by Hackworth, Steven A

Abstract (Summary)
Parkinsons disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes tremor, stiffness, and slowness of movement. The first line of treatment for the disease is the administration of drugs. Over a period of time, these drugs slowly lose their affect to arrest the symptoms associated with Parkinsons disease. Once a patient becomes refractory to drug treatment, one alternative treatment option is Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). In DBS, a probe is implanted in the basal ganglia area of the brain to administer electric pulses that curb the aforementioned symptoms. Although not fully understood, DBS is becoming a more widely accepted treatment, with various implantable devices currently on the market. These devices, however, require the implantation of a relatively large battery and control pack in the chest with subcutaneous wires threaded up through the neck to the top of the skull. The control pack and wires are a common source of irritation and infection, sometimes necessitating long periods of antibiotics or even removal of the device. Furthermore, the device is susceptible to magnetic interference and has a limited battery life. After the average 3- to 5-year lifespan of an implants battery, another surgery is required to replace the device. The aim of this research is to design a small remotely powered device capable of driving a DBS probe from directly under the scalp. Successful development and proof of viability will form a basis for the conceptual redesign of currently marketed devices in order to eliminate the intrusive battery pack and wires, as well as the health risks commonly associated with them and the implantation procedure.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Robert Sclabassi; James T. Cain; Mingui Sun; Michael R. Lovell; Marlin H. Mickle

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:electrical engineering


Date of Publication:11/09/2005

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