Laboratorio Of Neurologia Clinica E Comportamentale

Rome, Italy

Laboratorio Of Neurologia Clinica E Comportamentale

Rome, Italy
SEARCH FILTERS
Time filter
Source Type

Koch G.,Laboratorio Of Neurologia Clinica E Comportamentale | Koch G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Versace V.,Laboratorio Of Neurologia Clinica E Comportamentale | Bonni S.,Laboratorio Of Neurologia Clinica E Comportamentale | And 6 more authors.
Neuropsychologia | Year: 2010

Goal directed movements require the activation of parietal, premotor and primary motor areas. In monkeys, neurons of these areas become active also during the observation of movements performed by others, especially for coding the goal of the action (mirror system). Using bifocal transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in healthy subjects, we tested whether the observation of goal directed reach to grasp actions may lead to specific changes in the short-latency connections linking key areas of the mirror system, such as the anterior intraparietal cortex (AIP) and the ventral premotor cortex (PMv), with the primary motor cortex (M1). We found that AIP-M1 and PMv-M1 cortico-cortical interactions were specifically activated when observing successful reaching to grasp goal directed actions, in which the hand posture was congruent with the goal of the action performed by the actor. On the other hand they were not modified when the same goal directed actions were performed wrongly with an inappropriate grasping posture. A similar profile of excitability was observed when testing specific intracortical facilitatory circuits in M1 (I2-waves), known to reflect the activity in cortico-cortical pathways transmitting information from PMv. We conclude that the simple observation of others' goal directed actions is able to induce specific neurophysiological changes in some cortico-cortical circuits of the human motor system. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Torriero S.,Laboratorio Of Neurologia Clinica E Comportamentale | Torriero S.,University of Palermo | Oliveri M.,Laboratorio Of Neurologia Clinica E Comportamentale | Oliveri M.,University of Palermo | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience | Year: 2011

The cerebellum is involved in motor learning of new procedures both during actual execution of a motor task and during observational training. These processes are thought to depend on the activity of a neural network that involves the lateral cerebellum and primary motor cortex (M1). In this study, we used a twin-coil TMS technique to investigate whether execution and observation of a visuomotor procedural learning task is related to modulation of cerebello-motor connectivity. We observed that, at rest, a magnetic conditioning pulse applied over the lateral cerebellum reduced the motor-evoked potentials obtained by stimulating the contralateral M1, indicating activation of a cerebello-motor connection. Furthermore, during procedural learning, cerebellar stimulation resulted in selective facilitation, not inhibition, of contralateral M1 excitability. The effects were evident when motor learning was obtained by actual execution of the task or by observation, but they disappeared if procedural learning had already been acquired by previous observational training. These results indicate that changes in cerebello-motor connectivity occur in relation to specific phases of procedural learning, demonstrating a complex pattern of excitatory and inhibitory drives modulated across time. © 2010 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Lago A.,Facultade de Ciencias do Deporte e a Educacion Fisica INEF Galicia | Koch G.,Laboratorio Of Neurologia Clinica E Comportamentale | Cheeran B.,University College London | Marquez G.,Facultade de Ciencias do Deporte e a Educacion Fisica INEF Galicia | And 4 more authors.
Neuropsychologia | Year: 2010

Within the motor system, cortical areas such as the primary motor cortex (M1) and the ventral premotor cortex (PMv), are thought to be activated during the observation of actions performed by others. However, it is not known how the connections between these areas become active during action observation or whether these connections are modulated by the volitional component induced by the action observed. In this study, using a paired pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (ppTMS) method, we evaluated the excitability of PMv-M1 connections during the observation of videos showing a human hand reaching to grasp a ball (naturalistic grasping video) or a switched on soldering iron (noxious grasping video). The results show that the observation of the naturalistic grasping action increased the M1 excitability and changed the strength of the PMv-M1 connections. The observation of the noxious grasping action did not induce any change in the excitability of the PMv-M1 connections throughout the video, but the strength of PMv-M1 connectivity was reduced. These results demonstrate that the PMv-M1 connections are modulated differently depending on whether the action observed would or would not be performed in real life. © 2010.


Ribolsi M.,University RomaTor Vergata | Ribolsi M.,Laboratorio Of Neurologia Clinica E Comportamentale | Daskalakis Z.J.,University of Toronto | Siracusano A.,University RomaTor Vergata | Koch G.,Laboratorio Of Neurologia Clinica E Comportamentale
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Recently, a growing body of data has revealed that beyond a dysfunction of connectivity among different brain areas in schizophrenia patients (SCZ), there is also an abnormal asym-metry of functional connectivity compared with healthy subjects. The loss of the cerebral torque and the abnormalities of gyrification, with an increased or more complex cortical folding in the right hemisphere may provide an anatomical basis for such aberrant con-nectivity in SCZ. Furthermore, diffusion tensor imaging studies have shown a significant reduction of leftward asymmetry in some key white-matter tracts in SCZ. In this paper, we review the studies that investigated both structural brain asymmetry and asymmetry of functional connectivity in healthy subjects and SCZ. From an analysis of the existing literature on this topic, we can hypothesize an overall generally attenuated asymmetry of functional connectivity in SCZ compared to healthy controls. Such attenuated asymmetry increases with the duration of the disease and correlates with psychotic symptoms. Finally, we hypothesize that structural deficits across the corpus callosum may contribute to the abnormal asymmetry of intra-hemispheric connectivity in schizophrenia © 2014 Ribolsi, Daskalakis, Siracusano and Koch.


Magnani B.,Laboratorio Of Neurologia Clinica E Comportamentale | Oliveri M.,Laboratorio Of Neurologia Clinica E Comportamentale | Oliveri M.,University of Palermo | Frassinetti F.,University of Bologna | Frassinetti F.,Irccs Instituto Scientifico Of Castel Goffredo
Experimental Brain Research | Year: 2014

We explored whether time and space representations modulate each other in subjects that are trained to integrate time and space dimensions, i.e., professional dancers. A group of dancers, and one of non-dancers, underwent two different tasks employing identical stimuli. A first static central line could last one of three possible durations and could have one of three possible lengths. A second growing line appeared from the left or right of the screen and grew up toward the opposite direction at constant velocity. In the Spatial task, subjects encoded the length of the static line and stopped the growing line when it had reached half the length of the static one, regardless of time travel. In the Temporal task, subjects encoded the duration of the static line and stopped the growing line when it had lasted half the duration of the static one, regardless of space traveled. Dancers, differently from non-dancers, anticipated time in the Temporal task. However, both dancers and non-dancers were biased by the stimulus length when performing the Temporal task, while they were not biased by the stimulus duration when performing the Spatial task. Concluding, this study underlines the plasticity of time dimension that can be influenced by spatial information and by sensorimotor training for the synchronization in space and time. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Cerasa A.,National Research Council Italy | Fasano A.,University of Toronto | Morgante F.,Messina University | Koch G.,Laboratorio Of Neurologia Clinica E Comportamentale | And 2 more authors.
Frontiers in Neurology | Year: 2014

Maladaptive plasticity can be defined as behavioral loss or even development of disease symptoms resulting from aberrant plasticity changes in the human brain. Hyperkinetic movement disorders, in the neurological or psychiatric realms, have been associated with maladaptive neural plasticity that can be expressed by functional changes such as an increase in transmitter release, receptor regulation, and synaptic plasticity or anatomical modifications such as axonal regeneration, sprouting, synaptogenesis, and neurogenesis. Recent evidence from human and animal models provided support to the hypothesis that these phenomena likely depend on altered dopamine turnover induced by long-term drug treatment. However, it is still unclear how and where these altered mechanisms of cortical plasticity may be localized. This study provides an up-to-date overview of these issues together with some reflections on future studies in the field, particularly focusing on two specific disorders (levodopa-induced dyskinesias in Parkinson's disease patients and tardive dyskinesias in schizophrenic patients) where the modern neuroimaging approaches have recently provided new fundamental insights. © 2014 Cerasa, Fasano, Morgante, Koch and Quattrone.


Ribolsi M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Lisi G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Di Lorenzo G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Koch G.,Laboratorio Of Neurologia Clinica E Comportamentale | And 8 more authors.
Schizophrenia Bulletin | Year: 2013

Several contributions have reported an altered expression of pseudoneglect in psychiatric disorders, highlighting the existence of an anomalous brain lateralization in affected subjects. Surprisingly, no studies have yet investigated pseudoneglect in first-degree relatives (FdR) of psychiatric patients. We investigated performance on paper and pencil line bisection (LB) tasks in 68 schizophrenic patients (SCZ), 42 unaffected FdR, 41 unipolar depressive patients (UP), and 103 healthy subjects (HS). A subgroup of 20 SCZ and 16 HS underwent computerized LB and mental number line bisection (MNL) tasks requiring judgment of prebisected lines and numerical intervals. Moreover, we evaluated, in a subgroup of 15 SCZ, performance on LB and MNL before and after parietal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). In comparison to HS and UP, SCZ showed a systematic rightward bias on LB, partially corrected by selective right posterior parietal tDCS. Interestingly, even FdR showed a lack of pseudoneglect on LB, expressing a mean error lying in the middle between those of HS and SCZ. On the other hand, our results showed no significant difference between the performance of SCZ and HS on MNL. Both groups showed a comparable leftward bias that could not be significantly altered after left or right parietal tDCS. These findings confirm the existence of reduced lateralization in SCZ, suggesting specific impaired functioning of the right parietal lobule. Notably, we report a lack of pseudoneglect not only in SCZ but also in FdR, raising the hypothesis that an inverted laterality pattern may be considered a concrete marker of schizotypal traits. © 2012 The Author.


Koch G.,Laboratorio Of Neurologia Clinica E Comportamentale | Koch G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Functional Neurology | Year: 2010

Non-invasive brain stimulation methods, such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), are currently used to modulate the excitability of the cerebral cortex, providing important insights into mechanisms of cortical plasticity. Used to create long-lasting changes in the excitability of synapses, rTMS has been intensively investigated as a therapeutic tool in several neurological and psychiatric conditions and given some promising results. Recent studies have shown that rTMS of cerebellar structures is capable of inducing long-lasting changes in the excitability of cerebellothalamo-cortical pathways. Thus, this novel approach may be important for investigating the functions of cerebellar plasticity. Indeed, cerebellar rTMS has been shown to modulate motor control, cognitive functions, emotion and mood. Moreover, recent studies seem to indicate that long-lasting modifications of cerebellar pathways could be usefully exploited in the treatment of several pathological conditions characterized by altered cortical excitability, such as Parkinson's disease, stroke, depression and schizophrenia. The high potential of cerebellar rTMS as a therapeutic tool in neurology could depend on the possibility of modulating several interconnected remote areas, through the activation of different systems, such as the cerebello-thalamo-cortical and limbic-thalamo-cortical networks. © CIC Edizioni Internazionali.


Koch G.,Laboratorio Of Neurologia Clinica E Comportamentale | Koch G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience | Year: 2010

Long-term therapy with levodopa and dopamine agonists in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients is complicated by the development of fluctuations in motor response, such as levo-dopa induced dyskinesia (LID). Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) has been recently put forward as a possible therapeutic tool able to LID in PD. Trains of 1 Hz rTMS applied either over the supplementary motor area (SMA) or the primary motor cortex (M1) were able to induce a transient reduction in the severity of LID, confirming that an over-activity of these areas plays a crucial role in the pathophysiology of LID. However, repeated sessions of rTMS were not effective in inducing persistent beneficial clinical effects. Functional or metabolic changes have been reported in the cerebellum in studies in PD patients treated with procedures known to alleviate LID, such as deep brain stimulation. Therefore, the effects of rTMS applied over the lateral cerebellum has been recently tested in patients with LID. A two-week course of bilateral cerebellar rTMS induced persistent clinical beneficial effects, reducing peak-dose LID for up to four weeks after the end of the daily stimulation period. These findings demonstrate that rTMS is a potential tool in individuating the best cortical targets and the optimal parameters of stimulation able to improve LID in dyskinetic PD patients. © 2010 IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.


Koch G.,Laboratorio Of Neurologia Clinica E Comportamentale | Koch G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Di Lorenzo F.,Laboratorio Of Neurologia Clinica E Comportamentale | Di Lorenzo F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2012

In animal models of Alzheimer's disease (AD), amyloid-β fragments interfere with mechanisms of cortical plasticity such as long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). In the current study, we applied repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over the primary motor cortex (M1) in AD patients and in age-matched healthy controls, using protocols of theta burst stimulation (TBS) that are known to induce plastic changes resembling the LTP and LTD mechanisms described in animal models. AD patients showed consistent LTD-like effects that were comparable to those obtained in healthy controls when submitted to 40 seconds of continuous TBS. Conversely, AD patients did not show any LTP-like after effect when submitted to two different TBS protocols that induced an LTP-like effect in healthy controls such as intermittent TBS and 20 seconds of continuous TBS followed by one minute of muscular contraction. These results demonstrate the impairment of LTP-like together with normal LTD-like cortical plasticity in AD patients. © 2012-IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.

Loading Laboratorio Of Neurologia Clinica E Comportamentale collaborators
Loading Laboratorio Of Neurologia Clinica E Comportamentale collaborators