Cogknow

Helping people with mild dementia to navigate their day

Poll

Which one of our four interest areas do you think is the most important to improve the life of a person suffering dementia?
Help he/she to remember
21%
Help on maintaining social contacts
22%
Help on performing daily life activities
42%
Enhance their feeling of safety
15%
Total votes: 73

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State of the Art of Assistive Technologies

There are 5.5 million caseElderly6s of Alzheimer in and more new cases per year. Alzheimer’s disease has been called the ‘plague of the 21st century’. Although nowadays there is no definitive cure for this disease many assistive technologies, which could contribute to smooth the needs of people with dementia and their informal carers, are being developed.

There is a wide range of associations and companies along the EU that are offering some kind of support for the persons with dementia and their carers. Most of them are informational websites that offers helpful information for carers, but seem less attuned to the person with dementia and do not offer personalized information. Assistive technology solutions, aimed at compensating for disabilities such as memory problems and daily activities, demonstrate that people with mild to moderate dementia are capable of handling simple electronic equipment and can benefit from it in terms of more confidence and enhanced positive effect.

To help people with dementia undertake specific types of time-linked tasks (e.g. taking medication, keeping appointments or following a daily schedule) various possibilities of automatic reminders via Electronic Memory Aids (EMAs) are explored, such as NeuroPage and MemoJog solutions. MemoJogThe first one is the most common and simple since it only uses an ordinary pager and that can be an advantage because of it easy use. The second one makes use of the new generation of mobile phones and palm top computing technologies to provide memory jogging messages to the user about upcoming activities for the day. On its hand, COGKNOW also offers several memory services that not only helps Alzheimer’s patients in their daily life activities but also provides them pleasure and comfort as well as ways to support their independence and communication with other people.

Besides training dementia patients’ brain and stimulating their memory with solutions as Smarbrain system, which not only stimulates but also develops the main cognitive capacities of adult people by training their memory, language, calculation and orientation, several services present in the market also considers relaxing and enjoying as other important activities in the daily life of Alzheimer’s people. As these services, COGKNOW has taken this aspect into account and not only centres in memory or daily activities such as eating as a lot of other assistive systems do. One of the main activities implemented is a music library that can be played by patients whenever they want to. This service will stimulate them and improve their feeling of comfort and happiness since in many studies researches suggest that music can have a strong effect on their mental stability.

People are more and more concerned about losing their independence at some point in their lives, be it through growing older, becoming ill or disabled. Organisations that support people living at home need to provide a safe environment and be certain the right services are provided at the right time. Fortunately, nowadays there are many different technologies and appliances specially designed and adapted to those needs. Patients can also buy many of these devices independently. TunstallCompanies such as Tunstall or Alares offer different services or products specially developed to enhance persons’ independence, health and feeling of well-being. People who need some king of support can buy devices that will help them avoiding emergency situations inside and outside home, but before doing so, they should contact their local authority social services or Supporting People departments.

Unfortunately, the specialized support is not growing at the same rate as elder population does and this makes necessary the development of technological systems, such as COGKNOW, to give the sufficient assistance. This involves that there are not enough products and services orientated to healthcare and life improvement of patients who suffer from Alzheimer. Nonetheless, although not specifically designed for dementia patients, there are European projects and systems developed to improve the life of persons with disabilities. In this way we find projects such as ALADIN , INHOME , MonAMI , OLDES or SHARE-it which correspond to the European IST (Information Society Technologies) Thematic Priority in the framework of AAL (Ambient Assisting Living) for the Ageing Society. They mainly focus on elderly people and the improvement of their quality of life. Intelligent home environments, assistive systems and the development of generic technologies for managing the domestic environment are some of the facilities that projects mentioned above offer to elderly. These could be also used by Alzheimer’s sufferers since some of their needs are similar to the elderly ones: supporting for memory and daily life activities and enhancing their feeling of safety inside and outside home.

doc@Home

Internet-based applications designed to provide carers with clinical, decision-making and emotional support, were evaluated in field trials and the preliminary results showed the system to be beneficial both to carers and people with dementia. As a consequence of that, several European projects (SOPRANO , TeleCARE and other private systems ([email protected] , SafetyNet) have been designed in order to provide a systematic approach to the management the care of patients with long term conditions or chronic disease in their own homes and other locations remote from the clinicians’ office. Besides this, these solutions also enable the provision of flexible individualised and supportive services and health care in order to promote independent living and integration of people with functional impairments into social life.

However, enhance Alzheimer patients’ feeling of safety might be the main need area most frequently mentioned as unmet by sufferers and their carers since they can live in a normal way, maintaining their contacts and doing their daily activities easily and calmly if they feel safe. With regard to this matter, the beneficial effects of computer systems have been observed on orientation, feelings of anxiety and independency in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Besides this, implementing monitoring technologies and detection devices or alarm systems inside and outside the home of elderly persons is potentially useful to enhance (perceived) safety and security of the person suffering from dementia as well as carers. COGKNOW shares this principle making use of several sensors and alarms that notify to the tenant if something goes wrong in the house. As a consequence of this and since COGKNOW is specifically designed to solve and help mild dementia patients, these people could find in this project an appropriate and satisfactory service.

Alzheimer disease mainly affects memory and mental functioning (e.g. thinking and speaking, etc.), but it can also lead to other problems such as confusion, changes of mood and disorientation in time and space. ColumbaGPSAccording to this last matter, in a study comparing four biomechanical activity devices to index wandering the Step Watch was found particularly able to assess amount and daily course of wandering behaviour in people with dementia. In this context, Boundary alarms (activated by a wristband) or electronic tagging with bracelets and monitoring stations were found to be effective, reliable and successful in detecting wandering as well as reducing patient and carer stress. This is the intention of some products such as SIMAP , Columba or Keruve , which make use of small, portable and discreet devices implementing new GPS technology in order to locate the person anywhere and all the time.

COGKNOW not only consider all these aspects, but also takes into account the possibility of showing the returning way to the wandered person. Carrying a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), Alzheimer’s patients could be located everywhere at any time as long as, besides Global Positioning System (GPS) that indicates the position on the PDA. Patients could also use the GPS to go to the place they want or even be helped by making a call to the emergency contact since the PDA has implemented GSM technology as well.

Summing up all the information previously showed and after revising the principal technologies and ways for helping people who suffer mild dementia, we can say that nowadays there are many products, devices and servicesCOGKNOW_PDA available in the market which can make the life of those persons easier as well as help carers and family members to take care of them. However, and despite all big efforts for covering most of Alzheimer’s sufferers needs, these people cannot find a service capable of helping them with their daily activities at the same time that it reinforces their memory, enhances their feeling of safety and maintaining their social contacts. That is the objective of COGKNOW system. All the devices integrated in its architecture cover and settle the needs shown in many studies of Alzheimer’s patients. Moreover, COGKNOW also uses all the currently industry standards and available technologies, which turns it into a solution of great value and help for people who suffer this ailment.

Call for Papers - Special Issue of Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research on eHealth and Services Compu

Call for Papers - Special Issue of Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research on eHealth and Services Computing in Healthcare

Guest Editors:

Carolyn McGregor (University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada)

Anthony Maeder, (University of Western Sydney, Australia)

Healthcare is often perceived to lag behind other industry sectors in its uptake and adoption of new technology. eHealth is one such technology which includes the areas of health informatics, electronic medical/patient records, clinical decision support, telehealth. The main purpose of eHealth is to provide better use of information in health care settings, to improve the quality of patient care and the efficiency of clinical processes. Many situations exist where the use of eCommerce principles would be appropriate to establish new eHealth solutions, and these warrant extensive research investigation. Services Computing has b een described as a cross-discipline that covers the science and technology of bridging the gap between Business Services and IT Services (IEEE Services Computing Community). This role is supported by Web services and service-oriented architecture (SOA), business consulting methodology and utilities, business process modelling, transformation and integration. The goal of Services Computing is to enable IT services and computing technology to perform business services more efficiently and effectively. Opportunities abound for the unique aspects of healthcare to drive fundamental computing and IT research together with leading applied research within the healthcare domain, that could potentially be reapplied to areas outside of healthcare.

This special issue invites papers with research contributions in the domain of eHealth and Services Computing in Healthcare. The topics include but are not limited to:

  • * Trends and Challenges for eHealth and/ or Services Computing in Healthcare
  • * Case Studies in eHealth and/or Services Computing in Healthcare
  • * Impact and benefits of eHealth and Services Computing in Healthcare
  • * Services Computing for intra and inter organization patient journeys
  • * Drivers and Barriers for adoption of Service Oriented Architectures in Healthcare
  • * Usage of mobile devices and patient surveillance systems for Healthcare Services
  • * Patient journey modeling in eHealth and/or Services Computing in Healthcare
  • * Quality of Service and Quality Assurance for eHealth and/or Services Computing in Healthcare
  • * Development and deployment of Service Oriented Architectures supporting Healthcare
  • * Legal and Regulatory requirements concerning electronic delivery of Healthcare Services
  • * New models of healthcare delivery supported by eHealth and/or Services Computing
  • * Healthcare Services performance issues (e.g. Availability, Reliabil ity and Security)
  • * Management and monitoring of eHealth and/or Services Computing in Healthcare
  • * Assessment, evaluation and evidence validation issues for Healthcare Information Systems
  • * Design, usability, ethics and other human factor issues for Healthcare Information Systems
  • * eHealth DBMS implementation issues including security, portability and mobility

Submission:

Authors are invited to submit original and significant research contributions in the aforementioned areas. Papers should not be previously published, or currently submitted for consideration elsewhere. Manuscripts must conform to the journal format (see http://www.jtaer.com/). All submissions will be reviewed according to the journal peer-review policy. Accepted papers will be published in the special issue on eHealth and Services Computing in Healthcare of the Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research (to appear in August 2009). Pleas e submit title and abstract as well as full papers under consideration of the deadlines given below to: [email protected]

Important Dates:

Abstract submission:    January 15, 2009

Full paper submission:    February 15, 2009

Author notification:     April 15, 2009

Camera ready version:    June 7, 2009

Nottingham City Council Unveils Pioneering Approach to Improving Care for People with Dementia

Nottingham City Council has announced the launch of an innovative service that uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to identify clothing belonging to individual residents, enhancing care provision for people with dementia, maintaining their identity and independence and promoting dignity in care.

The service is the first of its kind to be launched in the UK. RFID buttons from leading telecare specialist Tunstall are being introduced to all 142 residents across five specialist dementia units across Nottingham, which includes residents who visit for short-term care.

Seeing another resident in their clothing can cause confusion and distress to people with dementia and their families. RFID technology will be used to securely store data relating to individual residents, to ensure all clothing can be identified and returned correctly.

The technology will enable health and social care professionals to address the risk of infections such as MRSA and other skin-related issues and allergies, which is a concern for staff when washing residents’ clothes together. The buttons store specific requirements, ensuring individual needs are met discreetly and efficiently, and at the same time freeing up more staff time to focus on care delivery.

Councillor Dave Liversidge, Nottingham City Council's spokesperson for Adult Services, Housing and Health said: "As we continue to develop services for residents in our Care Homes for Older People, managers are constantly looking to promote, improve and maintain standards around person-centred care.

"The RFID buttons will help us to ensure that we meet those standards by being able to care for residents' clothes according to their individual wishes. It will also assist in ensuring that residents' clothes are easily identified and with their rightful owner."

Previously, residents in Nottingham had resorted to writing their names inside their clothing or sewing on name tags but both of these methods can damage the clothing and are undignified for older people.

The buttons have been designed to be easy to install but difficult to remove, so they cannot be taken off by accident or during washing. They can be programmed to store up to 200 characters, which can include the person's name, unit, room number and any other information that they may wish to keep private, providing residents with a personalised level of care.

Programming and scanning the buttons is performed by a mobile hand-held reader, which allows staff to quickly identify an individual item of clothing, eliminating the cost of replacing unclaimed garments and allowing more time to focus on caring for residents. Each button is also reusable and can be easily reprogrammed to update a resident's circumstances.

Residents that have been involved with the project have all been very positive about the initiative, as it provides them with the reassurance that the clothing they receive will be their own. This helps to preserve their identity and plays an important role in reducing anxiety and stress.

The service also provides invaluable reassurance to families that their relative is receiving personalised care and that they are being treated as an individual. Once established, families will also be sent an update of the success of the technology and by regularly engaging with family members and carers, Nottingham City Council is committed to making them part of the care process.

The scheme coincides with the Dignity in Care Campaign, which was launched by the former Minister for Care Services, Ivan Lewis MP. It aims to eliminate tolerance of indignity in health and social care services through raising awareness and inspiring people to take action.

As part of Nottingham's commitment to dementia services, the information from this project will be shared across the council’s intranet website to create best practice in the region.

To read a Case Study about Nottingham City's deployment of RFID buttons for laundry management visit www.tunstall.co.uk.

CALL FOR CHAPTER PROPOSALS: Pervasive and Smart Technologies for Healthcare: Ubiquitous Methodologies and Tools

CALL FOR CHAPTER PROPOSALS
Proposal Submission Deadline: October 30, 2008
Pervasive and Smart Technologies for Healthcare: Ubiquitous Methodologies and Tools

A book edited by Antonio Coronato and Giuseppe De Pietro
Institute for High Performance Computing and Networking - National Research Council, Italy

Introduction
Pervasive healthcare is an emerging discipline regarding the application of wireless, mobile and intelligent technologies to healthcare. Its main aim consists of making healthcare available to anyone, anytime, and anywhere.
Pervasive healthcare tries to provide solutions to a variety of new challenges for healthcare systems as the number of incidences of life-style related and chronic diseases increases. Pervasive healthcare has assisting in identifying solutions in such areas as:

i) the need to decentralize patient care from hospital to home;
ii) the need for improving disease prevention and self-care;
iii) the need to provide seamless and pervasive access to health care services.

In addition, pervasive healthcare is opening a wide range of innovative applications from remote monitoring of elder people or ill patients to new intelligent environments for healthcare (Eg. Intelligent Surgery Rooms, Smart Spaces for Doctor Consulting, etc.).

Objective of the Book
This book will aim to provide the state of the art and potentialities regarding the application of pervasive computing technologies, methodologies and tools in healthcare.

Target Audience
The target audience of this book will be composed of professionals and researchers working in the field of healthcare in various disciplines, e.g. engineering, medicine, economics, and ICT.

Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

* Enabling Technologies for Pervasive Healthcare
* Mobile Medical Devices
* Bio-Sensors and Body Sensor Networks
* Pervasive Computing in Hospitals
* Intelligent Emergency Response and Management
* Pervasive Computing at Home
* Patient Monitoring
* Ambient Assisted Living
* Pervasive Computing for Mobile Patients
* Mobile Telemedicine
* Location Based Medical Services
* Pervasive Access to Medical Data
* Pervasive and Immersive Cooperative Work Environments for Healthcare
* Security and Dependability of Pervasive Healthcare Applications
* Designing Pervasive Healthcare Applications
* Business Opportunities

Submission Procedure
Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before October 30, 2008, a 2-3 page chapter proposal clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter , and short biography (200-300 words). Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by November 15, 2008 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines.
Full chapters are expected to be submitted by February 15, 2009. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis.
This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), publisher of the "Information Science Reference" (formerly Idea Group Reference) and "Medical Information Science Reference" imprints. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit www.igi-global.com

Inquiries and submissions can be forwarded electronically (Word document) or by mail to:
Antonio Coronato or Giuseppe De Pietro

Institute for High Performance Computing and Networking - National Research Council
Via P. Castellino 111, 80131 - Italy
Tel.: +39. 0816139503 • Fax: +39. 0816139531 • GSM: +39. 3288647500
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.na.icar.cnr.it/pervhealth

3rd International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare 2009

Call for Papers

Pervasive healthcare is an emerging research discipline, focusing on
the development and application of pervasive and ubiquitous computing
technology for healthcare and wellness. Pervasive healthcare seeks to
respond to a variety of pressures on healthcare systems, including
the increased incidence of life-style related and chronic diseases,
emerging consumerism in healthcare, need for empowering patients and
relatives for self-care and management of their health, and need to
provide seamless access for health care services, independent of time
and place.

Pervasive healthcare may be defined from two perspectives. First, it
is the development and application of pervasive computing (or
ubiquitous computing, ambient intelligence) technologies for
healthcare, health and wellness management. Second, it seeks to make
healthcare available to anyone, anytime, and anywhere by removing
locational, time and other restraints while increasing both the
coverage and quality of healthcare.

The Pervasive Healthcare conference aims to gather together
technology experts, practitioners, industry and national authorities
contributing towards the development and application of
human-centered pervasive and ubiquitous computing technology for
healthcare and wellness.

CONTRIBUTIONS

We seek novel, innovative, and exciting work in areas including but not limited to:

Technology

  • Design and evaluation of patient and ambient-related sensors
  • Wearable and implantable sensor integration
  • Sensor networks for pervasive healthcare
  • Data fusion in pervasive healthcare environments
  • Physiological models for interpreting medical sensor data
  • Decision support algorithms for sensor analysis

User Needs

  • Usability and acceptability issues
  • Social implications
  • Coverage and delivery of pervasive healthcare services
  • Diversity of patients and their specific requirements
  • Telemedicine

Applications

  • Clinical applications, validation and evaluation studies
  • Pervasive healthcare applications for citizen for chronic disease management & health risk management
  • Health promotion, and disease prevention
  • Wearable, ambient and home based health and wellness measurement and monitoring technologies
  • Continuous vs event-driven monitoring of patients in diverse environments
  • Feedback

