Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Brain

An infusion of blood from young mice has led to cognitive improvements in older mice (Phot...

A literal infusion of some "young blood" has the ability to turn back the clock and restore the mental capabilities of old mice, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. If similar results are seen in humans, the simple technique could lead to new treatments for forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease.  Read More

A group of engineers at Stanford have developed an iPad-sized, highly power-efficient way ...

A group of engineers at Stanford have developed an iPad-sized, highly power-efficient way of simulating a million neurons and billions of synapses for as low as US$400. The advancement could both help our understanding of the brain and help develop a new generation of bionic limbs that are controlled by the patient's brain in real time with no effort at all.  Read More

Research suggests a blood test to detect depression is possible (Photo: Shutterstock)

At present, reaching a diagnosis for depression typically involves interviews with the patient, resulting in a drawn out and costly process. Some recent research efforts have sought to address this, such as a diagnostic technique that measures electrical activity in the brain to more quickly detect mental illness. Now a team of Austrian researchers has demonstrated a link between levels of serotonin in the blood and the depression network in the brain, meaning that diagnosing depression could soon become a much more efficient undertaking.  Read More

The cloud-based supercomputer will be used to suggest patient specific cancer treatments f...

IBM's Watson supercomputer is being re-tasked to help clinicians create personalized treatments for a common form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma. The project, which is a collaboration between IBM and the New York Genome Center (NYGC), hopes to make use of Watson's artificial intelligence to analyze vast quantities of data in order to suggest a personalized life-saving treatment based on the patient's individual case.  Read More

tDCS has come a long way from Giovanni Aldini's 1802 pioneering treatment of Luigi Lanzari...

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has become a widely used technique for reaching into a person's brain and altering the way in which it functions. Vanderbilt psychology Professor Geoffrey Woodman and graduate student Robert Reinhart have just published the results of a new study in the Journal of Neuroscience in which they found that tDCS stimulation of the mediofrontal cortex for a period of minutes can change one's ability to recognize and learn from error for a period of several hours.  Read More

The Cefaly headband is claimed to not only treat migraines, but help to reduce their frequ...

Though using electrical stimulation of the brain as a means of treating migraines has provided an alternative to over-the-counter medication, the administering of the electrical currents can be complex, involving bulky equipment or even surgically implanted electrodes. Cefaly, a battery-operated headband, has now been approved by FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) and is said to not only treat migraines, but possibly prevent them altogether.  Read More

A blood test could help reduce the risk of long-term damage for participants of contact sp...

It wasn't so long ago that shaking off a knock to the head and getting back on the field was seen as a sign of toughness for sportspeople. But in recent years, increased awareness of the potential for long-term damage has put the seriousness of concussion in the spotlight. Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden have now developed a blood test that reveals the severity of a concussion and when it is safe for a player to return to the game.  Read More

Alzheimer's disease gradually destroys the brain and its function (Photo: US National Inst...

US medical researchers have developed a blood test which predicts with 90 percent accuracy if an individual will develop Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment within three years. The test, which looks for a set of ten lipid markers, will allow treatments to be sought that may be effective during this early, asymptomatic stage of the disease.  Read More

Electrical contacts located in the fingertips deliver short electrical pulses, stimulating...

While we can counter the deterioration of sight and hearing with glasses and hearing aids, few tools exist for combating a degenerating sense of touch. A common ailment among stroke patients and the aging, treating diminishing tactile perception has proven a complicated task. Looking to provide a wearable solution unimposing enough for everyday use, a research team from Germany's Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) is developing a stimulation glove designed to be worn passively to alleviate such impairments.  Read More

Is reading a book like living the story? (Image: Shutterstock)

Stories, whether fact or fiction, are at the heart of human culture. A strong narrative can resonate with your personality and experiences, and help set a framework for your future. "That book changed my life" is a cherished maxim. So can a book change your brain too? A recent study led by Emory University's Gregory Berns has demonstrated that reading a novel produces physical changes in the brain similar to those that would result from living as one or more of the characters.  Read More

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