A noninvasive method for deep brain stimulation

June 22, 2017

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.

DMSE Senior Researcher David Bono was one of the authors of this research. 

A brain slice that shows the hippocampus cells that were activated by the new stimulation technique (bottom image, lighter green areas on the left)

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