Perth-based Neurotech International (ASX: NTI) has surfaced from a trading halt with news of “excellent preliminary findings” for its Mente Autism device.
The medical solutions developer reported the findings were from its US-based Child Autism Study.
From an initial 12-week clinical trial, the study’s preliminary results were presented to delegates at the recent Cambridge International Conference on Mental Health, which was held 20-22 September 2017.
According to Dr Ahmed Hankir (senior research fellow with the Bedfordshire Centre for Mental Health Research [BCMHR]) the changes clinicians observed throughout the 12 weeks were “outstanding”.
He added many children with autism scored within normal ranges after treatment.
Also a senior research fellow with BCMHR, Professor Frederick Carrick presented the research at the conference and said Nurotech was “very excited” with the study’s initial findings which demonstrated positive changes in children’s neurological function after using the Mente Autism unit.
Describing the study, Professor Carrick said children who had been diagnosed on the autism spectrum were divided into two groups.
“One group received real [or active] treatment and the other group received a placebo or control treatment.”
He added it was a double-blind study so children, parents and doctors were completely unaware which group a child was in.
“In this fashion, we can state with statistical significance the effect of the Mente Autism device,” Prof Carrick said.
The study is expected to be finalised by the end of the year. According to Dr Hankir, the research offers hope for treating autistic children without drugs or surgery.
The Mente Autism device works by relaxing the minds of autistic children using neurofeedback technology. The child wears the device, which is a portable headband with EEG sensors on the forehead and back of the head. For a 40-minute session every morning, the headband measures the child’s alpha, beta, delta and theta brain waves and the data is relayed to a cloud service via the Mente Autism App.
The brainwaves are interpreted, processed and converted into personalised auditory stimulation delivered to the child through custom earphones that come with the device. The auditory stimulation reduces unwanted delta and theta brainwaves that are abnormally high for those on the autism spectrum.
As a result, the child’s mind is relaxed and facilitating better focus and more positive engagement.
Nurotech stock was up more than 100% in afternoon trade.