Noninvasive Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep brain stimulation via implanted electrodes has proven an effective therapy for Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and depression among other disorders; however, it remains an invasive and risky operation. NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Ed Boyden and his team at MIT Media Lab have developed a revolutionary new method of noninvasive deep brain stimulation.
Published in Cell, the scientists, in collaboration with researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the IT’IS Foundation created a way to send electrical signals deep within the brain via electrodes placed on the scalp, as opposed to implanting them deep within the brain at the area of interest. The scientists accomplished this feat via a phenomenon called temporal interference, where two electrodes create a treatment area only where their radiating electrical currents intersect.
This breakthrough has broad implications for patients and scientists, enabling easier and safer delivery of deep brain stimulation for treatment and opening up new avenues of research that were previously prohibitively expensive and risky.