The Johns Hopkins Department of Neurology is recruiting participants for a clinical trial investigating brain-computed interface (BCI) systems for patients with movement and communication impairments. Dr. Nathan Crone, professor of neurology, leads the trial.
What is a brain-computer interface?
A BCI allows individuals to operate a computer with their mind alone. Small electrodes on the surface of the brain carry signals to the computer, letting patients more easily communicate with family and friends.
For patients with significant motor impairment, a BCI system can potentially provide greater independence and quality of life. The study involves surgical implantation of electrodes. After surgery, participants will learn how to operate the BCI.
Image Source: Fully Implanted Brain-Computer Interface in a Locked-In Patient with ALS. Vansteensel MJ, Pels EGM, Bleichner MG, Branco MP, Denison T, Freudenburg ZV, Gosselaar P, Leinders S, Ottens TH, Van Den Boom MA, Van Rijen PC, Aarnoutse EJ, Ramsey NF.N Engl J Med. 2016 Nov 24;375(21):2060-2066. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1608085. Epub 2016 Nov 12. PMID: 27959736
Investigation on the Cortical Communication (CortiCom) System
- The CortiCom Study will involve:
- Surgery to implant an electrode grid to control the BCI
- Training to operate the BCI three days a week at The Johns Hopkins Hospital
- Participants will receive up to $3,000 in compensation.
- The study will last six months.
The Cortical Communication (CortiCom) System's electrical grid connects to the rest of the computer system and its software.
Participants should be:
- Between the ages of 22 and 70
- Affected by significant movement impairment due to spinal cord injury, stroke or neuromuscular disease, including locked-in syndrome
- Willing to have brain surgery
- Cleared by their doctor for participation
- Able to travel to The Johns Hopkins Hospital several times a week