Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
By implanting tiny electrodes into the sensory cortex of a paralyzed man’s brain, researchers for the first time have helped him experience the sensation of touch in his mind-controlled robotic arm. According to The Washington Post, the implanted electrodes received signals from a robotic arm, and when a researcher pressed the fingers of the prosthesis, 30-year-old Nathan Copeland was able to feel the pressure in the fingers of his paralyzed right hand. This was accomplished by effectively bypassing his damaged spinal cord. The experiment has been repeated over several months with Copeland, and the results offer a breakthrough in the restoration of the ability to feel in individuals with paralyzed limbs.
New study findings may provide a way for HIV patients to manage their disease without taking drugs each day for the rest of their lives, reported the Los Angeles Times. In a clinical trial using monkeys, researchers discovered that by augmenting the standard treatment for HIV with a lab-developed antibody, the monkeys were able to enter a state of sustained remission. Involved in the experiment were 8 monkeys, all of which kept the virus at low or undetectable levels for at least 9 months after treatment ended. Furthermore, some have been in a state of sustained remission for almost 2 years. The authors noted that the findings may lead to improved quality-of-life for HIV patients.
The commonly used treatment for prostate cancer, androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), was found to more than double the risk of developing dementia, according to The New York Times. Although prior studies have linked ADT to the increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and depression, the current study took all types of dementia into consideration. For the study, researchers reviewed 9272 men with prostate cancer diagnosed between 1994 and 2013 who had no prior diagnosis of dementia. The results of the study showed that after 5 years, the absolute increased risk of dementia was 7.9% in patients who received ADT, compared with 3.5% for those who did not. Additionally, patients who received ADT for a year or more were found to have the highest increased risk. Authors noted that since this was a retrospective study, it cannot prove cause-and-effect. However, low testosterone levels have been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, which is a known risk factor for dementia.