Friday, January 29, 2021

A glimpse at the history of neuroengineering

Image source: io9.gizmodo.com

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.

Image source: stonybrook.edu


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

Image source: brainline.org
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.

Concussion

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.

Coup-Contrecoup

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.

Image source: plotnicklaw.com

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?

Image source: psychologytoday.com
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.
Image source: neurosciencenews.com 


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

Image source: https://www.northeastern.edu/

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.

Image source: https://program-ace.com/


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

Image source: brinknews.com
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.

Image source: insider.com

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

Friday, August 28, 2020

Depression: The silent killer

Image source: erywellmind.com

To some people, depression is understood and associated with a mere feeling of sadness that brings a person to a low-spirited disposition. To this point, people might loosely say that they are “depressed,” even if they are simply expressing disappointment over something minor, like when they open their fridge and find out that they are out of ice cream. The truth is that depression is a far graver issue.

Dr. Curtis Cripe has studied extensively on the topic, and he brings our attention to what the professionals mean when they talk about depression in the clinical sense. Depression is a disease of the mind, which is referred to as the silent killer, because it makes a person lose himself and his own self-worth.

Image source: promisesbehavioralhealth.com

It isn’t easy to spot a person who is dealing with clinical depression. This is especially true because coping mechanisms for sadness often compel a person to appear normal on the outside, at times when others are around to see them. Fake smiles act as artificial masks to people who have already reached the point of depression, even if they are chaotic deep inside. They typically don’t want to reveal their true feelings for fear of being ridiculed.

One more harsh truth about depression is that not many people are aware that they have it, Dr. Curtis Cripe shares. Brain chemistry imbalances and hormonal shifts combined with a host of other factors can lead to depression, and in extreme cases, suicide. It’s not uncommon for people to shrug things off as mere sad thoughts and think that they’re just having a bad day, just like everyone does from time to time.

For this reason, it is healthy to have oneself assessed periodically by a competent mental health professional, just to see if any intervention is necessary.

Dr. Curtis Cripe, Ph.D., hails from a multidisciplinary academic and professional background that includes aerospace engineering and psychophysiology. He is the director of research and development at the NTL Group, a company that specializes in neuroengineering programs to diagnose and treat a wide array of neurological dysfunctions. Visit this page for more details.


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Psychological troubles in the time of COVID-19

Image source: fi.co

It is easy for everyone to think that the only problem in front of us today is the Corona virus and its direct impact on our health and safety. All of a sudden, personal protection equipment, social distancing, and community quarantines, occupy as space in our collective consciousness. For Dr. Curtis Cripe, a host of psychological problems have also crept into our lives slowly but surely.

In more than a few cases, cabin fever has hijacked the home environment today. Cabin fever describes the psychological symptoms that people commonly experience after being trapped inside their home for prolonged periods of time. Nowadays, people are running on a short fuse as they become more restless, irritable, and lonely.

There has been an alarming spike in suicides and suicide attempts that have a strong correlation with home restrictions. Somehow, being backed into a very narrow corner has caused some people to view the loss of their own lives as a better alternative to grinding it out on a daily basis, not knowing if they will even make it far enough to outlive the virus.

Image source: newscientist.com

Anxiety has reached an all-time high, and this has shown huge signs. People are eating less, not really because they wish to starve themselves, but because they have lost their appetites.

Sometimes people have even reached the point of depression, which is arguably one of the most tragic psychological conditions around, simply because it is too silent that it escapes even the closest people to any given individual who is suffering from it.

Dr. Curtis Cripe cautions us to be mindful of how this pandemic is causing us all of this pain, both physical and psychological. The latter has established a strong foothold in our daily lives today.

Dr. Curtis Cripe is a neuroengineer with a diverse multidisciplinary background that includes software development, bioengineering, addiction recovery, psychophysiology, psychology, brain injury, and child neurodevelopment. He is part of a White House-NASA initiative created to spearhead telemedicine during this time of pandemic. Dr. Curtis Cripe is also the Research and Development lead at the NTL group.