Development of a Positive Psychology Intervention for Patients With Acute Cardiovascular Disease.

Development of a positive psychology intervention for patients with acute cardiovascular disease.

Heart Int. 2011 Sep 29; 6(2): e14
Huffman JC, Mastromauro CA, Boehm JK, Seabrook R, Fricchione GL, Denninger JW, Lyubomirsky S

The management of depression and other negative psychological states in cardiac patients has been a focus of multiple treatment trials, though such trials have not led to substantial improvements in cardiac outcomes. In contrast, there has been minimal focus on interventions to increase positive psychological states in cardiac patients, despite the fact that optimism and other positive states have been associated with superior cardiovascular outcomes. Our objective was to develop an 8-week, phone-based positive psychology intervention for patients hospitalized with acute cardiac disease (acute coronary syndrome or decompensated heart failure). Such an intervention would consist of positive psychology exercises adapted for this specific population, and it would need to be feasible for practitioners and patients in real-world settings. By adapting exercises that were previously validated in healthy individuals, we were able to generate a positive psychology telemedicine intervention for cardiac patients that focused on optimism, kindness, and gratitude. In addition, we successfully created a companion treatment manual for subjects to enhance the educational aspects of the intervention and facilitate completion of exercises. Finally, we successfully performed a small pilot trial of this intervention, and found that the positive psychology intervention appeared to be feasible and well-accepted in a cohort of patients with acute cardiac illness. Future studies should further develop this promising intervention and examine its impact on psychological and medical outcomes in this vulnerable population of cardiac patients. HubMed – depression


Brain Regions Responsible for Tinnitus Distress and Loudness: A Resting-State fMRI Study.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(6): e67778
Ueyama T, Donishi T, Ukai S, Ikeda Y, Hotomi M, Yamanaka N, Shinosaki K, Terada M, Kaneoke Y

Subjective tinnitus is characterized by the perception of phantom sound without an external auditory stimulus. We hypothesized that abnormal functionally connected regions in the central nervous system might underlie the pathophysiology of chronic subjective tinnitus. Statistical significance of functional connectivity (FC) strength is affected by the regional autocorrelation coefficient (AC). In this study, we used resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) and measured regional mean FC strength (mean cross-correlation coefficient between a region and all other regions without taking into account the effect of AC (rGC) and with taking into account the effect of AC (rGCa) to elucidate brain regions related to tinnitus symptoms such as distress, depression and loudness. Consistent with previous studies, tinnitus loudness was not related to tinnitus-related distress and depressive state. Although both rGC and rGCa revealed similar brain regions where the values showed a statistically significant relationship with tinnitus-related symptoms, the regions for rGCa were more localized and more clearly delineated the regions related specifically to each symptom. The rGCa values in the bilateral rectus gyri were positively correlated and those in the bilateral anterior and middle cingulate gyri were negatively correlated with distress and depressive state. The rGCa values in the bilateral thalamus, the bilateral hippocampus, and the left caudate were positively correlated and those in the left medial superior frontal gyrus and the left posterior cingulate gyrus were negatively correlated with tinnitus loudness. These results suggest that distinct brain regions are responsible for tinnitus symptoms. The regions for distress and depressive state are known to be related to depression, while the regions for tinnitus loudness are known to be related to the default mode network and integration of multi-sensory information. HubMed – depression


An essential role for inhibitor-2 regulation of protein phosphatase-1 in synaptic scaling.

J Neurosci. 2013 Jul 3; 33(27): 11206-11
Siddoway BA, Altimimi HF, Hou H, Petralia RS, Xu B, Stellwagen D, Xia H

Protein phosphatase-1 (PP1) activity is important for many calcium-dependent neuronal functions including Hebbian synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. PP1 activity is necessary for the induction of long-term depression, whereas downregulation of PP1 activity is required for the normal induction of long-term potentiation. However, how PP1 is activated is not clear. Moreover, it is not known whether PP1 plays a role in homeostatic synaptic scaling, another form of synaptic plasticity which functions to reset the neuronal firing rate in response to chronic neuronal activity perturbations. In this study, we found that PP1 inhibitor-2 (I-2) is phosphorylated at serine 43 (S43) in rat and mouse cortical neurons in response to bicuculine application. Expression of I-2 phosphorylation-blocking mutant I-2 (S43A) blocked the dephosphorylation of GluA2 at serine 880, AMPA receptor trafficking, and synaptic downscaling induced by bicuculline application. Our data suggest that the phosphorylation of I-2 at S43 appears to be mediated by L-type calcium channels and calcium/calmodulin-dependent myosin light-chain kinase. Our work thus reveals a novel calcium-induced PP1 activation pathway critical for homeostatic synaptic plasticity. HubMed – depression


Modulation of distal calcium electrogenesis by neuropeptide y1 receptors inhibits neocortical long-term depression.

J Neurosci. 2013 Jul 3; 33(27): 11184-93
Hamilton TJ, Xapelli S, Michaelson SD, Larkum ME, Colmers WF

In layer 5 neocortical pyramidal neurons, backpropagating action potentials (bAPs) firing at rates above a critical frequency (CF) induce supralinear Ca(2+) influx and regenerative potentials in apical dendrites. Paired temporally with an EPSP, this Ca(2+) influx can result in synaptic plasticity. We studied the actions of neuropeptide Y (NPY), an abundant neocortical neuropeptide, on Ca(2+) influx in layer 5 pyramidal neurons of somatosensory neocortex in Sprague Dawley and Wistar rats, using a combination of somatic and dendritic intracellular recordings and simultaneous Ca(2+) imaging. Ca(2+) influx induced by trains of bAPs above a neuron’s CF was inhibited by NPY, acting only at the distal dendrite, via Y1 receptors. NPY does not affect evoked synaptic glutamate release, paired synaptic facilitation, or synaptic rundown in longer trains. Extracellular Cs(+) did not prevent NPY’s postsynaptic effects, suggesting it does not act via either G-protein-activated inwardly rectifying K(+) conductance (GIRK) or hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic nucleotide-gated channels. NPY application suppresses the induction of the long-term depression (LTD) normally caused by pairing 100 EPSPs with bursts of 2 bAPs evoked at a supracritical frequency. These findings suggest that distal dendritic Ca(2+) influx is necessary for LTD induction, and selective inhibition of this distal dendritic Ca(2+) influx by NPY can thus regulate synaptic plasticity in layer 5 pyramidal neurons. HubMed – depression