Introduction Braininnovations
Braininnovations was created as a joint venture to integrate the very rapid developments in brain research and technology in order to create new treatments for intractable diseases. Braininnovations originated when the Belgian BRAI²N group (Brain Research center Antwerp for Innovative & Interdisciplinary Neuromodulation) joined forces with Delft University of Technology and the Neuroscience Department of the Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, both in the Netherlands. In an intensified bed-to-bench and bench-to-bed approach, Braininnovations bridges a gap in translational medicine by combining cutting edge technologies with the outcome of studies in neuroscience.

Braininnovations
Braininnovations was founded in 2005 by Dirk De Ridder and Eddy van der Velden. Dirk De Ridder (Prof. dr. D. De Ridder) is a neurosurgeon, neuroscientist and, as a Darwin cognoscente (his dissertation ‘A Darwinian neurosurgical approach to tinnitus’ was published in 2005), he has been investigating methods to influence the evolution of the brain. One of these methods is neuromodulation. Neuromodulation is the initiation and modulation of neurophysiological signals, with the aim of changing the functioning of the central nervous system in such a way that it can be used as a therapy. The technique involves the electrical stimulation of certain regions in the nervous system, and the local dispense of fluids to the system, via the spinal cord or ventricles.

brain

At this moment this therapy is being applied by using a rather extensive electrical system in which the components are distributed over the body, interconnected with wires, and fed by rather large implantable batteries. This relatively primitive approach brings along several risks, including cable breakage, and complications due to the exchange of batteries. Eddy van der Velden (ass.prof. E.M. van der Velden) is a professional art painter, writer and medical researcher with extensive inborn creative talents. Over the last 30 years he has been associated with several academic hospitals in the Netherlands and abroad, as a scientist. Eddy is also the founder of the paramedical disciplines dermatography and keratography. When he first met Dirk De Ridder, he recognised the uniqueness in Dirk's deviating point of view on the human brain, which he had labeled “The Electronic Medicine in the Future”. Van der Velden claims that neurological sciences are currently “inside the tornado”, and facing a series of revolutionary discoveries, of which we are currently completely unaware, and which will have tremendous effects on medicine and medical ethics, but also – though less obviously – on economy, law, marketing and religion. “This century will be the century of neuroscience and genetics”, claims Eddy van der Velden.


Research
In the wake of prof.dr. Kevin Warwick and prof.dr. Mark Gasson we want to focus on the “electronic medicine“, whereby our prime interest is in electrical signals, therapeutically applied to the brain. The advantage of these signals over pharmaceutical means is that they can be applied at specific locations in the brain, and probably have less side-effects. The use of electrical signals enables us to intervene in the chemical processes that influence or determine the working of the brain. In this way particular parts of the brain can be stimulated and “reset”. In this sense Dirk De Ridder is following prof.dr. Michael Gazzaniga in his opinion that it makes sense to reprogram the brain. 'One should revalue the concepts of variation and diversity in our society', according to Dirk De Ridder. The reality of our digitized lives makes us indifferent and we should beware of the loss of the creative capacities of our brains, caused by the intensive watching of computer screens. Happily enough, our brains have a tremendous adaptability. Eddy van der Velden believes that, in the near future, we will be able to actively stimulate our brains through neuromodulation to catalyse creative thinking, and acquire new insights.


Building a new generation of neurostimulators
brain2 Braininnovations aims at the improvement of the current generation of neurostimulators, by – among other means – the use of significantly smaller microchips, unbreakable wiring, miniature batteries that are fed by the human body, wireless monitoring and steering by smartphones, and the option to easily send encrypted data to the medical staff, using the smartphone, a series of improvements that will lead to much friendlier appliances and solutions for the patient. These improvements should result in the creation of new appliances and solutions that are much more patient-friendly.





Patients and their future possibilities for treatment
The treatment of neurological disorders through neuromodulation consists of a number of methods to intervene in the neurophysiological features of the human body. The selection of the most appropriate method for treating a disorder is based on the kind of disorder, and its cause. In practice, the following methods are used:

● Electrical stimulation to activate a patient's locomotion
This type of stimulation involves the revitalisation of paralyzed muscles to regain motion, such as peroneus stimulation to cure a foot-drop.

● Electrical stimulation of the central nervous system
Includes the modulation of the spinal cord and brain, to cure paroxysmal disorders and clonus, epilepsy, bladder problems, fibromyalgy, tinnitus, bipolar disorders, obsessive behaviour, Parkinson and Alzheimer. Last but not least: this type of stimulation is used to alleviate pain and to influence the hormone system.

● Localized stimulation with chemicals
Some neurological disorders are caused by a disruption of the production of the specific chemicals by the human body that are needed for the transfer of signals between neurons. The lacking of these chemicals causes uncontrolled movements, like spasms and tremors. Localized stimulation, for example in the hormonal areas of the spinal cord, or in the brain ventricles, can have good results in many cases.

Current projects
● One project entails the development of an extremely versatile, miniaturized, constant-charge brain stimulator applicable for deep-brain stimulation, cortex and peripheral-nerve stimulation ( uStim/SINS project: Small Implantable NeuroStimulators ).

● Another project involves the deployment of Android-based smartphones whose audio output is being adjusted to the loss of hearing in tinnitus patients based on individualized audiometric data, following an approach developed by the French neuroscientist Arnaud Norena.

