Advanced Imaging Shows Crescendo, Diminuendo of Brain Circuitry

Using newly developed imaging techniques, neuroscientists for the first time have “unfolded” the brain’s sea-horse-shaped hippocampus to reveal how dynamic activity within the brain structure’s complex architecture orchestrates memory formation. Details appear in the Jan. 24 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Science. The researchers used extremely high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and software developed at UCLA’s Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center to study blood flow within the hippocampus as 10 human volunteers learned to associate names with faces.

Parkinson’s patients look to gene therapy

Medical researchers have successfully reversed the progression of Parkinson’s disease in rats through the use of gene therapy. By adding a gene for a single enzyme, they were able to reprogram brain circuits and halt the deterioration of dopamine-producing brain cells, one of the key problems in the disease. The lack of dopamine is what leads the the tell-tale shaking and muscle twitches of Parkinson’s patients.