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Sample records for neurodegenerative generalized auditory

  1. Pleasurable emotional response to music: a case of neurodegenerative generalized auditory agnosia.

    PubMed

    Matthews, Brandy R; Chang, Chiung-Chih; De May, Mary; Engstrom, John; Miller, Bruce L

    2009-06-01

    Recent functional neuroimaging studies implicate the network of mesolimbic structures known to be active in reward processing as the neural substrate of pleasure associated with listening to music. Psychoacoustic and lesion studies suggest that there is a widely distributed cortical network involved in processing discreet musical variables. Here we present the case of a young man with auditory agnosia as the consequence of cortical neurodegeneration who continues to experience pleasure when exposed to music. In a series of musical tasks, the subject was unable to accurately identify any of the perceptual components of music beyond simple pitch discrimination, including musical variables known to impact the perception of affect. The subject subsequently misidentified the musical character of personally familiar tunes presented experimentally, but continued to report that the activity of 'listening' to specific musical genres was an emotionally rewarding experience. The implications of this case for the evolving understanding of music perception, music misperception, music memory, and music-associated emotion are discussed.

  2. Pleasurable Emotional Response to Music: A Case of Neurodegenerative Generalized Auditory Agnosia

    PubMed Central

    Matthews, Brandy R.; Chang, Chiung-Chih; De May, Mary; Engstrom, John; Miller, Bruce L.

    2009-01-01

    Recent functional neuroimaging studies implicate the network of mesolimbic structures known to be active in reward processing as the neural substrate of pleasure associated with listening to music. Psychoacoustic and lesion studies suggest that there is a widely distributed cortical network involved in processing discreet musical variables. Here we present the case of a young man with auditory agnosia as the consequence of cortical neurodegeneration who continues to experience pleasure when exposed to music. In a series of musical tasks the subject was unable to accurately identify any of the perceptual components of music beyond simple pitch discrimination, including musical variables know to impact the perception of affect. The subject subsequently misidentified the musical character of personally familiar tunes presented experimentally, but continued to report the activity of “listening” to specific musical genres was an emotionally rewarding experience. The implications of this case for the evolving understanding of music perception, music misperception, music memory, and music-associated emotion are discussed. PMID:19253088

  3. Enhanced Generalization of Auditory Conditioned Fear in Juvenile Mice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ito, Wataru; Pan, Bing-Xing; Yang, Chao; Thakur, Siddarth; Morozov, Alexei

    2009-01-01

    Increased emotionality is a characteristic of human adolescence, but its animal models are limited. Here we report that generalization of auditory conditioned fear between a conditional stimulus (CS+) and a novel auditory stimulus is stronger in 4-5-wk-old mice (juveniles) than in their 9-10-wk-old counterparts (adults), whereas nonassociative…

  4. Lack of Generalization of Auditory Learning in Typically Developing Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halliday, Lorna F.; Taylor, Jenny L.; Millward, Kerri E.; Moore, David R.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To understand the components of auditory learning in typically developing children by assessing generalization across stimuli, across modalities (i.e., hearing, vision), and to higher level language tasks. Method: Eighty-six 8- to 10-year-old typically developing children were quasi-randomly assigned to 4 groups. Three of the groups…

  5. Generalized model of the microwave auditory effect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yitzhak, N. M.; Ruppin, R.; Hareuveny, R.

    2009-07-01

    A generalized theoretical model for evaluating the amplitudes of the sound waves generated in a spherical head model, which is irradiated by microwave pulses, is developed. The thermoelastic equation of motion is solved for a spherically symmetric heating pattern of arbitrary form. For previously treated heating patterns that are peaked at the sphere centre, the results reduce to those presented before. The generalized model is applied to the case in which the microwave absorption is concentrated near the sphere surface. It is found that, for equal average specific absorption rates, the sound intensity generated by a surface localized heating pattern is comparable to that generated by a heating pattern that is peaked at the centre. The dependence of the induced sound pressure on the shape of the microwave pulse is explored. Another theoretical extension, to the case of repeated pulses, is developed and applied to the interpretation of existing experimental data on the dependence of the human hearing effect threshold on the pulse repetition frequency.

  6. Generalized model of the microwave auditory effect.

    PubMed

    Yitzhak, N M; Ruppin, R; Hareuveny, R

    2009-07-07

    A generalized theoretical model for evaluating the amplitudes of the sound waves generated in a spherical head model, which is irradiated by microwave pulses, is developed. The thermoelastic equation of motion is solved for a spherically symmetric heating pattern of arbitrary form. For previously treated heating patterns that are peaked at the sphere centre, the results reduce to those presented before. The generalized model is applied to the case in which the microwave absorption is concentrated near the sphere surface. It is found that, for equal average specific absorption rates, the sound intensity generated by a surface localized heating pattern is comparable to that generated by a heating pattern that is peaked at the centre. The dependence of the induced sound pressure on the shape of the microwave pulse is explored. Another theoretical extension, to the case of repeated pulses, is developed and applied to the interpretation of existing experimental data on the dependence of the human hearing effect threshold on the pulse repetition frequency.

  7. A Case of Generalized Auditory Agnosia with Unilateral Subcortical Brain Lesion

    PubMed Central

    Suh, Hyee; Kim, Soo Yeon; Kim, Sook Hee; Chang, Jae Hyeok; Shin, Yong Beom; Ko, Hyun-Yoon

    2012-01-01

    The mechanisms and functional anatomy underlying the early stages of speech perception are still not well understood. Auditory agnosia is a deficit of auditory object processing defined as a disability to recognize spoken languages and/or nonverbal environmental sounds and music despite adequate hearing while spontaneous speech, reading and writing are preserved. Usually, either the bilateral or unilateral temporal lobe, especially the transverse gyral lesions, are responsible for auditory agnosia. Subcortical lesions without cortical damage rarely causes auditory agnosia. We present a 73-year-old right-handed male with generalized auditory agnosia caused by a unilateral subcortical lesion. He was not able to repeat or dictate but to perform fluent and comprehensible speech. He could understand and read written words and phrases. His auditory brainstem evoked potential and audiometry were intact. This case suggested that the subcortical lesion involving unilateral acoustic radiation could cause generalized auditory agnosia. PMID:23342322

  8. A case of generalized auditory agnosia with unilateral subcortical brain lesion.

    PubMed

    Suh, Hyee; Shin, Yong-Il; Kim, Soo Yeon; Kim, Sook Hee; Chang, Jae Hyeok; Shin, Yong Beom; Ko, Hyun-Yoon

    2012-12-01

    The mechanisms and functional anatomy underlying the early stages of speech perception are still not well understood. Auditory agnosia is a deficit of auditory object processing defined as a disability to recognize spoken languages and/or nonverbal environmental sounds and music despite adequate hearing while spontaneous speech, reading and writing are preserved. Usually, either the bilateral or unilateral temporal lobe, especially the transverse gyral lesions, are responsible for auditory agnosia. Subcortical lesions without cortical damage rarely causes auditory agnosia. We present a 73-year-old right-handed male with generalized auditory agnosia caused by a unilateral subcortical lesion. He was not able to repeat or dictate but to perform fluent and comprehensible speech. He could understand and read written words and phrases. His auditory brainstem evoked potential and audiometry were intact. This case suggested that the subcortical lesion involving unilateral acoustic radiation could cause generalized auditory agnosia.

  9. Electrophysiological evidence for a general auditory prediction deficit in adults who stutter

    PubMed Central

    Daliri, Ayoub; Max, Ludo

    2015-01-01

    We previously found that stuttering individuals do not show the typical auditory modulation observed during speech planning in nonstuttering individuals. In this follow-up study, we further elucidate this difference by investigating whether stuttering speakers’ atypical auditory modulation is observed only when sensory predictions are based on movement planning or also when predictable auditory input is not a consequence of one’s own actions. We recorded 10 stuttering and 10 nonstuttering adults’ auditory evoked potentials in response to random probe tones delivered while anticipating either speaking aloud or hearing one’s own speech played back and in a control condition without auditory input (besides probe tones). N1 amplitude of nonstuttering speakers was reduced prior to both speaking and hearing versus the control condition. Stuttering speakers, however, showed no N1 amplitude reduction in either the speaking or hearing condition as compared with control. Thus, findings suggest that stuttering speakers have general auditory prediction difficulties. PMID:26335995

  10. Electrophysiological evidence for a general auditory prediction deficit in adults who stutter.

    PubMed

    Daliri, Ayoub; Max, Ludo

    2015-11-01

    We previously found that stuttering individuals do not show the typical auditory modulation observed during speech planning in nonstuttering individuals. In this follow-up study, we further elucidate this difference by investigating whether stuttering speakers' atypical auditory modulation is observed only when sensory predictions are based on movement planning or also when predictable auditory input is not a consequence of one's own actions. We recorded 10 stuttering and 10 nonstuttering adults' auditory evoked potentials in response to random probe tones delivered while anticipating either speaking aloud or hearing one's own speech played back and in a control condition without auditory input (besides probe tones). N1 amplitude of nonstuttering speakers was reduced prior to both speaking and hearing versus the control condition. Stuttering speakers, however, showed no N1 amplitude reduction in either the speaking or hearing condition as compared with control. Thus, findings suggest that stuttering speakers have general auditory prediction difficulties.

  11. General Auditory Processing, Speech Perception and Phonological Awareness Skills in Chinese-English Biliteracy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chung, Kevin K. H.; McBride-Chang, Catherine; Cheung, Him; Wong, Simpson W. L.

    2013-01-01

    This study focused on the associations of general auditory processing, speech perception, phonological awareness and word reading in Cantonese-speaking children from Hong Kong learning to read both Chinese (first language [L1]) and English (second language [L2]). Children in Grades 2--4 ("N" = 133) participated and were administered…

  12. Testing domain-general theories of perceptual awareness with auditory brain responses.

    PubMed

    Snyder, Joel S; Yerkes, Breanne D; Pitts, Michael A

    2015-06-01

    Past research has identified several candidate neural correlates of consciousness (NCCs) during visual perception. Recent research on auditory perception shows promise for establishing the generality of various NCCs across sensory modalities, as well as for revealing differences in how conscious processing unfolds in different sensory systems.

  13. Impairments of auditory scene analysis in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Goll, Johanna C; Kim, Lois G; Ridgway, Gerard R; Hailstone, Julia C; Lehmann, Manja; Buckley, Aisling H; Crutch, Sebastian J; Warren, Jason D

    2012-01-01

    Parsing of sound sources in the auditory environment or 'auditory scene analysis' is a computationally demanding cognitive operation that is likely to be vulnerable to the neurodegenerative process in Alzheimer's disease. However, little information is available concerning auditory scene analysis in Alzheimer's disease. Here we undertook a detailed neuropsychological and neuroanatomical characterization of auditory scene analysis in a cohort of 21 patients with clinically typical Alzheimer's disease versus age-matched healthy control subjects. We designed a novel auditory dual stream paradigm based on synthetic sound sequences to assess two key generic operations in auditory scene analysis (object segregation and grouping) in relation to simpler auditory perceptual, task and general neuropsychological factors. In order to assess neuroanatomical associations of performance on auditory scene analysis tasks, structural brain magnetic resonance imaging data from the patient cohort were analysed using voxel-based morphometry. Compared with healthy controls, patients with Alzheimer's disease had impairments of auditory scene analysis, and segregation and grouping operations were comparably affected. Auditory scene analysis impairments in Alzheimer's disease were not wholly attributable to simple auditory perceptual or task factors; however, the between-group difference relative to healthy controls was attenuated after accounting for non-verbal (visuospatial) working memory capacity. These findings demonstrate that clinically typical Alzheimer's disease is associated with a generic deficit of auditory scene analysis. Neuroanatomical associations of auditory scene analysis performance were identified in posterior cortical areas including the posterior superior temporal lobes and posterior cingulate. This work suggests a basis for understanding a class of clinical symptoms in Alzheimer's disease and for delineating cognitive mechanisms that mediate auditory scene analysis

  14. Auditory rehabilitation of older people from the general population--the Leiden 85-plus study.

    PubMed Central

    Gussekloo, Jacobijn; de Bont, L E; von Faber, M; Eekhof, J A; de Laat, J A; Hulshof, J H; van Dongen, E; Westendorp, R G

    2003-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Very few older people with severe hearing loss use hearing aids to reduce the negative consequences of reduced hearing in daily functioning. AIM: Assessment of a screening test and a standardised auditory rehabilitation programme for older people from the general population with untreated severe hearing loss. DESIGN OF STUDY: Intervention study and qualitative exploration. SETTING: Leiden 85-Plus Study, a prospective population-based study of 85-year-old inhabitants of Leiden, the Netherlands. METHOD: Hearing loss was measured by pure-tone audiometry in 454 subjects aged 85 years. Subjects with hearing loss above 35 dB at 1, 2, and 4 kHz who did not use hearing aids were invited to participate in a standardised programme for auditory rehabilitation. In-depth interviews were held with participants to explore arguments for participating in this programme. RESULTS: Of the 367 participants with severe hearing loss (prevalence = 81%), 66% (241/367) did not use a hearing aid. Three out of four of these participants (n = 185) declined participation in the auditory rehabilitation programme. The most common reason given for not participating was the subjects' feeling that their current hearing loss did not warrant the use of a hearing aid. Subjects who participated in the programme were found to suffer from more severe hearing loss and experienced more hearing disability. Those who did not participate in the programme felt they could cope with their disabilities and considered a hearing aid unnecessary. CONCLUSION: Untreated hearing loss is prevalent among older people from the general population. The majority of older people decline auditory rehabilitation. For these people the use of a hearing aid is not perceived as necessary in order to function on a daily basis. Older people who have expected benefits from a hearing aid have already obtained them, marginalising the benefits of a rehabilitation (and screening) programme. PMID:14694666

  15. Generalization of Auditory Sensory and Cognitive Learning in Typically Developing Children

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, Cristina F. B.; Moore, David R.; Schochat, Eliane

    2015-01-01

    Despite the well-established involvement of both sensory (“bottom-up”) and cognitive (“top-down”) processes in literacy, the extent to which auditory or cognitive (memory or attention) learning transfers to phonological and reading skills remains unclear. Most research has demonstrated learning of the trained task or even learning transfer to a closely related task. However, few studies have reported “far-transfer” to a different domain, such as the improvement of phonological and reading skills following auditory or cognitive training. This study assessed the effectiveness of auditory, memory or attention training on far-transfer measures involving phonological and reading skills in typically developing children. Mid-transfer was also assessed through untrained auditory, attention and memory tasks. Sixty 5- to 8-year-old children with normal hearing were quasi-randomly assigned to one of five training groups: attention group (AG), memory group (MG), auditory sensory group (SG), placebo group (PG; drawing, painting), and a control, untrained group (CG). Compliance, mid-transfer and far-transfer measures were evaluated before and after training. All trained groups received 12 x 45-min training sessions over 12 weeks. The CG did not receive any intervention. All trained groups, especially older children, exhibited significant learning of the trained task. On pre- to post-training measures (test-retest), most groups exhibited improvements on most tasks. There was significant mid-transfer for a visual digit span task, with highest span in the MG, relative to other groups. These results show that both sensory and cognitive (memory or attention) training can lead to learning in the trained task and to mid-transfer learning on a task (visual digit span) within the same domain as the trained tasks. However, learning did not transfer to measures of language (reading and phonological awareness), as the PG and CG improved as much as the other trained groups

  16. Auditory agnosia.

    PubMed

    Slevc, L Robert; Shell, Alison R

    2015-01-01

    Auditory agnosia refers to impairments in sound perception and identification despite intact hearing, cognitive functioning, and language abilities (reading, writing, and speaking). Auditory agnosia can be general, affecting all types of sound perception, or can be (relatively) specific to a particular domain. Verbal auditory agnosia (also known as (pure) word deafness) refers to deficits specific to speech processing, environmental sound agnosia refers to difficulties confined to non-speech environmental sounds, and amusia refers to deficits confined to music. These deficits can be apperceptive, affecting basic perceptual processes, or associative, affecting the relation of a perceived auditory object to its meaning. This chapter discusses what is known about the behavioral symptoms and lesion correlates of these different types of auditory agnosia (focusing especially on verbal auditory agnosia), evidence for the role of a rapid temporal processing deficit in some aspects of auditory agnosia, and the few attempts to treat the perceptual deficits associated with auditory agnosia. A clear picture of auditory agnosia has been slow to emerge, hampered by the considerable heterogeneity in behavioral deficits, associated brain damage, and variable assessments across cases. Despite this lack of clarity, these striking deficits in complex sound processing continue to inform our understanding of auditory perception and cognition.

  17. Concurrent sound segregation impairments in schizophrenia: The contribution of auditory-specific and general cognitive factors

    PubMed Central

    Ramage, Erin M.; Klimas, Nedka; Vogel, Sally J.; Vertinski, Mary; Yerkes, Breanne D.; Flores, Amanda; Sutton, Griffin P.; Ringdahl, Erik N.; Allen, Daniel N.; Snyder, Joel S.

    2015-01-01

    The present study sought to test whether perceptual segregation of concurrently played sounds is impaired in schizophrenia (SZ), whether impairment in sound segregation predicts difficulties with a real-world speech-in-noise task, and whether auditory-specific or general cognitive processing accounts for sound segregation problems. Participants with SZ and healthy controls (HCs) performed a mistuned harmonic segregation task during recording of event-related potentials (ERPs). Participants also performed a brief speech-in-noise task. Participants with SZ showed deficits in the mistuned harmonic task and the speech-in-noise task, compared to HCs. No deficit in SZ was found in the ERP component related to mistuned harmonic segregation at around 150 ms (the object-related negativity or ORN), but instead showed a deficit in processing at around 400 ms (the P4 response). However, regression analyses showed that indexes of education level and general cognitive function were the best predictors of sound segregation difficulties, suggesting non-auditory specific causes of concurrent sound segregation problems in SZ. PMID:26644302

  18. Concurrent sound segregation impairments in schizophrenia: The contribution of auditory-specific and general cognitive factors.

    PubMed

    Ramage, Erin M; Klimas, Nedka; Vogel, Sally J; Vertinski, Mary; Yerkes, Breanne D; Flores, Amanda; Sutton, Griffin P; Ringdahl, Erik N; Allen, Daniel N; Snyder, Joel S

    2016-01-01

    The present study sought to test whether perceptual segregation of concurrently played sounds is impaired in schizophrenia (SZ), whether impairment in sound segregation predicts difficulties with a real-world speech-in-noise task, and whether auditory-specific or general cognitive processing accounts for sound segregation problems. Participants with SZ and healthy controls (HCs) performed a mistuned harmonic segregation task during recording of event-related potentials (ERPs). Participants also performed a brief speech-in-noise task. Participants with SZ showed deficits in the mistuned harmonic task and the speech-in-noise task, compared to HCs. No deficit in SZ was found in the ERP component related to mistuned harmonic segregation at around 150ms (the object-related negativity or ORN), but instead showed a deficit in processing at around 400ms (the P4 response). However, regression analyses showed that indexes of education level and general cognitive function were the best predictors of sound segregation difficulties, suggesting non-auditory specific causes of concurrent sound segregation problems in SZ.

  19. Bat auditory cortex – model for general mammalian auditory computation or special design solution for active time perception?

    PubMed

    Kössl, Manfred; Hechavarria, Julio; Voss, Cornelia; Schaefer, Markus; Vater, Marianne

    2015-03-01

    Audition in bats serves passive orientation, alerting functions and communication as it does in other vertebrates. In addition, bats have evolved echolocation for orientation and prey detection and capture. This put a selective pressure on the auditory system in regard to echolocation-relevant temporal computation and frequency analysis. The present review attempts to evaluate in which respect the processing modules of bat auditory cortex (AC) are a model for typical mammalian AC function or are designed for echolocation-unique purposes. We conclude that, while cortical area arrangement and cortical frequency processing does not deviate greatly from that of other mammals, the echo delay time-sensitive dorsal cortex regions contain special designs for very powerful time perception. Different bat species have either a unique chronotopic cortex topography or a distributed salt-and-pepper representation of echo delay. The two designs seem to enable similar behavioural performance.

  20. Latency of auditory evoked potential monitoring the effects of general anesthetics on nerve fibers and synapses.

    PubMed

    Huang, Bowan; Liang, Feixue; Zhong, Lei; Lin, Minlin; Yang, Juan; Yan, Linqing; Xiao, Jinfan; Xiao, Zhongju

    2015-08-06

    Auditory evoked potential (AEP) is an effective index for the effects of general anesthetics. However, it's unknown if AEP can differentiate the effects of general anesthetics on nerve fibers and synapses. Presently, we investigated AEP latency and amplitude changes to different acoustic intensities during pentobarbital anesthesia. Latency more regularly changed than amplitude during anesthesia. AEP Latency monotonically decreased with acoustic intensity increase (i.e., latency-intensity curve) and could be fitted to an exponential decay equation, which showed two components, the theoretical minimum latency and stimulus-dependent delay. From the latency-intensity curves, the changes of these two components (∆L and ∆I) were extracted during anesthesia. ∆L and ∆I monitored the effect of pentobarbital on nerve fibers and synapses. Pentobarbital can induce anesthesia, and two side effects, hypoxemia and hypothermia. The hypoxemia was not related with ∆L and ∆I. However, ∆L was changed by the hypothermia, whereas ∆I was changed by the hypothermia and anesthesia. Therefore, we conclude that, AEP latency is superior to amplitude for the effects of general anesthetics, ∆L monitors the effect of hypothermia on nerve fibers, and ∆I monitors a combined effect of anesthesia and hypothermia on synapses. When eliminating the temperature factor, ∆I monitors the anesthesia effect on synapses.

  1. Assessment of Olfactory Function in MAPT-Associated Neurodegenerative Disease Reveals Odor-Identification Irreproducibility as a Non-Disease-Specific, General Characteristic of Olfactory Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Robowski, Piotr; Strongosky, Audrey; Narożańska, Ewa; Sitek, Emilia J.; Berdynski, Mariusz; Barcikowska, Maria; Baker, Matt C.; Rademakers, Rosa; Sławek, Jarosław; Klein, Christine; Hückelheim, Katja; Kasten, Meike; Wszolek, Zbigniew K.

    2016-01-01

    limitations of these tests used and the sample sizes, olfactory dysfunction appears to be associated with the inability to identify odors reliably and consistently, not with the loss of an ability to identify specific odors. Irreproducibility in odor identification appears to be a non-disease-specific, general feature of olfactory dysfunction that is accelerated or accentuated in neurodegenerative disease. It may reflect a fundamental organizational principle of the olfactory system, which is more “error-prone” than other sensory systems. PMID:27855167

  2. A general population twin study of conduct problems and the auditory P300 waveform.

    PubMed

    Bertoletti, Eleonora; Michelini, Giorgia; Moruzzi, Sara; Ferrer, Giuseppina; Ferini-Strambi, Luigi; Stazi, Maria Antonietta; Ogliari, Anna; Battaglia, Marco

    2014-01-01

    Reduced amplitude of the P300 event-related potential has been consistently associated with a variety of externalising problems, including conduct disorder. The few available genetically-informative studies of these relationships, however, were conducted among adolescents/adults (i.e., at an age when conduct disorder has typically already become manifest). Among 200 general population twins with a mean age of 9 years (range 6-14 years), we studied the relationship between the P300 waveform elicited by an auditory oddball task and the DSM-oriented conduct problems scale of the Child Behavior Checklist 6-18. Conduct problems scores were negatively and significantly correlated (r = -0.19, p = 0.01) with P300 amplitude; correlations between P300 amplitude and the other DSM-oriented Child Behavior Checklist scales were non-significant, except for oppositional defiant problems (p = 0.01). We found moderate heritability estimates for both P300 amplitude (0.58, CI:0.37;0.73) and conduct problems (0.52, CI:0.25;0.70). Bivariate twin analyses indicated that the covariation between these two phenotypes can be explained by additive genetic factors only, with a genetic correlation of -0.33. An association between reduced P300 amplitude and conduct problems can be substantiated already in childhood, at an age that precedes the most typical onset of conduct disorder. This relationship appears to be genetic in nature. Reduced P300 amplitude can represent a valuable marker for conduct problems, and can contribute to the early identification of children at high-risk for conduct disorder.

  3. Meditation and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Newberg, Andrew B; Serruya, Mijail; Wintering, Nancy; Moss, Aleezé Sattar; Reibel, Diane; Monti, Daniel A

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases pose a significant problem for the healthcare system, doctors, and patients. With an aging population, more and more individuals are developing neurodegenerative diseases and there are few treatment options at the present time. Meditation techniques present an interesting potential adjuvant treatment for patients with neurodegenerative diseases and have the advantage of being inexpensive, and easy to teach and perform. There is increasing research evidence to support the application of meditation techniques to help improve cognition and memory in patients with neurodegenerative diseases. This review discusses the current data on meditation, memory, and attention, and the potential applications of meditation techniques in patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

  4. Auditory Same/Different Concept Learning and Generalization in Black-Capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus)

    PubMed Central

    Hoeschele, Marisa; Cook, Robert G.; Guillette, Lauren M.; Hahn, Allison H.; Sturdy, Christopher B.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract concept learning was thought to be uniquely human, but has since been observed in many other species. Discriminating same from different is one abstract relation that has been studied frequently. In the current experiment, using operant conditioning, we tested whether black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) could discriminate sets of auditory stimuli based on whether all the sounds within a sequence were the same or different from one another. The chickadees were successful at solving this same/different relational task, and transferred their learning to same/different sequences involving novel combinations of training notes and novel notes within the range of pitches experienced during training. The chickadees showed limited transfer to pitches that was not used in training, suggesting that the processing of absolute pitch may constrain their relational performance. Our results indicate, for the first time, that black-capped chickadees readily form relational auditory same and different categories, adding to the list of perceptual, behavioural, and cognitive abilities that make this species an important comparative model for human language and cognition. PMID:23077660

  5. A general auditory bias for handling speaker variability in speech? Evidence in humans and songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Kriengwatana, Buddhamas; Escudero, Paola; Kerkhoven, Anne H.; Cate, Carel ten

    2015-01-01

    Different speakers produce the same speech sound differently, yet listeners are still able to reliably identify the speech sound. How listeners can adjust their perception to compensate for speaker differences in speech, and whether these compensatory processes are unique only to humans, is still not fully understood. In this study we compare the ability of humans and zebra finches to categorize vowels despite speaker variation in speech in order to test the hypothesis that accommodating speaker and gender differences in isolated vowels can be achieved without prior experience with speaker-related variability. Using a behavioral Go/No-go task and identical stimuli, we compared Australian English adults’ (naïve to Dutch) and zebra finches’ (naïve to human speech) ability to categorize / I/ and /ε/ vowels of an novel Dutch speaker after learning to discriminate those vowels from only one other speaker. Experiments 1 and 2 presented vowels of two speakers interspersed or blocked, respectively. Results demonstrate that categorization of vowels is possible without prior exposure to speaker-related variability in speech for zebra finches, and in non-native vowel categories for humans. Therefore, this study is the first to provide evidence for what might be a species-shared auditory bias that may supersede speaker-related information during vowel categorization. It additionally provides behavioral evidence contradicting a prior hypothesis that accommodation of speaker differences is achieved via the use of formant ratios. Therefore, investigations of alternative accounts of vowel normalization that incorporate the possibility of an auditory bias for disregarding inter-speaker variability are warranted. PMID:26379579

  6. Epigenetic Changes in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Min Jee; Kim, Sunhong; Han, Myeong Hoon; Lee, Sung Bae

    2016-01-01

    Afflicted neurons in various neurodegenerative diseases generally display diverse and complex pathological features before catastrophic occurrence of massive neuronal loss at the late stages of the diseases. This complex nature of neuronal pathophysiology inevitably implicates systemwide changes in basic cellular activities such as transcriptional controls and signal cascades, and so on, as a cause. Recently, as one of these systemwide cellular changes associated with neurodegenerative diseases, epigenetic changes caused by protein toxicity have begun to be highlighted. Notably, recent advances in related techniques including next-generation sequencing (NGS) and mass spectrometry enable us to monitor changes in the post-translational modifications (PTMs) of histone proteins and to link these changes in histone PTMs to the specific transcriptional changes. Indeed, epigenetic alterations and consequent changes in neuronal transcriptome are now begun to be extensively studied in neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In this review, we will discuss details of our current understandings on epigenetic changes associated with two representative neurodegenerative diseases [AD and polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases] and further discuss possible future development of pharmaceutical treatment of the diseases through modulating these epigenetic changes. PMID:27871175

  7. Optogenetics for neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Vann, Kiara T; Xiong, Zhi-Gang

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are devastating conditions that lead to progressive degeneration of neurons. Neurodegeneration may result in ataxia, dementia, and muscle atrophies, etc. Despite enormous research efforts that have been made, there is lack of effective therapeutic interventions for most of these diseases. Optogenetics is a recently developed novel technique that combines optics and genetics to modulate the activity of specific neurons. Optogenetics has been implemented in various studies including neuropsychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. This review focuses on the recent advance in using this technique for the studies of common neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27186317

  8. Auditory models for speech analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maybury, Mark T.

    This paper reviews the psychophysical basis for auditory models and discusses their application to automatic speech recognition. First an overview of the human auditory system is presented, followed by a review of current knowledge gleaned from neurological and psychoacoustic experimentation. Next, a general framework describes established peripheral auditory models which are based on well-understood properties of the peripheral auditory system. This is followed by a discussion of current enhancements to that models to include nonlinearities and synchrony information as well as other higher auditory functions. Finally, the initial performance of auditory models in the task of speech recognition is examined and additional applications are mentioned.

  9. Glutamate and Neurodegenerative Disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaeffer, Eric; Duplantier, Allen

    As the main excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system, glutamate is critically involved in most aspects of CNS function. Given this critical role, it is not surprising that glutamatergic dysfunction is associated with many CNS disorders. In this chapter, we review the literature that links aberrant glutamate neurotransmission with CNS pathology, with a focus on neurodegenerative diseases. The biology and pharmacology of the various glutamate receptor families are discussed, along with data which links these receptors with neurodegenerative conditions. In addition, we review progress that has been made in developing small molecule modulators of glutamate receptors and transporters, and describe how these compounds have helped us understand the complex pharmacology of glutamate in normal CNS function, as well as their potential for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

  10. [Cellular bases of neurodegenerative processes].

    PubMed

    Nieoullon, A

    1998-01-01

    Neurodegenerative processes are generally characterized by the long-lasting course of neuronal death and the selectivity of the neuronal population or brain structure involved in the lesion. This is the case for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or Huntington's diseases, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The reasons for such a specificity are largely unknown as are generally the mechanisms of the diseases. One common feature of these diseases, however, is that the neuronal death is thought to involve apoptosis, at least partly. Interestingly, apoptosis in the brain would involve specific gene products similar to that identified in the nematode c. elegans, partly corresponding in mammals to ICE-related compounds and Bcl2 protein. The involvement of calcium as well as of oxydative stress mechanisms in such neuronal death is to be fully proved but putative modulation by external signals (such as those provided through trophic factors or even neurotransmitters) represents an interesting way to validate the current hypothesis of neuronal death in neurodegenerative diseases in humans.

  11. Glutathione transferases and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Mazzetti, Anna Paola; Fiorile, Maria Carmela; Primavera, Alessandra; Lo Bello, Mario

    2015-03-01

    There is substantial agreement that the unbalance between oxidant and antioxidant species may affect the onset and/or the course of a number of common diseases including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Many studies suggest a crucial role for oxidative stress in the first phase of aging, or in the pathogenesis of various diseases including neurological ones. Particularly, the role exerted by glutathione and glutathione-related enzymes (Glutathione Transferases) in the nervous system appears more relevant, this latter tissue being much more vulnerable to toxins and oxidative stress than other tissues such as liver, kidney or muscle. The present review addresses the question by focusing on the results obtained by specimens from patients or by in vitro studies using cells or animal models related to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. In general, there is an association between glutathione depletion and Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease. In addition, a significant decrease of glutathione transferase activity in selected areas of brain and in ventricular cerebrospinal fluid was found. For some glutathione transferase genes there is also a correlation between polymorphisms and onset/outcome of neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, there is a general agreement about the protective effect exerted by glutathione and glutathione transferases but no clear answer about the mechanisms underlying this crucial role in the insurgence of neurodegenerative diseases.

  12. Visual Hallucinations in the Psychosis Spectrum and Comparative Information From Neurodegenerative Disorders and Eye Disease

    PubMed Central

    Waters, Flavie; Collerton, Daniel; ffytche, Dominic H.; Jardri, Renaud; Pins, Delphine; Dudley, Robert; Blom, Jan Dirk; Mosimann, Urs Peter; Eperjesi, Frank; Ford, Stephen; Larøi, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Much of the research on visual hallucinations (VHs) has been conducted in the context of eye disease and neurodegenerative conditions, but little is known about these phenomena in psychiatric and nonclinical populations. The purpose of this article is to bring together current knowledge regarding VHs in the psychosis phenotype and contrast this data with the literature drawn from neurodegenerative disorders and eye disease. The evidence challenges the traditional views that VHs are atypical or uncommon in psychosis. The weighted mean for VHs is 27% in schizophrenia, 15% in affective psychosis, and 7.3% in the general community. VHs are linked to a more severe psychopathological profile and less favorable outcome in psychosis and neurodegenerative conditions. VHs typically co-occur with auditory hallucinations, suggesting a common etiological cause. VHs in psychosis are also remarkably complex, negative in content, and are interpreted to have personal relevance. The cognitive mechanisms of VHs in psychosis have rarely been investigated, but existing studies point to source-monitoring deficits and distortions in top-down mechanisms, although evidence for visual processing deficits, which feature strongly in the organic literature, is lacking. Brain imaging studies point to the activation of visual cortex during hallucinations on a background of structural and connectivity changes within wider brain networks. The relationship between VHs in psychosis, eye disease, and neurodegeneration remains unclear, although the pattern of similarities and differences described in this review suggests that comparative studies may have potentially important clinical and theoretical implications. PMID:24936084

  13. Glycoproteomics in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Hyejin; Zhang, Jianpeng; Chung, Kathryn A.; Leverenz, James B.; Zabetian, Cyrus P.; Peskind, Elaine R.; Jankovic, Joseph; Su, Zhen; Hancock, Aneeka M.; Pan, Catherine; Montine, Thomas J.; Pan, Sheng; Nutt, John; Albin, Roger; Gearing, Marla; Beyer, Richard P.; Shi, Min; Zhang, Jing

    2009-01-01

    Protein glycosylation regulates protein function and cellular distribution. Additionally, aberrant protein glycosylations have been recognized to play major roles in human disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases. Glycoproteomics, a branch of proteomics that catalogs and quantifies glycoproteins, provides a powerful means to systematically profile the glycopeptides or glycoproteins of a complex mixture that are highly enriched in body fluids, and therefore, carry great potential to be diagnostic and/or prognostic markers. Application of this mass spectrometry-based technology to the study of neurodegenerative disorders (e.g., Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease) is relatively new, and is expected to provide insight into the biochemical pathogenesis of neurodegeneration, as well as biomarker discovery. In this review, we have summarized the current understanding of glycoproteins in biology and neurodegenerative disease, and have discussed existing proteomic technologies that are utilized to characterize glycoproteins. Some of the ongoing studies, where glycoproteins isolated from cerebrospinal fluid and human brain are being characterized in Parkinson's disease at different stages versus controls, are presented, along with future applications of targeted validation of brain specific glycoproteins in body fluids. PMID:19358229

  14. Effects of Ashwagandha (roots of Withania somnifera) on neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Kuboyama, Tomoharu; Tohda, Chihiro; Komatsu, Katsuko

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases commonly induce irreversible destruction of central nervous system (CNS) neuronal networks, resulting in permanent functional impairments. Effective medications against neurodegenerative diseases are currently lacking. Ashwagandha (roots of Withania somnifera Dunal) is used in traditional Indian medicine (Ayurveda) for general debility, consumption, nervous exhaustion, insomnia, and loss of memory. In this review, we summarize various effects and mechanisms of Ashwagandha extracts and related compounds on in vitro and in vivo models of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and spinal cord injury.

  15. Genetics of isolated auditory neuropathies.

    PubMed

    Del Castillo, Francisco J; Del Castillo, Ignacio

    2012-01-01

    Auditory neuropathies are disorders combining absent or abnormal auditory brainstem responses with preserved otoacoustic emissions and/or cochlear microphonics. These features indicate a normal function of cochlear outer hair cells. Thus, the primary lesion might be located in the inner hair cells, in the auditory nerve or in the intervening synapse. Auditory neuropathy is observed in up to 10 percent of deaf infants and children, either as part of some systemic neurodegenerative diseases or as an isolated entity. Research on the genetic causes of isolated auditory neuropathies has been remarkably successful in the last few years. Here we review the current knowledge on the structure, expression and function of the genes and proteins so far known to be involved in these disorders, as well as the clinical features that are associated with mutations in the different genes. This knowledge is permitting to classify isolated auditory neuropathies into etiologically homogeneous types, so providing clues for the better diagnosis, management and therapy of the affected subjects.

  16. Ageing and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Hung, Chia-Wei; Chen, Yu-Chih; Hsieh, Wan-Ling; Chiou, Shih-Hwa; Kao, Chung-Lan

    2010-11-01

    Ageing, which all creatures must encounter, is a challenge to every living organism. In the human body, it is estimated that cell division and metabolism occurs exuberantly until about 25 years of age. Beyond this age, subsidiary products of metabolism and cell damage accumulate, and the phenotypes of ageing appear, causing disease formation. Among these age-related diseases, neurodegenerative diseases have drawn a lot of attention due to their irreversibility, lack of effective treatment, and accompanied social and economical burdens. In seeking to ameliorate ageing and age-related diseases, the search for anti-ageing drugs has been of much interest. Numerous studies have shown that the plant polyphenol, resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene), extends the lifespan of several species, prevents age-related diseases, and possesses anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. The beneficial effects of resveratrol are believed to be associated with the activation of a longevity gene, SirT1. In this review, we discuss the pathogenesis of age-related neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and cerebrovascular disease. The therapeutic potential of resveratrol, diet and the roles of stem cell therapy are discussed to provide a better understanding of the ageing mystery.

  17. Auditory Imagination.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Croft, Martyn

    Auditory imagination is used in this paper to describe a number of issues and activities related to sound and having to do with listening, thinking, recalling, imagining, reshaping, creating, and uttering sounds and words. Examples of auditory imagination in religious and literary works are cited that indicate a belief in an imagined, expected, or…

  18. Auditory neglect.

    PubMed Central

    De Renzi, E; Gentilini, M; Barbieri, C

    1989-01-01

    Auditory neglect was investigated in normal controls and in patients with a recent unilateral hemispheric lesion, by requiring them to detect the interruptions that occurred in one ear in a sound delivered through earphones either mono-aurally or binaurally. Control patients accurately detected interruptions. One left brain damaged (LBD) patient missed only once in the ipsilateral ear while seven of the 30 right brain damaged (RBD) patients missed more than one signal in the monoaural test and nine patients did the same in the binaural test. Omissions were always more marked in the left ear and in the binaural test with a significant ear by test interaction. The lesion of these patients was in the parietal lobe (five patients) and the thalamus (four patients). The relation of auditory neglect to auditory extinction was investigated and found to be equivocal, in that there were seven RBD patients who showed extinction, but not neglect and, more importantly, two patients who exhibited the opposite pattern, thus challenging the view that extinction is a minor form of neglect. Also visual and auditory neglect were not consistently correlated, the former being present in nine RBD patients without auditory neglect and the latter in two RBD patients without visual neglect. The finding that in some RBD patients with auditory neglect omissions also occurred, though with less frequency, in the right ear, points to a right hemisphere participation in the deployment of attention not only to the contralateral, but also to the ipsilateral space. PMID:2732732

  19. The hippocampus in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Moodley, K K; Chan, D

    2014-01-01

    AD is the commonest neurodegenerative disorder resulting ultimately in dementia, a stage during which there is a loss of previously acquired intellectual skill and independent occupational and social function. Neurodegenerative changes within the hippocampus and an extended neuronal network involving the medial temporal and medial parietal lobe result in the archetypal memory impairment seen in Alzheimer's disease (AD). As attention focuses increasingly on early diagnosis and treatment of dementia, this understanding of the hippocampal involvement in AD has helped to develop diagnostic tools for use in early disease. However, hippocampal damage is also a common feature among non-AD neurodegenerative dementias. Neuroimaging techniques, in conjunction with behavioral and pathological techniques, can be used to determine the involvement of the hippocampus in AD and other neurodegenerative diseases.

  20. Proteomics of Human Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jing; Keene, C. Dirk; Pan, Catherine; Montine, Kathleen S.; Montine, Thomas J.

    2009-01-01

    The technology, experimental approaches, and bioinformatics that support proteomic research are evolving rapidly. The application of these new capabilities to the study of neurodegenerative diseases is providing insight into the biochemical pathogenesis of neurodegeneration as well as fueling major efforts in biomarker discovery. Here, we review the fundamentals of commonly used proteomic approaches and the outcomes of these investigations with autopsy and cerebrospinal fluid samples from patients with neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:18800015

  1. Auditory system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ades, H. W.

    1973-01-01

    The physical correlations of hearing, i.e. the acoustic stimuli, are reported. The auditory system, consisting of external ear, middle ear, inner ear, organ of Corti, basilar membrane, hair cells, inner hair cells, outer hair cells, innervation of hair cells, and transducer mechanisms, is discussed. Both conductive and sensorineural hearing losses are also examined.

  2. A generalized time-frequency subtraction method for robust speech enhancement based on wavelet filter banks modeling of human auditory system.

    PubMed

    Shao, Yu; Chang, Chip-Hong

    2007-08-01

    We present a new speech enhancement scheme for a single-microphone system to meet the demand for quality noise reduction algorithms capable of operating at a very low signal-to-noise ratio. A psychoacoustic model is incorporated into the generalized perceptual wavelet denoising method to reduce the residual noise and improve the intelligibility of speech. The proposed method is a generalized time-frequency subtraction algorithm, which advantageously exploits the wavelet multirate signal representation to preserve the critical transient information. Simultaneous masking and temporal masking of the human auditory system are modeled by the perceptual wavelet packet transform via the frequency and temporal localization of speech components. The wavelet coefficients are used to calculate the Bark spreading energy and temporal spreading energy, from which a time-frequency masking threshold is deduced to adaptively adjust the subtraction parameters of the proposed method. An unvoiced speech enhancement algorithm is also integrated into the system to improve the intelligibility of speech. Through rigorous objective and subjective evaluations, it is shown that the proposed speech enhancement system is capable of reducing noise with little speech degradation in adverse noise environments and the overall performance is superior to several competitive methods.

  3. Improving neural decoding in the central auditory system using bio-inspired spectro-temporal representations and a generalized bilinear model.

    PubMed

    Siahpoush, Shadi; Erfani, Yousof; Rode, Thilo; Lim, Hubert H; Rouat, Jean; Plourde, Eric

    2015-01-01

    We study the impact of different encoding models and spectro-temporal representations on the accuracy of Bayesian decoding of neural activity recorded from the central auditory system. Two encoding models, a generalized linear model (GLM) and a generalized bilinear model (GBM), are compared along with three different spectro-temporal representations of the input stimuli: a spectrogram and two bio-inspired representations, i.e. a gammatone filter bank (GFB) and a spikegram. Signal to noise ratios between the reconstructed and original representations are used to evaluate the decoding, or reconstruction accuracy. We experimentally show that the reconstruction accuracy is best with the spikegram representation and worst with the spectrogram representation and, furthermore, that using a GBM instead of a GLM significantly increases the reconstruction accuracy. In fact, our results show that the spikegram reconstruction accuracy with a GBM fitting yields an SNR that is 3.3 dB better than when using the standard decoding approach of reconstructing a spectrogram with GLM fitting.

  4. Incidental Auditory Category Learning

    PubMed Central

    Gabay, Yafit; Dick, Frederic K.; Zevin, Jason D.; Holt, Lori L.

    2015-01-01

    Very little is known about how auditory categories are learned incidentally, without instructions to search for category-diagnostic dimensions, overt category decisions, or experimenter-provided feedback. This is an important gap because learning in the natural environment does not arise from explicit feedback and there is evidence that the learning systems engaged by traditional tasks are distinct from those recruited by incidental category learning. We examined incidental auditory category learning with a novel paradigm, the Systematic Multimodal Associations Reaction Time (SMART) task, in which participants rapidly detect and report the appearance of a visual target in one of four possible screen locations. Although the overt task is rapid visual detection, a brief sequence of sounds precedes each visual target. These sounds are drawn from one of four distinct sound categories that predict the location of the upcoming visual target. These many-to-one auditory-to-visuomotor correspondences support incidental auditory category learning. Participants incidentally learn categories of complex acoustic exemplars and generalize this learning to novel exemplars and tasks. Further, learning is facilitated when category exemplar variability is more tightly coupled to the visuomotor associations than when the same stimulus variability is experienced across trials. We relate these findings to phonetic category learning. PMID:26010588

  5. Bile Acids in Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Ackerman, Hayley D.; Gerhard, Glenn S.

    2016-01-01

    Bile acids, a structurally related group of molecules derived from cholesterol, have a long history as therapeutic agents in medicine, from treatment for primarily ocular diseases in ancient Chinese medicine to modern day use as approved drugs for certain liver diseases. Despite evidence supporting a neuroprotective role in a diverse spectrum of age-related neurodegenerative disorders, including several small pilot clinical trials, little is known about their molecular mechanisms or their physiological roles in the nervous system. We review the data reported for their use as treatments for neurodegenerative diseases and their underlying molecular basis. While data from cellular and animal models and clinical trials support potential efficacy to treat a variety of neurodegenerative disorders, the relevant bile acids, their origin, and the precise molecular mechanism(s) by which they confer neuroprotection are not known delaying translation to the clinical setting. PMID:27920719

  6. Primary Auditory Cortex Regulates Threat Memory Specificity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wigestrand, Mattis B.; Schiff, Hillary C.; Fyhn, Marianne; LeDoux, Joseph E.; Sears, Robert M.

    2017-01-01

    Distinguishing threatening from nonthreatening stimuli is essential for survival and stimulus generalization is a hallmark of anxiety disorders. While auditory threat learning produces long-lasting plasticity in primary auditory cortex (Au1), it is not clear whether such Au1 plasticity regulates memory specificity or generalization. We used…

  7. Auditory Dysfunction in Patients with Cerebrovascular Disease

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Auditory dysfunction is a common clinical symptom that can induce profound effects on the quality of life of those affected. Cerebrovascular disease (CVD) is the most prevalent neurological disorder today, but it has generally been considered a rare cause of auditory dysfunction. However, a substantial proportion of patients with stroke might have auditory dysfunction that has been underestimated due to difficulties with evaluation. The present study reviews relationships between auditory dysfunction and types of CVD including cerebral infarction, intracerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, cerebrovascular malformation, moyamoya disease, and superficial siderosis. Recent advances in the etiology, anatomy, and strategies to diagnose and treat these conditions are described. The numbers of patients with CVD accompanied by auditory dysfunction will increase as the population ages. Cerebrovascular diseases often include the auditory system, resulting in various types of auditory dysfunctions, such as unilateral or bilateral deafness, cortical deafness, pure word deafness, auditory agnosia, and auditory hallucinations, some of which are subtle and can only be detected by precise psychoacoustic and electrophysiological testing. The contribution of CVD to auditory dysfunction needs to be understood because CVD can be fatal if overlooked. PMID:25401133

  8. Auditory sequence analysis and phonological skill

    PubMed Central

    Grube, Manon; Kumar, Sukhbinder; Cooper, Freya E.; Turton, Stuart; Griffiths, Timothy D.

    2012-01-01

    This work tests the relationship between auditory and phonological skill in a non-selected cohort of 238 school students (age 11) with the specific hypothesis that sound-sequence analysis would be more relevant to phonological skill than the analysis of basic, single sounds. Auditory processing was assessed across the domains of pitch, time and timbre; a combination of six standard tests of literacy and language ability was used to assess phonological skill. A significant correlation between general auditory and phonological skill was demonstrated, plus a significant, specific correlation between measures of phonological skill and the auditory analysis of short sequences in pitch and time. The data support a limited but significant link between auditory and phonological ability with a specific role for sound-sequence analysis, and provide a possible new focus for auditory training strategies to aid language development in early adolescence. PMID:22951739

  9. Molecular diagnostics of neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Megha; Biswas, Abhijit

    2015-01-01

    Molecular diagnostics provide a powerful method to detect and diagnose various neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The confirmation of such diagnosis allows early detection and subsequent medical counseling that help specific patients to undergo clinically important drug trials. This provides a medical pathway to have better insight of neurogenesis and eventual cure of the neurodegenerative diseases. In this short review, we present recent advances in molecular diagnostics especially biomarkers and imaging spectroscopy for neurological diseases. We describe advances made in Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Huntington's disease (HD), and finally present a perspective on the future directions to provide a framework for further developments and refinements of molecular diagnostics to combat neurodegenerative disorders.

  10. Omental transplantation for neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Rafael, Hernando

    2014-01-01

    Up to date, almost all researchers consider that there is still no effective therapy for neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) and therefore, these diseases are incurable. However, since May 1998, we know that a progressive ischemia in the medial temporal lobes and subcommissural regions can cause Alzheimer’s disease; because, in contrast to this, its revascularization by means of omental tissue can cure or improve this disease. Likewise we observed that the aging process, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; all of them are of ischemic origin caused by cerebral atherosclerosis, associated with vascular anomalies and/or environmental chemicals. On the contrary, an omental transplantation on the affected zone can stop and improve these diseases. For these reasons, I believe that NDDs, are wrongly classified as neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:25232510

  11. Metal imaging in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bourassa, Megan W.

    2014-01-01

    Metal ions are known to play an important role in many neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and prion diseases. In these diseases, aberrant metal binding or improper regulation of redox active metal ions can induce oxidative stress by producing cytotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS). Altered metal homeostasis is also frequently seen in the diseased state. As a result, the imaging of metals in intact biological cells and tissues has been very important for understanding the role of metals in neurodegenerative diseases. A wide range of imaging techniques have been utilized, including X-ray fluorescence microscopy (XFM), particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), all of which allow for the imaging of metals in biological specimens with high spatial resolution and detection sensitivity. These techniques represent unique tools for advancing the understanding of the disease mechanisms and for identifying possible targets for developing treatments. In this review, we will highlight the advances in neurodegenerative disease research facilitated by metal imaging techniques. PMID:22797194

  12. The Use of Decoy Sentences to Measure Auditory Training Gains.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mapes, Frances M.; Moreau, Roberta

    1980-01-01

    To investigate students' ability to generalize auditory skills, precourse to postcourse measures were compared for an auditory training group (N=42) and a control group (N=7) on three auditory discimination measures: (1) the training sentences, (2) related but nontrained sentences (decoy sentences), and (3) a modified rhyme test. (Author/PHR)

  13. Autophagy, inflammation and neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Alirezaei, Mehrdad; Kemball, Christopher C.; Whitton, J. Lindsay

    2010-01-01

    Autophagy is emerging as a central regulator of cellular health and disease and, in the central nervous system (CNS), this homeostatic process appears to influence synaptic growth and plasticity. Herein, we review the evidence that dysregulation of autophagy may contribute to several neurodegenerative diseases of the CNS. Up-regulation of autophagy may prevent, delay or ameliorate at least some of these disorders, and – based on recent findings from our laboratory – we speculate that this goal may be achieved using a safe, simple, and inexpensive approach. PMID:21138487

  14. Ubiquitin pathways in neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Atkin, Graham; Paulson, Henry

    2014-01-01

    Control of proper protein synthesis, function, and turnover is essential for the health of all cells. In neurons these demands take on the additional importance of supporting and regulating the highly dynamic connections between neurons that are necessary for cognitive function, learning, and memory. Regulating multiple unique synaptic protein environments within a single neuron while maintaining cell health requires the highly regulated processes of ubiquitination and degradation of ubiquitinated proteins through the proteasome. In this review, we examine the effects of dysregulated ubiquitination and protein clearance on the handling of disease-associated proteins and neuronal health in the most common neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25071440

  15. Genetic variants associated with neurodegenerative Alzheimer disease in natural models.

    PubMed

    Salazar, Claudia; Valdivia, Gonzalo; Ardiles, Álvaro O; Ewer, John; Palacios, Adrián G

    2016-02-26

    The use of transgenic models for the study of neurodegenerative diseases has made valuable contributions to the field. However, some important limitations, including protein overexpression and general systemic compensation for the missing genes, has caused researchers to seek natural models that show the main biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases during aging. Here we review some of these models-most of them rodents, focusing especially on the genetic variations in biomarkers for Alzheimer diseases, in order to explain their relationships with variants associated with the occurrence of the disease in humans.

  16. Parkin Regulation and Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Cheng-Wu; Hang, Liting; Yao, Tso-Pang; Lim, Kah-Leong

    2016-01-01

    Parkin is a unique, multifunctional ubiquitin ligase whose various roles in the cell, particularly in neurons, are widely thought to be protective. The pivotal role that Parkin plays in maintaining neuronal survival is underscored by our current recognition that Parkin dysfunction represents not only a predominant cause of familial parkinsonism but also a formal risk factor for the more common, sporadic form of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Accordingly, keen research on Parkin over the past decade has led to an explosion of knowledge regarding its physiological roles and its relevance to PD. However, our understanding of Parkin is far from being complete. Indeed, surprises emerge from time to time that compel us to constantly update the paradigm of Parkin function. For example, we now know that Parkin’s function is not confined to mere housekeeping protein quality control (QC) roles but also includes mitochondrial homeostasis and stress-related signaling. Furthermore, emerging evidence also suggest a role for Parkin in several other major neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Yet, it remains truly amazing to note that a single enzyme could serve such multitude of functions and cellular roles. Clearly, its activity has to be tightly regulated. In this review, we shall discuss this and how dysregulated Parkin function may precipitate neuronal demise in various neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:26793099

  17. Oxidative Stress and Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jie; O, Wuliji; Li, Wei; Jiang, Zhi-Gang; Ghanbari, Hossein A.

    2013-01-01

    Living cells continually generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) through the respiratory chain during energetic metabolism. ROS at low or moderate concentration can play important physiological roles. However, an excessive amount of ROS under oxidative stress would be extremely deleterious. The central nervous system (CNS) is particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress due to its high oxygen consumption, weakly antioxidative systems and the terminal-differentiation characteristic of neurons. Thus, oxidative stress elicits various neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, chemotherapy could result in severe side effects on the CNS and peripheral nervous system (PNS) of cancer patients, and a growing body of evidence demonstrates the involvement of ROS in drug-induced neurotoxicities as well. Therefore, development of antioxidants as neuroprotective drugs is a potentially beneficial strategy for clinical therapy. In this review, we summarize the source, balance maintenance and physiologic functions of ROS, oxidative stress and its toxic mechanisms underlying a number of neurodegenerative diseases, and the possible involvement of ROS in chemotherapy-induced toxicity to the CNS and PNS. We ultimately assess the value for antioxidants as neuroprotective drugs and provide our comments on the unmet needs. PMID:24351827

  18. Tsallis statistics and neurodegenerative disorders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iliopoulos, Aggelos C.; Tsolaki, Magdalini; Aifantis, Elias C.

    2016-08-01

    In this paper, we perform statistical analysis of time series deriving from four neurodegenerative disorders, namely epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD). The time series are concerned with electroencephalograms (EEGs) of healthy and epileptic states, as well as gait dynamics (in particular stride intervals) of the ALS, PD and HDs. We study data concerning one subject for each neurodegenerative disorder and one healthy control. The analysis is based on Tsallis non-extensive statistical mechanics and in particular on the estimation of Tsallis q-triplet, namely {qstat, qsen, qrel}. The deviation of Tsallis q-triplet from unity indicates non-Gaussian statistics and long-range dependencies for all time series considered. In addition, the results reveal the efficiency of Tsallis statistics in capturing differences in brain dynamics between healthy and epileptic states, as well as differences between ALS, PD, HDs from healthy control subjects. The results indicate that estimations of Tsallis q-indices could be used as possible biomarkers, along with others, for improving classification and prediction of epileptic seizures, as well as for studying the gait complex dynamics of various diseases providing new insights into severity, medications and fall risk, improving therapeutic interventions.

  19. Chameleon sequences in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Bahramali, Golnaz; Goliaei, Bahram; Minuchehr, Zarrin; Salari, Ali

    2016-03-25

    Chameleon sequences can adopt either alpha helix sheet or a coil conformation. Defining chameleon sequences in PDB (Protein Data Bank) may yield to an insight on defining peptides and proteins responsible in neurodegeneration. In this research, we benefitted from the large PDB and performed a sequence analysis on Chameleons, where we developed an algorithm to extract peptide segments with identical sequences, but different structures. In order to find new chameleon sequences, we extracted a set of 8315 non-redundant protein sequences from the PDB with an identity less than 25%. Our data was classified to "helix to strand (HE)", "helix to coil (HC)" and "strand to coil (CE)" alterations. We also analyzed the occurrence of singlet and doublet amino acids and the solvent accessibility in the chameleon sequences; we then sorted out the proteins with the most number of chameleon sequences and named them Chameleon Flexible Proteins (CFPs) in our dataset. Our data revealed that Gly, Val, Ile, Tyr and Phe, are the major amino acids in Chameleons. We also found that there are proteins such as Insulin Degrading Enzyme IDE and GTP-binding nuclear protein Ran (RAN) with the most number of chameleons (640 and 405 respectively). These proteins have known roles in neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore it can be inferred that other CFP's can serve as key proteins in neurodegeneration, and a study on them can shed light on curing and preventing neurodegenerative diseases.

  20. 19 CFR 10.121 - Visual or auditory materials of an educational, scientific, or cultural character.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Visual or auditory materials of an educational... RATE, ETC. General Provisions Visual Or Auditory Materials § 10.121 Visual or auditory materials of an... the articles are visual or auditory materials of an educational, scientific, or cultural...

  1. Speech perception as complex auditory categorization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, Lori L.

    2002-05-01

    Despite a long and rich history of categorization research in cognitive psychology, very little work has addressed the issue of complex auditory category formation. This is especially unfortunate because the general underlying cognitive and perceptual mechanisms that guide auditory category formation are of great importance to understanding speech perception. I will discuss a new methodological approach to examining complex auditory category formation that specifically addresses issues relevant to speech perception. This approach utilizes novel nonspeech sound stimuli to gain full experimental control over listeners' history of experience. As such, the course of learning is readily measurable. Results from this methodology indicate that the structure and formation of auditory categories are a function of the statistical input distributions of sound that listeners hear, aspects of the operating characteristics of the auditory system, and characteristics of the perceptual categorization system. These results have important implications for phonetic acquisition and speech perception.

  2. Estradiol and neurodegenerative oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Nilsen, Jon

    2008-10-01

    Estradiol is a potent preventative against neurodegenerative disease, in part, by activating antioxidant defense systems scavenging reactive oxygen species, limiting mitochondrial protein damage, improving electron transport chain activity and reducing mitochondrial DNA damage. Estradiol also increases the activity of complex IV of the electron transport chain, improving mitochondrial respiration and ATP production under normal and stressful conditions. However, the high oxidative cellular environment present during neurodegeneration makes estradiol a poor agent for treatment of existing disease. Oxidative stress stimulates the production of the hydroperoxide-dependent hydroxylation of estradiol to the catecholestrogen metabolites, which can undergo reactive oxygen species producing redox cycling, setting up a self-generating toxic cascade offsetting any antioxidant/antiapoptotic effects generated by the parent estradiol. Additional disease-induced factors can further perpetuate this cycle. For example dysregulation of the catecholamine system could alter catechol-O-methyltransferase-catalyzed methylation, preventing removal of redox cycling catecholestrogens from the system enhancing pro-oxidant effects of estradiol.

  3. Neurodegenerative disorders and metabolic disease.

    PubMed

    Pierre, Germaine

    2013-08-01

    Most genetic causes of neurodegenerative disorders in childhood are due to neurometabolic disease. There are over 200 disorders, including aminoacidopathies, creatine disorders, mitochondrial cytopathies, peroxisomal disorders and lysosomal storage disorders. However, diagnosis can pose a challenge to the clinician when patients present with non-specific problems like epilepsy, developmental delay, autism, dystonia and ataxia. The variety of specialist tests involved can also be daunting. This review aims to give a practical approach to the investigation and diagnosis of neurometabolic disease from the neonatal period to late childhood while prioritising disorders where there are therapeutic options. In particular, patients who have a complex clinical picture of several neurological and non-neurological features should be investigated.

  4. Neurodegenerative diseases and oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Emerit, J; Edeas, M; Bricaire, F

    2004-01-01

    Oxidative stress is now recognized as accountable for redox regulation involving reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS). Its role is pivotal for the modulation of critical cellular functions, notably for neurons astrocytes and microglia, such as apoptosis program activation, and ion transport, calcium mobilization, involved in excitotoxicity. Excitotoxicity and apoptosis are the two main causes of neuronal death. The role of mitochondria in apoptosis is crucial. Multiple apoptotic pathways emanate from the mitochondria. The respiratory chain of mitochondria that by oxidative phosphorylation, is the fount of cellular energy, i.e. ATP synthesis, is responsible for most of ROS and notably the first produced, superoxide anion (O(2)(;-)). Mitochondrial dysfunction, i.e. cell energy impairment, apoptosis and overproduction of ROS, is a final common pathogenic mechanism in aging and in neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Nitric oxide (NO(;)), an RNS, which can be produced by three isoforms of NO-synthase in brain, plays a prominent role. The research on the genetics of inherited forms notably ALS, AD, PD, has improved our understanding of the pathobiology of the sporadic forms of neurodegenerative diseases or of aging of the brain. ROS and RNS, i.e. oxidative stress, are not the origin of neuronal death. The cascade of events that leads to neurons, death is complex. In addition to mitochondrial dysfunction (apoptosis), excitotoxicity, oxidative stress (inflammation), the mechanisms from gene to disease involve also protein misfolding leading to aggregates and proteasome dysfunction on ubiquinited material.

  5. Functional neuroanatomy of auditory scene analysis in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Golden, Hannah L; Agustus, Jennifer L; Goll, Johanna C; Downey, Laura E; Mummery, Catherine J; Schott, Jonathan M; Crutch, Sebastian J; Warren, Jason D

    2015-01-01

    Auditory scene analysis is a demanding computational process that is performed automatically and efficiently by the healthy brain but vulnerable to the neurodegenerative pathology of Alzheimer's disease. Here we assessed the functional neuroanatomy of auditory scene analysis in Alzheimer's disease using the well-known 'cocktail party effect' as a model paradigm whereby stored templates for auditory objects (e.g., hearing one's spoken name) are used to segregate auditory 'foreground' and 'background'. Patients with typical amnestic Alzheimer's disease (n = 13) and age-matched healthy individuals (n = 17) underwent functional 3T-MRI using a sparse acquisition protocol with passive listening to auditory stimulus conditions comprising the participant's own name interleaved with or superimposed on multi-talker babble, and spectrally rotated (unrecognisable) analogues of these conditions. Name identification (conditions containing the participant's own name contrasted with spectrally rotated analogues) produced extensive bilateral activation involving superior temporal cortex in both the AD and healthy control groups, with no significant differences between groups. Auditory object segregation (conditions with interleaved name sounds contrasted with superimposed name sounds) produced activation of right posterior superior temporal cortex in both groups, again with no differences between groups. However, the cocktail party effect (interaction of own name identification with auditory object segregation processing) produced activation of right supramarginal gyrus in the AD group that was significantly enhanced compared with the healthy control group. The findings delineate an altered functional neuroanatomical profile of auditory scene analysis in Alzheimer's disease that may constitute a novel computational signature of this neurodegenerative pathology.

  6. Auditory Imagery: Empirical Findings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hubbard, Timothy L.

    2010-01-01

    The empirical literature on auditory imagery is reviewed. Data on (a) imagery for auditory features (pitch, timbre, loudness), (b) imagery for complex nonverbal auditory stimuli (musical contour, melody, harmony, tempo, notational audiation, environmental sounds), (c) imagery for verbal stimuli (speech, text, in dreams, interior monologue), (d)…

  7. Auditory Training for Central Auditory Processing Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Weihing, Jeffrey; Chermak, Gail D.; Musiek, Frank E.

    2015-01-01

    Auditory training (AT) is an important component of rehabilitation for patients with central auditory processing disorder (CAPD). The present article identifies and describes aspects of AT as they relate to applications in this population. A description of the types of auditory processes along with information on relevant AT protocols that can be used to address these specific deficits is included. Characteristics and principles of effective AT procedures also are detailed in light of research that reflects on their value. Finally, research investigating AT in populations who show CAPD or present with auditory complaints is reported. Although efficacy data in this area are still emerging, current findings support the use of AT for treatment of auditory difficulties. PMID:27587909

  8. Auditory Risk of Air Rifles

    PubMed Central

    Lankford, James E.; Meinke, Deanna K.; Flamme, Gregory A.; Finan, Donald S.; Stewart, Michael; Tasko, Stephen; Murphy, William J.

    2016-01-01

    Objective To characterize the impulse noise exposure and auditory risk for air rifle users for both youth and adults. Design Acoustic characteristics were examined and the auditory risk estimates were evaluated using contemporary damage-risk criteria for unprotected adult listeners and the 120-dB peak limit and LAeq75 exposure limit suggested by the World Health Organization (1999) for children. Study sample Impulses were generated by 9 pellet air rifles and 1 BB air rifle. Results None of the air rifles generated peak levels that exceeded the 140 dB peak limit for adults and 8 (80%) exceeded the 120 dB peak SPL limit for youth. In general, for both adults and youth there is minimal auditory risk when shooting less than 100 unprotected shots with pellet air rifles. Air rifles with suppressors were less hazardous than those without suppressors and the pellet air rifles with higher velocities were generally more hazardous than those with lower velocities. Conclusion To minimize auditory risk, youth should utilize air rifles with an integrated suppressor and lower velocity ratings. Air rifle shooters are advised to wear hearing protection whenever engaging in shooting activities in order to gain self-efficacy and model appropriate hearing health behaviors necessary for recreational firearm use. PMID:26840923

  9. Stem cell technology for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Lunn, J Simon; Sakowski, Stacey A; Hur, Junguk; Feldman, Eva L

    2011-09-01

    Over the past 20 years, stem cell technologies have become an increasingly attractive option to investigate and treat neurodegenerative diseases. In the current review, we discuss the process of extending basic stem cell research into translational therapies for patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. We begin with a discussion of the burden of these diseases on society, emphasizing the need for increased attention toward advancing stem cell therapies. We then explain the various types of stem cells utilized in neurodegenerative disease research, and outline important issues to consider in the transition of stem cell therapy from bench to bedside. Finally, we detail the current progress regarding the applications of stem cell therapies to specific neurodegenerative diseases, focusing on Parkinson disease, Huntington disease, Alzheimer disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and spinal muscular atrophy. With a greater understanding of the capacity of stem cell technologies, there is growing public hope that stem cell therapies will continue to progress into realistic and efficacious treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.