● In an adaptation of a technique developed for animals by auditory neuroscientist Turner, a third project attempts to develop a gap detection test for human patients.

● A fourth project is aimed at designing next-generation, generic implant processors and systems-on-chip (SoC) featuring high levels of hardware/software dependability, high security and privacy, ultra-low power consumption and miniature size (SiMS project: Smart Implantable Medical Systems).

● A fifth project entails the design of an artificial cerebellum as a real-time, medical multi-processor system-on-chip (MPSoC) aiming at rescuing (i.e. replacing) damaged parts of an actual, biological brain. The artificial cerebellum system is expected to be portable or wearable and has the following requirements:
- high reliability due to its medical application
- power-efficiency for portability
- adaptability to different input patterns (DeSyRe project: on-Demand System Reliability)
- high performance, both in latency (for real-time processing) and in throughput (for covering a large number of neurons)

Literature
pdfGoogle wil nu ook data uit je lichaam, oktober 2017 - Bio-elektronica verzamelen met farmareuzen zeer gevoelige informatie over medische aandoeningen.


pdfWetenschap in Beeld, augustus 2016 - Toekomstig wondermedicijn is elektrisch.
( click the icon to read the full article )


pdfMonitor, Maart 2016 - Hartslag als wachtwoord
( click the icon to read the full article )


pdfThesis Topics Related To SINs - The SINs (Smart Implantable Neurostimulators) project is focused on the development of soft- and hardware for the next generation neurostimulators.
( click the icon to read the full article )

pdfBrainframe - Framework for high-detail and real-time brain simulations (BrainFrame).
( click the icon to read the full article. )


pdfSINs - Functional Brain Dynamics
( click the icon to read the full article. )


pdfSlimmere neurostimulatie: Het vinden van de juiste golf - Neurostimulatie staat sterk in de belangstelling binnen de medische wetenschap. Het biedt in potentie dan ook het antwoord.... (klik op het pdf icoontje om het volledige artikel te lezen)

pdfPortret Dirk de Ridder - Tinnitus als fout voorspelling". Tinnitus as prediction error ". Neurochirurg prof. dr. Dirk de Ridder van de Brain Clinic in het Universitair Ziekenhuis Antwerpen (UZA) is een bekende.... (klik op het pdf icoontje om het volledige artikel te lezen)

pdfHearing Research,Volume 296,Februari 2013 - Does enriched acoustic environment in humans abolish chronic tinnitus clinically and electrophysiologically? A double blind placebo controlled study.... (klik op het pdf icoontje om het volledige artikel te lezen)

pdfHersenen onder controle - Mensen met hersenaandoeningen zoals Parkinson en tinnitus(oorsuizen) krijgen in de toekomst mogelijk een slimme geminiaturiseerde neurostimulator in hun lijf. Made in Delft.... (klik op het pdf icoontje om het volledige artikel te lezen)

pdfNeuromodulatie stroom als medicijn - Met neuromodulatie kan een arts de activiteit in de hersenen beïnvloeden via elektrische stroom. Voor sommige patiënten met chronische pijn, oorsuizen of de ziekte van Parkinson is die behandeling intussen de normaalste zaak... (klik op het pdf icoontje om het volledige artikel te lezen)

pdfVerdwalen in je eigen geest - Mensen die de weg niet meer vinden in hun eigen huis, hun familie niet meer herkennen of ’s nachts op pantoffels de straat op trekken: voor wie regelmatig met dementiepatiënten in contact komt, zijn het herkenbare verhalen... (klik op het pdf icoontje om het volledige artikel te lezen)

pdfProgrammable implants - For his PhD research, Dr Christos Strydis rethought the architecture for processors in biomedical implants. In future implants might be recharged by the brain. Saying that they are committed to their research... (klik op het pdf icoontje om het volledige artikel te lezen)

pdfThe Case for a Generic Implant Processor - A more structured and streamlined design of implants is nowadays possible. In this paper Christos Strydis and Georgi Gaydadjiev focus on implant processors located in the heart of implantable systems... (klik op het pdf icoontje om het volledige artikel te lezen)

pdfNeuromodulatie bij de ziekte van Parkinson - Repetitieve transcraniale magnetische stimulering en transcraniale stimulering met gelijkstroom als adjuvante behandeling... (klik op het pdf icoontje om het volledige artikel te lezen)


pdfLa neuromodulation lors de maladie de Parkinson - La stimulation magnétique transcrânienne répétitive et la stimulation transcrânienne par courant direct en tant que traitement adjuvant... (klik op het pdf icoontje om het volledige artikel te lezen)

pdfControlling the brain - Our brain is the center of our nervous system. Literally everything we do, from eating an apple to solving a Schrödinger equation, is controlled by it. Usually we don’t give much thought to the fact our brain is so utterly important, but imagine... (klik op het pdf icoontje om het volledige artikel te lezen)

pdfThe Brain's Dark Energy - Imagine you are almost dozing in a lounge chair outside, with a magazine on your lap. Suddenly, a fly lands on your arm. You grab the magazine and swat at the insect. What was going on in your brain after the fly landed... (klik op het pdf icoontje om het volledige artikel te lezen)

pdfChameleon in the classroom - Professor Wouter Serdijn is one of TU Delft's bright young guns in the professorial ranks. The two-time winner of his faculty's 'Best Teacher Award' shares his views on internationalization, successful teaching and his passion for music.... (klik op het pdf icoontje om het volledige artikel te lezen)



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