Today we are sharing a key 2009 patent, assigned to Stanford University, that enables the stimulation of deeper structures of the brain without overwhelming superficial structures that are not the focus of treatment. (As mentioned, we are featuring a foundational Pervasive Neurotech patent a day, from older to newer by issue date)
U.S. Patent No. 7,520,848: Robotic apparatus for targeting and producing deep, focused transcranial magnetic stimulation
- Assignee(s): Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University
- Inventor(s): M. Bret Schneider, David J. Mishelevich
- Technology Category: Transcranial Stimulation
- Issue Date: April 21, 2009
The ‘848 patent discloses techniques for stimulating deeper structures of the brain without overwhelming superficial structures that are not the focus of treatment. By providing stimulation (i.e., current) from more than one location, a deeper targeted structure may be stimulated to be depolarized with sufficient frequency (where stimulation is alternated from the various stimulation source locations) such that repolarization of the targeted areas never occurs but repeated stimulation of superficial structures is avoided. The specification, with 19 illustration sheets and nine pages of written material, appears to provide extensive support for the claimed inventions. While there may be other means of avoiding overstimulation to non-targeted areas (that occurs during depolarization), the disclosed solution of providing a sufficient amount of current through multiple sources or directions appears to be well-protected with the recited claims. The extensive specification, important problem-space (of overwhelming non-targeted areas in stimulation treatment) and recitation of claims broadly protecting the inventive concept are among the factors making the ‘848 patent a key noninvasive neurotechnology patent.
Techniques for applying electromagnetic energy to deep, targeted areas without overwhelming other areas are provided. One or more coils are moved relative to a target area and magnetic fields are applied to the target from multiple coil locations. As a result, the aggregate electromagetic energy applied to the target over time is greater than surrounding areas. Additionally, a model for testing and treatment planning is provided.
Illustrative Claim 1. A method of applying electromagnetic energy to a target, comprising:
- moving a coil relative to the target; and
- applying current to the coil from a plurality of locations to direct magnetic fields to the target and magnetically stimulate the target, wherein the current is applied to the coil at a sufficiently rapid frequency prevent re-polarization of the target as the coil is moved, such that the magnetic stimulation of the target is higher at the target than at a region interposed between the target and the coil.
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.