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Chronic neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's, are all characterised by an inflammatory reaction within the brain. Until now, some of the factors behind this reaction have been unclear; however a European research fellow has identified a molecular system that contributes to the mechanisms regulating the progression of neurodegeneration. This could potentially lead to new therapeutic treatments to effectively combat the condition.
Published: 18 November 2014
Dementia is a group of degenerative diseases typically affecting the cognitive abilities of the elderly population. According to the World Health Organization, the estimated proportion of the general population aged 60 and over with dementia at a given time is between 2 to 8 per 100 people. Currently, there is no cure and, with rising numbers of elderly people, there is a pressing need for funding in dementia research.
Published: 19 September 2014
We are only aware of about 10% of our brain activity, so scientists at a lab in Barcelona are working to increase that percentage. They hope to enable us to perform better in a world which is increasingly overwhelmed by data.
Published: 25 June 2014
A gastric bypass without the surgery? Not as far-fetched as one might think. EU-funded research into the way the gut and stomach communicate with the brain has uncovered fresh insights into the mechanisms that drive food intake and points to new ways of preventing and treating obesity. The outcomes include a hormone cocktail that could offer all the benefits of a gastric bypass without the trauma of a major operation.
Published: 23 June 2014
DECIDE stands for 'Diagnostic Enhancement of Confidence by an International Distributed Environment'. This FP7 project brought together 13 partners from five European countries, with the Italian GARR Institute as leading partner. Its aim was to develop and launch an e-service that allows the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Published: 6 June 2014
Stroke is the most common neurological disease. It is also the most common cause of life-long impairment in adulthood and of institutionalisation, implying a change from a self-determined, independent life to extensive or complete dependence on others.
Published: 27 May 2014
New technologies are blurring the boundaries between the real and the virtual world. The brain can control a machine, and even perceive it as its own body. Can that improve our lives? At Barcelona University, scientists are working on a European Research Project to link a human brain to a robot using skin electrodes and video goggles so that the user feels they are actually in the android body wherever it is in the world.
Published: 22 May 2014
Gradually losing control of your body is something that patients with neurodegenerative diseases must learn to live with. Lorenzo Rossi, an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patient is coming to terms with his condition. Andrea Niutta has multiple sclerosis and has been using a wheelchair for almost twenty years. He attends neuromuscular reeducation therapy at Valduce Hospital in Costa Masnaga near Milan. He has accepted to test a new kind of neuroprosthesis developed by a European research programme in Italy and was surprised by the results.
Published: 20 January 2014
A robotic arm developed by a team of European researchers goes some way towards giving severely paralysed people some independence. The arm can be controlled intuitively, meaning the person just has to think about using their arm for it to move.
Published: 9 October 2013
Hallucinations have been the seeds of inspiration of legendary filmmakers such as Luis Buñuel, Terry Gilliam or David Lynch. Auditory hallucinations are a major symptom of schizophrenia. These inner voices people hear in the absence of any external acoustic input can be very disruptive for health and for social life. Professor Kenneth Hugdahl, who holds an ERC Advanced grant, has developed an IPhone app to help patients to re-focus their attention. Based at the University of Bergen in Norway, he participates in the Horizons for Social Sciences and Humanities conference in Vilnius on 23 and 24 September 2013 and exposes the first results of his ERC project.
Published: 30 September 2013