Stroke-damaged cells can be repaired! – The author of the unique research is a Georgian scientist

The researchers transplanted the cerebral cortex nerve cells received from skin cells to a rat brain damaged by a stroke, after which the rodents’ motor function was partially restored and these cells were fully integrated into the damaged nerve arc. The study, published in the prestigious American scientific journal PNAS, was conducted in the laboratory of Zaal Kokaia, a Georgian scientist working in Sweden.

“Six months after the transplantation, we saw how the new cells repaired the damaged rat’s brain,” said Zaal Kokaia, who co-authored the study with Professor Ole Lindwall and postdoctoral researcher Sarah Palma-Torto.

A team of researchers working in the Swedish city of Lund has shown in previous studies that it is quite possible to transplant neurons from human stem and reprogrammed cells into infected rats. However, previous studies have not described whether transplanted cells could strike new connections in the brain of rats, who have had a stroke, and thus restore normal motor and sensory functions.

“Using numerous methods, including electron microscopy and molecular methods based on the rabies virus, we observed the transplanted cells and showed that they were successfully integrated into the damaged nerve arcs. In addition, we also found that transplanted cells made connections with neurons in the second hemisphere of the brain, where no cells have been transplanted, ”said Zaal Kokaia, who was amazed by the findings.

The researchers converted human skin cells into brain cells in a laboratory and then transplanted them into the cerebral cortex of rats. This is the region of the brain that is most often damaged after a stroke.

“Our goal is to understand how transplanted cells affect the second hemisphere of the brain. We also want to better observe how transplantation affects cognitive functions such as, for example, memory. We will, of course, study all the side effects as well. The first requirement for the clinical use of cell transplantation is efficiency and safety, ”said Zaal Kokaia.

Zaal Kokaia has been director of the Stem Cell Center in Lund since 2011 and is also a professor of experimental medical research at Lund University, Head of the Laboratory of Stem Cells and Restorative Neurology, and a coordinator of the Strategic Research Program at StemTherapy Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine.

The key topic in Zaal Kokaia’s research is a stroke and the study of the ways in which stem cells and reprogrammed cells can be used to restore damaged brain function. Nowadays, a physical exercise is considered the only way for motor recovery following stroke.

In a 2017 interview with the Swedish Brain Foundation, the Georgian scientist said he was optimistic about the clinical use of stem and reprogrammed cells and predicted a great future for this approach.

“We know that stem cells have great potential, first and foremost because they have the ability to replace damaged cells. At the same time, they produce a variety of substances and factors that allow nerve cells surrounding the stem cells, which survive after a stroke, to work better and manage regenerate and repair processes more efficiently, ”said Zaal Kokaia.

The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

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19-year-old Georgian student develops first Georgian AI in medicine  

Gega Tatulishvili, who has developed the first Georgian artificial intelligence in medicine, is a student of the Business Administration / Finance Faculty at Business and Technology University (BTU). Although he is just 19 years old, he has already managed to become well known to the public for the innovative project. The young inventor spoke about the DigitalMed and his future plans in his interview with “Doctrina”.

– Gega, first of all, what is artificial intelligence, in general?

-The AI –  is an area of study in Computer Science that focuses on creating computer systems that perform tasks that require human intelligence. It should have the ability of solving the problem through its own efforts, without involvement of a human being. Most importantly, it is necessary to have self- improvement skills.

– What is DigitalMed developed by you and why are you interested in medical field?

-DigitalMed is the first Georgian artificial intelligence in medicine that is created with unique algorithms. It has the ability of providing a primary diagnosis and consult the patients about their visits to doctors. Also, it can be used for educational purposes as it combines a great deal of knowledge accumulated in the medical field.

I got interested in medicine at an early age. I have always been interested in the latest researches, trying to read and learn as much as I can and I am glad that I can use this knowledge in practice today.

– What was the way from the idea to the current day and what was the public reaction to the project?

-I have had the idea of implementing the DigitalMed idea for a long time, but it took four-month work to implement the idea. There is a great public interest to the DigitalMed. I have participated in TBC Bank program –  Startupper. I became the winner and I am leaving for Germany to attend the startup conference.

-How the interested persons can use this product and what are your future plans?

-DigitalMed will be available to everyone. It is easy to use is simple and I think a person of any age can use it. The communication language is Georgian and the product makes it possible to analyze the received information. DigatalMed is based on the artificial neuron network and using the neural-visual programming it understands and analyzes what the users are saying.  (Georgian language has a difficult grammar compared to other languages, but I have achieved through enhanced learning that the intelligence analyzes Georgian language.)

As for future plans, we are going to develop and improve the product constantly and this mega data will be processed at the University of Business and Technology.




Author: Tamar Devdariani

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”




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Sign & Sound – Gesture Language Glove by Young Georgian Inventors

Georgian young inventors have designed a glove that improves the lives of people with hearing and speech disorders.

The device helps individuals to communicate and integrate with the public. This is a program that will know the language of gestures, accordingly, it will translate the gesture made by the glove, while the speaker will voice the sentence.

There are three members in the team : Giorgi Bestavashvili, Beka Babunashvili and Giorgi Tskhovrebadze.

“There is the only school for hearing impaired children nearby us. We often noticed that the children talked only to each other and did not actually have contact with the public, because very few people know the sign language today. From this we got an idea, we wanted to invent a device that would help them to start communication with any person and we decided to design the gesture language translator gloves. We think this will greatly simplify their lives,” – said Beka Babunashvili.

“The glove sensors perceive user’s hand movements, translate, and then a speaker voices it. All this happens simultaneously and there is not any discomfort in conversation. The glove is very convenient and is useful in every situation. Of course, over time we will make it more and more comfortable and easy, ” – he added.

Hearing impairment can hamper a person’s intellectual development. People who have been cut off from the outside world are not able to socialize. In order the people with hearing and speech disorders to feel better about themselves, it is necessary that people around them to learn the language of gestures, which is quite difficult. Sign & Sound is an invention to benefit the public. After the development, improvement and establishment of the special glove, this problem will be solved and people with disabilities will be able to communicate with the public.

“We have been working for three months and the first month was too difficult because people with hearing disorders are not paid enough attention in Georgia. They do not have access to the Internet, to social networks, many of them are illiterate, and so they find it difficult to integrate into society. The only way to communicate with them is the language of gestures. In the future, hopefully, our idea will completely correct this situation,” – one of the members of the team Giorgi Bestavashvili said.

The team has only created the glove prototype. In the future, they are planning to obtain funding for the production of gloves.


Author: Nini Mshvenieridze

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”



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Zurab Guruli – Georgian Doctor Working in US who has Literary Talent

Georgian doctor Zurab Guruli is the director of anesthesia and surgery departments at the US Montgomery Federal Clinic as well as the professor of clinical anesthesiology at the University of Mississippi. However, he has passed quite difficult and interesting path before he achieved his goal.

Doctrina has interviewed Zurab Guruli, who discussed his activities in details. According to him, the process of obtaining the US medical certificate has taken several years. In 1992 he graduated from Tbilisi State University and continued post-graduated studentship at Tbilisi Institute of Doctors’ Training. In 1995, after he successfully maintained a thesis he went on a mission at Louisiana State University in the city of New Orleans and made his mind to continue his career in the US. In 2004, after Zurab Guruli underwent several steps of residency, he began work as an anesthesiologist-reanimatolog. Simultaneously, he was the assistant-professor at Tulane University. It is notable, that Zurab Guruli has been working at Montgomery clinic since 2006.

According to the Georgian successful doctor, he remembers his personal despair and nihilism, fear towards an uncertain future, it has triggered Zurab Guruli’s decision to promote Georgian young people’s professional career.

In this regard, several steps have been taken and despite of the disastrous lack of time, last year upon the initiative of yet another Georgian doctor working in the US Gia Khurtsidze, who is one of the directors at “Evex” corporation in Georgia, Zurab Guruli agreed to lead the anesthesia-reanimation residency program in Georgia, because in this way he tries to contribute to improve professional skills of several young colleagues.

“A doctor is not a just doctor but a diplomat, a mentor, a confessor and a universal audience with the patience of Job. A doctor meets a modern human when they are coming in this world and a doctor helps them to move to another dimension with dignity.

A doctor is an attorney of people’s most personal, most piquant problems. Humans’ universal    lawyer and protector at the most helpless and vulnerable moments of their lives.  It’s the greatest duty and a special privilege. Accordingly, a sophisticated professional has to possess all these arts, “- Zurab Guruli said in his interview with “Doctrina”.

The famous Georgian doctor is fond of writing. He writes essays, stories, publicity letters, and novels. Last time he is fond of translating. He has translated several poems by Hafiz and Jalāl ad-Dīn Rūmī, but his favorite writer is well-known Edgar Allan Poe.

“Due to my profession, I have to wander at the exits between various dimensions. Their mysticism helps me in perceiving my patients’ feelings better; At the same time, I also need to relieve to deal with a lot of negative emotion and to avoid feeling depressed,” – Zurab Guruli said. Although his writings have become very popular in social networks, due to the lack of time nothing has been published yet. However, his publicist letters and reviews are regularly published in various newspapers.

“Doctrina” wishes the Georgian doctor success in his life and offers its readers the poem “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe translated by Zurab Guruli.

ზუსტად არ ვიცი, თუ რატომ მოვისურვე ამ პოემის თარგმნა. უცნაური მიზიდულობა აქვს ედგარ პოს დაბურულ და აფორიაქებულ მისტიკას…

Posted by Zurab Guruli on Saturday, February 11, 2017



Author:  Tamar Devdariani

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

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