  10. Uncommon neurodegenerative causes of dementia.

    PubMed

    Kurz, Alexander F

    2005-01-01

    A group of neurodegenerative diseases is outlined that affect cortical and subcortical areas of the brain. These diseases give rise to atypical forms of dementia and, unlike Alzheimer's disease (AD), are often associated with neurological symptoms. Clinical symptoms reflect the localization of the degenerative process rather than the nature of the underlying histopathology. Degeneration of the frontal and anterior temporal lobe presents initially with behavioral alterations, but later in the course, impairment of cognition and activities of daily living develops. Posterior cortical atrophy affects the parietal and occipital association cortices and causes complex visual disturbances. In corticobasal degeneration (CBD) the focus of pathology includes the frontoparietal cortex and several subcortical nuclei, causing symmetrical rigidity, bradykinesia, myoclonus and dystonia. Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) involves the frontal, temporal and parietal cortex as well as parts of the brain stem. Clinical features include a hypokinetic rigid syndrome with nuchal dystonia and vertical gaze palsy. Huntington's disease is a prototypical autosomal dominant disorder that affects the extrapyramidal system and causes choreatic movements in combination with personality changes and cognitive deterioration. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with dementia is a neurodegeneration of the frontotemporal cortex and of the anterior horn of the spinal cord. Behavioral change similar to frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is paralleled or followed by the classic features of motor neuron disease.

  11. Amyloidosis in Retinal Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Masuzzo, Ambra; Dinet, Virginie; Cavanagh, Chelsea; Mascarelli, Frederic; Krantic, Slavica

    2016-01-01

    As a part of the central nervous system, the retina may reflect both physiological processes and abnormalities related to pathologies that affect the brain. Amyloidosis due to the accumulation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) was initially regarded as a specific and exclusive characteristic of neurodegenerative alterations seen in the brain of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. More recently, it was discovered that amyloidosis-related alterations, similar to those seen in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients, also occur in the retina. Remarkably, these alterations were identified not only in primary retinal pathologies, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma, but also in the retinas of Alzheimer’s patients. In this review, we first briefly discuss the biogenesis of Aβ, a peptide involved in amyloidosis. We then discuss some pathological aspects (synaptic dysfunction, mitochondrial failure, glial activation, and vascular abnormalities) related to the neurotoxic effects of Aβ. We finally highlight common features shared by AD, AMD, and glaucoma in the context of Aβ amyloidosis and further discuss why the retina, due to the transparency of the eye, can be considered as a “window” to the brain. PMID:27551275

  12. Nanobiomaterials' applications in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Silva Adaya, Daniela; Aguirre-Cruz, Lucinda; Guevara, Jorge; Ortiz-Islas, Emma

    2017-02-01

    The blood-brain barrier is the interface between the blood and brain, impeding the passage of most circulating cells and molecules, protecting the latter from foreign substances, and maintaining central nervous system homeostasis. However, its restrictive nature constitutes an obstacle, preventing therapeutic drugs from entering the brain. Usually, a large systemic dose is required to achieve pharmacological therapeutic levels in the brain, leading to adverse effects in the body. As a consequence, various strategies are being developed to enhance the amount and concentration of therapeutic compounds in the brain. One such tool is nanotechnology, in which nanostructures that are 1-100 nm are designed to deliver drugs to the brain. In this review, we examine many nanotechnology-based approaches to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The review begins with a brief history of nanotechnology, followed by a discussion of its definition, the properties of most reported nanomaterials, their biocompatibility, the mechanisms of cell-material interactions, and the current status of nanotechnology in treating Alzheimer's, Parkinson's diseases, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Of all strategies to deliver drug to the brain that are used in nanotechnology, drug release systems are the most frequently reported.

  13. Neuronal Mitophagy in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Martinez-Vicente, Marta

    2017-01-01

    Neuronal homeostasis depends on the proper functioning of different quality control systems. All intracellular components are subjected to continuous turnover through the coordinated synthesis, degradation and recycling of their constituent elements. Autophagy is the catabolic mechanism by which intracellular cytosolic components, including proteins, organelles, aggregates and any other intracellular materials, are delivered to lysosomes for degradation. Among the different types of selective autophagy described to date, the process of mitophagy involves the selective autophagic degradation of mitochondria. In this way, mitophagy is responsible for basal mitochondrial turnover, but can also be induced under certain physiological or pathogenic conditions to eliminate unwanted or damaged mitochondria. Dysfunctional cellular proteolytic systems have been linked extensively to neurodegenerative diseases (ND) like Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), or Huntington’s disease (HD), with autophagic failure being one of the main factors contributing to neuronal cell death in these diseases. Neurons are particularly vulnerable to autophagic impairment as well as to mitochondrial dysfunction, due mostly to their particular high energy dependence and to their post-mitotic nature. The accurate and proper degradation of dysfunctional mitochondria by mitophagy is essential for maintaining control over mitochondrial quality and quantity in neurons. In this report, I will review the role of mitophagy in neuronal homeostasis and the consequences of its dysfunction in ND. PMID:28337125

  14. Zinc homeostasis and neurodegenerative disorders

    PubMed Central

    Szewczyk, Bernadeta

    2013-01-01

    Zinc is an essential trace element, whose importance to the function of the central nervous system (CNS) is increasingly being appreciated. Alterations in zinc dyshomeostasis has been suggested as a key factor in the development of several neuropsychiatric disorders. In the CNS, zinc occurs in two forms: the first being tightly bound to proteins and, secondly, the free, cytoplasmic, or extracellular form found in presynaptic vesicles. Under normal conditions, zinc released from the synaptic vesicles modulates both ionotropic and metabotropic post-synaptic receptors. While under clinical conditions such as traumatic brain injury, stroke or epilepsy, the excess influx of zinc into neurons has been found to result in neurotoxicity and damage to postsynaptic neurons. On the other hand, a growing body of evidence suggests that a deficiency, rather than an excess, of zinc leads to an increased risk for the development of neurological disorders. Indeed, zinc deficiency has been shown to affect neurogenesis and increase neuronal apoptosis, which can lead to learning and memory deficits. Altered zinc homeostasis is also suggested as a risk factor for depression, Alzheimer's disease (AD), aging, and other neurodegenerative disorders. Under normal CNS physiology, homeostatic controls are put in place to avoid the accumulation of excess zinc or its deficiency. This cellular zinc homeostasis results from the actions of a coordinated regulation effected by different proteins involved in the uptake, excretion and intracellular storage/trafficking of zinc. These proteins include membranous transporters (ZnT and Zip) and metallothioneins (MT) which control intracellular zinc levels. Interestingly, alterations in ZnT and MT have been recently reported in both aging and AD. This paper provides an overview of both clinical and experimental evidence that implicates a dysfunction in zinc homeostasis in the pathophysiology of depression, AD, and aging. PMID:23882214

  15. Sound naming in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Chow, Maggie L; Brambati, Simona M; Gorno-Tempini, Maria Luisa; Miller, Bruce L; Johnson, Julene K

    2010-04-01

    Modern cognitive neuroscientific theories and empirical evidence suggest that brain structures involved in movement may be related to action-related semantic knowledge. To test this hypothesis, we examined the naming of environmental sounds in patients with corticobasal degeneration (CBD) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), two neurodegenerative diseases associated with cognitive and motor deficits. Subjects were presented with 56 environmental sounds: 28 sounds were of objects that required manipulation when producing the sound, and 28 sounds were of objects that required no manipulation. Subjects were asked to provide the name of the object that produced the sound and also complete a sound-picture matching condition. Subjects included 33 individuals from four groups: CBD/PSP, Alzheimer disease, frontotemporal dementia, and normal controls. We hypothesized that CBD/PSP patients would exhibit impaired naming performance compared with controls, but the impairment would be most apparent when naming sounds associated with actions. We also explored neural correlates of naming environmental sounds using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) of brain MRI. As expected, CBD/PSP patients scored lower on environmental sounds naming (p<0.007) compared with the controls. In particular, the CBD/PSP patients scored the lowest when naming sounds of manipulable objects (p<0.05), but did not show deficits in naming sounds of non-manipulable objects. VBM analysis across all groups showed that performance in naming sounds of manipulable objects correlated with atrophy in the left pre-motor region, extending from area six to the middle and superior frontal gyrus. These results indicate an association between impairment in the retrieval of action-related names and the motor system, and suggest that difficulty in naming manipulable sounds may be related to atrophy in the pre-motor cortex. Our results support the hypothesis that retrieval of action-related semantic knowledge involves motor

  16. Auditory spatial attention representations in the human cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Kong, Lingqiang; Michalka, Samantha W; Rosen, Maya L; Sheremata, Summer L; Swisher, Jascha D; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G; Somers, David C

    2014-03-01

    Auditory spatial attention serves important functions in auditory source separation and selection. Although auditory spatial attention mechanisms have been generally investigated, the neural substrates encoding spatial information acted on by attention have not been identified in the human neocortex. We performed functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments to identify cortical regions that support auditory spatial attention and to test 2 hypotheses regarding the coding of auditory spatial attention: 1) auditory spatial attention might recruit the visuospatial maps of the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) to create multimodal spatial attention maps; 2) auditory spatial information might be encoded without explicit cortical maps. We mapped visuotopic IPS regions in individual subjects and measured auditory spatial attention effects within these regions of interest. Contrary to the multimodal map hypothesis, we observed that auditory spatial attentional modulations spared the visuotopic maps of IPS; the parietal regions activated by auditory attention lacked map structure. However, multivoxel pattern analysis revealed that the superior temporal gyrus and the supramarginal gyrus contained significant information about the direction of spatial attention. These findings support the hypothesis that auditory spatial information is coded without a cortical map representation. Our findings suggest that audiospatial and visuospatial attention utilize distinctly different spatial coding schemes.

  17. Auditory memory distortion for spoken prose.

    PubMed

    Hutchison, Joanna L; Hubbard, Timothy L; Ferrandino, Blaise; Brigante, Ryan; Wright, Jamie M; Rypma, Bart

    2012-11-01

    Observers often remember a scene as containing information that was not presented but that would have likely been located just beyond the observed boundaries of the scene. This effect is called boundary extension (BE; e.g., Intraub & Richardson, 1989). Previous studies have observed BE in memory for visual and haptic stimuli, and the present experiments examined whether BE occurred in memory for auditory stimuli (prose, music). Experiments 1 and 2 varied the amount of auditory content to be remembered. BE was not observed, but when auditory targets contained more content, boundary restriction (BR) occurred. Experiment 3 presented auditory stimuli with less content and BR also occurred. In Experiment 4, white noise was added to stimuli with less content to equalize the durations of auditory stimuli, and BR still occurred. Experiments 5 and 6 presented trained stories and popular music, and BR still occurred. This latter finding ruled out the hypothesis that the lack of BE in Experiments 1-4 reflected a lack of familiarity with the stimuli. Overall, memory for auditory content exhibited BR rather than BE, and this pattern was stronger if auditory stimuli contained more content. Implications for the understanding of general perceptual processing and directions for future research are discussed.

  18. Auditory Memory Distortion for Spoken Prose

    PubMed Central

    Hutchison, Joanna L.; Hubbard, Timothy L.; Ferrandino, Blaise; Brigante, Ryan; Wright, Jamie M.; Rypma, Bart

    2013-01-01

    Observers often remember a scene as containing information that was not presented but that would have likely been located just beyond the observed boundaries of the scene. This effect is called boundary extension (BE; e.g., Intraub & Richardson, 1989). Previous studies have observed BE in memory for visual and haptic stimuli, and the present experiments examined whether BE occurred in memory for auditory stimuli (prose, music). Experiments 1 and 2 varied the amount of auditory content to be remembered. BE was not observed, but when auditory targets contained more content, boundary restriction (BR) occurred. Experiment 3 presented auditory stimuli with less content and BR also occurred. In Experiment 4, white noise was added to stimuli with less content to equalize the durations of auditory stimuli, and BR still occurred. Experiments 5 and 6 presented trained stories and popular music, and BR still occurred. This latter finding ruled out the hypothesis that the lack of BE in Experiments 1–4 reflected a lack of familiarity with the stimuli. Overall, memory for auditory content exhibited BR rather than BE, and this pattern was stronger if auditory stimuli contained more content. Implications for the understanding of general perceptual processing and directions for future research are discussed. PMID:22612172

  19. Perception of Complex Auditory Patterns.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-11-02

    AD-M196 218 PERCEPTION OF COMLEX AUDITORY PRTTERNS(U) INDIANA UNIV 1/11 AT BLOOMINGTON HEARING AND COMUNUICATION LAS C S MATSON 02 NOV 8? RFOSR-TR-87... Computer Assisted Detection Using basic concepts of statistical decision theory a Contigent Criterion Model has been developed to predict optimal... computer terminals, where they are given one-key control over the presence or absence of each of : e the components of a tonal pattern (generally 10

  20. Neuroimaging Biomarkers of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Dementia

    PubMed Central

    Risacher, Shannon L.; Saykin, Andrew J.

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders leading to dementia are common diseases that affect many older and some young adults. Neuroimaging methods are important tools for assessing and monitoring pathological brain changes associated with progressive neurodegenerative conditions. In this review, the authors describe key findings from neuroimaging studies (magnetic resonance imaging and radionucleotide imaging) in neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and prodromal stages, familial and atypical AD syndromes, frontotemporal dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with and without dementia, Parkinson’s disease with and without dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder, and prion protein associated diseases (i.e., Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease). The authors focus on neuroimaging findings of in vivo pathology in these disorders, as well as the potential for neuroimaging to provide useful information for differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:24234359

  1. Transient human auditory cortex activation during volitional attention shifting

    PubMed Central

    Uhlig, Christian Harm; Gutschalk, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    While strong activation of auditory cortex is generally found for exogenous orienting of attention, endogenous, intra-modal shifting of auditory attention has not yet been demonstrated to evoke transient activation of the auditory cortex. Here, we used fMRI to test if endogenous shifting of attention is also associated with transient activation of the auditory cortex. In contrast to previous studies, attention shifts were completely self-initiated and not cued by transient auditory or visual stimuli. Stimuli were two dichotic, continuous streams of tones, whose perceptual grouping was not ambiguous. Participants were instructed to continuously focus on one of the streams and switch between the two after a while, indicating the time and direction of each attentional shift by pressing one of two response buttons. The BOLD response around the time of the button presses revealed robust activation of the auditory cortex, along with activation of a distributed task network. To test if the transient auditory cortex activation was specifically related to auditory orienting, a self-paced motor task was added, where participants were instructed to ignore the auditory stimulation while they pressed the response buttons in alternation and at a similar pace. Results showed that attentional orienting produced stronger activity in auditory cortex, but auditory cortex activation was also observed for button presses without focused attention to the auditory stimulus. The response related to attention shifting was stronger contralateral to the side where attention was shifted to. Contralateral-dominant activation was also observed in dorsal parietal cortex areas, confirming previous observations for auditory attention shifting in studies that used auditory cues. PMID:28273110

  2. Olfaction in Neurologic and Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Literature Review

    PubMed Central

    Godoy, Maria Dantas Costa Lima; Voegels, Richard Louis; Pinna, Fábio de Rezende; Imamura, Rui; Farfel, José Marcelo

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Loss of smell is involved in various neurologic and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson disease and Alzheimer disease. However, the olfactory test is usually neglected by physicians at large. Objective The aim of this study was to review the current literature about the relationship between olfactory dysfunction and neurologic and neurodegenerative diseases. Data Synthesis Twenty-seven studies were selected for analysis, and the olfactory system, olfaction, and the association between the olfactory dysfunction and dementias were reviewed. Furthermore, is described an up to date in olfaction. Conclusion Otolaryngologist should remember the importance of olfaction evaluation in daily practice. Furthermore, neurologists and physicians in general should include olfactory tests in the screening of those at higher risk of dementia. PMID:25992176

  3. PET/SPECT imaging agents for neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Lin; Ploessl, Karl; Kung, Hank F.

    2014-01-01

    Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) or positron emission computed tomography (PET) imaging agents for neurodegenerative disease have a significant impact on clinical diagnosis and patient care. The examples of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) imaging agents described in this paper provide a general view on how imaging agents, ie radioactive drugs, are selected, chemically prepared and applied in humans. Imaging the living human brain can provide unique information on the pathology and progression of neurodegenerative diseases, such as AD and PD. The imaging method will also facilitate preclinical and clinical trials of new drugs offering specific information related to drug binding sites in the brain. In the future, chemists will continue to play important roles in identifying specific targets, synthesizing target-specific probes for screening and ultimately testing them by in vitro and in vivo assays. PMID:24676152

  4. Epilepsy at the prodromal stages of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Cretin, Benjamin; Philippi, Nathalie; Dibitonto, Laure; Blanc, Frédéric

    2017-03-01

    This review provides a clinically grounded description of the links between epilepsy and early common neurodegenerative diseases (i.e. Alzheimer's disease, Lewy body disease, vascular cognitive impairment, fronto-temporal lobar degeneration). It shows that epilepsy does not only concern demented patients displaying convulsive seizures (whether focal or generalized) and obvious atrophy on brain imaging. On the contrary, unprovoked seizures and epilepsy - commonly involving the temporal lobe - are now reported at the prodromal stages of these diseases, when cognitive complaints are mild or even minimal and brain imaging inconstantly abnormal. Thus epilepsy must be considered as a part of the phenotypic spectrum at any stages of the neurodegenerative diseases. This must be kept in mind in everyday practice, and when defining these diseases with clinic-biological criteria. Such entanglement also explains the growing prevalence of elderly epileptic subjects and the need of a close collaboration between geriatricians, cognitivists and epileptologists.

  5. Effects of an Auditory Lateralization Training in Children Suspected to Central Auditory Processing Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Lotfi, Yones; Moosavi, Abdollah; Bakhshi, Enayatollah; Sadjedi, Hamed

    2016-01-01

    Background and Objectives Central auditory processing disorder [(C)APD] refers to a deficit in auditory stimuli processing in nervous system that is not due to higher-order language or cognitive factors. One of the problems in children with (C)APD is spatial difficulties which have been overlooked despite their significance. Localization is an auditory ability to detect sound sources in space and can help to differentiate between the desired speech from other simultaneous sound sources. Aim of this research was investigating effects of an auditory lateralization training on speech perception in presence of noise/competing signals in children suspected to (C)APD. Subjects and Methods In this analytical interventional study, 60 children suspected to (C)APD were selected based on multiple auditory processing assessment subtests. They were randomly divided into two groups: control (mean age 9.07) and training groups (mean age 9.00). Training program consisted of detection and pointing to sound sources delivered with interaural time differences under headphones for 12 formal sessions (6 weeks). Spatial word recognition score (WRS) and monaural selective auditory attention test (mSAAT) were used to follow the auditory lateralization training effects. Results This study showed that in the training group, mSAAT score and spatial WRS in noise (p value≤0.001) improved significantly after the auditory lateralization training. Conclusions We used auditory lateralization training for 6 weeks and showed that auditory lateralization can improve speech understanding in noise significantly. The generalization of this results needs further researches. PMID:27626084

  6. An immunocytochemical mapping of somatostatin in the cat auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Martín, F; Coveñas, R; Narváez, J A; Tramu, G

    2003-10-01

    Using an indirect immunoperoxidase technique, the localization of somatostatin-28 (1-12)-like immunoreactive fibers and cell bodies in the auditory cortex of the cat (anterior, primary, secondary, temporal, ventral, ventroposterior, posterior and dorsoposterior auditory fields) was studied. In general, the distribution of SOM-ir structures is widespread in the auditory cortex of the feline. A high density of immunoreactive fibers as well as a low density of cell bodies containing somatostatin were observed in all the layers of the eight above-mentioned auditory fields. These data indicate that somatostatin-28 (1-12) could act as a neurotransmitter and/or a neuromodulator in the auditory cortex of the cat. The origin of the SOM-ir fibers in the auditory cortex of the cat, as well as the issue of whether the cell bodies containing somatostatin-28 (1-12) are local or projecting neurons is discussed.

  7. Increased cognitive functioning in symptomatic Huntington's disease as revealed by behavioral and event-related potential indices of auditory sensory memory and attention.

    PubMed

    Beste, Christian; Saft, Carsten; Güntürkün, Onur; Falkenstein, Michael

    2008-11-05

    Cognitive functions are thought to deteriorate globally in late stages of various neurodegenerative disorders. Here we describe that this general assumption is not justified and fails in Huntington's disease (HD). Presymptomatic gene mutation carriers (pHDs) and healthy controls performed worse compared with symptomatic HDs in an auditory signal detection task. During task performance, behavioral data and event-related potentials (ERPs) [i.e., MMN (mismatch negativity), P3a, and RON (reorienting negativity)] were recorded. Not only behavioral performance but also neurophysiological correlates of auditory sensory memory and attentional reorientation indicate enhanced performance occurring primal in late stages of a neurodegenerative disorder. Increased activity of the NMDA-receptor system, an assumed pathogenic mechanism in HD, might facilitate signal propagation at striatal level that enables more efficient task execution through a winner-take-all process. The results challenge the view that late stage neurodegeneration is necessarily related to a global decline in cognitive abilities in HD. In contrast, selectively enhanced cognitive functioning can emerge together with otherwise impaired cognitive functioning.

  8. Glial Cell Contributions to Auditory Brainstem Development

    PubMed Central

    Cramer, Karina S.; Rubel, Edwin W

    2016-01-01

    Glial cells, previously thought to have generally supporting roles in the central nervous system, are emerging as essential contributors to multiple aspects of neuronal circuit function and development. This review focuses on the contributions of glial cells to the development of auditory pathways in the brainstem. These pathways display specialized synapses and an unusually high degree of precision in circuitry that enables sound source localization. The development of these pathways thus requires highly coordinated molecular and cellular mechanisms. Several classes of glial cells, including astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and microglia, have now been explored in these circuits in both avian and mammalian brainstems. Distinct populations of astrocytes are found over the course of auditory brainstem maturation. Early appearing astrocytes are associated with spatial compartments in the avian auditory brainstem. Factors from late appearing astrocytes promote synaptogenesis and dendritic maturation, and astrocytes remain integral parts of specialized auditory synapses. Oligodendrocytes play a unique role in both birds and mammals in highly regulated myelination essential for proper timing to decipher interaural cues. Microglia arise early in brainstem development and may contribute to maturation of auditory pathways. Together these studies demonstrate the importance of non-neuronal cells in the assembly of specialized auditory brainstem circuits. PMID:27818624

  9. The auditory brainstem is a barometer of rapid auditory learning.

    PubMed

    Skoe, E; Krizman, J; Spitzer, E; Kraus, N

    2013-07-23

    To capture patterns in the environment, neurons in the auditory brainstem rapidly alter their firing based on the statistical properties of the soundscape. How this neural sensitivity relates to behavior is unclear. We tackled this question by combining neural and behavioral measures of statistical learning, a general-purpose learning mechanism governing many complex behaviors including language acquisition. We recorded complex auditory brainstem responses (cABRs) while human adults implicitly learned to segment patterns embedded in an uninterrupted sound sequence based on their statistical characteristics. The brainstem's sensitivity to statistical structure was measured as the change in the cABR between a patterned and a pseudo-randomized sequence composed from the same set of sounds but differing in their sound-to-sound probabilities. Using this methodology, we provide the first demonstration that behavioral-indices of rapid learning relate to individual differences in brainstem physiology. We found that neural sensitivity to statistical structure manifested along a continuum, from adaptation to enhancement, where cABR enhancement (patterned>pseudo-random) tracked with greater rapid statistical learning than adaptation. Short- and long-term auditory experiences (days to years) are known to promote brainstem plasticity and here we provide a conceptual advance by showing that the brainstem is also integral to rapid learning occurring over minutes.

  10. Microbial Immuno-Communication in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Main, Bevan S.; Minter, Myles R.

    2017-01-01

    Neuro-inflammation is a critical process by which the brain coordinates chemokine-regulated cellular recruitment, cytokine release, and cell-mediated removal of pathogenic material to protect against infection or brain injury. Dysregulation of this immune response is involved in multiple neurodegenerative disorders, however the precise contribution of neuro-inflammation to the exacerbation and progression of these diseases remains unclear. Evidence now suggests that commensal micro-organisms populating the host and their metabolites, collectively termed the microbiome, regulate innate immunity by influencing peripheral immune cell populations, and modulating microglial phenotype. Recent preclinical studies now demonstrate that perturbations in the host microbiome can induce alterations in pathological phenotypes associated with numerous neurodegenerative diseases. How perturbations in the host microbiome and subsequently altered peripheral immune status are communicated to the brain to influence neuro-inflammatory processes in these neurodegenerative disease settings is far from understood. This review provides insight into the regulation of neuro-inflammatory processes by the host microbiome in the context of neurodegenerative disease and highlights the potential importance of the blood-brain barrier and blood-cerebrospinal fluid-brain barrier, functioning as “immune barriers,” to communicate host immune status to the brain. Understanding the mechanisms by which the commensal microbiome communicates with the brain to influence neuro-inflammatory processes will be critical in the development of microbially-targeted therapeutics in the potential treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:28386215

  11. Genetically modified pig models for neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Holm, Ida E; Alstrup, Aage Kristian Olsen; Luo, Yonglun

    2016-01-01

    Increasing incidence of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease has become one of the most challenging health issues in ageing humans. One approach to combat this is to generate genetically modified animal models of neurodegenerative disorders for studying pathogenesis, prognosis, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Owing to the genetic, anatomic, physiologic, pathologic, and neurologic similarities between pigs and humans, genetically modified pig models of neurodegenerative disorders have been attractive large animal models to bridge the gap of preclinical investigations between rodents and humans. In this review, we provide a neuroanatomical overview in pigs and summarize and discuss the generation of genetically modified pig models of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's diseases, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy, and ataxia-telangiectasia. We also highlight how non-invasive bioimaging technologies such as positron emission tomography (PET), computer tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and behavioural testing have been applied to characterize neurodegenerative pig models. We further propose a multiplex genome editing and preterm recloning (MAP) approach by using the rapid growth of the ground-breaking precision genome editing technology CRISPR/Cas9 and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). With this approach, we hope to shorten the temporal requirement in generating multiple transgenic pigs, increase the survival rate of founder pigs, and generate genetically modified pigs that will more closely resemble the disease-causing mutations and recapitulate pathological features of human conditions.

  12. Mitochondrial Medicine for Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Mitochondria are key cytoplasmic organelles, responsible for generating cellular energy, regulating intracellular calcium levels, altering the reduction-oxidation potential of cells, and regulating cell death. Increasing evidence suggests that mitochondria play a central role in aging and in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Freidriech ataxia. Further, several lines of evidence suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction is an early event in most late-onset neurodegenerative diseases. Biochemical and animal model studies of inherited neurodegenerative diseases have revealed that mutant proteins of these diseases are associated with mitochondria. Mutant proteins are reported to block the transport of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial proteins to mitochondria, interact with mitochondrial proteins and disrupt the electron transport chain, induce free radicals, cause mitochondrial dysfunction, and, ultimately, damage neurons. This article discusses critical issues of mitochondria causing dysfunction in aging and neurodegenerative diseases, and discusses the potential of developing mitochondrial medicine, particularly mitochondrially targeted antioxidants, to treat aging and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:18566920

  13. Task- and Talker-Specific Gains in Auditory Training

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barcroft, Joe; Spehar, Brent; Tye-Murray, Nancy; Sommers, Mitchell

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: This investigation focused on generalization of outcomes for auditory training by examining the effects of task and/or talker overlap between training and at test. Method: Adults with hearing loss completed 12 hr of meaning-oriented auditory training and were placed in a group that trained on either multiple talkers or a single talker. A…

  14. Protein aggregate spreading in neurodegenerative diseases: Problems and perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Seung-Jae; Lim, Hee-Sun; Masliah, Eliezer; Lee, He-Jin

    2014-01-01

    Progressive accumulation of specific protein aggregates is a defining feature of many major neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, fronto-temporal dementia, Huntington’s disease, and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD). Findings from several recent studies have suggested that aggregation-prone proteins, such as tau, α-synuclein, polyglutamine-containing proteins, and amyloid-β, can spread to other cells and brain regions, a phenomenon considered unique to prion disorders, such as CJD and bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Cell-to-cell propagation of protein aggregates may be the general underlying principle for progressive deterioration of neurodegenerative diseases. This may also have significant implications in cell replacement therapies, as evidenced by the propagation of α-synuclein aggregates from host to grafted cells in long-term transplants in Parkinson’s patients. Here, we review recent progress in protein aggregate propagation in experimental model systems and discuss outstanding questions and future perspectives. Understanding the mechanisms of this pathological spreading may open the way to unique opportunities for development of diagnostic techniques and novel therapies for protein misfolding-associated neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:21624403

  15. Cerebral correlates of psychotic syndromes in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Jellinger, Kurt A

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Psychosis has been recognized as a common feature in neurodegenerative diseases and a core feature of dementia that worsens most clinical courses. It includes hallucinations, delusions including paranoia, aggressive behaviour, apathy and other psychotic phenomena that occur in a wide range of degenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, synucleinopathies (Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies), Huntington’s disease, frontotemporal degenerations, motoneuron and prion diseases. Many of these psychiatric manifestations may be early expressions of cognitive impairment, but often there is a dissociation between psychotic/behavioural symptoms and the rather linear decline in cognitive function, suggesting independent pathophysiological mechanisms. Strictly neuropathological explanations are likely to be insufficient to explain them, and a large group of heterogeneous factors (environmental, neurochemical changes, genetic factors, etc.) may influence their pathogenesis. Clinico-pathological evaluation of behavioural and psychotic symptoms (PS) in the setting of neurodegenerative and dementing disorders presents a significant challenge for modern neurosciences. Recognition and understanding of these manifestations may lead to the development of more effective preventive and therapeutic options that can serve to delay long-term progression of these devastating disorders and improve the patients’ quality of life. A better understanding of the pathophysiology and distinctive pathological features underlying the development of PS in neurodegenerative diseases may provide important insights into psychotic processes in general. PMID:21418522

  16. Connected Speech in Neurodegenerative Language Disorders: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Boschi, Veronica; Catricalà, Eleonora; Consonni, Monica; Chesi, Cristiano; Moro, Andrea; Cappa, Stefano F.

    2017-01-01

    Language assessment has a crucial role in the clinical diagnosis of several neurodegenerative diseases. The analysis of extended speech production is a precious source of information encompassing the phonetic, phonological, lexico-semantic, morpho-syntactic, and pragmatic levels of language organization. The knowledge about the distinctive linguistic variables identifying language deficits associated to different neurodegenerative diseases has progressively improved in the last years. However, the heterogeneity of such variables and of the way they are measured and classified limits any generalization and makes the comparison among studies difficult. Here we present an exhaustive review of the studies focusing on the linguistic variables derived from the analysis of connected speech samples, with the aim of characterizing the language disorders of the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases, including primary progressive aphasia, Alzheimer's disease, movement disorders, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A total of 61 studies have been included, considering only those reporting group analysis and comparisons with a group of healthy persons. This review first analyzes the differences in the tasks used to elicit connected speech, namely picture description, story narration, and interview, considering the possible different contributions to the assessment of different linguistic domains. This is followed by an analysis of the terminologies and of the methods of measurements of the variables, indicating the need for harmonization and standardization. The final section reviews the linguistic domains affected by each different neurodegenerative disease, indicating the variables most consistently impaired at each level and suggesting the key variables helping in the differential diagnosis among diseases. While a large amount of valuable information is already available, the review highlights the need of further work, including the development of automated methods, to

  17. Decision-making cognition in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Gleichgerrcht, Ezequiel; Ibáñez, Agustín; Roca, María; Torralva, Teresa; Manes, Facundo

    2010-11-01

    A large proportion of human social neuroscience research has focused on the issue of decision-making. Impaired decision-making is a symptomatic feature of a number of neurodegenerative diseases, but the nature of these decision-making deficits depends on the particular disease. Thus, examining the qualitative differences in decision-making impairments associated with different neurodegenerative diseases could provide valuable information regarding the underlying neural basis of decision-making. Nevertheless, few comparative reports of decision-making across patient groups exist. In this Review, we examine the neuroanatomical substrates of decision-making in relation to the neuropathological changes that occur in Alzheimer disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson disease and Huntington disease. We then examine the main findings from studies of decision-making in these neurodegenerative diseases. Finally, we suggest a number of recommendations that future studies could adopt to aid our understanding of decision-making cognition.

  18. Metal attenuating therapies in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Mot, Alexandra I; Wedd, Anthony G; Sinclair, Layla; Brown, David R; Collins, Steven J; Brazier, Marcus W

    2011-12-01

    The clinical and pathological spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases is diverse, although common to many of these disorders is the accumulation of misfolded proteins, with oxidative stress thought to be an important contributing mechanism to neuronal damage. As a corollary, transition metal ion dyshomeostasis appears to play a key pathogenic role in a number of these maladies, including the most common of neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, studies spanning a wide variety of neurodegenerative disorders are presented with their involvement of transition metals compared and contrasted, including more detailed treatise in relation to Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and prion diseases. For each of these diseases, a discussion of the evolving scientific rationale for the development of therapies aimed at ameliorating the detrimental effects of transition metal dysregulation, including results from various human trials, is then provided.

  19. Advanced magnetic resonance imaging of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Agosta, Federica; Galantucci, Sebastiano; Filippi, Massimo

    2017-01-01

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is playing an increasingly important role in the study of neurodegenerative diseases, delineating the structural and functional alterations determined by these conditions. Advanced MRI techniques are of special interest for their potential to characterize the signature of each neurodegenerative condition and aid both the diagnostic process and the monitoring of disease progression. This aspect will become crucial when disease-modifying (personalized) therapies will be established. MRI techniques are very diverse and go from the visual inspection of MRI scans to more complex approaches, such as manual and automatic volume measurements, diffusion tensor MRI, and functional MRI. All these techniques allow us to investigate the different features of neurodegeneration. In this review, we summarize the most recent advances concerning the use of MRI in some of the most important neurodegenerative conditions, putting an emphasis on the advanced techniques.

  20. Role of iron in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Li, Kai; Reichmann, Heinz

    2016-04-01

    Currently, we still lack effective measures to modify disease progression in neurodegenerative diseases. Iron-containing proteins play an essential role in many fundamental biological processes in the central nervous system. In addition, iron is a redox-active ion and can induce oxidative stress in the cell. Although the causes and pathology hallmarks of different neurodegenerative diseases vary, iron dyshomeostasis, oxidative stress and mitochondrial injury constitute a common pathway to cell death in several neurodegenerative diseases. MRI is capable of depicting iron content in the brain, and serves as a potential biomarker for early and differential diagnosis, tracking disease progression and evaluating the effectiveness of neuroprotective therapy. Iron chelators have shown their efficacy against neurodegeneration in a series of animal models, and been applied in several clinical trials. In this review, we summarize recent developments on iron dyshomeostasis in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Friedreich ataxia, and Huntington's disease.

  1. Auditory Processing Disorder (For Parents)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Feeding Your 1- to 2-Year-Old Auditory Processing Disorder KidsHealth > For Parents > Auditory Processing Disorder Print A A A What's in this ... Speech Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Helping Your Child Auditory processing disorder (APD), also known as central auditory processing ...

  2. Oligonucleotide-based therapy for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Magen, Iddo; Hornstein, Eran

    2014-10-10

    Molecular genetics insight into the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer׳s disease, Parkinson׳s disease, Huntington׳s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, encourages direct interference with the activity of neurotoxic genes or the molecular activation of neuroprotective pathways. Oligonucleotide-based therapies are recently emerging as an efficient strategy for drug development and these can be employed as new treatments of neurodegenerative states. Here we review advances in this field in recent years which suggest an encouraging assessment that oligonucleotide technologies for targeting of RNAs will enable the development of new therapies and will contribute to preservation of brain integrity.

  3. Epigenetics-Based Therapeutics for Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Zihui; Li, He; Jin, Peng

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic regulation, such as DNA methylation and histone modification, is implicated in the aberrant changes in gene expression that occur during the progression of neurodegeneration. Many epigenetics-based drugs have been developed recently for the treatment of some neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases. Here we review recent studies that highlight the role of epigenetic modifications in neurodegeneration, among them DNA methylation and demethylation and histone acetylation and deacetylation; we also explore the possibility of using epigenetics-based therapeutics to treat neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:23526405

  4. Induced pluripotent stem cells and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chao; Xiao, Shi-Fu

    2011-04-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, are characterized by idiopathic neuron loss in different regions of the central nervous system, which contributes to the relevant dysfunctions in the patients. The application of cell replacement therapy using human embryonic stem (hES) cells, though having attracted much attention, has been hampered by the intrinsic ethical problems. It has been demonstrated that adult somatic cells can be reprogrammed into the embryonic state, called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. It is soon realized that iPS cells may be an alternative source for cell replacement therapy, because it raises no ethical problems and using patient-specific iPS cells for autologous transplantation will not lead to immunological rejection. What's more, certain types of neurons derived from patient-specific iPS cells may display disease-relevant phenotypes. Thus, patient-specific iPS cells can provide a unique opportunity to directly investigate the pathological properties of relevant neural cells in individual patient, and to study the vulnerability of neural cells to pathogenic factors in vitro, which may help reveal the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, the recent development in cellular treatment of neurodegenerative diseases using iPS cells was summarized, and the potential value of iPS cells in the modeling of neurodegenerative disease was discussed.

  5. DNA methylation, a hand behind neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Haoyang; Liu, Xinzhou; Deng, Yulin; Qing, Hong

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic alterations represent a sort of functional modifications related to the genome that are not responsible for changes in the nucleotide sequence. DNA methylation is one of such epigenetic modifications that have been studied intensively for the past several decades. The transfer of a methyl group to the 5 position of a cytosine is the key feature of DNA methylation. A simple change as such can be caused by a variety of factors, which can be the cause of many serious diseases including several neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we have reviewed and summarized recent progress regarding DNA methylation in four major neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The studies of these four major neurodegenerative diseases conclude the strong suggestion of the important role DNA methylation plays in these diseases. However, each of these diseases has not yet been understood completely as details in some areas remain unclear, and will be investigated in future studies. We hope this review can provide new insights into the understanding of neurodegenerative diseases from the epigenetic perspective. PMID:24367332

  6. Genetic manipulation for inherited neurodegenerative diseases: myth or reality?

    PubMed Central

    Yu-Wai-Man, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Rare genetic diseases affect about 7% of the general population and over 7000 distinct clinical syndromes have been described with the majority being due to single gene defects. This review will provide a critical overview of genetic strategies that are being pioneered to halt or reverse disease progression in inherited neurodegenerative diseases. This field of research covers a vast area and only the most promising treatment paradigms will be discussed with a particular focus on inherited eye diseases, which have paved the way for innovative gene therapy paradigms, and mitochondrial diseases, which are currently generating a lot of debate centred on the bioethics of germline manipulation. PMID:27002113

  7. Auditory processing deficits in reading disabled adults.

    PubMed

    Amitay, Sygal; Ahissar, Meray; Nelken, Israel

    2002-09-01

    The nature of the auditory processing deficit of disabled readers is still an unresolved issue. The quest for a fundamental, nonlinguistic, perceptual impairment has been dominated by the hypothesis that the difficulty lies in processing sequences of stimuli at presentation rates of tens of milliseconds. The present study examined this hypothesis using tasks that require processing of a wide range of stimulus time constants. About a third of the sampled population of disabled readers (classified as "poor auditory processors") had difficulties in most of the tasks tested: detection of frequency differences, detection of tones in narrowband noise, detection of amplitude modulation, detection of the direction of sound sources moving in virtual space, and perception of the lateralized position of tones based on their interaural phase differences. Nevertheless, across-channel integration was intact in these poor auditory processors since comodulation masking release was not reduced. Furthermore, phase locking was presumably intact since binaural masking level differences were normal. In a further examination of temporal processing, participants were asked to discriminate two tones at various intervals where the frequency difference was ten times each individual's frequency just noticeable difference (JND). Under these conditions, poor auditory processors showed no specific difficulty at brief intervals, contrary to predictions under a fast temporal processing deficit assumption. The complementary subgroup of disabled readers who were not poor auditory processors showed some difficulty in this condition when compared with their direct controls. However, they had no difficulty on auditory tasks such as amplitude modulation detection, which presumably taps processing of similar time scales. These two subgroups of disabled readers had similar reading performance but those with a generally poor auditory performance scored lower on some cognitive tests. Taken together, these

  8. Auditory Spatial Layout

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wightman, Frederic L.; Jenison, Rick

    1995-01-01

    All auditory sensory information is packaged in a pair of acoustical pressure waveforms, one at each ear. While there is obvious structure in these waveforms, that structure (temporal and spectral patterns) bears no simple relationship to the structure of the environmental objects that produced them. The properties of auditory objects and their layout in space must be derived completely from higher level processing of the peripheral input. This chapter begins with a discussion of the peculiarities of acoustical stimuli and how they are received by the human auditory system. A distinction is made between the ambient sound field and the effective stimulus to differentiate the perceptual distinctions among various simple classes of sound sources (ambient field) from the known perceptual consequences of the linear transformations of the sound wave from source to receiver (effective stimulus). Next, the definition of an auditory object is dealt with, specifically the question of how the various components of a sound stream become segregated into distinct auditory objects. The remainder of the chapter focuses on issues related to the spatial layout of auditory objects, both stationary and moving.

  9. Towards Clinical Application of Neurotrophic Factors to the Auditory Nerve; Assessment of Safety and Efficacy by a Systematic Review of Neurotrophic Treatments in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Bezdjian, Aren; Kraaijenga, Véronique J. C.; Ramekers, Dyan; Versnel, Huib; Thomeer, Hans G. X. M.; Klis, Sjaak F. L.; Grolman, Wilko

    2016-01-01

    Animal studies have evidenced protection of the auditory nerve by exogenous neurotrophic factors. In order to assess clinical applicability of neurotrophic treatment of the auditory nerve, the safety and efficacy of neurotrophic therapies in various human disorders were systematically reviewed. Outcomes of our literature search included disorder, neurotrophic factor, administration route, therapeutic outcome, and adverse event. From 2103 articles retrieved, 20 randomized controlled trials including 3974 patients were selected. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (53%) was the most frequently reported indication for neurotrophic therapy followed by diabetic polyneuropathy (28%). Ciliary neurotrophic factor (50%), nerve growth factor (24%) and insulin-like growth factor (21%) were most often used. Injection site reaction was a frequently occurring adverse event (61%) followed by asthenia (24%) and gastrointestinal disturbances (20%). Eighteen out of 20 trials deemed neurotrophic therapy to be safe, and six out of 17 studies concluded the neurotrophic therapy to be effective. Positive outcomes were generally small or contradicted by other studies. Most non-neurodegenerative diseases treated by targeted deliveries of neurotrophic factors were considered safe and effective. Hence, since local delivery to the cochlea is feasible, translation from animal studies to human trials in treating auditory nerve degeneration seems promising. PMID:27898033

  10. Mode-locking neurodynamics predict human auditory brainstem responses to musical intervals.

    PubMed

    Lerud, Karl D; Almonte, Felix V; Kim, Ji Chul; Large, Edward W

    2014-02-01

    The auditory nervous system is highly nonlinear. Some nonlinear responses arise through active processes in the cochlea, while others may arise in neural populations of the cochlear nucleus, inferior colliculus and higher auditory areas. In humans, auditory brainstem recordings reveal nonlinear population responses to combinations of pure tones, and to musical intervals composed of complex tones. Yet the biophysical origin of central auditory nonlinearities, their signal processing properties, and their relationship to auditory perception remain largely unknown. Both stimulus components and nonlinear resonances are well represented in auditory brainstem nuclei due to neural phase-locking. Recently mode-locking, a generalization of phase-locking that implies an intrinsically nonlinear processing of sound, has been observed in mammalian auditory brainstem nuclei. Here we show that a canonical model of mode-locked neural oscillation predicts the complex nonlinear population responses to musical intervals that have been observed in the human brainstem. The model makes predictions about auditory signal processing and perception that are different from traditional delay-based models, and may provide insight into the nature of auditory population responses. We anticipate that the application of dynamical systems analysis will provide the starting point for generic models of auditory population dynamics, and lead to a deeper understanding of nonlinear auditory signal processing possibly arising in excitatory-inhibitory networks of the central auditory nervous system. This approach has the potential to link neural dynamics with the perception of pitch, music, and speech, and lead to dynamical models of auditory system development.

  11. Auditory hallucinations induced by trazodone.

    PubMed

    Shiotsuki, Ippei; Terao, Takeshi; Ishii, Nobuyoshi; Hatano, Koji

    2014-04-03

    A 26-year-old female outpatient presenting with a depressive state suffered from auditory hallucinations at night. Her auditory hallucinations did not respond to blonanserin or paliperidone, but partially responded to risperidone. In view of the possibility that her auditory hallucinations began after starting trazodone, trazodone was discontinued, leading to a complete resolution of her auditory hallucinations. Furthermore, even after risperidone was decreased and discontinued, her auditory hallucinations did not recur. These findings suggest that trazodone may induce auditory hallucinations in some susceptible patients.

  12. Auditory hallucinations induced by trazodone

    PubMed Central

    Shiotsuki, Ippei; Terao, Takeshi; Ishii, Nobuyoshi; Hatano, Koji

    2014-01-01

    A 26-year-old female outpatient presenting with a depressive state suffered from auditory hallucinations at night. Her auditory hallucinations did not respond to blonanserin or paliperidone, but partially responded to risperidone. In view of the possibility that her auditory hallucinations began after starting trazodone, trazodone was discontinued, leading to a complete resolution of her auditory hallucinations. Furthermore, even after risperidone was decreased and discontinued, her auditory hallucinations did not recur. These findings suggest that trazodone may induce auditory hallucinations in some susceptible patients. PMID:24700048

  13. Are auditory percepts determined by experience?

    PubMed

    Monson, Brian B; Han, Shui'Er; Purves, Dale

    2013-01-01

    Audition--what listeners hear--is generally studied in terms of the physical properties of sound stimuli and physiological properties of the auditory system. Based on recent work in vision, we here consider an alternative perspective that sensory percepts are based on past experience. In this framework, basic auditory qualities (e.g., loudness and pitch) are based on the frequency of occurrence of stimulus patterns in natural acoustic stimuli. To explore this concept of audition, we examined five well-documented psychophysical functions. The frequency of occurrence of acoustic patterns in a database of natural sound stimuli (speech) predicts some qualitative aspects of these functions, but with substantial quantitative discrepancies. This approach may offer a rationale for auditory phenomena that are difficult to explain in terms of the physical attributes of the stimuli as such.

  14. Applied research in auditory data representation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frysinger, Steve P.

    1990-08-01

    A class of data displays, characterized generally as Auditory Data Representation, is described and motivated. This type of data representation takes advantage of the tremendous pattern recognition capability of the human auditory channel. Audible displays offer an alternative means of conveying quantitative data to the analyst to facilitate information extraction, and are successfully used alone and in conjunction with visual displays. The Auditory Data Representation literature is reviewed, along with elements of the allied fields of investigation, Psychoacoustics and Musical Perception. A methodology for applied research in this field, based upon the well-developed discipline of psychophysics, is elaborated using a recent experiment as a case study. This method permits objective estimation of a data representation technique by comparing it to alternative displays for the pattern recognition task at hand. The psychophysical threshold of signal to noise level, for constant pattern recognition performance, is the measure of display effectiveness.

  15. Are Auditory Percepts Determined by Experience?

    PubMed Central

    Monson, Brian B.; Han, Shui’Er; Purves, Dale

    2013-01-01

    Audition–what listeners hear–is generally studied in terms of the physical properties of sound stimuli and physiological properties of the auditory system. Based on recent work in vision, we here consider an alternative perspective that sensory percepts are based on past experience. In this framework, basic auditory qualities (e.g., loudness and pitch) are based on the frequency of occurrence of stimulus patterns in natural acoustic stimuli. To explore this concept of audition, we examined five well-documented psychophysical functions. The frequency of occurrence of acoustic patterns in a database of natural sound stimuli (speech) predicts some qualitative aspects of these functions, but with substantial quantitative discrepancies. This approach may offer a rationale for auditory phenomena that are difficult to explain in terms of the physical attributes of the stimuli as such. PMID:23667666

  16. 40 Hz auditory steady state response to linguistic features of stimuli during auditory hallucinations.

    PubMed

    Ying, Jun; Yan, Zheng; Gao, Xiao-rong

    2013-10-01

    The auditory steady state response (ASSR) may reflect activity from different regions of the brain, depending on the modulation frequency used. In general, responses induced by low rates (≤40 Hz) emanate mostly from central structures of the brain, and responses from high rates (≥80 Hz) emanate mostly from the peripheral auditory nerve or brainstem structures. Besides, it was reported that the gamma band ASSR (30-90 Hz) played an important role in working memory, speech understanding and recognition. This paper investigated the 40 Hz ASSR evoked by modulated speech and reversed speech. The speech was Chinese phrase voice, and the noise-like reversed speech was obtained by temporally reversing the speech. Both auditory stimuli were modulated with a frequency of 40 Hz. Ten healthy subjects and 5 patients with hallucination symptom participated in the experiment. Results showed reduction in left auditory cortex response when healthy subjects listened to the reversed speech compared with the speech. In contrast, when the patients who experienced auditory hallucinations listened to the reversed speech, the auditory cortex of left hemispheric responded more actively. The ASSR results were consistent with the behavior results of patients. Therefore, the gamma band ASSR is expected to be helpful for rapid and objective diagnosis of hallucination in clinic.

  17. Effects of Panax ginseng in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Ik-Hyun

    2012-01-01

    Ginseng, the root of the Panax ginseng, has been a popular and widely-used traditional herbal medicine in Korea, China, and Japan for thousands of years. Now it has become popular as a functional health food and is used globally as a natural medicine. Evidence is accumulating in the literature on the physiological and pharmacological effects of P. ginseng on neurodegenerative diseases. Possible ginseng- or ginsenosides-mediated neuroprotective mechanisms mainly involve maintaining homeostasis, and anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-apoptotic, and immune-stimulatory activities. This review considers publications dealing with the various actions of P. ginseng that are indicative of possible neurotherapeutic efficacies in neurodegenerative diseases and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis. PMID:23717136

  18. Neurodegenerative disorders and nanoformulated drug development

    PubMed Central

    Nowacek, Ari; Kosloski, Lisa M; Gendelman, Howard E

    2009-01-01

    Degenerative and inflammatory diseases of the CNS include, but are not limited to, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke, multiple sclerosis and HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders. These are common, debilitating and, unfortunately, hold few therapeutic options. In recent years, the application of nanotechnologies as commonly used or developing medicines has served to improve pharmacokinetics and drug delivery specifically to CNS-diseased areas. In addition, nanomedical advances are leading to therapies that target CNS pathobiology and as such, can interrupt disordered protein aggregation, deliver functional neuroprotective proteins and alter the oxidant state of affected neural tissues. This article focuses on the pathobiology of common neurodegenerative disorders with a view towards how nanomedicine may be used to improve the clinical course of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:19572820

  19. Brain drug delivery systems for neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Garbayo, E; Ansorena, E; Blanco-Prieto, M J

    2012-09-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders (NDs) are rapidly increasing as population ages. However, successful treatments for NDs have so far been limited and drug delivery to the brain remains one of the major challenges to overcome. There has recently been growing interest in the development of drug delivery systems (DDS) for local or systemic brain administration. DDS are able to improve the pharmacological and therapeutic properties of conventional drugs and reduce their side effects. The present review provides a concise overview of the recent advances made in the field of brain drug delivery for treating neurodegenerative disorders. Examples include polymeric micro and nanoparticles, lipidic nanoparticles, pegylated liposomes, microemulsions and nanogels that have been tested in experimental models of Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease. Overall, the results reviewed here show that DDS have great potential for NDs treatment.

  20. Resveratrol: A Focus on Several Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Tellone, Ester; Galtieri, Antonio; Russo, Annamaria; Giardina, Bruno; Ficarra, Silvana

    2015-01-01

    Molecules of the plant world are proving their effectiveness in countering, slowing down, and regressing many diseases. The resveratrol for its intrinsic properties related to its stilbene structure has been proven to be a universal panacea, especially for a wide range of neurodegenerative diseases. This paper evaluates (in vivo and in vitro) the various molecular targets of this peculiar polyphenol and its ability to effectively counter several neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. What emerges is that, in the deep heterogeneity of the pathologies evaluated, resveratrol through a convergence on the protein targets is able to give therapeutic responses in neuronal cells deeply diversified not only in morphological structure but especially in their function performed in the anatomical district to which they belong. PMID:26180587

  1. Autophagy and apoptosis dysfunction in neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Ghavami, Saeid; Shojaei, Shahla; Yeganeh, Behzad; Ande, Sudharsana R; Jangamreddy, Jaganmohan R; Mehrpour, Maryam; Christoffersson, Jonas; Chaabane, Wiem; Moghadam, Adel Rezaei; Kashani, Hessam H; Hashemi, Mohammad; Owji, Ali A; Łos, Marek J

    2014-01-01

    Autophagy and apoptosis are basic physiologic processes contributing to the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. Autophagy encompasses pathways that target long-lived cytosolic proteins and damaged organelles. It involves a sequential set of events including double membrane formation, elongation, vesicle maturation and finally delivery of the targeted materials to the lysosome. Apoptotic cell death is best described through its morphology. It is characterized by cell rounding, membrane blebbing, cytoskeletal collapse, cytoplasmic condensation, and fragmentation, nuclear pyknosis, chromatin condensation/fragmentation, and formation of membrane-enveloped apoptotic bodies, that are rapidly phagocytosed by macrophages or neighboring cells. Neurodegenerative disorders are becoming increasingly prevalent, especially in the Western societies, with larger percentage of members living to an older age. They have to be seen not only as a health problem, but since they are care-intensive, they also carry a significant economic burden. Deregulation of autophagy plays a pivotal role in the etiology and/or progress of many of these diseases. Herein, we briefly review the latest findings that indicate the involvement of autophagy in neurodegenerative diseases. We provide a brief introduction to autophagy and apoptosis pathways focusing on the role of mitochondria and lysosomes. We then briefly highlight pathophysiology of common neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's diseases, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Then, we describe functions of autophagy and apoptosis in brain homeostasis, especially in the context of the aforementioned disorders. Finally, we discuss different ways that autophagy and apoptosis modulation may be employed for therapeutic intervention during the maintenance of neurodegenerative disorders.

  2. Synthetic prions and other human neurodegenerative proteinopathies.

    PubMed

    Le, Nhat Tran Thanh; Narkiewicz, Joanna; Aulić, Suzana; Salzano, Giulia; Tran, Hoa Thanh; Scaini, Denis; Moda, Fabio; Giachin, Gabriele; Legname, Giuseppe

    2015-09-02

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) are a heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders. The common feature of these diseases is the pathological conversion of the normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into a β-structure-rich conformer-termed PrP(Sc). The latter can induce a self-perpetuating process leading to amplification and spreading of pathological protein assemblies. Much evidence suggests that PrP(Sc) itself is able to recruit and misfold PrP(C) into the pathological conformation. Recent data have shown that recombinant PrP(C) can be misfolded in vitro and the resulting synthetic conformers are able to induce the conversion of PrP(C) into PrP(Sc)in vivo. In this review we describe the state-of-the-art of the body of literature in this field. In addition, we describe a cell-based assay to test synthetic prions in cells, providing further evidence that synthetic amyloids are able to template conversion of PrP into prion inclusions. Studying prions might help to understand the pathological mechanisms governing other neurodegenerative diseases. Aggregation and deposition of misfolded proteins is a common feature of several neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other disorders. Although the proteins implicated in each of these diseases differ, they share a common prion mechanism. Recombinant proteins are able to aggregate in vitro into β-rich amyloid fibrils, sharing some features of the aggregates found in the brain. Several studies have reported that intracerebral inoculation of synthetic aggregates lead to unique pathology, which spread progressively to distal brain regions and reduced survival time in animals. Here, we review the prion-like features of different proteins involved in neurodegenerative disorders, such as α-synuclein, superoxide dismutase-1, amyloid-β and tau.

  3. Multimodal comparative studies of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Grossman, Murray

    2013-01-01

    Here we provide a brief description of our program to improve diagnostic accuracy in cases with phenotypically similar presentations that are due to distinct histopathologic abnormalities. We propose a staged approach to diagnosis, beginning with a screening assessment of specific, quantitative neuropsychological measures, and followed by assessments of imaging and biofluid biomarkers. Our goal is to determine the specific histopathologic abnormalities contributing to an individual's neurodegenerative condition.

  4. Role of FET proteins in neurodegenerative disorders

    PubMed Central

    Svetoni, Francesca; Frisone, Paola; Paronetto, Maria Paola

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer disease (AD), frontotemporal dementia (FTD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and multiple sclerosis (MS) affect different neuronal cells, and have a variable age of onset, clinical symptoms, and pathological features. Despite the great progress in understanding the etiology of these disorders, the underlying mechanisms remain largely unclear. Among the processes affected in neurodegenerative diseases, alteration in RNA metabolism is emerging as a crucial player. RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are involved at all stages of RNA metabolism and display a broad range of functions, including modulation of mRNA transcription, splicing, editing, export, stability, translation and localization and miRNA biogenesis, thus enormously impacting regulation of gene expression. On the other hand, aberrant regulation of RBP expression or activity can contribute to disease onset and progression. Recent reports identified mutations causative of neurological disorders in the genes encoding a family of RBPs named FET (FUS/TLS, EWS and TAF15). This review summarizes recent works documenting the involvement of FET proteins in the pathology of ALS, FTLD, essential tremor (ET) and other neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, clinical implications of recent advances in FET research are critically discussed. PMID:27415968

  5. Aptamer and its applications in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Qu, Jing; Yu, Shuqing; Zheng, Yuan; Zheng, Yan; Yang, Hui; Zhang, Jianliang

    2017-02-01

    Aptamers are small single-stranded DNA or RNA oligonucleotide fragments or small peptides, which can bind to targets by high affinity and specificity. Because aptamers are specific, non-immunogenic and non-toxic, they are ideal materials for clinical applications. Neurodegenerative disorders are ravaging the lives of patients. Even though the mechanism of these diseases is still elusive, they are mainly characterized by the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the central nervous system. So it is essential to develop potential measures to slow down or prevent the onset of these diseases. With the advancements of the technologies, aptamers have opened up new areas in this research field. Aptamers could bind with these related target proteins to interrupt their accumulation, subsequently blocking or preventing the process of neurodegenerative diseases. This review presents recent advances in the aptamer generation and its merits and limitations, with emphasis on its applications in neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, Huntington's disease and multiple sclerosis.

  6. Insulin resistance and gray matter volume in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Morris, J K; Vidoni, E D; Perea, R D; Rada, R; Johnson, D K; Lyons, K; Pahwa, R; Burns, J M; Honea, R A

    2014-06-13

    The goal of this study was to compare insulin resistance in aging and aging-related neurodegenerative diseases, and to determine the relationship between insulin resistance and gray matter volume (GMV) in each cohort using an unbiased, voxel-based approach. Insulin resistance was estimated in apparently healthy elderly control (HC, n=21) and neurodegenerative disease (Alzheimer's disease (AD), n=20; Parkinson's disease (PD), n=22) groups using Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance 2 (HOMA2) and intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT). HOMA2 and GMV were assessed within groups through General Linear Model multiple regression. We found that HOMA2 was increased in both AD and PD compared to the HC group (HC vs. AD, p=0.002, HC vs. PD, p=0.003), although only AD subjects exhibited increased fasting glucose (p=0.005). Furthermore, our voxel-based morphometry analysis revealed that HOMA2 was related to GMV in all cohorts in a region-specific manner (p<0.001, uncorrected). Significant relationships were observed in the medial prefrontal cortex (HC), medial temporal regions (AD), and parietal regions (PD). Finally, the directionality of the relationship between HOMA2 and GMV was disease-specific. Both HC and AD subjects exhibited negative relationships between HOMA2 and brain volume (increased HOMA2 associated with decreased brain volume), while a positive relationship was observed in PD. This cross-sectional study suggests that insulin resistance is increased in neurodegenerative disease, and that individuals with AD appear to have more severe metabolic dysfunction than individuals with PD or PD dementia.

  7. The Drosophila Auditory System

    PubMed Central

    Boekhoff-Falk, Grace; Eberl, Daniel F.

    2013-01-01

    Development of a functional auditory system in Drosophila requires specification and differentiation of the chordotonal sensilla of Johnston’s organ (JO) in the antenna, correct axonal targeting to the antennal mechanosensory and motor center (AMMC) in the brain, and synaptic connections to neurons in the downstream circuit. Chordotonal development in JO is functionally complicated by structural, molecular and functional diversity that is not yet fully understood, and construction of the auditory neural circuitry is only beginning to unfold. Here we describe our current understanding of developmental and molecular mechanisms that generate the exquisite functions of the Drosophila auditory system, emphasizing recent progress and highlighting important new questions arising from research on this remarkable sensory system. PMID:24719289

  8. Central auditory imperception.

    PubMed

    Snow, J B; Rintelmann, W F; Miller, J M; Konkle, D F

    1977-09-01

    The development of clinically applicable techniques for the evaluation of hearing impairment caused by lesions of the central auditory pathways has increased clinical interest in the anatomy and physiology of these pathways. A conceptualization of present understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the central auditory pathways is presented. Clinical tests based on reduction of redundancy of the speech message, degradation of speech and binaural interations are presented. Specifically performance-intensity functions, filtered speech tests, competing message tests and time-compressed speech tests are presented with the emphasis on our experience with time-compressed speech tests. With proper use of these tests not only can central auditory impairments by detected, but brain stem lesions can be distinguished from cortical lesions.

  9. Bigger Brains or Bigger Nuclei? Regulating the Size of Auditory Structures in Birds

    PubMed Central

    Kubke, M. Fabiana; Massoglia, Dino P.; Carr, Catherine E.

    2012-01-01

    Increases in the size of the neuronal structures that mediate specific behaviors are believed to be related to enhanced computational performance. It is not clear, however, what developmental and evolutionary mechanisms mediate these changes, nor whether an increase in the size of a given neuronal population is a general mechanism to achieve enhanced computational ability. We addressed the issue of size by analyzing the variation in the relative number of cells of auditory structures in auditory specialists and generalists. We show that bird species with different auditory specializations exhibit variation in the relative size of their hindbrain auditory nuclei. In the barn owl, an auditory specialist, the hind-brain auditory nuclei involved in the computation of sound location show hyperplasia. This hyperplasia was also found in songbirds, but not in non-auditory specialists. The hyperplasia of auditory nuclei was also not seen in birds with large body weight suggesting that the total number of cells is selected for in auditory specialists. In barn owls, differences observed in the relative size of the auditory nuclei might be attributed to modifications in neurogenesis and cell death. Thus, hyperplasia of circuits used for auditory computation accompanies auditory specialization in different orders of birds. PMID:14726625

  10. Bigger brains or bigger nuclei? Regulating the size of auditory structures in birds.

    PubMed

    Kubke, M Fabiana; Massoglia, Dino P; Carr, Catherine E

    2004-01-01

    Increases in the size of the neuronal structures that mediate specific behaviors are believed to be related to enhanced computational performance. It is not clear, however, what developmental and evolutionary mechanisms mediate these changes, nor whether an increase in the size of a given neuronal population is a general mechanism to achieve enhanced computational ability. We addressed the issue of size by analyzing the variation in the relative number of cells of auditory structures in auditory specialists and generalists. We show that bird species with different auditory specializations exhibit variation in the relative size of their hindbrain auditory nuclei. In the barn owl, an auditory specialist, the hindbrain auditory nuclei involved in the computation of sound location show hyperplasia. This hyperplasia was also found in songbirds, but not in non-auditory specialists. The hyperplasia of auditory nuclei was also not seen in birds with large body weight suggesting that the total number of cells is selected for in auditory specialists. In barn owls, differences observed in the relative size of the auditory nuclei might be attributed to modifications in neurogenesis and cell death. Thus, hyperplasia of circuits used for auditory computation accompanies auditory specialization in different orders of birds.

  11. Protection and regrowth of the auditory nerve after deafness: neurotrophins, antioxidants and depolarization are effective in vivo.

    PubMed

    Miller, Josef M; Miller, Amy L; Yamagata, Takahiko; Bredberg, Goran; Altschuler, Richard A

    2002-01-01

    neurotrophins and cocktails of factors can also enhance survival of the deafferented nerve, and some can also initiate a regrowth of degenerated peripheral processes of the nerve into the region of the destroyed sensory epitheliae. Recently, we have shown that this rescue can occur with delayed intervention, after degeneration of some neurons has begun, more closely mimicking the human clinical situation. Finally, we have shown that interventions with antioxidants may also be effective in preventing pathophysiological changes of the auditory nerve following deafness. These studies in the auditory periphery support the 'neurotrophic factor hypothesis' as proposed as a general mechanism underlying neurodegenerative and age-related pathology of the central nervous system. Additional animal studies can yield a rational scientific basis to justify human trials, with a goal to maintain auditory cell survival and initiate and direct fiber growth to the next generation of prosthesis. Intimate contact between electrode and a dense population of auditory neurons should greatly enhance the benefits of these devices for the profoundly deaf.

  12. Auditory target detection in reverberation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zurek, Patrick M.; Freyman, Richard L.; Balakrishnan, Uma

    2004-04-01

    Measurements and theoretical predictions of auditory target detection in simulated reverberant conditions are reported. The target signals were pulsed 13-octave bands of noise and the masker signal was a continuous wideband noise. Target and masker signals were passed through a software simulation of a reverberant room with a rigid sphere modeling a listener's head. The location of the target was fixed while the location of the masker was varied in the simulated room. Degree of reverberation was controlled by varying the uniform acoustic absorption of the simulated room's surfaces. The resulting target and masker signals were presented to the listeners over headphones in monaural-left, monaural-right, or binaural listening modes. Changes in detection performance in the monaural listening modes were largely predictable from the changes in target-to-masker ratio in the target band, but with a few dB of extra masking in reverberation. Binaural detection performance was generally well predicted by applying Durlach's [in Foundations of Modern Auditory Theory (Academic, New York, 1972)] equalization-cancellation theory to the direct-plus-reverberant ear signals. Predictions in all cases were based on a statistical description of room acoustics and on acoustic diffraction by a sphere. The success of these detection models in the present well-controlled reverberant conditions suggests that they can be used to incorporate listening mode and source location as factors in speech-intelligibility predictions.

  13. Virtual Auditory Displays

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-01-01

    timbre , intensity, distance, room modeling, radio communication Virtual Environments Handbook Chapter 4 Virtual Auditory Displays Russell D... musical note “A” as a pure sinusoid, there will be 440 condensations and rarefactions per second. The distance between two adjacent condensations or...and complexity are pitch, loudness, and timbre respectively. This distinction between physical and perceptual measures of sound properties is an

  14. Modelling auditory attention.

    PubMed

    Kaya, Emine Merve; Elhilali, Mounya

    2017-02-19

    Sounds in everyday life seldom appear in isolation. Both humans and machines are constantly flooded with a cacophony of sounds that need to be sorted through and scoured for relevant information-a phenomenon referred to as the 'cocktail party problem'. A key component in parsing acoustic scenes is the role of attention, which mediates perception and behaviour by focusing both sensory and cognitive resources on pertinent information in the stimulus space. The current article provides a review of modelling studies of auditory attention. The review highlights how the term attention refers to a multitude of behavioural and cognitive processes that can shape sensory processing. Attention can be modulated by 'bottom-up' sensory-driven factors, as well as 'top-down' task-specific goals, expectations and learned schemas. Essentially, it acts as a selection process or processes that focus both sensory and cognitive resources on the most relevant events in the soundscape; with relevance being dictated by the stimulus itself (e.g. a loud explosion) or by a task at hand (e.g. listen to announcements in a busy airport). Recent computational models of auditory attention provide key insights into its role in facilitating perception in cluttered auditory scenes.This article is part of the themed issue 'Auditory and visual scene analysis'.

  15. Modelling auditory attention

    PubMed Central

    Kaya, Emine Merve

    2017-01-01

    Sounds in everyday life seldom appear in isolation. Both humans and machines are constantly flooded with a cacophony of sounds that need to be sorted through and scoured for relevant information—a phenomenon referred to as the ‘cocktail party problem’. A key component in parsing acoustic scenes is the role of attention, which mediates perception and behaviour by focusing both sensory and cognitive resources on pertinent information in the stimulus space. The current article provides a review of modelling studies of auditory attention. The review highlights how the term attention refers to a multitude of behavioural and cognitive processes that can shape sensory processing. Attention can be modulated by ‘bottom-up’ sensory-driven factors, as well as ‘top-down’ task-specific goals, expectations and learned schemas. Essentially, it acts as a selection process or processes that focus both sensory and cognitive resources on the most relevant events in the soundscape; with relevance being dictated by the stimulus itself (e.g. a loud explosion) or by a task at hand (e.g. listen to announcements in a busy airport). Recent computational models of auditory attention provide key insights into its role in facilitating perception in cluttered auditory scenes. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Auditory and visual scene analysis’. PMID:28044012

  16. Auditory Fusion in Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Sylvia M.; McCroskey, Robert L.

    1980-01-01

    Focuses on auditory fusion (defined in terms of a listerner's ability to distinguish paired acoustic events from single acoustic events) in 3- to 12-year-old children. The subjects listened to 270 pairs of tones controlled for frequency, intensity, and duration. (CM)

  17. Attention Modulates the Auditory Cortical Processing of Spatial and Category Cues in Naturalistic Auditory Scenes.

    PubMed

    Renvall, Hanna; Staeren, Noël; Barz, Claudia S; Ley, Anke; Formisano, Elia

    2016-01-01

    This combined fMRI and MEG study investigated brain activations during listening and attending to natural auditory scenes. We first recorded, using in-ear microphones, vocal non-speech sounds, and environmental sounds that were mixed to construct auditory scenes containing two concurrent sound streams. During the brain measurements, subjects attended to one of the streams while spatial acoustic information of the scene was either preserved (stereophonic sounds) or removed (monophonic sounds). Compared to monophonic sounds, stereophonic sounds evoked larger blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI responses in the bilateral posterior superior temporal areas, independent of which stimulus attribute the subject was attending to. This finding is consistent with the functional role of these regions in the (automatic) processing of auditory spatial cues. Additionally, significant differences in the cortical activation patterns depending on the target of attention were observed. Bilateral planum temporale and inferior frontal gyrus were preferentially activated when attending to stereophonic environmental sounds, whereas when subjects attended to stereophonic voice sounds, the BOLD responses were larger at the bilateral middle superior temporal gyrus and sulcus, previously reported to show voice sensitivity. In contrast, the time-resolved MEG responses were stronger for mono- than stereophonic sounds in the bilateral auditory cortices at ~360 ms after the stimulus onset when attending to the voice excerpts within the combined sounds. The observed effects suggest that during the segregation of auditory objects from the auditory background, spatial sound cues together with other relevant temporal and spectral cues are processed in an attention-dependent manner at the cortical locations generally involved in sound recognition. More synchronous neuronal activation during monophonic than stereophonic sound processing, as well as (local) neuronal inhibitory mechanisms in

  18. Attention Modulates the Auditory Cortical Processing of Spatial and Category Cues in Naturalistic Auditory Scenes

    PubMed Central

    Renvall, Hanna; Staeren, Noël; Barz, Claudia S.; Ley, Anke; Formisano, Elia

    2016-01-01

    This combined fMRI and MEG study investigated brain activations during listening and attending to natural auditory scenes. We first recorded, using in-ear microphones, vocal non-speech sounds, and environmental sounds that were mixed to construct auditory scenes containing two concurrent sound streams. During the brain measurements, subjects attended to one of the streams while spatial acoustic information of the scene was either preserved (stereophonic sounds) or removed (monophonic sounds). Compared to monophonic sounds, stereophonic sounds evoked larger blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI responses in the bilateral posterior superior temporal areas, independent of which stimulus attribute the subject was attending to. This finding is consistent with the functional role of these regions in the (automatic) processing of auditory spatial cues. Additionally, significant differences in the cortical activation patterns depending on the target of attention were observed. Bilateral planum temporale and inferior frontal gyrus were preferentially activated when attending to stereophonic environmental sounds, whereas when subjects attended to stereophonic voice sounds, the BOLD responses were larger at the bilateral middle superior temporal gyrus and sulcus, previously reported to show voice sensitivity. In contrast, the time-resolved MEG responses were stronger for mono- than stereophonic sounds in the bilateral auditory cortices at ~360 ms after the stimulus onset when attending to the voice excerpts within the combined sounds. The observed effects suggest that during the segregation of auditory objects from the auditory background, spatial sound cues together with other relevant temporal and spectral cues are processed in an attention-dependent manner at the cortical locations generally involved in sound recognition. More synchronous neuronal activation during monophonic than stereophonic sound processing, as well as (local) neuronal inhibitory mechanisms in

  19. Auditory abnormalities in autism: toward functional distinctions among findings.

    PubMed

    Kellerman, Gabriella R; Fan, Jin; Gorman, Jack M

    2005-09-01

    Recently, findings on a wide range of auditory abnormalities among individuals with autism have been reported. To date, functional distinctions among these varied findings are poorly established. Such distinctions should be of interest to clinicians and researchers alike given their potential therapeutic and experimental applications. This review suggests three general trends among these findings as a starting point for future analyses. First, studies of auditory perception of linguistic and social auditory stimuli among individuals with autism generally have found impaired perception versus normal controls. Such findings may correlate with impaired language and communication skills and social isolation observed among individuals with autism. Second, studies of auditory perception of pitch and music among individuals with autism generally have found enhanced perception versus normal controls. These findings may correlate with the restrictive and highly focused behaviors observed among individuals with autism. Third, findings on the auditory perception of non-linguistic, non-musical stimuli among autism patients resist any generalized conclusions. Ultimately, as some researchers have already suggested, the distinction between impaired global processing and enhanced local processing may prove useful in making sense of apparently discordant findings on auditory abnormalities among individuals with autism.

  20. The Diagnosis and Understanding of Apraxia of Speech: Why Including Neurodegenerative Etiologies May Be Important

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duffy, Joseph R.; Josephs, Keith A.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To discuss apraxia of speech (AOS) as it occurs in neurodegenerative disease (progressive AOS [PAOS]) and how its careful study may contribute to general concepts of AOS and help refine its diagnostic criteria. Method: The article summarizes our current understanding of the clinical features and neuroanatomical and pathologic correlates…

  1. A basic study on universal design of auditory signals in automobiles.

    PubMed

    Yamauchi, Katsuya; Choi, Jong-dae; Maiguma, Ryo; Takada, Masayuki; Iwamiya, Shin-ichiro

    2004-11-01

    In this paper, the impression of various kinds of auditory signals currently used in automobiles and a comprehensive evaluation were measured by a semantic differential method. The desirable acoustic characteristic was examined for each type of auditory signal. Sharp sounds with dominant high-frequency components were not suitable for auditory signals in automobiles. This trend is expedient for the aged whose auditory sensitivity in the high frequency region is lower. When intermittent sounds were used, a longer OFF time was suitable. Generally, "dull (not sharp)" and "calm" sounds were appropriate for auditory signals. Furthermore, the comparison between the frequency spectrum of interior noise in automobiles and that of suitable sounds for various auditory signals indicates that the suitable sounds are not easily masked. The suitable auditory signals for various purposes is a good solution from the viewpoint of universal design.

  2. Processing of spatial sounds in human auditory cortex during visual, discrimination and 2-back tasks

    PubMed Central

    Rinne, Teemu; Ala-Salomäki, Heidi; Stecker, G. Christopher; Pätynen, Jukka; Lokki, Tapio

    2014-01-01

    Previous imaging studies on the brain mechanisms of spatial hearing have mainly focused on sounds varying in the horizontal plane. In this study, we compared activations in human auditory cortex (AC) and adjacent inferior parietal lobule (IPL) to sounds varying in horizontal location, distance, or space (i.e., different rooms). In order to investigate both stimulus-dependent and task-dependent activations, these sounds were presented during visual discrimination, auditory discrimination, and auditory 2-back memory tasks. Consistent with previous studies, activations in AC were modulated by the auditory tasks. During both auditory and visual tasks, activations in AC were stronger to sounds varying in horizontal location than along other feature dimensions. However, in IPL, this enhancement was detected only during auditory tasks. Based on these results, we argue that IPL is not primarily involved in stimulus-level spatial analysis but that it may represent such information for more general processing when relevant to an active auditory task. PMID:25120423

  3. Engineering enhanced protein disaggregases for neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Jackrel, Meredith E; Shorter, James

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Protein misfolding and aggregation underpin several fatal neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). There are no treatments that directly antagonize the protein-misfolding events that cause these disorders. Agents that reverse protein misfolding and restore proteins to native form and function could simultaneously eliminate any deleterious loss-of-function or toxic gain-of-function caused by misfolded conformers. Moreover, a disruptive technology of this nature would eliminate self-templating conformers that spread pathology and catalyze formation of toxic, soluble oligomers. Here, we highlight our efforts to engineer Hsp104, a protein disaggregase from yeast, to more effectively disaggregate misfolded proteins connected with PD, ALS, and FTD. Remarkably subtle modifications of Hsp104 primary sequence yielded large gains in protective activity against deleterious α-synuclein, TDP-43, FUS, and TAF15 misfolding. Unusually, in many cases loss of amino acid identity at select positions in Hsp104 rather than specific mutation conferred a robust therapeutic gain-of-function. Nevertheless, the misfolding and toxicity of EWSR1, an RNA-binding protein with a prion-like domain linked to ALS and FTD, could not be buffered by potentiated Hsp104 variants, indicating that further amelioration of disaggregase activity or sharpening of substrate specificity is warranted. We suggest that neuroprotection is achievable for diverse neurodegenerative conditions via surprisingly subtle structural modifications of existing chaperones. PMID:25738979

  4. Diffusion-MRI in neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Goveas, Joseph; O'Dwyer, Laurence; Mascalchi, Mario; Cosottini, Mirco; Diciotti, Stefano; De Santis, Silvia; Passamonti, Luca; Tessa, Carlo; Toschi, Nicola; Giannelli, Marco

    2015-09-01

    The ability to image the whole brain through ever more subtle and specific methods/contrasts has come to play a key role in understanding the basis of brain abnormalities in several diseases. In magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), "diffusion" (i.e. the random, thermally-induced displacements of water molecules over time) represents an extraordinarily sensitive contrast mechanism, and the exquisite structural detail it affords has proven useful in a vast number of clinical as well as research applications. Since diffusion-MRI is a truly quantitative imaging technique, the indices it provides can serve as potential imaging biomarkers which could allow early detection of pathological alterations as well as tracking and possibly predicting subtle changes in follow-up examinations and clinical trials. Accordingly, diffusion-MRI has proven useful in obtaining information to better understand the microstructural changes and neurophysiological mechanisms underlying various neurodegenerative disorders. In this review article, we summarize and explore the main applications, findings, perspectives as well as challenges and future research of diffusion-MRI in various neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington's disease and degenerative ataxias.

  5. [The role of thiamine in neurodegenerative diseases].

    PubMed

    Bubko, Irena; Gruber, Beata M; Anuszewska, Elżbieta L

    2015-09-21

    Vitamin B1 (thiamine) plays an important role in metabolism. It is indispensable for normal growth and development of the organism. Thiamine has a favourable impact on a number of systems, including the digestive, cardiovascular and nervous systems. It also stimulates the brain and improves the psycho-emotional state. Hence it is often called the vitamin of "reassurance of the spirit". Thiamine is a water-soluble vitamin. It can be present in the free form as thiamine or as its phosphate esters: mono-, di- or triphosphate. The main source of thiamine as an exogenous vitamin is certain foodstuffs, but trace amounts can be synthesised by microorganisms of the large intestine. The recommended daily intake of thiamine is about 2.0 mg. Since vitamin B1 has no ability to accumulate in the organism, manifestations of its deficiency begin to appear very quickly. The chronic state of thiamine deficiency, to a large extent, because of its function, contributes to the development of neurodegenerative diseases. It was proved that supporting vitamin B1 therapy not only constitutes neuroprotection but can also have a favourable impact on advanced neurodegenerative diseases. This article presents the current state of knowledge as regards the effects of thiamine exerted through this vitamin in a number of diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Wernicke's encephalopathy or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome and Huntington's disease.

  6. Inflammation in neurodegenerative diseases--an update.

    PubMed

    Amor, Sandra; Peferoen, Laura A N; Vogel, Daphne Y S; Breur, Marjolein; van der Valk, Paul; Baker, David; van Noort, Johannes M

    2014-06-01

    Neurodegeneration, the progressive dysfunction and loss of neurons in the central nervous system (CNS), is the major cause of cognitive and motor dysfunction. While neuronal degeneration is well-known in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, it is also observed in neurotrophic infections, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, stroke, neoplastic disorders, prion diseases, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, as well as neuropsychiatric disorders and genetic disorders. A common link between these diseases is chronic activation of innate immune responses including those mediated by microglia, the resident CNS macrophages. Such activation can trigger neurotoxic pathways leading to progressive degeneration. Yet, microglia are also crucial for controlling inflammatory processes, and repair and regeneration. The adaptive immune response is implicated in neurodegenerative diseases contributing to tissue damage, but also plays important roles in resolving inflammation and mediating neuroprotection and repair. The growing awareness that the immune system is inextricably involved in mediating damage as well as regeneration and repair in neurodegenerative disorders, has prompted novel approaches to modulate the immune system, although it remains whether these approaches can be used in humans. Additional factors in humans include ageing and exposure to environmental factors such as systemic infections that provide additional clues that may be human specific and therefore difficult to translate from animal models. Nevertheless, a better understanding of how immune responses are involved in neuronal damage and regeneration, as reviewed here, will be essential to develop effective therapies to improve quality of life, and mitigate the personal, economic and social impact of these diseases.

  7. Polyphenols: Multipotent Therapeutic Agents in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bhullar, Khushwant S.; Rupasinghe, H. P. Vasantha

    2013-01-01

    Aging leads to numerous transitions in brain physiology including synaptic dysfunction and disturbances in cognition and memory. With a few clinically relevant drugs, a substantial portion of aging population at risk for age-related neurodegenerative disorders require nutritional intervention. Dietary intake of polyphenols is known to attenuate oxidative stress and reduce the risk for related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease (PD), and Huntington's disease (HD). Polyphenols exhibit strong potential to address the etiology of neurological disorders as they attenuate their complex physiology by modulating several therapeutic targets at once. Firstly, we review the advances in the therapeutic role of polyphenols in cell and animal models of AD, PD, MS, and HD and activation of drug targets for controlling pathological manifestations. Secondly, we present principle pathways in which polyphenol intake translates into therapeutic outcomes. In particular, signaling pathways like PPAR, Nrf2, STAT, HIF, and MAPK along with modulation of immune response by polyphenols are discussed. Although current polyphenol researches have limited impact on clinical practice, they have strong evidence and testable hypothesis to contribute clinical advances and drug discovery towards age-related neurological disorders. PMID:23840922

  8. The role of copper in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Waggoner, D J; Bartnikas, T B; Gitlin, J D

    1999-08-01

    Copper is an essential trace metal which plays a fundamental role in the biochemistry of the human nervous system. Menkes disease and Wilson disease are inherited disorders of copper metabolism and the dramatic neurodegenerative phenotypes of these two diseases underscore the essential nature of copper in nervous system development as well as the toxicity of this metal when neuronal copper homeostasis is perturbed. Ceruloplasmin contains 95% of the copper found in human plasma and inherited loss of this essential ferroxidase is associated with progressive neurodegeneration of the retina and basal ganglia. Gain-of-function mutations in the cytosolic copper enzyme superoxide dismutase result in the motor neuron degeneration of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and current evidence suggests a direct pathogenic role for copper in this process. Recent studies have also implicated copper in the pathogenesis of neuronal injury in Alzheimer's disease and the prion-mediated encephalopathies, suggesting that further elucidation of the mechanisms of copper trafficking and metabolism within the nervous system will be of direct relevance to our understanding of the pathophysiology and treatment of neurodegenerative disease.

  9. In vitro imaging techniques in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Långström, Bengt; Andrén, Per E; Lindhe, Orjan; Svedberg, Marie; Hall, Håkan

    2007-01-01

    Neurodegeneration induces various changes in the brain, changes that may be investigated using neuroimaging techniques. The in vivo techniques are useful for the visualization of major changes, and the progressing abnormalities may also be followed longitudinally. However, to study and quantify minor abnormalities, neuroimaging of postmortem brain tissue is used. These in vitro methods are complementary to the in vivo techniques and contribute to the knowledge of pathophysiology and etiology of the neurodegenerative diseases. In vitro radioligand autoradiography has given great insight in the involvement of different neuronal receptor systems in these diseases. Data on the dopamine and cholinergic systems in neurodegeneration are discussed in this review. Also, the amyloid plaques are studied using in vitro radioligand autoradiography. Using one of the newer methods, imaging matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry, the distribution of a large number of peptides and proteins may be detected in vitro on brain cryosections. In this overview, we describe in vitro imaging techniques in the neurodegenerative diseases as a complement to in vivo positron emission tomography and single photon emission computed tomography imaging.

  10. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy and other neurodegenerative proteinopathies

    PubMed Central

    Tartaglia, Maria Carmela; Hazrati, Lili-Naz; Davis, Karen D.; Green, Robin E. A.; Wennberg, Richard; Mikulis, David; Ezerins, Leo J.; Keightley, Michelle; Tator, Charles

    2014-01-01

    “Chronic traumatic encephalopathy” (CTE) is described as a slowly progressive neurodegenerative disease believed to result from multiple concussions. Traditionally, concussions were considered benign events and although most people recover fully, about 10% develop a post-concussive syndrome with persisting neurological, cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms. CTE was once thought to be unique to boxers, but it has now been observed in many different athletes having suffered multiple concussions as well as in military personal after repeated blast injuries. Much remains unknown about the development of CTE but its pathological substrate is usually tau, similar to that seen in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). The aim of this “perspective” is to compare and contrast clinical and pathological CTE with the other neurodegenerative proteinopathies and highlight that there is an urgent need for understanding the relationship between concussion and the development of CTE as it may provide a window into the development of a proteinopathy and thus new avenues for treatment. PMID:24550810

  11. Automated auditory recognition training and testing

    PubMed Central

    Gess, Austen; Schneider, David M.; Vyas, Akshat; Woolley, Sarah M. N.

    2011-01-01

    Laboratory training and testing of auditory recognition skills in animals is important for understanding animal communication systems that depend on auditory cues. Songbirds are commonly studied because of their exceptional ability to learn complex vocalizations. In recent years, mounting interest in the perceptual abilities of songbirds has increased the demand for laboratory behavioural training and testing paradigms. Here, we describe and demonstrate the success of a method for auditory discrimination experiments, including all the necessary hardware, training procedures and freely-available, versatile software. The system can run several behavioural training and testing paradigms, including operant (go-nogo, stimulus preference, and two-alternative forced choice) and classical conditioning tasks. The software and some hardware components can be used with any laboratory animal that learns and responds to sensory cues. The peripheral hardware and training procedures are designed for use with songbirds and auditory stimuli. Using the go-nogo paradigm of the training system, we show that adult zebra finches learn to recognize and correctly classify individual female calls and male songs. We also show that learning the task generalizes to new stimulus classes; birds that learned the task with calls subsequently learned to recognize songs faster than did birds that learned the task and songs at the same time. PMID:21857717

  12. Multivariate sensitivity to voice during auditory categorization.

    PubMed

    Lee, Yune Sang; Peelle, Jonathan E; Kraemer, David; Lloyd, Samuel; Granger, Richard

    2015-09-01

    Past neuroimaging studies have documented discrete regions of human temporal cortex that are more strongly activated by conspecific voice sounds than by nonvoice sounds. However, the mechanisms underlying this voice sensitivity remain unclear. In the present functional MRI study, we took a novel approach to examining voice sensitivity, in which we applied a signal detection paradigm to the assessment of multivariate pattern classification among several living and nonliving categories of auditory stimuli. Within this framework, voice sensitivity can be interpreted as a distinct neural representation of brain activity that correctly distinguishes human vocalizations from other auditory object categories. Across a series of auditory categorization tests, we found that bilateral superior and middle temporal cortex consistently exhibited robust sensitivity to human vocal sounds. Although the strongest categorization was in distinguishing human voice from other categories, subsets of these regions were also able to distinguish reliably between nonhuman categories, suggesting a general role in auditory object categorization. Our findings complement the current evidence of cortical sensitivity to human vocal sounds by revealing that the greatest sensitivity during categorization tasks is devoted to distinguishing voice from nonvoice categories within human temporal cortex.

  13. Auditory risk estimates for youth target shooting

    PubMed Central

    Meinke, Deanna K.; Murphy, William J.; Finan, Donald S.; Lankford, James E.; Flamme, Gregory A.; Stewart, Michael; Soendergaard, Jacob; Jerome, Trevor W.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To characterize the impulse noise exposure and auditory risk for youth recreational firearm users engaged in outdoor target shooting events. The youth shooting positions are typically standing or sitting at a table, which places the firearm closer to the ground or reflective surface when compared to adult shooters. Design Acoustic characteristics were examined and the auditory risk estimates were evaluated using contemporary damage-risk criteria for unprotected adult listeners and the 120-dB peak limit suggested by the World Health Organization (1999) for children. Study sample Impulses were generated by 26 firearm/ammunition configurations representing rifles, shotguns, and pistols used by youth. Measurements were obtained relative to a youth shooter’s left ear. Results All firearms generated peak levels that exceeded the 120 dB peak limit suggested by the WHO for children. In general, shooting from the seated position over a tabletop increases the peak levels, LAeq8 and reduces the unprotected maximum permissible exposures (MPEs) for both rifles and pistols. Pistols pose the greatest auditory risk when fired over a tabletop. Conclusion Youth should utilize smaller caliber weapons, preferably from the standing position, and always wear hearing protection whenever engaging in shooting activities to reduce the risk for auditory damage. PMID:24564688

  14. Development of the auditory system.

    PubMed

    Litovsky, Ruth

    2015-01-01

    Auditory development involves changes in the peripheral and central nervous system along the auditory pathways, and these occur naturally, and in response to stimulation. Human development occurs along a trajectory that can last decades, and is studied using behavioral psychophysics, as well as physiologic measurements with neural imaging. The auditory system constructs a perceptual space that takes information from objects and groups, segregates sounds, and provides meaning and access to communication tools such as language. Auditory signals are processed in a series of analysis stages, from peripheral to central. Coding of information has been studied for features of sound, including frequency, intensity, loudness, and location, in quiet and in the presence of maskers. In the latter case, the ability of the auditory system to perform an analysis of the scene becomes highly relevant. While some basic abilities are well developed at birth, there is a clear prolonged maturation of auditory development well into the teenage years. Maturation involves auditory pathways. However, non-auditory changes (attention, memory, cognition) play an important role in auditory development. The ability of the auditory system to adapt in response to novel stimuli is a key feature of development throughout the nervous system, known as neural plasticity.

  15. Animal models for auditory streaming.

    PubMed

    Itatani, Naoya; Klump, Georg M

    2017-02-19

    Sounds in the natural environment need to be assigned to acoustic sources to evaluate complex auditory scenes. Separating sources will affect the analysis of auditory features of sounds. As the benefits of assigning sounds to specific sources accrue to all species communicating acoustically, the ability for auditory scene analysis is widespread among different animals. Animal studies allow for a deeper insight into the neuronal mechanisms underlying auditory scene analysis. Here, we will review the paradigms applied in the study of auditory scene analysis and streaming of sequential sounds in animal models. We will compare the psychophysical results from the animal studies to the evidence obtained in human psychophysics of auditory streaming, i.e. in a task commonly used for measuring the capability for auditory scene analysis. Furthermore, the neuronal correlates of auditory streaming will be reviewed in different animal models and the observations of the neurons' response measures will be related to perception. The across-species comparison will reveal whether similar demands in the analysis of acoustic scenes have resulted in similar perceptual and neuronal processing mechanisms in the wide range of species being capable of auditory scene analysis.This article is part of the themed issue 'Auditory and visual scene analysis'.

  16. Development of the auditory system

    PubMed Central

    Litovsky, Ruth

    2015-01-01

    Auditory development involves changes in the peripheral and central nervous system along the auditory pathways, and these occur naturally, and in response to stimulation. Human development occurs along a trajectory that can last decades, and is studied using behavioral psychophysics, as well as physiologic measurements with neural imaging. The auditory system constructs a perceptual space that takes information from objects and groups, segregates sounds, and provides meaning and access to communication tools such as language. Auditory signals are processed in a series of analysis stages, from peripheral to central. Coding of information has been studied for features of sound, including frequency, intensity, loudness, and location, in quiet and in the presence of maskers. In the latter case, the ability of the auditory system to perform an analysis of the scene becomes highly relevant. While some basic abilities are well developed at birth, there is a clear prolonged maturation of auditory development well into the teenage years. Maturation involves auditory pathways. However, non-auditory changes (attention, memory, cognition) play an important role in auditory development. The ability of the auditory system to adapt in response to novel stimuli is a key feature of development throughout the nervous system, known as neural plasticity. PMID:25726262

  17. Auditory pathways: anatomy and physiology.

    PubMed

    Pickles, James O

    2015-01-01

    This chapter outlines the anatomy and physiology of the auditory pathways. After a brief analysis of the external, middle ears, and cochlea, the responses of auditory nerve fibers are described. The central nervous system is analyzed in more detail. A scheme is provided to help understand the complex and multiple auditory pathways running through the brainstem. The multiple pathways are based on the need to preserve accurate timing while extracting complex spectral patterns in the auditory input. The auditory nerve fibers branch to give two pathways, a ventral sound-localizing stream, and a dorsal mainly pattern recognition stream, which innervate the different divisions of the cochlear nucleus. The outputs of the two streams, with their two types of analysis, are progressively combined in the inferior colliculus and onwards, to produce the representation of what can be called the "auditory objects" in the external world. The progressive extraction of critical features in the auditory stimulus in the different levels of the central auditory system, from cochlear nucleus to auditory cortex, is described. In addition, the auditory centrifugal system, running from cortex in multiple stages to the organ of Corti of the cochlea, is described.

  18. Music lessons improve auditory perceptual and cognitive performance in deaf children.

    PubMed

    Rochette, Françoise; Moussard, Aline; Bigand, Emmanuel

    2014-01-01

    Despite advanced technologies in auditory rehabilitation of profound deafness, deaf children often exhibit delayed cognitive and linguistic development and auditory training remains a crucial element of their education. In the present cross-sectional study, we assess whether music would be a relevant tool for deaf children rehabilitation. In normal-hearing children, music lessons have been shown to improve cognitive and linguistic-related abilities, such as phonetic discrimination and reading. We compared auditory perception, auditory cognition, and phonetic discrimination between 14 profoundly deaf children who completed weekly music lessons for a period of 1.5-4 years and 14 deaf children who did not receive musical instruction. Children were assessed on perceptual and cognitive auditory tasks using environmental sounds: discrimination, identification, auditory scene analysis, auditory working memory. Transfer to the linguistic domain was tested with a phonetic discrimination task. Musically trained children showed better performance in auditory scene analysis, auditory working memory and phonetic discrimination tasks, and multiple regressions showed that success on these tasks was at least partly driven by music lessons. We propose that musical education contributes to development of general processes such as auditory attention and perception, which, in turn, facilitate auditory-related cognitive and linguistic processes.

  19. Localized Cell and Drug Delivery for Auditory Prostheses

    PubMed Central

    Hendricks, Jeffrey L.; Chikar, Jennifer A.; Crumling, Mark A.; Raphael, Yehoash; Martin, David C.

    2011-01-01

    Localized cell and drug delivery to the cochlea and central auditory pathway can improve the safety and performance of implanted auditory prostheses (APs). While generally successful, these devices have a number of limitations and adverse effects including limited tonal and dynamic ranges, channel interactions, unwanted stimulation of non-auditory nerves, immune rejection, and infections including meningitis. Many of these limitations are associated with the tissue reactions to implanted auditory prosthetic devices and the gradual degeneration of the auditory system following deafness. Strategies to reduce the insertion trauma, degeneration of target neurons, fibrous and bony tissue encapsulation, and immune activation can improve the viability of tissue required for AP function as well as improve the resolution of stimulation for reduced channel interaction and improved place-pitch and level discrimination. Many pharmaceutical compounds have been identified that promote the viability of auditory tissue and prevent inflammation and infection. Cell delivery and gene therapy have provided promising results for treating hearing loss and reversing degeneration. Currently, many clinical and experimental methods can produce extremely localized and sustained drug delivery to address AP limitations. These methods provide better control over drug concentrations while eliminating the adverse effects of systemic delivery. Many of these drug delivery techniques can be integrated into modern auditory prosthetic devices to optimize the tissue response to the implanted device and reduce the risk of infection or rejection. Together, these methods and pharmaceutical agents can be used to optimize the tissue-device interface for improved AP safety and effectiveness. PMID:18573323

  20. Spatial processing in the auditory cortex of the macaque monkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Recanzone, Gregg H.

    2000-10-01

    The patterns of cortico-cortical and cortico-thalamic connections of auditory cortical areas in the rhesus monkey have led to the hypothesis that acoustic information is processed in series and in parallel in the primate auditory cortex. Recent physiological experiments in the behaving monkey indicate that the response properties of neurons in different cortical areas are both functionally distinct from each other, which is indicative of parallel processing, and functionally similar to each other, which is indicative of serial processing. Thus, auditory cortical processing may be similar to the serial and parallel "what" and "where" processing by the primate visual cortex. If "where" information is serially processed in the primate auditory cortex, neurons in cortical areas along this pathway should have progressively better spatial tuning properties. This prediction is supported by recent experiments that have shown that neurons in the caudomedial field have better spatial tuning properties than neurons in the primary auditory cortex. Neurons in the caudomedial field are also better than primary auditory cortex neurons at predicting the sound localization ability across different stimulus frequencies and bandwidths in both azimuth and elevation. These data support the hypothesis that the primate auditory cortex processes acoustic information in a serial and parallel manner and suggest that this may be a general cortical mechanism for sensory perception.

  1. Incorporating Auditory Models in Speech/Audio Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krishnamoorthi, Harish

    2011-12-01

    Following the success in incorporating perceptual models in audio coding algorithms, their application in other speech/audio processing systems is expanding. In general, all perceptual speech/audio processing algorithms involve minimization of an objective function that directly/indirectly incorporates properties of human perception. This dissertation primarily investigates the problems associated with directly embedding an auditory model in the objective function formulation and proposes possible solutions to overcome high complexity issues for use in real-time speech/audio algorithms. Specific problems addressed in this dissertation include: 1) the development of approximate but computationally efficient auditory model implementations that are consistent with the principles of psychoacoustics, 2) the development of a mapping scheme that allows synthesizing a time/frequency domain representation from its equivalent auditory model output. The first problem is aimed at addressing the high computational complexity involved in solving perceptual objective functions that require repeated application of auditory model for evaluation of different candidate solutions. In this dissertation, a frequency pruning and a detector pruning algorithm is developed that efficiently implements the various auditory model stages. The performance of the pruned model is compared to that of the original auditory model for different types of test signals in the SQAM database. Experimental results indicate only a 4-7% relative error in loudness while attaining up to 80-90 % reduction in computational complexity. Similarly, a hybrid algorithm is developed specifically for use with sinusoidal signals and employs the proposed auditory pattern combining technique together with a look-up table to store representative auditory patterns. The second problem obtains an estimate of the auditory representation that minimizes a perceptual objective function and transforms the auditory pattern back to

  2. Auditory Learning. Dimensions in Early Learning Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zigmond, Naomi K.; Cicci, Regina

    The monograph discusses the psycho-physiological operations for processing of auditory information, the structure and function of the ear, the development of auditory processes from fetal responses through discrimination, language comprehension, auditory memory, and auditory processes related to written language. Disorders of auditory learning…

  3. Auditory Processing Disorders. Revised. Technical Assistance Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Florida State Dept. of Education, Tallahassee. Bureau of Instructional Support and Community Services.

    Designed to assist audiologists in the educational setting in responding to frequently asked questions concerning audiological auditory processing disorder (APD) evaluations, this paper addresses: (1) auditory processes; (2) auditory processing skills; (3) characteristics of auditory processing disorders; (4) causes of auditory overload; (5) why…

  4. Central auditory disorders: toward a neuropsychology of auditory objects

    PubMed Central

    Goll, Johanna C.; Crutch, Sebastian J.; Warren, Jason D.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose of review Analysis of the auditory environment, source identification and vocal communication all require efficient brain mechanisms for disambiguating, representing and understanding complex natural sounds as ‘auditory objects’. Failure of these mechanisms leads to a diverse spectrum of clinical deficits. Here we review current evidence concerning the phenomenology, mechanisms and brain substrates of auditory agnosias and related disorders of auditory object processing. Recent findings Analysis of lesions causing auditory object deficits has revealed certain broad anatomical correlations: deficient parsing of the auditory scene is associated with lesions involving the parieto-temporal junction, while selective disorders of sound recognition occur with more anterior temporal lobe or extra-temporal damage. Distributed neural networks have been increasingly implicated in the pathogenesis of such disorders as developmental dyslexia, congenital amusia and tinnitus. Auditory category deficits may arise from defective interaction of spectrotemporal encoding and executive and mnestic processes. Dedicated brain mechanisms are likely to process specialised sound objects such as voices and melodies. Summary Emerging empirical evidence suggests a clinically relevant, hierarchical and fractionated neuropsychological model of auditory object processing that provides a framework for understanding auditory agnosias and makes specific predictions to direct future work. PMID:20975559

  5. Early hominin auditory capacities

    PubMed Central

    Quam, Rolf; Martínez, Ignacio; Rosa, Manuel; Bonmatí, Alejandro; Lorenzo, Carlos; de Ruiter, Darryl J.; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo; Conde Valverde, Mercedes; Jarabo, Pilar; Menter, Colin G.; Thackeray, J. Francis; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2015-01-01

    Studies of sensory capacities in past life forms have offered new insights into their adaptations and lifeways. Audition is particularly amenable to study in fossils because it is strongly related to physical properties that can be approached through their skeletal structures. We have studied the anatomy of the outer and middle ear in the early hominin taxa Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus and estimated their auditory capacities. Compared with chimpanzees, the early hominin taxa are derived toward modern humans in their slightly shorter and wider external auditory canal, smaller tympanic membrane, and lower malleus/incus lever ratio, but they remain primitive in the small size of their stapes footplate. Compared with chimpanzees, both early hominin taxa show a heightened sensitivity to frequencies between 1.5 and 3.5 kHz and an occupied band of maximum sensitivity that is shifted toward slightly higher frequencies. The results have implications for sensory ecology and communication, and suggest that the early hominin auditory pattern may have facilitated an increased emphasis on short-range vocal communication in open habitats. PMID:26601261

  6. Early hominin auditory capacities.

    PubMed

    Quam, Rolf; Martínez, Ignacio; Rosa, Manuel; Bonmatí, Alejandro; Lorenzo, Carlos; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo; Conde Valverde, Mercedes; Jarabo, Pilar; Menter, Colin G; Thackeray, J Francis; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2015-09-01

    Studies of sensory capacities in past life forms have offered new insights into their adaptations and lifeways. Audition is particularly amenable to study in fossils because it is strongly related to physical properties that can be approached through their skeletal structures. We have studied the anatomy of the outer and middle ear in the early hominin taxa Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus and estimated their auditory capacities. Compared with chimpanzees, the early hominin taxa are derived toward modern humans in their slightly shorter and wider external auditory canal, smaller tympanic membrane, and lower malleus/incus lever ratio, but they remain primitive in the small size of their stapes footplate. Compared with chimpanzees, both early hominin taxa show a heightened sensitivity to frequencies between 1.5 and 3.5 kHz and an occupied band of maximum sensitivity that is shifted toward slightly higher frequencies. The results have implications for sensory ecology and communication, and suggest that the early hominin auditory pattern may have facilitated an increased emphasis on short-range vocal communication in open habitats.

  7. A Potential Alternative against Neurodegenerative Diseases: Phytodrugs

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Hernández, Jesús; Zaldívar-Machorro, Víctor Javier; Villanueva-Porras, David; Vega-Ávila, Elisa; Chavarría, Anahí

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (ND) primarily affect the neurons in the human brain secondary to oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. ND are more common and have a disproportionate impact on countries with longer life expectancies and represent the fourth highest source of overall disease burden in the high-income countries. A large majority of the medicinal plant compounds, such as polyphenols, alkaloids, and terpenes, have therapeutic properties. Polyphenols are the most common active compounds in herbs and vegetables consumed by man. The biological bioactivity of polyphenols against neurodegeneration is mainly due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiamyloidogenic effects. Multiple scientific studies support the use of herbal medicine in the treatment of ND; however, relevant aspects are still pending to explore such as metabolic analysis, pharmacokinetics, and brain bioavailability. PMID:26881043

  8. Tau as a biomarker of neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Schraen-Maschke, Susanna; Sergeant, Nicolas; Dhaenens, Claire-Marie; Bombois, Stephanie; Deramecourt, Vincent; Caillet-Boudin, Marie-Laure; Pasquier, Florence; Maurage, Claude-Alain; Sablonniere, Bernard; Vanmechelen, Eugeen; Buee, Luc

    2008-01-01

    Summary The microtubule associated protein Tau is mainly expressed in neurons of the central nervous system and is crucial in axonal maintenance and axonal transport. The rationale for Tau as a biomarker of neurodegenerative diseases is that it is a major component of abnormal intraneuronal aggregates observed in numerous of these diseases named Tauopathies, including Alzheimer’s disease. The molecular diversity of Tau is very useful when analysing it in the brain or in the peripheral fluids. Immunohistochemical and biochemical characterisation of Tau aggregates in the brain allows the post-mortem classification and differential diagnosis of Tauopathies. As peripheral biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease in the cerebrospinal fluid, Tau proteins are now validated for diagnosis and predictive purposes. For the future, the detailed characterization of Tau in brain and in peripheral fluids will lead to novel promising biomarkers for differential diagnosis of dementia and monitoring of therapeutics. PMID:20477391

  9. Antisense oligonucleotides in therapy for neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Evers, Melvin M; Toonen, Lodewijk J A; van Roon-Mom, Willeke M C

    2015-06-29

    Antisense oligonucleotides are synthetic single stranded strings of nucleic acids that bind to RNA and thereby alter or reduce expression of the target RNA. They can not only reduce expression of mutant proteins by breakdown of the targeted transcript, but also restore protein expression or modify proteins through interference with pre-mRNA splicing. There has been a recent revival of interest in the use of antisense oligonucleotides to treat several neurodegenerative disorders using different approaches to prevent disease onset or halt disease progression and the first clinical trials for spinal muscular atrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis showing promising results. For these trials, intrathecal delivery is being used but direct infusion into the brain ventricles and several methods of passing the blood brain barrier after peripheral administration are also under investigation.

  10. Epigenetic mechanisms in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Jakovcevski, Mira; Akbarian, Schahram

    2013-01-01

    The exploration of brain epigenomes, which consist of various types of DNA methylation and covalent histone modifications, is providing new and unprecedented insights into the mechanisms of normal neural development, neurological disease and aging. Traditionally, chromatin defects in brain were considered static lesions of early development that occurred in the context of rare genetic syndromes but it is now clear that mutations and maladaptations of the epigenetic machinery cover a much wider continuum, including adult-onset neurodegenerative disease. Here, we describe how recent advances in neuroepigenetics have contributed to an improved mechanistic understanding of developmental and degenerative brain disorders, as well as how they could influence the development of future therapies for these conditions. PMID:22869198

  11. Neuroinflammation in Neurodegenerative Disorders-a Review.

    PubMed

    Schain, Martin; Kreisl, William Charles

    2017-03-01

    The potential for positron emission tomography (PET) to detect neuroinflammation in vivo has sparked a remarkable interest in various disciplines of neuroscience. Early PET radioligands, such as [(11)C]PK(R)-11195 for the 18-kDa translocator protein (TSPO) and [(11)C]L-deprenyl for monoamine oxidase B, have been used in studies designed to clarify the role of neuroinflammation in a variety of psychiatric and neurological disorders. Recent years have witnessed the development of several second-generation PET radioligands for TSPO and radioligands to measure endogenous targets that are active in various stages of the inflammatory cascade, such as cyclooxygenase and arachidonic acid. Here, we discuss some of the biomarkers for neuroinflammation that are available for quantification with PET, as well as recent findings from studies where neuroinflammation has been assessed in neurodegenerative disorders. In addition, we highlight the challenges to accurate interpretation of PET studies of neuroinflammation.

  12. Spongiform neurodegenerative disease in a Persian kitten.

    PubMed

    Salvadori, Claudia; Lossi, Laura; Arispici, Mario; Cantile, Carlo

    2007-06-01

    A congenital encephalopathy with spongiform degeneration and prominent neuronal apoptosis was observed in a 4-month-old Persian male cat with a history of depressed mental status and ataxia. On clinical examination, signs included right head tilt, ventroflexion of the head and neck, and tetraparesis. Histological examination of the central nervous system revealed multifocal, bilateral and symmetrical vacuolar degeneration of the neuropil, mainly involving the cerebellar and vestibular nuclei area, the caudal colliculi, the mesencephalic nuclei, the tegmental area and the deeper layer of the cerebral cortex. Accumulation of phosphorylated neurofilaments was detected in neuronal perikarya of the deep cortical layers, hippocampus and thalamus. Numerous pyknotic and apoptotic neurons were also observed in the cerebral cortex. These neuropathological changes differ from those observed in previous reports of spongiform degeneration of the grey matter in cats and were suggestive of a congenital neurodegenerative disease.

  13. Ketogenic Diet in Neuromuscular and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Damiani, Ernesto; Bosco, Gerardo

    2014-01-01

    An increasing number of data demonstrate the utility of ketogenic diets in a variety of metabolic diseases as obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. In regard to neurological disorders, ketogenic diet is recognized as an effective treatment for pharmacoresistant epilepsy but emerging data suggests that ketogenic diet could be also useful in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer, Parkinson's disease, and some mitochondriopathies. Although these diseases have different pathogenesis and features, there are some common mechanisms that could explain the effects of ketogenic diets. These mechanisms are to provide an efficient source of energy for the treatment of certain types of neurodegenerative diseases characterized by focal brain hypometabolism; to decrease the oxidative damage associated with various kinds of metabolic stress; to increase the mitochondrial biogenesis pathways; and to take advantage of the capacity of ketones to bypass the defect in complex I activity implicated in some neurological diseases. These mechanisms will be discussed in this review. PMID:25101284

  14. Auditory interfaces: The human perceiver

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colburn, H. Steven

    1991-01-01

    A brief introduction to the basic auditory abilities of the human perceiver with particular attention toward issues that may be important for the design of auditory interfaces is presented. The importance of appropriate auditory inputs to observers with normal hearing is probably related to the role of hearing as an omnidirectional, early warning system and to its role as the primary vehicle for communication of strong personal feelings.

  15. Subcortical processing in auditory communication.

    PubMed

    Pannese, Alessia; Grandjean, Didier; Frühholz, Sascha

    2015-10-01

    The voice is a rich source of information, which the human brain has evolved to decode and interpret. Empirical observations have shown that the human auditory system is especially sensitive to the human voice, and that activity within the voice-sensitive regions of the primary and secondary auditory cortex is modulated by the emotional quality of the vocal signal, and may therefore subserve, with frontal regions, the cognitive ability to correctly identify the speaker's affective state. So far, the network involved in the processing of vocal affect has been mainly characterised at the cortical level. However, anatomical and functional evidence suggests that acoustic information relevant to the affective quality of the auditory signal might be processed prior to the auditory cortex. Here we review the animal and human literature on the main subcortical structures along the auditory pathway, and propose a model whereby the distinction between different types of vocal affect in auditory communication begins at very early stages of auditory processing, and relies on the analysis of individual acoustic features of the sound signal. We further suggest that this early feature-based decoding occurs at a subcortical level along the ascending auditory pathway, and provides a preliminary coarse (but fast) characterisation of the affective quality of the auditory signal before the more refined (but slower) cortical processing is completed.

  16. Selective adaptation to "oddball" sounds by the human auditory system.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Andrew J R; Harper, Nicol S; Reiss, Joshua D; McAlpine, David

    2014-01-29

    Adaptation to both common and rare sounds has been independently reported in neurophysiological studies using probabilistic stimulus paradigms in small mammals. However, the apparent sensitivity of the mammalian auditory system to the statistics of incoming sound has not yet been generalized to task-related human auditory perception. Here, we show that human listeners selectively adapt to novel sounds within scenes unfolding over minutes. Listeners' performance in an auditory discrimination task remains steady for the most common elements within the scene but, after the first minute, performance improves for distinct and rare (oddball) sound elements, at the expense of rare sounds that are relatively less distinct. Our data provide the first evidence of enhanced coding of oddball sounds in a human auditory discrimination task and suggest the existence of an adaptive mechanism that tracks the long-term statistics of sounds and deploys coding resources accordingly.

  17. The Central Auditory Processing Kit[TM]. Book 1: Auditory Memory [and] Book 2: Auditory Discrimination, Auditory Closure, and Auditory Synthesis [and] Book 3: Auditory Figure-Ground, Auditory Cohesion, Auditory Binaural Integration, and Compensatory Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mokhemar, Mary Ann

    This kit for assessing central auditory processing disorders (CAPD), in children in grades 1 through 8 includes 3 books, 14 full-color cards with picture scenes, and a card depicting a phone key pad, all contained in a sturdy carrying case. The units in each of the three books correspond with auditory skill areas most commonly addressed in…

  18. Auditory Discrimination and Auditory Sensory Behaviours in Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Catherine R. G.; Happe, Francesca; Baird, Gillian; Simonoff, Emily; Marsden, Anita J. S.; Tregay, Jenifer; Phillips, Rebecca J.; Goswami, Usha; Thomson, Jennifer M.; Charman, Tony

    2009-01-01

    It has been hypothesised that auditory processing may be enhanced in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We tested auditory discrimination ability in 72 adolescents with ASD (39 childhood autism; 33 other ASD) and 57 IQ and age-matched controls, assessing their capacity for successful discrimination of the frequency, intensity and duration…

  19. Auditory Reserve and the Legacy of Auditory Experience

    PubMed Central

    Skoe, Erika; Kraus, Nina

    2014-01-01

    Musical training during childhood has been linked to more robust encoding of sound later in life. We take this as evidence for an auditory reserve: a mechanism by which individuals capitalize on earlier life experiences to promote auditory processing. We assert that early auditory experiences guide how the reserve develops and is maintained over the lifetime. Experiences that occur after childhood, or which are limited in nature, are theorized to affect the reserve, although their influence on sensory processing may be less long-lasting and may potentially fade over time if not repeated. This auditory reserve may help to explain individual differences in how individuals cope with auditory impoverishment or loss of sensorineural function. PMID:25405381

  20. The Role of Copper in Neurodegenerative Disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rose, Francis M.

    My research concerns the fundamental atomistic mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases and the methodologies by which they may be discerned. This thesis consists of three primary parts. The introductory material is the raison d'etre for this work and a critical overview of the specific physics, mathematics and algorithms used in this research. The methods are presented along with specific details in order to facilitate future replication and enhancement. With the groundwork of mechanisms and methods out of the way, we then explore a nouveau atomistic mechanism describing the onset of Parkinson's disease, a disease that has been closely linked to misfolded metalloproteins. Further exploration of neurodegeneration takes place in the following chapter, where a remedial approach to Alzheimer's disease via a simulated chelation of a metalloprotein is undertaken. Altogether, the methods and techniques applied here allow for simulated exploration of both the atomistic mechanisms of neurodegeneration and their potential remediation strategies. The beginning portion of the research efforts explore protein misfolding dynamics in the presence a copper ion. Misfolding of the human alpha-synuclein (aS) protein has been implicated as a central constituent in neurodegenerative disease. In Parkinson's disease (PD) in particular, aS is thought to be the causative participant when found concentrated into neuritic plaques. Here we propose a scenario involving the metal ion Cu2+ as the protein misfolding initiator of fibrillized aS, the chief component of neuritic plaques. From experimental results we know these misfolded proteins have a rich beta--sheet signature, a marker that we reproduce with our simulated model. This model identifies a process of structural modifications to a natively unfolded alpha-synuclein resulting in a partially folded intermediate with a well defined nucleation site. It serves as a precursor to the fully misfolded protein. Understanding the nucleation

  1. Central auditory neurons have composite receptive fields

    PubMed Central

    Kozlov, Andrei S.; Gentner, Timothy Q.

    2016-01-01

    High-level neurons processing complex, behaviorally relevant signals are sensitive to conjunctions of features. Characterizing the receptive fields of such neurons is difficult with standard statistical tools, however, and the principles governing their organization remain poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate multiple distinct receptive-field features in individual high-level auditory neurons in a songbird, European starling, in response to natural vocal signals (songs). We then show that receptive fields with similar characteristics can be reproduced by an unsupervised neural network trained to represent starling songs with a single learning rule that enforces sparseness and divisive normalization. We conclude that central auditory neurons have composite receptive fields that can arise through a combination of sparseness and normalization in neural circuits. Our results, along with descriptions of random, discontinuous receptive fields in the central olfactory neurons in mammals and insects, suggest general principles of neural computation across sensory systems and animal classes. PMID:26787894

  2. Comparative Incidence of Conformational, Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    de Pedro-Cuesta, Jesús; Rábano, Alberto; Martínez-Martín, Pablo; Ruiz-Tovar, María; Alcalde-Cabero, Enrique; Almazán-Isla, Javier; Avellanal, Fuencisla; Calero, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    Background The purpose of this study was to identify incidence and survival patterns in conformational neurodegenerative disorders (CNDDs). Methods We identified 2563 reports on the incidence of eight conditions representing sporadic, acquired and genetic, protein-associated, i.e., conformational, NDD groups and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We selected 245 papers for full-text examination and application of quality criteria. Additionally, data-collection was completed with detailed information from British, Swedish, and Spanish registries on Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) forms, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and sporadic rapidly progressing neurodegenerative dementia (sRPNDd). For each condition, age-specific incidence curves, age-adjusted figures, and reported or calculated median survival were plotted and examined. Findings Based on 51 valid reported and seven new incidence data sets, nine out of eleven conditions shared specific features. Age-adjusted incidence per million person-years increased from ≤1.5 for sRPNDd, different CJD forms and Huntington's disease (HD), to 1589 and 2589 for AMD and Alzheimer's disease (AD) respectively. Age-specific profiles varied from (a) symmetrical, inverted V-shaped curves for low incidences to (b) those increasing with age for late-life sporadic CNDDs and for sRPNDd, with (c) a suggested, intermediate, non-symmetrical inverted V-shape for fronto-temporal dementia and Parkinson's disease. Frequently, peak age-specific incidences from 20–24 to ≥90 years increased with age at onset and survival. Distinct patterns were seen: for HD, with a low incidence, levelling off at middle age, and long median survival, 20 years; and for sRPNDd which displayed the lowest incidence, increasing with age, and a short median disease duration. Interpretation These results call for a unified population view of NDDs, with an age-at-onset-related pattern for acquired and sporadic CNDDs. The pattern linking age at onset to

  3. Issues in Human Auditory Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Werner, Lynne A.

    2007-01-01

    The human auditory system is often portrayed as precocious in its development. In fact, many aspects of basic auditory processing appear to be adult-like by the middle of the first year of postnatal life. However, processes such as attention and sound source determination take much longer to develop. Immaturity of higher-level processes limits the…

  4. Word Recognition in Auditory Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeWitt, Iain D. J.

    2013-01-01

    Although spoken word recognition is more fundamental to human communication than text recognition, knowledge of word-processing in auditory cortex is comparatively impoverished. This dissertation synthesizes current models of auditory cortex, models of cortical pattern recognition, models of single-word reading, results in phonetics and results in…

  5. Attention to natural auditory signals.

    PubMed

    Caporello Bluvas, Emily; Gentner, Timothy Q

    2013-11-01

    The challenge of understanding how the brain processes natural signals is compounded by the fact that such signals are often tied closely to specific natural behaviors and natural environments. This added complexity is especially true for auditory communication signals that can carry information at multiple hierarchical levels, and often occur in the context of other competing communication signals. Selective attention provides a mechanism to focus processing resources on specific components of auditory signals, and simultaneously suppress responses to unwanted signals or noise. Although selective auditory attention has been well-studied behaviorally, very little is known about how selective auditory attention shapes the processing on natural auditory signals, and how the mechanisms of auditory attention are implemented in single neurons or neural circuits. Here we review the role of selective attention in modulating auditory responses to complex natural stimuli in humans. We then suggest how the current understanding can be applied to the study of selective auditory attention in the context natural signal processing at the level of single neurons and populations in animal models amenable to invasive neuroscience techniques. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Communication Sounds and the Brain: New Directions and Perspectives".

  6. Auditory neglect and related disorders.

    PubMed

    Gutschalk, Alexander; Dykstra, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Neglect is a neurologic disorder, typically associated with lesions of the right hemisphere, in which patients are biased towards their ipsilesional - usually right - side of space while awareness for their contralesional - usually left - side is reduced or absent. Neglect is a multimodal disorder that often includes deficits in the auditory domain. Classically, auditory extinction, in which left-sided sounds that are correctly perceived in isolation are not detected in the presence of synchronous right-sided stimulation, has been considered the primary sign of auditory neglect. However, auditory extinction can also be observed after unilateral auditory cortex lesions and is thus not specific for neglect. Recent research has shown that patients with neglect are also impaired in maintaining sustained attention, on both sides, a fact that is reflected by an impairment of auditory target detection in continuous stimulation conditions. Perhaps the most impressive auditory symptom in full-blown neglect is alloacusis, in which patients mislocalize left-sided sound sources to their right, although even patients with less severe neglect still often show disturbance of auditory spatial perception, most commonly a lateralization bias towards the right. We discuss how these various disorders may be explained by a single model of neglect and review emerging interventions for patient rehabilitation.

  7. Human DNA methylomes of neurodegenerative diseases show common epigenomic patterns.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Mut, J V; Heyn, H; Vidal, E; Moran, S; Sayols, S; Delgado-Morales, R; Schultz, M D; Ansoleaga, B; Garcia-Esparcia, P; Pons-Espinal, M; de Lagran, M M; Dopazo, J; Rabano, A; Avila, J; Dierssen, M; Lott, I; Ferrer, I; Ecker, J R; Esteller, M

    2016-01-19

    Different neurodegenerative disorders often show similar lesions, such as the presence of amyloid plaques, TAU-neurotangles and synuclein inclusions. The genetically inherited forms are rare, so we wondered whether shared epigenetic aberrations, such as those affecting DNA methylation, might also exist. The studied samples were gray matter samples from the prefrontal cortex of control and neurodegenerative disease-associated cases. We performed the DNA methylation analyses of Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer-like neurodegenerative profile associated with Down's syndrome samples. The DNA methylation landscapes obtained show that neurodegenerative diseases share similar aberrant CpG methylation shifts targeting a defined gene set. Our findings suggest that neurodegenerative disorders might have similar pathogenetic mechanisms that subsequently evolve into different clinical entities. The identified aberrant DNA methylation changes can be used as biomarkers of the disorders and as potential new targets for the development of new therapies.

  8. Human DNA methylomes of neurodegenerative diseases show common epigenomic patterns

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez-Mut, J V; Heyn, H; Vidal, E; Moran, S; Sayols, S; Delgado-Morales, R; Schultz, M D; Ansoleaga, B; Garcia-Esparcia, P; Pons-Espinal, M; de Lagran, M M; Dopazo, J; Rabano, A; Avila, J; Dierssen, M; Lott, I; Ferrer, I; Ecker, J R; Esteller, M

    2016-01-01

    Different neurodegenerative disorders often show similar lesions, such as the presence of amyloid plaques, TAU-neurotangles and synuclein inclusions. The genetically inherited forms are rare, so we wondered whether shared epigenetic aberrations, such as those affecting DNA methylation, might also exist. The studied samples were gray matter samples from the prefrontal cortex of control and neurodegenerative disease-associated cases. We performed the DNA methylation analyses of Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer-like neurodegenerative profile associated with Down's syndrome samples. The DNA methylation landscapes obtained show that neurodegenerative diseases share similar aberrant CpG methylation shifts targeting a defined gene set. Our findings suggest that neurodegenerative disorders might have similar pathogenetic mechanisms that subsequently evolve into different clinical entities. The identified aberrant DNA methylation changes can be used as biomarkers of the disorders and as potential new targets for the development of new therapies. PMID:26784972

  9. The Perception of Auditory Motion

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Johahn

    2016-01-01

    The growing availability of efficient and relatively inexpensive virtual auditory display technology has provided new research platforms to explore the perception of auditory motion. At the same time, deployment of these technologies in command and control as well as in entertainment roles is generating an increasing need to better understand the complex processes underlying auditory motion perception. This is a particularly challenging processing feat because it involves the rapid deconvolution of the relative change in the locations of sound sources produced by rotational and translations of the head in space (self-motion) to enable the perception of actual source motion. The fact that we perceive our auditory world to be stable despite almost continual movement of the head demonstrates the efficiency and effectiveness of this process. This review examines the acoustical basis of auditory motion perception and a wide range of psychophysical, electrophysiological, and cortical imaging studies that have probed the limits and possible mechanisms underlying this perception. PMID:27094029

  10. Folic acid, neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disease.

    PubMed

    Kronenberg, Golo; Colla, Michael; Endres, Matthias

    2009-04-01

    Folic acid plays an important role in neuroplasticity and in the maintenance of neuronal integrity. Folate is a co-factor in one-carbon metabolism during which it promotes the regeneration of methionine from homocysteine, a highly reactive sulfur-containing amino acid. Methionine may then be converted to S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), the principal methyl donor in most biosynthetic methylation reactions. On the cellular level, folate deficiency and hyperhomocysteinemia exert multiple detrimental effects. These include induction of DNA damage, uracil misincorporation into DNA and altered patterns of DNA methylation. Low folate status and elevated homocysteine increase the generation of reactive oxygen species and contribute to excitotoxicity and mitochondrial dysfunction which may lead to apoptosis. Strong epidemiological and experimental evidence links derangements of one-carbon metabolism to vascular, neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disease, including most prominently cerebral ischemia, Alzheimer's dementia and depression. Although firm evidence from controlled clinical trials is largely lacking, B-vitamin supplementation and homocysteine reduction may have a role especially in the primary prevention of stroke and dementia as well as as an adjunct to antidepressant pharmacotherapy.

  11. Role of apolipoprotein E in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Giau, Vo Van; Bagyinszky, Eva; An, Seong Soo A; Kim, Sang Yun

    2015-01-01

    Apolipoprotein E (APOE) is a lipid-transport protein abundantly expressed in most neurons in the central nervous system. APOE-dependent alterations of the endocytic pathway can affect different functions. APOE binds to cell-surface receptors to deliver lipids and to the hydrophobic amyloid-β peptide, regulating amyloid-β aggregations and clearances in the brain. Several APOE isoforms with major structural differences were discovered and shown to influence the brain lipid transport, glucose metabolism, neuronal signaling, neuroinflammation, and mitochondrial function. This review will summarize the updated research progress on APOE functions and its role in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular diseases, multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes mellitus, Type III hyperlipoproteinemia, vascular dementia, and ischemic stroke. Understanding the mutations in APOE, their structural properties, and their isoforms is important to determine its role in various diseases and to advance the development of therapeutic strategies. Targeting APOE may be a potential approach for diagnosis, risk assessment, prevention, and treatment of various neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases in humans. PMID:26213471

  12. Effects of natural antioxidants in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Albarracin, Sonia Luz; Stab, Ben; Casas, Zulma; Sutachan, Jhon Jairo; Samudio, Ismael; Gonzalez, Janneth; Gonzalo, Luis; Capani, Francisco; Morales, Ludis; Barreto, George E

    2012-01-01

    Polyphenols are secondary metabolites with antioxidant properties and are abundant in the diet. Fruits, vegetables, herbs, and various drinks (tea, wine, and juices) are all sources of these molecules. Despite their abundance, investigations into the benefits of polyphenols in human health have only recently begun. Phenolic compounds have received increasing interest because of numerous epidemiological studies. These studies have suggested associations between the consumption of polyphenol-rich aliments and the prevention of chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. More specifically, in the last 10 years literature on the neuroprotective effects of a polyphenol-rich diet has grown considerably. It has been demonstrated, in various cell culture and animal models, that these metabolites are able to protect neuronal cells by attenuating oxidative stress and damage. However, it remains unclear as to how these compounds reach the brain, what concentrations are necessary, and what biologically active forms are needed to exert beneficial effects. Therefore, further research is needed to identify the molecular pathways and intracellular targets responsible for polyphenol's neuroprotective effects. The aim of this paper is to present various well-known dietary polyphenols and their mechanisms of neuroprotection with an emphasis on Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  13. Mapping Neurodegenerative Disease Onset and Progression.

    PubMed

    Seeley, William W

    2017-03-13

    Brain networks have been of long-standing interest to neurodegeneration researchers, including but not limited to investigators focusing on conventional prion diseases, which are known to propagate along neural pathways. Tools for human network mapping, however, remained inadequate, limiting our understanding of human brain network architecture and preventing clinical research applications. Until recently, neuropathological studies were the only viable approach to mapping disease onset and progression in humans but required large autopsy cohorts and laborious methods for whole-brain sectioning and staining. Despite important advantages, postmortem studies cannot address in vivo, physiological, or longitudinal questions and have limited potential to explore early-stage disease except for the most common disorders. Emerging in vivo network-based neuroimaging strategies have begun to address these issues, providing data that complement the neuropathological tradition. Overall, findings to date highlight several fundamental principles of neurodegenerative disease anatomy and pathogenesis, as well as some enduring mysteries. These principles and mysteries provide a road map for future research.

  14. Exosomes, an Unmasked Culprit in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Soria, Federico N.; Pampliega, Olatz; Bourdenx, Mathieu; Meissner, Wassilios G.; Bezard, Erwan; Dehay, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    Exosomes are extracellular nanovesicles (30–100 nm) generated from endosomal membranes and known to be released by all cell lineages of the Central Nervous System (CNS). They constitute important vesicles for the secretion and transport of multilevel information, including signaling, toxic, and regulatory molecules. Initially thought to have a function merely in waste disposal, the involvement of exosomes in neuronal development, maintenance, and regeneration through its paracrine and endocrine signaling functions has drawn particular attention in recent years. These vesicles, being involved in the clearance and cell-to-cell spreading of toxic molecules, have been naturally implicated in aging, and in several neurodegenerative diseases associated with pathological conversion of proteins, as well as in the transport of other disease-associated molecules, such as nucleic acids or pro-inflammatory cytokines. Our understanding of such unique form of communication may provide not only answers about (patho)physiological processes in the brain, but can also offer means to exploit these vesicles as vehicles for the delivery of biologically relevant molecules or as tools to monitor brain diseases in a non-invasive way. A promising field in expansion, the study of exosomes and related extracellular vesicles has just commenced to unveil their potential as therapeutic tools for brain disorders as well as biomarkers of disease state. PMID:28197068

  15. Exosomes, an Unmasked Culprit in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Soria, Federico N; Pampliega, Olatz; Bourdenx, Mathieu; Meissner, Wassilios G; Bezard, Erwan; Dehay, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    Exosomes are extracellular nanovesicles (30-100 nm) generated from endosomal membranes and known to be released by all cell lineages of the Central Nervous System (CNS). They constitute important vesicles for the secretion and transport of multilevel information, including signaling, toxic, and regulatory molecules. Initially thought to have a function merely in waste disposal, the involvement of exosomes in neuronal development, maintenance, and regeneration through its paracrine and endocrine signaling functions has drawn particular attention in recent years. These vesicles, being involved in the clearance and cell-to-cell spreading of toxic molecules, have been naturally implicated in aging, and in several neurodegenerative diseases associated with pathological conversion of proteins, as well as in the transport of other disease-associated molecules, such as nucleic acids or pro-inflammatory cytokines. Our understanding of such unique form of communication may provide not only answers about (patho)physiological processes in the brain, but can also offer means to exploit these vesicles as vehicles for the delivery of biologically relevant molecules or as tools to monitor brain diseases in a non-invasive way. A promising field in expansion, the study of exosomes and related extracellular vesicles has just commenced to unveil their potential as therapeutic tools for brain disorders as well as biomarkers of disease state.

  16. Expression of Nrf2 in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Ramsey, Chenere P.; Glass, Charles A.; Montgomery, Marshall B.; Lindl, Kathryn A.; Ritson, Gillian P.; Chia, Luis A.; Hamilton, Ronald L.; Chu, Charleen T.; Jordan-Sciutto, Kelly L.

