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Sample records for aging human brain

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  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. 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

  5. Oxidative stress, aging, and central nervous system disease in the canine model of human brain aging.

    PubMed

    Head, Elizabeth; Rofina, Jaime; Zicker, Steven

    2008-01-01

    Decline in cognitive functions that accompany aging in dogs may have a biologic basis, and many of the disorders associated with aging in dogs may be mitigated through dietary modifications that incorporate specific nutraceuticals. Based on previous research and the results of 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-09

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

  8. 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

  9. Peripheral injection of human umbilical cord blood stimulates neurogenesis in the aged rat brain

    PubMed Central

    Bachstetter, Adam D; Pabon, Mibel M; Cole, Michael J; Hudson, Charles E; Sanberg, Paul R; Willing, Alison E; Bickford, Paula C; Gemma, Carmelina

    2008-01-01

    Background Neurogenesis continues to occur throughout life but dramatically decreases with increasing age. This decrease is mostly related to a decline in proliferative activity as a result of an impoverishment of the microenvironment of the aged brain, including a reduction in trophic factors and increased inflammation. Results We determined that human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (UCBMC) given peripherally, by an intravenous injection, could rejuvenate the proliferative activity of the aged neural stem/progenitor cells. This increase in proliferation lasted for at least 15 days after the delivery of the UCBMC. Along with the increase in proliferation following UCBMC treatment, an increase in neurogenesis was also found in the aged animals. The increase in neurogenesis as a result of UCBMC treatment seemed to be due to a decrease in inflammation, as a decrease in the number of activated microglia was found and this decrease correlated with the increase in neurogenesis. Conclusion The results demonstrate that a single intravenous injection of UCBMC in aged rats can significantly improve the microenvironment of the aged hippocampus and rejuvenate the aged neural stem/progenitor cells. Our results raise the possibility of a peripherally administered cell therapy as an effective approach to improve the microenvironment of the aged brain. PMID:18275610

  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. Do age and sex impact on the absolute cell numbers of human brain regions?

    PubMed

    Oliveira-Pinto, Ana V; Andrade-Moraes, Carlos H; Oliveira, Lays M; Parente-Bruno, Danielle R; Santos, Raquel M; Coutinho, Renan A; Alho, Ana T L; Leite, Renata E P; Suemoto, Claudia K; Grinberg, Lea T; Pasqualucci, Carlos A; Jacob-Filho, Wilson; Lent, Roberto

    2016-09-01

    What is the influence of sex and age on the quantitative cell composition of the human brain? By using the isotropic fractionator to estimate absolute cell numbers in selected brain regions, we looked for sex- and age-related differences in 32 medial temporal lobes (comprised basically by the hippocampal formation, amygdala and parahippocampal gyrus), sixteen male (29-92 years) and sixteen female (25-82); and 31 cerebella, seventeen male (29-92 years) and fourteen female (25-82). These regions were dissected from the brain, fixed and homogenized, and then labeled with a DNA-marker (to count all nuclei) and with a neuron-specific nuclear marker (to estimate neuron number). Total number of cells in the medial temporal lobe was found to be 1.91 billion in men, and 1.47 billion in women, a difference of 23 %. This region showed 34 % more neurons in men than in women: 525.1 million against 347.4 million. In contrast, no sex differences were found in the cerebellum. Regarding the influence of age, a quadratic correlation was found between neuronal numbers and age in the female medial temporal lobe, suggesting an early increase followed by slight decline after age 50. The cerebellum showed numerical stability along aging for both neurons and non-neuronal cells. In sum, results indicate a sex-related regional difference in total and neuronal cell numbers in the medial temporal lobe, but not in the cerebellum. On the other hand, aging was found to impact on cell numbers in the medial temporal lobe, while the cerebellum proved resilient to neuronal losses in the course of life.

  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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  18. Flavonoids and the aging brain.

    PubMed

    Schmitt-Schillig, S; Schaffer, S; Weber, C C; Eckert, G P; Müller, W E

    2005-03-01

    Like in all other organs, the functional capacity of the human brain deteriorates over time. Pathological events such as oxidative stress, due to the elevated release of free radicals and reactive oxygen or nitrogen species, the subsequently enhanced oxidative modification of lipids, protein, and nucleic acids, and the modulation of apoptotic signaling pathways contribute to loss of brain function. The identification of neuroprotective food components is one strategy to facilitate healthy brain aging. Flavonoids were shown to activate key enzymes in mitochondrial respiration and to protect neuronal cells by acting as antioxidants, thus breaking the vicious cycle of oxidative stress and tissue damage. Furthermore, recent data indicate a favorable effect of flavonoids on neuro-inflammatory events. Whereas most of these effects have been shown in vitro, limited data in vivo are available, suggesting a rather low penetration of flavonoids into the brain. Nevertheless, several reports support the concept that flavonoid intake inhibits certain biochemical processes of brain aging, and might thus prevent to some extent the decline of cognitive functions with aging as well as the development or the course of neurodegenerative diseases. However, more data are needed to assess the true impact of flavonoids on brain aging.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Sex hormones and brain aging.

    PubMed

    Veiga, Sergio; Melcangi, Roberto C; Doncarlos, Lydia L; Garcia-Segura, Luis M; Azcoitia, Iñigo

    2004-01-01

    Sex steroids exert pleiotropic effects in the nervous system, preserving neural function and promoting neuronal survival. Therefore, the age-related decrease in sex steroids may have a negative impact on neural function. Progesterone, testosterone and estradiol prevent neuronal loss in the central nervous system in different experimental animal models of neurodegeneration. Furthermore, progesterone and its reduced derivatives dihydroprogesterone and tetrahydroprogesterone reduce aging-associated morphological abnormalities of myelin and aging-associated myelin fiber loss in rat peripheral nerves. However, the results from hormone replacement studies in humans are thus far inconclusive. A possible alternative to hormonal replacement therapy is to increase local steroidogenesis by neural tissues, which express enzymes for steroid synthesis and metabolism. Proteins involved in the intramitochondrial trafficking of cholesterol, the first step in steroidogenesis, such as the peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptor and the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein, are up-regulated in the nervous system after injury. Furthermore, steroidogenic acute regulatory protein expression is increased in the brain of 24-month-old rats compared with young adult rats. This suggests that brain steroidogenesis may be modified in adaptation to neurodegenerative conditions and to the brain aging process. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that local formation of estradiol in the brain, by the enzyme aromatase, is neuroprotective. Therefore, steroidogenic acute regulatory protein, peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptor and aromatase are attractive pharmacological targets to promote neuroprotection in the aged brain. PMID:15582278

  2. Should Alzheimer's disease be equated with human brain ageing? A maladaptive interaction between brain evolution and senescence.

    PubMed

    Neill, David

    2012-01-01

    In this review Alzheimer's disease is seen as a maladaptive interaction between human brain evolution and senescence. It is predicted to occur in everyone although does not necessarily lead to dementia. The pathological process is initiated in relation to a senescence mediated functional down-regulation in the posteromedial cortex (Initiation Phase). This leads to a loss of glutamatergic excitatory input to layer II entorhinal cortex neurons. A human specific maladaptive neuroplastic response is initiated in these neurons leading to neuronal dysfunction, NFT formation and death. This leads to further loss of glutamatergic excitatory input and propagation of the maladaptive response along excitatory pathways linking evolutionary progressed vulnerable neurons (Propagation Phase). Eventually neurons are affected in many brain areas resulting in dementia. Possible therapeutic approaches include enhancing glutamatergic transmission. The theory may have implications with regards to how Alzheimer's disease is classified.

  3. Age and Gender Related Changes in the Normal Human Brain using Hybrid Diffusion Imaging (HYDI)

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yu-Chien; Field, Aaron S.; Whalen, Paul J.; Alexander, Andrew L.

    2011-01-01

    Diffusion tensor imaging has been widely used to study brain diseases, disorders, development and aging. However, few studies have explored the effects of aging on diffusion imaging measures with higher b-values. Further the water diffusion in biological tissues appears bi-exponential although this also has not been explored with aging. In this study, hybrid diffusion imaging (HYDI) was used to study fifty-two healthy subjects with an age range from 18 to 72 years. The HYDI diffusion-encoding scheme consisted of five concentric q-space shells with b-values raging from 0 to 9375 s/mm2. Quantitative diffusion measures were investigated as a function of age and gender using both region-of-interest (whole brain white matter, genu and splenium of corpus callosum, posterior limb of the internal capsule) and whole-brain voxel based analyses. Diffusion measures included measures of the diffusion probability density function (zero displacement probability, and mean squared displacement), bi-exponential diffusion (i.e. volume fractions of fast/slow diffusion compartments and fast/slow diffusivities), and DTI measures (fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity, axial diffusivity and radial diffusivity). The bi-exponential volume fraction, the fast diffusivity, and the axial diffusivity measures (f1, D1 and Da) were found to be more sensitive to normal aging than the restricted, slow and radial diffusion measures (Po, D2 and Dr). The bi-exponential volume fraction, f1, showed the most widespread age-dependence in the voxel-based analyses although both FA and mean diffusivity did show changes in frontal white matter regions that may be associated with age-related decline. PMID:20932911

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Aluminium, iron and copper in human brain tissues donated to the Medical Research Council's Cognitive Function and Ageing Study.

    PubMed

    House, Emily; Esiri, Margaret; Forster, Gill; Ince, Paul G; Exley, Christopher

    2012-01-01

    Aluminium, iron and copper are all implicated in the aetiology of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease. However, there are very few large cohort studies of the content of these metals in aged human brains. We have used microwave digestion and TH GFAAS to measure aluminium, iron and copper in the temporal, frontal, occipital and parietal lobes of 60 brains donated to the Cognitive Function and Ageing Study. Every precaution was taken to reduce contamination of samples and acid digests to a minimum. Actual contamination was estimated by preparing a large number of (170+) method blanks which were interspersed within the full set of 700+ tissue digests. Subtraction of method blank values (MBV) from tissue digest values resulted in metal contents in all tissues in the range, MBV to 33 μg g(-1) dry wt. for aluminium, 112 to 8305 μg g(-1) dry wt. for iron and MBV to 384 μg g(-1) dry wt. for copper. While the median aluminium content for all tissues was 1.02 μg g(-1) dry wt. it was informative that 41 brains out of 60 included at least one tissue with an aluminium content which could be considered as potentially pathological (> 3.50 μg g(-1) dry wt.). The median content for iron was 286.16 μg g(-1) dry wt. and overall tissue iron contents were generally high which possibly reflected increased brain iron in ageing and in neurodegenerative disease. The median content for copper was 17.41 μg g(-1) dry wt. and overall tissue copper contents were lower than expected for aged brains but they were commensurate with aged brains showing signs of neurodegenerative disease. In this study we have shown, in particular, the value of carrying out significant numbers of method blanks to identify unknown sources of contamination. When these values are subtracted from tissue digest values the absolute metal contents could be considered as conservative and yet they may still reflect aspects of ageing and neurodegenerative disease in individual brains.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Nutrients, Microglia Aging, and Brain Aging.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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)

  18. New evidence on iron, copper accumulation and zinc depletion and its correlation with DNA integrity in aging human brain regions

    PubMed Central

    Vasudevaraju, P.; Bharathi; T, Jyothsna; Shamasundar, N. M.; Subba Rao, K.; Balaraj, B. M.; KSJ, Rao; T.S, Sathyanarayana Rao

    2010-01-01

    Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) conformation and stability play an important role in brain function. Earlier studies reported alterations in DNA integrity in the brain regions of neurological disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. However, there are only limited studies on DNA stability in an aging brain and the factors responsible for genomic instability are still not clear. In this study, we assess the levels of Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe) and Zinc (Zn) in three age groups (Group I: below 40 years), Group II: between 41-60 years) and Group III: above 61 years) in hippocampus and frontal cortex regions of normal brains. The number of samples in each group was eight. Genomic DNA was isolated and DNA integrity was studied by nick translation studies and presented as single and double strand breaks. The number of single strand breaks correspondingly increased with aging compared to double strand breaks. The strand breaks were more in frontal cortex compared to hippocampus. We observed that the levels of Cu and Fe are significantly elevated while Zn is significantly depleted as one progresses from Group I to Group III, indicating changes with aging in frontal cortex and hippocampus. But the elevation of metals was more in frontal cortical region compared to hippocampal region. There was a clear correlation between Cu and Fe levels versus strand breaks in aging brain regions. This indicates that genomic instability is progressive with aging and this will alter the gene expressions. To our knowledge, this is a new comprehensive database to date, looking at the levels of redox metals and corresponding strand breaks in DNA in two brain regions of the aging brain. The biological significance of these findings with relevance to mental health will be discussed. PMID:20838501

  19. 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

  20. Semiquantitative proteomic analysis of human hippocampal tissues from Alzheimer’s disease and age-matched control brains

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia affecting people over 65 years of age. The hallmarks of AD are the extracellular deposits known as amyloid β plaques and the intracellular neurofibrillary tangles, both of which are the principal players involved in synaptic loss and neuronal cell death. Tau protein and Aβ fragment 1–42 have been investigated so far in cerebrospinal fluid as a potential AD biomarkers. However, an urgent need to identify novel biomarkers which will capture disease in the early stages and with better specificity remains. High-throughput proteomic and pathway analysis of hippocampal tissue provides a valuable source of disease-related proteins and biomarker candidates, since it represents one of the earliest affected brain regions in AD. Results In this study 2954 proteins were identified (with at least 2 peptides for 1203 proteins) from both control and AD brain tissues. Overall, 204 proteins were exclusively detected in AD and 600 proteins in control samples. Comparing AD and control exclusive proteins with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) literature-based proteome, 40 out of 204 AD related proteins and 106 out of 600 control related proteins were also present in CSF. As most of these proteins were extracellular/secretory origin, we consider them as a potential source of candidate biomarkers that need to be further studied and verified in CSF samples. Conclusions Our semiquantitative proteomic analysis provides one of the largest human hippocampal proteome databases. The lists of AD and control related proteins represent a panel of proteins potentially involved in AD pathogenesis and could also serve as prospective AD diagnostic biomarkers. PMID:23635041

  1. Quantitative sodium MRI of the human brain at 9.4 T provides assessment of tissue sodium concentration and cell volume fraction during normal aging.

    PubMed

    Thulborn, Keith; Lui, Elaine; Guntin, Jonathan; Jamil, Saad; Sun, Ziqi; Claiborne, Theodore C; Atkinson, Ian C

    2016-02-01

    Sodium ion homeostasis is a fundamental property of viable tissue, allowing the tissue sodium concentration to be modeled as the tissue cell volume fraction. The modern neuropathology literature using ex vivo tissue from selected brain regions indicates that human brain cell density remains constant during normal aging and attributes the volume loss that occurs with advancing age to changes in neuronal size and dendritic arborization. Quantitative sodium MRI performed with the enhanced sensitivity of ultrahigh-field 9.4 T has been used to investigate tissue cell volume fraction during normal aging. This cross-sectional study (n = 49; 21-80 years) finds that the in vivo tissue cell volume fraction remains constant in all regions of the brain with advancing age in individuals who remain cognitively normal, extending the ex vivo literature reporting constant neuronal cell density across the normal adult age range. Cell volume fraction, as measured by quantitative sodium MRI, is decreased in diseases of cell loss, such as stroke, on a time scale of minutes to hours, and in response to treatment of brain tumors on a time scale of days to weeks. Neurodegenerative diseases often have prodromal periods of decades in which regional neuronal cell loss occurs prior to clinical presentation. If tissue cell volume fraction can detect such early pathology, this quantitative parameter may permit the objective measurement of preclinical disease progression. This current study in cognitively normal aging individuals provides the basis for the pursuance of investigations directed towards such neurodegenerative diseases.

  2. Cortical reorganization in the aging brain.

    PubMed

    Dinse, Hubert R

    2006-01-01

    Aging exerts major reorganization and remodeling at all levels of brain structure and function. Studies in aged animals and in human elderly individuals demonstrate that sensorimotor cortical representational maps undergo significant alterations. Because cortical reorganization is paralleled by a decline in perceptual and behavioral performance, this type of cortical remodeling differs from the plastic reorganization observed during learning processes in young individuals where map changes are associated with a gain in performance. It is now clear that brain plasticity is operational into old age; therefore, protocols for interventions such as training, exercising, practicing, and stimulation, which make use of neuroplasticity principles, are effective to ameliorate some forms of cortical and behavioral age-related changes, indicating that aging effects are not irreversible but treatable. However, old individuals cannot be rejuvenated, but restoration of function is possible through the emergence of new processing strategies. This implies that cortical reorganization in the aging brain occurs twice: during aging, and during treatment of age-related changes.

  3. 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

    Stamova, Boryana; Ander, Bradley P; Barger, Nicole; Sharp, Frank R; Schumann, Cynthia M

    2015-12-01

    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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Brain aging, Alzheimer's disease, and mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    Swerdlow, Russell H.

    2011-01-01

    The relationship between brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is contentious. One view holds AD results when brain aging surpasses a threshold. The other view postulates AD is not a consequence of brain aging. This review discusses this conundrum from the perspective of different investigative lines that have tried to address it, as well as from the perspective of the mitochondrion, an organelle that appears to play a role in both AD and brain aging. Specific issues addressed include the question of whether AD and brain aging should be conceptually lumped or split, the extent to which AD and brain aging potentially share common molecular mechanisms, whether beta amyloid should be primarily considered a marker of AD or simply brain aging, and the definition of AD itself. PMID:21920438

  8. 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

  9. Biodemography of human ageing

    PubMed Central

    Vaupel, James W.

    2014-01-01

    Human senescence has been delayed by a decade. This finding, documented in 1994 and bolstered since, is a fundamental discovery about the biology of human ageing, and one with profound implications for individuals, society and the economy. Remarkably, the rate of deterioration with age seems to be constant across individuals and over time: it seems that death is being delayed because people are reaching old age in better health. Research by demographers, epidemiologists and other biomedical researchers suggests that further progress is likely to be made in advancing the frontier of survival — and healthy survival — to even greater ages. PMID:20336136

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

    PubMed

    Gutchess, Angela

    2014-10-31

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Sibille, Etienne

    2013-03-01

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

  13. Nutritional strategies to optimise cognitive function in the aging brain.

    PubMed

    Wahl, Devin; Cogger, Victoria C; Solon-Biet, Samantha M; Waern, Rosilene V R; Gokarn, Rahul; Pulpitel, Tamara; Cabo, Rafael de; Mattson, Mark P; Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Stephen J; Le Couteur, David G

    2016-11-01

    Old age is the greatest risk factor for most neurodegenerative diseases. During recent decades there have been major advances in understanding the biology of aging, and the development of nutritional interventions that delay aging including calorie restriction (CR) and intermittent fasting (IF), and chemicals that influence pathways linking nutrition and aging processes. CR influences brain aging in many animal models and recent findings suggest that dietary interventions can influence brain health and dementia in older humans. The role of individual macronutrients in brain aging also has been studied, with conflicting results about the effects of dietary protein and carbohydrates. A new approach known as the Geometric Framework (GF) has been used to unravel the complex interactions between macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrate) and total energy on outcomes such as aging. These studies have shown that low-protein, high-carbohydrate (LPHC) diets are optimal for lifespan in ad libitum fed animals, while total calories have minimal effect once macronutrients are taken into account. One of the primary purposes of this review is to explore the notion that macronutrients may have a more translational potential than CR and IF in humans, and therefore there is a pressing need to use GF to study the impact of diet on brain aging. Furthermore, given the growing recognition of the role of aging biology in dementia, such studies might provide a new approach for dietary interventions for optimizing brain health and preventing dementia in older people.

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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

    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; Cooper, Denise; Kaneko, Yuji; Borlongan, Cesar V; Bickford, Paula C

    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 × 10(6) 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. The ageing brain: normal and abnormal memory.

