Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)
Treatment with a brain pacemaker is the standard therapy for patients with severe movement disorders that are untreatable with medication, such as Parkinson's disease and essential tremor. Electrodes are implanted in the areas of the brain affected by the pathologic neuronal synchrony. Through permanent electrical stimulation, the treatment massively changes the activity of nerve cells in the targeted areas, for instance through supression. Many patients have been helped in this way; however the method has its limits. A relevant number of patients experience side effects (such as problems with speech or balance) or do not respond at all to treatment, or the therapeutic effect can decrease over time and eventually disappear altogether.
It is for this reason that Prof. Dr. Dr. Peter Tass began 10 years ago to develop an innovative brain pacemaker that is intended to counteract the disease's processes in a more gentle and effective manner. To achieve this objective the relevant nerve cell assemblies were mapped in mathematical models which were used to develop gentle, very efficient stimulation methods based on modern mathematics and statistical physics ("coordinated reset"). By contrast, the development of the conventional brain pacemaker originated from casual observations made during neurosurgical operations.
The particular effectiveness of the CR® brain pacemaker is based on the fact that it exploits the fundamental laws of the nervous system – the principles of dynamic self-organisation and plastic learning rules. The CR® brain pacemaker desynchronises nerve cell activity – in other words, it selectively counteracts the pathological synchronisation processes in the relevant nerve cell populations. In addition to gentle symptom suppression the mode of action of the CR® brain pacemaker is directed at enabling a controlled unlearning of pathological interactions by stimulation.
ANM had already developed an external neurostimulator on the basis of coordinated reset in 2006. It was clinically applied and tested during so-called acute studies on patients with externally accessible electrodes (and suffering from Parkinson's disease or essential tremor, patients of an equivalent type (tremor, rigor and akinesia) and purely akinetic Parkinson's patients) in cooperation with neurosurgeon Prof. Dr. Sturm and neurologist Prof. Dr. Freund. ANM is currently developing a CR®-capable implant based on the clinical experience with the external neurostimulator. According to schedule, it should be available for clinical use within the next 2 years.
Last Updated ( Monday, 24 October 2011 09:02 )