Comparing Poststroke Trials of Brian Implants: Mijail Serruya, MD, PhD


The assistant professor of neurology at Thomas Jefferson University gave background on what other studies have observed brain implants for poststroke patients and how they differ from his work.

"We were recording what the brain did and worked around that. The next step is to see if we can combine these. Can we both record from the brain and get signals out? Maybe we can modulate the brain and have motor learning.”

Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University recently initiated the Cortimo trial (NCT03913286), which will test a method of recovery using a brain implant and robotic brace in a single patient with long-term disability following a stroke. In the past, other clinical trials of brain-computer interface (BCI), focused on patients with much more rare and devastating forms of brainstem stroke or spinal cord injury that causes paralysis from the neck down.

Unlike prior BCI studies, which implant and record from electrodes in relatively health brains, the researchers have implanted electrodes in an area adjacent to the stroke. Lead investigator Mijail Serruya, MD, PhD, assistant professor of neurology, and colleagues will also be forced to regularly adjust and refine the artificial intelligence algorithms in order to interpret the patient’s intention to move with better fidelity.

Serruya claims that the severity of the stroke in this patient-specific trial sets itself apart from previous studies. He sat down with NeurologyLive to discuss a few of the ongoing and completed studies using brain electrodes and how they differ from Cortimo.

Can brain implants improve mobility after stroke? News release. Thomas Jefferson University. February 1, 2021. Accessed February 22, 2021.
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