News from the Editors -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

MEDICA Newsletter

Social Media

Image: A physician is looking at MRI images of the brain; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Shannon Fagan

MRI: potential biomarker for psychosis

21/02/2019

Researchers have shown that a type of magnetic resonance imaging - called neuromelanin-sensitive MRI (NM-MRI) - is a potential biomarker for psychosis. NM-MRI signal was found to be a marker of dopamine function in people with schizophrenia and an indicator of the severity of psychotic symptoms in people with this mental illness.
Read more
Image: two men in front of a screen presenting the electrodes on the head to target epilepsy; Copyright: Bart van Overbeeke

Targeting epilepsy with electrodes on the head

13/02/2019

Stimulating the brain with implanted electrodes is a successful, but very drastic measure. Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology, Kempenhaeghe, Philips and Gent University will therefore be working on a method to stimulate the brain using electrodes that are placed on the head rather than inside it. Their goal is to customize treatment for patients with severe epilepsy.
Read more
Image: Learning tranistor mimics human brain; Copyright: Thor Balkhed

Learning transistor mimics the brain

06/02/2019

A new transistor based on organic materials has been developed by scientists at Linköping University. It has the ability to learn, and is equipped with both short-term and long-term memory. The work is a major step on the way to creating technology that mimics the human brain.
Read more
Image: An old man holding an oxygen mask in front of his face; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Andriy Popov

HBOT improves Alzheimer's Disease

01/02/2019

Dr. Paul Harch, Clinical Professor and Director of Hyperbaric Medicine at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, and Dr. Edward Fogarty, Chairman of Radiology at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, report the first PET scan-documented case of improvement in brain metabolism in Alzheimer's disease in a patient treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).
Read more
Image: black-white-photo of an old woman; Copyright: panthermedia.net/ photographee eu

Early Prediction of Alzheimer’s Progression in Blood

23/01/2019

Years before symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease manifest, the brain starts changing and neurons are slowly degraded.
Read more
Image: 3D model of a brain; Copyright: panthermedia.net/renjith krishnan.r

Mapping the brain at high resolution

18/01/2019

Researchers have developed a new way to image the brain with unprecedented resolution and speed. Using this approach, they can locate individual neurons, trace connections between them, and visualize organelles inside neurons, over large volumes of brain tissue.
Read more
Image: Professor explains something at a whiteboard to two young people with laptops; Copyright: Virginia Tech

Machine learning to decrease brain injury deaths

17/01/2019

To help physicians decrease the number of deaths resulting from traumatic brain injuries, Chandan Reddy of Virginia Tech will use new machine learning techniques for computational models to predict short- and long-term outcomes, categorize traumatic brain injury patients, and provide interventions tailored to a specific patient and his or her injury.
Read more
Image: 3D printed, two-millimeter implant under the microscope; Copyright: Jacob Koffler and Wei Zhu, UC San Diego

3D printed implant promotes nerve cell growth

16/01/2019

For the first time, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Institute of Engineering in Medicine have used rapid 3D printing technologies to create a spinal cord, then successfully implanted that scaffolding, loaded with neural stem cells, into sites of severe spinal cord injury in rats.
Read more
Image: robot hand and human hand are going to shake hands in front of a laptop; Copyright: MedUni Vienna

Bionic reconstruction after amputation of a hand

15/01/2019

Modern prostheses offer patients who have had a hand amputated much greater capability in everyday life than was possible with previous prosthetic reconstructive techniques. Redundant nerves from the amputated extremity can be surgically transferred to provide a much better connection between the patient’s body and the prosthesis.
Read more
Image: Coin-sized chip in the hand of a person; Credit: Rikky Muller, UC Berkeley

Wireless pacemaker for the brain

04/01/2019

A new neurostimulator developed by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, can listen to and stimulate electric current in the brain at the same time, potentially delivering fine-tuned treatments to patients with diseases like epilepsy and Parkinson's.
Read more
Image: Two radiologists working with brain data at a computer screen; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Wavebreakmedia Ltd

A stronger 'brain' for brain data research

03/01/2019

The National Science Foundation BIGDATA program awarded $1,200,000 to a research team led by the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering to study the big brain data for complex brain disorders and design new algorithms that address computational challenges in multi-site collaborative data mining.
Read more
Image: The researchers tracked the development of stem cells using so-called confetti reporters.; Copyright: Helmholtz Zentrum München

Brain confetti - why our sense of smell declines in old age

20/12/2018

In mammals, generation of new neurons (neurogenesis) is mainly limited to early childhood and occurs in adulthood only in a few regions of the forebrain. One such exception is olfactory neurons, which develop from stem cells via several intermediate stages.
Read more
Image: new study about pain perception; Credit: Kurt Bauer / Technical University of Munich

Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in the brain

17/12/2018

Pain is a negative feeling that we want to get rid of as soon as possible. In order to protect our bodies, we react for example by withdrawing the hand. This action is usually understood as the consequence of the perception of pain.
Read more
Image: Interferometric microscope equipped with a high-speed camera; Copyright: panthermedia.net / Viktor Cap

Technology that sees nerve cells fire

13/12/2018

Researchers at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, have created a noninvasive technology that detects when nerve cells fire based on changes in shape. The method could be used to observe nerve activity in light-accessible parts of the body, such as the eye, which would allow physicians to quantitatively monitor visual function at the cellular level.
Read more
Image: whole-brain activity map; Copyright: iob.ch

Whole-brain imaging of mice during behavior

11/12/2018

In a study published in Neuron, Emilie Macé from Botond Roska’s group and collaborators demonstrate how functional ultrasound imaging can yield high-resolution, brain-wide activity maps of mice for specific behaviors. The non-invasive technology has promising applications for ophthalmologic, neurologic and psychiatric diseases.
Read more
Image: Hand prostheses is squeezing a small ball; Copyright: Alina Kettenbach

SoftHand: grasping intelligence for lower arm prostheses

10/12/2018

So far, lower arm prostheses often only functioned as a cosmetic disguise to conceal the missing body part. While newer models help the wearer with grip patterns, every hand grip has to be readjusted and newly activated. There is still no prosthetic device that is easy to control and allows a flexible response to objects the wearer is grasping.
Read more
Image: How graphene can be used; Copyright: Berry Research Laboratory, UIC

Using graphene to detect ALS

06/12/2018

The wonders of graphene are numerous. Now, the "supermaterial" may one day be used to test for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS – a progressive, neurodegenerative disease which is diagnosed mostly by ruling out other disorders, according to new research from the University of Illinois at Chicago published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
Read more
Image: A young boy who is wearing a medical device on his head; Copyright: panthermedia.net/ahfoto.mail.ru

Brain stimulation: treatment using electric current and magnetic fields

03/12/2018

The treatment for many neurological and mental disorders is far from being an easy feat. Drug therapies always require accurate medication adjustments, while brain surgeries have the potential for risks and complications. Non-invasive brain stimulation takes a different approach: magnetic fields and electric current change the activities in the brain - without putting the patient at risk.
Read more
Image: Physician attaches electrodes to the upper back of a young woman; Copyright: panthermedia.net/microgen

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation: pain relief with electricity

03/12/2018

According to estimates, every third person in the world suffers from chronic pain. The most common discomforts include back pain, headaches, and nerve pain. For many sufferers, the pain is so severe that it impacts their job, social life or mind. The pain has its own clinical significance and must be treated – with electric current for example.
Read more
Image: Proband with a neuroprosthesis; Copyright: MoreGrasp

MoreGrasp – being able to grasp again with paraplegia

22/11/2018

Every year between 250.000 and 500.000 people suffer a spinal cord injury, MoreGrasp is intended to make their lives easier. The project aims to restore the lost gripping function in people with high paraplegia. Researchers at Graz University of Technology have developed a neuroprosthesis that is currently undergoing a feasibility study.
Read more
Image: Older couple is sitting next to each other, using their smartphones; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Fabrice Michaudeau

Neurology: Early detection of Parkinson’s disease with app and data?

01/08/2018

Big Data is often likened to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack: Large volumes of data contain patterns that hold the answer to a particular question. The trick is to gather meaningful data and identify patterns. The i-PROGNOSIS research project shows how smart devices and an app team up to automatically collect data without disturbing the user.
Read more
Image: Young female radiologist is looking at pictures of the head and takes some notes; Copyright: panthermedia.net/mark@rocketclips.com

Radiology: machine learning to support medical diagnostics

08/03/2018

Automation makes work life easier in many ways but is it also a solution for analyzing medical images? Is a computer actually reliable enough to assist in the medical decision making process? Researchers in Landshut examine how machine learning algorithms can work more reliably and support radiologists.
Read more