Sunday, October 26, 2014

Something every geeky neuropsychologist should have

With thanks to Les Posen who forwarded the link.

A New Zealand company Brainform offers 3D prints of your own brain from MRI scan files. $430 full scale, $140 half-size. Just the cortex, mind you, no subcortical structures included. No cerebellum either, which the website explains by saying:
"Partly because it looks like a scrotum, partly because the cortex is the most interesting to look at, and partly because sometimes the details of it don't segment out from scans that well."

If you don't have an MRI scan, you can always participate in research that requires an MRI - the site offers a free service linking clients with researchers that are looking for participants (this is also worth knowing if you are looking for subjects). If you don't feel like getting a scan, you can get a stock brain for $360 full scale or $100 half size.

I'm so tempted,


A video of a symposium on brain plasticity and healing - with ridiculous number of celebrities

Two days ago University of Alabama had a very interesting symposium. They invited Dalai Lama to discuss brain plasticity with Michael Merzenich  -  who can well be called a father of the whole discipline. To top it up, the symposium was moderated by Dr Norman Doige, the author of the book The Brain that Changes Itself. This is celebrity cast on steroids. I'm looking forward to watching it tonight.

The video of the symposium can be found on:

A warning - the video appears to be almost 3 hours long, although the comment on the front suggests that the event starts at the 26 minute mark.



Thursday, October 23, 2014

iPad testing in Multiple Sclerosis

There is an interesting test for Multiple Sclerosis progression that uses the iPad in a very different way - attaching it to the back to assess walking and balance, clipping an apparatus to the screen to assess manual dexterity in a pegboard-like task, and a test very similar to coding, but done entirely on the iPad. Check here for a video summary and the full text of the article by Rudick, R. A., Miller, D., Bethoux, F., Rao, S. M., Lee, J. C., Stough, D., et al. The Multiple Sclerosis Performance Test (MSPT): An iPad-Based Disability Assessment Tool. J. Vis. Exp. (88), e51318, doi:10.3791/51318 (2014) for the full info.

Worth seeing to realize how much the iPad can actually do to facilitate testing.



A new bunch of gadgets for the elderly

I found a new site with a multitude of cool medical gadgets. The ones for the elderly are on

I am not sure whether I am impressed or truly spooked. How would you like a chair that measures vital signs through your butt? Just being released by EarlySense from Waltham, Massachusets. Or maybe an airbag for the elderly that opens up when they are falling to protect the hips? A true non-fashion statement, considering that you have to wear it outside your clothes. How about sensors that dob you in to your children if you did not make coffee in the morning? The gizmo in question monitors the use of small appliances to detect if something has happened to an elderly person living alone.

And this is only the first page of the gadgets. Go and have a look.