Neurodevelopmental Abnormalities (neurodevelopmental + abnormality)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Reduced parietal and visual cortical activation during global processing in Williams syndrome

Dean Mobbs BSc
Several lines of investigation suggest that individuals with Williams syndrome (WS), a neurodevelopmental disorder of well-characterized genetic etiology, have selective impairments in integrating local image elements into global configurations. We compared global processing abilities in 10 clinically and genetically diagnosed participants with WS (eight females, two males; mean age 31y 10mo [SD 9y 7mo], range 15y 5mo-48y 4mo) with a typically developed (TD) age- and sex-matched comparison group (seven females, one male; mean age 35y 2mo [SD 10y 10mo], range 24y-54y 7mo) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Behavioral data showed participants with WS to be significantly less accurate (p<0.042) together with a non-significant trend to be slower than the TD comparison group while performing the global processing task. fMRI data showed participants with WS to possess reduced activation in the visual and parietal cortices. Participants with WS also showed relatively normal activation in the ventral occipitotemporal cortex, but elevated activation in several posterior thalamic nuclei. These preliminary results largely confirm previous research findings and neural models implicating neurodevelopmental abnormalities in extended subcortical and cortical visual systems in WS, most notably dorsal-stream pathways. [source]

Ethanol Increases Fetal Human Neurosphere Size and Alters Adhesion Molecule Gene Expression

ALCOHOLISM, Issue 2 2008
Sharada D. Vangipuram
Background:, Ethanol (ETOH) consumption by pregnant women can result in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). To date, the cellular targets and mechanisms responsible for FASD are not fully characterized. Our aim was to determine if ETOH can affect fetal human brain-derived neural progenitor cells (NPC). Methods:, Neural progenitor cells were isolated by positive selection from normal second trimester fetal human brains (n = 4) and cultured, for up to 72 hours, in mitogenic media containing 0, 1, 10, or 100 mM ETOH. From 48 to 72 hours in culture, neurospheres generated in these conditions were filmed using time-lapse video microscopy. At the end of 72 hours, neurosphere diameter and roundness were measured using videographic software. Mitotic phase analysis of cell-cycle activity and apoptotic cell count were also performed at this time, by flow cytometry using propidium iodide (PI) staining. Real-time PCR was used to estimate expression of genes associated with cell adhesion pathways. Results:, Neurosphere diameter correlated positively (r = 0.87) with increasing ETOH concentrations. There was no significant difference in cell-cycle activity and no significant increase in apoptosis with increasing ETOH concentrations. Time-lapse video microscopy showed that ETOH (100 mM) reduced the time for neurosphere coalescence. Real-time PCR analysis showed that ETOH significantly altered the expression of genes involved in cell adhesion. There was an increase in the expression of , and , Laminins 1, , Integrins 3 and 5, Secreted phosphoprotein1 and Sarcoglycan ,. No change in the expression of , Actin was observed while the expression of , Integrin 2 was significantly suppressed. Conclusions:, ETOH had no effect on NPC apoptosis but, resulted in more rapid coalescence and increased volume of neurospheres. Additionally, the expression of genes associated with cell adhesion was significantly altered. ETOH induced changes in NPC surface adhesion interactions may underlie aspects of neurodevelopmental abnormalities in FASD. [source]

Patterns of dysmorphic features in schizophrenia,

L.E. Scutt
Abstract Congenital dysmorphic features are prevalent in schizophrenia and may reflect underlying neurodevelopmental abnormalities. A cluster analysis approach delineating patterns of dysmorphic features has been used in genetics to classify individuals into more etiologically homogeneous subgroups. In the present study, this approach was applied to schizophrenia, using a sample with a suspected genetic syndrome as a testable model. Subjects (n,=,159) with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were ascertained from chronic patient populations (random, n,=,123) or referred with possible 22q11 deletion syndrome (referred, n,=,36). All subjects were evaluated for presence or absence of 70 reliably assessed dysmorphic features, which were used in a three-step cluster analysis. The analysis produced four major clusters with different patterns of dysmorphic features. Significant between,cluster differences were found for rates of 37 dysmorphic features (P,<,0.05), median number of dysmorphic features (P,=,0.0001), and validating features not used in the cluster analysis: mild mental retardation (P,=,0.001) and congenital heart defects (P,=,0.002). Two clusters (1 and 4) appeared to represent more developmental subgroups of schizophrenia with elevated rates of dysmorphic features and validating features. Cluster 1 (n,=,27) comprised mostly referred subjects. Cluster 4 (n,=,18) had a different pattern of dysmorphic features; one subject had a mosaic Turner syndrome variant. Two other clusters had lower rates and patterns of features consistent with those found in previous studies of schizophrenia. Delineating patterns of dysmorphic features may help identify subgroups that could represent neurodevelopmental forms of schizophrenia with more homogeneous origins. 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Brain Protection During Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Bypass

Xiaowei W. Su
Abstract Improvements in peri- and postoperative surgical techniques have greatly improved outcomes for pediatric patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) in the treatment of congenital heart defects (CHDs). With decreased mortality rates, the incidence of adverse neurological outcomes, comprising cognitive and speech impairments, motor deficits, and behavioral abnormalities, has increased in those patients surviving bypass. A number of mechanisms, including ischemia, reperfusion injury, hypothermia, inflammation, and hemodilution, contribute to brain insult, which is further confounded by unique challenges presented in the pediatric population. However, a number of brain monitoring and preventative techniques have been developed or are being currently evaluated in the practice of pediatric CPB. Monitoring techniques include electroencephalography, near-infrared as well as visible light spectroscopy, transcranial Doppler ultrasound, and emboli detection and classification quantitation. Preventative measures include hypothermic perfusion techniques such as deep hypothermic circulatory arrest, low-flow CPB, blood gas management, and pharmacologic prophylaxes, among others. The present review summarizes the principles of brain insult, neurodevelopmental abnormalities, monitoring techniques, methods of prevention, as well as preexisting morbidities and risk factors in pediatric CPB, with a focus on brain protection. Clinical and translational research is presented with the aim of determining methods that may optimize neurological outcomes post CPB and guiding further study. [source]

Evaluation of early stimulation programs for enhancing brain development

Christine Bonnier
Abstract The term ,early intervention' designates educational and neuroprotection strategies aimed at enhancing brain development. Early educational strategies seek to take advantage of cerebral plasticity. Neuroprotection, a term initially used to characterize substances capable of preventing cell death, now encompasses all interventions that promote normal development and prevent disabilities, including organisational, therapeutic and environment-modifying measures, such as early stimulation programs. Early stimulation programs were first devised in the United States for vulnerable children in low-income families; positive effects were recorded regarding school failure rates and social problems. Programs have also been implemented in several countries for premature infants and low-birth-weight infants, who are at high risk for neurodevelopmental abnormalities. The programs target the child, the parents or both. The best evaluated programs are the NIDCAP (Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program) in Sweden for babies <1500 g in neonatal intensive care units and the longitudinal multisite program IHDP (Infant Health and Development Program) created in the United States for infants <37 weeks or <2500 g. Conclusion: Although the NIDCAP and the IHDP targeted different populations, they produced similar effects in several regards: efficacy was greatest with programs involving both the parents and the child; long-term stimulation improved cognitive outcomes and child,parent interactions; cognition showed greater improvements than motor skills and larger benefits were obtained in families that combined several risk factors including low education attainment by the mothers. [source]