Magic WAND

Author: admin

A pacemaker for the heart is passé. Now, scientists are developing a wireless device that can stimulate the brain with electric current, which will help treat those suffering from epilepsy and Parkinson’s. This pacemaker for the brain will monitor the brain’s electrical activity, delivering electrical stimulation if it detects something amiss.

Named WAND, the abbreviation for wireless artefact-free neuromodulation device, it is effective at preventing debilitating tremors or seizures in patients with a variety of neurological conditions, according to researchers at the University of California -Berkeley.

WAND is both wireless and autonomous—once it learns to recognise the signs of tremor or seizure, it can adjust the stimulation parameters on its own to prevent unwanted movements. What’s more, it can record electrical activity from 128 points in the brain, compared to eight channels in other closed-loop systems.

The study was published in journal Nature Biomedical Engineering.

Photo: iStock
February 2019