Michigan State University received a grant to improve brain implants used to treat Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression and traumatic injuries.
The $1.8 million dollars from the National Institutes for Health is for implants that allow patients to bring parts of their bran and body back online.
Although these medical advances have given patients more treatment options, the ability to signal fades over time.
“Every patient’s reaction to the implants is different, and it’s unpredictable if the devices will last days, weeks or months,” Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Erin Purcell said. “If we understand the signaling mechanisms that dictate the response, then we can systematically test new ways to make the implant ‘unseen’ in the body and avoid the tissue response.”
Purcell’s team of scientists is working to understand how changes in the neurons’ ability to “speak” determine an implants’ success.