Taiwanese researchers discover link between gene and rare brain disorder

One of the causes of lissencephaly is mutation of the CEP85L gene, which might not be hereditary, a researcher said, urging prenatal controls

  • By Lee I-chia / Staff reporter

Researchers yesterday said that they have identified a gene that is an important cause for posterior predominant lissencephaly, a rare brain disorder.

Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Neurology Epilepsy Section director Tsai Meng-han (蔡孟翰) said that the brain normally has folds, or gyri, which correlate with specific cognitive abilities.

However, people with lissencephaly have gyral malformations that cause parts or the entire surface of their brains to appear smooth, which gives the disorder its name, meaning “smooth brain.”

Lissencephaly is a rare brain malformation caused by gene mutations, with an incidence rate of about 12 per million among newborns, he said, adding that there are an estimated 300 cases in Taiwan.

The life expectancy of most people

Read More

Brain Mapping Foundation tackles COVID-19 pandemic through science, technology, innovation, and policy endorsing California Proposition 14-2020

Proposition 14-2020 provides $5.5B in total to continue stem cell research including $1.5B for the support of research and development of treatments toward neurological disorders.

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Brain Mapping Foundation (BMF) and Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics (SBMT) have been on the forefront of combatting COVID-19 with their enormous network of scientists, physicians, and engineers worldwide.  BMF and SBMT formed a COVID-19 global taskforce in February of 2020 and by the first week of March they were connected to 5 different global taskforces in Asia, South America, North America, Middle East and India in real time. “Our taskforce coordinated efforts with our global membership and collaborators to rapidly advance our understanding of COVID-19,” said Vicky Yamamoto, Ph.D., Executive Director of SBMT, Co-Chair of COVID-19 Taskforce and Cancer Scientist, USC-Keck School of Medicine, Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery

Read More

What Brain Science Teaches Us About What We’re Experiencing During The Pandemic And How We Can Cope, Survive And Thrive

The pandemic is here and here for the foreseeable future. That’s our reality. As professional women, we are learning to cope, trying our best to survive and take care of ourselves, our family, and our team. But at what price? Certainly, if you’re feeling exhausted, anxious and depressed, you’re not alone. This experience is taking a toll on our mental health and well-being.

I think it’s important to comprehend how this difficult situation is affecting us, physically and emotionally, so that we can learn the best coping mechanisms. It’s a good time as well for us to understand that there are also opportunities to grow personally and professionally from this experience, despite the fact that it may be challenging most days to see what those lessons may be.

In order to take a deeper look at the effects of the pandemic

Read More

How the pandemic hurts childhood brain development

DANGER: Deadly coronavirus. Wear a face mask.

These stark words are spelled out in large letters to protect children as they enter a community playground. But the biggest danger to our children isn’t the possibility of contracting the virus on a playground. As we protect our children from becoming infected, and from infecting vulnerable family members, we are overlooking a far greater danger to the children themselves: stress.

Stress related to the coronavirus in both public and private spaces — along with the disruption of home and school environments — is compromising the development of brain systems and cognitive skills needed for success in school and life. We know this from decades of neuroscience research on the effects of poverty, trauma and violence on brain development.

But there is also some promising news: Neuroscience has provided us with programs to mitigate the stress effects of Covid-19.

We write from years

Read More