Mayo Clinic researchers have developed an implantable brain sensor to measure the concentration changes of neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and glutamate in patients undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy.
This new system, called a wireless instantaneous neurotransmitter concentration sensor (WINCS), will be surgically implanted in the brain to provide real-time measurements of chemical levels (e.g., dopamine, serotonin, and glutamate). The hope is that these measurements can help direct neurosurgeons in the optimal placement of the stimulating electrode during DBS, thereby improving outcomes for patients.
DBS is a neurosurgical treatment that stimulates the brain with mild electrical signals that reorganize the brain’s electrical and chemical activity. DBS causes improvements in symptoms in a number of conditions affecting the brain, including Parkinson’s disease, tremor, epilepsy, depression and chronic pain.
“Potential future implications for this technology are immense,” says Kendall Lee, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon and director of the Mayo Clinic Neural Engineering laboratory. “WINCS may be part of a smart deep brain stimulation device that is able to regulate neurotransmitter systems in the brain to better treat diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, depression, chronic pain and others.”
Here’s video of Kevin Bennet , chair of Mayo Clinic Division of Engineering, giving an overview of the technology:
Press release: Mayo Clinic Develops New Deep Brain Stimulation Sensor to Measure Chemical Levels in the Brain