Engineering a smarter treatment for Parkinson’s disease

“We are building computer models of electrodes, of brain tissue, of the nerves that convey signals to muscles and of the muscles themselves.”

In the fifth installment of our researcher case studies we look at Dr Madeleine Lowery of the UCD School of Electrical & Electronc Engineering.

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disease that affects parts of the brain that control the movement of muscles, and can result in the person having ‘shakes’ or tremors and experience difficulty walking and speaking.  One treatment for these symptoms is Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), which implants an electrode into the brain to calm muscle tremors and other motor symptoms.
Professor Madeleine Lowery is using computer models to build a better understanding of how DBS affects brain tissue, how it stimulates the nerves that carry signals to muscles and how it impacts the muscles themselves.
Ultimately the aim is to develop a ‘smart’ Deep Brain Stimulation system that can figure out what the person needs and can automatically deliver the correct level of timely stimulation, thereby reducing symptoms effectively and with longer battery life.

You can find the full text  here:  Engineering a smarter treatment for Parkinson’s disease