Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
RANDOX LABORATORIES

Events

10 May 2016 - 16 May 2016
11 May 2016 - 13 May 2016

Identifying Brain Networks Using Metabolic Brain Imaging-Based Mapping Strategy

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 31 Jul 2014
Print article
Image: PET scans highlight the loss of dopamine storage capacity in Parkinson’s disease. In the scan of a disease-free brain, made with [18F]-FDOPA PET (left image), the red and yellow areas show the dopamine concentration in a normal putamen, a part of the mid-brain. Compared with that scan, a similar scan of a Parkinson’s patient (right image) shows a marked dopamine deficiency in the putamen (Photo courtesy of the Feinstein Institute’s Center for Neurosciences).
Image: PET scans highlight the loss of dopamine storage capacity in Parkinson’s disease. In the scan of a disease-free brain, made with [18F]-FDOPA PET (left image), the red and yellow areas show the dopamine concentration in a normal putamen, a part of the mid-brain. Compared with that scan, a similar scan of a Parkinson’s patient (right image) shows a marked dopamine deficiency in the putamen (Photo courtesy of the Feinstein Institute’s Center for Neurosciences).
A new image-based strategy has been used to identify and gauge placebo effects in randomized clinical trials for brain disorders. The researchers employed a network mapping technique to identify specific brain circuits underlying the response to sham surgery in Parkinson’s disease (PD).

The study’s findings were published in the July 18, 2014, in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. PD is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the United States. Those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease most frequently experience tremors, slowness of movement (bradykinesia), rigidity, and impaired balance and coordination. Patients may have a hard time talking, walking, or completing simple daily tasks. They may also experience depression and difficulty sleeping due to the disease. The current standard for diagnosis of PD disease relies on a skilled healthcare professional, typically an experienced neurologist, to determine through clinical examination that someone has it. Currently, there is no cure for PD, but drugs can improve symptoms.

Investigators from the Feinstein Institute’s Center for Neurosciences (Manhasset, NY, USA), led by David Eidelberg, MD, has developed a strategy to identify brain patterns that are abnormal or indicate disease using 18-F flurorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) metabolic imaging techniques. Up to now, this approach has been used effectively to identify specific networks in the brain that indicate a patient has or is at risk for PD and other neurodegenerative disorders.

“One of the major challenges in developing new treatments for neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease is that it is common for patients participating in clinical trials to experience a placebo or sham effect,” noted Dr. Eidelberg. “When patients involved in a clinical trial commonly experience benefits from placebo, it’s difficult for researchers to identify if the treatment being studied is effective. In a new study conducted by my colleagues and myself, we have used a new image-based strategy to identify and measure placebo effects in brain disorder clinical trials.”

The researchers used their network mapping technique in this study to identify specific brain circuits underlying the response to sham surgery in PD patients participating in a gene therapy trial. The expression of this network measured under blinded conditions correlated with the sham study participants’ clinical outcome; the network changes were reversed when the subjects learned of their sham treatment status.

Lastly, an individual’s network expression value measured before the treatment predicted his/her subsequent blinded response to sham treatment. This suggests, according to the investigators, that this innovative image-based measure of the sham-related network can help to reduce the number of subjects assigned to sham treatment in randomized clinical trials for brain disorders by excluding those patients who are more liable to display placebo effects under blinded conditions.

Related Links:

Feinstein Institute’s Center for Neurosciences



Print article

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: Drop-inoculation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants on an agar plate. The assay compares the viability of different yeast mutants (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Defective Genome Instability Suppressing Genes May Cause Some Types of Cancer

Cancer researchers reported in a recent study that defects in the expression of genes that suppress gross chromosomal rearrangements (GCRs) were linked to more than 93% of the ovarian and 66% of the colorectal... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel
Image: Scientists had viewed ant antennae as being used only to receive information – new research has demonstrated that they also transmit critical social signals (Photo courtesy of the University of Melbourne).

Ant Antennae Communicate Vital Social ID Information

Scientists have shone new light on the complexities of insect communication with the discovery that ants not only pick up information through their antennae, but also use them to convey social signals.... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel

Huge Modifiable Biomedical Database to Be Available on the Wikidata Site

Genome researchers are exploiting the power of the open Internet community Wikipedia database to create a comprehensive resource for geneticists, molecular biologists, and other interested life scientists. While efficiency in generating scientific data improves almost daily, applying meaningful relationships between... Read more

Business

view channel

DNA Synthesis Specialists Acquire Advanced Software Design Capabilities

An American biotech firm that develops and produces synthetic DNA has established an international presence by purchasing an Israeli genetic design software company. Twist Bioscience Corporation (San Francisco, CA, USA), a company specializing in rapid, high-quality DNA synthesis, announced that Genome Compiler Corporation... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2016 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.