Neurophysiology and Adaptive Neuromodulation

This group follows a multidisciplinary approach combining clinical neurology and neuro-engineering to advance the understanding of brain oscillations in the context of movement disorders, and to develop novel deep brain stimulation (DBS) strategies. Over the last years, evidence linking brain signals to motor and non-motor symptoms in patients with movement disorders, particularly in Parkinson’s disease, is constantly increasing. This led to the first experimental trials demonstrating promising results for the use of closed-loop Deep Brain Stimulation (delivery of stimulation guided by symptom-biomarkers) and leveraged new concepts on how to optimize the management of DBS patients.

The goals of this group are to characterize and refine individual neurophysiological biomarkers for motor and non-motor symptoms and to understand their pathophysiological context on a network level. Moreover, we are interested in identifying and solving neurophysiological and engineering challenges associated with the translation and clinical practical application of bidirectional adaptive DBS. Finally, we aim to develop and pilot new closed-loop DBS algorithms and other neurophysiology-inspired neuromodulation strategies. 

Our research is currently supported by the Swiss National Research Foundation (SNF Ambizione Grant), the Swiss Parkinson Association and the Baasch-Medicus Foundation. 

Research focuses

  • Strategies to optimize deep brain stimulation
  • Adaptive closed-loop deep neuromodulation
  • Informed multi-contact DBS programming
  • Neurophysiological biomarker characterisation
  • Spectro-anatomical-behavioral relationship
  • Pathophysiological role of basal ganglia-cortical signaling

Methods

  • Intraoperative local field potentials (LFP) and microelectrode recordings (MER) recordings
  • Postoperative LFP recordings in chronically implanted patients
  • Electroencephalography
  • Multimodal sensor-based symptom assessment
  • Experimental stimulation and medication protocols
  • Combination of neuroimaging/electrophysiology
  • Bio-signal processing, statistical signal analyses and machine learning 

Group members

  • Laura Alva, MD (resident neurology)
  • Katrin Petermann, Dipl.Ing, MSc (DBS engineer/bio-statistician)
  • Mario Sousa, MD (PhD-Student, co-supervision Krack Group)
  • Ashesh Shah, PhD (Postdoc engineer, currently guest scientist)

Open positions