Deep Brain Stimulation Illustration
This image is an artistic rendering of deep brain stimulation (DBS), an approach now under clinical investigation to treat cognitive impairment that can arise after a traumatic brain injury and other conditions.
The vertical lines represent wire leads with a single electrode that has been inserted deep within the brain to reach a region involved in cognition, the central thalamus. The leads are connected to a pulse generator, a pacemaker-like device that has been implanted in a patient’s chest (not shown). The leads’ electrode emits electrical impulses that stimulate a network of neuronal fibers (blue-white streaks) involved in arousal, which is an essential component of human consciousness. The hope is that DBS will improve attention and reduce fatigue in people with serious brain injuries that are not treatable by other means.
This image won first place in the still image category of the BRAIN Initiative’s “Show Us Your Brain Contest!”
Credit: Andrew Janson, Butson Lab, University of Utah
NIH support from: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke