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Outstanding news in the field of Parkinson Research!

Congratulations to Emory University (Atlanta, USA) for receiving a $6.3 million grant from the Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s Collaborative Research Network. This budget will be dedicated to the investigation of changes in the cerebral cortex involved in Parkinson’s Disease.

Despite an origin in the deeper areas – called basal ganglia – Parkinson’s disease (PD) impacts circuits extending throughout the whole brain. That is why focusing solely on localized regions might limit our understanding and holistic management of the condition. Gaining insights in the cortical collateral effects of PD will drastically accelerate the development of more precise, adapted, efficacious and comfortable therapies for patients.

At Gondola, both after a single 2-minute session and longer term therapy, we observe an improvement in gait parameters and an increase in brain connectivity, notably in cortical areas involved in sensory processing and sensorimotor integration [1, 2]. In line with these findings, the mechanism of action of the Gondola AMPS therapy is strongly believed to leverage sensorimotor integration, a process by which sensory information stimulates and influences the motor commands sent by higher motor control areas of the brain, such as the motor cortex. We are currently deploying a tremendous effort in designing and performing clinical studies to investigate the circuit-level processes of Automated Mechanical Peripheral Stimulation [3].

We are exceedingly enthusiastic and supportive about this accelerating opportunity granted to Thomas Wichmann MD and all the teams involved, which will enable to majorly contribute to changing patients’ lives!

  1. Quattrocchi CC, De Pandis MF, Piervincenzi C, et al. Acute modulation of brain connectivity in Parkinson disease after automatic mechanical peripheral stimulation: A pilot study. PLoS One. 2015;10(10):1-19.
  2. Pagnussat AS, Salazar AP, Pinto C, et al. Plantar stimulation alters brain connectivity in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. Acta Neurol Scand. 2020:0-3.
  3. Collaboration with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York, USA)