Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science

pp 626-644

Brain Pacemaker

  • Peter A. TassAffiliated withInstitute of Neuroscience and Biophysics 3 – Medicine and Virtual Institute of Neuromodulation, Research Center JülichDepartment of Stereotaxic and Functional Neurosurgery, University of CologneBrain Imaging Center West, Research Center Jülich
  • , Oleksandr V. PopovychAffiliated withInstitute of Neuroscience and Biophysics 3 – Medicine and Virtual Institute of Neuromodulation, Research Center Jülich
  • , Christian HauptmannAffiliated withInstitute of Neuroscience and Biophysics 3 – Medicine and Virtual Institute of Neuromodulation, Research Center Jülich

Definition of the Subject

A brain pacemaker is a medical device that is implanted into the brain with the purpose to stimulate nervous tissue with electrical signals. Brain pacemakers are used for the therapy of patients suffering for example from Parkinson's disease, epilepsy or mental disorders. Brain stimulation is either called deep brain stimulation (DBS) if structures deeply inside the brain are targeted or Stimulation, if the electrical contacts of the stimulator are positioned on the surface of the brain. Apart from direct brain stimulation, brain pacemakers may also be used to stimulate the spinal cord (e. g. for the treatment of pain) or the vagus nerve (for the treatment of epilepsy). The electrical stimulation of the nervous system has a long history which goes back to the 19th century where first tests with cortical stimulation were documented [23]. The first intraoperative deep brain stimulation was performed by Spie ...

This is an excerpt from the content