Neuroimaging exploits various techniques to image the structure, function, or physiology of the nervous system. Two main neuroimaging approaches exist: i) structural imaging, which evaluates the structure of the nervous system and allows the diagnosis of large-scale intracranial diseases (such as tumors, multiple sclerosis lesions, and stroke) and injuries (like traumatic brain injury); ii) functional imaging, which is used to diagnose metabolic diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, for neurological and cognitive psychology research, as well as for building brain-computer interfaces. The most commonly used techniques for neuroimaging are Computed Tomography (CT), Diffuse Optical Imaging (DOI), Event-Related Optical Signal (EROS), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Arterial Spin Labeling (ASL), low to ultra-high frequency ultrasound with photoacoustics, Magnetoencephalography (MEG), Electroencephalography (EEG), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), and cranial or functional ultrasound imaging. In this session, we will discuss the use of these techniques, both alone and in combination, to investigate, detect, and understand various aspects of neurological diseases.
Neuroinflammation is the inflammatory response initiated in the central nervous system (CNS) by resident cells or triggered by infiltrating immune cells, which causes the neuronal dysfunctions observed in inflammatory and neurodegenerative disease of the CNS. The NI session mainly focuses on basic and clinical research in multiple sclerosis (MS), Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder (NMOSD) and other inflammatory diseases of the CNS that have a significant impact on the lives of young adults. Although the scientific discoveries of recent decades have improved the therapeutic approaches used for the treatment of such pathologies, many questions still remain unanswered. The NI session aims to discuss the basic pathogenic mechanisms governing CNS inflammation, the role of immune system in CNS autoimmunity, and the importance of genetic and environmental factors in the development of neuroinflammatory diseases, with a patient-centered focus.
We will focus on studies addressing the function of the nervous system and of its components, and the capacity of the nervous system to modify itself, functionally and structurally, in response to experience and injury. All levels of function and plastic changes are included, from the membrane and cell to systems and behaviour. Experimental approaches include molecular, cellular and developmental neurobiology, functional neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, neuropharmacology, electrophysiology, and behavioural analysis, in in vivo, ex-vivo and in vitro models in invertebrate or vertebrate species, including humans.
Neuro-oncology is an emerging field of investigation that studies nervous system tumors. As many of them can cause severe nervous system damage, neuro-oncology represents a trending research area in neuroscience, which may identify the molecular mechanisms involved in tumor pathogenesis. This would ultimately lead to the development of novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of life-threatening diseases such as glioma, and medulloblastoma. These topics will be discussed in depth during the NO session.
Neurodegeneration is a key aspect of a large number of diseases characterized by progressive damage of the nervous system that leads to irreversible neuronal death, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). PD is a slowly progressive syndrome that begins insidiously, gradually worsens in severity, and usually affects one side of the body before spreading to involve the other side. Rest tremor is often the first symptom recognized by the patient, but the illness sometimes begins with bradykinesia, and in some patients, tremor may never develop. AD is the most common type of dementia and it is an irreversible, neurodegenerative and progressive central nervous system disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and, eventually, other mental abilities. Other examples of neurodegenerative diseases are tauopathies, narcolepsy, depression and psychiatric disorders. During the BraYn conference, we will be updated on the more recent advances in the field.
Clinical neuroscience is a translational field in which neuroscience data and basic research are coupled with clinical neurology to better understand the neural underpinnings of nervous system disorders, and to improve their diagnosis and treatment. In this session, we encourage the submission of data with a clear translational significance and real-world clinical applications. We will discuss patient-related observations derived from experimental research, clinical research, and clinical trials focusing especially on the potential role and use of biomarkers in the clinical setting and on new treatments for neurological diseases. We also welcome works describing clinical cases (or case-series) that directly discuss the application of new therapies or novel biomarkers in a clinical population.