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Inoue K.,Tokyo Metroplitan University | Nakamura M.,Research Institute National Rehabilitation | Sakuma N.,Nursing Home Shofu en | Okada M.,Nursing Home Shofu en
Assistive Technology Research Series | Year: 2013

The objective of this research is to see the difference between the effect of a stuffed animal and that of an animal shaped robot in occupational therapy. PARO, a baby seal shaped robot, is a sophisticated robot. It responds to users' actions and even remembers particular interactions. Thus, this robot is certainly different from a stuffed animal, yet unlike an alive pet (whose behaviors can be unpredictable), its responses are programmed and controlled. PARO is 'inanimate' but interactive like a pet and not passive like a stuffed animal. Our team wanted to see how patients with dementia would react to PARO in comparison to a stuffed animal and what the difference (if there is any) may imply. We concluded that the effectiveness of robot therapy is different from occupational therapy with 'inanimate objects,' such as stuffed animals. Robot therapy can encourage patients with dementia to be more self-directive. © 2013 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.

Imamura O.,National Defense Medical College | Arai M.,National Defense Medical College | Dateki M.,National Defense Medical College | Ogata T.,Research Institute National Rehabilitation | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Neurochemistry | Year: 2015

Oligodendrocytes are the myelin-forming cells of the central nervous system (CNS). Failure of myelin development and oligodendrocyte loss results in serious human disorders, including multiple sclerosis. Here, we show that donepezil, an acetlycholinesterase inhibitor developed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, can stimulate oligodendrocyte differentiation and maturation of neural stem cell-derived oligodendrocyte progenitor cells without affecting proliferation or cell viability. Transcripts for essential myelin-associated genes, such as PLP, MAG, MBP, CNPase, and MOG, in addition to transcription factors that regulate oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination, were rapidly increased after treatment with donepezil. Furthermore, luciferase assays confirmed that both MAG and MBP promoters display increased activity upon donepezil-induced oligodendrocytes differentiation, suggesting that donepezil increases myelin gene expression mainly through enhanced transcription. We also found that the increase in the number of oligodendrocytes observed following donepezil treatment was significantly inhibited by the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) antagonist mecamylamine, but not by the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist scopolamine. Moreover, donepezil-induced myelin-related gene expression was suppressed by mecamylamine at both the mRNA and protein level. These results suggest that donepezil stimulates oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelin-related gene expression via nAChRs in neural stem cell-derived oligodendrocyte progenitor cells. © 2015 International Society for Neurochemistry.

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