The Technologies

There are a large number of debilitating neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders . This represents a huge global disease burden/market (approximately, 700M cases/yr, $65B/yr…). There are a limited number of treatments mainly based on pharmaceuticals which attempt to indirectly redress imbalances in the brain via manipulation of brain chemistry. However, the medication approach is in many cases, flawed by poor effectiveness, often severe after-effects and systemic (whole body/organ) distribution of the drug. Furthermore, the monitoring of treatment outcome is a slow process often relying on inaccurate and subjective tests administered at relatively long time intervals.

Neurostimulation is a relatively new approach which address imbalances in the brain directly via manipulation of the neuronal network that drives the disease. However, it is an approach relatively in its infancy. Established methods such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and deep brain stimulation (DBS) already used clinically for treating conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and depression. There are also emerging technologies such as focused ultrasound (FUS) and transcranial Electrical stimulation (TES). The clear advantages of neurostimulation methods over pharmaceuticals is that they target the area of pathology, aim to treat at the network level, and the approaches generally have minimal side-effects.

However, the effectiveness of these techniques is still variable (often <30-40%) and the market penetration is relatively small. This is mainly due to a still limited understanding of both the techniques and the disorders. For example, the influence of the usually large number stimulation parameters on treatment outcome is not well understood. Furthermore, to-date, a sub-optimal open-loop approach has been used for treatment that does not exploit feedback offered by advanced monitoring techniques such as functional MRI, ultrasound-tagged-near-infra-red-spectroscopy (UT-NIRS) and EEG, wherein the EEG signals are analyzed in order to deliver networks ( BNA). In order to improve treatment outcome, there is a need to optimize the therapy by informing (feedback) the implementation of the techniques, ideally in real-time, by combining with clinically relevant information provided by monitoring.

The goal of the development is to create a new approach for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders based on combining neurostimulation with monitoring. This will be achieved by the establishment of different kinds of neuro-markers of the disease that can be used to inform and monitor disease and treatment progression. The advantages of this radically new and disruptive approach to treatment of these conditions are manifold and include the following:

  • Improved patient screening to determine suitability for treatment at the level of the individual patient
  • Development of advanced forms of neurostimulation and monitoring that are best suited for integrated implementation
  • Closer integration between the different technologies so that they can be used in combination if required
  • Exploitation of the network-characteristics of neuropsychiatric disease
  • Ultimately, the long-term aim is to develop treatments based closed-loop feedback and personalized treatments that are tailored to each individual’s unique symptom and response profile

The goal of the consortium is to reach a step function in developing embedded monitoring and stimulation systems and methods to improve the patient treatment that will lead to expand the reach and market share of neurostimulation and brain monitoring techniques using a systematic and synergistic strategy for the development of generic technologies. Crucially, only in Israel exists the concentration of companies with world-leading expertise in neurostimulation and advanced monitoring and with the ability and the drive to make this happen. The consortium has been set up by the Chief Scientist Officer of the Israeli Ministry of Economy to make this a reality.