Summary of Communication with Neurons

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Communication with Neurons summary
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  • Innovative
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In a straightforward, methodical, yet wildly exciting talk, MIT researcher Polina Anikeeva describes how her team is using materials science to address dysfunctions in the human nervous system. Modern materials open the door to noninvasive medical interventions, she explains. getAbstract recommends this video to those interested in neuroscience, disease prevention, technology or innovation.

About the Speaker

Polina Anikeeva is a professor in MIT’s department of materials science and engineering. 



Consider a future in which doctors can repair spinal cords and can treat various neurological disorders without drugs. What sounds like science fiction is within reach, thanks to advancements in materials science. Paralysis, chronic pain and Parkinson’s disease involve malfunctions of the nervous system. Addressing the malfunctions requires communicating with the system’s “building blocks”: neurons. Today, doctors accomplish this through an intrusive “deep brain stimulation implant.” They insert wires into a patient’s brain to transmit electrical charges to neurons. This treatment helps those with Parkinson’s move again but can alter their personalities, partly because...

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