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Author: Undine E Lang (133)


Jul
2007

Visual hallucinations are a common and often distressing consequence of vision loss, particularly in age-related macular degeneration. Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS) is defined by the triad of complex visual hallucinations, ocular pathology causing visual deterioration and preserved cognitive status. So far, although this condition is frequent, no established treatment for CBS has been stated.

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Apr
2007

Recent data suggest that inhibitory pathways may be involved in the pathophysiology of depression and in the mode of action of some antidepressant interventions. The aim of the present study was to test whether vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) can affect motor cortex excitability. Measures of motor cortical excitability were probed by using single-pulse and paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation at baseline, after 10 weeks of left VNS, and additionally, in an on-off paradigm in 10 patients with treatment-resistant unipolar depression.

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Sep
2007

The gene encoding cathechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) contains a common functional missense polymorphism (Val158Met) that regulates dopamine in an allele-dependent manner. A pivotal role of dopamine neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex has been implicated in drug-seeking behavior and related personality traits, such as sensation seeking, with some evidence for a gender-specific association. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the COMT Val158Met polymorphism modulates the personality dimension, sensation seeking, in a gender-dependent manner.

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Feb
2007

In animals, nicotine, the primary psychoactive constituent of tobacco smoke, reduces neurogenesis and increases cell loss in both hippocampus and cortex. Accordingly, tobacco smoking has been linked to reduced performance on cognitive paradigms requiring attention and working memory in humans. However, few prior studies have tested for evidence of structural brain alterations in human tobacco smokers.

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Mar
2007

It has been suggested that a susceptibility locus near the gene encoding the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) contributes to individual differences in human addiction vulnerability. BDNF modulates several behaviors that are associated with addictive drugs, and upregulation of BDNF was found to be associated with several drugs of abuse such as amphetamine, cocaine, and nicotine. In this study, we addressed the question if a common BDNF missense variation (Val66Met) influences the risk for smoking behavior in otherwise healthy human volunteers.

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Sep
2007

The neurotrophins nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are important mediators of brain and neuronal development, the maintenance of homeostatic conditions in the adult nervous system, and the complex interplay of central and peripheral physiological and pathophysiological factors. To date there are few studies examining blood concentrations of neurotrophic factors in large samples of healthy and diseased individuals and no published study specifically addresses peripheral BDNF and NGF levels in late life. Using improved highly sensitive and specific fluorometric two-site enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays we examined BDNF (n=465) and NGF (n=175) serum levels in a large cohort of elderly individuals (age range: 70-103 years).

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Jul
2006

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex are brain stimulation techniques used as therapeutic interventions in major depression.
In this study, we report the impact of these stimulation techniques on serum concentrations of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in treatment-resistant patients with a diagnosis of major depression.
We found no changes of BDNF serum concentrations and no association of neurotrophin concentrations in serum with clinical parameters in our sample.

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Apr
2006

Hearing depends on functional ClC-K-type chloride channels composed of barttin with ClC-Ka or ClC-Kb. Loss-of-function mutations of the barttin gene BSND or of both, the ClC-Ka gene CLNKA and the ClC-Kb gene CLNKB lead to congenital deafness and renal salt wasting. Recently, we identified the gain-of-function mutation ClC-Kb(T481S) which is associated with increased blood pressure.

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Dec
2005

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex are brain stimulation techniques that are used as therapeutic interventions in major depression. However, the exact therapeutic mode of action needs further clarification. In this case report, we describe the impact of these stimulation techniques on motor cortical excitability, as revealed by transcranial magnetic stimulation-elicited motor-evoked potentials in 2 patients who received consecutively both rTMS and ECT.

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Feb
2006

The serum and glucocorticoid inducible kinase isoform SGK3 is expressed in the brain including hippocampal neurons. It is activated by phosphoinositide-3 (PI3) kinase and thus a putative target of neurotrophic factors. In vitro experiments pointed to the ability of SGK3 to regulate several transporters and ion channels including the AMPA receptor GluR1.

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Feb
2006

The author s found 6.5-fold reduced nerve growth factor (NGF) levels in the plasma of treated patients with Parkinson disease (PD) compared with healthy control subjects (P = 0.03).

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Mar
2006

Several lines of evidence suggest that central cortical inhibitory mechanisms, especially associated with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmission, may play a role in the pathophysiology of major depression. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a useful tool for investigating central cortical inhibitory mechanisms associated with GABAergic neurotransmission in psychiatric and neurological disorders.
By means of transcranial magnetic stimulation, different parameters of cortical excitability, including motor threshold, the cortical silent period, and intracortical inhibition/facilitation, were investigated in 20 medication-free depressed patients and 20 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers.

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Dec
2005

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is a relatively non-invasive technique with putative therapeutic effects in major depression. However, the exact neurophysiological basis of these effects needs further clarification. Therefore, we studied the impact of ten daily sessions of left, dorsolateral prefrontal rTMS on motor cortical excitability, as revealed by transcranial magnetic stimulation-elicited motor-evoked potentials in 30 patients.

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Jun
2006

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a widely acknowledged effective treatment for severe major depression. ECT produces considerable anticonvulsant effects that may be related to an increased GABA-ergic neurotransmission. We aimed to explore whether motor cortical excitability as assessed with single and paired pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) could be used to investigate these anticonvulsant effects.

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Jun
2005

Converging lines of evidence point to brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) as a factor in the pathophysiology of depression. Recently, it was shown that the Val allele of the BDNF Val66Met substitution polymorphism showed a significant association with higher mean neuroticism scores of the NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) in healthy subjects, and previous studies suggested the Val allele to be increased in bipolar disorder families. The association to anxiety-related traits has not been investigated so far.

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May
2005

The impact of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) on anxiety-related behavior and related cerebral activation has facilitated the understanding of neurobiological mechanisms of anxiety. However, the influence of the 5-HTTLPR genotype on hippocampal neuronal development and neurochemistry, which is relevant to anxiety behavior, has not been investigated. In 38 healthy subjects, absolute concentrations of N-acetylaspartate (NAA) were measured as a main surrogate parameter for hippocampal neurochemistry on a 3-T scanner.

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Jun
2005

Phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3-kinase) is activated during and is required for hippocampal glutamate receptor-dependent long-term potentiation. It mediates the delivery of AMPA receptors to the neuronal surface. Among the downstream targets of PI3-kinase are three members of the serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase family, SGK1, SGK2 and SGK3.

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Jun
2005

Disturbances of serotonergic neurotransmission in the brain have been implicated in the pathogenesis and maintenance of several psychiatric disorders. According to recent preclinical and clinical studies, the loudness dependence of auditory evoked potentials (LD) is related to the central serotonergic neurotransmission in humans. As the serotonergic phenotype has been reported to be associated with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), we studied whether BDNF serum concentrations are related to LD in 109 healthy human volunteers (62 male, 47 female, age: 42.

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Nov
2004

Neurotrophins such as nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are critically implicated in development and maintenance of function of neurons. Neurodevelopment is reported to be impaired in schizophrenia and vulnerable schizophrenic brains may be more sensitive to toxic influences. Thus, cannabis as a neurotoxin, may be more harmful to schizophrenic brains than to non-schizophrenic brains when used chronically.

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Oct
2004

In recent years it has become clear that multiple sclerosis (MS) patients benefit from physical exercise as performed in aerobic training but little is known about the effect on functional domains and physiological factors mediating these effects. We studied immunological, endocrine and neurotrophic factors as well as coordinative function and quality of life during an 8-week aerobic bicycle training in a waitlist control design. In the immune-endocrine study (1) 28 patients were included, the coordinative extension study (2) included 39 patients.

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Mar
2004

Psychologically stressful events have been reported to elevate nerve growth factor (NGF) serum concentrations. NGF and cortisol serum concentrations were measured in 20 healthy male volunteers before (3 p.m.

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Jun
2004

The chloride channel ClC-Kb is expressed in the basolateral cell membrane of the distal nephron and participates in renal NaCl reabsorption. Loss-of-function mutations of ClC-Kb lead to classic Bartter syndrome, a rare salt-wasting disorder. Recently, we identified the ClC-Kb(T481S) polymorphism, which confers a strong gain-of-function effect on the ClC-Kb chloride channel.

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Dec
1969

Serotonergic neurotransmission, which is involved in many psychiatric disorders, is mediated by the serotonin transporter protein. Gene coding for the serotonin transporter protein is designated SLC6A4, which has been differentially associated with anxiety-related behavioral traits and neuroticism in healthy subjects. To confirm the association between the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) and anxiety-related personality traits, we examined 228 healthy unrelated participants (age 38.

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Feb
2004

The "neurotrophin hypothesis" of depression predicts that depressive disorders in humans coincide with a decreased activity and/or expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the brain. Therefore, we investigated whether mice with a reduced BDNF expression due to heterozygous gene disruption demonstrate depression-like neurochemical changes or behavioral symptoms. BNDF protein levels of adult BDNF(+/-) mice were reduced to about 60% in several brain areas investigated, including the hippocampus, frontal cortex, striatum, and hypothalamus.

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Dec
2003

Long-term cannabis abuse may increase the risk of schizophrenia. Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a pleiotropic neurotrophic protein that is implicated in development, protection and regeneration of NFG-sensitive neurones. We tested the hypothesis that damage to neuronal cells in schizophrenia is precipitated by the consumption of cannabis and other neurotoxic substances, resulting in raised NGF serum concentrations and a younger age for disease onset.

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Apr
2004

The issue of neurotrophins is recognized as a new lead in the quest for a deeper understanding of mood disorders. This hypothesis has emerged from experimental evidence suggesting that antidepressant drugs might work by a neuroprotective effect through the stimulation of the neurotrophin expression in distinct regions of the CNS. Endogenous levels of BDNF protein were measured in the serum samples of 118 healthy unrelated volunteers (64 male, 54 female, age: 42.

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Oct
2003

Several lines of evidence point to the involvement of adenosine in the regulation of important central mechanisms such as cognition, arousal, aggression and anxiety. In order to elucidate the involvement of the adenosine A1 receptor (A1AR) in spatial learning and the control of exploratory behaviour, we assessed A1AR knockout mice (A1AR-/-) and their wild-type littermates (A1AR+/+) in a place navigation task in the water maze and in a battery of forced and free exploration tests. In the water maze, A1AR-/- mice showed normal escape latencies and were indistinguishable from controls with respect to measures of spatial performance during both training and probe trial.

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Oct
2003

Nerve growth factor (NGF) has several effects on the central nervous system; on the one hand NGF fosters survival and function of cholinergic neurons of the basal forebrain, on the other hand this protein is implicated in the stress response of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis (HPAA). In this study we tested the influence of threatening and painful stress treatments in three different intensities as well as forced motoric activity on NGF content in different brain areas in adult rats. We found that threatening treatment with or without painful stimuli was followed by a significant decrease of NGF concentration in the amygdala (44.

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Jun
2003

Human nerve growth factor (NGF) serum concentrations were measured in a healthy sample of 126 participants by a modified highly sensitive and specific two-site enzyme immunoassay. The measured NGF concentrations differ considerably from a normal distribution. The median NGF concentration was 19.

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May
2003

Neurotrophins like brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) are thought to play an important role in neuronal repair and plasticity. Recent experimental evidence suggests neuroprotective effects of these proteins in multiple sclerosis (MS). We investigated the response of serum NGF and BDNF concentrations to standardized acute exercise in MS patients and controls.

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