The Century of the Brain will focus on new diagnostic methods which will help find a precise and accurate diagnose based on varying imaging techniques. In this light, Eli Lilly will begin a new imaging clinical trial to detect the progression of specific plaque in the brains of 3,000 individuals. The goal is to determine which plaque may be causing AD later on in life, and which plaque may be responsible for other types of neurological disorders. Using PET imaging, scientists will have the ability to trace plaque in the brain and correlate its concentration to the symptoms of patient.
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics has reported that a patient diagnosed with both Myasthenia Gravis (MG) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) was treated with their developed stem cell therapy and has responded positively to this innovative treatment method. The patient showed significant improvements in the ability to speak and walk. The patient is now able to deliver clear sentences and enunciate words in a audible manner,and demonstrates significant cognitive and motor function improvements. The company has demonstrated the molecular and pharmacological methods of their therapy in over 20 scientific publications ; they plan to conduct a phase II clinical trial in the US in 2014.
Google has revealed their latest breakthrough in medical treatment: contacted lenses embedded with sensors to track the glucose levels of diabetics. According to the co-foundersBrian Otis and Babak Parviz, Google X has already developed prototypes, done multiple clinical trials, and has met with the FDA for approval. This breakthrough may offer an alternative to the one out of every 19 people in the world who continuously need to prick themselves to check their glucose levels. "We're exploring integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds," Otis and Parviz wrote. "We hope this could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease."
Google has revealed their latest breakthrough in medical treatment: contacted lenses embedded with sensors to track the glucose levels of diabetics. According to the co-founders Brian Otis and Babak Parviz, Google X has already developed prototypes, done multiple clinical trials, and has met with the FDA for approval. This breakthrough may offer an alternative to the one out of every 19 people in the world who continuously need to prick themselves to check their glucose levels. "We're exploring integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds," Otis and Parviz wrote. "We hope this could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease."
Engineers and radiologists at Johns Hopkins have united to develop what might be one of the most useful tools in diagnostic medicine in our decade. The unique dimensions of pediatric brains make it very hard to accurately diagnose children whose brain scans show abnormalities. When a child presents symptoms that are worrisome, a brain scan is taken to pinpoint " precisely" what has been damaged in that brain. However, the science is far from accurate. Researchers have now set out to develop a data bank of pediatric brain images from tens of thousands of patients to help doctors compare the image of their current patient with previous patients presenting similar brain images or symptoms. This " Google Search Brain Bank" will allow radiologists to find previous brain images that parallel those of the patient they are currently treating, and utilize their wealth of information to produce a better informed diagnosis. Imagine if a radiologist could find a set of images from a previous patient that shows that this abnormality eventually developed into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, or blindness? The possibility of preventing the development of a brain disease by catching it early enough to treat it might become a reality with the production of this invaluable brain bank.
90% of brain tumors do not originate in the brain. Cancer cells from other organs break away from their host tumors and find a new home in the brain. Yet, how is that breast cancer cells flourish in a new habitat, the brain? Rahul Jandial, a neurosurgeon at the City of Hope Cancer Center, took breast cancer cells found in the brains of several female patients and experimented on them in the lab. To his surprise, these breast cancer cells showed the ability to disguise themselves within the brain as neurons. Specifically, these cells were able to express receptors and transporter proteins for GABA, a neurotransmitter in the brain used by neurons for energy. This new machinery was not found in breast cancer cells that did not spread to the brain. Understanding this neuronal disguise of breast cancer cells invading the brain may pave the way for new forms of targeted therapies in brain cancer treatment.
The majority of cancer deaths are related to the spread of cancer ( metastases) to a new organ in the body. Breast cancer may eventually spread to the brain, while bone and lung cancers can spread throughout the body. A new technology developed by researchers at Cornell utilizes a novel protein called Trail to stop the spread of these moving cancer cells. Attaching Trail to an innovative nanoparticle enables the cancer-killing package to find cancer cells in the blood stream and kill them before residing in a new organ. In several human and animal models, Cornell researchers have showed the disintegration of a significant portion of the moving cancer cells upon administration of their novel nanotechnology.
Researchers at Cambridge have successfully printed adult retinal cells in hopes of creating printed retinas to cure various diseases causing blindness. The printed optic cells were indistinguishable from cells that had not been printed.
Dr. Albert Rhoton has been keeping a virtual image library of his patients' brains in order to teach other surgeons, throughout the globe, how to navigate complex brain operations. In the last 2 years he has converted thousands of images into color directed 3D images on an iPhone platform to help train surgeons and students across the globe. Surgeons in developing countries are using his database to help them navigate their operations - all via an iPhone. His image database is color coded to differentiate delicate structures in the brain, such as blood vessels and nerves, thereby helping surgeons to plan the safest route of operation possible. Rhoton stated, " "You can see where the nerves and structures are that need to be protected in that particular area, using that specific approach, in that specific direction.....we've just scratched the surface on the number of images." Rhoton's work earned him the 2011 Surgeon of the Year award from the journal World Neurosurgery.