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Recent advances in both systems pharmacology and brain imaging research have supported that functional and pathological changes in the brain can occur not only in neurological and psychiatric disorders, but also in other acute or chronic disease conditions. Prior to the onset of neurological/psychiatric ...

Recent advances in both systems pharmacology and brain imaging research have supported that functional and pathological changes in the brain can occur not only in neurological and psychiatric disorders, but also in other acute or chronic disease conditions. Prior to the onset of neurological/psychiatric symptoms, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart diseases may affect the brain. For example, immunological and neuroimaging studies reveal an aberrant insular and cerebellar neural response to Valsalva maneuver in chronic heart failure with abnormal autonomic nervous functions, or chronic cognitive decline after anesthesia and critical care.

In the critical care practice, there are many severe inflammatory conditions and inflammatory storms. In terms of numbers, it represents among 80% patients hospitalized in the ICU, yearly over 30 million sepsis cases, and a rate of 5 out of every 6 patients who survived. Current treatments are primarily supportive like organ preservation. Recently, these inflammatory conditions have been observed in severe infection/thrombosis (such as COVID-19) and tumor therapy. During recovery phases, 20%-30% of the patients developed neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric manifestations; even larger number of patients showed mild memory deficits. As revealed by systems approaches, targeting neuroinflammation and restoring circuit activity may be very beneficial for neuronal protection, disease treatment and damage recovery in the brain.

This Research Topic will discuss the cellular mechanisms involved in this emerging field and the new potential therapeutic strategies. Specifically, new innovative data mining and modeling methods divergent from current electrophysiology, neuroimaging like fMRI/MRI and systems pharmacological analyses will allow us to better understand brain involvement in the early phases of chronic diseases or in the long-term delayed phases of acute diseases. We welcome Original Research and Review articles that focus on at least one of the following aspects:
(1) Brain protection and cellular mechanisms involved in critical care during acute stroke, cerebrovascular spasm, severe infection and neuroinflammation;
(2) Methodological advances in the fMRI neuroimaging analysis (or combined with EEG, MEG, MRI, etc.) allowing the extraction and characterization of brain states and their spatial-temporal-spectral features;
(3) Combined systems pharmacological approaches with other relevant biological measures (such as behavioral, physiological, or genetic assessments) in neuroprotection for patients affected by various diseases/disorders

Keywords: Brain protection, Clinical neuroscience, Neuroimaging, Cerebrovascular disease, Critical care


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