PRESS RELEASE: GLNT Begins Clinical Study To Demonstrate High Sensitivity Motor Symptom Detection In Parkinson’s Disease

March 23, 2012: Valley View, OH – Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies announced today that they have begun a clinical study to assess the sensitivity of their Kinesia system to detect subtle motor function changes in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is being conducted in partnership with Dr. Peter LeWitt of Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan and Dr. Alberto Espay of the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio. PD is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder affecting over six million people worldwide. Patients can be affected by tremor, slowed movements, rigidity, and gait abnormalities, symptoms which typically worsen over many years as the disease progresses. The current standard for evaluation of PD motor symptom severity and progression is the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), a subjective scoring system relying on clinician observations to rate symptom severity on an integer scale of 0-4.

Researchers around the world are investigating new treatments intended to slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Demonstrating the efficacy of these types of proposed neuroprotective therapies can be challenging since very small changes over long periods of time must be measured. Using a system with high sensitivity motion sensors to measure those changes can provide several advantages when combined with clinical rating scales. The Kinesia system includes a finger-worn motion sensor and standardized, video guided motor assessments. As a unique part of the study design, Parkinson’s patients implanted with deep brain stimulation devices will be recruited for the study.  Slowly adjusting the stimulation settings will allow researchers to simulate worsening symptoms and disease progression that would normally take years to study.

“We are very excited for the launch of this study and look forward to demonstrating the utility of Kinesia for high sensitivity clinical monitoring applications”, said Dustin A. Heldman, PhD and principal investigator on the program. “This technology platform should provide a more accurate and efficient method of assessment for pharmaceutical companies conducting clinical trials on drugs aimed at slowing the progression of PD through neuroprotective mechanisms.”

This clinical study is funded by a Phase I SBIR Grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: 1R43NS074627-01.

About Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies

Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies is committed to pioneering innovative biomedical technologies to serve research, education, and medical communities, improving access to medical technology for diverse populations, and positively impacting quality of life for people around the world.

Media Contact

Amelia Earhart, Marketing Manager     216-361-5410