An average of 30 years had passed since the traumatic events that had left them depressed, anxious, irritable, hypervigilant, unable to sleep well and prone to nightmares. But for 12 people who were involved in a UCLA-led study -- survivors of rape, car accidents, domestic abuse and other traumas -- an unobtrusive patch on the forehead provided considerable relief from post-traumatic stress disorder. "We're talking about patients for whom illness had almost become a way of life," said Dr. Andrew Leuchter, the study's senior author, a UCLA professor of psychiatry and director of the neuromodulation division at UCLA's Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. "Yet they were coming in and saying, 'For the first time in years I slept through the night,' or 'My nightmares are gone.' The effect was extraordinarily powerful." The research, which has been presented at three scholarly conferences and published in the journal Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, revealed the first evidence that trigeminal nerve stimulation, or TNS, holds promise for treating chronic PTSD. "Most patients with PTSD do get some benefit from existing treatments, but the great majority still have symptoms and suffer for years from those symptoms," said Leuchter, who is also a staff psychiatrist at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. "This could be a breakthrough for patients who have not been helped adequately by existing treatments." Based on the study, which was conducted primarily with civilian volunteers, the scientists are recruiting military veterans, who are at an even greater risk for PTSD, for the next phase of their research. TNS is a new form of neuromodulation, a class of treatment in which external energy sources are used to make subtle adjustments to the brain's electrical wiring -- sometimes with devices that are implanted in the body, but increasingly with external devices. The approach is gaining popularity for treating drug-resistant neurological and psychiatric disorders. TNS harnesses current from a 9-volt battery to power a patch that is placed on the user's forehead. While the person sleeps, the patch sends a low-level current to cranial nerves that run through the forehead, sending signals to parts of the brain that help regulate mood, behavior and cognition, including the amygdala and media prefrontal cortex, as well as the autonomic nervous system. Prior research has shown abnormal activity in those areas of the brains of PTSD sufferers. "The chance to have an impact on debilitating diseases with this elegant and simple technology is very satisfying," said Dr. Ian Cook, the study's lead author. Cook co-invented TNS at UCLA; now on leave from his faculty position, he is serving as chief medical officer at Los Angeles-based Neurosigma, Inc., which is licensing the technology and funding the research. Neurosigma is already marketing the technology overseas and has plans to make it available to patients in the U.S. PTSD affects approximately 3.5 percent of the U.S. population but a much higher proportion of military veterans. An estimated 17 percent of active military personnel experience symptoms, and some 30 percent of veterans returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan have had symptoms. Sufferers often have difficulty working with others, raising children and maintaining healthy relationships. Many try to avoid situations that could trigger flashbacks, which makes them reluctant to socialize or venture from their homes, leaving them isolated. People with the disorder are six times more likely than their healthy counterparts to commit suicide, and they have an increased risk for marital difficulties and dropping out of school. For the recently completed study, the researchers recruited people with chronic PTSD and severe depression who were already being treated with psychotherapy, medication or both. While continuing their conventional treatment, the volunteers wore the patch while they slept, for eight hours a night. Before and after the eight-week study, the study subjects completed questionnaires about the severity of their symptoms and the extent to which the disorders affected their work, parenting and socializing. The severity of participants' PTSD symptoms dropped by an average of more than 30 percent, and the severity of their depression dropped by an average of more than 50 percent, the study reports. In fact, for one-quarter of the study subjects, PTSD symptoms went into remission. In addition, study subjects generally said they felt more able to participate in their daily activities. Leuchter is working with the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System to recruit 74 veterans who have served in the military since 9/11 for the study's next phase. Half will receive real treatment and half will be given a fake TNS patch, in the way a placebo pill would be used in a drug trial. At the end of the study, subjects who were using the fake patch will have the option of undergoing treatment with an actual TNS system. TNS treatment has been shown to be effective in treating drug-resistant epilepsy and treatment-resistant depression. "PTSD is one of the invisible wounds of war," Cook said. "The scars are inside but they can be just as debilitating as visible scars. So it's tremendous to be working on a contribution that could improve the lives of so many brave and courageous people who have made sacrifices for the good of our country."
News Article | March 3, 2016
Energizer recently underlined its dedication to eco-friendliness by releasing the first rechargeable batteries that contain recyclable cells. The company has been adhering to the green cause for a while now: about this time last year, Energizer released the first AA batteries in history that contained 4 percent used recycled battery material. In March 2015, the company rolled out the first AA and AAA rechargeable batteries that use old batteries in the manufacturing process. The 2015 batteries, named EcoAdvanced, were a first in the power source field, showing that it is possible for a high-performance alkaline battery to be built partly from recycled cells. The company is being discreet about the process. What we know is that the 4 percent of the recycled battery material get transformed into what Energizer calls an "active ingredient." This implies that sources of energy could be created by relying less on fresh material and more on scraping existing resources. She mentions that the new batteries, dubbed Energizer Recharge, represent an additional step towards a future where all the company's batteries will contain an amount of recycled battery material. Not only does Energizer's rechargeable batteries base 4 percent of their content on exhausted power packs, but vehicle battery materials from hybrid cars may also be put into the new power sources. This simply means that a part of your Prius can power a child's toy sometime in the future. If 4 percent seems like a meager number, fret not. The efficiency is prone to improve during the next 10 years, so that Energizer reaches its ambitious eco-friendly target. The company touted that, by 2025, its batteries will be made up of 40 percent recycled material. Atkinson notes that consumers have updated their definition of battery performance and expect much more than one long-lasting power source. The environmental impact of the batteries became one important criteria for customers, according to Energizer. "Energizer Recharge is the latest example of how we innovate with the consumer in-mind," Atkinson says. Studies show that consumers manifest a friendly and even enthusiastic attitude towards Energizer's efforts of going green. In February 2016, Energizer EcoAdvanced received the Product of the Year award at the Sustainability category in the United States. Market research firm TNS was in charge of the survey, which asked more than 40,000 consumers to perfectly gauge the product that deserves the award. The American public was not the only one to commend the company's high-performance batteries based on recycled cells. In the United Kingdom, the EcoAdvanced batteries snatched the Product of the Year title in the category Technology and Accessories. Before it focused on creating rechargeable batteries that contain recyclable cells, Energizer established itself as an innovative enterprise. The company was the first to manufacture AA lithium batteries, the Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries. It also made possible the first dry cell battery worldwide, and not least, the first watch battery in the world. Meanwhile, researchers are investigating new ways to tap into the full potential of lithium-ion batteries, and X-ray imaging seems to be a good lead.
News Article | October 30, 2015
(TNS) Toyota Motor Corp. snatched the global auto sales lead back from Volkswagen Group in the third quarter. Through the first nine months of this year the Japanese automaker sold just under 7.5 million vehicles, making it the world’s largest car company. But Toyota backed into the sales crown. Its numbers are off 1.5 percent from the same period a year ago. Volkswagen AG had the lead for the first half of the year. Its sales for the last nine months were flat at 7.43 million vehicles. VW’s results took only a small hit during the quarter from the German automaker’s emission-test-rigging scandal, which became public in September.
