Could Mars voyage cause Alzheimer's in astronauts?

My brother has told me that if a manned Mars mission were seeking volunteers, he'd be the first in line, even if it meant never coming back. I wouldn't want him to go, but my desire to keep him Earth-bound is even more intense after checking out a new study on the impact of radiation on potential manned Mars missions.

A study published in PLOS One looks at the effects of galactic cosmic radiation on mice. Researchers exposed the mice to particle irradiation like that found in space. The result was cognitive impairment in line with the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.… Read more

GPS shoe makes its way to market

A growing number of devices aim to track Alzheimer's and other patients who have a tendency to wander. Of course, many of these devices must be remembered to be worn to be of any use.

GPS-fitted shoes, then, seem like one of the most obvious accessories given shoes are generally required for, well, wandering.

Shoemaker Aetrex, with the help of GPS device makers GTX, is now selling its GPS Shoe after it received FCC clearance in September 2011.

The shoes themselves, available for men and women with either straps or shoelaces, go for $299.99 a pair, while the monthly service plan runs $30 to $40.… Read more

PET method detects dementia, including Alzheimer's

Ah, we are but mere mortals, and scientific research has a way of reminding us precisely how.

Not only has one recent study found that humans can experience age-related neurological decline as early as 45, but scientists are also reporting in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine that positron emission tomography (PET) can safely and accurately detect dementia early on.

The technique, according to lead author Nicolaas Bohnen in a news release, not only helps diagnose dementia, but also improves physician confidence: "This process can be difficult for physicians, especially when evaluating younger patients or those who have subtle signs … Read more

GPS bracelet ups the ante for person surveillance

GPS devices are becoming increasingly sophisticated and packed with features that at the very least create a sense of being, well, findable. One newcomer to the scene, the Laipac S-911 from Adiant Solutions, may be among the featuriest of them all.

Adiant is marketing the device to those who'd like to watch over children with autism or monitor elderly loved ones with dementia. But let's face it, this bracelet can do much more. Have teenagers you'd like to set virtual fences around? Aid workers to reach more easily in disaster zones? Registered sex offenders to keep outside of prohibited zones?

Look no further. The Laipac S-911 features a GSM cell phone with phone book and SOS button; AGPS for indoor tracking; G-sensing to alert when the wearer falls; and geo-fencing to alert when the wearer leaves--or enters--a given zone. The device even comes with a tamper detector in case said bracelet wearer does not want to, well, wear it.… Read more

Android app Tell My Geo helps track loved ones

We've written about people-tracking devices before, typically to keep track of elderly loved ones with some form of dementia. The downside has always been that those being tracked must remember to wear or carry the device that tracks them (i.e. a pendant, a watch, a shoe, etc.). The problem is built-in, so to speak.

Today the firm Iconosys, which develops safety-related mobile communication apps, has released Tell My Geo, a new app for Android OS smartphones to help keep track of those with dementia.

The app requires at least two phones, one for the person being looked after, … Read more