Ohio Patent of the Month – May 2021

Great Lakes Neurotechnologies, Inc. has been developing a system to use neural stimulation to alleviate the symptoms associated with movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease. Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) uses implanted electrodes to deliver electrical stimulation to target brain regions. The device they created can be remotely tuned using quantified movement disorder symptom data to adjust the therapy setting and provide optimal treatment. 

Their device can be either semi-automatically or fully-automatically adjusted or tuned for treatment. The device measures the subject’s symptoms and calculates the severity rapidly (between 1 and 30 seconds). These measurements are taken through sensors that measure external body motion including accelerometers or gyroscopes. Other sensors like electromyograms are used for physiological monitoring. These measurements are taken over the course of around 45 minutes while the subject wears the sensor device. These results are then quantified and reported to the attached (wireless) computer processor. These kinematic quantifications are then used to influence the fine tuning of the therapy. These modifications are made in the algorithm of the software controlling the implanted DBS. Following these modifications, more movement measurements are taken to determine the effectiveness of the new therapy treatment. The subject could have access to a sensor device which would allow them to take measurements from home, which could be transferred to the doctor’s computer for review. Following review, the doctor could adjust the settings as needed from their computer which would transfer to the implanted DBS. This remote monitoring can be very helpful as many people with movement disorders can find it difficult to travel back and forth for doctor’s appointments. Alternatively, the system could automatically update the treatment based on the measurement results. With either system, the patients are saved from the stress of doctor’s appointments and can have more convenient treatment.

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