Neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases are a great challenge for patients and their families. To develop most effective therapies, it is important to understand the causes and mechanisms of the disease in great detail. To this end, we use different methods, like mathematical modelling of neuronal activity, the investigation of large-scale models, extensive electrophysiological investigations, technical developments and clinical studies.
We focus on brain diseases characterized by abnormal neuronal synchrony. We aim at stimulation techniques, which cause a sustained unlearning of abnormal neuronal synchrony. Based on physiological data, we utilize mathematical and physical methods, to selectively modulate self-organization and learning processes of neuronal populations. For several clinical applications we use invasive (e.g. electrical) as well as non-invasive (sensory, i.e. acoustic, visual or vibro-tactile) stimuli, respectively.
The objectives of our research are therapeutic procedures and medical devices, whose mode of action is investigated and optimized in electrophysiological and clinical studies. Previous pre-clinical and clinical studies performed in the fields of Parkinson’s disease and tinnitus confirm our concept and constitute a basis for future developments.
Parkinson's disease is one of the most common diseases of the nervous system. In Germany there are approximately 250.000 to 400.000 sufferers. In PD, due to a loss of neurons in the substantia nigra (mesencephalon), the deficiency of dopamine leads to pathological synchronisation of neuronal activity in the thalamus and basal ganglia. Affected neurons cannot process information unimpededly, leading to bradykinesia, or even akinesia of the patient along with muscular rigor, tremor and/ or postural instability.
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Millions of people suffer from subjective tinnitus, i.e. the perception of noise without an objective sound source in or out of the body. Tinnitus is a widespread disease; one percent of the population has a significantly lowered quality of life by tinnitus and is in need of therapy. Typically tinnitus has a clear electrophysiological basis: Pathological neuronal synchronization in the brain leads to the tinnitus percept.
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The CR® Technology in Neuromodulation is a new therapeutic instrument for diseases of the nervous system, marked by pathological neuronal synchronization (as for instance tinnitus or Parkinsons's disease). CR® stimulation selectively counteracts pathological synchronization processes by desynchronization, tending to unlearn pathological synaptic connectivity and, in turn, the ability for synchronization. CR® impulses can be administered invasively (via implanted electrodes for instance) or non invasively (e.g. utilizing acoustic stimuli) to affected brain areas.
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