Multiscale Modelling of the Neuromuscular System for Closed Loop Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an effective therapy for treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Currently DBS operates in ‘open-loop’, with empirically set stimulus parameters. Closed-loop DBS systems, which could automatically adjust stimulation parameters in response to patient symptoms or side-effects, have the potential to overcome the limitations of current DBS systems to improve the therapeutic efficacy for patients while reducing side-effects, costs and energy consumption. To design these types of systems we need to more fully understand how DBS works.
Supported by a European Research Council Consolidator Award, we aim to develop a new multiscale model of the neuromuscular system for closed-loop DBS. Our group is developing computer models of the central and peripheral nervous system to better understand how DBS affects the activity of networks of neurons within the brain and neuromuscular system. Using these models we can explore the mechanisms by which DBS exerts its therapeutic effects and design optimal stimulation patterns that can ultimately be applied in patients to obtain better clinical outcomes.