Closed-Loop Neuroprosthetic Microstimulation Device for Treating Epileptic Seizures

Technology #11930

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Researchers
Paul R. Carney
Justin Sanchez
Managed By
Zahara M. Jaffer
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
US Patent 8,374,696

Invention

The University of Florida is seeking a company interested in commercializing a closedloop neuroprosthetic microstimulation device for treating epileptic seizures. Epilepsy is the third most common neurologic disorder, affecting nearly 2.7 million Americans and causing 200,000 new cases every year. Annual healthcare and workplace-related costs due to epilepsy total nearly $12.5 billion, which makes it one of the most costly neurologic diseases. Because the incidence of epilepsy increases as people age, the U.S. population will see more cases of epilepsy due to the rapidly expanding number of elderly Americans. Currently, anti-epileptic drugs are the standard therapy for epilepsy. However, these drugs cause side effects. Additionally, about one-third of all patientsremain unresponsive to currently available medications. To overcome these drawbacks, University of Florida researchers have created a novel neuroprosthetic device that interacts with the brain to identify abnormal brain electrical activity and deliver timed specific levels of therapeutic stimulation that treat epileptic seizures before they occur.

Applications

Preventing and treating epileptic seizures

Advantages

  • Responds to individual abnormal neurons rather than global markers of seizure, which increases performance
  • Provides patient-specific treatment that is unavailable in current therapies, which supplies a competitive advantage
  • Proactively treats epilepsy and similar disorders that affect millions, which increases efficiency

Technology

Whereas anti-epileptic drug treatments cannot respond to changes in a patient’s condition, this invention measures microscopic brain electrical activity, interprets the information, and delivers appropriate therapy via a “closed-loop” electronic signal. Compared to drug therapies, electrical stimulation of this type offers rapid dosage delivery to specific neural pathways. Though other neuroprosthetics have been invented, these devices deliver large-scale stimulation of pre-determined strength and duration, regardless of the strength and duration of the seizure. This lack of control creates many of the same challenges associated with drugs. These other devices' lack of specificity may result in excessive or insufficient delivery of an electrical stimulus. The closed-loop neuroprosthetic device invented here measures brain activity on the single neuron level and delivers therapeutic microstimulation that maintains or modifies the dosage as needed. Because of this patient-specific adaptability, this invention delivers a stimulus of strength and duration appropriate to control abnormal neural activity and seizure