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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Pilot Study shows Promise for Improving brain function, neural plasticity and balance in MS patients

Multiple Sclerosis Pilot Study Evaluating PoNS Yields Promising


<span class="entry-title">Multiple Sclerosis Pilot Study Evaluating PoNS Yields Promising Results</span><span class="entry-subtitle">PoNS found to improve brain function, neural plasticity and balance in MS patients</span>

Helius Medical Technologies, Inc., a company dedicated to neurological wellness, recentlyannounced that the multiple sclerosis (MS) pilot study assessing the company’s investigational Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator (PoNS™) device has met all of the study’s goals.
PoNS is a non-invasive device that allows the delivery of neurostimulation through the tongue. The device is based on the concept that the tongue can be used as a natural, direct entry to stimulate the brain, especially since it is richly innervated by thousands of nerve fibers and interconnected by two major cranial nerves to the brainstem.
The PoNS system is currently being evaluated in Canada, at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital and Concordia University’s PERFORM Center, as a therapy for gait and balance disorder in patients with MS. In total, 14 participants (7 with active MS and 7 control individuals) were submitted to this non-invasive brain stimulation technology along with physiotherapy. The potential clinical benefits of PoNS neurostimulation were evaluated and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was employed to determine the device’s effect while participants performed working memory and mental imagery tasks, with or without stimulation.
fMRI results revealed that the PoNS device seems to facilitate neural plasticity. In fact, after treatment, patients with active MS exhibited a brain function similar to healthy individuals. MS patients also experienced a significant improvement in balance after 14 weeks of treatment. Furthermore, researchers reported a good safety profile for PoNS therapy.
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