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Development of Non-Invasive Continuous Neuromonitoring Validating Novel Biomarkers of Imminent Brain Injury

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Key Personnel

  • Adré J. du Plessis, MBChB
  • Rathinaswamy Govindan, PhD

The overarching goal of this project is the prevention of irreversible brain injury in critically ill patients. A pivotal step in pursuit of this goal is the development of a non-invasive bedside brain-monitoring device that reliably identifies the antecedents of brain injury with sufficient lead-time to institute preventive neuroprotection responses. Given the current lack of reliable bedside neurodiagnostic techniques, the progression from insult to brain injury usually proceeds undetected through the critical period when neuroprotective intervention is likely to be most effective. Both interventions to minimize insult, as well as emerging neuroprotective agents to minimize injury, have a limited therapeutic window beyond which efficacy rapidly wanes. We have developed a multimodal neuromonitoring device capable of detecting early failure of intrinsic brain compensatory systems well before the onset of irreversible brain injury. The team is currently testing the validity of the non-invasive neuromonitoring device against invasive gold standard techniques in an animal model. If successful, this device will facilitate truly informed preventive neuroprotection, and will become an important tool for reducing neurological morbidity in the growing population of critical care survivors.