90 research outputs found

    Electroencephalography-Based Brain–Machine Interfaces in Older Adults: A Literature Review

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    The aging process is a multifaceted phenomenon that affects cognitive-affective and physical functioning as well as interactions with the environment. Although subjective cognitive decline may be part of normal aging, negative changes objectified as cognitive impairment are present in neurocognitive disorders and functional abilities are most impaired in patients with dementia. Electroencephalography-based brain–machine interfaces (BMI) are being used to assist older people in their daily activities and to improve their quality of life with neuro-rehabilitative applications. This paper provides an overview of BMI used to assist older adults. Both technical issues (detection of signals, extraction of features, classification) and application-related aspects with respect to the users’ needs are considered

    Are Patients With Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders More Prone to Manifest Nocebo-Like-Effects? A Meta-Analysis of Adverse Events in Placebo Groups of Double-Blind Antipsychotic Trials

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    Background: Antipsychotic clinical trials use to present adverse events (AEs) for the drug under evaluation to treat schizophrenia. Interestingly, patients who receive the placebo during antipsychotic trials often report several AEs, but little is known about the essence of these negative effects in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SCD). In the present meta-analysis, we evaluated the relationship between the level of psychiatric symptomatology expressed as Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) scores and the rates of AEs reported in the placebo arms of double-blind clinical trials, for commonly prescribed atypical antipsychotic medications.Methods: We selected 58 clinical trials describing AEs in SCD placebo groups, which compared atypical antipsychotic medications with placebo. A total of 6,301 placebo-treated patients were considered. AE profiles of the class were clusterized using MedDRA classification and analysed using a meta-regression approach.Results: In the placebo arms the proportions of patients with any AE was 66.3% (95% CI: 62.7–69.8%). The proportion of withdrawal of patients treated with placebo because of AEs was 7.2% (95% CI: 5.9–8.4%). Interestingly, the AEs in the placebo arms corresponded to those of the antipsychotic-atypical-medication-class against which the placebo was compared. Namely, using meta-regression analysis we found an association between the level of psychiatric symptomatology measured with PANSS scores and higher AEs reported as nervous system (p = 0.020) and gastrintestinal disorders (p = 0.004). Moreover, the level of a higher psychiatric symptomatology expressed with PANSS scores was also related with higher AEs associated with psychiatric symptoms (p = 0.017).Conclusion: These findings emphasise that the AEs in placebo arms of clinical trials of antipsychotic medications were substantial. Importantly, a higher level of psychiatric symptomatology makes SCD patients more prone to express AEs, thus contributing to possible drop-outs and to a lower adherence to treatments. These results are consistent with the expectation theory of placebo and nocebo effects

    Role of the Cingulate Cortex in Dyskinesias-Reduced-Self-Awareness: An fMRI Study on Parkinson’s Disease Patients

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    Objectives: The detection of dyskinesias-reduced-self-awareness (DRSA), in Parkinson’s disease (PD), was previously associated to executive and metacognitive deficits mainly due to dopaminergic overstimulation of mesocorticolimbic circuits. Response-inhibition dysfunction is often observed in PD. Apart from being engaged in response-inhibition tasks, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), is part of a functional system based on self-awareness and engaged across cognitive, affective and behavioural contexts. The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between response-inhibition disabilities and DRSA using whole-brain event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), over the course of a specific executive task.Methods: Twenty-seven cognitively preserved idiopathic PD patients – presenting motor fluctuations and dyskinesias – were studied. They underwent a neurological and neuropsychological evaluation. The presence of DRSA was assessed using the Dyskinesias Subtracted-Index (DS-I). Cingulate functionality was evaluated with fMRI, while patients performed an ACC-sensitive GO-NoGO task. Association between blood oxygenation level dependent response over the whole-brain during the response-inhibition task and DS-I scores was investigated by regression analysis.Results: The presence of DRSA was associated with reduced functional recruitment in the bilateral ACC, bilateral anterior insular cortex and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (pFWE<0.05). Moreover, DS-I scores significantly correlated with percent errors on the NoGO condition (r = 0.491, pFWE = 0.009).Discussion: These preliminary findings add evidence to the relevant role of executive dysfunctions in DRSA pathogenesis beyond the effects of chronic dopaminergic treatment, with a key leading role played by ACC as part of a functionally impaired response-inhibition network. Imaging biomarkers for DRSA are important to be studied, especially when the neuropsychological assessment seems to be normal
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