Lieu : Centre Broca Nouvelle-Aquitaine – salle de conférence
Engineering Neural Dynamics and Neuroplasticity in Neurological Disorders using Spatiotemporal Recordings and Stimulation
Dr. Wagner conducts research at the intersection between Systems Neuroscience and Neuroengineering. He is interested in understanding how the dynamics of neuronal networks become altered in neurological disorders or after injury, and how to restore their natural behavior using neuroprosthetic and neuromodulation approaches.
In this talk, he will first introduce neurotechnologies for studying the spatiotemporal dynamics of a local neocortical area during ongoing spontaneous activity or in response to intracortical optogenetic stimulation, in species ranging from rodents to non-human primates and epileptic patients. He will then present neuroprosthetic technologies for restoring leg motor control after spinal cord injury, using spatiotemporally-targeted epidural electrical stimulation of the spinal cord. In a first-in-man clinical study in patients with severe and chronic spinal cord injury, Dr. Wagner showed that these targeted spinal cord stimulation protocols enabled the immediate and temporally organized activation of the muscle groups necessary for walking. Moreover, locomotor training based on spatiotemporal spinal cord stimulation promoted the recovery of voluntary muscle activation, even in the absence of stimulation, likely through plasticity mechanisms. In non-human primates, these spinal cord stimulation protocols were further interfaced with brain signals originating from the leg motor cortex, paving the way to closed-loop neuroprosthetic technologies for treating neurological disorders.
Dr. Wagner is now aiming at expanding the use of neuroprosthetic systems beyond their current applications in motor disorders, towards higher-function cognitive disorders such as memory impairments and dementia. He will unveil his plan to develop a large-scale brain network neuroprosthesis to restore the natural dynamics of memory networks in non-human primate models of memory disorders and Alzheimer’s disease. He expects that spatiotemporal brain stimulation combined with cognitive training will enhance memory function and will reduce the deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease-like neurodegeneration.