The first of a series of brain-based imaging studies is being performed at the University of California, Berkeley.
The first part of the study, which will be conducted at the Stanford University School of Medicine, will focus on studying the effects of oxygen deprivation on a brain’s neural circuits.
The researchers will use positron emission tomography (PET) to scan the brains of healthy adults and then use positrons to measure oxygen levels in the blood of patients undergoing a brain injury.
These PET scans will be analyzed using the technique of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), which is an imaging technique that measures how oxygen levels change with time.
Researchers will also be using brain imaging techniques to examine the brains’ electrical activity in an attempt to understand the neural mechanisms that underlie cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and other neurological conditions.
The study is being conducted under a $5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.
The results of the research are expected to be published in the upcoming issue of the journal PLOS ONE.
The findings are expected in early 2018.
Dr. Thomas Gartner, a neuroscientist at the UC Berkeley Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, and the study’s lead author, said in a press release, “Our goal is to explore the potential for brain imaging in the treatment of cognitive and neural disorders, especially Alzheimer’s and stroke.
In this study, we hope to further our understanding of how brain function is affected by oxygen deprivation and to improve our ability to predict the impact of this loss on brain function.”
The first participants in the study will be adults who have suffered from an early-stage brain injury or brain tumor.
Participants will receive oxygen deprivation for a period of weeks and then will undergo CT scans to measure brain activity.
Dr Gartener explained in a news release that, in addition to being able to measure changes in oxygen levels, these scans will also determine how oxygen deprivation affects brain function and determine if oxygen deprivation leads to changes in brain function that are related to cognition or learning.
The research team hopes to use these brain imaging results to develop a better understanding of the neural processes that underlay cognitive and neurological disorders.
Dr Joon Ho Kim, a neurologist at Stanford’s School of Dentistry and the lead author of the press release said, “This research represents an exciting opportunity to use advanced imaging technology to study the brain of healthy people in the field of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Our hope is that this will enable us to better understand the mechanisms that contribute to cognitive decline in the brain, as well as how these mechanisms might be altered with time.”
Researchers hope to enroll up to 50 patients from the first group and the rest from the second group into the study.
Dr Kim explained that they expect the findings from the research to provide valuable information for patients who are considering a treatment for Alzheimer’s or stroke.
Dr John P. Naughton, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the NYU School of Nursing, said, The results from this study will help us to understand what is happening to the brain during brain injury and also how to better predict the effect of this injury on cognition and brain function.
“This study will also provide important information to improve the understanding of these diseases, and possibly lead to new treatments for the brain,” he added.
Dr Naughtson said, One important aspect of this study is that the researchers will be comparing oxygen deprivation to a control group in which people have been exposed to a mild form of oxygen deficiency that is not accompanied by brain damage.
These oxygen-deprived participants will also have been given oxygen, and they will be given a blood sample to monitor brain activity, as is done with Alzheimer’s patients.
“The researchers will then use diffusion tensors to see how oxygen is distributed in the patients’ brains, and how this information will be used to determine the brain injury severity and brain damage,” Dr Naugton said.
The data collected from the study should be used in future studies to better identify the neuroprotective properties of oxygen and how the brain responds to it.
Dr P.J. O’Brien, a clinical professor of neurobiology at UC Berkeley, said that while the research is exciting, he has some concerns.
“First of all, I would caution that these are still early studies,” Dr O’Briensaid.
“There are a lot of unknowns.
We will need to follow up with the patients over the next few years, and we will also need to do more long-term studies.”
Dr Naghton added that the study also will have a significant impact on researchers who are working on developing a diagnostic test for Alzheimer-related dementia.
He said, We should be able to predict whether a person has Alzheimer’s at a very early stage and at a later stage, and that will help to inform clinical development and treatment.
He added, “I think this is one of the biggest and most important studies of its kind that we’ve seen