Navigation Links
New technique puts brain-imaging research on its head

It's a scene football fans will see over and over during the bowl and NFL playoff seasons: a player, often the quarterback, being slammed to the ground and hitting the back of his head on the landing.

Sure, it hurts, but what happens to the inside of the skull? Researchers and doctors long have relied upon crude approximations made from test dummy crashes or mathematical models that infer ?rather loosely ?what happens to the brain during traumatic brain injury or concussion.

But the truth is that the state of the art in understanding brain deformation after impact is rather crude and uncertain because such methods don't give any true picture of what happens. Now, mechanical engineers at Washington University in St. Louis and collaborators have devised a technique on humans that for the first time shows just what the brain does when the skull accelerates.

What they've done is use a technique originally developed to measure cardiac deformation to image deformation in human subjects during repeated mild head decelerations. Picture, if you will, a mangled quarterback's occipital bone banging the ground, then rebounding. The researchers have mimicked that very motion with humans on a far milder, gentler, smaller scale and captured the movement inside the brain by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Philip Bayly, Ph.D., Lilyan and E. Lisle Hughes Professor in Engineering, Guy Genin, Ph.D., assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and Eric Leuthardt, MD, a Washington University neurosurgeon, tested seven subjects in an MRI and gathered data that show that the brain, connected to the skull by numerous vessels, membranes and nerves at the base, tries to pull away from all those attachments, leading to a significant deformation of the front of the brain. Bayly discussed the group's findings Nov. 10, 2005, at the annual meeting of the National Neurotrauma Society in Washington, DC.

Brain movie

According to Genin, t he subjects are placed in the soft netting of a head guide, and are asked to raise and lower their heads about an inch inside an MRI machine. The process is repeated several times as the MRI pieces together a complete movie of the brain's response to these skull motions.

"Phil (Bayly) has developed a set of state-of-the-art hardware and software to synchronize and analyze all of these measurements," said Genin. "The systems he has developed will allow us to explore a broad range of questions critical to understanding mild traumatic brain injury."

"It's an interesting thing that in many occipital impact injuries, people often find the greatest injury in the front of the brain," Bayly said. "That has been a puzzle for a long time and there have been numerous different explanations for it. What we see with the MRI is quite a bit of mechanical deformation in the front of the brain when the skull is hit from the rear. It seems to be because the brain is trying to pull away from some constraints in the front of the brain."

Bayly and his collaborators can apply the levels of deformation they have found with their subjects to in vitro experiments or to animal models to learn even more about brain matter deformation. They have done experiments on humans with the head dropping forward, and plan to study different acceleration profiles, including rotations.

"This method is a starting point that we hope will take the guesswork out of brain matter deformation analysis," Bayly said. "We can now quantify brain deformation from these very low, mild accelerations with MRI. We are working with Washington University School of Medicine faculty in hopes of some day developing therapeutic remedies for traumatic brain injuries and concussions.

"The most immediate application of our data will be in the development and validation of computer simulations of traumatic brain injury, which may ultimately reduce the need for direct experimentation. "

Bayly and Genin are collaborating with David Brody, MD, Ph.D., instructor in neurology at the Washington University School of Medicine, and Sheng K. Song, Ph.D., assistant professor of radiology, on other advanced MRI techniques with the hope of finding noninvasive ways to detect and characterize brain injuries.


'"/>

Source:Washington University in St. Louis


Related biology news :

1. New lab technique identifies high levels of pathogens in therapy pool
2. Brain-mapping technique aids understanding of sleep, wakefulness
3. Study reveals new technique for fingerprinting environmental samples
4. Researchers pioneer new gene therapy technique using natural repair process
5. Newer imaging techniques may lead to over-treatment
6. Gene silencing technique offers new strategy for treating, curing disease
7. Mosaic mouse technique offers a powerful new tool to study diseases and genetics
8. Researchers devise new technique for creating human stem cells
9. New technique rapidly detects illness-causing bacteria
10. New bioinformatics technique for systematically analyzing key regions in DNA that help control gene activity
11. New technique may speed DNA analysis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016 Market Research Future published a ... The global Mobile Biometric Security and Service Market is expected to ... 2022. Market Highlights: ... , Mobile Biometric Security ... to the increasing need of authentication and security from unwanted cyber ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  Singulex, Inc., the leader ... technology, entered into a license and supply agreement with ... The agreement provides Singulex access to Thermo Scientific BRAHMS ... is used to diagnose systemic bacterial infection ... to aid in assessing the risk of ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... India , December 7, 2016 According to a ... Machine Learning), Software Tool (Facial Expression, Voice Recognition), Service, Application Area, End User, ... is estimated to grow from USD 6.72 Billion in 2016 to USD 36.07 ... Continue Reading ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... SAN DIEGO, Dec. 8, 2016  OncoSec Medical ... company developing DNA-based intratumoral cancer immunotherapies, today announced ... "We are delivering on our ... melanoma with ImmunoPulse® IL-12. We are pleased with ... melanoma combination trial, and we are focused on ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , December 8, 2016 AskLinkerReports.com ... comprehensive analysis, titled Global Amyloglucosidase Industry 2016 Market Research Report. ... application, and industry chain overview are all covered in the ... analysis, and investment return analysis of the Amyloglucosidase industry. ... , , ...
(Date:12/8/2016)...  Renova™ Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing gene ... 2 diabetes, announced that it has obtained a ... vector developed in the laboratory of Professor ... The company plans to use this vector in ... "Early research has shown promise ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... light to control cells — optogenetics — is key to exciting advances in ... the art, spatially patterned light projected via free-space optics stimulates small, transparent organisms ...
Breaking Biology Technology: