A noninvasive method for deep brain stimulation Electrodes placed on the scalp could help patients with brain diseases. | MIT News

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June 1, 2017

Anne Trafton | MIT News Office


Excerpt: "Delivering an electrical current to a part of the brain involved in movement control has proven successful in treating many Parkinson’s disease patients. This approach, known as deep brain stimulation, requires implanting electrodes in the brain — a complex procedure that carries some risk to the patient.

Now, MIT researchers, collaborating with investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the IT’IS Foundation, have come up with a way to stimulate regions deep within the brain using electrodes placed on the scalp. This approach could make deep brain stimulation noninvasive, less risky, less expensive, and more accessible to patients.

“Traditional deep brain stimulation requires opening the skull and implanting an electrode, which can have complications. Secondly, only a small number of people can do this kind of neurosurgery,” says Ed Boyden, an associate professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences at MIT, and the senior author of the study, which appears in the June 1 issue of Cell."

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