News Briefs from the International Neuromodulation Society

Emerging Therapies & Diagnostic Tools News Feed

Pain Management Experts Provide Perspectives on Neuromodulation

Dec. 14, 2017 - In a health awareness article that appears in the Guardian, International Neuromodulation Society President Timothy Deer, MD, describes growing excitement about neuromodulation therapy for managing symptoms of long-term disease, and new and more tailored forms of neuromodulation therapy. Due to the potential of neuromodulation to improve quality of life, he said, awareness should grow among patients and their clinicians. In the same news supplement, INS member Tacson Fernandez, MBBS, FRCA, FIPP, described a case in which spinal cord stimulation provided pain relief to a patient who had suffered brachial plexus injury in a motorcycle accident years before. (Media Planet)

Man with a Metabolic Condition that Impaired Motor Function Undergoes Deep Brain Stimulation

Dec. 11, 2017 - A television segment describes the gradual improvement of a young man with a rare genetic condition, Pank 2, that causes iron accumulation in the brain, disrupting motor function. Nine months ago, about five years after his symptoms began, he became one of about two dozen people with the disorder to try deep brain stimulation. (Fox 5 Atlanta)

Researchers Study the Effect of Epidural Spinal Cord Stimulation in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury

Dec. 11, 2017 - An article describes a feasibility study at the University of Louisville School of Medicine to "measure the extent to which epidural stimulation will improve cardiovascular function as well as facilitate the ability to stand and voluntarily control leg movements" in people with spinal cord injury. (SurfKY)

A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial Compared Pulse Rate Outcomes in Spinal Cord Stimulation for Back Pain

Dec. 8, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society members Simon Thomson, MBBS; Moein Tavakkolizadeh, MD; Sarah Love-Jones, MBBS; and colleagues published results of a randomized, crossover study of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for back pain, Evaluation of Spinal Cord Stimulation Pulse Rate On Clinical Outcomes (PROCO). They found that, with appropriate titration of pulse width and amplitude, there is Level I evidence of equivalent pain relief from SCS at frequencies from 1 to 10 kHz. Stimulation at 1kHz required 60-70% less charge than higher frequencies. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

 Article Considers Non-Invasive Neurostimulation to Potentially Address Organ Function

Dec. 7, 2017 - An article touches upon preclinical studies that may lead to treating diabetes through stimulating the pancreas via the vagus nerve. The article cites a review in Trends in Molecular Medicine about transdermal nerve stimulation to potentially control immune and organ functions. (Healthline)

In a Sham-Controlled Study, Neurostimulation Reduced Abdominal Pain in Adolescents and Teens

Dec. 6, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Timothy Deer, MD, commented in Pain Medicine News on a study of percutaneous electrical nerve field stimulation to treat pain from functional gastrointestinal disorders in children aged 11 - 18. The sham-controlled study of 115 children, reported in The Lancet, found that the treatment group sustained improvement in pain scores, compared to sham, during four weeks of treatment. Dr. Deer said basic science work may help elucidate underlying mechanisms, while identifying subsets of responders could increase therapeutic efficiency. (Pain Medicine News)

Brain-Stimulation Study Implicates Bromann Area 25 in Blood Pressure Control

Dec. 6, 2017 - A case series of 12 patients undergoing epilepsy and blood-pressure monitoring at the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center found decreased systolic blood pressure associated with electrical stimulation of Brodmann area 25, the rostral subcallosal neocortex. Researchers would like to identify the brain site involved in maintaining blood pressure since it may be inhibited during seizures. Hypotension from peri-octal autonomic dysregulation is thought to be a factor in sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. (2 Minute Medicine)

Long-Term Data Presented About Responsive Neurostimulation in Epilepsy

Dec. 5, 2017 - Adjunctive neurostimulation with a device that monitors and responds to brain activity led to sustained seizure reduction at eight years in three-fourths of the epilepsy patients who use it, according to data presented at the American Epilepsy Society annual meeting. The device was approved by the FDA for adults with refractory partial-onset seizures who have one or two epileptogenic foci. In addition, almost one-third of the recipients had one or more 6-month-long seizure-free periods. (Medscape)

Feature Article Details Experiences of Woman With Epilepsy Who Is Treated With Neurostimulation

Dec. 5, 2017 - In a news feature, a young woman describes how she has been affected by epilepsy, and her experiences with neurostimulation, including receiving a cortical implant that monitors and responds to brain activity. (News Enterprise-Record)

Television Segment Presents Spinal Cord Stimulation as an Alternative to Pain Medication

Dec. 6, 2017 - A news segment features a woman in chronic pain from a leg injury, who describes how spinal cord stimulation improved her function and quality of life. She says she would like people to know that prescription medication is not the only answer. In the segment, an explanation of the system was provided by International Neuromodulation Society member Youssef Josephson, DO. (CBS News)

Article Summarizes Study of Neuromodulation for Painful Neuropathy from Leprosy

Dec. 5, 2017 - An article summarizes a report in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, in which International Neuromodulation Society member Tiago Freitas and colleagues provide 12-month follow-up data on 10 patients in a prospective case series who received spinal cord stimulation to treat painful mononeuropathy, secondary to leprosy, which was refractive to conservative treatment. In addition to experiencing reductions in baseline pain scores, the patients reduced their pain medication by 40% from preoperative levels. (Clinical Pain Advisor)

Researchers to Explore Infrared Stimulation to Potentially Modulate Autonomic Nervous System Conditions

Dec. 5, 2017 - Researchers from Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Pittsburgh received a $9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop enhanced infrared neuromodulation to potentially treat conditions of the autonomic nervous system. The researchers will study the effects of this stimulation on such nerve structures as the nodose ganglion, which connects through the vagus nerve to a number of organs to manage their physiological function. (Photonics Media)

Publisher Provides INS Members Access to an Enhanced Database of Neuromodulation Products

November 2017 - Neurotech Reports announced it is enhancing its Database of Neuromodulation Products, which is available to members of the International Neuromodulation Society through their website member portal. The database contains information on existing and emerging products in a number of product categories, including spinal cord stimulation, deep brain stimulation, leads, power supplies, and many others. Users can search by product category, company name, or medical condition. The database reports details such as approval status, reimbursement, and product description. (Neurotech Reports)

Team Plans a Study to Potentially Restore Some Movement After Spinal Cord Injury

Dec. 4, 2017 - An anticipated study in Australia will to try to restore hand function in patients with quadriplegia. The new project begins in January. A researcher who led similar research in the U.S., Prof. Reggie Edgerton of the University of California, Los Angeles, will join the effort part-time. Upon receiving ethics approval, the team anticipates enrolling spinal cord injury patients in July. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Development of a Sub-Millimeter Scale Wireless Neural Stimulator

Nov. 27, 2017 - A team has published data about a proof-of-concept, sub-millimeter-scale stimulator that might enable nerve-cuff peripheral nerve stimulation or wireless deep brain stimulation. The paper covers analytical and computational modeling, and use of a working prototype to elicit a motor response in the sciatic nerve of a rat. The authors say their device, with a compact polymer-based encapsulation, "consists only of an antenna to receive inductive power, a diode for rectification, and two electrodes" to deliver current to neurons. (Frontiers in Neuroscience)

Data in Animals Showed Heart Rate Variability Reversibly Suppressed by Optogenetic Means

December 2017 - An optogenetic study in beagles showed that illumination with a laser-emitting diode led to decreased indices of heart rate variability weeks after an inhibitory light-sensitive opsin was delivered to neurons in the left stellate ganglion, whose suppression protects against ventricular arrhyhimias. A 14-minute audio file describes the study. (Journal of the American College of Cardiology)

Small Study Demonstrates Pain Relief From Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation for Peripheral Neuropathic Pain

Nov. 29, 2017 - In an open-label study of patients with peripheral neuropathic pain from polyneuropathy, posterior tibial nerve stimulation was evaluated for pain relief. Eight patients had six stimulation sessions spaced about three or four days apart. Their pain was reduced by 85.5% at the end of the period. Six of the patients had more than 50% decrease after the first stimulation session and 99.2% after the final session. (Journal of Pain Research)

Analysis: Suspending Anticoagulant Use Did Not Increase Risk of Adverse Events from Spinal Cord Stimulation Implantation or Revision

Nov. 27, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society members Julie Pilitis, MD, PhD, Vishad Sukul, MD, and colleagues published a retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected database of 225 spinal cord stimulation patients. The analysis included 43 patients who had been on at least one anticoagulant, and assessed the safety of implanting or revising spinal cord stimulators after anticoagulant medication was suspended. Suspension had been recommended by the 2017 guidelines of the Neurostimulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee. The analysis found that anticoagulant use "as a whole" had no significant relationship to 13 adverse events recorded within 90 days of surgery. The authors conclude suspension did not comparatively increase risk of bleeding or blood clots. (Pain Medicine)

Study: Low-Frequency Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease May Improve Cognitive Deficit

Nov. 28, 2017 - Simple cognitive tests performed during deep brain stimulation surgery, and after recovery, indicate that cognitive deficits in Parkinson's disease may be lessened with low frequency stimulation to the subthalamic nucleus at 4 Hz, which researchers say restores delta wave activity in the medial prefrontal cortex. A published study that involved evoked responses and functional mapping indicates there may be a single, direct synaptic connection between these regions. (Medical Express)

New Neuroscience Institute May Explore Neurostimulation as a Potential Treatment for Addiction

Nov. 25, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, gave an interview as director of the new West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute. He said researchers there would like to start trials next year for deep brain stimulation in addicts who have failed other treatments. Initially, they would like to potentially address severe alcoholism. (News-Register)

Researchers Describe Early Stage Studies to Potentially Use Closed-Loop Deep Brain Stimulation for Mood Disorders

Nov. 22, 2017 - An article describes current research exploring if intermittent stimulation might be a therapeutic approach for mood disorders, in work with emerging closed-loop deep brain stimulation systems that might address depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. The research is funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. (Nature)

Bioelectronic Medicine Researchers Investigate Delaying Preterm Labor

Nov. 21, 2017 - A research team won $500,000 to investigate potentially delaying preterm delivery by delivering electrical stimulation through a belt-like device. The concept also calls for administering antenatal steroids to enhance the infant's lung maturity. (Innovate Long Island)

Study Evaluates Outcomes of Combining Psychotherapy and Brain Stimulation

Nov. 17, 2017 - A study in the Netherlands of 196 patients with major depressive disorder found that combining cognitive behavioral therapy and 10 sessions of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation resulted in a 66% response rate and a 56% remission rate at the end of treatment, with 60% sustained remission at follow-up. (Vision)

Presentation: Neurostimulation for Dry Eye Disease Improved All Tear Layers Over Time

Nov. 14, 2017 - Electrical stimulation of the intranasal tear reflex for dry eye disease was studied in two large pivotal multicenter clinical studies. The studies of the hand-held prototype showed gradual production of all three layers of tear film that results in healing of the eye surface, according to a presenter at the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting. (Medpage Today)

Brain Stimulation Study Reveals Brain-Inhibition Imbalance in Genetic Condition

Nov. 14, 2017 - Brain-stimulation research showing an imbalance in inhibition and excitation in people with fragile X syndrome, which often has some features of autism, lends support to the idea that autism and related conditions may be associated with decreased inhibition in the brain. (Spectrum)

Study: Stimulation Via Capsaicin Swab of Ear Canal Improved Dysphagia in Elderly

Nov. 13, 2017 - In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, comparative study of 20 elderly patients with difficulty swallowing, swallowing scores improved in the10 who received 0.025% capsaicin ointment swabbed on the external auditory canal. The authors say capsaicin is an agonist of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1, and that improvement in glottal closure and cough reflexes especially may be due to that receptor mediating aural stimulation of the vagal Arnold's nerve. (Clinical Interventions in Aging)

Researchers Present Work to Address Dyskinesia Using Closed-Loop Deep Brain Stimulation With Motor Cortex Electrocorticography

Nov. 12, 2017 - In two Parkinson's disease patients, the feasibility of closed-loop adjustment of deep brain stimulation to address dyskinesia, using motor cortex electrocorticography, was demonstrated during adjustment sessions of 10-60 minutes. The study was mentioned in a news release that summarized several presentations at the Society for Neuroscience meeting concerning brain stimulation treatment and research. (Society for Neuroscience)

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Improved Gait and Balance in Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Nov. 7, 2017 - A randomized, single-blind pilot study in 43 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis showed improvements in gait and balance, compared to sham, in patients who received 12 sessions of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over four weeks along with intensive rehabilitation. (Medscape)

Academic Medical Center in West Virginia Plans to Add Brain Stimulation to Addiction Treatment

Nov. 13, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, was featured in a news item from the Associated Press that says addictions treatment will be expanded next year to include brain stimulation techniques at West Virginia University Medicine. He is the new director of the university's Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute. (U.S. News & World Report)

Neuroscience Meeting Sees a Rise in Research Presentations About Mental Health Applications  

Nov. 12, 2017 - A radio interview from the Society for Neuroscience discusses how the fields of brain science and mental health are merging through new insights and capabilities to understand circuit disorders and the underlying science. (NPR)

Study Confirms Usefulness of Telemedicine for Remote Deep Brain Stimulation Patients

Nov. 9, 2017 - A retrospective study of deep brain stimulation patients and candidates who used the Ontario Telemedicine Network due to living far from services confirmed it is a feasible and useful approach for assessing patients. The authors suggest combining it with in-person visits, such as for battery replacement and surgery. (Movement Disorders)

Research Project Involves Using Optogenetics for a Visual Prosthesis

Nov. 9, 2017 - A program of the U.S. Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, DARPA, involves the French research laboratory Leti, which is developing a wireless, implantable system called CorticalSight to stimulate ontogenetically modified neurons in the visual cortex using light. (Electronics Weekly)

Clinicians Report Use of a 3D Printed Guiding Device to Facilitate Sacral Neuromodulation Implantation

Nov. 7, 2017 - Clinicians in China report on creation of a customized novel 3D printed guiding device for electrode implantation of sacral neuromodulation. They say it allowed placing the test needle successfully on the first attempt, and that implanting a tined electrode took less than 20 minutes with no complications. The two patients, who had intractable constipation, experienced symptom improvement of more than 50% during the screening phase, and received a permanent implant. (Colorectal Disease)

Comparative Study in Back-Pain Patients Finds Conventional or High-Frequency Stimulation Yielded Similar Scores at One Year Followup

Nov. 4, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jose De Andres, MD, PhD, and colleagues published a comparative prospective, randomized, blind effect-on-outcome study comparing conventional and high-frequency spinal cord stimulation. After one year, assessments in 55 patients showed similar, significant global average reduction in scores. (Pain Medicine)

Lifetime Analysis of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Depression Finds It Cost-Effective After One Medication Failure

Oct. 26, 2017 - An analysis concludes that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation provides lower costs with better outcomes, with direct costs and quality adjusted life years ranging from $2,952/0.32 to $11,140/0.43 for younger patients. The authors say their results support the use of the therapy after a single failed antidepressant medication trial. (PLoS ONE)

Opinion Piece Says It's Time to Embrace New Pain Treatments

Nov. 4, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Peter Staats, MD, wrote an opinion article that says interventional pain therapies, by targeting the parts of the body that generate chronic pain, could help to eliminate patients' desire for opioids. (Newsweek)

Authors Conclude Sacral Neuromodulation in Teen-Agers and Adolescents May Be Cost-Effective for Chronic, Refractory Constipation

Nov. 1, 2017 - A modeling study based on data from 27 patients followed for a median of 22 months concluded that in children and adolescents aged 10 18 years old who have chronic refractory constipation, sacral neuromodulation can be a cost-effective option compared to continued conservative management. (Colorectal Disease)

Study Explores Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to Address Chronic Pain

Nov. 5, 2017 - An article describes a clinical trial of transcranial magnetic stimulation for chronic pain at the Medical University of South Carolina. (Post and Courier)

Australian Clinical Trial Will Explore Thalamic Deep Brain Stimulation in Patients Who Have Daily Epilepsy Attacks

