Rewriting the Brain Pathway for Consciousness

Study in patients challenges old pathway, suggests better targets for treating coma

With a finding that will “rewrite neuroanatomy textbooks,” University of Iowa neurologist Aaron Boes, MD, PhD, and his colleagues show that the thalamus is not a critical part of the brain pathway involved in keeping humans awake and conscious.

The finding upends decades of medical dogma that placed the thalamus as a critical relay point for the signals originating in the brainstem and ending in the cortex that maintain consciousness (wakefulness). The new study, published online Nov. 12 as a preprint in the Annals of Neurology, provides the first systematic evidence from humans that questions the routing of this critical pathway. The study evaluates patients with strokes of the thalamus and shows that even extensive injury to the thalamus does not severely impair consciousness.

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Dr. Strathearn Publishes in the British Journal of Psychiatry

Dr. Lane Strathearn recently published an article in the British Journal of Psychiatry examining, using a prospective record-linkage analysis, whether substantiated child maltreatment is associated with adverse psychological outcomes in early adulthood.

Kisely S, Abajobir AA, Mills R, Strathearn L, Clavarino A, Najman JM. Child maltreatment and mental health problems in adulthood: birth cohort studyBr J Psychiatry. 2018 Dec;213(6):698-703. doi: 10.1192/bjp.2018.207

Dr. Leyser Publishes on Zika Syndrome in Journal of Child Neurology

Dr. Marcio Leyser published an article recently in the Journal of Child Neurology on the gross motor developmental trajectories in 39 infants admitted in a rehabilitation center located in Rio de Janeiro during the Zika outbreak in Brazil from November 2015 to November 2016 and their correlated risk rate for the comorbid diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

Marques FJP, Teixeira MCS, Barra RR, de Lima FM, Scofano Dias BL, Pupe C, Nascimento OJM, Leyser M. Children Born with Congenital Zika Syndrome Display Atypical Gross Motor Development and a Higher Risk for Cerebral Palsy. Journal of Child Neurology, 1-5 2018.

Dr. Uc et al Publish a Series of Articles in Pancreas


In the Nov/Dec issue of Pancreas, Dr. Uc, along with members of the Consortium for the Study of Chronic Pancreatitis, Diabetes, and Pancreatic Cancer, published a series of related articles on standard operating procedures, and accelerating the drug delivery pipeline for acute and chronic pancreatitis.

Grant Writing Seminar 2018 Registration Deadline Reminder

The Research Development Office in the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (OVPRED), in collaboration with the Carver College of Medicine Office of Faculty Affairs and Development, are pleased to announce that Dr. John Robertson from Grant Writer’s Seminars and Workshops (GWSW) will conduct the Write Winning Grant Proposals Phase I seminar on Friday, October 26, 2018. A Phase II workshop sponsored by OVPRED will be held in February 2019.


DATE: Friday, October 26, 2018, The Hilton Garden Inn (328 S. Clinton Street)

TIME: 8:30 a.m. — 4:30 p.m.

COST: $150/person (includes grant writing workbook & lunch)

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Noon, Monday, October 8, 2018

For additional details and to register: