Deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson’s disease management has been shown to be quite effective in controlling the symptoms of the disease. Yet, the technology currently available to patients is rudimentary in that the neurostimulation delivered is constant and doesn’t take into account the changing needs of the patient.
A small clinical study has shown that smarter devices are will probably soon be available that constantly adapt to the real-time brain activity. Researchers at University of California, San Francisco used an implanted Medtronic deep brain stimulator to sense brain activity, process it, and quickly adjust the stimulation delivered. An extra electronic circuit has been added to the investigational device that doesn’t exist in other neurostimulators, and the researchers are studying how they can employ this closed-loop-system to improve the effectiveness of DBS therapy in their patients.
So far the researchers managed to reduce the power consumption of the implant by nearly half while maintaining the effectiveness of the therapy, which means the implant can last longer. Moreover, it points to the ability to actually improve the therapy in a meaningful way for the patient.
Here’s UCSF’s Dr. Philip Starr explaining his team’s research:
Study in Journal of Neural Engineering: Adaptive deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease using motor cortex sensing…