The Vestibuloocular Reflex of Tadpoles (Xenopus Laevis) After Knock-Down of the Isthmus Related Transcription Factor XTcf-4.

The vestibuloocular reflex of tadpoles (Xenopus laevis) after knock-down of the isthmus related transcription factor XTcf-4.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

J Exp Biol. 2012 Oct 17;
Horn ER, El-Yamany NA, Gradl D

Development of the amphibian vestibular organ is regulated by molecular and neuronal mechanisms and by environmental input. The molecular component includes inductive signals derived from neural tissue of the hindbrain and from the surrounding mesoderm. The integrity of hindbrain patterning, on the other hand, depends on instructive signals from the isthmus organizer of the midbrain including the transcription factor XTcf-4. If the development of the vestibular system depends on the integrity of the isthmus as organizing centre, suppression of isthmus maintenance should modify vestibular morphology and function. We tested this hypothesis by down-regulation of the transcription factor XTcf-4. 10 pMol XTcf-4-specific antisense morpholino oligonucleotide were injected in one blastomere of 2-cell stage embryos of Xenopus laevis. For reconstitution experiments, 500 pg mRNA of the repressing XTcf-4A isoform or the activating XTcf-4C isoform were co-injected. Over-expression experiments were included using the same isoforms. Otoconia formation and vestibular controlled behaviour such as the roll-induced vestibuloocular reflex (rVOR) and swimming were recorded two weeks later. In 50% of tadpoles, down-regulation of XTcf-4 induced (1) a depression of otoconia formation accompanied by a reduction of the rVOR, (2) abnormal tail development, and (3) loop swimming behaviour. (4) All effects were rescued by co-injection of XTcf-4C but not or only partially by XTcf-4A. (5) Over-expression of XTcf-4A caused similar morphological and rVOR modifications as XTcf-4 depletion while over-expression of XTcf-4C had no effect. Because XTcf-4C has been described as essential factor for isthmus development, we postulate that the isthmus is strongly involved in vestibular development.
HubMed – depression


Depression in pregnancy: time to stop terrifying pregnant women.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

J Popul Ther Clin Pharmacol. 2012; 19(3): e369-70
Koren G

Recent studies have powerfully demonstrated that women with depression, whether treated with SSRIs or skip treatment, report double risk of cardiovascular malformations. Yet, physicians and epidemiologists continue to terrify women who are at serious life threatening risks if not treated pharmacologically, with non evidence-based information. This paper calls for immediate stop of such practice.
HubMed – depression


Randomized Trial of Supervised Versus Unsupervised Optokinetic Exercise in Persons With Peripheral Vestibular Disorders.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2012 Oct 16;
Pavlou M, Bronstein AM, Davies RA

BACKGROUND: Visual vertigo (VV) symptoms improve only when customized vestibular rehabilitation (VR) integrates exposure to optokinetic stimuli (OK). However, equipment is expensive, biweekly sessions are not standard practice, and therapy is often unsupervised. METHODS: A controlled, parallel-group comparison was made of patients’ responses to an 8-week customized program incorporating OK training via a full-field visual environment rotator (group OKF) or DVD (an optokinetic disc or drum rotating at 40° or 60° s(-1)), supervised (group OKS) or unsupervised (group OKU). A total of 60 participants with chronic peripheral vestibular symptoms were randomly allocated to 1 of 3 treatment groups: group OKF (n = 20) or OKS (n = 20), in which participants attended weekly sessions and were prescribed customized home exercises incorporating the DVD, or group OKU (n = 20) who practiced customized exercises and the DVD unsupervised. Treatment response was assessed at baseline and at 8 weeks with dynamic posturography, Functional Gait Assessment (FGA), and questionnaires for symptoms, symptom triggers, and psychological state. RESULTS: No significant between-group differences were present at baseline or at post interventions. All groups showed significant within-group improvements for vestibular (ie, lightheadedness), VV, and autonomic symptoms (P < .05). Posturography and FGA improved significantly for groups OKF and OKS (P ? .01) as well as anxiety scores for group OKS (P < .05) and depression for group OKF (P < .05). Migraine significantly affected VV improvement (migraineurs improved more; P = .01). The drop-out rate was 55% for group OKU and 10% for each supervised group (P < .01). CONCLUSIONS: . The DVD may be an effective and economical method of integrating OK into VR. However, rehabilitation should be supervised for greater compliance and improvements, particularly for postural stability and psychological state. HubMed – depression



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