Unexpected Findings After Experiments on Live Human Brain Tissue

The Research Would Prove to Be Invaluable for Studying of Human Neuropathologies

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The team of researchers working at the Krembil Brain Institute, which is a part of the University Health Network, with a joint collaboration with the scientists working at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, have been able to use the rare and precious accessibility to live tissues of the human cortex for the identification of the functionally important features that are used to make the neurons of the human brain unique.

Experiments on the live human brain

The is working as part of experiments is one of the first few studies which are being conducted across the world on lives neuronal cells of the human brain, and has become one of the largest studies being conducted to test the diversity of the pyramidal cells of the cortex from the human brain tissue to date.

According to the neurosurgeon Dr. Taufik Valiante, who is working at the Krembil Brain Institute at the University Health Network, and also a co-senior author on this research study, the aim of this research study and experiments on the live human brain tissue is being done to understand the reason what makes the human brain its human essence, along with the functions of the neuron circuitry.

Particularly, the research team wants to understand the electrical features of the human brain neuronal cells, and as they might be able to support cross-layer communication on different aspects, along with the production of the rhythms in the human brain, which is known to become disrupted in several brain diseases, including epilepsy.

After gaining consent, the team of scientists used the human brain tissue as soon as it has been removed during a routine surgical process from inside the brain of patients diagnosed with tumors or epilepsy. By using state-of-the-art techniques, the research team was able to characterize the properties of cells on an individual basis within thin slices of the human brain tissue, including the proper visualization for morphological detailing.

An only a limited amount of information is known regarding the electrical properties and shapes of the neuronal cells of a living human brain, as it is very rare to obtain living human brain tissue for experimental purposes. Also, there are only a few opportunities aside from the surgical process for epilepsy to procure such data.

For keeping the human brain tissue which had been resected from the body alive, it is transferred immediately into a modified form of the cerebrospinal fluid while inside the operating room, and then later taken to a laboratory where the tissues are then prepared for performing various characterization for experimental purposes.

Similar research studies

It has only been done rarely to study the human brain tissues throughout the world, like the access for obtaining live human body tissues for the purpose of performing scientific experiments require a very tight-knit multidisciplinary community, including individuals that are willing to participate in the research, rights, and ethicists that ensure the safety and rights of the patients, neurosurgeons that are able to collect and deliver the samples of tissues, along with some neuroscientists that have the necessary facilities to do research on the obtained human brain tissues.

After doing an analysis on an initial basis, the staff members working at the Krembil Centre for Neuroinformatics have been able to use data analysis on a large scale to further identify the characteristics that are able to distinguish the neuronal cells in this cohort with each cell.

Later, the identified properties are to be compared with those which have been researched by other centers that are currently doing similar studies on human brain tissues, including ongoing research at the Allen Institute for Brain Sciences in the city of Seattle, Washington.

Research Findings

It has been confirmed from the research that there is massive diversity among the neocortical pyramidal cells of the human brain. There is a distinct feature concerning the electrophysiological property among neurons that are located on the various layers inside the neocortex of the human brain. A specified feature of the neuronal cells located in the deeper layers of the brain enables it to support the cross-layer communication aspect, along with the generation of brain rhythms that are functionally important for the physiology of the human brain.

There have been unexpected and noteworthy differences between the findings by the research team as compared to the similar kind of studies that are being conducted in the pre-clinical models.

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