The University of Minnesota Medical School's Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health's BRAIN Initiative. The project will develop new, efficient and safe stimulation paradigms for Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), which is used to treat common symptoms of neurological disorders including Parkinson's Disease.
"Our work has the potential to revolutionize neuromodulation strategies by increasing the precision with which the technology can target specific pathways in the brain," says principal investigator Shalom Michaeli, Ph.D. The novel DBS system, he says, can be configured not only to generate unidirectional fields for orientation-selective stimulation but also to produce rotating electrical field gradients for modulation of neuronal activity regardless of axon orientations.
The grant is part of an NIH BRAIN Initiative program, "New Technologies and Novel Approaches for Large-Scale Recording and Modulation in the Nervous System (U01)," which has awarded a total of $3.5 million over three years to the research teams with the University of Minnesota, Columbia University and the A.I. Virtanen Institute at the University of Eastern Finland.
"This work is critical for addressing the shortcomings in current DBS technology," says Dr. Michaeli. "By furthering our understanding of DBS mechanisms in humans we can potentially improve treatment quality for patients with disabling neurological symptoms."
Collaborating research teams within the University of Minnesota include the CMRR (S. Michaeli, S. Mangia, D. Idiyatullin and L. Lehto), Department of Neurosurgery (W. Low), Department of Neurology (G. Molnar), and the Department of Biomedical Engineering (M. Johnson). University of Minnesota researchers will combine expertise with their colleagues from Columbia University (Dr. K. Shepard, Electrical Engineering) and A.I. Virtanen Institute, Finland (Drs. O. Gröhn and H. Tanila).
NIH Grant Number: 1U01NS103569-01