Treating Parkinson’s With….Magnets?

Some fascinating reading on a potential treatment for Parkinson’s.

Neurostimulation through surgically placed, battery-powered implants is often used to help reduce tremors in people with Parkinson’s disease. However, the devices are often large and batteries may need to be charged or replaced through surgery. Their wires can also facilitate infections.

Neuroengineers at Rice University have developed a tiny (about the size of a grain of rice) wireless surgical implant that uses “magnetoelectric” technology to electrically stimulate the brain and nervous system.

Scientists have known the value of direct neural stimulation in the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions for decades. The problem was always scale: surgeries were too invasive to be done regularly, and implants were too large to be usable in most cases. This breakthrough in miniaturization may be a great leap towards more effective treatments for Parkinson’s and other related conditions.

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