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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Image: Jorge Serrador with the electrical stimulator ; Copyright: Nick Romanenko, Rutgers University

New device improves balance in veterans with Gulf War Illness

05/11/2018

Gulf War veterans with unexplained illnesses that cause fatigue, headaches, respiratory disorders and memory problems can improve their balance with a device developed by Rutgers University researchers.
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Image: Nerve-On-A-Chip ; Copyright: 2018 EPFL

Nerve-on-a-chip makes neuroprosthetics more effective

24/10/2018

Neuroprosthetics - implants containing multi-contact electrodes that can substitute certain nerve functionalities - have the potential to work wonders. They may be able to restore amputees' sense of touch, help the paralyzed walk again by stimulating their spinal cords and silence the nerve activity of people suffering from chronic pain.
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Image: visualized thoughts of a man ; Copyright: panthermedia.net / olly18

Brain wave device enhances memory function

23/10/2018

The entrainment of theta brain waves with a commercially available device not only enhances theta wave activity, but also boosts memory performance. That's according to new research from the Center for Neuroscience at the University of California, Davis, published recently in the journal Cognitive Neuroscience.
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Image: Brown University researchers developed user-friendly software to help neuroscientists and clinicians connect the neural activity of the brain's outer layers to EEG recordings, which could help

New tool developed at Brown will aid in understanding brain signals

17/10/2018

The human brain contains about 90 billion neurons, Stephanie Jones, an associate professor of neuroscience at Brown University, doesn't let that staggering number faze her. In fact, she just released a user-friendly software tool that models the neural circuits in the outer layers of the brain, which produce the electrical activity monitored by noninvasive techniques.
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Image: Department of Epileptology; Copyright: Rolf Müller/UKB-Ukom

Nerve cells in the human brain can „count“

25/09/2018

How do we know if we're looking at three apples or four? Researchers at the Universities of Bonn and Tübingen are now one step closer to answering this question. They were able to demonstrate that some brain cells fire mainly for quantities of three, others for quantities of four and others for other quantities.
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Image: Image shows brain maps with information processing hubs represented as black dots; Copyright: Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory, the University of Edinburgh

Breast milk may be best for premature babies' brain development

24/09/2018

Babies born before their due date show better brain development when fed breast milk rather than formula, a study has found. Experts say that helping mothers to provide breast milk in the weeks after giving birth could improve long-term outcomes for children born pre-term.
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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.
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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.
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Image: Zebrafish brain, fluorescence image (left) and 3D image (right); Copyright: private

"A 3D movie of the brain in action"

08/12/2016

Watching millions of neurons in the brain interacting with each other – for a long time this was possible only to a limited extent. The current techniques can visualize only superficial layers or the imaging they use is too slow. But now, Prof Daniel Razansky and his team have found a new method to visualize the brain activity – by using optoacoustics.
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Image: Eileen Stark prepares Dominik Wetzel for a measurement; Copyright: WHZ/Helge Gerischer

Paraplegia: moving muscles using electrical impulses

22/11/2016

It happens about 1,800 times per year: after a sporting or traffic-related accident, a person’s spinal cord is injured to where nerve tracts are severed and he/she becomes paralyzed. Researchers now want to develop software that measures the brain signals of paralyzed patients and sends out electrical impulses via a system to stimulate muscles, causing them to move again.
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Image: Closed eyes of a patient. Electrodes are attached above the eyebrows; Copyright: savir-center.com

Electrical Stimulation: Using Electrical Pulses to Combat Blindness

22/07/2016

Millions of people all over the world suffer from partial blindness – caused by glaucoma, a stroke or traumatic brain injury. For years, the loss of vision was deemed irreversible. But now a new treatment makes it possible to improve eyesight and vision.
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Photo: laboratory mouse eating something

Multiple Sclerosis: does the colon affect the immune system?

01/12/2015

Multiple sclerosis apparently can strike anyone - regardless of age, family history, lifestyle or gender. Yet why then does it not strike everyone? Genetic and environmental factors appear not to be the only reason whether it develops or not. The countless microorganisms that colonize our intestinal tract could also be involved in this.
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ECG measurements: "Our chest strap moistens itself"

01/07/2015

When measuring myocardial activity, it is important for the skin to always stay moist under the electrodes of the ECG. Only then can data be consistently transferred. Athletes have an easier time with this: they are used to sweating. This is a lot harder for older patients.
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Making Your Own End-of-Life Decisions: “All options of palliative care, pain management and continued life need to have been explained to the patient“

01/12/2014

How does a physician handle a patient, who wants to die and what rights do I actually have as a patient? Legal practitioners do not automatically answer these and other questions. We talked about this subject with MD-PhD Ralf Jox from the Institute of Ethics, History and Theory of Medicine at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Germany.
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Persistent vegetative state: brain stimulation with laser beams

01/09/2014

The public only notices diseases when celebrities become patients: in the spring of 2014, Formula One driver Michael Schumacher fell into a coma for several months as the result of a head injury caused by a skiing accident. These types of accidents show how delicate the brain responds to injuries. Brain stimulation could possibly support the rehabilitation of vegetative patients.
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Diagnosing Parkinson's: the skin is revealing

01/07/2014

In patients with Parkinson's, neural cells in the brain die off that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. Certain physical symptoms that can indicate the disease follow years later. But a reliable diagnosis can only be made through examination of the brain after the patient's death, and not during his lifetime.
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