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Dr. Nicholas Schiff is awarded Daedalus Fund for Innovation

Dynamic Multi-Lead Deep Brain Stimulation of the Central Thalamus to Treat Chronic Cognitive Deficits in Severe-to-Moderate Traumatic Brain Injured Patients

Severe-to-moderate traumatic brain injury (smTBI) annually encumbers an estimated 125,000 people in the U.S. (estimated prevalence of about 3.3 to 5.3 million), with lifelong cognitive deficits in attention, memory and motivation, as well as mental fatigue. Despite efforts to develop rehabilitation and medication-based therapies, currently there are no effective therapies for these patients.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a safe, well-established and rapidly expanding therapy that seeks to alter brain function through the use of electrical, magnetic and radiowave stimulation, or focally targeted pharmacological injection. Based on extensive clinical and preclinical studies, Dr. Schiff has identified a brain region called the central thalamus (CT) as the optimal DBS target to provide an effective therapy for smTBI patients. He is conducting the first-in-man, FDA-approved CT-DBS study in these patients through the NIH Brain Initiative, with the explicit goal of developing a next-generation DBS device. The BRAIN Initiative study uses a conventional DBS system with electrical stimulation that is targeted to a single site through an electrode, also known as a lead.

His lab’s new “Multi-Lead Field Shaping CT-DBS” (fsCT-DBS) device and method is designed to overcome constraints in stimulating multiple sites to provide a more flexible and personalized therapy that can be tailored around unique injury profiles of smTBI patients. Daedalus funding will provide Weill Cornell Medicine with sole rights to new IP that he expects to generate from his experiments, which will substantially strengthen his existing IP portfolio. Importantly, these experiments, if successful, will broaden the potential applications of his new DBS device platform.

For more information:
http://news.weill.cornell.edu/news/2017/10/daedalus-fund-supports-15-investigators

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