Selective Impairment (selective + impairment)

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Investigating social cognition in young offenders
Aim,This small study was designed to assess the nature and severity of social-cognitive deficits in antisocial adolescents. Method,Thirty-seven boys aged 15,18 from a Young Offenders Institute and Community College participated. They were asked to complete a test of general intellectual ability and self-rating of social competence as well as tasks from the Skuse Schedules for the Assessment of Social Intelligence. Results,Young offenders were poor at recognizing the facial expression of anger, regardless of intellectual ability. They could not accurately identify the direction of another's eye gaze. Their performance on theory of mind tasks, however, was unimpaired. Conclusion,These preliminary findings imply selective impairment in the cognitive appraisal of threat, which may contribute to social maladjustment. Further such study of social cognition among young offenders is indicated. Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Impaired water maze learning performance without altered dopaminergic function in mice heterozygous for the GDNF mutation

R. Gerlai
Abstract Exogenous glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) exhibits potent survival-promoting effects on dopaminergic neurons of the nigrostriatal pathway that is implicated in Parkinson's disease and also protects neurons in forebrain ischemia of animal models. However, a role for endogenous GDNF in brain function has not been established. Although mice homozygous for a targeted deletion of the GDNF gene have been generated, these mice die within hours of birth because of deficits in kidney morphogenesis, and, thus, the effect of the absence of GDNF on brain function could not be studied. Herein, we sought to determine whether adult mice, heterozygous for a GDNF mutation on two different genetic backgrounds, demonstrate alterations in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system or in cognitive function. While both neurochemical and behavioural measures suggested that reduction of GDNF gene expression in the mutant mice does not alter the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system, it led to a significant and selective impairment of performance in the spatial version of the Morris water maze. A standard panel of blood chemistry tests and basic pathological analyses did not reveal alterations in the mutants that could account for the observed performance deficit. These results suggest that endogenous GDNF may not be critical for the development and functioning of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system but it plays an important role in cognitive abilities. [source]

Striatal synaptic plasticity: Implications for motor learning and Parkinson's disease

Antonio Pisani MD
Abstract Changing the strength of synaptic connections between neurons is widely assumed to be the mechanism by which memory traces are encoded and stored in the central nervous system. Plastic changes appear to follow a regional specialization and underlie the specific type of memory mediated by the brain area in which plasticity occurs. Thus, long-term changes occurring at excitatory corticostriatal synapses should be critically involved in motor learning. Indeed, repetitive stimulation of the corticostriatal pathway can cause either a long-lasting increase or an enduring decrease in synaptic strength, respectively referred to as long-term potentiation (LTP), and long-term depression, both requiring a complex sequence of biochemical events. Once established, LTP can be reversed to control levels by a low-frequency stimulation protocol, an active phenomenon defined "synaptic depotentiation," required to erase redundant information. In the 6-hydroxydopamine rat model of Parkinson's disease (PD), striatal synaptic plasticity has been shown to be impaired, although chronic treatment with levodopa was able to restore it. Of interest, a consistent number of L -dopa,treated animals developed involuntary movements, resembling human dyskinesias. Strikingly, electrophysiological recordings from the dyskinetic group of rats demonstrated a selective impairment of synaptic depotentiation. This survey will provide an overview of plastic changes occurring at striatal synapses. The potential relevance of these findings in the control of motor function and in the pathogenesis both of PD and L -dopa,induced motor complications will be discussed. 2005 Movement Disorder Society [source]

Intracellular distribution of peroxynitrite during doxorubicin cardiomyopathy: evidence for selective impairment of myofibrillar creatine kinase

Michael J Mihm
Cardiac peroxynitrite and protein nitration are increased during doxorubicin cardiotoxicity, but the intracellular targets and functional consequences have not been defined. We investigated the intracellular distribution of protein nitration during doxorubicin cardiotoxicity in mice. Following in vivo cardiac function assessments by echocardiography, cardiac tissues were prepared for immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy 5 days after doxorubicin (20 mg kg,1) or vehicle control. Increased cardiac 3-nitrotyrosine was observed using light microscopy in doxorubicin treated animals. Immunogold electron microscopy (55,000) revealed increased myofibrillar and mitochondrial 3-nitrotyrosine levels following doxorubicin, but cellular 3-nitrotyrosine density was 2 fold higher in myofibrils. We therefore investigated the actions of peroxynitrite on intact cardiac contractile apparatus. Skinned ventricular trabeculae were exposed to physiologically relevant peroxynitrite concentrations (50 or 300 nM) for 1 h, then Ca2+ induced contractile responses were measured in the presence of ATP (4 mM) or phosphocreatine (12 mM) as high energy phosphate supplier. ATP maximal force generation was unaltered after 50 nM peroxynitrite, but phosphocreatine/ATP response was reduced (0.990.63 vs 1.590.11), suggesting selective inactivation of myofibrillar creatine kinase (MM-CK). Reduction of ATP maximal force was observed at 300 nM peroxynitrite and phosphocreatine/ATP response was further reduced (0.640.30). Western blotting showed concentration dependent nitration of MM-CK in treated trabeculae. Similarly, cardiac tissues from doxorubicin treated mice demonstrated increased nitration and inactivation of MM-CK compared to controls. These results demonstrate that peroxynitrite-related protein nitration are mechanistic events in doxorubicin cardiomyopathy and that the cardiac myofibril is an important oxidative target in this setting. Furthermore, MM-CK may be a uniquely vulnerable target to peroxynitrite in vivo. British Journal of Pharmacology (2002) 135, 581,588; doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0704495 [source]

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]