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remote memory [keywords]
- Beneficial effects of multisensory and cognitive stimulation on age-related cognitive decline in long-term-care institutions. [Journal Article]
- Clin Interv Aging 2014.:309-21.
The aim of the present report was to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of multisensory and cognitive stimulation on improving cognition in elderly persons living in long-term-care institutions (institutionalized [I]) or in communities with their families (noninstitutionalized [NI]). We compared neuropsychological performance using language and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) test scores before and after 24 and 48 stimulation sessions. The two groups were matched by age and years of schooling. Small groups of ten or fewer volunteers underwent the stimulation program, twice a week, over 6 months (48 sessions in total). Sessions were based on language and memory exercises, as well as visual, olfactory, auditory, and ludic stimulation, including music, singing, and dance. Both groups were assessed at the beginning (before stimulation), in the middle (after 24 sessions), and at the end (after 48 sessions) of the stimulation program. Although the NI group showed higher performance in all tasks in all time windows compared with I subjects, both groups improved their performance after stimulation. In addition, the improvement was significantly higher in the I group than the NI group. Language tests seem to be more efficient than the MMSE to detect early changes in cognitive status. The results suggest the impoverished environment of long-term-care institutions may contribute to lower cognitive scores before stimulation and the higher improvement rate of this group after stimulation. In conclusion, language tests should be routinely adopted in the neuropsychological assessment of elderly subjects, and long-term-care institutions need to include regular sensorimotor, social, and cognitive stimulation as a public health policy for elderly persons.
- Modulatory effects following subchronic stimulation of brain 5-HT7-R system in mice and rats. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Rev Neurosci 2014 Mar 6.
Abstract The serotonin receptor 7 (5-HT7-R) plays important functional roles in learning and memory, in regulation of mood and circadian rhythmicity. LP-211 is a new selective agonist, belonging to 1-arylpiperazine category. We report studies aimed to evaluate the modulatory effect of a subchronic regimen on behavioral/molecular parameters. At low dose [0.25 mg/kg intraperitoneally (i.p.)], LP-211 induced a 6-h anticipated wake up in adult mice (with no temporal landmark by constant light), acting as nonphotic stimulus for 'internal clock' resetting. In standard 12:12-h light/dark cycle, a subchronic effect (5-6 days at 0.25 mg/kg, once per day) was observed: delayed wake up, reduced peak of locomotor activity and no evidence for brain cellular proliferation after ex vivo analysis. Other studies in rats were aimed to investigate long-term effects of developmental LP-211 administration into adulthood. Subchronic LP-211 (0.125 mg/kg i.p. once per day during the prepuberal phase) reduced l-glutamate, N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor 1 and dopamine transporter within the ventral striatum. With LP-211 (0.25 mg/kg i.p. once per day during the postpuberal phase), clear reductions were observed in the immunoreactivity of serotonin transporter and dopaminergic D2 receptors in the ventral and dorsal striatum, respectively. Subchronic LP-211 in rats and mice appears to be a suitable tool for studying the role of 5-HT7-R in sleep disorders, emotional/motivational regulations, attentive processes and executive functions.
- Everyday experiences of memory problems and control: the adaptive role of selective optimization with compensation in the context of memory decline. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn 2014 Mar 6.
The present study examined the role of long-term working memory decline in the relationship between everyday experiences of memory problems and perceived control, and we also considered whether the use of accommodative strategies [selective optimization with compensation (SOC)] would be adaptive. The study included Boston-area participants (n = 103) from the Midlife in the United States study (MIDUS) who completed two working memory assessments over 10 years and weekly diaries following Time 2. In adjusted multi-level analyses, greater memory decline and lower general perceived control were associated with more everyday memory problems. Low perceived control reported in a weekly diary was associated with more everyday memory problems among those with greater memory decline and low SOC strategy use (Est. = -0.28, SE= 0.13, p = .036). These results suggest that the use of SOC strategies in the context of declining memory may help to buffer the negative effects of low perceived control on everyday memory.
- Identifying nonwords: effects of lexical neighborhoods, phonotactic probability, and listener characteristics. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Lang Speech 2013 Dec; 56(Pt 4):421-41.
Listeners find it relatively difficult to recognize words that are similar-sounding to other known words. In contrast, when asked to identify spoken nonwords, listeners perform better when the nonwords are similar to many words in their language. These effects of sound similarity have been assessed in multiple ways, and both sublexical (phonotactic probability) and lexical (neighborhood) effects have been reported, leading to models that incorporate multiple stages of processing. One prediction that can be derived from these models is that there may be differences among individuals in the size of these similarity effects as a function of working memory abilities. This study investigates how item-individual characteristics of nonwords (both phonotactic probability and neighborhood density) interact with listener-individual characteristics (such as cognitive abilities and hearing sensitivity) in the perceptual identification of nonwords. A set of nonwords was used in which neighborhood density and phonotactic probability were not correlated. In our data, neighborhood density affected identification more reliably than did phonotactic probability. The first study, with young adults, showed that higher neighborhood density particularly benefits nonword identification for those with poorer attention-switching control. This suggests that it may be easier to focus attention on a novel item if it activates and receives support from more similar-sounding neighbors. A similar study on nonword identification with older adults showed increased neighborhood density effects for those with poorer hearing, suggesting that activation of long-term linguistic knowledge is particularly important to back up auditory representations that are degraded as a result of hearing loss.
