Now Cornell University doctoral candidate John Nguyen and his advisor Chris Schaffer have developed an animal model for looking at the effect of small strokes in the tiny venules in the brain of rodents. They are using a powerful laser and nonlinear optics to target and clot vessels of the venule system and then monitor the effect on blood flow in upstream capillaries in the brain. They find that blockages in venules can cause a significant decrease in blood flow in upstream capillaries, which in turn could cause the death of neurons.
These findings suggest that small occlusions in the venule system may play a role in cognitive dysfunction. Pockets of dead tissue, perhaps caused by venule occlusions, are often seen in autopsies of people who had dementia late in life, says Nguyen, and now researchers have a way to study this phenomenon.
Presentation FTuE3, "Femtosecond Laser-Driven Photodisruption to Induce Single Venule Occlusions in Rodent Brain," Tuesday, Oct. 21, 9 a.m., Highland E, Rochester Riverside Convention Center
A POTENTIAL NEW TOOL FOR BRAIN SURGEONS
One of the primary ways of treating brain cancer is surgically removing the tumors. The risk of this sort of procedure is obvious -- it involves cutting away tissue from the brain, potentially severing nerve fibers and causing neurological damage. MRI and CT scans can reveal the extent of tumors, but only prior to surgery. These techniques rely on large instruments that cannot be used in the operating room, and during the operation the brain may relax and move, forcing surgeons to adjust where they are cutting to minimize the damage to the brain tissue.
During surgery, doctors make these
|Contact: Colleen Morrison|
Optical Society of America