Researchers at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center have identified a new pathway of stem cell activity in the brain that represents potential targets of brain injuries affecting newborns. The recent study, which raises new questions of how the brain evolves, is published in the current issue of Nature, one of the world's most cited scientific journals.
Nader Sanai, MD, director of Barrow's Brain Tumor Research Center, led this study, which is the first developmental study of human neural stem cells in a region of the brain called the subventricular zone, the tissue structure in which brain stem cells reside. Also participating in the study were researchers from University of California San Francisco and the University of Valencia in Spain.
The findings revealed that there is a pathway of young migrating neurons targeting the prefrontal cortex of the human brain in the first few months of life. After the first year of life, the subventricular zone of the brain slows down, tapering production of new brain cells by the time a child is 18-months and then to nearly zero by age two. This revelation settles conflicting prior reports that suggested that human neural stem cell cells remain highly active into adulthood.
"In the first few months of life, we identified streams of newly-generated cells from the subventricular portion of the brain moving toward the frontal cortex," says Dr. Sanai. "The existence of this new pathway, which has no known counterpart in all other studied vertebrates, raises questions about the mechanics of how the human brain develops and has evolved."
Researchers believe this study holds important implications for the understanding of neonatal brain diseases that can cause death or devastating, life-long brain damage. These conditions include germinal matrix hemorrhages, the most common type of brain hemorrhage that occurs in infants; and perinatal hypoxic – ischaemic injuries, exposure to low oxygen and decreased blood flow that can lead to diseases such as cerebral palsy and seizure disorders.
"The first year of human life has a window of vulnerability, as well as tremendous opportunity, for the brain," says Dr. Sanai. "It's a period of incredible growth, organization, and flexibility, as fresh neural connections are created, broken, and remade. A better understanding of how things can go wrong in that critical period could ultimately improve the chances that things will go right."
Carmelle Malkovich | EurekAlert!
Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses