MIRA’s Applied Analysis (AA) models neural activity in various parts of the brain, an example being research into the brain areas involved in Parkinson's disease. AA also analyses models of the cortex, the outermost layer of the cerebrum, in order to gain a better understanding of epilepsy.
In order to treat movement disorders in patients with Parkinson's disease two areas deep in the brain are often stimulated electrically, but this, unfortunately, does not have sufficient effect on impaired balance. AA is investigating whether stimulating a different area might be worthwhile in these patients. This area consists of the basal ganglia, clusters of neurons in the central nervous system. The model may enable a suitable signal to be found for the electrical stimulation, and collaboration with teaching hospitals will enable targeted measurements to be carried out on patients.
A large proportion of epileptic patients do not respond effectively to the many drugs available. AA is now developing a computer model describing how brain activity changes during a seizure. The values in the model symbolize the structure and properties of the brain cells. Changing these values based on physiological knowledge simulates the effect of administering drugs, thus showing what effect particular drugs can have on brain activity and possibly enabling new therapies to be developed.
For more information about Applied Analysis, visit the homepage.