Fondazione Alberto Sordi Research Institute for Ageing

Rome, Italy

Fondazione Alberto Sordi Research Institute for Ageing

Rome, Italy

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Suppa A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Suppa A.,Neuromed Institute | Huang Y.Z.,Chang Gung University | Funke K.,Ruhr University Bochum | And 6 more authors.
Brain Stimulation | Year: 2016

Background/objectives: Over the last ten years, an increasing number of authors have used the theta burst stimulation (TBS) protocol to investigate long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD)-like plasticity non-invasively in the primary motor cortex (M1) in healthy humans and in patients with various types of movement disorders. We here provide a comprehensive review of the LTP/LTD-like plasticity induced by TBS in the human M1. Methods: A workgroup of researchers expert in this research field review and discuss critically ten years of experimental evidence from TBS studies in humans and in animal models. The review also includes the discussion of studies assessing responses to TBS in patients with movement disorders. Main findings/discussion: We discuss experimental studies applying TBS over the M1 or in other cortical regions functionally connected to M1 in healthy subjects and in patients with various types of movement disorders. We also review experimental evidence coming from TBS studies in animals. Finally, we clarify the status of TBS as a possible new non-invasive therapy aimed at improving symptoms in various neurological disorders. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.


Di Lazzaro V.,Biomedical University of Rome | Di Lazzaro V.,Fondazione Alberto Sordi Research Institute for Ageing | Capone F.,Biomedical University of Rome | Capone F.,Fondazione Alberto Sordi Research Institute for Ageing | And 10 more authors.
Brain Stimulation | Year: 2013

Background: A large number of studies explored the biological effects of extremely low-frequency (0-300 Hz) magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) on nervous system both at cellular and at system level in the intact human brain reporting several functional changes. However, the results of different studies are quite variable and the mechanisms of action of ELF-MFs are still poorly defined. The aim of this paper is to provide a comprehensive review of the effects of ELF-MFs on nervous system. Methods: We convened a workgroup of researchers in the field to review and discuss the available data about the nervous system effects produced by the exposure to ELF-MFs. Main Findings/Discussion: We reviewed several methodological, experimental and clinical studies and discussed the findings in five sections. The first section analyses the devices used for ELF-MF exposure. The second section reviews the contribution of the computational methods and models for investigating the interaction between ELF-MFs and neuronal systems. The third section analyses the experimental data at cellular and tissue level showing the effects on cell membrane receptors and intracellular signaling and their correlation with neural stem cell proliferation and differentiation. The fourth section reviews the studies performed in the intact human brain evaluating the changes produced by ELF-MFs using neurophysiological and neuropsychological methods. The last section shows the limits and shortcomings of the available data, evidences the key challenges in the field and tracks directions for future research. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Dileone M.,Hospital Nacional Of Paraplejicos | Dileone M.,San Bortolo Hospital | Dileone M.,Hospitales Of Madrid | Ranieri F.,Biomedical University of Rome | And 13 more authors.
Brain Stimulation | Year: 2015

Background: Costello syndrome (CS) is a rare congenital disorder due to a G12S amino acid substitution in HRAS protoncogene. Previous studies have shown that Paired Associative Stimulation (PAS), a repetitive brain stimulation protocol inducing motor cortex plasticity by coupling peripheral nerve stimulation with brain stimulation, leads to an extremely pronounced motor cortex excitability increase in CS patients. Intermittent Theta Burst Stimulation (iTBS) represents a protocol able to induce motor cortex plasticity by trains of stimuli at 50 Hz. In healthy subjects PAS and iTBS produce similar after-effects in motor cortex excitability. Experimental models showed that HRAS-dependent signalling pathways differently affect LTP induced by different patterns of repetitive synaptic stimulation. Objective: We aimed to compare iTBS-induced after-effects on motor cortex excitability with those produced by PAS in CS patients and to observe whether HRAS mutation differentially affects two different forms of neuromodulation protocols. Methods: We evaluated in vivo after-effects induced by PAS and iTBS applied over the right motor cortex in 4 CS patients and in 21 healthy age-matched controls. Results: Our findings confirmed HRAS-dependent extremely pronounced PAS-induced after-effects and showed for the first time that iTBS induces no change in MEP amplitude in CS patients whereas both protocols lead to an increase of about 50% in controls. Conclusions: CS patients are characterized by an impairment of iTBS-related LTP-like phenomena besides enhanced PAS-induced after-effects, suggesting that HRAS-dependent signalling pathways have a differential influence on PAS- and iTBS-induced plasticity in humans. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


Di Lazzaro V.,Biomedical University of Rome | Di Lazzaro V.,Fondazione Alberto Sordi Research Institute for Ageing | Dileone M.,San Bortolo Hospital | Capone F.,Biomedical University of Rome | And 11 more authors.
Brain Stimulation | Year: 2014

Background Significant changes in neurophysiological and clinical outcomes in chronic stroke had been reported after tDCS; but there is a paucity of data in acute stroke.Objective We aimed to evaluate whether a tDCS-induced modulation of primary motor cortex excitability in patients with acute stroke enhances motor recovery associated with rehabilitation and induces differential neuroplasticity.Methods We conducted two experiments in acute stroke patients. In experiment 1 (14 patients), we tested the immediate effects of bilateral tDCS alone as compared to sham tDCS on recovery. Experiment 2 (20 patients) was designed to assess effects of bilateral tDCS delivered together with constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT). In this experiment, we included a longer follow-up (3 months) and measured, in addition to the same clinical outcomes of experiment 1, changes of motor cortex excitability and the amount of promoted LTP-like activity.Results Despite the expected improvement at 1 week, none of the clinical measures showed any different modulation in dependence of CIMT and tDCS. On the neurophysiological assessments, on the other hand, the Real-tDCS group, compared to Sham-tDCS group, showed a reduction of inter-hemispheric imbalance when considering the differences of motor evoked potential between both 3-month and 1 week follow up (P = 0.007) and three month and baseline (P = 0.015).Conclusions s Despite the lack of additional clinical changes, real bilateral tDCS, together with CIMT, significantly reduces inter-hemispheric imbalance between affected and unaffected hemispheres. These findings may shed light on plasticity changes in acute stroke and its potential impact in chronic phases. © 2014 The Authors.


Profice P.,Institute of Neurology | Renna R.,Institute of Neurology | Pilato F.,Institute of Neurology | Sestito A.,Institute of Cardiology | And 5 more authors.
Spinal Cord | Year: 2013

Study design:Case report.Objective:to report and discuss the development of sudden symptomatic sinus bradycardia in a 35-year-old woman with acute myelitis.Case report:A 35-year-old woman presented rapidly progressive weakness and hypoesthesia in the left hemibody. Five days after symptom onset, she developed symptomatic sinus bradycardia up to 30 b.p.m. Bradycardia was completely resolved ∼36 h after its onset.Results:Cervical spine magnetic resonance imaging showed a focal T2-hyperintense intramedullary lesion at C2 level, with moderate cord swelling. The lesion involved bilaterally dorsal funiculi, and left lateral and ventral funiculi. Cardiac I-123 metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) scintigraphy showed a decreased cardiac MIBG uptake suggesting sympathetic denervation.Conclusion:The most likely explanation for bradycardia in our patient is the myelitis-related disruption of descending vasomotor pathways, resulting in sympathetic hypoactivity. Our case extends the spectrum of the clinical presentations of cervical myelitis and emphasizes the importance of careful cardiac monitoring in acute phase of cervical myelitis. © 2013 International Spinal Cord Society All rights reserved.


Taffoni F.,Biomedical University of Rome | Formica D.,Biomedical University of Rome | Saccomandi P.,Biomedical University of Rome | Di Pino G.,Biomedical University of Rome | And 2 more authors.
Sensors (Switzerland) | Year: 2013

During last decades, Magnetic Resonance (MR)-compatible sensors based on different techniques have been developed due to growing demand for application in medicine. There are several technological solutions to design MR-compatible sensors, among them, the one based on optical fibers presents several attractive features. The high elasticity and small size allow designing miniaturized fiber optic sensors (FOS) with metrological characteristics (e.g., accuracy, sensitivity, zero drift, and frequency response) adequate for most common medical applications; the immunity from electromagnetic interference and the absence of electrical connection to the patient make FOS suitable to be used in high electromagnetic field and intrinsically safer than conventional technologies. These two features further heightened the potential role of FOS in medicine making them especially attractive for application in MRI. This paper provides an overview of MR-compatible FOS, focusing on the sensors employed for measuring physical parameters in medicine (i.e., temperature, force, torque, strain, and position). The working principles of the most promising FOS are reviewed in terms of their relevant advantages and disadvantages, together with their applications in medicine. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Cantone M.,Biomedical University of Rome | Di Pino G.,Biomedical University of Rome | Di Pino G.,Fondazione Alberto Sordi Research Institute for Ageing | Capone F.,Biomedical University of Rome | And 9 more authors.
Clinical Neurophysiology | Year: 2014

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is emerging as a promising tool to non-invasively assess specific cortical circuits in neurological diseases. A number of studies have reported the abnormalities in TMS assays of cortical function in dementias. A PubMed-based literature review on TMS studies targeting primary and secondary dementia has been conducted using the key words "transcranial magnetic stimulation" or "motor cortex excitability" and "dementia" or "cognitive impairment" or "memory impairment" or "memory decline". Cortical excitability is increased in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and in vascular dementia (VaD), generally reduced in secondary dementias. Short-latency afferent inhibition (SAI), a measure of central cholinergic circuitry, is normal in VaD and in frontotemporal dementia (FTD), but suppressed in AD. In mild cognitive impairment, abnormal SAI may predict the progression to AD. No change in cortical excitability has been observed in FTD, in Parkinson's dementia and in dementia with Lewy bodies. Short-interval intracortical inhibition and controlateral silent period (cSP), two measures of gabaergic cortical inhibition, are abnormal in most dementias associated with parkinsonian symptoms. Ipsilateral silent period (iSP), which is dependent on integrity of the corpus callosum is abnormal in AD. While single TMS measure owns low specificity, a panel of measures can support the clinical diagnosis, predict progression and possibly identify earlier the "brain at risk". In dementias, TMS can be also exploited to select and evaluate the responders to specific drugs and, it might become a rehabilitative tool, in the attempt to restore impaired brain plasticity. © 2014 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology.

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