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Mind-blowing Emory-Tech innovation and inventions span two decades

By Mary Loftus | Emory Magazine | Nov. 13, 2013

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When groups of nerve cells in the brain fire too often and at random—what people with epilepsy sometimes call "brain lightning" or "an electrical storm in my brain"—seizures can be the result. From using electrodes to excite neurons in an epileptic rat model to stimulating the optic nerve with light, neuroengineer Steve Potter of the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory, and Bob Gross of Emory School of Medicine's Department of Neurosurgery are developing brain stimulation therapies that could help people with epilepsy who don't respond to drugs. "We want to better understand what causes epileptic seizures and try to find a way to respond to those bursts in activity with stimulation and reduce the number of seizures an individual experiences," Potter says.

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