    PubMed Central

    Albert, M S

    1997-01-01

    With advancing age, the majority of individuals experience declines in their ability to learn and remember. An examination of brain structure and function in healthy older persons across the age range indicates that there are substantial changes in the brain that appear to be related to alterations in memory. The nature of the cognitive and neurobiological alterations associated with age-related change is substantially different from that seen in the early stages of a dementing illness, such as Alzheimer's disease. These differences have implications for potential intervention strategies. PMID:9415922

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Age and Haplotype Variations within FADS1 Interact and Associate with Alterations in Fatty Acid Composition in Human Male Cortical Brain Tissue

    PubMed Central

    Freemantle, Erika; Lalovic, Aleksandra; Mechawar, Naguib; Turecki, Gustavo

    2012-01-01

    Fatty acids (FA) play an integral role in brain function and alterations have been implicated in a variety of complex neurological disorders. Several recent genomic studies have highlighted genetic variability in the fatty acid desaturase (FADS1/2/3) gene cluster as an important contributor to FA alterations in serum lipids as well as measures of FA desaturase index estimated by ratios of relevant FAs. The contribution to alterations of FAs within the brain by local synthesis is still a matter of debate. Thus, the impact of genetic variants in FADS genes on gene expression and brain FA levels is an important avenue to investigate. Methods Analyses were performed on brain tissue from prefrontal cortex Brodmann area 47 (BA47) of 61 male subjects of French Canadian ancestry ranging in age from young adulthood to middle age (18–58 years old), with the exception of one teenager (15 years old). Haplotype tagging SNPs were selected using the publicly available HapMap genotyping dataset in conjunction with Haploview. DNA sequencing was performed by the Sanger method and gene expression was measured by quantitative real-time PCR. FAs in brain tissue were analysed by gas chromatography. Variants in the FADS1 gene region were sequenced and analyzed for their influence on both FADS gene expression and FAs in brain tissue. Results Our results suggest an association of the minor haplotype with alteration in estimated fatty acid desaturase activity. Analysis of the impact of DNA variants on expression and alternative transcripts of FADS1 and FADS2, however, showed no differences. Furthermore, there was a significant interaction between haplotype and age on certain brain FA levels. Discussion This study suggests that genetic variability in the FADS genes cluster, previously shown to be implicated in alterations in peripheral FA levels, may also affect FA composition in brain tissue, but not likely by local synthesis. PMID:22900039

  6. Splicing in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Zaghlool, Ammar; Ameur, Adam; Cavelier, Lucia; Feuk, Lars

    2014-01-01

    It has become increasingly clear over the past decade that RNA has important functions in human cells beyond its role as an intermediate translator of DNA to protein. It is now known that RNA plays highly specific roles in pathways involved in regulatory, structural, and catalytic functions. The complexity of RNA production and regulation has become evident with the advent of high-throughput methods to study the transcriptome. Deep sequencing has revealed an enormous diversity of RNA types and transcript isoforms in human cells. The transcriptome of the human brain is particularly interesting as it contains more expressed genes than other tissues and also displays an extreme diversity of transcript isoforms, indicating that highly complex regulatory pathways are present in the brain. Several of these regulatory proteins are now identified, including RNA-binding proteins that are neuron specific. RNA-binding proteins also play important roles in regulating the splicing process and the temporal and spatial isoform production. While significant progress has been made in understanding the human transcriptome, many questions still remain regarding the basic mechanisms of splicing and subcellular localization of RNA. A long-standing question is to what extent the splicing of pre-mRNA is cotranscriptional and posttranscriptional, respectively. Recent data, including studies of the human brain, indicate that splicing is primarily cotranscriptional in human cells. This chapter describes the current understanding of splicing and splicing regulation in the human brain and discusses the recent global sequence-based analyses of transcription and splicing. PMID:25172473

  7. 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.

  8. Functional brain asymmetry, handedness and menarcheal age.

    PubMed

    Nikolova, P; Stoyanov, Z; Negrev, N

    1994-12-01

    Functional brain asymmetry influences many functions of the organism; the neuroendocrine axis is one that has received insufficient attention. In this study we set us as the goal of studying the link between functional brain asymmetry and menarcheal age in females with left versus right manual dominance. The appearance of the first menarche was used as a natural model of functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. 1695 females, aged between 16 and 25 years, were interviewed by questionnaire about manual dominance and menarcheal age. 182 women were selected and divided into 2 groups: all left-handers (n = 91), and a control group of 91 right-handers. We found a significantly lower average age of menarcheal appearance in the left-handers' age of 12.09 +/- 0.16 years compared to the right-handers' age of 13.32 +/- 0.12 years (p < 0.001). The earliest menarcheal age in left-handers was 8 years and the peak of appearance at age 13 (in 30.76% of the cases). In right-handers these values were 10 and 14 years (in 40.60% of the cases), respectively. The data allow us to accept the existence of a link between functional brain asymmetry and menarche, which causes earlier activation of the HPG axis in left-handed females.

  9. Light-sensitive brain pathways and aging.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-15

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

  10. [Age-related changes of the brain].

    PubMed

    Paltsyn, A A; Komissarova, S V

    2015-01-01

    The first morphological signs of aging of the brain are found in the white matter already at a young age (20-40 years), and later (40-50 years) in a gray matter. After the 40-50 years appear and in subsequently are becoming more pronounced functional manifestations of morphological changes: the weakening of sensory-motor and cognitive abilities. While in principle this dynamic of age-related changes is inevitable, the rate of their development to a large extent determined by the genetic characteristics and lifestyle of the individual. According to modem concepts age-related changes in the number of nerve cells are different in different parts of the brain. However, these changes are not large and are not the main cause of senile decline brain. The main processes that contribute to the degradation of the brain develop as in the bodies of neurons and in neuropil. In the bodies of neurons--it is a damage (usually decrease) of the level of expression of many genes, and especially of the genes determining cell communication. In neuropil: reduction in the number of synapses and the strength of synaptic connections, reduction in the number of dendritic spines and axonal buttons, reduction in the number and thickness of the dendritic branches, demyelination of axons. As the result of these events, it becomes a violation of the rate of formation and rebuilding neuronal circuits. It is deplete associative ability, brain plasticity, and memory. PMID:27116888

  11. 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

  12. Specialized brain cooling in humans?

    PubMed

    Brengelmann, G L

    1993-09-01

    Humans, compared to other species, have exceptional capability for dissipation of heat from the entire skin surface. We can secrete more than two liters per hour of sweat, indefinitely. The corresponding potential for evaporative cooling is near a thousand watts, sufficient to compensate for the extreme high levels of heat production during exercise. Also, the blood vessels of our skin have exceptional capability to dilate and deliver heat to the body surface. These are our special adaptations for thermal stress. They allow prolonged heavy exercise with modest elevations in the temperature of the fluid that cools all the internal organs, not just the brain-arterial blood. The vascular architecture of the human head is radically different from that of animals that exhibit SBC. These species have special adaptations that reflect their dependence on respiratory evaporation, particularly the limitation imposed on capability to dispose of heat produced during exercise. The increase in blood temperature in an intense sprint would heat the well-perfused brain rapidly. But the heat exchange over the large surface area of contact between a venous plexus cooled by respiratory evaporation and the meshwork of arterial vessels in the carotid rete precools blood bound for the brain. Specialized cooling of the brain (SBC) has not been demonstrated by direct measurements in humans. Changes in tympanic temperature (Tty) are taken as evidence for SBC. This continues an unfortunate tradition of exaggeration of the significance of Tty. In the only direct measurements available, brain temperature was unaffected by fanning the face although Tty did fall. What may appear to be a remnant of the carotid rete heat exchanger in humans is the intimate association between a short segment of the internal carotid artery and the plexus of veins in the cavernous sinus. Fortunately, the brain need not rely for its cooling on countercurrent heat exchange across this small surface area of contact. In

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Essential fatty acids and human brain.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Yu; Ke, Der-Shin; Chen, Jen-Yin

    2009-12-01

    The human brain is nearly 60 percent fat. We've learned in recent years that fatty acids are among the most crucial molecules that determine your brain's integrity and ability to perform. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are required for maintenance of optimal health but they can not synthesized by the body and must be obtained from dietary sources. Clinical observation studies has related imbalance dietary intake of fatty acids to impaired brain performance and diseases. Most of the brain growth is completed by 5-6 years of age. The EFAs, particularly the omega-3 fatty acids, are important for brain development during both the fetal and postnatal period. Dietary decosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is needed for the optimum functional maturation of the retina and visual cortex, with visual acuity and mental development seemingly improved by extra DHA. Beyond their important role in building the brain structure, EFAs, as messengers, are involved in the synthesis and functions of brain neurotransmitters, and in the molecules of the immune system. Neuronal membranes contain phospholipid pools that are the reservoirs for the synthesis of specific lipid messengers on neuronal stimulation or injury. These messengers in turn participate in signaling cascades that can either promote neuronal injury or neuroprotection. The goal of this review is to give a new understanding of how EFAs determine our brain's integrity and performance, and to recall the neuropsychiatric disorders that may be influenced by them. As we further unlock the mystery of how fatty acids affect the brain and better understand the brain's critical dependence on specific EFAs, correct intake of the appropriate diet or supplements becomes one of the tasks we undertake in pursuit of optimal wellness.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Secrets of aging: What does a normally aging brain look like?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Over the past half century, remarkable progress has been made in understanding the biological basis of memory and how it changes over the lifespan. An important conceptual advance during this period was the realization that normative cognitive trajectories can exist independently of dementing illness. In fact, mammals as different as rats and monkeys, who do not spontaneously develop Alzheimer’s disease, show memory impairments at advanced ages in similar domains as those observed in older humans. Thus, animal models have been particularly helpful in revealing brain mechanisms responsible for the cognitive changes that occur in aging. During these past decades, a number of empirical and technical advances enabled the discoveries that began to link age-related changes in brain function to behavior. The pace of innovation continues to accelerate today, resulting in an expanded window through which the secrets of the aging brain are being deciphered. PMID:22003369

  2. 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

  3. (Pre)diabetes, brain aging, and cognition.

    PubMed

    S Roriz-Filho, Jarbas; Sá-Roriz, Ticiana M; Rosset, Idiane; Camozzato, Ana L; Santos, Antonio C; Chaves, Márcia L F; Moriguti, Júlio César; Roriz-Cruz, Matheus

    2009-05-01

    Cognitive dysfunction and dementia have recently been proven to be common (and underrecognized) complications of diabetes mellitus (DM). In fact, several studies have evidenced that phenotypes associated with obesity and/or alterations on insulin homeostasis are at increased risk for developing cognitive decline and dementia, including not only vascular dementia, but also Alzheimer's disease (AD). These phenotypes include prediabetes, diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome. Both types 1 and 2 diabetes are also important risk factors for decreased performance in several neuropsychological functions. Chronic hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia primarily stimulates the formation of Advanced Glucose Endproducts (AGEs), which leads to an overproduction of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). Protein glycation and increased oxidative stress are the two main mechanisms involved in biological aging, both being also probably related to the etiopathogeny of AD. AD patients were found to have lower than normal cerebrospinal fluid levels of insulin. Besides its traditional glucoregulatory importance, insulin has significant neurothrophic properties in the brain. How can clinical hyperinsulinism be a risk factor for AD whereas lab experiments evidence insulin to be an important neurothrophic factor? These two apparent paradoxal findings may be reconciliated by evoking the concept of insulin resistance. Whereas insulin is clearly neurothrophic at moderate concentrations, too much insulin in the brain may be associated with reduced amyloid-beta (Abeta) clearance due to competition for their common and main depurative mechanism - the Insulin-Degrading Enzyme (IDE). Since IDE is much more selective for insulin than for Abeta, brain hyperinsulinism may deprive Abeta of its main clearance mechanism. Hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia seems to accelerate brain aging also by inducing tau hyperphosphorylation and amyloid oligomerization, as well as by leading to widespread brain microangiopathy

  4. Poststroke Cell Therapy of the Aged Brain.

    PubMed

    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

  5. Skin mirrors human aging.

    PubMed

    Nikolakis, Georgios; Makrantonaki, Evgenia; Zouboulis, Christos C

    2013-12-01

    Abstract Aged skin exhibits disturbed lipid barrier, angiogenesis, production of sweat, immune functions, and calcitriol synthesis as well as the tendency towards development of certain benign or malignant diseases. These complex biological processes comprise endogenous and exogenous factors. Ethnicity also markedly influences the phenotype of skin aging. The theories of cellular senescence, telomere shortening and decreased proliferative capacity, mitochondrial DNA single mutations, the inflammation theory, and the free radical theory try to explain the biological background of the global aging process, which is mirrored in the skin. The development of advanced glycation end-products and the declining hormonal levels are major factors influencing intrinsic aging. Chronic photodamage of the skin is the prime factor leading to extrinsic skin aging. The deterioration of important skin functions, due to intrinsic and extrinsic aging, leads to clinical manifestations, which mirror several internal age-associated diseases such as diabetes, arterial hypertension and malignancies.

  6. Expression profiling in the aging brain: a perspective.

    PubMed

    Galvin, James E; Ginsberg, Stephen D

    2005-11-01

    To evaluate molecular events associated with the aging process in animal models and human tissues, microarray analysis is performed at the regional and cellular levels to define transcriptional patterns or mosaics that may lead to better understanding of the mechanism(s) that drive senescence. In this review, we outline the experimental and analytical issues associated with high-throughput genomic analyses in aging brain and other tissues for a comprehensive evaluation of the current state of microarray analysis in aging paradigms. Ultimately, the goal of these studies is to apply functional genomics and proteomics approaches to aging research to develop new tools to assess age in cell- and tissue-specific manners in order to develop aging biomarkers for pharmacotherapeutic interventions and disease prevention.

  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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Genetic basis of human brain evolution

    PubMed Central

    Vallender, Eric J.; Mekel-Bobrov, Nitzan; Lahn, Bruce T.

    2009-01-01

    Human evolution is characterized by a rapid increase in brain size and complexity. Decades of research have made important strides in identifying anatomical and physiological substrates underlying the unique features of the human brain. By contrast, it has become possible only very recently to examine the genetic basis of human brain evolution. Through comparative genomics, tantalizing insights regarding human brain evolution have emerged. The genetic changes that potentially underlie human brain evolution span a wide range from single nucleotide substitutions to large-scale structural alterations of the genome. Similarly, the functional consequences of these genetic changes vary greatly, including protein-sequence alterations, cis-regulatory changes and even the emergence of new genes and the extinction of existing ones. Here, we provide a general review of recent findings into the genetic basis of human brain evolution, highlight the most notable trends that have emerged and caution against overinterpretation of current data. PMID:18848363

  12. Human Brain Reacts to Transcranial Extraocular Light.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Astrocytes containing amyloid beta-protein (Abeta)-positive granules are associated with Abeta40-positive diffuse plaques in the aged human brain.

    PubMed Central

    Funato, H.; Yoshimura, M.; Yamazaki, T.; Saido, T. C.; Ito, Y.; Yokofujita, J.; Okeda, R.; Ihara, Y.

    1998-01-01

    Amyloid beta-protein (Abeta) is the major component of senile plaques that emerge in the cortex during aging and appear most abundantly in Alzheimer's disease. In the course of our immunocytochemical study on a large number of autopsy cases, we noticed, in many aged nondemented cases, the presence of unique diffuse plaques in the cortex distinct from ordinary diffuse plaques by immunocytochemistry. The former were amorphous, very faintly Abeta-immunoreactive plaques resembling diffuse plaques, but they stained for Abeta40 and were associated with small cells containing Abeta-positive granules. A panel of amino- and carboxyl-terminal-specific Abeta antibodies showed that such Abeta40-positive diffuse plaques and cell-associated granules were composed exclusively of amino-terminally deleted Abeta terminating at Abeta40, -42, and -43. Double immunostaining also showed that those Abeta-immunoreactive granules are located in astrocytes and not in microglia or neurons. Immunoelectron microscopy revealed that nonfibrillar Abeta immunoreactivity was located within lipofuscin-like granules in somewhat swollen astrocytes. These findings raise the possibility that astrocytes take up Abeta and attempt to degrade it in lysosomes in the aged brain. Images Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 PMID:9546359

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

    PubMed

    Koscik, Timothy R; Tranel, Daniel

    2012-05-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Lifespan maturation and degeneration of human brain white matter

    PubMed Central

    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 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

  19. Brain Aging in the Oldest-Old

    PubMed Central

    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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Towards multimodal atlases of the human brain

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. Decoding patterns of human brain activity.

    PubMed

    Tong, Frank; Pratte, Michael S

    2012-01-01

    Considerable information about mental states can be decoded from noninvasive measures of human brain activity. Analyses of brain activity patterns can reveal what a person is seeing, perceiving, attending to, or remembering. Moreover, multidimensional models can be used to investigate how the brain encodes complex visual scenes or abstract semantic information. Such feats of "brain reading" or "mind reading," though impressive, raise important conceptual, methodological, and ethical issues. What does successful decoding reveal about the cognitive functions performed by a brain region? How should brain signals be spatially selected and mathematically combined to ensure that decoding reflects inherent computations of the brain rather than those performed by the decoder? We highlight recent advances and describe how multivoxel pattern analysis can provide a window into mind-brain relationships with unprecedented specificity, when carefully applied. However, as brain-reading technology advances, issues of neuroethics and mental privacy will be important to consider.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2001-01-01

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

  13. Modeling human brain development with cerebral organoids.

    PubMed

    Muzio, Luca; Consalez, G Giacomo

    2013-01-01

    The recent discovery of a new three-dimensional culture system for the derivation of cerebral organoids from human induced pluripotent stem cells provides developmental neurobiologists with the first example of a three-dimensional framework for the study of human brain development. This innovative approach permits the in vitro assembly of a human embryonic brain rudiment that recapitulates the developing human cerebrum. Organoids contain progenitor populations that develop to yield mature cortical neuron subtypes, potentially allowing investigators to study complex brain diseases that lack appropriate animal models. PMID:24367992

  14. Receptors for advanced glycosylation endproducts in human brain: role in brain homeostasis.

    PubMed Central

    Li, J. J.; Dickson, D.; Hof, P. R.; Vlassara, H.

    1998-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are the reactive derivatives of nonenzymatic glucose-macromolecule condensation products. Aging human tissues accumulate AGEs in an age-dependent manner and contribute to age-related functional changes in vital organs. We have shown previously that AGE scavenger receptors are present on monocyte/macrophages, lymphocytes, and other cells. However, it remains unclear whether the human brain can efficiently eliminate AGE-modified proteins and whether excessive AGEs can contribute to inflammatory changes leading to brain injury in aging. MATERIALS AND METHODS: To explore the expression and characteristics of AGE-binding proteins on CNS glia components and their putative function, such as degradation of AGE-modified proteins, primary human astrocytes and human monocytes (as a microglial cell surrogate) and murine microglia (N9) cells and cell membrane extracts were used. Immunohistochemistry was used to examine the distribution of AGE-binding proteins in the human hippocampus; RT-PCR techniques were used to examine the biologic effects of AGEs and a model AGE compound, FFI, on AGE-binding protein modulation and cytokine responses of human astrocytes and monocytes. RESULTS: Our results showed that AGE-binding proteins AGE-R1, -R2, and -R3 are present in glial cells. Western blot analyses and radiolabeled ligand binding studies show that AGE-R1 and -R3 from human astrocytes bind AGE-modified proteins; binding could be blocked by anti-AGE-R1 and anti-AGE-R3 antibodies, respectively. Immunohistochemistry showed that AGE-R1 and -R2 are expressed mainly in neurons; only some glial cells express these AGE-binding proteins. In contrast, AGE-R3 was found only on those astrocytes whose positively stained foot processes extend and surround the sheath of microcapillaries. RT-PCR results showed that mRNAs of the three AGE-binding proteins are expressed constitutively in human astrocytes and monocytes, and receptor transcripts are

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  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. 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

  18. Human brain lesion-deficit inference remapped

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Human brain lesion-deficit inference remapped.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  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. Docosahexaenoic Acid and the Aging Brain1–3

    PubMed Central

    Lukiw, Walter J.; Bazan, Nicolas G.

    2008-01-01

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

  3. Transcranial magnetic stimulation and the human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hallett, Mark

    2000-07-01

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

  4. 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.

  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. Age sensitivity of behavioral tests and brain substrates of normal aging in mice.

    PubMed

    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.

  7. Interoperable atlases of the human brain.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Behavioral Stochastic Resonance within the Human Brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitajo, Keiichi; Nozaki, Daichi; Ward, Lawrence M.; Yamamoto, Yoshiharu

    2003-05-01

    We provide the first evidence that stochastic resonance within the human brain can enhance behavioral responses to weak sensory inputs. We asked subjects to adjust handgrip force to a slowly changing, subthreshold gray level signal presented to their right eye. Behavioral responses were optimized by presenting randomly changing gray levels separately to the left eye. The results indicate that observed behavioral stochastic resonance was mediated by neural activity within the human brain where the information from both eyes converges.

