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New research from Harvard, MGH, and Stanford maps brain connections that regulate homeostasis

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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Credit: ©Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, NY, Dec. 18, 2015 -- New visualization evidence from a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study of the human brain demonstrated previously unidentified structural connections between the brainstem and the forebrain. Specifically, the investigators found neuroanatomic connections between the brainstem regions involved in autonomic and cardiorespiratory function and forebrain regions involved in homeostatic control. This research supports the concept that together these brain regions form an integrated central homeostatic network in the brain, as described in Brain Connectivity, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free for download on the Brain Connectivity http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/brain.2015.0378 website until Jan. 18, 2016.

In 'The Structural Connectome of the Human Central Homeostatic Network', authors Brian Edlow, Jennifer McNab, Thomas Witzel, and Hannah Kinney, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital (Boston, MA) and Stanford University (CA), present the results of MRI visualization in healthy adults to identify specific connections between six brainstem sites and seven forebrain regions that play a role in the critical function of homeostasis. This is the process by which the brain integrates the regulatory and restorative systems in the body to maintain health and adapt to environmental challenges.

The results presented by Edlow et al. lay the foundation for further exploration of the neuroanatomic basis of homeostasis in the normal human brain. They also provide a basis for studying the potential role that abnormal connectivity in this brain network may play in disorders of homeostasis, such as sudden death and epilepsy.

"These investigators have detected neural anatomy previously undescribed in the literature using the MGH-USC Human Connectome MRI scanner," says Christopher Pawela, PhD, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Brain Connectivity and Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin. "This study demonstrates the power of this unique instrument to unravel structural connections in brain regions that were previously difficult to image with conventional MRI scanners."

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This research was supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant K23NS094538, and utilized resources provided by NIH P41RR014075 and shared instrumentation grants 1S10RR023401, 1S10RR019307, and 1S10RR023043.

About the Journal

Brain Connectivity is the essential peer-reviewed journal covering groundbreaking findings in the rapidly advancing field of connectivity research at the systems and network levels. Published 10 times per year in print and online, the Journal is under the leadership of Founding and Co-Editors-in-Chief Christopher Pawela, PhD, Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin, and Bharat Biswal, PhD, Chair of Biomedical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology. It includes original peer-reviewed papers, review articles, point-counterpoint discussions on controversies in the field, and a product/technology review section. To ensure that scientific findings are rapidly disseminated, articles are published Instant Online within 72 hours of acceptance, with fully typeset, fast-track publication within 4 weeks. Tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Brain Connectivity website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative medical and biomedical peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Neurotrauma and Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, newsmagazines, and books is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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