MindMaze Healthcare has announced the first UK partnership for its novel MindPod platform to target cognitive and motor restoration in stroke patients. This new partnership involves the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital (RBH), which is based in Aylesbury, UK.
“MindPod represents nothing less than a revolution in the treatment of stroke,” said Ali Jamous, medical director at RBH. “In the UK, 100,000 people have a stroke annually—that is one stroke every five minutes—yet only 10% of these people fully recover. Neuro-restoration of the arm is needed in 80% of stroke patients. Initial feedback from our patients is incredibly exciting: following a devastating neurological event, patients enjoy MindPod, and they become fully engaged and motivated to continue the therapy as they lose themselves in the experience. MindPod gives them confidence to temporarily forget what they have lost, and instead explore what movements they can make, noticeably improving their motor function day by day as a high-dose intervention that simply is not feasible with comparably intensive levels of conventional rehabilitation.”
RBH represents MindMaze’s first UK hospital installation for MindPod that targets stroke, and is therefore the first time patients in the UK will be offered this novel treatment option in routine clinical practice. This is based on a recently completed study showing that it doubles the effectiveness of conventional rehabilitation in the upper limbs during the sub-acute phase. MindPod uses universal principles of brain repair; ongoing trials are using the same immersive room for Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, dementia and healthy ageing, which attests to its potential for more general use in neurological disease and injury, according to a MindMaze press release.
The release adds that MindPod is the world’s first immersive neuro-animation experience—a unique form of location-based digital therapeutic that focuses on brain repair through high-intensity and high-dose complex exploratory movements. The MindPod is an immersive location-based animated gaming environment that includes customised sound, lighting and movement tracking. Based on technology developed by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology, it is an evidence-based, protocolised, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-listed and CE-marked neurorestorative solution.
“MindPod is a complex-movement based exploration that affords a 100% immersive experience for patients,” said John Krakauer, professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore, USA) and chief medical advisor to MindMaze. “It allows us to take full advantage of a unique but short window of opportunity to repair the nervous system after a stroke. It is a Pixar-level experience that recreates the enriched environments that neuroscience has shown to be beneficial in animal models.”
MindPod is the subject of many clinical trials worldwide, including six studies on its effects in various stages of stroke recovery, the release continues. MindPod has recently demonstrated doubled efficacy in a randomised trial treating the sub-acute phase of stroke compared to conventional rehabilitation. MindPod has also successfully been piloted to enhance cognitive and functional wellness in a community setting for the healthy elderly, and an ongoing clinical trial is examining the improvement of motor and cognitive functions in Parkinson’s disease. Another study, funded by the US Department of Defense, is looking at the efficacy of MindPod on older traumatic brain injury patients to slow progression to dementia—and researchers are also exploring its use in motor recovery in hands and fingers for cervical spinal cord injury and in mild-to-moderate multiple sclerosis.
MindMaze also recently announced the closing of a US$125 million investment round that will be utilised to drive the continued growth of its digital neurotherapeutics platform. The financing was provided by AlbaCore Capital Group. MindMaze will use the proceeds to accelerate commercialisation of, and enhance market access for, its approved and reimbursed neuro-rehabilitation platform—particularly in North America and Europe—and expand its neuro-restorative portfolio through further system development and clinical trials in additional indications including acute stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis and ageing.