New Use For Diamonds : Brain Inplants For Treating Epilepsy, Paralysis and Blindness
Epilepsy is a central nervous system (neurological) disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness. Treatment with medications or sometimes surgery can control seizures for the majority of people with epilepsy, however some people require lifelong treatment to control seizures. The varying severity of these seizures and also its unpredictability can be a severe psychological strain on the patient and also close ones.
A research team from the University Of Melbourne have developed a brain inplant that uses diamonds. This new brain inplant has the potential of predicting when a seizure is most likely to occur and also stop it.
Current brain inplants for controlling epilepsy are not as effective and have varying limitations as they can only deliver constant stimulation that modulates the brain’s activity at all times and not just at specific critical times. Most are also are not able to function via wireless modes and in most times offer no improvement over conventional drug.
Lead researcher, Matias Maturana and her team designed an inplant that can instead record brain activity and use the record to predict when seizures would occur and also release the necessary stimulative impulses when needed only. This means the device can activate only when needed, and regulate the amount of stimulation to stop the seizures from occurring.
The device is made from stable and strong carbon based diamonds, which means it is biocompatible and safe for carbon-based lifeforms like humans. It has significant advantages over commercial technology, primarily the fact that it is wireless, avoiding the need for wires to protrude from the head and also the fact that it is not corrodible and does not cause immune system rejections or infections. The neural implant represents a new generation of brain interfaces with the potential to treat many diseases not just epilepsy.
For instance, it could be utilized to decode signals form the motor cortex (the part in the brain that controls body movements) and used to control robotic limbs. This could help in patients with paralysis. The usage for this new brain inplant is tremendous as other applications could also be developed in the near future such as even sight restoration, assiting in cognitive and neurodegenerative diseases etc.