A “brain pacemaker” has been shown to control epilepsy in rats by responding to abnormal electrical patterns in the brain as they happen. The device, reported in today’s issue of Science, is less invasive than some other seizure-zapping technologies in development—it does not need to be implanted into the brain tissue. Instead, it sits on the brain’s surface. And because the device is only activated in response to seizures, it does not share the risk of causing brain-changing side effects carried by continuously stimulating devices.
Some 30 to 40 percent of epilepsy patients do not respond to medication; these kinds of self-regulating devices could provide these patients with a way to control their seizures as they happen.
As reported by HealthDay:
It works like a ping-pong game,” explained study author Dr. Gyorgy Buzsaki, a professor of neural science at New York University. “Every time a ball is coming your way, you apply an interfering pattern to whack it away.”
Technology Review reported on a version of this kind of treatment in 2007 that requires deeper implantation into the brain (see “Zapping Seizures Away”). The company behind that technology, Neuropace, recently announced that it is seeking FDA approval for the treatment, which they’ve already tested in 191 epilepsy patients.
This startup wants to copy you into an embryo for organ harvesting
With plans to create realistic synthetic embryos, grown in jars, Renewal Bio is on a journey to the horizon of science and ethics.
This artist is dominating AI-generated art. And he’s not happy about it.
Greg Rutkowski is a more popular prompt than Picasso.
VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence
On key metrics, a VR experience elicited a response indistinguishable from subjects who took medium doses of LSD or magic mushrooms.
This nanoparticle could be the key to a universal covid vaccine
Ending the covid pandemic might well require a vaccine that protects against any new strains. Researchers may have found a strategy that will work.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.