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Sample records for aged human brains

  1. Aging-associated changes in human brain.

    PubMed

    Mrak, R E; Griffin, S T; Graham, D I

    1997-12-01

    A wide variety of anatomic and histological alterations are common in brains of aged individuals. However, identification of intrinsic aging changes--as distinct from changes resulting from cumulative environmental insult--is problematic. Some degree of neuronal and volume loss would appear to be inevitable, but recent studies have suggested that the magnitudes of such changes are much less than previously thought, and studies of dendritic complexity in cognitively intact individuals suggest continuing neuronal plasticity into the eighth decade. A number of vascular changes become more frequent with age, many attributable to systemic conditions such as hypertension and atherosclerosis. Age-associated vascular changes not clearly linked to such conditions include hyaline arteriosclerotic changes with formation of arterial tortuosities in small intracranial vessels and the radiographic changes in deep cerebral white matter known as "leukoaraiosis." Aging is accompanied by increases in glial cell activation, in oxidative damage to proteins and lipids, in irreversible protein glycation, and in damage to DNA, and such changes may underlie in part the age-associated increasing incidence of "degenerative" conditions such as Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease. A small number of histological changes appear to be universal in aged human brains. These include increasing numbers of corpora amylacea within astrocytic processes near blood-brain or cerebrospinal fluid-brain interfaces, accumulation of the "aging" pigment lipofuscin in all brain regions, and appearance of Alzheimer-type neurofibrillary tangles (but not necessarily amyloid plaques) in mesial temporal structures.

  2. Do glutathione levels decline in aging human brain?

    PubMed

    Tong, Junchao; Fitzmaurice, Paul S; Moszczynska, Anna; Mattina, Katie; Ang, Lee-Cyn; Boileau, Isabelle; Furukawa, Yoshiaki; Sailasuta, Napapon; Kish, Stephen J

    2016-04-01

    For the past 60 years a major theory of "aging" is that age-related damage is largely caused by excessive uncompensated oxidative stress. The ubiquitous tripeptide glutathione is a major antioxidant defense mechanism against reactive free radicals and has also served as a marker of changes in oxidative stress. Some (albeit conflicting) animal data suggest a loss of glutathione in brain senescence, which might compromise the ability of the aging brain to meet the demands of oxidative stress. Our objective was to establish whether advancing age is associated with glutathione deficiency in human brain. We measured reduced glutathione (GSH) levels in multiple regions of autopsied brain of normal subjects (n=74) aged one day to 99 years. Brain GSH levels during the infancy/teenage years were generally similar to those in the oldest examined adult group (76-99 years). During adulthood (23-99 years) GSH levels remained either stable (occipital cortex) or increased (caudate nucleus, frontal and cerebellar cortices). To the extent that GSH levels represent glutathione antioxidant capacity, our postmortem data suggest that human brain aging is not associated with declining glutathione status. We suggest that aged healthy human brains can maintain antioxidant capacity related to glutathione and that an age-related increase in GSH levels in some brain regions might possibly be a compensatory response to increased oxidative stress. Since our findings, although suggestive, suffer from the generic limitations of all postmortem brain studies, we also suggest the need for "replication" investigations employing the new (1)H MRS imaging procedures in living human brain.

  3. Lipidomics of human brain aging and Alzheimer's disease pathology.

    PubMed

    Naudí, Alba; Cabré, Rosanna; Jové, Mariona; Ayala, Victoria; Gonzalo, Hugo; Portero-Otín, Manuel; Ferrer, Isidre; Pamplona, Reinald

    2015-01-01

    Lipids stimulated and favored the evolution of the brain. Adult human brain contains a large amount of lipids, and the largest diversity of lipid classes and lipid molecular species. Lipidomics is defined as "the full characterization of lipid molecular species and of their biological roles with respect to expression of proteins involved in lipid metabolism and function, including gene regulation." Therefore, the study of brain lipidomics can help to unravel the diversity and to disclose the specificity of these lipid traits and its alterations in neural (neurons and glial) cells, groups of neural cells, brain, and fluids such as cerebrospinal fluid and plasma, thus helping to uncover potential biomarkers of human brain aging and Alzheimer disease. This review will discuss the lipid composition of the adult human brain. We first consider a brief approach to lipid definition, classification, and tools for analysis from the new point of view that has emerged with lipidomics, and then turn to the lipid profiles in human brain and how lipids affect brain function. Finally, we focus on the current status of lipidomics findings in human brain aging and Alzheimer's disease pathology. Neurolipidomics will increase knowledge about physiological and pathological functions of brain cells and will place the concept of selective neuronal vulnerability in a lipid context.

  4. Positron emission tomography and computed tomography assessments of the aging human brain

    SciTech Connect

    de Leon, M.J.; George, A.E.; Ferris, S.H.; Christman, D.R.; Fowler, J.S.; Gentes, C.I.; Brodie, J.; Reisberg, B.; Wolf, A.P.

    1984-02-01

    The relationship between alterations in brain structure and brain function was studied in vivo in both young and elderly human subjects. Computed tomography revealed significant age-related ventricular and cortical sulcal dilatation. The cortical changes were most closely related to age. Positron emission tomography failed to show regional changes in brain glucose metabolic rate. The results suggest that the normal aging brain undergoes structural atrophic changes without incurring regional metabolic changes. Examination of the correlations between the structural and the metabolic measures revealed no significant relationships. These data are discussed with respect to the significant structure-function relationships that have been reported in Alzheimer disease. 27 references, 3 figures, 2 tables.

  5. Age-dependent changes in task-based modular organization of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Schlesinger, Kimberly J; Turner, Benjamin O; Lopez, Brian A; Miller, Michael B; Carlson, Jean M

    2017-02-01

    As humans age, cognition and behavior change significantly, along with associated brain function and organization. Aging has been shown to decrease variability in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals, and to affect the modular organization of human brain function. In this work, we use complex network analysis to investigate the dynamic community structure of large-scale brain function, asking how evolving communities interact with known brain systems, and how the dynamics of communities and brain systems are affected by age. We analyze dynamic networks derived from fMRI scans of 104 human subjects performing a word memory task, and determine the time-evolving modular structure of these networks by maximizing the multislice modularity, thereby identifying distinct communities, or sets of brain regions with strong intra-set functional coherence. To understand how community structure changes over time, we examine the number of communities as well as the flexibility, or the likelihood that brain regions will switch between communities. We find a significant positive correlation between age and both these measures: younger subjects tend to have less fragmented and more coherent communities, and their brain regions tend to change communities less often during the memory task. We characterize the relationship of community structure to known brain systems by the recruitment coefficient, or the probability of a brain region being grouped in the same community as other regions in the same system. We find that regions associated with cingulo-opercular, somatosensory, ventral attention, and subcortical circuits have a significantly higher recruitment coefficient in younger subjects. This indicates that the within-system functional coherence of these specific systems during the memory task declines with age. Such a correspondence does not exist for other systems (e.g. visual and default mode), whose recruitment coefficients remain relatively uniform across ages

  6. Metabolomics of human brain aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Jové, Mariona; Portero-Otín, Manuel; Naudí, Alba; Ferrer, Isidre; Pamplona, Reinald

    2014-07-01

    Neurons in the mature human central nervous system (CNS) perform a wide range of motor, sensory, regulatory, behavioral, and cognitive functions. Such diverse functional output requires a great diversity of CNS neuronal and non-neuronal populations. Metabolomics encompasses the study of the complete set of metabolites/low-molecular-weight intermediates (metabolome), which are context-dependent and vary according to the physiology, developmental state, or pathologic state of the cell, tissue, organ, or organism. Therefore, the use of metabolomics can help to unravel the diversity-and to disclose the specificity-of metabolic traits and their alterations in the brain and in fluids such as cerebrospinal fluid and plasma, thus helping to uncover potential biomarkers of aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we review the current applications of metabolomics in studies of CNS aging and certain age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Neurometabolomics will increase knowledge of the physiologic and pathologic functions of neural cells and will place the concept of selective neuronal vulnerability in a metabolic context.

  7. Aging Shapes the Population-Mean and -Dispersion of Gene Expression in Human Brains

    PubMed Central

    Brinkmeyer-Langford, Candice L.; Guan, Jinting; Ji, Guoli; Cai, James J.

    2016-01-01

    Human aging is associated with cognitive decline and an increased risk of neurodegenerative disease. Our objective for this study was to evaluate potential relationships between age and variation in gene expression across different regions of the brain. We analyzed the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) data from 54 to 101 tissue samples across 13 brain regions in post-mortem donors of European descent aged between 20 and 70 years at death. After accounting for the effects of covariates and hidden confounding factors, we identified 1446 protein-coding genes whose expression in one or more brain regions is correlated with chronological age at a false discovery rate of 5%. These genes are involved in various biological processes including apoptosis, mRNA splicing, amino acid biosynthesis, and neurotransmitter transport. The distribution of these genes among brain regions is uneven, suggesting variable regional responses to aging. We also found that the aging response of many genes, e.g., TP37 and C1QA, depends on individuals' genotypic backgrounds. Finally, using dispersion-specific analysis, we identified genes such as IL7R, MS4A4E, and TERF1/TERF2 whose expressions are differentially dispersed by aging, i.e., variances differ between age groups. Our results demonstrate that age-related gene expression is brain region-specific, genotype-dependent, and associated with both mean and dispersion changes. Our findings provide a foundation for more sophisticated gene expression modeling in the studies of age-related neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27536236

  8. PET Imaging of Tau Deposition in the Aging Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Schonhaut, Daniel R.; O’Neil, James P.; Janabi, Mustafa; Ossenkoppele, Rik; Baker, Suzanne L.; Vogel, Jacob W.; Faria, Jamie; Schwimmer, Henry D.; Rabinovici, Gil D.; Jagust, William J.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Tau pathology is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) but also occurs in normal cognitive aging. Using the tau PET agent 18F-AV-1451, we examined retention patterns in cognitively normal older people in relation to young controls and AD patients. Age and β-amyloid (measured using PiB PET) were differentially associated with tau tracer retention in healthy aging. Older age was related to increased tracer retention in regions of the medial temporal lobe, which predicted worse episodic memory performance. PET detection of tau in other isocortical regions required the presence of cortical β-amyloid, and was associated with decline in global cognition. Furthermore, patterns of tracer retention corresponded well with Braak staging of neurofibrillary tau pathology. The present study defined patterns of tau tracer retention in normal aging in relation to age, cognition, and β-amyloid deposition. PMID:26938442

  9. Assessment of ganglioside age-related and topographic specificity in human brain by Orbitrap mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Sarbu, Mirela; Dehelean, Liana; Munteanu, Cristian V A; Vukelić, Željka; Zamfir, Alina D

    2017-03-15

    The gangliosides (GGs) of the central nervous system (CNS) exhibit age and topographic specificity and these patterns may correlate with the functions and pathologies of the brain regions. Here, chloroform extraction, nanoelectrospray (nanoESI) negative ionization, together with Orbitrap high resolution mass spectrometry (MS) determined the topographic and age-related GG specificity in normal adult human brain. Mapping of GG mixtures extracted from 20 to 82 year old frontal and occipital lobes revealed besides a decrease in the GG number with age, a variability of sialylation degree within the brain regions. From the 111 species identified, 105 were distinguished in the FL20, 74 in OL20, 46 in FL82 and 56 in OL82. The results emphasize that within the juvenile brain, GG species exhibit a higher expression in the FL than in OL, while in the aged brain the number of GG species is higher in the OL. By applying MS/MS analysis, the generated fragment ions confirmed the incidence of GT1c (d18:1/18:0) and GT1c (d18:1/20:0) in the investigated samples. The present findings are of major value for further clinical studies carried out using Orbitrap MS in order to correlate gangliosides with CNS disorders.

  10. The increase of the functional entropy of the human brain with age.

    PubMed

    Yao, Y; Lu, W L; Xu, B; Li, C B; Lin, C P; Waxman, D; Feng, J F

    2013-10-09

    We use entropy to characterize intrinsic ageing properties of the human brain. Analysis of fMRI data from a large dataset of individuals, using resting state BOLD signals, demonstrated that a functional entropy associated with brain activity increases with age. During an average lifespan, the entropy, which was calculated from a population of individuals, increased by approximately 0.1 bits, due to correlations in BOLD activity becoming more widely distributed. We attribute this to the number of excitatory neurons and the excitatory conductance decreasing with age. Incorporating these properties into a computational model leads to quantitatively similar results to the fMRI data. Our dataset involved males and females and we found significant differences between them. The entropy of males at birth was lower than that of females. However, the entropies of the two sexes increase at different rates, and intersect at approximately 50 years; after this age, males have a larger entropy.

  11. Studying variability in human brain aging in a population-based German cohort—rationale and design of 1000BRAINS

    PubMed Central

    Caspers, Svenja; Moebus, Susanne; Lux, Silke; Pundt, Noreen; Schütz, Holger; Mühleisen, Thomas W.; Gras, Vincent; Eickhoff, Simon B.; Romanzetti, Sandro; Stöcker, Tony; Stirnberg, Rüdiger; Kirlangic, Mehmet E.; Minnerop, Martina; Pieperhoff, Peter; Mödder, Ulrich; Das, Samir; Evans, Alan C.; Jöckel, Karl-Heinz; Erbel, Raimund; Cichon, Sven; Nöthen, Markus M.; Sturma, Dieter; Bauer, Andreas; Jon Shah, N.; Zilles, Karl; Amunts, Katrin

    2014-01-01

    The ongoing 1000 brains study (1000BRAINS) is an epidemiological and neuroscientific investigation of structural and functional variability in the human brain during aging. The two recruitment sources are the 10-year follow-up cohort of the German Heinz Nixdorf Recall (HNR) Study, and the HNR MultiGeneration Study cohort, which comprises spouses and offspring of HNR subjects. The HNR is a longitudinal epidemiological investigation of cardiovascular risk factors, with a comprehensive collection of clinical, laboratory, socioeconomic, and environmental data from population-based subjects aged 45–75 years on inclusion. HNR subjects underwent detailed assessments in 2000, 2006, and 2011, and completed annual postal questionnaires on health status. 1000BRAINS accesses these HNR data and applies a separate protocol comprising: neuropsychological tests of attention, memory, executive functions and language; examination of motor skills; ratings of personality, life quality, mood and daily activities; analysis of laboratory and genetic data; and state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, 3 Tesla) of the brain. The latter includes (i) 3D-T1- and 3D-T2-weighted scans for structural analyses and myelin mapping; (ii) three diffusion imaging sequences optimized for diffusion tensor imaging, high-angular resolution diffusion imaging for detailed fiber tracking and for diffusion kurtosis imaging; (iii) resting-state and task-based functional MRI; and (iv) fluid-attenuated inversion recovery and MR angiography for the detection of vascular lesions and the mapping of white matter lesions. The unique design of 1000BRAINS allows: (i) comprehensive investigation of various influences including genetics, environment and health status on variability in brain structure and function during aging; and (ii) identification of the impact of selected influencing factors on specific cognitive subsystems and their anatomical correlates. PMID:25071558

  12. Age-associated changes in rich-club organisation in autistic and neurotypical human brains

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Takamitsu; Rees, Geraint

    2015-01-01

    Macroscopic structural networks in the human brain have a rich-club architecture comprising both highly inter-connected central regions and sparsely connected peripheral regions. Recent studies show that disruption of this functionally efficient organisation is associated with several psychiatric disorders. However, despite increasing attention to this network property, whether age-associated changes in rich-club organisation occur during human adolescence remains unclear. Here, analysing a publicly shared diffusion tensor imaging dataset, we found that, during adolescence, brains of typically developing (TD) individuals showed increases in rich-club organisation and inferred network functionality, whereas individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) did not. These differences between TD and ASD groups were statistically significant for both structural and functional properties. Moreover, this typical age-related changes in rich-club organisation were characterised by progressive involvement of the right anterior insula. In contrast, in ASD individuals, did not show typical increases in grey matter volume, and this relative anatomical immaturity was correlated with the severity of ASD social symptoms. These results provide evidence that rich-club architecture is one of the bases of functionally efficient brain networks underpinning complex cognitive functions in adult human brains. Furthermore, our findings suggest that immature rich-club organisation might be associated with some neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:26537477

  13. Age-associated hyper-methylated regions in the human brain overlap with bivalent chromatin domains.

    PubMed

    Watson, Corey T; Disanto, Giulio; Sandve, Geir Kjetil; Breden, Felix; Giovannoni, Gavin; Ramagopalan, Sreeram V

    2012-01-01

    Recent associations between age-related differentially methylated sites and bivalently marked chromatin domains have implicated a role for these genomic regions in aging and age-related diseases. However, the overlap between such epigenetic modifications has so far only been identified with respect to age-associated hyper-methylated sites in blood. In this study, we observed that age-associated differentially methylated sites characterized in the human brain were also highly enriched in bivalent domains. Analysis of hyper- vs. hypo-methylated sites partitioned by age (fetal, child, and adult) revealed that enrichment was significant for hyper-methylated sites identified in children and adults (child, fold difference = 2.28, P = 0.0016; adult, fold difference = 4.73, P = 4.00 × 10(-5)); this trend was markedly more pronounced in adults when only the top 100 most significantly hypo- and hyper-methylated sites were considered (adult, fold difference = 10.7, P = 2.00 × 10(-5)). Interestingly, we found that bivalently marked genes overlapped by age-associated hyper-methylation in the adult brain had strong involvement in biological functions related to developmental processes, including neuronal differentiation. Our findings provide evidence that the accumulation of methylation in bivalent gene regions with age is likely to be a common process that occurs across tissue types. Furthermore, particularly with respect to the aging brain, this accumulation might be targeted to loci with important roles in cell differentiation and development, and the closing off of these developmental pathways. Further study of these genes is warranted to assess their potential impact upon the development of age-related neurological disorders.

  14. DJ-1 immunoreactivity in human brain astrocytes is dependent on infarct presence and infarct age.

    PubMed

    Mullett, Steven J; Hamilton, Ronald L; Hinkle, David A

    2009-04-01

    DJ-1 is a protein with anti-oxidative stress and anti-apoptotic properties that is abundantly expressed in reactive CNS astrocytes in chronic neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and Pick's disease. Genetic mutations which eliminate DJ-1 expression in humans are sufficient to produce an early-onset form of familial PD, PARK7, suggesting that DJ-1 is a critical component of the neuroprotective arsenal of the brain. Previous studies in parkinsonism/dementia brain tissues have revealed that reactive astrocytes within and surrounding incidentally identified infarcts were often robustly immunoreactive for DJ-1, especially if the infarcts showed histological features consistent with older age. Given this, we sought to evaluate astrocytic DJ-1 expression in human stroke more extensively, and with a particular emphasis on determining whether immunohistochemical DJ-1 expression in astrocytes correlates with histological infarct age. The studies presented here show that DJ-1 is abundantly expressed in reactive infarct region astrocytes in both gray and white matter, that subacute and chronic infarct region astrocytes are much more robustly DJ-1+ than are acute infarct and non-infarct region astrocytes, and that DJ-1 staining intensity in astrocytes generally correlates with that of the reactive astrocyte marker GFAP. Confocal imaging of DJ-1 and GFAP dual-labelled human brain sections were used to confirm the localization to and expression of DJ-1 in astrocytes. Neuronal DJ-1 staining was minimal under all infarct and non-infarct conditions. Our data support the conclusion that the major cellular DJ-1 response to stroke in the human brain is astrocytic, and that there is a temporal correlation between DJ-1 expression in these cells and advanced infarct age.

  15. Learning shapes the representation of visual categories in the aging human brain.

    PubMed

    Mayhew, Stephen D; Li, Sheng; Storrar, Joshua K; Tsvetanov, Kamen A; Kourtzi, Zoe

    2010-12-01

    The ability to make categorical decisions and interpret sensory experiences is critical for survival and interactions across the lifespan. However, little is known about the human brain mechanisms that mediate the learning and representation of visual categories in aging. Here we combine behavioral measurements and fMRI measurements to investigate the neural processes that mediate flexible category learning in the aging human brain. Our findings show that training changes the decision criterion (i.e., categorical boundary) that young and older observers use for making categorical judgments. Comparing the behavioral choices of human observers with those of a pattern classifier based upon multivoxel fMRI signals, we demonstrate learning-dependent changes in similar cortical areas for young and older adults. In particular, we show that neural signals in occipito-temporal and posterior parietal regions change through learning to reflect the perceived visual categories. Information in these areas about the perceived visual categories is preserved in aging, whereas information content is compromised in more anterior parietal and frontal circuits. Thus, these findings provide novel evidence for flexible category learning in aging that shapes the neural representations of visual categories to reflect the observers' behavioral judgments.

  16. Diffusional anisotropy of the human brain assessed with diffusion-weighted MR: Relation with normal brain development and aging

    SciTech Connect

    Nomura, Toshiyuki; Sakuma, Hajime; Takeda, Kan; Tagami, Tomoyasu; Okuda, Yasuyuki; Nakagawa, Tsuyoshi )

    1994-02-01

    To analyze diffusional anisotropy in frontal and occipital white matter of human brain quantitatively as a function of age by using diffusion-weighted MR imaging. Ten neonates (<1 month), 13 infants (1-10 months), 9 children (1-11 years), and 16 adults (20-79 years) were examined. After taking axial spin-echo images of the brain, diffusion-sensitive gradients were added parallel or perpendicular to the orientation of nerve fibers. The apparent diffusion coefficient parallel to the nerve fibers (0) and that perpendicular to the fibers (90) were computed. The anisotropic ratio (90/0) was calculated as a function of age. Anisotropic ratios of frontal white matter were significantly larger in neonates as compared with infants, children, or adults. The ratios showed rapid decrease until 6 months and thereafter were identical in all subjects. In the occipital lobe, the ratios were also greater in neonates, but the differences from other age groups were not so prominent as in the frontal lobe. Comparing anisotropic ratios between frontal and occipital lobes, a significant difference was observed only in neonates. Diffusion-weighted images demonstrated that the myelination process starts earlier in the occipital lobe than in the frontal lobe. The changes of diffusional anisotropy in white matter are completed within 6 months after birth. Diffusion-weighted imaging provides earlier detection of brain myelination compared with the conventional T1- and T2-weighted images. 18 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  17. Human subcortical brain asymmetries in 15,847 people worldwide reveal effects of age and sex.

    PubMed

    Guadalupe, Tulio; Mathias, Samuel R; vanErp, Theo G M; Whelan, Christopher D; Zwiers, Marcel P; Abe, Yoshinari; Abramovic, Lucija; Agartz, Ingrid; Andreassen, Ole A; Arias-Vásquez, Alejandro; Aribisala, Benjamin S; Armstrong, Nicola J; Arolt, Volker; Artiges, Eric; Ayesa-Arriola, Rosa; Baboyan, Vatche G; Banaschewski, Tobias; Barker, Gareth; Bastin, Mark E; Baune, Bernhard T; Blangero, John; Bokde, Arun L W; Boedhoe, Premika S W; Bose, Anushree; Brem, Silvia; Brodaty, Henry; Bromberg, Uli; Brooks, Samantha; Büchel, Christian; Buitelaar, Jan; Calhoun, Vince D; Cannon, Dara M; Cattrell, Anna; Cheng, Yuqi; Conrod, Patricia J; Conzelmann, Annette; Corvin, Aiden; Crespo-Facorro, Benedicto; Crivello, Fabrice; Dannlowski, Udo; de Zubicaray, Greig I; de Zwarte, Sonja M C; Deary, Ian J; Desrivières, Sylvane; Doan, Nhat Trung; Donohoe, Gary; Dørum, Erlend S; Ehrlich, Stefan; Espeseth, Thomas; Fernández, Guillén; Flor, Herta; Fouche, Jean-Paul; Frouin, Vincent; Fukunaga, Masaki; Gallinat, Jürgen; Garavan, Hugh; Gill, Michael; Suarez, Andrea Gonzalez; Gowland, Penny; Grabe, Hans J; Grotegerd, Dominik; Gruber, Oliver; Hagenaars, Saskia; Hashimoto, Ryota; Hauser, Tobias U; Heinz, Andreas; Hibar, Derrek P; Hoekstra, Pieter J; Hoogman, Martine; Howells, Fleur M; Hu, Hao; Hulshoff Pol, Hilleke E; Huyser, Chaim; Ittermann, Bernd; Jahanshad, Neda; Jönsson, Erik G; Jurk, Sarah; Kahn, Rene S; Kelly, Sinead; Kraemer, Bernd; Kugel, Harald; Kwon, Jun Soo; Lemaitre, Herve; Lesch, Klaus-Peter; Lochner, Christine; Luciano, Michelle; Marquand, Andre F; Martin, Nicholas G; Martínez-Zalacaín, Ignacio; Martinot, Jean-Luc; Mataix-Cols, David; Mather, Karen; McDonald, Colm; McMahon, Katie L; Medland, Sarah E; Menchón, José M; Morris, Derek W; Mothersill, Omar; Maniega, Susana Munoz; Mwangi, Benson; Nakamae, Takashi; Nakao, Tomohiro; Narayanaswaamy, Janardhanan C; Nees, Frauke; Nordvik, Jan E; Onnink, A Marten H; Opel, Nils; Ophoff, Roel; Paillère Martinot, Marie-Laure; Papadopoulos Orfanos, Dimitri; Pauli, Paul; Paus, Tomáš; Poustka, Luise; Reddy, Janardhan Yc; Renteria, Miguel E; Roiz-Santiáñez, Roberto; Roos, Annerine; Royle, Natalie A; Sachdev, Perminder; Sánchez-Juan, Pascual; Schmaal, Lianne; Schumann, Gunter; Shumskaya, Elena; Smolka, Michael N; Soares, Jair C; Soriano-Mas, Carles; Stein, Dan J; Strike, Lachlan T; Toro, Roberto; Turner, Jessica A; Tzourio-Mazoyer, Nathalie; Uhlmann, Anne; Hernández, Maria Valdés; van den Heuvel, Odile A; van der Meer, Dennis; van Haren, Neeltje E M; Veltman, Dick J; Venkatasubramanian, Ganesan; Vetter, Nora C; Vuletic, Daniella; Walitza, Susanne; Walter, Henrik; Walton, Esther; Wang, Zhen; Wardlaw, Joanna; Wen, Wei; Westlye, Lars T; Whelan, Robert; Wittfeld, Katharina; Wolfers, Thomas; Wright, Margaret J; Xu, Jian; Xu, Xiufeng; Yun, Je-Yeon; Zhao, JingJing; Franke, Barbara; Thompson, Paul M; Glahn, David C; Mazoyer, Bernard; Fisher, Simon E; Francks, Clyde

    2016-10-13

    The two hemispheres of the human brain differ functionally and structurally. Despite over a century of research, the extent to which brain asymmetry is influenced by sex, handedness, age, and genetic factors is still controversial. Here we present the largest ever analysis of subcortical brain asymmetries, in a harmonized multi-site study using meta-analysis methods. Volumetric asymmetry of seven subcortical structures was assessed in 15,847 MRI scans from 52 datasets worldwide. There were sex differences in the asymmetry of the globus pallidus and putamen. Heritability estimates, derived from 1170 subjects belonging to 71 extended pedigrees, revealed that additive genetic factors influenced the asymmetry of these two structures and that of the hippocampus and thalamus. Handedness had no detectable effect on subcortical asymmetries, even in this unprecedented sample size, but the asymmetry of the putamen varied with age. Genetic drivers of asymmetry in the hippocampus, thalamus and basal ganglia may affect variability in human cognition, including susceptibility to psychiatric disorders.

  18. Physiological neuronal decline in healthy aging human brain - An in vivo study with MRI and short echo-time whole-brain (1)H MR spectroscopic imaging.

    PubMed

    Ding, Xiao-Qi; Maudsley, Andrew A; Sabati, Mohammad; Sheriff, Sulaiman; Schmitz, Birte; Schütze, Martin; Bronzlik, Paul; Kahl, Kai G; Lanfermann, Heinrich

    2016-08-15

    Knowledge of physiological aging in healthy human brain is increasingly important for neuroscientific research and clinical diagnosis. To investigate neuronal decline in normal aging brain eighty-one healthy subjects aged between 20 and 70years were studied with MRI and whole-brain (1)H MR spectroscopic imaging. Concentrations of brain metabolites N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), choline (Cho), total creatine (tCr), myo-inositol (mI), and glutamine+glutamate (Glx) in ratios to internal water, and the fractional volumes of brain tissue were estimated simultaneously in eight cerebral lobes and in cerebellum. Results demonstrated that an age-related decrease in gray matter volume was the largest contribution to changes in brain volume. Both lobar NAA and the fractional volume of gray matter (FVGM) decreased with age in all cerebral lobes, indicating that the decreased NAA was predominantly associated with decreased gray matter volume and neuronal density or metabolic activity. In cerebral white matter Cho, tCr, and mI increased with age in association with increased fractional volume, showing altered cellular membrane turn-over, energy metabolism, and glial activity in human aging white matter. In cerebellum tCr increased while brain tissue volume decreased with age, showing difference to cerebral aging. The observed age-related metabolic and microstructural variations suggest that physiological neuronal decline in aging human brain is associated with a reduction of gray matter volume and neuronal density, in combination with cellular aging in white matter indicated by microstructural alterations and altered energy metabolism in the cerebellum.

  19. Huntington's disease accelerates epigenetic aging of human brain and disrupts DNA methylation levels

    PubMed Central

    Horvath, Steve; Langfelder, Peter; Kwak, Seung; Aaronson, Jeff; Rosinski, Jim; Vogt, Thomas F.; Eszes, Marika; Faull, Richard L.M.; Curtis, Maurice A.; Waldvogel, Henry J.; Choi, Oi-Wa; Tung, Spencer; Vinters, Harry V.; Coppola, Giovanni; Yang, X. William

    2016-01-01

    Age of Huntington's disease (HD) motoric onset is strongly related to the number of CAG trinucleotide repeats in the huntingtin gene, suggesting that biological tissue age plays an important role in disease etiology. Recently, a DNA methylation based biomarker of tissue age has been advanced as an epigenetic aging clock. We sought to inquire if HD is associated with an accelerated epigenetic age. DNA methylation data was generated for 475 brain samples from various brain regions of 26 HD cases and 39 controls. Overall, brain regions from HD cases exhibit a significant epigenetic age acceleration effect (p=0.0012). A multivariate model analysis suggests that HD status increases biological age by 3.2 years. Accelerated epigenetic age can be observed in specific brain regions (frontal lobe, parietal lobe, and cingulate gyrus). After excluding controls, we observe a negative correlation (r=−0.41, p=5.5×10−8) between HD gene CAG repeat length and the epigenetic age of HD brain samples. Using correlation network analysis, we identify 11 co-methylation modules with a significant association with HD status across 3 broad cortical regions. In conclusion, HD is associated with an accelerated epigenetic age of specific brain regions and more broadly with substantial changes in brain methylation levels. PMID:27479945

  20. Oxidative Stress and Protein Quality Control Systems in the Aged Canine Brain as a Model for Human Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Aged dogs are considered the most suitable spontaneous animal model for studying normal aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Elderly canines naturally develop cognitive dysfunction and neuropathological hallmarks similar to those seen in humans, especially Alzheimer's disease-like pathology. Pet dogs also share similar living conditions and diets to humans. Oxidative damage accumulates in the canine brain during aging, making dogs a valid model for translational antioxidant treatment/prevention studies. Evidence suggests the presence of detective protein quality control systems, involving ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs), in the aged canine brain. Further studies on the canine model are needed to clarify the role of age-related changes in UPS activity and HSP expression in neurodegeneration in order to design novel treatment strategies, such as HSP-based therapies, aimed at improving chaperone defences against proteotoxic stress affecting brain during aging. PMID:26078824

  1. Age, gender, and hemispheric differences in iron deposition in the human brain: an in vivo MRI study.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiaojun; Wang, Qidong; Zhang, Minming

    2008-03-01

    It is well known that iron accumulates in the brains of patients with various neurodegenerative diseases. To better understand disease-related iron changes, it is necessary to know the physiological distribution and accumulation of iron in the human brain. Studies have shown that brain iron levels increase with aging. However, the effects of gender and hemispheric laterality on iron accumulation and distribution are not well established. In this study, we estimated the brain iron levels in vivo in 78 healthy adults ranging in age 22 to 78 years using magnetic susceptibility-weighted phase imaging. The effects of age, gender, and hemispheric location on brain iron levels were evaluated within the framework of a general linear model. We found that the left hemisphere had higher iron levels than the right in the putamen, globus pallidus, substantia nigra, thalamus, and frontal white matter. We argue that the hemispheric asymmetry of iron content may underlie that of the dopaminergic system and may be related to motor lateralization in humans. In addition, significant age-related iron accumulation occurred in the putamen, red nucleus, and frontal white matter, but no gender-related differences in iron levels were detected. The results of this study extend our knowledge of the physiological distribution and accumulation of iron in the human brain.

  2. Staying Socially Active Nourishes the Aging Brain

    MedlinePlus

    ... fullstory_163679.html Staying Socially Active Nourishes the Aging Brain Researchers suggest making friends of all ages ... and Human Services. More Health News on: Healthy Aging Recent Health News Related MedlinePlus Health Topics Healthy ...

  3. Ageing, neurodegeneration and brain rejuvenation

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Although systemic diseases take the biggest toll on human health and well-being, increasingly, a failing brain is the arbiter of a death preceded by a gradual loss of the essence of being. Ageing, which is fundamental to neurodegeneration and dementia, affects every organ in the body and seems to be encoded partly in a blood-based signature. Indeed, factors in the circulation have been shown to modulate ageing and to rejuvenate numerous organs, including the brain. The discovery of such factors, the identification of their origins and a deeper understanding of their functions is ushering in a new era in ageing and dementia research. PMID:27830812

  4. In vivo NAD assay reveals the intracellular NAD contents and redox state in healthy human brain and their age dependences.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xiao-Hong; Lu, Ming; Lee, Byeong-Yeul; Ugurbil, Kamil; Chen, Wei

    2015-03-03

    NAD is an essential metabolite that exists in NAD(+) or NADH form in all living cells. Despite its critical roles in regulating mitochondrial energy production through the NAD(+)/NADH redox state and modulating cellular signaling processes through the activity of the NAD(+)-dependent enzymes, the method for quantifying intracellular NAD contents and redox state is limited to a few in vitro or ex vivo assays, which are not suitable for studying a living brain or organ. Here, we present a magnetic resonance (MR) -based in vivo NAD assay that uses the high-field MR scanner and is capable of noninvasively assessing NAD(+) and NADH contents and the NAD(+)/NADH redox state in intact human brain. The results of this study provide the first insight, to our knowledge, into the cellular NAD concentrations and redox state in the brains of healthy volunteers. Furthermore, an age-dependent increase of intracellular NADH and age-dependent reductions in NAD(+), total NAD contents, and NAD(+)/NADH redox potential of the healthy human brain were revealed in this study. The overall findings not only provide direct evidence of declined mitochondrial functions and altered NAD homeostasis that accompany the normal aging process but also, elucidate the merits and potentials of this new NAD assay for noninvasively studying the intracellular NAD metabolism and redox state in normal and diseased human brain or other organs in situ.

  5. In vivo NAD assay reveals the intracellular NAD contents and redox state in healthy human brain and their age dependences

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Xiao-Hong; Lu, Ming; Lee, Byeong-Yeul; Ugurbil, Kamil; Chen, Wei

    2015-01-01

    NAD is an essential metabolite that exists in NAD+ or NADH form in all living cells. Despite its critical roles in regulating mitochondrial energy production through the NAD+/NADH redox state and modulating cellular signaling processes through the activity of the NAD+-dependent enzymes, the method for quantifying intracellular NAD contents and redox state is limited to a few in vitro or ex vivo assays, which are not suitable for studying a living brain or organ. Here, we present a magnetic resonance (MR) -based in vivo NAD assay that uses the high-field MR scanner and is capable of noninvasively assessing NAD+ and NADH contents and the NAD+/NADH redox state in intact human brain. The results of this study provide the first insight, to our knowledge, into the cellular NAD concentrations and redox state in the brains of healthy volunteers. Furthermore, an age-dependent increase of intracellular NADH and age-dependent reductions in NAD+, total NAD contents, and NAD+/NADH redox potential of the healthy human brain were revealed in this study. The overall findings not only provide direct evidence of declined mitochondrial functions and altered NAD homeostasis that accompany the normal aging process but also, elucidate the merits and potentials of this new NAD assay for noninvasively studying the intracellular NAD metabolism and redox state in normal and diseased human brain or other organs in situ. PMID:25730862

  6. Disentangling in vivo the effects of iron content and atrophy on the ageing human brain.

    PubMed

    Lorio, S; Lutti, A; Kherif, F; Ruef, A; Dukart, J; Chowdhury, R; Frackowiak, R S; Ashburner, J; Helms, G; Weiskopf, N; Draganski, B

    2014-12-01

    Evidence from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies shows that healthy aging is associated with profound changes in cortical and subcortical brain structures. The reliable delineation of cortex and basal ganglia using automated computational anatomy methods based on T1-weighted images remains challenging, which results in controversies in the literature. In this study we use quantitative MRI (qMRI) to gain an insight into the microstructural mechanisms underlying tissue ageing and look for potential interactions between ageing and brain tissue properties to assess their impact on automated tissue classification. To this end we acquired maps of longitudinal relaxation rate R1, effective transverse relaxation rate R2* and magnetization transfer - MT, from healthy subjects (n=96, aged 21-88 years) using a well-established multi-parameter mapping qMRI protocol. Within the framework of voxel-based quantification we find higher grey matter volume in basal ganglia, cerebellar dentate and prefrontal cortex when tissue classification is based on MT maps compared with T1 maps. These discrepancies between grey matter volume estimates can be attributed to R2* - a surrogate marker of iron concentration, and further modulation by an interaction between R2* and age, both in cortical and subcortical areas. We interpret our findings as direct evidence for the impact of ageing-related brain tissue property changes on automated tissue classification of brain structures using SPM12. Computational anatomy studies of ageing and neurodegeneration should acknowledge these effects, particularly when inferring about underlying pathophysiology from regional cortex and basal ganglia volume changes.

  7. Human brain networks in physiological aging: a graph theoretical analysis of cortical connectivity from EEG data.

    PubMed

    Vecchio, Fabrizio; Miraglia, Francesca; Bramanti, Placido; Rossini, Paolo Maria

    2014-01-01

    Modern analysis of electroencephalographic (EEG) rhythms provides information on dynamic brain connectivity. To test the hypothesis that aging processes modulate the brain connectivity network, EEG recording was conducted on 113 healthy volunteers. They were divided into three groups in accordance with their ages: 36 Young (15-45 years), 46 Adult (50-70 years), and 31 Elderly (>70 years). To evaluate the stability of the investigated parameters, a subgroup of 10 subjects underwent a second EEG recording two weeks later. Graph theory functions were applied to the undirected and weighted networks obtained by the lagged linear coherence evaluated by eLORETA on cortical sources. EEG frequency bands of interest were: delta (2-4 Hz), theta (4-8 Hz), alpha1 (8-10.5 Hz), alpha2 (10.5-13 Hz), beta1 (13-20 Hz), beta2 (20-30 Hz), and gamma (30-40 Hz). The spectral connectivity analysis of cortical sources showed that the normalized Characteristic Path Length (λ) presented the pattern Young > Adult>Elderly in the higher alpha band. Elderly also showed a greater increase in delta and theta bands than Young. The correlation between age and λ showed that higher ages corresponded to higher λ in delta and theta and lower in the alpha2 band; this pattern reflects the age-related modulation of higher (alpha) and decreased (delta) connectivity. The Normalized Clustering coefficient (γ) and small-world network modeling (σ) showed non-significant age-modulation. Evidence from the present study suggests that graph theory can aid in the analysis of connectivity patterns estimated from EEG and can facilitate the study of the physiological and pathological brain aging features of functional connectivity networks.

  8. White matter integrity supports BOLD signal variability and cognitive performance in the aging human brain.

    PubMed

    Burzynska, Agnieszka Z; Wong, Chelsea N; Voss, Michelle W; Cooke, Gillian E; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F

    2015-01-01

    Decline in cognitive performance in old age is linked to both suboptimal neural processing in grey matter (GM) and reduced integrity of white matter (WM), but the whole-brain structure-function-cognition associations remain poorly understood. Here we apply a novel measure of GM processing-moment-to-moment variability in the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal (SDBOLD)-to study the associations between GM function during resting state, performance on four main cognitive domains (i.e., fluid intelligence, perceptual speed, episodic memory, vocabulary), and WM microstructural integrity in 91 healthy older adults (aged 60-80 years). We modeled the relations between whole-GM SDBOLD with cognitive performance using multivariate partial least squares analysis. We found that greater SDBOLD was associated with better fluid abilities and memory. Most of regions showing behaviorally relevant SDBOLD (e.g., precuneus and insula) were localized to inter- or intra-network "hubs" that connect and integrate segregated functional domains in the brain. Our results suggest that optimal dynamic range of neural processing in hub regions may support cognitive operations that specifically rely on the most flexible neural processing and complex cross-talk between different brain networks. Finally, we demonstrated that older adults with greater WM integrity in all major WM tracts had also greater SDBOLD and better performance on tests of memory and fluid abilities. We conclude that SDBOLD is a promising functional neural correlate of individual differences in cognition in healthy older adults and is supported by overall WM integrity.

  9. Brain trace elements and aging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hebbrecht, Geert; Maenhaut, Willy; Reuck, Jacques De

    1999-04-01

    Degenerative mechanisms involved in the aging process of the brain are to a certain extent counteracted by repair mechanisms. In both degenerative and recovery processes, trace elements are involved. The present study focused on the role of two minor (i.e., K and Ca) and six trace elements (i.e., Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Se and Rb) in the aging process. The elements were determined by PIXE in cerebral cortex and white matter, basal ganglia, brainstem and cerebellar cortex of 18 postmortem human brains, from persons without a history of neurologic or psychiatric disease who deceased between the age of 7 and 79. This age range allowed us to study the relationship between elemental concentrations and age. The most prominent findings were a concentration decrease for K and Rb and a concentration increase for the elements Ca, Fe, Zn and Se. The study supports recent findings that Ca and Fe are involved in brain degenerative processes initiated by oxygen free radicals, whereas Zn and Se are involved in immunological reactions counteracting the aging process.

  10. EFFECTS OF AGE, DIETARY AND BEHAVIORAL ENRICHMENT ON BRAIN MITOCHONDRIA IN A CANINE MODEL OF HUMAN AGING

    PubMed Central

    Head, E.; Nukala, V. N.; Fenoglio, K.A.; Muggenburg, B. A.; Cotman, C. W.; Sullivan, P. G.

    2009-01-01

    Dogs develop cognitive decline and a progressive accumulation of oxidative damage. In a previous longitudinal study, we demonstrated that aged dogs treated with either an antioxidant diet or with behavioral enrichment show cognitive improvement. The antioxidant diet included cellular antioxidants (Vitamins E, C, fruits and vegetables) and mitochondrial co-factors (lipoic acid and carnitine). Behavioral enrichment consisted of physical exercise, social enrichment and cognitive training. We hypothesized that the antioxidant treatment improved neuronal function through increased mitochondrial function. Thus, we measured reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and bioenergetics in mitochondria isolated from young, aged and treated aged animals. Aged canine brain mitochondria show significant increases in ROS production and a reduction in NADH-linked respiration. Mitochondrial function (ROS and NADH-linked respiration) was improved selectively in aged dogs treated with an antioxidant diet. In contrast behavioral enrichment had no effect on any mitochondrial parameters. These results suggest that an antioxidant diet improves cognition by maintaining mitochondrial homeostasis, which may be an independent molecular pathway not engaged by behavioral enrichment. PMID:19703441

  11. Detection of normal aging effects on human brain metabolite concentrations and microstructure with whole brain MR spectroscopic imaging and quantitative MR imaging

    PubMed Central

    Eylers, Vanessa V.; Maudsley, Andrew A.; Bronzlik, Paul; Dellani, Paulo R.; Lanfermann, Heinrich; Ding, Xiao-Qi

    2015-01-01

    Background and purpose Whole brain 1H-MR spectroscopic imaging (wbMRSI) was used in combination with quantitative MRI (qMRI) to study the effects of normal aging on healthy human brain metabolites and microstructure. Materials and Methods Sixty healthy volunteers aged 21 to 70 years were studied. Brain maps of the metabolites NAA, Cr, and Cho, and the tissue irreversible and reversible transverse relaxation times, T2 and T2′, were derived from the datasets. The relative metabolite concentrations [NAA], [tCr] and [Cho] as well as the values of relaxation times were measured with ROIs placed within frontal and parietal WM, centrum semiovale (CSO), splenium of the corpus callosum (SCC), hand motor area (HK), occipital GM, putamen, thalamus, pons ventral/dorsal (BSv/BSd), cerebellar white matter (CbWM) and posterior lobe (CbGM). Linear regression analysis and Pearson’s correlation tests were used to analyze the data. Results Aging resulted in decreased [NAA] in occipital GM, putamen, SCC, and BSv, and decreased [tCr] in BSd and putamen. [Cho] did not change significantly in selected brain regions. T2 increased in CbWM and decreased in SCC with aging, while the T2′ decreased in the occipital GM, HK, putamen, and increased in the SCC. Correlations were found between [NAA] and T2′ in occipital GM and putamen and between [tCr] and T2′ in the putamen. Conclusion The effects of normal aging on brain metabolites and microstructure are regional dependent. Correlations between both processes are evident in the gray matter. The obtained data could be used as references for future studies on patients. PMID:26564440

  12. White Matter Integrity Supports BOLD Signal Variability and Cognitive Performance in the Aging Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Burzynska, Agnieszka Z.; Wong, Chelsea N.; Voss, Michelle W.; Cooke, Gillian E.; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F.

    2015-01-01

    Decline in cognitive performance in old age is linked to both suboptimal neural processing in grey matter (GM) and reduced integrity of white matter (WM), but the whole-brain structure-function-cognition associations remain poorly understood. Here we apply a novel measure of GM processing–moment-to-moment variability in the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal (SDBOLD)—to study the associations between GM function during resting state, performance on four main cognitive domains (i.e., fluid intelligence, perceptual speed, episodic memory, vocabulary), and WM microstructural integrity in 91 healthy older adults (aged 60-80 years). We modeled the relations between whole-GM SDBOLD with cognitive performance using multivariate partial least squares analysis. We found that greater SDBOLD was associated with better fluid abilities and memory. Most of regions showing behaviorally relevant SDBOLD (e.g., precuneus and insula) were localized to inter- or intra-network “hubs” that connect and integrate segregated functional domains in the brain. Our results suggest that optimal dynamic range of neural processing in hub regions may support cognitive operations that specifically rely on the most flexible neural processing and complex cross-talk between different brain networks. Finally, we demonstrated that older adults with greater WM integrity in all major WM tracts had also greater SDBOLD and better performance on tests of memory and fluid abilities. We conclude that SDBOLD is a promising functional neural correlate of individual differences in cognition in healthy older adults and is supported by overall WM integrity. PMID:25853882

  13. Aging and functional brain networks

    SciTech Connect

    Tomasi D.; Tomasi, D.; Volkow, N.D.

    2011-07-11

    Aging is associated with changes in human brain anatomy and function and cognitive decline. Recent studies suggest the aging decline of major functional connectivity hubs in the 'default-mode' network (DMN). Aging effects on other networks, however, are largely unknown. We hypothesized that aging would be associated with a decline of short- and long-range functional connectivity density (FCD) hubs in the DMN. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated resting-state data sets corresponding to 913 healthy subjects from a public magnetic resonance imaging database using functional connectivity density mapping (FCDM), a voxelwise and data-driven approach, together with parallel computing. Aging was associated with pronounced long-range FCD decreases in DMN and dorsal attention network (DAN) and with increases in somatosensory and subcortical networks. Aging effects in these networks were stronger for long-range than for short-range FCD and were also detected at the level of the main functional hubs. Females had higher short- and long-range FCD in DMN and lower FCD in the somatosensory network than males, but the gender by age interaction effects were not significant for any of the networks or hubs. These findings suggest that long-range connections may be more vulnerable to aging effects than short-range connections and that, in addition to the DMN, the DAN is also sensitive to aging effects, which could underlie the deterioration of attention processes that occurs with aging.

  14. Oxidative Glial Cell Damage Associated with White Matter Lesions in the Aging Human Brain.

    PubMed

    Al-Mashhadi, Sufana; Simpson, Julie E; Heath, Paul R; Dickman, Mark; Forster, Gillian; Matthews, Fiona E; Brayne, Carol; Ince, Paul G; Wharton, Stephen B

    2015-09-01

    White matter lesions (WML) are common in brain aging and are associated with dementia. We aimed to investigate whether oxidative DNA damage and occur in WML and in apparently normal white matter in cases with lesions. Tissue from WML and control white matter from brains with lesions (controls lesional) and without lesions (controls non-lesional) were obtained, using post-mortem magnetic resonance imaging-guided sampling, from the Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Study. Oxidative damage was assessed by immunohistochemistry to 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxoguanosine (8-OHdG) and Western blotting for malondialdehyde. DNA response was assessed by phosphorylated histone H2AX (γH2AX), p53, senescence markers and by quantitative Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) panel for candidate DNA damage-associated genes. 8-OHdG was expressed in glia and endothelium, with increased expression in both WML and controls lesional compared with controls non-lesional (P < 0.001). γH2Ax showed a similar, although attenuated difference among groups (P = 0.03). Expression of senescence-associated β-galactosidase and p16 suggested induction of senescence mechanisms in glia. Oxidative DNA damage and a DNA damage response are features of WML pathogenesis and suggest candidate mechanisms for glial dysfunction. Their expression in apparently normal white matter in cases with WML suggests that white matter dysfunction is not restricted to lesions. The role of this field-effect lesion pathogenesis and cognitive impairment are areas to be defined.

  15. Obesity and age-related alterations in the gene expression of zinc-transporter proteins in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Olesen, R H; Hyde, T M; Kleinman, J E; Smidt, K; Rungby, J; Larsen, A

    2016-01-01

    The incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is increasing. Major risk factors for AD are advancing age and diabetes. Lately, obesity has been associated with an increased risk of dementia. Obese and diabetic individuals are prone to decreased circulating levels of zinc, reducing the amount of zinc available for crucial intracellular processes. In the brain, zinc co-localizes with glutamate in synaptic vesicles, and modulates NMDA receptor activity. Intracellular zinc is involved in apoptosis and fluctuations in cytoplasmic Zn2+ affect modulation of intracellular signaling. The ZNT and ZIP proteins participate in intracellular zinc homeostasis. Altered expression of zinc-regulatory proteins has been described in AD patients. Using microarray data from human frontal cortex (BrainCloud), this study investigates expression of the SCLA30A (ZNT) and SCLA39A (ZIP) families of genes in a Caucasian and African-American sample of 145 neurologically and psychiatrically normal individuals. Expression of ZNT3 and ZNT4 were significantly reduced with increasing age, whereas expression of ZIP1, ZIP9 and ZIP13 were significantly increased. Increasing body mass index (BMI) correlated with a significant reduction in ZNT1 expression similar to what is seen in the early stages of AD. Increasing BMI also correlated with reduced expression of ZNT6. In conclusion, we found that the expression of genes that regulate intracellular zinc homeostasis in the human frontal cortex is altered with increasing age and affected by increasing BMI. With the increasing rates of obesity throughout the world, these findings warrant continuous scrutiny of the long-term consequences of obesity on brain function and the development of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27300264

  16. Obesity and age-related alterations in the gene expression of zinc-transporter proteins in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Olesen, R H; Hyde, T M; Kleinman, J E; Smidt, K; Rungby, J; Larsen, A

    2016-06-14

    The incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is increasing. Major risk factors for AD are advancing age and diabetes. Lately, obesity has been associated with an increased risk of dementia. Obese and diabetic individuals are prone to decreased circulating levels of zinc, reducing the amount of zinc available for crucial intracellular processes. In the brain, zinc co-localizes with glutamate in synaptic vesicles, and modulates NMDA receptor activity. Intracellular zinc is involved in apoptosis and fluctuations in cytoplasmic Zn(2+) affect modulation of intracellular signaling. The ZNT and ZIP proteins participate in intracellular zinc homeostasis. Altered expression of zinc-regulatory proteins has been described in AD patients. Using microarray data from human frontal cortex (BrainCloud), this study investigates expression of the SCLA30A (ZNT) and SCLA39A (ZIP) families of genes in a Caucasian and African-American sample of 145 neurologically and psychiatrically normal individuals. Expression of ZNT3 and ZNT4 were significantly reduced with increasing age, whereas expression of ZIP1, ZIP9 and ZIP13 were significantly increased. Increasing body mass index (BMI) correlated with a significant reduction in ZNT1 expression similar to what is seen in the early stages of AD. Increasing BMI also correlated with reduced expression of ZNT6. In conclusion, we found that the expression of genes that regulate intracellular zinc homeostasis in the human frontal cortex is altered with increasing age and affected by increasing BMI. With the increasing rates of obesity throughout the world, these findings warrant continuous scrutiny of the long-term consequences of obesity on brain function and the development of neurodegenerative diseases.

  17. Nutrients, Microglia Aging, and Brain Aging.

    PubMed

    Wu, Zhou; Yu, Janchun; Zhu, Aiqin; Nakanishi, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    As the life expectancy continues to increase, the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) becomes a big major issue in the world. After cellular activation upon systemic inflammation, microglia, the resident immune cells in the brain, start to release proinflammatory mediators to trigger neuroinflammation. We have found that chronic systemic inflammatory challenges induce differential age-dependent microglial responses, which are in line with the impairment of learning and memory, even in middle-aged animals. We thus raise the concept of "microglia aging." This concept is based on the fact that microglia are the key contributor to the acceleration of cognitive decline, which is the major sign of brain aging. On the other hand, inflammation induces oxidative stress and DNA damage, which leads to the overproduction of reactive oxygen species by the numerous types of cells, including macrophages and microglia. Oxidative stress-damaged cells successively produce larger amounts of inflammatory mediators to promote microglia aging. Nutrients are necessary for maintaining general health, including the health of brain. The intake of antioxidant nutrients reduces both systemic inflammation and neuroinflammation and thus reduces cognitive decline during aging. We herein review our microglia aging concept and discuss systemic inflammation and microglia aging. We propose that a nutritional approach to controlling microglia aging will open a new window for healthy brain aging.

  18. Nutrients, Microglia Aging, and Brain Aging

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Zhou; Yu, Janchun; Zhu, Aiqin; Nakanishi, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    As the life expectancy continues to increase, the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) becomes a big major issue in the world. After cellular activation upon systemic inflammation, microglia, the resident immune cells in the brain, start to release proinflammatory mediators to trigger neuroinflammation. We have found that chronic systemic inflammatory challenges induce differential age-dependent microglial responses, which are in line with the impairment of learning and memory, even in middle-aged animals. We thus raise the concept of “microglia aging.” This concept is based on the fact that microglia are the key contributor to the acceleration of cognitive decline, which is the major sign of brain aging. On the other hand, inflammation induces oxidative stress and DNA damage, which leads to the overproduction of reactive oxygen species by the numerous types of cells, including macrophages and microglia. Oxidative stress-damaged cells successively produce larger amounts of inflammatory mediators to promote microglia aging. Nutrients are necessary for maintaining general health, including the health of brain. The intake of antioxidant nutrients reduces both systemic inflammation and neuroinflammation and thus reduces cognitive decline during aging. We herein review our microglia aging concept and discuss systemic inflammation and microglia aging. We propose that a nutritional approach to controlling microglia aging will open a new window for healthy brain aging. PMID:26941889

  19. Development and Aging of the Healthy Human Brain Uncinate Fasciculus across the Lifespan using Diffusion Tensor Tractography

    PubMed Central

    Hasan, Khader M.; Iftikhar, Amal; Kamali, Arash; Kramer, Larry A.; Ashtari, Manzar; Cirino, Paul T.; Papanicolaou, Andrew C.; Fletcher, Jack M.; Ewing-Cobbs, Linda

    2009-01-01

    The human brain uncinate fasciculus (UF) is an important cortico-cortical white matter pathway that directly connects the frontal and temporal lobes, although there is a lack of conclusive support for its exact functional role. Using diffusion tensor tractography, we extracted the UF, calculated its volume and normalized it with respect to each subject’s intracranial volume (ICV) and analyzed its corresponding DTI metrics bilaterally on a cohort of 108 right-handed children and adults aged 7–68 years. Results showed inverted U-shaped curves for fractional anisotropy (FA) with advancing age and U-shaped curves for radial and axial diffusivities reflecting white matter progressive and regressive myelination and coherence dynamics that continue into young adulthood. The mean FA values of the UF were significantly larger on the left side in children (p=0.05), adults (p=0.0012) and the entire sample (p=0.0002). The FA leftward asymmetry (Left > Right) is shown to be due to increased leftward asymmetry in the axial diffusivity (p<0.0001) and a lack of asymmetry (p>0.23) for the radial diffusivity. This is the first study to provide baseline normative macro and microstructural age trajectories of the human UF across the lifespan. Results of this study may lend themselves to better understanding of UF role in future behavioral and clinical studies. PMID:19393229

  20. Cellular senescence and the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Chinta, Shankar J.; Woods, Georgia; Rane, Anand; Demaria, Marco; Campisi, Judith; Andersen, Julie K

    2014-01-01

    Cellular senescence is a potent anti-cancer mechanism that arrests the proliferation of mitotically competent cells to prevent malignant transformation. Senescent cells accumulate with age in a variety of human and mouse tissues where they express a complex ‘senescence-associated secretory phenotype’ (SASP). The SASP includes many pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, growth factors and proteases that have the potential to cause or exacerbate age-related pathology, both degenerative and hyperplastic. While cellular senescence in peripheral tissues has recently been linked to a number of age-related pathologies, its involvement in brain aging is just beginning to be explored. Recent data generated by several laboratories suggest both aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases are accompanied by an increase in SASP-expressing senescent cells of non-neuronal origin in the brain. Moreover, this increase correlates with neurodegeneration. Senescent cells in the brain could therefore constitute novel therapeutic targets for treating age-related neuropathologies. PMID:25281806

  1. Edaravone protected human brain microvascular endothelial cells from methylglyoxal-induced injury by inhibiting AGEs/RAGE/oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Li, Wenlu; Xu, Hongjiao; Hu, Yangmin; He, Ping; Ni, Zhenzhen; Xu, Huimin; Zhang, Zhongmiao; Dai, Haibin

    2013-01-01

    Subjects with diabetes experience an increased risk of cerebrovascular disease and stroke compared with nondiabetic age-matched individuals. Increased formation of reactive physiological dicarbonyl compound methylglyoxal (MGO) seems to be implicated in the development of diabetic vascular complication due to its protein glycation and oxidative stress effect. Edaravone, a novel radical scavenger, has been reported to display the advantageous effects on ischemic stroke both in animals and clinical trials; however, little is known about whether edaravone has protective effects on diabetic cerebrovascular injury. Using cultured human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC), protective effects of edaravone on MGO and MGO enhancing oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) induced injury were investigated. Cell injury was measured by 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) formation, cell account, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release and Rhodamine 123 staining. Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) formation and receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) expression were measured by western blotting. Cellular oxidative stress was measured by reactive oxygen species (ROS) release. Treatment of MGO for 24 h significantly induced HBMEC injury, which was inhibited by pretreatment of edaravone from 10-100 µmol/l. What's more, treatment of MGO enhanced AGEs accumulation, RAGE expression and ROS release in the cultured HBMEC, which were inhibited by 100 µmol/l edaravone. Finally, treatment of MGO for 24 h and then followed by 3 h OGD insult significantly enhanced cell injury when compared with OGD insult only, which was also protected by 100 µmol/l edaravone. Thus, edaravone protected HBMEC from MGO and MGO enhancing OGD-induced injury by inhibiting AGEs/RAGE/oxidative stress.

  2. A neonatal piglet model for investigating brain and cognitive development in small for gestational age human infants.

    PubMed

    Radlowski, Emily C; Conrad, Matthew S; Lezmi, Stephane; Dilger, Ryan N; Sutton, Brad; Larsen, Ryan; Johnson, Rodney W

    2014-01-01

    The piglet was investigated as a potential model for studying brain and cognitive deficits associated with being born small for gestational age (SGA). Naturally farrowed SGA (0.7-1.0 kg BW) and average for gestational age (AGA, 1.3-1.6 kg BW) piglets were obtained on postnatal day (PD) 2, placed in individual cages, and provided a nutritionally adequate milk replacer diet (285 ml/kg/d). Beginning at PD14, performance in a spatial T-maze task was assessed. At PD28, piglets were anesthetized for magnetic resonance (MR) imaging to assess brain structure (voxel-based morphometry), connectivity (diffusion-tensor imaging) and metabolites in the hippocampus and corpus callosum (proton MR spectroscopy). Piglets born SGA showed compensatory growth such that BW of SGA and AGA piglets was similar (P>0.05), by PD15. Birth weight affected maze performance, with SGA piglets taking longer to reach criterion than AGA piglets (p<0.01). Total brain volume of SGA and AGA piglets was similar (P<0.05), but overall, SGA piglets had less gray matter than AGA piglets (p<0.01) and tended to have a smaller internal capsule (p = 0.07). Group comparisons between SGA and AGA piglets defined 9 areas (≥ 20 clusters) where SGA piglets had less white matter (p<0.01); 2 areas where SGA piglets had more white matter (p<0.01); and 3 areas where SGA piglets had more gray matter (p<0.01). The impact of being born SGA on white matter was supported by a lower (p<0.04) fractional anisotropy value for SGA piglets, suggesting reduced white matter development and connectivity. None of the metabolites measured were different between groups. Collectively, the results show that SGA piglets have spatial learning deficits and abnormal development of white matter. As learning deficits and abnormalities in white matter are common in SGA human infants, the piglet is a tractable translational model that can be used to investigate SGA-associated cognitive deficits and potential interventions.

  3. Dopamine D1, D2, D3 Receptors, Vesicular Monoamine Transporter Type-2 (VMAT2) and Dopamine Transporter (DAT) Densities in Aged Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jianjun; Xu, Jinbin; Cairns, Nigel J.; Perlmutter, Joel S.; Mach, Robert H.

    2012-01-01

    The dopamine D1, D2, D3 receptors, vesicular monoamine transporter type-2 (VMAT2), and dopamine transporter (DAT) densities were measured in 11 aged human brains (aged 77–107.8, mean: 91 years) by quantitative autoradiography. The density of D1 receptors, VMAT2, and DAT was measured using [3H]SCH23390, [3H]dihydrotetrabenazine, and [3H]WIN35428, respectively. The density of D2 and D3 receptors was calculated using the D3-preferring radioligand, [3H]WC-10 and the D2-preferring radioligand [3H]raclopride using a mathematical model developed previously by our group. Dopamine D1, D2, and D3 receptors are extensively distributed throughout striatum; the highest density of D3 receptors occurred in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). The density of the DAT is 10–20-fold lower than that of VMAT2 in striatal regions. Dopamine D3 receptor density exceeded D2 receptor densities in extrastriatal regions, and thalamus contained a high level of D3 receptors with negligible D2 receptors. The density of dopamine D1 linearly correlated with D3 receptor density in the thalamus. The density of the DAT was negligible in the extrastriatal regions whereas the VMAT2 was expressed in moderate density. D3 receptor and VMAT2 densities were in similar level between the aged human and aged rhesus brain samples, whereas aged human brain samples had lower range of densities of D1 and D2 receptors and DAT compared with the aged rhesus monkey brain. The differential density of D3 and D2 receptors in human brain will be useful in the interpretation of PET imaging studies in human subjects with existing radiotracers, and assist in the validation of newer PET radiotracers having a higher selectivity for dopamine D2 or D3 receptors. PMID:23185343

  4. Novel human ABCC9/SUR2 brain-expressed transcripts and an eQTL relevant to hippocampal sclerosis of aging

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Peter T.; Wang, Wang-Xia; Wilfred, Bernard R.; Wei, Angela; Dimayuga, James; Huang, Qingwei; Ighodaro, Eseosa; Artiushin, Sergey; Fardo, David W.

    2015-01-01

    ABCC9 genetic polymorphisms are associated with increased risk for various human diseases including hippocampal sclerosis of aging. The main goals of this study were 1 > to detect the ABCC9 variants and define the specific 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) for each variant in human brain, and 2 > to determine whether a polymorphism (rs704180) associated with risk for hippocampal sclerosis of aging pathology is also associated with variation in ABCC9 transcript expression and/or splicing. Rapid amplification of ABCC9 cDNA ends (3′RACE) provided evidence of novel 3′ UTR portions of ABCC9 in human brain. In silico and experimental studies were performed focusing on the single nucleotide polymorphism, rs704180. Analyses from multiple databases, focusing on rs704180 only, indicated that this risk allele is a local expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL). Analyses of RNA from human brains showed increased ABCC9 transcript levels in individuals with the risk genotype, corresponding with enrichment for a shorter 3′ UTR which may be more stable than variants with the longer 3′ UTR. MicroRNA transfection experiments yielded results compatible with the hypothesis that miR-30c causes down-regulation of SUR2 transcripts with the longer 3′ UTR. Thus we report evidence of complex ABCC9 genetic regulation in brain, which may be of direct relevance to human disease. PMID:26115089

  5. Specific Regional and Age-Related Small Noncoding RNA Expression Patterns Within Superior Temporal Gyrus of Typical Human Brains Are Less Distinct in Autism Brains

    PubMed Central

    Stamova, Boryana; Ander, Bradley P.; Barger, Nicole; Sharp, Frank R.

    2015-01-01

    Small noncoding RNAs play a critical role in regulating messenger RNA throughout brain development and when altered could have profound effects leading to disorders such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We assessed small noncoding RNAs, including microRNA and small nucleolar RNA, in superior temporal sulcus association cortex and primary auditory cortex in typical and ASD brains from early childhood to adulthood. Typical small noncoding RNA expression profiles were less distinct in ASD, both between regions and changes with age. Typical micro-RNA coexpression associations were absent in ASD brains. miR-132, miR-103, and miR-320 micro-RNAs were dysregulated in ASD and have previously been associated with autism spectrum disorders. These diminished region- and age-related micro-RNA expression profiles are in line with previously reported findings of attenuated messenger RNA and long noncoding RNA in ASD brain. This study demonstrates alterations in superior temporal sulcus in ASD, a region implicated in social impairment, and is the first to demonstrate molecular alterations in the primary auditory cortex. PMID:26350727

  6. Ventriculomegaly associated with ependymal gliosis and declines in barrier integrity in the aging human and mouse brain

    PubMed Central

    Shook, Brett A; Lennington, Jessica B; Acabchuk, Rebecca L; Halling, Meredith; Sun, Ye; Peters, John; Wu, Qian; Mahajan, Amit; Fellows, Douglas W; Conover, Joanne C

    2014-01-01

    Age-associated ventriculomegaly is typically attributed to neurodegeneration; however, additional factors might initiate or contribute to progressive ventricular expansion. By directly linking postmortem human MRI sequences with histological features of periventricular tissue, we show that substantial lateral ventricle surface gliosis is associated with ventriculomegaly. To examine whether loss of ependymal cell coverage resulting in ventricle surface glial scarring can lead directly to ventricle enlargement independent of any other injury or degenerative loss, we modeled in mice the glial scarring found along the lateral ventricle surface in aged humans. Neuraminidase, which cleaves glycosidic linkages of apical adherens junction proteins, was administered intracerebroventricularly to denude areas of ependymal cells. Substantial ependymal cell loss resulted in reactive gliosis rather than stem cell-mediated regenerative repair of the ventricle lining, and the gliotic regions showed morphologic and phenotypic characteristics similar to those found in aged humans. Increased levels of aquaporin-4, indicative of edema, observed in regions of periventricular gliosis in human tissue were also replicated in our mouse model. 3D modeling together with volume measurements revealed that mice with ventricle surface scarring developed expanded ventricles, independent of neurodegeneration. Through a comprehensive, comparative analysis of the lateral ventricles and associated periventricular tissue in aged humans and mouse, followed by modeling of surface gliosis in mice, we have demonstrated a direct link between lateral ventricle surface gliosis and ventricle enlargement. These studies highlight the importance of maintaining an intact ependymal cell lining throughout aging. PMID:24341850

  7. Ventriculomegaly associated with ependymal gliosis and declines in barrier integrity in the aging human and mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Shook, Brett A; Lennington, Jessica B; Acabchuk, Rebecca L; Halling, Meredith; Sun, Ye; Peters, John; Wu, Qian; Mahajan, Amit; Fellows, Douglas W; Conover, Joanne C

    2014-04-01

    Age-associated ventriculomegaly is typically attributed to neurodegeneration; however, additional factors might initiate or contribute to progressive ventricular expansion. By directly linking postmortem human MRI sequences with histological features of periventricular tissue, we show that substantial lateral ventricle surface gliosis is associated with ventriculomegaly. To examine whether loss of ependymal cell coverage resulting in ventricle surface glial scarring can lead directly to ventricle enlargement independent of any other injury or degenerative loss, we modeled in mice the glial scarring found along the lateral ventricle surface in aged humans. Neuraminidase, which cleaves glycosidic linkages of apical adherens junction proteins, was administered intracerebroventricularly to denude areas of ependymal cells. Substantial ependymal cell loss resulted in reactive gliosis rather than stem cell-mediated regenerative repair of the ventricle lining, and the gliotic regions showed morphologic and phenotypic characteristics similar to those found in aged humans. Increased levels of aquaporin-4, indicative of edema, observed in regions of periventricular gliosis in human tissue were also replicated in our mouse model. 3D modeling together with volume measurements revealed that mice with ventricle surface scarring developed expanded ventricles, independent of neurodegeneration. Through a comprehensive, comparative analysis of the lateral ventricles and associated periventricular tissue in aged humans and mouse, followed by modeling of surface gliosis in mice, we have demonstrated a direct link between lateral ventricle surface gliosis and ventricle enlargement. These studies highlight the importance of maintaining an intact ependymal cell lining throughout aging.

  8. Aging. Aging-induced type I interferon response at the choroid plexus negatively affects brain function.

    PubMed

    Baruch, Kuti; Deczkowska, Aleksandra; David, Eyal; Castellano, Joseph M; Miller, Omer; Kertser, Alexander; Berkutzki, Tamara; Barnett-Itzhaki, Zohar; Bezalel, Dana; Wyss-Coray, Tony; Amit, Ido; Schwartz, Michal

    2014-10-03

    Aging-associated cognitive decline is affected by factors produced inside and outside the brain. By using multiorgan genome-wide analysis of aged mice, we found that the choroid plexus, an interface between the brain and the circulation, shows a type I interferon (IFN-I)-dependent gene expression profile that was also found in aged human brains. In aged mice, this response was induced by brain-derived signals, present in the cerebrospinal fluid. Blocking IFN-I signaling within the aged brain partially restored cognitive function and hippocampal neurogenesis and reestablished IFN-II-dependent choroid plexus activity, which is lost in aging. Our data identify a chronic aging-induced IFN-I signature, often associated with antiviral response, at the brain's choroid plexus and demonstrate its negative influence on brain function, thereby suggesting a target for ameliorating cognitive decline in aging.

  9. Serum BDNF correlates with connectivity in the (pre)motor hub in the aging human brain--a resting-state fMRI pilot study.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Karsten; Arelin, Katrin; Möller, Harald E; Sacher, Julia; Kratzsch, Jürgen; Luck, Tobias; Riedel-Heller, Steffi; Villringer, Arno; Schroeter, Matthias L

    2016-02-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been discussed to be involved in plasticity processes in the human brain, in particular during aging. Recently, aging and its (neurodegenerative) diseases have increasingly been conceptualized as disconnection syndromes. Here, connectivity changes in neural networks (the connectome) are suggested to be the most relevant and characteristic features for such processes or diseases. To further elucidate the impact of aging on neural networks, we investigated the interaction between plasticity processes, brain connectivity, and healthy aging by measuring levels of serum BDNF and resting-state fMRI data in 25 young (mean age 24.8 ± 2.7 (SD) years) and 23 old healthy participants (mean age, 68.6 ± 4.1 years). To identify neural hubs most essentially related to serum BDNF, we applied graph theory approaches, namely the new data-driven and parameter-free approach eigenvector centrality (EC) mapping. The analysis revealed a positive correlation between serum BDNF and EC in the premotor and motor cortex in older participants in contrast to young volunteers, where we did not detect any association. This positive relationship between serum BDNF and EC appears to be specific for older adults. Our results might indicate that the amount of physical activity and learning capacities, leading to higher BDNF levels, increases brain connectivity in (pre)motor areas in healthy aging in agreement with rodent animal studies. Pilot results have to be replicated in a larger sample including behavioral data to disentangle the cause for the relationship between BDNF levels and connectivity.

  10. Label-Free Quantitative LC–MS Proteomics of Alzheimer’s Disease and Normally Aged Human Brains

    SciTech Connect

    Andreev, Victor P.; Petyuk, Vladislav A.; Brewer, Heather M.; Karpievitch, Yuliya V.; Xie, Fang; Clarke, Jennifer; Camp, David; Smith, Richard D.; Lieberman, Andrew P.; Albin, Roger L.; Nawaz, Zafar; El Hokayem, Jimmy; Myers, Amanda J.

    2012-06-01

    Quantitative proteomics analysis of cortical samples of 10 Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brains versus 10 normally aged brains was performed by following the accurate mass and time tag (AMT) approach with the high resolution LTQ Orbitrap mass spectrometer. More than 1400 proteins were identified and quantitated. A conservative approach of selecting only the consensus results of four normalization methods was suggested and used. A total of 197 proteins were shown to be significantly differentially abundant (p-values <0.05, corrected for multiplicity of testing) in AD versus control brain samples. Thirty-seven of these proteins were reported as differentially abundant or modified in AD in previous proteomics and transcriptomics publications. The rest to the best of our knowledge are new. Mapping of the discovered proteins with bioinformatic tools revealed significant enrichment with differentially abundant proteins of pathways and processes known to be important in AD, including signal transduction, regulation of protein phosphorylation, immune response, cytoskeleton organization, lipid metabolism, energy production, and cell death.

  11. The effect of age on human motor electrocorticographic signals and implications for brain-computer interface applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roland, Jarod; Miller, Kai; Freudenburg, Zac; Sharma, Mohit; Smyth, Matthew; Gaona, Charles; Breshears, Jonathan; Corbetta, Maurizio; Leuthardt, Eric C.

    2011-08-01

    Electrocorticography (ECoG)-based brain-computer interface (BCI) systems have emerged as a new signal platform for neuroprosthetic application. ECoG-based platforms have shown significant promise for clinical application due to the high level of information that can be derived from the ECoG signal, the signal's stability, and its intermediate nature of surgical invasiveness. However, before long-term BCI applications can be realized it will be important to also understand how the cortical physiology alters with age. Such understanding may provide an appreciation for how this may affect the control signals utilized by a chronic implant. In this study, we report on a large population of adult and pediatric invasively monitored subjects to determine the impact that age will have on surface cortical physiology. We evaluated six frequency bands—delta (<4 Hz), theta (4-8 Hz), alpha (8-13 Hz), beta (13-30 Hz), low gamma band (30-50 Hz), and high gamma band (76-100 Hz)—to evaluate the effect of age on the magnitude of power change, cortical area of activation, and cortical networks. When significant trends are evaluated as a whole, it appears that the aging process appears to more substantively alter thalamocortical interactions leading to an increase in cortical inefficiency. Despite this, we find that higher gamma rhythms appear to be more anatomically constrained with age, while lower frequency rhythms appear to broaden in cortical involvement as time progresses. From an independent signal standpoint, this would favor high gamma rhythms' utilization as a separable signal that could be maintained chronically.

  12. Brain pathologies in extreme old age

    PubMed Central

    Neltner, Janna H.; Abner, Erin L.; Jicha, Gregory A.; Schmitt, Frederick A.; Patel, Ela; Poon, Leonard W.; Gearing, Marla; Green, Robert C.; Davey, Adam; Johnson, Mary Ann; Jazwinski, S. Michal; Kim, Sangkyu; Davis, Daron; Woodard, John L.; Kryscio, Richard J.; Van Eldik, Linda J.; Nelson, Peter T.

    2015-01-01

    With an emphasis on evolving concepts in the field, we evaluated neuropathologic data from very old research volunteers whose brain autopsies were performed at University of Kentucky (UK-ADC), incorporating data from the Georgia Centenarian Study (N=49 cases included), the Nun Study (N=17), and UK-ADC (N=11) cohorts. Average age of death was 102.0 years (range: 98–107) overall. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology was not universal (62% with “moderate” or “frequent” neuritic amyloid plaque densities) whereas frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) was absent. By contrast, some hippocampal neurofibrillary tangles (including primary age-related tauopathy [PART]) were observed in every case. Lewy body pathology was seen in 16.9% of subjects, hippocampal sclerosis of aging (HS-Aging) in 20.8%. We describe anatomical distributions of pigment-laden macrophages, expanded Virchow-Robin spaces, and arteriolosclerosis among Georgia Centenarians. Moderate or severe arteriolosclerosis pathology, throughout the brain, was associated with both HS-Aging pathology and an ABCC9 gene variant. These results provide fresh insights into the complex cerebral multimorbidity, and a novel genetic risk factor, at the far end of the human aging spectrum. PMID:26597697

  13. Neuroethics in the Age of Brain Projects.

    PubMed

    Greely, Henry T; Ramos, Khara M; Grady, Christine

    2016-11-02

    Neuroscience advances have brought important ethical questions. The recent launch of two large brain projects, the United States BRAIN Initiative and the European Union Human Brain Project, should accelerate progress in understanding the brain. This article examines neuroethics in those two projects, as well as its exploration by other efforts.

  14. The aging brain: the cognitive reserve hypothesis and hominid evolution.

    PubMed

    Allen, John S; Bruss, Joel; Damasio, Hanna

    2005-01-01

    Compared to other primates, humans live a long time and have large brains. Recent theories of the evolution of human life history stages (grandmother hypothesis, intergenerational transfer of information) lend credence to the notion that selection for increased life span and menopause has occurred in hominid evolution, despite the reduction in the force of natural selection operating on older, especially post-reproductive, individuals. Theories that posit the importance (in an inclusive fitness sense) of the survival of older individuals require them to maintain a reasonably high level of cognitive function (e.g., memory, communication). Patterns of brain aging and factors associated with healthy brain aging should be relevant to this issue. Recent neuroimaging research suggests that, in healthy aging, human brain volume (gray and white matter) is well-maintained until at least 60 years of age; cognitive function also shows only nonsignificant declines at this age. The maintenance of brain volume and cognitive performance is consistent with the idea of a significant post- or late-reproductive life history stage. A clinical model, "the cognitive reserve hypothesis," proposes that both increased brain volume and enhanced cognitive ability may contribute to healthy brain aging, reducing the likelihood of developing dementia. Selection for increased brain size and increased cognitive ability in hominid evolution may therefore have been important in selection for increased lifespan in the context of intergenerational social support networks.

  15. Human brains found in a fire-affected 4000-years old Bronze Age tumulus layer rich in soil alkalines and boron in Kutahya, Western Anatolia.

    PubMed

    Altinoz, M A; Ince, B; Sav, A; Dincer, A; Cengiz, S; Mercan, S; Yazici, Z; Bilgen, M N

    2014-02-01

    Undecomposed human bodies and organs always attracted interest in terms of understanding biological tissue stability and immortality. Amongst these, cases of natural mummification found in glaciers, bog sediments and deserts caused even more attention. In 2010, an archeological excavation of a Bronze Age layer in a tumulus near the Western Anatolia city Kütahya revealed fire affected regions with burnt human skeletons and charred wooden objects. Inside of the cracked skulls, undecomposed brains were discernible. To analyze the burial taphonomy of the rare phenomenon of brain preservation, we analyzed brains, bone, teeth and surrounding soils elements using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS). Adipocere formation or saponification of postmortem tissue fat requires high levels of alkalinity and especially potassium. Indeed, ICP-MS analysis of the brain, teeth and bone and also of the surrounding soil revealed high levels of potassium, magnesium, aluminum and boron, which are compatible with the famous role of Kütahya in tile production with its soil containing high level of alkalines and tile-glazing boron. Fatty acid chromatography revealed simultaneous saturation of fats and protection of fragile unsaturated fatty acids consistent with soil-presence of both pro-oxidant and anti-oxidant trace metals. Computerized tomography revealed protection of diencephalic, metencephalic and occipital tissue in one of the best-preserved specimens. Boron was previously found as an intentional preservative of Tutankhamen and Deir el Bahari mummies. Here, in natural soil with its insect-repellant, anti-bacterial and fire-resistance qualities it may be a factor to preserve heat-affected brains as almost bioporcellain specimens.

  16. Plasticity of the aging brain: new directions in cognitive neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Gutchess, Angela

    2014-10-31

    Cognitive neuroscience has revealed aging of the human brain to be rich in reorganization and change. Neuroimaging results have recast our framework around cognitive aging from one of decline to one emphasizing plasticity. Current methods use neurostimulation approaches to manipulate brain function, providing a direct test of the ways that the brain differently contributes to task performance for younger and older adults. Emerging research into emotional, social, and motivational domains provides some evidence for preservation with age, suggesting potential avenues of plasticity, alongside additional evidence for reorganization. Thus, we begin to see that aging of the brain, amidst interrelated behavioral and biological changes, is as complex and idiosyncratic as the brain itself, qualitatively changing over the life span.

  17. NIH Conference. Brain imaging: aging and dementia

    SciTech Connect

    Cutler, N.R.; Duara, R.; Creasey, H.; Grady, C.L.; Haxby, J.V.; Schapiro, M.B.; Rapoport, S.I.

    1984-09-01

    The brain imaging techniques of positron emission tomography using (18F)-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose, and computed tomography, together with neuropsychological tests, were used to examine overall brain function and anatomy in three study populations: healthy men at different ages, patients with presumptive Alzheimer's disease, and adults with Down's syndrome. Brain glucose use did not differ with age, whereas an age-related decrement in gray matter volume was found on computed tomographic assessment in healthy subjects. Memory deficits were found to precede significant reductions in brain glucose utilization in mild to moderate Alzheimer's dementia. Furthermore, differences between language and visuoconstructive impairments in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease were related to hemispheric asymmetry of brain metabolism. Brain glucose utilization was found to be significantly elevated in young adults with Down's syndrome, compared with controls. The importance of establishing strict criteria for selecting control subjects and patients is explained in relation to the findings.

  18. Molecular aging of the brain, neuroplasticity, and vulnerability to depression and other brain-related disorders.

    PubMed

    Sibille, Etienne

    2013-03-01

    The increased risk for neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders associated with extended lifespan has long suggested mechanistic links between chronological age and brain-related disorders, including depression, Recent characterizations of age-dependent gene expression changes now show that aging of the human brain engages a specific set of biological pathways along a continuous lifelong trajectory, and that the same genes that are associated with normal brain aging are also frequently and similarly implicated in depression and other brain-related disorders. These correlative observations suggest a model of age-by-disease molecular interactions, in which brain aging promotes biological changes associated with diseases, and additional environmental factors and genetic variability contribute to defining disease risk or resiliency trajectories. Here we review the characteristic features of brain aging in terms of changes in gene function over time, and then focus on evidence supporting accelerated molecular aging in depression. This proposed age-by-disease biological interaction model addresses the current gap in research between "normal" brain aging and its connection to late-life diseases. The implications of this model are profound, as it provides an investigational framework for identifying critical moderating factors, outlines opportunities for early interventions or preventions, and may form the basis for a dimensional definition of diseases that goes beyond the current categorical system.

  19. Sleep and Human Aging.

    PubMed

    Mander, Bryce A; Winer, Joseph R; Walker, Matthew P

    2017-04-05

    Older adults do not sleep as well as younger adults. Why? What alterations in sleep quantity and quality occur as we age, and are there functional consequences? What are the underlying neural mechanisms that explain age-related sleep disruption? This review tackles these questions. First, we describe canonical changes in human sleep quantity and quality in cognitively normal older adults. Second, we explore the underlying neurobiological mechanisms that may account for these human sleep alterations. Third, we consider the functional consequences of age-related sleep disruption, focusing on memory impairment as an exemplar. We conclude with a discussion of a still-debated question: do older adults simply need less sleep, or rather, are they unable to generate the sleep that they still need?

  20. Educating the Human Brain. Human Brain Development Series

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Posner, Michael I.; Rothbart, Mary K.

    2006-01-01

    "Educating the Human Brain" is the product of a quarter century of research. This book provides an empirical account of the early development of attention and self regulation in infants and young children. It examines the brain areas involved in regulatory networks, their connectivity, and how their development is influenced by genes and…

  1. Aging and Gene Expression in the Primate Brain

    SciTech Connect

    Fraser, Hunter B.; Khaitovich, Philipp; Plotkin, Joshua B.; Paabo, Svante; Eisen, Michael B.

    2005-02-18

    It is well established that gene expression levels in many organisms change during the aging process, and the advent of DNA microarrays has allowed genome-wide patterns of transcriptional changes associated with aging to be studied in both model organisms and various human tissues. Understanding the effects of aging on gene expression in the human brain is of particular interest, because of its relation to both normal and pathological neurodegeneration. Here we show that human cerebral cortex, human cerebellum, and chimpanzee cortex each undergo different patterns of age-related gene expression alterations. In humans, many more genes undergo consistent expression changes in the cortex than in the cerebellum; in chimpanzees, many genes change expression with age in cortex, but the pattern of changes in expression bears almost no resemblance to that of human cortex. These results demonstrate the diversity of aging patterns present within the human brain, as well as how rapidly genome-wide patterns of aging can evolve between species; they may also have implications for the oxidative free radical theory of aging, and help to improve our understanding of human neurodegenerative diseases.

  2. Structural Imaging Measures of Brain Aging

    PubMed Central

    Lockhart, Samuel N.

    2014-01-01

    During the course of normal aging, biological changes occur in the brain that are associated with changes in cognitive ability. This review presents data from neuroimaging studies of primarily “normal” or healthy brain aging. As such, we focus on research in unimpaired or nondemented older adults, but also include findings from lifespan studies that include younger and middle aged individuals as well as from populations with prodromal or clinically symptomatic disease such as cerebrovascular or Alzheimer’s disease. This review predominantly addresses structural MRI biomarkers, such as volumetric or thickness measures from anatomical images, and measures of white matter injury and integrity respectively from FLAIR or DTI, and includes complementary data from PET and cognitive or clinical testing as appropriate. The findings reveal highly consistent age-related differences in brain structure, particularly frontal lobe and medial temporal regions that are also accompanied by age-related differences in frontal and medial temporal lobe mediated cognitive abilities. Newer findings also suggest that degeneration of specific white matter tracts such as those passing through the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum may also be related to age-related differences in cognitive performance. Interpretation of these findings, however, must be tempered by the fact that comorbid diseases such as cerebrovascular and Alzheimer’s disease also increase in prevalence with advancing age. As such, this review discusses challenges related to interpretation of current theories of cognitive aging in light of the common occurrence of these later-life diseases. Understanding the differences between “Normal” and “Healthy” brain aging and identifying potential modifiable risk factors for brain aging is critical to inform potential treatments to stall or reverse the effects of brain aging and possibly extend cognitive health for our aging society. PMID:25146995

  3. The Human Brain Uses Noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mori, Toshio; Kai, Shoichi

    2003-05-01

    We present the first observation of stochastic resonance (SR) in the human brain's visual processing area. The novel experimental protocol is to stimulate the right eye with a sub-threshold periodic optical signal and the left eye with a noisy one. The stimuli bypass sensory organs and are mixed in the visual cortex. With many noise sources present in the brain, higher brain functions, e.g. perception and cognition, may exploit SR.

  4. Opposite patterns of age-associated changes in neurons and glial cells of the thalamus of human brain.

    PubMed

    Guidolin, D; Zunarelli, E; Genedani, S; Trentini, G P; De Gaetani, C; Fuxe, K; Benegiamo, C; Agnati, L F

    2008-06-01

    In an autopsy series of 19 individuals, age-ranged 24-94, a relatively age-spared region, the anterior-ventral thalamus, was analyzed by immunohistochemical techniques to visualize neurons (neurofilament protein), astrocytes (glial fibrillary acidic protein), microglial cells (CD68) and amyloid precursor protein. The pattern of immunoreactivity was determined by surface fractal dimension and lacunarity, the size by the field area (FA) and the spatial uniformity by the uniformity index. From the normalized FA values of immunoreactivity for the four markers studied, a global parameter was defined to give an overall characterization of the age-dependent changes in the glio-neuronal networks. A significant exponential decline of the GP was observed with increasing age. This finding suggests that early in life (age<50 years) an adaptive response might be triggered, involving the glio-neuronal networks in plastic adaptive adjustments to cope with the environmental challenges and the continuous wearing off of the neuronal structures. The slow decay of the GP observed in a later phase (age>70 years) could be due to the non-trophic reserve still available.

  5. Evolution of the Aging Brain Transcriptome and Synaptic Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Dakin, Kelly A.; Vann, James M.; Isaacs, Adrian; Geula, Chengiz; Wang, Jianbin; Pan, Ying; Gabuzda, Dana H.; Li, Cheng; Prolla, Tomas A.; Yankner, Bruce A.

    2008-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders of aging are characterized by clinical and pathological features that are relatively specific to humans. To obtain greater insight into how brain aging has evolved, we compared age-related gene expression changes in the cortex of humans, rhesus macaques, and mice on a genome-wide scale. A small subset of gene expression changes are conserved in all three species, including robust age-dependent upregulation of the neuroprotective gene apolipoprotein D (APOD) and downregulation of the synaptic cAMP signaling gene calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CAMK4). However, analysis of gene ontology and cell type localization shows that humans and rhesus macaques have diverged from mice due to a dramatic increase in age-dependent repression of neuronal genes. Many of these age-regulated neuronal genes are associated with synaptic function. Notably, genes associated with GABA-ergic inhibitory function are robustly age-downregulated in humans but not in mice at the level of both mRNA and protein. Gene downregulation was not associated with overall neuronal or synaptic loss. Thus, repression of neuronal gene expression is a prominent and recently evolved feature of brain aging in humans and rhesus macaques that may alter neural networks and contribute to age-related cognitive changes. PMID:18830410

  6. Apoptosis in the aged dog brain.

    PubMed

    Kiatipattanasakul, W; Nakamura, S; Hossain, M M; Nakayama, H; Uchino, T; Shumiya, S; Goto, N; Doi, K

    1996-09-01

    Apoptosis similar to that seen in Alzheimer's disease patients was found in the brain of aged dogs by the TUNEL method of detecting in situ DNA fragmentation. Apoptosis was observed in both neurons and glial cells, and was morphologically characterized by round and swollen cytoplasm and aggregated nuclear chromatin, although these changes were slight. Neurons and astrocytes in the gray matter and oligodendrocytes in the white matter were affected. The number of ApopTag-positive brain cells increased slightly with age, but was not correlated to the number of senile plaques. A good correlation between the number of ApopTag-positive cells and the dementia index was clearly found. The present study indicates that brain cell apoptosis could account for dementia in aged dogs and suggested that aged dogs may be useful as a simplified animal model for Alzheimer's disease in man.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Emotion and aging: evidence from brain and behavior

    PubMed Central

    Ebner, Natalie C.; Fischer, Håkan

    2014-01-01

    Emotions play a central role in every human life from the moment we are born until we die. They prepare the body for action, highlight what should be noticed and remembered, and guide decisions and actions. As emotions are central to daily functioning, it is important to understand how aging affects perception, memory, experience, as well as regulation of emotions. The Frontiers research topic Emotion and Aging: Evidence from Brain and Behavior takes a step into uncovering emotional aging considering both brain and behavioral processes. The contributions featured in this issue adopt innovative theoretical perspectives and use novel methodological approaches to target a variety of topics that can be categorized into three overarching questions: How do cognition and emotion interact in aging in brain and behavior? What are behavioral and brain-related moderators of emotional aging? Does emotion-regulatory success as reflected in brain and behavior change with age? In this perspective paper we discuss theoretical innovation, methodological approach, and scientific advancement of the 13 papers in the context of the broader literature on emotional aging. We conclude by reflecting on topics untouched and future directions to take. PMID:25250002

  9. Metabolic drift in the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Ivanisevic, Julijana; Stauch, Kelly L.; Petrascheck, Michael; Benton, H. Paul; Epstein, Adrian A.; Fang, Mingliang; Gorantla, Santhi; Tran, Minerva; Hoang, Linh; Kurczy, Michael E.; Boska, Michael D.; Gendelman, Howard E.; Fox, Howard S.; Siuzdak, Gary

    2016-01-01

    Brain function is highly dependent upon controlled energy metabolism whose loss heralds cognitive impairments. This is particularly notable in the aged individuals and in age-related neurodegenerative diseases. However, how metabolic homeostasis is disrupted in the aging brain is still poorly understood. Here we performed global, metabolomic and proteomic analyses across different anatomical regions of mouse brain at different stages of its adult lifespan. Interestingly, while severe proteomic imbalance was absent, global-untargeted metabolomics revealed an energy metabolic drift or significant imbalance in core metabolite levels in aged mouse brains. Metabolic imbalance was characterized by compromised cellular energy status (NAD decline, increased AMP/ATP, purine/pyrimidine accumulation) and significantly altered oxidative phosphorylation and nucleotide biosynthesis and degradation. The central energy metabolic drift suggests a failure of the cellular machinery to restore metabostasis (metabolite homeostasis) in the aged brain and therefore an inability to respond properly to external stimuli, likely driving the alterations in signaling activity and thus in neuronal function and communication. PMID:27182841

  10. [Glial activation and brain aging].

    PubMed

    Sugaya, K

    2001-10-01

    While basal forebrain cholinergic neurons degenerate in aging and Alzheimer's disease, the cholinergic groups of the upper brainstem are preserved. Since the brainstem reticular-like cholinergic neurons differ from the rostral cholinergic phenotype by their high expression of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) mRNA, we hypothesized that they contain biochemical mechanisms to protect themselves against self-induced damage by nitric oxide (NO). Our initial question was a source of the NO during the aging process. We found a significant correlation between cognitive function and markers for glial activation and oxidative stress using aged rats. This result indicates that oxidative stress accompanied by glial activation may be occurred in the cognitively impaired animals. We also found mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) was significantly damaged in these animals, while accumulation of oxidative damage was not evident in other molecules. Therefore, oxidative damage to the mDNA by glial activation may occur in the cells having poor protection against oxidative stress during aging. Then the dysfunction of mitochondria, induced by the mDNA damage, may induce cell death as well as produce another oxidative stress to cause neuronal damage. The damaged neurons induce further glial activation and such self-accelerated immune-like response results in progressive neurodegeneration.

  11. Brain surgery breathes new life into aging plants

    SciTech Connect

    Makansi, J.

    2006-04-15

    Unlike managing the human aging process, extending the life of a power plant often includes brain surgery, modernizing its control and automation system. Lately, such retrofits range from wholesale replacing of existing controls to the addition of specific control elements that help optimize performance. Pending revisions to safety codes and cybersecurity issues also need to be considered. 4 figs.

  12. Light-sensitive brain pathways and aging.

    PubMed

    Daneault, V; Dumont, M; Massé, É; Vandewalle, G; Carrier, J

    2016-03-15

    Notwithstanding its effects on the classical visual system allowing image formation, light acts upon several non-image-forming (NIF) functions including body temperature, hormonal secretions, sleep-wake cycle, alertness, and cognitive performance. Studies have shown that NIF functions are maximally sensitive to blue wavelengths (460-480 nm), in comparison to longer light wavelengths. Higher blue light sensitivity has been reported for melatonin suppression, pupillary constriction, vigilance, and performance improvement but also for modulation of cognitive brain functions. Studies investigating acute stimulating effects of light on brain activity during the execution of cognitive tasks have suggested that brain activations progress from subcortical regions involved in alertness, such as the thalamus, the hypothalamus, and the brainstem, before reaching cortical regions associated with the ongoing task. In the course of aging, lower blue light sensitivity of some NIF functions has been reported. Here, we first describe neural pathways underlying effects of light on NIF functions and we discuss eye and cerebral mechanisms associated with aging which may affect NIF light sensitivity. Thereafter, we report results of investigations on pupillary constriction and cognitive brain sensitivity to light in the course of aging. Whereas the impact of light on cognitive brain responses appears to decrease substantially, pupillary constriction seems to remain more intact over the lifespan. Altogether, these results demonstrate that aging research should take into account the diversity of the pathways underlying the effects of light on specific NIF functions which may explain their differences in light sensitivity.

  13. Genomic integrity and the ageing brain.

    PubMed

    Chow, Hei-man; Herrup, Karl

    2015-11-01

    DNA damage is correlated with and may drive the ageing process. Neurons in the brain are postmitotic and are excluded from many forms of DNA repair; therefore, neurons are vulnerable to various neurodegenerative diseases. The challenges facing the field are to understand how and when neuronal DNA damage accumulates, how this loss of genomic integrity might serve as a 'time keeper' of nerve cell ageing and why this process manifests itself as different diseases in different individuals.

  14. Two hands, one brain, and aging.

    PubMed

    Maes, Celine; Gooijers, Jolien; Orban de Xivry, Jean-Jacques; Swinnen, Stephan P; Boisgontier, Matthieu P

    2017-02-08

    Many activities of daily living require moving both hands in an organized manner in space and time. Therefore, understanding the impact of aging on bimanual coordination is essential for prolonging functional independence and well-being in older adults. Here we investigated the behavioral and neural determinants of bimanual coordination in aging. The studies surveyed in this review reveal that aging is associated with cortical hyper-activity (but also subcortical hypo-activity) during performance of bimanual tasks. In addition to changes in activation in local areas, the interaction between distributed brain areas also exhibits age-related effects, i.e., functional connectivity is increased in the resting brain as well as during task performance. The mechanisms and triggers underlying these functional activation and connectivity changes remain to be investigated. This requires further research investment into the detailed study of interactions between brain structure, function and connectivity. This will also provide the foundation for interventional research programs towards preservation of brain health and behavioral performance by maximizing neuroplasticity potential in older adults.

  15. Genetic mouse models of brain ageing and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Bilkei-Gorzo, Andras

    2014-05-01

    Progression of brain ageing is influenced by a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors. Analysis of genetically modified animals with uniform genetic backgrounds in a standardised, controlled environment enables the dissection of critical determinants of brain ageing on a molecular level. Human and animal studies suggest that increased load of damaged macromolecules, efficacy of DNA maintenance, mitochondrial activity, and cellular stress defences are critical determinants of brain ageing. Surprisingly, mouse lines with genetic impairment of anti-oxidative capacity generally did not show enhanced cognitive ageing but rather an increased sensitivity to oxidative challenge. Mouse lines with impaired mitochondrial activity had critically short life spans or severe and rapidly progressing neurodegeneration. Strains with impaired clearance in damaged macromolecules or defects in the regulation of cellular stress defences showed alterations in the onset and progression of cognitive decline. Importantly, reduced insulin/insulin-like growth factor signalling generally increased life span but impaired cognitive functions revealing a complex interaction between ageing of the brain and of the body. Brain ageing is accompanied by an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Transgenic mouse models expressing high levels of mutant human amyloid precursor protein showed a number of symptoms and pathophysiological processes typical for early phase of Alzheimer's disease. Generally, therapeutic strategies effective against Alzheimer's disease in humans were also active in the Tg2576, APP23, APP/PS1 and 5xFAD lines, but a large number of false positive findings were also reported. The 3xtg AD model likely has the highest face and construct validity but further studies are needed.

  16. The Age of Human Cerebral Cortex Neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Bhardwaj, R D; Curtis, M A; Spalding, K L; Buchholz, B A; Fink, D; Bjork-Eriksson, T; Nordborg, C; Gage, F H; Druid, H; Eriksson, P S; Frisen, J

    2006-04-06

    The traditional static view of the adult mammalian brain has been challenged by the realization of continuous generation of neurons from stem cells. Based mainly on studies in experimental animals, adult neurogenesis may contribute to recovery after brain insults and decreased neurogenesis has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurological and psychiatric diseases in man. The extent of neurogenesis in the adult human brain has, however, been difficult to establish. We have taken advantage of the integration of {sup 14}C, generated by nuclear bomb tests during the Cold War, in DNA to establish the age of neurons in the major areas of the human cerebral cortex. Together with the analysis of the cortex from patients who received BrdU, which integrates in the DNA of dividing cells, our results demonstrate that whereas non-neuronal cells turn over, neurons in the human cerebral cortex are not generated postnatally at detectable levels, but are as old as the individual.

  17. Brain metabolism and blood flow during aging.

    PubMed

    Horwitz, B

    1987-01-01

    Recent studies of cerebral metabolism have suggested that although cerebral blood flow is reduced during rest in the healthy aged brain, there is little or no decline in resting glucose consumption. Intercorrelations between resting regional cerebral rates for glucose (rCMRglc), as determined by positron emission tomography using [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose, were shown to provide a measure of the functional associativity of brain regions. Partial correlation coefficients, controlling for whole brain glucose metabolism, were used in the analysis. Dividing the brain into 59 regions, we found, for 40 healthy males (21-83 years in age) in a state of reduced sensory input, that the strongest correlations generally were between bilaterally symmetric brain regions, and that there were many statistically significant correlations (P less than 0.01) among frontal and parietal lobe regions and also among temporal and occipital lobe areas, but few significant correlations between these two domains. The correlation analysis then was applied to two groups (15 healthy males each) of young (20-32 years old) and elderly (64-83 years old) subjects in the same resting state. Compared with the young group, we found that the elderly subjects have fewer statistically significant (P less than 0.01) correlations, with the most noteworthy reductions being between parietal and frontal lobe regions, and among parietal lobe areas. These findings indicated that cerebral functional interactions were reduced in the healthy elderly. The same analysis, applied to 21 mainly mildly-to-moderately impaired presumed Alzheimer subjects (and 21 age-matched controls), revealed fewer significant correlations between homologous brain regions which correspond to metabolic asymmetries linked to neuropsychological deficiencies.

  18. DNA Strand Breaks, Neurodegeneration and Aging in the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Katyal, Sachin; McKinnon, Peter J.

    2013-01-01

    Defective responses to DNA single- or double-strand breaks can result in neurological disease, underscoring the critical importance of DNA repair for neural homeostasis. Human DNA repair-deficient syndromes are generally congenital, in which brain pathology reflects the consequences of developmentally incurred DNA damage. Although, it is unclear to what degree DNA strand-break repair defects in mature neural cells contributes to disease pathology. However, DNA single-strand breaks are a relatively common lesion which if not repaired can impact cells via interference with transcription. Thus, this lesion, and probably to a lesser extent DNA double strand breaks, may be particularly relevant to aging in the neural cell population. In this review we will examine the consequences of defective DNA strand break repair towards homeostasis in the brain. Further, we also consider the utility of mouse models as reagents to understand the connection between DNA strand breaks and aging in the brain. PMID:18455751

  19. A Brain Network Processing the Age of Faces

    PubMed Central

    Homola, György A.; Jbabdi, Saad; Beckmann, Christian F.; Bartsch, Andreas J.

    2012-01-01

    Age is one of the most salient aspects in faces and of fundamental cognitive and social relevance. Although face processing has been studied extensively, brain regions responsive to age have yet to be localized. Using evocative face morphs and fMRI, we segregate two areas extending beyond the previously established face-sensitive core network, centered on the inferior temporal sulci and angular gyri bilaterally, both of which process changes of facial age. By means of probabilistic tractography, we compare their patterns of functional activation and structural connectivity. The ventral portion of Wernicke's understudied perpendicular association fasciculus is shown to interconnect the two areas, and activation within these clusters is related to the probability of fiber connectivity between them. In addition, post-hoc age-rating competence is found to be associated with high response magnitudes in the left angular gyrus. Our results provide the first evidence that facial age has a distinct representation pattern in the posterior human brain. We propose that particular face-sensitive nodes interact with additional object-unselective quantification modules to obtain individual estimates of facial age. This brain network processing the age of faces differs from the cortical areas that have previously been linked to less developmental but instantly changeable face aspects. Our probabilistic method of associating activations with connectivity patterns reveals an exemplary link that can be used to further study, assess and quantify structure-function relationships. PMID:23185334

  20. Mindboggling morphometry of human brains

    PubMed Central

    Bao, Forrest S.; Giard, Joachim; Stavsky, Eliezer; Lee, Noah; Rossa, Brian; Reuter, Martin; Chaibub Neto, Elias

    2017-01-01

    Mindboggle (http://mindboggle.info) is an open source brain morphometry platform that takes in preprocessed T1-weighted MRI data and outputs volume, surface, and tabular data containing label, feature, and shape information for further analysis. In this article, we document the software and demonstrate its use in studies of shape variation in healthy and diseased humans. The number of different shape measures and the size of the populations make this the largest and most detailed shape analysis of human brains ever conducted. Brain image morphometry shows great potential for providing much-needed biological markers for diagnosing, tracking, and predicting progression of mental health disorders. Very few software algorithms provide more than measures of volume and cortical thickness, while more subtle shape measures may provide more sensitive and specific biomarkers. Mindboggle computes a variety of (primarily surface-based) shapes: area, volume, thickness, curvature, depth, Laplace-Beltrami spectra, Zernike moments, etc. We evaluate Mindboggle’s algorithms using the largest set of manually labeled, publicly available brain images in the world and compare them against state-of-the-art algorithms where they exist. All data, code, and results of these evaluations are publicly available. PMID:28231282

  1. Primate aging in the mammalian scheme: the puzzle of extreme variation in brain aging.

    PubMed

    Finch, Caleb E; Austad, Steven N

    2012-10-01

    At later ages, humans have high risk of developing Alzheimer disease (AD) which may afflict up to 50% by 90 years. While prosimians and monkeys show more substantial changes, the great apes brains examined show mild neurodegenerative changes. Compared with rodents, primates develop and reproduce slowly and are long lived. The New World primates contain some of the shortest as well as some of the longest-lived monkey species, while the prosimians develop the most rapidly and are the shortest lived. Great apes have the largest brains, slowest development, and longest lives among the primates. All primates share some level of slowly progressive, age-related neurodegenerative changes. However, no species besides humans has yet shown regular drastic neuron loss or cognitive decline approaching clinical grade AD. Several primates accumulate extensive deposits of diffuse amyloid-beta protein (Aβ) but only a prosimian-the gray mouse lemur-regularly develops a tauopathy approaching the neurofibrillary tangles of AD. Compared with monkeys, nonhuman great apes display even milder brain-aging changes, a deeply puzzling observation. The genetic basis for these major species differences in brain aging remains obscure but does not involve the Aβ coding sequence which is identical in nonhuman primates and humans. While chimpanzees merit more study, we note the value of smaller, shorter-lived species such as marmosets and small lemurs for aging studies. A continuing concern for all aging studies employing primates is that relative to laboratory rodents, primate husbandry is in a relatively primitive state, and better husbandry to control infections and obesity is needed for brain aging research.

  2. The emotion paradox in the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Mather, Mara

    2012-01-01

    This paper reviews age differences in emotion processing and how they may relate to age-related changes in the brain. Compared with younger adults, older adults react less to negative situations, ignore irrelevant negative stimuli better, and remember relatively more positive than negative information. Older adults’ ability to insulate their thoughts and emotional reactions from negative situations is likely due to a number of factors, such as being less influenced by interoceptive cues, selecting different emotion regulation strategies, having less age-related decline in prefrontal regions associated with emotional control than in other prefrontal regions, and engaging in emotion regulation strategies as a default mode in their everyday lives. Healthy older adults’ avoidance of processing negative stimuli may contribute to their well-maintained emotional well-being. However, when cardiovascular disease leads to additional prefrontal white matter damage, older adults have fewer cognitive control mechanisms available to regulate their emotions, making them more vulnerable to depression. In general, while age-related changes in the brain help shape emotional experience, shifts in preferred strategies and goal priorities are also important influences. PMID:22409159

  3. Increased brain-predicted aging in treated HIV disease

    PubMed Central

    Underwood, Jonathan; Caan, Matthan W.A.; De Francesco, Davide; van Zoest, Rosan A.; Leech, Robert; Wit, Ferdinand W.N.M.; Portegies, Peter; Geurtsen, Gert J.; Schmand, Ben A.; Schim van der Loeff, Maarten F.; Franceschi, Claudio; Sabin, Caroline A.; Majoie, Charles B.L.M.; Winston, Alan; Reiss, Peter; Sharp, David J.

    2017-01-01

    Objective: To establish whether HIV disease is associated with abnormal levels of age-related brain atrophy, by estimating apparent brain age using neuroimaging and exploring whether these estimates related to HIV status, age, cognitive performance, and HIV-related clinical parameters. Methods: A large sample of virologically suppressed HIV-positive adults (n = 162, age 45–82 years) and highly comparable HIV-negative controls (n = 105) were recruited as part of the Comorbidity in Relation to AIDS (COBRA) collaboration. Using T1-weighted MRI scans, a machine-learning model of healthy brain aging was defined in an independent cohort (n = 2,001, aged 18–90 years). Neuroimaging data from HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals were then used to estimate brain-predicted age; then brain-predicted age difference (brain-PAD = brain-predicted brain age − chronological age) scores were calculated. Neuropsychological and clinical assessments were also carried out. Results: HIV-positive individuals had greater brain-PAD score (mean ± SD 2.15 ± 7.79 years) compared to HIV-negative individuals (−0.87 ± 8.40 years; b = 3.48, p < 0.01). Increased brain-PAD score was associated with decreased performance in multiple cognitive domains (information processing speed, executive function, memory) and general cognitive performance across all participants. Brain-PAD score was not associated with age, duration of HIV infection, or other HIV-related measures. Conclusion: Increased apparent brain aging, predicted using neuroimaging, was observed in HIV-positive adults, despite effective viral suppression. Furthermore, the magnitude of increased apparent brain aging related to cognitive deficits. However, predicted brain age difference did not correlate with chronological age or duration of HIV infection, suggesting that HIV disease may accentuate rather than accelerate brain aging. PMID:28258081

  4. Harvard Aging Brain Study: Dataset and accessibility.

    PubMed

    Dagley, Alexander; LaPoint, Molly; Huijbers, Willem; Hedden, Trey; McLaren, Donald G; Chatwal, Jasmeer P; Papp, Kathryn V; Amariglio, Rebecca E; Blacker, Deborah; Rentz, Dorene M; Johnson, Keith A; Sperling, Reisa A; Schultz, Aaron P

    2017-01-01

    The Harvard Aging Brain Study is sharing its data with the global research community. The longitudinal dataset consists of a 284-subject cohort with the following modalities acquired: demographics, clinical assessment, comprehensive neuropsychological testing, clinical biomarkers, and neuroimaging. To promote more extensive analyses, imaging data was designed to be compatible with other publicly available datasets. A cloud-based system enables access to interested researchers with blinded data available contingent upon completion of a data usage agreement and administrative approval. Data collection is ongoing and currently in its fifth year.

  5. Predicting healthy older adult's brain age based on structural connectivity networks using artificial neural networks.

    PubMed

    Lin, Lan; Jin, Cong; Fu, Zhenrong; Zhang, Baiwen; Bin, Guangyu; Wu, Shuicai

    2016-03-01

    Brain ageing is followed by changes of the connectivity of white matter (WM) and changes of the grey matter (GM) concentration. Neurodegenerative disease is more vulnerable to an accelerated brain ageing, which is associated with prospective cognitive decline and disease severity. Accurate detection of accelerated ageing based on brain network analysis has a great potential for early interventions designed to hinder atypical brain changes. To capture the brain ageing, we proposed a novel computational approach for modeling the 112 normal older subjects (aged 50-79 years) brain age by connectivity analyses of networks of the brain. Our proposed method applied principal component analysis (PCA) to reduce the redundancy in network topological parameters. Back propagation artificial neural network (BPANN) improved by hybrid genetic algorithm (GA) and Levenberg-Marquardt (LM) algorithm is established to model the relation among principal components (PCs) and brain age. The predicted brain age is strongly correlated with chronological age (r=0.8). The model has mean absolute error (MAE) of 4.29 years. Therefore, we believe the method can provide a possible way to quantitatively describe the typical and atypical network organization of human brain and serve as a biomarker for presymptomatic detection of neurodegenerative diseases in the future.

  6. A Direct Brain-to-Brain Interface in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Rajesh P. N.; Stocco, Andrea; Bryan, Matthew; Sarma, Devapratim; Youngquist, Tiffany M.; Wu, Joseph; Prat, Chantel S.

    2014-01-01

    We describe the first direct brain-to-brain interface in humans and present results from experiments involving six different subjects. Our non-invasive interface, demonstrated originally in August 2013, combines electroencephalography (EEG) for recording brain signals with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for delivering information to the brain. We illustrate our method using a visuomotor task in which two humans must cooperate through direct brain-to-brain communication to achieve a desired goal in a computer game. The brain-to-brain interface detects motor imagery in EEG signals recorded from one subject (the “sender”) and transmits this information over the internet to the motor cortex region of a second subject (the “receiver”). This allows the sender to cause a desired motor response in the receiver (a press on a touchpad) via TMS. We quantify the performance of the brain-to-brain interface in terms of the amount of information transmitted as well as the accuracies attained in (1) decoding the sender’s signals, (2) generating a motor response from the receiver upon stimulation, and (3) achieving the overall goal in the cooperative visuomotor task. Our results provide evidence for a rudimentary form of direct information transmission from one human brain to another using non-invasive means. PMID:25372285

  7. A direct brain-to-brain interface in humans.

    PubMed

    Rao, Rajesh P N; Stocco, Andrea; Bryan, Matthew; Sarma, Devapratim; Youngquist, Tiffany M; Wu, Joseph; Prat, Chantel S

    2014-01-01

    We describe the first direct brain-to-brain interface in humans and present results from experiments involving six different subjects. Our non-invasive interface, demonstrated originally in August 2013, combines electroencephalography (EEG) for recording brain signals with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for delivering information to the brain. We illustrate our method using a visuomotor task in which two humans must cooperate through direct brain-to-brain communication to achieve a desired goal in a computer game. The brain-to-brain interface detects motor imagery in EEG signals recorded from one subject (the "sender") and transmits this information over the internet to the motor cortex region of a second subject (the "receiver"). This allows the sender to cause a desired motor response in the receiver (a press on a touchpad) via TMS. We quantify the performance of the brain-to-brain interface in terms of the amount of information transmitted as well as the accuracies attained in (1) decoding the sender's signals, (2) generating a motor response from the receiver upon stimulation, and (3) achieving the overall goal in the cooperative visuomotor task. Our results provide evidence for a rudimentary form of direct information transmission from one human brain to another using non-invasive means.

  8. Transcriptomics of Post-Stroke Angiogenesis in the Aged Brain

    PubMed Central

    Buga, Ana Maria; Margaritescu, Claudiu; Scholz, Claus Juergen; Radu, Eugen; Zelenak, Christine; Popa-Wagner, Aurel

    2014-01-01

    Despite the obvious clinical significance of post-stroke angiogenesis in aged subjects, a detailed transcriptomic analysis of post-stroke angiogenesis has not yet been undertaken in an aged experimental model. In this study, by combining stroke transcriptomics with immunohistochemistry in aged rats and post-stroke patients, we sought to identify an age-specific gene expression pattern that may characterize the angiogenic process after stroke. We found that both young and old infarcted rats initiated vigorous angiogenesis. However, the young rats had a higher vascular density by day 14 post-stroke. “New-for-stroke” genes that were linked to the increased vasculature density in young animals included Angpt2, Angptl2, Angptl4, Cib1, Ccr2, Col4a2, Cxcl1, Lef1, Hhex, Lamc1, Nid2, Pcam1, Plod2, Runx3, Scpep1, S100a4, Tgfbi, and Wnt4, which are required for sprouting angiogenesis, reconstruction of the basal lamina (BL), and the resolution phase. The vast majority of genes involved in sprouting angiogenesis (Angpt2, Angptl4, Cib1, Col8a1, Nrp1, Pcam1, Pttg1ip, Rac2, Runx1, Tnp4, Wnt4); reconstruction of a new BL (Col4a2, Lamc1, Plod2); or tube formation and maturation (Angpt1, Gpc3, Igfbp7, Sparc, Tie2, Tnfsf10), had however, a delayed upregulation in the aged rats. The angiogenic response in aged rats was further diminished by the persistent upregulation of “inflammatory” genes (Cxcl12, Mmp8, Mmp12, Mmp14, Mpeg1, Tnfrsf1a, Tnfrsf1b) and vigorous expression of genes required for the buildup of the fibrotic scar (Cthrc1, Il6ra, Il13ar1, Il18, Mmp2, Rassf4, Tgfb1, Tgfbr2, Timp1). Beyond this barrier, angiogenesis in the aged brains was similar to that in young brains. We also found that the aged human brain is capable of mounting a vigorous angiogenic response after stroke, which most likely reflects the remaining brain plasticity of the aged brain. PMID:24672479

  9. Brain mechanisms underlying human communication.

    PubMed

    Noordzij, Matthijs L; Newman-Norlund, Sarah E; de Ruiter, Jan Peter; Hagoort, Peter; Levinson, Stephen C; Toni, Ivan

    2009-01-01

    Human communication has been described as involving the coding-decoding of a conventional symbol system, which could be supported by parts of the human motor system (i.e. the "mirror neurons system"). However, this view does not explain how these conventions could develop in the first place. Here we target the neglected but crucial issue of how people organize their non-verbal behavior to communicate a given intention without pre-established conventions. We have measured behavioral and brain responses in pairs of subjects during communicative exchanges occurring in a real, interactive, on-line social context. In two fMRI studies, we found robust evidence that planning new communicative actions (by a sender) and recognizing the communicative intention of the same actions (by a receiver) relied on spatially overlapping portions of their brains (the right posterior superior temporal sulcus). The response of this region was lateralized to the right hemisphere, modulated by the ambiguity in meaning of the communicative acts, but not by their sensorimotor complexity. These results indicate that the sender of a communicative signal uses his own intention recognition system to make a prediction of the intention recognition performed by the receiver. This finding supports the notion that our communicative abilities are distinct from both sensorimotor processes and language abilities.

  10. Brain Mechanisms Underlying Human Communication

    PubMed Central

    Noordzij, Matthijs L.; Newman-Norlund, Sarah E.; de Ruiter, Jan Peter; Hagoort, Peter; Levinson, Stephen C.; Toni, Ivan

    2009-01-01

    Human communication has been described as involving the coding-decoding of a conventional symbol system, which could be supported by parts of the human motor system (i.e. the “mirror neurons system”). However, this view does not explain how these conventions could develop in the first place. Here we target the neglected but crucial issue of how people organize their non-verbal behavior to communicate a given intention without pre-established conventions. We have measured behavioral and brain responses in pairs of subjects during communicative exchanges occurring in a real, interactive, on-line social context. In two fMRI studies, we found robust evidence that planning new communicative actions (by a sender) and recognizing the communicative intention of the same actions (by a receiver) relied on spatially overlapping portions of their brains (the right posterior superior temporal sulcus). The response of this region was lateralized to the right hemisphere, modulated by the ambiguity in meaning of the communicative acts, but not by their sensorimotor complexity. These results indicate that the sender of a communicative signal uses his own intention recognition system to make a prediction of the intention recognition performed by the receiver. This finding supports the notion that our communicative abilities are distinct from both sensorimotor processes and language abilities. PMID:19668699

  11. Brain structures in the sciences and humanities.

    PubMed

    Takeuchi, Hikaru; Taki, Yasuyuki; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Nouchi, Rui; Kotozaki, Yuka; Nakagawa, Seishu; Miyauchi, Carlos Makoto; Iizuka, Kunio; Yokoyama, Ryoichi; Shinada, Takamitsu; Yamamoto, Yuki; Hanawa, Sugiko; Araki, Tsuyoshi; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Sassa, Yuko; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2015-11-01

    The areas of academic interest (sciences or humanities) and area of study have been known to be associated with a number of factors associated with autistic traits. However, despite the vast amount of literature on the psychological and physiological characteristics associated with faculty membership, brain structural characteristics associated with faculty membership have never been investigated directly. In this study, we used voxel-based morphometry to investigate differences in regional gray matter volume (rGMV)/regional white matter volume (rWMV) between science and humanities students to test our hypotheses that brain structures previously robustly shown to be altered in autistic subjects are related to differences in faculty membership. We examined 312 science students (225 males and 87 females) and 179 humanities students (105 males and 74 females). Whole-brain analyses of covariance revealed that after controlling for age, sex, and total intracranial volume, the science students had significantly larger rGMV in an anatomical cluster around the medial prefrontal cortex and the frontopolar area, whereas the humanities students had significantly larger rWMV in an anatomical cluster mainly concentrated around the right hippocampus. These anatomical structures have been linked to autism in previous studies and may mediate cognitive functions that characterize differences in faculty membership. The present results may support the ideas that autistic traits and characteristics of the science students compared with the humanities students share certain characteristics from neuroimaging perspectives. This study improves our understanding of differences in faculty membership which is the link among cognition, biological factors, disorders, and education (academia).

  12. Human Brain Reacts to Transcranial Extraocular Light.

    PubMed

    Sun, Lihua; Peräkylä, Jari; Kovalainen, Anselmi; Ogawa, Keith H; Karhunen, Pekka J; Hartikainen, Kaisa M

    2016-01-01

    Transcranial extraocular light affects the brains of birds and modulates their seasonal changes in physiology and behavior. However, whether the human brain is sensitive to extraocular light is unknown. To test whether extraocular light has any effect on human brain functioning, we measured brain electrophysiology of 18 young healthy subjects using event-related potentials while they performed a visual attention task embedded with emotional distractors. Extraocular light delivered via ear canals abolished normal emotional modulation of attention related brain responses. With no extraocular light delivered, emotional distractors reduced centro-parietal P300 amplitude compared to neutral distractors. This phenomenon disappeared with extraocular light delivery. Extraocular light delivered through the ear canals was shown to penetrate at the base of the scull of a cadaver. Thus, we have shown that extraocular light impacts human brain functioning calling for further research on the mechanisms of action of light on the human brain.

  13. Brain evolution and human neuropsychology: the inferential brain hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Koscik, Timothy R; Tranel, Daniel

    2012-05-01

    Collaboration between human neuropsychology and comparative neuroscience has generated invaluable contributions to our understanding of human brain evolution and function. Further cross-talk between these disciplines has the potential to continue to revolutionize these fields. Modern neuroimaging methods could be applied in a comparative context, yielding exciting new data with the potential of providing insight into brain evolution. Conversely, incorporating an evolutionary base into the theoretical perspectives from which we approach human neuropsychology could lead to novel hypotheses and testable predictions. In the spirit of these objectives, we present here a new theoretical proposal, the Inferential Brain Hypothesis, whereby the human brain is thought to be characterized by a shift from perceptual processing to inferential computation, particularly within the social realm. This shift is believed to be a driving force for the evolution of the large human cortex. (JINS, 2012, 18, 394-401).

  14. Brain plasticity and motor practice in cognitive aging.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Metabolic costs and evolutionary implications of human brain development.

    PubMed

    Kuzawa, Christopher W; Chugani, Harry T; Grossman, Lawrence I; Lipovich, Leonard; Muzik, Otto; Hof, Patrick R; Wildman, Derek E; Sherwood, Chet C; Leonard, William R; Lange, Nicholas

    2014-09-09

    The high energetic costs of human brain development have been hypothesized to explain distinctive human traits, including exceptionally slow and protracted preadult growth. Although widely assumed to constrain life-history evolution, the metabolic requirements of the growing human brain are unknown. We combined previously collected PET and MRI data to calculate the human brain's glucose use from birth to adulthood, which we compare with body growth rate. We evaluate the strength of brain-body metabolic trade-offs using the ratios of brain glucose uptake to the body's resting metabolic rate (RMR) and daily energy requirements (DER) expressed in glucose-gram equivalents (glucosermr% and glucoseder%). We find that glucosermr% and glucoseder% do not peak at birth (52.5% and 59.8% of RMR, or 35.4% and 38.7% of DER, for males and females, respectively), when relative brain size is largest, but rather in childhood (66.3% and 65.0% of RMR and 43.3% and 43.8% of DER). Body-weight growth (dw/dt) and both glucosermr% and glucoseder% are strongly, inversely related: soon after birth, increases in brain glucose demand are accompanied by proportionate decreases in dw/dt. Ages of peak brain glucose demand and lowest dw/dt co-occur and subsequent developmental declines in brain metabolism are matched by proportionate increases in dw/dt until puberty. The finding that human brain glucose demands peak during childhood, and evidence that brain metabolism and body growth rate covary inversely across development, support the hypothesis that the high costs of human brain development require compensatory slowing of body growth rate.

  16. Social support, stress and the aging brain.

    PubMed

    Sherman, Stephanie M; Cheng, Yen-Pi; Fingerman, Karen L; Schnyer, David M

    2016-07-01

    Social support benefits health and well-being in older individuals, however the mechanism remains poorly understood. One proposal, the stress-buffering hypothesis states social support 'buffers' the effects of stress on health. Alternatively, the main effect hypothesis suggests social support independently promotes health. We examined the combined association of social support and stress on the aging brain. Forty healthy older adults completed stress questionnaires, a social network interview and structural MRI to investigate the amygdala-medial prefrontal cortex circuitry, which is implicated in social and emotional processing and negatively affected by stress. Social support was positively correlated with right medial prefrontal cortical thickness while amygdala volume was negatively associated with social support and positively related to stress. We examined whether the association between social support and amygdala volume varied across stress level. Stress and social support uniquely contribute to amygdala volume, which is consistent with the health benefits of social support being independent of stress.

  17. Lipid transport and human brain development.

    PubMed

    Betsholtz, Christer

    2015-07-01

    How the human brain rapidly builds up its lipid content during brain growth and maintains its lipids in adulthood has remained elusive. Two new studies show that inactivating mutations in MFSD2A, known to be expressed specifically at the blood-brain barrier, lead to microcephaly, thereby offering a simple and surprising solution to an old enigma.

  18. The Influence of the Brain on Overpopulation, Ageing and Dependency.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cape, Ronald D. T.

    1989-01-01

    With time, an increasing number in the world population is becoming old, and changes in the aging brain mean that a significant proportion of the aged are likely to be dependent on others. The devotion of resources to research into the aging brain could bring benefits far outweighing the investment. (Author/CW)

  19. Towards multimodal atlases of the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Toga, Arthur W.; Thompson, Paul M.; Mori, Susumu; Amunts, Katrin; Zilles, Karl

    2010-01-01

    Atlases of the human brain have an important impact on neuroscience. The emergence of ever more sophisticated imaging techniques, brain mapping methods and analytical strategies has the potential to revolutionize the concept of the brain atlas. Atlases can now combine data describing multiple aspects of brain structure or function at different scales from different subjects, yielding a truly integrative and comprehensive description of this organ. These integrative approaches have provided significant impetus for the human brain mapping initiatives, and have important applications in health and disease. PMID:17115077

  20. Multiple Brain Markers are Linked to Age-Related Variation in Cognition.

    PubMed

    Hedden, Trey; Schultz, Aaron P; Rieckmann, Anna; Mormino, Elizabeth C; Johnson, Keith A; Sperling, Reisa A; Buckner, Randy L

    2016-04-01

    Age-related alterations in brain structure and function have been challenging to link to cognition due to potential overlapping influences of multiple neurobiological cascades. We examined multiple brain markers associated with age-related variation in cognition. Clinically normal older humans aged 65-90 from the Harvard Aging Brain Study (N = 186) were characterized on a priori magnetic resonance imaging markers of gray matter thickness and volume, white matter hyperintensities, fractional anisotropy (FA), resting-state functional connectivity, positron emission tomography markers of glucose metabolism and amyloid burden, and cognitive factors of processing speed, executive function, and episodic memory. Partial correlation and mediation analyses estimated age-related variance in cognition shared with individual brain markers and unique to each marker. The largest relationships linked FA and striatum volume to processing speed and executive function, and hippocampal volume to episodic memory. Of the age-related variance in cognition, 70-80% was accounted for by combining all brain markers (but only ∼20% of total variance). Age had significant indirect effects on cognition via brain markers, with significant markers varying across cognitive domains. These results suggest that most age-related variation in cognition is shared among multiple brain markers, but potential specificity between some brain markers and cognitive domains motivates additional study of age-related markers of neural health.

  1. Sex beyond the genitalia: The human brain mosaic.

    PubMed

    Joel, Daphna; Berman, Zohar; Tavor, Ido; Wexler, Nadav; Gaber, Olga; Stein, Yaniv; Shefi, Nisan; Pool, Jared; Urchs, Sebastian; Margulies, Daniel S; Liem, Franziskus; Hänggi, Jürgen; Jäncke, Lutz; Assaf, Yaniv

    2015-12-15

    Whereas a categorical difference in the genitals has always been acknowledged, the question of how far these categories extend into human biology is still not resolved. Documented sex/gender differences in the brain are often taken as support of a sexually dimorphic view of human brains ("female brain" or "male brain"). However, such a distinction would be possible only if sex/gender differences in brain features were highly dimorphic (i.e., little overlap between the forms of these features in males and females) and internally consistent (i.e., a brain has only "male" or only "female" features). Here, analysis of MRIs of more than 1,400 human brains from four datasets reveals extensive overlap between the distributions of females and males for all gray matter, white matter, and connections assessed. Moreover, analyses of internal consistency reveal that brains with features that are consistently at one end of the "maleness-femaleness" continuum are rare. Rather, most brains are comprised of unique "mosaics" of features, some more common in females compared with males, some more common in males compared with females, and some common in both females and males. Our findings are robust across sample, age, type of MRI, and method of analysis. These findings are corroborated by a similar analysis of personality traits, attitudes, interests, and behaviors of more than 5,500 individuals, which reveals that internal consistency is extremely rare. Our study demonstrates that, although there are sex/gender differences in the brain, human brains do not belong to one of two distinct categories: male brain/female brain.

  2. Epigenetic Age Acceleration Assessed With Human White-Matter Images.

    PubMed

    Hodgson, Karen; Carless, Melanie A; Kulkarni, Hemant; Curran, Joanne E; Sprooten, Emma; Knowles, Emma E; Mathias, Samuel; Göring, Harald Hh; Yao, Nailin; Olvera, Rene L; Fox, Peter T; Almasy, Laura; Duggirala, Ravi; Blangero, John; Glahn, David C

    2017-04-06

    The accurate estimation of age using methylation data has proved a useful and heritable biomarker, with acceleration in epigenetic age predicting a number of age-related phenotypes. Measures of white matter integrity in the brain are also heritable and highly sensitive to both normal and pathological aging processes across adulthood. We consider the phenotypic and genetic interrelationships between epigenetic age acceleration and white matter integrity in humans. Our goal was to investigate processes that underlie inter-individual variability in age-related changes in the brain. Using blood taken from a Mexican-American extended pedigree sample (n=628; age=23.28-93.11 years), epigenetic age was estimated using the method developed by S. Horvath (2013). For n=376 individuals, DTI scans were also available. The interrelationship between epigenetic age acceleration and global white matter integrity were investigated with variance decomposition methods. To test for neuroanatomical specificity, 16 specific tracts were additionally considered. We observed negative phenotypic correlations between epigenetic age acceleration and global white matter tract integrity (ρpheno=-0.119, p=0.028), with evidence of shared genetic (ρgene=-0.463, p=0.013) but not environmental influences. Negative phenotypic and genetic correlations with age acceleration were also seen for a number of specific white matter tracts, along with additional negative phenotypic correlations between granulocyte abundance and white matter integrity. These findings that increased acceleration in epigenetic age in peripheral blood correlates with reduced white matter integrity in the brain, and shares common genetic influences. provide a window into the neurobiology of aging processes within the brain and a potential biomarker of normal and pathological brain aging.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTEpigenetic measures can be used to predict age with a high degree of accuracy and so capture acceleration in biological age

  3. Age-and Brain Region-Specific Differences in Mitochondrial ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Mitochondria are central regulators of energy homeostasis and play a pivotal role in mechanisms of cellular senescence. The objective of the present study was to evaluate mitochondrial bio­-energetic parameters in five brain regions [brainstem (BS), frontal cortex (FC), cerebellum (CER), striatum (STR), hippocampus (HIP)] of four diverse age groups [1 Month (young), 4 Month (adult), 12 Month (middle-aged), 24 Month (old age)] to understand age-related differences in selected brain regions and their contribution to age-related chemical sensitivity. Mitochondrial bioenergetics parameters and enzyme activity were measured under identical conditions across multiple age groups and brain regions in Brown Norway rats (n = 5). The results indicate age- and brain region-specific patterns in mitochondrial functional endpoints. For example, an age-specific decline in ATP synthesis (State 111 respiration) was observed in BS and HIP. Similarly, the maximal respiratory capacities (State V1 and V2) showed age-specific declines in all brain regions examined (young > adult > middle-aged > old age). Amongst all regions, HIP had the greatest change in mitochondrial bioenergetics, showing declines in the 4, 12 and 24 Month age groups. Activities of mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDHC) and electron transport chain (ETC) complexes I, II, and IV enzymes were also age- and brain-region specific. In general changes associated with age were more pronounced, with

  4. HRT and its effect on normal ageing of the brain and dementia

    PubMed Central

    Compton, Jacqueline; van Amelsvoort, Therese; Murphy, Declan

    2001-01-01

    There are significant gender differences in human brain disease. For example, females are significantly more likely to suffer from Alzheimer's disease (AD) than men (even after correcting for differences in life expectancy), and females on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are significantly less likely to suffer from Alzheimer's disease than women who do not take HRT. However the neurobiological basis to these differences in clinical brain disease were unknown until relatively recently. In this review we will discuss results of studies that show; (i) gender differences in human brain disease are most likely to be explained by gender differences in brain development and ageing; (ii) sex steroids have a significant effect on the brain; (iii) sex steroids are crucial to the development and ageing of brain regions affected in age-related brain diseases (for example AD); (iv) sex steroids interact with neuronal networks and chemical systems at many different levels; (v) sex steroids affect cognitive function in elderly women. Thus, the current literature supports the hypothesis that sex steroids can modulate brain ageing, and this provides a neurobiological explanation for the significantly higher prevalence of AD in females who do not take HRT, and may lead to new treatment approaches for age-related brain disease including AD. PMID:11736875

  5. Want a Sharper Brain as You Age? Volunteer!

    MedlinePlus

    ... 162899.html Want a Sharper Brain as You Age? Volunteer! Study finds slight improvement in thinking and ... may have slightly sharper mental skills at the age of 50, a new study suggests. British researchers ...

  6. Using autopsy brain tissue to study alcohol-related brain damage in the genomic age.

    PubMed

    Sutherland, Greg T; Sheedy, Donna; Kril, Jillian J

    2014-01-01

    The New South Wales Tissue Resource Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia, is one of the few human brain banks dedicated to the study of the effects of chronic alcoholism. The bank was affiliated in 1994 as a member of the National Network of Brain Banks and also focuses on schizophrenia and healthy control tissue. Alcohol abuse is a major problem worldwide, manifesting in such conditions as fetal alcohol syndrome, adolescent binge drinking, alcohol dependency, and alcoholic neurodegeneration. The latter is also referred to as alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD). The study of postmortem brain tissue is ideally suited to determining the effects of long-term alcohol abuse, but it also makes an important contribution to understanding pathogenesis across the spectrum of alcohol misuse disorders and potentially other neurodegenerative diseases. Tissue from the bank has contributed to 330 peer-reviewed journal articles including 120 related to alcohol research. Using the results of these articles, this review chronicles advances in alcohol-related brain research since 2003, the so-called genomic age. In particular, it concentrates on transcriptomic approaches to the pathogenesis of ARBD and builds on earlier reviews of structural changes (Harper et al. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2003;27:951) and proteomics (Matsumoto et al. Expert Rev Proteomics 2007;4:539).

  7. Metabolic costs and evolutionary implications of human brain development

    PubMed Central

    Kuzawa, Christopher W.; Chugani, Harry T.; Grossman, Lawrence I.; Lipovich, Leonard; Muzik, Otto; Hof, Patrick R.; Wildman, Derek E.; Sherwood, Chet C.; Leonard, William R.; Lange, Nicholas

    2014-01-01

    The high energetic costs of human brain development have been hypothesized to explain distinctive human traits, including exceptionally slow and protracted preadult growth. Although widely assumed to constrain life-history evolution, the metabolic requirements of the growing human brain are unknown. We combined previously collected PET and MRI data to calculate the human brain’s glucose use from birth to adulthood, which we compare with body growth rate. We evaluate the strength of brain–body metabolic trade-offs using the ratios of brain glucose uptake to the body’s resting metabolic rate (RMR) and daily energy requirements (DER) expressed in glucose-gram equivalents (glucosermr% and glucoseder%). We find that glucosermr% and glucoseder% do not peak at birth (52.5% and 59.8% of RMR, or 35.4% and 38.7% of DER, for males and females, respectively), when relative brain size is largest, but rather in childhood (66.3% and 65.0% of RMR and 43.3% and 43.8% of DER). Body-weight growth (dw/dt) and both glucosermr% and glucoseder% are strongly, inversely related: soon after birth, increases in brain glucose demand are accompanied by proportionate decreases in dw/dt. Ages of peak brain glucose demand and lowest dw/dt co-occur and subsequent developmental declines in brain metabolism are matched by proportionate increases in dw/dt until puberty. The finding that human brain glucose demands peak during childhood, and evidence that brain metabolism and body growth rate covary inversely across development, support the hypothesis that the high costs of human brain development require compensatory slowing of body growth rate. PMID:25157149

  8. Maturation of the human brain and epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Gregory L; Milh, M D Mathieu; Dulac, Olivier

    2012-01-01

    All features of childhood epilepsy are intimately related to brain development. The clinical EEG features of seizures are closely related to developmental changes in cell growth, synapse formation, and myelination. The immature brain is highly excitable due to the depolarizing effects of GABA, overexpression of glutamatergic receptors, and lack of efficient inhibitory control. Seizures have an age-specific effect on brain development.Whereas early life seizures rarely result in cell loss, they can induce changes in synapse organization and receptor physiology.

  9. Docosahexaenoic Acid and the Aging Brain1–3

    PubMed Central

    Lukiw, Walter J.; Bazan, Nicolas G.

    2008-01-01

    The dietary essential PUFA docosahexaenoic acid [DHA; 22:6(n-3)] is a critical contributor to cell structure and function in the nervous system, and deficits in DHA abundance are associated with cognitive decline during aging and in neurodegenerative disease. Recent studies underscore the importance of DHA-derived neuroprotectin D1 (NPD1) in the homeostatic regulation of brain cell survival and repair involving neurotrophic, antiapoptotic and antiinflammatory signaling. Emerging evidence suggests that NPD1 synthesis is activated by growth factors and neurotrophins. Evolving research indicates that NPD1 has important determinant and regulatory interactions with the molecular-genetic mechanisms affecting β-amyloid precursor protein (βAPP) and amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide neurobiology. Deficits in DHA or its peroxidation appear to contribute to inflammatory signaling, apoptosis, and neuronal dysfunction in Alzheimer disease (AD), a common and progressive age-related neurological disorder unique to structures and processes of the human brain. This article briefly reviews our current understanding of the interactions of DHA and NPD1 on βAPP processing and Aβ peptide signaling and how this contributes to oxidative and pathogenic processes characteristic of aging and AD pathology. PMID:19022980

  10. The glia doctrine: addressing the role of glial cells in healthy brain ageing.

    PubMed

    Nagelhus, Erlend A; Amiry-Moghaddam, Mahmood; Bergersen, Linda H; Bjaalie, Jan G; Eriksson, Jens; Gundersen, Vidar; Leergaard, Trygve B; Morth, J Preben; Storm-Mathisen, Jon; Torp, Reidun; Walhovd, Kristine B; Tønjum, Tone

    2013-10-01

    Glial cells in their plurality pervade the human brain and impact on brain structure and function. A principal component of the emerging glial doctrine is the hypothesis that astrocytes, the most abundant type of glial cells, trigger major molecular processes leading to brain ageing. Astrocyte biology has been examined using molecular, biochemical and structural methods, as well as 3D brain imaging in live animals and humans. Exosomes are extracelluar membrane vesicles that facilitate communication between glia, and have significant potential for biomarker discovery and drug delivery. Polymorphisms in DNA repair genes may indirectly influence the structure and function of membrane proteins expressed in glial cells and predispose specific cell subgroups to degeneration. Physical exercise may reduce or retard age-related brain deterioration by a mechanism involving neuro-glial processes. It is most likely that additional information about the distribution, structure and function of glial cells will yield novel insight into human brain ageing. Systematic studies of glia and their functions are expected to eventually lead to earlier detection of ageing-related brain dysfunction and to interventions that could delay, reduce or prevent brain dysfunction.

  11. Human brain lesion-deficit inference remapped.

    PubMed

    Mah, Yee-Haur; Husain, Masud; Rees, Geraint; Nachev, Parashkev

    2014-09-01

    Our knowledge of the anatomical organization of the human brain in health and disease draws heavily on the study of patients with focal brain lesions. Historically the first method of mapping brain function, it is still potentially the most powerful, establishing the necessity of any putative neural substrate for a given function or deficit. Great inferential power, however, carries a crucial vulnerability: without stronger alternatives any consistent error cannot be easily detected. A hitherto unexamined source of such error is the structure of the high-dimensional distribution of patterns of focal damage, especially in ischaemic injury-the commonest aetiology in lesion-deficit studies-where the anatomy is naturally shaped by the architecture of the vascular tree. This distribution is so complex that analysis of lesion data sets of conventional size cannot illuminate its structure, leaving us in the dark about the presence or absence of such error. To examine this crucial question we assembled the largest known set of focal brain lesions (n = 581), derived from unselected patients with acute ischaemic injury (mean age = 62.3 years, standard deviation = 17.8, male:female ratio = 0.547), visualized with diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, and processed with validated automated lesion segmentation routines. High-dimensional analysis of this data revealed a hidden bias within the multivariate patterns of damage that will consistently distort lesion-deficit maps, displacing inferred critical regions from their true locations, in a manner opaque to replication. Quantifying the size of this mislocalization demonstrates that past lesion-deficit relationships estimated with conventional inferential methodology are likely to be significantly displaced, by a magnitude dependent on the unknown underlying lesion-deficit relationship itself. Past studies therefore cannot be retrospectively corrected, except by new knowledge that would render them redundant

  12. Age Sensitivity of Behavioral Tests and Brain Substrates of Normal Aging in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Kennard, John A.; Woodruff-Pak, Diana S.

    2011-01-01

    Knowledge of age sensitivity, the capacity of a behavioral test to reliably detect age-related changes, has utility in the design of experiments to elucidate processes of normal aging. We review the application of these tests in studies of normal aging and compare and contrast the age sensitivity of the Barnes maze, eyeblink classical conditioning, fear conditioning, Morris water maze, and rotorod. These tests have all been implemented to assess normal age-related changes in learning and memory in rodents, which generalize in many cases to age-related changes in learning and memory in all mammals, including humans. Behavioral assessments are a valuable means to measure functional outcomes of neuroscientific studies of aging. Highlighted in this review are the attributes and limitations of these measures in mice in the context of age sensitivity and processes of brain aging. Attributes of these tests include reliability and validity as assessments of learning and memory, well-defined neural substrates, and sensitivity to neural and pharmacological manipulations and disruptions. These tests engage the hippocampus and/or the cerebellum, two structures centrally involved in learning and memory that undergo functional and anatomical changes in normal aging. A test that is less well represented in studies of normal aging, the context pre-exposure facilitation effect (CPFE) in fear conditioning, is described as a method to increase sensitivity of contextual fear conditioning to changes in the hippocampus. Recommendations for increasing the age sensitivity of all measures of normal aging in mice are included, as well as a discussion of the potential of the under-studied CPFE to advance understanding of subtle hippocampus-mediated phenomena. PMID:21647305

  13. Sex beyond the genitalia: The human brain mosaic

    PubMed Central

    Joel, Daphna; Berman, Zohar; Tavor, Ido; Wexler, Nadav; Gaber, Olga; Stein, Yaniv; Shefi, Nisan; Pool, Jared; Urchs, Sebastian; Margulies, Daniel S.; Liem, Franziskus; Hänggi, Jürgen; Jäncke, Lutz; Assaf, Yaniv

    2015-01-01

    Whereas a categorical difference in the genitals has always been acknowledged, the question of how far these categories extend into human biology is still not resolved. Documented sex/gender differences in the brain are often taken as support of a sexually dimorphic view of human brains (“female brain” or “male brain”). However, such a distinction would be possible only if sex/gender differences in brain features were highly dimorphic (i.e., little overlap between the forms of these features in males and females) and internally consistent (i.e., a brain has only “male” or only “female” features). Here, analysis of MRIs of more than 1,400 human brains from four datasets reveals extensive overlap between the distributions of females and males for all gray matter, white matter, and connections assessed. Moreover, analyses of internal consistency reveal that brains with features that are consistently at one end of the “maleness-femaleness” continuum are rare. Rather, most brains are comprised of unique “mosaics” of features, some more common in females compared with males, some more common in males compared with females, and some common in both females and males. Our findings are robust across sample, age, type of MRI, and method of analysis. These findings are corroborated by a similar analysis of personality traits, attitudes, interests, and behaviors of more than 5,500 individuals, which reveals that internal consistency is extremely rare. Our study demonstrates that, although there are sex/gender differences in the brain, human brains do not belong to one of two distinct categories: male brain/female brain. PMID:26621705

  14. A common brain network links development, aging, and vulnerability to disease.

    PubMed

    Douaud, Gwenaëlle; Groves, Adrian R; Tamnes, Christian K; Westlye, Lars Tjelta; Duff, Eugene P; Engvig, Andreas; Walhovd, Kristine B; James, Anthony; Gass, Achim; Monsch, Andreas U; Matthews, Paul M; Fjell, Anders M; Smith, Stephen M; Johansen-Berg, Heidi

    2014-12-09

    Several theories link processes of development and aging in humans. In neuroscience, one model posits for instance that healthy age-related brain degeneration mirrors development, with the areas of the brain thought to develop later also degenerating earlier. However, intrinsic evidence for such a link between healthy aging and development in brain structure remains elusive. Here, we show that a data-driven analysis of brain structural variation across 484 healthy participants (8-85 y) reveals a largely--but not only--transmodal network whose lifespan pattern of age-related change intrinsically supports this model of mirroring development and aging. We further demonstrate that this network of brain regions, which develops relatively late during adolescence and shows accelerated degeneration in old age compared with the rest of the brain, characterizes areas of heightened vulnerability to unhealthy developmental and aging processes, as exemplified by schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease, respectively. Specifically, this network, while derived solely from healthy subjects, spatially recapitulates the pattern of brain abnormalities observed in both schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. This network is further associated in our large-scale healthy population with intellectual ability and episodic memory, whose impairment contributes to key symptoms of schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. Taken together, our results suggest that the common spatial pattern of abnormalities observed in these two disorders, which emerge at opposite ends of the life spectrum, might be influenced by the timing of their separate and distinct pathological processes in disrupting healthy cerebral development and aging, respectively.

  15. Transcranial magnetic stimulation and the human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hallett, Mark

    2000-07-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is rapidly developing as a powerful, non-invasive tool for studying the human brain. A pulsed magnetic field creates current flow in the brain and can temporarily excite or inhibit specific areas. TMS of motor cortex can produce a muscle twitch or block movement; TMS of occipital cortex can produce visual phosphenes or scotomas. TMS can also alter the functioning of the brain beyond the time of stimulation, offering potential for therapy.

  16. Aging elevates metabolic gene expression in brain cholinergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Baskerville, Karen A; Kent, Caroline; Personett, David; Lai, Weil R; Park, Peter J; Coleman, Paul; McKinney, Michael

    2008-12-01

    The basal forebrain (BF) cholinergic system is selectively vulnerable in human brain diseases, while the cholinergic groups in the upper pons of the brainstem (BS) resist neurodegeneration. Cholinergic neurons (200 per region per animal) were laser-microdissected from five young (8 months) and five aged (24 months) F344 rats from the BF and the BS pontine lateral dorsal tegmental/pedunculopontine nuclei (LDTN/PPN) and their expression profiles were obtained. The bioinformatics program SigPathway was used to identify gene groups and pathways that were selectively affected by aging. In the BF cholinergic system, aging most significantly altered genes involved with a variety of metabolic functions. In contrast, BS cholinergic neuronal age effects included gene groupings related to neuronal plasticity and a broad range of normal cellular functions. Transcription factor GA-binding protein alpha (GABPalpha), which controls expression of nuclear genes encoding mitochondrial proteins, was more strongly upregulated in the BF cholinergic neurons (+107%) than in the BS cholinergic population (+40%). The results suggest that aging elicits elevates metabolic activity in cholinergic populations and that this occurs to a much greater degree in the BF group than in the BS group.

  17. Rapamycin suppresses brain aging in senescence-accelerated OXYS rats.

    PubMed

    Kolosova, Nataliya G; Vitovtov, Anton O; Muraleva, Natalia A; Akulov, Andrey E; Stefanova, Natalia A; Blagosklonny, Mikhail V

    2013-06-01

    Cellular and organismal aging are driven in part by the MTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin) pathway and rapamycin extends life span inC elegans, Drosophila and mice. Herein, we investigated effects of rapamycin on brain aging in OXYS rats. Previously we found, in OXYS rats, an early development of age-associated pathological phenotypes similar to several geriatric disorders in humans, including cerebral dysfunctions. Behavioral alterations as well as learning and memory deficits develop by 3 months. Here we show that rapamycin treatment (0.1 or 0.5 mg/kg as a food mixture daily from the age of 1.5 to 3.5 months) decreased anxiety and improved locomotor and exploratory behavior in OXYS rats. In untreated OXYS rats, MRI revealed an increase of the area of hippocampus, substantial hydrocephalus and 2-fold increased area of the lateral ventricles. Rapamycin treatment prevented these abnormalities, erasing the difference between OXYS and Wister rats (used as control). All untreated OXYS rats showed signs of neurodegeneration, manifested by loci of demyelination. Rapamycin decreased the percentage of animals with demyelination and the number of loci. Levels of Tau and phospho-Tau (T181) were increased in OXYS rats (compared with Wistar). Rapamycin significantly decreased Tau and inhibited its phosphorylation in the hippocampus of OXYS and Wistar rats. Importantly, rapamycin treatment caused a compensatory increase in levels of S6 and correspondingly levels of phospo-S6 in the frontal cortex, indicating that some downstream events were compensatory preserved, explaining the lack of toxicity. We conclude that rapamycin in low chronic doses can suppress brain aging.

  18. Interoperable atlases of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Amunts, K; Hawrylycz, M J; Van Essen, D C; Van Horn, J D; Harel, N; Poline, J-B; De Martino, F; Bjaalie, J G; Dehaene-Lambertz, G; Dehaene, S; Valdes-Sosa, P; Thirion, B; Zilles, K; Hill, S L; Abrams, M B; Tass, P A; Vanduffel, W; Evans, A C; Eickhoff, S B

    2014-10-01

    The last two decades have seen an unprecedented development of human brain mapping approaches at various spatial and temporal scales. Together, these have provided a large fundus of information on many different aspects of the human brain including micro- and macrostructural segregation, regional specialization of function, connectivity, and temporal dynamics. Atlases are central in order to integrate such diverse information in a topographically meaningful way. It is noteworthy, that the brain mapping field has been developed along several major lines such as structure vs. function, postmortem vs. in vivo, individual features of the brain vs. population-based aspects, or slow vs. fast dynamics. In order to understand human brain organization, however, it seems inevitable that these different lines are integrated and combined into a multimodal human brain model. To this aim, we held a workshop to determine the constraints of a multi-modal human brain model that are needed to enable (i) an integration of different spatial and temporal scales and data modalities into a common reference system, and (ii) efficient data exchange and analysis. As detailed in this report, to arrive at fully interoperable atlases of the human brain will still require much work at the frontiers of data acquisition, analysis, and representation. Among them, the latter may provide the most challenging task, in particular when it comes to representing features of vastly different scales of space, time and abstraction. The potential benefits of such endeavor, however, clearly outweigh the problems, as only such kind of multi-modal human brain atlas may provide a starting point from which the complex relationships between structure, function, and connectivity may be explored.

  19. The human brain produces fructose from glucose

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Janice J.; Jiang, Lihong; Hamza, Muhammad; Dai, Feng; Cline, Gary; Rothman, Douglas L.; Mason, Graeme; Sherwin, Robert S.

    2017-01-01

    Fructose has been implicated in the pathogenesis of obesity and type 2 diabetes. In contrast to glucose, CNS delivery of fructose in rodents promotes feeding behavior. However, because circulating plasma fructose levels are exceedingly low, it remains unclear to what extent fructose crosses the blood-brain barrier to exert CNS effects. To determine whether fructose can be endogenously generated from glucose via the polyol pathway (glucose → sorbitol → fructose) in human brain, 8 healthy subjects (4 women/4 men; age, 28.8 ± 6.2 years; BMI, 23.4 ± 2.6; HbA1C, 4.9% ± 0.2%) underwent 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy scanning to measure intracerebral glucose and fructose levels during a 4-hour hyperglycemic clamp (plasma glucose, 220 mg/dl). Using mixed-effects regression model analysis, intracerebral glucose rose significantly over time and differed from baseline at 20 to 230 minutes. Intracerebral fructose levels also rose over time, differing from baseline at 30 to 230 minutes. The changes in intracerebral fructose were related to changes in intracerebral glucose but not to plasma fructose levels. Our findings suggest that the polyol pathway contributes to endogenous CNS production of fructose and that the effects of fructose in the CNS may extend beyond its direct dietary consumption. PMID:28239653

  20. New perspectives on corpora amylacea in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Augé, Elisabet; Cabezón, Itsaso; Pelegrí, Carme; Vilaplana, Jordi

    2017-02-03

    Corpora amylacea are structures of unknown origin and function that appear with age in human brains and are profuse in selected brain areas in several neurodegenerative conditions. They are constituted of glucose polymers and may contain waste elements derived from different cell types. As we previously found on particular polyglucosan bodies in mouse brain, we report here that corpora amylacea present some neo-epitopes that can be recognized by natural antibodies, a certain kind of antibodies that are involved in tissue homeostasis. We hypothesize that corpora amylacea, and probably some other polyglucosan bodies, are waste containers in which deleterious or residual products are isolated to be later eliminated through the action of the innate immune system. In any case, the presence of neo-epitopes on these structures and the existence of natural antibodies directed against them could become a new focal point for the study of both age-related and degenerative brain processes.

  1. New perspectives on corpora amylacea in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Augé, Elisabet; Cabezón, Itsaso; Pelegrí, Carme; Vilaplana, Jordi

    2017-01-01

    Corpora amylacea are structures of unknown origin and function that appear with age in human brains and are profuse in selected brain areas in several neurodegenerative conditions. They are constituted of glucose polymers and may contain waste elements derived from different cell types. As we previously found on particular polyglucosan bodies in mouse brain, we report here that corpora amylacea present some neo-epitopes that can be recognized by natural antibodies, a certain kind of antibodies that are involved in tissue homeostasis. We hypothesize that corpora amylacea, and probably some other polyglucosan bodies, are waste containers in which deleterious or residual products are isolated to be later eliminated through the action of the innate immune system. In any case, the presence of neo-epitopes on these structures and the existence of natural antibodies directed against them could become a new focal point for the study of both age-related and degenerative brain processes. PMID:28155917

  2. Computerized Anatomy Atlas Of The Human Brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adair, Taylor; Bajcsy, Ruzena; Karp, Peter; Stein, Alan

    1981-10-01

    A software for developing, editing and displaying a 3-D computerized anatomic atlas of a human brain is described. The objective of this atlas is to serve as a reference in identifying various structures in CT scans.

  3. Intelligence and brain size in 100 postmortem brains: sex, lateralization and age factors.

    PubMed

    Witelson, S F; Beresh, H; Kigar, D L

    2006-02-01

    The neural basis of variation in human intelligence is not well delineated. Numerous studies relating measures of brain size such as brain weight, head circumference, CT or MRI brain volume to different intelligence test measures, with variously defined samples of subjects have yielded inconsistent findings with correlations from approximately 0 to 0.6, with most correlations approximately 0.3 or 0.4. The study of intelligence in relation to postmortem cerebral volume is not available to date. We report the results of such a study on 100 cases (58 women and 42 men) having prospectively obtained Full Scale Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale scores. Ability correlated with cerebral volume, but the relationship depended on the realm of intelligence studied, as well as the sex and hemispheric functional lateralization of the subject. General verbal ability was positively correlated with cerebral volume and each hemisphere's volume in women and in right-handed men accounting for 36% of the variation in verbal intelligence. There was no evidence of such a relationship in non-right-handed men, indicating that at least for verbal intelligence, functional asymmetry may be a relevant factor in structure-function relationships in men, but not in women. In women, general visuospatial ability was also positively correlated with cerebral volume, but less strongly, accounting for approximately 10% of the variance. In men, there was a non-significant trend of a negative correlation between visuospatial ability and cerebral volume, suggesting that the neural substrate of visuospatial ability may differ between the sexes. Analyses of additional research subjects used as test cases provided support for our regression models. In men, visuospatial ability and cerebral volume were strongly linked via the factor of chronological age, suggesting that the well-documented decline in visuospatial intelligence with age is related, at least in right-handed men, to the decrease in cerebral

  4. The human parental brain: in vivo neuroimaging.

    PubMed

    Swain, James E

    2011-07-01

    Interacting parenting thoughts and behaviors, supported by key brain circuits, critically shape human infants' current and future behavior. Indeed, the parent-infant relationship provides infants with their first social environment, forming templates for what they can expect from others, how to interact with them and ultimately how they go on to themselves to be parents. This review concentrates on magnetic resonance imaging experiments of the human parent brain, which link brain physiology with parental thoughts and behaviors. After reviewing brain imaging techniques, certain social cognitive and affective concepts are reviewed, including empathy and trust-likely critical to parenting. Following that is a thorough study-by-study review of the state-of-the-art with respect to human neuroimaging studies of the parental brain-from parent brain responses to salient infant stimuli, including emotionally charged baby cries and brief visual stimuli to the latest structural brain studies. Taken together, this research suggests that networks of highly conserved hypothalamic-midbrain-limbic-paralimbic-cortical circuits act in concert to support parental brain responses to infants, including circuits for limbic emotion response and regulation. Thus, a model is presented in which infant stimuli activate sensory analysis brain regions, affect corticolimbic limbic circuits that regulate emotional response, motivation and reward related to their infant, ultimately organizing parenting impulses, thoughts and emotions into coordinated behaviors as a map for future studies. Finally, future directions towards integrated understanding of the brain basis of human parenting are outlined with profound implications for understanding and contributing to long term parent and infant mental health.

  5. Development of human brain structural networks through infancy and childhood.

    PubMed

    Huang, Hao; Shu, Ni; Mishra, Virendra; Jeon, Tina; Chalak, Lina; Wang, Zhiyue J; Rollins, Nancy; Gong, Gaolang; Cheng, Hua; Peng, Yun; Dong, Qi; He, Yong

    2015-05-01

    During human brain development through infancy and childhood, microstructural and macrostructural changes take place to reshape the brain's structural networks and better adapt them to sophisticated functional and cognitive requirements. However, structural topological configuration of the human brain during this specific development period is not well understood. In this study, diffusion magnetic resonance image (dMRI) of 25 neonates, 13 toddlers, and 25 preadolescents were acquired to characterize network dynamics at these 3 landmark cross-sectional ages during early childhood. dMRI tractography was used to construct human brain structural networks, and the underlying topological properties were quantified by graph-theory approaches. Modular organization and small-world attributes are evident at birth with several important topological metrics increasing monotonically during development. Most significant increases of regional nodes occur in the posterior cingulate cortex, which plays a pivotal role in the functional default mode network. Positive correlations exist between nodal efficiencies and fractional anisotropy of the white matter traced from these nodes, while correlation slopes vary among the brain regions. These results reveal substantial topological reorganization of human brain structural networks through infancy and childhood, which is likely to be the outcome of both heterogeneous strengthening of the major white matter tracts and pruning of other axonal fibers.

  6. Spectral Variability in the Aged Brain during Fine Motor Control

    PubMed Central

    Quandt, Fanny; Bönstrup, Marlene; Schulz, Robert; Timmermann, Jan E.; Zimerman, Maximo; Nolte, Guido; Hummel, Friedhelm C.

    2016-01-01

    Physiological aging is paralleled by a decline of fine motor skills accompanied by structural and functional alterations of the underlying brain network. Here, we aim to investigate age-related changes in the spectral distribution of neuronal oscillations during fine skilled motor function. We employ the concept of spectral entropy in order to describe the flatness and peaked-ness of a frequency spectrum to quantify changes in the spectral distribution of the oscillatory motor response in the aged brain. Electroencephalogram was recorded in elderly (n = 32) and young (n = 34) participants who performed either a cued finger movement or a pinch or a whole hand grip task with their dominant right hand. Whereas young participant showed distinct, well-defined movement-related power decreases in the alpha and upper beta band, elderly participants exhibited a flat broadband, frequency-unspecific power desynchronization. This broadband response was reflected by an increase of spectral entropy over sensorimotor and frontal areas in the aged brain. Neuronal activation patterns differed between motor tasks in the young brain, while the aged brain showed a similar activation pattern in all tasks. Moreover, we found a wider recruitment of the cortical motor network in the aged brain. The present study adds to the understanding of age-related changes of neural coding during skilled motor behavior, revealing a less predictable signal with great variability across frequencies in a wide cortical motor network in the aged brain. The increase in entropy in the aged brain could be a reflection of random noise-like activity or could represent a compensatory mechanism that serves a functional role. PMID:28066231

  7. Spectral Variability in the Aged Brain during Fine Motor Control.

    PubMed

    Quandt, Fanny; Bönstrup, Marlene; Schulz, Robert; Timmermann, Jan E; Zimerman, Maximo; Nolte, Guido; Hummel, Friedhelm C

    2016-01-01

    Physiological aging is paralleled by a decline of fine motor skills accompanied by structural and functional alterations of the underlying brain network. Here, we aim to investigate age-related changes in the spectral distribution of neuronal oscillations during fine skilled motor function. We employ the concept of spectral entropy in order to describe the flatness and peaked-ness of a frequency spectrum to quantify changes in the spectral distribution of the oscillatory motor response in the aged brain. Electroencephalogram was recorded in elderly (n = 32) and young (n = 34) participants who performed either a cued finger movement or a pinch or a whole hand grip task with their dominant right hand. Whereas young participant showed distinct, well-defined movement-related power decreases in the alpha and upper beta band, elderly participants exhibited a flat broadband, frequency-unspecific power desynchronization. This broadband response was reflected by an increase of spectral entropy over sensorimotor and frontal areas in the aged brain. Neuronal activation patterns differed between motor tasks in the young brain, while the aged brain showed a similar activation pattern in all tasks. Moreover, we found a wider recruitment of the cortical motor network in the aged brain. The present study adds to the understanding of age-related changes of neural coding during skilled motor behavior, revealing a less predictable signal with great variability across frequencies in a wide cortical motor network in the aged brain. The increase in entropy in the aged brain could be a reflection of random noise-like activity or could represent a compensatory mechanism that serves a functional role.

  8. Exploring age-related brain degeneration in meditation practitioners.

    PubMed

    Luders, Eileen

    2014-01-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Mora, Francisco

    2013-03-01

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

  10. BrainNet Viewer: a network visualization tool for human brain connectomics.

    PubMed

    Xia, Mingrui; Wang, Jinhui; He, Yong

    2013-01-01

    The human brain is a complex system whose topological organization can be represented using connectomics. Recent studies have shown that human connectomes can be constructed using various neuroimaging technologies and further characterized using sophisticated analytic strategies, such as graph theory. These methods reveal the intriguing topological architectures of human brain networks in healthy populations and explore the changes throughout normal development and aging and under various pathological conditions. However, given the huge complexity of this methodology, toolboxes for graph-based network visualization are still lacking. Here, using MATLAB with a graphical user interface (GUI), we developed a graph-theoretical network visualization toolbox, called BrainNet Viewer, to illustrate human connectomes as ball-and-stick models. Within this toolbox, several combinations of defined files with connectome information can be loaded to display different combinations of brain surface, nodes and edges. In addition, display properties, such as the color and size of network elements or the layout of the figure, can be adjusted within a comprehensive but easy-to-use settings panel. Moreover, BrainNet Viewer draws the brain surface, nodes and edges in sequence and displays brain networks in multiple views, as required by the user. The figure can be manipulated with certain interaction functions to display more detailed information. Furthermore, the figures can be exported as commonly used image file formats or demonstration video for further use. BrainNet Viewer helps researchers to visualize brain networks in an easy, flexible and quick manner, and this software is freely available on the NITRC website (www.nitrc.org/projects/bnv/).

  11. Modeling the brain morphology distribution in the general aging population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huizinga, W.; Poot, D. H. J.; Roshchupkin, G.; Bron, E. E.; Ikram, M. A.; Vernooij, M. W.; Rueckert, D.; Niessen, W. J.; Klein, S.

    2016-03-01

    Both normal aging and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease cause morphological changes of the brain. To better distinguish between normal and abnormal cases, it is necessary to model changes in brain morphology owing to normal aging. To this end, we developed a method for analyzing and visualizing these changes for the entire brain morphology distribution in the general aging population. The method is applied to 1000 subjects from a large population imaging study in the elderly, from which 900 were used to train the model and 100 were used for testing. The results of the 100 test subjects show that the model generalizes to subjects outside the model population. Smooth percentile curves showing the brain morphology changes as a function of age and spatiotemporal atlases derived from the model population are publicly available via an interactive web application at agingbrain.bigr.nl.

  12. Evolutionary origins of human brain and spirituality.

    PubMed

    Henneberg, Maciej; Saniotis, Arthur

    2009-12-01

    Evolving brains produce minds. Minds operate on imaginary entities. Thus they can create what does not exist in the physical world. Spirits can be deified. Perception of spiritual entities is emotional--organic. Spirituality is a part of culture while culture is an adaptive mechanism of human groups as it allows for technology and social organization to support survival and reproduction. Humans are not rational, they are emotional. Most of explanations of the world, offered by various cultures, involve an element of "fiat", a will of a higher spiritual being, or a reference to some ideal. From this the rules of behaviour are deduced. These rules are necessary to maintain social peace and allow a complex unit consisting of individuals of both sexes and all ages to function in a way ensuring their reproductive success and thus survival. There is thus a direct biological benefit of complex ideological superstructure of culture. This complex superstructure most often takes a form of religion in which logic is mixed with appeals to emotions based on images of spiritual beings. God is a consequence of natural evolution. Whether a deity is a cause of this evolution is difficult to discover, but existence of a deity cannot be questioned.

  13. Small-World Human Brain Networks: Perspectives and Challenges.

    PubMed

    Liao, Xuhong; Vasilakos, Athanasios V; He, Yong

    2017-04-04

    Modelling the human brain as a complex network has provided a powerful mathematical framework to characterize the structural and functional architectures of the brain. In the past decade, the combination of non-invasive neuroimaging techniques and graph theoretical approaches enable us to map human structural and functional connectivity patterns (i.e., connectome) at the macroscopic level. One of the most influential findings is that human brain networks exhibit prominent small-world organization. Such a network architecture in the human brain facilitates efficient information segregation and integration at low wiring and energy costs, which presumably results from natural selection under the pressure of a cost-efficiency balance. Moreover, the small-world organization undergoes continuous changes during normal development and aging and exhibits dramatic alterations in neurological and psychiatric disorders. In this review, we survey recent advances regarding the small-world architecture in human brain networks and highlight the potential implications and applications in multidisciplinary fields, including cognitive neuroscience, medicine and engineering. Finally, we highlight several challenging issues and areas for future research in this rapidly growing field.

  14. Inferential stereomorphology of human brain lesions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gedye, John L.

    1980-07-01

    I very much appreciated the invitation to contribute a paper to this Symposium on Applications of Human Biostereometrics, as it provides a valuable opportunity for me to take a fresh look at a problemâ€""the cerebral localisation of psychological function"â€"in which I have been interested for many years. This interest grew out of considerations of the clinically important problem of how we should go about the task of relating the form of the changes in human behavior consequent upon damage to the human brain following, say, head injury, to the form of the changes in brain morphology which constitute that damage, and related issues.

  15. Senescence-accelerated Mice (SAMs) as a Model for Brain Aging and Immunosenescence

    PubMed Central

    Shimada, Atsuyoshi; Hasegawa-Ishii, Sanae

    2011-01-01

    The Senescence-Accelerated Mouse (SAM) represents a group of inbred mouse strains developed as a model for the study of human aging and age-related diseases. Senescence-prone (SAMP) strains exhibit an early onset of age-related decline in the peripheral immunity such as thymic involution, loss of CD4+ T cells, impaired helper T cell function, decreased antibody-forming capacity, dysfunction of antigen-presenting cells, decreased natural killer activity, increased auto-antibodies, and susceptibility to virus infection. Senescence-prone SAMP10 mice undergo age-related changes in the brain such as brain atrophy, shrinkage and loss of cortical neurons, retraction of cortical neuronal dendrites, loss of dendritic spines, loss of synapses, impaired learning and memory, depressive behavior, accumulation of neuronal DNA damage, neuronal ubiquitinated inclusions, reduced hippocampal cholinergic receptors, decreased neurotrophic factors, decreased hippocampal zinc and zinc transporters, increased sphyngomyelinase, and elevated oxidative-nitrative stress. Recent data indicating increased pro-inflammatory cytokines in the brain of SAMP10 mice are directing investigators toward an integration of immune and neural abnormalities to enhance understanding of the principles of brain aging. We highlight how mouse brain cells adopt cytokine-mediated responses and how SAMP10 mice are defective in these responses. SAMP10 model would be useful to study how age-related disturbances in peripheral immunity have an impact on dysregulation of brain tissue homeostasis, resulting in age-related neurodegeneration. PMID:22396891

  16. Ageing and brain white matter structure in 3,513 UK Biobank participants

    PubMed Central

    Cox, Simon R.; Ritchie, Stuart J.; Tucker-Drob, Elliot M.; Liewald, David C.; Hagenaars, Saskia P.; Davies, Gail; Wardlaw, Joanna M.; Gale, Catharine R.; Bastin, Mark E.; Deary, Ian J.

    2016-01-01

    Quantifying the microstructural properties of the human brain's connections is necessary for understanding normal ageing and disease. Here we examine brain white matter magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data in 3,513 generally healthy people aged 44.64–77.12 years from the UK Biobank. Using conventional water diffusion measures and newer, rarely studied indices from neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging, we document large age associations with white matter microstructure. Mean diffusivity is the most age-sensitive measure, with negative age associations strongest in the thalamic radiation and association fibres. White matter microstructure across brain tracts becomes increasingly correlated in older age. This may reflect an age-related aggregation of systemic detrimental effects. We report several other novel results, including age associations with hemisphere and sex, and comparative volumetric MRI analyses. Results from this unusually large, single-scanner sample provide one of the most extensive characterizations of age associations with major white matter tracts in the human brain. PMID:27976682

  17. Brain Damage in School Age Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haywood, H. Carl, Ed.

    The product of a professional workshop, 10 papers discuss brain damage. An introduction to clinical neuropsychology is presented by H. Carl Haywood. A section on neurological foundations includes papers on the organization of the central nervous system by Jack T. Tapp and Lance L. Simpson, on epilepsy by Angela T. Folsom, and on organic language…

  18. Statistical Approaches for the Study of Cognitive and Brain Aging

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Huaihou; Zhao, Bingxin; Cao, Guanqun; Proges, Eric C.; O'Shea, Andrew; Woods, Adam J.; Cohen, Ronald A.

    2016-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies of cognitive and brain aging often yield massive datasets that create many analytic and statistical challenges. In this paper, we discuss and address several limitations in the existing work. (1) Linear models are often used to model the age effects on neuroimaging markers, which may be inadequate in capturing the potential nonlinear age effects. (2) Marginal correlations are often used in brain network analysis, which are not efficient in characterizing a complex brain network. (3) Due to the challenge of high-dimensionality, only a small subset of the regional neuroimaging markers is considered in a prediction model, which could miss important regional markers. To overcome those obstacles, we introduce several advanced statistical methods for analyzing data from cognitive and brain aging studies. Specifically, we introduce semiparametric models for modeling age effects, graphical models for brain network analysis, and penalized regression methods for selecting the most important markers in predicting cognitive outcomes. We illustrate these methods using the healthy aging data from the Active Brain Study. PMID:27486400

  19. Brain volumetric changes and cognitive ageing during the eighth decade of life

    PubMed Central

    Dickie, David Alexander; Cox, Simon R.; Valdes Hernandez, Maria del C.; Corley, Janie; Royle, Natalie A.; Pattie, Alison; Aribisala, Benjamin S.; Redmond, Paul; Muñoz Maniega, Susana; Taylor, Adele M.; Sibbett, Ruth; Gow, Alan J.; Starr, John M.; Bastin, Mark E.; Wardlaw, Joanna M.; Deary, Ian J.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Later‐life changes in brain tissue volumes—decreases in the volume of healthy grey and white matter and increases in the volume of white matter hyperintensities (WMH)—are strong candidates to explain some of the variation in ageing‐related cognitive decline. We assessed fluid intelligence, memory, processing speed, and brain volumes (from structural MRI) at mean age 73 years, and at mean age 76 in a narrow‐age sample of older individuals (n = 657 with brain volumetric data at the initial wave, n = 465 at follow‐up). We used latent variable modeling to extract error‐free cognitive levels and slopes. Initial levels of cognitive ability were predictive of subsequent brain tissue volume changes. Initial brain volumes were not predictive of subsequent cognitive changes. Brain volume changes, especially increases in WMH, were associated with declines in each of the cognitive abilities. All statistically significant results were modest in size (absolute r‐values ranged from 0.114 to 0.334). These results build a comprehensive picture of macrostructural brain volume changes and declines in important cognitive faculties during the eighth decade of life. Hum Brain Mapp 36:4910–4925, 2015. © 2015 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc PMID:26769551

  20. Human brain mapping: Experimental and computational approaches

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, C.C.; George, J.S.; Schmidt, D.M.; Aine, C.J.; Sanders, J.; Belliveau, J.

    1998-11-01

    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). This program developed project combined Los Alamos' and collaborators' strengths in noninvasive brain imaging and high performance computing to develop potential contributions to the multi-agency Human Brain Project led by the National Institute of Mental Health. The experimental component of the project emphasized the optimization of spatial and temporal resolution of functional brain imaging by combining: (a) structural MRI measurements of brain anatomy; (b) functional MRI measurements of blood flow and oxygenation; and (c) MEG measurements of time-resolved neuronal population currents. The computational component of the project emphasized development of a high-resolution 3-D volumetric model of the brain based on anatomical MRI, in which structural and functional information from multiple imaging modalities can be integrated into a single computational framework for modeling, visualization, and database representation.

  1. Several methods to determine heavy metals in the human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrási, Erzsébet; Igaz, Sarolta; Szoboszlai, Norbert; Farkas, Éva; Ajtony, Zsolt

    1999-05-01

    The determination of naturally occurring heavy metals in various parts of the human brain is discussed. The patients had no diseases in their central nervous systems (five individuals, mean age 70 years). Twenty brain parts were selected from both hemispheres. The analysis was carried out by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry and instrumental neutron activation analysis methods. Accuracy and precision of the applied techniques were tested by using standard reference materials. Two digestion methods were used to dissolve the brain samples for ICP-AES and GF-AAS. One was performed in a Parr-bomb and the second in a microwave oven. The present results show a non-homogeneous distribution of the essential elements (Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn) in normal human brain. Corresponding regions in both hemispheres showed an almost identical concentration of these elements. In the case of toxic elements (Pb, Cd) an average value in different brain regions can not be established because of the high variability of individual data. This study indicates that beside differences in Pb and Cd intake with foods or cigarette smoke inhalation, the main factors of the high inter-individual variability of these element concentrations in human brain parts may be a marked difference in individual elimination or accumulation capabilities.

  2. Symmetry and asymmetry in the human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hugdahl, Kenneth

    2005-10-01

    Structural and functional asymmetry in the human brain and nervous system is reviewed in a historical perspective, focusing on the pioneering work of Broca, Wernicke, Sperry, and Geschwind. Structural and functional asymmetry is exemplified from work done in our laboratory on auditory laterality using an empirical procedure called dichotic listening. This also involves different ways of validating the dichotic listening procedure against both invasive and non-invasive techniques, including PET and fMRI blood flow recordings. A major argument is that the human brain shows a substantial interaction between structurally, or "bottom-up" asymmetry and cognitively, or "top-down" modulation, through a focus of attention to the right or left side in auditory space. These results open up a more dynamic and interactive view of functional brain asymmetry than the traditional static view that the brain is lateralized, or asymmetric, only for specific stimuli and stimulus properties.

  3. Noise-induced sensitization of human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamamoto, Yoshiharu; Hidaka, Ichiro; Nozaki, Daichi; Iso-o, Noriko; Soma, Rika; Kwak, Shin

    2002-11-01

    In the past decade, it has been recognized that noise can enhance the response of nonlinear systems to weak signals, via a mechanism known as stochastic resonance (SR). Particularly, the concept of SR has generated considerable interest in sensory biology, because it has been shown in several experimental studies that noise can assist neural systems in detecting weak signals which could not be detected in its absence. Recently, we have shown a similar type of noise-induced sensitization of human brain; externally added noise to the brain stem baroreflex centers sensitized their responses in maintaining adequate blood perfusion to the brain itself. Furthermore, the addition of noise has also shown to be useful in compensating for dysfunctions of the baroreflex centers in certain neurological diseases. It is concluded that the statistical physics concept of SR could be useful in sensitizing human brain in health and disease.

  4. Trajectories of brain aging in middle-aged and older adults: regional and individual differences.

    PubMed

    Raz, Naftali; Ghisletta, Paolo; Rodrigue, Karen M; Kennedy, Kristen M; Lindenberger, Ulman

    2010-06-01

    The human brain changes with age. However, the rate and the trajectories of change vary among the brain regions and among individuals, and the reasons for these differences are unclear. In a sample of healthy middle-aged and older adults, we examined mean volume change and individual differences in the rate of change in 12 regional brain volumes over approximately 30 months. In addition to the baseline assessment, there were two follow-ups, 15 months apart. We observed significant average shrinkage of the hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, orbital-frontal cortex, and cerebellum in each of the intervals. Shrinkage of the hippocampus accelerated with time, whereas shrinkage of the caudate nucleus, prefrontal subcortical white matter, and corpus callosum emerged only at the second follow-up. Throughout both assessment intervals, the mean volumes of the lateral prefrontal and primary visual cortices, putamen, and pons did not change. Significant individual differences in shrinkage rates were observed in the lateral prefrontal cortex, the cerebellum, and all the white matter regions throughout the study, whereas additional regions (medial-temporal structures, the insula, and the basal ganglia) showed significant individual variation in change during the second follow-up. No individual variability was noted in the change of orbital frontal and visual cortices. In two white matter regions, we were able to identify factors associated with individual differences in brain shrinkage. In corpus callosum, shrinkage rate was greater in persons with hypertension, and in the pons, women and carriers of the ApoEepsilon4 allele exhibited declines not noted in the whole sample.

  5. Trajectories of brain aging in middle-aged and older adults: Regional and individual differences

    PubMed Central

    Raz, Naftali; Ghisletta, Paolo; Rodrigue, Karen M.; Kennedy, Kristen M.; Lindenberger, Ulman

    2010-01-01

    The human brain changes with age. However, the rate and the trajectories of change vary among the brain regions and among individuals, and the reasons for these differences are unclear. In a sample of healthy middle-aged and older adults, we examined mean volume change and individual differences in the rate of change in 12 regional brain volumes over approximately 30 months. In addition to the baseline assessment, there were two follow-ups, 15 months apart. We observed significant average shrinkage of the hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, orbital–frontal cortex, and cerebellum in each of the intervals. Shrinkage of the hippocampus accelerated with time, whereas shrinkage of the caudate nucleus, prefrontal subcortical white matter, and corpus callosum emerged only at the second follow-up. Throughout both assessment intervals, the mean volumes of the lateral prefrontal and primary visual cortices, putamen, and pons did not change. Significant individual differences in shrinkage rates were observed in the lateral prefrontal cortex, the cerebellum, and all the white matter regions throughout the study, whereas additional regions (medial–temporal structures, the insula, and the basal ganglia) showed significant individual variation in change during the second follow-up. No individual variability was noted in the change of orbital frontal and visual cortices. In two white matter regions, we were able to identify factors associated with individual differences in brain shrinkage. In corpus callosum, shrinkage rate was greater in persons with hypertension, and in the pons, women and carriers of the ApoEε4 allele exhibited declines not noted in the whole sample. PMID:20298790

  6. Cytogenetics of human brain tumors

    SciTech Connect

    Finkernagel, S.W.; Kletz, T.; Day-Salvatore, D.L.

    1994-09-01

    Chromosome studies of 55 brain tumors, including meningiomas, gliomas, astrocyomas and pituatary adenomas, were performed. Primary and first passage cultures were successfully obtained in 75% of these samples with an average of 18 G-banded metaphases analyzed per tumor. 44% of all the brain tumors showed numerical and or structural abnormalities. 46% of the primary and 38% of the first passage cultures showed similar numerical gains/losses and complex karyotypic changes. The most frequent numerical abnormalities (n {ge} 5) included loss of chromosomes 10, 22, and Y. The structural abnormalities most often seen involved 1p, 2, 5, 7, 17q and 19. This is an ongoing study which will attempt to correlate tumor type with specific karyotypic changes and to see if any of the observed chromosomal abnormalities provide prognostic indicators.

  7. Nutritional Cognitive Neuroscience: Innovations for Healthy Brain Aging.

    PubMed

    Zamroziewicz, Marta K; Barbey, Aron K

    2016-01-01

    Nutritional cognitive neuroscience is an emerging interdisciplinary field of research that seeks to understand nutrition's impact on cognition and brain health across the life span. Research in this burgeoning field demonstrates that many aspects of nutrition-from entire diets to specific nutrients-affect brain structure and function, and therefore have profound implications for understanding the nature of healthy brain aging. The aim of this Focused Review is to examine recent advances in nutritional cognitive neuroscience, with an emphasis on methods that enable discovery of nutrient biomarkers that predict healthy brain aging. We propose an integrative framework that calls for the synthesis of research in nutritional epidemiology and cognitive neuroscience, incorporating: (i) methods for the precise characterization of nutritional health based on the analysis of nutrient biomarker patterns (NBPs), along with (ii) modern indices of brain health derived from high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). By integrating cutting-edge techniques from nutritional epidemiology and cognitive neuroscience, nutritional cognitive neuroscience will continue to advance our understanding of the beneficial effects of nutrition on the aging brain and establish effective nutritional interventions to promote healthy brain aging.

  8. Nutritional Cognitive Neuroscience: Innovations for Healthy Brain Aging

    PubMed Central

    Zamroziewicz, Marta K.; Barbey, Aron K.

    2016-01-01

    Nutritional cognitive neuroscience is an emerging interdisciplinary field of research that seeks to understand nutrition's impact on cognition and brain health across the life span. Research in this burgeoning field demonstrates that many aspects of nutrition—from entire diets to specific nutrients—affect brain structure and function, and therefore have profound implications for understanding the nature of healthy brain aging. The aim of this Focused Review is to examine recent advances in nutritional cognitive neuroscience, with an emphasis on methods that enable discovery of nutrient biomarkers that predict healthy brain aging. We propose an integrative framework that calls for the synthesis of research in nutritional epidemiology and cognitive neuroscience, incorporating: (i) methods for the precise characterization of nutritional health based on the analysis of nutrient biomarker patterns (NBPs), along with (ii) modern indices of brain health derived from high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). By integrating cutting-edge techniques from nutritional epidemiology and cognitive neuroscience, nutritional cognitive neuroscience will continue to advance our understanding of the beneficial effects of nutrition on the aging brain and establish effective nutritional interventions to promote healthy brain aging. PMID:27375409

  9. Transcriptional Landscape of the Prenatal Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Jeremy A.; Ding, Song-Lin; Sunkin, Susan M.; Smith, Kimberly A; Ng, Lydia; Szafer, Aaron; Ebbert, Amanda; Riley, Zackery L.; Aiona, Kaylynn; Arnold, James M.; Bennet, Crissa; Bertagnolli, Darren; Brouner, Krissy; Butler, Stephanie; Caldejon, Shiella; Carey, Anita; Cuhaciyan, Christine; Dalley, Rachel A.; Dee, Nick; Dolbeare, Tim A.; Facer, Benjamin A. C.; Feng, David; Fliss, Tim P.; Gee, Garrett; Goldy, Jeff; Gourley, Lindsey; Gregor, Benjamin W.; Gu, Guangyu; Howard, Robert E.; Jochim, Jayson M.; Kuan, Chihchau L.; Lau, Christopher; Lee, Chang-Kyu; Lee, Felix; Lemon, Tracy A.; Lesnar, Phil; McMurray, Bergen; Mastan, Naveed; Mosqueda, Nerick F.; Naluai-Cecchini, Theresa; Ngo, Nhan-Kiet; Nyhus, Julie; Oldre, Aaron; Olson, Eric; Parente, Jody; Parker, Patrick D.; Parry, Sheana E.; Player, Allison Stevens; Pletikos, Mihovil; Reding, Melissa; Royall, Joshua J.; Roll, Kate; Sandman, David; Sarreal, Melaine; Shapouri, Sheila; Shapovalova, Nadiya V.; Shen, Elaine H.; Sjoquist, Nathan; Slaughterbeck, Clifford R.; Smith, Michael; Sodt, Andy J.; Williams, Derric; Zöllei, Lilla; Fischl, Bruce; Gerstein, Mark B.; Geschwind, Daniel H.; Glass, Ian A.; Hawrylycz, Michael J.; Hevner, Robert F.; Huang, Hao; Jones, Allan R.; Knowles, James A.; Levitt, Pat; Phillips, John W.; Sestan, Nenad; Wohnoutka, Paul; Dang, Chinh; Bernard, Amy; Hohmann, John G.; Lein, Ed S.

    2014-01-01

    Summary The anatomical and functional architecture of the human brain is largely determined by prenatal transcriptional processes. We describe an anatomically comprehensive atlas of mid-gestational human brain, including de novo reference atlases, in situ hybridization, ultra-high resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and microarray analysis on highly discrete laser microdissected brain regions. In developing cerebral cortex, transcriptional differences are found between different proliferative and postmitotic layers, wherein laminar signatures reflect cellular composition and developmental processes. Cytoarchitectural differences between human and mouse have molecular correlates, including species differences in gene expression in subplate, although surprisingly we find minimal differences between the inner and human-expanded outer subventricular zones. Both germinal and postmitotic cortical layers exhibit fronto-temporal gradients, with particular enrichment in frontal lobe. Finally, many neurodevelopmental disorder and human evolution-related genes show patterned expression, potentially underlying unique features of human cortical formation. These data provide a rich, freely-accessible resource for understanding human brain development. PMID:24695229

  10. Transcriptional landscape of the prenatal human brain.

    PubMed

    Miller, Jeremy A; Ding, Song-Lin; Sunkin, Susan M; Smith, Kimberly A; Ng, Lydia; Szafer, Aaron; Ebbert, Amanda; Riley, Zackery L; Royall, Joshua J; Aiona, Kaylynn; Arnold, James M; Bennet, Crissa; Bertagnolli, Darren; Brouner, Krissy; Butler, Stephanie; Caldejon, Shiella; Carey, Anita; Cuhaciyan, Christine; Dalley, Rachel A; Dee, Nick; Dolbeare, Tim A; Facer, Benjamin A C; Feng, David; Fliss, Tim P; Gee, Garrett; Goldy, Jeff; Gourley, Lindsey; Gregor, Benjamin W; Gu, Guangyu; Howard, Robert E; Jochim, Jayson M; Kuan, Chihchau L; Lau, Christopher; Lee, Chang-Kyu; Lee, Felix; Lemon, Tracy A; Lesnar, Phil; McMurray, Bergen; Mastan, Naveed; Mosqueda, Nerick; Naluai-Cecchini, Theresa; Ngo, Nhan-Kiet; Nyhus, Julie; Oldre, Aaron; Olson, Eric; Parente, Jody; Parker, Patrick D; Parry, Sheana E; Stevens, Allison; Pletikos, Mihovil; Reding, Melissa; Roll, Kate; Sandman, David; Sarreal, Melaine; Shapouri, Sheila; Shapovalova, Nadiya V; Shen, Elaine H; Sjoquist, Nathan; Slaughterbeck, Clifford R; Smith, Michael; Sodt, Andy J; Williams, Derric; Zöllei, Lilla; Fischl, Bruce; Gerstein, Mark B; Geschwind, Daniel H; Glass, Ian A; Hawrylycz, Michael J; Hevner, Robert F; Huang, Hao; Jones, Allan R; Knowles, James A; Levitt, Pat; Phillips, John W; Sestan, Nenad; Wohnoutka, Paul; Dang, Chinh; Bernard, Amy; Hohmann, John G; Lein, Ed S

    2014-04-10

    The anatomical and functional architecture of the human brain is mainly determined by prenatal transcriptional processes. We describe an anatomically comprehensive atlas of the mid-gestational human brain, including de novo reference atlases, in situ hybridization, ultra-high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and microarray analysis on highly discrete laser-microdissected brain regions. In developing cerebral cortex, transcriptional differences are found between different proliferative and post-mitotic layers, wherein laminar signatures reflect cellular composition and developmental processes. Cytoarchitectural differences between human and mouse have molecular correlates, including species differences in gene expression in subplate, although surprisingly we find minimal differences between the inner and outer subventricular zones even though the outer zone is expanded in humans. Both germinal and post-mitotic cortical layers exhibit fronto-temporal gradients, with particular enrichment in the frontal lobe. Finally, many neurodevelopmental disorder and human-evolution-related genes show patterned expression, potentially underlying unique features of human cortical formation. These data provide a rich, freely-accessible resource for understanding human brain development.

  11. BRAIN FUEL METABOLISM, AGING AND ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

    PubMed Central

    Cunnane, SC; Nugent, S; Roy, M; Courchesne-Loyer, A; Croteau, E; Tremblay, S; Castellano, A; Pifferi, F; Bocti, C; Paquet, N; Begdouri, H; Bentourkia, M; Turcotte, E; Allard, M; Barberger-Gateau, P; Fulop, T; Rapoport, S

    2012-01-01

    Lower brain glucose metabolism is present before the onset of clinically-measurable cognitive decline in two groups of people at risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) - carriers of apoE4, and in those with a maternal family history of AD. Supported by emerging evidence from in vitro and animal studies, these reports suggest that brain hypometabolism may precede and contribute to the neuropathological cascade leading cognitive decline in AD. The reason for brain hypometabolism is unclear but may include defects in glucose transport at the blood-brain barrier, glycolysis, and/or mitochondrial function. Methodological issues presently preclude knowing with certainty whether or not aging in the absence of cognitive impairment is necessarily associated with lower brain glucose metabolism. Nevertheless, aging appears to increase the risk of deteriorating systemic control of glucose utilization which, in turn, may increase the risk of declining brain glucose uptake, at least in some regions. A contributing role of deteriorating glucose availability to or metabolism by the brain in AD does not exclude the opposite effect, i.e. that neurodegenerative processes in AD further decrease brain glucose metabolism because of reduced synaptic functionality and, hence, reduced energy needs, thereby completing a vicious cycle. Strategies to reduce the risk of AD by breaking this cycle should aim to – (i) improve insulin sensitivity by improving systemic glucose utilization, or (ii) bypass deteriorating brain glucose metabolism using approaches that safely induce mild, sustainable ketonemia. PMID:21035308

  12. The Brain Prize 2014: complex human functions.

    PubMed

    Grigaityte, Kristina; Iacoboni, Marco

    2014-11-01

    Giacomo Rizzolatti, Stanislas Dehaene, and Trevor Robbins were recently awarded the 2014 Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Prize for their 'pioneering research on higher brain mechanisms underpinning such complex human functions as literacy, numeracy, motivated behavior and social cognition, and for their effort to understand cognitive and behavioral disorders'. Why was their work highlighted? Is there anything that links together these seemingly disparate lines of research?

  13. Human blood-brain barrier insulin receptor.

    PubMed

    Pardridge, W M; Eisenberg, J; Yang, J

    1985-06-01

    A new model system for characterizing the human brain capillary, which makes up the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in vivo, is described in these studies and is applied initially to the investigation of the human BBB insulin receptor. Autopsy brains were obtained from the pathologist between 22-36 h postmortem and were used to isolate human brain microvessels which appeared intact on both light and phase microscopy. The microvessels were positive for human factor 8 and for a BBB-specific enzyme marker, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase. The microvessels avidly bound insulin with a high-affinity dissociation constant, KD = 1.2 +/- 0.5 nM. The human brain microvessels internalized insulin based on acid-wash assay, and 75% of insulin was internalized at 37 degrees C. The microvessels transported insulin to the medium at 37 degrees C with a t1/2 = approximately 70 min. Little of the 125I-insulin was metabolized by the microvessels under these conditions based on the elution profile of the medium extract over a Sephadex G-50 column. Plasma membranes were obtained from the human brain microvessels and these membranes were enriched in membrane markers such as gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase or alkaline phosphatase. The plasma membranes bound 125I-insulin with and ED50 = 10 ng/ml, which was identical to the 50% binding point in intact microvessels. The human BBB plasma membranes were solubilized in Triton X-100 and were adsorbed to a wheat germ agglutinin Sepharose affinity column, indicating the BBB insulin receptor is a glycoprotein. Affinity cross-linking of insulin to the plasma membranes revealed a 127K protein that specifically binds insulin.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  14. Seasonality in human cognitive brain responses

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Christelle; Muto, Vincenzo; Jaspar, Mathieu; Kussé, Caroline; Lambot, Erik; Chellappa, Sarah L.; Degueldre, Christian; Balteau, Evelyne; Luxen, André; Middleton, Benita; Archer, Simon N.; Collette, Fabienne; Dijk, Derk-Jan; Phillips, Christophe; Maquet, Pierre; Vandewalle, Gilles

    2016-01-01

    Daily variations in the environment have shaped life on Earth, with circadian cycles identified in most living organisms. Likewise, seasons correspond to annual environmental fluctuations to which organisms have adapted. However, little is known about seasonal variations in human brain physiology. We investigated annual rhythms of brain activity in a cross-sectional study of healthy young participants. They were maintained in an environment free of seasonal cues for 4.5 d, after which brain responses were assessed using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while they performed two different cognitive tasks. Brain responses to both tasks varied significantly across seasons, but the phase of these annual rhythms was strikingly different, speaking for a complex impact of season on human brain function. For the sustained attention task, the maximum and minimum responses were located around summer and winter solstices, respectively, whereas for the working memory task, maximum and minimum responses were observed around autumn and spring equinoxes. These findings reveal previously unappreciated process-specific seasonality in human cognitive brain function that could contribute to intraindividual cognitive changes at specific times of year and changes in affective control in vulnerable populations. PMID:26858432

  15. Seasonality in human cognitive brain responses.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Christelle; Muto, Vincenzo; Jaspar, Mathieu; Kussé, Caroline; Lambot, Erik; Chellappa, Sarah L; Degueldre, Christian; Balteau, Evelyne; Luxen, André; Middleton, Benita; Archer, Simon N; Collette, Fabienne; Dijk, Derk-Jan; Phillips, Christophe; Maquet, Pierre; Vandewalle, Gilles

    2016-03-15

    Daily variations in the environment have shaped life on Earth, with circadian cycles identified in most living organisms. Likewise, seasons correspond to annual environmental fluctuations to which organisms have adapted. However, little is known about seasonal variations in human brain physiology. We investigated annual rhythms of brain activity in a cross-sectional study of healthy young participants. They were maintained in an environment free of seasonal cues for 4.5 d, after which brain responses were assessed using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while they performed two different cognitive tasks. Brain responses to both tasks varied significantly across seasons, but the phase of these annual rhythms was strikingly different, speaking for a complex impact of season on human brain function. For the sustained attention task, the maximum and minimum responses were located around summer and winter solstices, respectively, whereas for the working memory task, maximum and minimum responses were observed around autumn and spring equinoxes. These findings reveal previously unappreciated process-specific seasonality in human cognitive brain function that could contribute to intraindividual cognitive changes at specific times of year and changes in affective control in vulnerable populations.

  16. Influence of age on brain edema formation, secondary brain damage and inflammatory response after brain trauma in mice.

    PubMed

    Timaru-Kast, Ralph; Luh, Clara; Gotthardt, Philipp; Huang, Changsheng; Schäfer, Michael K; Engelhard, Kristin; Thal, Serge C

    2012-01-01

    After traumatic brain injury (TBI) elderly patients suffer from higher mortality rate and worse functional outcome compared to young patients. However, experimental TBI research is primarily performed in young animals. Aim of the present study was to clarify whether age affects functional outcome, neuroinflammation and secondary brain damage after brain trauma in mice. Young (2 months) and old (21 months) male C57Bl6N mice were anesthetized and subjected to a controlled cortical impact injury (CCI) on the right parietal cortex. Animals of both ages were randomly assigned to 15 min, 24 h, and 72 h survival. At the end of the observation periods, contusion volume, brain water content, neurologic function, cerebral and systemic inflammation (CD3+ T cell migration, inflammatory cytokine expression in brain and lung, blood differential cell count) were determined. Old animals showed worse neurological function 72 h after CCI and a high mortality rate (19.2%) compared to young (0%). This did not correlate with histopathological damage, as contusion volumes were equal in both age groups. Although a more pronounced brain edema formation was detected in old mice 24 hours after TBI, lack of correlation between brain water content and neurological deficit indicated that brain edema formation is not solely responsible for age-dependent differences in neurological outcome. Brains of old naïve mice were about 8% smaller compared to young naïve brains, suggesting age-related brain atrophy with possible decline in plasticity. Onset of cerebral inflammation started earlier and primarily ipsilateral to damage in old mice, whereas in young mice inflammation was delayed and present in both hemispheres with a characteristic T cell migration pattern. Pulmonary interleukin 1β expression was up-regulated after cerebral injury only in young, not aged mice. The results therefore indicate that old animals are prone to functional deficits and strong ipsilateral cerebral inflammation

  17. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strózik-Kotlorz, D.

    2014-01-01

    I give a brief description of the magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in the human brain examinations. MRS allows a noninvasive chemical analysis of the brain using a standard high field MR system. Nowadays, the dominant form of MR brain spectroscopy is proton spectroscopy. Two main techniques of MRS, which utilize the chemical shift of metabolites in the external magnetic field, are SVS (single voxel) and CSI (single slice). The major peaks in the spectrum of a normal brain include NAA, Cr, Cho and m-Ins, which are neuronal, energetic, membrane turnover and glial markers, respectively. In disease, two pathological metabolites can be found in the brain spectra: Lac, which is end product of anaerobic glycolysis and Lip, which is a marker of membrane breakdown, occurring in necrosis. The common way to analyze clinical spectra is to determine metabolite ratios, e.g. NAA/Cr, Cho/Cr, Cho/NAA. This analysis permits a safe and noninvasive examination of the brain tissue as each disease state has its own characteristic spectroscopic image. MRS is a valuable diagnostic tool in such clinical applications as detecting brain tumors and differentiating tumors from inflammatory and infectious processes. Proton MRS is also very helpful in diagnostic of ischemic lesions, Alzheimer's disease and hepatic encephalopathy. The MRS brain spectra should always be correlated with the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) results and alone cannot make neurological diagnosis.

  18. Berry fruit supplementation and the aging brain.

    PubMed

    Shukitt-Hale, Barbara; Lau, Francis C; Joseph, James A

    2008-02-13

    The onset of age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease, superimposed on a declining nervous system, could exacerbate the motor and cognitive behavioral deficits that normally occur in senescence. In cases of severe deficits in memory or motor function, hospitalization and/or custodial care would be a likely outcome. This means that unless some way is found to reduce these age-related decrements in neuronal function, health-care costs will continue to rise exponentially. Thus, it is extremely important to explore methods to retard or reverse age-related neuronal deficits, as well as their subsequent behavioral manifestations, to increase healthy aging. In this regard, consumption of diets rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory polyphenolics, such as those found in fruits and vegetables, may lower the risk of developing age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Research suggests that the polyphenolic compounds found in berry fruits, such as blueberries and strawberries, may exert their beneficial effects either through their ability to lower oxidative stress and inflammation or directly by altering the signaling involved in neuronal communication, calcium buffering ability, neuroprotective stress shock proteins, plasticity, and stress signaling pathways. These interventions, in turn, may exert protection against age-related deficits in cognitive and motor function. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the benefits of these interventions in rodent models and to describe the putative molecular mechanisms involved in their benefits.

  19. Normal brain ageing: models and mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Toescu, Emil C

    2005-01-01

    Normal ageing is associated with a degree of decline in a number of cognitive functions. Apart from the issues raised by the current attempts to expand the lifespan, understanding the mechanisms and the detailed metabolic interactions involved in the process of normal neuronal ageing continues to be a challenge. One model, supported by a significant amount of experimental evidence, views the cellular ageing as a metabolic state characterized by an altered function of the metabolic triad: mitochondria–reactive oxygen species (ROS)–intracellular Ca2+. The perturbation in the relationship between the members of this metabolic triad generate a state of decreased homeostatic reserve, in which the aged neurons could maintain adequate function during normal activity, as demonstrated by the fact that normal ageing is not associated with widespread neuronal loss, but become increasingly vulnerable to the effects of excessive metabolic loads, usually associated with trauma, ischaemia or neurodegenerative processes. This review will concentrate on some of the evidence showing altered mitochondrial function with ageing and also discuss some of the functional consequences that would result from such events, such as alterations in mitochondrial Ca2+ homeostasis, ATP production and generation of ROS. PMID:16321805

  20. Circadian clock and pathology of the ageing brain

    PubMed Central

    Kondratova, A.A.; Kondratov, R.V.

    2013-01-01

    Ageing leads to functional deterioration of many brain systems, including the circadian clock - an internal time-keeping system that generates 24 hr rhythms in physiology and behaviour. Numerous clinical studies have established a direct correlation between the severity of neurodegenerative disorders, sleep disturbances and weakening of circadian clock functions. The latest data from model organisms, gene expression studies and clinical trials imply that the dysfunction of the circadian clock may contribute to the progression of ageing and age-associated pathologies, suggesting a functional link between the circadian clock, and age-associated decline of brain functions. Potential molecular mechanisms underlying this link include the circadian control of brain metabolism, reactive oxygen species homeostasis, hormone secretion, autophagy and stem cell proliferation. PMID:22395806

  1. REVISITING GLYCOGEN CONTENT IN THE HUMAN BRAIN

    PubMed Central

    Öz, Gülin; DiNuzzo, Mauro; Kumar, Anjali; Moheet, Amir; Seaquist, Elizabeth R.

    2015-01-01

    Glycogen provides an important glucose reservoir in the brain since the concentration of glucosyl units stored in glycogen is several fold higher than free glucose available in brain tissue. We have previously reported 3–4 µmol/g brain glycogen content using in vivo 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in conjunction with [1-13C]glucose administration in healthy humans, while higher levels were reported in the rodent brain. Due to the slow turnover of bulk brain glycogen in humans, complete turnover of the glycogen pool, estimated to take 3–5 days, was not observed in these prior studies. In an attempt to reach complete turnover and thereby steady state 13C labeling in glycogen, here we administered [1-13C]glucose to healthy volunteers for 80 hours. To eliminate any net glycogen synthesis during this period and thereby achieve an accurate estimate of glycogen concentration, volunteers were maintained at euglycemic blood glucose levels during [1-13C]glucose administration and 13C-glycogen levels in the occipital lobe were measured by 13C MRS approximately every 12 hours. Finally, we fitted the data with a biophysical model that was recently developed to take into account the tiered structure of the glycogen molecule and additionally incorporated blood glucose levels and isotopic enrichments as input function in the model. We obtained excellent fits of the model to the 13C-glycogen data, and glycogen content in the healthy human brain tissue was found to be 7.8 ± 0.3 µmol/g, a value substantially higher than previous estimates of glycogen content in the human brain. PMID:26202425

  2. Hearing Impairment Is Associated with Smaller Brain Volume in Aging

    PubMed Central

    Rigters, Stephanie C.; Bos, Daniel; Metselaar, Mick; Roshchupkin, Gennady V.; Baatenburg de Jong, Robert J.; Ikram, M. Arfan; Vernooij, Meike W.; Goedegebure, André

    2017-01-01

    Although recent studies show that age-related hearing impairment is associated with cerebral changes, data from a population perspective are still lacking. Therefore, we studied the relation between hearing impairment and brain volume in a large elderly cohort. From the population-based Rotterdam Study, 2,908 participants (mean age 65 years, 56% female) underwent a pure-tone audiogram to quantify hearing impairment. By performing MR imaging of the brain we quantified global and regional brain tissue volumes (total brain volume, gray matter volume, white matter (WM) volume, and lobe-specific volumes). We used multiple linear regression models, adjusting for age, sex, head size, time between hearing test and MR imaging, and relevant cognitive and cardiovascular covariates. Furthermore, we performed voxel-based morphometry to explore sub-regional differences. We found that a higher pure-tone threshold was associated with a smaller total brain volume [difference in standardized brain volume per decibel increase in hearing threshold in the age-sex adjusted model: -0.003 (95% confidence interval -0.004; -0.001)]. Specifically, WM volume was associated. Both associations were more pronounced in the lower frequencies. All associations were consistently present in all brain lobes in the lower frequencies and in most lobes in the higher frequencies, and were independent of cognitive function and cardiovascular risk factors. In voxel-based analyses we found associations of hearing impairment with smaller white volumes and some smaller and larger gray volumes, yet these were statistically non-significant. Our findings demonstrate that hearing impairment in elderly is related to smaller total brain volume, independent of cognition and cardiovascular risk factors. This mainly seems to be driven by smaller WM volume, throughout the brain. PMID:28163683

  3. Human and rat brain lipofuscin proteome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The accumulation of an autofluorescent pigment called lipofuscin in neurons is an invariable hallmark of brain aging. So far, this material has been considered to be waste material without particular relevance for cellular pathology. However, two lines of evidence argue that lipofuscin may have yet ...

  4. The effects of physical activity, education, and body mass index on the aging brain.

    PubMed

    Ho, April J; Raji, Cyrus A; Becker, James T; Lopez, Oscar L; Kuller, Lewis H; Hua, Xue; Dinov, Ivo D; Stein, Jason L; Rosano, Caterina; Toga, Arthur W; Thompson, Paul M

    2011-09-01

    Normal human aging is accompanied by progressive brain tissue loss and cognitive decline; however, several factors are thought to influence brain aging. We applied tensor-based morphometry to high-resolution brain MRI scans to determine whether educational level or physical activity was associated with brain tissue volumes in the elderly, particularly in regions susceptible to age-related atrophy. We mapped the 3D profile of brain volume differences in 226 healthy elderly subjects (130F/96M; 77.9 ± 3.6 SD years) from the Cardiovascular Health Study-Cognition Study. Statistical maps revealed the 3D profile of brain regions whose volumes were associated with educational level and physical activity (based on leisure-time energy expenditure). After controlling for age, sex, and physical activity, higher educational levels were associated with ~2-3% greater tissue volumes, on average, in the temporal lobe gray matter. After controlling for age, sex, and education, greater physical activity was associated with ~2-2.5% greater average tissue volumes in the white matter of the corona radiata extending into the parietal-occipital junction. Body mass index (BMI) was highly correlated with both education and physical activity, so we examined BMI as a contributing factor by including physical activity, education, and BMI in the same model; only BMI effects remained significant. This is one of the largest MRI studies of factors influencing structural brain aging, and BMI may be a key factor explaining the observed relationship between education, physical activity, and brain structure. Independent contributions to brain structure could not be teased apart as all these factors were highly correlated with one another.

  5. Understanding How Exercise Promotes Cognitive Integrity in the Aging Brain.

    PubMed

    Laitman, Benjamin M; John, Gareth R

    2015-01-01

    Alterations in the structure and organization of the aging central nervous system (CNS), and associated functional deficits, result in cognitive decline and increase susceptibility to neurodegeneration. Age-related changes to the neurovascular unit (NVU), and their consequences for cerebrovascular function, are implicated as driving cognitive impairment during aging as well as in neurodegenerative disease. The molecular events underlying these effects are incompletely characterized. Similarly, the mechanisms underlying effects of factors that reduce the impact of aging on the brain, such as physical exercise, are also opaque. A study in this issue of PLOS Biology links the NVU to cognitive decline in the aging brain and suggests a potential underlying molecular mechanism. Notably, the study further links the protective effects of chronic exercise on cognition to neurovascular integrity during aging.

  6. Magnetite pollution nanoparticles in the human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maher, Barbara A.; Ahmed, Imad A. M.; Karloukovski, Vassil; MacLaren, Donald A.; Foulds, Penelope G.; Allsop, David; Mann, David M. A.; Torres-Jardón, Ricardo; Calderon-Garciduenas, Lilian

    2016-09-01

    Biologically formed nanoparticles of the strongly magnetic mineral, magnetite, were first detected in the human brain over 20 y ago [Kirschvink JL, Kobayashi-Kirschvink A, Woodford BJ (1992) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 89(16):7683-7687]. Magnetite can have potentially large impacts on the brain due to its unique combination of redox activity, surface charge, and strongly magnetic behavior. We used magnetic analyses and electron microscopy to identify the abundant presence in the brain of magnetite nanoparticles that are consistent with high-temperature formation, suggesting, therefore, an external, not internal, source. Comprising a separate nanoparticle population from the euhedral particles ascribed to endogenous sources, these brain magnetites are often found with other transition metal nanoparticles, and they display rounded crystal morphologies and fused surface textures, reflecting crystallization upon cooling from an initially heated, iron-bearing source material. Such high-temperature magnetite nanospheres are ubiquitous and abundant in airborne particulate matter pollution. They arise as combustion-derived, iron-rich particles, often associated with other transition metal particles, which condense and/or oxidize upon airborne release. Those magnetite pollutant particles which are <˜200 nm in diameter can enter the brain directly via the olfactory bulb. Their presence proves that externally sourced iron-bearing nanoparticles, rather than their soluble compounds, can be transported directly into the brain, where they may pose hazard to human health.

  7. Magnetite pollution nanoparticles in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Maher, Barbara A.; Karloukovski, Vassil; MacLaren, Donald A.; Foulds, Penelope G.; Allsop, David; Mann, David M. A.; Torres-Jardón, Ricardo; Calderon-Garciduenas, Lilian

    2016-01-01

    Biologically formed nanoparticles of the strongly magnetic mineral, magnetite, were first detected in the human brain over 20 y ago [Kirschvink JL, Kobayashi-Kirschvink A, Woodford BJ (1992) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 89(16):7683–7687]. Magnetite can have potentially large impacts on the brain due to its unique combination of redox activity, surface charge, and strongly magnetic behavior. We used magnetic analyses and electron microscopy to identify the abundant presence in the brain of magnetite nanoparticles that are consistent with high-temperature formation, suggesting, therefore, an external, not internal, source. Comprising a separate nanoparticle population from the euhedral particles ascribed to endogenous sources, these brain magnetites are often found with other transition metal nanoparticles, and they display rounded crystal morphologies and fused surface textures, reflecting crystallization upon cooling from an initially heated, iron-bearing source material. Such high-temperature magnetite nanospheres are ubiquitous and abundant in airborne particulate matter pollution. They arise as combustion-derived, iron-rich particles, often associated with other transition metal particles, which condense and/or oxidize upon airborne release. Those magnetite pollutant particles which are <∼200 nm in diameter can enter the brain directly via the olfactory bulb. Their presence proves that externally sourced iron-bearing nanoparticles, rather than their soluble compounds, can be transported directly into the brain, where they may pose hazard to human health. PMID:27601646

  8. Magnetite pollution nanoparticles in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Maher, Barbara A; Ahmed, Imad A M; Karloukovski, Vassil; MacLaren, Donald A; Foulds, Penelope G; Allsop, David; Mann, David M A; Torres-Jardón, Ricardo; Calderon-Garciduenas, Lilian

    2016-09-27

    Biologically formed nanoparticles of the strongly magnetic mineral, magnetite, were first detected in the human brain over 20 y ago [Kirschvink JL, Kobayashi-Kirschvink A, Woodford BJ (1992) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 89(16):7683-7687]. Magnetite can have potentially large impacts on the brain due to its unique combination of redox activity, surface charge, and strongly magnetic behavior. We used magnetic analyses and electron microscopy to identify the abundant presence in the brain of magnetite nanoparticles that are consistent with high-temperature formation, suggesting, therefore, an external, not internal, source. Comprising a separate nanoparticle population from the euhedral particles ascribed to endogenous sources, these brain magnetites are often found with other transition metal nanoparticles, and they display rounded crystal morphologies and fused surface textures, reflecting crystallization upon cooling from an initially heated, iron-bearing source material. Such high-temperature magnetite nanospheres are ubiquitous and abundant in airborne particulate matter pollution. They arise as combustion-derived, iron-rich particles, often associated with other transition metal particles, which condense and/or oxidize upon airborne release. Those magnetite pollutant particles which are <∼200 nm in diameter can enter the brain directly via the olfactory bulb. Their presence proves that externally sourced iron-bearing nanoparticles, rather than their soluble compounds, can be transported directly into the brain, where they may pose hazard to human health.

  9. Measuring dopamine release in the human brain with PET

    SciTech Connect

    Volkow, N.D. |; Fowler, J.S.; Logan, J.; Wang, G.J.

    1995-12-01

    The dopamine system is involved in the regulation of brain regions that subserve motor, cognitive and motivational behaviors. Disruptions of dopamine (DA) function have ben implicated in neurological and psychiatric illnesses including substance abuse as well as on some of the deficits associated with aging of the human brain. This has made the DA system an important topic in research in the neurosciences and neuroimaging as well as an important molecular target for drug development. Positron Emission Tomography (PET), was the first technology that enabled direct measurement of components of the DA system in the living human brain. Imaging studies of DA in the living brain have been indirect, relying on the development of radiotracers to label DA receptors, DA transporters, compounds which have specificity for the enzymes which degrade synaptic DA. Additionally, through the use of tracers that provide information on regional brain activity (ie brain glucose metabolism and cerebral blood flow) and of appropriate pharmacological interventions, it has been possible to assess the functional consequences of changes in brain DA activity. DA specific ligands have been useful in the evaluation of patients with neuropsychiatric illnesses as well as to investigate receptor blockade by antipsychotic drugs. A limitation of strategies that rely on the use of DA specific ligands is that the measures do not necessarily reflect the functional state of the dopaminergic system and that there use to study the effects of drugs is limited to the investigation of receptor or transporter occupancy. Newer strategies have been developed in an attempt to provide with information on dopamine release and on the functional responsivity of the DA system in the human brain. This in turn allows to investigate the effects of pharmacological agent in an analogous way to what is done with microdialysis techniques.

  10. Effects of polyphenols on brain ageing and Alzheimer's disease: focus on mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Schaffer, Sebastian; Asseburg, Heike; Kuntz, Sabine; Muller, Walter E; Eckert, Gunter P

    2012-08-01

    The global trend of the phenomenon of population ageing has dramatic consequences on public health and the incidence of neurodegenerative diseases. Physiological changes that occur during normal ageing of the brain may exacerbate and initiate pathological processes that may lead to neurodegenerative disorders, especially Alzheimer's disease (AD). Hence, the risk of AD rises exponentially with age. While there is no cure currently available, sufficient intake of certain micronutrients and secondary plant metabolites may prevent disease onset. Polyphenols are highly abundant in the human diet, and several experimental and epidemiological evidences indicate that these secondary plant products have beneficial effects on AD risks. This study reviews current knowledge on the potential of polyphenols and selected polyphenol-rich diets on memory and cognition in human subjects, focusing on recent data showing in vivo efficacy of polyphenols in preventing neurodegenerative events during brain ageing and in dementia. Concentrations of polyphenols in animal brains following oral administration have been consistently reported to be very low, thus eliciting controversial discussion on their neuroprotective effects and potential mechanisms. Whether polyphenols exert any direct antioxidant effects in the brain or rather act by evoking alterations in regulatory systems of the brain or even the body periphery is still unclear. To understand the mechanisms behind the protective abilities of polyphenol-rich foods, an overall understanding of the biotransformation of polyphenols and identification of the various metabolites arising in the human body is also urgently needed.

  11. The endocannabinoid system in normal and pathological brain ageing.

    PubMed

    Bilkei-Gorzo, Andras

    2012-12-05

    The role of endocannabinoids as inhibitory retrograde transmitters is now widely known and intensively studied. However, endocannabinoids also influence neuronal activity by exerting neuroprotective effects and regulating glial responses. This review centres around this less-studied area, focusing on the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the protective effect of the cannabinoid system in brain ageing. The progression of ageing is largely determined by the balance between detrimental, pro-ageing, largely stochastic processes, and the activity of the homeostatic defence system. Experimental evidence suggests that the cannabinoid system is part of the latter system. Cannabinoids as regulators of mitochondrial activity, as anti-oxidants and as modulators of clearance processes protect neurons on the molecular level. On the cellular level, the cannabinoid system regulates the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurogenesis. Neuroinflammatory processes contributing to the progression of normal brain ageing and to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases are suppressed by cannabinoids, suggesting that they may also influence the ageing process on the system level. In good agreement with the hypothesized beneficial role of cannabinoid system activity against brain ageing, it was shown that animals lacking CB1 receptors show early onset of learning deficits associated with age-related histological and molecular changes. In preclinical models of neurodegenerative disorders, cannabinoids show beneficial effects, but the clinical evidence regarding their efficacy as therapeutic tools is either inconclusive or still missing.

  12. Cross-hemispheric functional connectivity in the human fetal brain.

    PubMed

    Thomason, Moriah E; Dassanayake, Maya T; Shen, Stephen; Katkuri, Yashwanth; Alexis, Mitchell; Anderson, Amy L; Yeo, Lami; Mody, Swati; Hernandez-Andrade, Edgar; Hassan, Sonia S; Studholme, Colin; Jeong, Jeong-Won; Romero, Roberto

    2013-02-20

    Compelling evidence indicates that psychiatric and developmental disorders are generally caused by disruptions in the functional connectivity (FC) of brain networks. Events occurring during development, and in particular during fetal life, have been implicated in the genesis of such disorders. However, the developmental timetable for the emergence of neural FC during human fetal life is unknown. We present the results of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging performed in 25 healthy human fetuses in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy (24 to 38 weeks of gestation). We report the presence of bilateral fetal brain FC and regional and age-related variation in FC. Significant bilateral connectivity was evident in half of the 42 areas tested, and the strength of FC between homologous cortical brain regions increased with advancing gestational age. We also observed medial to lateral gradients in fetal functional brain connectivity. These findings improve understanding of human fetal central nervous system development and provide a basis for examining the role of insults during fetal life in the subsequent development of disorders in neural FC.

  13. Cross-hemispheric functional connectivity in the human fetal brain

    PubMed Central

    Thomason, ME; Dassanayake, MT; Shen, S; Katkuri, Y; Alexis, M; Anderson, AL; Yeo, L; Mody, S; Hernandez-Andrade, E; Hassan, SS; Studholme, C; Jeong, JW; Romero, R

    2013-01-01

    Compelling evidence indicates that psychiatric and developmental disorders are generally caused by disruptions in the functional connectivity (FC) of brain networks. Events occurring during development, and in particular during fetal life, have been implicated in the genesis of such disorders. However, the developmental timetable for the emergence of neural FC during human fetal life is unknown. We present the results of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging performed in 25 healthy human fetuses in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy (24 to 38 weeks of gestation). We report the presence of bilateral fetal brain FC and regional and age-related variation in FC. Significant bilateral connectivity was evident in half of the 42 areas tested, and the strength of FC between homologous cortical brain regions increased with advancing gestational age. We also observed medial to lateral gradients in fetal functional brain connectivity. These findings improve understanding of human fetal central nervous system development and provide a basis for examining the role of insults during fetal life in the subsequent development of disorders in neural FC. PMID:23427244

  14. Hemispherical map for the human brain cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tosun, Duygu; Prince, Jerry L.

    2001-07-01

    Understanding the function of the human brain cortex is a primary goal in human brain mapping. Methods to unfold and flatten the cortical surface for visualization and measurement have been described in previous literature; but comparison across multiple subjects is still difficult because of the lack of a standard mapping technique. We describe a new approach that maps each hemisphere of the cortex to a portion of a sphere in a standard way, making comparison of anatomy and function across different subjects possible. Starting with a three-dimensional magnetic resonance image of the brain, the cortex is segmented and represented as a triangle mesh. Defining a cut around the corpus collosum identifies the left and right hemispheres. Together, the two hemispheres are mapped to the complex plane using a conformal mapping technique. A Mobius transformation, which is conformal, is used to transform the points on the complex plane so that a projective transformation maps each brain hemisphere onto a spherical segment comprising a sphere with a cap removed. We determined the best size of the spherical cap by minimizing the relative area distortion between hemispherical maps and original cortical surfaces. The relative area distortion between the hemispherical maps and the original cortical surfaces for fifteen human brains is analyzed.

  15. Differential expression of sirtuins in the aging rat brain

    PubMed Central

    Braidy, Nady; Poljak, Anne; Grant, Ross; Jayasena, Tharusha; Mansour, Hussein; Chan-Ling, Tailoi; Smythe, George; Sachdev, Perminder; Guillemin, Gilles J.

    2015-01-01

    Although there are seven mammalian sirtuins (SIRT1-7), little is known about their expression in the aging brain. To characterize the change(s) in mRNA and protein expression of SIRT1-7 and their associated proteins in the brain of “physiologically” aged Wistar rats. We tested mRNA and protein expression levels of rat SIRT1-7, and the levels of associated proteins in the brain using RT-PCR and western blotting. Our data shows that SIRT1 expression increases with age, concurrently with increased acetylated p53 levels in all brain regions investigated. SIRT2 and FOXO3a protein levels increased only in the occipital lobe. SIRT3-5 expression declined significantly in the hippocampus and frontal lobe, associated with increases in superoxide and fatty acid oxidation levels, and acetylated CPS-1 protein expression, and a reduction in MnSOD level. While SIRT6 expression declines significantly with age acetylated H3K9 protein expression is increased throughout the brain. SIRT7 and Pol I protein expression increased in the frontal lobe. This study identifies previously unknown roles for sirtuins in regulating cellular homeostasis and healthy aging. PMID:26005404

  16. Comparing Aging and Fitness Effects on Brain Anatomy.

    PubMed

    Fletcher, Mark A; Low, Kathy A; Boyd, Rachel; Zimmerman, Benjamin; Gordon, Brian A; Tan, Chin H; Schneider-Garces, Nils; Sutton, Bradley P; Gratton, Gabriele; Fabiani, Monica

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) mitigates the brain's atrophy typically associated with aging, via a variety of beneficial mechanisms. One could argue that if CRF is generally counteracting the negative effects of aging, the same regions that display the greatest age-related volumetric loss should also show the largest beneficial effects of fitness. To test this hypothesis we examined structural MRI data from 54 healthy older adults (ages 55-87), to determine the overlap, across brain regions, of the profiles of age and fitness effects. Results showed that lower fitness and older age are associated with atrophy in several brain regions, replicating past studies. However, when the profiles of age and fitness effects were compared using a number of statistical approaches, the effects were not entirely overlapping. Interestingly, some of the regions that were most influenced by age were among those not influenced by fitness. Presumably, the age-related atrophy occurring in these regions is due to factors that are more impervious to the beneficial effects of fitness. Possible mechanisms supporting regional heterogeneity may include differential involvement in motor function, the presence of adult neurogenesis, and differential sensitivity to cerebrovascular, neurotrophic and metabolic factors.

  17. Berry Fruit Supplementation in the Aging Brain

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The onset of age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease, superimposed on a declining nervous system, could exacerbate the motor and cognitive behavioral deficits that normally occur in senescence. In cases of severe deficits in memory or motor function, hospit...

  18. Benefits from dietary polyphenols for brain aging and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Rossi, L; Mazzitelli, S; Arciello, M; Capo, C R; Rotilio, G

    2008-12-01

    Brain aging and the most diffused neurodegenerative diseases of the elderly are characterized by oxidative damage, redox metals homeostasis impairment and inflammation. Food polyphenols can counteract these alterations in vitro and are therefore suggested to have potential anti-aging and brain-protective activities, as also indicated by the results of some epidemiological studies. Despite the huge and increasing amount of the in vitro studies trying to unravel the mechanisms of action of dietary polyphenols, the research in this field is still incomplete, and questions about bioavailability, biotransformation, synergism with other dietary factors, mechanisms of the antioxidant activity, risks inherent to their possible pro-oxidant activities are still unanswered. Most of all, the capacity of the majority of these compounds to cross the blood-brain barrier and reach brain is still unknown. This commentary discusses recent data on these aspects, particularly focusing on effects of curcumin, resveratrol and catechins on Alzheimer's disease.

  19. Associations between education and brain structure at age 73 years, adjusted for age 11 IQ

    PubMed Central

    Dickie, David Alexander; Ritchie, Stuart J.; Karama, Sherif; Pattie, Alison; Royle, Natalie A.; Corley, Janie; Aribisala, Benjamin S.; Valdés Hernández, Maria; Muñoz Maniega, Susana; Starr, John M.; Bastin, Mark E.; Evans, Alan C.; Wardlaw, Joanna M.; Deary, Ian J.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To investigate how associations between education and brain structure in older age were affected by adjusting for IQ measured at age 11. Methods: We analyzed years of full-time education and measures from an MRI brain scan at age 73 in 617 community-dwelling adults born in 1936. In addition to average and vertex-wise cortical thickness, we measured total brain atrophy and white matter tract fractional anisotropy. Associations between brain structure and education were tested, covarying for sex and vascular health; a second model also covaried for age 11 IQ. Results: The significant relationship between education and average cortical thickness (β = 0.124, p = 0.004) was reduced by 23% when age 11 IQ was included (β = 0.096, p = 0.041). Initial associations between longer education and greater vertex-wise cortical thickness were significant in bilateral temporal, medial-frontal, parietal, sensory, and motor cortices. Accounting for childhood intelligence reduced the number of significant vertices by >90%; only bilateral anterior temporal associations remained. Neither education nor age 11 IQ was significantly associated with total brain atrophy or tract-averaged fractional anisotropy. Conclusions: The association between years of education and brain structure ≈60 years later was restricted to cortical thickness in this sample; however, the previously reported associations between longer education and a thicker cortex are likely to be overestimates in terms of both magnitude and distribution. This finding has implications for understanding, and possibly ameliorating, life-course brain health. PMID:27664981

  20. Beyond genotype: serotonin transporter epigenetic modification predicts human brain function.

    PubMed

    Nikolova, Yuliya S; Koenen, Karestan C; Galea, Sandro; Wang, Chiou-Miin; Seney, Marianne L; Sibille, Etienne; Williamson, Douglas E; Hariri, Ahmad R

    2014-09-01

    We examined epigenetic regulation in regards to behaviorally and clinically relevant human brain function. Specifically, we found that increased promoter methylation of the serotonin transporter gene predicted increased threat-related amygdala reactivity and decreased mRNA expression in postmortem amygdala tissue. These patterns were independent of functional genetic variation in the same region. Furthermore, the association with amygdala reactivity was replicated in a second cohort and was robust to both sampling methods and age.

  1. Structural brain correlates of human sleep oscillations.

    PubMed

    Saletin, Jared M; van der Helm, Els; Walker, Matthew P

    2013-12-01

    Sleep is strongly conserved within species, yet marked and perplexing inter-individual differences in sleep physiology are observed. Combining EEG sleep recordings and high-resolution structural brain imaging, here we demonstrate that the morphology of the human brain offers one explanatory factor of such inter-individual variability. Gray matter volume in interoceptive and exteroceptive cortices correlated with the expression of slower NREM sleep spindle frequencies, supporting their proposed role in sleep protection against conscious perception. Conversely, and consistent with an involvement in declarative memory processing, gray matter volume in bilateral hippocampus was associated with faster NREM sleep spindle frequencies. In contrast to spindles, gray matter volume in the homeostatic sleep-regulating center of the basal forebrain/hypothalamus, together with the medial prefrontal cortex, accounted for individual differences in NREM slow wave oscillations. Together, such findings indicate that the qualitative and quantitative expression of human sleep physiology is significantly related to anatomically specific differences in macroscopic brain structure.

  2. Intergenerational Neuroimaging of Human Brain Circuitry.

    PubMed

    Ho, Tiffany C; Sanders, Stephan J; Gotlib, Ian H; Hoeft, Fumiko

    2016-10-01

    Neuroscientists are increasingly using advanced neuroimaging methods to elucidate the intergenerational transmission of human brain circuitry. This new line of work promises to shed light on the ontogeny of complex behavioral traits, including psychiatric disorders, and possible mechanisms of transmission. Here we highlight recent intergenerational neuroimaging studies and provide recommendations for future work.

  3. MRI Technologies in Recent Human Brain Mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sasaki, Yuka

    The recent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology and techniques used in human brain mapping are remarkable. They are getting, faster, stronger and better. The advanced MRI technologies and techniques include, but not to limited to, the magnetic resonance imaging at higher magnetic field strengths, diffusion tensor imaging, multimodal neuroimaging, and monkey functional MRI. In this article, these advanced MRI techniques are briefly overviewed.

  4. Neurosteroid metabolism in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Stoffel-Wagner, B

    2001-12-01

    This review summarizes the current knowledge of the biosynthesis of neurosteroids in the human brain, the enzymes mediating these reactions, their localization and the putative effects of neurosteroids. Molecular biological and biochemical studies have now firmly established the presence of the steroidogenic enzymes cytochrome P450 cholesterol side-chain cleavage (P450SCC), aromatase, 5alpha-reductase, 3alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase in human brain. The functions attributed to specific neurosteroids include modulation of gamma-aminobutyric acid A (GABAA), N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA), nicotinic, muscarinic, serotonin (5-HT3), kainate, glycine and sigma receptors, neuroprotection and induction of neurite outgrowth, dendritic spines and synaptogenesis. The first clinical investigations in humans produced evidence for an involvement of neuroactive steroids in conditions such as fatigue during pregnancy, premenstrual syndrome, post partum depression, catamenial epilepsy, depressive disorders and dementia disorders. Better knowledge of the biochemical pathways of neurosteroidogenesis and their actions on the brain seems to open new perspectives in the understanding of the physiology of the human brain as well as in the pharmacological treatment of its disturbances.

  5. 'What' and 'where' in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Ungerleider, L G; Haxby, J V

    1994-04-01

    Multiple visual areas in the cortex of nonhuman primates are organized into two hierarchically organized and functionally specialized processing pathways, a 'ventral stream' for object vision and a 'dorsal stream' for spatial vision. Recent findings from positron emission tomography activation studies have localized these pathways within the human brain, yielding insights into cortical hierarchies, specialization of function, and attentional mechanisms.

  6. Docosahexaenoic acid homeostasis, brain aging and Alzheimer's disease: Can we reconcile the evidence?

    PubMed

    Cunnane, Stephen C; Chouinard-Watkins, Raphael; Castellano, Christian A; Barberger-Gateau, Pascale

    2013-01-01

    A crossroads has been reached on research into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). On the one hand, several prospective observational studies now clearly indicate a protective effect of higher fish and DHA intake against risk of AD. On the other hand, once AD is clinically evident, supplementation trials demonstrate essentially no benefit of DHA in AD. Despite apparently low DHA intake in AD, brain DHA levels are frequently the same as in controls, suggesting that low DHA intake results in low plasma DHA but does not necessarily reduce brain DHA in humans. Animal models involving dietary omega-3 fatty acid deficiency to deplete brain DHA may therefore not be appropriate in AD research. Studies in the healthy elderly suggest that DHA homeostasis changes during aging. Tracer methodology now permits estimation of DHA half-life in the human brain and whole body. Apolipoprotein E alleles have an important impact not only on AD but also on DHA homeostasis in humans. We therefore encourage further development of innovative approaches to the study of DHA metabolism and its role in human brain function. A better understanding of DHA metabolism in humans will hopefully help explain how higher habitual DHA intake protects against the risk of deteriorating cognition during aging and may eventually give rise to a breakthrough in the treatment of AD.

  7. The Dopaminergic System in the Aging Brain of Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    White, Katherine E.; Humphrey, Dickon M.; Hirth, Frank

    2010-01-01

    Drosophila models of Parkinson's disease are characterized by two principal phenotypes: the specific loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the aging brain and defects in motor behavior. However, an age-related analysis of these baseline parameters in wildtype Drosophila is lacking. Here we analyzed the DA system and motor behavior in aging Drosophila. DA neurons in the adult brain can be grouped into bilateral symmetric clusters, each comprising a stereotypical number of cells. Analysis of TH > mCD8::GFP and cell type-specific MARCM clones revealed that DA neurons show cluster-specific, stereotypical projection patterns with terminal arborization in target regions that represent distinct functional areas of the adult brain. Target areas include the mushroom bodies, involved in memory formation and motivation, and the central complex, involved in the control of motor behavior, indicating that similar to the mammalian brain, DA neurons in the fly brain are involved in the regulation of specific behaviors. Behavioral analysis revealed that Drosophila show an age-related decline in startle-induced locomotion and negative geotaxis. Motion tracking however, revealed that walking activity, and exploration behavior, but not centrophobism increase at late stages of life. Analysis of TH > Dcr2, mCD8::GFP revealed a specific effect of Dcr2 expression on walking activity but not on exploratory or centrophobic behavior, indicating that the siRNA pathway may modulate distinct DA behaviors in Drosophila. Moreover, DA neurons were maintained between early- and late life, as quantified by TH > mCD8::GFP and anti-TH labeling, indicating that adult onset, age-related degeneration of DA neurons does not occur in the aging brain of Drosophila. Taken together, our data establish baseline parameters in Drosophila for the study of Parkinson's disease as well as other disorders affecting DA neurons and movement control. PMID:21165178

  8. Evolution and genomics of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Rosales-Reynoso, M A; Juárez-Vázquez, C I; Barros-Núñez, P

    2015-08-21

    Most living beings are able to perform actions that can be considered intelligent or, at the very least, the result of an appropriate reaction to changing circumstances in their environment. However, the intelligence or intellectual processes of humans are vastly superior to those achieved by all other species. The adult human brain is a highly complex organ weighing approximately 1500g, which accounts for only 2% of the total body weight but consumes an amount of energy equal to that required by all skeletal muscle at rest. Although the human brain displays a typical primate structure, it can be identified by its specific distinguishing features. The process of evolution and humanisation of the Homo sapiens brain resulted in a unique and distinct organ with the largest relative volume of any animal species. It also permitted structural reorganization of tissues and circuits in specific segments and regions. These steps explain the remarkable cognitive abilities of modern humans compared not only with other species in our genus, but also with older members of our own species. Brain evolution required the coexistence of two adaptation mechanisms. The first involves genetic changes that occur at the species level, and the second occurs at the individual level and involves changes in chromatin organisation or epigenetic changes. The genetic mechanisms include: a) genetic changes in coding regions that lead to changes in the sequence and activity of existing proteins; b) duplication and deletion of previously existing genes; c) changes in gene expression through changes in the regulatory sequences of different genes; and d) synthesis of non-coding RNAs. Lastly, this review describes some of the main documented chromosomal differences between humans and great apes. These differences have also contributed to the evolution and humanisation process of the H. sapiens brain.

  9. Pericytes control key neurovascular functions and neuronal phenotype in the adult brain and during brain aging

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Robert D.; Winkler, Ethan A.; Sagare, Abhay P.; Singh, Itender; LaRue, Barb; Deane, Rashid; Zlokovic, Berislav V.

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Pericytes play a key role in the development of cerebral microcirculation. The exact role of pericytes in the neurovascular unit in the adult brain and during brain aging remains, however, elusive. Using adult viable pericyte-deficient mice, we show that pericyte loss leads to brain vascular damage by two parallel pathways: (1) reduction in brain microcirculation causing diminished brain capillary perfusion, cerebral blood flow and cerebral blood flow responses to brain activation which ultimately mediates chronic perfusion stress and hypoxia, and (2) blood-brain barrier breakdown associated with brain accumulation of serum proteins and several vasculotoxic and/or neurotoxic macromolecules ultimately leading to secondary neuronal degenerative changes. We show that age-dependent vascular damage in pericyte-deficient mice precedes neuronal degenerative changes, learning and memory impairment and the neuroinflammatory response. Thus, pericytes control key neurovascular functions that are necessary for proper neuronal structure and function, and pericytes loss results in a progressive age-dependent vascular-mediated neurodegeneration. PMID:21040844

  10. Imaging visual function of the human brain

    SciTech Connect

    Marg, E.

    1988-10-01

    Imaging of human brain structure and activity with particular reference to visual function is reviewed along with methods of obtaining the data including computed tomographic (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), and positron emission tomography (PET). The literature is reviewed and the potential for a new understanding of brain visual function is discussed. PET is reviewed from basic physical principles to the most recent visual brain findings with oxygen-15. It is shown that there is a potential for submillimeter localization of visual functions with sequentially different visual stimuli designed for the temporal separation of the responses. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), a less expensive substitute for PET, is also discussed. MRS is covered from basic physical principles to the current state of the art of in vivo biochemical analysis. Future possible clinical applications are discussed. Improved understanding of the functional neural organization of vision and brain will open a window to maps and circuits of human brain function.119 references.

  11. Human astrocytes in the diseased brain.

    PubMed

    Dossi, Elena; Vasile, Flora; Rouach, Nathalie

    2017-02-13

    Astrocytes are key active elements of the brain that contribute to information processing. They not only provide neurons with metabolic and structural support, but also regulate neurogenesis and brain wiring. Furthermore, astrocytes modulate synaptic activity and plasticity in part by controlling the extracellular space volume, as well as ion and neurotransmitter homeostasis. These findings, together with the discovery that human astrocytes display contrasting characteristics with their rodent counterparts, point to a role for astrocytes in higher cognitive functions. Dysfunction of astrocytes can thereby induce major alterations in neuronal functions, contributing to the pathogenesis of several brain disorders. In this review we summarize the current knowledge on the structural and functional alterations occurring in astrocytes from the human brain in pathological conditions such as epilepsy, primary tumours, Alzheimer's disease, major depressive disorder and Down syndrome. Compelling evidence thus shows that dysregulations of astrocyte functions and interplay with neurons contribute to the development and progression of various neurological diseases. Targeting astrocytes is thus a promising alternative approach that could contribute to the development of novel and effective therapies to treat brain disorders.

  12. Zika virus impairs growth in human neurospheres and brain organoids.

    PubMed

    Garcez, Patricia P; Loiola, Erick Correia; Madeiro da Costa, Rodrigo; Higa, Luiza M; Trindade, Pablo; Delvecchio, Rodrigo; Nascimento, Juliana Minardi; Brindeiro, Rodrigo; Tanuri, Amilcar; Rehen, Stevens K

    2016-05-13

    Since the emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV), reports of microcephaly have increased considerably in Brazil; however, causality between the viral epidemic and malformations in fetal brains needs further confirmation. We examined the effects of ZIKV infection in human neural stem cells growing as neurospheres and brain organoids. Using immunocytochemistry and electron microscopy, we showed that ZIKV targets human brain cells, reducing their viability and growth as neurospheres and brain organoids. These results suggest that ZIKV abrogates neurogenesis during human brain development.

  13. [Evolution of human brain and intelligence].

    PubMed

    Lakatos, László; Janka, Zoltán

    2008-07-30

    The biological evolution, including human evolution is mainly driven by environmental changes. Accidental genetic modifications and their innovative results make the successful adaptation possible. As we know the human evolution started 7-8 million years ago in the African savannah, where upright position and bipedalism were significantly advantageous. The main drive of improving manual actions and tool making could be to obtain more food. Our ancestor got more meat due to more successful hunting, resulting in more caloric intake, more protein and essential fatty acid in the meal. The nervous system uses disproportionally high level of energy, so better quality of food was a basic condition for the evolution of huge human brain. The size of human brain was tripled during 3.5 million years, it increased from the average of 450 cm3 of Australopithecinae to the average of 1350 cm3 of Homo sapiens. A genetic change in the system controlling gene expression could happen about 200 000 years ago, which influenced the development of nervous system, the sensorimotor function and learning ability for motor processes. The appearance and stabilisation of FOXP2 gene structure as feature of modern man coincided with the first presence and quick spread of Homo sapiens on the whole Earth. This genetic modification made opportunity for human language, as the basis of abrupt evolution of human intelligence. The brain region being responsible for human language is the left planum temporale, which is much larger in left hemisphere. This shows the most typical human brain asymmetry. In this case the anatomical asymmetry means a clearly defined functional asymmetry as well, where the brain hemispheres act differently. The preference in using hands, the lateralised using of tools resulted in the brain asymmetry, which is the precondition of human language and intelligence. However, it cannot be held anymore, that only humans make tools, because our closest relatives, the chimpanzees are

  14. Sense of agency in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Haggard, Patrick

    2017-04-01

    In adult life, people normally know what they are doing. This experience of controlling one's own actions and, through them, the course of events in the outside world is called 'sense of agency'. It forms a central feature of human experience; however, the brain mechanisms that produce the sense of agency have only recently begun to be investigated systematically. This recent progress has been driven by the development of better measures of the experience of agency, improved design of cognitive and behavioural experiments, and a growing understanding of the brain circuits that generate this distinctive but elusive experience. The sense of agency is a mental and neural state of cardinal importance in human civilization, because it is frequently altered in psychopathology and because it underpins the concept of responsibility in human societies.

  15. The Human Brain Project and neuromorphic computing

    PubMed Central

    Calimera, Andrea; Macii, Enrico; Poncino, Massimo

    Summary Understanding how the brain manages billions of processing units connected via kilometers of fibers and trillions of synapses, while consuming a few tens of Watts could provide the key to a completely new category of hardware (neuromorphic computing systems). In order to achieve this, a paradigm shift for computing as a whole is needed, which will see it moving away from current “bit precise” computing models and towards new techniques that exploit the stochastic behavior of simple, reliable, very fast, low-power computing devices embedded in intensely recursive architectures. In this paper we summarize how these objectives will be pursued in the Human Brain Project. PMID:24139655

  16. Magnetic source imaging of the human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Zhong L.; Williamson, Samuel J.; Kaufman, Lloyd

    1993-08-01

    The importance of neuromagnetic studies in basic research on sensory and cognitive functions is well recognized. Researchers are now exploiting more sophisticated paradigms as well as more sophisticated data analysis techniques to achieve new knowledge about the human brain. Our recent identification of characteristic time constants in human auditory cortex that well predict the behavioral lifetime of human auditory sensory memory, and developments and application of various procedures for the magnetic inverse problem have opened new areas of investigation and advanced the technical capability of MSI. With multi-disciplinary efforts from physicists, neural scientists, psychologists and physiologists, MSI is being established as an important modality for functional images.

  17. Phospholipid biosynthetic enzymes in human brain.

    PubMed

    Ross, B M; Moszczynska, A; Blusztajn, J K; Sherwin, A; Lozano, A; Kish, S J

    1997-04-01

    Growing evidence suggests an involvement of brain membrane phospholipid metabolism in a variety of neurodegenerative and psychiatric conditions. This has prompted the use of drugs (e.g., CDPcholine) aimed at elevating the rate of neural membrane synthesis. However, no information is available regarding the human brain enzymes of phospholipid synthesis which these drugs affect. Thus, the objective of our study was to characterize the enzymes involved, in particular, whether differences existed in the relative affinity of substrates for the enzymes of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) compared to those of phosphatidylcholine (PC) synthesis. The concentration of choline in rapidly frozen human brain biopsies ranged from 32-186 nmol/g tissue, a concentration similar to that determined previously for ethanolamine. Since human brain ethanolamine kinase possessed a much lower affinity for ethanolamine (Km = 460 microM) than choline kinase did for choline (Km = 17 microM), the activity of ethanolamine kinase in vivo may be more dependent on substrate availability than that of choline kinase. In addition, whereas ethanolamine kinase was inhibited by choline, and to a lesser extent by phosphocholine, choline kinase activity was unaffected by the presence of ethanolamine, or phosphoethanolamine, and only weakly inhibited by phosphocholine. Phosphoethanolamine cytidylyltransferase (PECT) and phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase (PCCT) also displayed dissimilar characteristics, with PECT and PCCT being located predominantly in the cytosolic and particulate fractions, respectively. Both PECT and PCCT exhibited a low affinity for CTP (Km approximately 1.2 mM), suggesting that the activities of these enzymes, and by implication, the rate of phospholipid synthesis, are highly dependent upon the cellular concentration of CTP. In conclusion our data indicate different regulatory properties of PE and PC synthesis in human brain, and suggest that the rate of PE synthesis may be more

  18. [Experimental models of human skin aging].

    PubMed

    Nikolakis, G; Zoschke, C; Makrantonaki, E; Hausmann, C; Schäfer-Korting, M; Zouboulis, C C

    2016-02-01

    The skin is a representative model for the study of human aging. Despite the high regenerative capacity of the skin, skin physiology changes over the course of life. Medical and cosmetic research is trying to prevent aging, to slow, to stop, or to reverse it. Effects of age-related DNA damage and of changing skin structure on pharmacological parameters are largely unknown. This review article summarizes the state of scientific knowledge in the field of experimental models of human skin aging and shows approaches to improve organotypic skin models, to develop predictive models of aging, and improve aging research.

  19. Lipofuscin Granules in the Epileptic Human Temporal Neocortex with Age.

    PubMed

    Merlo, Suélen; Nakayama, Ana Beatriz S; Brusco, Janaina; Rossi, Marcos A; Carlotti, Carlos G; Moreira, Jorge E

    2015-01-01

    Lipofuscin granules (LGs), the "age pigments", are autofluorescent cell products from lysosomes that diverge in number and size among brain regions. Human temporal cortex from 20- to 55-year-old epileptic subjects were studied with the fat soluble dye Sudan Black, under confocal and electron microscopy. Ultrastructural analysis showed that with age LGs increase in area, but not in number. Proportionally to the LGs area, the electron lucid portion increases and the electron dense reduces over time. The robust increase in lipid components is possibly due to modifications in the neuronal metabolism with age in physiological and pathological conditions.

  20. Life and death of neurons in the aging brain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morrison, J. H.; Hof, P. R.; Bloom, F. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1997-01-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by extensive neuron death that leads to functional decline, but the neurobiological correlates of functional decline in normal aging are less well defined. For decades, it has been a commonly held notion that widespread neuron death in the neocortex and hippocampus is an inevitable concomitant of brain aging, but recent quantitative studies suggest that neuron death is restricted in normal aging and unlikely to account for age-related impairment of neocortical and hippocampal functions. In this article, the qualitative and quantitative differences between aging and Alzheimer's disease with respect to neuron loss are discussed, and age-related changes in functional and biochemical attributes of hippocampal circuits that might mediate functional decline in the absence of neuron death are explored. When these data are viewed comprehensively, it appears that the primary neurobiological substrates for functional impairment in aging differ in important ways from those in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.

  1. Segmentation of human brain using structural MRI.

    PubMed

    Helms, Gunther

    2016-04-01

    Segmentation of human brain using structural MRI is a key step of processing in imaging neuroscience. The methods have undergone a rapid development in the past two decades and are now widely available. This non-technical review aims at providing an overview and basic understanding of the most common software. Starting with the basis of structural MRI contrast in brain and imaging protocols, the concepts of voxel-based and surface-based segmentation are discussed. Special emphasis is given to the typical contrast features and morphological constraints of cortical and sub-cortical grey matter. In addition to the use for voxel-based morphometry, basic applications in quantitative MRI, cortical thickness estimations, and atrophy measurements as well as assignment of cortical regions and deep brain nuclei are briefly discussed. Finally, some fields for clinical applications are given.

  2. Comparing Aging and Fitness Effects on Brain Anatomy

    PubMed Central

    Fletcher, Mark A.; Low, Kathy A.; Boyd, Rachel; Zimmerman, Benjamin; Gordon, Brian A.; Tan, Chin H.; Schneider-Garces, Nils; Sutton, Bradley P.; Gratton, Gabriele; Fabiani, Monica

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) mitigates the brain’s atrophy typically associated with aging, via a variety of beneficial mechanisms. One could argue that if CRF is generally counteracting the negative effects of aging, the same regions that display the greatest age-related volumetric loss should also show the largest beneficial effects of fitness. To test this hypothesis we examined structural MRI data from 54 healthy older adults (ages 55–87), to determine the overlap, across brain regions, of the profiles of age and fitness effects. Results showed that lower fitness and older age are associated with atrophy in several brain regions, replicating past studies. However, when the profiles of age and fitness effects were compared using a number of statistical approaches, the effects were not entirely overlapping. Interestingly, some of the regions that were most influenced by age were among those not influenced by fitness. Presumably, the age-related atrophy occurring in these regions is due to factors that are more impervious to the beneficial effects of fitness. Possible mechanisms supporting regional heterogeneity may include differential involvement in motor function, the presence of adult neurogenesis, and differential sensitivity to cerebrovascular, neurotrophic and metabolic factors. PMID:27445740

  3. Manifold learning on brain functional networks in aging.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Anqi; Lee, Annie; Tan, Mingzhen; Chung, Moo K

    2015-02-01

    We propose a new analysis framework to utilize the full information of brain functional networks for computing the mean of a set of brain functional networks and embedding brain functional networks into a low-dimensional space in which traditional regression and classification analyses can be easily employed. For this, we first represent the brain functional network by a symmetric positive matrix computed using sparse inverse covariance estimation. We then impose a Log-Euclidean Riemannian manifold structure on brain functional networks whose norm gives a convenient and practical way to define a mean. Finally, based on the fact that the computation of linear operations can be done in the tangent space of this Riemannian manifold, we adopt Locally Linear Embedding (LLE) to the Log-Euclidean Riemannian manifold space in order to embed the brain functional networks into a low-dimensional space. We show that the integration of the Log-Euclidean manifold with LLE provides more efficient and succinct representation of the functional network and facilitates regression analysis, such as ridge regression, on the brain functional network to more accurately predict age when compared to that of the Euclidean space of functional networks with LLE. Interestingly, using the Log-Euclidean analysis framework, we demonstrate the integration and segregation of cortical-subcortical networks as well as among the salience, executive, and emotional networks across lifespan.

  4. Acetyl-L-carnitine improves aged brain function.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Satoru; Iwamoto, Machiko; Kon, Kazuo; Waki, Hatsue; Ando, Susumu; Tanaka, Yasukazu

    2010-07-01

    The effects of acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR), an acetyl derivative of L-carnitine, on memory and learning capacity and on brain synaptic functions of aged rats were examined. Male Fischer 344 rats were given ALCAR (100 mg/kg bodyweight) per os for 3 months and were subjected to the Hebb-Williams tasks and AKON-1 task to assess their learning capacity. Cholinergic activities were determined with synaptosomes isolated from brain cortices of the rats. Choline parameters, the high-affinity choline uptake, acetylcholine (ACh) synthesis and depolarization-evoked ACh release were all enhanced in the ALCAR group. An increment of depolarization-induced calcium ion influx into synaptosomes was also evident in rats given ALCAR. Electrophysiological studies using hippocampus slices indicated that the excitatory postsynaptic potential slope and population spike size were both increased in ALCAR-treated rats. These results indicate that ALCAR increases synaptic neurotransmission in the brain and consequently improves learning capacity in aging rats.

  5. Upregulation of Aβ42 in the Brain and Bodily Fluids of Rhesus Monkeys with Aging.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Qiao; Lu, Jing; Yao, Zitong; Wang, Shubo; Zhu, Liming; Wang, Ju; Chen, Baian

    2017-01-01

    The cerebral accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ) is one of the key pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Aβ is also found in bodily fluids such as the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma. However, the significance of Aβ accumulation in the brain and different bodily pools, as well as its correlation with aging and cerebral amyloid pathology, is not completely understood. To better understand this question, we selected the rhesus monkey, which is phylogenetically and physiologically highly similar to the human, as a model to study. We quantified the levels of the two main Aβ isoforms (Aβ42 and Aβ40) in different sections of the brain (frontal cortex, temporal cortex, and hippocampus) and bodily fluids (CSF and plasma) of rhesus monkeys at different developmental phases (young, 5-9 years of age; mature, 10-19 years of age; and old, 21-24 years of age). We found that the levels of neuronal and insoluble Aβ42 increased significantly in the brain with aging, suggesting that this specific isoform might be directly involved in aging and AD-like pathophysiology. There was no significant change in the Aβ40 level in the brain with aging. In addition, the Aβ42 level, but not the Aβ40 level, in both the CSF and plasma increased with aging. We also identified a positive correlation between Aβ42 in the CSF and plasma and Aβ42 in the brain. Taken collectively, our results indicate that there is an association between Aβ accumulation and age. These results support the increased incidence of AD with aging.

  6. Neuroimaging of Cerebrovascular Disease in the Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Ajay; Nair, Sreejit; Schweitzer, Andrew D.; Kishore, Sirish; Johnson, Carl E.; Comunale, Joseph P.; Tsiouris, Apostolos J.; Sanelli, Pina C.

    2012-01-01

    Cerebrovascular disease remains a significant public health burden with its greatest impact on the elderly population. Advances in neuroimaging techniques allow detailed and sophisticated evaluation of many manifestations of cerebrovascular disease in the brain parenchyma as well as in the intracranial and extracranial vasculature. These tools continue to contribute to our understanding of the multifactorial processes that occur in the age-dependent development of cerebrovascular disease. Structural abnormalities related to vascular disease in the brain and vessels have been well characterized with CT and MRI based techniques. We review some of the pathophysiologic mechanisms in the aging brain and cerebral vasculature and the related structural abnormalities detectable on neuroimaging, including evaluation of age-related white matter changes, atherosclerosis of the cerebral vasculature, and cerebral infarction. In addition, newer neuroimaging techniques, such as diffusion tensor imaging, perfusion techniques, and assessment of cerebrovascular reserve, are also reviewed, as these techniques can detect physiologic alterations which complement the morphologic changes that cause cerebrovascular disease in the aging brain.Further investigation of these advanced imaging techniques has potential application to the understanding and diagnosis of cerebrovascular disease in the elderly. PMID:23185721

  7. Brain-Based Teaching in the Digital Age

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sprenger, Marilee

    2010-01-01

    In the digital age, your students have the ways, means, and speed to gather any information they want. But they need your guidance more than ever. Discover how digital technology is actually changing your students' brains. Learn why this creates new obstacles for teachers, but also opens up potential new pathways for learning. You will understand…

  8. Alpha oscillatory correlates of motor inhibition in the aged brain

    PubMed Central

    Bönstrup, Marlene; Hagemann, Julian; Gerloff, Christian; Sauseng, Paul; Hummel, Friedhelm C.

    2015-01-01

    Exerting inhibitory control is a cognitive ability mediated by functions known to decline with age. The goal of this study is to add to the mechanistic understanding of cortical inhibition during motor control in aged brains. Based on behavioral findings of impaired inhibitory control with age we hypothesized that elderly will show a reduced or a lack of EEG alpha-power increase during tasks that require motor inhibition. Since inhibitory control over movements has been shown to rely on prior motor memory formation, we investigated cortical inhibitory processes at two points in time—early after learning and after an overnight consolidation phase and hypothesized an overnight increase of inhibitory capacities. Young and elderly participants acquired a complex finger movement sequence and in each experimental session brain activity during execution and inhibition of the sequence was recorded with multi-channel EEG. We assessed cortical processes of sustained inhibition by means of task-induced changes of alpha oscillatory power. During inhibition of the learned movement, young participants showed a significant alpha power increase at the sensorimotor cortices whereas elderly did not. Interestingly, for both groups, the overnight consolidation phase improved up-regulation of alpha power during sustained inhibition. This points to deficits in the generation and enhancement of local inhibitory mechanisms at the sensorimotor cortices in aged brains. However, the alpha power increase in both groups implies neuroplastic changes that strengthen the network of alpha power generation over time in young as well as elderly brains. PMID:26528179

  9. Extensive nuclear sphere generation in the human Alzheimer's brain.

    PubMed

    Kolbe, Katharina; Bukhari, Hassan; Loosse, Christina; Leonhardt, Gregor; Glotzbach, Annika; Pawlas, Magdalena; Hess, Katharina; Theiss, Carsten; Müller, Thorsten

    2016-12-01

    Nuclear spheres are protein aggregates consisting of FE65, TIP60, BLM, and other yet unknown proteins. Generation of these structures in the cellular nucleus is putatively modulated by the amyloid precursor protein (APP), either by its cleavage or its phosphorylation. Nuclear spheres were preferentially studied in cell culture models and their existence in the human brain had not been known. Existence of nuclear spheres in the human brain was studied using immunohistochemistry. Cell culture experiments were used to study regulative mechanisms of nuclear sphere generation. The comparison of human frontal cortex brain samples from Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients to age-matched controls revealed a dramatically and highly significant enrichment of nuclear spheres in the AD brain. Costaining demonstrated that neurons are distinctly affected by nuclear spheres, but astrocytes never are. Nuclear spheres were predominantly found in neurons that were negative for threonine 668 residue in APP phosphorylation. Cell culture experiments revealed that JNK3-mediated APP phosphorylation reduces the amount of sphere-positive cells. The study suggests that nuclear spheres are a new APP-derived central hallmark of AD, which might be of crucial relevance for the molecular mechanisms in neurodegeneration.

  10. A Four-Dimensional Probabilistic Atlas of the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Mazziotta, John; Toga, Arthur; Evans, Alan; Fox, Peter; Lancaster, Jack; Zilles, Karl; Woods, Roger; Paus, Tomas; Simpson, Gregory; Pike, Bruce; Holmes, Colin; Collins, Louis; Thompson, Paul; MacDonald, David; Iacoboni, Marco; Schormann, Thorsten; Amunts, Katrin; Palomero-Gallagher, Nicola; Geyer, Stefan; Parsons, Larry; Narr, Katherine; Kabani, Noor; Le Goualher, Georges; Feidler, Jordan; Smith, Kenneth; Boomsma, Dorret; Pol, Hilleke Hulshoff; Cannon, Tyrone; Kawashima, Ryuta; Mazoyer, Bernard

    2001-01-01

    The authors describe the development of a four-dimensional atlas and reference system that includes both macroscopic and microscopic information on structure and function of the human brain in persons between the ages of 18 and 90 years. Given the presumed large but previously unquantified degree of structural and functional variance among normal persons in the human population, the basis for this atlas and reference system is probabilistic. Through the efforts of the International Consortium for Brain Mapping (ICBM), 7,000 subjects will be included in the initial phase of database and atlas development. For each subject, detailed demographic, clinical, behavioral, and imaging information is being collected. In addition, 5,800 subjects will contribute DNA for the purpose of determining genotype– phenotype–behavioral correlations. The process of developing the strategies, algorithms, data collection methods, validation approaches, database structures, and distribution of results is described in this report. Examples of applications of the approach are described for the normal brain in both adults and children as well as in patients with schizophrenia. This project should provide new insights into the relationship between microscopic and macroscopic structure and function in the human brain and should have important implications in basic neuroscience, clinical diagnostics, and cerebral disorders. PMID:11522763

  11. Human brain disease recreated in mice

    SciTech Connect

    Marx, J.

    1990-12-14

    In the early 1980s, neurologist Stanley Prusiner suggested that scrapie, an apparently infectious degenerative brain disease of sheep, could be transmitted by prions, infectious particles made just of protein - and containing no nucleic acids. But prion research has come a long way since then. In 1985, the cloning of the gene encoding the prion protein proved that it does in fact exist. And the gene turned out to be widely expressed in the brains of higher organisms, a result suggesting that the prion protein has a normal brain function that can somehow be subverted, leading to brain degeneration. Then studies done during the past 2 years suggested that specific mutations in the prion gene might cause two similar human brain diseases, Gerstmann-Straeussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS) and Creutzfelt-Jakob disease. Now, Prusiner's group at the University of California, San Francisco, has used genetic engineering techniques to recreate GSS by transplanting the mutated prion gene into mice. Not only will the animal model help neurobiologists answer the many remaining questions about prions and how they work, but it may also shed some light on other neurodegenerative diseases as well.

  12. Imaging retinotopic maps in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Wandell, Brian A.; Winawer, Jonathan

    2010-01-01

    A quarter-century ago visual neuroscientists had little information about the number and organization of retinotopic maps in human visual cortex. The advent of functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a non-invasive, spatially-resolved technique for measuring brain activity, provided a wealth of data about human retinotopic maps. Just as there are differences amongst nonhuman primate maps, the human maps have their own unique properties. Many human maps can be measured reliably in individual subjects during experimental sessions lasting less than an hour. The efficiency of the measurements and the relatively large amplitude of functional MRI signals in visual cortex make it possible to develop quantitative models of functional responses within specific maps in individual subjects. During this last quarter century, there has also been significant progress in measuring properties of the human brain at a range of length and time scales, including white matter pathways, macroscopic properties of gray and white matter, and cellular and molecular tissue properties. We hope the next twenty-five years will see a great deal of work that aims to integrate these data by modeling the network of visual signals. We don’t know what such theories will look like, but the characterization of human retinotopic maps from the last twenty-five years is likely to be an important part of future ideas about visual computations. PMID:20692278

  13. Aging Effects on Regional Brain Structural Changes in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Nenadić, Igor; Sauer, Heinrich; Smesny, Stefan; Gaser, Christian

    2012-01-01

    Background: Although mostly conceptualized as a neurodevelopmental disorder, there is an increasing interest in progressive changes of cognitive deficits and brain structure and function in schizophrenia across the life span. Methods: In this study, we investigated age-related changes in regional gray matter using voxel-based morphometry in a sample of 99 patients (age range 18–65 years) with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV schizophrenia and 113 healthy controls (age range 19–59 years) using a cross-sectional design. Results: We found steeper age-related decline in gray matter in patients in a cluster comprising the left superior temporal cortex and adjacent inferior parietal lobule. We then divided the schizophrenia sample in 3 subgroups based on a 3-factor model of psychopathology ratings. Age-related changes were markedly different in each of the 3 subgroups (compared with healthy controls). While patients with predominantly paranoid symptoms showed stronger age-related progression in the left superior temporal cortex and right inferior frontal gyrus, those of the disorganized subgroup had stronger gray matter loss in the left lateral cerebellum, while the predominantly negative subgroup showed minor effects in the left superior temporal gyrus. Conclusions: Our findings show that differences in brain structural changes associated with aging diverge between schizophrenia patients and healthy subjects and that different subgroups within a patient sample might be at higher risk of age-related regional gray matter loss. PMID:21296908

  14. Brain development and aging: Overlapping and unique patterns of change

    PubMed Central

    Tamnes, Christian K.; Walhovd, Kristine B.; Dale, Anders M.; Østby, Ylva; Grydeland, Håkon; Richardson, George; Westlye, Lars T.; Roddey, J. Cooper; Hagler, Donald J.; Due-Tønnessen, Paulina; Holland, Dominic; Fjell, Anders M.

    2017-01-01

    Early-life development is characterized by dramatic changes, impacting lifespan function more than changes inany other period. Developmental origins of neurocognitive late-life functions are acknowledged, but detailed longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging studies of brain maturation and direct comparisons with aging are lacking. To these aims, a novel method was used to measure longitudinal volume changes in development (n = 85, 8–22 years) and aging (n = 142, 60–91 years). Developmental reductions exceeded 1% annually in much of cortex, more than double that seen in aging, with a posterior-to-anterior gradient. Cortical reductions were greater than subcortical during development, while the opposite held in aging. The pattern of lateral cortical changes was similar across development and aging, but the pronounced medial temporal reduction in aging was not precast in development. Converging patterns of change in adolescents and elderly, particularly in medial prefrontal areas, suggest that late developed cortices are especially vulnerable to atrophy in aging. A key question in future research will be to disentangle the neurobiological underpinnings for the differences and the similarities between brain changes in development and aging. PMID:23246860

  15. Imaging Monoamine Oxidase in the Human Brain

    SciTech Connect

    Fowler, J. S.; Volkow, N. D.; Wang, G-J.; Logan, Jean

    1999-11-10

    Positron emission tomography (PET) studies mapping monoamine oxidase in the human brain have been used to measure the turnover rate for MAO B; to determine the minimum effective dose of a new MAO inhibitor drug lazabemide and to document MAO inhibition by cigarette smoke. These studies illustrate the power of PET and radiotracer chemistry to measure normal biochemical processes and to provide information on the effect of drug exposure on specific molecular targets.

  16. Arteriolosclerosis that affects multiple brain regions is linked to hippocampal sclerosis of ageing.

    PubMed

    Neltner, Janna H; Abner, Erin L; Baker, Steven; Schmitt, Frederick A; Kryscio, Richard J; Jicha, Gregory A; Smith, Charles D; Hammack, Eleanor; Kukull, Walter A; Brenowitz, Willa D; Van Eldik, Linda J; Nelson, Peter T

    2014-01-01

    immunostained for smooth muscle actin (a marker of arterioles) and CD34 (an endothelial marker), with separate analyses on grey and white matter. A total of 43 834 smooth muscle actin-positive vascular profiles and 603 798 CD34-positive vascular profiles were evaluated. In frontal cortex of cases with hippocampal sclerosis of ageing, smooth muscle actin-immunoreactive arterioles had thicker walls (P < 0.05), larger perimeters (P < 0.03), and larger vessel areas (P < 0.03) than controls. Unlike the arterioles, CD34-immunoreactive capillaries had dimensions that were unchanged in cases with hippocampal sclerosis of ageing versus controls. Arteriolosclerosis appears specific to hippocampal sclerosis of ageing brains, because brains with Alzheimer's disease pathology did not show the same morphological alterations. We conclude that there may be a pathogenetic change in aged human brain arterioles that impacts multiple brain areas and contributes to hippocampal sclerosis of ageing.

  17. Brain growth of the domestic pig (Sus scrofa) from 2 to 24 weeks of age: a longitudinal MRI study.

    PubMed

    Conrad, Matthew S; Dilger, Ryan N; Johnson, Rodney W

    2012-01-01

    An animal model with brain growth similar to humans, that can be used in MRI studies to investigate brain development, would be valuable. Our laboratory has developed and validated MRI methods for regional brain volume quantification in the neonatal piglet. The aim of this study was to utilize the MRI-based volume quantification technique in a longitudinal study to determine brain growth in domestic pigs from 2 to 24 weeks of age. MRI data were acquired from pigs 2-24 weeks of age using a 3-dimensional magnetization-prepared gradient echo sequence on a Magnetom Trio 3-tesla imager. Manual segmentation was performed for volume estimates of total brain, cortical, diencephalon, brainstem, cerebellar and hippocampal regions. Logistic modeling procedures were used to characterize brain growth. Total brain volume increased 130% (±12%) and 121% (±7%) from 2 to 24 weeks in males and females, respectively. The maximum increase in total brain volume occurred about the age of 4 weeks and 95% of whole brain growth occurred by the age of 21-23 weeks. Logistical modeling suggests there are sexually dimorphic effects on brain growth. For example, in females, the cortex was smaller (p = 0.04). Furthermore, the maximum growth of the hippocampus occurred about 5 weeks earlier in females than males, and the window for hippocampal growth was significantly shorter in females than males (p = 0.02, p = 0.002 respectively). These sexual dimorphisms are similar to what is seen in humans. In addition to providing important data on brain growth for pigs, this study shows pigs can be used to obtain longitudinal MRI data. The large increase in brain volume in the postnatal period is similar to that of human neonates and suggests pigs can be used to investigate brain development.

  18. Age prediction on the basis of brain anatomical measures.

    PubMed

    Valizadeh, S A; Hänggi, J; Mérillat, S; Jäncke, L

    2017-02-01

    In this study, we examined whether age can be predicted on the basis of different anatomical features obtained from a large sample of healthy subjects (n = 3,144). From this sample we obtained different anatomical feature sets: (1) 11 larger brain regions (including cortical volume, thickness, area, subcortical volume, cerebellar volume, etc.), (2) 148 cortical compartmental thickness measures, (3) 148 cortical compartmental area measures, (4) 148 cortical compartmental volume measures, and (5) a combination of the above-mentioned measures. With these anatomical feature sets, we predicted age using 6 statistical techniques (multiple linear regression, ridge regression, neural network, k-nearest neighbourhood, support vector machine, and random forest). We obtained very good age prediction accuracies, with the highest accuracy being R(2)  = 0.84 (prediction on the basis of a neural network and support vector machine approaches for the entire data set) and the lowest being R(2)  = 0.40 (prediction on the basis of a k-nearest neighborhood for cortical surface measures). Interestingly, the easy-to-calculate multiple linear regression approach with the 11 large brain compartments resulted in a very good prediction accuracy (R(2)  = 0.73), whereas the application of the neural network approach for this data set revealed very good age prediction accuracy (R(2)  = 0.83). Taken together, these results demonstrate that age can be predicted well on the basis of anatomical measures. The neural network approach turned out to be the approach with the best results. In addition, it was evident that good prediction accuracies can be achieved using a small but nevertheless age-representative dataset of brain features. Hum Brain Mapp 38:997-1008, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Edited magnetic resonance spectroscopy detects an age-related decline in brain GABA levels.

    PubMed

    Gao, Fei; Edden, Richard A E; Li, Muwei; Puts, Nicolaas A J; Wang, Guangbin; Liu, Cheng; Zhao, Bin; Wang, Huiquan; Bai, Xue; Zhao, Chen; Wang, Xin; Barker, Peter B

    2013-09-01

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. Although measurements of GABA levels in vivo in the human brain using edited proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) have been established for some time, it is has not been established how regional GABA levels vary with age in the normal human brain. In this study, 49 healthy men and 51 healthy women aged between 20 and 76 years were recruited and J-difference edited spectra were recorded at 3T to determine the effect of age on GABA levels, and to investigate whether there are regional and gender differences in GABA in mesial frontal and parietal regions. Because the signal detected at 3.02 ppm using these experimental parameters is also expected to contain contributions from both macromolecules (MM) and homocarnosine, in this study the signal is labeled GABA+ rather than GABA. Significant negative correlations were observed between age and GABA+ in both regions studied (GABA+/Cr: frontal region, r=-0.68, p<0.001, parietal region, r=-0.54, p<0.001; GABA+/NAA: frontal region, r=-0.58, p<0.001, parietal region, r=-0.49, p<0.001). The decrease in GABA+ with age in the frontal region was more rapid in women than men. Evidence of a measureable decline in GABA is important in considering the neurochemical basis of the cognitive decline that is associated with normal aging.

  20. Enrichment of single neurons and defined brain regions from human brain tissue samples for subsequent proteome analysis.

    PubMed

    Molina, Mariana; Steinbach, Simone; Park, Young Mok; Yun, Su Yeong; Di Lorenzo Alho, Ana Tereza; Heinsen, Helmut; Grinberg, Lea T; Marcus, Katrin; Leite, Renata E Paraizo; May, Caroline

    2015-07-01

    Brain function in normal aging and neurological diseases has long been a subject of interest. With current technology, it is possible to go beyond descriptive analyses to characterize brain cell populations at the molecular level. However, the brain comprises over 100 billion highly specialized cells, and it is a challenge to discriminate different cell groups for analyses. Isolating intact neurons is not feasible with traditional methods, such as tissue homogenization techniques. The advent of laser microdissection techniques promises to overcome previous limitations in the isolation of specific cells. Here, we provide a detailed protocol for isolating and analyzing neurons from postmortem human brain tissue samples. We describe a workflow for successfully freezing, sectioning and staining tissue for laser microdissection. This protocol was validated by mass spectrometric analysis. Isolated neurons can also be employed for western blotting or PCR. This protocol will enable further examinations of brain cell-specific molecular pathways and aid in elucidating distinct brain functions.

  1. Epigenetic Determinants of Healthy and Diseased Brain Aging and Cognition

    PubMed Central

    S., Akbarian; S., Beeri M.; V., Haroutunian

    2014-01-01

    A better understanding of normal and diseased brain aging and cognition will have a significant public health impact, given that the oldest-old persons over 85 years of age represent the fastest growing segment in the population in developed countries, with over 30 million new cases of dementia predicted to occur world-wide each year by 2040. Dysregulation of gene expression, and more generally, genome organization and function, is thought to contribute to age-related declines in cognition. Remarkably, nearly all neuronal nuclei that reside in an aged brain had permanently exited from the cell cycle during prenatal development, and DNA methylation and histone modifications and other molecular constituents of the epigenome are likely to play a critical role in the maintenance of neuronal health and function throughout the entire lifespan. Here, we provide an overview on age-related changes in the brain’s chromatin structures, highlight potential epigenetic drug targets for cognitive decline and age-related neurodegenerative disease and discuss opportunities and challenges when studying ‘epigenetic biomarkers’ in aging research. PMID:23571692

  2. Two sexually dimorphic cell groups in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Allen, L S; Hines, M; Shryne, J E; Gorski, R A

    1989-02-01

    A quantitative analysis of the volume of 4 cell groups in the preoptic-anterior hypothalamic area (PO-AHA) and of the supraoptic nucleus (SON) of the human brain was performed in 22 age-matched male and female individuals. We suggest the term Interstitial Nuclei of the Anterior Hypothalamus (INAH 1-4) to identify these 4 previously undescribed cell groups in the PO-AHA. While 2 INAH and the SON were not sexually dimorphic, gender-related differences were found in the other 2 cell groups. One nucleus (INAH-3) was 2.8 times larger in the male brain than in the female brain irrespective of age. The other cell group (INAH-2) was twice as large in the male brain, but also appeared to be related in women to circulating steroid hormone levels. Since the PO-AHA influences gonadotropin secretion, maternal behavior, and sexual behavior in several mammalian species, these results suggest that functional sex differences in the hypothalamus may be related to sex differences in neural structure.

  3. Adult human brain cell culture for neuroscience research.

    PubMed

    Gibbons, Hannah M; Dragunow, Mike

    2010-06-01

    Studies of the brain have progressed enormously through the use of in vivo and in vitro non-human models. However, it is unlikely such studies alone will unravel the complexities of the human brain and so far no neuroprotective treatment developed in animals has worked in humans. In this review we discuss the use of adult human brain cell culture methods in brain research to unravel the biology of the normal and diseased human brain. The advantages of using adult human brain cells as tools to study human brain function from both historical and future perspectives are discussed. In particular, studies using dissociated cultures of adult human microglia, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and neurons are described and the applications of these types of study are evaluated. Alternative sources of human brain cells such as adult neural stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells and slice cultures of adult human brain tissue are also reviewed. These adult human brain cell culture methods could benefit basic research and more importantly, facilitate the translation of basic neuroscience research to the clinic for the treatment of brain disorders.

  4. Metabolism of steroids by human brain tumors.

    PubMed

    Weidenfeld, J; Schiller, H

    1984-01-01

    Hormonal steroids or their precursors can be metabolized in the CNS to products with altered hormonal activity. The importance of the intracerebral transformation of steroids has been demonstrated, particularly with regard to neuroendocrine regulation and sexual behavior. These studies were carried out on normal brain tissues, but the ability of neoplastic tissues of CNS origin to metabolize steroids is unknown. We investigated the in vitro metabolism of tritiated pregnenolone, testosterone, and estradiol-17 beta by homogenates of four brain tumors defined as astrocytomas. In three tumors of cortical origin, removed from adult patients, the only enzymic activity found was the conversion of estradiol to estrone. In one tumor of cerebellar origin removed from an 11-year-old boy, the following conversions were found: pregnenolone to progesterone, testosterone to either androstenedione or estradiol, and estradiol to estrone. These results demonstrate that human astrocytomas can transform steroids to compounds with modified hormonal activity. These compounds formed by the tumorous tissue can affect brain function, which may be of clinical significance. Furthermore, these results may add important parameters for biochemical characterization of neoplastic brain tissues.

  5. Ageing of the human hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Swaab, D F

    1995-01-01

    The various hypothalamic nuclei show very different patterns of change in ageing. These patterns are a basis for changes in biological rhythms, hormones, autonomous functions or behavior. The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) coordinates circadian and circannual rhythms. A marked seasonal and circadian variation in the vasopressin (AVP) cell number of the SCN was observed in relation to the variation in photoperiod. During normal ageing, the circadian variation and number of AVP-expressing neurons in the SCN decreases. The sexually dimorphic nucleus (SDN), intermediate nucleus or INAH-1 is localized between the supraoptic and paraventricular nucleus (PVN). In adult men the SDN is twice as large as in adult women. In girls, the SDN shows a first period of decreasing cell numbers during prepubertal development, leading to sexual dimorphism. During ageing a decrease in cell number is found in both sexes. The cells of the supraoptic nucleus and PVN produce AVP or oxytocin and coexpress tyrosine hydroxylase. These nuclei are examples of neuron populations that seem to stay perfectly intact in ageing. Parvicellular corticotropin-releasing-hormone (CRH)-containing neurons are found throughout the PVN. CRH neurons in the PVN are activated in the course of ageing, as indicated by their increase in number and AVP coexpression. Part of the infundibular (or arcuate) nucleus, the subventricular nucleus, contains hypertrophic neurons in postmenopausal women. The hypertrophied neurons contain neurokinin-B (NKB), substance P and estrogen receptors and probably act on LHRH neurons as interneurons. The NKB neurons may also be involved in the initiation of menopausal flushes. The nucleus tuberalis lateralis might be involved in feeding behavior and metabolism.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  6. Neuron enriched nuclear proteome isolated from human brain.

    PubMed

    Dammer, Eric B; Duong, Duc M; Diner, Ian; Gearing, Marla; Feng, Yue; Lah, James J; Levey, Allan I; Seyfried, Nicholas T

    2013-07-05

    The brain consists of diverse cell types including neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia. The isolation of nuclei from these distinct cell populations provides an opportunity to identify cell-type-specific nuclear proteins, histone modifications, and regulation networks that are altered with normal brain aging or neurodegenerative disease. In this study, we used a method by which intact neuronal and non-neuronal nuclei were purified from human post-mortem brain employing a modification of fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) termed fluorescence activated nuclei sorting (FANS). An antibody against NeuN, a neuron specific splicing factor, was used to isolate neuronal nuclei. Utilizing mass spectrometry (MS) based label-free quantitative proteomics, we identified 1755 proteins from sorted NeuN-positive and negative nuclear extracts. Approximately 20% of these proteins were significantly enriched or depleted in neuronal versus non-neuronal populations. Immunoblots of primary cultured rat neuron, astrocyte, and oligodendrocyte extracts confirmed that distinct members of the major nucleocytoplasmic structural linkage complex (LINC), nesprin-1 and nesprin-3, were differentially enriched in neurons and astrocytes, respectively. These comparative proteomic data sets also reveal a number of transcription and splicing factors that are selectively enriched in a cell-type-specific manner in human brain.

  7. Brain amyloid-β oligomers in ageing and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Lesné, Sylvain E; Sherman, Mathew A; Grant, Marianne; Kuskowski, Michael; Schneider, Julie A; Bennett, David A; Ashe, Karen H

    2013-05-01

    Alzheimer's disease begins about two decades before the onset of symptoms or neuron death, and is believed to be caused by pathogenic amyloid-β aggregates that initiate a cascade of molecular events culminating in widespread neurodegeneration. The microtubule binding protein tau may mediate the effects of amyloid-β in this cascade. Amyloid plaques comprised of insoluble, fibrillar amyloid-β aggregates are the most characteristic feature of Alzheimer's disease. However, the correspondence between the distribution of plaques and the pattern of neurodegeneration is tenuous. This discrepancy has stimulated the investigation of other amyloid-β aggregates, including soluble amyloid-β oligomers. Different soluble amyloid-β oligomers have been studied in several mouse models, but not systematically in humans. Here, we measured three amyloid-β oligomers previously described in mouse models-amyloid-β trimers, Aβ*56 and amyloid-β dimers-in brain tissue from 75 cognitively intact individuals, ranging from young children to the elderly, and 58 impaired subjects with mild cognitive impairment or probable Alzheimer's disease. As in mouse models, where amyloid-β trimers appear to be the fundamental amyloid-β assembly unit of Aβ*56 and are present in young mice prior to memory decline, amyloid-β trimers in humans were present in children and adolescents; their levels rose gradually with age and were significantly above baseline in subjects in their 70s. Aβ*56 levels were negligible in children and young adults, rose significantly above baseline in subjects in their 40s and increased steadily thereafter. Amyloid-β dimers were undetectable until subjects were in their 60s; their levels then increased sharply and correlated with plaque load. Remarkably, in cognitively intact individuals we found strong positive correlations between Aβ*56 and two pathological forms of soluble tau (tau-CP13 and tau-Alz50), and negative correlations between Aβ*56 and two postsynaptic

  8. VEGF expression in human brain tissue after acute ischemic stroke.

    PubMed

    Mărgăritescu, Otilia; Pirici, D; Mărgăritescu, Cl

    2011-01-01

    Ischemic stroke is the third most common cause of death in humans, requiring further studies to elucidate its pathophysiological background. One potential mechanism to increase oxygen delivery to the affected tissue is induction of angiogenesis. The most potent proangiogenic factor is VEGF. For this reason, our study investigated immunohistochemically VEGF reactivity in different cellular brain compartments from 15 ischemic stroke patients, as well as from 2 age control cases. By enzymatic immunohistochemistry, we investigate VEGF expression in different brain cell compartments and then we quantified its signal intensity by assessing integrated optical densities (IOD). To establish the exact cellular brain topography of VEGF immunoreactivity we performed double fluorescent immunohistochemistry series (VEGF÷NeuN, GFAP, CD68, CD105). In control samples, VEGF reactivity was observed especially in neurons from the Brodmann cortical layers IV to VI and in protoplasmic astrocytes from the deeper layers of gray matter and in endothelial cells from normal blood vessels because of systemic hypoxia generated after death. In acute ischemic stroke samples, this reactivity was noticed in all brain cellular compartments but with different intensities. The most reactive compartment was the neurons, the intensity of VEGF reaction decreasing with the lesional age from the core infarct toward intact adjacent brain cortex. With a lower intensity, VEGF reaction was noticed in astrocytes compartments, especially in gemistocytic astrocytes adjacent to the liquefaction zone. We also noticed a weak reaction in activated non-phagocytic microglia from the periphery of liquefaction zones, and high VEGF-CD105 colocalization values at the level of microvessels that surround the infarcted brain area. In conclusion, this reactivity could suggest that VEGF might exhibit neuronal and glial protective effects and also a neoangiogenic property in acute ischemic stroke, facts that may have

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

    PubMed

    Holman, Constance; de Villers-Sidani, Etienne

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Neural stem cells improve neuronal survival in cultured postmortem brain tissue from aged and Alzheimer patients

    PubMed Central

    Wu, L; Sluiter, A A; Guo, Ho-fu; Balesar, R A; Swaab, D F; Zhou, Jiang-Ning; Verwer, R W H

    2008-01-01

    Abstract Neurodegenerative diseases are progressive and incurable and are becoming ever more prevalent. To study whether neural stem cell can reactivate or rescue functions of impaired neurons in the human aging and neurodegenerating brain, we co-cultured postmortem slices from Alzheimer patients and control participants with rat embryonic day 14 (E14) neural stem cells. Viability staining based on the exclusion of ethidium bromide by intact plasma membranes showed that there were strikingly more viable cells and fewer dead cells in slices co-cultured with neural stem cells than in untreated slices. The presence of Alzheimer pathology in the brain slices did not influence this effect, although the slices from Alzheimer patients, in general, contained fewer viable cells. Co-culturing with rat E14 fibroblasts did not improve the viability of neurons in the human brain slices. Since the human slices and neural stem cells were separated by a membrane during co-culturing our data show for the first time that neural stem cells release diffusible factors that may improve the survival of aged and degenerating neurons in human brains. PMID:18088384

  11. Hormone replacement therapy and age-related brain shrinkage: regional effects.

    PubMed

    Raz, Naftali; Rodrigue, Karen M; Kennedy, Kristen M; Acker, James D

    2004-11-15

    Neuroprotective properties of estrogen have been established in animal models, but clinical trials of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) produced contradictory results. We examined the impact of HRT on age-related regional changes in human brain volume. Six brain regions were measured twice, five years apart, in 12 healthy women who took HRT and in matched controls who did not. The controls showed a typical pattern of differential brain shrinkage in the association cortices and the hippocampus with no change in the primary visual cortex. In contrast, women who took HRT showed comparable shrinkage of the hippocampus but no significant shrinkage of the neocortex. Future large scale studies may benefit from applying regional rather than global measures in assessment of brain integrity.

  12. Brain development, intelligence and cognitive outcome in children born small for gestational age.

    PubMed

    de Bie, H M A; Oostrom, K J; Delemarre-van de Waal, H A

    2010-01-01

    Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) can lead to infants being born small for gestational age (SGA). SGA is associated with increased neonatal morbidity and mortality as well as short stature, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus type 2, dyslipidemia and end-stage renal disease in adulthood. In addition, SGA children have decreased levels of intelligence and cognition, although the effects are mostly subtle. The overall outcome of each child is the result of a complex interaction between intrauterine and extrauterine factors. Animal and human studies show structural alterations in the brains of individuals with IUGR/SGA. The presence of growth hormone (GH) receptors in the brain implies that the brain is also a target for GH. Exogenous GH theoretically has the ability to act on the brain. This is exemplified by the effects of GH on cognition in GH-deficient adults. In SGA children, data on the effect of exogenous GH on intelligence and cognition are scant and contradictory.

  13. Regional and Gender Study of Neuronal Density in Brain during Aging and in Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Pinilla, Eva; Ordóñez, Cristina; del Valle, Eva; Navarro, Ana; Tolivia, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    Background: Learning processes or language development are only some of the cognitive functions that differ qualitatively between men and women. Gender differences in the brain structure seem to be behind these variations. Indeed, this sexual dimorphism at neuroanatomical level is accompanied unequivocally by differences in the way that aging and neurodegenerative diseases affect men and women brains. Objective: The aim of this study is the analysis of neuronal density in four areas of the hippocampus, and entorhinal and frontal cortices to analyze the possible gender influence during normal aging and in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Methods: Human brain tissues of different age and from both sexes, without neurological pathology and with different Braak's stages of AD, were studied. Neuronal density was quantified using the optical dissector. Results: Our results showed the absence of a significant neuronal loss during aging in non-pathological brains in both sexes. However, we have demonstrated specific punctual significant variations in neuronal density related with the age and gender in some regions of these brains. In fact, we observed a higher neuronal density in CA3 and CA4 hippocampal areas of non-pathological brains of young men compared to women. During AD, we observed a negative correlation between Braak's stages and neuronal density in hippocampus, specifically in CA1 for women and CA3 for men, and in frontal cortex for both, men and women. Conclusion: Our data demonstrated a sexual dimorphism in the neuronal vulnerability to degeneration suggesting the need to consider the gender of the individuals in future studies, regarding neuronal loss in aging and AD, in order to avoid problems in interpreting data. PMID:27679571

  14. Deconstructing Anger in the Human Brain.

    PubMed

    Gilam, Gadi; Hendler, Talma

    2017-01-01

    Anger may be caused by a wide variety of triggers, and though it has negative consequences on health and well-being, it is also crucial in motivating to take action and approach rather than avoid a confrontation. While anger is considered a survival response inherent in all living creatures, humans are endowed with the mental flexibility that enables them to control and regulate their anger, and adapt it to socially accepted norms. Indeed, a profound interpersonal nature is apparent in most events which evoke anger among humans. Since anger consists of physiological, cognitive, subjective, and behavioral components, it is a contextualized multidimensional construct that poses theoretical and operational difficulties in defining it as a single psychobiological phenomenon. Although most neuroimaging studies have neglected the multidimensionality of anger and thus resulted in brain activations dispersed across the entire brain, there seems to be several reoccurring neural circuits subserving the subjective experience of human anger. Nevertheless, to capture the large variety in the forms and fashions in which anger is experienced, expressed, and regulated, and thus to better portray the related underlying neural substrates, neurobehavioral investigations of human anger should aim to further embed realistic social interactions within their anger induction paradigms.

  15. Toward discovery science of human brain function.

    PubMed

    Biswal, Bharat B; Mennes, Maarten; Zuo, Xi-Nian; Gohel, Suril; Kelly, Clare; Smith, Steve M; Beckmann, Christian F; Adelstein, Jonathan S; Buckner, Randy L; Colcombe, Stan; Dogonowski, Anne-Marie; Ernst, Monique; Fair, Damien; Hampson, Michelle; Hoptman, Matthew J; Hyde, James S; Kiviniemi, Vesa J; Kötter, Rolf; Li, Shi-Jiang; Lin, Ching-Po; Lowe, Mark J; Mackay, Clare; Madden, David J; Madsen, Kristoffer H; Margulies, Daniel S; Mayberg, Helen S; McMahon, Katie; Monk, Christopher S; Mostofsky, Stewart H; Nagel, Bonnie J; Pekar, James J; Peltier, Scott J; Petersen, Steven E; Riedl, Valentin; Rombouts, Serge A R B; Rypma, Bart; Schlaggar, Bradley L; Schmidt, Sein; Seidler, Rachael D; Siegle, Greg J; Sorg, Christian; Teng, Gao-Jun; Veijola, Juha; Villringer, Arno; Walter, Martin; Wang, Lihong; Weng, Xu-Chu; Whitfield-Gabrieli, Susan; Williamson, Peter; Windischberger, Christian; Zang, Yu-Feng; Zhang, Hong-Ying; Castellanos, F Xavier; Milham, Michael P

    2010-03-09

    Although it is being successfully implemented for exploration of the genome, discovery science has eluded the functional neuroimaging community. The core challenge remains the development of common paradigms for interrogating the myriad functional systems in the brain without the constraints of a priori hypotheses. Resting-state functional MRI (R-fMRI) constitutes a candidate approach capable of addressing this challenge. Imaging the brain during rest reveals large-amplitude spontaneous low-frequency (<0.1 Hz) fluctuations in the fMRI signal that are temporally correlated across functionally related areas. Referred to as functional connectivity, these correlations yield detailed maps of complex neural systems, collectively constituting an individual's "functional connectome." Reproducibility across datasets and individuals suggests the functional connectome has a common architecture, yet each individual's functional connectome exhibits unique features, with stable, meaningful interindividual differences in connectivity patterns and strengths. Comprehensive mapping of the functional connectome, and its subsequent exploitation to discern genetic influences and brain-behavior relationships, will require multicenter collaborative datasets. Here we initiate this endeavor by gathering R-fMRI data from 1,414 volunteers collected independently at 35 international centers. We demonstrate a universal architecture of positive and negative functional connections, as well as consistent loci of inter-individual variability. Age and sex emerged as significant determinants. These results demonstrate that independent R-fMRI datasets can be aggregated and shared. High-throughput R-fMRI can provide quantitative phenotypes for molecular genetic studies and biomarkers of developmental and pathological processes in the brain. To initiate discovery science of brain function, the 1000 Functional Connectomes Project dataset is freely accessible at www.nitrc.org/projects/fcon_1000/.

  16. Structural Brain Correlates of Human Sleep Oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Saletin, Jared M.; van der Helm, Els; Walker, Matthew P.

    2014-01-01

    Sleep is strongly conserved within species, yet marked and perplexing inter-individual differences in sleep physiology are observed. Combining EEG sleep recordings and high-resolution structural brain imaging, here we demonstrate that the morphology of the human brain offers one explanatory factor of such inter-individual variability. Grey matter volume in interoceptive and exteroceptive cortices correlated with the expression of slower NREM sleep spindle frequencies, supporting their proposed role in sleep protection against conscious perception. Conversely, and consistent with an involvement in declarative memory processing, grey matter volume in bilateral hippocampus was associated with faster NREM sleep spindle frequencies. In contrast to spindles, grey matter volume in the homeostatic sleep-regulating center of the basal forebrain/hypothalamus, together with the medial prefrontal cortex, accounted for individual differences in NREM slow wave oscillations. Together, such findings indicate that the qualitative and quantitative expression of human sleep physiology is significantly related to anatomically specific differences in macroscopic brain structure. PMID:23770411

  17. Asymmetry of White Matter Pathways in Developing Human Brains.

    PubMed

    Song, Jae W; Mitchell, Paul D; Kolasinski, James; Ellen Grant, P; Galaburda, Albert M; Takahashi, Emi

    2015-09-01

    Little is known about the emergence of structural asymmetry of white matter tracts during early brain development. We examined whether and when asymmetry in diffusion parameters of limbic and association white matter pathways emerged in humans in 23 brains ranging from 15 gestational weeks (GW) up to 3 years of age (11 ex vivo and 12 in vivo cases) using high-angular resolution diffusion imaging tractography. Age-related development of laterality was not observed in a limbic connectional pathway (cingulum bundle or fornix). Among the studied cortico-cortical association pathways (inferior longitudinal fasciculus [ILF], inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, and arcuate fasciculus), only the ILF showed development of age-related laterality emerging as early as the second trimester. Comparisons of ages older and younger than 40 GW revealed a leftward asymmetry in the cingulum bundle volume and a rightward asymmetry in apparent diffusion coefficient and leftward asymmetry in fractional anisotropy in the ILF in ages older than 40 GW. These results suggest that morphometric asymmetry in cortical areas precedes the emergence of white matter pathway asymmetry. Future correlative studies will investigate whether such asymmetry is anatomically/genetically driven or associated with functional stimulation.

  18. Mathematical logic in the human brain: semantics.

    PubMed

    Friedrich, Roland M; Friederici, Angela D

    2013-01-01

    As a higher cognitive function in humans, mathematics is supported by parietal and prefrontal brain regions. Here, we give an integrative account of the role of the different brain systems in processing the semantics of mathematical logic from the perspective of macroscopic polysynaptic networks. By comparing algebraic and arithmetic expressions of identical underlying structure, we show how the different subparts of a fronto-parietal network are modulated by the semantic domain, over which the mathematical formulae are interpreted. Within this network, the prefrontal cortex represents a system that hosts three major components, namely, control, arithmetic-logic, and short-term memory. This prefrontal system operates on data fed to it by two other systems: a premotor-parietal top-down system that updates and transforms (external) data into an internal format, and a hippocampal bottom-up system that either detects novel information or serves as an access device to memory for previously acquired knowledge.

  19. Visualization of monoamine oxidase in human brain

    SciTech Connect

    Fowler, J.S.; Volkow, N.D.; Wang, G.J.; Pappas, N.; Shea, C.; MacGregor, R.R.; Logan, J.

    1996-12-31

    Monoamine oxidase is a flavin enzyme which exists in two subtypes, MAO A and MAO B. In human brain MAO B predominates and is largely compartmentalized in cell bodies of serotonergic neurons and glia. Regional distribution of MAO B was determined by positron computed tomography with volunteers after the administration of deuterium substituted [11C]L-deprenyl. The basal ganglia and thalamus exhibited the greatest concentrations of MAO B with intermediate levels in the frontal cortex and cingulate gyrus while lowest levels were observed in the parietal and temporal cortices and cerebellum. We observed that brain MAO B increases with are in health normal subjects, however the increases were generally smaller than those revealed with post-mortem studies.

  20. Mathematical Logic in the Human Brain: Semantics

    PubMed Central

    Friedrich, Roland M.; Friederici, Angela D.

    2013-01-01

    As a higher cognitive function in humans, mathematics is supported by parietal and prefrontal brain regions. Here, we give an integrative account of the role of the different brain systems in processing the semantics of mathematical logic from the perspective of macroscopic polysynaptic networks. By comparing algebraic and arithmetic expressions of identical underlying structure, we show how the different subparts of a fronto-parietal network are modulated by the semantic domain, over which the mathematical formulae are interpreted. Within this network, the prefrontal cortex represents a system that hosts three major components, namely, control, arithmetic-logic, and short-term memory. This prefrontal system operates on data fed to it by two other systems: a premotor-parietal top-down system that updates and transforms (external) data into an internal format, and a hippocampal bottom-up system that either detects novel information or serves as an access device to memory for previously acquired knowledge. PMID:23301101

  1. New cellular and molecular approaches to ageing brain.

    PubMed

    Tripathi, Anurag

    2012-10-01

    The last decade has witnessed a mammoth progress in the area of brain ageing. Recent gene profiling and brain imaging techniques have made it possible to explore the dark areas of ageing neurons in a new molecular perspective. Many conserved pathways and cellular and molecular mechanisms particularly nuclear mitochondrial molecular interactions are known now. Disruptions in mitochondrial function and reduction in cellular antioxidative and immunoproteins contribute to generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which leads to deteriorated adult neurogenesis, reduced white matter and compromised neural plasticity. The overall deteriorated structure and function of neurons is manifested in form of cognitive decline and prolonged neurodegenerative disorders. Dietary restrictions (DR), physical and mental activities however have been shown to counter these ailments. However more precise molecular dynamics at protein levels is still debatable which is the future task for neuroscientists.

  2. Effects of brain evolution on human nutrition and metabolism.

    PubMed

    Leonard, William R; Snodgrass, J Josh; Robertson, Marcia L

    2007-01-01

    The evolution of large human brain size has had important implications for the nutritional biology of our species. Large brains are energetically expensive, and humans expend a larger proportion of their energy budget on brain metabolism than other primates. The high costs of large human brains are supported, in part, by our energy- and nutrient-rich diets. Among primates, relative brain size is positively correlated with dietary quality, and humans fall at the positive end of this relationship. Consistent with an adaptation to a high-quality diet, humans have relatively small gastrointestinal tracts. In addition, humans are relatively "undermuscled" and "over fat" compared with other primates, features that help to offset the high energy demands of our brains. Paleontological evidence indicates that rapid brain evolution occurred with the emergence of Homo erectus 1.8 million years ago and was associated with important changes in diet, body size, and foraging behavior.

  3. The Impact of Aging on Human Sexuality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rienzo, Barbara A.

    1985-01-01

    Lay persons and professionals need to be educated on the effects of aging on human sexuality. Effective communication techniques and accurate sexuality information can lead to prevention of psychosocial problems and sexual dysfunction. (Author/DF)

  4. Do anesthetics harm the developing human brain? An integrative analysis of animal and human studies.

    PubMed

    Lin, Erica P; Lee, Jeong-Rim; Lee, Christopher S; Deng, Meng; Loepke, Andreas W

    Anesthetics that permit surgical procedures and stressful interventions have been found to cause structural brain abnormalities and functional impairment in immature animals, generating extensive concerns among clinicians, parents, and government regulators regarding the safe use of these drugs in young children. Critically important questions remain, such as the exact age at which the developing brain is most vulnerable to the effects of anesthetic exposure, whether a particular age exists beyond which anesthetics are devoid of long-term effects on the brain, and whether any specific exposure duration exists that does not lead to deleterious effects. Accordingly, the present analysis attempts to put the growing body of animal studies, which we identified to include >440 laboratory studies to date, into a translational context, by integrating the preclinical data on brain structure and function with clinical results attained from human neurocognitive studies, which currently exceed 30 studies. Our analysis demonstrated no clear exposure duration threshold below which no structural injury or subsequent cognitive abnormalities occurred. Animal data did not clearly identify a specific age beyond which anesthetic exposure did not cause any structural or functional abnormalities. Several potential mitigating strategies were found, however, no general anesthetic was identified that consistently lacked neurodegenerative properties and could be recommended over other anesthetics. It therefore is imperative, to expand efforts to devise safer anesthetic techniques and mitigating strategies, even before long-term alterations in brain development are unequivocally confirmed to occur in millions of young children undergoing anesthesia every year.

  5. Lucid dreaming: an age-dependent brain dissociation.

    PubMed

    Voss, Ursula; Frenzel, Clemens; Koppehele-Gossel, Judith; Hobson, Allan

    2012-12-01

    The current study focused on the distribution of lucid dreams in school children and young adults. The survey was conducted on a large sample of students aged 6-19 years. Questions distinguished between past and current experience with lucid dreams. Results suggest that lucid dreaming is quite pronounced in young children, its incidence rate drops at about age 16 years. Increased lucidity was found in those attending higher level compared with lower level schools. Taking methodological issues into account, we feel confident to propose a link between the natural occurrence of lucid dreaming and brain maturation.

  6. ABCC9/SUR2 in the brain: implications for hippocampal sclerosis of aging and a potential therapeutic target

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Peter T.; Jicha, Gregory A.; Wang, Wang-Xia; Ighodaro, Eseosa; Artiushin, Sergey; Nichols, Colin G.; Fardo, David W.

    2015-01-01

    The ABCC9 gene and its polypeptide product, SUR2, are increasingly implicated in human neurologic disease, including prevalent diseases of the aged brain. SUR2 proteins are a component of the ATP-sensitive potassium (“KATP”) channel, a metabolic sensor for stress and/or hypoxia that has been shown to change in aging. The KATP channel also helps regulate the neurovascular unit. Most brain cell types express SUR2, including neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia, vascular smooth muscle, pericytes, and endothelial cells. Thus it is not surprising that ABCC9 gene variants are associated with risk for human brain diseases. For example, Cantu syndrome is a result of ABCC9 mutations; we discuss neurologic manifestations of this genetic syndrome. More common brain disorders linked to ABCC9 gene variants include hippocampal sclerosis of aging (HS-Aging), sleep disorders, and depression. HS-Aging is a prevalent neurological disease with pathologic features of both neurodegenerative (aberrant TDP-43) and cerebrovascular (arteriolosclerosis) disease. As to potential therapeutic intervention, the human pharmacopeia features both SUR2 agonists and antagonists, so ABCC9/SUR2 may provide a “druggable target”, relevant perhaps to both HS-Aging and Alzheimer’s disease. We conclude that more work is required to better understand the roles of ABCC9/SUR2 in the human brain during health and disease conditions. PMID:26226329

  7. Physical biology of human brain development

    PubMed Central

    Budday, Silvia; Steinmann, Paul; Kuhl, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    Neurodevelopment is a complex, dynamic process that involves a precisely orchestrated sequence of genetic, environmental, biochemical, and physical events. Developmental biology and genetics have shaped our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms during neurodevelopment. Recent studies suggest that physical forces play a central role in translating these cellular mechanisms into the complex surface morphology of the human brain. However, the precise impact of neuronal differentiation, migration, and connection on the physical forces during cortical folding remains unknown. Here we review the cellular mechanisms of neurodevelopment with a view toward surface morphogenesis, pattern selection, and evolution of shape. We revisit cortical folding as the instability problem of constrained differential growth in a multi-layered system. To identify the contributing factors of differential growth, we map out the timeline of neurodevelopment in humans and highlight the cellular events associated with extreme radial and tangential expansion. We demonstrate how computational modeling of differential growth can bridge the scales–from phenomena on the cellular level toward form and function on the organ level–to make quantitative, personalized predictions. Physics-based models can quantify cortical stresses, identify critical folding conditions, rationalize pattern selection, and predict gyral wavelengths and gyrification indices. We illustrate that physical forces can explain cortical malformations as emergent properties of developmental disorders. Combining biology and physics holds promise to advance our understanding of human brain development and enable early diagnostics of cortical malformations with the ultimate goal to improve treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders including epilepsy, autism spectrum disorders, and schizophrenia. PMID:26217183

  8. Physical biology of human brain development.

    PubMed

    Budday, Silvia; Steinmann, Paul; Kuhl, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    Neurodevelopment is a complex, dynamic process that involves a precisely orchestrated sequence of genetic, environmental, biochemical, and physical events. Developmental biology and genetics have shaped our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms during neurodevelopment. Recent studies suggest that physical forces play a central role in translating these cellular mechanisms into the complex surface morphology of the human brain. However, the precise impact of neuronal differentiation, migration, and connection on the physical forces during cortical folding remains unknown. Here we review the cellular mechanisms of neurodevelopment with a view toward surface morphogenesis, pattern selection, and evolution of shape. We revisit cortical folding as the instability problem of constrained differential growth in a multi-layered system. To identify the contributing factors of differential growth, we map out the timeline of neurodevelopment in humans and highlight the cellular events associated with extreme radial and tangential expansion. We demonstrate how computational modeling of differential growth can bridge the scales-from phenomena on the cellular level toward form and function on the organ level-to make quantitative, personalized predictions. Physics-based models can quantify cortical stresses, identify critical folding conditions, rationalize pattern selection, and predict gyral wavelengths and gyrification indices. We illustrate that physical forces can explain cortical malformations as emergent properties of developmental disorders. Combining biology and physics holds promise to advance our understanding of human brain development and enable early diagnostics of cortical malformations with the ultimate goal to improve treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders including epilepsy, autism spectrum disorders, and schizophrenia.

  9. Intranasal Insulin Improves Age-Related Cognitive Deficits and Reverses Electrophysiological Correlates of Brain Aging

    PubMed Central

    Maimaiti, Shaniya; Anderson, Katie L.; DeMoll, Chris; Brewer, Lawrence D.; Rauh, Benjamin A.; Gant, John C.; Blalock, Eric M.; Porter, Nada M.

    2016-01-01

    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

  10. Omega-3 fatty acids and brain resistance to ageing and stress: body of evidence and possible mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Denis, I; Potier, B; Vancassel, S; Heberden, C; Lavialle, M

    2013-03-01

    The increasing life expectancy in the populations of rich countries raises the pressing question of how the elderly can maintain their cognitive function. Cognitive decline is characterised by the loss of short-term memory due to a progressive impairment of the underlying brain cell processes. Age-related brain damage has many causes, some of which may be influenced by diet. An optimal diet may therefore be a practical way of delaying the onset of age-related cognitive decline. Nutritional investigations indicate that the ω-3 poyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content of western diets is too low to provide the brain with an optimal supply of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the main ω-3 PUFA in cell membranes. Insufficient brain DHA has been associated with memory impairment, emotional disturbances and altered brain processes in rodents. Human studies suggest that an adequate dietary intake of ω-3 PUFA can slow the age-related cognitive decline and may also protect against the risk of senile dementia. However, despite the many studies in this domain, the beneficial impact of ω-3 PUFA on brain function has only recently been linked to specific mechanisms. This review examines the hypothesis that an optimal brain DHA status, conferred by an adequate ω-3 PUFA intake, limits age-related brain damage by optimizing endogenous brain repair mechanisms. Our analysis of the abundant literature indicates that an adequate amount of DHA in the brain may limit the impact of stress, an important age-aggravating factor, and influences the neuronal and astroglial functions that govern and protect synaptic transmission. This transmission, particularly glutamatergic neurotransmission in the hippocampus, underlies memory formation. The brain DHA status also influences neurogenesis, nested in the hippocampus, which helps maintain cognitive function throughout life. Although there are still gaps in our knowledge of the way ω-3 PUFA act, the mechanistic studies reviewed here indicate that

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

    PubMed

    Leung, Katherine; Thuret, Sandrine

    2015-09-29

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

  12. Development of Spatial and Verbal Working Memory Capacity in the Human Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomason, Moriah E.; Race, Elizabeth; Burrows, Brittany; Whitfield-Gabrieli, Susan; Glover, Gary H.; Gabrieli, John D. E.

    2009-01-01

    A core aspect of working memory (WM) is the capacity to maintain goal-relevant information in mind, but little is known about how this capacity develops in the human brain. We compared brain activation, via fMRI, between children (ages 7-12 years) and adults (ages 20-29 years) performing tests of verbal and spatial WM with varying amounts (loads)…

  13. For 'Preemies,' Human Touch May Be a Brain Booster

    MedlinePlus

    ... html For 'Preemies,' Human Touch May Be a Brain Booster Diminished response seen in premature infants who ... 16, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Underscoring the link between brain development and touch, new research suggests premature babies ...

  14. Early Shifts of Brain Metabolism by Caloric Restriction Preserve White Matter Integrity and Long-Term Memory in Aging Mice.

    PubMed

    Guo, Janet; Bakshi, Vikas; Lin, Ai-Ling

    2015-01-01

    Preservation of brain integrity with age is highly associated with lifespan determination. Caloric restriction (CR) has been shown to increase longevity and healthspan in various species; however, its effects on preserving living brain functions in aging remain largely unexplored. In the study, we used multimodal, non-invasive neuroimaging (PET/MRI/MRS) to determine in vivo brain glucose metabolism, energy metabolites, and white matter structural integrity in young and old mice fed with either control or 40% CR diet. In addition, we determined the animals' memory and learning ability with behavioral assessments. Blood glucose, blood ketone bodies, and body weight were also measured. We found distinct patterns between normal aging and CR aging on brain functions - normal aging showed reductions in brain glucose metabolism, white matter integrity, and long-term memory, resembling human brain aging. CR aging, in contrast, displayed an early shift from glucose to ketone bodies metabolism, which was associated with preservations of brain energy production, white matter integrity, and long-term memory in aging mice. Among all the mice, we found a positive correlation between blood glucose level and body weight, but an inverse association between blood glucose level and lifespan. Our findings suggest that CR could slow down brain aging, in part due to the early shift of energy metabolism caused by lower caloric intake, and we were able to identify the age-dependent effects of CR non-invasively using neuroimaging. These results provide a rationale for CR-induced sustenance of brain health with extended longevity.

  15. Early Shifts of Brain Metabolism by Caloric Restriction Preserve White Matter Integrity and Long-Term Memory in Aging Mice

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Janet; Bakshi, Vikas; Lin, Ai-Ling

    2015-01-01

    Preservation of brain integrity with age is highly associated with lifespan determination. Caloric restriction (CR) has been shown to increase longevity and healthspan in various species; however, its effects on preserving living brain functions in aging remain largely unexplored. In the study, we used multimodal, non-invasive neuroimaging (PET/MRI/MRS) to determine in vivo brain glucose metabolism, energy metabolites, and white matter structural integrity in young and old mice fed with either control or 40% CR diet. In addition, we determined the animals’ memory and learning ability with behavioral assessments. Blood glucose, blood ketone bodies, and body weight were also measured. We found distinct patterns between normal aging and CR aging on brain functions – normal aging showed reductions in brain glucose metabolism, white matter integrity, and long-term memory, resembling human brain aging. CR aging, in contrast, displayed an early shift from glucose to ketone bodies metabolism, which was associated with preservations of brain energy production, white matter integrity, and long-term memory in aging mice. Among all the mice, we found a positive correlation between blood glucose level and body weight, but an inverse association between blood glucose level and lifespan. Our findings suggest that CR could slow down brain aging, in part due to the early shift of energy metabolism caused by lower caloric intake, and we were able to identify the age-dependent effects of CR non-invasively using neuroimaging. These results provide a rationale for CR-induced sustenance of brain health with extended longevity. PMID:26617514

  16. Molecular biology of the human brain

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, E.G.

    1988-01-01

    This book examines new methods of molecular biology that are providing valuable insights into the human brain, the genes that govern its assembly and function, and the many genetic defects that cause neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's, Cri du Chat syndrome, Huntington's disease, and bipolar depression disorder. In addition, the book reviews techniques in molecular neurobiological research, including the use of affinity reagents, chimeric receptors, and site-directed mutagenesis in localizing the ion channel and cholinergic binding site, and the application of somatic cell genetics in isolating specific chromosomes or chromosomal segments.

  17. Between destiny and disease: genetics and molecular pathways of human central nervous system aging

    PubMed Central

    Glorioso, Christin; Sibille, Etienne

    2010-01-01

    Aging of the human brain is associated with “normal” functional, structural, and molecular changes that underlie alterations in cognition, memory, mood and motor function, amongst other processes. Normal aging also imposes a robust constraint on the onset of many neurological diseases, ranging from late onset neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s (AD) and Parkinson’s diseases (PD), to early onset psychiatric disorders, such as bipolar disorder (BPD) and schizophrenia (SCZ). The molecular mechanisms and genetic underpinnings of age-related changes in the brain are understudied, and, while they share some overlap with peripheral mechanisms of aging, many are unique to the largely non-mitotic brain. Hence, understanding mechanisms of brain aging and identifying associated modulators may have profound consequences for the prevention and treatment of age-related impairments and diseases. Here we review current knowledge on age-related functional and structural changes, their molecular and genetic underpinnings, and discuss how these pathways may contribute to the vulnerability to develop age-related neurological diseases. We highlight recent findings from human postmortem brain microarray studies, which we hypothesize, point to a potential genetically-controlled transcriptional program underlying molecular changes and age-gating of neurological diseases. Finally, we discuss the implications of this model for understanding basic mechanisms of brain aging and for the future investigation of therapeutic approaches. PMID:21130140

  18. A Healthy Middle-Aged Heart May Protect Your Brain Later

    MedlinePlus

    ... A Healthy Middle-Aged Heart May Protect Your Brain Later Dementia expert says take up heart-healthy ... 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Healthy aging of the brain relies on the health of your heart and ...

  19. Towards data management of the HUPO Human Brain Proteome Project pilot phase.

    PubMed

    Blüggel, Martin; Bailey, Sonja; Körting, Gerhard; Stephan, Christian; Reidegeld, Kai A; Thiele, Herbert; Apweiler, Rolf; Hamacher, Michael; Meyer, Helmut E

    2004-08-01

    The pilot phase of the Human Brain Proteome Project as a part of the Human Proteome Organisation has just been started. In two pilot studies, 18 different laboratories are analyzing mouse brains of three age stages and human brain autopsy versus biopsy material, respectively. The overall aim is to elucidate the portfolio of available techniques as well as to elaborate common standards. As a first step, it was decided to use the common bioinformatics platform ProteinScape that was introduced to the participating groups in a two day course in Bochum, Germany.

  20. Influence of Patient Age on Angioarchitecture of Brain Arteriovenous Malformations

    PubMed Central

    Hetts, Steven W.; Cooke, Daniel L.; Nelson, Jeffrey; Gupta, Nalin; Fullerton, Heather; Amans, Matthew R.; Narvid, Jared A.; Moftakhar, Parham; McSwain, Hugh; Dowd, Christopher F.; Higashida, Randall T.; Halbach, Van V.; Lawton, Michael T.; Kim, Helen

    2014-01-01

    Background and Purpose To determine if clinical and angioarchitectural features of brain AVMs differ between children and adults. Materials and Methods A prospectively collected institutional database of all patients diagnosed with brain AVMs since 2001 was queried. Demographic, clinical, and angioarchitecture information was summarized and analyzed with univariable and multivariable models. Results Results often differed when age was treated as a continuous variable as opposed to dividing subjects into children (≤18 years; n=203) versus adults (>18 years; n=630). Children were more likely to present with AVM hemorrhage than adults (59% vs. 41%, p<0.001). Although AVMs with a larger nidus presented at younger ages (mean of 26.8 years for >6 cm compared to 37.1 years for <3 cm), this was not significantly different between children and adults (p=0.069). Exclusively deep venous drainage was more common in younger subjects both when age was treated continuously (p=0.04), or dichotomized (p<0.001). Venous ectasia was more common with increasing age (mean, 39.4 years with ectasia compared to 31.1 years without ectasia) and when adults were compared to children (52% vs. 35%, p<0.001). Patients with feeding artery aneurysms presented at later average age (44.1 years) than those without such aneurysms (31.6 years); this observation persisted when comparing children to adults (13% vs. 29%, p<0.001). Conclusion Although children with brain AVMs were more likely to come to clinical attention due to hemorrhage than adults, venous ectasia and feeding artery aneurysms were underrepresented in children, suggesting that these particular high risk features take time to develop. PMID:24627452

  1. Fast Optical Imaging of Human Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Gratton, Gabriele; Fabiani, Monica

    2010-01-01

    Great advancements in brain imaging during the last few decades have opened a large number of new possibilities for neuroscientists. The most dominant methodologies (electrophysiological and magnetic resonance-based methods) emphasize temporal and spatial information, respectively. However, theorizing about brain function has recently emphasized the importance of rapid (within 100 ms or so) interactions between different elements of complex neuronal networks. Fast optical imaging, and in particular the event-related optical signal (EROS, a technology that has emerged over the last 15 years) may provide descriptions of localized (to sub-cm level) brain activity with a temporal resolution of less than 100 ms. The main limitations of EROS are its limited penetration, which allows us to image cortical structures not deeper than 3 cm from the surface of the head, and its low signal-to-noise ratio. Advantages include the fact that EROS is compatible with most other imaging methods, including electrophysiological, magnetic resonance, and trans-cranial magnetic stimulation techniques, with which can be recorded concurrently. In this paper we present a summary of the research that has been conducted so far on fast optical imaging, including evidence for the possibility of recording neuronal signals with this method, the properties of the signals, and various examples of applications to the study of human cognitive neuroscience. Extant issues, controversies, and possible future developments are also discussed. PMID:20631845

  2. Mouse Genetic Models of Human Brain Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Celeste; Jia, Zhengping

    2016-01-01

    Over the past three decades, genetic manipulations in mice have been used in neuroscience as a major approach to investigate the in vivo function of genes and their alterations. In particular, gene targeting techniques using embryonic stem cells have revolutionized the field of mammalian genetics and have been at the forefront in the generation of numerous mouse models of human brain disorders. In this review, we will first examine childhood developmental disorders such as autism, intellectual disability, Fragile X syndrome, and Williams-Beuren syndrome. We will then explore psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and lastly, neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. We will outline the creation of these mouse models that range from single gene deletions, subtle point mutations to multi-gene manipulations, and discuss the key behavioral phenotypes of these mice. Ultimately, the analysis of the models outlined in this review will enhance our understanding of the in vivo role and underlying mechanisms of disease-related genes in both normal brain function and brain disorders, and provide potential therapeutic targets and strategies to prevent and treat these diseases. PMID:27047540

  3. Structural and functional rejuvenation of the aged brain by an approved anti-asthmatic drug

    PubMed Central

    Marschallinger, Julia; Schäffner, Iris; Klein, Barbara; Gelfert, Renate; Rivera, Francisco J.; Illes, Sebastian; Grassner, Lukas; Janssen, Maximilian; Rotheneichner, Peter; Schmuckermair, Claudia; Coras, Roland; Boccazzi, Marta; Chishty, Mansoor; Lagler, Florian B.; Renic, Marija; Bauer, Hans-Christian; Singewald, Nicolas; Blümcke, Ingmar; Bogdahn, Ulrich; Couillard-Despres, Sebastien; Lie, D. Chichung; Abbracchio, Maria P.; Aigner, Ludwig

    2015-01-01

    As human life expectancy has improved rapidly in industrialized societies, age-related cognitive impairment presents an increasing challenge. Targeting histopathological processes that correlate with age-related cognitive declines, such as neuroinflammation, low levels of neurogenesis, disrupted blood–brain barrier and altered neuronal activity, might lead to structural and functional rejuvenation of the aged brain. Here we show that a 6-week treatment of young (4 months) and old (20 months) rats with montelukast, a marketed anti-asthmatic drug antagonizing leukotriene receptors, reduces neuroinflammation, elevates hippocampal neurogenesis and improves learning and memory in old animals. By using gene knockdown and knockout approaches, we demonstrate that the effect is mediated through inhibition of the GPR17 receptor. This work illustrates that inhibition of leukotriene receptor signalling might represent a safe and druggable target to restore cognitive functions in old individuals and paves the way for future clinical translation of leukotriene receptor inhibition for the treatment of dementias. PMID:26506265

  4. The aged brain: genesis and fate of residual progenitor cells in the subventricular zone

    PubMed Central

    Capilla-Gonzalez, Vivian; Herranz-Pérez, Vicente; García-Verdugo, Jose Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Neural stem cells (NSCs) persist in the adult mammalian brain through life. The subventricular zone (SVZ) is the largest source of stem cells in the nervous system, and continuously generates new neuronal and glial cells involved in brain regeneration. During aging, the germinal potential of the SVZ suffers a widespread decline, but the causes of this turn down are not fully understood. This review provides a compilation of the current knowledge about the age-related changes in the NSC population, as well as the fate of the newly generated cells in the aged brain. It is known that the neurogenic capacity is clearly disrupted during aging, while the production of oligodendroglial cells is not compromised. Interestingly, the human brain seems to primarily preserve the ability to produce new oligodendrocytes instead of neurons, which could be related to the development of neurological disorders. Further studies in this matter are required to improve our understanding and the current strategies for fighting neurological diseases associated with senescence. PMID:26441536

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

    PubMed Central

    Holman, Constance; de Villers-Sidani, Etienne

    2014-01-01

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

  6. CircRNA accumulation in the aging mouse brain

    PubMed Central

    Gruner, Hannah; Cortés-López, Mariela; Cooper, Daphne A.; Bauer, Matthew; Miura, Pedro

    2016-01-01

    Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a newly appreciated class of RNAs expressed across diverse phyla. These enigmatic transcripts are most commonly generated by back-splicing events from exons of protein-coding genes. This results in highly stable RNAs due to the lack of free 5′ and 3′ ends. CircRNAs are enriched in neural tissues, suggesting that they might have neural functions. Here, we sought to determine whether circRNA accumulation occurs during aging in mice. Total RNA-seq profiling of young (1 month old) and aged (22 month old) cortex, hippocampus and heart samples was performed. This led to the confident detection of 6,791 distinct circRNAs across these samples, including 675 novel circRNAs. Analysis uncovered a strong bias for circRNA upregulation during aging in neural tissues. These age-accumulation trends were verified for individual circRNAs by RT-qPCR and Northern analysis. In contrast, comparison of aged versus young hearts failed to reveal a global trend for circRNA upregulation. Age-accumulation of circRNAs in brain tissues was found to be largely independent from linear RNA expression of host genes. These findings suggest that circRNAs might play biological roles relevant to the aging nervous system. PMID:27958329

  7. Mobile phone types and SAR characteristics of the human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Ae-Kyoung; Hong, Seon-Eui; Kwon, Jong-Hwa; Choi, Hyung-Do; Cardis, Elisabeth

    2017-04-01

    Mobile phones differ in terms of their operating frequency, outer shape, and form and location of the antennae, all of which affect the spatial distributions of their electromagnetic field and the level of electromagnetic absorption in the human head or brain. For this paper, the specific absorption rate (SAR) was calculated for four anatomical head models at different ages using 11 numerical phone models of different shapes and antenna configurations. The 11 models represent phone types accounting for around 86% of the approximately 1400 commercial phone models released into the Korean market since 2002. Seven of the phone models selected have an internal dual-band antenna, and the remaining four possess an external antenna. Each model was intended to generate an average absorption level equivalent to that of the same type of commercial phone model operating at the maximum available output power. The 1 g peak spatial SAR and ipsilateral and contralateral brain-averaged SARs were reported for all 11 phone models. The effects of the phone type, phone position, operating frequency, and age of head models on the brain SAR were comprehensively determined.

  8. Mobile phone types and SAR characteristics of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ae-Kyoung; Hong, Seon-Eui; Kwon, Jong-Hwa; Choi, Hyung-Do; Cardis, Elisabeth

    2017-04-07

    Mobile phones differ in terms of their operating frequency, outer shape, and form and location of the antennae, all of which affect the spatial distributions of their electromagnetic field and the level of electromagnetic absorption in the human head or brain. For this paper, the specific absorption rate (SAR) was calculated for four anatomical head models at different ages using 11 numerical phone models of different shapes and antenna configurations. The 11 models represent phone types accounting for around 86% of the approximately 1400 commercial phone models released into the Korean market since 2002. Seven of the phone models selected have an internal dual-band antenna, and the remaining four possess an external antenna. Each model was intended to generate an average absorption level equivalent to that of the same type of commercial phone model operating at the maximum available output power. The 1 g peak spatial SAR and ipsilateral and contralateral brain-averaged SARs were reported for all 11 phone models. The effects of the phone type, phone position, operating frequency, and age of head models on the brain SAR were comprehensively determined.

  9. Appraising the Role of Iron in Brain Aging and Cognition: Promises and Limitations of MRI Methods

    PubMed Central

    Daugherty, Ana M; Raz, Naftali

    2015-01-01

    Age-related increase in frailty is accompanied by a fundamental shift in cellular iron homeostasis. By promoting oxidative stress, the intracellular accumulation of non-heme iron outside of binding complexes contributes to chronic inflammation and interferes with normal brain metabolism. In the absence of direct non-invasive biomarkers of brain oxidative stress, iron accumulation estimated in vivo may serve as its proxy indicator. Hence, developing reliable in vivo measurements of brain iron content via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is of significant interest in human neuroscience. To date, by estimating brain iron content through various MRI methods, significant age differences and age-related increases in iron content of the basal ganglia have been revealed across multiple samples. Less consistent are the findings that pertain to the relationship between elevated brain iron content and systemic indices of vascular and metabolic dysfunction. Only a handful of cross-sectional investigations have linked high iron content in various brain regions and poor performance on assorted cognitive tests. The even fewer longitudinal studies indicate that iron accumulation may precede shrinkage of the basal ganglia and thus predict poor maintenance of cognitive functions. This rapidly developing field will benefit from introduction of higher-field MRI scanners, improvement in iron-sensitive and -specific acquisition sequences and post-processing analytic and computational methods, as well as accumulation of data from long-term longitudinal investigations. This review describes the potential advantages and promises of MRI-based assessment of brain iron, summarizes recent findings and highlights the limitations of the current methodology. PMID:26248580

  10. How age of acquisition influences brain architecture in bilinguals

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Miao; Joshi, Anand A.; Zhang, Mingxia; Mei, Leilei; Manis, Franklin R.; He, Qinghua; Beattie, Rachel L.; Xue, Gui; Shattuck, David W.; Leahy, Richard M.; Xue, Feng; Houston, Suzanne M.; Chen, Chuansheng; Dong, Qi; Lu, Zhong-Lin

    2016-01-01

    In the present study, we explored how Age of Acquisition (AoA) of L2 affected brain structures in bilingual individuals. Thirty-six native English speakers who were bilingual were scanned with high resolution MRI. After MRI signal intensity inhomogeneity correction, we applied both voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and surface-based morphometry (SBM) approaches to the data. VBM analysis was performed using FSL’s standard VBM processing pipeline. For the SBM analysis, we utilized a semi-automated sulci delineation procedure, registered the brains to an atlas, and extracted measures of twenty four pre-selected regions of interest. We addressed three questions: (1) Which areas are more susceptible to differences in AoA? (2) How do AoA, proficiency and current level of exposure work together in predicting structural differences in the brain? And (3) What is the direction of the effect of AoA on regional volumetric and surface measures? Both VBM and SBM results suggested that earlier second language exposure was associated with larger volumes in the right parietal cortex. Consistently, SBM showed that the cortical area of the right superior parietal lobule increased as AoA decreased. In contrast, in the right pars orbitalis of the inferior frontal gyrus, AoA, proficiency, and current level of exposure are equally important in accounting for the structural differences. We interpret our results in terms of current theory and research on the effects of L2 learning on brain structures and functions. PMID:27695193

  11. Age differences in the brain mechanisms of good taste.

    PubMed

    Rolls, Edmund T; Kellerhals, Michele B; Nichols, Thomas E

    2015-06-01

    There is strong evidence demonstrating age-related differences in the acceptability of foods and beverages. To examine the neural foundations underlying these age-related differences in the acceptability of different flavors and foods, we performed an fMRI study to investigate brain and hedonic responses to orange juice, orange soda, and vegetable juice in three different age groups: Young (22), Middle (40) and Elderly (60 years). Orange juice and orange soda were found to be liked by all age groups, while vegetable juice was disliked by the Young, but liked by the Elderly. In the insular primary taste cortex, the activations to these stimuli were similar in the 3 age groups, indicating that the differences in liking for these stimuli between the 3 groups were not represented in this first stage of cortical taste processing. In the agranular insula (anterior to the insular primary taste cortex) where flavor is represented, the activations to the stimuli were similar in the Elderly, but in the Young the activations were larger to the vegetable juice than to the orange drinks; and the activations here were correlated with the unpleasantness of the stimuli. In the anterior midcingulate cortex, investigated as a site where the activations were correlated with the unpleasantness of the stimuli, there was again a greater activation to the vegetable than to the orange stimuli in the Young but not in the Elderly. In the amygdala (and orbitofrontal cortex), investigated as sites where the activations were correlated with the pleasantness of the stimuli, there was a smaller activation to the vegetable than to the orange stimuli in the Young but not in the Elderly. The Middle group was intermediate with respect to the separation of their activations to the stimuli in the brain areas that represent the pleasantness or unpleasantness of flavors. Thus age differences in the activations to different flavors can in some brain areas be related to, and probably cause, the

  12. Reversal of glial and neurovascular markers of unhealthy brain aging by exercise in middle-aged female mice.

    PubMed

    Latimer, Caitlin S; Searcy, James L; Bridges, Michael T; Brewer, Lawrence D; Popović, Jelena; Blalock, Eric M; Landfield, Philip W; Thibault, Olivier; Porter, Nada M

    2011-01-01

    Healthy brain aging and cognitive function are promoted by exercise. The benefits of exercise are attributed to several mechanisms, many which highlight its neuroprotective role via actions that enhance neurogenesis, neuronal morphology and/or neurotrophin release. However, the brain is also composed of glial and vascular elements, and comparatively less is known regarding the effects of exercise on these components in the aging brain. Here, we show that aerobic exercise at mid-age decreased markers of unhealthy brain aging including astrocyte hypertrophy, a hallmark of brain aging. Middle-aged female mice were assigned to a sedentary group or provided a running wheel for six weeks. Exercise decreased hippocampal astrocyte and myelin markers of aging but increased VEGF, a marker of angiogenesis. Brain vascular casts revealed exercise-induced structural modifications associated with improved endothelial function in the periphery. Our results suggest that age-related astrocyte hypertrophy/reactivity and myelin dysregulation are aggravated by a sedentary lifestyle and accompanying reductions in vascular function. However, these effects appear reversible with exercise initiated at mid-age. As this period of the lifespan coincides with the appearance of multiple markers of brain aging, including initial signs of cognitive decline, it may represent a window of opportunity for intervention as the brain appears to still possess significant vascular plasticity. These results may also have particular implications for aging females who are more susceptible than males to certain risk factors which contribute to vascular aging.

