Medical researchers are increasingly encouraged that light and sound therapy could be effective in halting the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s, the irreversible brain disorder that causes disorientation and dementia in aging populations (older than 65), afflicts more than five million people in the United States alone. Currently, there is no cure.
A study published by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), however, suggests that stimulation of the visual and audio cortex could be an effective, non-invasive treatment for the disease. People living with Alzheimer’s disease may also be able to administer this treatment themselves in their own time and space.
A New Schizophrenia Treatment Allows Patients to Yell Back at the Voices in Their Head and It's Incredibly Effective
There are more than 21 million people suffering from schizophrenia worldwide. Most commonly associated with hearing hallucinatory voices that threaten and insult, schizophrenia can affect people’s ability to maintain employment or healthy relationships. With 25 percent of symptoms being resistant to traditional therapies, a promising study found people with this condition can reduce or even eliminate their symptoms by talking back to an avatar designed to mimic the voices in their head.
Researchers from King’s College in the UK conducted the first large scale study using avatars to help people with schizophrenia overcome the power of voices in their head. This “avatar therapy”—invented by Prof Julian Leff, from University College London in 2008—uses a computer program to allow patients to design faces for these voices, including details such as race, face shape, skin color, eyebrows, etc. During the session, the therapist sits in another room and uses software to speak, mimicking the voice as indicated by the patient.
A new study published in Science reports the development of an antibody that can treat and even prevent HIV infection. The International AIDS Society considers this advancement an “exciting breakthrough” in the fight against the virus, which claims an average of 1 million people a year.
A collaboration between pharmaceutical company Sanofi and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including scientists from Harvard Medical School, The Scripps Research Institute, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the study found a way to target 99 percent of known HIV strains by enhancing already existing antibodies found in some but not all HIV-positive people.