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Company Opens an International Headquarters in Germany

Nov. 25, 2015 - Autonomic Technologies, Inc. is opening a new international headquarters in Munich, Germany. The company is commercializing sphenopalatine ganglion stimulation for cluster headache, and its device has received CE Mark in Europe. (Market Wired)

Dopamine Detection Points to More-Complex Role in Learning

Nov. 23, 2015 - Rapid detection of dopamine in the brains of 17 patients with Parkinson's disease who were undergoing deep brain stimulation surgery suggests dopamine's role in learning and decision making is more complex than previously thought. The researchers used a carbon fiber electrode and fast-scan cyclic voltammetry to record dopamine fluctuations while the patients played an investment game. The data indicated that dopamine neurons appear to track not merely risk and reward, but also whether an outcome could have been better or worse. (EurkeAlert)

Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery Performed with Continuous MRI Guidance

Nov. 23, 2015 - MRI Interventions, Inc. announced the first MRI-guided electrode placement for deep brain stimulation surgery in Arizona, at the Banner - University Medical Center in Tucson. (CNN Money)

Researchers Investigate Impact of Vagus Nerve Stimulation on Sleep Breathing Disorders

Nov. 23, 2015 - A research study evaluated the effects of vagus nerve stimulator implantation on 23 patients with epilepsy. After implantation, 57.9% of the patients developed new-onset mild to moderate sleep breathing disorders. The researchers linked the problems to laryngeal motility patterns, and call for the need to routinely examine these issues before and after implantation, through collaboration between neurologists and otolaryngologists. (Neurology Advisor)

Group Eyes Commercialization of Neuromodulation to Control Bleeding

Nov. 22, 2015 - A nerve-stimulation device under development to control bleeding is expected to be subject to a new spin-out company in three months, as a step toward preparation for clinical trials. (Innovate Long Island)

Company Announces FDA Approval of Spinal Cord Stimulation System

Nov. 19, 2015 - St. Jude Medical announced FDA approval of its Proclaim Elite Spinal Cord Stimulation System, a non-rechargeable device that is upgradable to allow for new simulation waveforms and software updates. The patient controller and physician programmer use wireless and mobile technology for use during a trial phase and for tailoring stimulation parameters, respectively. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Company Says Its Device to Address Heart Failure Will Have Expedited FDA Review

Nov. 19, 2015 - Minneapolis-based CVRx announced that its neuromodulator to treat heart failure is the fifth device to enter the six-month-old FDA Expedited Access Pathway. The device is designed to reduce the workload of the heart through modulating the baroreflex system that helps control blood flow. The device activates the baroflex through the afferent (sensory) pathway, helping to restore autonomic balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Article Reports Factors Influencing Reluctance to Have Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease

Nov. 18, 2015 - Researchers in Seoul reported that of 186 patients who underwent deep brain stimulation (DBS) to the subthalamic nucleus for Parkinson's disease, 45% were reluctant. The main reasons were fear of complications (74%) and economic burden (50%). The main reasons they decided to undergo DBS were trusting the doctor’s decision (80%) and family encouragement (36%). (Parkinsonism & Related Disorders)

Company Receives Clearance to Market Non-Invasive Stimulation System in Europe

Nov. 16, 2015 - NeuroSigma Systems announced CE Mark approval for its external trigeminal nerve stimulation system to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in people aged 7 years or older. (Mass Device)

Clinical Trial Results Presented of Stimulation Therapy for Optic Neuropathy

Nov. 16, 2015 - EBS Technologies GmbH presented clinical trial results this month at an Annual Scientific Meeting of the Neuromodulation Society of the United Kingdom and Ireland, held jointly with and the German and Swiss neuromodulation societies in London. In the randomized controlled clinical trial that was presented at the meeting, 51 patients with optic neuropathy who received transorbital optic nerve stimulation, compared to 47 who received a placebo, were reported to show a significantly improved visual field. (Marketwired)

Column Addresses Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic Pain

Nov. 16, 2015 - A physician responded in his column to questions from a grandmother whose grandson was referred to spinal cord stimulation for post-herpetic neuralgia in the UK. He points out that the treatment is usually considered after more conservative measures have failed, and is recommended for neuropathic pain by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (Daily Mail)

Researchers Develop Proof-of-Concept Brain-Monitoring Probe

Nov. 16, 2015 - An article details development of flexible polymer fibers that were demonstrated in mice for use as simultaneous electrical, optical, and chemical probes of brain activity. (SPIE)

Patients Recount Their Experiences with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Nov. 15, 2015 - A long article on transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression describes the experience of two patients whose symptoms were lessened through using the therapy. (Lowell Sun)

News Feature Describes Potential for Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapies

Nov. 13, 2015 - A news feature about vagus nerve stimulation covers its potential as a therapy for inflammatory disease and heart disease, as well as touching upon other existing or emerging indications, such as epilepsy and depression. (Science News)

Another Partner is Announced for Diaphragm-Pacing System

November 2015 - Oberlin, Ohio-based Valtronic is partnering with Synapse Biomedical to commercialize a third-generation, fully implantable diaphragm pacing technology. Valtronic and other partners plan to provide matching funds for the commercialization, which is being supported by a $3 million economic-development grant from Ohio Third Frontier. The device is also being commercialized in Asia with help from another partner, USCI Japan Ltd. (U.S. Tech)

Researchers Combine a Sensing Array with Light Stimulation for Optogenetic Studies

Oct. 12, 2015 - An article in Nature Methods describes development of a cortical sensing array with the capability to deliver light in a controlled pattern for optogentic studies. The array on transparent zinc oxide includes an optoelectronic actuator. The device was applied in transgenic mice to investigate light-perturbed cortical microcircuit dynamics and effects on their behavior. (Kurzweil)

Company Plans to Present Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Data Next Month

Nov. 12, 2015 - Israel-based BlueWind Medical plans to present details of its miniature leafless neurostimulator clinical trial in neuropathic pain patients during the North American Neuromodulation Society meeting in Las Vegas in December. The study was performed in four centers in Belgium and Poland, with up to six months' follow-up. (PR Businesswire)

Study Focuses on the Role of Brain Activity in Eating Behavior

Nov. 11, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Brian Kopell, MD, commented in a news article about a small study of transcranial direct current stimulation as a potential intervention in obesity. He said such an intervention theoretically may block the impulse to eat high-sugar foods and allow the brain to return to its normal state in terms of sugar craving. (Endocrine Web)

Authors Voice Caution Regarding Brain Stimulation for Cognitive Issues

December 2015 - Co-authors based in Italy write that any use of deep brain stimulation in cognitive impairment, especially memory loss, should be reserved for investigational settings that have clear protocols and strict inclusion criteria. (Current Opinion in Neurology)

Optogenetics Researchers Receive a Technology Prize

Nov. 9, 2015 - Ed Boyden, PhD of MIT and Karl Deisseroth, MD, PhD of Stanford University were among five scientists to win Breakthough Prizes in life sciences at the third annual gala founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. The prize is worth $3 million. The recognition they received acknowledges their work in developing optogenetics as a tool for understanding the function of brain circuits, and potentially developing therapies that address circuit disorders. (Business Insider)

Article Examines Concerns About "Home-Made" Electrical Stimulation Devices

Nov. 9, 2015 - An article covers concerns about interest in transcranial direct current stimulation among do-it-yourself enthusiasts. (Wall Street Journal)

Older Subgroup Showed Gains in Small Clinical Trial of Brain Stimulation in Alzheimer's Disease

Nov. 9, 2015 - In further details about Functional Neuromodulation's small Phase 2 clinical trial of deep brain stimulation to the fornix in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease, results showed some clinical benefit to a subgroup of patients aged 65 or older. This 30-patient subgroup had 15 patients in each of the sham and treatment arms, who were followed for 12 months. In the subgroup, treatment yielded a significant improvement, compared to the control group, in glucose metabolism. The subgroup patients who were treated also showed reduced cognitive decline but the study wasn't adequately powered to achieve statistical significance on the clinical measures used to track cognitive performance. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Optogenetics Recognized by Prize Competition

Nov. 10, 2015 - Breakthrough Prize winners announced in Northern California on Sunday included co-developers of optogenetics, who will receive $3 million each from organizers, who amassed fortunes through technology advances in Silicon Valley. The event is in its third year. (Reuters)

Company Reports on Past Fourth Months of Activities

Nov. 9, 2015 - Mainstay Medical International plc issues an Interim Management Statement from July 1, 2015 to the present. The statement said that the company submitted an application for CE Mark for its neurostimulation system for chronic low back pain, closed a debt financing for up to $15 million, and announced issuance of three U.S. patents during that period. (Business Wire)

Team Develops a Three-Dimensional Printed Brain Model

Nov. 8, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ivar Mendez, MD, PhD, head of surgery at the University of Saskatchewan, has worked with a team of engineers, MRI technicians, neuropsychology specialists and a radiologist to convert MRI data into a clear, three-dimensional printed structure that may be used in planning deep brain stimulation. (3dprint.com)

Company Plans to Enter Phase 3 Clinical Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation in Alzheimer's Disease

Nov. 6, 2015 - Functional Neuromodulation Ltd. announced it will start a Phase 3 trial of deep brain stimulation to the fornix in mid-2016. The company presented an analysis of its Phase 2 study, ADvance, at the 2015 Clinical Trials in Alzheimer's Disease meeting in Barcelona, Spain. The double-blind randomized controlled trial examined deep brain stimulation for mild Alzheimer's disease. (PR Newswire)

Patient Receives New Neurostimulator Device to Treat Heart Failure

Nov. 5, 2015 - A patient in Croatia is the first to begin using a catheter-based neurostimulator device to treat congestive heart failure, Enopace Biomedical, announced. The leadless, active miniature stimulator and is implanted in a 30-minute percutaneous procedure, and is designed to increase cardiac efficiency by reducing left ventricular workload. (PR Newswire)

Article Describes an Overactive Bladder Patient's Sacral Nerve Stimulation Therapy in India

Nov. 5, 2015 - An article says an elderly woman who had refractory overactive bladder for three years underwent the "new and specialized" treatment of sacral nerve stimulation. (Hans India)

Woman Says Her Depression Has Been Lessened Through Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Nov. 5, 2015 - A woman describes the benefits she received from transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment for depression. (KOAA)

Newscast Features Teen-Ager Who Receives Deep Brain Stimulation to Manage Dystonia

Nov. 4, 2015 - An article about a young man who received deep brain stimulation for dystonia calls it a rare and complicated surgery. The patient's mother added that she feels it has given him his life back. (KSTP)

Researchers Publish Proof-of-Concept Non-invasive Stimulation Approach to Weight Loss

Nov. 4, 2015 - A proof-of-concept study published in Obesity suggests that anodal transcranial direct current stimulation to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex may facilitate weight loss. (NIH)

Responsive Neurostimulation System Receives Recognition

Nov. 4, 2015 - NeuroPace, Inc. announced it received an award that recognizes its responsive neurostimulation system as the most promising new product of the year. The award was presented at the 2015 Phoenix Medical Device CEO Conference, which is comprised of medical device and diagnostic industry executives. (Business Wire)

Enrollment Opens in Clinical Trial of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Adolescents with Treatment-Resistant Depression

Nov. 2, 2015 - Neuronetics, Inc. announced enrollment is beginning for a randomized controlled clinical trial to evaluate the acute and long-term effectiveness of transcranial magnetic stimulation in adolescent patients  aged 12-21 who have treatment-resistant depression. (PR Newswire)

Article Features Research Into Development of Prosthetic Devices to Address Memory Impairment

Nov. 3, 2015 - Two presentations at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in October described work funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency intended to develop devices to address memory impairment. The studies involved cortical readings made during assessment of epilepsy patients. One approach is based on mapping signals in the hippocampus associated with memory formation, which led to development of an algorithm that mimics that signaling with about 80% accuracy. Another approach is based on the observation that stimulation of the medial temporal lobe, which houses the hippocampus, improves periods of poor memory but impedes memory when it is functioning well. By stimulating only when memory was predicted to be poor, the researchers could boost recall up to 140%, (Nature)

Pilot Study Explores Effects of Vagus Nerve Stimulation on Breathing and Heart Rate

Oct. 23, 2015 - A pilot study by International Neuromodulation Society member Cecile de Vos, PhD and colleagues compared effects of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) in five patients who experience impacts on breathing and heart rate during exercise, and five patients who don't. For controls, the study also included five persons who do not have VNS systems. Data showed most VNS patients had more rapid breathing and slowed heart rate when resting or exercising. (Seizure)

Study Investigates Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Motor-Task Training

Nov. 2, 2015 - A Phase 2 double-blind trial of transcranial direct current stimulation, presented at the 44th Child Neurology Society Annual Meeting, involved 24 children aged 6 to 18 years old who had experienced a stroke at birth with resulting weaknesses at one side. Results showed that combining stimulation sessions with after-school occupational therapy led to improvements in subjects' ability to complete motor tasks, such as tying shoes. (Medscape)

Show Features Use of Deep Brain Stimulation to Treat Parkinson's Disease

Nov. 2, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Corneliu Luca, MD, PhD was interviewed in a telecast about a Miami, FL-area woman who received a deep brain stimulation system to manage symptoms of Parkinson's disease. (WNDU)

Ambulatory Surgery Centers Consider Neuromodulation as an Alternative to Opioids for Pain Management

Oct. 30, 2015 - An article calls neuromodulation an up-and-coming trend in pain management in the ambulatory surgery clinical setting. For instance, the head of an ambulatory surgery center said he was interested in neuromodulation as a non-narcotic option for pain management. (Becker's ASC Review)

Low Back Pain Therapy Developer Applies for CE Mark

Nov. 2, 2015 - Dublin-based Mainstay Medical has applied for CE Mark approval of its neurostimulation device to treat lower back pain. The company said that a study with 46 patients showed almost two-thirds had less lower-back pain three months after implantation, and more than half had their condition improve. In addition, the company said a little more than two-thirds of people treated reported a better quality of life and the benefits continued for six months. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Column Describes Promise of Noninvasive Approach to Potentially Enhance Brain Plasticity

Nov. 2, 2015 - Helius Medical Technologies, Inc. is developing a therapeutic approach to improve injury-associated brain-function impairment and related symptoms by combining physiotherapy with neurostimulation of the tongue. A columnist writes that the approach "will have a long path forward, but could be a real catalyst for retraining the human brain." (Forbes)

Results Reported in Pilot Clinical Trial of Noninvasive Stimulation for Multiple Sclerosis

Nov. 2, 2015 - A pilot study of a potential therapy for multiple sclerosis that combined physiotherapy with portable neuromodulation stimulation met all its objectives, Helius Medical Technologies, Inc. reported. The controlled clinical trial of 14 patients in Montreal suggested that a definitive clinical trial would require 128 subjects. Functional MRI results suggested that the investigational device may facilitate neural plasticity. (Business Wire)

Publication Features Overview of Neuromodulation

Oct. 29, 2015 - An annotated set of 30 slides co-authored by a neurohospitalist and by the editorial director of Medscape Psychiatry introduces "Pain, the Brain, and Many Uses of Neurostimulation." (Medscape)

Neurosurgeons Apply Focused Ultrasound to Treat Essential Tremor

Oct. 28, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, is quoted in a video clip about a procedure that treats essential tremor using focused ultrasound. He called it "brain surgery without cutting the skin." (DOTmed News)

Researchers Seek to Improve Spinal Cord Stimulation Through Varying the Stimulation Pattern

Oct. 28, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Nandan Lad, MD, PhD, is working on new programming paradigms for spinal cord stimulation (SCS) that may provide a 30% improvement in pain control and also potentially use less energy, based on predictive modeling he has done with a university colleague. Patients with existing SCS systems are being sought to see if reprogramming their devices yields improvements, as suggested by preclinical studies. (Duke Pratt School of Engineering)

Interest Grows in Potentially Relieving Fibromyalgia Using Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

Oct. 28, 2015 - A news feature recounts recent studies showing potential promise of transcranial direct current stimulation to help relieve fibromyalgia. (National Pain Report)

Article Notes Neuroprosthetics May Be Closer to Commercialization

Oct. 28, 2015 - A brief article suggests that neuroprosthetic devices to help people with spinal cord injury move their muscles may be marketed as early as 2017. (Healthline News)

Developer of Cardiac Neuromodulation Device Announces Financing Round

Oct. 27, 2015 - Minneapolis-based Cardionomic, Inc. says it is developing a short-term neuromodulation therapy  to treat acute decompensated heart failure through stimulation of selected cardiac nerve branches. The stimulation is intended to increase heart muscle contractibility. The company announced $20 million in Series A financing from a number of investors, including New Enterprise Associates (NEA), the Cleveland Clinic, and Greatbatch, Inc. The therapy under development is expected to be delivered for 1 - 3 days upon a patient's admission to the hospital. The intent is to improve the heart's pumping performance to rebalance blood flow to the kidneys, brain, and other organs. The rebalance should help improve kidney function in order to reduce fluid retention. (Fierce Medical)

Radio Interview Features International Neuromodulation Society Activities

Sept. 15, 2015 - A radio station at McGill University devoted two program sessions to interviews about the International Neuromodulation Society (INS) 12th World Congress in Montreal, speaking with the head of the local organizing committee, Canadian Neuromodulation Society President Michel Prudhomme, MD, PhD, and INS President Timothy Deer, MD, who chaired the scientific program. Dr. Prudhomme pointed out that a recent survey showed about 70 percent of pain patients who might be appropriate to refer to neuromodulation had not heard about the treatment, and nor had a similar percentage of referring physicians, although its efficacy and cost-effectiveness has been established. Among a number of topics discussed, Dr. Deer talked about globalization of access and emerging new neurostimulation targets and waveforms. (The recording can be played after downloading the audio file.) (Health on Earth)

Neuromodulation Company Announces New Investment

Oct. 26, 2015 - Helius Medical, which is commercializing a portable neuromodulation stimulator in several countries in Asia, raised $2 million in new financing from an anonymous donor, and intends to raise up to $12.3 million for the round. (Mass Device)

Column Profiles Patient with Chronic Limb Pain Who Was Aided by Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation

Oct. 26, 2015 - A man with complex regional pain syndrome in his hand had dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation in England to reduce his chronic pain symptoms. International Neuromodulation Society member Vivek Mehta, FRCA, MD, FFPMRCA, commented that DRG stimulation is exciting because it allows precise pinpointing of the treatment. (Daily Mail)

Presenter Suggests Noninvasive Stimulation May Help Manage Overactive Bladder Symptoms

Oct. 26, 2015 - A transcutaneous foot stimulation approach using external electrodes was described at the International Continence Society annual meeting as a potential way to treat overactive bladder through home-based treatment. Nineteen women stimulated the plantar surface of their sole for three hours each evening for seven days to activate lateral and medial plantar nerves. The presenter said the results of the small study were comparable to pharmaceutical treatment. He is planning a larger, randomized, sham-controlled trial to examine different stimulation periods to define the ideal time frame. (Urology Times)

Televised Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery Went Smoothly, News Outlet Reports

Oct. 26, 2015 - National Geographic reported that a deep brain stimulation surgery that was aired on television in real time in the U.S. went smoothly, and a neurologist who followed the coverage but was not personally involved was quoted as noting the media coverage of the Parkinson's disease patient's surgery was handled appropriately. (National Geographic)

First Patients are Enrolled in a Phrenic Pacing Neurostimulation Trial

Oct. 21, 2015 - Lungpacer, Inc. announced it has successfully tested the first five patients in the Phrenic ACtivation for Enhanced Respiration (PACER) early feasibility trial of its intravenous electrode catheter and diaphragm pacing system. The system stimulates the phrenic nerve of critical-care patients who need ventilation support. (Medgadget)

Neurostimulation System for Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease Receives Expanded CE Mark Approval for Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Oct. 20, 2015 - Endostim announced CE Mark approval that expands magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) options for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease who have its EndoStim II implant that provides stimulation of the lower esophageal sphincter muscle between the esophagus and stomach. Current or future patients may have full body MRI scans using 3.0 Tesla MRI machines, and imaging of the head and extremities may also continue to be performed using both 1.5-Tesla and 3-Tesla systems. (PR Newswire)

Early View: International Survey of Infection Control Practices for Spinal Cord Stimulation

Oct. 22, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society members David A. Provenzano, MD; Timothy Deer, MD; Simon Thomson, MBBS; Salim M. Hayek MD, PhD; and Maunak V. Rana, MD have published results of a survey undertaken with colleagues that will help guide development of consensus policy and education about evidence-based infection-control strategies during spinal cord stimulation trial procedures and permanent implantation. The international survey of more than 500 physicians, believed to be the first of its kind, showed areas for improvement in infection control during preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative periods. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Case Report: Sacral Nerve Stimulation Improved Proctitis Symptoms

November/December 2015 - In a case the authors say demonstrates the relevance of exploring sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) for indications beyond fecal incontinence, a team of doctors in France report that a patient with medically refractory bleeding, inflammation, and fecal incontinence due to proctitis improved during three weeks of temporary SNS. The patient's endoscopic and histologic scores improved, junctional protein mRNA expression transiently increased, and rectal barrier permeability decreased. After 18 months of permanent stimulation, the patient remained improved. (Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology)

Retrospective Analysis Supports Option of Peripheral Nerve Stimulation for Refractory Headache

Oct. 22, 2015 - A review of records of 46 patients who received peripheral nerve stimulation between 2005 and 2012 for chronic intractable headache showed 87% of patients had pain scores reduce by 50% or more after one year, with pain decreasing even more the longer the device was in place. The authors conclude that peripheral nerve stimulation should be considered a viable treatment option. (Neurology Advisor)

Body-Worn Sensors Investigated for Adjusting Deep Brain Stimulation to Manage Tremor

Oct. 23, 2015 - A research group at Stanford is developing a wearable sensor system to detect and respond to tremors in patients who have deep brain stimulation systems. (KGO-TV)

Company Acquires Technology for Multi-Coil Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Oct. 20, 2015 - Rio Grande Neurosciences announced it has acquired Cervel Neurotech’s multi-coil transcranial magnetic stimulation technology, including all related patent applications, issued patents, trademarks and equipment. (Business Wire)

Study: Responsive Neurostimulation Does Not Affect Cognition in Epilepsy Patients

Oct. 20, 2015 - A paper in Epilepsia reports that, although epilepsy can have impacts on cognition, there was no effect on cognition in 175 patients with medically intractable partial onset epilepsy who had responsive neurostimulation systems, according to data analyses from the open label period of a randomized, controlled, double-blinded pivotal trial with follow up at one and two years. (Business Wire)

Researchers Investigate Noninvasive Brain Stimulation for Severely Affected Stroke Patients

Oct. 20, 2015 - A 30-patient, proof-of-principle study of patients with severe post-stroke impairment of an arm showed that stimulating the uninjured side of the brain using transcranial magnetic stimulation "altered motor function in a way that was not observed in patients with more mild arm impairment," according to a news release. The results were presented at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting. (Medical Daily)

Epilepsy Patient Receives Deep Brain Stimulation System That Records Brain Activity

Oct. 20, 2015 - A brief article describes a deep brain stimulation system implanted in a patient with epilepsy that records data, which can be downloaded by her doctor. The article says this development is a step toward automated adjustment of future devices. (Popular Science)

Findings Presented in Controlled Clinical Trial of Deep Brain in Thalamic Pain Syndrome

Oct. 19, 2015 - Results of a 10-patient clinical trial of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the management of thalamic pain syndrome were presented at the most recent Biennial Meeting of the American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD, said this was the first randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial of DBS in chronic pain. The crossover study was supported by the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. The study included fMRI imaging during the blinded phase, and involved three months of active stimulation that targeted the ventral striatum/anterior limb of the internal capsule, structures that process emotion and affective behavior. (Cleveland Clinic)

Interview Focuses on Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease

Oct. 7, 2015 - A 30-minute podcast about Parkinson's disease research and treatment features an interview with deep brain stimulation (DBS) researcher Andres Lozano, MD, PhD, of the University of Toronto. In the interview, Dr. Lozano says about 125,000 DBS procedures have been performed, and occur these days at a rate of about 8,000 - 10,000 patients per year at about 700 centers worldwide. He added that deciding who is a good candidate for DBS has shifted as more is learned, and that while DBS used to be performed about 12 - 14 years post-diagnosis, it is now considered at 4 - 5 years, as a way for patients to sustain more-productive years. He added that DBS has been examined in some 740 conditions, such as ones that affect the brain's mood or cognitive circuits. He described Parkinson's as involving a monotonous oscillatory brain-circuit rhythm rather than a more complex pattern that could be likened to a symphony. (Parkinson's Life EU)

Neuromodulation Company Undergoes Merger

Oct. 19, 2015 - The merger between neuromodulation company Cyberonics, Inc. and Sorin S.p.A. was completed and the new company, LivaNova PLC began trading on NASDAQ and the London Stock Exchange. Besides its existing portfolio in cardiac surgery and neuromodulation, LivaNova is pursuing therapies for heart failure, mitral valve repair, and sleep apnea. (Globe Newswire)

Basic Science Studies Investigate Technical Approaches that Might Add Touch Sensations to Prosthetics

Oct. 15, 2015 - An article presents research into developing materials that provide a sense of touch and might be incorporated into prosthetic limbs. The article describes optogenetics to transmit the sensory information to cultured mouse brain cells. (Gizmodo)

Study Explores the Influence of a Brain Center Involved in Threat Detection on Ideological Perspectives

Oct. 14, 2015 - Using transcranial magnetic stimulation to decrease activity temporarily in the part of the brain involved with detecting and solving problems, the posterior medial frontal cortex, was associated with a lessening of firmly held ideological views on religion or immigration, according to a study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. The study by two psychologists involved 38 participants, whose views on religion and immigration issues decreased by 32.8% and 28.5% respectively. The authors anticipated that the area of the brain that evolved to deal with concrete threats would also mediate reactions to more-abstract issues involving ideology. "Our brains are using the same basic mental machinery," they concluded, "whether we're trying to clamber over a fallen tree that we find in our path, find solace in religion, or resolve issues related to immigration." (Daily Mail)

Closed-Loop Spinal Cord Stimulation System is Implanted in First Patient in Australia

Oct. 14, 2015 - The first chronic pain patient to receive a new spinal cord stimulation system that senses, and adjusts stimulation to, responses of the nerves was fitted with the device by International Neuromodulation Society member Charles Brooker, MBBS; MRCP (UK); FANZCA; FFPMANZCA, news outlets in Australia reported. The device was developed with an investment from a New South Wales medical device fund, which anticipates re-investing the $5 million that was put toward commercialization after the company becomes profitable, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. (ABC News)

Collaboration Announced to Commercialize a Functional Electrical Neurostimulation System

Oct. 15, 2015 - Synapse Biomedical and Case Western Reserve University will collaborate to commercialize diaphragm-pacing neurostimulation, potentially expanding services for spinal-cord injured patients, ALS, and pediatric patients. The collaboration is being supported by a $3 million Ohio Third Frontier Innovation Platform Program grant. In addition, Synapse is enlisting commercialization partners in the U.S. and Japan. (PR Newswire)

Presentation Details Results of Clinical Trial Investigating Minimally Invasive Stimulation for Fecal Incontinence

October 2015 - Results of a double-blind, randomized controlled clinical trill at 17 centers in the UK suggest that percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation may not be effective in fecal incontinence. Although the investigators declined to be interviewed because of a pending journal publication, study results were presented at the 2015 annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver. In the study, 115 patients received active stimulation and 112 received sham. An improvement of at least a 50% reduction in weekly fecal incontinence episodes was reported in 38% of treated patients and 31% of patients in the sham group. The research was led by International Neuromodulation Society member Prof. Charles Knowles, PhD, FRCS, of the National Centre for Bowel Research and Surgical Innovation, in London, part of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. (Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News)

In Preclinical Research, Brain Stimulation Appears Potentially Promising to Address Cognitive Deficit

Oct. 14, 2015 - In a mouse model of the intellectual-disability disorder Rett Syndrome, deep brain stimulation of the fornix was found to lessen some features of the syndrome, according to research published in the journal Nature. (Medical Express)

Research Papers Explore Brain Connectivity in Conditions of Impairment or Injury

Oct. 14, 2015 - A special issue of the journal Brain Connectivity offers free online content about brain injury and disease until Nov. 14, 2015. A study of brain connectivity and information flow associated with working memory across brain hemispheres found patients with traumatic brain injury exhibited hyperconnectivity and less coherent information flow. Another study shows that ischemic damage in one hemisphere leads to remodeling of neuronal axons and myelin in the injured brain network, and also, in the uninjured motor area on the other side. A third paper reports that patients who have multiple system atrophy demonstrated improvement in motor positive changes seen in related functional brain connectivity following treatment using transcranial magnetic stimulation. (EurekAlert)

Academics Interviewed About Noninvasive Brain Stimulation for Consumers

Oct. 13, 2015 - In a radio segment, researchers are interviewed about the emergence of consumer brain-stimulation systems. (CBC.CA)

Company Receives Medical Coverage Decision in Germany

Oct. 13, 2015 - EndoStim announced that in 2016, approved treatment with its device for gastroesophageal reflux disease will be routinely reimbursed in Germany. (PR Newswire)

Neurostimulation Company Strikes Development Agreement in Asia

Oct. 13, 2015 - Helius Medical has entered into a $7 million agreement with the Hong Kong-based investment and development company A&B Company Limited. In the sales and licensing transaction, A&B will acquire certain Asian patents, patent applications, and product support material to develop and commercialize the Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator, PoNS™, in China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Singapore. A news release mentions A&B's interest in its potential as a treatment for chronic neurological symptoms of traumatic brain injury. Helius said it will repay $2 million drawn down from A&B's provision of a $7 million credit facility by issuing 2.1 million shares of Helius at 96¢ per share and 1 million 3-year warrants at $1.44 per share. (Mass Device)

Researchers Explore Refinements in Deep Brain Stimulation for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Oct. 12, 2015 - An article describes research in Massachusetts into refining deep brain stimulation (DBS) treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder. The research includes development of a prototype closed-loop DBS system that is intended to record and respond to brain activity, potentially enabling other maladies to be addressed by the therapy. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Device Maker Says Deep Brain Stimulation Patient is the First in the U.S. to Receive a New Anti-Infective Implant

Oct. 8, 2015 - Medtronic announced the first patient use of its Tyrx infection-fighting envelope, which it is launching for use with deep-brain stimulation devices in the U.S. The device releases two anti-microbial drugs, minocycline and rifampin, for seven days. The envelope then dissolves over roughly nine weeks. Medtronic acquired Tyrx for $160 million in January 2014 and received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its use with neurostimulation implants, including sacral nerve stimulators, spinal cord stimulators and vagus nerve stimulators. Tyrx won CE Mark approval for cardiac devices in September 2014. (Mass Device)

Company Plans Clinical Trial of Injectable Tibial Nerve Stimulator

Oct. 8, 2015 - StimGuard announced FDA Investigational Device Exemption approval to launch a clinical trial this winter of its percutaneously implantable tibial nerve stimulation device to treat overactive bladder. (Sys-Con Media)

Media Outlets to Show Live Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery

Oct. 8, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jonathan Miller, MD, and his neurosurgical colleagues at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio are scheduled to perform deep brain stimulation surgery during a two-hour live telecast on Oct. 25th. The program is set to be shown on the National Geographic channel and Mental Floss with commentary by a neurosurgeon, a neuroscientist, and host Bryant Gumbel, a former national network television morning talk show host and sportscaster. (Medical Daily)

Pain Patient in the U.K. Seeks Screening for Neurostimulation Therapy

Oct. 7, 2015 - A woman with complex regional pain syndrome hopes to transfer from North Manchester Hospital to Salford Royal Hospital to potentially receive neurostimulation treatment. Her family said she has been on morphine for 15 months without regaining the ability to independently handle activities of daily living. (Bury Times)

Bioelectronic Medicine Center Names a Managing Director

Oct. 7, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society (INS) member Chad Bouton will leave his research leadership role at Battelle to become a managing director of the Feinstein Institute’s new Center for Bioelectronic Medicine. At Battelle, his work included a project to develop neural implants to bypass spinal cord damage and return some voluntary hand and arm movement to a patient with paralysis (described in an announcement of the 2015 INS abstract winners).  (Innovate LI)

Funding Will Support Basic Investigations of Brain Circuits

Oct. 7, 2015 - The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has announced a three-year, $1.15 million grant to researchers at Ohio State University who are developing tools to visualize brain circuits in laboratory animals. (Portland Business Journal)

Collaborators Receive Funding to Develop "Smart" Epilepsy Implant

Oct. 7, 2015 - The National Institutes of Health announced a $6.8 million, five-year grant to develop an implantable "smart device" to predict, track and treat epileptic seizures. The grant will support researchers in a collaborative team at the Mayo Clinic, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Minnesota and Medtronic. The funding is part of the the U.S. BRAIN (Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Researcher Receives Support for Investigations of Deep Brain Stimulation and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Oct. 7, 2015 - The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation has given a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant for research into deep brain stimulation using a mouse model of obsessive compulsive disorder. The Young Investigator grants provide up to $70,000 in support over two years. NARSAD stands for National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, the former name of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. (Stevens Institute of Technology)

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Funds Seven Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Projects

Oct. 6, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jiande Chen, PhD, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, is mentioned in an article about programs being funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) through its Electrical Prescriptions (ElectRx) program. The article says the program is funding seven projects around the world, and "has as its goal the development of a closed-loop system that treats diseases by modulating the activity of peripheral nerves." Prof. Chen is researching basic mechanisms of neuromodulation and inflammatory bowel disease. The University of Texas at Dallas issued a news release about a project funded by DARPA there, which aims to reduce symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder by combining vagus nerve stimulation and exposure therapy. (Daily Mail)

Scientists Demonstrate Flexible Brain Probe in Preclinical Work

Oct. 6, 2015 - A paper in Nature Materials describes how laboratory research with electrodes in a polymer mesh allowed scientists to monitor individual neurons in a rat, locating the region of the cortex associated with movement of a single whisker. The mesh forms a cylinder that was stiffened temporarily by dipping into liquid nitrogen prior to inserting into the rat's brain. When not in that chilled state, the authors say, the mesh is up to seven orders of magnitude less stiff than conventional probes, which they believe would make the sensor array less likely to induce scarring. Also, the article states that the array should be more likely to move as the brain shifts during day-to-day movement, so sensors would be more likely to continuously sample the same part of the brain. (Chemistry World)

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)

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)

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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Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface
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Last Updated on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 01:54 PM
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