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Latest BMI-related Articles and Publications

  • A stable pattern of EEG spectral coherence distinguishes children with autism from neuro-typical controls - a large case control study (PDF). 2012.
    AUTHORS: Frank H. Duffy1* and Heidelise Als2
    1 Department of Neurology, Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, 300 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115, USA
    2 Department of Psychiatry(Psychology), Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, 320 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115, USA
    * Corresponding author

    ABSTRACT:
    Background
    The autism rate has recently increased to 1 in 100 children. Genetic studies demonstrate poorly understood complexity. Environmental factors apparently also play a role. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies demonstrate increased brain sizes and altered connectivity. Electroencephalogram (EEG) coherence studies confirm connectivity changes. However, genetic-, MRI- and/or EEG-based diagnostic tests are not yet available. The varied study results likely reflect methodological and population differences, small samples and, for EEG, lack of attention to group-specific artifact.
    Methods
    Of the 1,304 subjects who participated in this study, with ages ranging from 1 to 18 years old and assessed with comparable EEG studies, 463 children were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD); 571 children were neuro-typical controls (C). After artifact management, principal components analysis (PCA) identified EEG spectral coherence factors with corresponding loading patterns. The 2- to 12-year-old subsample consisted of 430 ASD- and 554 C-group subjects (n = 984). Discriminant function analysis (DFA) determined the spectral coherence factors’ discrimination success for the two groups. Loading patterns on the DFA-selected coherence factors described ASDspecific coherence differences when compared to controls.
    Results
    Total sample PCA of coherence data identified 40 factors which explained 50.8% of the total population variance. For the 2- to 12-year-olds, the 40 factors showed highly significant group differences (P <0.0001). Ten randomly generated split half replications demonstrated high-average classification success (C, 88.5%; ASD, 86.0%). Still higher success was obtained in the more restricted age sub-samples using the jackknifing technique: 2- to 4-year-olds (C, 90.6%; ASD, 98.1%); 4- to 6-year-olds (C, 90.9%; ASD 99.1%); and 6- to 12-year-olds (C, 98.7%; ASD, 93.9%). Coherence loadings demonstrated reduced short-distance and reduced, as well as increased, long-distance coherences for the ASD-groups, when compared to the controls. Average spectral loading per factor was wide (10.1 Hz).
    Conclusions
    Classification success suggests a stable coherence loading pattern that differentiates ASD- from C-group subjects. This might constitute an EEG coherencebased phenotype of childhood autism. The predominantly reduced short-distancecoherences may indicate poor local network function. The increased long-distancecoherences may represent compensatory processes or reduced neural pruning. The wide average spectral range of factor loadings may suggest over-damped neural networks.
    {Key words
    Autism spectrum disorder, pervasive developmental disorder, PDD, EEG coherence, principal components analysis, PCA, coherence factors, discriminant analysis}

  • Namenda/Glutamate (PDF). ABSTRACT: Two separate articles discussing use of Namenda for clinical purposes.

  • The Intense World Theory - a unifying theory of the neurobiology of autism. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 2010.
    AUTHORS: Kamila Markram* and Henry Markram
    Laboratory of Neural Microcircuits, Brain Mind Institute, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

    ABSTRACT: Autism covers a wide spectrum of disorders for which there are many views, hypotheses and theories. Here we propose a unifying theory of autism, the Intense World Theory. The proposed neuropathology is hyper-functioning of local neural microcircuits, best characterized by hyper-reactivity and hyper-plasticity... The autistic is proposed to become trapped in a limited, but highly secure internal world with minimal extremes and surprises. We present the key studies that support this theory of autism, show how this theory can better explain past findings, and how it could resolve apparently conflicting data and interpretations. The theory also makes further predictions from the molecular to the behavioral levels, provides a treatment strategy and presents its own falsifying hypothesis.

