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Biosensor to display the progress of Alzheimer’s disease

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image source: convergence.ucsb.edu

New York: A team of researchers led by an Indian-American scientist has developed a portable biosensor that can display the progress of Alzheimer’s disease in a patient.

A test on the cheap and simple biosensor can measure the level of a protein called beta-amyloid, increased level of which leads to the degeneration of brain cells and causes Alzheimer’s, in the blood at tiny concentrations in just half an hour.

“We want to develop a point of care system, where a small drop of blood plasma can reveal their beta-amyloid level immediately so that a doctor can tailor a patient’s therapy immediately,” said lead author Ajeet Kaushik from the University of Florida in the US.

The protein, which is found in lower levels in the blood, makes it a useful biomarker to diagnose and monitor the disease progression.

A quick test on the biosensor can reveal a clinician to collect accurate information on the progression of the disease and see what is happening to a patient over time.

It will also show if and when the disease reaches an untreatable level, the authors reported in the study published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics.

The researchers pointed out that the affordable test can be useful in both developed countries and rural settings. Also with the right data, doctors can respond quickly to changes in a patient’s brain by reducing or increasing their dose of drugs. (IANS)

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Train Your Brain By Following Good Habits Constantly

The researchers have created a model which shows that forming good (and bad) habits depends more on how often you perform an action than on how much satisfaction you get from it.

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Good habits
Exercising Regularly can keep your brain healthy. VOA

If you want to form good habits — like going to the gym and eating healthy — then you need to train your brain by repeating actions until they stick, a new study suggests.

The researchers have created a model which shows that forming good (and bad) habits depends more on how often you perform an action than on how much satisfaction you get from it.

“Psychologists have been trying to understand what drives our habits for over a century, and one of the recurring questions is how much habits are a product of what we want versus what we do,” said Amitai Shenhav, Assistant Professor at Brown University.

exercise everyday
Exercise is crucial for everyone. Pixabay

“Our model helps to answer that by suggesting that habits themselves are a product of our previous actions, but in certain situations those habits can be supplanted by our desire to get the best outcome,” Shenhav added.

For the study, published in the journal Psychological Review, the researchers developed a computer simulation, in which digital rodents were given a choice of two levers, one of which was associated with the chance of getting a reward.

good habits
The researchers have created a model which shows that forming good (and bad) habits depends more on how often you perform an action than on how much satisfaction you get from it. VOA

The lever with the reward was the ‘correct’ one, and the lever without was the ‘wrong’ one.

The chance of getting a reward was swapped between the two levers, and the simulated rodents were trained to choose the ‘correct’ one.

Also Read:Exercise Can Help Fight Against Deep Abdominal Belly Fat: Study

When the digital rodents were trained for a short time, they managed to choose the new, ‘correct’ lever when the chance of a reward was swapped. However, when they were trained extensively on one lever, the digital rats stuck to the ‘wrong’ lever stubbornly, even when it no longer had the chance for a reward.

The rodents preferred to stick to the repeated action that they were used to, rather than have the chance for a reward. (IANS)