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Sample records for plasticity cognitive function

  1. Brain plasticity and recovery of cognitive functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja Čuš

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Through its capacity of plastic changes, the adult brain enables successful dealing with new demands of everyday life and recovery after an acquired brain damage either spontaneously or by the help of rehabilitation interventions. Studies which explored the effects of cognitive training in the normal population report on different types of changes in the performance of cognitive tasks as well as different types of changes in brain activation patterns.Following practice, brain activation can change in its extent, intensity or location, while cognitive processes can become more efficient or can be replaced by different processes.After acquired brain damage plastic changes are somewhat different. After the injury, the damaged brain area can either gradually regain its previous function, or different brain regions are recruited to perform that function.Studies of spontaneous and guided recovery of cognitive functions have revealed both types of plastic changes that follow each other, as well as significant correlations between these changes and improvement on the behavioural level.

  2. Sleep deprivation and hippocampal vulnerability : Changes in neuronal plasticity, neurogenesis and cognitive function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kreutzmann, J C; Havekes, R; Abel, T; Meerlo, P

    2015-01-01

    Despite the ongoing fundamental controversy about the physiological function of sleep, there is general consensus that sleep benefits neuronal plasticity, which ultimately supports brain function and cognition. In agreement with this are numerous studies showing that sleep deprivation (SD) results

  3. Plasticity of cognitive functions before and after awake brain tumor surgery

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    Djaina Satoer

    2015-04-01

    Results: P1 and P2 showed opposite preoperative cognitive profiles. P1 obtained normal cognitive results and P2 had clinically significant impairments in all cognitive domains, (language, memory, attentional and executive deficits (z-score ≥-1.50. P3 and P4 also demonstrate opposite preoperative profiles. P4 obtained intact cognitive results, whereas P3 was impaired in memory and executive functions (z-score ≥-1.50. Intraoperatively, in both P3 and P4 positive language sites were found (left inferior frontal gyrus and left parietal lobe. At 3 months postoperatively, P3 presented language deficits followed by recovery at 12 months, whereas P4 appeared to have recovered at 3 months postoperatively from the observed premorbid impairments in memory and executive functioning (z-score <-1.50. Pathological examination revealed a slow growing brain tumor (low-grade in P1 and P3 and a fast growing brain tumor (high-grade in P2 and P4. Conclusion: In patients with similar brain tumor localizations, we found distinct cognitive profiles, possibly affected by different neural plasticity processes. Preoperatively, a favorable plasticity effect on cognition was found in P1 (temporoparietal area, potentially affected by tumor grade. Preserved cognitive functions was possibly facilitated by the slow growth rate of a low-grade tumor allowing functional reorganization (Mandonnet et al., 2003. However, P2 with a brain tumor in the same area showed preoperative deficits in several domains (language, memory and attention/executive functions. A faster growth rate of a high-grade tumor could have more aggressively affected cognition. In P3 and P4 with the same localization (insula, we found a different effect on the cognitive recovery process; at short term (3 months, improvement of the preoperatively observed cognitive impairments in a low-grade tumor P3, whereas a more gradual functional reorganization was found in language (3-12 months in P4, a high-grade tumor, contrasting Habets

  4. Sleep deprivation and hippocampal vulnerability: changes in neuronal plasticity, neurogenesis and cognitive function.

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    Kreutzmann, J C; Havekes, R; Abel, T; Meerlo, P

    2015-11-19

    Despite the ongoing fundamental controversy about the physiological function of sleep, there is general consensus that sleep benefits neuronal plasticity, which ultimately supports brain function and cognition. In agreement with this are numerous studies showing that sleep deprivation (SD) results in learning and memory impairments. Interestingly, such impairments appear to occur particularly when these learning and memory processes require the hippocampus, suggesting that this brain region may be particularly sensitive to the consequences of sleep loss. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying sleep and memory formation remain to be investigated, available evidence suggests that SD may impair hippocampal neuronal plasticity and memory processes by attenuating intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-protein kinase A (PKA) signaling which may lead to alterations in cAMP response element binding protein (CREB)-mediated gene transcription, neurotrophic signaling, and glutamate receptor expression. When restricted sleep becomes a chronic condition, it causes a reduction of hippocampal cell proliferation and neurogenesis, which may eventually lead to a reduction in hippocampal volume. Ultimately, by impairing hippocampal plasticity and function, chronically restricted and disrupted sleep contributes to cognitive disorders and psychiatric diseases.

  5. Emerging role of non-coding RNA in neural plasticity, cognitive function, and neuropsychiatric disorders

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    Paola eSpadaro

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Non-coding RNAs have emerged as critical regulators of transcription, epigenetic processes, and gene silencing, which make them ideal candidates for insight into molecular evolution and a better understanding of the molecular pathways of neuropsychiatric disease. Here we provide an overview of the current state of knowledge regarding various classes of ncRNAs and their role in neural plasticity and cognitive function, and highlight the potential contribution they may make to the development of a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, addiction and fear-related anxiety disorders.

  6. Complement emerges as a masterful regulator of CNS homeostasis, neural synaptic plasticity and cognitive function.

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    Mastellos, Dimitrios C

    2014-11-01

    Growing evidence points to a previously elusive role of complement-modulated pathways in CNS development, neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity. Distinct complement effectors appear to play a multifaceted role in brain homeostasis by regulating synaptic pruning in the retinogeniculate system and sculpting functional neural circuits both in the developing and adult mammalian brain. A recent study by Perez-Alcazar et al. (2014) provides novel insights into this intricate interplay between complement and the dynamically regulated brain synaptic circuitry, by reporting that mice deficient in C3 exhibit enhanced hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and cognitive performance. This behavioral pattern is associated with an impact of C3 on the functional capacity of glutamatergic synapses, supporting a crucial role for complement in excitatory synapse elimination in the hippocampus. These findings add a fresh twist to this rapidly evolving research field, suggesting that discrete complement components may differentially modulate synaptic connectivity by wiring up with diverse neural effectors in different regions of the brain. The emerging role of complement in synaptogenesis and neural network plasticity opens new conceptual avenues for considering complement interception as a potential therapeutic modality for ameliorating progressive cognitive impairment in age-related, debilitating brain diseases with a prominent inflammatory signature.

  7. Microglia across the lifespan: from origin to function in brain development, plasticity and cognition.

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    Tay, Tuan Leng; Savage, Julie C; Hui, Chin Wai; Bisht, Kanchan; Tremblay, Marie-Ève

    2017-03-15

    Microglia are the only immune cells that permanently reside in the central nervous system (CNS) alongside neurons and other types of glial cells. The past decade has witnessed a revolution in our understanding of their roles during normal physiological conditions. Cutting-edge techniques revealed that these resident immune cells are critical for proper brain development, actively maintain health in the mature brain, and rapidly adapt their function to physiological or pathophysiological needs. In this review, we highlight recent studies on microglial origin (from the embryonic yolk sac) and the factors regulating their differentiation and homeostasis upon brain invasion. Elegant experiments tracking microglia in the CNS allowed studies of their unique roles compared with other types of resident macrophages. Here we review the emerging roles of microglia in brain development, plasticity and cognition, and discuss the implications of the depletion or dysfunction of microglia for our understanding of disease pathogenesis. Immune activation, inflammation and various other conditions resulting in undesirable microglial activity at different stages of life could severely impair learning, memory and other essential cognitive functions. The diversity of microglial phenotypes across the lifespan, between compartments of the CNS, and sexes, as well as their crosstalk with the body and external environment, is also emphasised. Understanding what defines particular microglial phenotypes is of major importance for future development of innovative therapies controlling their effector functions, with consequences for cognition across chronic stress, ageing, neuropsychiatric and neurological diseases.

  8. Magnesium protects cognitive functions and synaptic plasticity in streptozotocin-induced sporadic Alzheimer's model.

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    Zhi-Peng Xu

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease (AD is characterized by profound synapse loss and impairments of learning and memory. Magnesium affects many biochemical mechanisms that are vital for neuronal properties and synaptic plasticity. Recent studies have demonstrated that the serum and brain magnesium levels are decreased in AD patients; however, the exact role of magnesium in AD pathogenesis remains unclear. Here, we found that the intraperitoneal administration of magnesium sulfate increased the brain magnesium levels and protected learning and memory capacities in streptozotocin-induced sporadic AD model rats. We also found that magnesium sulfate reversed impairments in long-term potentiation (LTP, dendritic abnormalities, and the impaired recruitment of synaptic proteins. Magnesium sulfate treatment also decreased tau hyperphosphorylation by increasing the inhibitory phosphorylation of GSK-3β at serine 9, thereby increasing the activity of Akt at Ser473 and PI3K at Tyr458/199, and improving insulin sensitivity. We conclude that magnesium treatment protects cognitive function and synaptic plasticity by inhibiting GSK-3β in sporadic AD model rats, which suggests a potential role for magnesium in AD therapy.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Katherine Leung; Sandrine Thuret

    2015-01-01

    Gut microbiota have recently been a topic of great interest in the field of microbiology, particularly their role in normal physiology and its influence on human health in disease. A large body of research has supported the presence of a pathway of communication between the gut and the brain, modulated by gut microbiota, giving rise to the term “microbiota-gut-brain” axis. It is now thought that, through this pathway, microbiota can affect behaviour and modulate brain plasticity and cognitive...

  10. Effects of exercise and diet change on cognition function and synaptic plasticity in high fat diet induced obese rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Nutritional imbalance-induced obesity causes a variety of diseases and in particular is an important cause of cognitive function decline. This study was performed on Sprague Dawley (SD) rats with 13-weeks of high fat diet-induced obesity in connection to the effects of regular exercise and dietary control for 8 weeks on the synaptic plasticity and cognitive abilities of brain. Methods Four weeks-old SD rats were adopted classified into normal-normal diet-sedentary (NNS, n = 8), obesity-high fat diet-sedentary (OHS, n = 8), obesity-high fat diet-training (OHT, n = 8), obesity-normal diet-sedentary (ONS, n = 8) and obesity- normal diet-training (ONT, n = 8). The exercise program consisted of a treadmill exercise administered at a speed of 8 m/min for 1–4 weeks, and 14 m/min for 5–8 weeks. The Western blot method was used to measure the expression of NGF, BDNF, p38MAPK and p-p38MAPK proteins in hippocampus of the brain, and expressions of NGF, BDNF, TrkA, TrkB, CREB and synapsin1 mRNA were analyzed through qRT-PCR. Results The results suggest cognitive function-related protein levels and mRNA expression to be significantly decreased in the hippocampus of obese rats, and synaptic plasticity as well as cognitive function signaling sub-pathway factors were also significantly decreased. In addition, 8-weeks exercises and treatment by dietary change had induced significant increase of cognitive function-related protein levels and mRNA expression as well as synaptic plasticity and cognitive function signaling sub-pathway factors in obese rats. In particular, the combined treatment had presented even more positive effect. Conclusions Therefore, it was determined that the high fat diet-induced obesity decreases plasticity and cognitive function of the brain, but was identified as being improved by exercises and dietary changes. In particular, it is considered that regular exercise has positive effects on memory span and learning

  11. [Cognitive plasticity in Alzheimer's disease patients receiving cognitive stimulation programs].

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    Zamarrón Cassinello, Ma Dolores; Tárraga Mestre, Luis; Fernández-Ballesteros, Rocío

    2008-08-01

    The main purpose of this article is to examine whether cognitive plasticity increases after cognitive training in Alzheimer's disease patients. Twenty six patients participated in this study, all of them diagnosed with mild Alzheimer's disease, 17 of them received a cognitive training program during 6 months, and the other 9 were assigned to the control group. Participants were assigned to experimental or control conditions for clinical reasons. In order to assess cognitive plasticity, all patients were assessed before and after treatment with three subtests from the "Bateria de Evaluación de Potencial de Aprendizaje en Demencias" [Assessment Battery of Learning Potential in Dementia] (BEPAD). After treatment, Alzheimer's disease patients improved their performance in all the tasks assessing cognitive plasticity: viso-spatial memory, audio-verbal memory and verbal fluency. However, the cognitive plasticity scores of the patients in the control group decreased. In conclusion, this study showed that cognitive stimulation programs can improve cognitive functioning in mildly demented patients, and patients who do not receive any cognitive interventions may reduce their cognitive functioning.

  12. Bridging from Cells to Cognition in Autism Pathophysiology: Biological Pathways to Defective Brain Function and Plasticity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anderson, Matthew; Hooker, Brian S.; Herbert, Martha

    2008-01-01

    We review evidence to support the model that autism may begin when a maternal environmental, infectious, or autoantibody insult causes inflammation which increases reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in the fetus, leading to fetal DNA damage (nuclear and mitochondrial), and that these inflammatory and oxidative stressors persist beyond early development (with potential further exacerbations), producing ongoing functional consequences. In organs with a high metabolic demand such as the central nervous system, the continued use of mitochondria with DNA damage may generate additional ROS which will activate the innate immune system leading to more ROS production. Such a mechanism would self-sustain and possibly progressively worsen. The mitochondrial dysfunction and altered redox signal transduction pathways found in autism would conspire to activate both astroglia and microglia. These activated cells can then initiate a broad-spectrum proinflammatory gene response. Neurons may have acquired receptors for these inflammatory signals to inhibit neuronal signaling as a protection from excitotoxic damage during various pathologic insults (e.g., infection). In autism, over-zealous neuroinflammatory responses could not only influence neural developmental processes, but may more significantly impair neural signaling involved in cognition in an ongoing fashion. This model makes specific predictions in patients and experimental animal models and suggests a number of targets sites of intervention. Our model of potentially reversible pathophysiological mechanisms in autism motivates our hope that effective therapies may soon appear on the horizon.

  13. Neuronal and cognitive plasticity: A neurocognitive framework for ameliorating cognitive aging

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    Pamela M Greenwood

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available What is the neurocognitive basis for the considerable individual differences observed in functioning of the adult mind and brain late in life? We review the evidence that in healthy old age the brain remains capable of both neuronal and cognitive plasticity, including in response to environmental and experiential factors. Neuronal plasticity (e.g. neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, cortical re-organization refers to neuron-level changes that can be stimulated by experience. Cognitive plasticity (e.g. increased dependence on executive function refers to adaptive changes in patterns of cognition related to brain activity. We hypothesize that successful cognitive aging requires interactions between these two forms of plasticity. Mechanisms of neural plasticity underpin cognitive plasticity and in turn, neural plasticity is stimulated by cognitive plasticity. We examine support for this hypothesis by considering evidence that neural plasticity is stimulated by learning and novelty and enhanced by both dietary manipulations (low-fat, dietary restriction and aerobic exercise. We also examine evidence that cognitive plasticity is affected by education and training. This is a testable hypothesis which could be assessed in humans in randomized trials comparing separate and combined effects of cognitive training, exercise, and diet on measures of cognitive and brain integrity. Greater understanding of the factors influencing the course of cognitive aging and of the mechanisms underlying those factors could provide information on which people could base choices that improve their ability to age successfully.

  14. Brain plasticity and cognitive functions after ethanol consumption in C57BL/6J mice

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    Stragier, E; Martin, V; Davenas, E; Poilbout, C; Mongeau, R; Corradetti, R; Lanfumey, L

    2015-01-01

    Acute or chronic administrations of high doses of ethanol in mice are known to produce severe cognitive deficits linked to hippocampal damage. However, we recently reported that chronic and moderate ethanol intake in C57BL/6J mice induced chromatin remodeling within the Bdnf promoters, leading to both enhanced brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression and hippocampal neurogenesis under free-choice protocol. We performed here a series of cellular and behavioral studies to analyze the consequences of these modifications. We showed that a 3-week chronic free-choice ethanol consumption in C57BL/6J mice led to a decrease in DNA methylation of the Bdnf gene within the CA1 and CA3 subfields of the hippocampus, and upregulated hippocampal BDNF signaling pathways mediated by ERK, AKT and CREB. However, this activation did not affect long-term potentiation in the CA1. Conversely, ethanol intake impaired learning and memory capacities analyzed in the contextual fear conditioning test and the novel object recognition task. In addition, ethanol increased behavioral perseveration in the Barnes maze test but did not alter the mouse overall spatial capacities. These data suggested that in conditions of chronic and moderate ethanol intake, the chromatin remodeling leading to BDNF signaling upregulation is probably an adaptive process, engaged via epigenetic regulations, to counteract the cognitive deficits induced by ethanol. PMID:26670281

  15. Functional plasticity in ventral temporal cortex following cognitive rehabilitation of a congenital prosopagnosic.

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    DeGutis, Joseph M; Bentin, Shlomo; Robertson, Lynn C; D'Esposito, Mark

    2007-11-01

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) to measure neural changes associated with training configural processing in congenital prosopagnosia, a condition in which face identification abilities are not properly developed in the absence of brain injury or visual problems. We designed a task that required discriminating faces by their spatial configuration and, after extensive training, prosopagnosic MZ significantly improved at face identification. Event-related potential results revealed that although the N170 was not selective for faces before training, its selectivity after training was normal. fMRI demonstrated increased functional connectivity between ventral occipital temporal face-selective regions (right occipital face area and right fusiform face area) that accompanied improvement in face recognition. Several other regions showed fMRI activity changes with training; the majority of these regions increased connectivity with face-selective regions. Together, the neural mechanisms associated with face recognition improvements involved strengthening early face-selective mechanisms and increased coordination between face-selective and nonselective regions, particularly in the right hemisphere.

  16. Brain Plasticity and Motor Practice in Cognitive Aging

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    Liuyang eCai

    2014-03-01

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

  17. Brain plasticity and motor practice in cognitive aging

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Osthole improves synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus and cognitive function of Alzheimer's disease rats via regulating glutamate

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiaohua Dong; Danshen Zhang; Li Zhang; Wei Li; Xianyong Meng

    2012-01-01

    Osthole,an effective monomer in Chinese medicinal herbs,can cross the blood-brain barrier and protect against brain injury,with few toxic effects.In this study,a rat model of Alzheimer's disease was established after intracerebroventricular injection of β-amyloid peptide (25-35).Subsequently,the rats were intraperitoneally treated with osthole (12.5 or 25.0 mg/kg) for 14 successive days.Results showed that osthole treatment significantly improved cognitive impairment and protected hippocampal neurons of Alzheimer's disease rats.Also,osthole treatment alleviated suppressed long-term potentiation in the hippocampus of Alzheimer's disease rats.In these osthole-treated Alzheimer's disease rats,the level of glutamate decreased,but there was no significant change in Y-amino-butyric acid.These experimental findings suggest that osthole can improve learning and memory impairment,and increase synaptic plasticity in Alzheimer's disease rats.These effects of osthole may be because of its regulation of central glutamate and Y-amino-butyric acid levels.

  19. Temporal entrainment of cognitive functions: musical mnemonics induce brain plasticity and oscillatory synchrony in neural networks underlying memory.

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    Thaut, Michael H; Peterson, David A; McIntosh, Gerald C

    2005-12-01

    In a series of experiments, we have begun to investigate the effect of music as a mnemonic device on learning and memory and the underlying plasticity of oscillatory neural networks. We used verbal learning and memory tests (standardized word lists, AVLT) in conjunction with electroencephalographic analysis to determine differences between verbal learning in either a spoken or musical (verbal materials as song lyrics) modality. In healthy adults, learning in both the spoken and music condition was associated with significant increases in oscillatory synchrony across all frequency bands. A significant difference between the spoken and music condition emerged in the cortical topography of the learning-related synchronization. When using EEG measures as predictors during learning for subsequent successful memory recall, significantly increased coherence (phase-locked synchronization) within and between oscillatory brain networks emerged for music in alpha and gamma bands. In a similar study with multiple sclerosis patients, superior learning and memory was shown in the music condition when controlled for word order recall, and subjects were instructed to sing back the word lists. Also, the music condition was associated with a significant power increase in the low-alpha band in bilateral frontal networks, indicating increased neuronal synchronization. Musical learning may access compensatory pathways for memory functions during compromised PFC functions associated with learning and recall. Music learning may also confer a neurophysiological advantage through the stronger synchronization of the neuronal cell assemblies underlying verbal learning and memory. Collectively our data provide evidence that melodic-rhythmic templates as temporal structures in music may drive internal rhythm formation in recurrent cortical networks involved in learning and memory.

  20. Cognitive plasticity in normal and pathological aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernández-Ballesteros R

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Rocío Fernández-Ballesteros1, Juan Botella1, María Dolores Zamarrón1, María Ángeles Molina1, Emilia Cabras1, Rocío Schettini1, Lluis Tárraga21Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain; 2ACE Foundation, Catalonian Institute of Applied Neurosciences, Barcelona, SpainAbstract: The main goal of the present study is to examine to what extent age and cognitive impairment contribute to learning performance (cognitive plasticity, cognitive modifiability, or learning potential. To address this question, participants coming from four studies (Longitudinal Study of Active Aging, age range, 55–75 years, N = 458; Longitudinal Study in the very old [90+], age range, 90–102, N = 188, and Cognitive Plasticity within the Course of Cognitive Impairment, 97 “Normal”, 57 mild cognitive impairment [MCI], and 98 Alzheimer's disease [AD] patients were examined through a measure of verbal learning (developed from Rey. The results show that all age, MCI, and AD groups learned across the five learning trials of that test, but significant differences were found due to age, pathology, and education. The effects of pathology (MCI and AD can be expressed in a metric of “years of normal decline by age”; specifically, being MCI means suffering an impairment in performance that is equivalent to the decline of a normal individual during 15 years, whereas the impact of AD is equivalent to 22.7 years. Likewise, the improvement associated with about 5 years of education is equivalent to about 1 year less of normal aging. Also, the two pathological groups significantly differed from “normal” groups in the delayed trial of the test. The most dramatic difference is that between the “normal” group and the AD patients, which shows relatively poorer performance for the AD group in the delayed trial than in the first learning trial. The potential role of this unique effect for quick detection purposes of AD is assessed (in the 75–89 years age range

  1. A Theoretical Framework for the Study of Adult Cognitive Plasticity

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    Lovden, Martin; Backman, Lars; Lindenberger, Ulman; Schaefer, Sabine; Schmiedek, Florian

    2010-01-01

    Does plasticity contribute to adult cognitive development, and if so, in what ways? The vague and overused concept of plasticity makes these controversial questions difficult to answer. In this article, we refine the notion of adult cognitive plasticity and sharpen its conceptual distinctiveness. According to our framework, adult cognitive…

  2. Cognitive plasticity in normal and pathological aging

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    Fernández-Ballesteros, Rocío; Botella, Juan; Zamarrón, María Dolores; Molina, María Ángeles; Cabras, Emilia; Schettini, Rocío; Tárraga, Lluis

    2012-01-01

    The main goal of the present study is to examine to what extent age and cognitive impairment contribute to learning performance (cognitive plasticity, cognitive modifiability, or learning potential). To address this question, participants coming from four studies (Longitudinal Study of Active Aging, age range, 55–75 years, N = 458; Longitudinal Study in the very old [90+], age range, 90–102, N = 188, and Cognitive Plasticity within the Course of Cognitive Impairment, 97 “Normal”, 57 mild cognitive impairment [MCI], and 98 Alzheimer’s disease [AD] patients) were examined through a measure of verbal learning (developed from Rey). The results show that all age, MCI, and AD groups learned across the five learning trials of that test, but significant differences were found due to age, pathology, and education. The effects of pathology (MCI and AD) can be expressed in a metric of “years of normal decline by age”; specifically, being MCI means suffering an impairment in performance that is equivalent to the decline of a normal individual during 15 years, whereas the impact of AD is equivalent to 22.7 years. Likewise, the improvement associated with about 5 years of education is equivalent to about 1 year less of normal aging. Also, the two pathological groups significantly differed from “normal” groups in the delayed trial of the test. The most dramatic difference is that between the “normal” group and the AD patients, which shows relatively poorer performance for the AD group in the delayed trial than in the first learning trial. The potential role of this unique effect for quick detection purposes of AD is assessed (in the 75–89 years age range, sensitivity and specificity equal 0.813 and 0.917, respectively). PMID:22291469

  3. Cognitive plasticity in normal and pathological aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Ballesteros, Rocío; Botella, Juan; Zamarrón, María Dolores; Molina, María Ángeles; Cabras, Emilia; Schettini, Rocío; Tárraga, Lluis

    2012-01-01

    The main goal of the present study is to examine to what extent age and cognitive impairment contribute to learning performance (cognitive plasticity, cognitive modifiability, or learning potential). To address this question, participants coming from four studies (Longitudinal Study of Active Aging, age range, 55-75 years, N = 458; Longitudinal Study in the very old [90+], age range, 90-102, N = 188, and Cognitive Plasticity within the Course of Cognitive Impairment, 97 "Normal", 57 mild cognitive impairment [MCI], and 98 Alzheimer's disease [AD] patients) were examined through a measure of verbal learning (developed from Rey). The results show that all age, MCI, and AD groups learned across the five learning trials of that test, but significant differences were found due to age, pathology, and education. The effects of pathology (MCI and AD) can be expressed in a metric of "years of normal decline by age"; specifically, being MCI means suffering an impairment in performance that is equivalent to the decline of a normal individual during 15 years, whereas the impact of AD is equivalent to 22.7 years. Likewise, the improvement associated with about 5 years of education is equivalent to about 1 year less of normal aging. Also, the two pathological groups significantly differed from "normal" groups in the delayed trial of the test. The most dramatic difference is that between the "normal" group and the AD patients, which shows relatively poorer performance for the AD group in the delayed trial than in the first learning trial. The potential role of this unique effect for quick detection purposes of AD is assessed (in the 75-89 years age range, sensitivity and specificity equal 0.813 and 0.917, respectively).

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

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    Gutchess, Angela

    2014-10-31

    Cognitive neuroscience has revealed aging of the human brain to be rich in reorganization and change. Neuroimaging results have recast our framework around cognitive aging from one of decline to one emphasizing plasticity. Current methods use neurostimulation approaches to manipulate brain function, providing a direct test of the ways that the brain differently contributes to task performance for younger and older adults. Emerging research into emotional, social, and motivational domains provides some evidence for preservation with age, suggesting potential avenues of plasticity, alongside additional evidence for reorganization. Thus, we begin to see that aging of the brain, amidst interrelated behavioral and biological changes, is as complex and idiosyncratic as the brain itself, qualitatively changing over the life span. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  5. Diet and cognition: interplay between cell metabolism and neuronal plasticity.

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    Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando; Tyagi, Ethika

    2013-11-01

    To discuss studies in humans and animals revealing the ability of foods to benefit the brain: new information with regards to mechanisms of action and the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Dietary factors exert their effects on the brain by affecting molecular events related to the management of energy metabolism and synaptic plasticity. Energy metabolism influences neuronal function, neuronal signaling, and synaptic plasticity, ultimately affecting mental health. Epigenetic regulation of neuronal plasticity appears as an important mechanism by which foods can prolong their effects on long-term neuronal plasticity. The prime focus of the discussion is to emphasize the role of cell metabolism as a mediator for the action of foods on the brain. Oxidative stress promotes damage to phospholipids present in the plasma membrane such as the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexenoic acid, disrupting neuronal signaling. Thus, dietary docosahexenoic acid seems crucial for supporting plasma membrane function, interneuronal signaling, and cognition. The dual action of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in neuronal metabolism and synaptic plasticity is crucial for activating signaling cascades under the action of diet and other environmental factors, using mechanisms of epigenetic regulation.

  6. Processing demands upon cognitive, linguistic, and articulatory functions promote grey matter plasticity in the adult multilingual brain: Insights from simultaneous interpreters.

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    Elmer, Stefan; Hänggi, Jürgen; Jäncke, Lutz

    2014-05-01

    Until now, considerable effort has been made to determine structural brain characteristics related to exceptional multilingual skills. However, at least one important question has not yet been satisfactorily addressed in the previous literature, namely whether and to which extent the processing demands upon cognitive, linguistic, and articulatory functions may promote grey matter plasticity in the adult multilingual brain. Based on the premise that simultaneous interpretation is a highly demanding linguistic task that places strong demands on executive and articulatory functions, here we compared grey matter volumes between professional simultaneous interpreters (SI) and multilingual control subjects. Thereby, we focused on a specific set of a-priori defined bilateral brain regions that have previously been shown to support neurocognitional aspects of language control and linguistic functions in the multilingual brain. These regions are the cingulate gyrus, caudate nucleus, frontal operculum (pars triangularis and opercularis), inferior parietal lobe (IPL) (supramarginal and angular gyrus), and the insula. As a main result, we found reduced grey matter volumes in professional SI, compared to multilingual controls, in the left middle-anterior cingulate gyrus, bilateral pars triangularis, left pars opercularis, bilateral middle part of the insula, and in the left supramarginal gyrus (SMG). Interestingly, grey matter volume in left pars triangularis, right pars opercularis, middle-anterior cingulate gyrus, and in the bilateral caudate nucleus was negatively correlated with the cumulative number of interpreting hours. Hence, we provide first evidence for an expertise-related grey matter architecture that may reflect a composite of brain characteristics that were still present before interpreting training and training-related changes.

  7. Functional and cognitive grammars

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Anna Siewierska

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents a comprehensive review of the functional approach and cognitive approach to the nature of language and its relation to other aspects of human cognition. The paper starts with a brief discussion of the origins and the core tenets of the two approaches in Section 1. Section 2 discusses the similarities and differences between the three full-fledged structural functional grammars subsumed in the functional approach: Halliday's Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG), Dik's Functional Grammar (FG), and Van Valin's Role and Reference Grammar (RRG). Section 3 deals with the major features of the three cognitive frameworks: Langacker's Cognitive Grammar (CG), Goldberg's Cognitive Construction Grammar (CCG), and Croft's Radical Construction Grammar (RCG). Section 4 compares the two approaches and attempts to provide a unified functional-cognitive grammar. In the last section, the author concludes the paper with remarks on the unidirectional shift from functional grammar to cognitive grammar that may indicate a reinterpretation of the traditional relationship between functional and cognitive models of grammar.

  8. Cognitive correlates of visual neural plasticity in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahshan, Carol; Wynn, Jonathan K; Mathalon, Daniel H; Green, Michael F

    2017-03-20

    Neuroplasticity may be an important treatment target to improve the cognitive deficits in schizophrenia (SZ). Yet, it is poorly understood and difficult to assess. Recently, a visual high-frequency stimulation (HFS) paradigm that potentiates electroencephalography (EEG)-based visual evoked potentials (VEP) has been developed to assess neural plasticity in the visual cortex. Using this paradigm, we examined visual plasticity in SZ patients (N=64) and its correlations with clinical symptoms, neurocognition, functional capacity, and community functioning. VEPs were assessed prior to (baseline), and 2-, 4-, and 20-min after (Post-1, Post-2, and Post-3, respectively) 2min of visual HFS. Cluster-based permutation tests were conducted to identify time points and electrodes at which VEP amplitudes were significantly different after HFS. Compared to baseline, there was increased negativity between 140 and 227ms for the early post-HFS block (average of Post-1 and Post-2), and increased positivity between 180 and 281ms for the late post-HFS block (Post-3), at parieto-occipital and occipital electrodes. The increased negativity in the early post-HFS block did not correlate with any of the measures, whereas increased positivity in the late post-HFS block correlated with better neurocognitive performance. Results suggest that SZ patients exhibit both short- and long-term plasticity. The long-term plasticity effect, which was present 22min after HFS, was evident relatively late in the VEP, suggesting that neuroplastic changes in higher-order visual association areas, rather than earlier short-term changes in primary and secondary visual cortex, may be particularly important for the maintenance of neurocognitive function in SZ.

  9. Spike-timing dependent plasticity and the cognitive map

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eBush

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Since the discovery of place cells – single pyramidal neurons that encode spatial location – it has been hypothesised that the hippocampus may act as a cognitive map of known environments. This putative function has been extensively modelled using auto-associative networks, which utilise rate-coded synaptic plasticity rules in order to generate strong bi-directional connections between concurrently active place cells that encode for neighbouring place fields. However, empirical studies using hippocampal cultures have demonstrated that the magnitude and direction of changes in synaptic strength can also be dictated by the relative timing of pre- and post- synaptic firing according to a spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP rule. Furthermore, electrophysiology studies have identified persistent ‘theta-coded’ temporal correlations in place cell activity in vivo, characterised by phase precession of firing as the corresponding place field is traversed. It is not yet clear if STDP and theta-coded neural dynamics are compatible with cognitive map theory and previous rate-coded models of spatial learning in the hippocampus. Here, we demonstrate that an STDP rule based on empirical data obtained from the hippocampus can mediate rate-coded Hebbian learning when pre- and post- synaptic activity is stochastic and has no persistent sequence bias. We subsequently demonstrate that a spiking recurrent neural network that utilises this STDP rule, alongside theta-coded neural activity, allows the rapid development of a cognitive map during directed or random exploration of an environment of overlapping place fields. Hence, we establish that STDP and phase precession are compatible with rate-coded models of cognitive map development.

  10. Practice-Oriented Retest Learning as the Basic Form of Cognitive Plasticity of the Aging Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lixia Yang

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available It has been well documented that aging is associated with declines in a variety of cognitive functions. A growing body of research shows that the age-related cognitive declines are reversible through cognitive training programs, suggesting maintained cognitive plasticity of the aging brain. Retest learning represents a basic form of cognitive plasticity. It has been consistently demonstrated for adults in young-old and old-old ages. Accumulated research indicates that retest learning is effective, robust, endurable and could occur at a more conceptual level beyond item-specific memorization. Recent studies also demonstrate promisingly broader transfer effects from retest practice of activities involving complex executive functioning to other untrained tasks. The results shed light on the development of self-guided mental exercise programs to improve cognitive performance and efficiency of the aging brain. The relevant studies were reviewed, and the findings were discussed in light of their limitations, implications, and future directions.

  11. Life-span plasticity of the brain and cognition: from questions to evidence and back.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raz, Naftali; Lindenberger, Ulman

    2013-11-01

    Experience-related changes induced by modification of environment, physical exercise, or cognitive training affect brain structure and function. Research on brain plasticity and its relationship to experiential changes gathers momentum and attracts significant public interest. This collection of papers is based on presentation at the First International Conference on Life-Span Plasticity of Brain and Behavior: A Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective that took place in Detroit, MI, on October 12-14, 2011. The conference honored Margret M. and Paul B. Baltes, the pioneers of life-span developmental psychology who initiated some of the first studies on experience- and training-related changes in cognition across the life span.

  12. Exercise-induced cognitive plasticity, implications for mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip P. Foster

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Lifestyle factors such as intellectual stimulation, cognitive and social engagement, nutrition, and various types of exercise appear to reduce the risk for common age-associated disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD and vascular dementia. In fact, many studies have suggested that promoting physical activity can have a protective effect against cognitive deterioration later in life. Slowing or a deterioration of walking speed is associated with a poor performance in tests assessing psychomotor speed and verbal fluency in elderly individuals. Fitness training influences a wide range of cognitive processes, and the largest positive impact observed is for executive (a.k.a. frontal lobe functions. Studies show that exercise improves additional cognitive functions such as tasks mediated by the hippocampus, and result in major changes in plasticity in the hippocampus. Interestingly, this exercise-induced plasticity is also pronounced in APOE ε4 carriers who express a risk factor for late-onset AD that may modulate the effect of treatments. Based on AD staging by Braak et al., we propose that the effects of exercise occur in two temporo-spatial continua of events. The inward continuum from isocortex (neocortex to entorhinal cortex/hippocampus for amyloidosis and a reciprocal outward continuum for neurofibrillary alterations. The exercise-induced hypertrophy of the hippocampus at the core of these continua is evaluated in terms of potential for prevention to stave off neuronal degeneration. Exercise-induced production of growth factors such as the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF has been shown to enhance neurogenesis and to play a key role in positive cognitive effects. Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1 may mediate the exercise-induced response to exercise on BDNF, neurogenesis and cognitive performance. It is also postulated to regulate brain amyloid β (Aβ levels by increased clearance via the choroid plexus. Growth factors

  13. The impact of synapsins on synaptic plasticity and cognitive behaviors

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lin ZHANG; Zhong-Xin ZHAO

    2006-01-01

    Synapsins are a family of phosphoproteins specifically associated with the cytoplasmic surface of the synaptic vesicle membrane, appearing to regulate neurotransmitter release, the formation and maintenance of synaptic contacts.They could induce the change of the synaptic plasticity to regulate various adaptation reactions, and change the cognitive behaviors. So we presume that if some cognitive behavior are damaged, synapsins would be changed as well. This gives us a new recognition of better diagnosis and therapy of cognitive disorder desease.

  14. Impairment of cognitive function and synaptic plasticity associated with alteration of information flow in theta and gamma oscillations in melamine-treated rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaxia Xu

    Full Text Available Changes of neural oscillations at a variety of physiological rhythms are effectively associated with cognitive performance. The present study investigated whether the directional indices of neural information flow (NIF could be used to symbolize the synaptic plasticity impairment in hippocampal CA3-CA1 network in a rat model of melamine. Male Wistar rats were employed while melamine was administered at a dose of 300 mg/kg/day for 4 weeks. Behavior was measured by the Morris water maze(MWMtest. Local field potentials (LFPs were recorded before long-term potentiation (LTP induction. Generalized partial directed coherence (gPDC and phase-amplitude coupling conditional mutual information (PAC_CMI were used to measure the unidirectional indices in both theta and low gamma oscillations (LG, ~ 30-50 Hz. Our results showed that melamine induced the cognition deficits consistent with the reduced LTP in CA1 area. Phase locking values (PLVs showed that the synchronization between CA3 and CA1 in both theta and LG rhythms was reduced by melamine. In both theta and LG rhythms, unidirectional indices were significantly decreased in melamine treated rats while a similar variation trend was observed in LTP reduction, implying that the effects of melamine on cognitive impairment were possibly mediated via profound alterations of NIF on CA3-CA1 pathway in hippocampus. The results suggested that LFPs activities at these rhythms were most likely involved in determining the alterations of information flow in the hippocampal CA3-CA1 network, which might be associated with the alteration of synaptic transmission to some extent.

  15. Beyond the sensorimotor plasticity: cognitive expansion of prism adaptation in healthy individuals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carine eMICHEL

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Sensorimotor plasticity allows us to maintain an efficient motor behavior in reaction to environmental changes. One of the classical models for the study of sensorimotor plasticity is prism adaptation. It consists of pointing to visual targets while wearing prismatic lenses that shift the visual field laterally. The conditions of the development of the plasticity and the sensorimotor after-effects have been extensively studied for more than a century. However, the interest taken in this phenomenon was considerably increased since the demonstration of neglect rehabilitation following prism adaptation by Rossetti and his colleagues in 1998. Mirror effects, i.e. simulation of neglect in healthy individuals, were observed for the first time by Colent and collaborators in 2000. The present review focuses on the expansion of prism adaptation to cognitive functions in healthy individuals during the last 15 years. Cognitive after-effects have been shown in numerous tasks even in those that are not intrinsically spatial in nature. Altogether, these results suggest the existence of a strong link between low-level sensorimotor plasticity and high-level cognitive functions and raise important questions about the mechanisms involved in producing unexpected cognitive effects following prism adaptation. Implications for the functional mechanisms and neuroanatomical network of prism adaptation are discussed to explain how sensorimotor plasticity may affect cognitive processes.

  16. Cortical Plasticity and Olfactory Function in Early Blindness.

    OpenAIRE

    Rodrigo Araneda; Laurent A Renier; Philippe Rombaux; Isabel Cuevas; De Volder, Anne G.

    2016-01-01

    Over the last decade, functional brain imaging has provided insight in the maturation processes and has helped elucidate the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in brain plasticity in the absence of vision. In case of congenital blindness, drastic changes occur within the deafferented visual cortex that starts receiving and processing nonvisual inputs, including olfactory stimuli. This functional reorganization of the occipital cortex gives rise to compensatory perceptual and cognitive me...

  17. Neural Plastic Effects of Cognitive Training on Aging Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie T. Y. Leung

    2015-01-01

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

  18. [Chewing and cognitive function].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirano, Yoshiyuki; Onozuka, Minoru

    2014-01-01

    Chewing does not only crush food to aid swallowing and digestion; it also helps to relieve stress and regulate cognitive functions, including alertness and executive function. It is well known that chewing gum is used for sleepiness prevention during work, learning, and driving. In addition, it has been shown in the elderly that a decrease in the number of residual teeth is related to dementia onset. These findings suggest a link between chewing and maintaining memory and attention. Recently, many studies regarding the effects of chewing on memory and attention were conducted using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG). When a working memory task was used, the middle frontal gyrus in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex showed greater activation in addition to producing higher alertness after chewing. Furthermore, using an attentional network test, reaction time shortened, and the anterior cingulate cortex and left frontal gyrus were both activated for the executive network. From these results, it is suggested that chewing elevates alertness, consequently leading to improvements in cognitive performance. In this review, we introduce findings concerning the effects of chewing on cognitive performance, and discuss the neuronal mechanisms underlying these effects.

  19. DHA dietary supplementation enhances the effects of exercise on synaptic plasticity and cognition

    OpenAIRE

    Wu, Aiguo; Ying, Zhe; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2008-01-01

    Omega-3 fatty acids (i.e., docosahexaenoic acid; DHA), similar to exercise, improve cognitive function, promote neuroplasticity, and protect against neurological lesion. In this study, we investigated a possible synergistic action between DHA dietary supplementation and voluntary exercise on modulating synaptic plasticity and cognition. Rats received DHA dietary supplementation (1.25% DHA) with or without voluntary exercise for 12 days. We found that the DHA-enriched diet significantly increa...

  20. Sensory and cognitive plasticity: implications for academic interventions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Emily A.; Mackey, Allyson P.

    2016-01-01

    Research in neuroscience has great potential for transforming education. However, the brain systems that support academic and cognitive skills are poorly understood in comparison to the systems that support sensory processing. Decades of basic research have examined the role that brain plasticity plays in the genesis and treatment of developmental visual disorders, which may help to inform how cognitive training approaches can be tailored for students who experience environmental disadvantage. In this review, we draw parallels between visual and cognitive intervention approaches, and suggest research avenues that could inform educational practice in the future. PMID:27231716

  1. MSK1 Regulates Environmental Enrichment-Induced Hippocampal Plasticity and Cognitive Enhancement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karelina, Kate; Hansen, Katelin F.; Choi, Yun-Sik; DeVries, A. Courtney; Arthur, J. Simon C.; Obrietan, Karl

    2012-01-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) has marked beneficial effects on cognitive capacity. Given the possibility that this form of neuronal plasticity could function via the actuation of the same cellular signaling pathways that underlie learning/memory formation, we examined whether the MAPK cascade effector, mitogen/stress-activated kinase 1 (MSK1),…

  2. Functional nanostructures on injection molded plastic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johansson, Alicia Charlotte; Søgaard, Emil; Andersen, Nis Korsgaard

    Nanotechnology can be used to make inexpensive plastic parts with functional surfaces. The plastic parts can be molded using a standard injection molding process. The nanostructures are directly transferred from the surface of the molding tool to the surface of the molded plastic part during...... the molding process. The main advantage with this method is that surface treatments and chemical additives are avoided, which minimizes health risks and simplifies recycling. Another advantage is that the unique technology enables nanostructuring of free form molded parts. The functional surfaces can have...

  3. Cognitive training-induced short-term functional and long-term structural plastic change is related to gains in global cognition in healthy older adults: A pilot study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amit eLampit

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Computerized cognitive training (CCT is a safe and inexpensive intervention to enhance cognitive performance in the elderly. However, the neural underpinning of CCT-induced effects and the timecourse by which such neural changes occur are unknown. Here, we report on results from a pilot study of healthy older adults who underwent three 1-hour weekly sessions of either multidomain CCT program (n = 7 or an active control intervention (n = 5 over 12 weeks. Multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scans and cognitive assessments were performed at baseline and after 9 and 36 hours of training. Voxel-based structural analysis revealed a significant Group × Time interaction in the right postcentral gyrus indicating increased gray matter density in the CCT group compared to active control at both follow-ups. Across the entire sample, there were significant positive correlations between changes in the postcentral gyrus and change in global cognition after 36 hours of training. A post-hoc vertex-based analysis found a significant between-group difference in rate of thickness change between baseline and post-training in the left fusiform gyrus, as well as a large cluster in the right parietal lobe covering the supramarginal and postcentral gyri. Resting-state functional connectivity between the posterior cingulate and the superior frontal gyrus, and between the right hippocampus and the superior temporal gyrus significantly differed between the two groups after 9 hours of training and correlated with cognitive change post-training. No significant interactions were found for any of the spectroscopy and diffusion tensor imaging data. Though preliminary, our results suggest that functional change may precede structural and cognitive change, and that about one-half of the structural change occurs within the first nine hours of training. Future studies are required to determine the role of these brain changes in the mechanisms underlying CCT

  4. Cognitive training-induced short-term functional and long-term structural plastic change is related to gains in global cognition in healthy older adults: a pilot study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampit, Amit; Hallock, Harry; Suo, Chao; Naismith, Sharon L.; Valenzuela, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Computerized cognitive training (CCT) is a safe and inexpensive intervention to enhance cognitive performance in the elderly. However, the neural underpinning of CCT-induced effects and the timecourse by which such neural changes occur are unknown. Here, we report on results from a pilot study of healthy older adults who underwent three 1-h weekly sessions of either multidomain CCT program (n = 7) or an active control intervention (n = 5) over 12 weeks. Multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and cognitive assessments were performed at baseline and after 9 and 36 h of training. Voxel-based structural analysis revealed a significant Group × Time interaction in the right post-central gyrus indicating increased gray matter density in the CCT group compared to active control at both follow-ups. Across the entire sample, there were significant positive correlations between changes in the post-central gyrus and change in global cognition after 36 h of training. A post-hoc vertex-based analysis found a significant between-group difference in rate of thickness change between baseline and post-training in the left fusiform gyrus, as well as a large cluster in the right parietal lobe covering the supramarginal and post-central gyri. Resting-state functional connectivity between the posterior cingulate and the superior frontal gyrus, and between the right hippocampus and the superior temporal gyrus significantly differed between the two groups after 9 h of training and correlated with cognitive change post-training. No significant interactions were found for any of the spectroscopy and diffusion tensor imaging data. Though preliminary, our results suggest that functional change may precede structural and cognitive change, and that about one-half of the structural change occurs within the first 9 h of training. Future studies are required to determine the role of these brain changes in the mechanisms underlying CCT-induced cognitive effects. PMID:25805989

  5. Cognitive training-induced short-term functional and long-term structural plastic change is related to gains in global cognition in healthy older adults: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampit, Amit; Hallock, Harry; Suo, Chao; Naismith, Sharon L; Valenzuela, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Computerized cognitive training (CCT) is a safe and inexpensive intervention to enhance cognitive performance in the elderly. However, the neural underpinning of CCT-induced effects and the timecourse by which such neural changes occur are unknown. Here, we report on results from a pilot study of healthy older adults who underwent three 1-h weekly sessions of either multidomain CCT program (n = 7) or an active control intervention (n = 5) over 12 weeks. Multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and cognitive assessments were performed at baseline and after 9 and 36 h of training. Voxel-based structural analysis revealed a significant Group × Time interaction in the right post-central gyrus indicating increased gray matter density in the CCT group compared to active control at both follow-ups. Across the entire sample, there were significant positive correlations between changes in the post-central gyrus and change in global cognition after 36 h of training. A post-hoc vertex-based analysis found a significant between-group difference in rate of thickness change between baseline and post-training in the left fusiform gyrus, as well as a large cluster in the right parietal lobe covering the supramarginal and post-central gyri. Resting-state functional connectivity between the posterior cingulate and the superior frontal gyrus, and between the right hippocampus and the superior temporal gyrus significantly differed between the two groups after 9 h of training and correlated with cognitive change post-training. No significant interactions were found for any of the spectroscopy and diffusion tensor imaging data. Though preliminary, our results suggest that functional change may precede structural and cognitive change, and that about one-half of the structural change occurs within the first 9 h of training. Future studies are required to determine the role of these brain changes in the mechanisms underlying CCT-induced cognitive effects.

  6. Trisomy of the G protein-coupled K+ channel gene, Kcnj6, affects reward mechanisms, cognitive functions, and synaptic plasticity in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Ayelet; Grigoryan, Gayane; Guy-David, Liora; Tsoory, Michael M; Chen, Alon; Reuveny, Eitan

    2012-02-14

    G protein-activated inwardly rectifying K+ channels (GIRK) generate slow inhibitory postsynaptic potentials in the brain via G(i/o) protein-coupled receptors. GIRK2, a GIRK subunit, is widely abundant in the brain and has been implicated in various functions and pathologies, such as learning and memory, reward, motor coordination, and Down syndrome. Down syndrome, the most prevalent cause of mental retardation, results from the presence of an extra maternal chromosome 21 (trisomy 21), which comprises the Kcnj6 gene (GIRK2). The present study examined the behaviors and cellular physiology properties in mice harboring a single trisomy of the Kcnj6 gene. Kcnj6 triploid mice exhibit deficits in hippocampal-dependent learning and memory, altered responses to rewards, hampered depotentiation, a form of excitatory synaptic plasticity, and have accentuated long-term synaptic depression. Collectively the findings suggest that triplication of Kcnj6 gene may play an active role in some of the abnormal neurological phenotypes found in Down syndrome.

  7. A saturated-fat diet aggravates the outcome of traumatic brain injury on hippocampal plasticity and cognitive function by reducing brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, A; Molteni, R; Ying, Z; Gomez-Pinilla, F

    2003-01-01

    We have conducted studies to determine the potential of dietary factors to affect the capacity of the brain to compensate for insult. Rats were fed with a high-fat sucrose (HFS) diet, a popularly consumed diet in industrialized western societies, for 4 weeks before a mild fluid percussion injury (FPI) or sham surgery was performed. FPI impaired spatial learning capacity in the Morris water maze, and these effects were aggravated by previous exposure of the rats to the action of the HFS diet. Learning performance decreased according to levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in individual rats, such that rats with the worst learning efficacy showed the lowest levels of BDNF in the hippocampus. BDNF immunohistochemistry localized the decreases in BDNF to the CA3 and dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation. BDNF has a strong effect on synaptic plasticity via the action of synapsin I and cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB), therefore, we assessed changes in synapsin I and CREB in conjunction with BDNF. Levels of synapsin I and CREB decreased in relation to decreases in BDNF levels. The combination of FPI and the HFS diet had more dramatic effects on the active state (phosphorylated) of synapsin I and CREB. There were no signs of neurodegeneration in the hippocampus of any rat group assessed with Fluoro-Jade B staining. The results suggest that FPI and diet impose a risk factor to the molecular machinery in charge of maintaining neuronal function under homeostatic and challenging situations.

  8. Brain disease, connectivity, plasticity and cognitive therapy: A neurological view of mental disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubrini, G; Martín-Montes, A; Díez-Ascaso, O; Díez-Tejedor, E

    2017-04-25

    Our conception of the mind-brain relationship has evolved from the traditional idea of dualism to current evidence that mental functions result from brain activity. This paradigm shift, combined with recent advances in neuroimaging, has led to a novel definition of brain functioning in terms of structural and functional connectivity. The purpose of this literature review is to describe the relationship between connectivity, brain lesions, cerebral plasticity, and functional recovery. Assuming that brain function results from the organisation of the entire brain in networks, brain dysfunction would be a consequence of altered brain network connectivity. According to this approach, cognitive and behavioural impairment following brain damage result from disrupted functional organisation of brain networks. However, the dynamic and versatile nature of these circuits makes recovering brain function possible. Cerebral plasticity allows for functional reorganisation leading to recovery, whether spontaneous or resulting from cognitive therapy, after brain disease. Current knowledge of brain connectivity and cerebral plasticity provides new insights into normal brain functioning, the mechanisms of brain damage, and functional recovery, which in turn serve as the foundations of cognitive therapy. Copyright © 2017 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  9. Cortical Plasticity and Olfactory Function in Early Blindness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araneda, Rodrigo; Renier, Laurent A.; Rombaux, Philippe; Cuevas, Isabel; De Volder, Anne G.

    2016-01-01

    Over the last decade, functional brain imaging has provided insight to the maturation processes and has helped elucidate the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in brain plasticity in the absence of vision. In case of congenital blindness, drastic changes occur within the deafferented “visual” cortex that starts receiving and processing non visual inputs, including olfactory stimuli. This functional reorganization of the occipital cortex gives rise to compensatory perceptual and cognitive mechanisms that help blind persons achieve perceptual tasks, leading to superior olfactory abilities in these subjects. This view receives support from psychophysical testing, volumetric measurements and functional brain imaging studies in humans, which are presented here. PMID:27625596

  10. Molecular kinesis in cellular function and plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiedge, H; Bloom, F E; Richter, D

    2001-06-19

    Intracellular transport and localization of cellular components are essential for the functional organization and plasticity of eukaryotic cells. Although the elucidation of protein transport mechanisms has made impressive progress in recent years, intracellular transport of RNA remains less well understood. The National Academy of Sciences Colloquium on Molecular Kinesis in Cellular Function and Plasticity therefore was devised as an interdisciplinary platform for participants to discuss intracellular molecular transport from a variety of different perspectives. Topics covered at the meeting included RNA metabolism and transport, mechanisms of protein synthesis and localization, the formation of complex interactive protein ensembles, and the relevance of such mechanisms for activity-dependent regulation and synaptic plasticity in neurons. It was the overall objective of the colloquium to generate momentum and cohesion for the emerging research field of molecular kinesis.

  11. Neural Plasticity in Multiple Sclerosis: The Functional and Molecular Background

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominika Justyna Ksiazek-Winiarek

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune neurodegenerative disorder resulting in motor dysfunction and cognitive decline. The inflammatory and neurodegenerative changes seen in the brains of MS patients lead to progressive disability and increasing brain atrophy. The most common type of MS is characterized by episodes of clinical exacerbations and remissions. This suggests the presence of compensating mechanisms for accumulating damage. Apart from the widely known repair mechanisms like remyelination, another important phenomenon is neuronal plasticity. Initially, neuroplasticity was connected with the developmental stages of life; however, there is now growing evidence confirming that structural and functional reorganization occurs throughout our lifetime. Several functional studies, utilizing such techniques as fMRI, TBS, or MRS, have provided valuable data about the presence of neuronal plasticity in MS patients. CNS ability to compensate for neuronal damage is most evident in RR-MS; however it has been shown that brain plasticity is also preserved in patients with substantial brain damage. Regardless of the numerous studies, the molecular background of neuronal plasticity in MS is still not well understood. Several factors, like IL-1β, BDNF, PDGF, or CB1Rs, have been implicated in functional recovery from the acute phase of MS and are thus considered as potential therapeutic targets.

  12. Plasticity and function of cerebral lateralization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lust, J.M.

    2011-01-01

    Lateralization refers to the division of labour between the hemispheres. The studies presented in this thesis addressed the developmental plasticity and function of cerebral lateralization. The access to an unique dataset of prenatal testosterone (pT) levels and the use of fTCD to measure individual

  13. Gene, environment and cognitive function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xu, Chunsheng; Sun, Jianping; Duan, Haiping

    2015-01-01

    population living under distinct environmental condition as the Western populations. OBJECTIVE: this study aims to explore the genetic and environmental impact on normal cognitive ageing in the Chinese twins. DESIGN/SETTING: cognitive function was measured on 384 complete twin pairs with median age of 50...... factors accounting for 23-33% of the total variances. In contrast, all cognitive performances showed moderate to high influences by the unique environmental factors. CONCLUSIONS: genetic factor and common family environment have a limited contribution to cognitive function in the Chinese adults......BACKGROUND: the genetic and environmental contributions to cognitive function in the old people have been well addressed for the Western populations using twin modelling showing moderate to high heritability. No similar study has been conducted in the world largest and rapidly ageing Chinese...

  14. Iron deficiency and cognitive functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jáuregui-Lobera I

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Ignacio Jáuregui-Lobera Department of Nutrition and Bromatology, Pablo de Olavide University, Seville, Spain Abstract: Micronutrient deficiencies, especially those related to iodine and iron, are linked to different cognitive impairments, as well as to potential long-term behavioral changes. Among the cognitive impairments caused by iron deficiency, those referring to attention span, intelligence, and sensory perception functions are mainly cited, as well as those associated with emotions and behavior, often directly related to the presence of iron deficiency anemia. In addition, iron deficiency without anemia may cause cognitive disturbances. At present, the prevalence of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia is 2%–6% among European children. Given the importance of iron deficiency relative to proper cognitive development and the alterations that can persist through adulthood as a result of this deficiency, the objective of this study was to review the current state of knowledge about this health problem. The relevance of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia, the distinction between the cognitive consequences of iron deficiency and those affecting specifically cognitive development, and the debate about the utility of iron supplements are the most relevant and controversial topics. Despite there being methodological differences among studies, there is some evidence that iron supplementation improves cognitive functions. Nevertheless, this must be confirmed by means of adequate follow-up studies among different groups. Keywords: iron deficiency, anemia, cognitive functions, supplementation

  15. Reduction of endogenous kynurenic acid formation enhances extracellular glutamate, hippocampal plasticity, and cognitive behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, Michelle C; Elmer, Greg I; Bergeron, Richard; Albuquerque, Edson X; Guidetti, Paolo; Wu, Hui-Qiu; Schwarcz, Robert

    2010-07-01

    At endogenous brain concentrations, the astrocyte-derived metabolite kynurenic acid (KYNA) antagonizes the alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and, possibly, the glycine co-agonist site of the NMDA receptor. The functions of these two receptors, which are intimately involved in synaptic plasticity and cognitive processes, may, therefore, be enhanced by reductions in brain KYNA levels. This concept was tested in mice with a targeted deletion of kynurenine aminotransferase II (KAT II), a major biosynthetic enzyme of brain KYNA. At 21 days of age, KAT II knock-out mice had reduced hippocampal KYNA levels (-71%) and showed significantly increased performance in three cognitive paradigms that rely in part on the integrity of hippocampal function, namely object exploration and recognition, passive avoidance, and spatial discrimination. Moreover, compared with wild-type controls, hippocampal slices from KAT II-deficient mice showed a significant increase in the amplitude of long-term potentiation in vitro. These functional changes were accompanied by reduced extracellular KYNA (-66%) and increased extracellular glutamate (+51%) concentrations, measured by hippocampal microdialysis in vivo. Taken together, a picture emerges in which a reduction in the astrocytic formation of KYNA increases glutamatergic tone in the hippocampus and enhances cognitive abilities and synaptic plasticity. Our studies raise the prospect that interventions aimed specifically at reducing KYNA formation in the brain may constitute a promising molecular strategy for cognitive improvement in health and disease.

  16. Strengthening connections: functional connectivity and brain plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Clare; Castellanos, F Xavier

    2014-03-01

    The ascendancy of functional neuroimaging has facilitated the addition of network-based approaches to the neuropsychologist's toolbox for evaluating the sequelae of brain insult. In particular, intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) mapping of resting state fMRI (R-fMRI) data constitutes an ideal approach to measuring macro-scale networks in the human brain. Beyond the value of iFC mapping for charting how the functional topography of the brain is altered by insult and injury, iFC analyses can provide insights into experience-dependent plasticity at the macro level of large-scale functional networks. Such insights are foundational to the design of training and remediation interventions that will best facilitate recovery of function. In this review, we consider what is currently known about the origin and function of iFC in the brain, and how this knowledge is informative in neuropsychological settings. We then summarize studies that have examined experience-driven plasticity of iFC in healthy control participants, and frame these findings in terms of a schema that may aid in the interpretation of results and the generation of hypotheses for rehabilitative studies. Finally, we outline some caveats to the R-fMRI approach, as well as some current developments that are likely to bolster the utility of the iFC paradigm for neuropsychology.

  17. Docosahexaenoic acid dietary supplementation enhances the effects of exercise on synaptic plasticity and cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, A; Ying, Z; Gomez-Pinilla, F

    2008-08-26

    Omega-3 fatty acids (i.e. docosahexaenoic acid; DHA), similar to exercise, improve cognitive function, promote neuroplasticity, and protect against neurological lesion. In this study, we investigated a possible synergistic action between DHA dietary supplementation and voluntary exercise on modulating synaptic plasticity and cognition. Rats received DHA dietary supplementation (1.25% DHA) with or without voluntary exercise for 12 days. We found that the DHA-enriched diet significantly increased spatial learning ability, and these effects were enhanced by exercise. The DHA-enriched diet increased levels of pro-brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and mature BDNF, whereas the additional application of exercise boosted the levels of both. Furthermore, the levels of the activated forms of CREB and synapsin I were incremented by the DHA-enriched diet with greater elevation by the concurrent application of exercise. While the DHA diet reduced hippocampal oxidized protein levels, a combination of a DHA diet and exercise resulted in a greater reduction rate. The levels of activated forms of hippocampal Akt and CaMKII were increased by the DHA-enriched diet, and with even greater elevation by a combination of diet and exercise. Akt and CaMKII signaling are crucial step by which BDNF exerts its action on synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. These results indicate that the DHA diet enhanced the effects of exercise on cognition and BDNF-related synaptic plasticity, a capacity that may be used to promote mental health and reduce risk of neurological disorders.

  18. Structural plasticity upon learning: regulation and functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caroni, Pico; Donato, Flavio; Muller, Dominique

    2012-07-01

    Recent studies have provided long-sought evidence that behavioural learning involves specific synapse gain and elimination processes, which lead to memory traces that influence behaviour. The connectivity rearrangements are preceded by enhanced synapse turnover, which can be modulated through changes in inhibitory connectivity. Behaviourally related synapse rearrangement events tend to co-occur spatially within short stretches of dendrites, and involve signalling pathways partially overlapping with those controlling the functional plasticity of synapses. The new findings suggest that a mechanistic understanding of learning and memory processes will require monitoring ensembles of synapses in situ and the development of synaptic network models that combine changes in synaptic function and connectivity.

  19. Development and Plasticity of Cognitive Flexibility in Early and Middle Childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buttelmann, Frances; Karbach, Julia

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive flexibility, the ability to flexibly switch between tasks, is a core dimension of executive functions (EFs) allowing to control actions and to adapt flexibly to changing environments. It supports the management of multiple tasks, the development of novel, adaptive behavior and is associated with various life outcomes. Cognitive flexibility develops rapidly in preschool and continuously increases well into adolescence, mirroring the growth of neural networks involving the prefrontal cortex. Over the past decade, there has been increasing interest in interventions designed to improve cognitive flexibility in children in order to support the many developmental outcomes associated with cognitive flexibility. This article provides a brief review of the development and plasticity of cognitive flexibility across early and middle childhood (i.e., from preschool to elementary school age). Focusing on interventions designed to improve cognitive flexibility in typically developing children, we report evidence for significant training and transfer effects while acknowledging that current findings on transfer are heterogeneous. Finally, we introduce metacognitive training as a promising new approach to promote cognitive flexibility and to support transfer of training.

  20. Trisomy of the G protein-coupled K+ channel gene, Kcnj6, affects reward mechanisms, cognitive functions, and synaptic plasticity in mice

    OpenAIRE

    Cooper, Ayelet; Grigoryan, Gayane; Guy-David, Liora; Tsoory, Michael M; Chen, Alon; Reuveny, Eitan

    2012-01-01

    G protein-activated inwardly rectifying K+ channels (GIRK) generate slow inhibitory postsynaptic potentials in the brain via Gi/o protein-coupled receptors. GIRK2, a GIRK subunit, is widely abundant in the brain and has been implicated in various functions and pathologies, such as learning and memory, reward, motor coordination, and Down syndrome. Down syndrome, the most prevalent cause of mental retardation, results from the presence of an extra maternal chromosome 21 (trisomy 21), which com...

  1. Cognitive plasticity as a modulating variable on the effects of memory training in elderly persons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calero, M Dolores; Navarro, Elena

    2007-01-01

    Cognitive plasticity is a topic of interest since it allows us to analyse the potential cognitive modifiability of a person. Previous research has demonstrated the existence of plasticity in old age [Baltes, P. B. (1987). Theoretical propositions of life-span developmental psychology: On the dynamics between growth and decline. Developmental Psychology, 23(5), 611-626] regardless of presence or absence of cognitive deterioration [Calero, M. D., & Navarro, E. (2004). Relationship between plasticity, mild cognitive impairment and cognitive decline. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 19, 653-660]. In this context, the present study was designed to analyse the presence of plasticity in elderly persons who seemed to present cognitive deterioration, and to explore the relation between cognitive plasticity and the results obtained from a memory training programme. One hundred and thirty-three elderly persons participated in the study and were evaluated by means of a cognitive plasticity test (Position test) and various tests for measuring the effects of the training. Part of the elderly population received the memory training, whose effects were measured immediately after the training and again after 9 months. The results demonstrate that the programme significantly improves cognitive performance, while plasticity is shown to be an important modulating variable on the improvement achieved.

  2. Iron deficiency and cognitive functions

    OpenAIRE

    Jáuregui-Lobera I

    2014-01-01

    Ignacio Jáuregui-Lobera Department of Nutrition and Bromatology, Pablo de Olavide University, Seville, Spain Abstract: Micronutrient deficiencies, especially those related to iodine and iron, are linked to different cognitive impairments, as well as to potential long-term behavioral changes. Among the cognitive impairments caused by iron deficiency, those referring to attention span, intelligence, and sensory perception functions are mainly cited, as well as those associated with...

  3. Iron deficiency and cognitive functions

    OpenAIRE

    Jáuregui-Lobera I

    2014-01-01

    Ignacio Jáuregui-Lobera Department of Nutrition and Bromatology, Pablo de Olavide University, Seville, Spain Abstract: Micronutrient deficiencies, especially those related to iodine and iron, are linked to different cognitive impairments, as well as to potential long-term behavioral changes. Among the cognitive impairments caused by iron deficiency, those referring to attention span, intelligence, and sensory perception functions are mainly cited, as well as those associated with...

  4. Pineal attrition, loss of cognitive plasticity, and onset of puberty during the teen years: is it a modern maladaptation exposed by evolutionary displacement?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, A Joon; Bazar, Kimberly A; Lee, Patrick Y

    2004-01-01

    inefficiency exposed by evolutionary displacement. Regulation of plasticity may be a systemic phenomenon, as exemplified by the association of learning disability with allergic conditions, a form of immune plasticity dysfunction. Ramifications for other plastic functions that decline during puberty such as wound healing and hyaline cartilage regeneration are explored. Like the plasticity of immunity and cognition, the plasticity of hyaline cartilage during youth may enable hosts to respond to ecologic opportunities and generate the optimally adapted adult phenotype. Pineal involution may represent a potential target for therapeutic extension or restoration of plasticity after puberty. Extending plasticity may have far-reaching consequences for human evolution.

  5. Pushing the Limits: Cognitive, Affective, & Neural Plasticity Revealed by an Intensive Multifaceted Intervention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael David Mrazek

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Scientific understanding of how much the adult brain can be shaped by experience requires examination of how multiple influences combine to elicit cognitive, affective, and neural plasticity. Using an intensive multifaceted intervention, we discovered that substantial and enduring improvements can occur in parallel across multiple cognitive and neuroimaging measures in healthy young adults. The intervention elicited substantial improvements in physical health, working memory, standardized test performance, mood, self-esteem, self-efficacy, mindfulness, and life satisfaction. Improvements in mindfulness were associated with increased degree centrality of the insula, greater functional connectivity between insula and somatosensory cortex, and reduced functional connectivity between posterior cingulate cortex and somatosensory cortex. Improvements in working memory and reading comprehension were associated with increased degree centrality of a region within the middle temporal gyrus that was extensively and predominately integrated with the executive control network. The scope and magnitude of the observed improvements represent the most extensive demonstration to date of the considerable human capacity for change. These findings point to higher limits for rapid and concurrent cognitive, affective, and neural plasticity than is widely assumed.

  6. Placebo Sleep Affects Cognitive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Draganich, Christina; Erdal, Kristi

    2014-01-01

    The placebo effect is any outcome that is not attributed to a specific treatment but rather to an individual's mindset (Benson & Friedman, 1996). This phenomenon can extend beyond its typical use in pharmaceutical drugs to involve aspects of everyday life, such as the effect of sleep on cognitive functioning. In 2 studies examining whether…

  7. Placebo Sleep Affects Cognitive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Draganich, Christina; Erdal, Kristi

    2014-01-01

    The placebo effect is any outcome that is not attributed to a specific treatment but rather to an individual's mindset (Benson & Friedman, 1996). This phenomenon can extend beyond its typical use in pharmaceutical drugs to involve aspects of everyday life, such as the effect of sleep on cognitive functioning. In 2 studies examining whether…

  8. Exercise, Cognitive Function, and Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Jill N.

    2015-01-01

    Increasing the lifespan of a population is often a marker of a country's success. With the percentage of the population over 65 yr of age expanding, managing the health and independence of this population is an ongoing concern. Advancing age is associated with a decrease in cognitive function that ultimately affects quality of life. Understanding…

  9. Neurotransmitter segregation: functional and plastic implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sámano, Cynthia; Cifuentes, Fredy; Morales, Miguel Angel

    2012-06-01

    Synaptic cotransmission is the ability of neurons to use more than one transmitter to convey synaptic signals. Cotransmission was originally described as the presence of a classic transmitter, which conveys main signal, along one or more cotransmitters that modulate transmission, later on, it was found cotransmission of classic transmitters. It has been generally accepted that neurons store and release the same set of transmitters in all their synaptic processes. However, some findings that show axon endings of individual neurons storing and releasing different sets of transmitters, are not in accordance with this assumption, and give support to the hypothesis that neurons can segregate transmitters to different synapses. Here, we review the studies showing segregation of transmitters in invertebrate and mammalian central nervous system neurons, and correlate them with our results obtained in sympathetic neurons. Our data show that these neurons segregate even classic transmitters to separated axons. Based on our data we suggest that segregation is a plastic phenomenon and responds to functional synaptic requirements, and to 'environmental' cues such as neurotrophins. We propose that neurons have the machinery to guide the different molecules required in synaptic transmission through axons and sort them to different axon endings. We believe that transmitter segregation improves neuron interactions during cotransmission and gives them selective and better control of synaptic plasticity.

  10. Fructose consumption reduces hippocampal synaptic plasticity underlying cognitive performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cisternas, Pedro; Salazar, Paulina; Serrano, Felipe G.; Montecinos-Oliva, Carla; Arredondo, Sebastián B.; Varela-Nallar, Lorena; Barja, Salesa; Vio, Carlos P.; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.

    2017-01-01

    Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a global epidemic, which involves a spectrum of metabolic disorders comprising diabetes and obesity. The impact of MetS on the brain is becoming to be a concern, however, the poor understanding of mechanisms involved has limited the development of therapeutic strategies. We induced a MetS-like condition by exposing mice to fructose feeding for 7 weeks. There was a dramatic deterioration in the capacity of the hippocampus to sustain synaptic plasticity in the forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Mice exposed to fructose showed a reduction in the number of contact zones and the size of postsynaptic densities (PSDs) in the hippocampus, as well as a decrease in hippocampal neurogenesis. There was an increase in lipid peroxidation likely associated with a deficiency in plasma membrane excitability. Consistent with an overall hippocampal dysfunction, there was a subsequent decrease in hippocampal dependent learning and memory performance, i.e., spatial learning and episodic memory. Most of the pathological sequel of MetS in the brain was reversed three month after discontinue fructose feeding. These results are novel to show that MetS triggers a cascade of molecular events, which disrupt hippocampal functional plasticity, and specific aspects of learning and memory function. The overall information raises concerns about the risk imposed by excessive fructose consumption on the pathology of neurological disorders. PMID:26300486

  11. Steroid modulation of hippocampal plasticity: switching between cognitive and emotional memories.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola eMaggio

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Several new observations have shifted the view of the hippocampus from a structure in charge of cognitive processes to a brain area that participates in the formation of emotional memory. Specifically, while the dorsal hippocampus is involved in the processing of cognitive memories; the ventral sector is mainly associated with the control of behavioral inhibition, stress and emotional memory.Stress is likely to cause this switch in control of hippocampal functions by modulating synaptic plasticity in the dorsal and ventral sectors of the hippocampus through the differential activation of either mineralocorticosteroid (MR or glucocorticosteroid (GR receptors. Herein, we will review the effects of stress hormones on synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus and will try to outline the outcomes on stress-related global functions of this structure. We will propose that steroid hormones act as molecular switches: by changing the strength of synaptic connectivity in the hippocampus following stress, and that they regulate the routes by which the hippocampus is functionally linked to the rest of the brain. This hypothesis has profound implications for the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders.

  12. Motor function-related maladaptive plasticity in stroke: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jang, Sung Ho

    2013-01-01

    Brain plasticity can be classified as adaptive and maladaptive. Maladaptive plasticity indicates hindered functional recovery or the development of an unwanted symptom. Although a considerable amount is known about adaptive plasticity in stroke, relatively little is known of maladaptive plasticity. In the current study, previous studies on motor function-related maladaptive plasticity in stroke are reviewed in terms of compensatory movement pattern (CMP), delayed-onset involuntary abnormal movements (IAMs), and the ipsilateral motor pathway as a motor recovery mechanism. For successful stroke rehabilitation, it is important that the characteristics of maladaptive plasticity are accurately recognized. However, there is a lack of definitive evidence regarding the recognition of motor function-related maladaptive plasticity, although it seems that each of the three above-mentioned topics are involved. As for CMP, patients with a good neurological state as much as having a normal movement pattern, should be considered to have maladaptive plasticity, and in terms of the ipsilateral motor pathway, patients with bilateral innervations can be considered to have maladaptive plasticity. On the other hand, IAMs due to delayed neuronal degeneration should be ruled out in patients with delayed-onset IAMs. Therefore, for the accurate recognition of motor function-related maladaptive plasticity in stroke, a thorough evaluation of neurological state using brain mapping techniques is necessary, and subsequently, the prevention or intensive management of maladaptive plasticity is needed.

  13. Examining neural plasticity and cognitive benefit through the unique lens of musical training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Sylvain; Bidelman, Gavin M

    2014-02-01

    Training programs aimed to alleviate or improve auditory-cognitive abilities have either experienced mixed success or remain to be fully validated. The limited benefits of such regimens are largely attributable to our weak understanding of (i) how (and which) interventions provide the most robust and long lasting improvements to cognitive and perceptual abilities and (ii) how the neural mechanisms which underlie such abilities are positively modified by certain activities and experience. Recent studies indicate that music training provides robust, long-lasting biological benefits to auditory function. Importantly, the behavioral advantages conferred by musical experience extend beyond simple enhancements to perceptual abilities and even impact non-auditory functions necessary for higher-order aspects of cognition (e.g., working memory, intelligence). Collectively, preliminary findings indicate that alternative forms of arts engagement (e.g., visual arts training) may not yield such widespread enhancements, suggesting that music expertise uniquely taps and refines a hierarchy of brain networks subserving a variety of auditory as well as domain-general cognitive mechanisms. We infer that transfer from specific music experience to broad cognitive benefit might be mediated by the degree to which a listener's musical training tunes lower- (e.g., perceptual) and higher-order executive functions, and the coordination between these processes. Ultimately, understanding the broad impact of music on the brain will not only provide a more holistic picture of auditory processing and plasticity, but may help inform and tailor remediation and training programs designed to improve perceptual and cognitive benefits in human listeners. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Consciousness, plasticity, and connectomics: the role of intersubjectivity in human cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Micah; Williams, Gary

    2011-01-01

    Consciousness is typically construed as being explainable purely in terms of either private, raw feels or higher-order, reflective representations. In contrast to this false dichotomy, we propose a new view of consciousness as an interactive, plastic phenomenon open to sociocultural influence. We take up our account of consciousness from the observation of radical cortical neuroplasticity in human development. Accordingly, we draw upon recent research on macroscopic neural networks, including the "default mode," to illustrate cases in which an individual's particular "connectome" is shaped by encultured social practices that depend upon and influence phenomenal and reflective consciousness. On our account, the dynamically interacting connectivity of these networks bring about important individual differences in conscious experience and determine what is "present" in consciousness. Further, we argue that the organization of the brain into discrete anti-correlated networks supports the phenomenological distinction of prereflective and reflective consciousness, but we emphasize that this finding must be interpreted in light of the dynamic, category-resistant nature of consciousness. Our account motivates philosophical and empirical hypotheses regarding the appropriate time-scale and function of neuroplastic adaptation, the relation of high and low-frequency neural activity to consciousness and cognitive plasticity, and the role of ritual social practices in neural development and cognitive function.

  15. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) influences spatial cognition and modulates hippocampal structural synaptic plasticity in aging mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Jun; Zhang, Zhanchi; Kang, Lin; Geng, Dandan; Wang, Yanyong; Wang, Mingwei; Cui, Huixian

    2014-10-01

    Normal aging is characteristic with the gradual decline in cognitive function associated with the progressive reduction of structural and functional plasticity in the hippocampus. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has developed into a novel neurological and psychiatric tool that can be used to investigate the neurobiology of cognitive function. Recent studies have demonstrated that low-frequency rTMS (≤1Hz) affects synaptic plasticity in rats with vascular dementia (VaD), and it ameliorates the spatial cognitive ability in mice with Aβ1-42-mediated memory deficits, but there are little concerns about the effects of rTMS on normal aging related cognition and synaptic plasticity changes. Thus, the current study investigated the effects of rTMS on spatial memory behavior, neuron and synapse morphology in the hippocampus, and synaptic protein markers and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) in normal aging mice, to illustrate the mechanisms of rTMS in regulating cognitive capacity. Relative to adult animals, aging caused hippocampal-dependent cognitive impairment, simultaneously inhibited the activation of the BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway, reduced the transcription and expression of synaptic protein markers: synaptophysin (SYN), growth associated protein 43 (GAP43) and post-synaptic density protein 95 (PSD95), as well as decreased synapse density and PSD (post-synaptic density) thickness. Interestingly, rTMS with low intensity (110% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1Hz, LIMS) triggered the activation of BDNF and TrkB, upregulated the level of synaptic protein markers, and increased synapse density and thickened PSD, and further reversed the spatial cognition dysfunction in aging mice. Conversely, high-intensity magnetic stimulation (150% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1Hz, HIMS) appeared to be detrimental, inducing thinning of PSDs, disordered synaptic structure, and a large number of

  16. Plasticity and functional recovery in neurology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramachandran, V S

    2005-01-01

    Experiments on patients with phantom limbs suggest that neural connections in the adult human brain are much more malleable than previously assumed. Three weeks after amputation of an arm, sensations from the ipsilateral face are referred to the phantom; this effect is caused by the sensory input from the face skin 'invading' and activating deafferented hand zones in the cortex and thalamus. Many phantom arms are 'paralysed' in a painful position. If a mirror is propped vertically in the sagittal plane and the patient looks at the reflection of his/her normal hand, this reflection appears superimposed on the 'felt' position of the phantom. Remarkably, if the real arm is moved, the phantom is felt to move as well and this sometimes relieves the painful cramps in the phantom. Mirror visual feedback (MVF) has shown promising results with chronic regional pain syndrome and hemiparesis following stroke. These results suggest two reasons for a paradigm shift in neurorehabilitation. First, there appears to be tremendous latent plasticity even in the adult brain. Second, the brain should be thought of, not as a hierarchy of organised autonomous modules, each of which delivers its output to the next level, but as a set of complex interacting networks that are in a state of dynamic equilibrium with the brain's environment. Both principles can be potentially exploited in a clinical context to facilitate recovery of function.

  17. Synaptic plasticity functions in an organic electrochemical transistor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gkoupidenis, Paschalis; Schaefer, Nathan; Strakosas, Xenofon; Fairfield, Jessamyn A.; Malliaras, George G.

    2015-12-01

    Synaptic plasticity functions play a crucial role in the transmission of neural signals in the brain. Short-term plasticity is required for the transmission, encoding, and filtering of the neural signal, whereas long-term plasticity establishes more permanent changes in neural microcircuitry and thus underlies memory and learning. The realization of bioinspired circuits that can actually mimic signal processing in the brain demands the reproduction of both short- and long-term aspects of synaptic plasticity in a single device. Here, we demonstrate the implementation of neuromorphic functions similar to biological memory, such as short- to long-term memory transition, in non-volatile organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs). Depending on the training of the OECT, the device displays either short- or long-term plasticity, therefore, exhibiting non von Neumann characteristics with merged processing and storing functionalities. These results are a first step towards the implementation of organic-based neuromorphic circuits.

  18. Musical Training Induces Functional Plasticity in Human Hippocampus

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    Training can change the functional and structural organization of the brain, and animal models demonstrate that the hippocampus formation is particularly susceptible to training-related neuroplasticity. In humans, however, direct evidence for functional plasticity of the adult hippocampus induced by training is still missing. Here, we used musicians' brains as a model to test for plastic capabilities of the adult human hippocampus. By using functional magnetic resonance imaging optimized for ...

  19. Wnts in adult brain: from synaptic plasticity to cognitive deficiencies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliva, Carolina A.; Vargas, Jessica Y.; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.

    2013-01-01

    During development of the central nervous system the Wnt signaling pathway has been implicated in a wide spectrum of physiological processes, including neuronal connectivity and synapse formation. Wnt proteins and components of the Wnt pathway are expressed in the brain since early development to the adult life, however, little is known about its role in mature synapses. Here, we review evidences indicating that Wnt proteins participate in the remodeling of pre- and post-synaptic regions, thus modulating synaptic function. We include the most recent data in the literature showing that Wnts are constantly released in the brain to maintain the basal neural activity. Also, we review the evidences that involve components of the Wnt pathway in the development of neurological and mental disorders, including a special emphasis on in vivo studies that relate behavioral abnormalities to deficiencies in Wnt signaling. Finally, we include the evidences that support a neuroprotective role of Wnt proteins in Alzheimer’s disease. We postulate that deregulation in Wnt signaling might have a fundamental role in the origin of neurological diseases, by altering the synaptic function at stages where the phenotype is not yet established but when the cognitive decline starts. PMID:24348327

  20. Thyroid Function and Cognition during Aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. E. Bégin

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available We summarize here the studies examining the association between thyroid function and cognitive performance from an aging perspective. The available data suggest that there may be a continuum in which cognitive dysfunction can result from increased or decreased concentrations of thyroid hormones. Clinical and subclinical hypothyroidism as well as hyperthyroidism in middle-aged and elderly adults are both associated with decreased cognitive functioning, especially memory, visuospatial organization, attention, and reaction time. Mild variations of thyroid function, even within normal limits, can have significant consequences for cognitive function in the elderly. Different cognitive deficits possibly related to thyroid failure do not necessarily follow a consistent pattern, and L-thyroxine treatment may not always completely restore normal functioning in patients with hypothyroidism. There is little or no consensus in the literature regarding how thyroid function is associated with cognitive performance in the elderly.

  1. Cognitive functioning and microvascular disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heringa, S.M.

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive impairment and dementia form a major health issue, affecting a considerable proportion of the aging population. Cerebral vascular damage is increasingly recognized as one of the main causes of cognitive decline in aging and dementia. Another main cause of cognitive deterioration in older p

  2. Immune dysregulation and cognitive vulnerability in the aging brain: Interactions of microglia, IL-1β, BDNF and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, Susan L

    2015-09-01

    Older individuals often experience declines in cognitive function after events (e.g. infection, or injury) that trigger activation of the immune system. This occurs at least in part because aging sensitizes the response of microglia (the brain's resident immune cells) to signals triggered by an immune challenge. In the aging brain, microglia respond to these signals by producing more pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g. interleukin-1beta or IL-1β) and producing them for longer than microglia in younger brains. This exaggerated inflammatory response can compromise processes critical for optimal cognitive functioning. Interleukin-1β is central to the inflammatory response and is a key mediator and modulator of an array of associated biological functions; thus its production and release is usually very tightly regulated. This review will focus on the impact of dysregulated production of IL-1β on hippocampus dependent-memory systems and associated synaptic plasticity processes. The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BNDF) helps to protect neurons from damage caused by infection or injury, and it plays a critical role in many of the same memory and hippocampal plasticity processes compromised by dysregulated production of IL-1β. This suggests that an exaggerated brain inflammatory response, arising from aging and a secondary immune challenge, may erode the capacity to provide the BDNF needed for memory-related plasticity processes at hippocampal synapses. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Neuroimmunology and Synaptic Function'. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Cognitive functioning in major depression - a summary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Åsa Hammar

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present paper is to summarize the research during the past decade regarding cognitive functioning in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD. Cognitive impairment in the acute phase of illness has been frequently reported. The findings are shown in different cognitive domains, such as executive functions (EF, attention, memory and psychomotor speed. Fewer reports have investigated cognitive functioning in MDD in longitudinal studies. Some longitudinal reports show that the impairment observed in the acute phase of illness may be long lasting despite symptom reduction and recovery. However, findings regarding cognitive functioning in depression are divergent. Factors that might contribute to the divergent findings, such as depression subtype, severity and comorbidity are discussed. Clinical implications and focus of future research directions is highlighted. .In conclusion, depression is associated with cognitive impairment in the acute phase of illness, and some reports indicate that this impairment might be long lasting despite symptom reduction and recovery.

  4. Assessment of subjective and objective cognitive function in bipolar disorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Demant, Kirsa M; Vinberg, Maj; Kessing, Lars V

    2015-01-01

    cognitive function and psychosocial function. We also identified clinical variables that predicted objective and subjective cognitive function and psychosocial functioning. There was a correlation between global subjective and objective measures of cognitive dysfunction but not within the individual...... cognitive domains. However, the correlation was weak, suggesting that cognitive complaints are not an assay of cognition per se. Self-rated psychosocial difficulties were associated with subjective (but not objective) cognitive impairment and both subjective cognitive and psychosocial difficulties were...

  5. The serotonergic system and cognitive function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pivac, Nela; Mück-Šeler, Dorotea

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Symptoms of cognitive dysfunction like memory loss, poor concentration, impaired learning and executive functions are characteristic features of both schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The neurobiological mechanisms underlying cognition in healthy subjects and neuropsychiatric patients are not completely understood. Studies have focused on serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) as one of the possible cognitionrelated biomarkers. The aim of this review is to provide a summary of the current literature on the role of the serotonergic (5-HTergic) system in cognitive function, particularly in AD and schizophrenia. The role of the 5-HTergic system in cognition is modulated by the activity and function of 5-HT receptors (5-HTR) classified into seven groups, which differ in structure, action, and localization. Many 5-HTR are located in the regions linked to various cognitive processes. Preclinical studies using animal models of learning and memory, as well as clinical in vivo (neuroimaging) and in vitro (post-mortem) studies in humans have shown that alterations in 5-HTR activity influence cognitive performance. The current evidence implies that reduced 5-HT neurotransmission negatively influences cognitive functions and that normalization of 5-HT activity may have beneficial effects, suggesting that 5-HT and 5-HTR represent important pharmacological targets for cognition enhancement and restoration of impaired cognitive performance in neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:28123820

  6. FUNCTIONAL PHYSICAL THERAPY PRACTICE DERMATO POSTOPERATIVELY OF PLASTIC SURGERIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie Severo Migotto

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The surgery is a tissue damage that even well directed, can impair tissue function Physiotherapist Dermato Functional fitting to act with all available resources to minimize these changes being a strong contributor both pre and postoperatively. The study included 16 Doctors Plastic Surgeons working in Florianópolis - SC, Brazil, to which was applied a questionnaire to identify theincidence of plastic surgery, knowledge and recognition of dermato functional physical therapy postoperatively. It was found that, as in literature surgeries to enlarge breasts lead the ranking of plastic surgery. Furthermore, it was concluded that physicians not only understand the importance of physiotherapy dermato functional, but also refer their patients to treat postoperative physical therapy valuing employees and recognizing them as important in the rehabilitation process of his patients.

  7. Dehydroepiandrosterone, Its Sulfate and Cognitive Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Menezes, Karina Junqueira; Peixoto, Clayton; Nardi, Antonio Egidio; Carta, Mauro Giovanni; Machado, Sérgio; Veras, André Barciela

    2016-01-01

    To present a review of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies that investigate the relationship between the hormones Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) and cognition. Methods: The cognition items included in this review were global cognitive function, memory, attention, executive function, intelligence, perception and visuospatial ability. A systematic review was proceeded using three databases: PubMed, ISI Web of Science, and PsycINFO. Results: Two thousand fifty five references about cognition and hormones were found; 772 duplicated references were excluded, resulting in 1.283 references to be evaluated. According to exclusion and inclusion criteria, 25 references were selected. A positive correlation between DHEA-S blood levels and global cognition was found in women and men. Other positive correlations between DHEA-S and working memory, attention and verbal fluency were found only in women. The DHEA effect on cognition is limited to one study conducted among young men with high-doses. PMID:27346998

  8. Dehydroepiandrosterone, Its Sulfate and Cognitive Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Menezes, Karina Junqueira; Peixoto, Clayton; Nardi, Antonio Egidio; Carta, Mauro Giovanni; Machado, Sérgio; Veras, André Barciela

    2016-01-01

    To present a review of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies that investigate the relationship between the hormones Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) and cognition. The cognition items included in this review were global cognitive function, memory, attention, executive function, intelligence, perception and visuospatial ability. A systematic review was proceeded using three databases: PubMed, ISI Web of Science, and PsycINFO. Two thousand fifty five references about cognition and hormones were found; 772 duplicated references were excluded, resulting in 1.283 references to be evaluated. According to exclusion and inclusion criteria, 25 references were selected. A positive correlation between DHEA-S blood levels and global cognition was found in women and men. Other positive correlations between DHEA-S and working memory, attention and verbal fluency were found only in women. The DHEA effect on cognition is limited to one study conducted among young men with high-doses.

  9. Cognitive functioning in mild hyperphenylalaninemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alicia de la Parra

    2015-12-01

    Conclusions: Children with mHPA achieved cognitive performance well within the average range and attained significantly higher scores than children with PKU. However, they appeared to have relative weaknesses in working memory and attention, similar to children with PKU.

  10. Green’s function molecular dynamics meets discrete dislocation plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venugopalan, Syam P.; Müser, Martin H.; Nicola, Lucia

    2017-09-01

    Metals deform plastically at the asperity level when brought in contact with a counter body even when the nominal contact pressure is small. Modeling the plasticity of solids with rough surfaces is challenging due to the multi-scale nature of surface roughness and the length-scale dependence of plasticity. While discrete-dislocation plasticity (DDP) simulations capture size-dependent plasticity by keeping track of the motion of individual dislocations, only simple two-dimensional surface geometries have so far been studied with DDP. The main computational bottleneck in contact problems modeled by DDP is the calculation of the dislocation image fields. We address this issue by combining two-dimensional DDP with Green’s function molecular dynamics. The resulting method allows for an efficient boundary-value-method based treatment of elasticity in the presence of dislocations. We demonstrate that our method captures plasticity quantitatively from single to many dislocations and that it scales more favorably with system size than conventional methods. We also derive the relevant Green’s functions for elastic slabs of finite width allowing arbitrary boundary conditions on top and bottom surface to be simulated.

  11. Associative and Implicit Memory Performance as a Function of Cognitive Reserve in Elderly Adults with and without Mild Cognitive Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Algarabel, Salvador; Sales, Alicia; Pitarque, Alfonso; Meléndez, Juan C; Escudero, Joaquín; Mayordomo, Teresa

    2016-02-18

    This study aims to analyze implicit and explicit memory performance as a function of cognitive reserve (CR) in a healthy control group (N = 39) and a mild cognitive impairment (MCI) group (N = 37). Both groups were subdivided into high and low cognitive reserve, and were asked to complete an explicit and implicit associative recognition tasks. The results showed that the control group was able to learn both tasks (η2 = .19, p association task. Participants diagnosed with MCI showed little plasticity in learning associations regardless of CR (η2 = .12, p < .01).

  12. Training the brain: practical applications of neural plasticity from the intersection of cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, and prevention science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryck, Richard L; Fisher, Philip A

    2012-01-01

    Prior researchers have shown that the brain has a remarkable ability for adapting to environmental changes. The positive effects of such neural plasticity include enhanced functioning in specific cognitive domains and shifts in cortical representation following naturally occurring cases of sensory deprivation; however, maladaptive changes in brain function and development owing to early developmental adversity and stress have also been well documented. Researchers examining enriched rearing environments in animals have revealed the potential for inducing positive brain plasticity effects and have helped to popularize methods for training the brain to reverse early brain deficits or to boost normal cognitive functioning. In this article, two classes of empirically based methods of brain training in children are reviewed and critiqued: laboratory-based, mental process training paradigms and ecological interventions based upon neurocognitive conceptual models. Given the susceptibility of executive function disruption, special attention is paid to training programs that emphasize executive function enhancement. In addition, a third approach to brain training, aimed at tapping into compensatory processes, is postulated. Study results showing the effectiveness of this strategy in the field of neurorehabilitation and in terms of naturally occurring compensatory processing in human aging lend credence to the potential of this approach. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).

  13. The effect of retirement on cognitive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coe, Norma B; von Gaudecker, Hans-Martin; Lindeboom, Maarten; Maurer, Jürgen

    2012-08-01

    Cognitive impairment has emerged as a major driver of disability in old age, with profound effects on individual well-being and decision making at older ages. In the light of policies aimed at postponing retirement ages, an important question is whether continued labour supply helps to maintain high levels of cognition at older ages. We use data of older men from the US Health and Retirement Study to estimate the effect of continued labour market participation at older ages on later-life cognition. As retirement itself is likely to depend on cognitive functioning and may thus be endogenous, we use offers of early retirement windows as instruments for retirement in econometric models for later-life cognitive functioning. These offers of early retirement are legally required to be nondiscriminatory and thus, inter alia, unrelated to cognitive functioning. At the same time, these offers of early retirement options are significant predictors of retirement. Although the simple ordinary least squares estimates show a negative relationship between retirement duration and various measures of cognitive functioning, instrumental variable estimates suggest that these associations may not be causal effects. Specifically, we find no clear relationship between retirement duration and later-life cognition for white-collar workers and, if anything, a positive relationship for blue-collar workers.

  14. The interplay between oxidative stress and brain-derived neurotrophic factor modulates the outcome of a saturated fat diet on synaptic plasticity and cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Aiguo; Ying, Zhe; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2004-04-01

    A diet high in saturated fat (HF) decreases levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), to the extent that compromises neuroplasticity and cognitive function, and aggravates the outcome of brain insult. By using the antioxidant power of vitamin E, we performed studies to determine the role of oxidative stress as a mediator for the effects of BDNF on synaptic plasticity and cognition caused by consumption of the HF diet. Male adult rats were maintained on a HF diet for 2 months with or without 500 IU/kg of vitamin E. Supplementation of the HF diet with vitamin E dramatically reduced oxidative damage, normalized levels of BDNF, synapsin I and cyclic AMP-response element-binding protein (CREB), caused by the consumption of the HF diet. In addition, vitamin E supplementation preserved the process of activation of synapsin I and CREB, and reversed the HF-impaired cognitive function. It is known that BDNF facilitates the synapse by modulating synapsin I and CREB, which have been implicated in synaptic plasticity associated to learning and memory. These results show that oxidative stress can interact with the BDNF system to modulate synaptic plasticity and cognitive function. Therefore, studies appear to reveal a mechanism by which events classically related to the maintenance of energy balance of the cell, such as oxidative stress, can interact with molecular events that modulate neuronal and behavioural plasticity.

  15. Strengthening connections: functional connectivity and brain plasticity

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    The ascendancy of functional neuroimaging has facilitated the addition of network-based approaches to the neuropsychologist’s toolbox for evaluating the sequelae of brain insult. In particular, intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) mapping of resting state fMRI (R-fMRI) data constitutes an ideal approach to measuring macro-scale networks in the human brain. Beyond the value of iFC mapping for charting how the functional topography of the brain is altered by insult and injury, iFC analyses c...

  16. Right ventricular plasticity and functional imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brittain, Evan L.; Hemnes, Anna R.; Keebler, Mary; Lawson, Mark; Byrd, Benjamin F.; DiSalvo, Tom

    2012-01-01

    Right ventricular (RV) function is a strong independent predictor of outcome in a number of distinct cardiopulmonary diseases. The RV has a remarkable ability to sustain damage and recover function which may be related to unique anatomic, physiologic, and genetic factors that differentiate it from the left ventricle. This capacity has been described in patients with RV myocardial infarction, pulmonary arterial hypertension, and chronic thromboembolic disease as well as post-lung transplant and post-left ventricular assist device implantation. Various echocardiographic and magnetic resonance imaging parameters of RV function contribute to the clinical assessment and predict outcomes in these patients; however, limitations remain with these techniques. Early diagnosis of RV function and better insight into the mechanisms of RV recovery could improve patient outcomes. Further refinement of established and emerging imaging techniques is necessary to aid subclinical diagnosis and inform treatment decisions. PMID:23130100

  17. Functions of Cognitive Context in Utterance Understanding

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    卢胡卓越; 李美涵

    2015-01-01

    Utterance understanding is a two-way activity which includes the generation and reception of information,in the process of utterance understanding,cognitive context functions utterance understanding from three aspects.

  18. [Atrial fibrillation and cognitive function].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duron, Emmanuelle; Hanon, Olivier

    2010-09-01

    Atrial fibrillation (AF), which prevalence increases with age, is a growing public health problem and a well known risk factor for stroke. On the other hand, dementia is one of the most important neurological disorders in the elderly, and with aging of the population in developed countries, the number of demented patients will increase in absence of prevention. In the past decade, several vascular risk factors (hypertension, obesity and metabolic syndrome, hypercholesterolemia) have been found, with various degree of evidence, to be associated with vascular dementia but also, surprisingly, with Alzheimer's disease. This review is devoted to the links between atrial fibrillation, cognitive decline and dementia. Globally, transversal studies showed a significant association between atrial fibrillation, cognitive decline and dementia. However, these studies are particularly sensitive to various biases. In this context, recent longitudinal studies of higher level of evidence have been conducted to assess the link between AF and dementia. One study disclosed a high incidence of dementia among patients suffering from atrial fibrillation during a 4.6 years follow-up. Similarly another study showed that atrial fibrillation was significantly associated with conversion from mild cognitive impairment to dementia during a 3 years follow-up. Nevertheless two other longitudinal studies did not find any significant association between AF and dementia, but this discrepancy should be interpreted taking into account that the comparability of all these studies is moderate because they were using different methodologies (population, cognitive testing, and mean follow-up). Possible explanatory mechanisms for the association between AF and the risk of dementia are proposed, such as thrombo-embolic ischemic damage and cerebral hypo perfusion due to fluctuations in the cardiac output. Thus, there is some evidence that FA could be associated with cognitive decline and dementia but this

  19. The timing of cognitive plasticity in physiological aging: a tDCS study of naming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna eFertonani

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to explore the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS on physiologically aging adults performing a naming task. tDCS is a method that modulates human cortical excitability. Neuroplasticity is considered to have its foundation in cortical excitability as a property that adjusts the connection strength between neurons in the brain. Language efficiency, as all functions, relies on integration of information (i.e., effectiveness of connectivity through neurons in the brain. So the use of tDCS, to modulate cortical excitability, can help to define the state of cognitive plasticity in the aging brain. Based on Hebb’s rule, an increase in synaptic efficacy does not rely only on the increase of excitability but also on the timing of activation. Therefore, a key issue in this study is the timing of tDCS application in relation to a task: When to deliver tDCS to induce modulatory effects on task execution to facilitate naming.Anodal tDCS was applied to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of older and young adults before and during a naming task.In older adults, tDCS improved naming performance and decreased the verbal reaction times only if it was applied during the task execution, whereas in young subjects both stimulation conditions improved naming performance.These findings highlight that in healthy aging adults, the cerebral network dedicated to lexical retrieval processing may be facilitated only if stimulation is applied to an active neural network. We hypothesise that this change is due to the neuronal synaptic changes, in the aging brain, which reduce the window of when cortical excitability can facilitate synaptic efficacy and therefore plasticity.

  20. The serotonergic system and cognitive function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Švob Štrac Dubravka

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Symptoms of cognitive dysfunction like memory loss, poor concentration, impaired learning and executive functions are characteristic features of both schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD. The neurobiological mechanisms underlying cognition in healthy subjects and neuropsychiatric patients are not completely understood. Studies have focused on serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT as one of the possible cognitionrelated biomarkers. The aim of this review is to provide a summary of the current literature on the role of the serotonergic (5-HTergic system in cognitive function, particularly in AD and schizophrenia.

  1. Essential hypertension and cognitive function in elderly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shilpa Gaidhane

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Essential Hypertension is considered as an important independent risk factor for decline cognitive function leading to dementia and stroke. We assess cognitive function of essential hypertension over 60 years of age and its association with various socio-demographic in Indian setting. This cross sectional study includes 62 hypertensives (stage 1 and 2 as cases and 21 normotensives and 41 prehypertensives as comparison group. Cases and comparison group were age and sex matched. Data was collected through interview and investigations. Cognitive function was measured by minimental status examination scale. In hypertensives, total mean MMSE score as well as the score for orientation, attention-calculation, immediate recall and language (except registration was significantly less compared to normotensives (p<0.001 and prehypertensives (p<0.001. Similar trend was observed for hypertensives with age, gender, education, smoking and alcohol (p<0.001. The overall MMSE scores in prehypertensives and normotensives were almost similar. SBP, DBP and age shows independently statistically significant inverse relationship with cognitive function. Measuring the cognitive function in essential hypertensive patients may have important health implication, as cognitive function along with WML are considered as a prognostic factor for stroke and early marker of brain damage.

  2. Sleep, Neuronal Plasticity and Brain Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meerlo, Peter; Benca, Ruth M.; Abel, Ted

    2015-01-01

    Sleep is truly one of the biggest mysteries in behavioral neuroscience. Humans spend a substantial portion of their lives asleep, as do all other mammalian and bird species that have been studied to date, yet the functions of sleep remain elusive and continue to be a topic of debate among sleep

  3. Sleep, Neuronal Plasticity and Brain Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meerlo, Peter; Benca, Ruth M.; Abel, Ted

    2015-01-01

    Sleep is truly one of the biggest mysteries in behavioral neuroscience. Humans spend a substantial portion of their lives asleep, as do all other mammalian and bird species that have been studied to date, yet the functions of sleep remain elusive and continue to be a topic of debate among sleep rese

  4. Gastrin-releasing peptide facilitates glutamatergic transmission in the hippocampus and effectively prevents vascular dementia induced cognitive and synaptic plasticity deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jiajia; Yao, Yang; Wang, Ling; Yang, Chunxiao; Wang, Faqi; Guo, Jie; Wang, Zhiyun; Yang, Zhuo; Ming, Dong

    2017-01-01

    Neuronal gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) has been proved to be an important neuromodulator in the brain and involved in a variety of neurological diseases. Whether GRP could attenuate cognition impairment induced by vascular dementia (VD) in rats, and the mechanism of synaptic plasticity and GRP's action on synaptic efficiency are still poorly understood. In this study, we first investigated the effects of GRP on glutamatergic transmission with patch-clamp recording. We found that acute application of GRP enhanced the excitatory synaptic transmission in hippocampal CA1 neurons via GRPR in a presynaptic mechanism. Secondly, we examined whether exogenous GRP or its analogue neuromedin B (NMB) could prevent VD-induced cognitive deficits and the mechanism of synaptic plasticity. By using Morris water maze, long-term potentiation (LTP) recording, western blot assay and immunofluorescent staining, we verified for the first time that GRP or NMB substantially improved the spatial learning and memory abilities in VD rats, restored the impaired synaptic plasticity and was able to elevate the expression of synaptic proteins, synaptophysin (SYP) and CaMKII, which play pivotal roles in synaptic plasticity. These results suggest that the facilitatory effects of GRP on glutamate release may contribute to its long-term action on synaptic efficacy which is essential in cognitive function. Our findings present a new entry point for a better understanding of physiological function of GRP and raise the possibility that GRPR agonists might ameliorate cognitive deficits associated with neurological diseases.

  5. Self stigmatization, cognitive functions and social functioning in mood disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gulsum Ozge Doganavsargil Baysal

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Internalized stigmatization (IS generally has a negative effect on diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and prognosis of diseases. The purpose of this study is to compare patients with bipolar disorder and unipolar depression both are in remission in terms of IS and social functioning (SF, cognitive function and secondly to consider relationship between IS, cognitive functions and SF. Methods: This cross-sectional study is carried out with bipolar (BD and unipolar depression (UD patients in remission, admitted to the psychiatry outpatient clinics of Akdeniz University Hospital. The sample size is estimated as 35 patients. Basic independent variable is the type of disease and dependent variables are; IS, cognitive functions and SF. Performed scales are: The internalized stigma of mental ilness scale, the social functioning scale and for the assesment of cognitive functions: Wisconsin card sorting, stroop test, test of verbal memory process. Results.Concerning the results there was negative corelation between IS and SF scores in all groups. There was only significant relationship between verbal memory and IS in UD patients. There was not any significant relationship between IS and cognitive function in BD patients. Conclusion: This study indicates that in terms of cognitive functions, patients with unipolar depression are effected as much as the patients with bipolar disorder also manifesting the inverse relation between IS and SF, however cognitive functions were relevant to IS only in UD patients. [Cukurova Med J 2013; 38(3.000: 390-402

  6. Hypermethylation of Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity-Related genes is Involved in Neonatal Sevoflurane Exposure-Induced Cognitive Impairments in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ju, Ling-sha; Jia, Min; Sun, Jie; Sun, Xiao-ru; Zhang, Hui; Ji, Mu-huo; Yang, Jian-jun; Wang, Zhong-yun

    2016-02-01

    General anesthetics given to immature rodents cause delayed neurobehavioral abnormalities via incompletely understood mechanisms. DNA methylation, one of the epigenetic modifications, is essential for the modulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity through regulating the related genes. Therefore, we investigated whether abnormalities in the hippocampal DNA methylation of synaptic plasticity-related genes are involved in neonatal sevoflurane exposure-induced cognitive impairments in rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 3 % sevoflurane or 30 % oxygen/air for 2 h daily from postnatal day 7 (P7) to P9 and were treated with DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) inhibitor 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine (5-AZA) or vehicle 1 h before the first sevoflurane exposure on P7. The rats were euthanized 1, 6, 24 h, and 30 days after the last sevoflurane exposure, and the brain tissues were harvested for biochemical analysis. Cognitive functions were evaluated by the open field, fear conditioning, and Morris water maze (MWM) tests on P39, P41-43, and P50-57, respectively. In the present study, repeated neonatal sevoflurane exposure resulted in hippocampus-dependent cognitive impairments as assessed by fear conditioning and MWM tests. The cognitive impairments were associated with the increased DNMTs and hypermethylation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and Reelin genes, and subsequent down-regulation of BDNF and Reelin genes, which finally led to the decrease of dendritic spines in the hippocampal pyramidal neurons in adolescent rats. Notably, pretreatment with 5-AZA reversed these sevoflurane-induced abnormalities. In conclusion, our results suggest that hypermethylation of hippocampal BDNF and Reelin is involved in neonatal sevoflurane exposure-induced cognitive impairments.

  7. Plastic Trash goes Biohybrid"-Rapid and Selective Functionalization of Inert Plastic Surfaces with Biomolecules

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schiller, Stefan M; Kambhampati, Dev; Stengel, Gudrun

    2010-01-01

    The covalent functionalization of "inert" polymers such as polypropylene with biomolecules for biocompatible or biosensor surfaces is challenging. Here we present a powerful approach to covalently modify "inert" macromolecular surfaces with biomacromolecules reusing old plastic material. A specia...... with a thin reactive plasma polymerized maleic anhydride nanolayer network, which can be subsequently modified with biomolecules for various applications, e.g., in tissue engineering and as biochips...

  8. P2Y Receptors in Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity: Therapeutic Potential in Cognitive Dysfunction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Segundo J. Guzman

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available ATP released from neurons and astrocytes during neuronal activity or under pathophysiological circumstances is able to influence information flow in neuronal circuits by activation of ionotropic P2X and metabotropic P2Y receptors and subsequent modulation of cellular excitability, synaptic strength, and plasticity. In the present paper we review cellular and network effects of P2Y receptors in the brain. We show that P2Y receptors inhibit the release of neurotransmitters, modulate voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels, and differentially influence the induction of synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum. The findings discussed here may explain how P2Y1 receptor activation during brain injury, hypoxia, inflammation, schizophrenia, or Alzheimer’s disease leads to an impairment of cognitive processes. Hence, it is suggested that the blockade of P2Y1 receptors may have therapeutic potential against cognitive disturbances in these states.

  9. Cognitive functioning in adolescents with migraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa Andréia Costa-Silva

    Full Text Available Although migraine is highly prevalent in children and teenagers, it often goes undetected in these patients, resulting in underdiagnosis and inadequate treatment. Several studies have investigated cognitive changes in adults with migraine. However, there are few studies focusing on children and adolescents. Objective : To investigate cognitive performance of adolescents with migraine. Methods : Twenty-eight adolescents diagnosed with migraine and twenty-six individuals without a history of headache were recruited for the study. All participants were evaluated using standardized neuropsychological tests. Results : Adolescents with migraine had worse performance on tests evaluating short- and long-term verbal memory, attention, executive function, and speed of processing information than controls. Conclusion : Cognitive dysfunction is common in adolescents with migraine. Since the cognitive deficits found in adolescents with migraine are similar to those reported in adults with migraine, cognitive impairment seems to persist throughout life.

  10. Brain lateralization and neural plasticity for musical and cognitive abilities in an epileptic musician

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel eTrujillo-Pozo

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The use of intracarotid propofol procedure (IPP when assessing musical lateralization has not been reported in literature up to now. This procedure (similar to Wada Test has provided the opportunity to investigate not only lateralization of language and memory functions on epileptic patients but also offers a functional mapping approach with superior spatial and temporal resolution to analyze the lateralization of musical abilities. Findings in literature suggest that musical training modifies functional and structural brain organization. We studied hemispheric lateralization in a professional musician, a 33 years old woman with refractory left medial temporal lobe epilepsy. A longitudinal neuropsychological study was performed over a period of 21 months. Before epilepsy surgery, musical abilities, language and memory were tested during IPP by means of a novel and exhaustive neuropsychological battery focusing on the processing of music. We used a selection of stimuli to analyze listening, score reading, and tempo discrimination. Our results suggested that IPP is an excellent method to determine not only language, semantic and episodic memory, but also musical dominance in a professional musician who may be candidate for epilepsy surgery. Neuropsychological testing revealed that right hemisphere’s patient is involved in semantic and episodic musical memory processes, whereas her score reading and tempo processing require contribution from both hemispheres. At 1-year follow-up, outcome was excellent with respect to seizures and professional skills, meanwhile cognitive abilities improved. These findings indicate that IPP helps to predict who might be at risk for postoperative musical, language and memory deficits after epilepsy surgery. Our research suggests that musical expertise and epilepsy critically modifies long-term memory processes and induces brain structural and functional plasticity.

  11. Brain lateralization and neural plasticity for musical and cognitive abilities in an epileptic musician.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo-Pozo, Isabel; Martín-Monzón, Isabel; Rodríguez-Romero, Rafael

    2013-01-01

    The use of intracarotid propofol procedure (IPP) when assessing musical lateralization has not been reported in literature up to now. This procedure (similar to Wada Test) has provided the opportunity to investigate not only lateralization of language and memory functions on epileptic patients but also offers a functional mapping approach with superior spatial and temporal resolution to analyze the lateralization of musical abilities. Findings in literature suggest that musical training modifies functional and structural brain organization. We studied hemispheric lateralization in a professional musician, a 33 years old woman with refractory left medial temporal lobe (MTL) epilepsy (TLE). A longitudinal neuropsychological study was performed over a period of 21 months. Before epilepsy surgery, musical abilities, language and memory were tested during IPP by means of a novel and exhaustive neuropsychological battery focusing on the processing of music. We used a selection of stimuli to analyze listening, score reading, and tempo discrimination. Our results suggested that IPP is an excellent method to determine not only language, semantic, and episodic memory, but also musical dominance in a professional musician who may be candidate for epilepsy surgery. Neuropsychological testing revealed that right hemisphere's patient is involved in semantic and episodic musical memory processes, whereas her score reading and tempo processing require contribution from both hemispheres. At one-year follow-up, outcome was excellent with respect to seizures and professional skills, meanwhile cognitive abilities improved. These findings indicate that IPP helps to predict who might be at risk for postoperative musical, language, and memory deficits after epilepsy surgery. Our research suggests that musical expertise and epilepsy critically modifies long-term memory processes and induces brain structural and functional plasticity.

  12. Cardiovascular disease and cognitive function in maintenance hemodialysis patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cognitive impairment are common in dialysis patients. Given the proposed role of microvascular disease on cognitive function, particularly cognitive domains that incorporate executive functions, we hypothesized that prevalent systemic CVD would be associated with wor...

  13. Emergence of Functional Specificity in Balanced Networks with Synaptic Plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sadra Sadeh

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In rodent visual cortex, synaptic connections between orientation-selective neurons are unspecific at the time of eye opening, and become to some degree functionally specific only later during development. An explanation for this two-stage process was proposed in terms of Hebbian plasticity based on visual experience that would eventually enhance connections between neurons with similar response features. For this to work, however, two conditions must be satisfied: First, orientation selective neuronal responses must exist before specific recurrent synaptic connections can be established. Second, Hebbian learning must be compatible with the recurrent network dynamics contributing to orientation selectivity, and the resulting specific connectivity must remain stable for unspecific background activity. Previous studies have mainly focused on very simple models, where the receptive fields of neurons were essentially determined by feedforward mechanisms, and where the recurrent network was small, lacking the complex recurrent dynamics of large-scale networks of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Here we studied the emergence of functionally specific connectivity in large-scale recurrent networks with synaptic plasticity. Our results show that balanced random networks, which already exhibit highly selective responses at eye opening, can develop feature-specific connectivity if appropriate rules of synaptic plasticity are invoked within and between excitatory and inhibitory populations. If these conditions are met, the initial orientation selectivity guides the process of Hebbian learning and, as a result, functionally specific and a surplus of bidirectional connections emerge. Our results thus demonstrate the cooperation of synaptic plasticity and recurrent dynamics in large-scale functional networks with realistic receptive fields, highlight the role of inhibition as a critical element in this process, and paves the road for further computational

  14. An evolutionary computation approach to examine functional brain plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arnab eRoy

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available One common research goal in systems neurosciences is to understand how the functional relationship between a pair of regions of interest (ROIs evolves over time. Examining neural connectivity in this way is well-suited for the study of developmental processes, learning, and even in recovery or treatment designs in response to injury. For most fMRI based studies, the strength of the functional relationship between two ROIs is defined as the correlation between the average signal representing each region. The drawback to this approach is that much information is lost due to averaging heterogeneous voxels, and therefore, the functional relationship between a ROI-pair that evolve at a spatial scale much finer than the ROIs remain undetected. To address this shortcoming, we introduce a novel evolutionary computation (EC based voxel-level procedure to examine functional plasticity between an investigator defined ROI-pair by simultaneously using subject-specific BOLD-fMRI data collected from two sessions seperated by finite duration of time. This data-driven procedure detects a sub-region composed of spatially connected voxels from each ROI (a so-called sub-regional-pair such that the pair shows a significant gain/loss of functional relationship strength across the two time points. The procedure is recursive and iteratively finds all statistically significant sub-regional-pairs within the ROIs. Using this approach, we examine functional plasticity between the default mode network (DMN and the executive control network (ECN during recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI; the study includes 14 TBI and 12 healthy control subjects. We demonstrate that the EC based procedure is able to detect functional plasticity where a traditional averaging based approach fails. The subject-specific plasticity estimates obtained using the EC-procedure are highly consistent across multiple runs. Group-level analyses using these plasticity estimates showed an increase in

  15. Children's Cognitive Functioning in Disasters and Terrorism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfefferbaum, Betty; Noffsinger, Mary A; Jacobs, Anne K; Varma, Vandana

    2016-05-01

    A growing literature has begun to address the cognitions that influence children's disaster reactions as well as the effects of disasters on children's cognitions. These cognitions must be viewed in the context of developmental and cultural considerations as well as disaster-related factors such as exposure and secondary stressors. This review examines the extant literature on children's cognitions related to disasters and terrorism including threat appraisal, beliefs, attention and concentration, memory, academic achievement, and executive functioning. The review highlights areas where research is lacking such as the effect of disasters on children's attention, concentration, content of disaster memories, and executive functioning. It also notes findings that may advance post-disaster screening and intervention.

  16. Cognition and brain functional aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui-jie LI

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available China has the largest population of elderly adults. Meanwhile, it is one of the countries showing fastest aging speed in the world. Aging processing is always companied with a series of brain structural and functional changes, which result in the decline of processing speed, working memory, long-term memory and executive function, etc. The studies based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI found certain aging effects on brain function activation, spontaneous activity and functional connectivity in old people. However, few studies have explored the brain functional curve during the aging process while most previous studies explored the differences in the brain function between young people and old people. Delineation of the human brain functional aging curve will promote the understanding of brain aging mechanisms and support the normal aging monitoring and early detection of abnormal aging changes. doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1672-6731.2014.03.005

  17. Dehydroepiandrosterone levels and cognitive function in aging

    OpenAIRE

    Rathna Kumari U, Padma K

    2013-01-01

    Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a steroid hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex. Recent research reports show that DHEA has various beneficial effects including neuro protective effects and that the decline in its production with aging may contribute to neuronal dysfunction and degeneration, and thus cognitive decline.Aim: To assess the cognitive functions and estimate the levels of DHEA in subjects of the same age group. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional comparative study of sixty h...

  18. Dehydroepiandrosterone levels and cognitive function in aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rathna Kumari U, Padma K

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA is a steroid hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex. Recent research reports show that DHEA has various beneficial effects including neuro protective effects and that the decline in its production with aging may contribute to neuronal dysfunction and degeneration, and thus cognitive decline.Aim: To assess the cognitive functions and estimate the levels of DHEA in subjects of the same age group. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional comparative study of sixty healthy male participants between 60 to 70 years of age was done. They did not have other medical disorders likely to affect cognitive function. Their performance in the principal domains of cognition, i.e. memory, attention and concentration, verbal fluency, language and visuospatial functioning was observed.Serum levels of DHEA were estimated for all the participants by ELISA method. Results: A significant positive correlation was observed between DHEA level and three domains of cognition viz., visuospatial skills (r = 0.95, verbal fluency (r = 0.49 and short term memory (r = 0.28. No association was found with other domains of cognition. Conclusion: Subjects with low levels of serum DHEA among the same age group showed a significant decline in visuospatial skills, short term memory and verbal fluency.

  19. Is Sleep Essential for Neural Plasticity in Humans, and How Does It Affect Motor and Cognitive Recovery?

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gorgoni, Maurizio; D'Atri, Aurora; Lauri, Giulia; Rossini, Paolo Maria; Ferlazzo, Fabio; De Gennaro, Luigi

    2013-01-01

    ... exists today that sleep is strictly linked to memory, learning and, in general, to the mechanisms of neural plasticity. Indeed, cognitive impairments, especially in learning, and memory tasks [57], are one of the main consequences of sleep deprivation. Although the link between sleep, memory, and neural plasticity has been widely investigated, such...

  20. Reorganization of Functional Connectivity as a Correlate of Cognitive Recovery in Acquired Brain Injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellanos, Nazareth P.; Paul, Nuria; Ordonez, Victoria E.; Demuynck, Olivier; Bajo, Ricardo; Campo, Pablo; Bilbao, Alvaro; Ortiz, Tomas; del-Pozo, Francisco; Maestu, Fernando

    2010-01-01

    Cognitive processes require a functional interaction between specialized multiple, local and remote brain regions. Although these interactions can be strongly altered by an acquired brain injury, brain plasticity allows network reorganization to be principally responsible for recovery. The present work evaluates the impact of brain injury on…

  1. Combined Cognitive-Psychological-Physical Intervention Induces Reorganization of Intrinsic Functional Brain Architecture in Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiwei Zheng

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Mounting evidence suggests that enriched mental, physical, and socially stimulating activities are beneficial for counteracting age-related decreases in brain function and cognition in older adults. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to demonstrate the functional plasticity of brain activity in response to a combined cognitive-psychological-physical intervention and investigated the contribution of the intervention-related brain changes to individual performance in healthy older adults. The intervention was composed of a 6-week program of combined activities including cognitive training, Tai Chi exercise, and group counseling. The results showed improved cognitive performance and reorganized regional homogeneity of spontaneous fluctuations in the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD signals in the superior and middle temporal gyri, and the posterior lobe of the cerebellum, in the participants who attended the intervention. Intriguingly, the intervention-induced changes in the coherence of local spontaneous activity correlated with the improvements in individual cognitive performance. Taken together with our previous findings of enhanced resting-state functional connectivity between the medial prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobe regions following a combined intervention program in older adults, we conclude that the functional plasticity of the aging brain is a rather complex process, and an effective cognitive-psychological-physical intervention is helpful for maintaining a healthy brain and comprehensive cognition during old age.

  2. Combined cognitive-psychological-physical intervention induces reorganization of intrinsic functional brain architecture in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Zhiwei; Zhu, Xinyi; Yin, Shufei; Wang, Baoxi; Niu, Yanan; Huang, Xin; Li, Rui; Li, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that enriched mental, physical, and socially stimulating activities are beneficial for counteracting age-related decreases in brain function and cognition in older adults. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to demonstrate the functional plasticity of brain activity in response to a combined cognitive-psychological-physical intervention and investigated the contribution of the intervention-related brain changes to individual performance in healthy older adults. The intervention was composed of a 6-week program of combined activities including cognitive training, Tai Chi exercise, and group counseling. The results showed improved cognitive performance and reorganized regional homogeneity of spontaneous fluctuations in the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signals in the superior and middle temporal gyri, and the posterior lobe of the cerebellum, in the participants who attended the intervention. Intriguingly, the intervention-induced changes in the coherence of local spontaneous activity correlated with the improvements in individual cognitive performance. Taken together with our previous findings of enhanced resting-state functional connectivity between the medial prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobe regions following a combined intervention program in older adults, we conclude that the functional plasticity of the aging brain is a rather complex process, and an effective cognitive-psychological-physical intervention is helpful for maintaining a healthy brain and comprehensive cognition during old age.

  3. Relationship between physical prowess and cognitive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García López, Oscar; Burgos Postigo, Silvia

    2012-03-01

    There is some evidence about the low relationship between physical prowess and cognitive function (Posthuma, Mulder, Boomsma & de Geus, 2002). The aim of this paper is to investigate the relationship between cognitive variables (spatial ability, reasoning, numerical ability, inductive reasoning, and reasoning and verbal comprehension) and physical prowess in sport performance (agility circuit, coordination circuit, horizontal jump, swimming and sprint racing). Two studies were performance. In the first one we applied a battery of standardized cognitive tests and a battery of physical grading tests to 400 subjects. When we applied factor analysis to the physical prowess and the cognitive variables, we found one general factor in cognitive variables and one general factor in physical prowess. We found a low relationship between both factors (.21). In the second study we compare the cognitive abilities in elite and amateur sport people. Results show that elite gymnastics people present higher cognitive abilities than amateur sportspeople. It should be relevant in order to clarify the total set of variables involved in sport performance.

  4. Functional and cognitive decline in hospitalized elderly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    EUGÉNIA MENDES

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Aim – Understand if functional and cognitive decline is accentuated during hospitalization in elderly patients. Method – It was design a descriptive and correlational study. The Functional Independence Measure (FIM and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE were used. Results – Were evaluated at admission and discharge 51 elderly (75.53 ± 7.16 years, 53% women, admitted in an internal medicine unit with a length of stay of 14.27±6.45 days. For FIM and MMSE were found statistically significant differences with lower scores from admission to discharge. Negative correlations between age and length of stay and the scores of all measures were found. Except for the Cognitive FIM at admission, all elderly residents at home fared better than the institutionalized in all measures. Conclusions – The hospitalization contributes to a greater weakness/frailty of the elderly and is considered high risk for decline in physical fitness and cognitive function.

  5. Plasticity of human spatial cognition: Spatial language and cognition covary across cultures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haun, D.B.M.; Rapold, C.J.; Janzen, G.; Levinson, S.C.

    2011-01-01

    The present paper explores cross-cultural variation in spatial cognition by comparing spatial reconstruction tasks by Dutch and Namibian elementary school children. These two communities differ in the way they predominantly express spatial relations in language. Four experiments investigate

  6. Plasticity of human spatial cognition: spatial language and cognition covary across cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haun, Daniel B M; Rapold, Christian J; Janzen, Gabriele; Levinson, Stephen C

    2011-04-01

    The present paper explores cross-cultural variation in spatial cognition by comparing spatial reconstruction tasks by Dutch and Namibian elementary school children. These two communities differ in the way they predominantly express spatial relations in language. Four experiments investigate cognitive strategy preferences across different levels of task-complexity and instruction. Data show a correlation between dominant linguistic spatial frames of reference and performance patterns in non-linguistic spatial memory tasks. This correlation is shown to be stable across an increase of complexity in the spatial array. When instructed to use their respective non-habitual cognitive strategy, participants were not easily able to switch between strategies and their attempts to do so impaired their performance. These results indicate a difference not only in preference but also in competence and suggest that spatial language and non-linguistic preferences and competences in spatial cognition are systematically aligned across human populations.

  7. Exercise-Induced Cognitive Plasticity, Implications for Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Foster, Philip P.; Rosenblatt, Kevin P.; Kuljiš, Rodrigo O.

    2011-01-01

    Lifestyle factors such as intellectual stimulation, cognitive and social engagement, nutrition, and various types of exercise appear to reduce the risk for common age-associated disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular dementia. In fact, many studies have suggested that promoting physical activity can have a protective effect against cognitive deterioration later in life. Slowing or a deterioration of walking speed is associated with a poor performance in tests assessing psycho...

  8. Acupuncture improves cognitive function A systematic review

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mason Chin Pang Leung; Ka Keung Yip; Chung Tsung Lam; Ka Shun Lam; Wai Lau; Wing Lam Yu; Amethyst King Man Leung; Kwok-fai So

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Acupuncture has been used as a treatment for cognitive impairment.OBJECTIVE: This review assesses clinical evidence for or against acupuncture as a treatment for cognitive impairment. This review also discusses the proposed mechanism(s) that could link acupuncture to improved cognitive function.RESULTS: Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria: 3 human studies and 9 animal studies. Levels of evidence ranged from level 1b to level 5.CONCLUSION: Most animal studies demonstrated a positive effect of acupuncture on cognitive impairment. However, the results of human studies were inconsistent. Further high-quality human studies with greater statistical power are needed to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture and an optimal protocol.

  9. Homocysteine and cognitive function in the elderly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pusparini Pusparini

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Dementia is prevalent among elderly people, and projections show that the number of affected might triple over the next 50 years, because of a large increase in the oldest segment of the population. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between cognitive function and serum homocysteine level. This study was a cross-sectional study carried out in Mampang district, South Jakarta. A total of 94 elderly people was recruited for this study consisting of 44 females and 50 males. In this study serum homocysteine level was assessed by fluorescent polarization immunoassay and cognitive function with the mini mental state examination (MMSE. In elderly women MMSE scores for plasma homocysteine concentrations of 14.9 mmol/L were 24.00 ± 3.68, 23.80 ± 6.51, and 20.80 ± 9.00 respectively, with p=0.000. In elderly men the MMSE scores for plasma homocysteine concentrations of 14.9 mmol/L were respectively 27.66 ± 2.06, 26.33 ± 3.79 and 24.03 ± 5.52 with p=0.008. Homocysteine concentrations of >14.9 mmol/L were more commonly found in males (66% than in females (22.70%. The results of a regression analysis indicated that the factors influencing cognitive function were level of education (p=0.001 and age (p=0.035, whereas gender and homocysteine concentration did not affect cognitive function (p=0.554 and p=0.714, respectively. Plasma homocysteine concentration was inversely related to cognitive function. The most important factors affecting cognitive function were level of education and age.

  10. Inactivation of BRD7 results in impaired cognitive behavior and reduced synaptic plasticity of the medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Yang; Cao, Wenyu; Zhou, Ming; Li, Changqi; Luo, Yanwei; Wang, Heran; Zhao, Ran; Jiang, Shihe; Yang, Jing; Liu, Yukun; Wang, Xinye; Li, Xiayu; Xiong, Wei; Ma, Jian; Peng, Shuping; Zeng, Zhaoyang; Li, Xiaoling; Tan, Ming; Li, Guiyuan

    2015-06-01

    BRD7 is a bromodomain-containing protein (BCP), and recent evidence implicates the role of BCPs in the initiation and development of neurodevelopmental disorders. However, few studies have investigated the biological functions of BRD7 in the central nervous system. In our study, BRD7 was found to be widely expressed in various regions of the mouse brain, including the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), caudate putamen (CPu), hippocampus (Hip), midbrain (Mb), cerebellum (Cb), and mainly co-localized with neuron but not with glia. Using a BRD7 knockout mouse model and a battery of behavioral tests, we report that disruption of BRD7 results in impaired cognitive behavior leaving the emotional behavior unaffected. Moreover, a series of proteins involved in synaptic plasticity were decreased in the medial prefrontal cortex and there was a concomitant decrease in neuronal spine density and dendritic branching in the medial prefrontal cortex. However, no significant difference was found in the hippocampus compared to the wild-type mice. Thus, BRD7 might play a critical role in the regulation of synaptic plasticity and affect cognitive behavior.

  11. A Functional Cartography of Cognitive Systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo G Mattar

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available One of the most remarkable features of the human brain is its ability to adapt rapidly and efficiently to external task demands. Novel and non-routine tasks, for example, are implemented faster than structural connections can be formed. The neural underpinnings of these dynamics are far from understood. Here we develop and apply novel methods in network science to quantify how patterns of functional connectivity between brain regions reconfigure as human subjects perform 64 different tasks. By applying dynamic community detection algorithms, we identify groups of brain regions that form putative functional communities, and we uncover changes in these groups across the 64-task battery. We summarize these reconfiguration patterns by quantifying the probability that two brain regions engage in the same network community (or putative functional module across tasks. These tools enable us to demonstrate that classically defined cognitive systems-including visual, sensorimotor, auditory, default mode, fronto-parietal, cingulo-opercular and salience systems-engage dynamically in cohesive network communities across tasks. We define the network role that a cognitive system plays in these dynamics along the following two dimensions: (i stability vs. flexibility and (ii connected vs. isolated. The role of each system is therefore summarized by how stably that system is recruited over the 64 tasks, and how consistently that system interacts with other systems. Using this cartography, classically defined cognitive systems can be categorized as ephemeral integrators, stable loners, and anything in between. Our results provide a new conceptual framework for understanding the dynamic integration and recruitment of cognitive systems in enabling behavioral adaptability across both task and rest conditions. This work has important implications for understanding cognitive network reconfiguration during different task sets and its relationship to cognitive effort

  12. A Functional Cartography of Cognitive Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattar, Marcelo G.; Cole, Michael W.; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L.; Bassett, Danielle S.

    2015-01-01

    One of the most remarkable features of the human brain is its ability to adapt rapidly and efficiently to external task demands. Novel and non-routine tasks, for example, are implemented faster than structural connections can be formed. The neural underpinnings of these dynamics are far from understood. Here we develop and apply novel methods in network science to quantify how patterns of functional connectivity between brain regions reconfigure as human subjects perform 64 different tasks. By applying dynamic community detection algorithms, we identify groups of brain regions that form putative functional communities, and we uncover changes in these groups across the 64-task battery. We summarize these reconfiguration patterns by quantifying the probability that two brain regions engage in the same network community (or putative functional module) across tasks. These tools enable us to demonstrate that classically defined cognitive systems—including visual, sensorimotor, auditory, default mode, fronto-parietal, cingulo-opercular and salience systems—engage dynamically in cohesive network communities across tasks. We define the network role that a cognitive system plays in these dynamics along the following two dimensions: (i) stability vs. flexibility and (ii) connected vs. isolated. The role of each system is therefore summarized by how stably that system is recruited over the 64 tasks, and how consistently that system interacts with other systems. Using this cartography, classically defined cognitive systems can be categorized as ephemeral integrators, stable loners, and anything in between. Our results provide a new conceptual framework for understanding the dynamic integration and recruitment of cognitive systems in enabling behavioral adaptability across both task and rest conditions. This work has important implications for understanding cognitive network reconfiguration during different task sets and its relationship to cognitive effort, individual

  13. A Functional Cartography of Cognitive Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattar, Marcelo G; Cole, Michael W; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L; Bassett, Danielle S

    2015-12-01

    One of the most remarkable features of the human brain is its ability to adapt rapidly and efficiently to external task demands. Novel and non-routine tasks, for example, are implemented faster than structural connections can be formed. The neural underpinnings of these dynamics are far from understood. Here we develop and apply novel methods in network science to quantify how patterns of functional connectivity between brain regions reconfigure as human subjects perform 64 different tasks. By applying dynamic community detection algorithms, we identify groups of brain regions that form putative functional communities, and we uncover changes in these groups across the 64-task battery. We summarize these reconfiguration patterns by quantifying the probability that two brain regions engage in the same network community (or putative functional module) across tasks. These tools enable us to demonstrate that classically defined cognitive systems-including visual, sensorimotor, auditory, default mode, fronto-parietal, cingulo-opercular and salience systems-engage dynamically in cohesive network communities across tasks. We define the network role that a cognitive system plays in these dynamics along the following two dimensions: (i) stability vs. flexibility and (ii) connected vs. isolated. The role of each system is therefore summarized by how stably that system is recruited over the 64 tasks, and how consistently that system interacts with other systems. Using this cartography, classically defined cognitive systems can be categorized as ephemeral integrators, stable loners, and anything in between. Our results provide a new conceptual framework for understanding the dynamic integration and recruitment of cognitive systems in enabling behavioral adaptability across both task and rest conditions. This work has important implications for understanding cognitive network reconfiguration during different task sets and its relationship to cognitive effort, individual

  14. Burned out cognition - cognitive functioning of burnout patients before and after a period with psychological treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oosterholt, B.G.; Linden, D. van der; Maes, J.H.R.; Verbraak, M.J.P.M.; Kompier, M.A.J.

    2012-01-01

    Objectives Many employees with burnout report cognitive difficulties. However, the relation between burnout and cognitive functioning has hardly been empirically validated. Moreover, it is unknown whether the putative cognitive deficits in burnout are temporary or permanent. Therefore, the purpose

  15. [Overview and assessment of cognitive function in interpreting postoperative cognitive dysfunction].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miura, Rina; Hattori, Hideyuki

    2014-11-01

    The most important point for evaluation of the post-operative cognitive dysfunction is that we understand "cognitive function". First we described the definition of the "cognitive function" and second, outlined each function (dysfunction) and introduced the main assessment methods from the view point of neuropsychology. Cognitive function (dysfunction) described in this paper includes consciousness (confusional state, disturbance of consciousness), generalized attention (disorder of generalized attention), memory (amnesia), orientation (disorientation), executive function (dysexecutive syndrome), social cognition (social cognitive impairment), language (aphasia), cognition (agnosia), behavior (apraxia), directed attention (unilateral spatial neglect), and construction (constructional disorder).

  16. [Cognitive function related to temporal lobe epilepsy: advances in research on new cognitive function].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamano, Mitsuhiko; Akamatsu, Naoki; Tsuji, Sadatoshi

    2013-05-01

    The importance of neuropsychological examinations in epilepsy care and, especially, in epilepsy surgery is centered on the following roles: they offer a means to confirm the epileptic focus by multi-modal preoperative assessments and they help to assess postoperative functional changes based on preoperative cognitive functions. Furthermore, assessments of the cognitive functions of patients with epilepsy using various tests aid in providing comprehensive medical care. Thus far, research on cognitive functions related to temporal lobe epilepsy has focused on memory, language, and general intelligence. However, the concept of social cognitive function has been recently proposed in the field of neuropsychology. This cognitive function, proposed by Brothers in 1990, is a collective term for functions needed in social life; these include functions required to interpret the expressions, feelings, and intentions of others and to form and maintain smooth human relationships while making decisions necessary for self-survival. These functions mainly involve facial expression recognition and decision-making. Findings of research on neural mechanisms underlying social cognitive functions have emphasized the roles of the cerebral limbic system, such as the amygdalo-hippocampal complexes, and the emotional system in the ventromedial prefrontal area. Studies on social cognitive functions in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy are being pursued currently. Early-onset right mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis is the key substrate determining a severe deficit in recognizing emotional facial expressions and decision-making. In the future, neuropsychological examinations of social cognition, in addition to those of global intelligence, memory, and verbal function, will contribute to the provision of comprehensive medical care to patients with epilepsy.

  17. Cognitive Functions in Childhood Apraxia of Speech

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nijland, Lian; Terband, Hayo; Maassen, Ben

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is diagnosed on the basis of specific speech characteristics, in the absence of problems in hearing, intelligence, and language comprehension. This does not preclude the possibility that children with this speech disorder might demonstrate additional problems. Method: Cognitive functions were investigated…

  18. ELDERLY DRIVING BEHAVIOR AND COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Etsuo HORIKAWA

    2009-01-01

    Discussions: Of the 30 items monitored in the study, significant differences were evident in only a few. Because the evidence did not suggest a particular link to accident experience, it will be necessary to obtain objective data from other cognitive function tests and driving behavior for reassessment. various problems related to elderly driving in Japan were discussed.

  19. Cognitive-affective neural plasticity following active-controlled mindfulness intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Micah; Dietz, Martin; Blair, Karina S; van Beek, Martijn; Rees, Geraint; Vestergaard-Poulsen, Peter; Lutz, Antoine; Roepstorff, Andreas

    2012-10-31

    Mindfulness meditation is a set of attention-based, regulatory, and self-inquiry training regimes. Although the impact of mindfulness training (MT) on self-regulation is well established, the neural mechanisms supporting such plasticity are poorly understood. MT is thought to act through interoceptive salience and attentional control mechanisms, but until now conflicting evidence from behavioral and neural measures renders difficult distinguishing their respective roles. To resolve this question we conducted a fully randomized 6 week longitudinal trial of MT, explicitly controlling for cognitive and treatment effects with an active-control group. We measured behavioral metacognition and whole-brain blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signals using functional MRI during an affective Stroop task before and after intervention in healthy human subjects. Although both groups improved significantly on a response-inhibition task, only the MT group showed reduced affective Stroop conflict. Moreover, the MT group displayed greater dorsolateral prefrontal cortex responses during executive processing, consistent with increased recruitment of top-down mechanisms to resolve conflict. In contrast, we did not observe overall group-by-time interactions on negative affect-related reaction times or BOLD responses. However, only participants with the greatest amount of MT practice showed improvements in response inhibition and increased recruitment of dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, and right anterior insula during negative valence processing. Our findings highlight the importance of active control in MT research, indicate unique neural mechanisms for progressive stages of mindfulness training, and suggest that optimal application of MT may differ depending on context, contrary to a one-size-fits-all approach.

  20. The Neuroscience of Storing and Molding Tool Action Concepts: how plastic is grounded cognition?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.C. Mizelle

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Choosing how to use tools to accomplish a task is a natural and seemingly trivial aspect of our lives, yet engages complex neural mechanisms. Recently, work in healthy populations has led to the idea that tool knowledge is grounded to allow for appropriate recall based on some level of personal history. This grounding has presumed neural loci for tool use, centered on parieto-temporo-frontal areas to fuse perception and action representations into one dynamic system. A challenge for this idea is related to one of its great benefits. For such a system to exist, it must be very plastic, to allow for the introduction of novel tools or concepts of tool use and modification of existing ones. Thus, learning new tool usage (familiar tools in new situations and new tools in familiar situations must involve mapping into this grounded network while marinating existing rules for tool usage. This plasticity may present a challenging breadth of encoding that needs to be optimally stored and accessed. The aim of this work is to explore the challenges of plasticity related to changing or incorporating representations of tool action within the theory of grounded cognition and propose a modular model of tool-object goal related accomplishment. While considering the neuroscience evidence for this approach, we will focus on the requisite plasticity for this system. Further, we will highlight challenges for flexibility and organization of already grounded tool actions and provide thoughts on future research to better evaluate mechanisms of encoding in the theory of grounded cognition.

  1. Cognitive and neural plasticity in older adults' prospective memory following training with the Virtual Week computer game.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Nathan S; Rendell, Peter G; Hering, Alexandra; Kliegel, Matthias; Bidelman, Gavin M; Craik, Fergus I M

    2015-01-01

    Prospective memory (PM) - the ability to remember and successfully execute our intentions and planned activities - is critical for functional independence and declines with age, yet few studies have attempted to train PM in older adults. We developed a PM training program using the Virtual Week computer game. Trained participants played the game in 12, 1-h sessions over 1 month. Measures of neuropsychological functions, lab-based PM, event-related potentials (ERPs) during performance on a lab-based PM task, instrumental activities of daily living, and real-world PM were assessed before and after training. Performance was compared to both no-contact and active (music training) control groups. PM on the Virtual Week game dramatically improved following training relative to controls, suggesting PM plasticity is preserved in older adults. Relative to control participants, training did not produce reliable transfer to laboratory-based tasks, but was associated with a reduction of an ERP component (sustained negativity over occipito-parietal cortex) associated with processing PM cues, indicative of more automatic PM retrieval. Most importantly, training produced far transfer to real-world outcomes including improvements in performance on real-world PM and activities of daily living. Real-world gains were not observed in either control group. Our findings demonstrate that short-term training with the Virtual Week game produces cognitive and neural plasticity that may result in real-world benefits to supporting functional independence in older adulthood.

  2. Cognitive and Neural Plasticity in Older Adults’ Prospective Memory Following Training with the Virtual Week Computer Game

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan S Rose

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Prospective memory (PM – the ability to remember and successfully execute our intentions and planned activities – is critical for functional independence and declines with age, yet few studies have attempted to train PM in older adults. We developed a PM training program using the Virtual Week computer game. Trained participants played the game in twelve, 1-hour sessions over one month. Measures of neuropsychological functions, lab-based PM, event-related potentials (ERPs during performance on a lab-based PM task, instrumental activities of daily living, and real-world PM were assessed before and after training. Performance was compared to both no-contact and active (music training control groups. PM on the Virtual Week game dramatically improved following training relative to controls, suggesting PM plasticity is preserved in older adults. Relative to control participants, training did not produce reliable transfer to laboratory-based tasks, but was associated with a reduction of an ERP component (sustained negativity over occipito-parietal cortex associated with processing PM cues, indicative of more automatic PM retrieval. Most importantly, training produced far transfer to real-world outcomes including improvements in performance on real-world PM and activities of daily living. Real-world gains were not observed in either control group. Our findings demonstrate that short-term training with the Virtual Week game produces cognitive and neural plasticity that may result in real-world benefits to supporting functional independence in older adulthood.

  3. Comorbidities and cognitive functioning: implications for nursing research and practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vance, David; Larsen, Kirsten I; Eagerton, Gregory; Wright, Mary A

    2011-08-01

    Optimal cognitive functioning is necessary to successfully negotiate one's environment, yet medical conditions can interfere with brain health, thus negatively impacting cognitive functioning. Such comorbidities include hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and HIV, as well as others. The physiological properties of these comorbidities can reduce one's cognitive reserve and limit one's cognitive efficiency. This article provides an overview of a few common comorbidities known to affect cognitive functioning and addresses ways in which cognitive functioning may be ameliorated and protected or mitigated in lieu of cognitive declines in such clinical populations. Implications for nursing practice and research are posited.

  4. Phytoestrogens and cognitive function: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soni, Mira; Rahardjo, Tri Budi W; Soekardi, Rodiyah; Sulistyowati, Yenny; Lestariningsih; Yesufu-Udechuku, Amina; Irsan, Atik; Hogervorst, Eef

    2014-03-01

    Neuroprotective effects of phytoestrogen compounds (found in soy) have been demonstrated in animal research and cell culture studies. In particular, phytoestrogens have been shown to reduce Alzheimer's Disease (AD) related pathology, potentially alleviating risk of AD progression. In addition to their antioxidant properties, soy products also have the ability to affect cognition via interaction with estrogen receptors. However, observational studies and randomised controlled trials in humans have resulted in inconclusive findings within this domain. There are several possible reasons for these discrepant data. Studies which report no effect of phytoestrogens on cognition have mainly been carried out in European cohorts, with an average low dietary consumption. In contrast, investigation of Asian populations, with a higher general intake of tofu (a non-fermented soy product) have shown negative associations with cognitive function in those over the age of 65. Consideration of type of soy product is important, as in the latter sample, protective effects of tempe (fermented soy) were also observed. Limited data provide evidence that effects of phytoestrogens on cognition may be modified by dosage, duration of consumption and cognitive test used. Additionally, characteristics of the study population including age, gender, ethnicity and menopausal status appear to be mediating variables. Phytoestrogen treatment interventions have also shown time-limited positive effects on cognition. These findings are consistent with estrogen treatment studies, where initial positive short-term cognitive effects may occur, which reverse with long-term continuous use in elderly women. Well controlled, large scale studies are needed to assess the effects of phytoestrogens on the aging brain and provide further understanding of this association.

  5. Chronic stress, cognitive functioning and mental health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marin, Marie-France; Lord, Catherine; Andrews, Julie; Juster, Robert-Paul; Sindi, Shireen; Arsenault-Lapierre, Geneviève; Fiocco, Alexandra J; Lupien, Sonia J

    2011-11-01

    This review aims to discuss the evidence supporting the link between chronic stress, cognitive function and mental health. Over the years, the associations between these concepts have been investigated in different populations. This review summarizes the findings that have emerged from older populations as well as from populations suffering from pathological aging, namely Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer's Disease. Although older adults are an interesting population to study in terms of chronic stress, other stress-related diseases can occur throughout the lifespan. The second section covers some of these stress-related diseases that have recently received a great deal of attention, namely burnout, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Given that chronic stress contributes to the development of certain pathologies by accelerating and/or exacerbating pre-existing vulnerabilities that vary from one individual to the other, the final section summarizes data obtained on potential variables contributing to the association between chronic stress and cognition.

  6. Cognitive Functions Influence Lightness Perception

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suncica Zdravkovic

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Lightness research offers ample evidence that visual scene contains all the cues necessary to perform lightness calculations. In real life, contrary to laboratory findings, familiarity of the objects seems to be more important than the temporarily viewing conditions. In our experiment observers were led to believe that they see the same object moving from one illumination to the other. The estimated shade in the second illumination varied as a function of the shade in the first illumination. In the second experiment, object identity was stressed by the introduction of targets with distinct geometrical shape. Subjects were familiarized with these targets and under the impression that those targets were the only targets used, even after illumination and background changed. Consequently, their matches corresponded to memorized and not viewed shade. In the third experiment observers were familiarized with two sets of targets. Only one set was used in the experiment, but twice, with different instructions. The targets were estimated based on the instruction mentioning the set from which the target presumably was taken. Nevertheless, imagery did not aid the process. When the observers were asked to keep imagining the gray shade they were previously observing, the lightness estimation depended exclusively on the factors presented in the visual scene. However, memory overpowers viewing condition. In the last experiment, observers were shown the same object in two illuminations simultaneously but were asked to estimate lightness when the object was removed from view. The value of this match-from-memory was in between the values for the two illumination levels.

  7. Cognitive function in peripheral autonomic disorders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pietro Guaraldi

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: aims of the current study were 1 to evaluate global cognitive function in patients with autonomic failure (AF of peripheral origin and 2 to investigate the effect of a documented fall in blood pressure (BP fulfilling the criteria for orthostatic hypotension (OH on cognitive performances. METHODS: we assessed 12 consecutive patients (10 males, 68±7 years old with pure AF (PAF or autoimmune autonomic neuropathy (AAN and 12 age- and gender-matched controls. All patients had no clinical signs of central nervous system involvement and normal brain CT/MRI scan. Cognitive function was assessed on two consecutive days in 3 conditions: on day 1, while sitting, by means of a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests; on day 2, while tilted (HUT and during supine rest (supine in a randomized manner. BP and heart rate (HR were continuously recorded non-invasively for the whole duration of the examination. RESULTS: patients with PAF or AAN displayed a preserved global cognitive function while sitting. However, compared to supine assessment, during HUT patients scored significantly worse during the Trail Making Test A and B, Barrage test, Analogies test, Immediate Visual Memory, Span Forward and Span Backward test. Pathological scores, with regard to Italian normative range values, were observed only during HUT in the Barrage test and in the Analogies test in 3 and 6 patients respectively. On the contrary, in healthy controls, results to neuropsychological tests were not significantly different, during HUT compared to supine rest. CONCLUSIONS: these data demonstrate that patients with PAF and AAN present a normal sitting global cognitive evaluation. However, their executive functions worsen significantly during the orthostatic challenge, possibly because of transient frontal lobes hypoperfusion.

  8. Vitamin B12 and Cognitive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background More than 2.9 million serum vitamin B12 tests were performed in 2010 in Ontario at a cost of $40 million. Vitamin B12 deficiency has been associated with a few neurocognitive disorders. Objective To determine the clinical utility of B12 testing in patients with suspected dementia or cognitive decline. Methods Three questions were addressed: Is there an association between vitamin B12 deficiency and the onset of dementia or cognitive decline? Does treatment with vitamin B12 supplementation improve cognitive function in patients with dementia or cognitive decline and vitamin B12 deficiency? What is the effectiveness of oral versus parenteral vitamin B12 supplementation in those with confirmed vitamin B12 deficiency? A literature search was performed using MEDLINE, Embase, EBSCO Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination database, from January 2002 until August 2012. Results Eighteen studies (7 systematic reviews and 11 observational studies) were identified to address the question of the association between B12 and the onset of dementia. Four systematic reviews were identified to address the question of the treatment of B12 on cognitive function. Finally, 3 randomized controlled trials were identified that compared oral B12 to intramuscular B12. Conclusions Based on very low quality evidence, there does appear to be an association between elevated plasma homocysteine levels (a by-product of B vitamins) and the onset of dementia. Based on moderate quality evidence, but with less than optimal duration of follow-up, treatment with B12 supplementation does not appreciably change cognitive function. Based on low to moderate quality of evidence, treatment with vitamin B12 and folate in patients with mild cognitive impairment seems to slow the rate of brain atrophy. Based on moderate quality evidence, oral vitamin B12 is as effective as parenteral vitamin B12 in patients with

  9. Cognition, functionality and depression indicative among elderly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Winnie Andaki Nunes

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Objective: to describe the socioeconomic characteristics of the elderly according to cognitive status, and, to associate the cognitive decline with functional disability and depression indicative among the elderly. Methods: this is a quantitative, retrospective and observational study with 92 elderly. The used instruments were: Mini Examination of Mental State; Katz Index; Lawton and Brody Scale and Abbreviated Geriatric Depression Scale. Statistical analysis and chi-square test (p<0.05 were used. Results: elderly with a cognitive decline for females were predominant, 80 years and older, widowed and living with children, with one to three years of study, individual income up to a minimum wage. The proportion of elderly with a dependent cognitive decline in basic activities of daily living (p=0.043 and instrumental activities of daily living (p=0.008 was higher than independent. There were no significant differences in the depression indicative (p=0.437. Conclusion: the proportion of dependent elderly was higher in those with cognitive decline.

  10. Bone mineral density, adiposity and cognitive functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamid R Sohrabi

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive decline and dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease have been associated with genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors. A number of potentially modifiable risk factors should be taken into account when preventive or ameliorative interventions targeting dementia and its preclinical stages are investigated. Bone mineral density (BMD and body composition are two such potentially modifiable risk factors, and their association with cognitive decline was investigated in this study. 164 participants, aged 34 to 87 years old (62.78±9.27, were recruited for this longitudinal study and underwent cognitive and clinical examinations at baseline and after three years. Blood samples were collected for apolipoprotein E (APOE genotyping and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA was conducted at the same day as cognitive assessment. Using hierarchical regression analysis, we found that BMD and lean body mass, as measured using DXA were significant predictors of episodic memory. Age, gender, APOE status and premorbid IQ were controlled for. Specifically, the List A learning from California Verbal Learning Test was significantly associated with BMD and lean mass both at baseline and at follow up assessment. Our findings indicate that there is a significant association between BMD and lean body mass and episodic verbal learning. While the involvement of modifiable lifestyle factors in human cognitive function has been examined in different studies, there is a need for further research to understand the potential underlying mechanisms.

  11. Cognitive function in patients with chronic pain treated with opioids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kurita, G P; de Mattos Pimenta, C A; Braga, P E

    2012-01-01

    The paucity of studies regarding cognitive function in patients with chronic pain, and growing evidence regarding the cognitive effects of pain and opioids on cognitive function prompted us to assess cognition via neuropsychological measurement in patients with chronic non-cancer pain treated...

  12. Musical training induces functional plasticity in human hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herdener, Marcus; Esposito, Fabrizio; di Salle, Francesco; Boller, Christian; Hilti, Caroline C; Habermeyer, Benedikt; Scheffler, Klaus; Wetzel, Stephan; Seifritz, Erich; Cattapan-Ludewig, Katja

    2010-01-27

    Training can change the functional and structural organization of the brain, and animal models demonstrate that the hippocampus formation is particularly susceptible to training-related neuroplasticity. In humans, however, direct evidence for functional plasticity of the adult hippocampus induced by training is still missing. Here, we used musicians' brains as a model to test for plastic capabilities of the adult human hippocampus. By using functional magnetic resonance imaging optimized for the investigation of auditory processing, we examined brain responses induced by temporal novelty in otherwise isochronous sound patterns in musicians and musical laypersons, since the hippocampus has been suggested previously to be crucially involved in various forms of novelty detection. In the first cross-sectional experiment, we identified enhanced neural responses to temporal novelty in the anterior left hippocampus of professional musicians, pointing to expertise-related differences in hippocampal processing. In the second experiment, we evaluated neural responses to acoustic temporal novelty in a longitudinal approach to disentangle training-related changes from predispositional factors. For this purpose, we examined an independent sample of music academy students before and after two semesters of intensive aural skills training. After this training period, hippocampal responses to temporal novelty in sounds were enhanced in musical students, and statistical interaction analysis of brain activity changes over time suggests training rather than predisposition effects. Thus, our results provide direct evidence for functional changes of the adult hippocampus in humans related to musical training.

  13. Modulation of Rho GTPases rescues brain mitochondrial dysfunction, cognitive deficits and aberrant synaptic plasticity in female mice modeling Rett syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Filippis, Bianca; Valenti, Daniela; Chiodi, Valentina; Ferrante, Antonella; de Bari, Lidia; Fiorentini, Carla; Domenici, Maria Rosaria; Ricceri, Laura; Vacca, Rosa Anna; Fabbri, Alessia; Laviola, Giovanni

    2015-06-01

    Rho GTPases are molecules critically involved in neuronal plasticity and cognition. We have previously reported that modulation of brain Rho GTPases by the bacterial toxin CNF1 rescues the neurobehavioral phenotype in MeCP2-308 male mice, a model of Rett syndrome (RTT). RTT is a rare X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder and a genetic cause of intellectual disability, for which no effective therapy is available. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been proposed to be involved in the mechanism of the disease pathogenesis. Here we demonstrate that modulation of Rho GTPases by CNF1 rescues the reduced mitochondrial ATP production via oxidative phosphorylation in the brain of MeCP2-308 heterozygous female mice, the condition which more closely recapitulates that of RTT patients. In RTT mouse brain, CNF1 also restores the alterations in the activity of the mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) complexes and of ATP synthase, the molecular machinery responsible for the majority of cell energy production. Such effects were achieved through the upregulation of the protein content of those MRC complexes subunits, which were defective in RTT mouse brain. Restored mitochondrial functionality was accompanied by the rescue of deficits in cognitive function (spatial reference memory in the Barnes maze), synaptic plasticity (long-term potentiation) and Tyr1472 phosphorylation of GluN2B, which was abnormally enhanced in the hippocampus of RTT mice. Present findings bring into light previously unknown functional mitochondrial alterations in the brain of female mice modeling RTT and provide the first evidence that RTT brain mitochondrial dysfunction can be rescued by modulation of Rho GTPases.

  14. Smart plastic functionalization by nanoimprint and injection molding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zalkovskij, Maksim; Thamdrup, Lasse Højlund; Smistrup, Kristian

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we present a route for making smart functionalized plastic parts by injection molding with sub-micrometer surface structures. The method is based on combining planar processes well known and established within silicon micro and sub-micro fabrication with proven high resolution...... the pattern. With this approach, we demonstrate the transfer of down to 140 nm wide holes on large areas with good structure fidelity on an injection molding steel insert. The durability of the sub-micrometer structures on the inserts have been investigated by running two production series of 102,000 and 73...

  15. Cognitive and Psychological Functioning in Fabry Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigmundsdottir, Linda; Tchan, Michel C.; Knopman, Alex A.; Menzies, Graham C.; Batchelor, Jennifer; Sillence, David O.

    2014-01-01

    Fabry disease is an X-linked lysosomal storage disorder which can result in renal, cardiac, and cerebrovascular disease. Patients are at increased risk of stroke and neuroimaging studies note cerebrovascular pathology. This study provides a cognitive profile of a cohort of individuals with Fabry disease and investigates the impact of pain, age, renal, cardiac, and cerebrovascular functioning on cognition and psychological functioning. Seventeen Fabry patients (12 males) with ages ranging 25 to 60 years (M = 46.6+11.8), and 15 age-matched healthy controls (M = 46.2+12.7) were administered a comprehensive neuropsychological battery. Fabry males demonstrated slower speed of information processing, reduced performance on measures of executive functions (verbal generation, reasoning, problem solving, perseveration), were more likely to show clinically significant reductions, and were more likely to report symptoms of anxiety and depression. Conversely, Fabry females performed at a similar level to controls. Correlational analyses indicated a link between cognitive and clinical measures of disease severity. PMID:25319043

  16. An investigation into the role of neurotrophins in the effect of exercise on cognitive function in humans and rats

    OpenAIRE

    Griffin, Éadaoin

    2009-01-01

    Physical exercise is associated with maintenance of cognitive function, including a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Candidate mediators of the effect of exercise on cognitive function are the neurotrophins. These secreted peptides promote the growth and differentiation of developing neurons, support maintenance and survival of adult mature neurons and modulate neuronal plasticity. Exercise can alter neurotrophin expression; serum brain-derived neurotrophin f...

  17. Interactions between chronic ethanol consumption and thiamine deficiency on neural plasticity, spatial memory and cognitive flexibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vedder, Lindsey C.; Hall, Joseph M.; Jabrouin, Kimberly R.; Savage, Lisa M.

    2015-01-01

    Background Many alcoholics display moderate to severe cognitive dysfunction accompanied by brain pathology. A factor confounded with prolonged heavy alcohol consumption is poor nutrition and many alcoholics are thiamine deficient. Thus, thiamine deficiency (TD) has emerged as a key factor underlying alcohol–related brain damage (ARBD). TD in humans can lead to Wernicke Encephalitis that can progress into Wernicke–Korsakoff Syndrome and these disorders have a high prevalence among alcoholics. Animal models are critical for determining the exact contributions of ethanol- and TD-induced neurotoxicity, as well as the interactions of those factors to brain and cognitive dysfunction. Methods Adult rats were randomly assigned to one of six treatment conditions: Chronic ethanol treatment (CET) where rats consumed a 20% v/v solution of ethanol over 6 months; Severe pyrithiamine-induced TD (PTD-MAS); Moderate PTD (PTD-EAS); Moderate PTD followed by CET (PTD-CET); Moderate PTD during CET (CET-PTD); Pair-fed control (PF). After recovery from treatment, all rats were tested on spontaneous alternation and attentional set-shifting. After behavioral testing, brains were harvested for determination of mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and thalamic pathology. Results Moderate TD combined with CET, regardless of treatment order, produced significant impairments in spatial memory, cognitive flexibility and reductions in brain plasticity as measured by BDNF levels in the frontal cortex and hippocampus. These alterations are greater than those seen in moderate TD alone and the synergistic effects of moderate TD with CET leads to a unique cognitive profile. However, CET did not exacerbate thalamic pathology seen after moderate TD. Conclusions These data support the emerging theory that subclinical TD during chronic heavy alcohol consumption is critical for the development of significant cognitive impairment associated with ARBD. PMID:26419807

  18. Apathy, cognitive function and motor function in Alzheimer's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salma S. Soleman Hernandez

    Full Text Available Abstract The aims of this study were to characterize the presence of apathy in patients with AD, determine the relationship between apathy, motor function and cognitive function, and to verify differences among patients stratified by level of apathy in relation to cognitive and motor abilities. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted of 37 patients with AD. The following tests were used: MoCA, the Frontal Assessment Battery, Verbal Fluency, Clock Drawing Test, Andreotti & Okuma Battery Tests, Sit and Reach, Resistance of Upper Limbs - AAHPERD Battery Test, Sit and Lift Chair and the Apathy domain of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory. After verifying the normality of the data distribution, comparisons were made using Student's t-test and the U Mann Whitney test; relationships were also assessed using Pearson's and Spearman's correlation coefficients. All analyses were considered to be statistically significant at a p-value of 0.05. Results: 46% of participants in this study showed mild symptoms of apathy. Significant and weak associations were found (p=0.04 between apathy and the attention domain on the MoCA and between apathy and the Walk Test. Analysis of differences in cognitive and motor functions according to participants' level of apathy revealed no significant differences for any of the variables. Conclusion: Apathy was reflected in attention and the Walk Test, suggesting these variables may be related to cognitive and functional decline in AD patients.

  19. The Structural and Functional Organisation of Cognition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter John Snow

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes that what have been historically and contemporarily defined as different domains of human cognition are served by one of four functionally- and structurally-distinct areas of the prefrontal cortex. Their contributions to human intelligence are as follows: (a BA9, enables our emotional intelligence, engaging the psychosocial domain, (b BA47, enables our practical intelligence, engaging the material domain, (c BA46 (or BA46-9/46, enables our abstract intelligence, engaging the hypothetical domain and (d BA10, enables our temporal intelligence, engaging in planning within any of the other three domains. Given their unique contribution to human cognition, it is proposed that these areas be called the, social (BA9, material (BA47, abstract (BA46-9/46 and temporal (BA10 mind. The evidence that BA47 participates strongly in verbal and gestural communication suggests that language evolved primarily as a consequence of the extreme selective pressure for practicality; an observation supported by the functional connectivity between BA47 and orbital areas that negatively reinforce lying. It is further proposed that the abstract mind (BA46-9/46 is the primary seat of metacognition charged with creating adaptive behavioral strategies by generating higher-order concepts (hypotheses from lower-order concepts originating both from our perceptual representations and the other three domains of cognition.

  20. The Structural and Functional Organization of Cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snow, Peter J

    2016-01-01

    This article proposes that what have been historically and contemporarily defined as different domains of human cognition are served by one of four functionally- and structurally-distinct areas of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Their contributions to human intelligence are as follows: (a) BA9, enables our emotional intelligence, engaging the psychosocial domain; (b) BA47, enables our practical intelligence, engaging the material domain; (c) BA46 (or BA46-9/46), enables our abstract intelligence, engaging the hypothetical domain; and (d) BA10, enables our temporal intelligence, engaging in planning within any of the other three domains. Given their unique contribution to human cognition, it is proposed that these areas be called the, social (BA9), material (BA47), abstract (BA46-9/46) and temporal (BA10) mind. The evidence that BA47 participates strongly in verbal and gestural communication suggests that language evolved primarily as a consequence of the extreme selective pressure for practicality; an observation supported by the functional connectivity between BA47 and orbital areas that negatively reinforce lying. It is further proposed that the abstract mind (BA46-9/46) is the primary seat of metacognition charged with creating adaptive behavioral strategies by generating higher-order concepts (hypotheses) from lower-order concepts originating from the other three domains of cognition.

  1. Cognitive endophenotypes, gene-environment interactions and experience-dependent plasticity in animal models of schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burrows, Emma L; Hannan, Anthony J

    2016-04-01

    Schizophrenia is a devastating brain disorder caused by a complex and heterogeneous combination of genetic and environmental factors. In order to develop effective new strategies to prevent and treat schizophrenia, valid animal models are required which accurately model the disorder, and ideally provide construct, face and predictive validity. The cognitive deficits in schizophrenia represent some of the most debilitating symptoms and are also currently the most poorly treated. Therefore it is crucial that animal models are able to capture the cognitive dysfunction that characterizes schizophrenia, as well as the negative and psychotic symptoms. The genomes of mice have, prior to the recent gene-editing revolution, proven the most easily manipulable of mammalian laboratory species, and hence most genetic targeting has been performed using mouse models. Importantly, when key environmental factors of relevance to schizophrenia are experimentally manipulated, dramatic changes in the phenotypes of these animal models are often observed. We will review recent studies in rodent models which provide insight into gene-environment interactions in schizophrenia. We will focus specifically on environmental factors which modulate levels of experience-dependent plasticity, including environmental enrichment, cognitive stimulation, physical activity and stress. The insights provided by this research will not only help refine the establishment of optimally valid animal models which facilitate development of novel therapeutics, but will also provide insight into the pathogenesis of schizophrenia, thus identifying molecular and cellular targets for future preclinical and clinical investigations.

  2. The aging memory: Modulating epigenetic modifications to improve cognitive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonseca, Rosalina

    2016-09-01

    Age-related cognitive decline is a major concern in society. Here, I discuss recent evidence that shows an age-related modulation of gene transcription by epigenetic modifications. Epigenetic modifications, such as histone acetylation, is unbalanced in aging, with an increase in histone deacetylation, that limits the expression of plasticity-related genes. By modifying the balance towards histone acetylation, histone deacetylase inhibitors present a new pharmacological approach to ameliorate age-related cognitive deficits.

  3. Social isolation and cognitive function in Appalachian older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiNapoli, Elizabeth A; Wu, Bei; Scogin, Forrest

    2014-03-01

    Investigating the relation between social isolation and cognitive function will allow us to identify components to incorporate into cognitive interventions. Data were collected from 267 Appalachian older adults (M = 78.5, range 70-94 years). Overall cognitive functioning and specific cognitive domains were assessed from data of a self-assembled neuropsychological battery of frequently used tasks. Social isolation, social disconnectedness, and perceived isolation were measured from the Lubben Social Network scale-6. Results indicated a significant positive association between all predictor variables (e.g., social isolation, social disconnectedness, and perceived isolation) and outcome variables (e.g., overall cognitive function, memory, executive functioning, attention, and language abilities). Perceived isolation accounted for nearly double the amount of variance in overall cognitive functioning than social disconnectedness (10.2% vs. 5.7%). Findings suggest that social isolation is associated with poorer overall cognitive functioning and this remains true across varied cognitive domains. © The Author(s) 2012.

  4. [Components of plastic disrupt the function of the nervous system].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szychowski, Konrad Andrzej; Wójtowicz, Anna Katarzyna

    2013-05-27

    Development of the chemical industry leads to the development of new chemical compounds, which naturally do not exist in the environment. These chemicals are used to reduce flammability, increase plasticity, or improve solubility of other substances. Many of these compounds, which are components of plastic, the new generation of cosmetics, medical devices, food packaging and other everyday products, are easily released into the environment. Many studies have shown that a major lipophilicity characterizes substances such as phthalates, BPA, TBBPA and PCBs. This feature allows them to easily penetrate into living cells, accumulate in the tissues and the organs, and affect human and animal health. Due to the chemical structures, these compounds are able to mimic some endogenous hormones such as estradiol and to disrupt the hormone homeostasis. They can also easily pass the placental barrier and the blood-brain barrier. As numerous studies have shown, these chemicals disturb the proper functions of the nervous system from the earliest moments of life. It has been proven that these compounds affect neurogenesis as well as the synaptic transmission process. As a consequence, they interfere with the formation of the sex of the brain, as well as with the learning processes, memory and behavior. Additionally, the cytotoxic and pro-apoptotic effect may cause neurodegenerative diseases. This article presents the current state of knowledge about the effects of phthalates, BPA, TBBPA, and PCBs on the nervous system.

  5. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation for cognitive function .

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huppert, F A; Van Niekerk, J K

    2001-01-01

    In view of the theoretical rationale for beneficial effects of DHEA and DHEAS on cognitive function in ageing and dementia, we have undertaken a thorough investigation of well-conducted studies in this area. This will provide a basis for confirmation of any effect of DHEA/S administration in humans in properly controlled trials. The review will also provide a scientific basis for effective dosage, acceptable route and duration of administration, and side effect profiles. This review is especially pertinent at this time as DHEA is currently being sold in large quantities in health food stores, particularly in the USA. In some cases the recommended dose is different for men and women (50mg/day for men and 25mg/day for women) and the basis for this recommendation needs to be explored. To establish whether administration of DHEA, or its sulphate, DHEAS, improves cognitive function or reduces the rate of decline of cognitive function in normal older adults or in individuals with dementia. Relevant electronic databases, journals, personal communications and conference abstracts were searched for randomised controlled trials investigating the effects of DHEA/S on cognition in older adults. All relevant randomised controlled trials of DHEA/S were considered for inclusion in the review. Data for the specified outcomes were independently extracted by two reviewers (FAH & JvN) and cross-checked. Any discrepancies were discussed and resolved. No data pooling was undertaken owing to the lack of availability of the relevant statistics. There are four included studies, three cognition in normal older people, and Barnhart 1999 in perimenopausal women with decreased well-being. There were no studies in dementia. There were a few significant findings. Wolf 1997 found significant improvement following DHEA compared with placebo in both immediate recall (MD 0.8, 95% CI 0.16, 1.44) and delayed recall (MD 0.9, 95% CI 0.09, 1.71) of a visual memory test in women, estimated in a crossover

  6. WITHDRAWN: Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation for cognitive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huppert, F A; Van Niekerk, J K

    2007-07-18

    In view of the theoretical rationale for beneficial effects of DHEA and DHEAS on cognitive function in ageing and dementia, we have undertaken a thorough investigation of well-conducted studies in this area. This will provide a basis for confirmation of any effect of DHEA/S administration in humans in properly controlled trials. The review will also provide a scientific basis for effective dosage, acceptable route and duration of administration, and side effect profiles. This review is especially pertinent at this time as DHEA is currently being sold in large quantities in health food stores, particularly in the USA. In some cases the recommended dose is different for men and women (50mg/day for men and 25mg/day for women) and the basis for this recommendation needs to be explored. To establish whether administration of DHEA, or its sulphate, DHEAS, improves cognitive function or reduces the rate of decline of cognitive function in normal older adults or in individuals with dementia. Relevant electronic databases, journals, personal communications and conference abstracts were searched for randomised controlled trials investigating the effects of DHEA/S on cognition in older adults. All relevant randomised controlled trials of DHEA/S were considered for inclusion in the review. Data for the specified outcomes were independently extracted by two reviewers (FAH & JvN) and cross-checked. Any discrepancies were discussed and resolved. No data pooling was undertaken owing to the lack of availability of the relevant statistics. There are four included studies, three cognition in normal older people, and Barnhart 1999 in perimenopausal women with decreased well-being. There were no studies in dementia. There were a few significant findings. Wolf 1997 found significant improvement following DHEA compared with placebo in both immediate recall (MD 0.8, 95% CI 0.16, 1.44) and delayed recall (MD 0.9, 95% CI 0.09, 1.71) of a visual memory test in women, estimated in a crossover

  7. Smart plastic functionalization by nanoimprint and injection molding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zalkovskij, Maksim; Thamdrup, Lasse Højlund; Smistrup, Kristian;

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we present a route for making smart functionalized plastic parts by injection molding with sub-micrometer surface structures. The method is based on combining planar processes well known and established within silicon micro and sub-micro fabrication with proven high resolution...... the pattern. With this approach, we demonstrate the transfer of down to 140 nm wide holes on large areas with good structure fidelity on an injection molding steel insert. The durability of the sub-micrometer structures on the inserts have been investigated by running two production series of 102,000 and 73......,000 injection molded parts, respectively, on two different inserts and inspecting the inserts before and after the production series and the molded parts during the production series....

  8. How older people nurses assess cognitive function through daily observation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Persoon, A.; Cruijsen, M. Van der; Schlattmann, N.; Simmes, F.; Achterberg, T. van

    2011-01-01

    AIM: To obtain knowledge and insight into how older people nurses observe the cognitive function of their patients. BACKGROUND: In cases of cognitive decline not due to delirium, the daily observation of cognitive function by nurses has not been standardised in hospital wards specialised in the care

  9. Cognitive function following stroke and vascular cognitive impairment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Haan, Edward H.; Nys, Gudrun M.; Van Zandvoort, Martine J.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose of review This review of the cognitive status following stroke and vascular cognitive impairment starts by questioning the concept of vascular dementia and related concepts. Our position is that in many cases these labels promote a superficial conceptualization of an inherently complex and h

  10. X-linked mental retardation: focus on synaptic function and plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humeau, Yann; Gambino, Frédéric; Chelly, Jamel; Vitale, Nicolas

    2009-04-01

    Among mental disorders, mental retardation has been shown to be caused by various factors including a large array of genetic mutations. On the basis of remarkable progress, the emerging view is that defects in the regulation of synaptic activity and morphogenesis of dendritic spines are apparently common features associated with mutations in several genes implicated in mental retardation. In this review, we will discuss X-linked MR-related gene products that are potentially involved in the normal structure and function of the synapses, with a particular focus on pre- and/or post-synaptic plasticity mechanisms. Progress in understanding the underlying conditions leading to mental retardation will undoubtedly be gained from a closer collaboration of geneticists, physiologists and cognitive neuroscientists, which should enable the establishment of standardized approaches.

  11. Cognitive-affective neural plasticity following active-controlled mindfulness intervention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Allen, Micah Galen

    for cognitive and treatment effects with an active control group. We measured behavioral metacognition and whole-brain Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) signals using functional MRI during an affective Stroop task before and after intervention in healthy human subjects. Although both groups improved...

  12. Effect of computerized cognitive rehabilitation program on cognitive function and activities of living in stroke patients

    OpenAIRE

    Yoo, Chanuk; Yong, Mi-hyun; Chung, Jaeyeop; Yang, YeongAe

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] The objective of this study was to examine the effect of cognitive rehabilitation using a computer on cognitive function and activities of daily living in stroke patients presenting impairment of cognitive function. [Subjects] Forty-six stroke patients were divided into two groups (a training group and control group) through random assignment. [Methods] The training group received rehabilitation therapy and an additional computerized cognitive rehabilitation program using The RehaCo...

  13. The emergent coordination of cognitive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kello, Christopher T; Beltz, Brandon C; Holden, John G; Van Orden, Guy C

    2007-11-01

    1/f scaling has been observed throughout human physiology and behavior, but its origins and meaning remain a matter of debate. Some argue that it is a byproduct of ongoing processes in the brain or body and therefore of limited relevance to psychological theory. Others argue that 1/f scaling reflects a fundamental aspect of all physiological and cognitive functions, namely, that they emerge in the balance of independent versus interdependent component activities. In 4 experiments, series of key-press responses were used to test between these 2 alternative explanations. The critical design feature was to take 2 measures of each key-press response: reaction time and key-contact duration. These measures resulted in 2 parallel series of intrinsic fluctuations for each series of key-press responses. Intrinsic fluctuations exhibited 1/f scaling in both reaction times and key-contact durations, yet the 2 measures were uncorrelated with each other and separately perturbable. These and other findings indicate that 1/f scaling is too pervasive to be idiosyncratic and of limited relevance. It is instead argued that 1/f scaling reflects the coordinative, metastable basis of cognitive function. 2007 APA

  14. Functional Plasticity in Somatosensory Cortex Supports Motor Learning by Observing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Heather R; Cashaback, Joshua G A; Gribble, Paul L

    2016-04-04

    An influential idea in neuroscience is that the sensory-motor system is activated when observing the actions of others [1, 2]. This idea has recently been extended to motor learning, in which observation results in sensory-motor plasticity and behavioral changes in both motor and somatosensory domains [3-9]. However, it is unclear how the brain maps visual information onto motor circuits for learning. Here we test the idea that the somatosensory system, and specifically primary somatosensory cortex (S1), plays a role in motor learning by observing. In experiment 1, we applied stimulation to the median nerve to occupy the somatosensory system with unrelated inputs while participants observed a tutor learning to reach in a force field. Stimulation disrupted motor learning by observing in a limb-specific manner. Stimulation delivered to the right arm (the same arm used by the tutor) disrupted learning, whereas left arm stimulation did not. This is consistent with the idea that a somatosensory representation of the observed effector must be available during observation for learning to occur. In experiment 2, we assessed S1 cortical processing before and after observation by measuring somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) associated with median nerve stimulation. SEP amplitudes increased only for participants who observed learning. Moreover, SEPs increased more for participants who exhibited greater motor learning following observation. Taken together, these findings support the idea that motor learning by observing relies on functional plasticity in S1. We propose that visual signals about the movements of others are mapped onto motor circuits for learning via the somatosensory system.

  15. Effects of gestational age at birth on cognitive performance: a function of cognitive workload demands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Jaekel

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: Cognitive deficits have been inconsistently described for late or moderately preterm children but are consistently found in very preterm children. This study investigates the association between cognitive workload demands of tasks and cognitive performance in relation to gestational age at birth. METHODS: Data were collected as part of a prospective geographically defined whole-population study of neonatal at-risk children in Southern Bavaria. At 8;5 years, n = 1326 children (gestation range: 23-41 weeks were assessed with the K-ABC and a Mathematics Test. RESULTS: Cognitive scores of preterm children decreased as cognitive workload demands of tasks increased. The relationship between gestation and task workload was curvilinear and more pronounced the higher the cognitive workload: GA² (quadratic term on low cognitive workload: R²  = .02, p<0.001; moderate cognitive workload: R²  = .09, p<0.001; and high cognitive workload tasks: R²  = .14, p<0.001. Specifically, disproportionally lower scores were found for very (<32 weeks gestation and moderately (32-33 weeks gestation preterm children the higher the cognitive workload of the tasks. Early biological factors such as gestation and neonatal complications explained more of the variance in high (12.5% compared with moderate (8.1% and low cognitive workload tasks (1.7%. CONCLUSIONS: The cognitive workload model may help to explain variations of findings on the relationship of gestational age with cognitive performance in the literature. The findings have implications for routine cognitive follow-up, educational intervention, and basic research into neuro-plasticity and brain reorganization after preterm birth.

  16. Cognitive activity, cognitive function, and brain diffusion characteristics in old age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arfanakis, Konstantinos; Wilson, Robert S; Barth, Christopher M; Capuano, Ana W; Vasireddi, Anil; Zhang, Shengwei; Fleischman, Debra A; Bennett, David A

    2016-06-01

    The objective of this work was to test the hypotheses that a) more frequent cognitive activity in late life is associated with higher brain diffusion anisotropy and lower trace of the diffusion tensor, and b) brain diffusion characteristics partially mediate the association of late life cognitive activity with cognition. As part of a longitudinal cohort study, 379 older people without dementia rated their frequency of participation in cognitive activities, completed a battery of cognitive function tests, and underwent diffusion tensor imaging. We used tract-based spatial statistics to test the association between late life cognitive activity and brain diffusion characteristics. Clusters with statistically significant findings defined regions of interest in which we tested the hypothesis that diffusion characteristics partially mediate the association of late life cognitive activity with cognition. More frequent cognitive activity in late life was associated with higher level of global cognition after adjustment for age, sex, education, and indicators of early life cognitive enrichment (p = 0.001). More frequent cognitive activity was also related to higher fractional anisotropy in the left superior and inferior longitudinal fasciculi, left fornix, and corpus callosum, and lower trace in the thalamus (p cognitive activity with cognition was reduced by as much as 26 %. These findings suggest that the association of late life cognitive activity with cognition may be partially mediated by brain diffusion characteristics.

  17. On the specificity of face cognition compared with general cognitive functioning across adult age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hildebrandt, Andrea; Wilhelm, Oliver; Schmiedek, Florian; Herzmann, Grit; Sommer, Werner

    2011-09-01

    Face cognition is considered a specific human ability, clearly differentiable from general cognitive functioning. Its specificity is primarily supported by cognitive-experimental and neuroimaging research, but recently also from an individual differences perspective. However, no comprehensive behavioral data are available, which would allow estimating lifespan changes of the covariance structure of face-cognition abilities and general cognitive functioning as well as age-differences in face cognition after accounting for interindividual variability in general cognition. The present study aimed to fill this gap. In an age-heterogeneous (18-82 years) sample of 448 adults, we found no factorial dedifferentiation between face cognition and general cognition. Age-related differences in face memory were still salient after taking into account changes in general cognitive functioning. Face cognition thus remains a specific human ability compared with general cognition, even until old age. We discuss implications for models of cognitive aging and suggest that it is necessary to include more explicitly special social abilities in those models.

  18. The Neuroplastin adhesion molecules: key regulators of neuronal plasticity and synaptic function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beesley, Philip W; Herrera-Molina, Rodrigo; Smalla, Karl-Heinz; Seidenbecher, Constanze

    2014-11-01

    The Neuroplastins Np65 and Np55 are neuronal and synapse-enriched immunoglobulin superfamily molecules that play important roles in a number of key neuronal and synaptic functions including, for Np65, cell adhesion. In this review we focus on the physiological roles of the Neuroplastins in promoting neurite outgrowth, regulating the structure and function of both inhibitory and excitatory synapses in brain, and in neuronal and synaptic plasticity. We discuss the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms by which the Neuroplastins exert their physiological effects and how these are dependent upon the structural features of Np65 and Np55, which enable them to bind to a diverse range of protein partners. In turn this enables the Neuroplastins to interact with a number of key neuronal signalling cascades. These include: binding to and activation of the fibroblast growth factor receptor; Np65 trans-homophilic binding leading to activation of p38 MAPK and internalization of glutamate (GluR1) receptor subunits; acting as accessory proteins for monocarboxylate transporters, thus affecting neuronal energy supply, and binding to GABAA α1, 2 and 5 subunits, thus regulating the composition and localization of GABAA receptors. An emerging theme is the role of the Neuroplastins in regulating the trafficking and subcellular localization of specific binding partners. We also discuss the involvement of Neuroplastins in a number of pathophysiological conditions, including ischaemia, schizophrenia and breast cancer and the role of a single nucleotide polymorphism in the human Neuroplastin (NPTN) gene locus in impairment of cortical development and cognitive functions. Neuroplastins are neuronal cell adhesion molecules, which induce neurite outgrowth and play important roles in synaptic maturation and plasticity. This review summarizes the functional implications of Neuroplastins for correct synaptic membrane protein localization, neuronal energy supply, expression of LTP and LTD

  19. Inverted-U Function Relating Cortical Plasticity and Task Difficulty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engineer, Navzer D.; Engineer, Crystal T.; Reed, Amanda C.; Pandya, Pritesh K.; Jakkamsetti, Vikram; Moucha, Raluca; Kilgard, Michael P.

    2012-01-01

    Many psychological and physiological studies with simple stimuli have suggested that perceptual learning specifically enhances the response of primary sensory cortex to task-relevant stimuli. The aim of this study was to determine whether auditory discrimination training on complex tasks enhances primary auditory cortex responses to a target sequence relative to non-target and novel sequences. We collected responses from more than 2,000 sites in 31 rats trained on one of six discrimination tasks that differed primarily in the similarity of the target and distractor sequences. Unlike training with simple stimuli, long-term training with complex stimuli did not generate target specific enhancement in any of the groups. Instead, cortical receptive field size decreased, latency decreased, and paired pulse depression decreased in rats trained on the tasks of intermediate difficulty while tasks that were too easy or too difficult either did not alter or degraded cortical responses. These results suggest an inverted-U function relating neural plasticity and task difficulty. PMID:22249158

  20. Cognitive Adequacy in Structural-Functional Theories of Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Christopher S.

    2008-01-01

    This paper discusses the role played by cognition in three linguistic theories which may be labelled as "structural-functional": Functional (Discourse) Grammar, Role and Reference Grammar and Systemic Functional Grammar. It argues that if we are to achieve true cognitive adequacy, we must go well beyond the grammar itself to include the processes…

  1. Cognitive deficits and social functioning in schizophrenia : A clinical perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Beilen, Marije; Kiers, Henk A.L.; Bouma, A; van Zomeren, Ed H.; Withaar, Frederiec; Arends, J; van den Bosch, RJ

    2003-01-01

    Impaired social functioning is one of the diagnostic features of schizophrenia. Cognitive functioning is also often impaired in several domains. Meta-analysis has shown a predictive value of cognition for a variety of domains related to social functioning (Green, Kern, Braff, & Mintz, 2000). The sig

  2. 2. Moderate Alcohol Consumption and Cognitive Functioning in a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Esem

    2Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway. ABSTRACT ... Key words: Moderate alcohol consumption, Cognitive functioning, Zambia. ... neuropsychological test performance . ... Nine trained graduate students tested the 324.

  3. Effect of hydrostatic stress on yield function and plastic constitutive relations

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    盖秉政

    2001-01-01

    A new yield function taking effect of hydrostatic stress into account is presented through establishing and solving the functional equation satisfied by the yield function, and its characteristic is simple in form and strong in generality. In order to reveal its availability, a comparison is made between the results obtained with it and the experimental results of grey cast iron has be done, both seem to be in good agreement. At the same time, taking the yield function obtained here as a potential function, a new associative plastic constitutive equation taking effect of hydrostatic stress into account is built, and the plastic volume change ratio of plastic deformation is given.

  4. Age Trajectory of High Cognitive Functioning Among the Oldest Old

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thinggaard, Mikael; McGue, Matt; Christensen, Kaare

    2013-01-01

    individual differences. This decline of cognitive functioning at an individual level may suggest that cognitive function at a population level decreases with age. However, in the Danish 1905 cohort, the age trajectory of both average and high cognitive functioning is constant at a population level from......The chance of reaching age 90 years has increased markedly over the last 50 years, and this chance will probably continue to increase with successive cohorts. There is a widespread concern that a large fraction of the future oldest old will be cognitively impaired. However, there is strong evidence...... that later born cohorts may have better late-life cognitive function than earlier born cohorts as studies have shown a decline both in the prevalence and in the incidence of dementia. Cognitive functioning generally declines after the age of 40 years at an individual level, but there are substantial...

  5. Closing the gap: long-term presynaptic plasticity in brain function and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monday, Hannah R; Castillo, Pablo E

    2017-08-01

    Synaptic plasticity is critical for experience-dependent adjustments of brain function. While most research has focused on the mechanisms that underlie postsynaptic forms of plasticity, comparatively little is known about how neurotransmitter release is altered in a long-term manner. Emerging research suggests that many of the features of canonical 'postsynaptic' plasticity, such as associativity, structural changes and bidirectionality, also characterize long-term presynaptic plasticity. Recent studies demonstrate that presynaptic plasticity is a potent regulator of circuit output and function. Moreover, aberrant presynaptic plasticity is a convergent factor of synaptopathies like schizophrenia, addiction, and Autism Spectrum Disorders, and may be a potential target for treatment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Vitamin C Status and Cognitive Function: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Travica, Nikolaj; Ried, Karin; Sali, Avni; Scholey, Andrew; Hudson, Irene; Pipingas, Andrew

    2017-08-30

    Vitamin C plays a role in neuronal differentiation, maturation, myelin formation and modulation of the cholinergic, catecholinergic, and glutaminergic systems. This review evaluates the link between vitamin C status and cognitive performance, in both cognitively intact and impaired individuals. We searched the PUBMED, SCOPUS, SciSearch and the Cochrane Library from 1980 to January 2017, finding 50 studies, with randomised controlled trials (RCTs, n = 5), prospective (n = 24), cross-sectional (n = 17) and case-control (n = 4) studies. Of these, 36 studies were conducted in healthy participants and 14 on cognitively impaired individuals (including Alzheimer's and dementia). Vitamin C status was measured using food frequency questionnaires or plasma vitamin C. Cognition was assessed using a variety of tests, mostly the Mini-Mental-State-Examination (MMSE). In summary, studies demonstrated higher mean vitamin C concentrations in the cognitively intact groups of participants compared to cognitively impaired groups. No correlation between vitamin C concentrations and MMSE cognitive function was apparent in the cognitively impaired individuals. The MMSE was not suitable to detect a variance in cognition in the healthy group. Analysis of the studies that used a variety of cognitive assessments in the cognitively intact was beyond the scope of this review; however, qualitative assessment revealed a potential association between plasma vitamin C concentrations and cognition. Due to a number of limitations in these studies, further research is needed, utilizing plasma vitamin C concentrations and sensitive cognitive assessments that are suitable for cognitively intact adults.

  7. Yield Functions and Plastic Potentials for BCC Metals and Possibly Other Materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Christensen, R M

    2005-09-29

    Yield functions and plastic potentials are expressed in terms of the invariants of the stress tensor for polycrystalline metals and other isotropic materials. The plastic volume change data of Richmond is used to evaluate the embedded materials properties for some bcc metals and one polymer. A general form for the plastic potential is found that is intended to represent and cover a wide range of materials types.

  8. Cognitive and cognitive-motor interventions affecting physical functioning: A systematic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murer Kurt

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Several types of cognitive or combined cognitive-motor intervention types that might influence physical functions have been proposed in the past: training of dual-tasking abilities, and improving cognitive function through behavioral interventions or the use of computer games. The objective of this systematic review was to examine the literature regarding the use of cognitive and cognitive-motor interventions to improve physical functioning in older adults or people with neurological impairments that are similar to cognitive impairments seen in aging. The aim was to identify potentially promising methods that might be used in future intervention type studies for older adults. Methods A systematic search was conducted for the Medline/Premedline, PsycINFO, CINAHL and EMBASE databases. The search was focused on older adults over the age of 65. To increase the number of articles for review, we also included those discussing adult patients with neurological impairments due to trauma, as these cognitive impairments are similar to those seen in the aging population. The search was restricted to English, German and French language literature without any limitation of publication date or restriction by study design. Cognitive or cognitive-motor interventions were defined as dual-tasking, virtual reality exercise, cognitive exercise, or a combination of these. Results 28 articles met our inclusion criteria. Three articles used an isolated cognitive rehabilitation intervention, seven articles used a dual-task intervention and 19 applied a computerized intervention. There is evidence to suggest that cognitive or motor-cognitive methods positively affects physical functioning, such as postural control, walking abilities and general functions of the upper and lower extremities, respectively. The majority of the included studies resulted in improvements of the assessed functional outcome measures. Conclusions The current evidence on the

  9. Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Cognitive Function in Midlife: Neuroprotection or Neuroselection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belsky, Daniel W.; Caspi, Avshalom; Israel, Salomon; Blumenthal, James A.; Poulton, Richie; Moffitt, Terrie E.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To determine if better cognitive functioning at midlife among more physically fit individuals reflects “neuroprotection,” in which fitness protects against age-related cognitive decline, or “neuroselection,” in which children with higher cognitive functioning select into more active lifestyles. Methods Children in the Dunedin Longitudinal Study (N=1,037) completed the Wechsler Intelligence Scales and the Trail-Making, Rey-Delayed-Recall, and Grooved-Pegboard tasks as children and again at midlife (age-38). Adult cardiorespiratory fitness was assessed using a submaximal exercise test to estimate maximum-oxygen-consumption-adjusted-for-body-weight in milliliters/minute/kilogram (VO2max). We tested if more-fit individuals had better cognitive functioning than their less-fit counterparts (which could be consistent with neuroprotection), and if better childhood cognitive functioning predisposed to better adult cardiorespiratory fitness (neuroselection). Finally, we examined possible mechanisms of neuroselection. Results Participants with better cardiorespiratory fitness had higher cognitive test scores at midlife. However, fitness-associated advantages in cognitive functioning were present already in childhood. After accounting for childhood-baseline performance on the same cognitive tests, there was no association between cardiorespiratory fitness and midlife cognitive functioning. Socioeconomic and health advantages in childhood, and healthier lifestyles during young adulthood explained most of the association between childhood cognitive functioning and adult cardiorespiratory fitness. Interpretation We found no evidence for a neuroprotective effect of cardiorespiratory fitness as of midlife. Instead, children with better cognitive functioning are selecting into healthier lives. Fitness interventions may enhance cognitive functioning. But, observational and experimental studies testing neuroprotective effects of physical fitness should consider

  10. Sleep Apnea and Cognitive Function in Heart Failure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krysten M. Knecht

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Prior research indicates that heart failure (HF patients exhibit significant cognitive deficits on neuropsychological testing. Sleep apnea is associated with both HF and reduced cognitive function, but the combined impact of these conditions on cognitive function is unknown. Methods. In the current study, 172 older adults with a dual diagnosis of HF and sleep apnea or HF alone completed a battery of cognitive tests measuring attention, executive functioning, and memory. Results. Relative to patients with HF alone, persons with both HF and sleep apnea performed worse on measures of attention after adjusting for demographic and medical variables. Conclusions. The current findings suggest that HF patients with comorbid sleep apnea may be at greater risk for cognitive impairment relative to HF patient without such history. Further work is needed to clarify mechanisms for these findings and to determine whether the interactive effects on cognitive function lead to poorer patient outcomes.

  11. Cognitive Function, Origin, and Evolution of Musical Emotions

    OpenAIRE

    Leonid Perlovsky

    2013-01-01

    Cognitive function of music, its origin, and evolution has been a mystery until recently. Here we discuss a theory of a fundamental function of music in cognition and culture. Music evolved in parallel with language. The evolution of language toward a semantically powerful tool required freeing from uncontrolled emotions. Knowledge evolved fast along with language. This created cognitive dissonances, contradictions among knowledge and instincts, which differentiated consciousness. To sustain ...

  12. Cortisol and cognitive function in midlife: the role of childhood cognition and educational attainment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaysina, Darya; Gardner, Michael P; Richards, Marcus; Ben-Shlomo, Yoav

    2014-09-01

    Adult cognition and age-related cognitive decline can be influenced by dysregulation of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis with concomitant changes in cortisol levels. However, very little is known about the role of childhood cognition and educational attainment in this relationship. Using data from the British 1946 birth cohort, the present study investigated: (1) associations between cortisol levels and patterns and cognitive function in midlife; (2) direct and interactive effects of childhood cognition, educational attainment and cortisol on cognitive function in midlife. Verbal memory, letter search speed and reaction time were assessed at age 60-64 years. Salivary cortisol samples (wakening, 30 min after wakening and evening) were collected at the same age. Childhood cognitive ability was measured at ages 8, 11, and 15, and educational level was reported at age 26. Associations between cortisol, childhood cognition, educational attainment and cognitive function in midlife were tested using linear regression and structural equation modelling approaches. Higher evening cortisol level was associated with slower reaction time and lower verbal memory. These associations were independent of childhood cognition and education as well as a range of other potential confounders. Childhood cognition and education were not directly associated with evening cortisol. However, there was a significant interaction effect between childhood cognition and evening cortisol on reaction time (p=.002): higher evening cortisol was associated with slower reaction time only among those with low childhood cognitive ability. There was little evidence of associations between the other cortisol measures and cognitive function. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  13. Physical activity and enhanced fitness to improve cognitive function in older people without known cognitive impairment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Angevaren, Maaike; Aufdemkampe, Geert; Verhaar, H. J. J.; Aleman, A.; Vanhees, Luc

    2008-01-01

    Background Physical activity is beneficial for healthy ageing. It may also help maintain good cognitive function in older age. Aerobic activity improves cardiovascular fitness, but it is not known whether this sort of fitness is necessary for improved cognitive function. Studies in which activity, f

  14. Physical activity and enhanced fitness to improve cognitive function in older people without known cognitive impairment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Angevaren, Maaike; Aufdemkampe, Geert; Verhaar, H. J. J.; Aleman, A.; Vanhees, Luc

    2008-01-01

    Background Physical activity is beneficial for healthy ageing. It may also help maintain good cognitive function in older age. Aerobic activity improves cardiovascular fitness, but it is not known whether this sort of fitness is necessary for improved cognitive function. Studies in which activity,

  15. Plasticity of attentional functions in older adults after non-action video game training: a randomized controlled trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Mayas

    Full Text Available A major goal of recent research in aging has been to examine cognitive plasticity in older adults and its capacity to counteract cognitive decline. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether older adults could benefit from brain training with video games in a cross-modal oddball task designed to assess distraction and alertness. Twenty-seven healthy older adults participated in the study (15 in the experimental group, 12 in the control group. The experimental group received 20 1-hr video game training sessions using a commercially available brain-training package (Lumosity involving problem solving, mental calculation, working memory and attention tasks. The control group did not practice this package and, instead, attended meetings with the other members of the study several times along the course of the study. Both groups were evaluated before and after the intervention using a cross-modal oddball task measuring alertness and distraction. The results showed a significant reduction of distraction and an increase of alertness in the experimental group and no variation in the control group. These results suggest neurocognitive plasticity in the old human brain as training enhanced cognitive performance on attentional functions.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02007616.

  16. Enriched environment, nitric oxide production and synaptic plasticity prevent the aging-dependent impairment of spatial cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnaiz, Silvia Lores; D'Amico, Gabriela; Paglia, Nora; Arismendi, Mariana; Basso, Nidia; del Rosario Lores Arnaiz, María

    2004-01-01

    In rodents, neuronal plasticity decreases and spatial learning and working memory deficits increase upon aging. Several authors have shown that rats reared in enriched environments have better cognitive performance in association with increased neuronal plasticity than animals reared in standard environments. We hypothesized that enriched environment could preserve animals from the age-associated neurological impairments, mainly through NO-dependent mechanisms of induction of neuronal plasticity. We present evidence that 27 months old rats from an enriched environment show a better performance in spatial working memory than standard reared rats of the same age. Both mtNOS and cytosolic nNOS activities were found significantly increased (73% and 155%, respectively) in female rats from enriched environment as compared with control animals kept in a standard environment. The enzymatic activity of complex I was 80% increased in rats from enriched environment as compared with control rats. We conclude that an extensively enriched environment prevents old rats from the aging-associated impairment of spatial cognition, synaptic plasticity and nitric oxide production.

  17. Extensive enriched environments protect old rats from the aging dependent impairment of spatial cognition, synaptic plasticity and nitric oxide production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lores-Arnaiz, S; Bustamante, J; Arismendi, M; Vilas, S; Paglia, N; Basso, N; Capani, F; Coirini, H; Costa, J J López; Arnaiz, M R Lores

    2006-05-15

    In aged rodents, neuronal plasticity decreases while spatial learning and working memory (WM) deficits increase. As it is well known, rats reared in enriched environments (EE) show better cognitive performances and an increased neuronal plasticity than rats reared in standard environments (SE). We hypothesized that EE could preserve the aged animals from cognitive impairment through NO dependent mechanisms of neuronal plasticity. WM performance and plasticity were measured in 27-month-old rats from EE and SE. EE animals showed a better spatial WM performance (66% increase) than SE ones. Cytosolic NOS activity was 128 and 155% higher in EE male and female rats, respectively. Mitochondrial NOS activity and expression were also significantly higher in EE male and female rats. Mitochondrial NOS protein expression was higher in brain submitochondrial membranes from EE reared rats. Complex I activity was 70-80% increased in EE as compared to SE rats. A significant increase in the area of NADPH-d reactive neurons was observed in the parietotemporal cortex and CA1 hippocampal region of EE animals.

  18. Neuro-cognition and social cognition elements of social functioning and social quality of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasson-Ohayon, Ilanit; Mashiach-Eizenberg, Michal; Arnon-Ribenfeld, Nitzan; Kravetz, Shlomo; Roe, David

    2017-09-06

    Previous studies have shown that deficits in social cognition mediate the association between neuro-cognition and functional outcome. Based on these findings, the current study presents an examination of the mediating role of social cognition and includes two different outcomes: social functioning assessed by objective observer and social quality of life assessed by subjective self-report. Instruments measuring different aspects of social cognition, cognitive ability, social functioning and social quality of life were administered to 131 participants who had a diagnosis of a serious mental illness. Results showed that emotion recognition and attributional bias were significant mediators such that cognitive assessment was positively related to both, which in turn, were negatively related to SQoL. While one interpretation of the data suggests that deficits in emotion recognition may serve as a possible defense mechanism, future studies should re-assess this idea. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Trait Routinization, Functional and Cognitive Status in Older Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zisberg, Anna; Zysberg, Leehu; Young, Heather M.; Schepp, Karen G.

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the associations between trait routinization and functional and cognitive as well as demographic indicators. A sample of American older adults living independently in a retirement community (n = 80) were assessed regarding their functional status, cognitive status, and preference for routine. Robust associations between…

  20. Functional Systems and Culturally-Determined Cognitive Differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiseman, Richard L.

    Noting that one means of better understanding the nature of cultural differences is to elucidate the cognitive differences between members of differing cultures, this paper examines Alexander Luria's sociohistorical theory of functional cognitive systems. The paper first describes Luria's notion of functional systems, the crux of which postulates…

  1. Longitudinal mixed-effects models for latent cognitive function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hout, van den Ardo; Fox, Jean-Paul; Muniz-Terrera, Graciela

    2015-01-01

    A mixed-effects regression model with a bent-cable change-point predictor is formulated to describe potential decline of cognitive function over time in the older population. For the individual trajectories, cognitive function is considered to be a latent variable measured through an item response t

  2. Functional Systems and Culturally-Determined Cognitive Differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiseman, Richard L.

    Noting that one means of better understanding the nature of cultural differences is to elucidate the cognitive differences between members of differing cultures, this paper examines Alexander Luria's sociohistorical theory of functional cognitive systems. The paper first describes Luria's notion of functional systems, the crux of which postulates…

  3. Mental training as a tool in the neuroscientific study of brain and cognitive plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slagter, Heleen A; Davidson, Richard J; Lutz, Antoine

    2011-01-01

    Although the adult brain was once seen as a rather static organ, it is now clear that the organization of brain circuitry is constantly changing as a function of experience or learning. Yet, research also shows that learning is often specific to the trained stimuli and task, and does not improve performance on novel tasks, even very similar ones. This perspective examines the idea that systematic mental training, as cultivated by meditation, can induce learning that is not stimulus or task specific, but process specific. Many meditation practices are explicitly designed to enhance specific, well-defined core cognitive processes. We will argue that this focus on enhancing core cognitive processes, as well as several general characteristics of meditation regimens, may specifically foster process-specific learning. To this end, we first define meditation and discuss key findings from recent neuroimaging studies of meditation. We then identify several characteristics of specific meditation training regimes that may determine process-specific learning. These characteristics include ongoing variability in stimulus input, the meta-cognitive nature of the processes trained, task difficulty, the focus on maintaining an optimal level of arousal, and the duration of training. Lastly, we discuss the methodological challenges that researchers face when attempting to control or characterize the multiple factors that may underlie meditation training effects.

  4. Mental training as a tool in the neuroscientific study of brain and cognitive plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heleen A Slagter

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Although the adult brain was once seen as a rather static organ, it is now clear that the organization of brain circuitry is constantly changing as a function of experience or learning. Yet, research also shows that learning is often specific to the trained stimuli and task, and does not improve performance on novel tasks, even very similar ones. This perspective examines the idea that systematic mental training, as cultivated by meditation, can induce learning that is not stimulus or task specific, but process specific. Many meditation practices are explicitly designed to enhance specific, well-defined core cognitive processes. We will argue that this focus on enhancing core cognitive processes, as well as several general characteristics of meditation regimens, may specifically foster process-specific learning. To this end, we first define meditation and discuss key findings from recent neuroimaging studies of meditation. We then identify several characteristics of specific meditation training regimes that may determine process-specific learning. These characteristics include ongoing variability in stimulus input, the meta-cognitive nature of the processes trained, task difficulty, the focus on maintaining an optimal level of arousal, and the duration of training. Lastly, we discuss the methodological challenges that researchers face when attempting to control or characterize the multiple factors that may underlie meditation-training effects.

  5. Effect of cardiac arrest on cognitive impairment and hippocampal plasticity in middle-aged rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles H Cohan

    Full Text Available Cardiopulmonary arrest is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States that usually occurs in the aged population. Cardiac arrest (CA induces global ischemia, disrupting global cerebral circulation that results in ischemic brain injury and leads to cognitive impairments in survivors. Ischemia-induced neuronal damage in the hippocampus following CA can result in the impairment of cognitive function including spatial memory. In the present study, we used a model of asphyxial CA (ACA in nine month old male Fischer 344 rats to investigate cognitive and synaptic deficits following mild global cerebral ischemia. These experiments were performed with the goals of 1 establishing a model of CA in nine month old middle-aged rats; and 2 to test the hypothesis that learning and memory deficits develop following mild global cerebral ischemia in middle-aged rats. To test this hypothesis, spatial memory assays (Barnes circular platform maze and contextual fear conditioning and field recordings (long-term potentiation and paired-pulse facilitation were performed. We show that following ACA in nine month old middle-aged rats, there is significant impairment in spatial memory formation, paired-pulse facilitation n dysfunction, and a reduction in the number of non-compromised hippocampal Cornu Ammonis 1 and subiculum neurons. In conclusion, nine month old animals undergoing cardiac arrest have impaired survival, deficits in spatial memory formation, and synaptic dysfunction.

  6. Dynamic reorganization of brain functional networks during cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bola, Michał; Sabel, Bernhard A

    2015-07-01

    How does cognition emerge from neural dynamics? The dominant hypothesis states that interactions among distributed brain regions through phase synchronization give basis for cognitive processing. Such phase-synchronized networks are transient and dynamic, established on the timescale of milliseconds in order to perform specific cognitive operations. But unlike resting-state networks, the complex organization of transient cognitive networks is typically not characterized within the graph theory framework. Thus, it is not known whether cognitive processing merely changes the strength of functional connections or, conversely, requires qualitatively new topological arrangements of functional networks. To address this question, we recorded high-density EEG while subjects performed a visual discrimination task. We conducted an event-related network analysis (ERNA) where source-space weighted functional networks were characterized with graph measures. ERNA revealed rapid, transient, and frequency-specific reorganization of the network's topology during cognition. Specifically, cognitive networks were characterized by strong clustering, low modularity, and strong interactions between hub-nodes. Our findings suggest that dense and clustered connectivity between the hub nodes belonging to different modules is the "network fingerprint" of cognition. Such reorganization patterns might facilitate global integration of information and provide a substrate for a "global workspace" necessary for cognition and consciousness to occur. Thus, characterizing topology of the event-related networks opens new vistas to interpret cognitive dynamics in the broader conceptual framework of graph theory. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Neurocognition, social cognition and functional outcome in schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iosune Torio

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Background and Objectives: A relationship has been found between cognition and functioning in patients with schizophrenia. Our objective was to study the relationship between the cognitive domains assessed by the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB, and functioning as evaluated using the functioning subscale of the Global Assessment of Functioning scale (GAF-f. Methods: A sample of 83 clinically stable outpatients diagnosed with schizophrenia according to DSM-IV criteria were assessed using the MCCB and the GAF-f. Pearson correlations and stepwise linear regression analyses were performed. Results: Correlation analysis between the GAF-f and the cognitive domains of the MCCB showed a significant relationship between functioning and all of the cognitive domains. Regression yielded a statistically significant model (F2,74 = 20.4, p < 0.001 in which functioning was related to Speed of processing (standardized β = 0.369, p = 0.001 and to Social cognition (standardized β = 0.325, p = 0.003. Together, these two variables explained 33.8% of the variance of functioning. Conclusions: Both speed of processing and social cognition have an important association with functioning in patients with schizophrenia.

  8. Gene by neuroticism interaction and cognitive function among older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dar-Nimrod, Ilan; Chapman, Benjamin P; Robbins, John A; Porsteinsson, Anton; Mapstone, Mark; Duberstein, Paul R

    2012-11-01

    Both apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ε-4 allele(s) and elevated trait neuroticism, the tendency to experience distress, are associated with cognitive function among older adults. We predicted that neuroticism moderates the association between ApoE and cognitive function and also explored whether other personality dimensions (openness to experience, agreeableness, extraversion, and conscientiousness) affect the association between ApoE status and cognitive function. Five-hundred and ninety-seven older adults (mean age of 78 years) enrolled in the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory study completed the NEO five-factor inventory of personality. Cognitive function was assessed via the cognitive portion of the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale, and a blood sample for ApoE genotyping was drawn. As hypothesized, regression analysis indicated that neuroticism moderated the relationship between the presence of ApoE ε-4 and cognitive function. Individuals with high neuroticism scores had significantly lower scores on the cognitive portion of the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale compared with individuals with low neuroticism scores, but this was true only among carriers of ApoE ε-4 (interaction effect β = 0.124, p = 0.028). There was scant evidence that other personality dimensions moderate the association between ApoE ε-4 and cognitive function. Cognitive function may be affected by ApoE and neuroticism acting in tandem. Research on the underlying physiological mechanisms by which neuroticism amplifies the effect of ApoE ε-4 is warranted. The study of genotype by phenotype interactions provides an important and useful direction for the study of cognitive function among older adults and for the development of novel prevention programs. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. Diffusion changes predict cognitive and functional outcome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jokinen, Hanna; Schmidt, Reinhold; Ropele, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    A study was undertaken to determine whether diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) abnormalities in normal-appearing brain tissue (NABT) and in white matter hyperintensities (WMH) predict longitudinal cognitive decline and disability in older individuals independently of the concomitant magnetic...

  10. Cognitive function in idiopathic intracranial hypertension

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yri, Hanne Maria; Fagerlund, Birgitte; Forchhammer, Hysse Birgitte;

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To explore the extent and nature of cognitive deficits in patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) at the time of diagnosis and after 3 months of treatment. DESIGN: Prospective case-control study. SETTING: Neurological department, ophthalmological department and a terti......OBJECTIVE: To explore the extent and nature of cognitive deficits in patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) at the time of diagnosis and after 3 months of treatment. DESIGN: Prospective case-control study. SETTING: Neurological department, ophthalmological department...

  11. Phenotypic and functional plasticity of cells of innate immunity: macrophages, mast cells and neutrophils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Galli, Stephen J; Borregaard, Niels; Wynn, Thomas A

    2011-01-01

    Hematopoietic cells, including lymphoid and myeloid cells, can develop into phenotypically distinct 'subpopulations' with different functions. However, evidence indicates that some of these subpopulations can manifest substantial plasticity (that is, undergo changes in their phenotype and functio...

  12. [Comparison of Work Ability Index and cognitive function tests].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Hideki; Kumashiro, Masaharu; Kusanoi, Kayo; Shazuki, Shuichiro; Fuji, Atsunaru; Eto, Risa

    2004-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of aging with regard to scores for certain cognitive function tests and WAI (Work Ability Index), and to examine the relationship between cognitive function test scores and work ability as measured by WAI. The subjects were 139 male employees of a factory producing steel plate, and their average age was 48.1 yr (SD 16.4). The WAI and cognitive function tests were conducted and valid scores were obtained from 134 subjects as to WAI, and from 88 subjects as to cognitive function tests. The subjects were divided into two groups: young workers (under 45 yr) and middle-aged to elderly workers (45 yr and over). The WAI scores of the two groups were compared, but no significant differences were observed. Nevertheless, for two WAI items, WAI-2 and WAI-7, the scores of the middle-aged to elderly worker group were significantly higher than those of the young worker group. In contrast, the scores for WAI-3 of the middle-aged to elderly group were significantly lower than those of the young worker group. The cognitive function test scores for the two groups were also compared. The scores for Working Memory test, Tracking test, and Sentence-to-sentence Comparison test of the middle-aged to elderly worker group were significantly lower than those of the younger group. Moreover, for the middle-aged to elderly worker group, the average WAI-3 scores for those with good cognitive function test results and those with poor cognitive function test results were compared, but there were no significant differences. This result shows that deterioration of physical function caused by aging is not related to deterioration of cognitive function caused by aging in the subjects of this study. The reason for this may be that the subjects are blue-collar workers, and thus cognitive functions are less important for their work.

  13. Extracellular proteolysis in structural and functional plasticity of mossy fiber synapses in hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiera, Grzegorz; Mozrzymas, Jerzy W

    2015-01-01

    Brain is continuously altered in response to experience and environmental changes. One of the underlying mechanisms is synaptic plasticity, which is manifested by modification of synapse structure and function. It is becoming clear that regulated extracellular proteolysis plays a pivotal role in the structural and functional remodeling of synapses during brain development, learning and memory formation. Clearly, plasticity mechanisms may substantially differ between projections. Mossy fiber synapses onto CA3 pyramidal cells display several unique functional features, including pronounced short-term facilitation, a presynaptically expressed long-term potentiation (LTP) that is independent of NMDAR activation, and NMDA-dependent metaplasticity. Moreover, structural plasticity at mossy fiber synapses ranges from the reorganization of projection topology after hippocampus-dependent learning, through intrinsically different dynamic properties of synaptic boutons to pre- and postsynaptic structural changes accompanying LTP induction. Although concomitant functional and structural plasticity in this pathway strongly suggests a role of extracellular proteolysis, its impact only starts to be investigated in this projection. In the present report, we review the role of extracellular proteolysis in various aspects of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that among perisynaptic proteases, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)/plasmin system, β-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) and metalloproteinases play a crucial role in shaping plastic changes in this projection. We discuss recent advances and emerging hypotheses on the roles of proteases in mechanisms underlying mossy fiber target specific synaptic plasticity and memory formation.

  14. Extracellular proteolysis in structural and functional plasticity of mossy fiber synapses in hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grzegorz eWiera

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Brain is continuously altered in response to experience and environmental changes. One of the underlying mechanisms is synaptic plasticity, which is manifested by modification of synapse structure and function. It is becoming clear that regulated extracellular proteolysis plays a pivotal role in the structural and functional remodeling of synapses during brain development, learning and memory formation. Clearly, plasticity mechanisms may substantially differ between projections. Mossy fiber synapses onto CA3 pyramidal cells display several unique functional features, including pronounced short-term facilitation, a presynaptically expressed LTP that is independent of NMDAR activation, and NMDA-dependent metaplasticity. Moreover, structural plasticity at mossy fiber synapses ranges from the reorganization of projection topology after hippocampus-dependent learning, through intrinsically different dynamic properties of synaptic boutons to pre- and postsynaptic structural changes accompanying LTP induction. Although concomitant functional and structural plasticity in this pathway strongly suggests a role of extracellular proteolysis, its impact only starts to be investigated in this projection. In the present report, we review the role of extracellular proteolysis in various aspects of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that among perisynaptic proteases, tPA/plasmin system, β-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1 and metalloproteinases play a crucial role in shaping plastic changes in this projection. We discuss recent advances and emerging hypotheses on the roles of proteases in mechanisms underlying mossy fiber target specific synaptic plasticity and memory formation.

  15. SUPPORT PROBLEM FOR COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS IN THE E-LEARNING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liubov S. Lisitsyna

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Successful development of such important human cognitive functions as attention, perception and information processing speed, working and long-term memory, thinking, etc. is a necessary foundation for increasing the effectiveness of e-learning. One way for further developments of students' cognitive functions in the process of e-learning consists in computer cognitive training sessions, which are included in the individual learning paths to promote a learner to the successful implementation of specific learning tasks of e-course. Analysis of the estimating problems for cognitive training effects (severity, stability and transfer is done and the ways for their solution are proposed. It is shown that the biological basis for cognitive training effects consists in the processes of neuroplasticity of the brain that influence the duration and intensity of training. An approach to the organization of research for the effects of cognitive training, based on the usage of random methods is suggested. The prospects of game mechanics application for cognitive training implementation in elearning are shown. A detailed analysis of the approaches to the training of the basic cognitive functions, including working memory of learners, is carried out. The practical significance of this paper is to identify priorities for research and development of cognitive training in e-learning.

  16. The Role of Cortical Plasticity in Recovery of Function Following Allogeneic Hand Transplantation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-13-1-0496 TITLE: The Role of Cortical Plasticity in Recovery of Function Following Allogeneic Hand Transplantation ...TITLE AND SUBTITLE The Role of Cortical Plasticity in Recovery of Function Following Allogeneic Hand Transplantation 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER W81XWH-13-1-0496...significant progress on data collection in our multi-day protocol. Our preliminary findings continue to indicate that: 1) Hand transplant recipients

  17. The kidney disease quality of life cognitive function subscale and cognitive performance maintenance hemodialysis patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background: Cognitive impairment is common but often undiagnosed in patients with end-stage renal disease, in part reflecting limited validated and easily administered tools to assess cognitive function in dialysis patients. Accordingly, we assessed the utility of the Kidney Disease Quality of Life ...

  18. Oxidative stress and redox regulation on hippocampal-dependent cognitive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Ting-Ting; Leu, David; Zou, Yani

    2015-06-15

    Hippocampal-dependent cognitive functions rely on production of new neurons and maintenance of dendritic structures to provide the synaptic plasticity needed for learning and formation of new memories. Hippocampal formation is exquisitely sensitive to patho-physiological changes, and reduced antioxidant capacity and exposure to low dose irradiation can significantly impede hippocampal-dependent functions of learning and memory by reducing the production of new neurons and alter dendritic structures in the hippocampus. Although the mechanism leading to impaired cognitive functions is complex, persistent oxidative stress likely plays an important role in the SOD-deficient and radiation-exposed hippocampal environment. Aging is associated with increased production of pro-oxidants and accumulation of oxidative end products. Similar to the hippocampal defects observed in SOD-deficient mice and mice exposed to low dose irradiation, reduced capacity in learning and memory, diminishing hippocampal neurogenesis, and altered dendritic network are universal in the aging brains. Given the similarities in cellular and structural changes in the aged, SOD-deficient, and radiation-exposed hippocampal environment and the corresponding changes in cognitive decline, understanding the shared underlying mechanism will provide more flexible and efficient use of SOD deficiency or irradiation to model age-related changes in cognitive functions and identify potential therapeutic or intervention methods.

  19. Cognitive functioning and social problem-solving skills in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatashita-Wong, Michi; Smith, Thomas E; Silverstein, Steven M; Hull, James W; Willson, Deborah F

    2002-05-01

    This study examined the relationships between symptoms, cognitive functioning, and social skill deficits in schizophrenia. Few studies have incorporated measures of cognitive functioning and symptoms in predictive models for social problem solving. For our study, 44 participants were recruited from consecutive outpatient admissions. Neuropsychological tests were given to assess cognitive function, and social problem solving was assessed using structured vignettes designed to evoke the participant's ability to generate, evaluate, and apply solutions to social problems. A sequential model-fitting method of analysis was used to incorporate social problem solving, symptom presentation, and cognitive impairment into linear regression models. Predictor variables were drawn from demographic, cognitive, and symptom domains. Because this method of analysis was exploratory and not intended as hierarchical modelling, no a priori hypotheses were proposed. Participants with higher scores on tests of cognitive flexibility were better able to generate accurate, appropriate, and relevant responses to the social problem-solving vignettes. The results suggest that cognitive flexibility is a potentially important mediating factor in social problem-solving competence. While other factors are related to social problem-solving skill, this study supports the importance of cognition and understanding how it relates to the complex and multifaceted nature of social functioning.

  20. Elicited Emotions and Cognitive Functioning in Preschool Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blau, Rivka; Klein, Pnina S.

    2010-01-01

    In this study, the effects of eliciting positive and negative emotions on various cognitive functions of four- to five-year-old preschool children were examined. Emotions were elicited through presentations of "happy" and "sad" video clips, before the children performed the cognitive tasks. Behavioural (facial expressions) and…

  1. Standing worsens cognitive functions in patients with neurogenic orthostatic hypotension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poda, R; Guaraldi, P; Solieri, L; Calandra-Buonaura, G; Marano, G; Gallassi, R; Cortelli, P

    2012-04-01

    In previous studies, addressing the association between orthostatic hypotension and cognitive decline, patients underwent neuropsychological evaluation in sitting position, and blood pressure values and cognition were not measured concurrently. Furthermore, no studies assessed the acute effects of orthostatic hypotension on cognitive performances. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effect of a documented fall in systolic blood pressure (SBP) of at least 20 mmHg on a battery of cognitive tests in patients with neurogenic orthostatic hypotension. Ten consecutive patients with neurogenic orthostatic hypotension, normal brain imaging, and a normal Mini Mental State Examination in supine position were enrolled in the study. Patients underwent a detailed neuropsychological assessment (Brief Mental Deterioration battery and computerized tests) over two test sessions: the first while tilted to an angle able to cause a fall of at least 20 mmHg in SBP; the second while supine, after 30 min of rest. Parallel forms of the tests were presented on each testing session. Patients scored significantly worse in the visual search test, analogies test, immediate visual memory, and the measure of global cognitive functioning of Brief Mental Deterioration battery during the orthostatic challenge compared to the supine position. Orthostatic hypotension was associated with a significant worsening of cognitive performances, affecting both global cognitive functioning and specific tasks, mainly exploring executive functions. The assessment of cognitive function in patients with neurogenic orthostatic hypotension should be performed considering the body's position of the subject.

  2. DNA methylation and cognitive functioning in healthy older adults

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schiepers, O.J.G.; Boxtel, van M.P.J.; Groot, R.H.M.; Jolles, J.; Kok, F.J.; Verhoef, P.; Durga, J.

    2012-01-01

    Long-term supplementation with folic acid may improve cognitive performance in older individuals. The relationship between folate status and cognitive performance might be mediated by changes in methylation capacity, as methylation reactions are important for normal functioning of the brain. Althoug

  3. Early Hormonal Influences on Cognitive Functioning in Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resnick, Susan M.; And Others

    1986-01-01

    Reports the results of cognitive test performance and early childhood activities in individuals with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, an autosomal recessive disorder associated with elevated prenatal adrenal androgen levels, demonstrating the effects of early exposure to excess androgenizing hormones on sexually dimorphic cognitive functioning.…

  4. Cognitive Functions and Depression in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Per G. Farup

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS is associated with depression and depression with impaired cognitive functions. The primary aim was to study associations between depression and cognitive functions in patients with IBS. Methods. IBS (according to the Rome III criteria, cognitive functions (evaluated with a set of neuropsychological tests, and depression (measured with Beck Depression Inventory II and Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Scale were analysed in patients with idiopathic depression and in patients with unspecified neurological symptoms. Results. 18 and 48 patients with a mean age of 47 and 45 years were included in the “Depression” and “Neurological” group, respectively. In the “Depression” group, the degree of depression was significantly higher in patients with IBS than in those without. Depression was associated with impaired cognitive function in 6 out of 17 neuropsychological tests indicating reduced set shifting, verbal fluency, attention, and psychomotor speed. IBS was statistically significantly associated with depression but not with any of the tests for cognitive functions. Conclusions. IBS was associated with depression but not with impaired cognitive functions. Since the idiopathic depression was associated with cognitive deficits, the findings could indicate that the depression in patients with IBS differs from an idiopathic depression.

  5. Emotiogenic Cognitive Function of Modern School Teaching Texts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Любовь Васильевна Ерохина

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The article is devoted to the analysis of emotional attractiveness of modern school educational texts and ecological/non-ecological influence upon pupils’ cognition in teaching communication. Reasoning is based on the thesis that - emotional attractiveness of modern school educational texts opposes their cognitive function. Emotional educational text profile and its components are under consideration. The article is concerned with ecological and cognitive and emotional asymmetry content. The material under focus is printed texts of some of modern school textbooks, teaching methodical aids, academic competitions, mass media information from the cognitive ecology point of view.

  6. Neuroanatomical correlates of cognitive functioning in prodromal Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Deborah L; Liu, Dawei; Smith, Megan M; Mills, James A; Long, Jeffrey D; Aylward, Elizabeth H; Paulsen, Jane S

    2014-01-01

    The brain mechanisms of cognitive impairment in prodromal Huntington disease (prHD) are not well understood. Although striatal atrophy correlates with some cognitive abilities, few studies of prHD have investigated whether cortical gray matter morphometry correlates in a regionally specific manner with functioning in different cognitive domains. This knowledge would inform the selection of cognitive measures for clinical trials that would be most sensitive to the target of a treatment intervention. In this study, random forest analysis was used to identify neuroanatomical correlates of functioning in five cognitive domains including attention and information processing speed, working memory, verbal learning and memory, negative emotion recognition, and temporal processing. Participants included 325 prHD individuals with varying levels of disease progression and 119 gene-negative controls with a family history of HD. In intermediate analyses, we identified brain regions that showed significant differences between the prHD and the control groups in cortical thickness and striatal volume. Brain morphometry in these regions was then correlated with cognitive functioning in each of the domains in the prHD group using random forest methods. We hypothesized that different regional patterns of brain morphometry would be associated with performances in distinct cognitive domains. The results showed that performances in different cognitive domains that are vulnerable to decline in prHD were correlated with regionally specific patterns of cortical and striatal morphometry. Putamen and/or caudate volumes were top-ranked correlates of performance across all cognitive domains, as was cortical thickness in regions related to the processing demands of each domain. The results underscore the importance of identifying structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI) markers of functioning in different cognitive domains, as their relative sensitivity depends on the extent to which

  7. Cognitive Functional Evaluation (CFE) Process for Individuals with Suspected Cognitive Disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman-Maeir, Adina; Katz, Noomi; Baum, Carolyn M

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to conceptualize the evaluation process for individuals with suspected cognitive disabilities. The Cognitive Functional Evaluation (CFE) process yields a comprehensive profile of the clients' cognitive strengths and weaknesses in occupational performance. The components of the CFE are outlined in six stages as a decision tree with examples of standardized instruments from which to choose the assessments for each client evaluated: (1) interview and background information; (2) cognitive screening and baseline status tests; (3) general measures of cognition and executive functions in occupation; (4) cognitive tests for specific domains; (5) measures of specific cognitive domains in occupations; and (6) environmental assessment. The first three stages are required to ascertain basic cognitive abilities underlying occupational performance. Tests for each stage can be chosen from the ones listed according to the client characteristics and the theory utilized, there is no need to use all of them. Once this data is available a further decision is made whether a more in-depth assessment is needed (stages (4) and (5)). The environmental component is evaluated in all instances with at least one of the assessments. The CFE process for individuals with suspected cognitive disabilities is recommended to be used by occupational therapists as a common ground for evaluation, documentation, and communicating information.

  8. Social-cognitive functioning and schizotypal characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Joseph; Shean, Glenn

    2006-05-01

    The authors examined the relationship between social cognition and a feature of schizotypal personality referred to as magical ideation, defined broadly as the presence and intensity of illogical beliefs about causality and the nature of reality. The measures of social cognition used in this study were the Character Intention Task (CIT) and the adult version of the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test. Regression analyses indicated that understanding of character intentions, as measured by CIT scores, and ability to identify emotions on the Eyes test were related to non-realistic beliefs. Principal components analysis of the Magical Ideation Scale generated 3 factors: Occult Beliefs, Non-Realism, and New Age Ideas. Results indicated that impaired understanding of character intentions and ability to identify emotions on the Eyes test were related to non-realistic beliefs. Understanding the cognitive impairments associated with schizotypal characteristics can facilitate development of more targeted therapeutic interventions.

  9. The Essentials of a Global Index for Cognitive Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antony, Joseph Mathew; Weaver, Ian; Rueffer, Matthew; Guthrie, Najla; Evans, Malkanthi

    2017-01-01

    Cognition is comprised of the faculties: perception, creativity, intuition, and ratiocination. Optimal levels of cognition are needed for independent functioning and balanced living. With an aging population that continues to grow, dietary supplements that tilt the balance towards maintenance of cognition are being marketed for vulnerable populations facing these challenges. Randomized clinical trials provide the causal inference necessary to define the efficacy of emerging nutraceuticals. Cognition testing, in particular, requires a battery of tests that encompass all brain regions involved in cognition so as to provide endpoints necessary for product validation. The lack of well controlled studies for comparison analyses, limited sample sizes, ambiguous dosages, and poor cognitive measures result in data that cannot be compared across studies to determine the efficacy of supplements claiming to enhance cognition. Clinical trials for the nutraceutical industry should consider the multifaceted nature of supplements, where clinical endpoints must be comprehensive while remaining feasible. Combining endpoints of cognition with physiological biomarkers of immunity and metabolism to arrive at a global index for cognitive health may be necessary for claim substantiation in order to fully justify and scientifically validate improvements in cognitive health. The issues and needs of a global index will be discussed here.

  10. Reelin Supplementation Enhances Cognitive Ability, Synaptic Plasticity, and Dendritic Spine Density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Justin T.; Rusiana, Ian; Trotter, Justin; Zhao, Lisa; Donaldson, Erika; Pak, Daniel T.S.; Babus, Lenard W.; Peters, Melinda; Banko, Jessica L.; Chavis, Pascale; Rebeck, G. William; Hoe, Hyang-Sook; Weeber, Edwin J.

    2011-01-01

    Apolipoprotein receptors belong to an evolutionarily conserved surface receptor family that has intimate roles in the modulation of synaptic plasticity and is necessary for proper hippocampal-dependent memory formation. The known lipoprotein receptor ligand Reelin is important for normal synaptic plasticity, dendritic morphology, and cognitive…

  11. The Histone H3K27 Demethylase UTX Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Cognitive Behaviors in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang-Bin Tang

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Histone demethylase UTX mediates removal of repressive trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3 to establish a mechanistic switch to activate large sets of genes. Mutation of Utx has recently been shown to be associated with Kabuki syndrome, a rare congenital anomaly syndrome with dementia. However, its biological function in the brain is largely unknown. Here, we observe that deletion of Utx results in increased anxiety-like behaviors and impaired spatial learning and memory in mice. Loss of Utx in the hippocampus leads to reduced long-term potentiation and amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic current, aberrant dendrite development and defective synapse formation. Transcriptional profiling reveals that Utx regulates a subset of genes that are involved in the regulation of dendritic morphology, synaptic transmission, and cognition. Specifically, Utx deletion disrupts expression of neurotransmitter 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 5B (Htr5b. Restoration of Htr5b expression in newborn hippocampal neurons rescues the defects of neuronal morphology by Utx ablation. Therefore, we provide evidence that Utx plays a critical role in modulating synaptic transmission and cognitive behaviors. Utx cKO mouse models like ours provide a valuable means to study the underlying mechanisms of the etiology of Kabuki syndrome.

  12. Standardized Environmental Enrichment Supports Enhanced Brain Plasticity in Healthy Rats and Prevents Cognitive Impairment in Epileptic Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouchi, Hayet Y.; Bodennec, Jacques; Morales, Anne; Georges, Béatrice; Bonnet, Chantal; Bouvard, Sandrine; Sloviter, Robert S.; Bezin, Laurent

    2013-01-01

    Environmental enrichment of laboratory animals influences brain plasticity, stimulates neurogenesis, increases neurotrophic factor expression, and protects against the effects of brain insult. However, these positive effects are not constantly observed, probably because standardized procedures of environmental enrichment are lacking. Therefore, we engineered an enriched cage (the Marlau™ cage), which offers: (1) minimally stressful social interactions; (2) increased voluntary exercise; (3) multiple entertaining activities; (4) cognitive stimulation (maze exploration), and (5) novelty (maze configuration changed three times a week). The maze, which separates food pellet and water bottle compartments, guarantees cognitive stimulation for all animals. Compared to rats raised in groups in conventional cages, rats housed in Marlau™ cages exhibited increased cortical thickness, hippocampal neurogenesis and hippocampal levels of transcripts encoding various genes involved in tissue plasticity and remodeling. In addition, rats housed in Marlau™ cages exhibited better performances in learning and memory, decreased anxiety-associated behaviors, and better recovery of basal plasma corticosterone level after acute restraint stress. Marlau™ cages also insure inter-experiment reproducibility in spatial learning and brain gene expression assays. Finally, housing rats in Marlau™ cages after severe status epilepticus at weaning prevents the cognitive impairment observed in rats subjected to the same insult and then housed in conventional cages. By providing a standardized enriched environment for rodents during housing, the Marlau™ cage should facilitate the uniformity of environmental enrichment across laboratories. PMID:23342033

  13. Standardized environmental enrichment supports enhanced brain plasticity in healthy rats and prevents cognitive impairment in epileptic rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raafat P Fares

    Full Text Available Environmental enrichment of laboratory animals influences brain plasticity, stimulates neurogenesis, increases neurotrophic factor expression, and protects against the effects of brain insult. However, these positive effects are not constantly observed, probably because standardized procedures of environmental enrichment are lacking. Therefore, we engineered an enriched cage (the Marlau™ cage, which offers: (1 minimally stressful social interactions; (2 increased voluntary exercise; (3 multiple entertaining activities; (4 cognitive stimulation (maze exploration, and (5 novelty (maze configuration changed three times a week. The maze, which separates food pellet and water bottle compartments, guarantees cognitive stimulation for all animals. Compared to rats raised in groups in conventional cages, rats housed in Marlau™ cages exhibited increased cortical thickness, hippocampal neurogenesis and hippocampal levels of transcripts encoding various genes involved in tissue plasticity and remodeling. In addition, rats housed in Marlau™ cages exhibited better performances in learning and memory, decreased anxiety-associated behaviors, and better recovery of basal plasma corticosterone level after acute restraint stress. Marlau™ cages also insure inter-experiment reproducibility in spatial learning and brain gene expression assays. Finally, housing rats in Marlau™ cages after severe status epilepticus at weaning prevents the cognitive impairment observed in rats subjected to the same insult and then housed in conventional cages. By providing a standardized enriched environment for rodents during housing, the Marlau™ cage should facilitate the uniformity of environmental enrichment across laboratories.

  14. Functional plasticity before the cradle: a review of neural functional imaging in the human fetus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Amy L; Thomason, Moriah E

    2013-11-01

    The organization of the brain is highly plastic in fetal life. Establishment of healthy neural functional systems during the fetal period is essential to normal growth and development. Across the last several decades, remarkable progress has been made in understanding the development of human fetal functional brain systems. This is largely due to advances in imaging methodologies. Fetal neuroimaging began in the 1950-1970's with fetal electroencephalography (EEG) applied during labor. Later, in the 1980's, magnetoencephalography (MEG) emerged as an effective approach for investigating fetal brain function. Most recently, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has arisen as an additional powerful approach for examining fetal brain function. This review will discuss major developmental findings from fetal imaging studies such as the maturation of prenatal sensory system functions, functional hemispheric asymmetry, and sensory-driven neurodevelopment. We describe how with improved imaging and analysis techniques, functional imaging of the fetus has the potential to assess the earliest point of neural maturation and provide insight into the patterning and sequence of normal and abnormal brain development. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Dietary antioxidants, cognitive function and dementia--a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crichton, Georgina E; Bryan, Janet; Murphy, Karen J

    2013-09-01

    Antioxidant compounds, contained in fruit, vegetables and tea, have been postulated to have a protective effect against age-related cognitive decline by combating oxidative stress. However, recent research on this subject has been conflicting. The aim of this systematic review was to consider current epidemiological and longitudinal evidence for an association between habitual dietary intake of antioxidants and cognition, with consideration given to both cognitive functioning and risk for dementia and its subtypes, including Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. Searches of electronic databases were undertaken to identify peer-reviewed journal articles that reported on associations between antioxidant intakes (vitamins C, E, flavonoids, carotenoids) and cognitive function or risk for dementia. Eight cross-sectional and 13 longitudinal studies were identified and included in the review. There were mixed findings for the association between antioxidant intake, cognition and risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Large heterogeneity in study design, differential control of confounders, insufficient measures of cognitive performance, and difficulties associated with dietary assessment may contribute to the inconsistent findings. Overall, findings do not consistently show habitual intakes of dietary antioxidants are associated with better cognitive performance or a reduced risk for dementia. Future intervention trials are warranted to elucidate the effects of a high intake of dietary antioxidants on cognitive functioning, and to explore effects within a whole dietary pattern.

  16. Transdiagnostic Associations Between Functional Brain Network Integrity and Cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheffield, Julia M; Kandala, Sridhar; Tamminga, Carol A; Pearlson, Godfrey D; Keshavan, Matcheri S; Sweeney, John A; Clementz, Brett A; Lerman-Sinkoff, Dov B; Hill, S Kristian; Barch, Deanna M

    2017-06-01

    Cognitive impairment occurs across the psychosis spectrum and is associated with functional outcome. However, it is unknown whether these shared manifestations of cognitive dysfunction across diagnostic categories also reflect shared neurobiological mechanisms or whether the source of impairment differs. To examine whether the general cognitive deficit observed across psychotic disorders is similarly associated with functional integrity of 2 brain networks widely implicated in supporting many cognitive domains. A total of 201 healthy control participants and 375 patients with psychotic disorders from the Bipolar-Schizophrenia Network on Intermediate Phenotypes (B-SNIP) consortium were studied from September 29, 2007, to May 31, 2011. The B-SNIP recruited healthy controls and stable outpatients from 6 sites: Baltimore, Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; and Hartford, Connecticut. All participants underwent cognitive testing and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Data analysis was performed from April 28, 2015, to February 21, 2017. The Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia was used to measure cognitive ability. A principal axis factor analysis on the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia battery yielded a single factor (54% variance explained) that served as the measure of general cognitive ability. Functional network integrity measures included global and local efficiency of the whole brain, cingulo-opercular network (CON), frontoparietal network, and auditory network and exploratory analyses of all networks from the Power atlas. Group differences in network measures, associations between cognition and network measures, and mediation models were tested. The final sample for the current study included 201 healthy controls, 143 patients with schizophrenia, 103 patients with schizoaffective disorder, and 129 patients with psychotic bipolar disorder (mean [SD] age, 35.1 [12.0] years

  17. Cognitive Function, Origin, and Evolution of Musical Emotions

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    Leonid Perlovsky

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive function of music, its origin, and evolution has been a mystery until recently. Here we discuss a theory of a fundamental function of music in cognition and culture. Music evolved in parallel with language. The evolution of language toward a semantically powerful tool required freeing from uncontrolled emotions. Knowledge evolved fast along with language. This created cognitive dissonances, contradictions among knowledge and instincts, which differentiated consciousness. To sustain evolution of language and culture, these contradictions had to be unified. Music was the mechanism of unification. Differentiated emotions are needed for resolving cognitive dissonances. As knowledge has been accumulated, contradictions multiplied and correspondingly more varied emotions had to evolve. While language differentiated psyche, music unified it. Thus the need for refined musical emotions in the process of cultural evolution is grounded in fundamental mechanisms of cognition. This is why today's human mind and cultures cannot exist without today's music.

  18. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for severe Functional Disorders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fjorback, Lone Overby

    MINDFULNESS-BASED COGNITIVE THERAPY FOR FUNCTIONAL DISORDERS- A RANDOMISED CONTROLLED TRIAL   Background: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a group skills-training program developed by Kabat-Zinn. It is designed to teach patients to become more aware of and relate differently...... to their thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. Randomised controlled studies of MBSR have shown mitigation of stress, anxiety, and dysphoria in general population and reduction in total mood disturbance and stress symptoms in a medical population. In Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy MBSR is recombined...... with cognitive therapy. Aim: To examine the efficacy of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in severe Functional disorders, defined as severe Bodily Distress Disorder. Method: 120 patients are randomised to either Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy: a manualized programme with eight weekly 3 ½ hour group...

  19. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for severe Functional Disorders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fjorback, Lone Overby

      MINDFULNESS-BASED COGNITIVE THERAPY FOR FUNCTIONAL DISORDERS- A RANDOMISED CONTROLLED TRIAL Background: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a group skills-training program developed by Kabat-Zinn. It is designed to teach patients to become more aware of and relate differently...... to their thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. Randomised controlled studies of MBSR have shown mitigation of stress, anxiety, and dysphoria in general population and reduction in total mood disturbance and stress symptoms in a medical population. In Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy MBSR is recombined...... with cognitive therapy. Aim: To examine the efficacy of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in severe Functional disorders, defined as severe Bodily Distress Disorder. Method: 120 patients are randomised to either Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy: a manualized programme with eight weekly 3 ½ hour group...

  20. The Specialization of Function: Cognitive and Neural Perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahon, Bradford Z.; Cantlon, Jessica F.

    2014-01-01

    A unifying theme that cuts across all research areas and techniques in the cognitive and brain sciences is whether there is specialization of function at levels of processing that are ‘abstracted away’ from sensory inputs and motor outputs. Any theory that articulates claims about specialization of function in the mind/brain confronts the following types of interrelated questions, each of which carries with it certain theoretical commitments. What methods are appropriate for decomposing complex cognitive and neural processes into their constituent parts? How do cognitive processes map onto neural processes, and at what resolution are they related? What types of conclusions can be drawn about the structure of mind from dissociations observed at the neural level, and vice versa? The contributions that form this Special Issue of Cognitive Neuropsychology represent recent reflections on these and other issues from leading researchers in different areas of the cognitive and brain sciences. PMID:22185234

  1. Pilot Cognitive Functioning and Training Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-01

    reducing physical stress and damage to the airframe. In summary, there has been extensive research in the USAF on the use of cognitive ability tests...has amassed a body of knowledge about many topics Comprehension Measures “social acculturation ,” “social intelligence,” and the conventional

  2. Cognitive function in families with exceptional survival

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barral, Sandra; Cosentino, Stephanie; Costa, Rosann;

    2012-01-01

    higher scores on both digit forward and backward tasks (p = 5 10(-5) and p = 8 10(-4) respectively) as well as on a verbal fluency task (p = 0.008) when compared with their spouse controls. No differences between groups were found for the other cognitive tests assessed. We conclude that LLFS family...

  3. Influence of social support on cognitive function in the elderly

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    Yeh Shu-Chuan

    2003-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Social support is important in daily activities of the elderly. This study tests the hypothesis that there is an association between social support and cognitive function among the elderly in a community setting. Methods Face-to-face interviews were conducted in a cross-sectional stratified random sample of 4,993 elderly (≥65 years city residents. Using multiple regression analysis, we investigated the influence of social support on cognitive function. Results 12% were over 80 years old. 53.28% were men. 67.14% were married. Higher Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire (SPMSQ scores (higher score means better cognitive function were associated with strong social support, as measured by marital status and perceived positive support from friends. Lower cognitive function was associated with older and with female respondents. Only instrumental activities of daily living (IADL were statistically and negatively related to SPMSQ. Lower functional status was associated with lower cognitive function. Elders with grade school educations had lower SPMSQ scores than did elders with high school educations. Conclusions In Taiwan, higher cognitive function in community-living elderly was associated with increased social support. Life-style management should provide social activities for the elderly to promote a better quality of life.

  4. Fabrication of Functional Plastic Parts Using Nanostructured Steel Mold Inserts

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    Nicolas Blondiaux

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available We report on the fabrication of sub-micro and nanostructured steel mold inserts for the replication of nanostructured immunoassay biochips. Planar and microstructured stainless steel inserts were textured at the sub-micron and nanoscale by combining nanosphere lithography and electrochemical etching. This allowed the fabrication of structures with lateral dimensions of hundreds of nanometers and aspect ratios of up to 1:2. Nanostructured plastic parts were produced by means of hot embossing and injection molding. Surface nanostructuring was used to control wettability and increase the sensitivity of an immunoassay.

  5. Postoperative cognitive dysfunction : Involvement of neuroinflammation and neuronal functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hovens, Iris B.; Schoemaker, Regien G.; van der Zee, Eddy A.; Absalom, Anthony R.; Heineman, Erik; van Leeuwen, Barbara L.

    2014-01-01

    Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) has been hypothesized to be mediated by surgery-induced inflammatory processes, which may influence neuronal functioning either directly or through modulation of intraneuronal pathways, such as the brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mediated pathway.

  6. Sleep and cognitive (memory) function: research and clinical perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, T; Costa e Silva, J A; Chase, M H

    2001-09-01

    The field of memory and sleep is controversial and extremely interesting, and the relationships between thought processes, i.e. cognition and sleep, have recently been examined in a variety of clinical and basic research settings, as well as being the object of intense interest by the general public. For example, there are data which demonstrate that insomnia, as well as specific sleep disorders, can have a negative impact on sleep cognition as well as affect daytime patterns of cognitive functioning. Thus, sleep, disturbed sleep and the lack of sleep appear to affect cognitive and memory functions. An International Workshop dealing with Sleep and Cognitive Function: Research and Clinical Perspectives was convened in Cancún, Mexico, 1-4 March 1999 under the auspices of the World Health Organization Worldwide Project on Sleep and Health and the World Federation of Sleep Research Societies. A great number of areas of intersection between sleep and cognitive function were examined during the course of the Workshop, such as aging, cognition and sleep and the dream process and sleep. The results of these discussions are included in a WHO publication (WHO Doc.: MSD/MBD/00.8). In the present report we concentrate on presenting a summary of a coherent set of data which examine memory consolidation during sleep and the impact of insomnia on cognitive functions. Based upon these data, a review of memory and drug effects that are sleep-related, and an examination of the relationship between hypnotics and cognitive function are included. Finally, a summary of recommendations of the Workshop participants is presented.

  7. The disorganized visual cortex in reelin-deficient mice is functional and allows for enhanced plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Wagener, Robin Jan; Martens, Ann-Kristin; Goetze, Bianka; Schmidt, Karl-Friedrich; Staiger, Jochen F; Löwel, Siegrid

    2015-11-01

    A hallmark of neocortical circuits is the segregation of processing streams into six distinct layers. The importance of this layered organization for cortical processing and plasticity is little understood. We investigated the structure, function and plasticity of primary visual cortex (V1) of adult mice deficient for the glycoprotein reelin and their wild-type littermates. In V1 of rl-/- mice, cells with different laminar fates are present at all cortical depths. Surprisingly, the (vertically) disorganized cortex maintains a precise retinotopic (horizontal) organization. Rl-/- mice have normal basic visual capabilities, but are compromised in more challenging perceptual tasks, such as orientation discrimination. Additionally, rl-/- animals learn and memorize a visual task as well as their wild-type littermates. Interestingly, reelin deficiency enhances visual cortical plasticity: juvenile-like ocular dominance plasticity is preserved into late adulthood. The present data offer an important insight into the capabilities of a disorganized cortical system to maintain basic functional properties.

  8. Sex differences in obesity and cognitive function in a cognitively normal aging Chinese Han population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li W

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Wei Li,* Qi Qiu,* Lin Sun, Ling Yue, Tao Wang, Xia Li, Shifu Xiao Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Center, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China *These authors contributed equally to this work Background: Sex differences in Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment have been well recognized. However, sex differences in cognitive function and obesity in cognitively normal aging Chinese Han population have not attracted much attention. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between sex, obesity, and cognitive function in an elderly Chinese population with normal cognitive function. Subjects and methods: A total of 228 cognitively normal aging participants (males/females =93/135 entered this study. Their general demographic information (sex, age, and education was collected by standardized questionnaire. Apolipoprotein E (APOE genotype and serum lipid levels were measured. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA was used to assess participants’ cognitive function. Results: The prevalence of obesity in elderly women (18/133, 13.5% was significantly higher than that in men (5/92, 5.4%, P=0.009. Regression analyses showed that obesity was associated with drinking alcohol (OR =13.695, P=0.045 and triglyceride (OR =1.436, P=0.048 in women and limited to low-density lipoprotein (OR =11.829, P=0.023 in men. Women performed worse on the naming score for MoCA than men (P<0.01. Stepwise linear regression analysis showed that education (t=3.689, P<0.001 and smoking (t=2.031, P=0.045 were related to the score of naming in female, while high-density lipoprotein (t=–2.077, P=0.041 was related to the score of naming in male; however, no correlation was found between body mass index and cognitive function in both male and female (P>0.05. Conclusion: Our finding suggests that there are significant sex differences in obesity and

  9. In vitro functional screening as a means to identify new plasticizers devoid of reproductive toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boisvert, Annie; Jones, Steven; Issop, Leeyah; Erythropel, Hanno C; Papadopoulos, Vassilios; Culty, Martine

    2016-10-01

    Plasticizers are indispensable additives providing flexibility and malleability to plastics. Among them, several phthalates, including di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), have emerged as endocrine disruptors, leading to their restriction in consumer products and creating a need for new, safer plasticizers. The goal of this project was to use in vitro functional screening tools to select novel non-toxic plasticizers suitable for further in vivo evaluation. A panel of novel compounds with satisfactory plasticizer properties and biodegradability were tested, along with several commercial plasticizers, such as diisononyl-cyclohexane-1,2-dicarboxylate (DINCH®). MEHP, the monoester metabolite of DEHP was also included as reference compound. Because phthalates target mainly testicular function, including androgen production and spermatogenesis, we used the mouse MA-10 Leydig and C18-4 spermatogonial cell lines as surrogates to examine cell survival, proliferation, steroidogenesis and mitochondrial integrity. The most promising compounds were further assessed on organ cultures of rat fetal and neonatal testes, corresponding to sensitive developmental windows. Dose-response studies revealed the toxicity of most maleates and fumarates, while identifying several dibenzoate and succinate plasticizers as innocuous on Leydig and germ cells. Interestingly, DINCH®, a plasticizer marketed as a safe alternative to phthalates, exerted a biphasic effect on steroid production in MA-10 and fetal Leydig cells. MEHP was the only plasticizer inducing the formation of multinucleated germ cells (MNG) in organ culture. Overall, organ cultures corroborated the cell line data, identifying one dibenzoate and one succinate as the most promising candidates. The adoption of such collaborative approaches for developing new chemicals should help prevent the development of compounds potentially harmful to human health.

