Posted by: arisfil | March 16, 2008

Mind controls movement


What if your brain activated regions that could be translated in motion ? What if your brain could initiate a movement without moving your disabled limbs ? What if you could move a wheelchair with your mind ? 

This is not science fiction. This is current neuroscience and you can see and touch its utilization in practice. This is the neuroscience field that MAIA (Mental Augmentation through Determination of Intended Action) has evolved through scientific research.

MAIA aims at developing non-invasive prosthesis. In particular, a brain-computer interface recognizes the subject’s voluntary intent to do primitive motor actions on the order of milliseconds and conveys this intention to a robot that implements the necessary low-level details for achieving complex tasks.

MAIA is an example of applied neuroscience.  This initiative evolved the quality of life in the subgroup of persons with disabilities. Spine injury and its consequences are met in thousands of people suffering. This is an intitiative that European Union funds in order to help people with movement disabilities.


MAIA homepage

Posted by: arisfil | March 14, 2008

Coma definition reconsidered ?


  The “Persistent Vegetative State” has been a topic of rigorous debates among neuroscientists. The arguments were formed using the hot issue of brain perception. Does the patient understand and interact (through cognitive tasks) with the environment ? This is a difficult question that demands  a lot of insight and scientific evidence in order to be answered.

The case of a 23 years old woman tries to give us another perspective that before the era of fMRI was unknown. This woman was a victim of severe traumatic brain injury that led her to a “Persistent Vegetative State”. Researchers at the Medical Research Council’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit and in Academic Neurosurgery in Cambridge, in collaboration with colleagues in Liege revealed something new to the scientific community. They were able to observe thoughts and congitive mind tasks in response to commands! This observation was demonstrated  with the implementation of fMRI. When this patient was told to imagine walking or playing tennis, the fMRI images correlated to brain regions that should be activated in healthy individuals carrying the same tasks! Furthermore these fMRI tests indicated that this person could recognize speech! The findings of this research were published in Science (Naccache L. PSYCHOLOGY: “Is she concious ?”. Science 8 September 2006: Vol. 313. no. 5792, pp. 1395 – 1396).


So coma and persistent vegetative state should be reconsidered ? How we define situations that our present knowledge and technological aspects sculpture in our scientific minds ? The implementation of fMRI has showed that the understanding of brain, perception and interaction with the environment can now be reformed. The understanding of our world through science is interpreted using an idea, an observation, an experiment and a verification but this interpretation has to do with the tools we use to approach the unseen. The evolution of technology may reveal unseen truths about brain…



Posted by: arisfil | March 11, 2008

Neurosurgery live

Parkinson Surgery 

The OR-Live website ( offers the ability to watch live various surgical procedures. Its content applies mainly to patient-directed education. I hereby submit the links concerning Neurology and Neurosurgery. The site also hosts a podcast service for those interested.

These links are provided for patients or individuals that are interested in Neurosurgical procedures.

 OR-Live Neurosurgical procedures


OR-Live website © OR-Live, Inc. 2000-2008 


Posted by: arisfil | March 11, 2008

Cerebral bypass


What is cerebral vascularization (bypass) ? Which are the techniques used ? Are there any specific indications or complications ?

This is the topic that Neurosurgical Focus © of March 2008 tries to illuminate.  Various papers from leading authors in the field of cerebral vascularization try to assembly this knowledge to a single publication. Traditional techniques are discussed as well the emerging ELANA (Excimer Laser-Assisted Nonocclusive Anastomosis) evolved by Prof F. Tulleken. 

 All articles are FREE to download.

Neurosurg Focus. 2008;24(2)

Neurosurgical Focus © 1990-2008 by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons


Posted by: arisfil | March 7, 2008



Encephalos Blog reaches today 1000 hits! This was accomplished in a month and it is attributed to all of you that support the site. 

Thank you all for your contribution! A big thanks for your interest. 

It is a commitment to continue…  

Posted by: arisfil | March 6, 2008

Clip or Coil ?


This is the dilemma that cerebrovascular neurosurgery concerning cerebral aneurysms has to answer in everyday practice. Endovascular neurosurgery has entered the world of aneurysms. The results compared to open microneurosurgical procedures, undergo careful research and study. ISAT (International Subarachnoid Aneurysm Trial) study published in Lancet (2002 and 2005) revealed that the subgroup of patients that met the inclusion criteria and received coil embolization had a greater likelihood of being independent at 1 year (2002). A follow-up analysis in 2005 revealed that this effect appeared durable “for at least 7 years”.

In the follow-up study published in JNS  (J Neurosurg 108:437–442, 2008) by Mitchell et al, further consideration should affect our neurosurgical decision. The question addressed is whether patient’s age affects the decision of clipping an aneurysm or embolizing it. The authors concluded that in patients under 40, clipping would be likely to result in better long-term outcome than embolization. But what is the factor that rendered this difference in relation to age ? The study indicated that rebleeding rates should be more carefully studied. It was found that postprocedural rebleeding rates were higher in the coil embolization group. The rebleeding rate is related to age so a younger patient treated by embolization may show a greater rebleeding rate that an older patient with similar SAH characteristics.


The authors show us a well structured follow-up analysis and utilize the results of the best up-to date trial concerning SAH. A lot of biases are acknowledged by the authors. These results use a specific subgroup of patients (<25% of the total SAH). Life expectancy should also be considered. Endovascular neurosurgery is going to face an extended technical upgrade the following years. What about unruptured aneurysms ? Can these assumptions applied to posterior circulation aneurysms and middle cerebral aneurysms ? The dilemma stays strong and Professor R. Heros designs the route: “patients with SAH benefit from being cared for a center where both open microsurgery and endovascular surgery are available and where ideally the recommendation of one or the other form of therapy is tailored to each patient with relative freedom from disciplinary or financial biases“.

Papers update:

Mitchell et al, Could late rebleeding overturn the superiority of cranial aneurysm coil embolization over clip ligation seen in the International Subarachnoid Aneurysm Trial? J Neurosurg 108:437–442, 2008 – FREE ARTICLE 

Heros RCJ Neurosurg. 2008 Mar;108(3):433-5.

Molyneux et al, International Subarachnoid Aneurysm Trial (ISAT) of neurosurgical clipping versus endovascular coiling in 2143 patients with ruptured intracranial aneurysms: a randomised trial, Lancet. 2002 Oct 26;360(9342):1267-74. – ABSTRACT

Molyneux et al, International subarachnoid aneurysm trial (ISAT) of neurosurgical clipping versus endovascular coiling in 2143 patients with ruptured intracranial aneurysms: a randomised comparison of effects on survival, dependency, seizures, rebleeding, subgroups, and aneurysm occlusion. Lancet. 2005 Sep 3-9;366(9488):809-17 – ABSTRACT 

GOOGLE GROUPS Encephalos Discussion Thread:

Cerebral Aneurysms – Clip or Coil ?

Posted by: arisfil | March 1, 2008

Encephalos Blog goes MOBILE

New options are available for Encephalos Blog readers!

Now you can bookmark our mobile version RSS feed with:

Encephalos MOBILE RSS Feed Feed2MobileButton

also available at the sidebar 

or you can choose the QR Code for compatible mobile readers:

Encephalos QR Code Feed2Mobile     Encephalos Feed2Mobile QR Code Link


also available at the sidebar

Encephalos SemacodeEncephalos Semacode Link (

Encephalos QR CodeEncephalos QR Code Link ( 

Posted by: arisfil | March 1, 2008

Semacode and QR code

Encephalos QR CodeEncephalos  QR code®  Encephalos SemacodeSemacode®

These two pictures will lead to Encephalos homepage (, when scanned with appropriate software.

Encephalos blog is QR code® and Semacode® ready (see sidebar).

But what are these codes ? The search for fast, accurate, and condensed information was always a must. Various technics were implemented in order to categorize items, promote sells, manage accounts and ticket management. This effort led to the genesis of barcode, which is a bar of parallel lines with varying width that represent a series of numbers. But what if I want to store more info, since the barcode is a one dimensional code ? What if I want to store programs, diagrams, webpages, contacts, and in general STRUCTURED INFORMATION ? What if I want to implement error correction codes in this info ? The questions raised, found an answer at the invention of Semacodes by Semacode corporation and QR Codes by by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994.

How neuroscience is related to Semacodes and QR codes ?

This is an ongoing project where nerve sensor and actuator data are going to be matched with multidimensional structured code. This blog will provide you with updates. Just stay tuned…

Read: sem@codeDenso-Wave

*Software for reading and scanning Semacodes and QR CodesSemacode reader®Semacode and QR Code generatoriMatrix® QR code reader for iPhone®Quickmark®i-nigma® reader, Neoreader®

GOOGLE GROUPS Encephalos Discussion Thread: click

All copyrights are attributed to the appropriate licensees…

Posted by: arisfil | February 29, 2008

Encephalos Google group

Encephalos Google Group Clip 

Encephalos Google group has been initiated!

You may visit this group and become a discussion member by using the following Google box. This box will be permanently sited at the sidebar of this blog for future referencing or subscription. For those that need a link to the group, just use

This is an open invitation to the scientific community. If you want to become a member just let me know.

Knowledge is created in order to be shared…

Google Groups
Visit this group
Posted by: arisfil | February 28, 2008

Stroke Update

Intracerebral hemorrhage Hemorrhagic Stroke, Intracerebral Hemmorhage 

The proceedings of the International Stroke conference 2008 during February 20 – 22, in New Orleans, Louisiana, provided us with an interesting fact. Two independent researches, concerning the epidemiology of stroke, revealed an interesting parameter. The risk for in hospital mortality concerning strokes is statistically significant higher when they occur during after hours and weekends! 

The first study conducted by the team of the associate professor of neurology at Michigan State University, Matthew Reeves and revealed that these findings were related to the hemorrhagic strokes. The second study conducted by the team of the associate professor of neurology at the University of California, Los Angeles, David Liebeskind. His team found that this strange increase in mortality was demonstrated in all stroke cases! These findings were also verified by similar findings from research groups in Canada and Europe.

The interesting fact is that the difference found is about 5% in the studied groups. So the change in a hospital’s management during weekends and after-hours could probably reverse this 5% factor!

studies presented at

International Stroke Conference: Abstracts P174, P540. February 20, 2008 and February 21, 2008.  

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