ucsdhealthsciences:

MRI-Guided Biopsy for Brain Cancer Improves Diagnosis, California First

Neurosurgeons at UC San Diego Heath System have, for the first time, combined real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology with novel non-invasive cellular mapping techniques to develop a new biopsy approach that increases the accuracy of diagnosis for patients with brain cancer.

“There are many different types of brain cancer. Making an accurate diagnosis is paramount because the diagnosis dictates the subsequent course of treatment,” said Clark C. Chen, MD, PhD, vice-chairman of research, division of neurosurgery, UC San Diego School of Medicine. “For instance, the treatment of glioblastoma is fundamentally different than the treatment for oligodendroglioma, another type of brain tumor.”

Chen said that as many as one third of brain tumor biopsies performed in the traditional manner can result in misdiagnosis. He cited two challenges with conventional biopsy.

“First, because distinct areas of brain tumors exhibit different cell densities and higher cell densities are generally associated with higher tumor grade, biopsies taken from one region may yield a different diagnosis than if another area is biopsied,” said Chen. “Second, because tumors are hidden within the brain, surgeons must use mathematical algorithms to target where the biopsy should occur. As with all calculations, the process is subject to errors that the surgeon cannot easily correct in real time once the biopsy has begun.”

Chen’s team applied an MRI technique called Restriction Spectrum Imaging (RSI) to visualize the parts of the brain tumor that contain different cell densities.

“RSI allows us to identify the regions of the cell that are most representative of the entire tumor,” said Chen. “By targeting biopsies to these areas, we minimize the number of biopsies needed but still achieve a sampling that best characterizes the entire tumor.”

To ensure a targeted biopsy, Chen performs the procedure in the MRI suite while the patient is under general anesthesia. Because conventional biopsy equipment cannot be used in the MRI, Chen uses a special MRI-compatible system called ClearPoint®. This system utilizes an integrated set of hardware, software, and surgical equipment to allow the surgeon to target and visualize the path of the biopsy as well as the actual biopsy site, intraoperatively.

“Surgeons have been performing brain biopsies in a near blind manner for the past fifty years. The ability to see where the biopsy needle is located and where the biopsy is being performed in real time is groundbreaking,” said Chen. “This combination of technologies gives me an opportunity to immediately adjust my surgical approach while minimizing risk.”

The study and application of RSI is currently being performed at the newly established Center for Translational Imaging and Personalized Medicine and Center for Theoretical and Applied Neuro-Oncology at UC San Diego, School of Medicine. The RSI technology was developed by Anders M. Dale, PhD, vice-chairman, Department of Radiology, UC San Diego, School of Medicine. The ClearPoint System was developed by MRI Interventions, Inc., of Irvine, CA.

To learn more about UC San Diego Health System and the multidisciplinary team at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, visit cancer.ucsd.edu/brain

Dig it

Dig it

Tags: brain art

How Studying or Working Abroad Makes You Smarter | TIME.com -

medicalschool:

Dandy–Walker syndrome (DWS), is a congenital brain malformation involving the cerebellum and the fluid filled spaces around it. A key feature of this syndrome is the partial or even complete absence of the part of the brain located between the two cerebellar hemispheres (cerebellar vermis). The Dandy–Walker complex is a genetically sporadic disorder that occurs one in every 30,000 live births. Prenatal diagnosis and prognosis of outcomes associated with Dandy-Walker can be difficult.
The term Dandy–Walker represents not a single entity, but several abnormalities of brain development which coexist. There are, at present, three identified types of Dandy–Walker complexes. These represent closely associated forms of the disorder: DWS malformation, DWS mega cisterna magna and DWS variant.
Image: Variant DWS with dysplasia of the pons and cerebellum in a 8-year old. T2 weighted sagittal MRI.

medicalschool:

Dandy–Walker syndrome (DWS), is a congenital brain malformation involving the cerebellum and the fluid filled spaces around it. A key feature of this syndrome is the partial or even complete absence of the part of the brain located between the two cerebellar hemispheres (cerebellar vermis). The Dandy–Walker complex is a genetically sporadic disorder that occurs one in every 30,000 live births. Prenatal diagnosis and prognosis of outcomes associated with Dandy-Walker can be difficult.

The term Dandy–Walker represents not a single entity, but several abnormalities of brain development which coexist. There are, at present, three identified types of Dandy–Walker complexes. These represent closely associated forms of the disorder: DWS malformation, DWS mega cisterna magna and DWS variant.

Image: Variant DWS with dysplasia of the pons and cerebellum in a 8-year old. T2 weighted sagittal MRI.

(Source: Wikipedia)

psydoctor8:

Famed amnesia case,  K.C. died last week. Having lost both hippocampuses after a motorcycle accident, he was somehow able to hold on to some memories, though “devoid of all context and emotion”… and his identity.  

That’s actually a common theme in the neuroscience of accidents. It’s easy to see the victims of brain damage as reduced or diminished, and they are in some ways. But much of what they feel from moment to moment is exactly what you or I feel, and there’s almost nothing short of death that can make you forget who you are. Amid all the fascinating injuries in neuroscience history, you’ll come across a lot of tales of woe and heartbreak. But there’s an amazing amount of resiliency in the brain, too. [via]

psydoctor8:

Famed amnesia case,  K.C. died last week. Having lost both hippocampuses after a motorcycle accident, he was somehow able to hold on to some memories, though “devoid of all context and emotion”… and his identity.  

That’s actually a common theme in the neuroscience of accidents. It’s easy to see the victims of brain damage as reduced or diminished, and they are in some ways. But much of what they feel from moment to moment is exactly what you or I feel, and there’s almost nothing short of death that can make you forget who you are. Amid all the fascinating injuries in neuroscience history, you’ll come across a lot of tales of woe and heartbreak. But there’s an amazing amount of resiliency in the brain, too. [via]

radiologysigns:

CT angiogram of a 5-year-old trauma patient performed on TOSHIBA’s Aquilion ONE CT scanner. Click here to see it spin in 3D!

radiologysigns:

CT angiogram of a 5-year-old trauma patient performed on TOSHIBA’s Aquilion ONE CT scanner. Click here to see it spin in 3D!

(via radiopaedia)

Greatest lessons about the mind/self come from our experiences.

Tags: brain art

ucsdhealthsciences:

Findings point to potential biomarkers for early detection of at-risk youth

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered impaired neuronal activity in the parts of the brain associated with anticipatory functioning among occasional 18- to 24-year-old users of stimulant drugs, such as cocaine, amphetamines and prescription drugs such as Adderall.

The brain differences, detected using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), are believed to represent an internal hard wiring that may make some people more prone to drug addiction later in life.

Among the study’s main implications is the possibility of being able to use brain activity patterns as a means of identifying at-risk youth long before they have any obvious outward signs of addictive behaviors.

The study is published in the March 26 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

“If you show me 100 college students and tell me which ones have taken stimulants a dozen times, I can tell you those students’ brains are different,” said Martin Paulus, MD, professor of psychiatry and a co-senior author with Angela Yu, PhD, professor of cognitive science at UC San Diego. “Our study is telling us, it’s not ‘this is your brain on drugs,’ it’s ‘this is the brain that does drugs.’”

In the study, 18- to 24-year-old college students were shown either an X or an O on a screen and instructed to press, as quickly as possible, a left button if an X appeared or a right button if an O appeared. If a tone was heard, they were instructed not to press a button.  Each participant’s reaction times and errors were measured for 288 trials, while their brain activity was recorded via fMRI.

Occasional users were characterized as having taken stimulants an average of 12 to 15 times. The “stimulant naïve” control group included students who had never taken stimulants. Both groups were screened for factors, such as alcohol dependency and mental health disorders, that might have confounded the study’s results.

The outcomes from the trials showed that occasional users have slightly faster reaction times, suggesting a tendency toward impulsivity. The most striking difference, however, occurred during the “stop” trials. Here, the occasional users made more mistakes, and their performance worsened, relative to the control group, as the task became harder (i.e., when the tone occurred later in the trial).

The brain images of the occasional users showed consistent patterns of diminished neuronal activity in the parts of the brain associated with anticipatory functioning and updating anticipation based on past trials.

“We used to think that drug addicts just did not hold themselves back but this work suggests that the root of this is an impaired ability to anticipate a situation and to detect trends in when they need to stop,” said Katia Harlé, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in the Paulus laboratory and the study’s lead author.

The next step will be to examine the degree to which these brain activity patterns are permanent or can be re-calibrated. The researchers said it may be possible to “exercise” weak areas of the brain, where attenuated neuronal activity is associated with higher tendency to addiction.

“Right now there are no treatments for stimulant addiction and the relapse rate is upward of 50 percent,” Paulus said. “Early intervention is our best option.”