Brain stimulation using magnetic fields: Key Neurotech Patent #12
Today we are discussing a 2003 patent, assigned to McLean Hospital, pioneering brain stimulation techniques.
U.S. Patent No. 6,572,528: Magnetic field stimulation techniques
- Assignee(s): McLean Hospital
- Inventor(s): Michael L. Rohan, Aimee Parrow, Perry F. Renshaw
- Technology Category: Hybrid
- Issue Date: June 3, 2003
The ‘528 patent discloses magnetic stimulation techniques for enhancing brain function with a variety of stimulation techniques. The specification, having just four illustration sheets and four pages of written material, may raise question of the adequacy of support for claimed subject matter. Despite what might be considered to be a sparse specification, the four independent claims produce a nicely-designed picket fence around the use of time-varying magnetic fields to enhance brain function, trading off limitations between various features of the magnetic field (e.g., pulse strength, directionality, polarity, etc.). These independent claims, in tandem with dependent claims enumerating various other features of the magnetic field and targeted regions of the brain, contribute to making the ‘528 patent a key non-invasive neurotechnology patent.
The invention involves enhancing brain function by stimulating the brain using magnetic fields. Applications of the new methods include improving the condition of individuals with cognitive disorders, such as depression, and studying the effects of neural stimulation using induced electric fields. These techniques can avoid deleterious effects of psychotropic pharmaceutical treatments, and provide a relatively safe, comfortable, inexpensive means of direct cranial stimulation.
Illustrative Claim 22. A method of enhancing brain function, comprising:
- selecting a subject for enhancement of brain function using a magnetic field;
- generating a time-varying gradient magnetic field that is substantially uniform and unidirectional; and
- subjecting the subject’s head to the time-varying magnetic field.
To learn more about market data, trends and leading companies in the digital brain health space –digital platforms for brain/ cognitive assessment, monitoring and enhancement– check out this market report. To learn more about our analysis of 10,000+ patent filings, check out this IP & innovation neurotech report.