Therapeutic Potential Of Neural Motor Prostheses Device For The Treatment Of Spinocerebellar Ataxia

Project: Research

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Spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss ofbody balance and motor coordination, speech and oculomotor difficulties, affecting 5 per100,000 people worldwide, and is incurable. Here, we test the therapeutic potential of aclose loop (feedback loop) deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN) stimulator prototype targetingcerebellum in animal model of SCA. Cerebellum is the balance and fine movementcoordination center of the brain. Close loop DCN stimulator is triggered only when a gaitcycle is initiated to avoid excessive stimulation resulting in a more durable device withfewer side effects, as compared to traditional deep brain stimulator that producescontinuous stimulation to patients. We will first perform electromyography (EMG) ofmuscles and video kinematics at different states of locomotion, and record neural firingpattern of DCN in cerebellum simultaneously to generate motor map. Motor map obtainedwill provide mathematical models to develop a real-time hardware programmable gatearray (FPGA)-based DCN stimulator prototype. Finally, we will test if this DCN stimulatorprototype could improve motor deficits in SCA animals by electrophysiology and motorbehavioral assessments. Knowledge obtained from current project will shed new light onthe development of neuroprosthetics and neurorehabilitation strategies for improvingpatient’s quality of life.


Project number9440184
Grant typeITF
Effective start/end date1/01/1830/06/19