By Morgen E. Peck
IEEE Spectrum Online, June 2008

Michigan engineers are developing a closed-loop deep-brain stimulation device for Parkinson’s disease that would listen to the brain while stimulating it.
PHOTO: Dr. Helen Mayberg

19 June 2008—For more than a decade, doctors have been implanting devices called deep-brain stimulators into patients with Parkinson’s disease and stimulating a small area of their brains with low-voltage electrical pulses. So far, there’s been only one way to tell how patients are taking to the treatment: by watching. Are they walking smoothly again? Can they hold their hands in front of them without trembling? But a better way to evaluate treatment is to ask the brain directly. In such a system, neuronal feedback would direct the timing, location, and intensity of subsequent stimulation and would theoretically suppress side effects that many patients suffer today.
A group of neural engineers from the University of Michigan, tackling a pivotal piece of the problem, have designed a programmable device capable of stimulating and recording from the brain simultaneously.
Read the whole article @ Spectrum Online

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