Memory problems? There’s an app for that! Read about new technology and the causes as well as remedies for memory loss.
New Startup to Solve Memory Loss With Brain Prosthetics
A Memory Upgrade
Scientists around the world are focused on studying (and even copying) how the human brain works; however, this vital organ is afflicted by a plethora of horrible diseases—many of which, despite our advancing knowledge, we are still unable to successfully combat. Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and epilepsy are just some of the conditions that we must contend with.
We don’t know how to fix this biologically, but what if there was a technology that could help the brain cope with these afflictions? One area in particular is showing promise in this regard.
Meet Kernel, a startup that has a particularly high aim: Creating a brain prosthesis that can help those with memory problems. Founded by Bryan Johnson, Kernel hopes to be able to develop tiny brain implants that stimulate the learning and memory centers of the brain, restoring the ability to store long-term memory to those who have lost it.
This startup is leveraging the findings of Theodore Berger, director of the Center for Neural Engineering at the University of Southern California, for their work. Berger has been studying the way that electrical signals fire-up during the learning and memory encoding process, so the unification seems only natural (Berger is serving as Kernel’s Chief Science Officer).
Berger’s approach for building the chip first relies on mapping how neurons react and store new data. From there, we can use the information to create devices that mimic these vital brain functions.
Specifically, this method uses electrodes implanted in the hippocampus to record the electrical signals from target neurons when new information is fed to the person, and those signals for encoding the memory.
This allows Berger and his team to create mathematical models that take in learning signals as input, and produce the counterpart memory signal as output.
Any such device to exploit this method would have to have the electrodes that record learning signals, a microprocessor that calculates using the mathematical model, and other electrodes that stimulate neurons for the proper memory signals.
This will be no small feat. But notably, groups such as DARPA have expressed interest in the research, and human trials involving hospitalized epilepsy patients are already underway. It is a brave new world, indeed.
Statins increases the cancer risk and causes memory loss
Did you know that 610,000 persons die yearly in the US because of heart diseases? It is the factor which is responsible for many deaths around the world. There is a direct link between high cholesterol level and heart diseases. Therefore, high-cholesterol level causes heart diseases among men and women. Many people in the world use drugs to reduce the bad cholesterol level.
Statins is the most popular drug used to reduce the bad cholesterol level. Unfortunately, recently discovered that the Statins is not effective in reducing the bad cholesterol level, and it causes many side effects, including cancer.
According to the study, published in the journal of artery health and risk management, Statins is not that success to reduce the bad cholesterol level in the body and causes of many harmful side effects.
Diarrhea, rash, drowsiness, constipation, high blood pressure, increased the risk of memory loss and diabetes.
Zika virus may damage adult brain cells, causing long term memory loss like Alzheimer’s
Public Domain from pixabay
NEW YORK — U.S. scientists released a new finding that shows in addition to causing brain abnormalities in developing fetuses, the Zika virus may also damage in adult brain cells.
“This is the first study looking at the effect of Zika infection on the adult brain,” Joseph Gleeson, adjunct professor at the Rockefeller University and head of the Laboratory of Pediatric Brain Disease said in a press release. “Based on our findings, getting infected with Zika as an adult may not be as innocuous as people think.”
Human brains comprised entirely of neural progenitor cells, which eventually become fully formed neurons after entering adulthood. Scientists found out the cells were particularly vulnerable to Zika virus.
In an experiment using mice to mimic the effect of Zika infections in humans, the virus attacked neural progenitor cells, which exist primarily in the subventricular zone of the anterior forebrain and subgranular zone of the hippocampus in mice. The two zones are vital for learning and memory. The loss of these cells would subsequently lead to the reduction in brain volume.
The study was conducted by the Rockefeller University and La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology and published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.
Music Brings Joy in Illinois
August 16, 2016; Chicago Tribune
The often-mysterious link between music and recovery from brain damage and memory loss has been apparent for a while. In 2010, astonished researchers studied MRIs of jazz guitarist Pat Martino’s brain. Martino’s 1980 brain surgery had removed much of his frontal lobe but had left his guitar-playing skills perfectly intact. According to most neuroscientists, Martino should have completely forgotten how to play the guitar; instead, researchers found, he “exhibited complete recovery from profound amnesia and regained his previous virtuoso status.”
While the explanations for this miraculous recovery are less clear, it seems music can play an integral role in brain health, particularly when it comes to recovery from trauma and support for amnesia and memory loss.
One Midwestern symphony orchestra has decided to put neuroscience into practice and design concert experiences for those with various stages of memory loss, those most often associated with dementia. Lake Forest Symphony, a small professional orchestra that serves the northern suburbs of Chicago, joined forces with Lake Forest Place to design an outreach program for those experiencing memory loss. The fledgling program, which was launched eighteen months ago, seeks to use music therapy techniques to bring joy and comfort to those affected by memory loss, though not necessarily to cure them.
The concept is not new; Lake Forest Symphony’s work was inspired by HeartStrings, a quartet sponsored by the Madison Symphony Orchestra (MSO) that travels to perform for people with memory loss, disabilities, and other long-term illnesses. Since 2006, HeartStrings has visited countless retirement centers, nursing homes, hospitals, and various other facilities to provide live, interactive musical experiences for those patients in the most need of the healing power of music.
The Madison, Wisconsin program has been wildly successful. Most recently, the program earned the MSO a $65,000 grant from Johnson & Johnson under its Society for the Arts in Healthcare category to publish a guidebook for orchestras around the world to copy its model. Lake Forest Symphony is one of those orchestras, hoping to replicate the positive impact of HeartStrings in its own community.
Sarah Watson, director of dementia and staff education at Lake Forest Place, says of the patients who attend the concerts, “They all really enjoy music, I think it’s one of the last things that brings them back to their past. It allows them to connect to their younger days.”
Incorporating interactive elements into the concert, such as shakers and other rhythm instruments, provides a brief sense of order for these music-loving patients. Rita Meland, music therapist and dementia practitioner, says, “Performing with rhythm is the last capacity for those who have no language skills anymore and are isolated. It gives a cognitively impaired person a sense of timing in their otherwise disoriented lives.” Meland often uses games to help residents hold onto this sense of order. After the musicians play some songs, she will ask the residents to guess their titles, with the musicians replaying pieces as needed.
But the patients at Lake Forest Place aren’t the only ones who benefit from this new outreach program. The instrumentalists who participate find working with the patients to be a rewarding and interesting change of pace from their typical symphony rehearsals and performing schedule. Violinist Paul Vanderwerf says that “[it’s] nice being able to break the fourth wall.”
Madison Symphony Orchestra principal violist Christopher Dozoryst, a member of HeartStrings, says that the interactive component enlivens his daily routine. “As opposed to having people just sit and listen, we have them play along to the best of their ability with small percussive instruments. […] We can get them in on the act.” MSO principal cellist Kyle Lavine recalls, “On a visit to a memory-care facility…we had a lady who had remembrances that nobody had heard about, triggered by us playing ‘Blue Danube.’”
Though the staff had spent months interacting with this patient, much of the staff was unaware that this woman had spent most of her childhood in Vienna. Music helped her to unlock her memories. While a cure for dementia and other age-related memory loss is still a ways away, music therapy has proven to be a positive and meaningful treatment for memory-loss patients.
A Poor Night’s Sleep Does Make You Forgetful: If You Get Less Than Five Hours You Suffer Bad Temper and Memory Loss Scientists Confirm
Public Domain from pixabay
According to the Daily Mail, a University of Leeds study shows that getting less than 5 hours of sleep can lead to a bad temper as well as memory loss.
The research, which was carried out in conjunction with bed maker Silentnight analysed the effects of sleep on memory and daily functions.
People who took part were aged between 18 and 80 and they were tasked with measuring their sleep against five ‘everyday’ memories, consisting of: having to check whether they’ve done something; forgetting to tell somebody something important; where things are normally kept; doing something they intended to do such as posting a letter and finding it difficult to concentrate.
The most apparent memory failure was having to check whether they had done something (50 per cent) and this was followed by forgetting to do something they intended to do (44 per cent).
Those who slept for less than five hours were 25 per cent more forgetful than those who slept longer.
And half of the poor sleeper ‘regularly’ struggled to concentrate.
These articles are about people who have advanced memory loss. If you, or a loved one, just have occasional bouts of brain fog or simply want to remain mentally sharp, we suggest trying Green Planet Nutraceuticals’ Brain Formula which is available on Amazon.com