Breaking News
April 20, 2019 - Texas A&M AgriLife becomes the newest member of NutriRECS international consortium
April 20, 2019 - In most states, insurance won’t cover addiction treatments
April 20, 2019 - Computer-based memory games may be beneficial for individuals with fragile X syndrome
April 20, 2019 - Timing of food intake influences molecular clock in the liver of mice
April 20, 2019 - Precise decoding of breast cancer cells paves way for new treatment option
April 20, 2019 - Scientists use 3D imaging to help model complex processes performed by placenta
April 20, 2019 - MediciNova Announces Plans to Move Forward with a Phase 3 Trial of MN-166 (ibudilast) in ALS
April 20, 2019 - Genetic variants that protect against obesity could aid new weight loss medicines
April 20, 2019 - New technology developed for microscopic imaging in living organisms
April 20, 2019 - when quitting cigarettes, consider using more nicotine, not less
April 20, 2019 - Key proteins can block Listeria without triggering the death of host cells
April 20, 2019 - Researchers create a working model of cerebral tract to study brain function
April 20, 2019 - New study shows that microbes can help break toxic chemical in dust
April 20, 2019 - Scientists use NIR light and injected DNA nanodevice to guide stem cells to injury
April 20, 2019 - Microbial Features ID’d for Pediatric Irritable Bowel Syndrome
April 20, 2019 - Study reveals patterns of drug intoxication deaths, organ donors across the US
April 20, 2019 - Scientists deploy CRISPR gene-editing tool to engineer multiple edits
April 20, 2019 - AHA News: Here’s How Middle-Aged People — Especially Women — Can Avoid a Heart Attack
April 20, 2019 - Charcot foot: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
April 20, 2019 - France to ban popular breast implants over cancer risk: media
April 20, 2019 - Researchers explore whether time of day can affect the body’s response to physical exertion
April 20, 2019 - CPAP brings longer life for obese people with sleep apnea: Study
April 20, 2019 - New discovery transforms conventional microfluidics into open-space microfluidics
April 20, 2019 - An accurate estimation of the overall cost of bacterial resistance in French hospitals during 2015 and 2016
April 20, 2019 - ‘PRO-cision Medicine’ approach helps personalize care for patients with cancer
April 19, 2019 - TG Therapeutics Receives Orphan Drug Designation for Umbralisib from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the Treatment of Marginal Zone Lymphoma
April 19, 2019 - Screen time—even before bed—has little impact on teen well-being: study
April 19, 2019 - Cytosurge’s first FluidFM User Conference
April 19, 2019 - New study finds that previously described differences among endoscopists are not true
April 19, 2019 - Study compares effectiveness and cost of gene therapy and HSCT in major beta-thalassemia
April 19, 2019 - Scientific breakthrough provides new hope for people living with multiple sclerosis
April 19, 2019 - New Virtual Reality Therapy game could offer relief for patients with chronic pain, mobility issues
April 19, 2019 - Emergency medicine doctors find better way to treat severe epileptic seizures in children
April 19, 2019 - MedlinePlus: Cholesterol Good and Bad
April 19, 2019 - For busy medical students, two-hour meditation study may be as beneficial as longer course
April 19, 2019 - Music therapy helps young patients feel better
April 19, 2019 - Molecular target UNC45A is essential for cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth
April 19, 2019 - Crackling and wheezing could be the sounds of a progressing lung disease
April 19, 2019 - Key research takeaways from ECCMID 2019
April 19, 2019 - AI Can Identify Model of Cardiac Rhythm Device From Chest X-Ray
April 19, 2019 - New way to combat childhood anxiety: treat the parents
April 19, 2019 - Women getting C-sections best judge of own pain medication needs | News Center
April 19, 2019 - Light-intensity physical activity associated with healthy brain aging
April 19, 2019 - Immune responses that prevent fungal infections may eliminate Trichinella spiralis
April 19, 2019 - Exercising in the morning, rather than at night, may yield better results, shows study
April 19, 2019 - Why eating ‘right’ could cause you to stray from your diet
April 19, 2019 - Health Tip: Antidepressant Precautions – Drugs.com MedNews
April 19, 2019 - Bigger portions lead to preschoolers eating more over time
April 19, 2019 - Specific strains of Staphylococcus aureus linked to wounds that do not heal
April 19, 2019 - Morning exercise may burn more calories
April 19, 2019 - Revolutionary discovery paves new way for treatment of necrotizing enterocolitis
April 19, 2019 - Drug that treats high blood pressure shows promise against neurodegenerative diseases
April 19, 2019 - More care is needed for patients after kidney transplantations, reports research
April 19, 2019 - Virtual reality offers benefits for Parkinson’s disease patients
April 19, 2019 - Liver Illness Strikes Latino Children Like A ‘Silent Tsunami’
April 19, 2019 - Disruptive behaviors in autistic children linked to reduced brain connectivity
April 19, 2019 - New insights into how vitamin D affects immune system
April 19, 2019 - Research sheds light on how hepatitis B virus establishes chronic infection
April 19, 2019 - New scoring system based on genetic markers predicts obesity risk at birth
April 19, 2019 - Pfizer Announces Presentation of Data from a Phase 2 Study of its 20-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Candidate Being Investigated for the Prevention of Invasive Disease and Pneumonia in Adults Aged 18 Years and Older
April 19, 2019 - Exercise can improve non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
April 19, 2019 - Phasefocus to launch new cell imaging system
April 19, 2019 - KZFPs play a key role in the regulation of human genome
April 19, 2019 - DWK Life Sciences offers Workflow Solutions to improve productivity
April 19, 2019 - Bedfont wins 2nd accolade at the South East FSB Awards 2019
April 19, 2019 - Extracts of ginkgo seeds show antibacterial activity on pathogens that cause skin infections
April 19, 2019 - Groundbreaking experiment in pigs challenges the notion about brain damage
April 19, 2019 - Improving the quality of digital pathology imaging
April 19, 2019 - Scientists get closer to injecting artificial lymph nodes into people to fight disease
April 19, 2019 - Exercises and swimming goggles may reduce adverse effects on eye during long spaceflights
April 19, 2019 - Review suggests a reciprocal relationship between obesity and self-control
April 19, 2019 - Synthetic biologists add analog-to-digital signal processing to genetic circuitry of living cells
April 19, 2019 - Study identifies how enterococci bacteria cause antibiotic-resistant bloodstream infections
April 19, 2019 - Triple negative breast cancer develop resistance to chemotherapy by turning on molecular pathway
April 19, 2019 - Researchers identify key clues to brain and pancreas development
April 19, 2019 - Metformin May Cut Risk for Prematurity, Miscarriage in PCOS
April 19, 2019 - Obese mouse mothers trigger heart problems in offspring
April 19, 2019 - Research sheds light on how leukemia cells become resistant to drugs
April 19, 2019 - Health Tip: Stopping Nosebleeds – Drugs.com MedNews
April 19, 2019 - Pediatric endocrinologist gives iconic ‘Mona Lisa’ a second medical opinion
Brain area that only processes spoken, not written words identified

Brain area that only processes spoken, not written words identified

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Patients in a new Northwestern Medicine study were able to comprehend words that were written but not said aloud. They could write the names of things they saw but not verbalize them.

Even though these patients could hear and speak perfectly fine, a disease had crept into a portion of their brain that kept them from processing auditory words while still allowing them to process visual ones. Patients in the study had primary progressive aphasia (PPA), a rare type of dementia that destroys language and currently has no treatment.

The study, published March 21 in the journal Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, allowed the scientists to identify a previously little-studied area in the left brain that seems specialized to process auditory words.

If a patient in the study saw the word “hippopotamus” written on a piece of paper, they could identify a hippopotamus in flashcards. But when that patient heard someone say “hippopotamus,” they could not point to the picture of the animal.

“They had trouble naming it aloud but did not have trouble with visual cues,” said senior author Sandra Weintraub, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “We always think of these degenerative diseases as causing widespread impairment, but in early stages, we’re learning that neurodegenerative disease can be selective with which areas of the brain it attacks.”

For most patients with PPA, communicating can be difficult because it disrupts both the auditory and visual processes in the brain.

“It’s typically very frustrating for patients with PPA and their families,” said Weintraub, also a member of Northwestern’s Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease. “The person looks fine, they’re not limping and yet they’re a different person. It means having to re-adjust to this person and learning new ways to communicate.”

Remarkably, all four patients in this study could still communicate with others through writing and reading because of a specific type of brain pathology, TDP-43 Type A.

“It doesn’t happen that often that you just get an impairment in one area,” Weintraub said, explaining that the brain is compartmentalized so that different networks share the job of seemingly easy tasks, such as reading a word and being able to say it aloud. “The fact that only the auditory words were impaired in these patients and their visual words were untouched leads us to believe we’ve identified a new area of the brain where raw sound information is transformed into auditory word images.”

The findings are preliminary because of the small sample size but the scientists hope they will prompt more testing of this type of impairment in future PPA patients, and help design therapies for PPA patients that focus on written communication over oral communication.

While 30 percent of PPA cases are caused by molecular changes in the brain due to Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common cause of this dementia, especially in people under 60 years old, is frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). The patients in this study had FTLD-TDP Type A, which is very rare. The fact that this rare neurodegenerative disease is associated with a unique clinical disorder of language is a novel finding.

The study followed patients longitudinally and examined their brains postmortem. Weintraub stressed the importance of people participating in longitudinal brain studies while they’re alive and donating their brain to science after they die so the science community can continue learning more about how to keep brains healthy.

“We know so much about the heart, liver, kidneys, eyes and other organs but we know so little about the brain in comparison,” Weintraub said.

Source:

https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2019/03/ppa-visual-auditory/

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles