“if you want to observe anything that is at all complicated – having more than one part – in nature, you typically only observe one of the parts or a small subset of the many parts. The best way of doing that is make a model. Not a replica, but a mathematical representation that uses strategies to reconstruct from measurements of one part to the many that we cannot observe,” said Steven J. Schiff, the Brush Chair Professor of Engineering and director of the Penn State Center for Neural Engineering. To that end, Schiff and his colleagues, with support from the National Institutes of Health are looking at a wide range of control strategies for migraines, as well as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. In looking at a model he attempts to simulate what he has seen, and if he can, integrate the model with the real system. The mechanism underneath migraine headaches is a very slow wave that grows through the brain cortex. Schiff is using these principles to do “real time” control of this wave phenomenon in the brain. “It is a very exciting time as we see the results of fusing these engineering and mathematical principles with observing and treating the brain,” said Schiff.   Medical News Today   2/25/13

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