  11. Prediction of brain age suggests accelerated atrophy after traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Cole, James H; Leech, Robert; Sharp, David J

    2015-01-01

    Objective The long-term effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) can resemble observed in normal ageing, suggesting that TBI may accelerate the ageing process. We investigate this using a neuroimaging model that predicts brain age in healthy individuals and then apply it to TBI patients. We define individuals' differences in chronological and predicted structural "brain age," and test whether TBI produces progressive atrophy and how this relates to cognitive function. Methods A predictive model of normal ageing was defined using machine learning in 1,537 healthy individuals, based on magnetic resonance imaging–derived estimates of gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM). This ageing model was then applied to test 99 TBI patients and 113 healthy controls to estimate brain age. Results The initial model accurately predicted age in healthy individuals (r * 0.92). TBI brains were estimated to be "older," with a mean predicted age difference (PAD) between chronological and estimated brain age of 4.66 years (±10.8) for GM and 5.97 years (±11.22) for WM. This PAD predicted cognitive impairment and correlated strongly with the time since TBI, indicating that brain tissue loss increases throughout the chronic postinjury phase. Interpretation TBI patients' brains were estimated to be older than their chronological age. This discrepancy increases with time since injury, suggesting that TBI accelerates the rate of brain atrophy. This may be an important factor in the increased susceptibility in TBI patients for dementia and other age-associated conditions, motivating further research into the age-like effects of brain injury and other neurological diseases. PMID:25623048

  12. Redox proteomics and the dynamic molecular landscape of the aging brain.

    PubMed

    Perluigi, Marzia; Swomley, Aaron M; Butterfield, D Allan

    2014-01-01

    It is well established that the risk to develop neurodegenerative disorders increases with chronological aging. Accumulating studies contributed to characterize the age-dependent changes either at gene and protein expression level which, taken together, show that aging of the human brain results from the combination of the normal decline of multiple biological functions with environmental factors that contribute to defining disease risk of late-life brain disorders. Finding the "way out" of the labyrinth of such complex molecular interactions may help to fill the gap between "normal" brain aging and development of age-dependent diseases. To this purpose, proteomics studies are a powerful tool to better understand where to set the boundary line of healthy aging and age-related disease by analyzing the variation of protein expression levels and the major post translational modifications that determine "protein" physio/pathological fate. Increasing attention has been focused on oxidative modifications due to the crucial role of oxidative stress in aging, in addition to the fact that this type of modification is irreversible and may alter protein function. Redox proteomics studies contributed to decipher the complexity of brain aging by identifying the proteins that were increasingly oxidized and eventually dysfunctional as a function of age. The purpose of this review is to summarize the most important findings obtained by applying proteomics approaches to murine models of aging with also a brief overview of some human studies, in particular those related to dementia.

  13. 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

    2011-06-17

    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.

  14. The human brain: rewired and running hot

    PubMed Central

    Preuss, Todd M.

    2011-01-01

    The past two decades have witnessed tremendous advances in noninvasive and postmortem neuroscientific techniques, advances that have made it possible, for the first time, to compare in detail the organization of the human brain to that of other primates. Studies comparing humans to chimpanzees and other great apes reveal that human brain evolution was not merely a matter of enlargement, but involved changes at all levels of organization that have been examined. These include the cellular and laminar organization of cortical areas; the higher-order organization of the cortex, as reflected in the expansion of association cortex (in absolute terms, as well as relative to primary areas); the distribution of long-distance cortical connections; and hemispheric asymmetry. Additionally, genetic differences between humans and other primates have proven to be more extensive than previously thought, raising the possibility that human brain evolution involved significant modifications of neurophysiology and cerebral energy metabolism. PMID:21599696

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    During human brain development through infancy and childhood, microstructural and macrostructural changes take place to reshape the brain's structural networks and better adapt them to sophisticated functional and cognitive requirements. However, structural topological configuration of the human brain during this specific development period is not well understood. In this study, diffusion magnetic resonance image (dMRI) of 25 neonates, 13 toddlers, and 25 preadolescents were acquired to characterize network dynamics at these 3 landmark cross-sectional ages during early childhood. dMRI tractography was used to construct human brain structural networks, and the underlying topological properties were quantified by graph-theory approaches. Modular organization and small-world attributes are evident at birth with several important topological metrics increasing monotonically during development. Most significant increases of regional nodes occur in the posterior cingulate cortex, which plays a pivotal role in the functional default mode network. Positive correlations exist between nodal efficiencies and fractional anisotropy of the white matter traced from these nodes, while correlation slopes vary among the brain regions. These results reveal substantial topological reorganization of human brain structural networks through infancy and childhood, which is likely to be the outcome of both heterogeneous strengthening of the major white matter tracts and pruning of other axonal fibers. PMID:24335033

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  17. BrainNet Viewer: A Network Visualization Tool for Human Brain Connectomics

    PubMed Central

    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

  18. Evolutionary origins of human brain and spirituality.

    PubMed

    Henneberg, Maciej; Saniotis, Arthur

    2009-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Luders, Eileen

    2014-01-01

    A growing body of research suggests that meditation practices are associated with substantial psychological as well as physiological benefits. In searching for the biological mechanisms underlying the beneficial impact of meditation, studies have revealed practice-induced alterations of neurotransmitters, brain activity, and cognitive abilities, just to name a few. These findings not only imply a close link between meditation and brain structure, but also suggest possible modulating effects of meditation on age-related brain atrophy. Given that normal aging is associated with significant loss of brain tissue, meditation-induced growth and/or preservation might manifest as a seemingly reduced brain age in meditators (i.e., cerebral measures characteristic of younger brains). Surprisingly, there are only three published studies that have addressed the question of whether meditation diminishes age-related brain degeneration. This paper reviews these three studies with respect to the brain attributes studied, the analytical strategies applied, and the findings revealed. The review concludes with an elaborate discussion on the significance of existing studies, implications and directions for future studies, as well as the overall relevance of this field of research.

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

    PubMed

    Mora, Francisco

    2013-03-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Inferential stereomorphology of human brain lesions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gedye, John L.

    1980-07-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Noise-induced sensitization of human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Imaging the Addicted Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Fowler, Joanna S.; Volkow, Nora D.; Kassed, Cheryl A.; Chang, Linda

    2007-01-01

    Modern imaging techniques enable researchers to observe drug actions and consequences as they occur and persist in the brains of abusing and addicted individuals. This article presents the five most commonly used techniques, explains how each produces images, and describes how researchers interpret them. The authors give examples of key findings illustrating how each technique has extended and deepened our knowledge of the neurobiological bases of drug abuse and addiction, and they address potential clinical and therapeutic applications. PMID:17514067

  10. 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

  11. The Brain Prize 2014: complex human functions.

    PubMed

    Grigaityte, Kristina; Iacoboni, Marco

    2014-11-01

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

  12. Stem Cell Models of Human Brain Development.

    PubMed

    Kelava, Iva; Lancaster, Madeline A

    2016-06-01

    Recent breakthroughs in pluripotent stem cell technologies have enabled a new class of in vitro systems for functional modeling of human brain development. These advances, in combination with improvements in neural differentiation methods, allow the generation of in vitro systems that reproduce many in vivo features of the brain with remarkable similarity. Here, we describe advances in the development of these methods, focusing on neural rosette and organoid approaches, and compare their relative capabilities and limitations. We also discuss current technical hurdles for recreating the cell-type complexity and spatial architecture of the brain in culture and offer potential solutions.

  13. Seasonality in human cognitive brain responses

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  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. Age and sex effects on 5-HT4 receptors in the human brain: a [11C]SB207145 PET study

    PubMed Central

    Madsen, Karine; Haahr, Mette T; Marner, Lisbeth; Keller, Sune H; Baaré, William F; Svarer, Claus; Hasselbalch, Steen G; Knudsen, Gitte M

    2011-01-01

    Experimental studies indicate that the 5-HT4 receptor activation influence cognitive function, affective symptoms, and the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The prevalence of AD increases with aging, and women have a higher predisposition to both AD and affective disorders than men. This study aimed to investigate sex and age effects on 5-HT4 receptor-binding potentials in striatum, the limbic system, and neocortex. Positron-emission tomographic scans were conducted using the radioligand [11C]SB207145 in a cohort of 30 healthy subjects (mean age 44 years; range 20 to 86 years; 14 men and 16 women). The output parameter, BPND, was modeled using the simplified reference tissue model, and partial volume correction was performed with the Muller–Gartner method. A decline with age of 1% per decade was found only in striatum. Women had a 13% lower 5-HT4 receptor binding in the limbic system. The lower limbic 5-HT4 receptor binding in women supports a role for 5-HT4 receptors in the sex-specific differences in emotional control and might contribute to the higher prevalence of affective diseases and AD in women. The relatively stable 5-HT4 receptor binding with aging contrasts others in subtypes of receptors, which generally decrease with aging. PMID:21364600

  16. The Infancy of the Human Brain.

    PubMed

    Dehaene-Lambertz, G; Spelke, E S

    2015-10-01

    The human infant brain is the only known machine able to master a natural language and develop explicit, symbolic, and communicable systems of knowledge that deliver rich representations of the external world. With the emergence of noninvasive brain imaging, we now have access to the unique neural machinery underlying these early accomplishments. After describing early cognitive capacities in the domains of language and number, we review recent findings that underline the strong continuity between human infants' and adults' neural architecture, with notably early hemispheric asymmetries and involvement of frontal areas. Studies of the strengths and limitations of early learning, and of brain dynamics in relation to regional maturational stages, promise to yield a better understanding of the sources of human cognitive achievements. PMID:26447575

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. Gene Expression Switching of Receptor Subunits in Human Brain Development.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    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.

  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 intelligence and brain networks.

    PubMed

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ...

  5. Heavy Drinking Can Harm the Aging Brain

    MedlinePlus

    ... in their attention or executive function (which includes reasoning and working memory), regardless of their age, the ... The study was published Sept. 22 in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research . SOURCES: Marc Gordon, M.D., ...

  6. Magnetite pollution nanoparticles in the human brain.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-27

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

  7. Magnetite pollution nanoparticles in the human brain.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-27

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

  8. 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.

  9. Measuring dopamine release in the human brain with PET

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-01

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

  10. Simple models of human brain functional networks.

    PubMed

    Vértes, Petra E; Alexander-Bloch, Aaron F; Gogtay, Nitin; Giedd, Jay N; Rapoport, Judith L; Bullmore, Edward T

    2012-04-10

    Human brain functional networks are embedded in anatomical space and have topological properties--small-worldness, modularity, fat-tailed degree distributions--that are comparable to many other complex networks. Although a sophisticated set of measures is available to describe the topology of brain networks, the selection pressures that drive their formation remain largely unknown. Here we consider generative models for the probability of a functional connection (an edge) between two cortical regions (nodes) separated by some Euclidean distance in anatomical space. In particular, we propose a model in which the embedded topology of brain networks emerges from two competing factors: a distance penalty based on the cost of maintaining long-range connections; and a topological term that favors links between regions sharing similar input. We show that, together, these two biologically plausible factors are sufficient to capture an impressive range of topological properties of functional brain networks. Model parameters estimated in one set of functional MRI (fMRI) data on normal volunteers provided a good fit to networks estimated in a second independent sample of fMRI data. Furthermore, slightly detuned model parameters also generated a reasonable simulation of the abnormal properties of brain functional networks in people with schizophrenia. We therefore anticipate that many aspects of brain network organization, in health and disease, may be parsimoniously explained by an economical clustering rule for the probability of functional connectivity between different brain areas.

  11. Hemispherical map for the human brain cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tosun, Duygu; Prince, Jerry L.

    2001-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Laitman, Benjamin M; John, Gareth R

    2015-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  15. Aging impact on brain biomechanics with applications to hydrocephalus.

    PubMed

    Wilkie, K P; Drapaca, C S; Sivaloganathan, S

    2012-06-01

    Hydrocephalus is a neurological disorder whose clinical symptoms and treatment outcome are correlated with patient age. In Wilkie et al. (2010, A theoretical study of the effect of intraventricular pulsations on the pathogenesis of hydrocephalus. Appl. Math. Comput., 215, 3181-3191), the fractional Zener model was used to investigate the role of cerebrospinal fluid pressure pulsations in the development of hydrocephalus in infants and adults. In this paper, we determine the mechanical parameters of the fractional Zener model for the infant and adult brains using age-dependent shear complex modulus data (Thibault, K. L. & Margulies, S. S. (1998) Age-dependent material properties of the porcine cerebrum: effect on pediatric inertial head injury criteria. J. Biomech., 31, 1119-1126). The displacement of brain tissue under conditions representing the onset of hydrocephalus are then calculated. The infant brain was found to produce tissue displacements that are unphysical for our model geometry and a new boundary condition is proposed to replace the stress-free outer boundary condition used in Wilkie et al. (2010). The steadystate elastic modulus is identified as the parameter of interest in the development of hydrocephalus: it is found to increase from the infant value of 621 Pa to the young adult value of 955 Pa and we hypothesize that it then decreases with age. The low steady-state elastic modulus of the infant brain (and possibly the aged brain) increases the tissue's susceptibility to large deformations and thus to the ventricular expansion characteristic of hydrocephalus.

  16. Differential expression of sirtuins in the aging rat brain.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

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

  18. '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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Imaging visual function of the human brain

    SciTech Connect

    Marg, E.

    1988-10-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    A crossroads has been reached on research into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). On the one hand, several prospective observational studies now clearly indicate a protective effect of higher fish and DHA intake against risk of AD. On the other hand, once AD is clinically evident, supplementation trials demonstrate essentially no benefit of DHA in AD. Despite apparently low DHA intake in AD, brain DHA levels are frequently the same as in controls, suggesting that low DHA intake results in low plasma DHA but does not necessarily reduce brain DHA in humans. Animal models involving dietary omega-3 fatty acid deficiency to deplete brain DHA may therefore not be appropriate in AD research. Studies in the healthy elderly suggest that DHA homeostasis changes during aging. Tracer methodology now permits estimation of DHA half-life in the human brain and whole body. Apolipoprotein E alleles have an important impact not only on AD but also on DHA homeostasis in humans. We therefore encourage further development of innovative approaches to the study of DHA metabolism and its role in human brain function. A better understanding of DHA metabolism in humans will hopefully help explain how higher habitual DHA intake protects against the risk of deteriorating cognition during aging and may eventually give rise to a breakthrough in the treatment of AD. PMID:22575581

  5. [Evolution of human brain and intelligence].

    PubMed

    Lakatos, László; Janka, Zoltán

    2008-07-30

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. The Dopaminergic System in the Aging Brain of Drosophila

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Magnetite biomineralization in the human brain.

    PubMed

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

    1992-08-15

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Brain burdens of aluminum, iron, and copper and their relationships with amyloid-β pathology in 60 human brains.

    PubMed

    Exley, Christopher; House, Emily; Polwart, Anthony; Esiri, Margaret M

    2012-01-01

    The deposition in the brain of amyloid-β as beta sheet conformers associated with senile plaques and vasculature is frequently observed in Alzheimer’s disease. While metals, primarily aluminum, iron, zinc, and copper, have been implicated in amyloid-β deposition in vivo, there are few data specifically relating brain metal burden with extent of amyloid pathologies in human brains. Herein brain tissue content of aluminum, iron, and copper are compared with burdens of amyloid-β, as senile plaques and as congophilic amyloid angiopathy, in 60 aged human brains. Significant observations were strong negative correlations between brain copper burden and the degree of severity of both senile plaque and congophilic amyloid angiopathy pathologies with the relationship with the former reaching statistical significance. While we did not have access to the dementia status of the majority of the 60 brain donors, this knowledge for just 4 donors allowed us to speculate that diagnosis of dementia might be predicted by a combination of amyloid pathology and a ratio of the brain burden of copper to the brain burden of aluminum. Taking into account only those donor brains with either senile plaque scores ≥4 and/or congophilic amyloid angiopathy scores ≥12, a Cu:Al ratio of <20 would predict that at least 39 of the 60 donors would have been diagnosed as suffering from dementia. Future research should test the hypothesis that, in individuals with moderate to severe amyloid pathology, low brain copper is a predisposition to developing dementia.

  12. Centrophenoxine: effects on aging mammalian brain.

    PubMed

    Nandy, K

    1978-02-01

    A study was made of the effects of centrophenoxine on the learning and memory of old mice. The results were correlated with changes in neuronal lipofuscin in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. Old female mice (11-12 months) were treated with centropheoxine for three months and their learning and memory were tested in a T-maze. The number of trials required to attain the criterion in the 20 treated old mice were compared with those for 20 untreated mice of the same age and for 20 younger untreated mice. The treated animals learned the task with significantly fewer trials, and also exhibited a reduction of neuronal lipofuscin pigment in both the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus. The changes in lipofuscin were demonstrated by study of the characteristic autofluorescence, and by histolchemical and ultrastructural (electron microscope) observations.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. Broadband Criticality of Human Brain Network Synchronization

    PubMed Central

    Kitzbichler, Manfred G.; Smith, Marie L.; Christensen, Søren R.; Bullmore, Ed

    2009-01-01

    Self-organized criticality is an attractive model for human brain dynamics, but there has been little direct evidence for its existence in large-scale systems measured by neuroimaging. In general, critical systems are associated with fractal or power law scaling, long-range correlations in space and time, and rapid reconfiguration in response to external inputs. Here, we consider two measures of phase synchronization: the phase-lock interval, or duration of coupling between a pair of (neurophysiological) processes, and the lability of global synchronization of a (brain functional) network. Using computational simulations of two mechanistically distinct systems displaying complex dynamics, the Ising model and the Kuramoto model, we show that both synchronization metrics have power law probability distributions specifically when these systems are in a critical state. We then demonstrate power law scaling of both pairwise and global synchronization metrics in functional MRI and magnetoencephalographic data recorded from normal volunteers under resting conditions. These results strongly suggest that human brain functional systems exist in an endogenous state of dynamical criticality, characterized by a greater than random probability of both prolonged periods of phase-locking and occurrence of large rapid changes in the state of global synchronization, analogous to the neuronal “avalanches” previously described in cellular systems. Moreover, evidence for critical dynamics was identified consistently in neurophysiological systems operating at frequency intervals ranging from 0.05–0.11 to 62.5–125 Hz, confirming that criticality is a property of human brain functional network organization at all frequency intervals in the brain's physiological bandwidth. PMID:19300473

  19. [Aging of the human testis].

    PubMed

    Sibert, Louis; Lacarrière, Emeric; Safsaf, Athmane; Rives, Nathalie

    2014-02-01

    The morphological and histological changes related to testicular aging are: volume decrease, arteriolar sclerosis, degeneration of Leydig cells and Sertoli, depletion of germ cells and thickening of the tunica albuginea testis. The participation in testicular androgen decline in aging is related to the decrease in the number of Leydig cells associated with alterations in the functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis Sperm volume, concentration and total number, motility and morphology of sperm decrease with aging male. The interindividual variability of sperm parameters, the variability of methodologies for data collection and selection of patients must be careful in interpreting the published results. Overall, the quality of sperm decreases progressively with age, without any age limit that can be individualized. Alterations of spermatogenesis do not seem significantly compromising fertility in the elderly. The clinical impact of testicular aging implies androgen production decrease and diseases associated with aging.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. miR-186 is decreased in aged brain and suppresses BACE1 expression.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jaekwang; Yoon, Hyejin; Chung, Dah-Eun; Brown, Jennifer L; Belmonte, Krystal C; Kim, Jungsu

    2016-05-01

    Accumulation of amyloid β (Aβ) in the brain is a key pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Because aging is the most prominent risk factor for AD, understanding the molecular changes during aging is likely to provide critical insights into AD pathogenesis. However, studies on the role of miRNAs in aging and AD pathogenesis have only recently been initiated. Identifying miRNAs dysregulated by the aging process in the brain may lead to novel understanding of molecular mechanisms of AD pathogenesis. Here, we identified that miR-186 levels are gradually decreased in cortices of mouse brains during aging. In addition, we demonstrated that miR-186 suppresses β-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) expression by directly targeting the 3'UTR of Bace1 mRNA in neuronal cells. In contrast, inhibition of endogenous miR-186 significantly increased BACE1 levels in neuronal cells. Importantly, miR-186 over-expression significantly decreased Aβ level by suppressing BACE1 expression in cells expressing human pathogenic mutant amyloid precursor protein. Taken together, our data demonstrate that miR-186 is a potent negative regulator of BACE1 in neuronal cells and it may be one of the molecular links between brain aging and the increased risk for AD during aging. We identified that miR-186 levels are gradually decreased in mouse cortices during aging. Furthermore, we demonstrated that miR-186 is a novel negative regulator of beta-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) expression in neuronal cells. Therefore, we proposed that reduction in miR-186 levels during aging may lead to the up-regulation of BACE1 in the brain, thereby increasing a risk for Alzheimer's disease in aged individuals. Read the Editorial Highlight for this article on page 308. PMID:26710318

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. [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.

