Brain-inspired podcast

Check it out!!! Prof. Turkheimer has given a very timely podcast on “Weak vs Strong Emergence“, discussing how this concept is relevant to describe a complex system as the brain. From “Turkheimer, FE, Hellyer, P, Kehagia, AA, Expert, P, Lord, L-D, Vohryzek, J, De Faria Dafflon, J, Brammer, M & Leech, R2019, ‘Conflicting Emergences. Weak vs. strong emergence for the modelling of brain function‘, Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, vol. 99, pp. 3-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.01.023

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Smartphones as research tools to unveil the secrets of the mind

The fast development of digital technologies in the last decade resulted in the production of small, yet very powerful, portable computers that are now available to more than 2 billion people on earth. Smartphones are swiped, tapped, clicked and typed more than 2000 times a day and their use is now way beyond the initial phone-call and messaging purposes. Smartphones are now used to stay in contact with people, explore new places, for entertainment, and even to order our late-evening meals. Researchers around the world are developing projects that aim to analyse our smartphone usage information, such as location, activity and social contact, to better understand how we behave, think and feel in the moment. This information has the potential to be used to detect mental health issues early, before they become more serious and long-standing.

Complete this survey to help us understand what people think about the use of smartphones as research tools!

Many thanks in advance for your participation.

An idea of Dr Mattia Veronese and Dr Stefania Tognin

NRM2018 – PET Grand Challenge Dataset Released

NRM2018 PET Grand ChallengeThe NRM2018 PET Grand Challenge dataset has now been fully released. This dataset aims to provide a normative tool to assess the performance and consistency of PET modelling approaches on the same data for which the ground truth is known. Specifically, the challenge aimed at evaluating the performances of different PET analysis tools to identify areas and magnitude of receptor binding changes in a PET radioligand neurotransmission study. Simulated PET data and reference values can be freely downloaded from NITRC portal. Full details on the type of data and simulation procedure are also reported.

Modelling arterial input functions using data acquired with an MR- compatible sampler: a validation study using [18F]GE-179

Are you running automatic arterial blood sampling in a simultaneous PET/MR scanner? Are you struggling to cope with the high-noise data from the blood sampler? If you answered YES to both questions than this research if for you. We extended an existing pipeline of blood modelling (called “MultiBlood”) to the analysis of arterial blood data obtained from MR-compatible samplers. We show that this method can filter out the excess of noise and return blood data time-activity courses comparable with the previous generation of blood samplers.

Watch the video!

Credits: Barbara Santangelo, NRM2018, London.

 

Measuring CSF clearance with 11C-PIB PET

The flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) plays an important role in the clearance of waste from the brain. CSF flow alterations may contribute to the development and/or progression of some neurological diseases. We investigated CSF clearance from the lateral ventricles in Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, multiple sclerosis, and matched healthy controls using dynamic 11C-PIB PET. Compartmental modelling analysis was used to further understand the tracer kinetics in the lateral ventricles and better interpret our PET results. Together, our PET and compartmental modelling results indicate that CSF-mediated clearance is reduced in Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis compared to healthy controls.

Watch the video!

Credits: Julia Schubert, NRM2018, London.

NRM2018

We are looking forward to welcome the NRM community in London for the next meeting (9-12 July – KCL Waterloo campus).

The full program has now been released. In addition to keynote talks on ‘The Neurobiology of Beauty’ (Prof. Semir Zeki) and ‘Of psychotic mice and men’ (Prof. Oliver Howes), the programme includes an impressive collection of the latest scientific research in the field, scheduled as oral and poster presentations. In order to maximise exposure of the submitted abstracts, we have also implemented two ‘rapid-fire’ sessions during the meeting. Other programme additions include the NRM18 ‘Grand Challenge’, a session on ‘Opportunities and Challenges for Total Body Imaging’ and a status update on the ‘Data Sharing Initiative’.

Taking part

Take part in a Wellcome Trust funded research study (http://www.neuroimmunology.org.uk/take-part) investigating the biology of depression and in particular the little understood link between inflammation and depression. This is a new and exciting area of mental health research and you can help us by taking part.

We are looking for people aged 25-50, who are currently experiencing depressive symptoms, and also people who have never had depression to take part in BIODEP.

Eligible participants will be asked to have blood tests, interviews, and an MRI scan. There is also an optional PET Scan and an optional Lumbar Puncture procedure to take part in. All participants will be substantially reimbursed, with travel and food costs included.

Video Credit: BBC News