UH Student’s Poster Places at Neuromodulation Symposium


Rashda Khan
Musa Ozturk, a UH graduate student, stands in front of the award-winning poster with Jianping Wu, senior principal scientist at Medtronic and co-author of the study.
Musa Ozturk, a UH graduate student, stands in front of the award-winning poster with Jianping Wu, senior principal scientist at Medtronic and co-author of the study.

Research proposes computer-based assessment of Parkinson’s patients more reliable


Musa Ozturk, a Ph.D. student in biomedical engineering at the UH Cullen College of Engineering, presented a poster at the Neuromodulation Symposium at the University of Minnesota and won second place out of 120 presentations.

Neuromodulation, a rapidly-growing field, encompasses a broad range of implantable and non-invasive technology-based approaches for the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

The poster focused on assessing the measurement methods for symptom severity in patients with Parkinson's disease.

“We asked the patients participating in the study to perform a computer based keyboard typing task and compared that to the standard clinical assessment method called UPDRS (Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale), which is performed manually by a clinician,” Ozturk said.

“Patients went through both assessment methods before and after taking their medication,” he said. “In the meantime, we recorded the neural activity called Local Field Potentials from subthalamic nucleus of a patient's brain using deep brain stimulation electrodes.”

The student research team found that the computer-based keyboard task explained the improvement in patients' symptoms better than UPDRS when compared to spatio-spectral changes in the neural activity.

“Therefore, we argued that the clinician assessed method – which is the longtime clinical standard – might be affected by human error or bias,” he said, adding that it could potentially be replaced with a computer-based task to improve objectivity and reliability.

The traditionally accepted method could also lead to variability between hospitals and neuroscience centers around the world. “Using a more objective method for assessing symptoms will help keep patients' symptom severity and relevant scientific findings comparable across the field,” Ozturk said.

The study was conducted under supervision of Nuri Ince, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and director of the Clinical Neural Engineering Lab at the Cullen College, and his collaborator Dr. Aviva Abosch, who also performed the surgeries.

The symposium, organized by the Institute for Engineering in Medicine (IEM) and MnDRIVE Brain Conditions (a partnership between the University of Minnesota and the State of Minnesota), aims to bring together scientists, engineers, clinicians, industrial practitioners and entrepreneurs to advance the field of neuromodulation.


Department/Academic Programs: 

Related News Stories

New Technology Could Improve LASIK Surgery, Eye Disease Detection

Dr. Kirill Larin, University of Houston professor of biomedical engineering, is creating new technology to measure the elasticity of the cornea.

UH Professor to Create Ultrafast 3D Clinical Imaging System

LASIK eye surgery – a laser reshaping of the cornea to improve vision – is one of the most popular elective surgeries in the United States, and a University of Houston professor of biomedical engineering intends to improve upon it by giving surgeons more information about the cornea before they begin.  

Nearing a Treatment for Farsightedness

Kirill Larin, professor of biomedical engineering, has received $3 million from the National Eye Institute to create a new technology capable of precise noninvasive and depth-resolved quantitative measurements of the lens mechanical properties in a clinical setting.

UH Professor Developing New Technology to Detect Lens Elasticity

A biomedical researcher at the University of Houston's Cullen College of Engineering is developing new technology that will measure the stiffness of the lens in the eye, which is likely associated with presbyopia, or farsightedness, the inevitable and age-related loss of the ability to focus on nearby objects.