Scientists Report That This Brain Implant Improves Memory

By: Sarah Greeley

February 7, 2018


A brain implant that scientists have developed boosts memory and is said to treat dementia, brain injuries and other problems that negatively affect the memory. The implant works sending electrical pulses to help the brain when it’s having trouble storing new information.

The research for the tests led by scientists from the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University reported last year that the implant helps the memory when the brain is struggling.

A test led by these scientists was shown that the device improved word memory by 15 percent. 15 percent is around the amount that the Alzheimer’s disease takes over the course of two and a half years.

Although this device is said to work, it is still under research and experiments being that the implant has only been tested on people with epilepsy.

The implant has been worked on for years of work, always trying to make improvements. The research consisted in testing this implant on more than 25 people before they go into surgery, who have epilepsy. The doctors make lines of electrodes to the brain, with the patient’s consent, and wait for them to have a seizure. When the seizure occurs, they wait to see if the surgery can prevent it. Many times the doctors put the electrodes inside the memory parts of the brain, making the wait up to weeks in the hospital.

The team then asked the patient’s to list off a list of words, after they told them to memorize it. Seeing how well they can recall said words. The research team noticed a different pattern in everyone when their memory worked, and when the memory didn’t work.

To get this study to work with comparison, some of the patients had their device turned on and some turned off, so that they can see the difference between the memories. People did 15 percent better when the implant was turned on, on average.

David Mabrey, a participant in this study, explained how the testing was done. He stated that he couldn’t tell whether the device was turned on or off, and he couldn’t tell whether his memory was better or not.

Although the implant seems good enough, it still has some issues to it. The electrodes need to be placed in a certain way and you are also undergoing surgery to get this done. The implant is still being worked on and improved to this day, but the doctors and scientists are still trying to find a way to improve memory in illness.

Dr. Kahana, who is part of this study, said that the implants can improve memory better if they were digging out the memory, rather than putting in storage.

The surgery is so complex, being that the electrodes have to be placed in the brain in certain spots. So this surgery would most likely only by reserved to severe and important cases. This surgery would also not be available to medical students’ practice.


How The Patriots Were Tricked In The Super Bowl

By: Cameron LaBree – 09 February 2018

The Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII. On February 4th, 2018, a chilly Sunday evening in Minneapolis (US Bank Stadium), the two elite football teams battled it out in the biggest game of the year. Nick Foles, a backup quarterback for the Eagles replacing the injured Carson Wentz, came into the game as a serious underdog against Tom Brady of the Patriots, who is arguably the greatest quarterback of all time. Despite this, Foles threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns, propelling his squad to their first Super Bowl title since 1960. Tom Brady also performed well, throwing for 505 yards in the game, breaking his own Super Bowl passing yards record. In the end, Nick Foles finished as the Super Bowl’s most valuable player, and a trick play, involving a touchdown catch from a tight end, helped Foles take home the honor.

The play came right after Foles’ only significant mistake of the night. In the second quarter with the Eagles leading the Patriots 15-6, Foles was leading his team down the field for another scoring opportunity. However, his pass to receiver Alshon Jeffery was tipped into the arms of Patriots cornerback Duron Harmon. The Patriots quickly turned the interception into a touchdown to decrease the deficit to 15-12. On their next possession, Nick Foles got the Eagles deep into New England territory, and what happened next shocked the world

Coach Doug Pederson proceeded to call a trick play (he called it the Philly Special) that the Patriots had used against the Eagles several years ago. With only two minutes remaining in the first half, the Eagles advanced to the Patriot’s one yard line, after a 55-yard catch-and-run by running back Corey Clement. When fourth down approached, Foles lined up in a shotgun formation, proceeded to walk forward, slide to his right, and screamed, “Kill, kill.” He then tapped the rear end of right tackle Lane Johnson, as if he were delivering new signals to the offensive line. Then, in the blink of an eye, the ball was snapped to Clement, who pitched it to tight end Trey Burton, who galloped to his right. The New England defense was disoriented, and in the confusion, Foles slipped undetected into the right side of the end zone. Burton, who actually played quarterback at the University of Florida, found him wide open for the touchdown.

This score was crucial, putting the Eagles up, 22-12, at halftime. This play shifted the momentum of the game in favor of the Eagles, and Nick Foles had made history. With the reception, he became the first player ever to throw and catch a touchdown in the Super Bowl. Frank Reich, the Eagles offensive coordinator, said his team had been working on the play for several weeks, but had actually planned on using it in the NFC Championship against the Minnesota Vikings. Nonetheless, the play had a significant effect on the game, as the Eagles held onto their lead in the second half. Pederson will go down in history as a coach who was gutsy enough to call a risky play against the greatest football franchise of this generation, and this call paid off big time for the Philadelphia Eagles.


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