Smart brain stimulators that respond to symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in real-time are on the horizon thanks to a new discovery by researchers in America. A team from the University of Houston have identified biomarkers that can be used to develop the next generation of ‘smart deep brain stimulators’.

“We can now make the closed-loop stimulator adaptive to sense a patient’s symptoms, so it can make the adjustments to the fluctuations in real time, and the patient no longer has to wait for weeks or months until the doctor can adjust the device,” said Nuri Ince, associate professor of biomedical engineering. He and doctoral student Musa Ozturk, lead author of the paper, published their findings in Movement Disorders journal.

The news will be welcomed by the near 10 million people globally living with Parkinson’s disease – and their families.

It follows the introduction of a new resource last year by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) to inspire an increase in the number of patients participating in clinical trials.