How Neuroscience Will Fight Five Age-Old Afflictions

Monday, February 18, 2013 - 13:00 in Physics & Chemistry

Rewiring The Brain: Seizures a) A surgeon identifies where in the brain seizures occur using electrodes placed on the scalp, then inserts an electrode array directly into that region. b) A seizure starts when neurons become overly excited, causing a prominent electrical signature. The array detects this signature and emits its own electrical pulse, which disrupts the neurons. c) The pulse also puts a negative current on a polymer enveloping the electrodes on the array, causing its charge to change from positive to neutral. Negatively charged antiseizure-drug molecules drop away from the electrodes, further calming the nearby neurons. Medi-MationRewiring the brain to battle seizures, blindness, and more 1) SEIZURES A device delivers targeted drugs to calm overactive neurons For years, large clinical trials have treated people with epilepsy using so-called deep-brain stimulation: surgically implanted electrodes that can detect a seizure and stop it with an electrical jolt. The technology leads to a 69...

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