MindMaze and The University of Auckland partner on novel early intervention study for stroke patients, expanding global breadth of research supporting the company’s brain tech solutions
MindMaze, (digital therapeutics (DTx) for neurological recovery and care), in partnership with The University of Auckland, has announced a new interventional study that will aim to show the merits of early, immersive, and intensive intervention to recover movement for patients who have experienced a stroke. The Phase 2 trial, Enhancing Spontaneous Recovery After Stroke Study (ESPRESSo, ACTRN12620000871943), will evaluate the effect of the use of MindPod in a three-week programme of high-intensity, high-dose exploratory arm and hand movements initiated within two weeks of stroke on upper limb motor capacity.
ESPRESSo is actively recruiting, orienting the medical community towards earlier intervention by demonstrating the marked benefits it can have following a stroke, both immediate and long-term.
The MindPod, a novel, immersive neuro-animation experience designed to promote the recovery of motor skill and cognitive function following a stroke or other neurological injury or disease, was chosen for ESPRESSo as it takes a unique approach to brain repair: it is a holistic multiscale intervention that simultaneously delivers a cognitive challenge, motor skill training and a cardiovascular workout. This training can be expected to lead to more generalised effects that are both cognitive and physical.
“Research shows that an injured brain can get better, especially if the recovery work starts early.John Krakauer, M.A., M.D., Professor of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
“MindPod was designed with this knowledge in mind and the result is a high-dose, high-intensity solution that patients actually enjoy using,” said John Krakauer, M.A., M.D., Professor of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Chief Medical Advisor to MindMaze. “This immersive, reinforcing environment is key for motivation and therapy adherence, each of the utmost importance in particular in early recovery settings when morale is most challenged.”
In addition, the ESPRESSo Trial is utilising a pioneering predictive tool which allows accurate predictions about recovery about three-month outcomes of upper limb function by combining clinical and neurophysiological assessments. Used in New Zealand hospitals, the tool is being validated in the United States, and is a useful and unprecedented reference for physicians when guiding their patients through what can be expected during the recovery process and eventual outcomes. In the difficult and uncertain time following an event like a stroke, the tool can provide more certainty and realistic possibilities for patients and their physicians to work towards.
“What we are evaluating in the ESPRESSo Trial is ambitious, multifaceted, and novel,” said Winston Byblow, PhD, Director of the Movement Neuroscience Laboratory at The University of Auckland and Principal Investigator on the ESPRESSo Trial. “Our aim is to show that there is a real, sound biological reason for urgency of intervention and that it directly correlates with improved outcomes for patients who have experienced a stroke. With the predictive tool, we’re meeting each patient where they are, getting the goals right early and working with state of the art, immersive technology to meet or exceed their predicted outcome.”
DTx protocols enabled by the MindPod are the subject of many ongoing trials worldwide for indications such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, dementia and healthy ageing, underscoring its potential for more general use in neurological disease, injury and ageing.