Jun 07, 2021 | Vanshika Kaushik
The most deadly disorders impact the functioning of the brain. Brain is a complex unit that uses neurons to transmit information in the form of electrical signals. Brain seizures or epilepsy is a disorder that impacts the nerve cell activity of the brain( transmission process).
The seizure can be a result of a previous brain injury, or a genetic disorder. The seizure may leave permanent injury on the brain; it also causes dizziness, confusion, inability to move or make decisions. In the fast paced modern era mental illnesses and brain related disorders have taken the life of many.
It is not easy to identify which region of the brain has caused the epileptic seizure. Scientists from University of Zurich have devised an energy efficient and small device that is made of artificial neurons and that can decode the brainwaves.
The chip uses recorded data of epilepsy patients to identify which region of the brain causes epileptic seizure. The chip makes use of neuromorphic technology to recognize the brain signals. Neuromorphic chip measured the brain waves and identified the tissue that caused seizures, it also detected high frequency oscillations(HFos).
The algorithm detected HFO by copying the brain’s natural neural network known as spiking neural network (SNN). SNN was implemented in a tiny sized piece of hardware. The tiny piece of hardware will receive neural signals via electrode. Neuromorphic chips are energy efficient.
Researchers are now planning to develop an electronic system that can monitor and detect high frequency oscillations(HFOs) in real time. The neuromorphic chip can also be used in operating theatres to improve the outcome of medical diagnostic tools.
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They are also planning to use this new evolved technology to monitor epilepsy patients in hospitals. The neuromorphic chip can later be connected to a cell phone for managing the data. The chip also enables wireless communication.
According to SciTechDaily Johannes Sarnthein, a neurophysiologist at University Hospital Zurich, elaborates: “A portable or implantable chip such as this could identify periods with a higher or lower rate of incidence of seizures, which would enable us to deliver personalized medicine.”