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AI Implant Allows Stroke Survivor to Communicate in Both Spanish, English

A bilingual brain implant has allowed a stroke survivor to communicate in both Spanish and English, scientists report.

Turning to an AI method known as a neural network, researchers trained the patient's implant to decode words based on the brain activity produced when he tried to articulate those words, and then display those words and sentences on a screen.

This method allows t...

Few People Get Infected Heart Devices Removed, Despite Benefit

When implanted heart devices get infected, doctors recommend surgery to remove them, but many patients ignore that advice, a new study reveals.

More than eight in 10 patients with an infected implant (such as a defibrillator or pacemaker) choose antibiotic treatment instead, t...

Computer Helps 'Locked-In' ALS Patients Communicate, Shop Online

A handful of "locked-in" amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients can now work a laptop computer using their brain waves, thanks to an implant lodged in a major vein inside their skull.

The implant - a stent lined with 16 miniscule electrodes - is nestled in a vein located near the motor cortex of complete...

Brain Implant for Adults With Epilepsy Can Help Kids, Too

A brain implant that helps control severe epilepsy in adults may do the same for children who suffer from unrelenting seizures, new research suggests.

The study is one of the first to examine the responsive neurostimulation (RNS) system in children.

RNS has already been approved b...

Could Cochlear Implants Cause Harm to Hearing Over Time?

People who get cochlear implants to treat severe hearing loss may develop new bone growth in the ear -- and it may lessen any hearing they have left, a new study hints.

The researchers found that among 100-plus adults with cochlear implants, two-thirds showed evidence of new bone formation near the implant within four years. And of patients who still had some hearing when they received th...

Getting a Pacemaker Can Raise Odds for Opioid Abuse

People who are prescribed opioid painkillers after receiving a heart pacemaker or defibrillator may be at risk for opioid abuse -- and the higher the initial dose, the greater the risk, according to a new study.

"The significance of this study is to make other electrophysiologists aware that even a low-risk procedure like a pacemaker or a defibrillator can lead to chronic opioid use and t...

Coming Soon: A Wearable Device to Predict Epileptic Seizures

Claire Wiedmaier experiences epileptic seizures so bad that she's broken teeth while in their grip.

"I have some fake teeth. I broke my two bottom front teeth," said Wiedmaier, 23, of Ankeny, Iowa, who these days can expect to have at least four seizures a month.

Knowing when to expect a seizure would be a big help to her.

"It would be nice to know, because then I could get so...

Could Nose Cartilage Help Repair Worn-Out Knees?

When people have knee arthritis, cartilage cushioning the joint progressively breaks down. Now an early study hints at a possible solution: replacing it with cartilage from the nose.

Researchers tested the approach in just two patients with knee arthritis, and said much work lies ahead.

But the initial findings, published Sept. 1 in

  • Amy Norton HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 2, 2021
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  • FDA Approves First Nerve-Stimulation Device to Aid Stroke Recovery

    A first-of-a-kind nerve stimulation treatment for people who have problems moving their arms after a stroke has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

    "People who have lost mobility in their hands and arms due to ischemic stroke are often limited in their treatment options for regaining motor function," explained Dr. Christopher Loftus. He is acting director of the FDA's ...

    Could Electrode 'Pulses' Cut Back, Leg Pain Without Drugs?

    A new approach to spinal cord stimulation may drastically reduce chronic back pain, a small pilot study suggests.

    The study, of 20 patients with stubborn low back pain, tested the effects of implanting electrodes near the spinal cord to stimulate it with "ultra-low" frequency electrical pulses.

    After two weeks, 90% of the patients were reporting at least an 80% reduction in their pa...

    Smart Phones, Watches Can Mess With Implanted Pacemakers

    Do you have an implanted defibrillator or pacemaker? Try keeping your smart watch or smart phone a few inches away from them.

    New research from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finds that your phone or watch could interfere with implanted heart devices.

    Based on the new findings, heart patients and health care providers should be aware of potential risks, the research team...

    Exercise Boosts Survival for People With Implanted Defibrillators

    Just small amounts of exercise can benefit people with implanted heart defibrillators, new research shows.

    An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a battery-powered device placed under the skin to detect abnormal heart rhythms and deliver an electric shock to restore a normal heartbeat.

    The new study found that even slight increases in physical activity reduced the risk o...

    Coming Soon: An Implanted Pacemaker That Dissolves Away After Use

    Researchers are reporting early success with a temporary heart pacemaker that simply dissolves when it's no longer needed.

    So far the work has been limited to animals and human heart tissue studied in the lab. But experts said the early findings are "exciting" and could eventually change the care of patients who need a pacemaker for only days to weeks.

    Pacemakers are devices that ar...

    His Implanted Microchip Could Help Save Him From a Stroke

    Norman Mayer, 86, walks around with a computer chip in his chest and doesn't think a thing about it.

    Doctors implanted a tiny heart monitor chip in Mayer's chest after he suffered a mini-stroke in late 2015, to track his heartbeat and potentially detect an irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation (a-fib).

    "You don't even know it's there," said Mayer, the sitting mayor of th...

    Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy May Help Parkinson's Patients Long Term

    Parkinson's disease patients can get symptom relief with deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy that lasts over the long term, a new study shows.

