Monday, October 08, 2007

Brain Radiator

I'm not sure if you will see any clinical trials on this little gizmo, but it is still pretty cool. The idea is that by cooling the brain, you can reduce seizures. I found this at the New Scientist Invention Blog.

In severe epileptic fits, over-excited brain cells fire at such a rate they can raise the brain's temperature in that area. This causes more nerves to fire in a feedback mechanism that makes the fit even worse. One way of preventing such escalating fits is to cool the area of the brain that is susceptible.

So Takashi Saito and colleagues at Yamaguchi University in Japan have developed a heat pipe that is surgically implanted into the affected region of the brain and then connected to a heat sink on the outside of the skull. This device carries heat away from the affected area, keeping it cool and reducing the chances of severe epileptic fits in future.

Here is an image from the patent application:


Anonymous said...

Wow, that looks pretty radical. I thought I was pretty high-tech and cutting edge with my VNS device. I'd like to see the success results with this gizmo from US trials.
Remember, the VNS device results are running currently about 33/33/33% in terms of absolute success/some success/no success. By the time they get to a device like this, your epilepsy has to be pretty untreatable already.

Emeriol said...

Absolutely! But I'm glad that people are persuing this type of research. Epilepsy really bites... and if a little gizmo will help, I'm all for it.