Diseases that require neurological care are amongst the deadliest killers in the US. Stroke, which affects almost 800,00 people a year and kills 140,000 people every year, is the third largest cause of death. Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia are the sixth leading cause of death in the US. Medical researchers are working hard to find cures for these devastating illnesses, and there is great progress on the road to neurological health for all.
Standard neurological care
There are many therapies and devices on the market that aid in neurological care, many of them providing amazing relief from illness or that thwart further progression, but none of which have been able to completely cure disease. One of the popular and effective forms of therapy for neurological disease is electrode therapy, of which there are also several forms. One of the ways to provide electrical impulses to the brain is to implant a neurostimulation device. This small piece of therapeutic equipment has a tiny microelectrode made from platinum and is inserted near the brain to give off electrical impulses. While this type of treatment has been shown to be effective, the main problem with it has been that the platinum on the electrode can become corroded which damages the neurostimulation device.
New advances in neurostimulation therapy
Researchers at Purdue University have studied the problem and believe they have found a solution. Hyowon Lee, the leader of the research team, from Purdue’s College of Engineering and who also does research at the Birck Nanotechnology Center, notes that technology can’t be transmitted to the clinical level without the right materials. At the operational level, everything has to work for the research to reach the patients and make big changes in healthcare. For this reason, his team hasdeveloped a graphene monolayer to completely cushion the electrode from corrosion.
“This is part of our research focusing on augmenting and improving implantable devices using nano and microscale technologies for more reliable and advanced treatments. We are the first ones that I know of to address the platinum corrosion issue in neurostimulation microelectrodes,” said Hyowon Lee.
This shows the effective partnership of technology and medical research. Lee learned about the power of the graphene monolayer from a colleague at Birck. Their tests so far have shown the substance to be excellent at preventing corrosion from forming on the platinum while still allowing the electricity to be conducted.
Lee sees a strong need for more research into electrode therapy and neurostimulators, which can greatly help neurological care for patients who have trouble with vision, ambulation, and other functions.
At the Alameda Center for rehabilitation in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, we offer therapeutic services for patients who require neurological care. Our staff is highly trained and dedicated, and we look forward to providing treatment for patients with neurological diseases.