    Over 15 years, patients who received DBS, which requires surgical implantation, had significant improvement in motor symptoms and less need for medication, researchers found.

    "Our study, for the first time, supports the efficacy of deep brai...

    What Type of Stent Did I Get, Where? Most Heart Patients Don't Know

    When someone comes in for a new heart stent, it's critical that the medical team doing the procedure knows several key facts about previous stents the patient has had.

    But fewer than half of patients receiving a stent were still carrying the stent card that has those details with them, a new study finds.

    Most of them - about 88% - do carry their phones, according to study author D...

    Magnets in Cellphones, Smartwatches Might Affect Pacemakers, FDA Warns

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning that strong magnets in some cellphones and smartwatches can interfere with pacemakers and other implanted medical devices.

    Studies have shown that these high-strength magnets may cause some implants to switch to "magnet mode," stopping normal functioning until the magnet is moved away from the device.

    Many implants have a "magnet mode...

    Worry, Depression Can Plague Folks Who Get Implanted Defibrillators

    An implanted heart defibrillator is a life changer in more ways than one. More than one in 10 patients who receive the device also developed anxiety or depression, a new study reveals.

    The findings highlight the need for regular screening of patients who receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) in order to identity those who may require additional mental health support, acc...

    Implant May Improve Lives of Those With Serious Balance Disorder

    An inner-ear implant may help people with a debilitating balance disorder get steady on their feet again, an early study suggests.

    The study involved eight patients with bilateral vestibular hypofunction (BVH). The disorder arises from a problem in the balance system of both inner ears, leading to chronic dizziness and instability when standing or walking.

    Researchers found that su...

    Dislocation Risk After Hip Replacement Higher Than Thought: Study

    Hip dislocations are much more common in people who've had total hip replacements than previously reported, Danish researchers say.

    The investigators analyzed data from Denmark and found that the rate of hip dislocations within two years after total hip replacement was 3.5%. That's roughly 50% higher than some previous estimates.

    More than 40% of patients with dislocations had at le...

    MRIs Might Be Safe for Patients With Implanted Heart Devices

    For years, people with implanted heart devices have been told they can't undergo MRI scans. But a new study adds to evidence that, with certain measures in place, the procedure is safe.

    The study focused on patients with older pacemakers and implantable defibrillators that were not designed to be more compatible with MRI scanners. The researchers found that when a particular protocol ...

    FDA May Put Strong Warning on Breast Implants

    Before receiving breast implants, women should be told of the possible risks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says in a draft proposal.

    The agency suggests a boxed warning and a checklist outlining potential harms, such as pain, fatigue and further surgery.

    "We have heard from many women that they are not fully informed of the risks when considering breast implants. T...

    Next-Gen Artificial Pancreas Boosts Blood Sugar Control

    The latest version of the so-called artificial pancreas system helped people with type 1 diabetes gain even better control of their blood sugar levels than current technology does, a new study reports.

    The device combines an insulin pump, a continuous glucose monitor and a computer algorithm. The system measures blood sugar levels and delivers insulin automatically when levels rise. ...

    Deep Brain Stimulation May Relieve Ringing in the Ears: Study

    Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) can make life miserable, but a brain implant may help, preliminary research suggests.

    In a phase 1 trial of five patients whose severe tinnitus did not respond to other treatments, deep brain stimulation (DBS) diminished the ringing in four. The fifth patient received no relief, the researchers reported.

    In DBS, electrodes are implanted in th...

    Pacemakers, Insulin Pumps Could Be Hacking Targets: FDA

    Medical devices that can connect to the internet might be at risk for hacking, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Tuesday.

    "While advanced devices can offer safer, more convenient and timely health care delivery, a medical device connected to a communications network could have cybersecurity vulnerabilities that could be exploited resulting in patient harm," said Dr. Amy Abe...

    Bans Not Keeping Drivers With Implanted Defibrillators off the Road

    One in three patients who have implanted devices for irregular heartbeats still drive, despite being banned from getting behind the wheel, a new Danish study finds.

    It looked at more than 2,500 patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), which deliver an electric shock to correct potentially deadly abnormal heart rhythms.

    Some ICD patients are healthy enough ...

    Airport Scanners OK for People with Implanted Heart Devices: Study

    It appears to be safe for people with implantable heart devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators to go through body scanners at airport security checkpoints, researchers say.

    Body scanners are becoming increasingly common worldwide.

    But some people are concerned that they may be a source of electromagnetic interference (EMI) that could disrupt implantable devices used t...

    A Better Cardiac Pump for People With Heart Failure?

    A new version of an implantable heart pump could cut the risk of blood clots, bleeding and stroke in patients with advanced heart failure, according to a study funded by the device's maker.

    The study included more than a thousand patients who received either Abbott Inc.'s HeartMate 3 left ventricular assist device (LVAD) or the HeartMate II.

    After two years, about 75 percent...

    'Antibiotic Envelopes' Could Cut Infections After Pacemaker Implant

    Tucking a pacemaker inside an antibiotic-soaked mesh envelope before implanting it inside your body can drastically reduce your risk of a dangerous infection, a new study shows.

    About 1.7 million patients receive cardiac implants like pacemakers or defibrillators every year worldwide, and doctors use preoperative antibiotics to lower the chances of infection.

    Nonetheless, ab...