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"Firing Up the Neural Symphony" - Benedict Carey

  • The New York Times
  • New York, NY
  • (May 14, 2019)

A targeted form of electrical therapy, called deep brain stimulation, has been used to manage conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. In D.B.S., an electrode is threaded into a specific area of the brain that is being disruptive; stimulating it, paradoxically, knocks out activity in that specific region. If a particularly strong section is off-key, “It can affect the entire system, and the whole orchestra sounds off,” said Helen Mayberg, MD, associate professor of neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, and neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “You can think of it as firing everyone in that section— sending the percussion home permanently. Precision is absolutely critical.”

— Helen S. Mayberg, MD, Professor, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director, Center for Advanced Circuit Therapeutics, Mount Sinai Health System

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