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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 15202 matches for " Marco Bozzali "
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Microstructural Damage of the Posterior Corpus Callosum Contributes to the Clinical Severity of Neglect
Marco Bozzali, Chiara Mastropasqua, Mara Cercignani, Giovanni Giulietti, Sonia Bonnì, Carlo Caltagirone, Giacomo Koch
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048079
Abstract: One theory to account for neglect symptoms in patients with right focal damage invokes a release of inhibition of the right parietal cortex over the left parieto-frontal circuits, by disconnection mechanism. This theory is supported by transcranial magnetic stimulation studies showing the existence of asymmetric inhibitory interactions between the left and right posterior parietal cortex, with a right hemispheric advantage. These inhibitory mechanisms are mediated by direct transcallosal projections located in the posterior portions of the corpus callosum. The current study, using diffusion imaging and tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS), aims at assessing, in a data-driven fashion, the contribution of structural disconnection between hemispheres in determining the presence and severity of neglect. Eleven patients with right acute stroke and 11 healthy matched controls underwent MRI at 3T, including diffusion imaging, and T1-weighted volumes. TBSS was modified to account for the presence of the lesion and used to assess the presence and extension of changes in diffusion indices of microscopic white matter integrity in the left hemisphere of patients compared to controls, and to investigate, by correlation analysis, whether this damage might account for the presence and severity of patients' neglect, as assessed by the Behavioural Inattention Test (BIT). None of the patients had any macroscopic abnormality in the left hemisphere; however, 3 cases were discarded due to image artefacts in the MRI data. Conversely, TBSS analysis revealed widespread changes in diffusion indices in most of their left hemisphere tracts, with a predominant involvement of the corpus callosum and its projections on the parietal white matter. A region of association between patients' scores at BIT and brain FA values was found in the posterior part of the corpus callosum. This study strongly supports the hypothesis of a major role of structural disconnection between the right and left parietal cortex in determining ‘neglect’.
fMRI Resting Slow Fluctuations Correlate with the Activity of Fast Cortico-Cortical Physiological Connections
Giacomo Koch, Marco Bozzali, Sonia Bonnì, Viola Giacobbe, Carlo Caltagirone, Mara Cercignani
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052660
Abstract: Recording of slow spontaneous fluctuations at rest using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) allows distinct long-range cortical networks to be identified. The neuronal basis of connectivity as assessed by resting-state fMRI still needs to be fully clarified, considering that these signals are an indirect measure of neuronal activity, reflecting slow local variations in de-oxyhaemoglobin concentration. Here, we combined fMRI with multifocal transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a technique that allows the investigation of the causal neurophysiological interactions occurring in specific cortico-cortical connections. We investigated whether the physiological properties of parieto-frontal circuits mapped with short-latency multifocal TMS at rest may have some relationship with the resting-state fMRI measures of specific resting-state functional networks (RSNs). Results showed that the activity of fast cortico-cortical physiological interactions occurring in the millisecond range correlated selectively with the coupling of fMRI slow oscillations within the same cortical areas that form part of the dorsal attention network, i.e., the attention system believed to be involved in reorientation of attention. We conclude that resting-state fMRI ongoing slow fluctuations likely reflect the interaction of underlying physiological cortico-cortical connections.
Bringing the Cognitive Estimation Task into the 21st Century: Normative Data on Two New Parallel Forms
Sarah E. MacPherson, Gabriela Peretti Wagner, Patrick Murphy, Marco Bozzali, Lisa Cipolotti, Tim Shallice
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092554
Abstract: The Cognitive Estimation Test (CET) is widely used by clinicians and researchers to assess the ability to produce reasonable cognitive estimates. Although several studies have published normative data for versions of the CET, many of the items are now outdated and parallel forms of the test do not exist to allow cognitive estimation abilities to be assessed on more than one occasion. In the present study, we devised two new 9-item parallel forms of the CET. These versions were administered to 184 healthy male and female participants aged 18–79 years with 9–22 years of education. Increasing age and years of education were found to be associated with successful CET performance as well as gender, intellect, naming, arithmetic and semantic memory abilities. To validate that the parallel forms of the CET were sensitive to frontal lobe damage, both versions were administered to 24 patients with frontal lobe lesions and 48 age-, gender- and education-matched controls. The frontal patients’ error scores were significantly higher than the healthy controls on both versions of the task. This study provides normative data for parallel forms of the CET for adults which are also suitable for assessing frontal lobe dysfunction on more than one occasion without practice effects.
Assessing Corpus Callosum Changes in Alzheimer's Disease: Comparison between Tract-Based Spatial Statistics and Atlas-Based Tractography
Maria Giulia Preti, Francesca Baglio, Maria Marcella Laganà, Ludovica Griffanti, Raffaello Nemni, Mario Clerici, Marco Bozzali, Giuseppe Baselli
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035856
Abstract: Tractography based on Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) represents a valuable tool for investigating brain white matter (WM) microstructure, allowing the computation of damage-related diffusion parameters such as Fractional Anisotropy (FA) in specific WM tracts. This technique appears relevant in the study of pathologies in which brain disconnection plays a major role, such as, for instance, Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Previous DTI studies have reported inconsistent results in defining WM abnormalities in AD and in its prodromal stage (i.e., amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment; aMCI), especially when investigating the corpus callosum (CC). A reason for these inconsistencies is the use of different processing techniques, which may strongly influence the results. The aim of the current study was to compare a novel atlas-based tractography approach, that sub-divides the CC in eight portions, with Tract-Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS) when used to detect specific patterns of CC FA in AD at different clinical stages. FA data were obtained from 76 subjects (37 with mild AD, 19 with aMCI and 20 elderly healthy controls, HC) and analyzed using both methods. Consistent results were obtained for the two methods, concerning the comparisons AD vs. HC (significantly reduced FA in the whole CC of AD patients) and AD vs. aMCI (significantly reduced FA in the frontal portions of the CC in AD patients), thus identifying a relative preservation of the frontal CC regions in aMCI patients compared to AD. Conversely, the atlas-based method but not the TBSS showed the ability to detect a selective FA change in the CC parietal, left temporal and occipital regions of aMCI patients compared to HC. This finding indicates that an analysis including a higher number of voxels (with no restriction to tract skeletons) may detect characteristic pattern of FA in the CC of patients with preclinical AD, when brain atrophy is still modest.
Connectivity-Based Parcellation of the Thalamus Explains Specific Cognitive and Behavioural Symptoms in Patients with Bilateral Thalamic Infarct
Laura Serra, Mara Cercignani, Giovanni A. Carlesimo, Lucia Fadda, Nadia Tini, Giovanni Giulietti, Carlo Caltagirone, Marco Bozzali
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064578
Abstract: A novel approach based on diffusion tractography was used here to characterise the cortico-thalamic connectivity in two patients, both presenting with an isolated bilateral infarct in the thalamus, but exhibiting partially different cognitive and behavioural profiles. Both patients (G.P. and R.F.) had a pervasive deficit in episodic memory, but only one of them (R.F.) suffered also from a dysexecutive syndrome. Both patients had an MRI scan at 3T, including a T1-weighted volume. Their lesions were manually segmented. T1-volumes were normalised to standard space, and the same transformations were applied to the lesion masks. Nineteen healthy controls underwent a diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI) scan. Their DTI data were normalised to standard space and averaged. An atlas of Brodmann areas was used to parcellate the prefrontal cortex. Probabilistic tractography was used to assess the probability of connection between each voxel of the thalamus and a set of prefrontal areas. The resulting map of corticothalamic connections was superimposed onto the patients’ lesion masks, to assess whether the location of the thalamic lesions in R.F. (but not in G. P.) implied connections with prefrontal areas involved in dysexecutive syndromes. In G.P., the lesion fell within areas of the thalamus poorly connected with prefrontal areas, showing only a modest probability of connection with the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Conversely, R.F.’s lesion fell within thalamic areas extensively connected with the ACC bilaterally, with the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and with the left supplementary motor area. Despite a similar, bilateral involvement of the thalamus, the use of connectivity-based segmentation clarified that R.F.’s lesions only were located within nuclei highly connected with the prefrontal cortical areas, thus explaining the patient’s frontal syndrome. This study confirms that DTI tractography is a useful tool to examine in vivo the effect of focal lesions on interconnectivity brain patterns.
Cognitive Reserve in Granulin-Related Frontotemporal Dementia: from Preclinical to Clinical Stages
Enrico Premi, Stefano Gazzina, Marco Bozzali, Silvana Archetti, Antonella Alberici, Mara Cercignani, Angelo Bianchetti, Roberto Gasparotti, Marinella Turla, Carlo Caltagirone, Alessandro Padovani, Barbara Borroni
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074762
Abstract: Objective Consistent with the cognitive reserve hypothesis, higher education and occupation attainments may help persons with neurodegenerative dementias to better withstand neuropathology before developing cognitive impairment. We tested here the cognitive reserve hypothesis in patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), with or without pathogenetic granulin mutations (GRN+ and GRN-), and in presymptomatic GRN mutation carriers (aGRN+). Methods Education and occupation attainments were assessed and combined to define Reserve Index (RI) in 32 FTD patients, i.e. 12 GRN+ and 20 GRN-, and in 17 aGRN+. Changes in functional connectivity were estimated by resting state fMRI, focusing on the salience network (SN), executive network (EN) and bilateral frontoparietal networks (FPNs). Cognitive status was measured by FTD-modified Clinical Dementia Rating Scale. Results In FTD patients higher level of premorbid cognitive reserve was associated with reduced connectivity within the SN and the EN. EN was more involved in FTD patients without GRN mutations, while SN was more affected in GRN pathology. In aGRN+, cognitive reserve was associated with reduced SN. Conclusions This study suggests that cognitive reserve modulates functional connectivity in patients with FTD, even in monogenic disease. In GRN inherited FTD, cognitive reserve mechanisms operate even in presymptomatic to clinical stages.
Association between a Genetic Variant of Type-1 Cannabinoid Receptor and Inflammatory Neurodegeneration in Multiple Sclerosis
Silvia Rossi, Marco Bozzali, Monica Bari, Francesco Mori, Valeria Studer, Caterina Motta, Fabio Buttari, Mara Cercignani, Paolo Gravina, Nicolina Mastrangelo, Maura Castelli, Raffaele Mancino, Carlo Nucci, Fabrizio Sottile, Sergio Bernardini, Mauro Maccarrone, Diego Centonze
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082848
Abstract: Genetic ablation of type-1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs) exacerbates the neurodegenerative damage of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, the rodent model of multiple sclerosis (MS). To address the role on CB1Rs in the pathophysiology of human MS, we first investigated the impact of AAT trinucleotide short tandem repeat polymorphism of CNR1 gene on CB1R cell expression, and secondly on the inflammatory neurodegeneration process responsible for irreversible disability in MS patients. We found that MS patients with long AAT repeats within the CNR1 gene (≥12 in both alleles) had more pronounced neuronal degeneration in response to inflammatory white matter damage both in the optic nerve and in the cortex. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), in fact, showed more severe alterations of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness and of the macular volume (MV) after an episode of optic neuritis in MS patients carrying the long AAT genotype of CNR1. MS patients with long AAT repeats also had magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evidence of increased gray matter damage in response to inflammatory lesions of the white matter, especially in areas with a major role in cognition. In parallel, visual abilities evaluated at the low contrast acuity test, and cognitive performances were negatively influenced by the long AAT CNR1 genotype in our sample of MS patients. Our results demonstrate the biological relevance of the (AAT)n CNR1 repeats in the inflammatory neurodegenerative damage of MS.
Anisotropic Anomalous Diffusion assessed in the human brain by scalar invariant indices
S. De Santis,A. Gabrielli,M. Bozzali,B. Maraviglia,E. Macaluso,S. Capuani
Physics , 2010,
Abstract: A new method to investigate anomalous diffusion in human brain is proposed. The method has been inspired by both the stretched-exponential model proposed by Hall and Barrick (HB) and DTI. Quantities extracted using HB method were able to discriminate different cerebral tissues on the basis of their complexity, expressed by the stretching exponent gamma and of the anisotropy of gamma across different directions. Nevertheless, these quantities were not defined as scalar invariants like mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy, which are eigenvalues of the diffusion tensor. We hypotesize instead that the signal may be espressed as a simple stretched-exponential only along the principal axes of diffusion, while in a generic direction the signal is modeled as a combination of three different stretched-exponentials. In this way, we derived indices to quantify both the tissue anomalous diffusion and its anisotropy, independently of the reference frame of the experiment. We tested and compare our new method with DTI and HB approaches applying them to 10 healty subjects brain at 3T. Our experimental results show that our parameters are highly correlated to intrinsic local geometry when compared to HB indices. Moreover, they offer a different kind of contrast when compared to DTI outputs. Specifically, our indices show a higher capability to discriminate among different areas of the corpus callosum, which are known to be associated to different axonal densities.
Peri-Urban Transformations in Agricultural Landscapes of Perugia, Italy  [PDF]
Marco Vizzari
Journal of Geographic Information System (JGIS) , 2011, DOI: 10.4236/jgis.2011.32011
Abstract: Urban fringes represent very complex landscapes because of their proximity and mutual dependency with cities and rural areas. These landscapes may be considered as transition entities characterized by fuzzy boundaries. An uncontrolled development of urban sprawl and land use changes in these areas may deter- mine negative impacts on all natural, economic and social components. Thus, urban fringes assume a key-role in modern landscape analysis, planning and management. Landscape analysis of these interfaces, as this study shows, can be effectively supported by GIS spatial modelling. The Settlement Density Index (SDI), developed through GIS spatial analysis techniques, expresses punctually the territorial gradients generated by the presence of settlements and allows the identification of the urban fringes in the two periods under invest-tigation. These areas are then characterized and analyzed quantitatively using detailed land use data. The comparison of the diachronic information highlights the transformations of peri-urban landscapes that appear mainly related to the modifications of spatial configuration of urban areas and to the changes of agricultural systems.
Multiple Lorentz Groups—A Toy Model for Superluminal Muon Neutrinos  [PDF]
Marco Schreck
Journal of Modern Physics (JMP) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/jmp.2012.310177
Abstract: In this article an idea is presented, which allows for the explanation of superluminal muon neutrinos. It is based on the introduction of a new superluminal, massless gauge boson coupling to the neutrino only, but not to other standard model particles. The model is discussed with regard to the Supernova 1987 (SN 1987) velocity bound on electron antineutrinos and the Cohen-Glashow constraint on superluminal neutrino propagation. The latter can be circumvented if— within the framework of the model—a sterile neutrino mixing with the active neutrino mass eigenstates is introduced. The suggestion of a sterile neutrino accounting for superluminal neutrinos has already been proposed in several papers. It is possible to choose mixing angles with the sterile neutrino sector such that the model respects both the SN 1987 bound and the muon neutrino travels superluminally.
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