Navigation Links
Brains of Fetuses 'Build a Bridge' Between Regions, Images Show
Date:2/20/2013

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Using real-time images of brain connections developing in late-stage fetuses, scientists say they've been able for the first time to compare the order and strength of these connections.

The research, though very preliminary, might one day lead the way to more effective therapies for brain disorders such as dyslexia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism, the researchers said.

Scientists from the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and Wayne State University School of Medicine looked at 25 fetal brains from a group of pregnant women between 24 and 38 weeks of gestation. The researchers used an imaging technique called functional MRI (fMRI) to visualize "communication" between various regions of the brain.

The scientists learned that connections between the right and left sides of the brains got stronger as fetuses grew older. They said they also learned that shorter distances between matching areas produced stronger signals than longer spans between corresponding areas on the brain's outer edges.

"What we're seeing is a picture of emerging connectivity . . . that the right and left side are kind of building a bridge to each other," said study author Moriah Thomason, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Wayne State, in Detroit. "It's evidence for the fact that already in fetal life, this anatomy is being constructed in a way that we would expect. But for the first time, we can show the development of these networks."

The findings are published in the Feb. 20 issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine.

While scientists had previously used fMRI scans on fetuses, this new research is the first to compare a group of fetuses and identify features of development, Thomason said. Nearly 90 percent of the pregnant mothers participating in the study were black, while the rest were white or multiracial. They later delivered 17 boys and eight girls.

MRI scans don't emit radiation, thus minimizing risk to the fetuses during the procedure. The technique showed significant connections between half of the dozens of brain areas tested.

The findings might provide groundwork for understanding how and when brain development may go awry during gestation, Thomason said. This may possibly lead to better understanding of conditions such as ADHD, dyslexia and autism, which are thought to arise from disrupted brain networks, she said.

"If we know what gets in the way of those [normal] processes, we have a better shot at treating those disorders," Thomason said. "It's not just about early identification. An additional valuable outcome is, when you can see what normal looks like and see what disruption looks like, you have the opportunity to pick out patterns that tell you about the origin of that disease," she explained.

"The brain can be a tattletale to what is going on in those diseases," Thomason added, "and that can help us develop novel treatments."

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more on fetal development.

SOURCES: Moriah Thomason, Ph.D., assistant professor, pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit; Feb. 20, 2013, Science Translational Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Imaging acute ischemic stroke patients brains did not lead to improved outcomes
2. Connection error in the brains of anorexics
3. Healthy Brains and Aging Presentation at Bridle Brook of Mahomet to Feature U of I Professor Arthur Kramer
4. Reading, Games May Help Aging Brains Stay Sharp
5. Imaging shows some brains compensate after traumatic injury
6. Reading, writing and playing games may help aging brains stay healthy
7. Bigger Babies Have Bigger Brains as Teens: Study
8. Scientists Track Activity in Rappers Brains
9. Early Exposure to Stress at Home Affects Girls Brains, Study Says
10. Alzheimers Signs Found in Brains of Young Adults With Gene Mutation
11. Saving brains in developing countries: $11.8 million for innovative ideas worldwide
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the American Institutes for ... Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. , AIR ... care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , AIR researchers will ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent ... Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce ... Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Canada (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional ... pursuit of success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can ... risk more than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to ... , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there ... my other children and say he was going to kill them. If we were ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce ... program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers ... of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... June 27, 2016  VMS Rehab Systems, Inc. ( ... take whatever measures required to build a strong and ... is currently listed on the OTC Markets-pink current trading ... and CEO, "We are seeing an anomaly in market ... not only by the Company, but shareholders and market ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Global Blood Therapeutics, ... company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of ... announced the closing of its previously announced underwritten ... at the public offering price of $18.75 per ... were offered by GBT. GBT estimates net proceeds ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) ... would allow biopharmaceutical companies to more easily share health ... and coverage decisions, a move that addresses the growing ... The recommendations address restrictions in the sharing of ... label, a prohibition that hinders decision makers from accessing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: