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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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By atlmann10 on 9/28/2010 4:31:00 PM , Rating: 2
I love how everyone has consummate knowledge of anything to do with this type of injury. I find this all very interesting largely because I have been the victim of immense trauma in my right frontal lobe. This happened when I fell 39 feet off of a highway bridge (Shallowford road 85 N Atlanta GA), and then was pronounced doa. I was in a coma for roughly a month and a half following this incident.

This is very interesting work as well as a very beneficial path to follow. I love the Skynet/Matrix comments, but as far as I know having a wireless connection would be optional and require more hardware to be added. As far as it goes a soul is a personal belief.

Yes; I may believe in it, but that is up to you personally. I would say a cognitive soul would be contained in a person's brain. However; to a much greater amount in the being of an individual. While this is all a psychological question as well as a philosophical discussion, I personally believe in it as a constant (IE: it is part of what makes you, you).

Either way these type of injuries are had daily by many many people. So this type of work, and research, is over all very beneficial medically as well as to the human race in general.

Whether you believe this or are an atheist etc, etc does not matter in the least. As I am sure the doctors would tell you if you asked. You could not be an atheist or a christian, Muslim, Buddhist or anything if your brain did not function fully.




By pyrrhon on 9/29/2010 9:33:26 AM , Rating: 2
Within my soul there are some brain ideas and sometimes images of some brains. Thats all I can tell for sure. The 'brain' is something within the soul. Too wich of these brain ideas or representation do you want me to fit in? What is the hole you want to dig me in? Sorry everyone but I am much more then any of your ideas or perception you want to reduce me in. Defective brains or obsolete computers needs be replaced. Good luck when you get treated by those who thinks like you.


By pyrrhon on 9/29/2010 9:48:35 AM , Rating: 2
Oups, sorry atlmann10, this was not intended to be a reply of yours. not at all.


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