New Research on MRI Biomarkers May Aid in Evaluating Potential Treatments for Peripheral Nerve Diseases

Jun Li, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Neurology at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, recently received a $246,172 R-21 grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop new strategies for assessing appropriate treatments of peripheral nerve diseases.

Mouse brain imaged from the microscopic to the macroscopic level

Researchers at the University of Chicago and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have leveraged existing advanced X-ray microscopy techniques to bridge the gap between MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and electron microscopy imaging, providing a viable pipeline for multiscale whole brain imaging within the same brain

NIH-funded study shows children recycle brain regions when acquiring new skills

Scientists studied the brain activity of school-aged children during development and found that regions that activated upon seeing limbs (hands, legs, etc.) subsequently activated upon seeing faces or words when the children grew older. The research, by scientists at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, reveals new insights about vision development in the brain and could help inform prevention and treatment strategies for learning disorders. The study was funded by the National Eye Institute and is published in Nature Human Behaviour.

Are Heavy Metals Toxic? Scientists Find Surprising New Clues in Yeast

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have compiled the most complete library yet of lanthanide heavy metals and their potential toxicity – by exposing baker’s yeast to lanthanides. Their findings could help researchers uncover hidden pathways between lanthanide metals and disease.

¬Children With Asymptomatic Brain Bleeds As Newborns Show Normal Brain Development At Age 2

A study by UNC School of Medicine researchers finds that neurodevelopmental scores and gray matter volumes at age two years did not differ between children who had MRI-confirmed asymptomatic subdural hemorrhages when they were neonates, compared to children with no history of subdural hemorrhage.

People with Anorexia Nervosa and Body Dysmorphic Disorder Show Similarities and Differences in Brain Function

A new UCLA study shows partially overlapping patterns of brain function in people with anorexia nervosa and those with body dysmorphic disorder, a related psychiatric condition characterized by misperception that particular physical characteristics are defective.

Scientists show MRI predicts the efficacy of a stem cell therapy for brain injury

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute and Loma Linda University Health have demonstrated the promise of applying magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to predict the efficacy of using human neural stem cells to treat a brain injury—a first-ever “biomarker” for regenerative medicine that could help personalize stem cell treatments for neurological disorders and improve efficacy. The study was published in Cell Reports.

‘Brain Surfing’: Ultrasound waves focused on prefrontal cortex elevate mood and change brain connectivity in human volunteers

A team of researchers at the University of Arizona has found that low-intensity ultrasound waves directed at a particular region of the brain’s prefrontal cortex in healthy subjects can elevate mood, and decrease connectivity in a brain network that has been shown to be hyperactive in psychiatric disorders. The method uses transcranial focused ultrasound (‘tFUS’), a painless, non-invasive technique to modulate brain function comparable to transcranial magnetic stimulation (‘TMS’), and transcranial direct current stimulation (‘tDCS’). This study shows, for the first time, a correlation between tFUS-induced mood enhancement, and reorganization of brain circuits.