental, integrative and cognitive neuroscience, is changing the therapeutic landscape for professional communities addressing brain-based disorders and disease. After considering the neurological bases of training-driven neuroplasticity, we shall describe how this neuroscience-guided perspective distinguishes this new approach from (a) the more-behavioral, traditional clinical strategies of professional therapy practitioners, and (b) an even more widely applied pharmaceutical treatment model for neurological and psychiatric treatment domains. With that background, we shall argue that neuroplasticity-based treatments will be an important part of future best-treatment practices in neurological and psychiatric medicine. PMID:25018719

  5. Brain plasticity-based therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Merzenich, Michael M.; Van Vleet, Thomas M.; Nahum, Mor

    2014-01-01

    The primary objective of this review article is to summarize how the neuroscience of brain plasticity, exploiting new findings in fundamental, integrative and cognitive neuroscience, is changing the therapeutic landscape for professional communities addressing brain-based disorders and disease. After considering the neurological bases of training-driven neuroplasticity, we shall describe how this neuroscience-guided perspective distinguishes this new approach from (a) the more-behavioral, traditional clinical strategies of professional therapy practitioners, and (b) an even more widely applied pharmaceutical treatment model for neurological and psychiatric treatment domains. With that background, we shall argue that neuroplasticity-based treatments will be an important part of future best-treatment practices in neurological and psychiatric medicine. PMID:25018719

  6. Processing demands upon cognitive, linguistic, and articulatory functions promote grey matter plasticity in the adult multilingual brain: Insights from simultaneous interpreters.

    PubMed

    Elmer, Stefan; Hänggi, Jürgen; Jäncke, Lutz

    2014-05-01

    Until now, considerable effort has been made to determine structural brain characteristics related to exceptional multilingual skills. However, at least one important question has not yet been satisfactorily addressed in the previous literature, namely whether and to which extent the processing demands upon cognitive, linguistic, and articulatory functions may promote grey matter plasticity in the adult multilingual brain. Based on the premise that simultaneous interpretation is a highly demanding linguistic task that places strong demands on executive and articulatory functions, here we compared grey matter volumes between professional simultaneous interpreters (SI) and multilingual control subjects. Thereby, we focused on a specific set of a-priori defined bilateral brain regions that have previously been shown to support neurocognitional aspects of language control and linguistic functions in the multilingual brain. These regions are the cingulate gyrus, caudate nucleus, frontal operculum (pars triangularis and opercularis), inferior parietal lobe (IPL) (supramarginal and angular gyrus), and the insula. As a main result, we found reduced grey matter volumes in professional SI, compared to multilingual controls, in the left middle-anterior cingulate gyrus, bilateral pars triangularis, left pars opercularis, bilateral middle part of the insula, and in the left supramarginal gyrus (SMG). Interestingly, grey matter volume in left pars triangularis, right pars opercularis, middle-anterior cingulate gyrus, and in the bilateral caudate nucleus was negatively correlated with the cumulative number of interpreting hours. Hence, we provide first evidence for an expertise-related grey matter architecture that may reflect a composite of brain characteristics that were still present before interpreting training and training-related changes. PMID:24699036

  7. Brain Plasticity and Behaviour in the Developing Brain

    PubMed Central

    Kolb, Bryan; Gibb, Robbin

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To review general principles of brain development, identify basic principles of brain plasticity, and discuss factors that influence brain development and plasticity. Method: A literature review of relevant English-language manuscripts on brain development and plasticity was conducted. Results: Brain development progresses through a series of stages beginning with neurogenesis and progressing to neural migration, maturation, synaptogenesis, pruning, and myelin formation. Eight basic principles of brain plasticity are identified. Evidence that brain development and function is influenced by different environmental events such as sensory stimuli, psychoactive drugs, gonadal hormones, parental-child relationships, peer relationships, early stress, intestinal flora, and diet. Conclusions: The development of the brain reflects more than the simple unfolding of a genetic blueprint but rather reflects a complex dance of genetic and experiential factors that shape the emerging brain. Understanding the dance provides insight into both normal and abnormal development. PMID:22114608

  8. Evolutionary Perspectives on Language and Brain Plasticity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deacon, Terrence W.

    2000-01-01

    This review discusses how general principles of brain development have contributed to both human brain plasticity and the acquisition of the human capacity for speech. Specifically, the role played by plastic developmental processes in the evolution and development of articulate control over vocalization in speech is examined. (Contains…

  9. Augmentation-related brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Di Pino, Giovanni; Maravita, Angelo; Zollo, Loredana; Guglielmelli, Eugenio; Di Lazzaro, Vincenzo

    2014-01-01

    Today, the anthropomorphism of the tools and the development of neural interfaces require reconsidering the concept of human-tools interaction in the framework of human augmentation. This review analyses the plastic process that the brain undergoes when it comes into contact with augmenting artificial sensors and effectors and, on the other hand, the changes that the use of external augmenting devices produces in the brain. Hitherto, few studies investigated the neural correlates of augmentation, but clues on it can be borrowed from logically-related paradigms: sensorimotor training, cognitive enhancement, cross-modal plasticity, sensorimotor functional substitution, use and embodiment of tools. Augmentation modifies function and structure of a number of areas, i.e., primary sensory cortices shape their receptive fields to become sensitive to novel inputs. Motor areas adapt the neuroprosthesis representation firing-rate to refine kinematics. As for normal motor outputs, the learning process recruits motor and premotor cortices and the acquisition of proficiency decreases attentional recruitment, focuses the activity on sensorimotor areas and increases the basal ganglia drive on the cortex. Augmentation deeply relies on the frontoparietal network. In particular, premotor cortex is involved in learning the control of an external effector and owns the tool motor representation, while the intraparietal sulcus extracts its visual features. In these areas, multisensory integration neurons enlarge their receptive fields to embody supernumerary limbs. For operating an anthropomorphic neuroprosthesis, the mirror system is required to understand the meaning of the action, the cerebellum for the formation of its internal model and the insula for its interoception. In conclusion, anthropomorphic sensorized devices can provide the critical sensory afferences to evolve the exploitation of tools through their embodiment, reshaping the body representation and the sense of the self

  10. Augmentation-related brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Di Pino, Giovanni; Maravita, Angelo; Zollo, Loredana; Guglielmelli, Eugenio; Di Lazzaro, Vincenzo

    2014-01-01

    Today, the anthropomorphism of the tools and the development of neural interfaces require reconsidering the concept of human-tools interaction in the framework of human augmentation. This review analyses the plastic process that the brain undergoes when it comes into contact with augmenting artificial sensors and effectors and, on the other hand, the changes that the use of external augmenting devices produces in the brain. Hitherto, few studies investigated the neural correlates of augmentation, but clues on it can be borrowed from logically-related paradigms: sensorimotor training, cognitive enhancement, cross-modal plasticity, sensorimotor functional substitution, use and embodiment of tools. Augmentation modifies function and structure of a number of areas, i.e., primary sensory cortices shape their receptive fields to become sensitive to novel inputs. Motor areas adapt the neuroprosthesis representation firing-rate to refine kinematics. As for normal motor outputs, the learning process recruits motor and premotor cortices and the acquisition of proficiency decreases attentional recruitment, focuses the activity on sensorimotor areas and increases the basal ganglia drive on the cortex. Augmentation deeply relies on the frontoparietal network. In particular, premotor cortex is involved in learning the control of an external effector and owns the tool motor representation, while the intraparietal sulcus extracts its visual features. In these areas, multisensory integration neurons enlarge their receptive fields to embody supernumerary limbs. For operating an anthropomorphic neuroprosthesis, the mirror system is required to understand the meaning of the action, the cerebellum for the formation of its internal model and the insula for its interoception. In conclusion, anthropomorphic sensorized devices can provide the critical sensory afferences to evolve the exploitation of tools through their embodiment, reshaping the body representation and the sense of the self

  11. Neural prostheses and brain plasticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fallon, James B.; Irvine, Dexter R. F.; Shepherd, Robert K.

    2009-12-01

    The success of modern neural prostheses is dependent on a complex interplay between the devices' hardware and software and the dynamic environment in which the devices operate: the patient's body or 'wetware'. Over 120 000 severe/profoundly deaf individuals presently receive information enabling auditory awareness and speech perception from cochlear implants. The cochlear implant therefore provides a useful case study for a review of the complex interactions between hardware, software and wetware, and of the important role of the dynamic nature of wetware. In the case of neural prostheses, the most critical component of that wetware is the central nervous system. This paper will examine the evidence of changes in the central auditory system that contribute to changes in performance with a cochlear implant, and discuss how these changes relate to electrophysiological and functional imaging studies in humans. The relationship between the human data and evidence from animals of the remarkable capacity for plastic change of the central auditory system, even into adulthood, will then be examined. Finally, we will discuss the role of brain plasticity in neural prostheses in general.

  12. Adult myelination: wrapping up neuronal plasticity

    PubMed Central

    O’Rourke, Megan; Gasperini, Robert; Young, Kaylene M.

    2014-01-01

    In this review, we outline the major neural plasticity mechanisms that have been identified in the adult central nervous system (CNS), and offer a perspective on how they regulate CNS function. In particular we examine how myelin plasticity can operate alongside neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity to influence information processing and transfer in the mature CNS. PMID:25221576

  13. Drawing enhances cross-modal memory plasticity in the human brain: a case study in a totally blind adult.

    PubMed

    Likova, Lora T

    2012-01-01

    In a memory-guided drawing task under blindfolded conditions, we have recently used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to demonstrate that the primary visual cortex (V1) may operate as the visuo-spatial buffer, or "sketchpad," for working memory. The results implied, however, a modality-independent or amodal form of its operation. In the present study, to validate the role of V1 in non-visual memory, we eliminated not only the visual input but all levels of visual processing by replicating the paradigm in a congenitally blind individual. Our novel Cognitive-Kinesthetic method was used to train this totally blind subject to draw complex images guided solely by tactile memory. Control tasks of tactile exploration and memorization of the image to be drawn, and memory-free scribbling were also included. FMRI was run before training and after training. Remarkably, V1 of this congenitally blind individual, which before training exhibited noisy, immature, and non-specific responses, after training produced full-fledged response time-courses specific to the tactile-memory drawing task. The results reveal the operation of a rapid training-based plasticity mechanism that recruits the resources of V1 in the process of learning to draw. The learning paradigm allowed us to investigate for the first time the evolution of plastic re-assignment in V1 in a congenitally blind subject. These findings are consistent with a non-visual memory involvement of V1, and specifically imply that the observed cortical reorganization can be empowered by the process of learning to draw. PMID:22593738

  14. Drawing enhances cross-modal memory plasticity in the human brain: a case study in a totally blind adult

    PubMed Central

    Likova, Lora T.

    2012-01-01

    In a memory-guided drawing task under blindfolded conditions, we have recently used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to demonstrate that the primary visual cortex (V1) may operate as the visuo-spatial buffer, or “sketchpad,” for working memory. The results implied, however, a modality-independent or amodal form of its operation. In the present study, to validate the role of V1 in non-visual memory, we eliminated not only the visual input but all levels of visual processing by replicating the paradigm in a congenitally blind individual. Our novel Cognitive-Kinesthetic method was used to train this totally blind subject to draw complex images guided solely by tactile memory. Control tasks of tactile exploration and memorization of the image to be drawn, and memory-free scribbling were also included. FMRI was run before training and after training. Remarkably, V1 of this congenitally blind individual, which before training exhibited noisy, immature, and non-specific responses, after training produced full-fledged response time-courses specific to the tactile-memory drawing task. The results reveal the operation of a rapid training-based plasticity mechanism that recruits the resources of V1 in the process of learning to draw. The learning paradigm allowed us to investigate for the first time the evolution of plastic re-assignment in V1 in a congenitally blind subject. These findings are consistent with a non-visual memory involvement of V1, and specifically imply that the observed cortical reorganization can be empowered by the process of learning to draw. PMID:22593738

  15. Brain plasticity and motor practice in cognitive aging

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Liuyang; Chan, John S. Y.; Yan, Jin H.; Peng, Kaiping

    2014-01-01

    For more than two decades, there have been extensive studies of experience-based neural plasticity exploring effective applications of brain plasticity for cognitive and motor development. Research suggests that human brains continuously undergo structural reorganization and functional changes in response to stimulations or training. From a developmental point of view, the assumption of lifespan brain plasticity has been extended to older adults in terms of the benefits of cognitive training and physical therapy. To summarize recent developments, first, we introduce the concept of neural plasticity from a developmental perspective. Secondly, we note that motor learning often refers to deliberate practice and the resulting performance enhancement and adaptability. We discuss the close interplay between neural plasticity, motor learning and cognitive aging. Thirdly, we review research on motor skill acquisition in older adults with, and without, impairments relative to aging-related cognitive decline. Finally, to enhance future research and application, we highlight the implications of neural plasticity in skills learning and cognitive rehabilitation for the aging population. PMID:24653695

  16. Stress- and Allostasis-Induced Brain Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    McEwen, Bruce S.; Gianaros, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    The brain is the key organ of stress processes. It determines what individuals will experience as stressful, it orchestrates how individuals will cope with stressful experiences, and it changes both functionally and structurally as a result of stressful experiences. Within the brain, a distributed, dynamic, and plastic neural circuitry coordinates, monitors, and calibrates behavioral and physiological stress response systems to meet the demands imposed by particular stressors. These allodynamic processes can be adaptive in the short term (allostasis) and maladaptive in the long term (allostatic load). Critically, these processes involve bidirectional signaling between the brain and body. Consequently, allostasis and allostatic load can jointly affect vulnerability to brain-dependent and stress-related mental and physical health conditions. This review focuses on the role of brain plasticity in adaptation to, and pathophysiology resulting from, stressful experiences. It also considers interventions to prevent and treat chronic and prevalent health conditions via allodynamic brain mechanisms. PMID:20707675

  17. Environment and brain plasticity: towards an endogenous pharmacotherapy.

    PubMed

    Sale, Alessandro; Berardi, Nicoletta; Maffei, Lamberto

    2014-01-01

    Brain plasticity refers to the remarkable property of cerebral neurons to change their structure and function in response to experience, a fundamental theoretical theme in the field of basic research and a major focus for neural rehabilitation following brain disease. While much of the early work on this topic was based on deprivation approaches relying on sensory experience reduction procedures, major advances have been recently obtained using the conceptually opposite paradigm of environmental enrichment, whereby an enhanced stimulation is provided at multiple cognitive, sensory, social, and motor levels. In this survey, we aim to review past and recent work concerning the influence exerted by the environment on brain plasticity processes, with special emphasis on the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms and starting from experimental work on animal models to move to highly relevant work performed in humans. We will initiate introducing the concept of brain plasticity and describing classic paradigmatic examples to illustrate how changes at the level of neuronal properties can ultimately affect and direct key perceptual and behavioral outputs. Then, we describe the remarkable effects elicited by early stressful conditions, maternal care, and preweaning enrichment on central nervous system development, with a separate section focusing on neurodevelopmental disorders. A specific section is dedicated to the striking ability of environmental enrichment and physical exercise to empower adult brain plasticity. Finally, we analyze in the last section the ever-increasing available knowledge on the effects elicited by enriched living conditions on physiological and pathological aging brain processes. PMID:24382886

  18. Neural repair in the adult brain

    PubMed Central

    Jessberger, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    Acute or chronic injury to the adult brain often results in substantial loss of neural tissue and subsequent permanent functional impairment. Over the last two decades, a number of approaches have been developed to harness the regenerative potential of neural stem cells and the existing fate plasticity of neural cells in the nervous system to prevent tissue loss or to enhance structural and functional regeneration upon injury. Here, we review recent advances of stem cell-associated neural repair in the adult brain, discuss current challenges and limitations, and suggest potential directions to foster the translation of experimental stem cell therapies into the clinic. PMID:26918167

  19. Human Maternal Brain Plasticity: Adaptation to Parenting.

    PubMed

    Kim, Pilyoung

    2016-09-01

    New mothers undergo dynamic neural changes that support positive adaptation to parenting and the development of mother-infant relationships. In this article, I review important psychological adaptations that mothers experience during pregnancy and the early postpartum period. I then review evidence of structural and functional plasticity in human mothers' brains, and explore how such plasticity supports mothers' psychological adaptation to parenting and sensitive maternal behaviors. Last, I discuss pregnancy and the early postpartum period as a window of vulnerabilities and opportunities when the human maternal brain is influenced by stress and psychopathology, but also receptive to interventions. PMID:27589497

  20. Neuronal avalanches and brain plasticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Arcangelis, L.; Herrmann, H. J.; Perrone-Capano, C.

    2007-12-01

    Networks of living neurons exhibit an avalanche mode of activity, experimentally found in organotypic cultures. Moreover, experimental studies of morphology indicate that neurons develop a network of small-world-like connections, with the possibility of a very high connectivity degree. Here we discuss a recent model based on self-organized criticality, which consists of an electrical network with threshold firing and activity-dependent synapse strengths. The model is implemented on regular and small world lattices and on a scale-free network, the Apollonian network. The system exhibits an avalanche activity with a power law distribution of sizes and durations. The analysis of the power spectra of the electrical signal reproduces very robustly the power law behaviour with the exponent 0.8, experimentally measured in electroencephalogram (EEG) spectra. The exponents are found to be quite stable with respect to initial configurations and strength of plastic remodelling, indicating that universality holds for a wide class of neural network models.

  1. Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Adults

    MedlinePlus

    ... saved articles window. My Saved Articles » My ACS » Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Adults Download Printable ... the topics below to get started. What Is Brain/CNS Tumors In Adults? What are adult brain ...

  2. Plasticity in the Neonatal Brain following Hypoxic-Ischaemic Injury.

    PubMed

    Rocha-Ferreira, Eridan; Hristova, Mariya

    2016-01-01

    Hypoxic-ischaemic damage to the developing brain is a leading cause of child death, with high mortality and morbidity, including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and cognitive disabilities. The developmental stage of the brain and the severity of the insult influence the selective regional vulnerability and the subsequent clinical manifestations. The increased susceptibility to hypoxia-ischaemia (HI) of periventricular white matter in preterm infants predisposes the immature brain to motor, cognitive, and sensory deficits, with cognitive impairment associated with earlier gestational age. In term infants HI causes selective damage to sensorimotor cortex, basal ganglia, thalamus, and brain stem. Even though the immature brain is more malleable to external stimuli compared to the adult one, a hypoxic-ischaemic event to the neonate interrupts the shaping of central motor pathways and can affect normal developmental plasticity through altering neurotransmission, changes in cellular signalling, neural connectivity and function, wrong targeted innervation, and interruption of developmental apoptosis. Models of neonatal HI demonstrate three morphologically different types of cell death, that is, apoptosis, necrosis, and autophagy, which crosstalk and can exist as a continuum in the same cell. In the present review we discuss the mechanisms of HI injury to the immature brain and the way they affect plasticity. PMID:27047695

  3. Plasticity in the Neonatal Brain following Hypoxic-Ischaemic Injury

    PubMed Central

    Rocha-Ferreira, Eridan

    2016-01-01

    Hypoxic-ischaemic damage to the developing brain is a leading cause of child death, with high mortality and morbidity, including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and cognitive disabilities. The developmental stage of the brain and the severity of the insult influence the selective regional vulnerability and the subsequent clinical manifestations. The increased susceptibility to hypoxia-ischaemia (HI) of periventricular white matter in preterm infants predisposes the immature brain to motor, cognitive, and sensory deficits, with cognitive impairment associated with earlier gestational age. In term infants HI causes selective damage to sensorimotor cortex, basal ganglia, thalamus, and brain stem. Even though the immature brain is more malleable to external stimuli compared to the adult one, a hypoxic-ischaemic event to the neonate interrupts the shaping of central motor pathways and can affect normal developmental plasticity through altering neurotransmission, changes in cellular signalling, neural connectivity and function, wrong targeted innervation, and interruption of developmental apoptosis. Models of neonatal HI demonstrate three morphologically different types of cell death, that is, apoptosis, necrosis, and autophagy, which crosstalk and can exist as a continuum in the same cell. In the present review we discuss the mechanisms of HI injury to the immature brain and the way they affect plasticity. PMID:27047695

  4. Brain plasticity and hand surgery: an overview.

    PubMed

    Lundborg, G

    2000-06-01

    The hand is an extension of the brain, and the hand is projected and represented in large areas of the motor and sensory cortex. The brain is a complicated neural network which continuously remodels itself as a result of changes in sensory input. Such synaptic reorganizational changes may be activity-dependent, based on alterations in hand activity and tactile experience, or a result of deafferentiation such as nerve injury or amputation. Inferior recovery of functional sensibility following nerve repair, as well as phantom experiences in virtual, amputated limbs are phenomena reflecting profound cortical reorganizational changes. Surgical procedures on the hand are always accompanied by synaptic reorganizational changes in the brain cortex, and the outcome from many hand surgical procedures is to a large extent dependent on brain plasticity. PMID:10961548

  5. Neural plasticity in adults with amblyopia.

    PubMed Central

    Levi, D M; Polat, U

    1996-01-01

    Amblyopia is a neuronal abnormality of vision that is often considered irreversible in adults. We found strong and significant improvement of Vernier acuity in human adults with naturally occurring amblyopia following practice. Learning was strongest at the trained orientation and did not transfer to an untrained task (detection), but it did transfer partially to the untrained eye (primarily at the trained orientation). We conclude that this perceptual learning reflects alterations in early neural processes that are localized beyond the site of convergence of the two eyes. Our results suggest a significant degree of plasticity in the visual system of adults with amblyopia. PMID:8692904

  6. Strengthening connections: functional connectivity and brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Clare; Castellanos, F. Xavier

    2014-01-01

    The ascendancy of functional neuroimaging has facilitated the addition of network-based approaches to the neuropsychologist’s toolbox for evaluating the sequelae of brain insult. In particular, intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) mapping of resting state fMRI (R-fMRI) data constitutes an ideal approach to measuring macro-scale networks in the human brain. Beyond the value of iFC mapping for charting how the functional topography of the brain is altered by insult and injury, iFC analyses can provide insights into effects of experience-dependent plasticity at the macro level of large-scale functional networks. Such insights are foundational to the design of training and remediation interventions that will best facilitate recovery of function. In this review, we consider what is currently known about the origin and function of iFC in the brain, and how this knowledge is informative in neuropsychological settings. We then summarize studies that have examined experience-driven plasticity of iFC in healthy control participants, and frame these findings in terms of a schema that may aid in the interpretation of results and the generation of hypothesis for rehabilitative studies. Finally, we outline some caveats to the R-fMRI approach, as well as some current developments that are likely to bolster the utility of the iFC paradigm for neuropsychology. PMID:24496903

  7. A Theoretical Framework for the Study of Adult Cognitive Plasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lovden, Martin; Backman, Lars; Lindenberger, Ulman; Schaefer, Sabine; Schmiedek, Florian

    2010-01-01

    Does plasticity contribute to adult cognitive development, and if so, in what ways? The vague and overused concept of plasticity makes these controversial questions difficult to answer. In this article, we refine the notion of adult cognitive plasticity and sharpen its conceptual distinctiveness. According to our framework, adult cognitive…

  8. Pannexin 1 regulates bidirectional hippocampal synaptic plasticity in adult mice

    PubMed Central

    Ardiles, Alvaro O.; Flores-Muñoz, Carolina; Toro-Ayala, Gabriela; Cárdenas, Ana M.; Palacios, Adrian G.; Muñoz, Pablo; Fuenzalida, Marco; Sáez, Juan C.; Martínez, Agustín D.

    2014-01-01

    The threshold for bidirectional modification of synaptic plasticity is known to be controlled by several factors, including the balance between protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, postsynaptic free Ca2+ concentration and NMDA receptor (NMDAR) composition of GluN2 subunits. Pannexin 1 (Panx1), a member of the integral membrane protein family, has been shown to form non-selective channels and to regulate the induction of synaptic plasticity as well as hippocampal-dependent learning. Although Panx1 channels have been suggested to play a role in excitatory long-term potentiation (LTP), it remains unknown whether these channels also modulate long-term depression (LTD) or the balance between both types of synaptic plasticity. To study how Panx1 contributes to excitatory synaptic efficacy, we examined the age-dependent effects of eliminating or blocking Panx1 channels on excitatory synaptic plasticity within the CA1 region of the mouse hippocampus. By using different protocols to induce bidirectional synaptic plasticity, Panx1 channel blockade or lack of Panx1 were found to enhance LTP, whereas both conditions precluded the induction of LTD in adults, but not in young animals. These findings suggest that Panx1 channels restrain the sliding threshold for the induction of synaptic plasticity and underlying brain mechanisms of learning and memory. PMID:25360084

  9. Interactions between environmental changes and brain plasticity in birds.

    PubMed

    Barnea, Anat

    2009-09-01

    Neurogenesis and neuronal recruitment occur in many vertebrates, including humans. Most of the new neurons die before reaching their destination. Those which survive migrate to various brain regions, replace older ones and connect to existing circuits. Evidence suggests that this replacement is related to acquisition of new information. Therefore, neuronal replacement can be seen as a form of brain plasticity that enables organisms to adjust to environmental changes. However, direct evidence of a causal link between replacement and learning remains elusive. Our hypothesis is that increased neuronal recruitment is associated with increase in memory load. Moreover, since neuronal recruitment is part of a turnover process, we assume that the same conditions that favor survival of some neurons induce the death of others. I present studies that investigated the effect of various behaviors and environmental conditions (food-hoarding, social change, reproductive cycle) on neuronal recruitment and survival in adult avian brains, and discuss how these phenomena relate to the life of animals. I offer a frame and rationale for comparing neuronal replacement in the adult brain, in order to uncover the pressures, rules, and mechanisms that govern its constant rejuvenation. The review emphasizes the importance of using various approaches (behavioral, anatomical, cellular and hormonal) in neuroethological research, and the need to study natural populations, in order to fully understand how neurogenesis and neuronal replacement contribute to life of animals. Finally, the review indicates to future directions and ends with the hope that a better understanding of adult neuronal replacement will lead to medical applications. PMID:19361509

  10. Brain plasticity in Diptera and Hymenoptera

    PubMed Central

    Groh, Claudia; Meinertzhagen, Ian A.

    2010-01-01

    To mediate different types of behaviour, nervous systems must coordinate the proper operation of their neural circuits as well as short- and long-term alterations that occur within those circuits. The latter ultimately devolve upon specific changes in neuronal structures, membrane properties and synaptic connections that are all examples of plasticity. This reorganization of the adult nervous system is shaped by internal and external influences both during development and adult maturation. In adults, behavioural experience is a major driving force of neuronal plasticity studied particularly in sensory systems. The range of adaptation depends on features that are important to a particular species, so that learning is essential for foraging in honeybees, while regenerative capacities are important in hemimetabolous insects with long appendages. Experience is usually effective during a critical period in early adult life, when neural function becomes tuned to future conditions in an insect's life. Changes occur at all levels, in synaptic circuits, neuropile volumes, and behaviour. There are many examples, and this review incorporates only a select few, mainly those from Diptera and Hymenoptera. PMID:20036946

  11. Plasticity in the developing brain: implications for rehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Michael V

    2009-01-01

    Neuronal plasticity allows the central nervous system to learn skills and remember information, to reorganize neuronal networks in response to environmental stimulation, and to recover from brain and spinal cord injuries. Neuronal plasticity is enhanced in the developing brain and it is usually adaptive and beneficial but can also be maladaptive and responsible for neurological disorders in some situations. Basic mechanisms that are involved in plasticity include neurogenesis, programmed cell death, and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. Repetitive stimulation of synapses can cause long-term potentiation or long-term depression of neurotransmission. These changes are associated with physical changes in dendritic spines and neuronal circuits. Overproduction of synapses during postnatal development in children contributes to enhanced plasticity by providing an excess of synapses that are pruned during early adolescence. Clinical examples of adaptive neuronal plasticity include reorganization of cortical maps of the fingers in response to practice playing a stringed instrument and constraint-induced movement therapy to improve hemiparesis caused by stroke or cerebral palsy. These forms of plasticity are associated with structural and functional changes in the brain that can be detected with magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS and other forms of brain stimulation are also being used experimentally to enhance brain plasticity and recovery of function. Plasticity is also influenced by genetic factors such as mutations in brain-derived neuronal growth factor. Understanding brain plasticity provides a basis for developing better therapies to improve outcome from acquired brain injuries. PMID:19489084

  12. Hearing colors: an example of brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Alfaro, Arantxa; Bernabeu, Ángela; Agulló, Carlos; Parra, Jaime; Fernández, Eduardo

    2015-01-01

    Sensory substitution devices (SSDs) are providing new ways for improving or replacing sensory abilities that have been lost due to disease or injury, and at the same time offer unprecedented opportunities to address how the nervous system could lead to an augmentation of its capacities. In this work we have evaluated a color-blind subject using a new visual-to-auditory SSD device called "Eyeborg", that allows colors to be perceived as sounds. We used a combination of neuroimaging techniques including Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) and proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) to study potential brain plasticity in this subject. Our results suggest that after 8 years of continuous use of this device there could be significant adaptive and compensatory changes within the brain. In particular, we found changes in functional neural patterns, structural connectivity and cortical topography at the visual and auditive cortex of the Eyeborg user in comparison with a control population. Although at the moment we cannot claim that the continuous use of the Eyeborg is the only reason for these findings, our results may shed further light on potential brain changes associated with the use of other SSDs. This could help to better understand how the brain adapts to several pathologies and uncover adaptive resources such as cross-modal representations. We expect that the precise understanding of these changes will have clear implications for rehabilitative training, device development and for more efficient programs for people with disabilities. PMID:25926778

  13. Neural Plastic Effects of Cognitive Training on Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Natalie T. Y.; Tam, Helena M. K.; Chu, Leung W.; Kwok, Timothy C. Y.; Chan, Felix; Lam, Linda C. W.; Woo, Jean; Lee, Tatia M. C.

    2015-01-01

    Increasing research has evidenced that our brain retains a capacity to change in response to experience until late adulthood. This implies that cognitive training can possibly ameliorate age-associated cognitive decline by inducing training-specific neural plastic changes at both neural and behavioral levels. This longitudinal study examined the behavioral effects of a systematic thirteen-week cognitive training program on attention and working memory of older adults who were at risk of cognitive decline. These older adults were randomly assigned to the Cognitive Training Group (n = 109) and the Active Control Group (n = 100). Findings clearly indicated that training induced improvement in auditory and visual-spatial attention and working memory. The training effect was specific to the experience provided because no significant difference in verbal and visual-spatial memory between the two groups was observed. This pattern of findings is consistent with the prediction and the principle of experience-dependent neuroplasticity. Findings of our study provided further support to the notion that the neural plastic potential continues until older age. The baseline cognitive status did not correlate with pre- versus posttraining changes to any cognitive variables studied, suggesting that the initial cognitive status may not limit the neuroplastic potential of the brain at an old age. PMID:26417460

  14. Plastic brains and the dialectics of dialectics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loxley, Andrew; Murphy, Colette; Seery, Aidan

    2014-09-01

    This article advances the thinking of Lima, Ostermann and Rezende's "Marxism in Vygotskian approaches to cultural studies of science education" and Mark Zuss' response to their paper. Firstly, it introduces Catherine Malabou's concept of plasticity, from which Hegel's dialectic can be re-read as historical materialist self-determination in a way that embraces science but non-reductively, and which leads to the possibility of challenging theoretical rigidity as a form of transformative action. Secondly, this response article provides political analysis of scientific concepts as they reproduce and reinforce particular interests and are expropriated by policy makers and unaware teacher educators whose understanding lies within a technical-instrumentalism and diluted humanism framework. Both arguments feature the human brain as an object of research in science education. From Malabou, the emancipatory conceptualisation of the brain as material, historical and sociocultural; whilst `Brain Gym' exemplifies a non-science and nonsensical misappropriation of scientific concepts for commercial gain via a para-educational intervention.

  15. Unmasking Proteolytic Activity for Adult Visual Cortex Plasticity by the Removal of Lynx1

    PubMed Central

    Bukhari, Noreen; Burman, Poromendro N.; Hussein, Ayan; Demars, Michael P.; Sadahiro, Masato; Brady, Daniel M.; Tsirka, Stella E.; Russo, Scott J.

    2015-01-01

    Experience-dependent cortical plasticity declines with age. At the molecular level, experience-dependent proteolytic activity of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) becomes restricted in the adult brain if mice are raised in standard cages. Understanding the mechanism for the loss of permissive proteolytic activity is therefore a key link for improving function in adult brains. Using the mouse primary visual cortex (V1) as a model, we demonstrate that tPA activity in V1 can be unmasked following 4 d of monocular deprivation when the mice older than 2 months are raised in standard cages by the genetic removal of Lynx1, a negative regulator of adult plasticity. This was also associated with the reduction of stubby and thin spine density and enhancement of ocular dominance shift in adult V1 of Lynx1 knock-out (KO) mice. These structural and functional changes were tPA-dependent because genetic removal of tPA in Lynx1 KO mice can block the monocular deprivation-dependent reduction of dendritic spine density, whereas both genetic and adult specific inhibition of tPA activity can ablate the ocular dominance shift in Lynx1 KO mice. Our work demonstrates that the adult brain has an intrinsic potential for experience-dependent elevation of proteolytic activity to express juvenile-like structural and functional changes but is effectively limited by Lynx1 if mice are raised in standard cages. Insights into the Lynx1-tPA plasticity mechanism may provide novel therapeutic targets for adult brain disorders. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Experience-dependent proteolytic activity of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) becomes restricted in the adult brain in correlation with the decline in cortical plasticity when mice are raised in standard cages. We demonstrated that removal of Lynx1, one of negative regulators of plasticity, unmasks experience-dependent tPA elevation in visual cortex of adult mice reared in standard cages. This proteolytic elevation facilitated dendritic spine reduction

  16. Plasticity of Nonneuronal Brain Tissue: Roles in Developmental Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dong, Willie K.; Greenough, William T.

    2004-01-01

    Neuronal and nonneuronal plasticity are both affected by environmental and experiential factors. Remodeling of existing neurons induced by such factors has been observed throughout the brain, and includes alterations in dendritic field dimensions, synaptogenesis, and synaptic morphology. The brain loci affected by these plastic neuronal changes…

  17. Plasticity in the Developing Brain: Implications for Rehabilitation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnston, Michael V.

    2009-01-01

    Neuronal plasticity allows the central nervous system to learn skills and remember information, to reorganize neuronal networks in response to environmental stimulation, and to recover from brain and spinal cord injuries. Neuronal plasticity is enhanced in the developing brain and it is usually adaptive and beneficial but can also be maladaptive…

  18. Hearing colors: an example of brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Alfaro, Arantxa; Bernabeu, Ángela; Agulló, Carlos; Parra, Jaime; Fernández, Eduardo

    2015-01-01

    Sensory substitution devices (SSDs) are providing new ways for improving or replacing sensory abilities that have been lost due to disease or injury, and at the same time offer unprecedented opportunities to address how the nervous system could lead to an augmentation of its capacities. In this work we have evaluated a color-blind subject using a new visual-to-auditory SSD device called “Eyeborg”, that allows colors to be perceived as sounds. We used a combination of neuroimaging techniques including Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) and proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (1H-MRS) to study potential brain plasticity in this subject. Our results suggest that after 8 years of continuous use of this device there could be significant adaptive and compensatory changes within the brain. In particular, we found changes in functional neural patterns, structural connectivity and cortical topography at the visual and auditive cortex of the Eyeborg user in comparison with a control population. Although at the moment we cannot claim that the continuous use of the Eyeborg is the only reason for these findings, our results may shed further light on potential brain changes associated with the use of other SSDs. This could help to better understand how the brain adapts to several pathologies and uncover adaptive resources such as cross-modal representations. We expect that the precise understanding of these changes will have clear implications for rehabilitative training, device development and for more efficient programs for people with disabilities. PMID:25926778

  19. The Maternal Brain: An Organ with Peripartal Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Hillerer, Katharina Maria; Jacobs, Volker Rudolf; Fischer, Thorsten; Aigner, Ludwig

    2014-01-01

    The time of pregnancy, birth, and lactation, is characterized by numerous specific alterations in several systems of the maternal body. Peripartum-associated changes in physiology and behavior, as well as their underlying molecular mechanisms, have been the focus of research since decades, but are still far from being entirely understood. Also, there is growing evidence that pregnancy and lactation are associated with a variety of alterations in neural plasticity, including adult neurogenesis, functional and structural synaptic plasticity, and dendritic remodeling in different brain regions. All of the mentioned changes are not only believed to be a prerequisite for the proper fetal and neonatal development, but moreover to be crucial for the physiological and mental health of the mother. The underlying mechanisms apparently need to be under tight control, since in cases of dysregulation, a certain percentage of women develop disorders like preeclampsia or postpartum mood and anxiety disorders during the course of pregnancy and lactation. This review describes common peripartum adaptations in physiology and behavior. Moreover, it concentrates on different forms of peripartum-associated plasticity including changes in neurogenesis and their possible underlying molecular mechanisms. Finally, consequences of malfunction in those systems are discussed. PMID:24883213

  20. Measuring and Inducing Brain Plasticity in Chronic Aphasia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fridriksson, Julius

    2011-01-01

    Brain plasticity associated with anomia recovery in aphasia is poorly understood. Here, I review four recent studies from my lab that focused on brain modulation associated with long-term anomia outcome, its behavioral treatment, and the use of transcranial brain stimulation to enhance anomia treatment success in individuals with chronic aphasia…

  1. Neural Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation: Teaching the New Brain Old Tricks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kleim, Jeffrey A.

    2011-01-01

    Following brain injury or disease there are widespread biochemical, anatomical and physiological changes that result in what might be considered a new, very different brain. This adapted brain is forced to reacquire behaviors lost as a result of the injury or disease and relies on neural plasticity within the residual neural circuits. The same…

  2. Computational anatomy for studying use-dependant brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Draganski, Bogdan; Kherif, Ferath; Lutti, Antoine

    2014-01-01

    In this article we provide a comprehensive literature review on the in vivo assessment of use-dependant brain structure changes in humans using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computational anatomy. We highlight the recent findings in this field that allow the uncovering of the basic principles behind brain plasticity in light of the existing theoretical models at various scales of observation. Given the current lack of in-depth understanding of the neurobiological basis of brain structure changes we emphasize the necessity of a paradigm shift in the investigation and interpretation of use-dependent brain plasticity. Novel quantitative MRI acquisition techniques provide access to brain tissue microstructural properties (e.g., myelin, iron, and water content) in-vivo, thereby allowing unprecedented specific insights into the mechanisms underlying brain plasticity. These quantitative MRI techniques require novel methods for image processing and analysis of longitudinal data allowing for straightforward interpretation and causality inferences. PMID:25018716

  3. Brain plasticity and functional losses in the aged: scientific bases for a novel intervention.

    PubMed

    Mahncke, Henry W; Bronstone, Amy; Merzenich, Michael M

    2006-01-01

    Aging is associated with progressive losses in function across multiple systems, including sensation, cognition, memory, motor control, and affect. The traditional view has been that functional decline in aging is unavoidable because it is a direct consequence of brain machinery wearing down over time. In recent years, an alternative perspective has emerged, which elaborates on this traditional view of age-related functional decline. This new viewpoint--based upon decades of research in neuroscience, experimental psychology, and other related fields--argues that as people age, brain plasticity processes with negative consequences begin to dominate brain functioning. Four core factors--reduced schedules of brain activity, noisy processing, weakened neuromodulatory control, and negative learning--interact to create a self-reinforcing downward spiral of degraded brain function in older adults. This downward spiral might begin from reduced brain activity due to behavioral change, from a loss in brain function driven by aging brain machinery, or more likely from both. In aggregate, these interrelated factors promote plastic changes in the brain that result in age-related functional decline. This new viewpoint on the root causes of functional decline immediately suggests a remedial approach. Studies of adult brain plasticity have shown that substantial improvement in function and/or recovery from losses in sensation, cognition, memory, motor control, and affect should be possible, using appropriately designed behavioral training paradigms. Driving brain plasticity with positive outcomes requires engaging older adults in demanding sensory, cognitive, and motor activities on an intensive basis, in a behavioral context designed to re-engage and strengthen the neuromodulatory systems that control learning in adults, with the goal of increasing the fidelity, reliability, and power of cortical representations. Such a training program would serve a substantial unmet need in

  4. Homeostatic plasticity mechanisms are required for juvenile, but not adult, ocular dominance plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Ranson, Adam; Cheetham, Claire E. J.; Fox, Kevin; Sengpiel, Frank

    2012-01-01

    Ocular dominance (OD) plasticity in the visual cortex is a classic model system for understanding developmental plasticity, but the visual cortex also shows plasticity in adulthood. Whether the plasticity mechanisms are similar or different at the two ages is not clear. Several plasticity mechanisms operate during development, including homeostatic plasticity, which acts to maintain the total excitatory drive to a neuron. In agreement with this idea, we found that an often-studied substrain of C57BL/6 mice, C57BL/6JOlaHsd (6JOla), lacks both the homeostatic component of OD plasticity as assessed by intrinsic signal imaging and synaptic scaling of mEPSC amplitudes after a short period of dark exposure during the critical period, whereas another substrain, C57BL/6J (6J), exhibits both plasticity processes. However, in adult mice, OD plasticity was identical in the 6JOla and 6J substrains, suggesting that adult plasticity occurs by a different mechanism. Consistent with this interpretation, adult OD plasticity was normal in TNFα knockout mice, which are known to lack juvenile synaptic scaling and the homeostatic component of OD plasticity, but was absent in adult α-calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II;T286A (αCaMKIIT286A) mice, which have a point mutation that prevents autophosphorylation of αCaMKII. We conclude that increased responsiveness to open-eye stimulation after monocular deprivation during the critical period is a homeostatic process that depends mechanistically on synaptic scaling during the critical period, whereas in adult mice it is mediated by a different mechanism that requires αCaMKII autophosphorylation. Thus, our study reveals a transition between homeostatic and long-term potentiation–like plasticity mechanisms with increasing age. PMID:22232689

  5. Neurophysiological markers of plastic brain reorganization following central and peripheral lesions.

    PubMed

    Ferreri, Florinda; Guerra, Andrea; Rossini, Paolo Maria

    2014-12-01

    There is increasing evidence supporting the concept that adult brain has the remarkable ability to plastically reorganize itself. Brain plasticity involves distinct functional and structural components and plays a crucial role in reorganizing central nervous system's networks after central and peripheral lesions in order to partly or totally restore lost and/or compromised functions. This plastic rearrangement occurs in fact not only after a central nervous system injury but also following a peripheral lesion. Interestingly, the existence of a certain type of maladaptive plasticity was clearly recognized in the last decade, which gives reason for example to poor out- come performances or aberrant phenomena. In this review we analyze stroke and amputees studies, as illustrative conditions of central and peripheral nervous system damage, and discuss the adaptive as well maladaptive plastic brain changes following these lesions. The emerging possibility, through neuro-imaging and neurophysiological advanced techniques, to clarify some crucial issues underlying brain plasticity will give the chance to modulate these mechanisms in a highly personalized therapy. This approach may have a tremendous impact in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders opening a new era of restorative medicine. PMID:25987182

  6. Physical activity and brain plasticity in late adulthood.

    PubMed

    Erickson, Kirk I; Gildengers, Ariel G; Butters, Meryl A

    2013-03-01

    The human brain shrinks with advancing age, but recent research suggests that it is also capable of remarkable plasticity, even in late life. In this review we summarize the research linking greater amounts of physical activity to less cortical atrophy, better brain function, and enhanced cognitive function, and argue that physical activity takes advantage of the brain's natural capacity for plasticity. Further, although the effects of physical activity on the brain are relatively widespread, there is also some specificity, such that prefrontal and hippocampal areas appear to be more influenced than other areas of the brain. The specificity of these effects, we argue, provides a biological basis for understanding the capacity for physical activity to influence neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression. We conclude that physical activity is a promising intervention that can influence the endogenous pharmacology of the brain to enhance cognitive and emotional function in late adulthood. PMID:23576893

  7. Adult stem cell plasticity: will engineered tissues be rejected?

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Te-Chao; Alison, Malcolm R; Wright, Nicholas A; Poulsom, Richard

    2004-01-01

    The dogma that adult tissue-specific stem cells remain committed to supporting only their own tissue has been challenged; a new hypothesis, that adult stem cells demonstrate plasticity in their repertoires, is being tested. This is important because it seems possible that haematopoietic stem cells, for example, could be exploited to generate and perhaps deliver cell-based therapies deep within existing nonhaematopoietic organs. Much of the evidence for plasticity derives from histological studies of tissues from patients or animals that have received grafts of cells or whole organs, from a donor bearing (or lacking) a definitive marker. Detection in the recipient of appropriately differentiated cells bearing the donor marker is indicative of a switch in phenotype of a stem cell or a member of a transit amplifying population or of a differentiated cell. In this review, we discuss evidence for these changes occurring but do not consider the molecular basis of cell commitment. In general, the extent of engraftment is low but may be increased if tissues are damaged. In model systems of liver regeneration, the repeated application of a selection pressure increases levels of engraftment considerably; how this occurs is unclear. Cell fusion plays a part in regeneration and remodelling of the liver, skeletal muscle and even regions of the brain. Genetic disease may be amenable to some forms of cell therapy, yet immune rejection will present challenges. Graft-vs.-host disease will continue to present problems, although this may be avoided if the cells were derived from the recipient or they were tolerized. Despite great expectations for cellular therapies, there are indications that attempts to replace missing proteins could be confounded simply by the development of specific immunity that rejects the new phenotype. PMID:15255965

  8. Why and How Physical Activity Promotes Experience-Induced Brain Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kempermann, Gerd; Fabel, Klaus; Ehninger, Dan; Babu, Harish; Leal-Galicia, Perla; Garthe, Alexander; Wolf, Susanne A.

    2010-01-01

    Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is an unusual case of brain plasticity, since new neurons (and not just neurites and synapses) are added to the network in an activity-dependent way. At the behavioral level the plasticity-inducing stimuli include both physical and cognitive activity. In reductionistic animal studies these types of activity can be studied separately in paradigms like voluntary wheel running and environmental enrichment. In both of these, adult neurogenesis is increased but the net effect is primarily due to different mechanisms at the cellular level. Locomotion appears to stimulate the precursor cells, from which adult neurogenesis originates, to increased proliferation and maintenance over time, whereas environmental enrichment, as well as learning, predominantly promotes survival of immature neurons, that is the progeny of the proliferating precursor cells. Surprisingly, these effects are additive: boosting the potential for adult neurogenesis by physical activity increases the recruitment of cells following cognitive stimulation in an enriched environment. Why is that? We argue that locomotion actually serves as an intrinsic feedback mechanism, signaling to the brain, including its neural precursor cells, increasing the likelihood of cognitive challenges. In the wild (other than in front of a TV), no separation of physical and cognitive activity occurs. Physical activity might thus be much more than a generally healthy garnish to leading “an active life” but an evolutionarily fundamental aspect of “activity,” which is needed to provide the brain and its systems of plastic adaptation with the appropriate regulatory input and feedback. PMID:21151782

  9. Effects of Diet on Brain Plasticity in Animal and Human Studies: Mind the Gap

    PubMed Central

    Dias, Gisele Pereira

    2014-01-01

    Dietary interventions have emerged as effective environmental inducers of brain plasticity. Among these dietary interventions, we here highlight the impact of caloric restriction (CR: a consistent reduction of total daily food intake), intermittent fasting (IF, every-other-day feeding), and diet supplementation with polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on markers of brain plasticity in animal studies. Moreover, we also discuss epidemiological and intervention studies reporting the effects of CR, IF and dietary polyphenols and PUFAs on learning, memory, and mood. In particular, we evaluate the gap in mechanistic understanding between recent findings from animal studies and those human studies reporting that these dietary factors can benefit cognition, mood, and anxiety, aging, and Alzheimer's disease—with focus on the enhancement of structural and functional plasticity markers in the hippocampus, such as increased expression of neurotrophic factors, synaptic function and adult neurogenesis. Lastly, we discuss some of the obstacles to harnessing the promising effects of diet on brain plasticity in animal studies into effective recommendations and interventions to promote healthy brain function in humans. Together, these data reinforce the important translational concept that diet, a modifiable lifestyle factor, holds the ability to modulate brain health and function. PMID:24900924

  10. Effects of diet on brain plasticity in animal and human studies: mind the gap.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Tytus; Dias, Gisele Pereira; Thuret, Sandrine

    2014-01-01

    Dietary interventions have emerged as effective environmental inducers of brain plasticity. Among these dietary interventions, we here highlight the impact of caloric restriction (CR: a consistent reduction of total daily food intake), intermittent fasting (IF, every-other-day feeding), and diet supplementation with polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on markers of brain plasticity in animal studies. Moreover, we also discuss epidemiological and intervention studies reporting the effects of CR, IF and dietary polyphenols and PUFAs on learning, memory, and mood. In particular, we evaluate the gap in mechanistic understanding between recent findings from animal studies and those human studies reporting that these dietary factors can benefit cognition, mood, and anxiety, aging, and Alzheimer's disease-with focus on the enhancement of structural and functional plasticity markers in the hippocampus, such as increased expression of neurotrophic factors, synaptic function and adult neurogenesis. Lastly, we discuss some of the obstacles to harnessing the promising effects of diet on brain plasticity in animal studies into effective recommendations and interventions to promote healthy brain function in humans. Together, these data reinforce the important translational concept that diet, a modifiable lifestyle factor, holds the ability to modulate brain health and function. PMID:24900924

  11. Plastic Brains and the Dialectics of Dialectics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loxley, Andrew; Murphy, Colette; Seery, Aidan

    2014-01-01

    This article advances the thinking of Lima, Ostermann and Rezende's "Marxism in Vygotskian approaches to cultural studies of science education" and Mark Zuss' response to their paper. Firstly, it introduces Catherine Malabou's concept of plasticity, from which Hegel's dialectic can be re-read as historical materialist…

  12. Genetic Mapping of Brain Plasticity Across Development in Williams Syndrome: ERP Markers of Face and Language Processing

    PubMed Central

    Mills, D. L.; Dai, L.; Fishman, I.; Yam, A.; Appelbaum, L. G.; Galaburda, A.; Bellugi, U.; Korenberg, J. R.

    2014-01-01

    In Williams Syndrome (WS), a known genetic deletion results in atypical brain function with strengths in face and language processing. We examined how genetic influences on brain activity change with development. In three studies, ERPs from large samples of children, adolescents, and adults with the full genetic deletion for WS were compared to typically developing controls, and two adults with partial deletions for WS. Studies 1 and 2 identified ERP markers of brain plasticity in WS across development. Study 3 suggested that in adults with partial deletions for WS, specific genes may be differentially implicated in face and language processing. PMID:24219698

  13. Gene expression patterns underlying the reinstatement of plasticity in the adult visual system.

    PubMed

    Tiraboschi, Ettore; Guirado, Ramon; Greco, Dario; Auvinen, Petri; Maya-Vetencourt, Jose Fernando; Maffei, Lamberto; Castrén, Eero

    2013-01-01

    The nervous system is highly sensitive to experience during early postnatal life, but this phase of heightened plasticity decreases with age. Recent studies have demonstrated that developmental-like plasticity can be reactivated in the visual cortex of adult animals through environmental or pharmacological manipulations. These findings provide a unique opportunity to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms of adult plasticity. Here we used the monocular deprivation paradigm to investigate large-scale gene expression patterns underlying the reinstatement of plasticity produced by fluoxetine in the adult rat visual cortex. We found changes, confirmed with RT-PCRs, in gene expression in different biological themes, such as chromatin structure remodelling, transcription factors, molecules involved in synaptic plasticity, extracellular matrix, and excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission. Our findings reveal a key role for several molecules such as the metalloproteases Mmp2 and Mmp9 or the glycoprotein Reelin and open up new insights into the mechanisms underlying the reopening of the critical periods in the adult brain. PMID:23936678

  14. Physical activity, brain plasticity, and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Erickson, Kirk I; Weinstein, Andrea M; Lopez, Oscar L

    2012-11-01

    In this review we summarize the epidemiological, cross-sectional, and interventional studies examining the association between physical activity and brain volume, function, and risk for Alzheimer's disease. The epidemiological literature provides compelling evidence that greater amounts of physical activity are associated with a reduced risk of dementia in late life. In addition, randomized interventions using neuroimaging tools have reported that participation in physical activity increases the size of prefrontal and hippocampal brain areas, which may lead to a reduction in memory impairments. Consistent with these findings, longitudinal studies using neuroimaging tools also find that the volume of prefrontal and hippocampal brain areas are larger in individuals who engaged in more physical activity earlier in life. We conclude from this review that there is convincing evidence that physical activity has a consistent and robust association with brain regions implicated in age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease. In addition to summarizing this literature we provide recommendations for future research on physical activity and brain health. PMID:23085449

  15. A new form of rapid binocular plasticity in adult with amblyopia

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Jiawei; Thompson, Benjamin; Hess, Robert F.

    2013-01-01

    Amblyopia is a neurological disorder of binocular vision affecting up to 3% of the population resulting from a disrupted period of early visual development. Recently, it has been shown that vision can be partially restored by intensive monocular or dichoptic training (4–6 weeks). This can occur even in adults owing to a residual degree of brain plasticity initiated by repetitive and successive sensory stimulation. Here we show that the binocular imbalance that characterizes amblyopia can be reduced by occluding the amblyopic eye with a translucent patch for as little as 2.5 hours, suggesting a degree of rapid binocular plasticity in adults resulting from a lack of sensory stimulation. The integrated binocular benefit is larger in our amblyopic group than in our normal control group. We propose that this rapid improvement in function, as a result of reduced sensory stimulation, represents a new form of plasticity operating at a binocular site. PMID:24026421

  16. Activity-dependent synaptic plasticity modulates the critical phase of brain development.

    PubMed

    Chaudhury, Sraboni; Sharma, Vikram; Kumar, Vivek; Nag, Tapas C; Wadhwa, Shashi

    2016-04-01

    Plasticity or neuronal plasticity is a unique and adaptive feature of nervous system which allows neurons to reorganize their interactions in response to an intrinsic or extrinsic stimulation and shapes the formation and maintenance of a functional neuronal circuit. Synaptic plasticity is the most important form of neural plasticity and plays critical role during the development allowing the formation of precise neural connectivity via the process of pruning. In the sensory systems-auditory and visual, this process is heavily dependent on the external cues perceived during the development. Environmental enrichment paradigms in an activity-dependent manner result in early maturation of the synapses and more efficient trans-synaptic signaling or communication flow. This has been extensively observed in the avian auditory system. On the other hand, stimuli results in negative effect can cause alterations in the synaptic connectivity and strength resulting in various developmental brain disorders including autism, fragile X syndrome and rett syndrome. In this review we discuss the role of different forms of activity (spontaneous or environmental) during the development of the nervous system in modifying synaptic plasticity necessary for shaping the adult brain. Also, we try to explore various factors (molecular, genetic and epigenetic) involved in altering the synaptic plasticity in positive and negative way. PMID:26515724

  17. Delayed plastic responses to anodal tDCS in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Fujiyama, Hakuei; Hyde, Jane; Hinder, Mark R.; Kim, Seok-Jin; McCormack, Graeme H.; Vickers, James C.; Summers, Jeffery J.

    2014-01-01

    Despite the abundance of research reporting the neurophysiological and behavioral effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in healthy young adults and clinical populations, the extent of potential neuroplastic changes induced by tDCS in healthy older adults is not well understood. The present study compared the extent and time course of anodal tDCS-induced plastic changes in primary motor cortex (M1) in young and older adults. Furthermore, as it has been suggested that neuroplasticity and associated learning depends on the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene polymorphisms, we also assessed the impact of BDNF polymorphism on these effects. Corticospinal excitability was examined using transcranial magnetic stimulation before and following (0, 10, 20, 30 min) anodal tDCS (30 min, 1 mA) or sham in young and older adults. While the overall extent of increases in corticospinal excitability induced by anodal tDCS did not vary reliably between young and older adults, older adults exhibited a delayed response; the largest increase in corticospinal excitability occurred 30 min following stimulation for older adults, but immediately post-stimulation for the young group. BDNF genotype did not result in significant differences in the observed excitability increases for either age group. The present study suggests that tDCS-induced plastic changes are delayed as a result of healthy aging, but that the overall efficacy of the plasticity mechanism remains unaffected. PMID:24936185

  18. Structural and Functional Plasticity in the Maternal Brain Circuitry.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Mariana

    2016-09-01

    Parenting recruits a distributed network of brain structures (and neuromodulators) that coordinates caregiving responses attuned to the young's affect, needs, and developmental stage. Many of these structures and connections undergo significant structural and functional plasticity, mediated by the interplay between maternal hormones and social experience while the reciprocal relationship between the mother and her infant forms and develops. These alterations account for the remarkable behavioral plasticity of mothers. This review will examine the molecular and neurobiological modulation and plasticity through which parenting develops and adjusts in new mothers, primarily discussing recent findings in nonhuman animals. A better understanding of how parenting impacts the brain at the molecular, cellular, systems/network, and behavioral levels is likely to significantly contribute to novel strategies for treating postpartum neuropsychiatric disorders in new mothers, and critical for both the mother's physiological and mental health and the development and well-being of her young. PMID:27589496

  19. Auditory Training: Evidence for Neural Plasticity in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Samira; Kraus, Nina

    2014-01-01

    Improvements in digital amplification, cochlear implants, and other innovations have extended the potential for improving hearing function; yet, there remains a need for further hearing improvement in challenging listening situations, such as when trying to understand speech in noise or when listening to music. Here, we review evidence from animal and human models of plasticity in the brain’s ability to process speech and other meaningful stimuli. We considered studies targeting populations of younger through older adults, emphasizing studies that have employed randomized controlled designs and have made connections between neural and behavioral changes. Overall results indicate that the brain remains malleable through older adulthood, provided that treatment algorithms have been modified to allow for changes in learning with age. Improvements in speech-in-noise perception and cognition function accompany neural changes in auditory processing. The training-related improvements noted across studies support the need to consider auditory training strategies in the management of individuals who express concerns about hearing in difficult listening situations. Given evidence from studies engaging the brain’s reward centers, future research should consider how these centers can be naturally activated during training. PMID:25485037

  20. Successful brain aging: plasticity, environmental enrichment, and lifestyle

    PubMed Central

    Mora, Francisco

    2013-01-01

    Aging is a physiological process that can develop without the appearance of concurrent diseases. However, very frequently, older people suffer from memory loss and an accelerated cognitive decline. Studies of the neurobiology of aging are beginning to decipher the mechanisms underlying not only the physiology of aging of the brain but also the mechanisms that make people more vulnerable to cognitive dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases. Today we know that the aging brain retains a considerable functional plasticity, and that this plasticity is positively promoted by genes activated by different lifestyle factors. In this article some of these lifestyle factors and their mechanisms of action are reviewed, including environmental enrichment and the importance of food intake and some nutrients. Aerobic physical exercise and reduction of chronic stress are also briefly reviewed. It is proposed that lifestyle factors are powerful instruments to promote healthy and successful aging of the brain and delay the appearance of age-related cognitive deficits in elderly people. PMID:23576888

  1. Adult Born Olfactory Bulb Dopaminergic Interneurons: Molecular Determinants and Experience-Dependent Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Bonzano, Sara; Bovetti, Serena; Gendusa, Claudio; Peretto, Paolo; De Marchis, Silvia

    2016-01-01

    The olfactory bulb (OB) is a highly plastic brain region involved in the early processing of olfactory information. A remarkably feature of the OB circuits in rodents is the constitutive integration of new neurons that takes place during adulthood. Newborn cells in the adult OB are mostly inhibitory interneurons belonging to chemically, morphologically and functionally heterogeneous types. Although there is general agreement that adult neurogenesis in the OB plays a key role in sensory information processing and olfaction-related plasticity, the contribution of each interneuron subtype to such functions is far to be elucidated. Here, we focus on the dopaminergic (DA) interneurons: we highlight recent findings about their morphological features and then describe the molecular factors required for the specification/differentiation and maintenance of the DA phenotype in adult born neurons. We also discuss dynamic changes of the DA interneuron population related to age, environmental stimuli and lesions, and their possible functional implications. PMID:27199651

  2. Adult Born Olfactory Bulb Dopaminergic Interneurons: Molecular Determinants and Experience-Dependent Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Bonzano, Sara; Bovetti, Serena; Gendusa, Claudio; Peretto, Paolo; De Marchis, Silvia

    2016-01-01

    The olfactory bulb (OB) is a highly plastic brain region involved in the early processing of olfactory information. A remarkably feature of the OB circuits in rodents is the constitutive integration of new neurons that takes place during adulthood. Newborn cells in the adult OB are mostly inhibitory interneurons belonging to chemically, morphologically and functionally heterogeneous types. Although there is general agreement that adult neurogenesis in the OB plays a key role in sensory information processing and olfaction-related plasticity, the contribution of each interneuron subtype to such functions is far to be elucidated. Here, we focus on the dopaminergic (DA) interneurons: we highlight recent findings about their morphological features and then describe the molecular factors required for the specification/differentiation and maintenance of the DA phenotype in adult born neurons. We also discuss dynamic changes of the DA interneuron population related to age, environmental stimuli and lesions, and their possible functional implications. PMID:27199651

  3. Temporal profiles of synaptic plasticity-related signals in adult mouse hippocampus with methotrexate treatment.

    PubMed

    Yang, Miyoung; Kim, Juhwan; Kim, Sung-Ho; Kim, Joong-Sun; Shin, Taekyun; Moon, Changjong

    2012-07-25

    Methotrexate, which is used to treat many malignancies and autoimmune diseases, affects brain functions including hippocampal-dependent memory function. However, the precise mechanisms underlying methotrexate-induced hippocampal dysfunction are poorly understood. To evaluate temporal changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals, the expression and activity of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor 1, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, cAMP responsive element-binding protein, glutamate receptor 1, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor were examined in the hippocampi of adult C57BL/6 mice after methotrexate (40 mg/kg) intraperitoneal injection. Western blot analysis showed biphasic changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals in adult hippocampi following methotrexate treatment. N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor 1, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and glutamate receptor 1 were acutely activated during the early phase (1 day post-injection), while extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and cAMP responsive element-binding protein activation showed biphasic increases during the early (1 day post-injection) and late phases (7-14 days post-injection). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor expression increased significantly during the late phase (7-14 days post-injection). Therefore, methotrexate treatment affects synaptic plasticity-related signals in the adult mouse hippocampus, suggesting that changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals may be associated with neuronal survival and plasticity-related cellular remodeling. PMID:25657706

  4. Coexistence of reactive plasticity and neurodegeneration in Alzheimer diseased brains.

    PubMed

    Guevara, J; Dilhuydy, H; Espinosa, B; Delacourte, A; Quirion, R; Mena, R; Joanette, Y; Zenteno, E; Robitaille, Y

    2004-10-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a pathological process characterized by neuron degeneration and, as recently suggested, brain plasticity. In this work, we compared the reactive plasticity in AD brains associated to O-glycosydically linked glycans, recognized by lectins from Amaranthus leucocarpus (ALL) and Macrobrachium rosenbergii (MRL), and the tau neuritic degeneration. The neuritic degenerative process was evaluated by the quantification of aggregated neuritic structures. Lesions were determined using antibodies against hyperphosphorylated-tau (AD2), amyloid-beta, and synaptophysin. In these conditions, we classified and quantified three pathological structures associated to the neuritic degenerative process: 1) Amyloid-beta deposits (AbetaDs), 2) Classic neuritic plaques (NPs), and 3) Dystrophic neurites clusters (DNCs) lacking amyloid-beta deposits. Reactive plasticity structures were constituted by meganeuritic clusters (MCs) and peri-neuronal sprouting in neurons of the CA4 region of the hippocampus, immunoreactive to synaptophysin (exclusively in AD brains) and GAP-43. Besides, MCs were associated to sialylated O-glycosydically linked glycans as determined by positive labeling with ALL and MRL. Considering that these lectins are specific for the synaptic sprouting process in AD, our results suggest the co-occurrence of of several areas of reactive plasticity and neuron degeneration in AD. PMID:15375749

  5. Nogo Receptor Signaling Restricts Adult Neural Plasticity by Limiting Synaptic AMPA Receptor Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Jitsuki, Susumu; Nakajima, Waki; Takemoto, Kiwamu; Sano, Akane; Tada, Hirobumi; Takahashi-Jitsuki, Aoi; Takahashi, Takuya

    2016-01-01

    Experience-dependent plasticity is limited in the adult brain, and its molecular and cellular mechanisms are poorly understood. Removal of the myelin-inhibiting signaling protein, Nogo receptor (NgR1), restores adult neural plasticity. Here we found that, in NgR1-deficient mice, whisker experience-driven synaptic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptor (AMPAR) insertion in the barrel cortex, which is normally complete by 2 weeks after birth, lasts into adulthood. In vivo live imaging by two-photon microscopy revealed more AMPAR on the surface of spines in the adult barrel cortex of NgR1-deficient than on those of wild-type (WT) mice. Furthermore, we observed that whisker stimulation produced new spines in the adult barrel cortex of mutant but not WT mice, and that the newly synthesized spines contained surface AMPAR. These results suggest that Nogo signaling limits plasticity by restricting synaptic AMPAR delivery in coordination with anatomical plasticity. PMID:26472557

  6. In pursuit of resilience: stress, epigenetics, and brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    McEwen, Bruce S

    2016-06-01

    The brain is the central organ for adaptation to experiences, including stressors, which are capable of changing brain architecture as well as altering systemic function through neuroendocrine, autonomic, immune, and metabolic systems. Because the brain is the master regulator of these systems, as well as of behavior, alterations in brain function by chronic stress can have direct and indirect effects on cumulative allostatic overload, which refers to the cost of adaptation. There is much new knowledge on the neural control of systemic physiology and the feedback actions of physiologic mediators on brain regions regulating higher cognitive function, emotional regulation, and self-regulation. The healthy brain has a considerable capacity for resilience, based upon its ability to respond to interventions designed to open "windows of plasticity" and redirect its function toward better health. As a result, plasticity-facilitating treatments should be given within the framework of a positive behavioral intervention; negative experiences during this window may even make matters worse. Indeed, there are no magic bullets and drugs cannot substitute for targeted interventions that help an individual become resilient, of which mindfulness-based stress reduction and meditation are emerging as useful tools. PMID:26919273

  7. Brain plasticity and functionality explored by nonlinear optical microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sacconi, L.; Allegra, L.; Buffelli, M.; Cesare, P.; D'Angelo, E.; Gandolfi, D.; Grasselli, G.; Lotti, J.; Mapelli, J.; Strata, P.; Pavone, F. S.

