Friday February 23, 2018

Structural differences in brain are linked to epilepsy

Adults with epilepsy exhibited lower volume in the right thalamus, a region which relays sensory and motor signals.

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Structure of brain can help find the causes behind epilepsy.
Structure of brain can help find the causes behind epilepsy.
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  • Latest research reveals that thickness and volume of brain can have an effect on our health
  • The differences can cause epilepsy
  • Apparently, there is more to epilepsy than realised

Thickness and volume differences in the grey matter of several brain regions could predict an increased risk of developing epilepsy — a neurological disorder characterised by seizures, finds a research led by a professor of Indian-origin.

Also Read : Stimulating Brain with Electricity may synchronise Brain waves and help improve short-term memory

Epilepsy affects 0.6-1.5 per cent of the global population, comprising many different syndromes and conditions, and defined by a tendency for seizures.

The findings showed reduced grey matter thickness in parts of the brain’s outer layer (cortex) and reduced volume in subcortical brain regions in all epilepsy groups when compared to the control group.

Connection between the grey matter and seizures. www.deccanchronicle.com
Connection between the grey matter and seizures. www.deccanchronicle.com

Reduced volume and thickness were associated with longer duration of epilepsy.

Adults with epilepsy exhibited lower volume in the right thalamus — a region which relays sensory and motor signals –and reduced thickness in the motor cortex, which controls the body’s movement.

These patterns were even present among people with idiopathic generalised epilepsies — a type of the disorder that are typically considered to be more benign if seizures are under control.

“We found differences in brain matter even in common epilepsies that are often considered to be comparatively benign,” said lead author, Sanjay Sisodiya, Professor at the University College London.

Also Read : Stress may trigger a form of Reflex Epilepsy and increase the risk of its Development  

“We have identified a common neuroanatomical signature of epilepsy, across multiple epilepsy types. We found that structural changes are present in multiple brain regions, which informs our understanding of epilepsy as a network disorder,” added Christopher Whelan from the University of Southern California.

There is more to seizure than we actually realise.
There is more to seizure than we actually realise.

For the study, published in the journal Brain, the team conducted MRI brain scans of 2,149 people with epilepsy, and compared with 1,727 healthy controls from across Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia.

“Our findings suggest there’s more to epilepsy than we realise, and now we need to do more research to understand the causes of these differences,” Sisodiya said. IANS

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Novel stroke treatment repairs damaged brain tissue

Researchers have developed a new stem-cell based treatment for stroke that reduces brain damage and accelerates the brain's natural healing tendencies

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The new research can reduce the threat of permanent brain damage considerably.
The new research can reduce the threat of permanent brain damage considerably. Wikimedia Commons

Researchers have developed a new stem-cell based treatment for stroke that reduces brain damage and accelerates the brain’s natural healing tendencies.

The treatment called AB126 was developed using extracellular vesicles (EV) — fluid-filled structures known as exosomes — which are generated from human neural stem cells.

“This is truly exciting evidence because exosomes provide a stealth-like characteristic, invisible even to the body’s own defences.

Also Read: Heart Surgery In Infants May Cause Deafness

When packaged with therapeutics, these treatments can actually change cell progression and improve functional recovery,” said Steven Stice, a professor at the University of Georgia in the US who led the research team.

Fully able to cloak itself within the bloodstream, this type of regenerative EV therapy appears to be the most promising in overcoming the limitations of many cells therapies-with the ability for exosomes to carry and deliver multiple doses-as well as the ability to store and administer treatment, the researchers said.

Human clinical trials for the treatment could begin as early as next year, the researchers added.
Human clinical trials for the treatment could begin as early as next year, the researchers added. Wikimedia Commons

Small in size, the tiny tubular shape of an exosome allows EV therapy to cross barriers that cells cannot be said the study published in the journal Translational Stroke Research.

Following the administration of AB126, the researchers used MRI scans to measure brain atrophy rates in preclinical, age-matched stroke models, which showed an approximately 35 percent decrease in the size of injury and 50 percent reduction in brain tissue loss.

Also Read: Father’s Stress Linked To Kids’ Brain Development

“Until now, we had very little evidence specific to neural exosome treatment and the ability to improve motor function. Just days after stroke, we saw better mobility, improved balance and measurable behavioural benefits in treated animal models,” Stice said.

Human clinical trials for the treatment could begin as early as next year, the researchers added. (IANS)