UAB Receives Funding for BRAIN Initiative Grant

The University of Alabama at Birmingham has recently received a BRAIN Initiative grant of $7.3 million over five years from the National Institutes of Health to study new technology that could improve outcomes from deep brain stimulation, an increasingly important procedure in the treatment Parkinson’s and other movement disorders.

The White House BRAIN Initiative — Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies — is a collaborative, public-private research initiative launched by the Obama administration in 2013.

This grant is given to UAB investigator to assess emerging DBS technology, with a new system that will direct current in specific directions in the brain, allowing a custom approach for DBS adjustment for individuals.

With more than 1,000 DBS and other stereotactic functional neurosurgery procedures under its belt, UAB is working to refine targeting during the DBS procedure, neurologists and neurosurgeons perform brain mapping and measure the response to stimulation during surgery.

Their objective is to maximize benefits of this procedure and minimize potential side effects during device activation a few weeks later in the neurology clinic.

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