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The pandemic increased the number of mental and neurological illnesses cases. Photo: Pixabay.

Actipulse, care for patients with Alzheimer's and depression at home

This Mexican startup seeks to bring its neurostimulation technology into patients' homes.

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In February, a new Latin American technology and health company participated in an investor round with the accelerator Y Combinator to finance a patented model, which is at least 210 mental health clinics and serves nearly 10,000 patients with depressive disorders across Mexico and Chile.

Actipulse Neuroscience, a Mexican startup, with offices in Boston and Mexico City, uses technology that allows non-invasive brain stimulation therapies to be carried out at home for patients suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, and neurological conditions associated with Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s.

shaky hands due to Parkinson's disease.

According to its profile on the accelerator platform: “Non-invasive brain stimulation is a widely-utilized, FDA cleared treatment used for patients diagnosed with depression, but is limited to a hospital setting due to the cost of the device, and complexity of treatment application.”

The number of patients who have reported suffering from some level of depression skyrocketed due to the pandemic, a phenomenon that Actipulse Neuroscience seeks to address with a comprehensive treatment that goes beyond medications. 

According to a study published in The Lancet, it is estimated that the pandemic increased depressive and anxiety disorders globally up to 25% at the beginning of 2021.

“We are specialized in a technology called non-invasive brain stimulation and we seek to treat different psychiatric pathologies, such as depression, in addition to promoting technologies to treat conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. We are one study away from entering the United States market,” Adrien Châtillon, co-founder and executive director of Actipulse Neuroscience, told Forbes Mexico.

According to Châtillon, the device is a great help for the comprehensive mental health of a country like Mexico, where, according to his calculations, there are only 10,500 psychiatrists for a population of more than 128 million.

Actipulse Neuroscience is currently leading a 250-patient study that will last approximately 16 months. They are also in the FDA pivotal phase for major depressive disorder and the pilot phase for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

Alzheimer's patient

“We are pioneers in Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation technologies with a particular focus on transcranial neuromodulation devices using high frequency magnetic pulses that target multiple well known, but neglected pathogenic mechanisms in neurodegenerative disorders,” reads the company description on Actipulse Neuroscience's website.

Châtillon also told Forbes that four out of 10 patients do not react to drugs. It is in this scenario that this device can help patients the most. The therapy, as he describes it, “consists of a special coil being placed on the patient's scalp for 45 minutes and an average of 30 sessions."

"It is a technique that works very well and can only be used in the hospital due to the cost of the device and the application of the technique; we take it to the home of each patient,” emphasized the co-founder.

"Our patented brain stimulation device allows patients to be treated directly from home, with the same efficacy and at a lower cost of treatment," continued Châtillon.

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