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Researchers Demonstrate Neural Control of Robotic Arm in Clinical Trial of a Brain-Machine Interface in the Posterior Parietal Cortex

May 22, 2015 - Researchers from Caltech and the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine reported in Science about a clinical trial in which a man paralyzed for more than 10 years was able to intentionally move a robotic arm controlled through two implanted neural arrays on his posterior parietal cortex. (Medical Xpress)

Essay Explores the Neuroscience Behind Deep Brain Stimulation

May 21, 2015 - A research scientist writes about the role of oscillations in helping neurons coordinate their communication, and implications for deep brain stimulation therapy. (Forbes)

Meeting Poster Shows Reasons Migraine Patients Cited for Use of Non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation

May 21, 2015 - A poster at the International Headache Congress in Valencia, reports on a survey in which 49 respondents explained their attitude to electroCore’s non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation treatment for migraines. Respondents were allowed to cite more than one reason. The most-cited reason for starting the therapy (67.3%) was resistance to standard migraine therapy. The most-cited reason for continuation (69.5%) was efficacy. After treatment, 46% of attacks were minimized or halted after two hours, and 61% after four hours. (Briefing Wire)

Company Launches a Next-Generation Device for GERD in Europe

May 18, 2015 - EndoStim announced CE Mark approval and European launch of its second generation system, EndoStim II, to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). (PR Newswire)

Sacral Neuromodulation Device Company to Present at Meeting

May 20, 2015 - Axonics Modulation Technologies, Inc. announced that it has been selected to present its technology advancements during the Innovations in Neuromodulation session at the International Neuromodulation Society's 12th World Congress on June 6th in Montreal. The company makes an implantable sacral neuromodulation system to manage chronic intractable urinary and fecal dysfunction. The system has a rechargeable implantable pulse generator designed to be small and long-lasting. (Business Wire)

Paper Elucidates Anti-Inflammatory Role of Vagus Nerve Stimulation

May 20, 2015 - Stimulation of either motor or sensory vagus nerve bundles can diminish inflammation, according to a paper in the journal Bioelectric Medicine. (Blackbird PR News)

Enrollment is Completed in a Pilot Clinical Trial Addressing Balance Issues in Multiple Sclerosis

May 20, 2015 - Helius Medical Technologies has completed enrollment for its pilot clinical trial at the Montreal Neurological Institute in which 14 patients with multiple sclerosis will be treated for balance and gait symptoms over the course of 14 weeks, undergoing a physiotherapy protocol combined with noninvasive stimulation of cranial nerves using the Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator (PoNS™). (Business Wire)

First Patient in Canada Receives Burst-Mode Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant

May 19, 2015 - Health Canada approved St. Jude Medical's Prodigy™ spinal cord stimulation system with burst technology, the company announced. The first Canadian patient was implanted with the system earlier this month by Ivar Mendez, M.D., Ph.D, FRCSC, FACS at Saskatoon Health Region’s Royal University Hospital. (Market Watch)

Woman With Lyme Disease Fares Better After Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment

May 14, 2015 - For Mother's Day, a woman writes about how her mother regained some function after treating Lyme Disease symptoms through deep brain stimulation. (Curry County Register)

Researchers Investigating Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Balance Disorder Seek to Expand Study

May 14, 2015 - Deakin University reported in the Journal of Neuropsychology http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jnp.12070/abstract that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation sessions helped reduce symptoms of Mal de debarquement syndrome in six out of seven patients. Now the researchers hope to receive funding to expand the clinical trial. (Herald Sun)

Project to Explore the Possibility of Adding Sensory Nerve Stimulation to Prosthetic Hands

May 13, 2015 - Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have received a three-year, nearly $1.9 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for a preclinical study to explore stimulating sensory nerves to add a sense of touch to prosthetic hands. (Newswise)

International Neuromodulation Society 12th World Congress Abstracts Reveal Field's Growth

May 14, 2015 - The International Neuromodulation Society issued a news release about the 12th World Congress abstracts that cover device innovation, expanding indications, and evidence of important outcome measures. Scientific Program Chair and President-Elect Dr. Timothy Deer is quoted as saying neuromodulation is viewed as a new treatment paradigm. (Newswise)

Poster on Vagus Nerve Stimulation at Headache Meeting Describes Treatment Efficacy

May 14, 2015 - A poster presentation at the International Headache Congress in Valencia, Spain reports that vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) inhibits cortical spreading depression (CSD), which is known to be the cause of migraine aura and a trigger for headache. Both invasive and noninvasive VNS were equally effective, and stimulation of less than 30 minutes reduced CSD for more than three hours, more quickly than prophylactic pharmaceutical migraine treatments. (electroCore)

Clinical Trial Will Explore Low-Frequency Stimulation Effects on Cognitive Decline in Parkinson's Disease Patients

May 14, 2015 - The University of California Davis Health System announced a clinical trial of a deep brain stimulation (DBS) approach that may limit cognitive decline in patients with Parkinson's disease. The approach involves DBS of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) using low-frequency theta stimulation targeting an isolated portion of the STN involved in cognition. The study will involve detailed before-and-after tests of memory, learning and rule use. (Health Canal)

Company Announces FDA Clearance for U.S. Sales of its Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation System for Major Depressive Disorder

May 14, 2015 - The Magstim Company Ltd. of Wales announced it has received FDA 510(k) clearance to market its Magstim Rapid2 Therapy System, a repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation system, for the treatment of drug resistant Major Depressive Disorder in the United States. (Magstim)

Company Receives Permission to Start a U.S. Clinical Trial of a Needle-Implanted, Wirelessly Powered Device in Overactive Bladder Patients

May 11, 2015 - Privately held StimGuard announced the FDA has approved the start of a clinical trial to evaluate a micro-sized device for overactive bladder (OAB) that can be placed completely through a needle. The announcement says the implant is wirelessly powered by an external, "electroceutical" microchip from Stimwave, a company founded by StimGuard's co-founder, which delivers small pulses of energy to electrodes near surrounding nerves. The StimGuard-device clinical trial is due to start in the U.S. in the summer of 2015. (Business Wire)

Device Maker Raises $38 Million in Financing

May 12, 2015 - Autonomic Technologies, Inc. announced it has received a series D round of financing that raised $38 million. The company said it will use the money to expand its marketing in Europe of Pulsante™, its microstimulator to treat severe headaches, and to fund an ongoing clinical study of the device in the U.S. to treat chronic cluster headache. Pulsante™ has received CE mark approval in Europe for treatment of cluster headache. (Military Technologies)

Company Faces Patent-Claims Challenge

May 11, 2015 - Nevro Corp. said Boston Scientific Corporation has filed two petitions at the U.S. Patent Office for inter partes review of claims that were previously granted to Nevro. A inter partes  petition challenges patent claims based on prior art and publication. (CNN Money)

Clinical Trial Begins in the U.S. for Obstructive Sleep Apnea Device

May 11, 2015 - ImThera Medical said the first two patients with obstructive sleep apnea were implanted with its aura6000 system in its U.S. clinical study. ImThera's device has received CE Mark approval in Europe, and is commercially available in some markets outside the U.S. (Mass Device)

Preclinical Research Demonstrates a Neurostransmitter Delivery System

May 8, 2015 - A research team including International Neuromodulation Society member Bengt Linderoth, MD, PhD, has published in Science Advances a proof-of-concept demonstration in laboratory mice of an implantable organic electronic device for neuropathic pain treatment. The implantable device releases the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobuyric acid) into the intrathecal space, electrically controlling the release of this positively charged molecule through by applying a current to drive it through an ion-screening electrophoretic gel in the device distribution channel. (IEEE Spectrum)

FDA Approves Paresthesia-Free Spinal Cord Stimulation System

May 8, 2015 - The FDA has approved the Senza system, Nevro Corp.'s spinal cord stimulation device that relieves trunk or limb pain without paresthesia. The company said in announcing the approval that the FDA is not restricting patients receiving the therapy from operating motor vehicles, that the system has 3T-conditional MRI compatibility, and received "superiority" labeling from the FDA. The FDA based its approval on a clinical study that showed 75% of patients treated had their chronic pain reduced by 50% within three months. Implant site pain and device lead dislocation were among the adverse events reported. (PR Newswire)

Woman in British Columbia Undergoes Deep Brain Stimulation for Multiple Sclerosis Tremor

May 8, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Christopher Honey, MD, was described as the only neurosurgeon in British Columbia who performs deep brain stimulation (DBS), in an article about a woman with multiple sclerosis whose DBS surgery to control the tremor of multiple sclerosis was documented by the news team. (Global News)

INS Announces Preconference and Satellite Events

May 7, 2015 - The International Neuromodulation Society announced two preconferences of the 12th World Congress, an Innovation Day and a daylong set of talks on Mechanisms of Action, on June 6 and 7 respectively -- as well as the Canadian Neuromodulation Society's free public lecture on neuromodulation the afternoon of June 6. (Business Wire)

Dallas Site Will Be One Center in a Clinical Trial of Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Post-Stroke Arm Rehabilitation

May 7, 2015 - The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas will be one of three sites to offer enrollment in a clinical trial of MicroTransponder Inc.'s vagus nerve stimulation system, Vivistim®, during post-stroke rehabilitation of arm function. (News-Medical.net)

Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation Studied in Patients With Drug-Resistant Artrial Fibrillation

May 6, 2015 - Researchers report a first-in-human, sham-controlled study of transcutaneous electrical vagus nerve stimulation in 40 patients who planned to undergo ablation for atrial fibrillation. After following the patients for several months, they say the results support the emerging paradigm of using neuromodulation to manage drug-refractory atrial fibrillation, which is attract for being nonpharmacological and nonablative. In 20 patients in the treatment arm, the study authors used a metal clip on the right ear to apply low-level stimulation to the auricular branch of the vagus nerve at the tragus. (Cardiac Rhythm News)

Woman With Multiple Sclerosis Recounts Her Decision to Turn to Deep Brain Stimulaton

May 6, 2015 - A Canadian woman whose multiple sclerosis lead to disabling tremors received a deep brain stimulation implant that will be turned on in June. She said already her symptoms have lessoned now that the electrodes are in place. (Muskokaregion.com)

Research Presentation Supports Increased Efficacy for Spinal Cord Stimulation With Decreased Wait Time

May 6, 2015 - A paper presented at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons annual meeting, based on a retrospective analysis of 762 patients, appears to support earlier findings that spinal cord stimulation efficacy is inversely proportional to the wait time. (Healio)

Paper Discusses Optimizing Lead Placement with Intraoperative Monitoring

May 6, 2015 - Intraoperative monitoring during spinal cord stimulation implantation can help verify accurate placement of the leads, according to a paper presented at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons annual meeting. The prospective study of 73 patients indicated that electromyography in particular may help streamline programming by indicating which contacts may be ideal. (Healio)

Tailored Spinal Cord Stimulation Improved Outcomes

May 6, 2015 - An analysis of 350 patients at 36 centers in the St. Jude Medical EMP3OWERTM study  indicates that tailoring lead type, number, and targeting of stimulation area improved clinical outcomes and correlated with increased odds of decreased opioid usage, according to a presentation at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons annual meeting. (Healio)

Biomedical Researchers Find Novel Polymer Leads Reduce MRI Heating

May 6, 2015 - Researchers at Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital reported using conductive polymers for novel potential neurostimulation leads that, through a similar radio-frequency interaction used to cloak some stealth aircraft, break up induced current, leading to less heating under magnetic resonance imaging conditions, according to tests with standard gel-filled models. They say the resistive tapered stripline technology reduces MRI-induced heating and allows use of higher-Tesla imaging systems. (The Engineer)

Device Company Completes Acquisition of Developer of Dorsal Root Ganglion Spinal Cord Stimulator

May 4, 2015 - St. Jude Medical announced it has completed acquisition of Spinal Modulation, Inc. The acquisition was completed on May 1. Spinal Modulation developed the Axium™ spinal cord stimulation system. That system has approval in the European Union and Australia. Results of a U.S. clinical trial, ACCURATE, will be presented at the International Neuromodulation Society 12th World Congress in June in Montreal, according to the company's announcement. (Business Wire)

Autistic Man Describes His Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

May 4, 2015 - A young man who has both obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and autism was treated for his severe, disabling OCD symptoms with deep brain stimulation (DBS). International Neuromodulation Society member Robert Buchanan, MD, said this case is the first in which a patient with that dual diagnosis has received DBS. He said it seems to help the brain's intrinsic rhythms of electrical activity become more normalized. The patient, who sought treatment two years ago, said he is more focused and interactive as a result. Researchers at Seton Brain and Spine Institute in Austin, Texas hope to focus on on why DBS worked, and whether it can help autism patients live fairly normal lives as well, the news coverage says. (KHOU)

Manufacturer Announces Plans to Spin Out Device Company

April 30, 2015 - Greatbatch, Inc. said it expects to spin off its QiG Group subsidiary, Algostim LLC, by the end of 2015, in order to create a new publicly traded company focused on commercializing the Algovita spinal cord stimulation system, which Greatbatch would continue to manufacture. (GlobeNewswire)

Company Announces FDA Approval of Spinal Cord Simulation System and Leads

April 30, 2015 - St. Jude Medial, Inc. said it has received FDA approval of its Protégé MRI™ spinal cord stimulation system, as well as approval for MRI compatibility of the company’s 60cm Octrode™ percutaneous leads. The leads received MR-conditional labeling for use with the Protégé MRI system. (Market Watch)

Sacral Neuromodulation Developer Raises Capital

April 30, 2015 - Axonics Modulation Technologies of Irvine, Calif. was reported to have raised $17.3 million, according to a regulatory filing. The company is developing sacral neuromodulation (SNM) technology to address bladder and fecal incontinence. A news article said the financing, on top of $32.6 million last year, is "proof that this neuromodulation trend [SNM] is really taking off." (Med City News)

Company Whose Stimulator Addresses Restless Leg Syndrome Announces U.S. Patent

April 30, 2015 - Sensory NeuroStimulation Inc., which produces a non-pharmacological stimulator for Restless Leg Syndrome, announced issuance of a U.S. patent covering technologies noninvasive treatment device, Relaxis (TM). (Business Wire)

Meeting Covers New Spinal Cord Stimulation Modes

April 2015 - An article about a presentation at the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists’ PostGraduate Assembly regarding spinal cord stimulation with burst or dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation cites articles from Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, calling a paper about a clinical study of DRG stimulation "perhaps the most notable . . . to date." (Anesthesiology News)

Article Calls Neuromodulation a Current Catchword

April 29, 2015 - Neuromodulation is in an article that lists the top 12 vetted, confirmed "bleeding edge" trends in neuropsychiatric care, which says "Neuromodulation is definitely a buzzword these days. Electroceuticals in particular are being explored to treat a range of neuropsychiatric disorders – from depression to Parkinson’s to schizophrenia."

Parkinson's Disease Patient Regains Quality of Life After Deep Brain Stimulation

April 29, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Robert Buchanan, MD, was quoted in an article about a patient who was able to return to his hobby of piloting a small plane solo after having deep brain stimulation to control symptoms of his Parkinson's disease. (KXAN)

Device Company Strikes Strategic Agreement With Maker of Surgical Navigation Software

April 27, 2015 - Boston Scientific, Inc. announced that in select countries, along with its Vercise™ deep brain stimulation system, it will begin distributing Brainlab AG's surgical planning and navigation portfolio. The Vercise system is available to treat Parkinson's disease, tremor and dystonia in Europe, Israel, and Australia as well as in some parts of Latin America and Asia Pacific. A U.S. clinical trial, INTREPID, is currently enrolling patients to evaluate the system's safety and effectiveness for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. (PR Newswire)

Poster: No Serious Cardiovascular Effects from Noninvasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation

April 27, 2015 - A poster at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting showed no meaningful cardiovascular adverse effects in 29 patients who use electroCore’s non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation as a home treatment for asthma. (Business Wire)

Wife of Well-Known Sports Figure Plans to Have Deep Brain Stimulation

April 25, 2015 - Deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery "used to be given to older sufferers, but they now realize it can be better giving it to younger patients," says the wife of a well-known former rugby player in Scotland. She anticipates undergoing DBS for her Parkinson's disease, diagnosed in 2003. (Daily Mail)

Article Compares Tonic and Burst Mode Spinal Cord Stimulation

May 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society members Cecile De Vos, MSc, PhD and Tim Vancamp, PT, MBA, are among authors of a retrospective analysis of 102 patients at two centers in Benelux who received a trial of burst-mode spinal cord stimulation after having been receiving tonic stimulation for chronic pain. The article concludes that burst mode can further improve pain suppression in patients who respond to tonic stimulation and provide pain relief to a proportion of patients who no longer respond to tonic stimulation. (Clinical Journal of Pain)

Researchers Unveil Mapping Analysis for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

April 22, 2015 - Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania plan to test a software tool to predict optimal locations for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy, they announced at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting. They are mapping white matter connections within the brain by applying network control theory to imaging data in order to improve TMS effectiveness. (Medical Xpress)

Deep Brain Stimulation System Receives European Approval for Full-Body MRI Scanning

April 22, 2015 - Medtronic announced that European regulators have approved the use of full-body MRI scans in patients who have one of their Activa deep brain stimulation systems. (Mass Device)

Researchers Recommend a Network Approach to Treating Central Post-Stroke Pain

April 21, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society members Koichi Hosomi, MD, PhD and Youichi Saitoh, MD, PhD are among co-authors of a review that suggests characterizing central post-stroke pain as a disorder of brain network reorganization could allow progress in mechanism-based therapies, such as brain stimulation using either motor cortex stimulation, deep brain stimulation, or transcranial magnetic stimulation. (Nature Reviews Neurology)

Company Raises Series B Financing for System to Treat Depression

April 21, 2015 - Boston-based Tal Medical has raised $14 million in Series B financing, led by PureTech Ventures, to further develop its low-field magnetic stimulation system for use in depression and bipolar disorder. (Med City News)

Device Maker Exercises an Acquisition Option for $175 million, adding Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation to Its Portfolio

April 20, 2015 - St. Jude Medical, Inc. announced that, for $175 million and sales-based milestone payments, it will exercise its option to acquire Spinal Modulation, Inc., which has submitted a PMA application for marketing approval of its Axium™ system for stimulation of the dorsal root ganglion to manage intractable chronic pain. The system has received a CE Mark and is subject to a U.S. clinical trial, ACCURATE. The company said in its acquisition announcement that results from the clinical trial will be presented at the International Neuromodulation Society's 12th World Congress in June in Montreal. St. Jude Medical made an initial $40 million equity investment in Spinal Modulation in 2013.  (Business Wire)

Neurostimulation is Now Available in East Africa

April 2015 - Three types of neuromodulation are now offered at the Aga Khan University Hospital in Kenya -- spinal cord stimulation (SCS), sacral nerve stimulation and intrathecal drug delivery. An article says 43 patients have received neurostimulation systems, and that SCS is offer to both cancer and non-cancer patients when other methods do not relieve chronic pain. (allAfrica.com)

Study Suggests Stimulating Motor Networks May Be Better Option for Modulating Excitability

April 20, 2015 - A study in healthy subjects of distributed but functionally connected regions of the motor cortex indicates that stimulation of the brain network rather than particular, isolated regions, may be more effective in modulating motor excitability over time, according to a presentation at the American Academy of Neurology Annual meeting. (Neurology Advisor)

Clinical Trial in Australia to Investigate Noninvasive Stimulation in Teen-Agers with Severe Depression

April 19, 2015 - Monash Health in Melbourne is will investigate whether transcranial magnetic stimulation helps relieve severe depression in up to 40 teen-agers. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Prospective Clinical Trial of Phrenic Nerve Stimulation in Central Sleep Apnea Meets Its Primary Endpoint

March 2015 - In a prospective multicenter trial, 57 patients with central sleep apnea underwent transvenous unilateral phrenic nerve stimulation. There was a 55% reduction in the apnea-hyponea index at three months, with efficacy maintained at six months. Scores for the patients who had heart failure also improved. Overall, favorable effects on quality of life and sleepiness were noted, although 26% of patients had device- or procedure-related adverse events in the first six months, primarily due to lead repositioning early on. (Journal of the American College of Cardiology)

Study Examines Globus Pallidus Internus Stimulation for Medically Refractory Tourette Syndrome

April 13, 2015 - Researchers in the U.K. report that bilateral globus pallidus internus stimulation for severe, medically refractory Tourette syndrome showed a "significant improvement in tic severity, with an overall acceptable safety profile" in a double-blind, randomized crossover trial of 15 patients who were at least 20 years old. The patients received three months each of active or sham stimulation in random order in the crossover trial, and were offered and continued to have open-label stimulation afterward for one month or more. The authors conclude that future research should help identify the most effective brain stimulation target to control both tics and associated comorbidities, as well as delineate factors that predict individual patient response. (The Lancet)

Research Indicates Deep Brain Stimulation Facilitates Shifts in Neural Signaling

April 16, 2015 - Researchers who recently published their work in Nature Neuroscience showing a de-coupling of brain oscillations involving the motor cortex during deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease patients had supposed stimulation would decrease the strength of beta waves (3 - 30 Hz), but instead found that there was less synchrony between those oscillations and the amplitude of broadband activity in the brain (50 - 200 Hz), an article in medwireNews explains. In coverage in the New York Times, the role of beta oscillations is described as facilitating coordination among different parts of the brain, with intentional movement involving a temporary decrease in synchronization of neurons in the motor cortex. The authors said phase-amplitude coupling might be a biomarker of parkinsonism that could be used as a control signal for a closed-loop neurostimulation system. (New York Times)

Neural Recording Suggests Two Resting-Tremor Subtypes in Parkinson's Disease

April 15, 2015 - Recording local field potentials in the subthalamic nucleus in Parkinson's disease patients indicates two distinct subgroups of patients with respect to resting tremor, and also suggests a new approach to demand-driven stimulation, by using artificial neural networks to detect signals associated with tremor and apply stimulation at that time, according to a recent paper in Biomedical Processing and Control. (Medical Xpress)

Authors Describe Closed-Loop Neurostimulation Systems for Epilepsy

April 14, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society members Kristl Vonck, MD, PhD and Paul Boon, MD, PhD review closed-loop neurostimulation for epilepsy, asking, "Will neurostimulation close the treatment gap for patients with refractory epilepsy?" (Nature Neurology)

Article Describes Spinal Cord Stimulation Treatment in Northern Ireland

April 14, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Paul McConaghy, MD commented on the impact of chronic pain in a person's life in an article that calls spinal cord stimulation "a revolutionary . . . treatment which is transforming the lives of people who have suffered years of debilitating pain." (Portadown Times)

U.S. Regulators Approve Merger Involving Vagus Nerve Stimulation Device Maker

April 14, 2015 - Cyberonics and Sorin Group announced approval from U.S. anti-trust regulators of their all-stock merger, which is expected to close by the end of the 3rd quarter. (Mass Device)

Pilot Clinical Trial Planned to Evaluate Neurostimulation for Balance Issues Due to Brain Injury

April 14, 2015 - Helius Medical Technologies received approval from the FDA to proceed with enrollment of a pilot clinical trial to evaluate its Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator (PoNS) in the treatment of patients with balance problems due to traumatic brain injury. The company plans to conduct the PoNS trial at medical centers in Portland, Ore., Orlando and Montreal. (Mass Device)

Study Supports Evidence that Spinal Cord Stimulation Does Not Affect Sensory Characteristics

May 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Kaare Meier, MD, PhD, and colleagues have published a randomized, blinded, crossover study whose results support existing evidence that spinal cord stimulation SCS does not change sensory characteristics. The study examined 14 long-term users of SCS. Their thresholds for thermal or mechanical stimuli were the same whether they were on or off stimulation. (Clinical Journal of Pain)

Canadian Neuromodulation Society Plans a Public Event Presenting Neuromodulation Therapies

April 14, 2015 - The Canadian chapter of the International Neuromodulation Society has announced a free public event, prior to the 12th World Congress in Montreal, for specialists and patients to present neuromodulation therapies -- spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain, sacral neuromodulation, and deep brain stimulation. The event in French and English takes place at the same hotel as the INS congress, the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, on Saturday, June 6, 2015 from 12 - 4:30 p.m. (International Neuromodulation Society)

Research May Adapt Deep Brain Stimulation for Essential Tremor

April 14, 2015 - Researchers at the National Science Foundation-funded Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) at the University of Washington are starting to recruit essential tremor patients for a study of closed-loop deep brain stimulation (DBS), in order to provide DBS only when needed. This should allow longer battery life, and, the researchers say, they may be able to incorporate the choice for patients to switch stimulation parameters, for instance, to temporarily facilitate speech at the expense of tremor. Medtronic is an industry member of CSNE, and the research will use Medtronic’s Activa PC+S DBS device with the Nexus-D control system. (University of Washington)

Data Point to Role of Deep Brain Stimulation in Halting Excessive Neural Circuit Synchrony in Parkinson's Disease

April 13, 2015 - Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco have published research in Nature Neuroscience showing deep brain stimulation (DBS) halts excessive synchrony in the motor circuit of Parkinson's disease patients. The authors placed an array of six recording electrodes on the motor cortex during a DBS implantation procedure, and asked 12 of the 23 patients in the study to perform a reaching task of pointing to a dot. Recordings were taken in the motor area before, during, and after DBS, both when the patient was resting and when carrying out the task. (Medical Express)

Nonprofit Offers Parkinson's Disease-Specific Training for Speech Therapists and Patients

April 9, 2015 - A Dallas-area nonprofit, Parkinson Voice Project, trains speech pathologists to work with Parkinson's patients and provides out-patient speech therapy with the aid of charitable donations. One of the clients, who came to the agency after having deep brain stimulation surgery, says his articulation is better now that he has practiced consciously concentrating on aspects of speech -- such as formulating a statement, breathing, and enunciating -- that were automatic before. (Dallas Morning News)

Review: Alternatives to Tonic Spinal Cord Stimulation May Enhance Therapy's Cost-Effectiveness

April 6, 2015 - A literature review by International Neuromodulation Society members Jason Pope, MD; Steven Falowski, MD; and Timothy Deer, MD, says, "High-frequency and burst stimulation . . . may offer new salvage strategies to mitigate spinal cord stimulation failure and improve cost–effectiveness by reducing explant rate." (Informa)

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation is Explored for Refractory Childhood Epilepsy

April 9, 2015 - Investigators at Princess Margaret Hospital are using transcranial direct current stimulation to investigate and treat childhood refractory and benign focal epilepsy. (Perth Now)

Adaptive Technology Recipients Cope With Niche Market Limitations

April 9, 2015 - An article describes the issue of spinal-cord injury patients who received adaptive technology implants that then went off the market. (MIT Technology Review)

Company Announces Grant to Fund Development of Optimized Implantable Pulse Generator for Post-Amputation Pain Indications

April 7, 2015 - SPR Therapeutics received a $1.45 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop an implantable peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) system to treat post-amputation pain. The Small Business Innovation Research phase II grant follows a $2.8 million grant from the Department of Defense for ongoing safety and efficacy trials of the company's PNS therapy for post-amputation pain. The NIH grant will fund development of the company's second-generation implantable pulse generator that should be small enough to comfortably place in the residual limb of an amputee. (Crain's Cleveland Business)

Article Suggests Letting Parkinson's Disease Patients Know Sooner About Deep Brain Stimulation

April 3, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Brian Kopell, MD was quoted in an article about a patient who received deep brain stimulation several years after his early-onset Parkinson's disease. His 57-year-old neurosurgery patient's symptoms improved to the point that he will be competing in the Mont Tremblant Half Ironman in Quebec in June. The patient learned about the treatment option from his wife, and Kopell said that patients who are encouraged to try additional medications and not told about the alternative miss the chance for better quality of life during "precious years of their lives". (New York Daily News)

Review Calls Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Partial Epilepsy Seizures "Effective and Well Tolerated"

April 3, 2015 - A Cochrane review of five studies, including two rated as high quality, found that "vagus nerve stimulation is effective, when used with one or more antiepileptic drugs, to reduce the number of seizures for people whose epilepsy does not respond to drugs alone." (Cochrane)

Presentation Covers Emerging Spinal Cord Stimulation Modalities

April 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Timothy Deer, MD, presented three spinal cord stimulation (SCS) approaches under development that could help patients who do not respond to conventional SCS or find associated paresthesias uncomfortable. In his presentation at the North American Neuromodulation Society 2014 annual meeting in December, he discussed high-frequency stimulation, dorsal root ganglion stimulation, and burst waveform stimulation. These emerging modalities are commercially available now in Europe and Australia. (Pain Medicine News)

Privately Held Company Appoints Medical Advisory Board Chair

April 3, 2015 - Stimwave Technologies Incorporated announced it has appointed Gabor Racz, MD, as chair of its medical advisory board. The privately held company is developing wirelessly powered, injectable, microtechnology neurostimulators. Widely acknowledged for his leadership in pain medicine, Dr. Racz is emeritus chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at Texas Tech University Health Science Center, and belongs to the International Neuromodulation Society. Other INS members on the Stimwave board are David Kloth, MD, and Ralph Rashbaum, MD. (Business Wire)

Article Reviews Relevant Aspects of Neuropathic Pain for General Practitioners

April 3, 2015 - A comprehensive clinical review of neuropathic pain covers pathophysiology, diagnosis, management, and NICE guidelines. It discusses the role of spinal cord stimulation in managing such indications as failed back surgery syndrome and complex regional pain syndrome, and anticipated future developments in neurostimulation. (GPonline)

Interface Extended Perceptual Abilities of Laboratory Research Subjects

April 2, 2015 - Researchers at the University of Tokyo brought a sense of direction to blind rats through providing input from a geomagnetic compass. The input stimulated the animals' visual cortex via a prosthetic interface. The interface did not restore vision but permitted the animals to develop an awareness of their orientation in space, so that they learned to navigate mazes to find a food reward as well as their sighted counterparts. (Phys.org)

Researchers Demonstrate Substance-Releasing, Potentially Implantable, Electrodes

March 26, 2015 - A team of scientists modified bioelectronic sense-and-act systems to create electrodes capable of sensing and substance-releasing functions. A sensing electrode was activated by substances that ranged from small biomolecules to proteins and bacterial cells. Activation generated current and a reductive potential, which, on the second connected electrode, dissolved a matrix cross-linked by positively charged iron moieties (Fe3+). This action released a variety of compounds -- drug-like chemical species, antibacterial agents, and enzymes that activated a biofuel cell. The researchers propose applications for implanted devices that might operate autonomously. (The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters)

Non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation is a Finalist in a Technology Business Competition

March 30, 2015 - The New Jersey-based company electroCore, which announced that it was one of six finalists in a broad technology category of nominees that received recognition recently at the annual FT ArcelorMittal Boldness in Business awards in London. The company was nominated for its development of gammaCore, a non-invasive, hand-held vagus nerve stimulation device to treat and prevent severe, primary headache -- cluster headache and migraine. "We believe that stimulating the nervous system to alter the biochemistry of the brain is the future of medicine for many indications, and will, because of its safety, tolerability, cost effectiveness, and ease of use, soon represent the norm for resolving many medical conditions," said Chief Operating Officer Frank Amato. (electroCore)

National Newscast Features Research Intended to Boost Learning

March 31, 2015 - A television segment shows a science correspondent using a flight simulator before, and after, receiving transcranial direct current stimulation intended to help consolidate motor-memory training. (PBS News Hour)

Privately Held Firm Announces Patent Allowing "Beat Technology" Spinal Cord Stimulation Claims

March 20, 2015 - Privately held Meagan Medical, Inc., a research arm of RS Medical based in Vancouver, WA announced issuance of a U.S. patent for delivering high frequency stimulation to the spinal cord with the ability to direct a higher beat output toward the spinal column. The patent includes claims for delivering stimulation with base frequencies between 500 Hz to 20 kHz while generating a directionally controllable beat frequency between 0-250 Hz. (Megan Medical, Inc.)

Magazine Article Focuses on Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

April 6, 2015 - A staff writer explores using transcranial direct current stimulation and the state of the approach in university research labs and do-it-yourself endeavors. (The New Yorker)

Researchers Model Effects of Kilohertz Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation

March 30, 2015 - A paper by International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD and co-authors about computer modeling of the effects of kilohertz frequency spinal cord stimulation predicted effects under various stimulation-target conditions. The results suggest that the mechanisms of reducing perception of chronic pain with this intervention may not occur through direct activation or conduction block of the dorsal column or dorsal root fibers. (Anesthesiology)

News Article Describes Use of Burst Spinal Cord Stimulation

March 30, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society members Vivek Mehta, MD and Ganesan Baranidhavan, MD, are quoted in a story in the U.K. about a woman with chronic back pain who found relief through the use of burst-technology spinal cord stimulation. (Daily Mail)

Article Predicts Neuromodulation Will Change Neurologists' Approach to Headache Management

March 2015 - Citing a "rapidly growing bank of data about devices for neuromodulation," an article about the Eighth Annual Winter Conference of the Headache Cooperative of the Pacific says this intervention may soon change the way neurologists manage patients with headache, by potentially starting first with the least invasive devices before trying medications or progressively more invasive methods. (Neurology Reviews)

Research Study Links Serotonin Neuromodulation in the Brain to the Alleviation of Neuropathic Pain

March 2015 - A paper in Cell reports that increasing seritoninergic neuromodulation in the anterior cingulate cortex of laboratory animals restored normal integration of synaptic inputs following the development of neuropathic pain, such as from sciatic nerve injury. In the forebrain, in response to mechanical pain, enhanced excitation and neuronal firing was seen in the dendrites of layer 5 pyramidal neurons, specifically in the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-regulated channels, and that hypersensitivity was alleviated by activating serotonin receptors. (Cell)

Co-Authors Ask: "Is Deep Brain Stimulation a Treatment Option for Addiction?"

March 15, 2015  - An article by International Neuromodulation Society member Jens Kuhn, MD, and colleagues in the Netherlands describes the difficulty in recruiting and retaining clinical trial subjects who have cocaine or heroin addiction for studies of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in addiction, compared to the dedication observed in patients who pursue DBS for obsessive compulsive disorder. Differences in social support and other factors are discussed. (Addiction)

Blog Describes Obstructive Sleep Apnea Device Under Development

March 27, 2015 - A Belgium-based business pursuing neuromodulation applications, Nyxoah, was featured in a blog by the Health Cluster of Wallonia. The 20-person, clinical-stage company has R&D facilities in Israel and is developing an implant to treat obstructive sleep apnea that is wirelessly powered by an adhesive patch and activation chip worn at night. (Win Health)

Company Starts Pilot Study in Overactive Bladder

March 26, 2015 - Bioness, Inc. said four patients have successfully received tibial nerve stimulation implants in a Canadian pilot study of the company's StimRouter Neuromodulation System in refractory overactive bladder. The system uses an implanted lead and external pulse transmitter. (Business Wire)

Neural Synchronicity Study Explores Role of Low-Frequency Deep Brain Stimulation

March 25, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society members Jamie Henderson, MD, and Hong Yu, MD, are among authors of a study that examined intraoperative effects of 60 Hz stimulation during implantation of deep brain stimulation (DBS) leads in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) of Parkinson's disease patients. The authors observed an effect on baseline neural synchronicity. The low-frequency stimulation reinforced or inhibited synchronicity of patient-specific cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic-cortical loop(s) that contribute to the baseline resting state neural synchrony in the STN. It is for this reason, they propose, that effects of 60 Hz DBS may vary from high frequency DBS in different patients on managing such symptoms as either freezing of gait and speech on one hand or tremor on the other. (PLOS One)

A Multimodal Approach to Noninvasive Brain Stimulation is Proposed

March 25, 2015 - Researchers at the University of Minnesota propose a new concept for noninvasively targeting deeper brain structures through activation of various pathways, such as auditory, visual, somatosensory, motor, cognitive and limbic. They activated auditory and somatosensory pathways in guinea pigs and observed differential, timing dependent plasticity in neural firing within the auditory system, both in the deep brain and cortical areas. Their proposed approach would be called Multimodal Synchronization Therapy (mSync). They say incorporating multiple types of pathways using different, precisely timed, activation patterns may enable treatment of various brain disorders. (Scientific Reports)

Meeting Presentation Shares Results of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial of High Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation

March 25, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member B. Todd Sitzman, MD, MPH reported results of a randomized controlled clinical trial of 171 chronic pain patients that compared high frequency spinal cord stimulation (SCS) to conventional SCS at the American Academy of Pain Medicine Annual Meeting in March. He said the high frequency device in the study, recently developed by Nevro Corp., was statistically superior in meeting study endpoints through up to 12 months of followup. (National Pain Report)

Physicians Document Successful Spinal Cord Stimulation Implant in a Scoliosis Patient

March 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Sanjay Sanstry, MD and colleagues report on a case of successfully implanting a spinal cord stimulator in a chronic pain patient despite an abnormally curved spine due to scoliosis. They report that patience and knowledge of spinal anatomy were essential in placing the stimulator appropriately for pain relief. (Anesthesiology News)

Noninvasive Neurostimulation Reduced Symptoms of Rare Balance Disorder

March 25, 2015 - Researchers in Australia report a preliminary study of 13 patients who have a rare condition that causes a persistent perception of motion for weeks, months or years after leaving a moving boat, car or airplane, mal de debarquement syndrome. Although the cause is unknown, neuroplasticity may be a contributing factor. The research team say that compared to sham, four weeks of twice-daily sessions of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex led to improved balance and confidence in daily activities in this group of patients. (Journal of Neuropsychology)

