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Brain Scan

Mapping premature infant’s brain after birth may help better predict developmental problems

Scanning a premature infant’s brain shortly after birth to map the location and volume of lesions, small areas of injury in the brain’s white matter, may help doctors better predict whether the baby will have disabilities later.

New computational techniques could help researchers pinpoint anatomical source of seizures

For the third of all epilepsy patients who don’t respond to medication, an alternative is to locate the small cluster of neurons that act as the seed of a seizure’s aberrant electrical activity and surgically remove it. Unfortunately, such surgeries often fail to bring any relief. The ability to reliably pinpoint the anatomical source of seizures, different for each patient, remains elusive. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and Perelman School of Medicine are looking for ways to refine this process by looking at networks of electrical activity in the brain just prior to the onset of a seizure. Using brain data crowdsourced from 22 epilepsy patients with implanted electrodes, the researchers have developed a series o...

Brain study reveals insights into genetic basis of autism

UNSW Australia scientists have discovered a link between autism and genetic changes in some segments of DNA that are responsible for switching on genes in the brain. The finding is the result of a world-first study of the human brain that identified more than 100 of these DNA segments, known as enhancers, which are thought to play a vital role in normal development by controlling gene activity in the brain. “Our study provides a unique resource of information on gene function in the human brain which could help reveal the basis of autism and related neurological disorders,” says lead author UNSW’s Dr Irina Voineagu. The research is published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. A lot of research on the genetic causes of diseases, including autism, focuses on mutations in g...

Scanning the brain’s magnetic fields offers hope for epilepsy patients

Stewart Duguid used to have an epileptic seizure every fortnight. He never knew when they  would strike,  and they proved impossible to control with medication. “I had the tonic clonic seizures, the ones where you fall to the ground and shake,” the 26-year-old said. “I’d wake up exhausted and need to get my breath back.” However, for the past year he has been living seizure-free after being among the first Australians to have a MEG machine scan his brain’s magnetic fields.

VIDEO: Robotic System Implants Electrodes in the Brain

UAMS is only the 5th center in the country to get a robotic system to implant electrodes in the brain to identify the source of seizures. The system is called ROSA, and it cuts the time to implant the electrodes down from 10 hours to less than 3. It also eliminates human error and increases accuracy. This is life-changing technology for many where MRI does not show a tumor or lesion on the brain, when electrodes are needed to find the source of the seizures. “So the old way of putting electrodes in for monitoring seizures when you don’t have an actual lesion to see on an MRI that you can remove you have to put electrodes in to record electrically,” explains Dr. Serletis.

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