INS 11th World Congress in Berlin
Oct. 30, 2014 - EnteroMedics Inc. will have industry veteran Brad Hancock join as chief commercial officer in mid-November. The company is launching vagal blocking therapy, VBLOC, for obesity in the U.S. The company's new incoming executive was most recently vice president of sales and marketing at Flowonix Medical, and has worked more than 30 years in the medical device field. (CNN Money)
Oct. 30, 2014 - Researchers working in parkinsonian monkeys show that spinal cord stimulation disrupts a pathological, highly synchronized neuronal activity in the cortico-basel ganglia-thalamic loop, addressing the excessive functional coupling among these structures in a fashion similar to dopamine replacement therapy or deep brain stimulation. The research provides insight into the mechanisms underlying improvements in motor function through spinal cord stimulation in Parkinson's disease, providing support for consideration of this option as a slightly less-invasive treatment than deep brain stimulation. (Neuron)
Oct. 30, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Julie Pilitsis, MD, PhD, is credited as being the first in the nation to implant the new 32-contact spinal cord stimulator system, CoverEdge, intended to allow flexibility and better control of electrical impulses delivered to the spine through a computer algorithm that allows for multiple complex configurations during programming of the stimulation. (Health Canal)
Oct. 30, 2014 - The family of a 3-year-old who had an auditory brainstem implant as the first child in a small U.S.-based clinical study said they hope that at minimum, the device will help him attend to auditory cues concerning safety, such as the honking of a car horn. He is returning for a followup clinic visit in November, after having been videotaped responding to music at an event in the summer. (Montreal Gazette)
2014 - An editorial about wait-times for spinal cord stimulation (SCS) includes a closing tribute to Krishna Kumar, MD, the editorial co-author, a member of the International Neuromodulation Society who died in April at the age of 83. The editorial suggests that if guidelines were adopted that call for wait times of no longer than eight weeks for assessment by a pain specialist, SCS would be considered early as recommended by various pain societies. (Pain Management)
September, 2014 - An assistant professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine says she uses neuromodulation to try to answer questions about brains and aging in preclinical optogenetics research aimed at studying neural circuits at a systems level. She has submitted this work in competing for a new, privately funded research prize to fund biological investigations about longevity. The award comprises two components that each provide $500,000 in research funding. (paloatloprize.com)
Oct. 29, 2014 - Upon reviewing the anatomical and physiological literature about the role of the dorsal root ganglion in the development of neuropathic pain, International Neuromodulation Society member Elliot Krames, MD, INS emeritus director-at-large, concludes that in the neuropathic pain state, electrical stimulation of this target has multiple effects that combine to stabilize and decrease hyperexcitability of dorsal-root-ganglion neurons, thereby decreasing the pain state. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)
Oct. 28, 2014 - A psychiatrist from the Cleveland Clinic observes that even after lifting of chronic depression through brain-stimulation therapy, many patients still need to rebuild their relationships and place in the world, a healing process that apparently cannot be rushed and requires emotional support without expectations of a short-term fix. (Scientific American)
Oct. 28, 2014 - The National Institutes of Health would like to gather information and identify potential participants for a workshop about possible avenues to have interdisciplinary teams of investigators deliver circuit maps of organ systems and concepts for neuromodulation interventions that may require novel electrodes, tailored implant procedures, and stimulation regimes. The workshop's output will help to guide the new NIH cross-cutting research program, Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC). SPARC is anticipated to go into effect in fiscal 2015 through the NIH Common Fund, pursuant to available funds. (National Institutes of Health)
Oct. 27, 2014 - The first human trials in epilepsy patients are expected this month in seven U.S. hospitals of a 256-channel brain stimulator by Medtronic, Inc. that is capable of recording, analyzing and stimulating. The research is part of a four-year Pentagon project to explore creating "prosthetic memory" for brain-damaged or demented patients, Restoring Active Memory. (Washington Post)
Oct. 27, 2014 - Nevro Corp., developer of a high-frequency Senza spinal cord stimulation device that is marketed in Europe and Australia, plans an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, which is expected to price the week of Nov. 3. The Menlo Park, CA-based company seeks to raise $100 million by offering 6.3 million shares at a range of $15 - 17 per share. If its device receives FDA approval, the company would initiate a U.S. launch as early as 2016. (Nasdaq)
Oct. 22, 2014 - A blog post about the Neurotech Leaders Forum in San Francisco says the conference presented a fairly sunny outlook for the neuromodulation industry, although the overall industry is still young. Some presenters discussed the possibility of hastening and optimizing development of the field through creation of an industry roadmap and technology standards. (Cirtec)
Oct. 25, 2014 - At the Neurotech Leaders Forum in San Francisco, the Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation Center was recognized by the publisher of the Neurotech Business Report newsletter with a Golden Electrode Award for being the most valuable nonprofit in neuromodulation research in 2014. The center was recognized for its translational research in neuroprosthetics, neurorehabilitation, and implanted devices. (Cleveland FES Center)
Oct. 24, 2014 - Medtronic, Inc. plans to assume $16 billion in U.S. debt to help pay its $43 billion acquisition of Covidien, rather than using some $13.5 billion in overseas cash for the merger. The interest rate on the debt is expected to range from 4 - 4.5%. Standard & Poor's announced it would lower its short-term rating on Medtronic to A-1 if the deal goes through as described. Medtronic said the acquisition would be neutral to earnings by fiscal 2019, and that its overall tax rate will lower by 2%. (Mass Device)
Oct. 15, 2014 - According to a presentation at the annual Congress of the European Society of Cardiology, the ANTHEM-HF study met one primary endpoint by increasing the left ventricle ejection fraction, but the safety issues did not appear to be convincingly delineated. ANTHEM-HF was a prospective, multicenter study evaluating the effects of vagal nerve stimulation on various outcome parameters in 60 patients with advanced heart failure. In addition, the randomized, sham-controlled trial NECTAR-HF showed no objective difference from right-vagus-nerve stimulation after six months. More results of vagus nerve stimulation in heart failure should be seen in one to two years from INOVATE-HF, a study that is currently enrolling and will have approximately 650 patients. (Medscape)
Sept. 30, 2014 - GSK announced a $5 million Innovation Challenge Fund in bioelectronic medicine, for development of solutions for its previously announced Bioelectronics Innovation Challenge, which carries a $1 million award. Any tools or technologies developed through the fund and the Innovation Challenge's winning entry will be made freely available to the global research community. The application period for ICF funding is open and ends in the end of November. (Fierce Biotech)
November 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Robert van Dongen, MD, PhD, has co-authored a two-center randomized controlled trial of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) with best medical treatment, vs. best medical treatment alone, for lower limb pain from painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Of 22 patients trailed for SCS, 17 progressed to permanent implant and a control group of 14 patients received best medical care alone. Treatment success after six months was observed in 59% of the SCS patients and 7% of the patients who had received best medical treatment alone. The researchers also measured pain severity, pain interference with daily life, pain characteristics, health-related quality of life, pain interference with sleep, sleep quality and quantity, mood, and registered medication use at each followup. (Diabetes Care)
Oct. 23, 2014 - Researchers in Israel studying the tendency of networked cortical cells to return to synchrony over many hours (beginning at approximately 12 hours) after prolonged exposure to a cholinergic agonist write that the need to suppress synchrony might require periodic withdrawal of cholinergic input, such as what occurs naturally during non-rapid-eye-movement sleep. Their data were obtained using a feedback system and cultured neurons. (BMC Biology)
October 2014 - Three pain physicians in Florida write that insurance authorization for spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has changed to require face-to-face psychological screening rather than filling out a questionnaire due to concerns prompted by some "financially motivated physicians" about proper patient selection, care, and referral to permanent implants (that left some patients who experienced good pain relief with SCS trials not receiving permanent systems). They add that although early recognition of the need for SCS will minimize future use of narcotic pain medication, potentially saving money and allowing a return to work more quickly, they fear that wait times for SCS (that average more than 5 years in the U.S.) will grow even longer because of stricter criteria from insurers, long wait times for authorization and a decrease of 70 - 70% in reimbursement. They say that in contrast, the average wait time for SCS is one to two years in European countries that have nationalized health care. (Anesthesiology News)
Oct. 23, 2014 - In an abstract from the 4th European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress published in the Journal of Headache and Pain, a preliminary report on 30 patients who had migraine without aura showed that a single application of electroCore’s noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation device, gammaCore, completely resolved 44.8% of migraines within 30 minutes, and lessened an additional 11.4% of patients' attacks by 2 hours. (BusinessWire)
Oct. 21, 2014 - A comparison of pain suppression in 49 patients with an average pain duration of 9.6 years who had been undergoing spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for at least 6 months, and tried burst mode for two weeks, suggest that "the duration of pain is not an exclusion criterion for SCS and that similar success rates can be obtained for longstanding pain and pain of more recent onset." (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)
Oct. 21, 2014 - A study of burst spinal cord stimulation in 15 patients with failed back surgery syndrome showed no added benefit when the frequency was increased from 500 to 1000 Hz while keeping the total delivery of current to the spinal cord constant (five electrical pulses delivered at 500 Hz with 1000-μsec pulse width 40 times per second, vs. five spikes at 1000 Hz with 500-μsec pulse width 40 times a second.) (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)
September/October 2014 - Comparing available data on outcomes of vagus nerve stimulation in medically refractory epilepsy and responsive neurostimulation presents a challenge in defining which patients would preferentially benefit from one or the other treatment, and how to best treat them with the stimulation, according to a commentary entitled, "Responsive Neurostimulation: The Hopes and the Challenges." (Epilepsy Currents)
Oct. 23, 2014 - Citing market conditions, EndoStim has postponed its initial public offering. The company markets a neurostimulation device for gastroesophageal reflux, with $1 million in sales for the year ending June 30, 2014. The company planned to raise some $35 million, trading under the symbol STIM. (Renaissance Capital)
Oct. 22, 2014 - More details emerged in a regulatory filing Monday from Medtronic, Inc. regarding its merger with Covidien, which is based in Ireland and operated from Massachusetts. The deal is expected to close late in the fourth quarter or early in 2015, using external debt rather than Medtronic's offshore cash to finalize the transaction. Both companies' shares rose, and two asset-management firms were said to approve the financing structure. The filing said that structure was already approved by Japan, Russia, Israel and Turkey. (Mass Device)
Oct. 22, 2014 - St. Louis-based EndoStim was scheduled for an initial public offering on Nasdaq of $35 million. The company's implantable system to address severe, medication-resistant gastroesophageal reflux disease has CE Mark approval, an investigative device exemption in the U.S., and is also marketed in South America and Asia. (equities.com)
Oct. 21, 2014 - Boston Scientific Corporation introduced its 32-contact CoverEdge™ 32 and CoverEdge™ X 32 neurostimulation leads this week at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons meeting in Boston. The leads received CE Mark and FDA approval in 2012 and 2013, respectively. While the CoverEdge™ 32 contacts are closely spaced, the CoverEdge™ X 32 provides a wider and longer contact area. International Neuromodulation Society member Giancarlo Barolat, MD, said he believes the ability to cover a larger area of the spinal cord "will give patients, especially those with low back pain or pain in multiple areas, a better opportunity for relief." (PR Newswire)
INS Members Publish Summary of First Comprehensive Neurostimulation Guidelines
October 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society members Jason E. Pope, MD, Stanley Golovac, MD, Simon Thomson, MD and Timothy Deer, MD, have published a special report summarizing the findings of the the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee. (touch Neurology)
Oct. 21, 2014 - NeuroSigma, Inc. announced it has received a U.S. patent allowance for the use of subcutaneously implanted electrodes and pulse generator for trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS) for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression, ADHD, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. The company markets an external system TNS system, the Monarch™ eTNS system, and anticipates using that to screen for responders who might then receive a fully implantable system, said International Neuromodulation Society member Ian Cook, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer of the company, who led TNS development as a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. The patent is co-owned by NeuroSigma and the University of California Regents, and exclusively licensed to NeuroSigma. (PR Newswire)
Oct. 20, 2014 - A news feature about transcranial magnetic stimulation said it is firmly established as a depression treatment, and research is turning to other uses, from migraines to Parkinson's disease to post-traumatic stress disorder. (Stuff.co.nz)
Oct. 20, 2014 - Brainsway Ltd. announced insurance coverage decisions in the U.S. representing about 17 million people, in addition to a distribution agreement in France for its deep transcranial magnetic stimulation system. Blue Cross Blue Shield will provide reimbursement for the use of the system in Florida, Kansas and Missouri, and Tufts provide reimbursement in Massachusetts. (Globes)
Oct. 20, 2014 - An article on vapor-deposition biocompatible coatings for neurostimulation devices claims neuromodulation therapy is becoming more readily accepted and mentions future energy-harvesting systems that will keep devices going from body heat, vibration, or radiofrequency waves. (MDT Design)
Oct. 20, 2014 - Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have demonstrated in preclinical work a clear flexible graphene-based, carbon-layered electrode array, transparent to visible light and intended to stimulate and record evoked response. The device was developed with funding from the Reliable Neural-Interface Technology program at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The researchers' work is published in Nature Communications. (University of Wisconsin-Madison News)
Oct. 16, 2014 - An article about the cooperative research and development agreement between Neurosigma, Inc. and U.S. Veteran's Administration offers details about regulatory approvals for the company's external trigeminal nerve stimulation system and its mode of action. The U.S. combat veterans in the Phase I trial will undergo eight weeks of stimulation at home at night, followed by assessment of changes in cognitive function and regional brain activity. The trigeminal nerve, near the surface of the forehead, was selected for bilateral stimulation since it is considered to offer a high-bandwidth pathway linked directly or indirectly to areas of the brain, such as the locus coeruleus, nucleus tractus solitarius, thalamus, and cerebral cortex, that are involved in conditions such as epilepsy, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. (PBR Drug Research)
Oct. 8, 2014 - An ethics professor quoted in an article about a company that is pursuing transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for the consumer market compares the state of the field's development to the Wild West of brain stimulation. The startup, Thync, raised $13 million in capital. Meanwhile, a writer for the BBC traveled to Boston to experience tDCS as an aid in concentration, describing some of the circuits and neurotransmitters involved in productive and unstressed attention-to-task. (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Oct. 15, 2014 - NeuroSigma, Inc. is postponing its $50 million initial public offering due to poor market conditions. The company announced it has entered a cooperative research and development agreement with the Veteran's Administration to test its external trigeminal nerve stimulation device on veterans with traumatic brain injury. (Los Angeles Business Journal)
Oct. 15, 2014 - A retired CIA agent whose subterfuge to arrange for six U.S. diplomats to escape Iran in the 1980 hostage crisis became the basis of the movie Argo revealed he was suffering from the effects of Parkinson's disease during the 2012 promotional tour. In an interview in the Washington Post, he said he turned to deep brain stimulation to help with his motor symptoms, although he still has unpredictable episodes of pain. He disclosed his diagnosis in conjunction with a symposium by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/local/wp/2014/10/15/argo-hero-tony-mendez-battling-parkinsons/ (Today Health)
October 2014 - In a TV segment, CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, MD presents deep brain stimulation, following physicians into the operating room at the University of Florida and explaining the role of the therapy to help manage effects of some neurological disorders. (CNN)
Oct. 14, 2014 - University of Illinois researchers in Champaign-Urbana are working with transient electronic sensors patterned on ultra-thin pieces of silicon (with a 20- to 100-nanometer thickness) that can dissolve in a matter of weeks when implanted. They hope to find a way to actively trigger dissolution. (EE Times)
Oct. 14, 2014 - The former assistant coach of the Predators, Brent Peterson, said his deep brain stimulation surgery in 2011 for Parkinson's disease was "very tough" but ended up being "really good" since he is not in a wheelchair and can move. With encouragement from Michael J. Fox to take constructive action, he started the Peterson Foundation for Parkinson's to raise money for awareness and education, has raised more than $400,000 since 2007. (Daily News Journal)
Oct. 14, 2014 - A columnist who is a clinical psychologist and researcher points out that deep brain stimulation may be an option for severe treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder. (Huffington Post)
Oct. 13, 2014 - Medtronic, Inc.'s $43 billion purchase of Ireland-based Covidien Plc would put it on the same footing as Johnson & Johnson, according to Reuters, and will reduce the company's overall tax burden. The company said the goal was to boost its medical technology strategy rather than to acquire an overseas company to relocate its headquarters for tax purposes (a corporate "inversion"). European Union antitrust regulators plan to issue a decision on the deal by Nov. 14. The regulators' options are to approve, request concessions, or investigate. Analysts said since the companies are not competitors it is unlikely there will be significant regulatory worries. (Reuters)
October 2014 - In the "Next Big Thing," epidural stimulation to restore movement to spine-injured people is presented. The research takes place at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. (CNET)
Oct. 13, 2014 - Transfer of technology to the medical device company Brainsway through a license from the National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke is being acknowledged with a regional Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer by the Federal Laboratory Consortium. The award recognizes a potential for substantial impact on public health, and will be presented Nov. 19 at an event for the Mid-Atlantic region of the consortium. The technology is being used to create deep transcranial magnetic stimulation systems, which have been FDA-approved for use in medication-resistant depression. (Nasdaq)
Sept. 23, 2014 - The American Society of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons have published a new guideline in Neurosurgery after assessing seven studies deemed high-quality that report research about deep brain stimulation in obsessive compulsive disorder. To date, bilateral stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus and nucleus accombens was shown to improve symptoms by around 36% in clinical trials. However, the authors say different subgroups, such as hoarders, may respond to different targets. (Medical News Today)
Oct. 13, 2014 - According to a study in Science Translational Medicine two amputees who had under-the-skin wires and nerve electrodes implanted more than a year ago in their prosthetic arms to mimic a sense of touch performed such everyday activities as pulling a stem off a cherry or chopping wood. Healio reported on a news release on the topic from Case Western Reserve. (New York Times)
Oct. 11, 2014 - Medtronic, Inc. announced that post-merger, it will operate Covidien PLC as a separate unit and overall will restructure around four international bases. The merger would be finalized upon approval by shareholders of each company, and is not anticipated until after Nov. 15, 2014. In addition to the Covidien medical supply group, the structure calls for a cardiac and vascular group, a diabetes group, and a restorative therapies group. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
Oct. 10, 2014 - A research proposal by a research associate at Rockefeller University is one of 58 to receive the first grants from one of four federal agencies through the U.S. BRAIN initiative, the NIH announced. The $1.26 million grant over three years will support research into combining nanoparticles with radio waves or magnetic fields to turn neurons on and off. The approach might also be used to better understand the function of groups of cells, and would have the advantage of being able to access hard-to-reach cells or dispersed groups of cells. The molecular genetics researchers involved have termed this approach "radiogenetics". The BRAIN initiative is intended to ultimately create a dynamic brain map of neural circuitry. (Rockefeller University)
Oct. 9, 2014 - The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is hoping to raise $15 million to enable 26 patients with partial spinal cord injuries to participate in research into functional electrical stimulation at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Four initial participants recovered some movement in the lower half of their body and improved cardiovascular and respiratory function. (People)
October 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society President-elect Tim Deer, MD, was interviewed by Pain Medicine News about the issuance of the first comprehensive guidelines on neurostimulation for pain and ischemic disease, which appear in the August 2014 issue of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface following work by the INS-appointed Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee. He said updates to current practice include recommendations about thorough infection control and bleeding measures, as well as recommendations about credentialing. (Pain Medicine News)
October 2014 - Registration has opened for the 18th annual scientific meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS). The NANS meeting takes place from Dec. 11-14, 2014 in Las Vegas, NV, USA. (North American Neuromodulation Society)
Oct. 7, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Richard Maughon, MD, was quoted in a newscast about veterans using spinal cord stimulation, saying that worker's compensation studies show the therapy cost breaks even by the third year, and also that when veterans are taken off pain medications, their suicide rate goes down -- although no similar studies have been done in the general population. (WBRC)
Oct. 7, 2014 - Popular Mechanics profiles an athletic young woman with complex regional pain syndrome who is a patient ambassador for Boston Scientific Corporation in an article about the advantages of its spinal cord stimulation device with multiple independent current control, which she received last spring to manage pain in her foot and leg, replacing a previous model. The article calls the more precise targeting of nerve fibers an innovative achievement. (Popular Mechanics)
Oct. 7, 2014 - Medtronic, Inc. received FDA approval for a system to identify which patients who have urinary incontinence may benefit from sacral nerve stimulation. The Verify Evaluation System is described as a more-discrete and user-friendly version of the external trial stimulator that had been used before. (Medgadget)
Oct. 7, 2014 - Helius Medical Technologies announced its licensed technology, noninvasive neuromodulation for rehabilitation of brain function, has received a U.S. patent. The company is developing a Portable NeuroModulation Stimulator (PoNS™) that stimulates cranial nerves found in the tongue. The device is being investigated for treating balance issues caused by traumatic brain injury or multiple sclerosis. (Business Wire)
Oct. 6, 2014 - Research funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation's program to improve or explore neuromodulation for Parkinson's disease will address gait freezing through on-demand stimulation to both the globus pallidus interna and the pedunculopontine nucleus -- which are hypothesized to be the gait "gas pedal" and "brake," respectively. (Michael J. Fox Foundation)
Oct. 6, 2014 - The University of Michigan received a 5-year, $11.5 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke to become a Morris K. Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson's Disease Research, with a focus on the brain's cholinergic system and its role in gait and balance. As part of the center, the co-director of the university's deep brain stimulation program will lead an education and outreach effort. (Phys.org)
Oct. 3, 2014 - Nevro Corp. has filed for an initial public offering under the symbol NVRO on the New York Stock Exchange. The company is reportedly seeking $125 million and intends to launch its Senza spinal cord stimulation (SCS) device by early 2016. The high-frequency stimulation device does not cause paresthesia. It would enter an SCS pain-relief market the company values at $1.5 billion overall. (San Francisco Business Times)
Oct. 3, 2014 - Second Sight Medical, which filed for a $132 million initial public offering in August, is entering a bridge loan agreement with the Mann Group to provide operating capital through the end of November. The company developed the first retinal prosthesis approved for sale by the FDA, the Argus II implant. (Mass Device)
Oct. 3, 2014 - Medtronic, Inc. announced that its previously announced merger with Covidien will use $16 billion in external financing rather than foreign cash, in the face of moves by the U.S. Treasury Department to tighten tax rules involving mergers or acquisitions of overseas companies. (Mass Device)
Oct. 4, 2014 - Although deep brain stimulation (DBS) is rarely done in Malaysia due to its cost, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre performed its first DBS surgery Sept. 26 on a patient who has had Parkinson's disease since 2004 and had developed side-effects from the medication. The 67-year-old patient received some government funding. The surgeon said DBS is more cost-effective since reliance on medication is generally gradually reduced. He added DBS has a success rate of 80% and is superior to best medical treatment in improving quality of life. (The Star)
Oct. 4, 2014 - The Mayo Clinic's Neural Engineering Laboratory received a $2.5 million grant to detect neurotransmitter release in the brain using diamond-coated electrodes and signal processing algorithms. The coated electrodes should provide durability and sensitivity over time. The grant was part of a first wave of investments from the U.S. Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, which totaled $46 million. (Yuma News Now)
To see select neuromodulation news by category, as well as news about the INS in particular, please visit the Newsroom. To see archived news briefs dating back to January 2011, visit the News Archive.
How Has Neuromodulation Been Developed and Used?
Conventional medicine has typically had four modes of treating diseases or disorders: counseling or “talk therapy”; physical therapy involving manipulation and strengthening of muscles and range of motion; pharmaceuticals that act on a chemical level; and altering or augmenting tissue through surgery, injections, or filtering methods like dialysis. The growing field of neuromodulation is a new class of therapies that involves directly treating the nervous system itself, often through small implanted devices that target a specific area, to rebalance the activity of neural circuits and manage symptoms.
Progress has been spurred by advances in our understanding of the nervous system, as well as new technologies and clinical experience, enabling treatments to modify nerve cell activity in brain, spinal cord and periphery to restore function, minimize pain, and treat disease symptoms. Developed over the last 45 years, neuromodulation has grown rapidly into a family of therapies that applies stimulation or agents directly to the nervous system, often using small implanted medical devices that are powered in a similar fashion to a cardiac pacemaker. By delivering electrical or chemical stimulation, neuromodulation has increasingly been used to treat motor disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, refractory chronic pain ranging from neuropathy to cancer related pain to severe headaches, spasticity, epilepsy, and incontinence. It is also under study for conditions ranging from gastroparesis to medically refractory depression. Providers of such therapies include neurosurgeons, pain physician specialists and rehabilitation physicians. They may often work with other specialists such as neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, gastrointestinal or colorectal specialists, urologists, primary care physicians, and physical therapists to achieve best outcomes.
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Clinical trials that involve a wide range of emerging neuromodulation approaches are listed on our Resources and Research pages. Neuromodulator trials address symptom control through nerve stimulation in such condition categories as:
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The International Neuromodulation Society (INS) is a non-profit group of clinicians, scientists and engineers dedicated to the scientific development and awareness of neuromodulation - the alteration of nerve activity through the delivery of electrical stimulation or chemical agents to targeted sites of the body. Founded in 1989 and based in San Francisco, CA, the INS educates and promotes the field through meetings, its peer-reviewed journal Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, explanatory content, and chapter websites.
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