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Medical News & Perspectives |

Scientists Look to Emerging Technology to Treat Chronic Neurological Disorders

Bridget M. Kuehn
JAMA. 2011;305(3):237-239. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1928.
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San Diego— Scientists are finding potential therapies for chronic neurological disorders such as stroke and retinal degeneration by harnessing new technologies and a burgeoning understanding of human neurology.

Despite advances in neuroscience, cures for many chronic neurological conditions have proven elusive, leading scientists and clinicians to focus on potential rehabilitative therapies. To achieve this, many researchers are working to harness emerging electronic, computer, and molecular technologies to more specifically target the underlying genetic, molecular, and physiological deficits experienced by patients.

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Computers can be trained to recognize what a person is thinking about by comparing patterns of brain activation. For example, when a person thinks about hitting a tennis ball, the supplementary motor area and other regions are activated (blue), but when the same person thinks about moving from room to room, the parahippocampal place area and other regions are activated (red).   

(Photo credit: Anna Rose Childress/Jeremy Magland/University of Pennsylvania)



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