Navigation Links
'Rain Man'-like brains mapped at UCSF
Date:2/28/2013

Combining hospital MRIs with the mathematical tool known as network analysis, a group of researchers at UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley have mapped the three-dimensional global connections within the brains of seven adults who have genetic malformations that leave them without the corpus callosum, which connects the left and right sides of the brain.

These "structural connectome" maps, described in the upcoming April 15, 2013 issue of the journal Neuroimage, reveal new details about the condition known as agenesis of the corpus callosum, which is one of the top genetic causes of autism and was part of the mysterious brain physiology of Laurence Kim Peek, the remarkable savant portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in the 1987 movie "Rain Man."

While some people born with agenesis of the corpus callosum are of normal intelligence and do not have any obvious signs of neurologic disease, approximately 40 percent of people with the condition are at high risk for autism. Given this, the work is a step toward finding better ways to image the brains of people with the condition, said Pratik Mukherjee, MD, PhD, a professor of radiology and biomedical imaging at UCSF who was the co-senior author of the research.

Understanding how brain connectivity varies from person to person may help researchers identify imaging biomarkers for autism to help diagnose it and manage care for individuals. Currently autism is diagnosed and assessed based on cognitive tests, such as those involving stacking blocks and looking at pictures on flip cards.

While the new work falls short of a quantitative measure doctors could use instead of cognitive testing, it does offer a proof-of-principle that this novel technique may shed light on neurodevelopment disorders.

"Because you are looking at the whole brain at the network level, you can do new types of analysis to find what's abnormal," Mukherjee said.

The Connection between the Brain Hemispheres and Autism Agenesis of the corpus callosum can arise if individuals are born missing DNA from chromosome 16 and often leads to autism.

Scientists have long puzzled over what the link is between this disorder and the autistic brain, said co-senior author of the paper Elliott Sherr, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and genetics especially since not all people with this malformation develop autism.

Doctors believe this is because the brain has a rich capacity for rewiring in alternative ways.

Pursuing this question, Mukherjee and Sherr turned to MRI and the mathematical technique of network analysis, which has long supported fields like civil engineering, helping urban planners optimize the timing of traffic lights to speed traffic. This is the first time network analysis has been applied to brain mapping for a genetic cause of autism.

The brain offers a significantly complicated challenge for analysis because, unlike the streets of a given city, the brain has hundreds of billions of neurons, many of which make tens of thousands of connections to each other, making its level of connectivity highly complex.

By comparing the seven rain man-like brains to those of 11 people without this malformation, the scientists determined how particular structures called the cingulate bundles were smaller and the neurons within these bundles were less connected to others in the brain. They also found that the network topology of the brain was more variable in people with agenesis of the corpus callosum than in people without the malformation.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
jason.bardi@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. CETS offers new method to help simplify the study of brain pathologies
2. Bioliq pilot plant: Successful operation of high-pressure entrained flow gasification
3. Brown unveils novel wireless brain sensor
4. Bridging the gap: Hope that all meningitis strains will be vaccinated for
5. Ability of brain to protect itself from damage revealed
6. Activation of cortical type 2 cannabinoid receptors ameliorates ischemic brain injury
7. Engineering control theory helps create dynamic brain models
8. New study shows how seals sleep with only half their brain at a time
9. Shedding new light on infant brain development
10. Brain prostheses create a sense of touch
11. Teaching the brain to speak again
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
'Rain Man'-like brains mapped at UCSF
(Date:11/17/2016)... Nov. 17, 2016  AIC announces that it has just released a new white ... require high-performance scale-out plus high speed data transfer storage solutions. Photo - ... ... ... Setting up a high performance computing or ...
(Date:11/14/2016)... CLARA, Calif. , Nov. 14, 2016 ... the biometric identification market, Frost & Sullivan ... Frost & Sullivan Award for Visionary Innovation ... player in the biometric identification market by ... multi-modal verification solution for instant, seamless, and ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... Columbia , June 21, 2016 ... to the new role of principal product architect ... named the director of customer development. Both will ... chief technical officer. The moves reflect NuData,s strategic ... in response to high customer demand and customer ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... and biotechnology companies dedicated to collaboratively developing improved chemistry, manufacturing and control ... vendor-supported, portable online UHPLC, with robust, probe-based sampling. , Online liquid ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... The immunohistochemistry (IHC) market is projected ... of 7.3% during the forecast period of 2016 to 2021 dominated ... accounted for the largest share of immunohistochemistry (IHC) market, by end ... , , ... market spread across 225 pages, profiling 10 companies and supported with ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... Nov. 30, 2016  GenomOncology today announced the appointment of ... Medical Affairs.  Dr. Coleman will oversee clinical ... proprietary knowledge-enabled platform. The GenomOncology software suite empowers molecular pathologists ... data and clinical decision support, from quality control through reporting. ... , , ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , Nov. 30, 2016 Biotest Pharmaceuticals ... is pleased to announce the addition of its newest ... Kearney, Nebraska . The 15,200 square foot ... November 29th, 2016 and brings the total number of ... Ileana Carlisle , BPC,s Chief Executive Officer said ...
Breaking Biology Technology: