Variations in Neuronal Networks may Point Out to Traumatic Brain Injury Outcomes

by Dr. Enozia Vakil on  July 16, 2014 at 9:11 PM Research News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment bookmark
Font : A-A+

The hidden differences between the properties of neural circuits may help determine if animals are behaviourally susceptible to brain injury, researchers claim. These results could have implications for the treatment of brain trauma.
 Variations in Neuronal Networks may Point Out to Traumatic Brain Injury Outcomes
Variations in Neuronal Networks may Point Out to Traumatic Brain Injury Outcomes

People vary in their responses to stroke and trauma, which impedes the ability of physicians to predict patient outcomes. Damage to the brain and nervous system can lead to severe disabilities, including epilepsy and cognitive impairment.

If doctors could predict outcomes with greater accuracy, patients might benefit from more tailored treatments. Unfortunately, the complexity of the human brain hinders efforts to explain why similar brain damage can affect each person differently.

The researchers used a unique research animal, a sea slug called Tritonia diomedea, to study this question. This animal was used because unlike humans, it has a small number of neurons and its behavior is simple. Despite this simplicity, the animals varied in how neurons were connected.

Under normal conditions, this variability did not matter to the animals' behavior, but when a major pathway in the brain was severed, some of the animals showed little behavioral deficit, while others could not produce the behavior being studied. Remarkably, the researchers could artificially rewire the neural circuit using computer-generated connections and make animals susceptible or invulnerable to the injury.

"This study is important in light of the current Obama BRAIN initiative, which seeks to map all of the connections in the human brain," said Georgia State professor, Paul Katz, who led the research project. "it shows that even in a simple brain, small differences that have no effect under normal conditions, have major implications when the nervous system is challenged by injury or trauma."



Source: Eurekalert

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions

Related Links

More News on:

Athletes Foot Parkinsons Disease Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Head Injury Brain Brain Facts Aphasia Ataxia Language Areas in The Brain Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) 

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Find a Doctor

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

Facebook

News Category

News Archive