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Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category

May 24, 2019

Neuroprosthetics and deep brain stimulation: Two big neuroscience breakthroughs

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, neuroscience, robotics/AI

Researchers have developed a brain-computer interface the size of a baby aspirin that can restore mobility to people with paralysis or amputated limbs.

How does it work? It rewires neural messages from the brain’s motor cortex to a robotic arm, or reroutes it to the person’s own muscles. In this video, Big Think contributor Susan Hockfield, president emerita of MIT, explains further.

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May 24, 2019

New neurons form in the brain into the tenth decade of life, even in people with Alzheimer’s

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

In a new study from the University of Illinois at Chicago, researchers examining post-mortem brain tissue from people ages 79 to 99 found that new neurons continue to form well into old age. The study provides evidence that this occurs even in people with cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, although neurogenesis is significantly reduced in these people compared to older adults with normal cognitive functioning.

They publish their results in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

The idea that continue to form into middle age, let alone past adolescence, is controversial, as previous studies have shown conflicting results. The UIC study is the first to find evidence of significant numbers of and newly developing present in the hippocampal tissue of older , including those with disorders that affect the hippocampus, which is involved in the formation of memories and in learning.

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May 24, 2019

A New Theory Explains How Consciousness Evolved

Posted by in category: neuroscience

A neuroscientist on how we came to be aware of ourselves.

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May 24, 2019

The first observation of the nuclear Barnett effect

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

The electronic Barnett effect, first observed by Samuel Barnett in 1915, is the magnetization of an uncharged body as it is spun on its long axis. This is caused by a coupling between the angular momentum of the electronic spins and the rotation of the rod.

Using a different method from that employed by Barnett, two researchers at NYU observed an alternative version of this effect called the nuclear Barnett effect, which results from the magnetization of protons rather than electrons. Their study, published in Physical Review Letters (PRL), led to the first experimental observation of this effect.

“I was a graduate student at NYU where a group of colleagues were involved in a project related to brain imaging,” Mohsen Arabgol, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Phys.org. The fundamental idea behind the project was polarizing the brain molecules by inducing rotation using the Barnett effect and then applying the MRI-type imaging. I became interested and decided to work on the detection of the nuclear Barnett effect as my Ph.D. dissertation.”

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May 24, 2019

Exposure to air pollution before and after birth may affect fundamental cognitive abilities

Posted by in categories: education, health, mathematics, neuroscience, sustainability

A growing body of research suggests that exposure to air pollution in the earliest stages of life is associated with negative effects on cognitive abilities. A new study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a centre supported by “la Caixa”, has provided new data: exposure to particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) during pregnancy and the first years of life is associated with a reduction in fundamental cognitive abilities, such as working memory and executive attention.

The study, carried out as part of the BREATHE project, has been published in Environmental Health Perspectives. The objective was to build on the knowledge generated by earlier studies carried out by the same team, which found lower levels of cognitive development in children attending schools with higher levels of traffic-related air pollution.

The study included 2,221 children between 7 and 10 years of age attending schools in the city of Barcelona. The children’s cognitive abilities were assessed using various computerized tests. Exposure to air pollution at home during pregnancy and throughout childhood was estimated with a mathematical model using real measurements.

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May 23, 2019

Natural “Fasting” Molecule Exerts Anti-Aging Effects to Protect Vascular System

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, neuroscience

A molecule produced by the body during fasting or calorie restriction has anti-aging effects on the vascular system, which could reduce the occurrence and severity of human diseases related to blood vessels, such as cardiovascular disease, according to a study led by Georgia State University.

“As people become older, they are more susceptible to disease, like cancer, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Ming-Hui Zou, senior author of the study. “Age is the most important so-called risk factor for human disease. How to actually delay aging is a major pathway to reducing the incidence and severity of human disease.

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May 23, 2019

Aspirin green light for brain bleed stroke patients, study finds

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

People who suffer a stroke caused by bleeding in the brain—known as brain haemorrhage—can take common medicines without raising their risk of another stroke, a major clinical trial has found.

Researchers say the findings are reassuring for the thousands of people who take the medicines to reduce their and another common type of caused by in the .

These everyday treatments—known as medicines—work by slowing or stopping blood from clotting. They are often prescribed to because they can lower risk of attack and stroke caused by a blood clot.

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May 23, 2019

Transplant of Neural Stem Cells into ALS Patients Safe, Phase 1 Trial Shows

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Injection of human neural stem cells into the spinal cord of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was found safe and did not cause adverse effects even two years after the transplant, results from a Phase 1 clinical trial show.

Trial findings were published in the study, “Results from Phase I Clinical Trial with Intraspinal Injection of Neural Stem Cells in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Long-Term Outcome,” in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine.

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May 23, 2019

Bipolar disorder may be linked to Parkinson’s disease

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, neuroscience, sex

People who have bipolar disorder may be more likely to later develop Parkinson’s disease than people who do not have bipolar disorder, according at a study published in the May 22, 2019, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

“Previous studies have shown a relationship between depression and Parkinson’s disease, but few studies have looked at whether there is a relationship between and Parkinson’s,” said study author Mu-Hong Chen, MD, Ph.D., of Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan.

For the study, researchers examined a national Taiwanese health database for people were diagnosed with disorder between 2001 and 2009 and who had no history of Parkinson’s disease, for a total of 56,340 people. They were matched with 225,360 people of the same age, sex and other factors who had never been diagnosed with bipolar disorder or Parkinson’s disease as a control group. Then the two groups were followed until the end of 2011.

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May 23, 2019

New Progress in Stem-Cell-Free Regenerative Medicine

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, life extension, neuroscience

Regenerative medicine and stem cells are often uttered within the same breath, for good reason.

In animal models, stem cells have reliably reversed brain damage from Parkinson’s disease, repaired severed spinal cords, or restored damaged tissue from diabetes, stroke, blood cancers, heart disease, or aging-related tissue damage. With the discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), in which skin and other tissue can be reversed into a stem cell-like state, the cells have further been adapted into bio-ink for 3D printing brand new organs.

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