Restoration of Brain Functions aka The Curious Case of a Dead Brain: Breaking on CNN, NPR, Nature, The New York Times, Guardian ...

Nature Cover

Link to the full article click here

The brains of humans and other mammals are highly vulnerable to interruptions in blood flow and decreases in oxygen levels. Here we describe the restoration and maintenance of microcirculation and molecular and cellular functions of the intact pig brain under ex vivo normothermic conditions up to four hours post-mortem. We have developed an extracorporeal pulsatile-perfusion system and a haemoglobin-based, acellular, non-coagulative, echogenic, and cytoprotective perfusate that promotes recovery from anoxia, reduces reperfusion injury, prevents oedema, and metabolically supports the energy requirements of the brain. With this system, we observed preservation of cytoarchitecture; attenuation of cell death; and restoration of vascular dilatory and glial inflammatory responses, spontaneous synaptic activity, and active cerebral metabolism in the absence of global electrocorticographic activity. These findings demonstrate that under appropriate conditions the isolated, intact large mammalian brain possesses an underappreciated capacity for restoration of microcirculation and molecular and cellular activity after a prolonged post-mortem interval.

This is exciting indeed and though the brain continuously demonstrated isoelectric rhythms the viability as demonstrated otherwise by metabolic measures, histopathological slices and slice electrophysiology is fascinating, to say the least. 

The Electrophysiology Experiment employing standard ECOG recording

Just in case you missed breaking news this week. I am excited to share with you our article in Nature:

Restoration of brain circulation and cellular functions hours post-mortem

a.k.a op. The curious case of a dead brain.

Aside from media buzz and just to be clear this is no where close to be applied in human.

A real a tour de force and fun because

1. It has not been done before and provides a reliable platform for further investigation

2. It demonstrates viability is not binary rather gradable even in the sub-conscious state post-mortem.

3. It reminds of the importance of clinical knowledge/experience even in the most basic lab settings as some of the movements observed were spino-cephalic, medula-cephaic or simply neuromuscular excitability from the severed nerves.

4. I expect that the ethical aspects related to such experiment would motivate work to quantify/grade pain and discomfort based on electrophysiology.

5. It validates previous observations of drug induced isoelectric EEG not incompatible with recovery. It is another reminder why EEG is not a major criterion in evaluation of brain death.

6. Lastly, if familiar with the work of Giovani Aldini and the big Volta/Galvani’s debate - this work is a reminder of the what the humankind is capable of within a short time frame in history.

Hope you enjoy!


A new hope for surgical epilepsy patients: a new technique increases the chance of seizure freedom and may spare patients risks and invasive procedures


Story update June 19, 2018: Follow the story at Yale News :

For Immediate Release: June, 14, 2018

A new hope for surgical epilepsy patients:  a new technique increases the chance of complete seizure freedom and may spare the patients, risks and invasive procedures


New Haven, Connecticut. A recent study published in JAMA Neurologyon June 11, 2018 showed that

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The Course in Human Brain Mapping

Date 2/21/17

For immediate release 

New Haven, Conn.

The Human Brain Mapping Program offers a 1- year fellowship that involves  i. Course on theoretical aspects of electrical cortical stimulation and electrocorticography ii. Workshops on EEG and image processing iii. Clinical Observership in mapping and intracranial EEG iv. Mentoring in research and manuscript writing

Please do not hesitate to CONTACT US

Course details (held biweekly)

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A Brain Surgery Frees a Patient from Seizures

Date 11/17/16

For immediate release 

New Haven, Conn.

To Follow the full story visit: Stories at Yale Medicine

When the medication prescribed to treat her epilepsy didn’t work, she sought the advice of Yale Medicine neurosurgeon Dennis Spencer, MD, who suggested a brain surgery that would implant electrodes to target the site of the seizure. 

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