Patents Assigned to Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
  • Publication number: 20100185268
    Abstract: Implantable medical devices and associated systems and methods are disclosed. An implantable device in accordance with one embodiment can include a signal generator positioned to be implanted in a patient. The signal generator includes a housing and a plurality of selectively electrically activatable portions at an external surface of the housing. The implantable device can also include a remote electrode device having at least one electrode positioned to be implanted beneath the patient's skull, and a lead coupleable to the electrode device and the signal generator.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 30, 2009
    Publication date: July 22, 2010
    Applicant: Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
    Inventors: Brad C. Fowler, Jay Miazga, Matt L. Bielstein
  • Publication number: 20100185256
    Abstract: Methods and systems for establishing, adjusting, and/or modulating parameters for neural stimulation based, at least in part, on functional and/or structural measurements are disclosed. A method in accordance with one embodiment includes measuring a volume of functionally active neural tissue within a patient's central nervous system both before and after affecting a target neural population of the patient with electromagnetic stimulation. The method further includes controlling at least one signal delivery parameter with which the electromagnetic stimulation is applied to the patient based, at least in part, on the measured difference in the volume of functionally active neural tissue.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 16, 2009
    Publication date: July 22, 2010
    Applicant: Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
    Inventor: Justin Hulvershorn
  • Publication number: 20100036453
    Abstract: The present disclosure is directed generally to techniques for selecting signal delivery sites and other signal delivery parameters for treating depression and other neurological disorders, and associated systems and methods. A method in accordance with a particular embodiment includes obtaining first imaging information corresponding to a first region of a patient's brain, the first imaging information being based at least in part on functional characteristics of the first region. The method further includes obtaining second imaging information corresponding to a second region of the patient's brain, the second region being a subset of the first region, the second imaging information being based at least in part on functional or structural characteristics of the second region. A target neural population is then selected based at least in part on the second imaging information. The method still further includes applying an electromagnetic signal to the target neural population to improve a patient function.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 27, 2009
    Publication date: February 11, 2010
    Applicant: Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
    Inventors: Justin Hulvershorn, Bradford E. Gliner, Brian Kopell
  • Publication number: 20090299435
    Abstract: Systems and methods for enhancing or affecting neural stimulation efficiency and/or efficacy are disclosed. In one embodiment, a system and/or method may apply electromagnetic stimulation to a patient's nervous system over a first time domain according to a first set of stimulation parameters, and over a second time domain according to a second set of stimulation parameters. The first and second time domains may be sequential, simultaneous, or nested. Stimulation parameters may vary in accordance with one or more types of duty cycle, amplitude, pulse repetition frequency, pulse width, spatiotemporal, and/or polarity variations. Stimulation may be applied at subthreshold, threshold, and/or suprathreshold levels in one or more periodic, aperiodic (e.g., chaotic), and/or pseudo-random manners. In some embodiments stimulation may comprise a burst pattern having an interburst frequency corresponding to an intrinsic brainwave frequency, and regular and/or varying intraburst stimulation parameters.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 3, 2008
    Publication date: December 3, 2009
    Applicant: Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
    Inventors: Bradford Evan Gliner, Allen Wyler, Brad Fowler, W. Douglas Sheffield, Richard Kuntz, Kent Leyde, Leif R. Sloan
  • Publication number: 20090299126
    Abstract: Systems and methods for treating autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and related dysfunctions are disclosed. A method in accordance with a particular embodiment includes determining that a patient suffers from an autistic disorder and, based at least in part on the determination, selecting a cortical signal delivery site. The method can further include implanting an electrode within the patient's skull and external to a cortical surface of the patient's brain, and treating the autistic disorder by applying electrical signals to the implanted electrode in conjunction administering an adjunctive therapy to the patient.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 31, 2009
    Publication date: December 3, 2009
    Applicant: Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
    Inventors: Brad C. Fowler, Dominic W. Massaro
  • Publication number: 20090149898
    Abstract: Systems and methods for providing targeted neural stimulation therapy to address neurological disorders, including neuropsychiatric and neuropsychological disorders are disclosed. A method for treating a patient's neurological disorder in accordance with a particular embodiment includes, in a patient identified as having at least one of a neuropsychological disorder and a neuropsychiatric disorder, implanting at least one stimulation electrode within the patient's skull cavity, and outside a cortical surface of the patient's brain. The electrode is implanted at a location in a range of about 15 mm to about 35 mm anterior to a precentral sulcus reference point that is positioned at the precentral sulcus and at the patient's middle frontal gyrus. The method can further include treating the patient's disorder by applying electrical stimulation to the patient via the at least one stimulation electrode.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 8, 2008
    Publication date: June 11, 2009
    Applicant: Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
    Inventors: Justin Hulvershorn, Brad Fowler, Bradford Evan Gliner, Leif R. Sloan, Brian Kopell, David Alan Soltysik
  • Publication number: 20090131995
    Abstract: Microdevice-based electrode assemblies and associated neurostimulation systems, devices and methods are disclosed. A system in accordance with a particular embodiment includes a microdevice positioned to send signals or fluids to the patient, and/or to receive signals or fluids from the patient. The microdevice can include a housing having an external surface, and a signal/fluid transmitter/receiver positioned within the housing and coupled to a terminal carried by the housing. The system can further include a patient-implantable, flexible support member attached to the external surface of the housing and carrying the housing. The system can still further include an interface carried by the support member and connected to the terminal, with the interface being positioned to direct signals or fluids into patient tissue, and/or receive signals or fluids from the patient tissue.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 13, 2008
    Publication date: May 21, 2009
    Applicant: Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
    Inventors: Leif R. Sloan, Brad Fowler
  • Publication number: 20090124848
    Abstract: Receptacles for implanted device control magnets, and associated systems and methods are disclosed. A system in accordance with one embodiment includes a magnet receptacle that in turn has a first portion with a first magnetically conductive material and a second portion with a second magnetically conductive material. At least one of the first and second portions can be moveable relative to the other between a closed configuration and an open configuration, with the first and second portions forming a cavity when in the closed configuration, and with the first magnetically conductive material proximate to a first side of the cavity and the second magnetically conductive material proximate to a second side of the cavity facing toward the first side.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 5, 2008
    Publication date: May 14, 2009
    Applicant: Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
    Inventor: Jay Miazga
  • Publication number: 20090118788
    Abstract: The present disclosure suggests methods of selecting a stimulation site for stimulating a patient's brain or methods of effectuating a neural-function of a patient associated with an impaired body function. In one exemplary implementation, such a neural function may be effectuated by selecting a stimulation site, positioning at least a first electrode at the stimulation site, and applying an electrical potential to pass a current through the first electrode. If one aspect, this stimulation site may be selected by a) identifying a second body function that is a corollary to the impaired body function, and b) determining a corollary location of the patient's brain that is associated with the second body function and is ipsilateral to the impaired body function.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 14, 2009
    Publication date: May 7, 2009
    Applicant: NORTHSTAR NEUROSCIENCE, INC.
    Inventors: Andrew D. Firlik, Jeffrey Balzer, Bradford Evan Gliner
  • Publication number: 20090099622
    Abstract: Methods for providing electrical stimulation therapy to a cortex of a patient via a plurality of electrodes proximate to the cortex and a pulse generator implanted in the patient. One embodiment of a method in accordance with the invention comprises determining whether the current applied via the plurality of electrodes results in a sufficient current density in the cortex. The current density, for example, may need to be high enough to induce a response in the patient for determining the activation threshold of the specific stimulation site, or the current density may need to be high enough to perform a specific therapy. If the current density is not sufficient, the method continues by selecting a subset of the plurality of electrodes, and applying electrical current to the cortex via the subset of the electrodes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 8, 2008
    Publication date: April 16, 2009
    Applicant: Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
    Inventors: Brad Fowler, Justin Hulvershorn, Bradford E. Gliner, Leif R. Sloan
  • Publication number: 20090093862
    Abstract: Methods and devices for automatically optimizing the stimulus parameters and/or the configuration of electrodes to provide neural stimulation to a patient. In one embodiment, a system includes an electrode array having an implantable support member configured to be implanted into a patient and a plurality of therapy electrodes carried by the support member. The system can also have a pulse system operatively coupled to the therapy electrodes to deliver a stimulus to the therapy electrodes, and a sensing device configured to be attached to a sensing location of the patient. The sensing device generates response signals in response to the stimulus. The system can also include a controller operatively, coupled to the pulse system and to the sensing device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 2, 2008
    Publication date: April 9, 2009
    Applicant: Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
    Inventors: Bradford Evan Gliner, Jeffrey Balzer, Andrew D. Firlik
  • Publication number: 20090076567
    Abstract: Electrode configurations for reducing invasiveness and/or enhancing neural stimulation efficacy, and associated methods, are disclosed. A method in accordance with one embodiment of the invention for treating a brain disorder includes identifying a target neural structure within a patient's skull and implanting an electrode device within the patient's skull so that an axis that is generally normal to the skull proximate to the electrode device and that passes through at least one electrical contact of the electrode device is offset from the target neural structure. The method further includes stimulating the target neural structure by applying an electrical signal to the at least one electrical contact. In particular embodiments, the electrode device can be positioned between, along, across, or adjacent to a fissure, recess, groove, and/or vascular structure of the patient's brain.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 19, 2008
    Publication date: March 19, 2009
    Applicant: Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
    Inventors: Brad Fowler, Bradford Evan Gliner
  • Patent number: 7483747
    Abstract: Systems and methods for enhancing or affecting neural stimulation efficiency and/or efficacy are disclosed. In one embodiment, a system and/or method may apply electromagnetic stimulation to a patient's nervous system over a first time domain according to a first set of stimulation parameters, and over a second time domain according to a second set of stimulation parameters. The first and second time domains may be sequential, simultaneous, or nested. Stimulation parameters may vary in accordance with one or more types of duty cycle, amplitude, pulse repetition frequency, pulse width, spatiotemporal, and/or polarity variations. Stimulation may be applied at subthreshold, threshold, and/or suprathreshold levels in one or more periodic, aperiodic (e.g., chaotic), and/or pseudo-random manners. In some embodiments stimulation may comprise a burst pattern having an interburst frequency corresponding to an intrinsic brainwave frequency, and regular and/or varying intraburst stimulation parameters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2009
