Lee Wei Lim

Lee Wei Lim
The University of Hong Kong | HKU · Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine

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111
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Publications

Publications (111)
Article
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Autosomal recessive cerebellar ataxias (ARCAs) are a heterogeneous group of rare neu-rodegenerative inherited disorders. The resulting motor incoordination and progressive functional disabilities lead to reduced lifespan. There is currently no cure for ARCAs, likely attributed to the lack of understanding of the multifaceted roles of antioxidant de...
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Objectives: The involvement of Tetratricopeptide repeat domain 9A (TTC9A) in anxiety-like behaviors through estrogen action has been reported in female mice, this study further investigated its effects on social anxiety and aggressive behaviors. Materials and Methods: Using female Ttc9a knockout (Ttc9a-/-) mice, the role of TTC9A in anxiety was inv...
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Dementia is a major burden on global health for which there are no effective treatments. The use of non-invasive visual stimulation to ameliorate cognitive deficits is a novel concept that may be applicable for treating dementia. In this study, we investigated the effects of transcorneal electrical stimulation (TES) on memory enhancement using two...
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Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that usually develops slowly and progressively worsens over time. Although there has been increasing research interest in AD, its pathogenesis is still not well understood. Although most studies primarily focus on neurons, recent research findings suggest that glial cells (especially microgli...
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Background: Given that visual impairment is bi-directionally associated with depression, we decided to examine whether transcorneal electrical stimulation (TES), a non-invasive treatment for visual disorders, can ameliorate depressive symptoms. Objective: The putative antidepressant-like effects of TES and the underlying mechanisms were investiga...
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Anxiety is characteristic comorbidity of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), which causes physiological changes within the dentate gyrus (DG), a subfield of the hippocampus that modulates anxiety. However, which DG circuit underlies hearing loss-induced anxiety remains unknown. We utilize an NIHL mouse model to investigate short- and long-term synap...
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Melatonin and novel melatonin-based therapies such as melatonin-containing hybrid molecules, melatonin analogues, and melatonin derivatives have been investigated as potential therapeutics against Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis. In this review, we examine the developmental trends of melatonin therapies for AD from 1997 to 2021. We then highl...
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The interaction between brain serotonin (5-HT) deficiency and environmental adversity may predispose females to excessive aggression. Specifically, complete inactivation of the gene encoding tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (Tph2) results in the absence of neuronal 5-HT synthesis and excessive aggressiveness in both male and female null mutant (Tph2−/−) mi...
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Rationale The chronic mild stress (CMS) paradigm was first described almost 40 years ago and has become a widely used model in the search for antidepressant drugs for major depression disorder (MDD). It has resulted in the publication of almost 1700 studies in rats alone. Under the original CMS procedure, the expression of an anhedonic response, a...
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Government restrictions to the movement of people due to the COVID‐19 pandemic have had a wide range of effects on scientific activity. Here, we show that during the pandemic there has been a reduction in the number of registered non‐COVID‐19 clinical trials. Furthermore, using the Oxford COVID‐19 Government Response Tracker Stringency Index (SI) a...
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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a multifactorial disease associated with anatomical changes in the inner retina. Despite tremendous advances in clinical care, there is currently no cure for AMD. This review aims to evaluate the published literature on the therapeutic roles of natural antioxidants in AMD. A literature search of PubMed, Web...
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Neuroscience has long sought to develop methods that can "edit" or even "erase" memories , with the aim to provide treatments for memory-related neurological and psychiatric diseases such as anxiety and addiction. Current efforts are heavily focused on modifying cognitive behavio-ral therapy protocols or pharmacological treatments, but the efficacy...
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Background: Depression is a severe neuropsychiatric disorder that affects more than 264 million people worldwide. The efficacy of conventional antidepressants are barely adequate and many have side effects. Hericium erinaceus (HE) is a medicinal mushroom that has been reported to have therapeutic potential for treating depression. Methods: Animal...
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A deficiency in GM3-derived gangliosides, resulting from a lack of lactosylceramide-alpha-2,3-sialyltransferase (ST3GAL5), leads to severe neuropathology, including epilepsy and metabolic abnormalities. Disruption of ganglioside production by this enzyme may also have a role in the development of neuropsychiatric disorders. ST3Gal5 knock-out (St3ga...
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The infusion of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) potentially improves clinical symptoms, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. We conducted a randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled (29 patients/group) phase II clinical trial to validate previous findings and explore the potential mechanis...
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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive debilitating neurodegenerative disease and the most common form of dementia in the older population. At present, there is no definitive effective treatment for AD. Therefore, researchers are now looking at stem cell therapy as a possible treatment for AD, but whether stem cells are safe and effective in hum...
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Transcorneal electrical stimulation (TES) has emerged as a non-invasive neuromodulation approach that exerts neuroprotection via diverse mechanisms, including neurotrophic, neuroplasticity, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptosis, anti-glutamatergic, and vasodilation mechanisms. Although current studies of TES have mainly focused on its applications in o...
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One evident hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the irregular accumulation of proteins due to changes in proteostasis involving endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. To alleviate ER stress and reinstate proteostasis, cells undergo an integrated signaling cascade called the unfolded protein response (UPR) that reduces the number of misfolded protei...
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Background and purpose: Anxiety disorders pose one of the biggest threats to mental health worldwide, yet current therapeutics have been mostly ineffective due to issues with relapse, efficacy and toxicity of the medications. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a promising therapy for treatment-resistant psychiatric disorders including anxiety, but ve...
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Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) is well known for its involvement in the regulation of the nervous, cardiovascular, and immune systems. Neuronal NOS (nNOS) is the most characterized NOS among all the isoforms. It accounts for most of the production of nitric oxide (NO) in the nervous system required for synaptic transmission and neuroplasticity. Previo...
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Despite the progressive advances, current standards of treatments for peripheral nerve injury do not guarantee complete recovery. Thus, alternative therapeutic interventions should be considered. Complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) are widely explored for their therapeutic value, but their potential use in peripheral nerve regeneration i...
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Gangliosides are glycosphingolipids, which are abundant in brain, are known to modulate ion channels and cell-to-cell communication. Deficiencies can result in aberrant myelination and altered immune responses, which can give rise to neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorders. However, to date, little mechanistic data is available on how ganglioside...
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Depression is a complex heterogeneous brain disorder characterized by a range of symptoms, resulting in psychomotor and cognitive disabilities and suicidal thoughts. Its prevalence has reached an alarming level affecting millions of people globally. Despite advances in current pharmacological treatments, the heterogenicity of clinical response and...
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The pressures of the ethos of “publish or perish” in academia has led to a multitude of issues for science and scientists. In this paper, we argue that the existentialist philosophy concept of authenticity would be useful for scientists to prevent issues of reproducibility, data manipulation, fraud, and mentorship. We highlight some major caveats a...
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Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with age, and is characterized by pathological markers such as amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Symptoms of AD include cognitive impairments, anxiety and depression. It has also been shown that individuals with AD have impaired neurotransmission, which may result from t...
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Understanding the determinants of research funding allocation by funding bodies, such as the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in the UK, is vital to help institutions prepare for their research quality assessments. In these assessments, only publications ranked as 4* or 3* (but not 2* or less) would receive funding. Correlational studies have sh...
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TGF-β/Smad signalling has been the subject of extensive research due to its role in the cell cycle and carcinogenesis. Modifications to the TGF-β/Smad signalling pathway have been found to produce disparate effects on neurogenesis. We review the current research on canonical and non-canonical TGF-β/Smad signalling pathways and their functions in ne...
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Melatonin (MLT) is a neurohormone that is regulated by the circadian clock and plays multifunctional roles in numerous neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). AD is the most common form of dementia and is associated with the degradation of axons and synapses resulting in memory loss and cognitive impairment. Despite extensive...
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Increasing evidence, particularly from animal studies, suggests that dopamine and GABA are important modulators of cognitive flexibility. In humans, increasing dopamine synthesis through its precursor tyrosine has been shown to result in performance improvements, but few studies have reported the effects of GABA supplementation in healthy participa...
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An ever-increasing ageing population has elevated Alzheimer's disease to be one of the biggest challenges in modern medicine. Alzheimer's disease is highly complex, and we are still no closer to understanding the causes, let alone an effective treatment. The lack of good experimental models and lack of critical understanding has led to high failure...
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Background: Hereditary ataxia (HA) represents a group of genetically heterogeneous neurodegenerative diseases caused by dysfunction of the cerebellum or disruption of the connection between the cerebellum and other areas of the central nervous system. Phenotypic manifestation of HA includes unsteadiness of stance and gait, dysarthria, nystagmus, dy...
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Advances in characterizing molecular profiles provide valuable insights and opportunities for deciphering the neuropathology of depression. Although abnormal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in depression has gained much support from preclinical and clinical research, how it mediates behavioral alterations in the depressed state...
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Background Hericium erinaceus is a culinary and medicinal mushroom in Traditional Chinese Medicines. It has numerous pharmacological effects including immunomodulatory, anti-tumour, anti-microbial, anti-aging and stimulation of nerve growth factor (NGF) synthesis, but little is known about its potential role in negating the detrimental effects of o...
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Major depression contributes significantly to the global disability burden. Since the first clinical study of deep brain stimulation (DBS), over 406 patients with depression have now undergone this neuromodulation therapy, and 30 animal studies have investigated the efficacy of subgenual cingulate DBS for depression. In this review, we aim to provi...
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Besides extracellular deposition of amyloid beta and formation of phosphorylated tau in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), the pathogenesis of AD is also thought to involve mitochondrial dysfunctions and altered neurotransmission systems. However, none of these components can describe the diverse cognitive, behavioural, and psych...
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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disorder worldwide and causes severe financial and social burdens. Despite much research on the pathogenesis of AD, the neuropathological mechanisms remain obscure and current treatments have proven ineffective. In the past decades, transgenic rodent models have been used to try to unrav...
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Background: Recent advancements in neuroscientific techniques have allowed us to make huge progress in our understanding of memories, and in turn has paved the way for new memory modification technologies (MMTs) that can modulate memories with a degree of precision, which was not previously possible. With advancements in such techniques, new and cr...
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Cerebellar ataxia is a neurodegenerative disorder with no definitive treatment. Although several studies have demonstrated the neuroprotective effects of Hericium erinaceus (H.E.), its mechanisms in cerebellar ataxia remain largely unknown. Here, we investigated the neuroprotective effects of H.E. treatment in an animal model of 3-acetylpyridine (3...
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Electrical stimulation of the dorsolateral periaqueductal gray (dlPAG) in rats has been shown to elicit panic-like behaviour and can be a useful tool for modelling anticipatory fear and agoraphobia. In this study, we further analysed our previous data on the effects of escitalopram (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, SSRI) and buspirone (a 5...
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Neuromodulation techniques such as Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) are a promising treatment for memory-related disorders including anxiety, addiction, and dementia. However, the outcomes of such treatments appears to be somewhat paradoxical, in that these techniques can both disrupt and enhance memory even when applied to the same brain target. In th...
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Dementia poses major health challenges worldwide, yet current treatments are faced with issues of efficacy and toxicity. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a promising non-pharmacological treatment for dementia, but most DBS studies use young healthy animals, which may not be aetiologically relevant. In this study, we used an aged rat model in which c...
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Orexins are highly involved in regulating the circadian rhythm, the brain’s reward mechanism, and the neuroendocrine response to stress. The disruption of orexin regulation is known to be associated with depression. Preclinical studies in rodents have identified the dorsomedial/perifornical and lateral areas of the hypothalamus as the population of...
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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disorder characterized by hallmark pathologies of amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Symptoms of this devastating disease include behavioural changes and deterioration of higher cognitive functions. Impairment of neurogenesis has also been shown to occur in AD, which advers...
Article
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a debilitating disorder thatmanifests with amyloid beta plaque deposition, neurofibrillary tangles, neuronal loss, and severe cognitive impairment. Although much effort has been made to decipher the pathogenesis of this disease, the mechanisms causing these detrimental outcomes remain obscure. Over the past few decades,...
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Depression is the most common form of mental illness and the major cause of disability worldwide. Symptoms of depression, including feelings of intense sadness and hopelessness, may occur after a specific event or in response to a gradual decline in health and functional status, often associated with aging. Current therapies for treating these symp...
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Measures of anxiety in behavioural tests remain largely unclear even decades after their establishment. Differences in the severity of anxiety measured by anxiety tests is an important issue that must be addressed. To test the hypothesis that the addition of light as an aversive stimulus will elicit a difference in behaviour between aged and young...
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Neuromodulation techniques have shown promising efficacy on memory function and understanding the epigenetic mechanisms contributing to these processes would shed light on the molecular outcomes essential for cognition. In this review, we highlight some epigenetic mechanisms underlying neuromodulation and regulatory effects of neuronal activity-ind...
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A coronavirus (HCoV-19) has caused the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Wuhan, China. Preventing and reversing the cytokine storm may be the key to save the patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been shown to possess a comprehensive powerful immunomodulatory function. This study aims to investig...
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Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a promising treatment for many memory-related disorders including dementia, anxiety, and addiction. However, the use of DBS can be a paradoxical conundrum-dementia treatments aim to improve memory, whereas anxiety or addiction treatments aim to suppress maladaptive memory. In this review, the key hypotheses on how DB...
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BACKGROUND: Recent evidence suggests that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) may interact with the dopaminergic system to affect cognitive flexibility. Objective/hypotheses: We examined whether putative reduction of dopamine levels through the acute phenylalanine/tyrosine depletion (APTD) procedure and excitatory anodal tDCS of the dor...
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Background: The catecholaminergic precursor to dopamine, tyrosine, is an important modulator of cognitive performance. A number of studies have demonstrated that the beneficial effects of tyrosine on cognitive performance are most pronounced when individuals are exposed to stressful situations, such as hypothermia. However, little is known about w...
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Full-text available
Depression is a common and severe neuropsychiatric disorder that is one of the leading causes of global disease burden. Although various anti-depressants are currently available, their efficacies are barely adequate and many have side effects. Hericium erinaceus, also known as Lion’s mane mushroom, has been shown to have various health benefits, in...
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A R T I C L E I N F O Keywords: Neuronal nitric oxide synthase Immunohistochemistry Morphology Neuroanatomy A B S T R A C T Neuronal NOS (nNOS) accounts for most of the NO production in the nervous system that modulates synaptic transmission and neuroplasticity. Although previous studies have selectively described the localisation of nNOS in specif...
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Friedreich’s ataxia (FRDA) is a progressive neuromuscular disorder caused by substantial decrease of mitochondrial protein frataxin responsible for biogenesis of iron-sulphur clusters and protection from oxidative damage. In this study, we investigated the antioxidant activities of a standardized aqueous extract from fruiting bodies of Hericium eri...
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In the biomedical field, there is growing interest in using human stem cell-derived neurons as in vitro models for pharmacological and toxicological screening of bioactive compounds extracted from natural products. Lignosus rhinocerus (Tiger Milk Mushroom) is used by indigenous communities in Malaysia as a traditional medicine to treat various dise...
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Background: Dopaminergic activity within the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) has been implicated in the control of cognitive flexibility. Much of the evidence for a causative relationship between cognitive flexibility and dopamine has come from animal studies, whilst human data have largely been correlational. Objective/hypothesis: The cu...
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Objective: Dental-derived stem cells originate from the embryonic neural crest, and exhibit high neurogenic potential. This study aimed to investigate whether a cocktail of eight small molecules (Valproic acid, CHIR99021, Repsox, Forskolin, SP600125, GO6983, Y-27632 and Dorsomorphin) can enhance the in vitro neurogenic differentiation of dental pu...
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Anxiety disorders pose one of the greatest threats to mental health. Modern treatment methods exist but are hindered by relapse, toxicity, and low efficacy. The use of neuromodulation to treat anxiety disorders has shown promising results, yet its underpinning mechanisms remain poorly understood. In this review, we make the case for further develop...
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Deep brain stimulation is a widely used treatment for neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease. Recently several studies have used preclinical animal models to suggest that deep brain stimulation has a potential to improve emotional symptoms in mental disorders like treatment-resistant depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. An i...
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Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) originate from the embryonic neural crest and have neurogenic potential. The present study investigated the roles of the forward and reverse EphrinB2 signalling pathways during DPSC neurogenesis. Treatment of DPSCs with recombinant EphrinB2-Fc protein over 7 days in a neural induction culture resulted in significant d...
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The hippocampus, including the dorsal dentate gyrus (dDG), and cortex engage in bidirectional communication. We propose that low-frequency activity in hippocampal–cortical pathways contributes to brain-wide resting-state connectivity to integrate sensory information. Using optogenetic stimulation and brain-wide fMRI and resting-state fMRI (rsfMRI),...
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Electrical stimulation of specific brain targets has been shown to induce striking antidepressant effects. Despite recent data have indicated that cerebellum is involved in emotional regulation, the mechanisms by which stimulation improved mood-related behaviors in the cerebellum remained largely obscure. Here, we investigated the stimulation effec...