Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mayo Clinic creates tool to track real-time chemical changes in brain

16.07.2012
Novel system will help treat diseases like Parkinson's, Tourette's and depression

Mayo Clinic researchers have found a novel way to monitor real-time chemical changes in the brains of patients undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS). The groundbreaking insight will help physicians more effectively use DBS to treat brain disorders such as Parkinson's disease, depression and Tourette syndrome. The findings are published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Journalists: For multimedia resources including video of a tremor patient undergoing DBS, visit the Mayo Clinic News Network.

Researchers hope to use the discovery to create a DBS system that can instantly respond to chemical changes in the brain. Parkinson's, Tourette syndrome and depression all involve a surplus or deficiency of neurochemicals in the brain. The idea is to monitor those neurochemicals and adjust them to appropriate levels.

"We can learn what neurochemicals can be released by DBS, neurochemical stimulation, or other stimulation. We can basically learn how the brain works," says author Su-Youne Chang, Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic Neurosurgery Department. As researchers better understand how the brain works, they can predict changes, and respond before those changes disrupt brain functioning.

Researchers observed the real-time changes of the neurotransmitter adenosine in the brains of tremor patients undergoing deep brain stimulation. Neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin are chemicals that transmit signals from a neuron to a target cell across a synapse.

The team used fast scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) to quantify concentrations of adenosine released in patients during deep brain stimulation. The data was recorded using Wireless Instantaneous Neurotransmitter Concentration Sensing, a small wireless neurochemical sensor implanted in the patient's brain. The sensor, combined with FSCV, scans for the neurotransmitter and translates that information onto a laptop in the operating room. The sensor has previously identified neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in tests in brain tissue. This was the first time researchers used this technique in patients.

Tremors are a visual cue that the technique is working; researchers suspect adenosine plays a role in reducing tremors.

Researchers also hope to learn more about conditions without such external manifestations.

"We can't watch pain as we do tremors," says Kendall Lee, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon. "What is exciting about this electrochemical feedback is that we can monitor the brain without external feedback. So now, we can monitor neurochemicals in the brain and learn about brain processes like pain."

DBS has been used successfully worldwide to treat patients with tremors. However, physicians do not fully understand why DBS works in patients. They know that when DBS electrodes are inserted before electrical stimulation, there is an immediate tremor reduction. Known as the microthalamotomy effect, it is reported in up to 53 percent of patients and known to last as long as a year.

Researchers hope to use the study findings to create a self-contained "smart" DBS system.

"With the stimulator and detection, we can create algorithms and then raise neurotransmitters to a specified level," says Kevin Bennet, a Mayo Clinic engineer who helped create the system. "We can raise these chemicals to appropriate levels, rising and falling with each person throughout their life. Within milliseconds, we can measure, calculate and respond. From the patient's perspective, this would be essentially instantaneous."

The work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health and the Grainger Foundation.

Co-authors include Inyong Kim; Michael Marsh; Dong Pyo Jang, Ph.D.; Sun-Chul Hwang, M.D., Ph.D.; Jamie Van Gompel, M.D.; Stephan Goerss; Christopher Kimble, M.S.; Paul Garris, Ph.D.; and Charles Blaha

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit www.mayoclinic.com and www.mayoclinic.org/news.

Brian Kilen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mayo.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>