Institute News Fall 2017 Issue 42

New Fund to Support Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation

Kay and Ted Poitras (center) with Bob Desimone. Photo: McGovern Institute
Kay and Ted Poitras (center) with Bob Desimone. Photo: McGovern Institute

Our longtime friends and supporters Ted and Kay Poitras have created a new seed fund to support research into a novel method for brain stimulation, recently developed in the lab of Ed Boyden. This method, known as temporal interference, allows researchers to stimulate brain regions precisely and non-invasively, through the targeted application of rapidly changing electrical fields delivered to the surface of the head. The initial study, published in June, was conducted in mice, and the new seed fund will enable Boyden to partner with clinical researchers to test it in human subjects. Temporal interference may offer an alternative to current techniques for deep brain stimulation, which require surgical implantation of intracranial electrodes. If successful, Boyden hopes the method could eventually form the basis of new treatments for disorders such as Parkinson’s, depression and epilepsy

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