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Study Evaluates Noninvasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation as an Acute Intervention in Cluster Headache

October 2015 - Noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation was associated with a higher proportion of sustained responders compared to sham treatment in a clinical trial of the treatment as an acute intervention in cluster headache, according to results of the ACT1 (Non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation for the Acute Treatment) study, presented at the American Headache Society’s 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting. The trial had 73 patients randomly assigned to active treatment, and 77 to sham. The sustained response rates at one month were 26.7% for the treatment group, and 12.3% for the sham group, respectively. (Pain Medicine News)

Study: Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Heart Failure Patients Safe and Well-Tolerated

Oct. 2, 2015 - Extending the follow-up time of the six-month ANTHEM-HF study to 12 months, the ENCORE study demonstrated that vagus nerve stimulation was safe and well tolerated on both the left and right vagus nerves of patients who have heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, according to results presented at the Heart Failure Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting. (Healio)

Company's Trial Stimulation System Receives Expanded FDA Approval

Oct. 2, 2015 - Medtronic plc was reported to have received expanded FDA approval for its Verify Evaluation System that allows basic evaluations of patient benefit from sacral nerve stimulation for bladder or bowel control. The system has a wireless touchscreen and is used in conduction with trial stimulation of three to seven days. (FDA News)

Neuroscience Grants Include Funding for Deep Brain Stimulation Research

Oct. 1, 2015 - Deep brain stimulation for traumatic brain injuries is among the research areas that the National Institutes of Mental Health is funding in $85 million in research grants for 131 investigators in fiscal 2015. The funding is part of the U.S. Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. The initiative also received $100 million in unrestricted funds for neuroscience research from the Kavli Foundation and partner universities that will establish new institutes in neuroscience -- the University of California, San Francisco; Johns Hopkins University; and Rockefeller University. Kavli also announced $40 million will go to existing neuroscience institutes at Yale University, UC San Diego, Columbia University, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. (AAAS)

Researchers Explore Brain Network Structure to Explain Cognitive-State Changes

Oct. 1, 2015 - In a paper in Nature Communications, neuroscience collaborators have published studies that use brain imaging and network control theory  for insight into how brain brain-computer interfaces and neuromodulation may provide regional stimuli that affect dynamics of the whole brain. (Bioscience Technology)

Scientists Present Early Research on an Implant Meant to Aid Memory Formation

Sept. 30, 2015 - With hopes of eventually developing a memory prosthetic device, scientists have used computer software to record brain signals and mirror their translation in the hippocampus. This area of the brain is important to long-term memory formation, and is damaged in Alzheimer's disease. An early study in nine patients who were undergoing brain stimulation for epilepsy indicated the system was likely to work with 90% accuracy, according to news coverage of a presentation at the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society in Milan. The article adds that the actual implant, an electrode array, has only been tested in animals. (Herald Scotland)

Patients with Bipolar II Depression Receive Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation in Sham-Controlled Pilot Study

Sept. 25, 2015 - In a double-bland, sham-controlled study, cranial electrotherapy stimulation sessions five days a week for two weeks was associated with significant reduction in depression symptoms, compared to sham treatment, according to published results of a study at the Family Center for Bipolar Disorder at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City. The authors say that results of the 16-patient study suggest further safety and efficacy studies may be warranted. (Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease)

24-Month Results Presented in a Pilot Study of Deep Brain Stimulation in Early Parkinson's Disease

Oct. 1, 2015 - A post hoc analysis of a randomized pilot study that compared deep brain stimulation (DBS) to standard medical therapy in 30 patients with early Parkinson's disease showed that after two years, the people in the DBS group had 50% less risk of motor symptoms worsening, compared to the treatment group that received optimum medical therapy alone. The results were presented at the American Neurological Association Annual Meeting. The presenters added that a pivotal trial has been approved in the U.S. to test the use of DBS in early Parkinson's disease. (Neurology Advisor)

Researchers Publish Trial Design of Study of Non-invasive Brain Stimulation to Potentially Enhance Cognitive Recovery from Stroke

Sept. 29, 2015 - Researchers in Brazil have published the design of a clinical trial in which they hope to assess in 60 chronic stroke patients whether transcranial direct current stimulation to the fronto-parietal region or the cingulo-opercular region affects cognition. (Trials)

Researchers Hoping to Fine-Tune Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease Receive Research Grant

Sept. 28, 2015 - The Parkinson's Western Australia Zrinski Research Grant of $200,000 will support research into using the posterior subthalamic area as a stimulation target for deep brain stimulation. Researchers at the University of Western Australia, who received the grant, have completged a pilot study of 9 patients with Parkinson's disease and observed significant motor improvements with no cognitive or psychiatric changes, they said. They have begun using brain imaging analysis in 15 more patients to identify structural and metabolic markers that predict the best motor response, and may help identify patients who would most benefit. With the funding, they hope to study up to 25 more patients. (DPS News)

Article Presents Comparative Data on Neuromodulation for Cluster Headache

Sept. 30, 2015 - Prophylactic use of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation reduced the number of cluster headache attacks at three times the rate of the best available standard of care, a paper in Cephalagia reports. The paper presents results of a multi-center randomized controlled clinical trial that enrolled 93 participants whose treatment was followed for several weeks. (PR Log)

Study Assesses Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation Treatment in Obstructive Sleep Apnea Patients

Sept. 29, 2015 - Findings from a prospective study of hyoglossal nerve stimulation for obstructive sleep apnea were reported at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. The findings involved 111 patients who had previously failed to adhere to continuous airway positive pressure treatment. More than half the enrollees benefitted from the implant and at 30 months follow-up, 81% still routinely used the device, according to results presented at the meeting. (Doctors Lounge)

Article Raises Public Awareness of Neuromodulation for Chronic Pain

Sept. 29, 2015 - A overview of current and emerging neuromodulation therapies is part of a special online pain awareness supplement. The article, commissioned by Mediaplanet, was prepared by International Neuromodulation Society (INS) President Timothy Deer, MD, and quotes INS public education volunteer Lawrence Poree, MD, PhD. He says in appropriate patients, neuromodulation saves costs over time and improves function -- but chronic pain patients who may be candidates need to hear about it sooner than occurs today. (Mediaplanet)

Company Raises Funds to Pursue a Clinical Trial of a Noninvasive Device for Tinnitus

Sept. 29, 2015 - Neuromod Devices  Ltd. of Ireland as raised €5.5 million from Fountain Healthcare Partners to fund clinical trials in the U.S. for its bi-modal system to treat some forms of tinnitus. The system uses simultaneous auditory stimulation in the ear and sensory stimulation on the tongue. The device received CE Mark approval in Europe in October 2014 and a U.S. patent September 2015. (Irish Times)

