Cure For Dementia? Umbilical Cord Blood Revitalizes Brain Function, Study Finds

International Business Times

It turns out the young have something else the elderly do not after a scientific finding, which sounds like something out of a vampire fable, was published by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine. The research, which was first published in Nature Wednesday, revealed that a protein found in umbilical cord blood from human newborns is a protein that disappears as we grow older. Researchers revealed that injecting cord blood into older mice could actually help to restore brain function. The study's findings were taken from trials with mice and revealed that the plasma of younger mice had neurological benefits on older mice, who were said to have performed better on memory tests and learning tests. "Neuroscientists have ignored it and are still ignoring it, but to me it's remarkable that something in your blood can influence the way you think," Tony Wyss-Coray, PhD, professor of neurology and neurological sciences and the study's senior author, said.


Human-Robot Interaction Studies for Autonomous Mobile Manipulation for the Motor Impaired

AAAI Conferences

We are developing an autonomous mobile assistive robot named El-E to help individuals with severe motor impairments by performing various object manipulation tasks such as fetching, transporting, placing, and delivering. El-E can autonomously approach a location specified by the user through an interface such as a standard laser pointer and pick up a nearby object. The initial target user population of the robot is individuals suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive neuro-degenerative disease resulting in motor impairments throughout the entire body. Due to the severity and progressive nature of ALS, the results from developing robotic technologies to assist ALS patients could be applied to wider motor impaired populations. To accomplish successful development and real world application of assistive robot technology, we have to acquire familiarity with the needs and everyday living conditions of these individuals. We also believe the participation of prospective users throughout the design and development process is essential in improving the usability and accessibility of the robot for the target user population. To assess the needs of prospective users and to evaluate the technology being developed, we applied various methodologies of human studies including interviewing, photographing, and conducting controlled experiments. We present an overview of research from the Healthcare Robotics Lab related to patient needs assessment and human experiments with emphasis on the methods of human centered approach.


Scientists Use AI To Turn Brain Signals Into Speech

#artificialintelligence

A recent research study could give a voice to those who no longer have one. Scientists used electrodes and artificial intelligence to create a device that can translate brain signals into speech. This technology could help restore the ability to speak in people with brain injuries or those with neurological disorders such as epilepsy, Alzheimer disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and more. The new system being developed in the laboratory of Edward Chang, MD shows that it is possible to create a synthesized version of a person's voice that can be controlled by the activity of their brain's speech centers. In the future, this approach could not only restore fluent communication to individuals with a severe speech disability, the authors say, but could also reproduce some of the musicality of the human voice that conveys the speaker's emotions and personality.


Scientists endorse these three strategies to delay dementia

PBS NewsHour

WOLFRATSHAUSEN, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 15: Two female inhabitants of a residential care home for Alzheimer's disease and dementia patients walk hand-in-hand in the corridor of the residential home on November 15, 2011 in Wolfratshausen, Germany. In a landmark report, scientists have endorsed three strategies for preventing dementia and cognitive decline associated with normal aging -- being physically active, engaging in cognitive training and controlling high blood pressure. This is the first time experts convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine have deemed scientific evidence strong enough to suggest that preventing dementia and age-related cognitive decline might be possible. Seven years ago, in a separate report issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, scientists said they couldn't recommend any interventions to forestall or slow cognitive deterioration because state-of-the-art science at that time didn't offer enough support. Now there's a considerably larger body of research to draw upon.


Why More Black People Suffer From Dementia

International Business Times

The question came as a shock to Dorothy Reeves: Would she be willing to donate her husband's brain for research? She knew dementia would steadily take Levi Reeves' memories of their 57-year marriage, his remaining lucidity and, eventually, his life. But to let scientists take his brain after he died? That seemed too much to ask. "I didn't want to deal with the idea of his death," said Reeves, 79. "I certainly didn't want to deal with brain donation."