Home Indian Diaspora Smart chip by...

Smart chip by Indian-origin scientist capable of counteracting Parkinson’s

0

Singapore: A smart chip capable of pairing itself with neural implants and enabling wireless transmission of brain signals is developed by an Indian-origin scientist. The smart chip will be able to decrease the harmful symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, giving paraplegic people the ability to move prosthetic limbs.

According to assistant professor Arindam Basu from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), the research team has tested the chip on data recorded from animal models which showed that it could decode the brain’s signal to the hand and fingers with 95 percent accuracy.

“What we have developed is a very versatile smart chip that can process data, analyse patterns and spot the difference,” professor Basu said.

Currently, neural implants when embedded in the brain need to be connected by wires to an external device outside the body.

For a prosthetic patient, the neural implant is connected to a computer that decodes the brain signals so the artificial limb can move.

These external wires are not only cumbersome but the permanent openings, which allow the wires into the brain, increase the risk of infections.

The new chip can allow the transmission of brain data wirelessly and with high accuracy.

“The chip is about a hundred times more efficient than current processing chips on the market. It will lead to more compact medical wearable devices, such as portable ECG monitoring devices and neural implants since we no longer need large batteries to power them,” Basu explained.

Designed to be extremely power-efficient, the patented smart chip will analyse and decode the thousands of signals from the neural implants in the brain before compressing the results and sending it wirelessly to a small external receiver.

This new chip is designed to analyse data patterns and spot any abnormal or unusual patterns.

This would be extremely beneficial for the Internet of Things (IOT), where every electrical and electronic device is connected to the internet through a smart chip.

The team is also looking to expand the applications of the chip into commercial products, such as to customise it for smart home sensor networks, in collaboration with a local electronics company.

This invention and its findings were published last month in the prestigious journal, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits & Systems.(IANS)

Next Story

Experimental Drug for Parkinson’s Shows Progress

New drug for Parkinson's shows promise

0
Parkinson's drug
An experimental drug has shown promise in treatment of debilitating movement problems in people with Parkinson's disease. Pixabay

An experimental drug has shown promise in treatment of debilitating movement problems in people with Parkinson’s disease. This is the latest health news.

The researchers investigated the effect of the drug NLX-112 on dyskinesia, a common side effect experienced by people with Parkinson’s who have been taking levodopa-based medications for several years. Levodopa is generally used as a dopamine replacement agent for the treatment of Parkinson’s.

The drug works by targeting serotonin cells inside the brain which are believed to contribute to the development of dyskinesia, by releasing dopamine in an erratic manner. It aims to reduce dyskinesia by decreasing the amount of dopamine the cells release, said the study published online in the journal Neuropharmacology.

The research was carried out by US-based biotech company Neurolixis with funding from Parkinson’s UK, a charity.

Parkinson's drug
The drug works by targeting serotonin cells inside the brain which are believed to contribute to the development of dyskinesia, by releasing dopamine in an erratic manner. (Representational Image). Pixabay

“This promising research on NLX-112 offers hope that we can find a treatment that can tackle dyskinesia, which can make everyday tasks, such as eating, writing and walking, extremely difficult,” said Arthur Roach, Director of Research at Parkinson’s UK.

“People with Parkinson’s tell us it is one of the most critical issues that impacts quality of life so we’re delighted that this project is progressing so positively,” Roach said.

Anyone can get Parkinson’s, young or old. Parkinson’s is what happens when the brain cells that make dopamine start to die. There are over 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety. Some are treatable, but the drugs can have serious side effects. It gets worse over time and there’s no cure yet.

Around half of all people with Parkinson’s will experience dyskinesia after just five years of taking levodopa, and up to 80 per cent of people will experience it after ten years of taking the medication.

In this study, the drug NLX-112 was tested in monkeys with Parkinson’s-like symptoms. The monkeys had developed the side effect of dyskinesia in response to levodopa treatment in a similar way to many people with Parkinson’s.

The study looked at the effect of NLX-112 both on its own and in combination with levodopa, to understand how it impacted both dyskinesia and Parkinson’s symptoms.

The results showed that NLX-112 successfully reduced dyskinesia and crucially, did not significantly reduce the effectiveness of levodopa, which many other similar drugs do.

Also Read- 2 Experimental Drugs Fail to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

When NLX-112 was used on its own (without levodopa), it again improved movement problems.

These promising results suggest that NLX-112 has potential as a future treatment for not only reducing dyskinesia, but also for improving the movement symptoms of Parkinson’s, said the study. (IANS)

Next Story

Researchers At IIT-Madras Develop AI Technology To Convert Brain Signals Into Language

Brain signals are typically electrical signals

0
Brain
Electrical signals, brain signals, or any signal in general, are waveforms which are decoded to meaningful information using physical law or mathematical transforms such as Fourier Transform or Laplace Transform. Pixabay

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) have developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to convert brain signals of speech impaired humans into language, the Institute said on Monday.

The researchers can potentially interpret nature’s signals such as the plant photosynthesis process or their response to external forces.

Electrical signals, brain signals, or any signal in general, are waveforms which are decoded to meaningful information using physical law or mathematical transforms such as Fourier Transform or Laplace Transform.

These physical laws and mathematical transforms are science-based languages discovered by renowned scientists such as Isaac Newton and Jean-Baptiste Joseph Fourier.

“The output result is the ionic current, which represents the flow of ions which are charged particles. These electrically driven ionic current signals are worked on to be interpreted as human language meaning speech. This would tell us what the ions are trying to communicate with us,” said study researcher Vishal Nandigana, Assistant Professor, Fluid Systems Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Madras.

“When we succeed with this effort, we will get electrophysiological data from the neurologists to get brain signals of speech impaired humans to know what they are trying to communicate,” Nandigana added.

The researchers are working on how these real data signal can be decoded into human languages such as English, and if the real data signal can be interpreted as a simple human language that all human beings can understand.

Brain signals are typically electrical signals. These are wave-like patterns with spikes, humps and crusts which can be converted into simple human language, meaning speech, using Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning algorithms.

Brain
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) have developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to convert brain signals of speech impaired humans into language, the Institute said on Monday. Pixabay

This enabled the researchers to read the direct electrical signals of the brain.

They tested this concept by getting experimental electrical signals through experiments in the laboratory to get signals from nanofluidic transport inside nanopores.

ALSO READ: Higher Poverty Associated with Increased Youth Suicide Risk: Researchers

The nanopores were filled with saline solution and mediated using an electric field, the Institute said in a statement. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s Why Automative Technology May Have Adverse Impact on Climate, Public Health

climate trade-off is much different on the regional scale, especially in areas with high vehicle densities

0
Technology
While automative technology is credited with boosting fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions, GDI engines produce more black carbon aerosols than traditional port fuel injection engines. Pixabay

New automotive technology that promises enhanced fuel efficiency may have a serious downside, including significant climate and public health impacts, a new study suggests.

The gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine is one of the most prominent technologies car manufacturers adopted to achieve the fuel economy and carbon dioxide emission goals established in 2012 by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

While this technology is credited with boosting fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions, GDI engines produce more black carbon aerosols than traditional port fuel injection engines, according to the study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

“Even though emissions from gasoline vehicles constitute a small fraction of the black carbon in the atmosphere, the vehicle emissions are concentrated in regions with high population densities, which magnifies their effect,” said study researcher Rawad Saleh, Assistant Professor at University of Georgia in the US.

The market share of GDI-equipped vehicles increased from 2.3 per cent in model year 2008 to 51 per cent in model year 2018. The EPA projects 93 per cent of vehicles in the US will be equipped with GDI engines by 2025. According to the study, researchers predicts the increase in black carbon emissions from GDI-powered vehicles will fuel climate warming in urban areas of the US that significantly exceeds the cooling associated with a reduction in CO2.

In addition, they believe the shift will nearly double the premature mortality rate associated with vehicle emissions, from 855 deaths annually to 1,599. The researchers estimate the annual social cost of these premature deaths at $5.95 billion. The increase of black carbon is an unintended consequence of the shift to GDI-equipped vehicles that some scientists suspected was based on experimental data, according to the researcher.

Technology
New automotive technology that promises enhanced fuel efficiency may have a serious downside, including significant climate and public health impacts. Pixabay

“This study is the first to place these experimental findings in a complex modeling framework to investigate the trade-off between CO2 reduction and an increase in black carbon,” Slah said. While previous research has reported the shift to GDI engines will result in net benefits for the global climate, the researchers said that these benefits are rather small and can only be realized on timescales of decades.

Meanwhile, the negative impact of black carbon can be felt instantaneously, they added.

ALSO READ: Everything About Off-Beat Cinema: The Newfangled Trend in Bollywood

“Our research shows the climate trade-off is much different on the regional scale, especially in areas with high vehicle densities. In these regions, the climate burden induced by the increase in black carbon dominates over the climate benefits of the reduction in CO2,” said Saleh. (IANS)