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1.  Developmental changes in cerebral white matter microstructure in a disorder of lysosomal storage 
The goal of this work was to study white matter integrity in children with cystinosis, a rare lysosomal storage disorder resulting in cystine accumulation in peripheral and central nervous system tissue. Based on previous reports of cystine crystal formation in myelin precursors as well as evidence for specific cognitive deficits in visuospatial functioning, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was applied to 24 children with cystinosis (age 3–7 years) and to 24 typically developing age-matched controls. Scalar diffusion indices, fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD), were examined in manually-defined regions of interest within the parietal and inferior temporal lobes. Diffusion indices were correlated with performance on measures of visuospatial cognition and with white blood cell cystine levels. Bilaterally decreased FA and increased MD were evident in the inferior and superior parietal lobules in children with cystinosis, with comparable FA and MD to controls in inferior temporal white matter, and implicate a dissociation of the dorsal and ventral visual pathways. In older cystinosis children (age > 5), diminutions in visuospatial performance were associated with reduced FA in the right inferior parietal lobule. In addition, increased MD was found in the presence of high cystine levels in all children with cystinosis. This study provides new information that the average diffusion properties in children with cystinosis deviate from typically developing children. Findings suggest the presence of early microstructural white matter changes in addition to a secondary effect of cystine accumulation. These alterations may impact the development of efficient fiber networks important for visuospatial cognition.
doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2009.03.008
PMCID: PMC3351112  PMID: 19427638
Cystinosis; Lysosomal storage disorder; DTI; Children; Visuospatial
2.  Are Time- and Event-based Prospective Memory Comparably Affected in HIV Infection?† 
According to the multi-process theory of prospective memory (ProM), time-based tasks rely more heavily on strategic processes dependent on prefrontal systems than do event-based tasks. Given the prominent frontostriatal pathophysiology of HIV infection, one would expect HIV-infected individuals to demonstrate greater deficits in time-based versus event-based ProM. However, the two prior studies examining this question have produced variable results. We evaluated this hypothesis in 143 individuals with HIV infection and 43 demographically similar seronegative adults (HIV−) who completed the research version of the Memory for Intentions Screening Test, which yields parallel subscales of time- and event-based ProM. Results showed main effects of HIV serostatus and cue type, but no interaction between serostatus and cue. Planned pair-wise comparisons showed a significant effect of HIV on time-based ProM and a trend-level effect on event-based ProM that was driven primarily by the subset of participants with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. Nevertheless, time-based ProM was more strongly correlated with measures of executive functions, attention/working memory, and verbal fluency in HIV-infected persons. Although HIV-associated deficits in time- and event-based ProM appear to be of comparable severity, the cognitive architecture of time-based ProM may be more strongly influenced by strategic monitoring and retrieval processes.
doi:10.1093/arclin/acr020
PMCID: PMC3081684  PMID: 21459901
AIDS dementia complex; Episodic memory; Executive functions; Neuropsychological assessment
3.  DEMENTIA FOLLOWING HERPES ZOSTER ENCEPHALITIS 
The Clinical neuropsychologist  2010;24(7):1193-1203.
We studied the rare case of an older adult with dementia following herpes zoster encephalitis (HZE). This 71-year-old woman presented to us approximately 1 year following resolution of a rapid-onset episode of HZE, and subsequently underwent neuropsychological and neuroimaging examinations. Cognitive assessment revealed impairments in general cognitive functioning, verbal and nonverbal memory, executive functions, speed of information processing, attention/working memory, and motor skills. The patient’s neuroimaging data, when compared to a demographically similar healthy control sample (n = 9), demonstrated moderate central and perisylvian brain volume loss, several subcortical lesions in the white matter, and resting state whole brain and hippocampal hypoperfusion. These findings highlight neuropsychological changes evident in a dementia syndrome of this type, and they suggest that early identification and treatment of HZE has implications for the preservation of long-term cognitive functioning.
doi:10.1080/13854041003736778
PMCID: PMC3013629  PMID: 20503134
Herpes zoster; Encephalitis; MRI; Cognition; Dementia
4.  Neurological impairment in nephropathic cystinosis: motor coordination deficits 
Pediatric Nephrology (Berlin, Germany)  2010;25(10):2061-2066.
Nephropathic cystinosis is a rare genetic metabolic disorder that results in accumulation of the amino acid cystine in lysosomes due to lack of a cystine-specific transporter protein. Cystine accumulates in cells throughout the body and causes progressive damage to multiple organs, including the brain. Neuromotor deficits have been qualitatively described in individuals with cystinosis. This study quantitatively examined fine-motor coordination in individuals with cystinosis. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were also performed to determine whether structural changes were associated with motor deficits. Participants were 52 children and adolescents with infantile nephropathic cystinosis and 49 controls, ages 2–17 years, divided into preacademic and school-age groups. Results indicated that both the preacademic and school-age cystinosis groups performed significantly more poorly than their matched control groups on the Motor Coordination Test. Further, the level of performance was not significantly different between the preacademic and school-age groups. There were no significant differences in motor coordination scores based on MRI findings. This is the first study to document a persistent, nonprogressive, fine-motor coordination deficit in children and adolescents with cystinosis. The fact that these difficulties are present in the preschool years lends further support to the theory that cystinosis adversely affects neurological functioning early in development. The absence of a relationship between brain structural changes and motor function suggests that an alternative cause for motor dysfunction must be at work in this disorder.
doi:10.1007/s00467-010-1589-8
PMCID: PMC2923721  PMID: 20652328
Motor coordination; VMI; Cystinosis; Neurological impairment; Brain MRI; Cystine
5.  Plasticity in the developing brain: intellectual, language and academic functions in children with ischaemic perinatal stroke 
Brain  2008;131(11):2975-2985.
The developing brain has the capacity for a great deal of plasticity. A number of investigators have demonstrated that intellectual and language skills may be in the normal range in children following unilateral perinatal stroke. Questions have been raised, however, about whether these skills can be maintained at the same level as the brain matures. This study aimed to examine the stability of intellectual, academic and language functioning during development in children with perinatal stroke, and to resolve the inconsistencies raised in previous studies. Participants were 29 pre-school to school-age children with documented unilateral ischaemic perinatal stroke and 24 controls. Longitudinal testing of intellectual and cognitive abilities was conducted at two time points. Study 1 examined IQ, academic skills and language functions using the same test version over the test–retest interval. Study 2 examined IQ over a longer test–retest interval (pre-school to school-age), and utilized different test versions. This study has resulted in important new findings. There is no evidence of decline in cognitive function over time in children with perinatal unilateral brain damage. These results indicate that there is sufficient ongoing plasticity in the developing brain following early focal damage to result in the stability of cognitive functions over time. Also, the presence of seizures limits plasticity such that there is not only significantly lower performance on intellectual and language measures in the seizure group (Study 1), but the course of cognitive development is significantly altered (as shown in Study 2). This study provides information to support the notion of functional plasticity in the developing brain; yields much-needed clarification in the literature of prognosis in children with early ischaemic perinatal stroke; provides evidence that seizures limit plasticity during development; and avoids many of the confounds in prior studies. A greater understanding of how children with ischaemic perinatal stroke fare over time is particularly important, as there has been conflicting information regarding prognosis for this population. It appears that when damage is sustained very early in brain development, cerebral functional reorganization acts to sustain a stable rate of development over time.
doi:10.1093/brain/awn176
PMCID: PMC2577808  PMID: 18697910
ischaemic perinatal stroke (IPS); brain development; plasticity; cognitive development; focal lesion; intelligence; language
6.  Two-Year Prospective Study of Major Depressive Disorder in HIV-Infected Men 
Journal of affective disorders  2007;108(3):225-234.
Objective
The risks and factors contributing to major depressive episodes in HIV infection remain unclear. This 2-year prospective study compared cumulative rates and predictors of a major depressive episode in HIV-infected (HIV+) men (N=297) and uninfected (HIV−) risk-group controls (N=90).
Method
By design participants at entry were without current major depression, substance dependence or major anxiety disorder. Standardized neuromedical, neuropsychological, neuroimaging, life events, and psychiatric assessments (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM III-R) were conducted semi-annually for those with AIDS, and annually for all others.
Results
Lifetime prevalence of major depression or other psychiatric disorder did not differ at baseline between HIV+ men and controls. On 2-year follow up those with symptomatic HIV disease were significantly more likely to experience a major depressive episode than were asymptomatic HIV+ individuals and HIV− controls (p<0.05). Episodes were as likely to be first onset as recurrent depression. After baseline disease stage and medical variables associated with HIV infection were controlled, a lifetime history of major depression, or of lifetime psychiatric co-morbidity (two or more psychiatric disorders), predicted subsequent major depressive episode (p <0.05). Neither HIV disease progression during follow-up, nor the baseline presence of neurocognitive impairment, clinical brain imaging abnormality, or marked life adversity predicted a later major depressive episode.
Limitations
Research cohort of men examined before era of widespread use of advanced anti-HIV therapies.
Conclusions
Symptomatic HIV disease, but not HIV infection itself, increases intermediate-term risk of major depression. Prior psychiatric history most strongly predicted future vulnerability.
doi:10.1016/j.jad.2007.10.017
PMCID: PMC2494949  PMID: 18045694

Results 1-6 (6)