Walking through the new WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute’s Innovation Center, you get the feeling you’re trodding into the future of the treatment of brain disorders and the scientific methods to improve human performance.
One device, with only a handful in the world like it, delivers focused ultrasound from 1,000 different ultrasound emitters in a single helmet that is placed on the head. It has already been used by WVU Medicine doctors to successfully open the blood-brain barrier to allow for better treatment of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Another system has the patient puts on a multicolored cap with emitters and a handheld wand delivers transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat addiction and Alzheimer’s. And around the innovation center, there’s technology from souped-up gaming systems and virtual reality to a cryogenic chamber to speed workout recovery and a system that maps the nervous system, from head to toe.
And that’s just scratching RNI’s surface.
When the Rockefeller family and WVU Medicine envisioned the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, they sought a center that would draw leading experts in the fields of brain science and human performance as well as a place where cutting-edge treatments could be developed and deployed. That’s coming to fruition in the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, which opened officially earlier this year and has been breaking ground in the field. The finishing touches are being put on the Innovation Center, on the WVU Health System campus in Morgantown, West Virginia, where researchers are working and where patients will be welcomed for the latest advances.
It’s a partnership between former U.S. Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV and his family along with WVU Medicine and West Virginia University to bring together care, research and teaching centered in Morgantown but spreading all the way through WVU Medicine’s footprint. It’s led by Dr. Ali R. Rezai, a world-renowned neurosurgeon who has developed innovations to treat paralysis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other afflictions.