Navigation Links
MIT model helps researchers 'see' brain development

Large mammals--humans, monkeys, and even cats--have brains with a somewhat mysterious feature: The outermost layer has a folded surface. Understanding the functional significance of these folds is one of the big open questions in neuroscience.

Now a team led by MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School researchers has developed a tool that could aid such studies by helping researchers “see?how those folds develop and decay in the cerebral cortex.

By applying computer graphics techniques to brain images collected using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, they have created a set of tools for tracking and measuring these folds over time. Their resulting model of cortical development may serve as a biomarker, or biological indicator, for early diagnosis of neurological disorders such as autism.

The researchers describe their model and analysis in the April issue of IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging.

Peng Yu, a graduate student in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), is first author on the paper. The work was led by co-author Bruce Fischl, associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School, research affiliate with the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and HST, and director of the computational core at the HST Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

The team started with a collection of MR images from 11 developing brains, provided by Ellen Grant, chief of pediatric radiology at MGH and the Martinos Center. Of the subjects scanned, eight were newborn, mostly premature babies ranging from about 30 to 40 weeks of gestational age, and three were from children aged two, three and seven years. Grant scanned these infants and children to assess possible brain injury and found no neural defects. Later, she also consulted with Fischl's team to ensure that their analyses made sense clinically.

“We can't open the brain and see by eye, but the cool thing we can do now is see through the MR machine,?a technology that is much safer than earlier techniques such as X-ray imaging, said Yu.

The first step in analyzing these images is to align their common anatomical structures, such as the “central sulcus,?a fold that separates the motor cortex from the somatosensory cortex. Yu applied a technique developed by Fischl to perform this alignment.

The second step involves modeling the folds of the brain mathematically in a way that allows the researchers to analyze their changes over time and space.

The original brain scan is then represented computationally with points. Charting each baby's brain requires about 130,000 points per hemisphere. Yu decomposed these points into a representation using just 42 points that shows only the coarsest folds. By adding more points, she created increasingly finer-grained domains of smaller, higher-resolution folds.

Finally, Yu modeled biological growth using a technique recommended by Grant that allowed her to identify the age at which each type of fold, coarse or fine, developed, and how quickly.

She found that the coarse folds, equivalent to the largest folds in a crumpled piece of paper, develop earlier and more slowly than fine-grained folds.

In addition to providing insights into cortical development, the team is now comparing the images to those being collected from patients with autism. “We now have some idea of what normal development looks like. The next step is to see if we can detect abnormal development in diseases like autism by looking at folding differences,?said Fischl. This tool may also be used to shed light on other neurological diseases such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease.


'"/>

Source:Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Related biology news :

1. Scientists identify new model Of NK cell development
2. Genrate: a generative model that finds and scores new genes and exons in genomic microarray data
3. Molecular models advance the fight against malaria
4. NYU and MSKCC research provides model for understanding chemically induced cancer initiation
5. Genetic therapy reverses nervous system damage in animal model of inherited human disease
6. Disease progression model of pancreatic cancer developed by Penn researchers
7. A new way to share models of biological systems
8. Understanding biases in epidemic models important when making public health predictions
9. Climate model links higher temperatures to prehistoric extinction
10. Gene therapy advance treats hemophilia in mouse models
11. Targeting a key enzyme with gene therapy reversed course of Alzheimers disease in mouse models
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/15/2017)...   ivWatch LLC , a medical device company focused on ... receipt of its ISO 13485 Certification, the global standard for medical ... Standardization (ISO®). ... Continuous Monitoring device for the early detection of IV infiltrations. ... "This is an important milestone for ivWatch, as ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... , May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic gym for the ... been officially launched in Genoa, Italy . The first ... and the USA . The technology was developed ... market by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 million ... News Release, please click: ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017 The ... vendor landscape is marked by the presence of several ... however held by five major players - 3M Cogent, ... companies accounted for nearly 61% of the global military ... companies in the global military biometrics market boast global ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... innovation and business process optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, ... conference in San Francisco. , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for Agile ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... ... At its national board meeting in North Carolina, ARCS® Foundation ... Physics and Astronomy, has been selected for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of ... Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... Seattle, WA (PRWEB) , ... ... ... the industry leader in Hi-C-based genomic technologies, launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome ... the ProxiMeta Hi-C kit and accompanying cloud-based bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... , ... October 05, 2017 , ... LabRoots , ... scientists from around the world, is giving back to cancer research with a month-long ... , Now through October 31, shoppers can use promo code PinkRibbon to get ...
Breaking Biology Technology: