Navigation Links
Barrow scientist awarded $400,000 grant to study cell associated with intuition and autism
Date:9/10/2009

A scientist at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center has been awarded a $400,000 grant from the James S. McDonnell Foundation to help study a rare cell type that is believed to play a role in quick decision making and intuition. Abnormalities in this cell type have been seen in people suffering from autism and dementia.

Throughout the next four years, researcher A.D. "Bud" Craig, PhD, and other scientists in Barrow's Atkinson Pain Laboratory will use the grant to collaborate with the California Institute of Technology in the study of Von Economo Neurons (VENs). VENs, first described in 1925, were initially thought to only be found in humans and great apes. However, recent research has shown the cells also are found in several types of whales and in elephants.

In humans the VENs emerge mainly after birth and increase in number until age four. Scientists have speculated that in autism the VENs fail to develop normally, and that this failure might be partially responsible for the associated social disabilities that plague victims of autism.

The grant monies will be used to study the insular cortex, where a concentration of VENs is located, across a range of species. Research to date suggests that the insular cortex might contain the neural basis for human awareness. Thus far, research shows that VENs have evolved independently in at least three species. Dr. Craig's research will address the anatomical organization of this region across species.

"There is a lot of speculation about the importance of this cell in human evolution and brain function," says Dr. Craig. "We hope to find clues to the emergence and role of VENS in the insular cortex.

Dr. Craig is internationally recognized for his research into sensory pathways and the role that certain neurons play in pain, temperature, itch, and other sensations related to the physiological condition of the body.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lynne Reaves
Lynne.Reaves@chw.edu
602-406-4734
St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Barrow scientists solve 200-year-old scientific debate involving visual illusions
2. UK scientists working to help cut ID theft
3. Scientists show that mitochondrial DNA variants are linked to risk factors for type 2 diabetes
4. Comet probes reveal evidence of origin of life, scientists claim
5. Scientists link fragile X tremor/ataxia syndrome to binding protein in RNA
6. Male elephants get photo IDs from scientists
7. Scientists retrace evolution with first atomic structure of an ancient protein
8. Muscle mass: Scientists identify novel mode of transcriptional regulation during myogenesis
9. Carnegie Mellon scientists develop nanogels that enable controlled delivery of carbohydrate drugs
10. Clemson scientists shed light on molecules in living cells
11. Scientists tackle mystery mountain illness
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/9/2016)... TURKU, Finland , June 9, 2016 ... French National Police deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure ... France during the major tournament ... and data communications systems and services, announced today that its ... Police Prefecture to back up public safety across ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems, Biometrics & ... & Other Service  The latest report from ... of the global Border Security market . Visiongain ... billion in 2016. Now: In November 2015 ... and hardware technologies for advanced video surveillance. ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com , a brand ... overview results from the Q1 wave of its quarterly ... was consumers, receptivity to a program where they would ... health insurance company. "We were surprised to ... Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... on a range of subjects including policies, debt and investment ... Speaking at a lecture to the Canadian Economics ... the country,s inflation target, which is set by both the ... "In certain areas there needs to be frequent ... not sit down and address strategy together?" He ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed medical journal ... Their findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving Mesothelioma website. ... the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help point doctors ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston ... of novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness ... has been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the ... treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) ... inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has signed a ... serve as their official health care provider. As ... provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, and most ... athletes and families. "We are excited ... to bring Houston Methodist quality services and programs ...
Breaking Biology Technology: