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Nerve Interface for Direct Sensory Feedback

June 12, 2013 10:33 am | by DARPA | Videos | Comments

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University used a flat interface nerve electrode (FINE) to demonstrate direct sensory feedback. By interfacing with residual nerves in the patient's partial limb, some sense of touch by the fingers is restored. Other existing prosthetic limb control systems rely solely on visual feedback.

Targeted Muscle Re-innveration for Advanced Prosthetic Control

June 12, 2013 10:26 am | by DARPA | Videos | Comments

A team of researchers at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) demonstrated a type of peripheral interface called targeted muscle re-innervation (TMR). By rewiring nerves from amputated limbs, new interfaces allow for prosthetic control with existing muscles. Former Army Staff Sgt. Glen Lehman, injured in Iraq, recently demonstrated improved TMR technology.

New Nerve and Muscle Interfaces Aid Wounded Warrior Amputees

June 12, 2013 10:18 am | by DARPA | News | Comments

Since 2000, more than 2,000 servicemembers have suffered amputated limbs. DARPA’s breakthrough research with advanced prosthetic limbs controlled by brain interfaces is well documented, but such research is currently limited to quadriplegics; practical applications of brain interfaces for amputees are still in the future. In contrast, nerve and muscle interfaces allow amputees to control advanced prosthetics in the near term.

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Exercise for Stroke Patients' Brains

June 12, 2013 9:56 am | by University of Southern California | News | Comments

A new study finds that stroke patients' brains show strong cortical motor activity when observing others performing physical tasks—a finding that offers new insight into stroke rehabilitation. A team of researchers monitored the brains of 24 individuals as they watched others performing actions made using the arm and hand that would be difficult for a person who can no longer use their arm due to stroke.

New Tasks Become as Simple as Waving a Hand with Brain-Computer Interfaces

June 12, 2013 9:51 am | by Michelle Ma, University of Washington | News | Comments

Small electrodes placed on or inside the brain allow patients to interact with computers or control robotic limbs simply by thinking about how to execute those actions. This technology could improve communication and daily life for a person who is paralyzed or has lost the ability to speak from a stroke or neurodegenerative disease.

Twenty Patients Implanted in Functional Neuromodulation’s ADvance Study of Deep Brain Stimulation for Alzheimer’s Disease

June 12, 2013 9:07 am | by Business Wire | News | Comments

Functional Neuromodulation Ltd.’s ADvance Study has implanted 20 mild Alzheimer’s patients with deep brain stimulation (DBS) systems, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved expansion of the study from 20 to 30 U.S. patients in combination with 20 subjects approved in Canada.

'Heading' a Soccer Ball Could Lead to Brain Injury

June 11, 2013 10:40 am | by Radiological Society of North America | News | Comments

Soccer players who 'head' the ball with high frequency demonstrate poorer performance on memory tests and have brain abnormalities similar to those found in traumatic brain injury patients, according to a study published online in the journal Radiology.

Quallion Medical Batteries Maintain High Performance After 10 Year Storage Test

June 10, 2013 3:29 pm | by PR Newswire | News | Comments

Quallion, a leading developer and manufacturer of advanced lithium ion batteries, released test data demonstrating the potential to power long-term implantable medical devices.  After 10 years of storage at an elevated temperature simulating conditions inside the human body, Quallion's cells showed minimal degradation in terms of calendar fade and self discharge.

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Compulsive No More

June 10, 2013 10:56 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | News | Comments

By activating a brain circuit that controls compulsive behavior, MIT neuroscientists have shown that they can block a compulsive behavior in mice — a result that could help researchers develop new treatments for diseases such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette’s syndrome.

3-D Map of Blood Vessels in Cerebral Cortex Holds Surprises

June 10, 2013 10:09 am | by University of California - San Diego | News | Comments

Blood vessels within a sensory area of the mammalian brain loop and connect in unexpected ways, a new map has revealed. The study, published June 9 in the early online edition of Nature Neuroscience, describes vascular architecture within a well-known region of the cerebral cortex and explores what that structure means for functional imaging of the brain and the onset of a kind of dementia.

Researchers Discover How Brain Circuits Can Become Miswired During Development

June 7, 2013 11:38 am | by Weill Cornell Medical College | News | Comments

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have uncovered a mechanism that guides the exquisite wiring of neural circuits in a developing brain -- gaining unprecedented insight into the faulty circuits that may lead to brain disorders ranging from autism to mental retardation.

St. Jude Medical Signs Equity Investment and Option to Purchase Agreement with Spinal Modulation

June 7, 2013 11:01 am | by Business Wire | News | Comments

St. Jude Medical, Inc., a global medical device company, and privately-held Spinal Modulation, Inc., today announced that they have entered into a series of agreements under which St. Jude Medical made a $40 million equity investment in Spinal Modulation, a company that has developed an innovative neuromodulation therapy that provides a new pain management option for patients with chronic, intractable pain.

