1,195 research outputs found

    Acute effects of LSD on amygdala activity during processing of fearful stimuli in healthy subjects

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    Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) induces profound changes in various mental domains, including perception, self-awareness and emotions. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the acute effects of LSD on the neural substrate of emotional processing in humans. Using a double-blind, randomised, cross-over study design, placebo or 100 μg LSD were orally administered to 20 healthy subjects before the fMRI scan, taking into account the subjective and pharmacological peak effects of LSD. The plasma levels of LSD were determined immediately before and after the scan. The study (including the a priori-defined study end point) was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov before study start (NCT02308969). The administration of LSD reduced reactivity of the left amygdala and the right medial prefrontal cortex relative to placebo during the presentation of fearful faces (P<0.05, family-wise error). Notably, there was a significant negative correlation between LSD-induced amygdala response to fearful stimuli and the LSD-induced subjective drug effects (P<0.05). These data suggest that acute administration of LSD modulates the engagement of brain regions that mediate emotional processing

    Does Greater Low Frequency EEG Activity in Normal Immaturity and in Children with Epilepsy Arise in the Same Neuronal Network?

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    Greater low frequency power (<8Hz) in the electroencephalogram (EEG) at rest is normal in the immature developing brain of children when compared to adults. Children with epilepsy also have greater low frequency interictal resting EEG activity. Whether these power elevations reflect brain immaturity due to a developmental lag or the underlying epileptic pathophysiology is unclear. The present study addresses this question by analyzing spectral EEG topographies and sources for normally developing children and children with epilepsy. We first compared the resting EEG of healthy children to that of healthy adults to isolate effects related to normal brain immaturity. Next, we compared the EEG from 10 children with generalized cryptogenic epilepsy to the EEG of 24 healthy children to isolate effects related to epilepsy. Spectral analysis revealed that global low (delta: 1-3Hz, theta: 4-7Hz), medium (alpha: 8-12Hz) and high (beta: 13-25Hz) frequency EEG activity was greater in children without epilepsy compared to adults, and even further elevated for children with epilepsy. Topographical and tomographic EEG analyses showed that normal immaturity corresponded to greater delta and theta activity at fronto-central scalp and brain regions, respectively. In contrast, the epilepsy-related activity elevations were predominantly in the alpha band at parieto-occipital electrodes and brain regions, respectively. We conclude that lower frequency activity can be a sign of normal brain immaturity or brain pathology depending on the specific topography and frequency of the oscillating neuronal networ

    Evidence for a Massive Protocluster in S255N

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    S255N is a luminous far-infrared source that contains many indications of active star formation but lacks a prominent near-infrared stellar cluster. We present mid-infrared through radio observations aimed at exploring the evolutionary state of this region. Our observations include 1.3mm continuum and spectral line data from the Submillimeter Array, VLA 3.6cm continuum and 1.3cm water maser data, and multicolor IRAC images from the Spitzer Space Telescope. The cometary morphology of the previously-known UCHII region G192.584-0.041 is clearly revealed in our sensitive, multi-configuration 3.6cm images. The 1.3mm continuum emission has been resolved into three compact cores, all of which are dominated by dust emission and have radii < 7000AU. The mass estimates for these cores range from 6 to 35 Msun. The centroid of the brightest dust core (SMA1) is offset by 1.1'' (2800 AU) from the peak of the cometary UCHII region and exhibits the strongest HC3N, CN, and DCN line emission in the region. SMA1 also exhibits compact CH3OH, SiO, and H2CO emission and likely contains a young hot core. We find spatial and kinematic evidence that SMA1 may contain further multiplicity, with one of the components coincident with a newly-detected H2O maser. There are no mid-infrared point source counterparts to any of the dust cores, further suggesting an early evolutionary phase for these objects. The dominant mid-infrared emission is a diffuse, broadband component that traces the surface of the cometary UCHII region but is obscured by foreground material on its southern edge. An additional 4.5 micron linear feature emanating to the northeast of SMA1 is aligned with a cluster of methanol masers and likely traces a outflow from a protostar within SMA1. Our observations provide direct evidence that S255N is forming a cluster of intermediate to high-mass stars.Comment: 34 pages, 11 figures, accepted for publication in The Astronomical Journa

    The effect of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) on whole-brain functional and effective connectivity

