Study Published in Nature Biomed Shows Promise for Patients with Neurological Conditions including Parkinson's disease, Depression and Epilepsy


NEW YORK and SAN FRANCISCO,  /PRNewswire/ --Synchron Inc., a company developing minimally invasive neural interface technology, today announced data demonstrating the feasibility of minimally-invasive techniques to enable focal brain stimulation has been published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering. The paper reports, for the first time, the delivery of localized stimulation from a permanently implanted device called Stentrode™ through a blood vessel to the brain, and documents the ability of the device to elicit specific muscle movement.

"To see targeted muscle movement induced by electrical stimulation with the Stentrode is very exciting and opens the door for this device to treat a wide-range of conditions, potentially including Parkinson's disease, depression and epilepsy," said lead author Nicholas Opie, MBA, PhD, CTO of Synchron and Biomedical Engineer with the Vascular Bionics Laboratory, University of Melbourne. "We previously demonstrated that we could listen to the brain by recording neural activity. We have now shown that the Stentrode is capable of using electrical stimulation as a means to digitally speak to the brain."

Pre-clinical studies have demonstrated the Stentrode's ability to pick up strong electrical frequencies emitted by the brain, which have previously required invasive surgery through the skull to achieve.  Direct electrical stimulation has been demonstrated to alleviate symptoms associated with many neurological conditions and disorders, including Parkinson's disease, depression, and epilepsy.

"Clinicians and scientists are increasingly recognizing the incredible therapy that brain stimulation can offer, but until now, it was only possible with open-brain surgery," said Thomas Oxley, MD, PhD, CEO of Synchron, and Neurointerventionalist, Department of Neurosurgery, Mount Sinai Hospital. "Inspired by delivery-systems used for pacemakers and implantable defibrillators, we have been developing a minimally-invasive option for the brain."

The company recently announced plans to initiate clinical trials to evaluate the ability of the technology to aid people with severe paralysis to potentially stream thoughts into a digital output to bypass the damaged nervous system. The technology enables patients to control a mind operating system and in turn directly control assistive technologies, such as computers, vehicles and robotic limbs. The technology utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms that directly interface with and predict brain activity.

"The field of bioelectronic medicine and neuromodulation is growing rapidly, offering hope for a range of neurological disorders. This milestone builds on our technology's capacity for brain recordings, by adding stimulation," added Dr. Oxley. "The Stentrode now holds promise for traditional deep brain stimulation therapeutic targets such as Parkinson's disease, but also importantly for a closed loop system in our brain machine interface application in paralysis. It is very exciting step forward and brilliant work by pioneering engineers Drs. Opie and John."

The Stentrode system is small and flexible enough to safely pass through curving blood vessels in a procedure called cerebral angiography, eliminating the need for open brain surgery. By using blood vessels to deliver the technology to the brain and house it there, the technique may reduce risk of brain tissue rejection of the device, which has been a significant problem for other techniques. 

About The Study

In this pivotal proof-of-concept study, researchers investigated the ability of the Stentrode™ to stimulate separate cortical regions and evaluated the influence of device positioning and electrode orientation on stimulation efficacy. The data were also presented at the Society of Vascular and Interventional Neurology meeting in San Diego on November 17, 2018.

About Synchron, Inc.

Based in Campbell, California, Synchron, Inc. is an innovative medical device company focused on the development of minimally invasive neuromodulation technology solutions. Synchron is developing the world's first endovascular neural interface, the Stentrode.  Development of this technology platform has been funded in part by grants from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The company is targeting paralysis due to a range of neurological conditions as a first application. Other applications may include epilepsy and movement disorders.

Stentrode is a trademark of Synchron, Inc.

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SOURCE Synchron Inc.


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