New therapeutic approaches

What if light and cold could be used to treat disease?

At Clinatec, our research focuses on new therapeutic approaches. Scientists and engineers from the Clinatec endowment fund, the CEA, and Université Grenoble Alpes and clinicians from Grenoble University Medical center are working together to develop physics-based therapies where drug therapies have proven to be ineffective.

When Clinatec was founded, its research was limited to neurological disorders. Today, Clinatec and its partners are developing treatments in other areas, too. Our hope is to one day make these treatments available to patients suffering from a wide range of pathologies.

Protecting brain cells with light

Photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy involves the application of infrared light to the areas of the brain associated with Parkinson’s disease. By targeting the cells responsible for the disease as closely as possible, PBM could slow cell degradation and, hopefully, relieve patients’ symptoms. The neuroprotective effect of infrared light has already been demonstrated in preclinical studies.

Halting the symptoms of disease with electricity

In deep brain stimulation (DBS), an electric current is applied to the subthalamic nucleus, a very specific area of the brain. The technique has been demonstrated to significantly reduce motor symptoms in people with Parkinson’s disease.

A true innovation in treatment, DBS was developed and tested by a research team in Grenoble led by neurosurgeon Alim-Louis Benabid and neurologist Pierre Pollak. Some 200,000 patients around the world have benefited from this treatment over the past 30 years.

DBS brings patients with Parkinson’s an average of fifteen additional years of independence and quality of life.

Better prevention with cold

Thermobiomodulation (TBM) can be used to stop epileptic seizures before the onset of symptoms. Research has already shown the beneficial and reversible effects of localized cooling in the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy.