Never mind the Jose Canseco method for dream control. MIT researchers have successfully reached inside the brains of rats and manipulated their dreams using an audio cue conditioned into them during the previous day. It’s a development that lends insight into the whole sleep/memory consolidation relationship.
Everything from magnetic stimulation of the brain to virtual reality therapy to heavy regimens of conventional pharmaceuticals (and even some, like MDMA and cannabis, that aren’t exactly conventional) has been floated as a potential treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and yet researchers have yet to find a method that wo
Just as the AK-47 rifle shifted the balance of power on battlefields the world over during the second half of the last century, the improvised explosive device (IED) has defined 21st-century insurgent warfare, allowing relatively low-tech warriors to inflict major damage on better-equipped conventional troops. IEDs have also left some 130,000 U.S. soldiers and marines suffering from traumatic brain injuries (TBI) that continue to affect them long after they leave the combat zone.
Nearly half the soldiers returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan are diagnosed with some kind of psychological condition, like post-traumatic stress disorder, brought on by specific battlefield experiences or traumatic brain injuries sustained during combat. To treat these mental battle scars, the new National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) will introduce state-of-the-art virtual reality technology that will help gently reintroduce soldiers to their experiences.
Just about everyone can think of some memory he or she would rather forget. For some, it's something like a relationship gone wrong, or high school. For others -- like soldiers returning from war zones -- those bad memories can be highly disruptive, impeding the ability to live a normal life. But Puerto Rican researchers may have found a way to reduce the fear associated with our memories by injecting a naturally occurring chemical directly into the brain, replacing anxiety with feelings of security.
War veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder have found unexpected relief from the banned drug MDMA, known more commonly as ecstasy. The psychedelic drug typically associated with hard-partying clubbers appears to cure PTSD entirely in some cases, Scientific American reports.
With so many troops rotating into and out of two different war zones, mental health experts in the U.S. are urgently trying to understand the causes – and a means to assuage or prevent – post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Now, a group of researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis VA Medical Center may have unlocked the secret to objective PTSD diagnosis: a biomarker in the brain that diagnoses the condition with more than 90 percent accuracy.
With nearly 1.8 million U.S. soldiers having rotated through Iraq and Afghanistan and another troop escalation expected in coming weeks, researchers are doing double-time to define the causes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to better serve troops returning from war. With two wars going and no end in sight, scientists have quite an abundance of subjects on which to carry out their research.
Psychiatrists have long observed that clinically depressed people speak in a certain slow, halting monotone pattern. Now voice-analysis software could pick up on those cues over the phone and alert nurses to possible depression in existing patients.
Scientists who plagiarize papers or make up data are sort of like teachers who sleep with their students -- there's just no good excuse, but that doesn't keep the guilty parties from trying to plead their case with really dumb reasoning.
Also in today's links: using printers to create bones, Ecstasy to treat soldiers, and Facebook to get attention for elephant seals.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.