Thursday, August 9, 2018

Better Than Before: Mapping Beneficial Brain Injuries

A study of rare cases of improvement after stroke sheds light on potential therapeutic targets in the brain

Ischemic stroke occurs when narrowed or blocked arteries disrupt blood flow to the brain. The resulting damage can result in paralysis, memory loss and diminished cognitive function. In rare cases, however, the brain damage caused by stroke – also called a lesion – can lead to an improvement of pre-existing symptoms. 

In a first-of-its-kind study, neuroscientists led by Michael Fox, MD, PhD, at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) used a novel technique to map brain injuries that alleviated symptoms of essential tremor – the benign, involuntary shaking of hands experienced by about ten percent of people 71 and older. Their findings, published in July in the Annals of Neurology, demonstrate how the brain lesion network mapping technique – pioneered by Fox at BIDMC – might be used to identify therapeutic targets in the brain.

Link to full BIDMC release on study co-authored by MGH investigator Juho Joutsa.

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