Transneuronal spread model fits neurodegenerative disease

March 24, 2012
Transneuronal spread model fits neurodegenerative disease
Neurodegenerative diseases may be characterized by specific regions of the brain that are critical network epicenters, with disease-related vulnerability associated with shorter paths to the epicenter and greater total connectional flow, according to a study published in the March 22 issue of Neuron.

(HealthDay) -- Neurodegenerative diseases may be characterized by specific regions of the brain that are critical network epicenters, with disease-related vulnerability associated with shorter paths to the epicenter and greater total connectional flow, according to a study published in the March 22 issue of Neuron.

To investigate how intrinsic connectivity in health predicts regional vulnerability to neurodegenerative disease, Juan Zhou, Ph.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues used task-free functional to identify the healthy intrinsic connectivity patterns seeded by brain regions vulnerable to five neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's disease, behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia, , progressive nonfluent aphasia, and corticobasal syndrome).

The investigators found that, for each neurodegenerative disease, specific regions emerged as critical network epicenters, and their normal connectivity profile was most similar to the disease-linked pattern of atrophy. In healthy subjects, greater disease-related vulnerability was consistently associated with regions with shorter functional paths to the epicenters and also with higher total connectional flow.

"These findings best fit a transneuronal spread model of network-based vulnerability. Molecular pathological approaches may help clarify what makes each epicenter vulnerable to its targeting disease and how species travel between networked brain structures," the authors write.

Explore further: Alzheimer's disease spreads through linked nerve cells, brain imaging studies suggest

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Autism risk gene linked to differences in brain structure

March 21, 2012

Healthy individuals who carry a gene variation linked to an increased risk of autism have structural differences in their brains that may help explain how the gene affects brain function and increases vulnerability for autism. ...

Recommended for you

Scientists develop new drug screening tool for dystonia

December 8, 2016

Duke University researchers have identified a common mechanism underlying separate forms of dystonia, a family of brain disorders that cause involuntary, debilitating and often painful movements, including twists and turns ...

Transplanted interneurons can help reduce fear in mice

December 8, 2016

The expression "once bitten, twice shy" is an illustration of how a bad experience can induce fear and caution. How to effectively reduce the memory of aversive events is a fundamental question in neuroscience. Scientists ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.