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      Induced Brain Plasticity after a Facilitation Programme for Autobiographical Memory in Multiple Sclerosis: A Preliminary Study

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          Abstract

          This preliminary study tackles the assessment and treatment of autobiographical memory (AbM) in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RR-MS) patients. Our aim was to investigate cerebral activation changes, following clinical improvement of AbM due to a cognitive training based on mental visual imagery (MVI). We assessed AbM using the Autobiographical Interview (AI) in eight patients and 15 controls. The latter subjects established normative data. The eight patients showed selective defective performance on the AI. Four patients were trained cognitively and underwent pre- and post-AI and fMRI. The remaining four patients took a second AI, at the same interval, but with no intervention in between. Results showed a significant improvement of AbM performance after the facilitation programme that could not be explained by learning effects since the AI scores remained stable between the two assessments in the second group of patients. As expected, AbM improvement was accompanied by an increased cerebral activity in posterior cerebral regions in post-facilitation fMRI examination. We interpret this activation changes in terms of reflecting the emphasis made on the role of MVI in memory retrieval through the facilitation programme. These preliminary significant clinical and neuroimaging changes suggest the beneficial effects of this technique to alleviate AbM retrieval deficit in MS patients.

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          Most cited references 61

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          Memory and consciousness.

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             T Shallice (1982)
            An information-processing model is outlined that predicts that performance on non-routine tasks can be impaired independently of performance on routine tasks. The model is related to views on frontal lobe functions, particularly those of Luria. Two methods of obtaining more rigorous tests of the model are discussed. One makes use of ideas from artificial intelligence to derive a task heavily loaded on planning abilities. A group of patients with left anterior lesions has a specific deficit on the task. Subsidiary investigations support the inference that this is a planning impairment.
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              Remembering the past and imagining the future: common and distinct neural substrates during event construction and elaboration.

              People can consciously re-experience past events and pre-experience possible future events. This fMRI study examined the neural regions mediating the construction and elaboration of past and future events. Participants were cued with a noun for 20s and instructed to construct a past or future event within a specified time period (week, year, 5-20 years). Once participants had the event in mind, they made a button press and for the remainder of the 20s elaborated on the event. Importantly, all events generated were episodic and did not differ on a number of phenomenological qualities (detail, emotionality, personal significance, field/observer perspective). Conjunction analyses indicated the left hippocampus was commonly engaged by past and future event construction, along with posterior visuospatial regions, but considerable neural differentiation was also observed during the construction phase. Future events recruited regions involved in prospective thinking and generation processes, specifically right frontopolar cortex and left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, respectively. Furthermore, future event construction uniquely engaged the right hippocampus, possibly as a response to the novelty of these events. In contrast to the construction phase, elaboration was characterized by remarkable overlap in regions comprising the autobiographical memory retrieval network, attributable to the common processes engaged during elaboration, including self-referential processing, contextual and episodic imagery. This striking neural overlap is consistent with findings that amnesic patients exhibit deficits in both past and future thinking, and confirms that the episodic system contributes importantly to imagining the future.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Mult Scler Int
                Mult Scler Int
                MSI
                Multiple Sclerosis International
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                2090-2654
                2090-2662
                2012
                18 October 2012
                : 2012
                Affiliations
                1Imaging and Cognitive Neurosciences Laboratory (CNRS UMR 7237, IFR 037), University of Strasbourg, 12 rue Goethe, 67000 Strasbourg, France
                2Colmar University Hospitals, Colmar and INSERM U-692, University of Strasbourg, 4 rue Kirschleger, 67085 Strasbourg, France
                3Neurology Unit, Strasbourg University Hospitals, 1 Av Moliere, 67098 Strasbourg, France
                4Clinical Investigation Centre, Strasbourg University Hospitals, 1 Av Moliere, 67098 Strasbourg, France
                Author notes
                *Liliann Manning: manning@ 123456unistra.fr

                Academic Editor: Iris-Katharina Penner

                Article
                10.1155/2012/820240
                3483777
                23125932
                Copyright © 2012 Alexandra Ernst et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research Article

                Rheumatology

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