Taridi, Nursiati Mohamad; Abd Rani, Nazirah; Abd Latiff, Azian; Ngah, Wan Zurinah Wan; Mazlan, Musalmah
Little is known about the effect of vitamin E on brain function. Therefore, in this study we evaluated the effect of tocotrienol rich fraction (TRF) on behavioral impairment and oxidative stress in aged rats. Thirty-six male Wistar rats (young: 3-months-old; aged: 21-months-old) were treated with either the control (olive oil) or TRF (200 mg/kg) for 3 months. Behavioral studies were performed using the open field test and Morris water maze (MWM) task. Blood was taken for assessment of DNA damage, plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) and vitamin E, and erythrocyte antioxidant enzyme activity. Brains were also collected to measure vitamin E levels. Results showed that aged rats exhibited reduced exploratory activity, enhanced anxiety and decreased spatial learning and memory compared with young rats. DNA damage and plasma MDA were increased, and vitamin E levels in plasma and brain were reduced in aged rats. Aged rats supplemented with TRF showed a markedly reduced level of anxiety, improved spatial learning and memory, reduced amount and severity of DNA damage, a reduced level of MDA, and increased levels of antioxidant enzyme activity and plasma/brain vitamin E compared with age-matched controls. In conclusion, TRF supplementation reverses spatial learning and memory decline and decreases oxidative stress in aged rats.
Huitrón-Reséndiz, Salvador; Sánchez-Alavez, Manuel; Gallegos, Roger; Berg, Greta; Crawford, Elena; Giacchino, Jeannie L; Games, Dora; Henriksen, Steven J; Criado, José R
Recent studies demonstrated that mice overexpressing the human mutant beta-amyloid precursor protein (hbetaAPP; PDAPP mice) show age-independent and age-related deficits in spatial learning. We used behavioral and electrophysiological techniques to determine in young and aged PDAPP mice whether deficits in spatial learning also involve alterations in sleep-wake states, thermoregulation and motor activity. Consistent with earlier studies, young PDAPP mice exhibited selective age-independent deficits using spatial, but not random and serial strategies in the circular maze. Aged PDAPP mice exhibited deficits using all search strategies. The core body temperature (Tb) in young and aged PDAPP mice was significantly lower than in age-matched non-transgenic (non-Tg) littermates. During the dark period, the motor activity (LMA) was significantly increased in young PDAPP mice, but not in aged PDAPP mice. During the light period, young PDAPP mice showed a reduction in the generation of rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep. In contrast, aged PDAPP mice exhibited a reduction in the amount of time spent in W and an increase in SWS during the light period. Aged PDAPP mice also showed an increase in the amount of time spent in W and a reduction in REM sleep during the dark period. Our findings support previous reports indicating deficits in spatial learning in young and aged PDAPP mice. These data also suggest that PDAPP mice exhibit age-independent and age-related deficits in neural mechanisms regulating visuospatial learning, the total amount and the circadian distribution of sleep-wake states, thermoregulation and motor activity.
Badham, Stephen P; Maylor, Elizabeth A
If all but one of the items in a list are similar (e.g., all black except one red), memory for the different item is enhanced (the isolation effect). Older adults generally show similar or smaller isolation effects compared to young adults, which has been attributed to age-related deficits in associative memory whereby older adults are less able to associate an isolated stimulus to its isolating feature. Experiment 1 examined the isolation effect for isolation based on spatial position, modality and color; in Experiment 2, the criterion for isolation was the associative relation between stimuli. The results consistently showed no differences between young and older participants in the magnitude of the isolation effect. Whilst age deficits in associative memory may act to reduce the isolation effect in older adults, age deficits in self-initiated processing and inhibitory functionality may counteract this reduction by enhancing the isolation effect in older adults.
Oh, M. Matthew; Oliveira, Fernando A.; Disterhoft, John F.
A goal of many laboratories that study aging is to find a key cellular change(s) that can be manipulated and restored to a young-like state, and thus, reverse the age-related cognitive deficits. We have chosen to focus our efforts on the alteration of intrinsic excitability (as reflected by the postburst afterhyperpolarization, AHP) during the learning process in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. We have consistently found that the postburst AHP is significantly reduced in hippocampal pyramidal neurons from young adults that have successfully learned a hippocampus-dependent task. In the context of aging, the baseline intrinsic excitability of hippocampal neurons is decreased and therefore cognitive learning is impaired. In aging animals that are able to learn, neuron changes in excitability similar to those seen in young neurons during learning occur. Our challenge, then, is to understand how and why excitability changes occur in neurons from aging brains and cause age-associated learning impairments. After understanding the changes, we should be able to formulate strategies for reversing them, thus making old neurons function more as they did when they were young. Such a reversal should rescue the age-related cognitive deficits. PMID:20552042
Benjamin, Aaron S
How do we best characterize the memory deficits that accompany aging? A popular hypothesis, articulated originally by Naveh-Benjamin (2000) and reviewed in the accompanying article by Smyth and Naveh-Benjamin (2016), suggests that older adults are selectively deficient in establishing associations between to-be-learned memoranda and as a result have deficits in memory for sources or contexts. An alternative proposal, called density of representations yields age-related deficits (DRYAD) and outlined in recent articles by Benjamin (2010) and colleagues (Benjamin, Diaz, Matzen, & Johnson, 2012), attributes disproportionate deficits in memory to a global, rather than a selective, deficit of memory. In an attempt to adjudicate between these competing positions, Smyth and Naveh-Benjamin (2016) discussed 2 sets of experimental data that they claim speak against the global deficit model. Here I review some general principles of how the global-deficit view is applied to experimental paradigms and demonstrate that even a simplified form of DRYAD can comfortably accommodate the critical findings cited by Smyth and Naveh-Benjamin. I also evaluate aspects of their results that may be problematic for DRYAD and describe ways in which DRYAD's account of associative recognition can be falsified. I end with a discussion of the complementary strengths and weaknesses of the 2 approaches and consider ways in which the associative deficit hypothesis and DRYAD might work more profitably together than apart.
Haider, Saida; Saleem, Sadia; Perveen, Tahira; Tabassum, Saiqa; Batool, Zehra; Sadir, Sadia; Liaquat, Laraib; Madiha, Syeda
Oxidative stress from generation of increased reactive oxygen species or free radicals of oxygen has been reported to play an important role in the aging. To investigate the relationship between the oxidative stress and memory decline during aging, we have determined the level of lipid peroxidation, activities of antioxidant enzymes, and activity of acetylcholine esterase (AChE) in brain and plasma as well as biogenic amine levels in brain from Albino-Wistar rats at age of 4 and 24 months. The results showed that the level of lipid peroxidation in the brain and plasma was significantly higher in older than that in the young rats. The activities of antioxidant enzymes displayed an age-dependent decline in both brain and plasma. Glutathione peroxidase and catalase activities were found to be significantly decreased in brain and plasma of aged rats. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) was also significantly decreased in plasma of aged rats; however, a decreased tendency (non-significant) of SOD in brain was also observed. AChE activity in brain and plasma was significantly decreased in aged rats. Learning and memory of rats in the present study was assessed by Morris Water Maze (MWM) and Elevated plus Maze (EPM) test. Short-term memory and long-term memory was impaired significantly in older rats, which was evident by a significant increase in the latency time in MWM and increase in transfer latency in EPM. Moreover, a marked decrease in biogenic amines (NA, DA, and 5-HT) was also found in the brain of aged rats. In conclusion, our data suggest that increased oxidative stress, decline of antioxidant enzyme activities, altered AChE activity, and decreased biogenic amines level in the brain of aged rats may potentially be involved in diminished memory function.
Swanson, H. Lee
Examined whether age-related working memory deficits in learning disabled (LD) readers across four age groups (7, 10, 13, and 20) reflected retrieval efficiency or storage capacity problems. Found that LD readers' working memory performance was inferior to skilled readers' on verbal and visual-spatial working memory tasks across all ages.…
Vieweg, Paula; Stangl, Matthias; Howard, Lorelei R.; Wolbers, Thomas
Accurate memory retrieval from partial or degraded input requires the reactivation of memory traces, a hippocampal mechanism termed pattern completion. Age-related changes in hippocampal integrity have been hypothesized to shift the balance of memory processes in favor of the retrieval of already stored information (pattern completion), to the detriment of encoding new events (pattern separation). Using a novel behavioral paradigm, we investigated the impact of cognitive aging (1) on recognition performance across different levels of stimulus completeness, and (2) on potential response biases. Participants were required to identify previously learned scenes among new ones. Additionally, all stimuli were presented in gradually masked versions to alter stimulus completeness. Both young and older adults performed increasingly poorly as the scenes became less complete, and this decline in performance was more pronounced in elderly participants indicative of a pattern completion deficit. Intriguingly, when novel scenes were shown, only the older adults showed an increased tendency to identify these as familiar scenes. In line with theoretical models, we argue that this reflects an age-related bias towards pattern completion. PMID:25597525
Verbitsky, Miguel; Yonan, Amanda L.; Malleret, Gael; Kandel, Eric R.; Gilliam, T. Conrad; Pavlidis, Paul
We have carried out a global survey of age-related changes in mRNA levels in the 57BL/6NIA mouse hippocampus and found a difference in the hippocampal gene expression profile between 2-month-old young mice and 15-month-old middle-aged mice correlated with an age-related cognitive deficit in hippocampal-based explicit memory formation. Middle-aged…
Taneja, Swadhin; Mitnitski, Arnold B.; Rockwood, Kenneth; Rutenberg, Andrew D.
How long people live depends on their health, and how it changes with age. Individual health can be tracked by the accumulation of age-related health deficits. The fraction of age-related deficits is a simple quantitative measure of human aging. This quantitative frailty index (F ) is as good as chronological age in predicting mortality. In this paper, we use a dynamical network model of deficits to explore the effects of interactions between deficits, deficit damage and repair processes, and the connection between the F and mortality. With our model, we qualitatively reproduce Gompertz's law of increasing human mortality with age, the broadening of the F distribution with age, the characteristic nonlinear increase of the F with age, and the increased mortality of high-frailty individuals. No explicit time-dependence in damage or repair rates is needed in our model. Instead, implicit time-dependence arises through deficit interactions—so that the average deficit damage rates increase, and deficit repair rates decrease, with age. We use a simple mortality criterion, where mortality occurs when the most connected node is damaged.
Aged rats show impaired performance on motor and cognitive tasks. Similar changes in behavior occur in humans with age, and the development of methods to retard or reverse these age-related neuronal and behavioral deficits could increase healthy aging and decrease health care costs. In the present s...
Kougias, Daniel G; Hankosky, Emily R; Gulley, Joshua M; Juraska, Janice M
Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) is commonly supplemented to maintain muscle in elderly and clinical populations and has potential as a nootropic. Previously, we have shown that in both male and female rats, long-term HMB supplementation prevents age-related dendritic shrinkage within the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and improves cognitive flexibility and working memory performance that are both age- and sex-specific. In this study, we further explore the cognitive effects by assessing visuospatial learning and memory with the Morris water maze. Female rats were ovariectomized at 11months of age to model human menopause. At 12months of age, male and female rats received relatively short- or long-term (1- or 7-month) dietary HMB (450mg/kg/dose) supplementation twice a day prior to testing. Spatial reference learning and memory was assessed across four days in the water maze with four trials daily and a probe trial on the last day. Consistent with previous work, there were age-related deficits in water maze performance in both sexes. However, these deficits were ameliorated in HMB-treated males during training and in both sexes during probe trial performance. Thus, HMB supplementation prevented the age-related decrement in water maze performance, especially in male rats.
Stark, Shauna M; Stevenson, Rebecca; Wu, Claudia; Rutledge, Samantha; Stark, Craig E L
Several studies in our lab and others have demonstrated age-related declines in mnemonic discrimination during a recognition memory paradigm using repeated items, similar lures, and novel foils. In particular, older adults exhibit a shift in lure discriminability, identifying similar lures as old items at a greater rate than young adults. This shift likely reflects deficits in pattern separation processing as a result of underlying changes in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Here, we explored whether alterations in the task design could rescue the age-related impairment or whether it was ubiquitous as one might expect if the neurobiological mechanisms were truly disturbed by typical aging. Despite overt instructions to study item details during encoding, we replicated the age-related deficit in mnemonic discrimination. We established reliable effects with short lists of stimuli and with repeated testing. Altering the task design from a study/test to a continuous recognition paradigm replicated the age-related shift in lure discrimination as well. Modifying the task to an old/new response (rather than old/similar/new) showed the same effect and a d' analysis showed that lure items were more akin to target items in older adults. Finally, we varied the test instructions in order to promote gist or veridical responses in the old/new task. Even these overt veridical test instructions did not ameliorate older adults' lure discrimination problems. Together, these findings demonstrate the robust nature of this age-related deficit and support the hypothesis that typical aging results in neurobiological changes that underlie this impairment.
Puccioni, Olga; Vallesi, Antonino
Several studies support the existence of a specific age-related difficulty in suppressing potentially distracting information. The aim of the present study is to investigate whether spatial conflict resolution is selectively affected by aging. The way aging affects individuals could be modulated by many factors determined by the socieconomic status: we investigated whether factors such as cognitive reserve (CR) and years of education may play a compensatory role against age-related deficits in the spatial domain. A spatial Stroop task with no feature repetitions was administered to a sample of 17 non-demented older adults (69–79 years-old) and 18 younger controls (18–34 years-old) matched for gender and years of education. The two age groups were also administered with measures of intelligence and CR. The overall spatial Stroop effect did not differ according to age, neither for speed nor for accuracy. The two age groups equally showed sequential effects for congruent trials: reduced response times (RTs) if another congruent trial preceded them, and accuracy at ceiling. For incongruent trials, older adults, but not younger controls, were influenced by congruency of trialn−1, since RTs increased with preceding congruent trials. Interestingly, such an age-related modulation negatively correlated with CR. These findings suggest that spatial conflict resolution in aging is predominantly affected by general slowing, rather than by a more specific deficit. However, a high level of CR seems to play a compensatory role for both factors. PMID:23248595
Bock, Otmar; Beurskens, Rainer
Previous studies found that age-related deficits of dual-task walking emerge with secondary tasks that require substantial visual processing, but are absent with tasks that require little or no visual processing. We evaluated whether this is so because visual tasks typically interfere with foot vision, on which older persons depend more heavily than young ones. Young (25±3 years) and older (69±5 years) subjects walked along a straight path and checked boxes on a handheld panel, separately or concurrently. The panel was either transparent or opaque, thus allowing or blocking vision of the feet, respectively. We quantified subjects' performance by spatial and temporal gait measures, and as the speed of checking. An analysis of variance revealed significant effects of age and of condition (single, dual) for several gait measures, as well as for checking speed. The dual-task costs (ǀdual-singleǀ/single) averaged 0.04±0.14 in younger and 0.33±0.30 in older subjects; this age difference was significant in a t-test (p<0.01). Most importantly, performance measures obtained with the transparent and with the opaque panel were not significantly different. In conclusion, our study confirms previous findings about age-related deficits of walking with a concurrent visual task, documents for the first time that these deficits influence the entire spatio-temporal gait structure, but provides no support for the notion that they reflect an increased dependence on foot vision.
Lejeune, Caroline; Catale, Corinne; Schmitz, Xavier; Quertemont, Etienne; Meulemans, Thierry
Procedural learning is generally considered to proceed in a series of phases, with cognitive resources playing an important role during the initial step. From a developmental perspective, little is known about the development of procedural learning or the role played by explicit cognitive processes during learning. The main objectives of this study were (a) to determine whether procedural learning performance improves with age by comparing groups of 7-year-old children, 10-year-old children, and adults and (b) to investigate the role played by executive functions during the acquisition in these three age groups. The 76 participants were assessed on a computerized adaptation of the mirror tracing paradigm. Results revealed that the youngest children had more difficulty in adapting to the task (they were slower and committed more errors at the beginning of the learning process) than 10-year-olds, but despite this age effect observed at the outset, all children improved performance across trials and transferred their skill to a different figure as well as adults. Correlational analyses showed that inhibition abilities play a key role in the performance of 10-year-olds and adults at the beginning of the learning but not in that of 7-year-olds. Overall, our results suggest that the age-related differences observed in our procedural learning task are at least partly due to the differential involvement of inhibition abilities, which may facilitate learning (so long as they are sufficiently developed) during the initial steps of the learning process; however, they would not be a necessary condition for skill learning to occur.
Wang, Hongkai; Li, Chengren; Wang, Hanzhi; Mei, Feng; Liu, Zhi; Shen, Hai-Ying; Xiao, Lan
Schizophrenia is a mental disease that mainly affects young individuals (15 to 35 years old) but its etiology remains largely undefined. Recently, accumulating evidence indicated that demyelination and/or dysfunction of oligodendrocytes is an important feature of its pathogenesis. We hypothesized that the vulnerability of young individuals to demyelination may contribute to the onset of schizophrenia. In the present study, three different age cohorts of mice, i.e. juvenile (3 weeks), young-adult (6 weeks) and middle-aged (8 months), were subjected to a 6-week diet containing 0.2% cuprizone (CPZ) to create an animal model of acute demyelination. Then, age-related vulnerability to CPZ-induced demyelination, behavioral outcomes, and myelination-related molecular biological changes were assessed. We demonstrated: (1) CPZ treatment led to more severe demyelination in juvenile and young-adult mice than in middle-aged mice in the corpus callosum, a region closely associated with the pathophysiology of schizophrenia; (2) the higher levels of demyelination in juvenile and young-adult mice were correlated with a greater reduction of myelin basic protein, more loss of CC-1-positive mature oligodendrocytes, and higher levels of astrocyte activation; and (3) CPZ treatment resulted in a more prominent exploratory behavior deficit in juvenile and young-adult mice than in middle-aged mice. Together, our data demonstrate an age-related vulnerability to demyelination with a concurrent behavioral deficit, providing supporting evidence for better understanding the susceptibility of the young to the onset of schizophrenia.
Oh, M. Matthew; Simkin, Dina; Disterhoft, John F.
Aging-related cognitive deficits have been attributed to dysfunction of neurons due to failures at synaptic or intrinsic loci, or both. Given the importance of the hippocampus for successful encoding of memory and that the main output of the hippocampus is via the CA1 pyramidal neurons, much of the research has been focused on identifying the aging-related changes of these CA1 pyramidal neurons. We and others have discovered that the postburst afterhyperpolarization (AHP) following a train of action potentials is greatly enlarged in CA1 pyramidal neurons of aged animals. This enlarged postburst AHP is a significant factor in reducing the intrinsic excitability of these neurons, and thus limiting their activity in the neural network during learning. Based on these data, it has largely been thought that aging-related cognitive deficits are attributable to reduced activity of pyramidal neurons. However, recent in vivo and ex vivo studies provide compelling evidence that aging-related deficits could also be due to a converse change in CA3 pyramidal neurons, which show increased activity with aging. In this review, we will incorporate these recent findings and posit that an interdependent dynamic dysfunctional change occurs within the hippocampal network, largely due to altered intrinsic excitability in CA1 and CA3 hippocampal pyramidal neurons, which ultimately leads to the aging-related cognitive deficits. PMID:27375440
Boisgontier, Matthieu P.; Swinnen, Stephan P.
The cognitive load associated with joint position sense increases with age but does not necessarily result in impaired performance in a joint position matching task. It is still unclear which factors interact with age to predict matching performance. To test whether movement amplitude and direction are part of such predictors, young and older adults performed a bimanual wrist joint position matching task. Results revealed an age-related deficit when the target limb was positioned far from (25°) the neutral position, but not when close to (15°, 5°) the neutral joint position, irrespective of the direction. These results suggest that the difficulty associated with the comparison of two musculoskeletal states increases towards extreme joint amplitude and that older adults are more vulnerable to this increased difficulty. PMID:26347649
Guez, Jonathan; Naveh-Benjamin, Moshe
Previous studies have suggested an associative deficit hypothesis [Naveh-Benjamin, M. ( 2000 ). Adult age differences in memory performance: Tests of an associative deficit hypothesis. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 26, 1170-1187] to explain age-related episodic memory declines. The hypothesis attributes part of the deficient episodic memory performance in older adults to a difficulty in creating and retrieving cohesive episodes. In this article, we further evaluate this hypothesis by testing two alternative processes that potentially mediate associative memory deficits in older adults. Four experiments are presented that assess whether failure of inhibitory processes (proactive interference in Experiments 1 and 2), and concurrent inhibition (in Experiments 3 and 4) are mediating factors in age-related associative deficits. The results suggest that creating conditions that require the operation of inhibitory processes, or that interfere with such processes, cannot simulate associative memory deficit in older adults. Instead, such results support the idea that associative memory deficits reflect a unique binding failure in older adults. This failure seems to be independent of other cognitive processes, including inhibitory and other resource-demanding processes.
Schlaghecken, Friederike; Birak, Kulbir S.; Maylor, Elizabeth A.
Background: In a masked prime task using a 0 ms prime-target inter-stimulus-interval, responses on trials where prime and target match (compatible trials) are usually faster and more accurate than responses where prime and target mismatch (incompatible trials). This positive compatibility effect (PCE) comprises both behavioral benefits on compatible relative to neutral trials, and behavioral costs on incompatible relative to neutral trials. Comparing performance in 2- vs. 4-alternative-response versions of the task indicates that benefits are due to direct priming (i.e., pre-activation) of a motor response, whereas costs reflect an inhibition of the alternative response tendency. The present study employs this paradigm to test the hypothesis that normal aging is associated with a selective deficit in inhibitory function, affecting both low-level motor and higher-level executive control. Experiment and Results: Testing 20 young and 20 older healthy adults, we found that (1) overall, prime-induced benefits were of similar magnitude across age groups, but inhibition-based costs were smaller in older compared to young adults; (2) increasing the number of response alternatives caused the same pattern of unaltered benefits and reduced costs in both age groups; and (3) costs, but not benefits, in the 2-alternative condition were significantly predicted by scores on the digit symbol substitution task (DSST), independently of age and other background variables. Interpretation: Results demonstrate the possibility of isolating an inhibitory component in low-level perceptuo-motor control. Importantly, this component shows an age-related decline in the absence of a corresponding decline of visuo-motor excitability, and appears to be linked to performance on a higher-level processing speed task. We hypothesize that aging might affect the brain's ability to establish precise short-term lateral inhibitory links, and that even in young adults, the efficiency of such links is a
Harris, Mathew A; Wolbers, Thomas
Although most research on navigation in aging focuses on allocentric processing deficits, impaired strategy switching may also contribute to navigational decline. Using a specifically designed task involving navigating a town-like virtual environment, we assessed the ability of young and old participants to switch from following learned routes to finding novel shortcuts. We found large age differences in the length of routes taken during testing and in use of shortcuts, as, while nearly all young participants switched from the egocentric route-following strategy to the allocentric wayfinding strategy, none of the older participants stably switched. Although secondary tasks confirmed that older participants were impaired both at strategy switching and allocentric processing, the difficulty in using shortcuts was selectively related to impaired strategy switching. This may in turn relate to dysfunction of the prefrontal-noradrenergic network responsible for coordinating switching behavior. We conclude that the large age difference in performance at the shortcutting task demonstrates for the first time, how strategy switching deficits can have a severe impact on navigation in aging.
A common complaint of older listeners is that they can hear speech, yet cannot understand it, especially when listening to speech in a background noise. When target and competing speech signals are concurrently presented, a difference in the fundamental frequency (ΔF0) between competing speech signals, which determines the pitch of voice, can be an important and commonly occurring cue to facilitate the separation of the target message from the interfering message, consequently improving intelligibility of the target message. To address the question of whether the older listeners have reduced ability to use ΔF0 and how the age-related deficits in the processing of ΔF0 are theoretically explained, this paper is divided into three parts. The first part of this article summarizes how the speech-communication difficulties that older listeners have are theoretically explained. In the second part, literatures on the perceptual benefits from ΔF0 and the age-related deficits on the use of ΔF0 are reviewed. As a final part, three theoretical models explaining the general processing of ΔF0 are compared to discuss which better explains the age-related deficits in the processing of ΔF0. PMID:24653895
Coppola, Vincent J; Hough, Gerald; Bingman, Verner P
The hippocampus is particularly susceptible to age-related degeneration that, like hippocampal lesions, is thought to lead to age-related decline in spatial memory and navigation. Lesions to the avian hippocampal formation (HF) also result in impaired spatial memory and navigation, but the relationship between aging and HF-dependent spatial cognition is unknown. To investigate possible age-related decline in avian spatial cognition, the current study investigated spatial working memory performance in older homing pigeons (10+ years of age). Pigeons completed a behavioral procedure nearly identical to the delayed spatial, win-shift procedure in a modified radial arm maze that has been previously used to study spatial working memory in rats and pigeons. The results revealed that the older pigeons required a greater number of choices to task completion and were less accurate with their first 4 choices as compared to younger pigeons (1-2 years of age). In addition, older pigeons were more likely to adopt a stereotyped sampling strategy, which explained in part their impaired performance. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to demonstrate an age-related impairment of HF-dependent, spatial memory in birds. Implications and future directions of the findings are discussed.
Mizoguchi, K; Shoji, H; Tanaka, Y; Tabira, T
Aging is thought to impair prefrontal cortical (PFC) structure-sensitive cognitive functions and flexibility, such as working memory and reversal learning. A traditional Japanese medicine, yokukansan (YKS), is frequently used to treat age-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease in Japan, but its pharmacological properties have not been elucidated. The present study was designed to examine whether YKS improves age-related cognitive deficits using aged rats. YKS was administered to 21-month-old rats for 3 months. The ability to learn initially a reward rule for a T-maze discrimination task (initial learning) was examined in young control (4-month-old), aged control (24-month-old) and YKS-treated aged (24-month-old) rats. Subsequently, working memory and reversal learning were examined in delayed alternation and reversal discrimination T-maze tasks, respectively. Locomotor activity was also measured in new environments. Although performance accuracy in the initial learning procedure did not differ among any experimental groups, accuracy in the delayed alternation task was significantly decreased in aged rats compared to young rats. Aged rats also showed significant decreases in accuracy in the reversal discrimination task. YKS treatment significantly ameliorated the age-related decreases in accuracy in the delayed alternation and reversal discrimination tasks. The ameliorative effects of YKS on impaired delayed alternation performance were reduced by intracranial infusions of a dopamine D1 receptor antagonist, SCH 23390, into the prelimbic cortical region of the PFC, and the YKS effects on impaired reversal learning were done by the infusions into the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Locomotor activity did not change in any experimental group. Thus, YKS ameliorated age-related impairments of working memory and reversal learning, which might be mediated by a dopaminergic mechanism in the PFC structure. These investigations provide information
Lee, Annie; Archer, Jo; Wong, Caroline Kai Yun; Chen, Shen-Hsing Annabel; Qiu, Anqi
Paired associates learning (PAL) has been widely used in aging-related research, suggesting an age-related decline in associative learning. However, there are several cognitive processes (attention, spatial and recognition memory, strategy, and associative learning) involved in PAL. It is unclear which component contributes to the decline in PAL performance associated with age effects. The present study determines whether age effects on associative learning are independent of other cognitive processes involved in PAL. Using a validated computerized cognitive program (CANTAB), we examined cognitive performance of associative learning, spatial and recognition memory, attention and strategy use in 184 Singaporean Chinese adults aged from 21 to 80 years old. Linear regression revealed significant age-related decline in associative learning, spatial and recognition memory, and the level of strategy use. This age-related decline in associative learning remains even after adjusting for attention, spatial and recognition memory, and strategy use. These results show that age effects on associative learning are independent of other cognitive processes involved in PAL.
Luo, Yi; Zhou, Jun; Li, Ming-Xing; Wu, Peng-Fei; Hu, Zhuang-Li; Ni, Lan; Jin, You; Chen, Jian-Guo; Wang, Fang
Aging-related emotional memory deficit is a well-known complication in Alzheimer's disease and normal aging. However, little is known about its molecular mechanism. To address this issue, we examined the role of norepinephrine (NE) and its relevant drug desipramine in the regulation of hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), surface expression of AMPA receptor, and associative fear memory in rats. We found that there was a defective regulation of NE content and AMPA receptor trafficking during fear conditioning, which were accompanied by impaired emotional memory and LTP in aged rats. Furthermore, we also found that the exogenous upregulation of NE ameliorated the impairment of LTP and emotional memory via enhancing AMPA receptor trafficking in aged rats, and the downregulation of NE impaired LTP in adult rats. Finally, acute treatment with NE or desipramine rescued the impaired emotional memory in aged rats. These results imply a pivotal role for NE in synaptic plasticity and associative fear memory in aging rats and suggest that desipramine is a potential candidate for treating aging-related emotional memory deficit.
Sava, Simona; Markus, Etan J
When a rat runs through a familiar environment, the hippocampus retrieves a previously stored spatial representation of the environment. When the environment is modified a new representation is seen, presumably corresponding to the hippocampus encoding the new information. The medial septum is hypothesized to modulate whether the hippocampus engages in retrieval or encoding. The cholinergic agonist carbachol was infused into the medial septum, and hippocampal CA1 place cells were recorded in freely moving rats. In a familiar environment, septal activation impaired the retrieval of a previously stored hippocampal place cell representation regardless of age. When the environment was changed, medial septal activation impaired the encoding process in young, but facilitated the encoding of the new information in aged rats. Moreover, the improved encoding was evident during a subsequent exposure to the modified environment 24 h later. The findings support the role the septum plays in modulating hippocampal retrieval/encoding states. Furthermore, our data indicate a mechanism of age-related cognitive impairment.
Distrutti, Eleonora; O’Reilly, Julie-Ann; McDonald, Claire; Cipriani, Sabrina; Renga, Barbara; Lynch, Marina A.; Fiorucci, Stefano
The intestinal microbiota is increasingly recognized as a complex signaling network that impacts on many systems beyond the enteric system modulating, among others, cognitive functions including learning, memory and decision-making processes. This has led to the concept of a microbiota-driven gut–brain axis, reflecting a bidirectional interaction between the central nervous system and the intestine. A deficit in synaptic plasticity is one of the many changes that occurs with age. Specifically, the archetypal model of plasticity, long-term potentiation (LTP), is reduced in hippocampus of middle-aged and aged rats. Because the intestinal microbiota might change with age, we have investigated whether the age-related deficit in LTP might be attenuated by changing the composition of intestinal microbiota with VSL#3, a probiotic mixture comprising 8 Gram-positive bacterial strains. Here, we report that treatment of aged rats with VSL#3 induced a robust change in the composition of intestinal microbiota with an increase in the abundance of Actinobacteria and Bacterioidetes, which was reduced in control-treated aged rats. VSL#3 administration modulated the expression of a large group of genes in brain tissue as assessed by whole gene expression, with evidence of a change in genes that impact on inflammatory and neuronal plasticity processes. The age-related deficit in LTP was attenuated in VSL#3-treated aged rats and this was accompanied by a modest decrease in markers of microglial activation and an increase in expression of BDNF and synapsin. The data support the notion that intestinal microbiota can be manipulated to positively impact on neuronal function. PMID:25202975
Distrutti, Eleonora; O'Reilly, Julie-Ann; McDonald, Claire; Cipriani, Sabrina; Renga, Barbara; Lynch, Marina A; Fiorucci, Stefano
The intestinal microbiota is increasingly recognized as a complex signaling network that impacts on many systems beyond the enteric system modulating, among others, cognitive functions including learning, memory and decision-making processes. This has led to the concept of a microbiota-driven gut-brain axis, reflecting a bidirectional interaction between the central nervous system and the intestine. A deficit in synaptic plasticity is one of the many changes that occurs with age. Specifically, the archetypal model of plasticity, long-term potentiation (LTP), is reduced in hippocampus of middle-aged and aged rats. Because the intestinal microbiota might change with age, we have investigated whether the age-related deficit in LTP might be attenuated by changing the composition of intestinal microbiota with VSL#3, a probiotic mixture comprising 8 Gram-positive bacterial strains. Here, we report that treatment of aged rats with VSL#3 induced a robust change in the composition of intestinal microbiota with an increase in the abundance of Actinobacteria and Bacterioidetes, which was reduced in control-treated aged rats. VSL#3 administration modulated the expression of a large group of genes in brain tissue as assessed by whole gene expression, with evidence of a change in genes that impact on inflammatory and neuronal plasticity processes. The age-related deficit in LTP was attenuated in VSL#3-treated aged rats and this was accompanied by a modest decrease in markers of microglial activation and an increase in expression of BDNF and synapsin. The data support the notion that intestinal microbiota can be manipulated to positively impact on neuronal function.
Chen, Po Ling; Machado, Liana
Sudden changes in our visual environment trigger reflexive eye movements, so automatically they often go unnoticed. Consequently, voluntary control over reflexive eye movements entails considerable effort. In relation to frontal-lobe deterioration, adult aging adversely impacts voluntary saccadic eye movement control in particular, which compromises effective performance of daily activities. Here, we review the nature of age-related changes in saccadic control, focusing primarily on the antisaccade task because of its assessment of 2 key age-sensitive control functions: reflexive saccade inhibition and voluntary saccade generation. With an ultimate view toward facilitating development of therapeutic strategies, we systematically review the neuroanatomy underpinning voluntary control over saccadic eye movements and natural mechanisms that kick in to compensate for age-related declines. We then explore the potential of noninvasive electrical brain stimulation to counteract aging deficits. Based on evidence that anodal transcranial direct current stimulation can confer a range of benefits specifically relevant to aging brains, we put forward this neuromodulation technique as a therapeutic strategy for improving voluntary saccadic eye movement control in older adults.
Aoki, Yuta; Inokuchi, Ryota; Suwa, Hiroshi; Aoki, Ai
Prevalence and symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) change with advancing age. However, neurochemical background of such age-related change is yet to be elucidated. We therefore conducted a meta-analysis of 16 proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy studies comprising 270 individuals with ADHD and 235 controls. Standardized mean differences were calculated and used as an effect size. Sensitivity analyses and meta-regression to explore the effect of age on neurochemical abnormality were performed. A random effects model identified a significantly higher-than-normal N-acetylaspartate (NAA) in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), but no significant differences of other metabolites in that area. No significant difference in metabolite levels was demonstrated in any other region. Sensitivity analysis of children with ADHD revealed significantly higher-than-normal NAA, whereas no significant difference was found in adults with ADHD. Meta-regression revealed significant correlation between advanced age and normal levels of NAA in the mPFC, suggesting that age-dependent abnormality of NAA level in the mPFC is a potential neural basis of age-related change of symptoms of ADHD.
Kennedy, Kristen M.; Rodrigue, Karen M.; Head, Denise; Gunning-Dixon, Faith; Raz, Naftali
Our objectives were to assess age differences in perceptual repetition priming and perceptual skill learning, and to determine whether they are mediated by cognitive resources and regional cerebral volume differences. Fragmented picture identification paradigm allows the study of both priming and learning within the same task. We presented this task to 169 adults (ages 18–80), assessed working memory and fluid intelligence, and measured brain volumes of regions that were deemed relevant to those cognitive skills. The data were analyzed within a hierarchical path modeling framework. In addition to finding age-related decrease in both perceptual priming and learning, we observed several dissociations with regards to their neural and cognitive mediators. Larger visual cortex volume was associated with greater repetition priming, but not perceptual skill learning, and neither process depended upon hippocampal volume. In contrast, the volumes of the prefrontal gray and white matter were differentially related to both processes via direct and indirect effects of cognitive resources. The results indicate that age-related differences in perceptual priming and skill learning have dissociable cognitive and neural correlates. PMID:19586211
James, Taylor; Strunk, Jonathan; Arndt, Jason; Duarte, Audrey
Previous event-related potential (ERP) and neuroimaging evidence suggests that directing attention toward single item-context associations compared to intra-item features at encoding improves context memory performance and reduces demands on strategic retrieval operations in young and older adults. In everyday situations, however, there are multiple event features competing for our attention. It is not currently known how selectively attending to one contextual feature while attempting to ignore another influences context memory performance and the processes that support successful retrieval in the young and old. We investigated this issue in the current ERP study. Young and older participants studied pictures of objects in the presence of two contextual features: a color and a scene, and their attention was directed to the object’s relationship with one of those contexts. Participants made context memory decisions for both attended and unattended contexts and rated their confidence in those decisions. Behavioral results showed that while both groups were generally successful in applying selective attention during context encoding, older adults were less confident in their context memory decisions for attended features and showed greater dependence in context memory accuracy for attended and unattended contextual features (i.e., hyper-binding). ERP results were largely consistent between age groups but older adults showed a more pronounced late posterior negativity (LPN) implicated in episodic reconstruction processes. We conclude that age-related suppression deficits during encoding result in reduced selectivity in context memory, thereby increasing subsequent demands on episodic reconstruction processes when sought after details are not readily retrieved. PMID:27094851
D’Angelo, Maria C.; Smith, Victoria M.; Kacollja, Arber; Zhang, Felicia; Binns, Malcolm A.; Barense, Morgan D.; Ryan, Jennifer D.
ABSTRACT Binding relations among items in the transverse patterning (TP) task is dependent on the integrity of the hippocampus and its extended network. Older adults have impaired TP learning, corresponding to age-related reductions in hippocampal volumes. Unitization is a training strategy that can mitigate TP impairments in amnesia by reducing reliance on hippocampal-dependent relational binding and increasing reliance on fused representations. Here we examined whether healthy older adults and those showing early signs of cognitive decline would also benefit from unitization. Although both groups of older adults had neuropsychological performance within the healthy range, their TP learning differed both under standard and unitized training conditions. Healthy older adults with impaired TP learning under standard training benefited from unitized training. Older adults who failed the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) showed greater impairments under standard conditions, and showed no evidence of improvement with unitization. These individuals’ failures to benefit from unitization may be a consequence of early deficits not seen in older adults who pass the MoCA. PMID:27049878
Bonasera, Stephen J.; Arikkath, Jyothi; Boska, Michael D.; Chaudoin, Tammy R.; DeKorver, Nicholas W.; Goulding, Evan H.; Hoke, Traci A.; Mojtahedzedah, Vahid; Reyelts, Crystal D.; Sajja, Balasrinivasa; Schenk, A. Katrin; Tecott, Laurence H.; Volden, Tiffany A.
We describe age-related molecular and neuronal changes that disrupt mobility or energy balance based on brain region and genetic background. Compared to young mice, aged C57BL/6 mice exhibit marked locomotor (but not energy balance) impairments. In contrast, aged BALB mice exhibit marked energy balance (but not locomotor) impairments. Age-related changes in cerebellar or hypothalamic gene expression accompany these phenotypes. Aging evokes upregulation of immune pattern recognition receptors and cell adhesion molecules. However, these changes do not localize to microglia, the major CNS immunocyte. Consistent with a neuronal role, there is a marked age-related increase in excitatory synapses over the cerebellum and hypothalamus. Functional imaging of these regions is consistent with age-related synaptic impairments. These studies suggest that aging reactivates a developmental program employed during embryogenesis where immune molecules guide synapse formation and pruning. Renewed activity in this program may disrupt excitatory neurotransmission, causing significant behavioral deficits. PMID:27689748
Ariel, Robert; Price, Jodi; Hertzog, Christopher
Value-based remembering in free-recall tasks may be spared from the typical age-related cognitive decline observed for episodic memory. However, it is unclear whether value-based remembering for associative information is also spared from age-related cognitive decline. The current experiments evaluated the contribution of agenda-based based regulation and strategy use during study to age differences and similarities in value-based remembering of associative information. Participants studied word pairs (Experiments 1-2) or single words (Experiment 2) slated with different point values by moving a mouse controlled cursor to different spatial locations to reveal either items for study or the point value associated with remembering each item. Some participants also provided strategy reports for each item. Younger and older adults allocated greater time to studying high- than low-valued information, reported using normatively effective encoding strategies to learn high-valued pairs, and avoided study of low-valued pairs. As a consequence, both age groups selectively remembered more high- than low-valued items. Despite nearly identical regulatory behavior, an associative memory deficit for older adults was present for high-valued pairs. Age differences in value-based remembering did not occur when the materials were word lists. Fluid intelligence also moderated the effectiveness of older adults' strategy use for high-valued pairs (Experiment 2). These results suggest that age differences in associative value-based remembering may be due to some older adults' gleaning less benefit from using normatively effective encoding strategies rather than age differences in metacognitive self-regulation per se.
Ariel, Robert; Price, Jodi; Hertzog, Christopher
Value-based remembering in free recall tasks may be spared from the typical age-related cognitive decline observed for episodic memory. However, it is unclear whether value-based remembering for associative information is also spared from age-related cognitive decline. The current experiments evaluated the contribution of agenda-based based regulation and strategy use during study to age differences and similarities in value-based remembering of associative information. Participants studied word pairs (Experiments 1-2) or single words (Experiment 2) slated with different point values by moving a mouse controlled cursor to different spatial locations to reveal either items for study or the point value associated with remembering each item. Some participants also provided strategy reports for each item. Younger and older adults allocated greater time to studying high than low valued information, reported using normatively effective encoding strategies to learn high-valued pairs, and avoided study of low-valued pairs. As a consequence, both age groups selectively remembered more high than low-valued items. Despite nearly identical regulatory behavior, an associative memory deficit for older adults was present for high valued pairs. Age differences in value-based remembering did not occur when the materials were word lists. Fluid intelligence also moderated the effectiveness of older adults’ strategy use for high valued pairs (Experiment 2). These results suggest that age differences in associative value-based remembering may be due to some older adults’ gleaning less benefit from using normatively effective encoding strategies rather than age differences in metacognitive self-regulation per se. PMID:26523692
Astle, Andrew T.; Blighe, Alan J.; Webb, Ben S.; McGraw, Paul V.
We investigated whether perceptual learning could be used to improve peripheral word identification speed. The relationship between the magnitude of learning and age was established in normal participants to determine whether perceptual learning effects are age invariant. We then investigated whether training could lead to improvements in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Twenty-eight participants with normal vision and five participants with AMD trained on a word identification task. They were required to identify three-letter words, presented 10° from fixation. To standardize crowding across each of the letters that made up the word, words were flanked laterally by randomly chosen letters. Word identification performance was measured psychophysically using a staircase procedure. Significant improvements in peripheral word identification speed were demonstrated following training (71% ± 18%). Initial task performance was correlated with age, with older participants having poorer performance. However, older adults learned more rapidly such that, following training, they reached the same level of performance as their younger counterparts. As a function of number of trials completed, patients with AMD learned at an equivalent rate as age-matched participants with normal vision. Improvements in word identification speed were maintained at least 6 months after training. We have demonstrated that temporal aspects of word recognition can be improved in peripheral vision with training across a range of ages and these learned improvements are relatively enduring. However, training targeted at other bottlenecks to peripheral reading ability, such as visual crowding, may need to be incorporated to optimize this approach. PMID:26605694
Karawani, Hanin; Bitan, Tali; Attias, Joseph; Banai, Karen
Introduction : Speech recognition in adverse listening conditions becomes more difficult as we age, particularly for individuals with age-related hearing loss (ARHL). Whether these difficulties can be eased with training remains debated, because it is not clear whether the outcomes are sufficiently general to be of use outside of the training context. The aim of the current study was to compare training-induced learning and generalization between normal-hearing older adults and those with ARHL. Methods : Fifty-six listeners (60–72 y/o), 35 participants with ARHL, and 21 normal hearing adults participated in the study. The study design was a cross over design with three groups (immediate-training, delayed-training, and no-training group). Trained participants received 13 sessions of home-based auditory training over the course of 4 weeks. Three adverse listening conditions were targeted: (1) Speech-in-noise, (2) time compressed speech, and (3) competing speakers, and the outcomes of training were compared between normal and ARHL groups. Pre- and post-test sessions were completed by all participants. Outcome measures included tests on all of the trained conditions as well as on a series of untrained conditions designed to assess the transfer of learning to other speech and non-speech conditions. Results : Significant improvements on all trained conditions were observed in both ARHL and normal-hearing groups over the course of training. Normal hearing participants learned more than participants with ARHL in the speech-in-noise condition, but showed similar patterns of learning in the other conditions. Greater pre- to post-test changes were observed in trained than in untrained listeners on all trained conditions. In addition, the ability of trained listeners from the ARHL group to discriminate minimally different pseudowords in noise also improved with training. Conclusions : ARHL did not preclude auditory perceptual learning but there was little generalization to
Venhuizen, Freerk G.; van Ginneken, Bram; Bloemen, Bart; van Grinsven, Mark J. J. P.; Philipsen, Rick; Hoyng, Carel; Theelen, Thomas; Sánchez, Clara I.
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a common eye disorder with high prevalence in elderly people. The disease mainly affects the central part of the retina, and could ultimately lead to permanent vision loss. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is becoming the standard imaging modality in diagnosis of AMD and the assessment of its progression. However, the evaluation of the obtained volumetric scan is time consuming, expensive and the signs of early AMD are easy to miss. In this paper we propose a classification method to automatically distinguish AMD patients from healthy subjects with high accuracy. The method is based on an unsupervised feature learning approach, and processes the complete image without the need for an accurate pre-segmentation of the retina. The method can be divided in two steps: an unsupervised clustering stage that extracts a set of small descriptive image patches from the training data, and a supervised training stage that uses these patches to create a patch occurrence histogram for every image on which a random forest classifier is trained. Experiments using 384 volume scans show that the proposed method is capable of identifying AMD patients with high accuracy, obtaining an area under the Receiver Operating Curve of 0:984. Our method allows for a quick and reliable assessment of the presence of AMD pathology in OCT volume scans without the need for accurate layer segmentation algorithms.
Joseph, J A; Shukitt-Hale, B; Denisova, N A; Prior, R L; Cao, G; Martin, A; Taglialatela, G; Bickford, P C
Recent research has indicated that increased vulnerability to oxidative stress may be the major factor involved in CNS functional declines in aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases, and that antioxidants, e.g., vitamin E, may ameliorate or prevent these declines. Present studies examined whether long-term feeding of Fischer 344 rats, beginning when the rats were 6 months of age and continuing for 8 months, with diets supplemented with a fruit or vegetable extract identified as being high in antioxidant activity, could prevent the age-related induction of receptor-mediated signal transduction deficits that might have a behavioral component. Thus, the following parameters were examined: (1) oxotremorine-enhanced striatal dopamine release (OX-K+-ERDA), (2) cerebellar beta receptor augmentation of GABA responding, (3) striatal synaptosomal 45Ca2+ clearance, (4) carbachol-stimulated GTPase activity, and (5) Morris water maze performance. The rats were given control diets or those supplemented with strawberry extracts (SE), 9.5 gm/kg dried aqueous extract (DAE), spinach (SPN 6.4 gm/kg DAE), or vitamin E (500 IU/kg). Results indicated that SPN-fed rats demonstrated the greatest retardation of age-effects on all parameters except GTPase activity, on which SE had the greatest effect, whereas SE and vitamin E showed significant but equal protection against these age-induced deficits on the other parameters. For example, OX-K+-ERDA enhancement was four times greater in the SPN group than in controls. Thus, phytochemicals present in antioxidant-rich foods such as spinach may be beneficial in retarding functional age-related CNS and cognitive behavioral deficits and, perhaps, may have some benefit in neurodegenerative disease.
Gegenfurtner, Andreas; Vauras, Marja
This meta-analysis (k = 38, N = 6977) examined age-related differences in the relation between motivation to learn and transfer of training, using data derived from the literature on adult continuing education of the past 25 years. Based on socioemotional selectivity theory, a lifespan approach to expectancy theory, and research on interest and…
Nash, Marysia; Donaldson, Morag L.
Word learning in 16 children with specific language impairment (SU) was compared with that of chronological-age controls (CAC) and vocabulary-age controls (VAC), to examine the extent and nature of word-learning deficits in the children with SLI. The children were exposed to novel words in a story and an explicit teaching context. Five tasks…
Kaneai, Nozomi; Sumitani, Kazumi; Fukui, Koji; Koike, Taisuke; Takatsu, Hirokatsu; Urano, Shiro
To define whether tocotrienol (T-3) improves cognitive deficit during aging, effect of T-3 on learning and memory functions of aged rats was assessed. It was found that T-3 markedly counteracts the decline in learning and memory function in aged rats. Quantitative analysis of T-3 content in the rat brain showed that the aged rats fed T-3 mixture-supplemented diet revealed the transport of α- and γ-T-3 to the brain. In contrast, normal young rats fed the same diet did not exhibit brain localization. Furthermore, the T-3 inhibited age-related decreases in the expression of certain blood brain barrier (BBB) proteins, including caludin-5, occludin and junctional adhesion molecule (JAM). It was found that the activation of the cellular proto-oncogene c-Src and extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK), in the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cell signaling pathway for neuronal cell death, was markedly inhibited by T-3. These results may reveal that aging induces partial BBB disruption caused by oxidative stress, thereby enabling the transport of T-3 through the BBB to the central nervous system, whereupon neuronal protection may be mediated by inhibition of c-Src and/or ERK activation, resulting in an improvement in age-related cognitive deficits. PMID:27013777
Brubaker, Aleah L.; Palmer, Jessica L.; Kovacs, Elizabeth J.
In the elderly patient population, it has become increasingly evident that immune dysregulation is a contributing factor to age-related pathologies and their associated morbidity and mortality. In particular, elderly subjects are plagued by poor responses to infectious challenge and immunization and are at heightened risk for the development of autoimmune, neuroinflammatory and tumor-associated pathologies. Rodent models of aging and age-related disorders have been utilized to better describe how innate immune cell dysfunction contributes to these clinical scenarios. As the elderly population continues to increase in size, use of these aging rodent models to study immune dysregulation may translate into increased healthy living years for these individuals. PMID:22396887
This paper focuses on the effects of age on second language learning, specifically in foreign language settings. It begins by pointing out that the effects of learners' initial age of learning in foreign language learning settings are partially different from those in naturalistic language learning settings and, furthermore, that studies in the…
Clark, Rachel; Freedberg, Michael; Hazeltine, Eliot; Voss, Michelle W
Age is often associated with a decline in cognitive abilities that are important for maintaining functional independence, such as learning new skills. Many forms of motor learning appear to be relatively well preserved with age, while learning tasks that involve associative binding tend to be negatively affected. The current study aimed to determine whether age differences exist on a configural response learning task, which includes aspects of motor learning and associative binding. Young (M = 24 years) and older adults (M = 66.5 years) completed a modified version of a configural learning task. Given the requirement of associative binding in the configural relationships between responses, we predicted older adults would show significantly less learning than young adults. Older adults demonstrated lower performance (slower reaction time and lower accuracy). However, contrary to our prediction, older adults showed similar rates of learning as indexed by a configural learning score compared to young adults. These results suggest that the ability to acquire knowledge incidentally about configural response relationships is largely unaffected by cognitive aging. The configural response learning task provides insight into the task demands that constrain learning abilities in older adults.
Wiig, Elisabeth H.; Semel, Eleanor M.
Evaluated were language production deficits in 32 learning disabled (LD) adolescents. Ss were administered a battery of subtests containing tasks sensitive to language production difficulties in cognition, convergent and divergent production of semantic units, word retrieval, and retrieval of syntactic structures. Results indicated that speech…
Lewis, Katherine E.
Mathematical learning disability (MLD) research often conflates low achievement with disabilities and focuses exclusively on deficits of students with MLDs. In this study, the author adopts an alternative approach using a response-to-intervention MLD classification model to identify the resources students draw on rather than the skills they lack.…
Cherkes-Julkowski, Miriam; Stolzenberg, Jonathan
Two discriminant function analyses were conducted to determine the cognitive/educational profile which differentiated 4 groups of 68 elementary/secondary level students: attention deficit disorder (ADD), with and without medication; learning disabilities (LD); and nonhandicapped. By treating the LD and nonmedicated ADD subjects as one group, a…
Cornoldi, Cesare; Rigoni, Fiorenza; Tressoldi, Patrizio Emmanuele; Vio, Claudio
A study compared 11 Italian children (ages 7-11) with nonverbal learning disabilities (NVLD) to 49 controls on four tasks requiring visuospatial working memory and visual imagery. Results found the children with NVLD showed deficits in the use of visuospatial working memory and visual imagery. (Author/CR)
Zack, D J; Dean, M; Molday, R S; Nathans, J; Redmond, T M; Stone, E M; Swaroop, A; Valle, D; Weber, B H
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is increasingly recognized as a complex genetic disorder in which one or more genes contribute to an individual's susceptibility for developing the condition. Twin and family studies as well as population-based genetic epidemiologic methods have convincingly demonstrated the importance of genetics in AMD, though the extent of heritability, the number of genes involved, and the phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity of the condition remain unresolved. The extent to which other hereditary macular dystrophies such as Stargardts disease, familial radial drusen (malattia leventinese), Best's disease, and peripherin/RDS-related dystrophy are related to AMD remains unclear. Alzheimer's disease, another late onset, heterogeneous degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, offers a valuable model for identifying the issues that confront AMD genetics.
Hubert, Valérie; Beaunieux, Hélène; Chételat, Gaël; Platel, Hervé; Landeau, Brigitte; Viader, Fausto; Desgranges, Béatrice; Eustache, Francis
Cognitive procedural learning occurs in three qualitatively different phases (cognitive, associative, and autonomous). At the beginning of this process, numerous cognitive functions are involved, subtended by distinct brain structures such as the prefrontal and parietal cortex and the cerebellum. As the learning progresses, these cognitive components are gradually replaced by psychomotor abilities, reflected by the increasing involvement of the cerebellum, thalamus, and occipital regions. In elderly subjects, although cognitive studies have revealed a learning effect, performance levels differ during the acquisition of a procedure. The effects of age on the learning of a cognitive procedure have not yet been examined using functional imaging. The aim of this study was therefore to characterize the cerebral substrates involved in the learning of a cognitive procedure, comparing a group of older subjects with young controls. For this purpose, we performed a positron emission tomography activation study using the Tower of Toronto task. A direct comparison of the two groups revealed the involvement of a similar network of brain regions at the beginning of learning (cognitive phase). However, the engagement of frontal and cingulate regions persisted in the older group as learning continued, whereas it ceased in the younger controls. We assume that this additional activation in the older group during the associative and autonomous phases reflected compensatory processes and the fact that some older subjects failed to fully automate the procedure.
Correa-de-Araujo, Rosaly; Harris-Love, Michael O; Miljkovic, Iva; Fragala, Maren S; Anthony, Brian W; Manini, Todd M
A growing body of scientific literature suggests that not only changes in skeletal muscle mass, but also other factors underpinning muscle quality, play a role in the decline in skeletal muscle function and impaired mobility associated with aging. A symposium on muscle quality and the need for standardized assessment was held on April 28, 2016 at the International Conference on Frailty and Sarcopenia Research in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The purpose of this symposium was to provide a venue for basic science and clinical researchers and expert clinicians to discuss muscle quality in the context of skeletal muscle function deficit and other aging-related muscle dysfunctions. The present article provides an expanded introduction concerning the emerging definitions of muscle quality and a potential framework for scientific inquiry within the field. Changes in muscle tissue composition, based on excessive levels of inter- and intra-muscular adipose tissue and intramyocellular lipids, have been found to adversely impact metabolism and peak force generation. However, methods to easily and rapidly assess muscle tissue composition in multiple clinical settings and with minimal patient burden are needed. Diagnostic ultrasound and other assessment methods continue to be developed for characterizing muscle pathology, and enhanced sonography using sensors to provide user feedback and improve reliability is currently the subject of ongoing investigation and development. In addition, measures of relative muscle force such as specific force or grip strength adjusted for body size have been proposed as methods to assess changes in muscle quality. Furthermore, performance-based assessments of muscle power via timed tests of function and body size estimates, are associated with lower extremity muscle strength may be responsive to age-related changes in muscle quality. Future aims include reaching consensus on the definition and standardized assessments of muscle quality, and
Correa-de-Araujo, Rosaly; Harris-Love, Michael O.; Miljkovic, Iva; Fragala, Maren S.; Anthony, Brian W.; Manini, Todd M.
A growing body of scientific literature suggests that not only changes in skeletal muscle mass, but also other factors underpinning muscle quality, play a role in the decline in skeletal muscle function and impaired mobility associated with aging. A symposium on muscle quality and the need for standardized assessment was held on April 28, 2016 at the International Conference on Frailty and Sarcopenia Research in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The purpose of this symposium was to provide a venue for basic science and clinical researchers and expert clinicians to discuss muscle quality in the context of skeletal muscle function deficit and other aging-related muscle dysfunctions. The present article provides an expanded introduction concerning the emerging definitions of muscle quality and a potential framework for scientific inquiry within the field. Changes in muscle tissue composition, based on excessive levels of inter- and intra-muscular adipose tissue and intramyocellular lipids, have been found to adversely impact metabolism and peak force generation. However, methods to easily and rapidly assess muscle tissue composition in multiple clinical settings and with minimal patient burden are needed. Diagnostic ultrasound and other assessment methods continue to be developed for characterizing muscle pathology, and enhanced sonography using sensors to provide user feedback and improve reliability is currently the subject of ongoing investigation and development. In addition, measures of relative muscle force such as specific force or grip strength adjusted for body size have been proposed as methods to assess changes in muscle quality. Furthermore, performance-based assessments of muscle power via timed tests of function and body size estimates, are associated with lower extremity muscle strength may be responsive to age-related changes in muscle quality. Future aims include reaching consensus on the definition and standardized assessments of muscle quality, and
Albayram, Onder; Bilkei-Gorzo, Andras; Zimmer, Andreas
Previous studies have shown that cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor signaling dissociates between reward-associated and aversive memories. The influence of CB1 receptors on the aversion-driven spatial learning in the Morris water maze test is strongly age-dependent: mice with genetic deletion of CB1 receptors (Cnr1−/−) show superior learning when young but inferior learning when old compared to age-matched wild-type mice. Whether the reward-driven spatial learning is influenced in the same way by CB1 receptor signaling as the aversion-driven learning remains unclear. Thus, we examined the performance of Cn1−/− and their wild-type littermates at ages of 2-, 5-, and 12-months-old in the eight-arm radial maze test—a reward-motivated model of spatial learning. Interestingly, 2-months-old Cnr1−/− mice had a superior learning ability to wild-type mice. At the age of 5-months, Cnr1−/− mice showed the same performance as the wild-type littermates. However, 12-months-old Cnr1−/− mice showed significantly impaired performances in each parameter of the test. Accordingly, this study provides compelling support for our previous result that genetic deletion of CB1 receptor leads to early onset of age-related memory decline, similarly affecting both reward and aversion-driven learning. PMID:23227007
Wark, Stuart; Canon-Vanry, Miranda; Ryan, Peta; Hussain, Rafat; Knox, Marie; Edwards, Meaghan; Parmenter, Marie; Parmenter, Trevor; Janicki, Matthew; Leggatt-Cook, Chez
Background: Access to support services in rural areas is known to be problematic both in Australia, and in other countries around the world, but the majority of research on the population of people ageing with learning disability has so far focussed on metropolitan residents. The authors report about select aspects of the lived experience of older…
Baehr, Leslie M.; West, Daniel W.D.; Marcotte, George; Marshall, Andrea G.; De Sousa, Luis Gustavo; Baar, Keith; Bodine, Sue C.
Age-related loss of muscle mass and strength can be accelerated by impaired recovery of muscle mass following a transient atrophic stimulus. The aim of this study was to identify the mechanisms underlying the attenuated recovery of muscle mass and strength in old rats following disuse-induced atrophy. Adult (9 month) and old (29 month) male F344BN rats underwent hindlimb unloading (HU) followed by reloading. HU induced significant atrophy of the hindlimb muscles in both adult (17-38%) and old (8-29%) rats, but only the adult rats exhibited full recovery of muscle mass and strength upon reloading. Upon reloading, total RNA and protein synthesis increased to a similar extent in adult and old muscles. At baseline and upon reloading, however, proteasome-mediated degradation was suppressed leading to an accumulation of ubiquitin-tagged proteins and p62. Further, ER stress, as measured by CHOP expression, was elevated at baseline and upon reloading in old rats. Analysis of mRNA expression revealed increases in HDAC4, Runx1, myogenin, Gadd45a, and the AChRs in old rats, suggesting neuromuscular junction instability/denervation. Collectively, our data suggests that with aging, impaired neuromuscular transmission and deficits in the proteostasis network contribute to defects in muscle fiber remodeling and functional recovery of muscle mass and strength. PMID:26826670
Karri, S. P. K.; Chakraborty, Debjani; Chatterjee, Jyotirmoy
We present an algorithm for identifying retinal pathologies given retinal optical coherence tomography (OCT) images. Our approach fine-tunes a pre-trained convolutional neural network (CNN), GoogLeNet, to improve its prediction capability (compared to random initialization training) and identifies salient responses during prediction to understand learned filter characteristics. We considered a data set containing subjects with diabetic macular edema, or dry age-related macular degeneration, or no pathology. The fine-tuned CNN could effectively identify pathologies in comparison to classical learning. Our algorithm aims to demonstrate that models trained on non-medical images can be fine-tuned for classifying OCT images with limited training data. PMID:28270969
Oliveira-Silva, Ieda F; Pinto, Lucas; Pereira, Silvia R C; Ferraz, Vany P; Barbosa, Alfredo J A; Coelho, Vivian A A; Gualberto, Felipe F A S; Souza, Valeria F; Faleiro, Rosiane R M; Franco, Glaura C; Ribeiro, Angela M
We investigated age-related changes in learning and memory performance and behavioural extinction in the water maze; and in endogenous levels of serotonin (5-HT) and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5-HIAA) in the neocortex, hippocampus, thalamus and dorsal raphe nucleus of Wistar rats. Another aim was to assess the correlation between behavioural and biochemical parameters, which were measured in rodents of two different ages: 5 months (adults) and 16 months (middle-aged). The middle-aged subjects succeeded in learning the behavioural task, albeit with significantly worse performance when compared to adult animals. Aging also had significant main effects on memory and extinction. An age-dependent decrease in 5-HIAA levels was observed in both hippocampus and dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN). The decrease in DRN 5-HIAA was paralleled by a decrease in 5-HIAA/5-HT ratio in this brain area, which was significantly correlated to the animals' spatial memory performance and behavioural extinction. In addition, using middle-aged rats, a 2x2 factorial study was carried out to examine the effects of food restriction and chronic ethanol consumption on rat's performance in a spatial behavioural task and on central serotonergic parameters. None of these two treatments had a significant effect on the behavioural and biochemical parameters assessed, with the exception of extinction index, which was significantly affected by ethanol consumption. Long-term ethanol ameliorated the impairment in behavioural flexibility caused by aging. In conclusion, long-term ethanol consumption may have a role in protecting against age-related deficit in behavioural extinction. Moreover, the present results also indicate that DRN serotonergic system is involved in spatial memory and behavioural extinction.
Nash, Marysia; Donaldson, Morag L
Word learning in 16 children with specific language impairment (SLI) was compared with that of chronological-age controls (CAC) and vocabulary-age controls (VAC), to examine the extent and nature of word-learning deficits in the children with SLI. The children were exposed to novel words in a story and an explicit teaching context. Five tasks assessed how much the children had learned about the words' phonological form and semantic properties after 6 repetitions (Time 1) and again after 12 repetitions (Time 2) of the words in each context. The SLI group performed significantly worse than the CAC group at both Time 1 and Time 2 on all measures of the words presented in both contexts. They performed similarly to the VAC group (who were on average 21/2 years younger) on Time 1 and Time 2 measures from both contexts, except for the Naming task at Time 2, on which their performance was significantly lower. These findings suggest that children with vocabulary deficits have difficulties with both phonological and semantic aspects of word learning.
Cornoldi, C; Rigoni, F; Tressoldi, P E; Vio, C
This study reports the observations gathered from 11 children referred to consulting services because of learning difficulties at school and diagnosed with nonverbal learning disabilities (NVLD). These children had an average verbal IQ, but a WISC-R performance IQ lower than the verbal IQ by at least 15 points and experienced difficulties especially in mathematics and drawing. The children completed a battery of four tasks requiring visuospatial working memory and visual imagery: a memory task composed of pictures and their positions (Pictures task), a task that required them to memorize the positions filled in a matrix (Passive Matrix task), a task that required them to imagine a pathway along a matrix (Active Matrix task) and a task that required them to learn groups made up of three words, using a visual interactive imagery strategy (TV task). In comparison to a control group of 49 children, children with NVLD scored lower in all the tasks, showing deficits in the use of visuospatial working memory and visual imagery. By contrasting subgroups of children of different ages in the control group, it was possible to show that some tasks did not show a clear developmental trend. Thus the deficits shown by the children with NVLD cannot simply be attributed to a developmental delay of these children, but seem to reflect a more severe disability.
Zhong, Jimmy Y.; Moffat, Scott D.
Previous studies have showed that spatial memory declines with age but have not clarified the relevance of different landmark cues for specifying heading directions among different age groups. This study examined differences between younger, middle-aged and older adults in route learning and memory tasks after they navigated a virtual maze that contained: (a) critical landmarks that were located at decision points (i.e., intersections) and (b) non-critical landmarks that were located at non-decision points (i.e., the sides of the route). Participants were given a recognition memory test for critical and non-critical landmarks and also given a landmark-direction associative learning task. Compared to younger adults, older adults committed more navigation errors during route learning and were poorer at associating the correct heading directions with both critical and non-critical landmarks. Notably, older adults exhibited a landmark-direction associative memory deficit at decision points; this was the first finding to show that an associative memory deficit exist among older adults in a navigational context for landmarks that are pertinent for reaching a goal, and suggest that older adults may expend more cognitive resources on the encoding of landmark/object features than on the binding of landmark and directional information. This study is also the first to show that older adults did not have a tendency to process non-critical landmarks, which were regarded as distractors/irrelevant cues for specifying the directions to reach the goal, to an equivalent or larger extent than younger adults. We explain this finding in view of the low number of non-critical cues in our virtual maze (relative to a real-world urban environment) that might not have evoked older adults’ usual tendency toward processing or encoding distractors. We explain the age differences in navigational and cognitive performance with regards to functional and structural changes in the hippocampus and
Gatewood, Jessica D; Morgan, Melissa D; Eaton, Mollie; McNamara, Ilan M; Stevens, Lillian F; Macbeth, Abbe H; Meyer, Elizabeth A A; Lomas, Lisa M; Kozub, Frederick J; Lambert, Kelly G; Kinsley, Craig Howard
The current work examined spatial learning and memory (i.e., latencies to find a baited food well) in age-matched nulliparous, primiparous and multiparous (NULL, PRIM and MULT, zero, one or two pregnancies and lactations, respectively). We tested at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months of age in a dry land version of the Morris water maze (Main task), and at 12, 18 and 24 months in the same task in which the original location of the baited well was changed (Reversal task). We show that PRIM/MULT rats, compared to the age-matched NULL females, learned the spatial tasks significantly better and exhibited attenuated memory decline, up to 24 months of age. Furthermore, at the conclusion of behavioral testing, we investigated levels of these animals' hippocampal (CA1 and dentate gyrus) immunoreactive amyloid precursor protein (APP), a marker of neurodegeneration and age-related cognitive loss. MULTs had significantly reduced APP in both CA1 and DG, relative to PRIMs and NULLs, and PRIMs had a trend (p<0.06) toward a reduction in APP compared to NULLs in DG. Further, level of APP was negatively correlated with performance in the two tasks (viz., more APP, worse maze performance). Reproduction, therefore, with its attendant natural endocrine and postpartum sensory experiences, may facilitate lifelong learning and memory, and may mitigate markers of neural aging, in the rat. Combining natural hormonal exposure with subsequent substantial experience with stimuli from the offspring may preserve the aged parous female brain relative to that of NULL females.
Backenson, Erica M.; Holland, Sara C.; Kubas, Hanna A.; Fitzer, Kim R.; Wilcox, Gabrielle; Carmichael, Jessica A.; Fraccaro, Rebecca L.; Smith, Amanda D.; Macoun, Sarah J.; Harrison, Gina L.; Hale, James B.
Children with specific learning disabilities (SLD) have deficits in the basic psychological processes that interfere with learning and academic achievement, and for some SLD subtypes, these deficits can also lead to emotional and/or behavior problems. This study examined psychosocial functioning in 123 students, aged 6 to 11, who underwent…
Dennis, Nancy A; Cabeza, Roberto
Abundant research finds that in young adults explicit learning (EL) is more dependent on the medial temporal lobes (MTL) whereas implicit learning (IL) is more dependent on the striatum. Using fMRI, we investigated age differences in each task and whether this differentiation is preserved in older adults. Results indicated that, while young recruited the MTL for EL and striatum for IL, both activations were significantly reduced in older adults. Additionally, results indicated that older adults recruited the MTL for IL, and this activation was significantly greater in older compared with young adults. A significant Task × Age interaction was found in both regions-with young preferentially recruiting the MTL for EL and striatum for IL, and older adults showing no preferential recruit for either task. Finally, young adults demonstrated significant negative correlations between activity in the striatum and MTL during both the EL and IL tasks. These correlations were attenuated in older adults. Taken together results support dedifferentiation in aging across memory systems.
Fernández-Prieto, I; Caprile, C; Tinoco-González, D; Ristol-Orriols, B; López-Sala, A; Póo-Argüelles, P; Pons, F; Navarra, J
The nonverbal learning disability (NLD) is a neurological dysfunction that affects cognitive functions predominantly related to the right hemisphere such as spatial and abstract reasoning. Previous evidence in healthy adults suggests that acoustic pitch (i.e., the relative difference in frequency between sounds) is, under certain conditions, encoded in specific areas of the right hemisphere that also encode the spatial elevation of external objects (e.g., high vs. low position). Taking this evidence into account, we explored the perception of pitch in preadolescents and adolescents with NLD and in a group of healthy participants matched by age, gender, musical knowledge and handedness. Participants performed four speeded tests: a stimulus detection test and three perceptual categorization tests based on colour, spatial position and pitch. Results revealed that both groups were equally fast at detecting visual targets and categorizing visual stimuli according to their colour. In contrast, the NLD group showed slower responses than the control group when categorizing space (direction of a visual object) and pitch (direction of a change in sound frequency). This pattern of results suggests the presence of a subtle deficit at judging pitch in NLD along with the traditionally-described difficulties in spatial processing.
Duggal, Niharika A; Upton, Jane; Phillips, Anna C; Sapey, Elizabeth; Lord, Janet M
Autoimmunity increases with aging indicative of reduced immune tolerance, but the mechanisms involved are poorly defined. In recent years, subsets of B cells with immunoregulatory properties have been identified in murine models of autoimmune disorders, and these cells downregulate immune responses via secretion of IL10. In humans, immature transitional B cells with a CD19(+) CD24(hi) CD38(hi) phenotype have been reported to regulate immune responses via IL10 production. We found the frequency and numbers of CD19(+) CD24(hi) CD38(hi) cells were reduced in the PBMC pool with age. IL10 expression and secretion following activation via either CD40, or Toll-like receptors was also impaired in CD19(+) CD24(hi) CD38(hi) B cells from healthy older donors. When investigating the mechanisms involved, we found that CD19(+) CD24(hi) CD38(hi) B-cell function was compromised by age-related effects on both T cells and B cells: specifically, CD40 ligand expression was lower in CD4 T cells from older donors following CD3 stimulation, and signalling through CD40 was impaired in CD19(+) CD24(hi) CD38(hi) B cells from elders as evidenced by reduced phosphorylation (Y705) and activation of STAT3. However, there was no age-associated change in expression of costimulatory molecules CD80 and CD86 on CD19(+) CD24(hi) CD38(hi) cells, suggesting IL10-dependent immune suppression is impaired, but contact-dependent suppressive capacity is intact with age. Finally, we found a negative correlation between CD19(+) CD24(hi) CD38(hi) B-cell IL10 production and autoantibody (Rheumatoid factor) levels in older adults. We therefore propose that an age-related decline in CD19(+) CD24(hi) CD38(hi) B cell number and function may contribute towards the increased autoimmunity and reduced immune tolerance seen with aging.
Duggal, Niharika A; Upton, Jane; Phillips, Anna C; Sapey, Elizabeth; Lord, Janet M
Autoimmunity increases with aging indicative of reduced immune tolerance, but the mechanisms involved are poorly defined. In recent years, subsets of B cells with immunoregulatory properties have been identified in murine models of autoimmune disorders, and these cells downregulate immune responses via secretion of IL10. In humans, immature transitional B cells with a CD19+CD24hiCD38hi phenotype have been reported to regulate immune responses via IL10 production. We found the frequency and numbers of CD19+CD24hiCD38hi cells were reduced in the PBMC pool with age. IL10 expression and secretion following activation via either CD40, or Toll-like receptors was also impaired in CD19+CD24hiCD38hi B cells from healthy older donors. When investigating the mechanisms involved, we found that CD19+CD24hiCD38hi B-cell function was compromised by age-related effects on both T cells and B cells: specifically, CD40 ligand expression was lower in CD4 T cells from older donors following CD3 stimulation, and signalling through CD40 was impaired in CD19+CD24hiCD38hi B cells from elders as evidenced by reduced phosphorylation (Y705) and activation of STAT3. However, there was no age-associated change in expression of costimulatory molecules CD80 and CD86 on CD19+CD24hiCD38hi cells, suggesting IL10-dependent immune suppression is impaired, but contact-dependent suppressive capacity is intact with age. Finally, we found a negative correlation between CD19+CD24hiCD38hi B-cell IL10 production and autoantibody (Rheumatoid factor) levels in older adults. We therefore propose that an age-related decline in CD19+CD24hiCD38hi B cell number and function may contribute towards the increased autoimmunity and reduced immune tolerance seen with aging. PMID:23755918
Suenaga, Jun; Hu, Xiaoming; Pu, Hongjian; Shi, Yejie; Hassan, Sulaiman Habib; Xu, Mingyue; Leak, Rehana K; Stetler, R Anne; Gao, Yanqin; Chen, Jun
Most of the successes in experimental models of stroke have not translated well to the clinic. One potential reason for this failure is that stroke mainly afflicts the elderly and the majority of experimental stroke studies rely on data gathered from young adult animals. Therefore, in the present study we established a reliable, reproducible model of stroke with low mortality in aged (18month) male mice and contrasted their pathophysiological changes with those in young (2month) animals. To this end, mice were subjected to permanent tandem occlusion of the left distal middle cerebral artery (dMCAO) with ipsilateral common carotid artery occlusion (CCAO). Cerebral blood flow (CBF) was evaluated repeatedly during and after stroke. Reduction of CBF was more dramatic and sustained in aged mice. Aged mice exhibited more severe long-term sensorimotor deficits, as manifested by deterioration of performance in the Rotarod and hanging wire tests up to 35d after stroke. Aged mice also exhibited significantly worse long-term cognitive deficits after stroke, as measured by the Morris water maze test. Consistent with these behavioral observations, brain infarct size and neuronal tissue loss after dMCAO were significantly larger in aged mice at 2d and 14d, respectively. The young versus aged difference in neuronal tissue loss, however, did not persist until 35d after dMCAO. In contrast to the transient difference in neuronal tissue loss, we found significant and long lasting deterioration of white matter in aged animals, as revealed by the loss of myelin basic protein (MBP) staining in the striatum at 35d after dMCAO. We further examined the expression of M1 (CD16/CD32) and M2 (CD206) markers in Iba-1(+) microglia by double immunofluorescent staining. In both young and aged mice, the expression of M2 markers peaked around 7d after stroke whereas the expression of M1 markers peaked around 14d after stroke, suggesting a progressive M2-to-M1 phenotype shift in both groups. However
San Miguel, Stephanie K.; And Others
This article explores the hypothesis that social skill deficits among children with learning disabilities are associated with high rates of undetected psychiatric diagnoses. The maladaptive social skills patterns of children with specific subtypes of learning disabilities appear to mimic the symptom patterns of children with attention deficit…
Constantinidou, Fofi; Zaganas, Ioannis; Papastefanakis, Emmanouil; Kasselimis, Dimitrios; Nidos, Andreas; Simos, Panagiotis G
Age-related memory changes are highly varied and heterogeneous. The study examined the rate of decline in verbal episodic memory as a function of education level, auditory attention span and verbal working memory capacity, and diagnosis of amnestic mild cognitive impairment (a-MCI). Data were available on a community sample of 653 adults aged 17-86 years and 70 patients with a-MCI recruited from eight broad geographic areas in Greece and Cyprus. Measures of auditory attention span and working memory capacity (digits forward and backward) and verbal episodic memory (Auditory Verbal Learning Test [AVLT]) were used. Moderated mediation regressions on data from the community sample did not reveal significant effects of education level on the rate of age-related decline in AVLT indices. The presence of a-MCI was a significant moderator of the direct effect of Age on both immediate and delayed episodic memory indices. The rate of age-related decline in verbal episodic memory is normally mediated by working memory capacity. Moreover, in persons who display poor episodic memory capacity (a-MCI group), age-related memory decline is expected to advance more rapidly for those who also display relatively poor verbal working memory capacity.
Zettel, Martha L; Zhu, Xiaoxia; O'Neill, William E; Frisina, Robert D
Kv3.1b channel protein is widely distributed in the mammalian auditory brainstem, but studies have focused mainly on regions critical for temporal processing, including the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) and anteroventral cochlear nucleus (AVCN). Because temporal processing declines with age, this study was undertaken to determine if the expression of Kv3.1b likewise declines, and if changes are specific to these nuclei. Immunocytochemistry using an anti-Kv3.1b antibody was performed, and the relative optical density of cells and neuropil was determined from CBA/CaJ mice of four age groups. Declines in expression in AVCN, MNTB, and lateral superior olive (35, 26, and 23%) were found, but changes were limited to neuropil. Interestingly, cellular optical density declines were found in superior paraolivary nucleus, ventral nucleus of the trapezoid body, and lateral nucleus of the trapezoid body (24, 29, and 26%), which comprise the medial olivocochlear (MOC) feedback system. All declines occurred by middle age (15 months old). No age-related changes were found in the remaining regions of cochlear nucleus or in the inferior colliculus. Contralateral suppression of distortion-product otoacoustic emission amplitudes of age-matched littermates also declined by middle age, suggesting a correlation between Kv3.1 expression and MOC function. In search of more direct evidence for such a correlation, Kv3.1b knockout mice were examined. Knockouts show poor MOC function as compared to +/+ and +/- genotypes. Thus, Kv3.1b expression declines in MOC neurons by middle age, and these changes appear to correlate with functional declines in efferent activity in both middle-aged CBA mice and Kv3.1b knockout mice.
Hossain, Muhammad M; DiCicco-Bloom, Emanuel; Richardson, Jason R
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is implicated as a significant contributor to neurodegeneration and cognitive dysfunction. Previously, we reported that the widely used pyrethroid pesticide deltamethrin causes ER stress-mediated apoptosis in SK-N-AS neuroblastoma cells. Whether or not this occurs in vivo remains unknown. Here, we demonstrate that repeated deltamethrin exposure (3 mg/kg every 3 days for 60 days) causes hippocampal ER stress and learning deficits in adult mice. Repeated exposure to deltamethrin caused ER stress in the hippocampus as indicated by increased levels of C/EBP-homologous protein (131%) and glucose-regulated protein 78 (96%). This was accompanied by increased levels of caspase-12 (110%) and activated caspase-3 (50%). To determine whether these effects resulted in learning deficits, hippocampal-dependent learning was evaluated using the Morris water maze. Deltamethrin-treated animals exhibited profound deficits in the acquisition of learning. We also found that deltamethrin exposure resulted in decreased BrdU-positive cells (37%) in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, suggesting potential impairment of hippocampal neurogenesis. Collectively, these results demonstrate that repeated deltamethrin exposure leads to ER stress, apoptotic cell death in the hippocampus, and deficits in hippocampal precursor proliferation, which is associated with learning deficits.
Taillade, Mathieu; Sauzéon, Hélène; Arvind Pala, Prashant; Déjos, Marie; Larrue, Florian; Gross, Christian; N’Kaoua, Bernard
The aim of this study was to evaluate motor control activity (active vs. passive condition) with regards to wayfinding and spatial learning difficulties in large-scale spaces for older adults. We compared virtual reality (VR)-based wayfinding and spatial memory (survey and route knowledge) performances between 30 younger and 30 older adults. A significant effect of age was obtained on the wayfinding performances but not on the spatial memory performances. Specifically, the active condition deteriorated the survey measure in all of the participants and increased the age-related differences in the wayfinding performances. Importantly, the age-related differences in the wayfinding performances, after an active condition, were further mediated by the executive measures. All of the results relative to a detrimental effect of motor activity are discussed in terms of a dual task effect as well as executive decline associated with aging. PMID:23843992
Mary, Alison; Wens, Vincent; Op de Beeck, Marc; Leproult, Rachel; De Tiège, Xavier; Peigneux, Philippe
Decreased neural plasticity is observed with healthy ageing in the primary sensorimotor (SM1) cortex thought to participate in motor learning and memory consolidation processes. In the present magnetoencephalography study, the post-training reorganization of resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) and its relation with motor learning and early consolidation in 14 young (19-30 years) and 14 old (66-70 years) healthy participants were investigated. At the behavioral level, participants were trained on a motor sequence learning task then retested 20-30 min later for transient offline gains in performance. Using a sensorimotor seed-based approach, rsFC relying on beta band power envelope correlation was estimated immediately before and 10 min after the learning episode. Post-training changes in rsFC (from before to after learning) were correlated with motor learning performance and with the offline improvement in performance within the hour after learning. Young and old participants exhibited differential patterns of sensorimotor-related rsFC, bearing specific relationships with motor learning and consolidation. Our findings suggest that rsFC changes following learning reflect the offline processing of the new motor skill and contribute to the early memory consolidation within the hour after learning. Furthermore, differences in post-training changes in rsFC between young and old participants support the hypothesis that ageing modulates the neural circuits underlying the learning of a new motor skill and the early subsequent consolidation stages. Hum Brain Mapp 38:923-937, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Davis, Elizabeth L.
Emotion regulation predicts positive academic outcomes like learning, but little is known about "why". Effective emotion regulation likely promotes learning by broadening the scope of what may be attended to after an emotional event. One hundred twenty-six 6- to 13-year-olds' (54% boys) regulation of sadness was examined for changes in…
Janacsek, Karolina; Fiser, Jozsef; Nemeth, Dezso
Implicit skill learning underlies obtaining not only motor, but also cognitive and social skills through the life of an individual. Yet, the ontogenetic changes in humans' implicit learning abilities have not yet been characterized, and, thus, their role in acquiring new knowledge efficiently during development is unknown. We investigated such…
Backenson, Erica M; Holland, Sara C; Kubas, Hanna A; Fitzer, Kim R; Wilcox, Gabrielle; Carmichael, Jessica A; Fraccaro, Rebecca L; Smith, Amanda D; Macoun, Sarah J; Harrison, Gina L; Hale, James B
Children with specific learning disabilities (SLD) have deficits in the basic psychological processes that interfere with learning and academic achievement, and for some SLD subtypes, these deficits can also lead to emotional and/or behavior problems. This study examined psychosocial functioning in 123 students, aged 6 to 11, who underwent comprehensive evaluations for learning and/or behavior problems in two Pacific Northwest school districts. Using concordance-discordance model (C-DM) processing strengths and weaknesses SLD identification criteria, results revealed working memory SLD (n = 20), processing speed SLD (n = 30), executive SLD (n = 32), and no disability groups (n = 41). Of the SLD subtypes, repeated measures MANOVA results revealed the processing speed SLD subtype exhibited the greatest psychosocial and adaptive impairment according to teacher behavior ratings. Findings suggest processing speed deficits may be behind the cognitive and psychosocial disturbances found in what has been termed "nonverbal" SLD. Limitations, implications, and future research needs are addressed.
Janacsek, Karolina; Fiser, József; Nemeth, Dezso
Implicit skill learning underlies obtaining not only motor, but also cognitive and social skills through the life of an individual. Yet, the ontogenetic changes in humans' implicit learning abilities have not yet been characterized, and, thus, their role in acquiring new knowledge efficiently during development is unknown. We investigated such learning across the lifespan, between 4 and 85 years of age with an implicit probabilistic sequence learning task, and we found that the difference in implicitly learning high- vs. low-probability events--measured by raw reaction time (RT)--exhibited a rapid decrement around age of 12. Accuracy and z-transformed data showed partially different developmental curves, suggesting a re-evaluation of analysis methods in developmental research. The decrement in raw RT differences supports an extension of the traditional two-stage lifespan skill acquisition model: in addition to a decline above the age 60 reported in earlier studies, sensitivity to raw probabilities and, therefore, acquiring new skills is significantly more effective until early adolescence than later in life. These results suggest that due to developmental changes in early adolescence, implicit skill learning processes undergo a marked shift in weighting raw probabilities vs. more complex interpretations of events, which, with appropriate timing, prove to be an optimal strategy for human skill learning.
Schandler, Steven L.; And Others
Investigated whether visuospatial deficits displayed by chronic alcoholics are present in persons at risk for alcoholism. Compared 17 social drinkers who were children of alcoholics and 17 who had no family alcoholism history. Visuospatial learning of children of alcoholics was significantly poorer than that of subjects with no family alcoholism…
Ponde, Milena Pereira; Cruz-Freire, Antonio Carlos; Silveira, Andre Almeida
Objective: To assess the impact of attention deficit on learning problems in a sample of schoolchildren in the city of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Method: All students enrolled in selected elementary schools were included in this study, making a total of 774 children. Each child was assessed by his or her teacher using a standardized scale. "The…
Rourke, Byron P.; Tsatsanis, Katherine D.
This discussion of speech and language development in individuals with nonverbal learning disabilities (NLD) reviews NLD assets, deficits, and dynamics; the white matter model; manifestations of NLD in neurological dysfunction; psycholinguistic dimensions of NLD in terms of language content, form, and use; developmental considerations in NLD; and…
Marcotte, Karine; Ansaldo, Ana Inés
This study aimed at investigating the neural basis of word learning as a function of age and word type. Ten young and ten elderly French-speaking participants were trained by means of a computerized Spanish word program. Both age groups reached a similar naming accuracy, but the elderly required significantly more time. Despite equivalent performance, distinct neural networks characterized the ceiling. While the young cohort showed subcortical activations, the elderly recruited the left inferior frontal gyrus, the left lingual gyrus and the precuneus. The learning trajectory of the elderly, the neuroimaging findings together with their performance on the Stroop suggest that the young adults relied on control processing areas whereas the elderly relied on episodic memory circuits, which may reflect resorting to better preserved cognitive resources. Finally, the recruitment of visual processing areas by the elderly may reflect the impact of the language training method used.
Purpose: To determine the rate of word learning for children with hearing loss (HL) in quiet and in noise compared to normal-hearing (NH) peers. The effects of digital noise reduction (DNR) were examined for children with HL. Method: Forty-one children with NH and 26 children with HL were grouped by age (8-9 years and 11-12 years). The children…
Ho, Connie Suk-Han; Chan, David W; Tsang, Suk-Man; Lee, Suk-Han; Chung, Kevin K H
The present study examined word learning difficulties in Chinese dyslexic children, readers of a nonalphabetic script. A total of 105 Hong Kong Chinese children were recruited and divided into three groups: Dyslexic (mean age 8;8), CA control (mean age 8;9), and RL control (mean age 6; 11). They were given a word learning task and a familiar word writing task. It was found that the Dyslexic group performed less well than the RL group in learning irregular words over trials but not the regular ones. Error analyses showed that the Dyslexic group made more orthographic and word association errors but less intra-wordlist interference errors than the RL control group. The Dyslexic group also performed significantly less well than both control groups in writing familiar words (e.g. their own name). These findings suggest that Chinese dyslexic children have difficulty learning new words, especially irregular ones, and retaining overlearned words in long-term memory. We conclude that Chinese dyslexic children have a specific impairment in word learning like their alphabetic counterparts.
Cicero, David C; Martin, Elizabeth A; Becker, Theresa M; Kerns, John G
Previous research suggests that people with schizophrenia have difficulty learning from positive feedback and when learning needs to occur rapidly. However, they seem to have relatively intact learning from negative feedback when learning occurs gradually. Participants are typically given a limited amount of acquisition trials to learn the reward contingencies and then tested about what they learned. The current study examined whether participants with schizophrenia continue to display these deficits when given extra time to learn the contingences. Participants with schizophrenia and matched healthy controls completed the Probabilistic Selection Task, which measures positive and negative feedback learning separately. Participants with schizophrenia showed a deficit in learning from both positive feedback and negative feedback. These reward learning deficits persisted even if people with schizophrenia are given extra time (up to 10 blocks of 60 trials) to learn the reward contingencies. These results suggest that the observed deficits cannot be attributed solely to slower learning and instead reflect a specific deficit in reinforcement learning.
Cicero, David C.; Martin, Elizabeth A.; Becker, Theresa M.; Kerns, John G.
Previous research suggests that people with schizophrenia have difficulty learning from positive feedback and when learning needs to occur rapidly. However, they seem to have relatively intact learning from negative feedback when learning occurs gradually. Participants are typically given a limited amount of acquisition trials to learn the reward contingencies and then tested about what they learned. The current study examined whether participants with schizophrenia continue to display these deficits when given extra time to learn the contingences. Participants with schizophrenia and matched healthy controls completed the Probabilistic Selection Task, which measures positive and negative feedback learning separately. Participants with schizophrenia showed a deficit in learning from both positive and negative feedback. These reward learning deficits persisted even if people with schizophrenia are given extra time (up to 10 blocks of 60 trials) to learn the reward contingencies. These results suggest that the observed deficits cannot be attributed solely to slower learning and instead reflect a specific deficit in reinforcement learning. PMID:25172610
Wagshal, Dana; Knowlton, Barbara Jean; Cohen, Jessica Rachel; Poldrack, Russell Alan; Bookheimer, Susan Yost; Bilder, Robert Martin; Fernandez, Vindia Gisela; Asarnow, Robert Franklin
Patients with schizophrenia show deficits in skill learning. We tested the hypothesis that impaired skill learning is associated with liability for schizophrenia by determining if it is present in non-affected siblings of patients. This study examined cognitive skill learning in adolescent siblings of patients with childhood onset schizophrenia (COS), who are at high genetic risk for the disorder, and age-matched controls. A probabilistic classification task was used to assess cognitive skill learning, which has been shown to be impaired in patients with striatal dysfunction or schizophrenia. Differences between the groups emerged within the first 50 trials of training: the controls showed significant learning while the COS siblings did not. Furthermore, after extended training over 800 additional trials the siblings of COS probands reached a lower level of asymptotic performance than controls. These results suggest that a behavioral impairment in probabilistic classification learning in healthy, unaffected siblings mirrors the deficits seen in patients and thus may reflect genetic liability for the disease PMID:22763090
Levin, E D; Schmechel, D E; Burkholder, J B; Deamer-Melia, N J; Moser, V C; Harry, G J
Pfiesteria piscicida and other toxic Pfiesteria-like dinoflagellates have been implicated as a cause of fish kills in North Carolina estuaries and elsewhere. Accidental laboratory exposure of humans to P. piscicida has been reported to cause a complex syndrome including cognitive impairment. The current project was conducted to experimentally assess the possibility of cognitive effects of P. piscicida exposure in rats. Samples of water from aquaria in which P. piscicida zoospores were killing fish were frozen, a procedure that has been found to induce encystment. Thawed samples were injected into albino Sprague-Dawley rats. A significant learning impairment was documented in rats administered samples of P. piscicida that were recently frozen. Prolonged storage of Pfiesteria samples diminished the effect. No effect was seen in the recall of a previously learned task, but when the rats were called upon to learn a new task, the Pfiesteria-treated animals showed a significant learning deficit. This effect persisted up to at least 10 weeks after a single injection of Pfiesteria. The Pfiesteria-induced learning deficit did not seem to be associated with any obvious debilitation or health impairment of the exposed rats. Deficits in habituation of arousal and rearing behavior were detected using a functional observational battery. No Pfiesteria-induced effects on blood count and white cell differential or in a standard pathological screening of brain, liver, lung, kidney, and spleen tissue were seen at 2 months after exposure. These studies document a persistent learning impairment in rats after exposure to the dinoflagellate P.piscicida in otherwise physically well-appearing rats. This effect may partially model the symptoms of cognitive impairments that humans have shown after Pfiesteria exposure.
Pendt, Lisa Katharina; Reuter, Iris; Müller, Hermann
Parkinson's disease, which affects the basal ganglia, is known to lead to various impairments of motor control. Since the basal ganglia have also been shown to be involved in learning processes, motor learning has frequently been investigated in this group of patients. However, results are still inconsistent, mainly due to skill levels and time scales of testing. To bridge across the time scale problem, the present study examined de novo skill learning over a long series of practice sessions that comprised early and late learning stages as well as retention. 19 non-demented, medicated, mild to moderate patients with Parkinson's disease and 19 healthy age and gender matched participants practiced a novel throwing task over five days in a virtual environment where timing of release was a critical element. Six patients and seven control participants came to an additional long-term retention testing after seven to nine months. Changes in task performance were analyzed by a method that differentiates between three components of motor learning prominent in different stages of learning: Tolerance, Noise and Covariation. In addition, kinematic analysis related the influence of skill levels as affected by the specific motor control deficits in Parkinson patients to the process of learning. As a result, patients showed similar learning in early and late stages compared to the control subjects. Differences occurred in short-term retention tests; patients' performance constantly decreased after breaks arising from poorer release timing. However, patients were able to overcome the initial timing problems within the course of each practice session and could further improve their throwing performance. Thus, results demonstrate the intact ability to learn a novel motor skill in non-demented, medicated patients with Parkinson's disease and indicate confounding effects of motor control deficits on retention performance.
Hennessey, Mary L.; Rumrill, Phillip D., Jr.; Roessler, Richard T.; Cook, Bryan G.
The purpose of this study was to (a) examine the employment and career development concerns of postsecondary students with learning disabilities and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) and (b) develop strategies for improving their post-graduation employment outcomes. Employing an established…
Vicari, S; Finzi, A; Menghini, D; Marotta, L; Baldi, S; Petrosini, L
Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of specific types of tasks on the efficiency of implicit procedural learning in the presence of developmental dyslexia (DD). Methods: Sixteen children with DD (mean (SD) age 11.6 (1.4) years) and 16 matched normal reader controls (mean age 11.4 (1.9) years) were administered two tests (the Serial Reaction Time test and the Mirror Drawing test) in which implicit knowledge was gradually acquired across multiple trials. Although both tests analyse implicit learning abilities, they tap different competencies. The Serial Reaction Time test requires the development of sequential learning and little (if any) procedural learning, whereas the Mirror Drawing test involves fast and repetitive processing of visuospatial stimuli but no acquisition of sequences. Results: The children with DD were impaired on both implicit learning tasks, suggesting that the learning deficit observed in dyslexia does not depend on the material to be learned (with or without motor sequence of response action) but on the implicit nature of the learning that characterises the tasks. Conclusion: Individuals with DD have impaired implicit procedural learning. PMID:16170083
Semrud-Clikeman, Margaret; Bledsoe, Jesse
The relationship of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to learning disorders was reviewed and included reading disability, mathematics learning disability, and nonverbal learning disability. Genetic, neuroimaging, and neuropsychological functioning were examined for each disorder, along with a discussion of any existing literature when ADHD co-occurred with the disorder. All the disorders were found to frequently co-occur with ADHD. A review of the underlying neuroanatomic and neurofunctional data found specific structures that frequently co-occur in these disorders with others that are specific to the individual diagnosis. Aberrations in structure and/or function were found for the caudate, corpus callosum, and cerebellum, making these structures sensitive for the disorder but not specific. Suggestions for future research, particularly in relation to intervention, are provided.
Sayen, Alexandra; Hubert, Isabelle; Berrod, Jean-Paul
Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a multifactorial disease caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It is the first cause of blindness in patients over 50 in the western world. The disease has been traditionally classified into early and late stages with dry (atrophic) and wet (neovascular) forms: neovascular form is characterized by new blood vessels development under the macula (choroidal neovascularisation) which lead to a rapid decline of vision associated with metamorphopsia and requiring an urgent ophtalmological examination. Optical coherence tomography is now one of the most important part of the examination for diagnosis and treatment. Patient with age related maculopathy should consider taking a dietary supplement such that used in AREDS. The treatment of the wet ARMD has largely beneficied since year 2006 of anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) molecules such as ranibizumab or bevacizumab given as repeated intravitreal injections. A systematic follow up each 4 to 8 week in required for several years. There is no effective treatment at the moment for dry AMD. For patients with binocular visual acuity under 60/200 rehabilitation includes low vision specialist, vision aids and psychological support.
Albarrak, Abdulrahman; Coenen, Frans; Zheng, Yalin
Three-dimensional (3D) (volumetric) diagnostic imaging techniques are indispensable with respect to the diagnosis and management of many medical conditions. However there is a lack of automated diagnosis techniques to facilitate such 3D image analysis (although some support tools do exist). This paper proposes a novel framework for volumetric medical image classification founded on homogeneous decomposition and dictionary learning. In the proposed framework each image (volume) is recursively decomposed until homogeneous regions are arrived at. Each region is represented using a Histogram of Oriented Gradients (HOG) which is transformed into a set of feature vectors. The Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM) is then used to generate a "dictionary" and the Improved Fisher Kernel (IFK) approach is used to encode feature vectors so as to generate a single feature vector for each volume, which can then be fed into a classifier generator. The principal advantage offered by the framework is that it does not require the detection (segmentation) of specific objects within the input data. The nature of the framework is fully described. A wide range of experiments was conducted with which to analyse the operation of the proposed framework and these are also reported fully in the paper. Although the proposed approach is generally applicable to 3D volumetric images, the focus for the work is 3D retinal Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) images in the context of the diagnosis of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). The results indicate that excellent diagnostic predictions can be produced using the proposed framework.
Méndez, Marta; Méndez-López, Magdalena; López, Laudino; Aller, María Angeles; Arias, Jaime; Arias, Jorge L
People with hepatic insufficiency can develop hepatic encephalopathy (HE), a complex neuropsychological syndrome covering a wide range of neurological and cognitive and motor alterations. The cognitive deficits include disturbances in intellectual functions such as memory and learning. In spite of its high prevalence in western societies, the causes of HE have not yet been clearly established. For this reason, experimental models of HE are used to study this condition. In this work, two experimental models were used, one Type B HE (portacaval shunt) and the other Type C HE (cirrhosis by intoxication with thioacetamide), to evaluate its effect on two tasks of associative learning: two-way active avoidance and step-through passive avoidance. The results show an impediment both in acquisition and retention of active avoidance in both models of HE. However, in passive avoidance, only the rats with portacaval shunt presented a memory deficit for the aversive event. In our opinion, these results can be explained by alterations in the neurotransmission system presented by animals with hepatic insufficiency, which are mainly caused by a rise in cerebral histamine and a dysfunction of the glutamatergic system.
Corbitt, Cynthia; Deviche, Pierre
In seasonally breeding adult male songbirds, the volumes of several song control regions (SCRs) change seasonally in parallel with plasma testosterone (T) levels and decrease following gonadectomy. Testosterone treatment to castrates prevents this decrease, indicating T dependency. During the breeding season, second-year (SY: birds entering their first breeding season) free-ranging male Dark-eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis) have smaller testes than older (after second-year, ASY: birds entering at least their second breeding season) birds. SY males also have lower plasma T concentrations than ASY males at the beginning of the breeding season. We investigated differences in song structure of the two age groups and the relationship between age differences in gonadal function and SCR sizes. The average number of syllables per song, syllable duration, trill rate, song duration, and variability in song duration were age-independent. Two brain regions that are thought to be involved primarily in song learning and perception were 13 and 18% larger, respectively, in SY than in ASY males, the opposite of what would be expected based solely on reproductive measures (testis mass and cloacal protuberance width). In contrast, the volumes of two regions that directly control song expression did not differ with age. The lack of age-related size differences in regions that are required for song production may indicate that male juncos of all ages have similar brain space requirements for motor production. Where there were size differences, they were restricted to regions primarily controlling vocal behavior acquisition/perception, suggesting that first time breeders need more brain space than experienced breeders to acquire crystallized song and/or acoustically perceive aspects of their environment.
Miller, Maurice; Rohr, Michael E.
An intervening variable between perceptual deficits and academic learning--verbal mediation processes--is explored. Research reviewed, primarily that of A. Luria, leads to the conclusion that verbal mediational processes can compensate for perceptual learning process deficits. Relevant teaching applications are discussed. (Author)
Prediger, Rui D S; Pamplona, Fabrício A; Fernandes, Daniel; Takahashi, Reinaldo N
The spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) is generally considered to be a suitable genetic model for the study of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), since it displays hyperactivity, impulsivity, poorly sustained attention, and deficits in learning and memory processes. Converging evidence suggests a primary role of disturbance in the dopaminergic neurotransmission in ADHD patients and in SHR, and in addition, some studies have also demonstrated alterations in adenosinergic neurotransmission in SHR. In the present study, adult female Wistar (WIS) and SHR rats received caffeine (1-10 mg/kg i.p.) 30 min before training, immediately after training, or 30 min before a test session in the spatial version of the Morris water maze. The effect of caffeine administration on WIS and SHR blood pressure was also measured. SHR needed significantly more trials in the training session to acquire the spatial information, but they displayed a similar profile to that of WIS rats in the test session (48 h later), demonstrating a selective deficit in spatial learning. Pre-training administration of caffeine (1-10 mg/kg i.p.) improved this spatial learning deficit in SHR, but did not alter the WIS performance. In contrast, post-training administration of caffeine (3 mg/kg i.p.) did not alter the SHR test performance, but increased memory retention in WIS rats. No dose of caffeine tested altered the mean blood pressure of WIS or SHR. These results demonstrate a selective spatial learning deficit in SHR which can be attenuated by pre-training administration of caffeine. In addition, the present findings indicate that the spatial learning deficit in SHR is not directly related to hypertension.
Shukitt-Hale, B.; Casadesus, G.; McEwen, J. J.; Rabin, B. M.; Joseph, J. A.
It has previously been shown that exposing rats to particles of high energy and charge (HZE) disrupts the functioning of the dopaminergic system and behaviors mediated by this system, such as motor performance and an amphetamine-induced conditioned taste aversion; these adverse behavioral and neuronal effects are similar to those seen in aged animals. Because cognition declines with age, spatial learning and memory were assessed in the Morris water maze 1 month after whole-body irradiation with 1.5 Gy of 1 GeV/nucleon high-energy (56)Fe particles, to test the cognitive behavioral consequences of radiation exposure. Irradiated rats demonstrated cognitive impairment compared to the control group as seen in their increased latencies to find the hidden platform, particularly on the reversal day when the platform was moved to the opposite quadrant. Also, the irradiated group used nonspatial strategies during the probe trials (swim with no platform), i.e. less time spent in the platform quadrant, fewer crossings of and less time spent in the previous platform location, and longer latencies to the previous platform location. These findings are similar to those seen in aged rats, suggesting that an increased release of reactive oxygen species may be responsible for the induction of radiation- and age-related cognitive deficits. If these decrements in behavior also occur in humans, they may impair the ability of astronauts to perform critical tasks during long-term space travel beyond the magnetosphere.
Renfrew, Mary J; McFadden, Alison; Dykes, Fiona; Wallace, Louise M; Abbott, Stephen; Burt, Sue; Anderson, Joanna Kosmala
This paper summarizes the findings of the learning needs assessment described in this issue. Limitations and strengths are discussed. The paper describes a national, multi-sectoral, multidisciplinary picture. Our respondents may over-represent those with an interest in breastfeeding; if so, the true picture may be even more problematic than described here. Major deficits were identified in the knowledge and skills of practitioners from all backgrounds and all sectors. Many professionals report poor knowledge about breastfeeding and have low levels of confidence and clinical competence. Organizational constraints and barriers to effective education and practice include fragmentation of care and education, lack of facilities, and a low priority being given to breastfeeding. There is a range of current educational provision, although not all is fit for purpose. Voluntary organizations seem to have higher standards than do some current professional learning opportunities. Preferred methods of training include practical observation and mentorship, volunteer counsellor involvement in training programmes, as well as self-study and online opportunities. Recommendations include: a funded, mandatory, interagency and multidisciplinary approach; appropriate content; support at local and national levels; breastfeeding education to be included in clinical governance and audit mechanisms; and further research and evaluation to examine optimum ways of providing education and training. Organizational barriers could be addressed through a public health policy and evidence-based approach.
Lavenex, Pamela Banta; Bostelmann, Mathilde; Brandner, Catherine; Costanzo, Floriana; Fragnière, Emilie; Klencklen, Giuliana; Lavenex, Pierre; Menghini, Deny; Vicari, Stefano
Studies have shown that persons with Down syndrome (DS) exhibit relatively poor language capacities, and impaired verbal and visuoperceptual memory, whereas their visuospatial memory capacities appear comparatively spared. Individuals with DS recall better where an object was previously seen than what object was previously seen. However, most of the evidence concerning preserved visuospatial memory comes from tabletop or computerized experiments which are biased toward testing egocentric (viewpoint-dependent) spatial representations. Accordingly, allocentric (viewpoint-independent) spatial learning and memory capacities may not be necessary to perform these tasks. Thus, in order to more fully characterize the spatial capacities of individuals with DS, allocentric processes underlying real-world navigation must also be investigated. We tested 20 participants with DS and 16 mental age-matched, typically developing (TD) children in a real-world, allocentric spatial (AS) memory task. During local cue (LC) trials, participants had to locate three rewards marked by local color cues, among 12 locations distributed in a 4 m × 4 m arena. During AS trials, participants had to locate the same three rewards, in absence of LCs, based on their relations to distal environmental cues. All TD participants chose rewarded locations in LC and AS trials at above chance level. In contrast, although all but one of the participants with DS exhibited a preference for the rewarded locations in LC trials, only 50% of participants with DS chose the rewarded locations at above chance level in AS trials. As a group, participants with DS performed worse than TD children on all measures of task performance. These findings demonstrate that individuals with DS are impaired at using an AS representation to learn and remember discrete locations in a controlled environment, suggesting persistent and pervasive deficits in hippocampus-dependent memory in DS. PMID:25762946
Dimitrovsky, Lilly; Spector, Hedva; Levy-Shiff, Rachel; Vakil, Eli
The ability to identify six facial expressions was studied in 48 nondisabled children and 76 children with learning disabilities (LD) ages 9 through 12. Overall, the nondisabled group had better interpretive ability. Among LD children, those with verbal deficits had better ability than either those with nonverbal deficits and or those with both…
Garske, Anna K; Lawyer, Chloe R; Peterson, Brittni M; Illig, Kurt R
The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and piriform cortex are involved in encoding the predictive value of olfactory stimuli in rats, and neural responses to olfactory stimuli in these areas change as associations are learned. This experience-dependent plasticity mirrors task-related changes previously observed in mesocortical dopamine neurons, which have been implicated in learning the predictive value of cues. Although forms of associative learning can be found at all ages, cortical dopamine projections do not mature until after postnatal day 35 in the rat. We hypothesized that these changes in dopamine circuitry during the juvenile and adolescent periods would result in age-dependent differences in learning the predictive value of environmental cues. Using an odor-guided associative learning task, we found that adolescent rats learn the association between an odor and a palatable reward significantly more slowly than either juvenile or adult rats. Further, adolescent rats displayed greater distractibility during the task than either juvenile or adult rats. Using real-time quantitative PCR and immunohistochemical methods, we observed that the behavioral deficit in adolescence coincides with a significant increase in D1 dopamine receptor expression compared to juvenile rats in both the OFC and piriform cortex. Further, we found that both the slower learning and increased distractibility exhibited in adolescence could be alleviated by experience with the association task as a juvenile, or by an acute administration of a low dose of either the dopamine D1 receptor agonist SKF-38393 or the D2 receptor antagonist eticlopride. These results suggest that dopaminergic modulation of cortical function may be important for learning the predictive value of environmental stimuli, and that developmental changes in cortical dopaminergic circuitry may underlie age-related differences in associative learning.
Garske, Anna K.; Lawyer, Chloe R.; Peterson, Brittni M.; Illig, Kurt R.
The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and piriform cortex are involved in encoding the predictive value of olfactory stimuli in rats, and neural responses to olfactory stimuli in these areas change as associations are learned. This experience-dependent plasticity mirrors task-related changes previously observed in mesocortical dopamine neurons, which have been implicated in learning the predictive value of cues. Although forms of associative learning can be found at all ages, cortical dopamine projections do not mature until after postnatal day 35 in the rat. We hypothesized that these changes in dopamine circuitry during the juvenile and adolescent periods would result in age-dependent differences in learning the predictive value of environmental cues. Using an odor-guided associative learning task, we found that adolescent rats learn the association between an odor and a palatable reward significantly more slowly than either juvenile or adult rats. Further, adolescent rats displayed greater distractibility during the task than either juvenile or adult rats. Using real-time quantitative PCR and immunohistochemical methods, we observed that the behavioral deficit in adolescence coincides with a significant increase in D1 dopamine receptor expression compared to juvenile rats in both the OFC and piriform cortex. Further, we found that both the slower learning and increased distractibility exhibited in adolescence could be alleviated by experience with the association task as a juvenile, or by an acute administration of a low dose of either the dopamine D1 receptor agonist SKF-38393 or the D2 receptor antagonist eticlopride. These results suggest that dopaminergic modulation of cortical function may be important for learning the predictive value of environmental stimuli, and that developmental changes in cortical dopaminergic circuitry may underlie age-related differences in associative learning. PMID:23437091
Wang, Yu; Zhang, Yaonan; Yao, Zhaomin; Zhao, Ruixue; Zhou, Fengfeng
Non-lethal macular diseases greatly impact patients' life quality, and will cause vision loss at the late stages. Visual inspection of the optical coherence tomography (OCT) images by the experienced clinicians is the main diagnosis technique. We proposed a computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) model to discriminate age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic macular edema (DME) and healthy macula. The linear configuration pattern (LCP) based features of the OCT images were screened by the Correlation-based Feature Subset (CFS) selection algorithm. And the best model based on the sequential minimal optimization (SMO) algorithm achieved 99.3% in the overall accuracy for the three classes of samples.
Wang, Yu; Zhang, Yaonan; Yao, Zhaomin; Zhao, Ruixue; Zhou, Fengfeng
Non-lethal macular diseases greatly impact patients’ life quality, and will cause vision loss at the late stages. Visual inspection of the optical coherence tomography (OCT) images by the experienced clinicians is the main diagnosis technique. We proposed a computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) model to discriminate age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic macular edema (DME) and healthy macula. The linear configuration pattern (LCP) based features of the OCT images were screened by the Correlation-based Feature Subset (CFS) selection algorithm. And the best model based on the sequential minimal optimization (SMO) algorithm achieved 99.3% in the overall accuracy for the three classes of samples. PMID:28018716
Matzel, Louis D.; Grossman, Henya; Light, Kenneth; Townsend, David; Kolata, Stefan
A defining characteristic of age-related cognitive decline is a deficit in general cognitive performance. Here we use a testing and analysis regimen that allows us to characterize the general learning abilities of young (3-5 mo old) and aged (19-21 mo old) male and female Balb/C mice. Animals' performance was assessed on a battery of seven diverse…
Ouchi, Hirofumi; Ono, Kazuya; Murakami, Yukihisa; Matsumoto, Kinzo
Social isolation of rodents (SI) elicits a variety of stress responses such as increased aggressiveness, hyper-locomotion, and reduced susceptibility to pentobarbital. To obtain a better understanding of the relevance of SI-induced behavioral abnormalities to psychiatric disorders, we examined the effect of SI on latent learning as an index of spatial attention, and discussed the availability of SI as an epigenetic model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Except in specially stated cases, 4-week-old male mice were housed in a group or socially isolated for 3-70 days before experiments. The animals socially isolated for 1 week or more exhibited spatial attention deficit in the water-finding test. Re-socialized rearing for 5 weeks after 1-week SI failed to attenuate the spatial attention deficit. The effect of SI on spatial attention showed no gender difference or correlation with increased aggressive behavior. Moreover, SI had no effect on cognitive performance elucidated in a modified Y-maze or an object recognition test, but it significantly impaired contextual and conditional fear memory elucidated in the fear-conditioning test. Drugs used for ADHD therapy, methylphenidate (1-10 mg/kg, i.p.) and caffeine (0.5-1 mg/kg, i.p.), improved SI-induced latent learning deficit in a manner reversible with cholinergic but not dopaminergic antagonists. Considering the behavioral features of SI mice together with their susceptibility to ADHD drugs, the present findings suggest that SI provides an epigenetic animal model of ADHD and that central cholinergic systems play a role in the effect of methylphenidate on SI-induced spatial attention deficit.
Lim, Laurence S; Mitchell, Paul; Seddon, Johanna M; Holz, Frank G; Wong, Tien Y
Age-related macular degeneration is a major cause of blindness worldwide. With ageing populations in many countries, more than 20% might have the disorder. Advanced age-related macular degeneration, including neovascular age-related macular degeneration (wet) and geographic atrophy (late dry), is associated with substantial, progressive visual impairment. Major risk factors include cigarette smoking, nutritional factors, cardiovascular diseases, and genetic markers, including genes regulating complement, lipid, angiogenic, and extracellular matrix pathways. Some studies have suggested a declining prevalence of age-related macular degeneration, perhaps due to reduced exposure to modifiable risk factors. Accurate diagnosis combines clinical examination and investigations, including retinal photography, angiography, and optical coherence tomography. Dietary anti-oxidant supplementation slows progression of the disease. Treatment for neovascular age-related macular degeneration incorporates intraocular injections of anti-VEGF agents, occasionally combined with other modalities. Evidence suggests that two commonly used anti-VEGF therapies, ranibizumab and bevacizumab, have similar efficacy, but possible differences in systemic safety are difficult to assess. Future treatments include inhibition of other angiogenic factors, and regenerative and topical therapies.
Hartman, Richard E; Lee, Jin M; Zipfel, Greg J; Wozniak, David F
The 2-vessel-occlusion + hypotension (2VO + H) model of transient global cerebral ischemia results in neurodegeneration within the CA1 field of the hippocampus, but previous research has failed to demonstrate robust or reliable learning/memory deficits in rats subjected to this treatment. In the present study, sensitive behavioral protocols were developed in an effort to characterize the cognitive impairments following 2VO + H more precisely. Adult rats were exposed to 10 min of bilateral carotid occlusion with simultaneous hypotension. Following recovery, 2VO + H and control rats were subjected to a series of behavioral tests (locomotor activity, sensorimotor battery, water maze [cued, place, learning set], object recognition, and radial arm maze) over an extended recovery period followed by an assessment of neuronal loss in the dorsal hippocampus. The 2VO + H treatment was associated with long-lasting spatial learning deficits in the absence of other behavioral impairments and with neurodegeneration in dorsal hippocampal CA1. Water maze protocols that placed higher memory demands upon the rats (relatively "hard" vs. "easy") were more sensitive for detecting ischemia-induced deficits. We have shown that the use of appropriate behavioral tests (e.g., a relatively difficult place learning task) allowed for the observation of robust spatial learning deficits in a model previously shown to induce relatively subtle behavioral effects. Thus, the 2VO + H model induces both hippocampal neuronal loss and long-term learning deficits in rats, providing a potentially useful model for evaluating therapeutic efficacy.
Wright, Melissa Sue
This study investigated the readiness for self-directed learning of adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), as well as their overall educational experiences. Using Guglielmino's Self-Directed Learning Readiness Scale for Adults (SDLRS-A), the researcher investigated whether the following factors were significantly related to…
Eaton, Shevawn; Wyland, Sharon
Examines the research and theory about attention deficit disorder (ADD) in college students and discusses how learning assistance professionals can better assist college students with ADD. Appended in this article are strategies for faculty/learning center professionals in accommodating students with ADD and a list of suggested readings. Contains…
Lee, Yong-Seok; Ehninger, Dan; Zhou, Miou; Oh, Jun-Young; Kang, Minkyung; Kwak, Chuljung; Ryu, Hyun-Hee; Butz, Delana; Araki, Toshiyuki; Cai, Ying; Balaji, J; Sano, Yoshitake; Nam, Christine I; Kim, Hyong Kyu; Kaang, Bong-Kiun; Burger, Corinna; Neel, Benjamin G; Silva, Alcino J
In Noonan syndrome (NS) 30-50% of subjects show cognitive deficits of unknown etiology and with no known treatment. Here, we report that knock-in mice expressing either of two NS-associated mutations in Ptpn11, which encodes the nonreceptor protein tyrosine phosphatase Shp2, show hippocampal-dependent impairments in spatial learning and deficits in hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). In addition, viral overexpression of an NS-associated allele PTPN11(D61G) in adult mouse hippocampus results in increased baseline excitatory synaptic function and deficits in LTP and spatial learning, which can be reversed by a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitor. Furthermore, brief treatment with lovastatin reduces activation of the GTPase Ras-extracellular signal-related kinase (Erk) pathway in the brain and normalizes deficits in LTP and learning in adult Ptpn11(D61G/+) mice. Our results demonstrate that increased basal Erk activity and corresponding baseline increases in excitatory synaptic function are responsible for the LTP impairments and, consequently, the learning deficits in mouse models of NS. These data also suggest that lovastatin or MEK inhibitors may be useful for treating the cognitive deficits in NS.
Budzinskaia, M V
The review provides an update on the pathogenesis and new treatment modalities for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The impact of polymorphism in particular genes, including complement factor H (CFH), age-related maculopathy susceptibility 2 (ARMS2/LOC387715), and serine peptidase (HTRA1), on AMD development is discussed. Clinical presentations of different forms of exudative AMD, that is classic, occult, or more often mixed choroidal neovascularization, retinal angiomatous proliferation, and choroidal polypoidal vasculopathy, are described. Particular attention is paid to the results of recent clinical trials and safety issues around the therapy.
Jiménez-Fernández, Gracia; Vaquero, Joaquín M M; Jiménez, Luis; Defior, Sylvia
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling abilities. The absence of other high level cognitive deficits in the dyslexic population has led some authors to propose that non-strategical processes like implicit learning could be impaired in this population. Most studies have addressed this issue by using sequence learning tasks, but so far the results have not been conclusive. We test this hypothesis by comparing the performance of dyslexic children and good readers in both implicit and explicit versions of the sequence learning task, as well as in another implicit learning task not involving sequential information. The results showed that dyslexic children failed to learn the sequence when they were not informed about its presence (implicit condition). In contrast, they learned without significant differences in relation to the good readers group when they were encouraged to discover the sequence and to use it in order to improve their performance (explicit condition). Moreover, we observed that this implicit learning deficit was not extended to other forms of non-sequential, implicit learning such as contextual cueing. In this case, both groups showed similar implicit learning about the information provided by the visual context. These results help to clarify previous contradictory data, and they are discussed in relation to how the implicit sequence learning deficit could contribute to the understanding of dyslexia.
Crosson, Bruce; McGregor, Keith M.; Nocera, Joe R.; Drucker, Jonathan H.; Tran, Stella M.; Butler, Andrew J.
The effects of aging on rehabilitation of aging-related diseases are rarely a design consideration in rehabilitation research. In this brief review we present strong coincidental evidence from these two fields suggesting that deficits in aging-related disease or injury are compounded by the interaction between aging-related brain changes and disease-related brain changes. Specifically, we hypothesize that some aphasia, motor, and neglect treatments using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) or transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in stroke patients may address the aging side of this interaction. The importance of testing this hypothesis and addressing the larger aging by aging-related disease interaction is discussed. Underlying mechanisms in aging that most likely are relevant to rehabilitation of aging-related diseases also are covered. PMID:26074807
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly. AMD is diagnosed based on characteristic retinal findings in individuals older than 50. Early detection and treatment are critical in increasing the likelihood of retaining good and functional vision.
Kahta, Shani; Schiff, Rachel
The aim of the present study was to investigate implicit learning processes among adults with developmental dyslexia (DD) using a visual linguistic artificial grammar learning (AGL) task. Specifically, it was designed to explore whether the intact learning reported in previous studies would also occur under conditions including minimal training…
Voleti, Vinod B; Hubschman, Jean-Pierre
As with many organs, compromised function of the eye is accompanied with age and has become increasingly prevalent with the aging population. When decreased visual loss becomes significant, patients' ability to perform activities of daily living becomes compromised. This decrease in function is met with morbidity and mortality, as well as a large socioeconomic burden throughout the world. This review summarizes the most common age-related eye diseases, including cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusion, and age-related macular degeneration. Although our understanding of the genetic and biochemical pathways of these diseases is sill at its primitive stages, we have become able to help our patients improve the quality of life as they age.
Suge, Rie; Shimazu, Tomokazu; Hasegawa, Hajime; Inoue, Ikuo; Hayashibe, Hidemasa; Nagasaka, Hironori; Araki, Nobuo; Katayama, Shigehiro; Nomura, Masahiko; Watanabe, Shu-Ichi
In this study, we examined alterations in the enzymatic antioxidant defenses associated with learning deficits induced by type 2 diabetes, and studied the effects of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ agonist pioglitazone on these learning deficits. Learning ability was assessed by visual discrimination tasks in Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats, as a model of spontaneous type 2 diabetes. Levels of the antioxidant enzymes glutathione peroxidase (GPx), Cu(2+)-Zn(2+) superoxide dismutase (CuZn-SOD) and manganese SOD were measured in the cortex, hippocampus and striatum. Half the rats received oral pioglitazone (20mg/kg/day) from the early stage of diabetes (22 weeks old) to 27 weeks old. OLETF rats showed learning deficits compared with control, Long-Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO) rats. GPx levels in the cortex and hippocampus were increased in OLETF rats compared with LETO rats, with an inverse correlation between GPx in the hippocampus and learning score. CuZn-SOD levels were also increased in the hippocampus in OLETF rats. Pioglitazone reduced blood glucose and increased serum adiponectin levels, but had no effect on learning tasks or antioxidant enzymes, except for CuZn-SOD. These results suggest that an oxidative imbalance reflected by increased brain antioxidant enzymes plays an important role in the development of learning deficits in type 2 diabetes. Early pioglitazone administration partly ameliorated diabetic symptoms, but was unable to completely recover cerebral oxidative imbalance and functions. These results suggest that diabetes-induced brain impairment, which results in learning deficits, may have occurred before the appearance of the symptoms of overt diabetes.
... Issue Past Issues Research News From NIH Low Calorie Diet Affects Aging-Related Factors Past Issues / Summer ... learn more about the effects of sustained low-calorie diets in humans on factors affecting aging. This ...
Bitencourt, Rafael M; Guerra de Souza, Ana C; Bicca, Maíra A; Pamplona, Fabrício A; de Mello, Nelson; Passos, Giselle F; Medeiros, Rodrigo; Takahashi, Reinaldo N; Calixto, João B; Prediger, Rui D
Previous studies have demonstrated that targeting bradykinin receptors is a promising strategy to counteract the cognitive impairment related with aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD). The hippocampus is critical for cognition, and abnormalities in this brain region are linked to the decline in mental ability. Nevertheless, the impact of bradykinin signaling on hippocampal function is unknown. Therefore, we sought to determine the role of hippocampal bradykinin receptors B1R and B2R on the cognitive decline of middle-aged rats. Twelve-month-old rats exhibited impaired ability to acquire and retrieve spatial information in the Morris water maze task. A single intra-hippocampal injection of the selective B1R antagonist des-Arg(9)-[Leu(8)]-bradykinin (DALBK, 3 nmol), but not the selective B2R antagonist D-Arg-[Hyp(3),Thi(5),D-Tic(7),Oic(8)]-BK (Hoe 140, 3 nmol), reversed the spatial learning and memory deficits on these animals. However, both drugs did not affect the cognitive function in 3-month-old rats, suggesting absence of nootropic properties. Molecular biology analysis revealed an up-regulation of B1R expression in the hippocampal CA1 sub-region and in the pre-frontal cortex of 12-month-old rats, whereas no changes in the B2R expression were observed in middle-aged rats. These findings provide new evidence that inappropriate hippocampal B1R expression and activation exert a critical role on the spatial learning and memory deficits in middle-aged rats. Therefore, selective B1R antagonists, especially orally active non-peptide antagonists, may represent drugs of potential interest to counteract the age-related cognitive decline.
Gonzalez, Raul; Jacobus, Joanna; Amatya, Anup K; Quartana, Phillip J; Vassileva, Jasmin; Martin, Eileen M
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and drugs of abuse affect common neural systems underlying procedural memory, including the striatum. The authors compared performance of 48 HIV seropositive (HIV+) and 48 HIV seronegative (HIV-) participants with history of cocaine and/or heroin dependence across multiple Trial Blocks of three procedural learning (PL) tasks: Rotary Pursuit (RP), Mirror Star Tracing (MST), and Weather Prediction (WP). Groups were well matched on demographic, psychiatric, and substance use parameters, and all participants were verified abstinent from drugs. Mixed model analyses of variance revealed that the individuals in the HIV+ group performed more poorly across all tasks, with a significant main effect of HIV serostatus observed on the Mirror Star Tracing and a trend toward significance obtained for the Rotary Pursuit task. No significant differences were observed on the Weather Prediction task. Both groups demonstrated significant improvements in performance across all three procedural learning tasks. It is important to note that no significant Serostatus x Trial Block interactions were observed on any task. Thus, the individuals in the HIV+ group tended to perform worse than those in the HIV- group across all trial blocks of procedural learning tasks with motor demands, but showed no differences in their rate of improvement across all tasks. These findings are consistent with HIV--associated deficits in complex motor skills, but not in procedural learning.
Querques, Giuseppe; Avellis, Fernando Onofrio; Querques, Lea; Bandello, Francesco; Souied, Eric H
Clinical question: Is there any new knowledge about the pathogenesis and treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)? Results: We now understand better the biochemical and pathological pathways involved in the genesis of AMD. Treatment of exudative AMD is based on intravitreal injection of new antivascular endothelial growth factor drugs for which there does not yet exist a unique recognized strategy of administration. No therapies are actually available for atrophic AMD, despite some experimental new pharmacological approaches. Implementation: strategy of administration, safety of intravitreal injection PMID:21654887
Lemieszewska, Marta; Jakubik-Witkowska, Marta; Stańczykiewicz, Bartłomiej; Zambrowicz, Aleksandra; Zabłocka, Agnieszka; Polanowski, Antoni; Trziszka, Tadeusz; Rymaszewska, Joanna
The study aimed to assess the effect of the polypeptide Y complex (Yolkin), isolated from chicken egg yolk, on behavioural and cognitive functions. It also aimed to compare this activity with colostrum-derived substances (Colostrinin, Coloco), which have a confirmed impact on learning and memory. In the study, the effect of Yolkin, administered to rats of different ages, who performed various tasks involving spatial and episodic memory, motor functions and exploratory behavior, was assessed. The experiment was carried out in rats which were 6 and 12 months old. Two different doses of the studied specimens based on previous comparative studies and two different routes of administration (oral and retroperitoneal) were used. A series of behavioural tests were carried out, including an open field test, a novel object recognition test and a Morris water maze. They were used to evaluate the impact of the studied specimen on improving locomotor function and exploratory behaviour, preventing their decline and assess the functioning of episodic and spatial memory in aging rats. The administration of Yolkin gave distinct effects compared to colostrum-derived substances, although confirmed its suggested pro-cognitive action. Therefore, it may be used to enhance cognitive functions and inhibit the progression of dementia in the course of neurodegenerative disorders.
Haase, Vitor G; Júlio-Costa, Annelise; Lopes-Silva, Júlia B; Starling-Alves, Isabella; Antunes, Andressa M; Pinheiro-Chagas, Pedro; Wood, Guilherme
Mathematics learning difficulties are a highly comorbid and heterogeneous set of disorders linked to several dissociable mechanisms and endophenotypes. Two of these endophenotypes consist of primary deficits in number sense and verbal numerical representations. However, currently acknowledged endophenotypes are underspecified regarding the role of automatic vs. controlled information processing, and their description should be complemented. Two children with specific deficits in number sense and verbal numerical representations and normal or above-normal intelligence and preserved visuospatial cognition illustrate this point. Child H.V. exhibited deficits in number sense and fact retrieval. Child G.A. presented severe deficits in orally presented problems and transcoding tasks. A partial confirmation of the two endophenotypes that relate to the number sense and verbal processing was obtained, but a much more clear differentiation between the deficits presented by H.V. and G.A. can be reached by looking at differential impairments in modes of processing. H.V. is notably competent in the use of controlled processing but has problems with more automatic processes, such as nonsymbolic magnitude processing, speeded counting and fact retrieval. In contrast, G.A. can retrieve facts and process nonsymbolic magnitudes but exhibits severe impairment in recruiting executive functions and the concentration that is necessary to accomplish transcoding tasks and word problem solving. These results indicate that typical endophenotypes might be insufficient to describe accurately the deficits that are observed in children with mathematics learning abilities. However, by incorporating domain-specificity and modes of processing into the assessment of the endophenotypes, individual deficit profiles can be much more accurately described. This process calls for further specification of the endophenotypes in mathematics learning difficulties.
Haase, Vitor G.; Júlio-Costa, Annelise; Lopes-Silva, Júlia B.; Starling-Alves, Isabella; Antunes, Andressa M.; Pinheiro-Chagas, Pedro; Wood, Guilherme
Mathematics learning difficulties are a highly comorbid and heterogeneous set of disorders linked to several dissociable mechanisms and endophenotypes. Two of these endophenotypes consist of primary deficits in number sense and verbal numerical representations. However, currently acknowledged endophenotypes are underspecified regarding the role of automatic vs. controlled information processing, and their description should be complemented. Two children with specific deficits in number sense and verbal numerical representations and normal or above-normal intelligence and preserved visuospatial cognition illustrate this point. Child H.V. exhibited deficits in number sense and fact retrieval. Child G.A. presented severe deficits in orally presented problems and transcoding tasks. A partial confirmation of the two endophenotypes that relate to the number sense and verbal processing was obtained, but a much more clear differentiation between the deficits presented by H.V. and G.A. can be reached by looking at differential impairments in modes of processing. H.V. is notably competent in the use of controlled processing but has problems with more automatic processes, such as nonsymbolic magnitude processing, speeded counting and fact retrieval. In contrast, G.A. can retrieve facts and process nonsymbolic magnitudes but exhibits severe impairment in recruiting executive functions and the concentration that is necessary to accomplish transcoding tasks and word problem solving. These results indicate that typical endophenotypes might be insufficient to describe accurately the deficits that are observed in children with mathematics learning abilities. However, by incorporating domain-specificity and modes of processing into the assessment of the endophenotypes, individual deficit profiles can be much more accurately described. This process calls for further specification of the endophenotypes in mathematics learning difficulties. PMID:24592243
Hedenius, Martina; Persson, Jonas; Tremblay, Antoine; Adi-Japha, Esther; Veríssimo, João; Dye, Cristina D; Alm, Per; Jennische, Margareta; Bruce Tomblin, J; Ullman, Michael T
The Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH) posits that Specific Language Impairment (SLI) can be largely explained by abnormalities of brain structures that subserve procedural memory. The PDH predicts impairments of procedural memory itself, and that such impairments underlie the grammatical deficits observed in the disorder. Previous studies have indeed reported procedural learning impairments in SLI, and have found that these are associated with grammatical difficulties. The present study extends this research by examining consolidation and longer-term procedural sequence learning in children with SLI. The Alternating Serial Reaction Time (ASRT) task was given to children with SLI and typically developing (TD) children in an initial learning session and an average of three days later to test for consolidation and longer-term learning. Although both groups showed evidence of initial sequence learning, only the TD children showed clear signs of consolidation, even though the two groups did not differ in longer-term learning. When the children were re-categorized on the basis of grammar deficits rather than broader language deficits, a clearer pattern emerged. Whereas both the grammar impaired and normal grammar groups showed evidence of initial sequence learning, only those with normal grammar showed consolidation and longer-term learning. Indeed, the grammar-impaired group appeared to lose any sequence knowledge gained during the initial testing session. These findings held even when controlling for vocabulary or a broad non-grammatical language measure, neither of which were associated with procedural memory. When grammar was examined as a continuous variable over all children, the same relationships between procedural memory and grammar, but not vocabulary or the broader language measure, were observed. Overall, the findings support and further specify the PDH. They suggest that consolidation and longer-term procedural learning are impaired in SLI, but that these
Andersen, Per N.; Egeland, Jens; Øie, Merete
There are relatively few studies on learning and delayed memory with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The objective of the present study was to examine acquisition, free delayed memory, and recognition skills in medication naive children and adolescents aged 8-16 years with ADHD combined subtype (36 participants) and inattentive…
Kuehne, Cheryl; And Others
Investigated power of five measures to differentiate between normal children and children with Attention Deficit Disorder or Specific Learning Disabilities. Discriminant analysis revealed that Connors Parent Questionnaire was best predictor of group membership, followed in order by Connors Teacher Questionnaire, Porteus Mazes Test, and Matching…
Allen, Terry W.
Results of a study involving control, learning disabled, and attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADD-H) children (14 per group, aged 8-10 years) revealed that LD and ADD-H Ss habituated more rapidly, but they also encoded fewer aspects of the stimulus field than control Ss. (CL)
McNamara, John K.; Willoughby, Teena; Chalmers, Heather
Some researchers suggest that having a learning disability (LD) may act as a risk factor, increasing the likelihood that adolescents experience more negative outcomes in many areas of their lives. However, researchers have yet to examine in one study how having LD with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is related to a…
Geary, David C.; Hoard, Mary K.; Bailey, Drew H.
Using 4 years of mathematics achievement scores, groups of typically achieving children (n = 101) and low achieving children with mild (LA-mild fact retrieval; n = 97) and severe (LA-severe fact retrieval; n = 18) fact retrieval deficits and mathematically learning disabled children (MLD; n = 15) were identified. Multilevel models contrasted…
Webster, Raymond E.; And Others
Assesses information processing and memory functioning in 50 children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) with and without learning disabilities (LD). Both groups struggled with auditory ordered recall. The ADHD/LD group demonstrated more problems transferring information into short-term and long-term memory stores than…
MATERNAL HYPOTHYROXINEMIA LEADS TO PERSISTENT DEFICITS IN HIPPOCAMPAL SYNAPTIC TRANSMISSION AND LEARNING IN RAT OFFSPRING. M.E. Gilbert1 and Li Sui2, Neurotoxicology Division, 1US EPA and 2National Research Council, Research Triangle Pk, NC 27711.
While severe hypothyroidis...
Bickett, Laura; Milich, Richard
This study examined peers' first impressions formed of elementary-age boys with either learning disabilities (LD), attention deficit disorders (ADD), or both. Physical attractiveness data were gathered, and situational demands varied. Results indicated that boys with either LD or ADD were devalued relative to controls on several dependent…
Cory-Slechta, Deborah A; Stern, Sander; Weston, Doug; Allen, Joshua L; Liu, Sue
Pb (lead) exposure and stress are co-occurring risk factors (particularly in low socioeconomic communities) that also act on common biological substrates and produce common adverse outcomes, including cognitive impairments. This study sought to determine whether lifetime Pb exposure combined with prenatal stress would enhance the cognitive deficits independently associated with each of these risk factors and to explore associated mechanisms of any observed impairments. Learning was evaluated using a multiple schedule of repeated learning and performance in female rats subjected to lifetime Pb exposure (0 or 50 ppm Pb in drinking water beginning in dams 2 months prior to breeding; blood Pb levels ∼10 μg/dl), to prenatal restraint stress on gestational days 16 and 17, or to both. Blood Pb, corticosterone levels, brain monoamines, and hippocampal nerve growth factor levels were also measured. Sequence-specific learning deficits produced by Pb, particularly the number of responses to correctly learn response sequences, were further enhanced by stress, whereas performance measures were unimpaired. Statistical analyses indicated significant relationships among corticosterone levels, frontal cortex dopamine (DA), nucleus accumbens dopamine turnover, and total responses required to learn sequences. This study demonstrates that Pb and stress can act together to produce selective and highly condition-dependent deficits in learning in female rats that may be related to glucocorticoid-mediated interactions with mesocorticolimbic regions of brain. These findings also underscore the critical need to evaluate toxicants in the context of other risk factors pertinent to human diseases and disorders.
Hartmann-Riemer, Matthias N; Aschenbrenner, Steffen; Bossert, Magdalena; Westermann, Celina; Seifritz, Erich; Tobler, Philippe N; Weisbrod, Matthias; Kaiser, Stefan
Negative symptoms in schizophrenia have been linked to selective reinforcement learning deficits in the context of gains combined with intact loss-avoidance learning. Fundamental mechanisms of reinforcement learning and choice are prediction error signaling and the precise representation of reward value for future decisions. It is unclear which of these mechanisms contribute to the impairments in learning from positive outcomes observed in schizophrenia. A recent study suggested that patients with severe apathy symptoms show deficits in the representation of expected value. Considering the fundamental relevance for the understanding of these symptoms, we aimed to assess the stability of these findings across studies. Sixty-four patients with schizophrenia and 19 healthy control participants performed a probabilistic reward learning task. They had to associate stimuli with gain or loss-avoidance. In a transfer phase participants indicated valuation of the previously learned stimuli by choosing among them. Patients demonstrated an overall impairment in learning compared to healthy controls. No effects of apathy symptoms on task indices were observed. However, patients with schizophrenia learned better in the context of loss-avoidance than in the context of gain. Earlier findings were thus partially replicated. Further studies are needed to clarify the mechanistic link between negative symptoms and reinforcement learning.
Hartmann-Riemer, Matthias N.; Aschenbrenner, Steffen; Bossert, Magdalena; Westermann, Celina; Seifritz, Erich; Tobler, Philippe N.; Weisbrod, Matthias; Kaiser, Stefan
Negative symptoms in schizophrenia have been linked to selective reinforcement learning deficits in the context of gains combined with intact loss-avoidance learning. Fundamental mechanisms of reinforcement learning and choice are prediction error signaling and the precise representation of reward value for future decisions. It is unclear which of these mechanisms contribute to the impairments in learning from positive outcomes observed in schizophrenia. A recent study suggested that patients with severe apathy symptoms show deficits in the representation of expected value. Considering the fundamental relevance for the understanding of these symptoms, we aimed to assess the stability of these findings across studies. Sixty-four patients with schizophrenia and 19 healthy control participants performed a probabilistic reward learning task. They had to associate stimuli with gain or loss-avoidance. In a transfer phase participants indicated valuation of the previously learned stimuli by choosing among them. Patients demonstrated an overall impairment in learning compared to healthy controls. No effects of apathy symptoms on task indices were observed. However, patients with schizophrenia learned better in the context of loss-avoidance than in the context of gain. Earlier findings were thus partially replicated. Further studies are needed to clarify the mechanistic link between negative symptoms and reinforcement learning. PMID:28071747
Jetti, Raghu; Raghuveer, C V; Mallikarjuna, Rao C
Fluoride is present in the ground water, World Health Organization permitted level of fluoride in the ground water is 0.5 ppm. Tooth pastes, mouth washes, tea and sea fish are the sources of fluoride. Exposure to these multiple sources results in several adverse effects in addition to the fluorosis. The present study aimed to test the effect of vitamin C and Ginkgo biloba against the behavioural deficits caused by fluoride. Rats were divided into five groups with six animals in each group (n = 6). Control group received ordinary tap water with 0.5 ppm of fluoride, the remaining groups received 100 ppm of fluoride for 30 days prior to fluoride exposure. Two groups of animals received 100 mg/kg body weight of vitamin C and G. biloba for 15 days prior to fluoride exposure. After 45 days, behavioural studies (T-Maze, passive avoidance) were conducted on the experimental animals. The results of the present study showed no behavioural deficits in the control group of animals however, the rats that received fluoride water exhibited impairment in their spatial learning and memory deficits. The deficits are not marked in the vitamin C and G. biloba groups. To conclude chronic exposure to high levels of fluoride causes severe impairment in the spatial learning and memory, these deficits can be ameliorated with the vitamin C and G. biloba.
Agullo, Gloria Luque
One of the most controversial issues in foreign language (FL) teaching is the age at which language learning should start. Nowadays it is recognized that in second language contexts maturational constraints make an early start advisable, but there is still disagreement regarding the problem of when to start or the best way to learn in foreign…
Cheung, Lily K; Eaton, Angie
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly, and the prevalence of the disease increases exponentially with every decade after age 50 years. It is a multifactorial disease involving a complex interplay of genetic, environmental, metabolic, and functional factors. Besides smoking, hypertension, obesity, and certain dietary habits, a growing body of evidence indicates that inflammation and the immune system may play a key role in the development of the disease. AMD may progress from the early form to the intermediate form and then to the advanced form, where two subtypes exist: the nonneovascular (dry) type and the neovascular (wet) type. The results from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study have shown that for the nonneovascular type of AMD, supplementation with high-dose antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E, and β-carotene) and zinc is recommended for those with the intermediate form of AMD in one or both eyes or with advanced AMD or vision loss due to AMD in one eye. As for the neovascular type of the advanced AMD, the current standard of therapy is intravitreal injections of vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors. In addition, lifestyle and dietary modifications including improved physical activity, reduced daily sodium intake, and reduced intake of solid fats, added sugars, cholesterol, and refined grain foods are recommended. To date, no study has demonstrated that AMD can be cured or effectively prevented. Clearly, more research is needed to fully understand the pathophysiology as well as to develop prevention and treatment strategies for this devastating disease.
Hsu, Hsinjen Julie; Bishop, Dorothy VM
This study tested the procedural deficit hypothesis of specific language impairment (SLI) by comparing children’s performance in two motor procedural learning tasks and an implicit verbal sequence learning task. Participants were 7- to 11-year-old children with SLI (n = 48), typically developing age-matched children (n = 20) and younger typically developing children matched for receptive grammar (n = 28). In a serial reaction time task, the children with SLI performed at the same level as the grammar-matched children, but poorer than age-matched controls in learning motor sequences. When tested with a motor procedural learning task that did not involve learning sequential relationships between discrete elements (i.e. pursuit rotor), the children with SLI performed comparably with age-matched children and better than younger grammar-matched controls. In addition, poor implicit learning of word sequences in a verbal memory task (the Hebb effect) was found in the children with SLI. Together, these findings suggest that SLI might be characterized by deficits in learning sequence-specific information, rather than generally weak procedural learning. PMID:24410990
The author reviews research on early deprivation and neglect and recounts his own experience with children whose dwarfism is attributed to abuse or neglect. The existence of specific learning disability and diminished IQ in many of these children is cited. The author suggests further attention to the problem. (CL)
Nasehi, Mohammad; Hajian, Maryam; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza
There is much evidence suggesting that the mesoamygdala dopaminergic (DAergic) system plays a crucial role in the formation and expression of fear conditioning, with both D1 and D2 receptors being involved. In addition, cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R) signaling modulates DAergic pathways. The present study sought to determine the involvement of basolateral amygdala (BLA) dopamine receptors in arachidonylcyclopropylamide (ACPA)-induced fear learning deficits. Context- and tone-dependent fear conditioning in adult male NMRI mice was evaluated. Pre-training intraperitoneal administration of ACPA (0.1 mg/kg) decreased the percentage of freezing in context- or tone-dependent fear conditioning, suggesting an acquisition impairment. Pre-training intra-BLA microinjection of a subthreshold dose of SKF38393 (D1-like receptor agonist), SCH23390 (D1-like receptor antagonist), quinpirole (D2-like receptor agonist), or sulpiride (D2-like receptor antagonist) did not alter the context-dependent fear learning deficit induced by ACPA, while SKF38393 or quinpirole restored ACPA effect on tone-dependent fear learning. Moreover, SKF38393 (1 μg/mouse), SCH23390 (0.04 and 0.08 μg/mouse), or quinpirole (0.1 μg/mouse) all impaired context-dependent fear learning. It is concluded that D1 or D2 dopamine (DA) receptor activation restores tone- but not context-dependent fear learning deficit induced by CB1 activation using ACPA.
Nakai, Megumi; Iizuka, Michiro; Matsui, Nobuaki; Hosogi, Kazuko; Imai, Akiko; Abe, Noriaki; Shiraishi, Hisashi; Hirata, Ayumu; Yagi, Yusuke; Jobu, Kohei; Yokota, Junko; Kato, Eishin; Hosoda, Shinya; Yoshioka, Saburo; Harada, Kenichi; Kubo, Miwa; Fukuyama, Yoshiyasu; Miyamura, Mitsuhiko
Bangle (Zingiber purpureum) is a tropical ginger that is used as a spice in Southeast Asia. Phenylbutenoid dimers isolated from Bangle have exhibited neurotrophic effects in primary cultured rat cortical neurons and PC12 cells. Furthermore, chronic treatment with phenylbutenoid dimers enhances hippocampal neurogenesis in olfactory bulbectomized mice. In this study, we investigated the effects of Bangle extract on behavior and hippocampal neurogenesis in vivo. SAMP8 mice, which are an established model for accelerated aging, with age-related learning and memory impairments, were given a Bangle-containing diet for 1 month, and subsequent behavioral tests and immunohistochemistry for Ki67, a proliferating cell marker, were performed. We found that the Bangle-containing diet improved spatial learning and memory deficits in the Morris water maze and significantly increased the numbers of Ki67-positive cells in the dentate gyrus of the SAMP8 mice. In addition, the Bangle extract exhibited a neurotrophin-like activity as indicated by the induction of neurite sprouting in PC12 cells. Our results suggest that Bangle is beneficial for the prevention of age-related progression of cognitive impairment.
Gottlob, Lawrence R
The ability of young and older adults to engage in guided conjunction search was tested in 2 experiments. In the cued condition, a picture of the target was presented before the search. In the noncued condition, there was no picture of the target. In Experiment 1, the cue was presented for 200 ms; the magnitude of the cuing effect (noncued response time--cued response time) was greater for the young than for the older observers. In Experiment 2 (older observers only), the cue duration was doubled, and older observers had a larger magnitude of cuing effect than found in Experiment 1 but not as large as what would be expected under generalized slowing. The results indicated that older observers had difficulty with interpreting the cue and setting search parameters when the target varied across trials.
Timmann, Dagmar; Drepper, J; Maschke, M; Kolb, F P; Böring, D; Thilmann, A F; Diener, H C
There is a strong evidence that the cerebellum is involved in associative motor learning. The exact role of the cerebellum in motor learning, and whether it is involved in cognitive learning processes too, are still controversially discussed topics. A common problem of assessing cognitive capabilities of cerebellar patients is the existence of additional motor demands in all cognitive tests. Even if the patients are able to cope well with the motor requirements of the task, their performance could still involve compensating strategies which cost them more attentional resources than the normal controls. To investigate such interaction effects of cognitive and motor demands in cerebellar patients, we conducted a cognitive associative learning paradigm and varied systematically the motor demands and the cognitive requirements of the task. Nine patients with isolated cerebellar disease and nine matched healthy controls had to learn the association between pairs of color squares, presented centrally on a computer monitor together with a left or right answer button. In the simple motor condition, the answer button had to be pressed once and in the difficult condition three times. We measured the decision times and evaluated the correctly named associations after the test was completed. The cerebellar subjects showed a learning deficit, compared to the normal controls. However, this deficit was independent of the motor difficulty of the task. The cerebellum seems to contribute to motor-independent processes, which are generally involved in associative learning.
Chen, Yuchun; Liu, Huei-Mei
Children with SLI exhibit overall deficits in novel word learning compared to their age-matched peers. However, the manifestation of the word learning difficulty in SLI was not consistent across tasks and the factors affecting the learning performance were not yet determined. Our aim is to examine the extent of word learning difficulties in Mandarin-speaking preschool children with SLI, and to explore the potent influence of existing lexical knowledge on to the word learning process. Preschool children with SLI (n=37) and typical language development (n=33) were exposed to novel words for unfamiliar objects embedded in stories. Word learning tasks including the initial mapping and short-term repetitive learning were designed. Results revealed that Mandarin-speaking preschool children with SLI performed as well as their age-peers in the initial form-meaning mapping task. Their word learning difficulty was only evidently shown in the short-term repetitive learning task under a production demand, and their learning speed was slower than the control group. Children with SLI learned the novel words with a semantic head better in both the initial mapping and repetitive learning tasks. Moderate correlations between stand word learning performances and scores on standardized vocabulary were found after controlling for children's age and nonverbal IQ. The results suggested that the word learning difficulty in children with SLI occurred in the process of establishing a robust phonological representation at the beginning stage of word learning. Also, implicit compound knowledge is applied to aid word learning process for children with and without SLI. We also provide the empirical data to validate the relationship between preschool children's word learning performance and their existing receptive vocabulary ability.
Geary, David C; Hoard, Mary K; Bailey, Drew H
Using 4 years of mathematics achievement scores, groups of typically achieving children (n = 101) and low achieving children with mild (LA-mild fact retrieval; n = 97) and severe (LA-severe fact retrieval; n = 18) fact retrieval deficits and mathematically learning disabled children (MLD; n = 15) were identified. Multilevel models contrasted developing retrieval competence from second to fourth grade with developing competence in executing arithmetic procedures, in fluency of processing quantities represented by Arabic numerals and sets of objects, and in representing quantity on a number line. The retrieval deficits of LA-severe fact retrieval children were at least as debilitating as those of the children with MLD and showed less across-grade improvement. The deficits were characterized by the retrieval of counting string associates while attempting to remember addition facts, suggesting poor inhibition of irrelevant information during the retrieval process. This suggests a very specific form of working memory deficit, one that is not captured by many typically used working memory tasks. Moreover, these deficits were not related to procedural competence or performance on the other mathematical tasks, nor were they related to verbal or nonverbal intelligence, reading ability, or speed of processing, nor would they be identifiable with standard untimed mathematics achievement tests.
Rynders, John E.; And Others
Twenty 3-year-old, home reared, Down's Syndrome children and eight 3-year-old normal children were studied to examine the verbal learning characteristics of Down's Syndrome children in typical preschool learning tasks. Prior to the study, research on characteristics of verbal learning deficits in retarded individuals and on verbal skill training…
Kurimoto, Hiroaki; Nishijo, Hisao; Uwano, Teruko; Yamaguchi, Hidetoshi; Zhong, Yong-Mei; Kawanishi, Kazuko; Ono, Taketoshi
Previously we reported that oral application of red ginseng significantly ameliorated learning deficits in aged rats and young rats with hippocampal lesions. In the present study, we investigated the effects of the nonsaponin fraction of red ginseng on learning deficits in aged rats in behavioral studies and those on long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampal CA3 subfield in young rats in electrophysiological studies. In the behavioral studies, three groups of rats [aged rats with and without oral administration of the nonsaponin fraction of red ginseng and young rats] were tested with the three types of spatial-learning task [distance movement task (DMT), random-reward place search task (RRPST), and place-learning task (PLT)] in a circular open field. The results in the DMT and RRPST indicated that motivational and motor activity was not significantly different among the three groups of rats. However, performance of the aged rats without nonsaponin was significantly impaired in the PLT when compared with the young rats. Treatment with nonsaponin significantly ameliorated deficits in place-navigation learning in the aged rats in the PLT. In the electrophysiological studies, effects of nonsaponin on the LTP in the CA3 subfield of the hippocampal slices were investigated in vitro. Pretreatment with nonsaponin significantly augmented the increase in population spike amplitudes in the CA3 subfield after LTP induction. These results suggest that the nonsaponin fraction of red ginseng contains important substances to improve learning and memory in aged rats and that this amelioration by nonsaponin might be attributed partly to augmentation of LTP in the CA3 subfield.
Wang, Yunliang; Wang, Yutong; Li, Jinfeng; Hua, Linlin; Han, Bing; Zhang, Yuzhen; Yang, Xiaopeng; Zeng, Zhilei; Bai, Hongying; Yin, Honglei; Lou, Jiyu
Caffeic acid is a type of phenolic acid and organic acid. It is found in food (such as tomatoes, carrots, strawberries, blueberries and wheat), beverages (such as wine, tea, coffee and apple juice) as well as Chinese herbal medicines. In the present study, we examined the effects of caffeic acid on learning deficits in a rat model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The rats were randomly divided into three groups: i) control group, ii) AD model group and iii) caffeic acid group. Caffeic acid significantly rescued learning deficits and increased cognitive function in the rats with AD as demonstrated by the Morris water maze task. Furthermore, caffeic acid administration resulted in a significant decrease in acetylcholinesterase activity and nitrite generation in the rats with AD compared with the AD model group. Furthermore, caffeic acid suppressed oxidative stress, inflammation, nuclear factor‑κB‑p65 protein expression and caspase‑3 activity as well as regulating the protein expression of p53 and phosphorylated (p-)p38 MAPK expression in the rats with AD. These experimental results indicate that the beneficial effects of caffeic acid on learning deficits in a model of AD were due to the suppression of oxidative stress and inflammation through the p38 MAPK signaling pathway.
Nunes, Ashley; Kramer, Arthur F.
Previous research has found age-related deficits in a variety of cognitive processes. However, some studies have demonstrated age-related sparing on tasks where individuals have substantial experience, often attained over many decades. Here, the authors examined whether decades of experience in a fast-paced demanding profession, air traffic…
Wang, Zhengke; Cheng-Lai, Alice; Song, Yan; Cutting, Laurie; Jiang, Yuzheng; Lin, Ou; Meng, Xiangzhi; Zhou, Xiaolin
Learning to read involves discriminating between different written forms and establishing connections with phonology and semantics. This process may be partially built upon visual perceptual learning, during which the ability to process the attributes of visual stimuli progressively improves with practice. The present study investigated to what extent Chinese children with developmental dyslexia have deficits in perceptual learning by using a texture discrimination task, in which participants were asked to discriminate the orientation of target bars. Experiment l demonstrated that, when all of the participants started with the same initial stimulus-to-mask onset asynchrony (SOA) at 300 ms, the threshold SOA, adjusted according to response accuracy for reaching 80% accuracy, did not show a decrement over 5 days of training for children with dyslexia, whereas this threshold SOA steadily decreased over the training for the control group. Experiment 2 used an adaptive procedure to determine the threshold SOA for each participant during training. Results showed that both the group of dyslexia and the control group attained perceptual learning over the sessions in 5 days, although the threshold SOAs were significantly higher for the group of dyslexia than for the control group; moreover, over individual participants, the threshold SOA negatively correlated with their performance in Chinese character recognition. These findings suggest that deficits in visual perceptual processing and learning might, in part, underpin difficulty in reading Chinese.
Luman, Marjolein; Van Meel, Catharina S; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Sergeant, Joseph A; Geurts, Hilde M
Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show an impaired ability to use feedback in the context of learning. A stimulus-response learning task was used to investigate whether (1) children with ADHD displayed flatter learning curves, (2) reinforcement-learning in ADHD was sensitive to either reward frequency, magnitude, or both, and (3) altered sensitivity to reward was specific to ADHD or would co-occur in a group of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Performance of 23 boys with ADHD was compared with that of 30 normal controls (NCs) and 21 boys with ASD, all aged 8-12. Rewards were delivered contingent on performance and varied both in frequency (low, high) and magnitude (small, large). The findings showed that, although learning rates were comparable across groups, both clinical groups committed more errors than NCs. In contrast to the NC boys, boys with ADHD were unaffected by frequency and magnitude of reward. The NC group and, to some extent, the ASD group showed improved performance, when rewards were delivered infrequently versus frequently. Children with ADHD as well as children with ASD displayed difficulties in stimulus-response coupling that were independent of motivational modulations. Possibly, these deficits are related to abnormal reinforcement expectancy.
Malone, Laura A; Bastian, Amy J
The healthy aging process affects the ability to learn and remember new facts and tasks. Prior work has shown that motor learning can be adversely affected by non-motor deficits, such as time. Here we investigated how age, and a dual task influence the learning and forgetting of a new walking pattern. We studied healthy younger (<30 yo) and older adults (>50 yo) as they alternated between 5-min bouts of split-belt treadmill walking and resting. Older subjects learned a new walking pattern at the same rate as younger subjects, but forgot some of the new pattern during the rest breaks. We tested if forgetting was due to reliance on a cognitive strategy that was not fully engaged after rest breaks. When older subjects performed a dual cognitive task to reduce strategic control of split-belt walking, their adaptation rate slowed, but they still forgot much of the new pattern during the rest breaks. Our results demonstrate that the healthy aging process is one component that weakens motor memories during rest breaks and that this phenomenon cannot be explained solely by reliance on a conscious strategy in older adults.
Baxter, C F; Baldwin, R A; Davis, J L; Flood, J F
Hyperprolinemic PRO/Re mice have been studied as potential models for hyperprolinemia in man. In addition to high proline levels, some heretofore unreported amino acid abnormalities in the brains of PRO/Re mice are described. The T-maze and shuttlebox learning abilities of PRO/Re mice were compared with those of CD-1 mice having normal proline levels. PRO/Re mice had a significant deficit for T-maze learning, but a significantly greater aptitude for shuttlebox learning when compared to CD-1 mice. By studying the F3 progency of the PRO/Re X CD-1 cross, these strain-specific differences in learning ability for different tasks were shown to be unrelated to the differences in brain proline levels. F3 mice could be subdivided into two distinct groups: those with high proline (HP+) and low proline (HP-) titers. Other amino acids in brain tissues were essentially identical in both groups. A comparison of learning abilities of these HP+ mice with their HP- littermates showed no meaningful differences. However, the slightly slower rate at which HP+ mice acquired shuttlebox learning was sufficiently consistent over the 8 day training period so that it became significant. These results do not support the hypothesis that high levels of proline in brain tissues and blood are necessarily accompanied by impaired learning and memory, but are in agreement with those studies of hyperprolinemia in man that suggest no consistent learning deficits in hyperprolinemic subjects. The results seem to validate the suitability of the PRO/Re mouse as a model for hyperprolinemia in man. The data suggest also that the altered amino acid pattern in brains of PRO/Re mice has multiple etiologies.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Miranda Casas, Ana; Meliá de Alba, Amanda; Marco Taverner, Rafaela
Mathematical abilities and executive function in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning disabilities in mathematics. Even though 26% of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show a specific mathematic learning difficulty (MLD), the studies have been scarce. The present study had the following goals: 1) to study the profile related to cognitive and metacognitive skills implied in calculation and problem-solving in children with ADHD+MLD, and to compare them in children with ADHD, children with MLD, and children without problems; 2) to study the severity of the deficit in executive function (EF) in children with ADHD+MLD. Comparing the groups MLD, ADHD, ADHD+MLD, and children without problems, the results highlighted that children with ADHD+MLD showed a cognitive and metacognitive deficit in mathematic achievement. Furthermore, results showed a more severe deficit in the EF in children with ADHD+MLD.
Huang, Lianyan; Cichon, Joseph; Ninan, Ipe; Yang, Guang
Accumulating evidence has shown that repeated exposure to general anesthesia during critical stages of brain development results in long-lasting behavioral deficits later in life. To date, there has been no effective treatment to mitigate the neurotoxic effects of anesthesia on brain development. By performing calcium imaging in the mouse motor cortex, we show that ketamine anesthesia causes a marked and prolonged reduction in neuronal activity during the period of post-anesthesia recovery. Administration of the AMPAkine drug CX546 [1-(1,4-benzodioxan-6-ylcarbonyl)piperidine] to potentiate AMPA (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid) receptor activity during emergence from anesthesia in mice enhances neuronal activity and prevents long-term motor learning deficits induced by repeated neonatal anesthesia. In addition, we show that CX546 administration also ameliorates various synaptic deficits induced by anesthesia, including reductions in synaptic expression of NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) and AMPA receptor subunits, motor training-evoked neuronal activity, and dendritic spine remodeling associated with motor learning. Together, our results indicate that pharmacologically enhancing neuronal activity during the post-anesthesia recovery period could effectively reduce the adverse effects of early-life anesthesia. PMID:27334260
Thangarajan, Rajesh; Rai, Kiranmai. S.; Gopalakrishnan, Sivakumar; Perumal, Vivek
Background Gestational infections induced inflammation (GIII) is a cause of various postnatal neurological deficits in developing countries. Such intra uterine insults could result in persistent learning-memory disabilities. There are no studies elucidating the efficacy of adolescence exercise on spatial learning- memory abilities of young adult rats pre-exposed to inflammatory insult during fetal life. Aims and Objectives The present study addresses the efficacy of physical (running) exercise during adolescent period in attenuating spatial memory deficits induced by exposure to GIII in rats. Materials and Methods Pregnant Wistar dams were randomly divided into control and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) groups, injected intra peritoneally (i.p) with saline (0.5ml) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (0.5mg/kg) on alternate days from gestation day 14 (GD 14) till delivery. After parturition, pups were divided into 3 groups (n=6/group) a) Sham control and LPS group divided into 2 subgroups- b) LPS and c) LPS exercise group. Running exercise was given only to LPS exercise group during postnatal days (PNDs) 30 to 60 (15min/day). Spatial learning and memory performance was assessed by Morris water maze test (MWM), on postnatal day 61 to 67 in all groups. Results Young rats pre-exposed to GIII and subjected to running exercise through juvenile period displayed significant decrease in latency to reach escape platform and spent significant duration in target quadrant in MWM test, compared to age matched LPS group. Results of the current study demonstrated that exercise through juvenile/adolescent period effectively mitigates gestational inflammation-induced cognitive deficits in young adult rats. Conclusion Inflammation during gestation impairs offspring’s spatial memory and learning abilities. Whereas, early postnatal physical exercise attenuates, to higher extent, cognitive impairment resulted from exposure to LPS induced inflammation during intrauterine growth period. PMID:26266117
van Essen, Thomas A.; van der Giessen, Ruben S.; Koekkoek, Sebastiaan K. E.; VanderWerf, Frans; Zeeuw, Chris I. De; van Genderen, Perry J. J.; Overbosch, David; de Jeu, Marcel T. G.
Mefloquine (a marketed anti-malaria drug) prophylaxis has a high risk of causing adverse events. Interestingly, animal studies have shown that mefloquine imposes a major deficit in motor learning skills by affecting the connexin 36 gap junctions of the inferior olive. We were therefore interested in assessing whether mefloquine might induce similar effects in humans. The main aim of this study was to investigate the effect of mefloquine on olivary-related motor performance and motor learning tasks in humans. We subjected nine participants to voluntary motor timing (dart throwing task), perceptual timing (rhythm perceptual task) and reflex timing tasks (eye-blink task) before and 24 h after the intake of mefloquine. The influence of mefloquine on motor learning was assessed by subjecting participants with and without mefloquine intake (controls: n = 11 vs mefloquine: n = 8) to an eye-blink conditioning task. Voluntary motor performance, perceptual timing, and reflex blinking were not affected by mefloquine use. However, the influence of mefloquine on motor learning was substantial; both learning speed as well as learning capacity was impaired by mefloquine use. Our data suggest that mefloquine disturbs motor learning skills. This adverse effect can have clinical as well as social clinical implications for mefloquine users. Therefore, this side-effect of mefloquine should be further investigated and recognized by clinicians. PMID:21151372
Mandairon, Nathalie; Peace, Shane T; Boudadi, Karim; Boxhorn, Christine E; Narla, Venkata Anupama; Suffis, Sara D; Cleland, Thomas A
The perceptual differentiation of odors can be measured behaviorally using generalization gradients. The steepness of these gradients defines a form of olfactory acuity for odor quality that depends on neural circuitry within the olfactory bulb and is regulated by cholinergic activity therein as well as by associative learning. Using this system as a reduced model for age-related cognitive decline, we show that aged mice, while maintaining almost the same baseline behavioral performance as younger mice, are insensitive to the effects of acutely elevated acetylcholine, which sharpens generalization gradients in young adult mice. Moreover, older mice exhibit evidence of chronically elevated acetylcholine levels in the olfactory bulb, suggesting that their insensitivity to further elevated levels of acetylcholine may arise because the maximum capacity of the system to respond to acetylcholine has already been reached. We propose a model in which an underlying, age-related, progressive deficit is mitigated by a compensatory cholinergic feedback loop that acts to retard the behavioral effects of what would otherwise be a substantial age-related decline in olfactory plasticity. We also treated mice with 10-day regimens of olfactory environmental enrichment and/or repeated systemic injections of the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor physostigmine. Each treatment alone sharpened odor quality acuity, but administering both treatments together had no greater effect than either alone. Age was not a significant main effect in this study, suggesting that some capacity for acetylcholine-dependent plasticity is still present in aged mice despite their sharply reduced ability to respond to acute increases in acetylcholine levels. These results suggest a dynamical framework for understanding age-related decline in neural circuit processing in which the direct effects of aging can be mitigated, at least temporarily, by systemic compensatory responses. In particular, a decline in
Chu, Felicia W.; vanMarle, Kristy; Geary, David C.
The study tested the hypothesis that acuity of the potentially inherent approximate number system (ANS) contributes to risk of mathematical learning disability (MLD). Sixty-eight (35 boys) preschoolers at risk for school failure were assessed on a battery of quantitative tasks, and on intelligence, executive control, preliteracy skills, and parental education. Mathematics achievement scores at the end of 1 year of preschool indicated that 34 of these children were at high risk for MLD. Relative to the 34 typically achieving children, the at risk children were less accurate on the ANS task, and a one standard deviation deficit on this task resulted in a 2.4-fold increase in the odds of MLD status. The at risk children also had a poor understanding of ordinal relations, and had slower learning of Arabic numerals, number words, and their cardinal values. Poor performance on these tasks resulted in 3.6- to 4.5-fold increases in the odds of MLD status. The results provide some support for the ANS hypothesis but also suggest these deficits are not the primary source of poor mathematics learning. PMID:23720643
Chu, Felicia W; Vanmarle, Kristy; Geary, David C
The study tested the hypothesis that acuity of the potentially inherent approximate number system (ANS) contributes to risk of mathematical learning disability (MLD). Sixty-eight (35 boys) preschoolers at risk for school failure were assessed on a battery of quantitative tasks, and on intelligence, executive control, preliteracy skills, and parental education. Mathematics achievement scores at the end of 1 year of preschool indicated that 34 of these children were at high risk for MLD. Relative to the 34 typically achieving children, the at risk children were less accurate on the ANS task, and a one standard deviation deficit on this task resulted in a 2.4-fold increase in the odds of MLD status. The at risk children also had a poor understanding of ordinal relations, and had slower learning of Arabic numerals, number words, and their cardinal values. Poor performance on these tasks resulted in 3.6- to 4.5-fold increases in the odds of MLD status. The results provide some support for the ANS hypothesis but also suggest these deficits are not the primary source of poor mathematics learning.
Cheng, Jason S.; Craft, Ryan; Yu, Gui-Qiu; Ho, Kaitlyn; Wang, Xin; Mohan, Geetha; Mangnitsky, Sergey; Ponnusamy, Ravikumar; Mucke, Lennart
Objective Because reduction of the microtubule-associated protein Tau has beneficial effects in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy, we wanted to determine whether this strategy can also improve the outcome of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). Methods We adapted a mild frontal impact model of TBI for wildtype C57Bl/6J mice and characterized the behavioral deficits it causes in these animals. The Barnes maze, Y maze, contextual and cued fear conditioning, elevated plus maze, open field, balance beam, and forced swim test were used to assess different behavioral functions. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, 7 Tesla) and histological analysis of brain sections were used to look for neuropathological alterations. We also compared the functional effects of this TBI model and of controlled cortical impact in mice with two, one or no Tau alleles. Results Repeated (2-hit), but not single (1-hit), mild frontal impact impaired spatial learning and memory in wildtype mice as determined by testing of mice in the Barnes maze one month after the injury. Locomotor activity, anxiety, depression and fear related behaviors did not differ between injured and sham-injured mice. MRI imaging did not reveal focal injury or mass lesions shortly after the injury. Complete ablation or partial reduction of tau prevented deficits in spatial learning and memory after repeated mild frontal impact. Complete tau ablation also showed a trend towards protection after a single controlled cortical impact. Complete or partial reduction of tau also reduced the level of axonopathy in the corpus callosum after repeated mild frontal impact. Interpretation Tau promotes or enables the development of learning and memory deficits and of axonopathy after mild TBI, and tau reduction counteracts these adverse effects. PMID:25551452
Au, Raymond C. P.; Watkins, David A.; Hattie, John A. C.
The aim of the present study is to explore a causal model of academic achievement and learning-related personal variables by testing the nature of relationships between learned hopelessness, its risk factors and hopelessness deficits as proposed in major theories in this area. The model investigates affective-motivational characteristics of…
Calu, Donna J.; Stalnaker, Thomas A.; Franz, Theresa M.; Singh, Teghpal; Shaham, Yavin; Schoenbaum, Geoffrey
Drug addicts make poor decisions. These decision-making deficits have been modeled in addicts and laboratory animals using reversal-learning tasks. However, persistent reversal-learning impairments have been shown in rats and monkeys only after noncontingent cocaine injections. Current thinking holds that to represent the human condition…
Implementing effective reading instruction is critical for schools. This study examined the effects of the Corrective Reading (CR) program on junior high students with learning disabilities (LD) and students with learning disabilities and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (LD/ADHD). The research questions were: What differences exist…
Benedet, María J; Lauro-Grotto, Rosapia; Giotti, Chiara
The aim of this study was to demonstrate, by means of systematic research and qualitative data analysis, the presence, among a group of patients with fronto-temporal lobar degeneration of a subgroup that, at variance with the standard pattern, is able to devise and implement learning strategies, but appear impaired at carrying them on from a trial to the next. In order to provide evidence of the existence of a group of patients showing this type of learning disability, that we refer to as lack of strategy holding, we performed a stepwise hierarchical cluster analysis of a set of variables whose scores were selected from the subject's performance at the Test de Aprendizaje Verbal España-Complutense. Results substantiate the segregation of three groups of subjects characterized by the following patterns of performance: normal elderly individuals, who show a quite preserved ability to discover a semantic strategy along the learning trials and to carry it from a trial to the next, patients presenting with a deficit in implementing semantic learning strategies and possibly use of serial and/or phonological strategies to perform the task, and to patients who, although able to generate and implement appropriate learning strategies, appear unable to carry them over the learning trials. The presence of this new pattern raises a few questions that seem worth trying to address.
Thoma, Patrizia; Edel, Marc-Andreas; Suchan, Boris; Bellebaum, Christian
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is hypothesized to be characterized by altered reinforcement sensitivity. The main aim of the present study was to assess alterations in the electrophysiological correlates of monetary reward processing in adult patients with ADHD of the combined subtype. Fourteen adults with ADHD of the combined subtype and 14 healthy control participants performed an active and an observational probabilistic reward-based learning task while an electroencephalogramm (EEG) was recorded. Regardless of feedback valence, there was a general feedback-related negativity (FRN) enhancement in combination with reduced learning performance during both active and observational reward learning in patients with ADHD relative to healthy controls. Other feedback-locked potentials such as the P200 and P300 and response-locked potentials were unaltered in the patients. There were no significant correlations between learning performance, FRN amplitudes and clinical symptoms, neither in the overall group involving all participants, nor in patients or controls considered separately. This pattern of findings might reflect generally impaired reward prediction in adults with ADHD of the combined subtype. We demonstrated for the first time that patients with ADHD of the combined subtype show not only deficient active reward learning but are also impaired when learning by observing other people׳s outcomes.
Waldman, H Barry; Perlman, Steven P
The first National Health Interview Survey to collect data on children, 6 to 11 years of age, with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and/or learning disability (LD) provided specific information on: (1) the widespread demographic distribution of children with ADD and LD, (2) related health conditions, (3) use of special education programs, and (4) the extensive use of health care services. The underlying reality was the increasing need for information because dental practitioners provide services to many of these children in their communities.
Peng, Peng; Fuchs, Douglas
Children with learning difficulties suffer from working memory (WM) deficits. Yet the specificity of deficits associated with different types of learning difficulties remains unclear. Further research can contribute to our understanding of the nature of WM and the relationship between it and learning difficulties. The current meta-analysis…
Brazil, Inti A.; Maes, Joseph H.R.; Scheper, Inge; Bulten, Berend H.; Kessels, Roy P.C.; Verkes, Robbert Jan; de Bruijn, Ellen R.A.
Background Psychopathy is a severe personality disorder that has been linked to impaired behavioural adaptation during reinforcement learning. Recent electrophysiological studies have suggested that psychopathy is related to impairments in intentionally using information relevant for adapting behaviour, whereas these impairments remain absent for behaviour relying on automatic use of information. We sought to investigate whether previously found impairments in response reversal in individuals with psychopathy also follow this dichotomy. We expected response reversal to be intact when the automatic use of information was facilitated. In contrast, we expected impaired response reversal when intentional use of information was required. Methods We included offenders with psychopathy and matched healthy controls in 2 experiments with a probabilistic cued go/no-go reaction time task. The task implicated the learning and reversal of 2 predictive contingencies. In experiment 1, participants were not informed about the inclusion of a learning component, thus making cue-dependent learning automatic/incidental. In experiment 2, the instructions required participants to actively monitor and learn predictive relationships, giving learning a controlled/intentional nature. Results While there were no significant group differences in acquisition learning in either experiment, the results revealed impaired response reversal in offenders with psychopathy when controlled learning was facilitated. Interestingly, this impairment was absent when automatic learning was predominant. Limitations Possible limitations are the use of a nonforensic control group and of self-report measures for drug use. Conclusion Response reversal deficits in individuals with psychopathy are modulated by the context provided by the instructions, according to the distinction between automatic and controlled processing in these individuals. PMID:23552501
Roskos-Ewoldsen, Beverly; Black, Sheila R.; Mccown, Steven M.
Age-related differences in cognitive processes were used to understand age-related declines in creativity. According to the Geneplore model (Finke, Ward, & Smith, 1992), there are two phases of creativity--generating an idea and exploring the implications of the idea--each with different underlying cognitive processes. These two phases are…
Vision loss among the elderly is an important health problem. Approximately one person in three has some form of vision-reducing eye disease by the age of 65 . Age-related cataract, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma are the major diseases resulting in visu...
Price, Amanda L
The present study examined the source of explicit category learning deficits previously noted in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Task stimuli consisted of 4 binary-valued cues that together determined category assignment, although some cues were more important for the categorization decision. Participants verbalized the hypotheses being tested to provide several measures of the hypothesis testing. Analyses of these verbal protocols indicated that PD patients were impaired on rule generation and selection but not rule shifting. Patients had particular difficulty noting the relative importance of the cues. Specific aspects of performance were differently correlated with neuropsychological measures of working memory and hypothesis testing ability. Together, the results suggest that the cognitive processes required for explicit category learning are mediated by partially distinct neural mechanisms.
Mohammadi, Hadis Said; Goudarzi, Iran; Lashkarbolouki, Taghi; Abrari, Kataneh; Elahdadi Salmani, Mahmoud
There are several reports that cognitive impairment is observed in stress related disorders and chronic stress impairs learning and memory. However, very few studies have looked into the possible ways of preventing this stress-induced deficit. This research study was conducted to evaluate the effects of quercetin, a natural flavonoid, with strong antioxidant and free radical scavenger properties, on chronic stress induced learning and memory deficits and oxidative stress in hippocampus. For chronic stress, rats were restrained daily for 6h/day (from 9:00 to 15:00) for 21 days in well-ventilated plexiglass tubes without access to food and water. The animals were injected with quercetin or vehicle 60 min before restraint stress over a period of 21 days. Then, rats trained with six trials per day for 6 consecutive days in the water maze. On day 28, a probe test was done to measure memory retention. In addition, oxidative stress markers in the hippocampus were evaluated. Results of this study demonstrated that chronic stress exposure rats exhibited higher escape latency during training trials and reduced time spent in target quadrant, higher escape location latency and average proximity in probe trial test. Quercetin (50mg/kg) treatment during restraint stress (21 days) markedly decreased escape latency and increased time spent in target quadrant during Morris water maze task. In comparison to vehicle treated group, chronic-stress group had significantly higher malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, significantly higher superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and significantly lower glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity in the hippocampus. Quercetin treatment caused a significant decrease in the hippocampus MDA levels and improves SOD and GPx activities in stressed animals. Finally, quercetin significantly decreased plasma corticosterone levels in stressed animals. Based on results of this study, chronic stress has detrimental effects on learning and memory and quercetin treatment
Shukitt-Hale, B.; Casadesus, G.; Carey, A.; Rabin, B. M.; Joseph, J. A.
Previous studies have shown that radiation exposure, particularly to particles of high energy and charge (HZE particles), produces deficits in spatial learning and memory. These adverse behavioral effects are similar to those seen in aged animals. It is possible that these shared effects may be produced by the same mechanism; oxidative stress damage to the central nervous system caused by an increased release of reactive oxygen species is likely responsible for the deficits seen in aging and following irradiation. Both aged and irradiated rats display cognitive impairment in tests of spatial learning and memory such as the Morris water maze and the radial arm maze. These rats have decrements in the ability to build spatial representations of the environment and they utilize non-spatial strategies to solve tasks. Furthermore, they show a lack of spatial preference, due to a decline in the ability to process or retain place (position of a goal with reference to a "map" provided by the configuration of numerous cues in the environment) information. These declines in spatial memory occur in measures dependent on both reference and working memory, and in the flexibility to reset mental images. These results show that irradiation with high-energy particles produces age-like decrements in cognitive behavior that may impair the ability of astronauts to perform critical tasks during long-term space travel beyond the magnetosphere. Supported by NASA Grants NAG9-1190 and NAG9-1529
Voytek, Bradley; Kramer, Mark A; Case, John; Lepage, Kyle Q; Tempesta, Zechari R; Knight, Robert T; Gazzaley, Adam
Aging is associated with performance decrements across multiple cognitive domains. The neural noise hypothesis, a dominant view of the basis of this decline, posits that aging is accompanied by an increase in spontaneous, noisy baseline neural activity. Here we analyze data from two different groups of human subjects: intracranial electrocorticography from 15 participants over a 38 year age range (15-53 years) and scalp EEG data from healthy younger (20-30 years) and older (60-70 years) adults to test the neural noise hypothesis from a 1/f noise perspective. Many natural phenomena, including electrophysiology, are characterized by 1/f noise. The defining characteristic of 1/f is that the power of the signal frequency content decreases rapidly as a function of the frequency (f) itself. The slope of this decay, the noise exponent (χ), is often <-1 for electrophysiological data and has been shown to approach white noise (defined as χ = 0) with increasing task difficulty. We observed, in both electrophysiological datasets, that aging is associated with a flatter (more noisy) 1/f power spectral density, even at rest, and that visual cortical 1/f noise statistically mediates age-related impairments in visual working memory. These results provide electrophysiological support for the neural noise hypothesis of aging. Significance statement: Understanding the neurobiological origins of age-related cognitive decline is of critical scientific, medical, and public health importance, especially considering the rapid aging of the world's population. We find, in two separate human studies, that 1/f electrophysiological noise increases with aging. In addition, we observe that this age-related 1/f noise statistically mediates age-related working memory decline. These results significantly add to this understanding and contextualize a long-standing problem in cognition by encapsulating age-related cognitive decline within a neurocomputational model of 1/f noise-induced deficits in
Brown, Dale S.
This document is a guide to career planning and finding a job for high school and college students and graduates with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and dyslexia. The guide, which is written from the perspective of an individual with firsthand experience with a learning disability, explains how individuals can find the best…
... of Low Vision Age-Related Macular Degeneration Vision Simulator AMD Pictures and Videos: What Does Macular Degeneration ... degeneration as part of the body's natural aging process. There are different kinds of macular problems, but ...
Healthy Lifestyle Men's health Aging-related hormone changes in men — sometimes called male menopause — are different from those ... to erectile dysfunction and other sexual issues. Make healthy lifestyle choices. Eat a healthy diet and include physical ...
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD); Macular Degeneration; Exudative Age-related Macular Degeneration; AMD; Macular Degeneration, Age-related, 10; Eye Diseases; Retinal Degeneration; Retinal Diseases
Pourmotabbed, A; Mahmoodi, G; Mahmoodi, S; Mohammadi-Farani, A; Nedaei, S E; Pourmotabbed, T; Pourmotabbed, T
Occurrence of the epileptic seizures during gestation might affect the neurodevelopment of the fetus resulting in cognitive problems for the child later in life. We have previously reported that prenatal pentylenetetrazol (PTZ)-kindling induces learning and memory deficits in the children born to kindled mothers, later in life but the mechanisms involved in this processes are unknown. The cholinergic system plays a major role in learning and memory. The present study was performed to investigate the possible involvement of central muscarinic cholinergic receptors on learning and memory deficits induced by prenatal PTZ-kindling in male offspring. Pregnant Wistar rats were kindled by repetitive i.p. injection of 25mg/kg of PTZ on day 13 of their pregnancy. The effect of intracerebroventricular (ICV) microinjection of scopolamine and pilocarpine, muscarinic cholinergic receptors antagonist and agonist, respectively on passive-avoidance learning of pups were tested at 12weeks of age using shuttle-box apparatus. Our data showed that the retention latencies of pups that received scopolamine (2 or 3μg) were significantly reduced compared to those received normal saline (p<0.05). Interestingly, post training ICV administration of pilocarpine (2μg) retrieved pups' memory deficits (p<0.001). These results demonstrate for the first time, the importance of the central muscarinic cholinergic receptors in learning and memory deficits in pups born to kindled dams and suggest a central mechanism for the cognitive and memory dysfunction, associated with seizures during pregnancy.
McCallister, Monique M; Li, Zhu; Zhang, Tongwen; Ramesh, Aramandla; Clark, Ryan S; Maguire, Mark; Hutsell, Blake; Newland, M Christopher; Hood, Darryl B
To characterize behavioral deficits in pre-adolescent offspring exposed in utero to Benzo(a)pyrene [B(a)P], timed-pregnant Long Evans Hooded rats were treated with B(a)P (150, 300, 600, and 1200 µg/kg BW) or peanut oil (vehicle) on E14, 15, 16, and 17. Following birth, during the pre-weaning period, B(a)P metabolites were examined in plasma and whole brain or cerebral cortex from exposed and control offspring. Tissue concentrations of B(a)P metabolites were (1) dose-dependent and (2) followed a time-dependence for elimination with ∼60% reduction by PND5 in the 1200 µg/kg BW experimental group. Spatial discrimination-reversal learning was utilized to evaluate potential behavioral neurotoxicity in P40-P60 offspring. Late-adolescent offspring exposed in utero to 600 and 1200 µg/kg BW were indistinguishable from their control counterparts for ability to acquire an original discrimination (OD) and reach criterion. However, a dose-dependent effect of in utero B(a)P-exposure was evident upon a discrimination reversal as exposed offspring perseverated on the previously correct response. This newly characterized behavioral deficit phenotype for the first reversal was not apparent in either the (1) OD or (2) subsequent reversal sessions relative to the respective control offspring. Furthermore, the expression of activity related-cytoskeletal-associated protein (Arc), an experience-dependent cortical protein marker known to be up-regulated in response to acquisition of a novel behavior, was greater in B(a)P-exposed offspring included in the spatial discrimination cohort versus home cage controls. Collectively, these findings support the hypothesis that in utero exposure to B(a)P during critical windows of development representing peak periods of neurogenesis results in behavioral deficits in later life.
McCallister, Monique M.; Li, Zhu; Zhang, Tongwen; Ramesh, Aramandla; Clark, Ryan S.; Maguire, Mark; Hutsell, Blake; Newland, M. Christopher; Hood, Darryl B.
To characterize behavioral deficits in pre-adolescent offspring exposed in utero to Benzo(a)pyrene [B(a)P], timed-pregnant Long Evans Hooded rats were treated with B(a)P (150, 300, 600, and 1200 µg/kg BW) or peanut oil (vehicle) on E14, 15, 16, and 17. Following birth, during the pre-weaning period, B(a)P metabolites were examined in plasma and whole brain or cerebral cortex from exposed and control offspring. Tissue concentrations of B(a)P metabolites were (1) dose-dependent and (2) followed a time-dependence for elimination with ∼60% reduction by PND5 in the 1200 µg/kg BW experimental group. Spatial discrimination-reversal learning was utilized to evaluate potential behavioral neurotoxicity in P40–P60 offspring. Late-adolescent offspring exposed in utero to 600 and 1200 µg/kg BW were indistinguishable from their control counterparts for ability to acquire an original discrimination (OD) and reach criterion. However, a dose-dependent effect of in utero B(a)P-exposure was evident upon a discrimination reversal as exposed offspring perseverated on the previously correct response. This newly characterized behavioral deficit phenotype for the first reversal was not apparent in either the (1) OD or (2) subsequent reversal sessions relative to the respective control offspring. Furthermore, the expression of activity related-cytoskeletal-associated protein (Arc), an experience-dependent cortical protein marker known to be up-regulated in response to acquisition of a novel behavior, was greater in B(a)P-exposed offspring included in the spatial discrimination cohort versus home cage controls. Collectively, these findings support the hypothesis that in utero exposure to B(a)P during critical windows of development representing peak periods of neurogenesis results in behavioral deficits in later life. PMID:26420751
Peng, Peng; Fuchs, Douglas
Children with learning difficulties suffer from working memory (WM) deficits. Yet the specificity of deficits associated with different types of learning difficulties remains unclear. Further research can contribute to our understanding of the nature of WM and the relationship between it and learning difficulties. The current meta-analysis synthesized research on verbal WM and numerical WM among children with reading difficulties (RD), children with mathematics difficulties (MD), and children with reading and mathematics difficulties (RDMD). A total of 29 studies subsuming 110 comparisons were included. Results showed that compared to typically developing children, all learning difficulty groups demonstrated deficits in verbal WM and numerical WM, with RDMD children showing the most severe WM deficits. MD children and RD children showed comparable verbal WM deficits, but MD children showed more severe numerical WM deficits than RD children. Neither severity of learning difficulties nor type of academic screening emerged as a moderator of WM deficit profiles. Although the findings indicate the domain-general nature of WM deficits in RD, MD, and RDMD children, the numerical WM deficits of children with MD and RDMD may reflect the domain-specific nature of WM deficits.
Galicia-Haro, Sofia N.; Gelbukh, Alexander F.
This paper reports research on temporal expressions shaped by a common temporal expression for a period of years modified by an adverb of time. From a Spanish corpus we found that some of those phrases are age-related expressions. To determine automatically the temporal phrases with such meaning we analyzed a bigger sample obtained from the Internet. We analyzed these examples to define the relevant features to support a learning method. We present some preliminary results when a decision tree is applied.
Van der Leij, Aryan; Morfidi, Eleni
To examine phonological core deficits and variable orthographic competence, Dutch poor readers were investigated as they began instruction in reading in English (at about 14 years of age). A subgroup of poor readers with good orthographic competence in English (Poor/Good) and a subgroup with poor orthographic competence in English (Poor/Poor) were identified. Verbal and reading tasks in Dutch and English were assessed twice within a 10-month interval, and the scores of the two measurements were combined to gain stability. For both subgroups, we found indications that phonological core deficits and variable differences in orthographic competence transferred across the two languages. However, the Poor/Good subgroup did not show the weaknesses in serial rapid naming and semantic fluency of the Poor/Poor subgroup in both languages. Moreover, the Poor/Good readers were relatively good in reading skills and verbal learning in English. They had a specific reading disability at the phonemic level but also had compensatory skills at the level of syllables and words that help them to acquire English as second language. In contrast, the Poor/Poor subgroup had a more general reading disability, most prominently present in L2. The results are discussed in terms of orthographic differences between Dutch and English, the phonological-core variable-differences model, and "subtypes" of dyslexia.
Gulick, Danielle; Gould, Thomas J
The current study examined the effects of nicotine infusion into the dorsal hippocampus or anterior cingulate on fear conditioning and on ethanol-induced deficits in fear conditioning, and whether these effects involved receptor activation or inactivation. Conditioning consisted of two white noise (30 s, 85 dB)-foot-shock (2 s, 0.57 mA) pairings. Saline or ethanol was administered to C57BL/6 mice 15 min before training and saline or nicotine was administered 5 min before training or before training and testing. The ability of the high-affinity nicotinic acetylcholinergic receptor (nAChR) antagonist dihydro-beta-erythroidine (DHbetaE) to modulate the effects of ethanol and nicotine was also tested; saline or DHbetaE was administered 25 (injection) or 15 (infusion) minutes before training or before training and testing. Infusion of nicotine into the hippocampus enhanced contextual fear conditioning but had no effect on ethanol-induced learning deficits. Infusion of nicotine into the anterior cingulate ameliorated ethanol-induced deficits in contextual and cued fear conditioning but had no effect on learning in ethanol-naive mice. DHbetaE blocked the effects of nicotine on ethanol-induced deficits; interestingly, DHbetaE alone and co-administration of subthreshold doses of DHbetaE and nicotine also ameliorated ethanol-induced deficits but failed to enhance learning. Finally, DHbetaE failed to ameliorate ethanol-induced deficits in beta2 nAChR subunit knockout mice. These results suggest that nicotine acts in the hippocampus to enhance contextual learning, but acts in the cingulate to ameliorate ethanol-induced learning deficits through inactivation of high-affinity beta2 subunit-containing nAChRs.
Almonte, Antoine G; Hamill, Cecily E; Chhatwal, Jasmeer P; Wingo, Thomas S; Barber, Jeremy A; Lyuboslavsky, Polina N; David Sweatt, J; Ressler, Kerry J; White, David A; Traynelis, Stephen F
The roles of serine proteases and protease activated receptors have been extensively studied in coagulation, wound healing, inflammation, and neurodegeneration. More recently, serine proteases have been suggested to influence synaptic plasticity. In this context, we examined the role of protease activated receptor 1 (PAR1), which is activated following proteolytic cleavage by thrombin and plasmin, in emotionally motivated learning. We were particularly interested in PAR1 because its activation enhances the function of NMDA receptors, which are required for some forms of synaptic plasticity. We examined several baseline behavioral measures, including locomotor activity, expression of anxiety-like behavior, motor task acquisition, nociceptive responses, and startle responses in C57Bl/6 mice in which the PAR1 receptor has been genetically deleted. In addition, we evaluated learning and memory in these mice using two memory tasks, passive avoidance and cued fear-conditioning. Whereas locomotion, pain response, startle, and measures of baseline anxiety were largely unaffected by PAR1 removal, PAR1-/- animals showed significant deficits in a passive avoidance task and in cued fear conditioning. These data suggest that PAR1 may play an important role in emotionally motivated learning.
Brook, U; Geva, D
The purpose of this study was to investigate pupils' knowledge and attitudes in the areas of attention deficit and hyperactivity (ADHD) and learning disabilities (LD). One hundred and four high school pupils in Holon (Israel) were interviewed and anonymously completed a questionnaire on these conditions. Pupils' knowledge on the topic of ADHD was low (62%); they showed a better knowledge about LD (75%). They showed a partially tolerant attitude (62.7%) towards pupils suffering from ADHD; on the other hand, they had a somewhat more positive and perceptive attitude (74.1%) towards peers diagnosed as learning disabled. Pupils' attitudes became more perceptive with increasing age. There was no correlation between pupils' knowledge and attitude. Pupils had learned about these two handicapped conditions from various sources; TV (66.3%), newspapers (63.5%) and school (53.8%), while physicians and nurses occupied the 5th and last place. Information about these two disabilities (ADHD and LD) should be added to the curriculum and be taught by qualified specialists, as there is an obvious statistically deficient knowledge in these areas.
Smith, Gregory D.; Gao, Nan; Lugo, Joaquin N.
Background: Potassium channels have been shown to be involved in neural plasticity and learning. Kv4.2 is a subunit of the A-type potassium channel. Kv4.2 channels modulate excitability in the dendrites of pyramidal neurons in the cortex and hippocampus. Deletion of Kv4.2 results in spatial learning and conditioned fear deficits; however, previous studies have only examined deletion of Kv4.2 in aversive learning tests. Methods: For the current study, we used the Lashley maze as an appetitive learning test. We examined Kv4.2 wildtype (WT) and knockout (KO) mice in the Lashley maze over 4 days during adulthood. The first day consisted of habituating the mice to the maze. The mice then received five trials per day for the next 3 days. The number of errors and the time to the goal box was recorded for each trial. The goal box contained a weigh boat with an appetitive reward (gelatin with sugar). There was an intertrial interval of 15 minutes. Results: We found that Kv4.2 KO mice committed more errors across the trials compared to the WT mice p<0.001. There was no difference in the latency to find the goal box over the period. Discussion: Our finding that deletion of Kv4.2 resulted in more errors in the Lashley maze across 15 trials contribute to a growing body of evidence that Kv4.2 channels are significantly involved in learning and memory. PMID:28163893
Fogel, Stuart M; Albouy, Genevieve; Vien, Catherine; Popovicci, Romana; King, Bradley R; Hoge, Rick; Jbabdi, Saad; Benali, Habib; Karni, Avi; Maquet, Pierre; Carrier, Julie; Doyon, Julien
Behavioral studies indicate that older adults exhibit normal motor sequence learning (MSL), but paradoxically, show impaired consolidation of the new memory trace. However, the neural and physiological mechanisms underlying this impairment are entirely unknown. Here, we sought to identify, through functional magnetic resonance imaging during MSL and electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings during daytime sleep, the functional correlates and physiological characteristics of this age-related motor memory deficit. As predicted, older subjects did not exhibit sleep-dependent gains in performance (i.e., behavioral changes that reflect consolidation) and had reduced sleep spindles compared with young subjects. Brain imaging analyses also revealed that changes in activity across the retention interval in the putamen and related brain regions were associated with sleep spindles. This change in striatal activity was increased in young subjects, but reduced by comparison in older subjects. These findings suggest that the deficit in sleep-dependent motor memory consolidation in elderly individuals is related to a reduction in sleep spindle oscillations and to an associated decrease of activity in the cortico-striatal network.
Semrud-Clikeman, Margaret; Walkowiak, Jenifer; Wilkinson, Alison; Christopher, Gina
Confusion is present as to possible diagnostic differences between Asperger syndrome (AS) and Nonverbal learning disabilities (NLD) and the relation of these disorders to attentional difficulties. Three-hundred and forty-five children participated in this study in 5 groups; NLD, AS, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Combined type, ADHD: Inattentive type, and controls. The NLD group showed particular difficulty on visual-spatial, visual-motor, and fluid reasoning measures compared to the other groups. There was also a significant verbal-performance IQ split in this group related to difficulty in social functioning. This study extends the findings from previous studies and extends these findings to differences between AS and NLD groups.
Zhang, Yongli; Dai, Chun-ling; Chen, Yanxing; Iqbal, Khalid; Liu, Fei; Gong, Cheng-Xin
Elderly individuals are at increased risk of cognitive decline after anesthesia. General anesthesia is believed to be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). At present, there is no treatment that can prevent anesthesia-induced postoperative cognitive dysfunction. Here, we treated mice with daily intranasal administration of insulin (1.75 U/day) for one week before anesthesia induced by intraperitoneal injection of propofol and maintained by inhalation of sevoflurane for 1 hr. We found that the insulin treatment prevented anesthesia-induced deficit in spatial learning and memory, as measured by Morris water maze task during 1–5 days after exposure to anesthesia. The insulin treatment also attenuated anesthesia-induced hyperphosphorylation of tau and promoted the expression of synaptic proteins and insulin signaling in the brain. These findings show a therapeutic potential of intranasal administration of insulin before surgery to reduce the risk of anesthesia-induced cognitive decline and AD. PMID:26879001
Roth, Robert M; Wishart, Heather A; Flashman, Laura A; Riordan, Henry J; Huey, Leighton; Saykin, Andrew J
Statistical mediation modeling was used to test the hypothesis that poor use of a semantic organizational strategy contributes to verbal learning and memory deficits in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Comparison of 28 adults with ADHD and 34 healthy controls revealed lower performance by the ADHD group on tests of verbal learning and memory, sustained attention, and use of semantic organization during encoding. Mediation modeling indicated that state anxiety, but not semantic organization, significantly contributed to the prediction of both learning and delayed recall in the ADHD group. The pattern of findings suggests that decreased verbal learning and memory in adult ADHD is due in part to situational anxiety and not to poor use of organizational strategies during encoding.
Halder, Sumita; Mehta, Ashish Krishan; Kar, Rajarshi; Mustafa, Mohammad; Mediratta, Pramod Kumari; Sharma, Krishna Kishore
The present study was performed to examine the effect of Eugenia caryophyllata (Myrtaceae) on learning and memory, and also evaluate whether it can modulate oxidative stress in mice. Passive avoidance step-down task and elevated plus-maze were used to assess learning and memory in scopolamine-treated mice. Oxidative stress parameters were also assessed in brain samples by estimating the malondialdehyde (MDA) and reduced glutathione (GSH) levels at the end of the study. Scopolamine (0.3 mg/kg, i. p.) produced impairment of acquisition memory as evidenced by a decrease in step-down latency and an increase in transfer latency on day 1, and also impairment of retention of memory on day 2. Pretreatment with clove oil (0.05 mL/kg and 0.1 mL/kg) for 3 weeks significantly reversed the increase in acquisition latency and all the doses (0.025, 0.05, 0.1 mL/kg, i. p.) reversed the increase in retention latency induced by scopolamine (0.3 mg/kg, i. p.) in elevated plus-maze. However, 0.05 mL/kg clove oil attenuated memory deficits in the passive avoidance step-down task. Brain samples showed a significant decrease in MDA levels in the group treated with clove oil (0.05 and 0.025 mL/kg). GSH levels were also increased in clove oil-treated mice though the results were not significant. Thus, it can be concluded that clove oil can reverse the short-term and long-term memory deficits induced by scopolamine (0.3 mg/kg, i. p.) and this effect can, to some extent, be attributed to decreased oxidative stress.
Lepers, R; Sultana, F; Bernard, T; Hausswirth, C; Brisswalter, J
The aim of this study was two-fold: i) to analyse age-related declines in swimming, cycling, and running performances for Olympic and Ironman triathlons, and ii) to compare age-related changes in these three disciplines between the Olympic and Ironman triathlons. Swimming, cycling, running and total time performances of the top 10 males between 20 and 70 years of age (in 5 years intervals) were analysed for two consecutive world championships (2006 and 2007) for Olympic and Ironman distances. There was a lesser age-related decline in cycling performance (p<0.01) compared with running and swimming after 55 years of age for Olympic distance and after 50 years of age for Ironman distance. With advancing age, the performance decline was less pronounced (p<0.01) for Olympic than for Ironman triathlon in cycling (>55 years) and running (>50 years), respectively. In contrast, an age-related decline in swimming performance seemed independent of triathlon distance. The age-related decline in triathlon performance is specific to the discipline, with cycling showing less declines in performance with age than swimming and running. The magnitude of the declines in cycling and running performance at Ironman distance is greater than at Olympic distance, suggesting that task duration exerts an important influence on the magnitude of the age-associated changes in triathlon performance.
Akpek, Esen K; Smith, Roderick A
The United States is an aging society. The number of Americans 65 years or older is expected to more than double over the next 40 years, from 40.2 million in 2010 to 88.5 million in 2050, with aging baby boomers accounting for most of the increase. As the society ages, the prevalence of age-related diseases, including diseases of the eye, will continue to increase. By 2020, age-related macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of vision loss, is expected to affect 2.95 million individuals in the United States. Likewise, the prevalence of open-angle glaucoma, estimated at 2.2 million in 2000, is projected to increase by 50%, to 3.36 million by 2020. As the eye ages, it undergoes a number of physiologic changes that may increase susceptibility to disease. Environmental and genetic factors are also major contributors to the development of age-related ocular diseases. This article reviews the physiology of the aging eye and the epidemiology and pathophysiology of 4 major age-related ocular diseases: age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and dry eye.
Ren, Jie; Huang, Shaochen; Zhang, Jiancheng; Zhu, Qin; Wilson, Andrew D; Snapp-Childs, Winona; Bingham, Geoffrey P
Previously, we measured perceptuo-motor learning rates across the lifespan and found a sudden drop in learning rates between ages 50 and 60, called the "50s cliff." The task was a unimanual visual rhythmic coordination task in which participants used a joystick to oscillate one dot in a display in coordination with another dot oscillated by a computer. Participants learned to produce a coordination with a 90° relative phase relation between the dots. Learning rates for participants over 60 were half those of younger participants. Given existing evidence for visual motion perception deficits in people over 60 and the role of visual motion perception in the coordination task, it remained unclear whether the 50s cliff reflected onset of this deficit or a genuine decline in perceptuo-motor learning. The current work addressed this question. Two groups of 12 participants in each of four age ranges (20s, 50s, 60s, 70s) learned to perform a bimanual coordination of 90° relative phase. One group trained with only haptic information and the other group with both haptic and visual information about relative phase. Both groups were tested in both information conditions at baseline and post-test. If the 50s cliff was caused by an age dependent deficit in visual motion perception, then older participants in the visual group should have exhibited less learning than those in the haptic group, which should not exhibit the 50s cliff, and older participants in both groups should have performed less well when tested with visual information. Neither of these expectations was confirmed by the results, so we concluded that the 50s cliff reflects a genuine decline in perceptuo-motor learning with aging, not the onset of a deficit in visual motion perception.
Bolic Baric, Vedrana; Hellberg, Kristina; Kjellberg, Anette; Hemmingsson, Helena
The purpose of this study was to describe and explore the experiences of support at school among young adults with Asperger's disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and also to examine what support they, in retrospect, described as influencing learning. Purposive sampling was used to enroll participants. Data were collected through…
Lee, David L.; Asplen, Jennifer
Dealing with the behavioral and academic problems of children with co-occurring learning disabilities and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) can be challenge for educators. One characteristic often associated with AD/HD is an inability to remain engaged in tasks for long periods of time. This lack of attentional focus often results…
Costello, Carla A.; Stone, Sharon L. M.
In this article, the authors examine strategies for supporting college students with learning disabilities (LD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) from the conceptual frameworks of positive psychology and self-efficacy theory. Higher education professionals can use principles taken from the relatively new field of positive…
Koch, Lynn C.; Mamiseishvili, Ketevan; Wilkins, Melissa J.
Purpose: The enrollment of students with psychiatric disabilities in U.S. postsecondary institutions is on the rise. However, research is lacking in terms of how these students fare in comparison to other students with hidden disabilities (e.g., learning disabilities [LDs], attention deficit disorders [ADDs]) whose enrollment in postsecondary…
A longitudinal study of 28 mildly preterm children and 20 full-term comparison children found 75% of preterm children had a learning disability, attention deficit disorder (ADD), language impairment, mild neurologic impairment, or general school problems by grade 5. Evidence of differences in attention deployment at ages 13 and 15 months for ADD…
Latham, Patricia H.; Latham, Peter S.
Reviews court decisions regarding the documentation of disabilities and accommodations for individuals with learning disabilities and/or attention-deficit disorders taking licensing examinations from the National Board of Medical Examiners and the State Bar Examiners. Professional schools and licensing authorities are urged to work toward…
Kaarniranta, Kai; Seitsonen, Sanna; Paimela, Tuomas; Meri, Seppo; Immonen, Ilkka
Age-related macular degeneration is a multiform disease of the macula, the region responsible for detailed central vision. In recent years, plenty of new knowledge of the pathogenesis of this disease has been obtained, and the treatment of exudative macular degeneration has greatly progressed. The number of patients with age-related macular degeneration will multiply in the following decades, because knowledge of mechanisms of development of macular degeneration that could be subject to therapeutic measures is insufficient. Central underlying factors are genetic inheritance, exposure of the retina to chronic oxidative stress and accumulation of inflammation-inducing harmful proteins into or outside of retinal cells.
Being the leading cause of blindness in modern world Age Related Macular Degeneration has beneficiated in the last decade of important progress in diagnosis, classification and the discovery of diverse factors who contribute to the etiology of this disease. Treatments have arised who can postpone the irreversible evolution of the disease and thus preserve vision. Recent findings have identified predisposing genetic factors and also inflamatory and imunological parameters that can be modified trough a good and adequate prevention and therapy This articole reviews new aspects of patology of Age Related Macular Degeneration like the role of complement in maintaining inflamation and the role of oxidative stress on different structures of the retina.
Wallace, Julian M.; Chung, Susana T. L.; Tjan, Bosco S.
Crowding, the phenomenon of impeded object identification due to clutter, is believed to be a key limiting factor of form vision in the peripheral visual field. The present study provides a characterization of object crowding in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) measured at the participants' respective preferred retinal loci with binocular viewing. Crowding was also measured in young and age-matched controls at the same retinal locations, using a fixation-contingent display paradigm to allow unlimited stimulus duration. With objects, the critical spacing of crowding for AMD participants was not substantially different from controls. However, baseline contrast energy thresholds in the noncrowded condition were four times that of the controls. Crowding further exacerbated deficits in contrast sensitivity to three times the normal crowding-induced contrast energy threshold elevation. These findings indicate that contrast-sensitivity deficit is a major limiting factor of object recognition for individuals with AMD, in addition to crowding. Focusing on this more tractable deficit of AMD may lead to more effective remediation and technological assistance. PMID:28129416
Brook, Uzi; Boaz, Mona
Three hundred and eight pupils in the age group 12-18 years were interviewed and examined. They had been diagnosed as having attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities (LD), and were attending a high school devoted to special education. Their classification into subgroups was as follows: ADHD - inattentive (I) = 22.1%, ADHD - hyperactivity/impulsivity (HI) = 12.3% and combined = 42.2%. Only 25% of them were treated by methylphenidate (Ritalin). Ninety-four percent of them were diagnosed with comorbidity of 'learning disabilities'. Thirty-four percent of them reported being severely stressed when going to school and sitting in class. Their complaints were: tiredness and excessive needs to sleep, frequent quarrelling with close friends, feeling different from other classmates and having low self-esteem (SE). They complaint that their parents don't understand them. Things that irritated them the most were being lied to and coercion by others. The authors suggest to consider ADHD/LD as neurobehavioral disability. It is mandatory to prepare them for adult life with proper social skills and a suitable occupation.
Owsley, Cynthia; McGwin, Gerald, Jr.
This article reviews the research literature on driving and age-related macular degeneration, which is motivated by the link between driving and the quality of life of older adults and their increased collision rate. It addresses the risk of crashes, driving performance, driving difficulty, self-regulation, and interventions to enhance, safety,…
Casten, Robin; Rovner, Barry
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of disability in the elderly, substantially degrades the quality of their lives, and is a risk factor for depression. Rates of depression in AMD are substantially greater than those found in the general population of older people, and are on par with those of other chronic and disabling…
Leventhal, Elaine A.; And Others
Health behavior may be influenced by age, beliefs, and symptomatology. To examine age-related health beliefs and behaviors with respect to six diseases (the common cold, colon-rectal cancer, lung cancer, heart attack, high blood pressure, and senility), 396 adults (196 males, 200 females) divided into three age groups completed a questionnaire…
Filippatou, Diamanto N; Livaniou, Eleni A
The aim of the present study was to (a) examine the prevalence of ADHD and the comorbid difficulties in a sample of 114 children, 3.6 to 17.6 yr. of age (89 boys, 25 girls) referred to our Unit and (b) evaluate the discriminative ability of the WISC-III scores for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (n = 22), Learning Disability (n = 50), and Language Disorder (n = 42). Analysis showed only 18% of 114 children had an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder diagnosis. Multivariate analysis of variance and stepwise discriminant function analysis were applied. Vocabulary and similarities were the best predictors for distinguishing between language disorders and the other two groups. Moreover, the Language Disorder group scored significantly lower on all the subtests while the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Learning Disability groups scored lower on coding and information, respectively. Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Learning Disability could not be accurately identified from the WISC-III test or their ACID profile.
Gozal, David; Nair, Deepti; Goldbart, Aviv D.
Rationale: Exposure to intermittent hypoxia (IH), such as occurs in sleep-disordered breathing, is associated with substantial cognitive impairments, oxidative stress and inflammation, and increased neuronal cell losses in brain regions underlying learning and memory in rats. Physical activity (PA) is now recognized as neuroprotective in models of neuronal injury and degeneration. Objectives: To examine whether PA will ameliorate IH-induced deficits. Methods: Young adult Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups including normal activity (NA) or PA for 3 months and then subjected to either normoxia (RA) or exposure to IH during the light phase during the last 14 days. Measurements and Main Results: Significant impairments in IH-exposed rats emerged on both latency and pathlength to locate the hidden platform in a water maze and decreased spatial bias during the probe trials. These impairments were not observed in PA-IH rats. In addition, the PA-IH group, relative to NA-IH, conferred greater resistance to both lipid peroxidation and 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (DNA damage) in both the cortex and hippocampus. In support of a neuroprotective effect from PA, PA-IH versus NA-IH rats showed greater AKT activation and neuronal insulin growth factor-1 in these regions. Conclusions: Behavioral modifications such as increased physical activity are associated with decreased susceptibility to IH-induced spatial task deficits and lead to reduced oxidative stress, possibly through improved preservation of insulin growth factor-1–Akt neuronal signaling. Considering the many advantages of PA, interventional strategies targeting behavioral modifications leading to increased PA should be pursued in patients with sleep-disordered breathing. PMID:20224062
Kalisch, Tobias; Kattenstroth, Jan-Christoph; Noth, Sebastian; Tegenthoff, Martin; Dinse, Hubert R.
As life expectancy continues to rise, in the future there will be an increasing number of older people prone to falling. Accordingly, there is an urgent need for comprehensive testing of older individuals to collect data and to identify possible risk factors for falling. Here we use a low-cost force platform to rapidly assess deficits in balance under various conditions. We tested 21 healthy older adults and 24 young adults during static stance, unidirectional and rotational displacement of their centre of pressure (COP). We found an age-related increase in postural sway during quiet standing and a reduction of maximal COP displacement in unidirectional and rotational displacement tests. Our data show that even low-cost computerized assessment tools allow for the comprehensive testing of balance performance in older subjects. PMID:21629742
Koo, Simon Chi Yan; Chan, Clement Wai Nang
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of blindness in the developed world. Although effective treatment modalities such as anti-VEGF treatment have been developed for neovascular AMD, there is still no effective treatment for geographical atrophy, and therefore the most cost-effective management of AMD is to start with prevention. This review looks at current evidence on preventive measures targeted at AMD. Modalities reviewed include (1) nutritional supplements such as the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) formula, lutein and zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acid, and berry extracts, (2) lifestyle modifications, including smoking and body-mass-index, and (3) filtering sunlight, i.e. sunglasses and blue-blocking intraocular lenses. In summary, the only proven effective preventive measures are stopping smoking and the AREDS formula. PMID:20862519
Greene, M A; Loeser, R F
It is well accepted that aging is an important contributing factor to the development of osteoarthritis (OA). The mechanisms responsible appear to be multifactorial and may include an age-related pro-inflammatory state that has been termed "inflamm-aging." Age-related inflammation can be both systemic and local. Systemic inflammation can be promoted by aging changes in adipose tissue that result in increased production of cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα). Numerous studies have shown an age-related increase in blood levels of IL-6 that has been associated with decreased physical function and frailty. Importantly, higher levels of IL-6 have been associated with an increased risk of knee OA progression. However, knockout of IL-6 in male mice resulted in worse age-related OA rather than less OA. Joint tissue cells, including chondrocytes and meniscal cells, as well as the neighboring infrapatellar fat in the knee joint, can be a local source of inflammatory mediators that increase with age and contribute to OA. An increased production of pro-inflammatory mediators that include cytokines and chemokines, as well as matrix-degrading enzymes important in joint tissue destruction, can be the result of cell senescence and the development of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Further studies are needed to better understand the basis for inflamm-aging and its role in OA with the hope that this work will lead to new interventions targeting inflammation to reduce not only joint tissue destruction but also pain and disability in older adults with OA.
Ouda, Ladislav; Profant, Oliver; Syka, Josef
Aging is accompanied by the deterioration of hearing that complicates our understanding of speech, especially in noisy environments. This deficit is partially caused by the loss of hair cells as well as by the dysfunction of the stria vascularis. However, the central part of the auditory system is also affected by processes accompanying aging that may run independently of those affecting peripheral receptors. Here, we review major changes occurring in the central part of the auditory system during aging. Most of the information that is focused on age-related changes in the central auditory system of experimental animals arises from experiments using immunocytochemical targeting on changes in the glutamic-acid-decarboxylase, parvalbumin, calbindin and calretinin. These data are accompanied by information about age-related changes in the number of neurons as well as about changes in the behavior of experimental animals. Aging is in principle accompanied by atrophy of the gray as well as white matter, resulting in the enlargement of the cerebrospinal fluid space. The human auditory cortex suffers not only from atrophy but also from changes in the content of some metabolites in the aged brain, as shown by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. In addition to this, functional magnetic resonance imaging reveals differences between activation of the central auditory system in the young and old brain. Altogether, the information reviewed in this article speaks in favor of specific age-related changes in the central auditory system that occur mostly independently of the changes in the inner ear and that form the basis of the central presbycusis.
White, Ilsun M; Minamoto, Takehiro; Odell, Joseph R; Mayhorn, Joseph; White, Wesley
Exposure to methamphetamine (METH) and phencyclidine (PCP) during early development is thought to produce later behavioral deficits. We postulated that exposure to METH and PCP during later development would produce similar behavioral deficits, particularly learning deficits in adulthood. Wistar rats were treated with METH (9 mg/kg), PCP (9 mg/kg), or saline during later development, postnatal days (PD) 50-51, and subsequent behavioral changes were examined including: locomotor activity during the acute drug state (PD 50-51) and the post-drug phase (PD 50-80); social interaction on PD 54-80; and spatial discrimination and reversal in adulthood (after PD 90). METH and PCP differentially affected locomotion during the acute state, but not during the post-drug phase. METH decreased social interaction throughout tests two weeks after drug treatment, whereas PCP decreased social interaction only during the first 8 min of tests. Neither METH nor PCP impaired initial acquisition of spatial discrimination. However, reversal was significantly impaired by PCP, whereas METH produced a mild deficit, compared to controls. Our data provide evidence that exposure to PCP and METH during later development lead to enduring cognitive deficits in adulthood. Selective impairment of reversal may reflect neurological damage in the prefrontal cortex due to early exposure to drugs.
Nassar, Matthew R.; Bruckner, Rasmus; Gold, Joshua I.; Li, Shu-Chen; Heekeren, Hauke R.; Eppinger, Ben
Healthy aging can lead to impairments in learning that affect many laboratory and real-life tasks. These tasks often involve the acquisition of dynamic contingencies, which requires adjusting the rate of learning to environmental statistics. For example, learning rate should increase when expectations are uncertain (uncertainty), outcomes are surprising (surprise) or contingencies are more likely to change (hazard rate). In this study, we combine computational modelling with an age-comparative behavioural study to test whether age-related learning deficits emerge from a failure to optimize learning according to the three factors mentioned above. Our results suggest that learning deficits observed in healthy older adults are driven by a diminished capacity to represent and use uncertainty to guide learning. These findings provide insight into age-related cognitive changes and demonstrate how learning deficits can emerge from a failure to accurately assess how much should be learned. PMID:27282467
Nassar, Matthew R; Bruckner, Rasmus; Gold, Joshua I; Li, Shu-Chen; Heekeren, Hauke R; Eppinger, Ben
Healthy aging can lead to impairments in learning that affect many laboratory and real-life tasks. These tasks often involve the acquisition of dynamic contingencies, which requires adjusting the rate of learning to environmental statistics. For example, learning rate should increase when expectations are uncertain (uncertainty), outcomes are surprising (surprise) or contingencies are more likely to change (hazard rate). In this study, we combine computational modelling with an age-comparative behavioural study to test whether age-related learning deficits emerge from a failure to optimize learning according to the three factors mentioned above. Our results suggest that learning deficits observed in healthy older adults are driven by a diminished capacity to represent and use uncertainty to guide learning. These findings provide insight into age-related cognitive changes and demonstrate how learning deficits can emerge from a failure to accurately assess how much should be learned.
Silvetti, Massimo; Wiersema, Jan R; Sonuga-Barke, Edmund; Verguts, Tom
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a pathophysiologically complex and heterogeneous condition with both cognitive and motivational components. We propose a novel computational hypothesis of motivational deficits in ADHD, drawing together recent evidence on the role of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and associated mesolimbic dopamine circuits in both reinforcement learning and ADHD. Based on findings of dopamine dysregulation and ACC involvement in ADHD we simulated a lesion in a previously validated computational model of ACC (Reward Value and Prediction Model, RVPM). We explored the effects of the lesion on the processing of reinforcement signals. We tested specific behavioral predictions about the profile of reinforcement-related deficits in ADHD in three experimental contexts; probability tracking task, partial and continuous reward schedules, and immediate versus delayed rewards. In addition, predictions were made at the neurophysiological level. Behavioral and neurophysiological predictions from the RVPM-based lesion-model of motivational dysfunction in ADHD were confirmed by data from previously published studies. RVPM represents a promising model of ADHD reinforcement learning suggesting that ACC dysregulation might play a role in the pathogenesis of motivational deficits in ADHD. However, more behavioral and neurophysiological studies are required to test core predictions of the model. In addition, the interaction with different brain networks underpinning other aspects of ADHD neuropathology (i.e., executive function) needs to be better understood.
Longoni, Giulia; Rocca, Maria A; Pagani, Elisabetta; Riccitelli, Gianna C; Colombo, Bruno; Rodegher, Mariaemma; Falini, Andrea; Comi, Giancarlo; Filippi, Massimo
The hippocampus has a critical role in episodic memory and visuospatial learning and consolidation. We assessed the patterns of whole and regional hippocampal atrophy in a large group of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, and their correlations with neuropsychological impairment. From 103 MS patients and 28 healthy controls (HC), brain dual-echo and high-resolution 3D T1-weighted images were acquired using a 3.0-Tesla scanner. All patients underwent a neuropsychological assessment of hippocampal-related cognitive functions, including Paired Associate Word Learning, Short Story, delayed recall of Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure and Paced Auditory Serial Attention tests. The hippocampi were manually segmented and volumes derived. Regional atrophy distribution was assessed using a radial mapping analysis. Correlations between hippocampal atrophy and clinical, neuropsychological and MRI metrics were also evaluated. Hippocampal volume was reduced in MS patients vs HC (p < 0.001 for both right and hippocampus). In MS patients, radial atrophy affected CA1 subfield and subiculum of posterior hippocampus, bilaterally. The dentate hilus (DG:H) of the right hippocampal head was also affected. Regional hippocampal atrophy correlated with brain T2 and T1 lesion volumes, while no correlation was found with disability. Damage to the CA1 and subiculum was significantly correlated to the performances at hippocampal-targeted neuropsychological tests. These results show that hippocampal subregions have a different vulnerability to MS-related damage, with a relative sparing of the head of the left hippocampus. The assessment of regional hippocampal atrophy may help explain deficits of specific cognitive functions in MS patients, including memory and visuospatial abilities.
Chang, Wing Chung; Waltz, James A; Gold, James M; Chan, Tracey Chi Wan; Chen, Eric Yu Hai
Numerous studies have identified reinforcement learning (RL) deficits in schizophrenia. Most have focused on chronic patients with longstanding antipsychotic treatment, however, and studies of RL in early-illness patients have produced mixed results, particularly regarding gradual/procedural learning. No study has directly contrasted both rapid and gradual RL in first-episode psychosis (FEP) samples. We examined probabilistic RL in 34 FEP patients and 36 controls, using Go/NoGo (GNG) and Gain vs Loss-Avoidance (GLA) paradigms. Our results were mixed, with FEP patients exhibiting greater impairment in the ability to use positive, as opposed to negative, feedback to drive rapid RL on the GLA, but not the GNG. By contrast, patients and controls showed similar improvement across the acquisition. Finally, we found no significant between-group differences in the postacquisition expression of value-based preference in both tasks. Negative symptoms were modestly associated with RL measures, while the overall bias to engage in Go-responding correlated significantly with psychosis severity in FEP patients, consistent with striatal hyperdopaminergia. Taken together, FEP patients demonstrated more circumscribed RL impairments than previous studies have documented in chronic samples, possibly reflecting differential symptom profiles between first-episode and chronic samples. Our finding of relatively preserved gradual/procedural RL, in briefly medicated FEP patients, might suggest spared or restored basal ganglia function. Our findings of preserved abilities to use representations of expected value to guide decision making, and our mixed results regarding rapid RL, may reflect a lesser degree of prefrontal cortical functional impairment in FEP than in chronic samples. Further longitudinal research, in larger samples, is required.
Sullivan, Brian K; May, Kim; Galbally, Lynne
To test the hypothesis that sub-optimal effort detected by one popular symptom validity measure, the Word Memory Test (WMT), should be interpreted as symptom exaggeration, the authors examined attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and learning disorder (LD) assessment data collected from healthy adult patients over the past four years at one mid-size Southeastern college. They conducted six tests of this hypothesis, drawing upon extant research. Rates of apparent symptom exaggeration comparable to those found in medicolegal settings (e.g., personal injury cases), particularly in the context of ADHD evaluations, were found. WMT scores were positively correlated with intellectual and neurocognitive test scores, and negatively correlated with self-report symptom inventory scores. Measures of negative response bias embedded in one common self-report measure of psychopathology (the Personality Assessment Inventory) were not correlated with WMT performance. Unattended WMT administrations led to somewhat higher failure rates than were found when the examiners were present in the room during all phases of the test's administration. In light of considerable secondary gain motives in this population, the authors conclude that poor effort as evidenced by low WMT scores implies symptom exaggeration and not other factors in these assessments. The routine inclusion of empirically supported symptom validity measures in these evaluations is recommended, and future research directions are suggested.
Kang, Jin Yong; Park, Seon Kyeong; Guo, Tian Jiao; Ha, Jeong Su; Lee, Du Sang; Kim, Jong Min; Lee, Uk; Kim, Dae Ok
The antiamnesic effect of 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid (3,5-diCQA) as the main phenolic compound in Artemisia argyi H. extract on cognitive dysfunction induced by trimethyltin (TMT) (7.1 μg/kg of body weight; intraperitoneal injection) was investigated in order to assess its ameliorating function in mice. In several behavioral tests, namely, the Y-maze, passive avoidance, and Morris water maze (MWM) test, 3,5-diCQA significantly ameliorated learning and memory deficits. After the behavioral tests, brain tissues from the mice were analyzed to characterize the basis of the neuroprotective effect. Acetylcholine (ACh) levels increased, whereas the activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) decreased upon administration of 3,5-diCQA. In addition, 3,5-diCQA effectively protected against an increase in malondialdehyde (MDA) content, an increase in the oxidized glutathione (GSH) ratio, and a decline of total superoxide dismutase (SOD) level. 3,5-diCQA may prevent neuronal apoptosis through the protection of mitochondrial activities and the repression of apoptotic signaling molecules such as p-Akt, BAX, and p-tau (Ser 404). PMID:28105250
Cosden, Merith; Patz, Sarah; Smith, Steven
Problems in processing information can affect psychosocial functioning. Psychotherapy can be used to address psychosocial problems; however, the same information-processing problems that contribute to disabilities, such as learning disabilities (LD) or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), particularly deficits in auditory processing…
Castro-Chavira, S.A.; Fernández, T.; Nicolini, H.; Diaz-Cintra, S.; Prado-Alcalá, R.A.
Aging-related major neurocognitive disorder (NCD), formerly named dementia, comprises of the different acquired diseases whose primary deficit is impairment in cognitive functions such as complex attention, executive function, learning and memory, language, perceptual/motor skills, and social cognition, and that are related to specific brain regions and/or networks. According to its etiology, the most common subtypes of major NCDs are due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD), vascular disease (VaD), Lewy body disease (LBD), and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). These pathologies are frequently present in mixed forms, i.e., AD plus VaD or AD plus LBD, thus diagnosed as due to multiple etiologies. In this paper, the definitions, criteria, pathologies, subtypes and genetic markers for the most common age-related major NCD subtypes are summarized. The current diagnostic criteria consider cognitive decline leading to major NCD or dementia as a progressive degenerative process with an underlying neuropathology that begins before the manifestation of symptoms. Biomarkers associated with this asymptomatic phase are being developed as accurate risk factor and biomarker assessments are fundamental to provide timely treatment since no treatments to prevent or cure NCD yet exist. Biological fluid assessment represents a safer, cheaper and less invasive method compared to contrast imaging studies to predict NCD appearance. Genetic factors particularly have a key role not only in predicting development of the disease but also the age of onset as well as the presentation of comorbidities that may contribute to the disease pathology and trigger synergistic mechanisms which may, in turn, accelerate the neurodegenerative process and its resultant behavioral and functional disorders. PMID:25731625
Bennett, M C; Mlady, G W; Fleshner, M; Rose, G M
Previously, we developed a rat model of persistent mitochondrial dysfunction based upon the chronic partial inhibition of the mitochondrial enzyme cytochrome oxidase (EC 126.96.36.199). Continuous systemic infusion of sodium azide at approximately 1 mg/kg per hr inhibited cytochrome oxidase activity and produced a spatial learning deficit. In other laboratories, glucocorticoids have been reported to exacerbate neuronal damage from various acute metabolic insults. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that corticosterone, the primary glucocorticoid in the rat, would potentiate the sodium azide-induced learning deficit. To this end, we first identified nonimpairing doses of sodium azide (approximately 0.75 mg/kg per hr) and corticosterone (100-mg pellet, 3-week sustained-release). We now report that chronic co-administration of these individually nonimpairing treatments produced a severe learning deficit. Moreover, the low dose of corticosterone, which did not elevate serum corticosterone, acted synergistically with sodium azide to inhibit cytochrome oxidase activity. The latter result represents a previously unidentified effect of glucocorticoids that provides a candidate mechanism for glucocorticoid potentiation of neurotoxicity induced by metabolic insult. These results may have the clinical implication of expanding the definition of hypercortisolism in patient populations with compromised oxidative metabolism. Furthermore, they suggest that glucocorticoid treatment may contribute to pathology in disease or trauma conditions that involve metabolic insult. PMID:8577764
Jordan, Brian T; Martin, Nancy; Austin, J Sue
The purpose of this research was to establish new norms for the Jordan-3 for children ages 5 to 18 years. The research also investigated the frequency of visual reversals in children previously identified as having reading disability, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and broader learning disabilities. Participants were regular education students, ages 5 through 18 years, and special education students previously diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, reading disability, or broader learning disability. Jordan-3 Accuracy and Error raw scores were compared to assess if there was a significant difference between the two groups. Mean Accuracy and Error scores were compared for males and females. Children with learning disability and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder had higher reversals when compared to regular education children, which lends continued support to the Jordan-3 as a valid and reliable measure of visual reversals in children and adolescents. This study illustrates the utility of the Jordan-3 when assessing children who may require remediation to reach their academic potential.
Caccamo, Antonella; Maldonado, Monica A.; Bokov, Alex F.; Majumder, Smita; Oddo, Salvatore
Cognitive dysfunction and memory loss are common features of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Abnormalities in the expression profile of immediate early genes that play a critical role in memory formation, such as the cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB), have been reported in the brains of AD patients. Here we show that amyloid-β (Aβ) accumulation, which plays a primary role in the cognitive deficits of AD, interferes with CREB activity. We further show that restoring CREB function via brain viral delivery of the CREB-binding protein (CBP) improves learning and memory deficits in an animal model of AD. Notably, such improvements occur without changes in Aβ and tau pathology, and instead are linked to an increased level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor. The resulting data suggest that Aβ-induced learning and memory deficits are mediated by alterations in CREB function, based on the finding that restoring CREB activity by directly modulating CBP levels in the brains of adult mice is sufficient to ameliorate learning and memory. Therefore, increasing CBP expression in adult brains may be a valid therapeutic approach not only for AD, but also for various brain disorders characterized by alterations in immediate early genes, further supporting the concept that viral vector delivery may be a viable therapeutic approach in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:21149712
Thompson, Michelle L; Chartier, Stephane R; Mitchell, Stefanie A
Age-related bone fractures are usually painful and have highly negative effects on a geriatric patient’s functional status, quality of life, and survival. Currently, there are few analgesic therapies that fully control bone fracture pain in the elderly without significant unwanted side effects. However, another way of controlling age-related fracture pain would be to preemptively administer an osteo-anabolic agent to geriatric patients with high risk of fracture, so as to build new cortical bone and prevent the fracture from occurring. A major question, however, is whether an osteo-anabolic agent can stimulate the proliferation of osteogenic cells and build significant amounts of new cortical bone in light of the decreased number and responsiveness of osteogenic cells in aging bone. To explore this question, geriatric and young mice, 20 and 4 months old, respectively, received either vehicle or a monoclonal antibody that sequesters sclerostin (anti-sclerostin) for 28 days. From days 21 to 28, animals also received sustained administration of the thymidine analog, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), which labels the DNA of dividing cells. Animals were then euthanized at day 28 and the femurs were examined for cortical bone formation, bone mineral density, and newly borne BrdU+ cells in the periosteum which is a tissue that is pivotally involved in the formation of new cortical bone. In both the geriatric and young mice, anti-sclerostin induced a significant increase in the thickness of the cortical bone, bone mineral density, and the proliferation of newly borne BrdU+ cells in the periosteum. These results suggest that even in geriatric animals, anti-sclerostin therapy can build new cortical bone and increase the proliferation of osteogenic cells and thus reduce the likelihood of painful age-related bone fractures. PMID:27837171
Worldwide, the prevalence of moderate to severe visual impairment and blindness is 285 millions, with 65% of visually impaired and 82% of all blind people being 50 years and older. Meta-analyses have shown that two out of three blind people are women, a gender discrepancy that holds true for both developed and developing countries. Cataract accounts for more than half of all blindness globally and gender inequity in access to cataract surgery is the major cause of the higher prevalence of blindness in women. In addition to gender differences in cataract surgical coverage, population-based studies on the prevalence of lens opacities indicate that women have a higher risk of developing cataract. Laboratory as well as epidemiologic studies suggest that estrogen may confer antioxidative protection against cataractogenesis, but the withdrawal effect of estrogen in menopause leads to increased risk of cataract in women. For the other major age-related eye diseases; glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy, data are inconclusive. Due to anatomic factors, angle closure glaucoma is more common in women, whereas the dominating glaucoma type; primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), is more prevalent in men. Diabetic retinopathy also has a male predominance and vascular/circulatory factors have been implied both in diabetic retinopathy and in POAG. For AMD, data on gender differences are conflicting although some studies indicate increased prevalence of drusen and neovascular AMD in women. To conclude, both biologic and socioeconomic factors must be considered when investigating causes of gender differences in the prevalence of age-related eye disease.
Campisi, Giuseppina; Chiappelli, Martina; De Martinis, Massimo; Franco, Vito; Ginaldi, Lia; Guiglia, Rosario; Licastro, Federico; Lio, Domenico
A Symposium regarding the Pathophysiology of Successful and Unsuccessful Ageing was held in Palermo, Italy on 7-8 April 2009. Three lectures from that Symposium by G. Campisi, L. Ginaldi and F. Licastro are here summarized. Ageing is a complex process which negatively impacts on the development of various bodily systems and its ability to function. A long life in a healthy, vigorous, youthful body has always been one of humanity's greatest dreams. Thus, a better understanding of the pathophysiology of age-related diseases is urgently required to improve our understanding of maintaining good health in the elderly and to program possible therapeutic intervention. PMID:19737378
Casten, Robin; Rovner, Barry
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of disability in the elderly, substantially degrades the quality of their lives, and is a risk factor for depression. Rates of depression in AMD are substantially greater than those found in the general population of older people, and are on par with those of other chronic and disabling diseases. This article discusses the effect of depression on vision-related disability in patients with AMD, suggests methods for screening for depression, and summarizes interventions for preventing depression in this high-risk group.
Michels, Stephan; Kurz-Levin, Malaika
Today age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most frequent cause for legal blindness in western industrialized countries. The prevalence of this disease rises with increasing age. A multifactorial pathogenesis of AMD is postulated including genetic predisposition and environmental risk factors. The most relevant modifiable risk factor is smoking. Up to today there is no cure of this chronic disease. Prophylaxis, including a healthy diet and antioxidants as nutrional supplements for selected patients, aims to slow down the disease progression. Significant progress has been made in the treatment of the neovascular form of the disease using inhibitors of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).
Cognitive impairment occurs in diabetes mellitus. Glabridin as a major active flavonoids in Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) improves learning and memory in mice. In the present study, we investigated the effect of chronic treatment with glabridin (5, 25 and 50 mg/kg, p.o.) on cognitive function in control and streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats.Animals were divided into untreated control, glabridin-treated control (5, 25 and 50 mg/kg), untreated diabetic and glabridin treated diabetic (5, 25 and 50 mg/kg) groups. Treatments were begun at the onset of hyperglycemia. Passive avoidance learning (PAL) and memory was assessed 30 days later. Diabetes caused cognition deficits in the PAL and memory paradigm. While oral glabridin administration (25 and 50 mg/kg) improved learning and memory in non-diabetic rats, it reversed learning and memory deficits of diabetic rats. Low dose glabridin (5 mg/kg) did not alter cognitive function in non-diabetic and diabetic groups. Glabridin treatment partially improved the reduced body weight and hyperglycemia of diabetic rats although the differences were not significant. The combination of antioxidant, neuroprotective and anticholinesterase properties of glabridin may all be responsible for the observed effects. These results show that glabridin prevented the deleterious effects of diabetes on learning and memory in rats. Further studies are warranted for clinical use of glabridin in the management of demented diabetic patients.
Bolic Baric, Vedrana; Hellberg, Kristina; Kjellberg, Anette; Hemmingsson, Helena
The purpose of this study was to describe and explore the experiences of support at school among young adults with Asperger's disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and also to examine what support they, in retrospect, described as influencing learning. Purposive sampling was used to enroll participants. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 13 young adults aged between 20 and 29 years. A qualitative analysis, based on interpreting people's experiences, was conducted by grouping and searching for patterns in data. The findings indicate that the participants experienced difficulties at school that included academic, social, and emotional conditions, all of which could influence learning. Support for learning included small groups, individualized teaching methods, teachers who cared, and practical and emotional support. These clusters together confirm the overall understanding that support for learning aligns academic and psychosocial support. In conclusion, academic support combined with psychosocial support at school seems to be crucial for learning among students with Asperger's disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Richman, Lynn C.
The study examined patterns of cognitive ability in 57 cleft lip and palate children (ages 7 to 9) with verbal deficit, but without general intellectual retardation to evaluate whether the verbal disability displayed by these children was related primarily to a specific verbal expression deficit or a more general symbolic mediation problem.…
Hedenius, Martina; Persson, Jonas; Tremblay, Antoine; Adi-Japha, Esther; Verissimo, Joao; Dye, Cristina D.; Alm, Per; Jennische, Margareta; Tomblin, J. Bruce; Ullman, Michael T.
The Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH) posits that Specific Language Impairment (SLI) can be largely explained by abnormalities of brain structures that subserve procedural memory. The PDH predicts impairments of procedural memory itself, and that such impairments underlie the grammatical deficits observed in the disorder. Previous studies have…
Watanabe, Katsumi; Ikeda, Hanako; Miyao, Masutomo
Developmental disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Asperger syndrome (AS) are often associated with learning disabilities. This study investigated the explicit learning of visuomotor sequences in 17 ADHD children (mean age 12.1), 21 AS children (mean age 12.7), and 15 typically developing children (mean age: 12.3). The participants were required to explore a hidden sequence of button presses by trial and error and elaborate the learned sequence (2 x 10 task: Hikosaka et al. 1996). The results indicated that although ADHD and AS children had a tendency of repeating the same errors and took longer to complete a sequence, both showed a degree and pattern of improvement in accuracy and speed similar to that of typically developing children. These results suggest that the explicit learning of visuomotor sequence in ADHD and AS patients is largely unimpaired.
Stack, Conor M.; Lim, Maria A.; Cuasay, Katrina; Stone, Madeleine M.; Seibert, Kimberly. M.; Spivak-Pohis, Irit; Crawley, Jacqueline N.; Waschek, James A.; Hill, Joanna M.
Blockage of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) receptors during early embryogenesis in the mouse has been shown to result in developmental delays in neonates, and social behavior deficits selectively in adult male offspring. Offspring of VIP deficient mothers (VIP +/−) also exhibited developmental delays, and reductions in maternal affiliation and play behavior. In the current study, comparisons among the offspring of VIP deficient mothers (VIP +/−) mated to VIP +/− males with the offspring of wild type (WT) mothers mated to VIP +/− males allowed assessment of the contributions of both maternal and offspring VIP genotype to general health measures, social behavior, fear conditioning, and spatial learning and memory in the water maze. These comparisons revealed few differences in general health among offspring of WT and VIP deficient mothers, and all offspring exhibited normal responses in fear conditioning and in the acquisition phase of spatial discrimination in the water maze. WT mothers produced offspring that were normal in all tests; the reduced VIP in their VIP +/− offspring apparently did not contribute to any defects in the measures under study. However, regardless of their own VIP genotype, all male offspring of VIP deficient mothers exhibited severe deficits in social approach behavior and reversal learning. The deficits in these behaviors in the female offspring of VIP deficient mothers were less severe than in their male littermates, and the extent of their impairment was related to their own VIP genotype. This study has shown that intrauterine conditions had a greater influence on behavioral outcome than did genetic inheritance. In addition, the greater prevalence of deficits in social behavior and the resistance to change seen in reversal learning in the male offspring of VIP deficient mothers indicate a potential usefulness of the VIP knockout mouse in furthering the understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. PMID
Brook, U; Watemberg, N; Geva, D
The aims of the study were to investigate teachers' knowledge and attitudes towards attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities (LD). Forty-six high school teachers were interviewed in this regard. The 46 teachers were divided into two groups: 25 teachers taught at an academic school (School 1); and 21 teachers taught at special education school (School 2) and dealt with ADHD/LD cases regularly. General knowledge about ADHD (71%) and about LD (74%) was relatively low among both groups. Thirteen percent of all teachers considered LD to be the result of parental attitudes, namely 'spoiling' the children. The score for attitude and understanding of ADHD children was relatively low (72.5%) for both groups, whereas Group B teachers scored higher regarding LD cases. Almost 40% considered that ADHD children should be rebuked and/or punished in a manner similar to non-ADHD kids. Regarding long-term outcome, 45.7% of the teachers expected ADHD children to experience multiple difficulties in family life during adulthood. In relation to LD cases, the overall scoring for positive attitude was 75%. However, this score was higher for Group B teachers. Three-quarters of the teachers favored increasing peer awareness and comprehension as to the problems LD kids encounter at school. Ninety-five percent believed LD patients should enjoy a more lenient school education. There was no correlation between teachers, knowledge of ADHD and LD and their attitude. The main sources for this knowledge were: specialized textbooks, continuous education, TV shows, journals and newspapers, and medical personnel.
Lewis, Freeman C.; Sarvi, Michael S.; Foley, Gillian M.; Crawley, Jacqueline N.
Chromosomal 16p11.2 deletion syndrome frequently presents with intellectual disabilities, speech delays, and autism. Here we investigated the Dolmetsch line of 16p11.2 heterozygous (+/−) mice on a range of cognitive tasks with different neuroanatomical substrates. Robust novel object recognition deficits were replicated in two cohorts of 16p11.2+/− mice, confirming previous findings. A similarly robust deficit in object location memory was discovered in +/−, indicating impaired spatial novelty recognition. Generalizability of novelty recognition deficits in +/− mice extended to preference for social novelty. Robust learning deficits and cognitive inflexibility were detected using Bussey–Saksida touchscreen operant chambers. During acquisition of pairwise visual discrimination, +/− mice required significantly more training trials to reach criterion than wild-type littermates (+/+), and made more errors and correction errors than +/+. In the reversal phase, all +/+ reached criterion, whereas most +/− failed to reach criterion by the 30-d cutoff. Contextual and cued fear conditioning were normal in +/−. These cognitive phenotypes may be relevant to some aspects of cognitive impairments in humans with 16p11.2 deletion, and support the use of 16p11.2+/− mice as a model system for discovering treatments for cognitive impairments in 16p11.2 deletion syndrome. PMID:26572653
Hiemstra, Djoerd; Van Yperen, Nico W
In two randomized experiments, one conducted online (n = 174) and one in the classroom (n = 267), we tested the effects of two types of self-regulated learning (SRL) strategies on students' intentions to put effort into professional development activities: strength-based SRL strategies (i.e., identifying perceived relative strengths and, subsequently, selecting professional development activities to further improve those strengths) versus deficit-based SRL strategies (i.e., identifying perceived relative shortcomings and, subsequently, selecting professional development activities to improve those shortcomings). Across both studies, analysis of variance revealed that, relative to students who used deficit-based SRL strategies, students who used strength-based SRL strategies were higher in perceived competence, intrinsic motivation, and effort intentions. Moreover, the results of multi-mediator analysis and structural equation modeling supported the hypothesis that the effect of strength-based versus deficit-based SRL strategies on students' effort intentions was sequentially mediated by perceived competence and intrinsic motivation. Implications for the application of self-regulated learning strategies in the context of professional self-development are discussed.
There has been a consistent trend towards delayed childbearing in most Western countries. Treatment options for age-related infertility includes controlled ovarian hyperstimulation with intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization (IVF). A sharp decline in pregnancy rate with advancing female age is noted with assisted reproductive technologies (ART) including IVF. Evaluation and treatment of infertility should not be delayed in women 35 years and older. No treatment other than oocyte donation has been shown to be effective for women over 40 and for those with compromised ovarian reserve, but its pratice is not easy in France hence the procreative tourism. As an increasing number of couples choose to postpone childbearing, they should be informed that maternal age is an important risk factor for failure to conceive.
Mathieu, Jacques M; Schloendorn, John; Rittmann, Bruce E; Alvarez, Pedro JJ
Catabolic insufficiency in humans leads to the gradual accumulation of a number of pathogenic compounds associated with age-related diseases, including atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and macular degeneration. Removal of these compounds is a widely researched therapeutic option, but the use of antibodies and endogenous human enzymes has failed to produce effective treatments, and may pose risks to cellular homeostasis. Another alternative is "medical bioremediation," the use of microbial enzymes to augment missing catabolic functions. The microbial genetic diversity in most natural environments provides a resource that can be mined for enzymes capable of degrading just about any energy-rich organic compound. This review discusses targets for biodegradation, the identification of candidate microbial enzymes, and enzyme-delivery methods. PMID:19358742
Hwang, Ling-Ling; Wang, Chien-Hua; Li, Tzu-Ling; Chang, Shih-Dar; Lin, Li-Chun; Chen, Ching-Ping; Chen, Chiung-Tong; Liang, Keng-Chen; Ho, Ing-Kang; Yang, Wei-Shiung; Chiou, Lih-Chu
Obesity is a potential risk factor for cognitive deficits in the elder humans. Using a high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mouse model, we investigated the impacts of HFD on obesity, metabolic and stress hormones, learning performance, and hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Both male and female C57BL/6J mice fed with HFD (3 weeks to 9-12 months) gained significantly more weights than the sex-specific control groups. Compared with the obese female mice, the obese males had similar energy intake but developed more weight gains. The obese male mice developed hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, hypercholesterolemia, and hyperleptinemia, but not hypertriglyceridemia. The obese females had less hyperinsulinemia and hypercholesterolemia than the obese males, and no hyperglycemia and hypertriglyceridemia. In the contextual fear conditioning and step-down passive avoidance tasks, the obese male, but not female, mice showed poorer learning performance than their normal counterparts. These learning deficits were not due to sensorimotor impairment as verified by the open-field and hot-plate tests. Although, basal synaptic transmission characteristics (input-output transfer and paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) ratio) were not significantly different between normal and HFD groups, the magnitudes of synaptic plasticity (long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD)) were lower at the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses of the hippocampal slices isolated from the obese male, but not female, mice, as compared with their sex-specific controls. Our results suggest that male mice are more vulnerable than the females to the impacts of HFD on weight gains, metabolic alterations and deficits of learning, and hippocampal synaptic plasticity.
Smith, Paul F.
There is evidence that the normal aging process is associated with impaired vestibulo-ocular reflexes (VOR) and vestibulo-spinal reflexes, causing reduced visual acuity and postural instability. Nonetheless, the available evidence is not entirely consistent, especially with respect to the VOR. Some recent studies have reported that VOR gain can be intact even above 80 years of age. Similarly, although there is evidence for age-related hair cell loss and neuronal loss in Scarpa’s ganglion and the vestibular nucleus complex (VNC), it is not entirely consistent. Whatever structural and functional changes occur in the VNC as a result of aging, either to cause vestibular impairment or to compensate for it, neurochemical changes must underlie them. However, the neurochemical changes that occur in the VNC with aging are poorly understood because the available literature is very limited. This review summarizes and critically evaluates the available evidence relating to the noradrenaline, serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, GABA, glycine, and nitric oxide neurotransmitter systems in the aging VNC. It is concluded that, at present, it is difficult, if not impossible, to relate the neurochemical changes observed to the function of specific VNC neurons and whether the observed changes are the cause of a functional deficit in the VNC or an effect of it. A better understanding of the neurochemical changes that occur during aging may be important for the development of potential drug treatments for age-related vestibular disorders. However, this will require the use of more sophisticated methodology such as in vivo microdialysis with single neuron recording and perhaps new technologies such as optogenetics. PMID:26973593
Clarke, M. S.; Prendergast, M. A.; Terry, A. V. Jr
performance, or in tests of general locomotor activity. Furthermore, latencies to select a lever in the DSDT were not affected. These results suggest that PF-68 induced deficits in learning and memory without confounding peripheral motor, sensory, or motivational effects at the tested doses. Furthermore, none of the doses induced a conditioned taste aversion to a novel 0.1% saccharin solution indicating a lack of nausea or gastrointestinal malaise induced by the compound. The data indicate that increases in neuronal plasma membrane order may have significant effects on neurotransmitter function as well as learning and memory processes. Furthermore, compounds such as PF-68 may also offer novel tools for studying the role of neuronal PMO in mnemonic processes and changes in PMO resulting from age-related disorders such as AD.
