The Brain reassigns tasks to different brain regions to fight neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or Parkinson’s disease as has been shown by a study carried out by the experts from the University of Arizona, in the United States and published in the journal Neuroimage.
Normally, people use the left side of the brain to “translate” what they are hearing and reading. However, the study conducted on the patients with Primary Progressive Aphasia, which is a very uncommon dementia type, revealed that the brain was more active in the right hemisphere.
“These findings offer hope because they show that, despite the degeneration of the brain during primary progressive aphasia, it adapts naturally to try to preserve function. This compensation suggests that there are opportunities to intervene and offer specific treatment to those areas,” explained Jed Meltzer, the leading author of the research.
For these conclusions, the scientists used the brain scans of 28 adults, aged between 53 and 83, out of which 13 were suffering from primary progressive aphasia.
People suffering from primary progressive aphasia presented increased activity in the right hemisphere of the brain
During the brains scans, the participants were demanded to read random texts from a screen but some of these texts were meaningless or were riddled with grammatical mistakes.
For those who were diagnosed with aphasia, it was much more difficult to identify the grammatical mistakes. Also, they were presenting a slow brain activity when the screen was displaying meaningless texts.
According to the scientists, these results show that the brain of those suffering from primary progressive aphasia was not properly processing the information.
However, the patients with aphasia who tried harder to comprehend the texts presented increased activity in the right hemisphere of the brain, in comparison to the healthy participants in this study.
“With this, we have identified the brain regions that allow patients to compensate for the death of neurons,” said Aneta Kielar. In other words, the Brain Reassigns Tasks to different brain regions to fight dementia.
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