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CHBH Seminar Series: Dr Eduardo M Moraud

Thursday 29 April 2021 (13:00-14:00)
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CHBH Seminars are free to attend and are open to all, both within and outside the University. Please register your interest to attend using the link above. 

We are pleased to announce that the CHBH will welcome Dr Eduardo M Moraud (Twitter: @EdMoraud), Junior Principal Investigator (“Ambizione” Fellow of the Swiss National Science Foundation) at Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland, to present a CHBH Seminar on his research, taking place on Thursday 29th April 13:00-14:00 UK time.

To arrange a 1:1 meeting with Dr Moraud, please contact us.

Towards closed-loop neuromodulation of brain and spinal circuits to alleviate gait and balance deficits in Parkinson's disease

Impairments of gait and balance are amongst the most incapacitating and least well-understood symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD). Well-established neuromodulation therapies for PD, which are highly effective for the treatment of upper-limb motor signs, often exhibit modest results to alleviate gait deficits. This discrepancy is presumably due to the divergence in the nature and dynamics of the circuits that control leg versus upper limb movements. To date, the brain signatures underlying leg motor function and dysfunction, their involvement in leg muscle recruitment and force modulation across locomotor activities, and their utility to help refine therapies remains unclear. Similarly, the impact of combining brain and spinal neuromodulation therapies to specifically address locomotor deficits remains controversial.

In this talk, I will present results on these two questions: First, we aimed to identify the neural correlates of leg force modulation from local field potentials (LFPs) recorded from deep brain stimulation electrodes implanted in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) of patients with PD, and to leverage this framework to develop decoding algorithms able to automatically predict leg force intention in real-time. Second, we employed brain-decoded intention to trigger and control spinal cord neuromodulation therapies during unconstrained movements in non-human primate model of PD. These combined results confirm the capacity to leverage brain signals to decode force production and leg motor intention in real-time, and to further exploit them to provide personalised therapies of brain and spinal cord to address gait deficits.


Dr Moraud is a Junior Principal Investigator at the Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland. His research focuses on the design, implementation and clinical validation of translational neurotechnologies operating in closed-loop to modulate the activity of brain and spinal circuits in real-time, with the goal to alleviate gait deficits and improve locomotor performance after neurological disorders. 

Dr Moraud obtained his PhD from ETH Zurich (Switzerland) under the supervision of Prof Silvestro Micera and was a visiting researcher in the group of Prof Grégoire Courtine at EPFL, Lausanne. During that time, he pioneered
 the first closed-loop system to control spinal-cord neuromodulation for the restoration of leg
motor control after spinal cord injury (SCI). He extensively
validated this approach on different rodent and non-human primate models of SCI. These approaches are at the core of recent clinical results reported on three human individuals (Wagner et al, Nature 2018), and they hold important implications to help improve recovery after paralysis in patients.

Dr Moraud then carried out postdoctoral research in the group of Prof Peter Brown at the University of Oxford (UK), where he leveraged similar concepts to help guide the optimization of Deep Brain Stimulation strategies in Parkinson's disease (PD). He is currently further refining these concepts to specifically address deficits of gait and balance in PD.

CHBH Seminars are free to attend and are open to all, both within and outside the University. Please register your interest to attend using the link above.

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