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Author: David Liebetanz (64)


Jan
2018

Involuntary movements as seen in repetitive disorders such as Tourette Syndrome (TS) results from cortical hyperexcitability that arise due to striato-thalamo-cortical circuit (STC) imbalance. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a stimulation procedure that changes cortical excitability, yet its relevance in repetitive disorders such as TS remains largely unexplored. Here, we employed the dopamine transporter-overexpressing (DAT-tg) rat model to investigate behavioral and neurobiological effects of frontal tDCS.

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Jan
2018


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Nov
2017


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Aug
2017

Sexual dimorphism has been described in various aspects of physiological and pathophysiological processes involving dopaminergic signaling. This might account for the different disease characteristics in men and women in e.g.

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Jul
2017

Cortical demyelination is a widely recognized hallmark of multiple sclerosis (MS) and correlate of disease progression and cognitive decline. The pathomechanisms initiating and driving gray matter damage are only incompletely understood. Here, we determined the infiltrating leukocyte subpopulations in 26 cortical demyelinated lesions of biopsied MS patients and assessed their contribution to cortical lesion formation in a newly developed mouse model.

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Jan
2017

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disorder in which remyelination failure contributes to persistent disability. Cholesterol is rate-limiting for myelin biogenesis in the developing CNS; however, whether cholesterol insufficiency contributes to remyelination failure in MS, is unclear. Here, we show the relationship between cholesterol, myelination and neurological parameters in mouse models of demyelination and remyelination.

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Dec
1969

The multi-C2 domain protein dysferlin localizes to the plasma membrane and the T-tubule system in skeletal muscle; however, its physiological mode of action is unknown. Mutations in thegene lead to autosomal recessive limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2B and Miyoshi myopathy. Here, we show that dysferlin has membrane tubulating capacity and that it shapes the T-tubule system.

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Dec
1969

The highly potent Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) are successful drugs to treat neuromuscular disorders. Efforts are being made to further reduce the injected BoNT dose and to lengthen the interval between treatments. Detailed knowledge of the BoNT structure-activity relationship (SAR) allows combining the best features of the different BoNT serotypes.

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Sep
2016

TBC1D10C is a protein previously demonstrated to bind and inhibit Ras and Calcineurin. In cardiomyocytes, also CaMKII is inhibited and all three targeted enzymes are known to promote maladaptive cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Here, in accordance with lack of Calcineurin inhibition in vivo, we did not observe a relevant anti-hypertrophic effect despite inhibition of Ras and CaMKII.

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Sep
2016

This review updates and consolidates evidence on the safety of transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). Safety is here operationally defined by, and limited to, the absence of evidence for a Serious Adverse Effect, the criteria for which are rigorously defined. This review adopts an evidence-based approach, based on an aggregation of experience from human trials, taking care not to confuse speculation on potential hazards or lack of data to refute such speculation with evidence for risk.

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Aug
2016

Three botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A) products, incobotulinumtoxinA, onabotulinumtoxinA, and abobotulinumtoxinA, all manufactured by different methods, are employed in clinical practice. Comparing the three BoNT/A products is difficult because their concentrations and volumes differ and the precise dose equivalence ratio is not known. We aimed to compare the neurotoxic potencies by a systematic analysis of injected volume and dose.

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Dec
1969

Despite several decades of research, electrically powered hand and arm prostheses are still controlled with very simple algorithms that process the surface electromyogram (EMG) of remnant muscles to achieve control of one prosthetic function at a time. More advanced machine learning methods have shown promising results under laboratory conditions. However, limited robustness has largely prevented the transfer of these laboratory advances to clinical applications.

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Jan
2016

Although neuronavigation is increasingly used for optimizing coil positioning, the inter-session reliability of hotspot location remains unsatisfactory, probably due to the variability of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) and residual investigator bias.
To increase the reliability and accuracy of hotspot location we introduce a novel automated hotspot-hunting procedure (AHH).
AHH is based on resting motor thresholds (RMTs) instead of MEP amplitudes.

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Jan
2016

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe hereditary myopathy. Standard treatment by glucocorticosteroids is limited because of numerous side effects. The aim of this study was to test immunomodulation by human immunoglobulin G (IgG) as treatment in the experimental mouse model (mdx) of DMD.

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Aug
2014

The neuromodulator dopamine plays an important role in synaptic plasticity. The effects depend on receptor subtypes, affinity, concentration level, and the kind of neuroplasticity induced. In animal experiments, dopamine D2-like receptor stimulation revealed partially antagonistic effects on plasticity, which might be explained by dosage dependency.

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Dec
2013

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) induces polarity-specific changes of cerebral blood flow (CBF). To determine whether these changes are focally limited or if they incorporate large cortical regions and thus have the potential for a therapeutic application, we investigated the effects of cathodal tDCS on CBF in an established tDCS rat model with particular attention to the spatial extension in CBF changes using laser Doppler blood perfusion imaging (LDI).
Twenty-one Sprague Dawley rats received a single 15-minute session of cathodal tDCS at current intensities of 200, 400, 600, or 700 μA applied over electrode contact areas (ECA) of 3·5, 7·0, 10·5, or 14·0 mm(2).

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Dec
1969

Functional electrical stimulation represents an alternative to conventional and passive ankle foot orthosis (AFO) for the treatment of stroke-related drop foot. We evaluated the implantable 4-channel stimulator ActiGait, which selectively and directly stimulates the peroneal nerve. In addition, it bypasses the need for surface electrodes and cables.

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Apr
2013

Dopaminergic signaling influences physical activity. Notably impaired D2 receptor (D2R) function has been associated with decreased voluntary physical activity. Most animal models investigating effects of genetic or pharmacological dopaminergic modulation measure physical activity for a limited time of up to few hours.

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Apr
2013

We report on a 61-year-old woman with cupulolithiasis of the right horizontal semicircular canal, which is usually difficult to treat. The patient reported that several years ago, similar symptoms relieved completely after having performed several somersaults together with her granddaughter. This time, repetitive somersaults were again effective to treat her benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.

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Jul
2012

Physical exercise has been shown to increase neurogenesis, to decrease neuronal injury and to improve memory in animal models of stroke and head trauma. Therefore, we investigated the effect of voluntary wheel running on survival, neuronal damage and cell proliferation in a mouse model of pneumococcal meningitis. Mice were housed in cages equipped with voluntary running wheels or in standard cages before induction of bacterial meningitis by a subarachnoid injection of a Streptococcus pneumoniae type 3 strain.

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May
2013

Non-invasive brain stimulation enables the induction of neuroplasticity in humans, however, with so far restricted duration of the respective cortical excitability modifications. Conventional anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) protocols including one stimulation session induce NMDA receptor-dependent excitability enhancements lasting for about 1 h.
We aimed to extend the duration of tDCS effects by periodic stimulation, consisting of two stimulation sessions, since periodic stimulation protocols are able to induce neuroplastic excitability alterations stable for days or weeks, termed late phase long term potentiation (l-LTP), in animal slice preparations.

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May
2012

In preterm infants, the risk to develop attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is 3 to 4-fold higher than in term infants. Moreover, preterm infants exhibit deficits in motor coordination and balance. Based on clinical data, higher oxygen levels in preterm infants lead to worse neurological outcome, and experimental hyperoxia causes wide-ranging cerebral changes in neonatal rodents.

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Jun
2012

Recent proof-of-principle data showed that the haematopoietic growth factor granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (filgrastim) mediates neuroprotection in rodent models of Parkinson's disease. In preparation for future clinical trials, we performed a preclinical characterization of a pegylated derivative of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (pegfilgrastim) in the mouse 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine model of Parkinson's disease. We determined serum and cerebrospinal fluid drug levels after subcutaneous injection.

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May
2012

For Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a common myopathy that leads to severe disability, no causal therapy is available. Glucocorticosteroids improve patients' muscle strength, but their long-term use is limited by negative side effects. Thus, pharmacological modifications of glucocorticosteroids are required to increase the efficacy by drug targeting.

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Mar
2012

Tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) enhances activity of motoneurons by blocking spinal inhibitory interneurons. Based on this pathomechanism, we propose that low-dosage intramuscular injections of TeNT could serve as a specific treatment for central paretic muscles. However in vivo TeNT research is restricted because of the fear of triggering widespread muscle spasms.

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Dec
2011

To test the hypothesis that the efficacy of botulinum toxin depends on the activity of the neuromuscular junction, we developed an in vivo paradigm to determine the degree and duration of low-dose botulinum toxin-induced focal paresis in mice.
We combined an automated wheel-running paradigm with low-dose botulinum toxin injections into the calf muscles of wild-type mice. Half of the mice were injected either before the nightly running or before the daily resting period.

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Oct
2011

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the prefrontal cortex, which non-invasively alters cortical activity, has been established to affect executive functions in humans. We hypothesized that changes in excitability by tDCS, found to improve cognitive functions dependent on moderate prefrontal cortex activity, would operate similarly in animals as in humans. To verify this we performed experiments using a rat behavioral model of visuospatial working memory and skill learning paired with tDCS of the frontal cortex.

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Jan
2011

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common neurological disorder whose exact pathophysiological mechanism remains unclear despite the successful use of dopaminergic treatment and recent discovery of predisposing genetic factors. As iron deficiency has been associated with RLS for some patients and there is evidence for decreased spinal dopamine D(3)-receptor (D3R) signaling in RLS, we aimed at establishing whether D3R activity and iron deficiency share common pathways within the pathophysiology of RLS sensory and motor symptoms. Using a combined mouse model of iron deficiency and dopamine D(3)-receptor deficiency (D3R-/-), circadian motor symptoms were evaluated by continuous recording of spontaneous wheel running activity.

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Feb
2011

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) induces changes in cortical excitability and improves hand-motor function in chronic stroke. These effects depend on polarity, duration of stimulation and current intensity applied. Towards evaluating the therapeutic potential of tDCS in acute stroke, we investigated tDCS-effects on cerebral blood flow (CBF) in a tDCS rat model adapted for this purpose.

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Sep
2010

The neuromodulator dopamine affects learning and memory formation and their likely physiological correlates, long-term depression and potentiation, in animals and humans. It is known from animal experiments that dopamine exerts a dosage-dependent, inverted U-shaped effect on these functions. However, this has not been explored in humans so far.

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Dec
2010

Externally induced neuroplasticity may be of therapeutic value in several neuro-psychiatric disorders. To facilitate research on mechanisms and to make possible the design of prospective, advanced stimulation protocols without exposing human subjects to risk, we have developed a primate model which allows us to assess changes of motor cortical excitability using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
TMS hand muscle representation and cortical excitability were determined in two awake trained rhesus monkeys.

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Aug
2010

Short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with conjunctival injection and tearing (SUNCT) is one of the rarest and most serious headache disorders. Cases of symptomatic SUNCT syndromes are reported, which demonstrate that brain imaging is very important for diagnosis. In this study, we describe the first case of secondary SUNCT syndrome caused by a meningioma.

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Apr
2010

Transcranial DC stimulation (tDCS) is a plasticity-inducing noninvasive brain stimulation tool with various potential therapeutic applications in neurological and psychiatric diseases. Currently, the duration of the aftereffects of stimulation is restricted. For future clinical applications, stimulation protocols are required that produce aftereffects lasting for days or weeks.

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Sep
2009

Cortical myelin can be severely affected in patients with demyelinating disorders of the central nervous system. However, the functional implication of cortical demyelination remains elusive. In this study, we investigated whether cortical myelin influences cortical spreading depression (CSD).

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Nov
2009

Iron deficiency has been described as a risk factor in secondary restless legs syndrome (RLS), although it has not been investigated whether iron deficiency induces sensory symptoms in RLS patients. In this study, we established a mouse model of iron deficiency by administering a purified iron-deficient (ID) diet (<8 mg/kg iron) or nonpurified standard diet [normal diet (ND)] (<179 mg/kg iron) to male C57Bl/6 mice from postnatal d 28 for 1, 4, or 15 wk. The level of iron deficiency was assessed by the plasma iron concentration.

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Dec
1969

EMG-triggered electrostimulation (EMG-ES) may improve the motor performance of affected limbs of hemiparetic stroke patients even in the chronic stage. This study was designed to characterize cortical activation changes following intensified EMG-ES in chronic stroke patients and to identify predictors for successful rehabilitation depending on disease severity.
We studied 9 patients with severe residual hemiparesis, who underwent 8 weeks of daily task-orientated multi-channel EMG-ES of the paretic arm.

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May
2009

The neuromodulator dopamine (DA) has multiple modes of action on neuroplasticity induction and modulation, depending on subreceptor specificity, concentration level, and the kind of stimulation-induced plasticity. To determine the dosage-dependent effects of D(2)-like receptor activation on nonfocal and focal neuroplasticity in the human motor cortex, different doses of ropinirole (0.125, 0.

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Sep
2009

Modulation of the serotonergic system affects long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), the likely neurophysiologic derivates of learning and memory formation, in animals and slice preparations. Serotonin-dependent modulation of plasticity has been proposed as an underlying mechanism for depression. However, direct knowledge about the impact of serotonin on neuroplasticity in humans is missing.

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Jun
2009

The aim of this rat study was to investigate the safety limits of extended transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). tDCS may be of therapeutic value in several neuro-psychiatric disorders. For its clinical applicability, however, more stable effects are required, which may be induced by intensified stimulations.

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Dec
1969

Neuroplasticity is the adaptive modification of network connectivity in response to environmental demands and has been identified as a major physiological correlate of learning. Since unrestricted neuroplastic modifications of network connectivity will result in a de-stabilization of the system, metaplastic modification rules have been proposed for keeping plastic connectivity changes within a useful dynamic range. In this connection, the modification threshold to achieve synaptic strengthening is thought to correlate negatively with the history of activity of the respective neurons, i.

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Jan
2008

Voluntary exercise (VE) has a beneficial influence on the heart and mean lifespan. The present study evaluates structural adaptations of cardiomyocytes and their mitochondria due to VE by new, unbiased stereological methods. Female, 7-9-week-old mice were randomly assigned to a control (CG, n = 7) or VE group (EG, n = 7).

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Apr
2007

Associative neuroplasticity, which encompasses the modification of synaptic strength by coactivation of two synaptic inputs, has been linked to learning processes. Because unlimited plasticity destabilizes neuronal networks, homeostatic rules were proposed and experimentally proven that control for the amount and direction of plasticity dependent on background network activity. Accordingly, low background activity would enhance facilitatory plasticity, whereas high background activity would inhibit it.

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May
2007

The subchronic 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridin (MPTP) paradigm is one of the most widely used in vivo models of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, particularly in the mouse model it has remained difficult to reliably detect behavioural correlates for PD. In the present study we apply a novel murine motor test, the motor skill sequence (MOSS) based on computerized recording of voluntary running wheel activity, and found latent motor skill deficits in the subchronic MPTP mouse model.

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Jan
2007

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is the most common inherited neuropathy, and a duplication of the Pmp22 gene causes the most frequent subform CMT1A. Using a transgenic rat model of CMT1A, we tested the hypothesis that long-term treatment with anti-progesterone (Onapristone) reduces Pmp22 overexpression and improves CMT disease phenotype of older animals, thereby extending a previous proof-of-concept observation in a more clinically relevant setting.
We applied placebo-controlled progesterone-antagonist therapy to CMT rats for 5 months and performed grip-strength analysis to assess the motor phenotype.

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Mar
2007

We have recently shown that two techniques of brain stimulation - repetitive electrical stimulation (ES) (that mimics transcranial magnetic stimulation) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) - modify the velocity of cortical spreading depression (CSD) significantly. Herein we aimed to study the effects of these two techniques combined on CSD. Thirty-two Wistar rats were divided into four groups according to the treatment: sham tDCS/sham ES, sham tDCS/1 Hz ES, anodal tDCS/1 Hz ES, cathodal tDCS/1 Hz ES.

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Jul
2006

Weak direct currents induce lasting alterations of cortical excitability in animals and humans, which are controlled by polarity, duration of stimulation, and current strength applied. To evaluate its anticonvulsant potential, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) was tested in a modified cortical ramp-stimulation model of focal epilepsy.
The threshold for localized seizure activity (TLS) was determined in freely moving rats by applying a single train of rising bipolar pulses through a unilateral epicranial electrode.

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Nov
2006

Feeding of copper chelator cuprizone induces reversible demyelination, predominantly of the corpus callosum in C57/Bl6 mice. With the availability of knockout and transgenic mice, this animal model of multiple sclerosis has increasingly attracted scientists to study the roles of various factors involved in de- and remyelination. However, central motor deficits have not been reported in this model so far.

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