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Daily News Update: Wednesday, 12 June

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Welcome to your daily round-up of everything happening in the world of neurorehabilitation.

Research news

Possible mechanism for fold formation in the cerebral cortex discovered

Determining the genetic and epigenetic factors that influence brain folding is the objective of the latest study co-led by the Neurogenesis and Cortical Expansion laboratory, directed by researcher Víctor Borrell at the Institute of Neurosciences, a joint centre of the Spanish National Research Council and the Miguel Hernández University of Elche, and the laboratory led by researcher Vijay K. Tiwari at the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute of Experimental Medicine at Queen’s University of Belfast (UK). This work, published in the journal Science Advances, has shown that epigenetic marks are a key mechanism in the instructions that give rise to the folds of the cerebral cortex and that the Cux2 protein plays a determining role in this process.

Depressive symptoms may hasten memory decline in older people

Depressive symptoms are linked to subsequent memory decline in older people, while poorer memory is also linked to an increase in depressive symptoms later on, according to a new study led by researchers at UCL and Brighton and Sussex Medical School. The study, published in JAMA Network Open, looked at 16 years of longitudinal data from 8,268 adults in England with an average age of 64. The researchers concluded that depression and memory were closely interrelated, with both seeming to affect each other.

First week after birth is critical for development of senses

A research team led by Karayannis has taken a closer look at the effect of olfactory stimuli on the brains of newborn mice. To do this, the researchers delivered a pleasant odor to the nostrils of the pups and mapped the resulting activity pattern of brain cells using state-of-the-art wide field-of-view imaging of one cortical hemisphere. They observed that the odours triggered neural activity across a large part of the cerebral cortex in the mice, including areas responsible for touch.

Furthermore, the researchers observed this phenomenon within only a very short window of time: during the first week after birth. In older pups as well as in adult mice, the odours affected more restricted areas of the brain. “This clearly shows that olfactory input in the first postnatal week induces a special pattern of electrical activity in the brain. This indicated to us that it may be essential for the formation of brain circuits for non-olfactory sensory processing,” explains Karayannis.

Company and financial neuro-rehab news

Cumulus Neuroscience to partner with The Digital Medicine Society

Cumulus Neuroscience, a company focused on advancing neuroscience clinical trials and patient care through improved data, today announced a partnership with the Digital Health Measurement Collaborative Community (DATAcc) by the Digital Medicine Society (DiMe).

Cumulus will participate in the DATAcc by DiMe Building the Business Case for Digital Endpoints project, which will convene leaders from across the field to establish shared industry benchmarks for evaluating the return on investment (ROI) of digital endpoints in the development of drugs, medical devices, and other regulated interventions. Outputs of the project will include a value framework, industry benchmarking tools, ROI forecasting models, and a modular template to support innovators developing the business case for digital endpoints in the development, implementation, and scale of fit-for-purpose digital measures as endpoints in clinical trials.

AI brain health company Omniscient closes Series C funding round

Omniscient, which uses AI to decode the human brain, has announced the conclusion of a successful Series C funding round, bringing total capital raised to US$60 million. This represents the most recent milestone in the company’s history of continued growth, with two FDA-cleared products to date. At the intersection of data science and neuroscience, the company is utilising AI to map and analyse an individual’s intricate web of brain connections and functions.

Policy, legislation and society news

Legislation for $10M to fund research of neurological diseases announced

The Time Tribune reports that a state lawmaker from Blakely announced legislation to bring $10 million dollars to Pennsylvania to research neurological diseases like the one that took his father’s life in 2022.

“His legislation would bring grants to research institutions across the state and to eligible ALS centers who are launching studies and investigations to uncover updated treatments and cures for neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s, with the goal of further supporting and boosting their abilities to conduct research and studies of these illnesses.”

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