The Rise of Electroceutical Therapy
How Next-Generation Medical Devices Will Use the Nervous System to Treat Disease
Thursday, September 19, 7:00 pm
Center for Inquiry-Indiana
350 Canal Walk, Suite A
Matthew P. Ward, Ph.D.
Electrical nerve stimulation is a device-based therapy that influences the activity of the nervous system. Using a pacemaker-like device, electrical impulses are delivered to a nerve to treat physiological or psychological disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, major depression, pain, or epilepsy. Most available devices are invasive and do not use biofeedback to control the quality of therapy, limiting their potential as a viable analog to pharmaceutical therapy (i.e., electroceuticals as an analog to pharmaceutical therapy). I will present a new dosing mechanism that
personalizes electrical nerve stimulation therapy to each patient by using
real-time biofeedback to control the quality of therapy. Then, I will discuss the outcome of a recent clinical study that represents our first major step toward the development of a noninvasive, biofeedback-driven nerve stimulation device for the treatment of epilepsy.
Dr. Ward is a Research Scientist in the Center for Implantable Devices at Purdue University. My research focuses on the development of Autonomous Neural Control (ANC), technology that automatically
tailors the intensity of electrical nerve stimulation to the unique therapeutic
needs of each patient. ANC provides drug-free treatment alternatives for patients whose therapeutic needs are not adequately addressed with available pharmaceutical or surgical options. I received a Young Investigator Award for this work from the American Epilepsy Society in December 2012.
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