Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rewiring a damaged brain

Date:
September 27, 2010
Source:
Case Western Reserve University
Summary:
Researchers are developing microelectronic circuits to bypass brain damage and induce the growth of axons, rewiring the lost connections.

Researchers in the Midwest are developing microelectronic circuitry to guide the growth of axons in a brain damaged by an exploding bomb, car crash or stroke. The goal is to rewire the brain connectivity and bypass the region damaged by trauma, in order to restore normal behavior and movement.

Related Articles


Pedram Mohseni, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Case Western Reserve University, and Randolph J. Nudo, a professor of molecular and integrative physiology at Kansas University Medical Center, believe repeated communications between distant neurons in the weeks after injury may spark long-reaching axons to form and connect.

Their work is inspired by the traumatic brain injuries suffered by ground troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Despite improvements in helmets and armor, brain trauma continues to be the signature injury of these wars.

Brain damage carries a heavy toll that may include loss of coordination, balance, mobility, memory and problem-solving skills, with soldiers suffering from mood swings, depression, anxiety, aggression, social inappropriateness and emotional outbursts.

Scientists believe that as the brain develops, it naturally establishes and solidifies communication pathways between neurons that repeatedly fire together.

Nudo and others have found that during the month following injury the brain is redeveloping, with fibers that connect different parts of the brain undergoing extensive rewiring.

"The month following injury is a window of opportunity," Mohseni said. "We believe we can do this with an injured brain, which is very malleable."

Mohseni has been building a multichannel microelectronic device to bypass the gap left by injury. The device, which he calls a brain-machine-brain interface, includes a microchip on a circuit board smaller than a quarter. The microchip amplifies signals, called neural action potentials, produced by the neurons in one part of the brain and uses an algorithm to separate these signals -- brain spike activity -- from noise and other artifacts. Upon spike discrimination, the microchip sends a current pulse to stimulate neurons in another part of the brain, artificially connecting the two brain regions.

The miniature device currently remains outside the body, connecting to microelectrodes implanted in two regions of the brain.

Nudo has been studying and mapping brain connectivity in a rat model and developing a traumatic brain injury model to test the device and the neuroanatomical rewiring theory.

The researchers began collaborating in 2007. This month they received a $1.44 million grant from the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program to continue their work and begin testing and improving the device.

During the next four years, they expect to understand the ability to rewire the brain in a rat model and to determine whether the technology is safe enough to test in non-human primates. If tests show the treatment is successful in helping recovery from traumatic brain injury, the researchers foresee the possibility of using the approach in patients 10 years from now.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Case Western Reserve University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Case Western Reserve University. "Rewiring a damaged brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100927105159.htm>.
Case Western Reserve University. (2010, September 27). Rewiring a damaged brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100927105159.htm
Case Western Reserve University. "Rewiring a damaged brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100927105159.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins