KU campuses are located in Lawrence, Wichita, Overland Park, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas, with the main campus located in Lawrence on Mount Oread, the highest location in Lawrence. The University was opened in 1866, under a charter granted by the Kansas Legislature in 1864.
The University’s Medical Center and University Hospital are located in Kansas City, Kansas. The Edwards Campus is in Overland Park, Kansas, in the Kansas City metropolitan area. There are also educational and research sites in Parsons and Topeka, and branches of the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita and Salina.
Enrollment at the Lawrence and Edwards campuses was 24,435 students in fall 2013; an additional 3,349 students were enrolled at the KU Medical Center for a total enrollment of 27,784 students across the three campuses. The university overall employed 2,663 faculty members in fall 2012.
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Scientists from Case Western Reserve University and University of Kansas Medical Center have restored behavior—in this case, the ability to reach through a narrow opening and grasp food—using a neural prosthesis in a rat model of brain injury.
Ultimately, the team hopes to develop a device that rapidly and substantially improves function after brain injury in humans. There is no such commercial treatment for the 1.5 million Americans, including soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, who suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBI), or the nearly 800,000 stroke victims who suffer weakness or paralysis in the United States, annually.
The prosthesis, called a brain-machine-brain interface, is a closed-loop microelectronic system. It records signals from one part of the brain, processes them in real time, and then bridges the injury by stimulating a second part of the brain that had lost connectivity.
“If you use the device to couple activity from one part of the brain to another, is it possible to induce recovery from TBI? That’s the core of this investigation,” said Pedram Mohseni, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Case Western Reserve, who built the brain prosthesis.
“We found that, yes, it is possible to use a closed-loop neural prosthesis to facilitate repair of a brain injury,” he said.
The researchers tested the prosthesis in a rat model of brain injury in the laboratory of Randolph J. Nudo, professor of molecular and integrative physiology at the University of Kansas. Nudo mapped the rat’s brain and developed the model in which anterior and posterior parts of the brain that control the rat’s forelimbs are disconnected.
Atop each animal’s head, the brain-machine-brain interface is a microchip on a circuit board smaller than a quarter connected to microelectrodes implanted in the two brain regions.
The device amplifies signals, which are called neural action potentials and produced by the neurons in the anterior of the brain. An algorithm separates these signals, recorded as brain spike activity, from noise and other artifacts. With each spike detected, the microchip sends a pulse of electric current to stimulate neurons in the posterior part of the brain, artificially connecting the two brain regions.
Two weeks after the prosthesis had been implanted and run continuously, the rat models using the full closed-loop system had recovered nearly all function lost due to injury, successfully retrieving a food pellet close to 70 percent of the time, or as well as normal, uninjured rats. Rat models that received random stimuli from the device retrieved less than half the pellets and those that received no stimuli retrieved about a quarter of them.
“A question still to be answered is must the implant be left in place for life?” Mohseni said. “Or can it be removed after two months or six months, if and when new connections have been formed in the brain?”