Check out some of the papers that were recently published by DMCBH members:

Ruth Grunau, Steven Miller: Size and Location of Preterm Brain Injury and Associations With Neurodevelopmental Outcomes 

Journal: Neurology

This study looked at how brain injuries in very premature babies might affect their development. Researchers focused on two types of injuries: white matter injury (WMI) and periventricular hemorrhagic infarction (PVHI). The researchers examined the volume and location of these injuries in relation to the babies’ development at 18 months old. They found that larger brain injuries were linked to lower motor skills. Also, babies whose mothers had higher education levels tended to have better cognitive scores. When they looked at where the brain injuries were located, they found that injuries in certain areas were connected to poorer motor skills. 

As a result, this study suggests that the size and location of brain injuries in premature babies can predict their motor development, but not necessarily their cognitive development. It also highlights the influence of socioeconomic status on cognitive outcomes, even in babies with brain injuries. 


Wilfred Jefferies: Conclusive demonstration of iatrogenic Alzheimer’s disease transmission in a model of stem cell transplantation 

Journal: Stem Cell Reports

This study showed that there is a risk of diseases being passed on through medical procedures like organ transplants, stem cell therapies, and blood transfusions. Researchers unexpectedly found a form of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) that can be transferred through transplants. By putting stem cells from donors with a specific gene mutation into animals, they saw the animals develop AD symptoms quickly. This suggests that diseases like AD can be passed on through stem cell transplants. As a result, it is suggested to check donors’ genes before these procedures to reduce the risk of passing on diseases. 


Miriam Spering: Smooth pursuit inhibition reveals audiovisual enhancement of fast movement control 

Journal: Journal of Vision

When we see or hear something suddenly, our eyes briefly stop moving to focus on it. This happens very quickly, almost as fast as our brain can process visual information. Researchers in this study wanted to see how this response is affected when we see and hear something at the same time. In their experiments, researchers found that when both sight and sound are involved, the pause in our eye movements is stronger compared to when only one sense is involved. This suggests that our eyes can quickly respond to information from multiple senses. Researchers think this happens through a fast pathway in the brain that allows our eyes to react to sights and sounds together. 


Blair Leavitt: Assessment of Perivascular Space Morphometry Across the White Matter in Huntington’s Disease Using MRI 

Journal: Journal of Huntington’s Disease 

In this study, researchers investigated perivascular spaces (PVS) in the white matter of individuals at different stages of Huntington’s disease (HD). They analyzed brain scans of healthy controls, individuals with premanifest HD (pre-HD), and those with early manifest HD (early-HD) to measure PVS count and volume. The results showed a slight increase in PVS count in both pre-HD and early-HD groups compared to healthy controls, with a subtle increase in PVS volume observed in pre-HD individuals. However, there were no clear associations between PVS measures and disease severity. The findings suggest relatively preserved PVS morphology in the white matter of individuals with pre-HD and early-HD, although further research with larger cohorts is needed to confirm these observations. Nonetheless, understanding the role of PVS in HD, particularly in the grey matter, could be crucial for future treatment strategies. 


Daniel Vigo: Effectiveness of the Minder Mobile Mental Health and Substance Use Intervention for University Students: Randomized Controlled Trial 

Journal: Journal of Medical Internet Research 

This study examined the effectiveness of a mobile app called Minder in improving mental health and substance use outcomes among university students. Minder is designed to provide support for mental health and substance use challenges and includes features like automated chatbots, access to services, and peer coaching. The study involved almost 1,500 participants who were randomly assigned to either use the Minder app or be in a waitlist control group. Results showed that students using the Minder app reported significant reductions in anxiety and depressive symptoms compared to the control group. There were also positive trends in mental well-being and reductions in the frequency of cannabis and alcohol use among app users. These findings suggest that digital tools like Minder could be valuable for supporting students’ mental health needs during their time at university. 


Helen Tremlett: Assessment of dietary intake and its inflammatory potential in persons with pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis 

Journal: Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders 

This study aimed to compare the dietary habits and modified dietary inflammatory index (mDII) among individuals with pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (PoMS), monophasic acquired demyelinating syndromes (monoADS), and controls. Researchers found that individuals with PoMS had lower intake of whole grains compared to controls, with modest associations observed between diet and PoMS but not monoADS. The mDII did not show significant associations with PoMS or monoADS compared to controls. These findings suggest a potential link between dietary habits, specifically whole grain intake, and pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis.
Read the blog post by patient-partner Sharon Roman


Erik Pioro: Differing patterns of cortical grey matter pathology identified by multifractal analysis in UMN-predominant ALS patients with and without corticospinal tract hyperintensity 

Journal: Journal of the Neurological Sciences 

The study focused on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a condition affecting motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Researchers aimed to understand differences in brain degeneration between ALS patients with and without specific abnormalities in the corticospinal tract (CST), which is involved in movement. They used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to analyze brain structure in ALS patients and healthy individuals. While traditional MRI methods didn’t show significant differences between ALS patients and healthy controls or between ALS subgroups, a more advanced analysis called multifractal (MF) analysis revealed distinct patterns in the frontal lobe of the brain that could accurately distinguish between ALS patients and healthy controls, as well as between different types of ALS patients. This suggests that MF analysis may be a promising tool for understanding brain changes in ALS that conventional methods might miss.