    2010-02-01

    In combination with fluorescent protein (XFP) expression techniques, two-photon microscopy has become an indispensable tool to image cortical plasticity in living mice. In parallel to its application in imaging, multi-photon absorption has also been used as a tool for the dissection of single neurites with submicrometric precision without causing any visible collateral damage to the surrounding neuronal structures. In this work, multi-photon nanosurgery is applied to dissect single climbing fibers expressing GFP in the cerebellar cortex. The morphological consequences are then characterized with time lapse 3-dimensional two-photon imaging over a period of minutes to days after the procedure. Preliminary investigations show that the laser induced fiber dissection recalls a regenerative process in the fiber itself over a period of days. These results show the possibility of this innovative technique to investigate regenerative processes in adult brain. In parallel with imaging and manipulation technique, non-linear microscopy offers the opportunity to optically record electrical activity in intact neuronal networks. In this work, we combined the advantages of second-harmonic generation (SHG) with a random access (RA) excitation scheme to realize a new microscope (RASH) capable of optically recording fast membrane potential events occurring in a wide-field of view. The RASH microscope, in combination with bulk loading of tissue with FM4-64 dye, was used to simultaneously record electrical activity from clusters of Purkinje cells in acute cerebellar slices. Complex spikes, both synchronous and asynchronous, were optically recorded simultaneously across a given population of neurons. Spontaneous electrical activity was also monitored simultaneously in pairs of neurons, where action potentials were recorded without averaging across trials. These results show the strength of this technique in describing the temporal dynamics of neuronal assemblies, opening promising

  8. Regulation of Adult Neurogenesis and Plasticity by (Early) Stress, Glucocorticoids, and Inflammation.

    PubMed

    Lucassen, Paul J; Oomen, Charlotte A; Naninck, Eva F G; Fitzsimons, Carlos P; van Dam, Anne-Marie; Czeh, Boldizsár; Korosi, Aniko

    2015-09-01

    Exposure to stress is one of the best-known negative regulators of adult neurogenesis (AN). We discuss changes in neurogenesis in relation to exposure to stress, glucocorticoid hormones, and inflammation, with a particular focus on early development and on lasting effects of stress. Although the effects of acute and mild stress on AN are generally brief and can be quickly overcome, chronic exposure or more severe forms of stress can induce longer lasting reductions in neurogenesis that can, however, in part, be overcome by subsequent exposure to exercise, drugs targeting the stress system, and some antidepressants. Exposure to stress, particularly during the sensitive period of early life, may (re)program brain plasticity, in particular, in the hippocampus. This may increase the risk to develop cognitive or anxiety symptoms, common to brain diseases like dementia and depression in which plasticity changes occur, and a normalization of neurogenesis may be required for a successful treatment response and recovery. PMID:26330520

  9. Modulating Hippocampal Plasticity with In Vivo Brain Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Carhuatanta, Kim A.; McInturf, Shawn M.; Miklasevich, Molly K.; Jankord, Ryan

    2015-01-01

    Investigations into the use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in relieving symptoms of neurological disorders and enhancing cognitive or motor performance have exhibited promising results. However, the mechanisms by which tDCS effects brain function remain under scrutiny. We have demonstrated that in vivo tDCS in rats produced a lasting effect on hippocampal synaptic plasticity, as measured using extracellular recordings. Ex vivo preparations of hippocampal slices from rats that have been subjected to tDCS of 0.10 or 0.25 mA for 30 min followed by 30 min of recovery time displayed a robust twofold enhancement in long-term potentiation (LTP) induction accompanied by a 30% increase in paired-pulse facilitation (PPF). The magnitude of the LTP effect was greater with 0.25 mA compared with 0.10 mA stimulations, suggesting a dose-dependent relationship between tDCS intensity and its effect on synaptic plasticity. To test the persistence of these observed effects, animals were stimulated in vivo for 30 min at 0.25 mA and then allowed to return to their home cage for 24 h. Observation of the enhanced LTP induction, but not the enhanced PPF, continued 24 h after completion of 0.25 mA of tDCS. Addition of the NMDA blocker AP-5 abolished LTP in both control and stimulated rats but maintained the PPF enhancement in stimulated rats. The observation of enhanced LTP and PPF after tDCS demonstrates that non-invasive electrical stimulation is capable of modifying synaptic plasticity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Researchers have used brain stimulation such as transcranial direct current stimulation on human subjects to alleviate symptoms of neurological disorders and enhance their performance. Here, using rats, we have investigated the potential mechanisms of how in vivo brain stimulation can produce such effect. We recorded directly on viable brain slices from rats after brain stimulation to detect lasting changes in pattern of neuronal activity. Our results showed that

  10. Evolution, development, and plasticity of the human brain: from molecules to bones.

    PubMed

    Hrvoj-Mihic, Branka; Bienvenu, Thibault; Stefanacci, Lisa; Muotri, Alysson R; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2013-01-01

    Neuroanatomical, molecular, and paleontological evidence is examined in light of human brain evolution. The brain of extant humans differs from the brains of other primates in its overall size and organization, and differences in size and organization of specific cortical areas and subcortical structures implicated into complex cognition and social and emotional processing. The human brain is also characterized by functional lateralizations, reflecting specializations of the cerebral hemispheres in humans for different types of processing, facilitating fast and reliable communication between neural cells in an enlarged brain. The features observed in the adult brain reflect human-specific patterns of brain development. Compared to the brains of other primates, the human brain takes longer to mature, promoting an extended period for establishing cortical microcircuitry and its modifications. Together, these features may underlie the prolonged period of learning and acquisition of technical and social skills necessary for survival, creating a unique cognitive and behavioral niche typical of our species. The neuroanatomical findings are in concordance with molecular analyses, which suggest a trend toward heterochrony in the expression of genes implicated in different functions. These include synaptogenesis, neuronal maturation, and plasticity in humans, mutations in genes implicated in neurite outgrowth and plasticity, and an increased role of regulatory mechanisms, potentially promoting fast modification of neuronal morphologies in response to new computational demands. At the same time, endocranial casts of fossil hominins provide an insight into the timing of the emergence of uniquely human features in the course of evolution. We conclude by proposing several ways of combining comparative neuroanatomy, molecular biology and insights gained from fossil endocasts in future research. PMID:24194709

  11. Evolution, development, and plasticity of the human brain: from molecules to bones

    PubMed Central

    Hrvoj-Mihic, Branka; Bienvenu, Thibault; Stefanacci, Lisa; Muotri, Alysson R.; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2013-01-01

    Neuroanatomical, molecular, and paleontological evidence is examined in light of human brain evolution. The brain of extant humans differs from the brains of other primates in its overall size and organization, and differences in size and organization of specific cortical areas and subcortical structures implicated into complex cognition and social and emotional processing. The human brain is also characterized by functional lateralizations, reflecting specializations of the cerebral hemispheres in humans for different types of processing, facilitating fast and reliable communication between neural cells in an enlarged brain. The features observed in the adult brain reflect human-specific patterns of brain development. Compared to the brains of other primates, the human brain takes longer to mature, promoting an extended period for establishing cortical microcircuitry and its modifications. Together, these features may underlie the prolonged period of learning and acquisition of technical and social skills necessary for survival, creating a unique cognitive and behavioral niche typical of our species. The neuroanatomical findings are in concordance with molecular analyses, which suggest a trend toward heterochrony in the expression of genes implicated in different functions. These include synaptogenesis, neuronal maturation, and plasticity in humans, mutations in genes implicated in neurite outgrowth and plasticity, and an increased role of regulatory mechanisms, potentially promoting fast modification of neuronal morphologies in response to new computational demands. At the same time, endocranial casts of fossil hominins provide an insight into the timing of the emergence of uniquely human features in the course of evolution. We conclude by proposing several ways of combining comparative neuroanatomy, molecular biology and insights gained from fossil endocasts in future research. PMID:24194709

  12. A Semi-Persistent Adult Ocular Dominance Plasticity in Visual Cortex Is Stabilized by Activated CREB

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barco, Angel; Kandel, Eric R.; Gordon, Barbara; Lickey, Marvin E.; Suzuki, Seigo; Pham, Tony A.; Graham, Sarah J.

    2004-01-01

    The adult cerebral cortex can adapt to environmental change. Using monocular deprivation as a paradigm, we find that rapid experience-dependent plasticity exists even in the mature primary visual cortex. However, adult cortical plasticity differs from developmental plasticity in two important ways. First, the effect of adult, but not juvenile…

  13. Increased morphological asymmetry, evolvability and plasticity in human brain evolution

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Robles, Aida; Hopkins, William D.; Sherwood, Chet C.

    2013-01-01

    The study of hominin brain evolution relies mostly on evaluation of the endocranial morphology of fossil skulls. However, only some general features of external brain morphology are evident from endocasts, and many anatomical details can be difficult or impossible to examine. In this study, we use geometric morphometric techniques to evaluate inter- and intraspecific differences in cerebral morphology in a sample of in vivo magnetic resonance imaging scans of chimpanzees and humans, with special emphasis on the study of asymmetric variation. Our study reveals that chimpanzee–human differences in cerebral morphology are mainly symmetric; by contrast, there is continuity in asymmetric variation between species, with humans showing an increased range of variation. Moreover, asymmetric variation does not appear to be the result of allometric scaling at intraspecific levels, whereas symmetric changes exhibit very slight allometric effects within each species. Our results emphasize two key properties of brain evolution in the hominine clade: first, evolution of chimpanzee and human brains (and probably their last common ancestor and related species) is not strongly morphologically constrained, thus making their brains highly evolvable and responsive to selective pressures; second, chimpanzee and, especially, human brains show high levels of fluctuating asymmetry indicative of pronounced developmental plasticity. We infer that these two characteristics can have a role in human cognitive evolution. PMID:23615289

  14. Indestructible plastic: the neuroscience of the new aging brain.

    PubMed

    Holman, Constance; de Villers-Sidani, Etienne

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, research on experience-dependent plasticity has provided valuable insight on adaptation to environmental input across the lifespan, and advances in understanding the minute cellular changes underlying the brain's capacity for self-reorganization have opened exciting new possibilities for treating illness and injury. Ongoing work in this line of inquiry has also come to deeply influence another field: cognitive neuroscience of the normal aging. This complex process, once considered inevitable or beyond the reach of treatment, has been transformed into an arena of intense investigation and strategic intervention. However, important questions remain about this characterization of the aging brain, and the assumptions it makes about the social, cultural, and biological space occupied by cognition in the older individual and body. The following paper will provide a critical examination of the move from basic experiments on the neurophysiology of experience-dependent plasticity to the growing market for (and public conception of) cognitive aging as a medicalized space for intervention by neuroscience-backed technologies. Entangled with changing concepts of normality, pathology, and self-preservation, we will argue that this new understanding, led by personalized cognitive training strategies, is approaching a point where interdisciplinary research is crucial to provide a holistic and nuanced understanding of the aging process. This new outlook will allow us to move forward in a space where our knowledge, like our new conception of the brain, is never static. PMID:24782746

  15. Plasticity of the Maternal Brain Across the Lifespan.

    PubMed

    Champagne, Frances A; Curley, James P

    2016-09-01

    Maternal behavior is dynamic and highly sensitive to experiential and contextual factors. In this review, this plasticity will be explored, with a focus on how experiences of females occurring from the time of fetal development through to adulthood impact maternal behavior and the maternal brain. Variation in postpartum maternal behavior is dependent on estrogen sensitivity within the medial preoptic area of the hypothalamus and activation within mesolimbic dopamine neurons. This review will discuss how experiences across the lifespan alter the function of these systems and the multigenerational consequences of these neuroendocrine and behavioral changes. These studies, based primarily on the examination of maternal behavior in laboratory rodents and nonhuman primates, provide mechanistic insights relevant to our understanding of human maternal behavior and to the mechanisms of lifelong plasticity. PMID:27589495

  16. Brain size and limits to adult neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    Paredes, Mercedes F; Sorrells, Shawn F; Garcia-Verdugo, Jose M; Alvarez-Buylla, Arturo

    2016-02-15

    The walls of the cerebral ventricles in the developing embryo harbor the primary neural stem cells from which most neurons and glia derive. In many vertebrates, neurogenesis continues postnatally and into adulthood in this region. Adult neurogenesis at the ventricle has been most extensively studied in organisms with small brains, such as reptiles, birds, and rodents. In reptiles and birds, these progenitor cells give rise to young neurons that migrate into many regions of the forebrain. Neurogenesis in adult rodents is also relatively widespread along the lateral ventricles, but migration is largely restricted to the rostral migratory stream into the olfactory bulb. Recent work indicates that the wall of the lateral ventricle is highly regionalized, with progenitor cells giving rise to different types of neurons depending on their location. In species with larger brains, young neurons born in these spatially specified domains become dramatically separated from potential final destinations. Here we hypothesize that the increase in size and topographical complexity (e.g., intervening white matter tracts) in larger brains may severely limit the long-term contribution of new neurons born close to, or in, the ventricular wall. We compare the process of adult neuronal birth, migration, and integration across species with different brain sizes, and discuss how early regional specification of progenitor cells may interact with brain size and affect where and when new neurons are added. PMID:26417888

  17. Review of Research: Neuroscience and the Impact of Brain Plasticity on Braille Reading

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hannan, Cheryl Kamei

    2006-01-01

    In this systematic review of research, the author analyzes studies of neural cortical activation, brain plasticity, and braille reading. The conclusions regarding the brain's plasticity and ability to reorganize are encouraging for individuals with degenerative eye conditions or late-onset blindness because they indicate that the brain can make…

  18. The maternal brain and its plasticity in humans.

    PubMed

    Kim, Pilyoung; Strathearn, Lane; Swain, James E

    2016-01-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Parental Care". Early mother-infant relationships play important roles in infants' optimal development. New mothers undergo neurobiological changes that support developing mother-infant relationships regardless of great individual differences in those relationships. In this article, we review the neural plasticity in human mothers' brains based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies. First, we review the neural circuits that are involved in establishing and maintaining mother-infant relationships. Second, we discuss early postpartum factors (e.g., birth and feeding methods, hormones, and parental sensitivity) that are associated with individual differences in maternal brain neuroplasticity. Third, we discuss abnormal changes in the maternal brain related to psychopathology (i.e., postpartum depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse) and potential brain remodeling associated with interventions. Last, we highlight potentially important future research directions to better understand normative changes in the maternal brain and risks for abnormal changes that may disrupt early mother-infant relationships. PMID:26268151

  19. An Evolutionary Computation Approach to Examine Functional Brain Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Roy, Arnab; Campbell, Colin; Bernier, Rachel A; Hillary, Frank G

    2016-01-01

    One common research goal in systems neurosciences is to understand how the functional relationship between a pair of regions of interest (ROIs) evolves over time. Examining neural connectivity in this way is well-suited for the study of developmental processes, learning, and even in recovery or treatment designs in response to injury. For most fMRI based studies, the strength of the functional relationship between two ROIs is defined as the correlation between the average signal representing each region. The drawback to this approach is that much information is lost due to averaging heterogeneous voxels, and therefore, the functional relationship between a ROI-pair that evolve at a spatial scale much finer than the ROIs remain undetected. To address this shortcoming, we introduce a novel evolutionary computation (EC) based voxel-level procedure to examine functional plasticity between an investigator defined ROI-pair by simultaneously using subject-specific BOLD-fMRI data collected from two sessions seperated by finite duration of time. This data-driven procedure detects a sub-region composed of spatially connected voxels from each ROI (a so-called sub-regional-pair) such that the pair shows a significant gain/loss of functional relationship strength across the two time points. The procedure is recursive and iteratively finds all statistically significant sub-regional-pairs within the ROIs. Using this approach, we examine functional plasticity between the default mode network (DMN) and the executive control network (ECN) during recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI); the study includes 14 TBI and 12 healthy control subjects. We demonstrate that the EC based procedure is able to detect functional plasticity where a traditional averaging based approach fails. The subject-specific plasticity estimates obtained using the EC-procedure are highly consistent across multiple runs. Group-level analyses using these plasticity estimates showed an increase in the strength

  20. An Evolutionary Computation Approach to Examine Functional Brain Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Arnab; Campbell, Colin; Bernier, Rachel A.; Hillary, Frank G.

    2016-01-01

    One common research goal in systems neurosciences is to understand how the functional relationship between a pair of regions of interest (ROIs) evolves over time. Examining neural connectivity in this way is well-suited for the study of developmental processes, learning, and even in recovery or treatment designs in response to injury. For most fMRI based studies, the strength of the functional relationship between two ROIs is defined as the correlation between the average signal representing each region. The drawback to this approach is that much information is lost due to averaging heterogeneous voxels, and therefore, the functional relationship between a ROI-pair that evolve at a spatial scale much finer than the ROIs remain undetected. To address this shortcoming, we introduce a novel evolutionary computation (EC) based voxel-level procedure to examine functional plasticity between an investigator defined ROI-pair by simultaneously using subject-specific BOLD-fMRI data collected from two sessions seperated by finite duration of time. This data-driven procedure detects a sub-region composed of spatially connected voxels from each ROI (a so-called sub-regional-pair) such that the pair shows a significant gain/loss of functional relationship strength across the two time points. The procedure is recursive and iteratively finds all statistically significant sub-regional-pairs within the ROIs. Using this approach, we examine functional plasticity between the default mode network (DMN) and the executive control network (ECN) during recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI); the study includes 14 TBI and 12 healthy control subjects. We demonstrate that the EC based procedure is able to detect functional plasticity where a traditional averaging based approach fails. The subject-specific plasticity estimates obtained using the EC-procedure are highly consistent across multiple runs. Group-level analyses using these plasticity estimates showed an increase in the strength

  1. Self-Organized Criticality Model for Brain Plasticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Arcangelis, Lucilla; Perrone-Capano, Carla; Herrmann, Hans J.

    2006-01-01

    Networks of living neurons exhibit an avalanche mode of activity, experimentally found in organotypic cultures. Here we present a model that is based on self-organized criticality and takes into account brain plasticity, which is able to reproduce the spectrum of electroencephalograms (EEG). The model consists of an electrical network with threshold firing and activity-dependent synapse strengths. The system exhibits an avalanche activity in a power-law distribution. The analysis of the power spectra of the electrical signal reproduces very robustly the power-law behavior with the exponent 0.8, experimentally measured in EEG spectra. The same value of the exponent is found on small-world lattices and for leaky neurons, indicating that universality holds for a wide class of brain models.

  2. Anatomical plasticity in the adult Zebra Finch song system

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, Kathryn S.; Kirn, John R.

    2012-01-01

    In many songbirds, vocal learning-related cellular plasticity was thought to end following a developmental critical period. However, mounting evidence in one such species, the zebra finch, suggests that forms of plasticity common during song learning continue well into adulthood, including a reliance on auditory feedback for song maintenance. This reliance wanes with increasing age, in tandem with age-related increases in fine motor control. We investigated age-related morphological changes in the adult zebra finch song system by focusing on two cortical projection neuron types that a) share a common efferent target, b) are known to exhibit morphological and functional change during song learning, and c) exert opposing influences on song acoustic structure. Neurons in HVC (proper name) and the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN) both project to the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA). During juvenile song learning and adult song maintenance, HVC promotes song syllable stereotypy while LMAN promotes learning and acoustic variability. Following retrograde labeling of these two cell types in adults, there were age-related increases in dendritic arbor in HVC-RA but not LMAN-RA neurons, resulting in an increase in the ratio of HVC-RA:LMAN-RA dendritic arbor. Differential growth of HVC relative to LMAN dendrites may relate to increases in song motor refinement, decreases in the reliance of song on auditory feedback, or both. Despite this differential growth with age, we also show that both cell types retain the capacity for experience-dependent growth. These results may provide insights on mechanisms that promote and constrain adult vocal plasticity. PMID:22473463

  3. Indestructible plastic: the neuroscience of the new aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Holman, Constance; de Villers-Sidani, Etienne

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, research on experience-dependent plasticity has provided valuable insight on adaptation to environmental input across the lifespan, and advances in understanding the minute cellular changes underlying the brain’s capacity for self-reorganization have opened exciting new possibilities for treating illness and injury. Ongoing work in this line of inquiry has also come to deeply influence another field: cognitive neuroscience of the normal aging. This complex process, once considered inevitable or beyond the reach of treatment, has been transformed into an arena of intense investigation and strategic intervention. However, important questions remain about this characterization of the aging brain, and the assumptions it makes about the social, cultural, and biological space occupied by cognition in the older individual and body. The following paper will provide a critical examination of the move from basic experiments on the neurophysiology of experience-dependent plasticity to the growing market for (and public conception of) cognitive aging as a medicalized space for intervention by neuroscience-backed technologies. Entangled with changing concepts of normality, pathology, and self-preservation, we will argue that this new understanding, led by personalized cognitive training strategies, is approaching a point where interdisciplinary research is crucial to provide a holistic and nuanced understanding of the aging process. This new outlook will allow us to move forward in a space where our knowledge, like our new conception of the brain, is never static. PMID:24782746

  4. GABA regulates synaptic integration of newly generated neurons in the adult brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, Shaoyu; Goh, Eyleen L. K.; Sailor, Kurt A.; Kitabatake, Yasuji; Ming, Guo-Li; Song, Hongjun

    2006-02-01

    Adult neurogenesis, the birth and integration of new neurons from adult neural stem cells, is a striking form of structural plasticity and highlights the regenerative capacity of the adult mammalian brain. Accumulating evidence suggests that neuronal activity regulates adult neurogenesis and that new neurons contribute to specific brain functions. The mechanism that regulates the integration of newly generated neurons into the pre-existing functional circuitry in the adult brain is unknown. Here we show that newborn granule cells in the dentate gyrus of the adult hippocampus are tonically activated by ambient GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) before being sequentially innervated by GABA- and glutamate-mediated synaptic inputs. GABA, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult brain, initially exerts an excitatory action on newborn neurons owing to their high cytoplasmic chloride ion content. Conversion of GABA-induced depolarization (excitation) into hyperpolarization (inhibition) in newborn neurons leads to marked defects in their synapse formation and dendritic development in vivo. Our study identifies an essential role for GABA in the synaptic integration of newly generated neurons in the adult brain, and suggests an unexpected mechanism for activity-dependent regulation of adult neurogenesis, in which newborn neurons may sense neuronal network activity through tonic and phasic GABA activation.

  5. Environment- and activity-dependent dopamine neurotransmitter plasticity in the adult substantia nigra.

    PubMed

    Aumann, Tim D

    2016-04-01

    The ability of neurons to change the amount or type of neurotransmitter they use, or 'neurotransmitter plasticity', is an emerging new form of adult brain plasticity. For example, it has recently been shown that neurons in the adult rat hypothalamus up- or down-regulate dopamine (DA) neurotransmission in response to the amount of light the animal receives (photoperiod), and that this in turn affects anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors (Dulcis et al., 2013). In this Chapter I consolidate recent evidence from my laboratory suggesting neurons in the adult mouse substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) also undergo DA neurotransmitter plasticity in response to persistent changes in their electrical activity, including that driven by the mouse's environment or behavior. Specifically, we have shown that the amounts of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, the rate-limiting enzyme in DA synthesis) gene promoter activity, TH mRNA and TH protein in SNc neurons increases or decreases after ∼20h of altered electrical activity. Also, infusion of ion-channel agonists or antagonists into the midbrain for 2 weeks results in ∼10% (∼500 neurons) more or fewer TH immunoreactive (TH+) SNc neurons, with no change in the total number of SNc neurons (TH+ and TH-). Targeting ion-channels mediating cell-autonomous pacemaker activity in, or synaptic input and afferent pathways to, SNc neurons are equally effective in this regard. In addition, exposing mice to different environments (sex pairing or environment enrichment) for 1-2 weeks induces ∼10% more or fewer TH+ SNc (and ventral tegmental area or VTA) neurons and this is abolished by concurrent blockade of synaptic transmission in midbrain. Although further research is required to establish SNc (and VTA) DA neurotransmitter plasticity, and to determine whether it alters brain function and behavior, it is an exciting prospect because: (1) It may play important roles in movement, motor learning, reward, motivation, memory and cognition; and (2

  6. Neurogenesis in the adult brain: implications for Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Galvan, Veronica; Bredesen, Dale E

    2007-10-01

    The function of neurogenesis in the adult brain is still unknown. Interventions such as environmental enrichment and exercise impinge on neurogenesis, suggesting that the process is regulated by experience. Conversely, a role for neurogenesis in learning has been proposed through 'cellular plasticity', a process akin to synaptic plasticity but operating at the network level. Although neurogenesis is stimulated by acute injury, and possibly by neurodegenerative processes such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), it does not suffice to restore function. While the role and direction of change in the neurogenic response at different stages of AD is still a matter of debate, it is possible that a deficit in neurogenesis may contribute to AD pathogenesis since at least one of the two regions ostensibly neurogenic in the adult human brain (the subgranular zone of the dentage gyrus and the ventriculo-olfactory neurogenic system) support high-level functions affected in early AD (associative memory and olfaction respectively). The age of onset and the rate of progression of sporadic forms of AD are highly variable. Sporadic AD may have a component of insufficient neurogenic replacement or insufficient neurogenic stimulation that is correlated with traits of personal history; the rate of neurogenesis and the survival of replicating progenitors is strongly modified by behavioral interventions known to impinge on the rate of neurogenesis and the probability of survival of newly born neurons--exercise, enriched experience, and learning. This view is consistent with epidemiological data suggesting that higher education and increased participation in intellectual, social and physical aspects of daily life are associated with slower cognitive decline in healthy elderly ("cognitive reserve") and may reduce the risk of AD. Although neurogenesis can be modulated exogenously by growth factors, stimulation of neurogenesis as a mean to treat neurodegeneration is still for the most part

  7. A Plastic Temporal Brain Code for Conscious State Generation

    PubMed Central

    Dresp-Langley, Birgitta; Durup, Jean

    2009-01-01

    Consciousness is known to be limited in processing capacity and often described in terms of a unique processing stream across a single dimension: time. In this paper, we discuss a purely temporal pattern code, functionally decoupled from spatial signals, for conscious state generation in the brain. Arguments in favour of such a code include Dehaene et al.'s long-distance reverberation postulate, Ramachandran's remapping hypothesis, evidence for a temporal coherence index and coincidence detectors, and Grossberg's Adaptive Resonance Theory. A time-bin resonance model is developed, where temporal signatures of conscious states are generated on the basis of signal reverberation across large distances in highly plastic neural circuits. The temporal signatures are delivered by neural activity patterns which, beyond a certain statistical threshold, activate, maintain, and terminate a conscious brain state like a bar code would activate, maintain, or inactivate the electronic locks of a safe. Such temporal resonance would reflect a higher level of neural processing, independent from sensorial or perceptual brain mechanisms. PMID:19644552

  8. A plastic temporal brain code for conscious state generation.

    PubMed

    Dresp-Langley, Birgitta; Durup, Jean

    2009-01-01

    Consciousness is known to be limited in processing capacity and often described in terms of a unique processing stream across a single dimension: time. In this paper, we discuss a purely temporal pattern code, functionally decoupled from spatial signals, for conscious state generation in the brain. Arguments in favour of such a code include Dehaene et al.'s long-distance reverberation postulate, Ramachandran's remapping hypothesis, evidence for a temporal coherence index and coincidence detectors, and Grossberg's Adaptive Resonance Theory. A time-bin resonance model is developed, where temporal signatures of conscious states are generated on the basis of signal reverberation across large distances in highly plastic neural circuits. The temporal signatures are delivered by neural activity patterns which, beyond a certain statistical threshold, activate, maintain, and terminate a conscious brain state like a bar code would activate, maintain, or inactivate the electronic locks of a safe. Such temporal resonance would reflect a higher level of neural processing, independent from sensorial or perceptual brain mechanisms. PMID:19644552

  9. Contrasting Acute and Slow-Growing Lesions: A New Door to Brain Plasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Desmurget, Michel; Bonnetblanc, FranCois; Duffau, Hugues

    2007-01-01

    The concept of plasticity describes the mechanisms that rearrange cerebral organization following a brain injury. During the last century, plasticity has been mainly investigated in humans with acute strokes. It was then shown: (i) that the brain is organized into highly specialized functional areas, often designated "eloquent" areas and (ii) that…

  10. Searching for Factors Underlying Cerebral Plasticity in the Normal and Injured Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kolb, Bryan; Muhammad, Arif; Gibb, Robbin

    2011-01-01

    Brain plasticity refers to the capacity of the nervous system to change its structure and ultimately its function over a lifetime. There have been major advances in our understanding of the principles of brain plasticity and behavior in laboratory animals and humans. Over the past decade there have been advances in the application of these…

  11. Chronic pain: The role of learning and brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Mansour, A.R.; Farmer, M.A.; Baliki, M.N.; Apkarian, A. Vania

    2016-01-01

    Based on theoretical considerations and recent observations, we argue that continued suffering of chronic pain is critically dependent on the state of motivational and emotional mesolimbic-prefrontal circuitry of the brain. The plastic changes that occur within this circuitry in relation to nociceptive inputs dictate the transition to chronic pain, rendering the pain less somatic and more affective in nature. This theoretical construct is a strong departure from the traditional scientific view of pain, which has focused on encoding and representation of nociceptive signals. We argue that the definition of chronic pain can be recast, within the associative learning and valuation concept, as an inability to extinguish the associated memory trace, implying that supraspinal/cortical manipulations may be a more fruitful venue for adequately modulating suffering and related behavior for chronic pain. We briefly review the evidence generated to date for the proposed model and emphasize that the details of underlying mechanisms remain to be expounded. PMID:23603439

  12. Multisensory dysfunction accompanies crossmodal plasticity following adult hearing impairment

    PubMed Central

    Meredith, M. Alex; Keniston, Leslie P.; Allman, Brian L.

    2012-01-01

    Until now, cortical crossmodal plasticity has largely been regarded as the effect of early and complete sensory loss. Recently, massive crossmodal cortical reorganization was demonstrated to result from profound hearing loss in adult ferrets (Allman et al., 2009a). Moderate adult hearing loss, on the other hand, induced not just crossmodal reorganization, but also merged new crossmodal inputs with residual auditory function to generate multisensory neurons. Because multisensory convergence can lead to dramatic levels of response integration when stimuli from more than one modality are present (and thereby potentially interfere with residual auditory processing), the present investigation sought to evaluate the multisensory properties of auditory cortical neurons in partially deafened adult ferrets. When compared with hearing controls, partially-deaf animals revealed elevated spontaneous levels and a dramatic increase (~2 times) in the proportion of multisensory cortical neurons, but few of which showed multisensory integration. Moreover, a large proportion (68%) of neurons with somatosensory and/or visual inputs was vigorously active in core auditory cortex in the absence of auditory stimulation. Collectively, these results not only demonstrate multisensory dysfunction in core auditory cortical neurons from hearing impaired adults but also reveal a potential cortical substrate for maladaptive perceptual effects such as tinnitus. PMID:22516008

  13. Brain Plasticity in Blind Subjects Centralizes Beyond the Modal Cortices

    PubMed Central

    Ortiz-Terán, Laura; Ortiz, Tomás; Perez, David L.; Aragón, Jose Ignacio; Diez, Ibai; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Sepulcre, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    It is well established that the human brain reorganizes following sensory deprivations. In blind individuals, visual processing regions including the lateral occipital cortex (LOC) are activated by auditory and tactile stimuli as demonstrated by neurophysiological and neuroimaging investigations. The mechanisms for such plasticity remain unclear, but shifts in connectivity across existing neural networks appear to play a critical role. The majority of research efforts to date have focused on neuroplastic changes within visual unimodal regions, however we hypothesized that neuroplastic alterations may also occur in brain networks beyond the visual cortices including involvement of multimodal integration regions and heteromodal cortices. In this study, two recently developed graph-theory based functional connectivity analyses, interconnector analyses and local and distant connectivity, were applied to investigate functional reorganization in regional and distributed neural-systems in late-onset blind (LB) and congenitally blind (CB) cohorts each compared to their own group of sighted controls. While functional network alterations as measured by the degree of differential links (DDL) occurred in sensory cortices, neuroplastic changes were most prominent within multimodal and association cortices. Subjects with LB showed enhanced multimodal integration connections in the parieto-opercular, temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and ventral premotor (vPM) regions, while CB individuals exhibited increased superior parietal cortex (SPC) connections. This study reveals the critical role of recipient multi-sensory integration areas in network reorganization and cross-modal plasticity in blind individuals. These findings suggest that aspects of cross-modal neuroplasticity and adaptive sensory-motor and auditory functions may potentially occur through reorganization in multimodal integration regions. PMID:27458350

  14. Brain Plasticity in Blind Subjects Centralizes Beyond the Modal Cortices.

    PubMed

    Ortiz-Terán, Laura; Ortiz, Tomás; Perez, David L; Aragón, Jose Ignacio; Diez, Ibai; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Sepulcre, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    It is well established that the human brain reorganizes following sensory deprivations. In blind individuals, visual processing regions including the lateral occipital cortex (LOC) are activated by auditory and tactile stimuli as demonstrated by neurophysiological and neuroimaging investigations. The mechanisms for such plasticity remain unclear, but shifts in connectivity across existing neural networks appear to play a critical role. The majority of research efforts to date have focused on neuroplastic changes within visual unimodal regions, however we hypothesized that neuroplastic alterations may also occur in brain networks beyond the visual cortices including involvement of multimodal integration regions and heteromodal cortices. In this study, two recently developed graph-theory based functional connectivity analyses, interconnector analyses and local and distant connectivity, were applied to investigate functional reorganization in regional and distributed neural-systems in late-onset blind (LB) and congenitally blind (CB) cohorts each compared to their own group of sighted controls. While functional network alterations as measured by the degree of differential links (DDL) occurred in sensory cortices, neuroplastic changes were most prominent within multimodal and association cortices. Subjects with LB showed enhanced multimodal integration connections in the parieto-opercular, temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and ventral premotor (vPM) regions, while CB individuals exhibited increased superior parietal cortex (SPC) connections. This study reveals the critical role of recipient multi-sensory integration areas in network reorganization and cross-modal plasticity in blind individuals. These findings suggest that aspects of cross-modal neuroplasticity and adaptive sensory-motor and auditory functions may potentially occur through reorganization in multimodal integration regions. PMID:27458350

  15. Local inhibitory plasticity tunes macroscopic brain dynamics and allows the emergence of functional brain networks.

    PubMed

    Hellyer, Peter J; Jachs, Barbara; Clopath, Claudia; Leech, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Rich, spontaneous brain activity has been observed across a range of different temporal and spatial scales. These dynamics are thought to be important for efficient neural functioning. A range of experimental evidence suggests that these neural dynamics are maintained across a variety of different cognitive states, in response to alterations of the environment and to changes in brain configuration (e.g., across individuals, development and in many neurological disorders). This suggests that the brain has evolved mechanisms to maintain rich dynamics across a broad range of situations. Several mechanisms based around homeostatic plasticity have been proposed to explain how these dynamics emerge from networks of neurons at the microscopic scale. Here we explore how a homeostatic mechanism may operate at the macroscopic scale: in particular, focusing on how it interacts with the underlying structural network topology and how it gives rise to well-described functional connectivity networks. We use a simple mean-field model of the brain, constrained by empirical white matter structural connectivity where each region of the brain is simulated using a pool of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. We show, as with the microscopic work, that homeostatic plasticity regulates network activity and allows for the emergence of rich, spontaneous dynamics across a range of brain configurations, which otherwise show a very limited range of dynamic regimes. In addition, the simulated functional connectivity of the homeostatic model better resembles empirical functional connectivity network. To accomplish this, we show how the inhibitory weights adapt over time to capture important graph theoretic properties of the underlying structural network. Therefore, this work presents suggests how inhibitory homeostatic mechanisms facilitate stable macroscopic dynamics to emerge in the brain, aiding the formation of functional connectivity networks. PMID:26348562

  16. Training-induced behavioral and brain plasticity in inhibitory control

    PubMed Central

    Spierer, Lucas; Chavan, Camille F.; Manuel, Aurelie L.

    2013-01-01

    Deficits in inhibitory control, the ability to suppress ongoing or planned motor or cognitive processes, contribute to many psychiatric and neurological disorders. The rehabilitation of inhibition-related disorders may therefore benefit from neuroplasticity-based training protocols aiming at normalizing inhibitory control proficiency and the underlying brain networks. Current literature on training-induced behavioral and brain plasticity in inhibitory control suggests that improvements may follow either from the development of automatic forms of inhibition or from the strengthening of top-down, controlled inhibition. Automatic inhibition develops in conditions of consistent and repeated associations between inhibition-triggering stimuli and stopping goals. Once established, the stop signals directly elicit inhibition, thereby bypassing slow, top-down executive control and accelerating stopping processes. In contrast, training regimens involving varying stimulus-response associations or frequent inhibition failures prevent the development of automatic inhibition and thus strengthen top-down inhibitory processes rather than bottom-up ones. We discuss these findings in terms of developing optimal inhibitory control training regimens for rehabilitation purposes. PMID:23914169

  17. Evidence for Impaired Plasticity after Traumatic Brain Injury in the Developing Brain

    PubMed Central

    Li, Nan; Yang, Ya; Glover, David P.; Zhang, Jiangyang; Saraswati, Manda; Robertson, Courtney

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The robustness of plasticity mechanisms during brain development is essential for synaptic formation and has a beneficial outcome after sensory deprivation. However, the role of plasticity in recovery after acute brain injury in children has not been well defined. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability among children, and long-term disability from pediatric TBI can be particularly devastating. We investigated the altered cortical plasticity 2–3 weeks after injury in a pediatric rat model of TBI. Significant decreases in neurophysiological responses across the depth of the noninjured, primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in TBI rats, compared to age-matched controls, were detected with electrophysiological measurements of multi-unit activity (86.4% decrease), local field potential (75.3% decrease), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (77.6% decrease). Because the corpus callosum is a clinically important white matter tract that was shown to be consistently involved in post-traumatic axonal injury, we investigated its anatomical and functional characteristics after TBI. Indeed, corpus callosum abnormalities in TBI rats were detected with diffusion tensor imaging (9.3% decrease in fractional anisotropy) and histopathological analysis (14% myelination volume decreases). Whole-cell patch clamp recordings further revealed that TBI results in significant decreases in spontaneous firing rate (57% decrease) and the potential to induce long-term potentiation in neurons located in layer V of the noninjured S1 by stimulation of the corpus callosum (82% decrease). The results suggest that post-TBI plasticity can translate into inappropriate neuronal connections and dramatic changes in the function of neuronal networks. PMID:24050267

  18. Motor Skill Acquisition Promotes Human Brain Myelin Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Lakhani, Bimal; Borich, Michael R; Jackson, Jacob N; Wadden, Katie P; Peters, Sue; Villamayor, Anica; MacKay, Alex L; Vavasour, Irene M; Rauscher, Alexander; Boyd, Lara A

    2016-01-01

    Experience-dependent structural changes are widely evident in gray matter. Using diffusion weighted imaging (DWI), the neuroplastic effect of motor training on white matter in the brain has been demonstrated. However, in humans it is not known whether specific features of white matter relate to motor skill acquisition or if these structural changes are associated to functional network connectivity. Myelin can be objectively quantified in vivo and used to index specific experience-dependent change. In the current study, seventeen healthy young adults completed ten sessions of visuomotor skill training (10,000 total movements) using the right arm. Multicomponent relaxation imaging was performed before and after training. Significant increases in myelin water fraction, a quantitative measure of myelin, were observed in task dependent brain regions (left intraparietal sulcus [IPS] and left parieto-occipital sulcus). In addition, the rate of motor skill acquisition and overall change in myelin water fraction in the left IPS were negatively related, suggesting that a slower rate of learning resulted in greater neuroplastic change. This study provides the first evidence for experience-dependent changes in myelin that are associated with changes in skilled movements in healthy young adults. PMID:27293906

  19. Motor Skill Acquisition Promotes Human Brain Myelin Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Lakhani, Bimal; Borich, Michael R.; Jackson, Jacob N.; Wadden, Katie P.; Peters, Sue; Villamayor, Anica; MacKay, Alex L.; Vavasour, Irene M.; Rauscher, Alexander; Boyd, Lara A.

    2016-01-01

    Experience-dependent structural changes are widely evident in gray matter. Using diffusion weighted imaging (DWI), the neuroplastic effect of motor training on white matter in the brain has been demonstrated. However, in humans it is not known whether specific features of white matter relate to motor skill acquisition or if these structural changes are associated to functional network connectivity. Myelin can be objectively quantified in vivo and used to index specific experience-dependent change. In the current study, seventeen healthy young adults completed ten sessions of visuomotor skill training (10,000 total movements) using the right arm. Multicomponent relaxation imaging was performed before and after training. Significant increases in myelin water fraction, a quantitative measure of myelin, were observed in task dependent brain regions (left intraparietal sulcus [IPS] and left parieto-occipital sulcus). In addition, the rate of motor skill acquisition and overall change in myelin water fraction in the left IPS were negatively related, suggesting that a slower rate of learning resulted in greater neuroplastic change. This study provides the first evidence for experience-dependent changes in myelin that are associated with changes in skilled movements in healthy young adults. PMID:27293906

  20. Scanning Laser Optical Tomography Resolves Structural Plasticity during Regeneration in an Insect Brain

    PubMed Central

    Eickhoff, René; Lorbeer, Raoul-Amadeus; Scheiblich, Hannah; Heisterkamp, Alexander; Meyer, Heiko; Stern, Michael; Bicker, Gerd

    2012-01-01

    Background Optical Projection Tomography (OPT) is a microscopic technique that generates three dimensional images from whole mount samples the size of which exceeds the maximum focal depth of confocal laser scanning microscopes. As an advancement of conventional emission-OPT, Scanning Laser Optical Tomography (SLOTy) allows simultaneous detection of fluorescence and absorbance with high sensitivity. In the present study, we employ SLOTy in a paradigm of brain plasticity in an insect model system. Methodology We visualize and quantify volumetric changes in sensory information procession centers in the adult locust, Locusta migratoria. Olfactory receptor neurons, which project from the antenna into the brain, are axotomized by crushing the antennal nerve or ablating the entire antenna. We follow the resulting degeneration and regeneration in the olfactory centers (antennal lobes and mushroom bodies) by measuring their size in reconstructed SLOTy images with respect to the untreated control side. Within three weeks post treatment antennal lobes with ablated antennae lose as much as 60% of their initial volume. In contrast, antennal lobes with crushed antennal nerves initially shrink as well, but regain size back to normal within three weeks. The combined application of transmission-and fluorescence projections of Neurobiotin labeled axotomized fibers confirms that recovery of normal size is restored by regenerated afferents. Remarkably, SLOTy images reveal that degeneration of olfactory receptor axons has a trans-synaptic effect on second order brain centers and leads to size reduction of the mushroom body calyx. Conclusions This study demonstrates that SLOTy is a suitable method for rapid screening of volumetric plasticity in insect brains and suggests its application also to vertebrate preparations. PMID:22829931

  1. Educating the adult brain: How the neuroscience of learning can inform educational policy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knowland, Victoria C. P.; Thomas, Michael S. C.

    2014-05-01

    The acquisition of new skills in adulthood can positively affect an individual's quality of life, including their earning potential. In some cases, such as the learning of literacy in developing countries, it can provide an avenue to escape from poverty. In developed countries, job retraining in adulthood contributes to the flexibility of labour markets. For all adults, learning opportunities increase participation in society and family life. However, the popular view is that adults are less able to learn for an intrinsic reason: their brains are less plastic than in childhood. This article reviews what is currently known from neuroscientific research about how brain plasticity changes with age, with a particular focus on the ability to acquire new skills in adulthood. Anchoring their review in the examples of the adult acquisition of literacy and new motor skills, the authors address five specific questions: (1) Are sensitive periods in brain development relevant to learning complex educational skills like literacy? (2) Can adults become proficient in a new skill? (3) Can everyone learn equally effectively in adulthood? (4) What is the role of the learning environment? (5) Does adult education cost too much? They identify areas where further research is needed and conclude with a summary of principles for enhancing adult learning now established on a neuroscience foundation.

  2. Switching roles: the functional plasticity of adult tissue stem cells.

    PubMed

    Wabik, Agnieszka; Jones, Philip H

    2015-05-01

    Adult organisms have to adapt to survive, and the same is true for their tissues. Rates and types of cell production must be rapidly and reversibly adjusted to meet tissue demands in response to both local and systemic challenges. Recent work reveals how stem cell (SC) populations meet these requirements by switching between functional states tuned to homoeostasis or regeneration. This plasticity extends to differentiating cells, which are capable of reverting to SCs after injury. The concept of the niche, the micro-environment that sustains and regulates stem cells, is broadening, with a new appreciation of the role of physical factors and hormonal signals. Here, we review different functions of SCs, the cellular mechanisms that underlie them and the signals that bias the fate of SCs as they switch between roles. PMID:25812989

  3. Switching roles: the functional plasticity of adult tissue stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Wabik, Agnieszka; Jones, Philip H

    2015-01-01

    Adult organisms have to adapt to survive, and the same is true for their tissues. Rates and types of cell production must be rapidly and reversibly adjusted to meet tissue demands in response to both local and systemic challenges. Recent work reveals how stem cell (SC) populations meet these requirements by switching between functional states tuned to homoeostasis or regeneration. This plasticity extends to differentiating cells, which are capable of reverting to SCs after injury. The concept of the niche, the micro-environment that sustains and regulates stem cells, is broadening, with a new appreciation of the role of physical factors and hormonal signals. Here, we review different functions of SCs, the cellular mechanisms that underlie them and the signals that bias the fate of SCs as they switch between roles. PMID:25812989

  4. Control of adult neurogenesis by programmed cell death in the mammalian brain.

    PubMed

    Ryu, Jae Ryun; Hong, Caroline Jeeyeon; Kim, Joo Yeon; Kim, Eun-Kyoung; Sun, Woong; Yu, Seong-Woon

    2016-01-01

    The presence of neural stem cells (NSCs) and the production of new neurons in the adult brain have received great attention from scientists and the public because of implications to brain plasticity and their potential use for treating currently incurable brain diseases. Adult neurogenesis is controlled at multiple levels, including proliferation, differentiation, migration, and programmed cell death (PCD). Among these, PCD is the last and most prominent process for regulating the final number of mature neurons integrated into neural circuits. PCD can be classified into apoptosis, necrosis, and autophagic cell death and emerging evidence suggests that all three may be important modes of cell death in neural stem/progenitor cells. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate PCD and thereby impact the intricate balance between self-renewal, proliferation, and differentiation during adult neurogenesis are not well understood. In this comprehensive review, we focus on the extent, mechanism, and biological significance of PCD for the control of adult neurogenesis in the mammalian brain. The role of intrinsic and extrinsic factors in the regulation of PCD at the molecular and systems levels is also discussed. Adult neurogenesis is a dynamic process, and the signals for differentiation, proliferation, and death of neural progenitor/stem cells are closely interrelated. A better understanding of how adult neurogenesis is influenced by PCD will help lead to important insights relevant to brain health and diseases. PMID:27098178

  5. Combined Cognitive-Psychological-Physical Intervention Induces Reorganization of Intrinsic Functional Brain Architecture in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Zhiwei; Zhu, Xinyi; Yin, Shufei; Wang, Baoxi; Niu, Yanan; Huang, Xin; Li, Rui; Li, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that enriched mental, physical, and socially stimulating activities are beneficial for counteracting age-related decreases in brain function and cognition in older adults. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to demonstrate the functional plasticity of brain activity in response to a combined cognitive-psychological-physical intervention and investigated the contribution of the intervention-related brain changes to individual performance in healthy older adults. The intervention was composed of a 6-week program of combined activities including cognitive training, Tai Chi exercise, and group counseling. The results showed improved cognitive performance and reorganized regional homogeneity of spontaneous fluctuations in the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signals in the superior and middle temporal gyri, and the posterior lobe of the cerebellum, in the participants who attended the intervention. Intriguingly, the intervention-induced changes in the coherence of local spontaneous activity correlated with the improvements in individual cognitive performance. Taken together with our previous findings of enhanced resting-state functional connectivity between the medial prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobe regions following a combined intervention program in older adults, we conclude that the functional plasticity of the aging brain is a rather complex process, and an effective cognitive-psychological-physical intervention is helpful for maintaining a healthy brain and comprehensive cognition during old age. PMID:25810927

  6. Dynamic DNA methylation in the brain: a new epigenetic mark for experience-dependent plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Tognini, Paola; Napoli, Debora; Pizzorusso, Tommaso

    2015-01-01

    Experience-dependent plasticity is the ability of brain circuits to undergo molecular, structural and functional changes as a function of neural activity. Neural activity continuously shapes our brain during all the stages of our life, from infancy through adulthood and beyond. Epigenetic modifications of histone proteins and DNA seem to be a leading molecular mechanism to modulate the transcriptional changes underlying the fine-tuning of synaptic connections and circuitry rewiring during activity-dependent plasticity. The recent discovery that cytosine methylation is an epigenetic mark particularly dynamic in brain cells has strongly increased the interest of neuroscientists in understanding the role of covalent modifications of DNA in activity-induced remodeling of neuronal circuits. Here, we provide an overview of the role of DNA methylation and hydroxylmethylation in brain plasticity both during adulthood, with emphasis on learning and memory related processes, and during postnatal development, focusing specifically on experience-dependent plasticity in the visual cortex. PMID:26379502

  7. Vitamin D as a neurosteroid affecting the developing and adult brain.

    PubMed

    Groves, Natalie J; McGrath, John J; Burne, Thomas H J

    2014-01-01

    Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent throughout the world, and growing evidence supports a requirement for optimal vitamin D levels for the healthy developing and adult brain. Vitamin D has important roles in proliferation and differentiation, calcium signaling within the brain, and neurotrophic and neuroprotective actions; it may also alter neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. Recent experimental studies highlight the impact that vitamin D deficiency has on brain function in health and disease. In addition, results from recent animal studies suggest that vitamin D deficiency during adulthood may exacerbate underlying brain disorders and/or worsen recovery from brain stressors. An increasing number of epidemiological studies indicate that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a wide range of neuropsychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Vitamin D supplementation is readily available and affordable, and this review highlights the need for further research. PMID:25033060

  8. Water diffusion reveals networks that modulate multiregional morphological plasticity after repetitive brain stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Abe, Mitsunari; Fukuyama, Hidenao; Mima, Tatsuya

    2014-01-01

    Repetitive brain stimulation protocols induce plasticity in the stimulated site in brain slice models. Recent evidence from network models has indicated that additional plasticity-related changes occur in nonstimulated remote regions. Despite increasing use of brain stimulation protocols in experimental and clinical settings, the neural substrates underlying the additional effects in remote regions are unknown. Diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) probes water diffusion and can be used to estimate morphological changes in cortical tissue that occur with the induction of plasticity. Using DWI techniques, we estimated morphological changes induced by application of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over the left primary motor cortex (M1). We found that rTMS altered water diffusion in multiple regions including the left M1. Notably, the change in water diffusion was retained longest in the left M1 and remote regions that had a correlation of baseline fluctuations in water diffusion before rTMS. We conclude that synchronization of water diffusion at rest between stimulated and remote regions ensures retention of rTMS-induced changes in water diffusion in remote regions. Synchronized fluctuations in the morphology of cortical microstructures between stimulated and remote regions might identify networks that allow retention of plasticity-related morphological changes in multiple regions after brain stimulation protocols. These results increase our understanding of the effects of brain stimulation-induced plasticity on multiregional brain networks. DWI techniques could provide a tool to evaluate treatment effects of brain stimulation protocols in patients with brain disorders. PMID:24619090

  9. Plasticity of Attentional Functions in Older Adults after Non-Action Video Game Training: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Mayas, Julia; Parmentier, Fabrice B. R.; Andrés, Pilar; Ballesteros, Soledad

    2014-01-01

    A major goal of recent research in aging has been to examine cognitive plasticity in older adults and its capacity to counteract cognitive decline. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether older adults could benefit from brain training with video games in a cross-modal oddball task designed to assess distraction and alertness. Twenty-seven healthy older adults participated in the study (15 in the experimental group, 12 in the control group. The experimental group received 20 1-hr video game training sessions using a commercially available brain-training package (Lumosity) involving problem solving, mental calculation, working memory and attention tasks. The control group did not practice this package and, instead, attended meetings with the other members of the study several times along the course of the study. Both groups were evaluated before and after the intervention using a cross-modal oddball task measuring alertness and distraction. The results showed a significant reduction of distraction and an increase of alertness in the experimental group and no variation in the control group. These results suggest neurocognitive plasticity in the old human brain as training enhanced cognitive performance on attentional functions. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02007616 PMID:24647551

  10. Intraoperative mapping during repeat awake craniotomy reveals the functional plasticity of adult cortex.

    PubMed

    Southwell, Derek G; Hervey-Jumper, Shawn L; Perry, David W; Berger, Mitchel S

    2016-05-01

    negative for function. Overall, 6 (33.3%) of 18 patients exhibited loss of function at 1 or more motor or language sites between surgeries. Loss of function at these sites was not associated with neurological impairment at the time of repeat surgery, suggesting that neurological function was preserved through neural circuit reorganization or activation of latent functional pathways. CONCLUSIONS The adult central nervous system reorganizes motor and language areas in patients with glioma. Ultimately, adult neural plasticity may help to preserve motor and language function in the presence of evolving structural lesions. The insight gained from this subset of patients has implications for our understanding of brain plasticity in clinical settings. PMID:26544767

  11. Non-invasive Brain Stimulation, a Tool to Revert Maladaptive Plasticity in Neuropathic Pain.

    PubMed

    Naro, Antonino; Milardi, Demetrio; Russo, Margherita; Terranova, Carmen; Rizzo, Vincenzo; Cacciola, Alberto; Marino, Silvia; Calabro, Rocco S; Quartarone, Angelo

    2016-01-01

    Neuromodulatory effects of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) have been extensively studied in chronic pain. A hypothetic mechanism of action would be to prevent or revert the ongoing maladaptive plasticity within the pain matrix. In this review, the authors discuss the mechanisms underlying the development of maladaptive plasticity in patients with chronic pain and the putative mechanisms of NIBS in modulating synaptic plasticity in neuropathic pain conditions. PMID:27512368

  12. Non-invasive Brain Stimulation, a Tool to Revert Maladaptive Plasticity in Neuropathic Pain

    PubMed Central

    Naro, Antonino; Milardi, Demetrio; Russo, Margherita; Terranova, Carmen; Rizzo, Vincenzo; Cacciola, Alberto; Marino, Silvia; Calabro, Rocco S.; Quartarone, Angelo

    2016-01-01

    Neuromodulatory effects of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) have been extensively studied in chronic pain. A hypothetic mechanism of action would be to prevent or revert the ongoing maladaptive plasticity within the pain matrix. In this review, the authors discuss the mechanisms underlying the development of maladaptive plasticity in patients with chronic pain and the putative mechanisms of NIBS in modulating synaptic plasticity in neuropathic pain conditions. PMID:27512368

  13. Spatiotemporal Computations of an Excitable and Plastic Brain: Neuronal Plasticity Leads to Noise-Robust and Noise-Constructive Computations

    PubMed Central

    Toutounji, Hazem; Pipa, Gordon

    2014-01-01

    It is a long-established fact that neuronal plasticity occupies the central role in generating neural function and computation. Nevertheless, no unifying account exists of how neurons in a recurrent cortical network learn to compute on temporally and spatially extended stimuli. However, these stimuli constitute the norm, rather than the exception, of the brain's input. Here, we introduce a geometric theory of learning spatiotemporal computations through neuronal plasticity. To that end, we rigorously formulate the problem of neural representations as a relation in space between stimulus-induced neural activity and the asymptotic dynamics of excitable cortical networks. Backed up by computer simulations and numerical analysis, we show that two canonical and widely spread forms of neuronal plasticity, that is, spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity and intrinsic plasticity, are both necessary for creating neural representations, such that these computations become realizable. Interestingly, the effects of these forms of plasticity on the emerging neural code relate to properties necessary for both combating and utilizing noise. The neural dynamics also exhibits features of the most likely stimulus in the network's spontaneous activity. These properties of the spatiotemporal neural code resulting from plasticity, having their grounding in nature, further consolidate the biological relevance of our findings. PMID:24651447

  14. Narrative Skill in Children with Early Unilateral Brain Injury: A Possible Limit to Functional Plasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Demir, Ozlem Ece; Levine, Susan C.; Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2010-01-01

    Children with pre- or perinatal brain injury (PL) exhibit marked plasticity for language learning. Previous work has focused mostly on the emergence of earlier-developing skills, such as vocabulary and syntax. Here we ask whether this plasticity for earlier-developing aspects of language extends to more complex, later-developing language functions…

  15. Taurine content in different brain structures during ageing: effect on hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Suárez, Luz M; Muñoz, María-Dolores; Martín Del Río, Rafael; Solís, José M

    2016-05-01

    A reduction in taurine content accompanies the ageing process in many tissues. In fact, the decline of brain taurine levels has been associated with cognitive deficits whereas chronic administration of taurine seems to ameliorate age-related deficits such as memory acquisition and retention. In the present study, using rats of three age groups (young, adult and aged) we determined whether the content of taurine and other amino acids (glutamate, serine, glutamine, glycine, alanine and GABA) was altered during ageing in different brain areas (cerebellum, cortex and hippocampus) as well non-brain tissues (heart, kidney, liver and plasma). Moreover, using hippocampal slices we tested whether ageing affects synaptic function and plasticity. These parameters were also determined in aged rats fed with either taurine-devoid or taurine-supplemented diets. With age, we found heterogeneous changes in amino acid content depending on the amino acid type and the tissue. In the case of taurine, its content was reduced in the cerebellum of adult and aged rats, but it remained unchanged in the hippocampus, cortex, heart and liver. The synaptic response amplitude decreased in aged rats, although the late phase of long-term synaptic potentiation (late-LTP), a taurine-dependent process, was not altered. Our study highlights the stability of taurine content in the hippocampus during ageing regardless of whether taurine was present in the diet, which is consistent with the lack of changes detected in late-LTP. These results indicate that the beneficial effects of taurine supplementation might be independent of the replenishment of taurine stores. PMID:26803657

  16. Preventive brain radio-chemotherapy alters plasticity associated metabolite profile in the hippocampus but seems to not affect spatial memory in young leukemia patients

    PubMed Central

    Brandt, Moritz D; Brandt, Kalina; Werner, Annett; Schönfeld, Robby; Loewenbrück, Kai; Donix, Markus; Schaich, Markus; Bornhäuser, Martin; von Kummer, Rüdiger; Leplow, Bernd; Storch, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Background Neuronal plasticity leading to evolving reorganization of the neuronal network during entire lifespan plays an important role for brain function especially memory performance. Adult neurogenesis occurring in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus represents the maximal way of network reorganization. Brain radio-chemotherapy strongly inhibits adult hippocampal neurogenesis in mice leading to impaired spatial memory. Methods To elucidate the effects of CNS radio-chemotherapy on hippocampal plasticity and function in humans, we performed a longitudinal pilot study using 3T proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) and virtual water-maze-tests in 10 de-novo patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia undergoing preventive whole brain radio-chemotherapy. Patients were examined before, during and after treatment. Results CNS radio-chemotherapy did neither affect recall performance in probe trails nor flexible (reversal) relearning of a new target position over a time frame of 10 weeks measured by longitudinal virtual water-maze-testing, but provoked hippocampus-specific decrease in choline as a metabolite associated with cellular plasticity in 1H-MRS. Conclusion Albeit this pilot study needs to be followed up to definitely resolve the question about the functional role of adult human neurogenesis, the presented data suggest that 1H-MRS allows the detection of neurogenesis-associated plasticity in the human brain. PMID:26442754

  17. Hippocampal Pathway Plasticity Is Associated with the Ability to Form Novel Memories in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Antonenko, Daria; Külzow, Nadine; Cesarz, Magda E.; Schindler, Kristina; Grittner, Ulrike; Flöel, Agnes

    2016-01-01

    White matter deterioration in the aging human brain contributes to cognitive decline. The fornix as main efferent hippocampal pathway is one of the tracts most strongly associated with age-related memory impairment. Its deterioration may predict conversion to Alzheimer’s dementia and its precursors. However, the associations between the ability to form novel memories, fornix microstructure and plasticity in response to training have never been tested. In the present study, 25 healthy older adults (15 women; mean age (SD): 69 (6) years) underwent an object-location training on three consecutive days. Behavioral outcome measures comprised recall performance on the training days, and on 1-day and 1-month follow up assessments. MRI at 3 Tesla was assessed before and after training. Fornix microstructure was determined by fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity (MD) values from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). In addition, hippocampal volumes were extracted from high-resolution images; individual hippocampal masks were further aligned to DTI images to determine hippocampal microstructure. Using linear mixed model analysis, we found that the change in fornix FA from pre- to post-training assessment was significantly associated with training success. Neither baseline fornix microstructure nor hippocampal microstructure or volume changes were significantly associated with performance. Further, models including control task performance (auditory verbal learning) and control white matter tract microstructure (uncinate fasciculus and parahippocampal cingulum) did not yield significant associations. Our results confirm that hippocampal pathways respond to short-term cognitive training, and extend previous findings by demonstrating that the magnitude of training-induced structural changes is associated with behavioral success in older adults. This suggests that the amount of fornix plasticity may not only be behaviorally relevant, but also a potential sensitive biomarker

  18. Hippocampal Pathway Plasticity Is Associated with the Ability to Form Novel Memories in Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Antonenko, Daria; Külzow, Nadine; Cesarz, Magda E; Schindler, Kristina; Grittner, Ulrike; Flöel, Agnes

    2016-01-01

    White matter deterioration in the aging human brain contributes to cognitive decline. The fornix as main efferent hippocampal pathway is one of the tracts most strongly associated with age-related memory impairment. Its deterioration may predict conversion to Alzheimer's dementia and its precursors. However, the associations between the ability to form novel memories, fornix microstructure and plasticity in response to training have never been tested. In the present study, 25 healthy older adults (15 women; mean age (SD): 69 (6) years) underwent an object-location training on three consecutive days. Behavioral outcome measures comprised recall performance on the training days, and on 1-day and 1-month follow up assessments. MRI at 3 Tesla was assessed before and after training. Fornix microstructure was determined by fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity (MD) values from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). In addition, hippocampal volumes were extracted from high-resolution images; individual hippocampal masks were further aligned to DTI images to determine hippocampal microstructure. Using linear mixed model analysis, we found that the change in fornix FA from pre- to post-training assessment was significantly associated with training success. Neither baseline fornix microstructure nor hippocampal microstructure or volume changes were significantly associated with performance. Further, models including control task performance (auditory verbal learning) and control white matter tract microstructure (uncinate fasciculus and parahippocampal cingulum) did not yield significant associations. Our results confirm that hippocampal pathways respond to short-term cognitive training, and extend previous findings by demonstrating that the magnitude of training-induced structural changes is associated with behavioral success in older adults. This suggests that the amount of fornix plasticity may not only be behaviorally relevant, but also a potential sensitive biomarker for

  19. Plasticity of brain wave network interactions and evolution across physiologic states

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Kang K. L.; Bartsch, Ronny P.; Lin, Aijing; Mantegna, Rosario N.; Ivanov, Plamen Ch.

    2015-01-01

    Neural plasticity transcends a range of spatio-temporal scales and serves as the basis of various brain activities and physiologic functions. At the microscopic level, it enables the emergence of brain waves with complex temporal dynamics. At the macroscopic level, presence and dominance of specific brain waves is associated with important brain functions. The role of neural plasticity at different levels in generating distinct brain rhythms and how brain rhythms communicate with each other across brain areas to generate physiologic states and functions remains not understood. Here we perform an empirical exploration of neural plasticity at the level of brain wave network interactions representing dynamical communications within and between different brain areas in the frequency domain. We introduce the concept of time delay stability (TDS) to quantify coordinated bursts in the activity of brain waves, and we employ a system-wide Network Physiology integrative approach to probe the network of coordinated brain wave activations and its evolution across physiologic states. We find an association between network structure and physiologic states. We uncover a hierarchical reorganization in the brain wave networks in response to changes in physiologic state, indicating new aspects of neural plasticity at the integrated level. Globally, we find that the entire brain network undergoes a pronounced transition from low connectivity in Deep Sleep and REM to high connectivity in Light Sleep and Wake. In contrast, we find that locally, different brain areas exhibit different network dynamics of brain wave interactions to achieve differentiation in function during different sleep stages. Moreover, our analyses indicate that plasticity also emerges in frequency-specific networks, which represent interactions across brain locations mediated through a specific frequency band. Comparing frequency-specific networks within the same physiologic state we find very different degree of

  20. Plasticity of brain wave network interactions and evolution across physiologic states.

    PubMed

    Liu, Kang K L; Bartsch, Ronny P; Lin, Aijing; Mantegna, Rosario N; Ivanov, Plamen Ch

    2015-01-01

    Neural plasticity transcends a range of spatio-temporal scales and serves as the basis of various brain activities and physiologic functions. At the microscopic level, it enables the emergence of brain waves with complex temporal dynamics. At the macroscopic level, presence and dominance of specific brain waves is associated with important brain functions. The role of neural plasticity at different levels in generating distinct brain rhythms and how brain rhythms communicate with each other across brain areas to generate physiologic states and functions remains not understood. Here we perform an empirical exploration of neural plasticity at the level of brain wave network interactions representing dynamical communications within and between different brain areas in the frequency domain. We introduce the concept of time delay stability (TDS) to quantify coordinated bursts in the activity of brain waves, and we employ a system-wide Network Physiology integrative approach to probe the network of coordinated brain wave activations and its evolution across physiologic states. We find an association between network structure and physiologic states. We uncover a hierarchical reorganization in the brain wave networks in response to changes in physiologic state, indicating new aspects of neural plasticity at the integrated level. Globally, we find that the entire brain network undergoes a pronounced transition from low connectivity in Deep Sleep and REM to high connectivity in Light Sleep and Wake. In contrast, we find that locally, different brain areas exhibit different network dynamics of brain wave interactions to achieve differentiation in function during different sleep stages. Moreover, our analyses indicate that plasticity also emerges in frequency-specific networks, which represent interactions across brain locations mediated through a specific frequency band. Comparing frequency-specific networks within the same physiologic state we find very different degree of

  1. Dietary fructose aggravates the pathobiology of traumatic brain injury by influencing energy homeostasis and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Rahul; Noble, Emily; Vergnes, Laurent; Ying, Zhe; Reue, Karen; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2016-05-01

    Fructose consumption has been on the rise for the last two decades and is starting to be recognized as being responsible for metabolic diseases. Metabolic disorders pose a particular threat for brain conditions characterized by energy dysfunction, such as traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injury patients experience sudden abnormalities in the control of brain metabolism and cognitive function, which may worsen the prospect of brain plasticity and function. The mechanisms involved are poorly understood. Here we report that fructose consumption disrupts hippocampal energy homeostasis as evidenced by a decline in functional mitochondria bioenergetics (oxygen consumption rate and cytochrome C oxidase activity) and an aggravation of the effects of traumatic brain injury on molecular systems engaged in cell energy homeostasis (sirtuin 1, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1alpha) and synaptic plasticity (brain-derived neurotrophic factor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B, cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element binding, synaptophysin signaling). Fructose also worsened the effects of traumatic brain injury on spatial memory, which disruption was associated with a decrease in hippocampal insulin receptor signaling. Additionally, fructose consumption and traumatic brain injury promoted plasma membrane lipid peroxidation, measured by elevated protein and phenotypic expression of 4-hydroxynonenal. These data imply that high fructose consumption exacerbates the pathology of brain trauma by further disrupting energy metabolism and brain plasticity, highlighting the impact of diet on the resilience to neurological disorders. PMID:26661172

  2. Performance enhancement at the cost of potential brain plasticity: neural ramifications of nootropic drugs in the healthy developing brain

    PubMed Central

    Urban, Kimberly R.; Gao, Wen-Jun

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive enhancement is perhaps one of the most intriguing and controversial topics in neuroscience today. Currently, the main classes of drugs used as potential cognitive enhancers include psychostimulants (methylphenidate (MPH), amphetamine), but wakefulness-promoting agents (modafinil) and glutamate activators (ampakine) are also frequently used. Pharmacologically, substances that enhance the components of the memory/learning circuits—dopamine, glutamate (neuronal excitation), and/or norepinephrine—stand to improve brain function in healthy individuals beyond their baseline functioning. In particular, non-medical use of prescription stimulants such as MPH and illicit use of psychostimulants for cognitive enhancement have seen a recent rise among teens and young adults in schools and college campuses. However, this enhancement likely comes with a neuronal, as well as ethical, cost. Altering glutamate function via the use of psychostimulants may impair behavioral flexibility, leading to the development and/or potentiation of addictive behaviors. Furthermore, dopamine and norepinephrine do not display linear effects; instead, their modulation of cognitive and neuronal function maps on an inverted-U curve. Healthy individuals run the risk of pushing themselves beyond optimal levels into hyperdopaminergic and hypernoradrenergic states, thus vitiating the very behaviors they are striving to improve. Finally, recent studies have begun to highlight potential damaging effects of stimulant exposure in healthy juveniles. This review explains how the main classes of cognitive enhancing drugs affect the learning and memory circuits, and highlights the potential risks and concerns in healthy individuals, particularly juveniles and adolescents. We emphasize the performance enhancement at the potential cost of brain plasticity that is associated with the neural ramifications of nootropic drugs in the healthy developing brain. PMID:24860437

  3. BDNF Expression in Larval and Adult Zebrafish Brain: Distribution and Cell Identification

    PubMed Central

    Cacialli, Pietro; Gueguen, Marie-Madeleine; Coumailleau, Pascal; D’Angelo, Livia; Kah, Olivier; Lucini, Carla; Pellegrini, Elisabeth

    2016-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a member of the neurotrophin family, has emerged as an active mediator in many essential functions in the central nervous system of mammals. BDNF plays significant roles in neurogenesis, neuronal maturation and/or synaptic plasticity and is involved in cognitive functions such as learning and memory. Despite the vast literature present in mammals, studies devoted to BDNF in the brain of other animal models are scarse. Zebrafish is a teleost fish widely known for developmental genetic studies and is emerging as model for translational neuroscience research. In addition, its brain shows many sites of adult neurogenesis allowing higher regenerative properties after traumatic injuries. To add further knowledge on neurotrophic factors in vertebrate brain models, we decided to determine the distribution of bdnf mRNAs in the larval and adult zebrafish brain and to characterize the phenotype of cells expressing bdnf mRNAs by means of double staining studies. Our results showed that bdnf mRNAs were widely expressed in the brain of 7 days old larvae and throughout the whole brain of mature female and male zebrafish. In adults, bdnf mRNAs were mainly observed in the dorsal telencephalon, preoptic area, dorsal thalamus, posterior tuberculum, hypothalamus, synencephalon, optic tectum and medulla oblongata. By combining immunohistochemistry with in situ hybridization, we showed that bdnf mRNAs were never expressed by radial glial cells or proliferating cells. By contrast, bdnf transcripts were expressed in cells with neuronal phenotype in all brain regions investigated. Our results provide the first demonstration that the brain of zebrafish expresses bdnf mRNAs in neurons and open new fields of research on the role of the BDNF factor in brain mechanisms in normal and brain repairs situations. PMID:27336917

  4. The role of sleep in memory consolidation and brain plasticity: dream or reality?

    PubMed

    Frank, Marcos G; Benington, Joel H

    2006-12-01

    The notion that a good night of sleep improves memory is widely accepted by the general public. Among sleep scientists, however, the idea has been hotly debated for decades. In this review, the authors consider current evidence for and against the hypothesis that sleep facilitates memory consolidation and promotes plastic changes in the brain. They find that despite a steady accumulation of positive findings over the past decade, the precise role of sleep in memory and brain plasticity remains elusive. This impasse may be resolved by more integrated approaches that combine behavioral and neurophysiological measurements in well-described in vivo models of synaptic plasticity. PMID:17079514

  5. The Current Status of Somatostatin-Interneurons in Inhibitory Control of Brain Function and Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Scheyltjens, Isabelle; Arckens, Lutgarde

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian neocortex contains many distinct inhibitory neuronal populations to balance excitatory neurotransmission. A correct excitation/inhibition equilibrium is crucial for normal brain development, functioning, and controlling lifelong cortical plasticity. Knowledge about how the inhibitory network contributes to brain plasticity however remains incomplete. Somatostatin- (SST-) interneurons constitute a large neocortical subpopulation of interneurons, next to parvalbumin- (PV-) and vasoactive intestinal peptide- (VIP-) interneurons. Unlike the extensively studied PV-interneurons, acknowledged as key components in guiding ocular dominance plasticity, the contribution of SST-interneurons is less understood. Nevertheless, SST-interneurons are ideally situated within cortical networks to integrate unimodal or cross-modal sensory information processing and therefore likely to be important mediators of experience-dependent plasticity. The lack of knowledge on SST-interneurons partially relates to the wide variety of distinct subpopulations present in the sensory neocortex. This review informs on those SST-subpopulations hitherto described based on anatomical, molecular, or electrophysiological characteristics and whose functional roles can be attributed based on specific cortical wiring patterns. A possible role for these subpopulations in experience-dependent plasticity will be discussed, emphasizing on learning-induced plasticity and on unimodal and cross-modal plasticity upon sensory loss. This knowledge will ultimately contribute to guide brain plasticity into well-defined directions to restore sensory function and promote lifelong learning. PMID:27403348

  6. The Current Status of Somatostatin-Interneurons in Inhibitory Control of Brain Function and Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian neocortex contains many distinct inhibitory neuronal populations to balance excitatory neurotransmission. A correct excitation/inhibition equilibrium is crucial for normal brain development, functioning, and controlling lifelong cortical plasticity. Knowledge about how the inhibitory network contributes to brain plasticity however remains incomplete. Somatostatin- (SST-) interneurons constitute a large neocortical subpopulation of interneurons, next to parvalbumin- (PV-) and vasoactive intestinal peptide- (VIP-) interneurons. Unlike the extensively studied PV-interneurons, acknowledged as key components in guiding ocular dominance plasticity, the contribution of SST-interneurons is less understood. Nevertheless, SST-interneurons are ideally situated within cortical networks to integrate unimodal or cross-modal sensory information processing and therefore likely to be important mediators of experience-dependent plasticity. The lack of knowledge on SST-interneurons partially relates to the wide variety of distinct subpopulations present in the sensory neocortex. This review informs on those SST-subpopulations hitherto described based on anatomical, molecular, or electrophysiological characteristics and whose functional roles can be attributed based on specific cortical wiring patterns. A possible role for these subpopulations in experience-dependent plasticity will be discussed, emphasizing on learning-induced plasticity and on unimodal and cross-modal plasticity upon sensory loss. This knowledge will ultimately contribute to guide brain plasticity into well-defined directions to restore sensory function and promote lifelong learning. PMID:27403348

  7. Neurogenic plasticity of mesenchymal stem cell, an alluring cellular replacement for traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Pati, Soumya; Muthuraju, Sangu; Hadi, Raisah Ab; Huat, Tee Jong; Singh, Shailja; Maletic-Savatic, Mirjana; Abdullah, Jafri Malin; Jaafar, Hasnan

    2016-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) imposes horrendous neurophysiological alterations leading to most devastating forms of neuro-disability. Which includes impaired cognition, distorted locomotors activity and psychosomatic disability in both youths and adults. Emerging evidence from recent studies has identified mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as one of the promising category of stem cells having excellent neuroregenerative capability in TBI victims. Some of the clinical and animal studies reported that MSCs transplantation could cure neuronal damage as well as improve cognitive and locomotors behaviors in TBI. However, mechanism behind their broad spectrum neuroregenerative potential in TBI has not been reviewed yet. Therefore, in the present article, we present a comprehensive data on the important attributes of MSCs, such as neurotransdifferentiation, neuroprotection, axonal repair and plasticity, maintenance of blood-brain integrity, reduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and immunomodulation. We have reviewed in detail the crucial neurogenic capabilities of MSCs in vivo and provided consolidated knowledge regarding their cellular remodeling in TBI for future therapeutic implications. PMID:26763886

  8. Prentice Award Lecture 2011: Removing the Brakes on Plasticity in the Amblyopic Brain

    PubMed Central

    Levi, Dennis M.

    2012-01-01

    Experience-dependent plasticity is closely linked with the development of sensory function. Beyond this sensitive period, developmental plasticity is actively limited; however, new studies provide growing evidence for plasticity in the adult visual system. The amblyopic visual system is an excellent model for examining the “brakes” that limit recovery of function beyond the critical period. While amblyopia can often be reversed when treated early, conventional treatment is generally not undertaken in older children and adults. However new clinical and experimental studies in both animals and humans provide evidence for neural plasticity beyond the critical period. The results suggest that perceptual learning and video game play may be effective in improving a range of visual performance measures and importantly the improvements may transfer to better visual acuity and stereopsis. These findings, along with the results of new clinical trials, suggest that it might be time to re-consider our notions about neural plasticity in amblyopia. PMID:22581119

  9. Prentice award lecture 2011: removing the brakes on plasticity in the amblyopic brain.

    PubMed

    Levi, Dennis M

    2012-06-01

    Experience-dependent plasticity is closely linked with the development of sensory function. Beyond this sensitive period, developmental plasticity is actively limited; however, new studies provide growing evidence for plasticity in the adult visual system. The amblyopic visual system is an excellent model for examining the "brakes" that limit recovery of function beyond the critical period. While amblyopia can often be reversed when treated early, conventional treatment is generally not undertaken in older children and adults. However, new clinical and experimental studies in both animals and humans provide evidence for neural plasticity beyond the critical period. The results suggest that perceptual learning and video game play may be effective in improving a range of visual performance measures and importantly the improvements may transfer to better visual acuity and stereopsis. These findings, along with the results of new clinical trials, suggest that it might be time to reconsider our notions about neural plasticity in amblyopia. PMID:22581119

  10. Ephrin/Eph receptor expression in brain of adult nonhuman primates: implications for neuroadaptation.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Danqing; Miller, Gregory M; Jassen, Amy; Westmoreland, Susan V; Pauley, Douglas; Madras, Bertha K

    2006-01-01

    In developing brain, Eph receptors and their ephrin ligands (Ephs/ephrins) are implicated in facilitating topographic guidance of a number of pathways, including the nigrostriatal and mesolimbic dopamine (DA) pathways. In adult rodent brain, these molecules are implicated in neuronal plasticity associated with learning and memory. Cocaine significantly alters the expression of select members of this family of axonal guidance molecules, implicating Ephs, ephrins in drug-induced neuroadaptation. The potential contribution of Ephs, ephrins to cocaine-induced reorganization of striatal circuitry brain in primates [Saka, E., Goodrich, C., Harlan, P., Madras, B.K., Graybiel, A.M., 2004. Repetitive behaviors in monkeys are linked to specific striatal activation patterns. J. Neurosci. 24, 7557-7565] is unknown because there are no documented reports of Eph/ephrin expression or function in adult primate brain. We now report that brains of adult old and new world monkeys express mRNA encoding EphA4 receptor and ephrin-B2 ligand, implicated in topographic guidance of dopamine and striatal neurons during development. Their encoded proteins distributed highly selectively in regions of adult monkey brain. EphA4 mRNA levels were prominent in the DA-rich caudate/putamen, nucleus accumbens and globus pallidus, as well as the medial and orbitofrontal cortices, hippocampus, amygdala, thalamus and cerebellum. Immunocytochemical localization of EphA4 protein revealed discrete expression in caudate/putamen, globus pallidus, substantia nigra, cerebellar Purkinje cells, pyramidal cells of frontal cortices (layers II, III and V) and the subgranular zone of the hippocampus. Evidence for EphA4 expression in dopamine neurons emerged from colocalization with tyrosine-hydroxylase-positive terminals in striatum and substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area cell bodies. The association of axonal guidance molecules with drug-induced reorganization of adult primate brain circuitry warrants

  11. The effect of inflammation and its reduction on brain plasticity in multiple sclerosis: MRI evidence.

    PubMed

    Tomassini, Valentina; d'Ambrosio, Alessandro; Petsas, Nikolaos; Wise, Richard G; Sbardella, Emilia; Allen, Marek; Tona, Francesca; Fanelli, Fulvia; Foster, Catherine; Carnì, Marco; Gallo, Antonio; Pantano, Patrizia; Pozzilli, Carlo

    2016-07-01

    Brain plasticity is the basis for systems-level functional reorganization that promotes recovery in multiple sclerosis (MS). As inflammation interferes with plasticity, its pharmacological modulation may restore plasticity by promoting desired patterns of functional reorganization. Here, we tested the hypothesis that brain plasticity probed by a visuomotor adaptation task is impaired with MS inflammation and that pharmacological reduction of inflammation facilitates its restoration. MS patients were assessed twice before (sessions 1 and 2) and once after (session 3) the beginning of Interferon beta (IFN beta), using behavioural and structural MRI measures. During each session, 2 functional MRI runs of a visuomotor task, separated by 25-minutes of task practice, were performed. Within-session between-run change in task-related functional signal was our imaging marker of plasticity. During session 1, patients were compared with healthy controls. Comparison of patients' sessions 2 and 3 tested the effect of reduced inflammation on our imaging marker of plasticity. The proportion of patients with gadolinium-enhancing lesions reduced significantly during IFN beta. In session 1, patients demonstrated a greater between-run difference in functional MRI activity of secondary visual areas and cerebellum than controls. This abnormally large practice-induced signal change in visual areas, and in functionally connected posterior parietal and motor cortices, was reduced in patients in session 3 compared with 2. Our results suggest that MS inflammation alters short-term plasticity underlying motor practice. Reduction of inflammation with IFN beta is associated with a restoration of this plasticity, suggesting that modulation of inflammation may enhance recovery-oriented strategies that rely on patients' brain plasticity. Hum Brain Mapp 37:2431-2445, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26991559

  12. Guidelines for Better Communication with Brain Impaired Adults

    MedlinePlus

    ... A You are here Home Guidelines for Better Communication with Brain Impaired Adults Printer-friendly version Communicating ... easy solutions, following some basic guidelines should ease communication, and lower levels of stress both for you ...

  13. Free D-aspartate regulates neuronal dendritic morphology, synaptic plasticity, gray matter volume and brain activity in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Errico, F; Nisticò, R; Di Giorgio, A; Squillace, M; Vitucci, D; Galbusera, A; Piccinin, S; Mango, D; Fazio, L; Middei, S; Trizio, S; Mercuri, N B; Teule, M A; Centonze, D; Gozzi, A; Blasi, G; Bertolino, A; Usiello, A

    2014-01-01

    D-aspartate (D-Asp) is an atypical amino acid, which is especially abundant in the developing mammalian brain, and can bind to and activate N-methyl-D-Aspartate receptors (NMDARs). In line with its pharmacological features, we find that mice chronically treated with D-Asp show enhanced NMDAR-mediated miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents and basal cerebral blood volume in fronto-hippocampal areas. In addition, we show that both chronic administration of D-Asp and deletion of the gene coding for the catabolic enzyme D-aspartate oxidase (DDO) trigger plastic modifications of neuronal cytoarchitecture in the prefrontal cortex and CA1 subfield of the hippocampus and promote a cytochalasin D-sensitive form of synaptic plasticity in adult mouse brains. To translate these findings in humans and consistent with the experiments using Ddo gene targeting in animals, we performed a hierarchical stepwise translational genetic approach. Specifically, we investigated the association of variation in the gene coding for DDO with complex human prefrontal phenotypes. We demonstrate that genetic variation predicting reduced expression of DDO in postmortem human prefrontal cortex is mapped on greater prefrontal gray matter and activity during working memory as measured with MRI. In conclusion our results identify novel NMDAR-dependent effects of D-Asp on plasticity and physiology in rodents, which also map to prefrontal phenotypes in humans. PMID:25072322

  14. Plasticity-related genes in brain development and amygdala-dependent learning.

    PubMed

    Ehrlich, D E; Josselyn, S A

    2016-01-01

    Learning about motivationally important stimuli involves plasticity in the amygdala, a temporal lobe structure. Amygdala-dependent learning involves a growing number of plasticity-related signaling pathways also implicated in brain development, suggesting that learning-related signaling in juveniles may simultaneously influence development. Here, we review the pleiotropic functions in nervous system development and amygdala-dependent learning of a signaling pathway that includes brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), extracellular signaling-related kinases (ERKs) and cyclic AMP-response element binding protein (CREB). Using these canonical, plasticity-related genes as an example, we discuss the intersection of learning-related and developmental plasticity in the immature amygdala, when aversive and appetitive learning may influence the developmental trajectory of amygdala function. We propose that learning-dependent activation of BDNF, ERK and CREB signaling in the immature amygdala exaggerates and accelerates neural development, promoting amygdala excitability and environmental sensitivity later in life. PMID:26419764

  15. Rapid eye movement sleep promotes cortical plasticity in the developing brain

    PubMed Central

    Dumoulin Bridi, Michelle C.; Aton, Sara J.; Seibt, Julie; Renouard, Leslie; Coleman, Tammi; Frank, Marcos G.

    2015-01-01

    Rapid eye movement sleep is maximal during early life, but its function in the developing brain is unknown. We investigated the role of rapid eye movement sleep in a canonical model of developmental plasticity in vivo (ocular dominance plasticity in the cat) induced by monocular deprivation. Preventing rapid eye movement sleep after monocular deprivation reduced ocular dominance plasticity and inhibited activation of a kinase critical for this plasticity (extracellular signal–regulated kinase). Chronic single-neuron recording in freely behaving cats further revealed that cortical activity during rapid eye movement sleep resembled activity present during monocular deprivation. This corresponded to times of maximal extracellular signal–regulated kinase activation. These findings indicate that rapid eye movement sleep promotes molecular and network adaptations that consolidate waking experience in the developing brain. PMID:26601213

  16. Memory and Brain Volume in Adults Prenatally Exposed to Alcohol

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coles, Claire D.; Goldstein, Felicia C.; Lynch, Mary Ellen; Chen, Xiangchuan; Kable, Julie A.; Johnson, Katrina C.; Hu, Xiaoping

    2011-01-01

    The impact of prenatal alcohol exposure on memory and brain development was investigated in 92 African-American, young adults who were first identified in the prenatal period. Three groups (Control, n = 26; Alcohol-related Neurodevelopmental Disorder, n = 36; and Dysmorphic, n = 30) were imaged using structural MRI with brain volume calculated for…

  17. A developmentally plastic adult mouse kidney cell line spontaneously generates multiple adult kidney structures

    PubMed Central

    Webb, Carol F.; Wirsig-Wiechmann, Celeste R.; Lakiza, Olga; Obara, Tomoko

    2015-01-01

    Despite exciting new possibilities for regenerative therapy posed by the ability to induce pluripotent stem cells, recapitulation of three-dimensional kidneys for repair or replacement has not been possible. ARID3a-deficient mouse tissues generated multipotent, developmentally plastic cells. Therefore, we assessed the adult mouse ARID3a−/− kidney cell line, KKPS5, which expresses renal progenitor surface markers as an alternative cell source for modeling kidney development. Remarkably, these cells spontaneously developed into multicellular nephron-like structures in vitro, and engrafted into immunocompromised medaka mesonephros, where they formed mouse nephron structures. These data implicate KKPS5 cells as a new model system for studying kidney development. PMID:26111446

  18. Brain-machine interfaces can accelerate clarification of the principal mysteries and real plasticity of the brain

    PubMed Central

    Sakurai, Yoshio

    2014-01-01

    This perspective emphasizes that the brain-machine interface (BMI) research has the potential to clarify major mysteries of the brain and that such clarification of the mysteries by neuroscience is needed to develop BMIs. I enumerate five principal mysteries. The first is “how is information encoded in the brain?” This is the fundamental question for understanding what our minds are and is related to the verification of Hebb’s cell assembly theory. The second is “how is information distributed in the brain?” This is also a reconsideration of the functional localization of the brain. The third is “what is the function of the ongoing activity of the brain?” This is the problem of how the brain is active during no-task periods and what meaning such spontaneous activity has. The fourth is “how does the bodily behavior affect the brain function?” This is the problem of brain-body interaction, and obtaining a new “body” by a BMI leads to a possibility of changes in the owner’s brain. The last is “to what extent can the brain induce plasticity?” Most BMIs require changes in the brain’s neuronal activity to realize higher performance, and the neuronal operant conditioning inherent in the BMIs further enhances changes in the activity. PMID:24904323

  19. Childhood Onset Schizophrenia: Cortical Brain Abnormalities as Young Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenstein, Deanna; Lerch, Jason; Shaw, Philip; Clasen, Liv; Giedd, Jay; Gochman, Peter; Rapoport, Judith; Gogtay, Nitin

    2006-01-01

    Background: Childhood onset schizophrenia (COS) is a rare but severe form of the adult onset disorder. While structural brain imaging studies show robust, widespread, and progressive gray matter loss in COS during adolescence, there have been no longitudinal studies of sufficient duration to examine comparability with the more common adult onset…

  20. Central Role of Maladapted Astrocytic Plasticity in Ischemic Brain Edema Formation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yu-Feng; Parpura, Vladimir

    2016-01-01

    Brain edema formation and the ensuing brain damages are the major cause of high mortality and long term disability following the occurrence of ischemic stroke. In this process, oxygen and glucose deprivation and the resulting reperfusion injury play primary roles. In response to the ischemic insult, the neurovascular unit experiences both intracellular and extracellular edemas, associated with maladapted astrocytic plasticity. The astrocytic plasticity includes both morphological and functional plasticity. The former involves a reactive gliosis and the subsequent glial retraction. It relates to the capacity of astrocytes to buffer changes in extracellular chemical levels, particularly K(+) and glutamate, as well as the integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The latter involves the expression and activity of a series of ion and water transport proteins. These molecules are grouped together around glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and water channel protein aquaporin 4 (AQP4) to form functional networks, regulate hydromineral balance across cell membranes and maintain the integrity of the BBB. Intense ischemic challenges can disrupt these capacities of astrocytes and result in their maladaptation. The maladapted astrocytic plasticity in ischemic stroke cannot only disrupt the hydromineral homeostasis across astrocyte membrane and the BBB, but also leads to disorders of the whole neurovascular unit. This review focuses on how the maladapted astrocytic plasticity in ischemic stroke plays the central role in the brain edema formation. PMID:27242440

  1. Central Role of Maladapted Astrocytic Plasticity in Ischemic Brain Edema Formation

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yu-Feng; Parpura, Vladimir

    2016-01-01

    Brain edema formation and the ensuing brain damages are the major cause of high mortality and long term disability following the occurrence of ischemic stroke. In this process, oxygen and glucose deprivation and the resulting reperfusion injury play primary roles. In response to the ischemic insult, the neurovascular unit experiences both intracellular and extracellular edemas, associated with maladapted astrocytic plasticity. The astrocytic plasticity includes both morphological and functional plasticity. The former involves a reactive gliosis and the subsequent glial retraction. It relates to the capacity of astrocytes to buffer changes in extracellular chemical levels, particularly K+ and glutamate, as well as the integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The latter involves the expression and activity of a series of ion and water transport proteins. These molecules are grouped together around glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and water channel protein aquaporin 4 (AQP4) to form functional networks, regulate hydromineral balance across cell membranes and maintain the integrity of the BBB. Intense ischemic challenges can disrupt these capacities of astrocytes and result in their maladaptation. The maladapted astrocytic plasticity in ischemic stroke cannot only disrupt the hydromineral homeostasis across astrocyte membrane and the BBB, but also leads to disorders of the whole neurovascular unit. This review focuses on how the maladapted astrocytic plasticity in ischemic stroke plays the central role in the brain edema formation. PMID:27242440

  2. Field Patterns of Leaf Plasticity in Adults of the Long-lived Evergreen Quercus coccifera

    PubMed Central

    Rubio De Casas, Rafael; Vargas, Pablo; Pérez-Corona, Esther; Manrique, Esteban; Quintana, José Ramón; García-Verdugo, Carlos; Balaguer, Luis

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims Quercus coccifera, as a long-lived sprouter, responds plastically to environmental variation. In this study, the role of foliar plasticity as a mechanism of habitat selection and modification within the canopy and across contrasted habitats was characterized. An examination was made of the differential contribution of inner and outer canopy layers to the crown plasticity expressed in the field by adult individuals and its dependence on environmental and genetic factors. Methods Within-crown variation in eight foliar traits was examined in nine populations dominated by Q. coccifera. The difference between mean trait values at the inner and outer canopy layers was used as a proxy for crown plasticity to light. Correlations between geographic distances, environmental differences (climatic and edaphic) and phenotypic divergence (means and plasticities) were assessed by partial Mantel tests. A subset of field measurements was compared with data from a previous common garden experiment. Key Results Phenotypic adjustment of sun leaves contributed significantly to the field variation in crown plasticity. Plasticity in leaf angle, lobation, xanthophyll cycle pigments and β-carotene content was expressed in sun and shade leaves concurrently and in opposite directions. Phenotypic plasticity was more strongly correlated with environmental variation than mean trait values. Populations of taller plants with larger, thinner (higher specific leaf area) and less spiny leaves exhibited greater plasticity. In these populations, the midday light environment was more uniform at the inner than at the outer canopy layers. Field and common garden data ranked populations in the same order of plasticity. Conclusions The expression of leaf plasticity resulted in a phenotypic differentiation that suggests a mechanism of habitat selection through division of labour across canopy layers. Signs of plasticity-mediated habitat modification were found only in the most plastic

  3. Brain stem auditory evoked responses in human infants and adults

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hecox, K.; Galambos, R.

    1974-01-01

    Brain stem evoked potentials were recorded by conventional scalp electrodes in infants (3 weeks to 3 years of age) and adults. The latency of one of the major response components (wave V) is shown to be a function both of click intensity and the age of the subject; this latency at a given signal strength shortens postnatally to reach the adult value (about 6 msec) by 12 to 18 months of age. The demonstrated reliability and limited variability of these brain stem electrophysiological responses provide the basis for an optimistic estimate of their usefulness as an objective method for assessing hearing in infants and adults.

  4. Regulation of netrin-1 receptors by amphetamine in the adult brain.

    PubMed

    Yetnikoff, L; Labelle-Dumais, C; Flores, C

    2007-12-19

    Netrin-1 is a guidance cue molecule fundamental to the organization of neuronal connectivity during development. Netrin-1 and its receptors, deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC) and UNC-5 homologues (UNC-5), continue to be expressed in the adult brain, although neither their function nor the kinds of events that activate their expression are known. Two lines of evidence suggest a role for netrin-1 in amphetamine-induced dopamine plasticity in the adult. First, DCC is highly expressed by adult dopamine neurons. Second, adult mice with reduced DCC levels do not develop amphetamine-induced behavioral sensitization. To explore the role of netrin-1 in amphetamine-induced plasticity, we examined the effects of sensitizing treatment regimens of amphetamine on DCC and/or UNC-5 protein expression in the adult rat. These treatments produced striking and enduring increases in DCC and UNC-5 expression in the cell body, but not terminal regions, of the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system. Notably, neuroadaptations in the cell body region of mesocorticolimbic dopamine neurons underlie the development of sensitization to the effects of amphetamine. Furthermore, these localized amphetamine-induced changes were prevented by co-treatment with an N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonist, a treatment known to block the development of amphetamine-induced sensitization of behavioral activation, dopamine release and motivated behavior. Using immunohistochemistry, we showed that both DCC and UNC-5 receptors are highly expressed by adult mesocorticolimbic dopamine neurons. These results provide the first evidence that repeated exposure to a stimulant drug such as amphetamine affects netrin-1 receptor expression in the adult brain. Taken together, our findings suggest that changes in netrin-1 receptor expression may play a role in the lasting effects of exposure to amphetamine and other stimulant drugs. PMID:17996376

  5. REGULATION OF NETRIN-1 RECEPTORS BY AMPHETAMINE IN THE ADULT BRAIN

    PubMed Central

    YETNIKOFF, L.; LABELLE-DUMAIS, C.; FLORES, C.

    2016-01-01

    Netrin-1 is a guidance cue molecule fundamental to the organization of neuronal connectivity during development. Netrin-1 and its receptors, deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC) and UNC-5 homologues (UNC-5), continue to be expressed in the adult brain, although neither their function nor the kinds of events that activate their expression are known. Two lines of evidence suggest a role for netrin-1 in amphetamine-induced dopamine plasticity in the adult. First, DCC is highly expressed by adult dopamine neurons. Second, adult mice with reduced DCC levels do not develop amphetamine-induced behavioral sensitization. To explore the role of netrin-1 in amphetamine-induced plasticity, we examined the effects of sensitizing treatment regimens of amphetamine on DCC and/or UNC-5 protein expression in the adult rat. These treatments produced striking and enduring increases in DCC and UNC-5 expression in the cell body, but not terminal regions, of the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system. Notably, neuroadaptations in the cell body region of mesocorticolimbic dopamine neurons underlie the development of sensitization to the effects of amphetamine. Furthermore, these localized amphetamine-induced changes were prevented by co-treatment with an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist, a treatment known to block the development of amphetamine-induced sensitization of behavioral activation, dopamine release and motivated behavior. Using immunohistochemistry, we showed that both DCC and UNC-5 receptors are highly expressed by adult mesocorticolimbic dopamine neurons. These results provide the first evidence that repeated exposure to a stimulant drug such as amphetamine affects netrin-1 receptor expression in the adult brain. Taken together, our findings suggest that changes in netrin-1 receptor expression may play a role in the lasting effects of exposure to amphetamine and other stimulant drugs. PMID:17996376

  6. Cortical Plasticity in the Setting of Brain Tumors.

    PubMed

    Fisicaro, Ryan A; Jost, Ethan; Shaw, Katharina; Brennan, Nicole Petrovich; Peck, Kyung K; Holodny, Andrei I

    2016-02-01

    Cortical reorganization of function due to the growth of an adjacent brain tumor has clearly been demonstrated in a number of surgically proven cases. Such cases demonstrate the unmistakable implications for the neurosurgical treatment of brain tumors, as the cortical function may not reside where one may initially suspect based solely on the anatomical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Consequently, preoperative localization of eloquent areas adjacent to a brain tumor is necessary, as this may demonstrate unexpected organization, which may affect the neurosurgical approach to the lesion. However, in interpreting functional MRI studies, the interpreting physician must be cognizant of artifacts, which may limit the accuracy of functional MRI in the setting of brain tumors. PMID:26848558

  7. [Long-term plasticity of HVC-RA synapses in adult male zebra finches].

    PubMed

    Li, Feng-Ling; Li, Dong-Feng

    2013-12-25

    Long-term synaptic plasticity is considered as a key part of the neural mechanism of learning and memory. The production of learned vocalization of male zebra finches is closely related to high vocal center (HVC)-robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA) pathway. However, the long-term plasticity of HVC-RA synapses is unclear. This study investigated the long-term plasticity of HVC-RA synapses in adult male zebra finches through in vivo field potential recording. The results showed that physiologic stimulation, i.e., δ rhythmic stimulation and low frequency stimulation could not effectively induce long-term synaptic plasticity. The former leaded to no change of the amplitudes of evoked population spikes, and the latter induced short-term depression (STD) of the amplitudes of the second evoked population spikes caused by paired pulses. But high frequency stimulation induced long-term depression (LTD) of the amplitudes of evoked population spikes to show out long-term synaptic plasticity. These results suggest that LTD represents the long-term plasticity of HVC-RA synapses in adult male zebra finches, which may be a key part of the neural mechanism of vocal learning and memory and can explain the plasticity of adult song to some degree. PMID:24343715

  8. Plastic neuroscience: studying what the brain cares about

    PubMed Central

    Dumit, Joseph

    2014-01-01

    Drawing on Allan Newell's “You can't play 20 questions with nature and win,” this article proposes that neuroscience needs to go beyond binary hypothesis testing and design experiments that follow what neurons care about. Examples from Lettvin et. al. are used to demonstrate that one can experimentally play with neurons and generate surprising results. In this manner, brains are not confused with persons, rather, persons are understood to do things with their brains. PMID:24795589

  9. The Neural Plasticity Theory of Depression: Assessing the Roles of Adult Neurogenesis and PSA-NCAM within the Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Wainwright, Steven R.; Galea, Liisa A. M.

    2013-01-01

    Depression is a devastating and prevalent disease, with profound effects on neural structure and function; however the etiology and neuropathology of depression remain poorly understood. Though antidepressant drugs exist, they are not ideal, as only a segment of patients are effectively treated, therapeutic onset is delayed, and the exact mechanism of these drugs remains to be elucidated. Several theories of depression do exist, including modulation of monoaminergic neurotransmission, alterations in neurotrophic factors, and the upregulation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, and are briefly mentioned in the review. However none of these theories sufficiently explains the pathology and treatment of depression unto itself. Recently, neural plasticity theories of depression have postulated that multiple aspects of brain plasticity, beyond neurogenesis, may bridge the prevailing theories. The term “neural plasticity” encompasses an array of mechanisms, from the birth, survival, migration, and integration of new neurons to neurite outgrowth, synaptogenesis, and the modulation of mature synapses. This review critically assesses the role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis and the cell adhesion molecule, PSA-NCAM (which is known to be involved in many facets of neural plasticity), in depression and antidepressant treatment. PMID:23691371

  10. Lrp4 domains differentially regulate limb/brain development and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Pohlkamp, Theresa; Durakoglugil, Murat; Lane-Donovan, Courtney; Xian, Xunde; Johnson, Eric B; Hammer, Robert E; Herz, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) genotype is the strongest predictor of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) risk. ApoE is a cholesterol transport protein that binds to members of the Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Receptor family, which includes LDL Receptor Related Protein 4 (Lrp4). Lrp4, together with one of its ligands Agrin and its co-receptors Muscle Specific Kinase (MuSK) and Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP), regulates neuromuscular junction (NMJ) formation. All four proteins are also expressed in the adult brain, and APP, MuSK, and Agrin are required for normal synapse function in the CNS. Here, we show that Lrp4 is also required for normal hippocampal plasticity. In contrast to the closely related Lrp8/Apoer2, the intracellular domain of Lrp4 does not appear to be necessary for normal expression and maintenance of long-term potentiation at central synapses or for the formation and maintenance of peripheral NMJs. However, it does play a role in limb development. PMID:25688974

  11. Lrp4 Domains Differentially Regulate Limb/Brain Development and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Pohlkamp, Theresa; Durakoglugil, Murat; Lane-Donovan, Courtney; Xian, Xunde; Johnson, Eric B.; Hammer, Robert E.; Herz, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) genotype is the strongest predictor of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) risk. ApoE is a cholesterol transport protein that binds to members of the Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Receptor family, which includes LDL Receptor Related Protein 4 (Lrp4). Lrp4, together with one of its ligands Agrin and its co-receptors Muscle Specific Kinase (MuSK) and Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP), regulates neuromuscular junction (NMJ) formation. All four proteins are also expressed in the adult brain, and APP, MuSK, and Agrin are required for normal synapse function in the CNS. Here, we show that Lrp4 is also required for normal hippocampal plasticity. In contrast to the closely related Lrp8/Apoer2, the intracellular domain of Lrp4 does not appear to be necessary for normal expression and maintenance of long-term potentiation at central synapses or for the formation and maintenance of peripheral NMJs. However, it does play a role in limb development. PMID:25688974

  12. Plasticity following early-life brain injury: Insights from quantitative MRI.

    PubMed

    Fiori, Simona; Guzzetta, Andrea

    2015-03-01

    Over the last decade, the application of novel advanced neuroimaging techniques to study congenital brain damage has provided invaluable insights into the mechanisms underlying early neuroplasticity. The concept that is clearly emerging, both from human and nun-human studies, is that functional reorganization in the immature brain is substantially different from that of the more mature, developed brain. This applies to the reorganization of language, the sensorimotor system, and the visual system. The rapid implementation and development of higher order imaging methods will offer increased, currently unavailable knowledge about the specific mechanisms of cerebral plasticity in infancy, which is essential to support the development of early therapeutic interventions aimed at supporting and enhancing functional reorganization during a time of greatest potential brain plasticity. PMID:25813668

  13. New Nerve Cells for the Adult Brain.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kempermann, Gerd; Gage, Fred H.

    1999-01-01

    Contrary to dogma, the human brain does produce new nerve cells in adulthood. The mature human brain spawns neurons routinely in the hippocampus, an area important to memory and learning. This research can make it possible to ease any number of disorders involving neurological damage and death. (CCM)

  14. Brain Plasticity in Speech Training in Native English Speakers Learning Mandarin Tones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinzen, Christina Carolyn

    The current study employed behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures to investigate brain plasticity associated with second-language (L2) phonetic learning based on an adaptive computer training program. The program utilized the acoustic characteristics of Infant-Directed Speech (IDS) to train monolingual American English-speaking listeners to perceive Mandarin lexical tones. Behavioral identification and discrimination tasks were conducted using naturally recorded speech, carefully controlled synthetic speech, and non-speech control stimuli. The ERP experiments were conducted with selected synthetic speech stimuli in a passive listening oddball paradigm. Identical pre- and post- tests were administered on nine adult listeners, who completed two-to-three hours of perceptual training. The perceptual training sessions used pair-wise lexical tone identification, and progressed through seven levels of difficulty for each tone pair. The levels of difficulty included progression in speaker variability from one to four speakers and progression through four levels of acoustic exaggeration of duration, pitch range, and pitch contour. Behavioral results for the natural speech stimuli revealed significant training-induced improvement in identification of Tones 1, 3, and 4. Improvements in identification of Tone 4 generalized to novel stimuli as well. Additionally, comparison between discrimination of across-category and within-category stimulus pairs taken from a synthetic continuum revealed a training-induced shift toward more native-like categorical perception of the Mandarin lexical tones. Analysis of the Mismatch Negativity (MMN) responses in the ERP data revealed increased amplitude and decreased latency for pre-attentive processing of across-category discrimination as a result of training. There were also laterality changes in the MMN responses to the non-speech control stimuli, which could reflect reallocation of brain resources in processing pitch patterns

  15. Investigating brain functional evolution and plasticity using microelectrode array technology.

    PubMed

    Napoli, Alessandro; Obeid, Iyad

    2015-10-01

    The aim of this work was to investigate long and short-term plasticity responsible for memory formation in dissociated neuronal networks. In order to address this issue, a set of experiments was designed and implemented in which the microelectrode array electrode grid was divided into four quadrants, two of which were chronically stimulated, every two days for one hour with a stimulation paradigm that varied over time. Overall network and quadrant responses were then analyzed to quantify what level of plasticity took place in the network and how this was due to the stimulation interruption. The results demonstrate that there were no spatial differences in the stimulus-evoked activity within quadrants. Furthermore, the implemented stimulation protocol induced depression effects in the neuronal networks as demonstrated by the consistently lower network activity following stimulation sessions. Finally, the analysis demonstrated that the inhibitory effects of the stimulation decreased over time, thus suggesting a habituation phenomenon. These findings are sufficient to conclude that electrical stimulation is an important tool to interact with dissociated neuronal cultures, but localized stimuli are not enough to drive spatial synaptic potentiation or depression. On the contrary, the ability to modulate synaptic temporal plasticity was a feasible task to achieve by chronic network stimulation. PMID:26476356

  16. Neural stem cells and neuro/gliogenesis in the central nervous system: understanding the structural and functional plasticity of the developing, mature, and diseased brain.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Masahiro; Seki, Tatsunori; Imayoshi, Itaru; Tamamaki, Nobuaki; Hayashi, Yoshitaka; Tatebayashi, Yoshitaka; Hitoshi, Seiji

    2016-05-01

    Neurons and glia in the central nervous system (CNS) originate from neural stem cells (NSCs). Knowledge of the mechanisms of neuro/gliogenesis from NSCs is fundamental to our understanding of how complex brain architecture and function develop. NSCs are present not only in the developing brain but also in the mature brain in adults. Adult neurogenesis likely provides remarkable plasticity to the mature brain. In addition, recent progress in basic research in mental disorders suggests an etiological link with impaired neuro/gliogenesis in particular brain regions. Here, we review the recent progress and discuss future directions in stem cell and neuro/gliogenesis biology by introducing several topics presented at a joint meeting of the Japanese Association of Anatomists and the Physiological Society of Japan in 2015. Collectively, these topics indicated that neuro/gliogenesis from NSCs is a common event occurring in many brain regions at various ages in animals. Given that significant structural and functional changes in cells and neural networks are accompanied by neuro/gliogenesis from NSCs and the integration of newly generated cells into the network, stem cell and neuro/gliogenesis biology provides a good platform from which to develop an integrated understanding of the structural and functional plasticity that underlies the development of the CNS, its remodeling in adulthood, and the recovery from diseases that affect it. PMID:26578509

  17. Notch Is Required in Adult Drosophila Sensory Neurons for Morphological and Functional Plasticity of the Olfactory Circuit

    PubMed Central

    Struhl, Gary

    2015-01-01

    Olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) convey odor information to the central brain, but like other sensory neurons were thought to play a passive role in memory formation and storage. Here we show that Notch, part of an evolutionarily conserved intercellular signaling pathway, is required in adult Drosophila ORNs for the structural and functional plasticity of olfactory glomeruli that is induced by chronic odor exposure. Specifically, we show that Notch activity in ORNs is necessary for the odor specific increase in the volume of glomeruli that occurs as a consequence of prolonged odor exposure. Calcium imaging experiments indicate that Notch in ORNs is also required for the chronic odor induced changes in the physiology of ORNs and the ensuing changes in the physiological response of their second order projection neurons (PNs). We further show that Notch in ORNs acts by both canonical cleavage-dependent and non-canonical cleavage-independent pathways. The Notch ligand Delta (Dl) in PNs switches the balance between the pathways. These data define a circuit whereby, in conjunction with odor, N activity in the periphery regulates the activity of neurons in the central brain and Dl in the central brain regulates N activity in the periphery. Our work highlights the importance of experience dependent plasticity at the first olfactory synapse. PMID:26011623

  18. Substance use and brain reward mechanisms in older adults.

    PubMed

    Snyder, Marsha; Platt, Lois

    2013-07-01

    Substance use among older adults is on the rise, with statistics indicating this to be a growing health problem. Brain changes in the reward center of the brain that naturally occur with aging are offered as one source of these statistics. Aging is generally associated with increased prevalence of chronic disease, disability, and death, and therefore a public health goal for older adults is to maintain health, independence, and function. Psychiatric-mental health nurses are uniquely positioned to assist older adults in achievement of these goals through health assessment and promotion. The use of client-centered counseling approaches that recognize the older adult's developmental need for autonomy and choice in decision making have been shown to be effective in increasing motivation in this adult population. PMID:23758223

  19. Brain plasticity and recovery from early cortical injury.

    PubMed

    Kolb, Bryan; Mychasiuk, Richelle; Williams, Preston; Gibb, Robbin

    2011-09-01

    Neocortical development represents more than a simple unfolding of a genetic blueprint: rather, it represents a complex dance of genetic and environmental events that interact to adapt the brain to fit a particular environmental context. Most cortical regions are sensitive to a wide range of experiential factors during development and later in life, but the injured cortex appears to be unusually sensitive to perinatal experiences. This paper reviews the factors that influence how normal and injured brains (both focal and ischemic injuries) develop and adapt into adulthood. Such factors include prenatal experiences in utero as well as postnatal experiences throughout life. Examples include the effects of sensory and motor stimulation, psychoactive drugs (including illicit and prescription drugs), maternal and postnatal stress, neurotrophic factors, and pre- and postnatal diet. All these factors influence cerebral development and influence recovery from brain injury during development. PMID:21950386

  20. Histomorphological Phenotyping of the Adult Mouse Brain.

    PubMed

    Mikhaleva, Anna; Kannan, Meghna; Wagner, Christel; Yalcin, Binnaz

    2016-01-01

    This article describes a series of standard operating procedures for morphological phenotyping of the mouse brain using basic histology. Many histological studies of the mouse brain use qualitative approaches based on what the human eye can detect. Consequently, some phenotypic information may be missed. Here we describe a quantitative approach for the assessment of brain morphology that is simple and robust. A total of 78 measurements are made throughout the brain at specific and well-defined regions, including the cortex, the hippocampus, and the cerebellum. Experimental design and timeline considerations, including strain background effects, the importance of sectioning quality, measurement variability, and efforts to correct human errors are discussed. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. PMID:27584555

  1. Adult mouse brain gene expression patterns bear an embryologic imprint

    PubMed Central

    Zapala, Matthew A.; Hovatta, Iiris; Ellison, Julie A.; Wodicka, Lisa; Del Rio, Jo A.; Tennant, Richard; Tynan, Wendy; Broide, Ron S.; Helton, Rob; Stoveken, Barbara S.; Winrow, Christopher; Lockhart, Daniel J.; Reilly, John F.; Young, Warren G.; Bloom, Floyd E.; Lockhart, David J.; Barlow, Carrolee

    2005-01-01

    The current model to explain the organization of the mammalian nervous system is based on studies of anatomy, embryology, and evolution. To further investigate the molecular organization of the adult mammalian brain, we have built a gene expression-based brain map. We measured gene expression patterns for 24 neural tissues covering the mouse central nervous system and found, surprisingly, that the adult brain bears a transcriptional “imprint” consistent with both embryological origins and classic evolutionary relationships. Embryonic cellular position along the anterior–posterior axis of the neural tube was shown to be closely associated with, and possibly a determinant of, the gene expression patterns in adult structures. We also observed a significant number of embryonic patterning and homeobox genes with region-specific expression in the adult nervous system. The relationships between global expression patterns for different anatomical regions and the nature of the observed region-specific genes suggest that the adult brain retains a degree of overall gene expression established during embryogenesis that is important for regional specificity and the functional relationships between regions in the adult. The complete collection of extensively annotated gene expression data along with data mining and visualization tools have been made available on a publicly accessible web site (www.barlow-lockhart-brainmapnimhgrant.org). PMID:16002470

  2. Plasticity in the Developing Brain: Intellectual, Language and Academic Functions in Children with Ischaemic Perinatal Stroke

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ballantyne, Angela O.; Spilkin, Amy M.; Hesselink, John; Trauner, Doris A.

    2008-01-01

    The developing brain has the capacity for a great deal of plasticity. A number of investigators have demonstrated that intellectual and language skills may be in the normal range in children following unilateral perinatal stroke. Questions have been raised, however, about whether these skills can be maintained at the same level as the brain…

  3. Principles of Experience-Dependent Neural Plasticity: Implications for Rehabilitation after Brain Damage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kleim, Jeffrey A.; Jones, Theresa A.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: This paper reviews 10 principles of experience-dependent neural plasticity and considerations in applying them to the damaged brain. Method: Neuroscience research using a variety of models of learning, neurological disease, and trauma are reviewed from the perspective of basic neuroscientists but in a manner intended to be useful for the…

  4. Brain Plasticity and the Art of Teaching to Learn

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martinez, Margaret

    2005-01-01

    "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself, "wrote Leo Tolstoy. Have you ever thought about how learning changes your brain? If yes, this paper may help you explore the research that will change our learning landscape in the next few years! Recent developers in the neurosciences and education research…

  5. PET-imaging of brain plasticity after cochlear implantation.

    PubMed

    Strelnikov, K; Marx, M; Lagleyre, S; Fraysse, B; Deguine, O; Barone, P

    2015-04-01

    In this article, we review the PET neuroimaging literature, which indicates peculiarities of brain networks involved in speech restoration after cochlear implantation. We consider data on implanted patients during stimulation as well as during resting state, which indicates basic long-term reorganisation of brain functional architecture. On the basis of our analysis of neuroimaging literature and considering our own studies, we indicate that auditory recovery in deaf patients after cochlear implantation partly relies on visual cues. The brain develops mechanisms of audio-visual integration as a strategy to achieve high levels of speech recognition. It turns out that this neuroimaging evidence is in line with behavioural findings of better audiovisual integration in these patients. Thus, strong visually and audio-visually based rehabilitation during the first months after cochlear implantation would significantly improve and fasten the functional recovery of speech intelligibility and other auditory functions in these patients. We provide perspectives for further neuroimaging studies in cochlear implanted patients, which would help understand brain organisation to restore auditory cognitive processing in the implanted patients and would potentially suggest novel approaches for their rehabilitation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled . PMID:25448166

  6. The effects of vitamin D on brain development and adult brain function.

    PubMed

    Kesby, James P; Eyles, Darryl W; Burne, Thomas H J; McGrath, John J

    2011-12-01

    A role for vitamin D in brain development and function has been gaining support over the last decade. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that this vitamin is actually a neuroactive steroid that acts on brain development, leading to alterations in brain neurochemistry and adult brain function. Early deficiencies have been linked with neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, and adult deficiencies have been associated with a host of adverse brain outcomes, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, depression and cognitive decline. This review summarises the current state of research on the actions of vitamin D in the brain and the consequences of deficiencies in this vitamin. Furthermore, we discuss specific implications of vitamin D status on the neurotransmitter, dopamine. PMID:21664231

  7. Reorganization and plastic changes of the human brain associated with skill learning and expertise

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Yongmin

    2014-01-01

    Novel experience and learning new skills are known as modulators of brain function. Advances in non-invasive brain imaging have provided new insight into structural and functional reorganization associated with skill learning and expertise. Especially, significant imaging evidences come from the domains of sports and music. Data from in vivo imaging studies in sports and music have provided vital information on plausible neural substrates contributing to brain reorganization underlying skill acquisition in humans. This mini review will attempt to take a narrow snapshot of imaging findings demonstrating functional and structural plasticity that mediate skill learning and expertise while identifying converging areas of interest and possible avenues for future research. PMID:24550812

  8. Plasticity of Hippocampal Excitatory-Inhibitory Balance: Missing the Synaptic Control in the Epileptic Brain.

    PubMed

    Bonansco, Christian; Fuenzalida, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is the capacity generated by experience to modify the neural function and, thereby, adapt our behaviour. Long-term plasticity of glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission occurs in a concerted manner, finely adjusting the excitatory-inhibitory (E/I) balance. Imbalances of E/I function are related to several neurological diseases including epilepsy. Several evidences have demonstrated that astrocytes are able to control the synaptic plasticity, with astrocytes being active partners in synaptic physiology and E/I balance. Here, we revise molecular evidences showing the epileptic stage as an abnormal form of long-term brain plasticity and propose the possible participation of astrocytes to the abnormal increase of glutamatergic and decrease of GABAergic neurotransmission in epileptic networks. PMID:27006834

  9. Plasticity of Hippocampal Excitatory-Inhibitory Balance: Missing the Synaptic Control in the Epileptic Brain

    PubMed Central

    Bonansco, Christian; Fuenzalida, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is the capacity generated by experience to modify the neural function and, thereby, adapt our behaviour. Long-term plasticity of glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission occurs in a concerted manner, finely adjusting the excitatory-inhibitory (E/I) balance. Imbalances of E/I function are related to several neurological diseases including epilepsy. Several evidences have demonstrated that astrocytes are able to control the synaptic plasticity, with astrocytes being active partners in synaptic physiology and E/I balance. Here, we revise molecular evidences showing the epileptic stage as an abnormal form of long-term brain plasticity and propose the possible participation of astrocytes to the abnormal increase of glutamatergic and decrease of GABAergic neurotransmission in epileptic networks. PMID:27006834

  10. Odor Experiences during Preimaginal Stages Cause Behavioral and Neural Plasticity in Adult Honeybees.

    PubMed

    Ramírez, Gabriela; Fagundez, Carol; Grosso, Juan P; Argibay, Pablo; Arenas, Andrés; Farina, Walter M

    2016-01-01

    In eusocial insects, experiences acquired during the development have long-term consequences on mature behavior. In the honeybee that suffers profound changes associated with metamorphosis, the effect of odor experiences at larval instars on the subsequent physiological and behavioral response is still unclear. To address the impact of preimaginal experiences on the adult honeybee, colonies containing larvae were fed scented food. The effect of the preimaginal experiences with the food odor was assessed in learning performance, memory retention and generalization in 3-5- and 17-19 day-old bees, in the regulation of their expression of synaptic-related genes and in the perception and morphology of their antennae. Three-five day old bees that experienced 1-hexanol (1-HEX) as food scent responded more to the presentation of the odor during the 1-HEX conditioning than control bees (i.e., bees reared in colonies fed unscented food). Higher levels of proboscis extension response (PER) to 1-HEX in this group also extended to HEXA, the most perceptually similar odor to the experienced one that we tested. These results were not observed for the group tested at older ages. In the brain of young adults, larval experiences triggered similar levels of neurexins (NRXs) and neuroligins (Nlgs) expression, two proteins that have been involved in synaptic formation after associative learning. At the sensory periphery, the experience did not alter the number of the olfactory sensilla placoidea, but did reduce the electrical response of the antennae to the experienced and novel odor. Our study provides a new insight into the effects of preimaginal experiences in the honeybee and the mechanisms underlying olfactory plasticity at larval stage of holometabolous insects. PMID:27375445

  11. Odor Experiences during Preimaginal Stages Cause Behavioral and Neural Plasticity in Adult Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez, Gabriela; Fagundez, Carol; Grosso, Juan P.; Argibay, Pablo; Arenas, Andrés; Farina, Walter M.

    2016-01-01

    In eusocial insects, experiences acquired during the development have long-term consequences on mature behavior. In the honeybee that suffers profound changes associated with metamorphosis, the effect of odor experiences at larval instars on the subsequent physiological and behavioral response is still unclear. To address the impact of preimaginal experiences on the adult honeybee, colonies containing larvae were fed scented food. The effect of the preimaginal experiences with the food odor was assessed in learning performance, memory retention and generalization in 3–5- and 17–19 day-old bees, in the regulation of their expression of synaptic-related genes and in the perception and morphology of their antennae. Three-five day old bees that experienced 1-hexanol (1-HEX) as food scent responded more to the presentation of the odor during the 1-HEX conditioning than control bees (i.e., bees reared in colonies fed unscented food). Higher levels of proboscis extension response (PER) to 1-HEX in this group also extended to HEXA, the most perceptually similar odor to the experienced one that we tested. These results were not observed for the group tested at older ages. In the brain of young adults, larval experiences triggered similar levels of neurexins (NRXs) and neuroligins (Nlgs) expression, two proteins that have been involved in synaptic formation after associative learning. At the sensory periphery, the experience did not alter the number of the olfactory sensilla placoidea, but did reduce the electrical response of the antennae to the experienced and novel odor. Our study provides a new insight into the effects of preimaginal experiences in the honeybee and the mechanisms underlying olfactory plasticity at larval stage of holometabolous insects. PMID:27375445

  12. Functional Plasticity in Childhood Brain Disorders: When, What, How, and Whom to Assess

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Maureen; Spiegler, Brenda J.; Simic, Nevena; Sinopoli, Katia J.; Wilkinson, Amy; Yeates, Keith Owen; Taylor, H. Gerry; Bigler, Erin D.; Fletcher, Jack M.

    2014-01-01

    At every point in the lifespan, the brain balances malleable processes representing neural plasticity that promote change with homeostatic processes that promote stability. Whether a child develops typically or with brain injury, his or her neural and behavioral outcome is constructed through transactions between plastic and homeostatic processes and the environment. In clinical research with children in whom the developing brain has been malformed or injured, behavioral outcomes provide an index of the result of plasticity, homeostasis, and environmental transactions. When should we assess outcome in relation to age at brain insult, time since brain insult, and age of the child at testing? What should we measure? Functions involving reacting to the past and predicting the future, as well as social-affective skills, are important. How should we assess outcome? Information from performance variability, direct measures and informants, overt and covert measures, and laboratory and ecological measures should be considered. In whom are we assessing outcome? Assessment should be cognizant of individual differences in gene, socio-economic status (SES), parenting, nutrition, and interpersonal supports, which are moderators that interact with other factors influencing functional outcome. PMID:24821533

  13. Studying synaptic plasticity in the human brain and opportunities for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Nathan, Pradeep J; Cobb, Stuart R; Lu, Bai; Bullmore, Edward T; Davies, Ceri H

    2011-10-01

    Synaptic plasticity is the ability of synaptic connections between neurons to be strengthened or weakened; a process that is central to the information processing within the brain and which plays a particularly important role in enabling higher cognitive processes [1,2]. Its role in disease is becoming increasingly clear across a wide spectrum of CNS disorders. Thus, for example, dysfunctional synaptic plasticity has been reported in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease (AD) as well as in schizophrenia and in a range of disorders associated with learning disabilities [3]. Moreover, maladaptive plasticity processes in response to specific external challenges are believed to underlie disorders such as addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The molecular basis of normal and disease plasticity is rapidly being unravelled such that synaptic plasticity now provides a unique platform from which to launch the hunt for highly innovative drugs to treat CNS disease by either, firstly, rectifying identifiable abnormalities in these processes, or secondly, utilizing these processes as a vehicle to rectify, or bypass, other mechanisms underlying disease. In this respect, recent advances have been made in studying synaptic plasticity in humans at the molecular through to clinical level and these approaches now provide a real opportunity to test synaptic plasticity as a treatment paradigm for a wide variety of CNS disorders. PMID:21737346

  14. Brain plasticity as a basis for recovery of function in humans.

    PubMed

    Bach-y-Rita, P

    1990-01-01

    One of the factors leading to the virtual neglect of the long-term potential for functional recovery following brain damage was the eclipse of plasticity concepts during the 100 years following Broca's 1861 publication on location of function. However, in the last 30 years evidence has been accumulating that demonstrates the plasticity of the brain and thus recovery potential is a subject of practical as well as theoretical interest. "Unmasking" of relatively inactive pathways, the taking over of functional representation by undamaged brain tissue, and neuronal group selection are among the mechanisms that are being explored. Human models of recovery of function include hemispherectomy patients that have regained bilateral function, facial paralysis patients who recover function (with appropriate rehabilitation) after VII-XII cranial nerve anastomosis, and patients with muscle transpositions to re-establish lost motor functions. The role of early and late rehabilitation, with attention to psychosocial and environmental factors, appears to be critical for recovery. PMID:2395525

  15. Sex Hormones Regulate Cytoskeletal Proteins Involved in Brain Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Hansberg-Pastor, Valeria; González-Arenas, Aliesha; Piña-Medina, Ana Gabriela; Camacho-Arroyo, Ignacio

    2015-01-01

    In the brain of female mammals, including humans, a number of physiological and behavioral changes occur as a result of sex hormone exposure. Estradiol and progesterone regulate several brain functions, including learning and memory. Sex hormones contribute to shape the central nervous system by modulating the formation and turnover of the interconnections between neurons as well as controlling the function of glial cells. The dynamics of neuron and glial cells morphology depends on the cytoskeleton and its associated proteins. Cytoskeletal proteins are necessary to form neuronal dendrites and dendritic spines, as well as to regulate the diverse functions in astrocytes. The expression pattern of proteins, such as actin, microtubule-associated protein 2, Tau, and glial fibrillary acidic protein, changes in a tissue-specific manner in the brain, particularly when variations in sex hormone levels occur during the estrous or menstrual cycles or pregnancy. Here, we review the changes in structure and organization of neurons and glial cells that require the participation of cytoskeletal proteins whose expression and activity are regulated by estradiol and progesterone. PMID:26635640

  16. Sex Hormones Regulate Cytoskeletal Proteins Involved in Brain Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Hansberg-Pastor, Valeria; González-Arenas, Aliesha; Piña-Medina, Ana Gabriela; Camacho-Arroyo, Ignacio

    2015-01-01

    In the brain of female mammals, including humans, a number of physiological and behavioral changes occur as a result of sex hormone exposure. Estradiol and progesterone regulate several brain functions, including learning and memory. Sex hormones contribute to shape the central nervous system by modulating the formation and turnover of the interconnections between neurons as well as controlling the function of glial cells. The dynamics of neuron and glial cells morphology depends on the cytoskeleton and its associated proteins. Cytoskeletal proteins are necessary to form neuronal dendrites and dendritic spines, as well as to regulate the diverse functions in astrocytes. The expression pattern of proteins, such as actin, microtubule-associated protein 2, Tau, and glial fibrillary acidic protein, changes in a tissue-specific manner in the brain, particularly when variations in sex hormone levels occur during the estrous or menstrual cycles or pregnancy. Here, we review the changes in structure and organization of neurons and glial cells that require the participation of cytoskeletal proteins whose expression and activity are regulated by estradiol and progesterone. PMID:26635640

  17. Erythropoietin Restores Long-Term Neurocognitive Function Involving Mechanisms of Neuronal Plasticity in a Model of Hyperoxia-Induced Preterm Brain Injury.

    PubMed

    Hoeber, Daniela; Sifringer, Marco; van de Looij, Yohan; Herz, Josephine; Sizonenko, Stéphane V; Kempe, Karina; Serdar, Meray; Palasz, Joanna; Hadamitzky, Martin; Endesfelder, Stefanie; Fandrey, Joachim; Felderhoff-Müser, Ursula; Bendix, Ivo

    2016-01-01

    Cerebral white and grey matter injury is the leading cause of an adverse neurodevelopmental outcome in prematurely born infants. High oxygen concentrations have been shown to contribute to the pathogenesis of neonatal brain damage. Here, we focused on motor-cognitive outcome up to the adolescent and adult age in an experimental model of preterm brain injury. In search of the putative mechanisms of action we evaluated oligodendrocyte degeneration, myelination, and modulation of synaptic plasticity-related molecules. A single dose of erythropoietin (20,000 IU/kg) at the onset of hyperoxia (24 hours, 80% oxygen) in 6-day-old Wistar rats improved long-lasting neurocognitive development up to the adolescent and adult stage. Analysis of white matter structures revealed a reduction of acute oligodendrocyte degeneration. However, erythropoietin did not influence hypomyelination occurring a few days after injury or long-term microstructural white matter abnormalities detected in adult animals. Erythropoietin administration reverted hyperoxia-induced reduction of neuronal plasticity-related mRNA expression up to four months after injury. Thus, our findings highlight the importance of erythropoietin as a neuroregenerative treatment option in neonatal brain injury, leading to improved memory function in adolescent and adult rats which may be linked to increased neuronal network connectivity. PMID:27493706

  18. Erythropoietin Restores Long-Term Neurocognitive Function Involving Mechanisms of Neuronal Plasticity in a Model of Hyperoxia-Induced Preterm Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Sifringer, Marco; van de Looij, Yohan; Herz, Josephine; Sizonenko, Stéphane V.; Kempe, Karina; Palasz, Joanna; Hadamitzky, Martin; Fandrey, Joachim

    2016-01-01

    Cerebral white and grey matter injury is the leading cause of an adverse neurodevelopmental outcome in prematurely born infants. High oxygen concentrations have been shown to contribute to the pathogenesis of neonatal brain damage. Here, we focused on motor-cognitive outcome up to the adolescent and adult age in an experimental model of preterm brain injury. In search of the putative mechanisms of action we evaluated oligodendrocyte degeneration, myelination, and modulation of synaptic plasticity-related molecules. A single dose of erythropoietin (20,000 IU/kg) at the onset of hyperoxia (24 hours, 80% oxygen) in 6-day-old Wistar rats improved long-lasting neurocognitive development up to the adolescent and adult stage. Analysis of white matter structures revealed a reduction of acute oligodendrocyte degeneration. However, erythropoietin did not influence hypomyelination occurring a few days after injury or long-term microstructural white matter abnormalities detected in adult animals. Erythropoietin administration reverted hyperoxia-induced reduction of neuronal plasticity-related mRNA expression up to four months after injury. Thus, our findings highlight the importance of erythropoietin as a neuroregenerative treatment option in neonatal brain injury, leading to improved memory function in adolescent and adult rats which may be linked to increased neuronal network connectivity. PMID:27493706

  19. A brain sexual dimorphism controlled by adult circulating androgens.

    PubMed

    Cooke, B M; Tabibnia, G; Breedlove, S M

    1999-06-22

    Reports of structural differences between the brains of men and women, heterosexual and homosexual men, and male-to-female transsexuals and other men have been offered as evidence that the behavioral differences between these groups are likely caused by differences in the early development of the brain. However, a possible confounding variable is the concentration of circulating hormones seen in these groups in adulthood. Evaluation of this possibility hinges on the extent to which circulating hormones can alter the size of mammalian brain regions as revealed by Nissl stains. We now report a sexual dimorphism in the volume of a brain nucleus in rats that can be completely accounted for by adult sex differences in circulating androgen. The posterodorsal nucleus of the medial amygdala (MePD) has a greater volume in male rats than in females, but adult castration of males causes the volume to shrink to female values within four weeks, whereas androgen treatment of adult females for that period enlarges the MePD to levels equivalent to normal males. This report demonstrates that adult hormone manipulations can completely reverse a sexual dimorphism in brain regional volume in a mammalian species. The sex difference and androgen responsiveness of MePD volume is reflected in the soma size of neurons there. PMID:10377450

  20. Expansion of Multipotent Stem Cells from the Adult Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Murrell, Wayne; Palmero, Emily; Bianco, John; Stangeland, Biljana; Joel, Mrinal; Paulson, Linda; Thiede, Bernd; Grieg, Zanina; Ramsnes, Ingunn; Skjellegrind, Håvard K.; Nygård, Ståle; Brandal, Petter; Sandberg, Cecilie; Vik-Mo, Einar; Palmero, Sheryl; Langmoen, Iver A.

    2013-01-01

    The discovery of stem cells in the adult human brain has revealed new possible scenarios for treatment of the sick or injured brain. Both clinical use of and preclinical research on human adult neural stem cells have, however, been seriously hampered by the fact that it has been impossible to passage these cells more than a very few times and with little expansion of cell numbers. Having explored a number of alternative culturing conditions we here present an efficient method for the establishment and propagation of human brain stem cells from whatever brain tissue samples we have tried. We describe virtually unlimited expansion of an authentic stem cell phenotype. Pluripotency proteins Sox2 and Oct4 are expressed without artificial induction. For the first time multipotency of adult human brain-derived stem cells is demonstrated beyond tissue boundaries. We characterize these cells in detail in vitro including microarray and proteomic approaches. Whilst clarification of these cells’ behavior is ongoing, results so far portend well for the future repair of tissues by transplantation of an adult patient’s own-derived stem cells. PMID:23967194

  1. A developmentally plastic adult mouse kidney cell line spontaneously generates multiple adult kidney structures

    SciTech Connect

    Webb, Carol F.; Ratliff, Michelle L.; Powell, Rebecca; Wirsig-Wiechmann, Celeste R.; Lakiza, Olga; Obara, Tomoko

    2015-08-07

    Despite exciting new possibilities for regenerative therapy posed by the ability to induce pluripotent stem cells, recapitulation of three-dimensional kidneys for repair or replacement has not been possible. ARID3a-deficient mouse tissues generated multipotent, developmentally plastic cells. Therefore, we assessed the adult mouse ARID3a−/− kidney cell line, KKPS5, which expresses renal progenitor surface markers as an alternative cell source for modeling kidney development. Remarkably, these cells spontaneously developed into multicellular nephron-like structures in vitro, and engrafted into immunocompromised medaka mesonephros, where they formed mouse nephron structures. These data implicate KKPS5 cells as a new model system for studying kidney development. - Highlights: • An ARID3a-deficient mouse kidney cell line expresses multiple progenitor markers. • This cell line spontaneously forms multiple nephron-like structures in vitro. • This cell line formed mouse kidney structures in immunocompromised medaka fish kidneys. • Our data identify a novel model system for studying kidney development.

  2. Differential Pharmacological Effects on Brain Reactivity and Plasticity in Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Brem, Anna-Katharine; Atkinson, Natasha J.; Seligson, Erica E.; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2013-01-01

    Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) are the most commonly prescribed monotherapeutic medications for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, their underlying neurophysiological effects remain largely unknown. We investigated the effects of monotherapy (AChEI) and combination therapy (AChEI and memantine) on brain reactivity and plasticity. Patients treated with monotherapy (AChEI) (N = 7) were compared to patients receiving combination therapy (COM) (N = 9) and a group of age-matched, healthy controls (HCs) (N = 13). Cortical reactivity and plasticity of the motor cortex were examined using transcranial magnetic stimulation. Cognitive functions were assessed with the cognitive subscale of the Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog), activities of daily living (ADLs) with the ADCS-ADL. In addition we assessed the degree of brain atrophy by measuring brain-scalp distances in seven different brain areas. Patient groups differed in resting motor threshold and brain atrophy, with COM showing a lower motor threshold but less atrophy than AChEI. COM showed similar plasticity effects as the HC group, while plasticity was reduced in AChEI. Long-interval intracortical inhibition (LICI) was impaired in both patient groups when compared to HC. ADAS-Cog scores were positively correlated with LICI measures and with brain atrophy, specifically in the left inferior parietal cortex. AD patients treated with mono- or combination-therapy show distinct neurophysiological patterns. Further studies should investigate whether these measures might serve as biomarkers of treatment response and whether they could guide other therapeutic interventions. PMID:24109459

  3. Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Arterial Baroreceptor Pathways: Implications for Activity-Dependent Plasticity at Baroafferent Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Jessica L.; Jenkins, Victoria K.; Hsieh, Hui-ya; Balkowiec, Agnieszka

    2008-01-01

    Functional characteristics of the arterial baroreceptor reflex change throughout ontogenesis, including perinatal adjustments of the reflex gain and adult resetting during hypertension. However, the cellular mechanisms that underlie these functional changes are not completely understood. Here, we provide evidence that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neurotrophin with a well-established role in activity-dependent neuronal plasticity, is abundantly expressed in vivo by a large subset of developing and adult rat baroreceptor afferents. Immunoreactivity to BDNF is present in the cell bodies of baroafferent neurons in the nodose ganglion (NG), their central projections in the solitary tract, and terminal-like structures in the lower brainstem nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS). Using ELISA in situ combined with electrical field stimulation, we show that native BDNF is released from cultured newborn NG neurons in response to patterns that mimic the in vivo activity of baroreceptor afferents. In particular, high-frequency bursting patterns of baroreceptor firing, which are known to evoke plastic changes at baroreceptor synapses, are significantly more effective at releasing BDNF than tonic patterns of the same average frequency. Together, our study indicates that BDNF expressed by first-order baroreceptor neurons is a likely mediator of both developmental and post-developmental modifications at first-order synapses in arterial baroreceptor pathways. PMID:19054281

  4. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor in arterial baroreceptor pathways: implications for activity-dependent plasticity at baroafferent synapses.

    PubMed

    Martin, Jessica L; Jenkins, Victoria K; Hsieh, Hui-ya; Balkowiec, Agnieszka

    2009-01-01

    Functional characteristics of the arterial baroreceptor reflex change throughout ontogenesis, including perinatal adjustments of the reflex gain and adult resetting during hypertension. However, the cellular mechanisms that underlie these functional changes are not completely understood. Here, we provide evidence that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neurotrophin with a well-established role in activity-dependent neuronal plasticity, is abundantly expressed in vivo by a large subset of developing and adult rat baroreceptor afferents. Immunoreactivity to BDNF is present in the cell bodies of baroafferent neurons in the nodose ganglion, their central projections in the solitary tract, and terminal-like structures in the lower brainstem nucleus tractus solitarius. Using ELISA in situ combined with electrical field stimulation, we show that native BDNF is released from cultured newborn nodose ganglion neurons in response to patterns that mimic the in vivo activity of baroreceptor afferents. In particular, high-frequency bursting patterns of baroreceptor firing, which are known to evoke plastic changes at baroreceptor synapses, are significantly more effective at releasing BDNF than tonic patterns of the same average frequency. Together, our study indicates that BDNF expressed by first-order baroreceptor neurons is a likely mediator of both developmental and post-developmental modifications at first-order synapses in arterial baroreceptor pathways. PMID:19054281

  5. Inflammation is detrimental for neurogenesis in adult brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ekdahl, Christine T.; Claasen, Jan-Hendrik; Bonde, Sara; Kokaia, Zaal; Lindvall, Olle

    2003-11-01

    New hippocampal neurons are continuously generated in the adult brain. Here, we demonstrate that lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation, which gives rise to microglia activation in the area where the new neurons are born, strongly impairs basal hippocampal neurogenesis in rats. The increased neurogenesis triggered by a brain insult is also attenuated if it is associated with microglia activation caused by tissue damage or lipopolysaccharide infusion. The impaired neurogenesis in inflammation is restored by systemic administration of minocycline, which inhibits microglia activation. Our data raise the possibility that suppression of hippocampal neurogenesis by activated microglia contributes to cognitive dysfunction in aging, dementia, epilepsy, and other conditions leading to brain inflammation.

  6. Using brain-computer interfaces to induce neural plasticity and restore function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosse-Wentrup, Moritz; Mattia, Donatella; Oweiss, Karim

    2011-04-01

    Analyzing neural signals and providing feedback in realtime is one of the core characteristics of a brain-computer interface (BCI). As this feature may be employed to induce neural plasticity, utilizing BCI technology for therapeutic purposes is increasingly gaining popularity in the BCI community. In this paper, we discuss the state-of-the-art of research on this topic, address the principles of and challenges in inducing neural plasticity by means of a BCI, and delineate the problems of study design and outcome evaluation arising in this context. We conclude with a list of open questions and recommendations for future research in this field.

  7. [Chemotherapy for brain tumors in adult patients].

    PubMed

    Weller, M

    2008-02-01

    Chemotherapy has become a third major treatment option for patients with brain tumors, in addition to surgery and radiotherapy. The role of chemotherapy in the treatment of gliomas is no longer limited to recurrent disease. Temozolomide has become the standard of care in newly diagnosed glioblastoma. Several ongoing trials seek to define the role of chemotherapy in the primary care of other gliomas. Some of these studies are no longer only based on histological diagnoses, but take into consideration molecular markers such as MGMT promoter methylation and loss of genetic material on chromosomal arms 1p and 19q. Outside such clinical trials chemotherapy is used in addition to radiotherapy, e.g., in anaplastic astrocytoma, medulloblastoma or germ cell tumors, or as an alternative to radiotherapy, e.g., in anaplastic oligodendroglial tumors or low-grade gliomas. In contrast, there is no established role for chemotherapy in other tumors such as ependymomas, meningiomas or neurinomas. Primary cerebral lymphomas are probably the only brain tumors which can be cured by chemotherapy alone and only by chemotherapy. The chemotherapy of brain metastases follows the recommendations for the respective primary tumors. Further, strategies of combined radiochemotherapy using mainly temozolomide or topotecan are currently explored. Leptomeningeal metastases are treated by radiotherapy or systemic or intrathecal chemotherapy depending on their pattern of growth. PMID:18253773

  8. Bilateral Brain Regions Associated with Naming in Older Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Obler, Loraine K.; Rykhlevskaia, Elena; Schnyer, David; Clark-Cotton, Manuella R.; Spiro, Avron, III; Hyun, JungMoon; Kim, Dae-Shik; Goral, Mira; Albert, Martin L.

    2010-01-01

    To determine structural brain correlates of naming abilities in older adults, we tested 24 individuals aged 56-79 on two confrontation-naming tests (the Boston Naming Test (BNT) and the Action Naming Test (ANT)), then collected from these individuals structural Magnetic-Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) data. Overall,…

  9. Sex hormones affect neurotransmitters and shape the adult female brain during hormonal transition periods

    PubMed Central

    Barth, Claudia; Villringer, Arno; Sacher, Julia

    2015-01-01

    Sex hormones have been implicated in neurite outgrowth, synaptogenesis, dendritic branching, myelination and other important mechanisms of neural plasticity. Here we review the evidence from animal experiments and human studies reporting interactions between sex hormones and the dominant neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, GABA and glutamate. We provide an overview of accumulating data during physiological and pathological conditions and discuss currently conceptualized theories on how sex hormones potentially trigger neuroplasticity changes through these four neurochemical systems. Many brain regions have been demonstrated to express high densities for estrogen- and progesterone receptors, such as the amygdala, the hypothalamus, and the hippocampus. As the hippocampus is of particular relevance in the context of mediating structural plasticity in the adult brain, we put particular emphasis on what evidence could be gathered thus far that links differences in behavior, neurochemical patterns and hippocampal structure to a changing hormonal environment. Finally, we discuss how physiologically occurring hormonal transition periods in humans can be used to model how changes in sex hormones influence functional connectivity, neurotransmission and brain structure in vivo. PMID:25750611

  10. A new plastic surgical technique for adult congenital webbed penis

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yue-bing; Ding, Xian-fan; Luo, Chong; Yu, Shi-cheng; Yu, Yan-lan; Chen, Bi-de; Zhang, Zhi-gen; Li, Gong-hui

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To introduce a novel surgical technique for correction of adult congenital webbed penis. Methods: From March 2010 to December 2011, 12 patients (age range: 14–23 years old) were diagnosed as having a webbed penis and underwent a new surgical procedure designed by us. Results: All cases were treated successfully without severe complication. The operation time ranged from 20 min to 1 h. The average bleeding volume was less than 50 ml. All patients achieved satisfactory cosmetic results after surgery. The penile curvature disappeared in all cases and all patients remained well after 1 to 3 months of follow-up. Conclusions: Adult webbed penis with complaints of discomfort or psychological pressure due to a poor profile should be indicators for surgery. Good corrective surgery should expose the glans and coronal sulcus, match the penile skin length to the penile shaft length dorsally and ventrally, and provide a normal penoscrotal junction. Our new technique is a safe and effective method for the correction of adult webbed penis, which produces satisfactory results. PMID:22949367

  11. Pedophilic brain potential responses to adult erotic stimuli.

    PubMed

    Knott, Verner; Impey, Danielle; Fisher, Derek; Delpero, Emily; Fedoroff, Paul

    2016-02-01

    Cognitive mechanisms associated with the relative lack of sexual interest in adults by pedophiles are poorly understood and may benefit from investigations examining how the brain processes adult erotic stimuli. The current study used event-related brain potentials (ERP) to investigate the time course of the explicit processing of erotic, emotional, and neutral pictures in 22 pedophilic patients and 22 healthy controls. Consistent with previous studies, early latency anterior ERP components were highly selective for erotic pictures. Although the ERPs elicited by emotional stimuli were similar in patients and controls, an early frontal positive (P2) component starting as early as 185 ms was significantly attenuated and slow to onset in pedophilia, and correlated with a clinical measure of cognitive distortions. Failure of rapid attentional capture by erotic stimuli suggests a relative reduction in early processing in pedophilic patients which may be associated with relatively diminished sexual interest in adults. PMID:26683083

  12. Developmental Vitamin D3 deficiency alters the adult rat brain.

    PubMed

    Féron, F; Burne, T H J; Brown, J; Smith, E; McGrath, J J; Mackay-Sim, A; Eyles, D W

    2005-03-15

    There is growing evidence that Vitamin D(3) (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3)) is involved in brain development. We have recently shown that the brains of newborn rats from Vitamin D(3) deficient dams were larger than controls, had increased cell proliferation, larger lateral ventricles, and reduced cortical thickness. Brains from these animals also had reduced expression of nerve growth factor (NGF) and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor. The aim of the current study was to examine if there were any permanent outcomes into adulthood when the offspring of Vitamin D(3) deficient dams were restored to a normal diet. The brains of adult rats were examined at 10 weeks of age after Vitamin D(3) deficiency until birth or weaning. Compared to controls animals that were exposed to transient early Vitamin D(3) deficiency had larger lateral ventricles, reduced NGF protein content, and reduced expression of a number genes involved in neuronal structure, i.e. neurofilament or MAP-2 or neurotransmission, i.e. GABA-A(alpha4). We conclude that transient early life hypovitaminosis D(3) not only disrupts brain development but leads to persistent changes in the adult brain. In light of the high incidence of hypovitaminosis D(3) in women of child-bearing age, the public health implications of these findings warrant attention. PMID:15763180

  13. Applications of manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI) to image brain plasticity in song birds.

    PubMed

    Van der Linden, Annemie; Van Meir, Vincent; Tindemans, Ilse; Verhoye, Marleen; Balthazart, Jacques

    2004-12-01

    The song control system of song birds is an excellent model for studying brain plasticity and has thus far been extensively analyzed by histological and electrophysiological methods. However, these approaches do not provide a global view of the brain and/or do not allow repeated measures, which are necessary to establish correlations between alterations in neural substrate and behavior. Application of in vivo manganese-enhanced MRI enabled us for the first time to visualize the song control system repeatedly in the same bird, making it possible to quantify dynamically the volume changes in this circuit as a function of seasonal and hormonal influences. In this review, we introduce and explore the song control system of song birds as a natural model for brain plasticity to validate a new cutting edge technique, which we called 'repeated dynamic manganese enhanced MRI' or D-MEMRI. This technique is based on the use of implanted permanent cannulae--for accurate repeated manganese injections in a defined target area--and the subsequent MRI acquisition of the dynamics of the accumulation of manganese in projection brain targets. A compilation of the D-MEMRI data obtained thus far in this system demonstrates the usefulness of this new method for studying brain plasticity. In particular it is shown to be a perfect tool for long-term studies of morphological and functional responses of specific brain circuits to changes in endocrine conditions. The method was also successfully applied to obtain quantitative measures of changes in activity as a function of auditory stimuli in different neuronal populations of a same nucleus that project to different targets. D-MEMRI, combined with other MRI techniques, clearly harbors potential for unraveling seasonal, hormonal, pharmacological or even genetically driven changes in a neuronal circuit, by simultaneously measuring changes in morphology, activity and connectivity. PMID:15761949

  14. Changes of the directional brain networks related with brain plasticity in patients with long-term unilateral sensorineural hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Zhang, G-Y; Yang, M; Liu, B; Huang, Z-C; Li, J; Chen, J-Y; Chen, H; Zhang, P-P; Liu, L-J; Wang, J; Teng, G-J

    2016-01-28

    Previous studies often report that early auditory deprivation or congenital deafness contributes to cross-modal reorganization in the auditory-deprived cortex, and this cross-modal reorganization limits clinical benefit from cochlear prosthetics. However, there are inconsistencies among study results on cortical reorganization in those subjects with long-term unilateral sensorineural hearing loss (USNHL). It is also unclear whether there exists a similar cross-modal plasticity of the auditory cortex for acquired monaural deafness and early or congenital deafness. To address this issue, we constructed the directional brain functional networks based on entropy connectivity of resting-state functional MRI and researched changes of the networks. Thirty-four long-term USNHL individuals and seventeen normally hearing individuals participated in the test, and all USNHL patients had acquired deafness. We found that certain brain regions of the sensorimotor and visual networks presented enhanced synchronous output entropy connectivity with the left primary auditory cortex in the left long-term USNHL individuals as compared with normally hearing individuals. Especially, the left USNHL showed more significant changes of entropy connectivity than the right USNHL. No significant plastic changes were observed in the right USNHL. Our results indicate that the left primary auditory cortex (non-auditory-deprived cortex) in patients with left USNHL has been reorganized by visual and sensorimotor modalities through cross-modal plasticity. Furthermore, the cross-modal reorganization also alters the directional brain functional networks. The auditory deprivation from the left or right side generates different influences on the human brain. PMID:26621123

  15. Environmental enrichment alters structural plasticity of the adolescent brain but does not remediate the effects of prenatal nicotine exposure.

    PubMed

    Mychasiuk, Richelle; Muhammad, Arif; Kolb, Bryan

    2014-07-01

    Exposure to both drugs of abuse and environmental enrichment (EE) are widely studied experiences that induce large changes in dendritic morphology and synaptic connectivity. As there is an abundance of literature using EE as a treatment strategy for drug addiction, we sought to determine whether EE could remediate the effects of prenatal nicotine (PN) exposure. Using Golgi-Cox staining, we examined eighteen neuroanatomical parameters in four brain regions [medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), orbital frontal cortex (OFC), nucleus accumben, and Par1] of Long-Evans rats. EE in adolescence dramatically altered structural plasticity in the male and female brain, modifying 60% of parameters investigated. EE normalized three parameters (OFC spine density and dendritic branching and mPFC dendritic branching) in male offspring exposed to nicotine prenatally but did not remediate any measures in female offspring. PN exposure interfered with adolescent EE-induced changes in five neuroanatomical measurements (Par1 spine density and dendritic branching in both male and female offspring, and mPFC spine density in male offspring). And in four neuroanatomical parameters examined, PN exposure and EE combined to produce additive effects [OFC spine density in females and mPFC dendritic length (apical and basilar) and branching in males]. Despite demonstrated efficacy in reversing drug addiction, EE was not able to reverse many of the PN-induced changes in neuronal morphology, indicating that modifications in neural circuitry generated in the prenatal period may be more resistant to change than those generated in the adult brain. PMID:24616009

  16. Brain-Controlled Neuromuscular Stimulation to Drive Neural Plasticity and Functional Recovery

    PubMed Central

    Ethier, C.; Gallego, J.A.; Miller, L.E.

    2015-01-01

    There is mounting evidence that appropriately timed neuromuscular stimulation can induce neural plasticity and generate functional recovery from motor disorders. This review addresses the idea that coordinating stimulation with a patient’s voluntary effort might further enhance neurorehabilitation. Studies in cell cultures and behaving animals have delineated the rules underlying neural plasticity when single neurons are used as triggers. However, the rules governing more complex stimuli and larger networks are less well understood. We argue that functional recovery might be optimized if stimulation were modulated by a brain machine interface, to matched the details of the patient’s voluntary intent. The potential of this novel approach highlights the need for a better understanding of the complex rules underlying this form of plasticity. PMID:25827275

  17. Brain-controlled neuromuscular stimulation to drive neural plasticity and functional recovery.

    PubMed

    Ethier, C; Gallego, J A; Miller, L E

    2015-08-01

    There is mounting evidence that appropriately timed neuromuscular stimulation can induce neural plasticity and generate functional recovery from motor disorders. This review addresses the idea that coordinating stimulation with a patient's voluntary effort might further enhance neurorehabilitation. Studies in cell cultures and behaving animals have delineated the rules underlying neural plasticity when single neurons are used as triggers. However, the rules governing more complex stimuli and larger networks are less well understood. We argue that functional recovery might be optimized if stimulation were modulated by a brain machine interface, to match the details of the patient's voluntary intent. The potential of this novel approach highlights the need for a better understanding of the complex rules underlying this form of plasticity. PMID:25827275

  18. Brain composition in Heliconius butterflies, posteclosion growth and experience-dependent neuropil plasticity.

    PubMed

    Montgomery, Stephen H; Merrill, Richard M; Ott, Swidbert R

    2016-06-15

    Behavioral and sensory adaptations are often reflected in the differential expansion of brain components. These volumetric differences represent changes in cell number, size, and/or connectivity, which may denote changes in the functional and evolutionary relationships between different brain regions, and between brain composition and behavioral ecology. Here we describe the brain composition of two species of Heliconius butterflies, a long-standing study system for investigating ecological adaptation and speciation. We confirm a previous report of a striking volumetric expansion of the mushroom body, and explore patterns of differential posteclosion and experience-dependent plasticity between different brain regions. This analysis uncovers age- and experience-dependent posteclosion mushroom body growth comparable to that in foraging Hymenoptera, but also identifies plasticity in several other neuropils. An interspecific analysis indicates that Heliconius display a remarkably large investment in mushroom bodies for a lepidopteran, and indeed rank highly compared to other insects. Our analyses lay the foundation for future comparative and experimental analyses that will establish Heliconius as a valuable case study in evolutionary neurobiology. PMID:26918905

  19. Low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation is beneficial for enhancing synaptic plasticity in the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhan-chi; Luan, Feng; Xie, Chun-yan; Geng, Dan-dan; Wang, Yan-yong; Ma, Jun

    2015-01-01

    In the aging brain, cognitive function gradually declines and causes a progressive reduction in the structural and functional plasticity of the hippocampus. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an emerging and novel neurological and psychiatric tool used to investigate the neurobiology of cognitive function. Recent studies have demonstrated that low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation (≤1 Hz) ameliorates synaptic plasticity and spatial cognitive deficits in learning-impaired mice. However, the mechanisms by which this treatment improves these deficits during normal aging are still unknown. Therefore, the current study investigated the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on the brain-derived neurotrophic factor signal pathway, synaptic protein markers, and spatial memory behavior in the hippocampus of normal aged mice. The study also investigated the downstream regulator, Fyn kinase, and the downstream effectors, synaptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 (both synaptic markers), to determine the possible mechanisms by which transcranial magnetic stimulation regulates cognitive capacity. Transcranial magnetic stimulation with low intensity (110% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1 Hz) increased mRNA and protein levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B, and Fyn in the hippocampus of aged mice. The treatment also upregulated the mRNA and protein expression of synaptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 in the hippocampus of these mice. In conclusion, brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling may play an important role in sustaining and regulating structural synaptic plasticity induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation in the hippocampus of aging mice, and Fyn may be critical during this regulation. These responses may change the structural plasticity of the aging hippocampus, thereby improving cognitive function. PMID:26199608

  20. Length of Acupuncture Training and Structural Plastic Brain Changes in Professional Acupuncturists

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Minghao; Zhao, Ling; Yuan, Kai; Zeng, Fang; Sun, Jinbo; Liu, Jixin; Yu, Dahua; von Deneen, Karen M.; Liang, Fanrong; Qin, Wei; Tian, Jie

    2013-01-01

    Background The research on brain plasticity has fascinated researchers for decades. Use/training serves as an instrumental factor to influence brain neuroplasticity. Parallel to acquisition of behavioral expertise, extensive use/training is concomitant with substantial changes of cortical structure. Acupuncturists, serving as a model par excellence to study tactile-motor and emotional regulation plasticity, receive intensive training in national medical schools following standardized training protocol. Moreover, their behavioral expertise is corroborated during long-term clinical practice. Although our previous study reported functional plastic brain changes in the acupuncturists, whether or not structural plastic changes occurred in acupuncturists is yet elusive. Methodology/Principal Findings Cohorts of acupuncturists (N = 22) and non-acupuncturists (N = 22) were recruited. Behavioral tests were delivered to assess the acupuncturists’ behavioral expertise. The results confirmed acupuncturists’ tactile-motor skills and emotion regulation proficiency compared to non-acupuncturists. Using the voxel-based morphometry technique, we revealed larger grey matter volumes in acupuncturists in the hand representation of the contralateral primary somatosensory cortex (SI), the right lobule V/VI and the bilateral ventral anterior cingulate cortex/ventral medial prefrontal cortex. Grey matter volumes of the SI and Lobule V/VI positively correlated with the duration of acupuncture practice. Conclusions To our best knowledge, this study provides first evidence for the anatomical alterations in acupuncturists, which would possibly be the neural correlates underlying acupuncturists’ exceptional skills. On one hand, we suggest our findings may have ramifications for tactile-motor rehabilitation. On the other hand, our results in emotion regulation domain may serve as a target for our future studies, from which we can understand how modulations of aversive emotions

  1. Contrasting roles for parvalbumin-expressing inhibitory neurons in two forms of adult visual cortical plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kaplan, Eitan S; Cooke, Sam F; Komorowski, Robert W; Chubykin, Alexander A; Thomazeau, Aurore; Khibnik, Lena A; Gavornik, Jeffrey P; Bear, Mark F

    2016-01-01

    The roles played by cortical inhibitory neurons in experience-dependent plasticity are not well understood. Here we evaluate the participation of parvalbumin-expressing (PV+) GABAergic neurons in two forms of experience-dependent modification of primary visual cortex (V1) in adult mice: ocular dominance (OD) plasticity resulting from monocular deprivation and stimulus-selective response potentiation (SRP) resulting from enriched visual experience. These two forms of plasticity are triggered by different events but lead to a similar increase in visual cortical response. Both also require the NMDA class of glutamate receptor (NMDAR). However, we find that PV+ inhibitory neurons in V1 play a critical role in the expression of SRP and its behavioral correlate of familiarity recognition, but not in the expression of OD plasticity. Furthermore, NMDARs expressed within PV+ cells, reversibly inhibited by the psychotomimetic drug ketamine, play a critical role in SRP, but not in the induction or expression of adult OD plasticity. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11450.001 PMID:26943618

  2. Neighborhood matters: divergent patterns of stress-induced plasticity across the brain.

    PubMed

    Chattarji, Sumantra; Tomar, Anupratap; Suvrathan, Aparna; Ghosh, Supriya; Rahman, Mohammed Mostafizur

    2015-10-01

    The fact that exposure to severe stress leads to the development of psychiatric disorders serves as the basic rationale for animal models of stress disorders. Clinical and neuroimaging studies have shown that three brain areas involved in learning and memory--the hippocampus, amygdala and prefrontal cortex--undergo distinct structural and functional changes in individuals with stress disorders. These findings from patient studies pose several challenges for animal models of stress disorders. For instance, why does stress impair cognitive function, yet enhance fear and anxiety? Can the same stressful experience elicit contrasting patterns of plasticity in the hippocampus, amygdala and prefrontal cortex? How does even a brief exposure to traumatic stress lead to long-lasting behavioral abnormalities? Thus, animal models of stress disorders must not only capture the unique spatio-temporal features of structural and functional alterations in these brain areas, but must also provide insights into the underlying neuronal plasticity mechanisms. This Review will address some of these key questions by describing findings from animal models on how stress-induced plasticity varies across different brain regions and thereby gives rise to the debilitating emotional and cognitive symptoms of stress-related psychiatric disorders. PMID:26404711

  3. Impaired hippocampal plasticity and altered neurogenesis in adult Ube3a maternal deficient mouse model for Angelman syndrome.

    PubMed

    Mardirossian, Sandrine; Rampon, Claire; Salvert, Denise; Fort, Patrice; Sarda, Nicole

    2009-12-01

    Angelman syndrome (AS) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by mental retardation, seizures and sleep disturbances. It results from lack of the functional maternal allele of UBE3A gene. Ube3a maternal-deficient mice (Ube3a m-/p+), animal models for AS, are impaired in hippocampal-dependent learning tasks as compared with control (Ube3a m+/p+) mice. We first examined the basal expression of immediate early genes which expression is required for synaptic plasticity and memory formation. We found that basal expression of c-fos and Arc genes is reduced in the DG of Ube3a maternal deficient mice compared to their non-transgenic littermates. We then examined whether adult hippocampal neurogenesis, which likely serves as a mechanism toward brain plasticity, is altered in these transgenic mice. Neurogenesis occurs throughout life in mammalian dentate gyrus (DG) and recent findings suggest that newborn granule cells are involved in some forms of learning and memory. Whether maternal Ube3a deletion is detrimental on hippocampal neurogenesis is unclear. Herein, we show, using the mitotic marker Ki67, the birthdating marker 5-bromo-2'-dexoyuridine (BrdU) and the marker doublecortin (DCX) to respectively label cell proliferation, cell survival or young neuron production, that the Ube3a maternal deletion does not affect the proliferation nor the survival of newborn cells in the hippocampus. In contrast, using the postmitotic neuronal marker (NeuN), we show that Ube3a maternal deletion is associated with a lower fraction of BrdU+/NeuN+ newborn neurons among the population of surviving new cells in the hippocampus. Collectively, these findings suggest that some aspects of adult neurogenesis and plasticity are affected by Ube3a deletion and may contribute to the hippocampal dysfunction observed in AS mice. PMID:19782683

  4. Life Satisfaction in Adult Survivors of Childhood Brain Tumors

    PubMed Central

    Crom, Deborah B.; Li, Zhenghong; Brinkman, Tara M.; Hudson, Melissa M.; Armstrong, Gregory T.; Neglia, Joseph; Ness, Kirsten K.

    2014-01-01

    Adult survivors of childhood brain tumors experience multiple, significant, life-long deficits as a consequence of their malignancy and therapy. Current survivorship literature documents the substantial impact such impairments have on survivors’ physical health and quality of life. Psychosocial reports detail educational, cognitive, and emotional limitations characterizing survivors as especially fragile, often incompetent, and unreliable in evaluating their circumstances. Anecdotal data suggests some survivors report life experiences similar to those of healthy controls. The aim of our investigation was to determine whether life satisfaction in adult survivors of childhood brain tumors differs from that of healthy controls and to identify potential predictors of life satisfaction in survivors. This cross-sectional study compared 78 brain tumor survivors with population–based matched controls. Chi-square tests, t-tests, and linear regression models were used to investigate patterns of life satisfaction and identify potential correlates. Results indicated life satisfaction of adult survivors of childhood brain tumors was similar to that of healthy controls. Survivors’ general health expectations emerged as the primary correlate of life satisfaction. Understanding life satisfaction as an important variable will optimize the design of strategies to enhance participation in follow-up care, reduce suffering, and optimize quality of life in this vulnerable population. PMID:25027187

  5. Exercise but not (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate or β-Alanine enhances physical fitness, brain plasticity, and behavioral performance in mice

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharya, Tushar K.; Pence, Brandt D.; Ossyra, Jessica M.; Gibbons, Trisha E.; Perez, Samuel; McCusker, Robert H.; Kelley, Keith W.; Johnson, Rodney W.; Woods, Jeffrey A.; Rhodes, Justin S.

    2015-01-01

    Nutrition and physical exercise can enhance cognitive function but the specific combinations of dietary bioactives that maximize pro-cognitive effects are not known nor are the contributing neurobiological mechanisms. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a flavonoid constituent of many plants with high levels found in green tea. EGCG has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and is known to cross the blood brain barrier where it can affect brain chemistry and physiology. β-alanine (B-ALA) is a naturally occurring β–amino acid that could increase cognitive functioning by increasing levels of exercise via increased capacity of skeletal muscle, by crossing the blood brain barrier and acting as a neurotransmitter, or by free radical scavenging in muscle and brain after conversion into carnosine. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of EGCG (∼ 250 mg/kg/day), B-ALA (∼550 mg/kg/day), and their combination with voluntary wheel running exercise on the following outcome measures: body composition, time to fatigue, production of new cells in the granule layer of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus as a marker for neuronal plasticity, and behavioral performance on the contextual and cued fear conditioning tasks, as measures of associative learning and memory. Young adult male BALB/cJ mice approximately 2 months old were randomized into 8 groups varying the nutritional supplement in their diet and access to running wheels over a 39 day study period. Running increased food intake, decreased fat mass, increased time to exhaustive fatigue, increased numbers of new cells in the granule layer of the hippocampus, and enhanced retrieval of both contextual and cued fear memories. The diets had no effect on their own or in combination with exercise on any of the fitness, plasticity, and behavioral outcome measures other than B-ALA decreased percent body fat whereas EGCG increased lean body mass slightly. Results suggest that, in young adult BALB

  6. Exercise but not (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate or β-alanine enhances physical fitness, brain plasticity, and behavioral performance in mice.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Tushar K; Pence, Brandt D; Ossyra, Jessica M; Gibbons, Trisha E; Perez, Samuel; McCusker, Robert H; Kelley, Keith W; Johnson, Rodney W; Woods, Jeffrey A; Rhodes, Justin S

    2015-06-01

    Nutrition and physical exercise can enhance cognitive function but the specific combinations of dietary bioactives that maximize pro-cognitive effects are not known nor are the contributing neurobiological mechanisms. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a flavonoid constituent of many plants with high levels found in green tea. EGCG has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and is known to cross the blood brain barrier where it can affect brain chemistry and physiology. β-Alanine (B-ALA) is a naturally occurring β-amino acid that could increase cognitive functioning by increasing levels of exercise via increased capacity of skeletal muscle, by crossing the blood brain barrier and acting as a neurotransmitter, or by free radical scavenging in muscle and brain after conversion into carnosine. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of EGCG (~250mg/kg/day), B-ALA (~550mg/kg/day), and their combination with voluntary wheel running exercise on the following outcome measures: body composition, time to fatigue, production of new cells in the granule layer of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus as a marker for neuronal plasticity, and behavioral performance on the contextual and cued fear conditioning tasks, as measures of associative learning and memory. Young adult male BALB/cJ mice approximately 2months old were randomized into 8 groups varying the nutritional supplement in their diet and access to running wheels over a 39day study period. Running increased food intake, decreased fat mass, increased time to exhaustive fatigue, increased numbers of new cells in the granule layer of the hippocampus, and enhanced retrieval of both contextual and cued fear memories. The diets had no effect on their own or in combination with exercise on any of the fitness, plasticity, and behavioral outcome measures other than B-ALA decreased percent body fat whereas EGCG increased lean body mass slightly. Results suggest that, in young adult BALB/cJ mice, a 39

  7. A revised dosimetric model of the adult head and brain

    SciTech Connect

    Bouchet, L.G.; Bolch, W.E.; Weber, D.A.

    1996-06-01

    During the last decade, new radiopharmaceutical have been introduced for brain imaging. The marked differences of these tracers in tissue specificity within the brain and their increasing use for diagnostic studies support the need for a more anthropomorphic model of the human brain and head. Brain and head models developed in the past have been only simplistic representations of this anatomic region. For example, the brain within the phantom of MIRD Pamphlet No. 5 Revised is modeled simply as a single ellipsoid of tissue With no differentiation of its internal structures. To address this need, the MIRD Committee established a Task Group in 1992 to construct a more detailed brain model to include the cerebral cortex, the white matter, the cerebellum, the thalamus, the caudate nucleus, the lentiform nucleus, the cerebral spinal fluid, the lateral ventricles, and the third ventricle. This brain model has been included within a slightly modified version of the head model developed by Poston et al. in 1984. This model has been incorporated into the radiation transport code EGS4 so as to calculate photon and electron absorbed fractions in the energy range 10 keV to 4 MeV for each of thirteen sources in the brain. Furthermore, explicit positron transport have been considered, separating the contribution by the positron itself and its associated annihilations photons. No differences are found between the electron and positron absorbed fractions; however, for initial energies of positrons greater than {approximately}0.5 MeV, significant differences are found between absorbed fractions from explicit transport of annihilation photons and those from an assumed uniform distribution of 0.511-MeV photons. Subsequently, S values were calculated for a variety of beta-particle and positron emitters brain imaging agents. Moreover, pediatric head and brain dosimetric models are currently being developed based on this adult head model.

  8. The adult human brain harbors multipotent perivascular mesenchymal stem cells.

    PubMed

    Paul, Gesine; Özen, Ilknur; Christophersen, Nicolaj S; Reinbothe, Thomas; Bengzon, Johan; Visse, Edward; Jansson, Katarina; Dannaeus, Karin; Henriques-Oliveira, Catarina; Roybon, Laurent; Anisimov, Sergey V; Renström, Erik; Svensson, Mikael; Haegerstrand, Anders; Brundin, Patrik

    2012-01-01

    Blood vessels and adjacent cells form perivascular stem cell niches in adult tissues. In this perivascular niche, a stem cell with mesenchymal characteristics was recently identified in some adult somatic tissues. These cells are pericytes that line the microvasculature, express mesenchymal markers and differentiate into mesodermal lineages but might even have the capacity to generate tissue-specific cell types. Here, we isolated, purified and characterized a previously unrecognized progenitor population from two different regions in the adult human brain, the ventricular wall and the neocortex. We show that these cells co-express markers for mesenchymal stem cells and pericytes in vivo and in vitro, but do not express glial, neuronal progenitor, hematopoietic, endothelial or microglial markers in their native state. Furthermore, we demonstrate at a clonal level that these progenitors have true multilineage potential towards both, the mesodermal and neuroectodermal phenotype. They can be epigenetically induced in vitro into adipocytes, chondroblasts and osteoblasts but also into glial cells and immature neurons. This progenitor population exhibits long-term proliferation, karyotype stability and retention of phenotype and multipotency following extensive propagation. Thus, we provide evidence that the vascular niche in the adult human brain harbors a novel progenitor with multilineage capacity that appears to represent mesenchymal stem cells and is different from any previously described human neural stem cell. Future studies will elucidate whether these cells may play a role for disease or may represent a reservoir that can be exploited in efforts to repair the diseased human brain. PMID:22523602

  9. Immunological regulation of neurogenic niches in the adult brain

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-Perez, Oscar; Gutierrez-Fernandez, Fernando; Lopez-Virgen, Veronica; Collas-Aguilar, Jorge; Quinones-Hinojosa, Alfredo; Garcia-Verdugo, Jose M.

    2012-01-01

    In mammals, neurogenesis and oligodendrogenesis are germinal processes that occur in the adult brain throughout life. The subventricular (SVZ) and subgranular (SGZ) zones are the main neurogenic regions in adult brain. Therein, it resides a subpopulation of astrocytes that act as neural stem cells. Increasing evidence indicates that pro-inflammatory and other immunological mediators are important regulators of neural precursors into the SVZ and the SGZ. There are a number of inflammatory cytokines that regulate the function of neural stem cells. Some of the most studied include: interleukin-1, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, insulin-like growth factor-1, growth-regulated oncogene-alpha, leukemia inhibitory factor, cardiotrophin-1, ciliary neurotrophic factor, interferon-gamma, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 and macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha. This plethora of immunological mediators can control the migration, proliferation, quiescence, cell-fate choices and survival of neural stem cells and their progeny. Thus, systemic or local inflammatory processes represent important regulators of germinal niches in the adult brain. In this review, we summarized the current evidence regarding the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines involved in the regulation of adult neural stem cells under in vitro and in vivo conditions. Additionally, we described the role of proinflammatory cytokines in neurodegenerative diseases and some therapeutical approaches for the immunomodulation of neural progenitor cells. PMID:22986164

  10. Peripubertal ovariectomy influences thymic adrenergic network plasticity in adult rats.

    PubMed

    Pilipović, Ivan; Vujnović, Ivana; Arsenović-Ranin, Nevena; Dimitrijević, Mirjana; Kosec, Duško; Stojić-Vukanić, Zorica; Leposavić, Gordana

    2016-08-15

    The study investigated the influence of peripubertal ovariectomy on the thymic noradrenaline (NA) concentration, and the thymocyte NA content and β2- and α1-adrenoceptor (AR) expression in adult 2- and 11-month-old rats. In control rats, the thymic NA concentration increased with age. This increase reflected rise in the density of catecholamine (CA)-containing fluorescent nerve fibers and cells and their CA content. Additionally, the average β2- and α1-AR thymocyte surface density changed in the opposite direction with age; the density of β2-AR decreased, whereas that of α1-AR increased. Ovariectomy diminished the thymic NA concentration in 2-month-old rats. This reflected the decrease in the density of fluorescent nerve fibers, and CA content in fluorescent nerve fibers and non-lymphoid cells, since the thymocyte NA content was increased in ovariectomized (Ox) rats. Estrogen supplementation prevented the ovariectomy-induced changes. In Ox rats, the density of CA-synthesizing nerve fibers and non-lymphoid cells diminished with age. To the contrary, NA content in thymocytes increased with age, but it did not exceed that in 11-month-old controls. Additionally, ovariectomy diminished the average thymocyte surface density of β2-ARs, but it increased that of α1-ARs in 2-month-old-rats (due to estrogen, and estrogen and progesterone deficiency, respectively). These changes, despite of the rise in circulating estrogen level post-ovariectomy, remained stable with age. This most likely reflected a decreased sensitivity to estrogen action, as a consequence of the hormone misprinting in peripubertal age. The analysis of thymocyte proliferation in culture suggested that age- and ovariectomy-induced alterations in thymocyte NA synthesis and AR expression altered NA autocrine/paracrine action on thymocytes. In conclusion, the study indicates that the ovarian hormone deficiency in peripubertal age affects ovarian steroid-dependent remodeling of thymic adrenergic

  11. Isolation and culture of neurospheres from the adult newt brain.

    PubMed

    Hameed, Liyakath Ali Shahul; Simon, András

    2015-01-01

    Neural stem cells (NSCs) give rise to neurons in the adult brain and are possible targets in regenerative therapies. In vitro cultures of NSCs as neurospheres have been established from cells isolated from diverse species. Newts are exceptional regenerators among vertebrates. These animals are able to efficiently replace neurons following ablation of those by activation and subsequent differentiation of NSCs. Here we describe the method for isolating and culturing of NSCs from the newt brain both during self-renewing and differentiating conditions. Newt NSC culture provides a useful tool for functional studies of NSC fate with the potential of resulting in novel regenerative strategies. PMID:25740488

  12. High neuronal/astroglial differentiation plasticity of adult rat hippocampal neural stem/progenitor cells in response to the effects of embryonic and adult cerebrospinal fluids

    PubMed Central

    Peirouvi, T.; Yekani, F.; Azarnia, M.; Massumi, M.

    2015-01-01

    Hippocampal neural stem/progenitor cells (hipp-NS/PCs) of the adult mammalian brain are important sources of neuronal and gial cell production. In this study, the main goal is to investigate the plasticity of these cells in neuronal/astroglial differentiations. To this end, the differentiation of the hipp-NS/PCs isolated from 3-month-old Wistar rats was investigated in response to the embryonic cerebrospinal fluid (E-CSF) including E13.5, E17-CSF and the adult cerebrospinal fluid (A-CSF), all extracted from rats. CSF samples were selected based on their effects on cell behavioral parameters. Primary cell culture was performed in the presence of either normal or high levels of KCL in a culture medium. High levels of KCL cause cell depolarization, and thus the activation of quiescent NSCs. Results from immunocytochemistry (ICC) and semi-quantitative RT-PCR (sRT-PCR) techniques showed that in E-CSF-treated groups, neuronal differentiation increased (E17>E13.5). In contrast, A-CSF decreased and increased neuronal and astroglial differentiations, respectively. Cell survivability and/or proliferation (S/P), evaluated by an MTT assay, increased by E13.5 CSF, but decreased by both E17 CSF and A-CSF. Based on the results, it is finally concluded that adult rat hippocampal proliferative cells are not restricted progenitors but rather show high plasticity in neuronal/astroglial differentiation according to the effects of CSF samples. In addition, using high concentrations of KCL in the primary cell culture led to an increase in the number of NSCs, which in turn resulted in the increase in neuronal or astroglial differentiations after CSF treatment. PMID:27175157

  13. Electrophysiological recording in the brain of intact adult zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Lindsey; Ball, Rebecca E; Acuff, Seth; Gaudet, John; Sornborger, Andrew; Lauderdale, James D

    2013-01-01

    Previously, electrophysiological studies in adult zebrafish have been limited to slice preparations or to eye cup preparations and electrorentinogram recordings. This paper describes how an adult zebrafish can be immobilized, intubated, and used for in vivo electrophysiological experiments, allowing recording of neural activity. Immobilization of the adult requires a mechanism to deliver dissolved oxygen to the gills in lieu of buccal and opercular movement. With our technique, animals are immobilized and perfused with habitat water to fulfill this requirement. A craniotomy is performed under tricaine methanesulfonate (MS-222; tricaine) anesthesia to provide access to the brain. The primary electrode is then positioned within the craniotomy window to record extracellular brain activity. Through the use of a multitube perfusion system, a variety of pharmacological compounds can be administered to the adult fish and any alterations in the neural activity can be observed. The methodology not only allows for observations to be made regarding changes in neurological activity, but it also allows for comparisons to be made between larval and adult zebrafish. This gives researchers the ability to identify the alterations in neurological activity due to the introduction of various compounds at different life stages. PMID:24300281

  14. Adult Cortical Plasticity Studied with Chronically Implanted Electrode Arrays

    PubMed Central

    Abe, Hiroshi; McManus, Justin N.J.; Ramalingam, Nirmala; Li, Wu; Marik, Sally A.; Meyer zum Alten Borgloh, Stephan

    2015-01-01

    The functional architecture of adult cerebral cortex retains a capacity for experience-dependent change. This is seen after focal binocular lesions as rapid changes in receptive field (RF) of the lesion projection zone (LPZ) in the primary visual cortex (V1). To study the dynamics of the circuitry underlying these changes longitudinally, we implanted microelectrode arrays in macaque (Macaca mulatta) V1, eliminating the possibility of sampling bias, which was a concern in previous studies. With this method, we observed a rapid initial recovery in the LPZ and, during the following weeks, 63–89% of the sites in the LPZ showed recovery of visual responses with significant position tuning. The RFs shifted ∼3° away from the scotoma. In the absence of a lesion, visual stimulation surrounding an artificial scotoma did not elicit visual responses, suggesting that the postlesion RF shifts resulted from cortical reorganization. Interestingly, although both spikes and LFPs gave consistent prelesion position tuning, only spikes reflected the postlesion remapping. PMID:25673865

  15. Sleep, Plasticity and Memory from Molecules to Whole-Brain Networks

    PubMed Central

    Abel, Ted; Havekes, Robbert; Saletin, Jared M.; Walker, Matthew P.

    2014-01-01

    Despite the ubiquity of sleep across phylogeny, its function remains elusive. In this review, we consider one compelling candidate: brain plasticity associated with memory processing. Focusing largely on hippocampus-dependent memory in rodents and humans, we describe molecular, cellular, network, whole-brain and behavioral evidence establishing a role for sleep both in preparation for initial memory encoding, and in the subsequent offline consolidation ofmemory. Sleep and sleep deprivation bidirectionally alter molecular signaling pathways that regulate synaptic strength and control plasticity-related gene transcription and protein translation. At the cellular level, sleep deprivation impairs cellular excitability necessary for inducing synaptic potentiation and accelerates the decay of long-lasting forms of synaptic plasticity. In contrast, NREM and REM sleep enhance previously induced synaptic potentiation, although synaptic de-potentiation during sleep has also been observed. Beyond single cell dynamics, large-scale cell ensembles express coordinated replay of prior learning-related firing patterns during subsequent sleep. This occurs in the hippocampus, in the cortex, and between the hippocampus and cortex, commonly in association with specific NREM sleep oscillations. At the whole-brain level, somewhat analogous learning-associated hippocampal (re)activation during NREM sleep has been reported in humans. Moreover, the same cortical NREM oscillations associated with replay in rodents also promote human hippocampal memory consolidation, and this process can be manipulated using exogenous reactivation cues during sleep. Mirroring molecular findings in rodents, specific NREM sleep oscillations before encoding refresh human hippocampal learning capacity, while deprivation of sleep conversely impairs subsequent hippocampal activity and associated encoding. Together, these cross-descriptive level findings demonstrate that the unique neurobiology of sleep exert

  16. Bridging animal and human models of exercise-induced brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Voss, Michelle W.; Vivar, Carmen; Kramer, Arthur F.; van Praag, Henriette

    2015-01-01

    Significant progress has been made in understanding the neurobiological mechanisms through which exercise protects and restores the brain. In this feature review, we integrate animal and human research, examining physical activity effects across multiple levels of description (neurons up to inter-regional pathways). We evaluate the influence of exercise on hippocampal structure and function, addressing common themes such as spatial memory and pattern separation, brain structure and plasticity, neurotrophic factors, and vasculature. Areas of research focused more within species, such as hippocampal neurogenesis in rodents, also provide crucial insight into the protective role of physical activity. Overall, converging evidence suggests exercise benefits brain function and cognition across the mammalian lifespan, which may translate into reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in humans. PMID:24029446

  17. Differential pattern of functional brain plasticity after compassion and empathy training.

    PubMed

    Klimecki, Olga M; Leiberg, Susanne; Ricard, Matthieu; Singer, Tania

    2014-06-01

    Although empathy is crucial for successful social interactions, excessive sharing of others' negative emotions may be maladaptive and constitute a source of burnout. To investigate functional neural plasticity underlying the augmentation of empathy and to test the counteracting potential of compassion, one group of participants was first trained in empathic resonance and subsequently in compassion. In response to videos depicting human suffering, empathy training, but not memory training (control group), increased negative affect and brain activations in anterior insula and anterior midcingulate cortex-brain regions previously associated with empathy for pain. In contrast, subsequent compassion training could reverse the increase in negative effect and, in contrast, augment self-reports of positive affect. In addition, compassion training increased activations in a non-overlapping brain network spanning ventral striatum, pregenual anterior cingulate cortex and medial orbitofrontal cortex. We conclude that training compassion may reflect a new coping strategy to overcome empathic distress and strengthen resilience. PMID:23576808

  18. Exploration and visualization of connectivity in the adult mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Feng, David; Lau, Chris; Ng, Lydia; Li, Yang; Kuan, Leonard; Sunkin, Susan M; Dang, Chinh; Hawrylycz, Michael

    2015-02-01

    The Allen Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas is a mesoscale whole brain axonal projection atlas of the C57Bl/6J mouse brain. All data were aligned to a common template in 3D space to generate a comprehensive and quantitative database of inter-areal and cell-type-specific projections. A suite of computational tools were developed to search and visualize the projection labeling experiments, available at http://connectivity.brain-map.org. We present three use cases illustrating how these publicly-available tools can be used to perform analyses of long range brain region connectivity. The use cases make extensive use of advanced visualization tools integrated with the atlas including projection density histograms, 3D computed anterograde and retrograde projection paths, and multi-specimen projection composites. These tools offer convenient access to detailed axonal projection information in the adult mouse brain and the ability to perform data analysis and visualization of projection fields and neuroanatomy in an integrated manner. PMID:25637033

  19. Enhanced Adult Neurogenesis Increases Brain Stiffness: In Vivo Magnetic Resonance Elastography in a Mouse Model of Dopamine Depletion

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Charlotte; Hain, Elisabeth G.; Braun, Juergen; Riek, Kerstin; Mueller, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    The mechanical network of the brain is a major contributor to neural health and has been recognized by in vivo magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) to be highly responsive to diseases. However, until now only brain softening was observed and no mechanism was known that reverses the common decrement of neural elasticity during aging or disease. We used MRE in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine hydrochloride (MPTP) mouse model for dopaminergic neurodegeneration as observed in Parkinson’s disease (PD) to study the mechanical response of the brain on adult hippocampal neurogenesis as a robust correlate of neuronal plasticity in healthy and injured brain. We observed a steep transient rise in elasticity within the hippocampal region of up to over 50% six days after MPTP treatment correlating with increased neuronal density in the dentate gyrus, which could not be detected in healthy controls. Our results provide the first indication that new neurons reactively generated following neurodegeneration substantially contribute to the mechanical scaffold of the brain. Diagnostic neuroimaging may thus target on regions of the brain displaying symptomatically elevated elasticity values for the detection of neuronal plasticity following neurodegeneration. PMID:24667730

  20. Building a brain under nutritional restriction: insights on sparing and plasticity from Drosophila studies

    PubMed Central

    Lanet, Elodie; Maurange, Cédric

    2014-01-01

    While the growth of the developing brain is known to be well-protected compared to other organs in the face of nutrient restriction (NR), careful analysis has revealed a range of structural alterations and long-term neurological defects. Yet, despite intensive studies, little is known about the basic principles that govern brain development under nutrient deprivation. For over 20 years, Drosophila has proved to be a useful model for investigating how a functional nervous system develops from a restricted number of neural stem cells (NSCs). Recently, a few studies have started to uncover molecular mechanisms as well as region-specific adaptive strategies that preserve brain functionality and neuronal repertoire under NR, while modulating neuron numbers. Here, we review the developmental constraints that condition the response of the developing brain to NR. We then analyze the recent Drosophila work to highlight key principles that drive sparing and plasticity in different regions of the central nervous system (CNS). As simple animal models start to build a more integrated picture, understanding how the developing brain copes with NR could help in defining strategies to limit damage and improve brain recovery after birth. PMID:24723892

  1. Thalamocortical Projections onto Behaviorally Relevant Neurons Exhibit Plasticity during Adult Motor Learning.

    PubMed

    Biane, Jeremy S; Takashima, Yoshio; Scanziani, Massimo; Conner, James M; Tuszynski, Mark H

    2016-03-16

    Layer 5 neurons of the neocortex receive direct and relatively strong input from the thalamus. However, the intralaminar distribution of these inputs and their capacity for plasticity in adult animals are largely unknown. In slices of the primary motor cortex (M1), we simultaneously recorded from pairs of corticospinal neurons associated with control of distinct motor outputs: distal forelimb versus proximal forelimb. Activation of ChR2-expressing thalamocortical afferents in M1 before motor learning produced equivalent responses in monosynaptic excitation of neurons controlling the distal and proximal forelimb, suggesting balanced thalamic input at baseline. Following skilled grasp training, however, thalamocortical input shifted to bias activation of corticospinal neurons associated with control of the distal forelimb. This increase was associated with a cell-specific increase in mEPSC amplitude but not presynaptic release probability. These findings demonstrate distinct and highly segregated plasticity of thalamocortical projections during adult learning. PMID:26948893

  2. Ketone-body utilization by homogenates of adult rat brain

    SciTech Connect

    Lopes-Cardozo, M.; Klein, W.

    1982-06-01

    The regulation of ketone-body metabolism and the quantitative importance of ketone bodies as lipid precursors in adult rat brain has been studied in vitro. Utilization of ketone bodies and of pyruvate by homogenates of adult rat brain was measured and the distribution of /sup 14/C from (3-/sup 14/C)ketone bodies among the metabolic products was analysed. The rate of ketone-body utilization was maximal in the presence of added Krebs-cycle intermediates and uncouplers of oxidative phosphorylation. The consumption of acetoacetate was faster than that of D-3-hydroxybutyrate, whereas, pyruvate produced twice as much acetyl-CoA as acetoacetate under optimal conditions. Millimolar concentrations of ATP in the presence of uncoupler lowered the consumption of ketone bodies but not of pyruvate. Indirect evidence is presented suggesting that ATP interferes specifically with the mitochondrial uptake of ketone bodies. Interconversion of ketone bodies and the accumulation of acid-soluble intermediates (mainly citrate and glutamate) accounted for the major part of ketone-body utilization, whereas only a small part was oxidized to CO/sub 2/. Ketone bodies were not incorporated into lipids or protein. We conclude that adult rat-brain homogenates use ketone bodies exclusively for oxidative purposes.

  3. Plasticity in the Adult: How Should the Waddington Diagram Be Applied to Regenerating Tissues?

    PubMed

    Rajagopal, Jayaraj; Stanger, Ben Z

    2016-01-25

    Conrad Waddington's eponymous 1957 diagram provided a metaphorical framework for considering how sequential developmental fate decisions allow an egg to develop into an embryo. In recent years, the Waddington diagram has been repurposed to illustrate how cellular identity changes in the context of reprogramming. In this Perspective, we revisit the Waddington diagram in light of the emerging recognition that plasticity is part and parcel of adult regeneration. Specifically, we speculate that the "epigenetic landscapes" that define identity in adult tissues are dynamic, facilitating cellular de-differentiation and trans-differentiation in the setting of injury. PMID:26812013

  4. Brain Network Activity in Monolingual and Bilingual Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Grady, Cheryl L.; Luk, Gigi; Craik, Fergus I.M.; Bialystok, Ellen

    2016-01-01

    Bilingual older adults typically have better performance on tasks of executive control (EC) than do their monolingual peers, but differences in brain activity due to language experience are not well understood. Based on studies showing a relation between the dynamic range of brain network activity and performance on EC tasks, we hypothesized that life-long bilingual older adults would show increased functional connectivity relative to monolinguals in networks related to EC. We assessed intrinsic functional connectivity and modulation of activity in task vs. fixation periods in two brain networks that are active when EC is engaged, the frontoparietal control network (FPC) and the salience network (SLN). We also examined the default mode network (DMN), which influences behavior through reduced activity during tasks. We found stronger intrinsic functional connectivity in the FPC and DMN in bilinguals than in monolinguals. Although there were no group differences in the modulation of activity across tasks and fixation, bilinguals showed stronger correlations than monolinguals between intrinsic connectivity in the FPC and task-related increases of activity in prefrontal and parietal regions. This bilingual difference in network connectivity suggests that language experience begun in childhood and continued throughout adulthood influences brain networks in ways that may provide benefits in later life. PMID:25445783

  5. Promoting social plasticity in developmental disorders with non-invasive brain stimulation techniques

    PubMed Central

    Boggio, Paulo S.; Asthana, Manish K.; Costa, Thiago L.; Valasek, Cláudia A.; Osório, Ana A. C.

    2015-01-01

    Being socially connected directly impacts our basic needs and survival. People with deficits in social cognition might exhibit abnormal behaviors and face many challenges in our highly social-dependent world. These challenges and limitations are associated with a substantial economical and subjective impact. As many conditions where social cognition is affected are highly prevalent, more treatments have to be developed. Based on recent research, we review studies where non-invasive neuromodulatory techniques have been used to promote Social Plasticity in developmental disorders. We focused on three populations where non-invasive brain stimulation seems to be a promising approach in inducing social plasticity: Schizophrenia, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Williams Syndrome (WS). There are still very few studies directly evaluating the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the social cognition of these populations. However, when considering the promising preliminary evidences presented in this review and the limited amount of clinical interventions available for treating social cognition deficits in these populations today, it is clear that the social neuroscientist arsenal may profit from non-invasive brain stimulation techniques for rehabilitation and promotion of social plasticity. PMID:26388712

  6. Adult Plasticity in the Subcortical Auditory Pathway of the Maternal Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Miranda, Jason A.; Shepard, Kathryn N.; McClintock, Shannon K.; Liu, Robert C.

    2014-01-01

    Subcortical auditory nuclei were traditionally viewed as non-plastic in adulthood so that acoustic information could be stably conveyed to higher auditory areas. Studies in a variety of species, including humans, now suggest that prolonged acoustic training can drive long-lasting brainstem plasticity. The neurobiological mechanisms for such changes are not well understood in natural behavioral contexts due to a relative dearth of in vivo animal models in which to study this. Here, we demonstrate in a mouse model that a natural life experience with increased demands on the auditory system – motherhood – is associated with improved temporal processing in the subcortical auditory pathway. We measured the auditory brainstem response to test whether mothers and pup-naïve virgin mice differed in temporal responses to both broadband and tone stimuli, including ultrasonic frequencies found in mouse pup vocalizations. Mothers had shorter latencies for early ABR peaks, indicating plasticity in the auditory nerve and the cochlear nucleus. Shorter interpeak latency between waves IV and V also suggest plasticity in the inferior colliculus. Hormone manipulations revealed that these cannot be explained solely by estrogen levels experienced during pregnancy and parturition in mothers. In contrast, we found that pup-care experience, independent of pregnancy and parturition, contributes to shortening auditory brainstem response latencies. These results suggest that acoustic experience in the maternal context imparts plasticity on early auditory processing that lasts beyond pup weaning. In addition to establishing an animal model for exploring adult auditory brainstem plasticity in a neuroethological context, our results have broader implications for models of perceptual, behavioral and neural changes that arise during maternity, where subcortical sensorineural plasticity has not previously been considered. PMID:24992362

  7. Maladaptive Plasticity in Aphasia: Brain Activation Maps Underlying Verb Retrieval Errors.

    PubMed

    Spielmann, Kerstin; Durand, Edith; Marcotte, Karine; Ansaldo, Ana Inés

    2016-01-01

    Anomia, or impaired word retrieval, is the most widespread symptom of aphasia, an acquired language impairment secondary to brain damage. In the last decades, functional neuroimaging techniques have enabled studying the neural basis underlying anomia and its recovery. The present study aimed to explore maladaptive plasticity in persistent verb anomia, in three male participants with chronic nonfluent aphasia. Brain activation maps associated with semantic verb paraphasia occurring within an oral picture-naming task were identified with an event-related fMRI paradigm. These maps were compared with those obtained in our previous study examining adaptive plasticity (i.e., successful verb naming) in the same participants. The results show that activation patterns related to semantic verb paraphasia and successful verb naming comprise a number of common areas, contributing to both maladaptive and adaptive neuroplasticity mechanisms. This finding suggests that the segregation of brain areas provides only a partial view of the neural basis of verb anomia and successful verb naming. Therefore, it indicates the importance of network approaches which may better capture the complexity of maladaptive and adaptive neuroplasticity mechanisms in anomia recovery. PMID:27429808

  8. Maladaptive Plasticity in Aphasia: Brain Activation Maps Underlying Verb Retrieval Errors

    PubMed Central

    Durand, Edith; Marcotte, Karine; Ansaldo, Ana Inés

    2016-01-01

    Anomia, or impaired word retrieval, is the most widespread symptom of aphasia, an acquired language impairment secondary to brain damage. In the last decades, functional neuroimaging techniques have enabled studying the neural basis underlying anomia and its recovery. The present study aimed to explore maladaptive plasticity in persistent verb anomia, in three male participants with chronic nonfluent aphasia. Brain activation maps associated with semantic verb paraphasia occurring within an oral picture-naming task were identified with an event-related fMRI paradigm. These maps were compared with those obtained in our previous study examining adaptive plasticity (i.e., successful verb naming) in the same participants. The results show that activation patterns related to semantic verb paraphasia and successful verb naming comprise a number of common areas, contributing to both maladaptive and adaptive neuroplasticity mechanisms. This finding suggests that the segregation of brain areas provides only a partial view of the neural basis of verb anomia and successful verb naming. Therefore, it indicates the importance of network approaches which may better capture the complexity of maladaptive and adaptive neuroplasticity mechanisms in anomia recovery. PMID:27429808

  9. Functional and Structural Brain Plasticity Enhanced by Motor and Cognitive Rehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Prosperini, Luca; Piattella, Maria Cristina; Giannì, Costanza; Pantano, Patrizia

    2015-01-01

    Rehabilitation is recognized to be important in ameliorating motor and cognitive functions, reducing disease burden, and improving quality of life in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). In this systematic review, we summarize the existing evidences that motor and cognitive rehabilitation may enhance functional and structural brain plasticity in patients with MS, as assessed by means of the most advanced neuroimaging techniques, including diffusion tensor imaging and task-related and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In most cases, the rehabilitation program was based on computer-assisted/video game exercises performed in either an outpatient or home setting. Despite their heterogeneity, all the included studies describe changes in white matter microarchitecture, in task-related activation, and/or in functional connectivity following both task-oriented and selective training. When explored, relevant correlation between improved function and MRI-detected brain changes was often found, supporting the hypothesis that training-induced brain plasticity is specifically linked to the trained domain. Small sample sizes, lack of randomization and/or an active control group, as well as missed relationship between MRI-detected changes and clinical performance, are the major drawbacks of the selected studies. Knowledge gaps in this field of research are also discussed to provide a framework for future investigations. PMID:26064692

  10. Functional and Structural Brain Plasticity Enhanced by Motor and Cognitive Rehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Prosperini, Luca; Piattella, Maria Cristina

    2015-01-01

    Rehabilitation is recognized to be important in ameliorating motor and cognitive functions, reducing disease burden, and improving quality of life in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). In this systematic review, we summarize the existing evidences that motor and cognitive rehabilitation may enhance functional and structural brain plasticity in patients with MS, as assessed by means of the most advanced neuroimaging techniques, including diffusion tensor imaging and task-related and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In most cases, the rehabilitation program was based on computer-assisted/video game exercises performed in either an outpatient or home setting. Despite their heterogeneity, all the included studies describe changes in white matter microarchitecture, in task-related activation, and/or in functional connectivity following both task-oriented and selective training. When explored, relevant correlation between improved function and MRI-detected brain changes was often found, supporting the hypothesis that training-induced brain plasticity is specifically linked to the trained domain. Small sample sizes, lack of randomization and/or an active control group, as well as missed relationship between MRI-detected changes and clinical performance, are the major drawbacks of the selected studies. Knowledge gaps in this field of research are also discussed to provide a framework for future investigations. PMID:26064692

  11. The hyaluronan and proteoglycan link proteins: Organizers of the brain extracellular matrix and key molecules for neuronal function and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Oohashi, Toshitaka; Edamatsu, Midori; Bekku, Yoko; Carulli, Daniela

    2015-12-01

    The hyaluronan and proteoglycanbinding link protein (Hapln) is a key molecule in the formation and control of hyaluronan-based condensed perineuronal matrix in the adult brain. This review summarizes the recent advances in understanding the role of Haplns in the formation and control of two distinct types of perineuronal matrices, one for "classical" PNN and the other for the specialized extracellular matrix (ECM) at the node of Ranvier in the central nervous system (CNS). We introduce the structural components of each ECM organization including the basic concept of supramolecular structure named "HLT model". We furthermore summarize the developmental and physiological role of perineuronal ECMs from the studies of Haplns and related molecules. Finally, we also discuss the potential mechanism modulating PNNs in the adult CNS. This layer of organized matrices may exert a direct effect via core protein or sugar moiety from the structure or by acting as a binding site for biologically active molecules, which are important for neuronal plasticity and saltatory conduction. PMID:26387938

  12. The maternal brain under stress: Consequences for adaptive peripartum plasticity and its potential functional implications.

    PubMed

    Slattery, David A; Hillerer, Katharina M

    2016-04-01

    The peripartum period represents a time during which all mammalian species undergo substantial physiological and behavioural changes, which prepare the female for the demands of motherhood. In addition to behavioural and physiological alterations, numerous brain regions, such as the medial prefrontal cortex, olfactory bulb, medial amygdala and hippocampus are subject to substantial peripartum-associated neuronal, dendritic and synaptic plasticity. These changes, which are temporally- and spatially-distinct, are strongly influenced by gonadal and adrenal hormones, such as estrogen and cortisol/corticosterone, which undergo dramatic fluctuations across this period. In this review, we describe our current knowledge regarding these plasticity changes and describe how stress affects such normal adaptations. Finally, we discuss the mechanisms potentially underlying these neuronal, dendritic and synaptic changes and their functional relevance for the mother and her offspring. PMID:26828151

  13. An anatomic gene expression atlas of the adult mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Ng, Lydia; Bernard, Amy; Lau, Chris; Overly, Caroline C; Dong, Hong-Wei; Kuan, Chihchau; Pathak, Sayan; Sunkin, Susan M; Dang, Chinh; Bohland, Jason W; Bokil, Hemant; Mitra, Partha P; Puelles, Luis; Hohmann, John; Anderson, David J; Lein, Ed S; Jones, Allan R; Hawrylycz, Michael

    2009-03-01

    Studying gene expression provides a powerful means of understanding structure-function relationships in the nervous system. The availability of genome-scale in situ hybridization datasets enables new possibilities for understanding brain organization based on gene expression patterns. The Anatomic Gene Expression Atlas (AGEA) is a new relational atlas revealing the genetic architecture of the adult C57Bl/6J mouse brain based on spatial correlations across expression data for thousands of genes in the Allen Brain Atlas (ABA). The AGEA includes three discovery tools for examining neuroanatomical relationships and boundaries: (1) three-dimensional expression-based correlation maps, (2) a hierarchical transcriptome-based parcellation of the brain and (3) a facility to retrieve from the ABA specific genes showing enriched expression in local correlated domains. The utility of this atlas is illustrated by analysis of genetic organization in the thalamus, striatum and cerebral cortex. The AGEA is a publicly accessible online computational tool integrated with the ABA (http://mouse.brain-map.org/agea). PMID:19219037

  14. Musical training influences linguistic abilities in 8-year-old children: more evidence for brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Moreno, Sylvain; Marques, Carlos; Santos, Andreia; Santos, Manuela; Castro, São Luís; Besson, Mireille

    2009-03-01

    We conducted a longitudinal study with 32 nonmusician children over 9 months to determine 1) whether functional differences between musician and nonmusician children reflect specific predispositions for music or result from musical training and 2) whether musical training improves nonmusical brain functions such as reading and linguistic pitch processing. Event-related brain potentials were recorded while 8-year-old children performed tasks designed to test the hypothesis that musical training improves pitch processing not only in music but also in speech. Following the first testing sessions nonmusician children were pseudorandomly assigned to music or to painting training for 6 months and were tested again after training using the same tests. After musical (but not painting) training, children showed enhanced reading and pitch discrimination abilities in speech. Remarkably, 6 months of musical training thus suffices to significantly improve behavior and to influence the development of neural processes as reflected in specific pattern of brain waves. These results reveal positive transfer from music to speech and highlight the influence of musical training. Finally, they demonstrate brain plasticity in showing that relatively short periods of training have strong consequences on the functional organization of the children's brain. PMID:18832336

  15. A spaceflight study of synaptic plasticity in adult rat vestibular maculas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, M. D.

    1994-01-01

    Behavioral signs of vestibular perturbation in altered gravity have not been well correlated with structural modifications in neurovestibular centers. This ultrastructural research investigated synaptic plasticity in hair cells of adult rat utricular maculas exposed to microgravity for nine days on a space shuttle. The hypothesis was that synaptic plasticity would be more evident in type II hair cells because they are part of a distributed modifying macular circuitry. All rats were shared with other investigators and were subjected to treatments unrelated to this experiment. Maculas were obtained from flight and control rats after shuttle return (R + 0) and nine days post-flight (R + 9). R + 9 rats had chromodacryorrhea, a sign of acute stress. Tissues were prepared for ultrastructural study by conventional methods. Ribbon synapses were counted in fifty serial sections from medial utricular macular regions of three rats of each flight and control group. Counts in fifty additional consecutive sections from one sample in each group established method reliability. All synapses were photographed and located to specific cells on mosaics of entire sections. Pooled data were analyzed statistically. Flown rats showed abnormal posture and movement at R + 0. They had statistically significant increases in total ribbon synapses and in sphere-like ribbons in both kinds of hair cells; in type II cells, pairs of synapses nearly doubled and clusters of 3 to 6 synapses increased twelve-fold. At R + 9, behavioral signs were normal. However, synapse counts remained high in both kinds of hair cells of flight maculas and were elevated in control type II cells. Only counts in type I cells showed statistically significant differences at R + 9. High synaptic counts at R + 9 may have resulted from stress due to experimental treatments. The results nevertheless demonstrate that adult maculas retain the potential for synaptic plasticity. Type II cells exhibited more synaptic plasticity, but

  16. Astaxanthin reduces ischemic brain injury in adult rats

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Hui; Kuo, Chi-Chung; Chou, Jenny; Delvolve, Alice; Jackson, Shelley N.; Post, Jeremy; Woods, Amina S.; Hoffer, Barry J.; Wang, Yun; Harvey, Brandon K.

    2009-01-01

    Astaxanthin (ATX) is a dietary carotenoid of crustaceans and fish that contributes to their coloration. Dietary ATX is important for development and survival of salmonids and crustaceans and has been shown to reduce cardiac ischemic injury in rodents. The purpose of this study was to examine whether ATX can protect against ischemic injury in the mammalian brain. Adult rats were injected intracerebroventricularly with ATX or vehicle prior to a 60-min middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo). ATX was present in the infarction area at 70-75 min after onset of MCAo. Treatment with ATX, compared to vehicle, increased locomotor activity in stroke rats and reduced cerebral infarction at 2 d after MCAo. To evaluate the protective mechanisms of ATX against stroke, brain tissues were assayed for free radical damage, apoptosis, and excitoxicity. ATX antagonized ischemia-mediated loss of aconitase activity and reduced glutamate release, lipid peroxidation, translocation of cytochrome c, and TUNEL labeling in the ischemic cortex. ATX did not alter physiological parameters, such as body temperature, brain temperature, cerebral blood flow, blood gases, blood pressure, and pH. Collectively, our data suggest that ATX can reduce ischemia-related injury in brain tissue through the inhibition of oxidative stress, reduction of glutamate release, and antiapoptosis. ATX may be clinically useful for patients vulnerable or prone to ischemic events.—Shen, H., Kuo, C.-C., Chou, J., Delvolve, A., Jackson, S. N., Post, J., Woods, A. S., Hoffer, B. J., Wang, Y., Harvey, B. K. Astaxanthin reduces ischemic brain injury in adult rats. PMID:19218497

  17. The sexual identity of adult intestinal stem cells controls organ size and plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Hudry, Bruno; Khadayate, Sanjay; Miguel-Aliaga, Irene

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Sex differences in physiology and disease susceptibility are commonly attributed to developmental and/or hormonal factors, but there is increasing realisation that cell-intrinsic mechanisms play important and persistent roles1,2. Here we use the Drosophila melanogaster intestine to investigate the nature and significance of cellular sex in an adult somatic organ in vivo. We find that the adult intestinal epithelium is a cellular mosaic of different sex differentiation pathways, and displays extensive sex differences in expression of genes with roles in growth and metabolism. Cell-specific reversals of the sexual identity of adult intestinal stem cells uncover its key roles in controlling organ size, its reproductive plasticity and its response to genetically induced tumours. Unlike previous examples of sexually dimorphic somatic stem cell activity, the sex differences in intestinal stem cell behaviour arise from intrinsic mechanisms, which control cell cycle duration and involve a new doublesex- and fruitless-independent branch of the sex differentiation pathway downstream of transformer. Together, our findings indicate that the plasticity of an adult somatic organ is reversibly controlled by its sexual identity, imparted by a new mechanism that may be active in more tissues than previously recognised. PMID:26887495

  18. Inhibition Plasticity in Older Adults: Practice and Transfer Effects Using a Multiple Task Approach

    PubMed Central

    Wilkinson, Andrea J.; Yang, Lixia

    2016-01-01

    Objective. To examine plasticity of inhibition, as indexed by practice effects of inhibition tasks and the associated transfer effects, using a multiple task approach in healthy older adults. Method. Forty-eight healthy older adults were evenly assigned to either a practice group or a no-contact control group. All participants completed pretest (2.5 hours) and posttest (2 hours) sessions, with a 2-week interval in between. During the 2-week interval, only the practice group completed six 30-minute practice sessions (three sessions per week for two consecutive weeks) of three lab-based inhibition tasks. Results. All three inhibition tasks demonstrated significant improvement across practice sessions, suggesting practice-induced plasticity. The benefit, however, only transferred to near-near tasks. The results are inconclusive with regard to the near-far and far-far transfer effects. Discussion. This study further extends literature on practice effects of inhibition in older adults by using a multiple task approach. Together with previous work, the current study suggests that older adults are able to improve inhibition performance through practice and transfer the practice gains to tasks that overlap in both target cognitive ability and task structure (i.e., near-near tasks). PMID:26885407

  19. The sexual identity of adult intestinal stem cells controls organ size and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Hudry, Bruno; Khadayate, Sanjay; Miguel-Aliaga, Irene

    2016-02-18

    Sex differences in physiology and disease susceptibility are commonly attributed to developmental and/or hormonal factors, but there is increasing realization that cell-intrinsic mechanisms play important and persistent roles. Here we use the Drosophila melanogaster intestine to investigate the nature and importance of cellular sex in an adult somatic organ in vivo. We find that the adult intestinal epithelium is a cellular mosaic of different sex differentiation pathways, and displays extensive sex differences in expression of genes with roles in growth and metabolism. Cell-specific reversals of the sexual identity of adult intestinal stem cells uncovers the key role this identity has in controlling organ size, reproductive plasticity and response to genetically induced tumours. Unlike previous examples of sexually dimorphic somatic stem cell activity, the sex differences in intestinal stem cell behaviour arise from intrinsic mechanisms that control cell cycle duration and involve a new doublesex- and fruitless-independent branch of the sex differentiation pathway downstream of transformer. Together, our findings indicate that the plasticity of an adult somatic organ is reversibly controlled by its sexual identity, imparted by a new mechanism that may be active in more tissues than previously recognized. PMID:26887495

  20. Emerging roles of non-coding RNAs in brain evolution, development, plasticity and disease

    PubMed Central

    Qureshi, Irfan A.; Mehler, Mark F.

    2012-01-01

    Novel classes of small and long non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are being characterized at a rapid pace, driven by recent paradigm shifts in our understanding of genomic architecture, regulation and transcriptional output, as well as by innovations in sequencing technologies and computational and systems biology. These ncRNAs can interact with DNA, RNA and protein molecules; engage in diverse structural, functional and regulatory activities; and have roles in nuclear organization and transcriptional, post-transcriptional and epigenetic processes. This expanding inventory of ncRNAs is implicated in mediating a broad spectrum of processes including brain evolution, development, synaptic plasticity and disease pathogenesis. PMID:22814587

  1. Mammalian Target of Rapamycin: Its Role in Early Neural Development and in Adult and Aged Brain Function.

    PubMed

    Garza-Lombó, Carla; Gonsebatt, María E

    2016-01-01

    The kinase mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) integrates signals triggered by energy, stress, oxygen levels, and growth factors. It regulates ribosome biogenesis, mRNA translation, nutrient metabolism, and autophagy. mTOR participates in various functions of the brain, such as synaptic plasticity, adult neurogenesis, memory, and learning. mTOR is present during early neural development and participates in axon and dendrite development, neuron differentiation, and gliogenesis, among other processes. Furthermore, mTOR has been shown to modulate lifespan in multiple organisms. This protein is an important energy sensor that is present throughout our lifetime its role must be precisely described in order to develop therapeutic strategies and prevent diseases of the central nervous system. The aim of this review is to present our current understanding of the functions of mTOR in neural development, the adult brain and aging. PMID:27378854

  2. Mammalian Target of Rapamycin: Its Role in Early Neural Development and in Adult and Aged Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Garza-Lombó, Carla; Gonsebatt, María E.

    2016-01-01

    The kinase mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) integrates signals triggered by energy, stress, oxygen levels, and growth factors. It regulates ribosome biogenesis, mRNA translation, nutrient metabolism, and autophagy. mTOR participates in various functions of the brain, such as synaptic plasticity, adult neurogenesis, memory, and learning. mTOR is present during early neural development and participates in axon and dendrite development, neuron differentiation, and gliogenesis, among other processes. Furthermore, mTOR has been shown to modulate lifespan in multiple organisms. This protein is an important energy sensor that is present throughout our lifetime its role must be precisely described in order to develop therapeutic strategies and prevent diseases of the central nervous system. The aim of this review is to present our current understanding of the functions of mTOR in neural development, the adult brain and aging. PMID:27378854

  3. Physical exercise in overweight to obese individuals induces metabolic- and neurotrophic-related structural brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Karsten; Möller, Harald E.; Horstmann, Annette; Busse, Franziska; Lepsien, Jöran; Blüher, Matthias; Stumvoll, Michael; Villringer, Arno; Pleger, Burkhard

    2015-01-01

    Previous cross-sectional studies on body-weight-related alterations in brain structure revealed profound changes in the gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) that resemble findings obtained from individuals with advancing age. This suggests that obesity may lead to structural brain changes that are comparable with brain aging. Here, we asked whether weight-loss-dependent improved metabolic and neurotrophic functioning parallels the reversal of obesity-related alterations in brain structure. To this end we applied magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) together with voxel-based morphometry and diffusion-tensor imaging in overweight to obese individuals who participated in a fitness course with intensive physical training twice a week over a period of 3 months. After the fitness course, participants presented, with inter-individual heterogeneity, a reduced body mass index (BMI), reduced serum leptin concentrations, elevated high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), and alterations of serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) concentrations suggesting changes of metabolic and neurotrophic function. Exercise-dependent changes in BMI and serum concentration of BDNF, leptin, and HDL-C were related to an increase in GM density in the left hippocampus, the insular cortex, and the left cerebellar lobule. We also observed exercise-dependent changes of diffusivity parameters in surrounding WM structures as well as in the corpus callosum. These findings suggest that weight-loss due to physical exercise in overweight to obese participants induces profound structural brain plasticity, not primarily of sensorimotor brain regions involved in physical exercise, but of regions previously reported to be structurally affected by an increased body weight and functionally implemented in gustation and cognitive processing. PMID:26190989

  4. Acute moderate exercise enhances compensatory brain activation in older adults.

    PubMed

    Hyodo, Kazuki; Dan, Ippeita; Suwabe, Kazuya; Kyutoku, Yasushi; Yamada, Yuhki; Akahori, Mitsuya; Byun, Kyeongho; Kato, Morimasa; Soya, Hideaki

    2012-11-01

    A growing number of reports state that regular exercise enhances brain function in older adults. Recently a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) study revealed that an acute bout of moderate exercise enhanced activation of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (L-DLPFC) associated with Stroop interference in young adults. Whether this acute effect is also applicable to older adults was examined. Sixteen older adults performed a color-word matching Stroop task before and after 10 minutes of exercise on a cycle ergometer at a moderate intensity. Cortical hemodynamics of the prefrontal area was monitored with a fNIRS during the Stroop task. We analyzed Stroop interference (incongruent-neutral) as Stroop performance. Though activation for Stroop interference was found in the bilateral prefrontal area before the acute bout of exercise, activation of the right frontopolar area (R-FPA) was enhanced after exercise. In the majority of participants, this coincided with improved performance reflected in Stroop interference results. Thus, an acute bout of moderate exercise improved Stroop performance in older adults, and this was associated with contralateral compensatory activation. PMID:22300952

  5. Augmenting NMDA receptor signaling boosts experience-dependent neuroplasticity in the adult human brain

    PubMed Central

    Forsyth, Jennifer K.; Bachman, Peter; Mathalon, Daniel H.; Roach, Brian J.; Asarnow, Robert F.

    2015-01-01

    Experience-dependent plasticity is a fundamental property of the brain. It is critical for everyday function, is impaired in a range of neurological and psychiatric disorders, and frequently depends on long-term potentiation (LTP). Preclinical studies suggest that augmenting N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) signaling may promote experience-dependent plasticity; however, a lack of noninvasive methods has limited our ability to test this idea in humans until recently. We examined the effects of enhancing NMDAR signaling using d-cycloserine (DCS) on a recently developed LTP EEG paradigm that uses high-frequency visual stimulation (HFvS) to induce neural potentiation in visual cortex neurons, as well as on three cognitive tasks: a weather prediction task (WPT), an information integration task (IIT), and a n-back task. The WPT and IIT are learning tasks that require practice with feedback to reach optimal performance. The n-back assesses working memory. Healthy adults were randomized to receive DCS (100 mg; n = 32) or placebo (n = 33); groups were similar in IQ and demographic characteristics. Participants who received DCS showed enhanced potentiation of neural responses following repetitive HFvS, as well as enhanced performance on the WPT and IIT. Groups did not differ on the n-back. Augmenting NMDAR signaling using DCS therefore enhanced activity-dependent plasticity in human adults, as demonstrated by lasting enhancement of neural potentiation following repetitive HFvS and accelerated acquisition of two learning tasks. Results highlight the utility of considering cellular mechanisms underlying distinct cognitive functions when investigating potential cognitive enhancers. PMID:26621715

  6. Augmenting NMDA receptor signaling boosts experience-dependent neuroplasticity in the adult human brain.

    PubMed

    Forsyth, Jennifer K; Bachman, Peter; Mathalon, Daniel H; Roach, Brian J; Asarnow, Robert F

    2015-12-15

    Experience-dependent plasticity is a fundamental property of the brain. It is critical for everyday function, is impaired in a range of neurological and psychiatric disorders, and frequently depends on long-term potentiation (LTP). Preclinical studies suggest that augmenting N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) signaling may promote experience-dependent plasticity; however, a lack of noninvasive methods has limited our ability to test this idea in humans until recently. We examined the effects of enhancing NMDAR signaling using d-cycloserine (DCS) on a recently developed LTP EEG paradigm that uses high-frequency visual stimulation (HFvS) to induce neural potentiation in visual cortex neurons, as well as on three cognitive tasks: a weather prediction task (WPT), an information integration task (IIT), and a n-back task. The WPT and IIT are learning tasks that require practice with feedback to reach optimal performance. The n-back assesses working memory. Healthy adults were randomized to receive DCS (100 mg; n = 32) or placebo (n = 33); groups were similar in IQ and demographic characteristics. Participants who received DCS showed enhanced potentiation of neural responses following repetitive HFvS, as well as enhanced performance on the WPT and IIT. Groups did not differ on the n-back. Augmenting NMDAR signaling using DCS therefore enhanced activity-dependent plasticity in human adults, as demonstrated by lasting enhancement of neural potentiation following repetitive HFvS and accelerated acquisition of two learning tasks. Results highlight the utility of considering cellular mechanisms underlying distinct cognitive functions when investigating potential cognitive enhancers. PMID:26621715

  7. Neuroimaging in adult penetrating brain injury: a guide for radiographers

    SciTech Connect

    Temple, Nikki; Donald, Cortny; Skora, Amanda; Reed, Warren

    2015-06-15

    Penetrating brain injuries (PBI) are a medical emergency, often resulting in complex damage and high mortality rates. Neuroimaging is essential to evaluate the location and extent of injuries, and to manage them accordingly. Currently, a myriad of imaging modalities are included in the diagnostic workup for adult PBI, including skull radiography, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and angiography, with each modality providing their own particular benefits. This literature review explores the current modalities available for investigating PBI and aims to assist in decision making for the appropriate use of diagnostic imaging when presented with an adult PBI. Based on the current literature, the authors have developed an imaging pathway for adult penetrating brain injury that functions as both a learning tool and reference guide for radiographers and other health professionals. Currently, CT is recommended as the imaging modality of choice for the initial assessment of PBI patients, while MRI is important in the sub-acute setting where it aids prognosis prediction and rehabilitation planning, Additional follow-up imaging, such as angiography, should be dependent upon clinical findings.

  8. Neuroimaging in adult penetrating brain injury: a guide for radiographers.

    PubMed

    Temple, Nikki; Donald, Cortny; Skora, Amanda; Reed, Warren

    2015-06-01

    Penetrating brain injuries (PBI) are a medical emergency, often resulting in complex damage and high mortality rates. Neuroimaging is essential to evaluate the location and extent of injuries, and to manage them accordingly. Currently, a myriad of imaging modalities are included in the diagnostic workup for adult PBI, including skull radiography, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and angiography, with each modality providing their own particular benefits. This literature review explores the current modalities available for investigating PBI and aims to assist in decision making for the appropriate use of diagnostic imaging when presented with an adult PBI. Based on the current literature, the authors have developed an imaging pathway for adult penetrating brain injury that functions as both a learning tool and reference guide for radiographers and other health professionals. Currently, CT is recommended as the imaging modality of choice for the initial assessment of PBI patients, while MRI is important in the sub-acute setting where it aids prognosis prediction and rehabilitation planning, Additional follow-up imaging, such as angiography, should be dependent upon clinical findings. PMID:26229677

  9. Testosterone affects language areas of the adult human brain

    PubMed Central

    Hahn, Andreas; Kranz, Georg S.; Sladky, Ronald; Kaufmann, Ulrike; Ganger, Sebastian; Hummer, Allan; Seiger, Rene; Spies, Marie; Vanicek, Thomas; Winkler, Dietmar; Kasper, Siegfried; Windischberger, Christian; Swaab, Dick F.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Although the sex steroid hormone testosterone is integrally involved in the development of language processing, ethical considerations mostly limit investigations to single hormone administrations. To circumvent this issue we assessed the influence of continuous high‐dose hormone application in adult female‐to‐male transsexuals. Subjects underwent magnetic resonance imaging before and after 4 weeks of testosterone treatment, with each scan including structural, diffusion weighted and functional imaging. Voxel‐based morphometry analysis showed decreased gray matter volume with increasing levels of bioavailable testosterone exclusively in Broca's and Wernicke's areas. Particularly, this may link known sex differences in language performance to the influence of testosterone on relevant brain regions. Using probabilistic tractography, we further observed that longitudinal changes in testosterone negatively predicted changes in mean diffusivity of the corresponding structural connection passing through the extreme capsule. Considering a related increase in myelin staining in rodents, this potentially reflects a strengthening of the fiber tract particularly involved in language comprehension. Finally, functional images at resting‐state were evaluated, showing increased functional connectivity between the two brain regions with increasing testosterone levels. These findings suggest testosterone‐dependent neuroplastic adaptations in adulthood within language‐specific brain regions and connections. Importantly, deteriorations in gray matter volume seem to be compensated by enhancement of corresponding structural and functional connectivity. Hum Brain Mapp 37:1738–1748, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26876303

  10. Testosterone affects language areas of the adult human brain.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Andreas; Kranz, Georg S; Sladky, Ronald; Kaufmann, Ulrike; Ganger, Sebastian; Hummer, Allan; Seiger, Rene; Spies, Marie; Vanicek, Thomas; Winkler, Dietmar; Kasper, Siegfried; Windischberger, Christian; Swaab, Dick F; Lanzenberger, Rupert

    2016-05-01

    Although the sex steroid hormone testosterone is integrally involved in the development of language processing, ethical considerations mostly limit investigations to single hormone administrations. To circumvent this issue we assessed the influence of continuous high-dose hormone application in adult female-to-male transsexuals. Subjects underwent magnetic resonance imaging before and after 4 weeks of testosterone treatment, with each scan including structural, diffusion weighted and functional imaging. Voxel-based morphometry analysis showed decreased gray matter volume with increasing levels of bioavailable testosterone exclusively in Broca's and Wernicke's areas. Particularly, this may link known sex differences in language performance to the influence of testosterone on relevant brain regions. Using probabilistic tractography, we further observed that longitudinal changes in testosterone negatively predicted changes in mean diffusivity of the corresponding structural connection passing through the extreme capsule. Considering a related increase in myelin staining in rodents, this potentially reflects a strengthening of the fiber tract particularly involved in language comprehension. Finally, functional images at resting-state were evaluated, showing increased functional connectivity between the two brain regions with increasing testosterone levels. These findings suggest testosterone-dependent neuroplastic adaptations in adulthood within language-specific brain regions and connections. Importantly, deteriorations in gray matter volume seem to be compensated by enhancement of corresponding structural and functional connectivity. Hum Brain Mapp 37:1738-1748, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26876303

  11. Astaxanthin reduces ischemic brain injury in adult rats.

    PubMed

    Shen, Hui; Kuo, Chi-Chung; Chou, Jenny; Delvolve, Alice; Jackson, Shelley N; Post, Jeremy; Woods, Amina S; Hoffer, Barry J; Wang, Yun; Harvey, Brandon K

    2009-06-01

    Astaxanthin (ATX) is a dietary carotenoid of crustaceans and fish that contributes to their coloration. Dietary ATX is important for development and survival of salmonids and crustaceans and has been shown to reduce cardiac ischemic injury in rodents. The purpose of this study was to examine whether ATX can protect against ischemic injury in the mammalian brain. Adult rats were injected intracerebroventricularly with ATX or vehicle prior to a 60-min middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo). ATX was present in the infarction area at 70-75 min after onset of MCAo. Treatment with ATX, compared to vehicle, increased locomotor activity in stroke rats and reduced cerebral infarction at 2 d after MCAo. To evaluate the protective mechanisms of ATX against stroke, brain tissues were assayed for free radical damage, apoptosis, and excitoxicity. ATX antagonized ischemia-mediated loss of aconitase activity and reduced glutamate release, lipid peroxidation, translocation of cytochrome c, and TUNEL labeling in the ischemic cortex. ATX did not alter physiological parameters, such as body temperature, brain temperature, cerebral blood flow, blood gases, blood pressure, and pH. Collectively, our data suggest that ATX can reduce ischemia-related injury in brain tissue through the inhibition of oxidative stress, reduction of glutamate release, and antiapoptosis. ATX may be clinically useful for patients vulnerable or prone to ischemic events. PMID:19218497

  12. Selectivity of flesh-footed shearwaters for plastic colour: Evidence for differential provisioning in adults and fledglings.

    PubMed

    Lavers, Jennifer L; Bond, Alexander L

    2016-02-01

    The ingestion of plastic by seabirds has been used as an indicator of population and ocean health. However, few studies have examined adults and juveniles of the same species concurrent with the availability of plastic in the local marine environment. In King George Sound (KGS), Western Australia, 13% of adult flesh-footed shearwaters (Ardenna carneipes) and 90% of fledglings contained plastic items in their digestive tract. On Lord Howe Island (LHI), New South Wales, 75% of adult shearwaters and 100% of fledglings contained plastic. Ingested items were assessed using Jaccard's Index (where J = 0 indicates complete dissimilarity and J = 1 complete similarity). The colour of items ingested by self- and chick-provisioning shearwaters from KGS exhibited broad overlap with plastic available in the local environment (J = 0.78-0.80), and plastic in adults and fledglings from LHI were less similar to those available (J = 0.31-0.58). Additional data on seabird colour selection would improve our understanding of the factors influencing the behaviour of ingesting plastic, and its contribution to the decline of some species. PMID:26559149

  13. Effects of non-pharmacological or pharmacological interventions on cognition and brain plasticity of aging individuals

    PubMed Central

    Pieramico, Valentina; Esposito, Roberto; Cesinaro, Stefano; Frazzini, Valerio; Sensi, Stefano L.

    2014-01-01

    Brain aging and aging-related neurodegenerative disorders are major health challenges faced by modern societies. Brain aging is associated with cognitive and functional decline and represents the favourable background for the onset and development of dementia. Brain aging is associated with early and subtle anatomo-functional physiological changes that often precede the appearance of clinical signs of cognitive decline. Neuroimaging approaches unveiled the functional correlates of these alterations and helped in the identification of therapeutic targets that can be potentially useful in counteracting age-dependent cognitive decline. A growing body of evidence supports the notion that cognitive stimulation and aerobic training can preserve and enhance operational skills in elderly individuals as well as reduce the incidence of dementia. This review aims at providing an extensive and critical overview of the most recent data that support the efficacy of non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions aimed at enhancing cognition and brain plasticity in healthy elderly individuals as well as delaying the cognitive decline associated with dementia. PMID:25228860

  14. Effects of non-pharmacological or pharmacological interventions on cognition and brain plasticity of aging individuals.

    PubMed

    Pieramico, Valentina; Esposito, Roberto; Cesinaro, Stefano; Frazzini, Valerio; Sensi, Stefano L

    2014-01-01

    Brain aging and aging-related neurodegenerative disorders are major health challenges faced by modern societies. Brain aging is associated with cognitive and functional decline and represents the favourable background for the onset and development of dementia. Brain aging is associated with early and subtle anatomo-functional physiological changes that often precede the appearance of clinical signs of cognitive decline. Neuroimaging approaches unveiled the functional correlates of these alterations and helped in the identification of therapeutic targets that can be potentially useful in counteracting age-dependent cognitive decline. A growing body of evidence supports the notion that cognitive stimulation and aerobic training can preserve and enhance operational skills in elderly individuals as well as reduce the incidence of dementia. This review aims at providing an extensive and critical overview of the most recent data that support the efficacy of non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions aimed at enhancing cognition and brain plasticity in healthy elderly individuals as well as delaying the cognitive decline associated with dementia. PMID:25228860

  15. Roles for Oestrogen Receptor β in Adult Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Handa, R. J.; Ogawa, S.; Wang, J. M.; Herbison, A. E.

    2012-01-01

    Oestradiol exerts a profound influence upon multiple brain circuits. For the most part, these effects are mediated by oestrogen receptor (ER)α. We review here the roles of ERβ, the other ER isoform, in mediating rodent oestradiol-regulated anxiety, aggressive and sexual behaviours, the control of gonadotrophin secretion, and adult neurogenesis. Evidence exists for: (i) ERβ located in the paraventricular nucleus underpinning the suppressive influence of oestradiol on the stress axis and anxiety-like behaviour; (ii) ERβ expressed in gonadotrophin-releasing hormone neurones contributing to oestrogen negative-feedback control of gonadotrophin secretion; (iii) ERβ controlling the offset of lordosis behaviour; (iv) ERβ suppressing aggressive behaviour in males; (v) ERβ modulating responses to social stimuli; and (vi) ERβ in controlling adult neurogenesis. This review highlights two major themes; first, ERβ and ERα are usually tightly inter-related in the oestradiol-dependent control of a particular brain function. For example, even though oestradiol feedback to control reproduction occurs principally through ERα-dependent mechanisms, modulatory roles for ERβ also exist. Second, the roles of ERα and ERβ within a particular neural network may be synergistic or antagonistic. Examples of the latter include the role of ERα to enhance, and ERβ to suppress, anxiety-like and aggressive behaviours. Splice variants such as ERβ2, acting as dominant negative receptors, are of further particular interest because their expression levels may reflect preceeding oestradiol exposure of relevance to oestradiol replacement therapy. Together, this review highlights the predominant modulatory, but nonetheless important, roles of ERβ in mediating the many effects of oestradiol upon adult brain function. PMID:21851428

  16. Social Plasticity Relies on Different Neuroplasticity Mechanisms across the Brain Social Decision-Making Network in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Teles, Magda C; Cardoso, Sara D; Oliveira, Rui F

    2016-01-01

    Social living animals need to adjust the expression of their behavior to their status within the group and to changes in social context and this ability (social plasticity) has an impact on their Darwinian fitness. At the proximate level social plasticity must rely on neuroplasticity in the brain social decision-making network (SDMN) that underlies the expression of social behavior, such that the same neural circuit may underlie the expression of different behaviors depending on social context. Here we tested this hypothesis in zebrafish by characterizing the gene expression response in the SDMN to changes in social status of a set of genes involved in different types of neural plasticity: bdnf, involved in changes in synaptic strength; npas4, involved in contextual learning and dependent establishment of GABAergic synapses; neuroligins (nlgn1 and nlgn2) as synaptogenesis markers; and genes involved in adult neurogenesis (wnt3 and neurod). Four social phenotypes were experimentally induced: Winners and Losers of a real-opponent interaction; Mirror-fighters, that fight their own image in a mirror and thus do not experience a change in social status despite the expression of aggressive behavior; and non-interacting fish, which were used as a reference group. Our results show that each social phenotype (i.e., Winners, Losers, and Mirror-fighters) present specific patterns of gene expression across the SDMN, and that different neuroplasticity genes are differentially expressed in different nodes of the network (e.g., BDNF in the dorsolateral telencephalon, which is a putative teleost homolog of the mammalian hippocampus). Winners expressed unique patterns of gene co-expression across the SDMN, whereas in Losers and Mirror-fighters the co-expression patterns were similar in the dorsal regions of the telencephalon and in the supracommissural nucleus of the ventral telencephalic area, but differents in the remaining regions of the ventral telencephalon. These results

  17. Social Plasticity Relies on Different Neuroplasticity Mechanisms across the Brain Social Decision-Making Network in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Teles, Magda C.; Cardoso, Sara D.; Oliveira, Rui F.

    2016-01-01

    Social living animals need to adjust the expression of their behavior to their status within the group and to changes in social context and this ability (social plasticity) has an impact on their Darwinian fitness. At the proximate level social plasticity must rely on neuroplasticity in the brain social decision-making network (SDMN) that underlies the expression of social behavior, such that the same neural circuit may underlie the expression of different behaviors depending on social context. Here we tested this hypothesis in zebrafish by characterizing the gene expression response in the SDMN to changes in social status of a set of genes involved in different types of neural plasticity: bdnf, involved in changes in synaptic strength; npas4, involved in contextual learning and dependent establishment of GABAergic synapses; neuroligins (nlgn1 and nlgn2) as synaptogenesis markers; and genes involved in adult neurogenesis (wnt3 and neurod). Four social phenotypes were experimentally induced: Winners and Losers of a real-opponent interaction; Mirror-fighters, that fight their own image in a mirror and thus do not experience a change in social status despite the expression of aggressive behavior; and non-interacting fish, which were used as a reference group. Our results show that each social phenotype (i.e., Winners, Losers, and Mirror-fighters) present specific patterns of gene expression across the SDMN, and that different neuroplasticity genes are differentially expressed in different nodes of the network (e.g., BDNF in the dorsolateral telencephalon, which is a putative teleost homolog of the mammalian hippocampus). Winners expressed unique patterns of gene co-expression across the SDMN, whereas in Losers and Mirror-fighters the co-expression patterns were similar in the dorsal regions of the telencephalon and in the supracommissural nucleus of the ventral telencephalic area, but differents in the remaining regions of the ventral telencephalon. These results

  18. Low-grade inflammation disrupts structural plasticity in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Szabó, C; Kelemen, O; Kéri, S

    2014-09-01

    Increased low-grade inflammation is thought to be associated with several neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by decreased neuronal plasticity. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between structural changes in the human brain during cognitive training and the intensity of low-grade peripheral inflammation in healthy individuals (n=56). A two-month training (30 min/day) with a platformer video game resulted in a significantly increased volume of the right hippocampal formation. The number of stressful life events experienced during the past year was associated with less pronounced enlargement of the hippocampus. However, the main predictor of hippocampal volume expansion was the relative peripheral expression of Nuclear Factor-κB (NF-κB), a transcription factor playing a central role in the effect of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein levels were not related to hippocampal plasticity when NF-κB was taken into consideration. These results suggest that more intensive peripheral inflammation is associated with weaker neuronal plasticity during cognitive training. PMID:24929068

  19. Narrative skill in children with early unilateral brain injury: a possible limit to functional plasticity.

    PubMed

    Demir, Ozlem Ece; Levine, Susan C; Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2010-07-01

    Children with pre- or perinatal brain injury (PL) exhibit marked plasticity for language learning. Previous work has focused mostly on the emergence of earlier-developing skills, such as vocabulary and syntax. Here we ask whether this plasticity for earlier-developing aspects of language extends to more complex, later-developing language functions by examining the narrative production of children with PL. Using an elicitation technique that involves asking children to create stories de novo in response to a story stem, we collected narratives from 11 children with PL and 20 typically developing (TD) children. Narratives were analysed for length, diversity of the vocabulary used, use of complex syntax, complexity of the macro-level narrative structure and use of narrative evaluation. Children's language performance on vocabulary and syntax tasks outside the narrative context was also measured. Findings show that children with PL produced shorter stories, used less diverse vocabulary, produced structurally less complex stories at the macro-level, and made fewer inferences regarding the cognitive states of the story characters. These differences in the narrative task emerged even though children with PL did not differ from TD children on vocabulary and syntax tasks outside the narrative context. Thus, findings suggest that there may be limitations to the plasticity for language functions displayed by children with PL, and that these limitations may be most apparent in complex, decontextualized language tasks such as narrative production. PMID:20590727

  20. Effects of Unpredictable Variable Prenatal Stress (UVPS) on Bdnf DNA Methylation and Telomere Length in the Adult Rat Brain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blaze, Jennifer; Asok, A.; Moyer, E. L.; Roth, T. L.; Ronca, A. E.

    2015-01-01

    In utero exposure to stress can shape neurobiological and behavioral outcomes in offspring, producing vulnerability to psychopathology later in life. Animal models of prenatal stress likewise have demonstrated long-­-term alterations in brain function and behavioral deficits in offspring. For example, using a rodent model of unpredictable variable prenatal stress (UVPS), in which dams are exposed to unpredictable, variable stress across pregnancy, we have found increased body weight and anxiety-­-like behavior in adult male, but not female, offspring. DNA methylation (addition of methyl groups to cytosines which normally represses gene transcription) and changes in telomere length (TTAGGG repeats on the ends of chromosomes) are two molecular modifications that result from stress and could be responsible for the long-­-term effects of UVPS. Here, we measured methylation of brain-­-derived neurotrophic factor (bdnf), a gene important in development and plasticity, and telomere length in the brains of adult offspring from the UVPS model. Results indicate that prenatally stressed adult males have greater methylation in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) compared to non-­-stressed controls, while females have greater methylation in the ventral hippocampus compared to controls. Further, prenatally stressed males had shorter telomeres than controls in the mPFC. These findings demonstrate the ability of UVPS to produce epigenetic alterations and changes in telomere length across behaviorally-­-relevant brain regions, which may have linkages to the phenotypic outcomes.

  1. Theta burst stimulation to characterize changes in brain plasticity following mild traumatic brain injury: a proof-of-principle study

    PubMed Central

    Tremblay, Sara; Vernet, Marine; Bashir, Shahid; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Théoret, Hugo

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Recent studies investigating the acute effects of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) suggest the presence of unbalanced excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms within primary motor cortex (M1). Whether these abnormalities are associated with impaired synaptic plasticity remains unknown. Methods The effects of continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) on transcranial magnetic stimulation-induced motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were assessed on average two weeks and six weeks following mTBI in five individuals. Results The procedure was well-tolerated by all participants. Continuous TBS failed to induce a significant reduction of MEP amplitudes two weeks after the injury, but response to cTBS normalized six weeks following injury, as a majority of patients became asymptomatic. Conclusions These preliminary results suggest that cTBS can be used to assess M1 synaptic plasticity in the acute and sub-acute phases following mTBI and may provide insights into neurobiological substrates of symptoms and consequences of mTBI. PMID:25735241

  2. Olfactory Enrichment Influences Adult Neurogenesis Modulating GAD67 and Plasticity-Related Molecules Expression in Newborn Cells of the Olfactory Bulb

    PubMed Central

    Peretto, Paolo; Fasolo, Aldo; De Marchis, Silvia

    2009-01-01

    The olfactory bulb (OB) is a highly plastic region of the adult mammalian brain characterized by continuous integration of inhibitory interneurons of the granule (GC) and periglomerular cell (PGC) types. Adult-generated OB interneurons are selected to survive in an experience-dependent way but the mechanisms that mediate the effects of experience on OB neurogenesis are unknown. Here we focus on the new-generated PGC population which is composed by multiple subtypes. Using paradigms of olfactory enrichment and/or deprivation combined to BrdU injections and quantitative confocal immunohistochemical analyses, we studied the effects of olfactory experience on adult-generated PGCs at different survival time and compared PGC to GC modulation. We show that olfactory enrichment similarly influences PGCs and GCs, increasing survival of newborn cells and transiently modulating GAD67 and plasticity-related molecules expression. However, PGC maturation appears to be delayed compared to GCs, reflecting a different temporal dynamic of adult generated olfactory interneuron integration. Moreover, olfactory enrichment or deprivation do not selectively modulate the survival of specific PGC phenotypes, supporting the idea that the integration rate of distinct PGC subtypes is independent from olfactory experience. PMID:19626121

  3. Plasticity in the neural coding of auditory space in the mammalian brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, Andrew J.; Parsons, Carl H.; Moore, David R.

    2000-10-01

    Sound localization relies on the neural processing of monaural and binaural spatial cues that arise from the way sounds interact with the head and external ears. Neurophysiological studies of animals raised with abnormal sensory inputs show that the map of auditory space in the superior colliculus is shaped during development by both auditory and visual experience. An example of this plasticity is provided by monaural occlusion during infancy, which leads to compensatory changes in auditory spatial tuning that tend to preserve the alignment between the neural representations of visual and auditory space. Adaptive changes also take place in sound localization behavior, as demonstrated by the fact that ferrets raised and tested with one ear plugged learn to localize as accurately as control animals. In both cases, these adjustments may involve greater use of monaural spectral cues provided by the other ear. Although plasticity in the auditory space map seems to be restricted to development, adult ferrets show some recovery of sound localization behavior after long-term monaural occlusion. The capacity for behavioral adaptation is, however, task dependent, because auditory spatial acuity and binaural unmasking (a measure of the spatial contribution to the "cocktail party effect") are permanently impaired by chronically plugging one ear, both in infancy but especially in adulthood. Experience-induced plasticity allows the neural circuitry underlying sound localization to be customized to individual characteristics, such as the size and shape of the head and ears, and to compensate for natural conductive hearing losses, including those associated with middle ear disease in infancy.

  4. Cofilin1 Controls Transcolumnar Plasticity in Dendritic Spines in Adult Barrel Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Tsubota, Tadashi; Okubo-Suzuki, Reiko; Ohashi, Yohei; Tamura, Keita; Ogata, Koshin; Yaguchi, Masae; Matsuyama, Makoto; Inokuchi, Kaoru; Miyashita, Yasushi

    2015-01-01

    During sensory deprivation, the barrel cortex undergoes expansion of a functional column representing spared inputs (spared column), into the neighboring deprived columns (representing deprived inputs) which are in turn shrunk. As a result, the neurons in a deprived column simultaneously increase and decrease their responses to spared and deprived inputs, respectively. Previous studies revealed that dendritic spines are remodeled during this barrel map plasticity. Because cofilin1, a predominant regulator of actin filament turnover, governs both the expansion and shrinkage of the dendritic spine structure in vitro, it hypothetically regulates both responses in barrel map plasticity. However, this hypothesis remains untested. Using lentiviral vectors, we knocked down cofilin1 locally within layer 2/3 neurons in a deprived column. Cofilin1-knocked-down neurons were optogenetically labeled using channelrhodopsin-2, and electrophysiological recordings were targeted to these knocked-down neurons. We showed that cofilin1 knockdown impaired response increases to spared inputs but preserved response decreases to deprived inputs, indicating that cofilin1 dependency is dissociated in these two types of barrel map plasticity. To explore the structural basis of this dissociation, we then analyzed spine densities on deprived column dendritic branches, which were supposed to receive dense horizontal transcolumnar projections from the spared column. We found that spine number increased in a cofilin1-dependent manner selectively in the distal part of the supragranular layer, where most of the transcolumnar projections existed. Our findings suggest that cofilin1-mediated actin dynamics regulate functional map plasticity in an input-specific manner through the dendritic spine remodeling that occurs in the horizontal transcolumnar circuits. These new mechanistic insights into transcolumnar plasticity in adult rats may have a general significance for understanding reorganization of

  5. Evaluation of an automatic brain segmentation method developed for neonates on adult MR brain images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moeskops, Pim; Viergever, Max A.; Benders, Manon J. N. L.; Išgum, Ivana

    2015-03-01

    Automatic brain tissue segmentation is of clinical relevance in images acquired at all ages. The literature presents a clear distinction between methods developed for MR images of infants, and methods developed for images of adults. The aim of this work is to evaluate a method developed for neonatal images in the segmentation of adult images. The evaluated method employs supervised voxel classification in subsequent stages, exploiting spatial and intensity information. Evaluation was performed using images available within the MRBrainS13 challenge. The obtained average Dice coefficients were 85.77% for grey matter, 88.66% for white matter, 81.08% for cerebrospinal fluid, 95.65% for cerebrum, and 96.92% for intracranial cavity, currently resulting in the best overall ranking. The possibility of applying the same method to neonatal as well as adult images can be of great value in cross-sectional studies that include a wide age range.

  6. Effects of chronic social isolation on Wistar rat behavior and brain plasticity markers.

    PubMed

    Djordjevic, Jelena; Djordjevic, Ana; Adzic, Miroslav; Radojcic, Marija B

    2012-01-01

    Chronic stress is a contributing risk factor in the development of psychiatric illnesses, including depressive disorders. The mechanisms of their psychopathology are multifaceted and include, besides others, alterations in the brain plasticity. Previously, we investigated the effects of chronic social stress in the limbic brain structures of Wistar rats (hippocampus, HIPPO, and prefrontal cortex, PFC) and found multiple characteristics that resembled alterations described in some clinical studies of depression. We extended our investigations and followed the behavior of stressed animals by the open field test (OFT) and forced swimming test (FST), and the expression and polysialylation of synaptic plasticity markers, neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) and L1, in the HIPPO and PFC. We also determined the adrenal gland mass and plasma corticosterone (CORT) as a terminal part of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity. Our data indicated that stressed animals avoided the central zone in the OFT and displayed decreased swimming, but prolonged immobility in the FST. The animals exhibited marked hypertrophy of the adrenal gland cortex, in spite of decreased serum CORT. Simultaneously, the stressed animals exhibited an increase in NCAM mRNA expression in the HIPPO, but not in the PFC. The synaptosomal NCAM of the HIPPO was markedly polysialylated, while cortical PSA-NCAM was significantly decreased. The results showed that chronic social isolation of Wistar rats causes both anxiety-like and depression-like behavior. These alterations are parallel with molecular changes in the limbic brain, including diminished NCAM sialylation in the PFC. Together with our previous results, the current observations suggest that a chronic social isolation model may potentially be used to study molecular mechanisms that underlie depressive symptomatology. PMID:22814229

  7. Acute plastic bowing of the forearm in adults: a report of two cases.

    PubMed

    Tada, K; Ikeda, K; Tsubouchi, H; Tomita, K

    2008-08-01

    We report 2 adult cases where the diagnosis of acute plastic bowing of the forearm was either delayed or missed. In a 21-year-old man, ulnar bowing was missed and fixation was not performed because the patient had no limitation to his range of movement or pain. In a 24-year-old woman, the presentation of bowing in both the ulna and radius was delayed and corrective osteotomy was necessary for restoration of full range of movement. Prompt diagnosis enables manual reposition for easy restoration of full range of movement. PMID:18725680

  8. Brain apoptosis signaling pathways are regulated by methylphenidate treatment in young and adult rats.

    PubMed

    Réus, Gislaine Z; Scaini, Giselli; Jeremias, Gabriela C; Furlanetto, Camila B; Morais, Meline O S; Mello-Santos, Lis Maira; Quevedo, João; Streck, Emilio L

    2014-10-01

    Methylphenidate (MPH) is commonly prescribed for children who have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); however, the action mechanisms of methylphenidate have not been fully elucidated. Studies have shown a relationship between apoptosis signaling pathways and psychiatric disorders, as well as in therapeutic targets for such disorders. So, we investigated if chronic treatment with MPH at doses of 1, 2 and 10mg/kg could alter the levels of pro-apoptotic protein, Bax, anti-apoptotic protein, Bcl-2, caspase-3 and cytochrome c in the brain of young and adult Wistar rats. Our results showed that MPH at all doses increased Bax in the cortex; the Bcl-2 and caspase-3 were increased with MPH (1mg/kg) and were reduced with MPH (2 and 10mg/kg); the cytochrome c was reduced in the cortex after treatment with MPH at all doses; in the cerebellum there was an increase of Bax with MPH at all doses, however, there was a reduction of Bcl-2, caspase-3, and cytochrome c with MPH (2 and 10mg/kg); in the striatum the treatment with MPH (10mg/kg) decreased caspase-3 and cytochrome c; treatment with MPH (2 and 10mg/kg) increased Bax and decreased Bcl-2 in the hippocampus; and the caspase-3 and cytochrome c were reduced in the hippocampus with MPH (10mg/kg). In conclusion, our results suggest that MPH influences plasticity in the brain of young and adult rats; however, the effects were dependent of age and brain area, on the one hand activating the initial cascade of apoptosis, increasing Bax and reducing Bcl-2, but otherwise inhibiting apoptosis by reduction of caspase-3 and cytochrome c. PMID:25128604

  9. Prenatal cocaine exposure alters progenitor cell markers in the subventricular zone of the adult rat brain

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Dhyanesh Arvind; Booze, Rosemarie M.; Mactutus, Charles F.

    2013-01-01

    Long-term consequences of early developmental exposure to drugs of abuse may have deleterious effects on the proliferative plasticity of the brain. The purpose of this study was to examine the long-term effects of prenatal exposure to cocaine, using the IV route of administration and doses that mimic the peak arterial levels of cocaine use in humans, on the proliferative cell types of the subventricular zones (SVZ) in the adult (180 days-old) rat brain. Employing immunocytochemistry, the expression of GFAP+ (type B cells) and nestin+(GFAP−) (Type C and A cells) staining was quantified in the subcallosal area of the SVZ. GFAP+ expression was significantly different between the prenatal cocaine treated group and the vehicle (saline) control group. The prenatal cocaine treated group possessed significantly lower GFAP+ expression relative to the vehicle control group, suggesting that prenatal cocaine exposure significantly reduced the expression of type B neural stem cells of the SVZ. In addition, there was a significant sex difference in nestin+ expression with females showing approximately 8–13% higher nestin+ expression compared to the males. More importantly, a significant prenatal treatment condition (prenatal cocaine, control) by sex interaction in nestin+ expression was confirmed, indicating different effects of cocaine based on sex of the animal. Specifically, prenatal cocaine exposure eliminated the basal difference between the sexes. Collectively, the present findings suggest that prenatal exposure to cocaine, when delivered via a protocol designed to capture prominent features of recreational usage, can selectively alter the major proliferative cell types in the subcallosal area of the SVZ in an adult rat brain, and does so differently for males and females. PMID:22119286

  10. Diminished adult neurogenesis in the marmoset brain precedes old age

    PubMed Central

    Leuner, Benedetta; Kozorovitskiy, Yevgenia; Gross, Charles G.; Gould, Elizabeth

    2007-01-01

    With aging there is a decline in the number of newly generated neurons in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. In rodents and tree shrews, this age-related decrease in neurogenesis is evident long before the animals become aged. No previous studies have investigated whether primates exhibit a similar decline in hippocampal neurogenesis with aging. To investigate this possibility, young to middle aged adult common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) were injected with BrdU and perfused 3 weeks later. The number of newly generated cells in the subgranular zone/granule cell layer of the dentate gyrus was significantly lower in older animals and decreased linearly with age. A similar age-related decline in new cells was observed in the subventricular zone but not in the hilar region of the dentate gyrus. These data demonstrate that a substantial decrease in neurogenesis occurs before the onset of old age in the adult marmoset brain, suggesting the possibility that similar alterations occur in the human brain. PMID:17940008

  11. Noncanonical Sites of Adult Neurogenesis in the Mammalian Brain.

    PubMed

    Feliciano, David M; Bordey, Angélique; Bonfanti, Luca

    2015-10-01

    Two decades after the discovery that neural stem cells (NSCs) populate some regions of the mammalian central nervous system (CNS), deep knowledge has been accumulated on their capacity to generate new neurons in the adult brain. This constitutive adult neurogenesis occurs throughout life primarily within remnants of the embryonic germinal layers known as "neurogenic sites." Nevertheless, some processes of neurogliogenesis also occur in the CNS parenchyma commonly considered as "nonneurogenic." This "noncanonical" cell genesis has been the object of many claims, some of which turned out to be not true. Indeed, it is often an "incomplete" process as to its final outcome, heterogeneous by several measures, including regional location, progenitor identity, and fate of the progeny. These aspects also strictly depend on the animal species, suggesting that persistent neurogenic processes have uniquely adapted to the brain anatomy of different mammals. Whereas some examples of noncanonical neurogenesis are strictly parenchymal, others also show stem cell niche-like features and a strong link with the ventricular cavities. This work will review results obtained in a research field that expanded from classic neurogenesis studies involving a variety of areas of the CNS outside of the subventricular zone (SVZ) and subgranular zone (SGZ). It will be highlighted how knowledge concerning noncanonical neurogenic areas is still incomplete owing to its regional and species-specific heterogeneity, and to objective difficulties still hampering its full identification and characterization. PMID:26384869

  12. Deconstructing brain-derived neurotrophic factor actions in adult brain circuits to bridge an existing informational gap in neuro-cell biology.

    PubMed

    Bowling, Heather; Bhattacharya, Aditi; Klann, Eric; Chao, Moses V

    2016-03-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in neurodevelopment, synaptic plasticity, learning and memory, and in preventing neurodegeneration. Despite decades of investigations into downstream signaling cascades and changes in cellular processes, the mechanisms of how BDNF reshapes circuits in vivo remain unclear. This informational gap partly arises from the fact that the bulk of studies into the molecular actions of BDNF have been performed in dissociated neuronal cultures, while the majority of studies on synaptic plasticity, learning and memory were performed in acute brain slices or in vivo. A recent study by Bowling-Bhattacharya et al., measured the proteomic changes in acute adult hippocampal slices following treatment and reported changes in proteins of neuronal and non-neuronal origin that may in concert modulate synaptic release and secretion in the slice. In this paper, we place these findings into the context of existing literature and discuss how they impact our understanding of how BDNF can reshape the brain. PMID:27127458

  13. Deconstructing brain-derived neurotrophic factor actions in adult brain circuits to bridge an existing informational gap in neuro-cell biology

    PubMed Central

    Bowling, Heather; Bhattacharya, Aditi; Klann, Eric; Chao, Moses V.

    2016-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in neurodevelopment, synaptic plasticity, learning and memory, and in preventing neurodegeneration. Despite decades of investigations into downstream signaling cascades and changes in cellular processes, the mechanisms of how BDNF reshapes circuits in vivo remain unclear. This informational gap partly arises from the fact that the bulk of studies into the molecular actions of BDNF have been performed in dissociated neuronal cultures, while the majority of studies on synaptic plasticity, learning and memory were performed in acute brain slices or in vivo. A recent study by Bowling-Bhattacharya et al., measured the proteomic changes in acute adult hippocampal slices following treatment and reported changes in proteins of neuronal and non-neuronal origin that may in concert modulate synaptic release and secretion in the slice. In this paper, we place these findings into the context of existing literature and discuss how they impact our understanding of how BDNF can reshape the brain. PMID:27127458

  14. Gut Microbiota: A Modulator of Brain Plasticity and Cognitive Function in Ageing

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Katherine; Thuret, Sandrine

    2015-01-01

    Gut microbiota have recently been a topic of great interest in the field of microbiology, particularly their role in normal physiology and its influence on human health in disease. A large body of research has supported the presence of a pathway of communication between the gut and the brain, modulated by gut microbiota, giving rise to the term “microbiota-gut-brain” axis. It is now thought that, through this pathway, microbiota can affect behaviour and modulate brain plasticity and cognitive function in ageing. This review summarizes the evidence supporting the existence of such a connection and possible mechanisms of action whereby microbiota can influence the function of the central nervous system. Since normalisation of gut flora has been shown to prevent changes in behaviour, we further postulate on possible therapeutic targets to intervene with cognitive decline in ageing. The research poses various limitations, for example uncertainty about how this data translates to broad human populations. Nonetheless, the microbiota-gut-brain axis is an exciting field worthy of further investigation, particularly with regards to its implications on the ageing population. PMID:27417803

  15. Functional and anatomical basis for brain plasticity in facial palsy rehabilitation using the masseteric nerve.

    PubMed

    Buendia, Javier; Loayza, Francis R; Luis, Elkin O; Celorrio, Marta; Pastor, Maria A; Hontanilla, Bernardo

    2016-03-01

    Several techniques have been described for smile restoration after facial nerve paralysis. When a nerve other than the contralateral facial nerve is used to restore the smile, some controversy appears because of the nonphysiological mechanism of smile recovering. Different authors have reported natural results with the masseter nerve. The physiological pathways which determine whether this is achieved continue to remain unclear. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, brain activation pattern measuring blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal during smiling and jaw clenching was recorded in a group of 24 healthy subjects (11 females). Effective connectivity of premotor regions was also compared in both tasks. The brain activation pattern was similar for smile and jaw-clenching tasks. Smile activations showed topographic overlap though more extended for smile than clenching. Gender comparisons during facial movements, according to kinematics and BOLD signal, did not reveal significant differences. Effective connectivity results of psychophysiological interaction (PPI) from the same seeds located in bilateral facial premotor regions showed significant task and gender differences (p < 0.001). The hypothesis of brain plasticity between the facial nerve and masseter nerve areas is supported by the broad cortical overlap in the representation of facial and masseter muscles. PMID:26683008

  16. Brain functional plasticity associated with the emergence of expertise in extreme language control.

    PubMed

    Hervais-Adelman, Alexis; Moser-Mercer, Barbara; Golestani, Narly

    2015-07-01

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to longitudinally examine brain plasticity arising from long-term, intensive simultaneous interpretation training. Simultaneous interpretation is a bilingual task with heavy executive control demands. We compared brain responses observed during simultaneous interpretation with those observed during simultaneous speech repetition (shadowing) in a group of trainee simultaneous interpreters, at the beginning and at the end of their professional training program. Age, sex and language-proficiency matched controls were scanned at similar intervals. Using multivariate pattern classification, we found distributed patterns of changes in functional responses from the first to second scan that distinguished the interpreters from the controls. We also found reduced recruitment of the right caudate nucleus during simultaneous interpretation as a result of training. Such practice-related change is consistent with decreased demands on multilingual language control as the task becomes more automatized with practice. These results demonstrate the impact of simultaneous interpretation training on the brain functional response in a cerebral structure that is not specifically linguistic, but that is known to be involved in learning, in motor control, and in a variety of domain-general executive functions. Along with results of recent studies showing functional and structural adaptations in the caudate nuclei of experts in a broad range of domains, our results underline the importance of this structure as a central node in expertise-related networks. PMID:25869858

  17. Task decomposition: a framework for comparing diverse training models in human brain plasticity studies.

    PubMed

    Coffey, Emily B J; Herholz, Sibylle C

    2013-01-01

    Training studies, in which the structural or functional neurophysiology is compared before and after expertise is acquired, are increasingly being used as models for understanding the human brain's potential for reorganization. It is proving difficult to use these results to answer basic and important questions like how task training leads to both specific and general changes in behavior and how these changes correspond with modifications in the brain. The main culprit is the diversity of paradigms used as complex task models. An assortment of activities ranging from juggling to deciphering Morse code has been reported. Even when working in the same general domain, few researchers use similar training models. New ways to meaningfully compare complex tasks are needed. We propose a method for characterizing and deconstructing the task requirements of complex training paradigms, which is suitable for application to both structural and functional neuroimaging studies. We believe this approach will aid brain plasticity research by making it easier to compare training paradigms, identify "missing puzzle pieces," and encourage researchers to design training protocols to bridge these gaps. PMID:24115927

  18. The concept of brain plasticity--Paillard's systemic analysis and emphasis on structure and function (followed by the translation of a seminal paper by Paillard on plasticity).

    PubMed

    Will, Bruno; Dalrymple-Alford, John; Wolff, Mathieu; Cassel, Jean-Christophe

    2008-09-01

    Although rejected for the most part of the 20th Century, the idea of brain plasticity began to receive wide acceptance from the 1970s. Yet there has been relatively little theoretical comment on the definition and use of "plasticity" in the field of neurobiology. An early exception to this lack of critical reflection on neural plasticity was provided by Jacques Paillard in a seminal paper that he published in 1976 [Paillard J. Réflexions sur l'usage du concept de plasticité en neurobiology. J Psychol 1976;1:33-47]. As this valuable contribution was published in French, the present authors provide an English adaptation to help convey his ideas to an international audience, together with a contemporary commentary on this paper. Paillard's definition of the term "plasticity" is probably as pertinent today as it was 30 years ago, especially in terms of its relevance to multiple levels of analysis of brain function (molecular, cellular, systemic). Sadly, Jacques Paillard died in 2006; our comments therefore also include a brief biographical tribute to this outstanding neuroscientist. PMID:18222008

  19. Gene-environment interaction in programming hippocampal plasticity: focus on adult neurogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Koehl, Muriel

    2015-01-01

    Interactions between genes and environment are a critical feature of development and both contribute to shape individuality. They are at the core of vulnerability resiliency for mental illnesses. During the early postnatal period, several brain structures involved in cognitive and emotional processing, such as the hippocampus, still develop and it is likely that interferences with this neuronal development, which is genetically determined, might lead to long-lasting structural and functional consequences and increase the risk of developing psychopathology. One particular target is adult neurogenesis, which is involved in the regulation of cognitive and emotional processes. Insights into the dynamic interplay between genes and environmental factors in setting up individual rates of neurogenesis have come from laboratory studies exploring experience-dependent changes in adult neurogenesis as a function of individual’s genetic makeup. These studies have implications for our understanding of the mechanisms regulating adult neurogenesis, which could constitute a link between environmental challenges and psychopathology. PMID:26300723

  20. Axonal injury and regeneration in the adult brain of Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Ayaz, Derya; Leyssen, Maarten; Koch, Marta; Yan, Jiekun; Srahna, Mohammed; Sheeba, Vasu; Fogle, Keri J.; Holmes, Todd C.; Hassan, Bassem A.

    2009-01-01

    Drosophila melanogaster is a leading genetic model system in nervous system development and disease research. Using the power of fly genetics in traumatic axonal injury research will significantly speed up the characterization of molecular processes that control axonal regeneration in the Central Nervous System (CNS). We developed a versatile and physiologically robust preparation for the long-term culture of the whole Drosophila brain. We use this method to develop a novel Drosophila model for CNS axonal injury and regeneration. We first show that, similar to mammalian CNS axons, injured adult wild type fly CNS axons fail to regenerate, whereas adult-specific enhancement of Protein Kinase A activity increases the regenerative capacity of lesioned neurons. Combined, these observations suggest conservation of neuronal regeneration mechanisms following injury. We next exploit this model to explore pathways that induce robust regeneration and find that adult-specific activation of JNK signalling is sufficient for de novo CNS axonal regeneration after injury, including the growth of new axons past the lesion site and into the normal target area. PMID:18524906

  1. Stroke Incidence Following Traumatic Brain Injury in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Albrecht, Jennifer S.; Liu, Xinggang; Smith, Gordon S.; Baumgarten, Mona; Rattinger, Gail B.; Gambert, Steven R.; Langenberg, Patricia; Zuckerman, Ilene H.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Following traumatic brain injury (TBI), older adults are at increased risk of hemorrhagic and thromboembolic events, but it is unclear whether the increased risk continues after hospital discharge. We estimated incidence rates of hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke following hospital discharge for TBI among adults ≥65 and compared them with pre-TBI rates. Participants 16,936 Medicare beneficiaries aged ≥65 with a diagnosis of TBI in any position on an inpatient claim between 6/1/2006 and 12/31/2009 who survived to hospital discharge. Design Retrospective analysis of a random 5% sample of Medicare claims data Main Measures Hemorrhagic stroke was defined as ICD-9 codes 430.xx-432.xx. Ischemic stroke was defined as ICD-9 codes 433.xx-435.xx, 437.0x, and 437.1x. Results There was a six-fold increase in the rate of hemorrhagic stroke following TBI compared to the pre-TBI period (adjusted Rate Ratio (RR) 6.5; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 5.3, 7.8), controlling for age and sex. A smaller increase in the rate of ischemic stroke was observed (adjusted RR 1.3; 95% CI 1.2, 1.4). Conclusion Future studies should investigate causes of increased stroke risk post-TBI as well as effective treatments to reduce stroke risk and improve outcomes post-TBI among older adults. PMID:24816156

  2. Plasticity of inhibitory processes and associated far-transfer effects in older adults.

    PubMed

    Ji, Yang; Wang, Jun; Chen, Tianyong; Du, Xin; Zhan, Yi

    2016-08-01

    Inhibition deficit plays a crucial part in cognitive aging; however, few studies have systematically investigated the plasticity of various inhibitory processes among older adults. We studied the plasticity of 3 inhibitory processes (access, deletion, and restraint) and the extent of far transfer of inhibition training to other general cognitive abilities. Thirty-six participants (aged 60 years and above, M = 70.06, SD = 5.53) were randomly assigned to an adaptive training group that received 12 sessions of training covering 3 inhibitory processes or an active control group that received 4 sessions of mental health lectures. Participants in both groups completed pre- and posttest assessments, in which behavioral and electrophysiological measures were used to evaluate potential transfer effects. Direct training gains were observed for trained tasks of all inhibitory processes, but near-transfer effects were only found within untrained tasks associated with deletion at a composite score level. Furthermore, far-transfer effects were demonstrated for fluid intelligence (Gf) but not for working memory or other general cognitive abilities. Near transfer to deletion and far transfer to Gf persisted at a 3-month follow-up assessment session. We discussed differences in plasticity between the 3 inhibitory processes as well as their possible associations with far transfer to Gf. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27243762

  3. Resting-State Brain Activity in Adult Males Who Stutter

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Chaozhe; Wang, Liang; Yan, Qian; Lin, Chunlan; Yu, Chunshui

    2012-01-01

    Although developmental stuttering has been extensively studied with structural and task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), few studies have focused on resting-state brain activity in this disorder. We investigated resting-state brain activity of stuttering subjects by analyzing the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF), region of interest (ROI)-based functional connectivity (FC) and independent component analysis (ICA)-based FC. Forty-four adult males with developmental stuttering and 46 age-matched fluent male controls were scanned using resting-state fMRI. ALFF, ROI-based FCs and ICA-based FCs were compared between male stuttering subjects and fluent controls in a voxel-wise manner. Compared with fluent controls, stuttering subjects showed increased ALFF in left brain areas related to speech motor and auditory functions and bilateral prefrontal cortices related to cognitive control. However, stuttering subjects showed decreased ALFF in the left posterior language reception area and bilateral non-speech motor areas. ROI-based FC analysis revealed decreased FC between the posterior language area involved in the perception and decoding of sensory information and anterior brain area involved in the initiation of speech motor function, as well as increased FC within anterior or posterior speech- and language-associated areas and between the prefrontal areas and default-mode network (DMN) in stuttering subjects. ICA showed that stuttering subjects had decreased FC in the DMN and increased FC in the sensorimotor network. Our findings support the concept that stuttering subjects have deficits in multiple functional systems (motor, language, auditory and DMN) and in the connections between them. PMID:22276215

  4. Semaphorin7A regulates neuroglial plasticity in the adult hypothalamic median eminence

    PubMed Central

    Parkash, Jyoti; Messina, Andrea; Langlet, Fanny; Cimino, Irene; Loyens, Anne; Mazur, Danièle; Gallet, Sarah; Balland, Eglantine; Malone, Samuel A.; Pralong, François; Cagnoni, Gabriella; Schellino, Roberta; De Marchis, Silvia; Mazzone, Massimiliano; Pasterkamp, R. Jeroen; Tamagnone, Luca; Prevot, Vincent; Giacobini, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive competence in mammals depends on the projection of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons to the hypothalamic median eminence (ME) and the timely release of GnRH into the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis. In adult rodents, GnRH neurons and the specialized glial cells named tanycytes periodically undergo cytoskeletal plasticity. However, the mechanisms that regulate this plasticity are still largely unknown. We demonstrate that Semaphorin7A, expressed by tanycytes, plays a dual role, inducing the retraction of GnRH terminals and promoting their ensheathment by tanycytic end feet via the receptors PlexinC1 and Itgb1, respectively. Moreover, Semaphorin7A expression is regulated during the oestrous cycle by the fluctuating levels of gonadal steroids. Genetic invalidation of Semaphorin7A receptors in mice induces neuronal and glial rearrangements in the ME and abolishes normal oestrous cyclicity and fertility. These results show a role for Semaphorin7A signalling in mediating periodic neuroglial remodelling in the adult ME during the ovarian cycle. PMID:25721933

  5. Semaphorin7A regulates neuroglial plasticity in the adult hypothalamic median eminence.

    PubMed

    Parkash, Jyoti; Messina, Andrea; Langlet, Fanny; Cimino, Irene; Loyens, Anne; Mazur, Danièle; Gallet, Sarah; Balland, Eglantine; Malone, Samuel A; Pralong, François; Cagnoni, Gabriella; Schellino, Roberta; De Marchis, Silvia; Mazzone, Massimiliano; Pasterkamp, R Jeroen; Tamagnone, Luca; Prevot, Vincent; Giacobini, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive competence in mammals depends on the projection of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons to the hypothalamic median eminence (ME) and the timely release of GnRH into the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. In adult rodents, GnRH neurons and the specialized glial cells named tanycytes periodically undergo cytoskeletal plasticity. However, the mechanisms that regulate this plasticity are still largely unknown. We demonstrate that Semaphorin7A, expressed by tanycytes, plays a dual role, inducing the retraction of GnRH terminals and promoting their ensheathment by tanycytic end feet via the receptors PlexinC1 and Itgb1, respectively. Moreover, Semaphorin7A expression is regulated during the oestrous cycle by the fluctuating levels of gonadal steroids. Genetic invalidation of Semaphorin7A receptors in mice induces neuronal and glial rearrangements in the ME and abolishes normal oestrous cyclicity and fertility. These results show a role for Semaphorin7A signalling in mediating periodic neuroglial remodelling in the adult ME during the ovarian cycle. PMID:25721933

  6. Music mnemonics aid Verbal Memory and Induce Learning – Related Brain Plasticity in Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Thaut, Michael H.; Peterson, David A.; McIntosh, Gerald C.; Hoemberg, Volker

    2014-01-01

    Recent research on music and brain function has suggested that the temporal pattern structure in music and rhythm can enhance cognitive functions. To further elucidate this question specifically for memory, we investigated if a musical template can enhance verbal learning in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and if music-assisted learning will also influence short-term, system-level brain plasticity. We measured systems-level brain activity with oscillatory network synchronization during music-assisted learning. Specifically, we measured the spectral power of 128-channel electroencephalogram (EEG) in alpha and beta frequency bands in 54 patients with MS. The study sample was randomly divided into two groups, either hearing a spoken or a musical (sung) presentation of Rey’s auditory verbal learning test. We defined the “learning-related synchronization” (LRS) as the percent change in EEG spectral power from the first time the word was presented to the average of the subsequent word encoding trials. LRS differed significantly between the music and the spoken conditions in low alpha and upper beta bands. Patients in the music condition showed overall better word memory and better word order memory and stronger bilateral frontal alpha LRS than patients in the spoken condition. The evidence suggests that a musical mnemonic recruits stronger oscillatory network synchronization in prefrontal areas in MS patients during word learning. It is suggested that the temporal structure implicit in musical stimuli enhances “deep encoding” during verbal learning and sharpens the timing of neural dynamics in brain networks degraded by demyelination in MS. PMID:24982626

  7. Music mnemonics aid Verbal Memory and Induce Learning - Related Brain Plasticity in Multiple Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Thaut, Michael H; Peterson, David A; McIntosh, Gerald C; Hoemberg, Volker

    2014-01-01

    Recent research on music and brain function has suggested that the temporal pattern structure in music and rhythm can enhance cognitive functions. To further elucidate this question specifically for memory, we investigated if a musical template can enhance verbal learning in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and if music-assisted learning will also influence short-term, system-level brain plasticity. We measured systems-level brain activity with oscillatory network synchronization during music-assisted learning. Specifically, we measured the spectral power of 128-channel electroencephalogram (EEG) in alpha and beta frequency bands in 54 patients with MS. The study sample was randomly divided into two groups, either hearing a spoken or a musical (sung) presentation of Rey's auditory verbal learning test. We defined the "learning-related synchronization" (LRS) as the percent change in EEG spectral power from the first time the word was presented to the average of the subsequent word encoding trials. LRS differed significantly between the music and the spoken conditions in low alpha and upper beta bands. Patients in the music condition showed overall better word memory and better word order memory and stronger bilateral frontal alpha LRS than patients in the spoken condition. The evidence suggests that a musical mnemonic recruits stronger oscillatory network synchronization in prefrontal areas in MS patients during word learning. It is suggested that the temporal structure implicit in musical stimuli enhances "deep encoding" during verbal learning and sharpens the timing of neural dynamics in brain networks degraded by demyelination in MS. PMID:24982626

  8. Modeling learning in brain stem and cerebellar sites responsible for VOR plasticity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Quinn, K. J.; Didier, A. J.; Baker, J. F.; Peterson, B. W.

    1998-01-01

    A simple model of vestibuloocular reflex (VOR) function was used to analyze several hypotheses currently held concerning the characteristics of VOR plasticity. The network included a direct vestibular pathway and an indirect path via the cerebellum. An optimization analysis of this model suggests that regulation of brain stem sites is critical for the proper modification of VOR gain. A more physiologically plausible learning rule was also applied to this network. Analysis of these simulation results suggests that the preferred error correction signal controlling gain modification of the VOR is the direct output of the accessory optic system (AOS) to the vestibular nuclei vs. a signal relayed through the cerebellum via floccular Purkinje cells. The potential anatomical and physiological basis for this conclusion is discussed, in relation to our current understanding of the latency of the adapted VOR response.

  9. Modeling learning in brain stem and cerebellar sites responsible for VOR plasticity.

    PubMed

    Quinn, K J; Didier, A J; Baker, J F; Peterson, B W

    1998-07-01

    A simple model of vestibuloocular reflex (VOR) function was used to analyze several hypotheses currently held concerning the characteristics of VOR plasticity. The network included a direct vestibular pathway and an indirect path via the cerebellum. An optimization analysis of this model suggests that regulation of brain stem sites is critical for the proper modification of VOR gain. A more physiologically plausible learning rule was also applied to this network. Analysis of these simulation results suggests that the preferred error correction signal controlling gain modification of the VOR is the direct output of the accessory optic system (AOS) to the vestibular nuclei vs. a signal relayed through the cerebellum via floccular Purkinje cells. The potential anatomical and physiological basis for this conclusion is discussed, in relation to our current understanding of the latency of the adapted VOR response. PMID:9671263

  10. The Brain and Consciousness: Sources of Information for Understanding Adult Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, Lilian H.

    2001-01-01

    Reviews current knowledge of the brain in the areas of neurobiology, aging, and consciousness as conceived by different cultures. Derives learning principles that take into account the brain's plasticity, ability to respond to learning throughout life, and the involvement of emotional and sensory experience. (Contains 27 references.) (SK)

  11. Musicians and music making as a model for the study of brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Schlaug, Gottfried

    2015-01-01

    Playing a musical instrument is an intense, multisensory, and motor experience that usually commences at an early age and requires the acquisition and maintenance of a range of sensory and motor skills over the course of a musician’s lifetime. Thus, musicians offer an excellent human model for studying behavioral-cognitive as well as brain effects of acquiring, practicing, and maintaining these specialized skills. Research has shown that repeatedly practicing the association of motor actions with specific sound and visual patterns (musical notation), while receiving continuous multisensory feedback will strengthen connections between auditory and motor regions (e.g., arcuate fasciculus) as well as multimodal integration regions. Plasticity in this network may explain some of the sensorimotor and cognitive enhancements that have been associated with music training. Furthermore, the plasticity of this system as a result of long term and intense interventions suggest the potential for music making activities (e.g., forms of singing) as an intervention for neurological and developmental disorders to learn and relearn associations between auditory and motor functions such as vocal motor functions. PMID:25725909

  12. The brain as a complex system: plasticity at multiple scales and criticality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ng, Tony; Miller, Paul

    2015-03-01

    As a complex system, a successful organism is one that can react effectively to environmental fluctuations. Not only should its response repertoire be commensurate with the number of independent conditions that it encounters, behavioral and environmental variations need to be matched at the appropriate scales. In the cortex, neuronal clusters, not individual cells, operate at the proper scale that is necessary to generate appropriate responses to external states of the world. Single neurons, however, serve on a finer scale to mediate interactions between neuronal assemblies. The distinction of scales is significant, as plasticity mechanisms can operate on various spatial and temporal scales. The brain has apparently evolved complex-system strategies to calibrate its own dynamics at multiple scales. This makes the joint study of local balance and global homeostasis fundamentally important, where criticality emerges as a signature of a computationally powerful system. We show via simulations how plasticity mechanisms at multiple scales are inextricably tied to spike-based neuronal avalanches, which are microscopic in origin and poorly predictive of animal behavior, and cluster-based avalanches, which are manifest macroscopically and are relevant to cognition and behavior.

  13. Musicians and music making as a model for the study of brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Schlaug, Gottfried

    2015-01-01

    Playing a musical instrument is an intense, multisensory, and motor experience that usually commences at an early age and requires the acquisition and maintenance of a range of sensory and motor skills over the course of a musician's lifetime. Thus, musicians offer an excellent human model for studying behavioral-cognitive as well as brain effects of acquiring, practicing, and maintaining these specialized skills. Research has shown that repeatedly practicing the association of motor actions with specific sound and visual patterns (musical notation), while receiving continuous multisensory feedback will strengthen connections between auditory and motor regions (e.g., arcuate fasciculus) as well as multimodal integration regions. Plasticity in this network may explain some of the sensorimotor and cognitive enhancements that have been associated with music training. Furthermore, the plasticity of this system as a result of long term and intense interventions suggest the potential for music making activities (e.g., forms of singing) as an intervention for neurological and developmental disorders to learn and relearn associations between auditory and motor functions such as vocal motor functions. PMID:25725909

  14. Astroglial Plasticity Is Implicated in Hippocampal Remodelling in Adult Rats Exposed to Antenatal Dexamethasone

    PubMed Central

    Shende, Vishvesh H.; McArthur, Simon; Gillies, Glenda E.; Opacka-Juffry, Jolanta

    2015-01-01

    The long-term effects of antenatal dexamethasone treatment on brain remodelling in 3-month-old male Sprague Dawley rats whose mothers had been treated with dexamethasone were investigated in the present study. Dorsal hippocampus, basolateral amygdala and nucleus accumbens volume, cell numbers, and GFAP-immunoreactive astroglial cell morphology were analysed using stereology. Total brain volume as assessed by micro-CT was not affected by the treatment. The relative volume of the dorsal hippocampus (% of total brain volume) showed a moderate, by 8%, but significant reduction in dexamethasone-treated versus control animals. Dexamethasone had no effect on the total and GFAP-positive cell numbers in the hippocampal subregions, basolateral amygdala, and nucleus accumbens. Morphological analysis indicated that numbers of astroglial primary processes were not affected in any of the hippocampal subregions analysed but significant reductions in the total primary process length were observed in CA1 by 32%, CA3 by 50%, and DG by 25%. Mean primary process length values were also significantly decreased in CA1 by 25%, CA3 by 45%, and DG by 25%. No significant astroglial morphological changes were found in basolateral amygdala and nucleus accumbens. We propose that the dexamethasone-dependent impoverishment of hippocampal astroglial morphology is the case of maladaptive glial plasticity induced prenatally. PMID:26345609

  15. Donepezil markedly potentiates memantine neurotoxicity in the adult rat brain.

    PubMed

    Creeley, Catherine E; Wozniak, David F; Nardi, Anthony; Farber, Nuri B; Olney, John W

    2008-02-01

    The NMDA antagonist, memantine (Namenda), and the cholinesterase inhibitor, donepezil (Aricept), are currently being used widely, either individually or in combination, for treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD). NMDA antagonists have both neuroprotective and neurotoxic properties; the latter is augmented by drugs, such as pilocarpine, that increase cholinergic activity. Whether donepezil, by increasing cholinergic activity, might augment memantine's neurotoxic potential has not been investigated. In the present study, we determined that a dose of memantine (20mg/kg, i.p.), considered to be in the therapeutic (neuroprotective) range for rats, causes a mild neurotoxic reaction in the adult rat brain. Co-administration of memantine (20 or 30 mg/kg) with donepezil (2.5-10mg/kg) markedly potentiated this neurotoxic reaction, causing neuronal injury at lower doses of memantine, and causing the toxic reaction to become disseminated and lethal to neurons throughout many brain regions. These findings raise questions about using this drug combination in AD, especially in the absence of evidence that the combination is beneficial, or that either drug arrests or reverses the disease process. PMID:17112636

  16. Exploratory case-control study of brain tumors in adults

    SciTech Connect

    Burch, J.D.; Craib, K.J.; Choi, B.C.; Miller, A.B.; Risch, H.A.; Howe, G.R.

    1987-04-01

    An exploratory study of brain tumors in adults was carried out using 215 cases diagnosed in Southern Ontario between 1979 and 1982, with an individually matched, hospital control series. Significantly elevated risks were observed for reported use of spring water, drinking of wine, and consumption of pickled fish, together with a significant protective effect for the regular consumption of any of several types of fruit. While these factors are consistent with a role for N-nitroso compounds in the etiology of these tumors, for several other factors related to this hypothesis, no association was observed. Occupation in the rubber industry was associated with a significant relative risk of 9.0, though no other occupational associations were seen. Two previously unreported associations were with smoking nonfilter cigarettes with a significant trend and with the use of hair dyes or sprays. The data do not support an association between physical head trauma requiring medical attention and risk of brain tumors and indicate that exposure to ionizing radiation and vinyl chloride monomer does not contribute any appreciable fraction of attributable risk in the population studied. The findings warrant further detailed investigation in future epidemiologic studies.

  17. Rehabilitative Interventions and Brain Plasticity in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Focus on MRI-Based Studies.

    PubMed

    Calderoni, Sara; Billeci, Lucia; Narzisi, Antonio; Brambilla, Paolo; Retico, Alessandra; Muratori, Filippo

    2016-01-01

    Clinical and research evidence supports the efficacy of rehabilitative intervention for improving targeted skills or global outcomes in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, putative mechanisms of structural and functional brain changes are poorly understood. This review aims to investigate the research literature on the neural circuit modifications after non-pharmacological intervention. For this purpose, longitudinal studies that used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based techniques at the start and at the end of the trial to evaluate the neural effects of rehabilitative treatment in subjects with ASD were identified. The six included studies involved a limited number of patients in the active group (from 2 to 16), and differed by acquisition method (task-related and resting-state functional MRI) as well as by functional MRI tasks. Overall, the results produced by the selected investigations demonstrated brain plasticity during the treatment interval that results in an activation/functional connectivity more similar to those of subjects with typical development (TD). Repeated MRI evaluation may represent a promising tool for the detection of neural changes in response to treatment in patients with ASD. However, large-scale randomized controlled trials after standardized rehabilitative intervention are required before translating these preliminary results into clinical use. PMID:27065795

  18. Rehabilitative Interventions and Brain Plasticity in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Focus on MRI-Based Studies

    PubMed Central

    Calderoni, Sara; Billeci, Lucia; Narzisi, Antonio; Brambilla, Paolo; Retico, Alessandra; Muratori, Filippo

    2016-01-01

    Clinical and research evidence supports the efficacy of rehabilitative intervention for improving targeted skills or global outcomes in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, putative mechanisms of structural and functional brain changes are poorly understood. This review aims to investigate the research literature on the neural circuit modifications after non-pharmacological intervention. For this purpose, longitudinal studies that used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based techniques at the start and at the end of the trial to evaluate the neural effects of rehabilitative treatment in subjects with ASD were identified. The six included studies involved a limited number of patients in the active group (from 2 to 16), and differed by acquisition method (task-related and resting-state functional MRI) as well as by functional MRI tasks. Overall, the results produced by the selected investigations demonstrated brain plasticity during the treatment interval that results in an activation/functional connectivity more similar to those of subjects with typical development (TD). Repeated MRI evaluation may represent a promising tool for the detection of neural changes in response to treatment in patients with ASD. However, large-scale randomized controlled trials after standardized rehabilitative intervention are required before translating these preliminary results into clinical use. PMID:27065795

  19. Task decomposition: a framework for comparing diverse training models in human brain plasticity studies

    PubMed Central

    Coffey, Emily B. J.; Herholz, Sibylle C.

    2013-01-01

    Training studies, in which the structural or functional neurophysiology is compared before and after expertise is acquired, are increasingly being used as models for understanding the human brain’s potential for reorganization. It is proving difficult to use these results to answer basic and important questions like how task training leads to both specific and general changes in behavior and how these changes correspond with modifications in the brain. The main culprit is the diversity of paradigms used as complex task models. An assortment of activities ranging from juggling to deciphering Morse code has been reported. Even when working in the same general domain, few researchers use similar training models. New ways to meaningfully compare complex tasks are needed. We propose a method for characterizing and deconstructing the task requirements of complex training paradigms, which is suitable for application to both structural and functional neuroimaging studies. We believe this approach will aid brain plasticity research by making it easier to compare training paradigms, identify “missing puzzle pieces,” and encourage researchers to design training protocols to bridge these gaps. PMID:24115927

  20. Plasticity in Unimodal and Multimodal Brain Areas Reflects Multisensory Changes in Self-Face Identification

    PubMed Central

    Apps, Matthew A. J.; Tajadura-Jiménez, Ana; Sereno, Marty; Blanke, Olaf; Tsakiris, Manos

    2015-01-01

    Nothing provides as strong a sense of self as seeing one's face. Nevertheless, it remains unknown how the brain processes the sense of self during the multisensory experience of looking at one's face in a mirror. Synchronized visuo-tactile stimulation on one's own and another's face, an experience that is akin to looking in the mirror but seeing another's face, causes the illusory experience of ownership over the other person's face and changes in self-recognition. Here, we investigate the neural correlates of this enfacement illusion using fMRI. We examine activity in the human brain as participants experience tactile stimulation delivered to their face, while observing either temporally synchronous or asynchronous tactile stimulation delivered to another's face on either a specularly congruent or incongruent location. Activity in the multisensory right temporo-parietal junction, intraparietal sulcus, and the unimodal inferior occipital gyrus showed an interaction between the synchronicity and the congruency of the stimulation and varied with the self-reported strength of the illusory experience, which was recorded after each stimulation block. Our results highlight the important interplay between unimodal and multimodal information processing for self-face recognition, and elucidate the neurobiological basis for the plasticity required for identifying with our continuously changing visual appearance. PMID:23964067

  1. MuSK levels differ between adult skeletal muscles and influence postsynaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Punga, Anna R; Maj, Marcin; Lin, Shuo; Meinen, Sarina; Rüegg, Markus A

    2011-03-01

    Muscle-specific tyrosine kinase (MuSK) is involved in the formation and maintenance of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), and is necessary for NMJ integrity. As muscle involvement is strikingly selective in pathological conditions in which MuSK is targeted, including congenital myasthenic syndrome with MuSK mutation and MuSK antibody-seropositive myasthenia gravis, we hypothesized that the postsynaptic response to MuSK-agrin signalling differs between adult muscles. Transcript levels of postsynaptic proteins were compared between different muscles in wild-type adult mice. MuSK expression was high in the soleus and sternomastoid muscles and low in the extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and omohyoid muscles. The acetylcholine receptor (AChR) α subunit followed a similar expression pattern, whereas expression of Dok-7, Lrp4 and rapsyn was comparable between the muscles. We subsequently examined muscles in mice that overexpressed a miniaturized form of neural agrin or MuSK. In these transgenic mice, the soleus and sternomastoid muscles responded with formation of ectopic AChR clusters, whereas such clusters were almost absent in the EDL and omohyoid muscles. Electroporation of Dok-7 revealed its important role as an activator of MuSK in AChR cluster formation in adult muscles. Together, our findings indicate for the first time that adult skeletal muscles harbour different endogenous levels of MuSK and that these levels determine the ability to form ectopic AChR clusters upon overexpression of agrin or MuSK. We believe that these findings are important for our understanding of adult muscle plasticity and the selective muscle involvement in neuromuscular disorders in which MuSK is diminished. PMID:21255125

  2. A voxelwise approach to determine consensus regions-of-interest for the study of brain network plasticity.

    PubMed

    Rajtmajer, Sarah M; Roy, Arnab; Albert, Reka; Molenaar, Peter C M; Hillary, Frank G

    2015-01-01

    Despite exciting advances in the functional imaging of the brain, it remains a challenge to define regions of interest (ROIs) that do not require investigator supervision and permit examination of change in networks over time (or plasticity). Plasticity is most readily examined by maintaining ROIs constant via seed-based and anatomical-atlas based techniques, but these approaches are not data-driven, requiring definition based on prior experience (e.g., choice of seed-region, anatomical landmarks). These approaches are limiting especially when functional connectivity may evolve over time in areas that are finer than known anatomical landmarks or in areas outside predetermined seeded regions. An ideal method would permit investigators to study network plasticity due to learning, maturation effects, or clinical recovery via multiple time point data that can be compared to one another in the same ROI while also preserving the voxel-level data in those ROIs at each time point. Data-driven approaches (e.g., whole-brain voxelwise approaches) ameliorate concerns regarding investigator bias, but the fundamental problem of comparing the results between distinct data sets remains. In this paper we propose an approach, aggregate-initialized label propagation (AILP), which allows for data at separate time points to be compared for examining developmental processes resulting in network change (plasticity). To do so, we use a whole-brain modularity approach to parcellate the brain into anatomically constrained functional modules at separate time points and then apply the AILP algorithm to form a consensus set of ROIs for examining change over time. To demonstrate its utility, we make use of a known dataset of individuals with traumatic brain injury sampled at two time points during the first year of recovery and show how the AILP procedure can be applied to select regions of interest to be used in a graph theoretical analysis of plasticity. PMID:26283928

  3. A voxelwise approach to determine consensus regions-of-interest for the study of brain network plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Rajtmajer, Sarah M.; Roy, Arnab; Albert, Reka; Molenaar, Peter C. M.; Hillary, Frank G.

    2015-01-01

    Despite exciting advances in the functional imaging of the brain, it remains a challenge to define regions of interest (ROIs) that do not require investigator supervision and permit examination of change in networks over time (or plasticity). Plasticity is most readily examined by maintaining ROIs constant via seed-based and anatomical-atlas based techniques, but these approaches are not data-driven, requiring definition based on prior experience (e.g., choice of seed-region, anatomical landmarks). These approaches are limiting especially when functional connectivity may evolve over time in areas that are finer than known anatomical landmarks or in areas outside predetermined seeded regions. An ideal method would permit investigators to study network plasticity due to learning, maturation effects, or clinical recovery via multiple time point data that can be compared to one another in the same ROI while also preserving the voxel-level data in those ROIs at each time point. Data-driven approaches (e.g., whole-brain voxelwise approaches) ameliorate concerns regarding investigator bias, but the fundamental problem of comparing the results between distinct data sets remains. In this paper we propose an approach, aggregate-initialized label propagation (AILP), which allows for data at separate time points to be compared for examining developmental processes resulting in network change (plasticity). To do so, we use a whole-brain modularity approach to parcellate the brain into anatomically constrained functional modules at separate time points and then apply the AILP algorithm to form a consensus set of ROIs for examining change over time. To demonstrate its utility, we make use of a known dataset of individuals with traumatic brain injury sampled at two time points during the first year of recovery and show how the AILP procedure can be applied to select regions of interest to be used in a graph theoretical analysis of plasticity. PMID:26283928

  4. A Small Motor Cortex Lesion Abolished Ocular Dominance Plasticity in the Adult Mouse Primary Visual Cortex and Impaired Experience-Dependent Visual Improvements

    PubMed Central

    Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Greifzu, Franziska; Löwel, Siegrid

    2015-01-01

    It was previously shown that a small lesion in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) prevented both cortical plasticity and sensory learning in the adult mouse visual system: While 3-month-old control mice continued to show ocular dominance (OD) plasticity in their primary visual cortex (V1) after monocular deprivation (MD), age-matched mice with a small photothrombotically induced (PT) stroke lesion in S1, positioned at least 1 mm anterior to the anterior border of V1, no longer expressed OD-plasticity. In addition, in the S1-lesioned mice, neither the experience-dependent increase of the spatial frequency threshold (“visual acuity”) nor of the contrast threshold (“contrast sensitivity”) of the optomotor reflex through the open eye was present. To assess whether these plasticity impairments can also occur if a lesion is placed more distant from V1, we tested the effect of a PT-lesion in the secondary motor cortex (M2). We observed that mice with a small M2-lesion restricted to the superficial cortical layers no longer expressed an OD-shift towards the open eye after 7 days of MD in V1 of the lesioned hemisphere. Consistent with previous findings about the consequences of an S1-lesion, OD-plasticity in V1 of the nonlesioned hemisphere of the M2-lesioned mice was still present. In addition, the experience-dependent improvements of both visual acuity and contrast sensitivity of the open eye were severely reduced. In contrast, sham-lesioned mice displayed both an OD-shift and improvements of visual capabilities of their open eye. To summarize, our data indicate that even a very small lesion restricted to the superficial cortical layers and more than 3mm anterior to the anterior border of V1 compromised V1-plasticity and impaired learning-induced visual improvements in adult mice. Thus both plasticity phenomena cannot only depend on modality-specific and local nerve cell networks but are clearly influenced by long-range interactions even from distant brain

  5. Traumatic brain injury: endocrine consequences in children and adults.

    PubMed

    Richmond, Erick; Rogol, Alan D

    2014-02-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common cause of death and disability in young adults with consequences ranging from physical disabilities to long-term cognitive, behavioral, psychological and social defects. Recent data suggest that pituitary hormone deficiency is not infrequent among TBI survivors; the prevalence of reported hypopituitarism following TBI varies widely among published studies. The most common cause of TBI is motor vehicle accidents, including pedestrian-car and bicycle car encounters, falls, child abuse, violence and sports injuries. Prevalence of hypopituitarism, from total to isolated pituitary deficiency, ranges from 5 to 90 %. The time interval between TBI and pituitary function evaluation is one of the major factors responsible for variations in the prevalence of hypopituitarism reported. Endocrine dysfunction after TBI in children and adolescents is common. Adolescence is a time of growth, freedom and adjustment, consequently TBI is also common in this group. Sports-related TBI is an important public health concern, but many cases are unrecognized and unreported. Sports that are associated with an increased risk of TBI include those involving contact and/or collisions such as boxing, football, soccer, ice hockey, rugby, and the martial arts, as well as high velocity sports such as cycling, motor racing, equestrian sports, skiing and roller skating. The aim of this paper is to summarize the best evidence of TBI as a cause of pituitary deficiency in children and adults. PMID:24030696

  6. Immune dysregulation and cognitive vulnerability in the aging brain: Interactions of microglia, IL-1β, BDNF and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Patterson, Susan L

    2015-09-01

    Older individuals often experience declines in cognitive function after events (e.g. infection, or injury) that trigger activation of the immune system. This occurs at least in part because aging sensitizes the response of microglia (the brain's resident immune cells) to signals triggered by an immune challenge. In the aging brain, microglia respond to these signals by producing more pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g. interleukin-1beta or IL-1β) and producing them for longer than microglia in younger brains. This exaggerated inflammatory response can compromise processes critical for optimal cognitive functioning. Interleukin-1β is central to the inflammatory response and is a key mediator and modulator of an array of associated biological functions; thus its production and release is usually very tightly regulated. This review will focus on the impact of dysregulated production of IL-1β on hippocampus dependent-memory systems and associated synaptic plasticity processes. The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BNDF) helps to protect neurons from damage caused by infection or injury, and it plays a critical role in many of the same memory and hippocampal plasticity processes compromised by dysregulated production of IL-1β. This suggests that an exaggerated brain inflammatory response, arising from aging and a secondary immune challenge, may erode the capacity to provide the BDNF needed for memory-related plasticity processes at hippocampal synapses. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Neuroimmunology and Synaptic Function'. PMID:25549562

  7. The plastic fly: the effect of sustained fluctuations in adult food supply on life-history traits

    PubMed Central

    van den Heuvel, J; Zandveld, J; Mulder, M; Brakefield, P M; Kirkwood, T B L; Shanley, D P; Zwaan, B J

    2014-01-01

    Many adult traits in Drosophila melanogaster show phenotypic plasticity, and the effects of diet on traits such as lifespan and reproduction are well explored. Although plasticity in response to food is still present in older flies, it is unknown how sustained environmental variation affects life-history traits. Here, we explore how such life-long fluctuations of food supply affect weight and survival in groups of flies and affect weight, survival and reproduction in individual flies. In both experiments, we kept adults on constant high or low food and compared these to flies that experienced fluctuations of food either once or twice a week. For these ‘yoyo’ groups, the initial food level and the duration of the dietary variation differed during adulthood, creating four ‘yoyo’ fly groups. In groups of flies, survival and weight were affected by adult food. However, for individuals, survival and reproduction, but not weight, were affected by adult food, indicating that single and group housing of female flies affects life-history trajectories. Remarkably, both the manner and extent to which life-history traits varied in relation to food depended on whether flies initially experienced high or low food after eclosion. We therefore conclude that the expression of life-history traits in adult life is affected not only by adult plasticity, but also by early adult life experiences. This is an important but often overlooked factor in studies of life-history evolution and may explain variation in life-history experiments. PMID:25417737

  8. Adult neurogenesis in the decapod crustacean brain: A hematopoietic connection?

    PubMed Central

    Beltz, Barbara S.; Zhang, Yi; Benton, Jeanne L.; Sandeman, David C.

    2011-01-01

    New neurons are produced and integrated into circuits in the adult brains of many organisms, including crustaceans. In some crustacean species, the 1st- generation neuronal precursors reside in a niche exhibiting characteristics analogous to mammalian neurogenic niches. However, unlike mammalian niches where several generations of neuronal precursors coexist, the lineage of precursor cells in crayfish is spatially separated allowing the influence of environmental and endogenous regulators on specific generations in the neuronal precursor lineage to be defined. Experiments also demonstrate that the 1st-generation neuronal precursors in the crayfish Procambarus clarkii are not self-renewing. A source external to the neurogenic niche must therefore provide cells that replenish the 1st-generation precursor pool, because although these cells divide and produce a continuous efflux of 2nd-generation cells from the niche, the population of 1st-generation niche precursors is not diminished with growth and aging. In vitro studies show that cells extracted from the hemolymph, but not other tissues, are attracted to and incorporated into the neurogenic niche, a phenomenon that appears to involve serotonergic mechanisms. We propose that in crayfish, the hematopoietic system may be a source of cells that replenish the niche cell pool. These and other studies reviewed here establish decapod crustaceans as model systems in which the processes underlying adult neurogenesis, such as stem cell origins and transformation, can be readily explored. Studies in diverse species where adult neurogenesis occurs will result in a broader understanding of fundamental mechanisms and how evolutionary processes may have shaped the vertebrate/mammalian condition. PMID:21929622

  9. Possible contributions of a novel form of synaptic plasticity in Aplysia to reward, memory, and their dysfunctions in mammalian brain

    PubMed Central

    Hawkins, Robert D.

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies in Aplysia have identified a new variation of synaptic plasticity in which modulatory transmitters enhance spontaneous release of glutamate, which then acts on postsynaptic receptors to recruit mechanisms of intermediate- and long-term plasticity. In this review I suggest the hypothesis that similar plasticity occurs in mammals, where it may contribute to reward, memory, and their dysfunctions in several psychiatric disorders. In Aplysia, spontaneous release is enhanced by activation of presynaptic serotonin receptors, but presynaptic D1 dopamine receptors or nicotinic acetylcholine receptors could play a similar role in mammals. Those receptors enhance spontaneous release of glutamate in hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, prefrontal cortex, ventral tegmental area, and nucleus accumbens. In all of those brain areas, glutamate can activate postsynaptic receptors to elevate Ca2+ and engage mechanisms of early-phase long-term potentiation (LTP), including AMPA receptor insertion, and of late-phase LTP, including protein synthesis and growth. Thus, presynaptic receptors and spontaneous release may contribute to postsynaptic mechanisms of plasticity in brain regions involved in reward and memory, and could play roles in disorders that affect plasticity in those regions, including addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). PMID:24049187

  10. Mouse Social Network Dynamics and Community Structure are Associated with Plasticity-Related Brain Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, Cait M.; Franks, Becca; Curley, James P.

    2016-01-01

    Laboratory studies of social behavior have typically focused on dyadic interactions occurring within a limited spatiotemporal context. However, this strategy prevents analyses of the dynamics of group social behavior and constrains identification of the biological pathways mediating individual differences in behavior. In the current study, we aimed to identify the spatiotemporal dynamics and hierarchical organization of a large social network of male mice. We also sought to determine if standard assays of social and exploratory behavior are predictive of social behavior in this social network and whether individual network position was associated with the mRNA expression of two plasticity-related genes, DNA methyltransferase 1 and 3a. Mice were observed to form a hierarchically organized social network and self-organized into two separate social network communities. Members of both communities exhibited distinct patterns of socio-spatial organization within the vivaria that was not limited to only agonistic interactions. We further established that exploratory and social behaviors in standard behavioral assays conducted prior to placing the mice into the large group was predictive of initial network position and behavior but were not associated with final social network position. Finally, we determined that social network position is associated with variation in mRNA levels of two neural plasticity genes, DNMT1 and DNMT3a, in the hippocampus but not the mPOA. This work demonstrates the importance of understanding the role of social context and complex social dynamics in determining the relationship between individual differences in social behavior and brain gene expression. PMID:27540359

  11. Mouse Social Network Dynamics and Community Structure are Associated with Plasticity-Related Brain Gene Expression.

    PubMed

    Williamson, Cait M; Franks, Becca; Curley, James P

    2016-01-01

    Laboratory studies of social behavior have typically focused on dyadic interactions occurring within a limited spatiotemporal context. However, this strategy prevents analyses of the dynamics of group social behavior and constrains identification of the biological pathways mediating individual differences in behavior. In the current study, we aimed to identify the spatiotemporal dynamics and hierarchical organization of a large social network of male mice. We also sought to determine if standard assays of social and exploratory behavior are predictive of social behavior in this social network and whether individual network position was associated with the mRNA expression of two plasticity-related genes, DNA methyltransferase 1 and 3a. Mice were observed to form a hierarchically organized social network and self-organized into two separate social network communities. Members of both communities exhibited distinct patterns of socio-spatial organization within the vivaria that was not limited to only agonistic interactions. We further established that exploratory and social behaviors in standard behavioral assays conducted prior to placing the mice into the large group was predictive of initial network position and behavior but were not associated with final social network position. Finally, we determined that social network position is associated with variation in mRNA levels of two neural plasticity genes, DNMT1 and DNMT3a, in the hippocampus but not the mPOA. This work demonstrates the importance of understanding the role of social context and complex social dynamics in determining the relationship between individual differences in social behavior and brain gene expression. PMID:27540359

  12. Construction of brain atlases based on a multi-center MRI dataset of 2020 Chinese adults.

    PubMed

    Liang, Peipeng; Shi, Lin; Chen, Nan; Luo, Yishan; Wang, Xing; Liu, Kai; Mok, Vincent C T; Chu, Winnie C W; Wang, Defeng; Li, Kuncheng

    2015-01-01

    Despite the known morphological differences (e.g., brain shape and size) in the brains of populations of different origins (e.g., age and race), the Chinese brain atlas is less studied. In the current study, we developed a statistical brain atlas based on a multi-center high quality magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) dataset of 2020 Chinese adults (18-76 years old). We constructed 12 Chinese brain atlas from the age 20 year to the age 75 at a 5 years interval. New Chinese brain standard space, coordinates, and brain area labels were further defined. The new Chinese brain atlas was validated in brain registration and segmentation. It was found that, as contrast to the MNI152 template, the proposed Chinese atlas showed higher accuracy in hippocampus segmentation and relatively smaller shape deformations during registration. These results indicate that a population-specific time varying brain atlas may be more appropriate for studies involving Chinese populations. PMID:26678304

  13. The transformation of synaptic to system plasticity in motor output from the sacral cord of the adult mouse.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Mingchen C; Elbasiouny, Sherif M; Collins, William F; Heckman, C J

    2015-09-01

    Synaptic plasticity is fundamental in shaping the output of neural networks. The transformation of synaptic plasticity at the cellular level into plasticity at the system level involves multiple factors, including behavior of local networks of interneurons. Here we investigate the synaptic to system transformation for plasticity in motor output in an in vitro preparation of the adult mouse spinal cord. System plasticity was assessed from compound action potentials (APs) in spinal ventral roots, which were generated simultaneously by the axons of many motoneurons (MNs). Synaptic plasticity was assessed from intracellular recordings of MNs. A computer model of the MN pool was used to identify the middle steps in the transformation from synaptic to system behavior. Two input systems that converge on the same MN pool were studied: one sensory and one descending. The two synaptic input systems generated very different motor outputs, with sensory stimulation consistently evoking short-term depression (STD) whereas descending stimulation had bimodal plasticity: STD at low frequencies but short-term facilitation (STF) at high frequencies. Intracellular and pharmacological studies revealed contributions from monosynaptic excitation and stimulus time-locked inhibition but also considerable asynchronous excitation sustained from local network activity. The computer simulations showed that STD in the monosynaptic excitatory input was the primary driver of the system STD in the sensory input whereas network excitation underlies the bimodal plasticity in the descending system. These results provide insight on the roles of plasticity in the monosynaptic and polysynaptic inputs converging on the same MN pool to overall motor plasticity. PMID:26203107

  14. Cognitive plasticity in older adults: effects of cognitive training and physical exercise.

    PubMed

    Bherer, Louis

    2015-03-01

    Cognitive training, physical activity, and exercise have often been reported to improve cognitive performance in older adults. This paper reviews some seminal and recent studies using these approaches to improve cognition and physical functioning in healthy older adults and in patients suffering from non-neurological chronic medical conditions. Results from cognitive training studies suggest that despite performance improvement in trained tasks, transfer effects appeared very limited. Surprisingly though, computerized dual-task training has been shown to improve balance and postural control in tests of physical functioning, suggesting that broad transfer can sometimes be observed. Physical exercise intervention studies generally found significant and large improvements in physical capacity, in some cognitive domains, and in quality of life. The benefits seem to be equivalent between frail and nonfrail participants. Overall, results reviewed here support the notion that cognitive plasticity for attentional control, as induced by cognitive training or physical activity and exercise, is preserved in late adulthood. Moreover, results of studies with patients at risk of cognitive decline also suggest that cognitive training and exercise interventions are promising nonpharmaceutical tools to help improve cognition in older at-risk individuals. PMID:25773610

  15. Brain lateralization and neural plasticity for musical and cognitive abilities in an epileptic musician.

    PubMed

    Trujillo-Pozo, Isabel; Martín-Monzón, Isabel; Rodríguez-Romero, Rafael

    2013-01-01

    The use of intracarotid propofol procedure (IPP) when assessing musical lateralization has not been reported in literature up to now. This procedure (similar to Wada Test) has provided the opportunity to investigate not only lateralization of language and memory functions on epileptic patients but also offers a functional mapping approach with superior spatial and temporal resolution to analyze the lateralization of musical abilities. Findings in literature suggest that musical training modifies functional and structural brain organization. We studied hemispheric lateralization in a professional musician, a 33 years old woman with refractory left medial temporal lobe (MTL) epilepsy (TLE). A longitudinal neuropsychological study was performed over a period of 21 months. Before epilepsy surgery, musical abilities, language and memory were tested during IPP by means of a novel and exhaustive neuropsychological battery focusing on the processing of music. We used a selection of stimuli to analyze listening, score reading, and tempo discrimination. Our results suggested that IPP is an excellent method to determine not only language, semantic, and episodic memory, but also musical dominance in a professional musician who may be candidate for epilepsy surgery. Neuropsychological testing revealed that right hemisphere's patient is involved in semantic and episodic musical memory processes, whereas her score reading and tempo processing require contribution from both hemispheres. At one-year follow-up, outcome was excellent with respect to seizures and professional skills, meanwhile cognitive abilities improved. These findings indicate that IPP helps to predict who might be at risk for postoperative musical, language, and memory deficits after epilepsy surgery. Our research suggests that musical expertise and epilepsy critically modifies long-term memory processes and induces brain structural and functional plasticity. PMID:24367312

  16. Brain lateralization and neural plasticity for musical and cognitive abilities in an epileptic musician

    PubMed Central

    Trujillo-Pozo, Isabel; Martín-Monzón, Isabel; Rodríguez-Romero, Rafael

    2013-01-01

    The use of intracarotid propofol procedure (IPP) when assessing musical lateralization has not been reported in literature up to now. This procedure (similar to Wada Test) has provided the opportunity to investigate not only lateralization of language and memory functions on epileptic patients but also offers a functional mapping approach with superior spatial and temporal resolution to analyze the lateralization of musical abilities. Findings in literature suggest that musical training modifies functional and structural brain organization. We studied hemispheric lateralization in a professional musician, a 33 years old woman with refractory left medial temporal lobe (MTL) epilepsy (TLE). A longitudinal neuropsychological study was performed over a period of 21 months. Before epilepsy surgery, musical abilities, language and memory were tested during IPP by means of a novel and exhaustive neuropsychological battery focusing on the processing of music. We used a selection of stimuli to analyze listening, score reading, and tempo discrimination. Our results suggested that IPP is an excellent method to determine not only language, semantic, and episodic memory, but also musical dominance in a professional musician who may be candidate for epilepsy surgery. Neuropsychological testing revealed that right hemisphere's patient is involved in semantic and episodic musical memory processes, whereas her score reading and tempo processing require contribution from both hemispheres. At one-year follow-up, outcome was excellent with respect to seizures and professional skills, meanwhile cognitive abilities improved. These findings indicate that IPP helps to predict who might be at risk for postoperative musical, language, and memory deficits after epilepsy surgery. Our research suggests that musical expertise and epilepsy critically modifies long-term memory processes and induces brain structural and functional plasticity. PMID:24367312

  17. Effect of exposure to diazinon on adult rat's brain.

    PubMed

    Rashedinia, Marzieh; Hosseinzadeh, Hossein; Imenshahidi, Mohsen; Lari, Parisa; Razavi, Bibi Marjan; Abnous, Khalil

    2016-04-01

    Diazinon (DZN), a commonly used agricultural organophosphate insecticide, is one of the major concerns for human health. This study was planned to investigate neurotoxic effects of subacute exposure to DZN in adult male Wistar rats. Animals received corn oil as control and 15 and 30 mg/kg DZN orally by gastric gavage for 4 weeks. The cerebrum malondialdehyde and glutathione (GSH) contents were assessed as biomarkers of lipid peroxidation and nonenzyme antioxidants, respectively. Moreover, activated forms of caspase 3, -9, and Bax/Bcl-2 ratios were evaluated as key apoptotic proteins. Results of this study suggested that chronic administration of DZN did not change lipid peroxidation and GSH levels significantly in comparison with control. Also, the active forms of caspase 3 and caspase 9 were not significantly altered in DZN-treated rat groups. Moreover, no significant changes were observed in Bax and Bcl-2 ratios. This study indicated that generation of reactive oxygen species was probably modulated by intracellular antioxidant system. In conclusion, subacute oral administration of DZN did not alter lipid peroxidation. Moreover, apoptosis induction was not observed in rat brain. PMID:24217015

  18. Motor Network Plasticity and Low-Frequency Oscillations Abnormalities in Patients with Brain Gliomas: A Functional MRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Chen; Zhang, Ming; Min, Zhigang; Rana, Netra; Zhang, Qiuli; Liu, Xin; Li, Min; Lin, Pan

    2014-01-01

    Brain plasticity is often associated with the process of slow-growing tumor formation, which remodels neural organization and optimizes brain network function. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether motor function plasticity would display deficits in patients with slow-growing brain tumors located in or near motor areas, but who were without motor neurological deficits. We used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to probe motor networks in 15 patients with histopathologically confirmed brain gliomas and 15 age-matched healthy controls. All subjects performed a motor task to help identify individual motor activity in the bilateral primary motor cortex (PMC) and supplementary motor area (SMA). Frequency-based analysis at three different frequencies was then used to investigate possible alterations in the power spectral density (PSD) of low-frequency oscillations. For each group, the average PSD was determined for each brain region and a nonparametric test was performed to determine the difference in power between the two groups. Significantly reduced inter-hemispheric functional connectivity between the left and right PMC was observed in patients compared with controls (P<0.05). We also found significantly decreased PSD in patients compared to that in controls, in all three frequency bands (low: 0.01–0.02 Hz; middle: 0.02–0.06 Hz; and high: 0.06–0.1 Hz), at three key motor regions. These findings suggest that in asymptomatic patients with brain tumors located in eloquent regions, inter-hemispheric connection may be more vulnerable. A comparison of the two approaches indicated that power spectral analysis is more sensitive than functional connectivity analysis for identifying the neurological abnormalities underlying motor function plasticity induced by slow-growing tumors. PMID:24806463

  19. Adaptive Motor Imagery: A Multimodal Study of Immobilization-Induced Brain Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Burianová, Hana; Sowman, Paul F; Marstaller, Lars; Rich, Anina N; Williams, Mark A; Savage, Greg; Al-Janabi, Shahd; de Lissa, Peter; Johnson, Blake W

    2016-03-01

    The consequences of losing the ability to move a limb are traumatic. One approach that examines the impact of pathological limb nonuse on the brain involves temporary immobilization of a healthy limb. Here, we investigated immobilization-induced plasticity in the motor imagery (MI) circuitry during hand immobilization. We assessed these changes with a multimodal paradigm, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure neural activation, magnetoencephalography (MEG) to track neuronal oscillatory dynamics, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to assess corticospinal excitability. fMRI results show a significant decrease in neural activation for MI of the constrained hand, localized to sensorimotor areas contralateral to the immobilized hand. MEG results show a significant decrease in beta desynchronization and faster resynchronization in sensorimotor areas contralateral to the immobilized hand. TMS results show a significant increase in resting motor threshold in motor cortex contralateral to the constrained hand, suggesting a decrease in corticospinal excitability in the projections to the constrained hand. These results demonstrate a direct and rapid effect of immobilization on MI processes of the constrained hand, suggesting that limb nonuse may not only affect motor execution, as evidenced by previous studies, but also MI. These findings have important implications for the effectiveness of therapeutic approaches that use MI as a rehabilitation tool to ameliorate the negative effects of limb nonuse. PMID:25477368

  20. Longitudinal fMRI studies: Exploring brain plasticity and repair in MS.

    PubMed

    Enzinger, Christian; Pinter, Daniela; Rocca, Maria A; De Luca, John; Sastre-Garriga, Jaume; Audoin, Bertrand; Filippi, Massimo

    2016-03-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has greatly advanced our understanding of cerebral functional changes occurring in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). However, most of our knowledge regarding brain plasticity and repair in MS as evidenced by fMRI has been extrapolated from cross-sectional studies across different phenotypes of the disease. This topical review provides an overview of this research, but also highlights limitations of existing fMRI studies with cross-sectional design. We then review the few existing longitudinal fMRI studies and discuss the feasibility and constraints of serial fMRI in individuals with MS. We further emphasize the potential to track fMRI changes in evolving disease and the insights this may give in terms of mechanisms of adaptation and repair, focusing on serial fMRI to monitor response to disease-modifying therapies or rehabilitation interventions. Finally, we offer recommendations for designing future research studies to overcome previous methodological shortcomings. PMID:26683590

  1. Music making as a tool for promoting brain plasticity across the life span.

    PubMed

    Wan, Catherine Y; Schlaug, Gottfried

    2010-10-01

    Playing a musical instrument is an intense, multisensory, and motor experience that usually commences at an early age and requires the acquisition and maintenance of a range of skills over the course of a musician's lifetime. Thus, musicians offer an excellent human model for studying the brain effects of acquiring specialized sensorimotor skills. For example, musicians learn and repeatedly practice the association of motor actions with specific sound and visual patterns (musical notation) while receiving continuous multisensory feedback. This association learning can strengthen connections between auditory and motor regions (e.g., arcuate fasciculus) while activating multimodal integration regions (e.g., around the intraparietal sulcus). We argue that training of this neural network may produce cross-modal effects on other behavioral or cognitive operations that draw on this network. Plasticity in this network may explain some of the sensorimotor and cognitive enhancements that have been associated with music training. These enhancements suggest the potential for music making as an interactive treatment or intervention for neurological and developmental disorders, as well as those associated with normal aging. PMID:20889966

  2. Evidence for training-induced plasticity in multisensory brain structures: an MEG study.

    PubMed

    Paraskevopoulos, Evangelos; Kuchenbuch, Anja; Herholz, Sibylle C; Pantev, Christo

    2012-01-01

    Multisensory learning and resulting neural brain plasticity have recently become a topic of renewed interest in human cognitive neuroscience. Music notation reading is an ideal stimulus to study multisensory learning, as it allows studying the integration of visual, auditory and sensorimotor information processing. The present study aimed at answering whether multisensory learning alters uni-sensory structures, interconnections of uni-sensory structures or specific multisensory areas. In a short-term piano training procedure musically naive subjects were trained to play tone sequences from visually presented patterns in a music notation-like system [Auditory-Visual-Somatosensory group (AVS)], while another group received audio-visual training only that involved viewing the patterns and attentively listening to the recordings of the AVS training sessions [Auditory-Visual group (AV)]. Training-related changes in cortical networks were assessed by pre- and post-training magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings of an auditory, a visual and an integrated audio-visual mismatch negativity (MMN). The two groups (AVS and AV) were differently affected by the training. The results suggest that multisensory training alters the function of multisensory structures, and not the uni-sensory ones along with their interconnections, and thus provide an answer to an important question presented by cognitive models of multisensory training. PMID:22570723

  3. Perceptual shift in bilingualism: brain potentials reveal plasticity in pre-attentive colour perception.

    PubMed

    Athanasopoulos, Panos; Dering, Benjamin; Wiggett, Alison; Kuipers, Jan-Rouke; Thierry, Guillaume

    2010-09-01

    The validity of the linguistic relativity principle continues to stimulate vigorous debate and research. The debate has recently shifted from the behavioural investigation arena to a more biologically grounded field, in which tangible physiological evidence for language effects on perception can be obtained. Using brain potentials in a colour oddball detection task with Greek and English speakers, a recent study suggests that language effects may exist at early stages of perceptual integration [Thierry, G., Athanasopoulos, P., Wiggett, A., Dering, B., & Kuipers, J. (2009). Unconscious effects of language-specific terminology on pre-attentive colour perception. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106, 4567-4570]. In this paper, we test whether in Greek speakers exposure to a new cultural environment (UK) with contrasting colour terminology from their native language affects early perceptual processing as indexed by an electrophysiological correlate of visual detection of colour luminance. We also report semantic mapping of native colour terms and colour similarity judgements. Results reveal convergence of linguistic descriptions, cognitive processing, and early perception of colour in bilinguals. This result demonstrates for the first time substantial plasticity in early, pre-attentive colour perception and has important implications for the mechanisms that are involved in perceptual changes during the processes of language learning and acculturation. PMID:20566193

  4. Music Making as a Tool for Promoting Brain Plasticity across the Life Span

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Catherine Y.; Schlaug, Gottfried

    2010-01-01

    Playing a musical instrument is an intense, multisensory, and motor experience that usually commences at an early age and requires the acquisition and maintenance of a range of skills over the course of a musician's lifetime. Thus, musicians offer an excellent human model for studying the brain effects of acquiring specialized sensorimotor skills. For example, musicians learn and repeatedly practice the association of motor actions with specific sound and visual patterns (musical notation) while receiving continuous multisensory feedback. This association learning can strengthen connections between auditory and motor regions (e.g., arcuate fasciculus) while activating multimodal integration regions (e.g., around the intraparietal sulcus). We argue that training of this neural network may produce cross-modal effects on other behavioral or cognitive operations that draw on this network. Plasticity in this network may explain some of the sensorimotor and cognitive enhancements that have been associated with music training. These enhancements suggest the potential for music making as an interactive treatment or intervention for neurological and developmental disorders, as well as those associated with normal aging. PMID:20889966

  5. Evidence for Training-Induced Plasticity in Multisensory Brain Structures: An MEG Study

    PubMed Central

    Paraskevopoulos, Evangelos; Kuchenbuch, Anja; Herholz, Sibylle C.; Pantev, Christo

    2012-01-01

    Multisensory learning and resulting neural brain plasticity have recently become a topic of renewed interest in human cognitive neuroscience. Music notation reading is an ideal stimulus to study multisensory learning, as it allows studying the integration of visual, auditory and sensorimotor information processing. The present study aimed at answering whether multisensory learning alters uni-sensory structures, interconnections of uni-sensory structures or specific multisensory areas. In a short-term piano training procedure musically naive subjects were trained to play tone sequences from visually presented patterns in a music notation-like system [Auditory-Visual-Somatosensory group (AVS)], while another group received audio-visual training only that involved viewing the patterns and attentively listening to the recordings of the AVS training sessions [Auditory-Visual group (AV)]. Training-related changes in cortical networks were assessed by pre- and post-training magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings of an auditory, a visual and an integrated audio-visual mismatch negativity (MMN). The two groups (AVS and AV) were differently affected by the training. The results suggest that multisensory training alters the function of multisensory structures, and not the uni-sensory ones along with their interconnections, and thus provide an answer to an important question presented by cognitive models of multisensory training. PMID:22570723

  6. Mental Training as a Tool in the Neuroscientific Study of Brain and Cognitive Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Slagter, Heleen A.; Davidson, Richard J.; Lutz, Antoine

    2011-01-01

    Although the adult brain was once seen as a rather static organ, it is now clear that the organization of brain circuitry is constantly changing as a function of experience or learning. Yet, research also shows that learning is often specific to the trained stimuli and task, and does not improve performance on novel tasks, even very similar ones. This perspective examines the idea that systematic mental training, as cultivated by meditation, can induce learning that is not stimulus or task specific, but process specific. Many meditation practices are explicitly designed to enhance specific, well-defined core cognitive processes. We will argue that this focus on enhancing core cognitive processes, as well as several general characteristics of meditation regimens, may specifically foster process-specific learning. To this end, we first define meditation and discuss key findings from recent neuroimaging studies of meditation. We then identify several characteristics of specific meditation training regimes that may determine process-specific learning. These characteristics include ongoing variability in stimulus input, the meta-cognitive nature of the processes trained, task difficulty, the focus on maintaining an optimal level of arousal, and the duration of training. Lastly, we discuss the methodological challenges that researchers face when attempting to control or characterize the multiple factors that may underlie meditation training effects. PMID:21347275

  7. Encoding of mechanical nociception differs in the adult and infant brain

    PubMed Central

    Fabrizi, Lorenzo; Verriotis, Madeleine; Williams, Gemma; Lee, Amy; Meek, Judith; Olhede, Sofia; Fitzgerald, Maria

    2016-01-01

    Newborn human infants display robust pain behaviour and specific cortical activity following noxious skin stimulation, but it is not known whether brain processing of nociceptive information differs in infants and adults. Imaging studies have emphasised the overlap between infant and adult brain connectome architecture, but electrophysiological analysis of infant brain nociceptive networks can provide further understanding of the functional postnatal development of pain perception. Here we hypothesise that the human infant brain encodes noxious information with different neuronal patterns compared to adults. To test this we compared EEG responses to the same time-locked noxious skin lance in infants aged 0–19 days (n = 18, clinically required) and adults aged 23–48 years (n = 21). Time-frequency analysis revealed that while some features of adult nociceptive network activity are present in infants at longer latencies, including beta-gamma oscillations, infants display a distinct, long latency, noxious evoked 18-fold energy increase in the fast delta band (2–4 Hz) that is absent in adults. The differences in activity between infants and adults have a widespread topographic distribution across the brain. These data support our hypothesis and indicate important postnatal changes in the encoding of mechanical pain in the human brain. PMID:27345331

  8. Encoding of mechanical nociception differs in the adult and infant brain.

    PubMed

    Fabrizi, Lorenzo; Verriotis, Madeleine; Williams, Gemma; Lee, Amy; Meek, Judith; Olhede, Sofia; Fitzgerald, Maria

    2016-01-01

    Newborn human infants display robust pain behaviour and specific cortical activity following noxious skin stimulation, but it is not known whether brain processing of nociceptive information differs in infants and adults. Imaging studies have emphasised the overlap between infant and adult brain connectome architecture, but electrophysiological analysis of infant brain nociceptive networks can provide further understanding of the functional postnatal development of pain perception. Here we hypothesise that the human infant brain encodes noxious information with different neuronal patterns compared to adults. To test this we compared EEG responses to the same time-locked noxious skin lance in infants aged 0-19 days (n = 18, clinically required) and adults aged 23-48 years (n = 21). Time-frequency analysis revealed that while some features of adult nociceptive network activity are present in infants at longer latencies, including beta-gamma oscillations, infants display a distinct, long latency, noxious evoked 18-fold energy increase in the fast delta band (2-4 Hz) that is absent in adults. The differences in activity between infants and adults have a widespread topographic distribution across the brain. These data support our hypothesis and indicate important postnatal changes in the encoding of mechanical pain in the human brain. PMID:27345331

  9. Trigeminal intersubnuclear neurons: morphometry and input-dependent structural plasticity in adult rats.

    PubMed

    Martin, Yasmina B; Negredo, Pilar; Villacorta-Atienza, Jose A; Avendaño, Carlos

    2014-05-01

    Intersubnuclear neurons in the caudal division of the spinal trigeminal nucleus that project to the principal nucleus (Pr5) play an active role in shaping the receptive fields of other neurons, at different levels in the ascending sensory system that processes information originating from the vibrissae. By using retrograde labeling and digital reconstruction, we investigated the morphometry and topology of the dendritic trees of these neurons and the changes induced by long-term experience-dependent plasticity in adult male rats. Primary afferent input was either eliminated by transection of the right infraorbital nerve (IoN), or selectively altered by repeated whisker clipping on the right side. These neurons do not display asymmetries between sides in basic metric and topologic parameters (global number of trees, nodes, spines, or dendritic ends), although neurons on the left tend to have longer terminal segments. Ipsilaterally, both deafferentation (IoN transection) and deprivation (whisker trimming) reduced the density of spines, and the former also caused a global increase in total dendritic length and a relative increase in more complex arbors. Contralaterally, deafferentation reduced more complex dendritic trees, and caused a moderate decline in dendritic length and spatial reach, and a loss of spines in number and density. Deprivation caused a similar, but more profound, effect on spines. Our findings provide original quantitative descriptions of a scarcely known cell population, and show that denervation- or deprivation-derived plasticity is expressed not only by neurons at higher levels of the sensory pathways, but also by neurons in key subcortical circuits for sensory processing. PMID:24178892

  10. Exergame and Balance Training Modulate Prefrontal Brain Activity during Walking and Enhance Executive Function in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Eggenberger, Patrick; Wolf, Martin; Schumann, Martina; de Bruin, Eling D.

    2016-01-01

    Different types of exercise training have the potential to induce structural and functional brain plasticity in the elderly. Thereby, functional brain adaptations were observed during cognitive tasks in functional magnetic resonance imaging studies that correlated with improved cognitive performance. This study aimed to investigate if exercise training induces functional brain plasticity during challenging treadmill walking and elicits associated changes in cognitive executive functions. Forty-two elderly participants were recruited and randomly assigned to either interactive cognitive-motor video game dancing (DANCE) or balance and stretching training (BALANCE). The 8-week intervention included three sessions of 30 min per week and was completed by 33 participants (mean age 74.9 ± 6.9 years). Prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity during preferred and fast walking speed on a treadmill was assessed applying functional near infrared spectroscopy pre- and post-intervention. Additionally, executive functions comprising shifting, inhibition, and working memory were assessed. The results showed that both interventions significantly reduced left and right hemispheric PFC oxygenation during the acceleration of walking (p < 0.05 or trend, r = 0.25–0.36), while DANCE showed a larger reduction at the end of the 30-s walking task compared to BALANCE in the left PFC [F(1, 31) = 3.54, p = 0.035, r = 0.32]. These exercise training induced modulations in PFC oxygenation correlated with improved executive functions (p < 0.05 or trend, r = 0.31–0.50). The observed reductions in PFC activity may release cognitive resources to focus attention on other processes while walking, which could be relevant to improve mobility and falls prevention in the elderly. This study provides a deeper understanding of the associations between exercise training, brain function during walking, and cognition in older adults. PMID:27148041

  11. Exergame and Balance Training Modulate Prefrontal Brain Activity during Walking and Enhance Executive Function in Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Eggenberger, Patrick; Wolf, Martin; Schumann, Martina; de Bruin, Eling D

    2016-01-01

    Different types of exercise training have the potential to induce structural and functional brain plasticity in the elderly. Thereby, functional brain adaptations were observed during cognitive tasks in functional magnetic resonance imaging studies that correlated with improved cognitive performance. This study aimed to investigate if exercise training induces functional brain plasticity during challenging treadmill walking and elicits associated changes in cognitive executive functions. Forty-two elderly participants were recruited and randomly assigned to either interactive cognitive-motor video game dancing (DANCE) or balance and stretching training (BALANCE). The 8-week intervention included three sessions of 30 min per week and was completed by 33 participants (mean age 74.9 ± 6.9 years). Prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity during preferred and fast walking speed on a treadmill was assessed applying functional near infrared spectroscopy pre- and post-intervention. Additionally, executive functions comprising shifting, inhibition, and working memory were assessed. The results showed that both interventions significantly reduced left and right hemispheric PFC oxygenation during the acceleration of walking (p < 0.05 or trend, r = 0.25-0.36), while DANCE showed a larger reduction at the end of the 30-s walking task compared to BALANCE in the left PFC [F (1, 31) = 3.54, p = 0.035, r = 0.32]. These exercise training induced modulations in PFC oxygenation correlated with improved executive functions (p < 0.05 or trend, r = 0.31-0.50). The observed reductions in PFC activity may release cognitive resources to focus attention on other processes while walking, which could be relevant to improve mobility and falls prevention in the elderly. This study provides a deeper understanding of the associations between exercise training, brain function during walking, and cognition in older adults. PMID:27148041

  12. Maternal dietary loads of α-tocopherol depress protein kinase C signaling and synaptic plasticity in rat postnatal developing hippocampus and promote permanent deficits in adult offspring.

    PubMed

    Betti, Michele; Ambrogini, Patrizia; Minelli, Andrea; Floridi, Alessandro; Lattanzi, Davide; Ciuffoli, Stefano; Bucherelli, Corrado; Prospero, Emilia; Frontini, Andrea; Santarelli, Lory; Baldi, Elisabetta; Benetti, Fernando; Galli, Francesco; Cuppini, Riccardo

    2011-01-01

    Vitamin E (α-tocopherol) supplementation has been tested as prophylaxis against gestational disorders associated with oxidative damage. However, recent evidence showing that high maternal α-tocopherol intake can adversely affect offspring development raises concerns on the safety of vitamin E extradosages during pregnancy. Besides acting as an antioxidant, α-tocopherol depresses cell proliferation and modulates cell signaling through inhibiting protein kinase C (PKC), a kinase that is deeply involved in neural maturation and plasticity. Possible effects of α-tocopherol loads in the maturing brain, where PKC dysregulation is associated to developmental dysfunctions, are poorly known. Here, supranutritional doses of α-tocopherol were fed to pregnant and lactating dams to evaluate the effects on PKC signaling and morphofunctional maturation in offspring hippocampus. Results showed that maternal supplementation potentiates hippocampal α-tocopherol incorporation in offspring and leads to marked decrease of PKC phosphorylation throughout postnatal maturation, accompanied by reduced phosphorylation of growth-associated protein-43 and myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate, two PKC substrates involved in neural development and plasticity. Although processes of neuronal maturation, synapse formation and targeting appeared unaffected, offspring of supplemented mothers displayed a marked reduction of long-term synaptic plasticity in juvenile hippocampus. Interestingly, this impairment persisted in adulthood, when a deficit in hippocampus-dependent, long-lasting spatial memory was also revealed. In conclusion, maternal supplementation with elevated doses of α-tocopherol can influence cell signaling and synaptic plasticity in developing hippocampus and promotes permanent adverse effects in adult offspring. The present results emphasize the need to evaluate the safety of supranutritional maternal intake of α-tocopherol in humans. PMID:20382010

  13. Video-Game Play Induces Plasticity in the Visual System of Adults with Amblyopia

    PubMed Central

    Li, Roger W.; Ngo, Charlie; Nguyen, Jennie; Levi, Dennis M.

    2011-01-01

    Abnormal visual experience during a sensitive period of development disrupts neuronal circuitry in the visual cortex and results in abnormal spatial vision or amblyopia. Here we examined whether playing video games can induce plasticity in the visual system of adults with amblyopia. Specifically 20 adults with amblyopia (age 15–61 y; visual acuity: 20/25–20/480, with no manifest ocular disease or nystagmus) were recruited and allocated into three intervention groups: action videogame group (n = 10), non-action videogame group (n = 3), and crossover control group (n = 7). Our experiments show that playing video games (both action and non-action games) for a short period of time (40–80 h, 2 h/d) using the amblyopic eye results in a substantial improvement in a wide range of fundamental visual functions, from low-level to high-level, including visual acuity (33%), positional acuity (16%), spatial attention (37%), and stereopsis (54%). Using a cross-over experimental design (first 20 h: occlusion therapy, and the next 40 h: videogame therapy), we can conclude that the improvement cannot be explained simply by eye patching alone. We quantified the limits and the time course of visual plasticity induced by video-game experience. The recovery in visual acuity that we observed is at least 5-fold faster than would be expected from occlusion therapy in childhood amblyopia. We used positional noise and modelling to reveal the neural mechanisms underlying the visual improvements in terms of decreased spatial distortion (7%) and increased processing efficiency (33%). Our study had several limitations: small sample size, lack of randomization, and differences in numbers between groups. A large-scale randomized clinical study is needed to confirm the therapeutic value of video-game treatment in clinical situations. Nonetheless, taken as a pilot study, this work suggests that video-game play may provide important principles for treating amblyopia, and perhaps

  14. Molecular Mechanism of Adult Neurogenesis and its Association with Human Brain Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Liu, He; Song, Ni

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances in neuroscience challenge the old dogma that neurogenesis occurs only during embryonic development. Mounting evidence suggests that functional neurogenesis occurs throughout adulthood. This review article discusses molecular factors that affect adult neurogenesis, including morphogens, growth factors, neurotransmitters, transcription factors, and epigenetic factors. Furthermore, we summarize and compare current evidence of associations between adult neurogenesis and human brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and brain tumors. PMID:27375363

  15. Molecular Mechanism of Adult Neurogenesis and its Association with Human Brain Diseases.

    PubMed

    Liu, He; Song, Ni

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances in neuroscience challenge the old dogma that neurogenesis occurs only during embryonic development. Mounting evidence suggests that functional neurogenesis occurs throughout adulthood. This review article discusses molecular factors that affect adult neurogenesis, including morphogens, growth factors, neurotransmitters, transcription factors, and epigenetic factors. Furthermore, we summarize and compare current evidence of associations between adult neurogenesis and human brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and brain tumors. PMID:27375363

  16. Differential effects of social and physical environmental enrichment on brain plasticity, cognition, and ultrasonic communication in rats.

    PubMed

    Brenes, Juan C; Lackinger, Martin; Höglinger, Günter U; Schratt, Gerhard; Schwarting, Rainer K W; Wöhr, Markus

    2016-06-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) exerts beneficial effects on brain plasticity, cognition, and anxiety/depression, leading to a brain that can counteract deficits underlying various brain disorders. Because the complexity of the EE commonly used makes it difficult to identify causal aspects, we examined possible factors using a 2 × 2 design with social EE (two vs. six rats) and physical EE (physically enriched vs. nonenriched). For the first time, we demonstrate that social and physical EE have differential effects on brain plasticity, cognition, and ultrasonic communication. Expectedly, physical EE promoted neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation, but not in the subventricular zone, and, as a novel finding, affected microRNA expression levels, with the activity-dependent miR-124 and miR-132 being upregulated. Concomitant improvements in cognition were observed, yet social deficits were seen in the emission of prosocial 50-kHz ultrasonic vocalizations (USV) paralleled by a lack of social approach in response to them, consistent with the intense world syndrome/theory of autism. In contrast, social EE had only minor effects on brain plasticity and cognition, but led to increased prosocial 50-kHz USV emission rates and enhanced social approach behavior. Importantly, social deficits following physical EE were prevented by additional social EE. The finding that social EE has positive whereas physical EE has negative effects on social behavior indicates that preclinical studies focusing on EE as a potential treatment in models for neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by social deficits, such as autism, should include social EE in addition to physical EE, because its lack might worsen social deficits. PMID:26132842

  17. Physical performance limitations among adult survivors of childhood brain tumors

    PubMed Central

    Ness, Kirsten K.; Morris, E. Brannon; Nolan, Vikki G.; Howell, Carrie R.; Gilchrist, Laura S.; Stovall, Marilyn; Cox, Cheryl L.; Klosky, James L.; Gajjar, Amar; Neglia, Joseph P.

    2013-01-01

    Background Young adult survivors of childhood brain tumors (BT) may have late-effects that compromise physical performance and everyday task participation. Objective To evaluate muscle strength, fitness, physical performance, and task participation among adult survivors of childhood BT. Design/Method In-home evaluations and interviews were conducted for 156 participants (54% male). Results on measures of muscle strength, fitness, physical performance, and participation were compared between survivors and population-group members with chi-squared statistics and two-sample t-tests. Associations between late effects and physical performance, and physical performance and participation, were evaluated in regression models. Results BT survivors were a median age of 22 (18–58), and 14.7 (6.5–45.9) years from diagnosis. Survivors had lower estimates of grip strength (Female: 24.7±9.2 vs. 31.5±5.8, Male: 39.0±12.2 vs. 53.0±10.1 kilograms), knee extension strength (Female: 246.6±95.5 vs. 331.5±5.8, Male: 304.7±116.4 vs. 466.6±92.1 Newtons) and peak oxygen uptake (Female: 25.1±8.8 vs. 31.3±5.1, Male: 24.6±9.5 vs. 33.2±3.4 milliliters/kilogram/minute) than population-group members. Physical performance was lower among survivors and associated with not living independently (OR=5.0, 95% CI=2.0–12.2) and not attending college (OR=2.3, 95% CI 1.2–4.4). Conclusion Muscle strength and fitness values among BT survivors are similar to those among persons 60+ years, and are associated with physical performance limitations. Physical performance limitations are associated with poor outcomes in home and school environments. These data indicate an opportunity for interventions targeted at improving long-term physical function in this survivor population. PMID:20564409

  18. Reversibility of developmental heat and cold plasticity is asymmetric and has long-lasting consequences for adult thermal tolerance.

    PubMed

    Slotsbo, Stine; Schou, Mads F; Kristensen, Torsten N; Loeschcke, Volker; Sørensen, Jesper G

    2016-09-01

    The ability of insects to cope with stressful temperatures through adaptive plasticity has allowed them to thrive under a wide range of thermal conditions. Developmental plasticity is generally considered to be a non-reversible phenotypic change, e.g. in morphological traits, while adult acclimation responses are often considered to be reversible physiological responses. However, physiologically mediated thermal acclimation might not follow this general prediction. We investigated the magnitude and rate of reversibility of developmental thermal plasticity responses in heat and cold tolerance of adult flies, using a full factorial design with two developmental and two adult temperatures (15 and 25°C). We show that cold tolerance attained during development is readily adjusted to the prevailing conditions during adult acclimation, with a symmetric rate of decrease or increase. In contrast, heat tolerance is only partly reversible during acclimation and is thus constrained by the temperature during development. The effect of adult acclimation on heat tolerance was asymmetrical, with a general loss of heat tolerance with age. Surprisingly, the decline in adult heat tolerance at 25°C was decelerated in flies developed at low temperatures. This result was supported by correlated responses in two senescence-associated traits and in accordance with a lower rate of ageing after low temperature development, suggesting that physiological age is not reset at eclosion. The results have profound ecological consequences for populations, as optimal developmental temperatures will be dependent on the thermal conditions faced in the adult stage and the age at which they occur. PMID:27353229

  19. Plasticity of the histamine H3 receptors after acute vestibular lesion in the adult cat

    PubMed Central

    Tighilet, Brahim; Mourre, Christiane; Lacour, Michel

    2014-01-01

    After unilateral vestibular neurectomy (UVN) many molecular and neurochemical mechanisms underlie the neurophysiological reorganizations occurring in the vestibular nuclei (VN) complex, as well as the behavioral recovery process. As a key regulator, the histaminergic system appears to be a likely candidate because drugs interfering with histamine (HA) neurotransmission facilitate behavioral recovery after vestibular lesion. This study aimed at analyzing the post-lesion changes of the histaminergic system by quantifying binding to histamine H3 receptors (H3R; mediating namely histamine autoinhibition) using a histamine H3 receptor agonist ([3H]N-α-methylhistamine). Experiments were done in brain sections of control cats (N = 6) and cats submitted to UVN and killed 1 (N = 6) or 3 (N = 6) weeks after the lesion. UVN induced a bilateral decrease in binding density of the agonist [3H]N-α-methylhistamine to H3R in the tuberomammillary nuclei (TMN) at 1 week post-lesion, with a predominant down-regulation in the ipsilateral TMN. The bilateral decrease remained at the 3 weeks survival time and became symmetric. Concerning brainstem structures, binding density in the VN, the prepositus hypoglossi, the subdivisions of the inferior olive decreased unilaterally on the ipsilateral side at 1 week and bilaterally 3 weeks after UVN. Similar changes were observed in the subdivisions of the solitary nucleus only 1 week after the lesion. These findings indicate vestibular lesion induces plasticity of the histamine H3R, which could contribute to vestibular function recovery. PMID:24427120

  20. Plasticity of the histamine H3 receptors after acute vestibular lesion in the adult cat.

    PubMed

    Tighilet, Brahim; Mourre, Christiane; Lacour, Michel

    2014-01-01

    After unilateral vestibular neurectomy (UVN) many molecular and neurochemical mechanisms underlie the neurophysiological reorganizations occurring in the vestibular nuclei (VN) complex, as well as the behavioral recovery process. As a key regulator, the histaminergic system appears to be a likely candidate because drugs interfering with histamine (HA) neurotransmission facilitate behavioral recovery after vestibular lesion. This study aimed at analyzing the post-lesion changes of the histaminergic system by quantifying binding to histamine H3 receptors (H3R; mediating namely histamine autoinhibition) using a histamine H3 receptor agonist ([(3)H]N-α-methylhistamine). Experiments were done in brain sections of control cats (N = 6) and cats submitted to UVN and killed 1 (N = 6) or 3 (N = 6) weeks after the lesion. UVN induced a bilateral decrease in binding density of the agonist [(3)H]N-α-methylhistamine to H3R in the tuberomammillary nuclei (TMN) at 1 week post-lesion, with a predominant down-regulation in the ipsilateral TMN. The bilateral decrease remained at the 3 weeks survival time and became symmetric. Concerning brainstem structures, binding density in the VN, the prepositus hypoglossi, the subdivisions of the inferior olive decreased unilaterally on the ipsilateral side at 1 week and bilaterally 3 weeks after UVN. Similar changes were observed in the subdivisions of the solitary nucleus only 1 week after the lesion. These findings indicate vestibular lesion induces plasticity of the histamine H3R, which could contribute to vestibular function recovery. PMID:24427120

  1. Recovery from Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Previously Healthy Adults.

    PubMed

    Losoi, Heidi; Silverberg, Noah D; Wäljas, Minna; Turunen, Senni; Rosti-Otajärvi, Eija; Helminen, Mika; Luoto, Teemu M; Julkunen, Juhani; Öhman, Juha; Iverson, Grant L

    2016-04-15

    This prospective longitudinal study reports recovery from mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) across multiple domains in a carefully selected consecutive sample of 74 previously healthy adults. The patients with MTBI and 40 orthopedic controls (i.e., ankle injuries) completed assessments at 1, 6, and 12 months after injury. Outcome measures included cognition, post-concussion symptoms, depression, traumatic stress, quality of life, satisfaction with life, resilience, and return to work. Patients with MTBI reported more post-concussion symptoms and fatigue than the controls at the beginning of recovery, but by 6 months after injury, did not differ as a group from nonhead injury trauma controls on cognition, fatigue, or mental health, and by 12 months, their level of post-concussion symptoms and quality of life was similar to that of controls. Almost all (96%) patients with MTBI returned to work/normal activities (RTW) within the follow-up of 1 year. A subgroup of those with MTBIs and controls reported mild post-concussion-like symptoms at 1 year. A large percentage of the subgroup who had persistent symptoms had a modifiable psychological risk factor at 1 month (i.e., depression, traumatic stress, and/or low resilience), and at 6 months, they had greater post-concussion symptoms, fatigue, insomnia, traumatic stress, and depression, and worse quality of life. All of the control subjects who had mild post-concussion-like symptoms at 12 months also had a mental health problem (i.e., depression, traumatic stress, or both). This illustrates the importance of providing evidence-supported treatment and rehabilitation services early in the recovery period. PMID:26437675

  2. Monte Carlo simulation of light propagation in the adult brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mudra, Regina M.; Nadler, Andreas; Keller, Emanuella; Niederer, Peter

    2004-06-01

    When near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is applied noninvasively to the adult head for brain monitoring, extra-cerebral bone and surface tissue exert a substantial influence on the cerebral signal. Most attempts to subtract extra-cerebral contamination involve spatially resolved spectroscopy (SRS). However, inter-individual variability of anatomy restrict the reliability of SRS. We simulated the light propagation with Monte Carlo techniques on the basis of anatomical structures determined from 3D-magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exhibiting a voxel resolution of 0.8 x 0.8 x 0.8 mm3 for three different pairs of T1/T2 values each. The MRI data were used to define the material light absorption and dispersion coefficient for each voxel. The resulting spatial matrix was applied in the Monte Carlo Simulation to determine the light propagation in the cerebral cortex and overlaying structures. The accuracy of the Monte Carlo Simulation was furthermore increased by using a constant optical path length for the photons which was less than the median optical path length of the different materials. Based on our simulations we found a differential pathlength factor (DPF) of 6.15 which is close to with the value of 5.9 found in the literature for a distance of 4.5cm between the external sensors. Furthermore, we weighted the spatial probability distribution of the photons within the different tissues with the probabilities of the relative blood volume within the tissue. The results show that 50% of the NIRS signal is determined by the grey matter of the cerebral cortex which allows us to conclude that NIRS can produce meaningful cerebral blood flow measurements providing that the necessary corrections for extracerebral contamination are included.

  3. Plasticity of the mate choice mind: courtship evokes choice-like brain responses in females from a coercive mating system.

    PubMed

    Wang, S M T; Ramsey, M E; Cummings, M E

    2014-04-01

    Female mate choice is fundamental to sexual selection, and determining molecular underpinnings of female preference variation is important for understanding mating character evolution. Previously it was shown that whole-brain expression of a synaptic plasticity marker, neuroserpin, positively correlates with mating bias in the female choice poeciliid, Xiphophorus nigrensis, when exposed to conspecific courting males, whereas this relationship is reversed in Gambusia affinis, a mate coercive poeciliid with no courting males. Here we explore whether species-level differences in female behavioral and brain molecular responses represent 'canalized' or 'plastic' traits. We expose female G. affinis to conspecific males and females, as well as coercive and courting male Poecilia latipinna, for preference assays followed by whole-brain gene expression analyses of neuroserpin, egr-1 and early B. We find positive correlations between gene expression and female preference strength during exposure to courting heterospecific males, but a reversed pattern following exposure to coercive heterospecific males. This suggests that the neuromolecular processes associated with female preference behavior are plastic and responsive to different male phenotypes (courting or coercive) rather than a canalized response linked to mating system. Further, we propose that female behavioral plasticity may involve learning because female association patterns shifted with experience. Compared to younger females, we found larger, more experienced females spend less time near coercive males but associate more with males in the presence of courters. We thus suggest a conserved learning-based neuromolecular process underlying the diversity of female mate preference across the mate choice and coercion-driven mating systems. PMID:24548673

  4. Development of a Conceptual Model to Predict Physical Activity Participation in Adults with Brain Injuries

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Driver, Simon

    2008-01-01

    The purpose was to examine psychosocial factors that influence the physical activity behaviors of adults with brain injuries. Two differing models, based on Harter's model of self-worth, were proposed to examine the relationship between perceived competence, social support, physical self-worth, affect, and motivation. Adults numbering 384 with…

  5. Future Concerns of Adult Siblings of Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Degeneffe, Charles Edmund; Olney, Marjorie F.

    2008-01-01

    This study examined future concerns conveyed by adult siblings who provided regular caregiving support to their brothers and sisters with traumatic brain injury (TBI). The authors surveyed a national sample of 280 adult siblings of persons with TBI. Using a constant comparative approach to text analysis, the authors analyzed responses to the…

  6. Modulation of Rho GTPases rescues brain mitochondrial dysfunction, cognitive deficits and aberrant synaptic plasticity in female mice modeling Rett syndrome.

    PubMed

    De Filippis, Bianca; Valenti, Daniela; Chiodi, Valentina; Ferrante, Antonella; de Bari, Lidia; Fiorentini, Carla; Domenici, Maria Rosaria; Ricceri, Laura; Vacca, Rosa Anna; Fabbri, Alessia; Laviola, Giovanni

    2015-06-01

    Rho GTPases are molecules critically involved in neuronal plasticity and cognition. We have previously reported that modulation of brain Rho GTPases by the bacterial toxin CNF1 rescues the neurobehavioral phenotype in MeCP2-308 male mice, a model of Rett syndrome (RTT). RTT is a rare X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder and a genetic cause of intellectual disability, for which no effective therapy is available. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been proposed to be involved in the mechanism of the disease pathogenesis. Here we demonstrate that modulation of Rho GTPases by CNF1 rescues the reduced mitochondrial ATP production via oxidative phosphorylation in the brain of MeCP2-308 heterozygous female mice, the condition which more closely recapitulates that of RTT patients. In RTT mouse brain, CNF1 also restores the alterations in the activity of the mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) complexes and of ATP synthase, the molecular machinery responsible for the majority of cell energy production. Such effects were achieved through the upregulation of the protein content of those MRC complexes subunits, which were defective in RTT mouse brain. Restored mitochondrial functionality was accompanied by the rescue of deficits in cognitive function (spatial reference memory in the Barnes maze), synaptic plasticity (long-term potentiation) and Tyr1472 phosphorylation of GluN2B, which was abnormally enhanced in the hippocampus of RTT mice. Present findings bring into light previously unknown functional mitochondrial alterations in the brain of female mice modeling RTT and provide the first evidence that RTT brain mitochondrial dysfunction can be rescued by modulation of Rho GTPases. PMID:25890884

  7. The Social Environment and Neurogenesis in the Adult Mammalian Brain

    PubMed Central

    Lieberwirth, Claudia; Wang, Zuoxin

    2012-01-01

    Adult neurogenesis – the formation of new neurons in adulthood – has been shown to be modulated by a variety of endogenous (e.g., trophic factors, neurotransmitters, and hormones) as well as exogenous (e.g., physical activity and environmental complexity) factors. Research on exogenous regulators of adult neurogenesis has focused primarily on the non-social environment. More recently, however, evidence has emerged suggesting that the social environment can also affect adult neurogenesis. The present review details the effects of adult–adult (e.g., mating and chemosensory interactions) and adult–offspring (e.g., gestation, parenthood, and exposure to offspring) interactions on adult neurogenesis. In addition, the effects of a stressful social environment (e.g., lack of social support and dominant–subordinate interactions) on adult neurogenesis are reviewed. The underlying hormonal mechanisms and potential functional significance of adult-generated neurons in mediating social behaviors are also discussed. PMID:22586385

  8. Age-Related Differences in the Brain Areas outside the Classical Language Areas among Adults Using Category Decision Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cho, Yong Won; Song, Hui-Jin; Lee, Jae Jun; Lee, Joo Hwa; Lee, Hui Joong; Yi, Sang Doe; Chang, Hyuk Won; Berl, Madison M.; Gaillard, William D.; Chang, Yongmin

    2012-01-01

    Older adults perform much like younger adults on language. This similar level of performance, however, may come about through different underlying brain processes. In the present study, we evaluated age-related differences in the brain areas outside the typical language areas among adults using a category decision task. Our results showed that…

  9. Adolescent binge ethanol treatment alters adult brain regional volumes, cortical extracellular matrix protein and behavioral flexibility

    PubMed Central

    Coleman, Leon Garland; Liu, Wen; Oguz, Ipek; Styner, Martin; Crews, Fulton T.

    2014-01-01

    Adolescents binge drink more than any other age group, increasing risk of disrupting the development of the frontal cortex. We hypothesized that adolescent binge drinking would lead to persistent alterations in adulthood. In this study, we modeled adolescent weekend underage binge-drinking, using adolescent mice (post-natal days [P] 28–37). The adolescent intermittent binge ethanol (AIE) treatment includes 6 binge intragastric doses of ethanol in an intermittent pattern across adolescence. Assessments were conducted in adulthood following extended abstinence to determine if there were persistent changes in adults. Reversal learning, open field and other behavioral assessments as well as brain structure using magnetic imaging and immunohistochemistry were determined. We found AIE did not impact adult Barnes Maze learning. However, AIE did cause reversal learning deficits in adults. AIE also caused structural changes in the adult brain. AIE was associated with adulthood volume enlargements in specific brain regions without changes in total brain volume. Enlarged regions included the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC, 4%), cerebellum (4.5%), thalamus (2%), internal capsule (10%) and genu of the corpus callosum (7%). The enlarged OFC volume in adults after AIE is consistent with previous imaging studies in human adolescents. AIE treatment was associated with significant increases in the expression of several extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins in the adult OFC including WFA (55%), Brevican (32%), Neurocan (105%), Tenacin-C (25%), and HABP (5%). These findings are consistent with AIE causing persistent changes in brain structure that could contribute to a lack of behavioral flexibility. PMID:24275185

  10. Body image, psychosocial functioning, and personality: how different are adolescents and young adults applying for plastic surgery?

    PubMed

    Simis, K J; Verhulst, F C; Koot, H M

    2001-07-01

    This study addressed three questions: (1) Do adolescents undergoing plastic surgery have a realistic view of their body? (2) How urgent is the psychosocial need of adolescents to undergo plastic surgery? (3) Which relations exist between bodily attitudes and psychosocial functioning and personality? From 1995 to 1997, 184 plastic surgical patients aged 12 to 22, and a comparison group of 684 adolescents and young adults from the general population aged 12 to 22 years, and their parents, were interviewed and completed questionnaires and standardised rating scales. Adolescents accepted for plastic surgery had realistic appearance attitudes and were psychologically healthy overall. Patients were equally satisfied with their overall appearance as the comparison group, but more dissatisfied with the specific body parts concerned for operation, especially when undergoing corrective operations. Patients had measurable appearance-related psychosocial problems. Patient boys reported less self-confidence on social areas than all other groups. There were very few patient-comparison group differences in correlations between bodily and psychosocial variables, indicating that bodily attitudes and satisfaction are not differentially related to psychosocial functioning and self-perception in patients than in peers. We concluded that adolescents accepted for plastic surgery have considerable appearance-related psychosocial problems, patients in the corrective group reporting more so than in the reconstructive group. Plastic surgeons may assume that these adolescents in general have a realistic attitude towards their appearance. are psychologically healthy, and are mainly dissatisfied about the body parts concerned for operation. corrective patients more so than reconstructive patients. Introverted patients may need more attention from plastic surgeons during the psychosocial assessment. PMID:11464971

  11. Evidence for potentials and limitations of brain plasticity using an atlas of functional resectability of WHO grade II gliomas: towards a "minimal common brain".

    PubMed

    Ius, Tamara; Angelini, Elsa; Thiebaut de Schotten, Michel; Mandonnet, Emmanuel; Duffau, Hugues

    2011-06-01

    Despite recent advances in non-invasive brain mapping imaging, the resectability of a given area in a patient harboring a WHO grade II glioma cannot be predicted preoperatively with high reliability, due to mechanisms of functional reorganization. Therefore, intraoperative mapping by direct electrical stimulation remains the gold standard for detection and preservation of eloquent areas during glioma surgery, because it enables to perform on-line anatomo-functional correlations. To study potentials and limitations of brain plasticity, we gathered 58 postoperative MRI of patients operated on for a WHO grade II glioma under direct electrical cortico-subcortical stimulation. Postoperative images were registered on the MNI template to construct an atlas of functional resectability for which each voxel represents the probability to observe residual non-resectable tumor, that is, non-compensable area. The resulting atlas offers a rigorous framework to identify areas with high plastic potential (i.e. with probabilities of residual tumor close to 0), with low compensatory capabilities (i.e. probabilities of residual tumor close to 1) and with intermediate level of resectability (probability around 0.5). The resulting atlas highlights the utmost importance of preserving a core of connectivity through the main associative pathways, namely, it supports the existence of a "minimal common brain" among patients. PMID:21414413

  12. Indices of adrenal deficiency involved in brain plasticity and functional control reorganization in hemodialysis patients with polysulfone membrane: BOLD-fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Belaïch, Rachida; Boujraf, Saïd; Benzagmout, Mohammed; Maaroufi, Mustapha; Housni, Abdelkhalek; Batta, Fatima; Tizniti, Siham; Magoul, Rabia; Sqalli, Tarik

    2016-06-01

    This work purpose was to estimate the implication of suspected adrenal function deficiencies, which was influenced by oxidative stress (OS) that are generating brain plasticity, and reorganization of the functional control. This phenomenon was revealed in two-hemodialysis patients described in this paper. Blood oxygenation level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-fMRI) revealed a significant activation of the motor cortex. Hemodialysis seems to originate an inflammatory state of the cerebral tissue reflected by increased OS, while expected to decrease since hemodialysis eliminates free radicals responsible for OS. Considering adrenal function deficiencies, sensitivity to OS and assessed hyponatremia and hypercalcemia, adrenal function deficiencies is strongly suspected in both patients. This probably contributes to amplify brain plasticity and a reorganization of functional control after hemodialysis that is compared to earlier reported studies. Brain plasticity and functional control reorganization was revealed by BOLD-fMRI with a remarkable sensitivity. Brain plastic changes are originated by elevated OS associating indices of adrenal function deficiencies. These results raise important issues about adrenal functional deficiencies impact on brain plasticity in chronic hemodialysis-patients. This motivates more global studies of plasticity induced factors in this category of patients including adrenal functional deficiencies and OS. PMID:27301905

  13. The presence of perforated synapses in the striatum after dopamine depletion, is this a sign of maladaptive brain plasticity?

    PubMed

    Anaya-Martínez, Verónica; Gutierrez-Valdez, Ana Luisa; Ordoñez-Librado, Jose Luis; Montiel-Flores, Enrique; Sánchez-Betancourt, Javier; Sánchez Vázquez del Mercado, César; Reynoso-Erazo, Leonardo; Tron-Alvarez, Rocío; Avila-Costa, Maria Rosa

    2014-12-01

    Synaptic plasticity is the process by which long-lasting changes take place at synaptic connections. The phenomenon itself is complex and can involve many levels of organization. Some authors separate forms into adaptations that have positive or negative consequences for the individual. It has been hypothesized that an increase in the number of synapses may represent a structural basis for the enduring expression of synaptic plasticity during some events that involve memory and learning; also, it has been suggested that perforated synapses increase in number after some diseases and experimental situations. The aim of this study was to analyze whether dopamine depletion induces changes in the synaptology of the corpus striatum of rats after the unilateral injection of 6-OHDA. The findings suggest that after the lesion, both contralateral and ipsilateral striata exhibit an increased length of the synaptic ending in ipsilateral (since third day) and contralateral striatum (since Day 20), loss of axospinous synapses in ipsilateral striatum and a significant increment in the number of perforated synapses, suggesting brain plasticity that might be deleterious for the spines, because this type of synaptic contacts are presumably excitatory, and in the absence of the modulatory effects of dopamine, the neuron could die through excitotoxic mechanisms. Thus, we can conclude that the presence of perforated synapses after striatal dopamine depletion might be a form of maladaptive synaptic plasticity. PMID:25246608

  14. Insulin-like growth factor I is required for vessel remodeling in the adult brain

    PubMed Central

    Lopez-Lopez, C.; LeRoith, D.; Torres-Aleman, I.

    2004-01-01

    Although vascular dysfunction is a major suspect in the etiology of several important neurodegenerative diseases, the signals involved in vessel homeostasis in the brain are still poorly understood. We have determined whether insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), a wide-spectrum growth factor with angiogenic actions, participates in vascular remodeling in the adult brain. IGF-I induces the growth of cultured brain endothelial cells through hypoxiainducible factor 1α and vascular endothelial growth factor, a canonical angiogenic pathway. Furthermore, the systemic injection of IGF-I in adult mice increases brain vessel density. Physical exercise that stimulates widespread brain vessel growth in normal mice fails to do so in mice with low serum IGF-I. Brain injury that stimulates angiogenesis at the injury site also requires IGF-I to promote perilesion vessel growth, because blockade of IGF-I input by an anti-IGF-I abrogates vascular growth at the injury site. Thus, IGF-I participates in vessel remodeling in the adult brain. Low serum/brain IGF-I levels that are associated with old age and with several neurodegenerative diseases may be related to an increased risk of vascular dysfunction. PMID:15210967

  15. Valproic acid modulates brain plasticity through epigenetic chromatin remodeling in the blind rat: implications for human sight recovery.

    PubMed

    Fetter-Pruneda, I; Martínez-Méndez, R; Olivos-Cisneros, L; Diaz, D; Padilla-Cortés, P; Báez-Saldaña, A; Gutiérrez-Ospina, G

    2011-01-01

    Blindness is a pervasive sensory condition that imposes diverse difficulties to carry on with activities of daily living. In blind individuals, the brain is subjected to a large scale reorganization characterized by expanded cortical territories associated with somatosensory and auditory functions and the recruitment of the former visual areas to perform bimodal somatosensory and auditory integration. This poses obstacles to efforts aimed at reassigning visual functions to the recruited visual cortex in the blind, especially after the end of the ontogentic sensitive period. Devising pharmacological measures to modulate the magnitude of brain plasticity could improve our chances of recovering visual functions in the blind. Here, by using the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in the rat as a working model, we showed that valproic acid administered through the mother's milk prevents cortical reorganization in blinded rats by delaying neuronal histone de-acetylation. These results suggest that in the future, we might be able to devise epigenetic pharmacological measures that could improve our chances of reassigning visual functions to the once deprived former visual cortex in the blind, by modulating the magnitude of brain plasticity during critical times of development. PMID:22423589

  16. Standardized Environmental Enrichment Supports Enhanced Brain Plasticity in Healthy Rats and Prevents Cognitive Impairment in Epileptic Rats

    PubMed Central

    Kouchi, Hayet Y.; Bodennec, Jacques; Morales, Anne; Georges, Béatrice; Bonnet, Chantal; Bouvard, Sandrine; Sloviter, Robert S.; Bezin, Laurent

    2013-01-01

    Environmental enrichment of laboratory animals influences brain plasticity, stimulates neurogenesis, increases neurotrophic factor expression, and protects against the effects of brain insult. However, these positive effects are not constantly observed, probably because standardized procedures of environmental enrichment are lacking. Therefore, we engineered an enriched cage (the Marlau™ cage), which offers: (1) minimally stressful social interactions; (2) increased voluntary exercise; (3) multiple entertaining activities; (4) cognitive stimulation (maze exploration), and (5) novelty (maze configuration changed three times a week). The maze, which separates food pellet and water bottle compartments, guarantees cognitive stimulation for all animals. Compared to rats raised in groups in conventional cages, rats housed in Marlau™ cages exhibited increased cortical thickness, hippocampal neurogenesis and hippocampal levels of transcripts encoding various genes involved in tissue plasticity and remodeling. In addition, rats housed in Marlau™ cages exhibited better performances in learning and memory, decreased anxiety-associated behaviors, and better recovery of basal plasma corticosterone level after acute restraint stress. Marlau™ cages also insure inter-experiment reproducibility in spatial learning and brain gene expression assays. Finally, housing rats in Marlau™ cages after severe status epilepticus at weaning prevents the cognitive impairment observed in rats subjected to the same insult and then housed in conventional cages. By providing a standardized enriched environment for rodents during housing, the Marlau™ cage should facilitate the uniformity of environmental enrichment across laboratories. PMID:23342033

  17. Standardized environmental enrichment supports enhanced brain plasticity in healthy rats and prevents cognitive impairment in epileptic rats.

    PubMed

    Fares, Raafat P; Belmeguenai, Amor; Sanchez, Pascal E; Kouchi, Hayet Y; Bodennec, Jacques; Morales, Anne; Georges, Béatrice; Bonnet, Chantal; Bouvard, Sandrine; Sloviter, Robert S; Bezin, Laurent

    2013-01-01

    Environmental enrichment of laboratory animals influences brain plasticity, stimulates neurogenesis, increases neurotrophic factor expression, and protects against the effects of brain insult. However, these positive effects are not constantly observed, probably because standardized procedures of environmental enrichment are lacking. Therefore, we engineered an enriched cage (the Marlau™ cage), which offers: (1) minimally stressful social interactions; (2) increased voluntary exercise; (3) multiple entertaining activities; (4) cognitive stimulation (maze exploration), and (5) novelty (maze configuration changed three times a week). The maze, which separates food pellet and water bottle compartments, guarantees cognitive stimulation for all animals. Compared to rats raised in groups in conventional cages, rats housed in Marlau™ cages exhibited increased cortical thickness, hippocampal neurogenesis and hippocampal levels of transcripts encoding various genes involved in tissue plasticity and remodeling. In addition, rats housed in Marlau™ cages exhibited better performances in learning and memory, decreased anxiety-associated behaviors, and better recovery of basal plasma corticosterone level after acute restraint stress. Marlau™ cages also insure inter-experiment reproducibility in spatial learning and brain gene expression assays. Finally, housing rats in Marlau™ cages after severe status epilepticus at weaning prevents the cognitive impairment observed in rats subjected to the same insult and then housed in conventional cages. By providing a standardized enriched environment for rodents during housing, the Marlau™ cage should facilitate the uniformity of environmental enrichment across laboratories. PMID:23342033

  18. Status epilepticus stimulates NDEL1 expression via the CREB/CRE pathway in the adult mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Choi, Yun-Sik; Lee, Boyoung; Hansen, Katelin F; Aten, Sydney; Horning, Paul; Wheaton, Kelin L; Impey, Soren; Hoyt, Kari R; Obrietan, Karl

    2016-09-01

    Nuclear distribution element-like 1 (NDEL1/NUDEL) is a mammalian homolog of the Aspergillus nidulans nuclear distribution molecule NudE. NDEL1 plays a critical role in neuronal migration, neurite outgrowth and neuronal positioning during brain development; however within the adult central nervous system, limited information is available regarding NDEL1 expression and functions. Here, the goal was to examine inducible NDEL1 expression in the adult mouse forebrain. Immunolabeling revealed NDEL1 within the forebrain, including the cortex and hippocampus, as well as the midbrain and hypothalamus. Expression was principally localized to perikarya. Using a combination of immunolabeling and RNA seq profiling, we detected a marked and long-lasting upregulation of NDEL1 expression within the hippocampus following a pilocarpine-evoked repetitive seizure paradigm. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis identified a cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) binding site within the CpG island proximal to the NDEL1 gene, and in vivo transgenic repression of CREB led to a marked downregulation of seizure-evoked NDEL1 expression. Together these data indicate that NDEL1 is inducibly expressed in the adult nervous system, and that signaling via the CREB/CRE transcriptional pathway is likely involved. The role of NDEL1 in neuronal migration and neurite outgrowth during development raises the interesting prospect that inducible NDEL1 in the mature nervous system could contribute to the well-characterized structural and functional plasticity resulting from repetitive seizure activity. PMID:27298008

  19. Preservation of perceptual integration improves temporal stability of bimanual coordination in the elderly: an evidence of age-related brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Blais, Mélody; Martin, Elodie; Albaret, Jean-Michel; Tallet, Jessica

    2014-12-15

    Despite the apparent age-related decline in perceptual-motor performance, recent studies suggest that the elderly people can improve their reaction time when relevant sensory information are available. However, little is known about which sensory information may improve motor behaviour itself. Using a synchronization task, the present study investigates how visual and/or auditory stimulations could increase accuracy and stability of three bimanual coordination modes produced by elderly and young adults. Neurophysiological activations are recorded with ElectroEncephaloGraphy (EEG) to explore neural mechanisms underlying behavioural effects. Results reveal that the elderly stabilize all coordination modes when auditory or audio-visual stimulations are available, compared to visual stimulation alone. This suggests that auditory stimulations are sufficient to improve temporal stability of rhythmic coordination, even more in the elderly. This behavioural effect is primarily associated with increased attentional and sensorimotor-related neural activations in the elderly but similar perceptual-related activations in elderly and young adults. This suggests that, despite a degradation of attentional and sensorimotor neural processes, perceptual integration of auditory stimulations is preserved in the elderly. These results suggest that perceptual-related brain plasticity is, at least partially, conserved in normal aging. PMID:25192640

  20. Mother’s voice and heartbeat sounds elicit auditory plasticity in the human brain before full gestation

    PubMed Central

    Webb, Alexandra R.; Heller, Howard T.; Benson, Carol B.; Lahav, Amir

    2015-01-01

    Brain development is largely shaped by early sensory experience. However, it is currently unknown whether, how early, and to what extent the newborn’s brain is shaped by exposure to maternal sounds when the brain is most sensitive to early life programming. The present study examined this question in 40 infants born extremely prematurely (between 25- and 32-wk gestation) in the first month of life. Newborns were randomized to receive auditory enrichment in the form of audio recordings of maternal sounds (including their mother’s voice and heartbeat) or routine exposure to hospital environmental noise. The groups were otherwise medically and demographically comparable. Cranial ultrasonography measurements were obtained at 30 ± 3 d of life. Results show that newborns exposed to maternal sounds had a significantly larger auditory cortex (AC) bilaterally compared with control newborns receiving standard care. The magnitude of the right and left AC thickness was significantly correlated with gestational age but not with the duration of sound exposure. Measurements of head circumference and the widths of the frontal horn (FH) and the corpus callosum (CC) were not significantly different between the two groups. This study provides evidence for experience-dependent plasticity in the primary AC before the brain has reached full-term maturation. Our results demonstrate that despite the immaturity of the auditory pathways, the AC is more adaptive to maternal sounds than environmental noise. Further studies are needed to better understand the neural processes underlying this early brain plasticity and its functional implications for future hearing and language development. PMID:25713382

  1. Neuronal Plasticity in the Mammalian Brain: Relevance to Behavioral Learning and Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Teyler, Timothy J.; Fountain, Stephen B.

    1987-01-01

    Data suggesting that different brain circuits may underlie different forms of learning and memory are reviewed. Several current theories of learning and memory with respect to hippocampal and other brain circuit involvement are considered. (PCB)

  2. NT-3 Facilitates Hippocampal Plasticity and Learning and Memory by Regulating Neurogenesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sakata, Kazuko; Akbarian, Schahram; Bates, Brian; Jaenisch, Rudolf; Lu, Bai; Shimazu, Kazuhiro; Zhao, Mingrui

    2006-01-01

    In the adult brain, the expression of NT-3 is largely confined to the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG), an area exhibiting significant neurogenesis. Using a conditional mutant line in which the "NT-3" gene is deleted in the brain, we investigated the role of NT-3 in adult neurogenesis, hippocampal plasticity, and memory. Bromodeoxyuridine…

  3. Structural and Functional Plasticity in Long-term Cultures of Adult Ventricular Myocytes

    PubMed Central

    Joshi-Mukherjee, Rosy; Dick, Ivy E.; Liu, Ting; O'Rourke, Brian; Yue, David T.; Tung, Leslie

    2014-01-01

    Cultured heart cells have long been valuable for characterizing biological mechanism and disease pathogenesis. However, these preparations have limitations, relating to immaturity in key properties like excitation-contraction coupling and β-adrenergic stimulation. Progressive attenuation of the latter is intimately related to pathogenesis and therapy in heart failure. Highly valuable would be a long-term culture system that emulates the structural and functional changes that accompany disease and development, while concurrently permitting ready access to underlying molecular events. Accordingly, we here produce functional monolayers of adult guinea-pig ventricular myocytes (aGPVMs) that can be maintained in long-term culture for several weeks. At baseline, these monolayers exhibit considerable myofibrillar organization and a significant contribution of sarcoplasmic reticular (SR) Ca2+ release to global Ca2+ transients. In terms of electrical signaling, these monolayers support propagated electrical activity and manifest monophasic restitution of action-potential duration and conduction velocity. Intriguingly, β-adrenergic stimulation increases chronotropy but not inotropy, indicating selective maintenance of β-adrenergic signaling. It is interesting that this overall phenotypic profile is not fixed, but can be readily enhanced by chronic electrical stimulation of cultures. This simple environmental cue significantly enhances myofibrillar organization as well as β-adrenergic sensitivity. In particular, the chronotropic response increased, and an inotropic effect now emerges, mimicking a reversal of the progression seen in heart failure. Thus, these aGPVM monolayer cultures offer a valuable platform for clarifying long elusive features of β-adrenergic signaling and its plasticity. PMID:24076394

  4. Plasticity in the adult human auditory brainstem following short-term linguistic training

    PubMed Central

    Song, Judy H.; Skoe, Erika; Wong, Patrick C. M.; Kraus, Nina

    2009-01-01

    Peripheral and central structures along the auditory pathway contribute to speech processing and learning. However, because speech requires the use of functionally and acoustically complex sounds which necessitates high sensory and cognitive demands, long-term exposure and experience using these sounds is often attributed to the neocortex with little emphasis placed on subcortical structures. The present study examines changes in the auditory brainstem, specifically the frequency following response (FFR), as native English-speaking adults learn to incorporate foreign speech sounds (lexical pitch patterns) in word identification. The FFR presumably originates from the auditory midbrain, and can be elicited pre-attentively. We measured FFRs to the trained pitch patterns before and after training. Measures of pitch-tracking were then derived from the FFR signals. We found increased accuracy in pitch-tracking after training, including a decrease in the number of pitch-tracking errors and a refinement in the energy devoted to encoding pitch. Most interestingly, this change in pitch-tracking accuracy only occurred in the most acoustically complex pitch contour (dipping contour), which is also the least familiar to our English-speaking subjects. These results not only demonstrate the contribution of the brainstem in language learning and its plasticity in adulthood, but they also demonstrate the specificity of this contribution (i.e., changes in encoding only occurs in specific, least familiar stimuli, not all stimuli). Our findings complement existing data showing cortical changes after second language learning, and are consistent with models suggesting that brainstem changes resulting from perceptual learning are most apparent when acuity in encoding is most needed. PMID:18370594

  5. Increased Intraregional Synchronized Neural Activity in Adult Brain After Prolonged Adaptation to High-Altitude Hypoxia: A Resting-State fMRI Study.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ji; Fan, Cunxiu; Li, Jinqiang; Han, Qiaoqing; Lin, Jianzhong; Yang, Tianhe; Zhang, Jiaxing

    2016-03-01

    The human brain is intrinsically plastic such that its functional architecture can be reorganized in response to environmental pressures and physiological changes. However, it remains unclear whether a compensatory modification of spontaneous neural activity occurs in adult brain during prolonged high-altitude (HA) adaptation. In this study, we obtained resting-state functional magnetic resonance (MR) images in 16 adults who have immigrated to Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (2300-4400 m) for 2 years and in 16 age-matched sea level (SL) controls. A validated regional homogeneity (Reho) method was employed to investigate the local synchronization of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals. Seed connectivity analysis was carried out subsequently. Cognitive and physiological assessments were made and correlated with the image metrics. Compared with SL controls, global mean Reho was significantly increased in HA immigrants as well as a regional increase in the right inferolateral sensorimotor cortex. Furthermore, mean z-Reho value extracted within the inferolateral sensorimotor area showed trend-level significant inverse correlation with memory search reaction time in HA immigrants. These observations, for the first time, provide evidence of adult brain resilience of spontaneous neural activity after long-term HA exposure without inherited and developmental effects. Resting-state fMRI could yield valuable information for central mechanisms underlying respiratory and cognitive compensations in adults during prolonged environmentally hypoxic adaptation, paving the way for future HA-adaptive training. PMID:26906285

  6. L-carnitine enhances axonal plasticity and improves white-matter lesions after chronic hypoperfusion in rat brain

    PubMed Central

    Ueno, Yuji; Koike, Masato; Shimada, Yoshiaki; Shimura, Hideki; Hira, Kenichiro; Tanaka, Ryota; Uchiyama, Yasuo; Hattori, Nobutaka; Urabe, Takao

    2015-01-01

    Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion causes white-matter lesions (WMLs) with oxidative stress and cognitive impairment. However, the biologic mechanisms that regulate axonal plasticity under chronic cerebral hypoperfusion have not been fully investigated. Here, we investigated whether L-carnitine, an antioxidant agent, enhances axonal plasticity and oligodendrocyte expression, and explored the signaling pathways that mediate axonal plasticity in a rat chronic hypoperfusion model. Adult male Wistar rats subjected to ligation of the bilateral common carotid arteries (LBCCA) were treated with or without L-carnitine. L-carnitine-treated rats exhibited significantly reduced escape latency in the Morris water maze task at 28 days after chronic hypoperfusion. Western blot analysis indicated that L-carnitine increased levels of phosphorylated high-molecular weight neurofilament (pNFH), concurrent with a reduction in phosphorylated phosphatase tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN), and increased phosphorylated Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) at 28 days after chronic hypoperfusion. L-carnitine reduced lipid peroxidation and oxidative DNA damage, and enhanced oligodendrocyte marker expression and myelin sheath thickness after chronic hypoperfusion. L-carnitine regulates the PTEN/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway, and enhances axonal plasticity while concurrently ameliorating oxidative stress and increasing oligodendrocyte myelination of axons, thereby improving WMLs and cognitive impairment in a rat chronic hypoperfusion model. PMID:25465043

  7. L-carnitine enhances axonal plasticity and improves white-matter lesions after chronic hypoperfusion in rat brain.

    PubMed

    Ueno, Yuji; Koike, Masato; Shimada, Yoshiaki; Shimura, Hideki; Hira, Kenichiro; Tanaka, Ryota; Uchiyama, Yasuo; Hattori, Nobutaka; Urabe, Takao

    2015-03-01

    Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion causes white-matter lesions (WMLs) with oxidative stress and cognitive impairment. However, the biologic mechanisms that regulate axonal plasticity under chronic cerebral hypoperfusion have not been fully investigated. Here, we investigated whether L-carnitine, an antioxidant agent, enhances axonal plasticity and oligodendrocyte expression, and explored the signaling pathways that mediate axonal plasticity in a rat chronic hypoperfusion model. Adult male Wistar rats subjected to ligation of the bilateral common carotid arteries (LBCCA) were treated with or without L-carnitine. L-carnitine-treated rats exhibited significantly reduced escape latency in the Morris water maze task at 28 days after chronic hypoperfusion. Western blot analysis indicated that L-carnitine increased levels of phosphorylated high-molecular weight neurofilament (pNFH), concurrent with a reduction in phosphorylated phosphatase tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN), and increased phosphorylated Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) at 28 days after chronic hypoperfusion. L-carnitine reduced lipid peroxidation and oxidative DNA damage, and enhanced oligodendrocyte marker expression and myelin sheath thickness after chronic hypoperfusion. L-carnitine regulates the PTEN/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway, and enhances axonal plasticity while concurrently ameliorating oxidative stress and increasing oligodendrocyte myelination of axons, thereby improving WMLs and cognitive impairment in a rat chronic hypoperfusion model. PMID:25465043

  8. High-resolution gene expression atlases for adult and developing mouse brain and spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Henry, Alex M; Hohmann, John G

    2012-10-01

    Knowledge of the structure, genetics, circuits, and physiological properties of the mammalian brain in both normal and pathological states is ever increasing as research labs worldwide probe the various aspects of brain function. Until recently, however, comprehensive cataloging of gene expression across the central nervous system has been lacking. The Allen Institute for Brain Science, as part of its mission to propel neuroscience research, has completed several large gene-mapping projects in mouse, nonhuman primate, and human brain, producing informative online public resources and tools. Here we present the Allen Mouse Brain Atlas, covering ~20,000 genes throughout the adult mouse brain; the Allen Developing Mouse Brain Atlas, detailing expression of approximately 2,000 important developmental genes across seven embryonic and postnatal stages of brain growth; and the Allen Spinal Cord Atlas, revealing expression for ~20,000 genes in the adult and neonatal mouse spinal cords. Integrated data-mining tools, including reference atlases, informatics analyses, and 3-D viewers, are described. For these massive-scale projects, high-throughput industrial techniques were developed to standardize and reliably repeat experimental goals. To verify consistency and accuracy, a detailed analysis of the 1,000 most viewed genes for the adult mouse brain (according to website page views) was performed by comparing our data with peer-reviewed literature and other databases. We show that our data are highly consistent with independent sources and provide a comprehensive compendium of information and tools used by thousands of researchers each month. All data and tools are freely available via the Allen Brain Atlas portal (www.brain-map.org). PMID:22832508

  9. Relationship between structural brainstem and brain plasticity and lower-limb training in spinal cord injury: a longitudinal pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Villiger, Michael; Grabher, Patrick; Hepp-Reymond, Marie-Claude; Kiper, Daniel; Curt, Armin; Bolliger, Marc; Hotz-Boendermaker, Sabina; Kollias, Spyros; Eng, Kynan; Freund, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Rehabilitative training has shown to improve significantly motor outcomes and functional walking capacity in patients with incomplete spinal cord injury (iSCI). However, whether performance improvements during rehabilitation relate to brain plasticity or whether it is based on functional adaptation of movement strategies remain uncertain. This study assessed training improvement-induced structural brain plasticity in chronic iSCI patients using longitudinal MRI. We used tensor-based morphometry (TBM) to analyze longitudinal brain volume changes associated with intensive virtual reality (VR)-augmented lower limb training in nine traumatic iSCI patients. The MRI data was acquired before and after a 4-week training period (16–20 training sessions). Before training, voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and voxel-based cortical thickness (VBCT) assessed baseline morphometric differences in nine iSCI patients compared to 14 healthy controls. The intense VR-augmented training of limb control improved significantly balance, walking speed, ambulation, and muscle strength in patients. Retention of clinical improvements was confirmed by the 3–4 months follow-up. In patients relative to controls, VBM revealed reductions of white matter volume within the brainstem and cerebellum and VBCT showed cortical thinning in the primary motor cortex. Over time, TBM revealed significant improvement-induced volume increases in the left middle temporal and occipital gyrus, left temporal pole and fusiform gyrus, both hippocampi, cerebellum, corpus callosum, and brainstem in iSCI patients. This study demonstrates structural plasticity at the cortical and brainstem level as a consequence of VR-augmented training in iSCI patients. These structural changes may serve as neuroimaging biomarkers of VR-augmented lower limb neurorehabilitation in addition to performance measures to detect improvements in rehabilitative training. PMID:25999842

  10. Relationship between structural brainstem and brain plasticity and lower-limb training in spinal cord injury: a longitudinal pilot study.

    PubMed

    Villiger, Michael; Grabher, Patrick; Hepp-Reymond, Marie-Claude; Kiper, Daniel; Curt, Armin; Bolliger, Marc; Hotz-Boendermaker, Sabina; Kollias, Spyros; Eng, Kynan; Freund, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Rehabilitative training has shown to improve significantly motor outcomes and functional walking capacity in patients with incomplete spinal cord injury (iSCI). However, whether performance improvements during rehabilitation relate to brain plasticity or whether it is based on functional adaptation of movement strategies remain uncertain. This study assessed training improvement-induced structural brain plasticity in chronic iSCI patients using longitudinal MRI. We used tensor-based morphometry (TBM) to analyze longitudinal brain volume changes associated with intensive virtual reality (VR)-augmented lower limb training in nine traumatic iSCI patients. The MRI data was acquired before and after a 4-week training period (16-20 training sessions). Before training, voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and voxel-based cortical thickness (VBCT) assessed baseline morphometric differences in nine iSCI patients compared to 14 healthy controls. The intense VR-augmented training of limb control improved significantly balance, walking speed, ambulation, and muscle strength in patients. Retention of clinical improvements was confirmed by the 3-4 months follow-up. In patients relative to controls, VBM revealed reductions of white matter volume within the brainstem and cerebellum and VBCT showed cortical thinning in the primary motor cortex. Over time, TBM revealed significant improvement-induced volume increases in the left middle temporal and occipital gyrus, left temporal pole and fusiform gyrus, both hippocampi, cerebellum, corpus callosum, and brainstem in iSCI patients. This study demonstrates structural plasticity at the cortical and brainstem level as a consequence of VR-augmented training in iSCI patients. These structural changes may serve as neuroimaging biomarkers of VR-augmented lower limb neurorehabilitation in addition to performance measures to detect improvements in rehabilitative training. PMID:25999842

  11. Brain-specific tropomyosins TMBr-1 and TMBr-3 have distinct patterns of expression during development and in adult brain.

    PubMed Central

    Stamm, S; Casper, D; Lees-Miller, J P; Helfman, D M

    1993-01-01

    In this study we report on the developmental and regional expression of two brain-specific isoforms of tropomyosin, TMBr-1 and TMBr-3, that are generated from the rat alpha-tropomyosin gene via the use of alternative promoters and alternative RNA splicing. Western blot analysis using an exon-specific peptide polyclonal antibody revealed that the two isoforms are differentially expressed in development with TMBr-3 appearing in the embryonic brain at 16 days of gestation, followed by the expression of TMBr-1 at 20 days after birth. TMBr-3 was detected in all brain regions examined, whereas TMBr-1 was detected predominantly in brain areas that derived from the prosencephalon. Immunocytochemical studies on mixed primary cultures made from rat embryonic midbrain indicate that expression of the brain-specific epitope is restricted to neurons. The developmental pattern and neuronal localization of these forms of tropomyosin suggest that these isoforms have a specialized role in the development and plasticity of the nervous system. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 PMID:7694294

  12. Acute brain slice methods for adult and aging animals: application of targeted patch clampanalysis and optogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Daigle, Tanya L.; Chen, Qian; Feng, Guoping

    2014-01-01

    Summary The development of the living acute brain slice preparation for analyzing synaptic function roughly a half century ago was a pivotal achievement that greatly influenced the landscape of modern neuroscience. Indeed, many neuroscientists regard brain slices as the gold-standard model system for detailed cellular, molecular, and circuitry level analysis and perturbation of neuronal function. A critical limitation of this model system is the difficulty in preparing slices from adult and aging animals, and over the past several decades few substantial methodological improvements have emerged to facilitate patch clamp analysis in the mature adult stage. In this chapter we describe a robust and practical protocol for preparing brain slices from mature adult mice that are suitable for patch clamp analysis. This method reduces swelling and damage in superficial layers of the slices and improves the success rate for targeted patch clamp recordings, including recordings from fluorescently labeled populations in slices derived from transgenic mice. This adult brain slice method is suitable for diverse experimental applications, including both monitoring and manipulating neuronal activity with genetically encoded calcium indicators and optogenetic actuators, respectively. We describe the application of this adult brain slice platform and associated methods for screening kinetic properties of Channelrhodopsin (ChR) variants expressed in genetically-defined neuronal subtypes. PMID:25023312

  13. Clonal development and organization of the adult Drosophila central brain

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Hung-Hsiang; Awasaki, Takeshi; Schroeder, Mark David; Long, Fuhui; Yang, Jacob S.; He, Yisheng; Ding, Peng; Kao, Jui-Chun; Wu, Gloria Yueh-Yi; Peng, Hanchuan; Myers, Gene; Lee, Tzumin

    2013-01-01

    Summary Background The insect brain can be divided into neuropils that are formed by neurites of both local and remote origin. The complexity of the interconnections obscures how these neuropils are established and interconnected through development. The Drosophila central brain develops from a fixed number of neuroblasts (NBs) that deposit neurons in regional clusters. Results By determining individual NB clones and pursuing their projections into specific neuropils we unravel the regional development of the brain neural network. Exhaustive clonal analysis revealed 95 stereotyped neuronal lineages with characteristic cell body locations and neurite trajectories. Most clones show complex projection patterns, but despite the complexity, neighboring clones often co-innervate the same local neuropil(s) and further target a restricted set of distant neuropils. Conclusions These observations argue for regional clonal development of both neuropils and neuropil connectivity throughout the Drosophila central brain. PMID:23541733

  14. Does acute caffeine ingestion alter brain metabolism in young adults?

    PubMed

    Xu, Feng; Liu, Peiying; Pekar, James J; Lu, Hanzhang

    2015-04-15

    Caffeine, as the most commonly used stimulant drug, improves vigilance and, in some cases, cognition. However, the exact effect of caffeine on brain activity has not been fully elucidated. Because caffeine has a pronounced vascular effect which is independent of any neural effects, many hemodynamics-based methods such as fMRI cannot be readily applied without a proper calibration. The scope of the present work is two-fold. In Study 1, we used a recently developed MRI technique to examine the time-dependent changes in whole-brain cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) following the ingestion of 200mg caffeine. It was found that, despite a pronounced decrease in CBF (p<0.001), global CMRO2 did not change significantly. Instead, the oxygen extraction fraction (OEF) was significantly elevated (p=0.002) to fully compensate for the reduced blood supply. Using the whole-brain finding as a reference, we aim to investigate whether there are any regional differences in the brain's response to caffeine. Therefore, in Study 2, we examined regional heterogeneities in CBF changes following the same amount of caffeine ingestion. We found that posterior brain regions such as posterior cingulate cortex and superior temporal regions manifested a slower CBF reduction, whereas anterior brain regions including dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and medial frontal cortex showed a faster rate of decline. These findings have a few possible explanations. One is that caffeine may result in a region-dependent increase or decrease in brain activity, resulting in an unaltered average brain metabolic rate. The other is that caffeine's effect on vasculature may be region-specific. Plausibility of these explanations is discussed in the context of spatial distribution of the adenosine receptors. PMID:25644657

  15. Compensatory Plasticity in the Deaf Brain: Effects on Perception of Music

    PubMed Central

    Good, Arla; Reed, Maureen J.; Russo, Frank A.

    2014-01-01

    When one sense is unavailable, sensory responsibilities shift and processing of the remaining modalities becomes enhanced to compensate for missing information. This shift, referred to as compensatory plasticity, results in a unique sensory experience for individuals who are deaf, including the manner in which music is perceived. This paper evaluates the neural, behavioural and cognitive evidence for compensatory plasticity following auditory deprivation and considers how this manifests in a unique experience of music that emphasizes visual and vibrotactile modalities. PMID:25354235

  16. Morphological brain network assessed using graph theory and network filtration in deaf adults.

    PubMed

    Kim, Eunkyung; Kang, Hyejin; Lee, Hyekyoung; Lee, Hyo-Jeong; Suh, Myung-Whan; Song, Jae-Jin; Oh, Seung-Ha; Lee, Dong Soo

    2014-09-01

    Prolonged deprivation of auditory input can change brain networks in pre- and postlingual deaf adults by brain-wide reorganization. To investigate morphological changes in these brains voxel-based morphometry, voxel-wise correlation with the primary auditory cortex, and whole brain network analyses using morphological covariance were performed in eight prelingual deaf, eleven postlingual deaf, and eleven hearing adults. Network characteristics based on graph theory and network filtration based on persistent homology were examined. Gray matter density in the primary auditor cortex was preserved in prelingual deafness, while it tended to decrease in postlingual deafness. Unlike postlingual, prelingual deafness showed increased bilateral temporal connectivity of the primary auditory cortex compared to the hearing adults. Of the graph theory-based characteristics, clustering coefficient, betweenness centrality, and nodal efficiency all increased in prelingual deafness, while all the parameters of postlingual deafness were similar to the hearing adults. Patterns of connected components changing during network filtration were different between prelingual deafness and hearing adults according to the barcode, dendrogram, and single linkage matrix representations, while these were the same in postlingual deafness. Nodes in fronto-limbic and left temporal components were closely coupled, and nodes in the temporo-parietal component were loosely coupled, in prelingual deafness. Patterns of connected components changing in postlingual deafness were the same as hearing adults. We propose that the preserved density of auditory cortex associated with increased connectivity in prelingual deafness, and closer coupling between certain brain areas, represent distinctive reorganization of auditory and related cortices compared with hearing or postlingual deaf adults. The differential network reorganization in the prelingual deaf adults could be related to the absence of auditory speech

  17. Prenatal restraint stress decreases the expression of alpha-7 nicotinic receptor in the brain of adult rat offspring.

    PubMed

    Baier, Carlos J; Pallarés, María E; Adrover, Ezequiela; Monteleone, Melisa C; Brocco, Marcela A; Barrantes, Francisco J; Antonelli, Marta C

    2015-01-01

    Prenatal stress (PS) strongly impacts fetal brain development and function in adulthood. In normal aging and Alzheimer's disease, there is hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction and loss of cholinergic neurons and neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). This study investigated whether prenatal restraint stress affects nAChR expression in the brain of adult offspring. For PS, pregnant dams were placed in a plastic restrainer for 45 min, three times daily during the last week of pregnancy; controls were undisturbed. Male offspring were analyzed at postnatal day (PND) 60 (n = 4 rats per group). Western blot (WB) and fluorescence microscopy showed that PS decreased α7-AChR subunit expression (∼50%) in the frontal cortex in the adult offspring. PS decreased significantly the number of α7-AChR-expressing cells in the medial prefrontal cortex (by ∼25%) and in the sensory-motor cortex (by ∼20%) without affecting the total cell number in those areas. No alterations were found in the hippocampus by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), or WB analysis, but a detailed fluorescence microscopy analysis showed that PS affected α7-AChR mainly in the CA3 and dentate gyrus subfields: PS decreased α7-AChR subunit expression by ∼25 and ∼30%, respectively. Importantly, PS decreased the number of α7-AChR-expressing cells and the total cell number (by ∼15 and 20%, respectively) in the dentate gyrus. PS differently affected α4-AChR: PS impaired its mRNA expression in the frontal cortex (by ∼50%), without affecting protein levels. These results demonstrate that disturbances during gestation produce long-term alterations in the expression pattern of α7-AChR in rat brain. PMID:25798813

  18. Event-related brain potentials - Comparison between children and adults

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Courchesne, E.

    1977-01-01

    The reported investigation shows that nontarget stimuli which are infrequently presented and deviate from the background elicit Nc and Pc waves in children. The same stimuli elicit P3 waves in adults. The scalp distribution of P3 waves in adults appears to vary with the ease of stimulus recognition or the degree of stimulus novelty. However, the Nc and Pc distributions in children do not seem to vary with these factors. The differences between children and adults in event-related potentials suggest corresponding differences in the mode of processing employed by each when rare, deviant stimuli are encountered

  19. Potential of optical microangiography to monitor cerebral blood perfusion and vascular plasticity following traumatic brain injury in mice in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Yali; Alkayed, Nabil; Wang, Ruikang K.

    2009-07-01

    Optical microanglography (OMAG) is a recently developed imaging modality capable of volumetric imaging of dynamic blood perfusion, down to capillary level resolution, with an imaging depth up to 2.00 mm beneath the tissue surface. We report the use of OMAG to monitor the cerebral blood flow (CBF) over the cortex of mouse brain upon traumatic brain injury (TBI), with the cranium left intact, for a period of two weeks on the same animal. We show the ability of OMAG to repeatedly image 3-D cerebral vasculatures during pre- and post-traumatic phases, and to visualize the changes of regulated CBF and the vascular plasticity after TBI. The results indicate the potential of OMAG to explore the mechanism involved in the rehabilitation of TBI.

  20. Does acute caffeine ingestion alter brain metabolism in young adults?

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Feng; Liu, Peiying; Pekar, James J.; Lu, Hanzhang

    2015-01-01

    Caffeine, as the most commonly used stimulant drug, improves vigilance and, in some cases, cognition. However, the exact effect of caffeine on brain activity has not been fully elucidated. Because caffeine has a pronounced vascular effect which is independent of any neural effects, many hemodynamics-based methods such as fMRI cannot be readily applied without a proper calibration. The scope of the present work is two-fold. In Study 1, we used a recently developed MRI technique to examine the time-dependent changes in whole-brain cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) following the ingestion of 200mg caffeine. It was found that, despite a pronounced decrease in CBF (p<0.001), global CMRO2 did not change significantly. Instead, the oxygen extraction fraction (OEF) was significantly elevated (p=0.002) to fully compensate for the reduced blood supply. Using the whole-brain finding as a reference, we aim to investigate whether there are any regional differences in the brain’s response to caffeine. Therefore, in Study 2, we examined regional heterogeneities in CBF changes following the same amount of caffeine ingestion. We found that posterior brain regions such as posterior cingulate cortex and superior temporal regions manifested a slower CBF reduction, whereas anterior brain regions including dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and medial frontal cortex showed a faster rate of decline. These findings have a few possible explanations. One is that caffeine may result in a region-dependent increase or decrease in brain activity, resulting in an unaltered average brain metabolic rate. The other is that caffeine’s effect on vasculature may be region-specific. Plausibility of these explanations is discussed in the context of spatial distribution of the adenosine receptors. PMID:25644657

  1. A revised dosimetric model of the adult head and brain

    SciTech Connect

    Bouchet, L.G.; Bolch, W.E.; Weber, D.A.; Atkins, H.L.; Poston, J.W. ||

    1996-07-01

    During the last decade, several new radiopharmaceuticals have been introduced for brain imaging. The marked differences of these tracers in tissue specificicity within the brain and their increasing use for diagnostic studies support the need for a more antihropomorphic model of the human brain and head. Brain and head models developed in the past have comprised only simplistic representations of this anatomic region. A new brain model has been developed which includes eight subregions: the caudate nucleus, the cerebellium, the cerebral cortex, the lateral ventricles, the lentiform nucleus, the thalamus, the third ventricle and the white matter. This brain model has been included within a slightly modified version of the head model developed by Poston et al. in 1984. The head model, which includes both the thyroid and eyes, was modified in this work to include the cerebrospinal fluid within the cranial and spinal regions. Absorbed fractions of energy for photon and electron sources located in thirteen source regions within the new head model were calculated using the EGS4 Monte Carlo radiation transport code for radiations in the energy range 10 keV to 4 MeV. S-values were calculated for five radionuclides used in brain imaging ({sup 11}C, {sup 15}O, {sup 18}F, {sup 99m}Tc and {sup 123}I) and for three radionuclides showing selective uptake in the thyroid ({sup 99m}Tc, {sup 123}I, and {sup 131}I). S-values were calculated using 100 discrete energy points in the beta-emission spectrum of the different radionuclides. 17 refs., 14 figs., 3 tabs.

  2. aBEAT: a toolbox for consistent analysis of longitudinal adult brain MRI.

    PubMed

    Dai, Yakang; Wang, Yaping; Wang, Li; Wu, Guorong; Shi, Feng; Shen, Dinggang

    2013-01-01

    Longitudinal brain image analysis is critical for revealing subtle but complex structural and functional changes of brain during aging or in neurodevelopmental disease. However, even with the rapid increase of clinical research and trials, a software toolbox dedicated for longitudinal image analysis is still lacking publicly. To cater for this increasing need, we have developed a dedicated 4D Adult Brain Extraction and Analysis Toolbox (aBEAT) to provide robust and accurate analysis of the longitudinal adult brain MR images. Specially, a group of image processing tools were integrated into aBEAT, including 4D brain extraction, 4D tissue segmentation, and 4D brain labeling. First, a 4D deformable-surface-based brain extraction algorithm, which can deform serial brain surfaces simultaneously under temporal smoothness constraint, was developed for consistent brain extraction. Second, a level-sets-based 4D tissue segmentation algorithm that incorporates local intensity distribution, spatial cortical-thickness constraint, and temporal cortical-thickness consistency was also included in aBEAT for consistent brain tissue segmentation. Third, a longitudinal groupwise image registration framework was further integrated into aBEAT for consistent ROI labeling by simultaneously warping a pre-labeled brain atlas to the longitudinal brain images. The performance of aBEAT has been extensively evaluated on a large number of longitudinal MR T1 images which include normal and dementia subjects, achieving very promising results. A Linux-based standalone package of aBEAT is now freely available at http://www.nitrc.org/projects/abeat. PMID:23577105

  3. Prefrontal and Hippocampal Brain Volume Deficits: The Role of Low Physical Activity on Brain Plasticity in First-Episode Schizophrenia Patients

    PubMed Central

    McEwen, Sarah C.; Hardy, Anthony; Ellingson, Benjamin M.; Jarrahi, Behnaz; Sandu, Navjot; Subotnik, Kenneth L.; Ventura, Joseph; Nuechterlein, Keith H.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Our objective in the present study was to conduct the first empirical study to examine regular physical activity habits and their relationship with brain volume and cortical thickness in patients in the early phase of schizophrenia. Relationships between larger brain volumes and higher physical activity levels have been reported in samples of healthy and aging populations, but have never been explored in first-episode schizophrenia patients. Method We collected MRI structural scans in fourteen first-episode schizophrenia patients with either self-reported low or high physical activity levels. Results We found a reduction in total grey matter volume, prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampal grey matter volumes in the low physical activity group compared to the high activity group. Cortical thickness in the dorsolateral and orbitofrontal PFC were also significantly reduced in the low physical activity group compared to the high activity group. In the combined sample, greater overall physical activity levels showed a non-significant tendency with better performance on tests of verbal memory and social cognition. Conclusions Together these pilot study findings suggest that greater amounts of physical activity may have a positive influence on brain health and cognition in first-episode schizophrenia patients and support the development of physical exercise interventions in this patient population to improve brain plasticity and cognitive functioning. PMID:26581798

  4. Plasticity of the worker bumble bee brain in relation to age and rearing environment

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Beryl M.; Leonard, Anne S.; Papaj, Daniel R.; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2014-01-01

    The environment experienced during development can dramatically affect the brain, with possible implications for sensory processing, learning and memory. Although the effects of single sensory modalities on brain development have been repeatedly explored, the additive or interactive effects of multiple modalities have been less thoroughly investigated. We asked how experience with multisensory stimuli affected brain development in the bumble bee, Bombus impatiens. First, to establish the timeline of brain development during early adulthood, we estimated regional brain volumes across a range of ages. We discovered significant age-related volume changes in nearly every region of the brain. Next, to determine whether these changes were dependent upon certain environmental stimuli, we manipulated the visual and olfactory stimuli available to newly emerged bumble bee workers in a factorial manner. Newly emerged bumble bees were maintained in the presence or absence of supplemental visual and/or olfactory stimuli for seven days, after which the volumes of several brain regions were estimated. We found that the volumes of the mushroom body lobes and calyces were larger in the absence of visual stimuli. Additionally, visual deprivation was associated with the expression of larger antennal lobes, the primary olfactory processing regions of the brain. In contrast, exposure to plant-derived olfactory stimuli did not have a significant effect on brain region volumes. This study is the first to explore the separate and interactive effects of visual and olfactory stimuli on bee brain development. Assessing the timing and sensitivity of brain development is a first step toward understanding how different rearing environments differentially affect regional brain volumes in this species. Our findings suggest that environmental factors experienced during the first week of adulthood can modify bumble brain development in many subtle ways. PMID:24281415

  5. Development of a conceptual model to predict physical activity participation in adults with brain injuries.

    PubMed

    Driver, Simon

    2008-10-01

    The purpose was to examine psychosocial factors that influence the physical activity behaviors of adults with brain injuries. Two differing models, based on Harter's model of self-worth, were proposed to examine the relationship between perceived competence, social support, physical self-worth, affect, and motivation. Adults numbering 384 with brain injuries completed a series of questionnaires measuring each psychosocial variable. The structural analysis indicated a nonsignificant chi squared value and good fit indices for model two which included affect as the mediating variable. Findings indicate that affect is critical in shaping the physical activity cognitions and behaviors of adults with brain injuries. Suggestions are made on practical ways to enhance affect and subsequently physical activity participation. PMID:18955746

  6. Margaret Kennard (1899–1975): Not a ‘Principle’ of Brain Plasticity But a Founding Mother of Developmental Neuropsychology

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Maureen

    2009-01-01

    According to the ‘Kennard Principle’, there is a negative linear relation between age at brain injury and functional outcome. Other things being equal, the younger the lesioned organism, the better the outcome. But the ‘Kennard Principle’ is neither Kennard’s nor a principle. In her work, Kennard sought to explain the factors that predicted functional outcome (age, to be sure, but also staging, laterality, location, and number of brain lesions, and outcome domain) and the neural mechanisms that altered the lesioned brain’s functionality. This paper discusses Kennard’s life and years at Yale (1931–1943); considers the genesis and scope of her work on early-onset brain lesions, which represents an empirical and theoretical foundation for current developmental neuropsychology; offers an historical explanation of why the ‘Kennard Principle’ emerged in the context of early 1970s work on brain plasticity; shows why uncritical belief in the ‘Kennard Principle’ continues to shape current research and practice; and reviews the continuing importance of her work. PMID:20079891

  7. Localization of PPAR isotypes in the adult mouse and human brain

    PubMed Central

    Warden, Anna; Truitt, Jay; Merriman, Morgan; Ponomareva, Olga; Jameson, Kelly; Ferguson, Laura B.; Mayfield, R. Dayne; Harris, R. Adron

    2016-01-01

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are nuclear hormone receptors that act as ligand-activated transcription factors. PPAR agonists have well-documented anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective roles in the central nervous system. Recent evidence suggests that PPAR agonists are attractive therapeutic agents for treating neurodegenerative diseases as well as addiction. However, the distribution of PPAR mRNA and protein in brain regions associated with these conditions (i.e. prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, amygdala, ventral tegmental area) is not well defined. Moreover, the cell type specificity of PPARs in mouse and human brain tissue has yet to be investigated. We utilized quantitative PCR and double immunofluorescence microscopy to determine that both PPAR mRNA and protein are expressed ubiquitously throughout the adult mouse brain. We found that PPARs have unique cell type specificities that are consistent between species. PPARα was the only isotype to colocalize with all cell types in both adult mouse and adult human brain tissue. Overall, we observed a strong neuronal signature, which raises the possibility that PPAR agonists may be targeting neurons rather than glia to produce neuroprotection. Our results fill critical gaps in PPAR distribution and define novel cell type specificity profiles in the adult mouse and human brain. PMID:27283430

  8. Memory plasticity in older adults: Cognitive predictors of training response and maintenance following learning of number-consonant mnemonic.

    PubMed

    Sandberg, Petra; Rönnlund, Michael; Derwinger-Hallberg, Anna; Stigsdotter Neely, Anna

    2016-10-01

    The study investigated the relationship between cognitive factors and gains in number recall following training in a number-consonant mnemonic in a sample of 112 older adults (M = 70.9 years). The cognitive factors examined included baseline episodic memory, working memory, processing speed, and verbal knowledge. In addition, predictors of maintenance of gains to a follow-up assessment, eight months later, were examined. Whereas working memory was a prominent predictor of baseline recall, the magnitude of gains in recall from pre- to post-test assessments were predicted by baseline episodic memory, processing speed, and verbal knowledge. Verbal knowledge was the only significant predictor of maintenance. Collectively, the results indicate the need to consider multiple factors to account for individual differences in memory plasticity. The potential contribution of additional factors to individual differences in memory plasticity is discussed. PMID:26043066

  9. Plasticity of synaptic connections in sensory-motor pathways of the adult locust flight system.

    PubMed

    Wolf, H; Büschges, A

    1997-09-01

    We investigated possible roles of retrograde signals and competitive interactions in the lesion-induced reorganization of synaptic contacts in the locust CNS. Neuronal plasticity is elicited in the adult flight system by removal of afferents from the tegula, a mechanoreceptor organ at the base of the wing. We severed one hindwing organ and studied the resulting rearrangement of synaptic contacts between flight interneurons and afferent neurons from the remaining three tegulae (2 forewing, 1 hindwing). This was done by electric stimulation of afferents and intracellular recording from interneurons (and occasionally motoneurons). Two to three weeks after unilateral tegula lesion, connections between tegula afferents and flight interneurons were altered in the following way. 1) Axons from the forewing tegula on the operated side had established new synaptic contacts with metathoracic elevator interneurons. In addition, the amplitude of compound excitatory postsynaptic potentials elicited by electric stimulation was increased, indicating that a larger number of afferents connected to any given interneuron. 2) On the side contralateral to the lesion, connectivity between axons from the forewing tegula and elevator interneurons was decreased. 3) The efficacy of the (remaining) hindwing afferents appeared to be increased with regard to both synaptic transmission to interneurons and impact on flight motor pattern. 4) Flight motoneurons, which are normally restricted to the ipsilateral hemiganglion, sprouted across the ganglion midline after unilateral tegula removal and apparently established new synaptic contacts with tegula afferents on that side. The changes on the operated side are interpreted as occupation of synaptic space vacated on the interneurons by the severed hindwing afferents. On the contralateral side, the changes in synaptic contact must be elicited by retrograde signals from bilaterally arborizing flight interneurons, because tegula projections remain

  10. Using Network Science to Evaluate Exercise-Associated Brain Changes in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Burdette, Jonathan H.; Laurienti, Paul J.; Espeland, Mark A.; Morgan, Ashley; Telesford, Qawi; Vechlekar, Crystal D.; Hayasaka, Satoru; Jennings, Janine M.; Katula, Jeffrey A.; Kraft, Robert A.; Rejeski, W. Jack

    2010-01-01

    Literature has shown that exercise is beneficial for cognitive function in older adults and that aerobic fitness is associated with increased hippocampal tissue and blood volumes. The current study used novel network science methods to shed light on the neurophysiological implications of exercise-induced changes in the hippocampus of older adults. Participants represented a volunteer subgroup of older adults that were part of either the exercise training (ET) or healthy aging educational control (HAC) treatment arms from the Seniors Health and Activity Research Program Pilot (SHARP-P) trial. Following the 4-month interventions, MRI measures of resting brain blood flow and connectivity were performed. The ET group's hippocampal cerebral blood flow (CBF) exhibited statistically significant increases compared to the HAC group. Novel whole-brain network connectivity analyses showed greater connectivity in the hippocampi of the ET participants compared to HAC. Furthermore, the hippocampus was consistently shown to be within the same network neighborhood (module) as the anterior cingulate cortex only within the ET group. Thus, within the ET group, the hippocampus and anterior cingulate were highly interconnected and localized to the same network neighborhood. This project shows the power of network science to investigate potential mechanisms for exercise-induced benefits to the brain in older adults. We show a link between neurological network features and CBF, and it is possible that this alteration of functional brain networks may lead to the known improvement in cognitive function among older adults following exercise. PMID:20589103

  11. Brain function differences in language processing in children and adults with autism.

    PubMed

    Williams, Diane L; Cherkassky, Vladimir L; Mason, Robert A; Keller, Timothy A; Minshew, Nancy J; Just, Marcel Adam

    2013-08-01

    Comparison of brain function between children and adults with autism provides an understanding of the effects of the disorder and associated maturational differences on language processing. Functional imaging (functional magnetic resonance imaging) was used to examine brain activation and cortical synchronization during the processing of literal and ironic texts in 15 children with autism, 14 children with typical development, 13 adults with autism, and 12 adult controls. Both the children and adults with autism had lower functional connectivity (synchronization of brain activity among activated areas) than their age and ability comparison group in the left hemisphere language network during irony processing, and neither autism group had an increase in functional connectivity in response to increased task demands. Activation differences for the literal and irony conditions occurred in key language-processing regions (left middle temporal, left pars triangularis, left pars opercularis, left medial frontal, and right middle temporal). The children and adults with autism differed from each other in the use of some brain regions during the irony task, with the adults with autism having activation levels similar to those of the control groups. Overall, the children and adults with autism differed from the adult and child controls in (a) the degree of network coordination, (b) the distribution of the workload among member nodes, and (3) the dynamic recruitment of regions in response to text content. Moreover, the differences between the two autism age groups may be indicative of positive changes in the neural function related to language processing associated with maturation and/or educational experience. PMID:23495230

  12. Brain Function Differences in Language Processing in Children and Adults with Autism

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Diane L.; Cherkassky, Vladimir L.; Mason, Robert A.; Keller, Timothy A.; Minshew, Nancy J.; Just, Marcel Adam

    2015-01-01

    Comparison of brain function between children and adults with autism provides an understanding of the effects of the disorder and associated maturational differences on language processing. Functional imaging (functional magnetic resonance imaging) was used to examine brain activation and cortical synchronization during the processing of literal and ironic texts in 15 children with autism, 14 children with typical development, 13 adults with autism, and 12 adult controls. Both the children and adults with autism had lower functional connectivity (synchronization of brain activity among activated areas) than their age and ability comparison group in the left hemisphere language network during irony processing, and neither autism group had an increase in functional connectivity in response to increased task demands. Activation differences for the literal and irony conditions occurred in key language-processing regions (left middle temporal, left pars triangularis, left pars opercularis, left medial frontal, and right middle temporal). The children and adults with autism differed from each other in the use of some brain regions during the irony task, with the adults with autism having activation levels similar to those of the control groups. Overall, the children and adults with autism differed from the adult and child controls in (a) the degree of network coordination, (b) the distribution of the workload among member nodes, and (3) the dynamic recruitment of regions in response to text content. Moreover, the differences between the two autism age groups may be indicative of positive changes in the neural function related to language processing associated with maturation and/or educational experience. PMID:23495230

  13. The effects of sleep deprivation on brain functioning in older adults.

    PubMed

    Almklov, Erin L; Drummond, Sean P A; Orff, Henry; Alhassoon, Omar M

    2015-01-01

    Few studies have examined the effects of total sleep deprivation (TSD) on cognitive performance and brain activation using functional MRI (fMRI) in older adults. The current study examines blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) activation in older adults and younger adults during the sustained attention (GO) and response inhibition (NOGO) portions of a GO-NOGO cognitive task following 36 hr of total sleep deprivation. No significant performance differences were observed between the groups on the behavioral outcome measures of total hits and false alarms. Neuroimaging results, however, revealed a significant interaction between age-group and sleep-deprivation status. Specifically, older adults showed greater BOLD activation as compared to younger adults after 36 hours total sleep deprivation in brain regions typically associated with attention and inhibitory processes. These results suggest in order for older adults to perform the GO-NOGO task effectively after sleep deprivation, they rely on compensatory recruitment of brain regions that aide in the maintenance of cognitive performance. PMID:24787041

  14. Activity-dependent neural plasticity from bench to bedside.

    PubMed

    Ganguly, Karunesh; Poo, Mu-Ming

    2013-10-30

    Much progress has been made in understanding how behavioral experience and neural activity can modify the structure and function of neural circuits during development and in the adult brain. Studies of physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying activity-dependent plasticity in animal models have suggested potential therapeutic approaches for a wide range of brain disorders in humans. Physiological and electrical stimulations as well as plasticity-modifying molecular agents may facilitate functional recovery by selectively enhancing existing neural circuits or promoting the formation of new functional circuits. Here, we review the advances in basic studies of neural plasticity mechanisms in developing and adult nervous systems and current clinical treatments that harness neural plasticity, and we offer perspectives on future development of plasticity-based therapy. PMID:24183023

  15. Chronic methamphetamine treatment reduces the expression of synaptic plasticity genes and changes their DNA methylation status in the mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Min-Chih; Hsu, Shih-Hsin; Chen, Chia-Hsiang

    2015-12-10

    Methamphetamine (METH) is a highly addictive psychostimulant that may cause long-lasting synaptic dysfunction and abnormal gene expression. We aimed to explore the differential expression of synaptic plasticity genes in chronic METH-treated mouse brain. We used the RT(2) Profiler PCR Array and the real-time quantitative PCR to characterize differentially expressed synaptic plasticity genes in the frontal cortex and the hippocampus of chronic METH-treated mice compared with normal saline-treated mice. We further used pyrosequencing to assess DNA methylation changes in the CpG region of the five immediate early genes (IEGs) in chronic METH-treated mouse brain. We detected six downregulated genes in the frontal cortex and the hippocampus of chronic METH-treated mice, including five IEGs (Arc, Egr2, Fos, Klf10, and Nr4a1) and one neuronal receptor gene (Grm1), compared with normal saline-treated group, but only four genes (Arc, Egr2, Fos, and Nr4a1) were confirmed to be different. Furthermore, we found several CpG sites of the Arc and the Fos that had significant changes in DNA methylation status in the frontal cortex of chronic METH-treated mice, while the klf10 and the Nr4a1 that had significant changes in the hippocampus. Our results show that chronic administration of METH may lead to significant downregulation of the IEGs expression in both the frontal cortex and the hippocampus, which may partly account for the molecular mechanism of the action of METH. Furthermore, the changes in DNA methylation status of the IEGs in the brain indicate that an epigenetic mechanism-dependent transcriptional regulation may contribute to METH addiction, which warrants additional study. PMID:26496011

  16. Amphetamine modulates brain signal variability and working memory in younger and older adults

    PubMed Central

    Garrett, Douglas D.; Nagel, Irene E.; Preuschhof, Claudia; Burzynska, Agnieszka Z.; Marchner, Janina; Wiegert, Steffen; Jungehülsing, Gerhard J.; Nyberg, Lars; Villringer, Arno; Li, Shu-Chen; Heekeren, Hauke R.; Bäckman, Lars; Lindenberger, Ulman

    2015-01-01

    Better-performing younger adults typically express greater brain signal variability relative to older, poorer performers. Mechanisms for age and performance-graded differences in brain dynamics have, however, not yet been uncovered. Given the age-related decline of the dopamine (DA) system in normal cognitive aging, DA neuromodulation is one plausible mechanism. Hence, agents that boost systemic DA [such as d-amphetamine (AMPH)] may help to restore deficient signal variability levels. Furthermore, despite the standard practice of counterbalancing drug session order (AMPH first vs. placebo first), it remains understudied how AMPH may interact with practice effects, possibly influencing whether DA up-regulation is functional. We examined the effects of AMPH on functional-MRI–based blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal variability (SDBOLD) in younger and older adults during a working memory task (letter n-back). Older adults expressed lower brain signal variability at placebo, but met or exceeded young adult SDBOLD levels in the presence of AMPH. Drug session order greatly moderated change–change relations between AMPH-driven SDBOLD and reaction time means (RTmean) and SDs (RTSD). Older adults who received AMPH in the first session tended to improve in RTmean and RTSD when SDBOLD was boosted on AMPH, whereas younger and older adults who received AMPH in the second session showed either a performance improvement when SDBOLD decreased (for RTmean) or no effect at all (for RTSD). The present findings support the hypothesis that age differences in brain signal variability reflect aging-induced changes in dopaminergic neuromodulation. The observed interactions among AMPH, age, and session order highlight the state- and practice-dependent neurochemical basis of human brain dynamics. PMID:26034283

  17. Structural and functional rich club organization of the brain in children and adults.

    PubMed

    Grayson, David S; Ray, Siddharth; Carpenter, Samuel; Iyer, Swathi; Dias, Taciana G Costa; Stevens, Corinne; Nigg, Joel T; Fair, Damien A

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) have proposed that the brain's white matter is organized as a rich club, whereby the most highly connected regions of the brain are also highly connected to each other. Here we use both functional and diffusion-weighted MRI in the human brain to investigate whether the rich club phenomena is present with functional connectivity, and how this organization relates to the structural phenomena. We also examine whether rich club regions serve to integrate information between distinct brain systems, and conclude with a brief investigation of the developmental trajectory of rich-club phenomena. In agreement with prior work, both adults and children showed robust structural rich club organization, comprising regions of the superior medial frontal/dACC, medial parietal/PCC, insula, and inferior temporal cortex. We also show that these regions were highly integrated across the brain's major networks. Functional brain networks were found to have rich club phenomena in a similar spatial layout, but a high level of segregation between systems. While no significant differences between adults and children were found structurally, adults showed significantly greater functional rich club organization. This difference appeared to be driven by a specific set of connections between superior parietal, insula, and supramarginal cortex. In sum, this work highlights the existence of both a structural and functional rich club in adult and child populations with some functional changes over development. It also offers a potential target in examining atypical network organization in common developmental brain disorders, such as ADHD and Autism. PMID:24505468

  18. Regulation of brain water during acute glucose-induced hyperosmolality in ovine fetuses, lambs, and adults.

    PubMed

    Stonestreet, Barbara S; Petersson, Katherine H; Sadowska, Grazyna B; Patlak, Clifford S

    2004-02-01

    We tested the hypothesis that, during acute glucose-induced hyperosmolality, the brain shrinks less than predicted on the basis of an ideal osmometer and that brain volume regulation is present in fetuses, premature and newborn lambs. Brain water responses to glucose-induced hyperosmolality were measured in the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and medulla of fetuses at 60% of gestation, premature ventilated lambs at 90% of gestation, newborn lambs, and adult sheep. After exposure of the sheep to increases in osmolality with glucose plus NaCl, brain water and electrolytes were measured. The ideal osmometer is a system in which impermeable solutes do not enter or leave in response to an osmotic stress. In the absence of volume regulation, brain solute remains constant as osmolality changes. The osmotically active solute demonstrated direct linear correlations with plasma osmolality in the cerebral cortex of the fetuses at 60% of gestation (r = 0.72, n = 24, P = 0.0001), premature lambs (r = 0.58, n = 22, P = 0.005), newborn lambs (r = 0.57, n = 24, P = 0.004), and adult sheep (r = 0.70, n = 18, P = 0.001). Similar findings were observed in the cerebellum and medulla. Increases in the quantity of osmotically active solute over the range of plasma osmolalities indicate that volume regulation was present in the brain regions of the fetuses, premature lambs, newborn lambs, and adult sheep during glucose-induced hyperosmolality. We conclude that, during glucose-induced hyperosmolality, the brain shrinks less than predicted on the basis of an ideal osmometer and exhibits volume regulation in fetuses at 60% of gestation, premature lambs, newborn lambs, and adult sheep. PMID:14578364

  19. Prenatal and Infant Exposure to an Environmental Pollutant Damages Brain Architecture and Plasticity. Science Briefs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2007

    2007-01-01

    "Science Briefs" summarize the findings and implications of a recent study in basic science or clinical research. This Brief reports on the study "Perinatal Exposure to a Noncoplanar Bichlorinated Biphenol Alters Tonotopy, Receptive Fields and Plasticity in the Auditory Cortex" (T. Kenet; R. C. Froemke; C. E. Schreiner; I. N. Pessah; and M. M.…

  20. Canonical Genetic Signatures of the Adult Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Hawrylycz, Michael; Miller, Jeremy A.; Menon, Vilas; Feng, David; Dolbeare, Tim; Guillozet-Bongaarts, Angela L.; Jegga, Anil G.; Aronow, Bruce J.; Lee, Chang-Kyu; Bernard, Amy; Glasser, Matthew F.; Dierker, Donna L.; Menche, Jörge; Szafer, Aaron; Collman, Forrest; Grange, Pascal; Berman, Kenneth A.; Mihalas, Stefan; Yao, Zizhen; Stewart, Lance; Barabási, Albert-László; Schulkin, Jay; Phillips, John; Ng, Lydia; Dang, Chinh; Haynor, David R.; Jones, Allan; Van Essen, David C.; Koch, Christof; Lein, Ed

    2015-01-01

    The structure and function of the human brain are highly stereotyped, implying a conserved molecular program responsible for its development, cellular structure, and function. We applied a correlation-based metric of “differential stability” (DS) to assess reproducibility of gene expression patterning across 132 structures in six individual brains, revealing meso-scale genetic organization. The highest DS genes are highly biologically relevant, with enrichment for brain-related biological annotations, disease associations, drug targets, and literature citations. Using high DS genes we identified 32 anatomically diverse and reproducible gene expression signatures, which represent distinct cell types, intracellular components, and/or associations with neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Genes in neuron-associated compared to non-neuronal networks showed higher preservation between human and mouse; however, many diversely-patterned genes displayed dramatic shifts in regulation between species. Finally, highly consistent transcriptional architecture in neocortex is correlated with resting state functional connectivity, suggesting a link between conserved gene expression and functionally relevant circuitry. PMID:26571460

  1. Canonical genetic signatures of the adult human brain.

    PubMed

    Hawrylycz, Michael; Miller, Jeremy A; Menon, Vilas; Feng, David; Dolbeare, Tim; Guillozet-Bongaarts, Angela L; Jegga, Anil G; Aronow, Bruce J; Lee, Chang-Kyu; Bernard, Amy; Glasser, Matthew F; Dierker, Donna L; Menche, Jörg; Szafer, Aaron; Collman, Forrest; Grange, Pascal; Berman, Kenneth A; Mihalas, Stefan; Yao, Zizhen; Stewart, Lance; Barabási, Albert-László; Schulkin, Jay; Phillips, John; Ng, Lydia; Dang, Chinh; Haynor, David R; Jones, Allan; Van Essen, David C; Koch, Christof; Lein, Ed

    2015-12-01

    The structure and function of the human brain are highly stereotyped, implying a conserved molecular program responsible for its development, cellular structure and function. We applied a correlation-based metric called differential stability to assess reproducibility of gene expression patterning across 132 structures in six individual brains, revealing mesoscale genetic organization. The genes with the highest differential stability are highly biologically relevant, with enrichment for brain-related annotations, disease associations, drug targets and literature citations. Using genes with high differential stability, we identified 32 anatomically diverse and reproducible gene expression signatures, which represent distinct cell types, intracellular components and/or associations with neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Genes in neuron-associated compared to non-neuronal networks showed higher preservation between human and mouse; however, many diversely patterned genes displayed marked shifts in regulation between species. Finally, highly consistent transcriptional architecture in neocortex is correlated with resting state functional connectivity, suggesting a link between conserved gene expression and functionally relevant circuitry. PMID:26571460

  2. Genetic Methods to Identify and Manipulate Newly Born Neurons in the Adult Brain

    PubMed Central

    Imayoshi, Itaru; Sakamoto, Masayuki; Kageyama, Ryoichiro

    2011-01-01

    Although mammalian neurogenesis is mostly completed by the perinatal period, new neurons are continuously generated in the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricle and the subgranular zone of the hippocampal dentate gyrus. Since the discovery of adult neurogenesis, many extensive studies have been performed on various aspects of adult neurogenesis, including proliferation and fate-specification of adult neural stem cells, and the migration, maturation and synaptic integration of newly born neurons. Furthermore, recent research has shed light on the intensive contribution of adult neurogenesis to olfactory-related and hippocampus-mediated brain functions. The field of adult neurogenesis progressed tremendously thanks to technical advances that facilitate the identification and selective manipulation of newly born neurons among billions of pre-existing neurons in the adult central nervous system. In this review, we introduce recent advances in the methodologies for visualizing newly generated neurons and manipulating neurogenesis in the adult brain. Particularly, the application of site-specific recombinases and Tet inducible system in combination with transgenic or gene targeting strategy is discussed in further detail. PMID:21562606

  3. Brain Blood Flow Related to Acoustic Laryngeal Reaction Time in Adult Developmental Stutterers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watson, Ben C.; And Others

    1992-01-01

    This study sought to identify patterns of impaired acoustic laryngeal reaction time as a function of response complexity parallel to metabolic measures of brain function. Findings indicated that the disruption in speech motor control for 16 adult male developmental stutterers was systematically related to metabolic asymmetry in left superior and…

  4. Brain Mapping of Language and Auditory Perception in High-Functioning Autistic Adults: A PET Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muller, R-A.; Behen, M. E.; Rothermel, R. D.; Chugani, D. C.; Muzik, O.; Mangner, T. J.; Chugani, H. T.

    1999-01-01

    A study used positron emission tomography (PET) to study patterns of brain activation during auditory processing in five high-functioning adults with autism. Results found that participants showed reversed hemispheric dominance during the verbal auditory stimulation and reduced activation of the auditory cortex and cerebellum. (CR)

  5. Humor, Rapport, and Uncomfortable Moments in Interactions with Adults with Traumatic Brain Injury

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kovarsky, Dana; Schiemer, Christine; Murray, Allison

    2011-01-01

    We examined uncomfortable moments that damaged rapport during group interactions between college students in training to become speech-language pathologists and adults with traumatic brain injury. The students worked as staff in a community-based program affiliated with a university training program that functioned as a recreational gathering…

  6. Adding chemo after radiation treatment improves survival for adults with a type of brain tumor

    Cancer.gov

    Adults with low-grade gliomas, a form of brain tumor, who received chemotherapy following completion of radiation therapy lived longer than patients who received radiation therapy alone, according to long-term follow-up results from a NIH-supported random

  7. Neural Underpinnings of Working Memory in Adult Survivors of Childhood Brain Tumors.

    PubMed

    King, Tricia Z; Na, Sabrina; Mao, Hui

    2015-08-01

    Adult survivors of childhood brain tumors are at risk for cognitive performance deficits that require the core cognitive skill of working memory. Our goal was to examine the neural mechanisms underlying working memory performance in survivors. We studied the working memory of adult survivors of pediatric posterior fossa brain tumors using a letter n-back paradigm with varying cognitive workload (0-, 1-, 2-, and 3-back) and functional magnetic resonance imaging as well as neuropsychological measures. Survivors of childhood brain tumors evidenced lower working memory performance than demographically matched healthy controls. Whole-brain analyses revealed significantly greater blood-oxygen level dependent (BOLD) activation in the left superior / middle frontal gyri and left parietal lobe during working memory (2-back versus 0-back contrast) in survivors. Left frontal BOLD response negatively correlated with 2- and 3-back working memory performance, Auditory Consonant Trigrams (ACT), and Digit Span Backwards. In contrast, parietal lobe BOLD response negatively correlated with 0-back (vigilance task) and ACT. The results revealed that adult survivors of childhood posterior fossa brain tumors recruited additional cognitive control resources in the prefrontal lobe during increased working memory demands. This increased prefrontal activation is associated with lower working memory performance and is consistent with the allocation of latent resources theory. PMID:26234757

  8. Musical Training Shapes Structural Brain Development

    PubMed Central

    Hyde, Krista L.; Lerch, Jason; Norton, Andrea; Forgeard, Marie; Winner, Ellen; Evans, Alan C.; Schlaug, Gottfried

    2010-01-01

    The human brain has the remarkable capacity to alter in response to environmental demands. Training-induced structural brain changes have been demonstrated in the healthy adult human brain. However, no study has yet directly related structural brain changes to behavioral changes in the developing brain, addressing the question of whether structural brain differences seen in adults (comparing experts with matched controls) are a product of “nature” (via biological brain predispositions) or “nurture” (via early training). Long-term instrumental music training is an intense, multisensory, and motor experience and offers an ideal opportunity to study structural brain plasticity in the developing brain in correlation with behavioral changes induced by training. Here we demonstrate structural brain changes after only 15 months of musical training in early childhood, which were correlated with improvements in musically relevant motor and auditory skills. These findings shed light on brain plasticity and suggest that structural brain differences in adult experts (whether musicians or experts in other areas) are likely due to training-induced brain plasticity. PMID:19279238

  9. Traumatic Brain Injury Activation of the Adult Subventricular Zone Neurogenic Niche.

    PubMed

    Chang, Eun Hyuk; Adorjan, Istvan; Mundim, Mayara V; Sun, Bin; Dizon, Maria L V; Szele, Francis G

    2016-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is common in both civilian and military life, placing a large burden on survivors and society. However, with the recognition of neural stem cells in adult mammals, including humans, came the possibility to harness these cells for repair of damaged brain, whereas previously this was thought to be impossible. In this review, we focus on the rodent adult subventricular zone (SVZ), an important neurogenic niche within the mature brain in which neural stem cells continue to reside. We review how the SVZ is perturbed following various animal TBI models with regards to cell proliferation, emigration, survival, and differentiation, and we review specific molecules involved in these processes. Together, this information suggests next steps in attempting to translate knowledge from TBI animal models into human therapies for TBI. PMID:27531972

  10. Traumatic Brain Injury Activation of the Adult Subventricular Zone Neurogenic Niche

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Eun Hyuk; Adorjan, Istvan; Mundim, Mayara V.; Sun, Bin; Dizon, Maria L. V.; Szele, Francis G.

    2016-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is common in both civilian and military life, placing a large burden on survivors and society. However, with the recognition of neural stem cells in adult mammals, including humans, came the possibility to harness these cells for repair of damaged brain, whereas previously this was thought to be impossible. In this review, we focus on the rodent adult subventricular zone (SVZ), an important neurogenic niche within the mature brain in which neural stem cells continue to reside. We review how the SVZ is perturbed following various animal TBI models with regards to cell proliferation, emigration, survival, and differentiation, and we review specific molecules involved in these processes. Together, this information suggests next steps in attempting to translate knowledge from TBI animal models into human therapies for TBI. PMID:27531972

  11. [Regulation of neurogenesis: factors affecting of new neurons formation in adult mammals brain].

    PubMed

    Respondek, Michalina; Buszman, Ewa

    2015-01-01

    Neurogenesis is a complex and multi-step process of generating completely functional neurons. This process in adult brain is based on pluripotentional neuronal stem cells (NSC), which are able to proliferation and differentiation into mature neurons or glial cells. NSC are located in subgranular zone inside hippocampus and in subventricular zone. The new neurons formation depends on many endo- and exogenous factors which modulate each step of neurogenesis. This article describes the most important regulators of adult neurogenesis, mainly: neurotrophins, growth factors, hormones, neurotransmitters and microenvironment of NSC. Some drugs, especially antipsychotics, antidepressants and normothymics may affect the neurogenic properties of adult brain. Moreover pathological processes such as neuroinflammation, stroke or epilepsy are able to induce proliferation of NSC. The proneurogenic effects of psychotropic drugs and pathological processes are associated with their ability to increase some hormones and neurotrophins level, as well as with rising the expression of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 protein and metalloproteinase MMP-2. Additionaly, some drugs, for example haloperidol, are able to block prolactin and dopaminergic neuroblasts receptors. Down-regulation of adult neurogenesis is associated with alcohol abuse and high stress level. Negative effect of many drugs, such as cytostatics, COX-2 inhibitors and opioides was also observed. The proneurogenic effect of described factors suggest their broad therapeutic potential and gives a new perspective on an effective and modern treatment of many neuropsychiatric disorders. This effect can also help to clarify the pathogenesis of disorders associated with proliferation and degeneration of adult brain cells. PMID:27259217

  12. Quantitative Expression Profile of Distinct Functional Regions in the Adult Mouse Brain

    PubMed Central

    Nagano, Mamoru; Uno, Kenichiro D.; Tsujino, Kaori; Hanashima, Carina; Shigeyoshi, Yasufumi; Ueda, Hiroki R.

    2011-01-01

    The adult mammalian brain is composed of distinct regions with specialized roles including regulation of circadian clocks, feeding, sleep/awake, and seasonal rhythms. To find quantitative differences of expression among such various brain regions, we conducted the BrainStars (B*) project, in which we profiled the genome-wide expression of ∼50 small brain regions, including sensory centers, and centers for motion, time, memory, fear, and feeding. To avoid confounds from temporal differences in gene expression, we sampled each region every 4 hours for 24 hours, and pooled the samples for DNA-microarray assays. Therefore, we focused on spatial differences in gene expression. We used informatics to identify candidate genes with expression changes showing high or low expression in specific regions. We also identified candidate genes with stable expression across brain regions that can be used as new internal control genes, and ligand-receptor interactions of neurohormones and neurotransmitters. Through these analyses, we found 8,159 multi-state genes, 2,212 regional marker gene candidates for 44 small brain regions, 915 internal control gene candidates, and 23,864 inferred ligand-receptor interactions. We also found that these sets include well-known genes as well as novel candidate genes that might be related to specific functions in brain regions. We used our findings to develop an integrated database (http://brainstars.org/) for exploring genome-wide expression in the adult mouse brain, and have made this database openly accessible. These new resources will help accelerate the functional analysis of the mammalian brain and the elucidation of its regulatory network systems. PMID:21858037

  13. The brain on stress: vulnerability and plasticity of the prefrontal cortex over the life course.

    PubMed

    McEwen, Bruce S; Morrison, John H

    2013-07-10

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in working memory and self-regulatory and goal-directed behaviors and displays remarkable structural and functional plasticity over the life course. Neural circuitry, molecular profiles, and neurochemistry can be changed by experiences, which influence behavior as well as neuroendocrine and autonomic function. Such effects have a particular impact during infancy and in adolescence. Behavioral stress affects both the structure and function of PFC, though such effects are not necessarily permanent, as young animals show remarkable neuronal resilience if the stress is discontinued. During aging, neurons within the PFC become less resilient to stress. There are also sex differences in the PFC response to stressors. While such stress and sex hormone-related alterations occur in regions mediating the highest levels of cognitive function and self-regulatory control, the fact that they are not necessarily permanent has implications for future behavior-based therapies that harness neural plasticity for recovery. PMID:23849196

  14. Rapid and efficient gene delivery into the adult mouse brain via focal electroporation

    PubMed Central

    Nomura, Tadashi; Nishimura, Yusuke; Gotoh, Hitoshi; Ono, Katsuhiko

    2016-01-01

    In vivo gene delivery is required for studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms of various biological events. Virus-mediated gene transfer or generation of transgenic animals is widely used; however, these methods are time-consuming and expensive. Here we show an improved electroporation technique for acute gene delivery into the adult mouse brain. Using a syringe-based microelectrode, local DNA injection and the application of electric current can be performed simultaneously; this allows rapid and efficient gene transduction of adult non-neuronal cells. Combining this technique with various expression vectors that carry specific promoters resulted in targeted gene expression in astrocytic cells. Our results constitute a powerful strategy for the genetic manipulation of adult brains in a spatio-temporally controlled manner. PMID:27430903

  15. Rapid and efficient gene delivery into the adult mouse brain via focal electroporation.

    PubMed

    Nomura, Tadashi; Nishimura, Yusuke; Gotoh, Hitoshi; Ono, Katsuhiko

    2016-01-01

    In vivo gene delivery is required for studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms of various biological events. Virus-mediated gene transfer or generation of transgenic animals is widely used; however, these methods are time-consuming and expensive. Here we show an improved electroporation technique for acute gene delivery into the adult mouse brain. Using a syringe-based microelectrode, local DNA injection and the application of electric current can be performed simultaneously; this allows rapid and efficient gene transduction of adult non-neuronal cells. Combining this technique with various expression vectors that carry specific promoters resulted in targeted gene expression in astrocytic cells. Our results constitute a powerful strategy for the genetic manipulation of adult brains in a spatio-temporally controlled manner. PMID:27430903

  16. Cognitive and neural plasticity in older adults' prospective memory following training with the Virtual Week computer game.

    PubMed

    Rose, Nathan S; Rendell, Peter G; Hering, Alexandra; Kliegel, Matthias; Bidelman, Gavin M; Craik, Fergus I M

    2015-01-01

    Prospective memory (PM) - the ability to remember and successfully execute our intentions and planned activities - is critical for functional independence and declines with age, yet few studies have attempted to train PM in older adults. We developed a PM training program using the Virtual Week computer game. Trained participants played the game in 12, 1-h sessions over 1 month. Measures of neuropsychological functions, lab-based PM, event-related potentials (ERPs) during performance on a lab-based PM task, instrumental activities of daily living, and real-world PM were assessed before and after training. Performance was compared to both no-contact and active (music training) control groups. PM on the Virtual Week game dramatically improved following training relative to controls, suggesting PM plasticity is preserved in older adults. Relative to control participants, training did not produce reliable transfer to laboratory-based tasks, but was associated with a reduction of an ERP component (sustained negativity over occipito-parietal cortex) associated with processing PM cues, indicative of more automatic PM retrieval. Most importantly, training produced far transfer to real-world outcomes including improvements in performance on real-world PM and activities of daily living. Real-world gains were not observed in either control group. Our findings demonstrate that short-term training with the Virtual Week game produces cognitive and neural plasticity that may result in real-world benefits to supporting functional independence in older adulthood. PMID:26578936

  17. Regional Brain Volumes and ADHD Symptoms in Middle-Aged Adults: The PATH Through Life Study.

    PubMed

    Das, Debjani; Cherbuin, Nicolas; Anstey, Kaarin J; Abhayaratna, Walter; Easteal, Simon

    2014-02-24

    Objective: We investigated whether volumetric differences in ADHD-associated brain regions are related to current symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity in healthy middle-aged adults and whether co-occurring anxiety/depression symptoms moderate these relationships. Method: ADHD Self-Report Scale and Brief Patient Health Questionnaire were used to assess current symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, anxiety, and depression in a population-based sample (n = 269). Brain volumes, measured using a semi-automated method, were analyzed using multiple regression and structural equation modeling to evaluate brain volume-inattention/hyperactivity symptom relationships for selected regions. Results: Volumes of the left nucleus accumbens and a region overlapping the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were positively associated with inattention symptoms. Left hippocampal volume was negatively associated with hyperactivity symptoms. The brain volume-inattention/hyperactivity symptom associations were stronger when anxiety/depression symptoms were controlled for. Conclusion: Inattention and hyperactivity symptoms in middle-aged adults are associated with different brain regions and co-occurring anxiety/depression symptoms moderate these brain-behavior relationships. (J. of Att. Dis. XXXX; XX(X) XX-XX). PMID:24567365

  18. Comparing plastic ingestion in juvenile and adult stranded short-tailed shearwaters (Puffinus tenuirostris) in eastern Australia.

    PubMed

    Acampora, Heidi; Schuyler, Qamar A; Townsend, Kathy A; Hardesty, Britta Denise

    2014-01-15

    Numerous species of seabirds have been shown to ingest anthropogenic debris, but few studies have compared ingestion rates between adults and juveniles of the same species. We investigated marine debris ingestion by short-tailed shearwaters (Puffinus tenuirostris) obtained through two stranding events on North Stradbroke Island, Australia in 2010 (n=102; adult) and 2012 (n=27; juveniles). Necropsies were conducted and solid contents found in guts were categorized into type and color. Over 67% of birds ingested anthropogenic debris: 399 pieces of debris were identified. We found no significant relationship between body condition of birds which had ingested anthropogenic debris and those that had not. Juvenile birds were more likely to ingest debris than were adult birds and juveniles ingested significantly more pieces of debris than did adults. Male and female birds ingested similar amounts and weights of debris. To determine if P. tenuirostris actively selects for certain types of debris, we compared ingested debris to samples obtained from boat-based tows. Significant differences were found, suggesting that the birds select for hard plastic, rubber and balloons. PMID:24295596

  19. Analgesic use and the risk of primary adult brain tumor.

    PubMed

    Egan, Kathleen M; Nabors, Louis B; Thompson, Zachary J; Rozmeski, Carrie M; Anic, Gabriella A; Olson, Jeffrey J; LaRocca, Renato V; Chowdhary, Sajeel A; Forsyth, Peter A; Thompson, Reid C

    2016-09-01

    Glioma and meningioma are uncommon tumors of the brain with few known risk factors. Regular use of aspirin has been linked to a lower risk of gastrointestinal and other cancers, though evidence for an association with brain tumors is mixed. We examined the association of aspirin and other analgesics with the risk of glioma and meningioma in a large US case-control study. Cases were persons recently diagnosed with glioma or meningioma and treated at medical centers in the southeastern US. Controls were persons sampled from the same communities as the cases combined with friends and other associates of the cases. Information on past use of analgesics (aspirin, other anti-inflammatory agents, and acetaminophen) was collected in structured interviews. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) for analgesic use adjusted for potential confounders. All associations were considered according to indication for use. A total of 1123 glioma cases, 310 meningioma cases and 1296 controls were included in the analysis. For indications other than headache, glioma cases were less likely than controls to report regular use of aspirin (OR 0.69; CI 0.56, 0.87), in a dose-dependent manner (P trend < 0.001). No significant associations were observed with other analgesics for glioma, or any class of pain reliever for meningioma. Results suggest that regular aspirin use may reduce incidence of glioma. PMID:26894804

  20. Brain Pathology in Adult Rats Treated With Domoic Acid.

    PubMed

    Vieira, A C; Alemañ, N; Cifuentes, J M; Bermúdez, R; Peña, M López; Botana, L M

    2015-11-01

    Domoic acid (DA) is a neurotoxin reported to produce damage to the hippocampus, which plays an important role in memory. The authors inoculated rats intraperitoneally with an effective toxic dose of DA to study the distribution of the toxin in major internal organs by using immunohistochemistry, as well as to evaluate the induced pathology by means of histopathologic and immunohistochemical methods at different time points after toxin administration (6, 10, and 24 hours; 5 and 54 days). DA was detected by immunohistochemistry exclusively in pyramidal neurons of the hippocampus at 6 and 10 hours after dosing. Lesions induced by DA were prominent at 5 days following treatment in selected regions of the brain: hippocampus, amygdala, piriform and perirhinal cortices, olfactory tubercle, septal nuclei, and thalamus. The authors found 2 types of lesions: delayed death of selective neurons and large areas of necrosis, both accompanied by astrocytosis and microgliosis. At 54 days after DA exposure, the pathology was characterized by still-distinguishable dying neurons, calcified lesions in the thalamus, persistent astrocytosis, and pronounced microgliosis. The expression of nitric oxide synthases suggests a role for nitric oxide in the pathogenesis of neuronal degeneration and chronic inflammation induced by DA in the brain. PMID:25939577

  1. Highly Specific Structural Plasticity of Inhibitory Circuits in the Adult Neocortex

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jerry L.; Nedivi, Elly

    2016-01-01

    Inhibitory neurons are known to play a vital role in defining the window for critical period plasticity during development, and it is increasingly apparent that they continue to exert powerful control over experience-dependent cortical plasticity in adulthood. Recent in vivo imaging studies demonstrate that long-term plasticity of inhibitory circuits is manifested at an anatomical level. Changes in sensory experience drive structural remodeling in inhibitory interneurons in a cell-type and circuit-specific manner. Inhibitory synapse formation and elimination can occur with a great deal of spatial and temporal precision and are locally coordinated with excitatory synaptic changes on the same neuron.We suggest that the specificity of inhibitory synapse dynamics may serve to differentially modulate activity across the dendritic arbor, to selectively tune parts of a local circuit, or potentially discriminate between activities in distinct local circuits. We further review evidence suggesting that inhibitory circuit structural changes instruct excitatory/inhibitory balance while enabling functional reorganization to occur through Hebbian forms of plasticity. PMID:23474602

  2. Efficacy of 68Ga-DOTATOC Positron Emission Tomography (PET) CT in Children and Young Adults With Brain Tumors

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2016-09-07

    Acoustic Schwannoma; Adult Anaplastic Astrocytoma; Adult Anaplastic Ependymoma; Adult Anaplastic Meningioma; Adult Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma; Adult Brain Stem Glioma; Adult Choroid Plexus Tumor; Adult Craniopharyngioma; Adult Diffuse Astrocytoma; Adult Ependymoblastoma; Adult Ependymoma; Adult Giant Cell Glioblastoma; Adult Glioblastoma; Adult Gliosarcoma; Adult Grade I Meningioma; Adult Grade II Meningioma; Adult Medulloblastoma; Adult Meningeal Hemangiopericytoma; Adult Mixed Glioma; Adult Myxopapillary Ependymoma; Adult Oligodendroglioma; Adult Papillary Meningioma; Adult Pilocytic Astrocytoma; Adult Pineal Gland Astrocytoma; Adult Pineoblastoma; Adult Pineocytoma; Adult Subependymal Giant Cell Astrocytoma; Adult Subependymoma; Adult Supratentorial Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor (PNET); Childhood Choroid Plexus Tumor; Childhood Craniopharyngioma; Childhood Ependymoblastoma; Childhood Grade I Meningioma; Childhood Grade II Meningioma; Childhood Grade III Meningioma; Childhood High-grade Cerebellar Astrocytoma; Childhood High-grade Cerebral Astrocytoma; Childhood Infratentorial Ependymoma; Childhood Low-grade Cerebellar Astrocytoma; Childhood Low-grade Cerebral Astrocytoma; Childhood Medulloepithelioma; Childhood Supratentorial Ependymoma; Meningeal Melanocytoma; Newly Diagnosed Childhood Ependymoma; Recurrent Adult Brain Tumor; Recurrent Childhood Anaplastic Astrocytoma; Recurrent Childhood Anaplastic Oligoastrocytoma; Recurrent Childhood Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma; Recurrent Childhood Brain Stem Glioma; Recurrent Childhood Cerebellar Astrocytoma; Recurrent Childhood Cerebral Astrocytoma; Recurrent Childhood Diffuse Astrocytoma; Recurrent Childhood Ependymoma; Recurrent Childhood Fibrillary Astrocytoma; Recurrent Childhood Gemistocytic Astrocytoma; Recurrent Childhood Giant Cell Glioblastoma; Recurrent Childhood Glioblastoma; Recurrent Childhood Gliomatosis Cerebri; Recurrent Childhood Gliosarcoma; Recurrent Childhood Medulloblastoma; Recurrent Childhood

  3. Rejecting familiar distracters during recognition in young adults with traumatic brain injury and in healthy older adults.

    PubMed

    Ozen, Lana J; Skinner, Erin I; Fernandes, Myra A

    2010-05-01

    The most common cognitive complaint reported by healthy older adults and young adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI) is memory difficulties. We investigated the effects of normal aging and the long-term effects of TBI in young adults on the susceptibility to incorrectly endorse distracter information on a memory test. Prior to a study phase, participants viewed a "pre-exposure" list containing distracter words, presented once or three times, and half of the target study words. Subsequently, during the study phase, all target words were presented such that, across lists, study words were viewed either once or three times. On the recognition test, TBI and older adult participants were more likely to falsely endorse "pre-exposed" distracter words viewed three times as being from the target study list, compared to non-head-injured young controls. Normal aging and head injury in young may similarly compromise one's ability to reject highly familiar, but distracting, information during recognition. Older adult and TBI participants were also slower to complete the Trail Making task and had poorer output on a Digit Span task, suggesting these two populations share a deficit in executive function and working memory. Similar changes in frontal lobe function may underlie these shared cognitive deficits. PMID:20211048

  4. Evaluation of a Reading Comprehension Strategy Package to Improve Reading Comprehension of Adult College Students with Acquired Brain Injuries

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Griffiths, Gina G.

    2013-01-01

    Adults with mild to moderate acquired brain injury (ABI) often pursue post-secondary or professional education after their injuries in order to enter or re-enter the job market. An increasing number of these adults report problems with reading-to-learn. The problem is particularly concerning given the growing population of adult survivors of ABI.…

  5. Hearing Aid-Induced Plasticity in the Auditory System of Older Adults: Evidence from Speech Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lavie, Limor; Banai, Karen; Karni, Avi; Attias, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: We tested whether using hearing aids can improve unaided performance in speech perception tasks in older adults with hearing impairment. Method: Unaided performance was evaluated in dichotic listening and speech-­in-­noise tests in 47 older adults with hearing impairment; 36 participants in 3 study groups were tested before hearing aid…

  6. Phantom limbs and neural plasticity.

    PubMed

    Ramachandran, V S; Rogers-Ramachandran, D

    2000-03-01

    The study of phantom limbs has received tremendous impetus from recent studies linking changes in cortical topography with perceptual experience. Systematic psychophysical testing and functional imaging studies on patients with phantom limbs provide 2 unique opportunities. First, they allow us to demonstrate neural plasticity in the adult human brain. Second, by tracking perceptual changes (such as referred sensations) and changes in cortical topography in individual patients, we can begin to explore how the activity of sensory maps gives rise to conscious experience. Finally, phantom limbs also allow us to explore intersensory effects and the manner in which the brain constructs and updates a "body image" throughout life. PMID:10714655

  7. Transient prenatal vitamin D deficiency is associated with changes of synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus in adult rats.

    PubMed

    Grecksch, Gisela; Rüthrich, Heinz; Höllt, Volker; Becker, Axel

    2009-12-01

    Transient prenatal vitamin D deficiency is considered a neurodevelopmental animal model in schizophrenia research. Vitamin D deficiency in female rats causes morphological, cellular and molecular changes in the brain and alters behaviour and nerve growth factors expression in their offspring. Prenatal depleted animals showed a significant impairment of latent inhibition, a feature often associated with schizophrenia and of hole board habituation. Interestingly, memory consolidation of brightness discrimination was improved. Possible functional effects of altered brain development that results from prenatal vitamin D deficiency were characterized by investigation of potentiation phenomena in the hippocampus in freely moving rats. Transient prenatal vitamin D deficiency induced an enhancement of long-term potentiation (LTP) using either weak tetanic or strong tetanic stimulation, whereas the response to test stimuli was not changed. The classic neuroleptic drug haloperidol (Hal) and the atypical neuroleptic risperidone (Ris) in doses, which normalized behavioural disturbances in prenatal vitamin D-deficient animals without any side effects on the normal behaviour decreased the enhanced LTP in the experimental group to control level. Interestingly, the effect of the substances was different in experimental and control rats. The LTP was enhanced in control animals by the low doses of the drugs effective in our behavioural experiments. It can be suggested, that changes in brain development induced by prenatal vitamin D deficiency lead to specific functional alterations in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. LTP is considered a cellular correlate of learning and memory. The better retention performance in brightness discrimination seems in accordance with enhanced potentiation level. PMID:19647946

  8. Neuronal Organization of Deep Brain Opsin Photoreceptors in Adult Teleosts

    PubMed Central

    Hang, Chong Yee; Kitahashi, Takashi; Parhar, Ishwar S.

    2016-01-01

    Biological impacts of light beyond vision, i.e., non-visual functions of light, signify the need to better understand light detection (or photoreception) systems in vertebrates. Photopigments, which comprise light-absorbing chromophores bound to a variety of G-protein coupled receptor opsins, are responsible for visual and non-visual photoreception. Non-visual opsin photopigments in the retina of mammals and extra-retinal tissues of non-mammals play an important role in non-image-forming functions of light, e.g., biological rhythms and seasonal reproduction. This review highlights the role of opsin photoreceptors in the deep brain, which could involve conserved neurochemical systems that control different time- and light-dependent physiologies in in non-mammalian vertebrates including teleost fish. PMID:27199680

  9. Brain metabolite concentrations across cortical regions in healthy adults

    PubMed Central

    Bracken, Bethany K.; Jensen, J. Eric; Prescot, Andrew P.; Cohen, Bruce M.; Renshaw, Perry F.; Öngür, Dost

    2010-01-01

    Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) can provide in vivo information about metabolite levels across multiple brain regions. This study used MRS to examine concentrations of N-acetylaspartate (NAA), a marker of neuronal integrity and function, and choline (Cho) which is related to the amount of cell membrane per unit volume, in anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and parieto-occipital cortex (POC) in healthy individuals. Data were drawn from two experiments which examined glutamatergic and GABAergic signaling in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. After controlling for gray matter percentages, NAA/Creatine (Cr) was 18% higher in POC than in ACC (p<0.001); Cho/Cr was 46% lower in POC than in ACC (p<0.001). There was an effect of study (p<0.001 for both metabolites), but no region by study interaction (NAA p=0.101, Cho p=0.850). Since NAA is localized to the intracellular space, these data suggest that ACC neuronal compartment is reduced as compared with POC, or that there is a lower concentration of NAA per cell in the ACC than POC, or both. Since elevated Cho suggests more cell membrane per unit volume, reduced NAA in ACC appears to be coupled with increases in overall cell membrane compartment. These findings are consistent with a number of previous studies using proton MRS which found increasing NAA and decreasing Cho moving caudally, and with post mortem anatomical studies which found neurons in more widely spaced bundles in ACC when compared to parietal and occipital cortices. MRS may be a useful tool for studying physical properties of the living human brain. PMID:21081116

  10. Frog Virus 3 dissemination in the brain of tadpoles, but not in adult Xenopus, involves blood brain barrier dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    De Jesús Andino, Francisco; Jones, Letitia; Maggirwar, Sanjay B.; Robert, Jacques

    2016-01-01

    While increasing evidence points to a key role of monocytes in amphibian host defenses, monocytes are also thought to be important in the dissemination and persistent infection caused by ranavirus. However, little is known about the fate of infected macrophages or if ranavirus exploits immune privileged organs, such as the brain, in order to establish a reservoir. The amphibian Xenopus laevis and Frog Virus 3 (FV3) were established as an experimental platform for investigating in vivo whether ranavirus could disseminate to the brain. Our data show that the FV3 infection alters the BBB integrity, possibly mediated by an inflammatory response, which leads to viral dissemination into the central nervous system in X. laevis tadpole but not adult. Furthermore, our data suggest that the macrophages play a major role in viral dissemination by carrying the virus into the neural tissues. PMID:26931458

  11. Cocaine-induced expression changes of axon guidance molecules in the adult rat brain.

    PubMed

    Bahi, Amine; Dreyer, Jean-Luc

    2005-02-01

    Administration of drugs of abuse induces strong molecular adaptations and plasticity within the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system, a pathway essential for reward-seeking behavior. Little is known about the specific targets involved in this neuroadaptation process, but there are indications that cocaine and other drugs of abuse share the ability to alter the morphology of neuronal dendrites and spines, the primary site of excitatory synapses in the brain. Axon guidance molecules, the very molecular cues that regulate the formation of axon-target connections during development, may mediate these alterations. To test this hypothesis, we investigated mRNA expression changes of 39 axon guidance molecules, including 17 Semaphorins, 12 Ephs, 8 Ephrins, and 2 neuropilins in the mesolimbic dopamine system of cocaine-treated animals under different paradigms by mean of DNA-Microarray and quantitative real-time PCR. In all cases, strong changes in gene expression are observed, yielding to up or downregulation of these axon guidance molecules. Our data suggest that cocaine treatment induces activation of a complex program of synaptic rearrangements, which may partly recapitulate the plastic changes occurring during development, and may underlie the important neuroplastic adaptations that occur in the reward- and memory-related brain centers following drug action. We conclude that in some brain regions, exposure to psychomotor-stimulant drugs produce expression changes in axon guidance molecules, which may contribute to cognitive deficits associated with drug abuse. PMID:15691709

  12. Segmentation of center brains and optic lobes in 3D confocal images of adult fruit fly brains.

    PubMed

    Lam, Shing Chun Benny; Ruan, Zongcai; Zhao, Ting; Long, Fuhui; Jenett, Arnim; Simpson, Julie; Myers, Eugene W; Peng, Hanchuan

    2010-02-01

    Automatic alignment (registration) of 3D images of adult fruit fly brains is often influenced by the significant displacement of the relative locations of the two optic lobes (OLs) and the center brain (CB). In one of our ongoing efforts to produce a better image alignment pipeline of adult fruit fly brains, we consider separating CB and OLs and align them independently. This paper reports our automatic method to segregate CB and OLs, in particular under conditions where the signal to noise ratio (SNR) is low, the variation of the image intensity is big, and the relative displacement of OLs and CB is substantial. We design an algorithm to find a minimum-cost 3D surface in a 3D image stack to best separate an OL (of one side, either left or right) from CB. This surface is defined as an aggregation of the respective minimum-cost curves detected in each individual 2D image slice. Each curve is defined by a list of control points that best segregate OL and CB. To obtain the locations of these control points, we derive an energy function that includes an image energy term defined by local pixel intensities and two internal energy terms that constrain the curve's smoothness and length. Gradient descent method is used to optimize this energy function. To improve both the speed and robustness of the method, for each stack, the locations of optimized control points in a slice are taken as the initialization prior for the next slice. We have tested this approach on simulated and real 3D fly brain image stacks and demonstrated that this method can reasonably segregate OLs from CBs despite the aforementioned difficulties. PMID:19698789

  13. The functional organisation of glia in the adult brain of Drosophila and other insects

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Tara N.; Meinertzhagen, Ian A.

    2010-01-01

    This review annotates and categorises the glia of adult Drosophila and other model insects and describes the developmental origins of these in the Drosophila optic lobe. The functions of glia in the adult vary depending upon their sub-type and location in the brain. The task of annotating glia is essentially complete only for the glia of the fly's lamina, which comprise: two types of surface glia - the pseudocartridge and fenestrated glia; two types of cortex glia - the distal and proximal satellite glia; and two types of neuropile glia - the epithelial and marginal glia. We advocate that the term subretinal glia, as used to refer to both pseudocartridge and fenestrated glia, be abandoned. Other neuropiles contain similar glial subtypes, but other than the antennal lobes these have not been described in detail. Surface glia form the blood brain barrier, regulating the flow of substances into and out of the nervous system, both for the brain as a whole and the optic neuropiles in particular. Cortex glia provide a second level of barrier, wrapping axon fascicles and isolating neuronal cell bodies both from neighbouring brain regions and from their underlying neuropiles. Neuropile glia can be generated in the adult and a subtype, ensheathing glia, are responsible for cleaning up cellular debris during Wallerian degeneration. Both the neuropile ensheathing and astrocyte-like glia may be involved in clearing neurotransmitters from the extracellular space, thus modifying the levels of histamine, glutamate and possibly dopamine at the synapse to ultimately affect behaviour. PMID:20109517

  14. Localization and regulation of PML bodies in the adult mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Hall, Małgorzata H; Magalska, Adriana; Malinowska, Monika; Ruszczycki, Błażej; Czaban, Iwona; Patel, Satyam; Ambrożek-Latecka, Magdalena; Zołocińska, Ewa; Broszkiewicz, Hanna; Parobczak, Kamil; Nair, Rajeevkumar R; Rylski, Marcin; Pawlak, Robert; Bramham, Clive R; Wilczyński, Grzegorz M

    2016-06-01

    PML is a tumor suppressor protein involved in the pathogenesis of promyelocytic leukemia. In non-neuronal cells, PML is a principal component of characteristic nuclear bodies. In the brain, PML has been implicated in the control of embryonic neurogenesis, and in certain physiological and pathological phenomena in the adult brain. Yet, the cellular and subcellular localization of the PML protein in the brain, including its presence in the nuclear bodies, has not been investigated comprehensively. Because the formation of PML bodies appears to be a key aspect in the function of the PML protein, we investigated the presence of these structures and their anatomical distribution, throughout the adult mouse brain. We found that PML is broadly expressed across the gray matter, with the highest levels in the cerebral and cerebellar cortices. In the cerebral cortex PML is present exclusively in neurons, in which it forms well-defined nuclear inclusions containing SUMO-1, SUMO 2/3, but not Daxx. At the ultrastructural level, the appearance of neuronal PML bodies differs from the classic one, i.e., the solitary structure with more or less distinctive capsule. Rather, neuronal PML bodies have the form of small PML protein aggregates located in the close vicinity of chromatin threads. The number, size, and signal intensity of neuronal PML bodies are dynamically influenced by immobilization stress and seizures. Our study indicates that PML bodies are broadly involved in activity-dependent nuclear phenomena in adult neurons. PMID:25956166

  15. Calpain proteolysis of alpha II-spectrin in the normal adult human brain.

    PubMed

    Huh, G Y; Glantz, S B; Je, S; Morrow, J S; Kim, J H

    2001-12-01

    The proteolysis of alphaII-spectrin by calpain may be physiologically involved with synaptic remodeling, long-term potentiation, and memory formation. Calpain activation may also mediate neuronal apoptosis, responses to hypoxic insult, and excitotoxic injury. Surprisingly little is known of the activity of these calpain-mediated processes in the adult human brain. Using an antibody that specifically recognizes calpain-cleaved alphaII-spectrin, we have mapped the topographic distribution of the major alphaII-spectrin break-down product (alphaII-bdp1) in six adult brains examined post-mortem. All brains were from patients without evident neurological disease. Focally positive alphaII-bdp1 was consistently detected in the neuropil of the cortical gray matter, in occasional pyramidal neurons, and in rare reactive astrocytes in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. Cerebellar Purkinje cells were more frequently, and more intensely, immunopositive. In all fields, staining was most intense in the soma and dendrites of neurons. There was no correlation of the frequency of positive cells with the postmortem interval or clinical condition. While these findings do not rigorously exclude contributions from postmortem calpain activation, they do suggest that a low-level of calpain processing of alphaII-spectrin is likely to be a constitutive process in the adult human brain. PMID:11720774

  16. Harnessing Brain Plasticity through Behavioral Techniques to Produce New Treatments in Neurorehabilitation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taub, Edward

    2004-01-01

    Basic behavioral neuroscience research with monkeys has given rise to an efficacious new approach to the rehabilitation of movement after stroke, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, and other types of neurological injury in humans termed Constraint-Induced Movement therapy or CI therapy. For the upper extremity, the treatment involves…

  17. Evidence from neuroimaging to explore brain plasticity in humans during an ultra-endurance burden.

    PubMed

    Perrey, Stéphane; Mandrick, Kevin

    2012-01-01

    Physical activity, likely through induction of neuroplasticity, is a promising intervention to promote brain health. In athletes it is clear that training can and does, by physiological adaptations, extend the frontiers of performance capacity. The limits of our endurance capacity lie deeply in the human brain, determined by various personal factors yet to be explored. The human brain, with its vast neural connections and its potential for seemingly endless behaviors, constitutes one of the final frontiers of medicine. In a recent study published in BMC Medicine, the TransEurope FootRace Project followed 10 ultra-endurance runners over around 4,500 km across Europe and recorded a large data collection of brain imaging scans. This study indicates that the cerebral atrophy amounting to a reduction of approximately 6% throughout the two months of the race is reversed upon follow-up. While this study will contribute to advances in the limits of human performance on the neurophysiological processes in sports scientists, it will also bring important understanding to clinicians about cerebral atrophy in people who are vulnerable to physical and psychological stress long term.See related research article http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/170. PMID:23259535

  18. Perceptual Shift in Bilingualism: Brain Potentials Reveal Plasticity in Pre-Attentive Colour Perception

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Athanasopoulos, Panos; Dering, Benjamin; Wiggett, Alison; Kuipers, Jan-Rouke; Thierry, Guillaume

    2010-01-01

    The validity of the linguistic relativity principle continues to stimulate vigorous debate and research. The debate has recently shifted from the behavioural investigation arena to a more biologically grounded field, in which tangible physiological evidence for language effects on perception can be obtained. Using brain potentials in a colour…

  19. Restraint Stress-Induced Morphological Changes at the Blood-Brain Barrier in Adult Rats

    PubMed Central

    Sántha, Petra; Veszelka, Szilvia; Hoyk, Zsófia; Mészáros, Mária; Walter, Fruzsina R.; Tóth, Andrea E.; Kiss, Lóránd; Kincses, András; Oláh, Zita; Seprényi, György; Rákhely, Gábor; Dér, András; Pákáski, Magdolna; Kálmán, János; Kittel, Ágnes; Deli, Mária A.

    2016-01-01

    Stress is well-known to contribute to the development of both neurological and psychiatric diseases. While the role of the blood-brain barrier is increasingly recognized in the development of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, dysfunction of the blood-brain barrier has been linked to stress-related psychiatric diseases only recently. In the present study the effects of restraint stress with different duration (1, 3, and 21 days) were investigated on the morphology of the blood-brain barrier in male adult Wistar rats. Frontal cortex and hippocampus sections were immunostained for markers of brain endothelial cells (claudin-5, occluding, and glucose transporter-1) and astroglia (GFAP). Staining pattern and intensity were visualized by confocal microscopy and evaluated by several types of image analysis. The ultrastructure of brain capillaries was investigated by electron microscopy. Morphological changes and intensity alterations in brain endothelial tight junction proteins claudin-5 and occludin were induced by stress. Following restraint stress significant increases in the fluorescence intensity of glucose transporter-1 were detected in brain endothelial cells in the frontal cortex and hippocampus. Significant reductions in GFAP fluorescence intensity were observed in the frontal cortex in all stress groups. As observed by electron microscopy, 1-day acute stress induced morphological changes indicating damage in capillary endothelial cells in both brain regions. After 21 days of stress thicker and irregular capillary basal membranes in the hippocampus and edema in astrocytes in both regions were seen. These findings indicate that stress exerts time-dependent changes in the staining pattern of tight junction proteins occludin, claudin-5, and glucose transporter-1 at the level of brain capillaries and in the ultrastructure of brain endothelial cells and astroglial endfeet, which may contribute to neurodegenerative processes, cognitive and

  20. Light Scattering Properties Vary across Different Regions of the Adult Mouse Brain

    PubMed Central

    Stubblefield, Elizabeth A.; Felsen, Gidon

    2013-01-01

    Recently developed optogenetic tools provide powerful approaches to optically excite or inhibit neural activity. In a typical in-vivo experiment, light is delivered to deep nuclei via an implanted optical fiber. Light intensity attenuates with increasing distance from the fiber tip, determining the volume of tissue in which optogenetic proteins can successfully be activated. However, whether and how this volume of effective light intensity varies as a function of brain region or wavelength has not been systematically studied. The goal of this study was to measure and compare how light scatters in different areas of the mouse brain. We delivered different wavelengths of light via optical fibers to acute slices of mouse brainstem, midbrain and forebrain tissue. We measured light intensity as a function of distance from the fiber tip, and used the data to model the spread of light in specific regions of the mouse brain. We found substantial differences in effective attenuation coefficients among different brain areas, which lead to substantial differences in light intensity demands for optogenetic experiments. The use of light of different wavelengths additionally changes how light illuminates a given brain area. We created a brain atlas of effective attenuation coefficients of the adult mouse brain, and integrated our data into an application that can be used to estimate light scattering as well as required light intensity for optogenetic manipulation within a given volume of tissue. PMID:23874433

  1. Structural and Functional Rich Club Organization of the Brain in Children and Adults

    PubMed Central

    Grayson, David S.; Ray, Siddharth; Carpenter, Samuel; Iyer, Swathi; Dias, Taciana G. Costa; Stevens, Corinne; Nigg, Joel T.; Fair, Damien A.

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) have proposed that the brain’s white matter is organized as a rich club, whereby the most highly connected regions of the brain are also highly connected to each other. Here we use both functional and diffusion-weighted MRI in the human brain to investigate whether the rich club phenomena is present with functional connectivity, and how this organization relates to the structural phenomena. We also examine whether rich club regions serve to integrate information between distinct brain systems, and conclude with a brief investigation of the developmental trajectory of rich-club phenomena. In agreement with prior work, both adults and children showed robust structural rich club organization, comprising regions of the superior medial frontal/dACC, medial parietal/PCC, insula, and inferior temporal cortex. We also show that these regions were highly integrated across the brain’s major networks. Functional brain networks were found to have rich club phenomena in a similar spatial layout, but a high level of segregation between systems. While no significant differences between adults and children were found structurally, adults showed significantly greater functional rich club organization. This difference appeared to be driven by a specific set of connections between superior parietal, insula, and supramarginal cortex. In sum, this work highlights the existence of both a structural and functional rich club in adult and child populations with some functional changes over development. It also offers a potential target in examining atypical network organization in common developmental brain disorders, such as ADHD and Autism. PMID:24505468

  2. Nuclear receptors of the honey bee: annotation and expression in the adult brain

    PubMed Central

    Velarde, Rodrigo A; Robinson, Gene E; Fahrbach, Susan E

    2006-01-01

    The Drosophila genome encodes 18 canonical nuclear receptors. All of the Drosophila nuclear receptors are here shown to be present in the genome of the honey bee (Apis mellifera). Given that the time since divergence of the Drosophila and Apis lineages is measured in hundreds of millions of years, the identification of matched orthologous nuclear receptors in the two genomes reveals the fundamental set of nuclear receptors required to ‘make’ an endopterygote insect. The single novelty is the presence in the A. mellifera genome of a third insect gene similar to vertebrate photoreceptor-specific nuclear receptor (PNR). Phylogenetic analysis indicates that this novel gene, which we have named AmPNR-like, is a new member of the NR2 subfamily not found in the Drosophila or human genomes. This gene is expressed in the developing compound eye of the honey bee. Like their vertebrate counterparts, arthropod nuclear receptors play key roles in embryonic and postembryonic development. Studies in Drosophila have focused primarily on the role of these transcription factors in embryogenesis and metamorphosis. Examination of an expressed sequence tag library developed from the adult bee brain and analysis of transcript expression in brain using in situ hybridization and quantitative RT-PCR revealed that several members of the nuclear receptor family (AmSVP, AmUSP, AmERR, AmHr46, AmFtz-F1, and AmHnf-4) are expressed in the brain of the adult bee. Further analysis of the expression of AmUSP and AmSVP in the mushroom bodies, the major insect brain centre for learning and memory, revealed changes in transcript abundance and, in the case of AmUSP, changes in transcript localization, during the development of foraging behaviour in the adult. Study of the honey bee therefore provides a model for understanding nuclear receptor function in the adult brain. PMID:17069634

  3. Forced arm use is superior to voluntary training for motor recovery and brain plasticity after cortical ischemia in rats

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    patterns and extent of gene expression changes in all brain areas examined. We propose that physical training induces a fundamental change in plasticity-relevant gene expression in several brain regions that enables recovery processes. These results contribute to the debate on optimal rehabilitation strategies, and provide a valuable source of molecular entry points for future pharmacological enhancement of recovery. PMID:24528872

  4. Protein synthesis in the rat brain: a comparative in vivo and in vitro study in immature and adult animals

    SciTech Connect

    Shahbazian, F.M.

    1985-01-01

    Rates of protein synthesis of CNS and other organs were compared in immature and adult rats by in vivo and slice techniques with administration of flooding doses of labeled precursor. The relationship between synthesis and brain region, cell type, subcellular fraction, or MW was examined. Incorporation of (/sup 14/C)valine into protein of CNS regions in vivo was about 1.2% per hour for immature rats and 0.6% for adults. For slices, the rates decreased significantly more in adults. In adult organs, the highest synthesis rate in vivo was found in liver (2.2% per hour) followed by kidney, spleen, lung, heart, brain, and muscle (0.5% per hour). In immature animals synthesis was highest in liver and spleen (2.5% per hour) and lowest in muscle (0.9% per hour). Slices all showed lower rates than in vivo, especially in adults. In vivo, protein synthesis rates of immature neurons and astrocytes and adult neurons exceeded those of whole brain, while that in adult astrocytes was the same. These results demonstrate a developmental difference of protein synthesis (about double in immature animals) in all brain cells, cell fractions and most brain protein. Similarly the decreased synthesis in brain slices - especially in adults, affects most proteins and structural elements.

  5. Normative data for subcortical regional volumes over the lifetime of the adult human brain.

    PubMed

    Potvin, Olivier; Mouiha, Abderazzak; Dieumegarde, Louis; Duchesne, Simon

    2016-08-15

    Normative data for volumetric estimates of brain structures are necessary to adequately assess brain volume alterations in individuals with suspected neurological or psychiatric conditions. Although many studies have described age and sex effects in healthy individuals for brain morphometry assessed via magnetic resonance imaging, proper normative values allowing to quantify potential brain abnormalities are needed. We developed norms for volumetric estimates of subcortical brain regions based on cross-sectional magnetic resonance scans from 2790 healthy individuals aged 18 to 94years using 23 samples provided by 21 independent research groups. The segmentation was conducted using FreeSurfer, a widely used and freely available automated segmentation software. Models predicting subcortical regional volumes of each hemisphere were produced including age, sex, estimated total intracranial volume (eTIV), scanner manufacturer, magnetic field strength, and interactions as predictors. The mean explained variance by the models was 48%. For most regions, age, sex and eTIV predicted most of the explained variance while manufacturer, magnetic field strength and interactions predicted a limited amount. Estimates of the expected volumes of an individual based on its characteristics and the scanner characteristics can be obtained using derived formulas. For a new individual, significance test for volume abnormality, effect size and estimated percentage of the normative population with a smaller volume can be obtained. Normative values were validated in independent samples of healthy adults and in adults with Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. PMID:27165761

  6. Expression profiling of synaptic microRNAs from the adult rat brain identifies regional differences and seizure-induced dynamic modulation

    PubMed Central

    Pichardo-Casas, Israel; Goff, Loyal A; Swerdel, Mavis R; Athie, Alejandro; Davila, Jonathan; Ramos-Brossier, Mariana; Lapid-Volosin, Martha; Friedman, Wilma J; Hart, Ronald P; Vaca, Luis

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, microRNAs or miRNAs have been proposed to target neuronal mRNAs localized near the synapse, exerting a pivotal role in modulating local protein synthesis, and presumably affecting adaptive mechanisms such as synaptic plasticity. In the present study we have characterized the distribution of miRNAs in five regions of the adult mammalian brain and compared the relative abundance between total fractions and purified synaptoneurosomes (SN), using three different methodologies. The results show selective enrichment or depletion of some miRNAs when comparing total versus SN fractions. These miRNAs were different for each brain region explored. Changes in distribution could not be attributed to simple diffusion or to a targeting sequence inside the miRNAs. In silico analysis suggest that the differences in distribution may be related to the preferential concentration of synaptically localized mRNA targeted by the miRNAs. These results favor a model of co-transport of the miRNA-mRNA complex to the synapse, although further studies are required to validate this hypothesis. Using an in vivo model for increasing excitatory activity in the cortex and the hippocampus indicates that the distribution of some miRNAs can be modulated by enhanced neuronal (epileptogenic) activity. All these results demonstrate the dynamic modulation in the local distribution of miRNAs from the adult brain, which may play key roles in controlling localized protein synthesis at the synapse. PMID:22197703

  7. Muscarinic receptor plasticity in the brain of senescent rats: down-regulation after repeated administration of diisopropyl fluorophosphate

    SciTech Connect

    Pintor, A.; Fortuna, S.; Volpe, M.T.; Michalek, H.

    1988-01-01

    Potential age-related differences in the response of Fischer 344 rats to subchronic treatment with diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP) were evaluated in terms of brain cholinesterase (ChE) inhibition and muscarinic receptor sites. Male 3- and 24-month old rats were sc injected with sublethal doses of DFP for 2 weeks and killed 48 hrs after the last treatment. In the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and striatum of control rats a significant age-related reduction of ChE and of maximum number of /sup 3/H-QNB binding sites (Bmax) was observed. The administration of DFP to senescent rats resulted in more pronounced and longer lasting syndrome of cholinergic stimulation, with marked body weight loss and 60% mortality. The percentage inhibition of brain ChE induced by DFP did not differ between young and senescent rats. As expected, in young rats DFP caused a significant decrease of Bmax, which in the cerebral cortex reached about 40%. In the surviving senescent rats, the percentage decrease of Bmax due to DFP with respect to age-matched controls was very similar to that of young animals, especially in the cerebral cortex. Thus there is great variability in the response of aged rats to DFP treatment, from total failure of adaptive mechanisms resulting in death to considerable muscarinic receptor plasticity.

  8. Deficiency of prolyl oligopeptidase in mice disturbs synaptic plasticity and reduces anxiety-like behaviour, body weight, and brain volume.

    PubMed

    Höfling, Corinna; Kulesskaya, Natalia; Jaako, Külli; Peltonen, Iida; Männistö, Pekka T; Nurmi, Antti; Vartiainen, Nina; Morawski, Markus; Zharkovsky, Alexander; Võikar, Vootele; Roßner, Steffen; García-Horsman, J Arturo

    2016-06-01

    Prolyl oligopeptidase (PREP) has been implicated in neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation and has been considered a drug target to enhance memory in dementia. However, the true physiological role of PREP is not yet understood. In this paper, we report the phenotyping of a mouse line where the PREP gene has been knocked out. This work indicates that the lack of PREP in mice causes reduced anxiety but also hyperactivity. The cortical volumes of PREP knockout mice were smaller than those of wild type littermates. Additionally, we found increased expression of diazepam binding inhibitor protein in the cortex and of the somatostatin receptor-2 in the hippocampus of PREP knockout mice. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry and tail suspension test revealed lack of response of PREP knockout mice to lipopolysaccharide insult. Further analysis revealed significantly increased levels of polysialylated-neural cell adhesion molecule in PREP deficient mice. These findings might be explained as possible alteration in brain plasticity caused by PREP deficiency, which in turn affect behaviour and brain development. PMID:26996375

  9. Robert Feulgen Prize Lecture. Grenzgänger: adult bone marrow cells populate the brain.

    PubMed

    Priller, Josef

    2003-08-01

    While the brain has traditionally been considered a rather secluded site, recent studies suggest that adult bone marrow (BM)-derived stem cells can generate glia and neurons in rodents and humans. Macrophages and microglia are the first to appear in the murine brain after transplantation of genetically marked BM cells. Within weeks after transplantation, some authors have found astrocytes and cells expressing neuronal antigens. We detected cerebellar Purkinje neurons and interneurons, such as basket cells, expressing the green fluorescent protein (GFP) 10-15 months after transplantation of GFP-labeled BM cells. The results push the boundaries of our classic view of lineage restriction. PMID:12898276

  10. Brain metabolism and memory in age differentiated healthy adults

    SciTech Connect

    Riege, W.H.; Metter, E.J.; Kuhl, D.E.; Phelps, M.E.

    1984-01-01

    The (F-18)-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) scan method with positron emission tomography was used to determine age differences in factors underlying both the performances on 18 multivariate memory tests and the rates of cerebral glucose utilization in 9 left and 9 right hemispheric regions of 23 healthy adults in the age range of 27-78 years. Young persons below age 42 had higher scores than middle-aged (age 48-65 yrs) or old (age 66-78 yrs) persons on two of seven factors, reflecting memory for sequences of words or events together with metabolic indices of Broca's (and its mirror region) and Thalamic areas. Reliable correlations (critical r = 0.48, p<0.02) indicated that persons with high Superior Frontal and low Caudate-Thalamic metabolic measures were the same who performed well in tests of memory for sentences, story, designs, and complex patterns; while metabolic indices of Occipital and Posterior Temporal regions were correlated with the decision criteria adopted in testing. The mean metabolic ratio (b = -0.033, F = 5.47, p<0.03) and those of bilateral Broca's regions (b = -0.002, F = 13.65, p<0.001) significantly declined with age. The functional interrelation of frontal-subcortical metabolic ratios with memory processing was more prominent in younger persons under study and implicates decreasing thalamo-frontal interaction with age.

  11. Pediatric Cancers and Brain Tumors in Adolescents and Young Adults.

    PubMed

    McCabe, Martin G; Valteau-Couanet, Dominique

    2016-01-01

    Embryonal tumors classically occur in young children, some principally within the first year of life. Prospective national and international clinical trials during recent decades have brought about progressive improvements in survival, and associated biological studies have advanced our understanding of tumor biology, in some cases allowing biological tumor characteristics to be harnessed for therapeutic benefit. Embryonal tumors continue to occur, albeit less commonly, during childhood, adolescence and throughout adulthood. These tumors are less well understood, usually not managed according to standardized protocols and rarely included in clinical trials. Survival outcomes are generally poorer than their childhood equivalents. We present here a summary of the published literature on embryonal tumors that present ectopically during adolescence and adulthood. We show that for some tumors protocol-driven treatment, supported by accurate and complete diagnostics and staging, can result in equivalent outcomes to those seen during childhood. We make the case that clinical trial eligibility criteria should be disease-based rather than age-based, and support improvements in dialogue between children's and adults' cancer clinicians to improve outcomes for these rare tumors. PMID:27595358

  12. The Perimenopausal Aging Transition in the Female Rat Brain: Decline in Bioenergetic Systems and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Fei; Yao, J