Document Detail

Special issue containing contributions from the 39th Neural Interfaces Conference.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21775784     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Implantable neural interfaces provide substantial benefits to individuals with neurological disorders. That was the unequivocal message delivered by speaker after speaker from the podium of the 39th Neural Interfaces Conference (NIC2010) held in Long Beach, California, in June 2010. Giving benefit to patients is the most important measure for any biomedical technology, and myriad presentations at NIC2010 made clear that implantable neurostimulation technology has achieved this goal. Cochlear implants allow deaf people to communicate through speech. Deep brain stimulators give back mobility and dexterity necessary for so many daily tasks that are often taken for granted. Chronic pain can be alleviated through spinal cord stimulation. Motor prosthesis systems have been demonstrated in humans, through both reanimation of paralyzed limbs and neural control of robotic arms. Earlier this year, a retinal prosthesis was approved for sale in Europe, providing some hope for the blind. In sum, current clinical implants have been tremendously beneficial for today's patients and experimental systems that will be translated to the clinic promise to expand the number of people helped through bioelectronic therapies. Yet there are significant opportunities for improvement. For sensory prostheses, patients report an artificial sensation, clearly different from the natural sensation they remember. Neuromodulation systems, such as deep brain stimulation and pain stimulators, often have side effects that are tolerated as long as the side effects are less impactful than the disease. The papers published in the special issue from NIC2010 reflect the maturing and expanding field of neural interfaces. Our field has moved past proof-of-principle demonstrations and is now focusing on proving the longevity required for clinical implementation of new devices, extending existing approaches to new diseases and improving current devices for better outcomes. Closed-loop neuromodulation is a strategy that can potentially optimize dosing, reduce side effects and extend implant battery life. The article by Liang et al investigates methods for closed loop control of epilepsy, using neural recording to detect imminent seizures and stimulation to halt the aberrant neural activity leading to seizure. Liu et al report on a model of basal ganglia function that could lead to optimized, closed-loop stimulation to reduce symptoms of Parkinson's disease while avoiding side effects. Our laboratory, as described in Ray et al, is investigating the interface between stimulating microelectrodes and the retina, to inform the design of a high-resolution retinal prosthesis. Three contributions address the issue of long-term stability of cortical recording, which remains a major hurdle to implementation of neural recording systems. The Utah group reports on the in vitro testing of a completely implantable, wireless neural recording system, demonstrating almost one year of reliable performance under simulated implant conditions. Shenoy's laboratory at Stanford demonstrates that useful signals can be recorded from research animals for over 2.5 years. Lempka et al describe a modeling approach to analyzing intracortical microelectrode recordings. These findings represent real and significant progress towards overcoming the final barriers to implementation of a reliable cortical interface. Planning is well underway for the 40th Neural Interfaces Conference, which will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, in June 2012. The conference promises to continue the NIC tradition of showcasing the latest results from clinical trials of neural interface therapies while providing ample time for dynamic exchange amongst the interdisciplinary audience of engineers, scientists and clinicians.
James D Weiland
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2011-07-20
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of neural engineering     Volume:  8     ISSN:  1741-2552     ISO Abbreviation:  J Neural Eng     Publication Date:  2011 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-07-21     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101217933     Medline TA:  J Neural Eng     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  040201     Citation Subset:  IM    
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