sabato 19 dicembre 2015
Social cognition broadly refers to the processing of social information in the brain that underlies abilities such as the detection of others' emotions and responding appropriately to these emotions. Social cognitive skills are critical for successful communication and, consequently, mental health and wellbeing. Disturbances of social cognition are early and salient features of many neuropsychiatric, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, and often occur after acute brain injury. Its assessment in the clinic is, therefore, of paramount importance. Indeed, the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) introduced social cognition as one of six core components of neurocognitive function, alongside memory and executive control. Failures of social cognition most often present as poor theory of mind, reduced affective empathy, impaired social perception or abnormal social behaviour. Standard neuropsychological assessments lack the precision and sensitivity needed to adequately inform treatment of these failures. In this Review, we present appropriate methods of assessment for each of the four domains, using an example disorder to illustrate the value of these approaches. We discuss the clinical applications of testing for social cognitive function, and finally suggest a five-step algorithm for the evaluation and treatment of impairments, providing quantitative evidence to guide the selection of social cognitive measures in clinical practice.
Intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) is associated with the greatest morbidity and mortality of all stroke subtypes. Established risk factors for ICH include hypertension, alcohol use, current cigarette smoking, and use of oral anticoagulants and/or antiplatelet agents. Familial aggregation of ICH has been observed, and the heritability of ICH risk has been estimated at 44%. Few genes have been found to be associated with ICH at the population level, and much of the evidence for genetic risk factors for ICH comes from single studies conducted in relatively small and homogenous populations. In this Review, we summarize the current knowledge of genetic variants associated with primary spontaneous ICH. Two variants of the gene encoding apolipoprotein E (APOE) — which also contributes to the pathogenesis of cerebral amyloid angiopathy — are the most likely candidates for variants that increase the risk of ICH. Other promising candidates for risk alleles in ICH include variants of the genes ACE, PMF1/SLC25A44, COL4A2, and MTHFR. Other genetic variants, related to haemostasis, lipid metabolism, inflammation, and the CNS microenvironment, have been linked to ICH in single candidate gene studies. Although evidence for genetic contributions to the risk of ICH exists, we do not yet fully understand how and to what extent this information can be utilized to prevent and treat ICH
Nature Reviews Neurology 2015
Frontal white matter hyperintensities, clasmatodendrosis and gliovascular abnormalities in ageing and post-stroke dementia
White matter hyperintensities as seen on brain T-weighted magnetic resonance imaging are associated with varying degrees of cognitive dysfunction in stroke, cerebral small vessel disease and dementia. The pathophysiological mechanisms within the white matter accounting for cognitive dysfunction remain unclear. With the hypothesis that gliovascular interactions are impaired in subjects with high burdens of white matter hyperintensities, we performed clinicopathological studies in post-stroke survivors, who had exhibited greater frontal white matter hyperintensities volumes that predicted shorter time to dementia onset. Histopathological methods were used to identify substrates in the white matter that would distinguish post-stroke demented from post-stroke non-demented subjects. We focused on the reactive cell marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) to study the incidence and location of clasmatodendrosis, a morphological attribute of irreversibly injured astrocytes. In contrast to normal appearing GFAP+ astrocytes, clasmatodendrocytes were swollen and had vacuolated cell bodies. Other markers such as aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 family, member L1 (ALDH1L1) showed cytoplasmic disintegration of the astrocytes. Total GFAP+ cells in both the frontal and temporal white matter were not greater in post-stroke demented versus post-stroke non-demented subjects. However, the percentage of clasmatodendrocytes was increased by >2-fold in subjects with post-stroke demented compared to post-stroke non-demented subjects (0.026) and by 11-fold in older controls versus young controls (0.023) in the frontal white matter. High ratios of clasmotodendrocytes to total astrocytes in the frontal white matter were consistent with lower Mini-Mental State Examination and the revised Cambridge Cognition Examination scores in post-stroke demented subjects. Double immunofluorescent staining showed aberrant co-localization of aquaporin 4 (AQP4) in retracted GFAP+ astrocytes with disrupted end-feet juxtaposed to microvessels. To explore whether this was associated with the disrupted gliovascular interactions or blood–brain barrier damage, we assessed the co-localization of GFAP and AQP4 immunoreactivities in post-mortem brains from adult baboons with cerebral hypoperfusive injury, induced by occlusion of three major vessels supplying blood to the brain. Analysis of the frontal white matter in perfused brains from the animals surviving 1–28 days after occlusion revealed that the highest intensity of fibrinogen immunoreactivity was at 14 days. At this survival time point, we also noted strikingly similar redistribution of AQP4 and GFAP+ astrocytes transformed into clasmatodendrocytes. Our findings suggest novel associations between irreversible astrocyte injury and disruption of gliovascular interactions at the blood–brain barrier in the frontal white matter and cognitive impairment in elderly post-stroke survivors. We propose that clasmatodendrosis is another pathological substrate, linked to white matter hyperintensities and frontal white matter changes, which may contribute to post-stroke or small vessel disease dementia.
Classically, myopathies are categorized according to limb or cranial nerve muscle affection, but with the growing use of magnetic resonance imaging it has become evident that many well-known myopathies have significant involvement of the axial musculature. New disease entities with selective axial muscle involvement have also been described recently, but overall the axial myopathy is unexplored. We performed a PubMed search using the search terms ‘myopathy’, ‘paraspinal’, ‘axial’ and ‘erector’. Axial myopathy was defined as involvement of paraspinal musculature. We found evidence of axial musculature involvement in the majority of myopathies in which paraspinal musculature was examined. Even in diseases named after a certain pattern of non-axial muscle affection, such as facioscapulohumeral and limb girdle muscular dystrophies, affection of the axial musculature was often severe and early, compared to other muscle groups. Very sparse literature evaluating the validity of clinical assessment methods, electromyography, muscle biopsy and magnetic resonance imaging was identified and reference material is generally missing. This article provides an overview of the present knowledge on axial myopathy with the aim to increase awareness and spur interest among clinicians and researchers in the field.
Loci associated with ischaemic stroke and its subtypes (SiGN): a genome-wide association study NINDS Stroke Genetics Network (SiGN), International Stroke Genetics Consortium (ISGC)† †Members listed at end of the paper
The discovery of disease-associated loci through genome-wide association studies (GWAS) is the leading genetic approach to the identification of novel biological pathways underlying diseases in humans. Until recently, GWAS in ischaemic stroke have been limited by small sample sizes and have yielded few loci associated with ischaemic stroke. We did a large-scale GWAS to identify additional susceptibility genes for stroke and its subtypes.
To identify genetic loci associated with ischaemic stroke, we did a two-stage GWAS. In the first stage, we included 16 851 cases with state-of-the-art phenotyping data and 32 473 stroke-free controls. Cases were aged 16 to 104 years, recruited between 1989 and 2012, and subtypes of ischaemic stroke were recorded by centrally trained and certified investigators who used the web-based protocol, Causative Classification of Stroke (CCS). We constructed case-control strata by identifying samples that were genotyped on nearly identical arrays and were of similar genetic ancestral background. We cleaned and imputed data by use of dense imputation reference panels generated from whole-genome sequence data. We did genome-wide testing to identify stroke-associated loci within each stratum for each available phenotype, and we combined summary-level results using inverse variance-weighted fixed-effects meta-analysis. In the second stage, we did in-silico lookups of 1372 single nucleotide polymorphisms identified from the first stage GWAS in 20 941 cases and 364 736 unique stroke-free controls. The ischaemic stroke subtypes of these cases had previously been established with the Trial of Org 10 172 in Acute Stroke Treatment (TOAST) classification system, in accordance with local standards. Results from the two stages were then jointly analysed in a final meta-analysis.
We identified a novel locus (G allele at rs12122341) at 1p13.2 near TSPAN2 that was associated with large artery atherosclerosis-related stroke (first stage odds ratio [OR] 1·21, 95% CI 1·13–1·30, p=4·50 × 10−8; joint OR 1·19, 1·12–1·26, p=1·30 × 10−9). Our results also supported robust associations with ischaemic stroke for four other loci that have been reported in previous studies, including PITX2 (first stage OR 1·39, 1·29–1·49, p=3·26 × 10−19; joint OR 1·37, 1·30–1·45, p=2·79 × 10−32) and ZFHX3 (first stage OR 1·19, 1·11–1·27, p=2·93 × 10−7; joint OR 1·17, 1·11–1·23, p=2·29 × 10−10) for cardioembolic stroke, and HDAC9 (first stage OR 1·29, 1·18–1·42, p=3·50 × 10−8; joint OR 1·24, 1·15–1·33, p=4·52 × 10−9) for large artery atherosclerosis stroke. The 12q24 locus near ALDH2, which has previously been associated with all ischaemic stroke but not with any specific subtype, exceeded genome-wide significance in the meta-analysis of small artery stroke (first stage OR 1·20, 1·12–1·28, p=6·82 × 10−8; joint OR 1·17, 1·11–1·23, p=2·92 × 10−9). Other loci associated with stroke in previous studies, including NINJ2, were not confirmed.
Our results suggest that all ischaemic stroke-related loci previously implicated by GWAS are subtype specific. We identified a novel gene associated with large artery atherosclerosis stroke susceptibility. Follow-up studies will be necessary to establish whether the locus near TSPAN2 can be a target for a novel therapeutic approach to stroke prevention. In view of the subtype-specificity of the associations detected, the rich phenotyping data available in the Stroke Genetics Network (SiGN) are likely to be crucial for further genetic discoveries related to ischaemic stroke
Lancet Neurology 2015