Company Halts Plans for Initial Public Offering

Sept. 28, 2015 - According to an SEC filing, NeuroSigma Systems has decided to not pursue an initial public offering at this time. The Los Angeles-based company had registered for an initial public offering on the NASDAQ last August. The company is marketing its external trigeminal nerve stimulation system in Canada and Europe as an adjunctive treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy and major depressive disorder. The FDA also has permitted an investigational device exemption for clinical trials in the U.S. (MedCity News)

Review: Deep Brain Stimulation Addresses Circuit Disorders

Sept. 26, 2015 - A review of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in movement disorders and conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder, which are considered a circuit disorder involving the basal ganglia, presents surgical interventions as highly focused approaches that spare uninvolved areas, unlike systemic medications. The reviewers add that there are efforts to target circuit dysfunction outside the basal ganglia-thalamocortical system. For instance, the pedunculopontine nucleus is an investigational target to address gait disorders that respond poorly to levodopa and conventional DBS targets. (JAMA Neurology)

Studies Examine Potential of White Matter Tracts as a Biomarker of Depression

Sept. 26, 2015 - Researchers provide early results of investigations into white matter structure and stimulation as part of a quest to identify an intraoperative biomarker for treatment-resistant depression. Such a biomarker could help guide both implantation of deep brain stimulation leads and selection of stimulation contacts. (JAMA Neurology)

Article Details Proposed Merger Involving U.S. Neuromodulation Company

Sept. 24, 2015 - The proposed merger between Cyberonics, Inc. of Houston, Texas and Italy-based Sorin Group moved closer when Cyberonics' stockholders approved it on Sept. 22. Sorin Group stockholders previously approved the merger in May. The merger is expected to become final on Oct. 19, 2015. At that time, a U.S. subsidiary would go into effect, Cypher Merger Sub, Inc. Neuromodulation would be one of three business units in the newly merged company. (Zacks)

U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Presents Medical Device Research

Sept. 11, 2015 - At a "Wait, What?" conference from Sept. 9th - 11th in St. Louis, DARPA presented ongoing health and neuroscience programs that involve medical and prosthetic research and development. The presentations described efforts to overcome injury-induced memory deficits, mitigate the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and enhance prosthetic hands with a sense of touch. DARPA said its Restoring Active Memory (RAM) Replay program is "poised to begin in October." It also presented Electrical Prescriptions (ElectRx), Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces (HAPTIX), Neuro Function, Activity, Structure, and Technology (Neuro-FAST) and System-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies (SUBNETS). (DARPA)

National Health Service Consultant Organizes a Weekend Day of Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant Procedures

Sept. 28, 2015 - An NHS consultant in Leeds organized 10 90-minute spinal cord stimulation (SCS) implant procedures on a Saturday to demonstrate the efficiency of doing that in groups rather than tying up an operating theatre on 10 different days. The article states the "The NICE-recommended devices . . .  are seen as a last resort that the NHS deem are a one-off investment that prevents further hospital visits and drug therapy." The Leeds Neuromodulation and Pain Management Centre is reported to be one of four centers that deliver the most SCS implants in England, with about 100 patients benefitting each year. (Yorkshire Evening Post)

Column in New York Times Presents Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Depression

Sept. 28, 2015 - A Brazilian newspaper columnist who has not found success with counseling and medications for depression describes trying transcranial magnetic stimulation. She said it had been approved in Brazil as a depression treatment in 2012. She mentioned that four weeks' therapy exceeds her monthly income, and that in the U.S. a course of treatment may total $6,000 - $9,000. (New York Times)

Laboratory Research Suggests Nerve Stimulation Could Break Down Fat

Sept. 25, 2015 - Research collaborators write in Cell that they observed that sympathetic nerve fibers establish neuro-adipose junctions, and speculate that "direct activation of sympathetic inputs to adipose tissues may . . . induce fat loss, circumventing central leptin resistance." (GEN News)

Companies Receive Clearance for Merger

Sept. 23, 2015 - The High Court of England and Wales approved the $2.7 billion merger of Cyberonics and the Sorin Group, now known as LivaNova. The merger will go into effect October 19, according to the companies. (Mass Device)

Brain-Computer Interface Research Highlighted

Sept. 23, 2015 - A list of this year's 10 "brightest young minds' includes a brain-computer-interface neuroengineer who decodes neural systems with the ultimate goal of helping paralyzed people move or helping other people self-regulate mood. (Popular Science)

News Coverage Presents Spinal Cord Stimulation as Newly Improved

Sept. 22, 2015 - A news report about alternatives for chronic pain care says that spinal cord stimulation has become more advanced and accessible. (KSAT)

Company Announces European Approval for Deep Brain Stimulation Technology

Sept. 22, 2015 - St. Jude Medical announced it has received European CE Mark approval for its Infinity deep brain stimulation (DBS) device, and a directional lead that permits physicians to "steer" current to different targets. The DBS device incorporates Bluetooth connectivity that allows patients and physicians to use some Apple™ mobile devices as wireless controllers. (Mass Device)

Company Receives Funding to Develop Wearable Sensors for Deep Brain Stimulation Programming

Sept. 21, 2015 - The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is providing $1.9 million in Phase II Small Business Innovation Research funding to Cleveland-based Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies to integrate their wearable sensors into a platform for programming deep brain stimulation (DBS) systems. The company's wearable sensors were initially used for assessing Parkinson's disease. The integrated system should provide real time, closed-loop feedback to adjust DBS programming. (PR Newswire)

Article Describes Epilepsy Treatment Using Closed-Loop Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Sept. 21, 2015 - A girl with epilepsy in Minnesota is one of the first adolescents in the U.S. to be implanted with a closed-loop vagus nerve stimulation system, which has allowed her to reduce her medication. (Fox News)

Autism Studies Explore Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Sept. 21, 2015 - Transcranial magnetic stimulation research studies in autism include work by a researcher who is interested in differences seen in the brains of people with autism in the inhibition and excitation of gamma wave activity. (Autism Daily Newscast)

Article Presents Results of Feasibility Study to Compare Spinal Cord Stimulation and Usual Care in Angina

Sept. 21, 2015 - An Early View article reports results of the first publicly funded, pilot clinical trial to compare spinal cord stimulation (SCS) to usual care for ischemic pain from refractory angina. The randomized feasibility study was not formally powered to compare outcomes between or within groups. However, the results did show a trend towards larger improvements in the SCS group on all outcome measures, which included attack frequency, quality of life, and exercise capacity. The paper's co-authors include International Neuromodulation Society (INS) members Sam Eldabe, MD; Simon Thomson, MD; Morag Brookes, RGN, MSc; Jon Raphael, MD; and Rod Taylor, PhD. A scientific abstract regarding the study was presented at the INS 12th World Congress in June. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Study Follows Parkinson's Disease Patients for Five Years Post-Implant

