GTX medical is developing the Go-2 Targeted Epidural Spinal Stimulation (TESS) therapy, based upon the research from Prof. Grégoire Courtine from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Prof. Jocelyne Bloch from the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) in Lausanne.
The lab of Prof. Courtine at the EPFL in Lausanne tested the hypothesis in pre-clinical settings. In a next step, the EPFL team adapted a commercially available IPG, a lead and accessories to perform the first-in-man (FIM) implants in carefully selected subjects with a chronic SCI of over 12 months and up to 14 years.
The initial results of STIMO, the safety and feasibility study with the Targeted Epidural Stimulation system in combination with over-ground robot assisted rehabilitation training for patients with chronic incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI), were published in the November 1st issues of Nature and Nature Neuroscience.
Summary of the Nature publication:
- The neurostimulation system immediately enables stepping even in patients with motor-complete paralyzed legs
- The Therapy enables activity-dependent plasticity to kick in, leading to neuro-recovery
- Recovery effects are present, even in absence of stimulation
- The therapy can be used outside of the hospital for training and to support daily activities
Summary Nature Neuroscience publication:
- Continuous stimulation is sub-optimal for recovery of walking capabilities because it interferes with natural proprioception
- TESS preserves natural proprioception while enabling more natural and stronger stepping
Podcast 20 Dec 2018:
Interview in Dutch with Sjaak Deckers, CEO of GTX medical: High Tech Campus podcast
Our current focus is to improve leg function. The stimulation electrode will be inserted in the epidural space of the spinal cord at the lumbar level to cover the conus, hence above the spinal circuits controlling locomotion. In the future we aim to also treat arm and hand function. Promising advancements have been made in pre-clinical and early clinical research. Register below for more information on progress.