Neuroscience_topics
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Neuroscience_topics
Neuroscience: CNS disease, pain, brain research, ion channels, synaptic transmission, channelopathies, neuronal network
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A Model of Functional Brain Connectivity and Background Noise as a Biomarker for Cognitive Phenotypes: Application to Autism

A Model of Functional Brain Connectivity and Background Noise as a Biomarker for Cognitive Phenotypes: Application to Autism | Neuroscience_topics | Scoop.it

We present an efficient approach to discriminate between typical and atypical brains from macroscopic neural dynamics recorded as magnetoencephalograms (MEG). Our approach is based on the fact that spontaneous brain activity can be accurately described with stochastic dynamics, as a multivariate Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process (mOUP). By fitting the data to a mOUP we obtain: 1) the functional connectivity matrix, corresponding to the drift operator, and 2) the traces of background stochastic activity (noise) driving the brain. We applied this method to investigate functional connectivity and background noise in juvenile patients (n = 9) with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and compared them to age-matched juvenile control subjects (n = 10). Our analysis reveals significant alterations in both functional brain connectivity and background noise in ASD patients. The dominant connectivity change in ASD relative to control shows enhanced functional excitation from occipital to frontal areas along a parasagittal axis. Background noise in ASD patients is spatially correlated over wide areas, as opposed to control, where areas driven by correlated noise form smaller patches. An analysis of the spatial complexity reveals that it is significantly lower in ASD subjects. Although the detailed physiological mechanisms underlying these alterations cannot be determined from macroscopic brain recordings, we speculate that enhanced occipital-frontal excitation may result from changes in white matter density in ASD, as suggested in previous studies. We also venture that long-range spatial correlations in the background noise may result from less specificity (or more promiscuity) of thalamo-cortical projections. All the calculations involved in our analysis are highly efficient and outperform other algorithms to discriminate typical and atypical brains with a comparable level of accuracy. Altogether our results demonstrate a promising potential of our approach as an efficient biomarker for altered brain dynamics associated with a cognitive phenotype. (...) - by Dominguer LG et al., PLoS ONE 8(4): e61493

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Autism symptoms reversed in mice

Autism symptoms reversed in mice | Neuroscience_topics | Scoop.it
Neural 'hyperconnections' caused by runaway protein production can be undone.

As diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder rise, the need for effective therapies has increased in urgency. Today, a paper in Nature describes two ways of reversing autism-like symptoms in a new mouse model of the condition. (...) - by Dan Jones, Nature news, 21 November 2012


Source :  Gkogkas, C. G. et al. Nature 

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Physical Therapy In Autism Spectrum Disorders

Physical Therapy In Autism Spectrum Disorders | Neuroscience_topics | Scoop.it

The CDC estimated a 1% worldwide prevalence for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In the United States, 1 out of 88 kids is diagnosed with ASD (according to data from a survey conducted in 2008). Autism spectrum disorders are characterized by diminished social interaction skills, stereotypic engagement in repetitive tasks, lengthy visual engagement with a target, refusal to deviate from set rituals and diminished spontaneity in expressing emotions. In addition to behavioral difficulties, reduced motor abilities are also reported. (...) - by Shefali Sabharanjak, PhDBrain Blogger, February 27, 2013

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Saman Zafar's curator insight, May 4, 2013 9:50 AM

hence, therapeutic sessions where the participants are asked to observe and learn from the actions of therapist are likely to succeed in children suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder.