Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
A research team led by Western University, in collaboration with The University of Liège in Belgium and Central University Colombia, has developed a new strategy to study the human brain while it's resting, which gives scientists and health care providers a baseline for measuring states of awareness.
Utilizing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology as a clinical tool, Andrea Soddu from Western's Brain and Mind Institute and his colleagues at Western and Liège have determined that this novel approach will accurately forecast if there are conditions present in an individual's brain for consciousness to occur.
This information is vital when assessing a patient with a head injury as he or she may not be able to communicate verbally or otherwise but by determining if consciousness is a possibility, tailored treatments and therapies can be explored while active caregiving persists.
Unlike the research of Western's Adrian Owen, the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging, which is based on patient participation, this technique measures spontaneous activity using the fMRI scanner.
"There is no participation in the fMRI scanner so measurements are not biased by the participants. This gives us a very clear picture of the brain at rest," explains Soddu. "If the brain has suffered from serious trauma then you can more accurately detect differences in the brain patterns and continue exploratory measures in determining further actions and analysis."
Classifying patients automatically based on fMRI resting state data is the first step towards single subject objective diagnostics, which is imperative as the global medical community investigates the customization of health care and the personalized medicine model.
"In the brain, we know certain regions are connected. Using the fMRI as a clinical tool, we can see if these same regions are doing the same things at the same time functionally," explains Soddu, who is cross appointed to Western's Department of Physics & Astronomy in the Faculty of Science.
The findings were published recently in Cortex in a paper titled, "Multiple fMRI system-level baseline connectivity is disrupted in patients with consciousness alterations."
Multiple fMRI system-level baseline connectivity is disrupted in patients with consciousness alterations, Authors: Athena Demertzi, Francisco Gómez, Julia Sophia Crone, Audrey Vanhaudenhuyse, Luaba Tshibanda, Quentin Noirhomme, Marie Thonnard, Vanessa Charland-Verville, Murielle Kirsch, Steven Laureys, Andrea Soddu, Cortex (2013) doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2013.11.005
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Neurology / Neuroscience category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Western University. "International collaboration develops clinical tool to measure activity of brain at rest." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 31 Jan. 2014. Web.
9 Mar. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/271973>
Western University. (2014, January 31). "International collaboration develops clinical tool to measure activity of brain at rest." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/271973.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2014 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.