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Sample records for aging human brain

  1. 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. PMID:26845616

  2. Aging Brain, Aging Mind.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Selkoe, Dennis J.

    1992-01-01

    Discusses the aging process related to physical changes of the human neural structure involved in learning, memory, and reasoning. Presents evidence that indicates such alterations do not necessarily signal the decline in cognitive function. Vignettes provide images of brain structures involved in learning, memory, and reasoning; hippocampal…

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    Schöll, Michael; Lockhart, Samuel N; 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

    2016-03-01

    Tau pathology is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD) but also occurs in normal cognitive aging. Using the tau PET agent (18)F-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

  5. Oxidative Stress, Aging and CNS disease in the Canine Model of Human Brain Aging

    PubMed Central

    Head, Elizabeth; Rofina, Jaime; Zicker, Steven

    2008-01-01

    SYNOPSIS Decline in cognitive functions that accompany aging in dogs may have a biological basis, and many of the disorders associated with aging in canines may be mitigated through dietary modifications that incorporate specific nutraceuticals. Based on previous research and the results of both laboratory and clinical studies – antioxidants may be one class of nutraceutical that provides benefits to aged dogs. Brains of aged dogs accumulate oxidative damage to proteins and lipids, which may lead to dysfunction of neuronal cells. The production of free radicals and lack of increase in compensatory antioxidant enzymes may lead to detrimental modifications to important macromolecules within neurons. Reducing oxidative damage through food ingredients rich in a broad spectrum of antioxidants significantly improves, or slows the decline of, learning and memory in aged dogs. However, determining all effective compounds and combinations, dosage ranges, as well as when to initiate intervention and long term effects constitute gaps in our current knowledge. PMID:18249248

  6. Structural architecture supports functional organization in the human aging brain at a regionwise and network level.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Joelle; Ritter, Petra; Shen, Kelly; Rothmeier, Simon; Schirner, Michael; McIntosh, Anthony R

    2016-07-01

    Functional interactions in the brain are constrained by the underlying anatomical architecture, and structural and functional networks share network features such as modularity. Accordingly, age-related changes of structural connectivity (SC) may be paralleled by changes in functional connectivity (FC). We provide a detailed qualitative and quantitative characterization of the SC-FC coupling in human aging as inferred from resting-state blood oxygen-level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion-weighted imaging in a sample of 47 adults with an age range of 18-82. We revealed that SC and FC decrease with age across most parts of the brain and there is a distinct age-dependency of regionwise SC-FC coupling and network-level SC-FC relations. A specific pattern of SC-FC coupling predicts age more reliably than does regionwise SC or FC alone (r = 0.73, 95% CI = [0.7093, 0.8522]). Hence, our data propose that regionwise SC-FC coupling can be used to characterize brain changes in aging. Hum Brain Mapp 37:2645-2661, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27041212

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Age-related degeneration of the fornix in the human brain: a diffusion tensor imaging study.

    PubMed

    Jang, Sung Ho; Cho, Sang-Hyun; Chang, Min Cheol

    2011-02-01

    As a part of the Papez circuit, the fornix carries information on episodic memory. Several diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies have reported on changes in the fornix that occur with aging; however, these studies have been controversial. Using DTI, we attempted to investigate age-related changes of the fornix in the human brain. Sixty subjects (30 males, 30 females; mean age, 49.2 years; range, 20-78 years) were recruited. We categorized subjects into three groups, including young (20-39 years), middle-aged (40-59 years), and older (60-79 years) adults. DTIs were acquired using a sensitivity-encoding head coil on a 1.5 T. We divided the whole fornix into three parts (column, body, and crus) and constructed tractography for each part. We measured fractional anisotropy (FA), apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), and tract number for each part of the fornix. In all three parts of the fornix, the FA value and tract number decreased, whereas ADC value increased with aging. In addition, a linear regression model was fitted to all three DTI parameters in each part of the fornix. Degenerative change of the fornix in the human brain appears to have occurred at a near constant rate from the 20s to the30s throughout the lifespan. PMID:21062216

  12. Age-related changes in modular organization of human brain functional networks.

    PubMed

    Meunier, David; Achard, Sophie; Morcom, Alexa; Bullmore, Ed

    2009-02-01

    Graph theory allows us to quantify any complex system, e.g., in social sciences, biology or technology, that can be abstractly described as a set of nodes and links. Here we derived human brain functional networks from fMRI measurements of endogenous, low frequency, correlated oscillations in 90 cortical and subcortical regions for two groups of healthy (young and older) participants. We investigated the modular structure of these networks and tested the hypothesis that normal brain aging might be associated with changes in modularity of sparse networks. Newman's modularity metric was maximised and topological roles were assigned to brain regions depending on their specific contributions to intra- and inter-modular connectivity. Both young and older brain networks demonstrated significantly non-random modularity. The young brain network was decomposed into 3 major modules: central and posterior modules, which comprised mainly nodes with few inter-modular connections, and a dorsal fronto-cingulo-parietal module, which comprised mainly nodes with extensive inter-modular connections. The mean network in the older group also included posterior, superior central and dorsal fronto-striato-thalamic modules but the number of intermodular connections to frontal modular regions was significantly reduced, whereas the number of connector nodes in posterior and central modules was increased. PMID:19027073

  13. 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. PMID:27164326

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

    PubMed

    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

    2016-07-01

    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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Age-related increase of resting metabolic rate in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Shin-Lei; Dumas, Julie A.; Park, Denise C.; Liu, Peiying; Filbey, Francesca M.; McAdams, Carrie J.; Pinkham, Amy E.; Adinoff, Bryon; Zhang, Rong; Lu, Hanzhang

    2014-01-01

    With age, many aspects of the brain structure undergo a pronounced decline, yet individuals generally function well until advanced old age. There appear to be several compensatory mechanisms in brain aging, but their precise nature is not well characterized. Here we provide evidence that the brain of older adults expends more energy when compared to younger adults, as manifested by an age-related increase (P=0.03) in cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) (N=118, men=56, ages 18 to 74). We further showed that, before the mean menopausal age of 51 years old, female and male groups have similar rates of CMRO2 increase (P=0.015) and there was no interaction between age and sex effects (P=0.85). However, when using data from the entire age range, women have a slower rate of CMRO2 change when compared to men (P<0.001 for age × sex interaction term). Thus, menopause and estrogen level may have played a role in this sex difference. Our data also revealed a possible circadian rhythm of CMRO2 in that brain metabolic rate is greater at noon than in the morning (P=0.02). This study reveals a potential neurobiological mechanism for age-related compensation in brain function and also suggests a sex-difference in its temporal pattern. PMID:24814209

  18. Neurogenesis in the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Galvan, Veronica; Jin, Kunlin

    2007-01-01

    Neurogenesis, or the birth of new neural cells, was thought to occur only in the developing nervous system and a fixed neuronal population in the adult brain was believed to be necessary to maintain the functional stability of adult brain circuitry. However, recent studies have demonstrated that neurogenesis does indeed continue into and throughout adult life in discrete regions of the central nervous systems (CNS) of all mammals, including humans. Although neurogenesis may contribute to the ability of the adult brain to function normally and be induced in response to cerebral diseases for self-repair, this nevertheless declines with advancing age. Understanding the basic biology of neural stem cells and the molecular and cellular regulation mechanisms of neurogenesis in young and aged brain will allow us to modulate cell replacement processes in the adult brain for the maintenance of healthy brain tissues and for repair of disease states in the elderly. PMID:18225461

  19. Ageing and the brain.

    PubMed

    Peters, R

    2006-02-01

    Ageing causes changes to the brain size, vasculature, and cognition. The brain shrinks with increasing age and there are changes at all levels from molecules to morphology. Incidence of stroke, white matter lesions, and dementia also rise with age, as does level of memory impairment and there are changes in levels of neurotransmitters and hormones. Protective factors that reduce cardiovascular risk, namely regular exercise, a healthy diet, and low to moderate alcohol intake, seem to aid the ageing brain as does increased cognitive effort in the form of education or occupational attainment. A healthy life both physically and mentally may be the best defence against the changes of an ageing brain. Additional measures to prevent cardiovascular disease may also be important. PMID:16461469

  20. Lower cognitive reserve in the aging human immunodeficiency virus-infected brain

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Linda; Holt, John L.; Yakupov, Renat; Jiang, Caroline S.; Ernst, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    More HIV-infected individuals are living longer; however, how their brain function is affected by aging is not well understood. One hundred twenty-two men (56 seronegative control [SN] subjects, 37 HIV subjects with normal cognition [HIV+NC], 29 with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder [HAND]) performed neuropsychological tests and had acceptable functional magnetic resonance imaging scans at 3 Tesla during tasks with increasing attentional load. With older age, SN and HIV+NC subjects showed increased activation in the left posterior (reserve, “bottom-up”) attention network for low attentional-load tasks, and further increased activation in the left posterior and anterior (“top-down”) attention network on intermediate (HIV+NC only) and high attentional-load tasks. HAND subjects had only age-dependent decreases in activation. Age-dependent changes in brain activation differed between the 3 groups, primarily in the left frontal regions (despite similar brain atrophy). HIV and aging act synergistically or interactively to exacerbate brain activation abnormalities in different brain regions, suggestive of a neuroadaptive mechanism in the attention network to compensate for declined neural efficiency. While the SN and HIV+NC subjects compensated for their declining attention with age by using reserve and “top-down” attentional networks, older HAND subjects were unable to compensate which resulted in cognitive decline. PMID:23158761

  1. Chemical mapping of anxiety in the brain of healthy humans: an in vivo 1H-MRS study on the effects of sex, age, and brain region.

    PubMed

    Grachev, I D; Apkarian, A V

    2000-12-01

    We recently presented results in an in vivo study of human brain chemistry in 'physiologic' anxiety, i.e., the anxiety of normal everyday life. Normal subjects with high anxiety demonstrated increased concentration of chemicals in orbital frontal cortex (OFC) as compared to lower anxiety. In a separate study of aging we demonstrated a decrease of total chemical concentration in OFC of middle-aged subjects, as compared with younger age. This brain region also showed gender dependence; men demonstrating decreased chemical concentration compared to women. We hypothesized that these sex- and age-dependent differences in OFC chemistry changes are a result of anxiety effects on this brain region. In the present study we examined these sex- and age-differential regional brain chemistry changes (as identified by localized in vivo proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy [1H-MRS]) in relation to the state-trait-anxiety (as measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory) in 35 healthy subjects. The concentrations for all nine chemicals of 1H-MRS spectra were measured relative to creatine across multiple brain regions, including OFC in the left hemisphere. Analysis of variance showed anxiety-specific effects on chemical concentration changes in OFC, which were different for both sexes and age groups. Male subjects showed larger effect of anxiety on OFC chemistry as compared to females when the same sex high-anxiety subjects were compared to lower anxiety. Similarly, middle-aged subjects showed larger effect of anxiety on OFC chemistry as compared to younger age when the same age subjects with high anxiety were compared to lower anxiety. Largest effect of anxiety on OFC chemistry was due to changes of N-Acetyl aspartate. The results indicate that the state-trait anxiety has sex- and age-differential patterns on OFC chemistry in healthy humans, providing new information about the neurobiological roots of anxiety. PMID:11144755

  2. Training the brain to overcome the effect of aging on the human eye

    PubMed Central

    Polat, Uri; Schor, Clifton; Tong, Jian-Liang; Zomet, Ativ; Lev, Maria; Yehezkel, Oren; Sterkin, Anna; Levi, Dennis M.

    2012-01-01

    Presbyopia, from the Greek for aging eye, is, like death and taxes, inevitable. Presbyopia causes near vision to degrade with age, affecting virtually everyone over the age of 50. Presbyopia has multiple negative effects on the quality of vision and the quality of life, due to limitations on daily activities – in particular, reading. In addition presbyopia results in reduced near visual acuity, reduced contrast sensitivity, and slower processing speed. Currently available solutions, such as optical corrections, are not ideal for all daily activities. Here we show that perceptual learning (repeated practice on a demanding visual task) results in improved visual performance in presbyopes, enabling them to overcome and/or delay some of the disabilities imposed by the aging eye. This improvement was achieved without changing the optical characteristics of the eye. The results suggest that the aging brain retains enough plasticity to overcome the natural biological deterioration with age. PMID:22363834

  3. 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. PMID:24820018

  4. Pathology of the Aging Brain in Domestic and Laboratory Animals, and Animal Models of Human Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Youssef, S A; Capucchio, M T; Rofina, J E; Chambers, J K; Uchida, K; Nakayama, H; Head, E

    2016-03-01

    According to the WHO, the proportion of people over 60 years is increasing and expected to reach 22% of total world's population in 2050. In parallel, recent animal demographic studies have shown that the life expectancy of pet dogs and cats is increasing. Brain aging is associated not only with molecular and morphological changes but also leads to different degrees of behavioral and cognitive dysfunction. Common age-related brain lesions in humans include brain atrophy, neuronal loss, amyloid plaques, cerebrovascular amyloid angiopathy, vascular mineralization, neurofibrillary tangles, meningeal osseous metaplasia, and accumulation of lipofuscin. In aging humans, the most common neurodegenerative disorder is Alzheimer's disease (AD), which progressively impairs cognition, behavior, and quality of life. Pathologic changes comparable to the lesions of AD are described in several other animal species, although their clinical significance and effect on cognitive function are poorly documented. This review describes the commonly reported age-associated neurologic lesions in domestic and laboratory animals and the relationship of these lesions to cognitive dysfunction. Also described are the comparative interspecies similarities and differences to AD and other human neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease and progressive supranuclear palsy, and the spontaneous and transgenic animal models of these diseases. PMID:26869150

  5. Age and gender effects on human brain anatomy: a voxel-based morphometric study in healthy elderly.

    PubMed

    Smith, Charles D; Chebrolu, Himachandra; Wekstein, David R; Schmitt, Frederick A; Markesbery, William R

    2007-07-01

    The adult human brain shrinks slowly with age, but the regional specificity and tissue class specificity of this loss is unclear. Subjects (n=122) were healthy aged participants in a longitudinal cohort who undergo periodic standardized cognitive and clinical examination. Multi-spectral segmentation of magnetic resonance images into grey matter (GM), white matter (WM) and CSF was performed on cross-sectional image data using a custom template and calculated prior probability maps. Global differences were evaluated by fitting a regression model for absolute and normalized subject GM, WM, and CSF values. Global and regional patterns of GM, WM and CSF differences were assessed using optimized voxel-based morphometry (VBM). GM volume decreased with age at a rate of 2.4 cm(3)/year (-0.18%/year); CSF increased by 2.5 cm(3)/year (0.20%/year). Regression analyses showed no significant decrease in WM volume, but a focal WM decrease with age was detected in the anterior corpus callosum using VBM. Diffuse reductions of GM volume were seen with age in the frontal, parietal, and temporal cortex, cerebellum and basal ganglia. Relative regional differences in cortical GM volume with age occurred in the frontal, parietal and temporal lobes, but not in medial temporal lobe or in posterior cingulate. We did not observe significant gender effects. These findings establish a baseline for comparison with pathologic changes in human brain volume between ages 58 and 95 years. PMID:16774798

  6. Revitalizing the aged brain.

    PubMed

    Desai, Abhilash K

    2011-05-01

    Optimal cognitive and emotional function is vital to independence, productivity, and quality of life. Cognitive impairment without dementia may be seen in 16% to 33% of adults older than 65 years, and is associated with significant emotional distress. Cognitive and emotional well-being are inextricably linked. This article qualifies revitalizing the aged brain, discusses neuroplasticity, and suggests practical neuroplasticity-based strategies to improve the cognitive and emotional well-being of older adults. PMID:21549872

  7. 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.

  8. Effects of age, dietary, and behavioral enrichment on brain mitochondria in a canine model of human aging.

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

    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 and C, fruits and vegetables) and mitochondrial cofactors (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

  9. 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

  10. Age effects and sex differences in human brain white matter of young to middle-aged adults: A DTI, NODDI, and q-space study.

    PubMed

    Kodiweera, Chandana; Alexander, Andrew L; Harezlak, Jaroslaw; McAllister, Thomas W; Wu, Yu-Chien

    2016-03-01

    Microstructural changes in human brain white matter of young to middle-aged adults were studied using advanced diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging (dMRI). Multiple shell diffusion-weighted data were acquired using the Hybrid Diffusion Imaging (HYDI). The HYDI method is extremely versatile and data were analyzed using Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI), Neurite Orientation Dispersion and Density Imaging (NODDI), and q-space imaging approaches. Twenty-four females and 23 males between 18 and 55years of age were included in this study. The impact of age and sex on diffusion metrics were tested using least squares linear regressions in 48 white matter regions of interest (ROIs) across the whole brain and adjusted for multiple comparisons across ROIs. In this study, white matter projections to either the hippocampus or the cerebral cortices were the brain regions most sensitive to aging. Specifically, in this young to middle-aged cohort, aging effects were associated with more dispersion of white matter fibers while the tissue restriction and intra-axonal volume fraction remained relatively stable. The fiber dispersion index of NODDI exhibited the most pronounced sensitivity to aging. In addition, changes of the DTI indices in this aging cohort were correlated mostly with the fiber dispersion index rather than the intracellular volume fraction of NODDI or the q-space measurements. While men and women did not differ in the aging rate, men tend to have higher intra-axonal volume fraction than women. This study demonstrates that advanced dMRI using a HYDI acquisition and compartmental modeling of NODDI can elucidate microstructural alterations that are sensitive to age and sex. Finally, this study provides insight into the relationships between DTI diffusion metrics and advanced diffusion metrics of NODDI model and q-space imaging. PMID:26724777

  11. Aging in the canine and feline brain.

    PubMed

    Vite, Charles H; Head, Elizabeth

    2014-11-01

    Aging dogs and cats show neurodegenerative features that are similar to human aging and Alzheimer disease. Neuropathologic changes with age may be linked to signs of cognitive dysfunction both in the laboratory and in a clinic setting. Less is known about cat brain aging and cognition and this represents an area for further study. Neurodegenerative diseases such as lysosomal storage diseases in dogs and cats also show similar features of human aging, suggesting some common underlying pathogenic mechanisms and also suggesting pathways that can be modified to promote healthy brain aging. PMID:25441628

  12. Escherichia coli Binding to and Invasion of Brain Microvascular Endothelial Cells Derived from Humans and Rats of Different Ages

    PubMed Central

    Stins, Monique F.; Nemani, Prasadarao V.; Wass, Carol; Kim, Kwang Sik

    1999-01-01

    Escherichia coli meningitis commonly occurs in the neonatal period, but the basis of this age dependency is unclear. We have previously identified two types of E. coli-brain microvascular endothelial cell (BMEC) interactions contributing to E. coli traversal of the blood-brain barrier (i.e., binding and invasion). The present study examined whether the age dependency of E. coli meningitis stemmed from differences in the capacities of neonatal and adult BMECs to interact with E. coli. BMECs were isolated from rats of different ages (10 days, 20 days and 3 months) as well as from humans of different ages (fetuses, 4- to 7-year-old children, and a 35-year-old adult, and 60- to 85-year-old geriatrics). The bindings of E. coli to young and old rat BMECs were similar. Also, the abilities of E. coli to invade BMECs were similar for BMECs derived from young and old rats and from human fetuses, children, adults, and geriatrics. These findings suggest that the predominance of E. coli meningitis in neonates is not likely due to greater binding and invasion capacities of newborn compared to adult BMECs. PMID:10496943

  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 Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:25311358

  15. Preferential Detachment During Human Brain Development: Age- and Sex-Specific Structural Connectivity in Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) Data

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Sol; Han, Cheol E.; Uhlhaas, Peter J.; Kaiser, Marcus

    2015-01-01

    Human brain maturation is characterized by the prolonged development of structural and functional properties of large-scale networks that extends into adulthood. However, it is not clearly understood which features change and which remain stable over time. Here, we examined structural connectivity based on diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in 121 participants between 4 and 40 years of age. DTI data were analyzed for small-world parameters, modularity, and the number of fiber tracts at the level of streamlines. First, our findings showed that the number of fiber tracts, small-world topology, and modular organization remained largely stable despite a substantial overall decrease in the number of streamlines with age. Second, this decrease mainly affected fiber tracts that had a large number of streamlines, were short, within modules and within hemispheres; such connections were affected significantly more often than would be expected given their number of occurrences in the network. Third, streamline loss occurred earlier in females than in males. In summary, our findings suggest that core properties of structural brain connectivity, such as the small-world and modular organization, remain stable during brain maturation by focusing streamline loss to specific types of fiber tracts. PMID:24343892

  16. Temporal lobe in human aging: A quantitative protein profiling study of samples from Chinese Human Brain Bank.

    PubMed

    Xu, Benhong; Xiong, Feng; Tian, Rui; Zhan, Shaohua; Gao, Yanpan; Qiu, Wenying; Wang, Renzhi; Ge, Wei; Ma, Chao

    2016-01-01

    The temporal lobe is a portion of the cerebral cortex with critical functionality. The age-related protein profile changes in the human temporal lobe have not been previously studied. This 4-plex tandem mass tag labeled proteomic study was performed on samples of temporal lobe from Chinese donors. Tissue samples were assigned to four age groups: Group A (the young, age: 34±13 years); Group B (the elderly, 62±5 years); Group C (the aged, 84±4 years) and Group D (the old, 95±1 years). Pooled samples from the different groups were subjected to proteomics and bioinformatics analysis to identify age-related changes in protein expression and associated pathways. We isolated 5072 proteins, and found that 67 proteins were downregulated and 109 proteins were upregulated in one or more groups during the aging process. Western blotting assays were performed to verify the proteomic results. Bioinformatic analysis identified proteins involved in neuronal degeneration, including proteins involved in neuronal firing, myelin sheath damage, and cell structure stability. We also observed the accumulation of extracellular matrix and lysosomal proteins which imply the occurrence of fibrosis and autophagy. Our results suggest a series of changes across a wide range of proteins in the human temporal lobe that may relate to aging and age-related neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:26631761

  17. 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

    2016-01-01

    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 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. PMID:27300264

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Aging, Brain Size, and IQ.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bigler, Erin D.; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Whether cross-sectional rates of decline for brain volume and the Performance Intellectual Quotient of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised were equivalent over the years 16 to 65 was studied with 196 volunteers. Results indicate remarkably similar rates of decline in perceptual-motor functions and aging brain volume loss. (SLD)

  1. Aging of the cingulum in the human brain: Preliminary study of a diffusion tensor imaging study.

    PubMed

    Jang, Sung Ho; Kwon, Yong Hyun; Lee, Mi Young; Kim, Jae-Ryong; Seo, Jeong Pyo

    2016-01-01

    The cingulum, a major structure of the limbic system, is closely associated with memory function. In the current study, we investigated aging of the cingulum according to the location of the cingulum in each part of the cingulum after dividing the cingulum into five parts in normal subjects, using DTT parameters (fractional anisotropy (FA) and fiber number (FN)). Ninety healthy subjects (males: 44, females: 46, mean age: 49.0 years; range: 20-78 years) were enrolled in this study. Subjects were categorized according to six groups by age intervals of 10 years; each age group consisted of 15 subjects. The cingulum was divided into five parts (anterior, anterior superior, posterior superior cingulum, posterior, and inferior cingulum). The FA and FN of each part were measured. The FA value indicates the degree of directionality and integrity of white matter microstructures such as axons, myelin, and microtubules, and the FN reflects the total number of fibers in a neural tract. Age-related decline in the FA value may indicate demyelination, and a decline in the number of myelinated fibers of a neural tract can also lead to a decline of the FN. Significant differences in the FA value of the anterior cingulum and anterior superior cingulum, and the FN of the inferior cingulum were observed between age groups (AVOVA, p<0.05). A significant decrease was observed in the FA values of the anterior and anterior superior cingulum of the 60s and 70s age groups compared with those of the 20s and 30s age groups, and in the FN of the inferior cingulum of the 60s and 70s age groups compared with that of the 20s age group (LSD post hoc test, p<0.05). Aging of the cingulum began at both ends of the cingulum in the 20s or 30s, and progressed steadily at a near continuous rate over the lifespan and a significant degenerative aging effect at both ends of the cingulum occurred into the 60s, compared with the 20s or 30s. PMID:26598020

  2. 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

  3. Brain aging in humans, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), and rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta): magnetic resonance imaging studies of macro- and microstructural changes

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xu; Errangi, Bhargav; Li, Longchuan; Glasser, Matthew F.; Westlye, Lars T.; Fjell, Anders M.; Walhovd, Kristine B.; Hu, Xiaoping; Herndon, James G.; Preuss, Todd M.; Rilling, James K.

    2013-01-01

    Among primates, humans are uniquely vulnerable to many age-related neurodegenerative disorders. We used structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine the brains of chimpanzees and rhesus monkeys across each species' adult lifespan, and compared these results with published findings in humans. As in humans, gray matter volume decreased with age in chimpanzees and rhesus monkeys. Also like humans, chimpanzees showed a trend for decreased white matter volume with age, but this decrease occurred proportionally later in the chimpanzee lifespan than in humans. Diffusion MRI revealed widespread age-related decreases in fractional anisotropy and increases in radial diffusivity in chimpanzees and macaques. However, both the fractional anisotropy decline and the radial diffusivity increase started at a proportionally earlier age in humans than in chimpanzees. Thus, even though overall patterns of gray and white matter aging are similar in humans and chimpanzees, the longer lifespan of humans provides more time for white matter to deteriorate before death, with the result that some neurological effects of aging may be exacerbated in our species. PMID:23623601

  4. Brain aging in humans, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), and rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta): magnetic resonance imaging studies of macro- and microstructural changes.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xu; Errangi, Bhargav; Li, Longchuan; Glasser, Matthew F; Westlye, Lars T; Fjell, Anders M; Walhovd, Kristine B; Hu, Xiaoping; Herndon, James G; Preuss, Todd M; Rilling, James K

    2013-10-01

    Among primates, humans are uniquely vulnerable to many age-related neurodegenerative disorders. We used structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine the brains of chimpanzees and rhesus monkeys across each species' adult lifespan, and compared these results with published findings in humans. As in humans, gray matter volume decreased with age in chimpanzees and rhesus monkeys. Also like humans, chimpanzees showed a trend for decreased white matter volume with age, but this decrease occurred proportionally later in the chimpanzee lifespan than in humans. Diffusion MRI revealed widespread age-related decreases in fractional anisotropy and increases in radial diffusivity in chimpanzees and macaques. However, both the fractional anisotropy decline and the radial diffusivity increase started at a proportionally earlier age in humans than in chimpanzees. Thus, even though overall patterns of gray and white matter aging are similar in humans and chimpanzees, the longer lifespan of humans provides more time for white matter to deteriorate before death, with the result that some neurological effects of aging may be exacerbated in our species. PMID:23623601

  5. Redox proteomic profiling of neuroketal-adducted proteins in human brain: Regional vulnerability at middle age increases in the elderly.

    PubMed

    Domínguez, Mayelín; de Oliveira, Eliandre; Odena, María Antonia; Portero, Manuel; Pamplona, Reinald; Ferrer, Isidro

    2016-06-01

    Protein lipoxidation was assessed in the parietal cortex (PC), frontal cortex (FC), and cingulate gyrus (CG) in middle-aged and old-aged individuals with no clinical manifestations of cognitive impairment, in order to increase understanding of regional brain vulnerability to oxidative damage during aging. Twenty-five lipoxidized proteins were identified in all the three regions although with regional specificities, by using redox proteomics to detect target proteins of neuroketals (NKT) adduction. The number of cases with NKT-adducted proteins was higher in old-aged individuals but most oxidized proteins were already present in middle-aged individuals. Differences in vulnerability to oxidation were dependent on the sub-cellular localization, secondary structure, and external exposition of certain amino acids. Lipoxidized proteins included those involved in energy metabolism, cytoskeleton, proteostasis, neurotransmission and O2/CO2, and heme metabolism. Total NKT and soluble oligomer levels were estimated employing slot-blot, and these were compared between age groups. Oligomers increased with age in PC and FC; NKT significantly increased with age in FC, whereas total NKT and oligomer levels were not modified in CG, thus highlighting differences in brain regional vulnerability with age. Oligomers significantly correlated with NKT levels in the three cortical regions, suggesting that protein NKT adduction parallels soluble oligomer formation. PMID:26968793

  6. Age, sex and NK1 receptors in the human brain -- a positron emission tomography study with [¹¹C]GR205171.

    PubMed

    Engman, Jonas; Åhs, Fredrik; Furmark, Tomas; Linnman, Clas; Pissiota, Anna; Appel, Lieuwe; Frans, Örjan; Långström, Bengt; Fredrikson, Mats

    2012-08-01

    The substance P/neurokinin 1 (SP/NK1) system has been implicated in the processing of negative affect. Its role seems complex and findings from animal studies have not been easily translated to humans. Brain imaging studies on NK1 receptor distribution in humans have revealed an abundance of receptors in cortical, striatal and subcortical areas, including the amygdala. A reduction in NK1 receptors with increasing age has been reported in frontal, temporal, and parietal cortices, as well as in hippocampal areas. Also, a previous study suggests sex differences in cortical and subcortical areas, with women displaying fewer NK1 receptors. The present PET study explored NK1 receptor availability in men (n=9) and women (n=9) matched for age varying between 20 and 50years using the highly specific NK1 receptor antagonist [¹¹C]GR205171 and a reference tissue model with cerebellum as the reference region. Age by sex interactions in the amygdala and the temporal cortex reflected a lower NK1 receptor availability with increasing age in men, but not in women. A general age-related decline in NK1 receptor availability was evident in the frontal, temporal, and occipital cortices, as well as in the brainstem, caudate nucleus, and thalamus. Women had lower NK1 receptor availability in the thalamus. The observed pattern of NK1 receptor distribution in the brain might have functional significance for brain-related disorders showing age- and sex-related differences in prevalence. PMID:22225860

  7. 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

  8. Age-Related Differences in White Matter Integrity in Healthy Human Brain: Evidence from Structural MRI and Diffusion Tensor Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Rathee, Rishu; Rallabandi, V.P. Subramanyam; Roy, Prasun K.

    2016-01-01

    The aim is to investigate the relationship between microstructural white matter (WM) diffusivity indices and macrostructural WM volume (WMV) among healthy individuals (20–85 years). Whole-brain diffusion measures were calculated from diffusion tensor imaging using FMRIB software library while WMV was estimated through voxel-based morphometry, and voxel-based analysis was carried out using tract-based spatial statistics. Our results revealed that mean diffusivity, axial diffusivity, and radial diffusivity had shown good correlation with WMV but not for fractional anisotropy (FA). Voxel-wise tract-based spatial statistics analysis for FA showed a significant decrease in four regions for middle-aged group compared to young-aged group, in 22 regions for old-aged group compared to middle-aged group, and in 26 regions for old-aged group compared to young-aged group (P < 0.05). We found significantly lower WMV, FA, and mean diffusivity values in females than males and inverted-U trend for FA in males. We conclude differential age- and gender-related changes for structural WMV and WM diffusion indices. PMID:27279747

  9. The age dependence of T2 relaxation times of N-acetyl aspartate, creatine and choline in the human brain at 3 and 4T.

    PubMed

    Jiru, F; Skoch, A; Wagnerova, D; Dezortova, M; Viskova, J; Profant, O; Syka, J; Hajek, M

    2016-03-01

    Knowledge of the T2 age dependence is of importance for MRS clinical studies involving subject groups with a wide age range. A number of studies have focused on the age dependence of T2 values in the human brain, with rather conflicting results. The aim of this study was to analyze the age dependence of T2 values of N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), creatine (Cr) and choline (Cho) in the human brain using data acquired at 3T and 4T and to assess the influence of the macromolecule (MM) baseline handling on the obtained results. Two distinct groups of young and elderly controls have been measured at 3T (TE = 30-540 ms, 9 young and 11 elderly subjects) and 4T (TE = 10-180 ms, 18 young and 14 elderly subjects) using single-voxel spectroscopy. In addition, MM spectra were measured from two subjects using the inversion-recovery technique at 4T. All spectra were processed with LCModel using basis sets with different MM signals (measured or simulated) and also with MM signals included for a different TE range. Individual estimated T2 values were statistically analyzed using the R programming language for the age dependence of T2 values as well as the influence of the MM baseline handling. A significant decrease of T2 values of NAA and Cr in elderly subjects compared with young subjects was confirmed. The same trend was observed for Cho. Significantly higher T2 values calculated using the measured MM baseline for all studied metabolites at 4T were observed for both young and elderly subjects. To conclude, while the handling of MM and lipid signals may have a significant effect on estimated T2 values, we confirmed the age dependence of T2 values of NAA and Cr and the same trend for Cho in the human brain. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:26752593

  10. 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. PMID:26827656

  11. 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.

  12. Epigenetics in the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Houston, Isaac; Peter, Cyril J; Mitchell, Amanda; Straubhaar, Juerg; Rogaev, Evgeny; Akbarian, Schahram

    2013-01-01

    Many cellular constituents in the human brain permanently exit from the cell cycle during pre- or early postnatal development, but little is known about epigenetic regulation of neuronal and glial epigenomes during maturation and aging, including changes in mood and psychosis spectrum disorders and other cognitive or emotional disease. Here, we summarize the current knowledge base as it pertains to genome organization in the human brain, including the regulation of DNA cytosine methylation and hydroxymethylation, and a subset of (altogether >100) residue-specific histone modifications associated with gene expression, and silencing and various other functional chromatin states. We propose that high-resolution mapping of epigenetic markings in postmortem brain tissue or neural cultures derived from induced pluripotent cells (iPS), in conjunction with transcriptome profiling and whole-genome sequencing, will increasingly be used to define the molecular pathology of specific cases diagnosed with depression, schizophrenia, autism, or other major psychiatric disease. We predict that these highly integrative explorations of genome organization and function will provide an important alternative to conventional approaches in human brain studies, which mainly are aimed at uncovering group effects by diagnosis but generally face limitations because of cohort size. PMID:22643929

  13. 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.

  14. Brain pathologies in extreme old age.

    PubMed

    Neltner, Janna H; Abner, Erin L; Jicha, Gregory A; Schmitt, Frederick A; Patel, Ela; Poon, Leonard W; Marla, Gearing; 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

    2016-01-01

    With an emphasis on evolving concepts in the field, we evaluated neuropathologic data from very old research volunteers whose brain autopsies were performed at the University of Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease Center, incorporating data from the Georgia Centenarian Study (n = 49 cases included), Nun Study (n = 17), and University of Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease Center (n = 11) cohorts. Average age of death was 102.0 (range: 98-107) years overall. Alzheimer's disease pathology was not universal (62% with "moderate" or "frequent" neuritic amyloid plaque densities), whereas frontotemporal lobar degeneration was absent. By contrast, some hippocampal neurofibrillary tangles (including primary age-related tauopathy) were observed in every case. Lewy body pathology was seen in 16.9% of subjects and hippocampal sclerosis of aging in 20.8%. We describe anatomic 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 hippocampal sclerosis of 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

  15. Morphometric analysis of the suprachiasmatic and paraventricular nuclei in the human brain: sex differences and age-dependent changes.

    PubMed Central

    Hofman, M A; Fliers, E; Goudsmit, E; Swaab, D F

    1988-01-01

    The size, shape and cellular morphology of the suprachiasmatic (SCN) and paraventricular nuclei (PVN) in the human hypothalamus were examined in relation to sex and age. In both nuclear regions the following parameters were determined: length of the rostrocaudal axis, maximum cross sectional area, volume, numerical cell density, total number of cells and the diameter of cell nuclei. No sexual difference was observed in any of these parameters, either in the SCN or in the PVN, with the exception of a sexual dimorphism in the shape of the SCN. In contrast to the absolute measurements, sexual differences were found in the internal structural organisation of these hypothalamic nuclei using multivariate regression analysis. Of the parameters measured only the volume of the SCN in females showed a continuous decrease with ageing, whereas the changes in the other variables were not consistent. Regression analysis revealed that this decrease in SCN volume is mainly caused by cell loss rather than by a reduction in cell size. Finally, a comparison of the volumetric measurements of the human SCN and PVN with those of the rat showed that the human SCN is reduced in size relative to other hypothalamic nuclei. Possible consequences of this phenomenon for the functional significance of the SCN in man are discussed. Images Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:3253251

  16. 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. PMID:24060546

  17. Aging. Aging-induced type I interferon signaling at the choroid plexus negatively affects brain function

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    Age-associated cognitive decline is affected by factors produced inside and outside the brain. We found in aged mice and humans, that the choroid plexus (CP), an epithelial interface between the brain and the circulation, shows a type I interferon (IFN-I)-dependent expression profile, often associated with anti-viral responses. This signature was induced by brain-derived signals present in the cerebrospinal fluid of aged mice. Blocking IFN-I signaling within the brain of cognitively-impaired aged mice, using IFN-I receptor neutralizing antibody, led to partial restoration of cognitive function and hippocampal neurogenesis, and reestablished IFN-II-dependent CP activity, lost in aging. Our data identify an aging-induced IFN-I signature at the CP, and demonstrate its negative influence on brain function, thereby suggesting a potential target for therapeutic intervention for age-related cognitive decline. PMID:25147279

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. Development of cortical shape in the human brain from 6 to 24months of age via a novel measure of shape complexity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sun Hyung; Lyu, Ilwoo; Fonov, Vladimir S; Vachet, Clement; Hazlett, Heather C; Smith, Rachel G; Piven, Joseph; Dager, Stephen R; Mckinstry, Robert C; Pruett, John R; Evans, Alan C; Collins, D Louis; Botteron, Kelly N; Schultz, Robert T; Gerig, Guido; Styner, Martin A

    2016-07-15

    The quantification of local surface morphology in the human cortex is important for examining population differences as well as developmental changes in neurodegenerative or neurodevelopmental disorders. We propose a novel cortical shape measure, referred to as the 'shape complexity index' (SCI), that represents localized shape complexity as the difference between the observed distributions of local surface topology, as quantified by the shape index (SI) measure, to its best fitting simple topological model within a given neighborhood. We apply a relatively small, adaptive geodesic kernel to calculate the SCI. Due to the small size of the kernel, the proposed SCI measure captures fine differences of cortical shape. With this novel cortical feature, we aim to capture comparatively small local surface changes that capture a) the widening versus deepening of sulcal and gyral regions, as well as b) the emergence and development of secondary and tertiary sulci. Current cortical shape measures, such as the gyrification index (GI) or intrinsic curvature measures, investigate the cortical surface at a different scale and are less well suited to capture these particular cortical surface changes. In our experiments, the proposed SCI demonstrates higher complexity in the gyral/sulcal wall regions, lower complexity in wider gyral ridges and lowest complexity in wider sulcal fundus regions. In early postnatal brain development, our experiments show that SCI reveals a pattern of increased cortical shape complexity with age, as well as sexual dimorphisms in the insula, middle cingulate, parieto-occipital sulcal and Broca's regions. Overall, sex differences were greatest at 6months of age and were reduced at 24months, with the difference pattern switching from higher complexity in males at 6months to higher complexity in females at 24months. This is the first study of longitudinal, cortical complexity maturation and sex differences, in the early postnatal period from 6 to 24months

  1. Intravenous Transplants of Human Adipose-Derived Stem Cell Protect the Brain from Traumatic Brain Injury-Induced Neurodegeneration and Motor and Cognitive Impairments: Cell Graft Biodistribution and Soluble Factors in Young and Aged Rats

    PubMed Central

    Tajiri, Naoki; Acosta, Sandra A.; Shahaduzzaman, Md; Ishikawa, Hiroto; Shinozuka, Kazutaka; Pabon, Mibel; Hernandez-Ontiveros, Diana; Kim, Dae Won; Metcalf, Christopher; Staples, Meaghan; Dailey, Travis; Vasconcellos, Julie; Franyuti, Giorgio; Gould, Lisa; Patel, Niketa

    2014-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors exhibit motor and cognitive symptoms from the primary injury that can become aggravated over time because of secondary cell death. In the present in vivo study, we examined the beneficial effects of human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs) in a controlled cortical impact model of mild TBI using young (6 months) and aged (20 months) F344 rats. Animals were transplanted intravenously with 4 × 106 hADSCs (Tx), conditioned media (CM), or vehicle (unconditioned media) at 3 h after TBI. Significant amelioration of motor and cognitive functions was revealed in young, but not aged, Tx and CM groups. Fluorescent imaging in vivo and ex vivo revealed 1,1′ dioactadecyl-3-3-3′,3′-tetramethylindotricarbocyanine iodide-labeled hADSCs in peripheral organs and brain after TBI. Spatiotemporal deposition of hADSCs differed between young and aged rats, most notably reduced migration to the aged spleen. Significant reduction in cortical damage and hippocampal cell loss was observed in both Tx and CM groups in young rats, whereas less neuroprotection was detected in the aged rats and mainly in the Tx group but not the CM group. CM harvested from hADSCs with silencing of either NEAT1 (nuclear enriched abundant transcript 1) or MALAT1 (metastasis associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1), long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) known to play a role in gene expression, lost the efficacy in our model. Altogether, hADSCs are promising therapeutic cells for TBI, and lncRNAs in the secretome is an important mechanism of cell therapy. Furthermore, hADSCs showed reduced efficacy in aged rats, which may in part result from decreased homing of the cells to the spleen. PMID:24381292

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. A comparative autoradiography study in post mortem whole hemisphere human brain slices taken from Alzheimer patients and age-matched controls using two radiolabelled DAA1106 analogues with high affinity to the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor (PBR) system.

    PubMed

    Gulyás, Balázs; Makkai, Boglárka; Kása, Péter; Gulya, Károly; Bakota, Lidia; Várszegi, Szilvia; Beliczai, Zsuzsa; Andersson, Jan; Csiba, László; Thiele, Andrea; Dyrks, Thomas; Suhara, Tetsua; Suzuki, Kazutoshi; Higuchi, Makato; Halldin, Christer

    2009-01-01

    The binding of two radiolabelled analogues (N-(5-[125I]Iodo-2-phenoxyphenyl)-N-(2,5-dimethoxybenzyl)acetamide ([125I]desfluoro-DAA1106) and N-(5-[125I]Fluoro-2-phenoxyphenyl)-N-(2-[125I]Iodo-5-methoxybenzyl)acetamide ([125I]desmethoxy-DAA1106) of the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor (PBR) (or TSPO, 18kDa translocator protein) ligand DAA1106 was examined by in vitro autoradiography on human post mortem whole hemisphere brain slices obtained from Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and age-matched controls. Both [(125)I]desfluoro-IDAA1106 and [(125)I]desmethoxy-IDAA1106 were effectively binding to various brain structures. The binding could be blocked by the unlabelled ligand as well as by other PBR specific ligands. With both radiolabelled compounds, the binding showed regional inhomogeneity and the specific binding values proved to be the highest in the hippocampus, temporal and parietal cortex, the basal ganglia and thalamus in the AD brains. Compared with age-matched control brains, specific binding in several brain structures (temporal and parietal lobes, thalamus and white matter) in Alzheimer brains was significantly higher, indicating that the radioligands can effectively label-activated microglia and the up-regulated PBR/TSPO system in AD. Complementary immunohistochemical studies demonstrated reactive microglia activation in the AD brain tissue and indicated that increased ligand binding coincides with increased regional microglia activation due to neuroinflammation. These investigations yield further support to the PBR/TSPO binding capacity of DAA1106 in human brain tissue, demonstrate the effective usefulness of its radio-iodinated analogues as imaging biomarkers in post mortem human studies, and indicate that its radiolabelled analogues, labelled with short half-time bioisotopes, can serve as prospective in vivo imaging biomarkers of activated microglia and the up-regulated PBR/TSPO system in the human brain. PMID:18984021

  7. Metabolic drift in the aging brain.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-05-01

    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 energymetabolic 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

  8. 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

  9. Nutrition, brain aging, and neurodegeneration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The onset of age-related neurodegenerative diseases superimposed on a declining nervous system could enhance the motor and cognitive behavioral deficits that normally occur in senescence. It is likely that, in cases of severe deficits in memory or motor function, hospitalization and/or custodial car...

  10. 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.

  11. Ascorbic acid in fetal human brain

    PubMed Central

    Adlard, B. P. F.; De Souza, S. W.; Moon, Susan

    1974-01-01

    Ascorbic acid concentrations in fetal human forebrain in the period 11 to 19 weeks' gestational age were 4 to 11 times higher than those of adults. Levels fell progressively with increasing gestational age but, in term babies dying within 4 weeks of birth, were still at least 3 times those of adults. It was confirmed that, in women delivering at term, ascorbic acid concentrations are approximately 4 times higher in cord blood plasma than in maternal blood plasma. The possible importance of ascorbic acid for normal human brain development is discussed. PMID:4830116

  12. [Planimetric volumetry of human brains].

    PubMed

    Orthner, H; Seler, W

    1975-04-01

    1) Coronal sections measuring exactly 4 mm in thickness of 106 human brains (212 cerebral hemispheres) were cut with the Göttinger Hirnmakrotom. Planimetric volumetry of various macroscopically delineated structures was performed on photographs of the sections. 2) The volumes ovtained from 58 "normal cases" were used for determining preliminary standards as well as mean values and standard deviations for age and sex. The female-male ratio of the structures measured varies between 86 and 92%. Comparing right and left a predominance of the left pallidum for both sexes is apparent showing an error probability of less than 5%. In "normal" men a significant predominance of the rightsided frontal structures, located anterior to the anterior commissure, have been found (error probability of less than 1%). 3) Regarding the 48 "abnormal cases", striatum and pallidum show a uniform picture in Huntington's disease, namely an extreme shrinkage. The pallidum shrinks to a similar extent as the striatum, although its neurones are not substantially affected by this system atrophy. Other structures do not display similarly uniform changes in this disease. 4) In Parkinson's syndrome a tendency of the pallidum to enlarge -- though statistically not significant -- is seen. This raises the question whether a constitutional hyperplasia of this structure is sometimes involved in the pathogenesis. 5) In Pick's disease, it is not only the histologically impressive centers of shrinkage of the cerebral cortex that are atrophic, but, to a somewhat lesser degree, also the whole telencephalon. 6) In an 18-year-old girl with malignant obsessional neurosis (schizophrenia?) the volume of the striatum was highly above average values enlarged. 7) Bibliographical data of macroscopic-quantitative brain research reveal many problems which can be solved today due to improved methods. PMID:125721

  13. Light-sensitive brain pathways and aging.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26980095

  14. Zinc and the aging brain.

    PubMed

    Nuttall, Johnathan R; Oteiza, Patricia I

    2014-01-01

    Alterations in trace element homeostasis could be involved in the pathology of dementia, and in particular of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Zinc is a structural or functional component of many proteins, being involved in numerous and relevant physiological functions. Zinc homeostasis is affected in the elderly, and current evidence points to alterations in the cellular and systemic distribution of zinc in AD. Although the association of zinc and other metals with AD pathology remains unclear, therapeutic approaches designed to restore trace element homeostasis are being tested in clinical trials. Not only could zinc supplementation potentially benefit individuals with AD, but zinc supplementation also improves glycemic control in the elderly suffering from diabetes mellitus. However, the findings that select genetic polymorphisms may alter an individual's zinc intake requirements should be taken into consideration when planning zinc supplementation. This review will focus on current knowledge regarding pathological and protective mechanisms involving brain zinc in AD to highlight areas where future research may enable development of new and improved therapies. PMID:24366781

  15. The Impact of Traumatic Brain Injury on the Aging Brain.

    PubMed

    Young, Jacob S; Hobbs, Jonathan G; Bailes, Julian E

    2016-09-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has come to the forefront of both the scientific and popular culture. Specifically, sports-related concussions or mild TBI (mTBI) has become the center of scientific scrutiny with a large amount of research focusing on the long-term sequela of this type of injury. As the populace continues to age, the impact of TBI on the aging brain will become clearer. Currently, reports have come to light that link TBI to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, as well as certain psychiatric diseases. Whether these associations are causations, however, is yet to be determined. Other long-term sequelae, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), appear to be associated with repetitive injuries. Going forward, as we gain better understanding of the pathophysiological process involved in TBI and subclinical head traumas, and individual traits that influence susceptibility to neurocognitive diseases, a clearer, more comprehensive understanding of the connection between brain injury and resultant disease processes in the aging brain will become evident. PMID:27432348

  16. Functional interrelationship of brain aging and delirium.

    PubMed

    Rapazzini, Piero

    2016-02-01

    Theories on the development of delirium are complementary rather than competing and they may relate to each other. Here, we highlight that similar alterations in functional brain connectivity underlie both the observed age-related deficits and episodes of delirium. The default mode network (DMN) is a group of brain regions showing a greater level of activity at rest than during attention-based tasks. These regions include the posteromedial-anteromedial cortices and temporoparietal junctions. Evidence suggests that awareness is subserved through higher order neurons associated with the DMN. By using functional MRI disruption of DMN, connectivity and weaker task-induced deactivations of these regions are observed both in age-related cognitive impairment and during episodes of delirium. We can assume that an acute up-regulation of inhibitory tone within the brain acts to further disrupt network connectivity in vulnerable patients, who are predisposed by a reduced baseline connectivity, and triggers the delirium. PMID:25998952

  17. Effect of aging on neurogenesis in the canine brain.

    PubMed

    Pekcec, Anton; Baumgärtner, Wolfgang; Bankstahl, Jens P; Stein, Veronika M; Potschka, Heidrun

    2008-06-01

    An age-dependent decline in hippocampal neurogenesis has been reported in laboratory rodents. Environmental enrichment proved to be a strong trigger of neurogenesis in young and aged laboratory rodents, which are generally kept in facilities with a paucity of environmental stimuli. These data raise the question whether an age-dependent decline in hippocampal cell proliferation and neurogenesis can also be observed in individuals exposed to diversified and varying surroundings. Therefore, we determined rates of canine hippocampal neurogenesis using post-mortem tissue from 37 nonlaboratory dogs that were exposed to a variety of environmental conditions throughout their life. Expression of the neuronal progenitor cell marker doublecortin clearly correlated with age. The analysis of doublecortin-labeled cells in dogs aged > 133 months indicated a 96% drop in the aged canine brain as compared to young adults. Expression of the proliferation marker Ki-67 in the subgranular zone decreased until dogs were aged 85-132 months. In the aging canine brain amyloid-beta peptide deposits have been described that might resemble an early pathophysiological change in the course of human Alzheimer's disease. Comparison of Ki-67 and doublecortin expression in canine brain tissue with or without diffuse plaques revealed no differences. The data indicate that occurrence of diffuse plaques in the aging brain is not sufficient to trigger enhanced proliferation or enhanced neurogenesis such as described in human Alzheimer's disease. In addition, this study gives first proof that an age-dependent decline also dominates hippocampal neurogenesis rates in individuals living in diversified environments. PMID:18363905

  18. Neuropathological changes in aging brain.

    PubMed

    Xekardaki, Aikaterini; Kövari, Eniko; Gold, Gabriel; Papadimitropoulou, Adriana; Giacobini, Ezio; Herrmann, François; Giannakopoulos, Panteleimon; Bouras, Constantin

    2015-01-01

    Neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) include tangles (NFT) and beta amyloid (Aβ) plaques. Despite numerous neuropathological studies that assessed the relationship of cognitive decline with neuropathologic lesions, their correlation still remains unclear. NFTs and Aβ plaques have been widely implicated and described in normal aging. The number of NFTs in the CA1 and the entorhinal cortex seems to be more closely related to cognitive status, compared to the amyloid load whose role still remains controversial in the AD. In this review, we refer to our main studies performed in Geneva during the past two decades attempting to assess the correlation of pathology with clinical expression. The theory of cognitive reserve has been proposed for further understanding of interindividual differences in terms of compensation despite the presence of pathological lesions. The increasing prevalence of the AD, the limitations of actual treatments, as well as the high public cost reflect the imperative need for better therapeutic and early diagnosis strategies in the future. PMID:25416106

  19. Methylomic trajectories across human fetal brain development.

    PubMed

    Spiers, Helen; Hannon, Eilis; Schalkwyk, Leonard C; Smith, Rebecca; Wong, Chloe C Y; O'Donovan, Michael C; Bray, Nicholas J; Mill, Jonathan

    2015-03-01

    Epigenetic processes play a key role in orchestrating transcriptional regulation during development. The importance of DNA methylation in fetal brain development is highlighted by the dynamic expression of de novo DNA methyltransferases during the perinatal period and neurodevelopmental deficits associated with mutations in the methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene. However, our knowledge about the temporal changes to the epigenome during fetal brain development has, to date, been limited. We quantified genome-wide patterns of DNA methylation at ∼ 400,000 sites in 179 human fetal brain samples (100 male, 79 female) spanning 23 to 184 d post-conception. We identified highly significant changes in DNA methylation across fetal brain development at >7% of sites, with an enrichment of loci becoming hypomethylated with fetal age. Sites associated with developmental changes in DNA methylation during fetal brain development were significantly underrepresented in promoter regulatory regions but significantly overrepresented in regions flanking CpG islands (shores and shelves) and gene bodies. Highly significant differences in DNA methylation were observed between males and females at a number of autosomal sites, with a small number of regions showing sex-specific DNA methylation trajectories across brain development. Weighted gene comethylation network analysis (WGCNA) revealed discrete modules of comethylated loci associated with fetal age that are significantly enriched for genes involved in neurodevelopmental processes. This is, to our knowledge, the most extensive study of DNA methylation across human fetal brain development to date, confirming the prenatal period as a time of considerable epigenomic plasticity. PMID:25650246

  20. Aging and brain rejuvenation as systemic events

    PubMed Central

    Bouchard, Jill; Villeda, Saul A

    2015-01-01

    The effects of aging were traditionally thought to be immutable, particularly evident in the loss of plasticity and cognitive abilities occurring in the aged central nervous system (CNS). However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that extrinsic systemic manipulations such as exercise, caloric restriction, and changing blood composition by heterochronic parabiosis or young plasma administration can partially counteract this age-related loss of plasticity in the aged brain. In this review, we discuss the process of aging and rejuvenation as systemic events. We summarize genetic studies that demonstrate a surprising level of malleability in organismal lifespan, and highlight the potential for systemic manipulations to functionally reverse the effects of aging in the CNS. Based on mounting evidence, we propose that rejuvenating effects of systemic manipulations are mediated, in part, by blood-borne ‘pro-youthful’ factors. Thus, systemic manipulations promoting a younger blood composition provide effective strategies to rejuvenate the aged brain. As a consequence, we can now consider reactivating latent plasticity dormant in the aged CNS as a means to rejuvenate regenerative, synaptic, and cognitive functions late in life, with potential implications even for extending lifespan. PMID:25327899

  1. Altered Proteins in the Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    Elobeid, Adila; Libard, Sylwia; Leino, Marina; Popova, Svetlana N.

    2016-01-01

    We assessed the prevalence of common altered brain proteins in 296 cognitively unimpaired subjects ranging from age 50 to 102 years. The incidence and the stage of hyperphosphorylated-τ (HPτ), β-amyloid, α-synuclein (αS), and transactive response DNA (TDP) binding protein 43 (TDP43)-immunoreactivity (-IR) increased with age. HPτ-IR was observed in 98% of the subjects; the locus coeruleus was solely affected in 46%, and 79% of the subjects were in Braak stages a to II. β-Amyloid was seen in 47% of subjects and the Thal phase correlated with the HPτ Braak stage and age. Intermediate Alzheimer disease-related pathology (ADRP) was seen in 12%; 52% of the subjects with HPτ-IR fulfilled criteria for definite primary age-related tauopathy (PART). The incidence of concomitant pathology (αS, TDP43) did not differ between those with PART and those with ADRP but the former were younger. TDP43-IR was observed in 36%; the most frequently affected region was the medulla; αS-IR was observed in 19% of subjects. In 41% of the subjects from 80 to 89 years at death, 3 altered proteins were seen in the brain. Thus, altered proteins are common in the brains of cognitively unimpaired aged subjects; this should be considered while developing diagnostic biomarkers, particularly for identifying subjects at early stages of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26979082

  2. Altered Proteins in the Aging Brain.

    PubMed

    Elobeid, Adila; Libard, Sylwia; Leino, Marina; Popova, Svetlana N; Alafuzoff, Irina

    2016-04-01

    We assessed the prevalence of common altered brain proteins in 296 cognitively unimpaired subjects ranging from age 50 to 102 years. The incidence and the stage of hyperphosphorylated-τ (HPτ), β-amyloid, α-synuclein (αS), and transactive response DNA (TDP) binding protein 43 (TDP43)-immunoreactivity (-IR) increased with age. HPτ-IR was observed in 98% of the subjects; the locus coeruleus was solely affected in 46%, and 79% of the subjects were in Braak stages a to II. β-Amyloid was seen in 47% of subjects and the Thal phase correlated with the HPτ Braak stage and age. Intermediate Alzheimer disease-related pathology (ADRP) was seen in 12%; 52% of the subjects with HPτ-IR fulfilled criteria for definite primary age-related tauopathy (PART). The incidence of concomitant pathology (αS, TDP43) did not differ between those with PART and those with ADRP but the former were younger. TDP43-IR was observed in 36%; the most frequently affected region was the medulla; αS-IR was observed in 19% of subjects. In 41% of the subjects from 80 to 89 years at death, 3 altered proteins were seen in the brain. Thus, altered proteins are common in the brains of cognitively unimpaired aged subjects; this should be considered while developing diagnostic biomarkers, particularly for identifying subjects at early stages of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26979082

  3. 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.

  4. RELN-expressing Neuron Density in Layer I of the Superior Temporal Lobe is Similar in Human Brains with Autism and in Age-Matched Controls

    PubMed Central

    Camacho, Jasmin; Ejaz, Ehsan; Ariza, Jeanelle; Noctor, Stephen C.; Martínez-Cerdeño, Verónica

    2015-01-01

    Reelin protein (RELN) level is reduced in the cerebral cortex and cerebellum of subjects with autism. RELN is synthesized and secreted by a subpopulation of neurons in the developing cerebral cortex termed Cajal-Retzius (CR) cells. These cells are abundant in the marginal zone during cortical development, many die after development is complete, but a small population persists into adulthood. In adult brains, RELN is secreted by the surviving CR cells, by a subset of GABAergic interneurons in layer I, and by pyramidal cells and GABAergic interneurons in deeper cortical layers. It is widely believed that decreased RELN in layer I of the cerebral cortex of subjects with autism may result from a decrease in the density of RELN expressing neurons in layer I; however, this hypothesis has not been tested. We examined RELN expression in layer I of the adult human cortex and found that 70% of cells express RELN in both control and autistic subjects. We quantified the density of neurons in layer I of the superior temporal cortex of subjects with autism and age-matched control subjects. Our data show that there is no change in the density of neurons in layer I of the cortex of subjects with autism, and therefore suggest that reduced RELN expression in the cerebral cortex of subjects with autism is not a consequence of decreased numbers of RELN-expressing neurons in layer I. Instead reduced RELN may result from abnormal RELN processing, or a decrease in the number of other RELN-expressing neuronal cell types. PMID:25067827

  5. Vascular and extravascular distribution of the ATP-binding cassette transporters ABCB1 and ABCC1 in aged human brain and pituitary

    PubMed Central

    Bernstein, Hans-Gert; Hölzl, Gloria; Dobrowolny, Henrik; Hildebrandt, Jens; Trübner, Kurt; Krohn, Markus; Bogerts, Bernhard; Pahnke, Jens

    2014-01-01

    ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters play an increasing role in the understanding of pathologic peptide deposition in neurodegenerative diseases (NDs), such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. To describe the location of the most important ABC transporters for NDs in human brain tissue, we investigated ABCB1 and ABCC1 immunohistologically in the adult human brain and pituitary. Both transporters have similar but not identical expression patterns. In brain regions with an established blood-brain barrier (BBB), ABCB1 and ABCC1 were ubiquitously expressed in endothelial cells of the microvasculature and in a subset of larger blood vessels (mostly venules). Remarkably, both transporters were also found in fenestrated capillaries in circumventricular organs where the BBB is absent. Moreover, ABCB1 and ABCC1 were also expressed in various non-endothelia cells such as pericytes, astrocytes, choroid plexus epithelia, ventricle ependymal cells, and neurons. With regard to their neuronal expression it was shown that both transporters are located in specific nerve cell populations, which are also immunopositive for three putative cell markers of purinergic cell signalling, namely 5´-nucleotidase, adenosine deaminase and nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase-2. Therefore, we speculate that neuronal expression of ABCB1 and ABCC1 might be linked to adenosinergic/purinergic neuromodulation. Lastly, both transporters were observed in multiple adenohypophyseal cells. PMID:25218792

  6. Poststroke Cell Therapy of the Aged Brain

    PubMed Central

    Popa-Wagner, Aurel; Filfan, Madalina; Uzoni, Adriana; Pourgolafshan, Pouya; Buga, Ana-Maria

    2015-01-01

    During aging, many neurodegenerative disorders are associated with reduced neurogenesis and a decline in the proliferation of stem/progenitor cells. The development of the stem cell (SC), the regenerative therapy field, gained tremendous expectations in the diseases that suffer from the lack of treatment options. Stem cell based therapy is a promising approach to promote neuroregeneration after brain injury and can be potentiated when combined with supportive pharmacological drug treatment, especially in the aged. However, the mechanism of action for a particular grafted cell type, the optimal delivery route, doses, or time window of administration after lesion is still under debate. Today, it is proved that these protections are most likely due to modulatory mechanisms rather than the expected cell replacement. Our group proved that important differences appear in the aged brain compared with young one, that is, the accelerated progression of ischemic area, or the delayed initiation of neurological recovery. In this light, these age-related aspects should be carefully evaluated in the clinical translation of neurorestorative therapies. This review is focused on the current perspectives and suitable sources of stem cells (SCs), mechanisms of action, and the most efficient delivery routes in neurorestoration therapies in the poststroke aged environment. PMID:26347826

  7. Executive dysfunction, brain aging, and political leadership.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Mark; Franklin, David L; Post, Jerrold M

    2014-01-01

    Decision-making is an essential component of executive function, and a critical skill of political leadership. Neuroanatomic localization studies have established the prefrontal cortex as the critical brain site for executive function. In addition to the prefrontal cortex, white matter tracts as well as subcortical brain structures are crucial for optimal executive function. Executive function shows a significant decline beginning at age 60, and this is associated with age-related atrophy of prefrontal cortex, cerebral white matter disease, and cerebral microbleeds. Notably, age-related decline in executive function appears to be a relatively selective cognitive deterioration, generally sparing language and memory function. While an individual may appear to be functioning normally with regard to relatively obvious cognitive functions such as language and memory, that same individual may lack the capacity to integrate these cognitive functions to achieve normal decision-making. From a historical perspective, global decline in cognitive function of political leaders has been alternatively described as a catastrophic event, a slowly progressive deterioration, or a relatively episodic phenomenon. Selective loss of executive function in political leaders is less appreciated, but increased utilization of highly sensitive brain imaging techniques will likely bring greater appreciation to this phenomenon. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was an example of a political leader with a well-described neurodegenerative condition (cerebral amyloid angiopathy) that creates a neuropathological substrate for executive dysfunction. Based on the known neuroanatomical and neuropathological changes that occur with aging, we should probably assume that a significant proportion of political leaders over the age of 65 have impairment of executive function. PMID:25901887

  8. Male brain ages faster: the age and gender dependence of subcortical volumes.

    PubMed

    Király, András; Szabó, Nikoletta; Tóth, Eszter; Csete, Gergő; Faragó, Péter; Kocsis, Krisztián; Must, Anita; Vécsei, László; Kincses, Zsigmond Tamás

    2016-09-01

    Effects of gender on grey matter (GM) volume differences in subcortical structures of the human brain have consistently been reported. Recent research evidence suggests that both gender and brain size influences volume distribution in subcortical areas independently. The goal of this study was to determine the effects of the interplay between brain size, gender and age contributing to volume differences of subcortical GM in the human brain. High-resolution T1-weighted images were acquired from 53 healthy males and 50 age-matched healthy females. Total GM volume was determined using voxel-based morphometry. We used model-based subcortical segmentation analysis to measure the volume of subcortical nuclei. Main effects of gender, brain volume and aging on subcortical structures were examined using multivariate analysis of variance. No significant difference was found in total brain volume between the two genders after correcting for total intracranial volume. Our analysis revealed significantly larger hippocampus volume for females. Additionally, GM volumes of the caudate nucleus, putamen and thalamus displayed a significant age-related decrease in males as compared to females. In contrast to this only the thalamic volume loss proved significant for females. Strikingly, GM volume decreases faster in males than in females emphasizing the interplay between aging and gender on subcortical structures. These findings might have important implications for the interpretation of the effects of unalterable factors (i.e. gender and age) in cross-sectional structural MRI studies. Furthermore, the volume distribution and changes of subcortical structures have been consistently related to several neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g. Parkinson's disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, etc.). Understanding these changes might yield further insight in the course and prognosis of these disorders. PMID:26572143

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  11. The Declining Infrastructure of the Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Great effort has been dedicated to mapping the functional architecture of the brain in health and disease. The neural centers that support cognition and behavior are the “hubs” defining the salient geographic landmarks of the cerebral topography. Similar to urban cartography, however, the functionality of these hubs is critically dependent on the infrastructure permitting the transfer of relevant information from site to site, and this infrastructure is susceptible to deterioration. The groundwork of the brain lies in the form of the complexly organized myelinated nerve fibers responsible for the inter-regional transmission of electrical impulses among distinct neural areas. Damage to the myelin sheath and reduction in the total number of nerve fibers with aging are thought to result in a degradation in the efficiency of communication among neural regions and to contribute to the decline of function in older adults. This article describes selected studies that are relevant to understanding the deterioration in structural connectivity of the aging brain with a focus on potential consequences to functional network activity. First, the neural substrates of connectivity and techniques used in the study of connectivity are described with a focus on neuroimaging methodologies. This is followed with discussion of the negative effects of age on connective integrity, and the possible mechanisms and neural and cognitive consequences of this progressive disconnection. Given the potential for natural repair of certain elements of the connective network, understanding the basis of age-associated decline in connectivity could have important implications with regard to the amelioration of neural dysfunction and the restoration of the infrastructure necessary for optimal function in older adults. PMID:22432418

  12. Memantine - neuroprotective drug in aging brain.

    PubMed

    Karolczak, Dominika; Sawicka, Emilia; Dorszewska, Jolanta; Radel, Anna; Bodnar, Magdalena; Błaszczyk, Agata; Jagielska, Joanna; Marszałek, Andrzej

    2013-10-01

    Aging is the process of progressive accumulation of changes over time, which is additionally connected with increasing susceptibility to some diseases and ultimately leads to death. Aging is associated mainly with loss of permanent cells, e.g. in heart, skeletal muscle and brain. During aging neurons die mainly in the apoptotic way. Apoptosis can be divided into three phases: initiation, execution and degradation. During the execution phase activation of specific enzymes, caspases, is observed. These enzymes are responsible for initiation of the death machinery. Caspase-9 is connected with the internal pathway of apoptosis, which begins at the mitochondrium in response to apoptotic stimulants, such as free radicals, UV radiation or chemotherapeutics. Before the executive phase starts, cytochrome c leaks from the mitochondrium to the cytoplasm, where it joins to the protein Apaf-1 and procaspase-9 and forms a complex called the apoptosome. Then procaspase-9 is converted by autolysis to caspase-9, which subsequently activates procaspase-3 to the active form which ultimately leads to apoptosis. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated a small decrease in caspase-9 and caspase-3 activation during normal aging and an increase in this process after application of stress factors. Also increased apoptosis in the cerebrum after administration of a drug for Alzheimer disease, memantine, to aging rats was observed. Taken together, the results obtained in this study seem to confirm the neuroprotective effect of memantine on increasing levels of cells with active caspase-3 and active caspase-9. It probably improves caspase-dependent apoptosis in the aging brain. PMID:24166606

  13. The impact of aging and gender on brain viscoelasticity.

    PubMed

    Sack, Ingolf; Beierbach, Bernd; Wuerfel, Jens; Klatt, Dieter; Hamhaber, Uwe; Papazoglou, Sebastian; Martus, Peter; Braun, Jürgen

    2009-07-01

    Viscoelasticity is a sensitive measure of the microstructural constitution of soft biological tissue and is increasingly used as a diagnostic marker, e.g. in staging liver fibrosis or characterizing breast tumors. In this study, multifrequency magnetic resonance elastography was used to investigate the in vivo viscoelasticity of healthy human brain in 55 volunteers (23 females) ranging in age from 18 to 88 years. The application of four vibration frequencies in an acoustic range from 25 to 62.5 Hz revealed for the first time how physiological aging changes the global viscosity and elasticity of the brain. Using the rheological springpot model, viscosity and elasticity are combined in a parameter mu that describes the solid-fluid behavior of the tissue and a parameter alpha related to the tissue's microstructure. It is shown that the healthy adult brain undergoes steady parenchymal 'liquefaction' characterized by a continuous decline in mu of 0.8% per year (P<0.001), whereas alpha remains unchanged. Furthermore, significant sex differences were found with female brains being on average 9% more solid-like than their male counterparts rendering women more than a decade 'younger' than men with respect to brain mechanics (P=0.016). These results set the background for using cerebral multifrequency elastography in diagnosing subtle neurodegenerative processes not detectable by other diagnostic methods. PMID:19281851

  14. Disrupted Brain Networks in the Aging HIV+ Population

    PubMed Central

    Jahanshad, Neda; Valcour, Victor G.; Nir, Talia M.; Kohannim, Omid; Busovaca, Edgar; Nicolas, Krista

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Antiretroviral therapies have become widely available, and as a result, individuals infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are living longer, and becoming integrated into the geriatric population. Around half of the HIV+ population shows some degree of cognitive impairment, but it is unknown how their neural networks and brain connectivity compare to those of noninfected people. Here we combined magnetic resonance imaging-based cortical parcellations with high angular resolution diffusion tensor imaging tractography in 55 HIV-seropositive patients and 30 age-matched controls, to map white matter connections between cortical regions. We set out to determine selective virus-associated disruptions in the brain's structural network. All individuals in this study were aged 60–80, with full access to antiretroviral therapy. Frontal and motor connections were compromised in HIV+ individuals. HIV+ people who carried the apolipoprotein E4 allele (ApoE4) genotype—which puts them at even greater risk for neurodegeneration—showed additional network structure deficits in temporal and parietal connections. The ApoE4 genotype interacted with duration of illness. Carriers showed greater brain network inefficiencies the longer they were infected. Neural network deficiencies in HIV+ populations exceed those typical of normal aging, and are worse in those genetically predisposed to brain degeneration. This work isolates neuropathological alterations in HIV+ elders, even when treated with antiretroviral therapy. Network impairments may contribute to the neuropsychological abnormalities in elderly HIV patients, who will soon account for around half of all HIV+ adults. PMID:23240599

  15. 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. PMID:26718834

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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). PMID:25079346

  19. 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. PMID:26910350

  20. Human Brain Reacts to Transcranial Extraocular Light

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26910350

  1. Brain Evolution and Human Neuropsychology: The Inferential Brain Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Koscik, Timothy R.; Tranel, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:22459075

  2. Prefrontal vulnerabilities and whole brain connectivity in aging and depression

    PubMed Central

    Lamar, Melissa; Charlton, Rebecca A.; Ajilore, Olusola; Zhang, Aifeng; Yang, Shaolin; Barrick, Thomas R.; Rhodes, Emma; Kumar, Anand

    2013-01-01

    Studies exploring the underpinnings of age-related neurodegeneration suggest fronto-limbic alterations that are increasingly vulnerable in the presence of disease including late life depression. Less work has assessed the impact of this specific vulnerability on widespread brain circuitry. Seventy-nine older adults (healthy controls=45; late life depression=34) completed translational tasks shown in non-human primates to rely on fronto-limbic networks involving dorsolateral (Self-Ordered Pointing Task) or orbitofrontal (Object Alternation Task) cortices. A sub-sample of participants also completed diffusion tensor imaging for white matter tract quantification (uncinate and cingulum bundle; n=58) and whole brain tract-based spatial statistics (n=62). Despite task associations to specific white matter tracts across both groups, only healthy controls demonstrated significant correlations between widespread tract integrity and cognition. Thus, increasing Object Alternation Task errors were associated with decreasing fractional anisotropy in the uncinate in late life depression; however, only in healthy controls was the uncinate incorporated into a larger network of white matter vulnerability associating fractional anisotropy with Object Alternation Task errors using whole brain tract-based spatial statistics. It appears that the whole brain impact of specific fronto-limbic vulnerabilities in aging may be eclipsed in the presence of disease-specific neuropathology like that seen in late life depression. PMID:23680399

  3. Prefrontal vulnerabilities and whole brain connectivity in aging and depression.

    PubMed

    Lamar, Melissa; Charlton, Rebecca A; Ajilore, Olusola; Zhang, Aifeng; Yang, Shaolin; Barrick, Thomas R; Rhodes, Emma; Kumar, Anand

    2013-07-01

    Studies exploring the underpinnings of age-related neurodegeneration suggest fronto-limbic alterations that are increasingly vulnerable in the presence of disease including late life depression. Less work has assessed the impact of this specific vulnerability on widespread brain circuitry. Seventy-nine older adults (healthy controls=45; late life depression=34) completed translational tasks shown in non-human primates to rely on fronto-limbic networks involving dorsolateral (Self-Ordered Pointing Task) or orbitofrontal (Object Alternation Task) cortices. A sub-sample of participants also completed diffusion tensor imaging for white matter tract quantification (uncinate and cingulum bundle; n=58) and whole brain tract-based spatial statistics (n=62). Despite task associations to specific white matter tracts across both groups, only healthy controls demonstrated significant correlations between widespread tract integrity and cognition. Thus, increasing Object Alternation Task errors were associated with decreasing fractional anisotropy in the uncinate in late life depression; however, only in healthy controls was the uncinate incorporated into a larger network of white matter vulnerability associating fractional anisotropy with Object Alternation Task errors using whole brain tract-based spatial statistics. It appears that the whole brain impact of specific fronto-limbic vulnerabilities in aging may be eclipsed in the presence of disease-specific neuropathology like that seen in late life depression. PMID:23680399

  4. Want to Keep an Aging Brain Sharp? Try the Stairs

    MedlinePlus

    ... of stairs and those with higher levels of education had "younger" brains, the researchers found. Specifically, physical brain age was nearly one year lower for each year of education, the study found. For every flight of stairs ...

  5. 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

    2014-09-01

    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

  6. Brain aging in the oldest-old.

    PubMed

    von Gunten, A; Ebbing, K; Imhof, A; Giannakopoulos, P; Kövari, E

    2010-01-01

    Nonagenarians and centenarians represent a quickly growing age group worldwide. In parallel, the prevalence of dementia increases substantially, but how to define dementia in this oldest-old age segment remains unclear. Although the idea that the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) decreases after age 90 has now been questioned, the oldest-old still represent a population relatively resistant to degenerative brain processes. Brain aging is characterised by the formation of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) and senile plaques (SPs) as well as neuronal and synaptic loss in both cognitively intact individuals and patients with AD. In nondemented cases NFTs are usually restricted to the hippocampal formation, whereas the progressive involvement of the association areas in the temporal neocortex parallels the development of overt clinical signs of dementia. In contrast, there is little correlation between the quantitative distribution of SP and AD severity. The pattern of lesion distribution and neuronal loss changes in extreme aging relative to the younger-old. In contrast to younger cases where dementia is mainly related to severe NFT formation within adjacent components of the medial and inferior aspects of the temporal cortex, oldest-old individuals display a preferential involvement of the anterior part of the CA1 field of the hippocampus whereas the inferior temporal and frontal association areas are relatively spared. This pattern suggests that both the extent of NFT development in the hippocampus as well as a displacement of subregional NFT distribution within the Cornu ammonis (CA) fields may be key determinants of dementia in the very old. Cortical association areas are relatively preserved. The progression of NFT formation across increasing cognitive impairment was significantly slower in nonagenarians and centenarians compared to younger cases in the CA1 field and entorhinal cortex. The total amount of amyloid and the neuronal loss in these regions were also

  7. Brain plasticity and motor practice in cognitive aging

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. 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)

  9. 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. PMID:26060327

  10. 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. PMID:26621705

  11. Preserved brain metabolic activity at the age of 96 years.

    PubMed

    Apostolova, Ivayla; Lange, Catharina; Spies, Lothar; Ritter, Kerstin; Mäurer, Anja; Seybold, Joachim; Fiebach, Jochen B; Steinhagen-Thiessen, Elisabeth; Buchert, Ralph

    2016-09-01

    Loss of brain tissue becomes notable to cerebral magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at age 30 years, and progresses more rapidly from mid 60s. The incidence of dementia increases exponentially with age, and is all too frequent in the oldest old (≥ 90 years of age), the fastest growing age group in many countries. However, brain pathology and cognitive decline are not inevitable, even at extremely old age (den Dunnen et al., 2008). PMID:27160670

  12. 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. PMID:25316342

  13. Cognitive Skills and the Aging Brain: What to Expect.

    PubMed

    Howieson, Diane B

    2015-01-01

    Whether it's a special episode on the PBS series, "The Secret Life of the Brain" or an entire issue dedicated to the topic in the journal Science, a better understanding of the aging brain is viewed as a key to an improved quality of life in a world where people live longer. Despite dementia and other neurobiological disorders that are associated with aging, improved imaging has revealed that even into our seventies, our brains continue producing new neurons. Our author writes about how mental health functions react to the normal aging process, including why an aging brain may even form the basis for wisdom. PMID:27408669

  14. Challenges of multimorbidity of the aging brain: a critical update.

    PubMed

    Jellinger, Kurt A; Attems, Johannes

    2015-04-01

    A major problem in elderly patients is the high incidence of multiple pathologies, referred to as multimorbidity, in the aging brain. It has been increasingly recognized that co-occurrence of neurodegenerative proteinopathies and other pathologies including cerebrovascular disorders is a frequent event in the brains of both cognitively intact and impaired aged subjects. Although clinical and neuropathological diagnostic criteria of the major neurodegenerative diseases have been improved, major challenges arise from cerebral multimorbidity, and the thresholds to cause clinical overt dementia are ill defined. More than 80% of aged human brains show neurodegenerative non-Alzheimer type proteinopathies and other pathologies which, however, frequently have been missed clinically and are even difficult to identify at neuropathological examination. Autopsy studies differ in selection criteria and the applied evaluation methods. Therefore, irrespective of the clinical symptoms, the frequency of cerebral pathologies vary considerably: Alzheimer-related pathology is seen in 19-100%, with "pure" Alzheimer's disease (AD) in 17-72%, Lewy pathology in 6-39% (AD + Lewy disease 9-28%), vascular pathologies in 28-93% (10.7-78% "pure" vascular dementia), TDP-43 proteinopathy in 6-39%, hippocampal sclerosis in 8-1%, and mixed pathologies in 10-93%. These data clearly suggest that pathologically deposited proteins in neurodegenerating diseases mutually interact and are influenced by other factors, in particular cardiovascular and cerebrovascular ones, to promote cognitive decline and other clinical symptoms. It is obvious that cognitive and other neuropsychiatric impairment in the aged result from a multimorbid condition in the CNS rather than from a single disease and that the number of complex pathologies progresses with increasing age. These facts have implications for improvement of the clinical diagnosis and prognosis, the development of specific biomarkers, preventive strategies

  15. The origins of human ageing.

    PubMed Central

    Kirkwood, T B

    1997-01-01

    The origins of human ageing are to be found in the origins and evolution of senescence as a general feature in the life histories of higher animals. Ageing is an intriguing problem in evolutionary biology because a trait that limits the duration of life, including the fertile period, has a negative impact on Darwinian fitness. Current theory suggests that senescence occurs because the force of natural selection declines with age and because longevity is only acquired at some metabolic cost. In effect, organisms may trade late survival for enhanced reproductive investments in earlier life. The comparative study of ageing supports the general evolutionary theory and reveals that human senescence, while broadly similar to senescence in other mammalian species, has distinct features, such as menopause, that may derive from the interplay of biological and social evolution. PMID:9460059

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    The New South Wales Tissue Resource Centre (NSW TRC) 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 disease (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;27:951–61) and proteomics (Matsumoto et al. Expert Rev Proteomics 2007;4:539–52). PMID:24033426

  18. The Brain Response to Peripheral Insulin Declines with Age: A Contribution of the Blood-Brain Barrier?

    PubMed Central

    Heni, Martin; Maetzler, Walter; Fritsche, Andreas; Häring, Hans-Ulrich; Hennige, Anita M.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives It is a matter of debate whether impaired insulin action originates from a defect at the neural level or impaired transport of the hormone into the brain. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of aging on insulin concentrations in the periphery and the central nervous system as well as its impact on insulin-dependent brain activity. Methods Insulin, glucose and albumin concentrations were determined in 160 paired human serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples. Additionally, insulin was applied in young and aged mice by subcutaneous injection or intracerebroventricularly to circumvent the blood-brain barrier. Insulin action and cortical activity were assessed by Western blotting and electrocorticography radiotelemetric measurements. Results In humans, CSF glucose and insulin concentrations were tightly correlated with the respective serum/plasma concentrations. The CSF/serum ratio for insulin was reduced in older subjects while the CSF/serum ratio for albumin increased with age like for most other proteins. Western blot analysis in murine whole brain lysates revealed impaired phosphorylation of AKT (P-AKT) in aged mice following peripheral insulin stimulation whereas P-AKT was comparable to levels in young mice after intracerebroventricular insulin application. As readout for insulin action in the brain, insulin-mediated cortical brain activity instantly increased in young mice subcutaneously injected with insulin but was significantly reduced and delayed in aged mice during the treatment period. When insulin was applied intracerebroventricularly into aged animals, brain activity was readily improved. Conclusions This study discloses age-dependent changes in insulin CSF/serum ratios in humans. In the elderly, cerebral insulin resistance might be partially attributed to an impaired transport of insulin into the central nervous system. PMID:25965336

  19. Adding fuel to the fire: the impact of stress on the ageing brain.

    PubMed

    Prenderville, Jack A; Kennedy, Paul J; Dinan, Timothy G; Cryan, John F

    2015-01-01

    Both ageing and chronic stress are associated with altered brain plasticity, dysregulation of the immune system, and an increased risk of developing brain disorders; all of which have consequences for cognitive and emotional processing. Here we examine the similarities between behavioural changes during ageing and stress altered behaviours (anxiety, depressive-like behaviour, cognition, and sociability) in rodents and humans. The molecular mechanisms hypothesised to mediate age-related changes in brain function including dysfunction of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, dysregulation of neurotransmission and neurotrophic factor signalling, increased inflammatory state, genetic and epigenetic changes, oxidative stress, metabolic changes, and changes in the microbiota–gut–brain axis are discussed. Finally, we explore how the already stressed aged brain psychologically and physiologically responds to external stressors. PMID:25705750

  20. The beneficial effects of tree nuts on the aging brain

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dietary patterns may play an important role in protecting the brain from the cellular and cognitive dysfunction associated with the aging process and neurodegenerative diseases. Tree nuts are showing promise as possible dietary interventions for age-related brain dysfunction. Tree nuts are an impo...

