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 Inselspital: Fewer CT scans needed after cerebral bleeding
20.03.2019 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Building blocks for new medications: the University of Graz is seeking a technology partner
19.03.2019 | Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz

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: New gene potentially involved in metastasis identified

Gene named after Roman goddess Minerva as immune cells get stuck in the fruit fly’s head

Cancers that display a specific combination of sugars, called T-antigen, are more likely to spread through the body and kill a patient. However, what regulates...

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Searching for disappeared anti-matter: A successful start to measurements with Belle II

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Extremely accurate measurements of atom states for quantum computing

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Listening to the quantum vacuum

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>