Prof. Corbetta’s interview on TG3 Fuori Tg
(Italian only) Prof. Corbetta was interviewed on June 2, 2023
(Italian only) Prof. Corbetta was interviewed on June 2, 2023
The Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) has recently cited prof. Semenza’s work on their monthly newsletter. Here is the excerpt:
by Gert van Dijk and Roelien Bastiaanse
Brain damage can evoke odd, sometimes bizarre changes in cognitive functioning that fascinate everyone. Neurologists were among the first to share that fascination of such ‘experiments of nature’ and used the powers of observation and analysis to increase knowledge of how the brain works. Over time, neurologists somehow either lost interest in the subject or no longer allowed themselves the time to sit and think, so it fell to others to study these particular observations, which are pearls for science while being disasters to patients.
A third of people suffering from major depressive disorder do not experience a significant improvement in their symptoms even after adequate treatment with two different antidepressant medications.
This common condition, termed treatment-resistant depression (TRD), severely affects the quality of life of millions of people worldwide. TRD is of utmost clinical relevance given the impact of residual depressive symptoms on functioning, the higher risk of recurrence, the lower chances of remission, and the risk of suicide (which is at least twice the rate of those with nonresistant depression), causing long-lasting interpersonal problems and social costs. Given its epidemiological and clinical relevance and the little consensus on whether the neurobiological underpinnings of TRD differ from treatment-sensitive depression (TSD), we aimed to highlight the convergent morphometric and functional neuroimaging correlates of TRD.
Recent evidence suggests that the body image disturbances often observed in patients with anorexia nervosa also extends to the body schema. According to the embodiment approach, the body schema is not only involved in motor execution, but also in tasks that only require a mental simulation of a movement such as motor imagery, mental rotation of bodies, and visuospatial perspective-taking. The aim of the present study was to assess the ability of patients with anorexia in mentally simulate movements.
The sample included 52 patients with acute anorexia and 62 healthy controls.
Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by the abnormal expansion of polyglutamine (PolyQ)-encoding CAG triplets in the androgen receptor (AR) gene. AR binds to testosterone and its more potent derivative dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which trigger the activation of androgen receptor and the transcription of genes responsive to testosterone. Several enzymes in the cells (called kinases) can add chemical modifications (phosphorylation) to transcription factors to tightly regulate specific gene expression programs. On the contrary, phosphatases do the opposite job and remove phosphorylation from these proteins. Working together in a concerted way, kinases and phosphatases modify stability, cellular localization and function of transcription factors.
Professore di Neurologia dell’Università di Padova e direttore della Clinica Neurologica dell’Azienda Ospedaliera, è Maurizio Corbetta a ottenere, con un gruppo composto da altri 3 Principal Investigators provenienti dall’Università Statale di Milano e dall’Università Pompeu Fabra e l’ICREA di Barcellona, un finanziamento di quasi 10 milioni di Euro nello schema Synergy Grant
Reduced approach motivation, indexed by reduced emotional responding to pleasant stimuli, and increased cognitive elaboration of unpleasant stimuli, are increasingly considered putative risk factors for depression. A novel approach to simultaneously examine these two processes is to examine time-frequency delta and theta power while participants are exposed to emotional pictures. Indeed, delta power appears to have a functional role in monitoring the motivational relevance of affective cues and in the identification of pleasant/rewarding stimuli and is generated by subcortical regions involved in the motivational system. Whereas theta power reflects the processing of salient events and can be employed to assess cognitive processing during the viewing of affective content.
The study ‘Recovery of neural dynamics criticality in personalized whole brain models of stroke‘ published in Nature Communications, fruit of an international collaboration among physicists, neurologists, psychologists, and PNC members Samir Suweis, Marco Zorzi and Maurizio Corbetta, proposes the theory of brain criticality to explain brain-behavior relationships in neurological patients.
Criticality is a physical state at the transition between order and disorder, and previous studies had shown that healthy brains work at criticality.
This study shows that patients affected by stroke present at three months decreased levels of neural activity, decreased entropy, and decreased strength of functional connections.
To date, there is no consensus on how to semi-quantitatively assess brain amyloid PET.
Researchers used data from 85 patients who underwent dual time-point PET/MRI acquisitions. The correlations with a gold standard (SI) were computed and the methods compared with the visual assessment.
Each quantifier exhibited excellent agreement with visual assessment and strong correlation with SI (average AUC = 0.99, ρ = 0.91). Among the other methods, TDr came closest to the reference with less implementation complexity.
The ability of techniques integrating blood perfusion to depict age-related variations in amyloid load in amyloid-negative subjects demonstrates the goodness of the estimate.
What are the cognitive abilities of a newly hatched zebrafish? A research from the University of Padova found that hatchings are able to associate a visual stimulus with presence of food. Learning occurs much faster in larvae than in adult zebrafish, requiring less than 48h to establish an association.
This feature was exploited to assess the capacity of larval zebrafish to recognize objects. Larvae can easily discriminate two objects by their color or shape. They can also perceive more complex visual properties, being able to discriminate two identical objects with a different spatial orientation or an object from its mirror image.