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Brain Pacemaker

Brain Pacemaker

During a five-hour surgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Kathy Sanford became the first Alzheimer’s patient in the United States to have a pacemaker implanted in her brain. She is the first of up to 10 patients who will be enrolled in an FDA-approved study at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center to determine if using a brain pacemaker can improve cognitive and behavioral functioning in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The study employs the use of deep brain stimulation (DBS), the same technology used to successfully treat about 100,000 patients worldwide with movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.  In the study, researchers hope to determine whether DBS surgery can improve function governed by the frontal lobe and neural networks involved in cognition...

During a five-hour surgery at ...

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Electronic Implant for Memory

Electronic Implant for Memory

Theodore Berger, a biomedical engineer and neuroscientist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, envisions a day in the not too distant future when a patient with severe memory loss can get help from an electronic implant.  In people whose brains have suffered damage from Alzheimer’s, stroke, or injury, disrupted neuronal networks often prevent long-term memories from forming. Berger has designed silicon chips to mimic the signal processing that those neurons do when they’re functioning properly—the work that allows us to recall experiences and knowledge for more than a minute.  Ultimately, Berger wants to restore the ability to create long-term memories by implanting chips like these in the brain. Berger and his research partners have yet to conduct human tests...

Theodore Berger, a biomedical ...

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