Wilder Penfield: A Therapeutic Analysis

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Electrical stimulation of the nervous system for therapeutic benefit has a long history. There are early reports from ancient time in which Scribonius Largus, a Roman physician, applied electric fish to treat headaches. Consequently, in the 10th century, Avicenna, a Persian physician, prescribed stimulation with electric fish as remedy for muscles rigidity. Over years till 17th century several attempts was made to use electrical stimulation for a large variety of diseases in human patients including hemorrhoids, gout, and epilepsy. However, before 19th century the field was suffering from the lack of robust experiments. In 1809, Rolando, in a revolutionary study, pioneered electrical stimulation of the animal brain, in order to discover the function of…show more content…
In addition, by conducting brain stimulation studies, they reported that cortex can be electrically exited. Following these discoveries, in 1876, David Ferrier provided a map of sensory and motor functions of the brain, by utilizing both electrical stimulation and ablation. Ultimately, in the 20th century, the systemic and translational application of electrical stimulation started to be taken for granted (). Benefiting of the magnificent imaging techniques Wilder Penfield, in 1937, applied the electrical stimulation to localize the origin of seizures in epileptic patients. Regardless of quick development of visualization techniques, the prospect of a breakthrough in inventing an apparatus which is compatible with human surgeries, took almost 10 years. Eventually, in 1947, Ernest Spiegel and Henry T. Wycis designed the first stereotaxic frame for human brain surgeries and indeed their invention shed light on the further DBS investigations. Lars Leksell by adding more valuable features to it, completed the design and made it in a form which is currently used. In consequence, a new era in the DBS research
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