Elias P Casula

Elias P Casula
Sapienza University of Rome | la sapienza

PhD

About

56
Publications
9,475
Reads
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1,120
Citations
Introduction
Be-for-ERC fellow @ La Sapienza University - expert in cortical dynamics and biomarkers in neurodegenerative disorders
Additional affiliations
January 2015 - present
Foundation Santa Lucia
Position
  • Research Associate
September 2013 - November 2014
University College London
Position
  • Visiting Research Fellow
January 2012 - January 2015
University of Padova
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
October 2010 - October 2012
University of Padova
Field of study
  • Neuroscience

Publications

Publications (56)
Article
Full-text available
Background: In Huntington's disease there is evidence of structural damage in the motor system, but it is still unclear how to link this to the behavioral disorder of movement. One feature of choreic movement is variable timing and coordination between sequences of actions. We postulate this results from desynchronization of neural activity in cor...
Article
Full-text available
Voluntary movement control and execution are regulated by the influence of the cerebellar output over different interconnected cortical areas, through dentato-thalamo connections. In the present study we applied transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG) to directly assess the effects of cerebellar theta-burst stimulat...
Article
Objective: In Alzheimer disease (AD) animal models, synaptic dysfunction has recently been linked to a disorder of high-frequency neuronal activity. In patients, a clear relation between AD and oscillatory activity remains elusive. Here, we attempt to shed light on this relation by using a novel approach combining transcranial magnetic stimulation...
Preprint
Full-text available
Transcranial magnetic stimulation co-registered with electroencephalographic (TMS-EEG) has previously proven a helpful tool in the study of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this work, we investigate the use of TMS-evoked EEG responses to classify AD patients from healthy controls (HC). By using a dataset containing 17AD and 17HC, we extract various tim...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding age-related changes in cortical excitability and their relation to cognitive functions will help to improve interventions based on non-invasive brain stimulation that aim to support cognitive function in older adults. Here, we investigate the relationship between cortical excitability, executive function, and underlying neural activit...
Preprint
Full-text available
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) combined with EEG recordings (TMS-EEG) has shown great potential in the study of the brain and in particular of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). In this study, we propose an automatic method of determining the duration of TMS induced perturbation of the EEG signal as a potential metric reflecting the brain's functio...
Article
Understanding cerebellar–cortical physiological interactions is of fundamental importance to advance the efficacy of neurorehabilitation strategies for patients with cerebellar damage. Previous works have aimed to modulate this pathway by applying transcranial electrical or magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the cerebellum and probing the resulting ch...
Article
Background: Long-term potentiation (LTP) like-cortical plasticity impairment and cholinergic neurotransmission deficits have been widely demonstrated in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Objective: In this study we aim to investigate the neurophysiological features underlying cognitive decline in AD patients according to the National Institute...
Article
When we look at our body parts, we are immediately aware that they belong to us and we rarely doubt about the integrity, continuity and sense of ownership of our body. Despite this certainty, immersive virtual reality (IVR) may lead to a strong feeling of embodiment over an artificial body part seen from a first-person perspective. Although such fe...
Article
Full-text available
Electroencephalographic (EEG) signals evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) are usually recorded with passive electrodes (PE). Active electrode (AE) systems have recently become widely available; compared to PE, they allow for easier electrode preparation and a higher-quality signal, due to the preamplification at the electrode stage, w...
Article
Full-text available
Interhemispheric interactions in stroke patients are frequently characterized by abnormalities, in terms of balance and inhibition. Previous results showed an impressive variability, mostly given to the instability of motor-evoked potentials when evoked from the affected hemisphere. We aim to find reliable interhemispheric measures in stroke patien...
Article
Full-text available
Background the use of combined transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG) for the functional evaluation of the cerebral cortex in health and disease is becoming increasingly common. However, there is still some ambiguity regarding the extent to which brain responses to auditory and somatosensory stimulation contribute...
Article
Full-text available
The cerebellum plays a critical role in promoting learning of new motor tasks, which is an essential function for motor recovery. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the cerebellum can be used to enhance learning. In this study, we investigated the effects of cerebellar intermittent theta burst stimulation (c-iTBS), a high-freque...
Article
Difficulties in gait and balance disorders are among the most common mobility limitations in multiple sclerosis (MS), mainly due to a damage of cerebellar circuits. Moreover, the cerebellum plays a critical role in promoting new motor tasks, which is an essential function for neurorehabilitation. In this study, we investigated the effects of cerebe...
Article
Full-text available
Importance Impairment of dopaminergic transmission may contribute to cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer disease (AD). Objective To investigate whether therapy with dopaminergic agonists may affect cognitive functions in patients with AD. Design, Setting, and Participants This phase 2, monocentric, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled tria...
Article
Background: Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a presenile neurodegenerative disease for which there is no effective pharmacological treatment. Recently, a link has been proposed between neuroinflammation and FTD. Objective: Here, we aim to investigate the effects of palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) combined with luteoline (PEA-LUT), an endocannabinoid...
Article
Full-text available
Background New diagnostic criteria consider Alzheimer’s disease (AD) as a clinico-biological entity identifiable in vivo on the presence of specific patterns of CSF biomarkers. Objective Here we used transcranial magnetic stimulation to investigate the mechanisms of cortical plasticity and sensory-motor integration in patients with hippocampal-typ...
Article
Full-text available
The cerebellum is strongly implicated in learning new motor skills. Theta burst stimulation (TBS), a form of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, can be used to influence cerebellar activity. Our aim was to explore the potential of cerebellar TBS in modulating visuo-motor adaptation, a form of motor learning, in young healthy subjects. Cer...
Article
Objective: To validate two indexes of interhemispheric signal propagation (ISP) and balance (IHB) by combining transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG). Methods: We used TMS-EEG to non-invasively stimulate the two hemispheres of 50 healthy volunteers and measured interhemispheric dynamics in terms of ISP and IHB....
Article
Background: Studies using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) have demonstrated the possibility to target different neuronal populations within the primary motor cortex (M1) by changing coil orientation and stimulation intensity. The absence of a direct elec- trophysiological response such as motor evoked potentials has lim- ited this investiga...
Article
Full-text available
Importance Gait and balance impairment is associated with poorer functional recovery after stroke. The cerebellum is known to be strongly implicated in the functional reorganization of motor networks in patients with stroke, especially for gait and balance functions. Objective To determine whether cerebellar intermittent θ-burst stimulation (CRB-i...
Article
Full-text available
Continuous theta-burst stimulation (cTBS) is a repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation paradigm reported to decrease the excitability of the stimulated cortical area and which is thought to reflect a form of inhibitory synaptic plasticity. However, since its introduction, the effect of cTBS has shown a remarkable variability in its effects, wh...
Article
Since early days after stroke, the brain undergoes a complex reorganization to allow compensatory mechanisms that promote functional recovery. However, these mechanisms are still poorly understood and there is urgent need to identify neurophysiological markers of functional recovery after stroke. Here we aimed to track longitudinally the time-cours...
Article
The influence of pulse width, pulse waveform and current direction on transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) outcomes is of critical importance. However, their effects have only been investigated indirectly with motor-evoked potentials (MEP). By combining TMS and EEG it is possible to examine how these factors affect evoked activity from the corte...
Article
Memory loss is one of the first symptoms of typical Alzheimer's disease (AD), for which there are no effective therapies available. The precuneus (PC) has been recently emphasized as a key area for the memory impairment observed in early AD, likely due to disconnection mechanisms within large-scale networks such as the default mode network (DMN). U...
Article
Full-text available
Reinforcement learning refers to the ability to acquire information from the outcomes of prior choices (i.e. positive and negative) in order to make predictions on the effect of future decision and adapt the behaviour basing on past experiences. The anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC) is considered to play a key role in the representation of event va...
Article
Background: Electrophysiological measures can help understand brain function both in healthy individuals and in the context of a disease. Given the amount of information that can be extracted from these measures and their frequent use, it is essential to know more about their inherent reliability. Objective/hypothesis: To understand the reliabil...
Article
Objective During EEG the discharge of TMS generates a long-lasting decay artefact (DA) that makes the analysis of TMS-evoked potentials (TEPs) difficult. Our aim was twofold: (1) to describe how the DA affects the recorded EEG and (2) to develop a new adaptive detrend algorithm (ADA) able to correct the DA. Methods We performed two experiments tes...
Conference Paper
Introduction: Since early days after stroke, the brain undergoes a complex reorganization to allow compensatory mechanisms that promote functional recovery. Characterizing specific neurophysiological markers of motor recovery after stroke could improve clinical decision making. Our study aimed to track the time-course of motor cortical reorganizati...
Article
Question Learning may occur through associative changes in the synaptic strength of neural connections that can be induced by coupling of activity of interconnected neurons with precise timing (spike-timing dependent plasticity, STDP). It is debated if this model can be applied in the context of large-scale cortical networks in humans. Methods We...
Article
Question Voluntary movement control and execution are regulated by the influence of the cerebellar output over different interconnected cortical areas, through dentato-thalamo connections. However, in humans, connectivity and plasticity dynamics of the cerebellar-thalamo-cortical connections have been only indirectly explored. Methods In the prese...
Conference Paper
Introduction: The cerebellum is known to be strongly implicated in the functional reorganization of motor networks in stroke patients. In animal models of stroke it has been shown that stimulation of cerebellar-cortical networks plays a major role for motor recovery. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can be used to enhance adaptiv...
Article
Question Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) represents an effective therapy in Parkinson’s disease (PD). The effects of STN-DBS on cortical reactivity are still poorly understood. By combining transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG), we explored the effects of STN-DBS either alone or in co...
Poster
Full-text available
Voluntary movement control and execution are regulated by the influence of the cerebellar output over different interconnected cortical areas, through dentato-thalamo connections. In the present study we applied in a group of healthy volunteers transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG) to directly assess the effects o...
Poster
Full-text available
The effects of STN-DBS on cortical reactivity are still poorly understood. By combining transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG), we explored the effects of STN-DBS either alone or in combination with levodopa (LD), on cortical activity evoked by TMS of the primary motor cortex (M1) in a sample of PD patients chronic...
Poster
Full-text available
We studied spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) over fronto-parietal network. We repetitively applied fronto-parietal (FP) and parieto-frontal (PF) bi-focal TMS. DLPFC TMS-evoked activity is oppositely modulated by FP and PF stimulation. TMS-evoked activity modulations are paralleled by beta/gamma oscillations changes. We provide the first dire...
Poster
Full-text available
We tested whethet GABAergic deficits in presymptomatic Huntington’s disease (HD) patients are reflected in TMS-EEG measures. 15 presymptomatic HD patients and 15 healthy volunteers were stimulated with 70 TMS single-pulses over the primary motor cortex during EEG recordings. We observed a strong decrease of GABAb-TEPs in HD, compared to HV, likely...
Article
Background Huntington’s disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder characterised by cortical and striatal pathology. One of the first HD-related alterations is the progressive degeneration of cannabinoid type 1 receptors in basal ganglia, which are highly expressed in GABAergic neurons of the striatum. Aims Given the GABAergi...
Article
The cerebellum is involved in motor execution. It controls the primary motor cortex (M1) activity and ensures the correct amount of inhibition to produce the right motor output. Besides, it plays an important role in the error monitoring mechanisms during bimanual coordination. We investigated the role of the cerebellum in the modulation of M1excit...
Article
We applied cortico-cortical PAS to induce spike-timing-dependent-plasticity in a fronto-parietal network. Plasticity dynamics were investigated by means of concurrent TMS and hd-EEG. 8 healthy volunteers underwent two experimental sessions during which they received a fronto-parietal (FP) or a parieto-frontal (PF) PAS (ISI ms, 0.2 Hz, 100 pulses)....
Article
Somatosensory temporal discrimination threshold (STDT) is defined as the shortest time interval necessary for a pair of tactile stimuli to be perceived as separate. Although STDT is altered in several neurological disorders, its neural bases are not entirely clear. We used continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) to condition the excitability of t...
Poster
Full-text available
TMS-evoked decay artefact (DA) makes the analysis of TMS-evoked potentials (TEPs) difficult. We developed a new adaptive algorithm (ADA) to correct DA in a completely data-driven way. Our study showed that ADA is able to completely remove the DA without corrupting the TMS-evoked physiological response.
Article
Full-text available
Unlabelled: Hyperammonaemia is observed after prolonged, intense exercise, or in patients with hepatic failure. In the latter, it is associated with a set of neurological and psychiatric abnormalities termed hepatic encephalopathy. The aims of our study were: 1. to measure vigilance in a condition of induced hyperammonaemia; 2. to assess whether...
Article
Appropriate orientation towards potentially salient novel environmental stimuli requires a system capable of detecting change in the sensorium. Mismatch negativity (MMN), an evoked potential calculated by subtracting the response to a standard repeated stimulus and a rare "odd ball" stimulus, is proposed as such a change detection mechanism. It is...
Article
Introduction The prefrontal cortex has a crucial role in higher cognitive functions and various line of evidence point to a tight connectivity network between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DFLPC, BA46) and the ipsilateral primary motor cortex (M1). Objectives The main objective of this study was to determine the precise timing and the spatia...
Article
Full-text available
The pFC has a crucial role in cognitive control, executive function, and sensory processing. Functional imaging, neurophysiological, and animal studies provide evidence for a functional connectivity between the dorsolateral pFC (DLPFC) and the primary motor cortex (M1) during free choice but not instructed choice selection tasks. In this study, twi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In literature, experimental findings showed that absolute judgments are affected by contextual effects. In our experiment we tested if judgments of differences, in particular, judgments of brightness contrasts between two chips are affected by the skewing of frequency distributions of stimulus presentations. We asked participants to rate the degree...

Projects

Project (1)
Project
- physiological mechanisms of cerebellar-cortical interactions - plasticity induction within the cerebellar networks: behavioural and physiological effects -investigate the potential of cerebellar TMS as a novvel therapeutic strategy in neurological disorders (i.e. stroke)