Introducing the Gizmag Store

Neurological

The SpikerBox is a scientific educational device, that lets you listen to the neural activ...

Neurons, the nerve cells that send and receive electrical signals within the body, are one of those things that most of us probably don’t give a lot of thought to. Educational entrepreneurs Timothy Marzullo and Gregory Gage, however, think about them a lot. They think about them so much, in fact, that they’ve designed a gadget that lets anyone listen to the neural electrical activity of bugs, and conduct a series of interesting experiments. It’s called the SpikerBox, and oh yeah – in order to use it, you have to take the leg off of a cockroach.  Read More

Ball and stick model of dextromethorphan - gray are carbon atoms, white are hydrogen, blue...

Sir James W. Black, M.D., F.R.S., the recipient of the 1988 Nobel Prize for Medicine once said, "The easiest way to find a drug is to start with one." Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Concert Pharmaceuticals, Inc. obviously subscribe to Black's view as they have recently announced an exclusive license agreement that gives Avanir worldwide rights to develop and commercialize Concert's deuterium-modified dextromethorphan (d-DXM) for the potential treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders.  Read More

A cerebral blood clot being aspirated from the body after capture by the Solitaire (Image:...

A new approach to stroke treatment initially developed by Dr. Jeffrey Saver's group at the UCLA Stroke Center combines the ability to restore circulation and remove clots using only a single device ... and it's showing significant promise in trials. In a study comparing the Covidien Solitaire FR Revascularization Device with the FDA-approved Merci Retriever, the device successfully and safely treated roughly 60 percent of stroke patients, compared to roughly 30 percent when the Merci Retriever was used.  Read More

A new compound, J147, could be the first drug capable of halting the progression of Alzhei...

Anyone who has watched as Alzheimer’s disease robs a friend or family member of their memories and faculties before ultimately claiming their life knows just what a truly horrible disease it is. According to the World Health Organization, it is the fourth leading cause of death in high-income countries and, due to an aging worldwide population, it is predicted to affect one in 85 people worldwide by 2050 – unless a treatment can be found. Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have high hopes for a new drug they have developed that has improved memory and prevented brain damage in mice and is a promising candidate for the first drug capable of halting the progression of Alzheimer’s in humans.  Read More

The ROBOCAST Project is developing a robotic system for assisting with keyhole neurosurger...

In keyhole neurosurgery, a small “burr hole” is drilled in the patient’s skull, and their brain is then accessed through that hole. The procedure is much less invasive than many other types of brain surgery, and can be used for things such as exploratory endoscopy, biopsies, blood and fluid sampling, cryogenic and electrolytic ablation (tissue removal), and deep brain stimulation. It is used to treat conditions including tumors, hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain), Parkinson's disease, Tourette syndrome, and epilepsy. For a neurosurgeon, however, it can sometimes be extremely exacting work – a slip of even a fraction of a millimeter can cause permanent brain damage. That’s why the European Union’s ROBOCAST (ROBOt and sensors integration for Computer Assisted Surgery and Therapy) Project is developing a robotic system to help out.  Read More

Researchers simulate schizophrenia in a computer (Image: Yellowcon)

One of the theories regarding the cause of schizophrenia suggests that, due to an excessive release of dopamine, the brain remembers too many irrelevant things. Schizophrenics are then overwhelmed by the vast amounts of facts, thoughts and memories all crammed together in their heads, and start processing them into conclusions that aren't based in reality. It's called the hyperlearning hypothesis, and researchers at the University of Texas in Austin recently tried to see if they could simulate it – in a computer.  Read More

Close neurological ties between reward-processing and pain-processing regions in the brain...

As science continues to unravel the mysteries of ourselves and the world around us at a furious pace, it can sometimes feel like the boffins are proving things that many of us feel we already know or take for granted. This interesting example comes from the Stanford University School of Medicine, where scientists have found that intense feelings of love are as effective at relieving pain as painkillers or even illicit drugs.  Read More

An image of a brain's wiring system, acquired using the new software

Utilizing a recently-developed technique called HARDI (High Angular Resolution Diffusion Imaging), researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology have created a software tool that could reduce the need for exploratory brain surgery. The new technology converts MRI scans of the brain into three-dimensional images, which provide neurologists with a “road map” of the wiring of a patient’s brain.  Read More

The Galvanic vestibular stimulation system

There are airplanes and swimming pools that give prospective astronauts a taste of what a zero-gravity environment will feel like, but the sensations that they will feel upon returning from such an environment are also important to simulate. Astronauts coming back to Earth’s gravity often experience disturbances in their vision and neurological function, to the point that they can have trouble walking, keeping their balance, or even safely landing their spacecraft. By utilizing a Galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS) system, however, scientists can give them a sneak peek of what to expect, so they can better compensate for it when it happens in the field.  Read More

StatNet is a single-use EEG which contains electrodes precision aligned in a flexible head...

Traditional electroencephalography (EEG) is time-consuming to set up, must be administered by qualified technologists and relies on reusable electrodes which can leave patients vulnerable to infection. Massachusetts-based HydroDot is aiming to solve these issues and significantly improve the clinical process with StatNet – a flexible, single-use EEG headpiece that offers a simpler, safer, faster and more accurate way to measure electrical activity in the human brain.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 26,500 articles