Khazaee A.,Babol Noshirvani University of Technology |
Ebrahimzadeh A.,Babol Noshirvani University of Technology |
Babajani-Feremi A.,University of Tennessee Health Science Center |
Babajani-Feremi A.,Neuroscience Institute
Clinical Neurophysiology | Year: 2015
Objective: Study of brain network on the basis of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has provided promising results to investigate changes in connectivity among different brain regions because of diseases. Graph theory can efficiently characterize different aspects of the brain network by calculating measures of integration and segregation. Method: In this study, we combine graph theoretical approaches with advanced machine learning methods to study functional brain network alteration in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Support vector machine (SVM) was used to explore the ability of graph measures in diagnosis of AD. We applied our method on the resting-state fMRI data of twenty patients with AD and twenty age and gender matched healthy subjects. The data were preprocessed and each subject's graph was constructed by parcellation of the whole brain into 90 distinct regions using the automated anatomical labeling (AAL) atlas. The graph measures were then calculated and used as the discriminating features. Extracted network-based features were fed to different feature selection algorithms to choose most significant features. In addition to the machine learning approach, statistical analysis was performed on connectivity matrices to find altered connectivity patterns in patients with AD. Results: Using the selected features, we were able to accurately classify patients with AD from healthy subjects with accuracy of 100%. Conclusion: Results of this study show that pattern recognition and graph of brain network, on the basis of the resting state fMRI data, can efficiently assist in the diagnosis of AD. Significance: Classification based on the resting-state fMRI can be used as a non-invasive and automatic tool to diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. © 2015 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Source
Holland N.R.,Neuroscience Institute
Journal of child neurology | Year: 2013
A 17-year-old girl presented with rapidly progressive quadriparesis and ventilatory failure. The clinical findings indicated a spinal level, but the diagnosis of myelopathy was not supported by her initial spinal imaging and cerebrospinal fluid studies. She had completed treatment for Guillain-Barré syndrome before a follow-up spinal imaging study showed interval expansion and enhancement of the cervical cord. Source
News Article | January 4, 2016
Every New Year I, like most people, reflect on my accomplishments and failures over the previous twelve months. What I often find is that many of my failures weren’t the result of massive errors on my part. Many of my failures were the result of being too distracted or preoccupied by other little, almost pointless things that in retrospect took up too much of my attention. Almost all of the time these are distractions that are work related, which affects my productivity. That’s why at the end of each year I like to go through a "cleansing" and review the dead weight in my professional life to see what I can jettison to start the New Year off on a fresh foot. The best part of this professional cleansing is that it doesn’t require active, ongoing attention or work, which is why 92% of all New Year's resolutions fail. Instead, a professional end-of-the-year cleanse just requires letting go. Letting go of distraction. Letting go of annoyances. Letting go of clutter. Here are five distractions to cleanse from your professional life to have the most productive New Year yet. Both Twitter and LinkedIn can be powerful workplace tools. If you’re in the media or marketing fields, Twitter is invaluable. For sales leads and networking, there’s no better site than LinkedIn. Both sites not only allow you to stay connected with others, but in theory allow you to glean valuable information, such as links to useful articles or novel insights, from the people you follow. But the big pain point with both LinkedIn and Twitter is many times we follow people out of politeness only because we met them at a conference or event once. And there’s nothing wrong with mercy follows, unless you find the person isn’t as interesting on social media as they are in real life. Instead of contributing value, these people are just creating more distraction in your social media feed. If that’s the case, it’s time to cleanse them from your digital life. "The big biggest point here is to keep what adds value," says Rachel East, certified career coach and co-founder of Clarity on Fire, which helps match people with fulfilling careers. "Does following this person actually feel enjoyable? Do they make you laugh, or keep you informed? If you can’t dredge up anything more than neutrality, then let it go. Make space for accounts that will surprise, delight, entertain, and genuinely inform you." The best way to promote your personal brand is on social media. The problem lies in the sheer amount of social media profiles you can have: there’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest—and those are just the major ones. Depending on your profession, there are more niche social media sites too, such as Behance for graphic designers. Managing that many social media profiles can leave you spread thin. Instead of tailoring content to match the social media channel, and thus adding value to your followers’ streams, you just copy and paste the same update from one site to the next. Or worse, you leave certain social media profiles to languish, making it look like you just aren’t that invested. Instead of trying to be everywhere, pick one or two social media channels to manage your brand on and forget the rest, says East. "Do you genuinely enjoy the platform, or does it feel more like a dead weight? Personally, I’ve let go of my personal Twitter and Instagram accounts because checking them had become more of an obligation than a real desire. I feel much better about having only a couple of business-related accounts to maintain, and my posting is better and more regular because it doesn’t feel like an obligation." If you’re like me, you probably have emails going back years. Until recently I literally had saved emails going all the way back to 2002. I found it hard to delete all but junk emails in case I ever might need to refer to them in the future. Of course, I never end up having to and this approach only leads to a bloated email client with folders upon folders upon folders of old messages. "Most of the time, the emails we’re hanging on to are half-forgotten intentions that we never got around to: articles we had meant to read, recordings we were going to listen to, or responses we semi-drafted four months ago," says East. "Hanging on to that stuff, while seemingly innocent, can actually be a huge guilt-inducer; everything we ‘should’ have done, but didn’t, weighs us down and makes us feel unnecessarily bad." Instead, I learned to think of work emails like I would a receipt for tax purposes. I now hang onto the important ones for three years, and delete most of the rest—only saving any that contain critical information, such as contract agreements. "I like to think of deleting old emails as a massive release of heavy energy," says East. "Give yourself permission to let it go. If you haven’t [referenced the email again] by now, you probably never will. If there’s something that you absolutely cannot delete, then take that as your cue to actually do the thing you’ve been putting off. Otherwise, release it." One of the best things to cleanse—and one that will have the most visible daily impact—is your messy workspace. Yeah, yeah, I know: Your workspace is an "organized" mess. That doesn’t mean it’s still not affecting your productivity, as researchers at Princeton’s Neuroscience Institute found. In a paper published in The Journal of Neuroscience, the researchers said they discovered a clear correlation between an inability to focus and a messy environment, like your office. "With physical space, and really with anything in life, less is often better," says East. "Packing our workspace to the brim with stuff—books, papers, knickknacks, piles of random lists—feels crowded and chaotic, which very often translates into you feeling chaotic when you sit down to work." She suggests giving your workspace its own "New Year, new you" makeover. "The more space you can create around you, the more calm you naturally invite into your life. And being in a peaceful state, mentally and emotionally, allows for the best ideas and inspiration to happen. Don’t underestimate the power of your space to influence your insights and productivity." WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Skype, Kik, Google Hangouts, Slack, iMessage…the list goes on and on. There are so many messaging apps it's hard to keep track of who contacted you where. More than once I’ve missed an important message from a colleague because it was received in a messaging app I usually use for friends and family and not professional connections. "Being reachable on too many platforms is literally inviting distraction into your life and work, says East. "Given that we’re more distractible than ever, as a culture, it’s only going to get harder to feel like you’re contributing anything of value at work." Recently I’ve decided to cleanse all but one messaging app from my professional life. Colleagues and clients can contact me through there—where they can be assured I’ll see their message promptly—or can contact me via old, trusty email. "If you’re constantly being pinged or messaged, not only should you pick one and insist—kindly, but firmly—that people only reach you there, but you should seriously consider having ‘on’ and ‘off’ hours when it comes to messaging apps and email," says East. "It’s amazing what we can get done in one or two hours if we’re not constantly switching focus to attend to someone’s message, which is usually not dire, anyway."
News Article | January 21, 2016
How much sleep do we need? It’s a fundamental question about a basic human function we’ve been practising for millennia, but there’s still no simple answer. In recent years, scientific advances have suggested that it may in fact be different for each of us; genetics might play as much of a role in our sleep requirements as light, alarm clocks, and Red Bull consumption. “I suppose the rule of thumb in adults is about seven to eight hours, but is that based on any really solid science? I would sort of say not,” said Russell Foster, professor of circadian neuroscience and head of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at the University of Oxford. He pointed out that before industrialised times, natural light played a larger role in our waking and sleeping times, and people would often refer to their “first and second sleep.” But now we’ve hacked darkness with electricity, around eight hours is the general consensus; last year, the US National Sleep Foundation (NSF) suggested adults aged 18-64 should get 7-9 hours in its updated recommended sleep times. Interestingly, however, the NSF researchers introduced a new category beyond their recommended figures called “may be appropriate,” to account for the variation now recognised between individuals. Taking these values into consideration, the Foundation suggests anywhere from six hours to 11 hours of sleep per night for individuals between the ages of 18 and 25 may be suitable, or six hours to 10 hours for those between the ages of 26 and 64. One person’s power nap, it seems, is another’s extended lie-in. Why the discrepancy? Aside from social constraints like having to get up early for a commute, Foster says there are two main biological factors that affect an individual’s sleep needs: the circadian clock (often referred to as the biological clock) and the sleep “homeostat.” Foster described the latter as a kind of internal egg timer for sleepiness. “The longer you’ve been awake, the greater the build-up of sleep pressure, the greater the need for sleep,” he said. “And when you’re asleep that sleep pressure dissipates and you feel less tired.” But as the sleep pressure builds through the day and you get more and more tired, you don’t usually fall asleep when you’re not supposed to because the biological clock effectively provides a timestamp for when sleep is a good idea (i.e. at night). You can see this at work when you travel to a different timezone and your sleep pattern adjusts to the new light cycle. These biological processes vary from person to person owing to environmental factors (such as light exposure) and genetics. And this is why our sleep schedules show such variation. “We now know there are key genes associated with the biological processes, and subtle changes within those genes can make you more of a morning person who likes to go to bed early and get up early or an evening person—you go to bed late and get up late,” said Foster. Most of us tend to be evening people, but there are drawbacks to both ranges. If you’re a night owl, then getting up for work early can interfere with your natural sleep preferences; if you’re a morning lark, then social obligations tend to get in the way. “Morningness” and “eveningness” can run in families, but there’s a lot of room for variation. The process of protein synthesis and degradation in the relevant genes allows for many points at which subtle changes could influence an individual’s sleep pattern. “The rate at which you turn the genes on, the rate at which the genes make the proteins, the rate at which the proteins make complexes, the rate at which they enter the nucleus, the rate at which they turn off their own genes, and the rate at which those protein complexes are degraded, actually make a 24-hour oscillation,” explained Foster. Tweaks at any point in that process could affect your genetic predisposition to like early nights or lazy mornings. The environment can modify your sleep preferences but there’s no easy hack—you can’t change your genes (yet). That said, your sleeping pattern will change naturally with age, which is also reflected in the National Sleep Foundation recommendations: it suggests 14-17 hours of shuteye a day for newborn babies and only 7-8 hours for over-65s. But Foster said it’s about more than simple duration. Teens and people in their early 20s genuinely do want to go to bed later and get up later too, something researchers propose might be to do with changing hormones. “On average, there’s about a two-hour difference in preferred sleep times of somebody in their late teens/early twenties to somebody in their late 50s [or] early 60s,” he said. “So asking a teenager to get up at 7 o’ clock in the morning is the equivalent of asking a 55-year-old to get up at five in the morning.” At the end of the day, the best way to gauge how much sleep you need is to listen to your own body. Do you rely on an alarm clock to wake up? Do you take a long time to feel awake? Are you dependent on caffeinated drinks to keep you focused during the day? Do you lack empathy? Are you overly impulsive—do you find yourself running a lot of amber traffic lights, for instance? All these could be signs that you’re not getting enough sleep. And that, we know today, is bad. Foster said he thought the understanding of the importance of sleep was “one of the great triumphs of modern neuroscience,” and that society was moving away from the all-nighter culture of the 80s to respect the need for sleep. “It’s not an indulgence or a luxury, it’s not a time when the brain and body are doing nothing,” he said. “It’s a critical part of our biology.” You’ll Sleep When You’re Dead is Motherboard’s exploration of the future of sleep. Read more stories.
Kirkpatrick B.,Texas A&M University |
Miller B.J.,Georgia Regents University |
Garcia-Rizo C.,Neuroscience Institute |
Fernandez-Egea E.,University of Cambridge |
And 3 more authors.
Schizophrenia Bulletin | Year: 2012
Some but not all previous studies have found abnormal glucose tolerance or fasting glucose concentrations in antipsychotic-naïve patients with nonaffective psychosis. Our finding of abnormal glucose tolerance in patients with nonaffective psychosis could not be attributed to confounding by age, ethnicity, gender, smoking, socioeconomic status (SES), hypercortisolemia, or body mass index (BMI). However, other factors merit consideration as potential confounders of this association. Methods: An extended sample of newly diagnosed, antipsychotic-naive patients with schizophrenia and related disorders and matched controls were administered an oral glucose tolerance test. Confounding factors related to diet, self-care/access to care, and drug abuse were evaluated. Results: After accounting for the variance due to age, ethnicity, gender, smoking, SES, morning cortisol concentrations, BMI (or waist-hip ratio), our previous finding of abnormal glucose tolerance in these patients was confirmed. This difference could not be attributed to confounding by substance abuse; blood concentrations of vitamin B12, folate, or homocysteine; aerobic conditioning as measured by resting heart rate; or duration of untreated psychosis. Discussion: These results provide further evidence that people with schizophrenia and related disorders have abnormal glucose tolerance and an increased risk of diabetes prior to antipsychotic treatment and independent of health habits and access to care. Other measures should also be examined. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. Source