Gunduz to present at the AAAS Annual Meeting

Assistant professor, Dr. Aysegul Gunduz will present “New Technologies Emerging from the BRAIN Initiative” at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting on February 17, 2018, in Austin. TX. This meeting has been called the “largest and most widely recognized global science gathering.”

In the session Gunduz will discuss the advancement of closed-loop, adaptive deep brain stimulation systems which provides significantly improved, patient-tailored treatment options for those suffering from debilitating movement disorders.

Essential tremor (ET) is an incurable, degenerative brain disorder that results in increasingly debilitating tremor, and afflicts an estimated 7 million people in the US. The tremor associated with ET is typically slow, involves the hands (and sometimes the head and voice), worsens with intentional movements, and is insidiously progressive over many years. Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) has emerged as a highly effective treatment for intractable, debilitating ET.

Since the intention tremor of ET is typically intermittent, and commonly absent at rest, the currently available continuous DBS may be delivering unnecessary current to the brain that increases undesirable side effects such as slurred speech and hastens the depletion of device batteries, necessitating more frequent surgical procedures to replace spent pulse generators.

The overall objective of Gunduz’ research is to provide preliminary data on the safety and efficacy of closed-loop DBS for intention tremor using novel DBS devices capable of continuously sensing brain activity and delivering therapeutic stimulation only when necessary to suppress tremor.

The proposed research is expected to provide proof-of-concept for the first chronic closed-loop DBS system for the treatment of a debilitating movement disorder in humans.

The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. By accelerating the development and application of innovative technologies, researchers will be able to produce a revolutionary new dynamic picture of the brain that, for the first time, shows how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space.

The AAAS is a nonprofit professional society dedicated to the advancement of scientific and technological excellence across all disciplines, and to the public’s understanding of science and technology. The AAAS Annual Meeting offers a unique, exciting, interdisciplinary blend of more than 150 symposia, plenary and topical lectures, specialized seminars, poster sessions and international Exhibit Hall.