Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) will be joining the Mayo Clinic in a new $6.8 million National Institutes of Health funded project to develop intelligent devices to track and treat abnormal brain activity in epilepsy patients.
The funds come from a 5-year federal grant from the NIH as part of a presidential initiative aimed at better understanding and researching the human brain, the Mayo Clinic said.
“People with epilepsy live in a constant fear, because seizures strike randomly. This uncertainty seriously impacts their quality of life. They often only have seizures a small percentage of their lifetime, but they must take medication daily, because of the apparent random nature of seizures. Our goal is to be able to reliably predict the occurrence of a seizure. The new technology, coupled with the big data analysis, will also be used for effective brain stimulation to prevent seizures before they ever occur,” principal investigator Dr. Gregory Worrel of the Mayo Clinic said in a press release.
The goal of the project will be to develop a working implantable device that continuously records brain activity, warns of upcoming seizures and stimulates brain regions in real time to prevent seizures before they occur.
The grant will go to support a multidisciplinary team of neurologists, scientists and engineers, the Mayo clinic said. Investigators in the project include 4 researchers at the Mayo Clinic, 2 at the University of Pennsylvania, 2 at the University of Minnesota and 1 working with Medtronic.
Funding will come in tranches of $1.4 million over 5 years, the Mayo Clinic said.