The Nash Family Center for Advanced Circuit Therapeutics is challenging the status quo—not only in the way we treat neurological and psychiatric disorders, but in the way we approach clinical neuroscience research questions. Our transdisciplinary team approach embraces technological experts, researchers, and clinicians in a holistic collaboration to map, understand, and tune brain activity for improved mood, cognitive, and motor functioning. The fluid exchange of information throughout our ecosystem—with data collected in the operating room, the clinic, the laboratory and the home—is not only sparking new discoveries within our respective disciplines, but ushering in new treatments that are revolutionizing neurological and psychiatric care for severe brain disorders.
Our Mission: To advance precision surgical treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders through the rapid translation of neuroscience and neuroengineering innovations that correct brain circuit abnormalities and restore mood, motor, and cognitive functioning.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is at the center of both our research and our therapies. We use multimodal techniques to map disease circuits and to use these insights to inform the refinement and optimization of DBS and other methods of surgical neuromodulation for all patient groups. This scientifically informed approach to optimizing DBS for various disorders is at the core of the C-ACT mission. In collaboration with the Center for Neuromodulation, the precise implantation of electrodes to regulate brain activity is used to treat a range of conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, epilepsy, dystonia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder as well as Tourette syndrome, treatment-resistant depression, and chronic pain.
Strategies using novel imaging technologies allow us to map precise circuits for optimal surgical implantation. Combined with advanced high-density EEG techniques, targets of stimulation can be further refined to facilitate optimal DBS dosing. Recent technological advances in DBS device hardware and software now allow us to monitor brain activity during ongoing treatment complementing intraoperative physiological and neurochemical measurements during implantation surgery. Novel behavioral readouts using video capture of facial expression, speech and language, and movement are providing new quantitative tools to assess both acute and chronic DBS clinical effects in the lab and in the home. This array of technologies is sparking new avenues of research within C-ACT.
While DBS is an established intervention for Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, essential tremor epilepsy, pain, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, our Center is pushing the experimental boundaries forward to investigate its use for treatment resistant depression, Tourette syndrome, chronic pain, and other intractable neuropsychiatric syndromes. Our transdisciplinary approach with research imbedded within the clinic without disease or departmental silos is pushing conventional boundaries of research and care. Our culture of collaboration sparks insights among team members, accelerating discovery.
Today, we can tailor deep-brain stimulation therapy to the individual’s unique brain activity. Precision mapping of the brain allows us to deliver targeted, personalized therapy. And now, with feedback from implanted devices, we can continually evaluate, modify, and optimize therapy for each of our patients.