News Article | October 28, 2015
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (TNS) — In its past three games against Georgia Tech, Mike London’s Virginia football team has allowed 126 points — 42 per game. That’s just a point less overall than Tony Bennett’s basketball squad has given up to the Yellow Jackets in the same span. With Bennett otherwise occupied, Virginia’s defense is on its own in its annual preparations for Tech’s nettlesome triple-option attack. Few things have vexed Cavaliers defenders as much in recent seasons. Indeed, the mention Monday of cut blocks and the difficulty of reading dive vs. pitch vs. quarterback keeper had players nodding in recognition and respect. “It’s really tough,” defensive tackle David Dean said. “I don’t feel that you can truly simulate their offense (in practice), just because they’re so good at it, and when you get into the game, the game speed is just entirely different.” Georgia Tech rushed for 268 yards last season in a 35-10 win that actually was an improvement over the 394 yards Virginia allowed in 2013 and the 469 yielded in 2012. After giving up 175 total yards in the first quarter, Virginia adjusted and allowed just 234 the rest of the game. That was with an experienced linebacker corps, however. This year’s group is less seasoned, which London admitted is a concern. “You always worry about the issue of taking your assignment and doing your job in this particular manner,” he said. Linebacker Zach Bradshaw played just a few snaps against Georgia Tech last year, but saw up close the consequences of players straying from their assignments. “People were messing up their responsibilities,” he said. “They had (responsibility for) the dive, but they were going to the quarterback or if they had the quarterback, they were going to the pitch and stuff like that. “I think that’s the biggest thing this week. We just need to make sure we’re doing our jobs.” Picked to win the Coastal Division, Georgia Tech (3-5, 1-4 ACC) had lost five straight before upsetting No. 9 Florida State 22-16 on Saturday, when Lance Austin returned a blocked field goal 78 yards for a touchdown on the game’s final play. The Yellow Jackets again lead the ACC in rushing, with quarterback Justin Thomas at the controls and freshman running back Marcus Marshall averaging 8.9 yards per carry. “Coach (Paul) Johnson has been running this offense forever… so they’ve done a really good job of just doing what they’ve done over the years,” London said. Virginia (2-5, 1-2) has not done a good job defending it, as pressure on London and questions about his future continue to mount. His friend and former colleague as a Virginia assistant, Miami coach Al Golden, was dismissed Sunday after a 58-0 loss to Clemson. That move was enough to give some Cavaliers fans a case of firing envy, expressed on message boards and social media. But London said Virginia has plenty left to play for. “We’ve played two 6-1 teams right now currently in the ACC. Three of our last five games are home games, and I believe three of the last five teams are .500 or less. “So again, there are still opportunities out there that this team can achieve.” Fullback Vincent Croce, a team captain, said Georgia Tech’s win Saturday demonstrated that “nobody’s far away” from a turnaround in the ACC. “2-5 is a really easy spot to just lay down and say our season is gone, and just lay down and just play the rest of the season looking forward to next year, but I don’t think anybody on this team has that in their mind at all, which is extremely positive for me to see as a captain,’ he said. “This is the type of team, where we’re on to the next game.”
News Article | October 29, 2015
Editors Note: There is an image associated with this press release. Ebates.com, a pioneer and leader in online cash back shopping is furthering its expansion into Russia by partnering with the local leading payment service Yandex.Money. Ebates.ru members can shop online or on their mobile phones and receive a percentage of their purchases back in cash - and now they can get that cash sent directly to their e-wallets. "We're delighted to be working with Yandex.Money as it now means their 22 million users can begin to enjoy cash back, online coupons and exclusive offers from hundreds of their favourite retailers like AliExpress!" said Ebates.ru General Manager, Adrienne Down Coulson. Currently, Ebates.ru works with more than 575 online stores and the company is continually working hard to add new stores - both international and Russian - to further expand its offering. To date, Ebates worldwide members have earned $427 million in rewards since 1998. In Russia, users can receive up to 16% cash back on their online purchases. Cash back rewards are paid out everything three months to user's Yandex.Money e-wallets. San Francisco-based Ebates.com started its international expansion with Canada and then made a move toward Asia (China, Korea, and Singapore). Russia became the first European country, where Ebates operates on a substantial level, launching a web site, adopting local currencies and collaborating with online merchants. In 2014, Ebates was acquired by Japanese online retail giant Rakuten for $1 billion. Yandex.Money is the largest payment service in Russia, according to a TNS survey in 2015. The service hosts about 22 million user accounts with about 12,000 new accounts opened daily. The service also offers online stores Yandex Payment Solution for accepting online payments by all the methods most popular among residents of Russia and other CIS countries: credit cards, e-wallets, mobile billing through the top Russia/CIS providers, and cash via over 170,000 cash-acceptance points all over Russia. Currently, over 76,000 online stores use Yandex Payment Solution. To view the image accompanying this press release please click on the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20151029-Ebates.jpg