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1.  Compensation in the course of Huntington's disease — More than just a hypothesis? 
EBioMedicine  2015;2(10):1286-1287.
doi:10.1016/j.ebiom.2015.09.024
PMCID: PMC4634843  PMID: 26629511
2.  Neural correlates of impaired emotion processing in manifest Huntington’s disease 
The complex phenotype of Huntington’s disease (HD) encompasses motor, psychiatric and cognitive dysfunctions, including early impairments in emotion recognition. In this first functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we investigated emotion-processing deficits in 14 manifest HD patients and matched controls. An emotion recognition task comprised short video clips displaying one of six basic facial expressions (sadness, happiness, disgust, fear, anger and neutral). Structural changes between patients and controls were assessed by means of voxel-based morphometry. Along with deficient recognition of negative emotions, patients exhibited predominantly lower neural response to stimuli of negative valences in the amygdala, hippocampus, striatum, insula, cingulate and prefrontal cortices, as well as in sensorimotor, temporal and visual areas. Most of the observed reduced activity patterns could not be explained merely by regional volume loss. Reduced activity in the thalamus during fear correlated with lower thalamic volumes. During the processing of sadness, patients exhibited enhanced amygdala and hippocampal activity along with reduced recruitment of the medial prefrontal cortex. Higher amygdala activity was related to more pronounced amygdala atrophy and disease burden. Overall, the observed emotion-related dysfunctions in the context of structural neurodegeneration suggest both disruptions of striatal-thalamo-cortical loops and potential compensation mechanism with greater disease severity in manifest HD.
doi:10.1093/scan/nst029
PMCID: PMC4014102  PMID: 23482620
Huntington’s disease; emotion processing; functional MRI; voxel-based morphometry; neurodegenerative disorders
3.  Anterior interosseous nerve syndrome 
Neurology  2014;82(7):598-606.
Objective:
We sought to determine lesion sites and spatial lesion patterns in spontaneous anterior interosseous nerve syndrome (AINS) with high-resolution magnetic resonance neurography (MRN).
Methods:
In 20 patients with AINS and 20 age- and sex-matched controls, MRN of median nerve fascicles was performed at 3T with large longitudinal anatomical coverage (upper arm/elbow/forearm): 135 contiguous axial slices (T2-weighted: echo time/repetition time 52/7,020 ms, time of acquisition: 15 minutes 48 seconds, in-plane resolution: 0.25 × 0.25 mm). Lesion classification was performed by visual inspection and by quantitative analysis of normalized T2 signal after segmentation of median nerve voxels.
Results:
In all patients and no controls, T2 lesions of individual fascicles were observed within upper arm median nerve trunk and strictly followed a somatotopic/internal topography: affected were those motor fascicles that will form the anterior interosseous nerve further distally while other fascicles were spared. Predominant lesion focus was at a mean distance of 14.6 ± 5.4 cm proximal to the humeroradial joint. Discriminative power of quantitative T2 signal analysis and of qualitative lesion rating was high, with 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity (p < 0.0001). Fascicular T2 lesion patterns were rated as multifocal (n = 17), monofocal (n = 2), or indeterminate (n = 1) by 2 independent observers with strong agreement (kappa = 0.83).
Conclusion:
It has been difficult to prove the existence of fascicular/partial nerve lesions in spontaneous neuropathies using clinical and electrophysiologic findings. With MRN, fascicular lesions with strict somatotopic organization were observed in upper arm median nerve trunks of patients with AINS. Our data strongly support that AINS in the majority of cases is not a surgically treatable entrapment neuropathy but a multifocal mononeuropathy selectively involving, within the main trunk of the median nerve, the motor fascicles that continue distally to form the anterior interosseous nerve.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000000128
PMCID: PMC3963415  PMID: 24415574
4.  The effects of levosimendan on brain metabolism during initial recovery from global transient ischaemia/hypoxia 
BMC Neurology  2012;12:81.
Backround
Neuroprotective strategies after cardiopulmonary resuscitation are currently the focus of experimental and clinical research. Levosimendan has been proposed as a promising drug candidate because of its cardioprotective properties, improved haemodynamic effects in vivo and reduced traumatic brain injury in vitro. The effects of levosimendan on brain metabolism during and after ischaemia/hypoxia are unknown.
Methods
Transient cerebral ischaemia/hypoxia was induced in 30 male Wistar rats by bilateral common carotid artery clamping for 15 min and concomitant ventilation with 6% O2 during general anaesthesia with urethane. After 10 min of global ischaemia/hypoxia, the rats were treated with an i.v. bolus of 24 μg kg-1 levosimendan followed by a continuous infusion of 0.2 μg kg-1 min-1. The changes in the energy-related metabolites lactate, the lactate/pyruvate ratio, glucose and glutamate were monitored by microdialysis. In addition, the effects on global haemodynamics, cerebral perfusion and autoregulation, oedema and expression of proinflammatory genes in the neocortex were assessed.
Results
Levosimendan reduced blood pressure during initial reperfusion (72 ± 14 vs. 109 ± 2 mmHg, p = 0.03) and delayed flow maximum by 5 minutes (p = 0.002). Whereas no effects on time course of lactate, glucose, pyruvate and glutamate concentrations in the dialysate could be observed, the lactate/pyruvate ratio during initial reperfusion (144 ± 31 vs. 77 ± 8, p = 0.017) and the glutamate release during 90 minutes of reperfusion (75 ± 19 vs. 24 ± 28 μmol·L-1) were higher in the levosimendan group. The increased expression of IL-6, IL-1ß TNFα and ICAM-1, extend of cerebral edema and cerebral autoregulation was not influenced by levosimendan.
Conclusion
Although levosimendan has neuroprotective actions in vitro and on the spinal cord in vivo and has been shown to cross the blood–brain barrier, the present results showed that levosimendan did not reduce the initial neuronal injury after transient ischaemia/hypoxia.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-12-81
PMCID: PMC3492141  PMID: 22920500
Levosimendan; Cerebral ischaemia; Hypoxia; Microdialysis

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