What is deep brain stimulation?
Deep brain stimulation is a treatment to improve symptoms in people with Parkinson's. It involves surgically implanting an electrode and pacemaker-like device into the body. Biomedical engineer Sri Sarma, PhD, explains how DBS works in this video.
Inside the neural stimulator is a voltage-controlled current source which sends current up through the wire, into the electrode, and at the tip of the electrode is
basically dumping charge. [MUSIC PLAYING]
It basically has three components. You have your electrode, which is a small lead, which is implanted into--
drilled into the brain. So it's a chronic implant. The end of it, one end, is basically
targeted at the brain. The tip of the electrode is in some brain region. At the other end is connected to a wire or an extension.
That wire is then connected to the third component, which is your neurostimulator. It's like your battery pack, which sits under the clavicle.
Now, the way the system works is inside the neurostimulator is a voltage-controlled current source which sends current up through the wire,
into the electrode, and at the tip of the electrode is basically dumping charge into the region of the brain.
Now, neurons are electrically and chemically excitable cells. So when you change their electrical activity,
the potential around them, they're going to change their behavior. They're going to either turn on, or they're going to turn off. And so by putting a DBS system into a human being,
you're actually altering the electrical activity of the neurons in the tissue that's activated by the DBS signal.
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