Sept. 20, 2015 - A study in China followed 10 Parkinson's disease patients before they received deep brain stimulation to the subthalamic nucleus, with follow-up at 1, 3 and 5 years after the implantation procedure. The authors conclude the intervention is effective, although they say it was associated with a slightly diminished efficacy after 5 years. Motor scores improved and medication use dropped. Quality of life improved by 58.18% at 3 years, then gradually declined. (Chinese Medical Journal)

University Undertakes Clinical Trial of Focused Ultrasound in Parkinson's Disease

Sept. 19, 2015 - Parkinson's disease patients whose medication has failed to satisfactorily control dyskinesias are being sought for a clinical trial of noninvasive focused ultrasound at the University of Virginia. The intervention is being studied as a potential alternative to deep brain stimulation. (Daily Progress)

Article Covers the State of Epilepsy Diagnosis and Treatment in Nigeria

Sept. 18, 2015 - Epilepsy experts were quoted as saying that with fewer misconceptions and myths about epilepsy in Nigeria, more cases would be diagnosed. They add that with the right treatment, symptoms can be managed in 70 - 75% of cases. With regard to treatment, a neurologist in Delhi, India, said his hospital has performed 100 deep brain stimulation surgeries and 20 of those were for epilepsy patients from Nigeria. (All Africa)

Federal Grant to Support Research Into Recovery from Brain Injury

Sept. 18, 2015 - The National Institute of General Medical Sciences gave a five-year $11.6 million grant to the University of New Mexico’s Brain and Behavioral Health Institute to support junior faculty members and help establish a new Center for Brain Recovery and Repair. Among the research envisioned there are studies into the use of regenerative or brain stimulation technologies to potentially help people recover from brain damage due to stroke and traumatic brain injuries. The envisioned investigational interventions include transcranial direct current stimulation and stem cell therapy.(Albuquerque Journal)

Company Reports Use of Its Peripheral Nerve Stimulator

Sept. 16, 2015 - Bioness, Inc.'s StimRouter™ peripheral nerve stimulator has FDA clearance for adjunctive use to treat chronic, intractable pain of peripheral nerve origin. The company announced its first commercial use occurred in Cleveland. The system is a minimally invasive prescription device with an implanted lead, external pulse transmitter, and conductive electrode that is powered transdermally. (BioPortfolio)

Laboratory Research Demonstrates the Ability to Modify Nerve Cells to Change Activity Due to Sound Stimulation

Sept. 15, 2015 - Researchers genetically introduced ultrasonic-responsive ion channels into the motor neuron cells of laboratory-bred nematodes. They have demonstrated, in a paper published in Nature Communications, that the nematodes change direction in response to a burst of inaudible, high-pitched sound waves. The technique, sonogenetics, may have clinical application in humans to temporarily make neurons, muscle cells, or insulin-producing cells responsive to sonic stimulation. The authors say the low-pressure, non-invasive stimulation would be easier to apply than the light that is applied through fiber optics for optogenetic stimulation. (The Guardian)

Study: Anxiety and Depression Screen Did Not Predict Outcomes of Sacral Nerve Stimulation Trial Phase

Sept. 9, 2015 - A study of 86 patients who received sacral nerve stimulation for lower urinary tract symptoms such as overactive bladder did not reveal a significant relationship between anxiety and depression scores and whether the neurostimulation test period was successful. (Neurology Urodynamics)

Non-rechargeable Deep Brain Stimulation System Receives European Marketing Approval

Sept. 14, 2015 - Boston Scientific Corporation announced CE Mark designation for its Vercise non-rechargeable, primary cell, deep brain stimulation (DBS) system for patients with Parkinson's disease, primary and secondary dystonia, and essential tremor. The system has an eight-contact directional lead with multiple independent current control. The non-rechargeable Vercise primary cell system is not available in the U.S., although its counterpart, the rechargeable Vercise DBS system, is cleared in the U.S. for investigational use to evaluate its effectiveness in Parkinson's disease in the INTREPID study. (Med Device Online)

Researchers Record Neuronal Response to Deep Brain Stimulation in Real Time

Sept. 11, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jamie Henderson, MD, and colleagues report a study in 15 Parkinson's disease patients receiving deep brain stimulation (DBS) systems in whom beta oscillations were recorded in real time. The recordings in the subthalamic nucleus were made as the patients moved freely. Beta waves are considered a potential biomarker for closed-loop, adaptive stimulation. In the study, beta power was conserved during walking and resting states and attenuated in a voltage-dependent manner during 140-Hz DBS. (Movement Disorders)

Journal Article Describes Deep Brain Stimulation to Treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Sept. 10, 2015 - A research paper describes deep brain stimulation of the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLn) to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. Normally, fear extinction is mediated by the BLn and the medial prefrontal cortex. (Biological Psychiatry)

Authors Consider Development of an Evidence Base for Neurostimulation for Neuropathic Pain

September 2015 - An overview of neurostimulation for neuropathic pain says evidence of efficacy and cost-effectiveness is growing with recent well-conducted studies. The authors add that "difficulties in successfully conducting controlled clinical trials with interventional therapies ... stresses the need for alternative methods such as large registries to study the indications and clinical benefits of this
important therapy." (IASP Pain Clinical Updates)

Neuromodulation Treatments Presented as Technological Options for Pain Management

Sept. 10, 2015 - A news release from the American Society of Anesthesiologists presents such pain control technologies as spinal cord stimulation and intrathecal drug delivery. (Newswise)

Pilot Study Indicates Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Temporarily Improves Motor Symptoms in Parkinson's Disease
Sept. 10, 2015 - A pilot study of patients with Parkinson's disease, published in the Journal of Neuroscience suggests that transcranial direct current stimulation can at least temporarily limit some motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease patients. The authors say the stimulation may compensate somewhat for the loss of dopamine by decreasing the effort the brain has to put into getting its motor neurons to fire. They suggest this non-invasive approach might potentially be developed for home use. (Johns Hopkins)

Study of Smokers Who Had Strokes Suggests a Brain Area Associated with Addiction

Sept. 8, 2015 - Research involving 156 smokers who suffered strokes, published in the journals Addiction and Addictive Behaviors, indicates that stroke damage in the insular cortex was associated with fewer withdrawal symptoms from a hospital-imposed halt in smoking. In a three-month follow up, the patients whose strokes affected the insular cortex were nearly twice as likely as the patients whose strokes were in other areas to not resume smoking. (EurekAlert)

Tourette Patient Gains More Independence After Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment

Sept. 8, 2015 - A young woman whose activities had become extremely limited due to Tourette syndrome said receiving deep brain stimulation in March 2014 has relieved 85 percent of her tics, and she is excited by the idea of having a job one day. (Daily Mail)

Company Extends Equity Financing Round

Sept. 8, 2015 - SetPoint Medical, Inc., which is developing bioelectronic therapy for inflammatory disease, has raised an additional $25 million in an extension of its Series C equity financing, bringing the total raised to $43 million. Current investors in the Valencia, CA-based company include Morgenthaler Ventures, Foundation Medical Partners, Topspin Partners, Covidien Ventures, Action Potential Venture Capital Limited and Boston Scientific. (PE HUB)

Review Cites Evidence in Functional Electrical Stimulation During Early Rehabilitation for Spinal Injury

Sept. 8, 2015 - A literature review found level II evidence that exercise initiated early after spinal cord injury, including exercise involving functional electrical stimulation, helped to increase muscle mass. (Spinal Cord)

Study Uses Patch Electrodes to Assess Tibial Nerve Stimulation vs. Sham in Children Treated for Overactive Bladder

Sept. 7, 2015 - A prospective, randomized clinical trial in 40 children with treatment-resistant overactive bladder compared sham stimulation and transcutaneous posterior tibial nerve stimulation. The children in the active stimulation group received stimulation for 30 minutes a week for 12 weeks. An assessment of subjective symptom improvement found 90% of patients in the treatment group reported significant improvement or better, but only 6.25% of patients in the sham group reported significant improvement. Meanwhile, 71.42% of treated patients reported their incontinence completely improved, compared to 12.5% of patients in the sham group. (Uro Today)

Study Examines Potential of Non-Invasive Stimulation to Limit Motion Sickness

Sept. 7, 2015 - Researchers from Imperial College London compared cathodal and anodal transcutaneous direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the left parietal cortex, and reported in Neurology that approximately 10 minutes of cathodal tDCS (that dampens inner-ear signals) increased the time to development of moderate nausea, and shortened time to recovery. (Medical News Today)

Massachusetts Medical Schools Consider Pain Management Curricula

Sept. 7, 2015 - Four medical schools in Massachusetts are teaming up to improve training for doctors in pain management in order to curb over-prescription of opioid medications. The schools that were reported to be in discussions about this were Harvard Medical School, Boston University School of Medicine, Tufts School of Medicine and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. (National Pain Report)

Specialists Advocate Better Access to Epilepsy Interventions

Sept. 5, 2015 - Neurology specialists commented at the 31st International Epilepsy Congress in Istanbul that access to interventions such as vagus nerve stimulation could save costs in the long term. (Epilepsy Society UK)

Study Explores Protective Effect of Deep Brain Stimulation in Epileptic Rats

Sept. 4, 2015 - A group of collaborators has published results of a laboratory study in which deep brain stimulation (DBS) was shown to induce cell-protective and anti-inflammatory effects in rats who underwent epileptic seizures. The researchers say although a direct causal relationship cannot be established, they did find DBS influenced certain pro-inflammatory cytokines and they observed reduced neuronal death. While loss of neurons is usually attributed to excitotoxicity after a seizure, they say, inflammation may play a role. In addition, spectral analysis indicated DBS may have decreased the severity of the seizure, compared to controls. (Journal of Neuroinflammation)

Bioelectronics Researcher is Trying to Miniaturize a Neural Interface

Aug. 25, 2015 - A bioelectronics research leader blogged about his early stages of trying to create miniaturized electrodes that might treat disease. He said they are intended to read and alter signals along autonomic nervous-system circuits that influence specific organs. He added the devices are meant to be more subtle and targeted than existing neurostimulation approaches. (RiAus)

External Spinal Cord Stimulation, Robotic Assistance Help Paralyzed Man Display Some Mobility

Sept. 1, 2015 - Researchers say that five hour-long sessions of noninvasive spinal cord stimulation coupled with physical training for a few weeks allowed a 39-year-old man whose legs were paralyzed in 2010 to voluntarily make leg movements with the assistance of a robotic exoskeleton. They say the accomplishment marks the first time a person with chronic, complete paralysis regained enough voluntary control to be able to actively work with a robotic device designed to enhance mobility. The advance was demonstrated by a research team at the University of California, Los Angeles, whose abstract is published online in the journal IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. (Medical Xpress)

Researchers Cite Safety Precautions Around Deep Brain Stimulation Implantation

Sept. 1, 2015 - News coverage about the identification of a new protein infectious agent, a prion that causes multiple system atrophy in people with parkinsonism, mentions the importance of carefully sterilizing surgical tools. They say that a previous laboratory study found that prions survived a decontamination procedure when stuck to stainless steel wires, and were able to infect mice on brain implantation, as well as to infect cultures of susceptible cells. (ABC News)

Company Releases Data in Clinical Trial of Neurostimulation Device for Back Pain

Aug. 31, 2015 - Mainstay Medical International plc announced positive results from the international clinical trial of its neurostimulation device to treat chronic disabling back pain by stimulating nerves for the muscles that stabilize the lumbar spine. In 47 patients who had at least 90 days of follow-up, the company said, 63% had clinically important improvement in back pain and 72% of patients improved who had no financial compensation related to back pain. The clinical trial is being conducted prior to application for CE Mark approval. (Business Wire)

Teen with Dystonia Receives Deep Brain Stimulation

Aug. 29, 2015 - Children's Hospital in Colorado performed its first deep brain stimulation (DBS) implant, on a 17-year-old with dystonia due to cerebral palsy. It is hoped that with DBS, he will be able to use his hand. (Denver Post)

Study Suggests Mechanisms of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Aug. 29, 2015 - Placebo-controlled research presented in an Amsterdam meeting of the European College of Neuropsycholopharmacology indicates treatment effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), suggesting how it may work when used to treat depression. In the study, 27 healthy volunteers who received a single TMS session had modified connectivity of large-scale brain networks, particularly in the right anterior insula, and altered neurotransmitter concentration. (EurekAlert)

Task Force Proposes a Coordinated Registry Network for Medical Devices

Aug. 28, 2015 - Leveraging international medical device data efforts is among the goals of a proposed coordinated registries network. The proposal, by a task force of the U.S. FDA, was published in a summary report in the Aug. 24, 2015 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The network could provide a foundational architecture with interoperability solutions for incorporating data from non-registry sources, such as unique device identifiers when they are implemented; electronic health records; administrative claims data; and mobile device outputs. The task force said the data should include information that may not all be captured in existing registries, such as device and procedural details, patient descriptors, and long-term outcomes. (Healthcare Informatics)

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation System Cleared for U.S. Use in Certain Cases of Depression

Aug. 28, 2015 - Denmark-based MagVenture, Inc. announced its MagVita transcranial magnetic therapy (TMS) system has received FDA clearance for the treatment of major depressive disorder in adult patients who have failed to receive satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant medication in the current episode. The company said it is the fourth to receive clearance for this technique. Its system was CE marked in the European Union in 2011. (PR Newswire)

Company Releases Data in Clinical Trial of Neurostimulation Device for Back Pain

Aug. 31, 2015 - Mainstay Medical International plc announced positive results from the international clinical trial of its neurostimulation device to treat chronic disabling back pain by stimulating nerves for the muscles that stabilize the lumbar spine. In 47 patients who had at least 90 days of follow-up, the company said, 63% had clinically important improvement in back pain and 72% of patients improved who had no financial compensation related to back pain. The clinical trial is being conducted prior to application for CE Mark approval. (Business Wire)

Teen with Dystonia Receives Deep Brain Stimulation

Aug. 29, 2015 - Children's Hospital in Colorado performed its first deep brain stimulation (DBS) implant, on a 17-year-old with dystonia due to cerebral palsy. It is hoped that with DBS, he will be able to use his hand. (Denver Post)

Study Suggests Mechanisms of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Aug. 29, 2015 - Placebo-controlled research presented in an Amsterdam meeting of the European College of Neuropsycholopharmacology indicates treatment effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), suggesting how it may work when used to treat depression. In the study, 27 healthy volunteers who received a single TMS session had modified connectivity of large-scale brain networks, particularly in the right anterior insula, and altered neurotransmitter concentration. (EurekAlert)

Task Force Proposes a Coordinated Registry Network for Medical Devices

Aug. 28, 2015 - Leveraging international medical device data efforts is among the goals of a proposed coordinated registries network. The proposal, by a task force of the U.S. FDA, was published in a summary report in the Aug. 24, 2015 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The network could provide a foundational architecture with interoperability solutions for incorporating data from non-registry sources, such as unique device identifiers when they are implemented; electronic health records; administrative claims data; and mobile device outputs. The task force said the data should include information that may not all be captured in existing registries, such as device and procedural details, patient descriptors, and long-term outcomes. (Healthcare Informatics)

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation System Cleared for U.S. Use in Certain Cases of Depression

Aug. 28, 2015 - Denmark-based MagVenture, Inc. announced its MagVita transcranial magnetic therapy (TMS) system has received FDA clearance for the treatment of major depressive disorder in adult patients who have failed to receive satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant medication in the current episode. The company said it is the fourth to receive clearance for this technique. Its system was CE marked in the European Union in 2011. (PR Newswire)

Abstracts from the 12th World Congress of the International Neuromodulation Society are Published Online

Aug. 28, 2015 - Abstracts from the 12th World Congress of the International Neuromodulation Society in June in Montreal are now available in the online issue of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Clinical Trial Enrollment Complete in Mutli-Center Study of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Heart Failure

Aug. 27, 2015 - BioControl Medical announced completion of enrollment in its INOVATE-HF (INcrease Of VAgal TonE in Heart Failure) clinical trial that assesses its vagus nerve stimulation system in the treatment of congestive heart failure. The neurostimulation system includes a stimulator that targets the right vagus nerve in the neck, and a sensor that is place in the right ventricle of the heart. Enrollment began in 2011, and consists of 725 patients at 86 centers in the United States and Europe. In the randomized controlled study, for each three patients who are implanted with the CardioFit device, two are placed in the control group and receive standard, evidence-based management. The system is designed to stimulate the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system, in order to reduce stress on the heart. Based on an earlier pilot study, the system was CE certified in 2008. (Business Wire)

Researchers Propose Using Three-Dimensional Printing to Enclose Neurostimulation Components

Aug. 27, 2015 - A team of researchers from Deakin University and the Mayo Clinic propose making biocompatible silicon enclosures for deep brain stimulation parts on a three-dimensional printer in a paper in Procedia Technology. (3D Print.com)

International Neuromodulation Society Offers Select Presentations from June 2015 World Congress for Members' Access

Aug. 27, 2015 - Select audio files and links to a number of slide presentations from the International Neuromodulation Society (INS) 12th World Congress are now available for members to access from the INS Members Only section of the INS website. Members may use their credentials to log on and access the material. (International Neuromodulation Society)

Retrospective Study Documents Satisfaction With Spinal Cord Stimulation

Aug. 27, 2015 - A retrospective review of 199 patients who received permanent spinal cord stimulator implants at one center between 2001 and 2011 found that at 6 and 12 months, all patients in all indications had lower numerical pain scores, and that oral morphine equivalents decreased significantly in patients treated for failed back surgery syndrome or complex regional pain syndrome. In addition, patient satisfaction was significant at one year for all groups. (Pain Practice)

Company Receives Grant to Study Peripheral Nerve Stimulation in Knee-Replacement Patients

Aug. 26, 2015 - The National Institutes of Health has given SPR Therapeutics a $1.6 million grant to study whether the company's peripheral nerve stimulation system could be used to control the post-operative pain of knee replacement surgery. Biospace reported that the company has received permission to undertake a clinical trial of the stimulation for up to 60 days in post-operative knee-replacement patients. (Crain's Cleveland Business)

U.S. Patent Issued for an Approach Under Development to Address Low Back Pain

Aug. 26, 2015 - Mainstay Medical International plc announced issuance of a new U.S. patent, “Apparatus and Methods for Rehabilitating a Muscle And Assessing Progress of Rehabilitation.” The company is developing a new implantable neurostimulation system to treat chronic low back pain. (Business Wire)

Authors Report a Promising Brain Stimulation Target for Treatment-Resistant Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Aug. 25, 2015 - A long-term follow-up of 24 patients with treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder indicates that deep brain stimulation of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis is a promising therapeutic option, according to a journal article by researchers in Belgium. (Molecular Psychiatry)

A Geographic Change to Be Considered in Scotland for Access to Deep Brain Stimulation Services

Aug. 25, 2015 - People in the eastern part of Scotland who have had to travel to England to receive deep brain stimulation surgery and follow-up care may no longer have to if a proposal for a single national service in Scotland is adopted when it is considered next month, according to a news report about the issue. The site under discussion for the service is the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow. The article quotes patients who have had to travel to Newcastle in England for this type of care. (BBC News)

Device Maker Announces CE Mark for MRI-Conditional Implantable Pulse Generator

Aug. 24, 2015 - St. Jude Medical Inc. announced receiving CE Mark approval for magnetic resonance imaging-conditional labeling of its soon-to-be-launched implantable pulse generator, the Prodigy MRI chronic pain system, saying the approval applies with select leads. (Business Wire)

Device Developer Announces New Financing

Aug. 24, 2015 - Mainstay Medical International plc has secured $15 million in debt financing for commercialization of its neurostimulation device that is designed to address low back pain by contracting the muscles that provide stability. The funding from IPF Partners includes milestone payments for progress toward CE Mark approval of the device for the Dublin-based company. (Business Wire)

Clinical Trial Will Examine Non-invasive Stimulation for Children With Epilepsy

Aug. 21, 2015 - A research group at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing has published a clinical trial protocol to compare six months of daily treatment using two potential interventions in pediatric epilepsy, transcutaneous auricular non-vagus nerve stimulation (tan-VNS), or transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (ta-VNS). The two treatment arms will be compared to a control group. (Trials)

Texas Man Participates in Clinical Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation in Depression

Aug. 19, 2015 - An article describes one man's deep brain stimulation surgery as part of a 10-person clinical trial that investigates addressing treatment-resistant depression with stimulation to the supero-lateral branch of the medial forebrain bundle. (Houston Chronicle)

Non-invasive Neurostimulation Company Raises Capital

Aug. 19, 2015 - A company that is developing a therapy for loss of the visual field that involves 10 daily sessions of non-invasive electrical brain stimulation, EBS Technologies of Berlin, has raised 1.1 million Euros. The external device, operated by a technician, delivers alternating current to the retina. The stimulation is intended to activate the optic nerve and visual cortex, with the stimulation adjusted in response to monitoring of the patient's EEG. (Market Watch)

Hospital Highlights Urologist's Congress Presentations

Aug. 17, 2015 - Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI highlighted three presentations made by urologist Ken Peters, MD, at the International Neuromodulation Society 12th World Congress in June about neuromodulation for bladder dysfunction and pelvic pain. (Newswise)

Small Study Indicates a Commercial Device Impaired Working Memory

Aug. 18, 2015 - A single-blind, sham-controlled study of 24 healthy subjects showed that a commercial transcranial direct current stimulation device decreased cognitive performance on a standard test of working memory. (Experimental Brain Research)

Researchers Do Away With Tether to Power Supply in Preclinical Optogenetics Development

Aug. 17, 2015 - Stanford University researchers have demonstrated that a fully enclosed implant can deliver light stimulation to the leg-muscle nerves of a mouse, powered by the animal's own body. (Stanford Report)

Article Describes Child's Experience as a Recipient of an Auditory Brainstem Implant

Aug. 17, 2015 - A 5-year-old boy born without a cochlea is participating in a clinical trial of pediatric patients who are receiving auditory brainstem implants to provide some sense of sound. The procedure had been previously approved in the U.S. for patients 12 years and older with neurofibromatosis type II. (The Blaze)

Lecture Describes Investigations Into Deep Brain Stimulation in Depression

Aug. 14, 2015 -  In a lecture at the National Institute of Mental Health concerning patients who participated in clinical research of deep brain stimulation for depression, Neurologist Helen Mayberg said that mapping white matter connections around Area 25 in the brain has guided stimulation parameters and demonstrated that initial non-responders can be converted to responders. She added that response rates using refined new methods now exceed 70% in a recent studies of 13 new patients. (NIH Record)

Consultants Foresee Broader Role for Neuromodulation

Aug. 13, 2015 - A product design innovator in the U.K., Cambridge Consultants, is publicizing its vision of future neuromodulation devices that it says might address what a news column terms  "lifestyle" issues -- such as migraine, obesity and incontinence. (Business Weekly)

Executive Changes Take Place at Company that Develops Neuromodulation Systems to Address Vision Problems

Aug. 13, 2015 - Second Sight Medical will get a new CEO this month when Robert Greenberg, MD, PhD steps down from that position and becomes chairman of the board, replacing Alfred Mann who will become chairman emeritus. The new CEO, Will McGuire, was an executive at medical-device-industry companies Volcano, Covidien and AtheroMed. An article notes that Greenberg had said the company intends to treat most types of blindness, such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. The company's next-generation device "would bypass the retina with an electrode array implanted directly on the portion of the brain that deals with signals from the retina." (Mass Device)

Paper Points Out Apparent Clinical Benefits of Deep Brain Stimulation in Early Parkinson's Disease

Aug. 11, 2015 - A post-hoc analysis of patients involved in a pilot study of deep brain stimulation in early Parkinson's disease shows the therapy may reduce the risk of the condition worsening in clinically important ways by 50-80% .(Parkinsonism & Related Disorders)

Review: Network Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation is a Promising Area of Study

Aug. 12, 2015 - Assessing the network effects of deep brain stimulation will be critical to better understanding the underlying pathophysiology of various brain disorders, according to a review of the literature concerning studies using cerebral blood flow and metabolic imaging, functional imaging, and electrophysiology (including scalp and intracranial electroencephalography, and magnetoencephalography). (Journal of Neurophysiology)

Neuromodulation Device Developer Acquired by Pharmaceutical Firm

Aug. 11, 2015 - Dublin-based Allergan announced it has closed its purchase of dry-eye disease, neuromodulation-device developer Oculeve for $125 million in up-front payments plus commercialization milestone payments. (Mass Device)

Health Technology Assessment Issued About Functional Electrical Stimulation

Aug. 6, 2015 - An analysis of the scientific literature about functional electrical stimulation in children with spinal cord injuries or cerebral palsy examined three systematic reviews, six randomized controlled trials, and six non-randomized studies. The analysis concluded that the majority of studies found the intervention to be effective and well-tolerated by patients. (Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health)

Research Paper Tracks Benefits of Deep Brain Stimulation in Epilepsy

Aug. 3, 2015 - A five-year follow-up study of deep-brain stimulation of the anterior nucleus of the thalamus in epilepsy suggests seizure control improves with time and notes that there may be greater benefits in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy compared to frontal lobe epilepsy, with reductions in seizure frequency of 76% and 59% respectively. (Epilepsy Currents)

Clinicians Start Trial of Non-Invasive Neurostimulator to Aid Balance Therapy

Aug. 11, 2015 - A double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled clinical trial has begun that will investigate the safety and effectiveness of a noninvasive cranial nerve stimulation device to augment physiotherapy for a chronic balance deficit due to mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury. The device stimulates cranial nerves through the tongue, and the study is intended to precede marketing approval applications in the U.S. and Canada. The clinical trial of up to 120 subjects is taking place in Montreal, the Pacific Northwest, and Orlando, Florida through Helius Medical Technologies and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. (Business Wire)

Charity Vows to Continue Seeking Treatment Access

Aug. 10, 2015 - The UK epilepsy health research charity announced plans to work alongside the National Health Service in England with hope of overturning a recent decision to not allow deep brain stimulation in refractory epilepsy. It had been expected that a handful of cases would be allowed each year. Now only patients in clinically critical need may be considered as exceptions. Provision of the treatment had been sought by the health charity because it can help reduce seizure activity. (The National Society for Epilepsy)

Brain-to-Brain Noninvasive Stimulation Studied

Aug. 10, 2015 - A news column describes research into brain-to-brain communication using brain-computer interfaces and non-invasive stimulation. Some researchers interested in this area are also looking into trying to create networks of linked individuals (such as laboratory research animals), or develop brain-wave synchronization; while others hope to apply insights to better understand the neural basis of social behavior. (Irish Business Times)

Child Receives Newly Approved Vagus Nerve Stimulation System to Treat Her Epilepsy

July 30, 2015 - A 13-year-old girl with epilepsy was the first in Minnesota to receive a vagus-nerve-simulation-system implant that provides stimulation based on sensing changes in heart rate. The device was FDA approved in June. (KARE)

Company Names Two Business Leaders for Its Proposed Spin-out

July 30, 2015 - Greatbatch Inc., proposes a tax-free spin-off of its subsidiary, the QiG Group, into a medical device company, Nuvectra Corporation. In a Form 10 registration statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Greatbatch said neuromodulation industry veteran Scott Drees will be chief executive officer of Nuvectra; and Joseph A. Miller, Jr., PhD, its director and chairman of the board. (Globe Newswire)

Researchers Report Progress with Noninvasive Spinal Stimulation in Paralyzed Subjects

July 30, 2015 - In a study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, researchers in California and Russia have demonstrated the ability of five men with complete motor paralysis to make voluntary step-like movements after about 18 weekly sessions of noninvasive electrical stimulation to their spinal cord. The results, published in the Journal of Neurotrauma, reportedly represent the first time this voluntary motion was achieved using transcutaneous stimulation. The lead researcher was quoted as saying he is interested in finding if autonomic functions may also be enhanced with similar therapy, saying the studies seem to have reawakened some networks and could contribute to a clinical toolbox to aid patients by widening the selection of available therapies. (EurekAlert)

Workshop Examines Issues Surrounding Interest in Noninvasive Neuromodulation

July 29, 2015 - An article summarizing a recent workshop on noninvasive neuromodulation says there is increasing interest from clinicians, patients, health systems, payers and industry. Although these devices may lead to more personalized care, the article says, their use could blurr the distinction between medical and non-medical approaches, which could potentially make it harder to develop an evidence base. (Medscape)

Data Show Greater Response of Back- and Leg-Pain Patients to High-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation

July 28, 2015 - A randomized controlled clinical trial reported in Anesthesiology showed a superior response rate for high-frequency spinal cord stimulation, compared to traditional, in back or leg pain among 171 study subjects at three months. The ratio of responders was 1.9 for back pain and 1.5 for leg pain. The authors report that the superiority was sustained through 12 months. (UPI)

Study: Sacral Neuromodulation Might Be an Additional Option for Patients with Neurogenic Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction

July 28, 2015 - Co-authors who reviewed the charts of 50 patients who received sacral neuromodulation to treat neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction conclude that the treatment might be an additional therapy option in carefully selected patients. They report that 94% of the patients who received a permanent implant were either very satisfied or satisfied with the therapy. (Spinal Cord)

No Significant Difference Seen at Three Months in Sham-Controlled Clinical Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation in Depression

July 28, 2015 - A sham-controlled clinical trial of deep brain stimulation (DBS) to the ventral capsule and ventral striatum failed to show a significant difference in reduction of depression symptoms, according to results published in Biological Psychiatry. The clinical trial involved 30 patients. After 16 weeks, three of 15 patients (20%) responded to active stimulation, while two of 14 patients (14.3%) improved in the control group. Patients then entered a two-year open-label phase, in which the response rate was 20%, 26.7%, and 23.3% at 12, 18, and 24 months. The authors suggest that alternative study designs and stimulation parameters might be considered. (EurekAlert)

Woman Recounts Her Symptom Improvement Following Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation

July 27, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Simon Thomson, MBBS FRCA FIPP FFPMRCA, was quoted about the importance of early detection and a multi-disciplinary approach in an article about a patient with complex regional pain syndrome who received dorsal root ganglion stimulation for her condition. (The Guardian)

Researchers Report Combining Delivery of Therapeutic Agents and Light Through Neural Probes

July 16, 2015 -  In preclinical brain-stimulation research, a team reports developing wireless optofluidic neural probes that combine ultrathin, soft microfluidic drug delivery with cellular-scale inorganic light-emitting diode arrays. The researchers say they demonstrated these devices in freely moving animals "to modify gene expression, deliver peptide ligands, and provide concurrent photostimulation with antagonist drug delivery to manipulate mesoaccumbens reward-related behavior." (Cell)

Interim Results Presented in Clinical Study of Deep Brain Stimulation in Early Alzheimer's Disease

July 24, 2015 - Interim results were presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference regarding a Phase II clinical trial of patients with early Alzheimer's disease who were implanted with deep brain stimulation (DBS) systems targeting the fornix, a part of the memory circuit. Half of the 42 patients in the clinical trial did not have their DBS system turned on for the first 12 months. Results from the first year show similar changes in cognitive measures between the two groups. Evalulation of the two groups will continue for four years. The researchers said an examination of trends among subgroups, who showed differences in glucose metabolism, can inform the design of future clinical trials. (Medpage Today)

Authors Compare Sacral Neuromodulation Implant Procedures

July 23, 2015 - In a "Beyond the Abstract" feature, authors say they found that sacral nerve stimulation that is guided solely by motor provocation during the implant procedure is more straightforward and requires less reprogramming, compared to procedures that include guidance from sensory feedback from patients. They encourage consideration of prospective studies to confirm those results. Their observational study appeared online in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface in April. (Uro Today)

Study Evaluates Non-invasive Migraine Treatment in Patients Who Have Infrequent Episodes

July 22, 2015 - Twenty patients who never had been treated for their infrequent migraine without aura were enrolled in a safety-and-efficacy trial of transcutaneous supraorbital neurostimulation. These patients used the device more than 2/3rd of the time expected and experienced fewer migraine attacks and migraine days, with most having a reduction in symptoms of at least 50%. (The Journal of Headache and Pain)

Effect of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Neuropathic Pain from Spine Injury Analyzed

July 21, 2015 - A meta-analysis of clinical trials of transcranial direct current stimulation for neuropathic pain resulting from back injury indicated a moderate effect that was not maintained at follow-up. (Spinal Cord)

Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Under Study for Dystonia

July 21, 2015 - A physiotherapy professor at the Graduate School of Health at the University of Technology Sydney is conducting clinical research into non-invasive brain stimulation for dystonia. She is comparing transcranial magnetic stimulation in neck dystonia and earlier results of transcranial direct current stimulation in patients who have hand dystonia. She anticipates later combining brain stimulation with more traditional physiotherapy treatments. (Brisbane Times)

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Reduced Tinnitus Symptoms More Than Sham, Study Finds

July 20, 2015 - Ten daily sessions of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation reduced tinnitus symptoms in a randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial carried out and funded by the Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Service in Portland, OR. The study involved 64 participants, half of whom received sham stimulation. The responder rate in the active stimulation group was 56% and in the sham stimulation group, 22%. The symptom improvement seen in the group that had active stimulation was sustained for 26 weeks, according to the researchers' paper in JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery. (Pharmabiz.com)

Patient Receiving Deep Brain Stimulation Notices Effect on Her Irritable Bowel Syndrome

July 2015 - A case report describes an effect on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) that was noticed in a woman who received deep brain stimulation (DBS) to the anterior limb of the internal capsule for obsessive compulsive disorder. The patient reported substantial relief of her IBS symptoms after DBS. The authors noted in their report that "the reduction depended on specific stimulation parameters, was reproducible over time, and was not directly associated with improvements in obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms." (Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology)

