Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) procedures assistance
Deep Brain Stimulation procedures used to treat movement disorders are complex. Patient selection is done in conferences involving neurosurgeons, neurologists, and physical therapists. Surgical placement of electrodes is frequently challenging because targets of interest are absent or poorly visible with current imaging modalities, or because targets move due to intra-operative brain shift. The post-surgical programming of the stimulator is an equally challenging and time consuming task, requiring a choice from among 4000 possible parameter combinations, usually arrived at through an iterative process spanning several visits to the neurologist. We are developing an integrated system that will facilitate every step in the procedure and transform the overall process from one in which information must be communicated among the many actors to one in which all information will be available at the time and point of care, and tailored to the clinical task being performed. We are also working with leading clinical sites to establish one central repository for DBS that can be used by practitioners around the world. The system has reached the state of a clinical prototype that is being evaluated at Vanderbilt and other collaborating sites. This project has been featured by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) on its e-advances web site, which is an electronic publication that presents every month one of the NIBIB-funded projects (http://www.nibib.nih.gov/HealthEdu/eAdvances/31Aug10).