Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies
(GLNT), which creates biomedical technologies for the treatment of movement disorders, announced last week that they will be leading a study to improve algorithms for deep brain stimulation in treating Parkinson’s disease.
The study will use GLNT’s Kinesia technology and is funded by a $283,828 phase I Small Business Innovative Research grant
from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
. It will take place at the University of Alabama at Birmingham this spring.
Deep brain stimulation involves implanting an electrode in a certain area of the brain to treat the side effects of Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. But the technology has varied results. GLNT hopes to improve the outcomes.
“Implanting the electrode is more art than science right now,” says Dustin Heldman, biomedical researcher and principal investigator for GLNT, explaining that outcomes depend on amplitude and frequency -- leaving a lot of variables on the individual programmer.
“With the existing Kinesia system we’re trying to level the playing field for everyone by making an objective standard way of programming,” explains Heldman. “We’re taking the guesswork out of it.”
While phase I will just collect preliminary data, deep brain stimulation could be another application for GLNT’s Kinesia. “It’s great for us,” Heldman says. “We have this sensor technology now, it’s released and it’s FDA cleared. This is just another application. Assuming we get good results, we'll apply for a much larger study.”
GLNT grew from 15 to 23 employees last year, and is hiring three additional people now.
Source: Dustin Heldman
Writer: Karin Connelly