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Implanting electrodes to treat epilepsy, better understand the brain

A recent segment on KQED-FM spotlighted the experience of Nate Bennett, an epilepsy patient being treated at Stanford Hospital, and the work that neurologist Josef Parvizi, MD, PhD, and others are doing to better understand not only epilepsy, but also other functions of the human brain. As reporter Amy Standen notes, scientists have grown to consider the disorder "a window into the brain."

The audio and accompanying transcript describes the process of Bennett's treatment, which includes surgery to implant electrodes in his brain, followed by monitoring to see which parts of the organ are causing the seizures and could be candidates for removal. Bennett's doctors also mapped his brain to create a detailed picture of where different functions occur in the hopes of someday fixing other disorders that originate in the brain.

“People like Nate have been immensely valuable,” Parvizi notes in the piece. “They’ve courageously donated their time and they’ve valued brain research.”

Previously: Ask Stanford Med: Neurologist answers your questions on drug-resistant epilepsyWe’ve got your number: Exact spot in brain where numeral recognition takes place revealedMetamorphosis: At the push of a button, a familiar face becomes a strange one and Why memory and math don’t mix: They require opposing states of the same brain circuitry

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