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See detailDo tonic itch and pain stimuli draw attention towards their location?
Van Laarhoven, Antoinette; Van Damme, Stefaan; Lavrijsen, A. P. et al

in BioMed Research International (2017)

Background: Although itch and pain are distinct experiences, both are unpleasant, and may demand attention and interfere with daily activities. Research investigating the role of attention in tonic itch ... [more ▼]

Background: Although itch and pain are distinct experiences, both are unpleasant, and may demand attention and interfere with daily activities. Research investigating the role of attention in tonic itch and pain stimuli, particularly whether attention is drawn to the stimulus location, is scarce. Methods: In the somatosensory attention task, fifty-three healthy participants were exposed to 35-seconds electrical itch or pain stimuli on either the left or right wrist. Participants responded as quickly as possible to visual targets appearing at the stimulated location (ipsilateral trials) or at the arm without stimulation (contralateral trials). During control blocks, participants performed the visual task without stimulation. Attention allocation at the itch and pain location is inferred when responses are faster ipsilaterally than contralaterally. Results: Results did not indicate that attention was directed towards or away from the itch and pain location. Notwithstanding, participants were slower during itch and pain than during control blocks. Conclusions: In contrast with our hypotheses, no indications were found for spatial attention allocation towards the somatosensory stimuli. This may relate to dynamic shifts in attention over the time course of the tonic sensations. Our secondary finding that itch and pain interfere with task performance is in line with attention theories of bodily perception. [less ▲]

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See detailNetwork analysis of neurodegenerative disease highlights a role of toll-like receptor signaling
Nguyen, Thanh-Phuong UL; Caberlotto, Laura; Morine, Melissa J. et al

in BioMed Research International (2014), 2014

Despite significant advances in the study of the molecular mechanisms altered in the development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases (NDs), the etiology is still enigmatic and the distinctions ... [more ▼]

Despite significant advances in the study of the molecular mechanisms altered in the development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases (NDs), the etiology is still enigmatic and the distinctions between diseases are not always entirely clear. We present an efficient computationalmethod based on protein-protein interaction network (PPI) tomodel the functional network of NDs. The aim of this work is fourfold: (i) reconstruction of a PPI network relating to the NDs, (ii) construction of an association network between diseases based on proximity in the disease PPI network, (iii) quantification of disease associations, and (iv) inference of potentialmolecularmechanisminvolved in the diseases.The functional links of diseases not only showed overlap with the traditional classification in clinical settings, but also offered new insight into connections between diseases with limited clinical overlap. To gain an expanded view of the molecular mechanisms involved in NDs, both direct and indirect connector proteins were investigated. The method uncovered molecular relationships that are in common apparently distinct diseases and provided important insight into the molecular networks implicated in disease pathogenesis. In particular, the current analysis highlighted the Toll-like receptor signaling pathway as a potential candidate pathway to be targeted by therapy in neurodegeneration. [less ▲]

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