Brain plasticity after vision loss has an ‘on-off switch’

first_imgShare on Twitter Share Share on Facebook Pinterest Emailcenter_img Age-related response to vision lossThe KU Leuven researchers discovered that cross-modal plasticity is age-dependent in an unexpected way: “In adult mice both the remaining eye and the whiskers compensate for the lack of vision in one eye. But in adolescent mice, only the functioning eye takes over. And yet, you would expect more plasticity in younger animals, because the brain undergoes major transformations during adolescence.”What is more, the study shows that the adolescent response can also be triggered in the brain of adult mice. “When you expose adult mice to darkness before removing their eye, they recover differently: their other senses take over to a smaller degree, similar to what happens in adolescent mice. The brain’s response, in other words, rejuvenates when adult mice spend time in the dark.”On-off switch in the brainThe brain controls which senses compensate for the loss of sight in one eye, but the underlying process has always been a mystery – until now. “Adolescent and adult mice have the same brain structure, so that cannot explain their different responses to sensory loss. Instead, we discovered a molecular on-off switch that controls whether or not the whiskers take over.”“After comparing different molecules with an impact on brain activity, we decided to manipulate neuroplasticity with indiplon, a sedative that affects the communication between brain cells and is thus similar to the activity-reducing neurotransmitter GABA. In adult mice, indiplon suppressed cross-modal plasticity: the lack of vision in one eye was compensated by the remaining eye, but not by the whiskers. You could say that we managed to ‘turn off’ the whiskers.”Clinical applicationsIn view of medical applications, the new insights into neuroplasticity – involving one or more senses – are crucial, Professor Lut Arckens explains: “Deaf or hard-of-hearing people can benefit from cochlear implants. In young patients who were treated in time, these work very well. In other patients, however, the treatment is no longer effective, as the auditory areas in their brain have already been taken over by other senses. This outcome is difficult to reverse, but we might be able to prevent it by suppressing cross-modal plasticity. In other cases, by contrast, we could support optimal recovery by boosting cross-modal plasticity. But these applications require a lot of further research. Our study paves the way by showing that we need to pay more attention to how sensory systems influence each other in the brain, for instance after surgery.” LinkedIn KU Leuven biologists have discovered a molecular on-off switch that controls how a mouse brain responds to vision loss. When the switch is on, the loss of sight in one eye will be compensated by the other eye, but also by tactile input from the whiskers. When the switch is off, only the other eye will take over. These findings may help improve patient susceptibility to sensory prosthetics such as cochlear implants or bionic eyes.Our brain adjusts to changes of all kind. This brain plasticity is useful for neural development and learning, but also comes into play when the nervous system is damaged. For instance, when we lose sight in one eye, our brain no longer receives sensory input from that eye, but it will compensate for that loss.Research in adult mice has revealed two types of neuroplasticity in response to vision loss. “When a mouse loses sight in one eye, the remaining eye starts sending additional signals to the area in the brain that used to be served by the lost eye,” biochemist Julie Nys from the KU Leuven Laboratory for Neuroplasticity and Neuroproteomic s explains. “After a while, the whiskers of the mouse – its sense of touch – step in as well. After a couple of weeks, the ‘lost’ area in the brain is entirely reclaimed and its brain activity is almost as high as it was before.” This phenomenon, whereby the brain responds to sensory loss by combining input from several sensory systems, is known as cross-modal neuroplasticity.last_img read more

JohnDow Appoints Drew Dawson To New Position Of Executive VP, Operations

first_img AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement Dawson brings lengthy experience to JDI in the tire and automotive aftermarket industries. He began his professional career in 1986 as a salesman with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in Boston, Mass. He quickly was promoted through the ranks ultimately becoming a regional manager-retail. He left Goodyear in 1991 to go into private business and became the co-owner and operator of Tire Source, now a collection of five independent tire and automotive service centers in Northeastern Ohio. Dawson will retain his co-ownership of Tire Source. At JDI, he will be responsible for overseeing and directing all company operational and financial functions with major emphasis on effectively planning, executing and continuously evaluating the financial and operating plans to meet corporate goals for growth and profitability. Dawson will have direct responsibility for accounting, human resources, warehousing/distribution and purchasing/inventory. BARBERTON, Ohio – Joe Dease, president of JohnDowIndustries (JDI) has announced the appointment of Drew Dawson to the newly created position of executive vice president, operations. “With over 25 years in the automotive aftermarket, Drew brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to JDI,” said Dease. “We are excited to add him to the growing JohnDow team. It is a rare opportunity to find someone who has extensive and widespread industry experience in sales, management, financial planning and ownership. It is a perfect fit for JDI as we aggressively expand our organization.”last_img read more

GBS enters Genoa

first_imgThe Mediterranean office will act as the hub of all GBS routes connecting Florida, the Caribbean, Northern Europe and the Far East.”Together with the existing offices in Fort Lauderdale, Vancouver and Hamburg, we have assembled an outstanding team of dedicated and experienced professionals who understand the market needs and deliver dependable and consistent services,” said Christian van Hoorn, managing director of GBS.”GBS has been active in Europe for more than ten years and established a very solid reputation in the yacht transport industry,” added Terzi. “They have a clear vision for the future and about how to deliver the necessary services to clients.”  www.gbs-yachttransport.comlast_img

New Halibut Management Implementations

first_imgFor the 2015-2016 halibut season in Southcentral Alaska(3A) the council recommended a two fish daily bag limit with one of those fish 29 inches or below, one trip per day, a prohibition of charter fishing on Thursdays, a one trip per day limit for charter vessels and a five fish annual limit. The International Pacific Halibut Commission will also consider the implementations when they meet at the end of January. FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享New regulations were suggested by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council in December in order to reduce the amount of halibut caught by sport fishermen. Baker: “It’s basically because there aren’t as many young fish recruiting into the fishery is one reason and the fish also aren’t growing to as large of size as they have in more recent history.”center_img When the limit of two fish per day with one being 29 inches or less was implemented we spoke with Rachel Baker of NOAA. These recommendations were due to higher than forecast harvest numbers in the area when halibut have already experienced decline over the last few years.last_img read more