August 26, 2022

New Method of Examining the Brain’s Electrical Signals Could Hold the Key to Better Treatment of Epilepsy and Schizophrenia

Article published by Aston University 

A new method of examining the brain’s electrical signals could hold the key to better treatment and understanding of conditions like epilepsy and schizophrenia.

Researchers at Aston University are exploring new ways to ‘listen’ to and record electrical signals emitted from brain cells, which could be used to help treat the conditions.

Currently, epilepsy patients who can’t be helped by drugs may undergo brain surgery in order to prevent seizures, removing the part of the brain that is the ‘focus’ of the seizures.

Dr Stuart Greenhill, senior lecturer in neuroscience in the College of Health and Life Sciences and member of Aston Institute of Health and Neurodevelopment (IHN), said: “The research project will use newly developed nanomaterials to keep samples of brain healthy and active for far longer than current technology allows, whilst recording the activity of the tissue. This allows more understanding of what generates epileptic seizures and opens up new avenues for drug development, meaning fewer surgeries may be needed in the future. Eventually, the technology may lead to new and better ways of recording from patients’ brains before surgery.”