Neuroscience

Targeting epilepsy with cranial electrodes

Stimulating the brain with implanted electrodes is a successful, but very drastic measure. Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology, Kempenhaeghe, Philips Neuro and Gent University will therefore be working on ...

Neuroscience

Laughter may be best medicine—for brain surgery

Neuroscientists at Emory University School of Medicine have discovered a focal pathway in the brain that when electrically stimulated causes immediate laughter, followed by a sense of calm and happiness, even during awake ...

Neuroscience

Can nanotechnology rewire an injured spinal cord?

According to the World Health Organisation, up to a half-million people around the world suffer a spinal cord injury each year. Often caused by road traffic crashes, accidents or violence, the loss of motor control or paralysis ...

Neuroscience

Real-time feedback tames Parkinson's brainwaves

A neurofeedback system enables Parkinson's disease patients to voluntarily control brainwaves associated with symptoms of the disorder, according to new research published in eNeuro. It remains to be determined whether such ...

Neuroscience

Effective new target for mood-boosting brain stimulation found

Researchers have found an effective target in the brain for electrical stimulation to improve mood in people suffering from depression. As reported in the journal Current Biology on November 29, stimulation of a brain region ...

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Deep brain stimulation not effective for treating early Alzheimer's

A new study from Johns Hopkins shows that individuals with early onset Alzheimer's disease—those under the age of 65—don't benefit from deep brain stimulation, a treatment already proven to be effective for easing motor ...

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Deep brain stimulation

In neurotechnology, deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical treatment involving the implantation of a medical device called a brain pacemaker, which sends electrical impulses to specific parts of the brain. DBS in select brain regions has provided remarkable therapeutic benefits for otherwise treatment-resistant movement and affective disorders such as chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, tremor and dystonia. Despite the long history of DBS, its underlying principles and mechanisms are still not clear. DBS directly changes brain activity in a controlled manner, its effects are reversible (unlike those of lesioning techniques) and is one of only a few neurosurgical methods that allows blinded studies.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved DBS as a treatment for essential tremor in 1997, for Parkinson's disease in 2002, and dystonia in 2003. DBS is also routinely used to treat chronic pain and has been used to treat various affective disorders, including major depression. While DBS has proven helpful for some patients, there is potential for serious complications and side effects.

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