Navigation Links
Getting lost -- a newly discovered developmental brain disorder
Date:9/22/2008

Feeling lost every time you leave your home? You may not be as alone as you think.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute recently documented the first case of a patient who, without apparent brain damage or cognitive impairment, is unable to orient within any environment. Researchers also believe that there are many others in the general population who may be affected by this developmental topographical disorder.

The study, published in the journal Neuropsychologia, and led by Giuseppe Iaria, a UBC Faculty of Medicine and VCH postdoctoral fellow, used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) together with behavioural studies to assess and characterize the navigational deficiencies of the patient, who is completely unable to orient within the environment, getting lost even within the neighborhood where the patient lived for many years.

"Imagine not being able to do the simplest of tasks such as finding your way home from the grocery store," says Iaria, who is affiliated with the Brain Research Centre. "Navigating and orienting in an environment are complex cognitive skills, involving parts of the brain used for memory, attention, perception, and decision-making. It also requires using at least two distinct types of memory systems."

The procedural memory system involves using landmarks, distances, or following stereotyped movements to move between locations. The spatial memory system is more complex. When moving through an environment familiar or not a person creates a mental representation of the environment, called a cognitive map. It is the ability to "create" and "read" these cognitive maps that enables a person to navigate by following a route without getting lost.

Brain malformations or lesions in parts of the brain important for navigation are known to cause navigation difficulties. However, no such defects or lesions in the patient's brain were detected. Moreover, a series of behavioural tests revealed that patient's problem was due to a specific inability to form cognitive maps.

"We suspect that this patient is not unique, and that there are others suffering varying degrees of selective developmental topographical disorientation," says Dr. Jason Barton, Canada Research Chair and director of the Human Vision and Eye Movement Laboratory where the patient was studied. "They might have a lifelong story of episodes like getting lost in their own house or neighbourhood, at school or at work, and having to rely on others for directions. In extreme circumstances, this can even lead to social isolation."


'/>"/>

Contact: Catherine Loiacono
catherine.loiacono@ubc.ca
604-822-2644
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Getting better conference to address developments in neurocritical care
2. Brain surgery is getting easier on patients
3. Red Cross Getting Ahead of Fay as More Rain Falls Across State
4. More U.S. Women Getting Birth Control Services
5. Are You Getting Burned by Your Sunscreen?
6. Spray Cuts Kids Pain When Getting IVs
7. Saddle Up! Getting a Jump on Proper Horse Care
8. CA Legislatures Reform of Health Insurance Cancellations Resembles Insurance Industrys Own Plan; Insurers, Satisfied With Getting a Legal Edge Against Patients, Drop Opposition to the Bill
9. Most Asthmatics Arent Getting Flu Shot
10. Quit smoking message not getting air time in mental health care
11. 20 Million Kids Books Distributed, 25% of U.S. Children in Poverty Getting Books, 50,000 Doctors Trained: Three Key Milestones for Reach Out and Read
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Brenton Engineering , powered by Pro ... wrapped products at WestPack 2015, February 9-11, in Anaheim, California. This new solution ... or fully-automatic case packing with a small footprint, rugged, highly flexible, and cost-effective ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... community enrichment program serving the greater Venice, FL area, has initiated a fundraiser ... in a car accident just four days after Christmas. To support this beautiful ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... FileHold's document management software has ... a cloud hosted environment for FileHold software that is pay per user subscription-based ... applications using the FileHold web services API. DocuSyst also advises clients on fully ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Joshua ... on how healthcare companies can use newly released government data on populations and ... population and intervene and capture the value they create to succeed in new ...
(Date:2/7/2016)... ... February 07, 2016 , ... Women's Excellence staff, in all four ... National Wear Red Day is the first Friday each February and a day ... cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all cancers ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... 2016  Avista Pharma Solutions ("Avista Pharma") announced today ... Financial Officer (CFO). Mr. Setzer is a finance and ... various roles within growing technology and life science companies. ... Executive Director of Finance at INC Research, a publicly ... . Previously, Mr. Setzer served as CFO of ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... 2016 Vestagen Technical Textiles, Inc., a medical ... healthcare and other demanding applications, today announced it has ... replaces Dale Pfost , PhD, who was serving ... also joining Vestagen,s Board of Directors. ® ... barrier technologies that combines fluid repellent, antimicrobial and breathability ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016  Astellas Pharma Inc. President ... the promotion of James Robinson as president, Americas ... operations in North and South America , ... Pharma US, representing the commercial organization in the ... 2013. Masao Yoshida , who is retiring ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: