Scientists research how to treat brain disorders without life-threatening surgery

March 12, 2019 - 3:30 am

KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — There are numerous disorders that impact the brain — everything from depression and anxiety to epilepsy. 

One of the frustrating elements with brain-based disorders is the fact that it is very difficult to examine the brain, and surgery can be life-threatening. 

But now, a new group is looking at ways to identify and influence brain activity from outside the skull, hoping to eventually permit doctors to diagnose and treat a wide range of debilitating nervous system diseases and mental disorders without having to do surgery. 

It is very complex, but the theory is that nerve cells can communicate with each other through the development and use of electrical fields. Electrical fields can be monitored and altered from outside the skull.

Scientists are now beginning to learn how to listen to nerve communication.