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Sensors could measure brain chemical levels over the course of a year
Author: Simge Eva DoganPublished: 18 October 2018
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Neuroscientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US, believe they have developed brain sensors that can measure dopamine levels over a year-long period.
The sensors – which are implanted about five millimetres deep – were tested on animals and recorded dopamine levels for up to 393 days. To ensure results were accurate over a longer period of time, scientists designed sensors that would not provoke an immune reaction.
If the new technology is developed for human use, it could help doctors measure dopamine levels in people receiving deep brain stimulation – and subsequently allow them to deliver the treatment only when it is necessary.
Helen N. Schwerdt, MIT postdoctoral research associate and lead author of the study published in science journal ‘Communications Biology’, said: “Understanding those relationships between chemical and electrical activity will be really important to understanding all of the issues that you see in Parkinson’s.”
For more information on Parkinson’s and deep brain stimulation please visit Parkinson’s Europe website.
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