Pharmacologic Approaches to Cerebral Aging and Neuroplasticity: Insights From the Stroke Model.

Pharmacologic approaches to cerebral aging and neuroplasticity: insights from the stroke model.

Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2013 Mar; 15(1): 67-76
Chollet F

Brain plasticity is an intrinsic characteristic of the nervous system that allows continuous remodeling of brain functions in pathophysiological conditions. Although normal aging is associated with morphological modifications and decline of cerebral functions, brain plasticity is at least partially preserved in elderly individuals. A growing body of evidence supports the notion that cognitive enrichment and aerobic training induce a dynamic reorganization of higher cerebral functions, thereby helping to maintain operational skills in the elderly and reducing the incidence of dementia. The stroke model clearly shows that spontaneous brain plasticity exists after a lesion, even in old patients, and that it can be modulated through external factors like rehabilitation and drugs. Whether drugs can be used with the aim of modulating the effects of physical training or cognitive stimulation in healthy aged people has not been addressed until now. The risk:benefit ratio will be the key question with regard to the ethical aspect of this challenge. We review in this article the main aspects of human brain plasticity as shown in patients with stroke, the drug modulation of brain plasticity and its consequences on recovery, and finally we address the question of the influence of aging on brain plasticity. HubMed – rehab


Peter Becker and His Nazi Past: The Man Behind Becker Muscular Dystrophy and Becker Myotonia.

J Child Neurol. 2013 Apr 10;
Zeidman LA, Kondziella D

Peter Becker was a German neurologist who helped classify the muscular dystrophies, and described Becker muscular dystrophy and Becker myotonia. His involvement in National Socialism began in 1933, when he was compelled by his peers to join the SA (brown shirts). He later joined the Nazi party, the Nazi Doctors Association, and the Nazi Lecturers’ Association. He renewed his SA membership to maintain his position at a genetics institute. Colleagues stated postwar that he was not an active Nazi, and he was de-Nazified in 1947, able to continue his career. Later, Becker admitted to most, but not all, of his Nazi memberships in his autobiography, and wrote 2 books exploring the origins of Nazism and racial hygiene. The “neurologic court of opinion” must weigh in on how we should best remember Becker, and at the very least, we as neurologists must learn the dangers of career opportunism at any cost. HubMed – rehab


Effect of the Effortful Swallow and the Mendelsohn Maneuver on Tongue Pressure Production against the Hard Palate.

Dysphagia. 2013 Apr 11;
Fukuoka T, Ono T, Hori K, Tamine KI, Nozaki S, Shimada K, Yamamoto N, Fukuda Y, Domen K

Although effortful swallow and the Mendelsohn maneuver are commonly used in dysphagia rehabilitation, little is known about their effects on tongue-palate pressure production. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of effortful swallow and the Mendelsohn maneuver on tongue pressure production. Fourteen healthy volunteers (10 men, 4 women; age range = 21-41 years) participated. Tongue pressures during dry swallow, water swallow, effortful swallow, and the Mendelsohn maneuver were measured using a sensor sheet system with five measurement points on the hard palate. Sequential order, duration, maximal magnitude, and the integrated value of tongue pressure at each measurement point were compared among the four tasks. Onset of tongue pressure at the posterior-circumferential parts occurred first in the Mendelsohn maneuver; that at the anterior-median part was earlier than at other parts in the effortful swallow. At all measurement points, tongue pressure duration was significantly longer in the Mendelsohn maneuver than in other tasks. Effortful swallow was most effective in increasing tongue pressure. The integrated value of tongue pressure at the posterior-circumferential parts in the Mendelsohn maneuver and at the median parts in the effortful swallow showed a tendency to increase. These results suggest that tongue pressure increases along a wide part of the hard palate in effortful swallow because the anchor of tongue movement is emphasized at the anterior part of the hard palate. The Mendelsohn maneuver provides prolonged and accentuated tongue-palate contact at the posterior-circumferential parts, which might be important for hyoid-laryngeal elevation during swallowing. HubMed – rehab


The influence of the low-frequency magnetic fields of different parameters on the secretion of cortisol in men.

Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2013 Mar; 26(1): 92-101
Wolda?ska-Oko?ska M, Czernicki J, Karasek M

The aim of this paper is to test the influence of long-term application of the low-frequency magnetic fields in magnetotherapy and magnetostimulation on cortisol secretion in men.Patients were divided into three groups: 16 men underwent magnetotherapy and 20 men (divided into two groups) underwent magnetostimulation. Magnetotherapy – 2 mT induction, 40 Hz, bipolar square wave, was applied for 20 min to lumbar area. Magnetostimulation (Viofor Jaroszyk, Paluszak, Siero? (JPS) system, M2P2 program) was applied to 10 patients for 12 min each day. The third group (10 patients) underwent magnetostimulation (Viofor JPS system, M3P3) for 12 min each day using a different machine. All groups had 15 rounds of applications at approximately 10:00 a.m. with intermissions on the weekends. Blood serum was taken four times in a 24-hour period, before applications, the day after applications and a month later. Chemiluminescence micromethod was used to indicate hormone concentrations. Data was statistically analyzed with the analysis of variance (ANOVA) method.The statistically significant gains in the circadian cortisol profile at 4:00 p.m., be- fore and after application, were observed as a decrease in concentration during magnetotherapy. In magnetostimulation, with the M2P2 program, a significant increase in the cortisol concentration was observed in circadian profile at 12:00 p.m. one month after the last application. After magnetostimulation with the M3P3 program, a significant increase in concentration at 6:00 a.m. and a decrease in concentration at 12:00 p.m. were observed one month later. Statistically significant difference was demonstrated in the participants after the application of magnetotherapy and magnetostimulation with M3P3 program compared to the men submitted to magnetostimulation, with M2P2 program, at 4:00 p.m. after 15 applications.Biological hysteresis one month after magnetostimulation suggests long-term influence on the hypothalamo-hypophysial axis. The circadian curves of cortisol secretion a day after magnetotherapy and magnetostimulation with M3P3 program compared to magnetostimulation with M2P2 progam differs nearly by 100%, which proves that they show varied influence on cortisol secretion in men. All changes in the hormone concentration did not exceed the physiological standards of cortisol secretion, which suggests a regulating influence of magnetic fields on cortisol concentration rather than a strong stressogenic impact of magnetostimulation. HubMed – rehab