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  • Journal article
    Oliveira V, Kumutha JR E N, Somanna J, Benkappa N, Bandya P, Chandrasekeran M, Swamy R, Mondkar J, Dewang K, Manerkar S, Sundaram M, Chinathambi K, Bharadwaj S, Bhat V, Madhava V, Nair M, Lally PJ, Montaldo P, Atreja G, Mendoza J, Bassett P, Ramji S, Shankaran S, Thayyil Set al., 2018,

    Hypothermia for encephalopathy in low-income and middle-income countries: feasibility of whole-body cooling using a low-cost servo-controlled device

    , BMJ Paediatrics Open, Vol: 2, ISSN: 2399-9772

    Although therapeutic hypothermia (TH) is the standard of care for hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy in high-income countries, the safety and efficacy of this therapy in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) is unknown. We aimed to describe the feasibility of TH using a low-cost servo-controlled cooling device and the short-term outcomes of the cooled babies in LMIC. Design: We recruited babies with moderate or severe hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (aged <6 hours) admitted to public sector tertiary neonatal units in India over a 28-month period. We administered whole-body cooling (set core temperature 33.5°C) using a servo-controlled device for 72 hours, followed by passive rewarming. We collected the data on short-term neonatal outcomes prior to hospital discharge. Results: Eighty-two babies were included-61 (74%) had moderate and 21 (26%) had severe encephalopathy. Mean (SD) hypothermia cooling induction time was 1.7 hour (1.5) and the effective cooling time 95% (0.08). The mean (SD) hypothermia induction time was 1.7 hour (1.5 hour), core temperature during cooling was 33.4°C (0.2), rewarming rate was 0.34°C (0.16°C) per hour and the effective cooling time was 95% (8%). Twenty-five (51%) babies had gastric bleeds, 6 (12%) had pulmonary bleeds and 21 (27%) had meconium on delivery. Fifteen (18%) babies died before discharge from hospital. Heart rate more than 120 bpm during cooling (P=0.01) and gastric bleeds (P<0.001) were associated with neonatal mortality. Conclusions: The low-cost servo-controlled cooling device maintained the core temperature well within the target range. Adequately powered clinical trials are required to establish the safety and efficacy of TH in LMICs. Clinical trial registration number: NCT01760629.

  • Journal article
    Mason SL, Daws RE, Soreq E, Johnson EB, Scahill RI, Tabrizi SJ, Barker RA, Hampshire Aet al., 2018,

    Predicting clinical diagnosis in Huntington's disease: An imaging polymarker

    , ANNALS OF NEUROLOGY, Vol: 83, Pages: 532-543, ISSN: 0364-5134

    ObjectiveHuntington's disease (HD) gene carriers can be identified before clinical diagnosis; however, statistical models for predicting when overt motor symptoms will manifest are too imprecise to be useful at the level of the individual. Perfecting this prediction is integral to the search for disease modifying therapies. This study aimed to identify an imaging marker capable of reliably predicting real‐life clinical diagnosis in HD.MethodA multivariate machine learning approach was applied to resting‐state and structural magnetic resonance imaging scans from 19 premanifest HD gene carriers (preHD, 8 of whom developed clinical disease in the 5 years postscanning) and 21 healthy controls. A classification model was developed using cross‐group comparisons between preHD and controls, and within the preHD group in relation to “estimated” and “actual” proximity to disease onset. Imaging measures were modeled individually, and combined, and permutation modeling robustly tested classification accuracy.ResultsClassification performance for preHDs versus controls was greatest when all measures were combined. The resulting polymarker predicted converters with high accuracy, including those who were not expected to manifest in that time scale based on the currently adopted statistical models.InterpretationWe propose that a holistic multivariate machine learning treatment of brain abnormalities in the premanifest phase can be used to accurately identify those patients within 5 years of developing motor features of HD, with implications for prognostication and preclinical trials.

  • Journal article
    Sandrone S, Cambiaghi M, 2018,

    Ugo Cerletti (1877-1963)

    , JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY, Vol: 265, Pages: 731-732, ISSN: 0340-5354
  • Journal article
    Zanin E, Moro A, Sandrone S, 2018,

    Eric Heinz Lenneberg (1921-1975)

    , JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY, Vol: 265, Pages: 449-450, ISSN: 0340-5354
  • Journal article
    Huntley J, Corbett A, Wesnes K, Brooker H, Stenton R, Hampshire A, Ballard Cet al., 2018,

    Online assessment of risk factors for dementia and cognitive function in healthy adults.

    , Int J Geriatr Psychiatry, Vol: 33, Pages: e286-e293

    OBJECTIVE: Several potentially modifiable risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia have been identified, including low educational attainment, smoking, diabetes, physical inactivity, hypertension, midlife obesity, depression, and perceived social isolation. Managing these risk factors in late midlife and older age may help reduce the risk of dementia; however, it is unclear whether these factors also relate to cognitive performance in older individuals without dementia. METHOD: Data from 14 201 non-demented individuals aged >50 years who enrolled in the online PROTECT study were used to examine the relationship between cognitive function and known modifiable risk factors for dementia. Multivariate regression analyses were conducted on 4 cognitive outcomes assessing verbal and spatial working memory, visual episodic memory, and verbal reasoning. RESULTS: Increasing age was associated with reduced performance across all tasks. Higher educational achievement, the presence of a close confiding relationship, and moderate alcohol intake were associated with benefits across all 4 cognitive tasks, and exercise was associated with better performance on verbal reasoning and verbal working memory tasks. A diagnosis of depression was negatively associated with performance on visual episodic memory and working memory tasks, whereas being underweight negatively affected performance on all tasks apart from verbal working memory. A history of stroke was negatively associated with verbal reasoning and working memory performance. CONCLUSION: Known modifiable risk factors for dementia are associated with cognitive performance in non-demented individuals in late midlife and older age. This provides further support for public health interventions that seek to manage these risk factors across the lifespan.

  • Journal article
    Jenkins PO, De Simoni S, Bourke N, Fleminger J, Scott G, Towey D, Svensson W, Khan S, Patel M, Greenwood R, Cole J, Sharp DJet al., 2018,

    Dopaminergic abnormalities following traumatic brain injury

    , Brain, Vol: 141, Pages: 797-810, ISSN: 1460-2156

    Traumatic brain injury can reduce striatal dopamine levels. The cause of this is uncertain, but is likely to be related to damage to the nigrostriatal system. We investigated the pattern of striatal dopamine abnormalities using 123I-Ioflupane single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scans and their relationship to nigrostriatal damage and clinical features. We studied 42 moderate–severe traumatic brain injury patients with cognitive impairments but no motor parkinsonism signs and 20 healthy controls. 123I-Ioflupane scanning was used to assess dopamine transporter levels. Clinical scan reports were compared to quantitative dopamine transporter results. Advanced MRI methods were used to assess the nigrostriatal system, including the area through which the nigrostriatal projections pass as defined from high-resolution Human Connectome data. Detailed clinical and neuropsychological assessments were performed. Around 20% of our moderate–severe patients had clear evidence of reduced specific binding ratios for the dopamine transporter in the striatum measured using 123I-Ioflupane SPECT. The caudate was affected more consistently than other striatal regions. Dopamine transporter abnormalities were associated with reduced substantia nigra volume. In addition, diffusion MRI provided evidence of damage to the regions through which the nigrostriatal tract passes, particularly the area traversed by dopaminergic projections to the caudate. Only a small percentage of patients had evidence of macroscopic lesions in the striatum and there was no relationship between presence of lesions and dopamine transporter specific binding ratio abnormalities. There was also no relationship between reduced volume in the striatal subregions and reduced dopamine transporter specific binding ratios. Patients with low caudate dopamine transporter specific binding ratios show impaired processing speed and executive dysfunction compared to patients with normal levels. Taken toge

  • Journal article
    Cole JH, Jolly A, De Simoni S, Bourke N, patel M, Scott G, Sharp Det al., 2018,

    Spatial patterns of progressive brain volume loss after moderate-severe traumatic brain injury

    , Brain, Vol: 141, Pages: 822-836, ISSN: 1460-2156

    Traumatic brain injury leads to significant loss of brain volume, which continues into the chronic stage. This can be sensitively measured using volumetric analysis of magnetic resonance imaging. Here we: (i) investigated longitudinal patterns of brain atrophy; (ii) tested whether atrophy is greatest in sulcal cortical regions, and (iii) showed how atrophy could be used to power intervention trials aimed at slowing neurodegeneration. In 61 moderate/severe traumatic brain injury patients (mean age = 41.55 years ± 12.77) and 32 healthy controls (mean age = 34.22 years ± 10.29), cross-sectional and longitudinal (one-year follow-up) brain structure was assessed using voxel-based morphometry on T1-weighted scans. Longitudinal brain volume changes were characterised using a novel neuroimaging analysis pipeline that generates a Jacobian determinant metric, reflecting spatial warping between baseline and follow-up scans. Jacobian determinant values were summarised regionally and compared with clinical and neuropsychological measures. Traumatic brain injury patients showed lower grey and white matter volume in multiple brain regions compared to controls at baseline. Atrophy over one year was pronounced following traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injury patients lost a mean (± standard deviation) of 1.55% ± 2.19 of grey matter volume per year, 1.49% ± 2.20 of white matter volume or 1.51% ± 1.60 of whole brain volume. Healthy controls lost 0.55% ± 1.13 of grey matter volume and gained 0.26% ± 1.11 of white matter volume; equating to a 0.22% ± 0.83 reduction in whole brain volume. Atrophy was greatest in white matter, where the majority (84%) of regions were affected. This effect was independent of and substantially greater than that of ageing. Increased atrophy was also seen in cortical sulci compared to gyri. There was no relationship between atrophy and time since injury or age at baseline. Atrophy rates we

  • Journal article
    Munroe PB, Addison S, Abrams DJ, Sebire NJ, Cartwright J, Donaldson I, Cohen MM, Mein C, Tinker A, Harmer SC, Aziz Q, Terry A, Struebig M, Warren HR, Vadgama B, Fowler DJ, Peebles D, Taylor AM, Lally PJ, Thayyil Set al., 2018,

    Postmortem genetic testing for cardiac ion channelopathies in stillbirths

    , Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, Vol: 11, ISSN: 1942-325X

    BackgroundAlthough stillbirth is a significant health problem worldwide, the definitive cause of death remains elusive in many cases, despite detailed autopsy. In this study of partly explained and unexplained stillbirths, we used next-generation sequencing to examine an extended panel of 35 candidate genes known to be associated with ion channel disorders and sudden cardiac death.Methods and ResultsWe examined tissue from 242 stillbirths (≥22 weeks), including those where no definite cause of death could be confirmed after a full autopsy. We obtained high-quality DNA from 70 cases, which were then sequenced for a custom panel of 35 genes, 12 for inherited long- and short-QT syndrome genes (LQT1-LQT12 and SQT1-3), and 23 additional candidate genes derived from genome-wide association studies. We examined the functional significance of a selected variant by patch-clamp electrophysiological recording. No predicted damaging variants were identified in KCNQ1 (LQT1) or KCNH2 (LQT2). A rare putative pathogenic variant was found in KCNJ2(LQT7) in 1 case, and several novel variants of uncertain significance were observed. The KCNJ2 variant (p. R40Q), when assessed by whole-cell patch clamp, affected the function of the channel. There was no significant evidence of enrichment of rare predicted damaging variants within any of the candidate genes.ConclusionsAlthough a causative link is unclear, 1 putative pathogenic and variants of uncertain significance variant resulting in cardiac channelopathies was identified in some cases of otherwise unexplained stillbirth, and these variants may have a role in fetal demise.

  • Journal article
    Scott GPT, Zetterberg H, Jolly A, Cole JH, De Simoni S, Jenkins PO, Feeney C, Owen DR, Lingford-Hughes A, Howes O, Patel MC, Goldstone AP, Gunn RN, Blennow K, Matthews PM, Sharp DJet al., 2017,

    Minocycline reduces chronic microglial activation after brain trauma but increases neurodegeneration

    , Brain, Vol: 141, Pages: 459-471, ISSN: 1460-2156

    Survivors of a traumatic brain injury can deteriorate years later, developing brain atrophy and dementia. Traumatic brain injury triggers chronic microglial activation, but it is unclear whether this is harmful or beneficial. A successful chronic-phase treatment for traumatic brain injury might be to target microglia. In experimental models, the antibiotic minocycline inhibits microglial activation. We investigated the effect of minocycline on microglial activation and neurodegeneration using PET, MRI, and measurement of the axonal protein neurofilament light in plasma. Microglial activation was assessed using 11C-PBR28 PET. The relationships of microglial activation to measures of brain injury, and the effects of minocycline on disease progression, were assessed using structural and diffusion MRI, plasma neurofilament light, and cognitive assessment. Fifteen patients at least 6 months after a moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury received either minocycline 100 mg orally twice daily or no drug, for 12 weeks. At baseline, 11C-PBR28 binding in patients was increased compared to controls in cerebral white matter and thalamus, and plasma neurofilament light levels were elevated. MRI measures of white matter damage were highest in areas of greater 11C-PBR28 binding. Minocycline reduced 11C-PBR28 binding (mean Δwhite matter binding = −23.30%, 95% confidence interval −40.9 to −5.64%, P = 0.018), but increased plasma neurofilament light levels. Faster rates of brain atrophy were found in patients with higher baseline neurofilament light levels. In this experimental medicine study, minocycline after traumatic brain injury reduced chronic microglial activation while increasing a marker of neurodegeneration. These findings suggest that microglial activation has a reparative effect in the chronic phase of traumatic brain injury.

  • Journal article
    Daws RE, Hampshire A, 2017,

    The reasoning and religiosity is underpinned by a bias for intuitive responses specifically when intuition and logic are in conflict

    , Frontiers in Psychology, Vol: 8, ISSN: 1664-1078

    It is well established that religiosity correlates inversely with intelligence. A prominent hypothesis states that this correlation reflects behavioral biases toward intuitive problem solving, which causes errors when intuition conflicts with reasoning. We tested predictions of this hypothesis by analyzing data from two large-scale Internet-cohort studies (combined N = 63,235). We report that atheists surpass religious individuals in terms of reasoning but not working-memory performance. The religiosity effect is robust across sociodemographic factors including age, education and country of origin. It varies significantly across religions and this co-occurs with substantial cross-group differences in religious dogmatism. Critically, the religiosity effect is strongest for tasks that explicitly manipulate conflict; more specifically, atheists outperform the most dogmatic religious group by a substantial margin (0.6 standard deviations) during a color-word conflict task but not during a challenging matrix-reasoning task. These results support the hypothesis that behavioral biases rather than impaired general intelligence underlie the religiosity effect.

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