Rómulo Fuentes

Neuromodulation & Motor Control Lab

Overview

Living organisms equipped with a nervous system interact primarily with the environment through a motor system. Basic actions such as feeding and moving, or more sophisticated ones, such as communication, artistic creation, sports prowess, all of them are ultimately generated by the motor system. Neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, or traumatic lesions, such as spinal cord injury, partially or fully destroy motor ability, dramatically affecting the lives of those suffering from these diseases and those around them. The current knowledge about the functioning of the nervous system does not allow curing or significantly alleviating the symptoms of these diseases, especially in the long term. Micro-electrical stimulation of the nervous system has emerged in recent years as a therapy that can significantly alleviate some symptoms of motor dysfunction, however, the principles of its application and effects are poorly understood. Using techniques for extracellular recording with multiple channels in different brain areas, at the Neuromodulation & Motor Control lab we study the neural code used by the motor cortex and the basal ganglia to generate and modulate motor activity, with the ultimate goal of harnessing micro-electrical nerve stimulation to these neural activity patterns. This would establish the principles for creating “smart” micro-stimulation systems that fit the immediate needs and that perform an optimal therapeutic function.

 

Contact

Dr. Rómulo Fuentes

Profesor Asistente

Programa Disciplinario de Fisiología y Biofísica

Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas – ICBM

Facultad de Medicina

Universidad de Chile

romulo@neuro.med.uchile.cl