News Reports Detail Use of Rechargeable Deep Brain Stimulator in India

March 25, 2015 - In Mumbai, a retiree with Parkinson's disease and an adolescent with dystonia both received rechargeable deep brain stimulation (DBS) systems to treat their condition. The boy received four stimulation programs that his parents can choose between since he lives too far to return frequently for programming checkups, which commonly are done in Western countries for dystonia patients who receive DBS. Their systems' batteries are expected to last about 25 years, so the patients do not anticipate needing repeat surgery every few years to replace their implantable pulse generator. (Daily News & Analysis)

University Collaborators Explore Nanotube Strand as a Potential Closed-Loop Neurostimulation Lead

March 25, 2015 - Spun nanotubes combine into strong, soft, conductive fibers about one-fourth the diameter of a human hair, which may be suitable for biomedical devices when the strands are insulated with a polymer coating. Materials science and preclinical biomedical researchers at Rice University are collaborating on demonstrating the proof-of-concept for using such components in lieu of typical brain-stimulation leads. Their bidirectional neurostimulation work in a rat model of Parkinson's disease was published online in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano. (Controlled Environments)

Review Examines Potential of Deep Brain Stimulation Research in Obesity

March 25, 2015 - Co-authors from Stanford University review the potential of targeting the hypothalamus or reward circuitry of the brain through deep brain stimulation (DBS) for obesity, in light of recent clinical trials of DBS for chronic cluster headache, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. (Cureus)

Noninvasive Neurostimulation Reduced Tinnitus Symptoms

March 25, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Christian Hauptmann, PhD and co-authors report in BioMed Research International on a multicenter clinical trial of 12 months of non-invasive neurostimulation in 189 patients in Germany who have chronic tonal tinnitus. The patients received acoustic coordinated reset neuromodulation, which delivers tones centered around the characteristic frequency of the patient's tinnnittus percept. This is designed to reduce neural synchrony within the primary auditory cortices. According to a news release from a clinic in the UK that offers this treatment, the treatment  reduced symptoms such as severity, loudness and annoyance by nearly 40%. (PR Newswire)

Will Nanoparticles Enable Wireless and Minimally Invasive Deep Brain Stimulation?

March 24, 2015 - An article reports on two streams of research that aim to introduce nanoparticles to neuronal tissue and expose it to light, heating the metallic nanoparticles and making the heat-sensitive neurons fire nervous impulses as a result. The article says the work might eventually allow "wireless and minimally invasive" deep brain stimulation of the human brain. Initially, one group plans to apply the technique to treat loss of light-sensitive cells in the retina. (The Guardian)

Summary of Published Study Recaps Benefits of Sacral Neuromodulation for Mild-to-Moderate Overactive Bladder

March 24, 2015 - A recent synopsis of a previously published study of sacral neuromodulation (SNM) in overactive bladder concludes that SNM is safe and effective in patients who have mild to moderate symptoms, and shows a superior reduction in symptoms and improved quality of life compared to standard medical treatment. (Practice Update)

Meeting Presentation Covers Neuromodulation Device to Treat Heart Failure

March 23, 2015 - The first randomized controlled trial of carotid baroreflex stimulation therapy for heart failure treatment was presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 64th Annual Scientific Sessions in March in San Diego and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology ‒ Heart Failure. The multicenter trial of 146 patients showed safety and improved functional status from the intervention that stimulates the carotid sinus to balance activity of the autonomic nervous system. The system helps reduce sympathetic activity and enhance vagal tone, and was described in the article as "a more global form of neuromodulation" than vagal nerve stimulation that targets only the parasympathetic nervous system. (Cardiac Rhythm News)

Study Shows Cortical Involvement in Chronic Pain Patients

March/April 2015 - An observational study seeking to better understand supraspinal mechanisms when long-term spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is beneficial in chronic pain examined cortical signaling in nine patients, comparing evoked potentials with SCS and after SCS is halted for 24 hours. The study showed SCS influenced both pain thresholds and cortical signalling. The data suggest regions involved with cognitive/associative processing of pain were involved. (Pain Physician)

Study: Deep Brain Stimulation Improved Existing Pain in Parkinson's Disease Patients

March 23, 2015 - In long-term followup of 24 patients who received deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease, patients experienced a reduction in preexisting pain after receiving the implant. In a followup eight years later, however, three-quarters of the patients had developed new pain in the muscles and joints for unknown reasons. (HealthDay)

Study Points to Potential Role for Peripheral Nerve Stimulation in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

March 18, 2015 - A research team in Australia determined that six weeks of peripheral nerve stimulation reversed axonal dysfunction following spinal cord injury, potentially ameliorating such post-injury effects as development of neuropathic pain or muscle atrophy, thereby enhancing rehabilitation outcomes. (Journal of Neurophysiology)

Company With Novel Implanted Stimulator for Pain Plans to Add Staff

March 18, 2015 - Stimwave Technologies of Miami Beach, FL announced plans to double in size by hiring 20 staff members, primarily for clinical support, over the coming year, and plans to move to Fort Lauderdale in May. The company relocated to Florida about a year ago from Arizona in order to be in a location that is central to customers in the U.S., Central America and Europe. The company has a 12-cm Freedom Stimulator for spinal cord stimulation to treat chronic pain, and plans to release a peripheral nerve stimulator later this year. (South Florida Business Journal)

Multicenter Study Provides Evidence for Deep Brain Stimulation in Dystonia

March 3, 2015 - A multicenter study of 55 dystonia patients who were followed for up to 92 months provided Class IV evidence that long-term deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the internal pallidum improved the condition in patients with monogenic isolated dystonia types DYTi and DYT6, as well as patients without known monogenic cause (non-DYT). The effect of DBS in the eight DYT6 patients appeared less predictable, suggesting that generic testing and counseling for known dystonia gene mutations may be indicated. Regardless of what type of dystonia the patients had, those with a shorter duration between onset and surgery had better control postoperatively. (Neurology)

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Rouses Popular Interest

March 7, 2015 - An article in a quarterly technology supplement of The Economist describes the state of interest in transcranial direct current stimulation, particular from home hobbyists or consumer-oriented startups. The article summarizes meta-analyses of published studies that cast doubt on claims of cognitive enhancement, but also quotes experimenters who say the stimulation can enhance some functional performance under some conditions. (The Economist)

University Talk Reviews State of Deep Brain Stimulation for Severe Depression

March 17, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Christopher Honey, MD, was quoted about the desire to identify potential responders in advance in an article that reported on a University of British Columbia talk by neurologist Helen Mayberg about deep brain stimulation (DBS) research in depression. Dr. Honey, who is based in Vancouver, participated in an early clinical trial in this indication. The article says that in addition to Mayberg's studies, researchers are interested in the potential of DBS for obsessive-compulsive disorder, anorexia nervosa, Tourette syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. (Vancouver Sun)

Engineers Demonstrate an Adhesive Electrode That Might Provide an External "Brain Computer Interface"

March 16, 2015 - Materials scientists have reported a soft, wearable electrode that stays on for more than two weeks and recorded EEGs of three volunteers when attached to the scalp behind the ear. The foldable collection of gold electrodes stays on using van der Waals forces, which are also used in nature to help geckoes climb vertical walls. The development was described as a potential "persistent" brain computer interface. (IEEE Spectrum)

Device Company Receives Technology Development Grant

March 16, 2015 - Highland Instruments, Inc. announced a fast-track SBIR grant from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health to evaluate its ElectroSonic Stimulation (“ESStim™”) for noninvasive brain stimulation to suppress pain from osteoarthritis of the knee. The technology combines independently controlled electromagnetic and ultrasonic fields that focus and boost neurostimulation currents via tuned electromechanical coupling in neural tissue. (Business Wire)

Company Says it is Bullish on Electroceuticals

March 12, 2015 - "You can easily see these devices getting really small and really smart," NIH neural engineering program director Kip Ludwig, PhD commented in an article about GlaxoSmithKline's interest in potentially ushering in a new wave of miniature, autonomous, bioelectronic neuromodulation treatments. GSK head of bioelectronics research and development Kristoffer Famm, PhD described the work as trying to "basically redefine neuromodulation." The article's sources said these treatments may enter clinics in a decade if hurdles such as improvements in capabilities of power sources are solved. (CNBC)

Review Notes Relief Provided by Spinal Cord Stimulation for Refractory Ischemic Pain

March 10, 2015 - Spinal cord stimulation "provides in part long-term pain relief in otherwise intractable chronic pain of ischemic origin with a relatively low complication rate," according to a literature review by authors from the Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms University Hospital in Bonn, Germany. (The Clinical Journal of Pain)

International Neuromodulation Society Member to Summarize Deep Brain Stimulation in Webinar

March 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jamie Henderson, MD will co-lead a webinar March 19 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research on "Treating the Brain: New Approaches to Deep Brain Stimulation and Beyond." The hour-long session is intended for primary care physicians, family practice physicians, general medicine physicians, geriatricians, general neurologists, movement disorder specialists, and other practitioners who manage patients with Parkinson's disease. (Michael J. Fox Foundation)

Company Announces First Implants of Wireless Neurostimulator

March 10, 2015 - Stimwave Technologies Incorporated announced the first patients have been implanted with its wireless stimulator designed to manage chronic back and leg pain. The patients were implanted in January 2015 in Tampa, Florida under the care of International Neuromodulation Society member Sunil Panchal, MD. The company said in its announcement that the device essentially allows MRI examinations to be performed on all parts of the patient, under a 3-Tesla MRI conditional rating. An evaluation of the device's MRI compatibility was published in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface by INS member, and lead author, Frank G. Shellock, PhD. (Business Wire)

Researchers Report Successful Outcome of Deep Brain Stimulation in Patients with Genetically-Caused Tremor

March 2015 - Researchers associated with the University of Tübingen report on bilateral deep brain stimulation of the nucleus ventralis intermedius in three patients who had fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome. The neurostimulation resulted in sustained improvement of both tremor and ataxia in a follow-up that lasted as long as four years. The authors conclude their data on patients who have a genetic cause of tremor "may contribute to improved patient stratification for neurostimulation therapy in the future." (Parkinsonism & Related Disorders)

Show Features One of the First Patients to Receive Deep Brain Stimulation for Anorexia

March 7, 2015 - Three years after she became the third clinical trial subject to undergo deep brain stimulation for anorexia, a young woman is profiled in a television special. Since her surgery and intensive in-patient participation in an eating disorders program, a total of 17 other patients have now participated in the clinical trial of the intervention that her neurosurgeon cautions is thought of as a symptomatic treatment. (CTV 5)

Decision-Analysis Study Examines Potential Effectiveness of Deep Brain Stimulation in Alzheimer's Disease

March 6, 2015 - If deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Alzheimer's disease brings the condition to a mild state or better for a year before continuing on its natural course, that would considered a success according to a decision analysis model that compared alternative courses of treatment and quality of life. The authors conclude that a success rate of 20 - 75% would be cost-effective for DBS in this condition, and above 80%, the treatment would be both clinically more effective, and more cost-effective, than standard treatment. (Journal of Neurology)

Foundations Team Up to Support Research Into Neurostimulation for Spine-Injured Patients

March 5, 2015 - The Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation are supporting eight of 36 individuals living with spinal cord injury who will undergo a clinical trial expected to start this year that explores whether, in certain spine-injured patients, epidural stimulation can be used to recover a significant level of autonomic control. (PR Newswire)

Focal Modulation With Novel Means May Help to Develop Future Neural-Circuit-Specific Therapeutic Interventions

April 2015 - DREADDs (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs) are synthetic molecules that modulate cellular activity by affecting signaling cascades; a recent review describes how this slower-onset modulation regulates behavior over time. A perspective article in the Feb. 24, 2015 issue of Nature Neuroscience says both "designer receptor technologies" and optogenetics, aid in development of new interventions or may form the basis of new therapeutics. These tools, the article states, "provide unprecedented and much needed specificity, allowing for spatial, temporal and cell type-selective modulation of neuronal circuits." (Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences)

Report Details Deep Brain Stimulation in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

March 2, 2015 - A neurosurgeon in India describes an observational study in four patients from 2010 to 2012 who had progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) in which mobility problems do not respond to medication. Bilateral stimulation of the pedunculopontine nucleus (between the lower midbrain and the brainstem) at 20-45 Hz improved gait in the patients at 6 months followup. Two patients with a subtype of the degenerative disorder lost improvements at 18 months. The author concludes the procedure can be safely performed in PSP patients despite mid-brain atrophy. (The Times of India)

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.

Learn More . . .

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:


If you are not a medical professional
and you are searching for information about neuromodulation and how these types of treatment could benefit a specific condition such as treatment-resistant headache or other chronic pain syndromes, you may find the sections titled Therapies, About Neuromodulation or FAQs particularly helpful.

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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