Deep Brain Stimulation to Relieve Tremors

Engineering

Two MSI Principal Investigators are featured in a recent post on the University’s Discover blog about deep brain stimulation (DBS), a therapy to alleviate tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease and other disorders. DBS uses electrodes inserted into a patient’s brain to electrically stimulate brain circuits, which causes the tremors to be greatly reduced or disappear completely. This is an enormous quality-of-life benefit to patients who sometimes are unable to perform the basic tasks because of their tremors.

Associate Professor Noam Harel (Center for Magnetic Resonance Research) and Assistant Professor Matt Johnson (Biomedical Engineering) are both involved in research to improve DBS therapy. Professor Harel uses imaging software available through MSI to construct 3D maps of a patient’s brain, allowing exact placement of the electrodes. Professor Johnson is using the supercomputers and visualization software in his group’s to create computational models of brain stimulation, which allow them to develop better devices for DBS.

Read the article on the Discover blog.