- Dysfunctional overnight memory consolidation in ecstasy users. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Psychopharmacol 2014 Mar 4.
Sleep plays an important role in the consolidation and integration of memory in a process called overnight memory consolidation. Previous studies indicate that ecstasy users have marked and persistent neurocognitive and sleep-related impairments. We extend past research by examining overnight memory consolidation among regular ecstasy users (n=12) and drug naïve healthy controls (n=26). Memory recall of word pairs was evaluated before and after a period of sleep, with and without interference prior to testing. In addition, we assessed neurocognitive performances across tasks of learning, memory and executive functioning. Ecstasy users demonstrated impaired overnight memory consolidation, a finding that was more pronounced following associative interference. Additionally, ecstasy users demonstrated impairments on tasks recruiting frontostriatal and hippocampal neural circuitry, in the domains of proactive interference memory, long-term memory, encoding, working memory and complex planning. We suggest that ecstasy-associated dysfunction in fronto-temporal circuitry may underlie overnight consolidation memory impairments in regular ecstasy users.
- Kaolin-induced ventriculomegaly at weaning produces long-term learning, memory, and motor deficits in rats. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Dev Neurosci 2014 Mar 1.
Ventriculomegaly occurs when there is imbalance between creation and absorption of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); even when treated, long-term behavioral changes occur. Kaolin injection in the cisterna magna of rats produces an obstruction of CSF outflow and models one type of hydrocephalus. Previous research with this model shows that neonatal onset has mixed effects on Morris water maze (MWM) and motoric performance; we hypothesized that this might be because the severity of ventricular enlargement was not taken into consideration. In the present experiment, rats were injected with kaolin or saline on postnatal day (P)21 and analyzed in subgroups based on Evan's ratios (ER) of the severity of ventricular enlargement at the end of testing to create 4 subgroups from least to most severe: ER0.4-0.5, ER0.51-0.6, ER0.61-0.7, and ER0.71-0.82, respectively. Locomotor activity (dry land and swimming), acoustic startle with prepulse inhibition (PPI), and MWM performance were tested starting on P28 (122cm maze) and again on P42 (244cm maze). Kaolin-treated animals weighed significantly less than controls at all times. Differences in locomotor activity were seen at P42 but not P28. On P28 there was an increase in PPI for all but the least severe kaolin-treated group, but no difference at P42 compared with controls. In the MWM at P28, all kaolin-treated groups had longer path lengths than controls, but comparable swim speeds. With the exception of the least severe group, probe trial performance was worse in the kaolin-treated animals. On P42, only the most severely affected kaolin-treated group showed deficits compared with control animals. This group showed no MWM learning and no memory for the platform position during probe trial testing. Swim speed was unaffected, indicating motor deficits were not responsible for impaired learning and memory. These findings indicate that kaolin-induced ventriculomegaly in rats interferes with cognition regardless of the final enlargement of the cerebral ventricles, but final size critically determines whether lasting locomotor, learning, and memory impairments occur.
- Female rat hippocampal cell density after conditioned place preference. [Journal Article]
- Folia Biol (Praha) 2014; 60(1):47-51.
The hippocampus is important for learning tasks, such as conditioned place preference (CPP), which is widely used as a model for studying the reinforcing effects of drugs with dependence liability. Long-term opiate use may produce maladaptive plasticity in the brain structures involved in learning and memory, such as the hippocampus. We investigated the phenomenon of conditioning with morphine on the cell density of female rat hippocampus. Forty-eight female Wistar rats weighing on average 200-250 g were used. Rats were distributed into eight groups. Experimental groups received morphine daily (three days) at different doses (2.5, 5, 7.5 mg/kg) and the control-saline group received normal saline (1 ml/kg), and then the CPP test was performed. Three sham groups received only different doses (2.5, 5, 7.5 mg/kg) of morphine without CPP test. Forty-eight hours after behavioural testing animals were decapitated under chloroform anaesthesia and their brains were fixed, and after tissue processing, slices were stained with cresyl violet for neurons and phosphotungstic acid haematoxylin for astrocytes. The maximum response was obtained with 5 mg/kg of morphine. The density of neurons in CA1 and CA3 areas of hippocampus after injection of morphine and CPP was decreased. The number of astrocytes in different areas of hippocampus was increased after injection of morphine and CPP. It seems that the effective dose was 5 mg/kg, as it led to the CPP. We concluded that both injection of mor phine and CPP can decrease the density of neurons and also increase the number of astrocytes in the rat hippocampus.
- Cognitive Load Theory: Implications for medical education: AMEE Guide No. 86. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Med Teach 2014 Mar 4.
Abstract Cognitive Load Theory (CLT) builds upon established models of human memory that include the subsystems of sensory, working and long-term memory. Working memory (WM) can only process a limited number of information elements at any given time. This constraint creates a "bottleneck" for learning. CLT identifies three types of cognitive load that impact WM: intrinsic load (associated with performing essential aspects of the task), extraneous load (associated with non-essential aspects of the task) and germane load (associated with the deliberate use of cognitive strategies that facilitate learning). When the cognitive load associated with a task exceeds the learner's WM capacity, performance and learning is impaired. To facilitate learning, CLT researchers have developed instructional techniques that decrease extraneous load (e.g. worked examples), titrate intrinsic load to the developmental stage of the learner (e.g. simplify task without decontextualizing) and ensure that unused WM capacity is dedicated to germane load, i.e. cognitive learning strategies. A number of instructional techniques have been empirically tested. As learners' progress, curricula must also attend to the expertise-reversal effect. Instructional techniques that facilitate learning among early learners may not help and may even interfere with learning among more advanced learners. CLT has particular relevance to medical education because many of the professional activities to be learned require the simultaneous integration of multiple and varied sets of knowledge, skills and behaviors at a specific time and place. These activities possess high "element interactivity" and therefore impose a cognitive load that may surpass the WM capacity of the learner. Applications to various medical education settings (classroom, workplace and self-directed learning) are explored.
- The implications of Methylphenidate use by healthy medical students and doctors in South Africa. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- BMC Med Ethics 2014 Mar 4; 15(1):20.
The use of medical stimulants to sustain attention, augment memory and enhance intellectual capacity is increasing in society. The use of Methylphenidate for cognitive enhancement is a subject that has received much attention in the literature and academic circles in recent times globally. Medical doctors and medical students appear to be equally involved in the off-label use of Methylphenidate. This presents a potential harm to society and the individual as the long-term side effect profile of this medication is unknown.The implication of the use of Methylphenidate by medical students and doctors has not been fully explored. This article considers the impact of this use on the traditional role of medicine, society, the patient and suggests a way forward. We discuss the salient philosophy surrounding the use of cognitive enhancement. We query whether there are cognitive benefits to the use of Methylphenidate in healthy students and doctors and whether these benefits would outweigh the risks in taking the medication. Could these benefits lead to tangible outcomes for society and could the off label-use of Methylphenidate potentially undermine the medical profession and the treatment of patients? If cognitive benefits are proven then doctors may be coerced explicitly or implicitly to use the drug which may undermine their autonomy. The increased appeal of cognitive enhancement challenges the traditional role of medicine in society, and calls into question the role of a virtuous life as a contributing factor for achievement. In countries with vast economic disparity such as South Africa an enhancement of personal utility that can be bought may lead to greater inequities.Under the status quo the distribution of methylphenidate is unjust. Regulatory governmental policy must seek to remedy this while minimising the potential for competitive advantage for the enhanced. Public debate on the use of cognitive enhancement is long overdue and must be stimulated. The use of Methylphenidate for cognitive enhancement is philosophically defendable if long-term research can prove that the risks are negligible and the outcomes tangible.
- A lentiviral sponge for miR-101 regulates RanBP9 expression and amyloid precursor protein metabolism in hippocampal neurons. [Journal Article]
- Front Cell Neurosci 2014.:37.
Neurodegeneration associated with amyloid β (Aβ) peptide accumulation, synaptic loss, and memory impairment are pathophysiological features of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Numerous microRNAs regulate amyloid precursor protein (APP) expression and metabolism. We previously reported that miR-101 is a negative regulator of APP expression in cultured hippocampal neurons. In this study, a search for predicted APP metabolism-associated miR-101 targets led to the identification of a conserved miR-101 binding site within the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of the mRNA encoding Ran-binding protein 9 (RanBP9). RanBP9 increases APP processing by β-amyloid converting enzyme 1 (BACE1), secretion of soluble APPβ (sAPPβ), and generation of Aβ. MiR-101 significantly reduced reporter gene expression when co-transfected with a RanBP9 3'-UTR reporter construct, while site-directed mutagenesis of the predicted miR-101 target site eliminated the reporter response. To investigate the effect of stable inhibition of miR-101 both in vitro and in vivo, a microRNA sponge was developed to bind miR-101 and derepress its targets. Four tandem bulged miR-101 responsive elements (REs), located downstream of the enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) open reading frame and driven by the synapsin promoter, were placed in a lentiviral vector to create the pLSyn-miR-101 sponge. Delivery of the sponge to primary hippocampal neurons significantly increased both APP and RanBP9 expression, as well as sAPPβ levels in the conditioned medium. Importantly, silencing of endogenous RanBP9 reduced sAPPβ levels in miR-101 sponge-containing hippocampal cultures, indicating that miR-101 inhibition may increase amyloidogenic processing of APP by RanBP9. Lastly, the impact of miR-101 on its targets was demonstrated in vivo by intrahippocampal injection of the pLSyn-miR-101 sponge into C57BL6 mice. This study thus provides the basis for studying the consequences of long-term miR-101 inhibition on the pathology of AD.