FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2016, file photo,Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt warms up before an NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass. The biggest defensive star in the Lone Star state is out. Houston's best on D for now will have to be Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus.
Baycrest neuropsychologists have found that a smartphone training program, theory-driven and specifically designed for individuals with memory impairment, can result in "robust" improvements in day-to-day functioning, and boost independence and confidence levels. "The goal of our study was to demonstrate the generalizability of our training protocol to a larger number of individuals with moderate-to-severe memory impairment," said Dr. Eva Svoboda, a clinical neuropsychologist in the Neuropsychology and Cognitive Health Program at Baycrest. "Our findings demonstrate that it is possible to harness powerful emerging technologies with brain science in an innovative way to give people with a range of memory deficits some of their independence back." Memory impairment, particularly when it is severe, can impact virtually all aspects of everyday life. Individuals are unable to readily acquire new information making it difficult or impossible to keep appointments and stay on top of changing personal, social and occupational responsibilities.
The Clock Drawing Test (CDT) is a rapid, inexpensive, and popular neuropsychological screening tool for cognitive conditions. The Digital Clock Drawing Test (dCDT) uses novel software to analyze data from a digitizing ballpoint pen that reports its position with considerable spatial and temporal precision, making possible the analysis of both the drawing process and final product. We developed methodology to analyze pen stroke data from these drawings, and computed a large collection of features which were then analyzed with a variety of machine learning techniques. The resulting scoring systems were designed to be more accurate than the systems currently used by clinicians, but just as interpretable and easy to use. The systems also allow us to quantify the tradeoff between accuracy and interpretability. We created automated versions of the CDT scoring systems currently used by clinicians, allowing us to benchmark our models, which indicated that our machine learning models substantially outperformed the existing scoring systems.
As NASA, SpaceX, and other space agencies move ahead with their plans to launch humans on missions to Mars and beyond, a group of scientists has found a way to address one of the biggest concerns that could arise from such trips -- memory impairment. Be it moon, Mars or any other part of the solar system, long-term space travel comes with a certain set of problems, things that might raise health-related concerns for those on the mission. One such situation is memory impairment, which occurs due to increased exposure to space radiation. Once astronauts venture beyond Earth's magnetic field, they are at risk of being exposed to cosmic radiation 1,000 times higher than what they experience on our planet or on the International Space Station, in the low Earth orbit. This could affect their brain's immune system cells (microglia) and drive inflammation that could impair memory functions, much like Alzheimer's, and destroy information-bearing synapses or connections between brain cells.
It's estimated that there are about 36 million people in the world who are blind, and a further 216 million who live with moderate to severe visual impairments. Although the World Health Organization points out that up to 80% of vision impairment around the world is avoidable with better access to...