UK’s University of Birmingham Leads RAINDROP Study Assessing Brain Stimulation & Brain Imaging Technologies

Oct 22, 2019 | Brain, CNS, Minimally Conscious and Vegetative State, Neurology

UK’s University of Birmingham UK Leads RAINDROP Study Assessing Brain Stimulation & Brain Imaging Technologies

The University of Birmingham, coupled the Wellington Hospital (part of HCA Healthcare UK), will conduct the RAINDROP study to assess non-invasive brain stimulation with brain imaging technologies on patients in “minimally conscious and vegetative states.”

Background

The University of Birmingham’s Centre for Human Brain Health conducted a study and found that non-invasive brain stimulation actually improved rehabilitation in non-responsive patients.

The Study

This study will take advantage of brain imaging techniques in order to monitor the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in five patients. The hope is that the sponsors will secure insights into the use of stimulation to increase communication and recovery, as well as help support more positive improvements in rehabilitation rates in non-responsive patients suffering from sustained consciousness disorder.

As reported in Medical Device Network, the study sponsors will place electrodes on the patient’s head to deliver low levels of direct current at select brain areas—including the thalamus (relays motor signals and controls consciousness) as well as the top brain region associated with motor control. The UK-based research team will leverage multimodal brain imaging to track the stimulation effects on brain function.

Moreover, by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) the team will assess and track activity in different brain areas while they will use electrophysiology to measure electrophysiology to measure electrical activity produced when brain neurons fire.

Lead Research/Investigator

Dr. Davina Fernandez-Espejo, University of Birmingham, Centre for Human Brain Health

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