Dr. Halpern's lab is a collaborative and joint effort with Dr. Robert Malenka, investigating the effects of deep brain stimulation in various mouse models of human behavior related to behavioral disinhibition. Obesity is not only one of the largest public health threats in the world, but it also provides a model to examine behavioral disinhibition, manifested by impulse control disorders. In the case of obesity, these present themselves as binge eating and loss of control over eating. However, such impulse control disorders are a common clinical feature in countless neurologic and psychiatric conditions. Dr. Halpern's team of scientists are examining all aspects of translating basic science and experimental findings to the human condition. 

In the News

Terri Benedix: Essential Tremor and Deep Brain Stimulation

Terri Benedix, who specializes in floral paintings along with landscapes and seascapes, couldn’t even raise a cup of coffee to her lips without spilling it, or lift a forkful of peas without sending the vegetables flying.

That changed in an eyeblink after a procedure in which electrodes were implanted in precise locations on each side of her brain, then hooked up to a battery-operated, pacemaker-like device installed in her chest. The hardware was part of an increasingly popular treatment called deep-brain stimulation.

The Neural Network: Can Shocking the Brain Prevent Overeating?

Casey Halpern, MD, discusses his study using stimulating brain electrodes to induce weight loss in patients with binge eating disorder, on The Neural Network podcast.

Ultrasound May Ease Common Form of Hand Tremor

A new study led by Dr. Casey Halpern, found that using focused ultrasound thalamotomy may benefit patients with essential tremor, specifically reducing the hand tremors associated with the condition.

Shocking the Brain to Treat the Stomach

A new clinical trial led by Dr. Casey Halpern, will zap the brain’s reward center to help people who struggle with obesity and binge eating.

NeuroPace Epilepsy Tech to be Studied for Binge Eating

HBO's "Vice" Features Stanford Neurosurgeons

The work of Stanford neurosurgeon, Dr. Casey Halpern is featured on HBO's documentary TV series, Vice, highlighting the latest in neurotechnology research.

Deep Brain Stimulation May Prove Effective for Alcoholism

Preliminary studies by Stanford neurosurgeon, Dr. Casey Halpern, and resident, Dr. Allen Ho, show Deep Brain Stimulation may be a beneficial therapy for those with severe alcoholism.

10Q Podcast Features Stanford Neurosurgeon's DBS Research

Stanford neurosurgeon, Dr. Casey Halpern, answers questions about his latest research on the use of Deep Brain Stimulation to treat impulsive and addictive behavior, on KCBS Radio's 10Q Podcast.

Brain Zap Saps Destructive Urges

Stanford neurosurgeons hope that a brief electrical pulse to a specific brain region that predicts impulsive actions just before they occur, could prevent those impulsive behaviors from happening. 

Breakthrough Treatment for Essential Tremor Now Offered at Stanford

A new, non-invasive treatment using MRI-guided ultrasound is now offered at Stanford to reduce severity of tremors caused by Essential Tremor, a common but little-known brain disorder.

Dr. Casey Halpern on His Decision to go into Medicine