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Mohseni and Nudo's research on traumatic brain injuries was inspired by the number of soldiers who suffer from this every day  (Source: Military Times)
A microchip on a circuit board could bring axons together restoring physical and emotional abilities

Researchers are working to recover normal movement and behavior within patients who have suffered brain damage by creating microelectronic circuitry that will promote the reconnection of neurons and growth of axons.

This type of work was inspired by the brain injuries and trauma the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan face. Pedram Mohseni, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Case Western Reserve University, along with Randolph J. Nudo, professor of molecular and integrative physiology at Kansas University Medical Center, are the top researchers on this project who recognize that head trauma/injury is common in injured soldiers, despite their use of armor and helmets.

Brain damage comes with side effects that can drastically alter a person's normal reality, such as loss of mobility, balance, coordination and problem-solving skills. Emotional side effects include depression, anxiety, social inappropriateness, emotional outbursts, mood swings and aggression.

But now, further research of these injuries indicates that a healthy brain, as it develops, creates and maintains communication pathways that allow neurons to "repeatedly fire together." So Mohseni and Nudo's new research revolves around the repeated communications between neurons who are distant only weeks after injury, which could lead to the reconnection of distant axons as well. 

Researchers note that the month following an injury is a crucial time period in their research because the brain is redeveloping at this point. This allows them to perform extensive rewiring where the brain cannot do so itself.

"The month following injury is a window of opportunity," said Mohseni. "We believe we can do this with an injured brain, which is very malleable."

Both researchers are able to do this by bringing their separate projects and expertise together. Mohseni has been developing a multichannel microelectronic device called a brain-machine-brain interface, which is capable of bypassing gaps left after injury. This device works through a microchip, which is smaller than a quarter, on a circuit board where the microchip amplifies neural action potentials, which are signals created by one part of the brain. An algorithm is then used to separate signals, which indicate brain spike activity from noise. 

When brain spike activity is found, the microchip delivers a "current pulse" to activate neurons in another part of the brain, thus reconnecting both regions of the brain. 

Nudo contributed his expertise on brain activity, after studying and mapping brain activity in rats, then testing the new device and the neuroanatomical rewiring theory on a traumatic brain injury model. 

The brain-machine-brain interface is a miniature device that connects to microelectrodes implanted in two regions of the brain, and stays outside of the body. 

In the future, Mohseni and Nudo hope to test their ability to rewire the brain further on rat models. If this process turns out well, they would like to move on to testing this procedure on non-human primates. If the primates are able to recover from brain injuries after extensive rewiring, Mohseni and Nudo see human patients using this in approximately 10 years.



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RE: Soul
By FITCamaro on 9/28/2010 12:06:27 PM , Rating: 5
1) What does this have to do with the article at all?

2) Those who believe in a soul do not believe it is contained solely in the brain.


RE: Soul
By zippyzoo on 9/28/10, Rating: 0
RE: Soul
By GaryJohnson on 9/28/2010 3:12:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Um, actually soft served sciences like psychology will admit to saying the brain contains the soul.

Um, actually, soft served sciences like psychology will admit that none of that which you just said makes any sense.


RE: Soul
By zippyzoo on 9/28/2010 3:38:08 PM , Rating: 1
Do you want to say converse about the Jung approach or are you just going to make the most general statement possible to get the words GARYJOHNSON somewhere someone will read it.


RE: Soul
By GaryJohnson on 9/28/2010 3:59:27 PM , Rating: 2
That makes even less sense than your other statement."The Jung approach" doesn't relate to the article, this comment thread, your post, or my post in any way. So I would have to say that, "No, I don't want to converse about the Jung approach."


RE: Soul
By Skywalker123 on 9/28/2010 5:32:07 PM , Rating: 3
Finally an article providing glimmer of hope for FITCAMARO, and you criticize him! Don't give up FIT! Miracles happen everyday.


RE: Soul
By Whedonic on 9/28/2010 12:26:23 PM , Rating: 2
"contained solely"
...
pun intended?


RE: Soul
By Ammohunt on 9/28/2010 1:52:34 PM , Rating: 2
Don't any of you watch Ghost Hunters or Ghost adventures? those shows wouldn't exist of the Soul/Spirit lived only in the brain.


RE: Soul
By tng on 9/28/2010 2:12:25 PM , Rating: 2
Really guys, does anybody think that this has to do with the "Soul"?

Now conciseness is something that might be connected here and despite what atheists and religious types think, there is ongoing research on where our conciseness comes from. As of now, it continues to be a mystery that can't all be explained by the "Brain As A Organic Computer" explanation.


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