Investigators at the University of Oxford, University of California San Francisco (UCSF), Brown University and the Mayo Clinic have joined forces to develop open-source technology platforms for a new generation of neurostimulation devices that not only provide stimulation to the brain but also sense, record, and stream brain activity.
The new ‘OpenMind’ consortium is led by UCSF and funded by a $4.4 million NIH grant from the NIH BRAIN Initiative. One of the major objectives of the BRAIN Initiative is to make new technology widely available to help people affected by neurologic and neuropsychiatric disorders.
Dr Philip Starr, principal investigator and neurosurgeon at UCSF, said: ‘These four groups have been the earliest investigators to work on these advanced new neurostimulation devices and together bring the highest levels of expertise in this field.’
Traditional stimulation devices to treat neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease provide constant electrical stimulation to the brain in an effort to disrupt aberrant neural circuits that lead to symptoms. The new generation of devices provide stimulation, but for the first time also have the ability to record brain signals and stream high volumes of that data outside the lab as patients go about their normal activities in the real world.