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100 years since women were admitted as full members of the University of Oxford, women now hold vital posts at all levels of this institution.
Research suggests that the temporal order in which people receive information about costs and benefits whilst making decisions can influence their choices. But, do people have a preference for seeking information about costs or benefits when making effort-based decisions, and does this impact motivation? Here, participants made choices about whether to exert different levels of physical effort to obtain different magnitudes of reward, or rest for low reward. Prior to each effort-based choice, they also had to decide which information they wanted to see first: how much physical effort would be required, or how large the reward would be. We found no overall preference for seeking reward or effort information first, but motivation did change when people saw reward or effort information first. Seeking effort information first, both someone's average tendency to do so and their choice to see effort first on a given trial, was associated with reductions in the willingness to exert higher effort. Moreover, the tendency to prefer effort information first was associated with reduced vigorous exercise and higher levels of fatigue in everyday life. These findings highlight that preferences for seeking effort information may be a bias that reduces people's willingness to exert effort in the lab and in everyday life.
SYNOPSIS: Neurological testing is essential for screening and diagnosing suspected peripheral neuropathies. Detecting changes in somatosensory and motor nerve function can also have direct implications for management decisions. Nevertheless, there is considerable variation in what is included in a bedside neurological examination, and how it is performed. Neurological examinations are often used as screening tools to detect neurological deficits, but not used to their full potential for monitoring progress or deterioration. Here, we advocate for better use of the neurological examination within a clinical reasoning framework. Constrained by the lack of research in this field, our viewpoint is based on neuroscientific principles. We highlight six challenges for clinicians when conducting neurological examinations, and propose ways to overcome these challenges in clinical practice. We challenge widely held ideas about how the results of neurological examinations for peripheral neuropathies are interpreted and how the examinations are performed in practice.
Studies of patients and animals with brain lesions have implicated the hippocampal formation in spatial, declarative/relational and episodic types of memory. These and other types of memory consist of a series of interdependent but potentially dissociable memory processes-encoding, storage, consolidation and retrieval. To identify whether hippocampal activity contributes to these processes independently, we used a novel method of inactivating synaptic transmission using a water-soluble antagonist of AMPA/kainate glutamate receptors. Once calibrated using electrophysiological and two-deoxyglucose techniques in vivo, drug or vehicle was infused chronically or acutely into the dorsal hippocampus of rats at appropriate times during or after training in a water maze. Our findings indicate that hippocampal neural activity is necessary for both encoding and retrieval of spatial memory and for either trace consolidation or long-term storage.
Both noise-floor and tissue compartment difference in diffusivity contribute to FA dependence on b-value in diffusion MRI.
Noninvasive diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) has been widely employed in both clinical and research settings to investigate brain tissue microstructure. Despite the evidence that dMRI-derived fractional anisotropy (FA) correlates with white matter properties, the metric is not specific. Recent studies have reported that FA is dependent on the b-value, and its origin has primarily been attributed to either the influence of microstructure or the noise-floor effect. A systematic investigation into the inter-relationship of these two effects is however still lacking. This study aims to quantify contributions of the reported differences in intra- and extra-neurite diffusivity to the observed changes in FA, in addition to the noise in measurements. We used in-vivo and post-mortem human brain imaging, as well as numerical simulations and histological validation, for this purpose. Our investigations reveal that the percentage difference of FA between b-values (pdFA) has significant positive associations with neurite density index (NDI), which is derived from in-vivo neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging (NODDI), or Bielschowsky's silver impregnation (BIEL) staining sections of fixed post-mortem human brain samples. Furthermore, such an association is found to be varied with Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) level, indicating a nonlinear interaction effect between tissue microstructure and noise. Finally, a multicompartment model simulation revealed that these findings can be driven by differing diffusivities of intra- and extra-neurite compartments in tissue, with the noise-floor further amplifying the effect. In conclusion, both the differences in intra- and extra-neurite diffusivity and noise-floor effects significantly contribute to the FA difference associated with the b-value.
Phenotypic and genetic associations of quantitative magnetic susceptibility in UK Biobank brain imaging
AbstractA key aim in epidemiological neuroscience is identification of markers to assess brain health and monitor therapeutic interventions. Quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) is an emerging magnetic resonance imaging technique that measures tissue magnetic susceptibility and has been shown to detect pathological changes in tissue iron, myelin and calcification. We present an open resource of QSM-based imaging measures of multiple brain structures in 35,273 individuals from the UK Biobank prospective epidemiological study. We identify statistically significant associations of 251 phenotypes with magnetic susceptibility that include body iron, disease, diet and alcohol consumption. Genome-wide associations relate magnetic susceptibility to 76 replicating clusters of genetic variants with biological functions involving iron, calcium, myelin and extracellular matrix. These patterns of associations include relationships that are unique to QSM, in particular being complementary to T2* signal decay time measures. These new imaging phenotypes are being integrated into the core UK Biobank measures provided to researchers worldwide, creating the potential to discover new, non-invasive markers of brain health.
