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Lo Pizzo M.,University of Palermo | Schiera G.,University of Palermo | Di Liegro I.,University of Palermo | Di Liegro C.M.,University of Palermo | And 6 more authors.
Neurological Sciences

Distribution of aquaporin-4 (AQP4) was studied by western analysis and immunofluorescence in rat astrocytes exposed to either hypothermic (30 C) or hyperosmolar (0.45 M sucrose) stress, and in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients who suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI). CSF was obtained from 5 healthy subjects and from 20 patients suffering from severe TBI. CSF samples were taken at admission and on days 3 and 5-7. Here we report that, in response to both hypothermia and hyperosmolar stress, AQP4 was markedly reduced in cultured astrocytes. We also found that AQP4 significantly increased in patients with severe brain injury in respect to healthy subjects (P < 0.002). AQP4 in CSF remained unchanged in patients with elevated intracranial pressure (ICP), whereas there was a clear tendency to further increase in those patients whose ICP could be controlled within the normal range. We conclude that AQP4 levels in CSF are elevated after TBI and it might serve as a useful biochemical marker to assess brain water metabolism in clinical settings. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Italia. Source

Vaczi M.,University of Pecs | Koszegi T.,University of Pecs | Ambrus M.,University of Pecs | Perlaki G.,MTA PTE Clinical Neuroscience MR Research Group | And 4 more authors.
Experimental Gerontology

The growth promoting effects of eccentric (ECC) contractions are well documented but it is unknown if the rate of stretch per se plays a role in such muscular responses in healthy aging human skeletal muscle. We tested the hypothesis that exercise training of the quadriceps muscle with low rate ECC and high rate ECC contractions in the form of stretch-shortening cycles (SSCs) but at equal total mechanical work would produce rate-specific adaptations in healthy old males age 60-70. Both training programs produced similar improvements in maximal voluntary isometric (6%) and ECC torque (23%) and stretch-shortening cycle function (reduced contraction duration [24%] and enhanced elastic energy storage [12%]) (p< 0.05). The rate of torque development increased 30% only after SSC exercise (p< 0.05). Resting testosterone and cortisol levels were unchanged but after each program the acute exercise-induced cortisol levels were 12-15% lower (p< 0.05). Both programs increased quadriceps size 2.5% (p< 0.05). It is concluded that both ECC and SSC exercise training produces favorable adaptations in healthy old males' quadriceps muscle. Although the rate of muscle tension during the SSC vs. ECC contractions was about 4-fold greater, the total mechanical work seems to regulate the hypetrophic, hormonal, and most of the mechanical adaptations. However, SSC exercise was uniquely effective in improving a key deficiency of aging muscle, i.e., its ability to produce force rapidly. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source

Aschermann Z.,University of Pecs | Perlaki G.,MTA PTE Clinical Neuroscience MR Research Group | Perlaki G.,Pecs Diagnostic Center | Orsi G.,MTA PTE Clinical Neuroscience MR Research Group | And 13 more authors.
Movement Disorders

Background: The pathophysiology of cervical dystonia is poorly understood. Increased brain iron deposition has been described in different movement disorders. Our aim was to investigate brain iron content in patients with cervical dystonia, using R2* relaxation rate, a validated MRI marker of brain iron level. Methods: Twelve female patients with primary focal cervical dystonia (mean age: 45.4±8.0 years) and 12 age-matched healthy female subjects (mean age: 45.0±8.0 years) underwent 3T MRI to obtain regional R2* relaxation rates of the thalamus, caudate nucleus, putamen, and globus pallidus (GP). Regions of interest were delineated automatically on T1-weighted MRIs. Results: R2* values in the putamen were positively correlated with age. Patients with cervical dystonia showed elevated R2* values in the GP. Conclusions: This pilot study provides the first quantitative support for increased brain iron deposition in cervical dystonia. Further studies are needed to explore the implications of this finding. © 2015 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society. Source

Mike A.,University of Pecs | Mike A.,Harvard University | Strammer E.,University of Pecs | Aradi M.,University of Pecs | And 14 more authors.

Successful socialization requires the ability of understanding of others' mental states. This ability called as mentalization (Theory of Mind) may become deficient and contribute to everyday life difficulties in multiple sclerosis. We aimed to explore the impact of brain pathology on mentalization performance in multiple sclerosis. Mentalization performance of 49 patients with multiple sclerosis was compared to 24 age- and gender matched healthy controls. T1- and T2-weighted three-dimensional brain MRI images were acquired at 3Tesla from patients with multiple sclerosis and 18 gender- and age matched healthy controls. We assessed overall brain cortical thickness in patients with multiple sclerosis and the scanned healthy controls, and measured the total and regional T1 and T2 white matter lesion volumes in patients with multiple sclerosis. Performances in tests of recognition of mental states and emotions from facial expressions and eye gazes correlated with both total T1-lesion load and regional T1-lesion load of association fiber tracts interconnecting cortical regions related to visual and emotion processing (genu and splenium of corpus callosum, right inferior longitudinal fasciculus, right inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, uncinate fasciculus). Both of these tests showed correlations with specific cortical areas involved in emotion recognition from facial expressions (right and left fusiform face area, frontal eye filed), processing of emotions (right entorhinal cortex) and socially relevant information (left temporal pole). Thus, both disconnection mechanism due to white matter lesions and cortical thinning of specific brain areas may result in cognitive deficit in multiple sclerosis affecting emotion and mental state processing from facial expressions and contributing to everyday and social life difficulties of these patients. © 2013 Mike et al. Source

Deli G.,University of Pecs | Aschermann Z.,University of Pecs | Acs P.,University of Pecs | Bosnyak E.,University of Pecs | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Parkinson's Disease

Sleep problems are among the most common non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD). The PD Sleep Scale 2nd version (PDSS-2) improved the original PDSS by adding more items on different aspects of sleep problems, making it a more robust tool to evaluate the severity of sleep disturbances. However, previous studies on deep brain stimulation (DBS) have not used the PDSS-2. Objective: To determine if the PDSS-2 could detect improvement reliably in sleep problems after bilateral subthalamic nucleus DBS for PD. Methods: In this prospective study, 25 consecutive patients undergoing DBS implantation were enrolled. Patients were examined twice: 1 week prior to the DBS implantation (baseline) and 12 months postoperatively. Severity of PD symptoms were assessed by the Movement Disorders Society Unified PD Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) and the Non-Motor Symptoms Scale (NMSS). Presence and severity of sleep disturbances were specifically measured by PDSS-2. Results: Total score of MDS-UPDRS improved from 81 (median, interquartile-range: 63-103) to 55 points (median, IQR: 46-75, p < 0.001). Health-related quality of life, measured by PDQ-39, also improved from 29 (IQR: 18-40) to 15 (IQR: 9-28) points (p = 0.002). Most domains of NMSS also improved. At baseline 13 patients reported sleep problems, but 1 year after DBS implantation only 3 did (p = 0.012). Although only 6 out of 15 items showed a significant decrease after DBS implantation, the total score of PDSS-2 decreased from 24 (IQR: 17-32) to 10 (IQR: 7-18) points (P < 0.001). Conclusions: Based on our results, PDSS-2 can detect improvements in sleep quality reliably after DBS implantation. © 2015-IOS Press and the authors. Source

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