The Drake Center, a rehab hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, has announced an agreement with Nexstim, a company out of Helsinki, Finland, to initiate clinical trial of the firm’s eXimia NBS system for patients recovering from stroke. The device features Navigated Brain Stimulation technology, which utilizes transcranial magnetic stimulation to stimulate electric signals between different portions of the brain. By mapping how well the signals are transferred, it should be possible to effectively determine how well the brains of stroke patients are adjusting to therapy.
From the press release:
Nexstim’s NBS device is a non-invasive method to gently stimulate precise areas of the human cortex of the brain while simultaneously measuring the effect of stimuli on the central nervous system and the peripheral nerves responsible for movement. Stimuli are given by a small electromagnetic coil which is guided over the head very much like driving a car with GPS. Simply by loading the system with a standard MRI brain scan, an operator can precisely locate the area to stimulate. Best of all, the patient need do nothing more than sit in a comfortable reclining chair wearing a special pair of optically-tracked glasses. No patient effort is required, and brain mapping generally takes less than an hour.
Nexstim has been used for research in Europe and Asia for five years. However, Drake Center will be the first inpatient rehabilitation hospital to use the device for clinical research. There are only two other research labs in the United States with the Nexstim device, including the National Institutes of Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.
Because the device does not currently have FDA approval, it will be used exclusively for research at this time. This will be the first time the Nexstim device is used to study the potential of translating research results into clinical use.