Browsing by Subject "Cognition"

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  • Muha, Villo; Williamson, Ritchie; Hills, Rachel; McNeilly, A.D.; McWilliams, T.G.; Alonso, Jana; Schimpl, Marianne; Leney, Aneika C.; Heck, Albert J.R.; Sutherland, Calum; Read, Kevin D.; McCrimmon, Rory J.; Brooks, S.P.; Van Aalten, Daan M.F. (2019)
    O-GlcNAcylation is an abundant post-translational modification in the nervous system, linked to both neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disease. However, the mechanistic links between these phenotypes and site-specific O-GlcNAcylation remain largely unexplored. Here, we show that Ser517 O-GlcNAcylation of the microtubule-binding protein Collapsin Response Mediator Protein-2 (CRMP2) increases with age. By generating and characterizing a Crmp2S517A knock-in mouse model, we demonstrate that loss of O-GlcNAcylation leads to a small decrease in body weight and mild memory impairment, suggesting that Ser517 O-GlcNAcylation has a small but detectable impact on mouse physiology and cognitive function. © 2019 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
  • Setänen, Sirkku; Lehtonen, Liisa; Lapinleimu, Helena; Haataja, Leena (2018)
  • Nair, Preethy Sasidharan; Kuusi, Tuire; Ahvenainen, Minna; Philips, Anju K.; Järvelä, Irma (2019)
    Musical training and performance require precise integration of multisensory and motor centres of the human brain and can be regarded as an epigenetic modifier of brain functions. Numerous studies have identified structural and functional differences between the brains of musicians and non-musicians and superior cognitive functions in musicians. Recently, music-listening and performance has also been shown to affect the regulation of several genes, many of which were identified in songbird singing. MicroRNAs affect gene regulation and studying their expression may give new insights into the epigenetic effect of music. Here, we studied the effect of 2 hours of classical music-performance on the peripheral blood microRNA expressions in professional musicians with respect to a control activity without music for the same duration. As detecting transcriptomic changes in the functional human brain remains a challenge for geneticists, we used peripheral blood to study music-performance induced microRNA changes and interpreted the results in terms of potential effects on brain function, based on the current knowledge about the microRNA function in blood and brain. We identified significant (FDR
  • Kangaslampi, Samuli; Garoff, Ferdinand; Peltonen, Kirsi (2015)
    Background: Millions of children worldwide suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and other mental health problems due to repeated exposure to war or organized violence. Forms of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are the most commonly used treatment for PTSD and appear to be effective for children as well, but little is known about the mechanisms of change through which they achieve their effectiveness. Here we present the study protocol of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) studying the effectiveness and mechanisms of change of Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), a CBT-based, manualized, short-term intervention for PTSD symptoms resulting from repeated traumatization, in immigrant children traumatized by war. Methods/Design: We are conducting a multicentre, pragmatic RCT in a usual care setting. Up to 80 9-17-year-old immigrant children who have experienced war and suffer from PTSD symptoms will be randomized into intervention (NET) and control (treatment as usual, TAU) groups of equal sizes. The effectiveness of NET treatment will be compared to both a waiting list and the parallel TAU positive control group, on the primary outcomes of PTSD and depressive symptoms, psychological distress, resilience, and level of cognitive performance. The effects of the intervention on traumatic memories and posttraumatic cognitions will be studied as potential mechanisms of change mediating overall treatment effectiveness. The possible moderating effects of peritraumatic dissociation, level of cognitive performance, and gender on treatment effectiveness will also be considered. We hypothesize that NET will be more effective than a waitlist condition or TAU in reducing PTSD and other symptoms and improving resilience, and that these effects will be mediated by changes in traumatic memories and posttraumatic cognitions. Discussion: The results of this trial will provide evidence for the effectiveness of NET in treating trauma-related symptoms in immigrant children affected by war. The trial will also generate insights into the complex relationships between PTSD, memory functions, posttraumatic cognitions and cognitive performance in children, and help guide the future development and implementation of therapeutic interventions for PTSD in children.
  • Kallio, Eeva-Liisa; Hietanen, Marja; Kautiainen, Hannu; Pitkälä, Kaisu H. (2021)
    Effectiveness of a 12-week cognitive training (CT) programme for community-dwelling patients with dementia was evaluated on various cognitive functions (attention, memory, executive functions and reasoning) and psychological well-being (PWB). A single-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted in adult day care centres in Helsinki, Finland. Participants (N = 147) were older individuals with mild to moderate dementia living at home and attending day care (mean age 83 years, 72% female, 63% at mild stage of dementia). The intervention group (n= 76) received systematic CT for 45 min twice a week while the control group (n = 71) attended day care as usual. The cognitive and psychological outcomes were measured at baseline, and followed up at 3 and 9 months. No differences between the two groups in changes of any of the cognitive functions, or PWB over time were found. We observed a positive trend at 3 months in the change for PWB favouring the intervention group, but no significant interaction effect was found (p = .079;d = -0.31). Thus, systematic CT appears to have no effect on neuropsychological outcomes of cognitive functioning and PWB in older adults who already have dementia.
  • Kuula, Liisa (2019)
    Nuoruus on dramaattinen ajanjakso aivojen kehityksessä. Tämä näkyy myös unessa. Unen ajoitus siirtyy, ja kyky vastustaa unipainetta paranee. Nuori etsii autonomiaa nukkumiseen liittyvissä asioissa. Riittämätön uni heikentää kognitiivisia toimintoja ja aiheuttaa monia riskejä. Unen lyhentyminen ja muutokset aivoissa liittyvät toisiinsa, mutta syy-seuraussuhdetta niiden välille ei ole syytä olettaa.
  • Iso-Markku, Paula; Waller, Katja; Vuoksimaa, Eero; Vähä-Ypyä, Henri; Lindgren, Noora; Heikkilä, Kauko; Sievänen, Harri; Rinne, Juha; Kaprio, Jaakko; Kujala, Urho M. (2018)
    Introduction We studied whether objectively measured physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) are associated with cognition in Finnish elderly twins. Methods This cross-sectional study comprised twins born in Finland from 1940 to 1944 in the Older Finnish Twin Cohort (mean age, 72.9 years; 726 persons). From 2014 to 2016, cognition was assessed with a validated telephonic interview, whereas PA was measured with a waist-worn accelerometer. Results In between-family models, SB and light physical activity had significant linear associations with cognition after adjusting for age, sex, wearing time, education level, body mass index, and living condition (SB: β-estimate, −0.21 [95% confidence intervals, −0.42 to −0.003]; light physical activity: β-estimate, 0.30 [95% confidence intervals, 0.02–0.58]). In within-family models, there were no significant linear associations between objectively measured PA and cognition. Discussion Objectively measured light physical activity and SB are associated with cognition in Finnish twins in their seventies, but the associations were attributable to genetic and environmental selection.
  • Törnqvist, Heini; Somppi, Sanni; Kujala, Miiamaaria; Vainio, Outi (2020)
    Background. This study examines how dogs observe images of natural scenes containing living creatures (wild animals, dogs and humans) recorded with eye gaze tracking. Because dogs have had limited exposure to wild animals in their lives, we also consider the natural novelty of the wild animal images for the dogs. Methods. The eye gaze of dogs was recorded while they viewed natural images containing dogs, humans, and wild animals. Three categories of images were used: naturalistic landscape images containing single humans or animals, full body images containing a single human or an animal, and full body images containing a pair of humans or animals. The gazing behavior of two dog populations, family and kennel dogs, were compared. Results. As a main effect, dogs gazed at living creatures (object areas) longer than the background areas of the images; heads longer than bodies; heads longer than background areas; and bodies longer than background areas. Dogs gazed less at the object areas vs. the background in landscape images than in the other image categories. Both dog groups also gazed wild animal heads longer than human or dog heads in the images. When viewing single animal and human images, family dogs focused their gaze very prominently on the head areas, but in images containing a pair of animals or humans, they gazed more at the body than the head areas. In kennel dogs, the difference in gazing times of the head and body areas within single or paired images failed to reach significance. Discussion. Dogs focused their gaze on living creatures in all image categories, also detecting them in the natural landscape images. Generally, they also gazed at the biologically informative areas of the images, such as the head, which supports the importance of the head/face area for dogs in obtaining social information. The natural novelty of the species represented in the images as well as the image category affected the gazing behavior of dogs. Furthermore, differences in the gazing strategy between family and kennel dogs was obtained, suggesting an influence of different social living environments and life experiences.
  • Franks, Victoria R.; Thorogood, Rose (2018)
    Birds use cues when foraging to help relocate food resources, but natural environments provide many potential cues and choosing which to use may depend on previous experience. Young animals have less experience of their environment compared to adults, so may be slower to learn cues or may need to sample the environment more. Whether age influences cue use and learning has, however, received little experimental testing in wild animals. Here we investigate effects of age in a wild population of hihi (Notiomystis cincta), a threatened New Zealand passerine. We manipulated bird feeders using a novel colour cue to indicate a food reward; once hihi learned its location, we rotated the feeder to determine whether the birds followed the colour or returned to the previous location. Both age groups made fewer errors over trials and learned the location of the food reward, but juveniles continued to sample unrewarding locations more than adults. Following a second rotation, more adults preferred to forage from the hole indicated by the colour cue than juveniles, despite this no longer being rewarding. Overall, juveniles spent longer in the feeder arena to reach the same proportion of foraging time as adults. Combined, these results suggest that juveniles and adults may use an “explore and exploit” foraging strategy differently, and this affects how efficiently they forage. Further work is needed to understand how juveniles may compensate for their inexperience in learning and foraging strategies.
  • Iso-Markku, Paula; Waller, Katja; Kujala, Urho M.; Kaprio, Jaakko (2015)
    Introduction. Physical activity is associated with a decreased occurrence of dementia. In twins, we investigated the effect of persistent physical activity in adulthood on mortality due to dementia. Materials and methods. Physical activity was queried in 1975 and 1981 from the members of the older Finnish Twin Cohort (n = 2 1,791), who were aged 24-60 years at the end of 1981. The subjects were divided into three categories according to the persistence of their vigorous physical activity. Dementia deaths were followed up to the end of 2011. Results. During the 29-year follow-up, 353 subjects died of dementia. In individual-based analyses the age-and sex-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) was 0.65 (95% CI 0.43-0.98) for subjects partaking in vigorous physical activities in both 1975 and 1981 compared to those who were inactive in both years. No significant change was observed after adjusting for potential confounding factors. The corresponding HR for within-pair comparisons of the less active twin versus the more active co-twin was 0.48 (95% CI 0.17-1.32). The results for analyses of the volume of physical activity were inconclusive. Conclusions. Persistent vigorous leisure-time physical activity protects from dementia, and the effect appears to remain after taking into account childhood environment.
  • Tuovinen, Soile; Lahti-Pulkkinen, Marius; Rantalainen, Ville; Kajantie, Eero; Räikkönen, Katri (2020)
    Maternal mental health problems during pregnancy, especially mood and anxiety disorders and symptoms, are common. They not only hinder maternal well-being and health during pregnancy but also are associated with physical and mental health adversities in the offspring. We provide here a review of the studies published between 2017 and 2019, which reported on the associations between maternal mental health problems during pregnancy and child neurocognitive outcomes. We identified eight studies, which reported a mixed pattern of findings. While the balance of evidence favors lack of associations, small sample sizes and heterogeneity in study designs, exposures, outcomes, and covariate adjustments between the studies preclude firm conclusions. The reviewed studies encourage further research filling in the knowledge gaps we identified.
  • Suominen, M.H.; Laaksonen, M.M.L.; Salmenius-Suominen, H.; Kautiainen, H.; Hongisto, S.-M.; Tuukkanen, K.; Jyväkorpi, S.K.; Pitkälä, K.H. (2020)
    Background Cocoa flavanols in the diet have had positive effects on cognition, blood lipid levels, and glucose metabolism. Methods Cognitively healthy older adults aged 65–75 years were recruited for an eight-week randomized, double-blind controlled trial to investigate the effectiveness of cocoa flavanols on cognitive functions. At baseline, nutrient and polyphenol intakes from diet were assessed with three-day food diaries. The intervention group received 50 g dark chocolate containing 410 mg of flavanols per day, and the control group 50 g dark chocolate containing 86 mg of flavanols per day, for eight weeks. Cognition was assessed with Verbal Fluency (VF) and the Trail Making Test (TMT) A and B as the main outcome measures. Changes in blood lipids and glucose were also measured. Results The older adults participating numbered 100 (63% women), mean 69 y (range 65 to 74). They were highly educated with a mean 14.9 years of education (SD 3.6). No differences in changes in cognition were seen between groups. The mean change (± SEs) in the time to complete the TMT A and B in the intervention group was −4.6 s (−7.1 to −2.1) and −16.1 s (−29.1 to −3.1), and in the controls −4.4 s (−7.0 to −1.9) and −12.5 s (−22.8 to −2.1)(TMT A p = 0.93; TMT B p = 0.66). No difference was apparent in the changes in blood lipids, glucose levels, or body weight between the groups. Conclusions The healthy older adults showed no effect from the eight-week intake of dark chocolate flavanols on cognition.
  • Lindgren, Maija; Torniainen-Holm, Minna; Heiskanen, Inkeri; Voutilainen, Greta; Pulkkinen, Ulla; Mehtälä, Tuukka; Jokela, Markus; Kieseppä, Tuula; Suvisaari, Jaana; Therman, Sebastian (2018)
    Deficiencies in theory of mind (ToM) are common in psychosis and may largely explain impaired social functioning. Currently, it is unclear whether impairments in ToM are explained by the more general cognitive deficits related to psychosis or whether ToM is impaired in psychosis independently of other cognitive deficits. This study examined ToM using the Hinting Task in young adults (n=66) with first-episode psychosis and matched controls (n=62). The participants were administered a broad neuropsychological assessment. Participants with psychosis performed worse than controls on the Hinting Task. However, 75 % of the variance between the groups was explained by general cognitive deficits, especially impaired processing speed and episodic memory. Hinting Task performance of the best functioning patient group did not differ from that of the control group. When the psychosis group was divided according to diagnosis, the Hinting Task difference between individuals with schizophrenia and controls remained significant even when general cognitive performance was controlled for, suggesting specific verbal ToM deficits in schizophrenia. In contrast, those with other psychotic disorders did not differ from controls. Our results suggest that ToM deficits can be seen in early phases of psychotic disorders, schizophrenia in particular, and are partly independent of other cognitive functions.
  • Iso-Markku, Paula; Waller, Katja; Hautasaari, Pekka; Kaprio, Jaakko; Kujala, Urho M.; Tarkka, Ina M. (2020)
    Regular physical activity (PA) offers positive effects on the human body. However, the effects of PA on cognition and in the brain are less clear. In this paper, we narratively review the relationship of PA with cognition and dementia, first from general perspective and then through genetically informed studies on the topic. Then we move on to imaging studies on exercise and brain anatomy first by presenting an overall picture of the topic and then discussing brain imaging studies addressing PA and brain structure in twins in more detailed way. Regarding PA and cognition or dementia, genetically informed studies are uncommon, even though the relationship between PA and cognitive ageing has been extensively studied. It is challenging to find twin pairs discordant for PA and dementia. Concerning brain imaging studies, among PA discordant young adult twin pairs, the more active co-twins showed larger gray matter volumes in striatal, prefrontal, and hippocampal regions and in electrophysiological studies automatic deviance-detection processes differed in brain regions involved with sensorimotor, visual and memory functions.
  • Reserve Resilience Protective Fact; Stern, Yaakov; Arenaza-Urquijo, Eider M.; Bartres-Faz, David; Vuoksimaa, Eero (2020)
    Several concepts, which in the aggregate get might be used to account for "resilience" against age- and disease-related changes, have been the subject of much research. These include brain reserve, cognitive reserve, and brain maintenance. However, different investigators have use these terms in different ways, and there has never been an attempt to arrive at consensus on the definition of these concepts. Furthermore, there has been confusion regarding the measurement of these constructs and the appropriate ways to apply them to research. Therefore the reserve, resilience, and protective factors professional interest area, established under the auspices of the Alzheimer's Association, established a whitepaper workgroup to develop consensus definitions for cognitive reserve, brain reserve, and brain maintenance. The workgroup also evaluated measures that have been used to implement these concepts in research settings and developed guidelines for research that explores or utilizes these concepts. The workgroup hopes that this whitepaper will form a reference point for researchers in this area and facilitate research by supplying a common language.
  • Ahonen, L.; Huotilainen, M.; Brattico, E. (2016)
    In the vast majority of electrophysiological studies on cognition, participants are only measured once during a single experimental session. The dearth of studies on test-retest reliability in magnetoencephalography (MEG) within and across experimental sessions is a preventing factor for longitudinal designs, imaging genetics studies, and clinical applications. From the recorded signals, it is not straightforward to draw robust and steady indices of brain activity that could directly be used in exploring behavioral effects or genetic associations. To study the variations in markers associated with cognitive functions, we extracted three event-related field (ERF) features from time-locked global field power (GFP) epochs using MEG while participants were performing a numerical N-back task in four consecutive measurements conducted during two different days separated by two weeks. We demonstrate that the latency of the MI70, a neural correlate associated with cognitive functions such as working memory, was a stable parameter and did not show significant variations over time. In addition, the M170 peak amplitude and the mean amplitude of late positive component (LPP) also expressed moderate-to-strong reliability across multiple measures over time over many sensor spaces and between participants. The M170 amplitude varied more significantly between the measurements in some conditions but showed consistency over the participants over time. In addition we demonstrated significant correlation with the M170 and LPP parameters and cognitive load. The results are in line with the literature showing less within-subject fluctuation for the latency parameters and more consistency in between-subject comparisons for amplitude based features. The within-subject consistency was apparent also with longer delays between the measurements. We suggest that with a few limitations the ERF features show sufficient reliability and stability for longitudinal research designs and clinical applications for cognitive functions in single as well as cross-subject designs. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.