Rapid Quantification of the Binocular Visual Field for Clinical Trials: Performance of a Modified Esterman Supra-Threshold Test Implemented with the Open Perimetry Interface.
Purpose: We aimed to assess the performance of the modified-Esterman test (mET) as a rapid suprathreshold binocular quantification tool for the assessment of peripheral visual fields. The mET consists of an even spread of test points across the visual field. Materials and Methods: The mET was implemented on the Octopus 0900 perimeter using the Open Perimetry Interface (OPI) and consisted of 160 points. Patients with choroideremia, a rod-cone dystrophy, Stargardt disease, a cone-rod dystrophy, and healthy volunteers underwent both the mET and the standard Esterman tests twice. Disease severity (mild/moderate/severe) was graded on both tests independently. Voronoi tessellation was utilised to compare the tests. Results: The Voronoi visualisation was able to demonstrate that the mET was able to provide more information about the disease state at all stages of diseases. This was confirmed by the agreement statistic, which showed that the mET detected 27% more points of visual field loss compared to the Esterman test, being most useful in patients with rod-cone dystrophies. Conclusion: The mET provides a speedy quantitative measure of the peripheral visual field loss, which can be used in clinical trials to monitor longitudinal assessment of peripheral visual function. The mET provides a more even coverage across the visual field compared to the Esterman test points, making it more suitable for this purpose. This is a key part of safety monitoring in retinal clinical trials. The mET can easily be implemented on commercially available perimeters that allow Open Perimetry.
Stimulating at the right time to recover network states in a model of the cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic circuit
Synchronization of neural oscillations is thought to facilitate communication in the brain. Neurodegenerative pathologies such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) can result in synaptic reorganization of the motor circuit, leading to altered neuronal dynamics and impaired neural communication. Treatments for PD aim to restore network function via pharmacological means such as dopamine replacement, or by suppressing pathological oscillations with deep brain stimulation. We tested the hypothesis that brain stimulation can operate beyond a simple “reversible lesion” effect to augment network communication. Specifically, we examined the modulation of beta band (14–30 Hz) activity, a known biomarker of motor deficits and potential control signal for stimulation in Parkinson’s. To do this we setup a neural mass model of population activity within the cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic (CBGT) circuit with parameters that were constrained to yield spectral features comparable to those in experimental Parkinsonism. We modulated the connectivity of two major pathways known to be disrupted in PD and constructed statistical summaries of the spectra and functional connectivity of the resulting spontaneous activity. These were then used to assess the network-wide outcomes of closed-loop stimulation delivered to motor cortex and phase locked to subthalamic beta activity. Our results demonstrate that the spatial pattern of beta synchrony is dependent upon the strength of inputs to the STN. Precisely timed stimulation has the capacity to recover network states, with stimulation phase inducing activity with distinct spectral and spatial properties. These results provide a theoretical basis for the design of the next-generation brain stimulators that aim to restore neural communication in disease.
Progression of chronic pain and associated health-related quality of life and healthcare resource use over 5 years after total knee replacement: evidence from a cohort study
ObjectiveAs part of the STAR Programme, a comprehensive study exploring long-term pain after surgery, we investigated how pain and function, health-related quality of life (HRQL), and healthcare resource use evolved over 5 years after total knee replacement (TKR) for those with and without chronic pain 1 year after their primary surgery.MethodsWe used data from the Clinical Outcomes in Arthroplasty Study prospective cohort study, which followed patients undergoing TKR from two English hospitals for 5 years. Chronic pain was defined using the Oxford Knee Score Pain Subscale (OKS-PS) where participants reporting a score of 14 or lower were classified as having chronic pain 1-year postsurgery. Pain and function were measured with the OKS, HRQL using the EuroQoL-5 Dimension, resource use from yearly questionnaires, and costs estimated from a healthcare system perspective. We analysed the changes in OKS-PS, HRQL and resource use over a 5-year follow-up period. Multiple imputation accounted for missing data.ResultsChronic pain was reported in 70/552 operated knees (12.7%) 1 year after surgery. The chronic pain group had worse pain, function and HRQL presurgery and postsurgery than the non-chronic pain group. Those without chronic pain markedly improved right after surgery, then plateaued. Those with chronic pain improved slowly but steadily. Participants with chronic pain reported greater healthcare resource use and costs than those without, especially 1 year after surgery, and mostly from hospital readmissions. 64.7% of those in chronic pain recovered during the following 4 years, while 30.9% fluctuated in and out of chronic pain.ConclusionAlthough TKR is often highly beneficial, some patients experienced chronic pain postsurgery. Although many fluctuated in their pain levels and most recovered over time, identifying people most likely to have chronic pain and supporting their recovery would benefit patients and healthcare systems.
Local field potential recordings in a non-human primate model of Parkinsons disease using the Activa PC + S neurostimulator.
ObjectiveUsing the Medtronic Activa® PC + S system, this study investigated how passive joint manipulation, reaching behavior, and deep brain stimulation (DBS) modulate local field potential (LFP) activity in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and globus pallidus (GP).ApproachFive non-human primates were implanted unilaterally with one or more DBS leads. LFPs were collected in montage recordings during resting state conditions and during motor tasks that facilitate the expression of parkinsonian motor signs. These recordings were made in the naïve state in one subject, in the parkinsonian state in two subjects, and in both naïve and parkinsonian states in two subjects.Main resultsLFPs measured at rest were consistent over time for a given recording location and parkinsonian state in a given subject; however, LFPs were highly variable between subjects, between and within recording locations, and across parkinsonian states. LFPs in both naïve and parkinsonian states across all recorded nuclei contained a spectral peak in the beta band (10-30 Hz). Moreover, the spectral content of recorded LFPs was modulated by passive and active movement of the subjects' limbs. LFPs recorded during a cued-reaching task displayed task-related beta desynchronization in STN and GP. The bidirectional capabilities of the Activa® PC + S also allowed for recording LFPs while delivering DBS. The therapeutic effect of STN DBS on parkinsonian rigidity outlasted stimulation for 30-60 s, but there was no correlation with beta band power.SignificanceThis study emphasizes (1) the variability in spontaneous LFPs amongst subjects and (2) the value of using the Activa® PC + S system to record neural data in the context of behavioral tasks that allow one to evaluate a subject's symptomatology.
Excerpted proceedings of the Eighth International Workshop on Advances in Electrocorticography (ECoG), which convened October 15-16, 2015 in Chicago, IL, are presented. The workshop series has become the foremost gathering to present current basic and clinical research in subdural brain signal recording and analysis.
Stability of a chronic implanted brain-computer interface in late-stage amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
ObjectiveWe investigated the long-term functional stability and home use of a fully implanted electrocorticography (ECoG)-based brain-computer interface (BCI) for communication by an individual with late-stage Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).MethodsData recorded from the cortical surface of the motor and prefrontal cortex with an implanted brain-computer interface device was evaluated for 36 months after implantation of the system in an individual with late-stage ALS. In addition, electrode impedance and BCI control accuracy were assessed. Key measures included frequency of use of the system for communication, user and system performance, and electrical signal characteristics.ResultsUser performance was high consistently over the three years. Power in the high frequency band, used for the control signal, declined slowly in the motor cortex, but control over the signal remained unaffected by time. Impedance increased until month 5, and then remained constant. Frequency of home use increased steadily, indicating adoption of the system by the user.ConclusionsThe implanted brain-computer interface proves to be robust in an individual with late-stage ALS, given stable performance and control signal for over 36 months.SignificanceThese findings are relevant for the future of implantable brain-computer interfaces along with other brain-sensing technologies, such as responsive neurostimulation.
Sleep disturbances are among the most common nonmotor complications of Parkinson's disease (PD), can present in prodromal stages, and progress with advancing disease. In addition to being a symptom of neurodegeneration, sleep disturbances may also contribute to disease progression. Currently, limited options exist to modulate sleep disturbances in PD. Studying the neurophysiological changes that affect sleep in PD at the cortical and subcortical level may yield new insights into mechanisms for reversal of sleep disruption. In this article, we review cortical and subcortical recording studies of sleep in PD with a particular focus on dissecting reported electrophysiological changes. These studies show that slow-wave sleep and rapid eye movement sleep are both notably disrupted in PD. We further explore the impact of these electrophysiological changes and discuss the potential for targeting sleep via stimulation therapy to modify PD-related motor and nonmotor symptoms. © 2021 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.