Buenaventura IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology

The Promise of Deep Brain Stimulation

Matt Haller, PhD

June 21, 2006
CLU - Richter Hall Ahmanson Science Building

With Dystonia, your head and neck may twitch painfully and uncontrollably, or your arm starts shaking for no reason.   With Essential Tremor, your hand may shake so badly that you can't write your name or pour a liquid without spilling.   With Parkinson's disease you may also have tremors, as well as muscle stiffness and slowness of movement.

What do all these neuromuscular disorders have in common? Typically, people with these conditions are treated with medications, which may or may not give them relief.  But a new therapy, called Deep Brain Stimulation, is demonstrating in research studies that it may provide an excellent way of controlling dystonia and tremors.

Over 2,000 people with Parkinson's disease in the U.S. have had Deep Brain Stimulation Systems implanted. For most people, it has relieved many symptoms and improved their ability to walk and do the activities of daily life. Researchers believe that as many as 15% of people with Parkinson's could benefit from Deep Brain Stimulation each year.

Matt Haller, PhD

Matt Haller has more than fifteen years’ experience in the medical device field, is a co-inventor on Advanced Bionics’ microstimulat-ors, and has numerous patents, both from Advanced Bionics and from Acuson (for medical diagnostic ultrasound imaging).  Matt Haller was a Stanford University Center for Integrated Systems Fellow, studying micromachined ultrasonic materials.

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