Provocative New Research

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Posted by Ron Dorfman ( on October 26, 1999 at 12:06:51:

The front page of the Science Times section of today's New York Times carries an article about a paper given Sunday night at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Miami by Dr. Rodolfo Llinas, a professor at New York University Medical School.The gist of it is thatmany if not most brain-related disorders, including Parkinson's, depression, obsessive-compuksive disorder, and chronic pain -- CH might be a candidate for inclusion here -- are caused by a discontinuity of oscillation by neurons in the thalamus, on the one hand, and the cerebral cortex, on the other: . . . all [these disorders] stem from the same basic brain defect: a decoupling of the two brain regions that normally fire their cells in synchrony."

Dr. Llinas's paper has not been peer-reviewed, according to the Times, but has been accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences because it makes so much sense and is so provocative and potentially far-reaching, suggesting that most if not all of these disorders could be corrected by the equivalent of pacemakers implanted in the brain. The article and related links are posted on the Times website at

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