Neuroscience Research Notes 2023-09-30T00:00:00+08:00 Editorial Office Open Journal Systems A high quality, free open access and peer-reviewed journal from scientists to scientists. Application of epidural steroid injection for the treatment of lumbar disc herniation in Vietnam 2022-10-30T15:03:40+08:00 Minh Van Le Tam Thai Thanh Tran Nghia Minh Tran Bao Lam Thai Tran Thang Nguyen <p>Epidural steroid injections (ESIs) have been mentioned by international medical literature as an option for treatment and pain relief for patients with lumbar disc herniation (LDH). Several studies worldwide have recognized the efficacy of treating LDH with ESIs to be between 72-86%. Our study aimed to elucidate the ESIs technique's effectiveness, advantages, and disadvantages. A 30-day pre-post study in 100 LDH patients underwent the ESIs technique. Patients meeting the criteria received physical examinations and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans before undergoing the method. The Visual Analog Scale (VAS) was applied to assess the patient's hospitalization condition after ESIs 1 day, 7 days, and 30 days. After 1 day of ESIs, 85% of patients responded well (10% excellent and 75% moderate), and this prevalence increased up to 95% after 7 days and 30 of follow-up. The ESIs safety assessment after 1 day of treatment recorded that 2% of patients had complications and 24% had medication side effects. After 7 days, 4% of patients had epigastric pain and no more complications. Treatment outcomes of ESIs were effective and high safety in patients with LDH.</p> 2023-07-02T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Minh Van Le, Tam Thai Thanh Tran, Nghia Minh Tran, Bao Lam Thai Tran, Thang Nguyen Differential effects of statins on plasma and brain cholinesterase activities in chicks 2023-07-19T13:08:01+08:00 Hussein Mohammed Rashid Fouad Kasim Mohammad <p>Statins used to treat dyslipidemia may differentially modulate cholinesterase (ChE) activity impacting neuronal function. This study examines the effects of three statins (atorvastatin, fluvastatin, and simvastatin) on plasma and brain ChE activities and cholesterol levels in a chick model of 7-14 days old. Chicks were dosed orally with single doses of each statin at 50, 100, and 200mg/kg or repeated doses at 100mg/kg/day for 14 consecutive days. Plasma and whole brain ChE activities were measured electrometrically, whereas cholesterol levels were measured using a commercial colourimetric kit. <em>In vitro </em>ChE inhibition by the statins was initiated at 37°C for 10 mins. Data were statistically analysed using analysis of variance followed by the least significant difference test. Atorvastatin and fluvastatin did not significantly affect plasma ChE activities 2 hours after the oral administration, whereas simvastatin at 100 and 200mg/kg significantly increased (28% and 16%, respectively) plasma ChE activity. Repeated oral doses of the statins did not significantly affect plasma ChE activity. However, only simvastatin significantly decreased whole brain ChE activity by 33%. Repeated treatments with the three statins significantly reduced cholesterol levels in the plasma but not in the whole brain. The three statins inhibited <em>in vitro</em> plasma and whole brain ChE activities by 10-33% and 8-43%, respectively. The results suggested that the statins differentially modulated ChE activity <em>in vivo</em> and <em>in vitro</em> in chicks. Additional <em>in vivo</em> studies are warranted on statin effects on ChE activity in different brain regions of animal models.</p> 2023-08-22T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Hussein Mohammed Rashid, Fouad Kasim Mohammad Rosmarinic acid-rich ethanolic extract of Orthosiphon stamineus ameliorates cognitive and hippocampal long-term potentiation in chronic cerebral hypoperfusion rat model 2023-03-07T12:28:10+08:00 Zurina Hassan KKesevan Rajah Kumaran Nelson Jeng-Yeou Chear Siti Najmi Syuhadaa Bakar Thaarvena Retinasamy Saatheeyavaane Bhuvanendran Amin Malik Abdul Majeed Mohd. Farooq Shaikh Iekhsan Othman <p>Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) is one of the main causes of vascular dementia caused by the reduced blood flow to the brain. <em>Orthosiphon stamineus</em> (OS) is a medicinal herb exhibiting pronounced neuroprotective, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities due to its high rosmarinic acid content. This study investigated the nootropic effect of OS ethanolic extract on cognitive functions in CCH rats. CCH was developed by permanent bilateral occlusion of the common carotid artery (PBOCCA). Passive avoidance task (PAT) and Morris water maze (MWM) test were conducted to evaluate cognitive functions followed by <em>in vivo </em>long-term potentiation (LTP) for assessing neuroplasticity. The rosmarinic acid content of OS ethanolic extract was quantified using a validated HPLC-PDA. Treatment with OS ethanolic extract significantly increased step-through latency in the PAT, decreased escape latency at a low dose of OS extract in the MWM and rescued the LTP impairment at the highest dose in CCH rats. These results strongly support the effectiveness of rosmarinic acid-rich OS extract (5.088 % w/w) in treating pathological vascular dementia caused by CCH.</p> 2023-08-27T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Zurina Hassan, KKesevan Rajah Kumaran, Nelson Jeng-Yeou Chear, Siti Najmi Syuhadaa Bakar, Thaarvena Retinasamy, Saatheeyavaane Bhuvanendran, Amin Malik Abdul Majeed, Mohd. Farooq Shaikh, Iekhsan Othman Psychometric properties of the Mongolian version of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index 2022-10-26T23:05:50+08:00 Enkhnaran Tumurbaatar Tetsuya Hiramoto Gantsetseg Tumur-Ochir Enkhjin Bat-Erdene Chimeddulam Erdenebaatar Tsolmontuya Amartuvshin Myagmartseren Dashtseren Battuvshin Lkhagvasuren Damdindorj Boldbaatar Tsolmon Jadamba <p>Poor sleep quality is associated with decreased brain health, such as fatigue, low quality of life, and risk of neurological and psychiatric comorbidities. Until now, no testing instruments for an accurate assessment of sleep quality for use in the general population have been rigorously translated and validated in Mongolia. We aimed to determine the psychometric properties of the globally recognized screening tool and sleep quality in the general population of Mongolia. In this cross-sectional study, participants were randomly selected between August and October 2020, from 64 sites in 8 urban, and 9 rural areas in Mongolia. Of the total 1152 participants (mean age, SD=42.66±12.6, range: 18 and 65) 76% were women. An overall Cronbach’s α was 0.69. Both EFA and CFA indicated a two-factor solution. The PSQI total score was positively correlated with anxiety and depression. The PSQI total score (p values &lt; 0.01) was negatively correlated with the mean scores of all domains of WHOQOL-BREF. The mean PSQI total score was 5.67±3.4 and 43% of the participants were classified as poor sleepers by a global cut-off point of 5. The Mongolian version of the PSQI demonstrated a reliable and valid tool for screening sleep quality among the Mongolian general population. The results suggest that the prevalence rate of poor sleep quality was 43% using PSQI global cut-off point.</p> 2023-07-01T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Enkhnaran Tumurbaatar, Tetsuya Hiramoto, Gantsetseg Tumur-Ochir, Enkhjin Bat-Erdene, Chimeddulam Erdenebaatar, Tsolmontuya Amartuvshin, Myagmartseren Dashtseren, Battuvshin Lkhagvasuren, Damdindorj Boldbaatar, Tsolmon Jadamba Investigating cortical networks from vibrotactile stimulation in young adults using independent component analysis: an fMRI study 2023-04-03T08:55:07+08:00 Faten Anis Syairah Seri Aini Ismafairus Abd Hamid Jafri Malin Abdullah Zamzuri Idris Hazim Omar Muhammad Riddha Abdul Rahman <p>This study investigated the functional connectivity of the neural networks when vibrotactile stimulation is applied to the fingertips of young adults. Twenty healthy, right-handed subjects were stimulated with vibrotactile stimulation whilst being scanned with a 3.0 T magnetic resonance imaging scanner. The subjects were stimulated at 30 Hz – 240 Hz using a piezoelectric vibrator attached to the subjects' bilateral index fingers. The scanned data were processed with independent component analysis (ICA), while the temporal configuration and spatial localisation of the component were investigated. The activation locations were tabulated and compared with regions of somatosensory in the brain. Using ICA, somatosensory regions and their neighbouring areas identified one or more of these components mapped to the common significant regions in the medial frontal gyrus (MFG), paracentral lobule (PaCL), precentral gyrus (PrG), postcentral gyrus (PoG), inferior parietal lobule (IPL), and cingulate gyrus (CgG). Using Neuromark as a reference, six significant networks with the highest correlation values, r&gt;0.5, were identified: the visual network (VIN), sensorimotor network (SMN), cognitive-control network (CCN), subcortical network (SCN), default-mode network (DMN), and auditory network (AUN). It showed that VIN and SMN were the most activated during the vibrotactile stimulation. A comparison of the network volumes and peak activations during the conditions demonstrated changes in volume and corresponding peak activation during vibrotactile stimulation. This study contributes to a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the somatosensory areas. Other than that, not only this study highlighted the underlying effect of vibrotactile stimulation towards the functional brain connectivity at network levels, but it also highlighted the impact of frequencies in somatosensory studies. In the future, we suggest that exploring the change in the range of frequencies and examining its differences will allow us to comprehend aspects of somatosensory networks and their connectivity.