Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the posterior hypothalamic region (PHR) is an emerging technique for the treatment of medically intractable cluster headache (CH). Few reports have analyzed single unit neuronal recordings in the human PHR. We report properties of spontaneous neuronal discharge in PHR for six patients who underwent DBS for CH
Materials and Methods
Initial target coordinates, determined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) stereotactic localization, were 2 mm lateral, 3 mm posterior, and 5 mm inferior to the midpoint of the anterior commissure-posterior commissure (AC-PC) line. A single microelectrode penetration was performed beginning 10 mm above the anatomic target, without systemic sedation. Single units were discriminated off line by cluster cutting in principal components space. Discharge rates, interspike intervals, bursting activity, and oscillatory activity were analyzed and compared between ventromedial thalamic and hypothalamic units.
Six patients and 24 units were evaluated. Units in the PHR had a slow, regular spontaneous discharge with wide, low amplitude action potentials. The mean discharge rate of hypothalamic neurons was significantly lower (13.2 ± 12.2; mean ± SD) than that of medial thalamic units (28.0 ±8.2). Oscillatory activity was not detected. Measures of bursting did not clearly distinguish medial thalamus from hypothalamus.
Single unit discharge rate of neurons in the posterior hypothalamic region of awake humans was 13.2 Hz and was significantly lower than medial thalamic neurons recorded dorsal to the target. The findings will be of utility for microelectrode localization of the CH target and for comparison with animal studies.
hypothalamus; periventricular gray (PVG); electrophysiology; single unit; microelectrode; cluster headache
Cerebral blood volume (CBV) changes significantly with brain activation, whether measured using positron emission tomography, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), or optical microscopy. If cerebral vessels are considered to be impermeable, the contents of the skull incompressible, and the skull itself inextensible, task- and hypercapnia-related changes of CBV could produce intolerable changes of intracranial pressure. Because it is becoming clear that CBV may be useful as a well-localized marker of neural activity changes, a resolution of this apparent paradox is needed. We have explored the idea that much of the change in CBV is facilitated by exchange of water between capillaries and surrounding tissue. To this end, we developed a novel hemodynamic boundary-value model and found approximate solutions using a numerical algorithm. We also constructed a macroscopic experimental model of a single capillary to provide biophysical insight. Both experiment and theory model capillary membranes as elastic and permeable. For a realistic change of input pressure, a relative pipe volume change of 21±5% was observed when using the experimental setup, compared with the value of approximately 17±1% when this quantity was calculated from the mathematical model. Volume, axial flow, and pressure changes are in the expected range.
blood–brain barrier; capillaries; cerebral blood flow; cerebral hemodynamics; mathematical modeling; physiology
Post mortem studies have shown volume changes of the hypothalamus in psychiatric patients. With 7T magnetic resonance imaging this effect can now be investigated in vivo in detail. To benefit from the sub-millimeter resolution requires an improved segmentation procedure. The traditional anatomical landmarks of the hypothalamus were refined using 7T T1-weighted magnetic resonance images. A detailed segmentation algorithm (unilateral hypothalamus) was developed for colour-coded, histogram-matched images, and evaluated in a sample of 10 subjects. Test-retest and inter-rater reliabilities were estimated in terms of intraclass-correlation coefficients (ICC) and Dice's coefficient (DC). The computer-assisted segmentation algorithm ensured test-retest reliabilities of ICC≥.97 (DC≥96.8) and inter-rater reliabilities of ICC≥.94 (DC = 95.2). There were no significant volume differences between the segmentation runs, raters, and hemispheres. The estimated volumes of the hypothalamus lie within the range of previous histological and neuroimaging results. We present a computer-assisted algorithm for the manual segmentation of the human hypothalamus using T1-weighted 7T magnetic resonance imaging. Providing very high test-retest and inter-rater reliabilities, it outperforms former procedures established at 1.5T and 3T magnetic resonance images and thus can serve as a gold standard for future automated procedures.
The diverse and independently-varying signs of Parkinson’s disease (PD) are often attributed to one simple mechanism: degeneration of the dopaminergic innervation of the posterolateral striatum. However, growing recognition of the dopamine (DA) loss and other pathology in extra-striatal brain regions has led to uncertainty whether loss of DA in the striatum is sufficient to cause parkinsonian signs. We tested this hypothesis by infusing cis-flupenthixol (cis-flu; a broad-spectrum D1/D2 receptor antagonist) into different regions of the macaque putamen (3 hemispheres of 2 monkeys) while the animal performed a visually-cued choice reaction time task in which visual cues indicated the arm to reach with and the peripheral target to contact to obtain food reward. Following reward delivery, the animal was required to self-initiate release of the peripheral target and return of the chosen hand to its home position (i.e., without the benefit of external sensory cues or immediate rewards). Infusions of cis-flu at 15 of 26 sites induced prolongations of reaction time (9 of 15 cases), movement duration (6 cases), and/or dwell time of the hand at the peripheral target (8 cases). Dwell times were affected more severely (+95%) than visually-triggered reaction times or movement durations (+25% and +15%, respectively). Specifically, the animal’s hand often ‘froze’ at the peripheral target for up to 25-s, similar to the akinetic freezing episodes observed in PD patients. Across injections, slowing of self-initiation did not correlate in severity with prolongations of visually-triggered reaction time or movement duration, although the latter two were correlated with each other. Episodes of slowed self-initiation appeared primarily in the arm contralateral to the injected hemisphere and were not associated with increased muscle co-contraction or global alterations in behavioral state (i.e., inattention or reduced motivation), consistent with idea that these episodes reflected a fundamental impairment of movement initiation. We found no evidence for an anatomic topography within the putamen for the effects elicited. We conclude that acute focal blockade of DA transmission in the putamen is sufficient to induce marked akinesia-like impairments. Furthermore, different classes of impairments can be induced independently, suggesting that specific parkinsonian signs have unique pathophysiologic substrates.
macaque; bradykinesia; akinesia; microinjection; cis-flupenthixol
The availability of suitable animal models and of the opportunity to record electrophysiologic data in movement disorder patients undergoing neurosurgical procedures has allowed researchers to investigate parkinsonism-related changes in neuronal firing patterns in the basal ganglia and associated areas of thalamus and cortex. These studies have shown that parkinsonism is associated with increased activity in the basal ganglia output nuclei, along with an increase in burst discharges, oscillatory firing, and synchronous firing patterns throughout the basal ganglia. Computational approaches have the potential to play an important role in the interpretation of these data. Such efforts can provide a formalized view of neuronal interactions in the network of connections between basal ganglia, thalamus and cortex, allow for the exploration of possible contributions of particular network components to parkinsonism, and potentially result in new conceptual frameworks and hypotheses that can be subjected to biological testing. It has proven very difficult, however, to integrate the wealth of the experimental findings into coherent models of the disease. In this review, we provide an overview of the abnormalities in neuronal activity that have been associated with parkinsonism. Subsequently, we discuss some particular efforts to model the pathophysiologic mechanisms that may link abnormal basal ganglia activity to the cardinal parkinsonian motor signs and may help explain the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic efficacy of deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease. We emphasize the logical structure of these computational studies, making clear the assumptions from which they proceed and the consequences and predictions that follow from these assumptions.
Parkinson’s disease; dopamine; striatum; globus pallidus; subthalamic nucleus; deep brain stimulation; burst; oscillation; synchrony
Although the benefits of influenza vaccines for preventing serious influenza outcomes in elderly adults are uncertain, the results of this study suggest that the 2010–2011 influenza vaccine was 42% effective in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza hospitalizations in this high-risk population.
Background. Although annual influenza immunization is recommended for adults aged ≥65 years due to the substantial burden of illness, the evidence base for this recommendation is weak. Prior observational studies that examined influenza vaccine effectiveness against nonspecific serious outcomes suffered from selection bias and the lack of laboratory confirmation for influenza infection. The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the 2010–2011 seasonal influenza vaccine against laboratory-confirmed influenza hospitalizations among community-dwelling elderly adults, a serious and highly specific outcome.
Methods. We conducted a test-negative study of community-dwelling adults aged >65 years in Ontario, Canada. Respiratory specimens collected between 1 December 2010 and 30 April 2011 from patients admitted to acute care hospitals were tested for influenza using nucleic acid amplification techniques. Influenza vaccination was ascertained from physician billing claims through linkage to health administrative datasets.
Results. Receipt of the 2010–2011 seasonal influenza vaccine was associated with a 42% (95% confidence interval, 29%–53%) reduction in laboratory-confirmed influenza hospitalizations. Vaccine effectiveness estimates were consistent across age groups, by sex, and regardless of outcome severity, timing of testing, and when considering individuals vaccinated <7 or <14 days prior to admission as unvaccinated.
Conclusions. Results of this study will better inform decision making regarding influenza vaccination of elderly adults. Similar analyses are needed annually due to antigenic drift and frequent changes in influenza vaccine composition. The linkage of routinely collected laboratory testing and health administrative data represents an efficient method for estimating influenza vaccine effectiveness that complements prospective studies.
influenza vaccine; hospitalization; vaccine effectiveness; elderly adults
Chorea is the predominant motor manifestation in the early symptomatic phase of adult onset Huntington’s disease (HD). Pathologically, this stage is marked by differential loss of striatal neurons contributing to the indirect pathway. This pattern of neuronal loss predicts decreased neuronal firing rates in GPi and increased firing rates in GPe, the opposite of the changes in firing rate known to occur in Parkinson’s disease (PD). We present single unit discharge characteristics (33 neurons) observed in an awake patient with HD (41 CAG repeats) undergoing microelectrode guided surgery for pallidal deep brain stimulation. Pallidal single unit activity at “rest” and during voluntary movement was discriminated off line by principal component analysis and evaluated with respect to discharge rate, bursting, and oscillatory activity in the 0–200 Hz range. 24 GPi and 9 GPe units were studied, and compared with 132 GPi and 50 GPe units from 14 patients with PD. The mean (+/− SEM) spontaneous discharge rate for HD was 58 +/− 4 for GPi and 73 +/− 5 for GPe. This contrasted with discharge rates in PD of 95 +/− 2 for GPi and 57 +/− 3 for GPe. HD GPi units showed more bursting than PD GPi units but much less oscillatory activity in the 2–35 Hz frequency range at rest. These findings are consistent with selective early loss of striatal cells originating the indirect pathway.
Huntington’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; globus pallidus; microelectrode recording; electrophysiology; basal ganglia; indirect pathway
The metalloprotease activity of lethal factor (LF) from Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis) is a main source of toxicity in the lethality of anthrax infection. Thus, the understanding of the enzymic activity and inhibition of B. anthracis LF is of scientific and clinical interests. We have designed, synthesized and studied a peptide inhibitor of LF, R9LF-1, with the structure NH2-(D-Arg)9-Val-Leu-Arg-CO-NHOH in which the C-terminal hydroxamic acid is commonly used in the inhibitors of metalloproteases to chelate the active-site Zinc. This inhibitor was shown to be very stable in solution and effectively inhibited LF in kinetic assays. However, its protection on murine macrophages against lethal toxin (LT) lysis activity was relatively week in longer assays. We further observed that the hydroxamic acid group in R9LF-1 was hydrolyzed by LF and the hydrolytic product of this inhibitor is considerably weaker in inhibition of potency. To resist this unique hydrolytic activity of LF, we further designed a new inhibitor R9LF-2 which contained the same structure as R9LF-1 except replacing the hydroxamic acid group with N, O-dimethyl hydroxamic acid, -N(CH3)-O-CH3, (DMHA). R9LF-2 was not hydrolyzed by LF in long term incubation. It has a high inhibitory potency vs. LF with a Ki of 6.4 nM and had a better protection of macrophages against LF toxicity than R9LF-1. These results suggest that in the development of new LF inhibitors, the stability of the chelating group should be carefully examined and that DMHA is a potentially useful moiety to be used in new LF inhibitors.
anthrax; lethal toxin; inhibitor; hydroxamate; metalloprotease
About 150 researchers around the world convened at the Chateau Lake Louise on Feb 20-23, 2011 to present and discuss the latest research in human and animal imaging and spectroscopy at field strengths of 7 Tesla or above (termed Ultra High Field or UHF) at the third ISMRM-sponsored high field workshop. The clear overall message from the workshop presentations and discussion is that UHF imaging is gaining momentum with regard to new clinically relevant findings, anatomic and fMRI results, susceptibility contrast advancements, solutions to high field related image quality challenges, and to generally pushing the limits of resolution and speed of high field imaging. This meeting report is organized in a manner reflecting the meeting organization itself, covering the seven sessions that were approximately titled: 1. High field overview from head to body to spectroscopy. 2. Susceptibility imaging. 3. Proffered session on susceptibility, ultra fast imaging, unique contrast at 7T and angiography. 4. Neuroscience applications. 5. Proffered session on coils, shimming, parallel imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, and MRI-PET fusion, 6. High field animal imaging and spectroscopy, as well as a vendor overview, and 7. Cutting edge technology at 7T.
There is an ongoing debate as to whether singing helps left-hemispheric stroke patients recover from non-fluent aphasia through stimulation of the right hemisphere. According to recent work, it may not be singing itself that aids speech production in non-fluent aphasic patients, but rhythm and lyric type. However, the long-term effects of melody and rhythm on speech recovery are largely unknown. In the current experiment, we tested 15 patients with chronic non-fluent aphasia who underwent either singing therapy, rhythmic therapy, or standard speech therapy. The experiment controlled for phonatory quality, vocal frequency variability, pitch accuracy, syllable duration, phonetic complexity and other influences, such as the acoustic setting and learning effects induced by the testing itself. The results provide the first evidence that singing and rhythmic speech may be similarly effective in the treatment of non-fluent aphasia. This finding may challenge the view that singing causes a transfer of language function from the left to the right hemisphere. Instead, both singing and rhythmic therapy patients made good progress in the production of common, formulaic phrases—known to be supported by right corticostriatal brain areas. This progress occurred at an early stage of both therapies and was stable over time. Conversely, patients receiving standard therapy made less progress in the production of formulaic phrases. They did, however, improve their production of non-formulaic speech, in contrast to singing and rhythmic therapy patients, who did not. In light of these results, it may be worth considering the combined use of standard therapy and the training of formulaic phrases, whether sung or rhythmically spoken. Standard therapy may engage, in particular, left perilesional brain regions, while training of formulaic phrases may open new ways of tapping into right-hemisphere language resources—even without singing.
left-hemispheric stroke; non-fluent aphasia; melodic intonation therapy; singing; rhythmic speech; formulaic language; left perilesional brain regions; right corticostriatal brain areas
A modification to the 3D modified driven equilibrium Fourier transform
(MDEFT) imaging technique is proposed that reduces its sensitivity to RF
inhomogeneity. This is especially important at high field strengths where RF
focusing effects exacerbate B1 inhomogeneity,
causing significant signal nonuniformity in the images. The adiabatic inversion
pulse used during the preparation period of the MDEFT sequence is replaced by a
hard (nonadiabatic) pulse with a nominal flip angle of 130°. The spatial
inhomogeneity of the hard pulse preparation compensates for the inhomogeneity of
the excitation pulses. Uniform signal intensity is obtained for a wide range of
B1 amplitudes and the high CNR characteristic of
MDEFT is retained. The new approach was validated by numerical simulations and
successfully applied to human brain imaging at 4.7 T, resulting in highquality
T1-weighted images of the whole human brain at
high field strength with uniform signal intensity and contrast, despite the
presence of significant RF inhomogeneity.
high field MRI; T1-weighted imaging; RF inhomogeneity; human brain imaging; structural brain imaging
The purpose of this work was to determine in a clinical trial the efficacy of reducing or preventing seizures in patients with neurological handicaps through sustained cortical activation evoked by passive exposure to a specific auditory stimulus (particular music). The specific type of stimulation had been determined in previous studies to evoke anti-epileptiform/anti-seizure brain activity.
The study was conducted at the Thad E. Saleeby Center in Harstville, South Carolina, which is a permanent residence for individuals with heterogeneous neurological impairments, many with epilepsy. We investigated the ability to reduce or prevent seizures in subjects through cortical stimulation from sustained passive nightly exposure to a specific auditory stimulus (music) in a three-year randomized controlled study. In year 1, baseline seizure rates were established. In year 2, subjects were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. Treatment group subjects were exposed during sleeping hours to specific music at regular intervals. Control subjects received no music exposure and were maintained on regular anti-seizure medication. In year 3, music treatment was terminated and seizure rates followed. We found a significant treatment effect (p = 0.024) during the treatment phase persisting through the follow-up phase (p = 0.002). Subjects exposed to treatment exhibited a significant 24% decrease in seizures during the treatment phase, and a 33% decrease persisting through the follow-up phase. Twenty-four percent of treatment subjects exhibited a complete absence of seizures during treatment.
Exposure to specific auditory stimuli (i.e. music) can significantly reduce seizures in subjects with a range of epilepsy and seizure types, in some cases achieving a complete cessation of seizures. These results are consistent with previous work showing reductions in epileptiform activity from particular music exposure and offers potential for achieving a non-invasive, non-pharmacologic treatment of epilepsy.
Myelofibrosis (MF) is a clonal stem cell disorder characterized by cytopenias, splenomegaly, marrow fibrosis, and systemic symptoms due to elevated inflammatory cytokines. MF is associated with decreased survival. The quality of life of patients with MF is similar to other advanced malignancies. Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is a curative treatment, but is applicable to a minority of patients with MF. None of the conventional therapies are known to alter the natural history of the disease. Significant progress has been made in the last few years in the understanding of disease biology of MF. Discovery of the JAK2V617F mutation paved the way for drug discovery in MF, and the first JAK1/2 inhibitor, ruxolitinib, has been approved by FDA and Health Canada. Several other JAK1/2 inhibitors are at various stages of clinical development. As a consequence, the therapeutic landscape of MF is changing from a disease where no effective therapies existed to one with several novel treatment options on the horizon. In this report, we assess the changing therapeutic options for MF, and critically analyze the position of novel treatments in the current armamentarium.
Myelofibrosis; JAK1/2; ruxolitinib; splenomegaly; treatment options
Deciphering the mechanisms of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell (HSPC) mobilization and homing is important for the development of strategies to enhance the efficacy of HSPC transplantation and achieve the full potential of HSPC-based cellular therapy. Investigation of these mechanisms has revealed interdependence among the various molecules, pathways and cellular components involved, and underscored the complex nature of these two processes. This review summarizes recent progress in identifying the specific factors implicated in HSPC mobilization and homing, with emphasis on our own work. Particularly, we will discuss our studies on stromal cell-derived factor-1 and its interaction with its receptor CXCR4, proteases (matrix metalloproteinases and carboxypeptidase M), complement proteins (C1q, C3a, C5a, membrane attack complex), sphingosine-1-phosphate, and pharmacologic agents such as the histone deacetylase inhibitor valproic acid and hyaluronic acid.
Hematopoietic stem cells; Mobilization; Homing; Transplantation
Membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) has been implicated in tumor invasion, as well as trafficking of normal hematopoietic cells, and acts as a physiologic activator of proMMP-2. In this study we examined MT1-MMP expression in primary acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. Because tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α is known to be elevated in AML, we also investigated the effect of TNF-α on MT1-MMP expression. We found (i) MT1-MMP mRNA expression in 41 out of 43 primary AML samples tested; (ii) activation of proMMP-2 in co-cultures of AML cells with normal bone marrow stromal cells; and (iii) inhibition of proMMP-2 activation and trans-Matrigel migration of AML cells by gene silencing using MT1-MMP siRNA. Moreover, recombinant human TNF-α upregulated MT1-MMP expression in AML cells resulting in enhanced proMMP-2 activation and trans-Matrigel migration. Thus, AML cells express MT1-MMP and TNF-α enhances it leading to increased MMP-2 activation and most likely contributing to the invasive phenotype. We suggest that MT1-MMP, together with TNF-α, should be investigated as potential therapeutic targets in AML.
acute myeloid leukemia; membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase; matrix metalloproteinase-2; tumor necrosis factor-α
In this paper we address Ramsey et al.’s critical assessment of our method for learning partially directed graphs from meta-analysis imaging data (Neumann et al., 2010). We argue that our method provides valid and interpretable results when applied to data representing a single experimental paradigm. Simulations further suggest that, despite theoretical limitations, the application of our method to mixed probability distributions yields reliable results with error rates at acceptable levels. Finally, we discuss the nature of meta-analysis data and the notion of causality in the context of functional neuroimaging.
Dysfunction of primary motor cortex (M1) is thought to contribute to the pathophysiology of parkinsonism. What specific aspects of M1 function are abnormal remains uncertain, however. Moreover, few models consider the possibility that distinct cortical neuron subtypes may be affected differently. Those questions were addressed by studying the resting activity of intratelencephalic-type corticostriatal neurons (CSNs) and distant-projecting lamina 5b pyramidal-tract type neurons (PTNs) in the macaque M1 before and after the induction of parkinsonism by administration of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Contrary to previous reports, the general population of M1 neurons (i.e., PTNs, CSNs, and unidentified neurons) showed reduced baseline firing rates following MPTP, attributable largely to a marked decrease in PTN firing rates. CSN firing rates were unmodified. Although burstiness and firing patterns remained constant in M1 neurons as a whole and CSNs in particular, PTNs became more bursty post-MPTP and less likely to fire in a regular-spiking pattern. Rhythmic spiking (found in PTNs predominantly) occurred at beta frequencies (14–32 Hz) more frequently following MPTP. These results indicate that MPTP intoxication induced distinct modifications in the activity of different M1 neuronal subtypes. The particular susceptibility of PTNs suggests that PTN dysfunction may be an important contributor to the pathophysiology of parkinsonian motor signs.
basal ganglia; firing patterns; MPTP; Parkinson’s disease; primary motor cortex
This functional magnetic resonance imaging study examines shared and distinct cortical areas involved in the auditory perception of song and speech at the level of their underlying constituents: words and pitch patterns. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to isolate the neural correlates of the word- and pitch-based discrimination between song and speech, corrected for rhythmic differences in both. Therefore, six conditions, arranged in a subtractive hierarchy were created: sung sentences including words, pitch and rhythm; hummed speech prosody and song melody containing only pitch patterns and rhythm; and as a control the pure musical or speech rhythm. Systematic contrasts between these balanced conditions following their hierarchical organization showed a great overlap between song and speech at all levels in the bilateral temporal lobe, but suggested a differential role of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and intraparietal sulcus (IPS) in processing song and speech. While the left IFG coded for spoken words and showed predominance over the right IFG in prosodic pitch processing, an opposite lateralization was found for pitch in song. The IPS showed sensitivity to discrete pitch relations in song as opposed to the gliding pitch in speech. Finally, the superior temporal gyrus and premotor cortex coded for general differences between words and pitch patterns, irrespective of whether they were sung or spoken. Thus, song and speech share many features which are reflected in a fundamental similarity of brain areas involved in their perception. However, fine-grained acoustic differences on word and pitch level are reflected in the IPS and the lateralized activity of the IFG.
song; speech; prosody; melody; pitch; words; fMRI; MVPA
Dancers frequently present with hip pain. The etiology of this pathology has not been clearly identified from an anatomical perspective. Structural variations including hip dysplasia and dynamic variables from the foot to the pelvis will be discussed. Understanding the etiology as a structural entity, neuromuscular entity or a combination of the two, allows for a successful rehabilitative process and a successful return to dance. This article describes the possible correlation between hip dysplasia and hip pain in the dancer, the relationship of dance postures to the kinematic chain and outlines possible treatment strategies for management.
Dancers; Dysplasia; Femoroacetabular impingement; Joint laxity
Bursts and oscillatory modulations in firing rate are hallmark features of abnormal neuronal activity in the parkinsonian Globus Pallidus internus (GPi). Although often implicated together in the pathophysiology of parkinsonian signs, little is known about how burst discharges and oscillatory firing (OF) relate to each other. To investigate this question, extracellular single-unit neuronal activity was recorded from 132 GPi cells in 14 Parkinson’s disease patients. We found that burst firing was equally prevalent in OF and non-oscillatory firing (NOF) cells (p>0.5). More than half of the cells were characterized by either aperiodic bursty activity or OF, but not both. OF and NOF cells had statistically-indistinguishable levels of mean burstiness (p=0.8). Even when bursting and OF co-existed in individual cells, levels of burstiness and oscillatory power were seldom correlated across time. Interestingly, however, the few OF cells with spectral peaks between 8–13-Hz (α-range) were substantially burstier than other cells (p<0.01) and showed an unique burst morphology and stronger temporal correlations between oscillatory power and burstiness. We conclude that independent mechanisms may underlie the burst discharges and OF typical of most neurons in the parkinsonian GPi.
Parkinson’s disease; microelectrode recording; intra-operative; electrophysiology; basal ganglia; spectral analysis
Functional magnetic resonance data acquired in a task-absent condition (“resting state”) require new data analysis techniques that do not depend on an activation model. Here, we propose a new analysis method called Connectivity Concordance Mapping (CCM). The main idea is to assign a label to each voxel based on the reproducibility of its whole-brain pattern of connectivity. Specifically, we compute the correlations of time courses of each voxel with every other voxel for each measurement. Voxels whose correlation pattern is consistent across measurements receive high values. The result of a CCM analysis is thus a voxel-wise map of concordance values. Regions of high inter-subject concordance can be assumed to be functionally consistent, and may thus be of specific interest for further analysis. Here we present two fMRI studies to demonstrate the possible applications of the algorithm. The first is a eyes-open/eyes-closed paradigm designed to highlight the potential of the method in a relatively simple domain. The second study is a longitudinal repeated measurement of a patient following stroke. Longitudinal clinical studies such as this may represent the most interesting domain of applications for this algorithm.
connectivity; resting state
The prevailing academic opinion holds that the subthalamic nucleus (STN) consists of three parts, each anatomically distinct and selectively associated with cognitive, emotional, or motor functioning. We independently tested this assumption by summarizing the results from 33 studies on STN subdivisions in human and nonhuman primates. The studies were conducted from 1925 to 2010 and feature three different techniques: electrical lesions, anterograde and retrograde tracers, and classical cytoarchitectonics. Our results reveal scant evidence in support of a tripartite STN. Instead, our results show that the variability across studies is surprisingly large, both in the number of subdivisions and in their anatomical localization. We conclude that the number of subdivisions in the STN remains uncertain, and that academic consensus in support of a tripartite STN is presently unwarranted.
subthalamic nucleus; subdivisions; primate
SUMMARY OF RECENT ADVANCES
The roles of the basal ganglia (BG) in motor control are much debated. Many influential hypotheses have grown from studies in which output signals of the BG were not blocked, but pathologically-disturbed. A weakness of that approach is that the resulting behavioral impairments reflect degraded function of the BG per se mixed together with secondary dysfunctions of BG-recipient brain areas. To overcome that limitation, several studies have focused on the main skeletomotor output region of the BG, the globus pallidus internus (GPi). Using single-cell recording and inactivation protocols these studies provide consistent support for two hypotheses: the BG modulates movement performance (“vigor”) according to motivational factors (i.e., context-specific cost/reward functions) and the BG contributes to motor learning. Results from these studies also add to the problems that confront theories positing that the BG selects movement, inhibits unwanted motor responses, corrects errors online, or stores and produces well-learned motor skills.