Day 1 :
Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, China
Keynote: Shugan clue us to the discovery of shared molecules that mediate anti-depression and prokinetic in stressed rat
Time : 10:00-10:45
Xi Huang has completed his PhD from Fouth Military Medical University in 1995 and postdoctoral studies from Xiyuan Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medicine Science in 1998 respectively. He is the director and Professor of Institute of TCM-related depressive comorbidity, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine. He has got 9 funds of National Natural Science Foundations of China. Among > 200 papers as corresponace author, 41 involve in TCM in SCI journals. He is > 10 editorial board members or correspondence reviewer of repute journal. He also is Chairmen of Basic Theory Committee of China Association of Integrated Medicine
The unique challenge of DCWFD (depressive comorbidity with functional dyspepsia, FD) is its unitied theory including shared pathogenesis and therapeutic strategy. The latter inhibition to gut motor by SSRIs result in anti-depressive discontinuance. Surprisedly, Shugan, one of TCM strategies against DCWFD, has been being neglected during past 2200 years until the discovery of its anti-depression and prokinetic (A&P) in 2011. Here, Shugan-treated target is Ganyupixu (ancient disease name of TCM) similar to DCWFD in symptoms. Clinically and experimently it also has been comprehensively and seperately applied in the treatment of depression, FD and DCWFD. From above clues, we advance the hypothesis involed in simultaneous A&P against stress. The evidences for testing hypothesis in stressed rats include: i.simultaneous A&P activities by 7 agents including TCM Chaihu-Shugan-San (it contains 6 herbs of fructus aurantii,et al), fructus aurantii and the related 5 phytochemicals (ferulic acid, meranzin hydrate, hesperidin, peoniflorin and Senkyunolide) in which each is absorbed into hippocampus and jejunum via polypharmacology including HPA axis, 5-HT, NA, DA et al when 7 agents each was administered respectively; ii.some shared molecules (α2-AR, ghrelin, 5-HT1 and BDNF/p-mTOR) of rat gut-brain axis following forced swimming or treatment simultaneously mediate A&P, respectively supported by strict agonist or antagonist-evidenced experiments. We concluded from above results: i.Shugan guided the discovery of A&P's CSS, fructus aurantii and 5 phytochemials; ii. these holistic agents play A&P role via regulating 4 shared molecules following stress, highlighting depressive or anti-depressive unitied theory involed in pathegenesis and therapeutics.
University of Athens, Greece
Keynote: Pythagorean Self-awareness Technique for Stress Management and Self-Empowerment Related to Healthy Lifestyle in Healthy Volunteers: A Pilot Study.
Time : 11:15-12:00
Dr. Christina Darviri is Professor of Prevention and Health Promotion. Since 2008, she has been serving as the co-Scientific director with professor G .Chrousos of the MSc/PhD Program entitled "The Science of Stress and Health Promotion" at the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece. She lectures on stress-related nosology, lifestyle and stress, efficient stress management and the overall connection between stress and health promotion. She has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles in the field of stress. She has also supervised over 100 theses on stress, health and disease and published many books.She has been the principal investigator of many research projects, focusing on issues such as healthy longevity and how life style impacts stress resilience, as well as how to effectively auto regulate hypertension through stress management and health promotion. Her latest scientific project is a technique called "Pythagorean Self-awareness for Stress Management, Memory Improvement and Sense of Well-being”.
Coping with stress and making healthy choices become increasingly difficult for individuals with low self-empowerment. The goal of this pilot study was to assess a new technique dubbed "Pythagorean Self-awareness Technique" (PSAT), based on Pythagorean philosophy. This is a mental technique, performed twice per day, with three stages: sequential recall of daily events, primary contemplation on thoughts-emotions related to each event and the critical appraisal of the individual's attitude. A sample of 34 healthy volunteers (13 males, 21 females, mean age: 49, from 23 to 72 years old) attending this program for 8 weeks was assessed. We followed a heuristic approach by measuring various aspects of mental and physical health both prior and after the end of the program. Significant beneficial effects were categorized in terms of d effect sizes: medium (0.3 or below), moderate (0.3-0.5), high (over 0.5). High effect sizes were note for the following measures (in decreasing effect sizes): perceived stress (d=0.78), mental fatigue (d=0.74), negative emotions (d=0.70), sleep disturbances (d=0.68), emotion control (d=0.67), control of anger (d=0.66), self-control (d=0.64), management of self-emotions (d=0.63), scheduled physical exercise (d=0.63), pride (d=0.63), speed of cognitive tasks (d=0.58), cognitive fatigue (d=0.58), sleep onset (d=0.56) depression (d=0.55), self-awareness (d=0.51), daily routine (0.50) and dietary healthy choices (d=0.50). Moderate effect sizes were found for anxiety (d=0.49), guilds (d=0.48), restful sleep (d=0.47) and for systolic blood pressure (d=0.43). In conclusion, PSAT can be validated as a potent technique since it benefits both mental and physical aspects of health.
- Stress and Mental Health | Post Traumatic Stress Disorders
Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, China
Black Hills State University, USA
Title: Measuring blood-glucose levels to distinguish between psychological and physiological reductions in stress after drawing for 15 minutes
Time : 12:10-12:40
Dr. Aris Karagiorgakis graduated with his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Claremont Graduate University, CA. Kaitlin Schneider recently graduated from Black Hills State University with her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. This line of research initially started as Kaitlin’s Senior Honors Project, which eventually led the researchers to this current grant funded project.
Techniques in art therapy such as drawing are a viable method to reduce acute stress; current research findings on art’s benefits however, are limited to self-reported decreases in stress. The current project investigated whether drawing can reduce physiological levels of stress by measuring participant’s blood glucose levels before and after viewing arousing images, and then again after drawing. It was hypothesized that if drawing significantly reduces stress, both psychologically and physiologically, then self-reports and blood glucose measures should correlate. However, if drawing only reduces stress on a psychological level, then only self-reports will show a decrease. Sixty-eight BHSU students were randomly assigned to either draw or transcribe in this 2x3 mixed factorial design ANOVA, with drawing type (drawing or transcribing) as the between-subjects factor, and time stress levels measured (baseline, after arousing images, after drawing type) as the within-subjects factor. Self-report measures of stress did not correlate with blood-glucose measures (ps > .089). Both drawing and transcribing groups self-reported significantly lower stress scores after the intervention. However, those who drew reduced stress levels significantly lower than where they were at baseline, whereas those who transcribed did not return to baseline. Although neither group showed the hypothesized decrease in blood glucose levels after drawing or transcribing, the blood glucose levels of the drawing group also returned to baseline, whereas the transcription group’s blood-glucose levels remained significantly higher. This pattern of results suggests drawing does impact both psychological and physiological levels of stress, but the hypothesized benefits may be delayed.
Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia
Time : 12:40-13:10
Mikeladze Lika Igorevna has completed her PhD at the age of 27 years from Lomonosov Moscow State University. She is a pedagogue psychologist at the City Psychological Pedagogic Center, Moscow. She has published 4 papers in reputed journals and has attended more than 10 international conferences. She is a member of The International Time Perspective Network and The International Society for the Study of Time.
Late life depression is characterized by changes in time perception which are connected with the state of higher mental functions and their neuropsychological correlates. To the investigation of these connections our study was dedicated.
A complex of methods included the Lurian neuropsychological diagnostics, prospective estimation of 5-, 10- and 15-second intervals and production of 1 min interval, retrospective estimation of the length of diagnostics and current time. Participants from control (n=26) and clinical (n=48) groups aged 50-81 were equal in socio-demographic characteristics. According to the hypothesis, in late life depression retrospective estimation deficit would be connected with memory deterioration, therefore, with dysfunction of deeper subcortical structures.
According to the results, in normal aging changes in time perception are connected with spatial deficit of memory, perception and praxis; in prospective judgments attention and control functions play a role. Time perception deficit is connected with dysfunction of deeper subcortical structures accenting in right hemisphere; prospective estimation – with prefrontal structures. In late life depression time perception deficit is connected with attention and control functions deficit; prospective judgments – with praxis; retrospective judgments – with memory deterioration. Prospective estimation deficit is connected with deficit in left-hemispheric structures and interhemispheric interaction; retrospective estimation deficit – with dysfunction of deeper subcortical structures. In different variants of aging tendencies to overestimation/underproduction of short intervals are connected with left-hemispheric dysfunction; to underestimation/overproduction – right-hemispheric dysfunction. Consequently, the hypothesis was approved and a full picture of interconnections between time perception and other functions and their neuropsychological correlates in late life depression was obtained.
University of London, UK
Time : 13:50-14:20
David Budd completed his undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at the University of Oxford, aged 21. He then moved to Goldsmiths College, University of London to pursue a Masters in Music Psychology.
Anecdotal evidence and previous studies have demonstrated that singing in a choir can have beneficial effects for feelings of anxiety and sociability. This has been investigated using both psychological and biological measures. These studies have shown that choir singing can cause a decrease in stress and anxiety, along with reductions in hormones associated with stress responses. However, each of these studies is limited in that they only measure changes at the beginning and end of singing sessions. In our experiment, psychological readings prior, during, and after singing, with the hypothesis that anxiety would decrease, and mood and sociability would increase, and that this would be significant during singing. The aim was to investigate at what point these changes would occur, and whether these effects could last for a period of time after singing. We also hypothesised that trait measures of anxiety would be able to predict people’s scores on the other measures. We found that anxiety significantly decreased during singing, and mood and sociability significantly increased during singing. Trait anxiety could predict mood levels, but no others. In the future an additional measure should be added at the end to ensure a strict ABA structure. Furthermore, a longitudinal study would be able to determine whether singing in a choir can produce long-term effects in reductions of stress and anxiety.
- Neurocognitive Disorders and treatment
JFK Medical Center, USA
Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia
Title: Neuropsychological analysis of human executive and other cognitive functions in Natural Aging
Time : 14:20-14:50
Maia Machavariani-Tsereteli has completed her M.sc in clinical Neuropsycology in 2007 at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. Currently she is PhD student of the same university. She is working as neuropsychologist (National programs on prevention and early diagnosis of epilepsy in children and adults) at Institute of Neurology and Neuropsychology since 2011 up to now and delivers lectures and seminars as Professor at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. She conducted researches on Naming Development Neuropsychological and Neurolinguistic analysis, The research of Creativity in Georgian Population -Torrans Creativity Test adaptation , Neuropsychological analysis of human executive and other cognitive functions during natural aging.
During newborn and early childhood period forming and developing of brain’s neural circuits is mirror projection of the processes of structural atrophy and neural cell loss which take place during the natural aging. Revealing and stating the signs of natural cognitive aging is the basic milestone for neuropsychological diagnostic process of different age-related mental disorders.
Objectives: Current research objective is to study the changes of executive functions during natural aging and the influence of the changes on other cognitive functions.
Methods: Cognitive and executive functions were assessed by means of Neuropsychological battery. The battery was completed by 218 subjects of 7 different age groups. Besides age, gender, education, bilingualism, dominant hand, somatic and neurological disease factors have been controlled.
Results: Study results revealed that age factor first of all has significant influence on subject’s executive functions. The natural decline of executive functions during aging causes secondary decline of certain cognitive functions. Mental fatigue is revealed in age groups of 50 and older subjects. According to correlational analysis results battery completion total score correlates significantly with executive functions among all age groups. Bilingualism and gender factors have no significant influence either on total score of executive functions assessing subtests or on battery completion total score. Whereas the disease and education factors influence become significant at the age when executive functions’ natural decline begins.
Conclusions: Revealed cognitive age-related differences probably are based on age –related neural changes in prefrontal cortex and functional conditions of the dopamine system of the aging brain. Neurocognitive mechanisms of age-related decline of executive and other cognitive functions could be explained within the executive control model.
University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Croatia
Time : 14:50-15:20
Karlo Toljan is a final year medical student at University of Zagreb School of Medicine. He is a leading member of the Student Society for Neuroscience as well as a student assistant at various departments at his medical school (Internal Medicine, Pathophysiology, Physiology and Immunology). In addition he’s been an editor at student academic journal Gyrus since 2014. Recently, his areas of interest include psychobiotics, psychoanalysis and integrative approach in medicine. He considers himself a neuro-ethusiast and attends as much symposia and conferences with neuro-topics as possible. He’s active on Twitter, LinkedIn and ResearchGate where you may also find his publications.
