Central peptidergic neurons are hyperactive during collateral sprouting and inhibition of activity suppresses sprouting.
Little is known regarding the effect of chronic changes in neuronal activity on the extent of collateral sprouting by identified CNS neurons. We have investigated the relationship between activity and sprouting in oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (VP) neurons of the hypothalamic magnocellular neurosecretory system (MNS). Uninjured MNS neurons undergo a robust collateral-sprouting response that restores the axon population of the neural lobe (NL) after a lesion of the contralateral MNS (). Simultaneously, lesioned rats develop chronic urinary hyperosmolality indicative of heightened neurosecretory activity. We therefore tested the hypothesis that sprouting MNS neurons are hyperactive by measuring changes in cell and nuclear diameters, OT and VP mRNA pools, and axonal cytochrome oxidase activity (COX). Each of these measures was significantly elevated during the period of most rapid axonal growth between 1 and 4 weeks after the lesion, confirming that both OT and VP neurons are hyperactive while undergoing collateral sprouting. In a second study the hypothesis that chronic inhibition of neuronal activity would interfere with the sprouting response was tested. Chronic hyponatremia (CH) was induced 3 d before the hypothalamic lesion and sustained for 4 weeks to suppress neurosecretory activity. CH abolished the lesion-induced increases in OT and VP mRNA pools and virtually eliminated measurable COX activity in MNS terminals. Counts of the total number of axon profiles in the NL revealed that CH also prevented axonal sprouting from occurring. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that increased neuronal activity is required for denervation-induced collateral sprouting to occur in the MNS. (+info)
Retinotopic mapping of lateral geniculate nucleus in humans using functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Subcortical nuclei in the thalamus, which play an important role in many functions of the human brain, provide challenging targets for functional mapping with neuroimaging techniques because of their small sizes and deep locations. In this study, we explore the capability of high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging at 4 Tesla for mapping the retinotopic organization in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). Our results show that the hemifield visual stimulation only activates LGN in the contralateral hemisphere, and the lower-field and upper-field visual stimulations activate the superior and inferior portion of LGN, respectively. These results reveal a similar retinotopic organization between the human and nonhuman primate LGN and between LGN and the primary visual cortex. We conclude that high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging is capable of functional mapping of suborganizations in small nuclei together with cortical activation. This will have an impact for studying the thalamocortical networks in the human brain. (+info)
Command-related distribution of regional cerebral blood flow during attempted handgrip.
To localize a central nervous feed-forward mechanism involved in cardiovascular regulation during exercise, brain activation patterns were measured in eight subjects by employing positron emission tomography and oxygen-15-labeled water. Scans were performed at rest and during rhythmic handgrip before and after axillary blockade with bupivacaine. After the blockade, handgrip strength was reduced to 25% (range 0-50%) of control values, whereas handgrip-induced heart rate and blood pressure increases were unaffected (13 +/- 3 beats/min and 12 +/- 5 mmHg, respectively; means +/- SE). Before regional anesthesia, handgrip caused increased activation in the contralateral sensory motor area, the supplementary motor area, and the ipsilateral cerebellum. We found no evidence for changes in the activation pattern due to an interaction between handgrip and regional anesthesia. This was true for both the blocked and unblocked arm. It remains unclear whether the activated areas are responsible for the increase in cardiovascular variables, but neural feedback from the contracting muscles was not necessary for the activation in the mentioned areas during rhythmic handgrip. (+info)
Language processing is strongly left lateralized in both sexes. Evidence from functional MRI.
Functional MRI (fMRI) was used to examine gender effects on brain activation during a language comprehension task. A large number of subjects (50 women and 50 men) was studied to maximize the statistical power to detect subtle differences between the sexes. To estimate the specificity of findings related to sex differences, parallel analyses were performed on two groups of randomly assigned subjects. Men and women showed very similar, strongly left lateralized activation patterns. Voxel-wise tests for group differences in overall activation patterns demonstrated no significant differences between women and men. In further analyses, group differences were examined by region of interest and by hemisphere. No differences were found between the sexes in lateralization of activity in any region of interest or in intrahemispheric cortical activation patterns. These data argue against substantive differences between men and women in the large-scale neural organization of language processes. (+info)
Selective horizontal dysmetropsia following prestriate lesion.
We describe a patient (P.S.) who, following a right prestriate lesion, reported that objects in the left visual field appeared distorted and smaller than those on the right. Other aspects of visual processing were remarkably unaffected. We carried out a series of size comparison tests using simple or complex stimuli and requiring different types of behavioural responses. We found that P.S. significantly underestimated the size of stimuli presented in her left visual field. When comparison tasks involved stimuli placed along the vertical axis or in the right visual field, P.S. performed well. The vertical and horizontal components of size distortion were found to be differentially affected. We conclude that size processing may be dissociated from other aspects of visual processing, such as form or colour processing, and depends critically on part of the occipital, prestriate areas (Brodmann areas 18-19). (+info)
The role of ventral medial wall motor areas in bimanual co-ordination. A combined lesion and activation study.
Two patients with midline tumours and disturbances of bimanual co-ordination as the presenting symptoms were examined. Both reported difficulties whenever the two hands had to act together simultaneously, whereas they had no problems with unimanual dexterity or the use of both hands sequentially. In the first patient the lesion was confined to the cingulate gyrus; in the second it also invaded the corpus callosum and the supplementary motor area. Kinematic analysis of bimanual in-phase and anti-phase movements revealed an impairment of both the temporal adjustment between the hands and the independence of movements between the two hands. A functional imaging study in six volunteers, who performed the same bimanual in-phase and anti-phase tasks, showed strong activations of midline areas including the cingulate and ventral supplementary motor area. The prominent activation of the ventral medial wall motor areas in the volunteers in conjunction with the bimanual co-ordination disorder in the two patients with lesions compromising their function is evidence for their pivotal role in bimanual co-ordination. (+info)
Multicentre European study of thalamic stimulation in parkinsonian and essential tremor.
OBJECTIVES: Thalamic stimulation has been proposed to treat disabling tremor. The aims of this multicentre study were to evaluate the efficacy and the morbidity of thalamic stimulation in a large number of patients with parkinsonian or essential tremor. METHODS: One hundred and eleven patients were included in the study and 110 were implanted either unilaterally or bilaterally. Patients were evaluated with clinical scales, before and up to 12 months after surgery. RESULTS: Upper and lower limb tremor scores were reduced in both groups. Eighty five per cent of the electrodes satisfied the arbitrary criteria of two point reduction in rest tremor reduction in the parkinsonian tremor group and 89% for postural tremor reduction in the essential tremor group. In the parkinsonian tremor group, limb akinesia and limb rigidity scores were moderately but significantly reduced. Axial scores were unchanged. In the essential tremor group, head tremor was significantly reduced only at 3 months and voice tremor was non-significantly reduced. Activities of daily living were improved in both groups. Changes in medication were moderate. Adverse effects related to the surgery were mild and reversible. CONCLUSIONS: Thalamic stimulation was shown to be an effective and relatively safe treatment for disabling tremor. This procedure initially applied in a very limited number of centres has been successfully used in 13 participating centres. (+info)
Cognitive outcome after unilateral pallidal stimulation in Parkinson's disease.
OBJECTIVES: Chronic high frequency electrostimulation of the globus pallidus internus mimics pallidotomy and improves clinical symptoms in Parkinson's disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the cognitive consequences of unilateral deep brain stimulation. METHODS: Twenty non-demented patients with Parkinson's disease (age range 38-70 years) were neuropsychologically assessed 2 months before and 3 months after unilateral pallidal stimulation. The cognitive assessment included measures of memory, spatial behaviour, and executive and psychomotor function. In addition to group analysis of cognitive change, a cognitive impairment index (CII) was calculated for each individual patient representing the percentage of cognitive measures that fell more than 1 SD below the mean of a corresponding normative sample. RESULTS: Neurological assessment with the Hoehn and Yahr scale and the unified Parkinson's disease rating scale disclosed a significant postoperative reduction in average clinical Parkinson's disease symptomatology (p<0.001). Repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance (using right/left side of stimulation as a between subjects factor) showed no significant postoperative change in cognitive performance for the total patient group (main effect of operation). The side of stimulation did not show a significant differential effect on cognitive performance (main effect of lateralisation). There was no significant operation by lateralisation interaction effect. Although the patients experienced significant motor symptom relief after pallidal stimulation, they remained mildly depressed after surgery. Analysis of the individual CII changes showed a postoperative cognitive decline in 30% of the patients. These patients were significantly older and took higher preoperative doses of levodopa than patients showing no change or a postoperative cognitive improvement. CONCLUSIONS: Left or right pallidal stimulation for the relief of motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease seems relatively safe, although older patients and patients needing high preoperative doses of levodopa seem to be more vulnerable for cognitive decline after deep brain stimulation. (+info)