Browsing by Subject "SPINAL-CORD-INJURY"

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  • Sathyan, Sabin; Tolmacheva, Aleksandra; Tugin, Sergei; Mäkelä, Jyrki P.; Shulga, Anastasia; Lioumis, Pantelis (2021)
    Paired associative stimulation (PAS) is a stimulation technique combining transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) that can induce plastic changes in the human motor system. A PAS protocol consisting of a high-intensity single TMS pulse given at 100% of stimulator output (SO) and high-frequency 100-Hz PNS train, or "the high-PAS " was designed to promote corticomotoneuronal synapses. Such PAS, applied as a long-term intervention, has demonstrated therapeutic efficacy in spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. Adding a second TMS pulse, however, rendered this protocol inhibitory. The current study sought for more effective PAS parameters. Here, we added a third TMS pulse, i.e., a 20-Hz rTMS (three pulses at 96% SO) combined with high-frequency PNS (six pulses at 100 Hz). We examined the ability of the proposed stimulation paradigm to induce the potentiation of motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) in five human subjects and described the safety and tolerability of the new protocol in these subjects. In this study, rTMS alone was used as a control. In addition, we compared the efficacy of the new protocol in five subjects with two PAS protocols consisting of PNS trains of six pulses at 100 Hz combined with (a) single 100% SO TMS pulses (high-PAS) and (b) a 20-Hz rTMS at a lower intensity (three pulses at 120% RMT). The MEPs were measured immediately after, and 30 and 60 min after the stimulation. Although at 0 and 30 min there was no significant difference in the induced MEP potentiation between the new PAS protocol and the rTMS control, the MEP potentiation remained significantly higher at 60 min after the new PAS than after rTMS alone. At 60 min, the new protocol was also more effective than the two other PAS protocols. The new protocol caused strong involuntary twitches in three subjects and, therefore, its further characterization is needed before introducing it for clinical research. Additionally, its mechanism plausibly differs from PAS with high-frequency PNS that has been used in SCI patients.
  • Colecchia, D; Stasi, M; Leonardi, M; Manganelli, F; Nolano, M; Veneziani, BM; Santoro, L; Eskelinen, Eeva-Liisa; Chiariello, M; Bucci, Cecilia (2018)
    Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2B (CMT2B) disease is a dominant axonal peripheral neuropathy caused by 5 mutations in the RAB7A gene, a ubiquitously expressed GTPase controlling late endocytic trafficking. In neurons, RAB7A also controls neuronal-specific processes such as NTF (neurotrophin) trafficking and signaling, neurite outgrowth and neuronal migration. Given the involvement of macroautophagy/autophagy in several neurodegenerative diseases and considering that RAB7A is fundamental for autophagosome maturation, we investigated whether CMT2B-causing mutants affect the ability of this gene to regulate autophagy. In HeLa cells, we observed a reduced localization of all CMT2B-causing RAB7A mutants on autophagic compartments. Furthermore, compared to expression of RAB7AWT, expression of these mutants caused a reduced autophagic flux, similar to what happens in cells expressing the dominant negative RAB7AT22N mutant. Consistently, both basal and starvation-induced autophagy were strongly inhibited in skin fibroblasts from a CMT2B patient carrying the RAB7AV162M mutation, suggesting that alteration of the autophagic flux could be responsible for neurodegeneration.
  • Boström, Anna Fredrika; Hyytiäinen, Heli Katariina; Koho, Petteri; Cizinauskas, Sigitas; Hielm-Björkman, Anna Katrina (2018)
    Background: The Finnish neurological function testing battery for dogs (FINFUN) was developed to meet the increasing demand for objective outcome measures in veterinary physiotherapy. The testing battery should provide consistent, reproducible results and have established face and content validity. Internal consistency and intra-and inter-rater reliability of the FINFUN were also investigated. Results: The FINFUN comprised 11 tasks: lying, standing up from lying, sitting, standing up from sitting, standing, proprioceptive positioning, starting to walk, walking, trotting, walking turns and walking stairs. A score from 0 to 4, (0: unable to perform task, 4: performing task with normal motor function) was given for each task, the maximum score being 44. Twenty-six dogs were filmed when performing the FINFUN. Seven observers scored the performances from the video recordings. The FINFUN was considered to have appropriate face and content validity based on a pilot study, clinical experience and critical reflection of the development process. Its internal consistency was excellent, with no Cronbach's alpha values below 0.922. The intra-rater reliability for total score of experienced observers was almost perfect: 0.999 (observer 1) and 0.994 (observer 2). The inter-rater reliability for both experienced and novice observers' total scores was also almost perfect (0.919-0.993). Analysis of each individual task showed substantial intra-rater and inter-rater agreement for the tasks "lying" and "sitting". Conclusions: The FINFUN is an objective, valid and reliable tool with standardized scoring criteria for evaluation of motor function in dogs recovering from spinal cord injury.
  • Rodionov, Andrei; Savolainen, Sarianna; Kirveskari, Erika; Mäkelä, Jyrki P.; Shulga, Anastasia (2020)
    Recovery of lower-limb function after spinal cord injury (SCI) is dependent on the extent of remaining neural transmission in the corticospinal pathway. The aim of this proof-of-concept pilot study was to explore the effects of long-term paired associative stimulation (PAS) on leg muscle strength and walking in people with SCI. Five individuals with traumatic incomplete chronic tetraplegia (>34 months post-injury, motor incomplete, 3 females, mean age 60 years) with no contraindications to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) received PAS to one or both legs for 2 months (28 sessions in total, 5 times a week for the first 2 weeks and 3 times a week thereafter). The participants were evaluated with the Manual Muscle Test (MMT), AIS motor and sensory examination, Modified Asworth Scale (MAS), and the Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM) prior to the intervention, after 1 and 2 months of PAS, and after a 1-month follow-up. The study was registered at (NCT03459885). During the intervention, MMT scores and AIS motor scores increased significantly (p = 0.014 and p = 0.033, respectively). Improvements were stable in follow-up. AIS sensory scores, MAS, and SCIM were not modified significantly. MMT score prior to intervention was a good predictor of changes in walking speed (Radj2 = 0.962). The results of this proof-of-concept pilot study justify a larger trial on the effect of long-term PAS on leg muscle strength and walking in people with chronic incomplete SCI.
  • Poyhonen, Suvi; Er, Safak; Domanskyi, Andrii; Airavaara, Mikko (2019)
    Astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia are abundant cell types found in the central nervous system and have been shown to play crucial roles in regulating both normal and disease states. An increasing amount of evidence points to the critical importance of glia in mediating neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases (AD, PD), and in ischemic stroke, where microglia are involved in initial tissue clearance, and astrocytes in the subsequent formation of a glial scar. The importance of these cells for neuronal survival has previously been studied in co-culture experiments and the search for neurotrophic factors (NTFs) initiated after finding that the addition of conditioned media from astrocyte cultures could support the survival of primary neurons in vitro. This led to the discovery of the potent dopamine neurotrophic factor, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). In this review, we focus on the relationship between glia and NTFs including neurotrophins, GDNF-family ligands, CNTF family, and CDNF/MANF-family proteins. We describe their expression in astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and their precursors (NG2-positive cells, OPCs), and microglia during development and in the adult brain. Furthermore, we review existing data on the glial phenotypes of NTF knockout mice and follow NTF expression patterns and their effects on glia in disease models such as AD, PD, stroke, and retinal degeneration.
  • Kotliarova, Anastasiia; Sidorova, Yulia A. (2021)
    Well-known effects of neurotrophic factors are related to supporting the survival and functioning of various neuronal populations in the body. However, these proteins seem to also play less well-documented roles in glial cells, thus, influencing neuroinflammation. This article summarizes available data on the effects of glial cell line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) family ligands (GFLs), proteins providing trophic support to dopaminergic, sensory, motor and many other neuronal populations, in non-neuronal cells contributing to the development and maintenance of neuropathic pain. The paper also contains our own limited data describing the effects of small molecules targeting GFL receptors on the expression of the satellite glial marker IBA1 in dorsal root ganglia of rats with surgery- and diabetes-induced neuropathy. In our experiments activation of GFLs receptors with either GFLs or small molecule agonists downregulated the expression of IBA1 in this tissue of experimental animals. While it can be a secondary effect due to a supportive role of GFLs in neuronal cells, growing body of evidence indicates that GFL receptors are expressed in glial and peripheral immune system cells. Thus, targeting GFL receptors with either proteins or small molecules may directly suppress the activation of glial and immune system cells and, therefore, reduce neuroinflammation. As neuroinflammation is considered to be an important contributor to the process of neurodegeneration these data further support research efforts to modulate the activity of GFL receptors in order to develop disease-modifying treatments for neurodegenerative disorders and neuropathic pain that target both neuronal and glial cells.
  • Paveliev, Mikhail; Fenrich, Keith K.; Kislin, Mikhail; Kuja-Panula, Juha; Kulesskiy, Evgeny; Varjosalo, Markku; Kajander, Tommi; Mugantseva, Ekaterina; Ahonen-Bishopp, Anni; Khirug, Leonard; Kulesskaya, Natalia; Rougon, Genevieve; Rauvala, Heikki (2016)
    Chondroitin sulfate (CS) glycosaminoglycans inhibit regeneration in the adult central nervous system (CNS). We report here that HB-GAM (heparin-binding growth-associated molecule; also known as pleiotrophin), a CS-binding protein expressed at high levels in the developing CNS, reverses the role of the CS chains in neurite growth of CNS neurons in vitro from inhibition to activation. The CS-bound HB-GAM promotes neurite growth through binding to the cell surface proteoglycan glypican-2; furthermore, HB-GAM abrogates the CS ligand binding to the inhibitory receptor PTPs (protein tyrosine phosphatase sigma). Our in vivo studies using two-photon imaging of CNS injuries support the in vitro studies and show that HB-GAM increases dendrite regeneration in the adult cerebral cortex and axonal regeneration in the adult spinal cord. Our findings may enable the development of novel therapies for CNS injuries.
  • Rauvala, Heikki; Paveliev, Mikhail; Kuja-Panula, Juha; Kulesskaya, Natalia (2017)
    The current dogma in neural regeneration research implies that chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) inhibit plasticity and regeneration in the adult central nervous system (CNS). We argue that the role of the CSPGs can be reversed from inhibition to activation by developmentally expressed CSPG-binding factors. Heparin-binding growth-associated molecule (HB-GAM; also designated as pleiotrophin) has been studied as a candidate molecule that might modulate the role of CSPG matrices in plasticity and regeneration. Studies in vitro show that in the presence of soluble HB-GAM chondroitin sulfate (CS) chains of CSPGs display an enhancing effect on neurite outgrowth. Based on the in vitro studies, we suggest a model according to which the HB-GAM/CS complex binds to the neuron surface receptor glypican-2, which induces neurite growth. Furthermore, HB-GAM masks the CS binding sites of the neurite outgrowth inhibiting receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase sigma (PTP sigma), which may contribute to the HB-GAM-induced regenerative effect. In vivo studies using two-photon imaging after local HB-GAM injection into prick-injury of the cerebral cortex reveal regeneration of dendrites that has not been previously demonstrated after injuries of the mammalian nervous system. In the spinal cord, two-photon imaging displays HB-GAM-induced axonal regeneration. Studies on the HB-GAM/CS mechanism in vitro and in vivo are expected to pave the way for drug development for injuries of brain and spinal cord.
  • Tolmacheva, Aleksandra; Savolainen, Sarianna; Kirveskari, Erika; Lioumis, Pantelis; Kuusela, Linda; Brandstack, Nina; Ylinen, Aarne; Mäkelä, Jyrki P.; Shulga, Anastasia (2017)
    A large proportion of spinal cord injuries (SCI) are incomplete. Even in clinically complete injuries, silent non-functional connections can be present. Therapeutic approaches that can strengthen transmission in weak neural connections to improve motor performance are needed. Our aim was to determine whether long-term delivery of paired associative stimulation (PAS, a combination of transcranial magnetic stimulation [TMS] with peripheral nerve stimulation [PNS]) can enhance motor output in the hands of patients with chronic traumatic tetraplegia, and to compare this technique with long-term PNS. Five patients (4 males; age 38-68, mean 48) with no contraindications to TMS received 4 weeks (16 sessions) of stimulation. PAS was given to one hand and PNS combined with sham TMS to the other hand. Patients were blinded to the treatment. Hands were selected randomly. The patients were evaluated by a physiotherapist blinded to the treatment. The follow-up period was 1 month. Patients were evaluated with Daniels and Worthingham's Muscle Testing (0-5 scale) before the first stimulation session, after the last stimulation session, and 1 month after the last stimulation session. One month after the last stimulation session, the improvement in the PAS-treated hand was 1.02 +/- 0.17 points (p <0.0001, n = 100 muscles from 5 patients). The improvement was significantly higher in PAS-treated than in PNS-treated hands (176 +/- 29%, p = 0.046, n = 5 patients). Longterm PAS might be an effective tool for improving motor performance in incomplete chronic SCI patients. Further studies on PAS in larger patient cohorts, with longer stimulation duration and at earlier stages after the injury, are warranted.
  • Tseng, Kuan-Yin; Anttila, Jenni E.; Khodosevich, Konstantin; Tuominen, Raimo K.; Lindahl, Maria; Domanskyi, Andrii; Airavaara, Mikko (2018)
    Cerebral ischemia activates endogenous reparative processes, such as increased proliferation of neural stem cells (NSCs) in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and migration of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) toward the ischemic area. However, this reparative process is limited because most of the NPCs die shortly after injury or are unable to arrive at the infarct boundary. In this study, we demonstrate for the first time that endogenous mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) protects NSCs against oxygen-glucose-deprivation-induced injury and has a crucial role in regulating NPC migration. In NSC cultures, MANF protein administration did not affect growth of cells but triggered neuronal and glial differentiation, followed by activation of STAT3. In SVZ explants, MANF over expression facilitated cell migration and activated the STAT3 and ERK1/2 pathway. Using a rat model of cortical stroke, intracerebroventricular injections of MANF did not affect cell proliferation in the SVZ, but promoted migration of doublecortin (DCX)(+) cells toward the corpus callosum and infarct boundary on day 14 post-stroke. Long-term infusion of MANF into the per'-infarct zone increased the recruitment of DCX+ cells in the infarct area. In conclusion, our data demonstrate a neuroregenerative activity of MANF that facilitates differentiation and migration of NPCs, thereby increasing recruitment of neuroblasts in stroke cortex.
  • Pohjonen, Markus; Savolainen, Sarianna; Arokoski, Jari; Shulga, Anastasia (2021)
    Objectives: Earlier studies have shown how chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) patients have benefitted from paired associative stimulation (PAS), consisting of high-frequency peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) and high-intensity transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Since high-frequency PNS is poorly characterized, its therapeutic effect without TMS should be evaluated. We tested the effect of PNS combined with motor imagery in chronic SCI patients using the same parameters of PNS as in earlier PAS-based studies that also used TMS. Methods: Five patients with chronic incomplete SCI and tetraplegia received a 6-week treatment of PNS combined with motor imagery to the weaker upper limb. Patients were evaluated with Manual Muscle Testing (MMT), hand function tests (Box and block, grip and pinch strength dynamometry), and spasticity. Results: There was no significant change in hand function tests or spasticity. MMT values improved significantly immediately after the PNS period (0.59 +/- 0.17, p = 0.043) and in the 1-month follow-up visit (0.87 +/- 0.18, p = 0.043). However, improvement of MMT values was weaker than in chronic tetraplegic patients in a corresponding PAS study that used identical PNS stimulation but also included the TMS component omitted here (Tolmacheva et al., 2019a, Clin Neurophysiol Pract). Conclusions: The lack of effect on functional hand tests with the protocol presented here suggests that the synergistic effect of PNS and TMS components is essential for the full therapeutic effect previously observed with PAS intervention. The moderate improvement of the MMT score suggests the possible usefulness of PNS and motor imagery for some of those tetraplegic SCI patients who have contraindications to TMS. Significance: These results add to the understanding of the PAS therapeutic mechanism by highlighting the importance of dual stimulation for achieving the full therapeutic effect of long-term PAS with a high-frequency PNS component. (C) 2021 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Lipachev, Nikita; Arnst, Nikita; Melnikova, Anastasiia; Jäälinoja, Harri; Kochneva, Anastasiya; Zhigalov, Alexander; Kulesskaya, Natalia; Aganov, Albert V.; Mavlikeev, Mikhail; Rauvala, Heikki; Kiyasov, Andrey P.; Paveliev, Mikhail (2019)
    Perineuronal net (PNN) is a highly structured portion of the CNS extracellular matrix (ECM) regulating synaptic plasticity and a range of pathologic conditions including posttraumatic regeneration and epilepsy. Here we studied Wisteria floribunda agglutinin-stained histological sections to quantify the PNN size and enrichment of chondroitin sulfates in mouse brain and spinal cord. Somatosensory cortex sections were examined during the period of PNN establishment at postnatal days 14, 21 and 28. The single cell PNN size and the chondroitin sulfate intensity were quantified for all cortex layers and specifically for the cortical layer IV which has the highest density of PNN-positive neurons. We demonstrate that the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan staining intensity is increased between P14 and P28 while the PNN size remains unchanged. We then addressed posttraumatic changes of the PNN expression in laminae 6 and 7 of cervical spinal cord following hemisection injury. We demonstrate increase of the chondroitin sulfate content at 1.6–1.8 mm rostrally from the injury site and increase of the density of PNN-bearing cells at 0.4–1.2 mm caudally from the injury site. We further demonstrate decrease of the single cell PNN area at 0.2 mm caudally from the injury site suggesting that the PNN ECM takes part in the posttraumatic tissue rearrangement in the spinal cord. Our results demonstrate new insights on the PNN structure dynamics in the developing and posttraumatic CNS.