The arising area of research that uncovers the importance of the microbiota-gut-brain axis implicates a need to apply this redefined concept of human biology and physiology in the area of mental health and well-being. The microbiota is numerically constituted of three times more living cells than a single human individual is. These microbes produce metabolites which have a direct impact on the function of the gut, but also repercussions on systemic immunology and the nervous system. The intestinal lining is an important barrier in physical and immunological terms and the enteric nervous system plays a major role in neurotransmitter synthesis, e.g. serotonin and dopamine. By elucidating the mechanisms of peripheral and central nervous system interconnections and with the recent finding of the brain’s own lymphatic system, dubbed the glymphatic, a major role for immunological cells such as microglia is determined. The polarization of microglia, which is different in regards to the immunological homeostasis or allostasis present, defines the millieu for neurons. Ultimately, through neurobiological mechanisms it generates stable or unstable mental and cognitive states producing symptoms, such as depression, anxiety etc. Traditional psychoanalysis represents a valuable framework for psychodynamic concepts and tools, both theoretical and practical. By reviewing it through modern neuroscientific techniques unavailable previously, the path was paved for an evidence based neuropsychoanalysis. By adding the new findings from the areas of microbiome research, immunology and the significance of gut-brain interactions, a step further would be called ‘Immunoneuropsychoanalysis’. Accordingly, keeping a bidirectional integrative interpretation as the main conceptual approach should be the ultimate goal.
University Ibn Tofail, Morocco
It is known that an inflammatory challenge during the prenatal period results in permanent changes in glial cells and behavior in adulthood. However, it is unknown whether an inflammatory challenge during the infantile period may have permanent sex dimorphic effects in microglia and astrocytes in vivo, which in turn may be associated with sex differences in adult behavior. In this study we have evaluated whether postnatal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 250ug/kg, i.p. on postnatal day 14), induces depressive and anxiety-like behaviors, glial cell activation, pro-inflammatory cytokine (TNF alpha) secretion and sexually dimorphic responses in adulthood. Postnatal day 14 (P14) male and female rats received an intraperitoneal injection of LPS or PBS, Three months later, animals were tested in the open field (OF), the elevated plus maze (EPM) and the forced swimming test (FST) to assess the level of anxiety and depression. Hippocampal proinflammatory cytokine TNF alpha concentration and the number of astrocytes and microglia were estimated in the dentate gyrus, CA1 and CA3. Administration of LPS resulted in alterations in anxiety and depressive behaviors in male rats but not in female rats. LPS resulted in increased number of astrocytes in the hippocampus in both sexes, although the response was higher in females. Furthermore, LPS increased the number of microglia in the hippocampus, but only in females. These findings indicate that an immune challenge in infantile rats induces sex differences in affective behavior in adulthood, which may be the consequence of sex differences in the number of astrocytes and microglia in the hippocampus.
- Special Session
University of Bucharest, Romania
University of Bucharest, Romania
Title: Spatiotemporal dynamics of Brain connectivity in Neurological Disorders Explored by restingstate fMRI
Time : 12:00-12:40
Prof. R. Mutihac, Head of Medical Physics Section, works in Neuroscience, Signal Processing, Microelectronics, and Artificial Intelligence. As postdoc/research associate/visiting professor/full professor he run his research at the University of Bucharest, the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (Italy), Ecole Polytechnique (France), Institut Henri Poincare (France), KU Leuven (Belgium). Data mining and exploratory analysis of neuroimaging time series were addressed during two Fulbright Grants in Neuroscience (Yale University and University of New Mexico). His research in fused biomedical imaging modalities was carried out at the Johns Hopkins University, National Institutes of Health, and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, MD, USA.
Dementia describes a group of symptoms affecting thinking and social abilities severely enough to interfere with daily human behavior. It is related with at least two brain functions: memory loss and impaired judgment or language, and the inability to perform some common activities. Brain's energy is largely consumed at rest during spontaneous neuronal activity (~20%), while task-related increases in metabolism energy are minor (<5%). About 50% of people above the age of 85 experience cognitive impairments or dementia. Investigating the relationship between brain structure and function is a central issue in neuroscience research. Spontaneous low-frequency fluctuations in BOLD rsfMRI signals are temporally coherent among brain areas that are structurally connected and functionally related. Several cognitive functions such as learning and memory depend on normal communication between the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. There is evidence that disruption to communication channels in these two areas of the brain contribute to symptoms in psychiatric disorders. Connectivity studies using neuroimaging data have increased the understanding of the organization of large-scale structural and functional brain networks. It has been shown that nonlinear analyses employing concepts such as entropy, fractality, and predictability provide significant diagnostic and prognostic information in a number of pathologies. The contribution aims to identify specific changes in the resting-state networks univocally related to certain forms of dementia and/or dementia phases. The goal is to review and evaluate the most current approaches for early detection and classification of cognitive impairments and dementia, particularly among syndromes with relatively similar behavioral effects, on the basis of alterations in brain connectivity explored by the real-time fMRI during rest.