  10. [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

  11. 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.

  12. Brain Molecular Aging, Promotion of Neurological Disease and Modulation by Sirtuin5 Longevity Gene Polymorphism

    PubMed Central

    Glorioso, Christin; Oh, Sunghee; Douillard, Gaelle Guilloux; Sibille, Etienne

    2010-01-01

    Mechanisms determining characteristic age of onset for neurological diseases are largely unknown. Normal brain aging associates with robust and progressive transcriptome changes (“molecular aging”), but the intersection with disease pathways is mostly uncharacterized. Here, using cross-cohort microarray analysis of four human brain areas, we show that neurological disease pathways largely overlap with molecular aging and that subjects carrying a newly-characterized low-expressing polymorphism in a putative longevity gene (Sirtuin5; SIRT5prom2) have older brain molecular ages. Specifically, molecular aging was remarkably conserved across cohorts and brain areas, and included numerous developmental and transcription-regulator genes. Neurological disease-associated genes were highly overrepresented within age-related genes and changed almost unanimously in pro-disease directions, together suggesting an underlying genetic “program” of aging that progressively promotes disease. To begin testing this putative pathway, we developed and used an age-biosignature to assess five candidate longevity gene polymorphisms association with molecular aging rates. Most robustly, aging was accelerated in cingulate, but not amygdala, of subjects carrying a SIRT5 promoter polymorphism (+9yrs, p=0.004), in concordance with cingulate-specific decreased SIRT5 expression. This effect was driven by a set of core transcripts (+24 yrs, p=0.0004), many of which were mitochondrial, including Parkinson’s disease genes, PINK1 and DJ1/PARK7, hence suggesting that SIRT5prom2 may represent a risk factor for mitochondrial dysfunction-related diseases, including Parkinson s, through accelerated molecular aging of disease-related genes. Based on these results we speculate that a “common mechanism” may underlie age of onset across several neurological diseases. Confirming this pathway and its regulation by common genetic variants would provide new strategies for predicting, delaying, and

  13. Brain development and aging: overlapping and unique patterns of change.

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  14. 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).

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1989-02-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. The Antisense Transcriptome and the Human Brain.

    PubMed

    Mills, James D; Chen, Bei Jun; Ueberham, Uwe; Arendt, Thomas; Janitz, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The transcriptome of a cell is made up of a varied array of RNA species, including protein-coding RNAs, long non-coding RNAs, short non-coding RNAs, and circular RNAs. The cellular transcriptome is dynamic and can change depending on environmental factors, disease state and cellular context. The human brain has perhaps the most diverse transcriptome profile that is enriched for many species of RNA, including antisense transcripts. Antisense transcripts are produced when both the plus and minus strand of the DNA helix are transcribed at a particular locus. This results in an RNA transcript that has a partial or complete overlap with an intronic or exonic region of the sense transcript. While antisense transcription is known to occur at some level in most organisms, this review focuses specifically on antisense transcription in the brain and how regulation of genes by antisense transcripts can contribute to functional aspects of the healthy and diseased brain. First, we discuss different techniques that can be used in the identification and quantification of antisense transcripts. This is followed by examples of antisense transcription and modes of regulatory function that have been identified in the brain.

  20. The effects of aging on dopaminergic neurotransmission: a microPET study of [11C]-raclopride binding in the aged rodent brain.

    PubMed

    Hoekzema, E; Herance, R; Rojas, S; Pareto, D; Abad, S; Jiménez, X; Figueiras, F P; Popota, F; Ruiz, A; Torrent, È; Fernández-Soriano, F J; Rocha, M; Rovira, M; Víctor, V M; Gispert, J D

    2010-12-29

    Rodent models are frequently used in aging research to investigate biochemical age effects and aid in the development of therapies for pathological and non-pathological age-related degenerative processes. In order to validate the use of animal models in aging research and pave the way for longitudinal intervention-based animal studies, the consistency of cerebral aging processes across species needs to be evaluated. The dopaminergic system seems particularly susceptible to the aging process, and one of the most consistent findings in human brain aging research is a decline in striatal D2-like receptor (D2R) availability, quantifiable by positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. In this study, we aimed to assess whether similar age effects can be discerned in rat brains, using in vivo molecular imaging with the radioactive compound [(11)C]-raclopride. We observed a robust decline in striatal [(11)C]-raclopride uptake in the aged rats in comparison to the young control group, comprising a 41% decrement in striatal binding potential. In accordance with human studies, these results indicate that substantial reductions in D2R availability can be measured in the aged striatal complex. Our findings suggest that rat and human brains exhibit similar biochemical alterations with age in the striatal dopaminergic system, providing support for the pertinence of rodent models in aging research.

  1. 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.

  2. Influence of lifestyle modifications on age-related free radical injury to brain

    PubMed Central

    Peskind, Elaine R.; Li, Ge; Shofer, Jane B.; Millard, Steven P.; Leverenz, James B.; Yu, Chang-En; Raskind, Murray A.; Quinn, Joseph F.; Galasko, Douglas R.; Montine, Thomas J.

    2014-01-01

    Importance The Healthy Brain Initiative seeks to optimize brain health as we age. Free radical injury is an important effector of molecular and cellular stress in aging brain that derives from multiple sources. Objective Identify potentially modifiable risk factors associated with increased markers of brain oxidative stress. Design, Setting, and Participants Our study consisted of 320 research volunteers (178 women) aged 21 to 100 years old who were medically healthy and cognitively normal. Measures Free radical injury to brain was assessed using cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) F2-isoprostanes (IsoPs) and correlated with age, gender, race, cigarette smoking, body mass index (BMI), inheritance of the ε4 allele of apolipoprotein E gene (APOE), and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Results CSF F2-IsoP concentration increased with age by approximately 10% from age 45 to 71 years in medically healthy cognitively normal adults. CSF F2-IsoP concentration increased by an average of >10% for every 5 kg/m2 increase in BMI. Current smokers had approximately three-fold greater effect than age on CSF F2-IsoPs. Women had greater average CSF F2-IsoP concentration than men at all ages after adjusting for other factors. Neither CSF AD biomarkers nor inheritance of APOE ε4 allele were associated with CSF F2-IsoP concentration in this group of medically healthy cognitively normal adults. Association between CSF F2-IsoP concentrations and race was not significant after controlling for effect of current smoking status. Conclusions & Relevance Our results are consistent with an age-related increase in free radical injury in human brain, and uniquely suggest that this form of injury may be greater in women than in men. Our results also highlighted two lifestyle modifications that would have even greater impact on suppressing free radical injury to brain than would suppressing processes of aging. These results inform efforts to achieve success in the Healthy Brain

  3. 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/.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. A Hedonism Hub in the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Zacharopoulos, G.; Lancaster, T. M.; Bracht, T.; Ihssen, N.; Maio, G. R.; Linden, D. E. J.

    2016-01-01

    Human values are abstract ideals that motivate behavior. The motivational nature of human values raises the possibility that they might be underpinned by brain structures that are particularly involved in motivated behavior and reward processing. We hypothesized that variation in subcortical hubs of the reward system and their main connecting pathway, the superolateral medial forebrain bundle (slMFB) is associated with individual value orientation. We conducted Pearson's correlation between the scores of 10 human values and the volumes of 14 subcortical structures and microstructural properties of the medial forebrain bundle in a sample of 87 participants, correcting for multiple comparisons (i.e.,190). We found a positive association between the value that people attach to hedonism and the volume of the left globus pallidus (GP).We then tested whether microstructural parameters (i.e., fractional anisotropy and myelin volume fraction) of the slMFB, which connects with the GP, are also associated to hedonism and found a significant, albeit in an uncorrected level, positive association between the myelin volume fraction within the left slMFB and hedonism scores. This is the first study to elucidate the relationship between the importance people attach to the human value of hedonism and structural variation in reward-related subcortical brain regions. PMID:27473322

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Melatonin and human skin aging

    PubMed Central

    Kleszczynski, Konrad; Fischer, Tobias W.

    2012-01-01

    Like the whole organism, skin follows the process of aging during life-time. Additional to internal factors, several environmental factors, such as solar radiation, considerably contribute to this process. While fundamental mechanisms regarding skin aging are known, new aspects of anti-aging agents such as melatonin are introduced. Melatonin is a hormone produced in the glandula pinealis that follows a circadian light-dependent rhythm of secretion. It has been experimentally implicated in skin functions such as hair cycling and fur pigmentation, and melatonin receptors are expressed in many skin cell types including normal and malignant keratinocytes, melanocytes and fibroblasts. It possesses a wide range of endocrine properties as well as strong antioxidative activity. Regarding UV-induced solar damage, melatonin distinctly counteracts massive generation of reactive oxygen species, mitochondrial and DNA damage. Thus, there is considerable evidence for melatonin to be an effective anti-skin aging compound, and its various properties in this context are described in this review. PMID:23467217

  13. Ageing of the human hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Swaab, D F

    1995-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Cell biology of normal brain aging: synaptic plasticity-cell death.

    PubMed

    Dorszewska, Jolanta

    2013-04-01

    Senescence of the brain seems to be related to increased levels of free oxygen radical (FOR). FOR may damage macromolecular compounds such as: proteins, lipids, and DNA. In the aging brain, increased FOR levels damage DNA, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and nuclear DNA (nDNA). In DNA they damage single and double strands, leading to mutations in mtDNA and nDNA. Damage to mtDNA seems to result in decay of mitochondria, decreased production of ATP, and in the activation of the apoptotic process. In the aging brain, apoptosis does not seem to be activated in wild-type p53-expressing cells because the elevated levels of the p53 protein are no longer accompanied by decreased levels of the Bcl-2 protein and increased levels of the Bax protein. It seems that, in the aging brain, changes in the metabolism of neurons may lead to their decreased numbers in the cerebral and cerebellar cortex, hippocampus, basal nucleus of Meynert, locus ceruleus, and substantia nigra, as well as to decreased numbers of synapses and disturbed stimulation of synaptic plasticity in the senescent brain. Simultaneously, a decrease in neurogenesis in the aging brain may lead to a decline in the maintenance of tissue integrity, function, and regenerative response. Environmental enrichment and physical activity may improve hippocampal neurogenesis and induce neuronal plasticity. The morphological lesions in the senescent brain are undoubtedly followed by a disturbed balance between various types of neurons in the CNS. Nevertheless, the high plasticity of the CNS in humans most probably does not allow for the development of abnormalities in higher functions. PMID:23740630

  16. The proteome of human brain microdialysate

    PubMed Central

    Maurer, Martin H; Berger, Christian; Wolf, Margit; Fütterer, Carsten D; Feldmann, Robert E; Schwab, Stefan; Kuschinsky, Wolfgang

    2003-01-01

    Background Cerebral microdialysis has been established as a monitoring tool in neurocritically ill patients suffering from severe stroke. The technique allows to sample small molecules in the brain tissue for subsequent biochemical analysis. In this study, we investigated the proteomic profile of human cerebral microdialysate and if the identified proteins might be useful predictors for disease characteristics in stroke for tissue at risk in the contralateral hemisphere. We analysed cerebral protein expression in microdialysate from three stroke patients sampled from the hemisphere contralateral to the lesion. Using a proteomic approach based on two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and subsequent mass spectrometry, we created a protein map for the global protein expression pattern of human microdialyste. Results We found an average of 158 ± 24 (N = 18) protein spots in the human cerebral microdialysate and could identify 95 spots, representing 27 individual proteins. Most of these have been detected in human cerebrospinal fluid before, but 10 additional proteins mainly of cerebral intracellular origin were identified exclusively in the microdialysate. Conclusions The 10 proteins found exclusively in human cerebral microdialysate, but not in cerebrospinal fluid, indicate the possibility to monitor the progression of the disease towards deterioration. The correlation of protein composition in the human cerebral microdialysate with the patients' clinical condition and results of cerebral imaging may be a useful approach to future applications for neurological stroke diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. PMID:14675487

  17. 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.

  18. 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)…

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Age-related hearing loss: ear and brain mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Frisina, Robert D

    2009-07-01

    Loss of sensory function in the aged has serious consequences for economic productivity, quality of life, and healthcare costs in the billions each year. Understanding the neural and molecular bases will pave the way for biomedical interventions to prevent, slow, or reverse these conditions. This chapter summarizes new information regarding age changes in the auditory system involving both the ear (peripheral) and brain (central). A goal is to provide findings that have implications for understanding some common biological underpinnings that affect sensory systems, providing a basis for eventual interventions to improve overall sensory functioning, including the chemical senses.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Humoral immunity in brain aging and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Bouras, Constantin; Riederer, Beat M; Kövari, Enikö; Hof, Patrick R; Giannakopoulos, Panteleimon

    2005-06-01

    Although the contribution of inflammatory processes in the etiology of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been suspected for years, most studies were confined to the analysis of cell-mediated immunological reactions thought to represent an epiphenomenon of AD lesion development. Based on the traditional view of the "immunological privilege" of the brain, which excludes a direct access of human immunoglobulins (Ig) to the central nervous system under normal conditions, little attention has been paid to a possible role of humoral immunity in AD pathogenesis. In the first part of this review, we summarize evidences for a blood-brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction in this disorder and critically comment on earlier observations supporting the presence of anti-brain autoantibodies and immunoglobulins (Ig) in AD brains. Current concepts regarding the Ig turnover in the central nervous system and the mechanisms of glial and neuronal Fc receptors activation are also discussed. In the second part, we present new ex vivo and in vitro data suggesting that human immunoglobulins can interact with tau protein and alter both the dynamics and structural organization of microtubules. Subsequent experiments needed to test this new working hypothesis are addressed at the end of the review.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Apolipoprotein E and cholesterol in aging and disease in the brain

    PubMed Central

    de Chaves, Elena Posse; Narayanaswami, Vasanthy

    2008-01-01

    Cholesterol can be detrimental or vital, and must be present in the right place at the right time and in the right amount. This is well known in the heart and the vascular system. However, in the CNS cholesterol is still an enigma, although several of its fundamental functions in the brain have been identified. Brain cholesterol has attracted additional attention owing to its close connection to ApoE, a key polymorphic transporter of extracellular cholesterol in humans. Indeed, both cholesterol and ApoE are so critical to fundamental activities of the brain, that the brain regulates their synthesis autonomously. Yet, similar control mechanisms of ApoE and cholesterol homeostasis may exist on either sides of the blood–brain barrier. One indication is that the APOE ε4 allele is associated with hypercholesterolemia and a proatherogenic profile on the vascular side and with increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease on the CNS side. In this review, we draw attention to the association between cholesterol and ApoE in the aging and diseased brain, and to the behavior of the ApoE4 protein at the molecular level. The attempt to correlate in vivo and in vitro observations is challenging but crucial for developing future strategies to address ApoE-related aberrations in cholesterol metabolism selectively in the brain. PMID:19649144

  11. 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

    2015-10-27

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-01

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Daugherty, Ana M; Raz, Naftali

    2015-09-01

    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.

  1. How age of acquisition influences brain architecture in bilinguals

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. [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

  5. 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

  6. Granulovacuolar degeneration in the ageing brain and in dementia.

    PubMed

    Ball, M J; Lo, P

    1977-05-01

    Quantitative morphometry with a sampling stage light microscope was performed to determine the severity of granulovacuolar degeneration of hippocampal neurones in serially sectioned temporal lobe from mentally normal subjects of different ages and from demented patients. The degree of granulovacuolar change in control brains increased slightly with increasing age; the "granulovacuolar index" of cases with Alzheimer's disease exceeded by many times that of age-matched controls. This significant difference was demonstrable whether the granulovacuolar severity was expressed as number of affected cells per volume of cortex analysed, or as the percentage involvement of total neurones counted in the hippocampus. The posterior half of each dement's hippocampus was found to be more susceptible to this augmented granulovacuolar degeneration than the anterior half, a selectivity already observed for neurofibrillary tangel formation in the same material.

  7. 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)

  8. Age peculiarities of human motor control in aging.

    PubMed

    Mankovsky, N B; Mints, A Y; Lisenyuk, V P

    1982-01-01

    A clinicophysiological investigation of motor control was carried out in 199 apparently healthy, socially active elderly (aged 60-69 years) and long-living (90 years and over) subjects in order to establish the peculiarities of the motor sphere specific to age-related changes of the nervous system. Analyzing the experimentally induced state of readiness (intention) before a spontaneous movement, we found an increase with age in the latent period of the muscle intentional activity (IA) parallel to an increase in the latent period of the spontaneous movement, a decrease in IA amplitude with more frequent structural deviations of the EMG in the prestarting period and a reduction of the required IA selectiveness. The described changes in the organization of readiness for a spontaneous movement seemed to be related with age impairment of supraspinal (mainly corticospinal) influences and may be used for an explanation of a number of clinical peculiarities of human motor control in late ontogenesis.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. Lack of serotonin1B receptor expression leads to age-related motor dysfunction, early onset of brain molecular aging and reduced longevity

    PubMed Central

    Sibille, E; Su, J; Leman, S; Le Guisquet, AM; Ibarguen-Vargas, Y; Joeyen-Waldorf, J; Glorioso, C; Tseng, GC; Pezzone, M; Hen, R; Belzung, C

    2008-01-01

    Normal aging of the brain differs from pathological conditions and is associated with increased risk for psychiatric and neurological disorders. In addition to its role in the etiology and treatment of mood disorders, altered serotonin (5-HT) signaling is considered a contributing factor to aging; however, no causative role has been identified in aging. We hypothesized that a deregulation of the 5-HT system would reveal its contribution to age-related processes and investigated behavioral and molecular changes throughout adult life in mice lacking the regulatory presynaptic 5-HT1B receptor (5-HT1BR), a candidate gene for 5-HT-mediated age-related functions. We show that the lack of 5-HT1BR (Htr1bKO mice) induced an early age-related motor decline and resulted in decreased longevity. Analysis of life-long transcriptome changes revealed an early and global shift of the gene expression signature of aging in the brain of Htr1bKO mice. Moreover, molecular changes reached an apparent maximum effect at 18-months in Htr1bKO mice, corresponding to the onset of early death in that group. A comparative analysis with our previous characterization of aging in the human brain revealed a phylogenetic conservation of age-effect from mice to humans, and confirmed the early onset of molecular aging in Htr1bKO mice. Potential mechanisms appear independent of known central mechanisms (Bdnf, inflammation), but may include interactions with previously identified age-related systems (IGF-1, sirtuins). In summary, our findings suggest that the onset of age-related events can be influenced by altered 5-HT function, thus identifying 5-HT as a modulator of brain aging, and suggesting age-related consequences to chronic manipulation of 5-HT. PMID:17420766

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

    PubMed

    Downs, Jodi L; Wise, Phyllis M

    2009-02-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. "Messing with the mind": evolutionary challenges to human brain augmentation.

    PubMed

    Saniotis, Arthur; Henneberg, Maciej; Kumaratilake, Jaliya; Grantham, James P

    2014-01-01

    The issue of brain augmentation has received considerable scientific attention over the last two decades. A key factor to brain augmentation that has been widely overlooked are the complex evolutionary processes which have taken place in evolving the human brain to its current state of functioning. Like other bodily organs, the human brain has been subject to the forces of biological adaptation. The structure and function of the brain, is very complex and only now we are beginning to understand some of the basic concepts of cognition. Therefore, this article proposes that brain-machine interfacing and nootropics are not going to produce "augmented" brains because we do not understand enough about how evolutionary pressures have informed the neural networks which support human cognitive faculties. PMID:25324734

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    Cunnane, Stephen C; Crawford, Michael A

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Brenna, J Thomas; Carlson, Susan E

    2014-12-01

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Baltes, P B

    1999-12-01

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

  6. Coexpression networks identify brain region-specific enhancer RNAs in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Yao, Pu; Lin, Peijie; Gokoolparsadh, Akira; Assareh, Amelia; Thang, Mike W C; Voineagu, Irina

    2015-08-01

    Despite major progress in identifying enhancer regions on a genome-wide scale, the majority of available data are limited to model organisms and human transformed cell lines. We have identified a robust set of enhancer RNAs (eRNAs) expressed in the human brain and constructed networks assessing eRNA-gene coexpression interactions across human fetal brain and multiple adult brain regions. Our data identify brain region-specific eRNAs and show that enhancer regions expressing eRNAs are enriched for genetic variants associated with autism spectrum disorders.

  7. 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

  8. 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...

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

    PubMed

    Horne, Jim

    2013-11-01

    Although exercise clearly offsets aging effects on the body, its benefits for the aging brain are likely to depend on the extent that physical activity (especially locomotion) facilitates multisensory encounters, curiosity, and interactions with novel environments; this is especially true for exploratory activity, which occupies much of wakefulness for most mammals in the wild. Cognition is inseparable from physical activity, with both interlinked to promote neuroplasticity and more successful brain aging. In these respects and for humans, exercising in a static, featureless, artificially lit indoor setting contrasts with exploratory outdoor walking within a novel environment during daylight. However, little is known about the comparative benefits for the aging brain of longer-term daily regimens of this latter nature including the role of sleep, to the extent that sleep enhances neuroplasticity as shown in short-term laboratory studies. More discerning analyses of sleep electroencephalogram (EEG) slow-wave activity especially 0.5-2-Hz activity would provide greater insights into use-dependent recovery processes during longer-term tracking of these regimens and complement slower changing waking neuropsychologic and resting functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures, including those of the brain's default mode network. Although the limited research only points to ephemeral small sleep EEG effects of pure exercise, more enduring effects seem apparent when physical activity incorporates cognitive challenges. In terms of "use it or lose it," curiosity-driven "getting out and about," encountering, interacting with, and enjoying novel situations may well provide the brain with its real exercise, further reflected in changes to the dynamics of sleep. PMID:24051117

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

    PubMed

    Horne, Jim

    2013-11-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. The Effect of the APOE Genotype on Individual BrainAGE in Normal Aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Alzheimer's Disease.

    PubMed

    Löwe, Luise Christine; Gaser, Christian; Franke, Katja

    2016-01-01

    In our aging society, diseases in the elderly come more and more into focus. An important issue in research is Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's Disease (AD) with their causes, diagnosis, treatment, and disease prediction. We applied the Brain Age Gap Estimation (BrainAGE) method to examine the impact of the Apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype on structural brain aging, utilizing longitudinal magnetic resonance image (MRI) data of 405 subjects from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database. We tested for differences in neuroanatomical aging between carrier and non-carrier of APOE ε4 within the diagnostic groups and for longitudinal changes in individual brain aging during about three years follow-up. We further examined whether a combination of BrainAGE and APOE status could improve prediction accuracy of conversion to AD in MCI patients. The influence of the APOE status on conversion from MCI to AD was analyzed within all allelic subgroups as well as for ε4 carriers and non-carriers. The BrainAGE scores differed significantly between normal controls, stable MCI (sMCI) and progressive MCI (pMCI) as well as AD patients. Differences in BrainAGE changing rates over time were observed for APOE ε4 carrier status as well as in the pMCI and AD groups. At baseline and during follow-up, BrainAGE scores correlated significantly with neuropsychological test scores in APOE ε4 carriers and non-carriers, especially in pMCI and AD patients. Prediction of conversion was most accurate using the BrainAGE score as compared to neuropsychological test scores, even when the patient's APOE status was unknown. For assessing the individual risk of coming down with AD as well as predicting conversion from MCI to AD, the BrainAGE method proves to be a useful and accurate tool even if the information of the patient's APOE status is missing. PMID:27410431

  14. 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.

  15. Brain iron deposition and the free radical-mitochondrial theory of ageing.

    PubMed

    Schipper, Hyman M

    2004-07-01

    The central hypothesis of this paper states that oxidative stress, augmented iron deposition, and mitochondrial insufficiency in the ageing and degenerating CNS constitute a single neuropathological 'lesion', and that the advent of one component of this triad obligates the appearance of the others. Evidence in support of this unifying perspective is adduced from human neuropathological studies, experimental paradigms of ageing-associated neurological disorders, and a comprehensive model of astroglial senescence. A pivotal role for the enzyme, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in consolidating this tripartite lesion in the ageing and diseased CNS is emphasized. The data are discussed in the context of a revised 'free radical-mitochondrial-metal' theory of brain ageing, and some scientific and clinical implications of the latter are considered.

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

    PubMed

    Han, Shihui; Ma, Yina

    2015-11-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Obesity accelerates epigenetic aging of human liver.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-28

    Because of the dearth of biomarkers of aging, it has been difficult to test the hypothesis that obesity increases tissue age. Here we use a novel epigenetic biomarker of aging (referred to as an "epigenetic clock") to study the relationship between high body mass index (BMI) and the DNA methylation ages of human blood, liver, muscle, and adipose tissue. A significant correlation between BMI and epigenetic age acceleration could only be observed for liver (r = 0.42, P = 6.8 × 10(-4) in dataset 1 and r = 0.42, P = 1.2 × 10(-4) in dataset 2). On average, epigenetic age increased by 3.3 y for each 10 BMI units. The detected age acceleration in liver is not associated with the Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Activity Score or any of its component traits after adjustment for BMI. The 279 genes that are underexpressed in older liver samples are highly enriched (1.2 × 10(-9)) with nuclear mitochondrial genes that play a role in oxidative phosphorylation and electron transport. The epigenetic age acceleration, which is not reversible in the short term after rapid weight loss induced by bariatric surgery, may play a role in liver-related comorbidities of obesity, such as insulin resistance and liver cancer. PMID:25313081

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

    PubMed

    Atasoy, Selen; Donnelly, Isaac; Pearson, Joel

    2016-01-21

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Dreesen, Oliver; Stewart, Colin L

    2011-09-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Human ageing and the sympathoadrenal system.

    PubMed

    Seals, D R; Esler, M D

    2000-11-01

    Over the past three decades the changes in sympathoadrenal function that occur with age in healthy adult humans have been systematically studied using a combination of neurochemical, neurophysiological and haemodynamic experimental approaches. The available experimental evidence indicates that tonic whole-body sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity increases with age. The elevations in SNS activity appear to be region specific, targeting skeletal muscle and the gut, but not obviously the kidney. The SNS tone of the heart is increased, although this appears to be due in part to reduced neuronal reuptake of noradrenaline (norepinephrine). In contrast to SNS activity, tonic adrenaline (epinephrine) secretion from the adrenal medulla is markedly reduced with age. This is not reflected in plasma adrenaline concentrations because of reduced plasma clearance. Despite widely held beliefs to the contrary, sympathoadrenal responsiveness to acute stress is not exaggerated with age in healthy adults. Indeed, adrenaline release in response to acute stress is substantially attenuated in older men. The mechanisms underlying the age-associated increases in SNS activity have not been established, but our preliminary data are consistent with increased subcortical central nervous system (CNS) sympathetic drive. These changes in sympathoadrenal function with advancing age may have a number of important physiological and pathophysiological consequences for human health and disease. PMID:11060120

  8. Cardiovascular Aging: Perspectives From Humans to Rodents.

    PubMed

    Lakatta, Edward G.

    1998-11-01

    In order to define and target the specific characteristics of cardiovascular aging that render aging as a risk factor for diseases (such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, stroke, and heart failure) that reach epidemic proportions among older individuals, it is essential to develop quantitative information on age-associated alterations in cardiovascular structure and function in health. A sustained effort, over the past two decades, has been applied to characterize the multiple effects of aging on health in cardiovascular structure and function in a single study population (BLSA). In these studies, community-dwelling, volunteer participants are rigorously screened to detect both clinical and occult cardiovascular disease and characterized with respect to lifestyle (e.g., exercise habits), in an attempt to deconvolute interactions among lifestyle, cardiovascular disease, and the aging process in health. Some specific changes in resting cardiovascular structure and function and cardiovascular reserve capacity that occur with advancing age in these healthy humans have been identified and are presented here. These observations in humans are extended by relevant experiments from animal models to provide possible mechanistic insight.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Beta-amyloid deposition and the aging brain.

    PubMed

    Rodrigue, Karen M; Kennedy, Kristen M; Park, Denise C

    2009-12-01

    A central issue in cognitive neuroscience of aging research is pinpointing precise neural mechanisms that determine cognitive outcome in late adulthood as well as identifying early markers of less successful cognitive aging. One promising biomarker is beta amyloid (Abeta) deposition. Several new radiotracers have been developed that bind to fibrillar Abeta providing sensitive estimates of amyloid deposition in various brain regions. Abeta imaging has been primarily used to study patients with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI); however, there is now building data on Abeta deposition in healthy controls that suggest at least 20% and perhaps as much as a third of healthy older adults show significant deposition. Considerable evidence suggests amyloid deposition precedes declines in cognition and may be the initiator in a cascade of events that indirectly leads to age-related cognitive decline. We review studies of Abeta deposition imaging in AD, MCI, and normal adults, its cognitive consequences, and the role of genetic risk and cognitive reserve.

  12. Insulin action in the human brain: evidence from neuroimaging studies.

    PubMed

    Kullmann, S; Heni, M; Fritsche, A; Preissl, H

    2015-06-01

    Thus far, little is known about the action of insulin in the human brain. Nonetheless, recent advances in modern neuroimaging techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) or magnetoencephalography (MEG), have made it possible to investigate the action of insulin in the brain in humans, providing new insights into the pathogenesis of brain insulin resistance and obesity. Using MEG, the clinical relevance of the action of insulin in the brain was first identified, linking cerebral insulin resistance with peripheral insulin resistance, genetic predisposition and weight loss success in obese adults. Although MEG is a suitable tool for measuring brain activity mainly in cortical areas, fMRI provides high spatial resolution for cortical as well as subcortical regions. Thus, the action of insulin can be detected within all eating behaviour relevant regions, which include regions deeply located within the brain, such as the hypothalamus, midbrain and brainstem, as well as regions within the striatum. In this review, we outline recent advances in the field of neuroimaging aiming to investigate the action of insulin in the human brain using different routes of insulin administration. fMRI studies have shown a significant insulin-induced attenuation predominantly in the occipital and prefrontal cortical regions and the hypothalamus, successfully localising insulin-sensitive brain regions in healthy, mostly normal-weight individuals. However, further studies are needed to localise brain areas affected by insulin resistance in obese individuals, which is an important prerequisite for selectively targeting brain insulin resistance in obesity.

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

    PubMed

    Raz, Naftali; Lindenberger, Ulman

    2010-03-01

    The extant longitudinal literature consistently supports the notion of age-related declines in human brain volume. In a report on a longitudinal cognitive follow-up with cross-sectional brain measurements, Burgmans and colleagues (2009) claim that the extant studies overestimate brain volume declines, presumably due to inclusion of participants with preclinical cognitive pathology. Moreover, the authors of the article assert that such declines are absent among optimally healthy adults who maintain cognitive stability for several years. In this comment accompanied by reanalysis of previously published data, we argue that these claims are incorrect on logical, methodological, and empirical grounds. PMID:20230118

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

    Ayurveda is the oldest system of Medicine in the world, its antiquity going back to the Vedas. It adapts a unique holistic approach to the entire science of life, health and cure. The areas of special consideration in Ayurveda are geriatrics, rejuvenation, nutrition, immunology, genetics and higher consciousness. The Ayurvedic texts describe a set of rejuvenative measures to impart biological sustenance to the bodily tissues. These remedies are called Rasayana which are claimed to act as micronutrients. Some of these Rasayanas are organ and tissue specific. Those specific to brain tissue are called Medhya Rasayana. Such Rasayanas retard brain aging and help in regeneration of neural tissues besides producing antistress, adaptogenic and memory enhancing effect. In addition to the long tradition of textual and experience-based evidence for their efficacy, certain recent studies conducted on these traditional remedies on scientific parameters have shown promising results which have been reviewed in this paper for providing lead for further studies. The popular Medhya Rasayanas are Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera Dunal), Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri Linn), Mandukaparni (Centella asiatica Linn) and Sankhapuspi (Convolvulus pluricaulis Chois). PMID:18931935

  17. 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

  18. Sex steroids and connectivity in the human brain: a review of neuroimaging studies.

    PubMed

    Peper, Jiska S; van den Heuvel, Martijn P; Mandl, René C W; Hulshoff Pol, Hilleke E; van Honk, Jack

    2011-09-01

    Our brain operates by the way of interconnected networks. Connections between brain regions have been extensively studied at a functional and structural level, and impaired connectivity has been postulated as an important pathophysiological mechanism underlying several neuropsychiatric disorders. Yet the neurobiological mechanisms contributing to the development of functional and structural brain connections remain to be poorly understood. Interestingly, animal research has convincingly shown that sex steroid hormones (estrogens, progesterone and testosterone) are critically involved in myelination, forming the basis of white matter connectivity in the central nervous system. To get insights, we reviewed studies into the relation between sex steroid hormones, white matter and functional connectivity in the human brain, measured with neuroimaging. Results suggest that sex hormones organize structural connections, and activate the brain areas they connect. These processes could underlie a better integration of structural and functional communication between brain regions with age. Specifically, ovarian hormones (estradiol and progesterone) may enhance both cortico-cortical and subcortico-cortical functional connectivity, whereas androgens (testosterone) may decrease subcortico-cortical functional connectivity but increase functional connectivity between subcortical brain areas. Therefore, when examining healthy brain development and aging or when investigating possible biological mechanisms of 'brain connectivity' diseases, the contribution of sex steroids should not be ignored.

  19. 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)

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Noncoding Transcriptional Landscape in Human Aging.

    PubMed

    Costa, Marina C; Leitão, Ana Lúcia; Enguita, Francisco J

    2016-01-01

    Aging is a universal phenomenon in metazoans, characterized by a general decline of the organism physiology associated with an increased risk of mortality and morbidity. Aging of an organism correlates with a decline in function of its cells, as shown for muscle, immune, and neuronal cells. As the DNA content of most cells within an organism remains largely identical throughout the life span, age-associated transcriptional changes must be achieved by epigenetic mechanisms. However, how aging may impact on the epigenetic state of cells is only beginning to be understood. In light of a growing number of studies demonstrating that noncoding RNAs can provide molecular signals that regulate expression of protein-coding genes and define epigenetic states of cells, we hypothesize that noncoding RNAs could play a direct role in inducing age-associated profiles of gene expression. In this context, the role of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) as regulators of gene expression might be important for the overall transcriptional landscape observed in aged human cells. The possible functions of lncRNAs and other noncoding RNAs, and their roles in the regulation of aging-related cellular pathways will be analyzed.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Morita, Tomoyo; Asada, Minoru; Naito, Eiichi

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Morita, Tomoyo; Asada, Minoru; Naito, Eiichi

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Cerebral organoids model human brain development and microcephaly.

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-19

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

  9. Cerebral organoids model human brain development and microcephaly

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    The complexity of the human brain has made it difficult to study many brain disorders in model organisms, and highlights the need for an in vitro model of human brain development. We have developed a human pluripotent stem cell-derived 3D organoid culture system, termed cerebral organoid, which develops various discrete though interdependent brain regions. These include cerebral cortex containing progenitor populations that organize and produce mature cortical neuron subtypes. Furthermore, cerebral organoids recapitulate features of human cortical development, namely characteristic progenitor zone organization with abundant outer radial glial stem cells. Finally, we use RNAi and patient-specific iPS cells to model microcephaly, a disorder that has been difficult to recapitulate in mice. We demonstrate premature neuronal differentiation in patient organoids, a defect that could explain the disease phenotype. Our data demonstrate that 3D organoids can recapitulate development and disease of even this most complex human tissue. PMID:23995685

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Neurosurgery and the dawning age of Brain-Machine Interfaces.

    PubMed

    Rowland, Nathan C; Breshears, Jonathan; Chang, Edward F

    2013-01-01

    Brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) are on the horizon for clinical neurosurgery. Electrocorticography-based platforms are less invasive than implanted microelectrodes, however, the latter are unmatched in their ability to achieve fine motor control of a robotic prosthesis capable of natural human behaviors. These technologies will be crucial to restoring neural function to a large population of patients with severe neurologic impairment - including those with spinal cord injury, stroke, limb amputation, and disabling neuromuscular disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. On the opposite end of the spectrum are neural enhancement technologies for specialized applications such as combat. An ongoing ethical dialogue is imminent as we prepare for BMI platforms to enter the neurosurgical realm of clinical management. PMID:23653884

  13. 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.

  14. Entrainment of Perceptually Relevant Brain Oscillations by Non-Invasive Rhythmic Stimulation of the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    The notion of driving brain oscillations by directly stimulating neuronal elements with rhythmic stimulation protocols has become increasingly popular in research on brain rhythms. Induction of brain oscillations in a controlled and functionally meaningful way would likely prove highly beneficial for the study of brain oscillations, and their therapeutic control. We here review conventional and new non-invasive brain stimulation protocols as to their suitability for controlled intervention into human brain oscillations. We focus on one such type of intervention, the direct entrainment of brain oscillations by a periodic external drive. We review highlights of the literature on entraining brain rhythms linked to perception and attention, and point out controversies. Behaviourally, such entrainment seems to alter specific aspects of perception depending on the frequency of stimulation, informing models on the functional role of oscillatory activity. This indicates that human brain oscillations and function may be promoted in a controlled way by focal entrainment, with great potential for probing into brain oscillations and their causal role. PMID:21811485

  15. Forthergillian Lecture. Imaging human brain function.

    PubMed

    Frackowiak, R S

    The non-invasive brain scanning techniques introduced a quarter of a century ago have become crucial for diagnosis in clinical neurology. They have also been used to investigate brain function and have provided information about normal activity and pathogenesis. They have been used to investigate functional specialization in the brain and how specialized areas communicate to generate complex integrated functions such as speech, memory, the emotions and so on. The phenomenon of brain plasticity is poorly understood and yet clinical neurologists are aware, from everyday observations, that spontaneous recovery from brain lesions is common. An improved understanding of the mechanisms of recovery may generate new therapeutic strategies and indicate ways of modulating mechanisms that promote plastic compensation for loss of function. The main methods used to investigate these issues are positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (M.R.I.). M.R.I. is also used to map brain structure. The techniques of functional brain mapping and computational morphometrics depend on high performance scanners and a validated set of analytic statistical procedures that generate reproducible data and meaningful inferences from brain scanning data. The motor system presents a good paradigm to illustrate advances made by scanning towards an understanding of plasticity at the level of brain areas. The normal motor system is organized in a nested hierarchy. Recovery from paralysis caused by internal capsule strokes involves functional reorganization manifesting itself as changed patterns of activity in the component brain areas of the normal motor system. The pattern of plastic modification depends in part on patterns of residual or disturbed connectivity after brain injury. Therapeutic manipulations in patients with Parkinson's disease using deep brain stimulation, dopaminergic agents or fetal mesencephalic transplantation provide a means to examine mechanisms underpinning

  16. General Anesthesia and Human Brain Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Abstract General anesthesia consists of amnesia, hypnosis, analgesia, and areflexia. Of these, the mechanism of hypnosis, or loss of consciousness, has been the most elusive, yet a fascinating problem. How anesthetic agents suppress human consciousness has been investigated with neuroimaging for two decades. Anesthetics substantially reduce the global cerebral metabolic rate and blood flow with a degree of regional heterogeneity characteristic to the anesthetic agent. The thalamus appears to be a common site of modulation by several anesthetics, but this may be secondary to cortical effects. Stimulus-dependent brain activation is preserved in primary sensory areas, suggesting that unconsciousness cannot be explained by cortical deafferentation or a diminution of cortical sensory reactivity. The effect of general anesthetics in functional and effective connectivity is varied depending on the agent, dose, and network studied. At an anesthetic depth characterized by the subjects' unresponsiveness, a partial, but not complete, reduction in connectivity is generally observed. Functional connectivity of the frontoparietal association cortex is often reduced, but a causal role of this change for the loss of consciousness remains uncertain. Functional connectivity of the nonspecific (intralaminar) thalamic nuclei is preferentially reduced by propofol. Higher-order thalamocortical connectivity is also reduced with certain anesthetics. The changes in functional connectivity during anesthesia induction and emergence do not mirror each other; the recovery from anesthesia may involve increases in functional connectivity above the normal wakeful baseline. Anesthetic loss of consciousness is not a block of corticofugal information transfer, but a disruption of higher-order cortical information integration. The prime candidates for functional networks of the forebrain that play a critical role in maintaining the state of consciousness are those based on the posterior parietal

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-31

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

  20. Resonance of human brain under head acceleration

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Although safety standards have reduced fatal head trauma due to single severe head impacts, mild trauma from repeated head exposures may carry risks of long-term chronic changes in the brain's function and structure. To study the physical sensitivities of the brain to mild head impacts, we developed the first dynamic model of the skull–brain based on in vivo MRI data. We showed that the motion of the brain can be described by a rigid-body with constrained kinematics. We further demonstrated that skull–brain dynamics can be approximated by an under-damped system with a low-frequency resonance at around 15 Hz. Furthermore, from our previous field measurements, we found that head motions in a variety of activities, including contact sports, show a primary frequency of less than 20 Hz. This implies that typical head exposures may drive the brain dangerously close to its mechanical resonance and lead to amplified brain–skull relative motions. Our results suggest a possible cause for mild brain trauma, which could occur due to repetitive low-acceleration head oscillations in a variety of recreational and occupational activities. PMID:26063824

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Centrality of Social Interaction in Human Brain Function.

    PubMed

    Hari, Riitta; Henriksson, Linda; Malinen, Sanna; Parkkonen, Lauri

    2015-10-01

    People are embedded in social interaction that shapes their brains throughout lifetime. Instead of emerging from lower-level cognitive functions, social interaction could be the default mode via which humans communicate with their environment. Should this hypothesis be true, it would have profound implications on how we think about brain functions and how we dissect and simulate them. We suggest that the research on the brain basis of social cognition and interaction should move from passive spectator science to studies including engaged participants and simultaneous recordings from the brains of the interacting persons.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Accelerated epigenetic aging in brain is associated with pre-mortem HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders.

    PubMed

    Levine, Andrew J; Quach, Austin; Moore, David J; Achim, Cristian L; Soontornniyomkij, Virawudh; Masliah, Eliezer; Singer, Elyse J; Gelman, Benjamin; Nemanim, Natasha; Horvath, Steve

    2016-06-01

    HIV infection leads to age-related conditions in relatively young persons. HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are considered among the most prevalent of these conditions. To study the mechanisms underlying this disorder, researchers need an accurate method for measuring biological aging. Here, we apply a recently developed measure of biological aging, based on DNA methylation, to the study of biological aging in HIV+ brains. Retrospective analysis of tissue bank specimens and pre-mortem data was carried out. Fifty-eight HIV+ adults underwent a medical and neurocognitive evaluation within 1 year of death. DNA was obtained from occipital cortex and analyzed with the Illumina Infinium Human Methylation 450K platform. Biological age determined via the epigenetic clock was contrasted with chronological age to obtain a measure of age acceleration, which was then compared between those with HAND and neurocognitively normal individuals. The HAND and neurocognitively normal groups did not differ with regard to demographic, histologic, neuropathologic, or virologic variables. HAND was associated with accelerated aging relative to neurocognitively normal individuals, with average relative acceleration of 3.5 years. Age acceleration did not correlate with pre-mortem neurocognitive functioning or HAND severity. This is the first study to demonstrate that the epigenetic age of occipital cortex samples is associated with HAND status in HIV+ individuals pre-mortem. While these results suggest that the increased risk of a neurocognitive disorder due to HIV might be mediated by an epigenetic aging mechanism, future studies will be needed to validate the findings and dissect causal relationships and downstream effects. PMID:26689571

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Neural stem cells in the adult human brain

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-Perez, Oscar

    2012-01-01

    For decades, it was believed that the adult brain was a quiescent organ unable to produce new neurons. At the beginning of the1960's, this dogma was challenged by a small group of neuroscientists. To date, it is well-known that new neurons are generated in the adult brain throughout life. Adult neurogenesis is primary confined to the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the forebrain and the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus within the hippocampus. In both the human and the rodent brain, the primary progenitor of adult SVZ is a subpopulation of astrocytes that have stem-cell-like features. The human SVZ possesses a peculiar cell composition and displays important organizational differences when compared to the SVZ of other mammals. Some evidence suggests that the human SVZ may be not only an endogenous source of neural precursor cells for brain repair, but also a source of brain tumors. In this review, we described the cytoarchitecture and cellular composition of the SVZ in the adult human brain. We also discussed some clinical implications of SVZ, such as: stem-cell-based therapies against neurodegenerative diseases and its potential as a source of malignant cells. Understanding the biology of human SVZ and its neural progenitors is one of the crucial steps to develop novel therapies against neurological diseases in humans. PMID:23181200

  17. Structural and functional imaging correlates for age-related changes in the brain.

    PubMed

    Tumeh, Paul C; Alavi, Abass; Houseni, Mohamed; Greenfield, Antje; Chryssikos, Timothy; Newberg, Andrew; Torigian, Drew A; Moonis, Gul

    2007-03-01

    In recent years, investigators have made significant progress in documenting brain structure and function as it relates to aging by using positron emission tomography, conventional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, advanced MR techniques, and functional MR imaging. This review summarizes the latest advances in understanding physiologic maturation and aging as detected by these neuroimaging modalities. We also present our experience with MR volumetric and positron emission tomography analysis in separate cohorts of healthy subjects in the pediatric and adult age groups respectively. Our results are consistent with previous studies and include the following: total brain volume was found to increase with age (up to 20 years of age). Whole brain metabolism and frontal lobe metabolism both decrease significantly with age (38% and 42%, respectively), whereas cerebellar metabolism does not show a significant decline with age. Defining normal alterations in brain function and structure allows early detection of disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, which are commonly associated with normal aging. PMID:17289456

  18. DUF1220 domains, cognitive disease, and human brain evolution.

    PubMed

    Dumas, L; Sikela, J M

    2009-01-01

    We have established that human genome sequences encoding a novel protein domain, DUF1220, show a dramatically elevated copy number in the human lineage (>200 copies in humans vs. 1 in mouse/rat) and may be important to human evolutionary adaptation. Copy-number variations (CNVs) in the 1q21.1 region, where most DUF1220 sequences map, have now been implicated in numerous diseases associated with cognitive dysfunction, including autism, autism spectrum disorder, mental retardation, schizophrenia, microcephaly, and macrocephaly. We report here that these disease-related 1q21.1 CNVs either encompass or are directly flanked by DUF1220 sequences and exhibit a dosage-related correlation with human brain size. Microcephaly-producing 1q21.1 CNVs are deletions, whereas macrocephaly-producing 1q21.1 CNVs are duplications. Similarly, 1q21.1 deletions and smaller brain size are linked with schizophrenia, whereas 1q21.1 duplications and larger brain size are associated with autism. Interestingly, these two diseases are thought to be phenotypic opposites. These data suggest a model which proposes that (1) DUF1220 domain copy number may be involved in influencing human brain size and (2) the evolutionary advantage of rapidly increasing DUF1220 copy number in the human lineage has resulted in favoring retention of the high genomic instability of the 1q21.1 region, which, in turn, has precipitated a spectrum of recurrent human brain and developmental disorders. PMID:19850849

  19. 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

  20. [Generation of new nerve cells in the adult human brain].

    PubMed

    Poulsen, Frantz Rom; Meyer, Morten; Rasmussen, Jens Zimmer

    2003-03-31

    Generation of new nerve cells (neurogenesis) is normally considered to be limited to the fetal and early postnatal period. Thus, damaged nerve cells are not expected to be replaced by generation of new cells. The brain is, however, more plastic than previously assumed. This also includes neurogenesis in the adult human brain. In particular two brain regions show continuous division of neural stem and progenitor cells generating neurons and glial cells, namely the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus and the subventricular zones of the lateral ventricles. From the latter region newly generated neuroblasts (immature nerve cells) migrate toward the olfactory bulb where they differentiate into neurons. In the dentate gyrus the newly generated neurons become functionally integrated in the granule cell layer, where they are believed to be of importance to learning and memory. It is at present not known whether neurogenesis in the adult human brain can be manipulated for specific repair after brain damage.

  1. 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

  2. Decoding mental states from brain activity in humans.

    PubMed

    Haynes, John-Dylan; Rees, Geraint

    2006-07-01

    Recent advances in human neuroimaging have shown that it is possible to accurately decode a person's conscious experience based only on non-invasive measurements of their brain activity. Such 'brain reading' has mostly been studied in the domain of visual perception, where it helps reveal the way in which individual experiences are encoded in the human brain. The same approach can also be extended to other types of mental state, such as covert attitudes and lie detection. Such applications raise important ethical issues concerning the privacy of personal thought.

  3. Intraoperative brain cancer detection with Raman spectroscopy in humans.

    PubMed

    Jermyn, Michael; Mok, Kelvin; Mercier, Jeanne; Desroches, Joannie; Pichette, Julien; Saint-Arnaud, Karl; Bernstein, Liane; Guiot, Marie-Christine; Petrecca, Kevin; Leblond, Frederic

    2015-02-11

    Cancers are often impossible to visually distinguish from normal tissue. This is critical for brain cancer where residual invasive cancer cells frequently remain after surgery, leading to disease recurrence and a negative impact on overall survival. No preoperative or intraoperative technology exists to identify all cancer cells that have invaded normal brain. To address this problem, we developed a handheld contact Raman spectroscopy probe technique for live, local detection of cancer cells in the human brain. Using this probe intraoperatively, we were able to accurately differentiate normal brain from dense cancer and normal brain invaded by cancer cells, with a sensitivity of 93% and a specificity of 91%. This Raman-based probe enabled detection of the previously undetectable diffusely invasive brain cancer cells at cellular resolution in patients with grade 2 to 4 gliomas. This intraoperative technology may therefore be able to classify cell populations in real time, making it an ideal guide for surgical resection and decision-making.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Transcriptomic insights into human brain evolution: acceleration, neutrality, heterochrony.

    PubMed

    Somel, Mehmet; Rohlfs, Rori; Liu, Xiling

    2014-12-01

    Primate brain transcriptome comparisons within the last 12 years have yielded interesting but contradictory observations on how the transcriptome evolves, and its adaptive role in human cognitive evolution. Since the human-chimpanzee common ancestor, the human prefrontal cortex transcriptome seems to have evolved more than that of the chimpanzee. But at the same time, most expression differences among species, especially those observed in adults, appear as consequences of neutral evolution at cis-regulatory sites. Adaptive expression changes in the human brain may be rare events involving timing shifts, or heterochrony, in specific neurodevelopmental processes. Disentangling adaptive and neutral expression changes, and associating these with human-specific features of the brain require improved methods, comparisons across more species, and further work on comparative development.

  15. Magnetic resonance and the human brain: anatomy, function and metabolism.

    PubMed

    Talos, I-F; Mian, A Z; Zou, K H; Hsu, L; Goldberg-Zimring, D; Haker, S; Bhagwat, J G; Mulkern, R V

    2006-05-01

    The introduction and development, over the last three decades, of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and MR spectroscopy technology for in vivo studies of the human brain represents a truly remarkable achievement, with enormous scientific and clinical ramifications. These effectively non-invasive techniques allow for studies of the anatomy, the function and the metabolism of the living human brain. They have allowed for new understandings of how the healthy brain works and have provided insights into the mechanisms underlying multiple disease processes which affect the brain. Different MR techniques have been developed for studying anatomy, function and metabolism. The primary focus of this review is to describe these different methodologies and to briefly review how they are being employed to more fully appreciate the intricacies associated with the organ, which most distinctly differentiates the human species from the other animal forms on earth.

  16. Magnetic resonance and the human brain: anatomy, function and metabolism.

    PubMed

    Talos, I-F; Mian, A Z; Zou, K H; Hsu, L; Goldberg-Zimring, D; Haker, S; Bhagwat, J G; Mulkern, R V

    2006-05-01

    The introduction and development, over the last three decades, of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and MR spectroscopy technology for in vivo studies of the human brain represents a truly remarkable achievement, with enormous scientific and clinical ramifications. These effectively non-invasive techniques allow for studies of the anatomy, the function and the metabolism of the living human brain. They have allowed for new understandings of how the healthy brain works and have provided insights into the mechanisms underlying multiple disease processes which affect the brain. Different MR techniques have been developed for studying anatomy, function and metabolism. The primary focus of this review is to describe these different methodologies and to briefly review how they are being employed to more fully appreciate the intricacies associated with the organ, which most distinctly differentiates the human species from the other animal forms on earth. PMID:16568243

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Aging and motor inhibition: a converging perspective provided by brain stimulation and imaging approaches.

    PubMed

    Levin, Oron; Fujiyama, Hakuei; Boisgontier, Matthieu P; Swinnen, Stephan P; Summers, Jeffery J

    2014-06-01

    The ability to inhibit actions, one of the hallmarks of human motor control, appears to decline with advancing age. Evidence for a link between changes in inhibitory functions and poor motor performance in healthy older adults has recently become available with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Overall, these studies indicate that the capacity to modulate intracortical (ICI) and interhemispheric (IHI) inhibition is preserved in high-performing older individuals. In contrast, older individuals exhibiting motor slowing and a declined ability to coordinate movement appear to show a reduced capability to modulate GABA-mediated inhibitory processes. As a decline in the integrity of the GABA-ergic inhibitory processes may emerge due to age-related loss of white and gray matter, a promising direction for future research would be to correlate individual differences in structural and/or functional integrity of principal brain networks with observed changes in inhibitory processes within cortico-cortical, interhemispheric, and/or corticospinal pathways. Finally, we underscore the possible links between reduced inhibitory functions and age-related changes in brain activation patterns.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Preserving humanity in an age of technology.

    PubMed

    Mann, R E

    1992-03-01

    Preserving humanity in the present technological age can be a challenge for all health care workers, but perhaps particularly for staff working within an intensive care environment. This article highlights some of the potential effects of such technology on staff, patients and relatives, particularly bringing to light some of the disadvantages brought about by the use of such technology. Areas considered include the role of nurses within a technological environment, patients' and relatives' reactions to technology, the potential effect on autonomy and responsibility for both patients and nurses, economic issues, and finally ethical and moral issues raised by the advent of further technology. Despite many positive contributions to nursing care which arise from the use of technology, there are disadvantages attributed to technology which have only been mentioned superficially in previous literature on this subject. The question arises as to whether nurses are able to balance preserving the humanity of patients with the extensive use of technology in an intensive care environment today.

  3. A New Antigen Retrieval Technique for Human Brain Tissue

    PubMed Central

    Byne, William; Haroutunian, Vahram; García-Villanueva, Mercedes; Rábano, Alberto; García-Amado, María; Prensa, Lucía; Giménez-Amaya, José Manuel

    2008-01-01

    Immunohistochemical staining of tissues is a powerful tool used to delineate the presence or absence of an antigen. During the last 30 years, antigen visualization in human brain tissue has been significantly limited by the masking effect of fixatives. In the present study, we have used a new method for antigen retrieval in formalin-fixed human brain tissue and examined the effectiveness of this protocol to reveal masked antigens in tissues with both short and long formalin fixation times. This new method, which is based on the use of citraconic acid, has not been previously utilized in brain tissue although it has been employed in various other tissues such as tonsil, ovary, skin, lymph node, stomach, breast, colon, lung and thymus. Thus, we reported here a novel method to carry out immunohistochemical studies in free-floating human brain sections. Since fixation of brain tissue specimens in formaldehyde is a commonly method used in brain banks, this new antigen retrieval method could facilitate immunohistochemical studies of brains with prolonged formalin fixation times. PMID:18852880

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. Functional correlates of brain aging: beta and gamma frequency band responses to age-related cortical changes.

    PubMed

    Christov, Mario; Dushanova, Juliana

    2016-01-01

    The brain as a system with gradually declined resources by age maximizes its performance by neural network reorganization for greater efficiency of neuronal oscillations in a given frequency band. Whether event-related high-frequency band responses are related to plasticity in neural recruitment contributed to the stability of sensory/cognitive mechanisms accompanying aging or are underlined pathological changes seen in aging brain remains unknown. Aged effect on brain electrical activity was studied in auditory discrimination task (low-frequency and high-frequency tone) at particular cortical locations in beta (β1: 12.5-20; β2: 20.5-30 Hz) and gamma frequency bands (γ1: 30.5-49; γ2: 52-69 Hz) during sensory (post-stimulus interval 0-250 ms) and cognitive processing (250-600 ms). Beta1 activity less affected by age during sensory processing. Reduced beta1 activity was more widespread during cognitive processing. This difference increased in fronto-parietal direction more expressed after high-frequency tone stimulation. Beta2 and gamma activity were more pronounced with progressive age during sensory processing. Reducing regional-process specificity with progressing age characterized age-related and tone-dependent beta2 changes during sensory, but not during cognitive processing. Beta2 and gamma activity diminished with age on cognitive processes, except the higher frontal tone-dependent gamma activity during cognitive processing. With increasing age, larger gamma2 activity was more expressed over the frontal brain areas to high tone discrimination and hand reaction choice. These gamma2 differences were shifted from posterior to anterior brain regions with advancing age. The aged influence was higher on cognitive processes than on perceptual ones. PMID:27373947

  14. Brain perfusion SPECT in the mouse: normal pattern according to gender and age.

    PubMed

    Apostolova, Ivayla; Wunder, Andreas; Dirnagl, Ulrich; Michel, Roger; Stemmer, Nina; Lukas, Mathias; Derlin, Thorsten; Gregor-Mamoudou, Betina; Goldschmidt, Jürgen; Brenner, Winfried; Buchert, Ralph

    2012-12-01

    .7%, p=0.000) and at young adult age (AI=2.4 ± 1.7%, p=0.000). Gender had no effect on asymmetry. Voxel-wise testing confirmed the ROI-based findings. In conclusion, high-resolution HMPAO SPECT is a promising technique for measuring rCBF in preclinical research. It indicates lateral asymmetry of rCBF in the mouse brain as well as age-related changes during late maturation. ECD is not suitable as tracer for brain SPECT in the mouse because of its fast clearance from tissue indicating an interspecies difference in esterase activity between mice and humans.

  15. 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…

  16. Three-dimensional morphology of the human embryonic brain.

    PubMed

    Shiraishi, N; Katayama, A; Nakashima, T; Yamada, S; Uwabe, C; Kose, K; Takakuwa, T

    2015-09-01

    The morphogenesis of the cerebral vesicles and ventricles was visualized in 3D movies using images derived from human embryo specimens between Carnegie stage 13 and 23 from the Kyoto Collection. These images were acquired with a magnetic resonance microscope equipped with a 2.35-T superconducting magnet. Three-dimensional images using the same scale demonstrated brain development and growth effectively. The non-uniform thickness of the brain tissue, which may indicate brain differentiation, was visualized with thickness-based surface color mapping. A closer view was obtained of the unique and complicated differentiation of the rhombencephalon, especially with regard to the internal view and thickening of the brain tissue. The present data contribute to a better understanding of brain and cerebral ventricle development. PMID:26217773

  17. Design principles of the human brain: an evolutionary perspective.

    PubMed

    Hofman, Michel A

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of the brain in mammals has been accompanied by a reorganization of the brain as a result of differential growth of certain brain regions. Consequently, the geometry of the brain, and especially the size and shape of the cerebral cortex, has changed notably during evolution. Comparative studies of the cerebral cortex suggest that there are general architectural principles governing its growth and evolutionary development and that the primate neocortex is uniformly organized and composed of neural processing units. We are beginning to understand the geometric, biophysical, and energy constraints that have governed the evolution of these neuronal networks. In this review, some of the design principles and operational modes will be explored that underlie the information processing capacity of the cerebral cortex in primates, and it will be argued that with the evolution of the human brain we have nearly reached the limits of biological intelligence.

  18. The bilingual brain: flexibility and control in the human cortex.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Concord grape juice supplementation and neurocognitive function in human aging.

    PubMed

    Krikorian, Robert; Boespflug, Erin L; Fleck, David E; Stein, Amanda L; Wightman, Jolynne D; Shidler, Marcelle D; Sadat-Hossieny, Sara

    2012-06-13

    Polyphenol compounds found in berry fruits, in particular flavonoids, have been associated with health benefits including improvement in cognition and neuronal function with aging. Concord grape juice contains polyphenols, including anthocyanins and flavanols, and previous research has shown improvement in a number of human health conditions with grape juice supplementation. In the current study, older adult subjects with mild cognitive impairment consumed Concord grape juice or placebo for 16 weeks and were administered assessments of memory function and brain activation pre- and postintervention. Participants who consumed grape juice showed reduced semantic interference on memory tasks. Relatively greater activation in anterior and posterior regions of the right hemisphere was also observed with functional magnetic resonance imaging in the grape juice treated subjects. These findings provide further evidence that Concord grape juice can enhance neurocognitive function in older adults with mild memory decline. PMID:22468945

  2. Decoding Spontaneous Emotional States in the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Pattern classification of human brain activity provides unique insight into the neural underpinnings of diverse mental states. These multivariate tools have recently been used within the field of affective neuroscience to classify distributed patterns of brain activation evoked during emotion induction procedures. Here we assess whether neural models developed to discriminate among distinct emotion categories exhibit predictive validity in the absence of exteroceptive emotional stimulation. In two experiments, we show that spontaneous fluctuations in human resting-state brain activity can be decoded into categories of experience delineating unique emotional states that exhibit spatiotemporal coherence, covary with individual differences in mood and personality traits, and predict on-line, self-reported feelings. These findings validate objective, brain-based models of emotion and show how emotional states dynamically emerge from the activity of separable neural systems. PMID:27627738

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Coordinated Expression of Phosphoinositide Metabolic Genes during Development and Aging of Human Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Rapoport, Stanley I.; Primiani, Christopher T.; Chen, Chuck T.; Ahn, Kwangmi; Ryan, Veronica H.

    2015-01-01

    Background Phosphoinositides, lipid-signaling molecules, participate in diverse brain processes within a wide metabolic cascade. Hypothesis Gene transcriptional networks coordinately regulate the phosphoinositide cascade during human brain Development and Aging. Methods We used the public BrainCloud database for human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to examine age-related expression levels of 49 phosphoinositide metabolic genes during Development (0 to 20+ years) and Aging (21+ years). Results We identified three groups of partially overlapping genes in each of the two intervals, with similar intergroup correlations despite marked phenotypic differences between Aging and Development. In each interval, ITPKB, PLCD1, PIK3R3, ISYNA1, IMPA2, INPPL1, PI4KB, and AKT1 are in Group 1, PIK3CB, PTEN, PIK3CA, and IMPA1 in Group 2, and SACM1L, PI3KR4, INPP5A, SYNJ1, and PLCB1 in Group 3. Ten of the genes change expression nonlinearly during Development, suggesting involvement in rapidly changing neuronal, glial and myelination events. Correlated transcription for some gene pairs likely is facilitated by colocalization on the same chromosome band. Conclusions Stable coordinated gene transcriptional networks regulate brain phosphoinositide metabolic pathways during human Development and Aging. PMID:26168237

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Carnosine: effect on aging-induced increase in brain regional monoamine oxidase-A activity.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Soumyabrata; Poddar, Mrinal K

    2015-03-01

    Aging is a natural biological process associated with several neurological disorders along with the biochemical changes in brain. Aim of the present investigation is to study the effect of carnosine (0.5-2.5μg/kg/day, i.t. for 21 consecutive days) on aging-induced changes in brain regional (cerebral cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus and pons-medulla) mitochondrial monoamine oxidase-A (MAO-A) activity with its kinetic parameters. The results of the present study are: (1) The brain regional mitochondrial MAO-A activity and their kinetic parameters (except in Km of pons-medulla) were significantly increased with the increase of age (4-24 months), (2) Aging-induced increase of brain regional MAO-A activity including its Vmax were attenuated with higher dosages of carnosine (1.0-2.5μg/kg/day) and restored toward the activity that observed in young, though its lower dosage (0.5μg/kg/day) were ineffective in these brain regional MAO-A activity, (3) Carnosine at higher dosage in young rats, unlike aged rats significantly inhibited all the brain regional MAO-A activity by reducing their only Vmax excepting cerebral cortex, where Km was also significantly enhanced. These results suggest that carnosine attenuated the aging-induced increase of brain regional MAO-A activity by attenuating its kinetic parameters and restored toward the results of MAO-A activity that observed in corresponding brain regions of young rats.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Can we observe epigenetic effects on human brain function?

    PubMed

    Nikolova, Yuliya S; Hariri, Ahmad R

    2015-07-01

    Imaging genetics has identified many contributions of DNA sequence variation to individual differences in brain function, behavior, and risk for psychopathology. Recent studies have extended this work beyond the genome by mapping epigenetic differences, specifically gene methylation in peripherally assessed DNA, onto variability in behaviorally and clinically relevant brain function. These data have generated understandable enthusiasm for the potential of such research to illuminate biological mechanisms of risk. We use our research on the effects of genetic and epigenetic variation in the human serotonin transporter on brain function to generate a guardedly optimistic opinion that the available data encourage continued research in this direction, and suggest strategies to promote faster progress.

  13. P-glycoprotein expression and amyloid accumulation in human aging and Alzheimer's disease: preliminary observations.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Catherine; Miller, Miles C; Monahan, Renée; Osgood, Doreen P; Stopa, Edward G; Silverberg, Gerald D

    2015-09-01

    P-glycoprotein (P-gp), part of the blood-brain barrier, limits drug access to the brain and is the target for therapies designed to improve drug penetration. P-gp also extrudes brain amyloid-beta (Aβ). Accumulation of Aβ is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Aβ accumulates in normal aging and in AD primarily due to decreased Aβ clearance. This is a preliminary report on the relative protein and messenger RNA expression of P-gp in human brains, ages 20-100 years, including AD subjects. In these preliminary studies, cortical endothelial P-gp expression decreased in AD compared with controls (p < 0.001). Trends in P-gp expression in human aging are similar to aging rats. Microvessel P-gp messenger RNA remained unchanged with aging and AD. Aβ plaques were found in 42.8% of normal subjects (54.5% of those older than 50 years). A qualitative analysis showed that P-gp expression is lower than the group mean in subjects older than 75 years but increased if younger. Decreased P-gp expression may be related to Aβ plaques in aging and AD. Downregulating P-gp to allow pharmaceuticals into the central nervous system may increase Aβ accumulation.

  14. Immunohistochemical localization of oxytocin receptors in human brain.

    PubMed

    Boccia, M L; Petrusz, P; Suzuki, K; Marson, L; Pedersen, C A

    2013-12-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) regulates rodent, primate and human social behaviors and stress responses. OT binding studies employing (125)I-d(CH2)5-[Tyr(Me)2,Thr4,Tyr-NH2(9)] ornithine vasotocin ((125)I-OTA), has been used to locate and quantify OT receptors (OTRs) in numerous areas of the rat brain. This ligand has also been applied to locating OTRs in the human brain. The results of the latter studies, however, have been brought into question because of subsequent evidence that (125)I-OTA is much less selective for OTR vs. vasopressin receptors in the primate brain. Previously we used a monoclonal antibody directed toward a region of the human OTR to demonstrate selective immunostaining of cell bodies and fibers in the preoptic-anterior hypothalamic area and ventral septum of a cynomolgus monkey (Boccia et al., 2001). The present study employed the same monoclonal antibody to study the location of OTRs in tissue blocks containing cortical, limbic and brainstem areas dissected from fixed adult, human female brains. OTRs were visualized in discrete cell bodies and/or fibers in the central and basolateral regions of the amygdala, medial preoptic area (MPOA), anterior and ventromedial hypothalamus, olfactory nucleus, vertical limb of the diagonal band, ventrolateral septum, anterior cingulate and hypoglossal and solitary nuclei. OTR staining was not observed in the hippocampus (including CA2 and CA3), parietal cortex, raphe nucleus, nucleus ambiguus or pons. These results suggest that there are some similarities, but also important differences, in the locations of OTRs in human and rodent brains. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) utilizing a monoclonal antibody provides specific localization of OTRs in the human brain and thereby provides opportunity to further study OTR in human development and psychiatric conditions.

  15. Effects of inter-alpha inhibitor proteins on neonatal brain injury: Age, task and treatment dependent neurobehavioral outcomes.

    PubMed

    Threlkeld, Steven W; Gaudet, Cynthia M; La Rue, Molly E; Dugas, Ethan; Hill, Courtney A; Lim, Yow-Pin; Stonestreet, Barbara S

    2014-11-01

    Hypoxic-ischemic (HI) brain injury is frequently associated with premature and/or full term birth related complications. HI injury often results in learning and processing deficits that reflect widespread damage to an extensive range of cortical and sub-cortical brain structures. Further, inflammation has been implicated in the long-term progression and severity of HI injury. Recently, inter-alpha inhibitor proteins (IAIPs) have been shown to attenuate inflammation in models of systemic infection. Importantly, preclinical studies of neonatal HI injury and neuroprotection often focus on single time windows of assessment or single behavioral domains. This approach limits translational validity, given evidence for a diverse spectrum of neurobehavioral deficits that may change across developmental windows following neonatal brain injury. Therefore, the aims of this research were to assess the effects of human IAIPs on early neocortical cell death (72h post-insult), adult regional brain volume measurements (cerebral cortex, hippocampus, striatum, corpus callosum) and long-term behavioral outcomes in juvenile (P38-50) and adult (P80+) periods across two independent learning domains (spatial and non-spatial learning), after postnatal day 7 HI injury in rats. Here, for the first time, we show that IAIPs reduce acute neocortical neuronal cell death and improve brain weight outcome 72h following HI injury in the neonatal rat. Further, these longitudinal studies are the first to show age, task and treatment dependent improvements in behavioral outcome for both spatial and non-spatial learning following systemic administration of IAIPs in neonatal HI injured rats. Finally, results also show sparing of brain regions critical for spatial and non-spatial learning in adult animals treated with IAIPs at the time of injury onset. These data support the proposal that inter-alpha inhibitor proteins may serve as novel therapeutics for brain injury associated with premature birth and

  16. Cell lineage analysis in human brain using endogenous retroelements.

    PubMed

    Evrony, Gilad D; Lee, Eunjung; Mehta, Bhaven K; Benjamini, Yuval; Johnson, Robert M; Cai, Xuyu; Yang, Lixing; Haseley, Psalm; Lehmann, Hillel S; Park, Peter J; Walsh, Christopher A

    2015-01-01

    Somatic mutations occur during brain development and are increasingly implicated as a cause of neurogenetic disease. However, the patterns in which somatic mutations distribute in the human brain are unknown. We used high-coverage whole-genome sequencing of single neurons from a normal individual to identify spontaneous somatic mutations as clonal marks to track cell lineages in human brain. Somatic mutation analyses in >30 locations throughout the nervous system identified multiple lineages and sublineages of cells marked by different LINE-1 (L1) retrotransposition events and subsequent mutation of poly-A microsatellites within L1. One clone contained thousands of cells limited to the left middle frontal gyrus, whereas a second distinct clone contained millions of cells distributed over the entire left hemisphere. These patterns mirror known somatic mutation disorders of brain development and suggest that focally distributed mutations are also prevalent in normal brains. Single-cell analysis of somatic mutation enables tracing of cell lineage clones in human brain.

  17. 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

  18. Germline mitochondrial DNA mutations aggravate ageing and can impair brain development.

    PubMed

    Ross, Jaime M; Stewart, James B; Hagström, Erik; Brené, Stefan; Mourier, Arnaud; Coppotelli, Giuseppe; Freyer, Christoph; Lagouge, Marie; Hoffer, Barry J; Olson, Lars; Larsson, Nils-Göran

    2013-09-19

    Ageing is due to an accumulation of various types of damage, and mitochondrial dysfunction has long been considered to be important in this process. There is substantial sequence variation in mammalian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and the high mutation rate is counteracted by different mechanisms that decrease maternal transmission of mutated mtDNA. Despite these protective mechanisms, it is becoming increasingly clear that low-level mtDNA heteroplasmy is quite common and often inherited in humans. We designed a series of mouse mutants to investigate the extent to which inherited mtDNA mutations can contribute to ageing. Here we report that maternally transmitted mtDNA mutations can induce mild ageing phenotypes in mice with a wild-type nuclear genome. Furthermore, maternally transmitted mtDNA mutations lead to anticipation of reduced fertility in mice that are heterozygous for the mtDNA mutator allele (PolgA(wt/mut)) and aggravate premature ageing phenotypes in mtDNA mutator mice (PolgA(mut/mut)). Unexpectedly, a combination of maternally transmitted and somatic mtDNA mutations also leads to stochastic brain malformations. Our findings show that a pre-existing mutation load will not only allow somatic mutagenesis to create a critically high total mtDNA mutation load sooner but will also increase clonal expansion of mtDNA mutations to enhance the normally occurring mosaic respiratory chain deficiency in ageing tissues. Our findings suggest that maternally transmitted mtDNA mutations may have a similar role in aggravating aspects of normal human ageing.

  19. A quantitative transcriptome reference map of the normal human brain.

    PubMed

    Caracausi, Maria; Vitale, Lorenza; Pelleri, Maria Chiara; Piovesan, Allison; Bruno, Samantha; Strippoli, Pierluigi

    2014-10-01

    We performed an innovative systematic meta-analysis of 60 gene expression profiles of whole normal human brain, to provide a quantitative transcriptome reference map of it, i.e. a reference typical value of expression for each of the 39,250 known, mapped and 26,026 uncharacterized (unmapped) transcripts. To this aim, we used the software named Transcriptome Mapper (TRAM), which is able to generate transcriptome maps based on gene expression data from multiple sources. We also analyzed differential expression by comparing the brain transcriptome with those derived from human foetal brain gene expression, from a pool of human tissues (except the brain) and from the two normal human brain regions cerebellum and cerebral cortex, which are two of the main regions severely affected when cognitive impairment occurs, as happens in the case of trisomy 21. Data were downloaded from microarray databases, processed and analyzed using TRAM software and validated in vitro by assaying gene expression through several magnitude orders by 'real-time' reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The excellent agreement between in silico and experimental data suggested that our transcriptome maps may be a useful quantitative reference benchmark for gene expression studies related to the human brain. Furthermore, our analysis yielded biological insights about those genes which have an intrinsic over-/under-expression in the brain, in addition offering a basis for the regional analysis of gene expression. This could be useful for the study of chromosomal alterations associated to cognitive impairment, such as trisomy 21, the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability. PMID:25185649

  20. A quantitative transcriptome reference map of the normal human brain.

    PubMed

    Caracausi, Maria; Vitale, Lorenza; Pelleri, Maria Chiara; Piovesan, Allison; Bruno, Samantha; Strippoli, Pierluigi

    2014-10-01

    We performed an innovative systematic meta-analysis of 60 gene expression profiles of whole normal human brain, to provide a quantitative transcriptome reference map of it, i.e. a reference typical value of expression for each of the 39,250 known, mapped and 26,026 uncharacterized (unmapped) transcripts. To this aim, we used the software named Transcriptome Mapper (TRAM), which is able to generate transcriptome maps based on gene expression data from multiple sources. We also analyzed differential expression by comparing the brain transcriptome with those derived from human foetal brain gene expression, from a pool of human tissues (except the brain) and from the two normal human brain regions cerebellum and cerebral cortex, which are two of the main regions severely affected when cognitive impairment occurs, as happens in the case of trisomy 21. Data were downloaded from microarray databases, processed and analyzed using TRAM software and validated in vitro by assaying gene expression through several magnitude orders by 'real-time' reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The excellent agreement between in silico and experimental data suggested that our transcriptome maps may be a useful quantitative reference benchmark for gene expression studies related to the human brain. Furthermore, our analysis yielded biological insights about those genes which have an intrinsic over-/under-expression in the brain, in addition offering a basis for the regional analysis of gene expression. This could be useful for the study of chromosomal alterations associated to cognitive impairment, such as trisomy 21, the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability.

  1. 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.

  2. Notch receptor expression in human brain arteriovenous malformations.

    PubMed

    Hill-Felberg, Sandra; Wu, Hope Hueizhi; Toms, Steven A; Dehdashti, Amir R

    2015-08-01

    The roles of the Notch pathway proteins in normal adult vascular physiology and the pathogenesis of brain arteriovenous malformations are not well-understood. Notch 1 and 4 have been detected in human and mutant mice vascular malformations respectively. Although mutations in the human Notch 3 gene caused a genetic form of vascular stroke and dementia, its role in arteriovenous malformations development has been unknown. In this study, we performed immunohistochemistry screening on tissue microarrays containing eight surgically resected human brain arteriovenous malformations and 10 control surgical epilepsy samples. The tissue microarrays were evaluated for Notch 1-4 expression. We have found that compared to normal brain vascular tissue Notch-3 was dramatically increased in brain arteriovenous malformations. Similarly, Notch 4 labelling was also increased in vascular malformations and was confirmed by western blot analysis. Notch 2 was not detectable in any of the human vessels analysed. Using both immunohistochemistry on microarrays and western blot analysis, we have found that Notch-1 expression was detectable in control vessels, and discovered a significant decrease of Notch 1 expression in vascular malformations. We have demonstrated that Notch 3 and 4, and not Notch 1, were highly increased in human arteriovenous malformations. Our findings suggested that Notch 4, and more importantly, Notch 3, may play a role in the development and pathobiology of human arteriovenous malformations.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Aging of the female reproductive system: a window into brain aging.

    PubMed

    Wise, P M; Kashon, M L; Krajnak, K M; Rosewell, K L; Cai, A; Scarbrough, K; Harney, J P; McShane, T; Lloyd, J M; Weiland, N G

    1997-01-01

    The menopause marks the permanent end of fertility in women. It was once thought that the exhaustion of ovarian follicles was the single, most important explanation for the transition to the menopause. Over the past decade, this perception has gradually changed with the realization that there are multiple pacemakers of reproductive senescence. We will present evidence that lends credence to the hypothesis that the central nervous system is a critical pacemaker of reproductive aging and that changes at this level contribute to the timing of the menopause. Studies demonstrate that an increasing de-synchronization of the temporal order of neuroendocrine signals may contribute to the accelerated rate of follicular loss that occurs during middle age. We suggest that the dampening and destabilization of the precisely orchestrated ultradian, circadian, and infradian neural signals lead to miscommunication between the brain and the pituitary-ovarian axis. This constellation of hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian events leads to the inexorable decline of regular cyclicity and heralds menopausal transition.

  8. 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.

  9. Human-like brain hemispheric dominance in birdsong learning.

    PubMed

    Moorman, Sanne; Gobes, Sharon M H; Kuijpers, Maaike; Kerkhofs, Amber; Zandbergen, Matthijs A; Bolhuis, Johan J

    2012-07-31

    Unlike nonhuman primates, songbirds learn to vocalize very much like human infants acquire spoken language. In humans, Broca's area in the frontal lobe and Wernicke's area in the temporal lobe are crucially involved in speech production and perception, respectively. Songbirds have analogous brain regions that show a similar neural dissociation between vocal production and auditory perception and memory. In both humans and songbirds, there is evidence for lateralization of neural responsiveness in these brain regions. Human infants already show left-sided dominance in their brain activation when exposed to speech. Moreover, a memory-specific left-sided dominance in Wernicke's area for speech perception has been demonstrated in 2.5-mo-old babies. It is possible that auditory-vocal learning is associated with hemispheric dominance and that this association arose in songbirds and humans through convergent evolution. Therefore, we investigated whether there is similar song memory-related lateralization in the songbird brain. We exposed male zebra finches to tutor or unfamiliar song. We found left-sided dominance of neuronal activation in a Broca-like brain region (HVC, a letter-based name) of juvenile and adult zebra finch males, independent of the song stimulus presented. In addition, juvenile males showed left-sided dominance for tutor song but not for unfamiliar song in a Wernicke-like brain region (the caudomedial nidopallium). Thus, left-sided dominance in the caudomedial nidopallium was specific for the song-learning phase and was memory-related. These findings demonstrate a remarkable neural parallel between birdsong and human spoken language, and they have important consequences for our understanding of the evolution of auditory-vocal learning and its neural mechanisms.

  10. 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

  11. Estimated maximal and current brain volume predict cognitive ability in old age.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

    Brain tissue deterioration is a significant contributor to lower cognitive ability in later life; however, few studies have appropriate data to establish how much influence prior brain volume and prior cognitive performance have on this association. We investigated the associations between structural brain imaging biomarkers, including an estimate of maximal brain volume, and detailed measures of cognitive ability at age 73 years in a large (N = 620), generally healthy, community-dwelling population. Cognitive ability data were available from age 11 years. We found positive associations (r) between general cognitive ability and estimated brain volume in youth (male, 0.28; females, 0.12), and in measured brain volume in later life (males, 0.27; females, 0.26). Our findings show that cognitive ability in youth is a strong predictor of estimated prior and measured current brain volume in old age but that these effects were the same for both white and gray matter. As 1 of the largest studies of associations between brain volume and cognitive ability with normal aging, this work contributes to the wider understanding of how some early-life factors influence cognitive aging.

  12. DUF1220 Domains, Cognitive Disease, and Human Brain Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Dumas, L.; Sikela, J.M.

    2010-01-01

    We have established that human genome sequences encoding a novel protein domain, DUF1220, show a dramatically elevated copy number in the human lineage (>200 copies in humans vs. 1 in mouse/rat) and may be important to human evolutionary adaptation. Copy-number variations (CNVs) in the 1q21.1 region, where most DUF1220 sequences map, have now been implicated in numerous diseases associated with cognitive dysfunction, including autism, autism spectrum disorder, mental retardation, schizophrenia, microcephaly, and macrocephaly. Although the data are only correlative at this point, we report here that these disease-related 1q21.1 CNVs either encompass or are directly flanked by DUF1220 sequences and exhibit a dosage-related correlation with human brain size. Microcephaly-producing 1q21.1 CNVs are deletions, whereas macrocephaly-producing 1q21.1 CNVs are duplications. Similarly, 1q21.1 deletions and smaller brain size are linked with schizophrenia, whereas 1q21.1 duplications and larger brain size are associated with autism. Interestingly, these two diseases are thought to be phenotypic opposites. These data suggest a model which proposes that (1) DUF1220 domain copy number may be involved in influencing human brain size and (2) the evolutionary advantage of rapidly increasing DUF1220 copy number in the human lineage has resulted in favoring retention of the high genomic instability of the 1q21.1 region, which, in turn, has precipitated a spectrum of recurrent human brain and developmental disorders. PMID:19850849

  13. 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

  14. A Brain-Wide Study of Age-Related Changes in Functional Connectivity.

    PubMed

    Geerligs, Linda; Renken, Remco J; Saliasi, Emi; Maurits, Natasha M; Lorist, Monicque M

    2015-07-01

    Aging affects functional connectivity between brain areas, however, a complete picture of how aging affects integration of information within and between functional networks is missing. We used complex network measures, derived from a brain-wide graph, to provide a comprehensive overview of age-related changes in functional connectivity. Functional connectivity in young and older participants was assessed during resting-state fMRI. The results show that aging has a large impact, not only on connectivity within functional networks but also on connectivity between the different functional networks in the brain. Brain networks in the elderly showed decreased modularity (less distinct functional networks) and decreased local efficiency. Connectivity decreased with age within networks supporting higher level cognitive functions, that is, within the default mode, cingulo-opercular and fronto-parietal control networks. Conversely, no changes in connectivity within the somatomotor and visual networks, networks implicated in primary information processing, were observed. Connectivity between these networks even increased with age. A brain-wide analysis approach of functional connectivity in the aging brain thus seems fundamental in understanding how age affects integration of information.

  15. Collagens in the aged human macula.

    PubMed

    Marshall, G E; Konstas, A G; Reid, G G; Edwards, J G; Lee, W R

    1994-03-01

    Immunogold cytochemistry was used to investigate the fine structural distribution of collagen types I-VI in Bruch's membrane and choroid of the aged human macula. Macular tissue was obtained from ten eyes, and processed for cryoultramicrotomy and London Resin white embedding. Striated collagen fibrils within the inner and outer collagenous layers were found to contain collagen types I, III and V. In addition, type V collagen was also present in the basement membrane of the choriocapillaris. Gross thickening of the choriocapillaris basement membrane was attributed to the deposition of type IV collagen. However, type IV collagen appeared to be absent from the basement membrane of the retinal pigment epithelium. The interesting location of type VI collagen on the choroidal side of the choriocapillaris suggested that its function is to anchor the choriocapillaris onto the choroid. The collagens studied were absent from fibrous banded material, long-spacing collagen, the elastic layer and amorphous granular material. It was concluded that, of the collagen types studied, only the deposition of type IV collagen contributes to the age-related thickening of Bruch's membrane.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. The levels of soluble versus insoluble brain Abeta distinguish Alzheimer's disease from normal and pathologic aging.

    PubMed

    Wang, J; Dickson, D W; Trojanowski, J Q; Lee, V M

    1999-08-01

    The abundance and solubility of Abeta peptides are critical determinants of amyloidosis in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Hence, we compared levels of total soluble, insoluble, and total Abeta1-40 and Abeta1-42 in AD brains with those in age-matched normal and pathologic aging brains using a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Since the measurement of Abeta1-40 and Abeta1-42 depends critically on the specificity of the monoclonal antibodies used in the sandwich ELISA, we first demonstrated that each assay is specific for Abeta1-40 or Abeta1-42 and the levels of these peptides are not affected by the amyloid precursor protein in the brain extracts. Thus, this sandwich ELISA enabled us to show that the average levels of total cortical soluble and insoluble Abeta1-40 and Abeta1-42 were highest in AD, lowest in normal aging, and intermediate in pathologic aging. Remarkably, the average levels of insoluble Abeta1-40 were increased 20-fold while the average levels of insoluble Abeta1-42 were increased only 2-fold in the AD brains compared to pathologic aging brains. Further, the soluble pools of Abeta1-40 and Abeta1-42 were the largest fractions of total Abeta in the normal brain (i.e., 50 and 23%, respectively), but they were the smallest in the AD brain (i.e., 2.7 and 0.7%, respectively) and intermediate (i.e., 8 and 0.8%, respectively) in pathologic aging brains. Thus, our data suggest that pathologic aging is a transition state between normal aging and AD. More importantly, our findings imply that a progressive shift of brain Abeta1-40 and Abeta1-42 from soluble to insoluble pools and a profound increase in the levels of insoluble Abeta1-40 plays mechanistic roles in the onset and/or progression of AD.

  2. Voice processing in monkey and human brains.

    PubMed

    Scott, Sophie K

    2008-09-01

    Studies in humans have indicated that the anterior superior temporal sulcus has an important role in the processing of information about human voices, especially the identification of talkers from their voice. A new study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with macaques provides strong evidence that anterior auditory fields, part of the auditory 'what' pathway, preferentially respond to changes in the identity of conspecifics, rather than specific vocalizations from the same individual. PMID:18684663

  3. 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; Singleton, Andrew; Soininen, Hilkka; Wardlaw, Joanna M; Weale, Michael E; Weinberger, Daniel R; Adams, Hieab H H; Launer, Lenore J; Seiler, Stephan; Schmidt, Reinhold; Chauhan, Ganesh; Satizabal, Claudia L; Becker, James T; Yanek, Lisa; van der Lee, Sven J; Ebling, Maritza; Fischl, Bruce; Longstreth, W T; Greve, Douglas; Schmidt, Helena; Nyquist, Paul; Vinke, Louis N; van Duijn, Cornelia M; Xue, Luting; Mazoyer, Bernard; Bis, Joshua C; Gudnason, Vilmundur; Seshadri, Sudha; Ikram, M Arfan; Martin, Nicholas G; Wright, Margaret J; Schumann, Gunter; Franke, Barbara; Thompson, Paul M; Medland, Sarah E

    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.

  4. 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; Singleton, Andrew; Soininen, Hilkka; Wardlaw, Joanna M; Weale, Michael E; Weinberger, Daniel R; Adams, Hieab H H; Launer, Lenore J; Seiler, Stephan; Schmidt, Reinhold; Chauhan, Ganesh; Satizabal, Claudia L; Becker, James T; Yanek, Lisa; van der Lee, Sven J; Ebling, Maritza; Fischl, Bruce; Longstreth, W T; Greve, Douglas; Schmidt, Helena; Nyquist, Paul; Vinke, Louis N; van Duijn, Cornelia M; Xue, Luting; Mazoyer, Bernard; Bis, Joshua C; Gudnason, Vilmundur; Seshadri, Sudha; Ikram, M Arfan; Martin, Nicholas G; Wright, Margaret J; Schumann, Gunter; Franke, Barbara; Thompson, Paul M; Medland, Sarah E

    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

  5. Comprehensive cellular‐resolution atlas of the adult human brain

    PubMed Central

    Royall, Joshua J.; Sunkin, Susan M.; Ng, Lydia; Facer, Benjamin A.C.; Lesnar, Phil; Guillozet‐Bongaarts, Angie; McMurray, Bergen; Szafer, Aaron; Dolbeare, Tim A.; Stevens, Allison; Tirrell, Lee; Benner, Thomas; Caldejon, Shiella; Dalley, Rachel A.; Dee, Nick; Lau, Christopher; Nyhus, Julie; Reding, Melissa; Riley, Zackery L.; Sandman, David; Shen, Elaine; van der Kouwe, Andre; Varjabedian, Ani; Write, Michelle; Zollei, Lilla; Dang, Chinh; Knowles, James A.; Koch, Christof; Phillips, John W.; Sestan, Nenad; Wohnoutka, Paul; Zielke, H. Ronald; Hohmann, John G.; Jones, Allan R.; Bernard, Amy; Hawrylycz, Michael J.; Hof, Patrick R.; Fischl, Bruce

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Detailed anatomical understanding of the human brain is essential for unraveling its functional architecture, yet current reference atlases have major limitations such as lack of whole‐brain coverage, relatively low image resolution, and sparse structural annotation. We present the first digital human brain atlas to incorporate neuroimaging, high‐resolution histology, and chemoarchitecture across a complete adult female brain, consisting of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), diffusion‐weighted imaging (DWI), and 1,356 large‐format cellular resolution (1 µm/pixel) Nissl and immunohistochemistry anatomical plates. The atlas is comprehensively annotated for 862 structures, including 117 white matter tracts and several novel cyto‐ and chemoarchitecturally defined structures, and these annotations were transferred onto the matching MRI dataset. Neocortical delineations were done for sulci, gyri, and modified Brodmann areas to link macroscopic anatomical and microscopic cytoarchitectural parcellations. Correlated neuroimaging and histological structural delineation allowed fine feature identification in MRI data and subsequent structural identification in MRI data from other brains. This interactive online digital atlas is integrated with existing Allen Institute for Brain Science gene expression atlases and is publicly accessible as a resource for the neuroscience community. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3127–3481, 2016. © 2016 The Authors The Journal of Comparative Neurology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27418273

  6. 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

  7. Comprehensive cellular-resolution atlas of the adult human brain.

    PubMed

    Ding, Song-Lin; Royall, Joshua J; Sunkin, Susan M; Ng, Lydia; Facer, Benjamin A C; Lesnar, Phil; Guillozet-Bongaarts, Angie; McMurray, Bergen; Szafer, Aaron; Dolbeare, Tim A; Stevens, Allison; Tirrell, Lee; Benner, Thomas; Caldejon, Shiella; Dalley, Rachel A; Dee, Nick; Lau, Christopher; Nyhus, Julie; Reding, Melissa; Riley, Zackery L; Sandman, David; Shen, Elaine; van der Kouwe, Andre; Varjabedian, Ani; Write, Michelle; Zollei, Lilla; Dang, Chinh; Knowles, James A; Koch, Christof; Phillips, John W; Sestan, Nenad; Wohnoutka, Paul; Zielke, H Ronald; Hohmann, John G; Jones, Allan R; Bernard, Amy; Hawrylycz, Michael J; Hof, Patrick R; Fischl, Bruce; Lein, Ed S

    2016-11-01

    Detailed anatomical understanding of the human brain is essential for unraveling its functional architecture, yet current reference atlases have major limitations such as lack of whole-brain coverage, relatively low image resolution, and sparse structural annotation. We present the first digital human brain atlas to incorporate neuroimaging, high-resolution histology, and chemoarchitecture across a complete adult female brain, consisting of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), and 1,356 large-format cellular resolution (1 µm/pixel) Nissl and immunohistochemistry anatomical plates. The atlas is comprehensively annotated for 862 structures, including 117 white matter tracts and several novel cyto- and chemoarchitecturally defined structures, and these annotations were transferred onto the matching MRI dataset. Neocortical delineations were done for sulci, gyri, and modified Brodmann areas to link macroscopic anatomical and microscopic cytoarchitectural parcellations. Correlated neuroimaging and histological structural delineation allowed fine feature identification in MRI data and subsequent structural identification in MRI data from other brains. This interactive online digital atlas is integrated with existing Allen Institute for Brain Science gene expression atlases and is publicly accessible as a resource for the neuroscience community. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3127-3481, 2016. © 2016 The Authors The Journal of Comparative Neurology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27418273

  8. Comprehensive cellular-resolution atlas of the adult human brain.

    PubMed

    Ding, Song-Lin; Royall, Joshua J; Sunkin, Susan M; Ng, Lydia; Facer, Benjamin A C; Lesnar, Phil; Guillozet-Bongaarts, Angie; McMurray, Bergen; Szafer, Aaron; Dolbeare, Tim A; Stevens, Allison; Tirrell, Lee; Benner, Thomas; Caldejon, Shiella; Dalley, Rachel A; Dee, Nick; Lau, Christopher; Nyhus, Julie; Reding, Melissa; Riley, Zackery L; Sandman, David; Shen, Elaine; van der Kouwe, Andre; Varjabedian, Ani; Write, Michelle; Zollei, Lilla; Dang, Chinh; Knowles, James A; Koch, Christof; Phillips, John W; Sestan, Nenad; Wohnoutka, Paul; Zielke, H Ronald; Hohmann, John G; Jones, Allan R; Bernard, Amy; Hawrylycz, Michael J; Hof, Patrick R; Fischl, Bruce; Lein, Ed S

    2016-11-01

    Detailed anatomical understanding of the human brain is essential for unraveling its functional architecture, yet current reference atlases have major limitations such as lack of whole-brain coverage, relatively low image resolution, and sparse structural annotation. We present the first digital human brain atlas to incorporate neuroimaging, high-resolution histology, and chemoarchitecture across a complete adult female brain, consisting of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), and 1,356 large-format cellular resolution (1 µm/pixel) Nissl and immunohistochemistry anatomical plates. The atlas is comprehensively annotated for 862 structures, including 117 white matter tracts and several novel cyto- and chemoarchitecturally defined structures, and these annotations were transferred onto the matching MRI dataset. Neocortical delineations were done for sulci, gyri, and modified Brodmann areas to link macroscopic anatomical and microscopic cytoarchitectural parcellations. Correlated neuroimaging and histological structural delineation allowed fine feature identification in MRI data and subsequent structural identification in MRI data from other brains. This interactive online digital atlas is integrated with existing Allen Institute for Brain Science gene expression atlases and is publicly accessible as a resource for the neuroscience community. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3127-3481, 2016. © 2016 The Authors The Journal of Comparative Neurology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Diet and Age Interactions with Regards to Cholesterol Regulation and Brain Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Uranga, Romina M.; Keller, Jeffrey N.

    2010-01-01

    Cholesterol is an essential molecule for brain homeostasis; yet, hypercholesterolemia and its numerous complications are believed to play a role in promoting multiple aspects of brain pathogenesis. An ever increasing number of individuals in modern Western Society are regularly consuming diets high in fat which promote the development of hypercholesterolemia. Additionally, modern societies are becoming increasingly aged, causing a collision between increased hypercholesterolemia and increased aging, which will likely lead to the development of increased pathological conditions due to hypercholesterolemia, thereby promoting deleterious neurochemical and behavioral changes in the brain. Lastly, while beneficial in controlling cholesterol levels, the long-term use of statins itself may potentially promote adverse effects on brain homeostasis, although specifics on this remain largely unknown. This review will focus on linking the current understanding of diet-induced hypercholesterolemia (as well as statin use) to the development of oxidative stress, neurochemical alterations, and cognitive disturbances in the aging brain. PMID:20396385

  10. Cerebral organoids model human brain development and microcephaly.

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-19

    The complexity of the human brain has made it difficult to study many brain disorders in model organisms, highlighting the need for an in vitro model of human brain development. Here we have developed a human pluripotent stem cell-derived three-dimensional organoid culture system, termed cerebral organoids, that develop various discrete, although interdependent, brain regions. These include a cerebral cortex containing progenitor populations that organize and produce mature cortical neuron subtypes. Furthermore, cerebral organoids are shown to recapitulate features of human cortical development, namely characteristic progenitor zone organization with abundant outer radial glial stem cells. Finally, we use RNA interference and patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells to model microcephaly, a disorder that has been difficult to recapitulate in mice. We demonstrate premature neuronal differentiation in patient organoids, a defect that could help to explain the disease phenotype. Together, these data show that three-dimensional organoids can recapitulate development and disease even in this most complex human tissue. PMID:23995685

  11. 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.

  12. A hierarchical model of the evolution of human brain specializations

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, H. Clark

    2012-01-01

    The study of information-processing adaptations in the brain is controversial, in part because of disputes about the form such adaptations might take. Many psychologists assume that adaptations come in two kinds, specialized and general-purpose. Specialized mechanisms are typically thought of as innate, domain-specific, and isolated from other brain systems, whereas generalized mechanisms are developmentally plastic, domain-general, and interactive. However, if brain mechanisms evolve through processes of descent with modification, they are likely to be heterogeneous, rather than coming in just two kinds. They are likely to be hierarchically organized, with some design features widely shared across brain systems and others specific to particular processes. Also, they are likely to be largely developmentally plastic and interactive with other brain systems, rather than canalized and isolated. This article presents a hierarchical model of brain specialization, reviewing evidence for the model from evolutionary developmental biology, genetics, brain mapping, and comparative studies. Implications for the search for uniquely human traits are discussed, along with ways in which conventional views of modularity in psychology may need to be revised. PMID:22723350

  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. 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.

  15. ``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.

  16. Effect of centrophenoxine on the antioxidative enzymes in various regions of the aging rat brain.

    PubMed

    Roy, D; Pathak, D N; Singh, R

    1983-01-01

    This study investigated the effect (in vivo) of centrophenoxine (Helfergin) on the activity of antioxidant enzymes (glutathione peroxidase GSH-PER, glutathione reductase GSSG-RED, superoxide dismutase SOD and catalase) in subcellular fractions from the regions of the brain (cerebrum, cerebellum and brain stem) of rats aged 6, 9 and 12 months. In all age groups, normal (control) activity of GSH-PER, GSSG-RED and SOD in the three brain regions was higher in the soluble fractions than in the particulate fractions. The three regions of the brain showed different levels of the enzyme activities. Enzymes in soluble fractions (except GSSG-RED in cerebrum of rats aged 12 months) did not change with age. In particulate fractions, however, the enzymes showed age-related changes: GSH-PER decreased with age in cerebellum and brain stem, but showed an age-related increase in cerebrum, GSSG-RED and SOD increased with age in all the three brain regions. Catalase activity in all the three brain regions remained unchanged in all age groups. Six week administration of centrophenoxine (once a day in doses of 80 mg/Kg and 120 mg/Kg) to the experimental animals produced increases in the activity of SOD, GSH-PER and GSSG-RED in particulate fractions from all the three brain regions. In the soluble fractions, however, only SOD and GSH-PER activity was increased. In vitro also centrophenoxine stimulated the activity of GSH-PER. A dosage of 80 mg/Kg produced greater changes than a 120 mg/Kg dosage. The drug had no effect on the activity of catalase. Centrophenoxine also reduced lipofuscin deposits (studied both biochemically and histochemically) thus indicating that the drug inhibited lipofuscin accumulation by elevating the activity of the antioxidant enzymes. The data suggest that alleviation of senescence by centrophenoxine may, at least, partly be due to activation by it of antioxidant enzymes.

  17. Association of structural global brain network properties with intelligence in normal aging.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Florian U; Wolf, Dominik; Scheurich, Armin; Fellgiebel, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Higher general intelligence attenuates age-associated cognitive decline and the risk of dementia. Thus, intelligence has been associated with cognitive reserve or resilience in normal aging. Neurophysiologically, intelligence is considered as a complex capacity that is dependent on a global cognitive network rather than isolated brain areas. An association of structural as well as functional brain network characteristics with intelligence has already been reported in young adults. We investigated the relationship between global structural brain network properties, general intelligence and age in a group of 43 cognitively healthy elderly, age 60-85 years. Individuals were assessed cross-sectionally using Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R) and diffusion-tensor imaging. Structural brain networks were reconstructed individually using deterministic tractography, global network properties (global efficiency, mean shortest path length, and clustering coefficient) were determined by graph theory and correlated to intelligence scores within both age groups. Network properties were significantly correlated to age, whereas no significant correlation to WAIS-R was observed. However, in a subgroup of 15 individuals aged 75 and above, the network properties were significantly correlated to WAIS-R. Our findings suggest that general intelligence and global properties of structural brain networks may not be generally associated in cognitively healthy elderly. However, we provide first evidence of an association between global structural brain network properties and general intelligence in advanced elderly. Intelligence might be affected by age-associated network deterioration only if a certain threshold of structural degeneration is exceeded. Thus, age-associated brain