IRCCS Institute of Neurological science

Bologna, Italy

IRCCS Institute of Neurological science

Bologna, Italy
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Croco E.,University of Bologna | Marchionni S.,University of Bologna | Storci G.,University of Bologna | Bonafe M.,University of Bologna | And 5 more authors.
Biogerontology | Year: 2017

In evolutionary terms, life on the planet has taken the form of independently living cells for the majority of time. In comparison, the mammalian radiation is a relatively recent event. The common mammalian ancestor was probably small and shortlived. The “recent” acquisition of an extended longevity and large body mass of some species of mammals present on the earth today suggests the possibility that similar cellular mechanisms have been influenced by the forces of natural selection to create a convergent evolution of longevity. Many cellular mechanisms are potentially relevant for extending longevity; in this assay, we review the literature focusing primarily on two cellular features: (1) the capacity for extensive cellular proliferation of differentiated cells, while maintaining genome stability; and (2) the capacity to detect DNA damage. We have observed that longevity and body mass are both positively linked to these cellular mechanisms and then used statistical tools to evaluate their relative importance. Our analysis suggest that the capacity for extensive cellular proliferation while maintaining sufficient genome stability, correlates to species body mass while the capacity to correctly identify the presence of DNA damage seems more an attribute of long-lived species. Finally, our data are in support of the idea that a slower development, allowing for better DNA damage detection and handling, should associate with longer life span. © The Author(s) 2017.

Filippini M.,IRCCS Institute of Neurological science | Boni A.,IRCCS Institute of Neurological science | Giannotta M.,IRCCS Institute of Neurological science | Pini A.,IRCCS Institute of Neurological science | And 4 more authors.
Epilepsia | Year: 2015

Objective The mismatch negativity (MMN) is an objective measure of central auditory discrimination. MMN alterations have been shown in children with language and/or developmental disorders. In benign focal epilepsies, neuropsychological disorders are often reported and linked to interictal epileptic discharges (IEDs) during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. There are few studies reporting MMN in children with benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS) and sleep IEDs. Moreover, no MMN recording has yet been reported in atypical BECTS children with continuous spike-and-wave during sleep (CSWS). We retrospectively compared MMN in typical and atypical BECTS children, particularly addressing the impact of NREM sleep IEDs on auditory discrimination. Moreover, we attempted a neuropsychological characterization of patients. Methods The MMN was recorded in 9 normal controls and 23 patients (14 typical BECTS and 9 atypical BECTS) in an oddball paradigm with syllable stimuli. MMN, sleep electroencephalography (EEG) and neuropsychological evaluation were realized in the same testing session. Results Measurable MMN responses to speech stimuli were identified in both the control and patient groups. A significant difference between control and atypical BECTS children was found with respect to amplitude (p = 0.0061). Atypical BECTS also showed a lower MMN amplitude with respect to typical BECTS, but this difference did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.0545). Statistical comparisons between groups revealed no differences in latency. Among the neuropsychological variables, academic difficulties were significantly more prominent in the patients with atypical BECTS (p = 0.04). Significance CSWS EEG pattern affects auditory discrimination and may have a long-lasting impact on academic skills acquisition, whereas in typical BECTS children with a lower degree of IED NREM sleep, plastic brain reorganization or the preservation of participating networks may prevent such difficulty. Early electrophysiologic identification of auditory discrimination deficits in epileptic children could be used in early rehabilitation, thereby reducing the risk of developing neuropsychological disorders. © Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 International League Against Epilepsy.

Serafini A.,University of Udine | Rubboli G.,IRCCS Institute of Neurological science | Rubboli G.,Epilepsihospitalet | Gigli G.L.,University of Udine | And 3 more authors.
Epilepsy and Behavior | Year: 2013

Juvenile myclonic epilepsy (JME) can be firmly diagnosed by a careful interview of the patient focusing on the seizures and by the EEG with the help, if necessary, of long-term video-EEG monitoring using sleep and/or sleep deprivation. Background activity is normal. The interictal EEG shows diffuse or generalized spike-wave (SW) and polyspike-wave (PSW) discharges. In some patients, non-specific changes or misleading features such as focal changes are found. Changes are mostly seen at sleep onset and at awakening. Provoked awakenings are more likely to activate interictal paroxysmal abnormalities than spontaneous awakenings. The presence of a photoparoxysmal response with or without myoclonic jerks (MJ) is common (30% of the cases). Myoclonic jerks are associated with a discharge of fast, irregular, generalized PSWs that predominate anteriorly. Myoclonic jerks appear to be associated with rhythmic EEG (spike) potentials at around 20. Hz. These frequencies are in the range of movement-related fast sensorimotor cortex physiological rhythms. The application of jerk-locked averaging technique has provided findings consistent with a cortical origin of MJ. Paired TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) studies showed a defective intracortical inhibition, due to impaired GABA-A mediated mechanisms. In this review, we present the EEG characteristics of JME with particular emphasis on the pathophysiology of MJ and on the role of sleep deprivation on interictal and ictal changes. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Kasteleijn-Nolst Trenite D.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Rubboli G.,IRCCS Institute of Neurological science | Hirsch E.,Hopitaux Universitaires Of Strasbourg | Martins Da Silva A.,Hospital Santo Antonio | And 8 more authors.
Epilepsia | Year: 2012

Intermittent photic stimulation (IPS) is a common procedure performed in the electroencephalography (EEG) laboratory in children and adults to detect abnormal epileptogenic sensitivity to flickering light (i.e., photosensitivity). In practice, substantial variability in outcome is anecdotally found due to the many different methods used per laboratory and country. We believe that standardization of procedure, based on scientific and clinical data, should permit reproducible identification and quantification of photosensitivity. We hope that the use of our new algorithm will help in standardizing the IPS procedure, which in turn may more clearly identify and assist monitoring of patients with epilepsy and photosensitivity. Our algorithm goes far beyond that published in 1999 (Epilepsia, 1999a, 40, 75; Neurophysiol Clin, 1999b, 29, 318): it has substantially increased content, detailing technical and logistical aspects of IPS testing and the rationale for many of the steps in the IPS procedure. Furthermore, our latest algorithm incorporates the consensus of repeated scientific meetings of European experts in this field over a period of 6 years with feedback from general neurologists and epileptologists to improve its validity and utility. Accordingly, our European group has provided herein updated algorithms for two different levels of methodology: (1) requirements for defining photosensitivity in patients and in family members of known photosensitive patients and (2) requirements for tailored studies in patients with a clear history of visually induced seizures or complaints, and in those already known to be photosensitive. © 2011 International League Against Epilepsy.

Antelmi E.,University of Bologna | Antelmi E.,University College London | Ferri R.,Ic Oasi Institute Irccs | Iranzo A.,Hospital Clinic Of Barcelona | And 8 more authors.
Sleep Medicine Reviews | Year: 2016

The states of being are conventionally defined by the simultaneous occurrence of behavioral, neurophysiological and autonomic descriptors. State dissociation disorders are due to the intrusion of features typical of a different state into an ongoing state. Disorders related to these conditions are classified according to the ongoing main state and comprise: 1) Dissociation from prevailing wakefulness as seen in hypnagogic or hypnopompic hallucinations, automatic behaviors, sleep drunkenness, cataplexy and sleep paralysis 2) Dissociation from rapid eye movement (REM) sleep as seen in REM sleep behavior disorder and lucid dreaming and 3) Dissociation from NREM sleep as seen in the disorders of arousal. The extreme expression of states dissociation is characterized by the asynchronous occurrence of the various components of the different states that prevents the recognition of any state of being. This condition has been named status dissociatus. According to the underlying disorders/diseases and to their severity, among status dissociatus we may recognize disorders in which such an extreme dissociation occurs only at night time or intermittently (i.e., autoimmune encephalopathies, narcolepsy type 1 and IgLON5 parasomnia), and others in which it occurs nearly continuously with complete loss of any conventionally defined state of being, and of the circadian pattern (agrypnia excitata).Here, we render a comprehensive review of all diseases/disorders associated with state dissociation and status dissociatus and propose a critical classification of this complex scenario. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Antelmi E.,University of Bologna | Provini F.,University of Bologna | Provini F.,IRCCS Institute of Neurological science
Sleep Medicine Reviews | Year: 2015

Propriospinal myoclonus (PSM) is a rare type of spinal myoclonus characterized by muscle jerks that usually start in the midthoracic segments and then slowly propagate up and down into the spinal cord, resulting in repetitive and irregular jerky flexion, or extension of the trunk, neck, knees and hips. PSM can be symptomatic, but up to 80% of reported cases appear idiopathic. PSM tends to occur especially while the subject is lying down. PSM at sleep onset was first described by experts in sleep medicine.The original electrophysiological features included fixed pattern of muscle activations, slow spinal cord conduction (5-15 m/s), electromyographic burst duration less than 1000 ms, synchronous activation of agonist and antagonist muscles and no involvement of facial muscles. PSM has been reported to be a functional (psychogenic) movement disorder in a number of cohorts. The differential diagnosis between idiopathic PSM and the functional forms is not always straightforward. A consistent polymyographically documented muscle activation pattern may be supportive but by no means sufficient and additional neurophysiological investigations are required.PSM should be differentiated from other movement disorders involving the abdomen and trunk, or occurring at sleep-wake transition.This article offers a comprehensive overview of the spectrum of PSM phenotypes. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Fabbri M.,IRCCS Institute of Neurological Science | Fabbri M.,University of Lisbon | Guedes L.C.,University of Lisbon | Coelho M.,University of Lisbon | And 5 more authors.
European Journal of Neurology | Year: 2015

Background and purpose: Olfactory dysfunction is common in Parkinson's disease (PD) and it is one of the earliest non-motor symptoms. A few studies have suggested that deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN-DBS) could improve olfactory function. Our aim was to evaluate the acute effect of bilateral STN-DBS on a commonly used smell test in PD patients. Methods: Fifteen PD patients who underwent bilateral STN-DBS and 15 controls were recruited. Patients and controls were tested for odor identification. Results: No statistical differences were documented between ON and OFF STN-DBS acute stimulation concerning olfaction. Controls presented a better performance for olfactory identification than patients. Conclusions: Our exploratory study did not support that bilateral STN-DBS could have an acute effect on olfactory function in PD patients. © 2014 EAN.

Lakoma J.,University of Bologna | Rimondini R.,University of Bologna | Donadio V.,IRCCS Institute of Neurological science | Liguori R.,IRCCS Institute of Neurological science | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Fabry disease (FD) is one of the X-linked lysosomal storage disorders caused by deficient functioning of the alpha-galactosidase A (α-GalA) enzyme. The α-GalA deficiency leads to multi-systemic clinical manifestations caused by the preferential accumulation of globotriaosylceramide in the endothelium and vascular smooth muscles. A hallmark symptom of FD patients is peripheral pain that appears in the early stage of the disease. Pain in FD patients is a peripheral small-fiber idiopathic neuropathy, with intra-epidermal fiber density and integrity being used for diagnosing FD in humans. However, the molecular correlates underlying pain sensation in FD remain elusive. Here, we have employed the α-GalA gene KO mouse as a model of FD in rodents to investigate molecular changes in their peripheral nervous system that may account for their algesic symptoms. The α-GalA null mice display neuropathic pain as evidenced by thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia, with histological analyses showing alterations in cutaneous innervation. Additionally, KO mice showed a decreased and scattered pattern of neuronal terminations consistent with the reduction in neuronal terminations in skin biopsies of patients with small fiber neuropathies. At the molecular level KO animals showed an increase in the expression of TRPV1 and Nav1.8, and a decrease in the expression of TRPM8. Notably, these alterations are observed in young animals. Taken together, our findings imply that the α-GalA KO mouse is a good model in which to study the peripheral small fiber neuropathy exhibited by FD patients, and provides molecular evidence for a hyperexcitability of small nociceptors in FD. © 2014 Lakomá et al.

Rocca F.L.,University of Sassari | Rocca F.L.,University of Bologna | Pizza F.,University of Bologna | Pizza F.,IRCCS Institute of Neurological science | And 3 more authors.
Neuropediatrics | Year: 2015

Narcolepsy type 1 (NT1) is a rare central disorder of hypersomnolence characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, hallucinations, and fragmented nocturnal sleep usually arising in adolescence or young adulthood. Recently, the childhood NT1 diagnoses have increased for improved disease awareness and for several cases occurring after the H1N1 pandemic influenza or vaccination. As in adults, the occurrence of NT1 in individuals with a genetic predisposition of the immune system (e.g., human leukocyte antigen, HLA-DQB1∗0602) together with the role of environmental triggers (e.g., H1N1 influenza virus, streptococcus β hemolyticus) further supports the autoimmune pathogenesis. Children with NT1 close to disease onset show a peculiar cataplexy phenotype characterized by persistent hypotonia with prominent facial involvement (cataplectic facies) and by a complex mosaic of hyperkinetic movement abnormalities that increase during emotional stimulation. This phenotype progressively vanishes along the disease course leading to the typical picture of cataplexy (i.e., muscle weakness exclusively evoked by strong emotions). This possibly explains in part the misdiagnoses and diagnostic delay. Childhood NT1 also shows behavioral abnormalities and psychiatric disorders, encompassing depressive feelings, hyperactive/aggressive behavior, up to psychotic features. The association with obesity and precocious puberty strikingly suggests that NT1 arising in prepubertal children may reflect a wide hypothalamic derangement secondary to hypocretin neuronal loss. The complexity of the childhood NT1 phenotype claims a multidisciplinary assessment and management, taking behavioral and endocrinological features into account. NT1 indeed is a lifelong disorder with a devastating impact on quality of life, especially when arising across developmental age, and targeted school programs, medicolegal and psychological supports are essential for patients care. Controlled studies are mandatory to assess safety and efficacy of the current symptomatic off-label medications on which also relies the treatment for children with NT1, and hopefully future pathogenetic evidences will pave the way to better disease prevention and therapies to modify the disease course.

PubMed | Personal Genomics S.r.l., Federal University of Minas Gerais, University of Bologna, IRCCS Institute of Neurological science and CAPES Foundation
Type: | Journal: Oncotarget | Year: 2017

Colorectal cancer is among the leading causes of cancer death worldwide. Despite numerous molecular characterizations of the phenomenon, the exact dynamics of its onset and progression remain elusive. Colorectal cancer onset has been characterized by changes in DNA methylation profiles, that, owing to the stability of their patterns, are promising candidates to shed light on the molecular events laying at the base of this phenomenon.To exploit this stability and reinforce it, we conducted a meta-analysis on publicly available DNA methylation datasets generated on: normal colorectal, adenoma (ADE) and adenocarcinoma (CRC) samples using the Illumina 450k array, in the systems medicine frame, searching for tumor gene episignatures, to produce a carefully selected list of potential drivers, markers and targets of the disease. The analysis proceeds from a differential meta-analysis of the methylation profiles using an analytical pipeline recently developed by our group [1], through network reconstruction, topological and functional analyses, to finally highlight relevant epigenomic features. Our results show that genes already highlighted for their genetic or transcriptional alteration in colorectal cancer are also differentially methylated, reinforcing -regardless of the level of cellular control- their role in the complex of alterations involved in tumorigenesis.These findings were finally validated in an independent cohort from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA).

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