Check out some of the papers that were recently published by DMCBH members:

Lara Boyd: Interhemispheric inhibition between dorsal premotor and primary motor cortices is released during preparation of unimanual but not bimanual movements 

Journal: European Journal of Neuroscience 

Previous research using transcranial magnetic stimulation has shown there is a temporary change in how a specific part of the brain (dorsal premotor cortex) influences another part (contralateral primary motor cortex) during tasks that involve reacting with one hand. This change depends on whether the targeted area in the motor cortex is getting ready for movement, and the timing of this change corresponds to the task’s demands. 

However, not much is known about how this brain interaction happens when preparing for movements involving both hands. In this study, researchers used a special method to measure this interaction between the two brain hemispheres during tasks involving one hand or both hands. They found that the interaction was more supportive early in the preparation period for one-handed movements compared to later in the preparation period, whereas this interaction remained consistent throughout the preparation period for tasks involving both hands. This suggests that there is more communication between the dorsal premotor cortex and the opposite primary motor cortex when preparing for one-handed actions compared to actions involving both hands. 

Helen Tremlett:
Adverse events associated with the disease-modifying drugs for multiple sclerosis: a multi-region, population-based study  

Journal: Neurology 

It is not possible to fully establish the safety of a disease-modifying drug (DMD) for multiple sclerosis (MS) from randomized controlled trials as only very common adverse events occurring over the short-term can be captured, and the quality of reporting has been variable.  

This study provides an extensive safety profile of several different DMDs used to treat MS in a real-world setting. The findings not only complement those observed in short-term clinical trials but also provide new insights that help inform the risk-benefit profile of the DMDs used to treat MS in clinical practice. The results of this study highlight the continued need for long-term, independent safety studies of the DMDs used to treat MS. 

Fidel Vila-Rodriguez:
Source-based morphometry reveals structural brain pattern abnormalities in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome 

Journal: Human Brain Mapping 

22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) is a common genetic condition where a small piece of chromosome 22 is missing. This condition often leads to changes in the brain’s structure, including reduced gray matter volume, and can cause problems like cognitive impairment and psychosis. 

The researchers in this study looked at brain scans from 783 people, including those with 22q11DS and typically developing individuals. They used a new method to analyze the scans and identified 17 distinct patterns of how gray matter volume varied across the brain. These patterns revealed specific areas, including the cerebellum, where people with 22q11DS differed from healthy individuals. The size of the missing chromosome piece in 22q11DS was linked to differences in gray matter volume in certain brain regions. However, a history of psychosis didn’t strongly correlate with these patterns. 

Overall, this study suggests that structural abnormalities in 22q11DS are not random but follow specific patterns in the brain. The findings align with previous research indicating disturbances in early brain development as the likely cause of these abnormalities. 

Julie Robillard
: What Does ChatGPT Know About Dementia? A Comparative Analysis of Information Quality 

Journal: Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 

This study looked at the information about dementia obtained from ChatGPT. Researchers compared it with information from three reputable North American organizations. The assessment considered factors like the length of the content, how easy it is to read, and its overall quality. Both ChatGPT and the official organizations avoided biases, supported the relationship between patients and doctors, and maintained a balanced tone. 

However, the study found that while both sources provided accurate information, ChatGPT’s content was somewhat superficial. The official organizations referred to specific research and local resources, which ChatGPT did not do. The recommendation from the study is for those creating and providing information, especially in digital health practices, to enhance the depth and specificity of the content about dementia. 

Jon Stoessl
A biological classification of Parkinson’s disease: the SynNeurGe research diagnostic criteria 

Journal: The Lancet Neurology 

The researchers in this study have suggested a new way to classify Parkinson’s disease based on its biological features, aiming to identify the molecular basis of the disease even before symptoms appear. The classification system, called SynNeurGe, has three components: checking for the presence of a protein called α-synuclein, evidence of neurodegeneration in imaging, and the identification of specific gene variants related to Parkinson’s. These biological components are linked to clinical features. The goal is to improve both basic and clinical research, bringing us closer to developing treatments that modify the disease. However, the authors stress that these criteria should currently be used only for research, recognizing ethical concerns, limitations, and the need for further validation in future studies. 

Naznin Virji-Babul:
Individualized monitoring of longitudinal heading exposure in soccer 

Journal: Scientific Reports 

There’s a growing concern about the potential long-term impact of repeatedly heading a soccer ball on brain health. Researchers in this study focused on a women’s university soccer team, tracking their heading exposure over more than two years. Despite an average of about two headers per day, individual players varied widely in their daily and total heading exposure, with practices and off-season periods accounting for the majority of headers. The study suggests that assessing heading exposure should be done on an individual level and should include not only games but also practices and off-season periods. This approach is crucial for understanding the potential risks of brain injury associated with soccer heading, as using group statistics alone may not capture the highly variable nature of heading exposures.