A multicenter case-control study was conducted to evaluate the relations between antioxidant status assessed by biomarkers and acute myocardial infarction. Incidence cases and frequency matched controls were recruited from 10 European countries to maximize the variance in exposure within the study. Adipose tissue needle aspiration biopsies were taken shortly after the infarction and analyzed for levels of carotenoids and tocopherols. An examination of colinearity including all covariates and the three carotenoids, alpha-carotene, p-carotene, and lycopene, showed that the variables were sufficiently independent to model simultaneously. When examined singularly, each of the carotenoids appeared to be protective. Upon simultaneous analyses of the carotenoids, however, using conditional logistic regression models that controlled for age, body mass index, socioeconomic status, smoking, hypertension, and maternal and paternal history of disease, lycopene remained independently protective, with an odds ratio of 0.52 for the contrast of the 10th and 90th percentiles (95% confidence interval 0.33-0.82, rho = 0.005). The associations for alpha- and beta-carotene were largely eliminated. We conclude that lycopene, or some substance highly correlated which is in a common food source, may contribute to the protective effect of Vegetable consumption on myocardial infarction risk.
Few studies have determined whether greater carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) in asymptomatic individuals is associated prospectively with increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). In the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, carotid IMT, an index of generalized atherosclerosis, was defined as the mean of IMT measurements at six sites of the carotid arteries using B-mode ultrasound. The authors assessed its relation to CHD incidence over 4-7 years of follow-up (1987-1993) in four US communities (Forsyth County, North Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Washington County, Maryland) from samples of 7,289 women and 5,552 men aged 45-64 years who were free of clinical CHD at baseline. There were 96 incident events for women and 194 for men. In sex-specific Cox proportional hazards models adjusted only for age, race, and center, the hazard rate ratio comparing extreme mean IMT(greater than or equal to 1 mm) to not extreme (<1 mm) was 5.07 for women (95% confidence interval 3.08-8.36) and 1.85 for men (95% confidence interval 1.28-2.69). The relation was graded (monotonic), and models with cubic splines indicated significant nonlinearity. The strength of the association was reduced by including major CHD risk factors, but remained elevated at higher IMT. Up to 1 mm mean IMT, women had lower adjusted annual event rates than did men, but above 1 mm their event rate was closer to that of men. Thus, mean carotid IMT is a noninvasive predictor of future CHD incidence.
Physiological, morphological and immunohistochemical characteristics of non pyramidal cells in frontal cortex of young rats were studied in vitro by whole-cell recording and biocytin injection. Several groups of GABAergic non-pyramidal cells were identified: (i) parvalbumin fast-spiking (FS) cells with low input resistances and spikes of short duration, including extended plexus (basket) cells and chandelier cells. These cells showed abrupt episodes of non-adapting repetitive discharges; (ii) late-spiking (LS) cells exhibiting slowly developing ramp depolarizations, including neurogliaform cells; (iii) the remaining groups contained both burst-spiking (BS) or regular-spiking (RS) non pyramidal (NP) cells. BSNP cells exhibited bursting activity (two or more spikes on slow depolarizing humps) from hyperpolarized potentials. Both these physiological types corresponded to a range of morphologies: (i) somatostatin-containing Martinotti cells with ascending axonal arbors to layer I (some were also positive for calbindin D-28k); (ii) VIP-containing double bouquet cells with descending axonal arbors as well as arcade cells (these included small cells immunoreactive for CCK or calretinin). Each subtype of cells made GABAergic synapses onto relatively specific portions of cortical cells, but similar domains were innervated by multiple classes of GABA cells.
Changes in cortical activity during working memory tasks were examined with electroencephalograms (EEGs) sampled from 115 channels and spatially sharpened with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based finite element deblurring. Eight subjects performed tasks requiring comparison of each stimulus to a preceding one on verbal or spatial attributes. A frontal midline theta rhythm increased in magnitude with increased memory load. Dipole models localized this signal to the region of the anterior cingulate cortex. A slow (low-frequency), parietocentral, alpha signal decreased with increased working memory load. These signals were insensitive to the type of stimulus attribute being processed. A faster (higher-frequency), occipitoparietal, alpha signal was relatively attenuated in the spatial version of the task, especially over the posterior right hemisphere. Theta and alpha signals increased, and overt performance improved, after practice on the tasks. increases in theta with both increased task difficulty and with practice suggests that focusing attention required more effort after an extended test session. Decreased alpha in the difficult tasks indicates that this signal is inversely related to the amount of cortical resources allocated to task performance. Practice-related increases ire alpha suggest that fewer cortical resources are required after skill development. These results serve: (i) to dissociate the effects of task difficulty and practice; (ii) to differentiate the involvement of posterior cortex in spatial versus verbal tasks; (iii) to localize frontal midline theta to the anteromedial cortex; and (iv) to demonstrate the feasibility of using anatomical MRIs to remove the blurring effect of the skull and scalp from the ongoing EEG. The results are discussed with respect to those obtained in a prior study of transient evoked potentials during worsting memory.
A method of using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure retinotopic organization within human cortex is described. The method is based on a visual stimulus that creates a traveling wave of neural activity within retinotopically organized visual areas. We measured the fMRI signal caused by this stimulus in visual cortex and represented the results on images of the flattened cortical sheet. We used the method to locate visual areas and to evaluate the spatial precision of fMRI. Specifically, we: (i) identified the borders between several retinotopically organized visual areas in the posterior occipital lobe; (ii) measured the function relating cortical position to visual field eccentricity within area V1; (iii) localized activity to within 1.1 mm of visual cortex; and (iv) estimated the spatial resolution of the fMRI signal and found that signal amplitude falls to 60% at a spatial frequency of 1 cycle per 9 mm of visual cortex. This spatial resolution is consistent with a linespread whose full width at half maximum spreads across 3.5 mm of visual cortex.
In a prospective cross sectional study, we used computerized volumetry of magnetic resonance images to examine the patterns of brain aging in 148 healthy volunteers. The most substantial age related decline was found in the volume of the prefrontal gray matter. Smaller age-related differences were observed in the volume of the fusiform, inferior temporal and superior parietal cortices. The effects of age on the hippocampal formation, the postcentral gyrus, prefrontal white matter and superior parietal white matter were even weaker. No significant age-related differences were observed in the parahippocampal and anterior cingulate gyri, inferior parietal lobule, pericalcarine gray matter, the precentral gray and white matter, postcentral white matter and inferior parietal white matter. The volume of the total brain volume and the hippocampal formation was larger in men than in women even after adjustment for height. Inferior temporal cortex showed steeper aging trend in men. Small but consistent rightward asymmetry was found in the whole cerebral hemispheres, superior parietal, fusiform and orbito-frontal cortices, postcentral and prefrontal white matter. The left side was larger than the right in the dorsolateral prefrontal, parahippocampal, inferior parietal and pericalcarine cortices, and in the parietal white matter. However, there were no significant differences in age trends between the hemispheres.
Electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies have shown that attention to visual motion can increase the responsiveness of the motion-selective cortical area V5 and the posterior parietal cortex (PP). Increased or decreased activation in a cortical area is often attributed to attentional modulation of the cortical projections to that area. This leads to the notion that attention is associated with changes in connectivity. We have addressed attentional modulation of effective connectivity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Three subjects were scanned under identical stimulus conditions (visual motion) while varying only the attentional component of the task. Haemodynamic responses defined an occipito-parieto-frontal network, including the, primary visual cortex (V1), V5 and PP. A structural equation model of the interactions among these dorsal visual pathway areas revealed increased connectivity between V5 and PP related to attention. On the basis of our analysis and the neuroanatomical pattern of projections from the prefrontal cortex to PR we attributed the source of modulatory influences, on the posterior visual pathway, to the prefrontal cortex (PFC). To test this hypothesis we included the PFC in our model as a 'modulator' of the pathway between V5 and PR using interaction terms in the structural equation model. This analysis revealed a significant modulatory effect of prefrontal regions on V5 afferents to posterior parietal cortex.
