Two New Devices Treat Alzheimer's
Development of drug treatments for Alzheimer's has met one hurdle after another, so rather than treat Alzheimer's patients chemically, two startups are targeting the brain electrically.
What's the Latest Development?
Two electrical treatments used to stimulate the memory of Alzheimer's patients are currently being tested: deep-brain stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation. "In deep brain stimulation, electrical pulses are delivered to a dysfunctional part of the brain via a surgically implanted electrode, stimulating neural activity." The Israeli company Neuronix, which is researching transcranial magnetic stimulation, "targets the stimulation to specific brain regions and combines it with cognitive training tasks designed to activate those regions."
What's the Big Idea?
After years of disappointing results from large pharmaceutical companies attempting to find a chemical treatment to combat Alzheimer's disease, two small startup companies have two unique approaches that pioneer non-chemical, brain stimulation treatments Alzheimer's patients. One aims to repeat the success that deep-brain stimulation has had with thousands of Parkinson's patients. The other plans to use transcranial magnetic stimulation, a non-invasive procedure that has been used to treat depression and has been a research tool to inhibit or stimulate specific parts of the brain.
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.
- Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
- Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
- Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
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