Tag Archives: hippocampus

Memory-restoring implant by 2017!

Molecular ThoughtsAn implantable neural device could restore memory in patients with Alzheimer’s! The Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is funding the development of this device, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, UCLA, and Medtronic are going to work together to make it a reality.

The device will stimulate neural tissue to bridge gaps in the brain, making it possible for patients to access memories and also form new ones. This device could also help patients with TBI (traumatic brain injury). This closed-loop, wireless device will be implanted into the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex.

Neurostimulators were piloted in rodents and dogs before approved for human use, and it’s amazing to see the advances and the potential associated with this research. Patients suffering from Parkinson’s and chronic pain are already benefiting from this technology, and with the rising incidence of Alzheimer’s, the potential for treatment with this device is great news. The hope is to have this device in clinical trials by 2017. Read more about it here:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140710175337.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_science+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+Science+News%29&utm_content=FaceBook

New understanding of Alzheimer’s Disease for 2014!

Toward Digital EncryptionResearchers at Columbia University Medical Center have unlocked several important pieces of information about Alzheimer’s Disease: exactly where it starts, why it starts there, and how the disease spreads.

They’ve identified the specific part of the brain where Alzheimer’s starts- the lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC). The LEC normally accumulates tau, which makes it more likely to accumulate a specific protein called APP- and the combination of tau and APP damages neurons. Not good. 

And Alzheimer’s spreads like a domino effect. When neurons are compromised in the LEC, the neurons in surrounding areas also become compromised- including the hippocampus, which plays an important role in long-term memory storage.

Researchers used fMRI imaging and worked with humans and mice to discover this information. By showing that early changes can be detected using fMRI- and knowing exactly how the process works- detecting the disease before it spreads could be much easier. And this new imaging method could be a very helpful way to determine effectiveness of potential drugs! Read more here:

http://newsroom.cumc.columbia.edu/blog/2013/12/22/how-alzheimers-spreads/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-alzheimers-spreads