  13. Can Endocrine Disruptors Influence Neuroplasticity In The Aging Brain?

    PubMed Central

    Weiss, Bernard

    2007-01-01

    Only within the last two decades has the adult mammalian brain been recognized for its ability to generate new nerve cells and other neural structures and in essence to rewire itself. Although hippocampal structures have received the greatest scrutiny, other sites, including the cerebral cortex, also display this potential. Such processes remain active in the aging brain, although to a lesser degree. Two of the factors known to induce neurogenesis are environmental enrichment and physical activity. Gonadal hormones, however, also play crucial roles. Androgens and estrogens are both required for the preservation of cognitive function during aging and apparently help counteract the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. One overlooked threat to hormonal adequacy that requires close examination is the abundance of environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals that interfere with gonadal function. They come in the form of estrogenic mimics, androgen mimics, anti-estrogens, anti-androgens, and in a variety of other guises. Because our brains are in continuous transition throughout the lifespan, responding both to environmental circumstances and to changing levels of gonadal steroids, endocrine-disrupting chemicals possess the potential to impair neurogenesis, and represent a hazard for the preservation of cognitive function during the later stages of the life cycle. PMID:17350099

  14. TorsinB expression in the developing human brain.

    PubMed

    Bahn, E; Siegert, S; Pfander, T; Kramer, M L; Schulz-Schaeffer, W J; Hewett, J W; Breakefield, X O; Hedreen, J C; Rostásy, K M

    2006-10-20

    Familial, early onset, generalized torsion dystonia is the most common and severe primary dystonia. The majority of cases are caused by a 3-bp deletion (GAG) in the coding region of the DYT1 (TOR1A) gene. The cellular and regional distribution of torsinA protein, which is restricted to neuronal cells and present in all brain regions by the age of 2 months has been described recently in human developing brain. TorsinB is a member of the same family of proteins and is highly homologous with its gene adjacent to that for torsinA on chromosome 9q34. TorsinA and torsinB share several remarkable features suggesting that they may interact in vivo. This study examined the expression of torsinB in the human brain of fetuses, infants and children up to 7 years of age. Our results indicate that torsinB protein expression is temporarily and spatially regulated in a similar fashion as torsinA. Expression of torsinB protein was detectable beginning at four to 8 weeks of age in the cerebellum (Purkinje cells), substantia nigra (dopaminergic neurons), hippocampus and basal ganglia and was predominantly restricted to neuronal cells. In contrast to torsinA, torsinB immunoreactivity was found more readily in the nuclear envelope. High levels of torsinB protein were maintained throughout infancy, childhood and adulthood suggesting that torsinB is also needed for developmental events occurring in the early postnatal phase and is necessary for functional activity throughout life.

  15. [Neuroethics: Ethical Endowments of Human Brain].

    PubMed

    López Moratalla, Natalia

    2015-01-01

    The neurobiological processes underlying moral judgement have been the focus of Neuroethics. Neurosciences demonstrate which cerebral areas are active and inactive whilst people decide how to act when facing a moral dilemma; in this way we know the correlation between determined cerebral areas and our human acts. We can explain how the ″ethical endowments″ of each person, common to all human beings, is ″embedded″ in the dynamic of cerebral flows. Of central interest is whether emotions play a causal role in moral judgement, and, in parallel, how emotion related areas of the brain contribute to moral judgement. The outcome of man's natural inclinations is on one hand linked to instinctive systems of animal survival and to basic emotions, and on the other, to the life of each individual human uninhibited by automatism of the biological laws, because he is governed by the laws of freedom. The capacity to formulate an ethical judgement is an innate asset of the human mind.

  16. The Human Brain in Numbers: A Linearly Scaled-up Primate Brain

    PubMed Central

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2009-01-01

    The human brain has often been viewed as outstanding among mammalian brains: the most cognitively able, the largest-than-expected from body size, endowed with an overdeveloped cerebral cortex that represents over 80% of brain mass, and purportedly containing 100 billion neurons and 10× more glial cells. Such uniqueness was seemingly necessary to justify the superior cognitive abilities of humans over larger-brained mammals such as elephants and whales. However, our recent studies using a novel method to determine the cellular composition of the brain of humans and other primates as well as of rodents and insectivores show that, since different cellular scaling rules apply to the brains within these orders, brain size can no longer be considered a proxy for the number of neurons in the brain. These studies also showed that the human brain is not exceptional in its cellular composition, as it was found to contain as many neuronal and non-neuronal cells as would be expected of a primate brain of its size. Additionally, the so-called overdeveloped human cerebral cortex holds only 19% of all brain neurons, a fraction that is similar to that found in other mammals. In what regards absolute numbers of neurons, however, the human brain does have two advantages compared to other mammalian brains: compared to rodents, and probably to whales and elephants as well, it is built according to the very economical, space-saving scaling rules that apply to other primates; and, among economically built primate brains, it is the largest, hence containing the most neurons. These findings argue in favor of a view of cognitive abilities that is centered on absolute numbers of neurons, rather than on body size or encephalization, and call for a re-examination of several concepts related to the exceptionality of the human brain. PMID:19915731

  17. SEARCHING HUMAN BRAIN FOR MECHANISMS OF PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS

    PubMed Central

    Berretta, Sabina; Heckers, Stephan; Benes, Francine M.

    2014-01-01

    In the past 25 years, research on the human brain has been providing a clear path toward understanding the pathophysiology of psychiatric illnesses. The successes that have been accrued are matched by significant difficulties identifying and controlling a large number of potential confounding variables. By systematically and effectively accounting for unwanted variance in data from imaging and postmortem human brain studies, meaningful and reliable information regarding the pathophysiology of human brain disorders can be obtained. This perspective paper focuses on postmortem investigations to discuss some of the most challenging sources of variance, including diagnosis, comorbidity, substance abuse and pharmacological treatment, which confound investigations of human brain. PMID:25458567

  18. Advanced BrainAGE in older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus

    PubMed Central

    Franke, Katja; Gaser, Christian; Manor, Brad; Novak, Vera

    2013-01-01

    Aging alters brain structure and function and diabetes mellitus (DM) may accelerate this process. This study investigated the effects of type 2 DM on individual brain aging as well as the relationships between individual brain aging, risk factors, and functional measures. To differentiate a pattern of brain atrophy that deviates from normal brain aging, we used the novel BrainAGE approach, which determines the complex multidimensional aging pattern within the whole brain by applying established kernel regression methods to anatomical brain magnetic resonance images (MRI). The “Brain Age Gap Estimation” (BrainAGE) score was then calculated as the difference between chronological age and estimated brain age. 185 subjects (98 with type 2 DM) completed an MRI at 3Tesla, laboratory and clinical assessments. Twenty-five subjects (12 with type 2 DM) also completed a follow-up visit after 3.8 ± 1.5 years. The estimated brain age of DM subjects was 4.6 ± 7.2 years greater than their chronological age (p = 0.0001), whereas within the control group, estimated brain age was similar to chronological age. As compared to baseline, the average BrainAGE scores of DM subjects increased by 0.2 years per follow-up year (p = 0.034), whereas the BrainAGE scores of controls did not change between baseline and follow-up. At baseline, across all subjects, higher BrainAGE scores were associated with greater smoking and alcohol consumption, higher tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) levels, lower verbal fluency scores and more severe deprepession. Within the DM group, higher BrainAGE scores were associated with longer diabetes duration (r = 0.31, p = 0.019) and increased fasting blood glucose levels (r = 0.34, p = 0.025). In conclusion, type 2 DM is independently associated with structural changes in the brain that reflect advanced aging. The BrainAGE approach may thus serve as a clinically relevant biomarker for the detection of abnormal patterns of brain aging associated with type 2

  19. The role of the brain in female reproductive aging.

    PubMed

    Downs, Jodi L; Wise, Phyllis M

    2009-02-05

    In middle-aged women, follicular depletion is a critical factor mediating the menopausal transition; however, all levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis contribute to the age-related decline in reproductive function. To help elucidate the complex interactions between the ovary and brain during middle-age that lead to the onset of the menopause, we utilize animal models which share striking similarities in reproductive physiology. Our results show that during middle-age, prior to any overt irregularities in estrous cyclicity, the ability of 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) to modulate the cascade of neurochemical events required for preovulatory gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) release and a luteinizing hormone (LH) surge is diminished. Middle-aged female rats experience a delay in and an attenuation of LH release in response to E(2). Additionally, although we do not observe a decrease in GnRH neuron number until a very advanced age, E(2)-mediated GnRH neuronal activation declines during the earliest stages of age-related reproductive decline. Numerous hypothalamic neuropeptides and neurochemical stimulatory inputs (i.e., glutamate, norepinephrine (NE), and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)) that drive the E(2)-mediated GnRH/LH surge appear to dampen with age or lack the precise temporal coordination required for a specific pattern of GnRH secretion, while inhibitory signals such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and opioid peptides remain unchanged or elevated during the afternoon of proestrus. These changes, occurring at the level of the hypothalamus, lead to irregular estrous cycles and, ultimately, the cessation of reproductive function. Taken together, our studies indicate that the hypothalamus is an important contributor to age-related female reproductive decline.

  20. [Physiological features of skin ageing in human].

    PubMed

    Tikhonova, I V; Tankanag, A V; Chemeris, N K

    2013-01-01

    The issue deals with the actual problem of gerontology, notably physiological features of human skin ageing. In the present review the authors have considered the kinds of ageing, central factors, affected on the ageing process (ultraviolet radiation and oxidation stress), as well as the research guidelines of the ageing changes in the skin structure and fuctions: study of mechanical properties, microcirculation, pH and skin thickness. The special attention has been payed to the methods of assessment of skin blood flow, and to results of investigations of age features of peripheral microhemodynamics. The laser Doppler flowmetry technique - one of the modern, noninvasive and extensively used methods for the assessmant of skin blood flow microcirculation system has been expanded in the review. The main results of the study of the ageing changes of skin blood perfusion using this method has been also presented.

  1. Intrinsic functional brain architecture derived from graph theoretical analysis in the human fetus.

    PubMed

    Thomason, Moriah E; Brown, Jesse A; Dassanayake, Maya T; Shastri, Rupal; Marusak, Hilary A; Hernandez-Andrade, Edgar; Yeo, Lami; Mody, Swati; Berman, Susan; Hassan, Sonia S; Romero, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    The human brain undergoes dramatic maturational changes during late stages of fetal and early postnatal life. The importance of this period to the establishment of healthy neural connectivity is apparent in the high incidence of neural injury in preterm infants, in whom untimely exposure to ex-uterine factors interrupts neural connectivity. Though the relevance of this period to human neuroscience is apparent, little is known about functional neural networks in human fetal life. Here, we apply graph theoretical analysis to examine human fetal brain connectivity. Utilizing resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from 33 healthy human fetuses, 19 to 39 weeks gestational age (GA), our analyses reveal that the human fetal brain has modular organization and modules overlap functional systems observed postnatally. Age-related differences between younger (GA <31 weeks) and older (GA≥31 weeks) fetuses demonstrate that brain modularity decreases, and connectivity of the posterior cingulate to other brain networks becomes more negative, with advancing GA. By mimicking functional principles observed postnatally, these results support early emerging capacity for information processing in the human fetal brain. Current technical limitations, as well as the potential for fetal fMRI to one day produce major discoveries about fetal origins or antecedents of neural injury or disease are discussed.

  2. Neural Plastic Effects of Cognitive Training on Aging Brain.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. [Age and aging as incomplete architecture of human ontogenesis].

    PubMed

    Baltes, P B

    1999-12-01

    The focus is on the basic biological-genetic and social-cultural architecture of human development across the life span. The starting point is the frame provided by past evolutionary forces. A first conclusion is that for modern times and the relative brevity of the time windows involved in modernity, further change in human functioning is primarily dependent on the evolution of new cultural forms of knowledge rather than evolution-based changes in the human genome. A second conclusion concerns the general architecture of the life course. Three governing lifespan developmental principles coexist. First, because long-term evolutionary selection evince a negative age correlation, genome-based plasticity and biological potential decrease with age. Second, for growth aspects of human development to extend further into the life span, culture-based resources are required at ever increasing levels. Third, because of age-related losses in biological plasticity and negative effects associated with some principles of learning (e.g., negative transfer), the efficiency of culture is reduced as lifespan development unfolds. Joint application of these principles suggests that the lifespan architecture becomes more and more incomplete with age. Three examples are given to illustrate the implications of the lifespan architecture outlined. The first is a general theory of development involving the orchestration of three component processes and their age-related dynamics: Selection, optimization, and compensation. The second example is theory and research on lifespan intelligence that distinguishes between the biology-based mechanics and culture-based pragmatics of intelligence and specifies distinct age gradients for the two categories of intellectual functioning. The third example considers the goal of evolving a positive biological and cultural scenario for the last phase of life (fourth age). Because of the general lifespan architecture outlined, this objective becomes

  4. [Sexual differentiation of the human brain].

    PubMed

    Kula, K; Słowikowska-Hilczer, J

    2000-01-01

    Normal human development requires the compatibility between genetic sex (sex chromosomes), sex of gonades (tests or ovaries), genitalia (external and internal sex organs), somatic features (body characteristics) and psychic sex. The psychic sex, called frequently gender, consist of gender identity (self-estimation), gender role (objective estimation) and sexual orientation (hetero- or homosexual). It was believed that the psychic gender depends only on socio-environmental influences such as rearing, learning and individual choice. Although, the process of sexual differentiation of human brain is not completely elucidated, it has became recently evident that endogenous hormones more then socio-environmental factors influence gender differences. Experimental studies on animals revealed that transient action of sex steroids during perinatal period of life is crucial for the dymorphism of sexual behavior (male or female) in adulthood. It seems, that also in the human male neonates testosterone produced by testes perinatally takes the main role in the irreversible masculinization of the brain i.e. creation of the differences vs. female brain. The evaluation of patients with disturbances of sexual differentiation of external genitalia (the lack of the testosterone transformation into 5-alpha dihydrotestosterone in peripheral tissues of men or the inborn excess of androgens in women with the congenital adrenal hyperplasia) has served as a useful clinical model for understanding factors, affecting the formation of gender. In these individuals the formal sex established according to genetic sex and somatic sex may be incompatible with gender identity and role. However, it has been found that the female gender identity is most frequently associated with the presence of ovaries or the lack of gonads (gonadal dysgenesis), while the male gender identity appear most frequently in the presence of testicular tissue irrespective of female or hermaphrodite (intersex) phenotype. In

  5. Diffeomorphic registration with self-adaptive spatial regularization for the segmentation of non-human primate brains.

    PubMed

    Risser, Laurent; Dolius, Lionel; Fonta, Caroline; Mescam, Muriel

    2014-01-01

    Cerebral aging has been linked to structural and functional changes in the brain throughout life. Here, we study the marmoset, a small non-human primate, in order to get insights into the mechanisms of brain aging in normal and pathological conditions. Imaging the brain of small animals with techniques such as MRI, quickly becomes a challenging task when compared with human brain imaging. Very often, a simple pre-processing step such as brain extraction cannot be achieved with classical tools. In this paper, we propose a diffeomorphic registration algorithm, which makes use of learned constraints to propagate the manual segmentation of a marmoset brain template to other MR images of marmoset brains. The main methological contribution of our paper is to explore a new strategy to automatically tune the spatial regularization of the deformations. Results show that we obtain a robust segmentation of the brain, even for images with a low contrast.

  6. Brain Food for Alzheimer-Free Ageing: Focus on Herbal Medicines.

    PubMed

    Hügel, Helmut M

    2015-01-01

    Healthy brain aging and the problems of dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are a global concern. Beyond 60 years of age, most, if not everyone, will experience a decline in cognitive skills, memory capacity and changes in brain structure. Longevity eventually leads to an accumulation of amyloid plaques and/or tau tangles, including some vascular dementia damage. Therefore, lifestyle choices are paramount to leading either a brain-derived or a brain-deprived life. The focus of this review is to critically examine the evidence, impact, influence and mechanisms of natural products as chemopreventive agents which induce therapeutic outcomes that modulate the aggregation process of beta-amyloid (Aβ), providing measureable cognitive benefits in the aging process. Plants can be considered as chemical factories that manufacture huge numbers of diverse bioactive substances, many of which have the potential to provide substantial neuroprotective benefits. Medicinal herbs and health food supplements have been widely used in Asia since over 2,000 years. The phytochemicals utilized in traditional Chinese medicine have demonstrated safety profiles for human consumption. Many herbs with anti-amyloidogenic activity, including those containing polyphenolic constituents such as green tea, turmeric, Salvia miltiorrhiza, and Panax ginseng, are presented. Also covered in this review are extracts from kitchen spices including cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, sage, salvia herbs, Chinese celery and many others some of which are commonly used in herbal combinations and represent highly promising therapeutic natural compounds against AD. A number of clinical trials conducted on herbs to counter dementia and AD are discussed.

  7. Aging of the human ovary and testis.

    PubMed

    Perheentupa, Antti; Huhtaniemi, Ilpo

    2009-02-05

    Aging is associated with structural and functional alterations in all organs of the human body. The aging of gonads represents in this respect a special case, because these organs are not functional for the whole lifespan of an individual and their normal function is not indispensable for functions of the rest of the body. Ovarian function lasts for the reproductive life of a woman, i.e., from menarche until menopause. The testicular endocrine function, in contrast, begins already in utero, is interrupted between neonatal life and puberty, and continues thereafter along with spermatogenesis, with only slight decline, until old age. The aging processes of the ovary and testis are therefore very different. We describe in this review the structural and functional alterations in the human ovary and testis upon aging. Special emphasis will be given to clinically significant alterations, which in women concern the causes and consequences of the individual variability of fertility during the latter part of the reproductive age. The clinically important aspect of testicular aging entails the decline of androgen production in aging men.

  8. Listeriolysin O mediates cytotoxicity against human brain microvascular

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Penetration of the brain microvascular endothelial layer is one of the routes L. monocytogenes use to breach the blood-brain barrier. Because host factors in the blood severely limit direct invasion of human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs) by L. monocytogenes, alternative mechanisms m...

  9. The Human Brain Project: social and ethical challenges.

    PubMed

    Rose, Nikolas

    2014-06-18

    Focusing on the Human Brain Project, I discuss some social and ethical challenges raised by such programs of research: the possibility of a unified knowledge of "the brain," balancing privacy and the public good, dilemmas of "dual use," brain-computer interfaces, and "responsible research and innovation" in governance of emerging technologies.

  10. Dynamics of LPO products and oxidative modification of proteins in human brain during postnatal development.

    PubMed

    Volchegorskii, I A; Malinovskaya, N V; Shumelyova, O V; Shiemyakov, S E

    2007-08-01

    Opposite changes in the content of LPO products and products of oxidative modification of proteins were detected in human brain structures in the course of postnatal development. A clear-cut ontogenetic reduction of LPO products was observed in field 17 of the cortex, archicortex structures, and in the hypothalamus. Age-specific increase in the levels of products of oxidative modification of proteins was recorded in all compartments of the brain; it peaked by the age of 12-21 years and was most pronounced (4-6-fold) in the visual cortex, hippocampus, diencephalic and pontobulbar compartments of the brain.

  11. Dynamic analysis of the human brain with complex cerebral sulci.

    PubMed

    Tseng, Jung-Ge; Huang, Bo-Wun; Ou, Yi-Wen; Yen, Ke-Tien; Wu, Yi-Te

    2016-07-03

    The brain is one of the most vulnerable organs inside the human body. Head accidents often appear in daily life and are easy to cause different level of brain damage inside the skull. Once the brain suffered intense locomotive impact, external injuries, falls, or other accidents, it will result in different degrees of concussion. This study employs finite element analysis to compare the dynamic characteristics between the geometric models of an assumed simple brain tissue and a brain tissue with complex cerebral sulci. It is aimed to understand the free vibration of the internal brain tissue and then to protect the brain from injury caused by external influences. Reverse engineering method is used for a Classic 5-Part Brain (C18) model produced by 3B Scientific Corporation. 3D optical scanner is employed to scan the human brain structure model with complex cerebral sulci and imported into 3D graphics software to construct a solid brain model to simulate the real complex brain tissue. Obtaining the normal mode analysis by inputting the material properties of the true human brain into finite element analysis software, and then to compare the simplified and the complex of brain models.

  12. Microglial cell dysregulation in brain aging and neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    von Bernhardi, Rommy; Eugenín-von Bernhardi, Laura; Eugenín, Jaime

    2015-01-01

    Aging is the main risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases. In aging, microglia undergoes phenotypic changes compatible with their activation. Glial activation can lead to neuroinflammation, which is increasingly accepted as part of the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). We hypothesize that in aging, aberrant microglia activation leads to a deleterious environment and neurodegeneration. In aged mice, microglia exhibit an increased expression of cytokines and an exacerbated inflammatory response to pathological changes. Whereas LPS increases nitric oxide (NO) secretion in microglia from young mice, induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) predominates in older mice. Furthermore, there is accumulation of DNA oxidative damage in mitochondria of microglia during aging, and also an increased intracellular ROS production. Increased ROS activates the redox-sensitive nuclear factor kappa B, which promotes more neuroinflammation, and can be translated in functional deficits, such as cognitive impairment. Mitochondria-derived ROS and cathepsin B, are also necessary for the microglial cell production of interleukin-1β, a key inflammatory cytokine. Interestingly, whereas the regulatory cytokine TGFβ1 is also increased in the aged brain, neuroinflammation persists. Assessing this apparent contradiction, we have reported that TGFβ1 induction and activation of Smad3 signaling after inflammatory stimulation are reduced in adult mice. Other protective functions, such as phagocytosis, although observed in aged animals, become not inducible by inflammatory stimuli and TGFβ1. Here, we discuss data suggesting that mitochondrial and endolysosomal dysfunction could at least partially mediate age-associated microglial cell changes, and, together with the impairment of the TGFβ1-Smad3 pathway, could result in the reduction of protective activation and the facilitation of cytotoxic activation of microglia, resulting in the promotion of

  13. Microglial cell dysregulation in brain aging and neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    von Bernhardi, Rommy; Eugenín-von Bernhardi, Laura; Eugenín, Jaime

    2015-01-01

    Aging is the main risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases. In aging, microglia undergoes phenotypic changes compatible with their activation. Glial activation can lead to neuroinflammation, which is increasingly accepted as part of the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We hypothesize that in aging, aberrant microglia activation leads to a deleterious environment and neurodegeneration. In aged mice, microglia exhibit an increased expression of cytokines and an exacerbated inflammatory response to pathological changes. Whereas LPS increases nitric oxide (NO) secretion in microglia from young mice, induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) predominates in older mice. Furthermore, there is accumulation of DNA oxidative damage in mitochondria of microglia during aging, and also an increased intracellular ROS production. Increased ROS activates the redox-sensitive nuclear factor kappa B, which promotes more neuroinflammation, and can be translated in functional deficits, such as cognitive impairment. Mitochondria-derived ROS and cathepsin B, are also necessary for the microglial cell production of interleukin-1β, a key inflammatory cytokine. Interestingly, whereas the regulatory cytokine TGFβ1 is also increased in the aged brain, neuroinflammation persists. Assessing this apparent contradiction, we have reported that TGFβ1 induction and activation of Smad3 signaling after inflammatory stimulation are reduced in adult mice. Other protective functions, such as phagocytosis, although observed in aged animals, become not inducible by inflammatory stimuli and TGFβ1. Here, we discuss data suggesting that mitochondrial and endolysosomal dysfunction could at least partially mediate age-associated microglial cell changes, and, together with the impairment of the TGFβ1-Smad3 pathway, could result in the reduction of protective activation and the facilitation of cytotoxic activation of microglia, resulting in the promotion of

  14. The impact of aging on human sexuality.

    PubMed

    Rienzo, B A

    1985-02-01

    Review of gerontological and medical literature reveals the need for education for lay persons and professionals about the effects of the aging process on human sexuality. Primary prevention of psychosocial problems and sexual dysfunction could be abated by including accurate information about sexuality and aging and effective communication techniques in sexuality education programs, including those with young adults. In addition, professional preparation of health educators must include the skills and knowledge needed in this area.

  15. Moment-to-moment brain signal variability: A next frontier in human brain mapping?

    PubMed Central

    Garrett, Douglas D.; Samanez-Larkin, Gregory R.; MacDonald, Stuart W.S.; Lindenberger, Ulman; McIntosh, Anthony R.; Grady, Cheryl L.

    2013-01-01

    Neuroscientists have long observed that brain activity is naturally variable from moment-to-moment, but neuroimaging research has largely ignored the potential importance of this phenomenon. An emerging research focus on within-person brain signal variability is providing novel insights, and offering highly predictive, complementary, and even orthogonal views of brain function in relation to human life-span development, cognitive performance, and various clinical conditions. As a result, brain signal variability is evolving as a bona fide signal of interest, and should no longer be dismissed as meaningless noise when mapping the human brain. PMID:23458776

  16. Moment-to-moment brain signal variability: a next frontier in human brain mapping?

    PubMed

    Garrett, Douglas D; Samanez-Larkin, Gregory R; MacDonald, Stuart W S; Lindenberger, Ulman; McIntosh, Anthony R; Grady, Cheryl L

    2013-05-01

    Neuroscientists have long observed that brain activity is naturally variable from moment-to-moment, but neuroimaging research has largely ignored the potential importance of this phenomenon. An emerging research focus on within-person brain signal variability is providing novel insights, and offering highly predictive, complementary, and even orthogonal views of brain function in relation to human lifespan development, cognitive performance, and various clinical conditions. As a result, brain signal variability is evolving as a bona fide signal of interest, and should no longer be dismissed as meaningless noise when mapping the human brain.

  17. [Human brain resource--experience at the Brain Research Institute,University of Niigata].

    PubMed

    Kakita, Akiyoshi; Takahashi, Hitoshi

    2010-10-01

    Through 40 years of neuropathological practice,the Brain Research Institute, University of Niigata (BRI-Niigata), Japan has accumulated extensive human brain resource,including fresh-frozen brain slices,for scientific research. Over 30,000 slices obtained from consecutive autopsies have been systematically stored in 25 deep freezers. Establishment of effective networks between brain banks and institutional collections in Japan is essential for promoting scientific activities that require human brain resource. We at the BRI-Niigata are eager to contribute to the establishment of such networks.

  18. Frequency interactions in human epileptic brain.

    PubMed

    Cotic, Marija; Zalay, Osbert; Valiante, Taufik; Carlen, Peter L; Bardakjian, Berj L

    2011-01-01

    We have used two algorithms, wavelet phase coherence (WPC) and modulation index (MI) analysis to study frequency interactions in the human epileptic brain. Quantitative analyses were performed on intracranial electroencephalographic (iEEG) segments from three patients with neocortical epilepsy. Interelectrode coherence was measured using WPC and intraelectrode frequency interactions were analyzed using MI. WPC was performed on electrode pairings and the temporal evolution of phase couplings in the following frequency ranges: 1-4 Hz, 4-8 Hz, 8-13 Hz, 13-30 Hz and 30-100 Hz was studied. WPC was strongest in the 1-4 Hz frequency range during both seizure and non-seizure activities; however, WPC values varied minimally between electrode pairings. The 13-30 Hz band showed the lowest WPC values during seizure activity. MI analysis yielded two prominent patterns of frequency-specific activity, during seizure and non-seizure activities, which were present across all patients.

  19. Diffusion tensor spectroscopy (DTS) of human brain.

    PubMed

    Ellegood, Jacob; Hanstock, Chris C; Beaulieu, Christian

    2006-01-01

    The diffusion tensor of N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), creatine and phosphocreatine (tCr), and choline (Cho) was measured at 3T using a diffusion weighted STEAM (1)H-MRS sequence in the healthy human brain in 6 distinct regions (4 white matter and 2 cortical gray matter). The Trace/3 apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of each metabolite was significantly greater in white matter than gray matter. The Trace/3 ADC values of tCr and Cho were found to be significantly greater than NAA in white matter, whereas all 3 metabolites had similar Trace/3 ADC in cortical gray matter. Fractional anisotropy (FA) values for all 3 metabolites were consistent with water FA values in the 4 white matter regions; however, metabolite FA values were found to be higher than expected in the cortical gray matter. The principal diffusion direction derived for NAA was in good agreement with expected anatomic tract directions in the white matter.

  20. Cristobalite and Hematite Particles in Human Brain.

    PubMed

    Kopani, Martin; Kopaniova, A; Trnka, M; Caplovicova, M; Rychly, B; Jakubovsky, J

    2016-11-01

    Foreign substances get into the internal environment of living bodies and accumulate in various organs. Cristobalite and hematite particles in the glial cells of pons cerebri of human brain with diagnosis of Behhet disease with scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive microanalysis (EDX), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with diffraction were identified. SEM with EDX revealed the matter of irregular micrometer-sized particles sometimes forming polyhedrons with fibrilar or stratified structure. It was found in some particles Ti, Fe, and Zn. Some particles contained Cu. TEM and electron diffraction showed particles of cristobalite and hematite. The presence of the particles can be a result of environmental effect, disruption of normal metabolism, and transformation of physiologically iron-ferrihydrite into more stable form-hematite. From the size of particles can be drawn the long-term accumulation of elements in glial cells.

  1. Combining an antioxidant-fortified diet with behavioral enrichment leads to cognitive improvement and reduced brain pathology in aging canines: strategies for healthy aging.

    PubMed

    Head, Elizabeth

    2007-10-01

    The number of elderly individuals in our population is rapidly rising and age-associated neurodegenerative disease is becoming more prevalent. Thus, identifying ways by which we can promote healthy aging are becoming more critical. Lifestyle factors, such as engaging in physical, intellectual, and social activities, are protective against dementia in aged individuals. Similarly, there is some evidence to suggest that antioxidants are beneficial. Observational studies in humans have been confirmed and extended in rodent model systems. We present additional evidence that, in a canine model of aging, combining an antioxidant-enriched diet and behavioral enrichment (including social, physical, and cognitive components) can lead to substantial improvements in cognition and reduced brain pathology. These results suggest that modifying lifestyle factors can have a beneficial impact on the aging process, even in aged individuals with existing cognitive decline and brain pathology.

  2. Improving brain signaling in aging: could berries be the answer?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As the lifespan of humans is increasing, the quest for “healthy aging” is increasingly becoming a focus of the media and people. This trend is important, as the population of people over 65 years of age worldwide is expected to triple by midcentury. Many regard “healthy aging” as preventing wrinkles...

  3. Docosahexaenoic acid and human brain development: evidence that a dietary supply is needed for optimal development.

    PubMed

    Brenna, J Thomas; Carlson, Susan E

    2014-12-01

    Humans evolved a uniquely large brain among terrestrial mammals. Brain and nervous tissue is rich in the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Docosahexaenoic acid is required for lower and high order functions in humans because of understood and emerging molecular mechanisms. Among brain components that depend on dietary components, DHA is limiting because its synthesis from terrestrial plant food precursors is low but its utilization when consumed in diet is very efficient. Negligible DHA is found in terrestrial plants, but in contrast, DHA is plentiful at the shoreline where it is made by single-celled organisms and plants, and in the seas supports development of very large marine mammal brains. Modern human brains accumulate DHA up to age 18, most aggressively from about half-way through gestation to about two years of age. Studies in modern humans and non-human primates show that modern infants consuming infant formulas that include only DHA precursors have lower DHA levels than for those with a source of preformed DHA. Functional measures show that infants consuming preformed DHA have improved visual and cognitive function. Dietary preformed DHA in the breast milk of modern mothers supports many-fold greater breast milk DHA than is found in the breast milk of vegans, a phenomenon linked to consumption of shore-based foods. Most current evidence suggests that the DHA-rich human brain required an ample and sustained source of dietary DHA to reach its full potential.

  4. Energetic and nutritional constraints on infant brain development: implications for brain expansion during human evolution.

    PubMed

    Cunnane, Stephen C; Crawford, Michael A

    2014-12-01

    The human brain confronts two major challenges during its development: (i) meeting a very high energy requirement, and (ii) reliably accessing an adequate dietary source of specific brain selective nutrients needed for its structure and function. Implicitly, these energetic and nutritional constraints to normal brain development today would also have been constraints on human brain evolution. The energetic constraint was solved in large measure by the evolution in hominins of a unique and significant layer of body fat on the fetus starting during the third trimester of gestation. By providing fatty acids for ketone production that are needed as brain fuel, this fat layer supports the brain's high energy needs well into childhood. This fat layer also contains an important reserve of the brain selective omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), not available in other primates. Foremost amongst the brain selective minerals are iodine and iron, with zinc, copper and selenium also being important. A shore-based diet, i.e., fish, molluscs, crustaceans, frogs, bird's eggs and aquatic plants, provides the richest known dietary sources of brain selective nutrients. Regular access to these foods by the early hominin lineage that evolved into humans would therefore have helped free the nutritional constraint on primate brain development and function. Inadequate dietary supply of brain selective nutrients still has a deleterious impact on human brain development on a global scale today, demonstrating the brain's ongoing vulnerability. The core of the shore-based paradigm of human brain evolution proposes that sustained access by certain groups of early Homo to freshwater and marine food resources would have helped surmount both the nutritional as well as the energetic constraints on mammalian brain development.

  5. Exercise benefits for the aging brain depend on the accompanying cognitive load: insights from sleep electroencephalogram.

    PubMed

    Horne, Jim

    2013-11-01

    Although exercise clearly offsets aging effects on the body, its benefits for the aging brain are likely to depend on the extent that physical activity (especially locomotion) facilitates multisensory encounters, curiosity, and interactions with novel environments; this is especially true for exploratory activity, which occupies much of wakefulness for most mammals in the wild. Cognition is inseparable from physical activity, with both interlinked to promote neuroplasticity and more successful brain aging. In these respects and for humans, exercising in a static, featureless, artificially lit indoor setting contrasts with exploratory outdoor walking within a novel environment during daylight. However, little is known about the comparative benefits for the aging brain of longer-term daily regimens of this latter nature including the role of sleep, to the extent that sleep enhances neuroplasticity as shown in short-term laboratory studies. More discerning analyses of sleep electroencephalogram (EEG) slow-wave activity especially 0.5-2-Hz activity would provide greater insights into use-dependent recovery processes during longer-term tracking of these regimens and complement slower changing waking neuropsychologic and resting functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures, including those of the brain's default mode network. Although the limited research only points to ephemeral small sleep EEG effects of pure exercise, more enduring effects seem apparent when physical activity incorporates cognitive challenges. In terms of "use it or lose it," curiosity-driven "getting out and about," encountering, interacting with, and enjoying novel situations may well provide the brain with its real exercise, further reflected in changes to the dynamics of sleep.

  6. Regional age-related effects in the monkey brain measured with 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Ronen, Itamar; Fan, Xiaoying; Schettler, Steve; Jain, Sahil; Murray, Donna; Kim, Dae-Shik; Killiany, Ronald; Rosene, Douglas

    2011-06-01

    The rhesus monkey is a useful model for examining age-related effects on the brain, because of the extensive neuroanatomical homology between the monkey and the human brain, the tight control for neurological diseases as well as the possibility of obtaining relevant behavioral data and post-mortem tissue for histological analyses. Here, proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) was used together with high-resolution anatomical MRI images to carefully assess regional concentrations of brain metabolites in a group of 20 rhesus monkeys. In an anterior volume of interest (VOI) that covered frontal and prefrontal areas, significant positive correlations of myo-inositol and of total creatine concentrations with age were detected, whereas N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) and choline compounds (Cho) were not significantly correlated with age. In an occipito-parietal VOI, all metabolites showed no statistically significant age-dependent trend. Strong correlations were found between NAA concentration and gray matter fraction in the VOIs as well as between choline compounds and white matter fraction.

  7. Role of walnuts in maintaining brain health with age.

    PubMed

    Poulose, Shibu M; Miller, Marshall G; Shukitt-Hale, Barbara

    2014-04-01

    Because of the combination of population growth and population aging, increases in the incidence of chronic neurodegenerative disorders have become a societal concern, both in terms of decreased quality of life and increased financial burden. Clinical manifestation of many of these disorders takes years, with the initiation of mild cognitive symptoms leading to behavioral problems, dementia and loss of motor functions, the need for assisted living, and eventual death. Lifestyle factors greatly affect the progression of cognitive decline, with high-risk behaviors including unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, smoking, and exposure to environmental toxins leading to enhanced oxidative stress and inflammation. Although there exists an urgent need to develop effective treatments for age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disease, prevention strategies have been underdeveloped. Primary prevention in many of these neurodegenerative diseases could be achieved earlier in life by consuming a healthy diet, rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals, which offers one of the most effective and least expensive ways to address the crisis. English walnuts (Juglans regia L.) are rich in numerous phytochemicals, including high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and offer potential benefits to brain health. Polyphenolic compounds found in walnuts not only reduce the oxidant and inflammatory load on brain cells but also improve interneuronal signaling, increase neurogenesis, and enhance sequestration of insoluble toxic protein aggregates. Evidence for the beneficial effects of consuming a walnut-rich diet is reviewed in this article.

  8. Human brain glial cells synthesize thrombospondin.

    PubMed Central

    Asch, A S; Leung, L L; Shapiro, J; Nachman, R L

    1986-01-01

    Thrombospondin, a 450-kDa multinodular glycoprotein with lectin-type activity, is found in human platelets, endothelial cells, fibroblasts, smooth muscle cells, monocytes, and granular pneumocytes. Thrombospondin interacts with heparin, fibrinogen, fibronectin, collagen, histidine-rich glycoprotein, and plasminogen. Recently, thrombospondin synthesis by smooth muscle cells has been reported to be augmented by platelet-derived growth factor. We present evidence that thrombospondin is present within and synthesized by astrocytic neuroglial cells. Heparin-Sepharose affinity chromatography of material derived from a human brain homogenate yielded a protein that, when reduced, had an apparent size of 180 kDa and comigrated with reduced platelet thrombospondin on NaDodSO4/PAGE. Immunoblot analysis with monospecific anti-thrombospondin confirmed the presence of immunoreactive thrombospondin. Indirect immunofluorescence of cultured human glial cells indicated the presence of thrombospondin. Metabolic labeling of glial cell cultures with [35S]methionine followed by immunoprecipitation with monospecific anti-thrombospondin revealed synthesis of a 180-kDa polypeptide that comigrated with platelet thrombospondin on NaDodSO4/PAGE. Cultured human glial cells were incubated for 48 hr in serum-free medium with purified platelet-derived growth factor at concentrations up to 50 ng/ml. Aliquots taken at intervals were analyzed by a quantitative double-antibody ELISA. The growth factor stimulated the release of thrombospondin into the culture medium by as much as 10-fold over control cultures. The presence of thrombospondin within glial cells of the central nervous system and the augmentation of its synthesis by platelet-derived growth factor suggest that thrombospondin may play an important role in regulating cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions during periods of cell division and growth. Images PMID:2939460

  9. Sex differences in brain organization: implications for human communication.

    PubMed

    Hanske-Petitpierre, V; Chen, A C

    1985-12-01

    This article reviews current knowledge in two major research domains: sex differences in neuropsychophysiology, and in human communication. An attempt was made to integrate knowledge from several areas of brain research with human communication and to clarify how such a cooperative effort may be beneficial to both fields of study. By combining findings from the area of brain research, a communication paradigm was developed which contends that brain-related sex differences may reside largely in the area of communication of emotion.

  10. Heritability of human brain functioning as assessed by electroencephalography

    SciTech Connect

    Beijsterveldt, C.E.M. van; Geus, E.J.C. de; Boomsma, D.I.

    1996-03-01

    To study the genetic and environmental contributions to individual differences in CNS functioning, the electroencephalogram (EEG) was measured in 213 twin pairs age 16 years. EEG was measured in 91 MZ and 122 DZ twins. To quantify sex differences in the genetic architecture, EEG was measured in female and male same-sex twins and in opposite-sex twins. EEG was recorded on 14 scalp positions during quiet resting with eyes closed. Spectral powers were calculated for four frequency bands: delta, theta, alpha, and beta. Twin correlations pointed toward high genetic influences for all these powers and scalp locations. Model fitting confirmed these findings; the largest part of the variance of the EEG is explained by additive genetic factors. The averaged heritabilities for the delta, theta, alpha, and beta frequencies was 76%, 89%, 89%, and 86%, respectively. Multivariate analyses suggested that the same genes for EEG alpha rhythm were expressed in different brain areas in the left and right hemisphere. This study shows that brain functioning, as indexed by rhythmic brain-electrical activity, is one of the most heritable characteristics in humans. 44 refs., 5 figs., 4 tabs.

  11. Accelerated aging syndromes, are they relevant to normal human aging?

    PubMed

    Dreesen, Oliver; Stewart, Colin L

    2011-09-01

    Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria (HGPS) and Werner syndromes are diseases that clinically resemble some aspects of accelerated aging. HGPS is caused by mutations in theLMNA gene resulting in post-translational processing defects that trigger Progeria in children. Werner syndrome, arising from mutations in the WRN helicase gene, causes premature aging in young adults. What are the molecular mechanism(s) underlying these disorders and what aspects of the diseases resemble physiological human aging? Much of what we know stems from the study of patient derived fibroblasts with both mutations resulting in increased DNA damage, primarily at telomeres. However, in vivo patients with Werner's develop arteriosclerosis, among other pathologies. In HGPS patients, including iPS derived cells from HGPS patients, as well as some mouse models for Progeria, vascular smooth muscle (VSM) appears to be among the most severely affected tissues. Defective Lamin processing, associated with DNA damage, is present in VSM from old individuals, indicating processing defects may be a factor in normal aging. Whether persistent DNA damage, particularly at telomeres, is the root cause for these pathologies remains to be established, since not all progeroid Lmna mutations result in DNA damage and genome instability.

  12. DNA methylation and healthy human aging.

    PubMed

    Jones, Meaghan J; Goodman, Sarah J; Kobor, Michael S

    2015-12-01

    The process of aging results in a host of changes at the cellular and molecular levels, which include senescence, telomere shortening, and changes in gene expression. Epigenetic patterns also change over the lifespan, suggesting that epigenetic changes may constitute an important component of the aging process. The epigenetic mark that has been most highly studied is DNA methylation, the presence of methyl groups at CpG dinucleotides. These dinucleotides are often located near gene promoters and associate with gene expression levels. Early studies indicated that global levels of DNA methylation increase over the first few years of life and then decrease beginning in late adulthood. Recently, with the advent of microarray and next-generation sequencing technologies, increases in variability of DNA methylation with age have been observed, and a number of site-specific patterns have been identified. It has also been shown that certain CpG sites are highly associated with age, to the extent that prediction models using a small number of these sites can accurately predict the chronological age of the donor. Together, these observations point to the existence of two phenomena that both contribute to age-related DNA methylation changes: epigenetic drift and the epigenetic clock. In this review, we focus on healthy human aging throughout the lifetime and discuss the dynamics of DNA methylation as well as how interactions between the genome, environment, and the epigenome influence aging rates. We also discuss the impact of determining 'epigenetic age' for human health and outline some important caveats to existing and future studies.

  13. Obesity accelerates epigenetic aging of human liver.

    PubMed

    Horvath, Steve; Erhart, Wiebke; Brosch, Mario; Ammerpohl, Ole; von Schönfels, Witigo; Ahrens, Markus; Heits, Nils; Bell, Jordana T; Tsai, Pei-Chien; Spector, Tim D; Deloukas, Panos; Siebert, Reiner; Sipos, Bence; Becker, Thomas; Röcken, Christoph; Schafmayer, Clemens; Hampe, Jochen

    2014-10-28

    Because of the dearth of biomarkers of aging, it has been difficult to test the hypothesis that obesity increases tissue age. Here we use a novel epigenetic biomarker of aging (referred to as an "epigenetic clock") to study the relationship between high body mass index (BMI) and the DNA methylation ages of human blood, liver, muscle, and adipose tissue. A significant correlation between BMI and epigenetic age acceleration could only be observed for liver (r = 0.42, P = 6.8 × 10(-4) in dataset 1 and r = 0.42, P = 1.2 × 10(-4) in dataset 2). On average, epigenetic age increased by 3.3 y for each 10 BMI units. The detected age acceleration in liver is not associated with the Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Activity Score or any of its component traits after adjustment for BMI. The 279 genes that are underexpressed in older liver samples are highly enriched (1.2 × 10(-9)) with nuclear mitochondrial genes that play a role in oxidative phosphorylation and electron transport. The epigenetic age acceleration, which is not reversible in the short term after rapid weight loss induced by bariatric surgery, may play a role in liver-related comorbidities of obesity, such as insulin resistance and liver cancer.

  14. Brain network changes and memory decline in aging.

    PubMed

    Beason-Held, Lori L; Hohman, Timothy J; Venkatraman, Vijay; An, Yang; Resnick, Susan M

    2016-06-18

    One theory of age-related cognitive decline proposes that changes within the default mode network (DMN) of the brain impact the ability to successfully perform cognitive operations. To investigate this theory, we examined functional covariance within brain networks using regional cerebral blood flow data, measured by (15)O-water PET, from 99 participants (mean baseline age 68.6 ± 7.5) in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging collected over a 7.4 year period. The sample was divided in tertiles based on longitudinal performance on a verbal recognition memory task administered during scanning, and functional covariance was compared between the upper (improvers) and lower (decliners) tertile groups. The DMN and verbal memory networks (VMN) were then examined during the verbal memory scan condition. For each network, group differences in node-to-network coherence and individual node-to-node covariance relationships were assessed at baseline and in change over time. Compared with improvers, decliners showed differences in node-to-network coherence and in node-to-node relationships in the DMN but not the VMN during verbal memory. These DMN differences reflected greater covariance with better task performance at baseline and both increasing and declining covariance with declining task performance over time for decliners. When examined during the resting state alone, the direction of change in DMN covariance was similar to that seen during task performance, but node-to-node relationships differed from those observed during the task condition. These results suggest that disengagement of DMN components during task performance is not essential for successful cognitive performance as previously proposed. Instead, a proper balance in network processes may be needed to support optimal task performance.

  15. Influence of aging on membrane permeability transition in brain mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Toman, Julia; Fiskum, Gary

    2011-02-01

    The mitochondrial inner membrane permeability transition (MPT) plays an important role in the pathophysiology of acute disorders of the central nervous systems, including ischemic and traumatic brain injury, and possibly in neurodegenerative diseases. Opening of the permeability transition pore (PTP) by a combination of abnormally elevated intramitochondrial Ca2+ and oxidative stress induces the collapse of transmembrane ion gradients, resulting in membrane depolarization and uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation. This loss of ATP synthesis eventually results in cellular metabolic failure and necrotic cell death. Drugs, e.g., cyclosporin A, can inhibit the permeability transition through their interaction with the mitochondria-specific protein, cyclophilin D, and demonstrate neuroprotection in several animal models. These characteristics of the MPT were developed almost exclusively from experiments performed with young, mature rodents whereas the neuropathologies associated with the MPT are most prevalent in the elderly population. Some evidence indicates that the sensitivity of mitochondria to Ca2+-induced PTP opening is greater in the aged compared to the young mature brain; however, the basis for this difference is unknown. Based on knowledge of factors that regulate the MPT and on other comparisons between cells and mitochondria from young and old animals, several features may be important. These aging-related features include impaired neuronal Ca2+ homeostasis, increased oxidative stress, increased cyclophilin D protein levels, oxidative modification of the adenine nucleotide translocase and of cardiolipin, and changes in the levels of anti-death mitochondrial proteins, e.g., Bcl-2. The influence of aging on both the contribution of the MPT to neuropathology and the neuroprotective efficacy of MPT inhibitors is a substantial knowledge gap that requires extensive research at the subcellular, cellular, and animal model levels.

  16. Sparse Representation of Brain Aging: Extracting Covariance Patterns from Structural MRI

    PubMed Central

    Su, Longfei; Wang, Lubin; Chen, Fanglin; Shen, Hui; Li, Baojuan; Hu, Dewen

    2012-01-01

    An enhanced understanding of how normal aging alters brain structure is urgently needed for the early diagnosis and treatment of age-related mental diseases. Structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a reliable technique used to detect age-related changes in the human brain. Currently, multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) enables the exploration of subtle and distributed changes of data obtained from structural MRI images. In this study, a new MVPA approach based on sparse representation has been employed to investigate the anatomical covariance patterns of normal aging. Two groups of participants (group 1∶290 participants; group 2∶56 participants) were evaluated in this study. These two groups were scanned with two 1.5 T MRI machines. In the first group, we obtained the discriminative patterns using a t-test filter and sparse representation step. We were able to distinguish the young from old cohort with a very high accuracy using only a few voxels of the discriminative patterns (group 1∶98.4%; group 2∶96.4%). The experimental results showed that the selected voxels may be categorized into two components according to the two steps in the proposed method. The first component focuses on the precentral and postcentral gyri, and the caudate nucleus, which play an important role in sensorimotor tasks. The strongest volume reduction with age was observed in these clusters. The second component is mainly distributed over the cerebellum, thalamus, and right inferior frontal gyrus. These regions are not only critical nodes of the sensorimotor circuitry but also the cognitive circuitry although their volume shows a relative resilience against aging. Considering the voxels selection procedure, we suggest that the aging of the sensorimotor and cognitive brain regions identified in this study has a covarying relationship with each other. PMID:22590522

  17. A Culture-Behavior-Brain Loop Model of Human Development.

    PubMed

    Han, Shihui; Ma, Yina

    2015-11-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that cultural influences on brain activity are associated with multiple cognitive and affective processes. These findings prompt an integrative framework to account for dynamic interactions between culture, behavior, and the brain. We put forward a culture-behavior-brain (CBB) loop model of human development that proposes that culture shapes the brain by contextualizing behavior, and the brain fits and modifies culture via behavioral influences. Genes provide a fundamental basis for, and interact with, the CBB loop at both individual and population levels. The CBB loop model advances our understanding of the dynamic relationships between culture, behavior, and the brain, which are crucial for human phylogeny and ontogeny. Future brain changes due to cultural influences are discussed based on the CBB loop model.

  18. Two Dimensional Finite Element Analysis for the Effect of a Pressure Wave in the Human Brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ponce L., Ernesto; Ponce S., Daniel

    2008-11-01

    Brain injuries in people of all ages is a serious, world-wide health problem, with consequences as varied as attention or memory deficits, difficulties in problem-solving, aggressive social behavior, and neuro degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Brain injuries can be the result of a direct impact, but also pressure waves and direct impulses. The aim of this work is to develop a predictive method to calculate the stress generated in the human brain by pressure waves such as high power sounds. The finite element method is used, combined with elastic wave theory. The predictions of the generated stress levels are compared with the resistance of the arterioles that pervade the brain. The problem was focused to the Chilean mining where there are some accidents happen by detonations and high sound level. There are not formal medical investigation, however these pressure waves could produce human brain damage.

  19. Aged Garlic Extract Modifies Human Immunity.

    PubMed

    Percival, Susan S

    2016-02-01

    Garlic contains numerous compounds that have the potential to influence immunity. Immune cells, especially innate immune cells, are responsible for the inflammation necessary to kill pathogens. Two innate lymphocytes, γδ-T and natural killer (NK) cells, appear to be susceptible to diet modification. The purpose of this review was to summarize the influence of aged garlic extract (AGE) on the immune system. The author's laboratory is interested in AGE's effects on cell proliferation and activation and inflammation and to learn whether those changes might affect the occurrence and severity of colds and flu. Healthy human participants (n = 120), between 21 and 50 y of age, were recruited for a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel-intervention study to consume 2.56 g AGE/d or placebo supplements for 90 d during the cold and flu season. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated before and after consumption, and γδ-T and NK cell function was assessed by flow cytometry. The effect on cold and flu symptoms was determined by using daily diary records of self-reported illnesses. After 45 d of AGE consumption, γδ-T and NK cells proliferated better and were more activated than cells from the placebo group. After 90 d, although the number of illnesses was not significantly different, the AGE group showed reduced cold and flu severity, with a reduction in the number of symptoms, the number of days participants functioned suboptimally, and the number of work/school days missed. These results suggest that AGE supplementation may enhance immune cell function and may be partly responsible for the reduced severity of colds and flu reported. The results also suggest that the immune system functions well with AGE supplementation, perhaps with less accompanying inflammation. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01390116.

  20. Prion protein accumulation in lipid rafts of mouse aging brain.

    PubMed

    Agostini, Federica; Dotti, Carlos G; Pérez-Cañamás, Azucena; Ledesma, Maria Dolores; Benetti, Federico; Legname, Giuseppe

    2013-01-01

    The cellular form of the prion protein (PrP(C)) is a normal constituent of neuronal cell membranes. The protein misfolding causes rare neurodegenerative disorders known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases. These maladies can be sporadic, genetic or infectious. Sporadic prion diseases are the most common form mainly affecting aging people. In this work, we investigate the biochemical environment in which sporadic prion diseases may develop, focusing our attention on the cell membrane of neurons in the aging brain. It is well established that with aging the ratio between the most abundant lipid components of rafts undergoes a major change: while cholesterol decreases, sphingomyelin content rises. Our results indicate that the aging process modifies the compartmentalization of PrP(C). In old mice, this change favors PrP(C) accumulation in detergent-resistant membranes, particularly in hippocampi. To confirm the relationship between lipid content changes and PrP(C) translocation into detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs), we looked at PrP(C) compartmentalization in hippocampi from acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) knockout (KO) mice and synaptosomes enriched in sphingomyelin. In the presence of high sphingomyelin content, we observed a significant increase of PrP(C) in DRMS. This process is not due to higher levels of total protein and it could, in turn, favor the onset of sporadic prion diseases during aging as it increases the PrP intermolecular contacts into lipid rafts. We observed that lowering sphingomyelin in scrapie-infected cells by using fumonisin B1 led to a 50% decrease in protease-resistant PrP formation. This may suggest an involvement of PrP lipid environment in prion formation and consequently it may play a role in the onset or development of sporadic forms of prion diseases.

  1. Prion Protein Accumulation in Lipid Rafts of Mouse Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    Agostini, Federica; Dotti, Carlos G.; Pérez-Cañamás, Azucena; Ledesma, Maria Dolores; Benetti, Federico; Legname, Giuseppe

    2013-01-01

    The cellular form of the prion protein (PrPC) is a normal constituent of neuronal cell membranes. The protein misfolding causes rare neurodegenerative disorders known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases. These maladies can be sporadic, genetic or infectious. Sporadic prion diseases are the most common form mainly affecting aging people. In this work, we investigate the biochemical environment in which sporadic prion diseases may develop, focusing our attention on the cell membrane of neurons in the aging brain. It is well established that with aging the ratio between the most abundant lipid components of rafts undergoes a major change: while cholesterol decreases, sphingomyelin content rises. Our results indicate that the aging process modifies the compartmentalization of PrPC. In old mice, this change favors PrPC accumulation in detergent-resistant membranes, particularly in hippocampi. To confirm the relationship between lipid content changes and PrPC translocation into detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs), we looked at PrPC compartmentalization in hippocampi from acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) knockout (KO) mice and synaptosomes enriched in sphingomyelin. In the presence of high sphingomyelin content, we observed a significant increase of PrPC in DRMS. This process is not due to higher levels of total protein and it could, in turn, favor the onset of sporadic prion diseases during aging as it increases the PrP intermolecular contacts into lipid rafts. We observed that lowering sphingomyelin in scrapie-infected cells by using fumonisin B1 led to a 50% decrease in protease-resistant PrP formation. This may suggest an involvement of PrP lipid environment in prion formation and consequently it may play a role in the onset or development of sporadic forms of prion diseases. PMID:24040215

  2. BrainAGE in Mild Cognitive Impaired Patients: Predicting the Conversion to Alzheimer's Disease.

    PubMed

    Gaser, Christian; Franke, Katja; Klöppel, Stefan; Koutsouleris, Nikolaos; Sauer, Heinrich

    2013-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common form of dementia, shares many aspects of abnormal brain aging. We present a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based biomarker that predicts the individual progression of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to AD on the basis of pathological brain aging patterns. By employing kernel regression methods, the expression of normal brain-aging patterns forms the basis to estimate the brain age of a given new subject. If the estimated age is higher than the chronological age, a positive brain age gap estimation (BrainAGE) score indicates accelerated atrophy and is considered a risk factor for conversion to AD. Here, the BrainAGE framework was applied to predict the individual brain ages of 195 subjects with MCI at baseline, of which a total of 133 developed AD during 36 months of follow-up (corresponding to a pre-test probability of 68%). The ability of the BrainAGE framework to correctly identify MCI-converters was compared with the performance of commonly used cognitive scales, hippocampus volume, and state-of-the-art biomarkers derived from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). With accuracy rates of up to 81%, BrainAGE outperformed all cognitive scales and CSF biomarkers in predicting conversion of MCI to AD within 3 years of follow-up. Each additional year in the BrainAGE score was associated with a 10% greater risk of developing AD (hazard rate: 1.10 [CI: 1.07-1.13]). Furthermore, the post-test probability was increased to 90% when using baseline BrainAGE scores to predict conversion to AD. The presented framework allows an accurate prediction even with multicenter data. Its fast and fully automated nature facilitates the integration into the clinical workflow. It can be exploited as a tool for screening as well as for monitoring treatment options.

  3. BrainAGE in Mild Cognitive Impaired Patients: Predicting the Conversion to Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Klöppel, Stefan; Koutsouleris, Nikolaos; Sauer, Heinrich

    2013-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia, shares many aspects of abnormal brain aging. We present a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based biomarker that predicts the individual progression of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to AD on the basis of pathological brain aging patterns. By employing kernel regression methods, the expression of normal brain-aging patterns forms the basis to estimate the brain age of a given new subject. If the estimated age is higher than the chronological age, a positive brain age gap estimation (BrainAGE) score indicates accelerated atrophy and is considered a risk factor for conversion to AD. Here, the BrainAGE framework was applied to predict the individual brain ages of 195 subjects with MCI at baseline, of which a total of 133 developed AD during 36 months of follow-up (corresponding to a pre-test probability of 68%). The ability of the BrainAGE framework to correctly identify MCI-converters was compared with the performance of commonly used cognitive scales, hippocampus volume, and state-of-the-art biomarkers derived from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). With accuracy rates of up to 81%, BrainAGE outperformed all cognitive scales and CSF biomarkers in predicting conversion of MCI to AD within 3 years of follow-up. Each additional year in the BrainAGE score was associated with a 10% greater risk of developing AD (hazard rate: 1.10 [CI: 1.07–1.13]). Furthermore, the post-test probability was increased to 90% when using baseline BrainAGE scores to predict conversion to AD. The presented framework allows an accurate prediction even with multicenter data. Its fast and fully automated nature facilitates the integration into the clinical workflow. It can be exploited as a tool for screening as well as for monitoring treatment options. PMID:23826273

  4. Predicting brain-age from multimodal imaging data captures cognitive impairment.

    PubMed

    Liem, Franziskus; Varoquaux, Gaël; Kynast, Jana; Beyer, Frauke; Kharabian Masouleh, Shahrzad; Huntenburg, Julia M; Lampe, Leonie; Rahim, Mehdi; Abraham, Alexandre; Craddock, R Cameron; Riedel-Heller, Steffi; Luck, Tobias; Loeffler, Markus; Schroeter, Matthias L; Witte, Anja Veronica; Villringer, Arno; Margulies, Daniel S

    2017-03-01

    The disparity between the chronological age of an individual and their brain-age measured based on biological information has the potential to offer clinically relevant biomarkers of neurological syndromes that emerge late in the lifespan. While prior brain-age prediction studies have relied exclusively on either structural or functional brain data, here we investigate how multimodal brain-imaging data improves age prediction. Using cortical anatomy and whole-brain functional connectivity on a large adult lifespan sample (N=2354, age 19-82), we found that multimodal data improves brain-based age prediction, resulting in a mean absolute prediction error of 4.29 years. Furthermore, we found that the discrepancy between predicted age and chronological age captures cognitive impairment. Importantly, the brain-age measure was robust to confounding effects: head motion did not drive brain-based age prediction and our models generalized reasonably to an independent dataset acquired at a different site (N=475). Generalization performance was increased by training models on a larger and more heterogeneous dataset. The robustness of multimodal brain-age prediction to confounds, generalizability across sites, and sensitivity to clinically-relevant impairments, suggests promising future application to the early prediction of neurocognitive disorders.

  5. Radial glia cells in the developing human brain.

    PubMed

    Howard, Brian M; Zhicheng Mo; Filipovic, Radmila; Moore, Anna R; Antic, Srdjan D; Zecevic, Nada

    2008-10-01

    Human radial glia (RG) share many of the features described in rodents, but also have a number of characteristics unique to the human brain. Results obtained from different mammalian species including human and non-human primates reveal differences in the involvement of RG in neurogenesis and oligodendrogenesis and in the timing of the initial expression of typical RG immunomarkers. A common problem in studying the human brain is that experimental procedures using modern molecular and genetic methods, such as in vivo transduction with retroviruses or creation of knockout or transgenic mutants, are not possible. Nevertheless, abundant and valuable information about the development of the human brain has been revealed using postmortem human material. Additionally, a combination and spectrum of in vitro techniques are used to gain knowledge about normal developmental processes in the human brain, including better understanding of RG as progenitor cells. Molecular and functional characterization of multipotent progenitors, such as RG, is important for future cell replacement therapies in neurological and psychiatric disorders, which are often resistant to conventional treatments. The protracted time of development and larger size of the human brain could provide insight into processes that may go unnoticed in the much smaller rodent cortex, which develops over a much shorter period. With that in mind, we summarize results on the role of RG in the human fetal brain.

  6. Human brain networks function in connectome-specific harmonic waves.

    PubMed

    Atasoy, Selen; Donnelly, Isaac; Pearson, Joel

    2016-01-21

    A key characteristic of human brain activity is coherent, spatially distributed oscillations forming behaviour-dependent brain networks. However, a fundamental principle underlying these networks remains unknown. Here we report that functional networks of the human brain are predicted by harmonic patterns, ubiquitous throughout nature, steered by the anatomy of the human cerebral cortex, the human connectome. We introduce a new technique extending the Fourier basis to the human connectome. In this new frequency-specific representation of cortical activity, that we call 'connectome harmonics', oscillatory networks of the human brain at rest match harmonic wave patterns of certain frequencies. We demonstrate a neural mechanism behind the self-organization of connectome harmonics with a continuous neural field model of excitatory-inhibitory interactions on the connectome. Remarkably, the critical relation between the neural field patterns and the delicate excitation-inhibition balance fits the neurophysiological changes observed during the loss and recovery of consciousness.

  7. Human brain networks function in connectome-specific harmonic waves

    PubMed Central

    Atasoy, Selen; Donnelly, Isaac; Pearson, Joel

    2016-01-01

    A key characteristic of human brain activity is coherent, spatially distributed oscillations forming behaviour-dependent brain networks. However, a fundamental principle underlying these networks remains unknown. Here we report that functional networks of the human brain are predicted by harmonic patterns, ubiquitous throughout nature, steered by the anatomy of the human cerebral cortex, the human connectome. We introduce a new technique extending the Fourier basis to the human connectome. In this new frequency-specific representation of cortical activity, that we call ‘connectome harmonics', oscillatory networks of the human brain at rest match harmonic wave patterns of certain frequencies. We demonstrate a neural mechanism behind the self-organization of connectome harmonics with a continuous neural field model of excitatory–inhibitory interactions on the connectome. Remarkably, the critical relation between the neural field patterns and the delicate excitation–inhibition balance fits the neurophysiological changes observed during the loss and recovery of consciousness. PMID:26792267

  8. News of cognitive cure for age-related brain shrinkage is premature: a comment on Burgmans et al. (2009).

    PubMed

    Raz, Naftali; Lindenberger, Ulman

    2010-03-01

    The extant longitudinal literature consistently supports the notion of age-related declines in human brain volume. In a report on a longitudinal cognitive follow-up with cross-sectional brain measurements, Burgmans and colleagues (2009) claim that the extant studies overestimate brain volume declines, presumably due to inclusion of participants with preclinical cognitive pathology. Moreover, the authors of the article assert that such declines are absent among optimally healthy adults who maintain cognitive stability for several years. In this comment accompanied by reanalysis of previously published data, we argue that these claims are incorrect on logical, methodological, and empirical grounds.

  9. Predicting human age using regional morphometry and inter-regional morphological similarity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xun-Heng; Li, Lihua

    2016-03-01

    The goal of this study is predicting human age using neuro-metrics derived from structural MRI, as well as investigating the relationships between age and predictive neuro-metrics. To this end, a cohort of healthy subjects were recruited from 1000 Functional Connectomes Project. The ages of the participations were ranging from 7 to 83 (36.17+/-20.46). The structural MRI for each subject was preprocessed using FreeSurfer, resulting in regional cortical thickness, mean curvature, regional volume and regional surface area for 148 anatomical parcellations. The individual age was predicted from the combination of regional and inter-regional neuro-metrics. The prediction accuracy is r = 0.835, p < 0.00001, evaluated by Pearson correlation coefficient between predicted ages and actual ages. Moreover, the LASSO linear regression also found certain predictive features, most of which were inter-regional features. The turning-point of the developmental trajectories in human brain was around 40 years old based on regional cortical thickness. In conclusion, structural MRI could be potential biomarkers for the aging in human brain. The human age could be successfully predicted from the combination of regional morphometry and inter-regional morphological similarity. The inter-regional measures could be beneficial to investigating human brain connectome.

  10. Neuronutrient impact of Ayurvedic Rasayana therapy in brain aging.

    PubMed

    Singh, Ram Harsh; Narsimhamurthy, K; Singh, Girish

    2008-12-01

    Ayurveda is the oldest system of Medicine in the world, its antiquity going back to the Vedas. It adapts a unique holistic approach to the entire science of life, health and cure. The areas of special consideration in Ayurveda are geriatrics, rejuvenation, nutrition, immunology, genetics and higher consciousness. The Ayurvedic texts describe a set of rejuvenative measures to impart biological sustenance to the bodily tissues. These remedies are called Rasayana which are claimed to act as micronutrients. Some of these Rasayanas are organ and tissue specific. Those specific to brain tissue are called Medhya Rasayana. Such Rasayanas retard brain aging and help in regeneration of neural tissues besides producing antistress, adaptogenic and memory enhancing effect. In addition to the long tradition of textual and experience-based evidence for their efficacy, certain recent studies conducted on these traditional remedies on scientific parameters have shown promising results which have been reviewed in this paper for providing lead for further studies. The popular Medhya Rasayanas are Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera Dunal), Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri Linn), Mandukaparni (Centella asiatica Linn) and Sankhapuspi (Convolvulus pluricaulis Chois).

  11. Brain-Computer Interface Controlled Cyborg: Establishing a Functional Information Transfer Pathway from Human Brain to Cockroach Brain.

    PubMed

    Li, Guangye; Zhang, Dingguo

    2016-01-01

    An all-chain-wireless brain-to-brain system (BTBS), which enabled motion control of a cyborg cockroach via human brain, was developed in this work. Steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) based brain-computer interface (BCI) was used in this system for recognizing human motion intention and an optimization algorithm was proposed in SSVEP to improve online performance of the BCI. The cyborg cockroach was developed by surgically integrating a portable microstimulator that could generate invasive electrical nerve stimulation. Through Bluetooth communication, specific electrical pulse trains could be triggered from the microstimulator by BCI commands and were sent through the antenna nerve to stimulate the brain of cockroach. Serial experiments were designed and conducted to test overall performance of the BTBS with six human subjects and three cockroaches. The experimental results showed that the online classification accuracy of three-mode BCI increased from 72.86% to 78.56% by 5.70% using the optimization algorithm and the mean response accuracy of the cyborgs using this system reached 89.5%. Moreover, the results also showed that the cyborg could be navigated by the human brain to complete walking along an S-shape track with the success rate of about 20%, suggesting the proposed BTBS established a feasible functional information transfer pathway from the human brain to the cockroach brain.

  12. Brain-Computer Interface Controlled Cyborg: Establishing a Functional Information Transfer Pathway from Human Brain to Cockroach Brain

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    An all-chain-wireless brain-to-brain system (BTBS), which enabled motion control of a cyborg cockroach via human brain, was developed in this work. Steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) based brain-computer interface (BCI) was used in this system for recognizing human motion intention and an optimization algorithm was proposed in SSVEP to improve online performance of the BCI. The cyborg cockroach was developed by surgically integrating a portable microstimulator that could generate invasive electrical nerve stimulation. Through Bluetooth communication, specific electrical pulse trains could be triggered from the microstimulator by BCI commands and were sent through the antenna nerve to stimulate the brain of cockroach. Serial experiments were designed and conducted to test overall performance of the BTBS with six human subjects and three cockroaches. The experimental results showed that the online classification accuracy of three-mode BCI increased from 72.86% to 78.56% by 5.70% using the optimization algorithm and the mean response accuracy of the cyborgs using this system reached 89.5%. Moreover, the results also showed that the cyborg could be navigated by the human brain to complete walking along an S-shape track with the success rate of about 20%, suggesting the proposed BTBS established a feasible functional information transfer pathway from the human brain to the cockroach brain. PMID:26982717

  13. Alzheimer risk variant CLU and brain function during aging

    PubMed Central

    Thambisetty, Madhav; Beason-Held, Lori L.; An, Yang; Kraut, Michael; Nalls, Michael; Hernandez, Dena G.; Singleton, Andrew B.; Zonderman, Alan B.; Ferrucci, Luigi; Lovestone, Simon; Resnick, Susan M.

    2012-01-01

    Background We examined the effect of the novel Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk variant rs11136000 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the clusterin gene (CLU) on longitudinal changes in resting state regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) during normal aging and investigated its influence on cognitive decline in pre-symptomatic stages of disease progression. Methods Subjects were participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. A subset of 88 cognitively normal older individuals had longitudinal 15O-water PET measurements of rCBF at baseline and up to 8 annual follow-up visits. We also analyzed trajectories of cognitive decline among CLU risk carriers and non-carriers both in individuals who remained cognitively normal (N=599) as well as in those who subsequently converted to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or AD (N=95). Results Cognitively normal carriers of the CLU risk allele show significant and dose-dependent longitudinal increases in resting state rCBF in brain regions intrinsic to memory processes. There were no differences in trajectories of memory performance between CLU risk carriers and non-carriers who remained cognitively normal. However, in cognitively normal individuals who eventually convert to MCI or AD, CLU risk carriers show faster rates of decline in memory performance relative to non-carriers in the pre-symptomatic stages of disease progression. Conclusions The AD risk variant CLU influences longitudinal changes in brain function in asymptomatic individuals and is associated with faster cognitive decline in pre-symptomatic stages of disease progression. These results suggest mechanisms underlying the role of CLU in AD and may be important in monitoring disease progression in at-risk elderly. PMID:22795969

  14. Decreased Brain Levels of Vitamin B12 in Aging, Autism and Schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yiting; Hodgson, Nathaniel W; Trivedi, Malav S; Abdolmaleky, Hamid M; Fournier, Margot; Cuenod, Michel; Do, Kim Quang; Deth, Richard C

    2016-01-01

    Many studies indicate a crucial role for the vitamin B12 and folate-dependent enzyme methionine synthase (MS) in brain development and function, but vitamin B12 status in the brain across the lifespan has not been previously investigated. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin, Cbl) exists in multiple forms, including methylcobalamin (MeCbl) and adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl), serving as cofactors for MS and methylmalonylCoA mutase, respectively. We measured levels of five Cbl species in postmortem human frontal cortex of 43 control subjects, from 19 weeks of fetal development through 80 years of age, and 12 autistic and 9 schizophrenic subjects. Total Cbl was significantly lower in older control subjects (> 60 yrs of age), primarily reflecting a >10-fold age-dependent decline in the level of MeCbl. Levels of inactive cyanocobalamin (CNCbl) were remarkably higher in fetal brain samples. In both autistic and schizophrenic subjects MeCbl and AdoCbl levels were more than 3-fold lower than age-matched controls. In autistic subjects lower MeCbl was associated with decreased MS activity and elevated levels of its substrate homocysteine (HCY). Low levels of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) have been linked to both autism and schizophrenia, and both total Cbl and MeCbl levels were decreased in glutamate-cysteine ligase modulatory subunit knockout (GCLM-KO) mice, which exhibit low GSH levels. Thus our findings reveal a previously unrecognized decrease in brain vitamin B12 status across the lifespan that may reflect an adaptation to increasing antioxidant demand, while accelerated deficits due to GSH deficiency may contribute to neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders.

  15. Decreased Brain Levels of Vitamin B12 in Aging, Autism and Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yiting; Hodgson, Nathaniel W.; Trivedi, Malav S.; Abdolmaleky, Hamid M.; Fournier, Margot; Cuenod, Michel; Do, Kim Quang; Deth, Richard C.

    2016-01-01

    Many studies indicate a crucial role for the vitamin B12 and folate-dependent enzyme methionine synthase (MS) in brain development and function, but vitamin B12 status in the brain across the lifespan has not been previously investigated. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin, Cbl) exists in multiple forms, including methylcobalamin (MeCbl) and adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl), serving as cofactors for MS and methylmalonylCoA mutase, respectively. We measured levels of five Cbl species in postmortem human frontal cortex of 43 control subjects, from 19 weeks of fetal development through 80 years of age, and 12 autistic and 9 schizophrenic subjects. Total Cbl was significantly lower in older control subjects (> 60 yrs of age), primarily reflecting a >10-fold age-dependent decline in the level of MeCbl. Levels of inactive cyanocobalamin (CNCbl) were remarkably higher in fetal brain samples. In both autistic and schizophrenic subjects MeCbl and AdoCbl levels were more than 3-fold lower than age-matched controls. In autistic subjects lower MeCbl was associated with decreased MS activity and elevated levels of its substrate homocysteine (HCY). Low levels of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) have been linked to both autism and schizophrenia, and both total Cbl and MeCbl levels were decreased in glutamate-cysteine ligase modulatory subunit knockout (GCLM-KO) mice, which exhibit low GSH levels. Thus our findings reveal a previously unrecognized decrease in brain vitamin B12 status across the lifespan that may reflect an adaptation to increasing antioxidant demand, while accelerated deficits due to GSH deficiency may contribute to neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:26799654

  16. The timing and precision of action prediction in the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Alex L.; Cross, Emily S.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Successful social interactions depend on the ability to anticipate other people's actions. Current conceptualizations of brain function propose that causes of sensory input are inferred through their integration with internal predictions generated in the observer's motor system during action observation. Less is known concerning how action prediction changes with age. Previously we showed that internal action representations are less specific in older compared with younger adults at behavioral and neural levels. Here, we characterize how neural activity varies while healthy older adults aged 56–71 years predict the time‐course of an unfolding action as well as the relation to task performance. By using fMRI, brain activity was measured while participants observed partly occluded actions and judged the temporal coherence of the action continuation that was manipulated. We found that neural activity in frontoparietal and occipitotemporal regions increased the more an action continuation was shifted backwards in time. Action continuations that were shifted towards the future preferentially engaged early visual cortices. Increasing age was associated with neural activity that extended from posterior to anterior regions in frontal and superior temporal cortices. Lower sensitivity in action prediction resulted in activity increases in the caudate. These results imply that the neural implementation of predicting actions undergoes similar changes as the neural process of executing actions in older adults. The comparison between internal predictions and sensory input seems to become less precise with age leading to difficulties in anticipating observed actions accurately, possibly due to less specific internal action models. Hum Brain Mapp 37:54–66, 2016. © 2015 The Authors Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26503586

  17. Contribution of neuroinflammation and immunity to brain aging and the mitigating effects of physical and cognitive interventions.

    PubMed

    Di Benedetto, Svetlana; Müller, Ludmila; Wenger, Elisabeth; Düzel, Sandra; Pawelec, Graham

    2017-04-01

    It is widely accepted that the brain and the immune system continuously interact during normal as well as pathological functioning. Human aging is commonly accompanied by low-grade inflammation in both the immune and central nervous systems, thought to contribute to many age-related diseases. This review of the current literature focuses first on the normal neuroimmune interactions occurring in the brain, which promote learning, memory and neuroplasticity. Further, we discuss the protective and dynamic role of barriers to neuroimmune interactions, which have become clearer with the recent discovery of the meningeal lymphatic system. Next, we consider age-related changes of the immune system and possible deleterious influences of immunosenescence and low-grade inflammation (inflammaging) on neurodegenerative processes in the normally aging brain. We survey the major immunomodulators and neuroregulators in the aging brain and their highly tuned dynamic and reciprocal interactions. Finally, we consider our current understanding of how physical activity, as well as a combination of physical and cognitive interventions, may mediate anti-inflammatory effects and thus positively impact brain aging.

  18. High-field proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals metabolic effects of normal brain aging.

    PubMed

    Harris, Janna L; Yeh, Hung-Wen; Swerdlow, Russell H; Choi, In-Young; Lee, Phil; Brooks, William M

    2014-07-01

    Altered brain metabolism is likely to be an important contributor to normal cognitive decline and brain pathology in elderly individuals. To characterize the metabolic changes associated with normal brain aging, we used high-field proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in vivo to quantify 20 neurochemicals in the hippocampus and sensorimotor cortex of young adult and aged rats. We found significant differences in the neurochemical profile of the aged brain when compared with younger adults, including lower aspartate, ascorbate, glutamate, and macromolecules, and higher glucose, myo-inositol, N-acetylaspartylglutamate, total choline, and glutamine. These neurochemical biomarkers point to specific cellular mechanisms that are altered in brain aging, such as bioenergetics, oxidative stress, inflammation, cell membrane turnover, and endogenous neuroprotection. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy may be a valuable translational approach for studying mechanisms of brain aging and pathology, and for investigating treatments to preserve or enhance cognitive function in aging.

  19. Genomic connectivity networks based on the BrainSpan atlas of the developing human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahfouz, Ahmed; Ziats, Mark N.; Rennert, Owen M.; Lelieveldt, Boudewijn P. F.; Reinders, Marcel J. T.

    2014-03-01

    The human brain comprises systems of networks that span the molecular, cellular, anatomic and functional levels. Molecular studies of the developing brain have focused on elucidating networks among gene products that may drive cellular brain development by functioning together in biological pathways. On the other hand, studies of the brain connectome attempt to determine how anatomically distinct brain regions are connected to each other, either anatomically (diffusion tensor imaging) or functionally (functional MRI and EEG), and how they change over development. A global examination of the relationship between gene expression and connectivity in the developing human brain is necessary to understand how the genetic signature of different brain regions instructs connections to other regions. Furthermore, analyzing the development of connectivity networks based on the spatio-temporal dynamics of gene expression provides a new insight into the effect of neurodevelopmental disease genes on brain networks. In this work, we construct connectivity networks between brain regions based on the similarity of their gene expression signature, termed "Genomic Connectivity Networks" (GCNs). Genomic connectivity networks were constructed using data from the BrainSpan Transcriptional Atlas of the Developing Human Brain. Our goal was to understand how the genetic signatures of anatomically distinct brain regions relate to each other across development. We assessed the neurodevelopmental changes in connectivity patterns of brain regions when networks were constructed with genes implicated in the neurodevelopmental disorder autism (autism spectrum disorder; ASD). Using graph theory metrics to characterize the GCNs, we show that ASD-GCNs are relatively less connected later in development with the cerebellum showing a very distinct expression of ASD-associated genes compared to other brain regions.

  20. [Survival of the fattest: the key to human brain evolution].

    PubMed

    Cunnane, Stephen C

    2006-01-01

    The circumstances of human brain evolution are of central importance to accounting for human origins, yet are still poorly understood. Human evolution is usually portrayed as having occurred in a hot, dry climate in East Africa where the earliest human ancestors became bipedal and evolved tool-making skills and language while struggling to survive in a wooded or savannah environment. At least three points need to be recognised when constructing concepts of human brain evolution : (1) The human brain cannot develop normally without a reliable supply of several nutrients, notably docosahexaenoic acid, iodine and iron. (2) At term, the human fetus has about 13 % of body weight as fat, a key form of energy insurance supporting brain development that is not found in other primates. (3) The genome of humans and chimpanzees is <1 % different, so if they both evolved in essentially the same habitat, how did the human brain become so much larger, and how was its present-day nutritional vulnerability circumvented during 5-6 million years of hominid evolution ? The abundant presence of fish bones and shellfish remains in many African hominid fossil sites dating to 2 million years ago implies human ancestors commonly inhabited the shores, but this point is usually overlooked in conceptualizing how the human brain evolved. Shellfish, fish and shore-based animals and plants are the richest dietary sources of the key nutrients needed by the brain. Whether on the shores of lakes, marshes, rivers or the sea, the consumption of most shore-based foods requires no specialized skills or tools. The presence of key brain nutrients and a rich energy supply in shore-based foods would have provided the essential metabolic and nutritional support needed to gradually expand the hominid brain. Abundant availability of these foods also provided the time needed to develop and refine proto-human attributes that subsequently formed the basis of language, culture, tool making and hunting. The

  1. The power of love on the human brain.

    PubMed

    Bianchi-Demicheli, Francesco; Grafton, Scott T; Ortigue, Stephanie

    2006-01-01

    Romantic love has been the source for some of the greatest achievements of mankind throughout the ages. The recent localization of romantic love within subcortico-cortical reward, motivation and emotion systems in the human brain has suggested that love is a goal-directed drive with predictable facilitation effects on cognitive behavior, rather than a pure emotion. Here we show that the subliminal exposure of a beloved's name (romantic prime) during a lexical decision task dramatically improves performance in women in love (Experiment 1), as the subliminal presentation of a passion's descriptive noun does (Experiment 2). The parallel between love and passion allows us to interpret these facilitation effects as corresponding to cognitive top-down processes within a motivation-enhanced neural network.

  2. Putting age-related task activation into large-scale brain networks: A meta-analysis of 114 fMRI studies on healthy aging.

    PubMed

    Li, Hui-Jie; Hou, Xiao-Hui; Liu, Han-Hui; Yue, Chun-Lin; Lu, Guang-Ming; Zuo, Xi-Nian

    2015-10-01

    Normal aging is associated with cognitive decline and underlying brain dysfunction. Previous studies concentrated less on brain network changes at a systems level. Our goal was to examine these age-related changes of fMRI-derived activation with a common network parcellation of the human brain function, offering a systems-neuroscience perspective of healthy aging. We conducted a series of meta-analyses on a total of 114 studies that included 2035 older adults and 1845 young adults. Voxels showing significant age-related changes in activation were then overlaid onto seven commonly referenced neuronal networks. Older adults present moderate cognitive decline in behavioral performance during fMRI scanning, and hypo-activate the visual network and hyper-activate both the frontoparietal control and default mode networks. The degree of increased activation in frontoparietal network was associated with behavioral performance in older adults. Age-related changes in activation present different network patterns across cognitive domains. The systems neuroscience approach used here may be useful for elucidating the underlying network mechanisms of various brain plasticity processes during healthy aging.

  3. Human serum metabolic profiles are age dependent

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Zhonghao; Zhai, Guangju; Singmann, Paula; He, Ying; Xu, Tao; Prehn, Cornelia; Römisch-Margl, Werner; Lattka, Eva; Gieger, Christian; Soranzo, Nicole; Heinrich, Joachim; Standl, Marie; Thiering, Elisabeth; Mittelstraß, Kirstin; Wichmann, Heinz-Erich; Peters, Annette; Suhre, Karsten; Li, Yixue; Adamski, Jerzy; Spector, Tim D; Illig, Thomas; Wang-Sattler, Rui

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the complexity of aging is of utmost importance. This can now be addressed by the novel and powerful approach of metabolomics. However, to date, only a few metabolic studies based on large samples are available. Here, we provide novel and specific information on age-related metabolite concentration changes in human homeostasis. We report results from two population-based studies: the KORA F4 study from Germany as a discovery cohort, with 1038 female and 1124 male participants (32–81 years), and the TwinsUK study as replication, with 724 female participants. Targeted metabolomics of fasting serum samples quantified 131 metabolites by FIA-MS/MS. Among these, 71/34 metabolites were significantly associated with age in women/men (BMI adjusted). We further identified a set of 13 independent metabolites in women (with P values ranging from 4.6 × 10−04 to 7.8 × 10−42, αcorr = 0.004). Eleven of these 13 metabolites were replicated in the TwinsUK study, including seven metabolite concentrations that increased with age (C0, C10:1, C12:1, C18:1, SM C16:1, SM C18:1, and PC aa C28:1), while histidine decreased. These results indicate that metabolic profiles are age dependent and might reflect different aging processes, such as incomplete mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation. The use of metabolomics will increase our understanding of aging networks and may lead to discoveries that help enhance healthy aging. PMID:22834969

  4. Contribution of Neuroimaging Studies to Understanding Development of Human Cognitive Brain Functions.

    PubMed

    Morita, Tomoyo; Asada, Minoru; Naito, Eiichi

    2016-01-01

    Humans experience significant physical and mental changes from birth to adulthood, and a variety of perceptual, cognitive and motor functions mature over the course of approximately 20 years following birth. To deeply understand such developmental processes, merely studying behavioral changes is not sufficient; simultaneous investigation of the development of the brain may lead us to a more comprehensive understanding. Recent advances in noninvasive neuroimaging technologies largely contribute to this understanding. Here, it is very important to consider the development of the brain from the perspectives of "structure" and "function" because both structure and function of the human brain mature slowly. In this review, we first discuss the process of structural brain development, i.e., how the structure of the brain, which is crucial when discussing functional brain development, changes with age. Second, we introduce some representative studies and the latest studies related to the functional development of the brain, particularly for visual, facial recognition, and social cognition functions, all of which are important for humans. Finally, we summarize how brain science can contribute to developmental study and discuss the challenges that neuroimaging should address in the future.

  5. Contribution of Neuroimaging Studies to Understanding Development of Human Cognitive Brain Functions

    PubMed Central

    Morita, Tomoyo; Asada, Minoru; Naito, Eiichi

    2016-01-01

    Humans experience significant physical and mental changes from birth to adulthood, and a variety of perceptual, cognitive and motor functions mature over the course of approximately 20 years following birth. To deeply understand such developmental processes, merely studying behavioral changes is not sufficient; simultaneous investigation of the development of the brain may lead us to a more comprehensive understanding. Recent advances in noninvasive neuroimaging technologies largely contribute to this understanding. Here, it is very important to consider the development of the brain from the perspectives of “structure” and “function” because both structure and function of the human brain mature slowly. In this review, we first discuss the process of structural brain development, i.e., how the structure of the brain, which is crucial when discussing functional brain development, changes with age. Second, we introduce some representative studies and the latest studies related to the functional development of the brain, particularly for visual, facial recognition, and social cognition functions, all of which are important for humans. Finally, we summarize how brain science can contribute to developmental study and discuss the challenges that neuroimaging should address in the future. PMID:27695409

  6. Quantifying and modelling tissue maturation in the living human fetal brain.

    PubMed

    Studholme, Colin; Rousseau, François

    2014-02-01

    Recent advances in medical imaging are beginning to allow us to quantify brain tissue maturation in the growing human brain prior to normal term age, and are beginning to shed new light on early human brain growth. These advances compliment the work already done in cellular level imaging in animal and post mortem studies of brain development. The opportunities for collaborative research that bridges the gap between macroscopic and microscopic windows on the developing brain are significant. The aim of this paper is to provide a review of the current research into MR imaging of the living fetal brain with the aim of motivating improved interfaces between the two fields. The review begins with a description of faster MRI techniques that are capable of freezing motion of the fetal head during the acquisition of a slice, and how these have been combined with advanced post-processing algorithms to build 3D images from motion scattered slices. Such rich data has motivated the development of techniques to automatically label developing tissue zones within MRI data allowing their quantification in 3D and 4D within the normally growing fetal brain. These methods have provided the basis for later work that has created the first maps of tissue growth rate and cortical folding in normally developing brains in-utero. These measurements provide valuable findings that compliment those derived from post-mortem anatomy, and additionally allow for the possibility of larger population studies of the influence of maternal environmental and genes on early brain development.

  7. Cerebral organoids model human brain development and microcephaly.

    PubMed

    Lancaster, Madeline A; Renner, Magdalena; Martin, Carol-Anne; Wenzel, Daniel; Bicknell, Louise S; Hurles, Matthew E; Homfray, Tessa; Penninger, Josef M; Jackson, Andrew P; Knoblich, Juergen A

    2013-09-19

    The complexity of the human brain has made it difficult to study many brain disorders in model organisms, highlighting the need for an in vitro model of human brain development. Here we have developed a human pluripotent stem cell-derived three-dimensional organoid culture system, termed cerebral organoids, that develop various discrete, although interdependent, brain regions. These include a cerebral cortex containing progenitor populations that organize and produce mature cortical neuron subtypes. Furthermore, cerebral organoids are shown to recapitulate features of human cortical development, namely characteristic progenitor zone organization with abundant outer radial glial stem cells. Finally, we use RNA interference and patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells to model microcephaly, a disorder that has been difficult to recapitulate in mice. We demonstrate premature neuronal differentiation in patient organoids, a defect that could help to explain the disease phenotype. Together, these data show that three-dimensional organoids can recapitulate development and disease even in this most complex human tissue.

  8. Montefiore-Einstein Center for the Aging Brain: Preliminary Data.

    PubMed

    Verghese, Joe; Malik, Rubina; Zwerling, Jessica

    2016-11-01

    Given the multifaceted nature of dementia care management, an interdisciplinary comprehensive clinical approach is necessary. We describe our one-year experience with outpatient based dementia care at the Montefiore-Einstein Center for the Aging Brain (CAB) involving an multispecialty team of geriatricians, neurologists, and neuropsychologists, supported by geriatric psychiatrists, physiatrists, and social services. The goals of the CAB is to maximize dementia outcomes, including regular monitoring of patient's health and cognition, education and support to patients, their families and caregivers; initiation of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments as appropriate, and the facilitation of access to clinical trials. The CAB follows a consultative model where patients referred to the center receive a comprehensive three step evaluation and management plan from Geriatric, Neuropsychology and Neurology specialists that is shared with patient, caregivers and primary care physicians. Of the 366 patients seen for cognitive complaints in our first year, 71% were women with a mean age of 74 years. Self-identified ethnicity of patients included Caucasian (26%), African-American (25%), Hispanic (18%) and multiracial (5%). Common final diagnoses assigned at the CAB included mild cognitive impairment syndromes (31%), Alzheimer's disease (20%), mixed dementia (11%), vascular dementia (9%), Frontotemporal dementia (4%) and dementia with Lewy bodies (4%). Our one-year progress report indicates that an interdisciplinary clinical dementia care model is feasible in the outpatient setting as well as highly accepted by patients, caregivers and referring physicians.

  9. Identification of chemicals that mimic transcriptional changes associated with autism, brain aging and neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Brandon L.; Simon, Jeremy M.; McCoy, Eric S.; Salazar, Gabriela; Fragola, Giulia; Zylka, Mark J.

    2016-01-01

    Environmental factors, including pesticides, have been linked to autism and neurodegeneration risk using retrospective epidemiological studies. Here we sought to prospectively identify chemicals that share transcriptomic signatures with neurological disorders, by exposing mouse cortical neuron-enriched cultures to hundreds of chemicals commonly found in the environment and on food. We find that rotenone, a pesticide associated with Parkinson's disease risk, and certain fungicides, including pyraclostrobin, trifloxystrobin, famoxadone and fenamidone, produce transcriptional changes in vitro that are similar to those seen in brain samples from humans with autism, advanced age and neurodegeneration (Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease). These chemicals stimulate free radical production and disrupt microtubules in neurons, effects that can be reduced by pretreating with a microtubule stabilizer, an antioxidant, or with sulforaphane. Our study provides an approach to prospectively identify environmental chemicals that transcriptionally mimic autism and other brain disorders. PMID:27029645

  10. Identification of chemicals that mimic transcriptional changes associated with autism, brain aging and neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Brandon L; Simon, Jeremy M; McCoy, Eric S; Salazar, Gabriela; Fragola, Giulia; Zylka, Mark J

    2016-03-31

    Environmental factors, including pesticides, have been linked to autism and neurodegeneration risk using retrospective epidemiological studies. Here we sought to prospectively identify chemicals that share transcriptomic signatures with neurological disorders, by exposing mouse cortical neuron-enriched cultures to hundreds of chemicals commonly found in the environment and on food. We find that rotenone, a pesticide associated with Parkinson's disease risk, and certain fungicides, including pyraclostrobin, trifloxystrobin, famoxadone and fenamidone, produce transcriptional changes in vitro that are similar to those seen in brain samples from humans with autism, advanced age and neurodegeneration (Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease). These chemicals stimulate free radical production and disrupt microtubules in neurons, effects that can be reduced by pretreating with a microtubule stabilizer, an antioxidant, or with sulforaphane. Our study provides an approach to prospectively identify environmental chemicals that transcriptionally mimic autism and other brain disorders.

  11. Autoradiographic analysis of alpha 1-noradrenergic receptors in the human brain postmortem. Effect of suicide

    SciTech Connect

    Gross-Isseroff, R.; Dillon, K.A.; Fieldust, S.J.; Biegon, A. )

    1990-11-01

    In vitro quantitative autoradiography of alpha 1-noradrenergic receptors, using tritiated prazosin as a ligand, was performed on 24 human brains postmortem. Twelve brains were obtained from suicide victims and 12 from matched controls. We found significant lower binding to alpha 1 receptors in several brain regions of the suicide group as compared with matched controls. This decrease in receptor density was evident in portions of the prefrontal cortex, as well as the temporal cortex and in the caudate nucleus. Age, sex, presence of alcohol, and time of death to autopsy did not affect prazosin binding, in our sample, as measured by autoradiography.

  12. Human-specific transcriptional networks in the brain.

    PubMed

    Konopka, Genevieve; Friedrich, Tara; Davis-Turak, Jeremy; Winden, Kellen; Oldham, Michael C; Gao, Fuying; Chen, Leslie; Wang, Guang-Zhong; Luo, Rui; Preuss, Todd M; Geschwind, Daniel H

    2012-08-23

    Understanding human-specific patterns of brain gene expression and regulation can provide key insights into human brain evolution and speciation. Here, we use next-generation sequencing, and Illumina and Affymetrix microarray platforms, to compare the transcriptome of human, chimpanzee, and macaque telencephalon. Our analysis reveals a predominance of genes differentially expressed within human frontal lobe and a striking increase in transcriptional complexity specific to the human lineage in the frontal lobe. In contrast, caudate nucleus gene expression is highly conserved. We also identify gene coexpression signatures related to either neuronal processes or neuropsychiatric diseases, including a human-specific module with CLOCK as its hub gene and another module enriched for neuronal morphological processes and genes coexpressed with FOXP2, a gene important for language evolution. These data demonstrate that transcriptional networks have undergone evolutionary remodeling even within a given brain region, providing a window through which to view the foundation of uniquely human cognitive capacities.

  13. Accelerated brain aging in schizophrenia and beyond: a neuroanatomical marker of psychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

    Koutsouleris, Nikolaos; Davatzikos, Christos; Borgwardt, Stefan; Gaser, Christian; Bottlender, Ronald; Frodl, Thomas; Falkai, Peter; Riecher-Rössler, Anita; Möller, Hans-Jürgen; Reiser, Maximilian; Pantelis, Christos; Meisenzahl, Eva

    2014-09-01

    Structural brain abnormalities are central to schizophrenia (SZ), but it remains unknown whether they are linked to dysmaturational processes crossing diagnostic boundaries, aggravating across disease stages, and driving the neurodiagnostic signature of the illness. Therefore, we investigated whether patients with SZ (N = 141), major depression (MD; N = 104), borderline personality disorder (BPD; N = 57), and individuals in at-risk mental states for psychosis (ARMS; N = 89) deviated from the trajectory of normal brain maturation. This deviation was measured as difference between chronological and the neuroanatomical age (brain age gap estimation [BrainAGE]). Neuroanatomical age was determined by a machine learning system trained to individually estimate age from the structural magnetic resonance imagings of 800 healthy controls. Group-level analyses showed that BrainAGE was highest in SZ (+5.5 y) group, followed by MD (+4.0), BPD (+3.1), and the ARMS (+1.7) groups. Earlier disease onset in MD and BPD groups correlated with more pronounced BrainAGE, reaching effect sizes of the SZ group. Second, BrainAGE increased across at-risk, recent onset, and recurrent states of SZ. Finally, BrainAGE predicted both patient status as well as negative and disorganized symptoms. These findings suggest that an individually quantifiable "accelerated aging" effect may particularly impact on the neuroanatomical signature of SZ but may extend also to other mental disorders.

  14. Entrainment of perceptually relevant brain oscillations by non-invasive rhythmic stimulation of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Thut, Gregor; Schyns, Philippe G; Gross, Joachim

    2011-01-01

    The notion of driving brain oscillations by directly stimulating neuronal elements with rhythmic stimulation protocols has become increasingly popular in research on brain rhythms. Induction of brain oscillations in a controlled and functionally meaningful way would likely prove highly beneficial for the study of brain oscillations, and their therapeutic control. We here review conventional and new non-invasive brain stimulation protocols as to their suitability for controlled intervention into human brain oscillations. We focus on one such type of intervention, the direct entrainment of brain oscillations by a periodic external drive. We review highlights of the literature on entraining brain rhythms linked to perception and attention, and point out controversies. Behaviourally, such entrainment seems to alter specific aspects of perception depending on the frequency of stimulation, informing models on the functional role of oscillatory activity. This indicates that human brain oscillations and function may be promoted in a controlled way by focal entrainment, with great potential for probing into brain oscillations and their causal role.

  15. General anesthesia and human brain connectivity.

    PubMed

    Hudetz, Anthony G

    2012-01-01

    General anesthesia consists of amnesia, hypnosis, analgesia, and areflexia. Of these, the mechanism of hypnosis, or loss of consciousness, has been the most elusive, yet a fascinating problem. How anesthetic agents suppress human consciousness has been investigated with neuroimaging for two decades. Anesthetics substantially reduce the global cerebral metabolic rate and blood flow with a degree of regional heterogeneity characteristic to the anesthetic agent. The thalamus appears to be a common site of modulation by several anesthetics, but this may be secondary to cortical effects. Stimulus-dependent brain activation is preserved in primary sensory areas, suggesting that unconsciousness cannot be explained by cortical deafferentation or a diminution of cortical sensory reactivity. The effect of general anesthetics in functional and effective connectivity is varied depending on the agent, dose, and network studied. At an anesthetic depth characterized by the subjects' unresponsiveness, a partial, but not complete, reduction in connectivity is generally observed. Functional connectivity of the frontoparietal association cortex is often reduced, but a causal role of this change for the loss of consciousness remains uncertain. Functional connectivity of the nonspecific (intralaminar) thalamic nuclei is preferentially reduced by propofol. Higher-order thalamocortical connectivity is also reduced with certain anesthetics. The changes in functional connectivity during anesthesia induction and emergence do not mirror each other; the recovery from anesthesia may involve increases in functional connectivity above the normal wakeful baseline. Anesthetic loss of consciousness is not a block of corticofugal information transfer, but a disruption of higher-order cortical information integration. The prime candidates for functional networks of the forebrain that play a critical role in maintaining the state of consciousness are those based on the posterior parietal

  16. General Anesthesia and Human Brain Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Abstract General anesthesia consists of amnesia, hypnosis, analgesia, and areflexia. Of these, the mechanism of hypnosis, or loss of consciousness, has been the most elusive, yet a fascinating problem. How anesthetic agents suppress human consciousness has been investigated with neuroimaging for two decades. Anesthetics substantially reduce the global cerebral metabolic rate and blood flow with a degree of regional heterogeneity characteristic to the anesthetic agent. The thalamus appears to be a common site of modulation by several anesthetics, but this may be secondary to cortical effects. Stimulus-dependent brain activation is preserved in primary sensory areas, suggesting that unconsciousness cannot be explained by cortical deafferentation or a diminution of cortical sensory reactivity. The effect of general anesthetics in functional and effective connectivity is varied depending on the agent, dose, and network studied. At an anesthetic depth characterized by the subjects' unresponsiveness, a partial, but not complete, reduction in connectivity is generally observed. Functional connectivity of the frontoparietal association cortex is often reduced, but a causal role of this change for the loss of consciousness remains uncertain. Functional connectivity of the nonspecific (intralaminar) thalamic nuclei is preferentially reduced by propofol. Higher-order thalamocortical connectivity is also reduced with certain anesthetics. The changes in functional connectivity during anesthesia induction and emergence do not mirror each other; the recovery from anesthesia may involve increases in functional connectivity above the normal wakeful baseline. Anesthetic loss of consciousness is not a block of corticofugal information transfer, but a disruption of higher-order cortical information integration. The prime candidates for functional networks of the forebrain that play a critical role in maintaining the state of consciousness are those based on the posterior parietal

  17. A role for human brain pericytes in neuroinflammation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Brain inflammation plays a key role in neurological disease. Although much research has been conducted investigating inflammatory events in animal models, potential differences in human brain versus rodent models makes it imperative that we also study these phenomena in human cells and tissue. Methods Primary human brain cell cultures were generated from biopsy tissue of patients undergoing surgery for drug-resistant epilepsy. Cells were treated with pro-inflammatory compounds IFNγ, TNFα, IL-1β, and LPS, and chemokines IP-10 and MCP-1 were measured by immunocytochemistry, western blot, and qRT-PCR. Microarray analysis was also performed on late passage cultures treated with vehicle or IFNγ and IL-1β. Results Early passage human brain cell cultures were a mixture of microglia, astrocytes, fibroblasts and pericytes. Later passage cultures contained proliferating fibroblasts and pericytes only. Under basal culture conditions all cell types showed cytoplasmic NFκB indicating that they were in a non-activated state. Expression of IP-10 and MCP-1 were significantly increased in response to pro-inflammatory stimuli. The two chemokines were expressed in mixed cultures as well as cultures of fibroblasts and pericytes only. The expression of IP-10 and MCP-1 were regulated at the mRNA and protein level, and both were secreted into cell culture media. NFκB nuclear translocation was also detected in response to pro-inflammatory cues (except IFNγ) in all cell types. Microarray analysis of brain pericytes also revealed widespread changes in gene expression in response to the combination of IFNγ and IL-1β treatment including interleukins, chemokines, cellular adhesion molecules and much more. Conclusions Adult human brain cells are sensitive to cytokine challenge. As expected ‘classical’ brain immune cells, such as microglia and astrocytes, responded to cytokine challenge but of even more interest, brain pericytes also responded to such challenge with a

  18. Human face processing is tuned to sexual age preferences

    PubMed Central

    Ponseti, J.; Granert, O.; van Eimeren, T.; Jansen, O.; Wolff, S.; Beier, K.; Deuschl, G.; Bosinski, H.; Siebner, H.

    2014-01-01

    Human faces can motivate nurturing behaviour or sexual behaviour when adults see a child or an adult face, respectively. This suggests that face processing is tuned to detecting age cues of sexual maturity to stimulate the appropriate reproductive behaviour: either caretaking or mating. In paedophilia, sexual attraction is directed to sexually immature children. Therefore, we hypothesized that brain networks that normally are tuned to mature faces of the preferred gender show an abnormal tuning to sexual immature faces in paedophilia. Here, we use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to test directly for the existence of a network which is tuned to face cues of sexual maturity. During fMRI, participants sexually attracted to either adults or children were exposed to various face images. In individuals attracted to adults, adult faces activated several brain regions significantly more than child faces. These brain regions comprised areas known to be implicated in face processing, and sexual processing, including occipital areas, the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and, subcortically, the putamen and nucleus caudatus. The same regions were activated in paedophiles, but with a reversed preferential response pattern. PMID:24850896

  19. Glutathione in the human brain: Review of its roles and measurement by magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Rae, Caroline D; Williams, Stephen R

    2016-12-26

    We review the transport, synthesis and catabolism of glutathione in the brain as well as its compartmentation and biochemistry in different brain cells. The major reactions involving glutathione are reviewed and the factors limiting its availability in brain cells are discussed. We also describe and critique current methods for measuring glutathione in the human brain using magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and review the literature on glutathione measurements in healthy brains and in neurological, psychiatric, neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental conditions In summary: Healthy human brain glutathione concentration is ∼1-2 mM, but it varies by brain region, with evidence of gender differences and age effects; in neurological disease glutathione appears reduced in multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease and epilepsy, while being increased in meningiomas; in psychiatric disease the picture is complex and confounded by methodological differences, regional effects, length of disease and drug-treatment. Both increases and decreases in glutathione have been reported in depression and schizophrenia. In Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment there is evidence for a decrease in glutathione compared to age-matched healthy controls. Improved methods to measure glutathione in vivo will provide better precision in glutathione determination and help resolve the complex biochemistry of this molecule in health and disease.

  20. Resonance of human brain under head acceleration

    PubMed Central

    Laksari, Kaveh; Wu, Lyndia C.; Kurt, Mehmet; Kuo, Calvin; Camarillo, David C.

    2015-01-01

    Although safety standards have reduced fatal head trauma due to single severe head impacts, mild trauma from repeated head exposures may carry risks of long-term chronic changes in the brain's function and structure. To study the physical sensitivities of the brain to mild head impacts, we developed the first dynamic model of the skull–brain based on in vivo MRI data. We showed that the motion of the brain can be described by a rigid-body with constrained kinematics. We further demonstrated that skull–brain dynamics can be approximated by an under-damped system with a low-frequency resonance at around 15 Hz. Furthermore, from our previous field measurements, we found that head motions in a variety of activities, including contact sports, show a primary frequency of less than 20 Hz. This implies that typical head exposures may drive the brain dangerously close to its mechanical resonance and lead to amplified brain–skull relative motions. Our results suggest a possible cause for mild brain trauma, which could occur due to repetitive low-acceleration head oscillations in a variety of recreational and occupational activities. PMID:26063824

  1. Phenylethylamine N-methylation by human brain preparations

    SciTech Connect

    Mosnaim, A.D.; Callaghan, O.H.; Wolf, M.E.

    1986-03-05

    Alterations in the brain metabolism of biogenic amines has been postulated to play a role in the pathophysiology of several psychiatric disorders. There is some evidence suggesting schizogenic properties for some abnormal neuroamine methylated derivatives. The authors now report that postmortem human brain preparations, obtained from the putamen and thalamus, convert phenylethylamine (PEA) to its behaviorally active derivative N-methyl PEA, a reaction which is carried out by the 100,000 xg supernatant (in presence of 1 x 10 /sup -5/M pargyline) and enhanced by the addition of NADPH. PEA N-methylation occurred in schizophrenics as well as in sex and age matched controls. The formation of increased amounts of (/sup 3/H-) or (/sup 14/C-) N-methyl PEA when incubating either cold amine and /sup 3/H-SAM or 1-/sup 14/C PEA and cold SAM, respectively, indicates that SAM is a methyl group donor in this reaction. They will discuss the physiological and pharmacological implications of these results.

  2. Bitter Taste Receptor Polymorphisms and Human Aging

    PubMed Central

    Carrai, Maura; Crocco, Paolina; Montesanto, Alberto; Canzian, Federico; Rose, Giuseppina; Rizzato, Cosmeri

    2012-01-01

    Several studies have shown that genetic factors account for 25% of the variation in human life span. On the basis of published molecular, genetic and epidemiological data, we hypothesized that genetic polymorphisms of taste receptors, which modulate food preferences but are also expressed in a number of organs and regulate food absorption processing and metabolism, could modulate the aging process. Using a tagging approach, we investigated the possible associations between longevity and the common genetic variation at the three bitter taste receptor gene clusters on chromosomes 5, 7 and 12 in a population of 941 individuals ranging in age from 20 to 106 years from the South of Italy. We found that one polymorphism, rs978739, situated 212 bp upstream of the TAS2R16 gene, shows a statistically significant association (p = 0.001) with longevity. In particular, the frequency of A/A homozygotes increases gradually from 35% in subjects aged 20 to 70 up to 55% in centenarians. These data provide suggestive evidence on the possible correlation between human longevity and taste genetics. PMID:23133589

  3. Accelerated epigenetic aging in brain is associated with pre-mortem HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders.

    PubMed

    Levine, Andrew J; Quach, Austin; Moore, David J; Achim, Cristian L; Soontornniyomkij, Virawudh; Masliah, Eliezer; Singer, Elyse J; Gelman, Benjamin; Nemanim, Natasha; Horvath, Steve

    2016-06-01

    HIV infection leads to age-related conditions in relatively young persons. HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are considered among the most prevalent of these conditions. To study the mechanisms underlying this disorder, researchers need an accurate method for measuring biological aging. Here, we apply a recently developed measure of biological aging, based on DNA methylation, to the study of biological aging in HIV+ brains. Retrospective analysis of tissue bank specimens and pre-mortem data was carried out. Fifty-eight HIV+ adults underwent a medical and neurocognitive evaluation within 1 year of death. DNA was obtained from occipital cortex and analyzed with the Illumina Infinium Human Methylation 450K platform. Biological age determined via the epigenetic clock was contrasted with chronological age to obtain a measure of age acceleration, which was then compared between those with HAND and neurocognitively normal individuals. The HAND and neurocognitively normal groups did not differ with regard to demographic, histologic, neuropathologic, or virologic variables. HAND was associated with accelerated aging relative to neurocognitively normal individuals, with average relative acceleration of 3.5 years. Age acceleration did not correlate with pre-mortem neurocognitive functioning or HAND severity. This is the first study to demonstrate that the epigenetic age of occipital cortex samples is associated with HAND status in HIV+ individuals pre-mortem. While these results suggest that the increased risk of a neurocognitive disorder due to HIV might be mediated by an epigenetic aging mechanism, future studies will be needed to validate the findings and dissect causal relationships and downstream effects.

  4. Sixty years old is the breakpoint of human frontal cortex aging.

    PubMed

    Cabré, Rosanna; Naudí, Alba; Dominguez-Gonzalez, Mayelin; Ayala, Victòria; Jové, Mariona; Mota-Martorell, Natalia; Piñol-Ripoll, Gerard; Gil-Villar, Maria Pilar; Rué, Montserrat; Portero-Otín, Manuel; Ferrer, Isidre; Pamplona, Reinald

    2017-02-01

    Human brain aging is the physiological process which underlies as cause of cognitive decline in the elderly and the main risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. Human neurons are functional throughout a healthy adult lifespan, yet the mechanisms that maintain function and protect against neurodegenerative processes during aging are unknown. Here we show that protein oxidative and glycoxidative damage significantly increases during human brain aging, with a breakpoint at 60 years old. This trajectory is coincident with a decrease in the content of the mitochondrial respiratory chain complex I-IV. We suggest that the deterioration in oxidative stress homeostasis during aging induces an adaptive response of stress resistance mechanisms based on the sustained expression of REST, and increased or decreased expression of Akt and mTOR, respectively, over the adult lifespan in order to preserve cell neural survival and function.

  5. The relevance of aging-related changes in brain function to rehabilitation in aging-related disease

    PubMed Central

    Crosson, Bruce; McGregor, Keith M.; Nocera, Joe R.; Drucker, Jonathan H.; Tran, Stella M.; Butler, Andrew J.

    2015-01-01

    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

  6. Centrality of Social Interaction in Human Brain Function.

    PubMed

    Hari, Riitta; Henriksson, Linda; Malinen, Sanna; Parkkonen, Lauri

    2015-10-07

    People are embedded in social interaction that shapes their brains throughout lifetime. Instead of emerging from lower-level cognitive functions, social interaction could be the default mode via which humans communicate with their environment. Should this hypothesis be true, it would have profound implications on how we think about brain functions and how we dissect and simulate them. We suggest that the research on the brain basis of social cognition and interaction should move from passive spectator science to studies including engaged participants and simultaneous recordings from the brains of the interacting persons.

  7. Reflectance Diffuse Optical Tomography: Its Application to Human Brain Mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ueda, Yukio; Yamanaka, Takeshi; Yamashita, Daisuke; Suzuki, Toshihiko; Ohmae, Etsuko; Oda, Motoki; Yamashita, Yutaka

    2005-09-01

    We report the successful application of reflectance diffuse optical tomography (DOT) using near-infrared light with the new reconstruction algorithm that we developed to the observation of regional hemodynamic changes in the brain under specific mental tasks. Our results reveal the heterogeneous distribution of oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin in the brain, showing complementary images of oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin changes in certain regions. We conclude that our reflectance DOT has practical potential for human brain mapping, as well as in the diagnostic imaging of brain diseases.

  8. Understanding complexity in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Bassett, Danielle S.; Gazzaniga, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Although the ultimate aim of neuroscientific enquiry is to gain an understanding of the brain and how its workings relate to the mind, the majority of current efforts are largely focused on small questions using increasingly detailed data. However, it might be possible to successfully address the larger question of mind–brain mechanisms if the cumulative findings from these neuroscientific studies are coupled with complementary approaches from physics and philosophy. The brain, we argue, can be understood as a complex system or network, in which mental states emerge from the interaction between multiple physical and functional levels. Achieving further conceptual progress will crucially depend on broad-scale discussions regarding the properties of cognition and the tools that are currently available or must be developed in order to study mind–brain mechanisms. PMID:21497128

  9. [The shrinking brain: result of normal aging or of selection bias in research?].

    PubMed

    Burgmans, S; van Boxtel, M P J

    2012-02-01

    The volume of our brain decreases as we age. This has been demonstrated by several large studies on normal aging. A recent study indicates, however, that the extent of this decline in normal aging probably has been overestimated because these studies have included subjects with preclinical disorders. In this article, an example from science is used to describe what effect selection bias may have on our model of the aging brain.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-22

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

  11. Extracellular vesicles and their synthetic analogues in aging and age-associated brain diseases

    PubMed Central

    Smith, J. A.; Leonardi, T.; Huang, B.; Iraci, N.; Vega, B.; Pluchino, S.

    2015-01-01

    Multicellular organisms rely upon diverse and complex intercellular communications networks for a myriad of physiological processes. Disruption of these processes is implicated in the onset and propagation of disease and disorder, including the mechanisms of senescence at both cellular and organismal levels. In recent years, secreted extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been identified as a particularly novel vector by which cell-to-cell communications are enacted. EVs actively and specifically traffic bioactive proteins, nucleic acids, and metabolites between cells at local and systemic levels, modulating cellular responses in a bidirectional manner under both homeostatic and pathological conditions. EVs are being implicated not only in the generic aging process, but also as vehicles of pathology in a number of age-related diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative and disease. Thus, circulating EVs—or specific EV cargoes—are being utilised as putative biomarkers of disease. On the other hand, EVs, as targeted intercellular shuttles of multipotent bioactive payloads, have demonstrated promising therapeutic properties, which can potentially be modulated and enhanced through cellular engineering. Furthermore, there is considerable interest in employing nanomedicinal approaches to mimic the putative therapeutic properties of EVs by employing synthetic analogues for targeted drug delivery. Herein we describe what is known about the origin and nature of EVs and subsequently review their putative roles in biology and medicine (including the use of synthetic EV analogues), with a particular focus on their role in aging and age-related brain diseases. PMID:24973266

  12. Distribution of PSA-NCAM in normal, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease human brain.

    PubMed

    Murray, Helen C; Low, Victoria F; Swanson, Molly E V; Dieriks, Birger V; Turner, Clinton; Faull, Richard L M; Curtis, Maurice A

    2016-08-25

    Polysialated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) is a membrane bound glycoprotein widely expressed during nervous system development. While commonly described in the neurogenic niches of the adult human brain, there is limited evidence of its distribution in other brain regions. PSA-NCAM is an important regulator of cell-cell interactions and facilitates cell migration and plasticity. Recent evidence suggests these functions may be altered in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). This study provides a detailed description of the PSA-NCAM distribution throughout the human brain and quantitatively compares the staining load in cortical regions and sub-cortical structures between the control, AD and PD brain. Our results provide evidence of widespread, yet specific, PSA-NCAM expression throughout the human brain including regions devoid of PSA-NCAM in the rodent brain such as the caudate nucleus (CN) and cerebellum (CB). We also detected a significant reduction in PSA-NCAM load in the entorhinal cortex (EC) of cases that was inversely correlated with hyperphosphorylated tau load. These results demonstrate that PSA-NCAM-mediated structural plasticity may not be limited to neurogenic niches and is conserved in the aged brain. We also provide evidence that PSA-NCAM is reduced in the EC, a region severely affected by AD pathology.

  13. Near infrared Raman spectra of human brain lipids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krafft, Christoph; Neudert, Lars; Simat, Thomas; Salzer, Reiner

    2005-05-01

    Human brain tissue, in particular white matter, contains high lipid content. These brain lipids can be divided into three principal classes: neutral lipids including the steroid cholesterol, phospholipids and sphingolipids. Major lipids in normal human brain tissue are phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidic acid, sphingomyelin, galactocerebrosides, gangliosides, sulfatides and cholesterol. Minor lipids are cholesterolester and triacylglycerides. During transformation from normal brain tissue to tumors, composition and concentration of lipids change in a specific way. Therefore, analysis of lipids might be used as a diagnostic parameter to distinguish normal tissue from tumors and to determine the tumor type and tumor grade. Raman spectroscopy has been suggested as an analytical tool to detect these changes even under intra-operative conditions. We recorded Raman spectra of the 12 major and minor brain lipids with 785 nm excitation in order to identify their spectral fingerprints for qualitative and quantitative analyses.

  14. The Bounds Of Education In The Human Brain Connectome.

    PubMed

    Marques, P; Soares, J M; Magalhães, R; Santos, N C; Sousa, N

    2015-08-06

    Inter-individual heterogeneity is evident in aging; education level is known to contribute for this heterogeneity. Using a cross-sectional study design and network inference applied to resting-state fMRI data, we show that aging was associated with decreased functional connectivity in a large cortical network. On the other hand, education level, as measured by years of formal education, produced an opposite effect on the long-term. These results demonstrate the increased brain efficiency in individuals with higher education level that may mitigate the impact of age on brain functional connectivity.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hecox, K.; Galambos, R.

    1974-01-01

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

  16. Differences between chronological and brain age are related to education and self-reported physical activity

    PubMed Central

    Steffener, Jason; Habeck, Christian; O'Shea, Deirdre; Razlighi, Qolamreza; Bherer, Louis; Stern, Yaakov

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the relationship between education and physical activity and the difference between a physiological prediction of age and chronological age. Cortical and subcortical grey matter regional volumes were calculated from 331 healthy adults (range: 19-79 years). Multivariate analyses identified a covariance pattern of brain volumes best predicting chronological age (CA)(R2 = 47%). Individual expression of this brain pattern served as a physiologic measure of brain age (BA). The difference between CA and BA was predicted by education and self-report measures of physical activity. Education and the daily number of flights of stairs climbed were the only two significant predictors of decreased brain age. Effect sizes demonstrated that brain age decreased by 0.95 years for each year of education and by 0.58 years for one additional daily FOSC. Effects of education and FOSC on regional brain volume were largely driven by temporal and subcortical volumes. These results demonstrate that higher levels of education and daily FOSC are related to larger brain volume than predicted by chronological age which supports the utility of regional grey matter volume as a biomarker of healthy brain aging. PMID:26973113

  17. Aging attenuates the vestibulosympathetic reflex in humans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ray, Chester A.; Monahan, Kevin D.

    2002-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The vestibular system contributes to sympathetic activation by engagement of the otolith organs. However, there is a significant loss of vestibular function with aging. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to determine if young and older individuals differ in their cardiovascular and sympathetic responses to otolithic stimulation (ie, head-down rotation, HDR). We hypothesized that responses to otolithic stimulation would be attenuated in older adults because of morphological and physiological alterations that occur in the vestibular system with aging. METHODS AND RESULTS: Arterial blood pressure, heart rate, muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA), and head rotation were measured during HDR in 11 young (26 +/- 1 years) and 11 older (64 +/- 1 years) subjects in the prone posture. Five older subjects performed head rotation (chin to chest) in the lateral decubitus position, which simulates HDR but does not alter afferent inputs from the vestibular system. MSNA responses to HDR were significantly attenuated in older as compared with young subjects (P<0.01). MSNA increased in the older subjects by only 12 +/- 5% as compared with 85 +/- 16% in the young. Furthermore, HDR elicited significant reductions in mean arterial blood pressure in older (Delta-6 +/- 1 mm Hg; P<0.01) but not young subjects (Delta1 +/- 1 mm Hg). In contrast to HDR, head rotation performed in the lateral decubitus position did not elicit hypotension. MSNA responses to baroreceptor unloading and the cold pressor test were not different between the age groups. CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that aging attenuates the vestibulosympathetic reflex in humans and may contribute to the increased prevalence of orthostatic hypotension with age.

  18. Regional growth and atlasing of the developing human brain

    PubMed Central

    Makropoulos, Antonios; Aljabar, Paul; Wright, Robert; Hüning, Britta; Merchant, Nazakat; Arichi, Tomoki; Tusor, Nora; Hajnal, Joseph V.; Edwards, A. David; Counsell, Serena J.; Rueckert, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Detailed morphometric analysis of the neonatal brain is required to characterise brain development and define neuroimaging biomarkers related to impaired brain growth. Accurate automatic segmentation of neonatal brain MRI is a prerequisite to analyse large datasets. We have previously presented an accurate and robust automatic segmentation technique for parcellating the neonatal brain into multiple cortical and subcortical regions. In this study, we further extend our segmentation method to detect cortical sulci and provide a detailed delineation of the cortical ribbon. These detailed segmentations are used to build a 4-dimensional spatio-temporal structural atlas of the brain for 82 cortical and subcortical structures throughout this developmental period. We employ the algorithm to segment an extensive database of 420 MR images of the developing brain, from 27 to 45 weeks post-menstrual age at imaging. Regional volumetric and cortical surface measurements are derived and used to investigate brain growth and development during this critical period and to assess the impact of immaturity at birth. Whole brain volume, the absolute volume of all structures studied, cortical curvature and cortical surface area increased with increasing age at scan. Relative volumes of cortical grey matter, cerebellum and cerebrospinal fluid increased with age at scan, while relative volumes of white matter, ventricles, brainstem and basal ganglia and thalami decreased. Preterm infants at term had smaller whole brain volumes, reduced regional white matter and cortical and subcortical grey matter volumes, and reduced cortical surface area compared with term born controls, while ventricular volume was greater in the preterm group. Increasing prematurity at birth was associated with a reduction in total and regional white matter, cortical and subcortical grey matter volume, an increase in ventricular volume, and reduced cortical surface area. PMID:26499811

  19. Conscious Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans Using Non-Invasive Technologies

    PubMed Central

    Grau, Carles; Ginhoux, Romuald; Riera, Alejandro; Nguyen, Thanh Lam; Chauvat, Hubert; Berg, Michel; Amengual, Julià L.; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Ruffini, Giulio

    2014-01-01

    Human sensory and motor systems provide the natural means for the exchange of information between individuals, and, hence, the basis for human civilization. The recent development of brain-computer interfaces (BCI) has provided an important element for the creation of brain-to-brain communication systems, and precise brain stimulation techniques are now available for the realization of non-invasive computer-brain interfaces (CBI). These technologies, BCI and CBI, can be combined to realize the vision of non-invasive, computer-mediated brain-to-brain (B2B) communication between subjects (hyperinteraction). Here we demonstrate the conscious transmission of information between human brains through the intact scalp and without intervention of motor or peripheral sensory systems. Pseudo-random binary streams encoding words were transmitted between the minds of emitter and receiver subjects separated by great distances, representing the realization of the first human brain-to-brain interface. In a series of experiments, we established internet-mediated B2B communication by combining a BCI based on voluntary motor imagery-controlled electroencephalographic (EEG) changes with a CBI inducing the conscious perception of phosphenes (light flashes) through neuronavigated, robotized transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), with special care taken to block sensory (tactile, visual or auditory) cues. Our results provide a critical proof-of-principle demonstration for the development of conscious B2B communication technologies. More fully developed, related implementations will open new research venues in cognitive, social and clinical neuroscience and the scientific study of consciousness. We envision that hyperinteraction technologies will eventually have a profound impact on the social structure of our civilization and raise important ethical issues. PMID:25137064

  20. Conscious brain-to-brain communication in humans using non-invasive technologies.

    PubMed

    Grau, Carles; Ginhoux, Romuald; Riera, Alejandro; Nguyen, Thanh Lam; Chauvat, Hubert; Berg, Michel; Amengual, Julià L; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Ruffini, Giulio

    2014-01-01

    Human sensory and motor systems provide the natural means for the exchange of information between individuals, and, hence, the basis for human civilization. The recent development of brain-computer interfaces (BCI) has provided an important element for the creation of brain-to-brain communication systems, and precise brain stimulation techniques are now available for the realization of non-invasive computer-brain interfaces (CBI). These technologies, BCI and CBI, can be combined to realize the vision of non-invasive, computer-mediated brain-to-brain (B2B) communication between subjects (hyperinteraction). Here we demonstrate the conscious transmission of information between human brains through the intact scalp and without intervention of motor or peripheral sensory systems. Pseudo-random binary streams encoding words were transmitted between the minds of emitter and receiver subjects separated by great distances, representing the realization of the first human brain-to-brain interface. In a series of experiments, we established internet-mediated B2B communication by combining a BCI based on voluntary motor imagery-controlled electroencephalographic (EEG) changes with a CBI inducing the conscious perception of phosphenes (light flashes) through neuronavigated, robotized transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), with special care taken to block sensory (tactile, visual or auditory) cues. Our results provide a critical proof-of-principle demonstration for the development of conscious B2B communication technologies. More fully developed, related implementations will open new research venues in cognitive, social and clinical neuroscience and the scientific study of consciousness. We envision that hyperinteraction technologies will eventually have a profound impact on the social structure of our civilization and raise important ethical issues.

  1. Transcriptomic insights into human brain evolution: acceleration, neutrality, heterochrony.

    PubMed

    Somel, Mehmet; Rohlfs, Rori; Liu, Xiling

    2014-12-01

    Primate brain transcriptome comparisons within the last 12 years have yielded interesting but contradictory observations on how the transcriptome evolves, and its adaptive role in human cognitive evolution. Since the human-chimpanzee common ancestor, the human prefrontal cortex transcriptome seems to have evolved more than that of the chimpanzee. But at the same time, most expression differences among species, especially those observed in adults, appear as consequences of neutral evolution at cis-regulatory sites. Adaptive expression changes in the human brain may be rare events involving timing shifts, or heterochrony, in specific neurodevelopmental processes. Disentangling adaptive and neutral expression changes, and associating these with human-specific features of the brain require improved methods, comparisons across more species, and further work on comparative development.

  2. Nerve growth factor in the adult brain of a teleostean model for aging research: Nothobranchius furzeri.

    PubMed

    D'Angelo, L; Castaldo, L; Cellerino, A; de Girolamo, P; Lucini, C

    2014-07-01

    Nerve growth factor (NGF) acts on central nervous system neurons, regulating naturally occurring cell death, synaptic connectivity, fiber guidance and dendritic morphology. The dynamically regulated production of NGF beginning in development, extends throughout adult life and aging, exerting numerous roles through a surprising variety of neurons and glial cells. This study analyzes the localization of NGF in the brain of the teleost fish Nothobranchius furzeri, an emerging model for aging research due to its short lifespan. Immunochemical and immunohistochemical experiments were performed by employing an antibody mapping at the N-terminus of the mature chain human origin NGF. Western blot analysis revealed an intense and well defined band of 20 kDa, which corresponds to proNGF of N. furzeri. Immunohistochemistry revealed NGF immunoreactivity (IR) diffused throughout all regions of telencephalon, diencephalon, mesencephalon and rhomboencephalon. It was detected in neurons and in glial cells, the latter mostly lining the mesencephalic and rhomboencephalic ventricles. Particularly in neurons, NGF IR was localized in perikarya and, to a less extent, in fibers. The widespread distribution of proNGF suggests that it might modulate numerous physiological functions in the adult brain of N. furzeri. The present survey constitutes a baseline study to enhance the understanding of the mechanisms underlying the role of NGF during aging processes.

  3. Human brain activity with functional NIR optical imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Qingming

    2001-08-01

    In this paper we reviewed the applications of functional near infrared optical imager in human brain activity. Optical imaging results of brain activity, including memory for new association, emotional thinking, mental arithmetic, pattern recognition ' where's Waldo?, occipital cortex in visual stimulation, and motor cortex in finger tapping, are demonstrated. It is shown that the NIR optical method opens up new fields of study of the human population, in adults under conditions of simulated or real stress that may have important effects upon functional performance. It makes practical and affordable for large populations the complex technology of measuring brain function. It is portable and low cost. In cognitive tasks subjects could report orally. The temporal resolution could be millisecond or less in theory. NIR method will have good prospects in exploring human brain secret.

  4. Integrated Visualization of Human Brain Connectome Data.

    PubMed

    Li, Huang; Fang, Shiaofen; Goni, Joaquin; Contreras, Joey A; Liang, Yanhua; Cai, Chengtao; West, John D; Risacher, Shannon L; Wang, Yang; Sporns, Olaf; Saykin, Andrew J; Shen, Li

    2015-01-01

    Visualization plays a vital role in the analysis of multi-modal neuroimaging data. A major challenge in neuroimaging visualization is how to integrate structural, functional and connectivity data to form a comprehensive visual context for data exploration, quality control, and hypothesis discovery. We develop a new integrated visualization solution for brain imaging data by combining scientific and information visualization techniques within the context of the same anatomic structure. New surface texture techniques are developed to map non-spatial attributes onto the brain surfaces from MRI scans. Two types of non-spatial information are represented: (1) time-series data from resting-state functional MRI measuring brain activation; (2) network properties derived from structural connectivity data for different groups of subjects, which may help guide the detection of differentiation features. Through visual exploration, this integrated solution can help identify brain regions with highly correlated functional activations as well as their activation patterns. Visual detection of differentiation features can also potentially discover image based phenotypic biomarkers for brain diseases.

  5. Aging of oocyte, ovary, and human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Ottolenghi, Chris; Uda, Manuela; Hamatani, Toshio; Crisponi, Laura; Garcia, Jose-Elias; Ko, Minoru; Pilia, Giuseppe; Sforza, Chiarella; Schlessinger, David; Forabosco, Antonino

    2004-12-01

    We review age-related changes in the ovary and their effect on female fertility, with particular emphasis on follicle formation, follicle dynamics, and oocyte quality. The evidence indicates that the developmental processes leading to follicle formation set the rules determining follicle quiescence and growth. This regulatory system is maintained until menopause and is directly affected in at least some models of premature ovarian failure (POF), most strikingly in the Foxl2 mouse knockout, a model of human POF with monogenic etiology (blepharophimosis/ptosis/epicanthus inversus syndrome). Several lines of evidence indicate that if the ovarian germ cell lineage maintains regenerative potential, as recently suggested in the mouse, a role in follicle dynamics for germ stem cells, if any, is likely indirect or secondary. In addition, age-related variations in oocyte quality in animal models suggest that reproductive competence is acquired progressively and might depend on parallel growth and differentiation of follicle cells and stroma. Genomewide analyses of the mouse oocyte transcriptome have begun to be used to systematically investigate the mechanisms of reproductive competence that are altered with aging. Investigative and therapeutic strategies can benefit from considering the role of continuous interactions between follicle cells and oocytes from the beginning of histogenesis to full maturation.

  6. Histone modifications change with age, dietary restriction and rapamycin treatment in mouse brain

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Huan; Qian, Hong; Ertl, Robin; Astle, Clinton M.; Wang, Gang G.; Harrison, David E.; Xu, Xiangru

    2015-01-01

    The risk of developing neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) increases dramatically with age. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of brain aging is crucial for developing preventative and/or therapeutic approaches for age-associated neurological diseases. Recently, it has been suggested that epigenetic factors, such as histone modifications, maybe be involved in brain aging and age-related neurodegenerations. In this study, we investigated 14 histone modifications in brains of a cohort of young (3 months), old (22 months), and old age-matched dietary restricted (DR) and rapamycin treated BALB/c mice. Results showed that 7 out of all measured histone markers were changed drastically with age. Intriguingly, histone methylations in brain tissues, including H3K27me3, H3R2me2, H3K79me3 and H4K20me2 tend to disappear with age but can be partially restored by both DR and rapamycin treatment. However, both DR and rapamycin treatment also have a significant impact on several other histone modifications such as H3K27ac, H4K16ac, H4R3me2, and H3K56ac, which do not change as animal ages. This study provides the first evidence that a broad spectrum of histone modifications may be involved in brain aging. Besides, this study suggests that both DR and rapamycin may slow aging process in mouse brain via these underlying epigenetic mechanisms. PMID:26021816

  7. Melatonin and aging: prospects for human treatment.

    PubMed

    Bubenik, G A; Konturek, S J

    2011-02-01

    Human life span, with or without modern medicine is around 85-95 years. All living creatures have their inner clock that measures their daily (circadian) and their seasonal (circannual) time. These time changes are mediated by the alteration of levels of melatonin, an evolutionary ancient hormone, which is produced in many body tissues, including the pineal gland, retina and the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Light is blocking the production of melatonin in the pineal gland, darkness is stimulating it. So, the diurnal changes of light intensity of melatonin, provide a "daily clock" and the seasonal changes provide a "seasonal clock". Finally, the reduction of melatonin observed with aging, may indicate the presence of an "age clock". Melatonin is a strong antioxidant (often it is called scavenger of free radicals), which protects the body from the effects of noxious compounds. Therefore it was hypothesized that the reduction of melatonin levels with age contributes to the aging process. So far, the only remedy to extend the life span was a 40% reduction in caloric intake, which prolonged the life in mice, rats, dogs and monkeys by 30-50%. A large group of people imitate these experiments performed on animals, but the results of these experiments will not be known for several decades. How is being hungry prolonging the life span? There is a connection between caloric reduction and melatonin levels in GIT. Several experiments indicate that fasting in animals substantially increased their production of GIT melatonin. Therefore, instead of being permanently hungry, a prolongation of human life could be achieved by a replacement melatonin therapy. A daily intake of melatonin before bed time might achieve the same effect as fasting e.g. an increase of body melatonin levels, which will protect the individual from the ravages of old age. That includes Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. There is a large group of people taking melatonin daily who believe that

  8. Mitochondrial dysfunction in rat brain with aging Involvement of complex I, reactive oxygen species and cardiolipin.

    PubMed

    Petrosillo, G; Matera, M; Casanova, G; Ruggiero, F M; Paradies, G

    2008-11-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are considered a key factor in brain aging process. Mitochondrial respiration is an important site of ROS production and hence a potential contributor to brain functional changes with aging. In this study we examined the effect of aging on complex I activity, oxygen consumption, ROS production and phospholipid composition in rat brain mitochondria. The activity of complex I was reduced by 30% in brain mitochondria from 24 months aged rats relative to young animals. These changes in complex I activity were associated with parallel changes in state 3 respiration. H(2)O(2) generation was significantly increased in mitochondria isolated from aged rats. The mitochondrial content of cardiolipin, a phospholipid required for optimal activity of complex I, decreased by 31% as function of aging, while there was a significant increase in the level of peroxidized cardiolipin. The age-related decrease in complex I activity in brain mitochondria could be reversed by exogenously added cardiolipin. This effect of cardiolipin could not be replaced by other phospholipids. It is proposed that aging causes brain mitochondrial complex I dysfunction which can be attributed to ROS-induced cardiolipin oxidation. These findings may prove useful in elucidating the mechanism underlying mitochondrial dysfunction associated with brain aging.

  9. Brain Na+, K+-ATPase Activity In Aging and Disease

    PubMed Central

    de Lores Arnaiz, Georgina Rodríguez; Ordieres, María Graciela López

    2014-01-01

    , enzyme changes in diverse neurological diseases as well as during aging, have been summarized. Issues refer mainly to Na+, K+-ATPase studies in ischemia, brain injury, depression and mood disorders, mania, stress, Alzheimer´s disease, learning and memory, and neuronal hyperexcitability and epilepsy. PMID:25018677

  10. [Geomagnetic storm decreases coherence of electric oscillations of human brain while working at the computer].

    PubMed

    Novik, O B; Smirnov, F A

    2013-01-01

    The effect of geomagnetic storms at the latitude of Moscow on the electric oscillations of the human brain cerebral cortex was studied. In course of electroencephalogram measurements it was shown that when the voluntary persons at the age of 18-23 years old were performing tasks using a computer during moderate magnetic storm or no later than 24 hrs after it, the value of the coherence function of electric oscillations of the human brain in the frontal and occipital areas in a range of 4.0-7.9 Hz (so-called the theta rhythm oscillations of the human brain) decreased by a factor of two or more, sometimes reaching zero, although arterial blood pressure, respiratory rate and the electrocardiogram registered during electroencephalogram measurements remained within the standard values.

  11. Inside SMP proteomics: six years German Human Brain Proteome Project (HBPP) - a summary.

    PubMed

    Hamacher, Michael; Hardt, Tanja; van Hall, Andre; Stephan, Christian; Marcus, Katrin; Meyer, Helmut E

    2008-03-01

    In 2001, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) initiated the National Genome Research Network (NGFN; www.ngfn.de) as a nation-wide multidisciplinary networking platform aiming at the analysis of common human diseases and aging. Within the NGFN the Human Brain Proteome Project (HBPP; www.smp-proteomics.de) focuses on the analysis of the human brain in health and disease. The concept is based on two consecutive steps: (i) Elaborating and establishing the necessary technology platforms. (ii) Application of the established technologies for research in Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. In the first funding period, HBPP1, running from 2001 to 2004, necessary technologies were established and optimized. In HBPP2, which started 2004 and will end in May 2008, the developed technologies are used for large-scale experiments, offering new links for disease related research and therapies. The following overview describes structure, aims and outcome of this unique German Brain Proteome Project.

  12. Absence of human cytomegalovirus infection in childhood brain tumors

    PubMed Central

    Sardi, Iacopo; Lucchesi, Maurizio; Becciani, Sabrina; Facchini, Ludovica; Guidi, Milena; Buccoliero, Anna Maria; Moriondo, Maria; Baroni, Gianna; Stival, Alessia; Farina, Silvia; Genitori, Lorenzo; de Martino, Maurizio

    2015-01-01

    Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a common human pathogen which induces different clinical manifestations related to the age and the immune conditions of the host. HCMV infection seems to be involved in the pathogenesis of adult glioblastomas. The aim of our study was to detect the presence of HCMV in high grade gliomas and other pediatric brain tumors. This hypothesis might have important therapeutic implications, offering a new target for adjuvant therapies. Among 106 pediatric patients affected by CNS tumors we selected 27 patients with a positive HCMV serology. The serological analysis revealed 7 patients with positive HCMV IGG (≥14 U/mL), whom had also a high HCMV IgG avidity, suggesting a more than 6 months-dated infection. Furthermore, HCMV IGM were positive (≥22 U/mL) in 20 patients. Molecular and immunohistochemical analyses were performed in all the 27 samples. Despite a positive HCMV serology, confirmed by ELISA, no viral DNA was shown at the PCR analysis in the patients’ neoplastic cells. At immunohistochemistry, no expression of HCMV antigens was observed in tumoral cells. Our results are in agreement with recent results in adults which did not evidence the presence of HCMV genome in glioblastoma lesions. We did not find any correlation between HCMV infection and pediatric CNS tumors. PMID:26396923

  13. Coordinated Expression of Phosphoinositide Metabolic Genes during Development and Aging of Human Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Rapoport, Stanley I.; Primiani, Christopher T.; Chen, Chuck T.; Ahn, Kwangmi; Ryan, Veronica H.

    2015-01-01

    Background Phosphoinositides, lipid-signaling molecules, participate in diverse brain processes within a wide metabolic cascade. Hypothesis Gene transcriptional networks coordinately regulate the phosphoinositide cascade during human brain Development and Aging. Methods We used the public BrainCloud database for human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to examine age-related expression levels of 49 phosphoinositide metabolic genes during Development (0 to 20+ years) and Aging (21+ years). Results We identified three groups of partially overlapping genes in each of the two intervals, with similar intergroup correlations despite marked phenotypic differences between Aging and Development. In each interval, ITPKB, PLCD1, PIK3R3, ISYNA1, IMPA2, INPPL1, PI4KB, and AKT1 are in Group 1, PIK3CB, PTEN, PIK3CA, and IMPA1 in Group 2, and SACM1L, PI3KR4, INPP5A, SYNJ1, and PLCB1 in Group 3. Ten of the genes change expression nonlinearly during Development, suggesting involvement in rapidly changing neuronal, glial and myelination events. Correlated transcription for some gene pairs likely is facilitated by colocalization on the same chromosome band. Conclusions Stable coordinated gene transcriptional networks regulate brain phosphoinositide metabolic pathways during human Development and Aging. PMID:26168237

  14. A New Antigen Retrieval Technique for Human Brain Tissue

    PubMed Central

    Byne, William; Haroutunian, Vahram; García-Villanueva, Mercedes; Rábano, Alberto; García-Amado, María; Prensa, Lucía; Giménez-Amaya, José Manuel

    2008-01-01

    Immunohistochemical staining of tissues is a powerful tool used to delineate the presence or absence of an antigen. During the last 30 years, antigen visualization in human brain tissue has been significantly limited by the masking effect of fixatives. In the present study, we have used a new method for antigen retrieval in formalin-fixed human brain tissue and examined the effectiveness of this protocol to reveal masked antigens in tissues with both short and long formalin fixation times. This new method, which is based on the use of citraconic acid, has not been previously utilized in brain tissue although it has been employed in various other tissues such as tonsil, ovary, skin, lymph node, stomach, breast, colon, lung and thymus. Thus, we reported here a novel method to carry out immunohistochemical studies in free-floating human brain sections. Since fixation of brain tissue specimens in formaldehyde is a commonly method used in brain banks, this new antigen retrieval method could facilitate immunohistochemical studies of brains with prolonged formalin fixation times. PMID:18852880

  15. Morphological age-dependent development of the human carotid bifurcation.

    PubMed

    Seong, Jaehoon; Lieber, Baruch B; Wakhloo, Ajay K

    2005-03-01

    The unique morphology of the adult human carotid bifurcation and its sinus has been investigated extensively, but its long-term, age-dependent development has not. It is important fundamentally and clinically to understand the hemodynamics and developmental forces that play a role in remodeling of the carotid bifurcation and maturation of the sinus in association with brain maturation. This understanding can lead to better prognostication and therapy of carotid disease. We analyzed the change of sinus morphology and the angle of the carotid bifurcation in four postnatal developmental stages (Group I: 0-2 years, Group II: 3-9 years, Group III: 10-19 years, and Group IV: 20-36 years, respectively) using multiprojection digital subtraction angiograms and image post-processing techniques. The most significant findings are the substantial growth of the internal carotid artery (ICA) with age and the development of a carotid sinus at the root of the ICA during late adolescence. The bifurcation angle remains virtually unchanged from infancy to adulthood. However, the angle split between the ICA and external carotid artery (ECA) relative to the common carotid artery (CCA) undergoes significant changes. Initially, the ICA appears to emanate as a side branch. Later in life, to reduce hydraulic resistance in response to increased flow demand by the brain, the bifurcation is remodeled to a construct in which both daughter vessels are a skewed continuation of the parent artery. This study provides a new analysis method to examine the development of the human carotid bifurcation over the developmental years, despite the small and sparse database. A larger database will enable in the future a more extensive analysis such as gender or racial differences.

  16. Progress on the paternal brain: theory, animal models, human brain research, and mental health implications.

    PubMed

    Swain, J E; Dayton, C J; Kim, P; Tolman, R M; Volling, B L

    2014-01-01

    With a secure foundation in basic research across mammalian species in which fathers participate in the raising of young, novel brain-imaging approaches are outlining a set of consistent brain circuits that regulate paternal thoughts and behaviors in humans. The newest experimental paradigms include increasingly realistic baby-stimuli to provoke paternal cognitions and behaviors with coordinated hormone measures to outline brain networks that regulate motivation, reflexive caring, emotion regulation, and social brain networks with differences and similarities to those found in mothers. In this article, on the father brain, we review all brain-imaging studies on PubMed to date on the human father brain and introduce the topic with a selection of theoretical models and foundational neurohormonal research on animal models in support of the human work. We discuss potentially translatable models for the identification and treatment of paternal mood and father-child relational problems, which could improve infant mental health and developmental trajectories with potentially broad public health importance.

  17. The Attention System of the Human Brain

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-02-28

    attention deficit disorder, among others. The concept of an attentional system of the brain with specific operations allocated to distinct anatomical... attention deficit disorder to the right hemisphere mechanisms that control sustaining of attention. It seems apparent that a combined cognitive and

  18. TV, Brain Waves and Human Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Science News, 1978

    1978-01-01

    Describes the procedure to test the hypothesis that subjects' brain waves in response to a television flicker (distraction) would be smaller in amplitude during television programs of high, in contrast to low, interest. Results from 12 viewers support the hypothesis. (CP)

  19. A meta-analysis of sex differences in human brain structure☆

    PubMed Central

    Ruigrok, Amber N.V.; Salimi-Khorshidi, Gholamreza; Lai, Meng-Chuan; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Lombardo, Michael V.; Tait, Roger J.; Suckling, John

    2014-01-01

    The prevalence, age of onset, and symptomatology of many neuropsychiatric conditions differ between males and females. To understand the causes and consequences of sex differences it is important to establish where they occur in the human brain. We report the first meta-analysis of typical sex differences on global brain volume, a descriptive account of the breakdown of studies of each compartmental volume by six age categories, and whole-brain voxel-wise meta-analyses on brain volume and density. Gaussian-process regression coordinate-based meta-analysis was used to examine sex differences in voxel-based regional volume and density. On average, males have larger total brain volumes than females. Examination of the breakdown of studies providing total volumes by age categories indicated a bias towards the 18–59 year-old category. Regional sex differences in volume and tissue density include the amygdala, hippocampus and insula, areas known to be implicated in sex-biased neuropsychiatric conditions. Together, these results suggest candidate regions for investigating the asymmetric effect that sex has on the developing brain, and for understanding sex-biased neurological and psychiatric conditions. PMID:24374381

  20. Brain perfusion SPECT in the mouse: normal pattern according to gender and age.

    PubMed

    Apostolova, Ivayla; Wunder, Andreas; Dirnagl, Ulrich; Michel, Roger; Stemmer, Nina; Lukas, Mathias; Derlin, Thorsten; Gregor-Mamoudou, Betina; Goldschmidt, Jürgen; Brenner, Winfried; Buchert, Ralph

    2012-12-01

    .7%, p=0.000) and at young adult age (AI=2.4 ± 1.7%, p=0.000). Gender had no effect on asymmetry. Voxel-wise testing confirmed the ROI-based findings. In conclusion, high-resolution HMPAO SPECT is a promising technique for measuring rCBF in preclinical research. It indicates lateral asymmetry of rCBF in the mouse brain as well as age-related changes during late maturation. ECD is not suitable as tracer for brain SPECT in the mouse because of its fast clearance from tissue indicating an interspecies difference in esterase activity between mice and humans.

  1. Shortcomings of the Human Brain and Remedial Action by Religion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reich, K. Helmut

    2010-01-01

    There is no consensus as to whether, and if so, in which regard and to what extent science and religion is needed for human survival. Here a circumscribed domain is taken up: the sovereignty and sufficiency of the human brain in this context. Several of its shortcomings are pointed out. Religion and other aspects of culture are needed for remedial…

  2. iPSC technology to study human aging and aging-related disorders.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guang-Hui; Ding, Zhichao; Izpisua Belmonte, Juan Carlos

    2012-12-01

    A global aging population, normally accompanied by a high incidence of aging-associated diseases, has prompted a renewed interest in basic research on human aging. Although encouraging progress has been achieved using animal models, the underlying fundamental mechanisms of aging remain largely unknown. Here, we review the human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-based models of aging and aging-related diseases. These models seek to advance our knowledge of aging molecular mechanisms and help to develop strategies for treating aging-associated human diseases.

  3. Localizing Age-Related Changes in Brain Structure Using Voxel-Based Morphometry

    PubMed Central

    Mu, Shu Hua; Duan, Jun Xiu

    2017-01-01

    Aim. We report the dynamic anatomical sequence of human cortical gray matter development from late childhood to young adults using VBM and ROI-based methods. Method. The structural MRI of 91 normal individuals ranging in age from 6 to 26 years was obtained and the GMV for each region was measured. Results. Our results showed that the earliest loss of GMV occurred in left olfactory, right precuneus, caudate, left putamen, pallidum, and left middle temporal gyrus. In addition, the trajectory of maturational and aging showed a linear decline in GMV on both cortical lobes and subcortical regions. The most loss of gray matter was observed in the parietal lobe and basal ganglia, whereas the less loss occurred in the temporal lobe and hippocampus, especially in the left middle temporal pole, which showed no decline until 26 years old. Moreover, the volumes of GM, WM, and CSF were also assessed for linear age effects, showing a significant linear decline in GM with age and a significant linear increase in both WM and CSF with age. Interpretation. Overall, our findings lend support to previous findings of the normal brain development of regional cortex, and they may help in understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:28194282

  4. Gene therapy and cell reprogramming for the aging brain: achievements and promise.

    PubMed

    Pardo, Joaquín; Morel, Gustavo R; Astiz, Mariana; Schwerdt, José I; León, Micaela L; Rodríguez, Silvia S; Hereñú, Claudia B; Goya, Rodolfo G

    2014-02-01

    In the central nervous system, cholinergic and dopaminergic (DA) neurons are among the cells most susceptible to the deleterious effects of age. Thus, the basal forebrain cholinergic system is known to undergo moderate neurodegenerative changes during normal aging as well as severe atrophy in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Parkinson's disease (PD), a degeneration of nigro-striatal DA neurons is the most conspicuous reflection of the vulnerability of DA neurons to age. Overall, there is growing evidence that a progressive decline in cognitive function and central DA activity represents basic features of normal aging both in humans and laboratory rodents. Spontaneous or environmental neurotoxin-mediated exacerbation of these processes contributes to the symptoms of AD and PD, respectively. In this context, neurotrophic factors that can prevent or delay the decline in cognitive function and central DA activity are of clinical interest. Among them, Insulin-like Growth Factor I and Glial cell line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor are emerging as powerful neuroprotective molecules. This article discusses the experimental evidence supporting the neuroprotective relevance of these and related factors in the aging brain. The availability of induced pluripotent stem cells offers a new promise for the treatment of pathologies associated with the loss of specific cell types as for instance, nigral DA neurons (in PD) or basal forebrain cholinergic neurons (BFCN) in the early stages of AD. Recent studies documenting the use of cell reprogramming for the generation of multipotent neuronal precursors as well as functional BFCN and DA neurons are reviewed.

  5. The Evolution of Human Intelligence and the Coefficient of Additive Genetic Variance in Human Brain Size

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Geoffrey F.; Penke, Lars

    2007-01-01

    Most theories of human mental evolution assume that selection favored higher intelligence and larger brains, which should have reduced genetic variance in both. However, adult human intelligence remains highly heritable, and is genetically correlated with brain size. This conflict might be resolved by estimating the coefficient of additive genetic…

  6. Expression of fatty acid binding proteins is altered in aged mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Pu, L; Igbavboa, U; Wood, W G; Roths, J B; Kier, A B; Spener, F; Schroeder, F

    1999-08-01

    Brain membrane lipid fatty acid composition and consequently membrane fluidity change with increasing age. Intracellular fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) such as heart H-FABP and the brain specific B-FABP, detected by immunoblotting of brain tissue, are thought to be involved in fatty acid uptake, metabolism, and differentiation in brain. Yet, almost nothing is known regarding the effect of age on the expression of the cytosolic fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) or their content in brain subfractions. Electrophoresis and quantitative immunoblotting were used to examine the content of these FABPs in synaptosomes in brains from 4, 15, and 25 month old C57BL/6NNia male mice. Brain H-FABP and B-FABP were differentially expressed in mouse brain subcellular fractions. Brain H-FABP was highly concentrated in synaptosomal cytosol. The level of brain H-FABP in synaptosomes, synaptosomal cytosol, and intrasynaptosomal membranes was decreased 33, 35, and 43%, respectively, in 25 month old mice. B-FABP was detected in lower quantity than H-FABP. More important, B-FABP decreased in synaptosomes, synaptic plasma membranes, and synaptosomal cytosol from brains of 25 month old mice. In contrast to H-FABP, B-FABP was not detectable in the intrasynaptosomal membranes in any of the three age groups of mice. In conclusion, expression of both H-FABP and B-FABP was markedly reduced in aged mouse brain. Age differences in brain H-FABP and B-FABP levels in synaptosomal plasma membranes and synaptosomal cytosol may be important factors modulating neuronal differentiation and function.

  7. Age- and Brain Region-Specific Differences in Mitochondrial Bioenergetics in Brown Norway Rats

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Differences in various mitochondrial bioenergetics parameters in different brain regions in different age groups.This dataset is associated with the following publication:Pandya, J.D., J. Royland , R.C. McPhail, P.G. Sullivan, and P. Kodavanti. Age-and Brain Region-Specific Differences in Mitochondrial Bioenergetics in Brown Norway Rats. NEUROBIOLOGY OF AGING. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, USA, 42: 25-34, (2016).

  8. Binding of curcumin to senile plaques and cerebral amyloid angiopathy in the aged brain of various animals and to neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer's brain.

    PubMed

    Mutsuga, Mayu; Chambers, James Kenn; Uchida, Kazuyuki; Tei, Meina; Makibuchi, Takao; Mizorogi, Tatsuya; Takashima, Akihiko; Nakayama, Hiroyuki

    2012-01-01

    The binding of curcumin to senile plaques (SPs) and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) was examined in the aged brain of various animal species and a human patient with Alzheimer's disease (AD), together with its binding to neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). Brain sections were immunostained with anti-amyloid β protein 1-42 (Aβ42) and anti-amyloid β protein 1-40 (Aβ40) antibodies. These sections were also stained with alkaline Congo red, periodic acid-methenamine silver (PAM), and curcumin (0.009% curcumin solution) with or without formic acid pretreatment. The sections from the AD brain were also immunostained for anti-paired helical filament-tau (PHF-tau), and were stained with Gallyas silver for NFTs. Some SPs in the AD, monkey, dog, bear, and amyloid precursor protein transgenic mouse (APP Tg-mouse) brains contained congophilic materials, and were intensely positive for curcumin. In addition, curcumin labeled some diffuse SPs negative for Congo red in the AD, monkey, bear, and APP Tg-mouse brains. In all animals, CAA was intensely positive for both Congo red and curcumin. The specific curcumin staining activity was lost by formic acid pretreatment. In the AD brain, NFTs positive for PHF-tau and Gallyas silver were moderately stained with curcumin. These findings indicate that curcumin specifically binds to the aggregated Aβ molecules in various animals, and further to phosphorylated tau protein, probably according to its conformational nature.

  9. Lack of spontaneous age-related brain pathology in Octodon degus: a reappraisal of the model

    PubMed Central

    Bourdenx, Mathieu; Dovero, Sandra; Thiolat, Marie-Laure; Bezard, Erwan; Dehay, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the degeneration of specific brain areas associated with accumulation of disease-related protein in extra- or intra-cellular deposits. Their preclinical investigations are mostly based on genetically-engineered animals. Despite their interest, these models are often based on high level of disease-related protein expression, thus questioning their relevance to human pathology and calling for the alternate use of ecological models. In the past few years, Octodon degus has emerged as a promising animal model displaying age-dependent Alzheimer’s disease-related pathology. As neurodegenerative-related proteins often co-deposit in the brain of patients, we assessed the occurrence of α-synuclein-related pathology in this model using state-of-the-art immunohistochemistry and biochemistry. Despite our efforts and in contrast with previously published results, our study argues against the use of Octodon degus as a suitable natural model of neurodegenerative disorder as we failed to identify either Parkinson’s disease- or Alzheimer’s disease-related brain pathologies. PMID:28374864

  10. The bilingual brain: Flexibility and control in the human cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buchweitz, Augusto; Prat, Chantel

    2013-12-01

    The goal of the present review is to discuss recent cognitive neuroscientific findings concerning bilingualism. Three interrelated questions about the bilingual brain are addressed: How are multiple languages represented in the brain? how are languages controlled in the brain? and what are the real-world implications of experience with multiple languages? The review is based on neuroimaging research findings about the nature of bilingual processing, namely, how the brain adapts to accommodate multiple languages in the bilingual brain and to control which language should be used, and when. We also address how this adaptation results in differences observed in the general cognition of bilingual individuals. General implications for models of human learning, plasticity, and cognitive control are discussed.

  11. Three-dimensional morphology of the human embryonic brain

    PubMed Central

    Shiraishi, N.; Katayama, A.; Nakashima, T.; Yamada, S.; Uwabe, C.; Kose, K.; Takakuwa, T.

    2015-01-01

    The morphogenesis of the cerebral vesicles and ventricles was visualized in 3D movies using images derived from human embryo specimens between Carnegie stage 13 and 23 from the Kyoto Collection. These images were acquired with a magnetic resonance microscope equipped with a 2.35-T superconducting magnet. Three-dimensional images using the same scale demonstrated brain development and growth effectively. The non-uniform thickness of the brain tissue, which may indicate brain differentiation, was visualized with thickness-based surface color mapping. A closer view was obtained of the unique and complicated differentiation of the rhombencephalon, especially with regard to the internal view and thickening of the brain tissue. The present data contribute to a better understanding of brain and cerebral ventricle development. PMID:26217773

  12. The maternal brain and its plasticity in humans

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Decoding Spontaneous Emotional States in the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Kragel, Philip A.; Knodt, Annchen R.; Hariri, Ahmad R.; LaBar, Kevin S.

    2016-01-01

    Pattern classification of human brain activity provides unique insight into the neural underpinnings of diverse mental states. These multivariate tools have recently been used within the field of affective neuroscience to classify distributed patterns of brain activation evoked during emotion induction procedures. Here we assess whether neural models developed to discriminate among distinct emotion categories exhibit predictive validity in the absence of exteroceptive emotional stimulation. In two experiments, we show that spontaneous fluctuations in human resting-state brain activity can be decoded into categories of experience delineating unique emotional states that exhibit spatiotemporal coherence, covary with individual differences in mood and personality traits, and predict on-line, self-reported feelings. These findings validate objective, brain-based models of emotion and show how emotional states dynamically emerge from the activity of separable neural systems. PMID:27627738

  14. Expectation modulates neural representations of valence throughout the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Ramayya, Ashwin G.; Pedisich, Isaac; Kahana, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    The brain's sensitivity to unexpected gains or losses plays an important role in our ability to learn new behaviors (Rescorla and Wagner, 1972; Sutton and Barto, 1990). Recent work suggests that gains and losses are ubiquitously encoded throughout the human brain (Vickery et al., 2011), however, the extent to which reward expectation modulates these valence representations is not known. To address this question we analyzed recordings from 4,306 intracranially implanted electrodes in 39 neurosurgical patients as they performed a two-alternative probability learning task. Using high-frequency activity (HFA, 70-200 Hz) as an indicator of local firing rates, we found that expectation modulated reward-related neural activity in widespread brain regions, including regions that receive sparse inputs from midbrain dopaminergic neurons. The strength of unexpected gain signals predicted subjects’ abilities to encode stimulus-reward associations. Thus, neural signals that are functionally related to learning are widely distributed throughout the human brain. PMID:25937489

  15. Decade of the Brain 1990--2000: Maximizing human potential

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-04-01

    The US Decade of the Brain offers scientists throughout the Federal Government a unique opportunity to advance and apply scientific knowledge about the brain and nervous system. During the next 10 years, scientists hope to maximize human potential through studies of human behavior, senses and communication, learning and memory, genetic/chemical alterations, and environmental interactions. Progress in these areas should lead to reductions in mortality from brain and nervous system disorders and to improvements in the quality of life. This report identifies nine research areas that could form the basis of an integrated program in the brain and behavioral sciences. A chart summarizing the Federal activities in these nine areas may be found at the back of the report. In addition, three areas that span the nine research areas -- basic research, technology and international activities -- are considered.

  16. Canine brain tumours: a model for the human disease?

    PubMed

    Hicks, J; Platt, S; Kent, M; Haley, A

    2017-03-01

    Canine brain tumours are becoming established as naturally occurring models of disease to advance diagnostic and therapeutic understanding successfully. The size and structure of the dog's brain, histopathology and molecular characteristics of canine brain tumours, as well as the presence of an intact immune system, all support the potential success of this model. The limited success of current therapeutic regimens such as surgery and radiation for dogs with intracranial tumours means that there can be tremendous mutual benefit from collaboration with our human counterparts resulting in the development of new treatments. The similarities and differences between the canine and human diseases are described in this article, emphasizing both the importance and limitations of canines in brain tumour research. Recent clinical veterinary therapeutic trials are also described to demonstrate the areas of research in which canines have already been utilized and to highlight the important potential benefits of translational research to companion dogs.

  17. Germline mitochondrial DNA mutations aggravate ageing and can impair brain development.

    PubMed

    Ross, Jaime M; Stewart, James B; Hagström, Erik; Brené, Stefan; Mourier, Arnaud; Coppotelli, Giuseppe; Freyer, Christoph; Lagouge, Marie; Hoffer, Barry J; Olson, Lars; Larsson, Nils-Göran

    2013-09-19

    Ageing is due to an accumulation of various types of damage, and mitochondrial dysfunction has long been considered to be important in this process. There is substantial sequence variation in mammalian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and the high mutation rate is counteracted by different mechanisms that decrease maternal transmission of mutated mtDNA. Despite these protective mechanisms, it is becoming increasingly clear that low-level mtDNA heteroplasmy is quite common and often inherited in humans. We designed a series of mouse mutants to investigate the extent to which inherited mtDNA mutations can contribute to ageing. Here we report that maternally transmitted mtDNA mutations can induce mild ageing phenotypes in mice with a wild-type nuclear genome. Furthermore, maternally transmitted mtDNA mutations lead to anticipation of reduced fertility in mice that are heterozygous for the mtDNA mutator allele (PolgA(wt/mut)) and aggravate premature ageing phenotypes in mtDNA mutator mice (PolgA(mut/mut)). Unexpectedly, a combination of maternally transmitted and somatic mtDNA mutations also leads to stochastic brain malformations. Our findings show that a pre-existing mutation load will not only allow somatic mutagenesis to create a critically high total mtDNA mutation load sooner but will also increase clonal expansion of mtDNA mutations to enhance the normally occurring mosaic respiratory chain deficiency in ageing tissues. Our findings suggest that maternally transmitted mtDNA mutations may have a similar role in aggravating aspects of normal human ageing.

  18. Oxidative stress in the human fetal brain: an immunohistochemical study.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Tomoko; Shibata, Noriyuki; Muramatsu, Fumiaki; Sakayori, Noriko; Kobayashi, Makio

    2002-02-01

    Because accumulation of oxidative modification products seems to relate to aging and has not been fully studied in fetal brains, an immunohistochemical examination was performed on nine brains ranging from 22-40 weeks of gestation. These brains did not demonstrate lesions except hypoxic-ischemic changes. Advanced glycation end products and 4-hydroxynonenal are generally reported to be negative in neurons of normal young brains, but, in the present study, distinct positive immunoreaction was observed in neurons of fetal brains. Positive immunoreaction appeared earlier in the medulla oblongata than in the cerebrum, and 4-hydroxynonenal began to accumulate earlier than advanced glycation end products. As for glial cells, advanced glycation end products and 4-hydroxynonenal were positive in reactive astrocytes in mid- to late gestation. Because hypoxic-ischemic changes were observed in most of the patients, it is possible that oxidative stress caused by hypoxic-ischemic may be involved in the accumulation of these products in the fetal brain. 8-Hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine was negative even in patients demonstrating positive reaction for advanced glycation end products and 4-hydroxynonenal. In the fetal brain, DNA might be strongly protected from oxidative damage. 4-Hydroxynonenal is generally positive in the cytoplasm but was positive in the nucleus of immature neurons and glial cells in the present study, suggesting a unique metabolism of the fetal brain.

  19. Sex steroids in human brain tumors and breast cancer.

    PubMed

    von Schoultz, E; Bixo, M; Bäckström, T; Silfvenius, H; Wilking, N; Henriksson, R

    1990-02-15

    The concentrations of three sex steroids, estradiol, progesterone and testosterone, were analyzed by radioimmunoassay after celite chromatography in brain tumor and breast cancer tissues. The concentrations in malignant gliomas and breast cancers showed interindividual variations, especially evident with regard to estradiol. High estradiol concentrations were recorded in two patients with malignant astrocytoma. The concentrations of 1.00 pg/mg and 3.32 pg/mg were 10 to 30 times as high as in normal female brain. In five of ten astrocytomas the estradiol concentration was higher than the lowest breast cancer value. The distribution of progesterone seemed more even, and the level was significantly lower in brain tumors and breast cancers as compared with female brain, perhaps indicating an increased metabolism. Testosterone levels were somewhat higher in brain tumors, as compared with breast cancers, but not different from values in brain tissue. There were no significant age or sex correlation or differences in the concentrations of steroids in the brain tumors. The results suggest that manipulation of sex steroid metabolism in malignant brain tumors can be of beneficial therapeutic value as has been shown for breast cancer and prostatic carcinoma.

  20. The aging human recipient of transfusion products.

    PubMed

    Nydegger, Urs E; Luginbühl, Martin; Risch, Martin

    2015-06-01

    In this review the different mechanisms of aging and frailty such as DNA defects due to impaired DNA repair, inflammatory processes, disturbances of oxidative phosphorylation are discussed together with mechanisms of cell repair. Components of blood plasma, such as the growth-differentiation protein GDF11, were shown to enhance neurogenesis and to improve the vasculature in the animal cortex and to rejuvenate muscle tissue. Advances in laboratory assays allow to identify plasma proteins that may affect tissue regeneration. This new knowledge from animal research might affect transfusion practice in geriatric patients in the future. Provided it can be translated and confirmed in human research, blood products might no longer be considered only as oxygen carriers or drugs to improve hemostasis. In the present time blood transfusion (RBCs, plasma or platelets) should be directed by differentiated guidelines considering not only cut-off values of hemoglobin, platelet count or coagulation but also old age-specific biologic variation, comorbidities and the clinical context e.g. of bleeding.

  1. Brain Activation During Singing: "Clef de Sol Activation" Is the "Concert" of the Human Brain.

    PubMed

    Mavridis, Ioannis N; Pyrgelis, Efstratios-Stylianos

    2016-03-01

    Humans are the most complex singers in nature, and the human voice is thought by many to be the most beautiful musical instrument. Aside from spoken language, singing represents a second mode of acoustic communication in humans. The purpose of this review article is to explore the functional anatomy of the "singing" brain. Methodologically, the existing literature regarding activation of the human brain during singing was carefully reviewed, with emphasis on the anatomic localization of such activation. Relevant human studies are mainly neuroimaging studies, namely functional magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography studies. Singing necessitates activation of several cortical, subcortical, cerebellar, and brainstem areas, served and coordinated by multiple neural networks. Functionally vital cortical areas of the frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes bilaterally participate in the brain's activation process during singing, confirming the latter's role in human communication. Perisylvian cortical activity of the right hemisphere seems to be the most crucial component of this activation. This also explains why aphasic patients due to left hemispheric lesions are able to sing but not speak the same words. The term clef de sol activation is proposed for this crucial perisylvian cortical activation due to the clef de sol shape of the topographical distribution of these cortical areas around the sylvian fissure. Further research is needed to explore the connectivity and sequence of how the human brain activates to sing.

  2. Compact continuum brain model for human electroencephalogram

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, J. W.; Shin, H.-B.; Robinson, P. A.

    2007-12-01

    A low-dimensional, compact brain model has recently been developed based on physiologically based mean-field continuum formulation of electric activity of the brain. The essential feature of the new compact model is a second order time-delayed differential equation that has physiologically plausible terms, such as rapid corticocortical feedback and delayed feedback via extracortical pathways. Due to its compact form, the model facilitates insight into complex brain dynamics via standard linear and nonlinear techniques. The model successfully reproduces many features of previous models and experiments. For example, experimentally observed typical rhythms of electroencephalogram (EEG) signals are reproduced in a physiologically plausible parameter region. In the nonlinear regime, onsets of seizures, which often develop into limit cycles, are illustrated by modulating model parameters. It is also shown that a hysteresis can occur when the system has multiple attractors. As a further illustration of this approach, power spectra of the model are fitted to those of sleep EEGs of two subjects (one with apnea, the other with narcolepsy). The model parameters obtained from the fittings show good matches with previous literature. Our results suggest that the compact model can provide a theoretical basis for analyzing complex EEG signals.

  3. Can we observe epigenetic effects on human brain function?

    PubMed

    Nikolova, Yuliya S; Hariri, Ahmad R

    2015-07-01

    Imaging genetics has identified many contributions of DNA sequence variation to individual differences in brain function, behavior, and risk for psychopathology. Recent studies have extended this work beyond the genome by mapping epigenetic differences, specifically gene methylation in peripherally assessed DNA, onto variability in behaviorally and clinically relevant brain function. These data have generated understandable enthusiasm for the potential of such research to illuminate biological mechanisms of risk. We use our research on the effects of genetic and epigenetic variation in the human serotonin transporter on brain function to generate a guardedly optimistic opinion that the available data encourage continued research in this direction, and suggest strategies to promote faster progress.

  4. The role of calcium in human aging.

    PubMed

    Beto, Judith A

    2015-01-01

    Calcium is an essential nutrient that is necessary for many functions in human health. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body with 99% found in teeth and bone. Only 1% is found in serum. The serum calcium level is tightly monitored to remain within normal range by a complex metabolic process. Calcium metabolism involves other nutrients including protein, vitamin D, and phosphorus. Bone formation and maintenance is a lifelong process. Early attention to strong bones in childhood and adulthood will provide more stable bone mass during the aging years. Research has shown that adequate calcium intake can reduce the risk of fractures, osteoporosis, and diabetes in some populations. The dietary requirements of calcium and other collaborative nutrients vary slightly around the world. Lactose intolerance due to lactase deficiency is a common cause of low calcium intake. Strategies will be discussed for addressing this potential barrier to adequate intake. The purpose of this narrative review is a) to examine the role of calcium in human health, b) to compare nutrient requirements for calcium across lifecycle groups and global populations, c) to review relationships between calcium intake, chronic disease risk, and fractures, and d) to discuss strategies to address diet deficiencies and lactose intolerance.

  5. The Role of Calcium in Human Aging

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Calcium is an essential nutrient that is necessary for many functions in human health. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body with 99% found in teeth and bone. Only 1% is found in serum. The serum calcium level is tightly monitored to remain within normal range by a complex metabolic process. Calcium metabolism involves other nutrients including protein, vitamin D, and phosphorus. Bone formation and maintenance is a lifelong process. Early attention to strong bones in childhood and adulthood will provide more stable bone mass during the aging years. Research has shown that adequate calcium intake can reduce the risk of fractures, osteoporosis, and diabetes in some populations. The dietary requirements of calcium and other collaborative nutrients vary slightly around the world. Lactose intolerance due to lactase deficiency is a common cause of low calcium intake. Strategies will be discussed for addressing this potential barrier to adequate intake. The purpose of this narrative review is a) to examine the role of calcium in human health, b) to compare nutrient requirements for calcium across lifecycle groups and global populations, c) to review relationships between calcium intake, chronic disease risk, and fractures, and d) to discuss strategies to address diet deficiencies and lactose intolerance. PMID:25713787

  6. Sleep facilitates clearance of metabolites from the brain: glymphatic function in aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Mendelsohn, Andrew R; Larrick, James W

    2013-12-01

    Decline of cognition and increasing risk of neurodegenerative diseases are major problems associated with aging in humans. Of particular importance is how the brain removes potentially toxic biomolecules that accumulate with normal neuronal function. Recently, a biomolecule clearance system using convective flow between the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and interstitial fluid (ISF) to remove toxic metabolites in the brain was described. Xie and colleagues now report that in mice the clearance activity of this so-called "glymphatic system" is strongly stimulated by sleep and is associated with an increase in interstitial volume, possibly by shrinkage of astroglial cells. Moreover, anesthesia and attenuation of adrenergic signaling can activate the glymphatic system to clear potentially toxic proteins known to contribute to the pathology of Alzheimer disease (AD) such as beta-amyloid (Abeta). Clearance during sleep is as much as two-fold faster than during waking hours. These results support a new hypothesis to answer the age-old question of why sleep is necessary. Glymphatic dysfunction may pay a hitherto unsuspected role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases as well as maintenance of cognition. Furthermore, clinical studies suggest that quality and duration of sleep may be predictive of the onset of AD, and that quality sleep may significantly reduce the risk of AD for apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ɛ4 carriers, who have significantly greater chances of developing AD. Further characterization of the glymphatic system in humans may lead to new therapies and methods of prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. A public health initiative to ensure adequate sleep among middle-aged and older people may prove useful in preventing AD, especially in apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ɛ4 carriers.

  7. Immunohistochemical localization of oxytocin receptors in human brain.

    PubMed

    Boccia, M L; Petrusz, P; Suzuki, K; Marson, L; Pedersen, C A

    2013-12-03

    The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) regulates rodent, primate and human social behaviors and stress responses. OT binding studies employing (125)I-d(CH2)5-[Tyr(Me)2,Thr4,Tyr-NH2(9)] ornithine vasotocin ((125)I-OTA), has been used to locate and quantify OT receptors (OTRs) in numerous areas of the rat brain. This ligand has also been applied to locating OTRs in the human brain. The results of the latter studies, however, have been brought into question because of subsequent evidence that (125)I-OTA is much less selective for OTR vs. vasopressin receptors in the primate brain. Previously we used a monoclonal antibody directed toward a region of the human OTR to demonstrate selective immunostaining of cell bodies and fibers in the preoptic-anterior hypothalamic area and ventral septum of a cynomolgus monkey (Boccia et al., 2001). The present study employed the same monoclonal antibody to study the location of OTRs in tissue blocks containing cortical, limbic and brainstem areas dissected from fixed adult, human female brains. OTRs were visualized in discrete cell bodies and/or fibers in the central and basolateral regions of the amygdala, medial preoptic area (MPOA), anterior and ventromedial hypothalamus, olfactory nucleus, vertical limb of the diagonal band, ventrolateral septum, anterior cingulate and hypoglossal and solitary nuclei. OTR staining was not observed in the hippocampus (including CA2 and CA3), parietal cortex, raphe nucleus, nucleus ambiguus or pons. These results suggest that there are some similarities, but also important differences, in the locations of OTRs in human and rodent brains. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) utilizing a monoclonal antibody provides specific localization of OTRs in the human brain and thereby provides opportunity to further study OTR in human development and psychiatric conditions.

  8. AGE-RELATED BRAIN CHOLINESTERASE INHIBITION KINETICS FOLLOWING IN VITRO INCUBATION WITH CHLORPYRIFOS-OXON AND DIAZINON-OXON

    SciTech Connect

    Kousba, Ahmed A.; Poet, Torka S.; Timchalk, Chuck

    2007-01-01

    Chlorpyrifos and diazinon are two commonly used organophosphorus (OP) insecticides, and their primary mechanism of action involves the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) by their metabolites chlorpyrifos-oxon (CPO) and diazinon-oxon (DZO), respectively. The study objectives were to assess the in vitro age-related inhibition kinetics of neonatal rat brain cholinesterase (ChE) by estimating the bimolecular inhibitory rate constant (ki) values for CPO and DZO. Brain ChE inhibition and ki values following CPO and DZO incubation with neonatal Sprague-Dawley rats rat brain homogenates were determined at post natal day (PND) -5, -12 and -17 and compared with the corresponding inhibition and ki values obtained in the adult rat. A modified Ellman method was utilized for measuring the ChE activity. Chlorpyrifos-oxon resulted in greater ChE inhibition than DZO consistent with the estimated ki values of both compounds. Neonatal brain ChE inhibition kinetics exhibited a marked age-related sensitivity to CPO, where the order of ChE inhibition was PND-5 > PND-7 > PND-17 with ki values of 0.95, 0.50 and 0.22 nM-1hr-1, respectively. In contrast, DZO did not exhibit an age-related inhibition of neonatal brain ChE, and the estimated ki value at all PND ages was 0.02 nM-1hr-1. These results demonstrated an age- and chemical-related OP-selective inhibition of rat brain ChE which may be critically important in understanding the potential sensitivity of juvenile humans to specific OP exposures.

  9. Distribution of vesicular glutamate transporters in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Vigneault, Érika; Poirel, Odile; Riad, Mustapha; Prud'homme, Josée; Dumas, Sylvie; Turecki, Gustavo; Fasano, Caroline; Mechawar, Naguib; El Mestikawy, Salah

    2015-01-01

    Glutamate is the major excitatory transmitter in the brain. Vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUT1-3) are responsible for uploading glutamate into synaptic vesicles. VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 are considered as specific markers of canonical glutamatergic neurons, while VGLUT3 is found in neurons previously shown to use other neurotransmitters than glutamate. Although there exists a rich literature on the localization of these glutamatergic markers in the rodent brain, little is currently known about the distribution of VGLUT1-3 in the human brain. In the present study, using subtype specific probes and antisera, we examined the localization of the three vesicular glutamate transporters in the human brain by in situ hybridization, immunoautoradiography and immunohistochemistry. We found that the VGLUT1 transcript was highly expressed in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum, whereas VGLUT2 mRNA was mainly found in the thalamus and brainstem. VGLUT3 mRNA was localized in scarce neurons within the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, striatum and raphe nuclei. Following immunoautoradiographic labeling, intense VGLUT1- and VGLUT2-immunoreactivities were observed in all regions investigated (cerebral cortex, hippocampus, caudate-putamen, cerebellum, thalamus, amygdala, substantia nigra, raphe) while VGLUT3 was absent from the thalamus and cerebellum. This extensive mapping of VGLUT1-3 in human brain reveals distributions that correspond for the most part to those previously described in rodent brains. PMID:25798091

  10. Pain perception and its genesis in the human brain.

    PubMed

    C N Chen, Andrew

    2008-10-25

    In the past two decades, pain perception in the human brain has been studied with EEG/MEG brain topography and PET/fMRI neuroimaging techniques. A host of cortical and subcortical loci can be activated by various nociceptive conditions. The activation in pain perception can be induced by physical (electrical, thermal, mechanical), chemical (capsacin, ascoric acid), psychological (anxiety, stress, nocebo) means, and pathological (e.g. migraine, neuropathic) diseases. This article deals mainly on the activation, but not modulation, of human pain in the brain. The brain areas identified are named pain representation, matrix, neuraxis, or signature. The sites are not uniformly isolated across various studies, but largely include a set of cores sites: thalamus and primary somatic area (SI), second somatic area (SII), insular cortex (IC), prefrontal cortex (PFC), cingulate, and parietal cortices. Other areas less reported and considered important in pain perception include brainstem, hippocampus, amygdala and supplementary motor area (SMA). The issues of pain perception basically encompass both the site and the mode of brain function. Although the site issue is delineared to a large degree, the mode issue has been much less explored. From the temporal dynamics, IC can be considered as the initial stage in genesis of pain perception as conscious suffering, the unique aversion in the human brain.

  11. Genome-wide analysis reveals mechanisms modulating autophagy in normal brain aging and in Alzheimer's disease

    PubMed Central

    Lipinski, Marta M.; Zheng, Bin; Lu, Tao; Yan, Zhenyu; Py, Bénédicte F.; Ng, Aylwin; Xavier, Ramnik J.; Li, Cheng; Yankner, Bruce A.; Scherzer, Clemens R.; Yuan, Junying

    2010-01-01

    Dysregulation of autophagy, a cellular catabolic mechanism essential for degradation of misfolded proteins, has been implicated in multiple neurodegenerative diseases. However, the mechanisms that lead to the autophagy dysfunction are still not clear. Based on the results of a genome-wide screen, we show that reactive oxygen species (ROS) serve as common mediators upstream of the activation of the type III PI3 kinase, which is critical for the initiation of autophagy. Furthermore, ROS play an essential function in the induction of the type III PI3 kinase and autophagy in response to amyloid β peptide, the main pathogenic mediator of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, lysosomal blockage also caused by Aβ is independent of ROS. In addition, we demonstrate that autophagy is transcriptionally down-regulated during normal aging in the human brain. Strikingly, in contrast to normal aging, we observe transcriptional up-regulation of autophagy in the brains of AD patients, suggesting that there might be a compensatory regulation of autophagy. Interestingly, we show that an AD drug and an AD drug candidate have inhibitory effects on autophagy, raising the possibility that decreasing input into the lysosomal system may help to reduce cellular stress in AD. Finally, we provide a list of candidate drug targets that can be used to safely modulate levels of autophagy without causing cell death. PMID:20660724

  12. Estrogen Signaling and the Aging Brain: Context-Dependent Considerations for Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Mott, Natasha N.; Pak, Toni R.

    2013-01-01

    Recent clinical studies have spurred rigorous debate about the benefits of hormone therapy (HT) for postmenopausal women. Controversy first emerged based on a sharp increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease in participants of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) studies, suggesting that decades of empirical research in animal models was not necessarily applicable to humans. However, a reexamination of the data from the WHI studies suggests that the timing of HT might be a critical factor and that advanced age and/or length of estrogen deprivation might alter the body's ability to respond to estrogens. Dichotomous estrogenic effects are mediated primarily by the actions of two high-affinity estrogen receptors alpha and beta (ERα & ERβ). The expression of the ERs can be overlapping or distinct, dependent upon brain region, sex, age, and exposure to hormone, and, during the time of menopause, there may be changes in receptor expression profiles, post-translational modifications, and protein:protein interactions that could lead to a completely different environment for E2 to exert its effects. In this review, factors affecting estrogen-signaling processes will be discussed with particular attention paid to the expression and transcriptional actions of ERβ in brain regions that regulate cognition and affect. PMID:23936665

  13. A quantitative transcriptome reference map of the normal human brain.

    PubMed

    Caracausi, Maria; Vitale, Lorenza; Pelleri, Maria Chiara; Piovesan, Allison; Bruno, Samantha; Strippoli, Pierluigi

    2014-10-01

    We performed an innovative systematic meta-analysis of 60 gene expression profiles of whole normal human brain, to provide a quantitative transcriptome reference map of it, i.e. a reference typical value of expression for each of the 39,250 known, mapped and 26,026 uncharacterized (unmapped) transcripts. To this aim, we used the software named Transcriptome Mapper (TRAM), which is able to generate transcriptome maps based on gene expression data from multiple sources. We also analyzed differential expression by comparing the brain transcriptome with those derived from human foetal brain gene expression, from a pool of human tissues (except the brain) and from the two normal human brain regions cerebellum and cerebral cortex, which are two of the main regions severely affected when cognitive impairment occurs, as happens in the case of trisomy 21. Data were downloaded from microarray databases, processed and analyzed using TRAM software and validated in vitro by assaying gene expression through several magnitude orders by 'real-time' reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The excellent agreement between in silico and experimental data suggested that our transcriptome maps may be a useful quantitative reference benchmark for gene expression studies related to the human brain. Furthermore, our analysis yielded biological insights about those genes which have an intrinsic over-/under-expression in the brain, in addition offering a basis for the regional analysis of gene expression. This could be useful for the study of chromosomal alterations associated to cognitive impairment, such as trisomy 21, the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability.

  14. Aging brain microenvironment decreases hippocampal neurogenesis through Wnt-mediated survivin signaling.

    PubMed

    Miranda, Carlos J; Braun, Lyndsey; Jiang, Yuying; Hester, Mark E; Zhang, Ling; Riolo, Matthew; Wang, Haijuan; Rao, Meghan; Altura, Rachel A; Kaspar, Brian K

    2012-06-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that adult hippocampal neurogenesis relies on the controlled and continued proliferation of neural progenitor cells (NPCs). With age, neurogenesis decreases through mechanisms that remain unclear but are believed to involve changes in the NPC microenvironment. Here, we provide evidence that NPC proliferation in the adult brain is in part regulated by astrocytes via Wnt signaling and that this cellular cross-talk is modified in the aging brain, leading to decreased proliferation of NPCs. Furthermore, we show that astrocytes regulate the NPC cell cycle by acting on the expression levels of survivin, a known mitotic regulator. Among cell cycle genes found down-regulated in aged NPCs, survivin was the only one that restored NPC proliferation in the aged brain. Our results provide a mechanism for the gradual loss of neurogenesis in the brain associated with aging and suggest that targeted modulation of survivin expression directly or through Wnt signaling could be used to stimulate adult neurogenesis.

  15. Individual differences in anthropomorphic attributions and human brain structure.

    PubMed

    Cullen, Harriet; Kanai, Ryota; Bahrami, Bahador; Rees, Geraint

    2014-09-01

    Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics or behaviour to animals, non-living things or natural phenomena. It is pervasive among humans, yet nonetheless exhibits a high degree of inter-individual variability. We hypothesized that brain areas associated with anthropomorphic thinking might be similar to those engaged in the attribution of mental states to other humans, the so-called 'theory of mind' or mentalizing network. To test this hypothesis, we related brain structure measured using magnetic resonance imaging in a sample of 83 healthy young adults to a simple, self-report questionnaire that measured the extent to which our participants made anthropomorphic attributions about non-human animals and non-animal stimuli. We found that individual differences in anthropomorphism for non-human animals correlated with the grey matter volume of the left temporoparietal junction, a brain area involved in mentalizing. Our data support previous work indicating a link between areas of the brain involved in attributing mental states to other humans and those involved in anthropomorphism.

  16. Notch receptor expression in human brain arteriovenous malformations.

    PubMed

    Hill-Felberg, Sandra; Wu, Hope Hueizhi; Toms, Steven A; Dehdashti, Amir R

    2015-08-01

    The roles of the Notch pathway proteins in normal adult vascular physiology and the pathogenesis of brain arteriovenous malformations are not well-understood. Notch 1 and 4 have been detected in human and mutant mice vascular malformations respectively. Although mutations in the human Notch 3 gene caused a genetic form of vascular stroke and dementia, its role in arteriovenous malformations development has been unknown. In this study, we performed immunohistochemistry screening on tissue microarrays containing eight surgically resected human brain arteriovenous malformations and 10 control surgical epilepsy samples. The tissue microarrays were evaluated for Notch 1-4 expression. We have found that compared to normal brain vascular tissue Notch-3 was dramatically increased in brain arteriovenous malformations. Similarly, Notch 4 labelling was also increased in vascular malformations and was confirmed by western blot analysis. Notch 2 was not detectable in any of the human vessels analysed. Using both immunohistochemistry on microarrays and western blot analysis, we have found that Notch-1 expression was detectable in control vessels, and discovered a significant decrease of Notch 1 expression in vascular malformations. We have demonstrated that Notch 3 and 4, and not Notch 1, were highly increased in human arteriovenous malformations. Our findings suggested that Notch 4, and more importantly, Notch 3, may play a role in the development and pathobiology of human arteriovenous malformations.

  17. Individual differences in anthropomorphic attributions and human brain structure

    PubMed Central

    Kanai, Ryota; Bahrami, Bahador; Rees, Geraint

    2014-01-01

    Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics or behaviour to animals, non-living things or natural phenomena. It is pervasive among humans, yet nonetheless exhibits a high degree of inter-individual variability. We hypothesized that brain areas associated with anthropomorphic thinking might be similar to those engaged in the attribution of mental states to other humans, the so-called ‘theory of mind’ or mentalizing network. To test this hypothesis, we related brain structure measured using magnetic resonance imaging in a sample of 83 healthy young adults to a simple, self-report questionnaire that measured the extent to which our participants made anthropomorphic attributions about non-human animals and non-animal stimuli. We found that individual differences in anthropomorphism for non-human animals correlated with the grey matter volume of the left temporoparietal junction, a brain area involved in mentalizing. Our data support previous work indicating a link between areas of the brain involved in attributing mental states to other humans and those involved in anthropomorphism. PMID:23887807

  18. The heritability of chimpanzee and human brain asymmetry.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Robles, Aida; Hopkins, William D; Schapiro, Steven J; Sherwood, Chet C

    2016-12-28

    Human brains are markedly asymmetric in structure and lateralized in function, which suggests a relationship between these two properties. The brains of other closely related primates, such as chimpanzees, show similar patterns of asymmetry, but to a lesser degree, indicating an increase in anatomical and functional asymmetry during hominin evolution. We analysed the heritability of cerebral asymmetry in chimpanzees and humans using classic morphometrics, geometric morphometrics, and quantitative genetic techniques. In our analyses, we separated directional asymmetry and fluctuating asymmetry (FA), which is indicative of environmental influences during development. We show that directional patterns of asymmetry, those that are consistently present in most individuals in a population, do not have significant heritability when measured through simple linear metrics, but they have marginally significant heritability in humans when assessed through three-dimensional configurations of landmarks that reflect variation in the size, position, and orientation of different cortical regions with respect to each other. Furthermore, genetic correlations between left and right hemispheres are substantially lower in humans than in chimpanzees, which points to a relatively stronger environmental influence on left-right differences in humans. We also show that the level of FA has significant heritability in both species in some regions of the cerebral cortex. This suggests that brain responsiveness to environmental influences, which may reflect neural plasticity, has genetic bases in both species. These results have implications for the evolvability of brain asymmetry and plasticity among humans and our close relatives.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Telomerase Activity is Downregulated Early During Human Brain Development

    PubMed Central

    Ishaq, Abbas; Hanson, Peter S.; Morris, Christopher M.; Saretzki, Gabriele

    2016-01-01

    Changes in hTERT splice variant expression have been proposed to facilitate the decrease of telomerase activity during fetal development in various human tissues. Here, we analyzed the expression of telomerase RNA (hTR), wild type and α-spliced hTERT in developing human fetal brain (post conception weeks, pcw, 6–19) and in young and old cortices using qPCR and correlated it to telomerase activity measured by TRAP assay. Decrease of telomerase activity occurred early during brain development and correlated strongest to decreased hTR expression. The expression of α-spliced hTERT increased between pcw 10 and 19, while that of wild type hTERT remained unchanged. Lack of expression differences between young and old cortices suggests that most changes seem to occur early during human brain development. Using in vitro differentiation of neural precursor stem cells (NPSCs) derived at pcw 6 we found a decrease in telomerase activity but no major expression changes in telomerase associated genes. Thus, they do not seem to model the mechanisms for the decrease in telomerase activity in fetal brains. Our results suggest that decreased hTR levels, as well as transient increase in α-spliced hTERT, might both contribute to downregulation of telomerase activity during early human brain development between 6 and 17 pcw. PMID:27322326

  1. Human-like brain hemispheric dominance in birdsong learning.

    PubMed

    Moorman, Sanne; Gobes, Sharon M H; Kuijpers, Maaike; Kerkhofs, Amber; Zandbergen, Matthijs A; Bolhuis, Johan J

    2012-07-31

    Unlike nonhuman primates, songbirds learn to vocalize very much like human infants acquire spoken language. In humans, Broca's area in the frontal lobe and Wernicke's area in the temporal lobe are crucially involved in speech production and perception, respectively. Songbirds have analogous brain regions that show a similar neural dissociation between vocal production and auditory perception and memory. In both humans and songbirds, there is evidence for lateralization of neural responsiveness in these brain regions. Human infants already show left-sided dominance in their brain activation when exposed to speech. Moreover, a memory-specific left-sided dominance in Wernicke's area for speech perception has been demonstrated in 2.5-mo-old babies. It is possible that auditory-vocal learning is associated with hemispheric dominance and that this association arose in songbirds and humans through convergent evolution. Therefore, we investigated whether there is similar song memory-related lateralization in the songbird brain. We exposed male zebra finches to tutor or unfamiliar song. We found left-sided dominance of neuronal activation in a Broca-like brain region (HVC, a letter-based name) of juvenile and adult zebra finch males, independent of the song stimulus presented. In addition, juvenile males showed left-sided dominance for tutor song but not for unfamiliar song in a Wernicke-like brain region (the caudomedial nidopallium). Thus, left-sided dominance in the caudomedial nidopallium was specific for the song-learning phase and was memory-related. These findings demonstrate a remarkable neural parallel between birdsong and human spoken language, and they have important consequences for our understanding of the evolution of auditory-vocal learning and its neural mechanisms.

  2. Profiling of methylation and demethylation pathways during brain development and ageing.

    PubMed

    Kraus, Theo F J; Kilinc, Selma; Steinmaurer, Martina; Stieglitz, Marc; Guibourt, Virginie; Kretzschmar, Hans A

    2016-03-01

    Numerous signal pathways are epigenetically controlled during brain development and ageing. Thereby, both 5-methylcytosine (5mC) and the newly described 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) are highly exhibited in the brain. As there is an uneven distribution of 5hmC in the brain depending on age and region, there is the need to investigate the underlying mechanisms being responsible for 5hmC generation and decline. The aim of this study was to quantify expression levels of genes that are associated with DNA methylation/demethylation in different brain regions and at different ages. Therefore, we investigated frontal cortex and cerebellum of 40 mice (strain C57BL/6), each eight mice sacrificed at day 0, 7, 15, 30 and 120 after birth. We performed expression profiling of methylation/demethylation genes depending on age and brain region. Interestingly, we see significant expression differences of genes being responsible for methylation/demethylation with a significant reduction of expression levels during ageing. Validating selected expression data on protein level using immunohistochemistry verified the expression data. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that the regulation of methylation/demethylation pathways is highly controlled depending on brain region and age. Thus our data will help to better understand the complexity and plasticity of the brain epigenome.

  3. Effect of a water-maze procedure on the redox mechanisms in brain parts of aged rats

    PubMed Central

    Krivova, Natalia A.; Zaeva, Olga B.; Grigorieva, Valery A.

    2015-01-01

    The Morris water maze (MWM) is a tool for assessment of age-related modulations spatial learning and memory in laboratory rats. In our work was investigated the age-related decline of MWM performance in 11-month-old rats and the effect exerted by training in the MWM on the redox mechanisms in rat brain parts. Young adult (3-month-old) and aged (11-month-old) male rats were trained in the MWM. Intact animals of the corresponding age were used as the reference groups. The level of pro- and antioxidant capacity in brain tissue homogenates was assessed using the chemiluminescence method. A reduced performance in the MWM test was found in 11-month-old rats: at the first day of training they showed only 30% of successful MWM trials. However, at the last training day the percentage of successful trials was equal for young adult and aged animals. This indicates that the aged 11-month-old rats can successfully learn in MWM. Therewith, the MWM spatial learning procedure itself produces changes in different processes of redox homeostasis in 11-month-old and 3-month-old rats as compared to intact animals. Young adult rats showed a decrease in prooxidant capacity in all brain parts, while 11-month-old rats demonstrated an increase in antioxidant capacity in the olfactory bulb, pons + medulla oblongata and frontal lobe cortex. Hence, the MWM procedure activates the mechanisms that restrict the oxidative stress in brain parts. The obtained results may be an argument for further development of the animal training procedures aimed to activate the mechanisms that can prevent the age-related deterioration of performance in the learning test. This may be useful not only for the development of training procedures applicable to human patients with age-related cognitive impairments, but also for their rehabilitation. PMID:25814952

  4. Gender-specific impact of personal health parameters on individual brain aging in cognitively unimpaired elderly subjects

    PubMed Central

    Franke, Katja; Ristow, Michael; Gaser, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Aging alters brain structure and function. Personal health markers and modifiable lifestyle factors are related to individual brain aging as well as to the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD). This study used a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based biomarker to assess the effects of 17 health markers on individual brain aging in cognitively unimpaired elderly subjects. By employing kernel regression methods, the expression of normal brain-aging patterns forms the basis to estimate the brain age of a given new subject. If the estimated age is higher than the chronological age, a positive brain age gap estimation (BrainAGE) score indicates accelerated atrophy and is considered a risk factor for developing AD. Within this cross-sectional, multi-center study 228 cognitively unimpaired elderly subjects (118 males) completed an MRI at 1.5Tesla, physiological and blood parameter assessments. The multivariate regression model combining all measured parameters was capable of explaining 39% of BrainAGE variance in males (p < 0.001) and 32% in females (p < 0.01). Furthermore, markers of the metabolic syndrome as well as markers of liver and kidney functions were profoundly related to BrainAGE scores in males (p < 0.05). In females, markers of liver and kidney functions as well as supply of vitamin B12 were significantly related to BrainAGE (p < 0.05). In conclusion, in cognitively unimpaired elderly subjects several clinical markers of poor health were associated with subtle structural changes in the brain that reflect accelerated aging, whereas protective effects on brain aging were observed for markers of good health. Additionally, the relations between individual brain aging and miscellaneous health markers show gender-specific patterns. The BrainAGE approach may thus serve as a clinically relevant biomarker for the detection of subtly abnormal patterns of brain aging probably preceding cognitive decline and development of AD. PMID:24904408

  5. Simplified detection system for neuroreceptor studies in the human brain

    SciTech Connect

    Bice, A.N.; Wagner, H.N. Jr.; Frost, J.J.; Natarajan, T.K.; Lee, M.C.; Wong, D.F.; Dannals, R.F.; Ravert, H.T.; Wilson, A.A.; Links, J.M.

    1986-02-01

    A simple, inexpensive dual-detector system has been developed for measurement of positronemitting receptor-binding drugs in the human brain. This high efficiency coincidence counting system requires that only a few hundred microcuries of labeled drug be administered to the subject, thereby allowing for multiple studies without an excessive radiation dose. Measurement of the binding of (11C)carfentanil, a high affinity synthetic opiate, to opiate receptors in the presence and in the absence of a competitive opiate antagonist indicates the potential utility of this system for estimating different degrees of receptor occupation in the human brain.

  6. Expression of growth hormone receptor in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Castro, J R; Costoya, J A; Gallego, R; Prieto, A; Arce, V M; Señarís, R

    2000-03-10

    This study was designed to investigate the presence of growth hormone receptor (GHR) expression in the human brain tissue, both normal and tumoral, as well as in the human glioblastoma cell line U87MG. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction revealed the presence of GHR mRNA in all brain samples investigated and in U87MG cells. GHR immunoreactivity was also detected in this cell line using both immunocytochemistry and western blotting. All together, our data demonstrate the existence of GHR expression within the central nervous system (CNS), thus supporting a possible role for GH in the CNS physiology.

  7. Human brain spots emotion in non humanoid robots

    PubMed Central

    Foucher, Aurélie; Jouvent, Roland; Nadel, Jacqueline

    2011-01-01

    The computation by which our brain elaborates fast responses to emotional expressions is currently an active field of brain studies. Previous studies have focused on stimuli taken from everyday life. Here, we investigated event-related potentials in response to happy vs neutral stimuli of human and non-humanoid robots. At the behavioural level, emotion shortened reaction times similarly for robotic and human stimuli. Early P1 wave was enhanced in response to happy compared to neutral expressions for robotic as well as for human stimuli, suggesting that emotion from robots is encoded as early as human emotion expression. Congruent with their lower faceness properties compared to human stimuli, robots elicited a later and lower N170 component than human stimuli. These findings challenge the claim that robots need to present an anthropomorphic aspect to interact with humans. Taken t