A neuroprosthetic device for tremor management
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH
The Spanish CSIC and the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Universitätsmedizin have developed a new approach for tremor management based on a neuroprosthetic device for monitoring and suppression of pathological tremor in a patient via the stimulation of peripheral afferent pathways. The resulting afferent inflow projects into the central nervous system (spinal cord and brain) where it modulates the activity of the neural structures responsible for generating/maintaining pathological tremor. An innovative medical device company is sought for licensing agreements.
Pathological tremor can be defined as a strong involuntary oscillatory movement of a body part. Patients are usually treated with drugs or surgery, but up to 25% of them do not benefit from any of these treatments.
Our distinct approach provides a neuroprosthetic device for both monitoring and suppression of pathological tremor in a user via neurostimulation of the peripheral afferent pathways (sensory nerves). This implies an alternative treatment to the reduction of tremor in patients suffering from Parkinson desease and Essential tremor. The device consists of a neuroprosthesis (implanted or transcutaneous) to reduce the tremor, integrating all the electronics by bioelectrical sensors (e.g., EMG) or biomechanical movement sensors (e.g., inertial measurement units). This electronics is integrated into a textile substrate to be worn on the human upper limb, with a set of electrodes (implantable or transcutaneous) for neurostimulation. This device, in addition to suppressing tremor, may be a tremor-monitoring tool during the patient's daily life. Furthermore, the proposed method allows adapting automatically the neuromodulation strategy to the different conditions of tremor movement for each patient.
The neuroprosthesis is easy to use and self-contained: the acquisition, control electronics and power supply is incorporated into the neuroprosthetic device, thus enabling the independence of the patients, and maximize their time out of the care centers, saving costs associated with medical care.
- Portable and ambulatory.
- Less invasive than DBS and the percentage of target patients is wider.
- It is the first technique based on the afferent stimulation for minimizing the tremor.
- This approach would replace or cooperates with the pharmacological treatment of tremor.
- It does not limit the range of movements and freedom of the patient.
Applicable for pathological tremor, for example for Parkinson and other diseases.
The inventors developed a prototype which were successfully tested.
A European Patent Application was filed. International application are still possible.
The invention is owned by the Spanish CSIC and Georg-August-University of Göttingen, Universitätsmedizin.