Trepanation, the ancient practice of drilling a hole in your skull to relieve pressure on the brain, is now being studied as a possible treatment for dementia. The effort is being led by Russian neurophysiologist Yuri Moskalenko, now at the Beckley Foundation in Oxford. Apparently, dementia may be correlated with cranial compliance, a measure of how cerebrospinal fluid circulates around the brain. If that system gets mucked up, the brain doesn't function well. From New Scientist (image from Wikimedia Commons
Moskalenko studied 15 people who had undergone (trepanation) following head injuries. He found that their cranial compliance was around 20 per cent higher than the average for their age. Based on this, he calculates that a 4-square-centimetre hole increases cerebral blood flow by between 8 and 10 per cent, which is equivalent to 0.8 millilitres more blood per heartbeat (Human Physiology, vol 34, p 299). This, he says, shows that trepanation could be an effective treatment for Alzheimer's, and he even goes so far as to suggest that it might provide a "significant" improvement in the mental functions of anyone from their mid-40s, when cranial compliance starts to decline.
The Return of Trepanation
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
We just got the Sport model of the EPIKGO hoverboard at my office. Besides being terribly chic, it’s apparently bulletproof.
Ok, it’s not just solar powered. It’s also an anti-theft, waterproof marvel that keeps my phone’s power bar from ever getting into the red.Sure the idea seems obvious now – tuck a gigantic solar powered battery pack into an exposed slot and turn the wearer into a walking energy harvester. Simple maybe, but I didn’t […]
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]