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Non-invasive electrical monitoring of the digestive system and its interplay with the nervous system

Thursday, October 8, 2020 - 15:30

Dr. Todd Coleman describes how advancing objective assessment of the digestive system with applied mathematics and technology is changing diagnosis of Gastrointestinal (GI) problems, which are the second leading cause for missing work or school after the common cold.

Gastrointestinal (GI) problems are the second leading cause for missing work or school after the common cold, giving rise to 10 percent of the reasons a patient visits their physician and costing $142 billion annually. Although obstructions and infections are easy to diagnose, more than half of GI disorders involve abnormal functioning of the GI tract, where diagnosis entails subjective symptom-based questionnaires or objective but invasive, intermittent procedures in specialized centers. In this talk, we will describe electrical waves of pacemaker activity that underlie contractions for digestion, how they are modulated by the nervous system, and how their propagation patterns can go awry in GI disorders. We will describe our development of high-resolution multi-electrode abdominal recording systems along with dynamic spatial signal processing methods that in concert enable extraction of propagation patterns that are typically acquired invasively in specialized centers. We will also discuss our development of a miniaturized recording system that has enabled ambulatory recordings, helped to solve a complicated case in patient care, and quantified a causal link between autonomic nervous system function and spatial slow wave patterns. We will conclude with a vision for how advancing objective assessment of the digestive system with applied mathematics and technology development has potential to advance gastroenterology and catalyze scientific advances in elucidating the electrical interplay between the brain and gut.
Todd Coleman
Professor
Bioengineering
University of California, San Diego
This video is a part of:
2020 Symposium: Pioneering NeuroHealth