Management of Pervasive Healthcare

  • Business cases and cost issues
  • Electronic citizen-managed health records
  • Security and privacy in pervasive healthcare
  • Training of healthcare professional for pervasive healthcare
  • Legal and regulatory issues in pervasive healthcare
  • Insurance payments and cost aspects
  • Standards and interoperability in pervasive healthcare
  • Using mobile devices for healthcare information storage, update, and transmission

TYPE OF SUBMISSIONS

Pervasive Health will accept submissions in the following categories:

1 Full papers (6-8 pages submissions) - Full papers are submissions describing results and original research work not submitted or published elsewhere in one of the four main categories listed below.
Full papers should properly place the work within the field, cite
related work, and clearly indicate the innovative aspects of the work
and its contribution to the field.

2 Posters (3-4 pages submissions) - Authors are invited to submit
work in progress whose preliminary results are already interesting to
Pervasive Health audience. The poster track will give Pervasive
Health attendees a way to learn about ongoing research initiatives
and will provide presenters with an excellent opportunity to receive
invaluable direct feedback from experts.

3 Demos (2 pages submissions) - For the first time, Pervasive Health
Conference proposes a demo track that will showcase the latest
developments and prototypes related to the topics of interest of the
conference. The expected demo submissions should describe the demo
from both, the technical side and its contribution to healthcare
aspects.

4 Position Papers (2 pages submissions) - Position papers are
envisioned to provide insight into the lessons learnt from current
(industrial, practitioners, government, etc.) pervasive healthcare
practice. The position papers track is envisioned to provide the view
of practitioners to the pervasive health community in order to have a
more clear understanding about the real needs of healthcare operators
and in this way shorten the gap between technologists and the
every-day needs of practitioners.

5 Workshops (2 pages submissions) Several workshops will be run in
conjunction with the conference. The purpose of these workshops is to
discuss work in progress and explore opportunities for new research
related to pervasive healthcare. Proposals for workshops should be
submitted directly to the workshops co-chairs..

IMPORTANT DATES

Full papers, Posters, Demos & Position Papers due: December 5, 2008
Notification of Acceptance: February 8, 2009
Camera-ready Manuscripts due: February 27, 2009
Conference Dates: April 1 - 3, 2009

Margarita Anastassova
CREATE-NET
Post-Doc Researcher
Via alla Cascata, 56 C Building D - 38100 Trento - Italy
e-mail: [email protected]
Tel: (+39) 0461 314952
Fax: (+39) 0461 314972

International Conference on eHealth, Telemedicine, and Social Medicine eTELEMED 2009 February 1-6, 2009 - Cancun, Mexico

eTELEMED 2009 - Call for Papers

We are facing the generalization of digital society across multiple social areas. The globalization imposes the revision of the health costs a society can support. The progress in difference domains, such as image processing, wireless communications, computer vision, cardiology, and information storage and management assure a virtual team to access online to the latest achievements.

Processing medical data benefits now from advanced techniques for color imaging, visualization of multi-dimensional projections, Internet imaging localization archiving as well as from a higher resolution of medical devices.

Collecting, storing, and handling patient data requires robust processing systems, safe communications and storage, and easy and authenticated online access.

We assist to a unprecedented and rapid deployment of use of electronic imagery, navigation portals, positive attitude on telemedicine, distributed surgery teams, tele-cardiology, and remote medicine. Development of wireless homecare, of special types of communications with patient data, of videoconferencing and telepresence, and the progress in image processing and date protection increased the eHealth applications and services, and extended Internet-based patient coverage areas. Social and economic aspects as well as the integration of classical systems with the telemedicine systems are still challenging issues.

There are several dedicated events on these topics, usually concentrated on local problems (national), or geographical areas (Europe, Americas), as social and governmental rules may differ; eTELEMED 2009 considers advances in techniques, services, and applications dedicated to a global approach of eHealth, including a regard on federated aspects considering the mobility of population, the cross-nations agreements, and the new information technology tools.

HEALTHINF 2009

HEALTHINF 2009 - http://www.healthinf.org (the International Conference on Health Informatics) has an open call for papers, whose deadline is at the end of this month. We hope you can participate in this prestigious conference by submitting a paper reflecting your current research.

Technically co-sponsored by the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS), the Workflow Management Coallition (WfMC) and in cooperation with the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), HEALTHINF brings together top researchers and practitioners in several areas of Biomedical Engineering, from multiple areas of knowledge, including the application of information and communication technologies (ICT) to healthcare and medicine in general. Furthermore, this conference is also a meeting place for those interested in understanding the human and social implications of technology, not only in healthcare systems but in every aspect of human-machine interaction.

HEALTHINF will be held in Porto (Portugal) next year, on January 14 - 17. Paper submission deadline is scheduled for June 27.
The conference program includes a number of Keynote Lectures to be delivered by distinguished world-class researchers, including those listed below.

Submitted papers will be subject to a double-blind review process. All accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings, under an ISBN reference, in paper and in CD-ROM support. The proceedings will be indexed by several major international indexers, including INSPEC and DBLP. Additionaly, a selection of the best papers of the conference will be published in a book, by Springer-Verlag. Best paper awards will be distributed during the conference.

Further details can be found at the HEALTHINF conference web site (http://www.healthinf.org) This conference is co-located and part of the Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies (BIOSTEC www.biostec.org).

Workshops and special sessions are also invited. If you wish to propose a workshop or a special session, for example based on the results of a specific research project, please contact the secretariat.

Best regards,
Marina Carvalho
HEALTHINF Secretariat
Av. D.Manuel I, 27A 2ºesq.
2910-595 Setúbal, Portugal
Tel.: +351 265 520 185
Fax: +44 203 014 5436
Email: [email protected]

HC2009 - Shaping the Future 28-30 April 2009

Health Informatics Conference - April 28th – 30th 2009, Harrogate, UK.

HC2008 was our 25th anniversary. HC2009 marks a change in direction for the event. Developments over recent years mean that the way in which our participants confer, learn and network have changed. Following some changes for HC2008, we will make even more improvements for HC2009.

For HC2009 we will include more practical applications in the conference programme: more examples of good practice, good implementations and how to achieve them. And more to promote understanding of modern health and care practice and how informatics can enable and support that practice.

We still aim to meet the many and wide ranging needs of HC participants, making your investment of time and money worthwhile. HC2009 will provide more opportunities for suppliers of systems and services to participate in the conference as well as exhibiting. We will provide opportunities for you to share your work, find solutions to your current issues, and see systems and projects addressing similar areas.

The conference topics will include:
• Policy and strategy: latest developments
• Implementation of programmes: national progress and local experiences
• Leadership, professionalism, training and education
• Understanding health and care: how services are delivered
• Tele health and care / interactive care
• Supporting healthy living
• Process and IT enabled transformation of services
• Outcomes of leading/exemplar projects: what was achieved and how
• Health Informatics grand challenges 
• Using emerging technologies and future relevant technologies
• GIS and mapping for health promotion and other applications
• Supporting Health Informatics research

A new component from the nature could collaborate with Alzheimer

The Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative and progressive disease. Its incidence advances together with the individual’s age and it causes a severe deterioration in memory, thought and behaviour of the affected.

One of the main mechanisms involved in the origin of the disease is the lack of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that impinges greatly on brain processes and other cognitive functions.Alzheimer

On affected persons it is usually implemented a pharmacological treatment with medicines that inhibit an enzyme called cholinesterase, whose main function is the acetylcholine decomposition. Therefore, the enzymatic activity of the cholinesterase makes worse the frame and the course of the brain pathology.

In United States waste water, researchers of the University and the Federal Polytechnic of Zurich (EFPZ) found a species of blue alga that contains a promising substance for Alzheimer’s.

The substance found was already baptized with the name of nostocarboline, which derives from the name of the alga that contains it. This substance was analysed and according to the laboratory tests, it neutralizes the cholinesterase enzyme.

Moreover, during the evaluation of the nostocarboline it was observed that, with the exception of an atom of chlorine, its chemical structure is identical to the one of a molecule generated by the brain.

Everything indicates that the new natural substance can be greatly beneficial for the individuals who suffer this ailment.

Elderly7While many years may pass until a medicine based in this substance was synthesized. The treatment would be derived from a natural product and besides this, since it is structurally similar to a human being compound, it is probably that its tolerance will be much more favourable decreasing to a minimum the adverse effects of the pharmacotherapy.

This new discovery gives hope to a lot of persons that wait for a more natural and with better results alternative to face up the disease.

Via:

 

YouTube Video: Activity assistance for people with dementia

This video, developed by Niels Snoeck of the COGKNOW consortium,  demonstrates the Activity Assistance Module used in the second field trial of the European research project COGKNOW. This work is supported by the European Commission, Contract 034025.

 


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COGKNOW is funded by the European Comission within the IST-2005/2006-2.5.11 (Unit H3 - eInclusion) Contract #034025

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