Implementation of a Novel Neurostimulation Strategy

Spring 2014

Student
Ana Cruz
Advisor
Pulkit Grover
Project description

Neurostimulation is a powerful tool in medicine and neuroscience. It is used to cure and lessen the effects of many diseases and conditions such as Parkinson's disease, brain tumors and drug-resistant epilepsy. Some of the techniques currently used to stimulate the brain include transcranial magnetic stimulation, gamma ray-stimulation, and ultrasound stimulation. Our focus is on ultrasound-based stimulation. The purpose of this project is to use signal-processing techniques to improve the accuracy of stimulation without any change in the stimulation hardware (i.e., transducer quality and location). Traditionally, the only signal-processing technique used is the phased-array architecture, but based on my simulation results (obtained in collaboration with Majid Mahzoon, a graduate student in Prof. Grover's lab), this technique requires a significantly larger number of transducers for the same stimulation accuracy by use of signal processing to align energy fields. By exploring a new way to approach the problem, we hope to improve upon the existing technique and therefore make ultrasonic brain stimulation more effective. If the larger vision of this project is successful, people all over the world with brain tumors, Parkinson's disease and other diseases will have a more accurate procedure at their disposal.

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