New tiny brain stimulator could treat epilepsy

Australian researchers have developed a device to electrically stimulate the brain in the hope of treating epilepsy and Parkinson’s

Australian researchers have developed a tiny device to electrically stimulate the brain in the hope of treating epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease without invasive surgery.

The Stentrode device, just 4mm in diameter, can be permanently inserted into a blood vessel to place electrodes in the brain through a vein in the neck, according to a study released on Tuesday.

The device was put into blood vessels in sheep and their brain tissue was simulated, the proof-of-concept study published in Nature Biomedical Engineering reveals.

“By adding the ability to speak to the brain using electrical stimulation, we have created a two-way digital communication device,” says lead researcher Dr Nick Opie (PhD).

“In one application, the Stentrode could be used as a tool to record the onset of an epileptic seizure and provide stimulation to prevent it.”

It is hoped the device can be

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