Thursday, June 24, 2021

Is it possible for new brain cells to grow?

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There's a common belief that people are born with a fixed number of neurons and that new ones are no longer possible. This was based on the idea that motor (movement) and cognitive (thought) functions decline as people get old. However, Dr. Curtis Cripe notes several studies suggesting otherwise. This will be the discussion in today's article.

For the past 20 years or so, research on the hippocampus area of the brain -- the region associated with learning, memories, and emotions -- has found a continuous rebuilding of new cells regardless of age or time. Further studies using carbon-14 dating also found that cells in the same region, while diminishing, are quickly replaced by new ones. This process, noted by scientists, can keep the central functions of the hippocampus.

Research like these are significant, in such a way, that they suggest that there are stimuli and inhibitors of adult neurogenesis, says Dr. Curtis Cripe. He further noted possible hints and possible treatment of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and the recovery from traumatic brain injury.

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Surprisingly, among the ways that can potentially amp up adult neurogenesis is exercise. Scientists at the University of Chicago found that aerobic exercise led to cell production in the hippocampus, and increased genetic information is encoded. Scientists also found brain exercises are equally important. Still, it cannot be discounted that age, especially at 80, can reverse such gains. But people should not be dissuaded to seek the benefits of physical and brain exercise, even as more research is necessary.

Dr. Curtis Cripe has a diverse multidisciplinary background which includes neuroengineering technology, aerospace engineering, software development, addiction recovery, among others. He is the head of research and development at the NTL Group. More on Dr. Cripe and his work here.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Parental concern: Detecting depression in children

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Dr. Curtis Cripe of NTL Group has always been a fierce advocate of mental health and wellness. A huge part of his research deals with the mental health issues that children experience. For this blog, Dr. Cripe reviews childhood depression, more specifically, how to detect it in children.

In case people are still wondering, science has proven that depression exists and is a real problem that needs to be addressed. For parents, it is imperative that they know whether or not their children experience this serious issue.

Below is a list of signs and symptoms to look out for, as shared by Dr. Curtis Cripe.

1. A break in routines

Deviation in patterns may be a cause for concern. Though they may not necessarily be red flags, a sudden change in what children do, for example – simply not finding joy in what used to be their favorite regular activity, maybe a sign that something is off in their minds.

2. Lack of appetite

The unwillingness to eat and nourish oneself isn’t just a sign of depression in adults; it also applies to children. Children are indeed the pickiest eaters out there, so it may be difficult for some parents to catch, but Dr. Curtis Cripe mentions that when children don’t even touch their favorite dishes, it may be a cause for concern.

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3. Long-term negative behavior

When children experience failures in life, these incidents may have a profound albeit sometimes subtle effect on them. They may seem angry for long periods. If it takes more than a few weeks, parents should take action, Dr. Curtis Cripe adds.

Dr. Curtis Cripe has behind him a diverse multidisciplinary professional and academic background, having worked in aerospace, engineering, software development, bioengineering, addiction recovery, psychophysiology, psychology, and child neurodevelopment. Check out this blog for more insights on neurology and related fields.

Friday, January 29, 2021

A glimpse at the history of neuroengineering

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In the field of medicine, very few things intrigue people as much as the human brain. Naturally, research on it has garnered more attention than most any topic. And this is one reason Dr. Curtis Cripe of NTL Group believes neuroengineering deserves to be in the spotlight.

If one looks back at the history of neuroengineering, the field that combines engineering techniques and the science of the neural system, it is almost as if many of the events were taken from a science fiction novel or movie; especially in recent years when leading researchers in the field have been able to create interfaces and facilitate interaction between the human neural system and non-living constructs.

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Dr. Curtis Cripe explains that neuroengineering as a discipline began a bit later than other research fields, mainly since the technology to accomplish what researchers set out to do had not yet been developed. And while researchers have made significant strides in neuroengineering, there is still much to be learned about the human brain and the electronic gadgets that can interact with it.

The first official global conference on neuroengineering took place in 2003. The following year, several journals and reports started to be published. Today, neuroengineers worldwide get together regularly to discuss findings, compare notes, and push the field forward, Dr. Curtis Cripe adds.

Dr. Curtis Cripe played an important role in the development of the programs being used by the NTL Group, which specializes in the treatment of learning disabilities and neurological diseases. More information on Dr. Cripe and his work here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

A number of brain injuries you should be aware of

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Dr. Curtis Cripe has a lot of experience under his belt, and he is also quite an expert in several things all at once. For this blog, he shares about one of the topics he is most knowledgeable in, which is brain injuries. Here are some examples that are worth knowing.


Concussions are not to be taken lightly, as this type of injury has caused difficulties and impairments in the brain function that could last a lifetime. This happens when the brain receives trauma from an impact or a sudden momentum or movement change. Internally, the blood vessels in the brain may stretch and cranial nerves may be damaged. According to Dr. Curtis Cripe, this has serious repercussions for the affected individual. Even the force that boxers and football players inflict on opponents have been known to cause concussions.


Not to be confused with a concussion is a contusion, which is understood as a bruise that causes bleeding on the brain. A Coup-Contrecoup injury is a complex type of injury, because this is characterized by a contusion at the site of the impact and at the complete opposite side of the brain. The second contusion is a result of the brain slamming into the opposite side of the skull.

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Diffuse Axonal

A Diffuse Axonal injury is typically a result of a strong and abrupt movement of the head, where rotational forces are involved, notes Dr. Curtis Cripe. The most common cause of this condition is car accidents. The principle of inertia is always at work, often understood as the tendency of anything with mass to resist a sudden change in motion. In the case of this injury, the skull moves and the brain lags behind, causing some of its structures to tear.

Dr. Curtis Cripe has a diverse background in neuroengineering, aerospace engineering, psychology, psychophysiology, software development and programming, addiction recovery, brain injury, and child neurodevelopment. He established the Crossroads Institute, which utilizes telemedicine brain training delivery systems to assist children with developmental and learning disorders and provide programs for adults with a wide range of psychological problems, including addiction and traumatic brain injury. For related topics, please visit this page.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

What draws a person to drugs?

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For many who have maintained a clean slate and remained unblemished by any form of drug use in their lifetime, it is not uncommon to wonder what draws a person to drugs. Maybe that puts them in a position to help out rather than pass judgment on another. According to Dr. Curtis Cripe, understanding drug users is one of the biggest keys to helping them get out of the bad habit permanently.

A common trend in individuals who get into drugs is that they want to change something about their lives. Research has shown that people first get into drugs for the following reasons:

• To fit in and find a sense of belongingness
• To exercise independence and claim maturity
• To experiment out of curiosity
• To escape from a source of stress
• To rebel or protest against something

The first instance that a drug dependent takes drugs is not always seriously motivated, shares Dr. Curtis Cripe. However, the problem with drugs is that it gets addictive. This goes on to the point that taking drugs brings a sense of comfort to the person who gets into it.
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Through frequent use of drugs, the individual digs a deeper hole. They no longer need any stimulus or external factor to draw them to their particular choice of drug. As their own body gets poisoned by the chemicals they take in, so does their mind.

At some point, the person does not think rationally anymore. They are only motivated by one thing alone: the craving for the high that drugs bring to them, which leads them to the darkest moment along their path to drug use.

Dr. Curtis Cripe encourages anyone related to a drug addict, in any way at all, to be mindful of these facts if they truly want to help the person out.

Curtis Cripe, Ph.D., hails from a multidisciplinary academic and professional background that includes addiction and psychophysiology. He is the director of research and development at the NTL Group, a company specializing in neuroengineering programs to diagnose and treat a wide array of neurological dysfunctions. For more related articles, visit this page.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

How virtual reality is used in rehabilitation

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Virtual reality’s ability to simulate environments may play a role in rehabilitating patients with neurological issues. According to a study made by a team of medical researchers based in Singapore, VR can help patients suffering from balance and gait problems by helping them rehabilitate fine motor skills in these key areas.

The study focused on a group of 167 patients over three years using a wide array of virtual reality headsets and environments. Aside from balance and gait, the medical practitioners tested the patients for key areas in terms of movement like cognitive dual task load balance confidence. The researchers did not lump any of the patients into groups, but they commonly suffered from Parkinson’s Disease, post-stroke disorder, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis.

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After using many of the devices to give each patient a tailored treatment using virtual reality therapy, the researchers reported positive results. According to their findings, the patients developed better balance confidence, limited their dual task cost while walking, and improved their balance and gait. Although this is no indication that long-term VR treatment may provide patients with better benefits, the results bode well for this type of therapy and for patients with these kinds of issues.

As such, the researchers advise that VR therapy be used as one of the clinical approaches for treating these motor issues. Here’s hoping that more and more clinics and hospitals adopt this new technology.

Dr. Curtis Cripeis currently working in a White House-NASA committee during the pandemic. His committee has been asked to spearhead long-term and on-going TeleHealth and TeleMedicine protocols and procedures that can be followed during the current and future Pandemics as well as TeleMedicine and TeleHealth even after the COVID-19 diminishes. Dr. Curtis Cripe is a brain development expert and a former engineer at NASA.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Understanding what makes telemedicine effective

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Telemedicine has gained so much attention today, which is why people need to be made aware of what makes it an effective tool to use. In a nutshell, telemedicine is a practice that involves diagnosis between a doctor and a patient that takes place online by using devices that connect over a network. Dr. Curtis Cripe describes his expertise in this blog.

1. Easy access to competent professionals

Today, there is a growing preference for easy-access healthcare over in-person interactions with healthcare providers. The market is more accepting of the fact that not all diagnosis necessarily needs face to face interaction between doctor and patient. Should patients really need to have an actual visit, this can be determined in the telemedicine session.

2. Convenience

In the healthcare industry, convenience is key. At the end of a traditional consultation, the doctor often charges a professional fee, and the patient needs to purchase what the doctor prescribes. According to Dr. Curtis Cripe, what people fail to account in a normal doctor’s appointment is the other costs that the patient incurs to commute to and from the clinic. Traveling and waiting in line can demand a lot of time and energy, too.

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3. Increased patient engagement

Because of its convenience, patients would tend be more engaged. A significant number of physicians can attest to patients being inconsistent with keeping their follow-up appointments in the traditional practice. Certainly, this affects their overall health progress. With virtual care, this problem is addressed quite well. The use of online management systems can also serve as reliable documentation tools as well, keeping patients even more engaged, shares Dr. Curtis Cripe.

Dr. Curtis Cripe heads the research and development teams as developer of Cognitive Repair for Brain Disorders technology. His committee has been tasked to spearhead the use of telemedicine as a solution during this time of pandemic, and even after the COVID-19 diminishes. For more information, visit this page