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Clinical

A major goal of Neuroscape is the translation of the research findings that emerge from our Neuroscience Program, as driven by the advances of our Technology Program, to the creation of new clinical diagnostic tools and therapeutic interventions that better the lives of diverse patient populations.

The Neuroscape Clinical Program was born out of our dissatisfaction with the present approach to treating cognitive deficits in neurological and psychiatric patients. The current system is overly reliant on antiquated assessments, poorly-targeted drugs and non-personalized prescriptive practices. Silos constructed around each treatment modality have further prevented much needed breakthroughs.

Through unique collaborations between the Neuroscape Core team, physician-scientists both within and outside of UCSF, and select industry partners we extend the progress of our other programs to positively impact brain function of individuals suffering from multiple clinical conditions. These efforts also include improvements in experimental design, notably double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled studies of non-invasive technologies.

The Clinical Program currently targets the following conditions: Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism, Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia, Depression, and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). . New research focus areas of Multiple Sclerosis, Delirium, Sensory Processing Disorder and Cancer-related Cognitive Impairment (CRCI) will be launching soon

 

Joaquin A. Anguera
Director, Clinical Program

ADHD

Approximately 10% of children worldwide are diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which manifests as deficiencies being present in daily life activities that require cognitive control – attention, working memory and goal-management skills. Given the personal impact, as well as the large socioeconomic and health-care burden posed by ADHD, the development of effective and scalable therapeutics for impaired children has immense practical relevance.

At Neuroscape, we are driven to create and evaluate sophisticated new approaches to properly characterize the challenges faces by children with ADHD, as well as harness their brain’s inherent plasticity with closed-loop systems being developed in our Technology Program so as to remediate deficient cognitive control abilities and improve their quality of life.

Collaborators

Autism

At Neuroscape we believe that the future of autism treatment will involve the integration of a variety of therapeutic interventions to attain the most personalized, positive and enduring effects. Moreover, assessing cognitive abilities in children with this clinical diagnosis is challenging for two primary reasons: lack of engagement can lead to low sensitivity and great performance variability exists across individuals.

Given our experience developing and utilizing closed-loop technologies, we are passionate about our ongoing efforts of applying novel approaches to better characterize and remediate cognitive deficiencies that decrease the quality of life for the many children who are diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

Collaborators

Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia

 

Neuroscape’s Core team has acquired extensive experience over the years in studying how cognitive control processes decline with healthy aging. Building upon these basic cognitive neuroscience efforts, we are now eager to expand to a clinical focus in populations of older adults who are suffering from mild cognitive impairment and dementia.

Our research has focused on better understanding the role of traditional therapeutic methods, such as drug treatment, and now pivots to advancing new approaches to better characterize and remediate the cognitive deficiencies experience by these individuals.

Collaborators

Depression

Current drug treatments for depression are known to have only modest effects in some individuals, no positive influence in others, and unacceptable side-effects in many. Behavioral approaches are also poorly-targeted, can be difficult to gain access to, and are inconsistently utilized, particularly by older adults.

Interestingly, cognitive control impairments in patients with depression, when assessed at a neural network level, show a similar pattern of impairment to other conditions with cognitive control deficits, hinting at the potential utility in enhancing cognitive control abilities as an approach to improve depressive symptoms.

The Depression Focus area in the Neuroscape Clinical Program is founded on the principle that cognitive training delivered via closed-loop video game technology may target the underlying network dysfunction associated with depression, and do so in a manner that is engaging and thus engenders greater adherence to treatment protocol.

Collaborators

Traumatic Brain Injury

Evidence suggests that traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a risk factor for dementia later in life. Many older adult military veterans have experienced a head injury at some point in their lives, which can result in deleterious effects in their quality of life.

We are very excited about our collaboration with experienced UCSF investigators at the San Francisco VA hospital.  These investigators are conducting the Brain Aging in Veterans (BRAVE) Training study to explore how modern technology can better serve this population, both by better assessing cognitive deficits and remediating observed deficiencies via closed-loop technologies.

Collaborators

 

For additional information about how to participate visit:  http://www.sanfrancisco.va.gov/research/BRAVEtrainingStudy.asp

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