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Abstract

New achievements within structural and functional imaging of central nervous system offer a basis for better understanding of the mechanisms underlying many mental disorders. In everyday clinical practice, we encounter many difficulties in the therapy of eating disorders. They are caused by a complex psychopathological picture, varied grounds of the problems experienced by patients, often poor motivation for active participation in the treatment process, difficulties in communication between patients and therapeutic staff, and various biological conditions of eating disorders. In this paper, the latest reports on new concepts and methods of diagnosis and treatment of anorexia nervosa have been analyzed. The selection of the analyzed publications was based on the criteria taking into account the time of publication, the size of research cohorts, as well as the experience of research teams in the field of nutritional disorders, confirmed by the number of works and their citations. The work aims to spread current information on anorexia nervosa neurobiology that would allow for determining the brain regions involved in the regulation of food intake, and consequently that may be a potential place where neurobiochemical processes responsible for eating disorders occur. In addition, using modern methods of structural imaging, the authors want to show some of the morphometric variations, particularly within white matter, occurring in patients suffering from anorexia nervosa, as well as those evaluated with magnetoencephalography of processes associated with the neuronal processing of information related to food intake. For example as regards anorexia nervosa, it was possible to localize the areas associated with eating disorders and broaden our knowledge about the changes in these areas that cause and accompany the illness. The described in this paper research studies using diffusion MRI fiber tractography showed the presence of changes in the white matter pathways of the brain, especially in the corpus callosum, which indicate a reduced content of myelin. These changes probably reflect malnutrition, and directly represent the effect of lipid deficiency. This leads to a weakening of the structure, and even cell death. In addition, there are more and more reports that show the normal volume of brain cells in patients with long-term remission of anorexia. It was also shown that in patients in remission stage there are functional changes within the amygdala in response to a task not related symptomatologically with anorexia nervosa. The appearing in the scientific literature data stating that in patients with anorexia nervosa there is a reduced density of GFAP + cells of the hippocampus and increased expression of vimentin and nestin, is also worth noting.

Abstract

There are many theories that attempt to explain the mechanisms of the effects of inhalation anesthetics - from simpler, pursuing individual effects of anesthetics on the level of the ion channels, to more complex that are looking for uniform global changes in brain activity common to several agents. However, we still don’t have satisfactory and adequate conclusions.

We examined a sample of 39 patients undergoing thoracic surgery at the Clinic of Thoracic Surgery under general anesthesia (GA) and we registered their electroencephalographic (EEG) signals before and during operation. After induction of GA by intravenous (i.v.), we used inhalation anesthetics to maintain GA. We used sevoflurane (SEV) in 20 patients and desflurane (DES) in 19 patients. Then we obtained the EEG data and processed them through mathematical and statistical analysis, to discover any changes of electrical activity in the brain during thoracic surgery under GA.

The era of digital recording EEG and present possibilities of modern computer techniques allow quantitative analysis of obtained data. We performed the analysis with the software LORETA (low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography). It is a relatively new research method, which in a similar way as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) displays even deeper brain electrical activity, which is hiddeen for a classical EEG approach.

We described the general changes in brain electrical activity of the deeper cortical structures within the traditional frequency bands (d, q, a, b and g) during GA at 5 mm spatial resolution. We have shown that the source of the well-known cortical EEG changes after the effect of used inhalation anesthetics is caused by changes situated in the deeper brain structures, particularly the limbic system. Significant changes occurred in the cingulate gyrus for most of an EEG frequency ranges. When comparing the data of patients anesthetised with SEV and DES we found similar changes within the d and q rhythms and then the global changes of EEG activity followed during GA.

Aspects Regarding the Neurobiology of Psycho-Affective Functions

In this mini-review we were interested in analyzing the main achievements concerning the neurobiological substrate of the human psycho-affective functions. The cortico-subcortical areas implicated in the elaboration and the control of the sensorial and psycho-affective reactions of the human brain are described, as well as the neurobiological basis of the psychic and affective manifestations, with focus on the new achievements in understanding the genetic, morpho-chemical and electromagnetic bases of the psycho-affective and behavioral manifestations, both normal and pathological. It is known that emotional states like anxiety, fear or anger generate complex psycho-affective reactions that are controlled by the limbic system, which is called the emotional brain. This is connected with the polyneuronal circuits of the Papez loop, the hypothalamic-pituitary complex and the reticular formation of the brainstem. Some imagistic aspects concerning the implication of the amygdala and the cingulate gyrus in laughing and crying are mentioned, as well as the cerebral areas implicated in romantic and maternal love. Also, some electromagnetic manifestations of the brain are presented, introducing the concept of «electromagnetic plasma», as a possible component of the human brain activity.

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