The research interests of Kevin E. Bennet are related to furthering the understanding of brain activity and intervention in abnormal processes using electrical deep brain stimulation. Additional work is in the area of wireless monitoring of physiology.
- Deep brain stimulation. Bennet is utilizing electrical deep brain stimulation that incorporates feedback through monitoring of neurotransmitters electrochemically or spectroscopically. By major reductions in size and power, his goal is to create systems for implantation that incorporate algorithms to sense abnormal activity in various regions of the brain, correct this activity and return patients to normal health.
- Wireless monitoring of physiology. Wireless monitoring is being used to detect abnormal heart rhythm and other parameters — such as activity, body position, state of oxygenation and more — which allows for watchful monitoring of individuals. Algorithms can be applied to the data that only transmit and act upon physiological states outside the normal range of the specific individual.
Significance to patient care
Bennet's collaborative work in neurotransmitter detection adds to the understanding of the effect on the brain by deep brain stimulation. It is anticipated that the ability to measure neurotransmitters in real time and utilize that information with algorithms to modulate and control deep brain stimulation systems currently under development at Mayo Clinic may allow the treatment of additional movement disorders as well as psychiatric issues, such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, Tourette syndrome and pain, among others.
Bennet's work in physiological monitoring will allow diagnosis of transient cardiac phenomena such as atrial fibrillation, provide additional security for patients discharged from the hospital, provide real-time monitoring for many disease states, and potentially provide data on pharmaceutical use, sleep apnea and other situations.
- Honorary Fellow, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia, 2012
- President, Mayo Foundation Chapter, Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society, 2009-2010