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:2/9/2016)... GA (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... with Transformation Solutions, LLC to help enterprises move workloads to the cloud. ... directly connect to their cloud without traversing the Internet. Transformation Solutions (TSL ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... On January 12, 2016 Paul McElwee, a CroppMetcalfe ... noticed their furnace not producing any heat. Shortly after entering the home, Paul was ... was leaking dangerous levels of carbon monoxide into the home, at 2,000 parts per ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... nationwide service to expand access to affordable hearing aids , increase industry ... hearing individuals in the United States. , “For the average consumer, the hearing ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... create “Ebola: In Praise of Prevention,” an animated video designed to ... and French translations of the video are being distributed throughout Togo, Liberia, Sierra ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... , ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... Prize has officially been won. A team from 21st Century Medicine (21CM) ( ... way to preserve the delicate neural circuits of an intact rabbit brain for ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/9/2016)... Feb. 9, 2016 The global prefilled syringes ... it is expected to grow with a CAGR of ... prefilled syringes segment dominated the global prefilled syringes market, ... --> The global market of prefilled ... to increasing geriatric population, increasing demand for vaccines, increasing ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... Feb. 9, 2016 The life of Dr. ... has been anything but ordinary.  Twists of fate, combined with ... II and the constraints of communist Czechoslovakia to ... would go on to make history by playing a key ... drugs in the world, Remicade.  Dr. Vilcek brings readers along ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... , Feb. 9, 2016  Bluestar Silicones will ... product line for long-term implant applications and announce ... Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West Conference (Booth #1759), ... --> --> Available ... Biomedical LSRs offer outstanding physical properties enabling our ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: