Invasive neurostimulation is an established technique in the therapy of movement disorders and epilepsy, and shows promise for amelioration of psychiatric and cognitive disorders. Recently, several implantable neurostimulation hardware platforms have begun to incorporate sensing of cortical and subcortical field potential activity, with the capability for wireless streaming from the internal device to external computers over years. These high temporal and spatial resolution signals may be used for discovering the circuit basis of brain disorders, developing new therapies rationally derived from circuit analysis, and developing adaptive (feedback controlled) neurostimulation paradigms in which the device auto-adjusts according to changing brain needs. The most recent ?second generation? implantable devices, such as Summit RC+S (Medtronic), have substantially improved capabilities and offer great flexibility for novel uses, at the expense of increased complexity. However, effective use of this and related platforms requires academic investigators to develop previously unfamiliar capabilities, including programming of the desired device functions using an ?application programming interface?, and documenting the performance and validation of software according to FDA device regulations. While many BRAIN Initiative funded grants intend to use these second generation bidirectional interfaces, the four institutions on this proposal, working together, are the only groups that have surmounted the technical and regulatory barriers to launching clinical protocols with second generation sensing devices. We have formed the ?Open Mind? neural communications consortium to share technical and regulatory infrastructure with each other and with new investigators, and begun to disseminate this knowledge at open meetings for new investigators, at the April 2018 and 2019 Brain Initiative Meetings. Through this proposal, we will greatly expand these technology dissemination activities, to provide investigators with elements critical to the launch of their own clinical studies: A ?turnkey? user interface to get started that includes open source software elements for neural sensing at home and for adaptive stimulation, and a streamlined regulatory pathway for FDA approval of investigational protocols, which we call the ?Open Source Quality Management System?. We will disseminate education and resources through biannual workshops and a web-based library of regulatory documents, software, and the Quality Management System. Our team represents the major clinical areas of interest in neuromodulation: movement disorders (UCSF), epilepsy (Mayo Clinic), and psychiatry (Brown/Baylor), and includes experts in the design and dissemination of implantable devices (Oxford). This consortium will facilitate already funded proposals, as well as entry of new investigators, in the rapidly evolving ecosystem of implantable wireless neural interfaces. Two new clinical teams have already begun to work with our neural sensing interface in preparation for their own clinical trials of adaptive stimulation, demonstrating readiness of tools for dissemination.
Novel implantable brain devices that can sense neural activity, as well as deliver therapeutic stimulation, have recently become available and may lead to new therapies for brain disorders. However, use of the most flexible and powerful of these neural interfaces requires expertise in software and in device regulatory requirements that is unfamiliar to most investigators. Our group, which has already launched clinical trials using the novel sensing interfaces, here forms a ?neural communications consortium? to disseminate technical and regulatory knowledge to new users, which will be critical for launching investigational studies.