  • Improved mitochondrial function in brain aging and Alzheimer disease – the new mechanism of action of the old metabolic enhancer piracetam. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 2010.
    AUTHORS: Kristina Leuner1, Christopher Kurz1, Giorgio Guidetti2, Jean-Marc Orgogozo3 and Walter E. Müller1*
    1 Department of Pharmacology, Biocenter, University of Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany
    2 Audiological and Vestibular Center of Azienda AUSL of Modena, Modena, Italy
    3 Department of Neurology, University Hospital, Bordeaux, France

    ABSTRACT: Piracetam, the prototype of the so-called nootropic drugs’ is used since many years in different countries to treat cognitive impairment in aging and dementia. Findings that piracetam enhances fluidity of brain mitochondrial membranes led to the hypothesis that piracetam might improve mitochondrial function, e.g., might enhance ATP synthesis. This assumption has recently been supported by a number of observations showing enhanced mitochondrial membrane potential, enhanced ATP production, and reduced sensitivity for apoptosis in a variety of cell and animal models for aging and Alzheimer disease. As a specific consequence, substantial evidence for elevated neuronal plasticity as a specific effect of piracetam has emerged. Taken together, this new findings can explain many of the therapeutic effects of piracetam on cognition in aging and dementia as well as different situations of brain dysfunctions.

  • Cognitive effects of one season of head impacts in a cohort of collegiate contact sport athletes . Neurology May 29, 2012 78:1777-1784; published ahead of print May 16, 2012
    ABSTRACT:
    Objective: To determine whether exposure to repetitive head impacts over a single season negatively affects cognitive performance in collegiate contact sport athletes.
    Methods: This is a prospective cohort study at 3 Division I National Collegiate Athletic Association athletic programs. Participants were 214 Division I college varsity football and ice hockey players who wore instrumented helmets that recorded the acceleration-time history of the head following impact, and 45 noncontact sport athletes. All athletes were assessed prior to and shortly after the season with a cognitive screening battery (ImPACT) and a subgroup of athletes also were assessed with 7 measures from a neuropsychological test battery.
    Results: Few cognitive differences were found between the athlete groups at the preseason or postseason assessments. However, a higher percentage of the contact sport athletes performed more poorly than predicted postseason on a measure of new learning (California Verbal Learning Test) compared to the noncontact athletes (24% vs 3.6%; p < 0.006). On 2 postseason cognitive measures (ImPACT Reaction Time and Trails 4/B), poorer performance was significantly associated with higher scores on several head impact exposure metrics.
    Conclusion: Repetitive head impacts over the course of a single season may negatively impact learning in some collegiate athletes. Further work is needed to assess whether such effects are short term or persistent. Neurology(R)

  • Histamine and motivation. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 2012.
    AUTHORS:
    Fernando Torrealba1,2*, Maria E. Riveros1,2, Marco Contreras1,2 and Jose L. Valdes3
    1Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Departamento de Fisiología, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
    2Millenium Nucleus in stress and addiction, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
    3Facultad de Medicina, Departamento de Fisiología y Biofísica, Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile

    ABSTRACT:
    Brain histamine may affect a variety of different behavioral and physiological functions; however, its role in promoting wakefulness has overshadowed its other important functions. Here, we review evidence indicating that brain histamine plays a central role in motivation and emphasize its differential involvement in the appetitive and consummatory phases of motivated behaviors. We discuss the inputs that control histaminergic neurons of the tuberomamillary nucleus (TMN) of the hypothalamus, which determine the distinct role of these neurons in appetitive behavior, sleep/wake cycles, and food anticipatory responses. Moreover, we review evidence supporting the dysfunction of histaminergic neurons and the cortical input of histamine in regulating specific forms of decreased motivation (apathy). In addition, we discuss the relationship between the histamine system and drug addiction in the context of motivation.

    Keywords: addiction, apathy, appetite, histamine, infralimbic cortex, motivation, tuberomamillary nucleus


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