  1. 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

  2. Proteomic identification of brain proteins in the canine model of human aging following a long-term treatment with antioxidants and a program of behavioral enrichment: relevance to Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Opii, Wycliffe O; Joshi, Gururaj; Head, Elizabeth; Milgram, N William; Muggenburg, Bruce A; Klein, Jon B; Pierce, William M; Cotman, Carl W; Butterfield, D Allan

    2008-01-01

    Aging and age-related disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) are usually accompanied by oxidative stress as one of the main mechanisms contributing to neurodegeneration and cognitive decline. Aging canines develop cognitive dysfunction and neuropathology similar to those seen in humans, and the use of antioxidants results in reductions in oxidative damage and in improvement in cognitive function in this canine model of human aging. In the present study, the effect of a long-term treatment with an antioxidant-fortified diet and a program of behavioral enrichment on oxidative damage was studied in aged canines. To identify the neurobiological mechanisms underlying these treatment effects, the parietal cortex from 23 beagle dogs (8.1-12.4 years) were treated for 2.8 years in one of four treatment groups: i.e., control food-control behavioral enrichment (CC); control food-behavioral enrichment (CE); antioxidant food-control behavioral enrichment (CA); enriched environment-antioxidant-fortified food (EA). We analyzed the levels of the oxidative stress biomarkers, i.e., protein carbonyls, 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT), and the lipid peroxidation product, 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE), and observed a decrease in their levels on all treatments when compared to control, with the most significant effects found in the combined treatment, EA. Since EA treatment was most effective, we also carried out a comparative proteomics study to identify specific brain proteins that were differentially expressed and used a parallel redox proteomics approach to identify specific brain proteins that were less oxidized following EA. The specific protein carbonyl levels of glutamate dehydrogenase [NAD (P)], glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), alpha-enolase, neurofilament triplet L protein, glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and fascin actin bundling protein were significantly reduced in brain of EA-treated dogs compared to control. We also observed significant increases in expression of Cu

  3. Protein phosphorylation systems in postmortem human brain

    SciTech Connect

    Walaas, S.I.; Perdahl-Wallace, E.; Winblad, B.; Greengard, P. )

    1989-01-01

    Protein phosphorylation systems regulated by cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cyclic AMP), or calcium in conjunction with calmodulin or phospholipid/diacylglycerol, have been studied by phosphorylation in vitro of particulate and soluble fractions from human postmortem brain samples. One-dimensional or two-dimensional gel electrophoretic protein separations were used for analysis. Protein phosphorylation catalyzed by cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase was found to be highly active in both particulate and soluble preparations throughout the human CNS, with groups of both widely distributed and region-specific substrates being observed in different brain nuclei. Dopamine-innervated parts of the basal ganglia and cerebral cortex contained the phosphoproteins previously observed in rodent basal ganglia. In contrast, calcium/phospholipid-dependent and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein phosphorylation systems were less prominent in human postmortem brain than in rodent brain, and only a few widely distributed substrates for these protein kinases were found. Protein staining indicated that postmortem proteolysis, particularly of high-molecular-mass proteins, was prominent in deeply located, subcortical regions in the human brain. Our results indicate that it is feasible to use human postmortem brain samples, when obtained under carefully controlled conditions, for qualitative studies on brain protein phosphorylation. Such studies should be of value in studies on human neurological and/or psychiatric disorders.

  4. 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

  5. Transcriptional neoteny in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Somel, Mehmet; Franz, Henriette; Yan, Zheng; Lorenc, Anna; Guo, Song; Giger, Thomas; Kelso, Janet; Nickel, Birgit; Dannemann, Michael; Bahn, Sabine; Webster, Maree J.; Weickert, Cynthia S.; Lachmann, Michael; Pääbo, Svante; Khaitovich, Philipp

    2009-01-01

    In development, timing is of the utmost importance, and the timing of developmental processes often changes as organisms evolve. In human evolution, developmental retardation, or neoteny, has been proposed as a possible mechanism that contributed to the rise of many human-specific features, including an increase in brain size and the emergence of human-specific cognitive traits. We analyzed mRNA expression in the prefrontal cortex of humans, chimpanzees, and rhesus macaques to determine whether human-specific neotenic changes are present at the gene expression level. We show that the brain transcriptome is dramatically remodeled during postnatal development and that developmental changes in the human brain are indeed delayed relative to other primates. This delay is not uniform across the human transcriptome but affects a specific subset of genes that play a potential role in neural development. PMID:19307592

  6. Insulin, Aging, and the Brain: Mechanisms and Implications

    PubMed Central

    Akintola, Abimbola A.; van Heemst, Diana

    2015-01-01

    There is now an impressive body of literature implicating insulin and insulin signaling in successful aging and longevity. New information from in vivo and in vitro studies concerning insulin and insulin receptors has extended our understanding of the physiological role of insulin in the brain. However, the relevance of these to aging and longevity remains to be elucidated. Here, we review advances in our understanding of the physiological role of insulin in the brain, how insulin gets into the brain, and its relevance to aging and longevity. Furthermore, we examine possible future therapeutic applications and implications of insulin in the context of available models of delayed and accelerated aging. PMID:25705204

  7. Mapping genetic influences on human brain structure.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Paul; Cannon, Tyrone D; Toga, Arthur W

    2002-01-01

    Recent advances in brain imaging and genetics have empowered the mapping of genetic and environmental influences on the human brain. These techniques shed light on the 'nature/nurture' debate, revealing how genes determine individual differences in intelligence quotient (IQ) or risk for disease. They visualize which aspects of brain structure and function are heritable, and to what degree, linking these features with behavioral or cognitive traits or disease phenotypes. In genetically transmitted disorders such as schizophrenia, patterns of brain structure can be associated with increased disease liability, and sites can be mapped where non-genetic triggers may initiate disease. We recently developed a large-scale computational brain atlas, including data components from the Finnish Twin registry, to store information on individual variations in brain structure and their heritability. Algorithms from random field theory, anatomical modeling, and population genetics were combined to detect a genetic continuum in which brain structure is heavily genetically determined in some areas but not others. These algorithmic advances motivate studies of disease in which the normative atlas acts as a quantitative reference for the heritability of structural differences and deficits in patient populations. The resulting genetic brain maps isolate biological markers for inherited traits and disease susceptibility, which may serve as targets for genetic linkage and association studies. Computational methods from brain imaging and genetics can be fruitfully merged, to shed light on the inheritance of personality differences and behavioral traits, and the genetic transmission of diseases that affect the human brain. PMID:12553492

  8. Visceral adipose tissue inflammation is associated with age-related brain changes and ischemic brain damage in aged mice.

    PubMed

    Shin, Jin A; Jeong, Sae Im; Kim, Minsuk; Yoon, Joo Chun; Kim, Hee-Sun; Park, Eun-Mi

    2015-11-01

    Visceral adipose tissue is accumulated with aging. An increase in visceral fat accompanied by low-grade inflammation is associated with several adult-onset diseases. However, the effects of visceral adipose tissue inflammation on the normal and ischemic brains of aged are not clearly defined. To examine the role of visceral adipose tissue inflammation, we evaluated inflammatory cytokines in the serum, visceral adipose tissue, and brain as well as blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability in aged male mice (20 months) underwent sham or visceral fat removal surgery compared with the young mice (2.5 months). Additionally, ischemic brain injury was compared in young and aged mice with sham and visceral fat removal surgery. Interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α levels in examined organs were increased in aged mice compared with the young mice, and these levels were reduced in the mice with visceral fat removal. Increased BBB permeability with reduced expression of tight junction proteins in aged sham mice were also decreased in mice with visceral fat removal. After focal ischemic injury, aged mice with visceral fat removal showed a reduction in infarct volumes, BBB permeability, and levels of proinflammatory cytokines in the ischemic brain compared with sham mice, although the neurological outcomes were not significantly improved. In addition, further upregulated visceral adipose tissue inflammation in response to ischemic brain injury was attenuated in mice with visceral fat removal. These results suggest that visceral adipose tissue inflammation is associated with age-related changes in the brain and contributes to the ischemic brain damage in the aged mice. We suggest that visceral adiposity should be considered as a factor affecting brain health and ischemic brain damage in the aged population. PMID:26184082

  9. Is the social brain theory applicable to human individual differences? Relationship between sociability personality dimension and brain size.

    PubMed

    Horváth, Klára; Martos, János; Mihalik, Béla; Bódizs, Róbert

    2011-01-01

    Our study intends to examine whether the social brain theory is applicable to human individual differences. According to the social brain theory primates have larger brains as it could be expected from their body sizes due to the adaptation to a more complex social life. Regarding humans there were few studies about the relationship between theory of mind and frontal and temporal brain lobes. We hypothesized that these brain lobes, as well as the whole cerebrum and neocortex are in connection with the Sociability personality dimension that is associated with individuals' social lives. Our findings support this hypothesis as Sociability correlated positively with the examined brain structures if we control the effects of body size differences and age. These results suggest that the social brain theory can be extended to human interindividual differences and they have some implications to personality psychology too. PMID:22947971

  10. Development of Human Brain Structural Networks Through Infancy and Childhood

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:24335033

  11. Is reproductive ageing controlled by the brain?

    PubMed

    Gore, Andrea C

    2007-08-01

    Female reproductive function is controlled by complex interactions of the brain, pituitary gland and ovary. Each of these organs produces unique hormones, and each hormone acts upon the other organs to affect a response. Differentiating the causes and the consequences of reproductive senescence in mammals is thus a 'chicken and egg' puzzle. Surprisingly, recent evidence indicates a more important role for the brain in the initiation and transition to reproductive senescence. PMID:17620108

  12. 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/). PMID:23861951

  13. Blood-borne revitalization of the aged brain

    PubMed Central

    Castellano, Joseph M.; Kirby, Elizabeth D.; Wyss-Coray, Tony

    2016-01-01

    In the modern medical era, more diverse and effective treatment options have translated into increased life expectancy. With this increased lifespan comes increased age-associated disease and the dire need to understand the underlying causes so that therapies can be designed to mitigate the burden to health and the economy. Aging exacts a seemingly inevitable, multi-system deterioration of function that acts as a risk factor for a variety of age-related disorders, including those that devastate organs of limited regenerative potential such as the brain. Rather than studying the brain and mechanisms that govern its aging in isolation from other organ systems, an emerging approach is to understand the relatively unappreciated communication existing between the brain and the systemic environment. Revisiting classical methods of experimental physiology in animal models has uncovered surprising regenerative activity within young blood with translational implications for aging liver, muscle, brain and other organs. Surprisingly, soluble factors present in young or aged blood are sufficient to improve or impair cognitive function, respectively, suggesting an aging continuum of brain-relevant systemic factors. The age-associated plasma chemokine CCL11 has been shown to impair young brain function while GDF11 has been reported to increase the generation of neurons in aged mice. However, the identities of specific factors mediating memory-enhancing effects of young blood and their mechanisms of action remain enigmatic. Here we review recent brain rejuvenation studies in the broader context of systemic rejuvenation research. We discuss putative mechanisms for blood-borne brain rejuvenation while suggesting promising avenues for future research and development of therapies. PMID:26237737

  14. Blood-Borne Revitalization of the Aged Brain.

    PubMed

    Castellano, Joseph M; Kirby, Elizabeth D; Wyss-Coray, Tony

    2015-10-01

    In the modern medical era, more diverse and effective treatment options have translated to increased life expectancy. With this increased life span comes increased age-associated disease and the dire need to understand underlying causes so that therapies can be designed to mitigate the burden to health and the economy. Aging exacts a seemingly inevitable multisystem deterioration of function that acts as a risk factor for a variety of age-related disorders, including those that devastate organs of limited regenerative potential, such as the brain. Rather than studying the brain and mechanisms that govern its aging in isolation from other organ systems, an emerging approach is to understand the relatively unappreciated communication that exists between the brain and systemic environment. Revisiting classical methods of experimental physiology in animal models has uncovered surprising regenerative activity in young blood with translational implications for the aging liver, muscle, brain, and other organs. Soluble factors present in young or aged blood are sufficient to improve or impair cognitive function, respectively, suggesting an aging continuum of brain-relevant systemic factors. The age-associated plasma chemokine CCL11 has been shown to impair young brain function while GDF11 has been reported to increase the generation of neurons in aged mice. However, the identities of specific factors mediating memory-enhancing effects of young blood and their mechanisms of action are enigmatic. Here we review brain rejuvenation studies in the broader context of systemic rejuvenation research. We discuss putative mechanisms for blood-borne brain rejuvenation and suggest promising avenues for future research and development of therapies. PMID:26237737

  15. The human parental brain: In vivo neuroimaging

    PubMed Central

    Swain, James E.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:21036196

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

    PubMed Central

    Mora, Francisco

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Age-dependent expression of VEGFR2 in deep brain arteries in small vessel disease, CADASIL, and healthy brains.

    PubMed

    Ahmed-Jushuf, Fiyyaz; Jiwa, Nadim S; Arwani, Anum S; Foot, Peter; Bridges, Leslie R; Kalaria, Raj N; Esiri, Margaret M; Hainsworth, Atticus H

    2016-06-01

    Vascular myocytes are central to brain aging. Small vessel disease (SVD; arteriolosclerosis) is a widespread cause of lacunar stroke and vascular dementia and is characterized by fibrosis and depletion of vascular myocytes in small penetrating arteries. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is associated with brain aging, and Immunolabeling for vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) is a potent determinant of cell fate. Here, we tested whether VEGFR2 in vascular myocytes is associated with older age and SVD in human brain. Immunolabeling for VEGFR2 in deep gray matter was assessed in older people with or without moderate-severe SVD or in younger people without brain pathology or with a monogenic form of SVD (Cerebral Autosomal-Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy). All cases were without Alzheimer's disease pathology. Myocyte VEGFR2 was associated with increasing age (p = 0.0026) but not with SVD pathology or with sclerotic index or blood vessel density. We conclude that VEGFR2 is consistently expressed in small artery myocytes of older people and may mediate effects of VEGF on brain vascular aging. PMID:27143427

  19. Structural brain changes in aging: courses, causes and cognitive consequences.

    PubMed

    Fjell, Anders M; Walhovd, Kristine B

    2010-01-01

    The structure of the brain is constantly changing from birth throughout the lifetime, meaning that normal aging, free from dementia, is associated with structural brain changes. This paper reviews recent evidence from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies about age-related changes in the brain. The main conclusions are that (1) the brain shrinks in volume and the ventricular system expands in healthy aging. However, the pattern of changes is highly heterogeneous, with the largest changes seen in the frontal and temporal cortex, and in the putamen, thalamus, and accumbens. With modern approaches to analysis of MRI data, changes in cortical thickness and subcortical volume can be tracked over periods as short as one year, with annual reductions of between 0.5% and 1.0% in most brain areas. (2) The volumetric brain reductions in healthy aging are likely only to a minor extent related to neuronal loss. Rather, shrinkage of neurons, reductions of synaptic spines, and lower numbers of synapses probably account for the reductions in grey matter. In addition, the length of myelinated axons is greatly reduced, up to almost 50%. (3) Reductions in specific cognitive abilities--for instance processing speed, executive functions, and episodic memory--are seen in healthy aging. Such reductions are to a substantial degree mediated by neuroanatomical changes, meaning that between 25% and 100% of the differences between young and old participants in selected cognitive functions can be explained by group differences in structural brain characteristics. PMID:20879692

  20. Aging masks detection of radiation-induced brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Lei; Olson, John; D’Agostino, Ralph; Linville, Constance; Nicolle, Michelle M.; Robbins, Michael E.; Wheeler, Kenneth T.; Brunso-Bechtold, Judy K.

    2011-01-01

    Fractionated partial or whole-brain irradiation (fWBI) is a widely used, effective treatment for primary and metastatic brain tumors, but it also produces radiation-induced brain injury, including cognitive impairment. Radiation-induced neural changes are particularly problematic for elderly brain tumor survivors who also experience age-dependent cognitive impairment. Accordingly, we investigated, i] radiation-induced cognitive impairment, and ii] potential biomarkers of radiation-induced brain injury in a rat model of aging. Fischer 344 × Brown Norway rats received fractionated whole-brain irradiation (fWBI rats, 40 Gy, 8 fractions over 4 wk) or sham-irradiation (Sham-IR rats) at 12 months of age; all analyses were performed at 26–30 months of age. Spatial learning and memory were measured using the Morris water maze (MWM), hippocampal metabolites were measured using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS), and hippocampal glutamate receptor subunits were evaluated using Western blots. Young rats (7–10 month-old) were included to control for age effects. The results revealed that both Sham-IR and fWBI rats exhibited age-dependent impairments in MWM performance; fWBI induced additional impairments in the reversal MWM. 1H MRS revealed age-dependent decreases in neuronal markers, increases in glial markers, but no detectable fWBI-dependent changes. Western blot analysis revealed age-dependent, but not fWBI-dependent, glutamate subunit declines. Although previous studies demonstrated fWBI-induced changes in cognition, glutamate subunits, and brain metabolites in younger rats, age-dependent changes in these parameters appear to mask their detection in old rats, a phenomenon also likely to occur in elderly fWBI patients >70 years of age. PMID:21338580

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Data for mitochondrial proteomic alterations in the aging mouse brain

    PubMed Central

    Stauch, Kelly L.; Purnell, Phillip R.; Villeneuve, Lance M.; Fox, Howard S.

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondria are dynamic organelles critical for many cellular processes, including energy generation. Thus, mitochondrial dysfunction likely plays a role in the observed alterations in brain glucose metabolism during aging. Despite implications of mitochondrial alterations during brain aging, comprehensive quantitative proteomic studies remain limited. Therefore, to characterize the global age-associated mitochondrial proteomic changes in the brain, we analyzed mitochondria isolated from the brain of 5-, 12-, and 24-month old mice using quantitative mass spectrometry. We identified changes in the expression of proteins important for biological processes involved in the generation of precursor metabolites and energy through the breakdown of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. These results are significant because we identified age-associated proteomic changes suggestive of altered mitochondrial catabolic reactions during brain aging. The proteomic data described here can be found in the PRIDE Archive using the reference number PXD001370. A more comprehensive analysis of this data may be obtained from the article “Proteomic analysis and functional characterization of mouse brain mitochondria during aging reveal alterations in energy metabolism” in PROTEOMICS. PMID:26217775

  6. 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

  7. Multiple aldehyde reductases of human brain.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, P L; Wermuth, B; von Wartburg, J P

    1980-01-01

    Human brain contains four forms of aldehyde reducing enzymes. One major activity, designated AR3, has properties indicating its identity with the NADPH-dependent aldehyde reductase, EC 1.1.1.2. The other major form of human brain enzyme, AR1, which is also NADPH-dependent, reduces both aldehyde and ketone-containing substrates, including vitamin K3 (menadione) and daunorubicin, a cancer chemotherapeutic agent. This enzyme is very sensitive to inhibition by the flavonoids quercitrin and quercetine, and may be analogous to a daunorubicin reductase previously described in liver of other species. One minor form of human brain aldehyde reductase, AR2, demonstrates substrate specificity and inhibitor sensitivity which suggest its similarity to aldose reductases found in lens and other tissues of many species. This enzyme, which can also use NADH as cofactor to some extent, is the most active in reducing the aldehyde derivatives of the biogenic amines. The fourth human brain enzyme ("SSA reductase") differs from the other forms in its ability to use NADH as well as or better than NADPH as cofactor, and in its molecular weight, which is nearly twice that of the other forms. It is quite specific for succinic semialdehyde (SSA) as substrate, and was found to be significantly inhibited only by quercetine and quercitrin. AR3 can also reduce SSA, and both enzymes may contribute to the production of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid in vivo. These results indicate that the human brain aldehyde reductases can play relatively specific physiologic roles. PMID:7424738

  8. 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.

  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. 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…

  11. 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. PMID:26858432

  12. 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.

  13. Cholesterol metabolites exported from human brain.

    PubMed

    Iuliano, Luigi; Crick, Peter J; Zerbinati, Chiara; Tritapepe, Luigi; Abdel-Khalik, Jonas; Poirot, Marc; Wang, Yuqin; Griffiths, William J

    2015-07-01

    The human brain contains approximately 25% of the body's cholesterol. The brain is separated from the circulation by the blood brain barrier. While cholesterol will not passes this barrier, oxygenated forms of cholesterol can cross the barrier. Here by measuring the difference in the oxysterol content of blood plasma in the jugular vein and in a forearm vein by mass spectrometry (MS) we were able to determine the flux of more than 20 cholesterol metabolites between brain and the circulation. We confirm that 24S-hydroxycholesterol is exported from brain at a rate of about 2-3mg/24h. Gas chromatography (GC)-MS data shows that the cholesterol metabolites 5α-hydroxy-6-oxocholesterol (3β,5α-dihydroxycholestan-6-one), 7β-hydroxycholesterol and 7-oxocholesterol, generally considered to be formed through reactive oxygen species, are similarly exported from brain at rates of about 0.1, 2 and 2mg/24h, respectively. Although not to statistical significance both GC-MS and liquid chromatography (LC)-MS methods indicate that (25R)26-hydroxycholesterol is imported to brain, while LC-MS indicates that 7α-hydroxy-3-oxocholest-4-enoic acid is exported from brain. PMID:25668615

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Influence of Age on Brain Edema Formation, Secondary Brain Damage and Inflammatory Response after Brain Trauma in Mice

    PubMed Central

    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. Gene Expression Switching of Receptor Subunits in Human Brain Development

    PubMed Central

    Bar-Shira, Ossnat; Maor, Ronnie; Chechik, Gal

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic receptors in the human brain consist of multiple protein subunits, many of which have multiple variants, coded by different genes, and are differentially expressed across brain regions and developmental stages. The brain can tune the electrophysiological properties of synapses to regulate plasticity and information processing by switching from one protein variant to another. Such condition-dependent variant switch during development has been demonstrated in several neurotransmitter systems including NMDA and GABA. Here we systematically detect pairs of receptor-subunit variants that switch during the lifetime of the human brain by analyzing postmortem expression data collected in a population of donors at various ages and brain regions measured using microarray and RNA-seq. To further detect variant pairs that co-vary across subjects, we present a method to quantify age-corrected expression correlation in face of strong temporal trends. This is achieved by computing the correlations in the residual expression beyond a cubic-spline model of the population temporal trend, and can be seen as a nonlinear version of partial correlations. Using these methods, we detect multiple new pairs of context dependent variants. For instance, we find a switch from GLRA2 to GLRA3 that differs from the known switch in the rat. We also detect an early switch from HTR1A to HTR5A whose trends are negatively correlated and find that their age-corrected expression is strongly positively correlated. Finally, we observe that GRIN2B switch to GRIN2A occurs mostly during embryonic development, presumably earlier than observed in rodents. These results provide a systematic map of developmental switching in the neurotransmitter systems of the human brain. PMID:26636753

  18. Structural brain aging and speech production: a surface-based brain morphometry study.

    PubMed

    Tremblay, Pascale; Deschamps, Isabelle

    2016-07-01

    While there has been a growing number of studies examining the neurofunctional correlates of speech production over the past decade, the neurostructural correlates of this immensely important human behaviour remain less well understood, despite the fact that previous studies have established links between brain structure and behaviour, including speech and language. In the present study, we thus examined, for the first time, the relationship between surface-based cortical thickness (CT) and three different behavioural indexes of sublexical speech production: response duration, reaction times and articulatory accuracy, in healthy young and older adults during the production of simple and complex meaningless sequences of syllables (e.g., /pa-pa-pa/ vs. /pa-ta-ka/). The results show that each behavioural speech measure was sensitive to the complexity of the sequences, as indicated by slower reaction times, longer response durations and decreased articulatory accuracy in both groups for the complex sequences. Older adults produced longer speech responses, particularly during the production of complex sequence. Unique age-independent and age-dependent relationships between brain structure and each of these behavioural measures were found in several cortical and subcortical regions known for their involvement in speech production, including the bilateral anterior insula, the left primary motor area, the rostral supramarginal gyrus, the right inferior frontal sulcus, the bilateral putamen and caudate, and in some region less typically associated with speech production, such as the posterior cingulate cortex. PMID:26336952

  19. Blueberries and the Aging Brain: Beyond Antioxidants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wild blueberries, native to North America, have been evaluated as having anti-aging properties for nerve cells and nerve cell functions such as neuromotor skills and memory. Aged animals fed blueberries in their diets for eight weeks showed improvements in short-term memory, coordination, balance, m...

  20. Determinants of iron accumulation in the normal aging brain.

    PubMed

    Pirpamer, Lukas; Hofer, Edith; Gesierich, Benno; De Guio, François; Freudenberger, Paul; Seiler, Stephan; Duering, Marco; Jouvent, Eric; Duchesnay, Edouard; Dichgans, Martin; Ropele, Stefan; Schmidt, Reinhold

    2016-07-01

    In a recent postmortem study, R2* relaxometry in gray matter (GM) of the brain has been validated as a noninvasive measure for iron content in brain tissue. Iron accumulation in the normal aging brain is a common finding and relates to brain maturation and degeneration. The goal of this study was to assess the determinants of iron accumulation during brain aging. The study cohort consisted of 314 healthy community-dwelling participants of the Austrian Stroke Prevention Study. Their age ranged from 38-82 years. Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging was performed on 3T and included R2* mapping, based on a 3D multi-echo gradient echo sequence. The median of R2* values was measured in all GM regions, which were segmented automatically using FreeSurfer. We investigated 25 possible determinants for cerebral iron deposition. These included demographics, brain volume, lifestyle factors, cerebrovascular risk factors, serum levels of iron, and single nucleotide polymorphisms related to iron regulating genes (rs1800562, rs3811647, rs1799945, and rs1049296). The body mass index (BMI) was significantly related to R2* in 15/32 analyzed brain regions with the strongest correlations found in the amygdala (p = 0.0091), medial temporal lobe (p = 0.0002), and hippocampus (p ≤ 0.0001). Further associations to R2* values were found in deep GM for age and smoking. No significant associations were found for gender, GM volume, serum levels of iron, or iron-associated genetic polymorphisms. In conclusion, besides age, the BMI and smoking are the only significant determinants of brain iron accumulation in normally aging subjects. Smoking relates to iron deposition in the basal ganglia, whereas higher BMI is associated with iron content in the neocortex following an Alzheimer-like distribution. PMID:27255824

  1. Human Maternal Brain Plasticity: Adaptation to Parenting.

    PubMed

    Kim, Pilyoung

    2016-09-01

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

  2. Revisiting Glycogen Content in the Human Brain.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    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 (13)C magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in conjunction with [1-(13)C]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 (13)C labeling in glycogen, here we administered [1-(13)C]glucose to healthy volunteers for 80 h. 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-(13)C]glucose administration and (13)C-glycogen levels in the occipital lobe were measured by (13)C MRS approximately every 12 h. 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 (13)C-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

  3. A longitudinal study of structural brain network changes with normal aging

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Kai; Taki, Yasuyuki; Sato, Kazunori; Qi, Haochen; Kawashima, Ryuta; Fukuda, Hiroshi

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate age-related changes in the topological organization of structural brain networks by applying a longitudinal design over 6 years. Structural brain networks were derived from measurements of regional gray matter volume and were constructed in age-specific groups from baseline and follow-up scans. The structural brain networks showed economical small-world properties, providing high global and local efficiency for parallel information processing at low connection costs. In the analysis of the global network properties, the local and global efficiency of the baseline scan were significantly lower compared to the follow-up scan. Moreover, the annual rate of change in local and global efficiency showed a positive and negative quadratic correlation with the baseline age, respectively; both curvilinear correlations peaked at approximately the age of 50. In the analysis of the regional nodal properties, significant negative correlations between the annual rate of change in nodal strength and the baseline age were found in the brain regions primarily involved in the visual and motor/control systems, whereas significant positive quadratic correlations were found in the brain regions predominately associated with the default-mode, attention, and memory systems. The results of the longitudinal study are consistent with the findings of our previous cross-sectional study: the structural brain networks develop into a fast distribution from young to middle age (approximately 50 years old) and eventually became a fast localization in the old age. Our findings elucidate the network topology of structural brain networks and its longitudinal changes, thus enhancing the understanding of the underlying physiology of normal aging in the human brain. PMID:23565087

  4. Human intelligence and brain networks

    PubMed Central

    Colom, Roberto; Karama, Sherif; Jung, Rex E.; Haier, Richard J.

    2010-01-01

    Intelligence can be defined as a general mental ability for reasoning, problem solving, and learning. Because of its general nature, intelligence integrates cognitive functions such as perception, attention, memory, language, or planning. On the basis of this definition, intelligence can be reliably measured by standardized tests with obtained scores predicting several broad social outcomes such as educational achievement, job performance, health, and longevity. A detailed understanding of the brain mechanisms underlying this general mental ability could provide significant individual and societal benefits. Structural and functional neuroimaging studies have generally supported a frontoparietal network relevant for intelligence. This same network has also been found to underlie cognitive functions related to perception, short-term memory storage, and language. The distributed nature of this network and its involvement in a wide range of cognitive functions fits well with the integrative nature of intelligence. A new key phase of research is beginning to investigate how functional networks relate to structural networks, with emphasis on how distributed brain areas communicate with each other. PMID:21319494

  5. 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 ...

  6. Aging of the Brain: How Can We Prevent It?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jarvik, Lissy F.

    1988-01-01

    Contends distinction between normal and abnormal aging of the brain changes as data emerge which identify as pathology what had previously been considered the norm. Reviews research on effects of aging in twins begun in 1940s, focusing on facts related to intellectual decline, neuropsychological test performance relationship to dementia, and…

  7. Lifespan maturation and degeneration of human brain white matter.

    PubMed

    Yeatman, Jason D; Wandell, Brian A; Mezer, Aviv A

    2014-01-01

    Properties of human brain tissue change across the lifespan. Here we model these changes in the living human brain by combining quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements of R1 (1/T1) with diffusion MRI and tractography (N=102, ages 7-85). The amount of R1 change during development differs between white-matter fascicles, but in each fascicle the rate of development and decline are mirror-symmetric; the rate of R1 development as the brain approaches maturity predicts the rate of R1 degeneration in aging. Quantitative measurements of macromolecule tissue volume (MTV) confirm that R1 is an accurate index of the growth of new brain tissue. In contrast to R1, diffusion development follows an asymmetric time-course with rapid childhood changes but a slow rate of decline in old age. Together, the time-courses of R1 and diffusion changes demonstrate that multiple biological processes drive changes in white-matter tissue properties over the lifespan. PMID:25230200

  8. 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.

  9. ShcC proteins: brain aging and beyond.

    PubMed

    Sagi, Orli; Budovsky, Arie; Wolfson, Marina; Fraifeld, Vadim E

    2015-01-01

    To date, most studies of Shc family of signaling adaptor proteins have been focused on the near-ubiquitously expressed ShcA, indicating its relevance to age-related diseases and longevity. Although the role of the neuronal ShcC protein is much less investigated, accumulated evidence suggests its importance for neuroprotection against such aging-associated conditions as brain ischemia and oxidative stress. Here, we summarize more than decade of studies on the ShcC expression and function in normal brain, age-related brain pathologies and immune disorders with a focus on the interactions of ShcC with signaling proteins/pathways, and the possible implications of these interactions for changes associated with aging. PMID:25462193

  10. 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

  11. New neurons in an aged brain

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Star W.; Clemenson, Gregory D.; Gage, Fred H.

    2011-01-01

    Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is one of the most robust forms of synaptic plasticity in the nervous system and occurs throughout life. However, the rate of neurogenesis declines dramatically with age. Older animals have significantly less neural progenitor cell proliferation, neuronal differentiation, and newborn neuron survival compared to younger animals. Intrinsic properties of neural progenitor cells, such as gene transcription and telomerase activity, change with age, which may contribute to the observed decline in neurogenesis. In addition, age-related changes in the local cells of the neurogenic niche may no longer provide neural progenitor cells with the cell-cell contact and soluble cues necessary for hippocampal neurogenesis. Astrocytes, microglia, and endothelial cells undergo changes in morphology and signaling properties with age, altering the foundation of the neurogenic niche. While most studies indicate a correlation between decreased hippocampal neurogenesis and impaired performance in hippocampus-dependent cognitive tasks in aged mice, a few have demonstrated that young and aged mice are equivalent in their cognitive ability. Here, we summarize the different behavioral paradigms to test hippocampus-dependent cognition and the need to develop neurogenesis-dependent tasks. PMID:22024433

  12. 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

  13. GENETICS OF HUMAN AGE RELATED DISORDERS.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, I; Thukral, N; Hasija, Y

    2015-01-01

    Aging is an inevitable biological phenomenon. The incidence of age related disorders (ARDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, arthritis, dementia, osteoporosis, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases increase rapidly with aging. ARDs are becoming a key social and economic trouble for the world's elderly population (above 60 years), which is expected to reach 2 billion by 2050. Advancement in understanding of genetic associations, particularly through genome wide association studies (GWAS), has revealed a substantial contribution of genes to human aging and ARDs. In this review, we have focused on the recent understanding of the extent to which genetic predisposition may influence the aging process. Further analysis of the genetic association studies through pathway analysis several genes associated with multiple ARDs have been highlighted such as apolipoprotein E (APOE), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), cadherin 13 (CDH13), CDK5 regulatory subunit associated protein 1 (CDKAL-1), methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1), nitric oxide synthase 3 (NOS3), paraoxonase 1 (PON1), indicating that these genes could play a pivotal role in ARD causation. These genes were found to be significantly enriched in Jak-STAT signalling pathway, asthma and allograft rejection. Further, interleukin-6 (IL-6), insulin (INS), vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA), estrogen receptor1 (ESR1), transforming growth factor, beta 1(TGFB1) and calmodulin 1 (CALM1) were found to be highly interconnected in network analysis. We believe that extensive research on the presence of common genetic variants among various ARDs may facilitate scientists to understand the biology behind ARDs causation. PMID:26856084

  14. Beyond Genotype: Serotonin Transporter Epigenetic Modification Predicts Human Brain Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25086606

  15. CARBOXYHEMOGLOBIN AND BRAIN BLOOD FLOW IN HUMANS

    EPA Science Inventory

    It has been shown that with increased carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) and associated decrease in blood oxygen-carrying capacity, a compensatory increase in brain-blood flow (BBF) develops. he BBF response in humans has been shown to be quite variable. wo experiments were conducted in wh...

  16. '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. PMID:8038571

  17. 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. PMID:27445740

  18. 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...

  19. Some enkephalin- or VIP-immunoreactive hippocampal pyramidal cells contain neurofibrillary tangles in the brains of aged humans and persons with Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Kulmala, H K

    1985-01-01

    Neurofibrillary tangles are one of the histopathological neuronal abnormalities present in normal aging and especially in Alzheimer's Disease. We have utilized immunocytochemical staining for neuropeptides followed by Congo red with gallocyanin counterstaining and polarized illumination to determine whether enkephalin (Enk), somatostatin (Som), cholecystokinin (CCK), or vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) are contained in neurons afflicted with such tangles. A few Enk- or VIP-immunoreactive pyramidal cells in field hl and subiculum were found to contain tangles. Many such Enk- or VIP-immunoreactive neurons and cells containing Som- or CCK-like immunoreactivity did not contain such tangles. PMID:2410823

  20. 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. PMID:27064148

  1. Epilepsy: Extreme Events in the Human Brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehnertz, Klaus

    The analysis of Xevents arising in dynamical systems with many degrees of freedom represents a challenge for many scientific fields. This is especially true for the open, dissipative, and adaptive system known as the human brain. Due to its complex structure, its immense functionality, and — as in the case of epilepsy — due to the coexistence of normal and abnormal functions, the brain can be regarded as one of the most complex and fascinating systems in nature. Data gathered so far show that the epileptic process exhibits a high spatial and temporal variability. Small, specific, regions of the brain are responsible for the generation of focal epileptic seizures, and the amount of time a patient spends actually having seizures is only a small fraction of his/her lifetime. In between these Xevents large parts of the brain exhibit normal functioning. Since the occurrence of seizures usually can not be explained by exogenous factors, and since the brain recovers its normal state after a seizure in the majority of cases, this might indicate that endogenous nonlinear (deterministic and/or stochastic) properties are involved in the control of these Xevents. In fact, converging evidence now indicates that (particularly) nonlinear approaches to the analysis of brain activity allow us to define precursors which, provided sufficient sensitivity and specificity can be obtained, might lead to the development of patient-specific seizure anticipation and seizure prevention strategies.

  2. 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

  3. Magnetite biomineralization in the human brain.

    PubMed Central

    Kirschvink, J L; Kobayashi-Kirschvink, A; Woodford, B J

    1992-01-01

    Although the mineral magnetite (Fe3O4) is precipitated biochemically by bacteria, protists, and a variety of animals, it has not been documented previously in human tissue. Using an ultrasensitive superconducting magnetometer in a clean-lab environment, we have detected the presence of ferromagnetic material in a variety of tissues from the human brain. Magnetic particle extracts from solubilized brain tissues examined with high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, electron diffraction, and elemental analyses identify minerals in the magnetite-maghemite family, with many of the crystal morphologies and structures resembling strongly those precipitated by magnetotactic bacteria and fish. These magnetic and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy measurements imply the presence of a minimum of 5 million single-domain crystals per gram for most tissues in the brain and greater than 100 million crystals per gram for pia and dura. Magnetic property data indicate the crystals are in clumps of between 50 and 100 particles. Biogenic magnetite in the human brain may account for high-field saturation effects observed in the T1 and T2 values of magnetic resonance imaging and, perhaps, for a variety of biological effects of low-frequency magnetic fields. Images PMID:1502184

  4. 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

  5. Human freedom and the brain.

    PubMed

    Kornhuber, Hans Helmut

    2009-06-01

    Freedom of will does exist, it is self-leadership of man based on reason and ethos. Evidence comes from truth. Determinism cannot be proved since if you try, you mean to prove a truth; but there is no truth without freedom. By contrast for freedom there are many pieces of evidence e.g. science, arts, technology. Freedom utilizes creative abstract thinking with phantasy. Freedom is graded, limited, based on nature, but not developed without good will. We perceive reliably freedom by self-consciousness and in other persons as long as we are sober. Freedom needs intelligence, but is more, it is a creative and moral virtue. The basis for freedom is phylogenesis and culture, in the individual learning and experimenting. Factors in the becoming of freedom are not only genes and environment but also self-discipline. But the creativity of free will is dangerous. Man therefore needs morale. Drives and feelings become humanized, cultural interests are developed. There is a humane nobility from long good will. PMID:25384854

  6. Estimating brain age using high-resolution pattern recognition: Younger brains in long-term meditation practitioners.

    PubMed

    Luders, Eileen; Cherbuin, Nicolas; Gaser, Christian

    2016-07-01

    Normal aging is known to be accompanied by loss of brain substance. The present study was designed to examine whether the practice of meditation is associated with a reduced brain age. Specific focus was directed at age fifty and beyond, as mid-life is a time when aging processes are known to become more prominent. We applied a recently developed machine learning algorithm trained to identify anatomical correlates of age in the brain translating those into one single score: the BrainAGE index (in years). Using this validated approach based on high-dimensional pattern recognition, we re-analyzed a large sample of 50 long-term meditators and 50 control subjects estimating and comparing their brain ages. We observed that, at age fifty, brains of meditators were estimated to be 7.5years younger than those of controls. In addition, we examined if the brain age estimates change with increasing age. While brain age estimates varied only little in controls, significant changes were detected in meditators: for every additional year over fifty, meditators' brains were estimated to be an additional 1month and 22days younger than their chronological age. Altogether, these findings seem to suggest that meditation is beneficial for brain preservation, effectively protecting against age-related atrophy with a consistently slower rate of brain aging throughout life. PMID:27079530

  7. Brain development in rodents and humans: Identifying benchmarks of maturation and vulnerability to injury across species

    PubMed Central

    Semple, Bridgette D.; Blomgren, Klas; Gimlin, Kayleen; Ferriero, Donna M.; Noble-Haeusslein, Linda J.

    2013-01-01

    Hypoxic-ischemic and traumatic brain injuries are leading causes of long-term mortality and disability in infants and children. Although several preclinical models using rodents of different ages have been developed, species differences in the timing of key brain maturation events can render comparisons of vulnerability and regenerative capacities difficult to interpret. Traditional models of developmental brain injury have utilized rodents at postnatal day 7–10 as being roughly equivalent to a term human infant, based historically on the measurement of post-mortem brain weights during the 1970s. Here we will examine fundamental brain development processes that occur in both rodents and humans, to delineate a comparable time course of postnatal brain development across species. We consider the timing of neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, gliogenesis, oligodendrocyte maturation and age-dependent behaviors that coincide with developmentally regulated molecular and biochemical changes. In general, while the time scale is considerably different, the sequence of key events in brain maturation is largely consistent between humans and rodents. Further, there are distinct parallels in regional vulnerability as well as functional consequences in response to brain injuries. With a focus on developmental hypoxicischemic encephalopathy and traumatic brain injury, this review offers guidelines for researchers when considering the most appropriate rodent age for the developmental stage or process of interest to approximate human brain development. PMID:23583307

  8. 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. PMID:26739264

  9. Alcohol-Related Brain Damage in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Erdozain, Amaia M.; Morentin, Benito; Bedford, Lynn; King, Emma; Tooth, David; Brewer, Charlotte; Wayne, Declan; Johnson, Laura; Gerdes, Henry K.; Wigmore, Peter; Callado, Luis F.; Carter, Wayne G.

    2014-01-01

    Chronic excessive alcohol intoxications evoke cumulative damage to tissues and organs. We examined prefrontal cortex (Brodmann’s area (BA) 9) from 20 human alcoholics and 20 age, gender, and postmortem delay matched control subjects. H & E staining and light microscopy of prefrontal cortex tissue revealed a reduction in the levels of cytoskeleton surrounding the nuclei of cortical and subcortical neurons, and a disruption of subcortical neuron patterning in alcoholic subjects. BA 9 tissue homogenisation and one dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) proteomics of cytosolic proteins identified dramatic reductions in the protein levels of spectrin β II, and α- and β-tubulins in alcoholics, and these were validated and quantitated by Western blotting. We detected a significant increase in α-tubulin acetylation in alcoholics, a non-significant increase in isoaspartate protein damage, but a significant increase in protein isoaspartyl methyltransferase protein levels, the enzyme that triggers isoaspartate damage repair in vivo. There was also a significant reduction in proteasome activity in alcoholics. One dimensional PAGE of membrane-enriched fractions detected a reduction in β-spectrin protein levels, and a significant increase in transmembranous α3 (catalytic) subunit of the Na+,K+-ATPase in alcoholic subjects. However, control subjects retained stable oligomeric forms of α-subunit that were diminished in alcoholics. In alcoholics, significant loss of cytosolic α- and β-tubulins were also seen in caudate nucleus, hippocampus and cerebellum, but to different levels, indicative of brain regional susceptibility to alcohol-related damage. Collectively, these protein changes provide a molecular basis for some of the neuronal and behavioural abnormalities attributed to alcoholics. PMID:24699688

  10. Infrasounds and biorhythms of the human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panuszka, Ryszard; Damijan, Zbigniew; Kasprzak, Cezary; McGlothlin, James

    2002-05-01

    Low Frequency Noise (LFN) and infrasound has begun a new public health hazard. Evaluations of annoyance of (LFN) on human occupational health were based on standards where reactions of human auditory system and vibrations of parts of human body were small. Significant sensitivity has been observed on the central nervous system from infrasonic waves especially below 10 Hz. Observed follow-up effects in the brain gives incentive to study the relationship between parameters of waves and reactions obtained of biorhythms (EEG) and heart action (EKG). New results show the impact of LFN on the electrical potentials of the brain are dependent on the pressure waves on the human body. Electrical activity of circulatory system was also affected. Signals recorded in industrial workplaces were duplicated by loudspeakers and used to record data from a typical LFN spectra with 5 and 7 Hz in a laboratory chamber. External noise, electromagnetic fields, temperature, dust, and other elements were controlled. Results show not only a follow-up effect in the brain but also a result similar to arrhythmia in the heart. Relaxations effects were observed of people impacted by waves generated from natural sources such as streams and waterfalls.

  11. Molecular genetic determinants of human brain size.

    PubMed

    Tang, Bor Luen

    2006-07-01

    Cognitive skills such as tool use, syntactical languages, and self-awareness differentiate humans from other primates. The underlying basis for this cognitive difference has been widely associated with a high encephalization quotient and an anatomically distinct, exceptionally large cerebral cortex. Investigations on congenital microcephaly had revealed several genes that affect mammalian brain size when mutated. At least four of these, microcephalin (MCPH1), abnormal spindle-like microcephaly-associated (ASPM), cyclin-dependent kinase 5 regulatory associated protein 2 (CDK5RAP2), and centromere-associated protein J (CENPJ) are known to have undergone significant positive selection in the great apes and human lineages during primate evolution. MCPH1 and ASPM both have very young single nucleotide polymorphism haplotypes associated with modern humans, and these genes are presumably still evolving in Homo sapiens. Microcephalin has a role in DNA damage response and regulation of cell cycle checkpoints. The other known microcephaly-associated genes encode microtubule-associated centrosomal proteins that might regulate neural progenitor cell division and cell number. Recent reports have also unveiled a previously unknown function of ephrins and Eph in the regulation of neural progenitor cell death with a consequential effect on brain size. Understanding the mechanism for developmental control of brain organogenesis by these genes, and others such as FOXP2, shall provide fresh perspectives on the evolution of human intelligence. PMID:16716254

  12. Group comparisons: imaging the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    D’Esposito, Mark

    2008-01-01

    With the recent growth of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), scientists across a range of disciplines are comparing neural activity between groups of interest, such as healthy controls and clinical patients, children and young adults and younger and older adults. In this edition of Tools of the Trade, we will discuss why great caution must be taken when making group comparisons in studies using fMRI. Although many methodological contributions have been made in recent years, the suggestions for overcoming common issues are too often overlooked. This review focuses primarily on neuroimaging studies of healthy aging, but many of the issues raised apply to other group designs as well. PMID:18846241

  13. Increased sensitivity to transient global ischemia in aging rat brain.

    PubMed

    Xu, Kui; Sun, Xiaoyan; Puchowicz, Michelle A; LaManna, Joseph C

    2007-01-01

    Transient global brain ischemia induced by cardiac arrest and resuscitation (CAR) results in reperfusion injury associated with oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is known to produce delayed selective neuronal cell loss and impairment of brainstem function, leading to post-resuscitation mortality. Levels of 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE) modified protein adducts, a marker of oxidative stress, was found to be elevated after CAR in rat brain. In this study we investigated the effects of an antioxidant, alpha-phenyl-tert-butyl-nitrone (PBN) on the recovery following CAR in the aged rat brain. Male Fischer 344 rats (6, 12 and 24-month old) underwent 7-minute cardiac arrest before resuscitation. Brainstem function was assessed by hypoxic ventilatory response (HVR) and HNE-adducts were measured by western blot analysis. Our data showed that in the 24-month old rats, overall survival rate, hippocampal CAl neuronal counts and HVR were significantly reduced compared to the younger rats. With PBN treatment, the recovery was improved in the aged rat brain, which was consistent with reduced HNE adducts in brain following CAR. Our data suggest that aged rats are more vulnerable to oxidative stress insult and treatment with PBN improves the outcome following reperfusion injury. The mechanism of action is most likely through the scavenging of reactive oxygen species resulting in reduced lipid peroxidation. PMID:17727265

  14. 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.

  15. A Novel Brain Network Construction Method for Exploring Age-Related Functional Reorganization.

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Wang, Miao; Li, Yapeng; Huang, Yue; Chen, Xi

    2016-01-01

    The human brain undergoes complex reorganization and changes during aging. Using graph theory, scientists can find differences in topological properties of functional brain networks between young and elderly adults. However, these differences are sometimes significant and sometimes not. Several studies have even identified disparate differences in topological properties during normal aging or in age-related diseases. One possible reason for this issue is that existing brain network construction methods cannot fully extract the "intrinsic edges" to prevent useful signals from being buried into noises. This paper proposes a new subnetwork voting (SNV) method with sliding window to construct functional brain networks for young and elderly adults. Differences in the topological properties of brain networks constructed from the classic and SNV methods were consistent. Statistical analysis showed that the SNV method can identify much more statistically significant differences between groups than the classic method. Moreover, support vector machine was utilized to classify young and elderly adults; its accuracy, based on the SNV method, reached 89.3%, significantly higher than that with classic method. Therefore, the SNV method can improve consistency within a group and highlight differences between groups, which can be valuable for the exploration and auxiliary diagnosis of aging and age-related diseases. PMID:27057155

  16. A Novel Brain Network Construction Method for Exploring Age-Related Functional Reorganization

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wei; Wang, Miao; Li, Yapeng; Huang, Yue; Chen, Xi

    2016-01-01

    The human brain undergoes complex reorganization and changes during aging. Using graph theory, scientists can find differences in topological properties of functional brain networks between young and elderly adults. However, these differences are sometimes significant and sometimes not. Several studies have even identified disparate differences in topological properties during normal aging or in age-related diseases. One possible reason for this issue is that existing brain network construction methods cannot fully extract the “intrinsic edges” to prevent useful signals from being buried into noises. This paper proposes a new subnetwork voting (SNV) method with sliding window to construct functional brain networks for young and elderly adults. Differences in the topological properties of brain networks constructed from the classic and SNV methods were consistent. Statistical analysis showed that the SNV method can identify much more statistically significant differences between groups than the classic method. Moreover, support vector machine was utilized to classify young and elderly adults; its accuracy, based on the SNV method, reached 89.3%, significantly higher than that with classic method. Therefore, the SNV method can improve consistency within a group and highlight differences between groups, which can be valuable for the exploration and auxiliary diagnosis of aging and age-related diseases. PMID:27057155

  17. 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.

  18. Effects of brain amyloid deposition and reduced glucose metabolism on the default mode of brain function in normal aging.

    PubMed

    Kikuchi, Mitsuru; Hirosawa, Tetsu; Yokokura, Masamichi; Yagi, Shunsuke; Mori, Norio; Yoshikawa, Etsuji; Yoshihara, Yujiro; Sugihara, Genichi; Takebayashi, Kiyokazu; Iwata, Yasuhide; Suzuki, Katsuaki; Nakamura, Kazuhiko; Ueki, Takatoshi; Minabe, Yoshio; Ouchi, Yasuomi

    2011-08-01

    Brain β-amyloid (Aβ) deposition during normal aging is highlighted as an initial pathogenetic event in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Many recent brain imaging studies have focused on areas deactivated during cognitive tasks [the default mode network (DMN), i.e., medial frontal gyrus/anterior cingulate cortex and precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex], where the strength of functional coordination was more or less affected by cerebral Aβ deposits. In the present positron emission tomography study, to investigate whether regional glucose metabolic alterations and Aβ deposits seen in nondemented elderly human subjects (n = 22) are of pathophysiological importance in changes of brain hemodynamic coordination in DMN during normal aging, we measured cerebral glucose metabolism with [(18)F]FDG, Aβ deposits with [(11)C]PIB, and regional cerebral blood flow during control and working memory tasks by H(2)(15)O on the same day. Data were analyzed using both region of interest and statistical parametric mapping. Our results indicated that the amount of Aβ deposits was negatively correlated with hemodynamic similarity between medial frontal and medial posterior regions, and the lower similarity was associated with poorer working memory performance. In contrast, brain glucose metabolism was not related to this medial hemodynamic similarity. These findings suggest that traceable Aβ deposition, but not glucose hypometabolism, in the brain plays an important role in occurrence of neuronal discoordination in DMN along with poor working memory in healthy elderly people. PMID:21813680

  19. 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

  20. [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. PMID:26743051

  1. Brain atrophy in Alzheimer's Disease and aging.

    PubMed

    Pini, Lorenzo; Pievani, Michela; Bocchetta, Martina; Altomare, Daniele; Bosco, Paolo; Cavedo, Enrica; Galluzzi, Samantha; Marizzoni, Moira; Frisoni, Giovanni B

    2016-09-01

    Thanks to its safety and accessibility, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is extensively used in clinical routine and research field, largely contributing to our understanding of the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). This review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the main findings in AD and normal aging over the past twenty years, focusing on the patterns of gray and white matter changes assessed in vivo using MRI. Major progresses in the field concern the segmentation of the hippocampus with novel manual and automatic segmentation approaches, which might soon enable to assess also hippocampal subfields. Advancements in quantification of hippocampal volumetry might pave the way to its broader use as outcome marker in AD clinical trials. Patterns of cortical atrophy have been shown to accurately track disease progression and seem promising in distinguishing among AD subtypes. Disease progression has also been associated with changes in white matter tracts. Recent studies have investigated two areas often overlooked in AD, such as the striatum and basal forebrain, reporting significant atrophy, although the impact of these changes on cognition is still unclear. Future integration of different MRI modalities may further advance the field by providing more powerful biomarkers of disease onset and progression. PMID:26827786

  2. Chronic Anticholinergic Use and the Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Xueya; Campbell, Noll; Khan, Babar; Callahan, Chris; Boustani, Malaz

    2012-01-01

    Background Older Americans are facing an epidemic of chronic diseases and are thus exposed to anticholinergics (AC) that might negatively affect their risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. Objective Investigate the association between impairment in cognitive function and previous AC exposure. Design A retrospective cohort study. Setting Primary care clinics in Indianapolis, Indiana. Participants 3690 older adults who have undergone cognitive assessment and had a one-year medication dispensing record. Outcome Cognitive function was measured in two sequential steps; a two-step screening process followed by a formal diagnostic process for participants with positive screening results. Exposure Three patterns of AC exposure were defined by the duration of AC exposure, the number of AC medications dispensed at the same time, and the severity of AC effects as determined by the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden List. Results In comparison to older adults with no anticholinergic exposure and after adjusting for age, race, gender, and underlying comorbidity, the odds ratio (OR) for having a diagnosis of MCI was 2.73 (95% confidence interval, CI; 1.27, 5.87) among older adults who were exposed to at least three possible anticholinergic for at least 90 days; and the OR for having dementia was 0.43 (95% CI; 0.10, 1.81). Conclusion Exposure to medications with severe anticholinergic cognitive burden may be a risk factor for developing MCI. PMID:23183138

  3. Evolving networks in the human epileptic brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehnertz, Klaus; Ansmann, Gerrit; Bialonski, Stephan; Dickten, Henning; Geier, Christian; Porz, Stephan

    2014-01-01

    Network theory provides novel concepts that promise an improved characterization of interacting dynamical systems. Within this framework, evolving networks can be considered as being composed of nodes, representing systems, and of time-varying edges, representing interactions between these systems. This approach is highly attractive to further our understanding of the physiological and pathophysiological dynamics in human brain networks. Indeed, there is growing evidence that the epileptic process can be regarded as a large-scale network phenomenon. We here review methodologies for inferring networks from empirical time series and for a characterization of these evolving networks. We summarize recent findings derived from studies that investigate human epileptic brain networks evolving on timescales ranging from few seconds to weeks. We point to possible pitfalls and open issues, and discuss future perspectives.

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. Abnormal deposits of chromium in the pathological human brain.

    PubMed Central

    Duckett, S

    1986-01-01

    Three patients presented with encephalopathies: an undiagnosed degenerative disease of the brain, a degenerative cerebral disease in a patient with a myeloma but without a myelomatous deposit in the CNS and a malignant astrocytoma. Perivascular pallidal deposits (vascular siderosis) containing chromium, phosphorus and calcium plus sometimes traces of other elements were present in the three cases. Such deposits were present in the pallidal parenchyma and around vessels in the cerebellum in one case. Calcium and phosphorus are always present in any CNS calcification but the presence of chromium has not been reported. Chromium and its compounds (ingested, injected or inhaled) are toxic to humans and animals in trace doses. Approximately 900 cases of chromium intoxication have been reported and usually have had dermatological or pulmonary lesions (including cancer) but there is no report of involvement of the CNS. Sublethal doses of chromium nitrate injected intraperitoneally in rats and rabbits results in the presence of chromium in the brain. A thorough investigation was made to find the source of the chromium in these patients. Chromium was found to be present in trace amounts in the radiological contrast agents administered to these patients and in the KCl replacement solution and in mylanta, an antacid, given to one case. The evidence that chromium induced pathological changes in these three brains is circumstantial but shows that chromium can penetrate the human brain. This study indicates that vascular siderosis found in the brains of the majority of middle-aged and elderly humans is not simply an anecdotal pathological curiosity, but that it can serve as a route of entry for toxic products into the brain. Images PMID:3958742

  7. Linking pathways in the developing and aging brain with neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Kovacs, G G; Adle-Biassette, H; Milenkovic, I; Cipriani, S; van Scheppingen, J; Aronica, E

    2014-06-01

    The molecular and cellular mechanisms, which coordinate the critical stages of brain development to reach a normal structural organization with appropriate networks, are progressively being elucidated. Experimental and clinical studies provide evidence of the occurrence of developmental alterations induced by genetic or environmental factors leading to the formation of aberrant networks associated with learning disabilities. Moreover, evidence is accumulating that suggests that also late-onset neurological disorders, even Alzheimer's disease, might be considered disorders of aberrant neural development with pathological changes that are set up at early stages of development before the appearance of the symptoms. Thus, evaluating proteins and pathways that are important in age-related neurodegeneration in the developing brain together with the characterization of mechanisms important during brain development with relevance to brain aging are of crucial importance. In the present review we focus on (1) aspects of neurogenesis with relevance to aging; (2) neurodegenerative disease (NDD)-associated proteins/pathways in the developing brain; and (3) further pathways of the developing or neurodegenerating brains that show commonalities. Elucidation of complex pathogenetic routes characterizing the earliest stage of the detrimental processes that result in pathological aging represents an essential first step toward a therapeutic intervention which is able to reverse these pathological processes and prevent the onset of the disease. Based on the shared features between pathways, we conclude that prevention of NDDs of the elderly might begin during the fetal and childhood life by providing the mothers and their children a healthy environment for the fetal and childhood development. PMID:24699227

  8. 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.

  9. MRI and MRS of human brain tumors.

    PubMed

    Hou, Bob L; Hu, Jiani

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this chapter is to provide an introduction to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) of human brain tumors, including the primary applications and basic terminology involved. Readers who wish to know more about this broad subject should seek out the referenced books (1. Tofts (2003) Quantitative MRI of the brain. Measuring changes caused by disease. Wiley; Bradley and Stark (1999) 2. Magnetic resonance imaging, 3rd Edition. Mosby Inc; Brown and Semelka (2003) 3. MRI basic principles and applications, 3rd Edition. Wiley-Liss) or reviews (4. Top Magn Reson Imaging 17:127-36, 2006; 5. JMRI 24:709-724, 2006; 6. Am J Neuroradiol 27:1404-1411, 2006).MRI is the most popular means of diagnosing human brain tumors. The inherent difference in the magnetic resonance (MR) properties of water between normal tissues and tumors results in contrast differences on the image that provide the basis for distinguishing tumors from normal tissues. In contrast to MRI, which provides spatial maps or images using water signals of the tissues, proton MRS detects signals of tissue metabolites. MRS can complement MRI because the observed MRS peaks can be linked to inherent differences in biochemical profiles between normal tissues and tumors.The goal of MRI and MRS is to characterize brain tumors, including tumor core, edge, edema, volume, types, and grade. The commonly used brain tumor MRI protocol includes T2-weighted images and T1-weighted images taken both before and after the injection of a contrast agent (typically gadolinium: Gd). The commonly used MRS technique is either point-resolved spectroscopy (PRESS) or stimulated echo acquisition mode (STEAM). PMID:19381963

  10. Advanced age negatively impacts survival in an experimental brain tumor model.

    PubMed

    Ladomersky, Erik; Zhai, Lijie; Gritsina, Galina; Genet, Matthew; Lauing, Kristen L; Wu, Meijing; James, C David; Wainwright, Derek A

    2016-09-01

    Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common primary malignant brain tumor in adults, with an average age of 64 years at the time of diagnosis. To study GBM, a number of mouse brain tumor models have been utilized. In these animal models, subjects tend to range from 6 to 12 weeks of age, which is analogous to that of a human teenager. Here, we examined the impact of age on host immunity and the gene expression associated with immune evasion in immunocompetent mice engrafted with syngeneic intracranial GL261. The data indicate that, in mice with brain tumors, youth conveys an advantage to survival. While age did not affect the tumor-infiltrating T cell phenotype or quantity, we discovered that old mice express higher levels of the immunoevasion enzyme, IDO1, which was decreased by the presence of brain tumor. Interestingly, other genes associated with promoting immunosuppression including CTLA-4, PD-L1 and FoxP3, were unaffected by age. These data highlight the possibility that IDO1 contributes to faster GBM outgrowth with advanced age, providing rationale for future investigation into immunotherapeutic targeting in the future. PMID:27493076

  11. Toward Developmental Connectomics of the Human Brain.

    PubMed

    Cao, Miao; Huang, Hao; Peng, Yun; Dong, Qi; He, Yong

    2016-01-01

    Imaging connectomics based on graph theory has become an effective and unique methodological framework for studying structural and functional connectivity patterns of the developing brain. Normal brain development is characterized by continuous and significant network evolution throughout infancy, childhood, and adolescence, following specific maturational patterns. Disruption of these normal changes is associated with neuropsychiatric developmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. In this review, we focused on the recent progresses regarding typical and atypical development of human brain networks from birth to early adulthood, using a connectomic approach. Specifically, by the time of birth, structural networks already exhibit adult-like organization, with global efficient small-world and modular structures, as well as hub regions and rich-clubs acting as communication backbones. During development, the structure networks are fine-tuned, with increased global integration and robustness and decreased local segregation, as well as the strengthening of the hubs. In parallel, functional networks undergo more dramatic changes during maturation, with both increased integration and segregation during development, as brain hubs shift from primary regions to high order functioning regions, and the organization of modules transitions from a local anatomical emphasis to a more distributed architecture. These findings suggest that structural networks develop earlier than functional networks; meanwhile functional networks demonstrate more dramatic maturational changes with the evolution of structural networks serving as the anatomical backbone. In this review, we also highlighted topologically disorganized characteristics in structural and functional brain networks in several major developmental neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g., autism spectrum disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and developmental

  12. Toward Developmental Connectomics of the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Miao; Huang, Hao; Peng, Yun; Dong, Qi; He, Yong

    2016-01-01

    Imaging connectomics based on graph theory has become an effective and unique methodological framework for studying structural and functional connectivity patterns of the developing brain. Normal brain development is characterized by continuous and significant network evolution throughout infancy, childhood, and adolescence, following specific maturational patterns. Disruption of these normal changes is associated with neuropsychiatric developmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. In this review, we focused on the recent progresses regarding typical and atypical development of human brain networks from birth to early adulthood, using a connectomic approach. Specifically, by the time of birth, structural networks already exhibit adult-like organization, with global efficient small-world and modular structures, as well as hub regions and rich-clubs acting as communication backbones. During development, the structure networks are fine-tuned, with increased global integration and robustness and decreased local segregation, as well as the strengthening of the hubs. In parallel, functional networks undergo more dramatic changes during maturation, with both increased integration and segregation during development, as brain hubs shift from primary regions to high order functioning regions, and the organization of modules transitions from a local anatomical emphasis to a more distributed architecture. These findings suggest that structural networks develop earlier than functional networks; meanwhile functional networks demonstrate more dramatic maturational changes with the evolution of structural networks serving as the anatomical backbone. In this review, we also highlighted topologically disorganized characteristics in structural and functional brain networks in several major developmental neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g., autism spectrum disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and developmental

  13. Resveratrol attenuates peripheral and brain inflammation and reduces ischemic brain injury in aged female mice.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Sae Im; Shin, Jin A; Cho, Sunghee; Kim, Hye Won; Lee, Ji Yoon; Kang, Jihee Lee; Park, Eun-Mi

    2016-08-01

    Resveratrol is known to improve metabolic dysfunction associated with obesity. Visceral obesity is a sign of aging and is considered a risk factor for ischemic stroke. In this study, we investigated the effects of resveratrol on inflammation in visceral adipose tissue and the brain and its effects on ischemic brain injury in aged female mice. Mice treated with resveratrol (0.1 mg/kg, p.o.) for 10 days showed reduced levels of interleukin-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α, as well as a reduction in the size of adipocytes in visceral adipose tissue. Resveratrol also reduced interleukin-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α protein levels and immunoglobulin G extravasation in the brain. Mice treated with resveratrol demonstrated smaller infarct size, improved neurological function, and blunted peripheral inflammation at 3 days postischemic stroke. These results showed that resveratrol counteracted inflammation in visceral adipose tissue and in the brain and reduced stroke-induced brain injury and peripheral inflammation in aged female mice. Therefore, resveratrol administration can be a valuable strategy for the prevention of age-associated and disease-provoked inflammation in postmenopausal women. PMID:27318135

  14. Sex differences in the structural connectome of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Ingalhalikar, Madhura; Smith, Alex; Parker, Drew; Satterthwaite, Theodore D; Elliott, Mark A; Ruparel, Kosha; Hakonarson, Hakon; Gur, Raquel E; Gur, Ruben C; Verma, Ragini

    2014-01-14

    Sex differences in human behavior show adaptive complementarity: Males have better motor and spatial abilities, whereas females have superior memory and social cognition skills. Studies also show sex differences in human brains but do not explain this complementarity. In this work, we modeled the structural connectome using diffusion tensor imaging in a sample of 949 youths (aged 8-22 y, 428 males and 521 females) and discovered unique sex differences in brain connectivity during the course of development. Connection-wise statistical analysis, as well as analysis of regional and global network measures, presented a comprehensive description of network characteristics. In all supratentorial regions, males had greater within-hemispheric connectivity, as well as enhanced modularity and transitivity, whereas between-hemispheric connectivity and cross-module participation predominated in females. However, this effect was reversed in the cerebellar connections. Analysis of these changes developmentally demonstrated differences in trajectory between males and females mainly in adolescence and in adulthood. Overall, the results suggest that male brains are structured to facilitate connectivity between perception and coordinated action, whereas female brains are designed to facilitate communication between analytical and intuitive processing modes. PMID:24297904

  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

    2010-03-01

    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/. PMID

  16. 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. PMID:23770411

  17. Perfusion harmonic imaging of the human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metzler, Volker H.; Seidel, Guenter; Wiesmann, Martin; Meyer, Karsten; Aach, Til

    2003-05-01

    The fast visualisation of cerebral microcirculation supports diagnosis of acute cerebrovascular diseases. However, the commonly used CT/MRI-based methods are time consuming and, moreover, costly. Therefore we propose an alternative approach to brain perfusion imaging by means of ultrasonography. In spite of the low signal/noise-ratio of transcranial ultrasound and the high impedance of the skull, flow images of cerebral blood flow can be derived by capturing the kinetics of appropriate contrast agents by harmonic ultrasound image sequences. In this paper we propose three different methods for human brain perfusion imaging, each of which yielding flow images indicating the status of the patient's cerebral microcirculation by visualising local flow parameters. Bolus harmonic imaging (BHI) displays the flow kinetics of bolus injections, while replenishment (RHI) and diminution harmonic imaging (DHI) compute flow characteristics from contrast agent continuous infusions. RHI measures the contrast agents kinetics in the influx phase and DHI displays the diminution kinetics of the contrast agent acquired from the decay phase. In clinical studies, BHI- and RHI-parameter images were found to represent comprehensive and reproducible distributions of physiological cerebral blood flow. For DHI it is shown, that bubble destruction and hence perfusion phenomena principally can be displayed. Generally, perfusion harmonic imaging enables reliable and fast bedside imaging of human brain perfusion. Due to its cost efficiency it complements cerebrovascular diagnostics by established CT/MRI-based methods.

  18. 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

  19. Genotype × age interaction in human transcriptional ageing

    PubMed Central

    Kent, Jack W.; Göring, Harald H. H.; Charlesworth, Jac C.; Drigalenko, Eugene; Diego, Vincent P.; Curran, Joanne E.; Johnson, Matthew P.; Dyer, Thomas D.; Cole, Shelley A.; Jowett, Jeremy B. M.; Mahaney, Michael C.; Comuzzie, Anthony G.; Almasy, Laura; Moses, Eric K.; Blangero, John; Williams-Blangero, Sarah

    2012-01-01

    Individual differences in biological ageing (i.e., the rate of physiological response to the passage of time) may be due in part to genotype-specific variation in gene action. However, the sources of heritable variation in human age-related gene expression profiles are largely unknown. We have profiled genome-wide expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 1,240 individuals in large families and found 4,472 human autosomal transcripts, representing ~4,349 genes, significantly correlated with age. We identified 623 transcripts that show genotype by age interaction in addition to a main effect of age, defining a large set of novel candidates for characterization of the mechanisms of differential biological ageing. We applied a novel SNP genotype×age interaction test to one of these candidates, the ubiquilin-like gene UBQLNL, and found evidence of joint cis-association and genotype by age interaction as well as trans-genotype by age interaction for UBQLNL expression. Both UBQLNL expression levels at recruitment and cis genotype are associated with longitudinal cancer risk in our study cohort. PMID:22871458

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

    PubMed

    Holman, Constance; de Villers-Sidani, Etienne

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Age-dependent differences in brain tissue microstructure assessed with neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging.

    PubMed

    Merluzzi, Andrew P; Dean, Douglas C; Adluru, Nagesh; Suryawanshi, Gaurav S; Okonkwo, Ozioma C; Oh, Jennifer M; Hermann, Bruce P; Sager, Mark A; Asthana, Sanjay; Zhang, Hui; Johnson, Sterling C; Alexander, Andrew L; Bendlin, Barbara B

    2016-07-01

    Human aging is accompanied by progressive changes in executive function and memory, but the biological mechanisms underlying these phenomena are not fully understood. Using neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging, we sought to examine the relationship between age, cellular microstructure, and neuropsychological scores in 116 late middle-aged, cognitively asymptomatic participants. Results revealed widespread increases in the volume fraction of isotropic diffusion and localized decreases in neurite density in frontal white matter regions with increasing age. In addition, several of these microstructural alterations were associated with poorer performance on tests of memory and executive function. These results suggest that neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging is capable of measuring age-related brain changes and the neural correlates of poorer performance on tests of cognitive functioning, largely in accordance with published histological findings and brain-imaging studies of people of this age range. Ultimately, this study sheds light on the processes underlying normal brain development in adulthood, knowledge that is critical for differentiating healthy aging from changes associated with dementia. PMID:27255817

  3. 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)…

  4. 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. PMID:26217183

  5. 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

  6. Nutrition and brain aging: how can we move ahead?

    PubMed

    Barberger-Gateau, P

    2014-11-01

    Epidemiological studies and basic research suggest a protective effect of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants and B vitamins against brain aging. However, most randomized controlled trial (RCTs) with nutritional supplements have yielded disappointing effects on cognition so far. This paper suggests some original directions for future research to better support a role of nutrition in brain aging. The role of other nutrients such as docosapentaenoic acid and fat-soluble vitamins D and K should be investigated. A more holistic approach of nutrition is necessary, encompassing potential synergies between nutrients as found in a balanced diet. Potential beneficiaries of a nutritional supplementation should be better targeted, according to their dietary, cognitive and maybe genetic characteristics. Innovative RCTs should be implemented to assess the impact of nutrition for the prevention or treatment of cognitive decline in older persons, using intermediate biomarkers of disease progression and mechanisms of action of nutrients as outcomes. PMID:25159727

  7. Development of BOLD signal hemodynamic responses in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Arichi, Tomoki; Fagiolo, Gianlorenzo; Varela, Marta; Melendez-Calderon, Alejandro; Allievi, Alessandro; Merchant, Nazakat; Tusor, Nora; Counsell, Serena J.; Burdet, Etienne; Beckmann, Christian F.; Edwards, A. David

    2012-01-01

    In the rodent brain the hemodynamic response to a brief external stimulus changes significantly during development. Analogous changes in human infants would complicate the determination and use of the hemodynamic response function (HRF) for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in developing populations. We aimed to characterize HRF in human infants before and after the normal time of birth using rapid sampling of the Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) signal. A somatosensory stimulus and an event related experimental design were used to collect data from 10 healthy adults, 15 sedated infants at term corrected post menstrual age (PMA) (median 41 + 1 weeks), and 10 preterm infants (median PMA 34 + 4 weeks). A positive amplitude HRF waveform was identified across all subject groups, with a systematic maturational trend in terms of decreasing time-to-peak and increasing positive peak amplitude associated with increasing age. Application of the age-appropriate HRF models to fMRI data significantly improved the precision of the fMRI analysis. These findings support the notion of a structured development in the brain's response to stimuli across the last trimester of gestation and beyond. PMID:22776460

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:22639960

  10. 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

  11. Mouse Genetic Models of Human Brain Disorders.

    PubMed

    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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    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 Ca(2+)-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

  14. Non-invasive brain stimulation of the aging brain: State of the art and future perspectives.

    PubMed

    Tatti, Elisa; Rossi, Simone; Innocenti, Iglis; Rossi, Alessandro; Santarnecchi, Emiliano

    2016-08-01

    Favored by increased life expectancy and reduced birth rate, worldwide demography is rapidly shifting to older ages. The golden age of aging is not only an achievement but also a big challenge because of the load of the elderly on social and medical health care systems. Moreover, the impact of age-related decline of attention, memory, reasoning and executive functions on self-sufficiency emphasizes the need of interventions to maintain cognitive abilities at a useful degree in old age. Recently, neuroscientific research explored the chance to apply Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation (NiBS) techniques (as transcranial electrical and magnetic stimulation) to healthy aging population to preserve or enhance physiologically-declining cognitive functions. The present review will update and address the current state of the art on NiBS in healthy aging. Feasibility of NiBS techniques will be discussed in light of recent neuroimaging (either structural or functional) and neurophysiological models proposed to explain neural substrates of the physiologically aging brain. Further, the chance to design multidisciplinary interventions to maximize the efficacy of NiBS techniques will be introduced as a necessary future direction. PMID:27221544

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  17. 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

  18. Two phylogenetic specializations in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Allman, John; Hakeem, Atiya; Watson, Karli

    2002-08-01

    In this study, two anatomical specializations of the brain in apes and humans are considered. One of these is a whole cortical area located in the frontal polar cortex (Brodmann's area 10), and the other is a morphologically distinctive cell type, the spindle neuron of the anterior cingulate cortex. The authors suggest that the spindle cells may relay to other parts of the brain--especially to area 10, the outcome of processing within the anterior cingulate cortex. This relay conveys the motivation to act. It particularly concerns the recognition of having committed an error that leads to the initiation of adaptive responses to these adverse events so as to reduce error commission. This capacity is related to the development of self-control as an individual matures and gains social insight. Although the anterior cingulate deals with the individual's immediate response to changing conditions, area 10 is involved in the retrieval of memories from the individual's past experience and the capacity to plan adaptive responses. The authors suggest that these neurobehavioral specializations are crucial aspects of intelligence as defined as the capacity to make adaptive responses to changing conditions. The authors further hypothesize that these specializations facilitated the evolution of the unique capacity for the intergenerational transfer of the food and information characteristic of human extended families. PMID:12194502

  19. Invited review: aging and human temperature regulation.

    PubMed

    Kenney, W Larry; Munce, Thayne A

    2003-12-01

    This mini-review focuses on the effects of aging on human temperature regulation. Although comprehensive reviews have been published on this topic (Kenney WL. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1997, p. 41-76; Pandolf KB. Exp Aging Res 17: 189-204, 1991; Van Someren EJ, Raymann RJ, Scherder EJ, Daanen HA, and Swaab DF. Ageing Res Rev 1: 721-778, 2002; and Young AJ. Exp Aging Res 17: 205-213, 1991), this mini-review concisely summarizes the present state of knowledge about human temperature regulation and aging in thermoneutral conditions, as well as during hypo- and hyperthermic challenges. First, we discuss age-related effects on baseline body core temperature and phasing rhythms of the circadian temperature cycle. We then examine the altered physiological responses to cold stress that result from aging, including attenuated peripheral vasoconstriction and reduced cold-induced metabolic heat production. Finally, we present the age-related changes in sweating and cardiovascular function associated with heat stress. Although epidemiological evidence of increased mortality among older adults from hypo- and hyperthermia exists, this outcome does not reflect an inability to thermoregulate with advanced age. In fact, studies that have attempted to separate the effects of chronological age from concurrent factors, such as fitness level, body composition, and the effects of chronic disease, have shown that thermal tolerance appears to be minimally compromised by age. PMID:14600165

  20. Rich-club organization of the newborn human brain

    PubMed Central

    Ball, Gareth; Aljabar, Paul; Zebari, Sally; Tusor, Nora; Arichi, Tomoki; Merchant, Nazakat; Robinson, Emma C.; Ogundipe, Enitan; Rueckert, Daniel; Edwards, A. David; Counsell, Serena J.

    2014-01-01

    Combining diffusion magnetic resonance imaging and network analysis in the adult human brain has identified a set of highly connected cortical hubs that form a “rich club”—a high-cost, high-capacity backbone thought to enable efficient network communication. Rich-club architecture appears to be a persistent feature of the mature mammalian brain, but it is not known when this structure emerges during human development. In this longitudinal study we chart the emergence of structural organization in mid to late gestation. We demonstrate that a rich club of interconnected cortical hubs is already present by 30 wk gestation. Subsequently, until the time of normal birth, the principal development is a proliferation of connections between core hubs and the rest of the brain. We also consider the impact of environmental factors on early network development, and compare term-born neonates to preterm infants at term-equivalent age. Though rich-club organization remains intact following premature birth, we reveal significant disruptions in both in cortical–subcortical connectivity and short-distance corticocortical connections. Rich club organization is present well before the normal time of birth and may provide the fundamental structural architecture for the subsequent emergence of complex neurological functions. Premature exposure to the extrauterine environment is associated with altered network architecture and reduced network capacity, which may in part account for the high prevalence of cognitive problems in preterm infants. PMID:24799693

  1. 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

  2. Brain Insulin Resistance at the Crossroads of Metabolic and Cognitive Disorders in Humans.

    PubMed

    Kullmann, Stephanie; Heni, Martin; Hallschmid, Manfred; Fritsche, Andreas; Preissl, Hubert; Häring, Hans-Ulrich

    2016-10-01

    Ever since the brain was identified as an insulin-sensitive organ, evidence has rapidly accumulated that insulin action in the brain produces multiple behavioral and metabolic effects, influencing eating behavior, peripheral metabolism, and cognition. Disturbances in brain insulin action can be observed in obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D), as well as in aging and dementia. Decreases in insulin sensitivity of central nervous pathways, i.e., brain insulin resistance, may therefore constitute a joint pathological feature of metabolic and cognitive dysfunctions. Modern neuroimaging methods have provided new means of probing brain insulin action, revealing the influence of insulin on both global and regional brain function. In this review, we highlight recent findings on brain insulin action in humans and its impact on metabolism and cognition. Furthermore, we elaborate on the most prominent factors associated with brain insulin resistance, i.e., obesity, T2D, genes, maternal metabolism, normal aging, inflammation, and dementia, and on their roles regarding causes and consequences of brain insulin resistance. We also describe the beneficial effects of enhanced brain insulin signaling on human eating behavior and cognition and discuss potential applications in the treatment of metabolic and cognitive disorders. PMID:27489306

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Models to explore genetics of human aging.

    PubMed

    Karasik, David; Newman, Anne

    2015-01-01

    Genetic studies have bestowed insight into the biological mechanisms underlying inter-individual differences in susceptibility to (or resistance to) organisms’ aging. Recent advances in molecular and genetic epidemiology provide tools to explore the genetic sources of the variability in biological aging in humans. To be successful, the genetic study of a complex condition such as aging requires the clear definition of essential traits that can characterize the aging process phenotypically. Phenotypes of human aging have long relied on mortality rate or exceptional longevity. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been shown to present an unbiased approach to the identification of new candidate genes for human diseases. The GWAS approach can also be used for positive health phenotypes such as longevity or a delay in age-related chronic disease, as well as for other age related changes such as loss of telomere length or lens transparency. Sequencing, either in targeted regions or across the whole genome can further identify rare variation that may contribute to the biological aging mechanisms. To date, the results of the GWAS for longevity are rather disappointing, possibly in part due to the small number of individuals with GWAS data who have reached advanced old age.Human aging phenotypes are needed that can be assessed prior to death, and should be both heritable and validated as predictors of longevity. Potentially, phenotypes that focus on “successful” or “healthy” aging will be more powerful as they can be measured in large numbers of people and also are clinically relevant.We postulate that construction of an integrated phenotype of aging can be achieved capitalizing on multiple traits that may have weak correlations, but a shared underlying genetic architecture. This is based on a hypothesis that convergent results from multiple individual aging-related traits will point out the pleiotropic signals responsible for the overall rate of aging of

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. [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. PMID:26546796

  9. Impairment of paravascular clearance pathways in the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Kress, Benjamin T.; Iliff, Jeffrey J.; Xia, Maosheng; Wang, Minghuan; Wei, Helen; Zeppenfeld, Douglas; Xie, Lulu; Kang, Hongyi; Xu, Qiwu; Liew, Jason; Plog, Benjamin A.; Ding, Fengfei; Deane, Rashid; Nedergaard, Maiken

    2014-01-01

    Objective In the brain, protein waste removal is partly performed by paravascular pathways that facilitate convective exchange of water and soluble contents between cerebrospinal and interstitial fluids. Several lines of evidence suggest that bulk flow drainage via the glymphatic system is driven by cerebrovascular pulsation, and is dependent on astroglial water channels that line paravascular cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pathways. The Objective of this study was to evaluate whether the efficiency of CSF-ISF exchange and interstitial solute clearance is impaired in the aging brain. Methods CSF-ISF exchange was evaluated by in vivo and ex vivo fluorescence microscopy while interstitial solute clearance was evaluated by radio-tracer clearance assays in young (2–3 month), middle age (10–12 month) and old (18–20 month) wild type mice. The relationship between age-related changes in the expression of the astrocytic water channel aquaporin-4 (AQP4) and changes in glymphatic pathway function were evaluated by immunofluorescence. Results Advancing age was associated with a dramatic decline in the efficiency of exchange between the subarachnoid CSF and the brain parenchyma. Relative to the young, clearance of intraparechamally injected amyloid β was impaired by 40% in the old mice. A 27% reduction in the vessel wall pulsatility of intracortical arterioles and widespread loss of perivascular AQP4 polarization along the penetrating arteries accompanied the decline in CSF-ISF exchange. Interpretation We propose that impaired glymphatic clearance contributes to cognitive decline among the elderly and may represent a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases associated with accumulation of mis-folded protein aggregates. PMID:25204284

  10. Topological organization of the human brain functional connectome across the lifespan.

    PubMed

    Cao, Miao; Wang, Jin-Hui; Dai, Zheng-Jia; Cao, Xiao-Yan; Jiang, Li-Li; Fan, Feng-Mei; Song, Xiao-Wei; Xia, Ming-Rui; Shu, Ni; Dong, Qi; Milham, Michael P; Castellanos, F Xavier; Zuo, Xi-Nian; He, Yong

    2014-01-01

    Human brain function undergoes complex transformations across the lifespan. We employed resting-state functional MRI and graph-theory approaches to systematically chart the lifespan trajectory of the topological organization of human whole-brain functional networks in 126 healthy individuals ranging in age from 7 to 85 years. Brain networks were constructed by computing Pearson's correlations in blood-oxygenation-level-dependent temporal fluctuations among 1024 parcellation units followed by graph-based network analyses. We observed that the human brain functional connectome exhibited highly preserved non-random modular and rich club organization over the entire age range studied. Further quantitative analyses revealed linear decreases in modularity and inverted-U shaped trajectories of local efficiency and rich club architecture. Regionally heterogeneous age effects were mainly located in several hubs (e.g., default network, dorsal attention regions). Finally, we observed inverse trajectories of long- and short-distance functional connections, indicating that the reorganization of connectivity concentrates and distributes the brain's functional networks. Our results demonstrate topological changes in the whole-brain functional connectome across nearly the entire human lifespan, providing insights into the neural substrates underlying individual variations in behavior and cognition. These results have important implications for disease connectomics because they provide a baseline for evaluating network impairments in age-related neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:24333927

  11. 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. PMID:24788455

  12. Left Brain to Right Brain: Notes from the Human Laboratory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baumli, Francis

    1982-01-01

    Examines the implications of the left brain-right brain theory on communications styles in male-female relationships. The author contends that women tend to use the vagueness of their emotional responses manipulatively. Men need to apply rational approaches to increase clarity in communication. (AM)

  13. Human aging alters the neural computation and representation of space.

    PubMed

    Schuck, Nicolas W; Doeller, Christian F; Polk, Thad A; Lindenberger, Ulman; Li, Shu-Chen

    2015-08-15

    The hippocampus and striatum are core neural circuits involved in spatial learning and memory. Although both neural systems support spatial navigation, experimental and theoretical evidence indicate that they play different roles. In particular, whereas hippocampal place cells generate allocentric neural representations of space that are sensitive to geometric information, striatum-dependent learning is influenced by local landmarks. How human aging affects these different neural representations, however, is still not well understood. In this paper, we combined virtual reality, computational modeling, and neuroimaging to investigate the effects of age upon the neural computation and representation of space in humans. We manipulated the geometry and local landmarks of a virtual environment and examined the effects on memory performance and brain activity during spatial learning. In younger adults, both behavior and brain activity in the medial-temporal lobe were consistent with predictions of a computational model of hippocampus-dependent boundary processing. In contrast, older adults' behavior and medial-temporal lobe activity were primarily influenced by local cue information, and spatial learning was more associated with activity in the caudate nucleus rather than the hippocampus. Together these results point to altered spatial representations and information processing in the hippocampal-striatal circuitry with advancing adult age, which may contribute to spatial learning and memory deficits associated with normal and pathological aging. PMID:26003855

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

    PubMed

    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 DM

  15. 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...

  16. 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

    2016-07-01

    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. PMID:27459595

  17. Motor Control and Aging: Links to Age-Related Brain Structural, Functional, and Biochemical Effects

    PubMed Central

    Seidler, Rachael D.; Bernard, Jessica A.; Burutolu, Taritonye B.; Fling, Brett W.; Gordon, Mark T.; Gwin, Joseph T.; Kwak, Youngbin; Lipps, David B.

    2009-01-01

    Although connections between cognitive deficits and age-associated brain differences have been elucidated, relationships with motor performance are less well understood. Here, we broadly review age-related brain differences and motor deficits in older adults in addition to cognition-action theories. Age-related atrophy of the motor cortical regions and corpus callosum may precipitate or coincide with motor declines such as balance and gait deficits, coordination deficits, and movement slowing. Correspondingly, degeneration of neurotransmitter systems—primarily the dopaminergic system—may contribute to age-related gross and fine motor declines, as well as to higher cognitive deficits. In general, older adults exhibit involvement of more widespread brain regions for motor control than young adults, particularly the prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia networks. Unfortunately these same regions are the most vulnerable to age-related effects, resulting in an imbalance of “supply and demand”. Existing exercise, pharmaceutical, and motor training interventions may ameliorate motor deficits in older adults. PMID:19850077

  18. The Ageing Brain: Age-dependent changes in the electroencephalogram during propofol and sevoflurane general anaesthesia

    PubMed Central

    Purdon, P. L.; Pavone, K. J.; Akeju, O.; Smith, A. C.; Sampson, A. L.; Lee, J.; Zhou, D. W.; Solt, K.; Brown, E. N.

    2015-01-01

    Background Anaesthetic drugs act at sites within the brain that undergo profound changes during typical ageing. We postulated that anaesthesia-induced brain dynamics observed in the EEG change with age. Methods We analysed the EEG in 155 patients aged 18–90 yr who received propofol (n=60) or sevoflurane (n=95) as the primary anaesthetic. The EEG spectrum and coherence were estimated throughout a 2 min period of stable anaesthetic maintenance. Age-related effects were characterized by analysing power and coherence as a function of age using linear regression and by comparing the power spectrum and coherence in young (18- to 38-yr-old) and elderly (70- to 90-yr-old) patients. Results Power across all frequency bands decreased significantly with age for both propofol and sevoflurane; elderly patients showed EEG oscillations ∼2- to 3-fold smaller in amplitude than younger adults. The qualitative form of the EEG appeared similar regardless of age, showing prominent alpha (8–12 Hz) and slow (0.1–1 Hz) oscillations. However, alpha band dynamics showed specific age-related changes. In elderly compared with young patients, alpha power decreased more than slow power, and alpha coherence and peak frequency were significantly lower. Older patients were more likely to experience burst suppression. Conclusions These profound age-related changes in the EEG are consistent with known neurobiological and neuroanatomical changes that occur during typical ageing. Commercial EEG-based depth-of-anaesthesia indices do not account for age and are therefore likely to be inaccurate in elderly patients. In contrast, monitoring the unprocessed EEG and its spectrogram can account for age and individual patient characteristics. PMID:26174300

  19. Neural Plastic Effects of Cognitive Training on Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. The Aging Brain Care Medical Home: Preliminary Data.

    PubMed

    LaMantia, Michael A; Alder, Catherine A; Callahan, Christopher M; Gao, Sujuan; French, Dustin D; Austrom, Mary G; Boustany, Karim; Livin, Lee; Bynagari, Bharath; Boustani, Malaz A

    2015-06-01

    The Aging Brain Care (ABC) Medical Home aims to improve the care, health outcomes, and medical costs of Medicare beneficiaries with dementia or depression across central Indiana. This population health management program, funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation Center, expanded an existing collaborative dementia and depression care program to serve 1,650 older adults in a local safety-net hospital system. During the first year, 20 full-time clinical staff were hired, trained, and deployed to deliver a collaborative care intervention. In the first 18 months, an average of 13 visits was provided per person. Thirty percent of the sample had a diagnosis of dementia, and 77% had a diagnosis of depression. Sixty-six percent of participants with high depression scores (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 score ≥14) had at least a 50% reduction in their depressive symptoms. Fifty-one percent of caregivers of individuals with dementia had at least a 50% reduction in caregiver stress symptoms (measured by the Healthy Aging Brain Care Monitor-Caregiver Version). After 18 months, the ABC Medical Home has demonstrated progress toward improving the health of older adults with dementia and depression. Scalable and practical models like this show initial promise for answering the challenges posed by the nation's rapidly aging population. PMID:26096394

  1. Changes of individual BrainAGE during the course of the menstrual cycle.

    PubMed

    Franke, Katja; Hagemann, Georg; Schleussner, Ekkehard; Gaser, Christian

    2015-07-15

    Brain morphology varies during the course of the menstrual cycle, with increases in individual gray matter volume at the time of ovulation. This study implemented our previously presented BrainAGE framework to analyze short-term neuroanatomical changes in healthy young women due to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle. The BrainAGE approach determines the complex multidimensional aging pattern within the whole brain by applying established kernel regression methods to anatomical brain MRIs. The "Brain Age Gap Estimation" (i.e., BrainAGE) score is then calculated as the difference between chronological age and estimated brain age. Eight women (21-31 years) completed three to four MRI scans during their menstrual cycle (i.e., at (t1) menses, (t2) time of ovulation, (t3) midluteal phase, (t4) next menses). Serum levels of estradiol and progesterone were evaluated at each scanning session. Individual BrainAGE scores significantly differed during the course of the menstrual cycle (p<0.05), with a significant decrease of -1.3 years at ovulation (p<0.05). Moreover, higher estradiol levels significantly correlated with lower BrainAGE scores (r=-0.42, p<0.05). In future, the BrainAGE approach may serve as a sensitive as well as easily implementable tool to further explore the short-term and maybe long-term effects of hormones on brain plasticity and its modulating effects in lifestyle-related diseases and dementia. PMID:25913700

  2. Spread of epileptic activity in human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milton, John

    1997-03-01

    For many patients with medically refractory epilepsy surgical resection of the site of seizure onset (epileptic focus) offers the best hope for cure. Determination of the nature of seizure propagation should lead to improved methods for locating the epileptic focus (and hence reduce patient morbidity) and possibly to new treatment modalities directed at blocking seizure spread. Theoretical studies of neural networks emphasize the role of traveling waves for the propagation of activity. However, the nature of seizure propagation in human brain remains poorly characterized. The spread of epileptic activity in patients undergoing presurgical evaluation for epilepsy surgery was measured by placing subdural grids of electrodes (interelectrode spacings of 3-10 mm) over the frontal and temporal lobes. The exact location of each electrode relative to the surface of the brain was determined using 3--D MRI imaging techniques. Thus it is possible to monitor the spread of epileptic activity in both space and time. The observations are discussed in light of models for seizure propagation.

  3. Proton spectroscopic imaging of human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moonen, Chrit T. W.; Sobering, Geoffrey; Van Zijl, Peter C. M.; Gillen, Joe; Von Kienlin, Markus; Bizzi, Alberto

    Signals from water and fat can cause artifacts in proton spectroscopic imaging in the human brain. The major problem is variation of the B0 field over a range of several ppm within the sensitive volume of the standard whole-head coil. Here, the coherence-pathway formalism is used to describe and evaluate the origin of artifacts in a double spin-echo (PRESS) sequence. The attenuation of unwanted coherences using pulsed field gradients is described for homogeneous and inhomogeneous B0 fields. The effect of the following parameters on the quality of the spectroscopic images is analyzed: (a) directional order of plane selection, (b) positioning of phase-encode gradients in the sequence, (c) postprocessing spatial windowing, and (d) motion. It is shown that, for a typical echo time of 272 ms, it is not necessary to first select a region of interest within the brain borders when sufficient phase-encode steps are used. Examples of 2D proton spectroscopic images with a nominal voxel volume of 0.85 ml are given for a healthy volunteer and a patient with a low-grade glioma.

  4. 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

  5. The challenges of human population ageing

    PubMed Central

    Sander, Miriam; Oxlund, Bjarke; Jespersen, Astrid; Krasnik, Allan; Mortensen, Erik Lykke; Westendorp, Rudi Gerardus Johannes; Rasmussen, Lene Juel

    2015-01-01

    The 20th century saw an unprecedented increase in average human lifespan as well as a rapid decline in human fertility in many countries of the world. The accompanying worldwide change in demographics of human populations is linked to unanticipated and unprecedented economic, cultural, medical, social, public health and public policy challenges, whose full implications on a societal level are only just beginning to be fully appreciated. Some of these implications are discussed in this commentary, an outcome of Cultures of Health and Ageing, a conference co-sponsored by the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) and the Center for Healthy Ageing at UCPH, which took place on 20–21 June 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Questions discussed here include the following: what is driving age-structural change in human populations? how can we create ‘age-friendly’ societies and promote ‘ageing-in-community’? what tools will effectively promote social engagement and prevent social detachment among older individuals? is there a risk that further extension of human lifespan would be a greater burden to the individual and to society than is warranted by the potential benefit of longer life? PMID:25452294

  6. 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. PMID:24780861

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Katherine; Thuret, Sandrine

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Aging, training, and the brain: A review and future directions

    PubMed Central

    Lustig, Cindy; Shah, Priti; Seidler, Rachael; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A.

    2010-01-01

    As the population ages, the need for effective methods to maintain or even improve older adults’ cognitive performance becomes increasingly pressing. Here we provide a brief review of the major intervention approaches that have been the focus of past research with healthy older adults (strategy training, multi-modal interventions, cardiovascular exercise, and process-based training), and new approaches that incorporate neuroimaging. As outcome measures, neuroimaging data on intervention-related changes in volume, structural integrity, and functional activation can provide important insights into the nature and duration of an intervention's effects. Perhaps even more intriguingly, several recent studies have used neuroimaging data as a guide to identify core cognitive processes that can be trained in one task with effective transfer to other tasks that share the same underlying processes. Although many open questions remain, this research has greatly increased our understanding of how to promote successful aging of cognition and the brain. PMID:19876740

  10. The Role of Mitochondria in Brain Aging and the Effects of Melatonin

    PubMed Central

    Escames, Germaine; López, Ana; García, José Antonio; García, Laura; Acuña-Castroviejo, Darío; García, José Joaquín; López, Luis Carlos

    2010-01-01

    Melatonin is an endogenous indoleamine present in different tissues, cellular compartments and organelles including mitochondria. When melatonin is administered orally, it is readily available to the brain where it counteracts different processes that occur during aging and age-related neurodegenerative disorders. These aging processes include oxidative stress and oxidative damage, chronic and acute inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction and loss of neural regeneration. This review summarizes age related changes in the brain and the importance of oxidative/nitrosative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in brain aging. The data and mechanisms of action of melatonin in relation to aging of the brain are reviewed as well. PMID:21358969

  11. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor is associated with age-related decline in hippocampal volume.

    PubMed

    Erickson, Kirk I; Prakash, Ruchika Shaurya; Voss, Michelle W; Chaddock, Laura; Heo, Susie; McLaren, Molly; Pence, Brandt D; Martin, Stephen A; Vieira, Victoria J; Woods, Jeffrey A; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F

    2010-04-14

    Hippocampal volume shrinks in late adulthood, but the neuromolecular factors that trigger hippocampal decay in aging humans remains a matter of speculation. In rodents, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) promotes the growth and proliferation of cells in the hippocampus and is important in long-term potentiation and memory formation. In humans, circulating levels of BDNF decline with advancing age, and a genetic polymorphism for BDNF has been related to gray matter volume loss in old age. In this study, we tested whether age-related reductions in serum levels of BDNF would be related to shrinkage of the hippocampus and memory deficits in older adults. Hippocampal volume was acquired by automated segmentation of magnetic resonance images in 142 older adults without dementia. The caudate nucleus was also segmented and examined in relation to levels of serum BDNF. Spatial memory was tested using a paradigm in which memory load was parametrically increased. We found that increasing age was associated with smaller hippocampal volumes, reduced levels of serum BDNF, and poorer memory performance. Lower levels of BDNF were associated with smaller hippocampi and poorer memory, even when controlling for the variation related to age. In an exploratory mediation analysis, hippocampal volume mediated the age-related decline in spatial memory and BDNF mediated the age-related decline in hippocampal volume. Caudate nucleus volume was unrelated to BDNF levels or spatial memory performance. Our results identify serum BDNF as a significant factor related to hippocampal shrinkage and memory decline in late adulthood. PMID:20392958

  12. 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.

  13. Mitochondrial dysfunction in aging rat brain following transient global ischemia.

    PubMed

    Xu, Kui; Puchowicz, Michelle A; Sun, Xiaoyan; LaManna, Joseph C

    2008-01-01

    Aged rat brain is more sensitive to reperfusion injury induced by cardiac arrest and resuscitation. The mitochondrial respiratory chain, the major source of free radicals during reperfusion, is likely to be the target of lipid peroxidation. Previous work has shown a higher mortality and lower hippocampal neuronal survival in older rats. 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE), a major product of lipid peroxidation, was found to be elevated in cortex and brainstem after resuscitation. In this study we investigated the acute changes of mitochondrial function in aging rat brain following cardiac arrest and resuscitation; the effect of an antioxidant, alpha-phenyl-tert-butyl-nitrone (PBN) was also tested. Fischer 344 rats, 6 and 24-month old, were subjected to cardiac arrest (7-10 minutes) and allowed to recover 1 hour after resuscitation. Mitochondria of cortex and brainstem were isolated and assayed for respiratory function. Compared to their respective non-arrested control group, 1h untreated groups (both 6 month and 24 month) had similar state 3 (ADP-stimulated) but higher state 4 (resting state) respiratory rates. The respiratory control ratio (state 3/state 4) of cortex in the 1h untreated group was 26% lower than the non-arrested control group; similar results were found in brainstem. The decreased mitochondrial respiratory function was improved by PBN treatment. HNE-modified mitochondrial proteins were elevated 1h after resuscitation, with an evident change in the aged. Treatment with PBN reduced the elevated HNE production in mitochondria of cortex. The data suggest (i) there is increased sensitivity to lipid peroxidation with aging, (ii) mitochondrial respiratory function related to coupled oxidation decreases following cardiac arrest and resuscitation, and (iii) treatment with antioxidant, such as PBN, reduces the oxidative damage following cardiac arrest and resuscitation. PMID:18290349

  14. 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...

  15. 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. PMID:24500933

  16. Endocrine and metabolic changes in human aging.

    PubMed

    Banks, W A; Morley, J E

    2000-04-01

    Numerous alterations in hormonal secretion occur with aging. In general, these tend towards a disintegration of the normal cyclic secretory patterns resulting in lower total circulating levels. In addition, declines in receptors and postreceptor function further decreases the ability of the hormonal orchestra to maintain coordinated function throughout the organism. Clues to some of these age-related changes in humans may come from the study of simpler organisms where regulatory systems are known to modulate the aging process. In particular, the interactions among the environment, hormones, and insulin receptor genes have led to new insights into the genetic control of longevity and the development of syndrome X. PMID:23604844

  17. Shaping the aging brain: role of auditory input patterns in the emergence of auditory cortical impairments

    PubMed Central

    Kamal, Brishna; Holman, Constance; de Villers-Sidani, Etienne

    2013-01-01

    Age-related impairments in the primary auditory cortex (A1) include poor tuning selectivity, neural desynchronization, and degraded responses to low-probability sounds. These changes have been largely attributed to reduced inhibition in the aged brain, and are thought to contribute to substantial hearing impairment in both humans and animals. Since many of these changes can be partially reversed with auditory training, it has been speculated that they might not be purely degenerative, but might rather represent negative plastic adjustments to noisy or distorted auditory signals reaching the brain. To test this hypothesis, we examined the impact of exposing young adult rats to 8 weeks of low-grade broadband noise on several aspects of A1 function and structure. We then characterized the same A1 elements in aging rats for comparison. We found that the impact of noise exposure on A1 tuning selectivity, temporal processing of auditory signal and responses to oddball tones was almost indistinguishable from the effect of natural aging. Moreover, noise exposure resulted in a reduction in the population of parvalbumin inhibitory interneurons and cortical myelin as previously documented in the aged group. Most of these changes reversed after returning the rats to a quiet environment. These results support the hypothesis that age-related changes in A1 have a strong activity-dependent component and indicate that the presence or absence of clear auditory input patterns might be a key factor in sustaining adult A1 function. PMID:24062649

  18. Brain white matter damage in aging and cognitive ability in youth and older age.

    PubMed

    Valdés Hernández, Maria Del C; Booth, Tom; Murray, Catherine; Gow, Alan J; Penke, Lars; Morris, Zoe; Maniega, Susana Muñoz; Royle, Natalie A; Aribisala, Benjamin S; Bastin, Mark E; Starr, John M; Deary, Ian J; Wardlaw, Joanna M

    2013-12-01

    Cerebral white matter hyperintensities (WMH) reflect accumulating white matter damage with aging and impair cognition. The role of childhood intelligence is rarely considered in associations between cognitive impairment and WMH. We studied community-dwelling older people all born in 1936, in whom IQ had been assessed at age 11 years. We assessed medical histories, current cognitive ability and quantified WMH on MR imaging. Among 634 participants, mean age 72.7 (SD 0.7), age 11 IQ was the strongest predictor of late life cognitive ability. After accounting for age 11 IQ, greater WMH load was significantly associated with lower late life general cognitive ability (β = -0.14, p < 0.01) and processing speed (β = -0.19, p < 0.001). WMH were also associated independently with lower age 11 IQ (β = -0.08, p < 0.05) and hypertension. In conclusion, having more WMH is significantly associated with lower cognitive ability, after accounting for prior ability, age 11IQ. Early-life IQ also influenced WMH in later life. Determining how lower IQ in youth leads to increasing brain damage with aging is important for future successful cognitive aging. PMID:23850341

  19. 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.

  20. Calorie Restriction Alleviates Age-Related Decrease in Neural Progenitor Cell Division in the Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    Park, June-Hee; Glass, Zachary; Sayed, Kasim; Michurina, Tatyana V.; Lazutkin, Alexander; Mineyeva, Olga; Velmeshev, Dmitry; Ward, Walter F.; Richardson, Arlan; Enikolopov, Grigori

    2013-01-01

    Production of new neurons from stem cells is important for cognitive function, and the reduction of neurogenesis in the aging brain may contribute to the accumulation of age-related cognitive deficits. Restriction of calorie intake and prolonged treatment with rapamycin have been shown to extend the lifespan of animals and delay the onset of age-related decline in tissue and organ function. Using a reporter line in which neural stem and progenitor cells are marked by the expression of GFP, we examined the effect of prolonged exposure to calorie restriction (CR) or rapamycin on hippocampal neural stem and progenitor cell proliferation in aging mice. We show that CR increases the number of dividing cells in the dentate gyrus (DG) of female mice. The majority of these cells corresponded to Nestin-GFP-expressing neural stem or progenitor cells; however, this increased proliferative activity of stem and progenitor cells did not result in a significant increase in the number of doublecortin-positive newborn neurons. Our results suggest that restricted calorie intake may increase the number of divisions that neural stem and progenitor cells undergo in the aging brain of females. PMID:23773068

  1. Sparse representation of brain aging: extracting covariance patterns from structural MRI.

    PubMed

    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

  2. A look inside the diabetic brain: Contributors to diabetes-induced brain aging

    PubMed Central

    Wrighten, Shayna A.; Piroli, Gerardo G.; Grillo, Claudia A.; Reagan, Lawrence P.

    2014-01-01

    Central nervous system (CNS) complications resulting from diabetes is a problem that is gaining more acceptance and attention. Recent evidence suggests morphological, electrophysiological and cognitive changes, often observed in the hippocampus, in diabetic individuals. Many of the CNS changes observed in diabetic patients and animal models of diabetes are reminiscent of the changes seen in normal aging. The central commonalities between diabetes-induced and age-related CNS changes have led to the theory of advanced brain aging in diabetic patients. This review summarizes the findings of the literature as they relate to the relationship between diabetes and dementia and discusses some of the potential contributors to diabetes-induced CNS impairments. PMID:19022375

  3. Stiffening of Human Skin Fibroblasts with Age

    PubMed Central

    Schulze, Christian; Wetzel, Franziska; Kueper, Thomas; Malsen, Anke; Muhr, Gesa; Jaspers, Soeren; Blatt, Thomas; Wittern, Klaus-Peter; Wenck, Horst; Käs, Josef A.

    2010-01-01

    Changes in mechanical properties are an essential characteristic of the aging process of human skin. Previous studies attribute these changes predominantly to the altered collagen and elastin organization and density of the extracellular matrix. Here, we show that individual dermal fibroblasts also exhibit a significant increase in stiffness during aging in vivo. With the laser-based optical cell stretcher we examined the viscoelastic biomechanics of dermal fibroblasts isolated from 14 human donors aged 27 to 80. Increasing age was clearly accompanied by a stiffening of the investigated cells. We found that fibroblasts from old donors exhibited an increase in rigidity of ∼60% with respect to cells of the youngest donors. A FACS analysis of the content of the cytoskeletal polymers shows a shift from monomeric G-actin to polymerized, filamentous F-actin, but no significant changes in the vimentin and microtubule content. The rheological analysis of fibroblast-populated collagen gels demonstrates that cell stiffening directly results in altered viscoelastic properties of the collagen matrix. These results identify a new mechanism that may contribute to the age-related impairment of elastic properties in human skin. The altered mechanical behavior might influence cell functions involving the cytoskeleton, such as contractility, motility, and proliferation, which are essential for reorganization of the extracellular matrix. PMID:20959083

  4. 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. PMID:25913071

  5. 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

  6. Aneuploidy and Confined Chromosomal Mosaicism in the Developing Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Liehr, Thomas; Kolotii, Alexei D.; Kutsev, Sergei I.; Pellestor, Franck; Beresheva, Alfia K.; Demidova, Irina A.; Kravets, Viktor S.; Monakhov, Viktor V.; Soloviev, Ilia V.

    2007-01-01

    Background Understanding the mechanisms underlying generation of neuronal variability and complexity remains the central challenge for neuroscience. Structural variation in the neuronal genome is likely to be one important mechanism for neuronal diversity and brain diseases. Large-scale genomic variations due to loss or gain of whole chromosomes (aneuploidy) have been described in cells of the normal and diseased human brain, which are generated from neural stem cells during intrauterine period of life. However, the incidence of aneuploidy in the developing human brain and its impact on the brain development and function are obscure. Methodology/Principal Findings To address genomic variation during development we surveyed aneuploidy/polyploidy in the human fetal tissues by advanced molecular-cytogenetic techniques at the single-cell level. Here we show that the human developing brain has mosaic nature, being composed of euploid and aneuploid neural cells. Studying over 600,000 neural cells, we have determined the average aneuploidy frequency as 1.25–1.45% per chromosome, with the overall percentage of aneuploidy tending to approach 30–35%. Furthermore, we found that mosaic aneuploidy can be exclusively confined to the brain. Conclusions/Significance Our data indicates aneuploidization to be an additional pathological mechanism for neuronal genome diversification. These findings highlight the involvement of aneuploidy in the human brain development and suggest an unexpected link between developmental chromosomal instability, intercellural/intertissular genome diversity and human brain diseases. PMID:17593959

  7. AGES in brain ageing: AGE-inhibitors as neuroprotective and anti-dementia drugs?

    PubMed

    Dukic-Stefanovic, S; Schinzel, R; Riederer, P; Münch, G

    2001-01-01

    In Alzheimer's disease, age-related cellular changes such as compromised energy production and increased radical formation are worsened by the presence of AGEs as additional, AD specific stress factors. Intracellular AGEs (most likely derived from methylglyoxal) crosslink cytoskeletal proteins and render them insoluble. These aggregates inhibit cellular functions including transport processes and contribute to neuronal dysfunction and death. Extracellular AGEs, which accumulate in ageing tissue (but most prominently on long-lived protein deposits like the senile plaques) exert chronic oxidative stress on neurons. In addition, they activate glial cells to produce free radicals (superoxide and NO) and neurotoxic cytokines such as TNF-alpha. Drugs, which inhibit the formation of AGEs by specific chemical mechanisms (AGE-inhibitors), including aminoguanidine, carnosine, tenilsetam, OPB-9195 and pyridoxamine, attenuate the development of (AGE-mediated) diabetic complications. Assuming that 'carbonyl stress' contributes significantly to the progression of Alzheimer's disease, AGE-inhibitors might also become interesting novel therapeutic drugs for treatment of AD. PMID:11708614

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:26982717

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Early Parental Care Is Important for Hippocampal Maturation: Evidence from Brain Morphology in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Hengyi; Betancourt, Laura; Giannetta, Joan M.; Brodsky, Nancy L.; Korczykowski, Marc; Avants, Brian B.; Gee, James C.; Wang, Jiongjiong; Hurt, Hallam; Detre, John A.; Farah, Martha J.

    2009-01-01

    The effects of early life experience on later brain structure and function have been studied extensively in animals, yet the relationship between childhood experience and normal brain development in humans remains largely unknown. Using a unique longitudinal data set including ecologically valid in-home measures of early experience during childhood (at age 4 and 8 years) and high-resolution structural brain imaging during adolescence (mean age 14 years), we examined the effects on later brain morphology of two dimensions of early experience: parental nurturance and environmental stimulation. Parental nurturance at age 4 predicts the volume of the left hippocampus in adolescence, with better nurturance associated with smaller hippocampal volume. In contrast, environmental stimulation did not correlate with hippocampal volume. Moreover, the association between hippocampal volume and parental nurturance disappears at age 8, supporting the existence of a sensitive developmental period for brain maturation. These findings indicate that variation in normal childhood experience is associated with differences in brain morphology, and hippocampal volume is specifically associated with early parental nurturance. Our results provide neuroimaging evidence supporting the important role of warm parental care during early childhood for brain maturation. PMID:19595774

  13. The Perimenopausal Aging Transition in the Female Rat Brain: Decline in Bioenergetic Systems and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Fei; Yao, Jia; Sancheti, Harsh; Feng, Tao; Melcangi, Roberto C.; Morgan, Todd E.; Finch, Caleb E.; Pike, Christian J.; Mack, Wendy J.; Cadenas, Enrique; Brinton, Roberta D.

    2015-01-01

    The perimenopause is an aging transition unique to the female that leads to reproductive senescence which can be characterized by multiple neurological symptoms. To better understand potential underlying mechanisms of neurological symptoms of perimenopause, the current study determined genomic, biochemical, brain metabolic and electrophysiological transformations that occur during this transition using a rat model recapitulating fundamental characteristics of the human perimenopause. Gene expression analyses indicated two distinct aging programs: chronological and endocrine. A critical period emerged during the endocrine transition from regular to irregular cycling characterized by decline in bioenergetic gene expression, confirmed by deficits in FDG-PET brain metabolism, mitochondrial function, and long-term potentiation. Bioinformatic analysis predicted insulin/IGF1 and AMPK/PGC1α signaling pathways as upstream regulators. Onset of acyclicity was accompanied by a rise in genes required for fatty acid metabolism, inflammation, and mitochondrial function. Subsequent chronological aging resulted in decline of genes required for mitochondrial function and β-amyloid degradation. Emergence of glucose hypometabolism and impaired synaptic function in brain provide plausible mechanisms of neurological symptoms of perimenopause and may be predictive of later life vulnerability to hypometabolic conditions such as Alzheimer’s. PMID:25921624

  14. The perimenopausal aging transition in the female rat brain: decline in bioenergetic systems and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Yin, Fei; Yao, Jia; Sancheti, Harsh; Feng, Tao; Melcangi, Roberto C; Morgan, Todd E; Finch, Caleb E; Pike, Christian J; Mack, Wendy J; Cadenas, Enrique; Brinton, Roberta D

    2015-07-01

    The perimenopause is an aging transition unique to the female that leads to reproductive senescence which can be characterized by multiple neurological symptoms. To better understand potential underlying mechanisms of neurological symptoms of perimenopause, the present study determined genomic, biochemical, brain metabolic, and electrophysiological transformations that occur during this transition using a rat model recapitulating fundamental characteristics of the human perimenopause. Gene expression analyses indicated two distinct aging programs: chronological and endocrine. A critical period emerged during the endocrine transition from regular to irregular cycling characterized by decline in bioenergetic gene expression, confirmed by deficits in fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) brain metabolism, mitochondrial function, and long-term potentiation. Bioinformatic analysis predicted insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 and adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase/peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 alpha (AMPK/PGC1α) signaling pathways as upstream regulators. Onset of acyclicity was accompanied by a rise in genes required for fatty acid metabolism, inflammation, and mitochondrial function. Subsequent chronological aging resulted in decline of genes required for mitochondrial function and β-amyloid degradation. Emergence of glucose hypometabolism and impaired synaptic function in brain provide plausible mechanisms of neurological symptoms of perimenopause and may be predictive of later-life vulnerability to hypometabolic conditions such as Alzheimer's. PMID:25921624

  15. 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.

  16. Age- and brain region-specific differences in mitochondrial bioenergetics in Brown Norway rats.

    PubMed

    Pandya, Jignesh D; Royland, Joyce E; MacPhail, Robert C; Sullivan, Patrick G; Kodavanti, Prasada Rao S

    2016-06-01

    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 bioenergetic parameters in 5 brain regions (brain stem [BS], frontal cortex, cerebellum, striatum, hippocampus [HIP]) of 4 diverse age groups (1 month [young], 4 months [adult], 12 months [middle-aged], 24 months [old age]) to understand age-related differences in selected brain regions and their possible contribution to age-related chemical sensitivity. Mitochondrial bioenergetic parameters and enzyme activities were measured under identical conditions across multiple age groups and brain regions in Brown Norway rats (n = 5/group). The results indicate age- and brain region-specific patterns in mitochondrial functional endpoints. For example, an age-specific decline in ATP synthesis (State III 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-months age groups. Activities of mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase complex and electron transport chain complexes I, II, and IV enzymes were also age and brain region specific. In general, changes associated with age were more pronounced with enzyme activities declining as the animals aged (young > adult > middle-aged > old age). These age- and brain region-specific observations may aid in evaluating brain bioenergetic impact on the age-related susceptibility to environmental chemical stressors. PMID:27143418

  17. 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. PMID:26764332

  18. Age, Intelligence, and Event-Related Brain Potentials during Late Childhood: A Longitudinal Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stauder, Johannes E. A.; van der Molen, Maurits W.; Molenaar, Peter C. M.

    2003-01-01

    Studied the relationship between event-related brain activity, age, and intelligence using a visual oddball task presented to girls at 9, 10, and 11 years of age. Findings for 26 girls suggest a qualitative shift in the relation between event-related brain activity and intelligence between 9 and 10 years of age. (SLD)

  19. Dedifferentiation of emotion regulation strategies in the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Ponzio, Allison; Velasco, Ricardo; Kaplan, Jonas; Mather, Mara

    2015-01-01

    Different emotion regulation strategies are distinctly represented in the brains of younger adults. Decreasing a reaction to a negative situation by reinterpreting it (reappraisal) relies on cognitive control regions in the prefrontal cortex, while distracting away from a stressor involves more posterior medial structures. In this study, we used Multi-Voxel pattern analyses (MVPA) to examine whether reappraisal and distraction strategies have distinct representations in the older adult brain, or whether emotion regulation strategies become more dedifferentiated in later life. MVPA better differentiated the two emotion regulation strategies for younger adults than for older adults, and revealed the greatest age-related differences in differentiation in the posterior medial cortex (PMC). Univariate analyses revealed equal PMC recruitment across strategies for older adults, but greater activity during distraction than reappraisal for younger adults. The PMC is central to self-focused processing, and thus our findings are consistent with the possibility that focusing on the self may be a default mechanism across emotion regulation strategies for older people. PMID:25380765

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24559659

  2. 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. PMID:26799654

  3. 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

  4. Age- and brain region-dependent α-synuclein oligomerization is attributed to alterations in intrinsic enzymes regulating α-synuclein phosphorylation in aging monkey brains

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Min; Yang, Weiwei; Li, Xin; Li, Xuran; Wang, Peng; Yue, Feng; Yang, Hui; Chan, Piu; Yu, Shun

    2016-01-01

    We previously reported that the levels of α-syn oligomers, which play pivotal pathogenic roles in age-related Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies, increase heterogeneously in the aging brain. Here, we show that exogenous α-syn incubated with brain extracts from older cynomolgus monkeys and in Lewy body pathology (LBP)-susceptible brain regions (striatum and hippocampus) forms higher amounts of phosphorylated and oligomeric α-syn than that in extracts from younger monkeys and LBP-insusceptible brain regions (cerebellum and occipital cortex). The increased α-syn phosphorylation and oligomerization in the brain extracts from older monkeys and in LBP-susceptible brain regions were associated with higher levels of polo-like kinase 2 (PLK2), an enzyme promoting α-syn phosphorylation, and lower activity of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), an enzyme inhibiting α-syn phosphorylation, in these brain extracts. Further, the extent of the age- and brain-dependent increase in α-syn phosphorylation and oligomerization was reduced by inhibition of PLK2 and activation of PP2A. Inversely, phosphorylated α-syn oligomers reduced the activity of PP2A and showed potent cytotoxicity. In addition, the activity of GCase and the levels of ceramide, a product of GCase shown to activate PP2A, were lower in brain extracts from older monkeys and in LBP-susceptible brain regions. Our results suggest a role for altered intrinsic metabolic enzymes in age- and brain region-dependent α-syn oligomerization in aging brains. PMID:27032368

  5. Roles of unsaturated fatty acids (especially omega-3 fatty acids) in the brain at various ages and during ageing.

    PubMed

    Bourre, J M

    2004-01-01

    Among various organs, in the brain, the fatty acids most extensively studied are omega-3 fatty acids. Alpha-linolenic acid (18:3omega3) deficiency alters the structure and function of membranes and induces minor cerebral dysfunctions, as demonstrated in animal models and subsequently in human infants. Even though the brain is materially an organ like any other, that is to say elaborated from substances present in the diet (sometimes exclusively), for long it was not accepted that food can have an influence on brain structure, and thus on its function. Lipids, and especially omega-3 fatty acids, provided the first coherent experimental demonstration of the effect of diet (nutrients) on the structure and function of the brain. In fact the brain, after adipose tissue, is the organ richest in lipids, whose only role is to participate in membrane structure. First it was shown that the differentiation and functioning of cultured brain cells requires not only alpha-linolenic acid (the major component of the omega-3, omega3 family), but also the very long omega-3 and omega-6 carbon chains (1). It was then demonstrated that alpha-linolenic acid deficiency alters the course of brain development, perturbs the composition and physicochemical properties of brain cell membranes, neurones, oligodendrocytes, and astrocytes (2). This leads to physicochemical modifications, induces biochemical and physiological perturbations, and results in neurosensory and behavioural upset (3). Consequently, the nature of polyunsaturated fatty acids (in particular omega-3) present in formula milks for infants (premature and term) conditions the visual and cerebral abilities, including intellectual. Moreover, dietary omega-3 fatty acids are certainly involved in the prevention of some aspects of cardiovascular disease (including at the level of cerebral vascularization), and in some neuropsychiatric disorders, particularly depression, as well as in dementia, notably Alzheimer's disease. Recent

  6. Parental brain and socioeconomic epigenetic effects in human development

    PubMed Central

    Swain, James E.; Perkins, Suzanne C.; Dayton, Carolyn J.; Finegood, Eric D.; Ho, S. Shaun

    2015-01-01

    Critically significant parental effects in behavioral genetics may be partly understood as a consequence of maternal brain structure and function of caregiving systems recently studied in humans as well as rodents. Key parental brain areas regulate emotions, motivation/reward, and decision making, as well as more complex social-cognitive circuits. Additional key environmental factors must include socioeconomic status and paternal brain physiology. These have implications for developmental and evolutionary biology as well as public policy. PMID:23095400

  7. Estrogen and the Aging Brain: an elixir for the weary cortical network?

    PubMed Central

    Dumitriu, Dani; Rapp, Peter; McEwen, Bruce; Morrison, John

    2010-01-01

    The surprising discovery in 1990 that estrogen modulates hippocampal structural plasticity launched a whole new field of scientific inquiry. Over the past two decades, estrogen-induced spinogenesis has been described in several brain areas involved in cognition, in a number of species, in both sexes, and on multiple time-scales. Exploration into the interaction between estrogen and aging has illuminated some of the hormone’s neuroprotective effects, most notably on age-related cognitive decline in non-human primates. While there is still much to be learned about the mechanisms by which estrogen exerts its actions, key components of the signal transduction pathways are beginning to be elucidated and non-genomic actions via membrane bound estrogen receptors are of particular interest. The goal of this line of investigation is the eventual development of new therapeutics that can prevent or reverse age-related cognitive impairment. PMID:20738280

  8. 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.

  9. Resonance of human brain under head acceleration.

    PubMed

    Laksari, Kaveh; Wu, Lyndia C; Kurt, Mehmet; Kuo, Calvin; Camarillo, David C

    2015-07-01

    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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Human serum metabolic profiles are age dependent.

    PubMed

    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

    2012-12-01

    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) , α(corr) = 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

  13. Reconstituting a human brain in animals: a Jewish perspective on human sanctity.

    PubMed

    Loike, John D; Tendler, Moshe

    2008-12-01

    The potential use of stem cells in the treatment of a variety of human diseases has been a major driving force for embryonic stem cell research. Another productive area of research has been the use of human stem cells to reconstitute human organ systems in animals in an attempt to create new animal models for human diseases. However, the possibility of transplanting human embryonic brain cells or precursor brain cells into an animal fetus presents numerous ethical challenges. This paper examines, from a Jewish perspective on human dignity, several bioethical concerns related to the reconstitution of animal brains with human neurons. PMID:19143409

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:24126515

  16. 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.

  17. [Brain evolution of the human from the paleoneurologic viewpoint].

    PubMed

    Brandt, M

    1993-12-01

    Paleoneurology interprets natural or artificial endocasts. It is, therefore, the only method which is able to provide direct information on the ancestry of the human brain. Australopithecus, Homo habilis and Homo erectus are of outstanding importance concerning human evolution. This short review deals with some well-preserved endocasts of these forms. Possibilities and limitations of paleoneurology are discussed with respect to the taxonomic attribution of fossil specimens. Functional aspects of the cortical sulcus pattern can be interpreted rather strictly and is, therefore, of considerably phylogenetic significance. It indicates that even some early hominids exhibit a human-like brain organization (e.g. KNM-ER 1470) while others (such a KNM-ER 1805) feature a rather pongid-like brain organization. However, controversy over the interpretation of endocasts from early hominids continues: It has not been possible to unequivocally demonstrate a human-like feature of the Australopithecus brain. PMID:8285598

  18. Genetic Changes Shaping the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Bae, Byoung-il; Jayaraman, Divya; Walsh, Christopher A.

    2015-01-01

    Summary The development and function of our brain are governed by a genetic blueprint, which reflects dynamic changes over the history of evolution. Recent progress in genetics and genomics, facilitated by next-generation sequencing and single-cell sorting, has identified numerous genomic loci that are associated with a neuroanatomical or neurobehavioral phenotype. Here, we review some of the genetic changes in both protein-coding and noncoding regions that affect brain development and evolution, as well as recent progress in brain transcriptomics. Understanding these genetic changes may provide novel insights into neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia. PMID:25710529

  19. Intramolecular group transfer is a characteristic of neurotoxic esterase and is independent of the tissue source of the enzyme. A comparison of the aging behaviour of di-isopropyl phosphorofluoridate-labelled proteins in brain, spinal cord, liver, kidney and spleen from hen and in human placenta.

    PubMed Central

    Williams, D G

    1983-01-01

    Neurotoxic esterase activity was measured in homogenates of human placenta and hen brain, spinal cord, liver, kidney and spleen. The activity in liver comprised less than 20% of the Paraoxon-resistant esterases, but in the other tissues neurotoxic esterase accounted for over 50%. The same tissues were labelled with [3H]di-isopropyl phosphorofluoridate, and any isopropyl group transferred on to protein during 'aging' of the labelled enzymes (alkali-volatilizable tritium) was measured. No Paraoxon-sensitive labelled sites were found to age in this way in any tissue. In brain, the Paraoxon-resistant alkali-volatilizable-tritium-labelled sites correlated with the number of neurotoxic esterase labelled sites, indicating that 'aging' and isopropyl group transfer were 100% efficient. The site receiving the transferred isopropyl group was characterized by analysing the distribution of radiolabelled proteins on gel-filtration chromatography in the presence of SDS. In particulate preparations from each tissue, the protein-bound alkali-volatilizable tritium (transferred isopropyl group) was attached to a polypeptide of Mr 178 000. This same polypeptide also bore the isopropyl-phosphoryl group of neurotoxic esterase, indicating that aging of neurotoxic esterase is an intramolecular group transfer. The apparent turnover number for the enzyme (average 1.6 X 10(5) min-1) was approximately the same in each hen tissue, confirming that closely similar enzymes were present in brain, spinal cord, liver and spleen. The apparent turnover for the human enzyme was 1.8-fold higher than that for the hen enzyme. The concentration of the neurotoxic esterase phosphorylated subunit in brain, spinal cord, spleen, placenta and liver was 14.6, 3.8, 7.4, 3.3 and 3.8 pmol/g of tissue. The evidence indicated that neurotoxic esterase is present in each tissue except kidney, and that isopropyl group transfer on 'aging' occurs on this enzyme only. This process is an intramolecular transfer of the group

  20. 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. PMID:26092628

  1. Brain trauma in aged transgenic mice induces regression of established abeta deposits.

    PubMed

    Nakagawa, Y; Reed, L; Nakamura, M; McIntosh, T K; Smith, D H; Saatman, K E; Raghupathi, R; Clemens, J; Saido, T C; Lee, V M; Trojanowski, J Q

    2000-05-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) increases susceptibility to Alzheimer's disease (AD), but it is not known if TBI affects the progression of AD. To address this question, we studied the neuropathological consequences of TBI in transgenic (TG) mice with a mutant human Abeta precursor protein (APP) mini-gene driven by a platelet-derived (PD) growth factor promoter resulting in overexpression of mutant APP (V717F), elevated brain Abeta levels, and AD-like amyloidosis. Since brain Abeta deposits first appear in 6-month-old TG (PDAPP) mice and accumulate with age, 2-year-old PDAPP and wild-type (WT) mice were subjected to controlled cortical impact (CCI) TBI or sham treatment. At 1, 9, and 16 weeks after TBI, neuron loss, gliosis, and atrophy were most prominent near the CCI site in PDAPP and WT mice. However, there also was a remarkable regression in the Abeta amyloid plaque burden in the hippocampus ipsilateral to TBI compared to the contralateral hippocampus of the PDAPP mice by 16 weeks postinjury. Thus, these data suggest that previously accumulated Abeta plaques resulting from progressive amyloidosis in the AD brain also may be reversible. PMID:10785464

  2. 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.

  3. Optogenetic control of human neurons in organotypic brain cultures.

    PubMed

    Andersson, My; Avaliani, Natalia; Svensson, Andreas; Wickham, Jenny; Pinborg, Lars H; Jespersen, Bo; Christiansen, Søren H; Bengzon, Johan; Woldbye, David P D; Kokaia, Merab

    2016-01-01

    Optogenetics is one of the most powerful tools in neuroscience, allowing for selective control of specific neuronal populations in the brain of experimental animals, including mammals. We report, for the first time, the application of optogenetic tools to human brain tissue providing a proof-of-concept for the use of optogenetics in neuromodulation of human cortical and hippocampal neurons as a possible tool to explore network mechanisms and develop future therapeutic strategies. PMID:27098488

  4. Optogenetic control of human neurons in organotypic brain cultures

    PubMed Central

    Andersson, My; Avaliani, Natalia; Svensson, Andreas; Wickham, Jenny; Pinborg, Lars H.; Jespersen, Bo; Christiansen, Søren H.; Bengzon, Johan; Woldbye, David P.D.; Kokaia, Merab

    2016-01-01

    Optogenetics is one of the most powerful tools in neuroscience, allowing for selective control of specific neuronal populations in the brain of experimental animals, including mammals. We report, for the first time, the application of optogenetic tools to human brain tissue providing a proof-of-concept for the use of optogenetics in neuromodulation of human cortical and hippocampal neurons as a possible tool to explore network mechanisms and develop future therapeutic strategies. PMID:27098488

  5. Overview of the human brain as a distributed computing network

    SciTech Connect

    Gevins, A.S.

    1983-01-01

    The hierarchically organized human brain is viewed as a prime example of a massively parallel, adaptive information processing and process control system. A brief overview of the human brain is provided for computer architects, in hopes that the principles of massive parallelism, dense connectivity and self-organization of assemblies of processing elements will prove relevant to the design of fifth generation VLSI computing networks. 6 references.

  6. Caloric restriction: beneficial effects on brain aging and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Van Cauwenberghe, Caroline; Vandendriessche, Charysse; Libert, Claude; Vandenbroucke, Roosmarijn E

    2016-08-01

    Dietary interventions such as caloric restriction (CR) extend lifespan and health span. Recent data from animal and human studies indicate that CR slows down the aging process, benefits general health, and improves memory performance. Caloric restriction also retards and slows down the progression of different age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease. However, the specific molecular basis of these effects remains unclear. A better understanding of the pathways underlying these effects could pave the way to novel preventive or therapeutic strategies. In this review, we will discuss the mechanisms and effects of CR on aging and Alzheimer's disease. A potential alternative to CR as a lifestyle modification is the use of CR mimetics. These compounds mimic the biochemical and functional effects of CR without the need to reduce energy intake. We discuss the effect of two of the most investigated mimetics, resveratrol and rapamycin, on aging and their potential as Alzheimer's disease therapeutics. However, additional research will be needed to determine the safety, efficacy, and usability of CR and its mimetics before a general recommendation can be proposed to implement them. PMID:27240590

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Human face processing is tuned to sexual age preferences.

    PubMed

    Ponseti, J; Granert, O; van Eimeren, T; Jansen, O; Wolff, S; Beier, K; Deuschl, G; Bosinski, H; Siebner, H

    2014-05-01

    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

  10. Gene Risk Factors for Age-Related Brain Disorders May Affect Immune System Function

    MedlinePlus

    ... for age-related brain disorders may affect immune system function June 17, 2014 Scientists have discovered gene ... factors for age-related neurological disorders to immune system functions, such as inflammation, offers new insights into ...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Brain development is similar in Neanderthals and modern humans.

    PubMed

    Ponce de León, Marcia S; Bienvenu, Thibaut; Akazawa, Takeru; Zollikofer, Christoph P E

    2016-07-25

    While the braincase of adult Neanderthals had a similar volume to that of modern humans from the same period, differences in endocranial shape suggest that brain morphology differed between modern humans and Neanderthals. When and how these differences arose during evolution and development is a topic of ongoing research, with potential implications for species-specific differences in brain and cognitive development, and in life history [1,2]. Earlier research suggested that Neanderthals followed an ancestral mode of brain development, similar to that of our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees [2-4]. Modern humans, by contrast, were suggested to follow a uniquely derived mode of brain development just after birth, giving rise to the characteristically globular shape of the adult human brain case [2,4,5]. Here, we re-examine this hypothesis using an extended sample of Neanderthal infants. We document endocranial development during the decisive first two years of postnatal life. The new data indicate that Neanderthals followed largely similar modes of endocranial development to modern humans. These findings challenge the notion that human brain and cognitive development after birth is uniquely derived [2,4]. PMID:27458909

  13. Accelerated Brain Aging in Schizophrenia and Beyond: A Neuroanatomical Marker of Psychiatric Disorders

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24126515

  14. 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. PMID:27282086

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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. Regional growth and atlasing of the developing human brain.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-01-15

    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 45weeks 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

  20. Evolution of the human brain: when bigger is better

    PubMed Central

    Hofman, Michel A.

    2014-01-01

    Comparative studies of the brain in mammals suggest that there are general architectural principles governing its growth and evolutionary development. We are beginning to understand the geometric, biophysical and energy constraints that have governed the evolution and functional organization of the brain and its underlying neuronal network. The object of this review is to present current perspectives on primate brain evolution, especially in humans, and to examine some hypothetical organizing principles that underlie the brain's complex organization. Some of the design principles and operational modes that underlie the information processing capacity of the cerebral cortex in primates will be explored. It is shown that the development of the cortex coordinates folding with connectivity in a way that produces smaller and faster brains, then otherwise would have been possible. In view of the central importance placed on brain evolution in explaining the success of our own species, one may wonder whether there are physical limits that constrain its processing power and evolutionary potential. It will be argued that at a brain size of about 3500 cm3, corresponding to a brain volume two to three times that of modern man, the brain seems to reach its maximum processing capacity. The larger the brain grows beyond this critical size, the less efficient it will become, thus limiting any improvement in cognitive power. PMID:24723857

  1. 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. PMID:25137064

  2. 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

  3. The canine (dog) model of human aging and disease: dietary, environmental and immunotherapy approaches.

    PubMed

    Cotman, Carl W; Head, Elizabeth

    2008-12-01

    Aged dogs (beagles) develop losses in executive function, learning and memory. The severity of decline in these cognitive domains represents a spectrum that captures normal aging, mild cognitive impairment and early/mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) in humans. In parallel, dogs naturally accumulate several types of neuropathology (although not all) consistent with human brain aging and AD including cortical atrophy, neuron loss, loss of neurogenesis, amyloid-beta (Abeta) plaques, cerebral amyloid angiopathy and oxidative damage. Many of these neuropathological features correlate with the extent of cognitive decline in a brain region-dependent manner. Dogs are ideally suited for longitudinal studies, and we provide a summary of the beneficial effects of an antioxidant diet, behavioral enrichment, and Abeta immunotherapy. In addition, combinatorial treatment approaches can be a powerful strategy for improving brain function through enhancement of multiple molecular pathways. PMID:19096165

  4. 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

  5. The Associative Memory Deficit in Aging Is Related to Reduced Selectivity of Brain Activity during Encoding.

    PubMed

    Saverino, Cristina; Fatima, Zainab; Sarraf, Saman; Oder, Anita; Strother, Stephen C; Grady, Cheryl L

    2016-09-01

    Human aging is characterized by reductions in the ability to remember associations between items, despite intact memory for single items. Older adults also show less selectivity in task-related brain activity, such that patterns of activation become less distinct across multiple experimental tasks. This reduced selectivity or dedifferentiation has been found for episodic memory, which is often reduced in older adults, but not for semantic memory, which is maintained with age. We used fMRI to investigate whether there is a specific reduction in selectivity of brain activity during associative encoding in older adults, but not during item encoding, and whether this reduction predicts associative memory performance. Healthy young and older adults were scanned while performing an incidental encoding task for pictures of objects and houses under item or associative instructions. An old/new recognition test was administered outside the scanner. We used agnostic canonical variates analysis and split-half resampling to detect whole-brain patterns of activation that predicted item versus associative encoding for stimuli that were later correctly recognized. Older adults had poorer memory for associations than did younger adults, whereas item memory was comparable across groups. Associative encoding trials, but not item encoding trials, were predicted less successfully in older compared with young adults, indicating less distinct patterns of associative-related activity in the older group. Importantly, higher probability of predicting associative encoding trials was related to better associative memory after accounting for age and performance on a battery of neuropsychological tests. These results provide evidence that neural distinctiveness at encoding supports associative memory and that a specific reduction of selectivity in neural recruitment underlies age differences in associative memory. PMID:27082043

  6. Prolonged exposure to low levels of aluminum leads to changes associated with brain aging and neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Bondy, Stephen C

    2014-01-01

    Aluminum is one of the most common metal elements in the earth's crust. It is not an essential element for life and has commonly been thought of as a rather inert and insoluble mineral. Therefore, it has often been regarded as not posing a significant health hazard. In consequence, aluminum-containing agents been used in many food processing steps and also in removal by flocculation of particulate organic matter from water. In recent years, acid rain has tended to mobilize aluminum-containing minerals into a more soluble form, ionic Al(3+), which has found their way into many reservoirs that constitute residential drinking water resources. As a result, the human body burden of aluminum has increased. Epidemiological studies suggest that aluminum may not be as innocuous as was previously thought and that aluminum may actively promote the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease. Epidemiological data is strengthened by experimental evidence of aluminum exposure leading to excess inflammatory activity within the brain. Such apparently irrelevant immune activity unprovoked by an exogenous infectious agent characterizes the aging brain and is even more pronounced in several neurodegenerative diseases. The causation of most of these age-related neurological disorders is not understood but since they are generally not genetic, one must assume that their development is underlain by unknown environmental factors. There is an increasing and coherent body of evidence that implicates aluminum as being one such significant factor. Evidence is outlined supporting the concept of aluminum's involvement in hastening brain aging. This acceleration would then inevitably lead to increased incidence of specific age-related neurological diseases. PMID:24189189

  7. Chronological ageing of human hair keratin fibres.

    PubMed

    Thibaut, S; de Becker, E; Bernard, B A; Huart, M; Fiat, F; Baghdadli, N; Luengo, G S; Leroy, F; Angevin, P; Kermoal, A M; Muller, S; Peron, M; Provot, G; Kravtchenko, S; Saint-Léger, D; Desbois, G; Gauchet, L; Nowbuth, K; Galliano, A; Kempf, J Y; Silberzan, I

    2010-12-01

    Examination of very long hair (length > 2.4 m) using a large range of evaluation methods including physical, chemical, biochemical and microscopic techniques has enabled to attain a detailed understanding of natural ageing of human hair keratin fibres. Scrutinizing hair that has undergone little or no oxidative aggression--because of the absence of action of chemical agents such as bleaching or dyeing--from the root to the tip shows the deterioration process, which gradually takes place from the outside to the inside of the hair shaft: first, a progressive abrasion of the cuticle, whilst the cortex structure remains unaltered, is evidenced along a length of roughly 1 m onwards together with constant shine, hydrophobicity and friction characteristics. Further along the fibre, a significant damage to cuticle scales occurs, which correlates well with ceramides and 18-Methyl Eicosanoic Acid (18-MEA) decline, and progressive decrease in keratin-associated protein content. Most physical descriptors of mechanical and optical properties decay significantly. This detailed description of natural ageing of human hair fibres by a fine analysis of hair components and physical parameters in relationship with cosmetic characteristics provides a time-dependent 'damage scale' of human hair, which may help in designing new targeted hair care formulations. PMID:20384898

  8. 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.

  9. Cortical complexity as a measure of age-related brain atrophy.

    PubMed

    Madan, Christopher R; Kensinger, Elizabeth A

    2016-07-01

    The structure of the human brain changes in a variety of ways as we age. While a sizeable literature has examined age-related differences in cortical thickness, and to a lesser degree, gyrification, here we examined differences in cortical complexity, as indexed by fractal dimensionality in a sample of over 400 individuals across the adult lifespan. While prior studies have shown differences in fractal dimensionality between patient populations and age-matched, healthy controls, it is unclear how well this measure would relate to age-related cortical atrophy. Initially computing a single measure for the entire cortical ribbon, i.e., unparcellated gray matter, we found fractal dimensionality to be more sensitive to age-related differences than either cortical thickness or gyrification index. We additionally observed regional differences in age-related atrophy between the three measures, suggesting that they may index distinct differences in cortical structure. We also provide a freely available MATLAB toolbox for calculating fractal dimensionality. PMID:27103141

  10. 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

  11. BrainKnowledge: a human brain function mapping knowledge-base system.

    PubMed

    Hsiao, Mei-Yu; Chen, Chien-Chung; Chen, Jyh-Horng

    2011-03-01

    Associating fMRI image datasets with the available literature is crucial for the analysis and interpretation of fMRI data. Here, we present a human brain function mapping knowledge-base system (BrainKnowledge) that associates fMRI data analysis and literature search functions. BrainKnowledge not only contains indexed literature, but also provides the ability to compare experimental data with those derived from the literature. BrainKnowledge provides three major functions: (1) to search for brain activation models by selecting a particular brain function; (2) to query functions by brain structure; (3) to compare the fMRI data with data extracted from the literature. All these functions are based on our literature extraction and mining module developed earlier (Hsiao, Chen, Chen. Journal of Biomedical Informatics 42, 912-922, 2009), which automatically downloads and extracts information from a vast amount of fMRI literature and generates co-occurrence models and brain association patterns to illustrate the relevance of brain structures and functions. BrainKnowledge currently provides three co-occurrence models: (1) a structure-to-function co-occurrence model; (2) a function-to-structure co-occurrence model; and (3) a brain structure co-occurrence model. Each model has been generated from over 15,000 extracted Medline abstracts. In this study, we illustrate the capabilities of BrainKnowledge and provide an application example with the studies of affect. BrainKnowledge, which combines fMRI experimental results with Medline abstracts, may be of great assistance to scientists not only by freeing up resources and valuable time, but also by providing a powerful tool that collects and organizes over ten thousand abstracts into readily usable and relevant sources of information for researchers. PMID:20857233

  12. 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

  13. Insights into Brain Glycogen Metabolism: THE STRUCTURE OF HUMAN BRAIN GLYCOGEN PHOSPHORYLASE.

    PubMed

    Mathieu, Cécile; de la Sierra-Gallay, Ines Li; Duval, Romain; Xu, Ximing; Cocaign, Angélique; Léger, Thibaut; Woffendin, Gary; Camadro, Jean-Michel; Etchebest, Catherine; Haouz, Ahmed; Dupret, Jean-Marie; Rodrigues-Lima, Fernando

    2016-08-26

    Brain glycogen metabolism plays a critical role in major brain functions such as learning or memory consolidation. However, alteration of glycogen metabolism and glycogen accumulation in the brain contributes to neurodegeneration as observed in Lafora disease. Glycogen phosphorylase (GP), a key enzyme in glycogen metabolism, catalyzes the rate-limiting step of glycogen mobilization. Moreover, the allosteric regulation of the three GP isozymes (muscle, liver, and brain) by metabolites and phosphorylation, in response to hormonal signaling, fine-tunes glycogenolysis to fulfill energetic and metabolic requirements. Whereas the structures of muscle and liver GPs have been known for decades, the structure of brain GP (bGP) has remained elusive despite its critical role in brain glycogen metabolism. Here, we report the crystal structure of human bGP in complex with PEG 400 (2.5 Å) and in complex with its allosteric activator AMP (3.4 Å). These structures demonstrate that bGP has a closer structural relationship with muscle GP, which is also activated by AMP, contrary to liver GP, which is not. Importantly, despite the structural similarities between human bGP and the two other mammalian isozymes, the bGP structures reveal molecular features unique to the brain isozyme that provide a deeper understanding of the differences in the activation properties of these allosteric enzymes by the allosteric effector AMP. Overall, our study further supports that the distinct structural and regulatory properties of GP isozymes contribute to the different functions of muscle, liver, and brain glycogen. PMID:27402852

  14. Mitochondrial viability in mouse and human postmortem brain

    PubMed Central

    Barksdale, Keri A.; Perez-Costas, Emma; Gandy, Johanna C.; Melendez-Ferro, Miguel; Roberts, Rosalinda C.; Bijur, Gautam N.

    2010-01-01

    Neuronal function in the brain requires energy in the form of ATP, and mitochondria are canonically associated with ATP production in neurons. The electrochemical gradient, which underlies the mitochondrial transmembrane potential (ΔΨmem), is harnessed for ATP generation. Here we show that ΔΨmem and ATP-production can be engaged in mitochondria isolated from human brains up to 8.5 h postmortem. Also, a time course of postmortem intervals from 0 to 24 h using mitochondria isolated from mouse cortex reveals that ΔΨmem in mitochondria can be reconstituted beyond 10 h postmortem. It was found that complex I of the mitochondrial electron transport chain was affected adversely with increasing postmortem intervals. Mitochondria isolated from postmortem mouse brains maintain the ability to produce ATP, but rates of production decreased with longer postmortem intervals. Furthermore, we show that postmortem brain mitochondria retain their ΔΨmem and ATP-production capacities following cryopreservation. Our finding that ΔΨmem and ATP-generating capacity can be reinitiated in brain mitochondria hours after death indicates that human postmortem brains can be an abundant source of viable mitochondria to study metabolic processes in health and disease. It is also possible to archive these mitochondria for future studies.—Barksdale, K. A., Perez-Costas, E., Gandy, J. C., Melendez-Ferro, M., Roberts, R. C., Bijur, G. N. Mitochondrial viability in mouse and human postmortem brain. PMID:20466876

  15. Absence of human cytomegalovirus infection in childhood brain tumors.

    PubMed

    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

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:25798491

  18. On Expression Patterns and Developmental Origin of Human Brain Regions

    PubMed Central

    Kirsch, Lior; Chechik, Gal

    2016-01-01

    Anatomical substructures of the human brain have characteristic cell-types, connectivity and local circuitry, which are reflected in area-specific transcriptome signatures, but the principles governing area-specific transcription and their relation to brain development are still being studied. In adult rodents, areal transcriptome patterns agree with the embryonic origin of brain regions, but the processes and genes that preserve an embryonic signature in regional expression profiles were not quantified. Furthermore, it is not clear how embryonic-origin signatures of adult-brain expression interplay with changes in expression patterns during development. Here we first quantify which genes have regional expression-patterns related to the developmental origin of brain regions, using genome-wide mRNA expression from post-mortem adult human brains. We find that almost all human genes (92%) exhibit an expression pattern that agrees with developmental brain-region ontology, but that this agreement changes at multiple phases during development. Agreement is particularly strong in neuron-specific genes, but also in genes that are not spatially correlated with neuron-specific or glia-specific markers. Surprisingly, agreement is also stronger in early-evolved genes. We further find that pairs of similar genes having high agreement to developmental region ontology tend to be more strongly correlated or anti-correlated, and that the strength of spatial correlation changes more strongly in gene pairs with stronger embryonic signatures. These results suggest that transcription regulation of most genes in the adult human brain is spatially tuned in a way that changes through life, but in agreement with development-determined brain regions. PMID:27564987

  19. Software-based Diffusion MR Human Brain Phantom for Evaluating Fiber-tracking Algorithms.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yundi; Roger, Gwendoline; Vachet, Clement; Budin, Francois; Maltbie, Eric; Verde, Audrey; Hoogstoel, Marion; Berger, Jean-Baptiste; Styner, Martin

    2013-03-13

    Fiber tracking provides insights into the brain white matter network and has become more and more popular in diffusion MR imaging. Hardware or software phantom provides an essential platform to investigate, validate and compare various tractography algorithms towards a "gold standard". Software phantoms excel due to their flexibility in varying imaging parameters, such as tissue composition, SNR, as well as potential to model various anatomies and pathologies. This paper describes a novel method in generating diffusion MR images with various imaging parameters from realistically appearing, individually varying brain anatomy based on predefined fiber tracts within a high-resolution human brain atlas. Specifically, joint, high resolution DWI and structural MRI brain atlases were constructed with images acquired from 6 healthy subjects (age 22-26) for the DWI data and 56 healthy subject (age 18-59) for the structural MRI data. Full brain fiber tracking was performed with filtered, two-tensor tractography in atlas space. A deformation field based principal component model from the structural MRI as well as unbiased atlas building was then employed to generate synthetic structural brain MR images that are individually varying. Atlas fiber tracts were accordingly warped into each synthetic brain anatomy. Diffusion MR images were finally computed from these warped tracts via a composite hindered and restricted model of diffusion with various imaging parameters for gradient directions, image resolution and SNR. Furthermore, an open-source program was developed to evaluate the fiber tracking results both qualitatively and quantitatively based on various similarity measures. PMID:24357914

  20. 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.

  1. 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)

  2. Brain Na(+), K(+)-ATPase Activity In Aging and Disease.

    PubMed

    de Lores Arnaiz, Georgina Rodríguez; Ordieres, María Graciela López

    2014-06-01

    in signaling pathways, 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

  3. 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

  4. Genetic regulation of human brain development: lessons from Mendelian diseases

    PubMed Central

    Dixon-Salazar, Tracy J.; Gleeson, Joseph G.

    2016-01-01

    One of the fundamental goals in human genetics is to link gene function to phenotype, yet the function of the majority of the genes in the human body is still poorly understood. This is especially true for the developing human brain. The study of human phenotypes that result from inherited, mutated alleles is the most direct evidence for the requirement of a gene in human physiology. Thus, the study of Mendelian central nervous system(CNS) diseases can be an extremely powerful approach to elucidate such phenotypic/genotypic links and to increase our understanding of the key components required for development of the human brain. In this review, we highlight examples of how the study of inherited neurodevelopmental disorders contributes to our knowledge of both the “normal” and diseased human brain, as well as elaborate on the future of this type of research. Mendelian disease research has been, and will continue to be, key to understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie human brain function, and will ultimately form a basis for the design of intelligent, mechanism-specific treatments for nervous system disorders. PMID:21062301

  5. Sibling rivalry among paralogs promotes evolution of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Tyler-Smith, Chris; Xue, Yali

    2012-05-11

    Geneticists have long sought to identify the genetic changes that made us human, but pinpointing the functionally relevant changes has been challenging. Two papers in this issue suggest that partial duplication of SRGAP2, producing an incomplete protein that antagonizes the original, contributed to human brain evolution. PMID:22579279

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. Abnormal brain aging as a radical-related disease: A new target for nuclear medicine

    SciTech Connect

    Fujibayashi, Y.; Yamamoto, S.; Waki, A. |

    1996-05-01

    DNA damages caused by endogenously produced radicals are closely correlated with aging. Among them, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deletions have been reported as a memory of DNA damage by oxygen radicals. In fact, clinical as well as experimental studies indicated the accumulation of deleted mtDNA in the brain, myocardium and son on, in aged subjects. In our previous work, radioiodinated radical trapping agent, p-iodophenyl-N-t-butylnitrone, and hypoxia imaging agent, Cu-62 diacetyl-bis-N-4-methyl-thiosemicarbazone have been developed for the diagnosis of radical-related diseases, such as ischemic, inflammation, cancer or aging. The aim of the present work was to evaluate these agents for brain aging studies. In our university, an unique animal model, a senescence accelerated model mouse (SAM), has been established. Among the various substrains, SAMP8 showing memory deterioration in its young age ({approximately}3 month) was basically evaluated as an abnormal brain aging model with mtDNA deletion. As controls, SAMR1 showing normal aging and ddY mice were used. MtDNA deletion n the brain was analyzed with polymerase-chain reaction (PCR) method, and relationship between mtDNA deletion and brain uptake of IPBN or Cu-62-ATSM was studied. In 1-3 month old SAMP8 brain, multiple mtDNa deletions were already found and their content was significantly higher than that of SAMR1 or age-matched ddY control. Thus, it was cleared that SAMP8 brain has high tendency to be attacked by endogenously produced oxygen radicals, possibly from its birth. Both IPBN and Cu-ATSM showed significantly higher accumulation in the SAMP8 brain than in the SAMR1 brain, indicating that these agents have high possibility for the early detection of abnormal brain aging as a radical-related disease.

  9. 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.

  10. Expectation modulates neural representations of valence throughout the human brain.

    PubMed

    Ramayya, Ashwin G; Pedisich, Isaac; Kahana, Michael J

    2015-07-15

    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 4306 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

  11. 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.

  12. Decoding Spontaneous Emotional States in the Human Brain.

    PubMed

    Kragel, Philip A; Knodt, Annchen R; Hariri, Ahmad R; LaBar, Kevin S

    2016-09-01

    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

  13. Brain macrophages and microglia in human fetal hydrocephalus.

    PubMed

    Ulfig, Norbert; Bohl, Jürgen; Neudörfer, Frank; Rezaie, Payam

    2004-08-01

    Whereas several studies have addressed the activation of microglia (the resident mononuclear phagocytes of the brain) and macrophages within the nervous system in experimental animal models of congenital and induced hydrocephalus, little is known of their state of activation or regional distribution in human fetal hydrocephalus. This investigation aimed to address such questions. Ten human fetal cases [20-36 gestational weeks (GW) at postmortem] previously diagnosed with hydrocephalus on ultrasound examination in utero, and 10 non-hydrocephalic controls (22-38 GW at postmortem) were assessed immufcnohistochemically with antibodies directed against MHC class II and CD68 antigens, and lectin histochemistry with Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato lectin). Adjacent sections were also immunoreacted with an antiserum to laminin to detect cerebral blood vessels. Eight out of the 10 hydrocephalus cases showed numerous CD68 and tomato lectin-positive macrophages located at focal regions along the ependymal lining of the lateral ventricles (particularly within the occipital horn). However, only five of these cases demonstrated MHC class II positive macrophages associated with the ventricular lining. Microglial reactivity within periventricular regions could also be identified using the lectin in four cases, two of which were also immunoreactive with CD68 (but not with MHC class II). By comparison, in control cases five out of 10 fetal brains (aged between 20 and 24 GW) showed few or no ependymal or supraependymal macrophages. One case at 28 GW, and cases at 32 and 38 GW (two of which were diagnosed with intrauterine hypoxic-ischemia) did, however, show some MHC class II (CD68 negative) cells located at the ependymal surface. Nevertheless, these were not as numerous or intensely immunoreactive as in the hydrocephalus cases. Microglia interspersed throughout the intermediate zone and circumscribing the basal ganglia were within normal confines in all cases examined. Hydrocephalic

  14. Carnosine reverses the aging-induced down regulation of brain regional serotonergic system.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Soumyabrata; Ghosh, Tushar K; Poddar, Mrinal K

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of the present investigation was to study the role of carnosine, an endogenous dipeptide biomolecule, on brain regional (cerebral cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus and pons-medulla) serotonergic system during aging. Results showed an aging-induced brain region specific significant (a) increase in Trp (except cerebral cortex) and their 5-HIAA steady state level with an increase in their 5-HIAA accumulation and declination, (b) decrease in their both 5-HT steady state level and 5-HT accumulation (except cerebral cortex). A significant decrease in brain regional 5-HT/Trp ratio (except cerebral cortex) and increase in 5-HIAA/5-HT ratio were also observed during aging. Carnosine at lower dosages (0.5-1.0μg/Kg/day, i.t. for 21 consecutive days) didn't produce any significant response in any of the brain regions, but higher dosages (2.0-2.5μg/Kg/day, i.t. for 21 consecutive days) showed a significant response on those aging-induced brain regional serotonergic parameters. The treatment with carnosine (2.0μg/Kg/day, i.t. for 21 consecutive days), attenuated these brain regional aging-induced serotonergic parameters and restored towards their basal levels that observed in 4 months young control rats. These results suggest that carnosine attenuates and restores the aging-induced brain regional down regulation of serotonergic system towards that observed in young rats' brain regions. PMID:26364584

  15. 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. PMID:26966964

  16. 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.

  17. Imaging the Respiratory Effects of Opioids in the Human Brain.

    PubMed

    Pattinson, Kyle T S; Wise, Richard G

    2016-01-01

    Opioid analgesia is limited by the potentially fatal side effect of respiratory depression. In humans the brain mechanisms of opioid-induced respiratory depression are poorly understood. Investigating pharmacological influences upon breathing helps us to understand better the brain's respiratory control networks. Blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) maps neuronal activity in the brain, and is therefore a potentially useful, noninvasive technique to investigate the functional neuroanatomy of respiratory control in humans. Contrast in FMRI is derived from the vascular response to brain activity (neurovascular coupling). Therefore, FMRI studies of the neuronal effects of opioids are rendered more complex by the nonneuronal effects of opioids including those on systemic physiology, cerebral blood flow, and direct effects on the cerebral vasculature such as altered vascular reactivity. Here we review our series of studies that dissect the vascular and neuronal breathing-related effects of opioids in the brain. These methodological considerations have enabled successful FMRI studies revealing the brain networks responsible for opioid effects upon respiratory awareness. Similar considerations would be necessary for FMRI studies in hypoxia or in disease states that affect the physiological state of the brain. PMID:27343094

  18. Histologic assessment of the age of recent brain infarcts in man.

    PubMed

    Chuaqui, R; Tapia, J

    1993-09-01

    In order to design a dating system based on the microscopic picture of brain infarcts of recent onset, we performed the histological examination of 31 infarcts covering the first 4 weeks of evolution in 30 autopsy cases. The date of the cerebral vascular accident was clinically established in every case. There were 13 men and 17 women with a mean age of 65 years. Hemorrhagic infarcts were found in 15 cases and anemic infarcts in 16 cases. Based on the histological features four periods were identified: the first period, from day 1 through day 4, was characterized by the predominance of eosinophilic neurons and necrotic oligodendrocytes; the second period, from day 5 through day 7, differed from the first by the appearance of macrophages and of newly formed blood vessels; the third period, from day 8 through day 14, showed neuronal ghosts, macrophages, astrocytic proliferation, gemistocytes, and absence of neutrophils; and in the fourth period, from day 15 through day 27, there were no eosinophilic neurons, and neither necrotic oligodendrocytes nor myelin in the central portion of the infarct were identified. By assessing the histological features and accurately correlating the findings with the corresponding clinical data, we have been able to describe four distinct microscopic patterns of the first month of evolution of brain infarcts. The present findings may be considered useful morphological clues to better characterize the early evolutional phase of brain infarcts in humans. PMID:8360701

  19. A navigational guidance system in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Spiers, Hugo J; Maguire, Eleanor A

    2007-01-01

    Finding your way in large-scale space requires knowing where you currently are and how to get to your goal destination. While much is understood about the neural basis of one's current position during navigation, surprisingly little is known about how the human brain guides navigation to goals. Computational accounts argue that specific brain regions support navigational guidance by coding the proximity and direction to the goal, but empirical evidence for such mechanisms is lacking. Here, we scanned subjects with functional magnetic resonance imaging as they navigated to goal destinations in a highly accurate virtual simulation of a real city. Brain activity was then analyzed in combination with metric measures of proximity and direction to goal destinations that were derived from each individual subject's coordinates at every second of navigation. We found that activity in the medial prefrontal cortex was positively correlated, and activity in a right subicular/entorhinal region was negatively correlated with goal proximity. By contrast, activity in bilateral posterior parietal cortex was correlated with egocentric direction to goals. Our results provide empirical evidence for a navigational guidance system in the human brain, and define more precisely the contribution of these three brain regions to human navigation. In addition, these findings may also have wider implications for how the brain monitors and integrates different types of information in the service of goal-directed behavior in general. PMID:17492693

  20. 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

  1. A navigational guidance system in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Spiers, Hugo J.; Maguire, Eleanor A.

    2008-01-01

    Finding your way in large-scale space requires knowing where you currently are and how to get to your goal destination. While much is understood about the neural basis of one’s current position during navigation, surprisingly little is known about how the human brain guides navigation to goals. Computational accounts argue that specific brain regions support navigational guidance by coding the proximity and direction to the goal, but empirical evidence for such mechanisms is lacking. Here, we scanned subjects with functional MRI (fMRI) as they navigated to goal destinations in a highly accurate virtual simulation of a real city. Brain activity was then analysed in combination with metric measures of proximity and direction to goal destinations which were derived from each individual subject’s coordinates at every second of navigation. We found that activity in the medial prefrontal cortex was positively correlated, and activity in a right subicular/entorhinal region was negatively correlated with goal proximity. By contrast, activity in bilateral posterior parietal cortex was correlated with egocentric direction to goals. Our results provide empirical evidence for a navigational guidance system in the human brain, and define more precisely the contribution of these three brain regions to human navigation. In addition, these findings may also have wider implications for how the brain monitors and integrates different types of information in the service of goal-directed behaviour in general. PMID:17492693

  2. 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.

  3. Decoding the visual and subjective contents of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Kamitani, Yukiyasu; Tong, Frank

    2005-05-01

    The potential for human neuroimaging to read out the detailed contents of a person's mental state has yet to be fully explored. We investigated whether the perception of edge orientation, a fundamental visual feature, can be decoded from human brain activity measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Using statistical algorithms to classify brain states, we found that ensemble fMRI signals in early visual areas could reliably predict on individual trials which of eight stimulus orientations the subject was seeing. Moreover, when subjects had to attend to one of two overlapping orthogonal gratings, feature-based attention strongly biased ensemble activity toward the attended orientation. These results demonstrate that fMRI activity patterns in early visual areas, including primary visual cortex (V1), contain detailed orientation information that can reliably predict subjective perception. Our approach provides a framework for the readout of fine-tuned representations in the human brain and their subjective contents. PMID:15852014

  4. Amyloid Beta1–42 and the Phoshorylated Tau Threonine 231 in Brains of Aged Cynomolgus Monkeys (Macaca fascicularis)

    PubMed Central

    Darusman, Huda Shalahudin; Gjedde, Albert; Sajuthi, Dondin; Schapiro, Steven J.; Kalliokoski, Otto; Kristianingrum, Yuli P.; Handaryani, Ekowati; Hau, Jann

    2014-01-01

    Pathological hallmarks indicative of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which are the plaques of amyloid beta1–42 and neurofibrillary tangles, were found in brain of aged cynomolgus monkey. The aim of this study was to investigate if aged monkeys exhibiting spatial memory impairment and levels of biomarkers indicative of AD, had brain lesions similar to human patients suffering from senile dementia. Generating immunohistochemistry technique to biomarkers of amyloid beta1–42 and the phosphorylated tau 231, our study assessed the amyloidopathy, such as indicative to the senile plaques and cerebral amyloid angiopathy, and the tauopathy, to possible neurofibrillary tangles. Six aged monkeys were selected based on their spatial memory performance and profile of biomarkers of AD, divided equally to affected aged subject – with Memory-affected and low amyloid level, and aged with higher performance in memory and amyloid, as the age-matched subjects. Using immunohistochemistry, plaques of amyloid beta1–42 were observed in two out of three brains of aged subjects with memory impairment and biomarkers indicative of AD. The cerebral amyloid angiopathy was observed in both aged monkey groups, and unlike in the human, the amyloids were found to deposit in the small veins and capillaries. In one of the affected individuals, phosphorylated tau was positively stained intracellularly of the neurons, indicating a possibility of an early stage of the formation of tangles. These findings add to the body of evidence of the utility of the aged cynomolgus monkeys as a spontaneous model for Alzheimer-related disease. PMID:25426069

  5. 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

  6. Tracking neuronal fiber pathways in the living human brain

    PubMed Central

    Conturo, Thomas E.; Lori, Nicolas F.; Cull, Thomas S.; Akbudak, Erbil; Snyder, Abraham Z.; Shimony, Joshua S.; McKinstry, Robert C.; Burton, Harold; Raichle, Marcus E.

    1999-01-01

    Functional imaging with positron emission tomography and functional MRI has revolutionized studies of the human brain. Understanding the organization of brain systems, especially those used for cognition, remains limited, however, because no methods currently exist for noninvasive tracking of neuronal connections between functional regions [Crick, F. & Jones, E. (1993) Nature (London) 361, 109–110]. Detailed connectivities have been studied in animals through invasive tracer techniques, but these invasive studies cannot be done in humans, and animal results cannot always be extrapolated to human systems. We have developed noninvasive neuronal fiber tracking for use in living humans, utilizing the unique ability of MRI to characterize water diffusion. We reconstructed fiber trajectories throughout the brain by tracking the direction of fastest diffusion (the fiber direction) from a grid of seed points, and then selected tracks that join anatomically or functionally (functional MRI) defined regions. We demonstrate diffusion tracking of fiber bundles in a variety of white matter classes with examples in the corpus callosum, geniculo-calcarine, and subcortical association pathways. Tracks covered long distances, navigated through divergences and tight curves, and manifested topological separations in the geniculo-calcarine tract consistent with tracer studies in animals and retinotopy studies in humans. Additionally, previously undescribed topologies were revealed in the other pathways. This approach enhances the power of modern imaging by enabling study of fiber connections among anatomically and functionally defined brain regions in individual human subjects. PMID:10468624

  7. New perspectives in EEG/MEG brain mapping and PET/fMRI neuroimaging of human pain.

    PubMed

    Chen, A C

    2001-10-01

    With the maturation of EEG/MEG brain mapping and PET/fMRI neuroimaging in the 1990s, greater understanding of pain processing in the brain now elucidates and may even challenge the classical theory of pain mechanisms. This review scans across the cultural diversity of pain expression and modulation in man. It outlines the difficulties in defining and studying human pain. It then focuses on methods of studying the brain in experimental and clinical pain, the cohesive results of brain mapping and neuroimaging of noxious perception, the implication of pain research in understanding human consciousness and the relevance to clinical care as well as to the basic science of human psychophysiology. Non-invasive brain studies in man start to unveil the age-old puzzles of pain-illusion, hypnosis and placebo in pain modulation. The neurophysiological and neurohemodynamic brain measures of experimental pain can now largely satisfy the psychophysiologist's dream, unimaginable only a few years ago, of modelling the body-brain, brain-mind, mind-matter duality in an inter-linking 3-P triad: physics (stimulus energy); physiology (brain activities); and psyche (perception). For neuropsychophysiology greater challenges lie ahead: (a) how to integrate a cohesive theory of human pain in the brain; (b) what levels of analyses are necessary and sufficient; (c) what constitutes the structural organisation of the pain matrix; (d) what are the modes of processing among and across the sites of these structures; and (e) how can neural computation of these processes in the brain be carried out? We may envision that modular identification and delineation of the arousal-attention, emotion-motivation and perception-cognition neural networks of pain processing in the brain will also lead to deeper understanding of the human mind. Two foreseeable impacts on clinical sciences and basic theories from brain mapping/neuroimaging are the plausible central origin in persistent pain and integration of

  8. 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

  9. The Lateralization of Intrinsic Networks in the Aging Brain Implicates the Effects of Cognitive Training

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Cheng; Zhang, Xingxing; Cao, Xinyi; Gan, Yulong; Li, Ting; Cheng, Yan; Cao, Weifang; Jiang, Lijuan; Yao, Dezhong; Li, Chunbo

    2016-01-01

    Lateralization of function is an important organization of the human brain. The distribution of intrinsic networks in the resting brain is strongly related to cognitive function, gender and age. In this study, a longitudinal design with 1 year’s duration was used to evaluate the cognitive training effects on the lateralization of intrinsic networks among healthy older adults. The subjects were divided into two groups randomly: one with multi-domain cognitive training over 3 months and the other as a wait-list control group. Resting state fMRI data were acquired before training and 1 year after training. We analyzed the functional lateralization in 10 common resting state fMRI networks. We observed statically significant training effects on the lateralization of two important RSNs related to high-level cognition: right- and left- frontoparietal networks (FPNs). The lateralization of the left-FPN was retained especially well in the training group but decreased in the control group. The increased lateralization with aging was observed in the cerebellum network (CereN), in which the lateralization was significantly increased in the control group, although the same change tendency was observed in the training group. These findings indicate that the lateralization of the high-level cognitive intrinsic networks is sensitive to multi-domain cognitive training. This study provides neuroimaging evidence to support the hypothesis that cognitive training should have an advantage in preventing cognitive decline in healthy older adults. PMID:26973508

  10. 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

  11. Telomerase Activity is Downregulated Early During Human Brain Development.

    PubMed

    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

  12. 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

  13. Elevated gene expression levels distinguish human from non-human primate brains

    PubMed Central

    Cáceres, Mario; Lachuer, Joel; Zapala, Matthew A.; Redmond, John C.; Kudo, Lili; Geschwind, Daniel H.; Lockhart, David J.; Preuss, Todd M.; Barlow, Carrolee

    2003-01-01

    Little is known about how the human brain differs from that of our closest relatives. To investigate the genetic basis of human specializations in brain organization and cognition, we compared gene expression profiles for the cerebral cortex of humans, chimpanzees, and rhesus macaques by using several independent techniques. We identified 169 genes that exhibited expression differences between human and chimpanzee cortex, and 91 were ascribed to the human lineage by using macaques as an outgroup. Surprisingly, most differences between the brains of humans and non-human primates involved up-regulation, with ≈90% of the genes being more highly expressed in humans. By contrast, in the comparison of human and chimpanzee heart and liver, the numbers of up- and down-regulated genes were nearly identical. Our results indicate that the human brain displays a distinctive pattern of gene expression relative to non-human primates, with higher expression levels for many genes belonging to a wide variety of functional classes. The increased expression of these genes could provide the basis for extensive modifications of cerebral physiology and function in humans and suggests that the human brain is characterized by elevated levels of neuronal activity. PMID:14557539

  14. Glucose transporter of the human brain and blood-brain barrier

    SciTech Connect

    Kalaria, R.N.; Gravina, S.A.; Schmidley, J.W.; Perry, G.; Harik, S.I.

    1988-12-01

    We identified and characterized the glucose transporter in the human cerebral cortex, cerebral microvessels, and choroid plexus by specific D-glucose-displaceable (3H)cytochalasin B binding. The binding was saturable, with a dissociation constant less than 1 microM. Maximal binding capacity was approximately 7 pmol/mg protein in the cerebral cortex, approximately 42 pmol/mg protein in brain microvessels, and approximately 27 pmol/mg protein in the choroid plexus. Several hexoses displaced specific (3H)cytochalasin B binding to microvessels in a rank-order that correlated well with their known ability to cross the blood-brain barrier; the only exception was 2-deoxy-D-glucose, which had much higher affinity for the glucose transporter than the natural substrate, D-glucose. Irreversible photoaffinity labeling of the glucose transporter of microvessels with (3H)cytochalasin B, followed by solubilization and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, labeled a protein band with an average molecular weight of approximately 55,000. Monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies specific to the human erythrocyte glucose transporter immunocytochemically stained brain blood vessels and the few trapped erythrocytes in situ, with minimal staining of the neuropil. In the choroid plexus, blood vessels did not stain, but the epithelium reacted positively. We conclude that human brain microvessels are richly endowed with a glucose transport moiety similar in molecular weight and antigenic characteristics to that of human erythrocytes and brain microvessels of other mammalian species.

  15. Brain aging and mitochondria-targeted plastoquinone antioxidants of SkQ-type.

    PubMed

    Isaev, N K; Stelmashook, E V; Stelmashook, N N; Sharonova, I N; Skrebitsky, V G

    2013-03-01

    Normal brain aging leads to decrease in cognitive functions, shrink in brain volume, loss of nerve fibers and degenerating myelin, reduction in length and branching of dendrites, partial loss of synapses, and reduction in expression of genes that play central roles in synaptic plasticity, vesicular transport, and mitochondrial functioning. Impaired mitochondrial functions and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species can contribute to the damage of these genes in aging cerebral cortex. This review discusses the possibility of using mitochondria-targeted antioxidants to slow the processes of brain aging. PMID:23586724

  16. Effects of aging on nitrergic neurons in human striatum and subthalamic nucleus.

    PubMed

    Santos-Lobato, Bruno Lopes dos; Del-Bel, Elaine Aparecida; Pittella, José Eymard Homem; Tumas, Vitor

    2015-09-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) is a major neurotransmitter associated with motor control in basal ganglia. Movement disorders, as essential tremor and Parkinson's disease, are more prevalent on aged individuals. We investigated the effects of aging on neuronal density and diameter/area of nitrergic neurons in samples of striatum (caudate and putamen) and subthalamic nucleus of 20 human brains from normal subjects, stained by histochemistry for NADPH-diaphorase and immunohistochemistry for neuronal NO synthase. Our data showed aging does not modify the neuronal density and size of nitrergic neurons in striatum and subthalamic nucleus. These findings suggest a lack of association between aging and morphologic changes on nitrergic neurons. PMID:26352497

  17. Optical dosimetry in photodynamic therapy of human uterus and brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madsen, Steen J.; Svaasand, Lars O.; Hirschberg, Henry; Tadir, Yona; Tromberg, Bruce J.

    1999-06-01

    Optical 'dose' is one of the fundamental parameters required in the design of an efficacious regimen of photodynamic therapy (PDT). The issues involved in delivering a sufficient optical dose to the human uterus and brain during PDT will be discussed. Specifically, measurements of optical properties and fluence rates in excised human uteri are presented. Measured fluence rates are compared to the predictions of a simple diffusion model and the clinical utility of the treatment is discussed. The delivery of light to brain tissue via a surgically implanted balloon applicator will also be considered. The time required to deliver and adequate dose is calculated based on known optical properties and diffusion theory.

  18. 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.

  19. Mu opioid receptor binding sites in human brain

    SciTech Connect

    Pilapil, C.; Welner, S.; Magnan, J.; Zamir, N.; Quirion, R.

    1986-01-01

    Our experiments focused on the examination of the distribution of mu opioid receptor binding sites in normal human brain using the highly selective ligand (/sup 3/H)DAGO, in both membrane binding assay and in vitro receptor autoradiography. Mu opioid binding sites are very discretely distributed in human brain with high densities of sites found in the posterior amygdala, caudate, putamen, hypothalamus and certain cortical areas. Moreover the autoradiographic distribution of (/sup 3/H)DAGO binding sites clearly reveals the discrete lamination (layers I and III-IV) of mu sites in cortical areas.

  20. PET evaluation of the dopamine system of the human brain

    SciTech Connect

    Volkow, N.D.; Fowler, J.S.; Gatley, S. |

    1996-07-01

    Dopamine plays a pivotal role in the regulation and control of movement, motivation and cognition. It also is closely linked to reward, reinforcement and addiction. Abnormalities in brain dopamine are associated with many neurological and psychiatric disorders including Parkinson`s disease, schizophrenia and substance abuse. This close association between dopamine and neurological and psychiatric diseases and with substance abuse make it an important topic in research in the neurosciences and an important molecular target in drug development. PET enables the direct measurement of components of the dopamine system in the living human brain. It relies on radiotracers which label dopamine receptors, dopamine transporters, precursors of dopamine or compounds which have specificity for the enzymes which degrade dopamine. Additionally, by using tracers that provide information on regional brain metabolism or blood flow as well as neurochemically specific pharmacological interventions, PET can be used to assess the functional consequences of change in brain dopamine activity. PET dopamine measurements have been used to investigate the normal human brain and its involvement in psychiatric and neurological diseases. It has also been used in psychopharmacological research to investigate dopamine drugs used in the treatment of Parkinson`s disease and of schizophrenia as well as to investigate the effects of drugs of abuse on the dopamine system. Since various functional and neurochemical parameters can be studied in the same subject, PET enables investigation of the functional integrity of the dopamine system in the human brain and investigation of the interactions of dopamine with other neurotransmitters. This paper summarizes the different tracers and experimental strategies developed to evaluate the various elements of the dopamine system in the human brain with PET and their applications to clinical research. 254 refs., 7 figs., 3 tabs.

  1. 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 together, such results suggest that the early brain processing of emotional expressions is not bounded to human-like arrangements embodying emotion. PMID:20194513

  2. Human brain spots emotion in non humanoid robots.

    PubMed

    Dubal, Stéphanie; 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 together, such results suggest that the early brain processing of emotional expressions is not bounded to human-like arrangements embodying emotion. PMID:20194513

  3. Modulating Human Aging and Age-Associated Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Fontana, Luigi

    2009-01-01

    Population aging is progressing rapidly in many industrialized countries. The United States population aged 65 and over is expected to double in size within the next 25 years. In sedentary people eating Western diets aging is associated with the development of serious chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes mellitus, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. About 80 percent of adults over 65 years of age have at least one chronic disease, and 50 percent have at least two chronic diseases. These chronic diseases are the most important cause of illness and mortality burden, and they have become the leading driver of healthcare costs, constituting an important burden for our society. Data from epidemiological studies and clinical trials indicate that many age-associated chronic diseases can be prevented, and even reversed, with the implementation of healthy lifestyle interventions. Several recent studies suggest that more drastic interventions (i.e. calorie restriction without malnutrition and moderate protein restriction with adequate nutrition) may have additional beneficial effects on several metabolic and hormonal factors that are implicated in the biology of aging itself. Additional studies are needed to understand the complex interactions of factors that regulate aging and age-associated chronic disease. PMID:19364477

  4. 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

  5. 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. PMID:25713787

  6. One-year age changes in MRI brain volumes in older adults.

    PubMed

    Resnick, S M; Goldszal, A F; Davatzikos, C; Golski, S; Kraut, M A; Metter, E J; Bryan, R N; Zonderman, A B

    2000-05-01

    Longitudinal studies indicate that declines in cognition and memory accelerate after age 70 years. The neuroanatomic and neurophysiologic underpinnings of cognitive change are unclear, as there is little information on longitudinal brain changes. We are conducting a longitudinal neuroimaging study of nondemented older participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. This report focuses on age and sex differences in brain structure measured by magnetic resonance imaging during the first two annual evaluations. Cross-sectional results from 116 participants aged 59-85 years reveal significantly larger ventricular volumes and smaller gray and white matter volumes in older compared with younger participants and in men compared with women. Regional brain volumes show that the effects of age and sex are not uniform across brain regions. Age differences are greatest for the parietal region. Sex differences tend to be larger for frontal and temporal than parietal and occipital regions. Longitudinal analysis demonstrates an increase of 1526 mm(3) in ventricular volume over 1 year, but no detectable change in total or regional brain volumes. Definition of the pattern and rate of longitudinal brain changes will facilitate the detection of pathological brain changes, which may be predictors of dementia. PMID:10847596

  7. 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

  8. Common genetic variants influence human subcortical brain structures.

    PubMed

    Hibar, Derrek P; Stein, Jason L; Renteria, Miguel E; Arias-Vasquez, Alejandro; Desrivières, Sylvane; Jahanshad, Neda; Toro, Roberto; Wittfeld, Katharina; Abramovic, Lucija; Andersson, Micael; Aribisala, Benjamin S; Armstrong, Nicola J; Bernard, Manon; Bohlken, Marc M; Boks, Marco P; Bralten, Janita; Brown, Andrew A; Chakravarty, M Mallar; Chen, Qiang; Ching, Christopher R K; Cuellar-Partida, Gabriel; den Braber, Anouk; Giddaluru, Sudheer; Goldman, Aaron L; Grimm, Oliver; Guadalupe, Tulio; Hass, Johanna; Woldehawariat, Girma; Holmes, Avram J; Hoogman, Martine; Janowitz, Deborah; Jia, Tianye; Kim, Sungeun; Klein, Marieke; Kraemer, Bernd; Lee, Phil H; Olde Loohuis, Loes M; Luciano, Michelle; Macare, Christine; Mather, Karen A; Mattheisen, Manuel; Milaneschi, Yuri; Nho, Kwangsik; Papmeyer, Martina; Ramasamy, Adaikalavan; Risacher, Shannon L; Roiz-Santiañez, Roberto; Rose, Emma J; Salami, Alireza; Sämann, Philipp G; Schmaal, Lianne; Schork, Andrew J; Shin, Jean; Strike, Lachlan T; Teumer, Alexander; van Donkelaar, Marjolein M J; van Eijk, Kristel R; Walters, Raymond K; Westlye, Lars T; Whelan, Christopher D; Winkler, Anderson M; Zwiers, Marcel P; Alhusaini, Saud; Athanasiu, Lavinia; Ehrlich, Stefan; Hakobjan, Marina M H; Hartberg, Cecilie B; Haukvik, Unn K; Heister, Angelien J G A M; Hoehn, David; Kasperaviciute, Dalia; Liewald, David C M; Lopez, Lorna M; Makkinje, Remco R R; Matarin, Mar; Naber, Marlies A M; McKay, D Reese; Needham, Margaret; Nugent, Allison C; Pütz, Benno; Royle, Natalie A; Shen, Li; Sprooten, Emma; Trabzuni, Daniah; van der Marel, Saskia S L; van Hulzen, Kimm J E; Walton, Esther; Wolf, Christiane; Almasy, Laura; Ames, David; Arepalli, Sampath; Assareh, Amelia A; Bastin, Mark E; Brodaty, Henry; Bulayeva, Kazima B; Carless, Melanie A; Cichon, Sven; Corvin, Aiden; Curran, Joanne E; Czisch, Michael; de Zubicaray, Greig I; Dillman, Allissa; Duggirala, Ravi; Dyer, Thomas D; Erk, Susanne; Fedko, Iryna O; Ferrucci, Luigi; Foroud, Tatiana M; Fox, Peter T; Fukunaga, Masaki; Gibbs, J Raphael; Göring, Harald H H; Green, Robert C; Guelfi, Sebastian; Hansell, Narelle K; Hartman, Catharina A; Hegenscheid, Katrin; Heinz, Andreas; Hernandez, Dena G; Heslenfeld, Dirk J; Hoekstra, Pieter J; Holsboer, Florian; Homuth, Georg; Hottenga, Jouke-Jan; Ikeda, Masashi; Jack, Clifford R; Jenkinson, Mark; Johnson, Robert; Kanai, Ryota; Keil, Maria; Kent, Jack W; Kochunov, Peter; Kwok, John B; Lawrie, Stephen M; Liu, Xinmin; Longo, Dan L; McMahon, Katie L; Meisenzahl, Eva; Melle, Ingrid; Mohnke, Sebastian; Montgomery, Grant W; Mostert, Jeanette C; Mühleisen, Thomas W; Nalls, Michael A; Nichols, Thomas E; Nilsson, Lars G; Nöthen, Markus M; Ohi, Kazutaka; Olvera, Rene L; Perez-Iglesias, Rocio; Pike, G Bruce; Potkin, Steven G; Reinvang, Ivar; Reppermund, Simone; Rietschel, Marcella; Romanczuk-Seiferth, Nina; Rosen, Glenn D; Rujescu, Dan; Schnell, Knut; Schofield, Peter R; Smith, Colin; Steen, Vidar M; Sussmann, Jessika E; Thalamuthu, Anbupalam; Toga, Arthur W; Traynor, Bryan J; Troncoso, Juan; Turner, Jessica A; Valdés Hernández, Maria C; van 't Ent, Dennis; van der Brug, Marcel; van der Wee, Nic J A; van Tol, Marie-Jose; Veltman, Dick J; Wassink, Thomas H; Westman, Eric; Zielke, Ronald H; Zonderman, Alan B; Ashbrook, David G; Hager, Reinmar; Lu, Lu; McMahon, Francis J; Morris, Derek W; Williams, Robert W; Brunner, Han G; Buckner, Randy L; Buitelaar, Jan K; Cahn, Wiepke; Calhoun, Vince D; Cavalleri, Gianpiero L; Crespo-Facorro, Benedicto; Dale, Anders M; Davies, Gareth E; Delanty, Norman; Depondt, Chantal; Djurovic, Srdjan; Drevets, Wayne C; Espeseth, Thomas; Gollub, Randy L; Ho, Beng-Choon; Hoffmann, Wolfgang; Hosten, Norbert; Kahn, René S; Le Hellard, Stephanie; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Müller-Myhsok, Bertram; Nauck, Matthias; Nyberg, Lars; Pandolfo, Massimo; Penninx, Brenda W J H; Roffman, Joshua L; Sisodiya, Sanjay M; Smoller, Jordan W; van Bokhoven, Hans; van Haren, Neeltje E M; Völzke, Henry; Walter, Henrik; Weiner, Michael W; Wen, Wei; White, Tonya; Agartz, Ingrid; Andreassen, Ole A; Blangero, John; Boomsma, Dorret I; Brouwer, Rachel M; Cannon, Dara M; Cookson, Mark R; de Geus, Eco J C; Deary, Ian J; Donohoe, Gary; Fernández, Guillén; Fisher, Simon E; Francks, Clyde; Glahn, David C; Grabe, Hans J; Gruber, Oliver; Hardy, John; Hashimoto, Ryota; Hulshoff Pol, Hilleke E; Jönsson, Erik G; Kloszewska, Iwona; Lovestone, Simon; Mattay, Venkata S; Mecocci, Patrizia; McDonald, Colm; McIntosh, Andrew M; Ophoff, Roel A; Paus, Tomas; Pausova, Zdenka; Ryten, Mina; Sachdev, Perminder S; Saykin, Andrew J; Simmons, Andy

    2015-04-01

    The highly complex structure of the human brain is strongly shaped by genetic influences. Subcortical brain regions form circuits with cortical areas to coordinate movement, learning, memory and motivation, and altered circuits can lead to abnormal behaviour and disease. To investigate how common genetic variants affect the structure of these brain regions, here we conduct genome-wide association studies of the volumes of seven subcortical regions and the intracranial volume derived from magnetic resonance images of 30,717 individuals from 50 cohorts. We identify five novel genetic variants influencing the volumes of the putamen and caudate nucleus. We also find stronger evidence for three loci with previously established influences on hippocampal volume and intracranial volume. These variants show specific volumetric effects on brain structures rather than global effects across structures. The strongest effects were found for the putamen, where a novel intergenic locus with replicable influence on volume (rs945270; P = 1.08 × 10(-33); 0.52% variance explained) showed evidence of altering the expression of the KTN1 gene in both brain and blood tissue. Variants influencing putamen volume clustered near developmental genes that regulate apoptosis, axon guidance and vesicle transport. Identification of these genetic variants provides insight into the causes of variability in human brain development, and may help to determine mechanisms of neuropsychiatric dysfunction. PMID:25607358

  9. Human brain functional MRI and DTI visualization with virtual reality.

    PubMed

    Chen, Bin; Moreland, John; Zhang, Jingyu

    2011-12-01

    Magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional MRI (fMRI) are two active research areas in neuroimaging. DTI is sensitive to the anisotropic diffusion of water exerted by its macromolecular environment and has been shown useful in characterizing structures of ordered tissues such as the brain white matter, myocardium, and cartilage. The diffusion tensor provides two new types of information of water diffusion: the magnitude and the spatial orientation of water diffusivity inside the tissue. This information has been used for white matter fiber tracking to review physical neuronal pathways inside the brain. Functional MRI measures brain activations using the hemodynamic response. The statistically derived activation map corresponds to human brain functional activities caused by neuronal activities. The combination of these two methods provides a new way to understand human brain from the anatomical neuronal fiber connectivity to functional activities between different brain regions. In this study, virtual reality (VR) based MR DTI and fMRI visualization with high resolution anatomical image segmentation and registration, ROI definition and neuronal white matter fiber tractography visualization and fMRI activation map integration is proposed. Rationale and methods for producing and distributing stereoscopic videos are also discussed. PMID:23256049

  10. A shift in sensory processing that enables the developing human brain to discriminate touch from pain.

    PubMed

    Fabrizi, Lorenzo; Slater, Rebeccah; Worley, Alan; Meek, Judith; Boyd, Stewart; Olhede, Sofia; Fitzgerald, Maria

    2011-09-27

    When and how infants begin to discriminate noxious from innocuous stimuli is a fundamental question in neuroscience [1]. However, little is known about the development of the necessary cortical somatosensory functional prerequisites in the intact human brain. Recent studies of developing brain networks have emphasized the importance of transient spontaneous and evoked neuronal bursting activity in the formation of functional circuits [2, 3]. These neuronal bursts are present during development and precede the onset of sensory functions [4, 5]. Their disappearance and the emergence of more adult-like activity are therefore thought to signal the maturation of functional brain circuitry [2, 4]. Here we show the changing patterns of neuronal activity that underlie the onset of nociception and touch discrimination in the preterm infant. We have conducted noninvasive electroencephalogram (EEG) recording of the brain neuronal activity in response to time-locked touches and clinically essential noxious lances of the heel in infants aged 28-45 weeks gestation. We show a transition in brain response following tactile and noxious stimulation from nonspecific, evenly dispersed neuronal bursts to modality-specific, localized, evoked potentials. The results suggest that specific neural circuits necessary for discrimination between touch and nociception emerge from 35-37 weeks gestation in the human brain. PMID:21906948

  11. Age-Related Differences in the Disposition of Nicotine and Metabolites in Rat Brain and Plasma

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: Studies have evaluated the behavioral and neurochemical impact of nicotine administration in rodents. However, the distribution of nicotine and metabolites in rat brain and plasma as a function of age has not been investigated. This is a significant issue because human adolescents have a greater risk for developing nicotine addiction than adults, and reasons underlying this observation have not been fully determined. Thus, in this present study, we evaluated the impact of the transition from adolescence (postnatal day [PND 40]) to adulthood (PND 90) on nicotine distribution in rats. Methods: PND 40, 60, and 90 rats received a single injection of (−) nicotine (0.8mg/kg, subcutaneously). Liquid chromatography tandem-mass spectrometry was used to measure concentration of nicotine and metabolites in selected biological matrices. Results: Nicotine, cotinine, and nornicotine were detected in rat striata and frontal cortex 30min, 1hr, 2hr, and 4hr after a single administration. These and several additional metabolites (nicotine-1′-oxide, cotinine-N-oxide, norcotinine, and trans-3′-hydroxycotinine) were also detected in plasma at these same timepoints. The mean concentration of nicotine in brain and plasma was lower in PND 40 versus PND 90 rats. In contrast, the mean concentration of nornicotine was higher in the plasma and brain of PND 40 versus PND 90 rats. Conclusions: Nicotine and metabolite distribution differs between adolescent and adult rats. These data suggest that adolescent rats metabolize nicotine to some metabolites faster than adult rats. Further studies are needed to investigate the potential correlation between age, drug distribution, and nicotine addiction. PMID:23737496

  12. Differential regional brain growth and rotation of the prenatal human tentorium cerebelli

    PubMed Central

    Jeffery, Nathan

    2002-01-01

    Folds of dura mater, the falx cerebri and tentorium cerebelli, traverse the vertebrate endocranial cavity and compartmentalize the brain. Previous studies suggest that the tentorial fold has adopted an increasingly important role in supporting the increased load of the cerebrum during human evolution, brought about by encephalization and an adaptation to bipedal posture. Ontogenetic studies of the fetal tentorium suggest that its midline profile rotates inferoposteriorly towards the foramen magnum in response to disproportionate growth of the cerebrum. This study tests the hypothesis that differential growth of the cerebral and cerebellar components of the brain underlies the inferoposterior rotation of the tentorium cerebelli during human fetal development. Brain volumes and tentorial angles were taken from high-resolution magnetic resonance images of 46 human fetuses ranging from 10 to 29 gestational weeks. Apart from the expected increases of both supratentorial and infratentorial brain volumes with age, the results confirm previous studies showing a significant relative enlargement of the supratentorial volume. Correlated with this enlargement was a rotation of the midline section of the tentorium towards the posterior cranial base. These findings support the concept that increases of supratentorial volume relative to infratentorial volume affect an inferoposterior rotation of the human fetal tentorium cerebelli. These results are discussed in the context of the role played by the tentorium cerebelli during human evolution and underline implications for phylogenetic and ontogenetic models of encephalization. PMID:11895111

  13. The modular and integrative functional architecture of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Bertolero, Maxwell A; Yeo, B T Thomas; D'Esposito, Mark

    2015-12-01

    Network-based analyses of brain imaging data consistently reveal distinct modules and connector nodes with diverse global connectivity across the modules. How discrete the functions of modules are, how dependent the computational load of each module is to the other modules' processing, and what the precise role of connector nodes is for between-module communication remains underspecified. Here, we use a network model of the brain derived from resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) data and investigate the modular functional architecture of the human brain by analyzing activity at different types of nodes in the network across 9,208 experiments of 77 cognitive tasks in the BrainMap database. Using an author-topic model of cognitive functions, we find a strong spatial correspondence between the cognitive functions and the network's modules, suggesting that each module performs a discrete cognitive function. Crucially, activity at local nodes within the modules does not increase in tasks that require more cognitive functions, demonstrating the autonomy of modules' functions. However, connector nodes do exhibit increased activity when more cognitive functions are engaged in a task. Moreover, connector nodes are located where brain activity is associated with many different cognitive functions. Connector nodes potentially play a role in between-module communication that maintains the modular function of the brain. Together, these findings provide a network account of the brain's modular yet integrated implementation of cognitive functions. PMID:26598686

  14. Adolescence is associated with genomically patterned consolidation of the hubs of the human brain connectome.

    PubMed

    Whitaker, Kirstie J; Vértes, Petra E; Romero-Garcia, Rafael; Váša, František; Moutoussis, Michael; Prabhu, Gita; Weiskopf, Nikolaus; Callaghan, Martina F; Wagstyl, Konrad; Rittman, Timothy; Tait, Roger; Ooi, Cinly; Suckling, John; Inkster, Becky; Fonagy, Peter; Dolan, Raymond J; Jones, Peter B; Goodyer, Ian M; Bullmore, Edward T

    2016-08-01

    How does human brain structure mature during adolescence? We used MRI to measure cortical thickness and intracortical myelination in 297 population volunteers aged 14-24 y old. We found and replicated that association cortical areas were thicker and less myelinated than primary cortical areas at 14 y. However, association cortex had faster rates of shrinkage and myelination over the course of adolescence. Age-related increases in cortical myelination were maximized approximately at the internal layer of projection neurons. Adolescent cortical myelination and shrinkage were coupled and specifically associated with a dorsoventrally patterned gene expression profile enriched for synaptic, oligodendroglial- and schizophrenia-related genes. Topologically efficient and biologically expensive hubs of the brain anatomical network had greater rates of shrinkage/myelination and were associated with overexpression of the same transcriptional profile as cortical consolidation. We conclude that normative human brain maturation involves a genetically patterned process of consolidating anatomical network hubs. We argue that developmental variation of this consolidation process may be relevant both to normal cognitive and behavioral changes and the high incidence of schizophrenia during human brain adolescence. PMID:27457931

  15. Adolescence is associated with genomically patterned consolidation of the hubs of the human brain connectome

    PubMed Central

    Romero-Garcia, Rafael; Váša, František; Moutoussis, Michael; Prabhu, Gita; Weiskopf, Nikolaus; Callaghan, Martina F.; Wagstyl, Konrad; Rittman, Timothy; Tait, Roger; Ooi, Cinly; Suckling, John; Inkster, Becky; Fonagy, Peter; Dolan, Raymond J.; Jones, Peter B.; Goodyer, Ian M.

    2016-01-01

    How does human brain structure mature during adolescence? We used MRI to measure cortical thickness and intracortical myelination in 297 population volunteers aged 14–24 y old. We found and replicated that association cortical areas were thicker and less myelinated than primary cortical areas at 14 y. However, association cortex had faster rates of shrinkage and myelination over the course of adolescence. Age-related increases in cortical myelination were maximized approximately at the internal layer of projection neurons. Adolescent cortical myelination and shrinkage were coupled and specifically associated with a dorsoventrally patterned gene expression profile enriched for synaptic, oligodendroglial- and schizophrenia-related genes. Topologically efficient and biologically expensive hubs of the brain anatomical network had greater rates of shrinkage/myelination and were associated with overexpression of the same transcriptional profile as cortical consolidation. We conclude that normative human brain maturation involves a genetically patterned process of consolidating anatomical network hubs. We argue that developmental variation of this consolidation process may be relevant both to normal cognitive and behavioral changes and the high incidence of schizophrenia during human brain adolescence. PMID:27457931

  16. Fast and intuitive segmentation of gyri of the human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiler, Florian; Hahn, Horst K.

    2015-03-01

    The cortical surface of the human brain consists of a large number of folds forming valleys and ridges, the gyri and sulci. Often, it is desirable to perform a segmentation of a brain image into these underlying structures in order to assess parameters relative to these functional components. Typical examples for this include measurements of cortical thickness for individual functional areas, or the correlation of functional areas derived from fMRI data to corresponding anatomical areas seen in structural imaging. In this paper, we present a novel interactive technique, that allows for fast and intuitive segmentation of these functional areas from T1-weighted MR images of the brain. Our segmentation approach is based exclusively on morphological image processing operations, eliminating the requirement for explicit reconstruction of the brains surface.

  17. IMAGING BRAIN SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION AND METABOLISM VIA ARACHIDONIC AND DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACID IN ANIMALS AND HUMANS

    PubMed Central

    Basselin, Mireille; Ramadan, Epolia; Rapoport, Stanley I.

    2012-01-01

    The polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), arachidonic acid (AA, 20:4n-6) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3), important second messengers in brain, are released from membrane phospholipid following receptor-mediated activation of specific phospholipase A2 (PLA2) enzymes. We developed an in vivo method in rodents using quantitative autoradiography to image PUFA incorporation into brain from plasma, and showed that their incorporation rates equal their rates of metabolic consumption by brain. Thus, quantitative imaging of unesterified plasma AA or DHA incorporation into brain can be used as a biomarker of brain PUFA metabolism and neurotransmission. We have employed our method to image and quantify effects of mood stabilizers on brain AA/DHA incorporation during neurotransmission by muscarinic M1,3,5, serotonergic 5-HT2A/2C, dopaminergic D2-like (D2, D3, D4) or glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors, and effects of inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, of selective serotonin and dopamine reuptake transporter inhibitors, of neuroinflammation (HIV-1 and lipopolysaccharide) and excitotoxicity, and in genetically modified rodents. The method has been extended for the use with positron emission tomography (PET), and can be employed to determine how human brain AA/DHA signaling and consumption are influenced by diet, aging, disease and genetics. PMID:22178644

  18. Microtesla MRI of the human brain combined with MEG

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zotev, Vadim S.; Matlashov, Andrei N.; Volegov, Petr L.; Savukov, Igor M.; Espy, Michelle A.; Mosher, John C.; Gomez, John J.; Kraus, Robert H.

    2008-09-01

    One of the challenges in functional brain imaging is integration of complementary imaging modalities, such as magnetoencephalography (MEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). MEG, which uses highly sensitive superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) to directly measure magnetic fields of neuronal currents, cannot be combined with conventional high-field MRI in a single instrument. Indirect matching of MEG and MRI data leads to significant co-registration errors. A recently proposed imaging method—SQUID-based microtesla MRI—can be naturally combined with MEG in the same system to directly provide structural maps for MEG-localized sources. It enables easy and accurate integration of MEG and MRI/fMRI, because microtesla MR images can be precisely matched to structural images provided by high-field MRI and other techniques. Here we report the first images of the human brain by microtesla MRI, together with auditory MEG (functional) data, recorded using the same seven-channel SQUID system during the same imaging session. The images were acquired at 46 μT measurement field with pre-polarization at 30 mT. We also estimated transverse relaxation times for different tissues at microtesla fields. Our results demonstrate feasibility and potential of human brain imaging by microtesla MRI. They also show that two new types of imaging equipment—low-cost systems for anatomical MRI of the human brain at microtesla fields, and more advanced instruments for combined functional (MEG) and structural (microtesla MRI) brain imaging—are practical.

  19. Microtesla MRI of the human brain combined with MEG

    PubMed Central

    Zotev, Vadim S.; Matlashov, Andrei N.; Volegov, Petr L.; Savukov, Igor M.; Espy, Michelle A.; Mosher, John C.; Gomez, John J.; Kraus, Robert H.

    2008-01-01

    One of the challenges in functional brain imaging is integration of complementary imaging modalities, such as magnetoencephalography (MEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). MEG, which uses highly sensitive superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) to directly measure magnetic fields of neuronal currents, cannot be combined with conventional high-field MRI in a single instrument. Indirect matching of MEG and MRI data leads to significant co-registration errors. A recently proposed imaging method-SQUID-based microtesla MRI-can be naturally combined with MEG in the same system to directly provide structural maps for MEG-localized sources. It enables easy and accurate integration of MEG and MRI/fMRI, because microtesla MR images can be precisely matched to structural images provided by high-field MRI and other techniques. Here we report the first images of the human brain by microtesla MRI, together with auditory MEG (functional) data, recorded using the same seven-channel SQUID system during the same imaging session. The images were acquired at 46 microtesla measurement field with pre-polarization at 30 mT. We also estimated transverse relaxation times for different tissues at microtesla fields. Our results demonstrate feasibility and potential of human brain imaging by microtesla MRI. They also show that two new types of imaging equipment-low-cost systems for anatomical MRI of the human brain at microtesla fields, and more advanced instruments for combined functional (MEG) and structural (microtesla MRI) brain imaging-are practical. PMID:18619876

  20. Addiction circuitry in the human brain (*).

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-09-27

    A major challenge in understanding substance-use disorders lies in uncovering why some individuals become addicted when exposed to drugs, whereas others do not. Although genetic, developmental, and environmental factors are recognized as major contributors to a person's risk of becoming addicted, the neurobiological processes that underlie this vulnerability are still poorly understood. Imaging studies suggest that individual variations in key dopamine-modulated brain circuits, including circuits involved in reward, memory, executive function, and motivation, contribute to some of the differences in addiction vulnerability. A better understanding of the main circuits affected by chronic drug use and the influence of social stressors, developmental trajectories, and genetic background on these circuits is bound to lead to a better understanding of addiction and to more effective strategies for the prevention and treatment of substance-use disorders.

  1. ``the Human BRAIN & Fractal quantum mechanics''

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosary-Oyong, Se, Glory

    In mtDNA ever retrieved from Iman Tuassoly, et.al:Multifractal analysis of chaos game representation images of mtDNA''.Enhances the price & valuetales of HE. Prof. Dr-Ing. B.J. HABIBIE's N-219, in J. Bacteriology, Nov 1973 sought:'' 219 exist as separate plasmidDNA species in E.coli & Salmonella panama'' related to ``the brain 2 distinct molecular forms of the (Na,K)-ATPase..'' & ``neuron maintains different concentration of ions(charged atoms'' thorough Rabi & Heisenber Hamiltonian. Further, after ``fractal space time are geometric analogue of relativistic quantum mechanics''[Ord], sought L.Marek Crnjac: ``Chaotic fractals at the root of relativistic quantum physics''& from famous Nottale: ``Scale relativity & fractal space-time:''Application to Quantum Physics , Cosmology & Chaotic systems'',1995. Acknowledgements to HE. Mr. H. TUK SETYOHADI, Jl. Sriwijaya Raya 3, South-Jakarta, INDONESIA.

  2. Addiction Circuitry in the Human Brain*

    PubMed Central

    Volkow, Nora D.; Wang, Gene-Jack; Fowler, Joanna S.; Tomasi, Dardo

    2012-01-01

    A major challenge in understanding substance-use disorders lies in uncovering why some individuals become addicted when exposed to drugs, whereas others do not. Although genetic, developmental, and environmental factors are recognized as major contributors to a person’s risk of becoming addicted, the neurobiological processes that underlie this vulnerability are still poorly understood. Imaging studies suggest that individual variations in key dopamine-modulated brain circuits, including circuits involved in reward, memory, executive function, and motivation, contribute to some of the differences in addiction vulnerability. A better understanding of the main circuits affected by chronic drug use and the influence of social stressors, developmental trajectories, and genetic background on these circuits is bound to lead to a better understanding of addiction and to more effective strategies for the prevention and treatment of substance-use disorders. PMID:21961707

  3. Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1 (HIF-1) Independent Microvascular Angiogenesis in the Aged Rat Brain

    PubMed Central

    Ndubuizu, Obinna I.; Tsipis, Constantinos P.; Li, Ang; LaManna, Joseph C.

    2010-01-01

    Angiogenesis is a critical component of mammalian brain adaptation to prolonged hypoxia. Hypoxia-induced angiogenesis is mediated by hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) dependent transcriptional activation of growth factors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Microvascular angiogenesis occurs over a three week period in the rodent brain. We have recently reported that HIF-1α accumulation and transcriptional activation of HIF target genes in the aged cortex of 24 month F344 rats is significantly attenuated during acute hypoxic exposure. In the present study, we show that cortical HIF-1α accumulation and HIF-1 activation remains absent during chronic hypoxic exposure in the aged rat brain (24 month F344). Despite this lack of HIF-1 activation, there is no significant difference in baseline or post-hypoxic brain capillary density counts between the young (3 month F344) and old age groups. VEGF mRNA and protein levels are significantly elevated in the aged cortex despite the lack of HIF-1 activation. Other HIF-independent mediators of hypoxia inducible genes could be involved during chronic hypoxia in the aged brain. PPAR-γ coactivator (PGC)-1α, a known regulator of VEGF gene transcription, is elevated in the young and aged cortex during the chronic hypoxic exposure. Overall, our results suggest a compensatory HIF-1 independent preservation of hypoxic-induced microvascular angiogenesis in the aged rat brain. PMID:20875806

  4. Sleep Duration and Age-Related Changes in Brain Structure and Cognitive Performance

    PubMed Central

    Lo, June C.; Loh, Kep Kee; Zheng, Hui; Sim, Sam K.Y.; Chee, Michael W.L.

    2014-01-01

    Study Objectives: To investigate the contribution of sleep duration and quality to age-related changes in brain structure and cognitive performance in relatively healthy older adults. Design: Community-based longitudinal brain and cognitive aging study using a convenience sample. Setting: Participants were studied in a research laboratory. Participants: Relatively healthy adults aged 55 y and older at study commencement. Interventions: N/A. Measurements and Results: Participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging and neuropsychological assessment every 2 y. Subjective assessments of sleep duration and quality and blood samples were obtained. Each hour of reduced sleep duration at baseline augmented the annual expansion rate of the ventricles by 0.59% (P = 0.007) and the annual decline rate in global cognitive performance by 0.67% (P = 0.050) in the subsequent 2 y after controlling for the effects of age, sex, education, and body mass index. In contrast, global sleep quality at baseline did not modulate either brain or cognitive aging. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein, a marker of systemic inflammation, showed no correlation with baseline sleep duration, brain structure, or cognitive performance. Conclusions: In healthy older adults, short sleep duration is associated with greater age-related brain atrophy and cognitive decline. These associations are not associated with elevated inflammatory responses among short sleepers. Citation: Lo JC, Loh KK, Zheng H, Sim SK, Chee MW. Sleep duration and age-related changes in brain structure and cognitive performance. SLEEP 2014;37(7):1171-1178. PMID:25061245

  5. Divergent whole-genome methylation maps of human and chimpanzee brains reveal epigenetic basis of human regulatory evolution.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Jia; Konopka, Genevieve; Hunt, Brendan G; Preuss, Todd M; Geschwind, Dan; Yi, Soojin V

    2012-09-01

    DNA methylation is a pervasive epigenetic DNA modification that strongly affects chromatin regulation and gene expression. To date, it remains largely unknown how patterns of DNA methylation differ between closely related species and whether such differences contribute to species-specific phenotypes. To investigate these questions, we generated nucleotide-resolution whole-genome methylation maps of the prefrontal cortex of multiple humans and chimpanzees. Levels and patterns of DNA methylation vary across individuals within species according to the age and the sex of the individuals. We also found extensive species-level divergence in patterns of DNA methylation and that hundreds of genes exhibit significantly lower levels of promoter methylation in the human brain than in the chimpanzee brain. Furthermore, we investigated the functional consequences of methylation differences in humans and chimpanzees by integrating data on gene expression generated with next-generation sequencing methods, and we found a strong relationship between differential methylation and gene expression. Finally, we found that differentially methylated genes are strikingly enriched with loci associated with neurological disorders, psychological disorders, and cancers. Our results demonstrate that differential DNA methylation might be an important molecular mechanism driving gene-expression divergence between human and chimpanzee brains and might potentially contribute to the evolution of disease vulnerabilities. Thus, comparative studies of humans and chimpanzees stand to identify key epigenomic modifications underlying the evolution of human-specific traits. PMID:22922032

  6. Isolation and characterization of human malignant glioma cells from histologically normal brain.

    PubMed

    Silbergeld, D L; Chicoine, M R

    1997-03-01

    Brain invasion prevents complete surgical extirpation of malignant gliomas; however, invasive cells from distant, histologically normal brain previously have not been isolated, cultured, and characterized. To evaluate invasive human malignant glioma cells, the authors established cultures from gross tumor and histologically normal brain. Three men and one woman, with a mean age of 67 years, underwent two frontal and two temporal lobectomies for tumors, which yielded specimens of both gross tumor and histologically normal brain. Each specimen was acquired a minimum of 4 cm from the gross tumor. The specimens were split: a portion was sent for neuropathological evaluation (three glioblastomas multiforme and one oligodendroglioma) and a portion was used to establish cell lines. Morphologically, the specimens of gross tumor and histologically normal brain were identical in three of the four cell culture pairs. Histochemical staining characteristics were consistent both within each pair and when compared with the specimens sent for neuropathological evaluation. Cultures demonstrated anchorage-independent growth in soft agarose and neoplastic karyotypes. Growth rates in culture were greater for histologically normal brain than for gross tumor in three of the four culture pairs. Although the observed increases in growth rates of histologically normal brain cultures do not correlate with in vivo behavior, these findings corroborate the previously reported stem cell potential of invasive glioma cells. Using the radial dish assay, no significant differences in motility between cultures of gross tumor and histologically normal brain were found. In summary, tumor cells were cultured from histologically normal brain acquired from a distance greater than 4 cm from the gross tumor, indicating the relative insensitivity of standard histopathological identification of invasive glioma cells (and hence the inadequacy of frozen-section evaluation of resection margins). Cell lines

  7. Visual dictionaries as intermediate features in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Ramakrishnan, Kandan; Scholte, H. Steven; Groen, Iris I. A.; Smeulders, Arnold W. M.; Ghebreab, Sennay

    2015-01-01

    The human visual system is assumed to transform low level visual features to object and scene representations via features of intermediate complexity. How the brain computationally represents intermediate features is still unclear. To further elucidate this, we compared the biologically plausible HMAX model and Bag of Words (BoW) model from computer vision. Both these computational models use visual dictionaries, candidate features of intermediate complexity, to represent visual scenes, and the models have been proven effective in automatic object and scene recognition. These models however differ in the computation of visual dictionaries and pooling techniques. We investigated where in the brain and to what extent human fMRI responses to short video can be accounted for by multiple hierarchical levels of the HMAX and BoW models. Brain activity of 20 subjects obtained while viewing a short video clip was analyzed voxel-wise using a distance-based variation partitioning method. Results revealed that both HMAX and BoW explain a significant amount of brain activity in early visual regions V1, V2, and V3. However, BoW exhibits more consistency across subjects in accounting for brain activity compared to HMAX. Furthermore, visual dictionary representations by HMAX and BoW explain significantly some brain activity in higher areas which are believed to process intermediate features. Overall our results indicate that, although both HMAX and BoW account for activity in the human visual system, the BoW seems to more faithfully represent neural responses in low and intermediate level visual areas of the brain. PMID:25642183

  8. A versatile new technique to clear mouse and human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costantini, Irene; Di Giovanna, Antonino Paolo; Allegra Mascaro, Anna Letizia; Silvestri, Ludovico; Müllenbroich, Marie Caroline; Sacconi, Leonardo; Pavone, Francesco S.

    2015-07-01

    Large volumes imaging with microscopic resolution is limited by light scattering. In the last few years based on refractive index matching, different clearing approaches have been developed. Organic solvents and water-based optical clearing agents have been used for optical clearing of entire mouse brain. Although these methods guarantee high transparency and preservation of the fluorescence, though present other non-negligible limitations. Tissue transformation by CLARITY allows high transparency, whole brain immunolabelling and structural and molecular preservation. This method however requires a highly expensive refractive index matching solution limiting practical applicability. In this work we investigate the effectiveness of a water-soluble clearing agent, the 2,2'-thiodiethanol (TDE) to clear mouse and human brain. TDE does not quench the fluorescence signal, is compatible with immunostaining and does not introduce any deformation at sub-cellular level. The not viscous nature of the TDE make it a suitable agent to perform brain slicing during serial two-photon (STP) tomography. In fact, by improving penetration depth it reduces tissue slicing, decreasing the acquisition time and cutting artefacts. TDE can also be used as a refractive index medium for CLARITY. The potential of this method has been explored by imaging a whole transgenic mouse brain with the light sheet microscope. Moreover we apply this technique also on blocks of dysplastic human brain tissue transformed with CLARITY and labeled with different antibody. This clearing approach significantly expands the application of single and two-photon imaging, providing a new useful method for quantitative morphological analysis of structure in mouse and human brain.

  9. Bacopa monnieri as an Antioxidant Therapy to Reduce Oxidative Stress in the Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, Tamara; Pase, Matthew; Stough, Con

    2015-01-01

    The detrimental effect of neuronal cell death due to oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. The Indian herb Bacopa monnieri is a dietary antioxidant, with animal and in vitro studies indicating several modes of action that may protect the brain against oxidative damage. In parallel, several studies using the CDRI08 extract have shown that extracts of Bacopa monnieri improve cognitive function in humans. The biological mechanisms of this cognitive enhancement are unknown. In this review we discuss the animal studies and in vivo evidence for Bacopa monnieri as a potential therapeutic antioxidant to reduce oxidative stress and improve cognitive function. We suggest that future studies incorporate neuroimaging particularly magnetic resonance spectroscopy into their randomized controlled trials to better understand whether changes in antioxidant status in vivo cause improvements in cognitive function. PMID:26413126

  10. Simple instrument for biochemical studies of the living human brain

    SciTech Connect

    Bice, A.N.; Wagner, H.N. Jr.; Lee, M.C.; Frost, J.J.

    1986-09-01

    A simple, relatively inexpensive radiation detection system was developed for measurement of positron-emitting 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 (/sup 11/C)-carfentanil, a high-affinity synthetic opiate, to opiate receptors in the presence and in the absence of a competitive opiate antagonist exemplifies the use of this system for estimating different degrees of receptor binding of drugs in the human brain. The instrument has also been used for measurement of the transport into the brain of other positron-emitting radiotracers, such as large neutral amino acids.

  11. Rock magnetism linked to human brain magnetite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirschvink, Joseph L.

    Magnetite has a long and distinguished career as one of the most important minerals in geophysics, as it is responsible for most of the remanent magnetization in marine sediments and the oceanic crust. It may come as a surprise to discover that it also ranks as the third or fourth most diverse mineral product formed biochemically by living organisms, and forms naturally in a variety of human tissues [Kirschvink et al., 1992].Magnetite was discovered in teeth of the Polyplacophora mollusks over 30 years ago, in magnetotactic bacteria nearly 20 years ago, in honey bees and homing pigeons nearly 15 years ago, but only recently in human tissue.

  12. Outer brain barriers in rat and human development

    PubMed Central

    Brøchner, Christian B.; Holst, Camilla B.; Møllgård, Kjeld

    2015-01-01

    Complex barriers at the brain's surface, particularly in development, are poorly defined. In the adult, arachnoid blood-cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) barrier separates the fenestrated dural vessels from the CSF by means of a cell layer joined by tight junctions. Outer CSF-brain barrier provides diffusion restriction between brain and subarachnoid CSF through an initial radial glial end feet layer covered with a pial surface layer. To further characterize these interfaces we examined embryonic rat brains from E10 to P0 and forebrains from human embryos and fetuses (6–21st weeks post-conception) and adults using immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy. Antibodies against claudin-11, BLBP, collagen 1, SSEA-4, MAP2, YKL-40, and its receptor IL-13Rα2 and EAAT1 were used to describe morphological characteristics and functional aspects of the outer brain barriers. Claudin-11 was a reliable marker of the arachnoid blood-CSF barrier. Collagen 1 delineated the subarachnoid space and stained pial surface layer. BLBP defined radial glial end feet layer and SSEA-4 and YKL-40 were present in both leptomeningeal cells and end feet layer, which transformed into glial limitans. IL-13Rα2 and EAAT1 were present in the end feet layer illustrating transporter/receptor presence in the outer CSF-brain barrier. MAP2 immunostaining in adult brain outlined the lower border of glia limitans; remnants of end feet were YKL-40 positive in some areas. We propose that outer brain barriers are composed of at least 3 interfaces: blood-CSF barrier across arachnoid barrier cell layer, blood-CSF barrier across pial microvessels, and outer CSF-brain barrier comprising glial end feet layer/pial surface layer. PMID:25852456

  13. Expression of glutamate carboxypeptidase II in human brain.

    PubMed

    Sácha, P; Zámecník, J; Barinka, C; Hlouchová, K; Vícha, A; Mlcochová, P; Hilgert, I; Eckschlager, T; Konvalinka, J

    2007-02-23

    Glutamate carboxypeptidase II (GCPII) is a transmembrane glycoprotein expressed in various tissues. When expressed in the brain it cleaves the neurotransmitter N-acetylaspartylglutamate (NAAG), yielding free glutamate. In jejunum it hydrolyzes folylpoly-gamma-glutamate, thus facilitating folate absorption. The prostate form of GCPII, known as prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA), is an established cancer marker. The NAAG-hydrolyzing activity of GCPII has been implicated in a number of pathological conditions in which glutamate is neurotoxic (e.g. amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, schizophrenia, and stroke). Inhibition of GCPII was shown to be neuroprotective in tissue culture and in animal models. GCPII is therefore an interesting putative therapeutic target. However, only very limited and controversial data on the expression and localization of GCPII in human brain are available. Therefore, we set out to analyze the activity and expression of GCPII in various compartments of the human brain using a radiolabeled substrate of the enzyme and the novel monoclonal antibody GCP-04, which recognizes an epitope on the extracellular portion of the enzyme and is more sensitive to GCPII than to the homologous GCPIII. We show that this antibody is more sensitive in immunoblots than the widely used antibody 7E11. By Western blot, we show that there are approximately 50-300 ng of GCPII/mg of total protein in human brain, depending on the specific area. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that astrocytes specifically express GCPII in all parts of the brain. GCPII is enzymatically active and the level of activity follows the expression pattern. Using pure recombinant GCPII and homologous GCPIII, we conclude that GCPII is responsible for the majority of overall NAAG-hydrolyzing activity in the human brain. PMID:17150306

  14. Gestational Age and Neonatal Brain Microstructure in Term Born Infants: A Birth Cohort Study

    PubMed Central

    Broekman, Birit F. P.; Wang, Changqing; Li, Yue; Rifkin-Graboi, Anne; Saw, Seang Mei; Chong, Yap-Seng; Kwek, Kenneth; Gluckman, Peter D.; Fortier, Marielle V.; Meaney, Michael J.; Qiu, Anqi

    2014-01-01

    Objective Understanding healthy brain development in utero is crucial in order to detect abnormal developmental trajectories due to developmental disorders. However, in most studies neuroimaging was done after a significant postnatal period, and in those studies that performed neuroimaging on fetuses, the quality of data has been affected due to complications of scanning during pregnancy. To understand healthy brain development between 37–41 weeks of gestational age, our study assessed the in utero growth of the brain in healthy term born babies with DTI scanning soon after birth. Methods A cohort of 93 infants recruited from maternity hospitals in Singapore underwent diffusion tensor imaging between 5 to 17 days after birth. We did a cross-sectional examination of white matter microstructure of the brain among healthy term infants as a function of gestational age via voxel-based analysis on fractional anisotropy. Results Greater gestational age at birth in term infants was associated with larger fractional anisotropy values in early developing brain regions, when corrected for age at scan. Specifically, it was associated with a cluster located at the corpus callosum (corrected p<0.001), as well as another cluster spanning areas of the anterior corona radiata, anterior limb of internal capsule, and external capsule (corrected p<0.001). Conclusions Our findings show variation in brain maturation associated with gestational age amongst ‘term’ infants, with increased brain maturation when born with a relatively higher gestational age in comparison to those infants born with a relatively younger gestational age. Future studies should explore if these differences in brain maturation between 37 and 41 weeks of gestational age will persist over time due to development outside the womb. PMID:25535959

  15. Mutant Alpha-Synuclein Causes Age-Dependent Neuropathology in Monkey Brain

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Weili; Wang, Guohao; Wang, Chuan-En; Guo, Xiangyu; Yin, Peng; Gao, Jinquan; Tu, Zhuchi; Wang, Zhengbo; Wu, Jing; Hu, Xintian; Li, Shihua

    2015-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is an age-dependent neurodegenerative disease that often occurs in those over age 60. Although rodents and small animals have been used widely to model PD and investigate its pathology, their short life span makes it difficult to assess the aging-related pathology that is likely to occur in PD patient brains. Here, we used brain tissues from rhesus monkeys at 2–3, 7–8, and >15 years of age to examine the expression of Parkin, PINK1, and α-synuclein, which are known to cause PD via loss- or gain-of-function mechanisms. We found that α-synuclein is increased in the older monkey brains, whereas Parkin and PINK1 are decreased or remain unchanged. Because of the gain of toxicity of α-synuclein, we performed stereotaxic injection of lentiviral vectors expressing mutant α-synuclein (A53T) into the substantia nigra of monkeys and found that aging also increases the accumulation of A53T in neurites and its associated neuropathology. A53T also causes more extensive reactive astrocytes and axonal degeneration in monkey brain than in mouse brain. Using monkey brain tissues, we found that A53T interacts with neurofascin, an adhesion molecule involved in axon subcellular targeting and neurite outgrowth. Aged monkey brain tissues show an increased interaction of neurofascin with A53T. Overexpression of A53T causes neuritic toxicity in cultured neuronal cells, which can be attenuated by transfected neurofascin. These findings from nonhuman primate brains reveal age-dependent pathological and molecular changes that could contribute to the age-dependent neuropathology in PD. PMID:26019347

  16. MR brain image analysis in dementia: From quantitative imaging biomarkers to ageing brain models and imaging genetics.

    PubMed

    Niessen, Wiro J

    2016-10-01

    MR brain image analysis has constantly been a hot topic research area in medical image analysis over the past two decades. In this article, it is discussed how the field developed from the construction of tools for automatic quantification of brain morphology, function, connectivity and pathology, to creating models of the ageing brain in normal ageing and disease, and tools for integrated analysis of imaging and genetic data. The current and future role of the field in improved understanding of the development of neurodegenerative disease is discussed, and its potential for aiding in early and differential diagnosis and prognosis of different types of dementia. For the latter, the use of reference imaging data and reference models derived from large clinical and population imaging studies, and the application of machine learning techniques on these reference data, are expected to play a key role. PMID:27344937

  17. Stem Cells Expand Insights into Human Brain Evolution.

    PubMed

    Dyer, Michael A

    2016-04-01

    Substantial expansion in the number of cerebral cortex neurons is thought to underlie cognitive differences between humans and other primates, although the mechanisms underlying this expansion are unclear. Otani et al. (2016) utilize PSC-derived brain organoids to study how species-specific differences in cortical progenitor proliferation may underlie cortical evolution. PMID:27058930

  18. Exploring human brain lateralization with molecular genetics and genomics.

    PubMed

    Francks, Clyde

    2015-11-01

    Lateralizations of brain structure and motor behavior have been observed in humans as early as the first trimester of gestation, and are likely to arise from asymmetrical genetic-developmental programs, as in other animals. Studies of gene expression levels in postmortem tissue samples, comparing the left and right sides of the human cerebral cortex, have generally not revealed striking transcriptional differences between the hemispheres. This is likely due to lateralization of gene expression being subtle and quantitative. However, a recent re-analysis and meta-analysis of gene expression data from the adult superior temporal and auditory cortex found lateralization of transcription of genes involved in synaptic transmission and neuronal electrophysiology. Meanwhile, human subcortical mid- and hindbrain structures have not been well studied in relation to lateralization of gene activity, despite being potentially important developmental origins of asymmetry. Genetic polymorphisms with small effects on adult brain and behavioral asymmetries are beginning to be identified through studies of large datasets, but the core genetic mechanisms of lateralized human brain development remain unknown. Identifying subtly lateralized genetic networks in the brain will lead to a new understanding of how neuronal circuits on the left and right are differently fine-tuned to preferentially support particular cognitive and behavioral functions. PMID:25950729

  19. Hippocampal calcium dysregulation at the nexus of diabetes and brain aging

    PubMed Central

    Thibault, Olivier; Anderson, Katie L.; DeMoll, Chris; Brewer, Lawrence D.; Landfield, Philip W.; Porter, Nada M.

    2013-01-01

    Accumulating evidence is associating disorders of lipid and glucose metabolism, including the overlapping conditions of insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome, obesity and diabetes, with moderate cognitive impairment in normal aging and elevated risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It appears that a common feature of these conditions is deficient insulin signaling, likely affecting the brain as well as canonical peripheral target tissues. A number of studies have documented that insulin directly affects brain processes and that reduced insulin signaling results in impaired learning and memory. Several studies have also shown that deficient insulin signaling induces Ca2+ dysregulation in neurons. Because brain aging is associated with substantial Ca2+ dyshomeostasis, it has been proposed that deficient insulin signaling exacerbates or accelerates aging-related Ca2+ dyshomeostasis. However, there have been few studies examining insulin interactions with Ca2+ regulation in aging animals. We have been testing predictions of the Ca2+ dysregulation/diabetes/brain aging hypothesis and have found that insulin and insulin sensitizers (thiazolidinediones) target several hippocampal Ca2+-related processes affected by aging, including larger Ca2+ transients and Ca2+-dependent afterhyperpolarizations, and counteract the effects of aging on those processes. Thus, while additional testing is needed, the results to date are consistent with the view that effects of deficient insulin signaling on brain aging are mediated in part by neuronal Ca2+ dyshomeostasis. PMID:23872402

  20. Automatic segmentation of brain MRIs and mapping neuroanatomy across the human lifespan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keihaninejad, Shiva; Heckemann, Rolf A.; Gousias, Ioannis S.; Rueckert, Daniel; Aljabar, Paul; Hajnal, Joseph V.; Hammers, Alexander

    2009-02-01

    A robust model for the automatic segmentation of human brain images into anatomically defined regions across the human lifespan would be highly desirable, but such structural segmentations of brain MRI are challenging due to age-related changes. We have developed a new method, based on established algorithms for automatic segmentation of young adults' brains. We used prior information from 30 anatomical atlases, which had been manually segmented into 83 anatomical structures. Target MRIs came from 80 subjects (~12 individuals/decade) from 20 to 90 years, with equal numbers of men, women; data from two different scanners (1.5T, 3T), using the IXI database. Each of the adult atlases was registered to each target MR image. By using additional information from segmentation into tissue classes (GM, WM and CSF) to initialise the warping based on label consistency similarity before feeding this into the previous normalised mutual information non-rigid registration, the registration became robust enough to accommodate atrophy and ventricular enlargement with age. The final segmentation was obtained by combination of the 30 propagated atlases using decision fusion. Kernel smoothing was used for modelling the structural volume changes with aging. Example linear correlation coefficients with age were, for lateral ventricular volume, rmale=0.76, rfemale=0.58 and, for hippocampal volume, rmale=-0.6, rfemale=-0.4 (allρ<0.01).

  1. Brain abnormalities in human obesity: a voxel-based morphometric study.

    PubMed

    Pannacciulli, Nicola; Del Parigi, Angelo; Chen, Kewei; Le, Duc Son N T; Reiman, Eric M; Tataranni, Pietro A

    2006-07-15

    Obesity is accompanied by damage to several tissues. Overweight is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Whether structural abnormalities associated with excess body fat may also occur in the brain is unknown. We sought to determine to what extent excess body fat is associated with regional alterations in brain structure using voxel-based morphometry (VBM), a whole-brain unbiased technique based upon high-definition 3D magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans normalized into a common standard space and allowing for an objective assessment of neuroanatomical differences throughout the brain. We studied 24 obese (11 male, 13 female; age: 32 +/- 8 years; body mass index [BMI]: 39.4 +/- 4.7 kg/m2) and 36 lean (25 male, 11 female; mean age: 33 +/- 9 years; BMI: 22.7 +/- 2.2 kg/m2) non-diabetic Caucasians. In comparison with the group of lean subjects, the group of obese individuals had significantly lower gray matter density in the post-central gyrus, frontal operculum, putamen, and middle frontal gyrus (P < 0.01 after adjustment for sex, age, handedness, global tissue density, and multiple comparisons). BMI was negatively associated with GM density of the left post-central gyrus in obese but not lean subjects. This study identified structural brain differences in human obesity in several brain areas previously involved in the regulation of taste, reward, and behavioral control. These alterations may either precede obesity, representing a neural marker of increased propensity to gaining weight, or occur as a consequence of obesity, indicating that also the brain is affected by increased adiposity. PMID:16545583

  2. In vivo and in vitro assessment of brain bioenergetics in aging rats

    PubMed Central

    Vančová, Ol’ga; Bačiak, Ladislav; Kašparová, Svatava; Kucharská, Jarmila; Palacios, Hector H; Horecký, Jaromír; Aliev, Gjumrakch

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Brain energy disorders can be present in aged men and animals. To this respect, the mitochondrial and free radical theory of aging postulates that age-associated brain energy disorders are caused by an imbalance between pro- and anti-oxidants that can result in oxidative stress. Our study was designed to investigate brain energy metabolism and the activity of endogenous antioxidants during their lifespan in male Wistar rats. In vivo brain bioenergetics were measured using 31P nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and in vitro by polarographic analysis of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. When compared to the young controls, a significant decrease of age-dependent mitochondrial respiration and adenosine-3-phosphate (ATP) production measured in vitro correlated with significant reduction of forward creatine kinase reaction (kfor) and with an increase in phosphocreatine (PCr)/ATP, PCr/Pi and PME/ATP ratio measured in vivo. The levels of enzymatic antioxidants catalase, GPx and GST significantly decreased in the brain tissue as well as in the peripheral blood of aged rats. We suppose that mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative inactivation of endogenous enzymes may participate in age-related disorders of brain energy metabolism. PMID:19906014

  3. Changing Balance of Spinal Cord Excitability and Nociceptive Brain Activity in Early Human Development.

    PubMed

    Hartley, Caroline; Moultrie, Fiona; Gursul, Deniz; Hoskin, Amy; Adams, Eleri; Rogers, Richard; Slater, Rebeccah

    2016-08-01

    In adults, nociceptive reflexes and behavioral responses are modulated by a network of brain regions via descending projections to the spinal dorsal horn [1]. Coordinated responses to noxious inputs manifest from a balance of descending facilitation and inhibition. In contrast, young infants display exaggerated and uncoordinated limb reflexes [2]. Our understanding of nociceptive processing in the infant brain has been advanced by the use of electrophysiological and hemodynamic imaging [3-6]. From approximately 35 weeks' gestation, nociceptive-specific patterns of brain activity emerge [7], whereas prior to this, non-specific bursts of activity occur in response to noxious, tactile, visual, and auditory stimulation [7-10]. During the preterm period, refinement of spinal cord excitability is also observed: reflex duration shortens, response threshold increases, and improved discrimination between tactile and noxious events occurs [2, 11, 12]. However, the development of descending modulation in human infants remains relatively unexplored. In 40 infants aged 28-42 weeks' gestation, we examined the relationship between nociceptive brain activity and spinal reflex withdrawal activity in response to a clinically essential noxious procedure. Nociceptive-specific brain activity increases in magnitude with gestational age, whereas reflex withdrawal activity decreases in magnitude, duration, and latency across the same developmental period. By recording brain and spinal cord activity in the same infants, we demonstrate that the maturation of nociceptive brain activity is concomitant with the refinement of noxious-evoked limb reflexes. We postulate that, consistent with studies in animals, infant reflexes are influenced by the development of top-down inhibitory modulation from maturing subcortical and cortical brain networks. PMID:27374336

  4. Expression of UDP-Glucuronosyltransferase 1 (UGT1) and Glucuronidation Activity toward Endogenous Substances in Humanized UGT1 Mouse Brain

    PubMed Central

    Kutsuno, Yuki; Hirashima, Rika; Sakamoto, Masaya; Ushikubo, Hiroko; Michimae, Hirofumi; Itoh, Tomoo; Tukey, Robert H.

    2015-01-01

    Although UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs) are important phase II drug-metabolizing enzymes, they are also involved in the metabolism of endogenous compounds. Certain substrates of UGTs, such as serotonin and estradiol, play important roles in the brain. However, the expression of UGTs in the human brain has not been fully clarified. Recently, humanized UGT1 mice (hUGT1 mice) in which the original Ugt1 locus was disrupted and replaced with the human UGT1 locus have been developed. In the present study, the expression pattern of UGT1As in brains from humans and hUGT1 mice was examined. We found that UGT1A1, 1A3, 1A6, and 1A10 were expressed in human brains. The expression pattern of UGT1As in hUGT1 mouse brains was similar to that in human brains. In addition, we examined the expression of UGT1A1 and 1A6 in the cerebellum, olfactory bulbs, midbrain, hippocampus, and cerebral cortex of hUGT1 mice. UGT1A1 in all brain regions and UGT1A6 in the cerebellum and cerebral cortex of 6-month-old hUGT1 mice were expressed at a significantly higher rate than those of 2-week-old hUGT1 mice. A difference in expression levels between brain regions was also observed. Brain microsomes exhibited glucuronidation activities toward estradiol and serotonin, with mean values of 0.13 and 5.17 pmol/min/mg, respectively. In conclusion, UGT1A1 and UGT1A6 might play an important role in function regulation of endogenous compounds in a region- and age-dependent manner. Humanized UGT1 mice might be useful to study the importance of brain UGTs in vivo. PMID:25953521

  5. Recognizing Age-Separated Face Images: Humans and Machines

    PubMed Central

    Yadav, Daksha; Singh, Richa; Vatsa, Mayank; Noore, Afzel

    2014-01-01

    Humans utilize facial appearance, gender, expression, aging pattern, and other ancillary information to recognize individuals. It is interesting to observe how humans perceive facial age. Analyzing these properties can help in understanding the phenomenon of facial aging and incorporating the findings can help in designing effective algorithms. Such a study has two components - facial age estimation and age-separated face recognition. Age estimation involves predicting the age of an individual given his/her facial image. On the other hand, age-separated face recognition consists of recognizing an individual given his/her age-separated images. In this research, we investigate which facial cues are utilized by humans for estimating the age of people belonging to various age groups along with analyzing the effect of one's gender, age, and ethnicity on age estimation skills. We also analyze how various facial regions such as binocular and mouth regions influence age estimation and recognition capabilities. Finally, we propose an age-invariant face recognition algorithm that incorporates the knowledge learned from these observations. Key observations of our research are: (1) the age group of newborns and toddlers is easiest to estimate, (2) gender and ethnicity do not affect the judgment of age group estimation, (3) face as a global feature, is essential to achieve good performance in age-separated face recognition, and (4) the proposed algorithm yields improved recognition performance compared to existing algorithms and also outperforms a commercial system in the young image as probe scenario. PMID:25474200

  6. Recognizing age-separated face images: humans and machines.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Daksha; Singh, Richa; Vatsa, Mayank; Noore, Afzel

    2014-01-01

    Humans utilize facial appearance, gender, expression, aging pattern, and other ancillary information to recognize individuals. It is interesting to observe how humans perceive facial age. Analyzing these properties can help in understanding the phenomenon of facial aging and incorporating the findings can help in designing effective algorithms. Such a study has two components--facial age estimation and age-separated face recognition. Age estimation involves predicting the age of an individual given his/her facial image. On the other hand, age-separated face recognition consists of recognizing an individual given his/her age-separated images. In this research, we investigate which facial cues are utilized by humans for estimating the age of people belonging to various age groups along with analyzing the effect of one's gender, age, and ethnicity on age estimation skills. We also analyze how various facial regions such as binocular and mouth regions influence age estimation and recognition capabilities. Finally, we propose an age-invariant face recognition algorithm that incorporates the knowledge learned from these observations. Key observations of our research are: (1) the age group of newborns and toddlers is easiest to estimate, (2) gender and ethnicity do not affect the judgment of age group estimation, (3) face as a global feature, is essential to achieve good performance in age-separated face recognition, and (4) the proposed algorithm yields improved recognition performance compared to existing algorithms and also outperforms a commercial system in the young image as probe scenario. PMID:25474200

  7. Plasticity of the worker bumble bee brain in relation to age and rearing environment

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Beryl M.; Leonard, Anne S.; Papaj, Daniel R.; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2014-01-01

    The environment experienced during development can dramatically affect the brain, with possible implications for sensory processing, learning and memory. Although the effects of single sensory modalities on brain development have been repeatedly explored, the additive or interactive effects of multiple modalities have been less thoroughly investigated. We asked how experience with multisensory stimuli affected brain development in the bumble bee, Bombus impatiens. First, to establish the timeline of brain development during early adulthood, we estimated regional brain volumes across a range of ages. We discovered significant age-related volume changes in nearly every region of the brain. Next, to determine whether these changes were dependent upon certain environmental stimuli, we manipulated the visual and olfactory stimuli available to newly emerged bumble bee workers in a factorial manner. Newly emerged bumble bees were maintained in the presence or absence of supplemental visual and/or olfactory stimuli for seven days, after which the volumes of several brain regions were estimated. We found that the volumes of the mushroom body lobes and calyces were larger in the absence of visual stimuli. Additionally, visual deprivation was associated with the expression of larger antennal lobes, the primary olfactory processing regions of the brain. In contrast, exposure to plant-derived olfactory stimuli did not have a significant effect on brain region volumes. This study is the first to explore the separate and interactive effects of visual and olfactory stimuli on bee brain development. Assessing the timing and sensitivity of brain development is a first step toward understanding how different rearing environments differentially affect regional brain volumes in this species. Our findings suggest that environmental factors experienced during the first week of adulthood can modify bumble brain development in many subtle ways. PMID:24281415

  8. Path Complexity in Virtual Water Maze Navigation: Differential Associations with Age, Sex, and Regional Brain Volume.

    PubMed

    Daugherty, Ana M; Yuan, Peng; Dahle, Cheryl L; Bender, Andrew R; Yang, Yiqin; Raz, Naftali

    2015-09-01

    Studies of human navigation in virtual maze environments have consistently linked advanced age with greater distance traveled between the start and the goal and longer duration of the search. Observations of search path geometry suggest that routes taken by older adults may be unnecessarily complex and that excessive path complexity may be an indicator of cognitive difficulties experienced by older navigators. In a sample of healthy adults, we quantify search path complexity in a virtual Morris water maze with a novel method based on fractal dimensionality. In a two-level hierarchical linear model, we estimated improvement in navigation performance across trials by a decline in route length, shortening of search time, and reduction in fractal dimensionality of the path. While replicating commonly reported age and sex differences in time and distance indices, a reduction in fractal dimension of the path accounted for improvement across trials, independent of age or sex. The volumes of brain regions associated with the establishment of cognitive maps (parahippocampal gyrus and hippocampus) were related to path dimensionality, but not to the total distance and time. Thus, fractal dimensionality of a navigational path may present a useful complementary method of quantifying performance in navigation. PMID:24860019

  9. Common genetic variants influence human subcortical brain structures

    PubMed Central

    Hibar, Derrek P.; Stein, Jason L.; Renteria, Miguel E.; Arias-Vasquez, Alejandro; Desrivières, Sylvane; Jahanshad, Neda; Toro, Roberto; Wittfeld, Katharina; Abramovic, Lucija; Andersson, Micael; Aribisala, Benjamin S.; Armstrong, Nicola J.; Bernard, Manon; Bohlken, Marc M.; Boks, Marco P.; Bralten, Janita; Brown, Andrew A.; Chakravarty, M. Mallar; Chen, Qiang; Ching, Christopher R. K.; Cuellar-Partida, Gabriel; den Braber, Anouk; Giddaluru, Sudheer; Goldman, Aaron L.; Grimm, Oliver; Guadalupe, Tulio; Hass, Johanna; Woldehawariat, Girma; Holmes, Avram J.; Hoogman, Martine; Janowitz, Deborah; Jia, Tianye; Kim, Sungeun; Klein, Marieke; Kraemer, Bernd; Lee, Phil H.; Olde Loohuis, Loes M.; Luciano, Michelle; Macare, Christine; Mather, Karen A.; Mattheisen, Manuel; Milaneschi, Yuri; Nho, Kwangsik; Papmeyer, Martina; Ramasamy, Adaikalavan; Risacher, Shannon L.; Roiz-Santiañez, Roberto; Rose, Emma J.; Salami, Alireza; Sämann, Philipp G.; Schmaal, Lianne; Schork, Andrew J.; Shin, Jean; Strike, Lachlan T.; Teumer, Alexander; van Donkelaar, Marjolein M. J.; van Eijk, Kristel R.; Walters, Raymond K.; Westlye, Lars T.; Whelan, Christopher D.; Winkler, Anderson M.; Zwiers, Marcel P.; Alhusaini, Saud; Athanasiu, Lavinia; Ehrlich, Stefan; Hakobjan, Marina M. H.; Hartberg, Cecilie B.; Haukvik, Unn K.; Heister, Angelien J. G. A. M.; Hoehn, David; Kasperaviciute, Dalia; Liewald, David C. M.; Lopez, Lorna M.; Makkinje, Remco R. R.; Matarin, Mar; Naber, Marlies A. M.; McKay, D. Reese; Needham, Margaret; Nugent, Allison C.; Pütz, Benno; Royle, Natalie A.; Shen, Li; Sprooten, Emma; Trabzuni, Daniah; van der Marel, Saskia S. L.; van Hulzen, Kimm J. E.; Walton, Esther; Wolf, Christiane; Almasy, Laura; Ames, David; Arepalli, Sampath; Assareh, Amelia A.; Bastin, Mark E.; Brodaty, Henry; Bulayeva, Kazima B.; Carless, Melanie A.; Cichon, Sven; Corvin, Aiden; Curran, Joanne E.; Czisch, Michael; de Zubicaray, Greig I.; Dillman, Allissa; Duggirala, Ravi; Dyer, Thomas D.; Erk, Susanne; Fedko, Iryna O.; Ferrucci, Luigi; Foroud, Tatiana M.; Fox, Peter T.; Fukunaga, Masaki; Gibbs, J. Raphael; Göring, Harald H. H.; Green, Robert C.; Guelfi, Sebastian; Hansell, Narelle K.; Hartman, Catharina A.; Hegenscheid, Katrin; Heinz, Andreas; Hernandez, Dena G.; Heslenfeld, Dirk J.; Hoekstra, Pieter J.; Holsboer, Florian; Homuth, Georg; Hottenga, Jouke-Jan; Ikeda, Masashi; Jack, Clifford R.; Jenkinson, Mark; Johnson, Robert; Kanai, Ryota; Keil, Maria; Kent, Jack W.; Kochunov, Peter; Kwok, John B.; Lawrie, Stephen M.; Liu, Xinmin; Longo, Dan L.; McMahon, Katie L.; Meisenzahl, Eva; Melle, Ingrid; Mohnke, Sebastian; Montgomery, Grant W.; Mostert, Jeanette C.; Mühleisen, Thomas W.; Nalls, Michael A.; Nichols, Thomas E.; Nilsson, Lars G.; Nöthen, Markus M.; Ohi, Kazutaka; Olvera, Rene L.; Perez-Iglesias, Rocio; Pike, G. Bruce; Potkin, Steven G.; Reinvang, Ivar; Reppermund, Simone; Rietschel, Marcella; Romanczuk-Seiferth, Nina; Rosen, Glenn D.; Rujescu, Dan; Schnell, Knut; Schofield, Peter R.; Smith, Colin; Steen, Vidar M.; Sussmann, Jessika E.; Thalamuthu, Anbupalam; Toga, Arthur W.; Traynor, Bryan J.; Troncoso, Juan; Turner, Jessica A.; Valdés Hernández, Maria C.; van ’t Ent, Dennis; van der Brug, Marcel; van der Wee, Nic J. A.; van Tol, Marie-Jose; Veltman, Dick J.; Wassink, Thomas H.; Westman, Eric; Zielke, Ronald H.; Zonderman, Alan B.; Ashbrook, David G.; Hager, Reinmar; Lu, Lu; McMahon, Francis J.; Morris, Derek W.; Williams, Robert W.; Brunner, Han G.; Buckner, Randy L.; Buitelaar, Jan K.; Cahn, Wiepke; Calhoun, Vince D.; Cavalleri, Gianpiero L.; Crespo-Facorro, Benedicto; Dale, Anders M.; Davies, Gareth E.; Delanty, Norman; Depondt, Chantal; Djurovic, Srdjan; Drevets, Wayne C.; Espeseth, Thomas; Gollub, Randy L.; Ho, Beng-Choon; Hoffmann, Wolfgang; Hosten, Norbert; Kahn, René S.; Le Hellard, Stephanie; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Müller-Myhsok, Bertram; Nauck, Matthias; Nyberg, Lars; Pandolfo, Massimo; Penninx, Brenda W. J. H.; Roffman, Joshua L.; Sisodiya, Sanjay M.; Smoller, Jordan W.; van Bokhoven, Hans; van Haren, Neeltje E. M.; Völzke, Henry; Walter, Henrik; Weiner, Michael W.; Wen, Wei; White, Tonya; Agartz, Ingrid; Andreassen, Ole A.; Blangero, John; Boomsma, Dorret I.; Brouwer, Rachel M.; Cannon, Dara M.; Cookson, Mark R.; de Geus, Eco J. C.; Deary, Ian J.; Donohoe, Gary; Fernández, Guillén; Fisher, Simon E.; Francks, Clyde; Glahn, David C.; Grabe, Hans J.; Gruber, Oliver; Hardy, John; Hashimoto, Ryota; Hulshoff Pol, Hilleke E.; Jönsson, Erik G.

    2015-01-01

    The highly complex structure of the human brain is strongly shaped by genetic influences1. Subcortical brain regions form circuits with cortical areas to coordinate movement2, learning, memory3 and motivation4, and altered circuits can lead to abnormal behaviour and disease2. To investigate how common genetic variants affect the structure of these brain regions, here we conduct genome-wide association studies of the volumes of seven subcortical regions and the intracranial volume derived from magnetic resonance images of 30,717 individuals from 50 cohorts. We identify five novel genetic variants influencing the volumes of the putamen and caudate nucleus. We also find stronger evidence for three loci with previously established influences on hippocampal volume5 and intracranial volume6. These variants show specific volumetric effects on brain structures rather than global effects across structures. The strongest effects were found for the putamen, where a novel intergenic locus with replicable influence on volume (rs945270; P = 1.08 × 10−33; 0.52% variance explained) showed evidence of altering the expression of the KTN1 gene in both brain and blood tissue. Variants influencing putamen volume clustered near developmental genes that regulate apoptosis, axon guidance and vesicle transport. Identification of these genetic variants provides insight into the causes of variability inhuman brain development, and may help to determine mechanisms of neuropsychiatric dysfunction. PMID:25607358

  10. The modular and integrative functional architecture of the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Bertolero, Maxwell A.; Yeo, B. T. Thomas; D’Esposito, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Network-based analyses of brain imaging data consistently reveal distinct modules and connector nodes with diverse global connectivity across the modules. How discrete the functions of modules are, how dependent the computational load of each module is to the other modules’ processing, and what the precise role of connector nodes is for between-module communication remains underspecified. Here, we use a network model of the brain derived from resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) data and investigate the modular functional architecture of the human brain by analyzing activity at different types of nodes in the network across 9,208 experiments of 77 cognitive tasks in the BrainMap database. Using an author–topic model of cognitive functions, we find a strong spatial correspondence between the cognitive functions and the network’s modules, suggesting that each module performs a discrete cognitive function. Crucially, activity at local nodes within the modules does not increase in tasks that require more cognitive functions, demonstrating the autonomy of modules’ functions. However, connector nodes do exhibit increased activity when more cognitive functions are engaged in a task. Moreover, connector nodes are located where brain activity is associated with many different cognitive functions. Connector nodes potentially play a role in between-module communication that maintains the modular function of the brain. Together, these findings provide a network account of the brain’s modular yet integrated implementation of cognitive functions. PMID:26598686

  11. The human brain response to dental pain relief.

    PubMed

    Meier, M L; Widmayer, S; Abazi, J; Brügger, M; Lukic, N; Lüchinger, R; Ettlin, D A

    2015-05-01

    Local anesthesia has made dental treatment more comfortable since 1884, but little is known about associated brain mechanisms. Functional magnetic resonance imaging is a modern neuroimaging tool widely used for investigating human brain activity related to sensory perceptions, including pain. Most brain regions that respond to experimental noxious stimuli have recently been found to react not only to nociception alone, but also to visual, auditory, and other stimuli. Thus, presumed functional attributions have come under scrutiny regarding selective pain processing in the brain. Evidently, innovative approaches are warranted to identify cerebral regions that are nociceptive specific. In this study, we aimed at circumventing known methodological confounders by applying a novel paradigm in 14 volunteers: rather than varying the intensity and thus the salience of painful stimuli, we applied repetitive noxious dental stimuli at constant intensity to the left mandibular canine. During the functional magnetic resonance imaging paradigm, we suppressed the nociceptive barrage by a mental nerve block. Brain activity before and after injection of 4% articaine was compared intraindividually on a group level. Dental pain extinction was observed to correspond to activity reduction in a discrete region of the left posterior insular cortex. These results confirm previous reports demonstrating that direct electrical stimulation of this brain region-but not of others-evokes bodily pain sensations. Hence, our investigation adds further evidence to the notion that the posterior insula plays a unique role in nociceptive processing. PMID:25691071

  12. Topological Isomorphisms of Human Brain and Financial Market Networks

    PubMed Central

    Vértes, Petra E.; Nicol, Ruth M.; Chapman, Sandra C.; Watkins, Nicholas W.; Robertson, Duncan A.; Bullmore, Edward T.

    2011-01-01

    Although metaphorical and conceptual connections between the human brain and the financial markets have often been drawn, rigorous physical or mathematical underpinnings of this analogy remain largely unexplored. Here, we apply a statistical and graph theoretic approach to the study of two datasets – the time series of 90 stocks from the New York stock exchange over a 3-year period, and the fMRI-derived time series acquired from 90 brain regions over the course of a 10-min-long functional MRI scan of resting brain function in healthy volunteers. Despite the many obvious substantive differences between these two datasets, graphical analysis demonstrated striking commonalities in terms of global network topological properties. Both the human brain and the market networks were non-random, small-world, modular, hierarchical systems with fat-tailed