Milan, Italy (UPI) May 3, 2011
Italian scientists say they've created a battery for stimulating the brain to treat problems such as chronic pain, the aftereffects of strokes and depression.
Researchers at the Ca Granda Foundation at Milan's Policlinico university hospital and the Universita Statale have established a company to market the device, ANSA news agency reported Tuesday.
"Neuro-stimulation techniques have been spreading in clinical medicine over the last 20 years, especially where drugs are not effective or are not well-tolerated," the scientists said in a statement.
The device consists of two electrodes that are applied to the sides of the head and hooked up to a weak and continuous electrical current from a battery.
Sessions last a matter of minutes, the researchers said.
"This brings about functional cerebral modifications, without the individual feeling any sensation, which persist for hours after the current has been turned off."
The company says its battery is cheaper and easier to carry from place to place.
"It will permit an even greater spread of these techniques on a wide scale, including outside specialist research facilities," it said.
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Study: Memories change brain structure
Rome (UPI) May 2, 2011
European researchers say they've recorded changes in the brain as it learns and sorts what it has learned in a "clearing house" of memories. By analyzing the brains of mice at various stages of learning, Italian, Swiss and German scientists observed the brain modifying its structure and organization, making new connections while canceling some others out, Italian news agency ANSA report ... read more
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