Adjustable Brain Implant Could Identify Seizure Origins, Shut it Down
November 14, 2011 3:21 PM
comment(s) - last by
Thin, flexible electrode array
The electrode array is made of a pliable material that's thickness is that of about a quarter of a human hair
A team of researchers has created a flexible
that could eventually be used to identify where a seizure starts in the brain and shut it down.
Brian Litt, M.D., study leader and associate professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, along with Jonathan Viventi, Ph.D., lead author and assistant professor at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, and a team of researchers, have developed a type of electrode array that adjusts to the brain's surface and could allow for a better understanding of epileptic seizures.
The brain holds billions of neurons that transmit electrical pulses, and when a seizure occurs, these pulses occur in an abnormal fashion. The pulses become rapid "bursts" that lead to loss of consciousess and convulsions. While there are over 20 drugs available to
, they don't always control seizures properly.
Surgery is another option for individuals with epilepsy, where electrode arrays are used to "map" seizures and allow for the removal of the area of the brain where seizures begin. However, the electrode arrays currently used are not flexible and do not adjust to the folds of the brain, meaning they provide minimal coverage.
That's where Litt and Viventi's new device comes in. Their
is made of a pliable material thats thickness is that of about a quarter of a human hair. It has 360 electrodes and built-in silicon transistors for minimal wiring. The electrode array conform's to the brain's many folds, allowing for maximum coverage.
The brain implant was tested on cats because they have larger brains that are more similar to the human brain than mice. The research team found that the device was able to record brain responses during various situations, such as the cat viewing certain objects or sleep rhythms while undergoing anesthesia. The researchers gave the cats a drug that induced seizures, and the brain implant allowed them to see what kind of response occurred.
"We were able to watch as spiral waves began and became self-sustaining," said Litt. "We should be able to model the spirals and determine what kind of waveform can stop them. Or we can watch the spirals terminate spontaneously and try to reproduce what we see by stimulating the brain electrically."
The researchers hope to one day roll the array into a tube and send it into the brain through a small hole instead of opening the skull.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: like a novel
11/15/2011 9:11:32 AM
To be fair, the patient they were working on was psychotic and wasn't taking his prescribed medication.
RE: like a novel
11/17/2011 2:12:30 AM
I was right! It was Reclaimer
"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
Improved Technique Produces Array of Human-made DNA Sequences
January 26, 2011, 12:43 PM
Scientists Develop "Melting" Brain Implant
April 19, 2010, 10:01 AM
Hackers Assault Epilepsy Patients Via Computer
March 31, 2008, 2:28 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Cool Science Video: This is What a McDonald's Burger Looks Like in Your Stomach
April 7, 2015, 1:43 PM
Fraud Artist Engineered Stunning UK Jailbreak Via Typosquatting, Email
April 4, 2015, 2:57 PM
Food Chemists at Italy's Barilla Claim to Have Perfect Instant Noodles w/out Frying
March 26, 2015, 4:25 PM
Most Popular Articles
Raytheon $1.9 Billion Purchase of Websense Raises Tough Questions
April 20, 2015, 1:57 PM
HBO to VPN HBO Now Users: Prove You Live in U.S. or We Will Terminate You
April 21, 2015, 12:17 PM
AMD CEO: Windows 10 Will Launch at "The End of July"
April 20, 2015, 7:24 PM
Quick Note: Lady Macbath -- One Japanese Woman's Apple Themed Revenge
April 23, 2015, 11:47 AM
After Record-Setting Week, Samsung Predicts 70 Million GS6/GS6 Edge Sales
April 17, 2015, 8:39 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information