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Aging affects all levels of neural processing, including changes of intracortical inhibition and cortical excitability. Paired-pulse stimulation, the application of two stimuli in close succession, is a useful tool to investigate cortical excitability in humans. The paired-pulse behavior is characterized by the second response being significantly suppressed(More)
Theory of mind (ToM) refers to the ability to represent one's own and others' cognitive and affective mental states. Recent imaging studies have aimed to disentangle the neural networks involved in cognitive as opposed to affective ToM, based on clinical observations that the two can functionally dissociate. Due to large differences in stimulus material and(More)
There is evidence that inflammatory processes are involved in at least the early phase of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). We compared a panel of pro- and antiinflammatory cytokines in skin blister fluids and serum from patients with CRPS and patients with upper-limb pain of other origin (non-CRPS) in the early stage (< 1 year) and after 6 months of(More)
Migraine is a common ictal disorder with an interindividual heterogeneous characteristic, whose underlying mechanisms remain elusive. On the one hand migraine is associated with abnormal cortical hyperexcitability. On the other hand, studies reported lower amplitudes of visual-evoked potentials (VEPs) and concluded that low preactivation levels imply(More)
Paired-pulse techniques are a common tool to investigate the excitability of the cerebral cortex. Whereas in the motor system short interval intracortical inhibition assessed by paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation clearly could be demonstrated to be generated within the motor cortex, the mechanism of paired-pulse inhibition measured over the(More)
BACKGROUND Phosphene thresholds (PT) induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as well as paired-pulse suppression (PPS) of visually evoked potentials (VEP) are used to characterize visual cortex excitability, however, their relation remains unknown. METHODS We measured PT after single TMS over the occipital lobe, and recorded VEPs after(More)
The complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a rare but debilitating pain disorder that mostly occurs after injuries to the upper limb. A number of studies indicated altered brain function in CRPS, whereas possible influences on brain structure remain poorly investigated. We acquired structural magnetic resonance imaging data from CRPS type I patients and(More)
Physical exercises and motor skill learning have been shown to induce changes in regional brain morphology, this has been demonstrated for various activities and tasks. Also individuals with special skills show differences in regional brain morphology. This has been indicated for professional musicians, London taxi drivers, as well as for athletes like(More)
SUMMARY At early stages, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is clinically characterized by damage of peripheral tissues and nerves (edema, activation of osteoblasts, hyperalgesia to blunt pressure). These signs are the result of a dysbalance of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, which normalizes approximately 6 months after the beginning of the(More)
BACKGROUND Gerontological research aims at understanding factors that are crucial for mediating "successful aging". This term denotes the absence of significant disease and disabilities, maintenance of high levels of physical and cognitive function, and preservation of social and productive activities. Preservation of an active lifestyle is considered an(More)