Navigation Links
OHSU researchers study the idling brain
Date:5/7/2009

PORTLAND, Ore Oregon Health & Science University researchers, along with scientists at Washington University in St. Louis, are uncovering new information about the mind by studying the brain while it is at rest. It is believed this research will one day provide new tools for diagnosing mental health disorders and monitoring the progress of treatments. The researchers' latest findings are published in the journal the Public Library of Science Computational Biology.

"For years, the vast majority of scientists studying human functional brain organization have focused on how activity changes when engaged in specific tasks," explained Damien Fair, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research scientist in psychiatry, OHSU School of Medicine. "However now we know there are several regions in the brain that continue to interact while a person is supposedly at rest sort of like a car that idles at a stoplight. Our lab is studying these interactions, or spontaneous brain activity, while the brain is at rest. We think that this approach will eventually help us distinguish typical function from atypical function and therefore help more rapidly diagnose and appropriately treat mental disorders."

To observe brain function in humans, the researchers use a form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) called functional connectivity MRI. Functional connectivity MRI allows the researchers to witness real-time brain activity as it occurs in study subjects. By studying a large group of subjects, the researchers were able to identify regions of the brain that spontaneously activate together while the subjects were at rest. These regions operate in tandem with one another, and group into regional networks.

"After observing a large group of study subjects between the ages of 7 and 31, we witnessed an interesting phenomenon," added Fair. "Communications between brain regions seem to be localized in children, but over time, regional communication becomes distributed across the whole brain. Despite these differences, children's brains are still very efficient. As with the adults, the brains in the children were still organized like a 'small world.'"

The next phase of this research is to begin comparing functional connectivity MRI images taken from typically developing human subjects with images taken from human subjects with mental disorders. The scientists believe doing so will allow them to pinpoint distinct functional differences that may one day assist physicians in diagnosing certain disorders.

"One of our key interest areas is ADHD," said Fair. "ADHD is one of the most widely diagnosed mental disorders in children, yet diagnosing it can be very difficult because diagnosis is based on patient and parent interviews and observational studies. Having a more tangible form of diagnosis - such as an MRI screening tool would be tremendously valuable to patients and physicians."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Newman
newmanj@ohsu.edu
503-494-8231
Oregon Health & Science University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Hebrew University researchers neutralize tumor growth in embryonic stem cell therapy
2. Researchers find snippet of RNA that helps make individuals remarkably alike
3. Stowers researchers develop whole genome sequencing approach for mutation discovery
4. Pfizer supports open access publishing for researchers in low-income countries
5. Genetic secrets of date palm unlocked by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar
6. Researchers identify a molecule that increases the risk of cardiac insufficiency
7. Researchers discover that gene switches on during development of epilepsy
8. Researchers report moderately large potential for red tide outbreak in Gulf of Maine region
9. UT Southwestern researchers probe kidney damage, protection in lupus
10. Researchers use brain interface to post to Twitter
11. TGen researchers discover possible way to block the spread of deadly brain tumors
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/18/2016)... --> --> Competitive Landscape Analysis ... Physical infrastructure and Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems ... and the continuing migration crisis in the Middle ... led visiongain to publish this unique report, which is crucial ... & security companies in the border security market and the ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... 2016 NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the ... announces the airing of a new series of commercials on ... March 21 st .  The commercials will air on Bloomberg ... on the Street show. --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... commerce market, announces the airing of a new series of ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... , March 10, 2016 ... new market research report "Identity and Access Management Market ... Audit, Compliance, and Governance), by Organization Size, by Deployment, ... 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, The market is estimated to ... 12.78 Billion by 2020, at a Compound Annual Growth ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... CO (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... addressing the necessary fundamentals to transform technology into a viable company, CereScan’s CEO, ... growth. Mr. Kelley, a recognized leader and mentor in the Denver area ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 ... company reports the Company,s CEO  was featured in ... Accelerators Enter When VCs Fear To Tread: ... Leader magazine is an essential business ... everything from emerging biotechs to Big Pharmas. Their ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Cambridge Semantics, the leading provider of ... that it has been named to The Silicon Review’s “20 Fastest Growing Big Data ... Cambridge Semantics serves the needs of end users facing some of the most complex ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... SILVER SPRING, Md. and RESEARCH ... -- United Therapeutics Corporation (NASDAQ: UTHR ) announced ... Co-Chief Executive Officer, of United Therapeutics will provide an ... Deutsche Bank 41 st Annual Health Care Conference. ... May 5, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: