Innovations and Technology

Neurosurgical Innovations and Technology Make Advances to Improve Patient Quality of Life

The specialists at the Functional & Restorative Neurosurgery Center bring innovation and advanced treatment of neuro-degenerative disorders to a new level by introducing not only new ideas in clinical and surgical methods and devices, but also new ideas in patient care.

With a strong focus on restoring neurological function and enhancing patient quality of life through innovative treatment of many neurological disorders, our team offers the highest quality medical expertise and the latest in innovative technology and research.

Innovation at University Hospitals Neurological Institute

Some of the achievements our team has made include:

  • First in North America to perform deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the thalamus to treat successfully the symptoms of Tourette syndrome
  • The first group worldwide to complete a prospective randomized double blinded trial of thalamic DBS for Tourette syndrome in a pilot clinical trial of five patients

Treatment Programs

UH Neurological Institute’s Functional & Restorative Neurosurgery Center provides treatment programs to reduce symptoms and improve the quality of life for patients with chronic neurological or neuromuscular disorders. Some of the treatments we provide include:

  • Deep brain stimulation (DBS): Manages tremors, movement and walking problems via surgical implantation of electrodes in the brain and pulse generators in the upper chest just beneath the collarbones.
  • Spinal cord stimulation: Uses spinal cord neurostimulators that deliver targeted chronic pain management. The neurostimulator is inserted under the skin through a small incision in the upper buttock, while the long-term lead is implanted in the epidural space of the spinal cord.
  • Intrathecal drug delivery: Also known as the "pain pump" or “baclofen pump,” this simple procedure uses a small pump to deliver medication directly to a patient’s spinal cord. The pump is placed under the abdominal skin through a minimally invasive procedure and delivers medication through a catheter to the area around the spinal cord.
  • Surgical treatment of epilepsy: Seizures that do not respond to pharmaceutical management may be reduced or eliminated through epilepsy surgery. Advances in presurgical diagnostic techniques, including brainmapping, expand therapeutic options to a larger percentage of epileptic patients.
  • Surgical treatment of facial pain: Accurately identifies source of pain before devising customized surgical treatments. Surgical solutions are available to relieve pain associated with trigeminal neuralgia, multiple sclerosis, tumors and a variety of other neuropathies.

Current Clinical Trials for Neurology Patients at University Hospitals

Patients who qualify can participate in clinical trials at UH Neurological Institute’s Functional & Restorative Neurosurgery Center to research innovations in improved treatments for neurological disorders. Current clinical trials include:

BrainGate2: Feasibility Study of an Intracortical Neural Interface System for Persons with Tetraplegia. Obtain preliminary device safety information and demonstrate proof of principle (feasibility of efficacy) of the ability of people with tetraplegia to control a computer cursor and other assistive devices with their thoughts. Prospective, open-label, feasibility study. Primary Endpoint: Safety: Sensor successfully implanted, not explanted for safety reasons during the one-year post-implant evaluation, and there are no device-related Serious Adverse Events which result in death or permanently increased disability during the one-year post-implant evaluation period.

Learn more about clinical trials at University Hospitals.

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