Any of us who know a friend or family with a movement or other neurological disorder, understand how difficult life can be.
The simplest tasks such as writing, drinking your morning coffee, or brushing your teeth are fraught with difficulty and frustration, or the inability to complete the task.
Thankfully, there is hope on the horizon, if the initial success of University of Washington’s interdisciplinary researchers continues through additional clinical trials.
The treatment, a form of targeted brain stimulation, created by an interdisciplinary team of electrical engineers, medical researchers and ethicists, have created an innovation based on deep brain stimulation.
Essentially, deep brain stimulation is always “on” which reduces battery life and can create the need for additional surgery. However, with this targeted treatment, the electrical stimulation can be delivered only when necessary.
Hopefully, this important research will continue to be successful and deliver additional relief to the over 7 million Americans who suffer with Essential Tremor Disorder.
Check out Jennifer Langston’s article for a more comprehensive look.
Teachers in any science class would find sharing this with their students a valuable endeavor to help create real-world connections to their content.
Questions for Discussion
- How does traditional deep-brain stimulation work?
- What does this treatment do differently?
- When are individuals with Essential Tremor least likely to be affected?
- How long does a battery last in the current treatment? How much longer will it last with this innovation?
- How are the neural signals decoded?
- What role did ethicists play in this research do you think?
- What additional uses will there likely be if this is successful?
- How will this device be likely turned on and off in the future?