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Researchers at Oxford University have implanted a novel closed-loop research platform for investigating the role of the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) – a brainstem nucleus – in Parkinson’s-like Multiple Systems Atrophy (MSA).

Illustration of a human brain

The MINDS feasibility trial involves a 5-subject first-in-man clinical trial with the novel closed-loop brain pacemaker to target the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) stimulation in patients with MSA. The protocol uses an investigational research platform, called the ‘PicostimTM-DyNeuMo,’ which was developed in a strategic collaboration between Professor Denison and Bioinduction, Ltd.

The PicostimTM-DyNeuMo project embeds scientific instrumentation into the predicate small, cranialized PicostimTM brain pacemaker for exploring the role of circadian rhythms, motion, and brain signals in disease pathology and treatment. In addition to enabling basic clinical neuroscience, the PicostimTM-DyNeuMo can be configured to respond to physiological signals such as patient motion to explore therapy optimization.

The research team aim to identify biomarkers that signify the pathological state, and how these vary throughout the day/night cycle, and to ultimately develop ‘closed-loop’ stimulation patterns that optimise symptom management and improve sleep.

The study is a collaboration between Neurosurgery (Associate Professor Alex Green, Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences), Engineering Science's Professor Tim Denison and a UK-based bioelectronics technology company, Bioinduction Ltd.

Read the full story on the University of Oxford website

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