About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

New Study Demonstrates How Plastic Brain Function is in Infants

by Colleen Fleiss on February 19, 2018 at 2:31 AM
Font : A-A+

New Study Demonstrates How Plastic Brain Function is in Infants

A study led by Georgetown University Medical Center investigators found that after a perinatal stroke which damaged the left "language" side of the brain, the affected teenagers and young adults used the right sides of their brain for language.

The findings, to be reported Feb. 17 in a symposium at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Austin, Tex says cognitive neuroscientist Elissa L. Newport, PhD, professor of neurology at Georgetown University School of Medicine, and director of the Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery at Georgetown University and MedStar National Rehabilitation Network. Her study found that the 12 individuals studied, aged 12 to 25, who had a left-brain perinatal stroke all used the right side of their brains for language. "Their language is good -- normal," she says.

Advertisement


The only telltale signs of prior damage to their brain are that some study individuals limp a bit and many have learned to make their left hands dominant because the stroke left right hand function impaired. They also have some executive function impairments -- slightly slower neural processing, for example -- that are common in individuals with brain injuries. But basic cognitive functions, like language comprehension and production, are excellent, Newport says.

Furthermore, imaging studies revealed that language in these participants is all based in the right side in an exact, mirror opposite region to the left normal language areas. This has also been found in previous research, but earlier findings have been inconsistent, perhaps due to the heterogeneity of the types of brain injuries included in those studies, Newport explains. Her research, which was carefully controlled in terms of the types and areas of injury included, suggests that while "these young brains were very plastic, meaning they could relocate language to a healthy area, it doesn't mean that new areas can be located willy-nilly on the right side.
Advertisement

"We believe there are very important constraints to where functions can be relocated," she says. "There are very specific regions that take over when part of the brain is injured, depending on the particular function. Each function, like language or spatial skills, has a particular region that can take over if its primary brain area is injured. This is a very important discovery that may have implications in the rehabilitation of adult stroke survivors." This finding makes sense in very young brains, Newport adds. Newport and her colleagues are extending their study of brain function after a perinatal stroke to a larger group of participants, and are looking at both left and right brain strokes and also at whether brain functions other than language are relocated and where.

Her group is also collaborating on studies that may reveal the molecular basis of plasticity in young brains -- additional information that might help switch on plasticity in adults who have suffered stroke or brain injury.

In the ongoing study, Newport collaborates with other investigators at Georgetown University, as well as at Johns Hopkins University, Children's National Medical Center, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and MedStar National Rehabilitation Network. Newport reports having no personal financial interests related to the study.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
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
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Menstrual Disorders
Coffee May Help You Fight Endometrial Cancer
Fermented Skin Care
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Parkinsons Disease Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Brain Brain Facts Ataxia Language Areas in The Brain Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) 

Recommended Reading
How to Deal with a Stroke
Stroke is a brain attack, which occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted. It ......
Stroke - Top Ten Facts
Strokes occur when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. It is imperative to detect the ......
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation can Alter Our Language Processing
How the human brain processes the words we hear and constructs complex concepts is still somewhat .....
Language Processing Affected by Gender of Speaker
The manner and speed with which we understand words may be influenced by the gender of the speaker, ...
Ataxia
Ataxia affects coordination. Gait becomes unstable and the patient loses balance. The cerebellum or ...
Language Areas in The Brain
The mechanism of how human brain processes the language to express and comprehend the verbal, writte...
Parkinsons Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease caused by progressive dopamine brain cells loss. ...
Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
Intelligence quotient (IQ) is a psychological measure of human intelligence. Regular physical and me...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
CONSULT A DOCTOR
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)