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    Psychedelics have emerged as promising candidate treatments for various psychiatric conditions, and given their clinical potential, there is a need to identify biomarkers that underlie their effects. Here, we investigate the neural mechanisms of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) using regression dynamic causal modelling (rDCM), a novel technique that assesses whole-brain effective connectivity (EC) during resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We modelled data from two randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over trials, in which 45 participants were administered 100 μg LSD and placebo in two resting-state fMRI sessions. We compared EC against whole-brain functional connectivity (FC) using classical statistics and machine learning methods. Multivariate analyses of EC parameters revealed predominantly stronger interregional connectivity and reduced self-inhibition under LSD compared to placebo, with the notable exception of weakened interregional connectivity and increased self-inhibition in occipital brain regions as well as subcortical regions. Together, these findings suggests that LSD perturbs the Excitation/Inhibition balance of the brain. Notably, whole-brain EC did not only provide additional mechanistic insight into the effects of LSD on the Excitation/Inhibition balance of the brain, but EC also correlated with global subjective effects of LSD and discriminated experimental conditions in a machine learning-based analysis with high accuracy (91.11%), highlighting the potential of using whole-brain EC to decode or predict subjective effects of LSD in the future

    Increased thalamic resting-state connectivity as a core driver of LSD-induced hallucinations

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    It has been proposed that the thalamocortical system is an important site of action of hallucinogenic drugs and an essential component of the neural correlates of consciousness. Hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD can be used to induce profoundly altered states of consciousness, and it is thus of interest to test the effects of these drugs on this system.; 100 μg LSD was administrated orally to 20 healthy participants prior to fMRI assessment. Whole brain thalamic functional connectivity was measured using ROI-to-ROI and ROI-to-voxel approaches. Correlation analyses were used to explore relationships between thalamic connectivity to regions involved in auditory and visual hallucinations and subjective ratings on auditory and visual drug effects.; LSD caused significant alterations in all dimensions of the 5D-ASC scale and significantly increased thalamic functional connectivity to various cortical regions. Furthermore, LSD-induced functional connectivity measures between the thalamus and the right fusiform gyrus and insula correlated significantly with subjective auditory and visual drug effects.; Hallucinogenic drug effects might be provoked by facilitations of cortical excitability via thalamocortical interactions. Our findings have implications for the understanding of the mechanism of action of hallucinogenic drugs and provide further insight into the role of the 5-HT2A -receptor in altered states of consciousness

    Matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity and a downregulated Hedgehog pathway impair blood-brain barrier function in an <i>in vitro</i> model of CNS tuberculosis

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    Central nervous system tuberculosis (CNS TB) has a high mortality and morbidity associated with severe inflammation. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) protects the brain from inflammation but the mechanisms causing BBB damage in CNS TB are uncharacterized. We demonstrate that Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) causes breakdown of type IV collagen and decreases tight junction protein (TJP) expression in a co-culture model of the BBB. This increases permeability, surface expression of endothelial adhesion molecules and leukocyte transmigration. TJP breakdown was driven by Mtb-dependent secretion of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9. TJP expression is regulated by Sonic hedgehog (Shh) through transcription factor Gli-1. In our model, the hedgehog pathway was downregulated by Mtb-stimulation, but Shh levels in astrocytes were unchanged. However, Scube2, a glycoprotein regulating astrocyte Shh release was decreased, inhibiting Shh delivery to brain endothelial cells. Activation of the hedgehog pathway by addition of a Smoothened agonist or by addition of exogenous Shh, or neutralizing MMP-9 activity, decreased permeability and increased TJP expression in the Mtb-stimulated BBB co-cultures. In summary, the BBB is disrupted by downregulation of the Shh pathway and breakdown of TJPs, secondary to increased MMP-9 activity which suggests that these pathways are potential novel targets for host directed therapy in CNS TB

    Transcriptome and translatome co-evolution in mammals.

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    Gene-expression programs define shared and species-specific phenotypes, but their evolution remains largely uncharacterized beyond the transcriptome layer &lt;sup&gt;1&lt;/sup&gt; . Here we report an analysis of the co-evolution of translatomes and transcriptomes using ribosome-profiling and matched RNA-sequencing data for three organs (brain, liver and testis) in five mammals (human, macaque, mouse, opossum and platypus) and a bird (chicken). Our within-species analyses reveal that translational regulation is widespread in the different organs, in particular across the spermatogenic cell types of the testis. The between-species divergence in gene expression is around 20% lower at the translatome layer than at the transcriptome layer owing to extensive buffering between the expression layers, which especially preserved old, essential and housekeeping genes. Translational upregulation specifically counterbalanced global dosage reductions during the evolution of sex chromosomes and the effects of meiotic sex-chromosome inactivation during spermatogenesis. Despite the overall prevalence of buffering, some genes evolved faster at the translatome layer-potentially indicating adaptive changes in expression; testis tissue shows the highest fraction of such genes. Further analyses incorporating mass spectrometry proteomics data establish that the co-evolution of transcriptomes and translatomes is reflected at the proteome layer. Together, our work uncovers co-evolutionary patterns and associated selective forces across the expression layers, and provides a resource for understanding their interplay in mammalian organs
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