Background Reports 2019 -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Image: A woman sits at a desk in front of a laptop with

Karin Kaiser / MHH

Fighting depression with personalised medicine


Under the leadership of Professor Dr Helge Frieling, Vice Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Hannover Medical School (MHH), a national research network is now being launched that aims to tailor the treatment of depression more closely to the individual patient than before.
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Image: Looking at a neuropathological large slice preparation (from left): Prof. Dr. Albert Becker, Dr. Juri-Alexander Witt and Annika Reimers in the Institute; Copyright: Barbara Frommann/University

Barbara Frommann/University of Bonn

Unexpected cognitive deteriorations in epilepsy


In severe epilepsies, surgical intervention is often the only remedy - usually with great success. While neuropsychological performance can recover in the long term after successful surgery, on rare occasions, unexpected declines in cognitive performance occur. Researchers at the University of Bonn have now been able to show which patients are at particularly high risk for this.
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Image: Medical team, three women, discussing results of X-ray or MRI scan of patient's brain in clinic medical office; Copyright: FoToArtist_1


Warmer brain-irrigation fluid in surgery more efficacious


A simple method can halve the number of repeat operations to remedy bleeding under the cranium, a study at the University of Gothenburg shows. The method is based on replacing irrigation fluid at room temperature with fluid at body temperature.
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Image: Hands holding a tablet with MRI scans of the brain; Copyright: Nikita_Karchevskyi


Tumors: forecasting the risks of brain surgery


Can surgeons quantify the risk of aphasia when removing a brain tumor? To find out, researchers at Klinikum rechts der Isar of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are analyzing the brain as a network. In a current study with 60 patients, they already achieved an accuracy rate with three quarters of their predictions.
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Image: A diamond mounted in an apparatus is illuminated with a green laser; Copyright: Arne Wickenbrock, JGU

Arne Wickenbrock, JGU

Using quantum sensor technology to improve brain tumor operations


Quantum technology on its way into society: Joint project DiaQNOS to develop quantum sensors to improve brain tumor surgery.
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Image: Woman in medical hospital examines a x-ray screening image of the skull, Copyright: stevanovicigor


Flexible, steerable device placed in live brains by minimally invasive robot


The early-stage research tested the delivery and safety of the new implantable catheter design in two sheep to determine its potential for use in diagnosing and treating diseases in the brain.
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Image: picture collage from an image of dry-type bioelectrode and thin-film sensor sheet , Copyright: Advanced Materials Technologies

Advanced Materials Technologies

Measuring brain activity on the go


Researchers from The Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research (SANKEN) at Osaka University develop a flexible, wearable and discreet device that can accurately record brain activity in everyday settings.
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Image: An elderly man uses his smartphone to talk on the phone in his home, Copyright: Rido81


Speech as a new diagnostic tool in ALS and FTD


The speech of patients with neurodegenerative diseases gradually changes. Thanks to the help of artificial intelligence, even the slightest changes can become the basis for a diagnosis.
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Image: An elderly woman sits in a wheelchair and smiles; Copyright: bialasiewicz


Biomarkers from the blood for Alzheimer's diagnosis


A research network led by the DZNE is investigating whether blood tests can be used to diagnose and predict Alzheimer's disease. Therefore about 3.000 blood samples will be analyzed.
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Image: Two female hands on blue background. On the left with a yellow tracking bracelet and on the right with a smartphone in hand, Copyright: Irina Shatilova

Irina Shatilova

MS: Model predicts health conditions during stay-at-home periods


Research led by Carnegie Mellon University has developed a model that can accurately predict how stay-at-home orders like those put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic affect the mental health of people with chronic neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis.
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Image: Asian old woman and old man holding a mobile phone or tablet and having fun, Copyright: s_kawee


Video games offer the potential of “experiential medicine”


Diverse digital interventions remediate cognitive aging in healthy older adults
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Image: Ines Moreno, scientist of the UMA; Copyright: University of Malaga

University of Malaga

New therapeutic target could check the progress of Alzheimer’s disease


A new study conducted by the scientist of the UMA Inés Moreno, in collaboration with the University of Texas, has identified a potential non-invasive therapy that could check the progress of Alzheimer’s disease, "the major form of dementia in the elderly population".
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Image: High-tech server computer at work: a man presses the keyboard; Copyright: photocreo


Mathematical models help predict the evolution of neurodegenerative diseases


In their latest study, the researchers involved have demonstrated that "integrating and processing all the data together, using multilayer networks, provides a more comprehensive analysis of the data than if they are analysed individually and independently".
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Image: Brain surgeon examining a brain via 3D imaging on a monitor; Copyright: DC_Studio


Project GLADIATOR - New technologies for cancer monitoring and therapy


The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT is contributing its expertise in the field of medical biotechnology and ultrasound to an EC project to work on the next generation of theranostics for brain pathologies using autonomous externally controllable nanonetworks.
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Image: A young man has two electrodes placed under his ear and is receiving electrical nerve stimulation, Copyright: senencov


Stimulation of vagus nerve strengthens communication between stomach and brain


A research team led by Prof. Dr. Nils Kroemer of the University Hospitals of Tübingen and Bonn has shown for the first time that non-invasive stimulation of the vagus nerve at the ear can strengthen the communication between stomach and brain within minutes.
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Image: A young couple holds hands while walking through the forest; Copyright: Olena Rudo

Olena Rudo

MRI shows how nature nurtures the brain


After a 60-minute walk in nature, activity in brain regions involved in stress processing decreases. This is the finding of a recent study by the Lise Meitner Group for Environmental Neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, published in Molecular Psychiatry.
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Image: Image of the inside of a blood vessel; Copyright: DZNE/LAT


Drug testing with artificial brain vessels


In Biomaterials, DZNE researchers present a novel method for testing chemical agents that could help in the development of drugs against neurodegenerative diseases. This analytical technique allows to study in the laboratory whether new drug candidates have a realistic chance of reaching the brain.
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Image: A middle-aged woman with gray hair sits at a desk and works, Copyright: insidecreativehouse


Work interruptions have a greater impact on older people


With the help of EEG evaluations, researchers from the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) have studied attentional selection during the resumption of primary tasks in younger and older persons in more detail.
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Image: Close-up of doctor takes blood on analysis; Copyright: Satura_


Blood test detects Alzheimer’s in people with Down syndrome


Around 80% of people with Down syndrome develop Alzheimer’s disease, often when they are between 40 and 50 years old. A study led by Lund University in Sweden has shown that a simple blood test can detect Alzheimer’s disease in people with Down syndrome with a high degree of certainty.
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Image: Doctor looking at CT scan result of brain on digital tablet; Copyright: imagesourcecurated


Altered brain connections in early Alzheimer's disease


Researchers from the University of Tsukuba identify a brain region that becomes overly important in the brain connections of people with pre-clinical Alzheimer's disease.
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Image: DLIR image of the aorta; Copyright: GE Healthcare

Deep Learning Image Reconstruction – what AI looks like in clinical routine


Artificial intelligence is no longer a dream of the future in medicine. Many studies and initial application examples show that it sometimes achieves better results than human physicians. At Jena University Hospital, the work with AI is already lived practice. It is the first institution in the world to use algorithms in radiological routine to reconstruct CT images.
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Image: Team Capsix with KUKA robot arm and body model; Copyright: Capsix Robotics, Lyon

Capsix Robotics, Lyon

Healthy Living thanks to robotics – KUKA Innovation Award 2019


Improving technology transfer from research to industry and driving robotics development - that's the idea behind the KUKA Innovation Award. This year’s topic is "Healthy Living". Applicants from around the world were tasked with creating a robot application for healthcare settings. Now, the finalists, who will showcase their innovations at the MEDICA 2019 trade fair have been selected.
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Image: Female surgeon in scrubs is standing in an MRI control room and looks at screens; Copyright: Medtronic


VISUALASE: epilepsy surgery with the laser catheter


Epilepsy patients are currently treated with either medication or surgical options. The aim is to remove the distinct regions of the brain that cause epileptic seizures. Laser ablation for epilepsy is a new, catheter-based surgical procedure that is now also available in Europe, preventing patients from having to undergo open brain surgery.
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Bild: Mann liegt auf dem Boden, vor ihm der mobile Roboter mit Tablet; Copyright: Fraunhofer IPA

Fraunhofer IPA

MobiKa – programmed to help


Many illnesses or old age require help with everyday tasks. Unfortunately, family members or caregivers aren’t always available to lend a hand. The MobiKa mobile service robot is designed to offer support, deliver motivation and improve the quality of life of those in need.
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Image: Patient during an fMRI examination; Copyright: De Silver

Functional imaging: what makes the brain tick?


Our brain is the command center of our body. This is where all information and impressions are collected and converted into responses and movements. Modern imaging techniques offer physicians and researchers unique insights into the actions of the human central nervous system. The functional imaging technique allows them to watch our brain in action.
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Image: CT scan open; Copyright:

Functional imaging: a look at the command center


All information from our body and the environment converges in our brain and is transformed into reactions in milliseconds. It is essential for medicine and research to know what our switching centre looks like. Functional methods are used to observe it more closely during work.
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Image: Man during CT examination; Copyright: panthermedia.nt/Romaset

Stroke: 4D brain perfusion accelerates treatment


In an ischaemic stroke, rapid treatment is essential. In this moment good imaging data is particularly important to enable doctors to make the best possible decision for therapy. Modern CT scanners are increasingly being used to assess stroke patients because they can show the blood flow to the brain over time.
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Image: close-up of a woman lying in an MRI device; Copyright: Robinson

Brain mapping: preoperative planning with functional MRI


A surgery already begins before the patient is lying on the operating table – namely with the planning. For example, if brain surgery is imminent, the brain must first be mapped. This makes the activity level of certain brain areas visible. Functional magnetic resonance imaging makes this possible.
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