    Assignee: Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
    Inventors: Bradford Evan Gliner, Allen Wyler, Brad Fowler, W. Douglas Sheffield, Richard Kuntz, Kent Leyde, Leif R. Sloan
  • Patent number: 7437196
    Abstract: Methods and systems for treating movement disorders are disclosed. A method in accordance with one embodiment can include determining that the movement disorder affects the patient's gait, oral functioning, and/or other functioning, and applying electrical stimulation proximate to the interhemispheric fissure, the Sylvian fissure, or between the two fissures, respectively. In another embodiment, the method can include selecting at least one neural process from among a plurality of processes sequentially carried out by a patient to cause a muscle movement in the patient (e.g., a planning process, an initiation process, and an execution process), and applying electrical stimulation to a location of the patient's brain associated with the at least one neural process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2008
    Assignee: Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
    Inventors: Allen Wyler, Brad Fowler
  • Publication number: 20080249591
    Abstract: Controllers for implantable medical devices, and associated methods are disclosed. A device in accordance with one embodiment includes a hand-held housing, an image display device carried by the housing, and an input device carried by the housing. In particular embodiments, one portion of the housing can be rotatable relative to the other, or at a fixed, non-zero angle relative to the other, with the image display device and the input device carried by one portion and a wireless communication device carried by the other portion. A controller can be operatively coupled to the image display device to control the orientation of an image (e.g., whether the image is upright or inverted), presented at the display device in response to a signal received from the input device. The image can include a user-selectable icon, e.g., for controlling parameters associated with delivering therapeutic electromagnetic signals to a patient.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 6, 2007
    Publication date: October 9, 2008
    Applicant: Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
    Inventors: Shan E. Gaw, Erin E. Mackintosh, Matt L. Bielstein, Don L. Carlson
  • Publication number: 20080215112
    Abstract: The following disclosure describes several methods and apparatus for intracranial electrical stimulation to treat or otherwise effectuate a change in neural-functions of a patient. Several embodiments of methods in accordance with the invention are directed toward enhancing or otherwise inducing a lasting change in neural activity to effectuate a particular neural-function. Such lasting change in neural activity is defined as “neuroplasticity.” The methods in accordance with the invention can be used to treat brain damage (e.g., stroke, trauma, etc.), brain disease (e.g., Alzheimer's, Pick's, Parkinson's, etc.), and/or brain disorders (e.g., epilepsy, depression, etc.). The methods in accordance with the invention can also be used to enhance neural-function of normal, healthy brains (e.g., learning, memory, etc.), or to control sensory functions (e.g., pain).
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 6, 2007
    Publication date: September 4, 2008
    Applicant: Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew D. Firlik, Jeffrey Balzer, Bradford Evan Gliner, Alan J. Levy, Carlton B. Morgan, Katrina S. Firlik
  • Publication number: 20080208291
    Abstract: A telemetry receive unit for use in an implantable medical device or system can include a coil unit, a single-bit analog to digital converter (ADC), a finite impulse response filter (FIR) coupled to the single-bit ADC, and an accumulator coupled to one or more filter taps of the FIR filter. The accumulator, in operation, can produce one or more data recognition signals corresponding to sampled bits at least temporarily stored at the FIR filter. In several examples, the data recognition signals discriminate between frequency modulated signals that are received at the coil unit, including frequency shift keying (FSK) modulated signals.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 24, 2007
    Publication date: August 28, 2008
    Applicant: Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
    Inventors: Kent Leyde, Michael Bland
  • Publication number: 20080208285
    Abstract: Methods for treating neurological disorders, including neuropsychiatric and neuropsychological disorders, and associated systems are disclosed. One such method includes identifying one or more neural populations, including a cortical target neural population, associated with a neurological condition. The method can further include comparing a patient-specific measure of a characteristic parameter for a selected one of the neural populations with a target measure for the same parameter. If the patient-specific measure differs from the target measure by at least a target amount, the method can include selecting an electrical signal polarity, frequency, or both polarity and frequency based at least in part on the difference between the patient-specific measure and the target measure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2007
    Publication date: August 28, 2008
    Applicant: Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
    Inventors: Brad Fowler, Bradford E. Gliner, W. Douglas Sheffield, Leif R. Sloan
  • Publication number: 20080200925
    Abstract: Methods and systems for securing electrode leads are disclosed. An electrode system in accordance with one embodiment includes an electrode contact, a connector attached to the electrode contact, and an electrical lead. The electrical lead can be received in an opening of the contact, with an inner surface of the opening applying a generally uniform radial pressure around a circumference of the electrical lead. For example, the contact can have a tubular shape, optionally with an elongated slit, and can be crimped around the lead to apply the generally uniform radial pressure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 20, 2007
    Publication date: August 21, 2008
    Applicant: Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
    Inventors: Corinne H. Johnson, Jay Miazga
  • Patent number: D595839
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2009
    Assignee: Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
    Inventor: Jay Miazga