New way of measuring brainwaves could be life-changing for Parkinson's patients ​


Researchers at UCSF are studying a new technique for measuring brainwaves that could change the way diseases, including Parkinson’s, are treated.

When it comes to understanding and treating Parkinson’s disease, understanding brain activity is key.

This is usually done in a hospital, with patients hooked up to electrodes.

"What’s new about this technique is that the recording is performed entirely within a device - a completely implanted device - and that can then stream wirelessly at long distances so that you can record this activity as they go about their normal lives in their homes or outside their homes," said Dr. Philip Starr, professor of neurological surgery at UCSF.

Dr. Starr — senior author of the study — told KCBS Radio’s "As Prescribed" on Thursday that these new devices not only measure brainwaves but can also deliver electrical impulses that help improve symptoms.

"The promise is then to use brain activity to auto adjust levels of stimulation so that it responds to changing brain needs," he said.

It’s hoped the technique could also be applied to other diseases such as epilepsy.