  10. Activating Developmental Reserve Capacity Via Cognitive Training or Non-invasive Brain Stimulation: Potentials for Promoting Fronto-Parietal and Hippocampal-Striatal Network Functions in Old Age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passow, Susanne; Thurm, Franka; Li, Shu-Chen

    2017-01-01

    Existing neurocomputational and empirical data link deficient neuromodulation of the fronto-parietal and hippocampal-striatal circuitries with aging-related increase in processing noise and declines in various cognitive functions. Specifically, the theory of aging neuronal gain control postulates that aging-related suboptimal neuromodulation may attenuate neuronal gain control, which yields computational consequences on reducing the signal-to-noise-ratio of synaptic signal transmission and hampering information processing within and between cortical networks. Intervention methods such as cognitive training and non-invasive brain stimulation, e.g., transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), have been considered as means to buffer cognitive functions or delay cognitive decline in old age. However, to date the reported effect sizes of immediate training gains and maintenance effects of a variety of cognitive trainings are small to moderate at best; moreover, training-related transfer effects to non-trained but closely related (i.e., near-transfer) or other (i.e., far-transfer) cognitive functions are inconsistent or lacking. Similarly, although applying different tDCS protocols to reduce aging-related cognitive impairments by inducing temporary changes in cortical excitability seem somewhat promising, evidence of effects on short- and long-term plasticity is still equivocal. In this article, we will review and critically discuss existing findings of cognitive training- and stimulation-related behavioral and neural plasticity effects in the context of cognitive aging, focusing specifically on working memory and episodic memory functions, which are subserved by the fronto-parietal and hippocampal-striatal networks, respectively. Furthermore, in line with the theory of aging neuronal gain control we will highlight that developing age-specific brain stimulation protocols and the concurrent applications of tDCS during cognitive training may potentially facilitate

  11. Early Functional Limitations in Cognitively Normal Older Adults Predict Diagnostic Conversion to Mild Cognitive Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farias, Sarah Tomaszewski; Lau, Karen; Harvey, Danielle; Denny, Katherine G; Barba, Cheyanne; Mefford, Anthony N

    2017-06-01

    To examine whether specific types of early functional limitations in cognitively normal older adults are associated with subsequent development of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), as well as the relative predictive value of self versus informant report in predicting diagnostic conversion to MCI. As a part of a longitudinal study design, participants underwent baseline and annual multidisciplinary clinical evaluations, including a physical and neurological examination, imaging, laboratory work, and neuropsychological testing. Data used in this study were collected as part of longitudinal research at the University of California, Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center. Individuals diagnosed as having normal cognition at study baseline who had an informant who could complete informant-based ratings and at least one follow-up visit (N = 324). Participants and informants each completed the Everyday Cognition Scale (ECog), an instrument designed to measure everyday function in six cognitively relevant domains. Self- and informant-reported functional limitations on the ECog were associated with significantly greater risk of diagnostic conversion to MCI (informant: hazard ratio (HR) = 2.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.3-3.2, P = .002), with self-report having a slightly higher hazard (HR = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.4-3.6, P cognitive abilities, the effect remained significant for self- and informant-reported functional limitations. Deficits in everyday memory and executive function domains were the strongest predictors of diagnostic conversion to MCI. Detection of early functional limitations may be clinically useful in assessing the future risk of developing cognitive impairment in cognitively normal older adults. © 2017, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2017, The American Geriatrics Society.

  12. Neuropsychological assessment of a new computerized cognitive task that developed for training several cognitive functions simultaneously.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satoe eIchihara-Takeda

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have indicated that computerized cognitive training is effective as therapy for reducing the cognitive decline with aging and the dysfunction associated with neuropsychiatric illness. Although cognitive trainings that targets a specific function and multi-domain cognitive training have both been shown to have significant effects, we need one simple behavioral training paradigm to improve multiple domains of cognitive functions easily and simultaneously. We had developed a new computerized task that seeks to engage the cognitive functions of planning, mental calculation, and divergent thinking based on a working memory task in a single task. The purpose of this study was to assess the cognitive features of our new task by comparing the scores of seven known neuropsychological batteries in healthy elderly subjects. The relationships between performance in our task and the scores obtained by the neuropsychological batteries were examined. The percentage of correct performance on our task was correlated with the scores on the category fluency test, the digit span backward task, and the Trail making test B. Stepwise multiple regression analyses revealed that the scores on the category fluency test and the Trail making test B showed significant positive correlations with the percentage of correct performance on our task. Although the present study did not show high correlations between the percentage of correct performance on our task and working memory functions as a primary target, we did observe mid-level correlations between the percentage of correct performance on our task and functions for divided attention and word fluency. Our new task could not measure subject’s working memory capacity specifically, but could measure the abilities of attention and divergent thinking. Thus, this task might be a useful tool for training multiple cognitive functions simultaneously.

  13. Coffee consumption and cognitive function among older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson-Kozlow, Marilyn; Kritz-Silverstein, Donna; Barrett-Connor, Elizabeth; Morton, Deborah

    2002-11-01

    This study examined the association of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee intake with cognitive function in a community-based sample of older adults in 1988-1992. Participants were 890 women with a mean age of 72.6 years and 638 men with a mean age of 73.3 years from the Rancho Bernardo Study. Cognitive function was assessed by 12 standardized tests, and lifetime consumption and current coffee consumption were obtained by questionnaire. After adjustment for confounders, higher lifetime coffee consumption in women was associated with better (p cognitive function tests; current caffeinated coffee intake was associated with better performance on two tests (p coffee intake was nonsignificantly associated with better performance on 11 of the 12 tests. No relation was found between coffee intake and cognitive function among men or between decaffeinated coffee intake and cognitive function in either sex. Lifetime and current exposure to caffeine may be associated with better cognitive performance among women, especially among those aged 80 or more years.

  14. Influence of carotid artery stenting on cognitive function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quasar Grunwald, Iris [Saarland University Clinic, Department for Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology, Homburg (Germany); Department of Neuroradiology, Homburg (Germany); Papanagiotou, Panagiotis; Backens, Martin; Politi, Maria; Vedder, Verena; Zercher, K. [Saarland University Clinic, Department for Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology, Homburg (Germany); Reith, Wolfgang; Supprian, Tilman; Muscalla, B.; Haass, Anton; Krick, Christoph M. [Saarland University Clinic, Clinic for Neurology, Homburg (Germany); Saarland University Clinic, Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Homburg (Germany)

    2010-01-15

    There have only been a few studies on cognitive changes in patients with carotid occlusive disease, and the results of these show major discrepancies in the extent to which treatment affects neuropsychological function. We sought to clarify these discrepancies by evaluating the effects of carotid artery stenting (CAS) on the cognitive function. Forty-one asymptomatic CAS patients were administered a test battery of neuropsychological tests measuring cognitive speed and memory function before and 3 months after the procedure. A control group was also evaluated. To test for thromboembolic lesions, diffusion-weighted imaging was used. CAS led to a significant increase in cognitive speed (p < 0.001) but did not afford any change in memory function. This was regardless of the degree or side of stenosis or patient age or gender. CAS significantly improved functions that involve cognitive speed. Earlier studies did not differentiate between speed and memory tests and thus might have missed these changes. Further studies correlating changes in brain perfusion with increase in cognitive speed are needed. (orig.)

  15. Impact of Cognitive Impairment on Functional Outcome in Stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nurdan Paker

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the cognitive impairment on functional status in patients with subacute stroke. Fifty-two patients with subacute stroke were included in the study. Mini mental state examination (MMSE test was used for the evaluation of cognitive status. Patients were separated into two groups according to their cognitive functions. Functional follow-up parameters were activities of daily living (ADL, global recovery and ambulation status. All patients were evaluated on admission to rehabilitation unit, at discharge and 6 months after discharge. Forty-four patients were completed the study. Mean age was 66 and 57 years; disease duration on admission was 4,8 and 3,5 months in the cognitively impaired and normal groups, respectively. Significant improvement was found in terms of functional follow-up parameters in both groups at discharge (<.05. Functional follow-up parameters did not show statistically significant difference between the groups. But community ambulation rate was higher in cognitively normal group at the sixth month visit. As a result of this study, inpatient rehabilitation was effective both cognitively normal and impaired subacute stroke patients.

  16. Decreasing the Functioning Consumptions of Plastics Injection Moulding Machines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasilache, V.; Vasilache, M.; Vasilache, A.

    2017-06-01

    A share of about 75% in the cost of a plastic moulded part is held by the energy consumption of the injection machine. It is the heating system of the plasticising unit which is responsible for the energophague character of the process. The transfer rate from the heating elements to the plasticising cylinder depends hardly on the geometry of the system. A new heating system is designed, replacing the classical systems which are applied on the exterior of the cylinder with an “engrooved system”. Proposed heating system leads to decreasing of energy consumption up to 30 % and maintenance costs up to 10 %. A supplementary possibility to decrease the maintenance costs is to modify the geometry of the injection torpedo. The proposed geometry eliminates the possibility of any breaking or gripping related to the injection torpedo.

  17. Congestive heart failure and cognitive functioning amongst older adults

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    Almeida Osvaldo P.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Congestive heart failure is associated with decline in quality of life and, possibly, cognitive functions such as memory and attention. AIMS: The present study was designed to investigate the presence of cognitive impairment amongst patients with congestive heart failure (CHF. We hypothesised that CHF patients would have lower scores than elderly controls on general measures of cognitive functioning. METHODS AND RESULTS: We examined a sample of 50 consecutive patients admitted to hospital with CHF functional class III/IV and a convenience sample of 30 older adults assessed at the outpatient service of geriatric medicine of a teaching hospital in São Paulo, Brazil. All subjects were interviewed with the Cambridge Examination for Mental Disorders of the Elderly (CAMDEX, as well as the neuropsychological battery of the CAMDEX (CAMCOG, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE, Trail Making A and B, Digit Span, Digit Symbol, and Letter Cancellation Test. All CHF patients had left ventricular ejection fraction (EF below 45% and all controls above 65%. The cognitive performance of CHF patients was significantly worse than controls for all cognitive assessments. Twenty-seven of 50 CHF patients had a MMSE total score lower than 24, compared with only 10/30 controls (p=0.073. Similarly, 36/49 and 9/30 CHF subjects and controls respectively had CAMCOG scores below 80 (p<0.001. Cognitive scores were significantly associated with EF, which was the most robust predictor of cognitive impairment according to the CAMCOG in a logistic regression model. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that CHF is associated with significant levels of cognitive impairment and show that mental performance is, at least partly, a consequence of EF. Physicians should be prepared to assess the mental state of patients, as poor cognitive functioning may interfere with treatment compliance and management plan.

  18. Body Mass Index and Decline of Cognitive Function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sujin Kim

    Full Text Available The association between body mass index (BMI and cognitive function is a public health issue. This study investigated the relationship between obesity and cognitive impairment which was assessed by the Korean version of the Mini-mental state examination (K-MMSE among mid- and old-aged people in South Korea.A cohort of 5,125 adults, age 45 or older with normal cognitive function (K-MMSE≥24 at baseline (2006, was derived from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging (KLoSA 2006~2012. The association between baseline BMI and risk of cognitive impairment was assessed using multiple logistic regression models. We also assessed baseline BMI and change of cognitive function over the 6-year follow-up using multiple linear regressions.During the follow-up, 358 cases of severe cognitive impairment were identified. Those with baseline BMI≥25 kg/m2 than normal-weight (18.5≤BMI<23 kg/m2 were marginally less likely to experience the development of severe cognitive impairment (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.73, 95% CI = 0.52 to 1.03; Ptrend = 0.03. This relationship was stronger among female (aOR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.40 to 1.00; Ptrend = 0.01 and participants with low-normal K-MMSE score (MMSE: 24-26 at baseline (aOR = 0.59, 95% CI = 0.35 to 0.98; Ptrend<0.01. In addition, a slower decline of cognitive function was observed in obese individuals than those with normal weight, especially among women and those with low-normal K-MMSE score at baseline.In this nationally representative study, we found that obesity was associated with lower risk of cognitive decline among mid- and old-age population.

  19. Apolipoprotein E Genotype Modifies the Association between Midlife Lung Function and Cognitive Function in Old Age

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giltay, E.J.; Nissinen, A.; Giampaoli, S.; Kromhout, D.

    2009-01-01

    Background/Aims: Because poor lung function may be a risk factor for cognitive decline, we aimed to test the association of respiratory function with cognitive function and dementia later in life, as well as potential effect modification by APOE 4 carrier status. Methods: In a prospective

  20. Obesity Reduces Cognitive and Motor Functions across the Lifespan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuanming Wang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Due to a sedentary lifestyle, more and more people are becoming obese nowadays. In addition to health-related problems, obesity can also impair cognition and motor performance. Previous results have shown that obesity mainly affects cognition and motor behaviors through altering brain functions and musculoskeletal system, respectively. Many factors, such as insulin/leptin dysregulation and inflammation, mediate the effect of obesity and cognition and motor behaviors. Substantial evidence has suggested exercise to be an effective way to improve obesity and related cognitive and motor dysfunctions. This paper aims to discuss the association of obesity with cognition and motor behaviors and its underlying mechanisms. Following this, mechanisms of exercise to improve obesity-related dysfunctions are described. Finally, implications and future research direction are raised.

  1. White matter microstructure predicts cognitive training-induced improvements in attention and executive functioning in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subramaniam, Karuna; Gill, Jeevit; Fisher, Melissa; Mukherjee, Pratik; Nagarajan, Srikantan; Vinogradov, Sophia

    2017-07-06

    We examined the relationship between white matter microstructure in schizophrenia using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and cognitive improvements induced by 70h (~16weeks) of cognitive training. We measured anatomical connectivity in 48 patients with schizophrenia (SZ) and 28 healthy control participants (HC) at baseline, and then examined the relationship between anatomical connectivity at baseline and training-induced cognitive gains in 30 SZ who performed diffusion imaging after completing 70h of training. Compared with healthy control participants, individuals with schizophrenia showed reduced white matter integrity at baseline, as indexed by fractional anisotropy metrics, in bilateral posterior corona radiata, bilateral retrolenticular internal capsules, bilateral posterior thalamic radiation, left anterior corona radiata, left superior longitudinal fasciculus, left sagittal stratum, right cerebral peduncle and the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum. After training, schizophrenia participants showed significant gains in attention/vigilance, speed of processing, verbal learning, visual learning and executive functioning. White matter integrity within the right fronto-occipital fasciculus predicted training-induced improvements in attention/vigilance, while white matter integrity within the right corticospinal tract and bilateral medial lemnisci predicted cognitive training-induced improvements in executive functioning, areas that did not show white matter tract deficits at baseline. These findings suggest that preserved white matter integrity connecting long-range prefrontal-thalamic-sensorimotor areas may be an important determinant for training-induced neurocognitive plasticity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Does cognitive self-consciousness link older adults' cognitive functioning to obsessive-compulsive symptoms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prouvost, Caroline; Calamari, John E; Woodard, John L

    2016-10-01

    To elucidate how obsessional symptoms might develop or intensify in late-life, we tested a risk model. We posited that cognitive self-consciousness (CSC), a tendency to be aware of and monitor thinking, would increase reactivity to aging-related cognitive changes and mediate the relationship between cognitive functioning and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms. Older adults (Mage = 76.7 years) completed the Dementia Rating Scale-2 (DRS-2), a CSC measure, and an OCD symptom measure up to four times over 18 months. A model that included DRS-2 age and education adjusted total score as the indicator of cognitive functioning fit the data well, and CSC score change mediated the relationship between initial cognitive functioning and changes in OCD symptoms. In tests of a model that included DRS-2 Initiation/Perseveration (I/P) and Conceptualization subscale scores, the model again fit the data well. Conceptualization scores, but not I/P scores, were related to later OCD symptoms, and change in CSC scores again mediated the relationship. Lower scores on initial cognitive functioning measures predicted increases in CSC scores over time, which in turn predicted increases in OCD symptoms over the 18 months of the study. Implications for understanding late-life obsessional problems are discussed.

  3. Models and theories of brain function in cognition within a framework of behavioral cognitive psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karakaş, Sirel; Başar, Erol

    2006-05-01

    The present article presents a nonexhaustive collection of contemporary models and theories on brain function and discusses these models and theories within a framework of explanatory formulations in behavioral cognitive psychology. Such a mission was accomplished by evaluating the cognitive implications in the explanatory formulations with respect to established laws/principles and models/theories of behavioral cognitive psychology. The article also points to problem areas of behavioral cognitive psychology for which the explanatory formulations have solutions to offer. The article shows that the cinematographic hypothesis, the new visual model, the synergetic model, and the theory of whole-brain-work emphasize various aspects of perception. The formulations on P300 theory emphasize attention and also working memory. The theory on cognits is a comprehensive account of memory. Characteristic to all of these explanatory formulations and also to that on the complexity and its evolution and that on neurocognitive networks is the emphasis on selective distribution, integration to the point of supersynergy, and dynamicity. Such a viewpoint was not only applied to the operations of the brain but also of cognition. With such a conceptualization, the explanatory formulations could account for cognitive processes other than the ones emphasized. A common aspect in a majority of the formulations is the utilization of the oscillatory activity as the valid activity of the brain. The article points out that a frontier in cognitive psychophysiology would be the study of the genetics of brain oscillations.

  4. Heritability of cognitive functions in families with bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antila, Mervi; Tuulio-Henriksson, Annamari; Kieseppä, Tuula; Soronen, Pia; Palo, Outi M; Paunio, Tiina; Haukka, Jari; Partonen, Timo; Lönnqvist, Jouko

    2007-09-01

    Bipolar disorder is highly heritable. Cognitive dysfunctions often observed in bipolar patients and their unaffected relatives implicate that these impairments may be associated with genetic predisposition to bipolar disorder and thus fulfill the criteria of a valid endophenotype for the disorder. However, the most fundamental criterion, their heritability, has not been directly studied in any bipolar population. This population-based study estimated the heritability of cognitive functions in bipolar disorder. A comprehensive neuropsychological test battery and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV were administered to a population-based sample of 110 individuals from 52 families with bipolar disorder. Heritability of cognitive functions as assessed with neuropsychological test scores were estimated using the Solar package. Significant additive heritabilities were found in verbal ability, executive functioning, and psychomotor processing speed. Genetic contribution was low to verbal learning functions. High heritability, in executive functioning and psychomotor processing speed suggest that these may be valid endophenotypic traits for genetic studies of bipolar disorder.

  5. The effect of severe life events on cognitive function in elderly people

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宋美

    2013-01-01

    Objective To explore the effects of severe life events on the cognitive function and tendency of mild cognitive impairment(MCI) in elderly people. Methods The cognitive function and life events of 3098 people aged 60

  6. Cognition and Resting-State Functional Connectivity in Schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheffield, Julia M; Barch, Deanna M

    2015-01-01

    Individuals with schizophrenia consistently display deficits in a multitude of cognitive domains, but the neurobiological source of these cognitive impairments remains unclear. By analyzing the functional connectivity of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fcMRI) data in clinical populations like schizophrenia, research groups have begun elucidating abnormalities in the intrinsic communication between specific brain regions, and assessing relationships between these abnormalities and cognitive performance in schizophrenia. Here we review studies that have reported analysis of these brain-behavior relationships. Through this systematic review we found that patients with schizophrenia display abnormalities within and between regions comprising 1) the cortico-cerebellar-striatal-thalamic loop and 2) task-positive and task-negative cortical networks. Importantly, we did not observe unique relationships between specific functional connectivity abnormalities and distinct cognitive domains, suggesting that the observed functional systems may underlie mechanisms that are shared across cognitive abilities, the disturbance of which could contribute to the “generalized” cognitive deficit found in schizophrenia. We also note several areas of methodological change that we believe will strengthen this literature. PMID:26698018

  7. A Functional Examination of Intermediate Cognitive Processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-01-01

    perceptions clearly exceed the objective physical evidence ( Gregory , 1972; Rock, 1984). People "see" bands of colour in a rainbow although the rainbow...of CogniLive Psychology. London: Erlbaum. Fentress,J.C. (1973). Specific and non-specific factors in the causation of behavior. In P.P.G. Bateson & P.H...Norton. Greeno,J.G. (1974). Hobbits and orcs: acquisition of a sequential concept. Cognitive Psychology, 6, 270-292. Gregory ,R.L. (1972). Eye and Brain

  8. Selective Engagement of Cognitive Resources: Motivational Influences on Older Adults' Cognitive Functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hess, Thomas M

    2014-07-01

    In this article, I present a framework for understanding the impact of aging-related declines in cognitive resources on functioning. I make the assumption that aging is associated with an increase in the costs of cognitive engagement, as reflected in both the effort required to achieve a specific level of task performance and the associated depletion or fatigue effects. I further argue that these costs result in older adults being increasingly selective in the engagement of cognitive resources in response to these declines. This selectivity is reflected in (a) a reduction in the intrinsic motivation to engage in cognitively demanding activities, which, in part, accounts for general reductions in engagement in such activities, and (b) greater sensitivity to the self-related implications of a given task. Both processes are adaptive if viewed in terms of resource conservation, but the former may also be maladaptive to the extent that it results in older adults restricting participation in cognitively demanding activities that could ultimately benefit cognitive health. I review supportive research and make the general case for the importance of considering motivational factors in understanding aging effects on cognitive functioning. © The Author(s) 2014.

  9. Clinical assessment of social cognitive function in neurological disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Julie D; von Hippel, William; Molenberghs, Pascal; Lee, Teresa; Sachdev, Perminder S

    2016-01-01

    Social cognition broadly refers to the processing of social information in the brain that underlies abilities such as the detection of others' emotions and responding appropriately to these emotions. Social cognitive skills are critical for successful communication and, consequently, mental health and wellbeing. Disturbances of social cognition are early and salient features of many neuropsychiatric, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, and often occur after acute brain injury. Its assessment in the clinic is, therefore, of paramount importance. Indeed, the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) introduced social cognition as one of six core components of neurocognitive function, alongside memory and executive control. Failures of social cognition most often present as poor theory of mind, reduced affective empathy, impaired social perception or abnormal social behaviour. Standard neuropsychological assessments lack the precision and sensitivity needed to adequately inform treatment of these failures. In this Review, we present appropriate methods of assessment for each of the four domains, using an example disorder to illustrate the value of these approaches. We discuss the clinical applications of testing for social cognitive function, and finally suggest a five-step algorithm for the evaluation and treatment of impairments, providing quantitative evidence to guide the selection of social cognitive measures in clinical practice.

  10. Cognitive function in unaffected twins discordant for affective disorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Maj Vinberg; Kyvik, Kirsten Ohm; Kessing, Lars Vedel

    2006-01-01

    is associated with cognitive impairment. METHOD: In a cross-sectional high-risk case-control study, healthy monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins with (High-Risk twins) and without (the control group/Low-Risk twins) a co-twin history of affective disorder were identified through nationwide registers....... Cognitive performance of 203 High-Risk and Low-Risk twins was compared. RESULTS: Healthy twins discordant for unipolar disorder showed lower performance on almost all measures of cognitive function: selective and sustained attention, executive function, language processing and working and declarative memory......, and also after adjustment for demographic variables, subclinical symptoms and minor psychopathology. Healthy twins discordant for bipolar disorder showed lower performance on tests measuring episodic and working memory, also after adjustment for the above-mentioned covariables. The discrete cognitive...

  11. Current evidence on dietary pattern and cognitive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheung, Bernice H K; Ho, Ivan C H; Chan, Ruth S M; Sea, Mandy M M; Woo, Jean

    2014-01-01

    With global aging population, age-related cognitive decline becomes epidemic. Lifestyle-related factor is one of the key preventative measures. Dietary pattern analysis which considers dietary complexity has recently used to examine the linkage between nutrition and cognitive function. A priori approach defines dietary pattern based on existing knowledge. Results of several dietary pattern scores were summarized. The heterogeneity of assessment methods and outcome measurements lead to inconsistent results. Posteriori approach derives a dietary pattern independently of the existing nutrition-disease knowledge. It showed a dietary pattern abundant with plant-based food, oily fish, lower consumption of processed food, saturated fat, and simple sugar which appears to be beneficial to cognitive health. Despite inconclusive evidence from both approaches, diet and exercise, beneficial for other diseases, remains to be the two key modifiable factors for cognitive function. Large-scale prospective studies in multiethics population are required to provide stronger evidence in the future.

  12. The relationship between change in cognition and change in functional ability in schizophrenia during cognitive and psychosocial rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rispaud, Samuel G; Rose, Jennifer; Kurtz, Matthew M

    2016-10-30

    While a wealth of studies have evaluated cross-sectional links between cognition and functioning in schizophrenia, few have investigated the relationship between change in cognition and change in functioning in the context of treatment trials targeted at cognition. Identifying cognitive skills that, when improved, predict improvement in functioning will guide the development of more targeted rehabilitation for this population. The present study identifies the relationship between change in specific cognitive skills and change in functional ability during one year of cognitive rehabilitation. Ninety-six individuals with schizophrenia were assessed with a battery of cognitive measures and a measure of performance-based functioning before and after cognitive training consisting of either drill-and-practice cognitive remediation or computer skills training. Results revealed that while working and episodic memory, problem-solving, and processing speed skills all improved during the trial, only improved working memory and processing speed skills predicted improvement in functional ability. Secondary analyses revealed these relationships were driven by individuals who showed a moderate level (SD≥0.5) of cognitive improvement during the trial. These findings suggest that while a variety of cognitive skills may improve during training targeted at cognition, only improvements in a subset of cognitive functions may translate into functional gains.

  13. Control of Dendritic Spine Morphological and Functional Plasticity by Small GTPases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin M. Woolfrey

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Structural plasticity of excitatory synapses is a vital component of neuronal development, synaptic plasticity, and behaviour. Abnormal development or regulation of excitatory synapses has also been strongly implicated in many neurodevelopmental, psychiatric, and neurodegenerative disorders. In the mammalian forebrain, the majority of excitatory synapses are located on dendritic spines, specialized dendritic protrusions that are enriched in actin. Research over recent years has begun to unravel the complexities involved in the regulation of dendritic spine structure. The small GTPase family of proteins have emerged as key regulators of structural plasticity, linking extracellular signals with the modulation of dendritic spines, which potentially underlies their ability to influence cognition. Here we review a number of studies that examine how small GTPases are activated and regulated in neurons and furthermore how they can impact actin dynamics, and thus dendritic spine morphology. Elucidating this signalling process is critical for furthering our understanding of the basic mechanisms by which information is encoded in neural circuits but may also provide insight into novel targets for the development of effective therapies to treat cognitive dysfunction seen in a range of neurological disorders.

  14. Apparent plasticity in functional traits determining competitive ability and spatial distribution: a case from desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Jiang-Bo; Xu, Gui-Qing; Jenerette, G Darrel; Bai, Yong-fei; Wang, Zhong-Yuan; Li, Yan

    2015-07-20

    Species competitive abilities and their distributions are closely related to functional traits such as biomass allocation patterns. When we consider how nutrient supply affects competitive abilities, quantifying the apparent and true plasticity in functional traits is important because the allometric relationships among traits are universal in plants. We propose to integrate the notion of allometry and the classical reaction norm into a composite theoretical framework that quantifies the apparent and true plasticity. Combining the framework with a meta-analysis, a series of field surveys and a competition experiment, we aimed to determine the causes of the dune/interdune distribution patterns of two Haloxylon species in the Gurbantonggut Desert. We found that (1) the biomass allocation patterns of both Haloxylon species in responses to environmental conditions were apparent rather than true plasticity and (2) the allometric allocation patterns affected the plants' competition for soil nutrient supply. A key implication of our results is that the apparent plasticity in functional traits of plants determines their response to environmental change. Without identifying the apparent and true plasticity, we would substantially overestimate the magnitude, duration and even the direction of plant responses in functional traits to climate change.

  15. Effects of cognitive remediation therapy versus other interventions on cognitive functioning in schizophrenia inpatients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linke, Magdalena; Jankowski, Konrad S; Wichniak, Adam; Jarema, Marek; Wykes, Til

    2017-05-01

    Computerised cognitive remediation therapy (CCRT) has been shown to improve cognitive function in individuals with schizophrenia beyond effects of other forms of therapy. However, results vary between studies, and most are aimed at individuals who are living in the community. Very few studies have investigated its efficacy in psychiatric wards in order to assess whether or not this is a suitable site to start the therapy. This study evaluated CCRT efficacy among schizophrenia inpatients who received a broad range of therapeutic interventions in a psychiatric ward. A randomised controlled trial of CCRT versus an active control in 66 young inpatients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia was conducted. The intervention lasted for 6 weeks and its efficacy was assessed with the composite score of the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery. Both groups improved similarly in cognitive function and psychopathological symptoms. However, the CCRT group improved more than the controls in negative symptoms. This result shows that providing a drill and practice cognitive remediation to inpatients does not produce benefits for cognitive functioning substantially greater than other forms of therapy provided in a ward, but it is more efficient in reduction of negative symptoms. Our results suggest that CRT might be considered as a promising intervention for reducing negative symptoms in schizophrenia individuals.

  16. Early Bifrontal Brain Injury: Disturbances in Cognitive Function Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Bonnier

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available We describe six psychomotor, language, and neuropsychological sequential developmental evaluations in a boy who sustained a severe bifrontal traumatic brain injury (TBI at 19 months of age. Visuospatial, drawing, and writing skills failed to develop normally. Gradually increasing difficulties were noted in language leading to reading and spontaneous speech difficulties. The last two evaluations showed executive deficits in inhibition, flexibility, and working memory. Those executive abnormalities seemed to be involved in the other impairments. In conclusion, early frontal brain injury disorganizes the development of cognitive functions, and interactions exist between executive function and other cognitive functions during development.

  17. Does caregiving stress affect cognitive function in older women?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sunmin; Kawachi, Ichiro; Grodstein, Francine

    2004-01-01

    Increasing numbers of women provide care to their ill spouses; however, no studies have examined possible effects of caregiving stress on cognitive function. We administered 6 tests of cognitive function to 13740 Nurses' Health Study participants aged 70-79 years. We collected information on caregiving and numerous potential confounding variables via biennial mailed questionnaires. After adjustment for potential confounders (age, education, mental health index, vitality index, use of antidepressants, and history of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease), we found modest but significantly increased risks of low cognitive function on three of the cognitive tests among women who provided care to a disabled or ill spouse compared with women who did not provide any care. For example, on the TICS, a test of general cognition, the risk of a low score was 31% higher in women who provided care compared with women who did not (RR = 1.31, 95% CI 1.10, 1.56). We found a moderately increased risk of poor performance on several cognitive tests among women who provided care to their disabled or ill husbands.

  18. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for severe Functional Disorders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fjorback, Lone Overby

      MINDFULNESS-BASED COGNITIVE THERAPY FOR FUNCTIONAL DISORDERS- A RANDOMISED CONTROLLED TRIAL Background: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a group skills-training program developed by Kabat-Zinn. It is designed to teach patients to become more aware of and relate differently to their ......  MINDFULNESS-BASED COGNITIVE THERAPY FOR FUNCTIONAL DISORDERS- A RANDOMISED CONTROLLED TRIAL Background: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a group skills-training program developed by Kabat-Zinn. It is designed to teach patients to become more aware of and relate differently...... to their thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. Randomised controlled studies of MBSR have shown mitigation of stress, anxiety, and dysphoria in general population and reduction in total mood disturbance and stress symptoms in a medical population. In Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy MBSR is recombined...... with cognitive therapy. Aim: To examine the efficacy of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in severe Functional disorders, defined as severe Bodily Distress Disorder. Method: 120 patients are randomised to either Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy: a manualized programme with eight weekly 3 ½ hour group...

  19. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for severe Functional Disorders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fjorback, Lone Overby

    MINDFULNESS-BASED COGNITIVE THERAPY FOR FUNCTIONAL DISORDERS- A RANDOMISED CONTROLLED TRIAL   Background: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a group skills-training program developed by Kabat-Zinn. It is designed to teach patients to become more aware of and relate differently to their ......MINDFULNESS-BASED COGNITIVE THERAPY FOR FUNCTIONAL DISORDERS- A RANDOMISED CONTROLLED TRIAL   Background: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a group skills-training program developed by Kabat-Zinn. It is designed to teach patients to become more aware of and relate differently...... to their thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. Randomised controlled studies of MBSR have shown mitigation of stress, anxiety, and dysphoria in general population and reduction in total mood disturbance and stress symptoms in a medical population. In Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy MBSR is recombined...... with cognitive therapy. Aim: To examine the efficacy of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in severe Functional disorders, defined as severe Bodily Distress Disorder. Method: 120 patients are randomised to either Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy: a manualized programme with eight weekly 3 ½ hour group...

  20. EEG-based research on brain functional networks in cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Niannian; Zhang, Li; Liu, Guozhong

    2015-01-01

    Recently, exploring the cognitive functions of the brain by establishing a network model to understand the working mechanism of the brain has become a popular research topic in the field of neuroscience. In this study, electroencephalography (EEG) was used to collect data from subjects given four different mathematical cognitive tasks: recite numbers clockwise and counter-clockwise, and letters clockwise and counter-clockwise to build a complex brain function network (BFN). By studying the connectivity features and parameters of those brain functional networks, it was found that the average clustering coefficient is much larger than its corresponding random network and the average shortest path length is similar to the corresponding random networks, which clearly shows the characteristics of the small-world network. The brain regions stimulated during the experiment are consistent with traditional cognitive science regarding learning, memory, comprehension, and other rational judgment results. The new method of complex networking involves studying the mathematical cognitive process of reciting, providing an effective research foundation for exploring the relationship between brain cognition and human learning skills and memory. This could help detect memory deficits early in young and mentally handicapped children, and help scientists understand the causes of cognitive brain disorders.

  1. Depressive symptoms and cognitive functioning among older adults with cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morin, Ruth T; Midlarsky, Elizabeth

    2017-08-08

    The US population of older adults is growing, with an increase in diseases like cancer. As cancer rates increase, there is a concomitant increase in adverse correlates, such as cognitive impairment and depressive symptomatology. In order to develop appropriate interventions, it is vital to assess relationships among cancer, depressive symptoms and cognitive functioning. The sample consisted of 403 older adults with cancer diagnoses from the Health and Retirement Study. Using latent class growth analysis, longitudinal data were explored. The goals were to investigate trajectories of cognitive functioning, and to identify whether depressive symptoms and demographic factors predicted membership in the cognitive classes. Three classes of cognitive functioning best fit the data: High, Middle and Low Recall, fairly stable trajectories from pre-diagnosis to a period four years after diagnosis. More depressive symptoms after diagnosis (but not prior) significantly predicted membership in the Low Recall class. Depressive symptoms did not distinguish between the High and Middle Recall classes. Depressive symptomatology is thought to affect cognition in late life. We found that depressive symptoms after a cancer diagnosis, but not before, successfully differentiated between those who had Low Recall from those with Middle and High Recall. Implications are discussed.

  2. Comparison of social cognitive functioning in schizophrenia and high functioning autism: more convergence than divergence

    OpenAIRE

    Couture, S. M.; Penn, D. L.; Losh, M.; Adolphs, R.; Hurley, R; Piven, J.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Individuals with schizophrenia and individuals with high-functioning autism (HFA) seem to share some social, behavioral and biological features. Although marked impairments in social cognition have been documented in both groups, little empirical work has compared the social cognitive functioning of these two clinical groups. Method: Forty-four individuals with schizophrenia, 36 with HFA and 41 non-clinical controls completed a battery of social cognitive measures that have been l...

  3. Correlation between physical function, cognitive function, and health-related quality of life in elderly persons

    OpenAIRE

    Kim, DeokJu

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] This study aimed to assess the quality of life of elderly people related to physical function, cognitive function, and health, and devised methods to enhance their health-related quality of life. [Subjects and Methods] This study was conducted from November 2014 to January 2015 in 140 people over 65 registered at welfare centers. Those with a functional psychological disorder or difficulty communicating were excluded. Data were collected for physical function, cognitive function, an...

  4. Assessment of cognitive function in patients with myasthenia gravis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sherifa A Hamed

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Aim: During the past decade, there has been an increasing interest in the evaluation of cognitive function in myasthenia gravis (MG, neuromuscular transmission disorder caused by acetylcholine receptor auto-antibodies. However, the results of previous studies on cognition and MG are inconsistent and controversial. This study aimed to evaluate cognition in patients with mild/moderate grades of MG. Methods: This study included 20 patients with MG with a mean age of 28.45 ± 8.89 years and duration of illness of 3.52 ± 1.15 years. Cognition was tested using a sensitive battery of psychometric testing (Mini-mental State Examination [MMSE], Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale 4 th edition [SBIS] and Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised [WMS-R] and by recording P300 component of event-related potentials (ERPs, a neurophysiological analog for cognitive function. Results: Compared with healthy subjects (n = 20, patients had lower total scores of cognitive testing (MMSE, SBIS and WMS-R (P = 0.001, higher Beck Depression Inventory 2 nd edition scores (P = 0.0001 and prolonged latencies (P = 0.01 and reduced amplitudes (P = 0.001 of P300 component of ERPs. Correlations were identified between total scores of cognitive testing and age (r = -0.470, P = 0.010, duration of illness (r = -0.788, P = 0.001 and depression scores (r = -0.323, P = 0.045. Using linear regression analysis and after controlling for age and depression scores, a significant correlation was identified between total scores of cognitive testing and duration of illness (β = -0.305, P = 0.045. Conclusion: Patients with mild/moderate MG may have cognitive dysfunction. This is important to determine prognosis and managing patients.

  5. Does Cognitive Function Increase over Time in the Healthy Elderly?

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Rotrou, Jocelyne; Wu, Ya-Huei; Mabire, Jean-Bernard; Moulin, Florence; de Jong, Laura W.; Rigaud, Anne-Sophie; Hanon, Olivier; Vidal, Jean-Sébastien

    2013-01-01

    Background In dementia screening, most studies have focused on early cognitive impairment by comparing patients suffering from mild dementia or mild cognitive impairment with normal subjects. Few studies have focused on modifications over time of the cognitive function in the healthy elderly. The objective of the present study was to analyze the cognitive function changes of two different samples, born > 15 years apart. Method A first sample of 204 cognitively normal participants was recruited in the memory clinic of Broca hospital between 1991 and 1997. A second sample of 177 cognitively normal participants was recruited in 2008–2009 in the same institution. Both samples were from the same districts of Paris and were assessed with the same neuropsychological test battery. Mean cognitive test scores were compared between 1991 and 2008 samples, between < 80 years old and ≥ 80 years old in 1991 and 2008 samples, and finally between subjects < 80 year old of 1991 sample and subjects ≥ 80 years old of the 2008 sample. Means were compared with T-tests stratified on gender, age-groups and educational level. Results Cognitive scores were significantly higher in the 2008 sample. Participants < 80 years old outperformed those ≥ 80 in both samples. However, participants < 80 years old in 1991 sample and subjects ≥ 80 in the 2008 sample, born on average in 1923, performed mostly identically. Conclusion This study showed a significant increase of cognitive scores over time. Further, contemporary octogenarians in the later sample performed like septuagenarians in the former sample. These findings might be consistent with the increase in life expectancy and life span in good health. The study highlights the necessity to take into account factors which may contaminate and artificially inflate the age-related differences in favor of younger to the older adults. PMID:24244332

  6. Does cognitive function increase over time in the healthy elderly?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jocelyne de Rotrou

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In dementia screening, most studies have focused on early cognitive impairment by comparing patients suffering from mild dementia or mild cognitive impairment with normal subjects. Few studies have focused on modifications over time of the cognitive function in the healthy elderly. The objective of the present study was to analyze the cognitive function changes of two different samples, born > 15 years apart. METHOD: A first sample of 204 cognitively normal participants was recruited in the memory clinic of Broca hospital between 1991 and 1997. A second sample of 177 cognitively normal participants was recruited in 2008-2009 in the same institution. Both samples were from the same districts of Paris and were assessed with the same neuropsychological test battery. Mean cognitive test scores were compared between 1991 and 2008 samples, between < 80 years old and ≥ 80 years old in 1991 and 2008 samples, and finally between subjects < 80 year old of 1991 sample and subjects ≥ 80 years old of the 2008 sample. Means were compared with T-tests stratified on gender, age-groups and educational level. RESULTS: Cognitive scores were significantly higher in the 2008 sample. Participants < 80 years old outperformed those ≥ 80 in both samples. However, participants < 80 years old in 1991 sample and subjects ≥ 80 in the 2008 sample, born on average in 1923, performed mostly identically. CONCLUSION: This study showed a significant increase of cognitive scores over time. Further, contemporary octogenarians in the later sample performed like septuagenarians in the former sample. These findings might be consistent with the increase in life expectancy and life span in good health. The study highlights the necessity to take into account factors which may contaminate and artificially inflate the age-related differences in favor of younger to the older adults.

  7. Cognitive reserve moderates long-term cognitive and functional outcome in cerebral small vessel disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jokinen, Hanna; Melkas, Susanna; Madureira, Sofia; Verdelho, Ana; Ferro, José M; Fazekas, Franz; Schmidt, Reinhold; Scheltens, Philip; Barkhof, Frederik; Wardlaw, Joanna M; Inzitari, Domenico; Pantoni, Leonardo; Erkinjuntti, Timo

    2016-12-01

    Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) is characterised by progressive white matter hyperintensities (WMH), cognitive decline and loss of functional independence. The correspondence between neuroimaging findings and the severity of clinical symptoms has been modest, however, and thus the outcome may be affected by various host factors. We investigated the predictive value of educational and occupational attainments as proxy measures of cognitive reserve on long-term cognitive and functional outcome in patients with different degrees of WMH. In the Leukoaraiosis and Disability (LADIS) study, 615 older individuals with WMH were evaluated with brain MRI and detailed clinical and neuropsychological assessments at 3-year follow-up. A prolonged follow-up of functional and cognitive status was administered with a structured telephone interview after up to 7 years. Higher levels of educational and occupational attainment were strongly related to baseline cognitive scores and predicted a slower rate of decline at 3-year follow-up in measures of processing speed, executive functions and memory independently of WMH volume and other confounders. The deleterious effect of WMH on processing speed and memory was moderated by education and occupation. Education mitigated the relation of WMH volume on 7-year cognitive status. Moreover, higher education and occupational attainments were related to favourable outcome at 7-year follow-up as defined by sustained functional independence and lower mortality. The results support the presumption that cognitive reserve plays a significant role as a buffer against the clinical manifestations of SVD and may in part explain high individual variability in outcome. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

  8. Predictors of functional disability in mild cognitive impairment and dementia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Rossum, M. E.; Koek, H. L.

    2016-01-01

    Objective Knowledge about factors predicting functional disability in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia would help health care providers to identify those patients who are at high risk of functional disability. Previous research is scarce and focused on only a small number of possible pre

  9. Contribution of physical fitness, cerebrovascular reserve and cognitive stimulation to cognitive function in post-menopausal women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskes, Gail A; Longman, Stewart; Brown, Allison D; McMorris, Carly A; Langdon, Kristopher D; Hogan, David B; Poulin, Marc

    2010-01-01

    Studies of the effects of physical fitness on cognition suggest that exercise can improve cognitive abilities in healthy older adults, as well as delay the onset of age-related cognitive decline. The mechanisms for the positive benefit of exercise and how these effects interact with other variables known to influence cognitive function (e.g., involvement in cognitive activities) are less well understood. The current study examined the associations between the physical fitness, cerebrovascular blood flow regulation and involvement in cognitive activities with neuropsychological function in healthy post-menopausal women. Forty-two healthy women between the ages of 55 and 90 were recruited. Physical fitness (V˙O2 max), cerebrovascular reserve (cerebral blood flow during rest and response to an increase in end-tidal (i.e., arterial) PCO2), and cognitive activity (self-reported number and hours of involvement in cognitive activities) were assessed. The association of these variables with neuropsychological performance was examined through linear regression. Physical fitness, cerebrovascular reserve and total number of cognitive activities (but not total hours) were independent predictors of cognitive function, particularly measures of overall cognitive performance, attention and executive function. In addition, prediction of neuropsychological performance was better with multiple variables than each alone. Cognitive function in older adults is associated with multiple factors, including physical fitness, cerebrovascular health and cognitive stimulation. Interestingly, cognitive stimulation effects appear related more to the diversity of activities, rather than the duration of activity. Further examination of these relationships is ongoing in a prospective cohort study.

  10. Principles of brain plasticity in improving sensorimotor function of the knee and leg in healthy subjects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ageberg, Eva; Bjorkman, Anders; Rosen, Birgitta

    2009-01-01

    in sensorimotor function often persists despite training. Therefore, it was suggested that training programs need to be more effective to improve sensorimotor function after knee injury. The aim of the current study was to investigate if principles of brain plasticity that have been successfully used on the hand......ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Principles of brain plasticity are used in the treatment of patients with functional limitations to improve sensorimotor function. Training is included in the treatment of knee injury to improve both patient-reported function and sensorimotor function. However, impairment...... group. There were no differences between the groups due to treatment effect (EMLA vs. placebo). CONCLUSION: We found no effect of temporary cutaneous anesthesia on sensorimotor function of the ipsilateral knee and leg in uninjured subjects. The principles used in this study remain to be tested...

  11. GABA through the Ages: Regulation of Cortical Function and Plasticity by Inhibitory Interneurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konrad Lehmann

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Inhibitory interneurons comprise only about 20% of cortical neurons and thus constitute a clear minority compared to the vast number of excitatory projection neurons. They are, however, an influential minority with important roles in cortical maturation, function, and plasticity. In this paper, we will highlight the functional importance of cortical inhibition throughout brain development, starting with the embryonal formation of the cortex, proceeding by the regulation of sensory cortical plasticity in adulthood, and finishing with the GABA involvement in sensory information processing in old age.

  12. Neurochemical and Neuroanatomical Plasticity Following Memory Training and Yoga Interventions in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongyu Yang

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Behavioral interventions are becoming increasingly popular approaches to ameliorate age-related cognitive decline, but their underlying neurobiological mechanisms and clinical efficiency have not been fully elucidated. The present study explored brain plasticity associated with two behavioral interventions, memory enhancement training (MET and a mind-body practice (yogic meditation, in healthy seniors with mild cognitive impairment (MCI using structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS. Senior participants (age ≥ 55 years with MCI were randomized to the MET or yogic meditation interventions. For both interventions, participants completed either MET training or Kundalini yoga for 60-min sessions over 12 weeks, with 12-min daily homework assignments. Gray matter volume and metabolite concentrations in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC and bilateral hippocampus were measured by structural MRI and 1H-MRS at baseline and after 12 weeks of training. Metabolites measured included glutamate-glutamine (Glx, choline-containing compounds (Cho, including glycerophosphocholine and phosphocholine, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA, and N-acetyl aspartate and N-acetylaspartyl-glutamate (NAA-NAAG. In total, 11 participants completed MET and 14 completed yogic meditation for this study. Structural MRI analysis showed an interaction between time and group in dACC, indicating a trend towards increased gray matter volume after the MET intervention. 1H-MRS analysis showed an interaction between time and group in choline-containing compounds in bilateral hippocampus, induced by significant decreases after the MET intervention. Though preliminary, our results suggest that memory training induces structural and neurochemical plasticity in seniors with mild cognitive impairment. Further research is needed to determine whether mind-body interventions like yoga yield similar neuroplastic changes.

  13. Standards for thyroid laboratory testing, and cognitive functions after menopause

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iwona Bojar

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction : The aim of the study is to analyze the relationship between normative and non-normative thyroid tests (TSH, TT4, TT3, FT3, FT4, anti-TPO, anti-Tg, AB-TSHR and the level of cognitive functions in postmenopausal women. Material and methods: The study group consisted of 383 women from south-eastern Poland, aged 50-65 years. The cognitive functions were evaluated using a diagnostic instrument – Central Nervous System – Vital Signs (CNS-VS. Blood was collected for determination of the following parameters: TSH, TT4, TT3, FT3, FT4, anti-TPO, anti-Tg, AB-TSHR. Results: There were significant differences in NCI, executive functions, psychomotor speed, reaction time, complex attention and cognitive flexibility, depending on the normative and non-normative level of TSH. Women whose level of FT3 was at the lower limit of the normal range obtained poorer results in psychomotor speed, while subjects with levels of FT4 below the standard achieved significantly lower scores for this function. The relationship between NCI and cognitive functions, and the normative and non-normative anti-TPO results, showed significant differences in verbal memory, visual memory, processing speed and reaction time. The level of AB-TSHR reported as normal or above the norm significantly differentiated from the results of NCI, processing speed, executive functions, psychomotor speed, complex attention and cognitive flexibility. Conclusions : Concentrations of laboratory parameters assessing the thyroid function located within the upper limits of the normal range showed a different relationship with the cognitive performance than concentrations located within the lower limits of the standard.

  14. Visual steady state in relation to age and cognitive function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyhr Thomsen, Mia; Wiegand, Iris; Horwitz, Henrik; Klemp, Marc; Nikolic, Miki; Rask, Lene; Lauritzen, Martin; Benedek, Krisztina

    2017-01-01

    Neocortical gamma activity is crucial for sensory perception and cognition. This study examines the value of using non-task stimulation-induced EEG oscillations to predict cognitive status in a birth cohort of healthy Danish males (Metropolit) with varying cognitive ability. In particular, we examine the steady-state VEP power response (SSVEP-PR) in the alpha (8Hz) and gamma (36Hz) bands in 54 males (avg. age: 62.0 years) and compare these with 10 young healthy participants (avg. age 27.6 years). Furthermore, we correlate the individual alpha-to-gamma difference in relative visual-area power (ΔRV) with cognitive scores for the older adults. We find that ΔRV decrease with age by just over one standard deviation when comparing young with old participants (p<0.01). Furthermore, intelligence is significantly negatively correlated with ΔRV in the older adult cohort, even when processing speed, global cognition, executive function, memory, and education (p<0.05). In our preferred specification, an increase in ΔRV of one standard deviation is associated with a reduction in intelligence of 48% of a standard deviation (p<0.01). Finally, we conclude that the difference in cerebral rhythmic activity between the alpha and gamma bands is associated with age and cognitive status, and that ΔRV therefore provide a non-subjective clinical tool with which to examine cognitive status in old age. PMID:28245274

  15. Cognitive stimulation of executive functions in mild cognitive impairment: specific efficacy and impact in memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moro, V; Condoleo, M T; Valbusa, V; Broggio, E; Moretto, G; Gambina, G

    2015-03-01

    Executive functions play an important role in the maintenance of autonomy in day-to-day activities. Nevertheless, there is little research into specific cognitive training for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). We present the results of a program which aims to teach specific strategies and metacognitive abilities in order for patients to be able to carry out attentional and executive tasks. Two groups (A and B) were compared in a cross-over design. After the first evaluation, Group A (but not B) participated in a six month cognitive stimulation program. After a second assessment, only Group B received treatment and then a final evaluation was carried out on both groups. The results show that: i) both groups improved their performance as an effect of training; ii) improvements generalized to memory and general cognitive tasks; iii) in the interval without training, Group B's performance worsened and iv) Group A partially maintained their results over time.

  16. Difficulties in academic writing and cognitive functions: review of studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Rodrigo Avendaño Castro

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this article is to analyze some of the difficulties of academic writing at postgraduate level, reported in certain studies within the framework of the cognitive functions concept developed by Reuven Feuerstein and other works, which allow to evidence the possible relationship between these two phenomena. To do this, we explored the conceptual framework of cognitive functions and mental operations, based on the theory of Feuerstein, et al. (1994; later, it was performed a synthesis of the difficulties described by Carlino (2007, Slafer (2009 and Hernández (2009; finally, it was established evidence of the relationship between cognitive functions and difficulties in academic writing. The results show that the different difficulties evidenced in the writing processes at postgraduate level have their source in the cognitive deficits presented in each phase of the mental act (entry, elaboration and output. It is concluded that the difficulties in academic writing recorded in the studies have a close link with cognitive functions of the elaboration and output stages of thought, even though they are only associated with the input phase.

  17. Breast Cancer Patients’ Cognitive Functioning Before and After Chemotherapy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Christina Maar; Pedersen, Anette Fischer; Mehlsen, Mimi Yung

    patients who were to receive chemotherapy scored higher on executive function than the controls (effect size (ES)=-0.202, p=0.011), but significantly lower on overall cognitive functioning as well as on the specific domains of attention, working memory, verbal learning and memory, motor function, visual......Introduction: With improvements in treatment, a growing number of breast cancer patients survive their primary cancer and require counseling from their general practitioner (GP) on how to handle long-term side-effects of treatment. Many breast cancer patients experience cognitive problems following...... chemotherapy which interfere with their abilities to fulfill social and work-related responsibilities. However, since the cause of the cognitive problems is unknown, it is difficult for GPs to offer appropriate counseling on this issue. Aim: To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available...

  18. Brain Protection and Cognitive Function: Cocoa Flavonoids as Nutraceuticals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grassi, Davide; Ferri, Claudio; Desideri, Giovambattista

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive decline and dementia are major public health social problems, suggesting the specific need to provide research into risk factors for cognitive decline as priority topic. Increasing evidence supports the hypothesis that oxidative stress and neuroinflammation might play a crucial role in the pathophysiology of cognitive decline. Further, cognitive dysfunction and dementia in Alzheimer's disease as well as in vascular dementia seem to be also the consequence of cerebral blood flow decrease and deregulation, also suggesting a putative pathophysiological convergence of mechanisms between atherosclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. In keeping with this, a growing interest has been addressed to flavonoids as potential nutraceuticals with neuroprotective effects. Of interest, cocoa beans have been described as a fundamental source of anti-oxidant flavonoids with the flavan-3-ols and their derivatives being present in high concentrations. Therefore, recent studies specifically focused on the favorable effects of flavonoid-rich cocoa and chocolate on cerebrovascular risk factors and cognitive function. Aim of this review is to summarize new findings concerning the cocoa effects on cognitive function, particularly focusing on some putative mechanisms of vascular and antioxidant action involved in preventing dementia.

  19. Cognitive Performance and Long-Term Social Functioning in Psychotic Disorder : A Three-Year Follow-Up Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Simons, Claudia J P; Bartels-Velthuis, Agna A; Pijnenborg, Gerdina H M

    2016-01-01

    Objective Studies have linked cognitive functioning to everyday social functioning in psychotic disorders, but the nature of the relationships between cognition, social cognition, symptoms, and social functioning remains unestablished. Modelling the contributions of non-social and social cognitive a

  20. Predicting cognitive function from clinical measures of physical function and health status in older adults.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niousha Bolandzadeh

    Full Text Available Current research suggests that the neuropathology of dementia-including brain changes leading to memory impairment and cognitive decline-is evident years before the onset of this disease. Older adults with cognitive decline have reduced functional independence and quality of life, and are at greater risk for developing dementia. Therefore, identifying biomarkers that can be easily assessed within the clinical setting and predict cognitive decline is important. Early recognition of cognitive decline could promote timely implementation of preventive strategies.We included 89 community-dwelling adults aged 70 years and older in our study, and collected 32 measures of physical function, health status and cognitive function at baseline. We utilized an L1-L2 regularized regression model (elastic net to identify which of the 32 baseline measures were strongly predictive of cognitive function after one year. We built three linear regression models: 1 based on baseline cognitive function, 2 based on variables consistently selected in every cross-validation loop, and 3 a full model based on all the 32 variables. Each of these models was carefully tested with nested cross-validation.Our model with the six variables consistently selected in every cross-validation loop had a mean squared prediction error of 7.47. This number was smaller than that of the full model (115.33 and the model with baseline cognitive function (7.98. Our model explained 47% of the variance in cognitive function after one year.We built a parsimonious model based on a selected set of six physical function and health status measures strongly predictive of cognitive function after one year. In addition to reducing the complexity of the model without changing the model significantly, our model with the top variables improved the mean prediction error and R-squared. These six physical function and health status measures can be easily implemented in a clinical setting.

  1. Impacts of discarded plastic bags on marine assemblages and ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Dannielle Senga; Boots, Bas; Blockley, David James; Rocha, Carlos; Thompson, Richard

    2015-05-05

    The accumulation of plastic debris is a global environmental problem due to its durability, persistence, and abundance. Although effects of plastic debris on individual marine organisms, particularly mammals and birds, have been extensively documented (e.g., entanglement and choking), very little is known about effects on assemblages and consequences for ecosystem functioning. In Europe, around 40% of the plastic items produced are utilized as single-use packaging, which rapidly accumulate in waste management facilities and as litter in the environment. A range of biodegradable plastics have been developed with the aspiration of reducing the persistence of litter; however, their impacts on marine assemblages or ecosystem functioning have never been evaluated. A field experiment was conducted to assess the impact of conventional and biodegradable plastic carrier bags as litter on benthic macro- and meio-faunal assemblages and biogeochemical processes (primary productivity, redox condition, organic matter content, and pore-water nutrients) on an intertidal shore near Dublin, Ireland. After 9 weeks, the presence of either type of bag created anoxic conditions within the sediment along with reduced primary productivity and organic matter and significantly lower abundances of infaunal invertebrates. This indicates that both conventional and biodegradable bags can rapidly alter marine assemblages and the ecosystem services they provide.

  2. Language, Conceptualization and TAM Marking: A Cognitive-functional Perspective

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jan Nuyts

    2009-01-01

    At the level of empirical phenomena, this paper deals with the system of 'Tense Aspect Modality' marking or of 'qualificational categories' in language. How is this system organized? What are the principles behind it? The major focus is on the modal categories. At the theoretical level, this paper addresses issues pertaining to the organization and functioning of the cognitive systems involved in language use, with special focus on the differences and correspondences between two major theoretical strands in present day linguistics, viz. 'functional linguistics' and 'cognitive linguistics'.

  3. Vitamin A status regulates glucocorticoid availability in Wistar rats: consequences on cognitive functions and hippocampal neurogenesis ?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damien eBonhomme

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available A disruption of the vitamin A signaling pathway has been involved in age-related memory decline and hippocampal plasticity alterations. Using vitamin A deficiency (VAD, a nutritional model leading to a hyposignaling of the retinoid pathway, we have recently demonstrated that retinoic acid (RA, the active metabolite of vitamin A, is efficient to reverse VAD-induced spatial memory deficits and adult hippocampal neurogenesis alterations. Besides, excess of glucocorticoids (GCs occurring with aging is known to strongly inhibit hippocampal plasticity and functions and few studies report on the counteracting effects of RA signaling pathway on GCs action. Here, we have addressed whether the modulation of brain GCs availability could be one of the biological mechanisms involved in the effects of vitamin A status on hippocampal plasticity and functions. Thus, we have studied the effects of a vitamin A-free diet for 14 weeks and a 4-week vitamin A supplementation on plasma and hippocampal corticosterone (CORT levels in Wistar rats. We have also investigated corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG binding capacity and 11beta-Hydrosteroid Dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1 activity, both important modulators of CORT availability at the peripheral and hippocampal levels respectively. Interestingly, we show that the vitamin A status regulates levels of free plasma CORT and hippocampal CORT levels, by acting through a regulation of CBG binding capacity and 11β-HSD1 activity. Moreover, our results suggest that increased CORT levels in VAD rats could have some deleterious consequences on spatial memory, anxiety-like behavior and adult hippocampal neurogenesis whereas these effects could be corrected by a vitamin A supplementation. Thus, the modulation of GCs availability by vitamin A status is an important biological mechanism that should be taken into account in order to prevent age-related cognitive decline and hippocampal plasticity alterations.

  4. Social cognition, empathy and functional outcome in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks, Amy; McDonald, Skye; Lino, Bianca; O'Donnell, Maryanne; Green, Melissa J

    2010-09-01

    Social and occupational functioning difficulties are a characteristic feature of schizophrenia, and a growing body of evidence suggests that deficits in social cognition contribute significantly to these functional impairments. The present study sought to investigate whether the association between social cognition and social functioning in schizophrenia would be mediated by self-reported levels of empathy. Thirty outpatients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, and twenty-five healthy controls completed a well-validated facial affect processing task (Ekman 60-faces facial task from the Facial Expressions of Emotion - Stimuli and Tests; FEEST), The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT; to assess emotion perception and complex social cognitive skills such as the detection of sarcasm and deceit, from realistic social exchanges), and measures of self-reported empathy and social functioning. Participants with schizophrenia performed more poorly than controls in identifying emotional states from both FEEST and TASIT stimuli, and were impaired in their ability to comprehend counterfactual information in social exchanges, including sarcasm and lies, on the TASIT. Impairment in the comprehension of sarcasm was associated with higher empathic personal distress, and lower recreational functioning. Impairment in the identification of the emotions of others was found to be associated with lower satisfaction and lower empathic fantasy. However, empathy could not be explored as a mediator of associations between social cognition and functional outcome, due to lack of common associations with functional outcome measures. These findings have implications for the remediation of specific social cognitive deficits with respect to improving functional outcomes in schizophrenia.

  5. A critical evaluation of the activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc/Arg3.1 ’s putative role in regulating dendritic plasticity, cognitive processes, and mood in animal models of depression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan eLi

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Major depressive disorder (MDD is primarily conceptualized as a mood disorder but cognitive dysfunction is also prevalent, and may limit the daily function of MDD patients. Current theories on MDD highlight disturbances in dendritic plasticity in its pathophysiology, which could conceivably play a role in the production of both MDD-related mood and cognitive symptoms. This paper attempts to review the accumulated knowledge on the basic biology of the activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc or Arg3.1, its effects on neural plasticity, and how these may be related to mood or cognitive dysfunction in animal models of MDD. On a cellular level, Arc is found to play an important role in modulating dendritic spine density and remodeling. Arc is also found to have a close, bidirectional relationship with postsynaptic glutamate neurotransmission, since it is stimulated by multiple glutamatergic receptor mechanisms but also modulates α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA receptor internalization. The effects on AMPA receptor trafficking are likely related to Arc’s ability to modulate phenomena such as long-term potentiation, long-term depression, and synaptic scaling, each of which are important for maintaining proper cognitive function. Animal studies of chronic stress models of MDD show suppressed Arc expression in the frontal cortex but elevation in the amygdala. Interestingly, cognitive tasks depending on the frontal cortex are generally impaired by chronic stress, while those depending on the amygdala are enhanced, and antidepressant treatments stimulate cortical Arc expression with a timeline that is reminiscent of the treatment efficacy lag observed in the clinic or in preclinical models. However, pharmacological treatments that stimulate regional Arc expression do not universally improve relevant cognitive functions, and this highlights a need to further refine our understanding of Arc on a subcellular and

  6. A critical evaluation of the activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc/Arg3.1)'s putative role in regulating dendritic plasticity, cognitive processes, and mood in animal models of depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yan; Pehrson, Alan L; Waller, Jessica A; Dale, Elena; Sanchez, Connie; Gulinello, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is primarily conceptualized as a mood disorder but cognitive dysfunction is also prevalent, and may limit the daily function of MDD patients. Current theories on MDD highlight disturbances in dendritic plasticity in its pathophysiology, which could conceivably play a role in the production of both MDD-related mood and cognitive symptoms. This paper attempts to review the accumulated knowledge on the basic biology of the activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc or Arg3.1), its effects on neural plasticity, and how these may be related to mood or cognitive dysfunction in animal models of MDD. On a cellular level, Arc plays an important role in modulating dendritic spine density and remodeling. Arc also has a close, bidirectional relationship with postsynaptic glutamate neurotransmission, since it is stimulated by multiple glutamatergic receptor mechanisms but also modulates α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor internalization. The effects on AMPA receptor trafficking are likely related to Arc's ability to modulate phenomena such as long-term potentiation, long-term depression, and synaptic scaling, each of which are important for maintaining proper cognitive function. Chronic stress models of MDD in animals show suppressed Arc expression in the frontal cortex but elevation in the amygdala. Interestingly, cognitive tasks depending on the frontal cortex are generally impaired by chronic stress, while those depending on the amygdala are enhanced, and antidepressant treatments stimulate cortical Arc expression with a timeline that is reminiscent of the treatment efficacy lag observed in the clinic or in preclinical models. However, pharmacological treatments that stimulate regional Arc expression do not universally improve relevant cognitive functions, and this highlights a need to further refine our understanding of Arc on a subcellular and network level.

  7. Does cognitive function predict frequency compressed speech recognition in listeners with normal hearing and normal cognition?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Rachel J; Munro, Kevin J

    2013-01-01

    The aim was to investigate the relationship between cognitive ability and frequency compressed speech recognition in listeners with normal hearing and normal cognition. Speech-in-noise recognition was measured using Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers sentences presented over earphones at 65 dB SPL and a range of signal-to-noise ratios. There were three conditions: unprocessed, and at frequency compression ratios of 2:1 and 3:1 (cut-off frequency, 1.6 kHz). Working memory and cognitive ability were measured using the reading span test and the trail making test, respectively. Participants were 15 young normally-hearing adults with normal cognition. There was a statistically significant reduction in mean speech recognition from around 80% when unprocessed to 40% for 2:1 compression and 30% for 3:1 compression. There was a statistically significant relationship between speech recognition and cognition for the unprocessed condition but not for the frequency-compressed conditions. The relationship between cognitive functioning and recognition of frequency compressed speech-in-noise was not statistically significant. The findings may have been different if the participants had been provided with training and/or time to 'acclimatize' to the frequency-compressed conditions.

  8. Cognitive functioning in young children with type 1 diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cato, M Allison; Mauras, Nelly; Ambrosino, Jodie; Bondurant, Aiden; Conrad, Amy L; Kollman, Craig; Cheng, Peiyao; Beck, Roy W; Ruedy, Katrina J; Aye, Tandy; Reiss, Allan L; White, Neil H; Hershey, Tamara

    2014-02-01

    The aim of this study was to assess cognitive functioning in children with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and examine whether glycemic history influences cognitive function. Neuropsychological evaluation of 216 children (healthy controls, n = 72; T1D, n = 144) ages 4-10 years across five DirecNet sites. Cognitive domains included IQ, Executive Functions, Learning and Memory, and Processing Speed. Behavioral, mood, parental IQ data, and T1D glycemic history since diagnosis were collected. The cohorts did not differ in age, gender or parent IQ. Median T1D duration was 2.5 years and average onset age was 4 years. After covarying age, gender, and parental IQ, the IQ and the Executive Functions domain scores trended lower (both p = .02, not statistically significant adjusting for multiple comparisons) with T1D relative to controls. Children with T1D were rated by parents as having more depressive and somatic symptoms (p < .001). Learning and memory (p = .46) and processing speed (p = .25) were similar. Trends in the data supported that the degree of hyperglycemia was associated with Executive Functions, and to a lesser extent, Child IQ and Learning and Memory. Differences in cognition are subtle in young children with T1D within 2 years of onset. Longitudinal evaluations will help determine whether these findings change or become more pronounced with time.

  9. Cognitive analysis of schizophrenia risk genes that function as epigenetic regulators of gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitton, Laura; Cosgrove, Donna; Clarkson, Christopher; Harold, Denise; Kendall, Kimberley; Richards, Alex; Mantripragada, Kiran; Owen, Michael J; O'Donovan, Michael C; Walters, James; Hartmann, Annette; Konte, Betina; Rujescu, Dan; Gill, Michael; Corvin, Aiden; Rea, Stephen; Donohoe, Gary; Morris, Derek W

    2016-12-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms are an important heritable and dynamic means of regulating various genomic functions, including gene expression, to orchestrate brain development, adult neurogenesis, and synaptic plasticity. These processes when perturbed are thought to contribute to schizophrenia pathophysiology. A core feature of schizophrenia is cognitive dysfunction. For genetic disorders where cognitive impairment is more severe such as intellectual disability, there are a disproportionally high number of genes involved in the epigenetic regulation of gene transcription. Evidence now supports some shared genetic aetiology between schizophrenia and intellectual disability. GWAS have identified 108 chromosomal regions associated with schizophrenia risk that span 350 genes. This study identified genes mapping to those loci that have epigenetic functions, and tested the risk alleles defining those loci for association with cognitive deficits. We developed a list of 350 genes with epigenetic functions and cross-referenced this with the GWAS loci. This identified eight candidate genes: BCL11B, CHD7, EP300, EPC2, GATAD2A, KDM3B, RERE, SATB2. Using a dataset of Irish psychosis cases and controls (n = 1235), the schizophrenia risk SNPs at these loci were tested for effects on IQ, working memory, episodic memory, and attention. Strongest associations were for rs6984242 with both measures of IQ (P = 0.001) and episodic memory (P = 0.007). We link rs6984242 to CHD7 via a long range eQTL. These associations were not replicated in independent samples. Our study highlights that a number of genes mapping to risk loci for schizophrenia may function as epigenetic regulators of gene expression but further studies are required to establish a role for these genes in cognition. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Functionalism as a philosophical theory of the cognitive sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polger, Thomas W

    2012-05-01

    Functionalism is a philosophical theory (or family of theories) concerning the nature of mental states. According to functionalism psychological/cognitive states are essentially functional states of whole systems. Functionalism characterizes psychological states essentially according to what they do, by their relations to stimulus inputs and behavioral outputs as well as their relations to other psychological and nonpsychological internal states of a system. The central constructive relation for functionalism is the so-called realization relation. Realization is a proposal for how psychological states can be real, physical, and causally efficacious while at the same time preserving the autonomy of cognitive explanations and avoiding reduction or elimination. WIREs Cogn Sci 2012, 3:337-348. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1170 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

  11. Function-selective domain architecture plasticity potentials in eukaryotic genome evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linkeviciute, Viktorija; Rackham, Owen J L; Gough, Julian; Oates, Matt E; Fang, Hai

    2015-12-01

    To help evaluate how protein function impacts on genome evolution, we introduce a new concept of 'architecture plasticity potential' - the capacity to form distinct domain architectures - both for an individual domain, or more generally for a set of domains grouped by shared function. We devise a scoring metric to measure the plasticity potential for these domain sets, and evaluate how function has changed over time for different species. Applying this metric to a phylogenetic tree of eukaryotic genomes, we find that the involvement of each function is not random but highly selective. For certain lineages there is strong bias for evolution to involve domains related to certain functions. In general eukaryotic genomes, particularly animals, expand complex functional activities such as signalling and regulation, but at the cost of reducing metabolic processes. We also observe differential evolution of transcriptional regulation and a unique evolutionary role of channel regulators; crucially this is only observable in terms of the architecture plasticity potential. Our findings provide a new layer of information to understand the significance of function in eukaryotic genome evolution. A web search tool, available at http://supfam.org/Pevo, offers a wide spectrum of options for exploring functional importance in eukaryotic genome evolution.

  12. Linked Sex Differences in Cognition and Functional Connectivity in Youth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satterthwaite, Theodore D; Wolf, Daniel H; Roalf, David R; Ruparel, Kosha; Erus, Guray; Vandekar, Simon; Gennatas, Efstathios D; Elliott, Mark A; Smith, Alex; Hakonarson, Hakon; Verma, Ragini; Davatzikos, Christos; Gur, Raquel E; Gur, Ruben C

    2015-09-01

    Sex differences in human cognition are marked, but little is known regarding their neural origins. Here, in a sample of 674 human participants ages 9-22, we demonstrate that sex differences in cognitive profiles are related to multivariate patterns of resting-state functional connectivity MRI (rsfc-MRI). Males outperformed females on motor and spatial cognitive tasks; females were faster in tasks of emotion identification and nonverbal reasoning. Sex differences were also prominent in the rsfc-MRI data at multiple scales of analysis, with males displaying more between-module connectivity, while females demonstrated more within-module connectivity. Multivariate pattern analysis using support vector machines classified subject sex on the basis of their cognitive profile with 63% accuracy (P cognitive profile was "male" or "female" was significantly related to the masculinity or femininity of their pattern of brain connectivity (P = 2.3 × 10(-7)). This relationship was present even when considering males and female separately. Taken together, these results demonstrate for the first time that sex differences in patterns of cognition are in part represented on a neural level through divergent patterns of brain connectivity. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Glucose intolerance, hyperinsulinaemia and cognitive function in a general population of elderly men

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. Kalmijn (Sandra); E.J.M. Feskens (Edith); L.J. Launer (Lenore); Th. Stijnen (Theo); D. Kromhout (Daan)

    1995-01-01

    textabstractCognitive impairment is highly prevalent among the elderly. Subjects with disturbed glucose metabolism may be at risk of impaired cognitive function, as these disturbances can influence cognition through atherosclerosis, thrombosis and hypertension. We therefore studied the

  14. Disturbed cognitive functioning and clinical symptoms : two independent problem areas in schizophrenia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pijnenborg, GHM; van Beilen, M; Arends, J; Holthausen, EAE; Withaar, FK

    2003-01-01

    Background: Research findings on the relationship between cognitive functioning and psychiatric symptoms in schizophrenia have yielded inconsistent results. Although several models were postulated linking cognition and symptoms, the most recent studies point in the direction of cognition and symptom

  15. Cognitive functioning in depression period of bipolar disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Świtalska, Julita

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Aim of the study. Study aims were to compare neuropsychological functioning of depressed bipolar patients and healthy controls and to estimate relationship between severity of depressive symptoms and cognitive functioning. Method. Cognitive functions were examined in 30 depressed bipolar patients aged 18-68 (M=45,6, SD=12,6; 18 women and 12 men who fulfilled ICD-10 criteria for depressive episode (Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score ≥11. The comparison group consisted of 30 healthy subjects aged 23-71 (M=46, 20 women and 10 men matched in age, years of education and gender to bipolar group. A neuropsychological battery assessed executive functions and working memory. Results. The bipolar patients in depression revealed neuropsychological deficits in working memory and some aspects of executive functions in comparison to healthy group. Only in WCST test both groups received similar results. Neuropsychological functioning seems to be independent of the severity of depressive symptoms. Discussion. Different aspects of working memory and executive functions are impaired in depression period of bipolar disorder and they seem independent of the severity of depressive symptoms. These results are consistent with previous reports. Conclusions. In patients with bipolar depression cognitive assessment should be taken into account in the diagnosis and the disturbances in executive functions and working memory should be treated with neuropsychological rehabilitation and / or pharmacotherapy.

  16. Personalized cognitive training in unipolar and bipolar disorder: a study of cognitive functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marek ePreiss

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Patients with unipolar depressive disorder and in the depressive phase of bipolar disorder often manifest psychological distress and cognitive deficits, notably in Executive Control. We used computerized cognitive training in anattempt to reduce psychological affliction, improve everyday coping and cognitive function. We asked one group of patients (intervention group to engage in cognitive training three times a week, for 20 minutes each time, for eight consecutive weeks. A second group of patients (control group received standard care only. Before the onset of training we administered to all patients self-report questionnaires of mood, mental and psychological health, and everyday coping. We also assessed Executive Control using a broad computerized neurocognitive battery of tests which yielded, among others, scores in Working Memory, Shifting, Inhibition, Visuomotor Vigilance, Divided Attention, Memory Span and a Global Executive Function score. All questionnaires and tests were re-administered to the patients who adhered to the study at the end of training. When we compared the groups (between-group comparisons on the amount of change that had taken place from baseline to post-training, we found improvements in Executive Control. Further exploration of the data showed that the cognitive improvements did not predict the improvements in everyday coping, and mood. Single-group data (within-group comparisons show that patients in the intervention group were reporting fewer cognitive failures, fewer dysexecutive incidents and less difficulty in everyday coping. This group had also improved significantly on the six Executive Control tests and on the Global Executive Control score. By contrast, the control group improved only on the reports of cognitive failure and on working memory.

  17. Dose-related effects of alcohol on cognitive functioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Dry

    Full Text Available We assessed the suitability of six applied tests of cognitive functioning to provide a single marker for dose-related alcohol intoxication. Numerous studies have demonstrated that alcohol has a deleterious effect on specific areas of cognitive processing but few have compared the effects of alcohol across a wide range of different cognitive processes. Adult participants (N = 56, 32 males, 24 females aged 18-45 years were randomized to control or alcohol treatments within a mixed design experiment involving multiple-dosages at approximately one hour intervals (attained mean blood alcohol concentrations (BACs of 0.00, 0.048, 0.082 and 0.10%, employing a battery of six psychometric tests; the Useful Field of View test (UFOV; processing speed together with directed attention; the Self-Ordered Pointing Task (SOPT; working memory; Inspection Time (IT; speed of processing independent from motor responding; the Traveling Salesperson Problem (TSP; strategic optimization; the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART; vigilance, response inhibition and psychomotor function; and the Trail-Making Test (TMT; cognitive flexibility and psychomotor function. Results demonstrated that impairment is not uniform across different domains of cognitive processing and that both the size of the alcohol effect and the magnitude of effect change across different dose levels are quantitatively different for different cognitive processes. Only IT met the criteria for a marker for wide-spread application: reliable dose-related decline in a basic process as a function of rising BAC level and easy to use non-invasive task properties.

  18. The kidney disease quality of life cognitive function subscale and cognitive performance in maintenance hemodialysis patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorensen, Eric P; Sarnak, Mark J; Tighiouart, Hocine; Scott, Tammy; Giang, Lena M; Kirkpatrick, Bethany; Lou, Kristina; Weiner, Daniel E

    2012-09-01

    Cognitive impairment is common but often undiagnosed in patients with end-stage renal disease, in part reflecting limited validated and easily administered tools to assess cognitive function in dialysis patients. Accordingly, we assessed the utility of the Kidney Disease Quality of Life Cognitive Function (KDQOL-CF) scale in comparison to an extensive neuropsychological battery, building on a prior assessment of this potential cognitive screen. Cross-sectional cohort. Maintenance hemodialysis patients at 6 Boston area dialysis units were administered an extensive neurocognitive battery and the KDQOL-CF at the beginning of a hemodialysis session. KDQOL-CF score, depression symptom burden, and demographic and clinical characteristics. Neurocognitive performance classified into executive function and memory domains, determined using principal components analysis. Univariate and multivariable linear regression models adjusting for age, sex, race, and end-stage renal disease cause were used to evaluate the association between KDQOL-CF score and cognitive performance, and test metrics were determined for a KDQOL-CF cutoff score of 60 or less from a maximum score of 100. For 168 prevalent hemodialysis patients, KDQOL-CF score was 76 ± 19 and 40 (24%) had scores of 60 or less, consistent with self-identified worse cognitive performance. There was no significant correlation between KDQOL-CF score and either memory (P = 0.2 and P = 0.3) or executive function (P = 0.1 and P = 0.4) in univariate and multivariable models, respectively. There was a strong correlation between higher KDQOL-CF score and fewer depression symptoms (P range, 0.28-0.36), with modest specificity (range, 0.77-0.81) for identifying worse executive function and memory. Cross-sectional study, modest population size, and abbreviated gold-standard cognitive battery. The KDQOL-CF is a poor determinant of neurocognitive performance in hemodialysis patients, with limited sensitivity. To assess cognitive

  19. Enrichment Effects on Adult Cognitive Development: Can the Functional Capacity of Older Adults Be Preserved and Enhanced?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertzog, Christopher; Kramer, Arthur F; Wilson, Robert S; Lindenberger, Ulman

    2008-10-01

    In this monograph, we ask whether various kinds of intellectual, physical, and social activities produce cognitive enrichment effects-that is, whether they improve cognitive performance at different points of the adult life span, with a particular emphasis on old age. We begin with a theoretical framework that emphasizes the potential of behavior to influence levels of cognitive functioning. According to this framework, the undeniable presence of age-related decline in cognition does not invalidate the view that behavior can enhance cognitive functioning. Instead, the course of normal aging shapes a zone of possible functioning, which reflects person-specific endowments and age-related constraints. Individuals influence whether they function in the higher or lower ranges of this zone by engaging in or refraining from beneficial intellectual, physical, and social activities. From this point of view, the potential for positive change, or plasticity, is maintained in adult cognition. It is an argument that is supported by newer research in neuroscience showing neural plasticity in various aspects of central nervous system functioning, neurochemistry, and architecture. This view of human potential contrasts with static conceptions of cognition in old age, according to which decline in abilities is fixed and individuals cannot slow its course. Furthermore, any understanding of cognition as it occurs in everyday life must make a distinction between basic cognitive mechanisms and skills (such as working-memory capacity) and the functional use of cognition to achieve goals in specific situations. In practice, knowledge and expertise are critical for effective functioning, and the available evidence suggests that older adults effectively employ specific knowledge and expertise and can gain new knowledge when it is required. We conclude that, on balance, the available evidence favors the hypothesis that maintaining an intellectually engaged and physically active lifestyle

  20. [Functional impairment associated with cognitive impairment in hospitalised elderly].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocampo-Chaparro, José Mauricio; Mosquera-Jiménez, José Ignacio; Davis, Annabelle S; Reyes-Ortiz, Carlos A

    2017-06-24

    The aim of this study was to analyse the effect of cognitive impairment on functional decline in hospitalised patients aged ≥60 years. Measurements at admission included demographic data, Charlson's comorbidity index, and cognitive impairment (according to education level). Data were also collected on hospital length of stay, depression, and delirium developed during hospitalisation. The outcome, Barthel Index (BI), was measured at admission, discharge, and 1-month post-discharge. Patients with BI≤75 at admission (n=54) or with a missing BI value were excluded (n=1). Multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to explore predictive factors with functional decline (BI≤75) from admission to discharge, and 1-month later. Of the 133 patients included, 24.8% and 19.6% had a BI≤75 at discharge and at 1-month, respectively. Compared with men, women had more than double risk for functional decline at discharge and 1-month (P<.05). Compared with those without delirium and without cognitive impairment, those with delirium and cognitive impairment had an increased risk for functional decline (BI≤75) at discharge (OR 5.15, 95% CI; 1.94-13.67), and at 1-month (OR 6.26, 95% CI; 2.30-17.03). Similarly, those with comorbidity (≥2) had increased functional decline at discharge (OR 2.36, 95% CI; 1.14-4.87), and at 1-month after discharge (OR 2.71, 95% CI; 1.25-5.89). Delirium during hospitalisation, together with cognitive impairment on admission, was a strong predictor of functional decline. Copyright © 2017 SEGG. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  1. Impaired cognitive function and mental performance in mild dehydration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, M-M G; Morley, J E

    2003-12-01

    Dehydration is a reliable predictor of impaired cognitive status. Objective data, using tests of cortical function, support the deterioration of mental performance in mildly dehydrated younger adults. Dehydration frequently results in delirium as a manifestation of cognitive dysfunction. Although, the occurrence of delirium suggests transient acute global cerebral dysfunction, cognitive impairment may not be completely reversible. Animal studies have identified neuronal mitochondrial damage and glutamate hypertransmission in dehydrated rats. Additional studies have identified an increase in cerebral nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase activity (nitric oxide synthase, NOS) with dehydration. Available evidence also implicates NOS as a neurotransmitter in long-term potentiation, rendering this a critical enzyme in facilitating learning and memory. With ageing, a reduction of NOS activity has been identified in the cortex and striatum of rats. The reduction of NOs synthase activity that occurs with ageing may blunt the rise that occurs with dehydration, and possibly interfere with memory processing and cognitive function. Dehydration has been shown to be a reliable predictor of increasing frailty, deteriorating mental performance and poor quality of life. Intervention models directed toward improving outcomes in dehydration must incorporate strategies to enhance prompt recognition of cognitive dysfunction.

  2. Neurochemical and Neuroanatomical Plasticity Following Memory Training and Yoga Interventions in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hongyu; Leaver, Amber M; Siddarth, Prabha; Paholpak, Pattharee; Ercoli, Linda; St Cyr, Natalie M; Eyre, Harris A; Narr, Katherine L; Khalsa, Dharma S; Lavretsky, Helen

    2016-01-01

    Behavioral interventions are becoming increasingly popular approaches to ameliorate age-related cognitive decline, but their underlying neurobiological mechanisms and clinical efficiency have not been fully elucidated. The present study explored brain plasticity associated with two behavioral interventions, memory enhancement training (MET) and a mind-body practice (yogic meditation), in healthy seniors with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) using structural magnetic resonance imaging (s-MRI) and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS). Senior participants (age ≥55 years) with MCI were randomized to the MET or yogic meditation interventions. For both interventions, participants completed either MET training or Kundalini Yoga (KY) for 60-min sessions over 12 weeks, with 12-min daily homework assignments. Gray matter volume and metabolite concentrations in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and bilateral hippocampus were measured by structural MRI and (1)H-MRS at baseline and after 12 weeks of training. Metabolites measured included glutamate-glutamine (Glx), choline-containing compounds (Cho, including glycerophosphocholine and phosphocholine), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and N-acetyl aspartate and N-acetylaspartyl-glutamate (NAA-NAAG). In total, 11 participants completed MET and 14 completed yogic meditation for this study. Structural MRI analysis showed an interaction between time and group in dACC, indicating a trend towards increased gray matter volume after the MET intervention. (1)H-MRS analysis showed an interaction between time and group in choline-containing compounds in bilateral hippocampus, induced by significant decreases after the MET intervention. Though preliminary, our results suggest that memory training induces structural and neurochemical plasticity in seniors with MCI. Further research is needed to determine whether mind-body interventions like yoga yield similar neuroplastic changes.

  3. Neurochemical and Neuroanatomical Plasticity Following Memory Training and Yoga Interventions in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hongyu; Leaver, Amber M.; Siddarth, Prabha; Paholpak, Pattharee; Ercoli, Linda; St. Cyr, Natalie M.; Eyre, Harris A.; Narr, Katherine L.; Khalsa, Dharma S.; Lavretsky, Helen

    2016-01-01

    Behavioral interventions are becoming increasingly popular approaches to ameliorate age-related cognitive decline, but their underlying neurobiological mechanisms and clinical efficiency have not been fully elucidated. The present study explored brain plasticity associated with two behavioral interventions, memory enhancement training (MET) and a mind-body practice (yogic meditation), in healthy seniors with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) using structural magnetic resonance imaging (s-MRI) and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS). Senior participants (age ≥55 years) with MCI were randomized to the MET or yogic meditation interventions. For both interventions, participants completed either MET training or Kundalini Yoga (KY) for 60-min sessions over 12 weeks, with 12-min daily homework assignments. Gray matter volume and metabolite concentrations in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and bilateral hippocampus were measured by structural MRI and 1H-MRS at baseline and after 12 weeks of training. Metabolites measured included glutamate-glutamine (Glx), choline-containing compounds (Cho, including glycerophosphocholine and phosphocholine), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and N-acetyl aspartate and N-acetylaspartyl-glutamate (NAA-NAAG). In total, 11 participants completed MET and 14 completed yogic meditation for this study. Structural MRI analysis showed an interaction between time and group in dACC, indicating a trend towards increased gray matter volume after the MET intervention. 1H-MRS analysis showed an interaction between time and group in choline-containing compounds in bilateral hippocampus, induced by significant decreases after the MET intervention. Though preliminary, our results suggest that memory training induces structural and neurochemical plasticity in seniors with MCI. Further research is needed to determine whether mind-body interventions like yoga yield similar neuroplastic changes. PMID:27917121

  4. Cognitive rehabilitation of working memory in juvenile multiple sclerosis-effects on cognitive functioning, functional MRI and network related connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubacher, Martina; DeLuca, John; Weber, Peter; Steinlin, Maja; Kappos, Ludwig; Opwis, Klaus; Penner, Iris-Katharina

    2015-01-01

    To assess possible effects of working memory (WM) training on cognitive functionality, functional MRI and brain connectivity in patients with juvenile MS. Cognitive status, fMRI and inter-network connectivity were assessed in 5 cases with juvenile MS aged between 12 and 18 years. Afterwards they received a computerized WM training for four weeks. Primary cognitive outcome measures were WM (visual and verbal) and alertness. Activation patterns related to WM were assessed during fMRI using an N-Back task with increasing difficulty. Inter-network connectivity analyses were focused on fronto-parietal (left and right), default-mode (dorsal and ventral) and the anterior salience network. Cognitive functioning, fMRI and inter-network connectivity were reassessed directly after the training and again nine months following training. Response to treatment was seen in two patients. These patients showed increased performance in WM and alertness after the training. These behavioural changes were accompanied by increased WM network activation and systematic changes in inter-network connectivity. The remaining participants were non-responders to treatment. Effects on cognitive performance were maintained up to nine months after training, whereas effects observed by fMRI disappeared. Responders revealed training effects on all applied outcome measures. Disease activity and general intelligence may be factors associated with response to treatment.

  5. Food insecurity and cognitive function in Puerto Rican adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Food insecurity is associated with nutrient inadequacy and a variety of unfavorable health outcomes. However, little is known about whether food security is associated with lower cognitive function in the elderly. We investigated the prevalence of food insecurity in a representative sample of 1358 P...

  6. Prenatal maternal depression symptoms and nutrition, and child cognitive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, Edward D; Kirkham, Natasha; Ng, Jane; Jensen, Sarah K G

    2013-12-01

    Little is currently known about how maternal depression symptoms and unhealthy nutrition during pregnancy may developmentally interrelate to negatively affect child cognitive function. To test whether prenatal maternal depression symptoms predict poor prenatal nutrition, and whether this in turn prospectively associates with reduced postnatal child cognitive function. In 6979 mother-offspring pairs participating in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) in the UK, maternal depression symptoms were assessed five times between 18 weeks gestation and 33 months old. Maternal reports of the nutritional environment were assessed at 32 weeks gestation and 47 months old, and child cognitive function was assessed at age 8 years. During gestation, higher depressive symptoms were related to lower levels of healthy nutrition and higher levels of unhealthy nutrition, each of which in turn was prospectively associated with reduced cognitive function. These results were robust to postnatal depression symptoms and nutrition, as well as a range of potential prenatal and postnatal confounds (i.e. poverty, teenage mother, low maternal education, parity, birth complications, substance use, criminal lifestyle, partner cruelty towards mother). Prenatal interventions aimed at the well-being of children of parents with depression should consider targeting the nutritional environment.

  7. Cognitive functioning after whiplash injury: A meta-analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kessels, R.P.C.; Aleman, A.; Verhagen, W.I.M.; Luijtelaar, E.L.J.M. van

    2000-01-01

    Complaints of cognitive functioning are often reported in patients suffering from whiplash syndrome, although objective neuropsychological test results do not always support these. In addition, radiological abnormalities and anatomical lesions are found only in a minority of these patients. This has

  8. Cognitive functioning in meningioma patients : A systematic review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meskal, I.; Gehring, K.; Rutten, G.J.M.; Sitskoorn, M.M.

    2016-01-01

    This systematic review evaluates relevant findings and methodologic aspects of studies on cognitive functioning in meningioma patients prior to and/or following surgery with or without adjuvant radiotherapy. PubMed and Web of Science electronic databases were searched until December 2015. From 1012

  9. Impaired cognitive function in women with congenital adrenal hyperplasia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johannsen, Trine H.; Ripa, Caroline P.L.; Reinisch, June M.

    2006-01-01

    CONTEXT: Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is a disorder with a wide spectrum of severity. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate cognitive function in CAH women. DESIGN: This was a case-control study. SETTING: This study was conducted at a tertiary center for pediatric...

  10. The dystrophin gene and cognitive function in the general population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D. Vojinovic (Dina); H.H.H. Adams (Hieab); S. van der Lee (Sven); C.A. Ibrahim-Verbaas (Carla); R.W.W. Brouwer (Rutger); M.C.G.N. van den hout (Mirjam); E. Oole (Edwin); J. van Rooij (Jeroen); A.G. Uitterlinden (André); A. Hofman (Albert); W.F.J. van IJcken (Wilfred); A. Aartsma-Rus (Annemieke); G.-J.B. Van Ommen (Gert-Jan B.); M.A. Ikram (Arfan); C.M. van Duijn (Cornelia M.); N. Amin (Najaf)

    2015-01-01

    textabstractThe aim of our study is to investigate whether single-nucleotide dystrophin gene (DMD) variants associate with variability in cognitive functions in healthy populations. The study included 1240 participants from the Erasmus Rucphen family (ERF) study and 1464 individuals from the Rotterd

  11. Testing for Cognitive Function in Animals in a Regulatory Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Superior cognitive functions have allowed the human species to dominate a world of incredible biological diversity. Threats to these essential capacities cannot be ignored, and a strategy is needed to evaluate the hazard posed by exposure to chemical and other agents. Because peo...

  12. Vascular Burden and Cognitive Function in Late-Life Depression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuidersma, Marij; Izaks, Gerbrand J.; Naarding, Paul; Comijs, Hannie C.; Oude Voshaar, Richard C.

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the relation of vascular risk factors, subclinical, and manifest vascular disease with four domains of cognitive functioning in a large sample of clinically depressed older persons. METHODS: A cross-sectional analysis was used, and depressed patients were recruited from genera

  13. Vascular burden and cognitive function in late-life depression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuidersma, M.; Izaks, G.J.; Naarding, P.; Comijs, H.C.; Oude Voshaar, R.C.

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the relation of vascular risk factors, subclinical, and manifest vascular disease with four domains of cognitive functioning in a large sample of clinically depressed older persons. METHODS: A cross-sectional analysis was used, and depressed patients were recruited from genera

  14. Sleep and Cognitive Functioning in Children with Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckhalt, Joseph A.

    2013-01-01

    Sleep disorders and sleep of insufficient duration and quality have been associated with impaired cognitive functioning in typically developing children and in children with a wide array of disabilities and medical conditions. Among children with disabilities, those with intellectual disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and autism…

  15. [Impaired cognitive function in hepatitis C - a review.

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Renvillard, Signe Groth; Leutscher, Peter; Hjerrild, Simon;

    2010-01-01

    Impaired cognitive function is commonly seen in patients with hepatitis C-virus (HCV). This might be due to a toxic effect of the virus itself or to neuroinflammatory processes with a direct damaging cerebral effect. The symptoms appear in the pre-cirrhotic stage and impair the patient's level...

  16. Vascular Burden and Cognitive Function in Late-Life Depression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuidersma, Marij; Izaks, Gerbrand J.; Naarding, Paul; Comijs, Hannie C.; Oude Voshaar, Richard C.

    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the relation of vascular risk factors, subclinical, and manifest vascular disease with four domains of cognitive functioning in a large sample of clinically depressed older persons. METHODS: A cross-sectional analysis was used, and depressed patients were recruited from

  17. Sleep and Cognitive Functioning in Children with Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckhalt, Joseph A.

    2013-01-01

    Sleep disorders and sleep of insufficient duration and quality have been associated with impaired cognitive functioning in typically developing children and in children with a wide array of disabilities and medical conditions. Among children with disabilities, those with intellectual disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and autism…

  18. [Cognitive functions, their development and modern diagnostic methods].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klasik, Adam; Janas-Kozik, Małgorzata; Krupka-Matuszczyk, Irena; Augustyniak, Ewa

    2006-01-01

    Cognitive psychology is an interdisciplinary field whose main aim is to study the thinking mechanisms of humans leading to cognizance. Therefore the concept of human cognitive processes envelopes the knowledge related to the mechanisms which determine the way humans acquire information from the environment and utilize their knowledge and experience. There are three basic processes which need to be distinguished when discussing human perception development: acquiring sensations, perceptiveness and attention. Acquiring sensations means the experience arising from the stimulation of a single sense organ, i.e. detection and differentiation of sensory information. Perceptiveness stands for the interpretation of sensations and may include recognition and identification of sensory information. The attention process relates to the selectivity of perception. Mental processes of the higher order used in cognition, thanks to which humans tend to try to understand the world and adapt to it, doubtlessly include the processes of memory, reasoning, learning and problem solving. There is a great difference in the human cognitive functioning at different stages of one's life (from infancy to adulthood). The difference is both quantitative and qualitative. There are three main approaches to the human cognitive functioning development: Jean Piaget's approach, information processing approach and psychometric approach. Piaget's ideas continue to form the groundwork of child cognitive psychology. Piaget identified four developmental stages of child cognition: 1. Sensorimotor stage (birth - 2 years old); 2. Preoperational stage (ages 2-7); 3. Concrete operations (ages 7-11; 4. Formal operations (11 and more). The supporters of the information processing approach use a computer metaphor to present the human cognitive processes functioning model. The three important mechanisms involved are: coding, automation and strategy designing and they all often co-operate together. This theory has

  19. Extraction, identification, and functional characterization of a bioactive substance from automated compound-handling plastic tips.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, John; Greenough, Emily B; Leet, John E; Ford, Michael J; Drexler, Dieter M; Belcastro, James V; Herbst, John J; Chatterjee, Moneesh; Banks, Martyn

    2009-06-01

    Disposable plastic labware is ubiquitous in contemporary pharmaceutical research laboratories. Plastic labware is routinely used for chemical compound storage and during automated liquid-handling processes that support assay development, high-throughput screening, structure-activity determinations, and liability profiling. However, there is little information available in the literature on the contaminants released from plastic labware upon DMSO exposure and their resultant effects on specific biological assays. The authors report here the extraction, by simple DMSO washing, of a biologically active substance from one particular size of disposable plastic tips used in automated compound handling. The active contaminant was identified as erucamide ((Z)-docos-13-enamide), a long-chain mono-unsaturated fatty acid amide commonly used in plastics manufacturing, by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy analysis of the DMSO-extracted material. Tip extracts prepared in DMSO, as well as a commercially obtained sample of erucamide, were active in a functional bioassay of a known G-protein-coupled fatty acid receptor. A sample of a different disposable tip product from the same vendor did not release detectable erucamide following solvent extraction, and DMSO extracts prepared from this product were inactive in the receptor functional assay. These results demonstrate that solvent-extractable contaminants from some plastic labware used in the contemporary pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) environment can be introduced into physical and biological assays during routine compound management liquid-handling processes. These contaminants may further possess biological activity and are therefore a potential source of assay-specific confounding artifacts.

  20. Lifetime Musical Activities and Cognitive Function of the Elderly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alicia Nevriana

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Decreasing cognitive function of the elderly is one of the most common problems that might affect their quality of life. Music is an element that is believed to be able to contribute to the quality of life of the elderly. However, whether musical activities that are done throughout the life span related to cognitive function is unclear. In this research, we evaluated the association between lifetime musical activities and cognitive function. Fifty three older adults from three nursing homes in East Jakarta were selected and interviewed regarding their characteristics and lifetime musical activities. Cognitive function was also measured using Mini Mental State Examinaion (MMSE. The results of this preliminary study revealed that a possibility of an association between lifetime musical activities and cognitive function of the elderly was indicated. The result also showed that the participants who were not actively involved in musical activities during their lifetime were twice more likely to develop cognitive function impairment than the elderly who were actively involved in musical activities, after being adjusted by the characteristics. These correlational results suggest the beneficial effect of musical activities throughout the life span on cognitive functioning for the elderly. Penurunan fungsi kognitif merupakan salah satu masalah umum pada lanjut usia yang mampu memengaruhi kualitas hidup mereka. Musik merupakan sebuah elemen yang dipercaya mampu berkontribusi terhadap kualitas hidup mereka. Meski demikian, hubungan antara aktivitas musikal yang dilakukan sepanjang hidup dan fungsi kognitif lansia belum diketahui secara pasti. Pada penelitian ini, hubungan antara aktivitas musikal sepanjang hidup dan fungsi kognitif dievaluasi. Lima puluh tiga lansia penghuni panti tresna werdha di Jakarta Timur dipilih dan diwawancarai terkait karakteristik dan aktivitas musikal sepanjang hidup mereka. Fungsi kognitif juga diukur menggunakan MMSE. Hasil

  1. Cognitive function at 2443 μmol/l creatinine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Sabrina; Malecki, Anne-Kathrin; Boenisch, Olaf; Schönfeld, Robby; Kielstein, Jan T

    2012-08-15

    One hallmark of uremia is the impairment of neuro-cognitive function. Anecdotal clinical description from the early days of chronic dialysis therapy impressively illustrates the improvement of those functions by chronic hemodialysis treatment. Fortunately, today, uremia is only rarely observed in industrialized countries as many patients seek medical/nephrological attention prior to the occurrence of deadly complications of uremia. We report a rare case of severe uremia and describe the day to day improvement in neuro-cognitive function by dialysis using state of the arte test battery--starting at a serum creatinine of 2443 μmol/l. Especially executive functions, which are assumed to be localized in the frontal cerebral regions, are impaired in severe uremia and improve remarkably with the correction of severe uremia, i.e., initiation of dialysis.

  2. Cognitive-neuropsychological function in chronic physical aggression and hyperactivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Séguin, Jean R; Nagin, Daniel; Assaad, Jean-Marc; Tremblay, Richard E

    2004-11-01

    Histories of violence and of hyperactivity are both characterized by poor cognitive-neuropsychological function. However, researchers do not know whether these histories combine in additive or interactive ways. The authors tested 303 male young adults from a community sample whose trajectories of teacher-rated physical aggression and motoric hyperactivity from kindergarten to age 15 were well defined. No significant interaction was found. In a 1st model, both histories of problem behavior were independently associated with cognitive-neuropsychological function in most domains. In a second model controlling for IQ, General Memory, and test motivation, none of the three Working Memory tests (relevant to executive function) remained associated with physical aggression or hyperactivity. These results support an additive model but no specificity to executive function [corrected]. Copyright 2004 APA.

  3. Magnetic resonance imaging in the evaluation of cognitive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bigler, Erin D

    2014-10-01

    Image quality of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the brain currently approximate gross anatomy as would be viewed at autopsy. During the first decade of the 21st Century incredible advances in image processing and quantification have occurred permitting more refined methods for studying brain-behavior-cognitive functioning. The current presentation overviews the current status of MRI methods for routine clinical assessment of brain pathology, how these techniques identify neuropathology and how pathological findings are quantified. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), functional MRI (fMRI), and resting state fMRI are all reviewed, emphasizing how these techniques permit an examination of brain function and connectivity. General regional relationships of brain function associated with cognitive control will be highlighted.

  4. Impact of preeclampsia on cognitive function in the offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rätsep, Matthew T; Hickman, Andrew F; Maser, Brandon; Pudwell, Jessica; Smith, Graeme N; Brien, Donald; Stroman, Patrick W; Adams, Michael A; Reynolds, James N; Croy, B Anne; Paolozza, Angelina

    2016-04-01

    Preeclampsia (PE) is a significant clinical disorder occurring in 3-5% of all human pregnancies. Offspring of PE pregnancies (PE-F1s) are reported to exhibit greater cognitive impairment than offspring from uncomplicated pregnancies. Previous studies of PE-F1 cognitive ability used tests with bias that do not assess specific cognitive domains. To improve cognitive impairment classification in PE-F1s we used standardized clinical psychometric testing and eye tracking studies of saccadic eye movements. PE-F1s (n=10) and sex/age matched control participants (n=41 for psychometrics; n=59 for eye-tracking) were recruited from the PE-NET study or extracted from the NeuroDevNet study databases. Participants completed a selected array of psychometric tests which assessed executive function, working memory, attention, inhibition, visuospatial processing, reading, and math skills. Eye-tracking studies included the prosaccade, antisaccade, and memory-guided tasks. Psychometric testing revealed an impairment in working memory among PE-F1s. Eye-tracking studies revealed numerous impairments among PE-F1s including additional saccades required to reach the target, poor endpoint accuracy, and slower reaction time. However, PE-F1s made faster saccades than controls, and fewer sequence errors in the memory-guided task. Our study provides a comprehensive assessment of cognitive function among PE-F1s. The development of PE may be seen as an early predictor of reduced cognitive function in children, specifically in working memory and oculomotor control. Future studies should extended to a larger study populations, and may be valuable for early studies of children born to pregnancies complicated by other disorders, such as gestational diabetes or intrauterine growth restriction. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. METHODS FOR LOCAL CHANGES IN THE PLASTIC DEFORMATION DIAGNOSTICS ON THE WORK FUNCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. V. Panteleyev

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes the electronic work function measurements by the contact potential difference technique, and experimental demonstration of the possibility of these methods application for the stress-strain state of the surface layer of the metals and alloys. The techniques end examples of their application of localization of plastic deformation studies using the Kelvin probe are developed and present. The study topology of work function the deformed surface possible to determine the type of deformation and dynamics of

  6. Cognitive Variability in Adults with ADHD and AS: Disentangling the Roles of Executive Functions and Social Cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Gadea, Maria Luz; Baez, Sandra; Torralva, Teresa; Castellanos, Francisco Xavier; Rattazzi, Alexia; Bein, Victoria; Rogg, Katharina; Manes, Facundo; Ibanez, Agustin

    2013-01-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Asperger's Syndrome (AS) share a heterogeneous cognitive profile. Studies assessing executive functions (EF) and social cognition in both groups have found preserved and impaired performances. These inconsistent findings would be partially explained by the cognitive variability reported in these…

  7. Cognitive Variability in Adults with ADHD and AS: Disentangling the Roles of Executive Functions and Social Cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Gadea, Maria Luz; Baez, Sandra; Torralva, Teresa; Castellanos, Francisco Xavier; Rattazzi, Alexia; Bein, Victoria; Rogg, Katharina; Manes, Facundo; Ibanez, Agustin

    2013-01-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Asperger's Syndrome (AS) share a heterogeneous cognitive profile. Studies assessing executive functions (EF) and social cognition in both groups have found preserved and impaired performances. These inconsistent findings would be partially explained by the cognitive variability reported in these…

  8. Pro-cognitive drug effects modulate functional brain network organization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carsten eGiessing

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies document that cholinergic and noradrenergic drugs improve attention, memory and cognitive control in healthy subjects and patients with neuropsychiatric disorders. In humans neural mechanisms of cholinergic and noradrenergic modulation have mainly been analyzed by investigating drug-induced changes of task-related neural activity measured with fMRI. Endogenous neural activity has often been neglected. Further, although drugs affect the coupling between neurons, only a few human studies have explicitly addressed how drugs modulate the functional connectome, i.e. the functional neural interactions within the brain. These studies have mainly focused on synchronization or correlation of brain activations. Recently, there are some drug studies using graph theory and other new mathematical approaches to model the brain as a complex network of interconnected processing nodes. Using such measures it is possible to detect not only focal, but also subtle, widely distributed drug effects on functional network topology. Most important, graph theoretical measures also quantify whether drug-induced changes in topology or network organization facilitate or hinder information processing. Several studies could show that functional brain integration is highly correlated with behavioral performance suggesting that cholinergic and noradrenergic drugs which improve measures of cognitive performance should increase functional network integration. The purpose of this paper is to show that graph theory provides a mathematical tool to develop theory-driven biomarkers of pro-cognitive drug effects, and also to discuss how these approaches can contribute to the understanding of the role of cholinergic and noradrenergic modulation in the human brain. Finally we discuss the global workspace theory as a theoretical framework of pro-cognitive drug effects and argue that pro-cognitive effects of cholinergic and noradrenergic drugs might be related to higher

  9. Self-reported difficulties with everyday function, cognitive symptoms and cognitive function in people with HIV

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laverick, Rosanna; Haddow, Lewis J; Daskalopoulou, Marina

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: We determined factors associated with self-reported decline in activities of daily living (ADLs) and symptoms of cognitive impairment in HIV positive (HIV+) adults in five European clinics. METHODS: HIV+ adults underwent computerized and pen-and-paper neuropsychological tests and ques......BACKGROUND: We determined factors associated with self-reported decline in activities of daily living (ADLs) and symptoms of cognitive impairment in HIV positive (HIV+) adults in five European clinics. METHODS: HIV+ adults underwent computerized and pen-and-paper neuropsychological tests...... when assessing HIV-associated cognitive impairment in clinical care or research studies.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License 4.0 (CCBY-NC), where it is permissible to download, share, remix, transform, and buildup the work...

  10. Omega-3 fatty acids and cognitive function in women

    OpenAIRE

    Robinson, Jennifer G.; Ijioma, Nkechinyere; Harris, William

    2010-01-01

    Omega-3 fatty acids (FAs) could play an important role in maintaining cognitive function in aging individuals. The omega-3 FA docosahexaenoic acid is a major constituent of neuronal membranes and, along with the other long-chain omega-3 FAs from fish such as eicosapentaentoic acid, has been shown to have a wide variety of beneficial effects on neuronal functioning, inflammation, oxidation and cell death, as well as on the development of the characteristic pathology of Alzheimer’s disease. Ome...

  11. Resveratrol Improves Cognitive Impairment by Regulating Apoptosis and Synaptic Plasticity in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiyan Tian

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Aims: To investigate the effects of resveratrol on cognitive impairment in streptozotocin (STZ-induced diabetic rats and to explore the mechanisms of that phenomenon. Methods: Sixty healthy male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups: normal control group (Con group, n = 15, Res group (normal Sprague Dawley rats treated with resveratrol, n = 15, diabetes mellitus group (DM group, n = 15 and DM + Res group (diabetic rats treat with resveratrol, n = 15. Streptozotocin (STZ was injected intraperitoneally to establish the diabetic model. One week after diabetic model induction, the animals in the Res group and the DM + Res group received resveratrol intraperitoneally once a day for consecutive 4 weeks. The Morris water maze test was applied to assess the effect of resveratrol on learning and memory. To explore the mechanisms of resveratrol on cognition, we detected the protein expression levels of Caspase-3, Bcl-2, Bax, NMDAR1 (N-Methyl-d-Aspartate receptor and BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor via western blotting analysis. Results: Resveratrol has no obvious effect on normal SD rats. Compared to Con group, cognitive ability was significantly impaired with increased expression of Caspase-3, Bax and down-regulation of Bcl-2, NMDAR1 and BDNF in diabetic rats. By contrast, resveratrol treatment improved the cognitive decline. Evidently, resveratrol treatment reversed diabetes-induced changes of protein expression. Conclusions: Resveratrol significantly ameliorates cognitive decline in STZ-induced diabetic model rats. The potential mechanism underlying the protective effect could be attributed to the inhibition of hippocampal apoptosis through the Bcl-2, Bax and Caspase-3 signaling pathways and improvement of synaptic dysfunction. BDNF may also play an indispensable role in this mechanism.

  12. Consciousness, plasticity, and connectomics: the role of intersubjectivity in human cognition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Allen, Micah Galen; Williams, Gary

    2011-01-01

    Consciousness is typically construed as being explainable purely in terms of either private, raw feels or higher-order, reflective representations. In contrast to this false dichotomy, we propose a new view of consciousness as an interactive, plastic phenomenon open to sociocultural influence. We...... by encultured social practices that depend upon and influence phenomenal and reflective consciousness. On our account, the dynamically interacting connectivity of these networks bring about important individual differences in conscious experience and determine what is “present” in consciousness. Further, we...

  13. Cognitive-affective neural plasticity following active-controlled mindfulness intervention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Allen, Micah Galen

    Mindfulness meditation is a set of attention-based, regulatory and self-inquiry training regimes. Although the impact of mindfulness meditation training (MT) on self-regulation is well established, the neural mechanisms supporting such plasticity are poorly understood. MT is thought to act through...... prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and right anterior insula during negative valence processing. Our findings highlight the importance of active control in MT research, indicate unique neural mechanisms for progressive stages of mindfulness training, and suggest that optimal application of MT may differ depending...

  14. Effect of Smoking on Cognitive Functioning in Young Saudi Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bashir, Shahid; Alghamdi, Faisal; Alhussien, Ahmed; Alohali, Meshal; Alatawi, Abdullah; Almusned, Tariq; Habib, Syed Shahid

    2017-01-01

    Background Smoking is the predominant form of tobacco consumption and is growing worldwide, particularly in the younger generation in the Middle-East. We aimed to determine the effects of tobacco smoking on cognitive functions among young Saudi adults. Material/Methods We recruited a group of cigarette smokers (N=22) and a group of controls (non-smokers) (N=30) from apparently healthy male volunteers aged 18–29 years. Cognitive function was assessed by using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Automated Battery (CANTAB). The cognitive functions outcome variables were the response time (attention-switching task [AST]), and the percentage of correct response (pattern recognition memory [PRM] task). Clinical, demographic, blood markers (brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and apolipoprotein E) were assessed between groups. Results The 2 groups were matched for age and educational status. In comparison to the control group, smokers showed significant cognitive impairments in AST-Latency (p=0.001), AST-Congruent (p=0.001), and AST-Incongruent condition (p=0.001). There was not significant difference in BDNF APOE serum level between the 2 groups. Conclusions These results indicate that attention and alertness were significantly impaired in smokers compared to non-smokers. PMID:28223681

  15. Heredity of cognitive functions and personality in twins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalasūnienė, Loreta; Goštautas, Antanas; Sinkus, Algimantas

    2013-01-01

    The inheritance of cognitive functions and personality is still a problem under investigation. A classical method, investigation of twins, is often used to find relative contributions from genetics and the environment to quantitative traits. The aim of this study was to investigate a possible influence of heredity on cognitive functions (by applying the Raven test) and personality traits (according to the Eysenck's theory) in twins. In total, 139 pairs of same-sex twins were investigated. The zygosity of the twin pairs was confirmed through genotyping with 15 molecular DNA markers. Constructive thinking was assessed using the Raven test. Personality assessment was conducted using the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) in Lithuanian. The difference in the total number of incorrect solutions between monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs younger than 15 years was not significant; however, in the group older than 15 years, this difference was found to be significant. Based on the total number of incorrect solutions, the concordance in the MZ twins was greater than in the DZ twins. The same tendency was found with cumulative EPQ scores on the extraversion scale. The results imply that the quality of cognitive functions and personality traits (extraversion) can be influenced by heredity. This confirms previous findings on the heritability of cognitive factors and personality traits.

  16. White matter hyperintensities, executive function and global cognitive performance in vascular mild cognitive impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Kenji Sudo

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Vascular mild cognitive impairment (VaMCI represents an early symptomatic stage of vascular cognitive impairment and might be associated to fronto-executive dysfunction. Methods Twenty-six individuals (age: 73.11±7.90 years; 65.4% female; schooling: 9.84±3.61 years were selected through neuropsychological assessment and neuroimaging. Clinical and neuroimaging data of VaMCI individuals (n=15 were compared to normal controls (NC, n=11 and correlated with Fazekas scale. Results VaMCI performed significantly worse than NC in Trail-Making Test (TMT B, errors in TMT B, difference TMT B-A and Cambridge Cognitive Examination (CAMCOG final scores. Correlations were found among scores in modified Fazekas scale and performances in TMT B (time to complete and errors, difference TMT B-A and CAMCOG total score. Conclusion Extension of white matter hyperintensities might be correlated to poorer global cognition and impairments in a set of fronto-executive functions, such as cognitive speed, set shifting and inhibitory control in VaMCI.

  17. From ear to uncertainty: Vestibular contributions to cognitive function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul eSmith

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available In addition to the deficits in the vestibulo-ocular and vestibulo-spinal reflexes that occur following vestibular dysfunction, there is substantial evidence that vestibular loss also causes cognitive disorders, some of which may be due to the reflexive deficits and some of which are related to the role that ascending vestibular pathways to the limbic system and cortex play in spatial orientation. In this review we summarise the evidence that vestibular loss causes cognitive disorders, especially spatial memory deficits, in animals and humans and critically evaluate the evidence that these deficits are not due to hearing loss, problems with motor control, oscillopsia or anxiety and depression. We review the evidence that vestibular lesions affect head direction and place cells as well as the emerging evidence that artificial activation of the vestibular system, using galvanic vestibular stimulation, can modulate cognitive function.

  18. Anhedonia and cognitive function in adults with MDD

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McIntyre, Roger S; Woldeyohannes, Hanna O; Soczynska, Joanna K

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Cognitive dysfunction is common in major depressive disorder (MDD) and a critical determinant of health outcome. Anhedonia is a criterion item toward the diagnosis of a major depressive episode (MDE) and a well-characterized domain in MDD. We sought to determine the extent to which...... measure of anhedonia (r=0.131, p=0.012). Moreover, total depression symptom severity, as measured by the total Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score, was also significantly correlated with self-rated measures of cognitive dysfunction (r=0.147, p=0.005). The association between anhedonia...... variability in self-reported cognitive function correlates with anhedonia. METHOD: A post hoc analysis was conducted using data from (N=369) participants with a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR)-defined diagnosis of MDD who were enrolled...

  19. [High ability children and their differential cognitive functioning].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sastre-Riba, S

    2008-01-01

    From the neuroconstructivist point of view, cognitive development is understood as a process of successive and continuous reorganization whose changing mechanisms and differential outcomes (typical and atypical) must be studied. High intellectual abilities are one of their differential manifestations but its concept and nature is confused conditioning the validity of its identification and the efficacy of the interventional programs. To propose a clarifying definition of the nature of high intellectual abilities and their manifestations: giftedness, talent and genious, as well as their cognitive functioning and neurological correlates. A qualitative task analysis is applied to 41 participants with intellectual profiles corresponding to: giftedness, talent and typical intelligence, previously obtained. Results show differences on the cognitive results, not only referred to the quantity of informations produced but in the data organization more complex and hard interrelated among the gifted participants. It must be a differential process of resolution adjusted to each one of the profiles studied.

  20. Alterations in cognitive and psychological functioning after organic solvent exposure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morrow, L.A.; Ryan, C.M.; Hodgson, M.J.; Robin, N. (Univ. of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PA (USA))

    1990-05-01

    Exposure to organic solvents has been linked repeatedly to alterations in both personality and cognitive functioning. To assess the nature and extent of these changes more thoroughly, 32 workers with a history of exposure to mixtures of organic solvents and 32 age- and education-matched blue-collar workers with no history of exposure were assessed with a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests. Although both groups were comparable on measures of general intelligence, significant differences were found in virtually all other cognitive domains tested (Learning and Memory, Visuospatial, Attention and Mental Flexibility, Psychomotor Speed). In addition, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventories of exposed workers indicated clinically significant levels of depression, anxiety, somatic concerns and disturbances in thinking. The reported psychological distress was unrelated to degree of cognitive deficit. Finally, several exposure-related variables were associated with poorer performance on tests of memory and visuospatial ability.

  1. Smartphones and Cognition: A Review of Research Exploring the Links between Mobile Technology Habits and Cognitive Functioning

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jason M. Chein; Henry H. Wilmer; Lauren E. Sherman

    2017-01-01

    ... of functioning there is accruing evidence of a significant relationship between smartphone technology and cognitive performance, and in which domains the scientific literature is not yet mature enough...

  2. The methodical approach to determining the heterogeneity of cognitive function in preschool children requiring correction of speech impediments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petrenko N.B.

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. It has been confirmed that children who suffer from speech impediments may experience difficulties in their cognitive activity, limitations in communication, asociality and sense detachment. It is also clear that these children require not only logopedic treatment, but also assistance in developing functions of their cognitive and mental activities. Aims. To identify the case of uniformity lack of cognitive and somatomental functions of 5-6 year old children with speech impediments in a group; to evaluate the method used for this research. Methods. Use estimates of major mental and cognitive activities by means of tests increases the difficulty. Scores from 1 to 10 were given. Such factors as movement coordination, musicality and body plasticity were taken into consideration too. StatSoft STATISTICA10.0. programme was used to run the statistical analysis. Results. The changes of the group with uniformity of physical, cognitive, somatomental and dance abilities were analysed and estimated at the beginning and at the end of the academic year. The results of the claster analysis have shown that the children managed to develop their cognitive and somatomental abilities. Also it was estimated that the level of uniformity has increased in the group. Conclusions. Having done the research we can state that with the help of cluster analysis children with speech impediments can be grouped according to their physical, cognitive, somatomental and dance abilities. With the help of the results of the claster analysis that notifies that the children managed to develop their cognitive and somatomental abilities, we can observe the positivie effects of the suggested dance-cognitive teaching elements in an educational programme.

  3. [Beneficial effect of preferred music on cognitive functions in minimally conscious state patients].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verger, J; Ruiz, S; Tillmann, B; Ben Romdhane, M; De Quelen, M; Castro, M; Tell, L; Luauté, J; Perrin, F

    2014-11-01

    Several studies have shown that music can boost cognitive functions in normal and brain-damaged subjects. A few studies have suggested a beneficial effect of music in patients with a disorder of consciousness but it is difficult to conclude since they did not use quantified measures and a control condition/group. The aim of the present study was to compare the effect of music to that of a continuous sound on the relational behavior of patients in a minimally conscious state (MCS). Behavioral responses of six MCS patients were evaluated using items from the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised. Weekly evaluation sessions were carried out, over four weeks, under two conditions: following the presentation of either the patient's preferred music, or following a continuous sound (control condition). Qualitative and quantitative analyses showed that twelve of the eighteen sessions (66.6%) showed a better result for the music condition than for the control condition. This new protocol suggests that preferred music has a beneficial effect on the cognitive abilities of MCS patients. The results further suggest that cerebral plasticity may be enhanced in autobiographical (emotional and familiar) contexts. These findings should now be further extended with an increased number of patients to further validate the hypothesis of the beneficial effect of music on cognitive recovery. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  4. Nutrient intake, nutritional status, and cognitive function with aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Katherine L

    2016-03-01

    With the demographic aging of populations worldwide, diseases associated with aging are becoming more prevalent and costly to individuals, families, and healthcare systems. Among aging-related impairments, a decline in cognitive function is of particular concern, as it erodes memory and processing abilities and eventually leads to the need for institutionalized care. Accumulating evidence suggests that nutritional status is a key factor in the loss of cognitive abilities with aging. This is of tremendous importance, as dietary intake is a modifiable risk factor that can be improved to help reduce the burden of cognitive impairment. With respect to nutrients, there is evidence to support the critical role of several B vitamins in particular, but also of vitamin D, antioxidant vitamins (including vitamin E), and omega-3 fatty acids, which are preferentially taken up by brain tissue. On the other hand, high intakes of nutrients that contribute to hypertension, atherosclerosis, and poor glycemic control may have negative effects on cognition through these conditions. Collectively, the evidence suggests that considerable slowing and reduction of cognitive decline may be achieved by following a healthy dietary pattern, which limits intake of added sugars, while maximizing intakes of fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

  5. The Functional Upregulation of Piriform Cortex Is Associated with Cross-Modal Plasticity in Loss of Whisker Tactile Inputs

    OpenAIRE

    Bing Ye; Li Huang; Zilong. Gao; Ping Chen; Hong Ni; Sudong Guan; Yan Zhu; Jin-Hui Wang

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Cross-modal plasticity is characterized as the hypersensitivity of remaining modalities after a sensory function is lost in rodents, which ensures their awareness to environmental changes. Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cross-modal sensory plasticity remain unclear. We aim to study the role of different types of neurons in cross-modal plasticity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In addition to behavioral tasks in mice, whole-cell recordings at the excitatory and inhib...

  6. Plasticity-Based Adaptive Cognitive Remediation (PACR) for OIF/OEF Veterans: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

    patient enrollment. As expected , this process has been time-consuming; however four out of five sites are now IRB approved, and the fifth (Tripler) is...cognitive symptoms following TBI for active military personnel, veterans, their families , and for American society as a whole is only now beginning to...with VA and military hospital sites funded through the CDMRP process, and launching patient enrollment. As expected , this process has been time

  7. Structure-Function Relationships behind the Phenomenon of Cognitive Resilience in Neurology: Insights for Neuroscience and Medicine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Rudrauf

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The phenomenon of cognitive resilience, that is, the dynamical preservation of normal functions despite neurological disorders, demonstrates that cognition can be highly robust to devastating brain injury. Here, cognitive resilience is considered across a range of neurological conditions. Simple computational models of structure-function relationships are used to discuss hypotheses about the neural mechanisms of resilience. Resilience expresses functional redundancies in brain networks and suggests a process of dynamic rerouting of brain signals. This process is underlined by a global renormalization of effective connectivity, capable of restoring information transfer between spared brain structures via alternate pathways. Local mechanisms of synaptic plasticity mediate the renormalization at the lowest level of implementation, but it is also driven by top-down cognition, with a key role of self-awareness in fostering resilience. The presence of abstraction layers in brain computation and networking is hypothesized to account for the renormalization process. Future research directions and challenges are discussed regarding the understanding and control of resilience based on multimodal neuroimaging and computational neuroscience. The study of resilience will illuminate ways by which the brain can overcome adversity and help inform prevention and treatment strategies. It is relevant to combating the negative neuropsychological impact of aging and fostering cognitive enhancement.

