Imagine if your biggest health problem could be solved with the flip of a switch. Deep-brain stimulation (DBS) offers such a dramatic recovery for a range of neurological illnesses, including Parkinson’s disease,epilepsy and major depression. Yet the metal electrodes implanted in the brain are too bulky to tap into intricate neural circuitry with precision and corrode in contact with tissue, so their performance degrades over time. Now neurophysiologists have developed a method of DBS that avoids these problems by using microscopic magnets to stimulate neurons.
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