Dementia Today.net

Site updated at Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Living with Dementia

Micro-map of hippocampus lends big hand to brain research

  • - Dementia News
  • Dec 03, 2015
  • Comments
  • Viewed: 0
Tags: |

A new detailed map of the hippocampal region of the brain, compiled by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital-The Neuro at McGill University, is helping the scientific community accelerate research and develop better treatments for patients suffering from epilepsy and other neurological and psychiatric disorders.

The team of researchers, led by Dr. Neda Bernasconi, a neuroscientist specializing in the neuroimaging of epilepsy and co-founder of the Neuroimaging of Epilepsy Laboratory (NOEL) at The Neuro, set out to build and share a detailed model of the substructures making up one of the key centres of the brain involved in epilepsy: the hippocampus. The goal of their project, published on November 10 in Scientific Data, is to improve the tools available to researchers and clinicians working in the field around the globe.

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by a sudden, brief change in the brain, expressed as a seizure. According to Epilepsy Canada, approximately one percent of Canadians suffer from the condition and more than 30% of patients with epilepsy do not respond to anti-epileptic drugs. For these individuals, the surgical removal of the brain tissue causing seizures is the only known effective treatment for controlling the condition and improving quality of life.

In order to compile this hippocampal atlas, researchers used MRI imagery from a sample of 25 healthy individuals. They then used their expertise in brain anatomy to label all the substructures composing the region, providing a model of an average, healthy hippocampus. The end result is analogous to a Google street view of this particular part of the brain. With this tool, researchers will be better able to assess the pathology of their patients by comparing their data to the atlas and will more clearly be able to locate the areas in need of surgical intervention.

A tool for brain diseases experts of all levels

Our primary purpose was epilepsy. We wanted to be able to detect and identify different substructures in the hippocampus to enable us to be a lot more precise in our diagnosis and to pinpoint the affected region to better target treatments”, said Dr. Bernasconi. “With this new submillimetric dataset, made available through open science, we are not just sharing MRI images, we are also transferring anatomical knowledge and providing a statistical map that can be used by researchers and clinicians of different levels of expertise anywhere in the world.”

These tools hold promising therapeutic implications for epilepsy, but also for other neurological and psychiatric disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and depression. Crucially, the atlas provides researchers with a non-invasive way to assess the impact of therapies targeting this region of the brain and to thus develop better treatments to improve the quality of life for their patients.

###

This work conducted by Dr. Neda Bernasconi and collaborators at the Montreal Neurological Institute, was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital

The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital - The Neuro is a world-leading destination for brain research and advanced patient care. Since its founding in 1934 by renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Wilder Penfield, The Neuro has grown to be the largest specialized neuroscience research and clinical centre in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. The seamless integration of research, patient care, and training of the world’s top minds make The Neuro uniquely positioned to have a significant impact on the understanding and treatment of nervous system disorders. The Montreal Neurological Institute is a McGill University research and teaching institute. The Montreal Neurological Hospital is part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre.

###

Maya-Olivia Eyssen
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
514-398-3376

Post a comment [ + Comment here + ]

There are no comments for this entry yet. [ + Comment here + ]




Comment
Your details

* Required field


Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Comments are moderated by our editors, so there may be a delay between submission and publication of your comment. Offensive or abusive comments will not be published.

Alzheimer’s Disease

mirna1 - vascular dementia13 - stroke risk factors1 - mediterranean and dash1 - hormone therapy1 - als1 - a-beta protein1 - dementia with lewy bodies3 - healthy aging1 - alpha-synuclein diseases1 - cognitive reserve1 - dopamine levels1 - brain cell damage2 - high blood pressure7 - social support1 - neurodegenerative disorder4 - inherited genes1 - memory lapses2 - sleep1 - sleep-disordered breathing1 - down syndrome2 - mild dementia2 - ziprasidone1 - obstructive lung disease1 - hormone replacement therapy1 - age-related cognitive disorders1 - memory impairment2 - syndrome of dementia1 - apoplectic dementia1 - amyloid-beta peptides1 -