Wirelessly Controlled Spinal Cord Stimulation System Receives FDA Approval

July 16, 2015 - The FDA has approved St. Jude Medical's Invisible Trial System, which patients can control with an iPod Touch and clinicians can program and track with an iPad Mini. The wirelessly controlled trial spinal cord stimulation system includes a small external pulse generator. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Device Company Targeting Low-Back Pain Announces Two U.S. Patents

July 15, 2015 - Mainstay Medical International plc announced issuance of two U.S. patents concerning its neurostimulation therapy for chronic low back pain. The company's device stimulates muscles in the lower spine to provide more control over these stabilizing muscles. (Business Wire)

Article Describes Prototype Device Intended to Guide Placement of Neurostimulators

July 15, 2015 - An article about a prototype neurostimulator-delivery tool in development by Cambridge Consultants says the Chimaera hand-held instrument is designed to be used in conjunction with a wearable optical device such as Google glass to provide the operator a visual overlay of the target area. It combines pre-operative 3D imaging and real-time sensing of nerves. (Reuters)

Company Announces Patent Allowance for High-Frequency Peripheral Nerve Stimulation

July 14, 2015 - Bioness, Inc. received clearance from the U.S. Patent Office for a patent claiming use of high-frequency stimulation with its implantable peripheral nerve stimulation device, StimRouter. The device is FDA-approved to treat chronic, intractable pain of peripheral nerve origin as an adjunct to other modes of therapy. (Business Wire)

Article Focuses on Preclinical Studies of Deep Brain Stimulation as a Potential Intervention to Aid Stroke Rehabilitation

July 13, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society (INS) member Andre Machado, MD, PhD, was interviewed about his preclinical studies into the potential for deep brain stimulation to aid in stroke rehabilitation. INS member Konstantin Slavin, MD, was also quoted in the story about unanswered questions posed by the potential to translate the findings through possible future clinical trials. (Wall Street Journal)

Series Describes Pain Patients' Exploration of Spinal Cord Stimulation as an Option

July 12, 2015 - A man who has been chronicling his exploration of whether to have spinal cord stimulation decides to go forward with a permanent implant. (National Pain Report)

Rehabilitation Researchers Study the Feasibility of Using EEG-Controlled Functional Electrical Stimulation

July 11, 2015 - Researchers undertook a safety study of a novel approach to rehabilitation for foot drop in patients who had chronic impairment from stroke. They had nine study participants use an EEG cap while the peroneal nerve was stimulated. Over the course of 12 hour-long sessions, patients followed cues to flex or relax their foot. A post-hoc analysis suggests there was statistically significant, but not clinically significant, improvement of lower motor performance such as gait speed, walk distance and range of motion. (Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation)

Researchers Add Sensory Transmissions to Model of Neurostimulation Mechanism of Action

July 9, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Yun Guan, MD, PhD, and colleagues write that they have developed a simple simulation test bed that goes beyond existing models by including fundamental underlying sensory activity transmitted in dorsal column fibers. They say they have found so far that "interactions between stimulation-evoked and underlying activities are mainly due to collisions of action potentials and losses of excitability due to the refractory period following an action potential." (Cornell University Library)

Study Indicates External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation May Provide Adjunctive Relief in Depression

July 9, 2015 - A study presented at the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology annual meeting in Miami indicates external trigeminal nerve stimulation may help alleviate symptoms of major depressive disorder. In the study, 43 patients were randomly assigned to active or sham treatment for six weeks. Patients wore electrode patches for eight hours at night. Data collected at six weeks showed that symptoms, and their severity, improved on average after six weeks in patients who had failed at least one antidepressant. The treatment was originally investigated for drug-resistant epilepsy, and later has been explored for potential efficacy in psychiatric disorders like depression, PTSD, and ADHD. (Medscape)

Girl is First in England to Undergo a Pediatric Auditory Brainstem Implant

July 9, 2015 - A 4-year-old girl who was born without a cochlea and auditory nerve had an auditory brainstem implant at 23 months of age, and is making progress in understanding spoken language. (Daily Mail)

Brain Stimulation Research Helps to Identify Potential for Improvement in Minimally Conscious State

July 8, 2015 - A column recaps brain research into increasing responsiveness of patients who are in a minimally conscious state, including findings from investigations involving deep brain stimulation. (Wall Street Journal)

Hypothesis Proposes a Deep Brain Stimulation Mechanism Stemming from Extracellular Potassium

July 6, 2015 - Authors of a scholarly article propose that excess extracellular potassium may mediate some effects of deep brain stimulation, through affecting inhibition and excitation of cells and axons, thereby interrupting pathological activity. (The Neuroscientist)

Pain Relief in Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy is Sustained After 24 Months of Spinal Cord Stimulation

June 26, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Robert van Dongen, MD, PhD, and colleagues report a 24-month follow-up of a prospective randomized controlled trial of spinal cord stimulation in painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy. From 17 patients who were implanted after a positive trial stimulation phase at two centers, 11 (65%) reported treatment success at 24 months. (Diabetes Care)

Contract Finalized to Support Clinical Trial of Neuromodulation Device to Address Balance Issues Arising from Traumatic Brain Injury

July 7, 2015 - Helius Medical Technologies, Inc.'s  NeuroHabilitation Corporation division has entered into a cost-sharing contract with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command to support a clinical trial investigating the safety and effectiveness of the company's non-invasive Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator (PoNS™) for the treatment of balance disorder in patients with mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury. The (PoNS™) device is placed on the tongue to stimulate cranial nerves that innervate muscles there. (Business Wire)

Firm Acquires Developer of Dry-Eye Neurostimulation Therapy

July 6, 2015 - Allergan of Dublin, Ireland will pay $125 million acquire South San Francisco-based Oculeve, a development-stage company that is developing a nasal neurostimulation device designed to increase tear production in patients with dry eye disease. The deal includes milestone payments for development of Oculeve's OD-01 neurostimulation therapy. Two pivotal trials are planned, with commercialization potentially occurring in 2017 after FDA approval, the company said. (Mass Device)

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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Medical Professionals can learn about various considerations concerning neuromodulation and clinic contacts. Once your preliminary questions have been answered, please use the Contact Us facility to find out more and to discuss specific objectives. Others may simply wish to join the INS and one of its related chapter societies, please use Membership Application.

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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Benelux Neuromodulation Society Annual Meeting Takes Place Oct. 30 in Brussels


The annual scientific meeting https://bns.memberclicks.net/assets/documents/bns_scientific_meeting.pdf of the Benelux Neuromodulation Society (BNS) on Oct. 30, 2015 is being held at the Atomium in Brussels, Belgium. The program will feature experts in peripheral neurostimulation and dorsal root ganglion stimulation, with ample time for discussion following the presentations.


The local coordinator is BNS Secretary Maarten Moens, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Universitair Ziekenhuis in Brussels.

Last Updated on Tuesday, October 06, 2015 10:58 AM
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