When the brain doesn’t fit in your pocket
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans can help determine the presence or absence of brain tumors.
But researchers are not always sure if the MRI is telling the truth when the scan shows a tumor that is growing or not.
In a new study published in the journal Cell, researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and the University at Buffalo (UAB) used MRI to measure the amount of tumor growth in a mouse brain.
The researchers compared the amount (percentage) of tumor cells in the mouse brain to the amount in the brains of normal mice.
This method allows the scientists to compare the amount a tumor cell can grow within the brain of a particular animal with a similar brain size.
The results showed that the mouse brains with the most tumor growth were those with a brain that was smaller in size, or that had more gray matter.
In normal mice, tumor growth is typically seen in the frontal lobe, which is a region of the brain that is responsible for processing emotion and thinking.
In mice with tumors in this region, tumors tend to spread out into other parts of the cortex and cerebellum.
In some animals, tumor cells spread out further in other areas of the body, including the eyes and lungs.
In the mouse studies, tumors in the prefrontal cortex were found to be significantly more likely to spread to other regions of the spinal cord.
In addition, tumors found in the cerebellums of these animals were also more likely in the brain with tumors.
These findings suggest that tumors may be present in the cortex, but only in the parts that are involved in emotion and thought.
However, tumors located in other parts or parts of other parts were not found to have any tumor growth.
The scientists believe this may be due to the fact that these tumors are more likely found in areas that have a high concentration of gray matter, or in areas where the tumor is most dense.
However the researchers are still unsure whether the tumors found are actually tumors.
“The tumors were located in areas with high concentrations of brain gray matter,” said senior author Dr. Andrew Gagnon, a neuroscientist in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at UTMB.
“In the absence of tumor data, we cannot say whether or not the tumors in these areas are actually cancerous cells.”
The findings could have important implications for treating brain tumors, since they may help predict when treatment will be needed.
“It is a great hope that this study helps us predict when cancer treatment is appropriate, but it is also important to keep in mind that these results should be taken with a grain of salt,” said co-author Dr. Mark H. Coyle, a professor of neurology and neurosurgery in the UTMB Department of Neurosurgeon and Neurophysiologist.
“Future studies should include more detailed comparisons of tumor volume and size between animals that have tumors and animals that do not,” he added.
Source: Medical News TODAY