Of the several aquaporin (AQP) water channels expressed in the central nervous system, AQP4 is an attractive target for drug discovery. AQP4 is expressed in astroglia, most strongly at the blood–brain and brain–cerebrospinal fluid barriers. Phenotype analysis of AQP4 knockout mice indicates the involvement of AQP4 in three distinct processes: brain water balance, astroglial cell migration and neural signal transduction. By slowing water uptake into the brain, AQP4 knockout mice manifest reduced brain swelling and improved outcome in models of cytotoxic cerebral oedema such as water intoxication, focal ischaemia and meningitis. However, by slowing the clearance of excess water from brain, AQP4 knockout mice do worse in models of vasogenic oedema such as brain tumour, abscess and hydrocephalus. AQP4 deficient astroglial cells show greatly impaired migration in response to chemotactic stimuli, reducing glial scar formation, by a mechanism that we propose involves AQP4-facilitated water flux in lamellipodia of migrating cells. AQP4 knockout mice also manifest increased seizure threshold and duration, by a mechanism that may involve slowed K+ uptake from the extracellular space (ECS) following neuroexcitation, as well as ECS expansion. Notwithstanding challenges in drug delivery to the central nervous system and their multiplicity of actions, AQP4 inhibitors have potential utility in reducing cytotoxic brain swelling, increasing seizure threshold and reducing glial scar formation; enhancers of AQP4 expression have potential utility in reducing vasogenic brain swelling. AQP4 modulators may thus offer new therapeutic options for stroke, tumour, infection, hydrocephalus, epilepsy and traumatic brain and spinal cord injury.
AQP4; water transport; transgenic mouse; brain oedema; cell migration; epilepsy
Sleep, which is evolutionarily conserved across species, is a biological imperative that cannot be ignored or replaced. However, the percentage of habitually sleep-restricted adults has increased in recent decades. Extended work hours and commutes, shift work schedules, and television viewing are particularly potent social factors that influence sleep duration. Chronic partial sleep restriction, a product of these social expediencies, leads to the accumulation of sleep debt over time and consequently increases sleep propensity, decreases alertness, and impairs critical aspects of cognitive functioning. Significant interindividual variability in the neurobehavioral responses to sleep restriction exists—this variability is stable and phenotypic—suggesting a genetic basis. Identifying vulnerability to sleep loss is essential as many adults cannot accurately judge their level of impairment in response to sleep restriction. Indeed, the consequences of impaired performance and the lack of insight due to sleep loss can be catastrophic. In order to cope with the effects of social expediencies on biological imperatives, identification of biological (including genetic) and behavioral markers of sleep loss vulnerability as well as development of technological approaches for fatigue management are critical.
sleep deprivation; sleep duration; neurobehavioral functions; fatigue management; individual differences; genetics; biomarkers
Basic tendencies to detect and respond to significant events are present in the simplest single cell organisms, and persist throughout all invertebrates and vertebrates. Within vertebrates, the overall brain plan is highly conserved, though differences in size and complexity also exist. The forebrain differs the most between mammals and other vertebrates. The classic notion that the evolution of mammals led to radical changes such that new forebrain structures (limbic system and neocortex) were added has not held up, nor has the idea that so-called limbic areas are primarily involved in emotion. Modern efforts have focused on specific emotion systems, like the fear or defense system, rather than on the search for a general purpose emotion systems. Such studies have found that fear circuits are conserved in mammals, including humans. Animal work has been especially successful in determining how the brain detects and responds to danger. Caution should be exercised when attempting to discuss other aspects of emotion, namely subjective feelings, in animals since there are no scientific ways of verifying and measuring such states except in humans.
The nonhuman primate brain, the model system closest to the human brain, plays a critical role in our understanding of neural computation, cognition, and behavior. The continued quest to crack the neural codes in the monkey brain would be greatly enhanced with new tools and technologies that can rapidly and reversibly control the activities of desired cells at precise times during specific behavioral states. Recent advances in adapting optogenetic technologies to monkeys have enabled precise control of specific cells or brain regions at the millisecond timescale, allowing for the investigation of the causal role of these neural circuits in this model system. Validation of optogenetic technologies in monkeys also represents a critical preclinical step on the translational path of new generation cell-type-specific neural modulation therapies. Here, I discuss the current state of the application of optogenetics in the nonhuman primate model system, highlighting the available genetic, optical and electrical technologies, and their limitations and potentials.
monkey; genetic manipulation; optical; channelrhodopsin; archaerhodopsin; halorhodopsin; rat
The magnocellular neurons of the hypothalamic supraoptic nucleus (SON) are a major source of both systemic and central release of the neurohypophyseal peptides, oxytocin (OXT) and arginine–vasopressin (AVP). Both OXT and AVP are released from the somatodendritic compartment of magnocellular neurons and act within the SON to modulate the electrophysiological function of these cells. Cannabinoids (CBs) affect hormonal output and the SON may represent a neural substrate through which CBs exert specific physiological and behavioural effects. Dynamic modulation of synaptic inputs is a fundamental mechanism through which neuronal output is controlled. Dendritically released OXT acts on autoreceptors to generate endocannabinoids (eCBs) which modify both excitatory and inhibitory inputs to OXT neurons through actions on presynaptic CB receptors. As such, OXT and eCBs cooperate to shape the electrophysiological properties of magnocellular OXT neurons, regulating the physiological function of this nucleus. Further study of eCB signalling in the SON, including its interaction with AVP neurons, promises to extend our understanding of the synaptic regulation of SON physiological function.
PMID: 18655878 CAMSID: cams2631
hypothalamus; oxytocin; magnocellular neurons; retrograde messengers
The ability to silence, in a temporally precise fashion, the electrical activity of specific neurons embedded within intact brain tissue, is important for understanding the role that those neurons play in behaviors, brain disorders, and neural computations. “Optogenetic” silencers, genetically encoded molecules that, when expressed in targeted cells within neural networks, enable their electrical activity to be quieted in response to pulses of light, are enabling these kinds of causal circuit analyses studies. Two major classes of optogenetic silencer are in broad use in species ranging from worm to monkey: light-driven inward chloride pumps, or halorhodopsins, and light-driven outward proton pumps, such as archaerhodopsins and fungal light-driven proton pumps. Both classes of molecule, when expressed in neurons via viral or other transgenic means, enable the targeted neurons to be hyperpolarized by light. We here review the current status of these sets of molecules, and discuss how they are being discovered and engineered. We also discuss their expression properties, ionic properties, spectral characteristics, and kinetics. Such tools may not only find many uses in the quieting of electrical activity for basic science studies, but may also, in the future, find clinical uses for their ability to safely and transiently shut down cellular electrical activity in a precise fashion.
optogenetics; opsins; neural silencing; halorhodopsin; archaerhodopsin; channelrhodopsin; control; cell types; neural circuits; causality
Functional MRI (fMRI) studies performed during both waking rest and sleep show that the brain is continually active in distinct patterns that appear to reflect its underlying functional connectivity. In this review, potential sources that contribute to spontaneous fMRI activity will be discussed.
This chapter reviews the neurological phenotype of Down syndrome (DS) in early development, childhood, and aging. Neuroanatomic abnormalities in DS are manifested as aberrations in gross brain structure as well as characteristic microdysgenetic changes. As the result of these morphological abnormalities, brain circuitry is impaired. While an intellectual disability is ubiquitous in DS, there is a wide range of variation in cognitive performance and a growing understanding between aberrant brain circuitry and the cognitive phenotype. Hypotonia is most marked at birth, affecting gait and ligamentous laxity. Seizures are bimodal in presentation with infantile spasms common in infancy and generalized seizures associated with cognitive decline observed in later years. While all individuals have the characteristic neuropathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) by age 40years, the prevalence of dementia is not universal. The tendency to develop AD is related, in part, to several genes on chromosome 21 that are overexpressed in DS. Intraneuronal accumulation of β-amyloid appears to trigger a cascade of neurodegeneration resulting in the neuropathological and clinical manifestations of dementia. Functional brain imaging has elucidated the temporal sequence of amyloid deposition and glucose metabolic rate in the development of dementia in DS. Mitochondrial abnormalities contribute to oxidative stress which is part of AD pathogenesis in DS as well as AD in the general population. A variety of medical comorbidities threaten cognitive performance including sleep apnea, abnormalities in thyroid metabolism, and behavioral disturbances. Mouse models for DS are providing a platform for the formulation of clinical trials with intervention targeted to synaptic plasticity, brain biochemistry, and morphological brain alterations.
Down syndrome; brain development; seizures; hypotonia; dementia; clinical trials
Fluorescent protein technology has evolved to include genetically-encoded biosensors that can monitor levels of ions, metabolites, and enzyme activities as well as protein conformation and even membrane voltage. They are well suited to live-cell microscopy and quantitative analysis, and they can be used in multiple imaging modes, including one or two-photon fluorescence intensity or lifetime microscopy. Although not nearly complete, there now exists a substantial set of genetically-encoded reporters that can be used to monitor many aspects of neuronal and glial biology, and these biosensors can be used to visualize synaptic transmission and activity-dependent signaling in vitro and in vivo. In this review we present an overview of design strategies for engineering biosensors, including sensor designs using circularly-permuted fluorescent proteins and using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between fluorescent proteins. We also provide examples of indicators that sense small ions (e.g., pH, chloride, zinc), metabolites (e.g., glutamate, glucose, ATP, cAMP, lipid metabolites), signaling pathways (e.g., G protein coupled receptors, Rho GTPases), enzyme activities (e.g., protein kinase A, caspases), and reactive species. We focus on examples where these genetically-encoded indicators have been applied to brain-related studies and used with live-cell fluorescence microscopy.
Genetically-encoded; biosensor; fluorescent protein; circularly-permute; resonance energy transfer; FRET; live-cell microscopy
The tremendous shifts in the size, structure, and function of the brain during primate evolution are ultimately caused by changes at the genetic level. Understanding what these changes are and how they effect the phenotypic changes observed lies at the heart of understanding evolutionary change. This chapter focuses on understanding the genetic basis of primate brain evolution, considering the substrates and mechanisms through which genetic change occurs. It also discusses the implications that our current understandings and tools have for what we have already discovered and where our studies will head in the future. While genetic and genomic studies have identified many regions undergoing positive selection during primate evolution, the findings are certainly not exhaustive and functional relevance remains to be confirmed. Nevertheless, a strong foundation has been built upon which future studies will emerge.
Genetic evolution; molecular evolution; catarrhine; hominoid; hominin; FOXP2; microcephaly; opsin; olfaction; pleiotropy; gene regulation; divergence; polymorphism
Spinal cord injuries above mid-thoracic levels can lead to a potentially life-threatening hypertensive condition termed autonomic dysreflexia that is often triggered by distension of pelvic viscera (bladder or bowel). This syndrome is characterized by episodic hypertension due to sudden, massive discharge of sympathetic preganglionic neurons in the thoracolumbar spinal cord. This hypertension is usually accompanied by bradycardia, particularly if the injury is caudal to the 2nd to 4th thoracic spinal segments. The development of autonomic dysreflexia is correlated with aberrant sprouting of peptidergic afferent fibers into the spinal cord below the injury. In particular, sprouting of nerve growth factor-responsive afferent fibers has been shown to have a major influence on dysreflexia, perhaps by amplifying the activation of disinhibited sympathetic neurons. Using a model of noxious bowel distension after complete thoracic spinal transection at the 4th thoracic segment in rats, we selectively altered C-fiber sprouting, at specified spinal levels caudal to the injury, with microinjections of adenovirus encoding the growth-promoting nerve growth factor or the growth-inhibitory semaphorin 3A. This was followed by assessment of physiological responses to colorectal distension and subsequent histology. Additionally, anterograde tract tracers were injected into the lumbosacral region to compare the extent of labeled propriospinal rostral projections in uninjured cords to those incords after complete 4th thoracic transection. In summary, over-expression of chemorepulsive semaphorin 3A impeded C-fiber sprouting in lumbosacral segments and mitigated hypertensive autonomic dysreflexia, whereas the opposite results were obtained with nerve growth factor over-expression. Furthermore, compared to naïve rats there were significantly more labeled lumbosacral propriospinal projections rostrally after thoracic injury. Collectively, our findings suggest that distension of pelvic viscera increases the excitation of expanded afferent terminals in the disinhibited lumbosacral spinal cord. This, in turn, triggers excitation and sprouting of local propriospinal neurons to relay visceral sensory stimuli and amplify the activation of sympathetic preganglionic neurons in the thoracolumbar cord, to enhance transmission in the spinal viscero-sympathetic reflex pathway. These responses are manifested as autonomic dysreflexia.
nerve growth factor; semaphorin3A; sprouting; sympathetic; neurotrophin; propriospinal; gene therapy
Studies of adaptation to patterns of deterministic forces have revealed the ability of the motor control system to form and use predictive representations of the environment. These studies have also pointed out that adaptation to novel dynamics is aimed at preserving the trajectories of a controlled endpoint, either the hand of a subject or a transported object. We review some of these experiments and present more recent studies aimed at understanding how the motor system forms representations of the physical space in which actions take place. An extensive line of investigations in visual information processing has dealt with the issue of how the Euclidean properties of space are recovered from visual signals that do not appear to possess these properties. The same question is addressed here in the context of motor behavior and motor learning by observing how people remap hand gestures and body motions that control the state of an external device. We present some theoretical considerations and experimental evidence about the ability of the nervous system to create novel patterns of coordination that are consistent with the representation of extrapersonal space. We also discuss the perspective of endowing human–machine interfaces with learning algorithms that, combined with human learning, may facilitate the control of powered wheelchairs and other assistive devices.
motor learning; space; dimensionality reduction; human-machine interface; brain-computer interface.
A major challenge in neuroscience is to understand how universal behaviors, such as sensation, movement, cognition, and emotion, arise from the interactions of specific cells that are present within intricate neural networks in the brain. Dissection of such complex networks has typically relied on disturbing the activity of individual gene products, perturbing neuronal activities pharmacologically, or lesioning specific brain regions, to investigate the network’s response in a behavioral output. Though informative for many kinds of studies, these approaches are not sufficiently fine-tuned for examining the functionality of specific cells or cell classes in a spatially or temporally-restricted context. Recent advances in the field of optogenetics now enable researchers to monitor and manipulate the activity of genetically defined cell populations with the speed and precision uniquely afforded by light. Transgenic mice engineered to express optogenetic tools in a cell type-specific manner offer a powerful approach for examining the role of particular cells in discrete circuits in a defined and reproducible way. Not surprisingly then, recent years have seen substantial efforts directed towards generating transgenic mouse lines that express functionally relevant levels of optogenetic tools. In this chapter, we review the state of these efforts and consider aspects of the current technology that would benefit from additional improvement.
transgenic mice; genetic manipulation; cell type; Cre; channelrhodopsin; halorhodopsin; archaerhodopsin; calcium indicator; voltage sensor
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder for which there is currently no effective neuroprotective therapy. Patients are typically treated with a combination of drug therapies and/or receive deep brain stimulation to combat behavioral symptoms. The ideal candidate therapy would be the one which prevents neurodegeneration in the brain, thereby halting the progression of debilitating disease symptoms. Neurotrophic factors have been in the forefront of PD research, and clinical trials have been initiated using members of the GDNF family of ligands (GFLs). GFLs have been shown to be trophic to ventral mesencephalic cells, thereby making them good candidates for PD research. This paper examines the use of GDNF and neurturin, two members of the GFL, in both animal models of PD and clinical trials.
neurotrophic factors; Parkinson’s disease; glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor family ligands; GDNF; neurturin; gene therapy; clinical trials
Large amplitude slow waves are characteristic for the summary brain activity, recorded as electroencephalogram (EEG) or local field potentials (LFP), during deep stages of sleep and some types of anesthesia. Slow rhythm of the synchronized EEG reflects an alternation of active (depolarized, UP) and silent (hyperpolarized, DOWN) states of neocortical neurons. In neurons, involvement in the generalized slow oscillation results in a long-range synchronization of changes of their membrane potential as well as their firing. Here, we aimed at intracellular analysis of details of this synchronization. We asked which components of neuronal activity exhibit long-range correlations during the synchronized EEG? To answer this question, we made simultaneous intracellular recordings from two to four neocortical neurons in cat neocortex. We studied how correlated is the occurrence of active and silent states, and how correlated are fluctuations of the membrane potential in pairs of neurons located close one to the other or separated by up to 13 mm. We show that strong long-range correlation of the membrane potential was observed only (i) during the slow oscillation but not during periods without the oscillation, (ii) during periods which included transitions between the states but not during within-the-state periods, and (iii) for the low-frequency (<5 Hz) components of membrane potential fluctuations but not for the higher-frequency components (>10 Hz). In contrast to the neurons located several millimeters one from the other, membrane potential fluctuations in neighboring neurons remain strongly correlated during periods without slow oscillation. We conclude that membrane potential correlation in distant neurons is brought about by synchronous transitions between the states, while activity within the states is largely uncorrelated. The lack of the generalized fine-scale synchronization of membrane potential changes in neurons during the active states of slow oscillation may allow individual neurons to selectively engage in short living episodes of correlated activity—a process that may be similar to dynamical formation of neuronal ensembles during activated brain states.
intracellular recording; cat; sleep; synchrony
Cell transplantation is a novel therapeutic strategy to restore visual responses to the degenerate adult neural retina and represents an exciting area of regenerative neurotherapy. So far, it has been shown that transplanted postmitotic photoreceptor precursors are able to functionally integrate into the adult mouse neural retina. In this review, we discuss the differentiation of photoreceptor cells from both adult and embryonic-derived stem cells and their potential for retinal cell transplantation. We also discuss the strategies used to overcome barriers present in the degenerate neural retina and improve retinal cell integration. Finally, we consider the future translation of retinal cell therapy as a therapeutic strategy to treat retinal degeneration.
stem cell; progenitor cell; photoreceptor; retina; transplantation; degeneration
Throughout life, thalamocortical (TC) network alternates between activated states (wake or rapid eye movement sleep) and slow oscillatory state dominating slow-wave sleep. The patterns of neuronal firing are different during these distinct states. I propose that due to relatively regular firing, the activated states preset some steady state synaptic plasticity and that the silent periods of slow-wave sleep contribute to a release from this steady state synaptic plasticity. In this respect, I discuss how states of vigilance affect short-, mid-, and long-term synaptic plasticity, intrinsic neuronal plasticity, as well as homeostatic plasticity. Finally, I suggest that slow oscillation is intrinsic property of cortical network and brain homeostatic mechanisms are tuned to use all forms of plasticity to bring cortical network to the state of slow oscillation. However, prolonged and profound shift from this homeostatic balance could lead to development of paroxysmal hyperexcitability and seizures as in the case of brain trauma.
sleep; wake; oscillations; synaptic transmission; synaptic plasticity; intrinsic plasticity
The electrical activity of the brain does not only reflect the current level of arousal, ongoing behavior or involvement in a specific task, but is also influenced by what kind of activity, and how much sleep and waking occurred before. The best marker of sleep-wake history is the electroencephalogram (EEG) spectral power in slow frequencies (slow-wave activity, 0.5–4 Hz, SWA) during sleep, which is high after extended wakefulness and low after consolidated sleep. While sleep homeostasis has been well characterized in various species and experimental paradigms, the specific mechanisms underlying homeostatic changes in brain activity or their functional significance remain poorly understood. However, several recent studies in humans, rats and computer simulations shed light on the cortical mechanisms underlying sleep regulation. First, it was found that the homeostatic changes in SWA can be fully accounted for by the variations in amplitude and slope of EEG slow waves, which are in turn determined by the efficacy of cortico-cortical connectivity. Specifically, the slopes of sleep slow waves were steeper in early sleep compared to late sleep. Second, the slope of cortical evoked potentials, which is an established marker of synaptic strength, was steeper after waking and decreased after sleep. Furthermore, cortical long-term potentiation (LTP) was partially occluded if it was induced after a period of waking, but it could again be fully expressed after sleep. Finally, multiunit activity recordings during sleep revealed that cortical neurons fired more synchronously after waking, and less so after a period of consolidated sleep. The decline of all these electrophysiological measures - the slopes of slow waves and evoked potentials and neuronal synchrony – during sleep correlated with the decline of the traditional marker of sleep homeostasis, EEG SWA. Taken together, these data suggest that homeostatic changes in sleep EEG are the result of altered neuronal firing and synchrony, which in turn arise from changes in functional neuronal connectivity.
sleep homeostasis; synaptic homeostasis; multiunit activity; neurons; cortex
Slow waves are the most prominent electroencephalographic (EEG) feature of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. During NREM sleep, cortical neurons oscillate approximately once every second between a depolarized upstate, when cortical neurons are actively firing, and a hyperpolarized downstate, when cortical neurons are virtually silent (Steriade et al., 1993a; Destexhe et al., 1999; Steriade et al., 2001). Intracellular recordings indicate that the origins of the slow oscillation are cortical and that cortico-cortical connections are necessary for their synchronization (Steriade et al. 1993b; Amzica and Steriade, 1995; Timofeev and Steriade, 1996; Timofeev et al., 2000). The currents produced by the near-synchronous slow oscillation of large populations of neurons appear on the scalp as EEG slow waves (Amzica and Steriade, 1997).
Despite this cellular understanding, questions remain about the role of specific cortical structures in individual slow waves. Early EEG studies of slow waves in humans were limited by the small number of derivations employed and by the difficulty of relating scalp potentials to underlying brain activity (Brazier 1949; Roth et al 1956). Functional neuroimaging methods offer exceptional spatial resolution but lack the temporal resolution to track individual slow waves (Maquet, 2000; Dang-Vu et al., 2008). Intracranial recordings in patient populations are limited by the availability of medically necessary electrode placements and can be confounded by pathology and medications (Nir et al., 2010; Cash et al., 2009; Wenneberg 2010).
Source modeling of high-density EEG recordings offers a unique opportunity for neuroimaging sleep slow waves. So far, the results have challenged several of the influential topographic observations about slow waves that had persisted since the original EEG recordings of sleep. These recent analyses revealed that individual slow waves are idiosyncratic cortical events and that the negative peak of the EEG slow wave often involves cortical structures not necessarily apparent from the scalp, like the inferior frontal gyrus, anterior cingulate, posterior cingulate and precuneus (Murphy et al., 2009). In addition, not only do slow waves travel (Massimini et al., 2004), but they often do so preferentially through the areas comprising the major connectional backbone of the human cortex (Hagmann et al., 2008). In this chapter we will review the cellular, intracranial recording and neuroimaging results concerning EEG slow waves. We will also confront a long held belief about peripherally evoked slow waves, also known as K-complexes, namely that they are modality-independent and do not involve cortical sensory pathways. The analysis included here is the first to directly compare K-complexes evoked with three different stimulation modalities within the same subject on the same night using high-density EEG.
slow oscillation; source modeling; K-complex; neuroimaging; electroencephalography
The past decade of neuroscience research has provided considerable evidence that the adult brain can undergo substantial reorganization following injury. For example, following an ischemic lesion, such as occurs following a stroke, there is a cascade of molecular, genetic, physiological and anatomical events that allows the remaining structures in the brain to reorganize. Often, these events are associated with recovery, suggesting that they contribute to it. Indeed, the term plasticity in stroke research has had a positive connotation historically. But more recently, efforts have been made to differentiate beneficial from detrimental changes. These notions are timely now that neurorehabilitative research is developing novel treatments to modulate, increase, or inhibit plasticity in targeted brain regions. We will review basic principles of plasticity and some of the new and exciting approaches that are currently being investigated to shape plasticity following injury in the central nervous system.
Cortex; Stimulation; Plasticity; Recovery; Rehabilitation; Stroke
Spinal cord injury is a devastating neurological trauma, often resulting in the impairment of bladder, bowel, and sexual function as well as the loss of voluntary control of muscles innervated by spinal cord segments below the lesion site. Research is ongoing into several classes of therapies to restore lost function. These include the encouragement of neural sparing and regeneration of the affected tissue, and the intervention with pharmacological and rehabilitative means to improve function. This review will focus on the application of electrical current in the spinal cord in order to reactivate extant circuitry which coordinates and controls smooth and skeletal muscle below the injury. We first present a brief historical review of intraspinal microstimulation (ISMS) focusing on its use for restoring bladder function after spinal cord injury as well as its utilization as a research tool for mapping spinal cord circuits that coordinate movements. We then present a review of our own results related to the use of ISMS for restoring standing and walking movements after spinal cord injury. We discuss the mechanisms of action of ISMS and how they relate to observed functional outcomes in animal models. These include the activation of fibers-in-passage which lead to the transsynaptic spread of activation through the spinal cord and the ability of ISMS to produce fatigue-resistant, weight-bearing movements. We present our thoughts on the clinical potential for ISMS with regard to implantation techniques, stability, and damage induced by mechanical and electrical factors. We conclude by suggesting improvements in materials and techniques that are needed in preparation for a clinical proof-of-principle and review our current attempts to achieve these.
Electrical stimulation; lumbosacral enlargement; locomotor networks; standing; walking; muscle fatigue
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with long-term changes in neurobiology. Brain areas involved in the stress response include the medial prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala. Neurohormonal systems that act on the brain areas to modulate PTSD symptoms and memory include glucocorticoids and norepinephrine. Dysfunction of these brain areas is responsible for the symptoms of PTSD. Brain imaging studies show that PTSD patients have increased amygdala reactivity during fear acquisition. Other studies show smaller hippocampal volume. A failure of medial prefrontal/anterior cingulate activation with re-experiencing of the trauma is hypothesized to represent a neural correlate of the failure of extinction seen in PTSD. The brain has the capacity for plasticity in the aftermath of traumatic stress. Antidepressant treatments and changes in environment can reverse the effects of stress on hippocampal neurogenesis, and humans with PTSD showed increased hippocampal volume with both paroxetine and phenytoin.
PET; depression; cortisol; glucocorticoids; stress; PTSD