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Leading brain scientists meet in Milwaukee to examine how to uncover the brain's secrets
Date:9/13/2010

construct a map of the brain's numerous connections and pathways and reveal the inner workings of the "resting brain". Having a comprehensive map of the human brain will shed light on such neurological diseases as Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and addiction, and also help in the development of more effective therapies and drugs to treat injury or illness.

As part of the r-fMRI method, a person is placed in an MRI scanner and images are acquired of their brain. During the experiment, the subject lies perfectly stillhence the term "resting-state". Resting-state connectivity is the measurement of the strength of connections between two functionally related brain regions in the absence of any stimulus or task. Such connections between any two regions of the brain have been observed using a variety of neuroimaging techniques. Several studies have shown a slow persistent signal fluctuating at about 6 cycles per minutes (0.01Hz - 0.10 Hz) as the primary source of these interregional correlations.

Various researchers have shown that these differences in connections between regions during rest are capable of detecting differences in populations based on gender, age, etc., as well as between individuals of the same demographic.

One such study by Medical College researchers is using brain connectivity data (synchronization of signals) to provide biomarkers for presymptomatic diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in human volunteers. They are comparing the brains of normal persons with those with mild cognitive disorder and those with Alzheimer's and testing the impact of medication to prevent or reverse the weakened connections. Shi-Jiang Li, Ph.D., professor of biophysics, and Piero Antuono, M.D., professor of neurology, will present their findings at the conference.

Other key presentations include:

Brain Connectivity Database
Bharat Biswal, Rutgers University
Dr. Biswal will review the normal brain connectivity datab
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Contact: Toranj Marphetia
toranj@mcw.edu
414-955-4700
Medical College of Wisconsin
Source:Eurekalert

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