Dissociating atrophy and hypometabolism impact on episodic memory in mild cognitive impairment.
ABSTRACT The present study aims to unravel, in the same study, both morphological and functional specific substrates of encoding versus retrieval deficits in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI). For this purpose, 21 highly screened MCI patients with isolated memory impairment, who attended a memory clinic and fulfilled operational criteria for MCI, underwent (i) two episodic memory subtests designed to assess preferentially either incidental encoding or retrieval capacity; (ii) a high-resolution T1-weighted volume MRI scan; and (iii) a resting state [18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose PET study. Using statistical parametric mapping, positive correlations between memory scores on one hand, and grey matter density and normalized partial volume effect-corrected brain glucose utilization (ncCMRglc) on the other hand, were computed. Deficits in both encoding and retrieval were correlated with declines in hippocampal region grey matter density. The encoding subtest also correlated with hippocampal ncCMRglc, whereas the retrieval subtest correlated with the posterior cingulate area ncCMRglc only. The present findings highlight a distinction in the neural substrates of encoding and retrieval deficits in MCI. Furthermore, they unravel a partial dissociation between metabolic and structural correlates, suggesting distinct interpretations. Hippocampal atrophy was related to both encoding and retrieval deficits, possibly reflecting a direct effect on hippocampal functioning, as well as an indirect effect, through remote functional disruption, on posterior cingulate region synaptic function, respectively.
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ABSTRACT: Cancer involves stressful events. One aspect of cognition that is impacted by stress is episodic autobiographical memory (EAM). EAM is intimately linked to self-representation. Some studies have revealed impairment of EAM in patients with breast cancer in remission. Yet, these studies failed to differentiate between the influence of adjuvant treatments and that of psychosocial factors. We therefore assessed the psychological impact of breast cancer diagnosis on EAM and self-representation profiles prior to any adjuvant treatment. Patients newly diagnosed with breast cancer (n=31) and women without any history of cancer (n=49) were compared on state anxiety, EAM and its emotional characteristics, and self-representations. The most anxious patients retrieved fewer emotional details for memories than the controls, and had lower self-representation scores than the least anxious patients, who had no deficits in emotional detail retrieval. Our results revealed distinct EAM profiles for patients, reflecting two contrasting modes of coping with breast cancer. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Consciousness and Cognition 05/2015; 35. DOI:10.1016/j.concog.2015.04.016 · 2.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Recent literature has presented evidence that cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) play an important role on cognitive performance in elderly individuals, both those who are asymp-tomatic and those who suffer from symptoms of neurodegenerative disorders. Findings from studies applying neuroimaging methods have increasingly reinforced such notion. Studies addressing the impact of CVRF on brain anatomy changes have gained increasing importance, as recent papers have reported gray matter loss predominantly in regions traditionally affected in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular dementia in the presence of a high degree of cardiovascular risk. In the present paper, we explore the association between CVRF and brain changes using pattern recognition techniques applied to structural MRI and the Framingham score (a composite measure of cardiovascular risk largely used in epidemiological studies) in a sample of healthy elderly individuals. We aim to answer the following questions: is it possible to decode (i.e., to learn information regarding cardio-vascular risk from structural brain images) enabling individual predictions? Among clinical measures comprising the Framingham score, are there particular risk factors that stand as more predictable from patterns of brain changes? Our main findings are threefold: (i) we verified that structural changes in spatially distributed patterns in the brain enable statistically significant prediction of Framingham scores. This result is still significant when controlling for the presence of the APOE 4 allele (an important genetic risk factor for both AD and cardiovascular disease). (ii) When considering each risk factor singly, we found different levels of correlation between real and predicted factors; however, single factors were not significantly predictable from brain images when considering APOE4 allele presence as covariate. (iii) We found important gender differences, and the possible causes of that finding are discussed.Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 12/2014; 6(300). DOI:10.3389/fnagi.2014.00300 · 2.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial dysfunction is an important factor in the pathogenesis of age-related diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's spectrum disorders. A polymorphism in Translocase of the Outer Mitochondrial Membrane - 40 kD (TOMM40) is associated with risk and age-of onset of late-onset AD, and is the only nuclear- encoded gene identified in genetic studies to date that presumably contributes to LOAD-related mitochondria dysfunction. In this review, we describe the TOM40-mediated mitochondrial protein import mechanism, and discuss the evidence linking TOM40 with Alzheimer's (AD) and Parkinson's (PD) diseases. All but 36 of the >~1,500 mitochondrial proteins are encoded by the nucleus and are synthesized on cytoplasmic ribosomes, and most of these are imported into mitochondria through the TOM complex, of which TOM40 is the central pore, mediating communication between the cytoplasm and the mitochondrial interior. APP enters and obstructs the TOM40 pore, inhibiting import of OXPHOS-related proteins and disrupting the mitochondrial redox balance. Other pathogenic proteins, such as Aβ and alpha-synuclein, readily pass through the pore and cause toxic effects by directly inhibiting mitochondrial enzymes. Healthy mitochondria normally import and degrade the PD-related protein Pink1, but Pink1 exits mitochondria if the membrane potential collapses and initiates Parkin-mediated mitophagy. Under normal circumstances, this process helps clear dysfunctional mitochondria and contributes to cellular health, but PINK1 mutations associated with PD exit mitochondria with intact membrane potentials, disrupting mitochondrial dynamics, leading to pathology. Thus, TOM40 plays a central role in the mitochondrial dysfunction that underlies age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Learning about the factors that control TOM40 levels and activity, and how TOM40, specifically, and the TOM complex, generally, interacts with potentially pathogenic proteins, will provide deeper insights to AD and PD pathogenesis, and possibly new targets for preventative and/or therapeutic treatments.