Naveh-Benjamin, Moshe; Smyth, Andrea C
Recently, Smyth and Naveh-Benjamin (2016) questioned some of the main assumptions/hypotheses of DRYAD (or density of representations yields age-related deficits), a global-deficit model of aging and memory judgments (Benjamin, 2010; Benjamin et al., 2012). Smyth and Naveh-Benjamin (2016) provided empirical evidence that seems incompatible with DRYAD, but that fits the associative deficit hypothesis (ADH; Naveh-Benjamin, 2000), 1 specific-deficit theoretical view. In response, Aaron Benjamin (2016) offered a discussion of the complementary strengths and weaknesses of the DRYAD and the ADH, and the potential ways they might work together. We agree with many of his comments, but are not convinced that DRYAD is able to explain basic replicable empirical evidence of the type mentioned in Smyth and Naveh-Benjamin (2016). We discuss the reasons why we are not fully convinced by the demonstration of DRYAD's simulation of results presented in Benjamin (2016) and then present an implementation of ADH in a computationally based age-related impaired neuromodulation approach that was shown to simulate the basic empirical results of age-related associative memory deficits. We also discuss the issues of parsimony of theories and the appropriate type of representation, in the context of global versus specific deficits theoretical views. Finally, we show that the ADH's take on the distinction between items and associations has been adopted by some global computational models of memory. We believe that considerations of the above issues and others raised by Benjamin (2016) can lead to fruitful discussions that will benefit both theory development and existing knowledge of aging and memory.
Raveendran, Anju Thoppil; Skaria, Paulose Cheramadatikudiyil
Hypoxic brain injury during neonatal development can lead to neuronal damage and produce learning and cognitive impairments. TOPRO-3 staining was used to visualize cell loss and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of BAX mRNA was used to evaluate the level of apoptosis in the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, brain stem, and striatum of hypoxic neonatal rats and hypoxic rats resuscitated with glucose, oxygen, and epinephrine. The long-term effects of neonatal hypoxic insult on cognition and behavior were studied using Morris water maze experiment on 1-month-old rats exposed to neonatal hypoxia. In hypoxic neonatal rats, a significant cell loss (p < .001) within the brain regions was observed in TOPRO-3 staining and BAX mRNA expression was significantly upregulated (p < .001). Immediate resuscitation of hypoxic neonates with glucose, alone and along with oxygen, significantly downregulated (p < .001) BAX mRNA expression. The BAX expression in epinephrine resuscitated and 100% oxygen resuscitated groups were found to be upregulated in the brain regions. In water maze experiment, 1-month-old rats exposed to neonatal hypoxia spent lesser time in the platform quadrant (p < .001) and showed longer escape latency (p < .001) highlighting the learning and cognitive deficits. Our study revealed the effect of glucose resuscitation alone and along with oxygenation in ameliorating the spatial memory and learning deficits induced by neonatal hypoxic insult mediated brain cell loss.
Shinomori, Keizo; Schefrin, Brooke E.; Werner, John S.
Wavelength discrimination functions (420 to 620–650 nm) were measured for four younger (mean 30.9 years) and four older (mean 72.5 years) observers. Stimuli consisted of individually determined isoluminant monochromatic lights (10 Td) presented in each half of a 2° circular bipartite field with use of a Maxwellian-view optical system. A spatial two-alternative forced-choice method was used in combination with a staircase procedure to determine discrimination thresholds across the spectrum. Small but consistent elevations in discrimination thresholds were found for older compared with younger observers. Because the retinal illuminance of the stimuli was equated across all observers, these age-related losses in discrimination are attributable to neural changes. Analyses of these data reveal a significant change in Weber fraction across adulthood for a chromatically opponent pathway receiving primarily antagonistic signals from middle-wavelength-sensitive and long-wavelength-sensitive cones but not for a short-wavelength-sensitive cone pathway. PMID:11205976
Family, Fereydoon; Mazzitello, K. I.; Arizmendi, C. M.; Grossniklaus, H. E.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness beyond the age of 50 years. The most common pathogenic mechanism that leads to AMD is choroidal neovascularization (CNV). CNV is produced by accumulation of residual material caused by aging of retinal pigment epithelium cells (RPE). The RPE is a phagocytic system that is essential for renewal of photoreceptors (rods and cones). With time, incompletely degraded membrane material builds up in the form of lipofuscin. Lipofuscin is made of free-radical-damaged protein and fat, which forms not only in AMD, but also Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease. The study of lipofuscin formation and growth is important, because of their association with cellular aging. We introduce a model of non-equilibrium cluster growth and aggregation that we have developed for studying the formation and growth of lipofuscin in the aging RPE. Our results agree with a linear growth of the number of lipofuscin granules with age. We apply the dynamic scaling approach to our model and find excellent data collapse for the cluster size distribution. An unusual feature of our model is that while small particles are removed from the RPE the larger ones become fixed and grow by aggregation.
Yamauchi, M.; Mechanic, G.
A stable crosslinking amino acid was isolated from mature bovine skin collagen and its structure was identified as histidinohydroxylysinonorleucine (HHL) using fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry and /sup 1/H, /sup 13/C-NMR. This newly identified crosslink has a linkage between C-2 histidine and C-6 of lysine in the latter's portion of hydroxylysinonorleucine. Quantitative studies using various aged samples of cow and human skin collagen indicated that this acid-heat stable nonreducible compound was the major age-related crosslink. In case of cow skin collagen, for example, during early embryonic development (3 and 5 month old embryos) the content of HHL stayed less than 0.01 residue/mole of collagen, however from the middle of gestation period (7 month old embryo) through the maturation stage it showed rapid increase with age and reached approximately 0.5 residues/mole of collagen in the 3 year old animal. Small increments (up to 0.65 res/mole of collagen) were observed in the 9 year old cow. The amounts of the crosslink unlike pyridinoline do not decrease with aging. Similar patterns were observed in human skin collagen.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness beyond the age of 50 years. The most common pathogenic mechanism that leads to AMD is choroidal neovascularization (CNV). CNV is produced by accumulation of residual material caused by aging of retinal pigment epithelium cells (RPE). The RPE is a phagocytic system that is essential for renewal of photoreceptors (rods and cones). With time, incompletely degraded membrane material builds up in the form of lipofuscin. Lipofuscin is made of free-radical-damaged protein and fat, which forms not only in AMD, but also Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. The study of lipofuscin formation and growth is important, because of their association with cellular aging. In this talk I will discuss a model of non-equilibrium cluster growth that we have developed for studying the formation and growth of lipofuscin in AMD [K.I. Mazzitello, C.M. Arizmendi, Fereydoon Family, H. E. Grossniklaus, Physical Review E (2009)]. I will also present an overview of our theoretical and computational efforts in modeling some other aspects of the physics of AMD, including CNV and the breakdown of Bruch's membrane [Ongoing collaboration with Abbas Shirinifard and James A. Glazier, Biocomplexity Institute and Department of Physics, Indiana University, Y. Jiang, Los Alamos, and Hans E. Grossniklaus, Department of Ophthalmology, Emory University].
The human skeleton is formed and modelled during childhood and youth through the influence of hormones and daily mechanical usage. Around the age of 20-25 years, the skeleton achieves its maximum mass and strength. Thereafter, and throughout adult life, bone is lost at an almost constant rate due to the dynamic bone turnover process: the remodelling process. During this process, small packets of bone are renewed by teams of bone cells coupled together in time and space. In an adult human skeleton there will be 1-2 million active remodelling sites at any time point. The vast number of turnover units combined with a slightly negative balance at the completion of each process leads to the age-related loss of bone mass mentioned above and, concomitantly, to loss of structural continuity and strength. The magnitude of this loss will be determined by hormonal factors, nutrition and mechanical usage. As a consequence of the remodelling process, the bone tissue of the skeleton will always be younger than the age of the individual. However, as a consequence of the remodelling process, osteopenia and osteoporotic fractures will also occur. In this article, the remodelling-induced changes in the human spine will be used as an example of ageing bone.
Pennesi, Mark E; Neuringer, Martha; Courtney, Robert J
Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss of those over the age of 65 in the industrialized world. The prevalence and need to develop effective treatments for AMD has lead to the development of multiple animal models. AMD is a complex and heterogeneous disease that involves the interaction of both genetic and environmental factors with the unique anatomy of the human macula. Models in mice, rats, rabbits, pigs and non-human primates have recreated many of the histological features of AMD and provided much insight into the underlying pathological mechanisms of this disease. In spite of the large number of models developed, no one model yet recapitulates all of the features of human AMD. However, these models have helped reveal the roles of chronic oxidative damage, inflammation and immune dysregulation, and lipid metabolism in the development of AMD. Models for induced choroidal neovascularization have served as the backbone for testing new therapies. This article will review the diversity of animal models that exist for AMD as well as their strengths and limitations.
Pennesi, Mark E.; Neuringer, Martha; Courtney, Robert J.
Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss of those over the age of 65 in the industrialized world. The prevalence and need to develop effective treatments for AMD has lead to the development of multiple animal models. AMD is a complex and heterogeneous disease that involves the interaction of both genetic and environmental factors with the unique anatomy of the human macula. Models in mice, rats, rabbits, pigs and non-human primates have recreated many of the histological features of AMD and provided much insight into the underlying pathological mechanisms of this disease. In spite of the large number of models developed, no one model yet recapitulates all of the features of human AMD. However, these models have helped reveal the roles of chronic oxidative damage, inflammation and immune dysregulation, and lipid metabolism in the development of AMD. Models for induced choroidal neovascularization have served as the backbone for testing new therapies. This article will review the diversity of animal models that exist for AMD as well as their strengths and limitations. PMID:22705444
Furukawa, Yusuke; Tanemura, Kentaro; Igarashi, Katsuhide; Ideta-Otsuka, Maky; Aisaki, Ken-Ichi; Kitajima, Satoshi; Kitagawa, Masanobu; Kanno, Jun
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system, is also known to be important for brain development. Therefore, disturbances of GABA receptor (GABA-R) mediated signaling (GABA-R signal) during brain development may influence normal brain maturation and cause late-onset brain malfunctions. In this study, we examined whether the stimulation of the GABA-R signal during brain development induces late-onset adverse effects on the brain in adult male mice. To stimulate the GABA-R signal, we used either the benzodiazepine sleep-inducing drug triazolam (TZ) or the non-benzodiazepine drug zolpidem (ZP). We detected learning and memory deficits in mice treated with TZ during the juvenile period, as seen in the fear conditioning test. On the other hand, ZP administration during the juvenile period had little effect. In addition, decreased protein expression of GluR1 and GluR4, which are excitatory neurotransmitter receptors, was detected in the hippocampi of mice treated with TZ during the juvenile period. We measured mRNA expression of the immediate early genes (IEGs), which are neuronal activity markers, in the hippocampus shortly after the administration of TZ or ZP to juvenile mice. Decreased IEG expression was detected in mice with juvenile TZ administration, but not in mice with juvenile ZP administration. Our findings demonstrate that TZ administration during the juvenile period can induce irreversible learning and memory deficits in adult mice. It may need to take an extra care for the prescription of benzodiazepine sleep-inducing drugs to juveniles because it might cause learning and memory deficits. PMID:27489535
González-Castro, Paloma; Cueli, Marisol; Areces, Débora; Rodríguez, Celestino; Sideridis, Georgios
Problem solving represents a salient deficit in students with mathematical learning difficulties (MLD) primarily caused by difficulties with informal and formal mathematical competencies. This study proposes a computerized intervention tool, the integrated dynamic representation (IDR), for enhancing the early learning of basic mathematical…
Belfiore, Phillip J.; And Others
The effects of color on the reading recognition and comprehension of 3 students (ages 10 to 11) with learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were assessed in 2 studies using a single-subject design. Color did not enhance sight-word learning; however, for longer reading comprehension tasks, color had an immediate positive…
The utility of math difficulties, internalized psychopathology, and visual-spatial deficits to identify children with the nonverbal learning disability syndrome: evidence for a visualspatial disability.
Forrest, Bonny J
This study examined the criteria currently employed to identify children with the nonverbal learning disability syndrome (NVLD). The most widely accepted definition of NVLD relies on deficits in visual-spatial-organizational, tactile-perceptual, psychomotor, and nonverbal problem-solving skills. These deficits are believed to coexist with strengths in rote verbal learning, phoneme-grapheme matching, verbal output, and verbal classification. The combination of these assets and deficits has been hypothesized to lead to psychosocial and academic problems, including difficulties with mathematics and increased rates of psychopathology. This study compared performance of three groups of children: those with NVLD, those with verbal learning disabilities (VLD), and controls. The results show that the criteria currently employed to identify children with NVLD may not adequately differentiate them. In contrast to previous findings, the study reveals that children with NVLD can demonstrate good math abilities when performing certain types of math tasks, especially those that draw on their robust verbal skills. Also in contrast to most previous findings, in this study children with NVLD (and normal controls) demonstrated lower rates of psychopathology than children with VLD. Finally, for children with NVLD it appears that their visual-perceptual deficits may include a primary deficit in locating objects in space. Based in part on the findings of this study, it may be helpful for diagnostic and treatment purposes to reserve the term Nonverbal Learning Disability for children whose visual-spatial deficits are primary and severe enough to affect academic performance in subjects such as written mathematics. Given the integral nature of social relations in children's lives, a separate category (e.g., social processing disorder) could be created for children whose social skills deficits are primary and impair their social interactions. A broader nonverbal learning model or syndrome
Hurt, Elizabeth; Arnold, L Eugene; Lofthouse, Nicholas
Neurofeedback (NF) using surface electroencephalographic signals has been used to treat various child psychiatric disorders by providing patients with video/audio information about their brain's electrical activity in real-time. Research data are reviewed and clinical recommendations are made regarding NF treatment of youth with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism, learning disorders, and epilepsy. Most NF studies are limited by methodological issues, such as failure to use or test the validity of a full-blind or sham NF. The safety of NF treatment has not been thoroughly investigated in youth or adults, although clinical experience suggests reasonable safety.
Leal, Stephanie L; Noche, Jessica A; Murray, Elizabeth A; Yassa, Michael A
While aging is generally associated with episodic memory decline, not all older adults exhibit memory loss. Furthermore, emotional memories are not subject to the same extent of forgetting and appear preserved in aging. We conducted high-resolution fMRI during a task involving pattern separation of emotional information in older adults with and without age-related memory impairment (characterized by performance on a word-list learning task: low performers: LP vs. high performers: HP). We found signals consistent with emotional pattern separation in hippocampal dentate (DG)/CA3 in HP but not in LP individuals, suggesting a deficit in emotional pattern separation. During false recognition, we found increased DG/CA3 activity in LP individuals, suggesting that hyperactivity may be associated with overgeneralization. We additionally observed a selective deficit in basolateral amygdala-lateral entorhinal cortex-DG/CA3 functional connectivity in LP individuals during pattern separation of negative information. During negative false recognition, LP individuals showed increased medial temporal lobe functional connectivity, consistent with overgeneralization. Overall, these results suggest a novel mechanistic account of individual differences in emotional memory alterations exhibited in aging.
Soleimani, Elham; Goudarzi, Iran; Abrari, Kataneh; Lashkarbolouki, Taghi
Melatonin is a radical scavenger with the ability to remove reactive oxidant species. There is report that co-exposure to lead and ethanol during developmental stages induces learning and memory deficits and oxidative stress. Here, we studied the effect of melatonin, with strong antioxidant properties, on memory deficits induced by lead and ethanol co-exposure and oxidative stress in hippocampus. Pregnant rats in lead and ethanol co-exposure group received lead acetate of 0.2% in distilled drinking water and ethanol (4g/kg) by oral gavages once daily from the 5th day of gestation until weaning. Rats received 10mg/kg melatonin by oral gavages. On postnatal days (PD) 30, rats trained with six trials per day for 6 consecutive days in the water maze. On day 37, a probe test was done and oxidative stress markers in the hippocampus were evaluated. Results demonstrated lead and ethanol co-exposed rats exhibited higher escape latency during training trials and reduced time spent in target quadrant, higher escape location latency in probe trial test and had significantly higher malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, significantly lower superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities in the hippocampus. Melatonin treatment could improve memory deficits, antioxidants activity and reduced MDA levels in the hippocampus. We conclude, co-exposure to lead and ethanol impair memory and melatonin can prevent from it by oxidative stress modulation.
Christoforidis, John B; Tecce, Nicola; Dell'Omo, Roberto; Mastropasqua, Rodolfo; Verolino, Marco; Costagliola, Ciro
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of central blindness or low vision among the elderly in industrialized countries. AMD is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Among modifiable environmental risk factors, cigarette smoking has been associated with both the dry and wet forms of AMD and may increase the likelihood of worsening pre-existing AMD. Despite advances, the treatment of AMD has limitations and affected patients are often referred for low vision rehabilitation to help them cope with their remaining eyesight. The characteristic visual impairment for both forms of AMD is loss of central vision (central scotoma). This loss results in severe difficulties with reading that may be only partly compensated by magnifying glasses or screen-projection devices. The loss of central vision associated with the disease has a profound impact on patient quality of life. With progressive central visual loss, patients lose their ability to perform the more complex activities of daily living. Common vision aids include low vision filters, magnifiers, telescopes and electronic aids. Low vision rehabilitation (LVR) is a new subspecialty emerging from the traditional fields of ophthalmology, optometry, occupational therapy, and sociology, with an ever-increasing impact on the usual concepts of research, education, and services for visually impaired patients. Relatively few ophthalmologists practise LVR and fewer still routinely use prismatic image relocation (IR) in AMD patients. IR is a method of stabilizing oculomotor functions with the purpose of promoting better function of preferred retinal loci (PRLs). The aim of vision rehabilitation therapy consists in the achievement of techniques designed to improve PRL usage. The use of PRLs to compensate for diseased foveae has offered hope to these patients in regaining some function. However, in a recently published meta-analysis, prism spectacles were found to be unlikely to be of
Grosso, G; Estruch, R
Current knowledge on the effects of nut consumption on human health has rapidly increased in recent years and it now appears that nuts may play a role in the prevention of chronic age-related diseases. Frequent nut consumption has been associated with better metabolic status, decreased body weight as well as lower body weight gain over time and thus reduce the risk of obesity. The effect of nuts on glucose metabolism, blood lipids, and blood pressure is still controversial. However, significant decreased cardiovascular risk has been reported in a number of observational and clinical intervention studies. Thus, findings from cohort studies show that increased nut consumption is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality (especially that due to cardiovascular-related causes). Similarly, nut consumption has been also associated with reduced risk of certain cancers, such as colorectal, endometrial, and pancreatic neoplasms. Evidence regarding nut consumption and neurological or psychiatric disorders is scarce, but a number of studies suggest significant protective effects against depression, mild cognitive disorders and Alzheimer's disease. The underlying mechanisms appear to include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions, particularly related to their mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFA and PUFA, as well as vitamin and polyphenol content). MUFA have been demonstrated to improve pancreatic beta-cell function and regulation of postprandial glycemia and insulin sensitivity. PUFA may act on the central nervous system protecting neuronal and cell-signaling function and maintenance. The fiber and mineral content of nuts may also confer health benefits. Nuts therefore show promise as useful adjuvants to prevent, delay or ameliorate a number of chronic conditions in older people. Their association with decreased mortality suggests a potential in reducing disease burden, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and cognitive impairments.
Peich, Muy-Cheng; Husain, Masud; Bays, Paul M
Working memory declines with normal aging, but the nature of this impairment is debated. Studies based on detecting changes to arrays of visual objects have identified two possible components to age-related decline: a reduction in the number of items that can be stored, or a deficit in maintaining the associations (bindings) between individual object features. However, some investigations have reported intact binding with aging, and specific deficits arising only in Alzheimer's disease. Here, using a recently developed continuous measure of recall fidelity, we tested the precision with which adults of different ages could reproduce from memory the orientation and color of a probed array item. The results reveal a further component of cognitive decline: an age-related decrease in the resolution with which visual information can be maintained in working memory. This increase in recall variability with age was strongest under conditions of greater memory load. Moreover, analysis of the distribution of errors revealed that older participants were more likely to incorrectly report one of the unprobed items in memory, consistent with an age-related increase in misbinding. These results indicate a systematic decline with age in working memory resources that can be recruited to store visual information. The paradigm presented here provides a sensitive index of both memory resolution and feature binding, with the potential for assessing their modulation by interventions. The findings have implications for understanding the mechanisms underpinning working memory deficits in both health and disease.
Ghasemi, Hassan; Pourakbari, Malihe Shahidi; Entezari, Morteza; Yarmohammadi, Mohammad Ebrahim
Purpose: To evaluate the association between age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and sensory neural hearing impairment (SHI). Methods: In this case-control study, hearing status of 46 consecutive patients with ARMD were compared with 46 age-matched cases without clinical ARMD as a control group. In all patients, retinal involvements were confirmed by clinical examination, fluorescein angiography (FA) and optical coherence tomography (OCT). All participants were examined with an otoscope and underwent audiological tests including pure tone audiometry (PTA), speech reception threshold (SRT), speech discrimination score (SDS), tympanometry, reflex tests and auditory brainstem response (ABR). Results: A significant (P = 0.009) association was present between ARMD, especially with exudative and choroidal neovascularization (CNV) components, and age-related hearing impairment primarily involving high frequencies. Patients had higher SRT and lower SDS against anticipated presbycusis than control subjects. Similar results were detected in exudative, CNV and scar patterns supporting an association between late ARMD with SRT and SDS abnormalities. ABR showed significantly prolonged wave I and IV latency times in ARMD (P = 0.034 and 0.022, respectively). Average latency periods for wave I in geographic atrophy (GA) and CNV, and that for wave IV in drusen patterns of ARMD were significantly higher than controls (P = 0.030, 0.007 and 0.050, respectively). Conclusion: The association between ARMD and age-related SHI may be attributed to common anatomical components such as melanin in these two sensory organs. PMID:27195086
Shi, Zhe; Sun, Xiuping; Liu, Xinmin; Chen, Shanguang; Chang, Qi; Chen, Lingling; Song, Guangqing; Li, Haiqing
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that leads to gradual loss of cognitive and functional abilities, and development of behavioral disturbances. Previous studies using Aβ(1-40) microinjection in animal models focused on cognitive deficits in spatial learning and avoidance conditioning. However, no attempt has been made to determine the sensitivity of an Aβ(1-40)-manipulated animal model in tasks involving reward-directed instrumental learning (RDIL). Thus, the present study was designed to investigate the effects of intra hippocampal microinjection of Aβ(1-40) on the acquisition and maintenance of a basic instrumental response (lever-pressing), then on the goal directed (higher response ratio) and habit (visual signal discrimination and extinction) learning, as well as on neurotransmitter changes which could potentially alter the regulatory processes involved in instrumental learning. Our present findings demonstrated that the focal hippocampal microinjection of Aβ(1-40) rendered rats unable to process new cue/contextual information in the formation of causal relation, rather than affecting the operant action itself. Although the injected Aβ(1-40) did not directly influence performance, it did prevent the information from being translated into action. Moreover, the neurotransmitter results indicated that multiple neural signaling might be involved in the regulation of RDIL in the Aβ(1-40) injection model. In conclusion, results suggested that our series of instrumental learning tasks may have potential in dementia research as a novel method for testing cognitive behavior.
Joly, Marine; Ammersdörfer, Sandra; Schmidtke, Daniel; Zimmermann, Elke
Mouse lemurs are suggested to represent promising novel non-human primate models for aging research. However, standardized and cross-taxa cognitive testing methods are still lacking. Touchscreen-based testing procedures have proven high stimulus control and reliability in humans and rodents. The aim of this study was to adapt these procedures to mouse lemurs, thereby exploring the effect of age. We measured appetitive learning and cognitive flexibility of two age groups by applying pairwise visual discrimination (PD) and reversal learning (PDR) tasks. On average, mouse lemurs needed 24 days of training before starting with the PD task. Individual performances in PD and PDR tasks correlate significantly, suggesting that individual learning performance is unrelated to the respective task. Compared to the young, aged mouse lemurs showed impairments in both PD and PDR tasks. They needed significantly more trials to reach the task criteria. A much higher inter-individual variation in old than in young adults was revealed. Furthermore, in the PDR task, we found a significantly higher perseverance in aged compared to young adults, indicating an age-related deficit in cognitive flexibility. This study presents the first touchscreen-based data on the cognitive skills and age-related dysfunction in mouse lemurs and provides a unique basis to study mechanisms of inter-individual variation. It furthermore opens exciting perspectives for comparative approaches in aging, personality, and evolutionary research.
Dadds, Mark R.; Hawes, David J.; Frost, Aaron D. J.; Vassallo, Shane; Bunn, Paul; Hunter, Kirsten; Merz, Sabine
Background: Psychopathy is characterised by profound deficits in the human tendency to feel and care about what other people feel, often known as "affective empathy". On the other hand, the psychopath often has intact "cognitive" empathy skills, that is, he is able to describe what and why other people feel, even if he does not share or care about…
Bijlsma, Elisabeth Y; Hendriksen, Hendrikus; Baas, Johanna M P; Millan, Mark J; Groenink, Lucianne
The inability to associate aversive events with relevant cues (i.e. fear learning) may lead to maladaptive anxiety. To further study the role of the serotonin transporter (SERT) in fear learning, classical fear conditioning was studied in SERT knockout rats (SERT(-/-)) using fear potentiation of the startle reflex. Next, fear acquisition and concomitant development of contextual conditioned fear were monitored during training. To differentiate between developmental and direct effects of reduced SERT functioning, effects of acute and chronic SSRI treatment were studied in adult rats. Considering the known interactions between serotonin and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), we studied the effect of the CRFR1 antagonist CP154,526 on behavioral changes observed and determined CRF1 receptor levels in SERT(-/-) rats. SERT(-/-) showed blunted fear potentiation and enhanced contextual fear, which resulted from a deficit in fear acquisition. Paroxetine treatment did not affect acquisition or expression of fear-potentiated startle, suggesting that disturbed fear learning in SERT(-/-) results from developmental changes and not from reduced SERT functioning. Although CRF1 receptor levels did not differ significantly between genotypes, CP154,526 treatment normalized both cue- and contextual fear in SERT(-/-) during acquisition, but not expression of fear-potentiated startle. The disrupted fear acquisition and concomitant increase in contextual conditioned fear-potentiated startle fear in SERT(-/-) resembles the associative learning deficit seen in patients with panic disorder and suggests that normal SERT functioning is crucial for the development of an adequate fear neuro-circuitry. Moreover, the normalization of fear acquisition by CP154,526 suggests a role for central CRF signaling in the generalization of fear.
Warrier, Catherine M; Johnson, Krista L; Hayes, Erin A; Nicol, Trent; Kraus, Nina
The physiological mechanisms that contribute to abnormal encoding of speech in children with learning problems are yet to be well understood. Furthermore, speech perception problems appear to be particularly exacerbated by background noise in this population. This study compared speech-evoked cortical responses recorded in a noisy background to those recorded in quiet in normal children (NL) and children with learning problems (LP). Timing differences between responses recorded in quiet and in background noise were assessed by cross-correlating the responses with each other. Overall response magnitude was measured with root-mean-square (RMS) amplitude. Cross-correlation scores indicated that 23% of LP children exhibited cortical neural timing abnormalities such that their neurophysiological representation of speech sounds became distorted in the presence of background noise. The latency of the N2 response in noise was isolated as being the root of this distortion. RMS amplitudes in these children did not differ from NL children, indicating that this result was not due to a difference in response magnitude. LP children who participated in a commercial auditory training program and exhibited improved cortical timing also showed improvements in phonological perception. Consequently, auditory pathway timing deficits can be objectively observed in LP children, and auditory training can diminish these deficits.
Gehlbach, Peter; Li, Tianjing; Hatef, Elham
Background Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive late onset disorder of the macula affecting central vision. Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over 65 years in industrialized countries. Recent epidemiologic, genetic, and pathological evidence has shown AMD shares a number of risk factors with atherosclerosis, leading to the hypothesis that statins may exert protective effects in AMD. Objectives The objective of this review was to examine the effectiveness of statins compared with other treatments, no treatment, or placebo in delaying the onset and progression of AMD. Search methods We searched CENTRAL (which contains the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group Trials Register) (2014, Issue 6), Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, Ovid MEDLINE Daily, Ovid OLDMEDLINE (January 1946 to June 2014), EMBASE (January 1980 to June 2014), Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature Database (LILACS) (January 1982 to June 2014), PubMed (January 1946 to June 2014), the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) (www.controlled-trials.com), ClinicalTrials.gov (www.clinicaltrials.gov), and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) (www.who.int/ictrp/search/en). We did not use any date or language restrictions in the electronic searches for trials. We last searched the electronic databases on 5 June 2014. Selection criteria We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared statins with other treatments, no treatment, or placebo in participants who were either susceptible to or diagnosed as having early stages of AMD. Data collection and analysis We used standard methodological procedures expected by The Cochrane Collaboration. Two authors independently evaluated the search results against the selection criteria, abstracted data, and assessed risk of bias. We did not perform meta-analysis due to heterogeneity in the interventions and outcomes among the
Onishi, Mika; Iinuma, Mitsuo; Tamura, Yasuo; Kubo, Kin-Ya
Prenatal stress in dams induces learning deficits and suppresses neurogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) of offspring via increasing corticosterone levels in the dam. Chewing under stressful conditions prevents stress-induced behavioral impairments and morphologic changes. Here, we examined whether chewing during prenatal stress prevents the stress-induced learning deficits and the suppression of cell proliferation in the hippocampal DG in adult offspring. Pregnant mice were exposed to restraint stress beginning on day 12 of pregnancy and continuing until delivery. Half of the dams were given a wooden stick to chew on during restraint. The pups were raised to adulthood, and learning ability and cell proliferation in the hippocampal DG were assessed. In dams, chewing during prenatal stress attenuated the stress-induced increase in plasma corticosterone levels. In the adult offspring, prenatal stress impaired learning and decreased cell proliferation in the DG, whereas maternal chewing during prenatal stress significantly attenuated the prenatal stress-induced learning deficits and decreased cell proliferation in the DG in their offspring. These findings suggest that maternal chewing during prenatal stress is an effective stress-coping method for the dam to prevent learning deficits and suppression of cell proliferation in offspring.
Adams, Michelle M.; Donohue, Howard S.; Linville, M. Constance; Iversen, Elizabeth A.; Newton, Isabel G.; Brunso-Bechtold, Judy K.
Caloric restriction (CR) is a reduction of total caloric intake without a decrease in micronutrients or a disproportionate reduction of any one dietary component. While CR attenuates age-related cognitive deficits in tasks of hippocampal-dependent memory, the cellular mechanisms by which CR improves this cognitive decline are poorly understood. Previously, we have reported age-related decreases in key synaptic proteins in the CA3 region of the hippocampus that are stabilized by lifelong CR. In the present study, we examined possible age-related changes in the functional microcircuitry of the synapses in the stratum lacunosum-moleculare (SL-M) of the CA3 region of the hippocampus, and whether lifelong CR might prevent these age-related alterations. We used serial electron microscopy to reconstruct and classify SL-M synapses and their postsynaptic spines. We analyzed synapse number and size as well as spine surface area and volume in young (10 mos.) and old (29 mos) ad libitum fed rats and in old rats that were calorically restricted from 4 months of age. We limited our analysis to SL-M because previous work demonstrated age-related decreases in synaptophysin confined to this specific layer and region of the hippocampus. The results revealed an age-related decrease in macular axo-spinous synapses that was not reversed by CR that occurred in the absence of changes in the size of synapses or spines. Thus, the benefits of CR for CA3 function and synaptic plasticity may involve other biological effects including the stabilization of synaptic proteins levels in the face of age-related synapse loss. PMID:20854882
Zetsche, Ulrike; Rief, Winfried; Westermann, Stefan; Exner, Cornelia
The present study examines the interplay between cognitive deficits and emotional context in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and social phobia (SP). Specifically, this study examines whether the inflexible use of efficient learning strategies in an emotional context underlies impairments in probabilistic classification learning (PCL) in OCD, and whether PCL impairments are specific to OCD. Twenty-three participants with OCD, 30 participants with SP and 30 healthy controls completed a neutral and an OCD-specific PCL task. OCD participants failed to adopt efficient learning strategies and showed fewer beneficial strategy switches than controls only in an OCD-specific context, but not in a neutral context. Additionally, OCD participants did not show any explicit memory impairments. Number of beneficial strategy switches in the OCD-specific task mediated the difference in PCL performance between OCD and control participants. Individuals with SP were impaired in both PCL tasks. In contrast to neuropsychological models postulating general cognitive impairments in OCD, the present findings suggest that it is the interaction between cognition and emotion that is impaired in OCD. Specifically, activated disorder-specific fears may impair the flexible adoption of efficient learning strategies and compromise otherwise unimpaired PCL. Impairments in PCL are not specific to OCD.
Ikeda, Hanako; Miyao, Masutomo
Developmental disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Asperger syndrome (AS) are often associated with learning disabilities. This study investigated the explicit learning of visuomotor sequences in 17 ADHD children (mean age 12.1), 21 AS children (mean age 12.7), and 15 typically developing children (mean age: 12.3). The participants were required to explore a hidden sequence of button presses by trial and error and elaborate the learned sequence (2 × 10 task: Hikosaka et al. 1996). The results indicated that although ADHD and AS children had a tendency of repeating the same errors and took longer to complete a sequence, both showed a degree and pattern of improvement in accuracy and speed similar to that of typically developing children. These results suggest that the explicit learning of visuomotor sequence in ADHD and AS patients is largely unimpaired. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00221-010-2217-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:20339839
Barbara 5Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus 6Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue...PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) University of California, Santa Barbara, Psychology Department,Santa Barbara,CA,93106 8. PERFORMING...are better able to focus on details of visual objects at the cost of the overall gestalt (often described as a deficit in central coherence) they
Liu, Peng; Zou, Libo; Jiao, Qing; Chi, Tianyan; Ji, Xuefei; Qi, Yue; Xu, Qian; Wang, Lihua
Xanthoceraside, a triterpenoid saponin extracted from the fruit husks of Xanthoceras sorbifolia Bunge, has been shown to reverse the cognitive deficits observed in several Alzheimer's disease (AD) animal models. Increasing evidence suggests the involvement of the insulin signaling pathway in neurodegenerative disorders such as AD. Thus, we used an AD animal model of cognitive impairment induced by the intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of streptozotocin (STZ) to test the effects of xanthoceraside on behavioral impairments and insulin signaling mechanisms. In our present study, memory impairment was assessed using the Morris water maze test. The expression of IR, IGF-1R and Raf-1/ERK/CREB was tested by western blotting. The STZ group showed memory deficits in the Morris water maze test and significant decreases in IR and IGF-1R protein levels in the hippocampus. Xanthoceraside treatment significantly rescued memory deficits, as well as IR and IGF-1R protein expression levels. STZ inhibited the Ras/ERK signaling cascade and decreased the phosphorylation of CREB; these effects were also attenuated by xanthoceraside treatment. These results suggest the potential use of xanthoceraside for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders in which brain insulin signaling may be involved.
Knapman, A; Heinzmann, J-M; Holsboer, F; Landgraf, R; Touma, C
Increased stress reactivity has repeatedly been reported in patients suffering from psychiatric diseases including schizophrenia and major depression. These disorders also have other symptoms in common, such as cognitive deficits and psychotic-like behavior. We have therefore investigated if increased stress reactivity is associated with these phenotypic endpoints in an animal model of affective disorders. The stress reactivity mouse model used in this study consists of three CD-1-derived mouse lines, that have been selectively bred for high (HR), intermediate (IR) or low (LR) stress reactivity. Male mice from these three breeding lines were subjected to a reversal learning task and latent inhibition (Li) was assessed using a conditioned taste aversion paradigm. Furthermore, as the dopaminergic system is involved in both Li and reversal learning, the dopamine 1 receptor (D1R), dopamine 2 receptor (D2R) and dopamine transporter (DAT) mRNA expression levels were assessed in relevant brain areas of these animals. The results demonstrate that HR mice show perseveration in the reversal learning task and have disrupted Li. Furthermore, compared to LR mice, HR mice have decreased D2R mRNA levels in the ventral tegmental area, as well as decreased D1R mRNA levels in the cingulate cortex, and an increased expression of D2R mRNA in the nucleus accumbens. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the HR mice display cognitive deficits associated with psychotic-like behavior, similar to those observed in patients suffering from schizophrenia and major depression and could be utilized in the search for better treatment strategies for these symptoms of psychiatric disorders.
Ariel, Robert; Moffat, Scott D
Spatial cognitive performance is impaired in later adulthood but it is unclear whether the metacognitive processes involved in monitoring spatial cognitive performance are also compromised. Inaccurate monitoring could affect whether people choose to engage in tasks that require spatial thinking and also the strategies they use in spatial domains such as navigation. The current experiment examined potential age differences in monitoring spatial cognitive performance in a variety of spatial domains including visual-spatial working memory, spatial orientation, spatial visualization, navigation, and place learning. Younger and older adults completed a 2D mental rotation test, 3D mental rotation test, paper folding test, spatial memory span test, two virtual navigation tasks, and a cognitive mapping test. Participants also made metacognitive judgments of performance (confidence judgments, judgments of learning, or navigation time estimates) on each trial for all spatial tasks. Preference for allocentric or egocentric navigation strategies was also measured. Overall, performance was poorer and confidence in performance was lower for older adults than younger adults. In most spatial domains, the absolute and relative accuracy of metacognitive judgments was equivalent for both age groups. However, age differences in monitoring accuracy (specifically relative accuracy) emerged in spatial tasks involving navigation. Confidence in navigating for a target location also mediated age differences in allocentric navigation strategy use. These findings suggest that with the possible exception of navigation monitoring, spatial cognition may be spared from age-related decline even though spatial cognition itself is impaired in older age.
Muthaiyah, Balu; Essa, Musthafa M; Lee, Moon; Chauhan, Ved; Kaur, Kulbir; Chauhan, Abha
Previous in vitro studies have shown that walnut extract can inhibit amyloid-β (Aβ) fibrillization, can solubilize its fibrils, and has a protective effect against Aβ-induced oxidative stress and cellular death. In this study, we analyzed the effect of dietary supplementation with walnuts on learning skills, memory, anxiety, locomotor activity, and motor coordination in the Tg2576 transgenic (tg) mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD-tg). From the age of 4 months, the experimental groups of AD-tg mice were fed custom-mixed diets containing 6% walnuts (T6) or 9% walnuts (T9), i.e., equivalent to 1 or 1.5 oz, respectively, of walnuts per day in humans. The control groups, i.e., AD-tg and wild-type mice, were fed a diet without walnuts (T0, Wt). These experimental and control mice were examined at the ages of 13-14 months by Morris water maze (for spatial memory and learning ability), T maze (for position discrimination learning ability), rotarod (for psychomotor coordination), and elevated plus maze (for anxiety-related behavior). AD-tg mice on the control diet (T0) showed memory deficit, anxiety-related behavior, and severe impairment in spatial learning ability, position discrimination learning ability, and motor coordination compared to the Wt mice on the same diet. The AD-tg mice receiving the diets with 6% or 9% walnuts (T6 and T9) showed a significant improvement in memory, learning ability, anxiety, and motor development compared to the AD-tg mice on the control diet (T0). There was no statistically significant difference in behavioral performance between the T6/T9 mice on walnuts-enriched diets and the Wt group on the control diet. These findings suggest that dietary supplementation with walnuts may have a beneficial effect in reducing the risk, delaying the onset, or slowing the progression of, or preventing AD.
Wiegand, Iris; Finke, Kathrin; Töllner, Thomas; Starman, Kornelija; Müller, Hermann J; Conci, Markus
Visual selection of illusory 'Kanizsa' figures, an assembly of local elements that induce the percept of a whole object, is facilitated relative to configurations composed of the same local elements that do not induce a global form--an instance of 'global precedence' in visual processing. Selective attention, i.e., the ability to focus on relevant and ignore irrelevant information, declines with increasing age; however, how this deficit affects selection of global vs. local configurations remains unknown. On this background, the present study examined for age-related differences in a global-local task requiring selection of either a 'global' Kanizsa- or a 'local' non-Kanizsa configuration (in the presence of the respectively other configuration) by analyzing event-related lateralizations (ERLs). Behaviorally, older participants showed a more pronounced global-precedence effect. Electrophysiologically, this effect was accompanied by an early (150-225 ms) 'positivity posterior contralateral' (PPC), which was elicited for older, but not younger, participants, when the target was a non-Kanizsa configuration and the Kanizsa figure a distractor (rather than vice versa). In addition, timing differences in the subsequent (250-500 ms) posterior contralateral negativity (PCN) indicated that attentional resources were allocated faster to Kanizsa, as compared to non-Kanizsa, targets in both age groups, while the allocation of spatial attention seemed to be generally delayed in older relative to younger age. Our results suggest that the enhanced global-local asymmetry in the older age group originated from less effective suppression of global distracter forms on early processing stages--indicative of older observers having difficulties with disengaging from a global default selection mode and switching to the required local state of attentional resolution.
Lewis, Katherine Elizabeth
Students with mathematical learning disabilities (MLDs) experience persistent challenges learning even the most elementary mathematics. While prior research on MLDs has classified students on the basis of test scores and documented performance differences between groups, this dissertation focuses on the qualitative differences in individual…
Knouse, Laura E.; Anastopoulos, Arthur D.; Dunlosky, John
ADHD in adulthood is associated with chronic academic impairments and problems with strategic memory encoding on standardized memory assessments, but little is known about self-regulated learning that might guide intervention. Objective: Examine the contribution of metamemory judgment accuracy and use of learning strategies to self-regulated…
Endres, Thomas; Lessmann, Volkmar
Beyond its trophic function, the neurotrophin BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) is well known to crucially mediate synaptic plasticity and memory formation. Whereas recent studies suggested that acute BDNF/TrkB signaling regulates amygdala-dependent fear learning, no impairments of cued fear learning were reported in heterozygous BDNF…
Guyer, Kenneth E.; Guyer, Barbara P.; Banks, Steven R.
This retrospective study examined scores for 111 adult participants on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised, the Wide Range Achievement Test-III and the Nelson-Denny Reading Test. All participants were referred to a university clinic for learning problems. The participants were diagnosed with a learning disability, an…
Mammarella, Irene Cristina; Lucangeli, Daniela; Cornoldi, Cesare
Visuospatial working memory and its involvement in arithmetic were examined in two groups of 7- to 11-year-olds: one comprising children described by teachers as displaying symptoms of nonverbal learning difficulties (N = 21), the other a control group without learning disabilities (N = 21). The two groups were matched for verbal abilities, age,…
Wicking, Manon; Bellebaum, Christian; Hermann, Dirk M.
Background Besides motor function, the basal ganglia have been implicated in feedback learning. In patients with chronic basal ganglia infarcts, deficits in reward-based reversal learning have previously been described. Methods We re-examined the acquisition and reversal of stimulus-stimulus-reward associations and acquired equivalence in eleven patients with acute basal ganglia stroke (8 men, 3 women; 57.8±13.3 years), whose performance was compared eleven healthy subjects of comparable age, sex distribution and education, who were recruited outside the hospital. Eleven hospitalized patients with a similar vascular risk profile as the stroke patients but without stroke history served as clinical control group. Results In a neuropsychological assessment 7±3 days post-stroke, verbal and spatial short-term and working memory and inhibition control did not differ between groups. Compared with healthy subjects, control patients with vascular risk factors exhibited significantly reduced performance in the reversal phase (F[2,30] = 3.47; p = 0.044; post-hoc comparison between risk factor controls and healthy controls: p = 0.030), but not the acquisition phase (F[2,30] = 1.01; p = 0.376) and the acquired equivalence (F[2,30] = 1.04; p = 0.367) tasks. In all tasks, the performance of vascular risk factor patients closely resembled that of basal ganglia stroke patients. Correlation studies revealed a significant association of the number of vascular risk factors with reversal learning (r = -0.33, p = 0.012), but not acquisition learning (r = -0.20, p = 0.121) or acquired equivalence (r = -0.22, p = 0.096). Conclusions The previously reported impairment of reward-based learning may be attributed to vascular risk factors and associated diseases, which are enriched in stroke patients. This study emphasizes the necessity of appropriate control subjects in cognition studies. PMID:27163585
Hagemann, Tracy L; Paylor, Richard; Messing, Albee
Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is the major intermediate filament of mature astrocytes in the mammalian CNS. Dominant gain of function mutations in GFAP lead to the fatal neurodegenerative disorder, Alexander disease (AxD), which is characterized by cytoplasmic protein aggregates known as Rosenthal fibers along with variable degrees of leukodystrophy and intellectual disability. The mechanisms by which mutant GFAP leads to these pleiotropic effects are unknown. In addition to astrocytes, GFAP is also expressed in other cell types, particularly neural stem cells that form the reservoir supporting adult neurogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus and subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles. Here, we show that mouse models of AxD exhibit significant pathology in GFAP-positive radial glia-like cells in the dentate gyrus, and suffer from deficits in adult neurogenesis. In addition, they display impairments in contextual learning and spatial memory. This is the first demonstration of cognitive phenotypes in a model of primary astrocyte disease.
Shukitt-Hale, Barbara; Casadesus, Gemma; Carey, Amanda N.; Rabin, Bernard M.; Joseph, James A.
Previous studies have shown that radiation exposure, particularly to particles of high energy and charge (HZE particles) such as 56Fe, produces deficits in spatial learning and memory. These adverse behavioral effects are similar to those seen in aged animals. It is possible that these shared effects may be produced by the same mechanism. For example, an increased release of reactive oxygen species, and the subsequent oxidative stress and inflammatory damage caused to the central nervous system, is likely responsible for the deficits seen in aging and following irradiation. Therefore, dietary antioxidants, such as those found in fruits and vegetables, could be used as countermeasures to prevent the behavioral changes seen in these conditions. Both aged and irradiated rats display cognitive impairment in tests of spatial learning and memory such as the Morris water maze and the radial arm maze. These rats have decrements in the ability to build spatial representations of the environment, and they utilize non-spatial strategies to solve tasks. Furthermore, they show a lack of spatial preference, due to a decline in the ability to process or retain place (position of a goal with reference to a “map” provided by the configuration of numerous cues in the environment) information. These declines in spatial memory occur in measures dependent on both reference and working memory, and in the flexibility to reset mental images. These results show that irradiation with 56Fe high-energy particles produces age-like decrements in cognitive behavior that may impair the ability of astronauts, particularly middle-aged ones, to perform critical tasks during long-term space travel beyond the magnetosphere.
Zhu, Cui-Hong; Wu, Ting; Jin, Yu; Huang, Bi-Xia; Zhou, Rui-Fen; Wang, Yi-Qin; Luo, Xiao-Lin; Zhu, Hui-Lian
Prenatal intake of choline has been reported to lead to enhanced cognitive function in offspring, but little is known about the effects on spatial learning deficits. The present study examined the effects of prenatal choline supplementation on developmental low-protein exposure and its potential mechanisms. Pregnant female rats were fed either a normal or low-protein diet containing sufficient choline (1.1g/kg choline chloride) or supplemented choline (5.0g/kg choline chloride) until delivery. The Barnes maze test was performed at postnatal days 31-37. Choline and its metabolites, the synaptic structural parameters of the CA1 region in the brain of the newborn rat, were measured. The Barnes maze test demonstrated that prenatal low-protein pups had significantly greater error scale values, hole deviation scores, strategy scores and spatial search strategy and had lesser random search strategy values than normal protein pups (all P<.05). These alterations were significantly reversed by choline supplementation. Choline supplementation increased the brain levels of choline, betaine, phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylcholine of newborns by 51.35% (P<.05), 33.33% (P<.001), 28.68% (P<.01) and 23.58% (P<.05), respectively, compared with the LPD group. Prenatal choline supplementation reversed the increased width of the synaptic cleft (P<.05) and decreased the curvature of the synaptic interface (P<.05) induced by a low-protein diet. Prenatal choline supplementation could attenuate the spatial learning deficits caused by prenatal protein malnutrition by increasing brain choline, betaine and phospholipids and by influencing the hippocampus structure.
Dekker, Alain D; De Deyn, Peter P; Rots, Marianne G
Down syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic intellectual disability, caused by the triplication of the human chromosome 21 (HSA21). Although this would theoretically lead to a 1.5 fold increase in gene transcription, transcript levels of many genes significantly deviate. Surprisingly, the underlying cause of this gene expression variation has been largely neglected so far. Epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation and post-translational histone modifications, regulate gene expression and as such might play a crucial role in the development of the cognitive deficits in DS. Various overexpressed HSA21 proteins affect epigenetic mechanisms and DS individuals are thus likely to present epigenetic aberrations. Importantly, epigenetic marks are reversible, offering a huge therapeutic potential to alleviate or cure certain genetic deficits. Current epigenetic therapies are already used for cancer and epilepsy, and might provide novel possibilities for cognition-enhancing treatment in DS as well. To that end, this review discusses the still limited knowledge on epigenetics in DS and describes the potential of epigenetic therapies to reverse dysregulated gene expression.
Kummer, Markus P.; Hammerschmidt, Thea; Martinez, Ana; Terwel, Dick; Eichele, Gregor; Witten, Anika; Figura, Stefanie; Stoll, Monika; Schwartz, Stephanie; Pape, Hans-Christian; Schultze, Joachim L.; Weinshenker, David
To assess the consequences of locus ceruleus (LC) degeneration and subsequent noradrenaline (NA) deficiency in early Alzheimer's disease (AD), mice overexpressing mutant amyloid precursor protein and presenilin-1 (APP/PS1) were crossed with Ear2(−/−) mice that have a severe loss of LC neurons projecting to the hippocampus and neocortex. Testing spatial memory and hippocampal long-term potentiation revealed an impairment in APP/PS1 Ear2(−/−) mice, whereas APP/PS1 or Ear2(−/−) mice showed only minor changes. These deficits were associated with distinct synaptic changes including reduced expression of the NMDA 2A subunit and increased levels of NMDA receptor 2B in APP/PS1 Ear2(−/−) mice. Acute pharmacological replacement of NA by l-threo-DOPS partially restored phosphorylation of β-CaMKII and spatial memory performance in APP/PS1 Ear2(−/−) mice. These changes were not accompanied by altered APP processing or amyloid β peptide (Aβ) deposition. Thus, early LC degeneration and subsequent NA reduction may contribute to cognitive deficits via CaMKII and NMDA receptor dysfunction independent of Aβ and suggests that NA supplementation could be beneficial in treating AD. PMID:24966384
Parkinson, Gemma M; Dayas, Christopher V; Smith, Doug W
Ageing affects most, if not all, functional systems in the body. For example, the somatic motor nervous system, responsible for initiating and regulating motor output to skeletal musculature, is vulnerable to ageing. The nigrostriatal dopamine pathway is one component of this system, with deficits in dopamine signalling contributing to major motor dysfunction, as exemplified in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, while the dopamine deficit in PD is due to degeneration of substantia nigra (SN) dopamine (DA) neurons, it is unclear whether there is sufficient loss of SN DA neurons with ageing to explain observed motor impairments. Instead, evidence suggests that age-related loss of DA neuron function may be more important than frank cell loss. To further elucidate the mechanisms of functional decline, we have investigated age-related changes in gene expression specifically in laser microdissected SN DA neurons. There were significant age-related changes in the expression of genes associated with neurotrophic factor signalling and the regulation of tyrosine hydroxylase activity. Furthermore, reduced expression of the DA neuron-associated transcription factor, Nurr1, may contribute to these changes. Together, these results suggest that altered neurotrophic signalling and tyrosine hydroxylase activity may contribute to altered DA neuron signalling and motor nervous system regulation in ageing.
Bornman, Juan; Donohue, Dana K.
This study examined teachers' attitudes toward learners with two types of barriers to learning: a learner with attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and a learner with little or no functional speech (LNFS). The results indicated that although teachers reported that the learner with ADHD would be more disruptive in class and have a…
Fichten, Catherine S.; Heiman, Tali; Jorgensen, Mary; Nguyen, Mai Nhu; Havel, Alice; King, Laura; Budd, Jillian; Amsel, Rhonda
We tested the ability of Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) model to predict intention to graduate among Canadian and Israeli students with and without a learning disability/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (LD/ADHD). Results based on 1486 postsecondary students show that the model's predictors (i.e., attitude, subjective norms,…
Klomek, A. Brunstein; Kopelman-Rubin, D.; Al-Yagon, M.; Berkowitz, Ruth; Apter, A.; Mikulincer, M.
This is the first study examining the association between victimization by bullying and attachment to both parents and teachers among students who report Learning Disorders (LD) and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). A total of 1,691 seventh- and eighth-grade students in six junior high schools completed questionnaires about…
Rodríguez, Celestino; Grünke, Matthias; González-Castro, Paloma; García, Trinidad; Álvarez-García, David
This comparative study investigated the productivity and the process of written composition in students with and without disabilities between 8 and 16 years of age. Participants were assigned to four groups as follows: (a) 59 with both attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) and writing learning disabilities (WLD), (b) 40 with ADHD, (c)…
Avtzon, Sarah Abitbol
Working memory, executive functions, and cognitive processes associated with specific academic areas, are empirically identified as being the core underlying cognitive deficits in students with specific learning disabilities. Using Hebb's theory of neuroplasticity and the principle of automaticity as theoretical bases, this experimental study…
Margalit, Malka; Raskind, Marshall H.; Higgins, Eleanor L.; Russo-Netzer, Pninit
The goal of this study was to explore maternal stressors, needs, supports, perceptions, and self-identity as expressed by mothers of children with learning disabilities and/or attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in electronic messages posted on an Internet discussion board. The sample consisted of 316 mothers of children with learning…
Efstratopoulou, Maria; Janssen, Rianne; Simons, Johan
The study was designed to investigate the discriminant validity of the Motor Behavior Checklist (MBC) for distinguishing four group of children independently classified with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, (ADHD; N = 22), Conduct Disorder (CD; N = 17), Learning Disabilities (LD; N = 24) and Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD; N = 20).…
McNamara, John; Vervaeke, Sherri-Leigh; Willoughby, Teena
Risk-taking behavior includes alcohol and drug use, delinquency, acts of aggression, sexual activity, and so on. Many studies have explored the relationship between adolescents and risk-taking behavior; however, only a few studies have examined this link in adolescents with learning disabilities (LD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder…
Li, Min; Wang, Ya-fang; Ma, Bo; Liu, Geng-tao; Zhang, Jian-jun
The aim of the present study is to investigate the effect and mechanism of Coeloglossum viride var. bracteatum extract (CE) on scopolamine-induced learning and memory deficits. Learning and memory deficits of mice were evaluated by step-down passive avoidance test. Long-term potentiation of rats was detected in the dentate gyrus of hippocampus. Brain acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activities were also determined. The results showed that scopolamine impaired learning and memory performance and LTP induction in hippocampus. Oral administration of CE (5, 10, and 20 mg x kg(-1)) significantly alleviated scopolamine-induced memory deficits measured by step-down test (P < 0.05). CE (5 mg x kg(-1), ip) significantly reversed the inhibitory effect of scopolamine on LTP in rats. In addition, CE was found to increase the activity of ChAT in rat brain. These results suggested that CE could alleviate scopolamine-induced learning and memory deficits, which might be due to the LTP-improvement and ChAT activity enhancement.
Sah, Analee; Borland, James H.
Nine gifted learning-disabled children with organizational skill deficits were put on a structured timetable of after-school activities. Parents were taught behaviorally based discipline techniques designed to reduce disruptive family behavior. Improvements were subsequently observed in the middle school students' home and school behavior, school…
Pastor, Patricia N.; Reuben, Cynthia A.
This report presents national estimates of the prevalence of diagnosed attention deficit disorder (ADD) and/or learning disability (LD) in children in the United States. Differences in the prevalence of these conditions are examined for children with selected sociodemographic characteristics. Estimates in the report are based on data from the 1997…
Graves, Laura; Asunda, Paul A.; Plant, Stacey J.; Goad, Chester
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether asynchronous online access of course recordings was beneficial to students with learning disabilities (LD) and/or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) enrolled in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews…
Overvelde, Anneloes; Hulstijn, Wouter
This study tested whether deficiencies in implicit motor sequence learning occurred exclusively in a subgroup of children with learning disabilities (LD). An experimental motor sequence task showed that LD children with low Perceptual Organization did not learn the sequence through implicit training, whereas they improved considerably after a few explicit test trials. In contrast, children with low Freedom From Distractibility (or sequencing) experienced the same benefit from implicit training as the control children. These results suggest that training motor skills (e.g., writing) should be adapted to suit the visuospatial abilities of a child with LD.
Fried, Peter J.; Schilberg, Lukas; Brem, Anna-Katharine; Saxena, Sadhvi; Wong, Bonnie; Cypess, Aaron M.; Horton, Edward S.; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro
Background Type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) accelerates cognitive aging and increases risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Rodent models of T2DM show altered synaptic plasticity associated with reduced learning and memory. Humans with T2DM also show cognitive deficits, including reduced learning and memory, but the relationship of these impairments to the efficacy of neuroplastic mechanisms has never been assessed. Objective Our primary objective was to compare mechanisms of cortical plasticity in humans with and without T2DM. Our secondary objective was to relate plasticity measures to standard measures of cognition. Methods A prospective cross-sectional cohort study was conducted on 21 adults with T2DM and 15 demographically-similar non-diabetic controls. Long-term potentiation-like plasticity was assessed in primary motor cortex by comparing the amplitude of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) from single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation before and after intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS). Plasticity measures were compared between groups and related to neuropsychological scores. Results In T2DM, iTBS-induced modulation of MEPs was significantly less than controls, even after controlling for potential confounds. Furthermore, in T2DM, modulation of MEPs 10-min post-iTBS was significantly correlated with Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Task (RAVLT) performance. Conclusion Humans with T2DM show abnormal cortico-motor plasticity that is correlated with reduced verbal learning. Since iTBS after-effects and the RAVLT are both NMDA receptor-dependent measures, their relationship in T2DM may reflect brain-wide alterations in the efficacy of NMDA receptors. These findings offer novel mechanistic insights into the brain consequences of T2DM and provide a reliable means to monitor brain health and evaluate the efficacy of clinical interventions. PMID:27636847
Tanehkar, Fatemeh; Rashidy-Pour, Ali; Vafaei, Abbas Ali; Sameni, Hamid Reza; Haghighi, Saeed; Miladi-Gorji, Hossien; Motamedi, Fereshteh; Akhavan, Maziar Mohammad; Bavarsad, Kowsar
Chronic exposure to the anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) nandrolone decanoate (ND) in supra-physiological doses is associated with learning and memory impairments. Given the well-known beneficial effects of voluntary exercise on cognitive functions, we examined whether voluntary exercise would improve the cognitive deficits induced by chronic administration of ND. We also investigated the effects of ND and voluntary exercise on hippocampal BDNF levels. The rats were randomly distributed into 4 experimental groups: the vehicle-sedentary group, the ND-sedentary group, the vehicle-exercise group, and the ND-exercise group. The vehicle-exercise and the ND-exercise groups were allowed to freely exercise in a running wheel for 15 days. The vehicle-sedentary and the ND-sedentary groups were kept sedentary for the same period. Vehicle or ND injections were started 14 days prior to the voluntary exercise and continued throughout the 15 days of voluntary exercise. After the 15-day period, the rats were trained and tested on a water maze spatial task using four trials per day for 5 consecutive days followed by a probe trial two days later. Exercise significantly improved performance during both the training and retention of the water maze task, and enhanced hippocampal BDNF. ND impaired spatial learning and memory, and this effect was not rescued by exercise. ND also potentiated the exercise-induced increase in hippocampal BDNF levels. These results seem to indicate that voluntary exercise is unable to improve the disruption of cognitive functions by chronic ND. Moreover, increased levels of BDNF may play a role in ND-induced impairments in learning and memory. The harmful effects of ND and other AAS on learning and memory should be taken into account when athletes decide to use AAS for performance or body image improvement.
Jalili, Cyrus; Salahshoor, Mohammad Reza; Moradi, Sima; Pourmotabbed, Ali; Motaghi, Moslem
Background: It has been reported that epilepsy is a disorder of the central nervous system that causes memory impairment. This study examines the role of the aqueous extract of Boswellia on the learning disability of the pentylenetetrazol (PTZ)-induced kindled rats. Methods: In this experimental study, 64 male rats were used. Kindling seizures were induced by three injections of 25 mg/kg of PTZ every 15 min. Control animals received normal saline instead. To evaluate the therapeutic effect of Boswellia extract on the PTZ-induced cognitive deficits, the aqueous extract (0, 0.1, 0.5 or 1 g/kg, i.p.) were administrated to all animals for three consecutive days. At 24 h later, passive avoidance learning of animals was examined using shuttle box apparatus, respectively. The time required for the animal stepping through the dark chamber was determined as step-through latency (STL). Data were subjected to the t-test and analysis of variance and followed by Tukey's test for multiple comparisons. Results: The STL of the kindled rats was significantly reduced compared with control ones (22/375 ± 4/19 for kindled and 295 ± 15/71 for control groups, respectively). Aqueous extract of Boswellia improved passive-avoidance learning ability in both control and PTZ-kindled animals (P < 0.05). Conclusions: The results can be stated that the Boswellia extract is offset by harmful effects of seizures on cognitive function and consumption of Boswellia extract increases the learning ability in epileptic animals. PMID:24932387
Tolfsen, Christina C; Baker, Nicholas; Kreibich, Claus; Amdam, Gro V
Honeybees (Apis mellifera) senesce within 2 weeks after they discontinue nest tasks in favour of foraging. Foraging involves metabolically demanding flight, which in houseflies (Musca domestica) and fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) is associated with markers of ageing such as increased mortality and accumulation of oxidative damage. The role of flight in honeybee ageing is incompletely understood. We assessed relationships between honeybee flight activity and ageing by simulating rain that confined foragers to their colonies most of the day. After 15 days on average, flight-restricted foragers were compared with bees with normal (free) flight: one group that foraged for ∼15 days and two additional control groups, for flight duration and chronological age, that foraged for ∼5 days. Free flight over 15 days on average resulted in impaired associative learning ability. In contrast, flight-restricted foragers did as well in learning as bees that foraged for 5 days on average. This negative effect of flight activity was not influenced by chronological age or gustatory responsiveness, a measure of the bees' motivation to learn. Contrasting their intact learning ability, flight-restricted bees accrued the most oxidative brain damage as indicated by malondialdehyde protein adduct levels in crude cytosolic fractions. Concentrations of mono- and poly-ubiquitinated brain proteins were equal between the groups, whereas differences in total protein amounts suggested changes in brain protein metabolism connected to forager age, but not flight. We propose that intense flight is causal to brain deficits in aged bees, and that oxidative protein damage is unlikely to be the underlying mechanism.
Nunes, Ashley; Kramer, Arthur F.
Previous research has found age-related deficits in a variety of cognitive processes. However, some studies have demonstrated age-related sparing on tasks where individuals have substantial experience, often attained over many decades. Here, the authors examined whether decades of experience in a fast-paced demanding profession, air traffic control (ATC), would enable older controllers to perform at high levels of proficiency. The authors also investigated whether older controllers would show diminished age-related decrements on domain-relevant cognitive abilities. Both young and old controllers and noncontrollers performed a battery of cognitive and ATC tasks. Results indicate that although high levels of experience can reduce the magnitude of age-related decline on the component processes that underlie complex task performance, this sparing is limited in scope. More important, however, the authors observed experience-based sparing on simulated ATC tasks, with the sparing being most evident on the more complex air traffic control tasks. These results suggest that given substantial experience, older adults may be quite capable of performing at high levels of proficiency on fast-paced demanding real-world tasks. The implications of these findings for global skilled labor shortages are discussed. PMID:19309213
Ingemanson, Morgan L; Rowe, Justin B; Chan, Vicky; Wolbrecht, Eric T; Cramer, Steven C; Reinkensmeyer, David J
Age-related changes in proprioception are known to affect postural stability, yet the extent to which such changes affect the finger joints is poorly understood despite the importance of finger proprioception in the control of skilled hand movement. We quantified age-related changes in finger proprioception in 37 healthy young, middle-aged, and older adults using two robot-based tasks wherein participants' index and middle fingers were moved by an exoskeletal robot. The first task assessed finger position sense by asking participants to indicate when their index and middle fingers were directly overlapped during a passive crisscross movement; the second task assessed finger movement detection by asking participants to indicate the onset of passive finger movement. When these tasks were completed without vision, finger position sense errors were 48 % larger in older adults compared to young participants (p < 0.05); proprioceptive reaction time was 78 % longer in older adults compared to young adults (p < 0.01). When visual feedback was provided in addition to proprioception, these age-related differences were no longer apparent. No difference between dominant and non-dominant hand performance was found for either proprioception task. These findings demonstrate that finger proprioception is impaired in older adults, and visual feedback can be used to compensate for this deficit. The findings also support the feasibility and utility of the FINGER robot as a sensitive tool for detecting age-related decline in proprioception.
Schulz, Daniela; Henn, Fritz A; Petri, David; Huston, Joseph P
Principles of negative reinforcement learning may play a critical role in the etiology and treatment of depression. We examined the integrity of positive reinforcement learning in congenitally helpless (cH) rats, an animal model of depression, using a random ratio schedule and a devaluation-extinction procedure. Furthermore, we tested whether an antidepressant dose of the monoamine oxidase (MAO)-B inhibitor deprenyl would reverse any deficits in positive reinforcement learning. We found that cH rats (n=9) were impaired in the acquisition of even simple operant contingencies, such as a fixed interval (FI) 20 schedule. cH rats exhibited no apparent deficits in appetite or reward sensitivity. They reacted to the devaluation of food in a manner consistent with a dose-response relationship. Reinforcer motivation as assessed by lever pressing across sessions with progressively decreasing reward probabilities was highest in congenitally non-helpless (cNH, n=10) rats as long as the reward probabilities remained relatively high. cNH compared to wild-type (n=10) rats were also more resistant to extinction across sessions. Compared to saline (n=5), deprenyl (n=5) reduced the duration of immobility of cH rats in the forced swimming test, indicative of antidepressant effects, but did not restore any deficits in the acquisition of a FI 20 schedule. We conclude that positive reinforcement learning was impaired in rats bred for helplessness, possibly due to motivational impairments but not deficits in reward sensitivity, and that deprenyl exerted antidepressant effects but did not reverse the deficits in positive reinforcement learning.
Thomson, Lisa M; Sutherland, Robert J
Sickness behaviors are a set of adaptive responses to infection that include lethargy, anorexia, and, of direct relevance to this work, learning and memory impairments. The proinflammatory cytokine, interleukin-1 beta (IL-1beta) has been proposed as the primary peripheral mediator of these sickness behaviors, though few studies have investigated the effects of peripheral IL-1beta on learning and memory. We used three different versions of the Morris water task (Morris water task), a spatial learning and memory task, to separately assess the effects of peripheral IL-1beta on acquisition, consolidation, and retention of spatial location information. Using a dose that induced anorexia, assessed as a significant reduction in body weight, we observed no performance impairments in the IL-1beta-treated rats across the different versions of the task, suggesting that peripheral IL-1beta alone is insufficient to induce spatial learning and memory impairments in the rat. The observed dissociation of anorexia and cognitive dysfunction suggests that, either spatial learning and memory are not principal components of the sickness response, or cognitive dysfunction requires different or additional peripheral mediator(s).
Narváez, Yamile Reveiz; Gómez-Restrepo, Carlos
Age-related macular degeneration is a cause for disability in the elderly since it greatly affects their quality of life and increases depression likelihood. This article discusses the negative effect depression has on patients with age-related macular degeneration and summarizes the interventions available for decreasing their depression index.
Deshmukh, Rahul; Kaundal, Madhu; Bansal, Vikas; Samardeep
Oxidative stress has been implicated in cognitive decline as seen during normal aging and in sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD). Caffeic acid, a polyphenolic compound, has been reported to possess potent antioxidant and neuroprotective properties. The role of caffeic acid in experimental dementia is not fully understood. Thus the present study was designed to investigate the therapeutic potential of caffeic acid in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced experimental dementia of Alzheimer's type in rats. Streptozotocin (STZ) was administered intracerebroventrically (ICV) on day 1 and 3 (3mg/kg, ICV bilaterally) in Wistar rats. Caffeic acid was administered (10, 20 and 40mg/kg/day p.o.) 1h following STZ infusion upto 21st day. Morris water maze and object recognition task were used to assess learning and memory in rats. Terminally, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity and the levels of oxido-nitrosative stress markers were determined in cortical and hippocampal brain regions of rats. STZ produced significant (p<0.001) learning and memory impairment, oxido-nitrosative stress and cholinergic deficit in rats. Whereas, caffeic acid treatment significantly (p<0.001) and dose dependently attenuated STZ induced behavioral and biochemical abnormalities in rats. The observed cognitive improvement following caffeic acid in STZ treated rats may be due to its antioxidant activity and restoration of cholinergic functions. Our results suggest the therapeutic potential of caffeic acid in cognitive disorders such as AD.
Liu, Dexiang; Wang, Zhen; Gao, Ze; Xie, Kai; Zhang, Qingrui; Jiang, Hong; Pang, Qi
Accumulating evidence suggests that cognitive processes, such as learning and memory, are affected in depression and antidepressant treatment may ameliorate cognitive impairments. Recent studies have shown that curcumin exhibits antidepressant-like effects. The aim of the present study was to determine whether curcumin administration influences chronic unpredictable stress (CUS)-induced cognitive deficits and explores underlying mechanisms. Male Wistar rats were subjected to CUS protocol for a period of 5 weeks to induce depression. The depressive-like behavior was tested using sucrose preference test, open field test and Morris water maze test. Effects of curcumin on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) levels in the hippocampus were also examined. Chronic treatment with curcumin significantly reversed the CUS-induced behavioral and cognitive parameters (reduced sucrose preference and impaired learning and memory function) in stressed rats. Additionally, CUS reduced hippocampal BDNF and ERK levels, while curcumin effectively reversed these alterations. Taken together, our results indicate that the antidepressant-like effects of curcumin in CUS rats are related to its aptitude to promote BDNF and ERK in the hippocampus.
Eckert, Mark A.
Processing speed, or the rate at which tasks can be performed, is a robust predictor of age-related cognitive decline and an indicator of independence among older adults. This review examines evidence for neurobiological predictors of age-related changes in processing speed, which is guided in part by our source based morphometry findings that unique patterns of frontal and cerebellar gray matter predict age-related variation in processing speed. These results, together with the extant literature on morphological predictors of age-related changes in processing speed, suggest that specific neural systems undergo declines and as a result slow processing speed. Future studies of processing speed – dependent neural systems will be important for identifying the etiologies for processing speed change and the development of interventions that mitigate gradual age-related declines in cognitive functioning and enhance healthy cognitive aging. PMID:21441995
Williams, Michael T.; Braun, Amanda A.; Amos-Kroohs, Robyn; McAllister, James P.; Lindquist, Diana M.; Mangano, Francesco T.; Vorhees, Charles V.; Yuan, Weihong
Ventriculomegaly occurs when there is imbalance between creation and absorption of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); even when treated, long-term behavioral changes occur. Kaolin injection in the cisterna magna of rats produces an obstruction of CSF outflow and models one type of hydrocephalus. Previous research with this model shows that neonatal onset has mixed effects on Morris water maze (MWM) and motoric performance; we hypothesized that this might be because the severity of ventricular enlargement was not taken into consideration. In the present experiment, rats were injected with kaolin or saline on postnatal day (P)21 and analyzed in subgroups based on Evan's ratios (ER) of the severity of ventricular enlargement at the end of testing to create 4 subgroups from least to most severe: ER0.4–0.5, ER0.51-0.6, ER0.61-0.7, and ER0.71-0.82, respectively. Locomotor activity (dry land and swimming), acoustic startle with prepulse inhibition (PPI), and MWM performance were tested starting on P28 (122 cm maze) and again on P42 (244 cm maze). Kaolin-treated animals weighed significantly less than controls at all times. Differences in locomotor activity were seen at P42 but not P28. On P28 there was an increase in PPI for all but the least severe kaolin-treated group, but no difference at P42 compared with controls. In the MWM at P28, all kaolin-treated groups had longer path lengths than controls, but comparable swim speeds. With the exception of the least severe group, probe trial performance was worse in the kaolin-treated animals. On P42, only the most severely affected kaolin-treated group showed deficits compared with control animals. This group showed no MWM learning and no memory for the platform position during probe trial testing. Swim speed was unaffected, indicating motor deficits were not responsible for impaired learning and memory. These findings indicate that kaolin-induced ventriculomegaly in rats interferes with cognition regardless of the final enlargement
Williams, Michael T; Braun, Amanda A; Amos-Kroohs, Robyn M; McAllister, James P; Lindquist, Diana M; Mangano, Francesco T; Vorhees, Charles V; Yuan, Weihong
Ventriculomegaly occurs when there is imbalance between creation and absorption of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); even when treated, long-term behavioral changes occur. Kaolin injection in the cisterna magna of rats produces an obstruction of CSF outflow and models one type of hydrocephalus. Previous research with this model shows that neonatal onset has mixed effects on Morris water maze (MWM) and motoric performance; we hypothesized that this might be because the severity of ventricular enlargement was not taken into consideration. In the present experiment, rats were injected with kaolin or saline on postnatal day (P)21 and analyzed in subgroups based on Evan's ratios (ERs) of the severity of ventricular enlargement at the end of testing to create 4 subgroups from least to most severe: ER0.4-0.5, ER0.51-0.6, ER0.61-0.7, and ER0.71-0.82, respectively. Locomotor activity (dry land and swimming), acoustic startle with prepulse inhibition (PPI), and MWM performance were tested starting on P28 (122cm maze) and again on P42 (244cm maze). Kaolin-treated animals weighed significantly less than controls at all times. Differences in locomotor activity were seen at P42 but not P28. On P28 there was an increase in PPI for all but the least severe kaolin-treated group, but no difference at P42 compared with controls. In the MWM at P28, all kaolin-treated groups had longer path lengths than controls, but comparable swim speeds. With the exception of the least severe group, probe trial performance was worse in the kaolin-treated animals. On P42, only the most severely affected kaolin-treated group showed deficits compared with control animals. This group showed no MWM learning and no memory for the platform position during probe trial testing. Swim speed was unaffected, indicating motor deficits were not responsible for impaired learning and memory. These findings indicate that kaolin-induced ventriculomegaly in rats interferes with cognition regardless of the final enlargement of
Mammarella, Irene Cristina; Lucangeli, Daniela; Cornoldi, Cesare
Visuospatial working memory and its involvement in arithmetic were examined in two groups of 7- to 11-year-olds: one comprising children described by teachers as displaying symptoms of nonverbal learning difficulties (N = 21), the other a control group without learning disabilities (N = 21). The two groups were matched for verbal abilities, age, gender, and sociocultural level. The children were presented with a visuospatial working memory battery of recognition tests involving visual, spatial-sequential and spatial-simultaneous processes, and two arithmetic tasks (number ordering and written calculations). The two groups were found to differ on some spatial tasks but not in the visual working memory tasks. On the arithmetic tasks, the children with nonverbal learning difficulties made more errors than controls in calculation and were slower in number ordering. A discriminant function analysis confirmed the crucial role of spatial-sequential working memory in distinguishing between the two groups. Results are discussed with reference to spatial working memory and arithmetic difficulties in nonverbal learning disabilities. Implications for the relationship between visuospatial working memory and arithmetic are also considered.
Sowerby, Paula; Seal, Simon; Tripp, Gail
Objective: To further define the nature of working memory (WM) impairments in children with combined-type ADHD. Method: A total of 40 Children with ADHD and an age and gender-matched control group (n = 40) completed two measures of visuo-spatial WM and two measures of verbal WM. The effects of age and learning/language difficulties on performance…
Gallo, Michael P.; Mahar, Patricia; Chalmers, Lynne
How does the K-12 special education system prepare children with ADHD for the rigors and independent learning of higher education? This article examines the K-12 experiences, including special education, of three college students diagnosed with ADHD during their early elementary years. In their own words, they provide insight into what benefited…
Mei, Yufei; Jiang, Chun; Wan, You; Lv, Jihui; Jia, Jianping; Wang, Xiaomin; Yang, Xu; Tong, Zhiqian
A norepinephrine (NE) deficiency has been observed in aged rats and in patients with Alzheimer's disease and is thought to cause cognitive disorder. Which endogenous factor induces NE depletion, however, is largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the effects of aging-associated formaldehyde (FA) on the inactivation of NE in vitro and in vivo, and on memory behaviors in rodents. The results showed that age-related DNA demethylation led to hippocampal FA accumulation, and when this occurred, the hippocampal NE content was reduced in healthy male rats of different ages. Furthermore, biochemical analysis revealed that FA rapidly inactivated NE in vitro and that an intrahippocampal injection of FA markedly reduced hippocampal NE levels in healthy adult rats. Unexpectedly, an injection of FA (at a pathological level) or 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA, a NE depletor) can mimic age-related NE deficiency, long-term potentiation (LTP) impairments, and spatial memory deficits in healthy adult rats. Conversely, an injection of NE reversed age-related deficits in both LTP and memory in aged rats. In agreement with the above results, the senescence-accelerated prone 8 (SAMP8) mice also exhibited a severe deficit in LTP and memory associated with a more severe NE deficiency and FA accumulation, when compared with the age-matched, senescence-resistant 1 (SAMR1) mice. Injection of resveratrol (a natural FA scavenger) or NE into SAMP8 mice reversed FA accumulation and NE deficiency and restored the magnitude of LTP and memory. Collectively, these findings suggest that accumulated FA is a critical endogenous factor for aging-associated NE depletion and cognitive decline.
Dawson, R; Pelleymounter, M A; Cullen, M J; Gollub, M; Liu, S
Taurine is present in high concentration in the mammalian brain and is known to decline with aging. The present studies examined the relationship between the loss of striatal neurotransmitters and spatial learning ability in aged male Long-Evans rats. The effects of intrahippocampal infusions of neurotrophic factors-nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor-were also examined for their ability to ameliorate the age-related decline in brain amino acid content. Taurine content was found to be significantly reduced in the striatum of aged rats (26 months old) that were impaired in spatial learning performance when compared to young unimpaired rats (5 months old). Aged rats that were behaviorally unimpaired had more modest reductions in taurine. Striatal dopamine content was also significantly reduced in aged learning-impaired rats. There was a significant (p < 0.001) correlation (r=0.61) between the striatal content of taurine and dopamine, but no such correlation was found for other striatal transmitters (glutamate, serotonin, norepinephrine). Treatment with neurotrophins had little effect on the age-related decline in striatal amino acids, although NGF treatment did improve spatial learning. These studies suggest (1) a link between age-related declines in striatal dopamine and taurine and (2) that NGF-induced improvement in spatial learning is not related to mechanisms involving changes in taurine or glutamate content.
Gandhi, Réno M.; Kogan, Cary S.; Messier, Claude
Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is caused by the lack of expression of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), which results in intellectual disability and other debilitating symptoms including impairment of visual-spatial functioning. FXS is the only single-gene disorder that is highly co-morbid with autism spectrum disorder and can therefore provide insight into its pathophysiology. Lack of FMRP results in altered group I metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) signaling, which is a target for putative treatments. The Hebb-Williams (H-W) mazes are a set of increasingly complex spatial navigation problems that depend on intact hippocampal and thus mGluR-5 functioning. In the present investigation, we examined whether an antagonist of mGluR-5 would reverse previously described behavioral deficits in fragile X mental retardation 1 knock-out (Fmr1 KO) mice. Mice were trained on a subset of the H-W mazes and then treated with either 20 mg/kg of an mGluR-5 antagonist, 2-Methyl-6-(phenylethynyl) pyridine (MPEP; n = 11) or an equivalent dose of saline (n = 11) prior to running test mazes. Latency and errors were dependent variables recorded during the test phase. Immediately after completing each test, marble-burying behavior was assessed, which confirmed that the drug treatment was pharmacologically active during maze learning. Although latency was not statistically different between the groups, MPEP treated Fmr1 KO mice made significantly fewer errors on mazes deemed more difficult suggesting a reversal of the behavioral deficit. MPEP treated mice were also less perseverative and impulsive when navigating mazes. Furthermore, MPEP treatment reversed post-synaptic density-95 (PSD-95) protein deficits in Fmr1 KO treated mice, whereas levels of a control protein (β-tubulin) remained unchanged. These data further validate MPEP as a potentially beneficial treatment for FXS. Our findings also suggest that adapted H-W mazes may be a useful tool to document alterations in
Mishra, Awanish; Goel, Rajesh Kumar
Our previous work demonstrated, chronic epilepsy affects learning and memory of rodents along with peculiar neurochemical changes in discrete brain parts. Most commonly used antiepileptic drugs (phenytoin and sodium valproate) also worsen learning and memory in the patients with epilepsy. Therefore this study was designed to carry out comparison of behavioral and neurochemical changes with phenytoin and sodium valproate treatment in pentylenetetrazole-kindling induced learning and memory deficit to devise add on therapy for this menace. For the experimental epilepsy, animals were kindled using PTZ (35 mg/kg; i.p., at 48 ± 2 h intervals) and successful kindled animals were involved in the study. These kindled animals were treated with saline, phenytoin (30 mg/kg/day, i.p.) and sodium valproate (300 mg/kg/day, i.p.) for 20 days. These animals were challenged with PTZ challenging dose (35 mg/kg) on day 5, 10, 15 and 20 to evaluate the effect on seizure severity score on different days. Effect on learning and memory was evaluated using elevated plus maze and passive shock avoidance paradigm. On day 20, after behavioral evaluations, animals were sacrificed to analyze glutamate, GABA, norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, total nitrite level and acetylcholinesterase level in cortex and hippocampus. Behavioral evaluations suggested that phenytoin and sodium valproate treatment significantly reduced seizure severity in the kindled animals, while sodium valproate treatment controls seizures with least memory deficit in comparison to phenytoin. Neurochemical findings revealed that elevated cortical acetylcholinesterase level could be one of the responsible factors leading to memory deficit in phenytoin treated animals. However sodium valproate treatment reduced cortical acetylcholinesterase level and had least debilitating consequences on memory deficit. Therefore, attenuation of elevated AChE activity can be one of add-on approach for management of memory deficit
Harrison, F E; Hosseini, A H; Dawes, S M; Weaver, S; May, J M
Vitamin C (ascorbate) has important antioxidant functions that can help protect against oxidative stress in the brain and damage associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. When administered parenterally ascorbate can bypass saturable uptake mechanisms in the gut and thus higher tissue concentrations can be achieved than by oral administration. In the present study we show that ascorbate (125 mg/kg) administered intraperitoneally (i.p.) 1-h before testing, partially attenuated scopolamine-induced (1 mg/kg i.p.) cognitive deficits in Morris water maze performance in young mice. Cumulative search error, but not escape latency nor path length, was significantly improved during acquisition in ascorbate plus scopolamine-treated mice although performance did not equal that of control mice. During the probe trial, scopolamine led to increased search error and chance level of time spent in the platform quadrant, whereas mice pre-treated with ascorbate prior to scopolamine did not differ from control mice on these measures. Ascorbate had no effect on unimpaired, control mice and neither did it reduce the peripheral, activity-increasing effects of scopolamine. Ascorbate alone increased acetylcholinesterase activity in the medial forebrain area but had no effect in cortex or striatum. This change, and its action against the amnestic effects of the muscarinic antagonist scopolamine, suggest that ascorbate may be acting in part via altered cholinergic signaling. However, further investigation is necessary to isolate the cognition-enhancing effects of ascorbate.
Ozkul, Ayca; Sair, Ahmet; Akyol, Ali; Yenisey, Cigdem; Dost, Turhan; Tataroglu, Canten
Lithium (Li) and lamotrigine (LTG) have neuroprotective properties. However, the exact therapeutic mechanisms of these drugs have not been well understood. We investigated the antioxidant properties of Li (40 and 80 mg/kg/day) and LTG (20 and 40 mg/kg/day) in a rat model of global cerebral ischemia based on permanent bilateral occlusion of the common carotid arteries (BCAO). Nitric oxide (NO), malondialdehyde (MDA), glutathione (GSH), glutathione reductase (GSH-R), catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels were measured as an indicator of oxidative-nitrosative stress in both prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus after 28 days of treatment. The spatial learning disability was also assessed at the end of the study by Morris water maze (MWM) test. All oxidative-nitrosative parameters were found to be higher in the groups under treatment than in sham. Both drugs caused a decrease in PFC NO and MDA elevation, meanwhile the increase in GSH, GSH-R, CAT and SOD levels was significantly more evident in treated groups. We also found higher PFC GSH-R and hippocampal SOD levels in BCAO + Li (80 mg/day) treated group when compared with BCAO + LTG 40 mg/day. MWM test data showed a similar increase in spatial learning ability in all groups under treatment. We found no other statistical difference in comparison of treated groups with different dosages. Our findings suggested that Li and LTG treatments may decrease spatial learning memory deficits accompanied by lower oxidative-nitrosative stress in global cerebral ischemia. Both drugs may have potential benefits for the treatment of vascular dementia in clinical practice.
Lugo, Joaquin N.; Brewster, Amy L.; Spencer, Corinne M.; Anderson, Anne E.
Kv4.2 channels contribute to the transient, outward K[superscript +] current (A-type current) in hippocampal dendrites, and modulation of this current substantially alters dendritic excitability. Using Kv4.2 knockout (KO) mice, we examined the role of Kv4.2 in hippocampal-dependent learning and memory. We found that Kv4.2 KO mice showed a deficit…
understood mechanisms by which mutant neurofibromin fails to regulate Ras and hence cell divisions, why and how mutant neurofibromin leads to very...decrease learning in Nf1 mutant zebrafish. 4. IMPACT: What was the impact on other disciplines? Nothing to Report. What was the impact on...Since nf1 mutant larvae also show increased Ras activity (Shin et al., 2012), we asked whether acute pharmacological inhibition of the Ras effectors MAPK
Mark, Melanie D; Krause, Martin; Boele, Henk-Jan; Kruse, Wolfgang; Pollok, Stefan; Kuner, Thomas; Dalkara, Deniz; Koekkoek, Sebastiaan; De Zeeuw, Chris I; Herlitze, Stefan
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6) is linked to poly-glutamine (polyQ) within the C terminus (CT) of the pore-forming subunits of P/Q-type Ca(2+) channels (Cav2.1) and is characterized by CT protein aggregates found in cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs). One hypothesis regarding SCA6 disease is that a CT fragment of the Cav2.1 channel, which is detected specifically in cytosolic and nuclear fractions in SCA6 patients, is associated with the SCA6 pathogenesis. To test this hypothesis, we expressed P/Q-type channel protein fragments from two different human CT splice variants, as predicted from SCA6 patients, in PCs of mice using viral and transgenic approaches. These splice variants represent a short (CT-short without polyQs) and a long (CT-long with 27 polyQs) CT fragment. Our results show that the different splice variants of the CTs differentially distribute within PCs, i.e., the short CTs reveal predominantly nuclear inclusions, whereas the long CTs prominently reveal both nuclear and cytoplasmic aggregates. Postnatal expression of CTs in PCs in mice reveals that only CT-long causes SCA6-like symptoms, i.e., deficits in eyeblink conditioning (EBC), ataxia, and PC degeneration. The physiological phenotypes associated specifically with the long CT fragment can be explained by an impairment of LTD and LTP at the parallel fiber-to-PC synapse and alteration in spontaneous PC activity. Thus, our results suggest that the polyQ carrying the CT fragment of the P/Q-type channel is sufficient to cause SCA6 pathogenesis in mice and identifies EBC as a new diagnostic strategy to evaluate Ca(2+) channel-mediated human diseases.
Bhagya, V; Srikumar, B N; Raju, T R; Shankaranarayana Rao, B S
Depression is a major psychiatric illness that is associated with cognitive dysfunctions. The underlying mechanism of depression-associated memory impairment is unclear. Previously, we showed altered hippocampal synaptic plasticity in an animal model of depression. Although several antidepressants are beneficial in the treatment of depression, very little is known about the effects of these drugs on depression-associated learning and memory deficits. Prolonged antidepressant treatment might contribute to neuroplastic changes required for clinical outcomes. Accordingly, we evaluated the effect of chronic reboxetine (a selective noradrenergic reuptake inhibitor) treatment on depression-induced reduced hippocampal synaptic plasticity, neurotransmitter levels, and spatial learning and memory impairments. Depression was induced in male Wistar rats by the administration of clomipramine from postnatal days 8 to 21, and these rats were treated with reboxetine in adulthood. The neonatal clomipramine administration resulted in impaired hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), decreased hippocampal cholinergic activity and monoamine levels, and poor performance in a partially baited eight-arm radial maze task. Chronic reboxetine treatment restored the hippocampal LTP, acetylcholinesterase activity, and levels of biogenic amines and ameliorated spatial learning and memory deficits in the depressed state. Thus, restoration of hippocampal synaptic plasticity might be a cellular mechanism underlying the beneficial effect of reboxetine in depression-associated cognitive deficits. This study furthers the existing understanding of the effects of antidepressants on learning, memory, and synaptic plasticity and could ultimately assist in the development of better therapeutic strategies to treat depression and associated cognitive impairments.
Turchi, Janita; Buffalari, Deanne; Mishkin, Mortimer
Monkeys trained in either one-trial recognition at 8- to 10-min delays or multi-trial discrimination habits with 24-h intertrial intervals received systemic cholinergic and dopaminergic antagonists, scopolamine and haloperidol, respectively, in separate sessions. Recognition memory was impaired markedly by scopolamine but not at all by haloperidol, whereas habit formation was impaired markedly by haloperidol but only minimally by scopolamine. These differential drug effects point to differences in synaptic modification induced by the two neuromodulators that parallel the contrasting properties of the two types of learning, namely, fast acquisition but weak retention of memories versus slow acquisition but durable retention of habits.
Al-Qahtani, Jobran M; Abdel-Wahab, Basel A; Abd El-Aziz, Samy M
Exposure to intermittent hypoxia (IH) is associated with cognitive impairments and oxidative stress in brain regions involved in learning and memory. In earlier studies, erythropoietin (EPO) showed a neuroprotective effect in large doses. The aim of the present study was to explore the effect of smaller doses of EPO, such as those used in the treatment of anemia, on IH-induced cognitive deficits and hippocampal oxidative stress in young rats. The effect of concurrent EPO treatment (500 and 1,000 IU/kg/day ip) on spatial learning and memory deficits induced by long-term exposure to IH for 6 weeks was tested using the Morris water maze (MWM) test and the elevated plus maze (EPM) test. Moreover, the effect on hippocampal glutamate and oxidative stress were assessed. Exposure to IH induced a significant impairment of spatial learning and cognition of animals in both MWM and EPM performance parameters. Moreover, hippocampal glutamate and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) increased while antioxidant defenses (GSH and GSH-Px) decreased. EPO in the tested doses significantly reduced the IH-induced spatial learning deficits in both MWM and EPM tests and dose-dependently antagonized the effects of IH on hippocampal glutamate, TBARS, GSH levels, and GSH-Px activity. Treatment with EPO in moderate doses that used for anemia, concurrently with IH exposure can antagonize IH-induced spatial learning deficits and protect hippocampal neurons from IH-induced lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress-induced damage in young rats, possibly through multiple mechanisms involving a potential antioxidative effect.
Zhang, Lu; Fang, Yu; Lian, Yajun; Chen, Yuan; Wu, Tianwen; Zheng, Yake; Zong, Huili; Sun, Limin; Zhang, Ruifang; Wang, Zhenhua; Xu, Yuming
An emerging body of data suggests that the early onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with decreased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Because BDNF plays a critical role in the regulation of high-frequency synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation in the hippocampus, the up-regulation of BDNF may rescue cognitive impairments and learning deficits in AD. In the present study, we investigated the effects of hippocampal BDNF in a rat model of AD produced by a ventricle injection of amyloid-β1-42 (Aβ1-42). We found that a ventricle injection of Aβ1-42 caused learning deficits in rats subjected to the Morris water maze and decreased BDNF expression in the hippocampus. Chronic intra-hippocampal BDNF administration rescued learning deficits in the water maze, whereas infusions of NGF and NT-3 did not influence the behavioral performance of rats injected with Aβ1-42. Furthermore, the BDNF-related improvement in learning was ERK-dependent because the inhibition of ERK, but not JNK or p38, blocked the effects of BDNF on cognitive improvement in rats injected with Aβ1-42. Together, our data suggest that the up-regulation of BDNF in the hippocampus via activation of the ERK signaling pathway can ameliorate Aβ1-42-induced learning deficits, thus identifying a novel pathway through which BDNF protects against AD-related cognitive impairments. The results of this research may shed light on a feasible therapeutic approach to control the progression of AD.
Chmielewski, Witold X.; Yildiz, Ali; Beste, Christian
In daily life elderly adults exhibit deficits when dual-tasking is involved. So far these deficits have been verified on a behavioral level in dual-tasking. Yet, the neuronal architecture of these deficits in aging still remains to be explored especially when late-middle aged individuals around 60 years of age are concerned. Neuroimaging studies in young participants concerning dual-tasking were, among others, related to activity in middle frontal (MFG) and superior frontal gyrus (SFG) and the anterior insula (AI). According to the frontal lobe hypothesis of aging, alterations in these frontal regions (i.e., SFG and MFG) might be responsible for cognitive deficits. We measured brain activity using fMRI, while examining age-dependent variations in dual-tasking by utilizing the PRP (psychological refractory period) test. Behavioral data showed an increasing PRP effect in late-middle aged adults. The results suggest the age-related deteriorated performance in dual-tasking, especially in conditions of risen complexity. These effects are related to changes in networks involving the AI, the SFG and the MFG. The results suggest that different cognitive subprocesses are affected that mediate the observed dual-tasking problems in late-middle aged individuals. PMID:25132818
Warner, Timothy A; Stafford, Nathaniel P; Rompala, Gregory R; Van Hoogenstyn, Andrew J; Elgert, Emily; Drugan, Robert C
Various animal models of depression have been used to seek a greater understanding of stress-related disorders. However, there is still a great need for research in this area, as many unanswered questions remain. Therefore, we sought to employ a novel animal model of depression known as intermittent swim stress (ISS). In this model, the animal experiences 100 trials of cold water swim stress. ISS has already shown subsequent immobility in the forced swim test (FST), deficits in instrumental and spatial (spaced-trial procedure), and responsiveness to norepinephrine. We are now examining how this will translate in the Morris water maze for rats in a massed-learning trial procedure, and further assessing ISS sensitivity toward norepinephrine selective anti-depressant drugs. The results indicated no difference in cued learning when the platform was visible in the water maze, but a hidden platform task revealed poorer spatial learning for ISS-exposed rats versus controls. In terms of spatial memory, there was a notable ISS-induced deficit 1h after the learning trials, regardless of performance on the previous platform task. Interestingly, the administration of reboxetine interfered with the spatial learning and memory trials for both ISS and CC groups. As a result, ISS exposure compromised spatial learning and memory in the Morris water maze, and norepinephrine does not appear to be a mediator of this deficit. The results demonstrate a key difference in the effects of reboxetine in a massed- vs. spaced-learning trial procedure in the Morris water maze following ISS exposure.
Maimaiti, Shaniya; Anderson, Katie L.; DeMoll, Chris; Brewer, Lawrence D.; Rauh, Benjamin A.; Gant, John C.; Blalock, Eric M.; Porter, Nada M.
Peripheral insulin resistance is a key component of metabolic syndrome associated with obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. While the impact of insulin resistance is well recognized in the periphery, it is also becoming apparent in the brain. Recent studies suggest that insulin resistance may be a factor in brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) whereby intranasal insulin therapy, which delivers insulin to the brain, improves cognition and memory in AD patients. Here, we tested a clinically relevant delivery method to determine the impact of two forms of insulin, short-acting insulin lispro (Humalog) or long-acting insulin detemir (Levemir), on cognitive functions in aged F344 rats. We also explored insulin effects on the Ca2+-dependent hippocampal afterhyperpolarization (AHP), a well-characterized neurophysiological marker of aging which is increased in the aged, memory impaired animal. Low-dose intranasal insulin improved memory recall in aged animals such that their performance was similar to that seen in younger animals. Further, because ex vivo insulin also reduced the AHP, our results suggest that the AHP may be a novel cellular target of insulin in the brain, and improved cognitive performance following intranasal insulin therapy may be the result of insulin actions on the AHP. PMID:25659889
Mitchell, Ellen S; Neumaier, John F
5-HT6 receptors have been implicated in consolidation of visuospatial and reward-based learning tasks. Since 5-HT6 receptors may be important in modulation of sensory gating which is often affected in schizophrenic patients, we tested whether Ro 4368554, a 5-HT6 selective antagonist at a dose of 10 mg/kg, could reverse the loss of prepulse inhibition from apomorphine or scopolamine. In addition, we also tested whether Ro 4368554 altered fear conditioning using fear potentiated startle, a model for emotional learning. Prepulse inhibition of startle was disrupted by apomorphine (0.5 mg/kg) when prepulse emissions were 5 dB above background but not above 15 dB, while scopolamine (0.5 mg/kg) caused disruption at both prepulse levels. Scopolamine-mediated disruption was not reversed by Ro 4368854 but apomorphine-mediated disruption was significantly ameliorated by 5-HT6 inhibition. For fear potentiated startle, scopolamine and/or Ro 4368554 were administered before two daily fear conditioning sessions; rats were tested on the following day. Rats that received scopolamine displayed no fear potentiated startle but Ro 4368554 reversed this scopolamine deficit. Additionally, we mapped Fos induction in rats treated with scopolamine and/or Ro 4368554; scopolamine increased Fos expression in the central nucleus of the amygdala and this was attenuated by Ro 4368554. In summary, we have demonstrated the efficacy of 5-HT6 antagonists in modulating sensory gating and fear conditioning, and thus may be of therapeutic use for schizophrenia-related disorders.
Lee, Younghwan; Gao, Qingtao; Kim, Eunji; Lee, Younghwa; Park, Se Jin; Lee, Hyung Eun; Jang, Dae Sik; Ryu, Jong Hoon
5-Hydroxymethyl-2-furaldehyde (5-HMF) is a compound derived from the dehydration of certain sugars. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of 5-HMF on the cognitive impairment induced by scopolamine, a muscarinic receptor antagonist. To measure various cognitive functions, we conducted the step-through passive avoidance task, the Y-maze task and the Morris water maze task. A single administration of 5-HMF (5 or 10mg/kg, p.o.) significantly attenuates scopolamine-induced cognitive impairment in these behavioral tasks without changes in locomotor activity, and the effect of 5-HMF on scopolamine-induced cognitive impairment was significantly reversed by a sub-effective dose of MK-801, an NMDA receptor antagonist. In addition, a single administration of 5-HMF (10mg/kg, p.o.) enhanced the cognitive performance of normal naïve mice in the passive avoidance task. Furthermore, Western blot analysis revealed that the levels of phosphorylated Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II-α (CaMKII) and extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) were significantly enhanced by the single administration of 5-HMF in the hippocampal tissues. Taken together, the present study suggests that 5-HMF may block scopolamine-induced learning deficit and enhance cognitive function via the activation of NMDA receptor signaling, including CaMKII and ERK, and would be an effective candidate against cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease.
Zou, Ye; Feng, Weiwei; Wang, Wei; Chen, Yao; Zhou, Zhaoxiang; Li, Qian; Zhao, Ting; Mao, Guanghua; Wu, Xiangyang; Yang, Liuqing
In this study, lead acetate solution and porcine cerebral hydrolysate peptides (PCHPs) were administered to developing mice. Porcine cerebral protein pretreated by ultrasound was hydrolyzed with alcalase, and 11 peptide fragments were obtained by Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) analysis of PCHPs. Our data showed that PCHPs significantly decreased Pb2+-induced spontaneous locomotor activity, latencies to reach the platform, and the time in target quadrant. It also decreased the accumulation of lead in the blood and brain of Pb2+-exposed developing mice. Co-administration of PCHPs and dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) did not only reduce the accumulation of lead in blood but also increased the absorption of zinc and iron in Pb2+-exposed mice. Administration of PCHPs individually significantly enhanced hematopoietic parameters compared with the Pb2+-exposed group. PCHPs significantly reduced the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and malondialdehyde (MDA) but increased glutathione (GSH) content and anti-oxidant enzymes and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activities in Pb2+-exposed brain. Our findings suggest that PCHPs have the ability to protect against Pb2+-exposed learning and memory deficits and oxidative damage.
Kass, Corrine E.; Maddux, Cleborne D.
This book presents a human development model for understanding and treating age related deficits that seem to be characteristic of individuals with learning disabilities. It is the culmination of years of clinical experience, qualitative research, and scholarship in the search for a framework that would be useful for the treatment of learning…
Gastambide, Francois; Cotel, Marie-Caroline; Gilmour, Gary; O'Neill, Michael J; Robbins, Trevor W; Tricklebank, Mark D
Based on the glutamatergic hypothesis of schizophrenia we assessed the effects of a novel mGlu5 positive allosteric modulator, LSN2463359 [N-(1-methylethyl)-5-(pyridin-4-ylethynyl)pyridine-2-carboxamide] on deficits in cognitive flexibility in two distinct rodent models of schizophrenia, the neurodevelopmental MAM E17 model and the acute PCP model. Cognitive flexibility was measured with the intra-dimensional and extra-dimensional set-shifting and reversal learning digging paradigm. Regional effects of MAM on the expression of parvalbumin-positive cells (PV) and mGlu5 receptors were also examined, to further characterize the model. Results showed that LSN2463359 selectively attenuated reversal learning deficits in the MAM but not acute PCP model. Whilst both models led to deficits in reversal learning and extra-dimensional set-shifting, the reversal impairments were qualitatively distinct, with MAM increasing perseverative responding, whereas the PCP deficit was mainly due to the inability of rats to maintain reinforced choice behavior. Reduction of PV and mGlu5 expression was found in the MAM model in several regions of importance in schizophrenia, such as the orbitofrontal and medial prefrontal cortex, which also mediate reversal learning and extra-dimensional set-shifting. The present findings confirm that the positive modulation of mGlu5 receptors may have beneficial effects in the treatment of certain aspects of cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia. This study also illustrates the importance of studying putative cognitive enhancing drug effects in a number of models which may have implications for the future development of the compound. PMID:22129780
Gastambide, Francois; Cotel, Marie-Caroline; Gilmour, Gary; O'Neill, Michael J; Robbins, Trevor W; Tricklebank, Mark D
Based on the glutamatergic hypothesis of schizophrenia we assessed the effects of a novel mGlu5 positive allosteric modulator, LSN2463359 [N-(1-methylethyl)-5-(pyridin-4-ylethynyl)pyridine-2-carboxamide] on deficits in cognitive flexibility in two distinct rodent models of schizophrenia, the neurodevelopmental MAM E17 model and the acute PCP model. Cognitive flexibility was measured with the intra-dimensional and extra-dimensional set-shifting and reversal learning digging paradigm. Regional effects of MAM on the expression of parvalbumin-positive cells (PV) and mGlu5 receptors were also examined, to further characterize the model. Results showed that LSN2463359 selectively attenuated reversal learning deficits in the MAM but not acute PCP model. Whilst both models led to deficits in reversal learning and extra-dimensional set-shifting, the reversal impairments were qualitatively distinct, with MAM increasing perseverative responding, whereas the PCP deficit was mainly due to the inability of rats to maintain reinforced choice behavior. Reduction of PV and mGlu5 expression was found in the MAM model in several regions of importance in schizophrenia, such as the orbitofrontal and medial prefrontal cortex, which also mediate reversal learning and extra-dimensional set-shifting. The present findings confirm that the positive modulation of mGlu5 receptors may have beneficial effects in the treatment of certain aspects of cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia. This study also illustrates the importance of studying putative cognitive enhancing drug effects in a number of models which may have implications for the future development of the compound.
André, Susan M; Markowski, Vincent P
Vinclozolin (Vz) is one member of a group of fungicides whose metabolites are androgen receptor antagonists. These fungicides have been shown to block androgen-driven development and compromise reproductive function. The current study sought to determine if Vz also affects learning following exposure to low doses during the perinatal period. To test this, an androgen-dependent behavior was examined, the extinction of a previously reinforced running response. Pregnant Long-Evans rats were administered a daily oral dose of 0, 1.5, 3, 6 or 12 mg/kg Vz from the 14th day of gestation through postnatal day 3. After reaching adulthood, male and female offspring were trained to run through a short alleyway for food reinforcement. Acquisition of the response was not affected by Vz exposure. However, males required more trials than females for response extinction once food was no longer available in the apparatus. Males exposed to 6 or 12 mg/kg Vz failed to show any extinction by the end of the procedure, while the lowest dose of Vz appeared to facilitate extinction in both male and female offspring. These results demonstrate that endocrine disrupting antiandrogens can alter nervous system development in addition to the reproductive system.
Wu, Ting; Deng, Shining; Li, Wei-Guang; Yu, Yongguo; Li, Fei; Mao, Meng
Maternal obesity caused by overnutrition during pregnancy increases susceptibility to metabolic risks in adulthood, such as obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes; however, whether and how it affects the cognitive system associated with the brain remains elusive. Here, we report that pregnant obesity induced by exposure to excessive high fatty or highly palatable food specifically impaired reversal learning, a kind of adaptive behavior, while leaving serum metabolic metrics intact in the offspring of rats, suggesting a much earlier functional and structural defects possibly occurred in the central nervous system than in the metabolic system in the offspring born in unfavorable intrauterine nutritional environment. Mechanically, we found that above mentioned cognitive inflexibility might be associated with significant striatal disturbance including impaired dopamine homeostasis and disrupted leptin signaling in the adult offspring. These collective data add a novel perspective of understanding the adverse postnatal sequelae in central nervous system induced by developmental programming and the related molecular mechanism through which priming of risk for developmental disorders may occur during early life. PMID:24223863
Pimentel-Coelho, Pedro M; Michaud, Jean-Philippe; Rivest, Serge
Chemokines are a family of cytokines involved in the chemotaxis of leukocytes and other target cells by binding to specific G-protein-coupled receptors on their membranes. As such, the activation of C-C chemokine receptor type 2 (CCR2) is involved in the mobilization of "inflammatory" monocytes from bone marrow and in their recruitment to the brain under inflammatory/pathological conditions. In this study, we investigated whether CCR2 signaling could affect the progression of learning deficits and hippocampal damage in a model of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic (HI) brain injury. Postnatal day 3 wild-type (WT) and CCR2 knockout (KO) mice of both sexes were subjected to the Rice-Vannucci model of neonatal hypoxia-ischemia and were followed for up to 14 weeks. HI CCR2 KO male mice were the only animals to exhibit long-term spatial learning deficits in the T-water maze task, compared to their corresponding sham-operated controls. CCR2 KO mouse pups of both sexes had a lower number of circulating monocytes, although only HI CCR2 KO male mice exhibited reduced numbers of activated macrophages/microglia in the damaged hippocampus, compared to WT mice. However, no differences were observed in hippocampal atrophy between HI CCR2 KO and HI WT mice. These results suggest that CCR2 signaling can protect neonatal mice from developing spatial learning deficits after a HI insult, in a sex-specific fashion.
Hasanein, Parisa; Felehgari, Zhila; Emamjomeh, Abbasali
Learning and memory impairment occurs in diabetes. Salvia officinalis L. (SO) has been used in Iranian traditional medicine as a remedy against diabetes. We hypothesized that chronic administration of SO (400, 600 and 800mg/kg, p.o.) and its principal constituent, rosmarinic acid, would affect on passive avoidance learning (PAL) and memory in streptozocin-induced diabetic and non-diabetic rats. We also explored hypoglycemic and antioxidant activities of SO as the possible mechanisms. Treatments were begun at the onset of hyperglycemia. PAL was assessed 30days later. Retention test was done 24h after training. At the end, animals were weighed and blood samples were drawn for further analyzing of glucose and oxidant/antioxidant markers. Diabetes induced deficits in acquisition and retrieval processes. SO (600 and 800mg/kg) and rosmarinic acid reversed learning and memory deficits induced by diabetes and improved cognition of healthy rats. While the dose of 400mg/kg had no effect, the higher doses and rosmarinic acid inhibited hyperglycemia and lipid peroxidation as well as enhanced the activity of antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase. SO prevented diabetes-induced acquisition and memory deficits through inhibiting hyperglycemia, lipid peroxidation as well as enhancing antioxidant defense systems. Therefore, SO and its principal constituent rosmarinic acid represent a potential therapeutic option against diabetic memory impairment which deserves consideration and further examination.
Huang, Fang; Sun, Li; Qian, Ying; Liu, Lu; Ma, Quan-Gang; Yang, Li; Cheng, Jia; Cao, Qing-Jiu; Su, Yi; Gao, Qian; Wu, Zhao-Min; Li, Hai-Mei; Qian, Qiu-Jin; Wang, Yu-Feng
Background: The cognitive function of children with either attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or learning disabilities (LDs) is known to be impaired. However, little is known about the cognitive function of children with comorbid ADHD and LD. The present study aimed to explore the cognitive function of children and adolescents with ADHD and learning difficulties in comparison with children with ADHD and healthy controls in different age groups in a large Chinese sample. Methods: Totally, 1043 participants with ADHD and learning difficulties (the ADHD + learning difficulties group), 870 with pure ADHD (the pure ADHD group), and 496 healthy controls were recruited. To investigate the difference in cognitive impairment using a developmental approach, all participants were divided into three age groups (6–8, 9–11, and 12–14 years old). Measurements were the Chinese-Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, the Stroop Color-Word Test, the Trail-Making Test, and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Parents (BRIEF). Multivariate analysis of variance was used. Results: The results showed that after controlling for the effect of ADHD symptoms, the ADHD + learning difficulties group was still significantly worse than the pure ADHD group, which was, in turn, worse than the control group on full intelligence quotient (98.66 ± 13.87 vs. 105.17 ± 14.36 vs. 112.93 ± 13.87, P < 0.001). The same relationship was also evident for shift function (shifting time of the Trail-Making Test, 122.50 [62.00, 194.25] s vs. 122.00 [73.00, 201.50] s vs. 66.00 [45.00, 108.00] s, P < 0.001) and everyday life executive function (BRIEF total score, 145.71 ± 19.35 vs. 138.96 ± 18.00 vs. 122.71 ± 20.45, P < 0.001) after controlling for the effect of the severity of ADHD symptoms, intelligence quotient, age, and gender. As for the age groups, the differences among groups became nonsignificant in the 12–14 years old group for inhibition (meaning interference of
Ilin, Yana; Richter-Levin, Gal
Mood disorders affect the lives and functioning of millions each year. Epidemiological studies indicate that childhood trauma is predominantly associated with higher rates of both mood and anxiety disorders. Exposure of rats to stress during juvenility (JS) (27-29 days of age) has comparable effects and was suggested as a model of induced predisposition for these disorders. The importance of the environment in the regulation of brain, behavior and physiology has long been recognized in biological, social and medical sciences. Here, we studied the effects of JS on emotional and cognitive aspects of depressive-like behavior in adulthood, on Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity and on the expression of cell adhesion molecule L1 (L1-CAM). Furthermore, we combined it with the examination of potential reversibility by enriched environment (EE) of JS - induced disturbances of emotional and cognitive aspects of behavior in adulthood. Three groups were tested: Juvenile Stress -subjected to Juvenile stress; Enriched Environment--subjected to Juvenile stress and then, from day 30 on to EE; and Naïves. In adulthood, coping and stress responses were examined using the elevated plus-maze, open field, novel setting exploration and two way shuttle avoidance learning. We found that, JS rats showed anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors in adulthood, altered HPA axis activity and altered L1-CAM expression. Increased expression of L1-CAM was evident among JS rats in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and Thalamus (TL). Furthermore, we found that EE could reverse most of the effects of Juvenile stress, both at the behavioral, endocrine and at the biochemical levels. The interaction between JS and EE resulted in an increased expression of L1-CAM in dorsal cornu ammonis (CA) area 1 (dCA1).
Placek, Katerina; Dippel, William C; Jones, Shelby; Brady, Anne Marie
The executive function processes of set-shifting and reversal learning in rodents are mediated by the medial prefrontal cortex and the orbitofrontal cortex, respectively. Here, we investigated both set-shifting and reversal learning in a developmental animal model of schizophrenia, the neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion (NVHL) model. The NVHL manipulation is known to disrupt development of the medial prefrontal cortex, and to impair behaviors dependent on this area, but potential orbitofrontal abnormalities and reversal learning deficits are less well studied. Animals received excitotoxic lesions of the ventral hippocampus (NVHL) or a sham treatment during the first postnatal week, and all animals were subsequently tested in adulthood on either an operant set-shifting or an operant reversal task. Results indicated that NVHL animals were able to acquire a simple discrimination rule and exhibited normal reversal learning, but were impaired on a prefrontal-dependent set-shifting task. Furthermore, this set-shifting deficit was due to an increase in perseverative errors, which indicate difficulty suppressing a previously learned strategy and result from medial prefrontal insult. Together, these results confirm and extend the idea that cognitive impairments in the NVHL animal are primarily driven by medial prefrontal abnormalities, while the orbitofrontal cortex may remain relatively unaffected.
Matzel, Louis D.; Light, Kenneth R.; Wass, Christopher; Colas-Zelin, Danielle; Denman-Brice, Alexander; Waddel, Adam C.; Kolata, Stefan
Learning, attentional, and perseverative deficits are characteristic of cognitive aging. In this study, genetically diverse CD-1 mice underwent longitudinal training in a task asserted to tax working memory capacity and its dependence on selective attention. Beginning at 3 mo of age, animals were trained for 12 d to perform in a dual radial-arm…
Chen, Mei; Xu, Heping
Inflammation is an adaptive response of the immune system to noxious insults to maintain homeostasis and restore functionality. The retina is considered an immune-privileged tissue as a result of its unique anatomic and physiologic properties. During aging, the retina suffers from a low-grade chronic oxidative insult, which sustains for decades and increases in level with advancing age. As a result, the retinal innate-immune system, particularly microglia and the complement system, undergoes low levels of activation (parainflammation). In many cases, this parainflammatory response can maintain homeostasis in the healthy aging eye. However, in patients with age-related macular degeneration, this parainflammatory response becomes dysregulated and contributes to macular damage. Factors contributing to the dysregulation of age-related retinal parainflammation include genetic predisposition, environmental risk factors, and old age. Dysregulated parainflammation (chronic inflammation) in age-related macular degeneration damages the blood retina barrier, resulting in the breach of retinal-immune privilege, leading to the development of retinal lesions. This review discusses the basic principles of retinal innate-immune responses to endogenous chronic insults in normal aging and in age-related macular degeneration and explores the difference between beneficial parainflammation and the detrimental chronic inflammation in the context of age-related macular degeneration.
de Bruin, N M W J; van Drimmelen, M; Kops, M; van Elk, J; Wetering, M Middelveld-van de; Schwienbacher, I
Reasoning and problem solving deficits have been reported in schizophrenic patients. In the present study, we have tested rats in a two-lever reversal learning task in a Skinner box to model these deficits. In other studies using the Skinner box, atypical antipsychotics fully reversed phencyclidine (PCP)-induced impairments in reversal learning which is in contrast to clinical observations where antipsychotics lack the ability to fully reverse cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. Therefore, it can be argued that the outcome of these tests may lack predictive value. In the present study, after training on a spatial discrimination between two levers, rats were exposed to a reversal of the previously learned stimulus-response contingency during 5 days. We first investigated the effects of sub-chronic treatment with the non-competitive N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) antagonists dizocilpine (MK-801) and PCP on reversal learning and extinction in male Sprague Dawley rats. Subsequently, we studied the effects of different PCP treatment regimes. Then, we investigated whether the atypical antipsychotics risperidone and clozapine and the 5-hydroxytryptamine6 (5-HT6) antagonist GSK-742457 could reverse the PCP-induced deficits. All drugs were administered subcutaneously (s.c.). MK-801 did not impair reversal learning, while PCP (1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg) induced a clear deficit in reversal learning. Both compounds, however, disrupted extinction at all tested doses. Risperidone and clozapine were both ineffective in significantly ameliorating the PCP-induced deficit in reversal learning which fits well with the clinical observations. The lowest dose of clozapine (1.25 mg/kg) had an intermediate effect in ameliorating the deficit in reversal learning induced by PCP (not different from control or PCP-treated rats). The lowest dose of GSK-742457 (0.63 mg/kg) fully reversed the PCP-induced deficits while the higher dose (5.0 mg/kg) had an intermediate effect.
Bürkle, Alexander; Caselli, Graziella; Franceschi, Claudio; Mariani, Erminia; Sansoni, Paolo; Santoni, Angela; Vecchio, Giancarlo; Witkowski, Jacek M; Caruso, Calogero
On April 18, 2007 an international meeting on Pathophysiology of Ageing, Longevity and Age-Related Diseases was held in Palermo, Italy. Several interesting topics on Cancer, Immunosenescence, Age-related inflammatory diseases and longevity were discussed. In this report we summarize the most important issues. However, ageing must be considered an unavoidable end point of the life history of each individual, nevertheless the increasing knowledge on ageing mechanisms, allows envisaging many different strategies to cope with, and delay it. So, a better understanding of pathophysiology of ageing and age-related disease is essential for giving everybody a reasonable chance for living a long and enjoyable final part of the life. PMID:17683521
Moutray, Tanya; Chakravarthy, Usha
Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of visual impairment among older adults in the developed world. Epidemiological studies have revealed a number of genetic, ocular and environmental risk factors for this condition, which can be addressed by disease reduction strategies. We discuss the various treatment options for dry and exudative age-related macular degeneration available and explain how the recommended treatment depends on the exact type, location and extent of the degeneration. Currently, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibition therapy is the best available treatment for exudative age-related macular degeneration but is limited by the need for repeated intravitreal injections. The current treatment regime is being refined through research on optimal treatment frequency and duration and type of anti-VEGF drug. Different modes of drug delivery are being developed and in the future other methods of VEGF inhibition may be used.
Rubin, Leah H; Meyer, Vanessa J; J Conant, Rhoda; Sundermann, Erin E; Wu, Minjie; Weber, Kathleen M; Cohen, Mardge H; Little, Deborah M; Maki, Pauline M
Deficits in verbal learning and memory are a prominent feature of neurocognitive function in HIV-infected women, and are associated with high levels of perceived stress. To understand the neurobiological factors contributing to this stress-related memory impairment, we examined the association between stress, verbal memory, and brain volumes in HIV-infected women. Participants included 38 HIV-infected women (Mean age=43.9years) from the Chicago Consortium of the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Participants underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and completed standardized measures of verbal learning and memory and stress (Perceived Stress Scale-10; PSS-10). Brain volumes were evaluated in a priori regions of interest, including the medial temporal lobe (MTL) and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Compared to HIV-infected women with lower stress (PSS-10 scores in lower two tertiles), HIV-infected women with higher stress (scores in the top tertile), performed worse on measures of verbal learning and memory and showed smaller volumes bilaterally in the parahippocampal gyrus, superior frontal gyrus, middle frontal gyrus, and inferior frontal gyrus (p's<0.05). Reduced volumes in the inferior frontal gyrus, middle frontal gyrus, and superior frontal gyrus (all right hemisphere) were negatively associated with verbal learning and memory performance. Prefrontal cortical atrophy is associated with stress-related deficits in verbal learning and memory in HIV-infected women. The time course of these volume losses in relation to memory deficits has yet to be elucidated, but the magnitude of the volumetric differences between women with higher versus lower stress suggests a prolonged vulnerability due to chronic stress and/or early life trauma.
Dobson, Christine C; Mongillo, Daniel L; Poklewska-Koziell, Margo; Winterborn, Andrew; Brien, James F; Reynolds, James N
Ethanol consumption during pregnancy can produce a variety of teratogenic effects in offspring, termed Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). The most debilitating and permanent consequence of chronic prenatal ethanol exposure (CPEE) is neurobehavioral teratogenicity, which often manifests as cognitive and behavioral impairments, including deficits in spatial learning and memory. This study tested the hypothesis that a modified dry-land version of the multi-choice Biel-maze task is more sensitive than the rewarded-alternation Y-maze task for the determination of spatial learning and memory deficits of ethanol teratogenicity. Pregnant guinea pigs received ethanol (4 g/kg maternal body weight/day) or isocaloric-sucrose/pair-feeding (control) for 5days/week throughout gestation. CPEE resulted in ethanol neurobehavioral teratogenicity in offspring, as demonstrated by increased spontaneous locomotor activity at postnatal day (PD) 10 and decreased brain weight at euthanasia (PD 150-200). On PD 21, offspring were randomly assigned to one of two tasks to assess spatial learning and memory performance: a dry-land version of the Biel maze or a rewarded-alternation Y-maze. Animals were habituated to the environment of their assigned task and performance of each CPEE or control offspring was measured. In the modified Biel maze, CPEE and control offspring were not different for percent completed trials or time to complete a trial. However, CPEE offspring made more errors (reversals and entering dead ends) in the Biel maze, demonstrating impaired spatial learning and memory. In contrast, CPEE offspring did not have impaired performance of the rewarded-alternation Y-maze task. Therefore, the modified dry-land version of the Biel-maze task, which measures cognitive performance using a complex multi-choice design, is more sensitive in demonstrating CPEE-induced spatial learning and memory deficits compared with a simple, rewarded-alternation Y-maze task.
Liew, Gerald; Mitchell, Paul; Wong, Tien Yin; Iyengar, Sudha K; Wang, Jie Jin
Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the United States and often coexists with chronic kidney disease. Both conditions share common genetic and environmental risk factors. A total of 1183 participants aged 54+ were examined in the population-based, prospective cohort Blue Mountains Eye Study (Australia) to determine if chronic kidney disease increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Moderate chronic kidney disease (estimated glomerular filtration rate < 60 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) based on the Cockcroft-Gault equation) was present in 24% of the population (286 of 1183). The 5-yr incidence of early age-related macular degeneration was 3.9% in participants with no/mild chronic kidney disease (35 of 897) and 17.5% in those with moderate chronic kidney disease (50 of 286). After adjusting for age, sex, cigarette smoking, hypertension, complement factor H polymorphism, and other risk factors, persons with moderate chronic kidney disease were 3 times more likely to develop early age-related macular degeneration than persons with no/mild chronic kidney disease (odds ratio = 3.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.8 to 5.7, P < 0.0001). Each SD (14.8 ml/min per 1.73 m(2)) decrease in Cockcroft-Gault estimated glomerular filtration rate was associated with a doubling of the adjusted risk for early age-related macular degeneration (odds ratio = 2.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.5 to 2.8, P < 0.0001). In conclusion, persons with chronic kidney disease have a higher risk of early age-related macular degeneration, suggesting the possibility of shared pathophysiologic mechanisms between the two conditions.
Glass, Brian D; Chotibut, Tanya; Pacheco, Jennifer; Schnyer, David M; Maddox, W Todd
Dissociable prototype learning systems have been demonstrated behaviorally and with neuroimaging in younger adults as well as with patient populations. In A/not-A (AN) prototype learning, participants are shown members of category A during training, and during test are asked to decide whether novel items are in category A or are not in category A. Research suggests that AN learning is mediated by a perceptual learning system. In A/B (AB) prototype learning, participants are shown members of category A and B during training, and during test are asked to decide whether novel items are in category A or category B. In contrast to AN, research suggests that AB learning is mediated by a declarative memory system. The current study examined the effects of normal aging on AN and AB prototype learning. We observed an age-related deficit in AB learning, but an age-related advantage in AN learning. Computational modeling supports one possible interpretation based on narrower selective attentional focus in older adults in the AB task and broader selective attention in the AN task. Neuropsychological testing in older participants suggested that executive functioning and attentional control were associated with better performance in both tasks. However, nonverbal memory was associated with better AN performance, while visual attention was associated with worse AB performance. The results support an interactive memory systems approach and suggest that age-related declines in one memory system can lead to deficits in some tasks, but to enhanced performance in others.
Nasehi, Mohammad; Roghani, Farnaz; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza
The basolateral amygdala (BLA) is a key structure for the emotional processing and storage of memories associated with emotional events, especially fear. On the other hand, endocannabinoids and CB1 receptors play a key role in learning and memory partly through long-term synaptic depression of GABAergic synapses in the BLA. The aim of this study was to explore the effects of GABA-A receptor agonist and antagonist in the fear-related memory acquisition deficits induced by ACPA (a selective CB1 cannabinoid receptor agonist). This study used context and tone fear conditioning paradigms to assess fear-related memory in male NMRI mice. Our results showed that the pre-training intraperitoneal administration of ACPA (0.5mg/kg) or (0.1 and 0.5mg/kg) decreased the percentage of freezing time in the contextual and tone fear conditioning, respectively. This indicated an impaired context- or tone-dependent fear memory acquisition. Moreover, the pre-training intra-BLA microinjection of GABA-A receptor agonist, muscimol, at 0.05 and 0.5μg/mouse impaired context-dependent fear memory, while the same doses of GABA-A antagonist, bicuculline, impaired tone-dependent fear memory. However, a subthreshold dose of muscimol or bicuculline increased the effect of ACPA at 0.1 and 0.5 or 0.05mg/kg on context- or tone-dependent fear memory, respectively. In addition, bicuculline at the lower dose increased the ACPA response on locomotor activity compared to its respective group. Such findings highlighted an interaction between BLA GABAergic and cannabinoidergic systems during the acquisition phase of conditioned fear memories.
Chopra, Vidita; Harley, Kim; Lahiff, Maureen; Eskenazi, Brenda
Objective This study investigates the association between urinary phthalate metabolite levels and attention deficit disorder (ADD), learning disability (LD), and co-occurrence of ADD and LD in 6–15-year-old children. Methods We used cross-sectional data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES, 2001–2004). Phthalate metabolites with ≥ 75% detection in urine samples were examined. The study population comprised 1493 children with parent-reported information on ADD or LD diagnosis and phthalate concentrations in urine. Phthalate concentrations were creatinine-adjusted and log10-transformed for analysis. All models controlled for child sex, age, race, household income, blood lead, and maternal smoking during pregnancy. Results There were 112 ADD cases, 173 LD cases, and 56 ADD and LD cases in the sample. After adjusting for potential confounders, we found increased odds of ADD with increasing urinary concentration of di-2-ethylhexyl phthalates (OR: 2.1; 95% CI: 1.1, 3.9) and high molecular weight phthalates (OR: 2.7; 95% CI: 1.2, 6.1). In addition, dibutyl phthalates (OR: 3.3; 95% CI: 0.9, 12.7) and high molecular weight phthalates (OR: 3.7; 95% CI: 0.9, 14.8) were marginally associated with increased odds of co-occurring ADD and LD. We did not find associations for any phthalate and LD alone. We observed stronger associations between phthalates and ADD and both ADD and LD in girls than boys in some models. Conclusions We found cross-sectional evidence that certain phthalates are associated with increased odds of ADD and both ADD and LD. Further investigations with longitudinal data are needed to confirm these results. PMID:24267794
Mitchell, Rachel L C; Kingston, Rachel A
It is now accepted that older adults have difficulty recognizing prosodic emotion cues, but it is not clear at what processing stage this ability breaks down. We manipulated the acoustic characteristics of tones in pitch, amplitude, and duration discrimination tasks to assess whether impaired basic auditory perception coexisted with our previously demonstrated age-related prosodic emotion perception impairment. It was found that pitch perception was particularly impaired in older adults, and that it displayed the strongest correlation with prosodic emotion discrimination. We conclude that an important cause of age-related impairment in prosodic emotion comprehension exists at the fundamental sensory level of processing.
Gutierrez-Castellanos, Nicolas; Winkelman, Beerend H J; Tolosa-Rodriguez, Leonardo; Devenney, Benjamin; Reeves, Roger H; De Zeeuw, Chris I
Humans with Down syndrome (DS) and Ts65Dn mice both show a reduced volume of the cerebellum due to a significant reduction in the density of granule neurons. Recently, cerebellar hypoplasia in Ts65Dn mice was rescued by a single treatment with SAG, an agonist of the Sonic hedgehog pathway, administered on the day of birth. In addition to normalizing cerebellar morphology, this treatment restored the ability to learn a spatial navigation task, which is associated with hippocampal function. It is not clear to what extent this improved performance results from restoration of the cerebellar architecture or a yet undefined role of Sonic hedgehog (Shh) in perinatal hippocampal development. The absence of a clearly demonstrated deficit in cerebellar function in trisomic mice exacerbates the problem of discerning how SAG acts to improve learning and memory. Here we show that phase reversal adaptation and consolidation of the vestibulo-ocular reflex is significantly impaired in Ts65Dn mice, providing for the first time a precise characterization of cerebellar functional deficits in this murine model of DS. However, these deficits do not benefit from the normalization of cerebellar morphology following treatment with SAG. Together with the previous observation that the synaptic properties of Purkinje cells are also unchanged by SAG treatment, this lack of improvement in a region-specific behavioral assay supports the possibility that a direct effect of Shh pathway stimulation on the hippocampus might explain the benefits of this potential approach to the improvement of cognition in DS.
Xue, Wei-Zhen; Yang, Qian-Qian; Chen, Yiwen; Zou, Rong-Xin; Xing, Dong; Xu, Yi; Liu, Yong-Sheng
Lead (Pb) exposure, in particular during early postnatal life, increases susceptibility to cognitive dysfunction and neurodegenerative outcomes. The detrimental effect of Pb exposure is basically due to an increasing ROS production which overcomes the antioxidant systems and finally leads to cognitive dysfunction. Kiwifruit is rich in the antioxidants like vitamin C and polyphenols. This study aims to investigate the effects and mechanism of kiwifruit to alleviate learning and memory deficits induced by Pb exposure. Sprague-Dawley (SD) rat pups acquired Pb indirectly through their mothers during lactation period and after postnatal day 21 (PND21) directly acquired Pb by themselves. Five kinds of kiwifruits were collected in this study and the amounts of vitamin C and polyphenols in them were measured and the antioxidation effects were determined. Among them, Qinmei kiwifruit (Qm) showed the strongest antioxidation effects in vitro. In vivo, Qm significantly repaired Pb-induced learning and memory deficits and dendritic spine loss. In addition, Pb compromised the enzymatic activity and transcriptional levels of SOD and GSH-Px and decreased the microglial activation, which, to some extent, could be reversed by Qm kiwifruit administration. The results suggest that kiwifruit could alleviate Pb-induced cognitive deficits possibly through antioxidative stress and microglia inactivation. Consequently, kiwifruit could be potentially regarded as the functional food favorable in the prevention and treatment of Pb intoxication. PMID:28386309
Brown, David K.
Describes two points of view regarding age-related public programs (Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security): that of devolutionists who would curtail them and safety netters who maintain the government's role is indispensable. Uses Relative Deprivation theory as a framework for teaching public policy about aging. (SK)
Pacella, Elena; Pacella, Fernanda; De Paolis, Giulio; Parisella, Francesca Romana; Turchetti, Paolo; Anello, Giulia; Cavallotti, Carlo
AIM To investigate possible age-related changes in glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in the human cornea. The substances today called GAGs were previously referred to as mucopolysaccharides. METHODS Samples of human cornea were taken from 12 younger (age 21 ± 1.2) and 12 older (age 72 ± 1.6) male subjects. Samples were weighed, homogenized, and used for biochemical and molecular analyses. All the quantitative results were statistically analyzed. RESULTS The human cornea appears to undergo age-related changes, as evidenced by our biochemical and molecular results. The total GAG and hyaluronic acid counts were significantly higher in the younger subjects than in the older subjects. The sulfated heavy GAGs, such as chondroitin, dermatan, keratan, and heparan sulfate, were lower in the younger subjects than in the older subjects. DISCUSSION GAGs of the human cornea undergo numerous age-related changes. Their quantity is significantly altered in the elderly in comparison with younger subjects. GAGs play an important role in age-related diseases of the human cornea. PMID:25674020
Nutritional epigenetics has emerged as a novel mechanism underlying gene–diet interactions, further elucidating the modulatory role of nutrition in aging and age-related disease development. Epigenetics is defined as a heritable modification to the DNA that regulates chromosome architecture and modu...
Krettenauer, Tobias; Murua, Lourdes Andrea; Jia, Fanli
In this study, age-related differences in adults' moral identity were investigated. Moral identity was conceptualized a context-dependent self-structure that becomes differentiated and (re)integrated in the course of development and that involves a broad range of value-orientations. Based on a cross-sectional sample of 252 participants aged 14 to…
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly worldwide. It affects 30-50 million individuals and clinical hallmarks of AMD are observed in at least one third of persons over the age of 75 in industrialized countries (Gehrs et al., 2006). Costs associated wi...
Salthouse, Timothy A.
There are many reports of relations between age and cognitive variables and of relations between age and variables representing different aspects of brain structure and a few reports of relations between brain structure variables and cognitive variables. These findings have sometimes led to inferences that the age-related brain changes cause the…
Ferrando-Martínez, Sara; de la Fuente, Mónica; Guerrero, Juan Miguel; Leal, Manuel; Muñoz-Fernández, M Ángeles
Age-related biological deterioration also includes immune system deterioration and, in consequence, a rise in the incidence and prevalence of infections and cancers, as well as low responses to vaccination strategies. Out of all immune cell subsets, T-lymphocytes seem to be involved in most of the age-related defects. Since T-lymphocytes mature during their passage through the thymus, and the thymus shows an age-related process of atrophy, thymic regression has been proposed as the triggering event of this immune deterioration in elderly people. Historically, it has been accepted that the young thymus sets the T-lymphocyte repertoire during the childhood, whereupon atrophy begins until the elderly thymus is a non-functional evolutionary trace. However, a rising body of knowledge points toward the thymus functioning during adulthood. In the elderly, higher thymic function is associated with a younger immune system, while thymic function failure is associated with all-cause mortality. Therefore, any new strategy focused on the improvement of the elderly quality of life, especially those trying to influence the immune system, should take into account, together with peripheral homeostasis, thymus function as a key element in slowing down age-related decline.
Madey, Scott F.; Chasteen, Alison L.
This experiment investigated how age-related health stereotypes affect people's judgments of younger and older patients' medical compliance. Previous research has shown that stereotypes of young adults include healthy components, but stereotypes of older adults include both healthy and unhealthy components (Hummert, 1990). We predicted that…
Conner, Peggy S.; Hyun, Jungmoon; O'Connor Wells, Barbara; Anema, Inge; Goral, Mira; Monereau-Merry, Marie-Michelle; Rubino, Daniel; Kuckuk, Raija; Obler, Loraine K.
To investigate whether idiom production was vulnerable to age-related difficulties, we asked 40 younger (ages 18-30) and 40 older healthy adults (ages 60-85) to produce idiomatic expressions in a story-completion task. Younger adults produced significantly more correct idiom responses (73%) than did older adults (60%). When older adults generated…
Wong, Elaine Y. H.; Guymer, Robyn H.; Hassell, Jennifer B.; Keeffe, Jill E.
This qualitative article describes the impact of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) among 15 participants: how a person makes sense of ARMD, the effect of ARMD on the person's quality of life, the psychological disturbances associated with the limitations of ARMD, and the influence of ARMD on social interactions. Such in-depth appreciation of…
Cimarolli, Verena R.; Laban-Baker, Allie; Hamilton, Wanda S.; Stuen, Cynthia
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)--a common eye disease causing vision loss--can be detected early through regular eye-health examinations, and measures can be taken to prevent visual decline. Getting eye examinations requires certain levels of awareness, knowledge, and concern related to AMD. However, little is known about AMD-related…
Catuara-Solarz, Silvina; Espinosa-Carrasco, Jose; Erb, Ionas; Langohr, Klaus; Notredame, Cedric; Gonzalez, Juan R.; Dierssen, Mara
Down syndrome (DS) individuals present increased risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathology and AD-type dementia. Here, we investigated the use of green tea extracts containing (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), as co-adjuvant to enhance the effects of environmental enrichment (EE) in Ts65Dn mice, a segmental trisomy model of DS that partially mimics DS/AD pathology, at the age of initiation of cognitive decline. Classical repeated measures ANOVA showed that combined EE-EGCG treatment was more efficient than EE or EGCG alone to improve specific spatial learning related variables. Using principal component analysis (PCA) we found that several spatial learning parameters contributed similarly to a first PC and explained a large proportion of the variance among groups, thus representing a composite learning measure. This PC1 revealed that EGCG or EE alone had no significant effect. However, combined EE-EGCG significantly ameliorated learning alterations of middle age Ts65Dn mice. Interestingly, PCA revealed an increased variability along learning sessions with good and poor learners in Ts65Dn, and this stratification did not disappear upon treatments. Our results suggest that combining EE and EGCG represents a viable therapeutic approach for amelioration of age-related cognitive decline in DS, although its efficacy may vary across individuals. PMID:26696850
Horisawa, Tomoko; Nishikawa, Hiroyuki; Toma, Satoko; Ikeda, Atsushi; Horiguchi, Masakuni; Ono, Michiko; Ishiyama, Takeo; Taiji, Mutsuo
Lurasidone is a novel atypical antipsychotic with high affinity for dopamine D2, serotonin 5-HT7 and 5-HT2A receptors. We previously reported that lurasidone and the selective 5-HT7 receptor antagonist, SB-656104-A improved learning and memory deficits induced by MK-801, an N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, in the rat passive avoidance test. In this study, we first examined the role of the 5-HT7 receptor antagonistic activity of lurasidone in its pro-cognitive effect to ameliorate MK-801-induced deficits in the rat passive avoidance test. The 5-HT7 receptor agonist, AS19, (2S)-(+)-5-(1,3,5-trimethylpyrazol-4-yl)-2-(dimethylamino) tetralin, (3 mg/kg, s.c.) completely blocked the attenuating effects of lurasidone (3 mg/kg, p.o.), highlighting the importance of 5-HT7 receptor antagonism in the pro-cognitive effect of lurasidone. AS19 (3 mg/kg, s.c.) also blocked the ameliorating effect of SB-656104-A (10 mg/kg, i.p.) in the same experimental paradigm. To further extend our observation, we next tested whether 5-HT7 receptor antagonism still led to the amelioration of MK-801-induced deficits when combined with D2 and 5-HT2A receptor antagonists, and found that SB-656104-A (10 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly ameliorated MK-801-induced deficits even in the presence of the D2 receptor antagonist raclopride (0.1 mg/kg, s.c.) and 5-HT2A receptor antagonist ketanserin (1 mg/kg, s.c.). Taken together, these results suggest that the 5-HT7 receptor antagonistic activity of lurasidone plays an important role in its effectiveness against MK-801-induced deficits, and may contribute to its pharmacological actions in patients with schizophrenia.
Purpose: Because foods provide many nutrients, which may interact with each other to modify risk for multifactorial diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), we sought to develop a composite scoring system to summarize the combined effect of multiple dietary nutrients on AMD risk. Th...
Simkin, Dina; Hattori, Shoai; Ybarra, Natividad; Musial, Timothy F.; Buss, Eric W.; Richter, Hannah; Oh, M. Matthew
Aging-related impairments in hippocampus-dependent cognition have been attributed to maladaptive changes in the functional properties of pyramidal neurons within the hippocampal subregions. Much evidence has come from work on CA1 pyramidal neurons, with CA3 pyramidal neurons receiving comparatively less attention despite its age-related hyperactivation being postulated to interfere with spatial processing in the hippocampal circuit. Here, we use whole-cell current-clamp to demonstrate that aged rat (29–32 months) CA3 pyramidal neurons fire significantly more action potentials (APs) during theta-burst frequency stimulation and that this is associated with faster AP repolarization (i.e., narrower AP half-widths and enlarged fast afterhyperpolarization). Using a combination of patch-clamp physiology, pharmacology, Western blot analyses, immunohistochemistry, and array tomography, we demonstrate that these faster AP kinetics are mediated by enhanced function and expression of Kv4.2/Kv4.3 A-type K+ channels, particularly within the perisomatic compartment, of CA3 pyramidal neurons. Thus, our study indicates that inhibition of these A-type K+ channels can restore the intrinsic excitability properties of aged CA3 pyramidal neurons to a young-like state. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Age-related learning deficits have been attributed, in part, to altered hippocampal pyramidal neuronal function with normal aging. Much evidence has come from work on CA1 neurons, with CA3 neurons receiving comparatively less attention despite its age-related hyperactivation being postulated to interfere with spatial processing. Hence, we conducted a series of experiments to identify the cellular mechanisms that underlie the hyperexcitability reported in the CA3 region. Contrary to CA1 neurons, we demonstrate that postburst afterhyperpolarization is not altered with aging and that aged CA3 pyramidal neurons are able to fire significantly more action potentials and that this is associated with
Münch, Daniel; Baker, Nicholas; Kreibich, Claus D.; Bråten, Anders T.; Amdam, Gro V.
Loss of brain function is one of the most negative and feared aspects of aging. Studies of invertebrates have taught us much about the physiology of aging and how this progression may be slowed. Yet, how aging affects complex brain functions, e.g., the ability to acquire new memory when previous experience is no longer valid, is an almost exclusive question of studies in humans and mammalian models. In these systems, age related cognitive disorders are assessed through composite paradigms that test different performance tasks in the same individual. Such studies could demonstrate that afflicted individuals show the loss of several and often-diverse memory faculties, and that performance usually varies more between aged individuals, as compared to conspecifics from younger groups. No comparable composite surveying approaches are established yet for invertebrate models in aging research. Here we test whether an insect can share patterns of decline similar to those that are commonly observed during mammalian brain aging. Using honey bees, we combine restrained learning with free-flight assays. We demonstrate that reduced olfactory learning performance correlates with a reduced ability to extinguish the spatial memory of an abandoned nest location (spatial memory extinction). Adding to this, we show that learning performance is more variable in old honey bees. Taken together, our findings point to generic features of brain aging and provide the prerequisites to model individual aspects of learning dysfunction with insect models. PMID:20976061
van Lookeren Campagne, Menno; LeCouter, Jennifer; Yaspan, Brian L; Ye, Weilan
As the age of the population increases in many nations, age-related degenerative diseases pose significant socioeconomic challenges. One of the key degenerative diseases that compromise quality of life is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is a multi-faceted condition that affects the central retina, which ultimately leads to blindness in millions of people worldwide. The pathophysiology and risk factors for AMD are complex, and the symptoms manifest in multiple related but distinct forms. The ability to develop effective treatments for AMD will depend on a thorough understanding of the underlying pathophysiology, risk factors, and driver molecular pathways, as well as the ability to develop useful animal models. This review provides an overview of the aforementioned aspects in AMD.
Grubb, Michael A.; Tymula, Agnieszka; Gilaie-Dotan, Sharon; Glimcher, Paul W.; Levy, Ifat
Many decisions involve uncertainty, or ‘risk', regarding potential outcomes, and substantial empirical evidence has demonstrated that human aging is associated with diminished tolerance for risky rewards. Grey matter volume in a region of right posterior parietal cortex (rPPC) is predictive of preferences for risky rewards in young adults, with less grey matter volume indicating decreased tolerance for risk. That grey matter loss in parietal regions is a part of healthy aging suggests that diminished rPPC grey matter volume may have a role in modulating risk preferences in older adults. Here we report evidence for this hypothesis and show that age-related declines in rPPC grey matter volume better account for age-related changes in risk preferences than does age per se. These results provide a basis for understanding the neural mechanisms that mediate risky choice and a glimpse into the neurodevelopmental dynamics that impact decision-making in an aging population. PMID:27959326
Parr, Nicolette M; Passalacqua, Nicholas V; Skorpinski, Katie
While changes in mandibular shape over time are not widely recognized by skeletal biologists, mandibular remodeling and associated changes in gross morphology may result from a number of causes related to mechanical stress such as antemortem tooth loss, changes in bite force, or alterations of masticatory performance. This study investigated the relationship between age-related changes and antemortem tooth loss in adult humans via dry bone measurements. This study examined 10 standard mandibular measurements as well as individual antemortem tooth loss scores using the Eichner Index from a total of 319 female and male individuals with ages ranging from 16 to 99 years. Results indicate that few mandibular measurements exhibited age-related changes, and most were affected by antemortem tooth loss.
Ikehara, Susumu; Li, Ming
Aging is a complex process of damage accumulation, and has been viewed as experimentally and medically intractable. The number of patients with age-associated diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease, atherosclerosis, and cancer has increased recently. Aging-related diseases are related to a deficiency of the immune system, which results from an aged thymus and bone marrow cells. Intra bone marrow-bone marrow transplantation (IBM-BMT) is a useful method to treat intractable diseases. This review summarizes findings that IBM-BMT can improve and treat aging-related diseases, including T2DM, osteoporosis and AD, in animal models. PMID:25364723
Aging is associated with a wide range of human disorders, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases. Long thought to be an inexorable road toward decline and diseases, aging is in fact remarkably plastic. Such plasticity could be harnessed to approach age-related diseases from a novel perspective. Although many studies have focused on the genes that impact aging, the nongenetic regulation of aging is gaining increasing attention. Specifically, aging is associated with profound epigenetic changes, resulting in alterations of gene expression and disturbances in broad genome architecture and the epigenomic landscape. The potential reversibility of these epigenetic changes that occur as a hallmark of aging offers exciting opportunities to alter the trajectory of age-related diseases. This short review highlights key epigenetic players in the regulation of aging, as well as both future goals and challenges to the utilization of epigenetic strategies to delay and reverse the main diseases of aging. PMID:24833581
Brunet, Anne; Berger, Shelley L
Aging is associated with a wide range of human disorders, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases. Long thought to be an inexorable road toward decline and diseases, aging is in fact remarkably plastic. Such plasticity could be harnessed to approach age-related diseases from a novel perspective. Although many studies have focused on the genes that impact aging, the nongenetic regulation of aging is gaining increasing attention. Specifically, aging is associated with profound epigenetic changes, resulting in alterations of gene expression and disturbances in broad genome architecture and the epigenomic landscape. The potential reversibility of these epigenetic changes that occur as a hallmark of aging offers exciting opportunities to alter the trajectory of age-related diseases. This short review highlights key epigenetic players in the regulation of aging, as well as both future goals and challenges to the utilization of epigenetic strategies to delay and reverse the main diseases of aging.
Chistiakov, Dimitry A; Sobenin, Igor A; Revin, Victor V; Orekhov, Alexander N; Bobryshev, Yuri V
Age-related changes in mitochondria are associated with decline in mitochondrial function. With advanced age, mitochondrial DNA volume, integrity and functionality decrease due to accumulation of mutations and oxidative damage induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS). In aged subjects, mitochondria are characterized by impaired function such as lowered oxidative capacity, reduced oxidative phosphorylation, decreased ATP production, significant increase in ROS generation, and diminished antioxidant defense. Mitochondrial biogenesis declines with age due to alterations in mitochondrial dynamics and inhibition of mitophagy, an autophagy process that removes dysfunctional mitochondria. Age-dependent abnormalities in mitochondrial quality control further weaken and impair mitochondrial function. In aged tissues, enhanced mitochondria-mediated apoptosis contributes to an increase in the percentage of apoptotic cells. However, implementation of strategies such as caloric restriction and regular physical training may delay mitochondrial aging and attenuate the age-related phenotype in humans.
Yamazaki, Daisuke; Horiuchi, Junjiro; Ueno, Kohei; Ueno, Taro; Saeki, Shinjiro; Matsuno, Motomi; Naganos, Shintaro; Miyashita, Tomoyuki; Hirano, Yukinori; Nishikawa, Hiroyuki; Taoka, Masato; Yamauchi, Yoshio; Isobe, Toshiaki; Honda, Yoshiko; Kodama, Tohru; Masuda, Tomoko; Saitoe, Minoru
Several aging phenotypes, including age-related memory impairment (AMI), are thought to be caused by cumulative oxidative damage. In Drosophila, age-related impairments in 1 hr memory can be suppressed by reducing activity of protein kinase A (PKA). However, the mechanism for this effect has been unclear. Here we show that decreasing PKA suppresses AMI by reducing activity of pyruvate carboxylase (PC), a glial metabolic enzyme whose amounts increase upon aging. Increased PC activity causes AMI through a mechanism independent of oxidative damage. Instead, increased PC activity is associated with decreases in D-serine, a glia-derived neuromodulator that regulates NMDA receptor activity. D-serine feeding suppresses both AMI and memory impairment caused by glial overexpression of dPC, indicating that an oxidative stress-independent dysregulation of glial modulation of neuronal activity contributes to AMI in Drosophila.
McMullin, J A; Marshall, V W
This study examined the complexities of age relations at work. Garment workers believed that their fate was linked to ageism and that their work experience was discounted by management. Managers wanted to be rid of older workers because they commanded higher wages than younger workers. The issue was cost reduction, and age was implicated unintendedly. Still, managers seemed to use stereotypical images to discourage older workers and they did not organize work routines to facilitate the adaptation of them. Instead, they subcontracted the easy jobs, relying on the experience of the older employees for difficult work while not adapting the workplace. Theoretically, the authors argue that ageism and age discrimination can best be understood through a recognition of the importance of structured age relations and human agency.
Hung, Pei-Fang; Nippold, Marilyn A
Idioms are figurative expressions such as hold your horses, kick the bucket, and lend me a hand, which commonly occur in everyday spoken and written language. Hence, the understanding of these expressions is essential for daily communication. In this study, we examined idiom understanding in healthy adults in their 20s, 40s, 60s and 80s (n=30 per group) to determine if performance would show an age-related decline. Participants judged their own familiarity with a set of 20 idioms, explained the meaning of each, described a situation in which the idiom could be used, and selected the appropriate interpretation from a set of choices. There was no evidence of an age-related decline on any tasks. Rather, the 60s group reported greater familiarity and offered better explanations than did the 20s group. Moreover, greater familiarity with idioms was associated with better understanding in adults.
Ebrahimi, Katayoon B.; Handa, James T.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among the elderly. While excellent treatment has emerged for neovascular disease, treatment for early AMD is lacking due to an incomplete understanding of the early molecular events. A prominent age-related change is the accumulation of neutral lipid in normal Bruch's membrane (BrM) throughout adulthood and also disease-related BrM accumulations called basal deposits and drusen. AMD lesion formation has thus been conceptualized as sharing mechanisms with atherosclerotic plaque formation, where low-density lipoprotein (LDL) retention within the arterial wall initiates a cascade of pathologic events. However, we do not yet understand how lipoproteins contribute to AMD. This paper explores how systemic and local production of lipoproteins might contribute to the pathogenesis of AMD. PMID:21822496
This brief paper summarizes information on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). First it identifies eight common characteristics of this disorder: (1) inattentiveness and distractibility, (2) impulsiveness, (3) hyperactivity, (4) attention-demanding behavior, (5) learning difficulties, (6) coordination difficulties, (7) unacceptable…
Nguyen, Kim Cuc Thi
Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) is a trans-membrane protein that is a major component of the caveolae structure on the plasma membrane. Cav-1 is involved in the regulation of various cellular processes, including cell growth, differentiation, endocytosis, and in particular it has been implied in cellular senescence. Here we review current knowledge about Cav-1 in cellular signaling and discuss the role of Cav-1 in aging-related diseases. PMID:28184336
Background The age-related decline in performance has been investigated in swimmers, runners and triathletes. No study has investigated the age-related performance decline in ultra-triathletes. The purpose of this study was to analyse the age-related declines in swimming, cycling, running and overall race time for both Triple Iron ultra-triathlon (11.4-km swimming, 540-km cycling and 126.6-km running) and Deca Iron ultra-triathlon (38-km swimming, 1,800-km cycling and 420-km running). Methods The age and performances of 423 male Triple Iron ultra-triathletes and 119 male Deca Iron ultra-triathletes were analysed from 1992 to 2010 using regression analyses and ANOVA. Results The mean age of the finishers was significantly higher for Deca Iron ultra-triathletes (41.3 ± 3.1 years) compared to a Triple Iron ultra-triathletes (38.5 ± 3.3 years) (P < 0.05). For both ultra-distances, the fastest overall race times were achieved between the ages of 25 and 44 years. Deca Iron ultra-triathletes achieved the same level of performance in swimming and cycling between 25 and 54 years of age. Conclusions The magnitudes of age-related declines in performance in the three disciplines of ultra-triathlon differ slightly between Triple and Deca Iron ultra-triathlon. Although the ages of Triple Iron ultra-triathletes were on average younger compared to Deca Iron ultra-triathletes, the fastest race times were achieved between 25 and 44 years for both distances. Further studies should investigate the motivation and training of ultra-triathletes to gain better insights in ultra-triathlon performance. PMID:23849327
Gemenetzi, M; Lotery, A J
In the age-related macular degeneration (AMD) ‘inflammation model', local inflammation plus complement activation contributes to the pathogenesis and progression of the disease. Multiple genetic associations have now been established correlating the risk of development or progression of AMD. Stratifying patients by their AMD genetic profile may facilitate future AMD therapeutic trials resulting in meaningful clinical trial end points with smaller sample sizes and study duration. PMID:26493033
Green-Simms, Amy E; Bakri, Sophie J
The interaction between the vitreous and the internal limiting membrane of the retina is important in the pathoetiology of numerous ocular disease processes. Recent studies have focused on the vitreo-retinal interface in the context of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), linking vitreo-retinal adhesion to exudative AMD in particular. This review summarizes our knowledge of vitreous anatomy and recent investigations regarding vitreomacular adhesion and AMD.
Everitt, Arthur V; Hilmer, Sarah N; Brand-Miller, Jennie C; Jamieson, Hamish A; Truswell, A Stewart; Sharma, Anita P; Mason, Rebecca S; Morris, Brian J; Le Couteur, David G
Reducing food intake in lower animals such as the rat decreases body weight, retards many aging processes, delays the onset of most diseases of old age, and prolongs life. A number of clinical trials of food restriction in healthy adult human subjects running over 2–15 years show significant reductions in body weight, blood cholesterol, blood glucose, and blood pressure, which are risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Lifestyle interventions that lower energy balance by reducing body weight such as physical exercise can also delay the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In general, clinical trials are suggesting that diets high in calories or fat along with overweight are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and dementia. There is a growing literature indicating that specific dietary constituents are able to influence the development of age-related diseases, including certain fats (trans fatty acids, saturated, and polyunsaturated fats) and cholesterol for cardiovascular disease, glycemic index and fiber for diabetes, fruits and vegetables for cardiovascular disease, and calcium and vitamin D for osteoporosis and bone fracture. In addition, there are dietary compounds from different functional foods, herbs, and neutraceuticals such as ginseng, nuts, grains, and polyphenols that may affect the development of age-related diseases. Long-term prospective clinical trials will be needed to confirm these diet—disease relationships. On the basis of current research, the best diet to delay age-related disease onset is one low in calories and saturated fat and high in wholegrain cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and which maintains a lean body weight. Such a diet should become a key component of healthy aging, delaying age-related diseases and perhaps intervening in the aging process itself. Furthermore, there are studies suggesting that nutrition in childhood
Velilla, Sara; García-Medina, José Javier; García-Layana, Alfredo; Dolz-Marco, Rosa; Pons-Vázquez, Sheila; Pinazo-Durán, M Dolores; Gómez-Ulla, Francisco; Arévalo, J Fernando; Díaz-Llopis, Manuel; Gallego-Pinazo, Roberto
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the main socioeconomical health issues worldwide. AMD has a multifactorial etiology with a variety of risk factors. Smoking is the most important modifiable risk factor for AMD development and progression. The present review summarizes the epidemiological studies evaluating the association between smoking and AMD, the mechanisms through which smoking induces damage to the chorioretinal tissues, and the relevance of advising patients to quit smoking for their visual health.
Velilla, Sara; García-Medina, José Javier; García-Layana, Alfredo; Pons-Vázquez, Sheila; Pinazo-Durán, M. Dolores; Gómez-Ulla, Francisco; Arévalo, J. Fernando; Díaz-Llopis, Manuel; Gallego-Pinazo, Roberto
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the main socioeconomical health issues worldwide. AMD has a multifactorial etiology with a variety of risk factors. Smoking is the most important modifiable risk factor for AMD development and progression. The present review summarizes the epidemiological studies evaluating the association between smoking and AMD, the mechanisms through which smoking induces damage to the chorioretinal tissues, and the relevance of advising patients to quit smoking for their visual health. PMID:24368940
Schwartz, Roy; Loewenstein, Anat
Early diagnosis and treatment of choroidal neovascularization (CNV), a main cause of severe vision loss in age related macular degeneration (AMD), is crucial in order to preserve vision and the quality of life of patients. This review summarizes current literature on the subject of early detection of CNV, both in the clinic setting and mainly in the patient's home. New technologies are evolving to allow for earlier detection and thus vision preservation in AMD patients.
Brewton, Dustin H.; Kokash, Jamiela; Jimenez, Oliva; Pena, Eloy R.; Razak, Khaleel A.
Age-related changes in inhibitory neurotransmission in sensory cortex may underlie deficits in sensory function. Perineuronal nets (PNNs) are extracellular matrix components that ensheath some inhibitory neurons, particularly parvalbumin positive (PV+) interneurons. PNNs may protect PV+ cells from oxidative stress and help establish their rapid spiking properties. Although PNN expression has been well characterized during development, possible changes in aging sensory cortex have not been investigated. Here we tested the hypothesis that PNN+, PV+ and PV/PNN co-localized cell densities decline with age in the primary auditory cortex (A1). This hypothesis was tested using immunohistochemistry in two strains of mice (C57BL/6 and CBA/CaJ) with different susceptibility to age-related hearing loss and at three different age ranges (1–3, 6–8 and 14–24 months old). We report that PNN+ and PV/PNN co-localized cell densities decline significantly with age in A1 in both mouse strains. In the PNN+ cells that remain in the old group, the intensity of PNN staining is reduced in the C57 strain, but not the CBA strain. PV+ cell density also declines only in the C57, but not the CBA, mouse suggesting a potential exacerbation of age-effects by hearing loss in the PV/PNN system. Taken together, these data suggest that PNN deterioration may be a key component of altered inhibition in the aging sensory cortex, that may lead to altered synaptic function, susceptibility to oxidative stress and processing deficits. PMID:27877127
Ascherman, Lee I; Shaftel, Julia
Youth with learning disorders, speech/language disorders, and/or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder may experience significant struggles during the transition from high school to postsecondary education and employment. These disorders often occur in combination or concurrently with behavioral and emotional difficulties. Incomplete evaluation may not fully identify the factors underlying academic and personal challenges. This article reviews these disorders, the role of special education law for transitional age youth in public schools, and the Americans with Disabilities Act in postsecondary educational and employment settings. The role of the child and adolescent psychiatrist and the importance of advocacy for these youth are presented.
Lao, Taotao; Jiang, Zhiqiang; Yun, Jeong; Qiu, Weiliang; Guo, Feng; Huang, Chunfang; Mancini, John Dominic; Gupta, Kushagra; Laucho-Contreras, Maria E; Naing, Zun Zar Chi; Zhang, Li; Perrella, Mark A; Owen, Caroline A; Silverman, Edwin K; Zhou, Xiaobo
Genetic variants in Hedgehog interacting protein (HHIP) have consistently been associated with the susceptibility to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pulmonary function levels, including the forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), in general population samples by genome-wide association studies. However, in vivo evidence connecting Hhip to age-related FEV1 decline and emphysema development is lacking. Herein, using Hhip heterozygous mice (Hhip(+/-)), we observed increased lung compliance and spontaneous emphysema in Hhip(+/-) mice starting at 10 mo of age. This increase was preceded by increases in oxidative stress levels in the lungs of Hhip(+/-) vs. Hhip(+/+) mice. To our knowledge, these results provide the first line of evidence that HHIP is involved in maintaining normal lung function and alveolar structures. Interestingly, antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine treatment in mice starting at age of 5 mo improved lung function and prevented emphysema development in Hhip(+/-) mice, suggesting that N-acetyl cysteine treatment limits the progression of age-related emphysema in Hhip(+/-) mice. Therefore, reduced lung function and age-related spontaneous emphysema development in Hhip(+/-) mice may be caused by increased oxidative stress levels in murine lungs as a result of haploinsufficiency of Hhip.
Linares, Rocío; Bajo, M Teresa; Pelegrina, Santiago
The aim of this study was to investigate possible age-related changes throughout childhood and adolescence in different component processes of working memory updating (WMU): retrieval, transformation, and substitution. A set of numerical WMU tasks was administered to four age groups (8-, 11-, 14-, and 21-year-olds). To isolate the effect of each of the WMU components, participants performed different versions of a task that included different combinations of the WMU components. The results showed an expected overall decrease in response times and an increase in accuracy performance with age. Most important, specific age-related changes in the retrieval component were found, demonstrating that the effect of retrieval on accuracy was larger in children than in adolescents or young adults. These findings indicate that the availability of representations from outside the focus of attention may change with age. Thus, the retrieval component of updating could contribute to the age-related changes observed in the performance of many updating tasks.
Salthouse, Timothy A.
There are many reports of relations between age and cognitive variables and of relations between age and variables representing different aspects of brain structure, and a few reports of relations between brain structure variables and cognitive variables. These findings have sometimes led to inferences that the age-related brain changes cause the age-related cognitive changes. Although this conclusion may well be true, it is widely recognized that simple correlations are not sufficient to warrant causal conclusions, and other types of correlational information, such as mediation and correlations between longitudinal brain changes and longitudinal cognitive changes, also have limitations with respect to causal inferences. These issues are discussed, and the existing results on relations of regional volume, white matter hyperintensities, and DTI measures of white matter integrity to age and to measures of cognitive functioning are reviewed. It is concluded that at the current time the evidence that these aspects of brain structure are neuroanatomical substrates of age-related cognitive decline is weak. The final section contains several suggestions concerned with measurement and methodology that may lead to stronger conclusions in the future. PMID:21463028
Roberts, Megan E.; Peters, Ellen; Ferketich, Amy K.; Klein, Elizabeth G.
Objectives This study tested whether age is a factor in viewing time for tobacco warning labels. The approach drew from previous work demonstrating an age-related positivity effect, whereby older adults show preferences toward positive and away from negative stimuli. Methods Participants were 295 daily smokers from Appalachian Ohio (age range: 21–68). All participants took part in an eye-tracking paradigm that captured the attention paid to elements of health warning labels in the context of magazine advertisements. Participants also reported on their past cessation attempts and their beliefs about the dangers of smoking. Results Consistent with theory on age-related positivity, older age predicted weaker beliefs about smoking risks, but only among those with no past-year quit attempts. In support of our primary hypothesis, older age was also related to a lower percentage of time spent viewing tobacco warning labels, both overall (text + image) and for the graphic image alone. These associations remained after controlling for cigarettes smoked per day. Conclusions Overall, findings suggest that age is an important consideration for the design of future graphic warning labels and other tobacco risk communications. For older adults, warning labels may need to be tailored to overcome the age-related positivity effect. PMID:27617273
Huebner, Shane M.; Tran, Tuan D.; Rufer, Echoleah S.; Crump, Peter M.; Smith, Susan M.
Background Gestational alcohol exposure causes lifelong physical and neurocognitive deficits collectively referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). Micronutrient deficiencies are common in pregnancies of alcohol-abusing women. Here we show the most common micronutrient deficiency of pregnancy, iron deficiency without anemia, significantly worsens neurocognitive outcomes following perinatal alcohol exposure. Methods Pregnant rats were fed iron-deficient (ID) or iron-sufficient diets from gestational day 13 to postnatal day (PD) 7. Pups received alcohol (0, 3.5, 5.0 g/kg) from PD 4–9, targeting the brain growth spurt. At PD 32, learning was assessed using delay or trace eyeblink classical conditioning (ECC). Cerebellar interpositus nucleus (IPN) and hippocampal CA1 cellularity was quantified using unbiased stereology. Results Global ANOVA revealed that ID and alcohol separately and significantly reduced ECC learning with respect to amplitude (p’s ≤0.001) and CR percentage (p’s ≤0.001). Iron and alcohol interacted to reduce CR percentage in the trace ECC task (p = 0.013). Both ID and alcohol significantly reduced IPN (p’s <0.001) and CA1 cellularity (p’s < 0.005). CR amplitude correlated with IPN cellularity (Delay 0.871, Trace 0.703, p’s <0.001) and CA1 cellularity (Delay 0.792, Trace 0.846, p’s <0.001) across both tasks. The learning impairments persisted even through the offsprings’ iron status had normalized. Conclusion Supporting our previous work, gestational ID exacerbates the associative learning deficits in this rat model of FASD. This is strongly associated with cellular reductions within the ECC neurocircuitry. Significant learning impairments in FASD could be the consequence, in part, of pregnancies in which the mother was also iron-inadequate. PMID:26399568
Ng, Chi-Wing; Navarro, Xochi; Engle, James R.
Nonhuman primates, compared with humans and rodents, have historically been far less used for studies of age-related hearing loss, primarily because of their long life span and high cost of maintenance. Strong similarities in genetics, anatomy, and neurophysiology of the auditory nervous system between humans and monkeys, however, could provide fruitful opportunities to enhance our understanding of hearing loss. The present study used a common, noninvasive technique for testing hearing sensitivity in humans, the auditory brainstem response (ABR), to assess the hearing of 48 rhesus macaques from 6 to 35 yr of age to clicks and tone stimuli between 0.5 and 16.0 kHz. Old monkeys, particularly those above 21.5 yr of age, had missing ABR waveforms at high frequencies. Regression analyses revealed that ABR threshold increased as a function of age at peaks II and IV simultaneously. In the suprathreshold hearing condition (70 dB peak sound pressure level), ABR-based audiograms similarly varied as a function of age such that old monkeys had smaller peak amplitudes and delayed latencies at low, middle, and high frequencies. Peripheral hearing differences remained a major influence associated with age-related changes in audiometric functions of old monkeys at a comparable sensation level across animals. The present findings suggest that hearing loss occurs in old monkeys across a wide range of frequencies and that these deficits increase in severity with age. Parallel to prior studies in monkeys, we found weak effects of sex on hearing, and future investigations are necessary to clarify its role in age-related hearing loss. PMID:25972589
Gray, Daniel T.; Engle, James R.; Recanzone, Gregg H.
Positive immunoreactivity to the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin (PV) and nitric oxide synthase NADPH-diaphorase (NADPHd) is well documented within neurons of the central auditory system of both rodents and primates. These proteins are thought to play roles in the regulation of auditory processing. Studies examining the age-related changes in expression of these proteins have been conducted primarily in rodents but are sparse in primate models. In the brainstem, the superior olivary complex (SOC) is crucial for the computation of sound source localization in azimuth, and one hallmark of age-related hearing deficits is a reduced ability to localize sounds. To investigate how these histochemical markers change as a function of age and hearing loss, we studied eight rhesus macaques ranging in age from 12 to 35 years. Auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) were obtained in anesthetized animals for click and tone stimuli. The brainstems of these same animals were then stained for PV and NADPHd reactivity. Reactive neurons in the three nuclei of the SOC were counted, and the densities of each cell type were calculated. We found that PV and NADPHd expression increased with both age and ABR thresholds in the medial superior olive but not in either the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body or the lateral superior olive. Together these results suggest that the changes in protein expression employed by the SOC may compensate for the loss of efficacy of auditory sensitivity in the aged primate. PMID:25232570
Rimmele, Johanna; Schröger, Erich; Bendixen, Alexandra
A recent approach to auditory processing suggests a close relationship of regularity processing in auditory sensory memory (ASM) and stream segregation, such that within-stream regularities can be used to stabilize stream segregation. The present study investigates age-related changes in how regular patterns are used for auditory scene analysis (ASA), when the stream containing the regularity is attended or unattended. In order to accomplish an intensity level deviant detection task, participants had to segregate the task-relevant pure tone sequence from an irrelevant distractor pure tone sequence, which randomly varied in level. In three conditions a simple spectro-temporal regularity ("Isochronous"), a more complex spectro-temporal regularity ("Rhythmic"), or no regularity ("Random") was embedded in either the attended target sequence (Experiment 1), or the unattended distractor sequence (Experiment 2). When the sequence containing the regularity was attended, older participants showed a similar increase of performance to younger adults in the conditions with regular patterns ("Isochronous" and "Rhythmic") compared to the "Random" condition. In contrast, when the sequence containing the regularity was unattended, older adults showed a specific performance decline compared to younger adults in the "Isochronous" condition. Results suggest a link between impaired automatic processing of regularities in ASM, and age-related deficits in the use of regular patterns for ASA.
This article provides an analysis of shifts that have taken place in policy discourses on lifelong learning by organisations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and cultural Organisation, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the European Union. The article documents the shifts in these discourses over time,…
Schmall, Vicki; Grabinski, C. Joanne; Bowman, Sally
Based on their experience as designers and/or users of games as a learner-centered strategy in gerontology, geriatric, and aging-related courses and training programs, the authors note multiple advantages of using games as a learning tool, list six relevant games (including order information), and suggest a variety of ways games can be used. They…
Matsumoto, Yukihisa; Matsumoto, Chihiro S.; Takahashi, Toshihumi; Mizunami, Makoto
Age-related memory impairment (AMI) is a common feature and a debilitating phenotype of brain aging in many animals. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying AMI are still largely unknown. The cricket Gryllus bimaculatus is a useful experimental animal for studying age-related changes in learning and memory capability; because the cricket has relatively short life-cycle and a high capability of olfactory learning and memory. Moreover, the molecular mechanisms underlying memory formation in crickets have been examined in detail. In the present study, we trained male crickets of different ages by multiple-trial olfactory conditioning to determine whether AMI occurs in crickets. Crickets 3 weeks after the final molt (3-week-old crickets) exhibited levels of retention similar to those of 1-week-old crickets at 30 min or 2 h after training; however they showed significantly decreased levels of 1-day retention, indicating AMI in long-term memory (LTM) but not in anesthesia-resistant memory (ARM) in olfactory learning of crickets. Furthermore, 3-week-old crickets injected with a nitric oxide (NO) donor, a cyclic GMP (cGMP) analog or a cyclic AMP (cAMP) analog into the hemolymph before conditioning exhibited a normal level of LTM, the same level as that in 1-week-old crickets. The rescue effect by NO donor or cGMP analog injection was absent when the crickets were injected after the conditioning. For the first time, an NO donor and a cGMP analog were found to antagonize the age-related impairment of LTM formation, suggesting that deterioration of NO synthase (NOS) or molecules upstream of NOS activation is involved in brain-aging processes. PMID:27616985
Metzler, Megan J.; Saucier, Deborah M.; Metz, Gerlinde A.
Aging is associated with deterioration of skilled manual movement. Specifically, aging corresponds with increased reaction time, greater movement duration, segmentation of movement, increased movement variability, and reduced ability to adapt to external forces and inhibit previously learned sequences. Moreover, it is thought that decreased lateralization of neural function in older adults may point to increased neural recruitment as a compensatory response to deterioration of key frontal and intra-hemispheric networks, particularly of callosal structures. However, factors that mediate age-related motor decline are not well understood. Here we show that music training in childhood is associated with reduced age-related decline of bimanual and unimanual motor skills in a MIDI keyboard motor learning task. Compared to older adults without music training, older adults with more than a year of music training demonstrated proficient bimanual and unimanual movement, evidenced by enhanced speed and decreased movement errors. Further, this group demonstrated significantly better implicit learning in the weather prediction task, a non-motor task. The performance of older adults with music training in those tasks was comparable to young adults. Older adults, however, displayed greater verbal ability compared to young adults irrespective of a past history of music training. Our results indicate that music training early in life may reduce age-associated decline of neural motor and cognitive networks. PMID:23423702
Müller, Nils C. J.; Genzel, Lisa; Konrad, Boris N.; Pawlowski, Marcel; Neville, David; Fernández, Guillén; Steiger, Axel
The ability to consolidate procedural memories declines with increasing age. Prior knowledge enhances learning and memory consolidation of novel but related information in various domains. Here, we present evidence that prior motor experience–in our case piano skills–increases procedural learning and has a protective effect against age-related decline for the consolidation of novel but related manual movements. In our main experiment, we tested 128 participants with a sequential finger-tapping motor task during two sessions 24 hours apart. We observed enhanced online learning speed and offline memory consolidation for piano players. Enhanced memory consolidation was driven by a strong effect in older participants, whereas younger participants did not benefit significantly from prior piano experience. In a follow up independent control experiment, this compensatory effect of piano experience was not visible after a brief offline period of 30 minutes, hence requiring an extended consolidation window potentially involving sleep. Through a further control experiment, we rejected the possibility that the decreased effect in younger participants was caused by training saturation. We discuss our results in the context of the neurobiological schema approach and suggest that prior experience has the potential to rescue memory consolidation from age-related cognitive decline. PMID:27333186
Gui, Wen-Jun; Li, Hui-Jie; Guo, Yu-Hua; Peng, Peng; Lei, Xu; Yu, Jing
A period of post-learning sleep benefits memory consolidation compared with an equal-length wake interval. However, whether this sleep-based memory consolidation changes as a function of age remains controversial. Here we report a meta-analysis that investigates the age differences in the sleep-based memory consolidation in two types of memory: declarative memory and procedural memory. The meta-analysis included 22 comparisons of the performance between young adults (N =640) and older adults (N =529) on behavioral tasks measuring sleep-based memory consolidation. Our results showed a significant overall sleep-based beneficial effect in young adults but not in older adults. However, further analyses suggested that the age differences were mainly manifested in sleep-based declarative memory consolidation but not in procedural memory consolidation. We discussed the possible underlying mechanisms for the age-related degradation in sleep-based memory consolidation. Further research is needed to determine the crucial components for sleep-related memory consolidation in older adults such as age-related changes in neurobiological and cardiovascular functions, which may play an important role in this context and have the potential to delineate the interrelationships between age-related changes in sleep and memory.
Pavlopoulos, Elias; Jones, Sidonie; Kosmidis, Stylianos; Close, Maggie; Kim, Carla; Kovalerchik, Olga; Small, Scott A.; Kandel, Eric R.
To distinguish age-related memory loss more explicitly from Alzheimer’s disease (AD), we have explored its molecular underpinning in the dentate gyrus (DG), a subregion of the hippocampal formation thought to be targeted by aging. We carried out a gene expression study in human postmortem tissue harvested from both DG and entorhinal cortex (EC), a neighboring subregion unaffected by aging and known to be the site of onset of AD. Using expression in the EC for normalization, we identified 17 genes that manifested reliable age-related changes in the DG. The most significant change was an age-related decline in RbAp48, a histone-binding protein that modifies histone acetylation. To test whether the RbAp48 decline could be responsible for age-related memory loss, we turned to mice and found that, consistent with humans, RbAp48 was less abundant in the DG of old than in young mice. We next generated a transgenic mouse that expressed a dominant-negative inhibitor of RbAp48 in the adult forebrain. Inhibition of RbAp48 in young mice caused hippocampus-dependent memory deficits similar to those associated with aging, as measured by novel object recognition and Morris water maze tests. Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies showed that within the hippocampal formation, dysfunction was selectively observed in the DG, and this corresponded to a regionally selective decrease in histone acetylation. Up-regulation of RbAp48 in the DG of aged wild-type mice ameliorated age-related hippocampus-based memory loss and age-related abnormalities in histone acetylation. Together, these findings show that the DG is a hippocampal subregion targeted by aging, and identify molecular mechanisms of cognitive aging that could serve as valid targets for therapeutic intervention. PMID:23986399
Ren, Hong Miao; Liu, Wei
Abstract Recent breakthroughs have provided notable insights into both the pathogenesis and therapeutic strategies for age-related hearing loss (ARHL). Simultaneously, these breakthroughs enhance our knowledge about this neurodegenerative disease and raise the question of whether the disorder is preventable or even treatable. Discoveries relating to ARHL have revealed a unique link between ARHL and the underlying pathologies. Therefore, we need to better understand the pathogenesis or the mechanism of ARHL and learn how to take full advantage of various therapeutic strategies to prevent the progression of ARHL. PMID:23915327
Young, Jared W; Kamenski, Mary E; Higa, Kerin K; Light, Gregory A; Geyer, Mark A; Zhou, Xianjin
Serious mental illness occurs in 25% of the general population, with many disorders being neurodevelopmental, lifelong, and debilitating. The wide variation and overlap in symptoms across disorders increases the difficulty of research and treatment development. The NIMH Research Domain of Criteria initiative aims to improve our understanding of the molecular and behavioral consequences of specific neurodevelopmental mechanisms across disorders, enabling targeted treatment development. The transcription factor Specificity Protein 4 (SP4) is important for neurodevelopment and is genetically associated with both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Reduced Sp4 expression in mice (hypomorphic) reproduces several characteristics of psychiatric disorders. We further tested the utility of Sp4 hypomorphic mice as a model organism relevant to psychiatric disorders by assessing cognitive control plus effort and decision-making aspects of approach motivation using cross-species-relevant tests. Sp4 hypomorphic mice exhibited impaired attention as measured by the 5-Choice Continuous Performance Test, an effect that was attenuated by glycine type-1 transporter (GlyT-1) inhibition. Hypomorphic mice also exhibited reduced motivation to work for a reward and impaired probabilistic learning. These deficits may stem from affected anticipatory reward, analogous to anhedonia in patients with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. Neither positive valence deficit was attenuated by GlyT-1 treatment, suggesting that these and the attentional deficits stem from different underlying mechanisms. Given the association of SP4 gene with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the present studies provide support that personalized GlyT-1 inhibition may treat attentional deficits in neuropsychiatric patients with low SP4 levels. PMID:25907107
Efstratopoulou, Maria; Janssen, Rianne; Simons, Johan
The study was designed to investigate the discriminant validity of the Motor Behavior Checklist (MBC) for distinguishing four group of children independently classified with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, (ADHD; N=22), Conduct Disorder (CD; N=17), Learning Disabilities (LD; N=24) and Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD; N=20). Physical education teachers used the MBC for children to rate their pupils based on their motor related behaviors. A multivariate analysis revealed significant differences among the groups on different problem scales. The results indicated that the MBC for children may be effective in discriminating children with similar disruptive behaviors (e.g., ADHD, CD) and autistic disorders, based on their motor behavior characteristics, but not children with Learning Disabilities (LD), when used by physical education teachers in school settings.
Yang, Mu; Lewis, Freeman C.; Sarvi, Michael S.; Foley, Gillian M.; Crawley, Jacqueline N.
Chromosomal 16p11.2 deletion syndrome frequently presents with intellectual disabilities, speech delays, and autism. Here we investigated the Dolmetsch line of 16p11.2 heterozygous (+/-) mice on a range of cognitive tasks with different neuroanatomical substrates. Robust novel object recognition deficits were replicated in two cohorts of 16p11.2…
Miranda, Ana; Soriano, Manuel; Fernandez, Inmaculada; Melia, Amanda
Comorbidity with other psychological problems (PP) complicates the course of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and makes treatment more difficult. The purpose of the present study was to (a) study the correspondence between the perceptions of parents and teachers about PP, (b) determine which PP predict the severity of the…
Dennis, Nancy A.; Kim, Hongkeun; Cabeza, Roberto
Compared to young adults, older adults show not only a reduction in true memories but also an increase in false memories. We investigated the neural bases of these age effects using functional magnetic resonance imaging and a false memory task that resembles the Deese–Roediger–McDermott (DRM) paradigm. Young and older participants were scanned during a word recognition task that included studied words and new words that were strongly associated with studied words (critical lures). During correct recognition of studied words (true memory), older adults showed weaker activity than young adults in the hippocampus but stronger activity than young adults in the retrosplenial cortex. The hippocampal reduction is consistent with age-related deficits in recollection, whereas the retrosplenial increase suggests compensatory recruitment of alternative recollection-related regions. During incorrect recognition of critical lures (false memory), older adults displayed stronger activity than young adults in the left lateral temporal cortex, a region involved in semantic processing and semantic gist. Taken together, the results suggest that older adults’ deficits in true memories reflect a decline in recollection processes mediated by the hippocampus, whereas their increased tendency to have false memories reflects their reliance on semantic gist mediated by the lateral temporal cortex. PMID:18303982
Weiss, Elisabeth M; Gschaidbauer, Bianca; Kaufmann, Liane; Fink, Andreas; Schulter, Günter; Mittenecker, Erich; Papousek, Ilona
Deficits in specific executive domains are highly prevalent in autism spectrum disorder; however, age-related improvements in executive functions (reflecting prefrontal maturational changes) have been reported even in individuals diagnosed with autism. The current study examined two components of cognitive flexibility (inhibition of prepotent responses and memory monitoring/updating) by using a random-motor-generation task (MPT) in a group of 23 boys with Asperger syndrome (AS) and 23 matched healthy controls. We found poorer inhibition and more repetitive responses in younger AS children solely, but comparable memory monitoring/updating skills across groups. Overall, our findings correspond well with previous studies and reveal that even in AS specific EFs may improve with age and, thus, call for a more differentiated view of executive (dys) function profiles in children diagnosed with AS. Tests such as the random-motor-generation task may help to disentangle more specific processes of executive deficits in autism spectrum disorder as compared to the more classical tests.
Payne, Anthony M; Messi, María Laura; Zheng, Zhenlin; Delbono, Osvaldo
A population of fast muscle fibers from aging mice is dependent on external Ca(2+) to maintain tetanic force during repeated contractions. We hypothesized that age-related denervation in muscle fibers plays a role in initiating this contractile deficit, and that prevention of denervation by IGF-1 overexpression would prevent external Ca(2+)-dependent contraction in aging mice. IGF-1 overexpression in skeletal muscle prevents age-related denervation, and prevented external Ca(2+)-dependent contraction in this work. To determine if the effects of IGF-1 overexpression are on muscle or nerve, aging mice were injected with a tetanus toxin fragment-C (TTC) fusion protein that targets IGF-1 to spinal cord motor neurons. This treatment prevented external Ca(2+)-dependent contraction. We also show evidence that injections of the IGF-1-TTC fusion protein prevent age-related alterations to the nerve terminals at the neuromuscular junctions. We conclude that the slow age-related denervation of fast muscle fibers underlies dependence on external Ca(2+) to maintain tetanic force in a population of muscle fibers from senescent mice.
Mokhtari, Zahra; Baluchnejadmojarad, Tourandokht; Nikbakht, Farnaz; Mansouri, Monireh; Roghani, Mehrdad
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a major global public health concern and social care problem that is associated with learning, memory, and cognitive deficits. Riluzole is a glutamate modulator which has shown to improve memory performance in aged rats and may be of benefit in Alzheimer's disease. In the present study, its beneficial effect on attenuation of learning and memory deficits in Aβ25-35-induced rat model of AD was assessed. Riluzole administration at a dose of 10mg/kg/day p.o. improved spatial memory in Morris water maze and retention and recall in passive avoidance task and its protective effect was not neutralized following intracerebroventricular microinjection of muscarinic or nicotinic receptor antagonists. Further biochemical analysis showed that riluzole pretreatment of intrahippocampal Aβ-microinjected rats is able to attenuate hippocampal AChE activity and lower some oxidative stress markers, i.e. MDA and nitrite, with no significant change of the defensive enzyme catalase. Furthermore, riluzole prevented hippocampal CA1 neuronal loss and reduced 3-nitrotyrosine immunoreactivity. It is concluded that riluzole could exert a protective effect against memory decline induced by intrahippocampal Aβ25-35 through anti-oxidative, anti-cholinesterase, and neuroprotective potential and its beneficial effect is possibly independent of cholinoceptor activation.
Darcet, Flavie; Gardier, Alain M; David, Denis J; Guilloux, Jean-Philippe
Cognitive disturbances are often reported as serious invalidating symptoms in patients suffering from major depression disorders (MDD) and are not fully corrected by classical monoaminergic antidepressant drugs. If the role of 5-HT4 receptor agonists as cognitive enhancers is well established in naïve animals or in animal models of cognitive impairment, their cognitive effects in the context of stress need to be examined. Using a mouse model of anxiety/depression (CORT model), we reported that a chronic 5-HT4 agonist treatment (RS67333, 1.5mg/kg/day) restored chronic corticosterone-induced cognitive deficits, including episodic-like, associative and spatial learning and memory impairments. On the contrary, a chronic monoaminergic antidepressant drug treatment with fluoxetine (18mg/kg/day) only partially restored spatial learning and memory deficits and had no effect in the associative/contextual task. These results suggest differential mechanisms underlying cognitive effects of these drugs. Finally, the present study highlights 5-HT4 receptor stimulation as a promising therapeutic mechanism to alleviate cognitive symptoms related to MDD.
Gemenetzi, M; Lotery, A J
It is becoming increasingly evident that epigenetic mechanisms influence gene expression and can explain how interactions between genetics and the environment result in particular phenotypes during development. The extent to which this epigenetic effect contributes to phenotype heritability in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is currently ill defined. However, emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic changes are relevant to AMD and as such provide an exciting new avenue of research for AMD. This review addresses information on the impact of posttranslational modification of the genome on the pathogenesis of AMD, such as DNA methylation changes affecting antioxidant gene expression, hypoxia-regulated alterations in chromatin structure, and histone acetylation status in relation to angiogenesis and inflammation. It also contains information on the role of non-coding RNA-mediated gene regulation in AMD at a posttranscriptional (before translation) level. Our aim was to review the epigenetic mechanisms that cause heritable changes in gene activity without changing the DNA sequence. We also describe some long-term alterations in the transcriptional potential of a cell, which are not necessarily heritable but remains to be defined in the future. Increasing understanding of the significance of common and rare genetic variants and their relationship to epigenetics and environmental influences may help in establishing methods to assess the risk of AMD. This in turn may allow new therapeutic interventions for the leading cause of central vision impairment in patients over the age of 50 years in developed countries. Search strategy We searched the MEDLINE/PubMed database following MeSH suggestions for articles including the terms: 'ocular epigenetic mechanisms', 'human disease epigenetics', and 'age-related macular degeneration genetics'. The headline used to locate related articles in PubMed was 'epigenetics in ocular disease', and to restrict search, we used the
Gerth, Christina; Garcia, Susan M.; Ma, Lei; Keltner, John L.; Werner, John S.
Background Age-related changes in the first-order multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG) responses were measured for two different luminance levels (200 and 700 cd·m−2). The relative contribution of optical and neural factors to senescent change in response was evaluated. Methods Data were obtained from one eye of each of 71 normal phakic subjects, age 9−80 years. The mfERG responses were recorded with the 7” stimulus-refractor unit (EDI) and VERIS 4.3 using the following protocol: bipolar contact lens, 103 hexagons, consecutive stimulation with 200 and 700 cd·m−2, pupils ≥6 mm, amplification of 105, filter cut-offs at 10 and 300 Hz. Results Age-correlated decreases in amplitude and response density and increases in P1 implicit time were found for both luminance levels. The mean response density (nV·deg−2) was higher for the 700 cd·m−2 stimulus, but the rate of change with age was not significantly different from that obtained with the 200 cd·m−2 stimulus. Implicit time was not significantly different for the two light levels, nor was the rate of change with age. The decrease in response density and the increase in implicit time with age were significant across all retinal regions, dividing the 50 deg stimulus into six concentric rings. Age-related change in response density was greatest for the central retina and decreased with increasing retinal eccentricity. Conclusion Log mfERG response changes linearly as a function of age. Analyses of the effects of reduced ocular media transmission and increased stray light, along with ancillary data obtained from pseudophakes, imply that age-related changes in the mfERG are due to both optical and neural factors. PMID:11935277
Subudhi, M.; Shier, W.; MacDougall, E. )
An aging assessment of Westinghouse DS-series low-voltage air circuit breakers was performed as part of the Nuclear Plant Aging Research (NPAR) program. The objectives of this study are to characterize age-related degradation within the breaker assembly and to identify maintenance practices to mitigate their effect. Since this study has been promulgated by the failures of the reactor trip breakers at the McGuire Nuclear Station in July 1987, results relating to the welds in the breaker pole lever welds are also discussed. The design and operation of DS-206 and DS-416 breakers were reviewed. Failure data from various national data bases were analyzed to identify the predominant failure modes, causes, and mechanisms. Additional operating experiences from one nuclear station and two industrial breaker-service companies were obtained to develop aging trends of various subcomponents. The responses of the utilities to the NRC Bulletin 88-01, which discusses the center pole lever welds, were analyzed to assess the final resolution of failures of welds in the reactor trips. Maintenance recommendations, made by the manufacturer to mitigate age-related degradation were reviewed, and recommendations for improving the monitoring of age-related degradation are discussed. As described in Volume 2 of this NUREG, the results from a test program to assess degradation in breaker parts through mechanical cycling are also included. The testing has characterized the cracking of center-pole lever welds, identified monitoring techniques to determine aging in breakers, and provided information to augment existing maintenance programs. Recommendations to improve breaker reliability using effective maintenance, testing, and inspection programs are suggested. 13 refs., 21 figs., 8 tabs.
Kolesnikov, Alexander V; Fan, Jie; Crouch, Rosalie K; Kefalov, Vladimir J
Even in healthy individuals, aging leads to deterioration in visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, visual field, and dark adaptation. Little is known about the neural mechanisms that drive the age-related changes of the retina and, more specifically, photoreceptors. According to one hypothesis, the age-related deterioration in rod function is due to the limited availability of 11-cis-retinal for rod pigment formation. To determine how aging affects rod photoreceptors and to test the retinoid-deficiency hypothesis, we compared the morphological and functional properties of rods of adult and aged B6D2F1/J mice. We found that the number of rods and the length of their outer segments were significantly reduced in 2.5-year-old mice compared with 4-month-old animals. Aging also resulted in a twofold reduction in the total level of opsin in the retina. Behavioral tests revealed that scotopic visual acuity and contrast sensitivity were decreased by twofold in aged mice, and rod ERG recordings demonstrated reduced amplitudes of both a- and b-waves. Sensitivity of aged rods determined from single-cell recordings was also decreased by 1.5-fold, corresponding to not more than 1% free opsin in these photoreceptors, and kinetic parameters of dim flash response were not altered. Notably, the rate of rod dark adaptation was unaffected by age. Thus, our results argue against age-related deficiency of 11-cis-retinal in the B6D2F1/J mouse rod visual cycle. Surprisingly, the level of cellular dark noise was increased in aged rods, providing an alternative mechanism for their desensitization.
Kang, Eui Chun; Koh, Hyoung Jun
Herein, we review the association between vitreomacular adhesion (VMA) and neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Meta-analyses have shown that eyes with neovascular AMD are twice as likely to have VMA as normal eyes. VMA in neovascular AMD may induce inflammation, macular traction, decrease in oxygenation, sequestering of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and other cytokines or may directly stimulate VEGF production. VMA may also interfere with the treatment effects of anti-VEGF therapy, which is the standard treatment for neovascular AMD, and releasing VMA can improve the treatment response to anti-VEGF treatment in neovascular AMD. We also reviewed currently available methods of relieving VMA. PMID:26425354
van Lookeren Campagne, Menno; Strauss, Erich C; Yaspan, Brian L
The complement system plays a key role in host-defense against common pathogens but must be tightly controlled to avoid inflammation and tissue damage. Polymorphisms in genes encoding two important negative regulators of the alternative complement pathway, complement factor H (CFH) and complement factor I (CFI), are associated with the risk for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision impairment in the ageing population. In this review, we will discuss the genetic basis of AMD and the potential impact of complement de-regulation on disease pathogenesis. Finally, we will highlight recent therapeutic approaches aimed at controlling complement activation in patients with AMD.
McGill, J I; Liakos, G M; Goulding, N; Seal, D V
The specific and non-specific tear proteins have been analysed by means of the ELISA technique to establish the normal and age-related values. There is a linear and related decline of lysozyme and lactoferrin with age, and a similar but unrelated reduction in tear volume. IgA levels gradually decline, while caeruloplasmin and IgG both increase after the fifth decade. The results suggest that tear IgG and caeruloplasmin are probably transudates from the serum, that IgA is secreted independently of tear volume, and that lysozyme and lactoferrin are secreted at the same site but independently of tear volume. PMID:6712908
Göbel, Arno P; Fleckenstein, Monika; Schmitz-Valckenberg, Steffen; Brinkmann, Christian K; Holz, Frank G
Advances in retinal imaging technology have largely contributed to the understanding of the natural history, prognostic markers and disease mechanisms of geographic atrophy (GA) due to age-related macular degeneration. There is still no therapy available to halt or slow the disease process. In order to evaluate potential therapeutic effects in interventional trials, there is a need for precise quantification of the GA progression rate. Fundus autofluorescence imaging allows for accurate identification and segmentation of atrophic areas and currently represents the gold standard for evaluating progressive GA enlargement. By means of high-resolution spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, distinct microstructural alterations related to GA can be visualized.
Wilkinson, Shawn; Harvey, William J.; Bloom, Gordon A.; Joober, Ridha; Grizenko, Natalie
Background: Service learning (SL) is a collaborative relationship between university professors, their students, and community partners who combine academic learning and active participation to address community issues. Previous studies in SL and physical education teacher education (PETE) found SL projects increased opportunities for learning and…
Villar-Cheda, Begoña; Dominguez-Meijide, Antonio; Valenzuela, Rita; Granado, Noelia; Moratalla, Rosario; Labandeira-Garcia, Jose L
It is not known whether the aging-related decrease in dopaminergic function leads to the aging-related higher vulnerability of dopaminergic neurons and risk for Parkinson's disease. The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays a major role in the inflammatory response, neuronal oxidative stress, and dopaminergic vulnerability via type 1 (AT1) receptors. In the present study, we observed a counterregulatory interaction between dopamine and angiotensin receptors. We observed overexpression of AT1 receptors in the striatum and substantia nigra of young adult dopamine D1 and D2 receptor-deficient mice and young dopamine-depleted rats, together with compensatory overexpression of AT2 receptors or compensatory downregulation of angiotensinogen and/or angiotensin. In aged rats, we observed downregulation of dopamine and dopamine receptors and overexpression of AT1 receptors in aged rats, without compensatory changes observed in young animals. L-Dopa therapy inhibited RAS overactivity in young dopamine-depleted rats, but was ineffective in aged rats. The results suggest that dopamine may play an important role in modulating oxidative stress and inflammation in the substantia nigra and striatum via the RAS, which is impaired by aging.
Katz-Hanani, Ilana; Rothstein, Tamara; Gaitini, Diana; Gallimidi, Zahava; Azhari, Haim
The aim of the current work was to quantify the ultrasonic properties of the whole breast in vivo as a function of age. Forty-four women were scanned using a computerized ultrasonic scanner developed in our laboratory. Raster scans in two orthogonal views, mediolateral and craniocaudal, were obtained using the ultrasonic through-transmission method. By combining the information from the two views, we estimated two acoustic properties: speed of sound and attenuation coefficient. On the basis of the results, both the attenuation coefficient and the speed of sound follow a three-phase age-related pattern. During the first phase, which corresponds to ages 20 to 35 y, both properties decrease with time and then remain roughly unchanged until about 55 y. During the third phase corresponding to ages >55 y, values decrease again with time. The mean speed of sound decreases from 1504 ± 35 m/s at <30 y to 1452 ± 9 m/s at >60 y (p < 0.01), and the attenuation coefficient decreases from 1.27 ± 0.32 to 0.96 ± 0.13 dB/cm/MHz (p < 0.03), respectively. In conclusion, both the ultrasonic speed of sound and the attenuation coefficient of breast tissue are age related. Both parameters decrease during life, markedly during the first and third phases. These changes may be attributed to anatomic and physiologic changes associated with reproductivity and menopause.
Barnes, Daniel R.
The production of speech prosody (the rhythm, pausing, and intonation associated with natural speech) is critical to effective communication. The current study investigated the impact of age-related changes to physiology and cognition in relation to the production of two types of linguistic prosody: lexical stress and the disambiguation of syntactically ambiguous utterances. Analyses of the acoustic correlates of stress: speech intensity (or sound-pressure level; SPL), fundamental frequency (F0), key word/phrase duration, and pause duration revealed that both young and older adults effectively use these acoustic features to signal linguistic prosody, although the relative weighting of cues differed by group. Differences in F0 were attributed to age-related physiological changes in the laryngeal subsystem, while group differences in duration measures were attributed to relative task complexity and the cognitive-linguistic load of these respective tasks. The current study provides normative acoustic data for older adults which informs interpretation of clinical findings as well as research pertaining to dysprosody as the result of disease processes.
Chen, Mei; Xu, Heping
Inflammation is an adaptive response of the immune system to noxious insults to maintain homeostasis and restore functionality. The retina is considered an immune privileged tissue due to its unique anatomical and physiological properties. During aging, the retina suffers from a low-grade chronic oxidative insult, which sustains for decades and increases in level with advancing age. As a result, the retinal innate immune system, particularly microglia and the complement system, undergo low levels of activation (para-inflammation). In many cases, this para-inflammatory response can maintain homeostasis in the healthy aging eye. However, in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), this para-inflammatory response becomes dysregulated and contributes to macular damage. Factors contributing to the dysregulation of age-related retinal para-inflammation include genetic predisposition, environmental risk factors and old age. Dysregulated para-inflammation (chronic inflammation) in AMD damages the blood retina barrier (BRB), resulting in the breach of retinal immune privilege leading to the development of retinal lesions. This review discusses the basic principles of retinal innate immune responses to endogenous chronic insults in normal aging and in AMD, and explores the difference between beneficial para-inflammation and the detrimental chronic inflammation in the context of AMD. PMID:26292978
Barardo, Diogo; Thornton, Daniel; Thoppil, Harikrishnan; Walsh, Michael; Sharifi, Samim; Ferreira, Susana; Anžič, Andreja; Fernandes, Maria; Monteiro, Patrick; Grum, Tjaša; Cordeiro, Rui; De-Souza, Evandro Araújo; Budovsky, Arie; Araujo, Natali; Gruber, Jan; Petrascheck, Michael; Fraifeld, Vadim E; Zhavoronkov, Alexander; Moskalev, Alexey; de Magalhães, João Pedro
Aging is a major worldwide medical challenge. Not surprisingly, identifying drugs and compounds that extend lifespan in model organisms is a growing research area. Here, we present DrugAge (http://genomics.senescence.info/drugs/), a curated database of lifespan-extending drugs and compounds. At the time of writing, DrugAge contains 1316 entries featuring 418 different compounds from studies across 27 model organisms, including worms, flies, yeast and mice. Data were manually curated from 324 publications. Using drug-gene interaction data, we also performed a functional enrichment analysis of targets of lifespan-extending drugs. Enriched terms include various functional categories related to glutathione and antioxidant activity, ion transport and metabolic processes. In addition, we found a modest but significant overlap between targets of lifespan-extending drugs and known aging-related genes, suggesting that some but not most aging-related pathways have been targeted pharmacologically in longevity studies. DrugAge is freely available online for the scientific community and will be an important resource for biogerontologists.
A growing body of research suggests that meditation practices are associated with substantial psychological as well as physiological benefits. In searching for the biological mechanisms underlying the beneficial impact of meditation, studies have revealed practice-induced alterations of neurotransmitters, brain activity, and cognitive abilities, just to name a few. These findings not only imply a close link between meditation and brain structure, but also suggest possible modulating effects of meditation on age-related brain atrophy. Given that normal aging is associated with significant loss of brain tissue, meditation-induced growth and/or preservation might manifest as a seemingly reduced brain age in meditators (i.e., cerebral measures characteristic of younger brains). Surprisingly, there are only three published studies that have addressed the question of whether meditation diminishes age-related brain degeneration. This paper reviews these three studies with respect to the brain attributes studied, the analytical strategies applied, and the findings revealed. The review concludes with an elaborate discussion on the significance of existing studies, implications and directions for future studies, as well as the overall relevance of this field of research.
Ross, J M; Will, O J; McGann, Z; Balasubramaniam, R
Fall prevention technologies have the potential to improve the lives of older adults. Because of the multisensory nature of human balance control, sensory therapies, including some involving tactile and auditory noise, are being explored that might reduce increased balance variability due to typical age-related sensory declines. Auditory white noise has previously been shown to reduce postural sway variability in healthy young adults. In the present experiment, we examined this treatment in young adults and typically aging older adults. We measured postural sway of healthy young adults and adults over the age of 65 years during silence and auditory white noise, with and without vision. Our results show reduced postural sway variability in young and older adults with auditory noise, even in the absence of vision. We show that vision and noise can reduce sway variability for both feedback-based and exploratory balance processes. In addition, we show changes with auditory noise in nonlinear patterns of sway in older adults that reflect what is more typical of young adults, and these changes did not interfere with the typical random walk behavior of sway. Our results suggest that auditory noise might be valuable for therapeutic and rehabilitative purposes in older adults with typical age-related balance variability.
Welch, Ailsa A
Age-related muscle loss impacts on whole-body metabolism and leads to frailty and sarcopenia, which are risk factors for fractures and mortality. Although nutrients are integral to muscle metabolism the relationship between nutrition and muscle loss has only been extensively investigated for protein and amino acids. The objective of the present paper is to describe other aspects of nutrition and their association with skeletal muscle mass. Mechanisms for muscle loss relate to imbalance in protein turnover with a number of anabolic pathways of which the mechanistic TOR pathway and the IGF-1-Akt-FoxO pathways are the most characterised. In terms of catabolism the ubiquitin proteasome system, apoptosis, autophagy, inflammation, oxidation and insulin resistance are among the major mechanisms proposed. The limited research associating vitamin D, alcohol, dietary acid-base load, dietary fat and anti-oxidant nutrients with age-related muscle loss is described. Vitamin D may be protective for muscle loss; a more alkalinogenic diet and diets higher in the anti-oxidant nutrients vitamin C and vitamin E may also prevent muscle loss. Although present recommendations for prevention of sarcopenia focus on protein, and to some extent on vitamin D, other aspects of the diet including fruits and vegetables should be considered. Clearly, more research into other aspects of nutrition and their role in prevention of muscle loss is required.
Morris, Ken A.; Gold, Paul E.
Epinephrine enhances memory in young adult rats, in part, by increasing blood glucose levels needed to modulate memory. In old rats, epinephrine is deficient at raising blood glucose levels and thus is only moderately effective at enhancing memory. In contrast, systemic glucose injections improve memory in old rats, with resulting memory performance equal to that of young rats. The diminished response of glucose to training in old rats may blunt downstream neurochemical and molecular mechanisms needed to upregulate memory processes. In the first experiment, young adult and old rats were trained on an inhibitory avoidance task with immediate post-training injections of aCSF or glucose into the dorsal hippocampus. Old rats had significant memory impairments compared to young rats 7 days after training. Intrahippocampal injections of glucose reversed age-related deficits, improving memory scores in old rats to values seen in young rats. A second experiment examined age-related changes in activation of the transcription factor CREB, which is widely implicated in memory formation and may act downstream of hormonal and metabolic signals. Activation was assessed in response to training with systemic injections of epinephrine and glucose at doses known to enhance memory. Young adult and old rats were trained on inhibitory avoidance with immediate post-training systemic injections of saline, epinephrine, or glucose. After training, old rats had significant impairments in CREB phosphorylation in area CA1 and the dentate gyrus region of the hippocampus, and in the basolateral and lateral amygdala. Epinephrine and glucose attenuated age-related deficits in CREB phosphorylation, but were more effective in the amygdala and hippocampus, respectively. Together, these results support the view that age-related changes in blood glucose responses to epinephrine contribute to memory impairments, which may be related to alterations in regional patterns of CREB phosphorylation. PMID
Morris, Ken A; Gold, Paul E
Epinephrine enhances memory in young adult rats, in part, by increasing blood glucose levels needed to modulate memory. In old rats, epinephrine is deficient at raising blood glucose levels and thus is only moderately effective at enhancing memory. In contrast, systemic glucose injections improve memory in old rats, with resulting memory performance equal to that of young rats. The diminished response of glucose to training in old rats may blunt downstream neurochemical and molecular mechanisms needed to upregulate memory processes. In the first experiment, young adult and old rats were trained on an inhibitory avoidance task with immediate post-training injections of aCSF or glucose into the dorsal hippocampus. Old rats had significant memory impairments compared to young rats 7 days after training. Intrahippocampal injections of glucose reversed age-related deficits, improving memory scores in old rats to values seen in young rats. A second experiment examined age-related changes in activation of the transcription factor CREB, which is widely implicated in memory formation and may act downstream of hormonal and metabolic signals. Activation was assessed in response to training with systemic injections of epinephrine and glucose at doses known to enhance memory. Young adult and old rats were trained on inhibitory avoidance with immediate post-training systemic injections of saline, epinephrine, or glucose. After training, old rats had significant impairments in CREB phosphorylation in area CA1 and the dentate gyrus region of the hippocampus, and in the basolateral and lateral amygdala. Epinephrine and glucose attenuated age-related deficits in CREB phosphorylation, but were more effective in the amygdala and hippocampus, respectively. Together, these results support the view that age-related changes in blood glucose responses to epinephrine contribute to memory impairments, which may be related to alterations in regional patterns of CREB phosphorylation.
Pehlivanoglu, Didem; Jain, Shivangi; Ariel, Robert; Verhaeghen, Paul
In the present study, we investigated age-related differences in the processing of emotional stimuli. Specifically, we were interested in whether older adults would show deficits in unbinding emotional expression (i.e., either no emotion, happiness, anger, or disgust) from bound stimuli (i.e., photographs of faces expressing these emotions), as a hyper-binding account of age-related differences in working memory would predict. Younger and older adults completed different N-Back tasks (side-by-side 0-Back, 1-Back, 2-Back) under three conditions: match/mismatch judgments based on either the identity of the face (identity condition), the face’s emotional expression (expression condition), or both identity and expression of the face (both condition). The two age groups performed more slowly and with lower accuracy in the expression condition than in the both condition, indicating the presence of an unbinding process. This unbinding effect was more pronounced in older adults than in younger adults, but only in the 2-Back task. Thus, older adults seemed to have a specific deficit in unbinding in working memory. Additionally, no age-related differences were found in accuracy in the 0-Back task, but such differences emerged in the 1-Back task, and were further magnified in the 2-Back task, indicating independent age-related differences in attention/STM and working memory. Pupil dilation data confirmed that the attention/STM version of the task (1-Back) is more effortful for older adults than younger adults. PMID:24795660
Eppinger, Ben; Walter, Maik; Heekeren, Hauke R; Li, Shu-Chen
In this study we investigated age-related and individual differences in habitual (model-free) and goal-directed (model-based) decision-making. Specifically, we were interested in three questions. First, does age affect the balance between model-based and model-free decision mechanisms? Second, are these age-related changes due to age differences in working memory (WM) capacity? Third, can model-based behavior be affected by manipulating the distinctiveness of the reward value of choice options? To answer these questions we used a two-stage Markov decision task in in combination with computational modeling to dissociate model-based and model-free decision mechanisms. To affect model-based behavior in this task we manipulated the distinctiveness of reward probabilities of choice options. The results show age-related deficits in model-based decision-making, which are particularly pronounced if unexpected reward indicates the need for a shift in decision strategy. In this situation younger adults explore the task structure, whereas older adults show perseverative behavior. Consistent with previous findings, these results indicate that older adults have deficits in the representation and updating of expected reward value. We also observed substantial individual differences in model-based behavior. In younger adults high WM capacity is associated with greater model-based behavior and this effect is further elevated when reward probabilities are more distinct. However, in older adults we found no effect of WM capacity. Moreover, age differences in model-based behavior remained statistically significant, even after controlling for WM capacity. Thus, factors other than decline in WM, such as deficits in the in the integration of expected reward value into strategic decisions may contribute to the observed impairments in model-based behavior in older adults.
Bizon, J L; Lee, H J; Gallagher, M
Age-related decrements in hippocampal neurogenesis have been suggested as a basis for learning impairment during aging. In the current study, a rodent model of age-related cognitive decline was used to evaluate neurogenesis in relation to hippocampal function. New hippocampal cell survival was assessed approximately 1 month after a series of intraperitoneal injections of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU). Correlational analyses between individual measures of BrdU-positive cells and performance on the Morris water maze task provided no indication that this measure of neurogenesis was more preserved in aged rats with intact cognitive abilities. On the contrary, among aged rats, higher numbers of BrdU-positive cells in the granule cell layer were associated with a greater degree of impairment on the learning task. Double-labelling studies confirmed that the majority of the BrdU+ cells were of the neuronal phenotype; the proportion of differentiated neurons was not different across a broad range of cognitive abilities. These data demonstrate that aged rats that maintain cognitive function do so despite pronounced reductions in hippocampal neurogenesis. In addition, these findings suggest the interesting possibility that impaired hippocampal function is associated with greater survival of newly generated hippocampal neurons at advanced ages.
Kim-Ha, Jeongsil; Kim, Young-Joon
Accumulating evidence indicates many brain functions are mediated by epigenetic regulation of neural genes, and their dysregulations result in neuronal disorders. Experiences such as learning and recall, as well as physical exercise, induce neuronal activation through epigenetic modifications and by changing the noncoding RNA profiles. Animal models, brain samples from patients, and the development of diverse analytical methods have broadened our understanding of epigenetic regulation in the brain. Diverse and specific epigenetic changes are suggested to correlate with neuronal development, learning and memory, aging and age-related neuronal diseases. Although the results show some discrepancies, a careful comparison of the data (including methods, regions and conditions examined) would clarify the problems confronted in understanding epigenetic regulation in the brain. PMID:27866512
Diaz-Ruiz, Oscar; Zhang, YaJun; Shan, Lufei; Malik, Nasir; Hoffman, Alexander F.; Ladenheim, Bruce; Cadet, Jean Lud; Lupica, Carl R.; Tagliaferro, Adriana; Brusco, Alicia; Bäckman, Cristina M.
In the present study, we analyzed mice with a targeted deletion of β-catenin in DA neurons (DA-βcat KO mice) to address the functional significance of this molecule in the shaping of synaptic responses associated with motor learning and following exposure to drugs of abuse. Relative to controls, DA-βcat KO mice showed significant deficits in their ability to form long-term memories and displayed reduced expression of methamphetamine-induced behavioral sensitization after subsequent challenge doses with this drug, suggesting that motor learning and drug-induced learning plasticity are altered in these mice. Morphological analyses showed no changes in the number or distribution of tyrosine hydroxylase-labeled neurons in the ventral midbrain. While electrochemical measurements in the striatum determined no changes in acute DA release and uptake, a small but significant decrease in DA release was detected in mutant animals after prolonged repetitive stimulation, suggesting a possible deficit in the DA neurotransmitter vesicle reserve pool. However, electron microscopy analyses did not reveal significant differences in the content of synaptic vesicles per terminal, and striatal DA levels were unchanged in DA-βcat KO animals. In contrast, striatal mRNA levels for several markers known to regulate synaptic plasticity and DA neurotransmission were altered in DA-βcat KO mice. This study demonstrates that ablation of β-catenin in DA neurons leads to alterations of motor and reward-associated memories and to adaptations of the DA neurotransmitter system and suggests that β-catenin signaling in DA neurons is required to facilitate the synaptic remodeling underlying the consolidation of long-term memories. PMID:22822182
Diaz-Ruiz, Oscar; Zhang, Yajun; Shan, Lufei; Malik, Nasir; Hoffman, Alexander F; Ladenheim, Bruce; Cadet, Jean Lud; Lupica, Carl R; Tagliaferro, Adriana; Brusco, Alicia; Bäckman, Cristina M
In the present study, we analyzed mice with a targeted deletion of β-catenin in DA neurons (DA-βcat KO mice) to address the functional significance of this molecule in the shaping of synaptic responses associated with motor learning and following exposure to drugs of abuse. Relative to controls, DA-βcat KO mice showed significant deficits in their ability to form long-term memories and displayed reduced expression of methamphetamine-induced behavioral sensitization after subsequent challenge doses with this drug, suggesting that motor learning and drug-induced learning plasticity are altered in these mice. Morphological analyses showed no changes in the number or distribution of tyrosine hydroxylase-labeled neurons in the ventral midbrain. While electrochemical measurements in the striatum determined no changes in acute DA release and uptake, a small but significant decrease in DA release was detected in mutant animals after prolonged repetitive stimulation, suggesting a possible deficit in the DA neurotransmitter vesicle reserve pool. However, electron microscopy analyses did not reveal significant differences in the content of synaptic vesicles per terminal, and striatal DA levels were unchanged in DA-βcat KO animals. In contrast, striatal mRNA levels for several markers known to regulate synaptic plasticity and DA neurotransmission were altered in DA-βcat KO mice. This study demonstrates that ablation of β-catenin in DA neurons leads to alterations of motor and reward-associated memories and to adaptations of the DA neurotransmitter system and suggests that β-catenin signaling in DA neurons is required to facilitate the synaptic remodeling underlying the consolidation of long-term memories.
Glenn, Charles F; Chow, David K; David, Lawrence; Cooke, Carol A; Gami, Minaxi S; Iser, Wendy B; Hanselman, Keaton B; Goldberg, Ilya G; Wolkow, Catherine A
Many behavioral responses require the coordination of sensory inputs with motor outputs. Aging is associated with progressive declines in both motor function and muscle structure. However, the consequences of age-related motor deficits on behavior have not been clearly defined. Here, we examined the effects of aging on behavior in the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. As animals aged, mild locomotory deficits appeared that were sufficient to impair behavioral responses to sensory cues. In contrast, sensory ability appeared well maintained during aging. Age-related behavioral declines were delayed in animals with mutations in the daf-2/insulin-like pathway governing longevity. A decline in muscle tissue integrity was correlated with the onset of age-related behavioral deficits, although significant muscle deterioration was not. Treatment with a muscarinic agonist significantly improved locomotory behavior in aged animals, indicating that improved neuromuscular signaling may be one strategy for reducing the severity of age-related behavioral impairments.
Gemenetzi, M; Lotery, A J
It is becoming increasingly evident that epigenetic mechanisms influence gene expression and can explain how interactions between genetics and the environment result in particular phenotypes during development. The extent to which this epigenetic effect contributes to phenotype heritability in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is currently ill defined. However, emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic changes are relevant to AMD and as such provide an exciting new avenue of research for AMD. This review addresses information on the impact of posttranslational modification of the genome on the pathogenesis of AMD, such as DNA methylation changes affecting antioxidant gene expression, hypoxia-regulated alterations in chromatin structure, and histone acetylation status in relation to angiogenesis and inflammation. It also contains information on the role of non-coding RNA-mediated gene regulation in AMD at a posttranscriptional (before translation) level. Our aim was to review the epigenetic mechanisms that cause heritable changes in gene activity without changing the DNA sequence. We also describe some long-term alterations in the transcriptional potential of a cell, which are not necessarily heritable but remains to be defined in the future. Increasing understanding of the significance of common and rare genetic variants and their relationship to epigenetics and environmental influences may help in establishing methods to assess the risk of AMD. This in turn may allow new therapeutic interventions for the leading cause of central vision impairment in patients over the age of 50 years in developed countries. Search strategy We searched the MEDLINE/PubMed database following MeSH suggestions for articles including the terms: ‘ocular epigenetic mechanisms', ‘human disease epigenetics', and ‘age-related macular degeneration genetics'. The headline used to locate related articles in PubMed was ‘epigenetics in ocular disease', and to restrict search, we used
AIM: To review the genetics of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The pathogenesis of AMD, the leading cause of severe visual disability and blindness in our community, remains unknown. However, AMD is regarded as a genetic disease where family history of AMD is a significant risk factor for the disease. Understanding the genetic factors associated with AMD offers the greatest chance for understanding the underlying disease processes. METHODS: Through a review of the literature and the use of original research findings, the current knowledge of the genetics of AMD is explored. CONCLUSION: AMD is increasing in prevalence and remains a major challenge for eye heath providers. Finding the genes that are associated with AMD offers the greatest chance for the development of preventative strategies and treatments.
Kaufman, Steven R
Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of legal blindness of Americans over age 65 years. Severe loss of vision is usually due to exudative ARMD, of which there are about 200,000 new cases in the United States annually. Until recently, only a small fraction of patients benefited from treatment, but advances in the early diagnosis of the disease and major developments in therapy have substantially improved the prognosis of patients with ARMD. Because visual loss substantially reduces quality of life, effective management of ARMD will have increasing public health importance as the population ages. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that people over age 65 years should have a comprehensive eye examination every 1 to 2 years to check for cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other conditions. Those who complain of difficulty reading, driving at night, or adapting from sunlight to indoor lighting might have macular degeneration.
In this article, I review a series of new findings concerning how age-related changes in strategic variations are modulated by sequential effects. Sequential effects refer to how strategy selection and strategy execution on current problems are influenced by which strategy is used on immediately preceding problems. Two sequential effects during strategy selection (i.e., strategy revisions and strategy perseverations) and during strategy execution (i.e., strategy switch costs and modulations of poorer strategy effects) are presented. I also discuss how these effects change with age during adulthood. These phenomena are important, as they shed light on arithmetic processes and how these processes change with age during adulthood. In particular, they speak to the role of executive control while participants select and execute arithmetic strategies. Finally, I discuss the implications of sequential effects for theories of strategies and of arithmetic.
Boĭko, É V; Churashov, S V; Kamilova, T A
Visual loss due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is caused by one or both forms of advanced disease: "wet" (neovascular) or "dry" (geographic atrophy). Immune system plays a central role in pathogenesis and progression of both AMD forms. Main genetic polymorphisms associated with risk of AMD development and progression were found to be genes that regulate inflammation especially in complement factor H gen (1q31 locus) and 10q26 locus (PLEKHAI/ARMS2/HTRA1). Association of response to treatment and genotype was shown in patients with AMD. Complete characterization of both common and rare alleles that influence AMD risk is necessary for accurate determination of individual genetic risk as well as identification of new targets for therapeutic intervention.
Pechan, Peter; Wadsworth, Samuel; Scaria, Abraham
Pathological neovascularization is a key component of the neovascular form (also known as the wet form) of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Several preclinical studies have shown that antiangiogenesis strategies are effective for treating neovascular AMD in animal models. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is one of the main inducers of ocular neovascularization, and several clinical trials have shown the benefits of neutralizing VEGF in patients with neovascular AMD or diabetic macular edema. In this review, we summarize several preclinical and early-stage clinical trials with intraocular gene therapies, which have the potential to reduce or eliminate the repeated intravitreal injections that are currently required for the treatment of neovascular AMD.
den Hollander, Anneke I; de Jong, Eiko K
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex disease caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Genome-wide association studies have identified several common genetic variants associated with AMD, which together account for 15%-65% of the heritability of AMD. Multiple hypotheses to clarify the unexplained portion of genetic variance have been proposed, such as gene-gene interactions, gene-environment interactions, structural variations, epigenetics, and rare variants. Several studies support a role for rare variants with large effect sizes in the pathogenesis of AMD. In this work, we review the methods that can be used to detect rare variants in common diseases, as well as the recent progress that has been made in the identification of rare variants in AMD. In addition, the relevance of these rare variants for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of AMD is highlighted.
Rowan, Sheldon; Taylor, Allen
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a prevalent blinding disease, accounting for roughly 50 % of blindness in developed nations. Very significant advances have been made in terms of discovering genetic susceptibilities to AMD as well as dietary risk factors. To date, nutritional supplementation is the only available treatment option for the dry form of the disease known to slow progression of AMD. Despite an excellent understanding of genes and nutrition in AMD, there is remarkably little known about gene-diet interactions that may identify efficacious approaches to treat individuals. This review will summarize our current understanding of gene-diet interactions in AMD with a focus on animal models and human epidemiological studies.
Ding, Xiaoyan; Patel, Mrinali; Chan, Chi-Chao
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. Although the etiology and pathogenesis of AMD remain largely unclear, a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors is thought to exist. AMD pathology is characterized by degeneration involving the retinal photoreceptors, retinal pigment epithelium, and Bruch’s membrane, as well as, in some cases, alterations in choroidal capillaries. Recent research on the genetic and molecular underpinnings of AMD brings to light several basic molecular pathways and pathophysiological processes that might mediate AMD risk, progression, and/or response to therapy. This review summarizes, in detail, the molecular pathological findings in both humans and animal models, including genetic variations in CFH, CX3CR1, and ARMS2/HtrA1, as well as the role of numerous molecules implicated in inflammation, apoptosis, cholesterol trafficking, angiogenesis, and oxidative stress. PMID:19026761
Mohaghegh, N; Zadeh, E Ghafar; Magierowski, S
This paper presents a novel head-mounted point-of-care diagnostic system for detection and continuous monitoring of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). This wearable embedded open-source platform enables accurate monitoring of AMD by taking advantage of multiple standard graphical interface techniques such as Amsler Grid, Threshold Amsler Grid, Macular Computerized Psychophysical Test and Preferential Hyperacuity Perimeter (PHP). Here, we describe the proposed multi-Grid or so-called NGRID software and elaborate on the hardware prototype. This prototype includes a commercially available Oculus HMD incorporated with a single board computer. As the first step towards a fully integrated wearable system, this paper successfully proves the functionality of head-mounted graphical interface device ready for a live demonstration. Participants can experience this device and take a 10-minute AMD eye-exam. Furthermore, NGRID has been approved and permitted for an in-hospital clinical trial.
García Lozano, Isabel; López García, Santiago; Elosua de Juán, Isabel
Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of legal blindness in people over 50 in developed countries. It is a multifactorial disease resulting from the interaction of genetic and environmental factors, and the age is the only worldwide admitted risk factor. The socioeconomic impact of the disease reaches enormous proportions, if we take into account the high cost of the available antiangiogenic therapy, the strict schedule of medical visits that it requires, and the impairment that it gives rise to. The response to treatment and the visual outcomes improve with early management of the retinal lesions, thus the early diagnosis of the disease in its initial phases, based on self-control with an Amsler grid and with regular ophthalmologic assessments, is essential.
Biarnés, Marc; Monés, Jordi; Alonso, Jordi; Arias, Luis
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the main cause of legal blindness in older patients in developed countries, and geographic atrophy (GA) represents the advanced form of dry AMD. Although it accounts for one third of the cases of late AMD and is responsible for 20% of the cases of severe visual loss due to the disorder. GA currently lacks effective treatment, whereas antiangiogenic therapies have been shown to be successful in managing choroidal neovascularization, the other form of late AMD. Recent advances in GA epidemiology, etiology, genetics, and imaging techniques have renewed the interest in this entity, which is a cause of progressive visual loss even in treated patients with neovascular AMD. This knowledge has triggered many clinical trials targeting different molecules shown to be associated with the disease, and it is hoped that this research will translate into effective drugs for GA in the near future.
Kyosseva, Svetlana V.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of irreversible blindness affecting elderly people in the world. AMD is a complex multifactorial disease associated with demographic, genetics, and environmental risk factors. It is well established that oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis play critical roles in the pathogenesis of AMD. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways are activated by diverse extracellular stimuli, including growth factors, mitogens, hormones, cytokines, and different cellular stressors such as oxidative stress. They regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, survival, and apoptosis. This review addresses the novel findings from human and animal studies on the relationship of MAPK signaling with AMD. The use of specific MAPK inhibitors may represent a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of this debilitating eye disease. PMID:27385915
Kishan, Amar U.; Modjtahedi, Bobeck S.; Morse, Lawrence S.; Lee, Percy
In the enormity of the public health burden imposed by age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), much effort has been directed toward identifying effective and efficient treatments. Currently, anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) injections have demonstrated considerably efficacy in treating neovascular ARMD, but patients require frequent treatment to fully benefit. Here, we review the rationale and evidence for radiation therapy of ARMD. The results of early photon external beam radiation therapy are included to provide a framework for the sequential discussion of evidence for the usage of stereotactic radiation therapy, proton therapy, and brachytherapy. The evidence suggests that these 3 modern modalities can provide a dose-dependent benefit in the treatment of ARMD. Most importantly, preliminary data suggest that all 3 can be used in conjunction with anti-VEGF therapeutics, thereby reducing the frequency of anti-VEGF injections required to maintain visual acuity.
Armanios, Mary; de Cabo, Rafael; Mannick, Joan; Partridge, Linda; van Deursen, Jan; Villeda, Saul
Aging is a risk factor for several of the world's most prevalent diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, cardiovascular disease and metabolic disease. Although our understanding of the molecular pathways that contribute to the aging process and age-related disease is progressing through the use of model organisms, how to apply this knowledge in the clinic is less clear. In September, Nature Medicine, in collaboration with the Volkswagen Foundation, hosted a conference at the beautiful Herrenhausen Palace in Hannover, Germany with the goal of broadening our understanding of the aging process and its meaning as a 'risk factor' in disease. Here, several of the speakers at that conference answer questions posed by Nature Medicine.
Re, Richard N.
This laboratory has studied the intracellular actions of angiotensin II and other signaling proteins that can act in the intracellular space—peptides/proteins we have called intracrines. Moreover, we have suggested that general principles of intracrine action exist and can help explain the progression of some chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetic nephropathy and congestive heart failure. Here, a similar analysis is carried out in the case of age-related macular degeneration. We propose that intracrine mechanisms are operative in this disorder. In particular, we hypothesize that intracrine loops involving renin, angiotensin II, transforming growth factor-beta, vascular endothelial growth factor, bone morphogenetic protein-4, and p53, among other factors, are involved. If this analysis is correct, it suggests a commonality of mechanism linking chronic progressive renal diseases, congestive heart failure, and macular degeneration. PMID:27999510
Gorin, M B; Breitner, J C; De Jong, P T; Hageman, G S; Klaver, C C; Kuehn, M H; Seddon, J M
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is increasingly recognized as a complex genetic disorder in which one or more genes contribute to an individual's susceptibility for developing the condition. Twin and family studies as well as population-based genetic epidemiologic methods have convincingly demonstrated the importance of genetics in AMD, though the extent of heritability, the number of genes involved, and the phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity of the condition remain unresolved. The extent to which other hereditary macular dystrophies such as Stargardts disease, familial radial drusen (malattia leventinese), Best's disease, and peripherin/RDS-related dystrophy are related to AMD remains unclear. Alzheimer's disease, another late onset, heterogeneous degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, offers a valuable model for identifying the issues that confront AMD genetics.
den Hollander, Anneke I.; de Jong, Eiko K.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex disease caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Genome-wide association studies have identified several common genetic variants associated with AMD, which together account for 15%–65% of the heritability of AMD. Multiple hypotheses to clarify the unexplained portion of genetic variance have been proposed, such as gene–gene interactions, gene–environment interactions, structural variations, epigenetics, and rare variants. Several studies support a role for rare variants with large effect sizes in the pathogenesis of AMD. In this work, we review the methods that can be used to detect rare variants in common diseases, as well as the recent progress that has been made in the identification of rare variants in AMD. In addition, the relevance of these rare variants for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of AMD is highlighted. PMID:25377141
Hollborn, Margrit; Kohen, Leon; Wiedemann, Peter
Purpose Systemic hypertension is a risk factor of age-related retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. High intake of dietary salt and low intake of water increase extracellular osmolality resulting in hypertension, in particular in salt-sensitive individuals. This review summarizes the present knowledge regarding the impact of salt and water intake on the regulation of blood pressure, retinal function, and the development of age-related retinal diseases. Methods A literature search of the Medline database and a summary of recent studies that used human RPE cells. Results The salt sensitivity of the blood pressure and plasma osmolality increase with age, and body water deficits are common in older individuals. High plasma osmolality has adverse effects in the retina. In RPE cells, high osmolality induces expression and secretion of angiogenic factors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), placental growth factor, and basic fibroblast growth factor, and expression of aquaporin-5, a water channel implicated in transepithelial water transport. The transcriptional activities of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) and nuclear factor of activated T cell 5 (NFAT5) are critical for the production of VEGF in response to salt-induced osmotic stress. Salt-induced osmotic stress also induces priming of the NLRP3 inflammasome and activates inflammatory enzymes in RPE cells. Conclusions Raised plasma osmolality may aggravate age-related retinal diseases by stimulation of local inflammation and angiogenic factor production in the RPE. Alterations in salt and water consumption, and of minerals that stimulate renal salt excretion, may offer nutritional approaches to prevent age-related retinal disorders, in particular in salt-sensitive individuals and individuals who show signs of body dehydration. PMID:28031693
Weikel, Karen A; Taylor, Allen
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly worldwide. It affects 30–50 million individuals and clinical hallmarks of AMD are observed in at least one third of persons over the age of 75 in industrialized countries (Gehrs et al., 2006). Costs associated with AMD are in excess of $340 billion US (American-Health-Assistance-Foundation, 2012). The majority of AMD patients in the United States are not eligible for clinical treatments (Biarnes et al., 2011; Klein et al., 2011). Preventive interventions through dietary modulation are attractive strategies because many studies suggest a benefit of micro and macronutrients with respect to AMD, as well as other age-related debilities, and with few, if any, adverse effects (Chiu, 2011). Preservation of vision would enhance quality of life for millions of elderly people, and alleviate the personal and public health financial burden of AMD (Frick et al., 2007; Wood et al., 2011). Observational studies indicate that maintaining adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids (i.e. with 2 servings/wk of fish) or a low glycemic index diet may be particularly beneficial for early AMD and that higher levels of carotenoids may be protective, most probably, against neovascular AMD. Intervention trials are needed to better understand the full effect of these nutrients and/or combinations of nutrients on retinal health. Analyses that describe effects of a nutrient on onset and/or progress of AMD are valuable because they indicate the value of a nutrient to arrest AMD at the early stages. This comprehensive summary provides essential information about the value of nutrients with regard to diminishing risk for onset or progress of AMD and can serve as a guide until data from ongoing intervention trials are available. PMID:22503690
Ozone (O3) is known to induce adverse pulmonary and systemic health effects. Importantly, children and older persons are considered at-risk populations for O3-induced dysfunction, yet the mechanisms accounting for the age-related pulmonary responses to O3 are uncertain. In this study, we examined age-related susceptibility to O3 using 1 mo (adolescent), 4 mo (young adult), 12 mo (adult) and 24 mo (senescent) male Brown Norway rats exposed to filtered air or O3 (0.25and 1.00 ppm), 6 h/day, two days/week for 1 week (acute) or 13 weeks (subchronic). Ventilatory function, assessed by whole-body plethysmography, and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) biomarkers of injury and inflammation were used to examine O3-induced pulmonary effects.Relaxation time declined in all ages following the weekly exposures; however, this effect persisted only in the 24 mo rats following a five days recovery, demonstrating an inability to induce adaptation commonly seen with repeated O3 exposures. PenH was increased in all groups with an augmented response in the 4 mo rats following the subchronic O3 exposures. O3 led to increased breathing frequency and minute volume in the 1 and 4 mo animals. Markers ofpulmonary permeability were increased in all age groups. Elevations in BALF γ-glutamyl transferase activity and lung inflammation following an acute O3 exposure were noted in only the 1 and 4 mo rats, which likely received an increased effective O3 dose. These data demonstrate that ado
Mousavi, Maryam; Armstrong, Richard A.
Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in individuals older than 65 years of age. It is a multifactorial disorder and identification of risk factors enables individuals to make lifestyle choices that may reduce the risk of disease. Collaboration between geneticists, ophthalmologists, and optometrists suggests that genetic risk factors play a more significant role in AMD than previously thought. The most important genes are associated with immune system modulation and the complement system, e.g., complement factor H (CFH), factor B (CFB), factor C3, and serpin peptidase inhibitor (SERPING1). Genes associated with membrane transport, e.g., ATP-binding cassette protein (ABCR) and voltage-dependent calcium channel gamma 3 (CACNG3), the vascular system, e.g., fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), fibulin-5, lysyl oxidase-like gene (LOXL1) and selectin-P (SELP), and with lipid metabolism, e.g., apolipoprotein E (APOE) and hepatic lipase (LIPC) have also been implicated. In addition, several other genes exhibit some statistical association with AMD, e.g., age-related maculopathy susceptibility protein 2 (ARMS2) and DNA excision repair protein gene (ERCC6) but more research is needed to establish their significance. Modifiable risk factors for AMD should be discussed with patients whose lifestyle and/or family history place them in an increased risk category. Furthermore, calculation of AMD risk using current models should be recommended as a tool for patient education. It is likely that AMD management in future will be increasingly influenced by assessment of genetic risk as such screening methods become more widely available.
Kauppinen, Anu; Paterno, Jussi J; Blasiak, Janusz; Salminen, Antero; Kaarniranta, Kai
Inflammation is a cellular response to factors that challenge the homeostasis of cells and tissues. Cell-associated and soluble pattern-recognition receptors, e.g. Toll-like receptors, inflammasome receptors, and complement components initiate complex cellular cascades by recognizing or sensing different pathogen and damage-associated molecular patterns, respectively. Cytokines and chemokines represent alarm messages for leukocytes and once activated, these cells travel long distances to targeted inflamed tissues. Although it is a crucial survival mechanism, prolonged inflammation is detrimental and participates in numerous chronic age-related diseases. This article will review the onset of inflammation and link its functions to the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of severe vision loss in aged individuals in the developed countries. In this progressive disease, degeneration of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) results in the death of photoreceptors, leading to a loss of central vision. The RPE is prone to oxidative stress, a factor that together with deteriorating functionality, e.g. decreased intracellular recycling and degradation due to attenuated heterophagy/autophagy, induces inflammation. In the early phases, accumulation of intracellular lipofuscin in the RPE and extracellular drusen between RPE cells and Bruch's membrane can be clinically detected. Subsequently, in dry (atrophic) AMD there is geographic atrophy with discrete areas of RPE loss whereas in the wet (exudative) form there is neovascularization penetrating from the choroid to retinal layers. Elevations in levels of local and systemic biomarkers indicate that chronic inflammation is involved in the pathogenesis of both disease forms.
Weikel, Karen A; Chiu, Chung-Jung; Taylor, Allen
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly worldwide. It affects 30-50 million individuals and clinical hallmarks of AMD are observed in at least one third of persons over the age of 75 in industrialized countries (Gehrs et al., 2006). Costs associated with AMD are in excess of $340 billion US (American-Health-Assistance-Foundation, 2012). The majority of AMD patients in the United States are not eligible for clinical treatments (Biarnes et al., 2011; Klein et al., 2011). Preventive interventions through dietary modulation are attractive strategies because many studies suggest a benefit of micro- and macronutrients with respect to AMD, as well as other age-related debilities, and with few, if any, adverse effects (Chiu, 2011). Preservation of vision would enhance quality of life for millions of elderly people, and alleviate the personal and public health financial burden of AMD (Frick et al., 2007; Wood et al., 2011). Observational studies indicate that maintaining adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids (i.e. with 2 servings/week of fish) or a low glycemic index diet may be particularly beneficial for early AMD and that higher levels of carotenoids may be protective, most probably, against neovascular AMD. Intervention trials are needed to better understand the full effect of these nutrients and/or combinations of nutrients on retinal health. Analyses that describe effects of a nutrient on onset and/or progress of AMD are valuable because they indicate the value of a nutrient to arrest AMD at the early stages. This comprehensive summary provides essential information about the value of nutrients with regard to diminishing risk for onset or progress of AMD and can serve as a guide until data from ongoing intervention trials are available.
Bhatt, S.; Warren, C.; Yang, H.
Age-related macular degeneration is a major cause of blindness in developing countries. It remains a very poorly understood disorder. Although environmental and genetic factors have been implicated in its pathogenesis, none have been firmly implicated. The purpose of this study was to use pedigree analysis to evaluate the possible role of a major gene as a determinant of familial aggregation. Information was collected regarding occupation, smoking, sun exposure, associated medical problems and family history. 50 probands with age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and 39 age, race and sex-matched controls were included in the study. In the ARMD group 15/50 (30%) of probands reported a positive family history; 22 out of 222 first degree relatives over age 60 were reported to be affected. In the control groups, none of the 138 first degree relatives over age 50 had a history of ARMD. This difference is statistically significant (p = 0.0003), indicating that genetic factors may play an important role in the pathogenesis of ARMD. In the ARMD group more siblings as compared to parents (16/127 vs. 5/82) were affected. 5/50 (10%) of the ARMD probands also gave a history of a second degree relative affected with ARMD, compared to none known among the relatives of controls. Data from 50 pedigrees were analyzed by complex segregation analysis under a class A regressive logistic model using the REGD program implemented in the SAGE package. Preliminary results allow rejection of a polygenic model and suggest there is a major gene for ARMD in these families. The inheritance model most compatible with the observed familial aggregation is autosomal recessive. In conclusion, these results are suggestive of a major gene effect in the etiology of ARMD. Identification of a major gene effect is a first step to further pursue linkage analysis and to search for the gene(s) involved in the causation of ARMD.
Damani, Mausam R.; Zhao, Lian; Fontainhas, Aurora M.; Amaral, Juan; Fariss, Robert N.; Wong, Wai T.
Summary Microglia, the primary resident immune cells of the CNS, exhibit dynamic behavior involving rapid process motility and cellular migration that is thought to underlie key functions of immune surveillance and tissue repair. Although age-related changes in microglial activation have been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases of aging, how dynamic behavior in microglia is influenced by aging is not fully understood. In this study, we employed live imaging of retinal microglia in situ to compare microglial morphology and behavioral dynamics in young and aged animals. We found that aged microglia in the resting state have significantly smaller and less branched dendritic arbors, and also slower process motilities, which likely compromise their ability to continuously survey and interact with their environment. We also found that dynamic microglial responses to injury were age-dependent. While young microglia responded to extracellular ATP, an injury-associated signal, by increasing their motility and becoming more ramified, aged microglia exhibited a contrary response, becoming less dynamic and ramified. In response to laser-induced focal tissue injury, aged microglia demonstrated slower acute responses with lower rates of process motility and cellular migration compared to young microglia. Interestingly, the longer term response of disaggregation from the injury site was retarded in aged microglia, indicating that senescent microglial responses, while slower to initiate, are more sustained. Together, these altered features of microglial behavior at rest and following injury reveal an age-dependent dysregulation of immune response in the CNS that may illuminate microglial contributions to age-related neuroinflammatory degeneration. PMID:21108733
Wilkinson, Leonora; Steel, Adam; Mooshagian, Eric; Zimmermann, Trelawny; Keisler, Aysha; Lewis, Jeffrey D; Wassermann, Eric M
Feedback and monetary reward can enhance motor skill learning, suggesting reward system involvement. Continuous theta burst (cTBS) transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the primary motor area (M1) disrupts processing, reduces excitability and impairs motor learning. To see whether feedback and reward can overcome the learning impairment associated with M1 cTBS, we delivered real or sham stimulation to two groups of participants before they performed a motor sequence learning task with and without feedback. Participants were trained on two intermixed sequences, one occurring 85% of the time (the "probable" sequence) and the other 15% of the time (the "improbable" sequence). We measured sequence learning as the difference in reaction time (RT) and error rate between probable and improbable trials (RT and error difference scores). Participants were also tested for sequence recall with the same indices of learning 60 min after cTBS. Real stimulation impaired initial sequence learning and sequence knowledge recall as measured by error difference scores and impaired sequence knowledge recall as measured by RT difference score. Relative to non-feedback learning, the introduction of feedback during sequence learning improved subsequent sequence knowledge recall indexed by RT difference score, in both real and sham stimulation groups and feedback reversed the RT difference score based sequence knowledge recall impairment from real cTBS that we observed in the non-feedback learning condition. Only the real cTBS group in the non-feedback condition showed no evidence of explicit sequence knowledge when tested at the end of the study. Feedback improves recall of implicit and explicit motor sequence knowledge and can protect sequence knowledge against the effect of M1 inhibition. Adding feedback and monetary reward/punishment to motor skill learning may help overcome retention impairments or accelerate training in clinical and other settings.
Wilkinson, Leonora; Steel, Adam; Mooshagian, Eric; Zimmermann, Trelawny; Keisler, Aysha; Lewis, Jeffrey D.; Wassermann, Eric M.
Feedback and monetary reward can enhance motor skill learning, suggesting reward system involvement. Continuous theta burst (cTBS) transcranial magnetic stimulation of the primary motor area (M1) disrupts processing, reduces excitability and impairs motor learning. To see whether feedback and reward can overcome the learning impairment associated with M1 cTBS, we delivered real or sham stimulation to two groups of participants before they performed a motor sequence learning task with and without feedback. Participants were trained on two intermixed sequences, one occurring 85% of the time (the “probable” sequence) and the other 15% of the time (the “improbable” sequence). We measured sequence learning as the difference in reaction time (RT) and error rate between probable and improbable trials (RT and error difference scores). Participants were also tested for sequence recall with the same indices of learning 60 min after cTBS. Real stimulation impaired initial sequence learning and sequence knowledge recall as measured by error difference scores and impaired sequence knowledge recall as measured by RT difference score. Relative to non-feedback learning, the introduction of feedback during sequence learning improved subsequent sequence knowledge recall indexed by RT difference score, in both real and sham stimulation groups and feedback reversed the RT difference score based sequence knowledge recall impairment from real cTBS that we observed in the non-feedback learning condition. Only the real cTBS group in the non-feedback condition showed no evidence of explicit sequence knowledge when tested at the end of the study. Feedback improves recall of implicit and explicit motor sequence knowledge and can protect sequence knowledge against the effect of M1 inhibition. Adding feedback and monetary reward/punishment to motor skill learning may help overcome retention impairments or accelerate training in clinical and other settings. PMID:26204232
Maddox, W Todd; Pacheco, Jennifer; Reeves, Maia; Zhu, Bo; Schnyer, David M
The basal ganglia and prefrontal cortex play critical roles in category learning. Both regions evidence age-related structural and functional declines. The current study examined rule-based and information-integration category learning in a group of older and younger adults. Rule-based learning is thought to involve explicit, frontally mediated processes, whereas information-integration is thought to involve implicit, striatally mediated processes. As a group, older adults showed rule-based and information-integration deficits. A series of models were applied that provided insights onto the type of strategy used to solve the task. Interestingly, when the analyses focused only on participants who used the task appropriate strategy in the final block of trials, the age-related rule-based deficit disappeared whereas the information-integration deficit remained. For this group of individuals, the final block information-integration deficit was due to less consistent application of the task appropriate strategy by older adults, and over the course of learning these older adults shifted from an explicit hypothesis-testing strategy to the task appropriate strategy later in learning. In addition, the use of the task appropriate strategy was associated with less interference and better inhibitory control for rule-based and information-information learning, whereas use of the task appropriate strategy was associated with greater working memory and better new verbal learning only for the rule-based task. These results suggest that normal aging impacts both forms of category learning and that there are some important similarities and differences in the explanatory locus of these deficits. The data also support a two-component model of information-integration category learning that includes a striatal component that mediated procedural-based learning, and a prefrontal cortical component that mediates the transition from hypothesis-testing to procedural-based strategies
Söderlund, Göran B W; Eckernäs, Daniel; Holmblad, Olof; Bergquist, Filip
The spontaneously hypertensive (SH) rat model of ADHD displays impaired motor learning. We used this characteristic to study if the recently described acoustic noise benefit in learning in children with ADHD is also observed in the SH rat model. SH rats and a Wistar control strain were trained in skilled reach and rotarod running under either ambient noise or in 75 dBA white noise. In other animals the effect of methylphenidate (MPH) on motor learning was assessed with the same paradigms. To determine if acoustic noise influenced spontaneous motor activity, the effect of acoustic noise was also determined in the open field activity paradigm. We confirm impaired motor learning in the SH rat compared to Wistar SCA controls. Acoustic noise restored motor learning in SH rats learning the Montoya reach test and the rotarod test, but had no influence on learning in Wistar rats. Noise had no effect on open field activity in SH rats, but increased corner time in Wistar. MPH completely restored rotarod learning and performance but did not improve skilled reach in the SH rat. It is suggested that the acoustic noise benefit previously reported in children with ADHD is shared by the SH rat model of ADHD, and the effect is in the same range as that of stimulant treatment. Acoustic noise may be useful as a non-pharmacological alternative to stimulant medication in the treatment of ADHD.
Zhang, Rong; Lu, Hongzhi; Tian, Su; Yin, Jie; Chen, Qing; Ma, Li; Cui, Shijie; Niu, Yujie
Lead (Pb) is a known neurotoxicant in humans and experimental animals. Numerous studies have provided evidence that humans, especially young children, and animals chronically intoxicated with low levels of Pb show learning and memory impairments. Unfortunately, Pb-poisoning cases continue to occur in many countries. Because the current treatment options are very limited, there is a need for alternative methods to attenuate Pb toxicity. In this study, the weaning (postnatal day 21, PND21) rats were randomly divided into five groups: the control group (AIN-93G diet, de-ionized water), the lead acetate (PbAC) group (AIN-93G diet, 2g/L PbAC in de-ionized water), the lead acetate+WR group (white rice diet, 2g/L PbAC in de-ionized water; PbAC+WR), the lead acetate+BR group (brown rice diet, 2g/L PbAC in de-ionized water; PbAC+BR) and the lead acetate+PR group (pre-germinated brown rice diet, 2g/L PbAC in de-ionized water; PbAC+PR). The animals received the different diets until PND60, and then the experiments were terminated. The protective effects of pre-germinated brown rice (PR) on Pb-induced learning and memory impairment in weaning rats were assessed by the Morris water maze and one-trial-learning passive avoidance test. The anti-oxidative effects of feeding a PR diet to Pb-exposed rats were evaluated. The levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were determined by flow cytometry. The levels of 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate were determined by HPLC. Our data showed that feeding a PR diet decreased the accumulation of lead and decreased Pb-induced learning and memory deficits in developing rats. The mechanisms might be related to the anti-oxidative effects and large amount of GABA in PR. Our study provides a regimen to reduce Pb-induced toxicity, especially future learning and memory deficits in the developing brain.