Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Deep Brain Stimulation Reverses Memory Loss

Scientists may have accidentally discovered the way to restore memory in Alzheimer's patients while trying to cure obesity. Doctors performing experimental surgery that involved implanting probes for deep brain stimulation failed to cure the man's appetite but instead, stimulation of his brain invoked decades-old memories in vivid detail.

Deep-Brain Stimulation has been used successfully in Parkinson's patients and now the focus is turning to using it as a way to restore memory and cognitive function in those suffering from memory loss. Following the surgery, the patient whose operation was supposed to promote weight loss, was given memory tests, and the results showed that his performance improved dramatically with the application of current to the brain.

So far, the results have been on one person and whether the technique will work with Alzheimer's patients is unknown. But scientists are hopeful that they will one day be able to unlock the brains and memories of those suffering from this devastating disease.

Scientists Discover Way to Reverse Loss of Memory

Monday, January 21, 2008

Cars that Read Your Mind in 5 Years

A new "smart dashboard" that reduces a driver's distractions and improves reaction times by monitoring brain activity is being developed by the Technical University of Berlin and may be available in just five years.

As reported on in the New Scientist, the smart dash can speed up reaction times enough to allow for reduced breaking distances, thereby possibly averting accidents, injuries and deaths.

One of the problems requiring further development of the acr/brain interface is the apparatus for receiving the brain signals, since the electrodes on the head require a sticky conductive gel and even dry must be placed all over the head.

Read more in the New Scientist