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Researchers have taken a key step towards recovering specific brain functions in sufferers of brain disease and injuries by successfully restoring the decision-making processes in monkeys.
In the next phase of the study, a drug known to disrupt cognitive activity, cocaine, was administered to the animals to simulate brain injury. When the animals repeated the image-selection task, their decision-making ability decreased 13 percent from normal. However, during these "drug sessions," the MIMO prosthesis detected when the animals were likely to choose the wrong image and played back the previously recorded "correct" neural patterns for the task. According to the study findings, the MIMO device was exceedingly effective in restoring the cocaine-impaired decision-making ability to an improved level of 10 percent above normal, even when the drug was still present and active. "The basis for why the MIMO prosthesis was effective in improving performance was because we specifically programmed the model to recognize neural patterns that occurred when the animals correctly performed the behavioral task in real time, which is a unique feature of this particular device," said Robert E. Hampson, Ph.D., associate professor of physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest Baptist, and lead author of the study.
Justin Street, a father of two, had gone to Kasia Rivera, 35, on May 5 seeking a penile enlargement procedure, which prosecutors say Rivera advertised for in fliers posted at local businesses. Rivera, who performed the procedures in her apartment, allegedly with no medical license or training, administered a silicone shot to Street’s penis, according to prosecutors.Street died the next day of a silicone embolism.
There are probably going to be a bunch of ethical arguments over applying an expensive invasive potetnially dangerous treatment to peopel who will likely only have a few more years life in any case.