Growing Knowledge of Brain Implants for Poststroke Patients: Mijail Serruya, MD, PhD

February 16, 2021
Mijail Serruya, MD, PhD

SAP Partner | <b>Jefferson Health Vickie and Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience</b>

The assistant professor of neurology at Thomas Jefferson University provided perspective on how researchers have gained a better understanding of using modalities in poststroke patients.

"In every single patient to my knowledge that’s been implanted, we have always figured out what the brain is saying. There have been advances in making sense of those signals as well as showing that you can record from different brain regions.”

Fifteen years ago, Mijail Serruya, MD, PhD, was part of a team of researchers that implanted the first human with a brain electrode. Serruya, an assistant professor at Thomas Jefferson University, will now lead a recently initiated clinical trial that will use microelectrodes in the brain and a robotically powered brace to test a method that could 1 day restore movement in parts of the body impaired by stroke.

Although there are options such as endovascular therapy (EVT) to treat stroke, they require rapid response and intervention after the start of a stroke, and not all patients are eligible. Patients with stroke have varying degrees of severity, some causing more permanent damage and loss of certain motor function. Rehab therapies, when available, can restore some function, but improvements can plateau over time.

The idea of using differing modalities to help patients recover from stroke has become an increasingly growing area of research over the past decade. In this interview, Serruya describes how the landscape for these modalities and the knowledge researchers have on using brain implants has grown since he first started 15 years ago.