</p> 2023-07-04T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Faten Anis Syairah Seri, Aini Ismafairus Abd Hamid, Jafri Malin Abdullah, Zamzuri Idris, Hazim Omar, Muhammad Riddha Abdul Rahman The effectiveness of social stories in an intervention program in late adolescence with high functioning autism spectrum disorders: A case study report 2023-06-14T02:04:54+08:00 Angelo Papadopoulos Angeliki Tsapara Panagiotis Plotas Ioannis Tzortzakis Dionysios Tafiadis Vassiliki Siafaka <p>People with high-functioning autism (HFA) demonstrated significant social skill deficits compared to those typically developing. Relatively limited data is still known about the challenges faced (friendship, social networks) by adolescents with HFA and so far with a delayed diagnosis. The case study aimed to investigate social stories’ effectiveness by using an intensive intervention approach on a late-adolescent female with autism. A 17-year-old girl with a recent diagnosis of HFA was selected as a case study from a private Speech and Language Therapy Center to involve in an immediate intervention program. A single-case research design was used to monitor changes after an intervention. Specifically, observation and training lasted four weeks, plus two weeks of maintenance. The intervention was done exclusively with social stories personalised to her needs. The targeted behaviours were to enhance social interaction skills, especially her ability to make friends and improve communication. There was a positive response from the young female in the intensive intervention program. Moreover, she displayed more positive peer interaction throughout the intervention program (6 weeks). She managed to participate and ask peers to companies in High school, to start a conversation, and to call them into her house in a positive way 44 times in 6 weeks. In addition, after every intervention week, we recorded an increase in her positive interactions with peers. The results demonstrate that social story use enhances HFA adolescents' social engagement. This study provides insights into the relationship between intensive social story intervention, social communication and social interaction behaviours between adolescents with a recent diagnosis of HFA and peers. Moreover, the findings support the effectiveness of social stories in encouraging social interaction of a late adolescent with HFA.</p> 2023-07-22T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Angelo Papadopoulos, Angeliki Tsapara, Panagiotis Plotas, Ioannis Tzortzakis, Dionysios Tafiadis, Vassiliki Siafaka Exploring the interaction between culture and neuroscience using event-related potential (ERP) 2023-03-15T00:06:55+08:00 Norlyiana Samsuri Nasir Yusoff Faruque Reza <p>The application of the event-related potential (ERP) was almost 80 years ago and has assisted in answering many research questions. Today, ERP is considered one of the most popular techniques among other neuroscience methods. Cultural neuroscience is an emerging interdisciplinary field that applies neuroscience tools to answer research questions in culture. This paper highlights the importance of neuroscience tools, especially ERP, in advancing the new emerging interdisciplinary field of cultural neuroscience. This paper gives an overview of ERP followed by a short description and examples of the application of ERP in two recent research. Cultural study through the application of neuroscience methods such as ERP can discover and measure neural processes related to culture, which cannot be quantified by traditional pen and paper data collection. However, many more research questions need to be answered and explored in cultural neuroscience.</p> 2023-08-22T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Norlyiana Samsuri, Nasir Yusoff, Faruque Reza Malaysian Stroke Conference (MSC) Report 2022 2023-07-02T23:06:07+08:00 Crystal Teoh Irene Looi Yan Shen Kee Wan Chung Law Wan Asyraf Wan Zaidi Fan Kee Hoo <p>The fourth Malaysian Stroke Conference was held in Eastern and Oriental Hotel Penang from 12 to 13 August 2022. This conference attracted 254 physical delegates and 378 virtual delegates within Malaysia and internationally from Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, India and Japan. The theme of this conference was “FAST: BRAIN AND HEART ATTACK”, with the take-home message of acting as fast as possible in both acute cerebrovascular and acute coronary disease. The main organiser was the Malaysian Stroke Council, with support from other specialities, namely emergency physicians, geriatricians and advanced acute internal medicine physicians. The event was a great success in gathering various stakeholders in stroke care to share the latest updates on stroke. Issues pertaining to stroke care were discussed to take the stroke service delivery to greater heights. This conference has undoubtedly left a profound impact on all the participants that it is time to embrace the practice of hyperacute stroke treatment which saves lives, and that everyone is responsible for offering the best stroke care to our patients.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> 2023-08-26T00:00:00+08:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Crystal Teoh, Irene Looi, Yan Shen Kee, Wan Chung Law, Wan Asyraf Wan Zaidi , Fan Kee Hoo