    2008-01-01

    In response to oxidative stress, the nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) transcription factor translocates from the cytoplasm into the nucleus and transactivates expression of genes with antioxidant activity. Despite this cellular mechanism, oxidative damage is abundant in Alzheimer and Parkinson disease (AD and PD). To investigate mechanisms by which Nrf2 activity may be aberrant or insufficient in neurodegenerative conditions, we assessed Nrf2 localization in affected brain regions of AD, Lewy body variant of AD (LBVAD), and PD. By immunohistochemistry, Nrf2 is expressed in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm of neurons in normal hippocampi with predominant expression in the nucleus. In AD and LBVAD, Nrf2 was predominantly cytoplasmic in hippocampal neurons and was not a major component of beta amyloid plaques or neurofibrillary tangles. By immunoblotting, we observed a significant decrease in nuclear Nrf2 levels in AD cases. In contrast, Nrf2 was strongly nuclear in PD nigral neurons but cytoplasmic in substantia nigra of normal, AD, and LBVAD cases. These findings suggest that Nrf2-mediated transcription is not induced in neurons in AD despite the presence of oxidative stress. In PD, nuclear localization of Nrf2 is strongly induced, but this response may be insufficient to protect neurons from degeneration. PMID:17204939

  17. Cerebral Toxocariasis: Silent Progression to Neurodegenerative Disorders?

    PubMed Central

    Holland, Celia V.; Loxton, Karen; Barghouth, Ursula

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Toxocara canis and T. cati are highly prevalent nematode infections of the intestines of dogs and cats. In paratenic hosts, larvae do not mature in the intestine but instead migrate through the somatic tissues and organs of the body. The presence of these migrating larvae can contribute to pathology. Toxocara larvae can invade the brains of humans, and while case descriptions of cerebral toxocariasis are historically rare, improved diagnosis and greater awareness have contributed to increased detection. Despite this, cerebral or neurological toxocariasis (NT) remains a poorly understood phenomenon. Furthermore, our understanding of cognitive deficits due to toxocariasis in human populations remains particularly deficient. Recent data describe an enhanced expression of biomarkers associated with brain injury, such as GFAP, AβPP, transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1), NF-L, S100B, tTG, and p-tau, in mice receiving even low doses of Toxocara ova. Finally, this review outlines a hypothesis to explore the relationship between the presence of T. canis larvae in the brain and the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) due to enhanced AD-associated neurodegenerative biomarker expression. PMID:26062575

  18. Cerebral Toxocariasis: Silent Progression to Neurodegenerative Disorders?

    PubMed

    Fan, Chia-Kwung; Holland, Celia V; Loxton, Karen; Barghouth, Ursula

    2015-07-01

    Toxocara canis and T. cati are highly prevalent nematode infections of the intestines of dogs and cats. In paratenic hosts, larvae do not mature in the intestine but instead migrate through the somatic tissues and organs of the body. The presence of these migrating larvae can contribute to pathology. Toxocara larvae can invade the brains of humans, and while case descriptions of cerebral toxocariasis are historically rare, improved diagnosis and greater awareness have contributed to increased detection. Despite this, cerebral or neurological toxocariasis (NT) remains a poorly understood phenomenon. Furthermore, our understanding of cognitive deficits due to toxocariasis in human populations remains particularly deficient. Recent data describe an enhanced expression of biomarkers associated with brain injury, such as GFAP, AβPP, transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1), NF-L, S100B, tTG, and p-tau, in mice receiving even low doses of Toxocara ova. Finally, this review outlines a hypothesis to explore the relationship between the presence of T. canis larvae in the brain and the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) due to enhanced AD-associated neurodegenerative biomarker expression.

  19. Health benefits of methylxanthines in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Oñatibia-Astibia, Ainhoa; Franco, Rafael; Martínez-Pinilla, Eva

    2017-01-11

    Methylxanthines (MTXs) are consumed by almost everybody in almost every area of the world. Caffeine, theophylline and theobromine are the most well-known members of this family of compounds; they are present, inter alia, in coffee, tea, cacao, yerba mate and cola drinks. MTXs are readily absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and are able to penetrate into the central nervous system, where they exert significant psychostimulant actions, which are more evident in acute intake. Coffee has been paradigmatic, as its use was forbidden in many diseases, however, this negative view has radically changed; evidence shows that MTXs display health benefits in diseases involving cell death in the nervous system. This paper reviews data that appraise the preventive and even therapeutic potential of MTXs in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. Future perspectives include the use of MTXs to advance the understanding the pathophysiology of, inter alia, Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), and the use of the methylxanthine chemical moiety as a basis for the development of new and more efficacious drugs.

  20. Proceedings of the second international conference on auditory display, ICAD `94

    SciTech Connect

    Kramer, G.

    1995-12-31

    ICAD is a forum for presenting research on the use of sound to display data, monitor systems, and provide enhanced user interfaces for computers and virtual reality systems. It is unique in its singular focus on auditory displays and the array of perception, technology, and application areas that this encompasses. Research areas covered by ICAD include: auditory exploration of data via sonification (data controlled sound) and audification (audible playback of data samples); real time monitoring of multivariate data; sound in immersive interfaces (virtual reality) and teleoperation; perceptual issues in auditory display; sound in generalized computer interfaces; technologies supporting auditory display creation; data handling for auditory display systems; applications of auditory display. Included within each of these areas of inquiry are many issues concerning application, theory, hardware/software, and human factors. Integration with speech-audio implementations with graphical display techniques and their concomitant perception issues also pose significant challenges in each area.

  1. Integrated processing of spatial cues in human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Salminen, Nelli H; Takanen, Marko; Santala, Olli; Lamminsalo, Jarkko; Altoè, Alessandro; Pulkki, Ville

    2015-09-01

    Human sound source localization relies on acoustical cues, most importantly, the interaural differences in time and level (ITD and ILD). For reaching a unified representation of auditory space the auditory nervous system needs to combine the information provided by these two cues. In search for such a unified representation, we conducted a magnetoencephalography (MEG) experiment that took advantage of the location-specific adaptation of the auditory cortical N1 response. In general, the attenuation caused by a preceding adaptor sound to the response elicited by a probe depends on their spatial arrangement: if the two sounds coincide, adaptation is stronger than when the locations differ. Here, we presented adaptor-probe pairs that contained different localization cues, for instance, adaptors with ITD and probes with ILD. We found that the adaptation of the N1 amplitude was location-specific across localization cues. This result can be explained by the existence of auditory cortical neurons that are sensitive to sound source location independent on which cue, ITD or ILD, provides the location information. Such neurons would form a cue-independent, unified representation of auditory space in human auditory cortex.

  2. Rapid estimation of high-parameter auditory-filter shapes.

    PubMed

    Shen, Yi; Sivakumar, Rajeswari; Richards, Virginia M

    2014-10-01

    A Bayesian adaptive procedure, the quick-auditory-filter (qAF) procedure, was used to estimate auditory-filter shapes that were asymmetric about their peaks. In three experiments, listeners who were naive to psychoacoustic experiments detected a fixed-level, pure-tone target presented with a spectrally notched noise masker. The qAF procedure adaptively manipulated the masker spectrum level and the position of the masker notch, which was optimized for the efficient estimation of the five parameters of an auditory-filter model. Experiment I demonstrated that the qAF procedure provided a convergent estimate of the auditory-filter shape at 2 kHz within 150 to 200 trials (approximately 15 min to complete) and, for a majority of listeners, excellent test-retest reliability. In experiment II, asymmetric auditory filters were estimated for target frequencies of 1 and 4 kHz and target levels of 30 and 50 dB sound pressure level. The estimated filter shapes were generally consistent with published norms, especially at the low target level. It is known that the auditory-filter estimates are narrower for forward masking than simultaneous masking due to peripheral suppression, a result replicated in experiment III using fewer than 200 qAF trials.

  3. Presentation of dynamically overlapping auditory messages in user interfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Papp, III, Albert Louis

    1997-09-01

    This dissertation describes a methodology and example implementation for the dynamic regulation of temporally overlapping auditory messages in computer-user interfaces. The regulation mechanism exists to schedule numerous overlapping auditory messages in such a way that each individual message remains perceptually distinct from all others. The method is based on the research conducted in the area of auditory scene analysis. While numerous applications have been engineered to present the user with temporally overlapped auditory output, they have generally been designed without any structured method of controlling the perceptual aspects of the sound. The method of scheduling temporally overlapping sounds has been extended to function in an environment where numerous applications can present sound independently of each other. The Centralized Audio Presentation System is a global regulation mechanism that controls all audio output requests made from all currently running applications. The notion of multimodal objects is explored in this system as well. Each audio request that represents a particular message can include numerous auditory representations, such as musical motives and voice. The Presentation System scheduling algorithm selects the best representation according to the current global auditory system state, and presents it to the user within the request constraints of priority and maximum acceptable latency. The perceptual conflicts between temporally overlapping audio messages are examined in depth through the Computational Auditory Scene Synthesizer. At the heart of this system is a heuristic-based auditory scene synthesis scheduling method. Different schedules of overlapped sounds are evaluated and assigned penalty scores. High scores represent presentations that include perceptual conflicts between over-lapping sounds. Low scores indicate fewer and less serious conflicts. A user study was conducted to validate that the perceptual difficulties predicted by

  4. Early Blindness Results in Developmental Plasticity for Auditory Motion Processing within Auditory and Occipital Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Fang; Stecker, G. Christopher; Boynton, Geoffrey M.; Fine, Ione

    2016-01-01

    Early blind subjects exhibit superior abilities for processing auditory motion, which are accompanied by enhanced BOLD responses to auditory motion within hMT+ and reduced responses within right planum temporale (rPT). Here, by comparing BOLD responses to auditory motion in hMT+ and rPT within sighted controls, early blind, late blind, and sight-recovery individuals, we were able to separately examine the effects of developmental and adult visual deprivation on cortical plasticity within these two areas. We find that both the enhanced auditory motion responses in hMT+ and the reduced functionality in rPT are driven by the absence of visual experience early in life; neither loss nor recovery of vision later in life had a discernable influence on plasticity within these areas. Cortical plasticity as a result of blindness has generally be presumed to be mediated by competition across modalities within a given cortical region. The reduced functionality within rPT as a result of early visual loss implicates an additional mechanism for cross modal plasticity as a result of early blindness—competition across different cortical areas for functional role. PMID:27458357

  5. The Process of Auditory Distraction: Disrupted Attention and Impaired Recall in a Simulated Lecture Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zeamer, Charlotte; Fox Tree, Jean E.

    2013-01-01

    Literature on auditory distraction has generally focused on the effects of particular kinds of sounds on attention to target stimuli. In support of extensive previous findings that have demonstrated the special role of language as an auditory distractor, we found that a concurrent speech stream impaired recall of a short lecture, especially for…

  6. Increased BOLD Signals Elicited by High Gamma Auditory Stimulation of the Left Auditory Cortex in Acute State Schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Kuga, Hironori; Onitsuka, Toshiaki; Hirano, Yoji; Nakamura, Itta; Oribe, Naoya; Mizuhara, Hiroaki; Kanai, Ryota; Kanba, Shigenobu; Ueno, Takefumi

    2016-10-01

    Recent MRI studies have shown that schizophrenia is characterized by reductions in brain gray matter, which progress in the acute state of the disease. Cortical circuitry abnormalities in gamma oscillations, such as deficits in the auditory steady state response (ASSR) to gamma frequency (>30-Hz) stimulation, have also been reported in schizophrenia patients. In the current study, we investigated neural responses during click stimulation by BOLD signals. We acquired BOLD responses elicited by click trains of 20, 30, 40 and 80-Hz frequencies from 15 patients with acute episode schizophrenia (AESZ), 14 symptom-severity-matched patients with non-acute episode schizophrenia (NASZ), and 24 healthy controls (HC), assessed via a standard general linear-model-based analysis. The AESZ group showed significantly increased ASSR-BOLD signals to 80-Hz stimuli in the left auditory cortex compared with the HC and NASZ groups. In addition, enhanced 80-Hz ASSR-BOLD signals were associated with more severe auditory hallucination experiences in AESZ participants. The present results indicate that neural over activation occurs during 80-Hz auditory stimulation of the left auditory cortex in individuals with acute state schizophrenia. Given the possible association between abnormal gamma activity and increased glutamate levels, our data may reflect glutamate toxicity in the auditory cortex in the acute state of schizophrenia, which might lead to progressive changes in the left transverse temporal gyrus.

  7. High Content Screening in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Jain, Shushant; van Kesteren, Ronald E.; Heutink, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The functional annotation of genomes, construction of molecular networks and novel drug target identification, are important challenges that need to be addressed as a matter of great urgency1-4. Multiple complementary 'omics' approaches have provided clues as to the genetic risk factors and pathogenic mechanisms underlying numerous neurodegenerative diseases, but most findings still require functional validation5. For example, a recent genome wide association study for Parkinson's Disease (PD), identified many new loci as risk factors for the disease, but the underlying causative variant(s) or pathogenic mechanism is not known6, 7. As each associated region can contain several genes, the functional evaluation of each of the genes on phenotypes associated with the disease, using traditional cell biology techniques would take too long. There is also a need to understand the molecular networks that link genetic mutations to the phenotypes they cause. It is expected that disease phenotypes are the result of multiple interactions that have been disrupted. Reconstruction of these networks using traditional molecular methods would be time consuming. Moreover, network predictions from independent studies of individual components, the reductionism approach, will probably underestimate the network complexity8. This underestimation could, in part, explain the low success rate of drug approval due to undesirable or toxic side effects. Gaining a network perspective of disease related pathways using HT/HC cellular screening approaches, and identifying key nodes within these pathways, could lead to the identification of targets that are more suited for therapeutic intervention. High-throughput screening (HTS) is an ideal methodology to address these issues9-12. but traditional methods were one dimensional whole-well cell assays, that used simplistic readouts for complex biological processes. They were unable to simultaneously quantify the many phenotypes observed in

  8. Perineuronal nets in the auditory system.

    PubMed

    Sonntag, Mandy; Blosa, Maren; Schmidt, Sophie; Rübsamen, Rudolf; Morawski, Markus

    2015-11-01

    Perineuronal nets (PNs) are a unique and complex meshwork of specific extracellular matrix molecules that ensheath a subset of neurons in many regions of the central nervous system (CNS). PNs appear late in development and are supposed to restrict synaptic plasticity and to stabilize functional neuronal connections. PNs were further hypothesized to create a charged milieu around the neurons and thus, might directly modulate synaptic activity. Although PNs were first described more than 120 years ago, their exact functions still remain elusive. The purpose of the present review is to propose the nuclei of the auditory system, which are highly enriched in PN-wearing neurons, as particularly suitable structures to study the functional significance of PNs. We provide a detailed description of the distribution of PNs from the cochlear nucleus to the auditory cortex considering distinct markers for detection of PNs. We further point to the suitability of specific auditory neurons to serve as promising model systems to study in detail the contribution of PNs to synaptic physiology and also more generally to the functionality of the brain.

  9. Auditory Discrimination Learning: Role of Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yu-Xuan; Moore, David R.; Guiraud, Jeanne; Molloy, Katharine; Yan, Ting-Ting; Amitay, Sygal

    2016-01-01

    Perceptual training is generally assumed to improve perception by modifying the encoding or decoding of sensory information. However, this assumption is incompatible with recent demonstrations that transfer of learning can be enhanced by across-trial variation of training stimuli or task. Here we present three lines of evidence from healthy adults in support of the idea that the enhanced transfer of auditory discrimination learning is mediated by working memory (WM). First, the ability to discriminate small differences in tone frequency or duration was correlated with WM measured with a tone n-back task. Second, training frequency discrimination around a variable frequency transferred to and from WM learning, but training around a fixed frequency did not. The transfer of learning in both directions was correlated with a reduction of the influence of stimulus variation in the discrimination task, linking WM and its improvement to across-trial stimulus interaction in auditory discrimination. Third, while WM training transferred broadly to other WM and auditory discrimination tasks, variable-frequency training on duration discrimination did not improve WM, indicating that stimulus variation challenges and trains WM only if the task demands stimulus updating in the varied dimension. The results provide empirical evidence as well as a theoretic framework for interactions between cognitive and sensory plasticity during perceptual experience. PMID:26799068

  10. Cortical auditory disorders: clinical and psychoacoustic features.

    PubMed Central

    Mendez, M F; Geehan, G R

    1988-01-01

    The symptoms of two patients with bilateral cortical auditory lesions evolved from cortical deafness to other auditory syndromes: generalised auditory agnosia, amusia and/or pure word deafness, and a residual impairment of temporal sequencing. On investigation, both had dysacusis, absent middle latency evoked responses, acoustic errors in sound recognition and matching, inconsistent auditory behaviours, and similarly disturbed psychoacoustic discrimination tasks. These findings indicate that the different clinical syndromes caused by cortical auditory lesions form a spectrum of related auditory processing disorders. Differences between syndromes may depend on the degree of involvement of a primary cortical processing system, the more diffuse accessory system, and possibly the efferent auditory system. Images PMID:2450968

  11. Auditory response to pulsed radiofrequency energy.

    PubMed

    Elder, J A; Chou, C K

    2003-01-01

    The human auditory response to pulses of radiofrequency (RF) energy, commonly called RF hearing, is a well established phenomenon. RF induced sounds can be characterized as low intensity sounds because, in general, a quiet environment is required for the auditory response. The sound is similar to other common sounds such as a click, buzz, hiss, knock, or chirp. Effective radiofrequencies range from 2.4 to 10000 MHz, but an individual's ability to hear RF induced sounds is dependent upon high frequency acoustic hearing in the kHz range above about 5 kHz. The site of conversion of RF energy to acoustic energy is within or peripheral to the cochlea, and once the cochlea is stimulated, the detection of RF induced sounds in humans and RF induced auditory responses in animals is similar to acoustic sound detection. The fundamental frequency of RF induced sounds is independent of the frequency of the radiowaves but dependent upon head dimensions. The auditory response has been shown to be dependent upon the energy in a single pulse and not on average power density. The weight of evidence of the results of human, animal, and modeling studies supports the thermoelastic expansion theory as the explanation for the RF hearing phenomenon. RF induced sounds involve the perception via bone conduction of thermally generated sound transients, that is, audible sounds are produced by rapid thermal expansion resulting from a calculated temperature rise of only 5 x 10(-6) degrees C in tissue at the threshold level due to absorption of the energy in the RF pulse. The hearing of RF induced sounds at exposure levels many orders of magnitude greater than the hearing threshold is considered to be a biological effect without an accompanying health effect. This conclusion is supported by a comparison of pressure induced in the body by RF pulses to pressure associated with hazardous acoustic energy and clinical ultrasound procedures.

  12. Idealized Computational Models for Auditory Receptive Fields

    PubMed Central

    Lindeberg, Tony; Friberg, Anders

    2015-01-01

    We present a theory by which idealized models of auditory receptive fields can be derived in a principled axiomatic manner, from a set of structural properties to (i) enable invariance of receptive field responses under natural sound transformations and (ii) ensure internal consistency between spectro-temporal receptive fields at different temporal and spectral scales. For defining a time-frequency transformation of a purely temporal sound signal, it is shown that the framework allows for a new way of deriving the Gabor and Gammatone filters as well as a novel family of generalized Gammatone filters, with additional degrees of freedom to obtain different trade-offs between the spectral selectivity and the temporal delay of time-causal temporal window functions. When applied to the definition of a second-layer of receptive fields from a spectrogram, it is shown that the framework leads to two canonical families of spectro-temporal receptive fields, in terms of spectro-temporal derivatives of either spectro-temporal Gaussian kernels for non-causal time or a cascade of time-causal first-order integrators over the temporal domain and a Gaussian filter over the logspectral domain. For each filter family, the spectro-temporal receptive fields can be either separable over the time-frequency domain or be adapted to local glissando transformations that represent variations in logarithmic frequencies over time. Within each domain of either non-causal or time-causal time, these receptive field families are derived by uniqueness from the assumptions. It is demonstrated how the presented framework allows for computation of basic auditory features for audio processing and that it leads to predictions about auditory receptive fields with good qualitative similarity to biological receptive fields measured in the inferior colliculus (ICC) and primary auditory cortex (A1) of mammals. PMID:25822973

  13. Central auditory onset responses, and temporal asymmetries in auditory perception.

    PubMed

    Phillips, D P; Hall, S E; Boehnke, S E

    2002-05-01

    Historically, central auditory responses have been studied for their sensitivity to various parameters of tone and noise burst stimulation, with response rate plotted as a function of the stimulus variable. The responses themselves are often quite brief, and locked in time to stimulus onset. In the stimulus amplitude domain, it has recently become clear that these responses are actually driven by properties of the stimulus' onset transient, and this has had important implications for how we interpret responses to manipulations of tone (or noise) burst plateau level. That finding was important in its own right, but a more general scrutiny of the available neurophysiological and psychophysical evidence reveals that there is a significant asymmetry in the neurophysiological and perceptual processing of stimulus onsets and offsets: sound onsets have a more elaborate neurophysiological representation, and receive a greater perceptual weighting. Hypotheses about origins of the asymmetries, derived independently from psychophysics and from neurophysiology, have in common a response threshold mechanism which adaptively tracks the ongoing level of stimulation.

  14. Coffee improves auditory neuropathy in diabetic mice.

    PubMed

    Hong, Bin Na; Yi, Tae Hoo; Park, Raekil; Kim, Sun Yeou; Kang, Tong Ho

    2008-08-29

    Coffee is a widely consumed beverage and has recently received considerable attention for its possible beneficial effects. Auditory neuropathy is a hearing disorder characterized by an abnormal auditory brainstem response. This study examined the auditory neuropathy induced by diabetes and investigated the action of coffee, trigonelline, and caffeine to determine whether they improved diabetic auditory neuropathy in mice. Auditory brainstem responses, auditory middle latency responses, and otoacoustic emissions were evaluated to assess auditory neuropathy. Coffee or trigonelline ameliorated the hearing threshold shift and delayed latency of the auditory evoked potential in diabetic neuropathy. These findings demonstrate that diabetes can produce a mouse model of auditory neuropathy and that coffee consumption potentially facilitates recovery from diabetes-induced auditory neuropathy. Furthermore, the active constituent in coffee may be trigonelline.

  15. Dysregulation of Ubiquitin-Proteasome System in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Qiuyang; Huang, Timothy; Zhang, Lishan; Zhou, Ying; Luo, Hong; Xu, Huaxi; Wang, Xin

    2016-01-01

    The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) is one of the major protein degradation pathways, where abnormal UPS function has been observed in cancer and neurological diseases. Many neurodegenerative diseases share a common pathological feature, namely intracellular ubiquitin-positive inclusions formed by aggregate-prone neurotoxic proteins. This suggests that dysfunction of the UPS in neurodegenerative diseases contributes to the accumulation of neurotoxic proteins and to instigate neurodegeneration. Here, we review recent findings describing various aspects of UPS dysregulation in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. PMID:28018215

  16. Auditory-Induced Emotion Mediates Perceptual Categorization of Everyday Sounds

    PubMed Central

    Bergman, Penny; Västfjäll, Daniel; Tajadura-Jiménez, Ana; Asutay, Erkin

    2016-01-01

    Research has shown that emotion categorization plays an important role in perception and categorization in the visual domain. In the present paper, we investigated the role of auditory-induced emotions for auditory perception. We further investigated whether the emotional responses mediate other perceptual judgments of sounds. In an experiment, participants either rated general dissimilarities between sounds or dissimilarities of specific aspects of sounds. The results showed that the general perceptual salience map could be explained by both the emotional responses to, and perceptual aspects of, the sounds. Importantly, the perceptual aspects were mediated by emotional responses. Together these results show that emotions are an integral part of auditory perception that is used as the intuitive basis for categorizing everyday sounds. PMID:27790172

  17. Auditory brainstem responses and auditory thresholds in woodpeckers.

    PubMed

    Lohr, Bernard; Brittan-Powell, Elizabeth F; Dooling, Robert J

    2013-01-01

    Auditory sensitivity in three species of woodpeckers was estimated using the auditory brainstem response (ABR), a measure of the summed electrical activity of auditory neurons. For all species, the ABR waveform showed at least two, and sometimes three prominent peaks occurring within 10 ms of stimulus onset. Also ABR peak amplitude increased and latency decreased as a function of increasing sound pressure levels. Results showed no significant differences in overall auditory abilities between the three species of woodpeckers. The average ABR audiogram showed that woodpeckers have lowest thresholds between 1.5 and 5.7 kHz. The shape of the average woodpecker ABR audiogram was similar to the shape of the ABR-measured audiograms of other small birds at most frequencies, but at the highest frequency data suggest that woodpecker thresholds may be lower than those of domesticated birds, while similar to those of wild birds.

  18. Auditory perspective taking.

    PubMed

    Martinson, Eric; Brock, Derek

    2013-06-01

    Effective communication with a mobile robot using speech is a difficult problem even when you can control the auditory scene. Robot self-noise or ego noise, echoes and reverberation, and human interference are all common sources of decreased intelligibility. Moreover, in real-world settings, these problems are routinely aggravated by a variety of sources of background noise. Military scenarios can be punctuated by high decibel noise from materiel and weaponry that would easily overwhelm a robot's normal speaking volume. Moreover, in nonmilitary settings, fans, computers, alarms, and transportation noise can cause enough interference to make a traditional speech interface unusable. This work presents and evaluates a prototype robotic interface that uses perspective taking to estimate the effectiveness of its own speech presentation and takes steps to improve intelligibility for human listeners.

  19. Auditory short-term memory in the primate auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Scott, Brian H; Mishkin, Mortimer

    2016-06-01

    Sounds are fleeting, and assembling the sequence of inputs at the ear into a coherent percept requires auditory memory across various time scales. Auditory short-term memory comprises at least two components: an active ׳working memory' bolstered by rehearsal, and a sensory trace that may be passively retained. Working memory relies on representations recalled from long-term memory, and their rehearsal may require phonological mechanisms unique to humans. The sensory component, passive short-term memory (pSTM), is tractable to study in nonhuman primates, whose brain architecture and behavioral repertoire are comparable to our own. This review discusses recent advances in the behavioral and neurophysiological study of auditory memory with a focus on single-unit recordings from macaque monkeys performing delayed-match-to-sample (DMS) tasks. Monkeys appear to employ pSTM to solve these tasks, as evidenced by the impact of interfering stimuli on memory performance. In several regards, pSTM in monkeys resembles pitch memory in humans, and may engage similar neural mechanisms. Neural correlates of DMS performance have been observed throughout the auditory and prefrontal cortex, defining a network of areas supporting auditory STM with parallels to that supporting visual STM. These correlates include persistent neural firing, or a suppression of firing, during the delay period of the memory task, as well as suppression or (less commonly) enhancement of sensory responses when a sound is repeated as a ׳match' stimulus. Auditory STM is supported by a distributed temporo-frontal network in which sensitivity to stimulus history is an intrinsic feature of auditory processing. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory.

  20. Auditory-olfactory synesthesia coexisting with auditory-visual synesthesia.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Thomas E; Sandramouli, Soupramanien

    2012-09-01

    Synesthesia is an unusual condition in which stimulation of one sensory modality causes an experience in another sensory modality or when a sensation in one sensory modality causes another sensation within the same modality. We describe a previously unreported association of auditory-olfactory synesthesia coexisting with auditory-visual synesthesia. Given that many types of synesthesias involve vision, it is important that the clinician provide these patients with the necessary information and support that is available.

  1. Auditory reafferences: the influence of real-time feedback on movement control

    PubMed Central

    Kennel, Christian; Streese, Lukas; Pizzera, Alexandra; Justen, Christoph; Hohmann, Tanja; Raab, Markus

    2015-01-01

    Auditory reafferences are real-time auditory products created by a person’s own movements. Whereas the interdependency of action and perception is generally well studied, the auditory feedback channel and the influence of perceptual processes during movement execution remain largely unconsidered. We argue that movements have a rhythmic character that is closely connected to sound, making it possible to manipulate auditory reafferences online to understand their role in motor control. We examined if step sounds, occurring as a by-product of running, have an influence on the performance of a complex movement task. Twenty participants completed a hurdling task in three auditory feedback conditions: a control condition with normal auditory feedback, a white noise condition in which sound was masked, and a delayed auditory feedback condition. Overall time and kinematic data were collected. Results show that delayed auditory feedback led to a significantly slower overall time and changed kinematic parameters. Our findings complement previous investigations in a natural movement situation with non-artificial auditory cues. Our results support the existing theoretical understanding of action–perception coupling and hold potential for applied work, where naturally occurring movement sounds can be implemented in the motor learning processes. PMID:25688230

  2. A hardware model of the auditory periphery to transduce acoustic signals into neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Tateno, Takashi; Nishikawa, Jun; Tsuchioka, Nobuyoshi; Shintaku, Hirofumi; Kawano, Satoyuki

    2013-01-01

    To improve the performance of cochlear implants, we have integrated a microdevice into a model of the auditory periphery with the goal of creating a microprocessor. We constructed an artificial peripheral auditory system using a hybrid model in which polyvinylidene difluoride was used as a piezoelectric sensor to convert mechanical stimuli into electric signals. To produce frequency selectivity, the slit on a stainless steel base plate was designed such that the local resonance frequency of the membrane over the slit reflected the transfer function. In the acoustic sensor, electric signals were generated based on the piezoelectric effect from local stress in the membrane. The electrodes on the resonating plate produced relatively large electric output signals. The signals were fed into a computer model that mimicked some functions of inner hair cells, inner hair cell–auditory nerve synapses, and auditory nerve fibers. In general, the responses of the model to pure-tone burst and complex stimuli accurately represented the discharge rates of high-spontaneous-rate auditory nerve fibers across a range of frequencies greater than 1 kHz and middle to high sound pressure levels. Thus, the model provides a tool to understand information processing in the peripheral auditory system and a basic design for connecting artificial acoustic sensors to the peripheral auditory nervous system. Finally, we discuss the need for stimulus control with an appropriate model of the auditory periphery based on auditory brainstem responses that were electrically evoked by different temporal pulse patterns with the same pulse number. PMID:24324432

  3. Impairments in musical abilities reflected in the auditory brainstem: evidence from congenital amusia.

    PubMed

    Lehmann, Alexandre; Skoe, Erika; Moreau, Patricia; Peretz, Isabelle; Kraus, Nina

    2015-07-01

    Congenital amusia is a neurogenetic condition, characterized by a deficit in music perception and production, not explained by hearing loss, brain damage or lack of exposure to music. Despite inferior musical performance, amusics exhibit normal auditory cortical responses, with abnormal neural correlates suggested to lie beyond auditory cortices. Here we show, using auditory brainstem responses to complex sounds in humans, that fine-grained automatic processing of sounds is impoverished in amusia. Compared with matched non-musician controls, spectral amplitude was decreased in amusics for higher harmonic components of the auditory brainstem response. We also found a delayed response to the early transient aspects of the auditory stimulus in amusics. Neural measures of spectral amplitude and response timing correlated with participants' behavioral assessments of music processing. We demonstrate, for the first time, that amusia affects how complex acoustic signals are processed in the auditory brainstem. This neural signature of amusia mirrors what is observed in musicians, such that the aspects of the auditory brainstem responses that are enhanced in musicians are degraded in amusics. By showing that gradients of music abilities are reflected in the auditory brainstem, our findings have implications not only for current models of amusia but also for auditory functioning in general.

  4. Mind the Gap: Two Dissociable Mechanisms of Temporal Processing in the Auditory System

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Lucy A.

    2016-01-01

    High temporal acuity of auditory processing underlies perception of speech and other rapidly varying sounds. A common measure of auditory temporal acuity in humans is the threshold for detection of brief gaps in noise. Gap-detection deficits, observed in developmental disorders, are considered evidence for “sluggish” auditory processing. Here we show, in a mouse model of gap-detection deficits, that auditory brain sensitivity to brief gaps in noise can be impaired even without a general loss of central auditory temporal acuity. Extracellular recordings in three different subdivisions of the auditory thalamus in anesthetized mice revealed a stimulus-specific, subdivision-specific deficit in thalamic sensitivity to brief gaps in noise in experimental animals relative to controls. Neural responses to brief gaps in noise were reduced, but responses to other rapidly changing stimuli unaffected, in lemniscal and nonlemniscal (but not polysensory) subdivisions of the medial geniculate body. Through experiments and modeling, we demonstrate that the observed deficits in thalamic sensitivity to brief gaps in noise arise from reduced neural population activity following noise offsets, but not onsets. These results reveal dissociable sound-onset-sensitive and sound-offset-sensitive channels underlying auditory temporal processing, and suggest that gap-detection deficits can arise from specific impairment of the sound-offset-sensitive channel. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The experimental and modeling results reported here suggest a new hypothesis regarding the mechanisms of temporal processing in the auditory system. Using a mouse model of auditory temporal processing deficits, we demonstrate the existence of specific abnormalities in auditory thalamic activity following sound offsets, but not sound onsets. These results reveal dissociable sound-onset-sensitive and sound-offset-sensitive mechanisms underlying auditory processing of temporally varying sounds. Furthermore, the

  5. Modulation of Auditory Responses to Speech vs. Nonspeech Stimuli during Speech Movement Planning

    PubMed Central

    Daliri, Ayoub; Max, Ludo

    2016-01-01

    Previously, we showed that the N100 amplitude in long latency auditory evoked potentials (LLAEPs) elicited by pure tone probe stimuli is modulated when the stimuli are delivered during speech movement planning as compared with no-speaking control conditions. Given that we probed the auditory system only with pure tones, it remained unknown whether the nature and magnitude of this pre-speech auditory modulation depends on the type of auditory stimulus. Thus, here, we asked whether the effect of speech movement planning on auditory processing varies depending on the type of auditory stimulus. In an experiment with nine adult subjects, we recorded LLAEPs that were elicited by either pure tones or speech syllables when these stimuli were presented prior to speech onset in a delayed-response speaking condition vs. a silent reading control condition. Results showed no statistically significant difference in pre-speech modulation of the N100 amplitude (early stages of auditory processing) for the speech stimuli as compared with the nonspeech stimuli. However, the amplitude of the P200 component (later stages of auditory processing) showed a statistically significant pre-speech modulation that was specific to the speech stimuli only. Hence, the overall results from this study indicate that, immediately prior to speech onset, modulation of the auditory system has a general effect on early processing stages but a speech-specific effect on later processing stages. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that pre-speech auditory modulation may play a role in priming the auditory system for its role in monitoring auditory feedback during speech production. PMID:27242494

  6. Stress, Allostatic Load, Catecholamines, and Other Neurotransmitters in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    As populations age, the prevalence of geriatric neurodegenerative diseases will increase. These diseases generally are multifactorial, arising from complex interactions among genes, environment, concurrent morbidities, treatments, and time. This essay provides a concept for the pathogenesis of Lewy body diseases such as Parkinson disease, by considering them in the context of allostasis and allostatic load. Allostasis reflects active, adaptive processes that maintain apparent steady states, via multiple, interacting effectors regulated by homeostatic comparators—“homeostats.” Stress can be defined as a condition or state in which a sensed discrepancy between afferent information and a setpoint for response leads to activation of effectors, reducing the discrepancy. “Allostatic load” refers to the consequences of sustained or repeated activation of mediators of allostasis. From the analogy of an idling car, the revolutions per minute of the engine can be maintained at any of a variety of levels (allostatic states). Just as allostatic load (cumulative wear and tear) reflects design and manufacturing variations, byproducts of combustion, and time, eventually leading to engine breakdown, allostatic load in catecholaminergic neurons might eventually lead to Lewy body diseases. Central to the argument is that catecholaminergic neurons leak vesicular contents into the cytoplasm continuously during life and that catecholamines in the neuronal cytoplasm are autotoxic. These neurons therefore depend on vesicular sequestration to limit autotoxicity of cytosolic transmitter. Parkinson disease might be a disease of the elderly because of allostatic load, which depends on genetic predispositions, environmental exposures, repeated stress-related catecholamine release, and time. PMID:21615193

  7. Recent developments in tau-based therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Medina, Miguel

    2011-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases constitute a major public health issue due to an increasingly aged population as a consequence of generally improved medical care and demographic changes. Current drug treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most prevalent dementia, with cholinesterase inhibitors or NMDA antagonists has demonstrated very modest, symptomatic efficacy, leaving an unmet medical need for new, more effective therapies. Drug development efforts for AD in the last two decades have primarily focused on targets defined by the amyloid cascade hypothesis, so far with disappointing results. In contrast, tau-based strategies have received little attention until recently despite that the presence of extensive tau pathology is central to the disease. The discovery of mutations within the tau gene that cause fronto-temporal dementia demonstrated that tau dysfunction, in the absence of amyloid pathology, was sufficient to cause neuronal loss and clinical dementia. This review focuses on emerging therapeutic strategies aimed at treating the underlying causes of the tau pathology in tauopathies and AD, including some targets with significant potential in the field and which might be on the verge of providing new treatment paradigms within the coming years. Among those strategies, immunotherapy approaches will be mostly discussed. An update on 2010 patents regarding different aspects of tau-based therapeutic strategies is also provided.

  8. Stress, Allostatic Load, Catecholamines, and Other Neurotransmitters in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    As populations age, the prevalence of geriatric neurodegenerative diseases will increase. These diseases generally are multifactorial, arising from complex interactions among genes, environment, concurrent morbidities, treatments, and time. This essay provides a concept for the pathogenesis of Lewy body diseases such as Parkinson disease, by considering them in the context of allostasis and allostatic load. Allostasis reflects active, adaptive processes that maintain apparent steady states, via multiple, interacting effectors regulated by homeostatic comparators—“homeostats.” Stress can be defined as a condition or state in which a sensed discrepancy between afferent information and a setpoint for response leads to activation of effectors, reducing the discrepancy. “Allostatic load” refers to the consequences of sustained or repeated activation of mediators of allostasis. From the analogy of an idling car, the revolutions per minute of the engine can be maintained at any of a variety of levels (allostatic states). Just as allostatic load (cumulative wear and tear) reflects design and manufacturing variations, byproducts of combustion, and time, eventually leading to engine breakdown, allostatic load in catecholaminergic neurons might eventually lead to Lewy body diseases. Central to the argument is that catecholaminergic neurons leak vesicular contents into the cytoplasm continuously during life and that catecholamines in the neuronal cytoplasm are autotoxic. These neurons therefore depend on vesicular sequestration to limit autotoxicity of cytosolic transmitter. Parkinson disease might be a disease of the elderly because of allostatic load, which depends on genetic predispositions, environmental exposures, repeated stress-related catecholamine release, and time. PMID:22297542

  9. Neurodegenerative disorders: insights from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Dimitriadi, Maria; Hart, Anne C.

    2010-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases impose a burden on society, yet for the most part, the mechanisms underlying neuronal dysfunction and death in these disorders remain unclear despite the identification of relevant disease genes. Given the molecular conservation in neuronal signaling pathways across vertebrate and invertebrate species, many researchers have turned to the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to identify the mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disease pathology. C. elegans can be engineered to express human proteins associated with neurodegeneration; additionally, the function of C. elegans orthologs of human neurodegenerative disease genes can be dissected. Herein, we examine major C. elegans neurodegeneration models that recapitulate many aspects of human neurodegenerative disease and we survey the screens that have identified modifier genes. This review highlights how the C. elegans community has used this versatile organism to model several aspects of human neurodegeneration and how these studies have contributed to our understanding of human disease. PMID:20493260

  10. A future perspective on neurodegenerative diseases: nasopharyngeal and gut microbiota.

    PubMed

    Khan, F; Oloketuyi, S F

    2017-02-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are considered a serious life-threatening issue regardless of age. Resulting nerve damage progressively affects important activities, such as movement, coordination, balance, breathing, speech and the functioning of vital organs. Reports on the subject have concluded that neurodegenerative disease can be caused by mutations of susceptible genes, alcohol consumption, toxins, chemicals and other unknown environmental factors. Although several diagnostic techniques can be used to determine aetiologies, the process is difficult and often fails. Research shows that nasopharyngeal and gut microbiota play important roles in brain to spinal cord coordination. However, no conclusive epidemiologic evidence is available on the roles played by respiratory and gut microbiota in the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, understanding the connection between respiratory and gut microbiota and the nervous system could provide information on causal links. The present review describes future perspectives on the role played by nasopharyngeal and gut microbiota in the development of neurodegenerative diseases.

  11. Relationships between Stress Granules, Oxidative Stress, and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Cytoplasmic stress granules (SGs) are critical for facilitating stress responses and for preventing the accumulation of misfolded proteins. SGs, however, have been linked to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, in part because SGs share many components with neuronal granules. Oxidative stress is one of the conditions that induce SG formation. SGs regulate redox levels, and SG formation in turn is differently regulated by various types of oxidative stress. These associations and other evidences suggest that SG formation contributes to the development of neurodegenerative diseases. In this paper, we review the regulation of SG formation/assembly and discuss the interactions between oxidative stress and SG formation. We then discuss the links between SGs and neurodegenerative diseases and the current therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative diseases that target SGs. PMID:28194255

  12. Neuron–astrocyte interactions in neurodegenerative diseases: Role of neuroinflammation

    PubMed Central

    Rama Rao, Kakulavarapu V.; Kielian, Tammy

    2015-01-01

    Selective neuron loss in discrete brain regions is a hallmark of various neurodegenerative disorders, although the mechanisms responsible for this regional vulnerability of neurons remain largely unknown. Earlier studies attributed neuron dysfunction and eventual loss during neurodegenerative diseases as exclusively cell autonomous. Although cell-intrinsic factors are one critical aspect in dictating neuron death, recent evidence also supports the involvement of other central nervous system cell types in propagating non-cell autonomous neuronal injury during neurodegenerative diseases. One such example is astrocytes, which support neuronal and synaptic function, but can also contribute to neuroinflammatory processes through robust chemokine secretion. Indeed, aberrations in astrocyte function have been shown to negatively impact neuronal integrity in several neurological diseases. The present review focuses on neuroinflammatory paradigms influenced by neuron–astrocyte cross-talk in the context of select neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26543505

  13. Classroom Demonstrations of Auditory Perception.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haws, LaDawn; Oppy, Brian J.

    2002-01-01

    Presents activities to help students gain understanding about auditory perception. Describes demonstrations that cover topics, such as sound localization, wave cancellation, frequency/pitch variation, and the influence of media on sound propagation. (CMK)

  14. Auditory Processing Disorder (For Parents)

    MedlinePlus

    ... or other speech-language difficulties? Are verbal (word) math problems difficult for your child? Is your child ... inferences from conversations, understanding riddles, or comprehending verbal math problems — require heightened auditory processing and language levels. ...

  15. Auditory Processing Disorder in Children

    MedlinePlus

    ... free publications Find organizations Related Topics Auditory Neuropathy Autism Spectrum Disorder: Communication Problems in Children Dysphagia Quick Statistics About Voice, Speech, Language Speech and Language Developmental Milestones What Is ...

  16. Auditory Perception of Complex Sounds.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-10-30

    processes that underlie several aspects of complex pattern recog- nition -- whether of speech, of music , or of environmental sounds. These patterns differ...quality or timbre can play similar grouping roles in auditory steams. Most of the experimental work has concerned timing of successive sounds in sequences...auditory perceptual processes that underlie several aspects of complex pattern recognition - whether of speech, of music , or of environmental sounds

  17. PREFACE: Physics and biology of neurodegenerative diseases Physics and biology of neurodegenerative diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pastore, Annalisa

    2012-06-01

    In 1939, William T Astbury, who was at the time a professor at the University of Leeds, wrote a letter to Dorothy Hodgkins, a crystallographer colleague who would eventually be awarded a Nobel Prize (1964) [1]. Astbury was working on determining the structure of silk and had found that these fibres had a so-called cross-beta arrangement, with the hydrogen bonds holding a beta-sheet structure perpendicular to the fibre axis. This structure was very robust and thus would account well for the properties of the silk fibre. Being very impressed by this structural solution at a time when protein structure was just being discovered, he wrote to Dorothy Hodgkins formulating the hypothesis that all proteins could adopt a cross-beta structure similar to that found for silk as a sort of ultimate solution. Approximately 70 years later, this prediction was reconsidered and is now generally accepted to be correct: most if not all proteins seem to be able to form fibrils, commonly named amyloids, that adopt the same structural features found in silk. The field of amyloid fibres bloomed in the mid-90s when several researchers—among them Chris Dobson, a professor first at Oxford and then at Cambridge—observed that proteins could aggregate by concomitant formation of fibrillar structures (reviewed in [2]). It was certainly not news that proteins could aggregate with an irreversible mechanism. However, what nearly came as a surprise was the realization that aggregation is often accompanied by a major structural rearrangement, which almost invariably associates with protein misfolding (i.e. loss of the native structure and adoption of a beta-rich structure) and amyloid fibre formation. Even more interesting was the growing evidence that amyloid fibres have very special mechanical properties, being extremely resilient and not easily degraded. At the same time it was noticed that different diseases, generically named amyloidoses, are associated with fibrillar aggregates. Today

  18. Schisandrin B as a Hormetic Agent for Preventing Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Philip Y.; Ko, Kam Ming

    2012-01-01

    Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction have been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, with the latter preceding the appearance of clinical symptoms. The energy failure resulting from mitochondrial dysfunction further impedes brain function, which demands large amounts of energy. Schisandrin B (Sch B), an active ingredient isolated from Fructus Schisandrae, has been shown to afford generalized tissue protection against oxidative damage in various organs, including the brain, of experimental animals. Recent experimental findings have further demonstrated that Sch B can protect neuronal cells against oxidative challenge, presumably by functioning as a hormetic agent to sustain cellular redox homeostasis and mitoenergetic capacity in neuronal cells. The combined actions of Sch B offer a promising prospect for preventing or possibly delaying the onset of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as enhancing brain health. PMID:22666518

  19. Are Auditory and Visual Processing Deficits Related to Developmental Dyslexia?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Georgiou, George K.; Papadopoulos, Timothy C.; Zarouna, Elena; Parrila, Rauno

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine if children with dyslexia learning to read a consistent orthography (Greek) experience auditory and visual processing deficits and if these deficits are associated with phonological awareness, rapid naming speed and orthographic processing. We administered measures of general cognitive ability, phonological…

  20. Auditory Brainstem Responses in Young Males with Fragile X Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberts, Joanne; Hennon, Elizabeth A.; Anderson, Kathleen; Roush, Jackson; Gravel, Judith; Skinner, Martie; Misenheimer, Jan; Reitz, Patricia

    2005-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common inherited cause of mental retardation resulting in developmental delays in males. Atypical outer ear morphology is characteristic of FXS and may serve as a marker for abnormal auditory function. Despite this abnormality, studies of the hearing of young males with FXS are generally lacking. A few studies…

  1. Music training for the development of auditory skills.

    PubMed

    Kraus, Nina; Chandrasekaran, Bharath

    2010-08-01

    The effects of music training in relation to brain plasticity have caused excitement, evident from the popularity of books on this topic among scientists and the general public. Neuroscience research has shown that music training leads to changes throughout the auditory system that prime musicians for listening challenges beyond music processing. This effect of music training suggests that, akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness. Therefore, the role of music in shaping individual development deserves consideration.

  2. Heterogeneity of Auditory Verbal Working Memory in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Bruder, Gerard E.; Alschuler, Daniel M.; Kroppmann, Christopher J.; Fekri, Shiva; Gil, Roberto; Jarskog, Lars F.; Harkavy-Friedman, Jill M.; Goetz, Raymond; Kayser, Jürgen; Wexler, Bruce E.

    2011-01-01

    The heterogeneity of schizophrenia remains an obstacle for understanding its pathophysiology. Studies using a tone discrimination screening test to classify patients have found evidence for two subgroups having either a specific deficit in verbal working memory (WM) or deficits on both verbal and nonverbal memory tests. This study aimed to: (1) replicate in larger samples differences between these subgroups on the word serial position test (WSPT); (2) further evaluate their performance on additional tests of verbal WM, explicit memory, and sustained attention; (3) determine the relation of verbal WM deficits to auditory hallucinations and other symptoms; and (4) examine medication effects. WSPT of verbal WM and tone discrimination performance did not differ between medicated (n=45) and unmedicated (n=38) patients. Patients with schizophrenia who passed the auditory screening test (discriminators, n=60) were compared to those who did not (nondiscriminators, n=23), and healthy controls (n=47). The discriminator subgroup showed poorer verbal WM than controls and a deficit in verbal but not visual memory on Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised, whereas the nondiscriminator subgroup showed overall poorer performance on both verbal and nonverbal tests and a marked deficit in sustained attention. Verbal WM deficits in discriminators on WSPT were correlated with auditory hallucinations but not with negative symptoms. The results are consistent with a verbal memory deficit in a subgroup of schizophrenia having intact auditory perception, which may stem from dysfunction of language-related cortical regions, and a more generalized cognitive deficit in a subgroup having auditory perceptual and attentional dysfunction. PMID:21319926

  3. Interactions across Multiple Stimulus Dimensions in Primary Auditory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Zhuo, Ran; Xue, Hongbo; Chambers, Anna R.; Kolaczyk, Eric; Polley, Daniel B.

    2016-01-01

    Although sensory cortex is thought to be important for the perception of complex objects, its specific role in representing complex stimuli remains unknown. Complex objects are rich in information along multiple stimulus dimensions. The position of cortex in the sensory hierarchy suggests that cortical neurons may integrate across these dimensions to form a more gestalt representation of auditory objects. Yet, studies of cortical neurons typically explore single or few dimensions due to the difficulty of determining optimal stimuli in a high dimensional stimulus space. Evolutionary algorithms (EAs) provide a potentially powerful approach for exploring multidimensional stimulus spaces based on real-time spike feedback, but two important issues arise in their application. First, it is unclear whether it is necessary to characterize cortical responses to multidimensional stimuli or whether it suffices to characterize cortical responses to a single dimension at a time. Second, quantitative methods for analyzing complex multidimensional data from an EA are lacking. Here, we apply a statistical method for nonlinear regression, the generalized additive model (GAM), to address these issues. The GAM quantitatively describes the dependence between neural response and all stimulus dimensions. We find that auditory cortical neurons in mice are sensitive to interactions across dimensions. These interactions are diverse across the population, indicating significant integration across stimulus dimensions in auditory cortex. This result strongly motivates using multidimensional stimuli in auditory cortex. Together, the EA and the GAM provide a novel quantitative paradigm for investigating neural coding of complex multidimensional stimuli in auditory and other sensory cortices. PMID:27622211

  4. Coding of melodic gestalt in human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Schindler, Andreas; Herdener, Marcus; Bartels, Andreas

    2013-12-01

    The perception of a melody is invariant to the absolute properties of its constituting notes, but depends on the relation between them-the melody's relative pitch profile. In fact, a melody's "Gestalt" is recognized regardless of the instrument or key used to play it. Pitch processing in general is assumed to occur at the level of the auditory cortex. However, it is unknown whether early auditory regions are able to encode pitch sequences integrated over time (i.e., melodies) and whether the resulting representations are invariant to specific keys. Here, we presented participants different melodies composed of the same 4 harmonic pitches during functional magnetic resonance imaging recordings. Additionally, we played the same melodies transposed in different keys and on different instruments. We found that melodies were invariantly represented by their blood oxygen level-dependent activation patterns in primary and secondary auditory cortices across instruments, and also across keys. Our findings extend common hierarchical models of auditory processing by showing that melodies are encoded independent of absolute pitch and based on their relative pitch profile as early as the primary auditory cortex.

  5. Methods for the analysis of auditory processing in the brain.

    PubMed

    Theunissen, Frédéric E; Woolley, Sarah M N; Hsu, Anne; Fremouw, Thane

    2004-06-01

    Understanding song perception and singing behavior in birds requires the study of auditory processing of complex sounds throughout the avian brain. We can divide the basics of auditory perception into two general processes: (1) encoding, the process whereby sound is transformed into neural activity and (2) decoding, the process whereby patterns of neural activity take on perceptual meaning and therefore guide behavioral responses to sounds. In birdsong research, most studies have focused on the decoding process: What are the responses of the specialized auditory neurons in the song control system? and What do they mean for the bird? Recently, new techniques addressing both encoding and decoding have been developed for use in songbirds. Here, we first describe some powerful methods for analyzing what acoustical aspects of complex sounds like songs are encoded by auditory processing neurons in songbird brain. These methods include the estimation and analysis of spectro-temporal receptive fields (STRFs) for auditory neurons. Then we discuss the decoding methods that have been used to understand how songbird neurons may discriminate among different songs and other sounds based on mean spike-count rates.

  6. Are auditory and visual processing deficits related to developmental dyslexia?

    PubMed

    Georgiou, George K; Papadopoulos, Timothy C; Zarouna, Elena; Parrila, Rauno

    2012-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine if children with dyslexia learning to read a consistent orthography (Greek) experience auditory and visual processing deficits and if these deficits are associated with phonological awareness, rapid naming speed and orthographic processing. We administered measures of general cognitive ability, phonological awareness, orthographic processing, short-term memory, rapid automatized naming, auditory and visual processing, and reading fluency to 21 Grade 6 children with dyslexia, 21 chronological age-matched controls and 20 Grade 3 reading age-matched controls. The results indicated that the children with dyslexia did not experience auditory processing deficits, but about half of them showed visual processing deficits. Both orthographic processing and rapid automatized naming deficits were associated with dyslexia in our sample, but it is less clear that they were associated with visual processing deficits.

  7. The role of vision in auditory distance perception.

    PubMed

    Calcagno, Esteban R; Abregú, Ezequiel L; Eguía, Manuel C; Vergara, Ramiro

    2012-01-01

    In humans, multisensory interaction is an important strategy for improving the detection of stimuli of different nature and reducing the variability of response. It is known that the presence of visual information affects the auditory perception in the horizontal plane (azimuth), but there are few researches that study the influence of vision in the auditory distance perception. In general, the data obtained from these studies are contradictory and do not completely define the way in which visual cues affect the apparent distance of a sound source. Here psychophysical experiments on auditory distance perception in humans are performed, including and excluding visual cues. The results show that the apparent distance from the source is affected by the presence of visual information and that subjects can store in their memory a representation of the environment that later improves the perception of distance.

  8. The impact of auditory distraction on retrieval of visual memories.

    PubMed

    Wais, Peter E; Gazzaley, Adam

    2011-12-01

    Recent research has revealed that the presence of irrelevant visual information during retrieval of long-term memories diminishes recollection of task-relevant visual details. Here, we explored the impact of irrelevant auditory information on remembering task-relevant visual details by probing recall of the same previously viewed images while participants were in complete silence, exposed to white noise, or exposed to ambient sounds recorded at a busy café. The presence of auditory distraction diminished objective recollection of goal-relevant details, relative to the silence and white noise conditions. Critically, a comparison with results from a previous study using visual distractors showed equivalent effects for auditory and visual distraction. These findings suggest that disruption of recollection by external stimuli is a domain-general phenomenon produced by interference between resource-limited, top-down mechanisms that guide the selection of mnemonic details and control processes that mediate our interactions with external distractors.

  9. Modulation of Auditory Spatial Attention by Angry Prosody: An fMRI Auditory Dot-Probe Study.

    PubMed

    Ceravolo, Leonardo; Frühholz, Sascha; Grandjean, Didier

    2016-01-01

    Emotional stimuli have been shown to modulate attentional orienting through signals sent by subcortical brain regions that modulate visual perception at early stages of processing. Fewer studies, however, have investigated a similar effect of emotional stimuli on attentional orienting in the auditory domain together with an investigation of brain regions underlying such attentional modulation, which is the general aim of the present study. Therefore, we used an original auditory dot-probe paradigm involving simultaneously presented neutral and angry non-speech vocal utterances lateralized to either the left or the right auditory space, immediately followed by a short and lateralized single sine wave tone presented in the same (valid trial) or in the opposite space as the preceding angry voice (invalid trial). Behavioral results showed an expected facilitation effect for target detection during valid trials while functional data showed greater activation in the middle and posterior superior temporal sulci (STS) and in the medial frontal cortex for valid vs. invalid trials. The use of reaction time facilitation [absolute value of the Z-score of valid-(invalid+neutral)] as a group covariate extended enhanced activity in the amygdalae, auditory thalamus, and visual cortex. Taken together, our results suggest the involvement of a large and distributed network of regions among which the STS, thalamus, and amygdala are crucial for the decoding of angry prosody, as well as for orienting and maintaining attention within an auditory space that was previously primed by a vocal emotional event.

  10. Modulation of Auditory Spatial Attention by Angry Prosody: An fMRI Auditory Dot-Probe Study

    PubMed Central

    Ceravolo, Leonardo; Frühholz, Sascha; Grandjean, Didier

    2016-01-01

    Emotional stimuli have been shown to modulate attentional orienting through signals sent by subcortical brain regions that modulate visual perception at early stages of processing. Fewer studies, however, have investigated a similar effect of emotional stimuli on attentional orienting in the auditory domain together with an investigation of brain regions underlying such attentional modulation, which is the general aim of the present study. Therefore, we used an original auditory dot-probe paradigm involving simultaneously presented neutral and angry non-speech vocal utterances lateralized to either the left or the right auditory space, immediately followed by a short and lateralized single sine wave tone presented in the same (valid trial) or in the opposite space as the preceding angry voice (invalid trial). Behavioral results showed an expected facilitation effect for target detection during valid trials while functional data showed greater activation in the middle and posterior superior temporal sulci (STS) and in the medial frontal cortex for valid vs. invalid trials. The use of reaction time facilitation [absolute value of the Z-score of valid-(invalid+neutral)] as a group covariate extended enhanced activity in the amygdalae, auditory thalamus, and visual cortex. Taken together, our results suggest the involvement of a large and distributed network of regions among which the STS, thalamus, and amygdala are crucial for the decoding of angry prosody, as well as for orienting and maintaining attention within an auditory space that was previously primed by a vocal emotional event. PMID:27242420

  11. Auditory and non-auditory effects of noise on health.

    PubMed

    Basner, Mathias; Babisch, Wolfgang; Davis, Adrian; Brink, Mark; Clark, Charlotte; Janssen, Sabine; Stansfeld, Stephen

    2014-04-12

    Noise is pervasive in everyday life and can cause both auditory and non-auditory health effects. Noise-induced hearing loss remains highly prevalent in occupational settings, and is increasingly caused by social noise exposure (eg, through personal music players). Our understanding of molecular mechanisms involved in noise-induced hair-cell and nerve damage has substantially increased, and preventive and therapeutic drugs will probably become available within 10 years. Evidence of the non-auditory effects of environmental noise exposure on public health is growing. Observational and experimental studies have shown that noise exposure leads to annoyance, disturbs sleep and causes daytime sleepiness, affects patient outcomes and staff performance in hospitals, increases the occurrence of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, and impairs cognitive performance in schoolchildren. In this Review, we stress the importance of adequate noise prevention and mitigation strategies for public health.

  12. Functional specializations of primary auditory afferents on the Mauthner cells: Interactions between membrane and synaptic properties

    PubMed Central

    Curti, Sebastian; Pereda, Alberto E.

    2009-01-01

    Primary auditory afferents are usually perceived as passive, timing-preserving, lines of communication. Contrasting this view, a special class of auditory afferents to teleost Mauthner cells, a command neuron that organizes tail-flip escape responses, undergoes potentiation of their mixed (electrical and chemical) synapses in response to high frequency cellular activity. This property is likely to represent a mechanism of input sensitization as these neurons provide the Mauthner cell with essential information for the initiation of an escape response. We review here the anatomical and physiological specializations of these identifiable auditory afferents. In particular, we discuss how their membrane and synaptic properties act in concert to more efficaciously activate the Mauthner cells. The striking functional specializations of these neurons suggest that primary auditory afferents might be capable of more sophisticated contributions to auditory processing than has been generally recognized. PMID:19941953

  13. Auditory discrimination of force of impact

    PubMed Central

    Lutfi, Robert A.; Liu, Ching-Ju; Stoelinga, Christophe N. J.

    2011-01-01

    The auditory discrimination of force of impact was measured for three groups of listeners using sounds synthesized according to first-order equations of motion for the homogenous, isotropic bar [Morse and Ingard (1968). Theoretical Acoustics pp. 175–191]. The three groups were professional percussionists, nonmusicians, and individuals recruited from the general population without regard to musical background. In the two-interval, forced-choice procedure, listeners chose the sound corresponding to the greater force of impact as the length of the bar varied from one presentation to the next. From the equations of motion, a maximum-likelihood test for the task was determined to be of the form Δlog A + αΔ log f > 0, where A and f are the amplitude and frequency of any one partial and α = 0.5. Relative decision weights on Δ log f were obtained from the trial-by-trial responses of listeners and compared to α. Percussionists generally outperformed the other groups; however, the obtained decision weights of all listeners deviated significantly from α and showed variability within groups far in excess of the variability associated with replication. Providing correct feedback after each trial had little effect on the decision weights. The variability in these measures was comparable to that seen in studies involving the auditory discrimination of other source attributes. PMID:21476666

  14. Auditory discrimination of force of impact.

    PubMed

    Lutfi, Robert A; Liu, Ching-Ju; Stoelinga, Christophe N J

    2011-04-01

    The auditory discrimination of force of impact was measured for three groups of listeners using sounds synthesized according to first-order equations of motion for the homogenous, isotropic bar [Morse and Ingard (1968). Theoretical Acoustics pp. 175-191]. The three groups were professional percussionists, nonmusicians, and individuals recruited from the general population without regard to musical background. In the two-interval, forced-choice procedure, listeners chose the sound corresponding to the greater force of impact as the length of the bar varied from one presentation to the next. From the equations of motion, a maximum-likelihood test for the task was determined to be of the form Δlog A + αΔ log f > 0, where A and f are the amplitude and frequency of any one partial and α = 0.5. Relative decision weights on Δ log f were obtained from the trial-by-trial responses of listeners and compared to α. Percussionists generally outperformed the other groups; however, the obtained decision weights of all listeners deviated significantly from α and showed variability within groups far in excess of the variability associated with replication. Providing correct feedback after each trial had little effect on the decision weights. The variability in these measures was comparable to that seen in studies involving the auditory discrimination of other source attributes.

  15. Mouse Auditory Brainstem Response Testing

    PubMed Central

    Akil, Omar; Oursler, A. E.; Fan, Kevin; Lustig, Lawrence R.

    2016-01-01

    The auditory brainstem response (ABR) test provides information about the inner ear (cochlea) and the central pathways for hearing. The ABR reflects the electrical responses of both the cochlear ganglion neurons and the nuclei of the central auditory pathway to sound stimulation (Zhou et al., 2006; Burkard et al., 2007). The ABR contains 5 identifiable wave forms, labeled as I-V. Wave I represents the summated response from the spiral ganglion and auditory nerve while waves II-V represent responses from the ascending auditory pathway. The ABR is recorded via electrodes placed on the scalp of an anesthetized animal. ABR thresholds refer to the lowest sound pressure level (SPL) that can generate identifiable electrical response waves. This protocol describes the process of measuring the ABR of small rodents (mouse, rat, guinea pig, etc.), including anesthetizing the mouse, placing the electrodes on the scalp, recording click and tone burst stimuli and reading the obtained waveforms for ABR threshold values. As technology continues to evolve, ABR will likely provide more qualitative and quantitative information regarding the function of the auditory nerve and brainstem pathways involved in hearing.

  16. Pharmacological intervention of early neuropathy in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Min Jee; Kim, Jeong-Hoon; Kim, TaeSoo; Lee, Sung Bae

    2017-02-04

    Extensive studies have reported the significant roles of numerous cellular features and processes in properly maintaining neuronal morphology and function throughout the lifespan of an animal. Any alterations in their homeostasis appear to be strongly associated with neuronal aging and the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative diseases, even before the occurrence of prominent neuronal death. However, until recently, the primary focus of studies regarding many neurodegenerative diseases has been on the massive cell death occurring at the late stages of disease progression. Thus, our understanding on early neuropathy in these diseases remains relatively limited. The complicated nature of various neuropathic features manifested early in neurodegenerative diseases suggests the involvement of a system-wide transcriptional regulation and epigenetic control. Epigenetic alterations and consequent changes in the neuronal transcriptome are now begun to be extensively studied in various neurodegenerative diseases. Upon the catastrophic incident of neuronal death in disease progression, it is utterly difficult to reverse the deleterious defects by pharmacological treatments, and therefore, therapeutics targeting the system-wide transcriptional dysregulation associated with specific early neuropathy is considered a better option. Here, we review our current understanding on the system-wide transcriptional dysregulation that is likely associated with early neuropathy shown in various neurodegenerative diseases and discuss the possible future developments of pharmaceutical therapeutics.

  17. DNA Double Strand Breaks: A Common Theme in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Merlo, Daniela; Mollinari, Cristiana; Racaniello, Mauro; Garaci, Enrico; Cardinale, Alessio

    2016-01-01

    Accumulation of DNA damage and impairment of DNA repair systems are involved in the pathogenesis of different neurodegenerative diseases. Whenever DNA damage is too extensive, the DNA damage response pathway provides for triggering cellular senescence and/or apoptosis. However, whether the increased level of DNA damage in neurodegenerative disorders is a cause rather than the consequence of neurodegenerative events remains to be established. Among possible DNA lesions, DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) are rare events, nevertheless they are the most lethal form of DNA damage. In neurons, DSBs are particularly deleterious because of their reduced DNA repair capability as compared to proliferating cells. Here, we provide a description of DSB repair systems and describe human studies showing the presence of several types of DNA lesions in three major neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD). Then, we analyze the role of DSB accumulation and deficiency of DSB repair systems in neurodegeneration by examining studies on animal models of neurodegenerative diseases.

  18. Advances in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders employing nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Spuch, Carlos; Saida, Ortolano; Navarro, Carmen

    2012-04-01

    Nanoparticles could potentially revolutionise treatment for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and strokes. Nanotechnologies hold great promise in brain therapy as they protect the therapeutic agent and allow its sustained release; the nanoparticles can be used as gene delivery vehicles. The application of neurotrophic factors is able to modulate neuronal survival and synaptic connectivity and it is a promising therapeutic approach for many neurodegenerative diseases, however, due to limitations posed by the restrictive blood brain barrier (BBB), it is very difficult to ensure long-term administration in the brain. Drug delivery to the brain remains the major challenge for the treatment of all neurodegenerative diseases because of the numerous protective barriers surrounding the central nervous system (CNS). New therapeutics with the capacity to cross the BBB is critically needed for treatment of these diseases. In recent years, nanotechnology had patented new formulations and has evolved as a new treatment for brain diseases, especially for neurodegenerative diseases, where genetically engineered cells can be used to deliver specific growth factors to target cells. Overall, the aim of this review is to summarize the last patents, clinical trials and news related with nanoparticles technology for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

  19. The Role of Environmental Exposures in Neurodegeneration and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Cannon, Jason R.; Greenamyre, J. Timothy

    2011-01-01

    Neurodegeneration describes the loss of neuronal structure and function. Numerous neurodegenerative diseases are associated with neurodegeneration. Many are rare and stem from purely genetic causes. However, the prevalence of major neurodegenerative diseases is increasing with improvements in treating major diseases such as cancers and cardiovascular diseases, resulting in an aging population. The neurological consequences of neurodegeneration in patients can have devastating effects on mental and physical functioning. The causes of most cases of prevalent neurodegenerative diseases are unknown. The role of neurotoxicant exposures in neurodegenerative disease has long been suspected, with much effort devoted to identifying causative agents. However, causative factors for a significant number of cases have yet to be identified. In this review, the role of environmental neurotoxicant exposures on neurodegeneration in selected major neurodegenerative diseases is discussed. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis were chosen because of available data on environmental influences. The special sensitivity the nervous system exhibits to toxicant exposure and unifying mechanisms of neurodegeneration are explored. PMID:21914720

  20. Auditory agnosia and auditory spatial deficits following left hemispheric lesions: evidence for distinct processing pathways.

    PubMed

    Clarke, S; Bellmann, A; Meuli, R A; Assal, G; Steck, A J

    2000-01-01

    Auditory recognition and auditory spatial functions were studied in four patients with circumscribed left hemispheric lesions. Patient FD was severely deficient in recognition of environmental sounds but normal in auditory localisation and auditory motion perception. The lesion included the left superior, middle and inferior temporal gyri and lateral auditory areas (as identified in previous anatomical studies), but spared Heschl's gyrus, the acoustic radiation and the thalamus. Patient SD had the same profile as FD, with deficient recognition of environmental sounds but normal auditory localisation and motion perception. The lesion comprised the postero-inferior part of the frontal convexity and the anterior third of the temporal lobe; data from non-human primates indicate that the latter are interconnected with lateral auditory areas. Patient MA was deficient in recognition of environmental sounds, auditory localisation and auditory motion perception, confirming that auditory spatial functions can be disturbed by left unilateral damage; the lesion involved the supratemporal region as well as the temporal, postero-inferior frontal and antero-inferior parietal convexities. Patient CZ was severely deficient in auditory motion perception and partially deficient in auditory localisation, but normal in recognition of environmental sounds; the lesion involved large parts of the parieto-frontal convexity and the supratemporal region. We propose that auditory information is processed in the human auditory cortex along two distinct pathways, one lateral devoted to auditory recognition and one medial and posterior devoted to auditory spatial functions.

  1. Auditory brainstem responses in the Eastern Screech Owl: An estimate of auditory thresholds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brittan-Powell, E.F.; Lohr, B.; Hahn, D.C.; Dooling, R.J.

    2005-01-01

    The auditory brainstem response (ABR), a measure of neural synchrony, was used to estimate auditory sensitivity in the eastern screech owl (Megascops asio). The typical screech owl ABR waveform showed two to three prominent peaks occurring within 5 ms of stimulus onset. As sound pressure levels increased, the ABR peak amplitude increased and latency decreased. With an increasing stimulus presentation rate, ABR peak amplitude decreased and latency increased. Generally, changes in the ABR waveform to stimulus intensity and repetition rate are consistent with the pattern found in several avian families. The ABR audiogram shows that screech owls hear best between 1.5 and 6.4 kHz with the most acute sensitivity between 4?5.7 kHz. The shape of the average screech owl ABR audiogram is similar to the shape of the behaviorally measured audiogram of the barn owl, except at the highest frequencies. Our data also show differences in overall auditory sensitivity between the color morphs of screech owls.

  2. Behind the scenes of auditory perception.

    PubMed

    Shamma, Shihab A; Micheyl, Christophe

    2010-06-01

    'Auditory scenes' often contain contributions from multiple acoustic sources. These are usually heard as separate auditory 'streams', which can be selectively followed over time. How and where these auditory streams are formed in the auditory system is one of the most fascinating questions facing auditory scientists today. Findings published within the past two years indicate that both cortical and subcortical processes contribute to the formation of auditory streams, and they raise important questions concerning the roles of primary and secondary areas of auditory cortex in this phenomenon. In addition, these findings underline the importance of taking into account the relative timing of neural responses, and the influence of selective attention, in the search for neural correlates of the perception of auditory streams.

  3. Effect of electromagnetic radiations on neurodegenerative diseases- technological revolution as a curse in disguise.

    PubMed

    Hasan, Gulam M; Sheikh, Ishfaq A; Karim, Sajjad; Haque, Absarul; Kamal, Mohammad A; Chaudhary, Adeel G; Azhar, Essam; Mirza, Zeenat

    2014-01-01

    In the present developed world, all of us are flooded with electromagnetic radiations (EMR) emanating from generation and transmission of electricity, domestic appliances and industrial equipments, to telecommunications and broadcasting. We have been exposed to EMR for last many decades; however their recent steady increase from artificial sources has been reported as millions of antennas and satellites irradiate the global population round the clock, year round. Needless to say, these are so integral to modern life that interaction with them on a daily basis is seemingly inevitable; hence, the EMR exposure load has increased to a point where their health effects are becoming a major concern. Delicate and sensitive electrical system of human body is affected by consistent penetration of electromagnetic frequencies causing DNA breakages and chromosomal aberrations. Technological innovations came with Pandora's Box of hazardous consequences including neurodegenerative disorders, hearing disabilities, diabetes, congenital abnormalities, infertility, cardiovascular diseases and cancer to name few, all on a sharp rise. Electromagnetic non-ionizing radiations pose considerable health threat with prolonged exposure. Mobile phones are usually held near to the brain and manifest progressive structural or functional alterations in neurons leading to neurodegenerative diseases and neuronal death. This has provoked awareness among both the general public and scientific community and international bodies acknowledge that further systematic research is needed. The aim of the present review was to have an insight in whether and how cumulative electro-magnetic field exposure is a risk factor for neurodegenerative disorders.

  4. Small-molecule modulation of HDAC6 activity: The propitious therapeutic strategy to vanquish neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Ganai, Shabir Ahmad

    2017-02-08

    Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are epigenetic enzymes creating the transcriptionally inactive state of chromatin by erasing acetyl moiety from histone and non-histone substrates. HDAC6 modulates several biological pathways in dividing cells as well as in post-mitotic neurons, and has been implicated in the pathophysiology of neurodegeneration. The distinct cellular functions and survival in these cells are reliant on HDAC6-mediated processes including intracellular trafficking, chaperone-mediated stress responses, anti-oxidation and protein degradation. Consequently, the interest in HDAC6 as a promising therapeutic target to tackle neurodegenerative disorders has escalated markedly over the last decade. Taking these grim facts into consideration the current article focuses on structural organization of HDAC6. Importantly, we discuss the general role of HDACs in cognition and neuronal death. Further, we describe the unique involvement of HDAC6 in eliminating protein aggregates, oxidative stress and mitochondrial transport. Moreover, the article rigorously details how the impaired activity of HDAC6 culminates in neurodegenerative complications like Alzheimer disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Lastly, we provide crystal clear view regarding the fascinating research areas which may lead to development of novel small-molecules for enhanced therapeutic benefit against these therapeutically arduous neurodegenerative maladies.

  5. Association between environmental exposure to pesticides and neurodegenerative diseases

    SciTech Connect

    Parron, Tesifon; Requena, Mar; Hernandez, Antonio F.; Alarcon, Raquel

    2011-11-15

    Preliminary studies have shown associations between chronic pesticide exposure in occupational settings and neurological disorders. However, data on the effects of long-term non-occupational exposures are too sparse to allow any conclusions. This study examines the influence of environmental pesticide exposure on a number of neuropsychiatric conditions and discusses their underlying pathologic mechanisms. An ecological study was conducted using averaged prevalence rates of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral degeneration, polyneuropathies, affective psychosis and suicide attempts in selected Andalusian health districts categorized into areas of high and low environmental pesticide exposure based on the number of hectares devoted to intensive agriculture and pesticide sales per capita. A total of 17,429 cases were collected from computerized hospital records (minimum dataset) between 1998 and 2005. Prevalence rates and the risk of having Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and suicide were significantly higher in districts with greater pesticide use as compared to those with lower pesticide use. The multivariate analyses showed that the population living in areas with high pesticide use had an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease and suicide attempts and that males living in these areas had increased risks for polyneuropathies, affective disorders and suicide attempts. In conclusion, this study supports and extends previous findings and provides an indication that environmental exposure to pesticides may affect the human health by increasing the incidence of certain neurological disorders at the level of the general population. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Environmental exposure to pesticides and neurodegenerative-psychiatric disorders. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Increased risk for Alzheimer's disease and suicide attempts in high exposure areas. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Males from

  6. Auditory presentation and synchronization in Adobe Flash and HTML5/JavaScript Web experiments.

    PubMed

    Reimers, Stian; Stewart, Neil

    2016-09-01

    Substantial recent research has examined the accuracy of presentation durations and response time measurements for visually presented stimuli in Web-based experiments, with a general conclusion that accuracy is acceptable for most kinds of experiments. However, many areas of behavioral research use auditory stimuli instead of, or in addition to, visual stimuli. Much less is known about auditory accuracy using standard Web-based testing procedures. We used a millisecond-accurate Black Box Toolkit to measure the actual durations of auditory stimuli and the synchronization of auditory and visual presentation onsets. We examined the distribution of timings for 100 presentations of auditory and visual stimuli across two computers with difference specs, three commonly used browsers, and code written in either Adobe Flash or JavaScript. We also examined different coding options for attempting to synchronize the auditory and visual onsets. Overall, we found that auditory durations were very consistent, but that the lags between visual and auditory onsets varied substantially across browsers and computer systems.

  7. Capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) use positive, but not negative, auditory cues to infer food location.

    PubMed

    Heimbauer, Lisa A; Antworth, Rebecca L; Owren, Michael J

    2012-01-01

    Nonhuman primates appear to capitalize more effectively on visual cues than corresponding auditory versions. For example, studies of inferential reasoning have shown that monkeys and apes readily respond to seeing that food is present ("positive" cuing) or absent ("negative" cuing). Performance is markedly less effective with auditory cues, with many subjects failing to use this input. Extending recent work, we tested eight captive tufted capuchins (Cebus apella) in locating food using positive and negative cues in visual and auditory domains. The monkeys chose between two opaque cups to receive food contained in one of them. Cup contents were either shown or shaken, providing location cues from both cups, positive cues only from the baited cup, or negative cues from the empty cup. As in previous work, subjects readily used both positive and negative visual cues to secure reward. However, auditory outcomes were both similar to and different from those of earlier studies. Specifically, all subjects came to exploit positive auditory cues, but none responded to negative versions. The animals were also clearly different in visual versus auditory performance. Results indicate that a significant proportion of capuchins may be able to use positive auditory cues, with experience and learning likely playing a critical role. These findings raise the possibility that experience may be significant in visually based performance in this task as well, and highlight that coming to grips with evident differences between visual versus auditory processing may be important for understanding primate cognition more generally.

  8. Seeing sounds and hearing colors: an event-related potential study of auditory-visual synesthesia.

    PubMed

    Goller, Aviva I; Otten, Leun J; Ward, Jamie

    2009-10-01

    In auditory-visual synesthesia, sounds automatically elicit conscious and reliable visual experiences. It is presently unknown whether this reflects early or late processes in the brain. It is also unknown whether adult audiovisual synesthesia resembles auditory-induced visual illusions that can sometimes occur in the general population or whether it resembles the electrophysiological deflection over occipital sites that has been noted in infancy and has been likened to synesthesia. Electrical brain activity was recorded from adult synesthetes and control participants who were played brief tones and required to monitor for an infrequent auditory target. The synesthetes were instructed to attend either to the auditory or to the visual (i.e., synesthetic) dimension of the tone, whereas the controls attended to the auditory dimension alone. There were clear differences between synesthetes and controls that emerged early (100 msec after tone onset). These differences tended to lie in deflections of the auditory-evoked potential (e.g., the auditory N1, P2, and N2) rather than the presence of an additional posterior deflection. The differences occurred irrespective of what the synesthetes attended to (although attention had a late effect). The results suggest that differences between synesthetes and others occur early in time, and that synesthesia is qualitatively different from similar effects found in infants and certain auditory-induced visual illusions in adults. In addition, we report two novel cases of synesthesia in which colors elicit sounds, and vice versa.

  9. Octave effect in auditory attention.

    PubMed

    Borra, Tobias; Versnel, Huib; Kemner, Chantal; van Opstal, A John; van Ee, Raymond

    2013-09-17

    After hearing a tone, the human auditory system becomes more sensitive to similar tones than to other tones. Current auditory models explain this phenomenon by a simple bandpass attention filter. Here, we demonstrate that auditory attention involves multiple pass-bands around octave-related frequencies above and below the cued tone. Intriguingly, this "octave effect" not only occurs for physically presented tones, but even persists for the missing fundamental in complex tones, and for imagined tones. Our results suggest neural interactions combining octave-related frequencies, likely located in nonprimary cortical regions. We speculate that this connectivity scheme evolved from exposure to natural vibrations containing octave-related spectral peaks, e.g., as produced by vocal cords.

  10. Bioinformatics Mining and Modeling Methods for the Identification of Disease Mechanisms in Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Hofmann-Apitius, Martin; Ball, Gordon; Gebel, Stephan; Bagewadi, Shweta; de Bono, Bernard; Schneider, Reinhard; Page, Matt; Kodamullil, Alpha Tom; Younesi, Erfan; Ebeling, Christian; Tegnér, Jesper; Canard, Luc

    2015-01-01

    Since the decoding of the Human Genome, techniques from bioinformatics, statistics, and machine learning have been instrumental in uncovering patterns in increasing amounts and types of different data produced by technical profiling technologies applied to clinical samples, animal models, and cellular systems. Yet, progress on unravelling biological mechanisms, causally driving diseases, has been limited, in part due to the inherent complexity of biological systems. Whereas we have witnessed progress in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, the area of neurodegenerative diseases has proved to be very challenging. This is in part because the aetiology of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer´s disease or Parkinson´s disease is unknown, rendering it very difficult to discern early causal events. Here we describe a panel of bioinformatics and modeling approaches that have recently been developed to identify candidate mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases based on publicly available data and knowledge. We identify two complementary strategies—data mining techniques using genetic data as a starting point to be further enriched using other data-types, or alternatively to encode prior knowledge about disease mechanisms in a model based framework supporting reasoning and enrichment analysis. Our review illustrates the challenges entailed in integrating heterogeneous, multiscale and multimodal information in the area of neurology in general and neurodegeneration in particular. We conclude, that progress would be accelerated by increasing efforts on performing systematic collection of multiple data-types over time from each individual suffering from neurodegenerative disease. The work presented here has been driven by project AETIONOMY; a project funded in the course of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI); which is a public-private partnership of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (EFPIA) and the European

  11. Evaluation of Traditional Medicines for Neurodegenerative Diseases Using Drosophila Models

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Soojin; Bang, Se Min; Lee, Joon Woo; Cho, Kyoung Sang

    2014-01-01

    Drosophila is one of the oldest and most powerful genetic models and has led to novel insights into a variety of biological processes. Recently, Drosophila has emerged as a model system to study human diseases, including several important neurodegenerative diseases. Because of the genomic similarity between Drosophila and humans, Drosophila neurodegenerative disease models exhibit a variety of human-disease-like phenotypes, facilitating fast and cost-effective in vivo genetic modifier screening and drug evaluation. Using these models, many disease-associated genetic factors have been identified, leading to the identification of compelling drug candidates. Recently, the safety and efficacy of traditional medicines for human diseases have been evaluated in various animal disease models. Despite the advantages of the Drosophila model, its usage in the evaluation of traditional medicines is only nascent. Here, we introduce the Drosophila model for neurodegenerative diseases and some examples demonstrating the successful application of Drosophila models in the evaluation of traditional medicines. PMID:24790636

  12. Protein misfolding in neurodegenerative diseases: implications and strategies.

    PubMed

    Sweeney, Patrick; Park, Hyunsun; Baumann, Marc; Dunlop, John; Frydman, Judith; Kopito, Ron; McCampbell, Alexander; Leblanc, Gabrielle; Venkateswaran, Anjli; Nurmi, Antti; Hodgson, Robert

    2017-01-01

    A hallmark of neurodegenerative proteinopathies is the formation of misfolded protein aggregates that cause cellular toxicity and contribute to cellular proteostatic collapse. Therapeutic options are currently being explored that target different steps in the production and processing of proteins implicated in neurodegenerative disease, including synthesis, chaperone-assisted folding and trafficking, and degradation via the proteasome and autophagy pathways. Other therapies, like mTOR inhibitors and activators of the heat shock response, can rebalance the entire proteostatic network. However, there are major challenges that impact the development of novel therapies, including incomplete knowledge of druggable disease targets and their mechanism of action as well as a lack of biomarkers to monitor disease progression and therapeutic response. A notable development is the creation of collaborative ecosystems that include patients, clinicians, basic and translational researchers, foundations and regulatory agencies to promote scientific rigor and clinical data to accelerate the development of therapies that prevent, reverse or delay the progression of neurodegenerative proteinopathies.

  13. The transition metals copper and iron in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Rivera-Mancía, Susana; Pérez-Neri, Iván; Ríos, Camilo; Tristán-López, Luis; Rivera-Espinosa, Liliana; Montes, Sergio

    2010-07-30

    Neurodegenerative diseases constitute a worldwide health problem. Metals like iron and copper are essential for life, but they are also involved in several neurodegenerative mechanisms such as protein aggregation, free radical generation and oxidative stress. The role of Fe and Cu, their pathogenic mechanisms and possible therapeutic relevance are discussed regarding four of the most common neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases as well as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Metal-mediated oxidation by Fenton chemistry is a common feature for all those disorders and takes part of a self-amplifying damaging mechanism, leading to neurodegeneration. The interaction between metals and proteins in the nervous system seems to be a crucial factor for the development or absence of neurodegeneration. The present review also deals with the therapeutic strategies tested, mainly using metal chelating drugs. Metal accumulation within the nervous system observed in those diseases could be the result of compensatory mechanisms to improve metal availability for physiological processes.

  14. Clinico-Pathological Correlations of the Most Common Neurodegenerative Dementias

    PubMed Central

    Taipa, Ricardo; Pinho, João; Melo-Pires, Manuel

    2012-01-01

    Neurodegenerative dementias are a group of neurological disorders characterized by deterioration in several cognitive domains in which there is selective and progressive loss of specific populations of neurons. The precise neurobiological basis for the different neurodegenerative dementias remains unknown. It is expected that different pathologies reflect different mechanisms, at least early in the neurodegeneration process. The next decades promise treatments directed to causes and mechanisms, bringing an outstanding challenge to clinicians due to heterogeneous clinical presentations with the same molecular pathology. The purpose of this brief review is to describe the key neuropathological features of the most common neurodegenerative dementias (Alzheimer disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease dementia, and frontotemporal lobar degeneration) and the relationship with the clinical syndromes described in clinico-pathological studies. We expect this overview contributes for the understanding of this broad topic integrating the two ends of the spectrum: clinical and pathological. PMID:22557993

  15. Copper handling by astrocytes: insights into neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Tiffany-Castiglioni, Evelyn; Hong, Sandra; Qian, Yongchang

    2011-12-01

    Copper (Cu) is an essential trace element in the brain that can be toxic at elevated levels. Cu accumulation is a suspected etiology in several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and prion-induced disorders. Astrocytes are a proposed depot in the brain for Cu and other metals, including lead (Pb). This article describes the physiological roles of Cu in the central nervous system and in selected neurodegenerative diseases, and reviews evidence that astrocytes accumulate Cu and protect neurons from Cu toxicity. Findings from murine genetic models of Menkes disease and from cell culture models concerning the molecular mechanisms by which astrocytes take up, store, and buffer Cu intracellularly are discussed, as well as potential mechanistic linkages between astrocyte functions in Cu handling and neurodegenerative diseases.

  16. Biomarker Discovery in Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Proteomic Approach

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Min; Caudle, W. Michael; Zhang, Jing

    2010-01-01

    Biomarkers for neurodegenerative disorders are essential to facilitate disease diagnosis, ideally at early stages, monitor disease progression, and assess response to existing and future treatments. Application of proteomics to the human brain, cerebrospinal fluid and plasma has greatly hastened the unbiased and high-throughput searches for novel biomarkers. There are many steps critical to biomarker discovery, whether for neurodegenerative or other diseases, including sample preparation, protein/peptide separation and identification, as well as independent confirmation and validation. In this review we have summarized current proteomics technologies involved in discovery of biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases, practical considerations and limitations of several major aspects, as well as the current status of candidate biomarkers revealed by proteomics for Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases. PMID:18938247

  17. On The Role of Natural Killer Cells in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Maghazachi, Azzam A.

    2013-01-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells exert important immunoregulatory functions by releasing several inflammatory molecules, such as IFN-γ and members of chemokines, which include CCL3/MIP-1α and CCL4/MIP-1β. These cells also express heptahelical receptors, which are coupled to heterotrimeric G proteins that guide them into inflamed and injured tissues. NK cells have been shown to recognize and destroy transformed cells and virally-infected cells, but their roles in neurodegenerative diseases have not been examined in detail. In this review, I will summarize the effects of NK cells in two neurodegenerative diseases, namely multiple sclerosis and globoid cell leukodystrophy. It is hoped that the knowledge obtained from these diseases may facilitate building rational protocols for treating these and other neurodegenerative or autoimmune diseases using NK cells and drugs that activate them as therapeutic tools. PMID:23430541

  18. Redox Imbalance and Viral Infections in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Limongi, Dolores

    2016-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are essential molecules for many physiological functions and act as second messengers in a large variety of tissues. An imbalance in the production and elimination of ROS is associated with human diseases including neurodegenerative disorders. In the last years the notion that neurodegenerative diseases are accompanied by chronic viral infections, which may result in an increase of neurodegenerative diseases progression, emerged. It is known in literature that enhanced viral infection risk, observed during neurodegeneration, is partly due to the increase of ROS accumulation in brain cells. However, the molecular mechanisms of viral infection, occurring during the progression of neurodegeneration, remain unclear. In this review, we discuss the recent knowledge regarding the role of influenza, herpes simplex virus type-1, and retroviruses infection in ROS/RNS-mediated Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). PMID:27110325

  19. The Function of the Mitochondrial Calcium Uniporter in Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Yajin; Dong, Yuan; Cheng, Jinbo

    2017-01-01

    The mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU)—a calcium uniporter on the inner membrane of mitochondria—controls the mitochondrial calcium uptake in normal and abnormal situations. Mitochondrial calcium is essential for the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP); however, excessive calcium will induce mitochondrial dysfunction. Calcium homeostasis disruption and mitochondrial dysfunction is observed in many neurodegenerative disorders. However, the role and regulatory mechanism of the MCU in the development of these diseases are obscure. In this review, we summarize the role of the MCU in controlling oxidative stress-elevated mitochondrial calcium and its function in neurodegenerative disorders. Inhibition of the MCU signaling pathway might be a new target for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:28208618

  20. Feature Assignment in Perception of Auditory Figure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gregg, Melissa K.; Samuel, Arthur G.

    2012-01-01

    Because the environment often includes multiple sounds that overlap in time, listeners must segregate a sound of interest (the auditory figure) from other co-occurring sounds (the unattended auditory ground). We conducted a series of experiments to clarify the principles governing the extraction of auditory figures. We distinguish between auditory…

  1. Ageing and the auditory system

    PubMed Central

    Howarth, A; Shone, G R

    2006-01-01

    There are a number of pathophysiological processes underlying age related changes in the auditory system. The effects of hearing loss can have consequences beyond the immediate loss of hearing, and may have profound effects on the functioning of the person. While a deficit in hearing can be corrected to some degree by a hearing aid, auditory rehabilitation requires much more than simply amplifying external sound. It is important that those dealing with elderly people are aware of all the issues involved in age related hearing loss. PMID:16517797

  2. Loudspeaker equalization for auditory research.

    PubMed

    MacDonald, Justin A; Tran, Phuong K

    2007-02-01

    The equalization of loudspeaker frequency response is necessary to conduct many types of well-controlled auditory experiments. This article introduces a program that includes functions to measure a loudspeaker's frequency response, design equalization filters, and apply the filters to a set of stimuli to be used in an auditory experiment. The filters can compensate for both magnitude and phase distortions introduced by the loudspeaker. A MATLAB script is included in the Appendix to illustrate the details of the equalization algorithm used in the program.

  3. Apocynin, a Low Molecular Oral Treatment for Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    ‘t Hart, Bert A.; Copray, Sjef; Philippens, Ingrid

    2014-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that inflammatory mediators secreted by activated resident or infiltrated innate immune cells have a significant impact on the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. This may imply that patients affected by a neurodegenerative disease may benefit from treatment with selective inhibitors of innate immune activity. Here we review the therapeutic potential of apocynin, an essentially nontoxic phenolic compound isolated from the medicinal plant Jatropha multifida. Apocynin is a selective inhibitor of the phagocyte NADPH oxidase Nox2 that can be applied orally and is remarkably effective at low dose. PMID:25140304

  4. Sleep disturbance in mental health problems and neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Kirstie N; Bradley, Andrew J

    2013-01-01

    Sleep has been described as being of the brain, by the brain, and for the brain. This fundamental neurobiological behavior is controlled by homeostatic and circadian (24-hour) processes and is vital for normal brain function. This review will outline the normal sleep–wake cycle, the changes that occur during aging, and the specific patterns of sleep disturbance that occur in association with both mental health disorders and neurodegenerative disorders. The role of primary sleep disorders such as insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and REM sleep behavior disorder as potential causes or risk factors for particular mental health or neurodegenerative problems will also be discussed. PMID:23761983

  5. Impaired autophagy: a link between neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases

    PubMed Central

    Polajnar, Mira; Žerovnik, Eva

    2014-01-01

    Protein misfolding, and subsequent aggregation have been proven as the leading cause of most known dementias. Many of these, in addition to neurodegeneration, show profound changes in behaviour and thinking, thus, psychiatric symptoms. On the basis of the observation that progressive myoclonic epilepsies and neurodegenerative diseases share some common features of neurodegeneration, we proposed autophagy as a possible common impairment in these diseases. Here, we argue along similar lines for some neuropsychiatric conditions, among them depression and schizophrenia. We propose that existing and new therapies for these seemingly different diseases could be augmented with drugs used for neurodegenerative or neuropsychiatric diseases, respectively, among them some which modulate or augment autophagy. PMID:25139375

  6. Nanomedicine and neurodegenerative disorders: so close yet so far.

    PubMed

    Tosi, Giovanni; Vandelli, Maria Angela; Forni, Flavio; Ruozi, Barbara

    2015-07-01

    This editorial provides an overview of the main advantages of the use of nanomedicine-based approach for innovation in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Besides these aspects, a critical analysis on the main causes that slow the application of nanomedicine to brain disorders is given along with the identification of possible solutions and possible interventions. Better communication between the main players of research in this field and a detailed understanding of the most critical issues to be addressed should help in defining future directions towards the improvement and, finally, the clinical application of nanomedicine to neurodegenerative diseases.

  7. Prion-like transmission of protein aggregates in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Brundin, Patrik; Melki, Ronald; Kopito, Ron

    2010-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are commonly associated with the accumulation of intracellular or extracellular protein aggregates. Recent studies suggest that these aggregates are capable of crossing cellular membranes and can directly contribute to the propagation of neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis. We propose that, once initiated, neuropathological changes might spread in a ‘prion-like’ manner and that disease progression is associated with the intercellular transfer of pathogenic proteins. The transfer of naked infectious particles between cells could therefore be a target for new disease-modifying therapies. PMID:20308987

  8. Global warming and neurodegenerative disorders: speculations on their linkage.

    PubMed

    Habibi, Laleh; Perry, George; Mahmoudi, Morteza

    2014-01-01

    Climate change is having considerable impact on biological systems. Eras of ice ages and warming shaped the contemporary earth and origin of creatures including humans. Warming forces stress conditions on cells. Therefore, cells evolved elaborate defense mechanisms, such as creation of heat shock proteins, to combat heat stress. Global warming is becoming a crisis and this process would yield an undefined increasing rate of neurodegenerative disorders in future decades. Since heat stress is known to have a degenerative effects on neurons and, conversely, cold conditions have protective effect on these cells, we hypothesize that persistent heat stress forced by global warming might play a crucial role in increasing neurodegenerative disorders.

  9. Global warming and neurodegenerative disorders: speculations on their linkage

    PubMed Central

    Habibi, Laleh; Perry, George; Mahmoudi, Morteza

    2014-01-01

    Climate change is having considerable impact on biological systems. Eras of ice ages and warming shaped the contemporary earth and origin of creatures including humans. Warming forces stress conditions on cells. Therefore, cells evolved elaborate defense mechanisms, such as creation of heat shock proteins, to combat heat stress. Global warming is becoming a crisis and this process would yield an undefined increasing rate of neurodegenerative disorders in future decades. Since heat stress is known to have a degenerative effects on neurons and, conversely, cold conditions have protective effect on these cells, we hypothesize that persistent heat stress forced by global warming might play a crucial role in increasing neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:25671171

  10. Auditory Detection of the Human Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kidd, Gerald, Jr.; And Others

    1993-01-01

    This study evaluated whether listeners can distinguish human brainstem auditory evoked responses elicited by acoustic clicks from control waveforms obtained with no acoustic stimulus when the waveforms are presented auditorily. Detection performance for stimuli presented visually was slightly, but consistently, superior to that which occurred for…

  11. Auditory hedonic phenotypes in dementia: A behavioural and neuroanatomical analysis

    PubMed Central

    Fletcher, Phillip D.; Downey, Laura E.; Golden, Hannah L.; Clark, Camilla N.; Slattery, Catherine F.; Paterson, Ross W.; Schott, Jonathan M.; Rohrer, Jonathan D.; Rossor, Martin N.; Warren, Jason D.

    2015-01-01

    Patients with dementia may exhibit abnormally altered liking for environmental sounds and music but such altered auditory hedonic responses have not been studied systematically. Here we addressed this issue in a cohort of 73 patients representing major canonical dementia syndromes (behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), semantic dementia (SD), progressive nonfluent aphasia (PNFA) amnestic Alzheimer's disease (AD)) using a semi-structured caregiver behavioural questionnaire and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) of patients' brain MR images. Behavioural responses signalling abnormal aversion to environmental sounds, aversion to music or heightened pleasure in music (‘musicophilia’) occurred in around half of the cohort but showed clear syndromic and genetic segregation, occurring in most patients with bvFTD but infrequently in PNFA and more commonly in association with MAPT than C9orf72 mutations. Aversion to sounds was the exclusive auditory phenotype in AD whereas more complex phenotypes including musicophilia were common in bvFTD and SD. Auditory hedonic alterations correlated with grey matter loss in a common, distributed, right-lateralised network including antero-mesial temporal lobe, insula, anterior cingulate and nucleus accumbens. Our findings suggest that abnormalities of auditory hedonic processing are a significant issue in common dementias. Sounds may constitute a novel probe of brain mechanisms for emotional salience coding that are targeted by neurodegenerative disease. PMID:25929717

  12. A Computational Neurodegenerative Disease Progression Score: Method and Results with the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative Cohort

    PubMed Central

    Jedynak, Bruno M.; Lang, Andrew; Liu, Bo; Katz, Elyse; Zhang, Yanwei; Wyman, Bradley T.; Raunig, David; Jedynak, C. Pierre; Caffo, Brian; Prince, Jerry L.

    2012-01-01

    While neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by steady degeneration over relatively long timelines, it is widely believed that the early stages are the most promising for therapeutic intervention, before irreversible neuronal loss occurs. Developing a therapeutic response requires a precise measure of disease progression. However, since the early stages are for the most part asymptomatic, obtaining accurate measures of disease progression is difficult. Longitudinal databases of hundreds of subjects observed during several years with tens of validated biomarkers are becoming available, allowing the use of computational methods. We propose a widely applicable statistical methodology for creating a disease progression score (DPS), using multiple biomarkers, for subjects with a neurodegenerative disease. The proposed methodology was evaluated for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) using the publicly available AD Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database, yielding an Alzheimer’s DPS or ADPS score for each subject and each time-point in the database. In addition, a common description of biomarker changes was produced allowing for an ordering of the biomarkers. The Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test delayed recall was found to be the earliest biomarker to become abnormal. The group of biomarkers comprising the volume of the hippocampus and the protein concentration amyloid beta and Tau were next in the timeline, and these were followed by three cognitive biomarkers. The proposed methodology thus has potential to stage individuals according to their state of disease progression relative to a population and to deduce common behaviors of biomarkers in the disease itself. PMID:22885136

  13. A review on auditory space adaptations to altered head-related cues

    PubMed Central

    Mendonça, Catarina

    2014-01-01

    In this article we present a review of current literature on adaptations to altered head-related auditory localization cues. Localization cues can be altered through ear blocks, ear molds, electronic hearing devices, and altered head-related transfer functions (HRTFs). Three main methods have been used to induce auditory space adaptation: sound exposure, training with feedback, and explicit training. Adaptations induced by training, rather than exposure, are consistently faster. Studies on localization with altered head-related cues have reported poor initial localization, but improved accuracy and discriminability with training. Also, studies that displaced the auditory space by altering cue values reported adaptations in perceived source position to compensate for such displacements. Auditory space adaptations can last for a few months even without further contact with the learned cues. In most studies, localization with the subject's own unaltered cues remained intact despite the adaptation to a second set of cues. Generalization is observed from trained to untrained sound source positions, but there is mixed evidence regarding cross-frequency generalization. Multiple brain areas might be involved in auditory space adaptation processes, but the auditory cortex (AC) may play a critical role. Auditory space plasticity may involve context-dependent cue reweighting. PMID:25120422

  14. Happiness increases distraction by auditory deviant stimuli.

    PubMed

    Pacheco-Unguetti, Antonia Pilar; Parmentier, Fabrice B R

    2016-08-01

    Rare and unexpected changes (deviants) in an otherwise repeated stream of task-irrelevant auditory distractors (standards) capture attention and impair behavioural performance in an ongoing visual task. Recent evidence indicates that this effect is increased by sadness in a task involving neutral stimuli. We tested the hypothesis that such effect may not be limited to negative emotions but reflect a general depletion of attentional resources by examining whether a positive emotion (happiness) would increase deviance distraction too. Prior to performing an auditory-visual oddball task, happiness or a neutral mood was induced in participants by means of the exposure to music and the recollection of an autobiographical event. Results from the oddball task showed significantly larger deviance distraction following the induction of happiness. Interestingly, the small amount of distraction typically observed on the standard trial following a deviant trial (post-deviance distraction) was not increased by happiness. We speculate that happiness might interfere with the disengagement of attention from the deviant sound back towards the target stimulus (through the depletion of cognitive resources and/or mind wandering) but help subsequent cognitive control to recover from distraction.

  15. Cooperative Nonlinearities in Auditory Cortical Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Atencio, Craig A.; Sharpee, Tatyana O.; Schreiner, Christoph E.

    2008-01-01

    SUMMARY Cortical receptive fields represent the signal preferences of sensory neurons. Receptive fields are thought to provide a representation of sensory experience from which the cerebral cortex may make interpretations. While it is essential to determine a neuron’s receptive field, it remains unclear which features of the acoustic environment are specifically represented by neurons in the primary auditory cortex (AI). We characterized cat AI spectrotemporal receptive fields (STRFs) by finding both the spike-triggered average (STA) and stimulus dimensions that maximized the mutual information between response and stimulus. We derived a nonlinearity relating spiking to stimulus projection onto two maximally informative dimensions (MIDs). The STA was highly correlated with the first MID. Generally, the nonlinearity for the first MID was asymmetric and often monotonic in shape, while the second MID nonlinearity was symmetric and non-monotonic. The joint nonlinearity for both MIDs revealed that most first and second MIDs were synergistic, and thus should be considered conjointly. The difference between the nonlinearities suggests different possible roles for the MIDs in auditory processing. PMID:18579084

  16. Auditory verbal hallucinations: neuroimaging and treatment.

    PubMed

    Bohlken, M M; Hugdahl, K; Sommer, I E C

    2017-01-01

    Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) are a frequently occurring phenomenon in the general population and are considered a psychotic symptom when presented in the context of a psychiatric disorder. Neuroimaging literature has shown that AVH are subserved by a variety of alterations in brain structure and function, which primarily concentrate around brain regions associated with the processing of auditory verbal stimuli and with executive control functions. However, the direction of association between AVH and brain function remains equivocal in certain research areas and needs to be carefully reviewed and interpreted. When AVH have significant impact on daily functioning, several efficacious treatments can be attempted such as antipsychotic medication, brain stimulation and cognitive-behavioural therapy. Interestingly, the neural correlates of these treatments largely overlap with brain regions involved in AVH. This suggests that the efficacy of treatment corresponds to a normalization of AVH-related brain activity. In this selected review, we give a compact yet comprehensive overview of the structural and functional neuroimaging literature on AVH, with a special focus on the neural correlates of efficacious treatment.

  17. Auditory and audio-visual processing in patients with cochlear, auditory brainstem, and auditory midbrain implants: An EEG study.

    PubMed

    Schierholz, Irina; Finke, Mareike; Kral, Andrej; Büchner, Andreas; Rach, Stefan; Lenarz, Thomas; Dengler, Reinhard; Sandmann, Pascale

    2017-04-01

    There is substantial variability in speech recognition ability across patients with cochlear implants (CIs), auditory brainstem implants (ABIs), and auditory midbrain implants (AMIs). To better understand how this variability is related to central processing differences, the current electroencephalography (EEG) study compared hearing abilities and auditory-cortex activation in patients with electrical stimulation at different sites of the auditory pathway. Three different groups of patients with auditory implants (Hannover Medical School; ABI: n = 6, CI: n = 6; AMI: n = 2) performed a speeded response task and a speech recognition test with auditory, visual, and audio-visual stimuli. Behavioral performance and cortical processing of auditory and audio-visual stimuli were compared between groups. ABI and AMI patients showed prolonged response times on auditory and audio-visual stimuli compared with NH listeners and CI patients. This was confirmed by prolonged N1 latencies and reduced N1 amplitudes in ABI and AMI patients. However, patients with central auditory implants showed a remarkable gain in performance when visual and auditory input was combined, in both speech and non-speech conditions, which was reflected by a strong visual modulation of auditory-cortex activation in these individuals. In sum, the results suggest that the behavioral improvement for audio-visual conditions in central auditory implant patients is based on enhanced audio-visual interactions in the auditory cortex. Their findings may provide important implications for the optimization of electrical stimulation and rehabilitation strategies in patients with central auditory prostheses. Hum Brain Mapp 38:2206-2225, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Infant Attention to Auditory Discrepancy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kinney, Dennis K.; Kagan, Jerome

    1976-01-01

    Groups of 7 1/2-month-old infants heard 1 of 8 episodes consisting of no, slight, moderate, or large discrepancy between a habituated standard and a transformed auditory stimulus. Patterns of cardiac deceleration supported the hypothesis that attentiveness is an inverted-U function of the degree of discrepancy between stimulus event and schema.…

  19. Auditory Temporal Conditioning in Neonates.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Franz, W. K.; And Others

    Twenty normal newborns, approximately 36 hours old, were tested using an auditory temporal conditioning paradigm which consisted of a slow rise, 75 db tone played for five seconds every 25 seconds, ten times. Responses to the tones were measured by instantaneous, beat-to-beat heartrate; and the test trial was designated as the 2 1/2-second period…

  20. Factors Affecting Auditory Training Gains.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moreau, Roberta M.

    1980-01-01

    A study was undertaken to determine which of nine variables were most related to success in auditory training, using as Ss 43 students at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Findings showed that the single largest contributing factor to postcourse gain was the entering English score. (PHR)

  1. Delayed Auditory Feedback and Movement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pfordresher, Peter Q.; Dalla Bella, Simone

    2011-01-01

    It is well known that timing of rhythm production is disrupted by delayed auditory feedback (DAF), and that disruption varies with delay length. We tested the hypothesis that disruption depends on the state of the movement trajectory at the onset of DAF. Participants tapped isochronous rhythms at a rate specified by a metronome while hearing DAF…

  2. Auditory Perception of Spatiotemporal Patterns

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tolkmitt, Frank J.; Brindley, Robin

    1977-01-01

    To test the tendency of subjects to perceptually organize discrete temporal patterns with regard to runs of identical stimulus events, spatiotemporal patterns of white noise were presented for reproduction. It is suggested that changes in runs of auditory patterns are perceptually analogous to changes in contours of visual patterns. (Editor/RK)

  3. Theta, beta and gamma rate modulations in the developing auditory system.

    PubMed

    Vanvooren, Sophie; Hofmann, Michael; Poelmans, Hanne; Ghesquière, Pol; Wouters, Jan

    2015-09-01

    In the brain, the temporal analysis of many important auditory features relies on the synchronized firing of neurons to the auditory input rhythm. These so-called neural oscillations play a crucial role in sensory and cognitive processing and deviances in oscillatory activity have shown to be associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. Given the importance of neural auditory oscillations in normal and impaired sensory and cognitive functioning, there has been growing interest in their developmental trajectory from early childhood on. In the present study, neural auditory processing was investigated in typically developing young children (n = 40) and adults (n = 27). In all participants, auditory evoked theta, beta and gamma responses were recorded. The results of this study show maturational differences between children and adults in neural auditory processing at cortical as well as at brainstem level. Neural background noise at cortical level was shown to be higher in children compared to adults. In addition, higher theta response amplitudes were measured in children compared to adults. For beta and gamma rate modulations, different processing asymmetry patterns were observed between both age groups. The mean response phase was also shown to differ significantly between children and adults for all rates. Results suggest that cortical auditory processing of beta develops from a general processing pattern into a more specialized asymmetric processing preference over age. Moreover, the results indicate an enhancement of bilateral representation of monaural sound input at brainstem with age. A dissimilar efficiency of auditory signal transmission from brainstem to cortex along the auditory pathway between children and adults is suggested. These developmental differences might be due to both functional experience-dependent as well as anatomical changes. The findings of the present study offer important information about maturational differences between children

  4. Molecular Chaperone Dysfunction in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Effects of Curcumin

    PubMed Central

    Frautschy, Sally

    2014-01-01

    The intra- and extracellular accumulation of misfolded and aggregated amyloid proteins is a common feature in several neurodegenerative diseases, which is thought to play a major role in disease severity and progression. The principal machineries maintaining proteostasis are the ubiquitin proteasomal and lysosomal autophagy systems, where heat shock proteins play a crucial role. Many protein aggregates are degraded by the lysosomes, depending on aggregate size, peptide sequence, and degree of misfolding, while others are selectively tagged for removal by heat shock proteins and degraded by either the proteasome or phagosomes. These systems are compromised in different neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, developing novel targets and classes of therapeutic drugs, which can reduce aggregates and maintain proteostasis in the brains of neurodegenerative models, is vital. Natural products that can modulate heat shock proteins/proteosomal pathway are considered promising for treating neurodegenerative diseases. Here we discuss the current knowledge on the role of HSPs in protein misfolding diseases and knowledge gained from animal models of Alzheimer's disease, tauopathies, and Huntington's diseases. Further, we discuss the emerging treatment regimens for these diseases using natural products, like curcumin, which can augment expression or function of heat shock proteins in the cell. PMID:25386560

  5. Cytoplasmic dynein: a key player in neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiang-Jun; Xu, Huan; Cooper, Helen M; Liu, Yaobo

    2014-04-01

    Cytoplasmic dynein is the most important molecular motor driving the movement of a wide range of cargoes towards the minus ends of microtubules. As a molecular motor protein, dynein performs a variety of basic cellular functions including organelle transport and centrosome assembly. In the nervous system, dynein has been demonstrated to be responsible for axonal retrograde transport. Many studies have revealed direct or indirect evidence of dynein in neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. Among them, a number of mutant proteins involved in various neurodegenerative diseases interact with dynein. Axonal transport disruption is presented as a common feature occurring in neurodegenerative diseases. Dynein heavy chain mutant mice also show features of neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, defects of dynein-dependent processes such as autophagy or clearance of aggregation-prone proteins are found in most of these diseases. Lines of evidence have also shown that dynein is associated with neurodevelopmental diseases. In this review, we focus on dynein involvement in different neurological diseases and discuss potential underlying mechanisms.

  6. Clinical Translation of Stem Cells in Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Lindvall, Olle; Barker, Roger A.; Brüstle, Oliver; Isacson, Ole; Svendsen, Clive N.

    2014-01-01

    Stem cells and their derivatives show tremendous potential for treating many disorders, including neurode-generative diseases. We discuss here the challenges and potential for the translation of stem-cell-based approaches into treatments for Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. PMID:22305565

  7. Molecular chaperone dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases and effects of curcumin.

    PubMed

    Maiti, Panchanan; Manna, Jayeeta; Veleri, Shobi; Frautschy, Sally

    2014-01-01

    The intra- and extracellular accumulation of misfolded and aggregated amyloid proteins is a common feature in several neurodegenerative diseases, which is thought to play a major role in disease severity and progression. The principal machineries maintaining proteostasis are the ubiquitin proteasomal and lysosomal autophagy systems, where heat shock proteins play a crucial role. Many protein aggregates are degraded by the lysosomes, depending on aggregate size, peptide sequence, and degree of misfolding, while others are selectively tagged for removal by heat shock proteins and degraded by either the proteasome or phagosomes. These systems are compromised in different neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, developing novel targets and classes of therapeutic drugs, which can reduce aggregates and maintain proteostasis in the brains of neurodegenerative models, is vital. Natural products that can modulate heat shock proteins/proteosomal pathway are considered promising for treating neurodegenerative diseases. Here we discuss the current knowledge on the role of HSPs in protein misfolding diseases and knowledge gained from animal models of Alzheimer's disease, tauopathies, and Huntington's diseases. Further, we discuss the emerging treatment regimens for these diseases using natural products, like curcumin, which can augment expression or function of heat shock proteins in the cell.

  8. Tau mis-splicing in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders

    PubMed Central

    Park, Sun Ah; Ahn, Sang Il; Gallo, Jean-Marc

    2016-01-01

    Tau proteins, which stabilize the structure and regulate the dynamics of microtubules, also play important roles in axonal transport and signal transduction. Tau proteins are missorted, aggregated, and found as tau inclusions under many pathological conditions associated with neurodegenerative disorders, which are collectively known as tauopathies. In the adult human brain, tau protein can be expressed in six isoforms due to alternative splicing. The aberrant splicing of tau pre-mRNA has been consistently identified in a variety of tauopathies but is not restricted to these types of disorders as it is also present in patients with non-tau proteinopathies and RNAopathies. Tau mis-splicing results in isoform-specific impairments in normal physiological function and enhanced recruitment of excessive tau isoforms into the pathological process. A variety of factors are involved in the complex set of mechanisms underlying tau mis-splicing, but variation in the cis-element, methylation of the MAPT gene, genetic polymorphisms, the quantity and activity of spliceosomal proteins, and the patency of other RNA-binding proteins, are related to aberrant splicing. Currently, there is a lack of appropriate therapeutic strategies aimed at correcting the tau mis-splicing process in patients with neurodegenerative disorders. Thus, a more comprehensive understanding of the relationship between tau mis-splicing and neurodegenerative disorders will aid in the development of efficient therapeutic strategies for patients with a tauopathy or other, related neurodegenerative disorders. [BMB Reports 2016; 49(8): 405-413] PMID:27222125

  9. The cellular basis of dendrite pathology in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Kweon, Jung Hyun; Kim, Sunhong; Lee, Sung Bae

    2017-01-01

    One of the characteristics of the neurons that distinguishes them from other cells is their complex and polarized structure consisting of dendrites, cell body, and axon. The complexity and diversity of dendrites are particularly well recognized, and accumulating evidences suggest that the alterations in the dendrite structure are associated with many neurodegenerative diseases. Given the importance of the proper dendritic structures for neuronal functions, the dendrite pathology appears to have crucial contribution to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Nonetheless, the cellular and molecular basis of dendritic changes in the neurodegenerative diseases remains largely elusive. Previous studies in normal condition have revealed that several cellular components, such as local cytoskeletal structures and organelles located locally in dendrites, play crucial roles in dendrite growth. By reviewing what has been unveiled to date regarding dendrite growth in terms of these local cellular components, we aim to provide an insight to categorize the potential cellular basis that can be applied to the dendrite pathology manifested in many neurodegenerative diseases. [BMB Reports 2017; 50(1): 5-11].

  10. Mechanisms of action of brain insulin against neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Ramalingam, Mahesh; Kim, Sung-Jin

    2014-06-01

    Insulin, a pancreatic hormone, is best known for its peripheral effects on the metabolism of glucose, fats and proteins. There is a growing body of evidence linking insulin action in the brain to neurodegenerative diseases. Insulin present in central nervous system is a regulator of central glucose metabolism nevertheless this glucoregulation is not the main function of insulin in the brain. Brain is known to be specifically vulnerable to oxidative products relative to other organs and altered brain insulin signaling may cause or promote neurodegenerative diseases which invalidates and reduces the quality of life. Insulin located within the brain is mostly of pancreatic origin or is produced in the brain itself crosses the blood-brain barrier and enters the brain via a receptor-mediated active transport system. Brain Insulin, insulin receptor and insulin receptor substrate-mediated signaling pathways play important roles in the regulation of peripheral metabolism, feeding behavior, memory and maintenance of neural functions such as neuronal growth and differentiation, neuromodulation and neuroprotection. In the present review, we would like to summarize the novel biological and pathophysiological roles of neuronal insulin in neurodegenerative diseases and describe the main signaling pathways in use for therapeutic strategies in the use of insulin to the cerebral tissues and their biological applications to neurodegenerative diseases.

  11. The cellular basis of dendrite pathology in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Kweon, Jung Hyun; Kim, Sunhong; Lee, Sung Bae

    2017-01-01

    One of the characteristics of the neurons that distinguishes them from other cells is their complex and polarized structure consisting of dendrites, cell body, and axon. The complexity and diversity of dendrites are particularly well recognized, and accumulating evidences suggest that the alterations in the dendrite structure are associated with many neurodegenerative diseases. Given the importance of the proper dendritic structures for neuronal functions, the dendrite pathology appears to have crucial contribution to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Nonetheless, the cellular and molecular basis of dendritic changes in the neurodegenerative diseases remains largely elusive. Previous studies in normal condition have revealed that several cellular components, such as local cytoskeletal structures and organelles located locally in dendrites, play crucial roles in dendrite growth. By reviewing what has been unveiled to date regarding dendrite growth in terms of these local cellular components, we aim to provide an insight to categorize the potential cellular basis that can be applied to the dendrite pathology manifested in many neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27502014

  12. Neural stem cell-based treatment for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Kim, Seung U; Lee, Hong J; Kim, Yun B

    2013-10-01

    Human neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are caused by a loss of neurons and glia in the brain or spinal cord. Neurons and glial cells have successfully been generated from stem cells such as embryonic stem cells (ESCs), mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and neural stem cells (NSCs), and stem cell-based cell therapies for neurodegenerative diseases have been developed. A recent advance in generation of a new class of pluripotent stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), derived from patients' own skin fibroblasts, opens doors for a totally new field of personalized medicine. Transplantation of NSCs, neurons or glia generated from stem cells in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases, including PD, HD, ALS and AD, demonstrates clinical improvement and also life extension of these animals. Additional therapeutic benefits in these animals can be provided by stem cell-mediated gene transfer of therapeutic genes such as neurotrophic factors and enzymes. Although further research is still needed, cell and gene therapy based on stem cells, particularly using neurons and glia derived from iPSCs, ESCs or NSCs, will become a routine treatment for patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases and also stroke and spinal cord injury.

  13. Chronic hypothermia and water intoxication associated with a neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed Central

    Corbett, E. L.; Sisodiya, S.; Sarkar, D.

    1993-01-01

    We describe a 71 year old man with a neurodegenerative condition who developed chronic inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion and hypothermia resulting in recurrent episodes of impaired consciousness. This combination of abnormalities is attributable to hypothalamic disease and has not to our knowledge been previously reported with clearly documented antidiuretic hormone excess. Images Figure 1 PMID:8121871

  14. Gene Therapy-Based Modeling of Neurodegenerative Disorders: Huntington's Disease.

    PubMed

    Young, Deborah

    2016-01-01

    Huntington's disease is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by impairments in motor control, and cognitive and psychiatric disturbances. In this chapter, viral vector-mediated approaches used in modeling the key neuropathological features of the disease including the production of abnormal intracellular protein aggregates, neuronal dysfunction and degeneration and motor impairments in rodents are described.

  15. Epigenetic programming of neurodegenerative diseases by an adverse environment.

    PubMed

    Babenko, Olena; Kovalchuk, Igor; Metz, Gerlinde A

    2012-03-20

    Experience and environment can critically influence the risk and progression of neurodegenerative disorders. Epigenetic mechanisms, such as miRNA expression, DNA methylation, and histone modifications, readily respond to experience and environmental factors. Here we propose that epigenetic regulation of gene expression and environmental modulation thereof may play a key role in the onset and course of common neurological conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and multiple sclerosis. For example, epigenetic mechanisms may mediate long-term responses to adverse experience, such as stress, to affect disease susceptibility and the course of neurodegenerative events. This review introduces the epigenetic components and their possible role in mediating neuropathological processes in response to stress. We argue that epigenetic modifications will affect neurodegenerative events through altered gene function. The study of epigenetic states in neurodegenerative diseases presents an opportunity to gain new insights into risk factors and pathogenic mechanisms. Moreover, research into epigenetic regulation of disease may revolutionize health care by opening new avenues of personalized, preventive and curative medicine.

  16. The Encoding of Auditory Objects in Auditory Cortex: Insights from Magnetoencephalography

    PubMed Central

    Simon, Jonathan Z.

    2014-01-01

    Auditory objects, like their visual counterparts, are perceptually defined constructs, but nevertheless must arise from underlying neural circuitry. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG) recordings of the neural responses of human subjects listening to complex auditory scenes, we review studies that demonstrate that auditory objects are indeed neurally represented in auditory cortex. The studies use neural responses obtained from different experiments in which subjects selectively listen to one of two competing auditory streams embedded in a variety of auditory scenes. The auditory streams overlap spatially and often spectrally. In particular, the studies demonstrate that selective attentional gain does not act globally on the entire auditory scene, but rather acts differentially on the separate auditory streams. This stream-based attentional gain is then used as a tool to individually analyze the different neural representations of the competing auditory streams. The neural representation of the attended stream, located in posterior auditory cortex, dominates the neural responses. Critically, when the intensities of the attended and background streams are separately varied over a wide intensity range, the neural representation of the attended speech adapts only to the intensity of that speaker, irrespective of the intensity of the background speaker. This demonstrates object-level intensity gain control in addition to the above object-level selective attentional gain. Overall, these results indicate that concurrently streaming auditory objects, even if spectrally overlapping and not resolvable at the auditory periphery, are individually neurally encoded in auditory cortex, as separate objects. PMID:24841996

  17. Representation of speech in human auditory cortex: is it special?

    PubMed

    Steinschneider, Mitchell; Nourski, Kirill V; Fishman, Yonatan I

    2013-11-01

    Successful categorization of phonemes in speech requires that the brain analyze the acoustic signal along both spectral and temporal dimensions. Neural encoding of the stimulus amplitude envelope is critical for parsing the speech stream into syllabic units. Encoding of voice onset time (VOT) and place of articulation (POA), cues necessary for determining phonemic identity, occurs within shorter time frames. An unresolved question is whether the neural representation of speech is based on processing mechanisms that are unique to humans and shaped by learning and experience, or is based on rules governing general auditory processing that are also present in non-human animals. This question was examined by comparing the neural activity elicited by speech and other complex vocalizations in primary auditory cortex of macaques, who are limited vocal learners, with that in Heschl's gyrus, the putative location of primary auditory cortex in humans. Entrainment to the amplitude envelope is neither specific to humans nor to human speech. VOT is represented by responses time-locked to consonant release and voicing onset in both humans and monkeys. Temporal representation of VOT is observed both for isolated syllables and for syllables embedded in the more naturalistic context of running speech. The fundamental frequency of male speakers is represented by more rapid neural activity phase-locked to the glottal pulsation rate in both humans and monkeys. In both species, the differential representation of stop consonants varying in their POA can be predicted by the relationship between the frequency selectivity of neurons and the onset spectra of the speech sounds. These findings indicate that the neurophysiology of primary auditory cortex is similar in monkeys and humans despite their vastly different experience with human speech, and that Heschl's gyrus is engaged in general auditory, and not language-specific, processing. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled

  18. Synaptic Mechanisms of Direction Selectivity in Primary Auditory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Chang-quan; Poo, Mu-ming; Dan, Yang; Zhang, Xiao-hui

    2010-01-01

    Frequency modulation (FM) is a prominent feature in animal vocalization and human speech. Although many neurons in the auditory cortex are known to be selective for FM direction, the synaptic mechanisms underlying this selectivity are not well understood. Previous studies of both visual and auditory neurons have suggested two general mechanisms for direction selectivity: 1) differential delays of excitatory inputs across the spatial/spectral receptive field and 2) spatial/spectral offset between excitatory and inhibitory inputs. In this study, we have examined the contributions of both mechanisms to FM direction selectivity in rat primary auditory cortex. The excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs to each cortical neuron were measured by in vivo whole-cell recording. The spectrotemporal receptive field (STRF) of each type of inputs was mapped with random tone pips and compared with direction selectivity of the neuron measured with FM stimuli. We found that both the differential delay of the excitatory input and the spectral offset between excitation and inhibition are positively correlated with direction selectivity of the neuron. Thus, both synaptic mechanisms are likely to contribute to FM direction selectivity in the auditory cortex. Finally, direction selectivity measured from the spiking output is significantly stronger than that based on the subthreshold membrane potentials, indicating that the selectivity is further sharpened by the spike generation mechanism. PMID:20130195

  19. Thresholding of auditory cortical representation by background noise

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Feixue; Bai, Lin; Tao, Huizhong W.; Zhang, Li I.; Xiao, Zhongju

    2014-01-01

    It is generally thought that background noise can mask auditory information. However, how the noise specifically transforms neuronal auditory processing in a level-dependent manner remains to be carefully determined. Here, with in vivo loose-patch cell-attached recordings in layer 4 of the rat primary auditory cortex (A1), we systematically examined how continuous wideband noise of different levels affected receptive field properties of individual neurons. We found that the background noise, when above a certain critical/effective level, resulted in an elevation of intensity threshold for tone-evoked responses. This increase of threshold was linearly dependent on the noise intensity above the critical level. As such, the tonal receptive field (TRF) of individual neurons was translated upward as an entirety toward high intensities along the intensity domain. This resulted in preserved preferred characteristic frequency (CF) and the overall shape of TRF, but reduced frequency responding range and an enhanced frequency selectivity for the same stimulus intensity. Such translational effects on intensity threshold were observed in both excitatory and fast-spiking inhibitory neurons, as well as in both monotonic and nonmonotonic (intensity-tuned) A1 neurons. Our results suggest that in a noise background, fundamental auditory representations are modulated through a background level-dependent linear shifting along intensity domain, which is equivalent to reducing stimulus intensity. PMID:25426029

  20. Use of auditory evoked potentials for intra-operative awareness in anesthesia: a consciousness-based conceptual model.

    PubMed

    Dong, Xuebao; Suo, Puxia; Yuan, Xin; Yao, Xuefeng

    2015-01-01

    Auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) have been used as a measure of the depth of anesthesia during the intra-operative process. AEPs are classically divided, on the basis of their latency, into first, fast, middle, slow, and late components. The use of auditory evoked potential has been advocated for the assessment of Intra-operative awareness (IOA), but has not been considered seriously enough to universalize it. It is because we have not explored enough the impact of auditory perception and auditory processing on the IOA phenomena as well as on the subsequent psychological impact of IOA on the patient. More importantly, we have seldom tried to look at the phenomena of IOP from the perspective of consciousness itself. This perspective is especially important because many of IOA phenomena exist in the subconscious domain than they do in the conscious domain of explicit recall. Two important forms of these subconscious manifestations of IOA are the implicit recall phenomena and post-operative dreams related to the operation. Here, we present an integrated auditory consciousness-based model of IOA. We start with a brief description of auditory awareness and the factors affecting it. Further, we proceed to the evaluation of conscious and subconscious information processing by auditory modality and how they interact during and after intra-operative period. Further, we show that both conscious and subconscious auditory processing affect the IOA experience and both have serious psychological implications on the patient subsequently. These effects could be prevented by using auditory evoked potential during monitoring of anesthesia, especially the mid-latency auditory evoked potentials (MLAERs). To conclude our model with present hypothesis, we propose that the use of auditory evoked potential should be universal with general anesthesia use in order to prevent the occurrences of distressing outcomes resulting from both conscious and subconscious auditory processing during

  1. On the externalization of auditory images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Durlach, N. I.; Rigopulos, A.; Pang, X. D.; Woods, W. S.; Kulkarni, A.; Colburn, H. S.; Wenzel, E. M.

    1992-01-01

    An acoustic image is said to be 'externalized' if the sound source appears to the listener to lie outside the head. The purpose of the note is to put the phenomenon of externalization of auditory images in proper perspective. It points out that the listener's pinnae (the so-called 'pinna factor') is only one of many factors that determine the extent to which a sound image is externalized and that the relative importance of these factors is not yet clear. The note begins with some general comments on externalization. It then considers the effect of reverberation. It examines head movements, visual effects, and other factors. It concludes with remarks on externalization's relation to head-related transfer functions (HRTFs), the pinna factor, and improved experimental instrumentation.

  2. Auditory spatial attention using interaural time differences.

    PubMed

    Sach, A J; Hill, N I; Bailey, P J

    2000-04-01

    Previous probe-signal studies of auditory spatial attention have shown faster responses to sounds at an expected versus an unexpected location, making no distinction between the use of interaural time difference (ITD) cues and interaural-level difference cues. In 5 experiments, performance on a same-different spatial discrimination task was used in place of the reaction time metric, and sounds, presented over headphones, were lateralized only by an ITD. In all experiments, performance was better for signals lateralized on the expected side of the head, supporting the conclusion that ITDs can be used as a basis for covert orienting. The performance advantage generalized to all sounds within the spatial focus and was not dissipated by a trial-by-trial rove in frequency or by a rove in spectral profile. Successful use by the listeners of a cross-modal, centrally positioned visual cue provided evidence for top-down attentional control.

  3. Stream segregation in the anesthetized auditory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Scholes, Chris; Palmer, Alan R.; Sumner, Christian J.

    2015-01-01

    Auditory stream segregation describes the way that sounds are perceptually segregated into groups or streams on the basis of perceptual attributes such as pitch or spectral content. For sequences of pure tones, segregation depends on the tones' proximity in frequency and time. In the auditory cortex (and elsewhere) responses to sequences of tones are dependent on stimulus conditions in a similar way to the perception of these stimuli. However, although highly dependent on stimulus conditions, perception is also clearly influenced by factors unrelated to the stimulus, such as attention. Exactly how ‘bottom-up’ sensory processes and non-sensory ‘top-down’ influences interact is still not clear. Here, we recorded responses to alternating tones (ABAB …) of varying frequency difference (FD) and rate of presentation (PR) in the auditory cortex of anesthetized guinea-pigs. These data complement previous studies, in that top-down processing resulting from conscious perception should be absent or at least considerably attenuated. Under anesthesia, the responses of cortical neurons to the tone sequences adapted rapidly, in a manner sensitive to both the FD and PR of the sequences. While the responses to tones at frequencies more distant from neuron best frequencies (BFs) decreased as the FD increased, the responses to tones near to BF increased, consistent with a release from adaptation, or forward suppression. Increases in PR resulted in reductions in responses to all tones, but the reduction was greater for tones further from BF. Although asymptotically adapted responses to tones showed behavior that was qualitatively consistent with perceptual stream segregation, responses reached asymptote within 2 s, and responses to all tones were very weak at high PRs (>12 tones per second). A signal-detection model, driven by the cortical population response, made decisions that were dependent on both FD and PR in ways consistent with perceptual stream segregation. This

  4. Stream segregation in the anesthetized auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Scholes, Chris; Palmer, Alan R; Sumner, Christian J

    2015-10-01

    Auditory stream segregation describes the way that sounds are perceptually segregated into groups or streams on the basis of perceptual attributes such as pitch or spectral content. For sequences of pure tones, segregation depends on the tones' proximity in frequency and time. In the auditory cortex (and elsewhere) responses to sequences of tones are dependent on stimulus conditions in a similar way to the perception of these stimuli. However, although highly dependent on stimulus conditions, perception is also clearly influenced by factors unrelated to the stimulus, such as attention. Exactly how 'bottom-up' sensory processes and non-sensory 'top-down' influences interact is still not clear. Here, we recorded responses to alternating tones (ABAB …) of varying frequency difference (FD) and rate of presentation (PR) in the auditory cortex of anesthetized guinea-pigs. These data complement previous studies, in that top-down processing resulting from conscious perception should be absent or at least considerably attenuated. Under anesthesia, the responses of cortical neurons to the tone sequences adapted rapidly, in a manner sensitive to both the FD and PR of the sequences. While the responses to tones at frequencies more distant from neuron best frequencies (BFs) decreased as the FD increased, the responses to tones near to BF increased, consistent with a release from adaptation, or forward suppression. Increases in PR resulted in reductions in responses to all tones, but the reduction was greater for tones further from BF. Although asymptotically adapted responses to tones showed behavior that was qualitatively consistent with perceptual stream segregation, responses reached asymptote within 2 s, and responses to all tones were very weak at high PRs (>12 tones per second). A signal-detection model, driven by the cortical population response, made decisions that were dependent on both FD and PR in ways consistent with perceptual stream segregation. This

  5. Auditory adaptation improves tactile frequency perception.

    PubMed

    Crommett, Lexi E; Pérez-Bellido, Alexis; Yau, Jeffrey M

    2017-01-11

    Our ability to process temporal frequency information by touch underlies our capacity to perceive and discriminate surface textures. Auditory signals, which also provide extensive temporal frequency information, can systematically alter the perception of vibrations on the hand. How auditory signals shape tactile processing is unclear: perceptual interactions between contemporaneous sounds and vibrations are consistent with multiple neural mechanisms. Here we used a crossmodal adaptation paradigm, which separated auditory and tactile stimulation in time, to test the hypothesis that tactile frequency perception depends on neural circuits that also process auditory frequency. We reasoned that auditory adaptation effects would transfer to touch only if signals from both senses converge on common representations. We found that auditory adaptation can improve tactile frequency discrimination thresholds. This occurred only when adaptor and test frequencies overlapped. In contrast, auditory adaptation did not influence tactile intensity judgments. Thus, auditory adaptation enhances touch in a frequency- and feature-specific manner. A simple network model in which tactile frequency information is decoded from sensory neurons that are susceptible to auditory adaptation recapitulates these behavioral results. Our results imply that the neural circuits supporting tactile frequency perception also process auditory signals. This finding is consistent with the notion of supramodal operators performing canonical operations, like temporal frequency processing, regardless of input modality.

  6. Functional Organization of the Ventral Auditory Pathway.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Yale E; Bennur, Sharath; Christison-Lagay, Kate; Gifford, Adam M; Tsunada, Joji

    2016-01-01

    The fundamental problem in audition is determining the mechanisms required by the brain to transform an unlabelled mixture of auditory stimuli into coherent perceptual representations. This process is called auditory-scene analysis. The perceptual representations that result from auditory-scene analysis are formed through a complex interaction of perceptual grouping, attention, categorization and decision-making. Despite a great deal of scientific energy devoted to understanding these aspects of hearing, we still do not understand (1) how sound perception arises from neural activity and (2) the causal relationship between neural activity and sound perception. Here, we review the role of the "ventral" auditory pathway in sound perception. We hypothesize that, in the early parts of the auditory cortex, neural activity reflects the auditory properties of a stimulus. However, in latter parts of the auditory cortex, neurons encode the sensory evidence that forms an auditory decision and are causally involved in the decision process. Finally, in the prefrontal cortex, which receives input from the auditory cortex, neural activity reflects the actual perceptual decision. Together, these studies indicate that the ventral pathway contains hierarchical circuits that are specialized for auditory perception and scene analysis.

  7. Adaptation in the auditory system: an overview.

    PubMed

    Pérez-González, David; Malmierca, Manuel S

    2014-01-01

    The early stages of the auditory system need to preserve the timing information of sounds in order to extract the basic features of acoustic stimuli. At the same time, different processes of neuronal adaptation occur at several levels to further process the auditory information. For instance, auditory nerve fiber responses already experience adaptation of their firing rates, a type of response that can be found in many other auditory nuclei and may be useful for emphasizing the onset of the stimuli. However, it is at higher levels in the auditory hierarchy where more sophisticated types of neuronal processing take place. For example, stimulus-specific adaptation, where neurons show adaptation to frequent, repetitive stimuli, but maintain their responsiveness to stimuli with different physical characteristics, thus representing a distinct kind of processing that may play a role in change and deviance detection. In the auditory cortex, adaptation takes more elaborate forms, and contributes to the processing of complex sequences, auditory scene analysis and attention. Here we review the multiple types of adaptation that occur in the auditory system, which are part of the pool of resources that the neurons employ to process the auditory scene, and are critical to a proper understanding of the neuronal mechanisms that govern auditory perception.

  8. Auditory spatial processing in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Golden, Hannah L; Nicholas, Jennifer M; Yong, Keir X X; Downey, Laura E; Schott, Jonathan M; Mummery, Catherine J; Crutch, Sebastian J; Warren, Jason D

    2015-01-01

    The location and motion of sounds in space are important cues for encoding the auditory world. Spatial processing is a core component of auditory scene analysis, a cognitively demanding function that is vulnerable in Alzheimer's disease. Here we designed a novel neuropsychological battery based on a virtual space paradigm to assess auditory spatial processing in patient cohorts with clinically typical Alzheimer's disease (n = 20) and its major variant syndrome, posterior cortical atrophy (n = 12) in relation to healthy older controls (n = 26). We assessed three dimensions of auditory spatial function: externalized versus non-externalized sound discrimination, moving versus stationary sound discrimination and stationary auditory spatial position discrimination, together with non-spatial auditory and visual spatial control tasks. Neuroanatomical correlates of auditory spatial processing were assessed using voxel-based morphometry. Relative to healthy older controls, both patient groups exhibited impairments in detection of auditory motion, and stationary sound position discrimination. The posterior cortical atrophy group showed greater impairment for auditory motion processing and the processing of a non-spatial control complex auditory property (timbre) than the typical Alzheimer's disease group. Voxel-based morphometry in the patient cohort revealed grey matter correlates of auditory motion detection and spatial position discrimination in right inferior parietal cortex and precuneus, respectively. These findings delineate auditory spatial processing deficits in typical and posterior Alzheimer's disease phenotypes that are related to posterior cortical regions involved in both syndromic variants and modulated by the syndromic profile of brain degeneration. Auditory spatial deficits contribute to impaired spatial awareness in Alzheimer's disease and may constitute a novel perceptual model for probing brain network disintegration across the Alzheimer's disease

  9. Prediction of Auditory and Visual P300 Brain-Computer Interface Aptitude

    PubMed Central

    Halder, Sebastian; Hammer, Eva Maria; Kleih, Sonja Claudia; Bogdan, Martin; Rosenstiel, Wolfgang; Birbaumer, Niels; Kübler, Andrea

    2013-01-01

    Objective Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) provide a non-muscular communication channel for patients with late-stage motoneuron disease (e.g., amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)) or otherwise motor impaired people and are also used for motor rehabilitation in chronic stroke. Differences in the ability to use a BCI vary from person to person and from session to session. A reliable predictor of aptitude would allow for the selection of suitable BCI paradigms. For this reason, we investigated whether P300 BCI aptitude could be predicted from a short experiment with a standard auditory oddball. Methods Forty healthy participants performed an electroencephalography (EEG) based visual and auditory P300-BCI spelling task in a single session. In addition, prior to each session an auditory oddball was presented. Features extracted from the auditory oddball were analyzed with respect to predictive power for BCI aptitude. Results Correlation between auditory oddball response and P300 BCI accuracy revealed a strong relationship between accuracy and N2 amplitude and the amplitude of a late ERP component between 400 and 600 ms. Interestingly, the P3 amplitude of the auditory oddball response was not correlated with accuracy. Conclusions Event-related potentials recorded during a standard auditory oddball session moderately predict aptitude in an audiory and highly in a visual P300 BCI. The predictor will allow for faster paradigm selection. Significance Our method will reduce strain on patients because unsuccessful training may be avoided, provided the results can be generalized to the patient population. PMID:23457444

  10. Testing the dual-pathway model for auditory processing in human cortex.

    PubMed

    Zündorf, Ida C; Lewald, Jörg; Karnath, Hans-Otto

    2016-01-01

    Analogous to the visual system, auditory information has been proposed to be processed in two largely segregated streams: an anteroventral ("what") pathway mainly subserving sound identification and a posterodorsal ("where") stream mainly subserving sound localization. Despite the popularity of this assumption, the degree of separation of spatial and non-spatial auditory information processing in cortex is still under discussion. In the present study, a statistical approach was implemented to investigate potential behavioral dissociations for spatial and non-spatial auditory processing in stroke patients, and voxel-wise lesion analyses were used to uncover their neural correlates. The results generally provided support for anatomically and functionally segregated auditory networks. However, some degree of anatomo-functional overlap between "what" and "where" aspects of processing was found in the superior pars opercularis of right inferior frontal gyrus (Brodmann area 44), suggesting the potential existence of a shared target area of both auditory streams in this region. Moreover, beyond the typically defined posterodorsal stream (i.e., posterior superior temporal gyrus, inferior parietal lobule, and superior frontal sulcus), occipital lesions were found to be associated with sound localization deficits. These results, indicating anatomically and functionally complex cortical networks for spatial and non-spatial auditory processing, are roughly consistent with the dual-pathway model of auditory processing in its original form, but argue for the need to refine and extend this widely accepted hypothesis.

  11. Reverse engineering human neurodegenerative disease using pluripotent stem cell technology.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ying; Deng, Wenbin

    2016-05-01

    With the technology of reprogramming somatic cells by introducing defined transcription factors that enables the generation of "induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)" with pluripotency comparable to that of embryonic stem cells (ESCs), it has become possible to use this technology to produce various cells and tissues that have been difficult to obtain from living bodies. This advancement is bringing forth rapid progress in iPSC-based disease modeling, drug screening, and regenerative medicine. More and more studies have demonstrated that phenotypes of adult-onset neurodegenerative disorders could be rather faithfully recapitulated in iPSC-derived neural cell cultures. Moreover, despite the adult-onset nature of the diseases, pathogenic phenotypes and cellular abnormalities often exist in early developmental stages, providing new "windows of opportunity" for understanding mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disorders and for discovering new medicines. The cell reprogramming technology enables a reverse engineering approach for modeling the cellular degenerative phenotypes of a wide range of human disorders. An excellent example is the study of the human neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using iPSCs. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of upper and lower motor neurons (MNs), culminating in muscle wasting and death from respiratory failure. The iPSC approach provides innovative cell culture platforms to serve as ALS patient-derived model systems. Researchers have converted iPSCs derived from ALS patients into MNs and various types of glial cells, all of which are involved in ALS, to study the disease. The iPSC technology could be used to determine the role of specific genetic factors to track down what's wrong in the neurodegenerative disease process in the "disease-in-a-dish" model. Meanwhile, parallel experiments of targeting the same specific genes in human ESCs could also be performed to control

  12. The human auditory evoked response

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Galambos, R.

    1974-01-01

    Figures are presented of computer-averaged auditory evoked responses (AERs) that point to the existence of a completely endogenous brain event. A series of regular clicks or tones was administered to the ear, and 'odd-balls' of different intensity or frequency respectively were included. Subjects were asked either to ignore the sounds (to read or do something else) or to attend to the stimuli. When they listened and counted the odd-balls, a P3 wave occurred at 300msec after stimulus. When the odd-balls consisted of omitted clicks or tone bursts, a similar response was observed. This could not have come from auditory nerve, but only from cortex. It is evidence of recognition, a conscious process.

  13. Temporal predictability enhances auditory detection

    PubMed Central

    Lawrance, Emma L. A.; Harper, Nicol S.; Cooke, James E.; Schnupp, Jan W. H.

    2015-01-01

    Periodic stimuli are common in natural environments and are ecologically relevant, for example, footsteps and vocalizations. This study reports a detectability enhancement for temporally cued, periodic sequences. Target noise bursts (embedded in background noise) arriving at the time points which followed on from an introductory, periodic “cue” sequence were more easily detected (by ~1.5 dB SNR) than identical noise bursts which randomly deviated from the cued temporal pattern. Temporal predictability and corresponding neuronal “entrainment” have been widely theorized to underlie important processes in auditory scene analysis and to confer perceptual advantage. This is the first study in the auditory domain to clearly demonstrate a perceptual enhancement of temporally predictable, near-threshold stimuli. PMID:24907846

  14. Temporal predictability enhances auditory detection.

    PubMed

    Lawrance, Emma L A; Harper, Nicol S; Cooke, James E; Schnupp, Jan W H

    2014-06-01

    Periodic stimuli are common in natural environments and are ecologically relevant, for example, footsteps and vocalizations. This study reports a detectability enhancement for temporally cued, periodic sequences. Target noise bursts (embedded in background noise) arriving at the time points which followed on from an introductory, periodic "cue" sequence were more easily detected (by ∼1.5 dB SNR) than identical noise bursts which randomly deviated from the cued temporal pattern. Temporal predictability and corresponding neuronal "entrainment" have been widely theorized to underlie important processes in auditory scene analysis and to confer perceptual advantage. This is the first study in the auditory domain to clearly demonstrate a perceptual enhancement of temporally predictable, near-threshold stimuli.

  15. Summary statistics in auditory perception.

    PubMed

    McDermott, Josh H; Schemitsch, Michael; Simoncelli, Eero P

    2013-04-01

    Sensory signals are transduced at high resolution, but their structure must be stored in a more compact format. Here we provide evidence that the auditory system summarizes the temporal details of sounds using time-averaged statistics. We measured discrimination of 'sound textures' that were characterized by particular statistical properties, as normally result from the superposition of many acoustic features in auditory scenes. When listeners discriminated examples of different textures, performance improved with excerpt duration. In contrast, when listeners discriminated different examples of the same texture, performance declined with duration, a paradoxical result given that the information available for discrimination grows with duration. These results indicate that once these sounds are of moderate length, the brain's representation is limited to time-averaged statistics, which, for different examples of the same texture, converge to the same values with increasing duration. Such statistical representations produce good categorical discrimination, but limit the ability to discern temporal detail.

  16. Aging of the auditory system.

    PubMed

    Roth, Thomas Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Presbycusis or age-related hearing loss (ARHL) affects most elderly people. It is characterized by reduced hearing thresholds and speech understanding with the well-known negative consequences for communication and quality of social life. The hearing loss is connected to age-related histologic changes, as described and classified by Schuknecht. Aging itself is a multifactorial, genetically driven process that is influenced by oxidative stress that gradually leads to reduced endocochlear potential and cell loss of key players in sound transmission and supporting structures. Oxidative stress is caused by damaging factors like noise, infection, and other systemic factors. All reparative mechanisms in acute and chronic cochlear damage attempt to reduce oxidative stress and to balance inner-ear homeostasis. Accurate clinical assessment of ARHL starts with the differentiation between peripheral and central components. Treatment of the peripheral hearing loss often involves hearing aids, whereas auditory and psychologic training seems to be important in central auditory disturbance.

  17. Auditory Localization: An Annotated Bibliography

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-11-01

    relative influence of pitch and timbre on the apparent loca- tion of sound in the median sagittal plane. Percept. & Psychophysics, 1973, 14, 255-258...located by most S’s. The implication is that timbre serves as the cue for location when inadequate ~auditory cues are present. Butler, R. A...converse is true at the higher frequencies. Perrott, D. R., & Musicant , A. D. Rotating tones and binaural beats. J.A.S.A., 1977, 61, 1288-1292. Two

  18. Advances in epigenetics and epigenomics for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2011-10-01

    In the post-genomic era, epigenetic factors-literally those that are "over" or "above" genetic ones and responsible for controlling the expression and function of genes-have emerged as important mediators of development and aging; gene-gene and gene-environmental interactions; and the pathophysiology of complex disease states. Here, we provide a brief overview of the major epigenetic mechanisms (ie, DNA methylation, histone modifications and chromatin remodeling, and non-coding RNA regulation). We highlight the nearly ubiquitous profiles of epigenetic dysregulation that have been found in Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. We also review innovative methods and technologies that enable the characterization of individual epigenetic modifications and more widespread epigenomic states at high resolution. We conclude that, together with complementary genetic, genomic, and related approaches, interrogating epigenetic and epigenomic profiles in neurodegenerative diseases represent important and increasingly practical strategies for advancing our understanding of and the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders.

  19. Interplay of endoplasmic reticulum stress and autophagy in neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Cai, Yu; Arikkath, Jyothi; Yang, Lu; Guo, Ming-Lei; Periyasamy, Palsamy; Buch, Shilpa

    2016-01-01

    The common underlying feature of most neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease (AD), prion diseases, Parkinson disease (PD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) involves accumulation of misfolded proteins leading to initiation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and stimulation of the unfolded protein response (UPR). Additionally, ER stress more recently has been implicated in the pathogenesis of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Autophagy plays an essential role in the clearance of aggregated toxic proteins and degradation of the damaged organelles. There is evidence that autophagy ameliorates ER stress by eliminating accumulated misfolded proteins. Both abnormal UPR and impaired autophagy have been implicated as a causative mechanism in the development of various neurodegenerative diseases. This review highlights recent advances in the field on the role of ER stress and autophagy in AD, prion diseases, PD, ALS and HAND with the involvement of key signaling pathways in these processes and implications for future development of therapeutic strategies.

  20. [Neurodegenerative disorders: review of current classification and diagnostic neuropathological criteria].

    PubMed

    Matej, R; Rusina, R

    2012-04-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders are progressive diseases characterized by loss of specific neuronal populations followed by a clinical picture of a different neurodegenerative entity. Current classification of these diseases respects the names of the main pathophysiological processes involved in the groups of disorders. This is the reason why key proteins which represent neuropathological and biochemical hallmarks of diseases are found in their names. Neuropathological diagnosis is a synthesis of neurohistological changes in the brain and spinal cord and identification of pathological proteinaceous aggregates in neurons and/or glial cells. These inclusions are predominant diagnostic micromorphological and biochemical markers of disease. In the text, there is a brief summary of current knowledge about pathophysiology of neurodegenerations and diagnostic criteria for the most frequent entities.

  1. Aberrant Protein S-Nitrosylation in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Tomohiro; Tu, Shichun; Akhtar, Mohd Waseem; Sunico, Carmen R.; Okamoto, Shu-ichi; Lipton, Stuart A.

    2013-01-01

    S-Nitrosylation is a redox-mediated posttranslational modification that regulates protein function via covalent reaction of nitric oxide (NO)-related species with a cysteine thiol group on the target protein. Under physiological conditions, S-nitrosylation can be an important modulator of signal transduction pathways, akin to phosphorylation. However, with aging or environmental toxins that generate excessive NO, aberrant S-nitrosylation reactions can occur and affect protein misfolding, mitochondrial fragmentation, synaptic function, apoptosis or autophagy. Here, we discuss how aberrantly S-nitrosylated proteins (SNO-proteins) play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Insight into the pathophysiological role of aberrant S-nitrosylation pathways will enhance our understanding of molecular mechanisms leading to neurodegenerative diseases and point to potential therapeutic interventions. PMID:23719160

  2. Unbiased approaches to biomarker discovery in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Chen-Plotkin, Alice S.

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and frontotemporal dementia have several important features in common. They are progressive, they affect a relatively inaccessible organ, and we have no disease-modifying therapies for them. For these brain-based diseases, current diagnosis and evaluation of disease severity rely almost entirely on clinical examination, which may only be a rough approximation of disease state. Thus, the development of biomarkers – objective, relatively easily measured and precise indicators of pathogenic processes – could improve patient care and accelerate therapeutic discovery. Yet existing, rigorously tested neurodegenerative disease biomarkers are few, and even fewer biomarkers have translated into clinical use. To find new biomarkers for these diseases, an unbiased, high-throughput screening approach may be needed. In this review, I will describe the potential utility of such an approach to biomarker discovery, using Parkinson’s disease as a case example. PMID:25442938

  3. Prions and Prion-Like Pathogens in Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Peggion, Caterina; Sorgato, Maria Catia; Bertoli, Alessandro

    2014-01-01

    Prions are unique elements in biology, being able to transmit biological information from one organism to another in the absence of nucleic acids. They have been identified as self-replicating proteinaceous agents responsible for the onset of rare and fatal neurodegenerative disorders—known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases—which affect humans and other animal species. More recently, it has been proposed that other proteins associated with common neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, can self-replicate like prions, thus sustaining the spread of neurotoxic entities throughout the nervous system. Here, we review findings that have contributed to expand the prion concept, and discuss if the involved toxic species can be considered bona fide prions, including the capacity to infect other organisms, or whether these pathogenic aggregates share with prions only the capability to self-replicate. PMID:25437612

  4. Prions and prion-like pathogens in neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Peggion, Caterina; Sorgato, Maria Catia; Bertoli, Alessandro

    2014-02-18

    Prions are unique elements in biology, being able to transmit biological information from one organism to another in the absence of nucleic acids. They have been identified as self-replicating proteinaceous agents responsible for the onset of rare and fatal neurodegenerative disorders-known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases-which affect humans and other animal species. More recently, it has been proposed that other proteins associated with common neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, can self-replicate like prions, thus sustaining the spread of neurotoxic entities throughout the nervous system. Here, we review findings that have contributed to expand the prion concept, and discuss if the involved toxic species can be considered bona fide prions, including the capacity to infect other organisms, or whether these pathogenic aggregates share with prions only the capability to self-replicate.

  5. Therapeutic targeting of autophagy in neurodegenerative and infectious diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bento, Carla F.

    2015-01-01

    Autophagy is a conserved process that uses double-membrane vesicles to deliver cytoplasmic contents to lysosomes for degradation. Although autophagy may impact many facets of human biology and disease, in this review we focus on the ability of autophagy to protect against certain neurodegenerative and infectious diseases. Autophagy enhances the clearance of toxic, cytoplasmic, aggregate-prone proteins and infectious agents. The beneficial roles of autophagy can now be extended to supporting cell survival and regulating inflammation. Autophagic control of inflammation is one area where autophagy may have similar benefits for both infectious and neurodegenerative diseases beyond direct removal of the pathogenic agents. Preclinical data supporting the potential therapeutic utility of autophagy modulation in such conditions is accumulating. PMID:26101267

  6. Neuronal network disintegration: common pathways linking neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Rebekah M; Devenney, Emma M; Irish, Muireann; Ittner, Arne; Naismith, Sharon; Ittner, Lars M; Rohrer, Jonathan D; Halliday, Glenda M; Eisen, Andrew; Hodges, John R; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegeneration refers to a heterogeneous group of brain disorders that progressively evolve. It has been increasingly appreciated that many neurodegenerative conditions overlap at multiple levels and therefore traditional clinicopathological correlation approaches to better classify a disease have met with limited success. Neuronal network disintegration is fundamental to neurodegeneration, and concepts based around such a concept may better explain the overlap between their clinical and pathological phenotypes. In this Review, promoters of overlap in neurodegeneration incorporating behavioural, cognitive, metabolic, motor, and extrapyramidal presentations will be critically appraised. In addition, evidence that may support the existence of large-scale networks that might be contributing to phenotypic differentiation will be considered across a neurodegenerative spectrum. Disintegration of neuronal networks through different pathological processes, such as prion-like spread, may provide a better paradigm of disease and thereby facilitate the identification of novel therapies for neurodegeneration. PMID:27172939

  7. Differential responses of primary auditory cortex in autistic spectrum disorder with auditory hypersensitivity.

    PubMed

    Matsuzaki, Junko; Kagitani-Shimono, Kuriko; Goto, Tetsu; Sanefuji, Wakako; Yamamoto, Tomoka; Sakai, Saeko; Uchida, Hiroyuki; Hirata, Masayuki; Mohri, Ikuko; Yorifuji, Shiro; Taniike, Masako

    2012-01-25

    The aim of this study was to investigate the differential responses of the primary auditory cortex to auditory stimuli in autistic spectrum disorder with or without auditory hypersensitivity. Auditory-evoked field values were obtained from 18 boys (nine with and nine without auditory hypersensitivity) with autistic spectrum disorder and 12 age-matched controls. Autistic disorder with hypersensitivity showed significantly more delayed M50/M100 peak latencies than autistic disorder without hypersensitivity or the control. M50 dipole moments in the hypersensitivity group were larger than those in the other two groups [corrected]. M50/M100 peak latencies were correlated with the severity of auditory hypersensitivity; furthermore, severe hypersensitivity induced more behavioral problems. This study indicates auditory hypersensitivity in autistic spectrum disorder as a characteristic response of the primary auditory cortex, possibly resulting from neurological immaturity or functional abnormalities in it.

  8. Laterality of basic auditory perception.

    PubMed

    Sininger, Yvonne S; Bhatara, Anjali

    2012-01-01

    Laterality (left-right ear differences) of auditory processing was assessed using basic auditory skills: (1) gap detection, (2) frequency discrimination, and (3) intensity discrimination. Stimuli included tones (500, 1000, and 4000 Hz) and wide-band noise presented monaurally to each ear of typical adult listeners. The hypothesis tested was that processing of tonal stimuli would be enhanced by left ear (LE) stimulation and noise by right ear (RE) presentations. To investigate the limits of laterality by (1) spectral width, a narrow-band noise (NBN) of 450-Hz bandwidth was evaluated using intensity discrimination, and (2) stimulus duration, 200, 500, and 1000 ms duration tones were evaluated using frequency discrimination. A left ear advantage (LEA) was demonstrated with tonal stimuli in all experiments, but an expected REA for noise stimuli was not found. The NBN stimulus demonstrated no LEA and was characterised as a noise. No change in laterality was found with changes in stimulus durations. The LEA for tonal stimuli is felt to be due to more direct connections between the left ear and the right auditory cortex, which has been shown to be primary for spectral analysis and tonal processing. The lack of a REA for noise stimuli is unexplained. Sex differences in laterality for noise stimuli were noted but were not statistically significant. This study did establish a subtle but clear pattern of LEA for processing of tonal stimuli.

  9. Auditory spatial processing in the human cortex.

    PubMed

    Salminen, Nelli H; Tiitinen, Hannu; May, Patrick J C

    2012-12-01

    The auditory system codes spatial locations in a way that deviates from the spatial representations found in other modalities. This difference is especially striking in the cortex, where neurons form topographical maps of visual and tactile space but where auditory space is represented through a population rate code. In this hemifield code, sound source location is represented in the activity of two widely tuned opponent populations, one tuned to the right and the other to the left side of auditory space. Scientists are only beginning to uncover how this coding strategy adapts to various spatial processing demands. This review presents the current understanding of auditory spatial processing in the cortex. To this end, the authors consider how various implementations of the hemifield code may exist within the auditory cortex and how these may be modulated by the stimulation and task context. As a result, a coherent set of neural strategies for auditory spatial processing emerges.

  10. Auditory Motion Elicits a Visual Motion Aftereffect

    PubMed Central

    Berger, Christopher C.; Ehrsson, H. Henrik

    2016-01-01

    The visual motion aftereffect is a visual illusion in which exposure to continuous motion in one direction leads to a subsequent illusion of visual motion in the opposite direction. Previous findings have been mixed with regard to whether this visual illusion can be induced cross-modally by auditory stimuli. Based on research on multisensory perception demonstrating the profound influence auditory perception can have on the interpretation and perceived motion of visual stimuli, we hypothesized that exposure to auditory stimuli with strong directional motion cues should induce a visual motion aftereffect. Here, we demonstrate that horizontally moving auditory stimuli induced a significant visual motion aftereffect—an effect that was driven primarily by a change in visual motion perception following exposure to leftward moving auditory stimuli. This finding is consistent with the notion that visual and auditory motion perception rely on at least partially overlapping neural substrates. PMID:27994538

  11. Auditory processing disorder in perisylvian syndrome.

    PubMed

    Boscariol, Mirela; Garcia, Vera Lúcia; Guimarães, Catarina Abraão; Montenegro, Maria Augusta; Hage, Simone Rocha Vasconcelos; Cendes, Fernando; Guerreiro, Marilisa Mantovani

    2010-04-01

    We hypothesized that the processing of auditory information by the perisylvian polymicrogyric cortex may be different from the normal cortex. To characterize the auditory processing in bilateral perisylvian syndrome, we examined ten patients with perisylvian polymicrogyria (Group I) and seven control children (Group II). Group I was composed by four children with bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria and six children with bilateral posterior perisylvian polymicrogyria. The evaluation included neurological and neuroimaging investigation, intellectual quotient and audiological assessment (audiometry and behavior auditory tests). The results revealed a statistically significant difference between the groups in the behavioral auditory tests, such as, digits dichotic test, nonverbal dichotic test (specifically in right attention), and random gap detection/random gap detection expanded tests. Our data showed abnormalities in the auditory processing of children with perisylvian polymicrogyria, suggesting that perisylvian polymicrogyric cortex is functionally abnormal. We also found a correlation between the severity of our auditory findings and the extent of the cortical abnormality.

  12. Hyperactive Somatostatin Interneurons Contribute to Excitotoxicity in Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Bo; Schroeder, David; Zhang, Zhong-wei; Cox, Gregory A.; Li, Yun; Lin, Da-Ting

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are overlapping neurodegenerative disorders whose pathogenesis remains largely unknown. Here using TDP-43A315T mice, an ALS and FTD model with profound cortical pathology, we demonstrated that hyperactive somatostatin interneurons disinhibited layer 5 pyramidal neurons (L5-PN) and contributed to their excitotoxicity. Focal ablation of somatostatin interneurons efficiently restored normal excitability of L5-PN and alleviated neurodegeneration, suggesting a novel therapeutic target for ALS and FTD. PMID:26900927

  13. Stem cell challenges in the treatment of neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Feng, Zhongling; Gao, Feng

    2012-02-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases result from the gradual and progressive loss of neural cells and lead to nervous system dysfunction. The rapidly advancing stem cell field is providing attractive alternative options for fighting these diseases. Results have provided proof of principle that cell replacement can work in humans with Parkinson's disease (PD). However, three clinical studies of cell transplantation were published that found no net benefit, while patients in two of the studies developed dyskinesias that persisted despite reductions in treatment. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) have major potential advantages because patient-specific neuroblasts are suitable for transplantation, avoid immune reactions, and can be produced without the use of human ES cells (hESC). Although iPSCs have not been successfully used in clinical trials for PD, patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) were treated with autologous stem cells and, though they had some degree of decline one year after treatment, they were still improved compared with the preoperative period or without any drug therapy. In addition, neural stem cells (NSCs), via brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), have been shown to ameliorate complex behavioral deficits associated with widespread Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology in a transgenic mouse model of AD. So far, the FDA lists 18 clinical trials treating multiple sclerosis (MS), but most are in preliminary stages. This article serves as an overview of recent studies in stem cell and regenerative approaches to the above chronic neurodegenerative disorders. There are still many obstacles to the use of stem cells as a cure for neurodegenerative disease, especially because we still don't fully understand the true mechanisms of these diseases. However, there is hope in the potential of stem cells to help us learn and understand a great deal more about the mechanisms underlying these devastating neurodegenerative diseases.

  14. Multiple sclerosis lesions of the auditory pons are not silent.

    PubMed

    Levine, R A; Gardner, J C; Fullerton, B C; Stufflebeam, S M; Furst, M; Rosen, B R

    1994-10-01

    To understand the relationship between brainstem lesions and auditory neurology in patients with multiple sclerosis, we compared behavioural, electrophysiological and imaging data in 38 patients with probable or definite multiple sclerosis and normal or near normal hearing. Behavioural measures included (i) general hearing tests (audiogram, speech discrimination) and (ii) hearing tests likely to be critically dependent upon brainstem processing (masking level difference, interaural time and level discrimination). Brainstem auditory evoked potentials provided the electrophysiological data. Multiplanar high-resolution MRI of the brainstem provided the anatomical data. Interaural time discrimination for high-frequency sounds was by far the most sensitive of all tests with abnormalities in 71% of all subjects. Whenever any other test was abnormal this test was always abnormal. Interaural time discrimination for low-frequency sounds and evoked potentials were closely related and next most sensitive with abnormalities in approximately 40% of all subjects. Interaural level discrimination and masking level difference were least sensitive with abnormalities in < 10% of subjects. Speech discrimination scores correlated significantly with the masking level differences, as well as with interaural time discrimination for high-frequency sounds. Pontine lesions were found in five of the 16 patients, in whom an objective method for detecting magnetic resonance lesions could be applied. All four with lesions involving the pontine auditory pathway had marked abnormalities in interaural time discrimination and evoked potentials. None of the other 12 had evoked potentials abnormalities. We conclude that neurological tests requiring precise neural timing can reveal behavioural deficits for multiple sclerosis lesions of the auditory pons that are otherwise 'silent'. Of all neurological systems the auditory system at the level of the pons is probably the most sensitive to multiple

  15. Auditory brainstem responses in 10 inbred strains of mice

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Xiaoming; Jen, Philip H.-S.; Seburn, Kevin L.; Frankel, Wayne N.; Zheng, Qing Y.

    2010-01-01

    The auditory brainstem response (ABR) is an evoked potential response of auditory activity in the auditory nerve and subsequent fiber tracts and nuclei within the auditory brainstem pathways. The threshold, amplitude, and latency analysis of the ABR provides information on the peripheral hearing status and the integrity of brainstem pathways. In this study, we compared the threshold, amplitude, and latency of ABRs recorded from 149 mice of 10 commonly used inbred strains (BALB/cJ, C3HeB/FeJ, C3H/HeJ, CAST/EiJ, CBA/CaJ, CBA/J, FVB/ NJ, MRL/MpJ, NZB/BlNJ, and SJL/J) using clicks of different intensities. The ABR thresholds of these strains ranged from 32 to 43 dB SPL. The amplitude of both waves I and IV of ABRs, which increased monotonically with click intensity in most strains, differed significantly among different strains at each intensity tested. Moreover, the amplitude of both waves was inversely correlated with the body weight of each strain at most intensities tested. In general, the amplitude of wave IV was smaller than that of wave I resulting in the IV/I amplitude ratio of <1.0 in all strains. The peak latency of both waves I and IV decreased significantly with click intensity in each strain. However, this intensity-dependent decrease was greater for wave IV than for wave I such that the wave I–IV inter-peak latency also decreased significantly with increasing intensity. I–IV inter-peak latencies for MRL/MpJ, C3HeB/FeJ, NZB/BlNJ, and C3H/HeJ strains are longer than FVB/NJ, SJL/J, or CAST/EiJ. This work is the first step to study the genetic basis underlying strain-related differences in auditory pathway. PMID:16516865

  16. Implications of glial nitric oxide in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Yuste, Jose Enrique; Tarragon, Ernesto; Campuzano, Carmen María; Ros-Bernal, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) is a pleiotropic janus-faced molecule synthesized by nitric oxide synthases (NOS) which plays a critical role in a number of physiological and pathological processes in humans. The physiological roles of NO depend on its local concentrations, as well as its availability and the nature of downstream target molecules. Its double-edged sword action has been linked to neurodegenerative disorders. Excessive NO production, as the evoked by inflammatory signals, has been identified as one of the major causative reasons for the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, excessive NO synthesis under neuroinflammation leads to the formation of reactive nitrogen species and neuronal cell death. There is an intimate relation between microglial activation, NO and neuroinflammation in the human brain. The role of NO in neuroinflammation has been defined in animal models where this neurotransmitter can modulate the inflammatory process acting on key regulatory pathways, such as those associated with excitotoxicity processes induced by glutamate accumulation and microglial activation. Activated glia express inducible NOS and produce NO that triggers calcium mobilization from the endoplasmic reticulum, activating the release of vesicular glutamate from astroglial cells resulting in neuronal death. This change in microglia potentially contributes to the increased age-associated susceptibility and neurodegeneration. In the current review, information is provided about the role of NO, glial activation and age-related processes in the central nervous system (CNS) that may be helpful in the isolation of new therapeutic targets for aging and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26347610

  17. Potential application of lithium in Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lazzara, Carol A.; Kim, Yong-Hwan

    2015-01-01

    Lithium, the long-standing hallmark treatment for bipolar disorder, has recently been identified as a potential neuroprotective agent in neurodegeneration. Here we focus on introducing numerous in vitro and in vivo studies that have shown lithium treatment to be efficacious in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, increasing autophagy, inhibiting apoptosis, and decreasing the accumulation of α-synulcein, with an emphasis on Parkinson's disease. A number of biological pathways have been shown to be involved in causing these neuroprotective effects. The inhibition of GSK-3β has been the mechanism most studied; however, other modes of action include the regulation of apoptotic proteins and glutamate excitotoxicity as well as down-regulation of calpain. This review provides a framework of the neuroprotective effects of lithium in neurodegenerative diseases and the putative mechanisms by which lithium provides the protection. Lithium-only treatment may not be a suitable therapeutic option for neurodegenerative diseases due to inconsistent efficacy and potential side-effects, however, the use of low dose lithium in combination with other potential or existing therapeutic compounds may be a promising approach to reduce symptoms and disease progression in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26578864

  18. Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1 as a Target for Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ziyan; Yan, Jingqi; Chang, Yanzhong; Yan, Shirley ShiDu; Shi, Honglian

    2011-01-01

    Hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is a transcriptional factor responsible for cellular and tissue adaption to low oxygen tension. HIF-1, a heterodimer consisting of a constitutively expressed β subunit and an oxygen-regulated α subunit, regulates a series of genes that participate in angiogenesis, iron metabolism, glucose metabolism, and cell proliferation/survival. The activity of HIF-1 is controlled by post-translational modifications on different amino acid residues of its subunits, mainly the alpha subunit. Besides in ischemic stroke (see review [1]), emerging evidence has revealed that HIF-1 activity and expression of its down-stream genes, such as vascular endothelial growth factor and erythropoietin, are altered in a range of neurodegenerative diseases. At the same time, experimental and clinical evidence has demonstrated that regulating HIF-1 might ameliorate the cellular and tissue damage in the neurodegenerative diseases. These new findings suggest HIF-1 as a potential medicinal target for the neurodegenerative diseases. This review focuses on HIF-1α protein modifications and HIF-1’s potential neuroprotective roles in Alzheimer’s (AD), Parkinson’s (PD), Huntington’s diseases (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). PMID:21861815

  19. Pluripotent stem cells in neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases.

    PubMed

    Marchetto, Maria C N; Winner, Beate; Gage, Fred H

    2010-04-15

    Most of our current knowledge about cellular phenotypes in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases in humans was gathered from studies in postmortem brain tissues. These samples often represent the end-stage of the disease and therefore are not always a fair representation of how the disease developed. Moreover, under these circumstances, the pathology observed could be a secondary effect rather than the authentic disease cellular phenotype. Likewise, the rodent models available do not always recapitulate the pathology from human diseases. In this review, we will examine recent literature on the use of induced pluripotent stem cells to model neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases. We highlight the characteristics of diseases like spinal muscular atrophy and familial dysautonomia that allowed partial modeling of the disease phenotype. We review human stem cell literature on common neurodegenerative late-onset diseases such as Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis where patients' cells have been successfully reprogrammed but a disease phenotype has not yet been described. So far, the technique is of great interest for early onset monogenetic neurodevelopmental diseases. We speculate about potential further experimental requirements and settings for reprogrammed neurons for in vitro disease modeling and drug discovery.

  20. Protein-Remodeling Factors As Potential Therapeutics for Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Jackrel, Meredith E.; Shorter, James

    2017-01-01

    Protein misfolding is implicated in numerous neurodegenerative disorders including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and Huntington's disease. A unifying feature of patients with these disorders is the accumulation of deposits comprised of misfolded protein. Aberrant protein folding can cause toxicity through a loss or gain of protein function, or both. An intriguing therapeutic approach to counter these disorders is the application of protein-remodeling factors to resolve these misfolded conformers and return the proteins to their native fold and function. Here, we describe the application of protein-remodeling factors to alleviate protein misfolding in neurodegenerative disease. We focus on Hsp104, Hsp110/Hsp70/Hsp40, NMNAT, and HtrA1, which can prevent and reverse protein aggregation. While many of these protein-remodeling systems are highly promising, their activity can be limited. Thus, engineering protein-remodeling factors to enhance their activity could be therapeutically valuable. Indeed, engineered Hsp104 variants suppress neurodegeneration in animal models, which opens the way to novel therapeutics and mechanistic probes to help understand neurodegenerative disease. PMID:28293166

  1. Pain in Neurodegenerative Disease: Current Knowledge and Future Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    de Tommaso, Marina; Arendt-Nielsen, Lars; Defrin, Ruth; Kunz, Miriam; Pickering, Gisele; Valeriani, Massimiliano

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are going to increase as the life expectancy is getting longer. The management of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementias, Parkinson's disease (PD) and PD related disorders, motor neuron diseases (MND), Huntington's disease (HD), spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA), and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), is mainly addressed to motor and cognitive impairment, with special care to vital functions as breathing and feeding. Many of these patients complain of painful symptoms though their origin is variable, and their presence is frequently not considered in the treatment guidelines, leaving their management to the decision of the clinicians alone. However, studies focusing on pain frequency in such disorders suggest a high prevalence of pain in selected populations from 38 to 75% in AD, 40% to 86% in PD, and 19 to 85% in MND. The methods of pain assessment vary between studies so the type of pain has been rarely reported. However, a prevalent nonneuropathic origin of pain emerged for MND and PD. In AD, no data on pain features are available. No controlled therapeutic trials and guidelines are currently available. Given the relevance of pain in neurodegenerative disorders, the comprehensive understanding of mechanisms and predisposing factors, the application and validation of specific scales, and new specific therapeutic trials are needed. PMID:27313396

  2. Metabolic dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease and related neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Cai, Huan; Cong, Wei-na; Ji, Sunggoan; Rothman, Sarah; Maudsley, Stuart; Martin, Bronwen

    2012-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease and other related neurodegenerative diseases are highly debilitating disorders that affect millions of people worldwide. Efforts towards developing effective treatments for these disorders have shown limited efficacy at best, with no true cure to this day being present. Recent work, both clinical and experimental, indicates that many neurodegenerative disorders often display a coexisting metabolic dysfunction which may exacerbate neurological symptoms. It stands to reason therefore that metabolic pathways may themselves contain promising therapeutic targets for major neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we provide an overview of some of the most recent evidence for metabolic dysregulation in Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, and Parkinson's disease, and discuss several potential mechanisms that may underlie the potential relationships between metabolic dysfunction and etiology of nervous system degeneration. We also highlight some prominent signaling pathways involved in the link between peripheral metabolism and the central nervous system that are potential targets for future therapies, and we will review some of the clinical progress in this field. It is likely that in the near future, therapeutics with combinatorial neuroprotective and 'eumetabolic' activities may possess superior efficacies compared to less pluripotent remedies.

  3. Role of oxidative stress and antioxidants in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Rao, A V; Balachandran, B

    2002-10-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDD) are a group of illness with diverse clinical importance and etiologies. NDD include motor neuron disease such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), cerebellar disorders, Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), cortical destructive Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Schizophrenia. Numerous epidemiological and experimental studies provide many risk factors such as advanced age, genetic defects, abnormalities of antioxidant enzymes, excitotoxicity, cytoskeletal abnormalities, autoimmunity, mineral deficiencies, oxidative stress, metabolic toxicity, hypertension and other vascular disorders. Growing body of evidence implicates free radical toxicity, radical induced mutations and oxidative enzyme impairment and mitochondrial dysfunction due to congenital genetic defects in clinical manifestations of NDD. Accumulation of oxidative damage in neurons either primarily or secondarily may account for the increased incidence of NDD such as AD, ALS and stroke in aged populations. The molecular mechanisms of neuronal degeneration remain largely unknown and effective therapies are not currently available. Recent interest has focused on antioxidants such as carotenoids and in particular lycopene, a potent antioxidant in tomatoes and tomato products, flavonoids and vitamins as potentially useful agents in the management of human NDD. The pathobiology of neurodegenerative disorders with emphasis on genetic origin and its correlation with oxidative stress of neurodegenerative disorders will be reviewed and the reasons as to why brain constitutes a vulnerable site of oxidative damage will be discussed. The article will also discuss the potential free radical scavenger, mechanism of antioxidant action of lycopene and the need for the use of antioxidants in the prevention of NDD.

  4. Human-induced pluripotent stem cells: potential for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Ross, Christopher A; Akimov, Sergey S

    2014-09-15

    The cell biology of human neurodegenerative diseases has been difficult to study till recently. The development of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) models has greatly enhanced our ability to model disease in human cells. Methods have recently been improved, including increasing reprogramming efficiency, introducing non-viral and non-integrating methods of cell reprogramming, and using novel gene editing techniques for generating genetically corrected lines from patient-derived iPSCs, or for generating mutations in control cell lines. In this review, we highlight accomplishments made using iPSC models to study neurodegenerative disorders such as Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Fronto-Temporal Dementia, Alzheimer's disease, Spinomuscular Atrophy and other polyglutamine diseases. We review disease-related phenotypes shown in patient-derived iPSCs differentiated to relevant neural subtypes, often with stressors or cell "aging", to enhance disease-specific phenotypes. We also discuss prospects for the future of using of iPSC models of neurodegenerative disorders, including screening and testing of therapeutic compounds, and possibly of cell transplantation in regenerative medicine. The new iPSC models have the potential to greatly enhance our understanding of pathogenesis and to facilitate the development of novel therapeutics.

  5. Imaging of Microglia in Patients with Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Politis, Marios; Su, Paul; Piccini, Paola

    2012-01-01

    Microglia constitute the main immune defense in the central nervous system. In response to neuronal injury, microglia become activated, acquire phagocytic properties, and release a wide range of pro-inflammatory mediators that are essential for the annihilation of the neuronal insult. Although the role of microglial activation in acute neuronal damage is well defined, the pathophysiological processes underlying destructive or protective role to neurons following chronic exposure to microglial activation is still a subject of debate. It is likely that chronic exposure induces detrimental effects by promoting neuronal death through the release of neurotoxic factors. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with the use of translocator protein (TSPO) radioligands provides an in vivo tool for tracking the progression and severity of neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative disease. TSPO expression is correlated to the extent of microglial activation and the measurement of TSPO uptake in vivo with PET is a useful indicator of active disease. Although understanding of the interaction between radioligands and TSPO is not completely clear, there is a wide interest in application of TSPO imaging in neurodegenerative disease. In this article, we aim to review the applications of in vivo microglia imaging in neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Dementias, and Multiple Sclerosis. PMID:22661951

  6. Multimodality Imaging of Alzheimer Disease and Other Neurodegenerative Dementias

    PubMed Central

    Nasrallah, Ilya M.; Wolk, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, result in cognitive decline and dementia and are a leading cause of mortality in the growing elderly population. These progressive diseases typically have insidious onset, with overlapping clinical features early in disease course that makes diagnosis challenging. Neurodegenerative diseases are associated with characteristic, although not completely understood, changes in the brain: abnormal protein deposition, synaptic dysfunction, neuronal injury and neuronal death. Neuroimaging biomarkers – principally regional atrophy on structural MRI, patterns of hypometabolism on 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET, and detection of cerebral amyloid plaque on amyloid PET – are able to evaluate the patterns of these abnormalities in the brain to assist and improve early diagnosis of these conditions as well as to help predict disease course in the future. There are unique strengths of these techniques as well as synergies in multimodality evaluation of the patient with cognitive decline or dementia. This review will discuss the key imaging biomarkers from MRI, 18F-FDG PET, and amyloid PET, the imaging features of the most common neurodegenerative dementias, the role of various neuroimaging studies in differential diagnosis and prognosis, and introduce some promising imaging techniques currently under development. PMID:25413136

  7. Drosophila as an In Vivo Model for Human Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    McGurk, Leeanne; Berson, Amit; Bonini, Nancy M.

    2015-01-01

    With the increase in the ageing population, neurodegenerative disease is devastating to families and poses a huge burden on society. The brain and spinal cord are extraordinarily complex: they consist of a highly organized network of neuronal and support cells that communicate in a highly specialized manner. One approach to tackling problems of such complexity is to address the scientific questions in simpler, yet analogous, systems. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has been proven tremendously valuable as a model organism, enabling many major discoveries in neuroscientific disease research. The plethora of genetic tools available in Drosophila allows for exquisite targeted manipulation of the genome. Due to its relatively short lifespan, complex questions of brain function can be addressed more rapidly than in other model organisms, such as the mouse. Here we discuss features of the fly as a model for human neurodegenerative disease. There are many distinct fly models for a range of neurodegenerative diseases; we focus on select studies from models of polyglutamine disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that illustrate the type and range of insights that can be gleaned. In discussion of these models, we underscore strengths of the fly in providing understanding into mechanisms and pathways, as a foundation for translational and therapeutic research. PMID:26447127

  8. Role of Redox Signaling in Neuroinflammation and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Hsieh, Hsi-Lung; Yang, Chuen-Mao

    2013-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS), a redox signal, are produced by various enzymatic reactions and chemical processes, which are essential for many physiological functions and act as second messengers. However, accumulating evidence has implicated the pathogenesis of several human diseases including neurodegenerative disorders related to increased oxidative stress. Under pathological conditions, increasing ROS production can regulate the expression of diverse inflammatory mediators during brain injury. Elevated levels of several proinflammatory factors including cytokines, peptides, pathogenic structures, and peroxidants in the central nervous system (CNS) have been detected in patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). These proinflammatory factors act as potent stimuli in brain inflammation through upregulation of diverse inflammatory genes, including matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and adhesion molecules. To date, the intracellular signaling mechanisms underlying the expression of target proteins regulated by these factors are elusive. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms underlying the intracellular signaling pathways, especially ROS, involved in the expression of several inflammatory proteins induced by proinflammatory factors in brain resident cells. Understanding redox signaling transduction mechanisms involved in the expression of target proteins and genes may provide useful therapeutic strategies for brain injury, inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:24455696

  9. Epidemiology of mild traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Raquel C; Yaffe, Kristine

    2015-05-01

    Every year an estimated 42 million people worldwide suffer a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) or concussion. More severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a well-established risk factor for a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Recently, large epidemiological studies have additionally identified MTBI as a risk factor for dementia. The role of MTBI in risk of PD or ALS is less well established. Repetitive MTBI and repetitive sub-concussive head trauma have been linked to increased risk for a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a unique neurodegenerative tauopathy first described in boxers but more recently described in a variety of contact sport athletes, military veterans, and civilians exposed to repetitive MTBI. Studies of repetitive MTBI and CTE have been limited by referral bias, lack of consensus clinical criteria for CTE, challenges of quantifying MTBI exposure, and potential for confounding. The prevalence of CTE is unknown and the amount of MTBI or sub-concussive trauma exposure necessary to produce CTE is unclear. This review will summarize the current literature regarding the epidemiology of MTBI, post-TBI dementia and Parkinson's disease, and CTE while highlighting methodological challenges and critical future directions of research in this field. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:Traumatic Brain Injury.

  10. Pluripotent stem cells in neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases

    PubMed Central

    Marchetto, Maria C.N.; Winner, Beate; Gage, Fred H.

    2010-01-01

    Most of our current knowledge about cellular phenotypes in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases in humans was gathered from studies in postmortem brain tissues. These samples often represent the end-stage of the disease and therefore are not always a fair representation of how the disease developed. Moreover, under these circumstances, the pathology observed could be a secondary effect rather than the authentic disease cellular phenotype. Likewise, the rodent models available do not always recapitulate the pathology from human diseases. In this review, we will examine recent literature on the use of induced pluripotent stem cells to model neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases. We highlight the characteristics of diseases like spinal muscular atrophy and familial dysautonomia that allowed partial modeling of the disease phenotype. We review human stem cell literature on common neurodegenerative late-onset diseases such as Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis where patients' cells have been successfully reprogrammed but a disease phenotype has not yet been described. So far, the technique is of great interest for early onset monogenetic neurodevelopmental diseases. We speculate about potential further experimental requirements and settings for reprogrammed neurons for in vitro disease modeling and drug discovery. PMID:20418487

  11. Neural Substrates of Spontaneous Narrative Production in Focal Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Gola, Kelly A.; Thorne, Avril; Veldhuisen, Lisa D.; Felix, Cordula M.; Hankinson, Sarah; Pham, Julie; Shany-Ur, Tal; Schauer, Guido P.; Stanley, Christine M.; Glenn, Shenly; Miller, Bruce L.; Rankin, Katherine P.

    2016-01-01

    Conversational storytelling integrates diverse cognitive and socio-emotional abilities that critically differ across neurodegenerative disease groups and may have diagnostic relevance and predict anatomic changes. The present study employed mixed methods discourse and quantitative analyses to delineate patterns of storytelling across focal neurodegenerative disease groups, and to clarify the neuroanatomical contributions to common storytelling characteristics in these patients. Transcripts of spontaneous social interactions of 46 participants (15 behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), 7 semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA), 12 Alzheimer's disease (AD), and 12 healthy older normal controls) were analysed for storytelling characteristics and frequency, and videos of the interactions were rated for patients' social attentiveness. Compared to controls, svPPAs also told more stories and autobiographical stories, and perseverated on aspects of self during storytelling. ADs told fewer autobiographical stories than NCs, and svPPAs and bvFTDs failed to attend to social cues. Storytelling characteristics were associated with a processing speed and mental flexibility, and voxel-based anatomic analysis of structural magnetic resonance imaging revealed that temporal organization, evaluations, and social attention correlated with atrophy corresponding to known intrinsic connectivity networks, including the default mode, limbic, salience, and stable task control networks. Differences in spontaneous storytelling among neurodegenerative groups elucidated diverse cognitive, socio-emotional, and neural contributions to narrative production, with implications for diagnostic screening and therapeutic intervention. PMID:26485159

  12. Neural substrates of spontaneous narrative production in focal neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Gola, Kelly A; Thorne, Avril; Veldhuisen, Lisa D; Felix, Cordula M; Hankinson, Sarah; Pham, Julie; Shany-Ur, Tal; Schauer, Guido P; Stanley, Christine M; Glenn, Shenly; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P

    2015-12-01

    Conversational storytelling integrates diverse cognitive and socio-emotional abilities that critically differ across neurodegenerative disease groups. Storytelling patterns may have diagnostic relevance and predict anatomic changes. The present study employed mixed methods discourse and quantitative analyses to delineate patterns of storytelling across focal neurodegenerative disease groups, and to clarify the neuroanatomical contributions to common storytelling characteristics. Transcripts of spontaneous social interactions of 46 participants (15 behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), 7 semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA), 12 Alzheimer's disease (AD), and 12 healthy older normal controls (NC)) were analyzed for storytelling frequency and characteristics, and videos of the interactions were rated for patients' level of social attentiveness. Compared to controls, svPPAs told more stories and autobiographical stories, and perseverated on aspects of self during the interaction, whereas ADs told fewer autobiographical stories than NCs. svPPAs and bvFTDs were rated as less attentive to social cues. Aspects of storytelling were related to diverse cognitive and socio-emotional functions, and voxel-based anatomic analysis of structural magnetic resonance imaging revealed that temporal organization, narrative evaluations patterns, and social attentiveness correlated with atrophy corresponding to known intrinsic connectivity networks, including the default mode, limbic, salience, and stable task control networks. Differences in spontaneous storytelling among neurodegenerative groups elucidated diverse cognitive, socio-emotional, and neural contributions to narrative production, with implications for diagnostic screening and therapeutic intervention.

  13. The impact of personality characteristics on the clinical expression in neurodegenerative disorders--a review.

    PubMed

    von Gunten, Armin; Pocnet, Cornelia; Rossier, Jérôme

    2009-10-28

    Clinical experience suggests that longstanding personality characteristics as a person's most distinctive features of all are likely to play a role in how someone with dementia copes with his increasing deficiencies. Personality characteristics may have a pathoplastic effect on both behavioral and psychological symptoms (BPS) or on cognition as well as cognitive decline. Cognitive disorders accompanied by BPS are a tremendous burden for both the patient and their proxies. This review suggests that premorbid personality characteristics are co-determinants of BPS in cognitive disorders, but much effort is needed to clarify whether or not specific premorbid personality traits are associated with specific BPS as no strong links have so far emerged. This review further shows that a growing field of research is interested in the links not only between quite short-lived emotional states and cognitive processes, but also between longstanding personality traits and cognition in both healthy individuals and patients with neurodegenerative disorders. Furthermore, a few studies found that specific premorbid personality traits may be risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases. However, research findings in this area remain scarce despite a huge literature on personality and cognitive disorders in general. An important shortcoming that hampers so far the progress of our understanding in these domains is the confusion in the literature between longstanding premorbid personality traits and transient personality changes observed in neurodegenerative diseases. Few studies have based their assessments on accepted personality theories and carefully investigated premorbid personality traits in patients with cognitive disorders, although assessing personality may be complicated in these patients. Studying the impact of personality characteristics in cognitive disorders is an especially promising field of research in particular when concomitantly using neurobiological approaches, in

  14. Comprehension of insincere communication in neurodegenerative disease: lies, sarcasm, and theory of mind.

    PubMed

    Shany-Ur, Tal; Poorzand, Pardis; Grossman, Scott N; Growdon, Matthew E; Jang, Jung Y; Ketelle, Robin S; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P

    2012-01-01

    Comprehension of insincere communication is an important aspect of social cognition requiring visual perspective taking, emotion reading, and understanding others' thoughts, opinions, and intentions. Someone who is lying intends to hide their insincerity from the listener, while a sarcastic speaker wants the listener to recognize they are speaking insincerely. We investigated whether face-to-face testing of comprehending insincere communication would effectively discriminate among neurodegenerative disease patients with different patterns of real-life social deficits. We examined ability to comprehend lies and sarcasm from a third-person perspective, using contextual cues, in 102 patients with one of four neurodegenerative diseases (behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia [bvFTD], Alzheimer's disease [AD], progressive supranuclear palsy [PSP], and vascular cognitive impairment) and 77 healthy older adults (normal controls--NCs). Participants answered questions about videos depicting social interactions involving deceptive, sarcastic, or sincere speech using The Awareness of Social Inference Test. All subjects equally understood sincere remarks, but bvFTD patients displayed impaired comprehension of lies and sarcasm compared with NCs. In other groups, impairment was not disease-specific but was proportionate to general cognitive impairment. Analysis of the task components revealed that only bvFTD patients were impaired on perspective taking and emotion reading elements and that both bvFTD and PSP patients had impaired ability to represent others' opinions and intentions (i.e., theory of mind). Test performance correlated with informants' ratings of subjects' empathy, perspective taking and neuropsychiatric symptoms in everyday life. Comprehending insincere communication is complex and requires multiple cognitive and emotional processes vulnerable across neurodegenerative diseases. However, bvFTD patients show uniquely focal and severe impairments at every level

  15. Auditory, Visual, and Auditory-Visual Perception of Vowels by Hearing-Impaired Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hack, Zarita Caplan; Erber, Norman P.

    1982-01-01

    Vowels were presented through auditory, visual, and auditory-visual modalities to 18 hearing impaired children (12 to 15 years old) having good, intermediate, and poor auditory word recognition skills. All the groups had difficulty with acoustic information and visual information alone. The first two groups had only moderate difficulty identifying…

  16. Effects of Methylphenidate (Ritalin) on Auditory Performance in Children with Attention and Auditory Processing Disorders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tillery, Kim L.; Katz, Jack; Keller, Warren D.

    2000-01-01

    A double-blind, placebo-controlled study examined effects of methylphenidate (Ritalin) on auditory processing in 32 children with both attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and central auditory processing (CAP) disorder. Analyses revealed that Ritalin did not have a significant effect on any of the central auditory processing measures, although…

  17. Auditory Training and Its Effects upon the Auditory Discrimination and Reading Readiness of Kindergarten Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cullen, Minga Mustard

    The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effects of a systematic auditory training program on the auditory discrimination ability and reading readiness of 55 white, middle/upper middle class kindergarten students. Following pretesting with the "Wepman Auditory Discrimination Test,""The Clymer-Barrett Prereading Battery," and the…

  18. Corticofugal modulation of peripheral auditory responses

    PubMed Central

    Terreros, Gonzalo; Delano, Paul H.

    2015-01-01

    The auditory efferent system originates in the auditory cortex and projects to the medial geniculate body (MGB), inferior colliculus (IC), cochlear nucleus (CN) and superior olivary complex (SOC) reaching the cochlea through olivocochlear (OC) fibers. This unique neuronal network is organized in several afferent-efferent feedback loops including: the (i) colliculo-thalamic-cortico-collicular; (ii) cortico-(collicular)-OC; and (iii) cortico-(collicular)-CN pathways. Recent experiments demonstrate that blocking ongoing auditory-cortex activity with pharmacological and physical methods modulates the amplitude of cochlear potentials. In addition, auditory-cortex microstimulation independently modulates cochlear sensitivity and the strength of the OC reflex. In this mini-review, anatomical and physiological evidence supporting the presence of a functional efferent network from the auditory cortex to the cochlear receptor is presented. Special emphasis is given to the corticofugal effects on initial auditory processing, that is, on CN, auditory nerve and cochlear responses. A working model of three parallel pathways from the auditory cortex to the cochlea and auditory nerve is proposed. PMID:26483647

  19. Functional mapping of the primate auditory system.

    PubMed

    Poremba, Amy; Saunders, Richard C; Crane, Alison M; Cook, Michelle; Sokoloff, Louis; Mishkin, Mortimer

    2003-01-24

    Cerebral auditory areas were delineated in the awake, passively listening, rhesus monkey by comparing the rates of glucose utilization in an intact hemisphere and in an acoustically isolated contralateral hemisphere of the same animal. The auditory system defined in this way occupied large portions of cerebral tissue, an extent probably second only to that of the visual system. Cortically, the activated areas included the entire superior temporal gyrus and large portions of the parietal, prefrontal, and limbic lobes. Several auditory areas overlapped with previously identified visual areas, suggesting that the auditory system, like the visual system, contains separate pathways for processing stimulus quality, location, and motion.

  20. A really complicated problem: Auditory scene analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yost, William A.

    2004-05-01

    It has been more than a decade since Al Bregman and other authors brought the challenge of auditory scene analysis back to the attention of auditory science. While a lot of research has been done on and around this topic, an accepted theory of auditory scene analysis has not evolved. Auditory science has little, if any, information about how the nervous system solves this problem, and there have not been any major successes in developing computational methods that solve the problem for most real-world auditory scenes. I will argue that the major reason that more has not been accomplished is that auditory scene analysis is a really hard problem. If one starts with a single sound source and tries to understand how the auditory system determines this single source, the problem is already very complicated without adding other sources that occur at the same time as is the typical depiction of the auditory scene. In this paper I will illustrate some of the challenges that exist for determining the auditory scene that have not received a lot of attention, as well as some of the more discussed aspects of the challenge. [Work supported by NIDCD.

  1. Auditory perception modulated by word reading.

    PubMed

    Cao, Liyu; Klepp, Anne; Schnitzler, Alfons; Gross, Joachim; Biermann-Ruben, Katja

    2016-10-01

    Theories of embodied cognition positing that sensorimotor areas are indispensable during language comprehension are supported by neuroimaging and behavioural studies. Among others, the auditory system has been suggested to be important for understanding sound-related words (visually presented) and the motor system for action-related words. In this behavioural study, using a sound detection task embedded in a lexical decision task, we show that in participants with high lexical decision performance sound verbs improve auditory perception. The amount of modulation was correlated with lexical decision performance. Our study provides convergent behavioural evidence of auditory cortex involvement in word processing, supporting the view of embodied language comprehension concerning the auditory domain.

  2. Auditory and audiovisual inhibition of return.

    PubMed

    Spence, C; Driver, J

    1998-01-01

    Two experiments examined any inhibition-of-return (IOR) effects from auditory cues and from preceding auditory targets upon reaction times (RTs) for detecting subsequent auditory targets. Auditory RT was delayed if the preceding auditory cue was on the same side as the target, but was unaffected by the location of the auditory target from the preceding trial, suggesting that response inhibition for the cue may have produced its effects. By contrast, visual detection RT was inhibited by the ipsilateral presentation of a visual target on the preceding trial. In a third experiment, targets could be unpredictably auditory or visual, and no peripheral cues intervened. Both auditory and visual detection RTs were now delayed following an ipsilateral versus contralateral target in either modality on the preceding trial, even when eye position was monitored to ensure central fixation throughout. These data suggest that auditory target-target IOR arises only when target modality is unpredictable. They also provide the first unequivocal evidence for cross-modal IOR, since, unlike other recent studies (e.g., Reuter-Lorenz, Jha, & Rosenquist, 1996; Tassinari & Berlucchi, 1995; Tassinari & Campara, 1996), the present cross-modal effects cannot be explained in terms of response inhibition for the cue. The results are discussed in relation to neurophysiological studies and audiovisual links in saccade programming.

  3. Central auditory function of deafness genes.

    PubMed

    Willaredt, Marc A; Ebbers, Lena; Nothwang, Hans Gerd

    2014-06-01

    The highly variable benefit of hearing devices is a serious challenge in auditory rehabilitation. Various factors contribute to this phenomenon such as the diversity in ear defects, the different extent of auditory nerve hypoplasia, the age of intervention, and cognitive abilities. Recent analyses indicate that, in addition, central auditory functions of deafness genes have to be considered in this context. Since reduced neuronal activity acts as the common denominator in deafness, it is widely assumed that peripheral deafness influences development and function of the central auditory system in a stereotypical manner. However, functional characterization of transgenic mice with mutated deafness genes demonstrated gene-specific abnormalities in the central auditory system as well. A frequent function of deafness genes in the central auditory system is supported by a genome-wide expression study that revealed significant enrichment of these genes in the transcriptome of the auditory brainstem compared to the entire brain. Here, we will summarize current knowledge of the diverse central auditory functions of deafness genes. We furthermore propose the intimately interwoven gene regulatory networks governing development of the otic placode and the hindbrain as a mechanistic explanation for the widespread expression of these genes beyond the cochlea. We conclude that better knowledge of central auditory dysfunction caused by genetic alterations in deafness genes is required. In combination with improved genetic diagnostics becoming currently available through novel sequencing technologies, this information will likely contribute to better outcome prediction of hearing devices.

  4. How Does Auditory Training Work? Joined-Up Thinking and Listening.

    PubMed

    Ferguson, Melanie; Henshaw, Helen

    2015-11-01

    Auditory training aims to compensate for degradation in the auditory signal and is offered as an intervention to help alleviate the most common complaint in people with hearing loss, understanding speech in a background noise. Yet there remain many unanswered questions. This article reviews some of the key pieces of evidence that assess the evidence for whether, and how, auditory training benefits adults with hearing loss. The evidence supports that improvements occur on the trained task; however, transfer of that learning to generalized real-world benefit is much less robust. For more than a decade, there has been an increasing awareness of the role that cognition plays in listening. But more recently in the auditory training literature, there has been an increased focus on assessing how cognitive performance relevant for listening may improve with training. We argue that this is specifically the case for measures that index executive processes, such as monitoring, attention switching, and updating of working memory, all of which are required for successful listening and communication in challenging or adverse listening conditions. We propose combined auditory-cognitive training approaches, where training interventions develop cognition embedded within auditory tasks, which are most likely to offer generalized benefits to the real-world listening abilities of people with hearing loss.

  5. Auditory Delta Event-Related Oscillatory Responses are Decreased in Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Yener, G. G.; Güntekin, B.; Örken, D. Necioglu; Tülay, E.; Forta, H.; Başar, E.

    2012-01-01

    Background: Visual delta event-related (ERO) and evoked oscillations (EO) of Alzheimer patients (AD) are different than healthy. In the present study, the analysis is extented to include auditory ERO and EO in AD. The rationale is to reveal whether the auditory ERO delta responses are also reduced, and whether this is a general phenomenon in Alzheimer patients upon applying stimuli with cognitive load. Methods: Thirty-four mild AD subjects (17 de-novo and 17 medicated (cholinergic)) and seventeen healthy controls were included. Auditory oddball paradigm and sensory auditory stimuli were applied to the subjects. Oscillatory responses were analyzed by measuring maximum amplitudes in delta frequency range (0.5–3.5 Hz). Results: Auditory delta ERO (0.5–3.5 Hz) responses of healthy controls were higher than either de-novo AD or medicated AD group, without a difference between two AD subgroups. Furthermore, the auditory EO after presentation of tone bursts yielded no group difference. Conclusion: Our findings imply that delta ERO is highly unstable in AD patients in comparison to age-matched healthy controls only during the cognitive paradigm. Our results favor the hypothesis that neural delta networks are activated during cognitive tasks and that the reduced delta response is a general phenomenon in AD, due to cognitive impairment. PMID:22207418

  6. Effects of Emotionally Charged Auditory Stimulation on Gait Performance in the Elderly: A Preliminary Study

    PubMed Central

    Rizzo, John-Ross; Raghavan, Preeti; McCrery, J.R.; Oh-Park, Mooyeon; Verghese, Joe

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To evaluate the effect of a novel divided attention task—walking under auditory constraints—on gait performance in older adults and to determine whether this effect was moderated by cognitive status. Design Validation cohort. Setting General community. Participants Ambulatory older adults without dementia (N=104). Interventions Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures In this pilot study, we evaluated walking under auditory constraints in 104 older adults who completed 3 pairs of walking trials on a gait mat under 1 of 3 randomly assigned conditions: 1 pair without auditory stimulation and 2 pairs with emotionally charged auditory stimulation with happy or sad sounds. Results The mean age of subjects was 80.6±4.9 years, and 63% (n=66) were women. The mean velocity during normal walking was 97.9±20.6cm/s, and the mean cadence was 105.1±9.9 steps/min. The effect of walking under auditory constraints on gait characteristics was analyzed using a 2-factorial analysis of variance with a 1-between factor (cognitively intact and minimal cognitive impairment groups) and a 1-within factor (type of auditory stimuli). In both happy and sad auditory stimulation trials, cognitively intact older adults (n=96) showed an average increase of 2.68cm/s in gait velocity (F1.86,191.71=3.99; P=.02) and an average increase of 2.41 steps/min in cadence (F1.75,180.42=10.12; P<.001) as compared with trials without auditory stimulation. In contrast, older adults with minimal cognitive impairment (Blessed test score, 5–10; n=8) showed an average reduction of 5.45cm/s in gait velocity (F1.87,190.83=5.62; P=.005) and an average reduction of 3.88 steps/min in cadence (F1.79,183.10=8.21; P=.001) under both auditory stimulation conditions. Neither baseline fall history nor performance of activities of daily living accounted for these differences. Conclusions Our results provide preliminary evidence of the differentiating effect of emotionally charged auditory stimuli on gait

  7. A Detection-Theoretic Analysis of Auditory Streaming and Its Relation to Auditory Masking

    PubMed Central

    Chang, An-Chieh; Lee, Jungmee; Heo, Inseok

    2016-01-01

    Research on hearing has long been challenged with understanding our exceptional ability to hear out individual sounds in a mixture (the so-called cocktail party problem). Two general approaches to the problem have been taken using sequences of tones as stimuli. The first has focused on our tendency to hear sequences, sufficiently separated in frequency, split into separate cohesive streams (auditory streaming). The second has focused on our ability to detect a change in one sequence, ignoring all others (auditory masking). The two phenomena are clearly related, but that relation has never been evaluated analytically. This article offers a detection-theoretic analysis of the relation between multitone streaming and masking that underscores the expected similarities and differences between these phenomena and the predicted outcome of experiments in each case. The key to establishing this relation is the function linking performance to the information divergence of the tone sequences, DKL (a measure of the statistical separation of their parameters). A strong prediction is that streaming and masking of tones will be a common function of DKL provided that the statistical properties of sequences are symmetric. Results of experiments are reported supporting this prediction. PMID:27641681

  8. A Detection-Theoretic Analysis of Auditory Streaming and Its Relation to Auditory Masking.

    PubMed

    Chang, An-Chieh; Lutfi, Robert; Lee, Jungmee; Heo, Inseok

    2016-09-18

    Research on hearing has long been challenged with understanding our exceptional ability to hear out individual sounds in a mixture (the so-called cocktail party problem). Two general approaches to the problem have been taken using sequences of tones as stimuli. The first has focused on our tendency to hear sequences, sufficiently separated in frequency, split into separate cohesive streams (auditory streaming). The second has focused on our ability to detect a change in one sequence, ignoring all others (auditory masking). The two phenomena are clearly related, but that relation has never been evaluated analytically. This article offers a detection-theoretic analysis of the relation between multitone streaming and masking that underscores the expected similarities and differences between these phenomena and the predicted outcome of experiments in each case. The key to establishing this relation is the function linking performance to the information divergence of the tone sequences, DKL (a measure of the statistical separation of their parameters). A strong prediction is that streaming and masking of tones will be a common function of DKL provided that the statistical properties of sequences are symmetric. Results of experiments are reported supporting this prediction.

  9. Enhancement of auditory cortical development by musical experience in children.

    PubMed

    Shahin, Antoine; Roberts, Larry E; Trainor, Laurel J

    2004-08-26

    Auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) express the development of mature synaptic connections in the upper neocortical laminae known to occur between 4 and 15 years of age. AEPs evoked by piano, violin, and pure tones were measured twice in a group of 4- to 5-year-old children enrolled in Suzuki music lessons and in non-musician controls. P1 was larger in the Suzuki pupils for all tones whereas P2 was enhanced specifically for the instrument of practice (piano or violin). AEPs observed for the instrument of practice were comparable to those of non-musician children about 3 years older in chronological age. The findings set into relief a general process by which the neocortical synaptic matrix is shaped by an accumulation of specific auditory experiences.

  10. The transtympanic promontory stimulation test in patients with auditory deprivation: correlations with electrical dynamics of cochlear implant and speech perception.

    PubMed

    Alfelasi, Mohammad; Piron, Jean Pierre; Mathiolon, Caroline; Lenel, Nadjmah; Mondain, Michel; Uziel, Alain; Venail, Frederic

    2013-05-01

    Transtympanic promontory stimulation test (TPST) has been suggested to be a useful tool in predicting postoperative outcomes in patients at risk of poor auditory neuron functioning, especially after a long auditory deprivation. However, only sparse data are available on this topic. This study aimed at showing correlations between the auditory nerve dynamic range, evaluated by TPST, the electrical dynamic range of the cochlear implant and speech perception outcome. We evaluated 65 patients with postlingual hearing loss and no residual hearing, implanted with a Nucleus CI24 cochlear implant device for at least 2 years and with a minimum of 17 active electrodes. Using the TPST, we measured the threshold for auditory perception (T-level) and the maximum acceptable level of stimulation (M-level) at stimulation frequencies of 50, 100 and 200 Hz. General linear regression was performed to correlate 1/speech perception, evaluated using the PBK test 1 year after surgery, and 2/cochlear implant electrical dynamic range, with the age at time of implantation, the duration of auditory deprivation, the etiology of the deafness, the duration of cochlear implant use and auditory nerve dynamic range. Postoperative speech perception outcome correlated with etiology, duration of auditory deprivation and implant use, and TPST at 100 and 200 Hz. The dynamic range of the cochlear implant map correlated with duration of auditory deprivation, speech perception outcome at 6 months and TPST at 100 and 200 Hz. TPST test can be used to predict functional outcome after cochlear implant surgery in difficult cases.

  11. Dynamics of auditory-vocal interaction in monkey auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Eliades, Steven J; Wang, Xiaoqin

    2005-10-01

    Single neurons in the primate auditory cortex exhibit vocalization-related modulations (excitatory or inhibitory) during self-initiated vocal production. Previous studies have shown that these modulations of cortical activity are variable in individual neurons' responses to multiple instances of vocalization and diverse between different cortical neurons. The present study investigated dynamic patterns of vocalization-related modulations and demonstrated that much of the variability in cortical modulations was related to the acoustic structures of self-produced vocalization. We found that suppression of single unit activity during multi-phrased vocalizations was temporally specific in that it was maintained during each phrase, but was released between phrases. Furthermore, the degree of suppression or excitation was correlated to the mean energy and frequency of the produced vocalizations, accounting for much of the response variability between multiple instances of vocalization. Simultaneous recordings of pairs of neurons from a single electrode revealed that the modulations by self-produced vocalizations in nearby neurons were largely uncorrelated. Additionally, vocalization-induced suppression was found to be preferentially distributed to upper cortical layers. Finally, we showed that the summation of all auditory cortical activity during vocalization, including both single and multi-unit responses, was weakly excitatory, consistent with observations from studies of the human brain during speech.

  12. Active auditory mechanics in mosquitoes.

    PubMed Central

    Göpfert, M. C.; Robert, D.

    2001-01-01

    In humans and other vertebrates, hearing is improved by active contractile properties of hair cells. Comparable active auditory mechanics is now demonstrated in insects. In mosquitoes, Johnston's organ transduces sound-induced vibrations of the antennal flagellum. A non-muscular 'motor' activity enhances the sensitivity and tuning of the flagellar mechanical response in physiologically intact animals. This motor is capable of driving the flagellum autonomously, amplifying sound-induced vibrations at specific frequencies and intensities. Motor-related electrical activity of Johnston's organ strongly suggests that mosquito hearing is improved by mechanoreceptor motility. PMID:11270428

  13. Further Evidence of Auditory Extinction in Aphasia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Rebecca Shisler; Basilakos, Alexandra; Love-Myers, Kim

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Preliminary research ( Shisler, 2005) suggests that auditory extinction in individuals with aphasia (IWA) may be connected to binding and attention. In this study, the authors expanded on previous findings on auditory extinction to determine the source of extinction deficits in IWA. Method: Seventeen IWA (M[subscript age] = 53.19 years)…

  14. The Auditory Analysis Test: An Initial Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosner, Jerome; Simon, Dorothea P.

    A new test for auditory perception (Auditory Analysis Test) was given to 284 kindergarten through grade 6 children. The instrument, consisting of 40 items, asks the testee to repeat a spoken word, then to repeat it again without certain specified phonemic elements--such as a beginning, ending or medially-positioned sound. Seven categories of item…

  15. Auditory Processing Disorder and Foreign Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veselovska, Ganna

    2015-01-01

    This article aims at exploring various strategies for coping with the auditory processing disorder in the light of foreign language acquisition. The techniques relevant to dealing with the auditory processing disorder can be attributed to environmental and compensatory approaches. The environmental one involves actions directed at creating a…

  16. Auditory-Oral Matching Behavior in Newborns

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Xin; Striano, Tricia; Rakoczy, Hannes

    2004-01-01

    Twenty-five newborn infants were tested for auditory-oral matching behavior when presented with the consonant sound /m/ and the vowel sound /a/--a precursor behavior to vocal imitation. Auditory-oral matching behavior by the infant was operationally defined as showing the mouth movement appropriate for producing the model sound just heard (mouth…

  17. Benign lesions of the external auditory canal.

    PubMed

    Tran, L P; Grundfast, K M; Selesnick, S H

    1996-10-01

    Benign mass lesions of the external auditory canal, such as exostoses and osteomas, are common findings on physical examination but most often do not require treatment. The differential diagnosis of lesions in the external auditory canal, however, should not be limited to those benign processes discussed here, but should also include infectious, dermatologic, congenital, and malignant processes.

  18. The structure and function of auditory chordotonal organs in insects.

    PubMed

    Yack, Jayne E

    2004-04-15

    Insects are capable of detecting a broad range of acoustic signals transmitted through air, water, or solids. Auditory sensory organs are morphologically diverse with respect to their body location, accessory structures, and number of sensilla, but remarkably uniform in that most are innervated by chordotonal organs. Chordotonal organs are structurally complex Type I mechanoreceptors that are distributed throughout the insect body and function to detect a wide range of mechanical stimuli, from gross motor movements to air-borne sounds. At present, little is known about how chordotonal organs in general function to convert mechanical stimuli to nerve impulses, and our limited understanding of this process represents one of the major challenges to the study of insect auditory systems today. This report reviews the literature on chordotonal organs innervating insect ears, with the broad intention of uncovering some common structural specializations of peripheral auditory systems, and identifying new avenues for research. A general overview of chordotonal organ ultrastructure is presented, followed by a summary of the current theories on mechanical coupling and transduction in monodynal, mononematic, Type 1 scolopidia, which characteristically innervate insect ears. Auditory organs of different insect taxa are reviewed, focusing primarily on tympanal organs, and with some consideration to Johnston's and subgenual organs. It is widely accepted that insect hearing organs evolved from pre-existing proprioceptive chordotonal organs. In addition to certain non-neural adaptations for hearing, such as tracheal expansion and cuticular thinning, the chordotonal organs themselves may have intrinsic specializations for sound reception and transduction, and these are discussed. In the future, an integrated approach, using traditional anatomical and physiological techniques in combination with new methodologies in immunohistochemistry, genetics, and biophysics, will assist in

  19. Pathogenic protein seeding in Alzheimer disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Jucker, Mathias; Walker, Lary C

    2011-10-01

    The misfolding and aggregation of specific proteins is a seminal occurrence in a remarkable variety of neurodegenerative disorders. In Alzheimer disease (the most prevalent cerebral proteopathy), the two principal aggregating proteins are β-amyloid (Aβ) and tau. The abnormal assemblies formed by conformational variants of these proteins range in size from small oligomers to the characteristic lesions that are visible by optical microscopy, such as senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Pathologic similarities with prion disease suggest that the formation and spread of these proteinaceous lesions might involve a common molecular mechanism-corruptive protein templating. Experimentally, cerebral β-amyloidosis can be exogenously induced by exposure to dilute brain extracts containing aggregated Aβ seeds. The amyloid-inducing agent probably is Aβ itself, in a conformation generated most effectively in the living brain. Once initiated, Aβ lesions proliferate within and among brain regions. The induction process is governed by the structural and biochemical nature of the Aβ seed, as well as the attributes of the host, reminiscent of pathogenically variant prion strains. The concept of prionlike induction and spreading of pathogenic proteins recently has been expanded to include aggregates of tau, α-synuclein, huntingtin, superoxide dismutase-1, and TDP-43, which characterize such human neurodegenerative disorders as frontotemporal lobar degeneration, Parkinson/Lewy body disease, Huntington disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Our recent finding that the most effective Aβ seeds are small and soluble intensifies the search in bodily fluids for misfolded protein seeds that are upstream in the proteopathic cascade, and thus could serve as predictive diagnostics and the targets of early, mechanism-based interventions. Establishing the clinical implications of corruptive protein templating will require further mechanistic and epidemiologic investigations

  20. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Pathology in a Neurodegenerative Disorders Brain Bank

    PubMed Central

    Bieniek, Kevin F.; Ross, Owen A.; Cormier, Kerry A.; Walton, Ronald L.; Soto-Ortolaza, Alexandra; Johnston, Amelia E.; DeSaro, Pamela; Boylan, Kevin B.; Graff-Radford, Neill R.; Wszolek, Zbignbiew K.; Rademakers, Rosa; Boeve, Bradley F.; McKee, Ann C; Dickson, Dennis W.

    2015-01-01

    Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder linked to repetitive traumatic brain injury (TBI) and characterized by deposition of hyperphosphorylated tau at the depths of sulci. We sought to determine the presence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) pathology in a brain bank for neurodegenerative disorders for individuals with and without a history of contact sports participation. Available medical records of 1,721 men were reviewed for evidence of past history of injury or participation in contact sports. Subsequently, cerebral cortical samples were processed for tau immunohistochemistry in cases with a documented history of sports exposure as well as age- and disease-matched men and women without such exposure. For cases with available frozen tissue, genetic analysis was performed for variants in APOE, MAPT, and TMEM106B. Immunohistochemistry revealed 21 of 66 former athletes had cortical tau pathology consistent with CTE. CTE pathology was not detected in 198 individuals without exposure to contact sports, including 33 individuals with documented single-incident TBI sustained from falls, motor vehicle accidents, domestic violence, or assaults. Among those exposed to contact sports, those with CTE pathology did not differ from those without CTE pathology with respect to noted clinicopathologic features. There were no significant differences in genetic variants for those with CTE pathology, but we observed a slight increase in MAPT H1 haplotype, and there tended to be fewer homozygous carriers of the protective TMEM106B rs3173615 minor allele in those with sports exposure and CTE pathology compared to those without CTE pathology. In conclusion, this study has identified a small, yet significant, subset of individuals with neurodegenerative disorders and concomitant CTE pathology. CTE pathology was only detected in individuals with documented participation in contact sports. Exposure to contact sports was the greatest

  1. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy pathology in a neurodegenerative disorders brain bank.

    PubMed

    Bieniek, Kevin F; Ross, Owen A; Cormier, Kerry A; Walton, Ronald L; Soto-Ortolaza, Alexandra; Johnston, Amelia E; DeSaro, Pamela; Boylan, Kevin B; Graff-Radford, Neill R; Wszolek, Zbigniew K; Rademakers, Rosa; Boeve, Bradley F; McKee, Ann C; Dickson, Dennis W

    2015-12-01

    Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder linked to repetitive traumatic brain injury (TBI) and characterized by deposition of hyperphosphorylated tau at the depths of sulci. We sought to determine the presence of CTE pathology in a brain bank for neurodegenerative disorders for individuals with and without a history of contact sports participation. Available medical records of 1721 men were reviewed for evidence of past history of injury or participation in contact sports. Subsequently, cerebral cortical samples were processed for tau immunohistochemistry in cases with a documented history of sports exposure as well as age- and disease-matched men and women without such exposure. For cases with available frozen tissue, genetic analysis was performed for variants in APOE, MAPT, and TMEM106B. Immunohistochemistry revealed 21 of 66 former athletes had cortical tau pathology consistent with CTE. CTE pathology was not detected in 198 individuals without exposure to contact sports, including 33 individuals with documented single-incident TBI sustained from falls, motor vehicle accidents, domestic violence, or assaults. Among those exposed to contact sports, those with CTE pathology did not differ from those without CTE pathology with respect to noted clinicopathologic features. There were no significant differences in genetic variants for those with CTE pathology, but we observed a slight increase in MAPT H1 haplotype, and there tended to be fewer homozygous carriers of the protective TMEM106B rs3173615 minor allele in those with sports exposure and CTE pathology compared to those without CTE pathology. In conclusion, this study has identified a small, yet significant, subset of individuals with neurodegenerative disorders and concomitant CTE pathology. CTE pathology was only detected in individuals with documented participation in contact sports. Exposure to contact sports was the greatest risk factor for CTE pathology. Future

  2. Targeting New Candidate Genes by Small Molecules Approaching Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Fan, Hueng-Chuen; Chi, Ching-Shiang; Cheng, Shin-Nan; Lee, Hsiu-Fen; Tsai, Jeng-Dau; Lin, Shinn-Zong; Harn, Horng-Jyh

    2015-12-25

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are among the most feared of the disorders that afflict humankind for the lack of specific diagnostic tests and effective treatments. Understanding the molecular, cellular, biochemical changes of NDs may hold therapeutic promise against debilitating central nerve system (CNS) disorders. In the present review, we summarized the clinical presentations and biology backgrounds of NDs, including Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and Alzheimer's disease (AD) and explored the role of molecular mechanisms, including dys-regulation of epigenetic control mechanisms, Ataxia-telangiectasia-mutated protein kinase (ATM), and neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of NDs. Targeting these mechanisms may hold therapeutic promise against these devastating diseases.

  3. Mitochondrial Quality Control: Decommissioning Power Plants in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Chakrabarti, Oishee

    2013-01-01

    The cell has an intricate quality control system to protect its mitochondria from oxidative stress. This surveillance system is multi-tiered and comprises molecules that are present inside the mitochondria, in the cytosol, and in other organelles like the nucleus and endoplasmic reticulum. These molecules cross talk with each other and protect the mitochondria from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a fundamental part of early disease pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. These disorders also damage the cellular quality control machinery that protects the cell against oxidative stress. This exacerbates the oxidative damage and causes extensive neuronal cell death that is characteristic of neurodegeneration. PMID:24288463

  4. Advances in the treatment of visual hallucinations in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Collerton, Daniel; Taylor, John-Paul

    2013-01-01

    Treatment of visual hallucinations in neurodegenerative disorders is not well advanced. The complexity of underlying mechanisms presents a number of potential avenues for developing treatments, but also suggests that any single one may be of limited efficacy. Reducing medication, with the careful introduction of antidementia medication if needed, is the mainstay of current management. Antipsychotic medication leads to excessive morbidity and mortality and should only be used in cases of high distress that do not otherwise respond. Education, reduction of risk factors and psychological treatments have limited evidence of efficacy, but are unlikely to cause harm. PMID:23882162

  5. Stem cells for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Dantuma, Elise; Merchant, Stephanie; Sugaya, Kiminobu

    2010-12-10

    Stem cells offer an enormous pool of resources for the understanding of the human body. One proposed use of stem cells has been as an autologous therapy. The use of stem cells for neurodegenerative diseases has become of interest. Clinical applications of stem cells for Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and multiple sclerosis will increase in the coming years, and although great care will need to be taken when moving forward with prospective treatments, the application of stem cells is highly promising.

  6. Multi-site diagnosis and management of 260 patients with auditory neuropathy/dys-synchrony (auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder).

    PubMed

    Berlin, Charles I; Hood, Linda J; Morlet, Thierry; Wilensky, Diane; Li, Li; Mattingly, Kelly Rose; Taylor-Jeanfreau, Jennifer; Keats, Bronya J B; John, Patti St; Montgomery, Elizabeth; Shallop, Jon K; Russell, Benjamin A; Frisch, Stefan A

    2010-01-01

    Test results and management data are summarized for 260 patients with diagnoses of Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD). Hearing aids were tried in 85 of these patients, and 49 patients tried cochlear implants. Approximately 15% reported some benefit from hearing aids for language learning, while improvement in speech comprehension and language acquisition was reported in 85% of patients who were implanted. Approximately 5% (13/260) of the total population developed normal speech and language without intervention. Patients were diagnosed at our laboratory (n=66) or referred from other sites (n=194), and all showed absent/grossly abnormal auditory brainstem responses (ABR), often 'ringing' cochlear microphonics, and the presence or history of otoacoustic emissions. Etiologies and co-existing conditions included genetic (n=41), peripheral neuropathies (n=20), perinatal jaundice and/or anoxia and/or prematurity (n=74). These patients comprise 10% or more of hearing impaired patients; their language acquisition trajectories are generally unpredictable from their audiograms.

  7. Tactile feedback improves auditory spatial localization.

    PubMed

    Gori, Monica; Vercillo, Tiziana; Sandini, Giulio; Burr, David

    2014-01-01

    Our recent studies suggest that congenitally blind adults have severely impaired thresholds in an auditory spatial bisection task, pointing to the importance of vision in constructing complex auditory spatial maps (Gori et al., 2014). To explore strategies that may improve the auditory spatial sense in visually impaired people, we investigated the impact of tactile feedback on spatial auditory localization in 48 blindfolded sighted subjects. We measured auditory spatial bisection thresholds before and after training, either with tactile feedback, verbal feedback, or no feedback. Audio thresholds were first measured with a spatial bisection task: subjects judged whether the second sound of a three sound sequence was spatially closer to the first or the third sound. The tactile feedback group underwent two audio-tactile feedback sessions of 100 trials, where each auditory trial was followed by the same spatial sequence played on the subject's forearm; auditory spatial bisection thresholds were evaluated after each session. In the verbal feedback condition, the positions of the sounds were verbally reported to the subject after each feedback trial. The no feedback group did the same sequence of trials, with no feedback. Performance improved significantly only after audio-tactile feedback. The results suggest that direct tactile feedback interacts with the auditory spatial localization system, possibly by a process of cross-sensory recalibration. Control tests with the subject rotated suggested that this effect occurs only when the tactile and acoustic sequences are spatially congruent. Our results suggest that the tactile system can be used to recalibrate the auditory sense of space. These results encourage the possibility of designing rehabilitation programs to help blind persons establish a robust auditory sense of space, through training with the tactile modality.

  8. A Model of Auditory-Cognitive Processing and Relevance to Clinical Applicability.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Brent

    2016-01-01

    Hearing loss and cognitive function interact in both a bottom-up and top-down relationship. Listening effort is tied to these interactions, and models have been developed to explain their relationship. The Ease of Language Understanding model in particular has gained considerable attention in its explanation of the effect of signal distortion on speech understanding. Signal distortion can also affect auditory scene analysis ability, however, resulting in a distorted auditory scene that can affect cognitive function, listening effort, and the allocation of cognitive resources. These effects are explained through an addition to the Ease of Language Understanding model. This model can be generalized to apply to all sounds, not only speech, representing the increased effort required for auditory environmental awareness and other nonspeech auditory tasks. While the authors have measures of speech understanding and cognitive load to quantify these interactions, they are lacking measures of the effect of hearing aid technology on auditory scene analysis ability and how effort and attention varies with the quality of an auditory scene. Additionally, the clinical relevance of hearing aid technology on cognitive function and the application of cognitive measures in hearing aid fittings will be limited until effectiveness is demonstrated in real-world situations.

  9. A blueprint for vocal learning: auditory predispositions from brains to genomes

    PubMed Central

    Wheatcroft, David; Qvarnström, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Memorizing and producing complex strings of sound are requirements for spoken human language. We share these behaviours with likely more than 4000 species of songbirds, making birds our primary model for studying the cognitive basis of vocal learning and, more generally, an important model for how memories are encoded in the brain. In songbirds, as in humans, the sounds that a juvenile learns later in life depend on auditory memories formed early in development. Experiments on a wide variety of songbird species suggest that the formation and lability of these auditory memories, in turn, depend on auditory predispositions that stimulate learning when a juvenile hears relevant, species-typical sounds. We review evidence that variation in key features of these auditory predispositions are determined by variation in genes underlying the development of the auditory system. We argue that increased investigation of the neuronal basis of auditory predispositions expressed early in life in combination with modern comparative genomic approaches may provide insights into the evolution of vocal learning. PMID:26246333

  10. In vivo functional and myeloarchitectonic mapping of human primary auditory areas

    PubMed Central

    Dick, Frederic; Tierney, Adam Taylor; Lutti, Antoine; Josephs, Oliver; Sereno, Martin I.; Weiskopf, Nikolaus

    2012-01-01

    In contrast to vision, where retinotopic mapping alone can define areal borders, primary auditory areas such as A1 are best delineated by combining in vivo tonotopic mapping with post mortem cyto- or myelo-architectonics from the same individual. We combined high-resolution (800 μm) quantitative T1 mapping with phase-encoded tonotopic methods to map primary auditory areas (A1 and R) within the ‘auditory core’ of human volunteers. We first quantitatively characterize the highly myelinated auditory core in terms of shape, area, cortical depth profile, and position, with our data showing considerable correspondence to post-mortem myeloarchitectonic studies, both in cross-participant averages and in individuals. The core region contains two ‘mirror-image‘ tonotopic maps oriented along the same axis as observed in macaque and owl monkey. We suggest that thee two maps within the core are the human analogues of primate auditory areas A1 and R. The core occupies a much smaller portion of tonotopically organized cortex on the superior temporal plane and gyrus than is generally supposed. The multi-modal approach to defining the auditory core will facilitate investigations of structure-function relationships, comparative neuroanatomical studies, and promises new biomarkers for diagnosis and clinical studies. PMID:23152594

  11. An Association between Auditory-Visual Synchrony Processing and Reading Comprehension: Behavioral and Electrophysiological Evidence.

    PubMed

    Mossbridge, Julia; Zweig, Jacob; Grabowecky, Marcia; Suzuki, Satoru

    2017-03-01

    The perceptual system integrates synchronized auditory-visual signals in part to promote individuation of objects in cluttered environments. The processing of auditory-visual synchrony may more generally contribute to cognition by synchronizing internally generated multimodal signals. Reading is a prime example because the ability to synchronize internal phonological and/or lexical processing with visual orthographic processing may facilitate encoding of words and meanings. Consistent with this possibility, developmental and clinical research has suggested a link between reading performance and the ability to compare visual spatial/temporal patterns with auditory temporal patterns. Here, we provide converging behavioral and electrophysiological evidence suggesting that greater behavioral ability to judge auditory-visual synchrony (Experiment 1) and greater sensitivity of an electrophysiological marker of auditory-visual synchrony processing (Experiment 2) both predict superior reading comprehension performance, accounting for 16% and 25% of the variance, respectively. These results support the idea that the mechanisms that detect auditory-visual synchrony contribute to reading comprehension.

  12. Functional organization of human auditory cortex: Investigation of response latencies through direct recordings

    PubMed Central

    McMurray, Bob; Kovach, Christopher K.; Oya, Hiroyuki; Kawasaki, Hiroto; Howard, Matthew A.

    2015-01-01

    The model for functional organization of human auditory cortex is in part based on findings in non-human primates, where the auditory cortex is hierarchically delineated into core, belt and parabelt fields. This model envisions that core cortex directly projects to belt, but not to parabelt, whereas belt regions are a major source of direct input for auditory parabelt. In humans, the posteromedial portion of Heschl’s gyrus (HG) represents core auditory cortex, whereas the anterolateral portion of HG and the posterolateral superior temporal gyrus (PLST) are generally interpreted as belt and parabelt, respectively. In this scheme, response latencies can be hypothesized to progress in serial fashion from posteromedial to anterolateral HG to PLST. We examined this hypothesis by comparing response latencies to multiple stimuli, measured across these regions using simultaneous intracranial recordings in neurosurgical patients. Stimuli were 100 Hz click trains and the speech syllable /da/. Response latencies were determined by examining event-related band power in the high gamma frequency range. The earliest responses in auditory cortex occurred in posteromedial HG. Responses elicited from sites in anterolateral HG were neither earlier in latency from sites on PLST, nor more robust. Anterolateral HG and PLST exhibited some preference for speech syllable stimuli compared to click trains. These findings are not supportive of a strict serial model envisioning principal flow of information along HG to PLST. In contrast, data suggest that a portion of PLST may represent a relatively early stage in the auditory cortical hierarchy. PMID:25019680

  13. Auditory free classification of nonnative speech

    PubMed Central

    Atagi, Eriko; Bent, Tessa

    2013-01-01

    Through experience with speech variability, listeners build categories of indexical speech characteristics including categories for talker, gender, and dialect. The auditory free classification task—a task in which listeners freely group talkers based on audio samples—has been a useful tool for examining listeners’ representations of some of these characteristics including regional dialects and different languages. The free classification task was employed in the current study to examine the perceptual representation of nonnative speech. The category structure and salient perceptual dimensions of nonnative speech were investigated from two perspectives: general similarity and perceived native language background. Talker intelligibility and whether native talkers were included were manipulated to test stimulus set effects. Results showed that degree of accent was a highly salient feature of nonnative speech for classification based on general similarity and on perceived native language background. This salience, however, was attenuated when listeners were listening to highly intelligible stimuli and attending to the talkers’ native language backgrounds. These results suggest that the context in which nonnative speech stimuli are presented—such as the listeners’ attention to the talkers’ native language and the variability of stimulus intelligibility—can influence listeners’ perceptual organization of nonnative speech. PMID:24363470

  14. Auditory Midbrain Implant: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Hubert H.; Lenarz, Minoo; Lenarz, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    The auditory midbrain implant (AMI) is a new hearing prosthesis designed for stimulation of the inferior colliculus in deaf patients who cannot sufficiently benefit from cochlear implants. The authors have begun clinical trials in which five patients have been implanted with a single shank AMI array (20 electrodes). The goal of this review is to summarize the development and research that has led to the translation of the AMI from a concept into the first patients. This study presents the rationale and design concept for the AMI as well a summary of the animal safety and feasibility studies that were required for clinical approval. The authors also present the initial surgical, psychophysical, and speech results from the first three implanted patients. Overall, the results have been encouraging in terms of the safety and functionality of the implant. All patients obtain improvements in hearing capabilities on a daily basis. However, performance varies dramatically across patients depending on the implant location within the midbrain with the best performer still not able to achieve open set speech perception without lip-reading cues. Stimulation of the auditory midbrain provides a wide range of level, spectral, and temporal cues, all of which are important for speech understanding, but they do not appear to sufficiently fuse together to enable open set speech perception with the currently used stimulation strategies. Finally, several issues and hypotheses for why current patients obtain limited speech perception along with several feasible solutions for improving AMI implementation are presented. PMID:19762428

  15. Lexical Influences on Auditory Streaming

    PubMed Central

    Billig, Alexander J.; Davis, Matthew H.; Deeks, John M.; Monstrey, Jolijn; Carlyon, Robert P.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Biologically salient sounds, including speech, are rarely heard in isolation. Our brains must therefore organize the input arising from multiple sources into separate “streams” and, in the case of speech, map the acoustic components of the target signal onto meaning. These auditory and linguistic processes have traditionally been considered to occur sequentially and are typically studied independently [1, 2]. However, evidence that streaming is modified or reset by attention [3], and that lexical knowledge can affect reports of speech sound identity [4, 5], suggests that higher-level factors may influence perceptual organization. In two experiments, listeners heard sequences of repeated words or acoustically matched nonwords. After several presentations, they reported that the initial /s/ sound in each syllable formed a separate stream; the percept then fluctuated between the streamed and fused states in a bistable manner. In addition to measuring these verbal transformations, we assessed streaming objectively by requiring listeners to detect occasional targets—syllables containing a gap after the initial /s/. Performance was better when streaming caused the syllables preceding the target to transform from words into nonwords, rather than from nonwords into words. Our results show that auditory stream formation is influenced not only by the acoustic properties of speech sounds, but also by higher-level processes involved in recognizing familiar words. PMID:23891107

  16. Auditory adaptation in voice perception.

    PubMed

    Schweinberger, Stefan R; Casper, Christoph; Hauthal, Nadine; Kaufmann, Jürgen M; Kawahara, Hideki; Kloth, Nadine; Robertson, David M C; Simpson, Adrian P; Zäske, Romi

    2008-05-06

    Perceptual aftereffects following adaptation to simple stimulus attributes (e.g., motion, color) have been studied for hundreds of years. A striking recent discovery was that adaptation also elicits contrastive aftereffects in visual perception of complex stimuli and faces [1-6]. Here, we show for the first time that adaptation to nonlinguistic information in voices elicits systematic auditory aftereffects. Prior adaptation to male voices causes a voice to be perceived as more female (and vice versa), and these auditory aftereffects were measurable even minutes after adaptation. By contrast, crossmodal adaptation effects were absent, both when male or female first names and when silently articulating male or female faces were used as adaptors. When sinusoidal tones (with frequencies matched to male and female voice fundamental frequencies) were used as adaptors, no aftereffects on voice perception were observed. This excludes explanations for the voice aftereffect in terms of both pitch adaptation and postperceptual adaptation to gender concepts and suggests that contrastive voice-coding mechanisms may routinely influence voice perception. The role of adaptation in calibrating properties of high-level voice representations indicates that adaptation is not confined to vision but is a ubiquitous mechanism in the perception of nonlinguistic social information from both faces and voices.

  17. High resolution auditory perception system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alam, Iftekhar; Ghatol, Ashok

    2005-04-01

    Blindness is a sensory disability which is difficult to treat but can to some extent be helped by artificial aids. The paper describes the design aspects of a high resolution auditory perception system, which is designed on the principle of air sonar with binaural perception. This system is a vision substitution aid for enabling blind persons. The blind person wears ultrasonic eyeglasses which has ultrasonic sensor array embedded on it. The system has been designed to operate in multiresolution modes. The ultrasonic sound from the transmitter array is reflected back by the objects, falling in the beam of the array and is received. The received signal is converted to a sound signal, which is presented stereophonically for auditory perception. A detailed study has been done as the background work required for the system implementation; the appropriate range analysis procedure, analysis of space-time signals, the acoustic sensors study, amplification methods and study of the removal of noise using filters. Finally the system implementation including both the hardware and the software part of it has been described. Experimental results on actual blind subjects and inferences obtained during the study have also been included.

  18. Evolutionary adaptations for the temporal processing of natural sounds by the anuran peripheral auditory system

    PubMed Central

    Schrode, Katrina M.; Bee, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Sensory systems function most efficiently when processing natural stimuli, such as vocalizations, and it is thought that this reflects evolutionary adaptation. Among the best-described examples of evolutionary adaptation in the auditory system are the frequent matches between spectral tuning in both the peripheral and central auditory systems of anurans (frogs and toads) and the frequency spectra of conspecific calls. Tuning to the temporal properties of conspecific calls is less well established, and in anurans has so far been documented only in the central auditory system. Using auditory-evoked potentials, we asked whether there are species-specific or sex-specific adaptations of the auditory systems of gray treefrogs (Hyla chrysoscelis) and green treefrogs (H. cinerea) to the temporal modulations present in conspecific calls. Modulation rate transfer functions (MRTFs) constructed from auditory steady-state responses revealed that each species was more sensitive than the other to the modulation rates typical of conspecific advertisement calls. In addition, auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) to paired clicks indicated relatively better temporal resolution in green treefrogs, which could represent an adaptation to the faster modulation rates present in the calls of this species. MRTFs and recovery of ABRs to paired clicks were generally similar between the sexes, and we found no evidence that males were more sensitive than females to the temporal modulation patterns characteristic of the aggressive calls used in male–male competition. Together, our results suggest that efficient processing of the temporal properties of behaviorally relevant sounds begins at potentially very early stages of the anuran auditory system that include the periphery. PMID:25617467

  19. Auditory agnosia due to long-term severe hydrocephalus caused by spina bifida - specific auditory pathway versus nonspecific auditory pathway.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qing; Kaga, Kimitaka; Hayashi, Akimasa

    2011-07-01

    A 27-year-old female showed auditory agnosia after long-term severe hydrocephalus due to congenital spina bifida. After years of hydrocephalus, she gradually suffered from hearing loss in her right ear at 19 years of age, followed by her left ear. During the time when she retained some ability to hear, she experienced severe difficulty in distinguishing verbal, environmental, and musical instrumental sounds. However, her auditory brainstem response and distortion product otoacoustic emissions were largely intact in the left ear. Her bilateral auditory cortices were preserved, as shown by neuroimaging, whereas her auditory radiations were severely damaged owing to progressive hydrocephalus. Although she had a complete bilateral hearing loss, she felt great pleasure when exposed to music. After years of self-training to read lips, she regained fluent ability to communicate. Clinical manifestations of this patient indicate that auditory agnosia can occur after long-term hydrocephalus due to spina bifida; the secondary auditory pathway may play a role in both auditory perception and hearing rehabilitation.

  20. Nanotechnology and antioxidant therapy: an emerging approach for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Carlos; Oliveira, Catarina; Benfeito, Sofia; Soares, Pedro; Garrido, Jorge; Borges, Fernanda

    2014-01-01

    The efficacy, cellular uptake and specific transport of dietary antioxidants to target organs, tissues and cells remains the most important setback for their application in the treatment of oxidative-stress related disorders and in particular in neurodegenerative diseases, as brain targeting remains a still unsolved challenge. Nanotechnology based delivery systems can be a solution for the above mentioned problems, specifically in the case of targeting dietary antioxidants with neuroprotective activity. Nanotechnology-based delivery systems can protect antioxidants from degradation, improve their physicochemical drug-like properties and in turn their bioavailability. The impact of nanomedicine in the improvement of the performance of dietary antioxidants, as protective agents in oxidative- stress events, specifically through the use of drug delivery systems, is highlighted in this review as well as the type of nanomaterials regularly used for drug delivery purposes. From the data one can conclude that the research combining (dietary) antioxidants and nanotechnology, namely as a therapeutic solution for neurodegenerative diseases, is still in a very early stage. So, a huge research area remains to be explored that hopefully will yield new and effective neuroprotective therapeutic agents in a foreseeable future.

  1. The Endocannabinoid System: A Putative Role in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Di Iorio, Giuseppe; Lupi, Matteo; Sarchione, Fabiola; Matarazzo, Ilaria; Santacroce, Rita; Petruccelli, Filippo; Martinotti, Giovanni; Di Giannantonio, Massimo

    2013-01-01

    Background: Following the characterization of the chemical structure of D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent of marijuana, researchers have moved on with scientific valuable explorations. Objectives: The aim of this review is to highlight the role of endocannabinoid system in neurodegenerative diseases. Materials and Methods: The article is a critical analysis of the most recent data currently present in scientific literature on the subject; a qualitative synthesis of only the most significant articles has been performed. Results: In central nervous system, endocannabinoids show a neuromodulatory function, often of retrograde type. This way, they play an important role in synaptic plasticity and in cognitive, motor, sensory and affective processes. In addition, in some acute or chronic pathologies of central nervous system, such as neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases, endocannabinoids can perform a pro-homeostatic and neuroprotective function, through the activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Scientific evidence shows that an hypofunction or a dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system may be responsible for some of the symptoms of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Conclusions: The important role played by endocannabinoid system promises interesting developments, in particular to evaluate the effectiveness of new drugs in both psychiatry and neurology. PMID:24971285

  2. Mitochondrial and Cell Death Mechanisms in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Lee J.

    2010-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are the most common human adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases. They are characterized by prominent age-related neurodegeneration in selectively vulnerable neural systems. Some forms of AD, PD, and ALS are inherited, and genes causing these diseases have been identified. Nevertheless, the mechanisms of the neuronal cell death are unresolved. Morphological, biochemical, genetic, as well as cell and animal model studies reveal that mitochondria could have roles in this neurodegeneration. The functions and properties of mitochondria might render subsets of selectively vulnerable neurons intrinsically susceptible to cellular aging and stress and overlying genetic variations, triggering neurodegeneration according to a cell death matrix theory. In AD, alterations in enzymes involved in oxidative phosphorylation, oxidative damage, and mitochondrial binding of Aβ and amyloid precursor protein have been reported. In PD, mutations in putative mitochondrial proteins have been identified and mitochondrial DNA mutations have been found in neurons in the substantia nigra. In ALS, changes occur in mitochondrial respiratory chain enzymes and mitochondrial cell death proteins. Transgenic mouse models of human neurodegenerative disease are beginning to reveal possible principles governing the biology of selective neuronal vulnerability that implicate mitochondria and the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. This review summarizes how mitochondrial pathobiology might contribute to neuronal death in AD, PD, and ALS and could serve as a target for drug therapy. PMID:21258649

  3. Genetic determinants at the interface of cancer and neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Morris, LGT; Veeriah, S; Chan, TA

    2010-01-01

    It has been hypothesized that oncogenesis and neurodegeneration may share common mechanistic foundations. Recent evidence now reveals a number of genes in which alteration leads to either carcinogenesis or neurodegeneration, depending on cellular context. Pathways that have emerged as having critical roles in both cancer and neurodegenerative disease include those involving genes such as PARK2, ATM, PTEN, PTPRD, and mTOR. A number of mechanisms have been implicated, and commonly affected cellular processes include cell cycle regulation, DNA repair, and response to oxidative stress. For example, we have recently shown that the E3 ubiquitin ligase PARK2 is mutated or deleted in many different human malignancies and helps drive loss on chromosome 6q25.2–27, a genomic region frequently deleted in cancers. Mutation in PARK2 is also the most common cause of juvenile Parkinson’s disease. Mutations in PARK2 result in an upregulation of its substrate cyclin E, resulting in dysregulated entry into the cell cycle. In neurons, this process results in cell death, but in cycling cells, the result is a growth advantage. Thus, depending on whether the cell affected is a dividing cell or a post-mitotic neuron, responses to these alterations may differ, ultimately leading to varying disease phenotypes. Here, we review the substantial data implicating specific genes in both cancer and neurodegenerative disease. PMID:20418918

  4. Single-Chain Fragment Variable Passive Immunotherapies for Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Liang; Su, Xiaomin; Federoff, Howard J.

    2013-01-01

    Accumulation of misfolded proteins has been implicated in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including prion diseases, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and Huntington’s disease (HD). In the past decade, single-chain fragment variable (scFv) -based immunotherapies have been developed to target abnormal proteins or various forms of protein aggregates including Aβ, SNCA, Htt, and PrP proteins. The scFvs are produced by fusing the variable regions of the antibody heavy and light chains, creating a much smaller protein with unaltered specificity. Because of its small size and relative ease of production, scFvs are promising diagnostic and therapeutic reagents for protein misfolded diseases. Studies have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of scFvs in preventing amyloid protein aggregation in preclinical models. Herein, we discuss recent developments of these immunotherapeutics. We review efforts of our group and others using scFv in neurodegenerative disease models. We illustrate the advantages of scFvs, including engineering to enhance misfolded conformer specificity and subcellular targeting to optimize therapeutic action. PMID:24048248

  5. Role of the Retromer Complex in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Li, Chaosi; Shah, Syed Zahid Ali; Zhao, Deming; Yang, Lifeng

    2016-01-01

    The retromer complex is a protein complex that plays a central role in endosomal trafficking. Retromer dysfunction has been linked to a growing number of neurological disorders. The process of intracellular trafficking and recycling is crucial for maintaining normal intracellular homeostasis, which is partly achieved through the activity of the retromer complex. The retromer complex plays a primary role in sorting endosomal cargo back to the cell surface for reuse, to the trans-Golgi network (TGN), or alternatively to specialized endomembrane compartments, in which the cargo is not subjected to lysosomal-mediated degradation. In most cases, the retromer acts as a core that interacts with associated proteins, including sorting nexin family member 27 (SNX27), members of the vacuolar protein sorting 10 (VPS10) receptor family, the major endosomal actin polymerization-promoting complex known as Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein and scar homolog (WASH), and other proteins. Some of the molecules carried by the retromer complex are risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases. Defects such as haplo-insufficiency or mutations in one or several units of the retromer complex lead to various pathologies. Here, we summarize the molecular architecture of the retromer complex and the roles of this system in intracellular trafficking related the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases.

  6. RNAi applications in therapy development for neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Maxwell, M M

    2009-01-01

    RNA-mediated interference (RNAi) is a powerful tool for experimental manipulation of gene expression and is widely used to investigate gene function both in vitro and in vivo. RNAi refers to an evolutionarily conserved cellular mechanism for sequence-specific post-transcriptional gene silencing, in which double-stranded RNAs promote selective degradation of homologous cellular mRNAs. Because RNAi-based techniques can be employed to reduce expression of specific genes, this approach holds great promise as a therapy for diverse diseases, including devastating neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Importantly, in recent years RNAi has also emerged as a key tool in target identification and validation studies designed to complement traditional (i.e., small molecule-based) drug development strategies. These studies harness the power of RNAi-mediated reverse genetics to probe disease-associated pathways in both cell-based and animal models, and thus may provide critical data needed to focus drug development efforts around disease-relevant targets. This review highlights recent progress in the preclinical development of RNAi-based therapeutics for neurodegenerative disease and discusses the particular challenges that disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) pose for this approach. It further describes current applications of RNAi techniques for target identification and validation studies and underscores the importance of this methodology to developing treatments for neurological diseases.

  7. Hormone Replacement Therapy and Risk for Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Dye, Richelin V.; Miller, Karen J.; Singer, Elyse J.; Levine, Andrew J.

    2012-01-01

    Over the past two decades, there has been a significant amount of research investigating the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with regards to neurodegenerative disease. Here, we review basic science studies, randomized clinical trials, and epidemiological studies, and discuss the putative neuroprotective effects of HRT in the context of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, frontotemporal dementia, and HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder. Findings to date suggest a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease and improved cognitive functioning of postmenopausal women who use 17β-estradiol. With regards to Parkinson's disease, there is consistent evidence from basic science studies for a neuroprotective effect of 17β-estradiol; however, results of clinical and epidemiological studies are inconclusive at this time, and there is a paucity of research examining the association between HRT and Parkinson's-related neurocognitive impairment. Even less understood are the effects of HRT on risk for frontotemporal dementia and HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder. Limits to the existing research are discussed, along with proposed future directions for the investigation of HRT and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:22548198

  8. Prions, prion-like prionoids, and neurodegenerative disorders

    PubMed Central

    Verma, Ashok

    2016-01-01

    Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are fatal neurodegenerative diseases characterized by the aggregation and deposition of the misfolded prion protein in the brain. α-synuclein (α-syn)-associated multiple system atrophy has been recently shown to be caused by a bona fide α-syn prion strain. Several other misfolded native proteins such as β-amyloid, tau and TDP-43 share some aspects of prions although none of them is shown to be transmissible in nature or in experimental animals. However, these prion-like “prionoids” are causal to a variety of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The remarkable recent discovery of at least two new α-syn prion strains and their transmissibility in transgenic mice and in vitro cell models raises a distinct question as to whether some specific strain of other prionoids could have the capability of disease transmission in a manner similar to prions. In this overview, we briefly describe human and other mammalian prion diseases and comment on certain similarities between prion and prionoid and the possibility of prion-like transmissibility of some prionoid strains. PMID:27293325

  9. Multifaceted effects of aluminium in neurodegenerative diseases: A review.

    PubMed

    Maya, S; Prakash, T; Madhu, Krishna Das; Goli, Divakar

    2016-10-01

    Aluminium (Al) is the most common metal and widely distributed in our environment. Al was first isolated as an element in 1827, and its use began only after 1886. Al is widely used for industrial applications and consumer products. Apart from these it is also used in cooking utensils and in pharmacological agents, including antacids and antiperspirants from which the element usually enters into the human body. Evidence for the neurotoxicity of Al is described in various studies, but still the exact mechanism of Al toxicity is not known. However, the evidence suggests that the Al can potentiate oxidative stress and inflammatory events and finally leads to cell death. Al is considered as a well-established neurotoxin and have a link between the exposure and development of neurodegenerative diseases, including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer's disease (AD), dementia, Gulf war syndrome and Parkinsonism. Here, we review the detailed possible pathogenesis of Al neurotoxicity. This review summarizes Al induced events likewise oxidative stress, cell mediated toxicity, apoptosis, inflammatory events in the brain, glutamate toxicity, effects on calcium homeostasis, gene expression and Al induced Neurofibrillary tangle (NFT) formation. Apart from these we also discussed animal models that are commonly used for Al induced neurotoxicity and neurodegeneration studies. These models help to find out a better way to treat and prevent the progression in Al induced neurodegenerative diseases.

  10. Endogenously Nitrated Proteins in Mouse Brain: Links To Neurodegenerative Disease

    SciTech Connect

    Sacksteder, Colette A.; Qian, Weijun; Knyushko, Tanya V.; Wang, Haixing H.; Chin, Mark H.; Lacan, Goran; Melega, William P.; Camp, David G.; Smith, Richard D.; Smith, Desmond J.; Squier, Thomas C.; Bigelow, Diana J.

    2006-07-04

    Increased nitrotyrosine modification of proteins has been documented in multiple pathologies in a variety of tissue types; emerging evidence suggests its additional role in redox regulation of normal metabolism. In order to identify proteins sensitive to nitrating conditions in vivo, a comprehensive proteomic dataset identifying 7,792 proteins from whole mouse brain, generated by LC/LC-MS/MS analyses, was used to identify nitrated proteins. This analysis resulted in identification of 31 unique nitrotyrosine sites within 29 different proteins. Over half of the nitrated proteins identified have been reported to be involved in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, or other neurodegenerative disorders. Similarly, nitrotyrosine immunoblots of whole brain homogenates show that treatment of mice with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), an experimental model of Parkinson's disease, induces increased nitration of the same protein bands observed to be nitrated in brains of untreated animals. Comparing sequences and available high resolution structures around nitrated tyrosines with those of unmodified sites indicates a preference of nitration in vivo for surface accessible tyrosines in loops, characteristics consistent with peroxynitrite-induced tyrosine modification. More striking is the five-fold greater nitration of tyrosines having nearby basic sidechains, suggesting electrostatic attraction of basic groups with the negative charge of peroxynitrite. Together, these results suggest that elevated peroxynitrite generation plays a role in neurodegenerative changes in the brain and provides a predictive tool of functionally important sites of nitration.

  11. Targeting phospholipase D in cancer, infection and neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Brown, H Alex; Thomas, Paul G; Lindsley, Craig W

    2017-02-17

    Lipid second messengers have essential roles in cellular function and contribute to the molecular mechanisms that underlie inflammation, malignant transformation, invasiveness, neurodegenerative disorders, and infectious and other pathophysiological processes. The phospholipase D (PLD) isoenzymes PLD1 and PLD2 are one of the major sources of signal-activated phosphatidic acid (PtdOH) generation downstream of a variety of cell-surface receptors, including G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and integrins. Recent advances in the development of isoenzyme-selective PLD inhibitors and in molecular genetics have suggested that PLD isoenzymes in mammalian cells and pathogenic organisms may be valuable targets for the treatment of several human diseases. Isoenzyme-selective inhibitors have revealed complex inter-relationships between PtdOH biosynthetic pathways and the role of PtdOH in pathophysiology. PLD enzymes were once thought to be undruggable owing to the ubiquitous nature of PtdOH in cell signalling and concerns that inhibitors would be too toxic for use in humans. However, recent promising discoveries suggest that small-molecule isoenzyme-selective inhibitors may provide novel compounds for a unique approach to the treatment of cancers, neurodegenerative disorders and other afflictions of the central nervous system, and potentially serve as broad-spectrum antiviral and antimicrobial therapeutics.

  12. The role of the Wnt canonical signaling in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Libro, Rosaliana; Bramanti, Placido; Mazzon, Emanuela

    2016-08-01

    The Wnt/β-catenin or Wnt canonical pathway controls multiple biological processes throughout development and adult life. Growing evidences have suggested that deregulation of the Wnt canonical pathway could be involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. The Wnt canonical signaling is a pathway tightly regulated, which activation results in the inhibition of the Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β (GSK-3β) function and in increased β-catenin activity, that migrates into the nucleus, activating the transcription of the Wnt target genes. Conversely, when the Wnt canonical pathway is turned off, increased levels of GSK-3β promote β-catenin degradation. Hence, GSK-3β could be considered as a key regulator of the Wnt canonical pathway. Of note, GSK-3β has also been involved in the modulation of inflammation and apoptosis, determining the delicate balance between immune tolerance/inflammation and neuronal survival/neurodegeneration. In this review, we have summarized the current acknowledgements about the role of the Wnt canonical pathway in the pathogenesis of some neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, cerebral ischemia, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, with particular regard to the main in vitro and in vivo studies in this field, by reviewing 85 research articles about.

  13. Neural basis of interpersonal traits in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Sollberger, Marc; Stanley, Christine M; Wilson, Stephen M; Gyurak, Anett; Beckman, Victoria; Growdon, Matthew; Jang, Jung; Weiner, Michael W; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P

    2009-11-01

    Several functional and structural imaging studies have investigated the neural basis of personality in healthy adults, but human lesions studies are scarce. Personality changes are a common symptom in patients with neurodegenerative diseases like frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and semantic dementia (SD), allowing a unique window into the neural basis of personality. In this study, we used the Interpersonal Adjective Scales to investigate the structural basis of eight interpersonal traits (dominance, arrogance, coldness, introversion, submissiveness, ingenuousness, warmth, and extraversion) in 257 subjects: 214 patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as FTD, SD, progressive nonfluent aphasia, Alzheimer's disease, amnestic mild cognitive impairment, corticobasal degeneration, and progressive supranuclear palsy and 43 healthy elderly people. Measures of interpersonal traits were correlated with regional atrophy pattern using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis of structural MR images. Interpersonal traits mapped onto distinct brain regions depending on the degree to which they involved agency and affiliation. Interpersonal traits high in agency related to left dorsolateral prefrontal and left lateral frontopolar regions, whereas interpersonal traits high in affiliation related to right ventromedial prefrontal and right anteromedial temporal regions. Consistent with the existing literature on neural networks underlying social cognition, these results indicate that brain regions related to externally focused, executive control-related processes underlie agentic interpersonal traits such as dominance, whereas brain regions related to internally focused, emotion- and reward-related processes underlie affiliative interpersonal traits such as warmth. In addition, these findings indicate that interpersonal traits are subserved by complex neural networks rather than discrete anatomic areas.

  14. The 'golden age' of DNA methylation in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Fuso, Andrea

    2013-03-01

    DNA methylation reactions are regulated, in the first instance, by enzymes and the intermediates that constitute the 'so called' one-carbon metabolism. This is a complex biochemical pathway, also known as the homocysteine cycle, regulated by the presence of B vitamins (folate, B6, B12) and choline, among other metabolites. One of the intermediates of this metabolism is S-adenosylmethionine, which represent the methyl donor in all the DNA methyltransferase reactions in eukaryotes. The one-carbon metabolism therefore produces the substrate necessary for the transferring of a methyl group on the cytosine residues of DNA; S-adenosylmethionine also regulates the activity of the enzymes that catalyze this reaction, namely the DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs). Alterations of this metabolic cycle can therefore be responsible for aberrant DNA methylation processes possibly leading to several human diseases. As a matter of fact, increasing evidences indicate that a number of human diseases with multifactorial origin may have an epigenetic basis. This is also due to the great technical advances in the field of epigenetic research. Among the human diseases associated with epigenetic factors, aging-related and neurodegenerative diseases are probably the object of most intense research. This review will present the main evidences linking several human diseases to DNA methylation, with particular focus on neurodegenerative diseases, together with a short description of the state-of-the-art of methylation assays.

  15. Auditory midbrain processing is differentially modulated by auditory and visual cortices: An auditory fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Gao, Patrick P; Zhang, Jevin W; Fan, Shu-Juan; Sanes, Dan H; Wu, Ed X

    2015-12-01

    The cortex contains extensive descending projections, yet the impact of cortical input on brainstem processing remains poorly understood. In the central auditory system, the auditory cortex contains direct and indirect pathways (via brainstem cholinergic cells) to nuclei of the auditory midbrain, called the inferior colliculus (IC). While these projections modulate auditory processing throughout the IC, single neuron recordings have samples from only a small fraction of cells during stimulation of the corticofugal pathway. Furthermore, assessments of cortical feedback have not been extended to sensory modalities other than audition. To address these issues, we devised blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) paradigms to measure the sound-evoked responses throughout the rat IC and investigated the effects of bilateral ablation of either auditory or visual cortices. Auditory cortex ablation increased the gain of IC responses to noise stimuli (primarily in the central nucleus of the IC) and decreased response selectivity to forward species-specific vocalizations (versus temporally reversed ones, most prominently in the external cortex of the IC). In contrast, visual cortex ablation decreased the gain and induced a much smaller effect on response selectivity. The results suggest that auditory cortical projections normally exert a large-scale and net suppressive influence on specific IC subnuclei, while visual cortical projections provide a facilitatory influence. Meanwhile, auditory cortical projections enhance the midbrain response selectivity to species-specific vocalizations. We also probed the role of the indirect cholinergic projections in the auditory system in the descending modulation process by pharmacologically blocking muscarinic cholinergic receptors. This manipulation did not affect the gain of IC responses but significantly reduced the response selectivity to vocalizations. The results imply that auditory cortical

  16. Interindividual variability in auditory scene analysis revealed by confidence judgements.

    PubMed

    Pelofi, C; de Gardelle, V; Egré, P; Pressnitzer, D

    2017-02-19

    Because musicians are trained to discern sounds within complex acoustic scenes, such as an orchestra playing, it has been hypothesized that musicianship improves general auditory scene analysis abilities. Here, we compared musicians and non-musicians in a behavioural paradigm using ambiguous stimuli, combining performance, reaction times and confidence measures. We used 'Shepard tones', for which listeners may report either an upward or a downward pitch shift for the same ambiguous tone pair. Musicians and non-musicians performed similarly on the pitch-shift direction task. In particular, both groups were at chance for the ambiguous case. However, groups differed in their reaction times and judgements of confidence. Musicians responded to the ambiguous case with long reaction times and low confidence, whereas non-musicians responded with fast reaction times and maximal confidence. In a subsequent experiment, non-musicians displayed reduced confidence for the ambiguous case when pure-tone components of the Shepard complex were made easier to discern. The results suggest an effect of musical training on scene analysis: we speculate that musicians were more likely to discern components within complex auditory scenes, perhaps because of enhanced attentional resolution, and thus discovered the ambiguity. For untrained listeners, stimulus ambiguity was not available to perceptual awareness.This article is part of the themed issue 'Auditory and visual scene analysis'.

  17. Feedback delays eliminate auditory-motor learning in speech production.

    PubMed

    Max, Ludo; Maffett, Derek G

    2015-03-30

    Neurologically healthy individuals use sensory feedback to alter future movements by updating internal models of the effector system and environment. For example, when visual feedback about limb movements or auditory feedback about speech movements is experimentally perturbed, the planning of subsequent movements is adjusted - i.e., sensorimotor adaptation occurs. A separate line of studies has demonstrated that experimentally delaying the sensory consequences of limb movements causes the sensory input to be attributed to external sources rather than to one's own actions. Yet similar feedback delays have remarkably little effect on visuo-motor adaptation (although the rate of learning varies, the amount of adaptation is only moderately affected with delays of 100-200ms, and adaptation still occurs even with a delay as long as 5000ms). Thus, limb motor learning remains largely intact even in conditions where error assignment favors external factors. Here, we show a fundamentally different result for sensorimotor control of speech articulation: auditory-motor adaptation to formant-shifted feedback is completely eliminated with delays of 100ms or more. Thus, for speech motor learning, real-time auditory feedback is critical. This novel finding informs theoretical models of human motor control in general and speech motor control in particular, and it has direct implications for the application of motor learning principles in the habilitation and rehabilitation of individuals with various sensorimotor speech disorders.

  18. Task- and Talker-Specific Gains in Auditory Training

    PubMed Central

    Spehar, Brent; Tye-Murray, Nancy; Sommers, Mitchell

    2016-01-01

    Purpose This investigation focused on generalization of outcomes for auditory training by examining the effects of task and/or talker overlap between training and at test. Method Adults with hearing loss completed 12 hr of meaning-oriented auditory training and were placed in a group that trained on either multiple talkers or a single talker. A control group also completed 12 hr of training in American Sign Language. The experimental group’s training included a 4-choice discrimination task but not an open-set sentence test. The assessment phase included the same 4-choice discrimination task and an open-set sentence test, the Iowa Sentences Test (Tyler, Preece, & Tye-Murray, 1986). Results Improvement on 4-choice discrimination was observed in the experimental group as compared with the control group. Gains were (a) highest when the task and talker were the same between training and assessment; (b) second highest when the task was the same but the talker only partially so; and (c) third highest when task and talker were different. Conclusions The findings support applications of transfer-appropriate processing to auditory training and favor tailoring programs toward the specific needs of the individuals being trained for tasks, talkers, and perhaps, for stimuli, in addition to other factors. PMID:27567015

  19. Self-awareness in neurodegenerative disease relies on neural structures mediating reward-driven attention.

    PubMed

    Shany-Ur, Tal; Lin, Nancy; Rosen, Howard J; Sollberger, Marc; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P

    2014-08-01

    Accurate self-awareness is essential for adapting one's tasks and goals to one's actual abilities. Patients with neurodegenerative diseases, particularly those with right frontal involvement, often present with poor self-awareness of their functional limitations that may exacerbate their already jeopardized decision-making and behaviour. We studied the structural neuroanatomical basis for impaired self-awareness among patients with neurodegenerative disease and healthy older adults. One hundred and twenty-four participants (78 patients with neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, right-temporal frontotemporal dementia, semantic variant and non-fluent variant primary progressive aphasia, and 46 healthy controls) described themselves on the Patient Competency Rating Scale, rating observable functioning across four domains (daily living activities, cognitive, emotional control, interpersonal). All participants underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging. Informants also described subjects' functioning on the same scale. Self-awareness was measured by comparing self and informant ratings. Group differences in discrepancy scores were analysed using general linear models, controlling for age, sex and disease severity. Compared with controls, patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia overestimated their functioning in all domains, patients with Alzheimer's disease overestimated cognitive and emotional functioning, patients with right-temporal frontotemporal dementia overestimated interpersonal functioning, and patients with non-fluent aphasia overestimated emotional and interpersonal functioning. Patients with semantic variant aphasia did not overestimate functioning on any domain. To examine the neuroanatomic correlates of impaired self-awareness, discrepancy scores were correlated with brain volume using voxel-based morphometry. To identify the unique neural correlates of overlooking

  20. Precise assembly and regulation of 26S proteasome and correlation between proteasome dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Im, Eunju; Chung, Kwang Chul

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) often involve the formation of abnormal and toxic protein aggregates, which are thought to be the primary factor in ND occurrence and progression. Aged neurons exhibit marked increases in aggregated protein levels, which can lead to increased cell death in specific brain regions. As no specific drugs/therapies for treating the symptoms or/and progression of NDs are available, obtaining a complete understanding of the mechanism underlying the formation of protein aggregates is needed for designing a novel and efficient removal strategy. Intracellular proteolysis generally involves either the lysosomal or ubiquitin-proteasome system. In this review, we focus on the structure and assembly of the proteasome, proteasome-mediated protein degradation, and the multiple dynamic regulatory mechanisms governing proteasome activity. We also discuss the plausibility of the correlation between changes in proteasome activity and the occurrence of NDs. [BMB Reports 2016; 49(9): 459-473] PMID:27312603

  1. Precise assembly and regulation of 26S proteasome and correlation between proteasome dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Im, Eunju; Chung, Kwang Chul

    2016-09-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) often involve the formation of abnormal and toxic protein aggregates, which are thought to be the primary factor in ND occurrence and progression. Aged neurons exhibit marked increases in aggregated protein levels, which can lead to increased cell death in specific brain regions. As no specific drugs/therapies for treating the symptoms or/and progression of NDs are available, obtaining a complete understanding of the mechanism underlying the formation of protein aggregates is needed for designing a novel and efficient removal strategy. Intracellular proteolysis generally involves either the lysosomal or ubiquitin-proteasome system. In this review, we focus on the structure and assembly of the proteasome, proteasome-mediated protein degradation, and the multiple dynamic regulatory mechanisms governing proteasome activity. We also discuss the plausibility of the correlation between changes in proteasome activity and the occurrence of NDs. [BMB Reports 2016; 49(9): 459-473].

  2. Reactive near field electromagnetic axonal communication channels and their role in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Morgera, Salvatore Domenic

    2015-01-01

    Research focus is on the micron-scale subsystem of the human nervous system known as the axon, or nerve fibre. In studying what has been traditionally treated as an electrochemical subsystem, we find that the axon is both an electrochemical and electromagnetic link in an intricately designed network. This work offers a game changing look at phenomena which enable interaction among millions of fibres tightly packed in bundles and tracts in the human peripheral and central nervous systems, respectively. We maintain that these fibres do not act independently as generally believed, but form intricate spatial and temporal near-field networks. An understanding of these networks will lead to improved diagnostics and therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases.

  3. A Perspective on Roles Played by Innate and Adaptive Immunity in the Pathobiology of Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Gendelman, Howard E.; Mosley, R. Lee

    2015-01-01

    Aberrant innate and adaptive immune responses are neurodegenerative disease effectors. Disease is heralded by a generalized but subtle immune activation orchestrated by the release of extracellular prion-like aggregated and oxidized or otherwise modified proteins. These are responsible for an inflammatory neurotoxic cascade. The perpetrators of such events include effector T cells and activated microglia. What ensues are Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and stroke with changed frequencies of effector T cell and reduced numbers or function of regulatory lymphocytes. The control of such immune responses could lead to new therapeutic strategies and the means to effectively combat a composite of diseases that have quite limited therapeutic options. PMID:26520433

  4. Functional imaging of auditory scene analysis.

    PubMed

    Gutschalk, Alexander; Dykstra, Andrew R

    2014-01-01

    Our auditory system is constantly faced with the task of decomposing the complex mixture of sound arriving at the ears into perceptually independent streams constituting accurate representations of individual sound sources. This decomposition, termed auditory scene analysis, is critical for both survival and communication, and is thought to underlie both speech and music perception. The neural underpinnings of auditory scene analysis have been studied utilizing invasive experiments with animal models as well as non-invasive (MEG, EEG, and fMRI) and invasive (intracranial EEG) studies conducted with human listeners. The present article reviews human neurophysiological research investigating the neural basis of auditory scene analysis, with emphasis on two classical paradigms termed streaming and informational masking. Other paradigms - such as the continuity illusion, mistuned harmonics, and multi-speaker environments - are briefly addressed thereafter. We conclude by discussing the emerging evidence for the role of auditory cortex in remapping incoming acoustic signals into a perceptual representation of auditory streams, which are then available for selective attention and further conscious processing. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Human Auditory Neuroimaging.

  5. Human auditory neuroimaging of intensity and loudness.

    PubMed

    Uppenkamp, Stefan; Röhl, Markus

    2014-01-01

    The physical intensity of a sound, usually expressed in dB on a logarithmic ratio scale, can easily be measured using technical equipment. Loudness is the perceptual correlate of sound intensity, and is usually determined by means of some sort of psychophysical scaling procedure. The interrelation of sound intensity and perceived loudness is still a matter of debate, and the physiological correlate of loudness perception in the human auditory pathway is not completely understood. Various studies indicate that the activation in human auditory cortex is more a representation of loudness sensation rather than of physical sound pressure level. This raises the questions (1), at what stage or stages in the ascending auditory pathway is the transformation of the physical stimulus into its perceptual correlate completed, and (2), to what extent other factors affecting individual loudness judgements might modulate the brain activation as registered by auditory neuroimaging. An overview is given about recent studies on the effects of sound intensity, duration, bandwidth and individual hearing status on the activation in the human auditory system, as measured by various approaches in auditory neuroimaging. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Human Auditory Neuroimaging.

  6. Spatial auditory processing in pinnipeds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, Marla M.

    Given the biological importance of sound for a variety of activities, pinnipeds must be able to obtain spatial information about their surroundings thorough acoustic input in the absence of other sensory cues. The three chapters of this dissertation address spatial auditory processing capabilities of pinnipeds in air given that these amphibious animals use acoustic signals for reproduction and survival on land. Two chapters are comparative lab-based studies that utilized psychophysical approaches conducted in an acoustic chamber. Chapter 1 addressed the frequency-dependent sound localization abilities at azimuth of three pinniped species (the harbor seal, Phoca vitulina, the California sea lion, Zalophus californianus, and the northern elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris). While performances of the sea lion and harbor seal were consistent with the duplex theory of sound localization, the elephant seal, a low-frequency hearing specialist, showed a decreased ability to localize the highest frequencies tested. In Chapter 2 spatial release from masking (SRM), which occurs when a signal and masker are spatially separated resulting in improvement in signal detectability relative to conditions in which they are co-located, was determined in a harbor seal and sea lion. Absolute and masked thresholds were measured at three frequencies and azimuths to determine the detection advantages afforded by this type of spatial auditory processing. Results showed that hearing sensitivity was enhanced by up to 19 and 12 dB in the harbor seal and sea lion, respectively, when the signal and masker were spatially separated. Chapter 3 was a field-based study that quantified both sender and receiver variables of the directional properties of male northern elephant seal calls produce within communication system that serves to delineate dominance status. This included measuring call directivity patterns, observing male-male vocally-mediated interactions, and an acoustic playback study

  7. Encoding of ultrasonic vocalizations in the auditory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Carruthers, Isaac M.; Natan, Ryan G.

    2013-01-01

    One of the central tasks of the mammalian auditory system is to represent information about acoustic communicative signals, such as vocalizations. However, the neuronal computations underlying vocalization encoding in the central auditory system are poorly understood. To learn how the rat auditory cortex encodes information about conspecific vocalizations, we presented a library of natural and temporally transformed ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) to awake rats while recording neural activity in the primary auditory cortex (A1) with chronically implanted multielectrode probes. Many neurons reliably and selectively responded to USVs. The response strength to USVs correlated strongly with the response strength to frequency-modulated (FM) sweeps and the FM rate tuning index, suggesting that related mechanisms generate responses to USVs as to FM sweeps. The response strength further correlated with the neuron's best frequency, with the strongest responses produced by neurons whose best frequency was in the ultrasonic frequency range. For responses of each neuron to each stimulus group, we fitted a novel predictive model: a reduced generalized linear-nonlinear model (GLNM) that takes the frequency modulation and single-tone amplitude as the only two input parameters. The GLNM accurately predicted neuronal responses to previously unheard USVs, and its prediction accuracy was higher than that of an analogous spectrogram-based linear-nonlinear model. The response strength of neurons and the model prediction accuracy were higher for original, rather than temporally transformed, vocalizations. These results indicate that A1 processes original USVs differentially than transformed USVs, indicating preference for temporal statistics of the original vocalizations. PMID:23324323

  8. Persistent Fluctuations in Stride Intervals under Fractal Auditory Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Marmelat, Vivien; Torre, Kjerstin; Beek, Peter J.; Daffertshofer, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Stride sequences of healthy gait are characterized by persistent long-range correlations, which become anti-persistent in the presence of an isochronous metronome. The latter phenomenon is of particular interest because auditory cueing is generally considered to reduce stride variability and may hence be beneficial for stabilizing gait. Complex systems tend to match their correlation structure when synchronizing. In gait training, can one capitalize on this tendency by using a fractal metronome rather than an isochronous one? We examined whether auditory cues with fractal variations in inter-beat intervals yield similar fractal inter-stride interval variability as isochronous auditory cueing in two complementary experiments. In Experiment 1, participants walked on a treadmill while being paced by either an isochronous or a fractal metronome with different variation strengths between beats in order to test whether participants managed to synchronize with a fractal metronome and to determine the necessary amount of variability for participants to switch from anti-persistent to persistent inter-stride intervals. Participants did synchronize with the metronome despite its fractal randomness. The corresponding coefficient of variation of inter-beat intervals was fixed in Experiment 2, in which participants walked on a treadmill while being paced by non-isochronous metronomes with different scaling exponents. As expected, inter-stride intervals showed persistent correlations similar to self-paced walking only when cueing contained persistent correlations. Our results open up a new window to optimize rhythmic auditory cueing for gait stabilization by integrating fractal fluctuations in the inter-beat intervals. PMID:24651455

  9. Persistent fluctuations in stride intervals under fractal auditory stimulation.

    PubMed

    Marmelat, Vivien; Torre, Kjerstin; Beek, Peter J; Daffertshofer, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Stride sequences of healthy gait are characterized by persistent long-range correlations, which become anti-persistent in the presence of an isochronous metronome. The latter phenomenon is of particular interest because auditory cueing is generally considered to reduce stride variability and may hence be beneficial for stabilizing gait. Complex systems tend to match their correlation structure when synchronizing. In gait training, can one capitalize on this tendency by using a fractal metronome rather than an isochronous one? We examined whether auditory cues with fractal variations in inter-beat intervals yield similar fractal inter-stride interval variability as isochronous auditory cueing in two complementary experiments. In Experiment 1, participants walked on a treadmill while being paced by either an isochronous or a fractal metronome with different variation strengths between beats in order to test whether participants managed to synchronize with a fractal metronome and to determine the necessary amount of variability for participants to switch from anti-persistent to persistent inter-stride intervals. Participants did synchronize with the metronome despite its fractal randomness. The corresponding coefficient of variation of inter-beat intervals was fixed in Experiment 2, in which participants walked on a treadmill while being paced by non-isochronous metronomes with different scaling exponents. As expected, inter-stride intervals showed persistent correlations similar to self-paced walking only when cueing contained persistent correlations. Our results open up a new window to optimize rhythmic auditory cueing for gait stabilization by integrating fractal fluctuations in the inter-beat intervals.

  10. Molecular study of patients with auditory neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Guilherme Machado De; Ramos, Priscila Zonzini; Castilho, Arthur Menino; Guimarães, Alexandre Caixeta; Sartorato, Edi Lúcia

    2016-07-01

    Auditory neuropathy is a type of hearing loss that constitutes a change in the conduct of the auditory stimulus by the involvement of inner hair cells or auditory nerve synapses. It is characterized by the absence or alteration of waves in the examination of brainstem auditory evoked potentials, with otoacoustic and/or cochlear microphonic issues. At present, four loci associated with non‑syndromic auditory neuropathy have been mapped: Autosomal recessive deafness‑9 [DFNB9; the otoferlin (OTOF) gene] and autosomal recessive deafness‑59 [DFNB59; the pejvakin (PJVK) gene], associated with autosomal recessive inheritance; the autosomal dominant auditory neuropathy gene [AUNA1; the diaphanous‑3 (DIAPH3) gene]; and AUNX1, linked to chromosome X. Furthermore, mutations of connexin 26 [the gap junction β2 (GJB2) gene] have also been associated with the disease. OTOF gene mutations exert a significant role in auditory neuropathy. In excess of 80 pathogenic mutations have been identified in individuals with non‑syndromic deafness in populations of different origins, with an emphasis on the p.Q829X mutation, which was found in ~3% of cases of deafness in the Spanish population. The identification of genetic alterations responsible for auditory neuropathy is one of the challenges contributing to understand the molecular bases of the different phenotypes of hearing loss. Thus, the present study aimed to investigate molecular changes in the OTOF gene in patients with auditory neuropathy, and to develop a DNA chip for the molecular diagnosis of auditory neuropathy using mass spectrometry for genotyping. Genetic alterations were investigated in 47 patients with hearing loss and clinical diagnosis of auditory neuropathy, and the c.35delG mutation in the GJB2 gene was identified in three homozygous patients, and the heterozygous parents of one of these cases. Additionally, OTOF gene mutations were tracked by complete sequencing of 48 exons, although these results

  11. Seeking environmental causes of neurodegenerative disease and envisioning primary prevention.

    PubMed

    Spencer, Peter S; Palmer, Valerie S; Kisby, Glen E

    2016-09-01

    Pathological changes of the aging brain are expressed in a range of neurodegenerative disorders that will impact increasing numbers of people across the globe. Research on the causes of these disorders has focused heavily on genetics, and strategies for prevention envision drug-induced slowing or arresting disease advance before its clinical appearance. We discuss a strategic shift that seeks to identify the environmental causes or contributions to neurodegeneration, and the vision of primary disease prevention by removing or controlling exposure to culpable agents. The plausibility of this approach is illustrated by the prototypical neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and parkinsonism-dementia complex (ALS-PDC). This often-familial long-latency disease, once thought to be an inherited genetic disorder but now known to have a predominant or exclusive environmental origin, is in the process of disappearing from the three heavily affected populations, namely Chamorros of Guam and Rota, Japanese residents of Kii Peninsula, Honshu, and Auyu and Jaqai linguistic groups on the island of New Guinea in West Papua, Indonesia. Exposure via traditional food and/or medicine (the only common exposure in all three geographic isolates) to one or more neurotoxins in seed of cycad plants is the most plausible if yet unproven etiology. Neurotoxin dosage and/or subject age at exposure might explain the stratified epidemic of neurodegenerative disease on Guam in which high-incidence ALS peaked and declined before that of PD, only to be replaced today by a dementing disorder comparable to Alzheimer's disease. Exposure to the Guam environment is also linked to the delayed development of ALS among a subset of Chamorro and non-Chamorro Gulf War/Era veterans, a summary of which is reported here for the first time. Lessons learned from this study and from 65 years of research on ALS-PDC include the exceptional value of initial, field-based informal investigation of

  12. Iron biomineralization of brain tissue and neurodegenerative disorders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikhaylova (Mikhailova), Albina

    The brain is an organ with a high concentration of iron in specific areas, particularly in the globus pallidus, the substantia nigra, and the red nucleus. In certain pathological states, such as iron overload disease and neurodegenerative disorders, a disturbed iron metabolism can lead to increased accumulation of iron not only in these areas, but also in the brain regions that are typically low in iron content. Recent studies of the physical and magnetic properties of metalloproteins, and in particular the discovery of biogenic magnetite in human brain tissue, have raised new questions about the role of biogenic iron formations in living organisms. Further investigations revealed the presence of magnetite-like crystalline structures in human ferritin, and indicated that released ferritin iron might act as promoter of oxidative damage to tissue, therefore contributing to pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. The purpose of this work was to examine the elemental composition and structure of iron deposits in normal brain tissue as well as tissue affected by neurodegenerative disorders. Employing the methods of X-ray microfocus fluorescence mapping, X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure (XANES), X-ray Absorption Fine Structure spectroscopy (XAFS), and light and electron microscopic examinations allows one to obtain qualitative as well as quantitative data with respect to the cellular distribution and chemical state of iron at levels not detected previously. The described tissue preparation technique allows not only satisfactory XAS iron elemental imaging in situ but also multimodal examination with light and electron microscopes of the same samples. The developed protocol has assured consistent and reproducible results on relatively large sections of flat-embedded tissue. The resulting tissue samples were adequate for XAS examination as well as sufficiently well-preserved for future microscopy studies

  13. Auditory display for the blind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fish, R. M. (Inventor)

    1974-01-01

    A system for providing an auditory display of two-dimensional patterns as an aid to the blind is described. It includes a scanning device for producing first and second voltages respectively indicative of the vertical and horizontal positions of the scan and a further voltage indicative of the intensity at each point of the scan and hence of the presence or absence of the pattern at that point. The voltage related to scan intensity controls transmission of the sounds to the subject so that the subject knows that a portion of the pattern is being encountered by the scan when a tone is heard, the subject determining the position of this portion of the pattern in space by the frequency and interaural difference information contained in the tone.

  14. Physiological Measures of Auditory Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kollmeier, Birger; Riedel, Helmut; Mauermann, Manfred; Uppenkamp, Stefan

    When acoustic signals enter the ears, they pass several processing stages of various complexities before they will be perceived. The auditory pathway can be separated into structures dealing with sound transmission in air (i.e. the outer ear, ear canal, and the vibration of tympanic membrane), structures dealing with the transformation of sound pressure waves into mechanical vibrations of the inner ear fluids (i.e. the tympanic membrane, ossicular chain, and the oval window), structures carrying mechanical vibrations in the fluid-filled inner ear (i.e. the cochlea with basilar membrane, tectorial membrane, and hair cells), structures that transform mechanical oscillations into a neural code, and finally several stages of neural processing in the brain along the pathway from the brainstem to the cortex.

  15. Auditory, visual, and auditory-visual processing performance in typically developing children: modality independence versus dependence.

    PubMed

    Pillai, Roshni; Yathiraj, Asha

    2015-02-01

    The study was carried out to determine whether cross-modal interactions occur during processing of auditory and/or visual signals that require separation/closure, integration, and duration pattern perception in typically developing children. Thirty typically developing children were evaluated on three auditory processing tests (speech-in-noise test in Indian-English, dichotic-consonant vowel test, and duration pattern test) that tapped separation/closure, integration and duration pattern perception. The children were also evaluated on the visual and auditory-visual analogues of the auditory tests. Differences in modality were found in each of the processes that were tested. The performance when the auditory and visual modalities were tested simultaneously was significantly higher than the auditory or visual modality for tests that involved separation/closure and integration. In contrast, scores on the analogous auditory-visual duration pattern test were significantly higher than the auditory test but not the visual analogous test. Further, the scores of the auditory modality were significantly poorer than the visual modality for separation/closure and duration patterning but not for integration. Findings of the study indicate that performance on higher level processing varies depending on the modality that is assessed and supports the presence of cross-modality interactions.

  16. [Neuroprotective mechanisms of cannabinoids in brain ischemia and neurodegenerative disorders].

    PubMed

    Osuna-Zazuetal, Marcela Amparo; Ponce-Gómez, Juan Antonio; Pérez-Neri, Iván

    2015-06-01

    One of the most important causes of morbidity and mortality is neurologic dysfunction; its high incidence has led to an intense research of the mechanisms that protect the central nervous system from hypoxia and ischemia. The mayor challenge is to block the biochemical events leading to neuronal death. This may be achieved by neuroprotective mechanisms that avoid the metabolic and immunologic cascades that follow a neurological damage. When it occurs, several pathophysiological events develop including cytokine release, oxidative stress and excitotoxicity. Neuroprotective effects of cannabinoids to all those mechanisms have been reported in animal models of brain ischemia, excitotoxicity, brain trauma and neurodegenerative disorders. Some endocannabinoid analogs are being tested in clinical studies (I-III phase) for acute disorders involving neuronal death (brain trauma and ischemia). The study of the cannabinoid system may allow the discovery of effective neuroprotective drugs for the treatment of neurological disorders.

  17. Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction-linked neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Islam, Md Torequl

    2017-01-01

    Reactive species play an important role in physiological functions. Overproduction of reactive species, notably reactive oxygen (ROS) and nitrogen (RNS) species along with the failure of balance by the body's antioxidant enzyme systems results in destruction of cellular structures, lipids, proteins, and genetic materials such as DNA and RNA. Moreover, the effects of reactive species on mitochondria and their metabolic processes eventually cause a rise in ROS/RNS levels, leading to oxidation of mitochondrial proteins, lipids, and DNA. Oxidative stress has been considered to be linked to the etiology of many diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) such as Alzheimer diseases, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Friedreich's ataxia, Huntington's disease, Multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's diseases. In addition, oxidative stress causing protein misfold may turn to other NDDs include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, Kuru, Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome, and Fatal Familial Insomnia. An overview of the oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction-linked NDDs has been summarized in this review.

  18. Neurodegenerative diseases: quantitative predictions of protein-RNA interactions.

    PubMed

    Cirillo, Davide; Agostini, Federico; Klus, Petr; Marchese, Domenica; Rodriguez, Silvia; Bolognesi, Benedetta; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano

    2013-02-01

    Increasing evidence indicates that RNA plays an active role in a number of neurodegenerative diseases. We recently introduced a theoretical framework, catRAPID, to predict the binding ability of protein and RNA molecules. Here, we use catRAPID to investigate ribonucleoprotein interactions linked to inherited intellectual disability, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Creutzfeuld-Jakob, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's diseases. We specifically focus on (1) RNA interactions with fragile X mental retardation protein FMRP; (2) protein sequestration caused by CGG repeats; (3) noncoding transcripts regulated by TAR DNA-binding protein 43 TDP-43; (4) autogenous regulation of TDP-43 and FMRP; (5) iron-mediated expression of amyloid precursor protein APP and α-synuclein; (6) interactions between prions and RNA aptamers. Our results are in striking agreement with experimental evidence and provide new insights in processes associated with neuronal function and misfunction.

  19. Targeting New Candidate Genes by Small Molecules Approaching Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Hueng-Chuen; Chi, Ching-Shiang; Cheng, Shin-Nan; Lee, Hsiu-Fen; Tsai, Jeng-Dau; Lin, Shinn-Zong; Harn, Horng-Jyh

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are among the most feared of the disorders that afflict humankind for the lack of specific diagnostic tests and effective treatments. Understanding the molecular, cellular, biochemical changes of NDs may hold therapeutic promise against debilitating central nerve system (CNS) disorders. In the present review, we summarized the clinical presentations and biology backgrounds of NDs, including Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease (HD), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and explored the role of molecular mechanisms, including dys-regulation of epigenetic control mechanisms, Ataxia-telangiectasia-mutated protein kinase (ATM), and neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of NDs. Targeting these mechanisms may hold therapeutic promise against these devastating diseases. PMID:26712747

  20. Sulforaphane as a potential protective phytochemical against neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Tarozzi, Andrea; Angeloni, Cristina; Malaguti, Marco; Morroni, Fabiana; Hrelia, Silvana; Hrelia, Patrizia

    2013-01-01

    A wide variety of acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases, including ischemic/traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease, share common characteristics such as oxidative stress, misfolded proteins, excitotoxicity, inflammation, and neuronal loss. As no drugs are available to prevent the progression of these neurological disorders, intervention strategies using phytochemicals have been proposed as an alternative form of treatment. Among phytochemicals, isothiocyanate sulforaphane, derived from the hydrolysis of the glucosinolate glucoraphanin mainly present in Brassica vegetables, has demonstrated neuroprotective effects in several in vitro and in vivo studies. In particular, evidence suggests that sulforaphane beneficial effects could be mainly ascribed to its peculiar ability to activate the Nrf2/ARE pathway. Therefore, sulforaphane appears to be a promising compound with neuroprotective properties that may play an important role in preventing neurodegeneration.

  1. Sulforaphane as a Potential Protective Phytochemical against Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Tarozzi, Andrea; Angeloni, Cristina; Malaguti, Marco; Morroni, Fabiana; Hrelia, Silvana; Hrelia, Patrizia

    2013-01-01

    A wide variety of acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases, including ischemic/traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease, share common characteristics such as oxidative stress, misfolded proteins, excitotoxicity, inflammation, and neuronal loss. As no drugs are available to prevent the progression of these neurological disorders, intervention strategies using phytochemicals have been proposed as an alternative form of treatment. Among phytochemicals, isothiocyanate sulforaphane, derived from the hydrolysis of the glucosinolate glucoraphanin mainly present in Brassica vegetables, has demonstrated neuroprotective effects in several in vitro and in vivo studies. In particular, evidence suggests that sulforaphane beneficial effects could be mainly ascribed to its peculiar ability to activate the Nrf2/ARE pathway. Therefore, sulforaphane appears to be a promising compound with neuroprotective properties that may play an important role in preventing neurodegeneration. PMID:23983898

  2. Mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases associated with copper imbalance.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Luisa; Lombardo, Marco F; Ciriolo, Maria R; Rotilio, Giuseppe

    2004-03-01

    Copper is an essential transition metal ion for the function of key metabolic enzymes, but its uncontrolled redox reactivity is source of reactive oxygen species. Therefore a network of transporters strictly controls the trafficking of copper in living systems. Deficit, excess, or aberrant coordination of copper are conditions that may be detrimental, especially for neuronal cells, which are particularly sensitive to oxidative stress. Indeed, the genetic disturbances of copper homeostasis, Menkes' and Wilson's diseases, are associated with neurodegeneration. Furthermore, copper interacts with the proteins that are the hallmarks of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, prion diseases, and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In all cases, copper-mediated oxidative stress is linked to mitochondrial dysfunction, which is a common feature of neurodegeneration. In particular we recently demonstrated that in copper deficiency, mitochondrial function is impaired due to decreased activity of cytochrome c oxidase, leading to production of reactive oxygen species, which in turn triggers mitochondria-mediated apoptotic neurodegeneration.

  3. Multi-target therapeutics for neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Bawa, Priya; Pradeep, Priyamvada; Kumar, Pradeep; Choonara, Yahya E; Modi, Girish; Pillay, Viness

    2016-12-01

    Historically, neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disease treatments focused on the 'magic bullet' concept; however multi-targeted strategies are increasingly attractive gauging from the escalating research in this area. Because these diseases are typically co-morbid, multi-targeted drugs capable of interacting with multiple targets will expand treatment to the co-morbid disease condition. Despite their theoretical efficacy, there are significant impediments to clinical success (e.g., difficulty titrating individual aspects of the drug and inconclusive pathophysiological mechanisms). The new and revised diagnostic frameworks along with studies detailing the endophenotypic characteristics of the diseases promise to provide the foundation for the circumvention of these impediments. This review serves to evaluate the various marketed and nonmarketed multi-targeted drugs with particular emphasis on their design strategy.

  4. ER chaperones in neurodegenerative disease: Folding and beyond.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Huerta, Paula; Bargsted, Leslie; Rivas, Alexis; Matus, Soledad; Vidal, Rene L

    2016-10-01

    Proteins along the secretory pathway are co-translationally translocated into the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) as unfolded polypeptide chains. Afterwards, they are usually modified with N-linked glycans, correctly folded and stabilized by disulfide bonds. ER chaperones and folding enzymes control these processes. The accumulation of unfolded proteins in the ER activates a signaling response, termed the unfolded protein response (UPR). The hallmark of this response is the coordinated transcriptional up-regulation of ER chaperones and folding enzymes. In order to discuss the importance of the proper folding of certain substrates we will address the role of ER chaperones in normal physiological conditions and examine different aspects of its contribution in neurodegenerative disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:ER stress.

  5. Neurodegenerative Eye Disorders: Role of Mitochondrial Dynamics and Genomics.

    PubMed

    Mohanty, Kuldeep; Dada, Rima; Dada, Tanuj

    2016-01-01

    As a major source of cellular energy, mitochondria are critical for optimal ocular function. They are also essential for cell differentiation and survival. Mitochondrial mutations and oxidative damage to the mitochondrial DNA are important factors underlying the pathology of many ocular disorders. With increasing age, mitochondrial DNA damage accumulates and results in several eye diseases. It is evident that the mitochondrial genome is more susceptible to stress and damage than the nuclear genome, as it lacks histone protection, a nucleotide excision repair system, and recombination repair, and it is the source and target of free radicals. Accumulation of mitochondrial mutations beyond a certain threshold explains the marked variations in phenotypes seen in mitochondrial diseases and the molecular mechanisms related to the pathogenesis of several chronic disorders in the eye. This review details the structure and function of mitochondria and the mitochondrial genome along with the mitochondrial involvement in various neurodegenerative ophthalmic disorders.

  6. Probing Mechanisms That Underlie Human Neurodegenerative Diseases in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Jaiswal, M.; Sandoval, H.; Zhang, K.; Bayat, V.; Bellen, H.J.

    2013-01-01

    The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is an excellent organism for the study of the genetic and molecular basis of metazoan development. Drosophila provides numerous tools and reagents to unravel the molecular and cellular functions of genes that cause human disease, and the past decade has witnessed a significant expansion of the study of neurodegenerative disease mechanisms in flies. Here we review the interplay between oxidative stress and neuronal toxicity. We cover some of the studies that show how proteasome degradation of protein aggregates, autophagy, mitophagy, and lysosomal function affect the quality control mechanisms required for neuronal survival. We discuss how forward genetic screens in flies have led to the isolation of a few loci that cause neurodegeneration, paving the way for large-scale systematic screens to identify such loci in flies as well as promoting gene discovery in humans. PMID:22974305

  7. Mutational Spectrum Analysis of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Its Pathogenic Implication.

    PubMed

    Shen, Liang; Ji, Hong-Fang

    2015-10-14

    One of the most conspicuous features of neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) is the occurrence of dramatic conformation change of individual proteins. We performed a mutational spectrum analysis of disease-causing missense mutations in seven types of NDs at nucleotide and amino acid levels, and compared the results with those of non-NDs. The main findings included: (i) The higher mutation ratio of G:C→T:A transversion to G:C→A:T transition was observed in NDs than in non-NDs, interpreting the excessive guanine-specific oxidative DNA damage in NDs; (ii) glycine and proline had highest mutability in NDs than in non-NDs, which favor the protein conformation change in NDs; (iii) surprisingly low mutation frequency of arginine was observed in NDs. These findings help to understand how mutations may cause NDs.

  8. Untangling the brain's neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative transcriptional responses

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasan, Karpagam; Friedman, Brad A.; Larson, Jessica L.; Lauffer, Benjamin E.; Goldstein, Leonard D.; Appling, Laurie L.; Borneo, Jovencio; Poon, Chungkee; Ho, Terence; Cai, Fang; Steiner, Pascal; van der Brug, Marcel P.; Modrusan, Zora; Kaminker, Joshua S.; Hansen, David V.

    2016-01-01

    A common approach to understanding neurodegenerative disease is comparing gene expression in diseased versus healthy tissues. We illustrate that expression profiles derived from whole tissue RNA highly reflect the degenerating tissues' altered cellular composition, not necessarily transcriptional regulation. To accurately understand transcriptional changes that accompany neuropathology, we acutely purify neurons, astrocytes and microglia from single adult mouse brains and analyse their transcriptomes by RNA sequencing. Using peripheral endotoxemia to establish the method, we reveal highly specific transcriptional responses and altered RNA processing in each cell type, with Tnfr1 required for the astrocytic response. Extending the method to an Alzheimer's disease model, we confirm that transcriptomic changes observed in whole tissue are driven primarily by cell type composition, not transcriptional regulation, and identify hundreds of cell type-specific changes undetected in whole tissue RNA. Applying similar methods to additional models and patient tissues will transform our understanding of aberrant gene expression in neurological disease. PMID:27097852

  9. Cerium oxide nanoparticles: a 'radical' approach to neurodegenerative disease treatment.

    PubMed

    Naz, Shuguftha; Beach, James; Heckert, Blaze; Tummala, Tanuja; Pashchenko, Oleksandra; Banerjee, Tuhina; Santra, Santimukul

    2017-03-01

    Despite advances in understanding the factors that cause many neurodegenerative diseases (NDs), no current therapies have yielded significant results. Cerium oxide nanoparticles (CeONPs) have recently emerged as therapeutics for the treatment of NDs due to their antioxidant properties. This report summarizes the recent findings regarding CeONPs in treatment of various NDs, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, ischemic stroke and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Interest in CeONPs as a potential nanomedicine for NDs has increased due to: their ability to alter signaling pathways, small diameter allowing passage through the blood-brain barrier and scavenging of reactive oxygen species. Due to these properties, CeONPs could eventually revolutionize existing treatments for NDs.

  10. Bilateral cochlear implants in children: Effects of auditory experience and deprivation on auditory perception.

    PubMed

    Litovsky, Ruth Y; Gordon, Karen

    2016-08-01

    Spatial hearing skills are essential for children as they grow, learn and play. These skills provide critical cues for determining the locations of sources in the environment, and enable segregation of important sounds, such as speech, from background maskers or interferers. Spatial hearing depends on availability of monaural cues and binaural cues. The latter result from integration of inputs arriving at the two ears from sounds that vary in location. The binaural system has exquisite mechanisms for capturing differences between the ears in both time of arrival and intensity. The major cues that are thus referred to as being vital for binaural hearing are: interaural differences in time (ITDs) and interaural differences in levels (ILDs). In children with normal hearing (NH), spatial hearing abilities are fairly well developed by age 4-5 years. In contrast, most children who are deaf and hear through cochlear implants (CIs) do not have an opportunity to experience normal, binaural acoustic hearing early in life. These children may function by having to utilize auditory cues that are degraded with regard to numerous stimulus features. In recent years there has been a notable increase in the number of children receiving bilateral CIs, and evidence suggests that while having two CIs helps them function better than when listening through a single CI, these children generally perform worse than their NH peers. This paper reviews some of the recent work on bilaterally implanted children. The focus is on measures of spatial hearing, including sound localization, release from masking for speech understanding in noise and binaural sensitivity using research processors. Data from behavioral and electrophysiological studies are included, with a focus on the recent work of the authors and their collaborators. The effects of auditory plasticity and deprivation on the emergence of binaural and spatial hearing are discussed along with evidence for reorganized processing from both

  11. Elastic modulus of cetacean auditory ossicles.

    PubMed

    Tubelli, Andrew A; Zosuls, Aleks; Ketten, Darlene R; Mountain, David C

    2014-05-01

    In order to model the hearing capabilities of marine mammals (cetaceans), it is necessary to understand the mechanical properties, such as elastic modulus, of the middle ear bones in these species. Biologically realistic models can be used to investigate the biomechanics of hearing in cetaceans, much of which is currently unknown. In the present study, the elastic moduli of the auditory ossicles (malleus, incus, and stapes) of eight species of cetacean, two baleen whales (mysticete) and six toothed whales (odontocete), were measured using nanoindentation. The two groups of mysticete ossicles overall had lower average elastic moduli (35.2 ± 13.3 GPa and 31.6 ± 6.5 GPa) than the groups of odontocete ossicles (53.3 ± 7.2 GPa to 62.3 ± 4.7 GPa). Interior bone generally had a higher modulus than cortical bone by up to 36%. The effects of freezing and formalin-fixation on elastic modulus were also investigated, although samples were few and no clear trend could be discerned. The high elastic modulus of the ossicles and the differences in the elastic moduli between mysticetes and odontocetes are likely specializations in the bone for underwater hearing.

  12. A simulation system for biomarker evolution in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Young, Alexandra L; Oxtoby, Neil P; Ourselin, Sebastien; Schott, Jonathan M; Alexander, Daniel C

    2015-12-01

    We present a framework for simulating cross-sectional or longitudinal biomarker data sets from neurodegenerative disease cohorts that reflect the temporal evolution of the disease and population diversity. The simulation system provides a mechanism for evaluating the performance of data-driven models of disease progression, which bring together biomarker measurements from large cross-sectional (or short term longitudinal) cohorts to recover the average population-wide dynamics. We demonstrate the use of the simulation framework in two different ways. First, to evaluate the performance of the Event Based Model (EBM) for recovering biomarker abnormality orderings from cross-sectional datasets. Second, to evaluate the performance of a differential equation model (DEM) for recovering biomarker abnormality trajectories from short-term longitudinal datasets. Results highlight several important considerations when applying data-driven models to sporadic disease datasets as well as key areas for future work. The system reveals several important insights into the behaviour of each model. For example, the EBM is robust to noise on the underlying biomarker trajectory parameters, under-sampling of the underlying disease time course and outliers who follow alternative event sequences. However, the EBM is sensitive to accurate estimation of the distribution of normal and abnormal biomarker measurements. In contrast, we find that the DEM is sensitive to noise on the biomarker trajectory parameters, resulting in an over estimation of the time taken for biomarker trajectories to go from normal to abnormal. This over estimate is approximately twice as long as the actual transition time of the trajectory for the expected noise level in neurodegenerative disease datasets. This simulation framework is equally applicable to a range of other models and longitudinal analysis techniques.

  13. Genetic susceptibility testing for neurodegenerative diseases: Ethical and practice issues

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, J. Scott; Uhlmann, Wendy R.

    2013-01-01

    As the genetics of neurodegenerative disease become better understood, opportunities for genetic susceptibility testing for at-risk individuals will increase. Such testing raises important ethical and practice issues related to test access, informed consent, risk estimation and communication, return of results, and policies to prevent genetic discrimination. The advent of direct-to-consumer genetic susceptibility testing for various neurodegenerative disorders (including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and certain prion diseases) means that ethical and practical challenges must be faced not only in traditional research and clinical settings, but also in broader society. This review addresses several topics relevant to the development and implementation of genetic susceptibility tests across research, clinical, and consumer settings; these include appropriate indications for testing, the implications of different methods for disclosing test results, clinical versus personal utility of risk information, psychological and behavioral responses to test results, testing of minors, genetic discrimination, and ethical dilemmas posed by whole-genome sequencing. We also identify future areas of likely growth in the field, including pharmacogenomics and genetic screening for individuals considering or engaged in activities that pose elevated risk of brain injury (e.g., football players, military personnel). APOE gene testing for risk of Alzheimer’s disease is used throughout as an instructive case example, drawing upon the authors’ experience as investigators in a series of multisite randomized clinical trials that have examined the impact of disclosing APOE genotype status to interested individuals (e.g., first-degree relatives, persons with mild cognitive impairment). PMID:23583530

  14. Endogenously nitrated proteins in mouse brain: links to neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Sacksteder, Colette A; Qian, Wei-Jun; Knyushko, Tatyana V; Wang, Haixing; Chin, Mark H; Lacan, Goran; Melega, William P; Camp, David G; Smith, Richard D; Smith, Desmond J; Squier, Thomas C; Bigelow, Diana J

    2006-07-04

    Increased abundance of nitrotyrosine modifications of proteins have been documented in multiple pathologies in a variety of tissue types and play a role in the redox regulation of normal metabolism. To identify proteins sensitive to nitrating conditions in vivo, a comprehensive proteomic data set identifying 7792 proteins from a whole mouse brain, generated by LC/LC-MS/MS analyses, was used to identify nitrated proteins. This analysis resulted in the identification of 31 unique nitrotyrosine sites within 29 different proteins. More than half of the nitrated proteins that have been identified are involved in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, or other neurodegenerative disorders. Similarly, nitrotyrosine immunoblots of whole brain homogenates show that treatment of mice with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), an experimental model of Parkinson's disease, induces an increased level of nitration of the same protein bands observed to be nitrated in brains of untreated animals. Comparing sequences and available high-resolution structures around nitrated tyrosines with those of unmodified sites indicates a preference of nitration in vivo for surface accessible tyrosines in loops, a characteristic consistent with peroxynitrite-induced tyrosine modification. In addition, most sequences contain cysteines or methionines proximal to nitrotyrosines, contrary to suggestions that these amino acid side chains prevent tyrosine nitration. More striking is the presence of a positively charged moiety near the sites of nitration, which is not observed for non-nitrated tyrosines. Together, these observations suggest a predictive tool of functionally important sites of nitration and that cellular nitrating conditions play a role in neurodegenerative changes in the brain.

  15. Glial hemichannels and their involvement in aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Orellana, Juan A; von Bernhardi, Rommy; Giaume, Christian; Sáez, Juan C

    2012-01-26

    During the last two decades, it became increasingly evident that glial cells accomplish a more important role in brain function than previously thought. Glial cells express pannexins and connexins, which are member subunits of two protein families that form membrane channels termed hemichannels. These channels communicate intra- and extracellular compartments and allow the release of autocrine/paracrine signaling molecules [e.g., adenosine triphosphate (ATP), glutamate, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, and prostaglandin E2] to the extracellular milieu, as well as the uptake of small molecules (e.g., glucose). An increasing body of evidence has situated glial hemichannels as potential regulators of the beginning and maintenance of homeostatic imbalances observed in diverse brain diseases. Here, we review and discuss the current evidence about the possible role of glial hemichannels on neurodegenerative diseases. A subthreshold pathological threatening condition leads to microglial activation, which keeps active defense and restores the normal function of the central nervous system. However, if the stimulus is deleterious, microglial cells and the endothelium become overactivated, both releasing bioactive molecules (e.g., glutamate, cytokines, prostaglandins, and ATP), which increase the activity of glial hemichannels, reducing the astroglial neuroprotective functions, and further reducing neuronal viability. Because ATP and glutamate are released via glial hemichannels in neurodegenerative conditions, it is expected that they contribute to neurotoxicity. More importantly, toxic molecules released via glial hemichannels could increase the Ca2+ entry in neurons also via neuronal hemichannels, leading to neuronal death. Therefore, blockade of hemichannels expressed by glial cells and/or neurons during neuroinflammation might prevent neurodegeneration.

  16. Few patients with neurodegenerative disorders require spinal surgery

    PubMed Central

    Epstein, Nancy E.; Gottesman, Malcolm

    2014-01-01

    Background: Few patients with neurodegenerative disorders (ND) (e.g., Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and Postpolio Syndrome (PPS)) require spinal surgery. Typically, their neurological symptoms and signs reflect their underlying neurologic disorders rather than structural spinal pathology reported on magnetic resonance images (MR) or computed tomographic scans (CT). Methods: The first author, a neurosurgeon, reviewed 437 spinal consultations performed over a 20-month period. Of 254 patients seen in first opinion (e.g., had not been seen by a spinal surgeon), 9 had MS, while 2 had ALS. Of 183 patients seen in second opinion (e.g., prior spinal surgeons recommended surgery), 4 had MS, 2 had ALS, and 1 had PPS. We performed this study to establish how often patients with ND, seen in first or second opinion, require spinal surgery. We focused on whether second opinions from spinal surgeons would limit the number of operations offered to these patients. Results: Two of 11 patients with ND seen in first opinion required surgery. The first patient required a C5-7 laminectomy/C2-T2 fusion, followed by a L2-S1 laminectomy/L5S1 fusion. The second patient required a L2-L3 laminectomy/diskectomy/fusion. However, none of the seven patients seen in second opinion, who were previously told by outside surgeons they needed spinal surgery, required operations. Conclusions: Few patients with neurodegenerative syndromes (MS, ALS, PPS) and reported “significant” spondyloitic spinal disease interpreted on MR/CT studies required surgery. Great caution should be exercised in offering patients with ND spinal surgery, and second opinions should be encouraged to limit “unnecessary” procedures. PMID:24843817

  17. Neural substrates of socioemotional self-awareness in neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Sollberger, Marc; Rosen, Howard J; Shany-Ur, Tal; Ullah, Jerin; Stanley, Christine M; Laluz, Victor; Weiner, Michael W; Wilson, Stephen M; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P

    2014-01-01

    Background Neuroimaging studies examining neural substrates of impaired self-awareness in patients with neurodegenerative diseases have shown divergent results depending on the modality (cognitive, emotional, behavioral) of awareness. Evidence is accumulating to suggest that self-awareness arises from a combination of modality-specific and large-scale supramodal neural networks. Methods We investigated the structural substrates of patients' tendency to overestimate or underestimate their own capacity to demonstrate empathic concern for others. Subjects' level of empathic concern was measured using the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, and subject-informant discrepancy scores were used to predict regional atrophy pattern, using voxel-based morphometry analysis. Of the 102 subjects, 83 were patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) or semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA); the other 19 were healthy older adults. Results bvFTD and svPPA patients typically overestimated their level of empathic concern compared to controls, and overestimating one's empathic concern predicted damage to predominantly right-hemispheric anterior infero-lateral temporal regions, whereas underestimating one's empathic concern showed no neuroanatomical basis. Conclusions These findings suggest that overestimation and underestimation of one's capacity for empathic concern cannot be interpreted as varying degrees of the same phenomenon, but may arise from different pathophysiological processes. Damage to anterior infero-lateral temporal regions has been associated with semantic self-knowledge, emotion processing, and social perspective taking; neuropsychological functions partly associated with empathic concern itself. These findings support the hypothesis that—at least in the socioemotional domain—neural substrates of self-awareness are partly modality-specific. PMID:24683513

  18. Auditory working memory predicts individual differences in absolute pitch learning.

    PubMed

    Van Hedger, Stephen C; Heald, Shannon L M; Koch, Rachelle; Nusbaum, Howard C

    2015-07-01

    Absolute pitch (AP) is typically defined as the ability to label an isolated tone as a musical note in the absence of a reference tone. At first glance the acquisition of AP note categories seems like a perceptual learning task, since individuals must assign a category label to a stimulus based on a single perceptual dimension (pitch) while ignoring other perceptual dimensions (e.g., loudness, octave, instrument). AP, however, is rarely discussed in terms of domain-general perceptual learning mechanisms. This is because AP is typically assumed to depend on a critical period of development, in which early exposure to pitches and musical labels is thought to be necessary for the development of AP precluding the possibility of adult acquisition of AP. Despite this view of AP, several previous studies have found evidence that absolute pitch category learning is, to an extent, trainable in a post-critical period adult population, even if the performance typically achieved by this population is below the performance of a "true" AP possessor. The current studies attempt to understand the individual differences in learning to categorize notes using absolute pitch cues by testing a specific prediction regarding cognitive capacity related to categorization - to what extent does an individual's general auditory working memory capacity (WMC) predict the success of absolute pitch category acquisition. Since WMC has been shown to predict performance on a wide variety of other perceptual and category learning tasks, we predict that individuals with higher WMC should be better at learning absolute pitch note categories than individuals with lower WMC. Across two studies, we demonstrate that auditory WMC predicts the efficacy of learning absolute pitch note categories. These results suggest that a higher general auditory WMC might underlie the formation of absolute pitch categories for post-critical period adults. Implications for understanding the mechanisms that underlie the

  19. Activation of Heschl's gyrus during auditory hallucinations.

    PubMed

    Dierks, T; Linden, D E; Jandl, M; Formisano, E; Goebel, R; Lanfermann, H; Singer, W

    1999-03-01

    Apart from being a common feature of mental illness, auditory hallucinations provide an intriguing model for the study of internally generated sensory perceptions that are attributed to external sources. Until now, the knowledge about the cortical network that supports such hallucinations has been restricted by methodological limitations. Here, we describe an experiment with paranoid schizophrenic patients whose on- and offset of auditory hallucinations could be monitored within one functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) session. We demonstrate an increase of the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal in Heschl's gyrus during the patients' hallucinations. Our results provide direct evidence of the involvement of primary auditory areas in auditory verbal hallucinations and establish novel constraints for psychopathological models.

  20. The Goldilocks Effect in Infant Auditory Attention

    PubMed Central

    Kidd, Celeste; Piantadosi, Steven T.; Aslin, Richard N.

    2015-01-01

    Infants must learn about many cognitive domains (e.g., language, music) from auditory statistics, yet capacity-limited cognitive resources restrict the quantity that they can encode. While we know infants can attend to only a subset of available acoustic input, few previous studies have directly examined infant auditory attention—and none have directly tested theorized mechanisms of attentional selection based on stimulus complexity. Using model-based behavioral methods that were recently developed to examine visual attention in infants (e.g., Kidd, Piantadosi, & Aslin, 2012), we demonstrate that 7- to 8-month-old infants selectively attend to non-social auditory stimuli that are intermediately predictable/complex with respect to their current implicit beliefs and expectations. Our results provide evidence of a broad principle of infant attention across modalities and suggest that sound-to-sound transitional statistics heavily influence the allocation of auditory attention in human infants. PMID:24990627

  1. Auditory neuroplasticity, hearing loss and cochlear implants.

    PubMed

    Ryugo, David

    2015-07-01

    Data from our laboratory show that the auditory brain is highly malleable by experience. We establish a base of knowledge that describes the normal structure and workings at the initial stages of the central auditory system. This research is expanded to include the associated pathology in the auditory brain stem created by hearing loss. Utilizing the congenitally deaf white cat, we demonstrate the way that cells, synapses, and circuits are pathologically affected by sound deprivation. We further show that the restoration of auditory nerve activity via electrical stimulation through cochlear implants serves to correct key features of brain pathology caused by hearing loss. The data suggest that rigorous training with cochlear implants and/or hearing aids offers the promise of heretofore unattained benefits.

  2. Auditory stimulation and cardiac autonomic regulation

    PubMed Central

    Valenti, Vitor E.; Guida, Heraldo L.; Frizzo, Ana C. F.; Cardoso, Ana C. V.; Vanderlei, Luiz Carlos M.; de Abreu, Luiz Carlos

    2012-01-01

    Previous studies have already demonstrated that auditory stimulation with music influences the cardiovascular system. In this study, we described the relationship between musical auditory stimulation and heart rate variability. Searches were performed with the Medline, SciELO, Lilacs and Cochrane databases using the following keywords: “auditory stimulation”, “autonomic nervous system”, “music” and “heart rate variability”. The selected studies indicated that there is a strong correlation between noise intensity and vagal-sympathetic balance. Additionally, it was reported that music therapy improved heart rate variability in anthracycline-treated breast cancer patients. It was hypothesized that dopamine release in the striatal system induced by pleasurable songs is involved in cardiac autonomic regulation. Musical auditory stimulation influences heart rate variability through a neural mechanism that is not well understood. Further studies are necessary to develop new therapies to treat cardiovascular disorders. PMID:22948465

  3. Quantitative proteomics of auditory fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Hong, Ingie; Kang, Taewook; Yun, Ki Na; Yoo, YongCheol; Park, Sungmo; Kim, Jihye; An, Bobae; Song, Sukwoon; Lee, Sukwon; Kim, Jeongyeon; Song, Beomjong; Kwon, Kyung-Hoon; Kim, Jin Young; Park, Young Mok; Choi, Sukwoo

    2013-04-26

    Auditory fear conditioning is a well-characterized rodent learning model where a neutral auditory cue is paired with an aversive outcome to induce associative fear memory. The storage of long-term auditory fear memory requires long-term potentiation (LTP) in the lateral amygdala and de novo protein synthesis. Although many studies focused on individual proteins have shown their contribution to LTP and fear conditioning, non-biased genome-wide studies have only recently been possible with microarrays, which nevertheless fall short of measuring changes at the level of proteins. Here we employed quantitative proteomics to examine the expression of hundreds of proteins in the lateral amygdala in response to auditory fear conditioning. We found that various proteins previously implicated in LTP, learning and axon/dendrite growth were regulated by fear conditioning. A substantial number of proteins that were regulated by fear conditioning have not yet been studied specifically in learning or synaptic plasticity.

  4. Perceptual learning in the developing auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Bao, Shaowen

    2015-03-01

    A hallmark of the developing auditory cortex is the heightened plasticity in the critical period, during which acoustic inputs can indelibly alter cortical function. However, not all sounds in the natural acoustic environment are ethologically relevant. How does the auditory system resolve relevant sounds from the acoustic environment in such an early developmental stage when most associative learning mechanisms are not yet fully functional? What can the auditory system learn from one of the most important classes of sounds, animal vocalizations? How does naturalistic acoustic experience shape cortical sound representation and perception? To answer these questions, we need to consider an unusual strategy, statistical learning, where what the system needs to learn is embedded in the sensory input. Here, I will review recent findings on how certain statistical structures of natural animal vocalizations shape auditory cortical acoustic representations, and how cortical plasticity may underlie learned categorical sound perception. These results will be discussed in the context of human speech perception.

  5. Auditory pathways: are 'what' and 'where' appropriate?

    PubMed

    Hall, Deborah A

    2003-05-13

    New evidence confirms that the auditory system encompasses temporal, parietal and frontal brain regions, some of which partly overlap with the visual system. But common assumptions about the functional homologies between sensory systems may be misleading.

  6. Auditory-vocal mirroring in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Mooney, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Mirror neurons are theorized to serve as a neural substrate for spoken language in humans, but the existence and functions of auditory-vocal mirror neurons in the human brain remain largely matters of speculation. Songbirds resemble humans in their capacity for vocal learning and depend on their learned songs to facilitate courtship and individual recognition. Recent neurophysiological studies have detected putative auditory-vocal mirror neurons in a sensorimotor region of the songbird's brain that plays an important role in expressive and receptive aspects of vocal communication. This review discusses the auditory and motor-related properties of these cells, considers their potential role on song learning and communication in relation to classical studies of birdsong, and points to the circuit and developmental mechanisms that may give rise to auditory-vocal mirroring in the songbird's brain.

  7. Neurodegenerative disorder masquerading as psychosis in a forensic psychiatry setting.

    PubMed

    Sommerlad, Andrew; Lee, James; Warren, Jason; Price, Gary

    2014-06-13

    A man presenting in his 50s, following conviction for a non-violent crime, to forensic psychiatric services, and then to a neuropsychiatry service with an unusual presentation of psychosis: second person auditory hallucinations, grandiose delusions and somatic delusions. Detailed collateral and family history revealed a background of progressive cognitive deficit and a family history of motor neuron disease. MRI of the brain revealed asymmetrical parieto-occipital volume loss and genetic testing demonstrated a pathogenic expansion of the chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9ORF72) gene consistent with familial frontotemporal dementia caused by a hexanucleotide repeat expansion at C9ORF72, a recently discovered cause of familial frontotemporal dementia/motor neuron disease. This form of frontotemporal dementia should be considered as an important potential differential diagnosis for patients presenting with psychotic symptoms in later life, in whom a detailed family history and thorough cognitive assessment is essential.

  8. Using auditory pre-information to solve the cocktail-party problem: electrophysiological evidence for age-specific differences.

    PubMed

    Getzmann, Stephan; Lewald, Jörg; Falkenstein, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Speech understanding in complex and dynamic listening environments requires (a) auditory scene analysis, namely auditory object formation and segregation, and (b) allocation of the attentional focus to the talker of interest. There is evidence that pre-information is actively used to facilitate these two aspects of the so-called "cocktail-party" problem. Here, a simulated multi-talker scenario was combined with electroencephalography to study scene analysis and allocation of attention in young and middle-aged adults. Sequences of short words (combinations of brief company names and stock-price values) from four talkers at different locations were simultaneously presented, and the detection of target names and the discrimination between critical target values were assessed. Immediately prior to speech sequences, auditory pre-information was provided via cues that either prepared auditory scene analysis or attentional focusing, or non-specific pre-information was given. While performance was generally better in younger than older participants, both age groups benefited from auditory pre-information. The analysis of the cue-related event-related potentials revealed age-specific differences in the use of pre-cues: Younger adults showed a pronounced N2 component, suggesting early inhibition of concurrent speech stimuli; older adults exhibited a stronger late P3 component, suggesting increased resource allocation to process the pre-information. In sum, the results argue for an age-specific utilization of auditory pre-information to improve listening in complex dynamic auditory environments.

  9. Using auditory pre-information to solve the cocktail-party problem: electrophysiological evidence for age-specific differences

    PubMed Central

    Getzmann, Stephan; Lewald, Jörg; Falkenstein, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Speech understanding in complex and dynamic listening environments requires (a) auditory scene analysis, namely auditory object formation and segregation, and (b) allocation of the attentional focus to the talker of interest. There is evidence that pre-information is actively used to facilitate these two aspects of the so-called “cocktail-party” problem. Here, a simulated multi-talker scenario was combined with electroencephalography to study scene analysis and allocation of attention in young and middle-aged adults. Sequences of short words (combinations of brief company names and stock-price values) from four talkers at different locations were simultaneously presented, and the detection of target names and the discrimination between critical target values were assessed. Immediately prior to speech sequences, auditory pre-information was provided via cues that either prepared auditory scene analysis or attentional focusing, or non-specific pre-information was given. While performance was generally better in younger than older participants, both age groups benefited from auditory pre-information. The analysis of the cue-related event-related potentials revealed age-specific differences in the use of pre-cues: Younger adults showed a pronounced N2 component, suggesting early inhibition of concurrent speech stimuli; older adults exhibited a stronger late P3 component, suggesting increased resource allocation to process the pre-information. In sum, the results argue for an age-specific utilization of auditory pre-information to improve listening in complex dynamic auditory environments. PMID:25540608

  10. Auditory scene analysis by echolocation in bats.

    PubMed

    Moss, C F; Surlykke, A

    2001-10-01

    Echolocating bats transmit ultrasonic vocalizations and use information contained in the reflected sounds to analyze the auditory scene. Auditory scene analysis, a phenomenon that applies broadly to all hearing vertebrates, involves the grouping and segregation of sounds to perceptually organize information about auditory objects. The perceptual organization of sound is influenced by the spectral and temporal characteristics of acoustic signals. In the case of the echolocating bat, its active control over the timing, duration, intensity, and bandwidth of sonar transmissions directly impacts its perception of the auditory objects that comprise the scene. Here, data are presented from perceptual experiments, laboratory insect capture studies, and field recordings of sonar behavior of different bat species, to illustrate principles of importance to auditory scene analysis by echolocation in bats. In the perceptual experiments, FM bats (Eptesicus fuscus) learned to discriminate between systematic and random delay sequences in echo playback sets. The results of these experiments demonstrate that the FM bat can assemble information about echo delay changes over time, a requirement for the analysis of a dynamic auditory scene. Laboratory insect capture experiments examined the vocal production patterns of flying E. fuscus taking tethered insects in a large room. In each trial, the bats consistently produced echolocation signal groups with a relatively stable repetition rate (within 5%). Similar temporal patterning of sonar vocalizations was also observed in the field recordings from E. fuscus, thus suggesting the importance of temporal control of vocal production for perceptually guided behavior. It is hypothesized that a stable sonar signal production rate facilitates the perceptual organization of echoes arriving from objects at different directions and distances as the bat flies through a dynamic auditory scene. Field recordings of E. fuscus, Noctilio albiventris, N

  11. Perceptual consequences of disrupted auditory nerve activity.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Fan-Gang; Kong, Ying-Yee; Michalewski, Henry J; Starr, Arnold

    2005-06-01

    Perceptual consequences of disrupted auditory nerve activity were systematically studied in 21 subjects who had been clinically diagnosed with auditory neuropathy (AN), a recently defined disorder characterized by normal outer hair cell function but disrupted auditory nerve function. Neurological and electrophysical evidence suggests that disrupted auditory nerve activity is due to desynchronized or reduced neural activity or both. Psychophysical measures showed that the disrupted neural activity has minimal effects on intensity-related perception, such as loudness discrimination, pitch discrimination at high frequencies, and sound localization using interaural level differences. In contrast, the disrupted neural activity significantly impairs timing related perception, such as pitch discrimination at low frequencies, temporal integration, gap detection, temporal modulation detection, backward and forward masking, signal detection in noise, binaural beats, and sound localization using interaural time differences. These perceptual consequences are the opposite of what is typically observed in cochlear-impaired subjects who have impaired intensity perception but relatively normal temporal processing after taking their impaired intensity perception into account. These differences in perceptual consequences between auditory neuropathy and cochlear damage suggest the use of different neural codes in auditory perception: a suboptimal spike count code for intensity processing, a synchronized spike code for temporal processing, and a duplex code for frequency processing. We also proposed two underlying physiological models based on desynchronized and reduced discharge in the auditory nerve to successfully account for the observed neurological and behavioral data. These methods and measures cannot differentiate between these two AN models, but future studies using electric stimulation of the auditory nerve via a cochlear implant might. These results not only show the unique

  12. Behavioural Indices of Central Auditory Processing

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-06-01

    Behavioural indices of central auditory processing Sharon M . Abel Dan van der Werf Defence R&D Canada Technical Memorandum DRDC Toronto TM 2009-026...of central auditory processing Sharon M . Abel Dan van der Werf Defence R&D Canada – Toronto Technical...Memorandum DRDC TM 2009-026 June 2009 Principal Author Original signed by Sharon M . Abel Sharon M . Abel, Ph.D. Defence Scientist

  13. Mental concerts: musical imagery and auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Zatorre, Robert J; Halpern, Andrea R

    2005-07-07

    Most people intuitively understand what it means to "hear a tune in your head." Converging evidence now indicates that auditory cortical areas can be recruited even in the absence of sound and that this corresponds to the phenomenological experience of imagining music. We discuss these findings as well as some methodological challenges. We also consider the role of core versus belt areas in musical imagery, the relation between auditory and motor systems during imagery of music performance, and practical implications of this research.

  14. Progressive and self-limiting neurodegenerative disorders in Africa: a new prominent field of research led by South Africa but without strong health policy

    PubMed Central

    Poreau, Brice

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Neurodegenerative disorders are involved in mortality and morbidity of every country. A high prevalence is estimated in Africa. Neurodegenerative disorders are defined by a progressive or self-limiting alteration of neurons implied in specific functional and anatomical functions. It encompasses a various range of clinical disorders from self-limiting to progressive. Focus on public health policies and scientific research is needed to understand the mechanisms to reduce this high prevalence. We use bibliometrics and mapping tools to explore the area studies and countries involved in scientific research on neurodegenerative disorders in Africa. Methods We used two databases: Web of Science and Pubmed. We analyzed the journals, most cited articles, authors, publication years, organizations, funding agencies, countries and keywords in Web of Science Core collection database and publication years and Medical Subject Headings in Pubmed database. We mapped the data using VOSviewer. Results We accessed 44 articles published between 1975 and 2014 in Web of Science Core collection Database and 669 from Pubmed database. The majority of which were after 2006. The main countries involved in research on neurodegenerative disorders in Africa the USA, the United Kingdom, France and South Africa representing the main network collaboration. Clinical neurology and Genetics hereditary are the main Web of Science categories whereas Neurosciences and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology are the main Web of Science categories for the general search “neurodegenerative disorders” not restrained to Africa. This is confirmed by Medical Subject Headings analysis from Pubmed with one more area study: Treatment. Conclusion Neurodegenerative disorders research is leaded by South Africa with a network involving the USA, the UK, as well as African countries such Zambia. The chief field that emerged was on patient and hereditary as well as treatment. Public health policies were

  15. Optogenetic stimulation of the auditory pathway

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez, Victor H.; Gehrt, Anna; Reuter, Kirsten; Jing, Zhizi; Jeschke, Marcus; Mendoza Schulz, Alejandro; Hoch, Gerhard; Bartels, Matthias; Vogt, Gerhard; Garnham, Carolyn W.; Yawo, Hiromu; Fukazawa, Yugo; Augustine, George J.; Bamberg, Ernst; Kügler, Sebastian; Salditt, Tim; de Hoz, Livia; Strenzke, Nicola; Moser, Tobias

    2014-01-01

    Auditory prostheses can partially restore speech comprehension when hearing fails. Sound coding with current prostheses is based on electrical stimulation of auditory neurons and has limited frequency resolution due to broad current spread within the cochlea. In contrast, optical stimulation can be spatially confined, which may improve frequency resolution. Here, we used animal models to characterize optogenetic stimulation, which is the optical stimulation of neurons genetically engineered to express the light-gated ion channel channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2). Optogenetic stimulation of spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) activated the auditory pathway, as demonstrated by recordings of single neuron and neuronal population responses. Furthermore, optogenetic stimulation of SGNs restored auditory activity in deaf mice. Approximation of the spatial spread of cochlear excitation by recording local field potentials (LFPs) in the inferior colliculus in response to suprathreshold optical, acoustic, and electrical stimuli indicated that optogenetic stimulation achieves better frequency resolution than monopolar electrical stimulation. Virus-mediated expression of a ChR2 variant with greater light sensitivity in SGNs reduced the amount of light required for responses and allowed neuronal spiking following stimulation up to 60 Hz. Our study demonstrates a strategy for optogenetic stimulation of the auditory pathway in rodents and lays the groundwork for future applications of cochlear optogenetics in auditory research and prosthetics. PMID:24509078

  16. Vestibular influence on auditory metrical interpretation.

    PubMed

    Phillips-Silver, Jessica; Trainor, Laurel J

    2008-06-01

    When we move to music we feel the beat, and this feeling can shape the sound we hear. Previous studies have shown that when people listen to a metrically ambiguous rhythm pattern, moving the body on a certain beat--adults, by actively bouncing themselves in synchrony with the experimenter, and babies, by being bounced passively in the experimenter's arms--can bias their auditory metrical representation so that they interpret the pattern in a corresponding metrical form [Phillips-Silver, J., & Trainor, L. J. (2005). Feeling the beat: Movement influences infant rhythm perception. Science, 308, 1430; Phillips-Silver, J., & Trainor, L. J. (2007). Hearing what the body feels: Auditory encoding of rhythmic movement. Cognition, 105, 533-546]. The present studies show that in adults, as well as in infants, metrical encoding of rhythm can be biased by passive motion. Furthermore, because movement of the head alone affected auditory encoding whereas movement of the legs alone did not, we propose that vestibular input may play a key role in the effect of movement on auditory rhythm processing. We discuss possible cortical and subcortical sites for the integration of auditory and vestibular inputs that may underlie the interaction between movement and auditory metrical rhythm perception.

  17. Sensorineural hearing loss and auditory perceptual organization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, Joseph W.; Grose, John H.; Buss, Emily

    2004-05-01

    This talk will consider the implications of sensorineural hearing loss for auditory perceptual organization. In everyday environments, the listener is often faced with the difficulty of processing a target sound that intermingles acoustically with one or more extraneous sounds. Under such circumstances, several auditory processes enable the complex waveforms reaching the two ears to be interpreted in terms of putative auditory objects giving rise to the target and extraneous sounds. Such processes of perceptual organization depend upon the central analysis of cues that allow distributed spectral information to be either linked together or split apart on the basis of details related to such variables as synchrony of onset/modulation, harmonic relation, rhythm, and interaural differences. Efficient perceptual organization must depend not only upon such central auditory analyses but also upon the fidelity with which the peripheral auditory system encodes the spectral and temporal characteristics of sound. We will consider the implications of sensorineural hearing loss for perceptual organization in terms of both peripheral and central auditory processes.

  18. Investigating bottom-up auditory attention

    PubMed Central

    Kaya, Emine Merve; Elhilali, Mounya

    2014-01-01

    Bottom-up attention is a sensory-driven selection mechanism that directs perception toward a subset of the stimulus that is considered salient, or attention-grabbing. Most studies of bottom-up auditory attention have adapted frameworks similar to visual attention models whereby local or global “contrast” is a central concept in defining salient elements in a scene. In the current study, we take a more fundamental approach to modeling auditory attention; providing the first examination of the space of auditory saliency spanning pitch, intensity and timbre; and shedding light on complex interactions among these features. Informed by psychoacoustic results, we develop a computational model of auditory saliency implementing a novel attentional framework, guided by processes hypothesized to take place in the auditory pathway. In particular, the model tests the hypothesis that perception tracks the evolution of sound events in a multidimensional feature space, and flags any deviation from background statistics as salient. Predictions from the model corroborate the relationship between bottom-up auditory attention and statistical inference, and argues for a potential role of predictive coding as mechanism for saliency detection in acoustic scenes. PMID:24904367

  19. Visual influences on auditory spatial learning

    PubMed Central

    King, Andrew J.

    2008-01-01

    The visual and auditory systems frequently work together to facilitate the identification and localization of objects and events in the external world. Experience plays a critical role in establishing and maintaining congruent visual–auditory associations, so that the different sensory cues associated with targets that can be both seen and heard are synthesized appropriately. For stimulus location, visual information is normally more accurate and reliable and provides a reference for calibrating the perception of auditory space. During development, vision plays a key role in aligning neural representations of space in the brain, as revealed by the dramatic changes produced in auditory responses when visual inputs are altered, and is used throughout life to resolve short-term spatial conflicts between these modalities. However, accurate, and even supra-normal, auditory localization abilities can be achieved in the absence of vision, and the capacity of the mature brain to relearn to localize sound in the presence of substantially altered auditory spatial cues does not require visuomotor feedback. Thus, while vision is normally used to coordinate information across the senses, the neural circuits responsible for spatial hearing can be recalibrated in a vision-independent fashion. Nevertheless, early multisensory experience appears to be crucial for the emergence of an ability to match signals from different sensory modalities and therefore for the outcome of audiovisual-based rehabilitation of deaf patients in whom hearing has been restored by cochlear implantation. PMID:18986967

  20. Electromagnetic recording of the auditory system.

    PubMed

    Poeppel, David; Hickok, Gregory

    2015-01-01

    Auditory processing is remarkably fast and sensitive to the precise temporal structure of acoustic signals over a range of scales, from submillisecond phenomena such as localization to the construction of elementary auditory attributes at tens of milliseconds to basic properties of speech and music at hundreds of milliseconds. In light of the rapid (and often transitory) nature of auditory phenomena, in order to investigate the neurocomputational basis of auditory perception and cognition, a technique with high temporal resolution is appropriate. Here we briefly outline the utility of magnetoencephalography (MEG) for the study of the neural basis of audition. The basics of MEG are outlined in brief, and some of the most-used neural responses are described. We discuss the classic transient evoked fields (e.g., M100), responses elicited by change in a stimulus (e.g., pitch-onset response), the auditory steady-state response, and neural oscillations (e.g., theta-phase tracking). Because of the high temporal resolution and the good spatial resolution of MEG, paired with the convenient location of human auditory cortex for MEG-based recording, electromagnetic recording of this type is well suited to investigate various aspects from audition, from crafted laboratory experiments on pitch perception or scene analysis to naturalistic speech and music tasks.