Brain-implanted devices are no longer a futuristic idea. Traditionally, therapies for most neurological disorders are adjusted based on changes in clinical symptoms and diagnostic measures observed over time. These therapies are commonly pharmacological or surgical, requiring continuous or irreversible treatment regimens that cannot respond rapidly to fluctuations of symptoms or isolated episodes of dysfunction. In contrast, closed-loop systems provide intervention only when needed by detecting abnormal neurological signals and modulating them with instantaneous feedback. Closed-loop systems have been applied to several neurological conditions (most notably epilepsy and movement disorders), but widespread use is limited by conceptual and technical challenges. Herein, we discuss how advances in experimental closed-loop systems hold promise for improved clinical benefit in patients with neurological disorders.
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