  8. Reduction of brain kynurenic acid improves cognitive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozak, Rouba; Campbell, Brian M; Strick, Christine A; Horner, Weldon; Hoffmann, William E; Kiss, Tamas; Chapin, Douglas S; McGinnis, Dina; Abbott, Amanda L; Roberts, Brooke M; Fonseca, Kari; Guanowsky, Victor; Young, Damon A; Seymour, Patricia A; Dounay, Amy; Hajos, Mihaly; Williams, Graham V; Castner, Stacy A

    2014-08-06

    The elevation of kynurenic acid (KYNA) observed in schizophrenic patients may contribute to core symptoms arising from glutamate hypofunction, including cognitive impairments. Although increased KYNA levels reduce excitatory neurotransmission, KYNA has been proposed to act as an endogenous antagonist at the glycine site of the glutamate NMDA receptor (NMDAR) and as a negative allosteric modulator at the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Levels of KYNA are elevated in CSF and the postmortem brain of schizophrenia patients, and these elevated levels of KYNA could contribute to NMDAR hypofunction and the cognitive deficits and negative symptoms associated with this disease. However, the impact of endogenously produced KYNA on brain function and behavior is less well understood due to a paucity of pharmacological tools. To address this issue, we identified PF-04859989, a brain-penetrable inhibitor of kynurenine aminotransferase II (KAT II), the enzyme responsible for most brain KYNA synthesis. In rats, systemic administration of PF-04859989 dose-dependently reduced brain KYNA to as little as 28% of basal levels, and prevented amphetamine- and ketamine-induced disruption of auditory gating and improved performance in a sustained attention task. It also prevented ketamine-induced disruption of performance in a working memory task and a spatial memory task in rodents and nonhuman primates, respectively. Together, these findings support the hypotheses that endogenous KYNA impacts cognitive function and that inhibition of KAT II, and consequent lowering of endogenous brain KYNA levels, improves cognitive performance under conditions considered relevant for schizophrenia.

  9. A functional approach for research on cognitive control: Analysing cognitive control tasks and their effects in terms of operant conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liefooghe, Baptist; De Houwer, Jan

    2016-02-01

    Cognitive control is an important mental ability that is examined using a multitude of cognitive control tasks and effects. The present paper presents the first steps in the elaboration of a functional approach, which aims to uncover the communalities and differences between different cognitive control tasks and their effects. Based on the idea that responses in cognitive control tasks qualify as operant behaviour, we propose to reinterpret cognitive control tasks in terms of operant contingencies and cognitive control effects as instances of moderated stimulus control. We illustrate how our approach can be used to uncover communalities between topographically different cognitive control tasks and can lead to novel questions about the processes underlying cognitive control.

  10. Resveratrol preserves cerebrovascular density and cognitive function in aging mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte A Oomen

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Resveratrol, a natural polyphenol abundant in grapes and red wine, has been reported to exert numerous beneficial health effects. Among others, acute neuroprotective effects of resveratrol have been reported in several models of neurodegeneration, both in vitro and in vivo. In the present study we examined the neuroprotective effects of long term dietary supplementation with resveratrol in mice on behavioral, neurochemical and cerebrovascular level. We report a preserved cognitive function in resveratrol treated aging mice, as shown by an enhanced acquisition of a spatial Y-maze task. This was paralleled by a higher microvascular density and a lower number of microvascular abnormalities in comparison to aging non-treated control animals. We found no effects of resveratrol supplementation on cholinergic cell number or fiber density. The present findings support the hypothesis that resveratrol exerts beneficial effects on the brain by maintaining cerebrovascular health. Via this mechanism resveratrol can contribute to the preservation of cognitive function during aging.

  11. Cognitive function in the affective disorders: a prospective study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulbena, A; Berrios, G E

    1993-01-01

    A prospective, controlled study of 50 subjects confirmed claims that major depression or mania may cause temporary disorders of attention, memory, visuo-spatial function, and choice reaction time, and cause-independently of medication-the appearance of glabellar tap, positive hand-face test, nuchocephalic reflex, and graphesthesia. On follow-up, all these phenomena either disappeared or markedly improved. Age and age of onset, but not pre-morbid intelligence or history of ECT, seemed to modulate the severity of the cognitive impairment. Presence of delusions predicted poor (but reversible) visuo-spatial function. Cognitive impairment accompanied by reversible soft neurological signs was more marked but patients thus affected surprisingly showed lower depressive scores; this was interpreted as representing a secondary, 'organic' form of affective disorder (i.e. a behavioural phenocopy of depression) characterised by a reduced capacity to experience depressive symptoms and by little improvement at follow-up.

  12. Neuroserpin and brain-derived neurotrophic factor in neuroendocrine and neuronal plasticity : functional studies in (transgenic) Xenopus intermediate pituitary cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groot, D.M. de

    2007-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal plasticity, i.e. the capacity of the brain to continuously adapt its structural organization to new situations, remain largely unknown. In this thesis, we explored functional aspects of two proteins that presumably play a role in neuronal plasticity,

  13. The effect of sugammadex on postoperative cognitive function and recovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Özcan Pişkin

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background and objective: Sugammadex is the first selective relaxant binding agent. When compared with neostigmine, following sugammadex administration patients wake earlier and have shorter recovery times. In this study, we hypothesized that fast and clear awakening in patients undergoing general anesthesia has positive effects on cognitive functions in the early period after operation. Methods: Approved by the local ethical committee, 128 patients were enrolled in this randomized, prospective, controlled, double-blind study. Patients were allocated to either Sugammadex group (Group S or the Neostigmine group (Group N. The primary outcome of the study was early postoperative cognitive recovery as measured by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA and Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE. After baseline assessment 12-24 h before the operation. After the operation, when the Modified Aldrete Recovery Score was ≥9 the MMSE and 1 h later the MoCA tests were repeated. Results: Although there was a reduction in MoCA and MMSE scores in both Group S and Group N between preoperative and postoperative scores, there was no statistically significant difference in the slopes (p > 0.05. The time to reach TOF 0.9 was 2.19 min in Group S and 6.47 min in Group N (p < 0.0001. Recovery time was 8.26 min in Group S and 16.93 min in Group N (p < 0.0001. Conclusion: We showed that the surgical procedure and/or accompanying anesthetic procedure may cause a temporary or permanent regression in cognitive function in the early postoperative period. However, better cognitive performance could not be proved in the Sugammadex compared to the Neostigmine.

  14. Effects of sleep manipulation on cognitive functioning of adolescents : a systematic review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Bruin, E.J.; van Run, C.; Staaks, J.; Meijer, A.M.

    2017-01-01

    Adolescents are considered to be at risk for deteriorated cognitive functioning due to insufficient sleep. This systematic review examined the effects of experimental sleep manipulation on adolescent cognitive functioning. Sleep manipulations consisted of total or partial sleep restriction, sleep

  15. Low cognitive ability in early adulthood is associated with reduced lung function in middle age

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carroll, Douglas; Batty, G David; Mortensen, Laust Hvas;

    2011-01-01

    Reduced lung function has been linked to poorer cognitive ability later in life. In the present study, the authors examined the converse: whether there was a prospective association between cognitive ability in early adulthood and lung function in middle age....

  16. Cognitive function in adult offspring of women with Type 1 diabetes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, Tine Dalsgaard; Mortensen, E L; Schmidt, L

    2011-01-01

    Maternal diabetes may affect offspring cognitive function. The objective of the study was to evaluate cognitive function and potential predictors hereof in adult offspring of women with Type 1 diabetes....

  17. Correlation between demographic characteristics, cognitive functioning and functional independence in stroke patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arsić Slađana

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. It has been assumed that there is causality of the achieved level of functional independence with the degree of preservation of cognitive function in stroke patients. Demographic characteristics may be important for monitoring the achieved level of functional independence. Objective. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship of demographic characteristics and functional independence in regard to the level of cognitive impairment in stroke patients. Methods. The study included 50 stroke patients after rehabilitation, as well as age- and gender-matched 50 subjects selected randomly, according to the demographic characteristics of the studied sample, who in their medical history had no neurological disorders. For the assessment of functional independence, the Functional Independence Measure (FIM test was used. The general cognition was estimated by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE test. The statistical analyses included the Mann-Whitney test, for two independent samples, measures of canonical correlation, and χ2 test. Results. There was a statistically significant difference between the groups in relation to risk factors, hypertension and diabetes mellitus type II (p<0.001; There was a statistically significant difference within the groups in relation to the cognitive impairment in all the examined demographic characteristics (p<0.001; the differences within the groups in relation to the cognitive impairment are present on all subscales of the FIM test (p<0.05; the differences within the groups in relation to handedness, hemiparesis, show that mild cognitive impairment is more common among left hemiparesis, while a more severe one is more common among right-sided hemiparesis (p<0.05; More severe cognitive impairment is common among women, the elderly and in persons with lower education (p<0.05. Conclusion. By prevention of risk factors, and prevention of possible cognitive impairment, consequences of stroke can be

  18. Visual steady state in relation to age and cognitive function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Horwitz, Anna; Dyhr Thomsen, Mia; Wiegand, Iris

    2017-01-01

    examine the steady-state VEP power response (SSVEP-PR) in the alpha (8Hz) and gamma (36Hz) bands in 54 males (avg. age: 62.0 years) and compare these with 10 young healthy participants (avg. age 27.6 years). Furthermore, we correlate the individual alpha-to-gamma difference in relative visual-area power......, global cognition, executive function, memory, and education (p

  19. Cognitive Functions in Ataxia with Oculomotor Apraxia Type 2

    OpenAIRE

    Péter eKlivényi; Dezso eNemeth; Tamás eSefcsik; Karolina eJanacsek; Ildiko eHoffmann; Gábor Péter Háden; Zsuzsa eLonde; László eVécsei

    2012-01-01

    Background: Ataxia with oculomotor apraxia type 2 (AOA2) is characterized by cerebellar atrophy, peripheral neuropathy, oculomotor apraxia, and elevated serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels. The disease is caused by a recessive mutation in the senataxin gene. Since it is a very rare cerebellar disorder, no detailed examination of cognitive functions in AOA2 has been published to date. The aim of the present study was to investigate the neuropsychological profile of a 54-year-old patient with ...

  20. Mediterranean diet and cognitive function in older adults

    OpenAIRE

    Féart, Catherine; Samieri, Cécilia; Barberger-Gateau, Pascale

    2010-01-01

    International audience; PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The effectiveness of the Mediterranean diet in reducing the prevalence of cardiovascular and chronic diseases has been largely evidenced. Although nutrition constitutes an interesting approach in preventing age-related brain disorders, the association between the Mediterranean-style diet and cognitive functions has been very occasionally explored. RECENT FINDINGS: Results are provided from only two recent prospective cohorts of older Americans and Fr...

  1. The effect of sugammadex on postoperative cognitive function and recovery

    OpenAIRE

    Özcan Pişkin; Gamze Küçükosman; Deniz Utku Altun; Murat Çimencan; Banu Özen; Bengü Gülhan Aydın; Rahşan Dilek Okyay; Hilal Ayoğlu; Işıl Özkoçak Turan

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background and objective: Sugammadex is the first selective relaxant binding agent. When compared with neostigmine, following sugammadex administration patients wake earlier and have shorter recovery times. In this study, we hypothesized that fast and clear awakening in patients undergoing general anesthesia has positive effects on cognitive functions in the early period after operation. Methods: Approved by the local ethical committee, 128 patients were enrolled in this randomized...

  2. Fine motor skill training enhances functional plasticity of the corticospinal tract after spinal cord injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian Liu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Following central nervous system injury, axonal sprouts form distal to the injury site and extend into the denervated area, reconstructing neural circuits through neural plasticity. How to facilitate this plasticity has become the key to the success of central nervous system repair. It remains controversial whether fine motor skill training contributes to the recovery of neurological function after spinal cord injury. Therefore, we established a rat model of unilateral corticospinal tract injury using a pyramidal tract cutting method. Horizontal ladder crawling and food ball grasping training procedures were conducted 2 weeks before injury and 3 days after injury. The neurological function of rat forelimbs was assessed at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 weeks after injury. Axon growth was observed with biotinylated dextran amine anterograde tracing in the healthy corticospinal tract of the denervated area at different time periods. Our results demonstrate that compared with untrained rats, functional recovery was better in the forelimbs and forepaws of trained rats. The number of axons and the expression of growth associated protein 43 were increased at the injury site 3 weeks after corticospinal tract injury. These findings confirm that fine motor skill training promotes central nervous system plasticity in spinal cord injury rats.

  3. Superiorly Plasticized PVC/PBSA Blends through Crotonic and Acrylic Acid Functionalization of PVC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arturo Salazar Avalos

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Superior plasticization efficiency was achieved by a grafting from functionalization of the PVC backbone. This was deduced to a synergistic effect of internal plasticization and improved intermolecular interactions between PVC and an oligomeric poly(butylene succinate-co-adipate (PBSA plasticizer. A mild grafting process for functionalization of the PVC chain by crotonic acid (CA or acrylic acid (AA was used. The formation of PVC-g-CA and PVC-g-AA was confirmed by FTIR and 1H NMR. Grafting with the seemingly similar monomers, CA and AA, resulted in different macromolecular structures. AA is easily homopolymerized and long hydrophilic poly(acrylic acid grafts are formed resulting in branched materials. Crotonic acid does not easily homopolymerize; instead, single crotonic acid units are located along the PVC chain, leading to basically linear PVC chains with pendant crotonic acid groups. The elongation of PVC-g-CA and PVC-g-AA in comparison to pure PVC were greatly increased from 6% to 128% and 167%, respectively, by the grafting reactions. Blending 20% (w/w PBSA with PVC, PVC-AA or PVC-CA further increased the elongation at break to 150%, 240% and 320%, respectively, clearly showing a significant synergistic effect in the blends with functionalized PVC. This is a clearly promising milestone towards environmentally friendly flexible PVC materials.

  4. Enhancing cognitive functioning in the elderly: multicomponent vs resistance training

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Forte R

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Roberta Forte,1,2 Colin AG Boreham,1 Joao Costa Leite,3 Giuseppe De Vito,1 Lorraine Brennan,3 Eileen R Gibney,3 Caterina Pesce21Institute for Sport and Health, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland; 2Department of Human Movement and Sport Science, University of Rome "Foro Italico," Rome, Italy; 3Institute of Food and Health, University College Dublin, Dublin, IrelandPurpose: The primary purpose of this study was to compare the effects of two different exercise training programs on executive cognitive functions and functional mobility in older adults. A secondary purpose was to explore the potential mediators of training effects on executive function and functional mobility with particular reference to physical fitness gains.Methods: A sample of 42 healthy community dwelling adults aged 65 to 75 years participated twice weekly for 3 months in either: (1 multicomponent training, prioritizing neuromuscular coordination, balance, agility, and cognitive executive control; or (2 progressive resistance training for strength conditioning. Participants were tested at baseline (T1, following a 4-week control period (T2, and finally at postintervention (T3 for executive function (inhibition and cognitive flexibility and functional mobility (maximal walking speed with and without additional task requirements. Cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness were also assessed as potential mediators.Results: Indices of inhibition, the functions involved in the deliberate withholding of prepotent or automatic responses, and measures of functional mobility improved after the intervention, independent of training type. Mediation analysis suggested that different mechanisms underlie the effects of multicomponent and progressive resistance training. While multicomponent training seemed to directly affect inhibitory capacity, resistance training seemed to affect it indirectly through gains in muscular strength. Physical fitness and executive function variables did not

  5. Callosal degeneration topographically correlated with cognitive function in amnestic mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Pei-Ning; Chou, Kun-Hsien; Chang, Ni-Jung; Lin, Ker-Neng; Chen, Wei-Ta; Lan, Gong-Yau; Lin, Ching-Po; Lirng, Jiing-Feng

    2014-04-01

    Degeneration of the corpus callosum (CC) is evident in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the correlation of microstructural damage in the CC on the cognitive performance of patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and AD dementia is undetermined. We enrolled 26 normal controls, 24 patients with AD dementia, and 40 single-domain aMCI patients with at least grade 1 hippocampal atrophy and isolated memory impairment. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) with fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (DA), and radial diffusivity (DR) were measured. The entire CC was parcellated based on fiber trajectories to specific cortical Brodmann areas using a probabilistic tractography method. The relationship between the DTI measures in the subregions of the CC and cognitive performance was examined. Although the callosal degeneration in the patients with aMCI was less extended than in the patients with AD dementia, degeneration was already exhibited in several subregions of the CC at the aMCI stage. Scores of various neuropsychological tests were correlated to the severity of microstructural changes in the subregional CC connecting to functionally corresponding cortical regions. Our results confirm that CC degeneration is noticeable as early as the aMCI stage of AD and the disconnection of the CC subregional fibers to the corresponding Brodmann areas has an apparent impact on the related cognitive performance. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Functional Brain Network Changes Associated with Maintenance of Cognitive Function in Multiple Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santosh A Helekar

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available In multiple sclerosis (MS functional changes in connectivity due to cortical reorganization could lead to cognitive impairment (CI, or reflect a re-adjustment to reduce the clinical effects of widespread tissue damage. Such alterations in connectivity could result in changes in neural activation as assayed by executive function tasks. We examined cognitive function in MS patients with mild to moderate cognitive impairment and age-matched controls. We evaluated brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI during the successful performance of the Wisconsin-card sorting (WCS task by MS patients, showing compensatory maintenance of normal function, as measured by response latency and error rate. To assess changes in functional connectivity throughout the brain, we performed a global functional brain network analysis by computing voxel by voxel correlations on the fMRI time series data and carrying out a hierarchical cluster analysis. We found that during the WCS task there is a significant reduction in the number of smaller size brain functional networks, and a change in the brain areas representing the nodes of these networks in MS patients compared to age-matched controls. There is also a concomitant increase in the strength of functional connections between brain loci separated at intermediate scale distances in these patients. These functional alterations might reflect compensatory neuroplastic reorganization underlying maintenance of relatively normal cognitive function in the face of white matter lesions and cortical atrophy produced by MS.

  7. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves cognitive functioning after brain injury

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Su Liu; Guangyu Shen; Shukun Deng; Xiubin Wang; Qinfeng Wu; Aisong Guo

    2013-01-01

    Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been widely applied and recognized in the treatment of brain injury;however, the correlation between the protective effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and changes of metabolites in the brain remains unclear. To investigate the effect and potential mechanism of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on cognitive functioning in rats, we established traumatic brain injury models using Feeney’s free fal ing method. We treated rat models with hyperbaric oxygen therapy at 0.2 MPa for 60 minutes per day. The Morris water maze test for spatial navigation showed that the average escape latency was significantly prolonged and cognitive function decreased in rats with brain injury. After treatment with hyperbaric oxygen therapy for 1 and 2 weeks, the rats’ spatial learning and memory abilities were improved. Hydrogen proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy analysis showed that the N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratio in the hippocampal CA3 region was sig-nificantly increased at 1 week, and the N-acetylaspartate/choline ratio was significantly increased at 2 weeks after hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Nissl staining and immunohistochemical staining showed that the number of nerve cells and Nissl bodies in the hippocampal CA3 region was significantly increased, and glial fibril ary acidic protein positive cells were decreased after a 2-week hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment. Our findings indicate that hyperbaric oxygen therapy significantly im-proves cognitive functioning in rats with traumatic brain injury, and the potential mechanism is me-diated by metabolic changes and nerve cellrestoration in the hippocampal CA3 region.

  8. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves cognitive functioning after brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Su; Shen, Guangyu; Deng, Shukun; Wang, Xiubin; Wu, Qinfeng; Guo, Aisong

    2013-12-15

    Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been widely applied and recognized in the treatment of brain injury; however, the correlation between the protective effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and changes of metabolites in the brain remains unclear. To investigate the effect and potential mechanism of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on cognitive functioning in rats, we established traumatic brain injury models using Feeney's free falling method. We treated rat models with hyperbaric oxygen therapy at 0.2 MPa for 60 minutes per day. The Morris water maze test for spatial navigation showed that the average escape latency was significantly prolonged and cognitive function decreased in rats with brain injury. After treatment with hyperbaric oxygen therapy for 1 and 2 weeks, the rats' spatial learning and memory abilities were improved. Hydrogen proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy analysis showed that the N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratio in the hippocampal CA3 region was significantly increased at 1 week, and the N-acetylaspartate/choline ratio was significantly increased at 2 weeks after hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Nissl staining and immunohistochemical staining showed that the number of nerve cells and Nissl bodies in the hippocampal CA3 region was significantly increased, and glial fibrillary acidic protein positive cells were decreased after a 2-week hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment. Our findings indicate that hyperbaric oxygen therapy significantly improves cognitive functioning in rats with traumatic brain injury, and the potential mechanism is mediated by metabolic changes and nerve cell restoration in the hippocampal CA3 region.

  9. Holistic Linguistics: Anthropocentric Foundations and the Functional-Cognitive Paradigm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyurkan (Belichenko Elena

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper dwells on some aspects of language, grammar in particular, through the prism of the functional-cognitive approach. It covers such issues as language and mind, the embodiment of language, the peculiarities of language acquisition, and the metaphoric nature of the human mind. The functional-cognitive approach is regarded as part of a holistic anthropocentric paradigm where language is conceived of as a natural biological phenomenon connected with the adaptive functions of a human being as a holistic living organism. A new paradigm gives rise to new epistemologies and generates new forms of scientific collaboration. Thus, neurosciences, quantum physics, and biology become involved in processing language data, influencing the direction and goals of linguistic research. As suggested by the author of this paper, changes in language can be viewed with regard to quantum effects observed in the macroworld, or an autopoietic reconstruction of the language system. Dwelling on the ideas of cognitive typology, the paper also makes an attempt to elucidate some reasons for the appearance of new structural features in language which influence the reconstruction of its grammatical interface in the first place. Such processes are viewed as the reflection of global shifts in the linguistic world image of language bearers under the influence of the outer world/extralinguistic factors, and as connected with encoding by language of the changes in socio-discursive parameters of the intercourse. Finally, some perspectives of grammar analysis are outlined

  10. Cognitive Function in Parkinson's Disease Patients with and without Anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehgoetz Martens, K A; Szeto, J Y Y; Muller, A J; Hall, J M; Gilat, M; Walton, C C; Lewis, S J G

    2016-01-01

    Research on the implications of anxiety in Parkinson's disease (PD) has been neglected despite its prevalence in nearly 50% of patients and its negative impact on quality of life. Previous reports have noted that neuropsychiatric symptoms impair cognitive performance in PD patients; however, to date, no study has directly compared PD patients with and without anxiety to examine the impact of anxiety on cognitive impairments in PD. This study compared cognitive performance across 50 PD participants with and without anxiety (17 PDA+; 33 PDA-), who underwent neurological and neuropsychological assessment. Group performance was compared across the following cognitive domains: simple attention/visuomotor processing speed, executive function (e.g., set-shifting), working memory, language, and memory/new verbal learning. Results showed that PDA+ performed significantly worse on the Digit Span forward and backward test and Part B of the Trail Making Task (TMT-B) compared to the PDA- group. There were no group differences in verbal fluency, logical memory, or TMT-A performance. In conclusion, anxiety in PD has a measurable impact on working memory and attentional set-shifting.

  11. Everyday cognitive functioning in cardiac patients: relationships between self-report, report of a significant other and cognitive test performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Peter C; Smith, Geoff; Ernest, Christine S; Murphy, Barbara M; Worcester, Marian U C; Higgins, Rosemary O; Le Grande, Michael R; Goble, Alan J; Andrewes, David; Tatoulis, James

    2010-01-01

    Candidates for cardiac bypass surgery often experience cognitive decline. Such decline is likely to affect their everyday cognitive functioning. The aim of the present study was to compare cardiac patients' ratings of their everyday cognitive functioning against significant others' ratings and selected neuropsychological tests. Sixty-nine patients completed a battery of standardised cognitive tests. Patients and significant others also completed the Everyday Function Questionnaire independently of each other. Patient and significant other ratings of patients' everyday cognitive difficulties were found to be similar. Despite the similarities in ratings of difficulties, some everyday cognitive tasks were attributed to different processes. Patients' and significant others' ratings were most closely associated with the neuropsychological test of visual memory. Tests of the patients' verbal memory and fluency were only related to significant others' ratings. Test scores of attention and planning were largely unrelated to ratings by either patients or their significant others.

  12. Complex network analysis of brain functional connectivity under a multi-step cognitive task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Shi-Min; Chen, Wei; Liu, Dong-Bai; Tang, Ming; Chen, Xun

    2017-01-01

    Functional brain network has been widely studied to understand the relationship between brain organization and behavior. In this paper, we aim to explore the functional connectivity of brain network under a multi-step cognitive task involving consecutive behaviors, and further understand the effect of behaviors on the brain organization. The functional brain networks are constructed based on a high spatial and temporal resolution fMRI dataset and analyzed via complex network based approach. We find that at voxel level the functional brain network shows robust small-worldness and scale-free characteristics, while its assortativity and rich-club organization are slightly restricted to the order of behaviors performed. More interestingly, the functional connectivity of brain network in activated ROIs strongly correlates with behaviors and is obviously restricted to the order of behaviors performed. These empirical results suggest that the brain organization has the generic properties of small-worldness and scale-free characteristics, and its diverse functional connectivity emerging from activated ROIs is strongly driven by these behavioral activities via the plasticity of brain.

  13. Implications of infant cognition for executive functions at age 11.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Susan A; Feldman, Judith F; Jankowski, Jeffery J

    2012-01-01

    Recent work suggests that executive functions, the cornerstone of higher-level cognitive operations, are driven by basic information processing abilities. Using structural equation modeling, with latent variables, the present study provides the first evidence that this driving force begins in infancy, such that abilities in infancy predict executive functions at age 11. Information processing abilities in three domains (attention, processing speed, and memory) were assessed when participants were infants (7 and 12 months) and toddlers (24 and 36 months) and were used to predict three executive functions (working memory, inhibition, and shifting) when participants were 11 years old. A model relating infant abilities to age-11 executive functions fit well, and accounted for 9% to 19% of the variance in the executive functions. Paths from both speed and memory in infancy to age-11 working memory were significant, as was the path from Speed in infancy to age-11 Shifting. A model using abilities in toddlerhood as predictors fit similarly. These findings implicate early basic cognitive abilities in the development of executive functions.

  14. Analysis of central mechanism of cognitive training on cognitive impairment after stroke: Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lin, Zhi-cheng; Tao, Jing; Gao, Yan-lin; Yin, Da-zhi; Chen, A-zhen; Chen, Li-dian

    2014-01-01

    ...) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Methods Patients with stroke and executive function and memory deficit were randomized to receive computer-assisted cognitive training (treatment group; total 60...

  15. Processos cognitivos e plasticidade cerebral na Síndrome de Down Cognitive processes and brain plasticity in Down Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria de Fátima Minetto Caldeira Silva

    2006-04-01

    discuss some of the recent discoveries related to cognitive processes in Down Syndrome, so as to show how important brain plasticity can be in development and acquisition of knowledge. To this end, we aim to discuss cognitive processes present in Down Syndrome, relating them to general concepts of brain plasticity and look at ways such knowledge can favor learning. We acknowledge that it isn't possible to exhaust the subject, but we do intend to start thinking about this issue. To do so, we begin with a review of the literature, looking at research, from the oldest to the most recent publications, in an attempt to better understand how to make use of these findings.

  16. Neuritin attenuates cognitive function impairments in tg2576 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoori Choi

    Full Text Available Neuritin, also known as CPG15, is a neurotrophic factor that was initially discovered in a screen to identify genes involved in activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. Neuritin plays multiple roles in the process of neural development and synaptic plasticity, although its binding receptor(s and downstream signaling effectors remain unclear. In this study, we found that the cortical and hippocampal expression of neuritin is reduced in the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD patients and demonstrated that viral-mediated expression of neuritin in the dentate gyrus of 13-month-old Tg2576 mice, an AD animal model, attenuated a deficit in learning and memory as assessed by a Morris water maze test. We also found that neuritin restored the reduction in dendritic spine density and the maturity of individual spines in primary hippocampal neuron cultures prepared from Tg2576 mice. It was also shown that viral-mediated expression of neuritin in the dentate gyrus of 7-week-old Sprague-Dawley rats increased neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Taken together, our results demonstrate that neuritin restores the reduction in dendritic spine density and the maturity of individual spines in primary hippocampal neurons from Tg2576 neurons, and also attenuates cognitive function deficits in Tg2576 mouse model of AD, suggesting that neuritin possesses a therapeutic potential for AD.

  17. Cognition and Synaptic-Plasticity Related Changes in Aged Rats Supplemented with 8- and 10-Carbon Medium Chain Triglycerides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dongmei; Mitchell, Ellen S.

    2016-01-01

    Brain glucose hypometabolism is a common feature of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Previous studies have shown that cognition is improved by providing AD patients with an alternate energy source: ketones derived from either ketogenic diet or supplementation with medium chain triglycerides (MCT). Recently, data on the neuroprotective capacity of MCT-derived medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) suggest 8-carbon and 10-carbon MCFA may have cognition-enhancing properties which are not related to ketone production. We investigated the effect of 8 week treatment with MCT8, MCT10 or sunflower oil supplementation (5% by weight of chow diet) in 21 month old Wistar rats. Both MCT diets increased ketones plasma similarly compared to control diet, but MCT diets did not increase ketones in the brain. Treatment with MCT10, but not MCT8, significantly improved novel object recognition memory compared to control diet, while social recognition increased in both MCT groups. MCT8 and MCT10 diets decreased weight compared to control diet, where MCFA plasma levels were higher in MCT10 groups than in MCT8 groups. Both MCT diets increased IRS-1 (612) phosphorylation and decreased S6K phosphorylation (240/244) but only MCT10 increased Akt phosphorylation (473). MCT8 supplementation increased synaptophysin, but not PSD-95, in contrast MCT10 had no effect on either synaptic marker. Expression of Ube3a, which controls synaptic stability, was increased by both MCT diets. Cortex transcription via qPCR showed that immediate early genes related to synaptic plasticity (arc, plk3, junb, egr2, nr4a1) were downregulated by both MCT diets while MCT8 additionally down-regulated fosb and egr1 but upregulated grin1 and gba2. These results demonstrate that treatment of 8- and 10-carbon length MCTs in aged rats have slight differential effects on synaptic stability, protein synthesis and behavior that may be independent of brain ketone levels. PMID:27517611

  18. Vitamins C and E reverse melamine-induced deficits in spatial cognition and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Lei; Zhang, Tao

    2014-09-01

    Albeit the pathogenesis of cognitive impairment after exposure to melamine has not been fully elucidated, factors such as oxidative stress is thought to play potential roles. In the present study, we investigated the effect of treatment with vitamin C (150mg/kg) and vitamin E (200mg/kg) on the impairment induced by melamine. Three-week-old male Wistar rats were submitted to oral gavage with 300mg/kg melamine in 1% carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) for 28 days (MEL-SAL group). After treatment with melamine, animals received administration of a combination of vitamin C and vitamin E once a day for 7 days (MEL-VIT group). Both control (CT-SAL) group and pair-fed (CT-VIT) group received the same dosage of CMC and vitamin complex, respectively. Melamine-treated rats presented a marked decrease in learning and memory in the Morris water maze (MWM) as well as a reduced efficiency to find the platform in the reversal learning task. The rats treated with vitamins E and C had part of the above effects rescued in MWM tests, with mitigating the melamine-induced deficit in the learning and memory but slightly improving the reversal learning ability. The vitamins C plus E regimen mitigated melamine-induced impairment of hippocampal synaptic plasticity. It showed that the modulation of oxidative stress with vitamins E and C reduced melamine-induced damage. The data suggested that there was a novel therapeutic strategy to the cognitive dysfunction observed in melamine-induced neuropathy.

  19. Whole-brain functional networks in cognitively normal, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eun Hyun Seo

    Full Text Available The conceptual significance of understanding functional brain alterations and cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD process has been widely established. However, the whole-brain functional networks of AD and its prodromal stage, mild cognitive impairment (MCI, are not well clarified yet. In this study, we compared the characteristics of the whole-brain functional networks among cognitively normal (CN, MCI, and AD individuals by applying graph theoretical analyses to [(18F] fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET data. Ninety-four CN elderly, 183 with MCI, and 216 with AD underwent clinical evaluation and FDG-PET scan. The overall small-world property as seen in the CN whole-brain network was preserved in MCI and AD. In contrast, individual parameters of the network were altered with the following patterns of changes: local clustering of networks was lower in both MCI and AD compared to CN, while path length was not different among the three groups. Then, MCI had a lower level of local clustering than AD. Subgroup analyses for AD also revealed that very mild AD had lower local clustering and shorter path length compared to mild AD. Regarding the local properties of the whole-brain networks, MCI and AD had significantly decreased normalized betweenness centrality in several hubs regionally associated with the default mode network compared to CN. Our results suggest that the functional integration in whole-brain network progressively declines due to the AD process. On the other hand, functional relatedness between neighboring brain regions may not gradually decrease, but be the most severely altered in MCI stage and gradually re-increase in clinical AD stages.

  20. Functional Plasticity in Childhood Brain Disorders: When, What, How, and Whom to Assess

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennis, Maureen; Spiegler, Brenda J.; Simic, Nevena; Sinopoli, Katia J.; Wilkinson, Amy; Yeates, Keith Owen; Taylor, H. Gerry; Bigler, Erin D.; Fletcher, Jack M.

    2014-01-01

    At every point in the lifespan, the brain balances malleable processes representing neural plasticity that promote change with homeostatic processes that promote stability. Whether a child develops typically or with brain injury, his or her neural and behavioral outcome is constructed through transactions between plastic and homeostatic processes and the environment. In clinical research with children in whom the developing brain has been malformed or injured, behavioral outcomes provide an index of the result of plasticity, homeostasis, and environmental transactions. When should we assess outcome in relation to age at brain insult, time since brain insult, and age of the child at testing? What should we measure? Functions involving reacting to the past and predicting the future, as well as social-affective skills, are important. How should we assess outcome? Information from performance variability, direct measures and informants, overt and covert measures, and laboratory and ecological measures should be considered. In whom are we assessing outcome? Assessment should be cognizant of individual differences in gene, socio-economic status (SES), parenting, nutrition, and interpersonal supports, which are moderators that interact with other factors influencing functional outcome. PMID:24821533

  1. Electromechanical and electro-optical functions of plasticized PVC with colossal dielectric constant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Hiromu; Hirai, Toshihiro

    2013-04-01

    A soft dielectric polymer, plasticized poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC gel), has been known as a characteristic actuator with electrotactic creep deformation. The deformation can be applied for bending and contraction. The mechanism of the deformation has been attributed to the colossal dielectric constant of the gel induced by dc field. The dielectric constant at 1 Hz, jumps from less than10 to thousand times larger value. The huge dielectric constant suggests the gel can have electro-optic function. In this paper, we introduce the gel can bend light direction by applying a dc electric field. The PVC gel can bend light direction depending on the electric field. Detailed feature of the light bending will be introduced and discussed. Bending angle can be controlled by dielectric plasticizer and electric field. The components of the gel, PVC and plasticizer themselves, did not show any effect of electro-optical function like the PVC gel. The same feature can be observed in other polymer, like poly(vinyl alcohol)-dimethyl sulphoxide gel, too.

  2. Functional adaptation and phenotypic plasticity at the cellular and whole plant level

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Karl J Niklas

    2009-10-01

    The ability to adaptively alter morphological, anatomical, or physiological functional traits to local environmental variations using external environmental cues is especially well expressed by all terrestrial and most aquatic plants. A ubiquitous cue eliciting these plastic phenotypic responses is mechanical perturbation (MP), which can evoke dramatic differences in the size, shape, or mechanical properties of conspecifics. Current thinking posits that MP is part of a very ancient ``stress-perception response system” that involves receptors located at the cell membrane/cell wall interface capable of responding to a broad spectrum of stress-inducing factors. This hypothesis is explored here from the perspective of cell wall evolution and the control of cell wall architecture by unicellular and multicellular plants. Among the conclusions that emerge from this exploration is the perspective that the plant cell is phenotypically plastic.

  3. Influence of Inclusion Shape on Thermoelasto-Plastic Optimun Design of Ceramic Metal Functionally Graded Materials

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    A nonlinear finite element method is applied to observe how inclusion shape influence the thermal response of a ceramic-metal functionally graded material (FGM).The elastic and plastic behaviors of the layers which are two-phase isotropic composites consisting of randomly oriented elastic spheroidal inclusions and a ductile matrix are predicted by a mean field method.The prediction results show that inclusion shape has remarkable influence on the overall behavior of the composite.The consequences of the thermal response analysis of the FGM are that the response is dependent on inclusion shape and its composition profile cooperatively and that the plastic behavior of each layer should be taken into account in optimum design of a ceramic-metal FGM.

  4. Oral zinc supplementation may improve cognitive function in schoolchildren.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Moura, José Edson; de Moura, Edna Nubia Oliveira; Alves, Camila Xavier; Vale, Sancha Helena de Lima; Dantas, Márcia Marília Gomes; Silva, Alfredo de Araújo; Almeida, Maria das Graças; Leite, Lúcia Dantas; Brandão-Neto, José

    2013-10-01

    Zinc is an important micronutrient for humans, and zinc deficiency among schoolchildren is deleterious to growth and development, immune competence, and cognitive function. However, the effect of zinc supplementation on cognitive function remains poorly understood. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the effect of oral zinc supplementation (5 mg Zn/day for 3 months) on the Full Scale Intelligence Quotient (FSIQ), Verbal Intelligence Quotient (VIQ), and Performance Intelligence Quotient (PIQ) using a Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-III). We studied 36 schoolchildren aged 6 to 9 years (7.8 ± 1.1) using a nonprobability sampling method. The baseline serum zinc concentrations increased significantly after zinc supplementation (p under basal conditions before and after zinc supplementation, and there was no difference in FSIQ according to gender or age. The results demonstrated that zinc improved the VIQ only in the Information Subtest (p = 0.009), although the supplementation effects were more significant in relation to the PIQ, as these scores improved for the Picture Completion, Picture Arrangement, Block Design, and Object Assembly Subtests (p = 0.0001, for all subtests). In conclusion, zinc supplementation improved specific cognitive abilities, thereby positively influencing the academic performance of schoolchildren, even those without marginal zinc deficiency.

  5. Chronobiology, cognitive function and depressive symptoms in surgical patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Melissa Voigt

    2014-09-01

    Biological rhythms are essential for the regulation of many life processes. Disturbances of the circadian rhythm are known to affect human health, performance and well-being and the negative consequences are numerous and widespread. Cognitive dysfunction, fatigue, pain, sleep disturbances and mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression, are common problems arising around the time of surgery or in the course of a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment period. The importance of investigating prevention or treatment possibilities in these populations is significant due to the extent of the problems and the derived consequences on morbidity and mortality. Genetic predisposition to these problems is also an issue in focus. In this thesis we initially investigated whether the specific clock gene genotype PER(5/5) was associated with the development of postoperative cognitive dysfunction one week after non-cardiac surgery. We did not find any association, although this could have been due to the size of the study. Yet, if PER3(5/5) is associated with a higher incidence of postoperative cognitive dysfunction, the risk seems to be only modestly increased and by less than 10%. Melatonin is a hormone with well-known chronobiotic and hypnotic effects. In addition, exogenous melatonin is also known to have anxiolytic, analgesic, antidepressant and positive cognitive effects. Based on the lack of studies investigating these effects of melatonin, we conducted the MELODY trial in which we investigated the effect of 6 mg oral melatonin on depressive symptoms, anxiety, sleep, cognitive function and fatigue in patients with breast cancer in a three month time period after surgery. Melatonin had an effect on reducing the risk of developing depressive symptoms and also increased sleep efficiency perioperatively and total sleep time postoperatively. No effect was found on anxiety, sleep quality, sleepiness, general well-being or pain, however melatonin seemed to positively

  6. The relationship between motor function, cognition, independence and quality of life in myelomeningocele patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luz, Carolina Lundberg; Moura, Maria Clara Drummond Soares de; Becker, Karine Kyomi; Teixeira, Rosani Aparecida Antunes; Voos, Mariana Callil; Hasue, Renata Hydee

    2017-08-01

    Motor function, cognition, functional independence and quality of life have been described in myelomeningocele patients, but no study has investigated their relationships. We aimed to investigate the relationships between motor function, cognition, functional independence, quality of life, age, and lesion level in myelomeningocele patients, and investigate the influence of hydrocephalus on these variables. We assessed 47 patients with the Gross Motor Function Measure (motor function), Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices (cognition), Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (functional independence) and the Autoquestionnaire Qualité de vie Enfant Imagé (quality of life). Spearman's correlation tests determined relationships between the variables. The Friedman ANOVAs determined the influence of hydrocephalus. Motor function was strongly related to mobility and lesion level, and moderately related to cognition, self-care and social function. Cognition and quality of life were moderately related to functional independence. Age correlated moderately with functional independence and quality of life. Hydrocephalus resulted in poorer motor/cognitive outcomes and lower functional independence.

  7. Sprint-based exercise and cognitive function in adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Simon B; Bandelow, Stephan; Nute, Maria L; Dring, Karah J; Stannard, Rebecca L; Morris, John G; Nevill, Mary E

    2016-12-01

    Moderate intensity exercise has been shown to enhance cognition in an adolescent population, yet the effect of high-intensity sprint-based exercise remains unknown and was therefore examined in the present study. Following ethical approval and familiarisation, 44 adolescents (12.6 ± 0.6 y) completed an exercise (E) and resting (R) trial in a counter-balanced, randomised crossover design. The exercise trial comprised of 10 × 10 s running sprints, interspersed by 50 s active recovery (walking). A battery of cognitive function tests (Stroop, Digit Symbol Substitution (DSST) and Corsi blocks tests) were completed 30 min pre-exercise, immediately post-exercise and 45 min post-exercise. Data were analysed using mixed effect models with repeated measures. Response times on the simple level of the Stroop test were significantly quicker 45 min following sprint-based exercise (R: 818 ± 33 ms, E: 772 ± 26 ms; p = 0.027) and response times on the complex level of the Stroop test were quicker immediately following the sprint-based exercise (R: 1095 ± 36 ms, E: 1043 ± 37 ms; p = 0.038), while accuracy was maintained. Sprint-based exercise had no immediate or delayed effects on the number of items recalled on the Corsi blocks test (p = 0.289) or substitutions made during the DSST (p = 0.689). The effect of high intensity sprint-based exercise on adolescents' cognitive function was dependant on the component of cognitive function examined. Executive function was enhanced following exercise, demonstrated by improved response times on the Stroop test, whilst visuo-spatial memory and general psycho-motor speed were unaffected. These data support the inclusion of high-intensity sprint-based exercise for adolescents during the school day to enhance cognition.

  8. Sprint-based exercise and cognitive function in adolescents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon B. Cooper

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Moderate intensity exercise has been shown to enhance cognition in an adolescent population, yet the effect of high-intensity sprint-based exercise remains unknown and was therefore examined in the present study. Following ethical approval and familiarisation, 44 adolescents (12.6 ± 0.6 y completed an exercise (E and resting (R trial in a counter-balanced, randomised crossover design. The exercise trial comprised of 10 × 10 s running sprints, interspersed by 50 s active recovery (walking. A battery of cognitive function tests (Stroop, Digit Symbol Substitution (DSST and Corsi blocks tests were completed 30 min pre-exercise, immediately post-exercise and 45 min post-exercise. Data were analysed using mixed effect models with repeated measures. Response times on the simple level of the Stroop test were significantly quicker 45 min following sprint-based exercise (R: 818 ± 33 ms, E: 772 ± 26 ms; p = 0.027 and response times on the complex level of the Stroop test were quicker immediately following the sprint-based exercise (R: 1095 ± 36 ms, E: 1043 ± 37 ms; p = 0.038, while accuracy was maintained. Sprint-based exercise had no immediate or delayed effects on the number of items recalled on the Corsi blocks test (p = 0.289 or substitutions made during the DSST (p = 0.689. The effect of high intensity sprint-based exercise on adolescents' cognitive function was dependant on the component of cognitive function examined. Executive function was enhanced following exercise, demonstrated by improved response times on the Stroop test, whilst visuo-spatial memory and general psycho-motor speed were unaffected. These data support the inclusion of high-intensity sprint-based exercise for adolescents during the school day to enhance cognition.

  9. Does vitamin C deficiency affect cognitive development and function?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Stine Normann; Tveden-Nyborg, Pernille; Lykkesfeldt, Jens

    2014-01-01

    Vitamin C is a pivotal antioxidant in the brain and has been reported to have numerous functions, including reactive oxygen species scavenging, neuromodulation, and involvement in angiogenesis. Absence of vitamin C in the brain has been shown to be detrimental to survival in newborn SVCT2(-/-) mi......-related cognitive decline and in stroke risk and severity. The present review discusses the available literature on effects of vitamin C deficiency on the developing and aging brain with particular focus on in vivo experimentation and clinical studies....... and perinatal deficiency have shown to reduce hippocampal volume and neuron number and cause decreased spatial cognition in guinea pigs, suggesting that maternal vitamin C deficiency could have severe consequences for the offspring. Furthermore, vitamin C deficiency has been proposed to play a role in age...

  10. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation for cognitive function in healthy elderly people.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimley Evans, J; Malouf, R; Huppert, F; van Niekerk, J K

    2006-10-18

    In view of the theoretical possibility of beneficial effects of DHEA or DHEAS in retarding age-associated deterioration in cognitive function, we have reviewed studies in this area. To establish whether administration of DHEA, or its sulphate, DHEAS, improves cognitive function or reduces the rate of decline of cognitive function in normal older adults. Trials were identified from a last updated search of the Specialized Register of the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group on 10 October 2005 using the terms dhea*, prasterone, dehydroepiandrosterone*. In addition MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO and CINAHL were searched to find trials with volunteers who had no or minor memory complaints. Relevant journals, personal communications and conference abstracts were searched for randomized controlled trials investigating the effects of DHEA/S on cognition in older adults. All randomized placebo-controlled trials enrolling people aged over 50 without dementia and to whom DHEA/S in any dosage was administered for more than one day were considered for inclusion in the review. Data for the specified outcomes were independently extracted by two reviewers (JGE and RM) and cross-checked. Any discrepancies were discussed and resolved. No data pooling was undertaken owing to the lack of availability of the relevant statistics. Only three studies provided results from adequate parallel-group data. Barnhart 1999 enrolled perimenopausal women with complaints of decreased well-being and, using three cognitive measures, found no significant effect of DHEA compared with placebo at 3 months. Wolf 1998b enrolled 75 healthy volunteers (37 women and 38 men aged 59-81) in a study of the effect of DHEA supplements on cognitive impairment induced by stress; after two weeks of treatment, placebo group performance deteriorated significantly on a test of selective attention following a psychosocial stressor (pDHEA group (p=0.85). However, when compared with placebo, DHEA was associated with

  11. Physical Activity and Cognitive Function in the Elderly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spirduso, Waneen W.; Asplund, Lesli A.

    1995-01-01

    A relationship between physical fitness and cognition has been difficult to document. The paper describes cognition and examines the effects of aging on cognition, the fitness-cognition relationship hypothesis, difficulties in determining the fitness-cognition relationship, and the current status of the relationship. (SM)

  12. Prenatal Iron Deficiency, Neonatal Ferritin, and Infant Cognitive Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mireku, Michael O; Davidson, Leslie L; Boivin, Michael J; Zoumenou, Romeo; Massougbodji, Achille; Cot, Michel; Bodeau-Livinec, Florence

    2016-12-01

    To investigate the impact of prenatal maternal iron deficiency (ID) on cord blood serum ferritin (CBSF) concentration and infant cognitive and motor development. Our prospective cohort study included 636 mother-singleton child pairs from 828 eligible pregnant women who were enrolled during their first antenatal care (ANC) visit in Allada, Benin, into a clinical trial comparing the efficacy of mefloquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. Venous blood samples of women were assessed for ferritin and hemoglobin concentrations at the first and second ANC visits (occurring at least 1-month apart) and at delivery. Women were prescribed daily iron and folic acid supplements throughout pregnancy. Hematologic examinations were repeated for cord blood at birth. At age 1 year, cognitive and motor functions of children were assessed by using the Mullen Scales of Early Learning. The prevalence of prenatal ID at first and second ANC visits, and at delivery was 30.5%, 34.0%, and 28.4%, respectively. CBSF concentrations were similar between ID and non-ID pregnant women. Neither prenatal ID nor CBSF concentration was associated with poor cognitive or gross motor function of children at age 1 year. CBSF concentrations were lower among mothers who had ID anemia (IDA) at delivery compared with non-IDA pregnant women (adjusted mean difference: -0.2 [95% confidence interval: -0.4 to -0.0]). In a malaria-endemic region, ID in pregnancy in the context of iron supplementation is neither associated with CBSF concentration nor with infant cognitive and motor development. Prenatal IDA around the time of delivery is associated with lower CBSF concentrations. Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  13. Functional network integrity presages cognitive decline in preclinical Alzheimer disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckley, Rachel F; Schultz, Aaron P; Hedden, Trey; Papp, Kathryn V; Hanseeuw, Bernard J; Marshall, Gad; Sepulcre, Jorge; Smith, Emily E; Rentz, Dorene M; Johnson, Keith A; Sperling, Reisa A; Chhatwal, Jasmeer P

    2017-07-04

    To examine the utility of resting-state functional connectivity MRI (rs-fcMRI) measurements of network integrity as a predictor of future cognitive decline in preclinical Alzheimer disease (AD). A total of 237 clinically normal older adults (aged 63-90 years, Clinical Dementia Rating 0) underwent baseline β-amyloid (Aβ) imaging with Pittsburgh compound B PET and structural and rs-fcMRI. We identified 7 networks for analysis, including 4 cognitive networks (default, salience, dorsal attention, and frontoparietal control) and 3 noncognitive networks (primary visual, extrastriate visual, motor). Using linear and curvilinear mixed models, we used baseline connectivity in these networks to predict longitudinal changes in preclinical Alzheimer cognitive composite (PACC) performance, both alone and interacting with Aβ burden. Median neuropsychological follow-up was 3 years. Baseline connectivity in the default, salience, and control networks predicted longitudinal PACC decline, unlike connectivity in the dorsal attention and all noncognitive networks. Default, salience, and control network connectivity was also synergistic with Aβ burden in predicting decline, with combined higher Aβ and lower connectivity predicting the steepest curvilinear decline in PACC performance. In clinically normal older adults, lower functional connectivity predicted more rapid decline in PACC scores over time, particularly when coupled with increased Aβ burden. Among examined networks, default, salience, and control networks were the strongest predictors of rate of change in PACC scores, with the inflection point of greatest decline beyond the fourth year of follow-up. These results suggest that rs-fcMRI may be a useful predictor of early, AD-related cognitive decline in clinical research settings. © 2017 American Academy of Neurology.

  14. Sweet Taste Receptor Signaling Network: Possible Implication for Cognitive Functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Menizibeya O. Welcome

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Sweet taste receptors are transmembrane protein network specialized in the transmission of information from special “sweet” molecules into the intracellular domain. These receptors can sense the taste of a range of molecules and transmit the information downstream to several acceptors, modulate cell specific functions and metabolism, and mediate cell-to-cell coupling through paracrine mechanism. Recent reports indicate that sweet taste receptors are widely distributed in the body and serves specific function relative to their localization. Due to their pleiotropic signaling properties and multisubstrate ligand affinity, sweet taste receptors are able to cooperatively bind multiple substances and mediate signaling by other receptors. Based on increasing evidence about the role of these receptors in the initiation and control of absorption and metabolism, and the pivotal role of metabolic (glucose regulation in the central nervous system functioning, we propose a possible implication of sweet taste receptor signaling in modulating cognitive functioning.

  15. Brain lateralization and neural plasticity for musical and cognitive abilities in an epileptic musician

    OpenAIRE

    Trujillo Pozo, Isabel; Martín Monzón, Isabel; Rodríguez Romero, Rafael

    2013-01-01

    The use of intracarotid propofol procedure (IPP) when assessing musical lateralization has not been reported in literature up to now. This procedure (similar to Wada Test) has provided the opportunity to investigate not only lateralization of language and memory functions on epileptic patients but also offers a functional mapping approach with superior spatial and temporal resolution to analyze the lateralization of musical abilities. Findings in literature suggest that musical training modif...

  16. Exploring the cognitive and motor functions of the basal ganglia: an integrative review of computational cognitive neuroscience models

    OpenAIRE

    Sebastien eHelie; Srinivasa eChakravarthy; Ahmed A. Moustafa

    2013-01-01

    Many computational models of the basal ganglia have been proposed over the past twenty-five years. While computational neuroscience models have focused on closely matching the neurobiology of the basal ganglia, computational cognitive neuroscience models have focused on how the basal ganglia can be used to implement cognitive and motor functions. This review article focuses on computational cognitive neuroscience models of the basal ganglia and how they use the neuroanatomy of the basal gangl...

  17. The Early Indicators of Functional Decrease in Mild Cognitive Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubicki, Alexandre; Fautrelle, Lilian; Bourrelier, Julien; Rouaud, Olivier; Mourey, France

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: Motor deficiency is associated with cognitive frailty in patients with Mild Cognitive Impairments (MCI). In this study we aimed to test the integrity in muscle synergies involved in an arm-pointing movement in functionally unimpaired MCI patients. We hypothesized that early motor indicators exist in this population at a preclinical level. Methods: Electromyographic signals were collected for 11 muscles in 3 groups: Young Adults (YA), Older Adults (OA), and MCI patients. The OA and MCI groups presented the same functional status. Each subject performed 20 arm-pointing movements from a standing position. Results: The main differences were (1) an earlier activation of the left Obliquus internus in MCI compared with OA group, (2) an earlier activation for the MCI compared with both OA and YA. The temporal differences in muscle synergies between MCI and OA groups were linked with executive functions of MCI patients, assessed by the trail making test. Moreover, the results show a delayed activation of the right Biceps Femoris and the right Erector Spinae at l3 in MCI and OA compared with YA. Interpretation: The motor program changes highlighted in our patient MCI group suggest that discrete modifications of the motor command seem to exist even in the absence of functional impairment. Instead of showing an indication of delayed muscle activation in the MCI patients, our results highlight some early activation of several trunk muscles. PMID:27570509

  18. The effect of regular exercise on cognitive functioning and personality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, R J

    1979-09-01

    The effect of regular exercise on cognitive functioning and personality was investigated in 32 subjects representing 4 discrete groups based on sex and age. Before and after a 10 week exercise programme of jogging, calisthenics, and recreational activities, a test battery was administered to assess functioning in a number of domains: intelligence (WAIS Digit Symbol and Block Design); brain function (Trail-Making); speed of performance (Crossing-Off); memory and learning (WMS Visual Reproduction and Associate Learning); morale and life satisfaction (Life Satisfaction and Control Ratings); anxiety (MAACL); and depression (MAACL). Improvement was observed on several physiological parameters. ANOVA revealed significant sex and age differences on Digit Symbol and Block Design and age differences on Trail-Making, Crossing-Off, Associate Learning, and anxiety. Regardless of sex and age, significant improvement in performance was observed from pre to post-test on Digit Symbol, Block Design, Trail-Making, Crossing-Off, and on Associate Learning. In addition, an increase on health status rating (p less than .01) and decrease in anxiety were observed from pre to post-test. These data illustrate beneficial effects of exercise on certain measures of cognitive functioning and personality.

  19. Cognitive Functions in Ataxia with Oculomotor Apraxia Type 2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Péter eKlivényi

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Ataxia with oculomotor apraxia type 2 (AOA2 is characterized by cerebellar atrophy, peripheral neuropathy, oculomotor apraxia, and elevated serum alpha-fetoprotein levels. The disease is caused by a recessive mutation in the senataxin gene. Since it is a very rare cerebellar disorder, no detailed examination of cognitive functions in AOA2 has been published to date. The aim of the present study was to investigate the neuropsychological profile of a 54-year-old patient with AOA2. Methods: A broad range of neuropsychological examination protocol was administered including the following domains: short-term, working- and episodic- memories, executive functions, implicit sequence learning, and the temporal parameters of speech. Results: The performance on the Listening Span, Letter Fluency, Serial Reaction Time Task and pause ratio in speech was 2 or more standard deviations (SD lower compared to controls, and 1 SD lower on Backward Digit Span, Semantic Fluency, articulation rate and speech tempo. Conclusions: These findings indicate that the pathogenesis of the cerebrocerebellar circuit in AOA2 is responsible for the weaker coordination of complex cognitive functions such as working memory, executive functions, speech and sequence learning.

  20. The effect of computer-assisted cognitive rehabilitation and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on cognitive function for stroke patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, In-Seok; Yoon, Jung-Gyu

    2015-03-01

    [Purpose] This study investigated the effects of computer-assisted cognitive rehabilitation (CACR) and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on cognitive function in patients with stroke. [Subjects and Methods] We enrolled 20 patients and divided them into CACR and rTMS groups. CACR and rTMS were performed thrice a week for 4 weeks. Cognitive function was measured with the Korean Mini-Mental State Examination (K-MMSE) and Lowenstein Occupational Therapy Cognitive Assessment-Geriatric (LOTCA-G) before and after treatment. The independent samples t-test was performed to test the homogeneity of K-MMSE and LOTCA-G before treatment and compare the differences in cognitive improvement between the CACR and rTMS groups. A paired samples t-test was used to compare cognitive function before and after treatment. [Results] Cognitive function of both the groups significantly improved after the intervention based on the K-MMSE and LOTCA-G scores. While the LOTCA-G score improved significantly more in the CACR group than in the rTMS group, no significant difference was seen in the K-MMSE scores. [Conclusion] We showed that CACR is more effective than rTMS in improving cognitive function after stroke.

  1. Literature review on the role of dietary protein and amino acids in cognitive functioning and cognitive decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Rest, Ondine; van der Zwaluw, Nikita L; de Groot, Lisette C P G M

    2013-11-01

    As the population of elderly people is growing rapidly, the number of individuals with dementia and cognitive impairment is also increasing. One of the preventive measures against cognitive decline is diet and different dietary factors have already been investigated. This review provides an overview of studies on dietary protein and cognitive functioning and cognitive decline. Also studies on the individual amino acids that are related to brain function, tryptophan and tyrosine, are discussed. Overall, the role of dietary protein intake on cognitive functioning as well as cognitive decline has hardly been studied; we found eight observational studies and three intervention studies. More studies investigated the role of tryptophan (14 studies) and tyrosine (nine studies) in relation to cognitive functioning, but all these studies were performed in young adult populations and mostly under special conditions. Research in elderly populations, in particular, is warranted. Also more research is needed to come to definitive conclusions and specific recommendations regarding protein intake or intake of specific amino acids for maintaining optimal cognitive functioning.

  2. The relationship of the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS) to functional capacity and real-world functional outcome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keefe, Richard S E; Poe, Margaret; Walker, Trina M; Harvey, Philip D

    2006-02-01

    The Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS) assesses five different domains of cognitive function with six tests, and takes about 30-35 minutes to complete in patients with schizophrenia. Previous work has demonstrated the reliability of this measure, and its sensitivity to the deficits of schizophrenia. However, the relationship of this brief cognitive measure to functional outcome has not been determined. Further, future registration trials for potentially cognitive enhancing compounds may not only assess efficacy with cognitive performance measures, but with assessments of real-world functional outcome and functional capacity. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between the BACS and a potential co-primary measure for treatment studies of cognition in schizophrenia, and to determine if such a measure accounts for significant variance in functioning beyond that provided by cognitive function. The current study assessed 60 patients with schizophrenia over the course of six months. Cognitive functions were measured with the BACS. Functional capacity was measured with the UCSD Performance-based Skills Assessment (UPSA). Real-world functional outcome was measured with the Independent Living Skills Inventory (ILSI). BACS composite scores were significantly correlated with functional capacity as measured by the UPSA (r = .65, df = 55, p BACS. These data suggest that brief cognitive assessments such as the BACS are able to assess aspects of cognition that are related to important functional measures in clinical trials of cognitive enhancement. They also suggest that the measures being considered as potential co-primary indicators of cognitive function for registration trials are significantly correlated with cognition as assessed by brief cognitive assessments.

  3. The effect of sugammadex on postoperative cognitive function and recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pişkin, Özcan; Küçükosman, Gamze; Altun, Deniz Utku; Çimencan, Murat; Özen, Banu; Aydın, Bengü Gülhan; Okyay, Rahşan Dilek; Ayoğlu, Hilal; Turan, Işıl Özkoçak

    2016-01-01

    Sugammadex is the first selective relaxant binding agent. When compared with neostigmine, following sugammadex administration patients wake earlier and have shorter recovery times. In this study, we hypothesized that fast and clear awakening in patients undergoing general anesthesia has positive effects on cognitive functions in the early period after operation. Approved by the local ethical committee, 128 patients were enrolled in this randomized, prospective, controlled, double-blind study. Patients were allocated to either Sugammadex group (Group S) or the Neostigmine group (Group N). The primary outcome of the study was early postoperative cognitive recovery as measured by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). After baseline assessment 12-24h before the operation. After the operation, when the Modified Aldrete Recovery Score was ≥9 the MMSE and 1h later the MoCA tests were repeated. Although there was a reduction in MoCA and MMSE scores in both Group S and Group N between preoperative and postoperative scores, there was no statistically significant difference in the slopes (p>0.05). The time to reach TOF 0.9 was 2.19min in Group S and 6.47min in Group N (pSugammadex compared to the Neostigmine. Copyright © 2015 Sociedade Brasileira de Anestesiologia. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  4. Measurements of response functions of EJ-299-33A plastic scintillator for fast neutrons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman, J.; Barzilov, A.; Peters, E. E.; Yates, S. W.

    2015-12-01

    Monoenergetic neutron response functions were measured for an EJ-299-33A plastic scintillator. The 7-MV Van de Graaff accelerator at the University of Kentucky Accelerator Laboratory was used to produce proton and deuteron beams for reactions with gaseous tritium and deuterium targets, yielding monoenergetic neutrons by means of the 3H(p,n)3He, 2H(d,n)3He, and 3H(d,n)4He reactions. The neutron energy was selected by tuning the charged-particle's energy and using the angular dependence of the neutron emission. The resulting response functions were measured for 0.1-MeV steps in neutron energy from 0.1 MeV to 8.2 MeV and from 12.2 MeV to 20.2 MeV. Experimental data were processed using a procedure for digital pulse-shape discrimination, which allowed characterization of the response functions of the plastic scintillator to neutrons only. The response functions are intended for use in neutron spectrum unfolding methods.

  5. TRPV1 in the central nervous system: synaptic plasticity, function, and pharmacological implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Jeffrey G

    2014-01-01

    The function of TRPV1 in the peripheral nervous system is increasingly being investigated for its anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties in an effort to find a novel target to fight pain that is nonaddictive. However, in recent years, it was discovered that TRPV1 is also associated with a wide array of functions and behaviors in the central nervous system, such as fear, anxiety, stress, thermoregulation, pain, and, more recently, synaptic plasticity, the cellular mechanism that allows the brain to adapt to its environment. This suggests a new role for brain TRPV1 in areas such as learning and memory, reward and addiction, and development. This wide array of functional aspects of TRPV1 in the central nervous system (CNS) is in part due to its multimodal form of activation and highlights the potential pharmacological implications of TRPV1 in the brain. As humans also express a TRPV1 homologue, it is likely that animal research will be translational to humans and therefore worthy of exploration. This review outlines the basic expression patterns of TRPV1 in the CNS along with what is known regarding its signaling mechanisms and its role in the aforementioned brain functions. As TRPV1 involvement in synaptic plasticity has never been fully reviewed elsewhere, it will be a focus of this review. The chapter concludes with some of the potential pharmaceutical implications of further TRPV1 research.

  6. Mental training as a tool in the neuroscientific study of brain and cognitive plasticity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slagter, H.A.; Davidson, R.J.; Lutz, A.

    2011-01-01

    Although the adult brain was once seen as a rather static organ, it is now clear that the organization of brain circuitry is constantly changing as a function of experience or learning. Yet, research also shows that learning is often specific to the trained stimuli and task, and does not improve per

  7. Mental training as a tool in the neuroscientific study of brain and cognitive plasticity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slagter, H.A.; Davidson, R.J.; Lutz, A.

    2011-01-01

    Although the adult brain was once seen as a rather static organ, it is now clear that the organization of brain circuitry is constantly changing as a function of experience or learning. Yet, research also shows that learning is often specific to the trained stimuli and task, and does not improve per

  8. Different plasticity patterns of language function in children with perinatal and childhood stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilves, Pilvi; Tomberg, Tiiu; Kepler, Joosep; Laugesaar, Rael; Kaldoja, Mari-Liis; Kepler, Kalle; Kolk, Anneli

    2014-06-01

    Plasticity of language function after brain damage can depend on maturation of the brain. Children with left-hemisphere perinatal (n = 7) or childhood stroke (n = 5) and 12 controls were investigated using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The verb generation and the sentence comprehension tasks were employed to activate the expressive and receptive language areas, respectively. Weighted laterality indices were calculated and correlated with results assessed by neuropsychological test battery. Compared to controls, children with childhood stroke showed significantly lower mean scores for the expressive (P language tests. On functional magnetic resonance imaging they showed left-side cortical activation, as did controls. Perinatal stroke patients showed atypical right-side or bilateral language lateralization during both tasks. Negative correlation for stroke patients was found between scores for expressive language tests and laterality index during the verb generation task. (Re)organization of language function differs in children with perinatal and childhood stroke and correlates with neurocognitive performance.

  9. Journey into the Problem-Solving Process: Cognitive Functions in a PBL Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chua, B. L.; Tan, O. S.; Liu, W. C.

    2016-01-01

    In a PBL environment, learning results from learners engaging in cognitive processes pivotal in the understanding or resolution of the problem. Using Tan's cognitive function disc, this study examines the learner's perceived cognitive functions at each stage of PBL, as facilitated by the PBL schema. The results suggest that these learners…

  10. Journey into the Problem-Solving Process: Cognitive Functions in a PBL Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chua, B. L.; Tan, O. S.; Liu, W. C.

    2016-01-01

    In a PBL environment, learning results from learners engaging in cognitive processes pivotal in the understanding or resolution of the problem. Using Tan's cognitive function disc, this study examines the learner's perceived cognitive functions at each stage of PBL, as facilitated by the PBL schema. The results suggest that these learners…

  11. Cholesteryl Ester Transfer Protein (CETP) genotype and cognitive function in persons aged 35 years or older

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Izaks, Gerbrand J.; van der Knaap, Aafke M.; Gansevoort, Ron T.; Navis, Gerjan; Slaets, Joris P. J.; Dullaart, Robin P. F.

    2012-01-01

    Common polymorphisms of the Cholestryl Ester Transfer Protein (CETP) gene may predict lower risk of cognitive decline. We investigated the association of cognitive function with CETP genotype in a population-based cohort of 4135 persons aged 35-82 years. Cognitive function was measured with the Ruff

  12. Motor system evolution and the emergence of high cognitive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza, Germán; Merchant, Hugo

    2014-11-01

    In human and nonhuman primates, the cortical motor system comprises a collection of brain areas primarily related to motor control. Existing evidence suggests that no other mammalian group has the number, extension, and complexity of motor-related areas observed in the frontal lobe of primates. Such diversity is probably related to the wide behavioral flexibility that primates display. Indeed, recent comparative anatomical, psychophysical, and neurophysiological studies suggest that the evolution of the motor cortical areas closely correlates with the emergence of high cognitive abilities. Advances in understanding the cortical motor system have shown that these areas are also related to functions previously linked to higher-order associative areas. In addition, experimental observations have shown that the classical distinction between perceptual and motor functions is not strictly followed across cortical areas. In this paper, we review evidence suggesting that evolution of the motor system had a role in the shaping of different cognitive functions in primates. We argue that the increase in the complexity of the motor system has contributed to the emergence of new abilities observed in human and nonhuman primates, including the recognition and imitation of the actions of others, speech perception and production, and the execution and appreciation of the rhythmic structure of music. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Aerobic and Cognitive Exercise (ACE) Pilot Study for Older Adults: Executive Function Improves with Cognitive Challenge While Exergaming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barcelos, Nicole; Shah, Nikita; Cohen, Katherine; Hogan, Michael J; Mulkerrin, Eamon; Arciero, Paul J; Cohen, Brian D; Kramer, Arthur F; Anderson-Hanley, Cay

    2015-11-01

    Dementia cases are increasing worldwide; thus, investigators seek to identify interventions that might prevent or ameliorate cognitive decline in later life. Extensive research confirms the benefits of physical exercise for brain health, yet only a fraction of older adults exercise regularly. Interactive mental and physical exercise, as in aerobic exergaming, not only motivates, but has also been found to yield cognitive benefit above and beyond traditional exercise. This pilot study sought to investigate whether greater cognitive challenge while exergaming would yield differential outcomes in executive function and generalize to everyday functioning. Sixty-four community based older adults (mean age=82) were randomly assigned to pedal a stationary bike, while interactively engaging on-screen with: (1) a low cognitive demand task (bike tour), or (2) a high cognitive demand task (video game). Executive function (indices from Trails, Stroop and Digit Span) was assessed before and after a single-bout and 3-month exercise intervention. Significant group × time interactions were found after a single-bout (Color Trails) and after 3 months of exergaming (Stroop; among 20 adherents). Those in the high cognitive demand group performed better than those in the low cognitive dose condition. Everyday function improved across both exercise conditions. Pilot data indicate that for older adults, cognitive benefit while exergaming increased concomitantly with higher doses of interactive mental challenge.

  14. Change in Depression Symptomatology and Cognitive Function in Twins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Inge; McGue, Matt; Tan, Qihua

    2016-01-01

    individual change. Additionally, we saw a small but significant cross-trait correlation at both occasions (-0.11 and -0.09, respectively), but cross-trait cross-occasion analysis revealed no evidence that either of the two traits predicts the other over a 10-year interval. Thus, our study was not able...... of correlated traits. Here, we have applied twin modeling approaches to shed light on the genetic correlation between both level and change of depression symptomatology and cognitive functioning, and to further explore the bidirectionality of any such correlation using assessments of both phenotypes at two...

  15. Cognitive functioning in female patients with 21-hydroxylase deficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dittmann, R W; Kappes, M H; Kappes, M E

    1993-01-01

    The cognitive functioning of 27 female patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) (aged 11-41 yrs) and 13 of their healthy sisters (13-31 yrs) was compared using short versions of age-appropriate Wechsler scales. In contrast to other studies, neither a higher than average IQ level for CAH patients (mean: 99.0) nor for their sisters (97.7) was found. Unexpectedly, and in contrast to other reports, the subgroup of salt-wasting (SW) patients>16 yrs (N=6; mean score: 111.5) differed from their sisters as well as from simple-virilizing (SV) patients in "full IQ" (pgender-role behaviour were found.

  16. Cognitive Deficits, Changes in Synaptic Function, and Brain Pathology in a Mouse Model of Normal Aging(1,2,3).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Martin; Wu, Tiffany; Hanson, Jesse E; Alam, Nazia M; Solanoy, Hilda; Ngu, Hai; Lauffer, Benjamin E; Lin, Han H; Dominguez, Sara L; Reeder, Jens; Tom, Jennifer; Steiner, Pascal; Foreman, Oded; Prusky, Glen T; Scearce-Levie, Kimberly

    2015-09-01

    Age is the main risk factor for sporadic Alzheimer's disease. Yet, cognitive decline in aged rodents has been less well studied, possibly due to concomitant changes in sensory or locomotor function that can complicate cognitive tests. We tested mice that were 3, 11, and 23 months old in cognitive, sensory, and motor measures, and postmortem measures of gliosis and neural activity (c-Fos). Hippocampal synaptic function was also examined. While age-related impairments were detectable in tests of spatial memory, greater age-dependent effects were observed in tests of associative learning [active avoidance (AA)]. Gross visual function was largely normal, but startle responses to acoustic stimuli decreased with increased age, possibly due to hearing impairments. Therefore, a novel AA variant in which light alone served as the conditioning stimuli was used. Age-related deficits were again observed. Mild changes in vision, as measured by optokinetic responses, were detected in 19- versus 4-month-old mice, but these were not correlated to AA performance. Thus, deficits in hearing or vision are unlikely to account for the observed deficits in cognitive measures. Increased gliosis was observed in the hippocampal formation at older ages. Age-related changes in neural function and plasticity were observed with decreased c-Fos in the dentate gyrus, and decreased synaptic strength and paired-pulse facilitation in CA1 slices. This work, which carefully outlines age-dependent impairments in cognitive and synaptic function, c-Fos activity, and gliosis during normal aging in the mouse, suggests robust translational measures that will facilitate further study of the biology of aging.

  17. The effects of lifelong cognitive lifestyle on executive function in older people with Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hindle, John V; Martin-Forbes, Pamela A; Martyr, Anthony; Bastable, Alexandra J M; Pye, Kirstie L; Mueller Gathercole, Virginia C; Thomas, Enlli M; Clare, Linda

    2017-02-07

    Active lifelong cognitive lifestyles increase cognitive reserve and have beneficial effects on global cognition, cognitive decline and dementia risk in Parkinson's disease (PD). Executive function is particularly impaired even in early PD, and this impacts on quality of life. The effects of lifelong cognitive lifestyle on executive function in PD have not been studied previously. This study examined the association between lifelong cognitive lifestyle, as a proxy measure of cognitive reserve, and executive function in people with PD. Sixty-nine people diagnosed with early PD without dementia were recruited as part of the Bilingualism as a protective factor in Age-related Neurodegenerative Conditions study. Participants completed a battery of tests of executive function. The Lifetime of Experiences Questionnaire was completed as a comprehensive assessment of lifelong cognitive lifestyle. Non-parametric correlations compared clinical measures with executive function scores. Cross-sectional analyses of covariance were performed comparing the performance of low and high cognitive reserve groups on executive function tests. Correlational analyses showed that better executive function scores were associated with younger age, higher levodopa dose and higher Lifetime of Experiences Questionnaire scores. Higher cognitive reserve was associated with better motor function, but high and low cognitive reserve groups did not differ in executive function. Cognitive reserve, although associated with global cognition, does not appear to be associated with executive function. This differential effect may reflect the specific cognitive profile of PD. The long-term effects of cognitive reserve on executive function in PD require further exploration. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  18. Short-term plasticity in thalamocortical pathways: cellular mechanisms and functional roles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro-Alamancos, M A

    1997-01-01

    Information reaches the neocortex through different types of thalamocortical pathways. These differ in many morphological and physiological properties. One interesting aspect in which thalamocortical pathways differ is in their temporal dynamics, such as their short-term plasticity. Primary pathways display frequency-dependent depression, while secondary pathways display frequency-dependent enhancement. The cellular mechanisms underlying these dynamic responses involve pre- and post-synaptic and circuit properties. They may serve to synchronize, amplify and/or filter neural activity in neocortex depending on behavioral demands, and thus to adapt each pathway to its specific function.

  19. Pain medication and global cognitive functioning in dementia patients with painful conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Plooij, B.; Spek, K. van der; Scherder, E.J.

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Dementia patients are at an increased risk for undertreatment of pain, compared with older people without dementia, suggesting a relationship between pain medication prescription and cognitive functioning. Studies on a possible relationship between pain medication and cognitive functioni

  20. Effects on cognitive functioning after olanzapine-ziprasidone crossover in recent-onset schizophrenia.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grootens, K.P.; Veelen, N.M. van; Sitskoorn, M.M.; Sabbe, B.G.C.; Peuskens, J.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Verkes, R.J.; Kahn, R.S.

    2010-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: To enhance functional outcome in schizophrenia improvement of cognitive symptoms is crucial. EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURES: Using a comprehensive test battery, this follow-up examines cognitive effects in patients with recent-onset schizophrenia after a change of medication following

  1. Progress in neural plasticity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    POO; Mu-Ming

    2010-01-01

    One of the properties of the nervous system is the use-dependent plasticity of neural circuits.The structure and function of neural circuits are susceptible to changes induced by prior neuronal activity,as reflected by short-and long-term modifications of synaptic efficacy and neuronal excitability.Regarded as the most attractive cellular mechanism underlying higher cognitive functions such as learning and memory,activity-dependent synaptic plasticity has been in the spotlight of modern neuroscience since 1973 when activity-induced long-term potentiation(LTP) of hippocampal synapses was first discovered.Over the last 10 years,Chinese neuroscientists have made notable contributions to the study of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity,as well as of the plasticity beyond synapses,including activity-dependent changes in intrinsic neuronal excitability,dendritic integration functions,neuron-glia signaling,and neural network activity.This work highlight some of these significant findings.

  2. Effect of a ketogenic meal on cognitive function in elderly adults: potential for cognitive enhancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ota, Miho; Matsuo, Junko; Ishida, Ikki; Hattori, Kotaro; Teraishi, Toshiya; Tonouchi, Hidekazu; Ashida, Kinya; Takahashi, Takeshi; Kunugi, Hiroshi

    2016-10-01

    Glucose is the principal energy substrate for the brain, although ketone bodies are an effective alternative. Evidence suggests that elevation of plasma ketone body levels through oral intake of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) may improve cognitive function. We tried to examine the possible effects of a ketogenic meal serving on cognition in elderly non-demented subjects. Subjects were 19 non-demented elderly adults over 60 years old (13 females; mean age: 66.1 ± 2.9 years) who underwent neurocognitive tests 90 and 180 min after oral intake of a ketogenic meal (Ketonformula®) containing 20 g of MCTs and an isocaloric placebo meal without MCTs on separate days. Elevation of plasma ketone concentration after intake of a single ketogenic meal containing 20 g of MCTs was confirmed (all p ketogenic meal and the change in the executive functioning score was positively correlated with that of the plasma β-hydroxybutyrate level. The cognition-enhancing effect was observed predominantly for individuals who had a relatively low global score at baseline (Z = -2.8, p = 0.005), compared to individuals with a high global score (Z = -0.7, p = 0.51). Plasma levels of ketone bodies were successfully increased after intake of the ketogenic meal. The ketogenic meal was suggested to have positive effects on working memory, visual attention, and task switching in non-demented elderly.

  3. Functional relations and cognitive psychology: Lessons from human performance and animal research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proctor, Robert W; Urcuioli, Peter J

    2016-02-01

    We consider requirements for effective interdisciplinary communication and explore alternative interpretations of "building bridges between functional and cognitive psychology." If the bridges are intended to connect radical behaviourism and cognitive psychology, or functional contextualism and cognitive psychology, the efforts are unlikely to be successful. But if the bridges are intended to connect functional relationships and cognitive theory, no construction is needed because the bridges already exist within cognitive psychology. We use human performance and animal research to illustrate the latter point and to counter the claim that the functional approach is unique in offering a close relationship between science and practice. Effective communication will be enhanced and, indeed, may only occur if the goal of functional contextualism extends beyond just "the advancement of functional contextual cognitive and behavioral science and practice" to "the advancement of cognitive and behavioral science and practice" without restriction.

  4. Effects of Acute Exposures to Carbon Dioxide Upon Cognitive Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scully, R. R.; Alexander, D. J.; Ryder, V. E.; Lam, C. W.; Statish, U.; Basner, M.

    2016-01-01

    Large quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) originate from human metabolism and typically, within spacecraft, remain about 10-fold higher in concentration than at the earth's surface. There have been recurring complaints by crew members of episodes of "mental viscosity" adversely affecting their performance, and there is evidence from the International Space Station (ISS) that associates CO2 levels with reports of headaches by crewmembers. Additionally, there is concern that CO2 may contribute to vision impairment and intracranial pressure that has been observed in some crewmembers. Consequently, flight rules have been employed to control the level of CO2 below 4 mm Hg, which is well below the existing Spacecraft Maximum Allowable Concentration (SMAC) of 10 mm Hg for 24-hour exposures, and 5.3 mm Hg for exposures of 7 to 180 days. However, the flight rule imposed limit, which places additional demands upon resources and current technology, still exceeds the lower bound of the threshold range for reportable headaches (2 - 5 mm Hg). Headaches, while sometime debilitating themselves, are also symptoms that can provide evidence that physiological defense mechanisms have been breached. The causes of the headaches may elicit other subtle adverse effects that occur at CO2 levels well below that for headaches. The concern that CO2 may have effects at levels below the threshold for headaches appears to be substantiated in unexpected findings that CO2 at concentrations below 2 mm Hg substantially reduced some cognitive functions that are associated with the ability to make complex decisions in conditions that are characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity, and delayed feedback. These are conditions that could be encountered by crews in off-nominal situations or during the first missions beyond low earth orbit. If findings of the earlier study are confirmed in crew-like subjects, our findings would provide additional evidence that CO2 may need to be

  5. Effect of trataka on cognitive functions in the elderly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talwadkar, Shubhada; Jagannathan, Aarti; Raghuram, Nagarathna

    2014-07-01

    Trataka, a type of yoga practice is considered to improve cognitive functions. The aim of this study was to test the effect of trataka on cognitive functions of the elderly. Elderly subjects were recruited based on inclusion and exclusion criteria (n = 60) and randomly divided using randomized block design into two groups: Trataka and wait list control group. Trataka (a visual cleansing technique) was given for a period of 1 month (26 days). The subjects in both groups were assessed on day 1 (pre- and postintervention in trataka group and after quiet sitting in control group) and on day 30 on Digit Span Test, Six Letter Cancellation Test (SLCT), and Trail Making Test-B (TMT-B). Friedman's test and Wilcoxon signed-rank test showed that at the 2(nd) follow-up there was significant improvement in digit span scores (z = -3.35, P < 0.01) in the trataka group. SLCT scores (t = 5.08, P < 0.01) and TMT-B scores (t = -4.26, P < 0.01) improved immediately after the practice of trataka (when baseline compared to first follow-up). At 1 month follow-up, trataka group showed significantly better performance in the SLCT test compared to baseline (t = -3.93, P < 0.01) and TMT-B scores (t = 7.09, P < 0.01). Repeated measure analysis of variance (RM ANOVA) results also reiterated that there was significant interaction effect at the end of 1 month of trataka intervention as compared to control group on TMT-B and SLCT scores. The results of this study establish that Trataka can be used as a technique to enhance cognition in the elderly.

  6. Plasticity of the cis-regulatory input function of a gene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avraham E Mayo

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available The transcription rate of a gene is often controlled by several regulators that bind specific sites in the gene's cis-regulatory region. The combined effect of these regulators is described by a cis-regulatory input function. What determines the form of an input function, and how variable is it with respect to mutations? To address this, we employ the well-characterized lac operon of Escherichia coli, which has an elaborate input function, intermediate between Boolean AND-gate and OR-gate logic. We mapped in detail the input function of 12 variants of the lac promoter, each with different point mutations in the regulator binding sites, by means of accurate expression measurements from living cells. We find that even a few mutations can significantly change the input function, resulting in functions that resemble Pure AND gates, OR gates, or single-input switches. Other types of gates were not found. The variant input functions can be described in a unified manner by a mathematical model. The model also lets us predict which functions cannot be reached by point mutations. The input function that we studied thus appears to be plastic, in the sense that many of the mutations do not ruin the regulation completely but rather result in new ways to integrate the inputs.

  7. Phenotypic and functional plasticity of cells of innate immunity: macrophages, mast cells and neutrophils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Galli, Stephen J; Borregaard, Niels; Wynn, Thomas A

    2011-01-01

    Hematopoietic cells, including lymphoid and myeloid cells, can develop into phenotypically distinct 'subpopulations' with different functions. However, evidence indicates that some of these subpopulations can manifest substantial plasticity (that is, undergo changes in their phenotype and functio...... a common mechanism for modulating innate or adaptive immunity.......). Here we focus on the occurrence of phenotypically distinct subpopulations in three lineages of myeloid cells with important roles in innate and acquired immunity: macrophages, mast cells and neutrophils. Cytokine signals, epigenetic modifications and other microenvironmental factors can substantially...... and, in some cases, rapidly and reversibly alter the phenotype of these cells and influence their function. This suggests that regulation of the phenotype and function of differentiated hematopoietic cells by microenvironmental factors, including those generated during immune responses, represents...

  8. Relation of neurocardiovascular instability to cognitive, emotional and functional domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bendini, C; Angelini, A; Salsi, F; Finelli, M E; Martini, E; Neviani, F; Mussi, C; Neri, M

    2007-01-01

    There is bulk of evidence suggesting that blood pressure dysregulation, as low blood pressure (LBP) or hypotension, orthostatic hypotension (OH) and high blood pressure (HPB) or hypertension are associated with alterations in cognitive and emotional domains. Some studies suggest that LBP, neurocardiovascular instability, like the OH, and atherosclerosis resulting from long standing HBP, reduces cerebral blood flow, increasing the risk of cognitive impairment, morbidity and mortality. This study aims to evaluate whether patients with cognitive impairment and cardiovascular disease would show any differences in some anamnestic indicators and/or psychometric measures of cognitive performance and affective symptoms. We recruited 36 patients over 65 years of age admitted to both psycho- and cardio-geriatric ambulatories of our hospital during the last year. The population (mean age of 80.5 years, 72.2% females, 27.8% males) was divided in 2 groups, with OH (25%), and without OH (75%). The first group was subdivided in subgroups: patients with HBP, normal BP and LBP, respectively. Cognitive and depressive domains were assessed with the mini mental state examination (MMSE) and the Italian "scala di valutazione del benessere emotivo nell' anziano" (SVEBA). Information about the present status, comorbidities (cumulative illness rating scale=CIRS), functional ability (activities of daily living=ADL, instrumental ADL=IADL) and drugs were collected during clinical examination. BP was measured 4 times, at the beginning of examination, then with the patient in clinostatic and orthostatic position (1st and 3rd minute). Data were analyzed by MANCOVA, considering age and gender as covariates, MMSE, SVEBA, CIRS, ADL, IADL and drugs as dependent variables, and presence/absence of OH as factor. Covariates were not significant sources of variance, as well as overall factor. Due to the heuristic aim of the study, we considered of interest the results of subsequent ANOVAs showing

  9. Working memory network plasticity after anterior temporal lobe resection: a longitudinal functional magnetic resonance imaging study

    OpenAIRE

    Stretton, Jason; Sidhu, Meneka K; Winston, Gavin P.; Bartlett, Philippa; McEvoy, Andrew W; Symms, Mark R.; Koepp, Matthias J; Thompson, Pamela J; Duncan, John S.

    2014-01-01

    Working memory is a crucial cognitive function that is disrupted in temporal lobe epilepsy. It is unclear whether this impairment is a consequence of temporal lobe involvement in working memory processes or due to seizure spread to extratemporal eloquent cortex. Anterior temporal lobe resection controls seizures in 50–80% of patients with drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy and the effect of surgery on working memory are poorly understood both at a behavioural and neural level. We investiga...

  10. Hippocampal-neocortical functional reorganization underlies children's cognitive development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Shaozheng; Cho, Soohyun; Chen, Tianwen; Rosenberg-Lee, Miriam; Geary, David C; Menon, Vinod

    2014-09-01

    The importance of the hippocampal system for rapid learning and memory is well recognized, but its contributions to a cardinal feature of children's cognitive development-the transition from procedure-based to memory-based problem-solving strategies-are unknown. Here we show that the hippocampal system is pivotal to this strategic transition. Longitudinal functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 7-9-year-old children revealed that the transition from use of counting to memory-based retrieval parallels increased hippocampal and decreased prefrontal-parietal engagement during arithmetic problem solving. Longitudinal improvements in retrieval-strategy use were predicted by increased hippocampal-neocortical functional connectivity. Beyond childhood, retrieval-strategy use continued to improve through adolescence into adulthood and was associated with decreased activation but more stable interproblem representations in the hippocampus. Our findings provide insights into the dynamic role of the hippocampus in the maturation of memory-based problem solving and establish a critical link between hippocampal-neocortical reorganization and children's cognitive development.

  11. Schooling, educational achievement, and cognitive functioning among young Guatemalan adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Aryeh D; Behrman, Jere R; DiGirolamo, Ann; Grajeda, Rubén; Martorell, Reynaldo; Quisumbing, Agnes; Ramakrishnan, Usha

    2005-06-01

    Quantity and quality of schooling obtained and the resulting skills and knowledge acquired are important components of human capital. We describe the distribution of selected measures of schooling, educational achievement, and cognitive functioning among individuals who participated as children in a nutrition supplementation trial in Guatemala and were followed up in 2002-04. Among 1,469 respondents (response rate 80%), who were 26-41 years of age in 2003, more than 90% of men and women had attended at least some school; more than half of men and more than one-third of women had completed sixth grade. Schooling attainment of both men and women has increased across birth cohorts but the schooling gap between men and women has increased. Parental socioeconomic status, as measured in 1975, is a strong predictor of schooling attainment. Basic literacy is high among those studied, with more than 80% able to read simple sentences. The gap in educational achievement favoring men narrowed across birth cohorts due to increases among younger women. The greater performance among men on the Raven's Progressive Matrices test persisted despite increased scores in the younger birth cohorts for both men and women. Migrants to Guatemala City have completed more years of school and scored higher on the tests of educational achievement and cognitive functioning than have cohort members who have remained in the study villages.

  12. Sex Dependence of Cognitive Functions in Bipolar Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksandra Suwalska

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the present study was to assess the performance of lithium treated euthymic bipolar patients in tests measuring spatial working memory (SWM, planning, and verbal fluency and to delineate the influence of gender on cognitive functioning. Fifty-nine euthymic bipolar patients, treated with lithium carbonate for at least 5 yr, were studied. Patients and controls underwent a neuropsychological assessment. Bipolar patients had significantly worse results than the healthy controls in the spatial memory and planning as well as verbal fluency tests. We detected a gender-related imbalance in the SWM results. Deficits in SWM were observed in male-only comparisons but not in female-only comparisons. The SWM scores were significantly poorer in male patients than in male controls. In female-only comparisons, female patients did not have significantly poorer SWM results in any category than their controls. Bipolar women scored worse in some other tests. The present study points to the different patterns of neuropsychological disturbances in female and male patients and suggests that sex-dependent differences should be taken into account in order to tailor the therapeutic intervention aimed at the improvement of cognitive functions.

  13. Cognitive Performance associated to functional outcomes in stable outpatients with schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Zaragoza Domingo, MA

    2015-09-01

    Conclusion: Most prevalent impairments were on executive function and processing speed domains; however, working memory showed the strongest relationship to functional disability. Monitoring cognitive function during follow up is critical to understand patient’s everyday functional capacity.

  14. Cognitive function and gait speed under normal and dual-task walking among older adults with mild cognitive impairment

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Doi, Takehiko; Shimada, Hiroyuki; Makizako, Hyuma; Tsutsumimoto, Kota; Uemura, Kazuki; Anan, Yuya; Suzuki, Takao

    2014-01-01

    .... We classified 389 elderly adults into amnestic MCI (n = 191) and non-amnestic MCI (n = 198), assessed their cognitive functions, and administered gait experiments under NW and DTW conditions...

  15. Changes in cognitive state alter human functional brain networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malaak Nasser Moussa

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The study of the brain as a whole system can be accomplished using network theory principles. Research has shown that human functional brain networks during a resting state exhibit small-world properties and high degree nodes, or hubs, localized to brain areas consistent with the default mode network (DMN. However, the study of brain networks across different tasks and or cognitive states has been inconclusive. Research in this field is important because the underpinnings of behavioral output are inherently dependent on whether or not brain networks are dynamic. This is the first comprehensive study to evaluate multiple network metrics at a voxel-wise resolution in the human brain at both the whole brain and regional level under various conditions: resting state, visual stimulation, and multisensory (auditory and visual stimulation. Our results show that despite global network stability, functional brain networks exhibit considerable task-induced changes in connectivity, efficiency, and community structure at the regional level.

  16. The hyperactive child at adolescence: cognitive, emotional, and social functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoy, E; Weiss, G; Minde, K; Cohen, N

    1978-09-01

    In view of the paucity of detailed follow-up studies on hyperactive children, the performance of 15 adolescents diagnosed hyperactive 5 years previously was compared to that of a control group of equivalent age, sex, intelligence, and social class. Eleven cognitive tests measuring sustained attention, visual-motor and motor skills, abstraction, and reading ability, as well as three self-assessment tests examining self-esteem, activity level, social functioning, academic status, and career aspirations were administered. The hyperactives performed significantly worse than the controls on the sustained attention, visual-motor, and motor tasks, and on two of the four reading tests. They also gave themselves significantly lower ratings on some of the self-esteem and sociability items. It would appear that the hyperactives at adolescence still have attentional and stimulus-processing difficulties, which affect not only their academic performance but also their social functioning.

  17. Effects of childhood trauma exposure and cortisol levels on cognitive functioning among breast cancer survivors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamen, Charles; Scheiber, Caroline; Janelsins, Michelle; Jo, Booil; Shen, Hanyang; Palesh, Oxana

    2017-08-14

    Cognitive functioning difficultiesin breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy are common, but not all women experience these impairments. Exposure to childhood trauma may impair cognitive functioning following chemotherapy, and these impairments may be mediated by dysregulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function and cortisol slope. This study evaluated the association between childhood trauma exposure, cortisol, and cognition in a sample of breast cancer survivors. 56 women completed measures of trauma exposure (the Traumatic Events Survey), salivary cortisol, and self-reported cognitive functioning (the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - Cognitive). We examined correlations between childhood trauma exposure and cognitive functioning, then used linear regression to control for factors associated with cognition (age, education, time since chemotherapy, depression, anxiety, and insomnia), and the MacArthur approach to test whether cortisol levels mediated the relationship between trauma and cognitive functioning. 57.1% of the sample had experienced at least one traumatic event in childhood, with 19.6% of the sample witnessing a serious injury, 17.9% experiencing physical abuse, and 14.3% experiencing sexual abuse. Childhood trauma exposure and cognitive functioning were moderately associated (r=-0.29). This association remained even when controlling for other factors associated with cognition; the final model explained 47% of the variance in cognitive functioning. The association between childhood trauma and cognitive functioning was mediated by steeper cortisol slope (partial r=0.35, p=0.02). Childhood trauma exposure is associated with self-reported cognitive functioning among breast cancer survivors and is mediated by cortisol dysregulation. Trauma should be considered, among other factors, in programs aiming to address cognition in this population. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Low selenium and reduced cognitive function in a cohort elderly study

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jianchao Bian; Sujuan Gao; Qiliang Qin; Zhongjie Yun; Yuan Liu; Shuliang Song; Chuanjiao Liu; Xiaohong Luo; Jie Gao; Chaoke Liang

    2010-01-01

    Cognitive function in the elderly is affected by various environmental,social,and individual factors.Studies show that chemical trace elements are closely related to cognitive function.As a protective factor,selenium promotes cognition in the elderly.However,study results into the effects of selenium on cognition have varied.By eliminating unstable environmental and other related factors,the present study selected elderly individuals from rural areas of the Shandong province to verify whether low selenium exposure is a risk factor for decreased cognitive function.Results demonstrated that age,sex,education,occupation,hypertension,stroke,and body selenium levels were factors affecting cognitive function in the elderly,and that selenium was an important protective factor.Moreover,results supported the hypothesis that a lifelong low selenium level is associated with low cognitive function.

  19. Neuropsychiatric symptoms and functional connectivity in mild cognitive impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munro, Catherine E.; Donovan, Nancy J.; Guercio, Brendan J.; Wigman, Sarah E.; Schultz, Aaron P.; Amariglio, Rebecca E.; Rentz, Dorene M.; Johnson, Keith A.; Sperling, Reisa A.; Marshall, Gad A.

    2015-01-01

    Background Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS), such as apathy and depression, commonly accompany cognitive and functional decline in early Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Prior studies have shown associations between affective NPS symptoms and neurodegeneration of medial frontal and inferior temporal regions in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD dementia. Objective To investigate the association between functional connectivity in four brain networks and NPS in elderly with MCI. Methods NPS were assessed using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory in 42 subjects with MCI. Resting-state functional connectivity in four networks (default mode network, fronto-parietal control network (FPCN), dorsal attention network, and ventral attention network) was assessed using seed-based magnetic resonance imaging. Factor analysis was used to identify two factors of NPS: Affective and Hyperactivity. Linear regression models were utilized with the neuropsychiatric factors as the dependent variable and the four networks as the predictors of interest. Covariates included age, sex, premorbid intelligence, processing speed, memory, head movement, and signal-to-noise ratio. These analyses were repeated with the individual items of the Affective factor, using the same predictors. Results There was a significant association between greater Affective factor symptoms and reduced FPCN connectivity (p=0.03). There was no association between the Hyperactivity factor and any of the networks. Secondary analyses revealed an association between greater apathy and reduced FPCN connectivity (p=0.005), but none in other networks. Conclusions Decreased connectivity in the FPCN may be associated with greater affective symptoms, particularly apathy, early in AD. These findings extend prior studies, using different functional imaging modalities in individuals with greater disease severity. PMID:25854929

  20. Specific cognitive functions and depressive symptoms as predictors of activities of daily living in older adults with heterogeneous cognitive backgrounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Paula, Jonas J; Diniz, Breno S; Bicalho, Maria A; Albuquerque, Maicon Rodrigues; Nicolato, Rodrigo; de Moraes, Edgar N; Romano-Silva, Marco A; Malloy-Diniz, Leandro F

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive functioning influences activities of daily living (ADL). However, studies reporting the association between ADL and neuropsychological performance show inconsistent results regarding what specific cognitive domains are related to each specific functional domains. Additionally, whether depressive symptoms are associated with a worse functional performance in older adults is still under explored. We investigated if specific cognitive domains and depressive symptoms would affect different aspects of ADL. Participants were 274 older adults (96 normal aging participants, 85 patients with mild cognitive impairment, and 93 patients probable with mild Alzheimer's disease dementia) with low formal education (∼4 years). Measures of ADL included three complexity levels: Self-care, Instrumental-Domestic, and Instrumental-Complex. The specific cognitive functions were evaluated through a factorial strategy resulting in four cognitive domains: Executive Functions, Language/Semantic Memory, Episodic Memory, and Visuospatial Abilities. The Geriatric Depression Scale measured depressive symptoms. Multiple linear regression analysis showed executive functions and episodic memory as significant predictors of Instrumental-Domestic ADL, and executive functions, episodic memory and language/semantic memory as predictors of Instrumental-Complex ADL (22 and 28% of explained variance, respectively). Ordinal regression analysis showed the influence of specific cognitive functions and depressive symptoms on each one of the instrumental ADL. We observed a heterogeneous pattern of association with explained variance ranging from 22 to 38%. Different instrumental ADL had specific cognitive predictors and depressive symptoms were predictive of ADL involving social contact. Our results suggest a specific pattern of influence depending on the specific instrumental daily living activity.

  1. Cognitive function, treatment response to lithium, and social functioning in Japanese patients with bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Satoshi; Fujii, Kumiko; Ozeki, Yuji; Ohmori, Kenichi; Honda, Gyo; Mori, Harunobu; Kato, Kazuko; Kuroda, Jinichi; Aoki, Akiko; Asahi, Haruhiko; Sato, Hayato; Shimoda, Kazutaka; Akiyama, Kazufumi

    2017-07-10

    Patients with bipolar disorder often suffer from cognitive impairment that significantly influences their functional outcome. However, it remains unknown whether lithium has a central role in cognition and functional outcome. We examined whether cognition and functional outcome were predicted by demographic and clinical variables, including the response to lithium, in lithium-treated patients with bipolar disorder. We evaluated 96 lithium-treated euthymic patients with bipolar disorder and 196 age- and-gender-matched healthy controls, using the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS). The patients were also assessed using the Social Functioning Scale (SFS) and "The Retrospective Criteria of Long-Term Treatment Response in Research Subjects with Bipolar Disorder" (Alda) scale, which was evaluated as either a continuous measure of the total scale or a dichotomous criterion. Multiple regression analysis revealed two key findings: first, that the premorbid intelligence quotient, age, and number of mood episodes were predictors of the BACS composite score; and, second, that the BACS composite score, negative symptoms, and continuous measure on the total Alda scale (but not its dichotomy) predicted the total SFS score. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to confirm these findings, and additionally revealed that the Alda scale was significantly associated with negative symptoms and also the number of mood episodes, regardless of how it was evaluated. SEM delineated how demographic and clinical variables, cognitive performance, and response to lithium treatment were causally associated with, and converged on, social function. The putative role of the Alda scale for social function warrants further study. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Effects of Acute Exposures to Carbon Dioxide upon Cognitive Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryder, V. E.; Scully, R. R.; Alexander, D. J.; Lam, C. W.; Young, M.; Satish, U.; Basner, M.

    2017-01-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) originates from human metabolism and typically remains about 10-fold higher in concentration on the International Space Station (ISS) than at the earth's surface. There have been recurring complaints by crew members of episodes of "mental viscosity" adversely affecting their performance, and there is evidence from the ISS that associates CO2 levels with reports of headaches by crewmembers. Consequently, flight rules have been employed to control CO2 below 3 mm Hg, which is well below the existing Spacecraft Maximum Allowable Concentration (SMAC) of 10 mm Hg for 24-hour exposures, and 5.3 mm Hg for exposures of 7 to 180 days. Headaches, while sometime debilitating themselves, are also symptoms that can provide evidence that physiological defense mechanisms have been breached, and there is evidence that CO2 has effects at levels below the threshold for headaches. This concern appears to be substantiated in reports that CO2 at concentrations below 2 mm Hg substantially reduced some cognitive functions that are associated with the ability to make complex decisions in conditions that are characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity, and delayed feedback. These are conditions that could be encountered by crews in off-nominal situations or during the first missions beyond low earth orbit. Therefore, we set out to determine if decision-making under volatile, uncertain, confusing and ambiguous circumstances, where feedback is delayed or absent, is correlated with low levels of CO2 during acute exposures (several hours) in crew-like subjects and to determine if additional cognitive domains are sensitive to concentrations of CO2 at, or below, current ISS levels by using a test battery that is currently available onboard ISS. We enrolled 22 volunteers (8 females, 14 males) between the ages of 30-55 (38.8 +/- 7.0) years whose training and professional experience reflect that of the astronaut corps. Subjects were divided among 4 study

  3. Role of Dicer and the miRNA system in neuronal plasticity and brain function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiorenza, Anna; Barco, Angel

    2016-11-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small regulatory non-coding RNAs that contribute to fine-tuning regulation of gene expression by mRNA destabilization and/or translational repression. Their abundance in the nervous system, their temporally and spatially regulated expression and their ability to respond in an activity-dependent manner make miRNAs ideal candidates for the regulation of complex processes in the brain, including neuronal plasticity, memory formation and neural development. The conditional ablation of the RNase III Dicer, which is essential for the maturation of most miRNAs, is a useful model to investigate the effect of the loss of the miRNA system, as a whole, in different tissues and cellular types. In this review, we first provide an overview of Dicer function and structure, and discuss outstanding questions concerning the role of miRNAs in the regulation of gene expression and neuronal function, to later focus on the insight derived from studies in which the genetic ablation of Dicer was used to determine the role of the miRNA system in the nervous system. In particular, we highlight the collective role of miRNAs fine-tuning plasticity-related gene expression and providing robustness to neuronal gene expression networks. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Participation in cognitively-stimulating activities is associated with brain structure and cognitive function in preclinical Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Stephanie A; Larson, Jordan; Oh, Jennifer; Koscik, Rebecca; Dowling, Maritza N; Gallagher, Catherine L; Carlsson, Cynthia M; Rowley, Howard A; Bendlin, Barbara B; Asthana, Sanjay; Hermann, Bruce P; Johnson, Sterling C; Sager, Mark; LaRue, Asenath; Okonkwo, Ozioma C

    2015-12-01

    This study tested the hypothesis that frequent participation in cognitively-stimulating activities, specifically those related to playing games and puzzles, is beneficial to brain health and cognition among middle-aged adults at increased risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Three hundred twenty-nine cognitively normal, middle-aged adults (age range, 43.2-73.8 years) enrolled in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer's Prevention (WRAP) participated in this study. They reported their current engagement in cognitive activities using a modified version of the Cognitive Activity Scale (CAS), underwent a structural MRI scan, and completed a comprehensive cognitive battery. FreeSurfer was used to derive gray matter (GM) volumes from AD-related regions of interest (ROIs), and composite measures of episodic memory and executive function were obtained from the cognitive tests. Covariate-adjusted least squares analyses were used to examine the association between the Games item on the CAS (CAS-Games) and both GM volumes and cognitive composites. Higher scores on CAS-Games were associated with greater GM volumes in several ROIs including the hippocampus, posterior cingulate, anterior cingulate, and middle frontal gyrus. Similarly, CAS-Games scores were positively associated with scores on the Immediate Memory, Verbal Learning & Memory, and Speed & Flexibility domains. These findings were not modified by known risk factors for AD. In addition, the Total score on the CAS was not as sensitive as CAS-Games to the examined brain and cognitive measures. For some individuals, participation in cognitive activities pertinent to game playing may help prevent AD by preserving brain structures and cognitive functions vulnerable to AD pathophysiology.

  5. Subjective cognitive complaints and the role of executive cognitive functioning in the working population: a case-control study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecilia U D Stenfors

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cognitive functioning is important for managing work and life in general. However, subjective cognitive complaints (SCC, involving perceived difficulties with concentration, memory, decision making, and clear thinking are common in the general and working population and can be coupled with both lowered well-being and work ability. However, the relation between SCC and cognitive functioning across the adult age-span, and in the work force, is not clear as few population-based studies have been conducted on non-elderly adults. Thus, the present study aimed to test the relation between SCC and executive cognitive functioning in a population-based sample of employees. METHODS: Participants were 233 employees with either high (cases or low (controls levels of SCC. Group differences in neuropsychological test performance on three common executive cognitive tests were analysed through a set of analyses of covariance tests, including relevant covariates. RESULTS & CONCLUSIONS: In line with the a priori hypotheses, a high level of SCC was associated with significantly poorer executive cognitive performance on all three executive cognitive tests used, compared to controls with little SCC. Additionally, symptoms of depression, chronic stress and sleeping problems were found to play a role in the relations between SCC and executive cognitive functioning. No significant associations remained after adjusting for all these factors. The current findings contribute to an increased understanding of what characterizes SCC in the work force and may be used at different levels of prevention of- and intervention for SCC and related problems with executive cognitive functioning.

  6. Severity of negative symptoms significantly affects cognitive functioning in patients with chronic schizophrenia: the slowing in cognitive processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavia S. Galaverna

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Background and Objectives: Studies in patients with schizophrenia have shown a decreased overall cognitive performance, and it was found that processing speed and working memory functions are affected. The aim of this study was to describe the general cognitive performance of patients with chronic schizophrenia and analyze its relationship with the severity of psychotic symptoms. Methods: Forty-eight patients diagnosed with DSM IV-TR schizophrenia disorder were examined for symptom improvement, measured by scales SAPS and SANS. Participants also completed the full scale WAIS-III. Results: The results show a generalized cognitive deficit, reflected in the low level of general intelligence, as well as the different index that comprise the scale. The most compromised index was the processing speed. The correlations showed that the overall severity of negative symptoms significantly affects cognitive functioning of chronic patients. The formal thought disorder and alogia significantly correlated with almost all the WAIS-III measures. Conclusions: Multiple studies of specific cognitive domains in schizophrenia have shown that deficits in processing speed are the core element of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia. We support the hypothesis about the slowing in cognitive processing affect both the performance of the basic and more complex cognitive task.

  7. The functional upregulation of piriform cortex is associated with cross-modal plasticity in loss of whisker tactile inputs.

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    Bing Ye

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cross-modal plasticity is characterized as the hypersensitivity of remaining modalities after a sensory function is lost in rodents, which ensures their awareness to environmental changes. Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cross-modal sensory plasticity remain unclear. We aim to study the role of different types of neurons in cross-modal plasticity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In addition to behavioral tasks in mice, whole-cell recordings at the excitatory and inhibitory neurons, and their two-photon imaging, were conducted in piriform cortex. We produced a mouse model of cross-modal sensory plasticity that olfactory function was upregulated by trimming whiskers to deprive their sensory inputs. In the meantime of olfactory hypersensitivity, pyramidal neurons and excitatory synapses were functionally upregulated, as well as GABAergic cells and inhibitory synapses were downregulated in piriform cortex from the mice of cross-modal sensory plasticity, compared with controls. A crosswire connection between barrel cortex and piriform cortex was established in cross-modal plasticity. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: An upregulation of pyramidal neurons and a downregulation of GABAergic neurons strengthen the activities of neuronal networks in piriform cortex, which may be responsible for olfactory hypersensitivity after a loss of whisker tactile input. This finding provides the clues for developing therapeutic strategies to promote sensory recovery and substitution.

  8. Is cognitive impairment following early life stress in severe mental disorders based on specific or general cognitive functioning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aas, Monica; Steen, Nils E; Agartz, Ingrid; Aminoff, Sofie R; Lorentzen, Steinar; Sundet, Kjetil; Andreassen, Ole A; Melle, Ingrid

    2012-08-15

    Schizophrenia spectrum and bipolar disorder are characterized by high levels of childhood trauma as well as of cognitive dysfunction. Our aim is to investigate the association between these two factors in the largest study in the literature so far. A total of 406 patients with schizophrenia spectrum- or bipolar disorders were recruited from a catchment area based organization in Oslo, Norway. Information about early life stress was obtained using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). Cognitive function was assessed through a comprehensive and standardized neuropsychological test battery. Physical abuse, sexual abuse and physical neglect were significantly associated with reduced scores on working memory and executive function scales (p=0.04 to pIntelligence (WASI) (p=0.059 to pdisorders, in particular working memory and executive function as well as general cognition. Moreover, these dysfunctions seem to be driven by underlying deficits in general cognitive tasks as measured by the WASI.

  9. Calcium ion in skeletal muscle: its crucial role for muscle function, plasticity, and disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berchtold, M W; Brinkmeier, H; Müntener, M

    2000-01-01

    Mammalian skeletal muscle shows an enormous variability in its functional features such as rate of force production, resistance to fatigue, and energy metabolism, with a wide spectrum from slow aerobic to fast anaerobic physiology. In addition, skeletal muscle exhibits high plasticity that is based...... on the potential of the muscle fibers to undergo changes of their cytoarchitecture and composition of specific muscle protein isoforms. Adaptive changes of the muscle fibers occur in response to a variety of stimuli such as, e.g., growth and differentition factors, hormones, nerve signals, or exercise....... Additionally, the muscle fibers are arranged in compartments that often function as largely independent muscular subunits. All muscle fibers use Ca(2+) as their main regulatory and signaling molecule. Therefore, contractile properties of muscle fibers are dependent on the variable expression of proteins...

  10. Cognitive reserve is associated with the functional organization of brain in healthy aging: A MEG Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Eugenia eLopez

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The proportion of elderly people in the population has increased rapidly in the last century and consequently healthy aging is expected to become a critical area of research in neuroscience. Evidence reveals how healthy aging depends on three main behavioral factors: social lifestyle, cognitive activity and physical activity. In this study, we focused on the role of cognitive activity, concentrating specifically on educational and occupational attainment factors, which were considered two of the main pillars of cognitive reserve.21 subjects with similar rates of social lifestyle, physical and cognitive activity were selected from a sample of 55 healthy adults. These subjects were divided into two groups according to their level of cognitive reserve; one group comprised subjects with high cognitive reserve (9 members and the other contained those with low cognitive reserve (12 members. To evaluate the cortical brain connectivity network, all participants were recorded by Magnetoencephalography (MEG while they performed a memory task (modified version of the Sternberg´s Task. We then applied two algorithms (Phase Locking Value & Phase-Lag Index to study the dynamics of functional connectivity. In response to the same task, the subjects with lower cognitive reserve presented higher functional connectivity than those with higher cognitive reserve.These results may indicate that participants with low cognitive reserve needed a greater 'effort' than those with high cognitive reserve to achieve the same level of cognitive performance. Therefore, we conclude that cognitive reserve contributes to the modulation of the functional connectivity patterns of the aging brain.

  11. Cognitive functions and autoantibodies in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Bogaczewicz

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Autoantibodies may occur in the course of various diseases. In the case of systemic lupus erythematosus the presence of specific autoantibodies is included in the classification criteria of the disease. The aim of the study was to investigate whether the presence of the serologic markers of systemic lupus erythematosus, i.e. anti-dsDNA, anti-Sm and anticardiolipin antibodies of the class IgM and IgG are linked with the results of neuropsychological tests evaluating selected cognitive functions in patients without overt neuropsychiatric lupus and without antiphospholipid syndrome. Material and methods: The study included 22 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. For the assessment of anti-dsDNA, anti-Sm and anticardiolipin antibodies the immunoenzymatic method was used. For neuropsychological estimation of the selected cognitive functions the attention switching test and the choice reaction time were applied, in which the results are expressed as the average delay i.e. mean correct latency, using the computer-based Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB. Results: The results of attention switching test in patients with anti-Sm antibodies were lower, but not significantly different from those obtained by the patients without such antibodies: 75.0 (73.12–88.12 vs. 92.5 (85–95. Choice reaction time was significantly longer in patients with anti-Sm antibodies in comparison to the patients without antiSm antibodies: 614.9 (520.6–740.8 vs. 476.7 (396.6–540 (p = 0.01. No significant difference was demonstrated in the results of attention switching test and choice reaction time with regard to the presence of anti-dsDNA antibodies. The results of attention switching test and choice reaction time were not different between the groups of patients with and without anticardiolipin antibodies in the IgM and IgG class. Conclusions: Anti-Sm antibodies seem to contribute to

  12. Exploring the cognitive and motor functions of the basal ganglia: An integrative review of computational cognitive neuroscience models

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    Sebastien eHelie

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Many computational models of the basal ganglia have been proposed over the past twenty-five years. While computational neuroscience models have focused on closely matching the neurobiology of the basal ganglia, computational cognitive neuroscience models have focused on how the basal ganglia can be used to implement cognitive and motor functions. This review article focuses on computational cognitive neuroscience models of the basal ganglia and how they use the neuroanatomy of the basal ganglia to account for cognitive and motor functions such as categorization, instrumental conditioning, probabilistic learning, working memory, sequence learning, automaticity, reaching, handwriting, and eye saccades. A total of 19 basal ganglia models accounting for one or more of these functions are reviewed and compared. The review concludes with a discussion of the limitations of existing computational cognitive neuroscience models of the basal ganglia and prescriptions for future modeling, including the need for computational models of the basal ganglia that can simultaneously account for cognitive and motor functions, and the need for a more complete specification of the role of the basal ganglia in behavioral functions.

  13. The MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB): performance and functional correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lystad, June Ullevoldsæter; Falkum, Erik; Mohn, Christine; Haaland, Vegard Øksendal; Bull, Helen; Evensen, Stig; Rund, Bjørn Rishovd; Ueland, Torill

    2014-12-30

    Neurocognitive impairment is a core feature in psychotic disorders and the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) is now widely used to assess neurocognition in this group. The MATRICS has been translated into several languages, including Norwegian; although this version has yet to be investigated in an adult clinical population. Further, the relationship between the MATRICS and different measures of functioning needs examination. The purpose of this study was to describe neurocognition assessed with the Norwegian version of the MATRICS battery in a sample of patients with psychotic disorders compared to age and gender matched healthy controls and to examine the association with educational-, occupational- and social-functioning in the patient group. One hundred and thirty one patients and 137 healthy controls completed the battery. The Norwegian version of the MATRICS was sensitive to the magnitude of neurocognitive impairments in patients with psychotic disorders, with patients displaying significant impairments on all domains relative to healthy controls. Neurocognition was also related to both self-rated and objective functional measures such as social functioning, educational- and employment-history.

  14. Reorganization of functional networks in mild cognitive impairment.

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    Javier M Buldú

    Full Text Available Whether the balance between integration and segregation of information in the brain is damaged in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI subjects is still a matter of debate. Here we characterize the functional network architecture of MCI subjects by means of complex networks analysis. Magnetoencephalograms (MEG time series obtained during a memory task were evaluated by synchronization likelihood (SL, to quantify the statistical dependence between MEG signals and to obtain the functional networks. Graphs from MCI subjects show an enhancement of the strength of connections, together with an increase in the outreach parameter, suggesting that memory processing in MCI subjects is associated with higher energy expenditure and a tendency toward random structure, which breaks the balance between integration and segregation. All features are reproduced by an evolutionary network model that simulates the degenerative process of a healthy functional network to that associated with MCI. Due to the high rate of conversion from MCI to Alzheimer Disease (AD, these results show that the analysis of functional networks could be an appropriate tool for the early detection of both MCI and AD.

  15. Cognitive Functioning after Surgery in Middle-aged and Elderly Danish Twins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dokkedal, Unni; Hansen, Tom G; Rasmussen, Lars S

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Postoperative cognitive dysfunction is common, but it remains unclear whether there are long-term adverse cognitive effects of surgery combined with anesthesia. The authors examined the association between exposure to surgery and level of cognitive functioning in a sample of 8,503 mid...

  16. Physical Frailty and Cognitive Functioning in Depressed Older Adults : Findings From the NESDO Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arts, Matheus H. L.; Collard, Rose M.; Comijs, Hannie C.; Zuidersma, Marij; de Rooij, Sophia E.; Naarding, Paul; Voshaar, Richard C. Oude

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: Cognitive frailty has recently been defined as the co-occurrence of physical frailty and cognitive impairment. Late-life depression is associated with both physical frailty and cognitive impairment, especially processing speed and executive functioning. The objective of this study was to

  17. Evaluation of the effects of group psychotherapy on cognitive function in patients with multiple sclerosis with cognitive dysfunction and depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emine Bilgi

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Objective This study will evaluate how decreasing depression severity via group psychotherapy affects the cognitive function of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS who are also diagnosed with depression and cognitive dysfunction. Method MS patients completed the Brief Repeatable Battery of Neuropsychological Tests and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI. The group members diagnosed with depression and cognitive dysfunction underwent group psychotherapy for 3 months. Upon completion of psychotherapy, both tests were readministered. Results Depression and cognitive dysfunction were comorbid in 15 (13.9% of patients. Although improvement was detected at the end of the 3-month group psychotherapy intervention, it was limited to the BDI and the Paced Auditory Test. Conclusion Group psychotherapy might decrease cognitive impairment in MS patients.

  18. Association between tobacco smoking and cognitive functioning in young adults

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chamberlain, Samuel R; Odlaug, Brian Lawrence; Schreiber, Liana R N;

    2012-01-01

    Tobacco smoking represents a considerable public health burden globally. Smoking in older adults is associated with cognitive impairment and more rapid age-associated cognitive decline, but there is a paucity of studies in younger people.......Tobacco smoking represents a considerable public health burden globally. Smoking in older adults is associated with cognitive impairment and more rapid age-associated cognitive decline, but there is a paucity of studies in younger people....

  19. Association between tobacco smoking and cognitive functioning in young adults

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chamberlain, Samuel R; Odlaug, Brian Lawrence; Schreiber, Liana R N

    2012-01-01

    Tobacco smoking represents a considerable public health burden globally. Smoking in older adults is associated with cognitive impairment and more rapid age-associated cognitive decline, but there is a paucity of studies in younger people.......Tobacco smoking represents a considerable public health burden globally. Smoking in older adults is associated with cognitive impairment and more rapid age-associated cognitive decline, but there is a paucity of studies in younger people....

  20. Prenatal melamine exposure impairs spatial cognition and hippocampal synaptic plasticity by presynaptic and postsynaptic inhibition of glutamatergic transmission in adolescent offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Lei; Sun, Wei

    2017-03-05

    Our previous studies showed that prenatal melamine exposure (PME) could impair spatial cognition and hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). More importantly, the synaptic dysfunction induced by PME was associated with the probability of presynaptic glutamate release. Considering the crucial role of the other form of synaptic plasticity, long-term depression (LTD), in some types of learning and memory process, the aim of present study was to investigate if the hippocampal LTD and cognitive flexibility were affected. And then we attempted to explore the underlying mechanism. The animal model was produced by melamine exposure throughout gestational period with 400mg/kg bodyweight, the male offspring rats were used in the study. Morris water maze (MWM) test was performed, and then LTD was recorded from Schaffer collaterals to CA1 region in the hippocampus. Behavioral test showed that learning, reference memory and re-acquisition learning abilities were impaired significantly by PME. The field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) slopes of LTD were significantly higher after PME. Furthermore, the data of whole-cell patch-clamp experiments showed that PME markedly diminished the frequencies of spontaneous EPSCs (sEPSCs) and simultaneously reduced the amplitude of sEPSCs. In conclusion, PME inhibited glutamate transmission presynaptically and postsynaptically which could contribute importantly to the depressed hippocampal synaptic plasticity and further induced cognitive deficits in MWM tests.

  1. Chronobiology, cognitive function and depressive symptoms in surgical patients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Melissa Voigt

    2014-01-01

    in this limited population. With regard to safety in our study, melatonin treatment for three months did not cause any serious adverse effects. Finally, we systematically reviewed the literature on the prophylactic or therapeutic effect of melatonin for depression or depressive symptoms in adult patients...... disorders, such as anxiety and depression, are common problems arising around the time of surgery or in the course of a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment period. The importance of investigating prevention or treatment possibilities in these populations is significant due to the extent...... investigated the effect of 6 mg oral melatonin on depressive symptoms, anxiety, sleep, cognitive function and fatigue in patients with breast cancer in a three month time period after surgery. Melatonin had an effect on reducing the risk of developing depressive symptoms and also increased sleep efficiency...

  2. Adolescent social isolation influences cognitive function in adult rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Feng Shao; Xiao Han; Shuang Shao; Weiwen Wang

    2013-01-01

    Adolescence is a critical period for neurodevelopment. Evidence from animal studies suggests that isolated rearing can exert negative effects on behavioral and brain development. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of adolescent social isolation on latent inhibition and brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in the forebrain of adult rats. Male Wistar rats were randomly divided into adolescent isolation (isolated housing, 38–51 days of age) and social groups. Latent inhibition was tested at adulthood. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels were measured in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Adolescent social isolation impaired latent inhibition and increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in the medial prefrontal cortex of young adult rats. These data suggest that adolescent social isolation has a profound effect on cognitive function and neurotrophin levels in adult rats and may be used as an animal model of neurodevelopmental disorders.

  3. The functional TiO2-biodegradable plastic composite material produced by HVOF spraying process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bang, Hee-Seon; Bang, Han-Sur; Lee, Yoon-Ki

    2007-11-01

    Photocatalytic TiO2 coatings on bio-degradable plastic(polybutylene succinate: PBS) were prepared by HVOF spraying using three kinds of agglomerated powders (P200: 200 nm, P30: 30 nm, P7: 7 nm). The microstructures of the coatings were characterized with SEM and XRD analysis, and the photocatalytic efficiency of the coatings was evaluated by photo degradation of gaseous acetaldehyde. For both the HVOF sprayed P200 and P30 coatings, high anatase ratio of 100% was achieved, regardless of the fuel gas pressure. On the other hand, for the HVOF sprayed P7 coating, the anatase ratio decreased from 100% to 49.1% with increasing fuel gas pressure. This decrease may be attributed to the much higher susceptibility to heat of the 7 nm agglomerated powders than the 30 nm and 200 nm agglomerated powders. In terms of the photocatalytic efficiency, HVOF sprayed P200 and P30 coatings seemed to outperform the P7 coatings because of their higher anatase ratios. However, the HVOF sprayed P7 coatings did not show photocatalytic activity possibly because of the extremely small reaction surface area to the photo-catalytic activity and low anatase ratio. Therefore, the present study found that functional PBS plastic with photocatalytic performance could be produced by spraying of ceramics such as TiO2.

  4. Plasticity-Inducing TMS Protocols to Investigate Somatosensory Control of Hand Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Jacobs

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Hand function depends on sensory feedback to direct an appropriate motor response. There is clear evidence that somatosensory cortices modulate motor behaviour and physiology within primary motor cortex. However, this information is mainly from research in animals and the bridge to human hand control is needed. Emerging evidence in humans supports the notion that somatosensory cortices modulate motor behaviour, physiology and sensory perception. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS allows for the investigation of primary and higher-order somatosensory cortices and their role in control of hand movement in humans. This review provides a summary of several TMS protocols in