Navigation Links
Differing structures underlie differing brain rhythms in healthy and ill
Date:10/14/2011

Virtual brains modeling epilepsy and schizophrenia display less complexity among functional connections, and other differences compared to healthy brain models, researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine report.

The researchers worked backward from brain rhythms the oscillating patterns of electrical activity in the brain recorded on electroencephalograms - from both healthy and ill individuals.

These oscillations relate to the state of awareness. But, instead of seeking answers to how the rhythms emerge, the investigators built models that, when they reproduced the different neural activity patterns seen in real brains, revealed underlying structural differences among the healthy and ill.

Their work is published in the online journal PLoS Computational Biology.

"Our hypothesis is that healthy brains share features with the virtual healthy brains and unhealthy brains share features with virtual unhealthy brains," said Roberto Fernndez Galn, a professor of neurosciences at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. Galn has a background in physics, electrophysiology and computational neuroscience.

Galn worked with G. Karl Steinke, a former graduate student in Biomedical Engineering at Case School of Engineering, and now a researcher at Boston Scientific Neroumodulation.

After breaking down the oscillating patterns of brain activity collected from real EEGs and MEGs into a usable form, the researchers applied inverse calculations and reverse engineering to develop brain models they refer to as virtual brains.

The most striking difference they found is in the hierarchical networks of brain connections among the models of healthy and unhealthy brains, Galn said. "The more complex the network, the more normal the EEG pattern."

"A healthy brain network is similar to the airport network," he explained. "There are a small number of hubs with many connections to other airports and a large number of smaller airports with only a few connections." In the brain model, the airports are called nodes and in the healthy model, about 10 percent of nodes are hubs.

In the real brain, the prefrontal cortex, which is a center for complex thought, social behavior and more, is a hub. "It is thus reasonable to think that the functional connectivity of the prefrontal cortex is altered in pathologies like schizophrenia", said Galn.

Indeed, the network in the epileptic brain model is less complex than the healthy model and the network in the schizophrenia model is even less so. The result is that the dominance of the hubs falls off, which may be indicative of a neuropathology or mental illness, the researchers say.

Their analysis reveals that oscillating brain activity in the virtual models appear to emerge from interactions among neurons and not from so-called pacemakers, which some researchers hypothesize are specialized neurons generating different rhythms of activity in the brain.

This information, combined with finding that healthy brain rhythms are not homogeneously distributed across all virtual brain nodes, supports the idea that oscillations may be a mechanism linking perceptual information across sensory and associative areas of the brain, the researchers say.

Galn and Steinke also discovered that nodes receiving the greatest input produced the smallest fluctuations in activity in the healthy and epileptic brain models. But the inverse relationship was not seen in the schizophrenic model.

The researchers have made the computer programs that run their algorithms and simulations available free to clinicians and other investigators who want to test the predictions made by the models or to expand their own studies. They are included in the supplemental materials, along with technical instructions supplied with the paper or at http://www.case.edu/med/galanlab/software.html.


'/>"/>
Contact: Kevin Mayhood
kevin.mayhood@case.edu
216-368-4442
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Carbon nanotube structures changed by attack from within, researchers discover
2. Heated AFM tip allows direct fabrication of ferroelectric nanostructures on plastic
3. UBC researchers develop new model to predict the optical properties of nano-structures
4. Trapping a rainbow: Lehigh researchers slow broadband light waves with nanoplasmonic structures
5. Intricate, curving 3-D nanostructures created using capillary action forces
6. High-speed filter uses electrified nanostructures to purify water at low cost
7. Unprecedented look at oxide interfaces reveals unexpected structures on atomic scale
8. Empa grows sea urchin-shaped structures
9. Depth charge: Using atomic force microscopy to study subsurface structures
10. Biomedical Structures Receives Growth Capital from Ampersand Ventures to Fund Ongoing Expansion
11. Light twists rigid structures in unexpected nanotech finding
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... Today, 3Bar Biologics Inc ... $2M in funding from an impressive group of investors, including Rev1 Ventures, Maumee ... With this investment, 3Bar is broadening availability of its groundbreaking offering that uses ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... ... Kapstone Medical is proud to announce that it has reached a ... develop and safeguard their latest innovations. The company has grown from a boutique ... in the United States and around the world. , Company Founder and President, ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... The Conference Forum ... 360° (IO360°) programming through a series of upcoming panels and events. The partnership culminates ... at The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. , “With our experience in producing ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... , ... The Conference Forum has confirmed the one-day agenda for ... 6, 2017 at the Marriott Copley Place in Boston, MA. , Returning as program ... Strategy, Pfizer Innovative Research Lab, Pfizer, who leads 19 industry speakers in discussing how ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:5/16/2017)... DALLAS , May 16, 2017   ... for health organizations, and MD EMR Systems ... certified development partner for GE, have established a ... Patient Portal product and the GE Centricity™ products, ... Centricity EMR. These new integrations ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), ... Report on Form 10-K on Thursday April 13, 2017 with the ... The ... section of the Company,s website at http://www.nxt-id.com  under "SEC Filings," ... 2016 Year Highlights: Acquisition of ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 No two ... researchers at the New York University Tandon School ... Engineering have found that partial similarities between prints ... used in mobile phones and other electronic devices ... The vulnerability lies in the fact that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):