Flavonoids are effective antioxidants and, in theory, may provide protection against cancer, although direct human evidence of this is scarce. The relation between the intake of antioxidant flavonoids and subsequent risk of cancer was studied among 9,959 Finnish men and women aged 15-99 years and initially cancer free. Food consumption was estimated by the dietary history method, covering the total habitual diet during the previous year. During a follow-up in 1967-1991, 997 cancer cases and 151 lung cancer cases were diagnosed. An inverse association was observed between the intake of flavonoids and incidence of all sites of cancer combined. The sex- and age-adjusted relative risk of all sites of cancer combined between the highest and lowest quartiles of flavonoid intake was 0.80 (95% confidence interval 0.67-0.96). This association was mainly a result of lung cancer, which presented a corresponding relative risk of 0.54 (95% confidence interval 0.34-0.87). The association between flavonoid intake and lung cancer incidence was not due to the intake of antioxidant vitamins or other potential confounding factors, as adjustment for factors such as smoking and intakes of energy, vitamin E, vitamin C, and beta-carotene did not materially alter the results, The association was strongest in persons under 50 years of age and in nonsmokers with relative risks of 0.33 (95% confidence interval 0.15-0.77) and 0.13 (95% confidence interval 0.03-0.58), respectively. Of the major dietary flavonoid sources, the consumption of apples showed an inverse association with lung cancer incidence, with a relative risk of 0.42 (95% confidence interval 0.23-0.76) after adjustment for the intake of other fruits and vegetables. The results are in line with the hypothesis that flavonoid intake in some circumstances may be involved in the cancer process, resulting in lowered risks.
We investigate self-sustaining stable states (attractors) in networks of integrate-and-fire neurons. First, we study the stability of spontaneous activity in an unstructured network. It is shown that the stochastic background activity, of 1-5 spikes/s, is unstable if all neurons are excitatory. On the other hand, spontaneous activity becomes self-stabilizing in presence of local inhibition, given reasonable values of the parameters of the network. Second, in a network sustaining physiological spontaneous rates, we study the effect of learning in a local module, expressed in synaptic modifications in specific populations of synapses. We find that if the average synaptic potentiation (LTP) is too low, no stimulus specific activity manifests itself in the delay period. Instead, following the presentation and removal of any stimulus there is, in the local module, a delay activity in which all neurons selective (responding visually) to any of the stimuli presented for learning have rates which gradually increase with the amplitude of synaptic potentiation; When the average LTP increases beyond a critical value, specific local attractors (stable states) appear abruptly against the background of the global uniform spontaneous attractor. In this case the local module has two available types of collective delay activity: if the stimulus is unfamiliar, the activity is spontaneous; if it is similar to a learned stimulus, delay activity is selective. These new attractors reflect the synaptic structure developed during learning. In each of them a small population of neurons have elevated rates, which depend on the strength of LTP. The remaining neurons of the module have their activity at spontaneous rates. The predictions made in this paper could be checked by single unit recordings in delayed reponse experiments.
Obesity is an established risk factor for non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Anthropometric measures of overall and central obesity as predictors of NIDDM risk have not been as well studied, especially in women. Among 43,581 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study who in 1986 provided waist, hip, and weight information and who were initially free from diabetes and other major chronic diseases, NIDDM incidence was followed from 1986 to 1994. After adjustment for age, family history of diabetes, smoking, exercise, and several dietary factors, the relative risk of NIDDM for the 90th percentile of body mass index (BMI) (weight (kg)/height (m)(2)) (BMI = 29.9) versus the 10th percentile (BMI = 20.1) was 11.2 (95% confidence interval (CI) 7.9-15.9). Controlling for BMI and other potentially confounding factors, the relative risk for the 90th percentile of waist : hip ratio (WHR) (WHR = 0.86) versus the 10th percentile (WHR = 0.70) was 3.1 (95% CI 2.3-4.1), and the relative risk for the 90th percentile of waist circumference (36.2 inches or 92 cm) versus the 10th percentile (26.2 inches or 67 cm) was 5.1 (95% CI 2.9-8.9), BMI, WHR, and waist circumference are powerful independent predictors of NIDDM in US women, Measurement of BMI and waist circumference (with or without hip circumference) are potentially useful tools for clinicians in counseling patients regarding NIDDM risk and risk reduction.