By Todd Taylor
University of Florida neuroscientist Coralie de Hemptinne, PhD., is among three researchers nationwide to receive the Parkinson’s Foundation’s Stanley Fahn Junior Faculty Award, which supports young and aspiring scientists in the Parkinson’s field.
The $300,000 grant will support de Hemptinne’s project exploring new neuromodulation strategies for Parkinson’s disease, with a goal of developing automated programming algorithms to improve the process of selecting deep brain stimulation parameters.
Deep brain stimulation, or DBS, is an established treatment for certain patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. It involves surgery to implant thin electrical wires into specific brain areas and then connect the wires to a pacemaker-like generator implanted under the skin of the upper chest to deliver stimulation to malfunctioning brain circuitry.
“Identifying stimulation parameters that improve Parkinson’s symptoms is a time-consuming, trial-and-error process. Developing automated programming algorithms could increase the efficacy of DBS and improve the ease of clinical treatment,” said de Hemptinne, an assistant professor of neurology at the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Health.