(Image credit: Dawn Harmer/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory) (Image credit: Dawn Harmer/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)

A Next-Gen EEG Could Help Bring Back Lost Brain Function

SLAC and Stanford researchers are developing a device that combines electrical brain stimulation with EEG recording, opening potential new paths for treating neurological disorders.

A device under development at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University could help bring back lost brain function by measuring how the brain responds to therapies that stimulate it with electric current. The approach could open new avenues for treating brain disorders and selectively switching brain activities on and off.

“The device works similar to radar, which sends out electromagnetic waves and passively listens for the weaker reflected waves,” says SLAC senior scientist Christopher Kenney. “Here, we send electrical pulses into the head via the electrodes of an EEG monitoring system, and in the time between those strong pulses we use the same electrodes to pick up the much weaker electrical signals from inside the head.”

Visible Legacy Comment

The collaboration between Psychology and SLAC has allowed what's possible to meet what's desirable. This system's cabability to stimulate brain tissue and measure the response simultaneously. Next versions may provide more control through signal shaping. It may be possible to reduce this to a chip which could offer a mobile device delivering precision health care. Tech Scouts watching for medical device innovations or industry affiliate opportunities may want to explore this collaboration further.