Non-Invasive First Trimester Blood Test Reliably Detects Down's Syndrome

June 7, 2013 10:37 am | by Wiley | News | Comments

New research has found that routine screening using a non-invasive test that analyzes fetal DNA in a pregnant woman's blood can accurately detect Down's syndrome and other genetic fetal abnormalities in the first trimester. Published early online in Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology, the results suggest that the test is superior to currently available screening strategies and could reshape standards in prenatal testing.

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Alzheimer's, Schizophrenia, and Autism Now Can Be Studied with Mature Brain Cells Reprogrammed from Skin Cells

June 7, 2013 10:10 am | by Penn State University | News | Comments

Difficult-to-study diseases such as Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, and autism now can be probed more safely and effectively thanks to an innovative new method for obtaining mature brain cells called neurons from reprogrammed skin cells.     

Neuroimaging May Offer New Way to Diagnose Bipolar Disorder

June 6, 2013 11:52 am | by Mount Sinai School of Medicine | News | Comments

MRI may be an effective way to diagnose mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, according to experts from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. In a landmark study using advanced techniques, the researchers were able to correctly distinguish bipolar patients from healthy individuals based on their brain scans alone. The data are published in the journal Psychological Medicine.

New Technique for Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery Proves Accurate & Safe

June 6, 2013 11:18 am | by Oregon Health & Science University | News | Comments

The surgeon who more than two decades ago pioneered deep brain stimulation surgery in the United States to treat people with Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders has now developed a new way to perform the surgery — which allows for more accurate placement of the brain electrodes and likely is safer for patients.

Heart Health Matters to Your Brain

June 5, 2013 10:36 am | by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center | News | Comments

People suffering from type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are at an increased risk of cognitive decline, according to a new study from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Lead author Christina E. Hugenschmidt, Ph.D., said the results from the Diabetes Heart Study-Mind (DHS-Mind) suggest that CVD is playing a role in cognition problems before it is clinically apparent in patients.

Evergreen Medical Technologies Launches Integrated Lead to Pulse Generator Interconnect System for Implantable Neurostimulators

June 4, 2013 8:31 pm | by Business Wire | Bal Seal Engineering, Inc. | News | Comments

Evergreen Medical Technologies has launched the Encompass Lead-Interconnect System, the first pretested integrated lead-interconnect system designed for implantable neurostimulator pulse generator (IPG) devices. The Encompass, enabled by Bal Seal Engineering’s SYGNUS® implantable contact system and Company’s premolded 16-channel header technology, saves development time and costs for neurostimulation device companies.

Altered Neural Circuitry May Lead to Anorexia and Bulimia

June 4, 2013 10:10 am | by University of California - San Diego | News | Comments

A landmark study, with first author Tyson Oberndorfer, MD, and led by Walter H. Kaye, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, suggests that the altered function of neural circuitry contributes to restricted eating in anorexia and overeating in bulimia.

Technique Could Identify Patients at High Risk of Stroke or Brain Hemorrhage

June 4, 2013 10:07 am | by Nationwide Children’s Hospital | News | Comments

Measuring blood flow in the brain may be an easy, noninvasive way to predict stroke or hemorrhage in children receiving cardiac or respiratory support through a machine called ECMO, according to a new study by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Early detection would allow physicians to alter treatment and take steps to prevent these complications—the leading cause of death for patients on ECMO.

Alzheimer's Leaves Clues in Blood

June 4, 2013 10:04 am | by Kaizo | News | Comments

Alzheimer researchers in Spain have taken a step closer to finding a blood test to help in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. With approximately 75% of the estimated 36 million Alzheimer's sufferers worldwide yet to receive a reliable diagnosis, the potential impact on the lives of possible sufferers, present and future, could be huge.

Stem Cell Study Could Aid Quest to Combat Range of Diseases

June 3, 2013 11:15 am | by University of Edinburgh | News | Comments

Scientists have taken a vital step forward in understanding how cells from skin tissue can be reprogrammed to become stem cells. New research could pave the way to generate these stem cells efficiently to better understand and develop treatments for diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and muscular degeneration.

Distributing Healthcare

May 31, 2013 3:20 pm | by Sean Fenske, Editor-in-Chief, MDT | Blogs | Comments

One of the most interesting things about my position is seeing the changes in one of the most dynamic industries around—the medical device industry (and, in a broader sense, the healthcare industry). In my 13+ years of reporting on this industry, I’ve seen many changes and technological advances. It truly is remarkable to think about how far certain sectors of the industry have come in what is really a very short period of time.

Lead Acts to Trigger Schizophrenia

May 31, 2013 12:04 pm | by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health | News | Comments

Scientists at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine say their findings suggest a synergistic effect between lead exposure and a genetic risk factor, and open an avenue to better understanding the complex gene-environment interactions that put people at risk for schizophrenia and other mental disorders.

Immune System to Fight Brain Tumors

May 30, 2013 4:41 pm | by Lund University | News | Comments

Research at Lund University in Sweden gives hope that one of the most serious types of brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme, could be fought by the patients' own immune system. The tumors are difficult to remove with surgery because the tumor cells grow into the surrounding healthy brain tissue. A patient with the disease therefore does not usually survive much longer than a year after the discovery of the tumor.

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