E Grassi

University of Florence, Florence, Tuscany, Italy

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Publications (9)27.87 Total impact

  • L Amaducci, E Grassi, F Boller
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    ABSTRACT: The problem of finding correspondence between a particular neuronal organization and a specific function of the human brain remains a central question of neuroscience. It is sometimes thought that language and music are two sides of the same intellectual coin, but research on brain-damaged patients has shown that the loss of verbal functions (aphasia) is not necessarily accompanied by a loss of musical abilities (amusia). Amusia without aphasia has also been described. This double dissociation indicates functional autonomy in these mental processes. Yet verbal and musical impairments often occur together. The global picture that emerges from studies of music and its neural substrate is by no means clear and much depends on which subjects and which aspect of musical abilities are investigated. An illustration of these concepts is provided by the case of the French composer Maurice Ravel, who suffered from a progressive cerebral disease of uncertain aetiology, with prominent involvement of the left hemisphere. As a result, Ravel experienced aphasia and apraxia and became unable to compose. The available facts favour a clinical diagnosis of primary progressive aphasia (PPA), with the possibility of an overlap with corticobasal degeneration (CBD). In view of Ravel's clinical history, we propose that two of his final compositions, the Bolero and the Concerto for the Left Hand, include certain patterns characteristic of right-hemisphere musical abilities and may show the influence of disease on the creative process.
    European Journal of Neurology 02/2002; 9(1):75-82. · 4.16 Impact Factor
  • Enrico Grassi, Francois Boller
    European Journal of Neurology 01/2002; 9(3):321-322. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies performed by positron emission tomography and Transcranial Doppler (TCD) found a different cerebral activation during musical stimuli in musicians compared to non-musicians. The aim of our study is to evaluate by means of TCD, possible different pattern of cerebral activation during the performance of different musical tasks in musicians, non-musicians and lyrical singers. Our findings show a left hemispheric activation in musicians and a right one in non-musicians. Preliminary data on lyrical singers' activation patterns need further confirmation with a larger population. These data could be related to a different approach to music listening in musicians (analytical) and non-musicians who are supposed to have an emotional approach to music.
    Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 10/2000; 7(5):425-8. · 1.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive fatal disorder, which results from the degeneration of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Approximately 20% of the inherited autosomal dominant cases are due to mutations within the gene coding for Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), a cytosolic homodimeric enzyme that catalyzes the dismutation of toxic superoxide anion. We investigated the presence of SOD1 gene mutations and activity alterations in two unrelated families of ALS patients from Elba, an island of central Italy. No mutation in SOD1 exon 1 to 5 and no activity alteration were observed in all members of the two analyzed ALS families (FALS). These data show an apparent heterogeneous distribution of ALS patients with SOD1 gene mutations among different populations and suggest that another genetic locus could be involved in the disease.
    Neuroscience Letters 09/2000; 289(3):157-60. · 2.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Risperidone is a heterocyclic neuroleptic with prominent antiserotoninergic (5HT2) as well as antidopaminergic (D2) activity. We studied the efficacy of risperidone in the treatment of idiopathic and symptomatic dystonias in seven patients using the Fahn and Marsden rating scale for torsion dystonia before and after four weeks of treatment (2-6 mg/day). The twisting and involuntary movements with abnormal postures decreased in all the patients treated, with a statistically significant mean improvement (41%; p = 0.009, CI 95%). Our results suggest that risperidone is useful in idiopathic and symptomatic dystonia.
    Neurological Sciences 05/2000; 21(2):121-3. · 1.41 Impact Factor
  • Journal of endocrinological investigation 02/1999; 22(10 Suppl):76. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies have suggested that expanded CAG/CTG repeats contribute to the genetic aetiology of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, the nature of this contribution is uncertain and difficult to predict from other known trinucleotide repeat diseases that display much simpler patterns of inheritance. We have sought to replicate and extend earlier findings using Repeat Expansion Detection in an enlarged sample of 152 patients with schizophrenia, 143 patients with bipolar disorder, and 160 controls. We have also examined DNA from the parents of 62 probands with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Our results confirm our earlier, preliminary findings of an association between expanded trinucleotide repeats and both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, our data do not support the hypothesis that trinucleotide repeat expansion can alone explain the complex patterns of inheritance of the functional psychoses neither can this mechanism fully explain apparent anticipation.
    Psychological Medicine 12/1996; 26(6):1145-53. · 5.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies have suggested that expanded CAG/CTG repeats contribute to the genetic aetiology of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, the nature of this contribution is uncertain and difficult to predict from other known trinucleotide repeat diseases that display much simpler patterns of inheritance. We have sought to replicate and extend earlier findings using Repeat Expansion Detection in an enlarged sample of 152 patients with schizophrenia, 143 patients with bipolar disorder, and 160 controls. We have also examined DNA from the parents of 62 probands with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Our results confirm our earlier, preliminary findings of an association between expanded trinucleotide repeats and both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, our data do not support the hypothesis that trinucleotide repeat expansion can alone explain the complex patterns of inheritance of the functional psychoses neither can this mechanism fully explain apparent anticipation.
    Psychological Medicine 10/1996; 26(06):1145 - 1153. · 5.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Our purpose was to test the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2), the tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) gene and the monoamino oxydase A (MAO-A) gene for linkage to schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. We have analyzed seven Italian families with schizophrenia and four families with bipolar disorders for a total of 68 individuals; 32 individuals were affected. Diagnoses were made using the structured clinical interview Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia, Lifetime version (SADS-L). The results of our study provide no evidence of linkage between alleles at D2 dopamine receptor loci and schizophrenia or bipolar disorders. The markers TH gene and MAO-A gene give slightly positive or negative results suggesting the utility of further analysis on more informative families.
    Neuroscience Letters 04/1996; 206(2-3):196-8. · 2.03 Impact Factor