Nov. 5, 2017 - A double-blinded clinical trial at the University of Melbourne will explore deep brain stimulation to the thalamus in up to 20 patients who have a type of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The childhood-onset condition causes daily attacks, and interferes with learning. The study is supported through a $1 million grant from Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council. (Herald Sun)

Article Describes Possible Advantages of Asleep Deep Brain Stimulation

Nov. 3, 2017 - A clinical trial of 69 deep brain stimulation (DBS) patients at Oregon Health & Science University compared awake vs. asleep DBS was reported to show better outcomes in communication, cognition and speech -- possibly because the asleep approach relies on imaging and so does not require using multiple probes to map the trajectory and target location through microelectrode recordings. (Portland Business Journal)

Pediatric Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea Receive Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulator

Nov. 2, 2017 - A case series of six adolescents who have Down syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea showed implantation of hypoglossal nerve stimulators was well tolerated and effective. The article says the pediatric patients, aged 12 - 18, were the first children to have the implant. (The JAMA Network)

Research Collaboration Will Explore Nerve Block Technology for Autonomic Nervous System

Nov. 2, 2017 - An article says that a stimulation method currently being used by Neuros Medical Inc. to block pain, which relies on a combined waveform of AC/DC currents across different time frames, may also help treat asthma and heart failure through research at Case Western Reserve University, with collaborators from the University of California at Los Angeles and Johns Hopkins University. A news release says the project received a four-year, $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. (Medical Design & Outsourcing)

In Clinical Trial, Spinal Cord Stimulation at Different Frequencies Delivered Equivalent Pain Relief

Nov. 2, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society members Simon Thomson, MBBS, and Timothy Deer, MD, were quoted in an article about the presentation of research results from Dr. Thomson's PROCO (Evaluation of Spinal Cord Stimulation Pulse Rate On Clinical Outcomes) clinical trial at the INS 13th World Congress in June 2017. Results of the double-blind, crossover study in 20 pain patients showed equivalent pain relief using spinal cord stimulation frequencies from 1 kHz to 10 kHz. Commentators called for additional, expanded study, and Dr. Deer pointed out neurostimulation can lower the need for opioid medication. (Pain Medicine News)

Research into Deep Brain Stimulation for Depression Discussed at National Institutes of Health Workshop

Oct. 31, 2017 - At a meeting on ethical dilemmas of brain stimulation research, experts discussed issues such as the 44 patients from a clinical trial of deep brain stimulation for depression who opted to leave their implants in place, but must cover the costs of maintaining the device or surgery to replace the pulse generator. (Science)

Australian Healthcare System Will Add Coverage for Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Epilepsy

Oct. 31, 2017 - The Australian government approved recommendations from the independent Medical Services Advisory Committee which include access to six vagus nerve stimulation items for epilepsy patients. (Brisbane Times)

Epidural Spinal Cord Stimulation Aided Physical Rehabilitation After Paralysis

Oct. 30, 2017 - A paraplegic man who combined epidural spinal cord stimulation with intensive rehabilitation therapy twice a day regained his ability to stand independently for periods of time, despite the loss of motor function in his legs following his injury. (Daily Mail)

Review Summarizes Evidence for Sacral Nerve Stimulation Following Surgery for Colon Disorders

Oct. 30, 2017 - A systematic review covers three papers about sacral nerve stimulation for fecal incontinence in patients who have had ileal pouch anal anastomosis for inflammatory bowel disease or other disorders. (Updates in Surgery)

Study Examines Factors That May Aid Patient Selection for Spinal Cord Stimulation

Oct. 24, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Julie Pilitis, MD, PhD, and colleagues report in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface on 86 patients who were followed for 12 months after spinal cord stimulation. The team found correlations in the 22% of patients whose pain was reduced at least 80% at one year. These remitters had greater reductions in the Pain Catastrophizing Scale and Oswestry Disability Index. On the other hand, patients who had pre-operative disability and opioid use were less likely to show remission. (MDLinx)

Article Summarizes Brain-Computer Interface Development

Oct. 24, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jaimie Henderson, MD, is mentioned in an article about the potential therapeutic promise of brain-machine interfaces that can essentially listen to, and "speak," the brain's language. (Parkinson's News Today)

Neurostimulation is Featured in Articles on Neuropsychiatry

Oct. 24, 2017 - A special report on neuropsychiatry includes an article on informed consent process for transcranial direct current stimulation, as well as others on deep brain stimulation for memory deficits and on transcranial magnetic stimulation and schizophrenia. (Psychiatric Times)

Grant Enables Research Into Neuroethics of Closed-Loop Brain Stimulation Therapies

Oct. 24, 2017 - A four-year, $1.9 million grant from the NIH BRAIN Initiative will support research into neuroethical implications of adaptive deep brain stimulation technologies, which use signals from the brain to adjust stimulation in real time. The researchers will follow 10 patients from five collaborating research studies. (Baylor College of Medicine)

Stimulation Study Pinpoints Area Linked to Recall of Distinct Memory

Oct. 24, 2017 - Memory tests on 13 people who were undergoing epilepsy monitoring showed that stimulating the right side of the brain’s entorhinal area, but not the left, improved subjects' ability to recognize specific faces and ignore similar ones. (UCLA)

Man With Rare Disease Has Reduced Dystonia Symptoms After Deep Brain Stimulation

Oct. 24, 2017 - Following deep brain stimulation, severe dystonia symptoms improved in a young man whose rare genetic degenerative brain disease led to iron build-up and dystonia that interfered with his ability to speak. (WXIA)

Vestibular Nerve Stimulation Targets Balance Impairment

Oct. 20, 2017 - A safety and efficacy clinical trial of a vestibular nerve stimulator to restore balance has shown good preliminary results, according to an investigator at Johns Hopkins. Results are available from the first three of five eventual enrollees. Their balance issues stem from inner ear damage that developed during a course of life-saving antibiotics. In the trial, stimulation is delivered in one ear through a modified cochlear implant that responds to data from an externally worn gyroscope. The developers anticipate potentially commercializing the device later through the spinoff company Labyrinth Devices. (IEEE Spectrum)

Interagency Working Group Produces U.S. Federal Pain Research Strategy

Oct. 20, 2017 - The NIH Office of Pain Policy has released a Federal Pain Research Strategy. The strategy prioritizes research recommendations concerning both acute and chronic pain. (NIH)

Article Advises Emergency Medicine Providers About Issues That Deep Brain Stimulation Patients May Present

October 2017 - An article alerts emergency medicine providers to be alert to potential complications involving deep brain stimulation implants. (Emergency Medicine News)

Article Covers Recent Push Toward Alternatives to Opioids for Chronic Pain

Oct. 21, 2017 - An article presents neuromodulation as an alternative to opioids to treat chronic pain. It quotes International Neuromodulation Society members Timothy Deer, MD; Richard Vaglienti, MD; and Allen Burton, MD about the long-term cost efficacy of neuromodulation. The article cites the 2016 INS fact sheet on spinal cord stimulation and quotes a U.S. health insurance industry representative, who said reimbursement is considered on a case-by-case basis. (Business Insider)

Team Studies Effect of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation on Appetite

Oct. 18, 2017 - A study of 21 people with obesity found that longer periods of transcranial direct current stimulation reduced hunger and snack food intake, but shorter term stimulation, such as 3 sessions, had no effect relative to sham. In the study, active-treatment subjects received anodal stimulation of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex for a maximum of 15 sessions. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)

Start-Up Surpasses Fundraising Goal for Neurostimulator Device Intended to Aid Weight Loss

Oct. 17, 2017 - The start-up Neurovalens has raised $1.5 million, which was reportedly more than 3,000% of its goal, for research and development of its non-invasive vestibular nerve stimulator that the company aims to apply to weight loss. (MobiHealthNews)

Article Profiles Research Into Brain-Computer Interfaces

Oct. 17, 2017 - An article about brain-computer interfaces discusses research into applications for prosthetics, vision, gait, and potentially epilepsy or stroke. Among the people interviewed is International Neuromodulation Society member Jaimie Henderson, MD, a professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University who is collaborating on neural prosthetics. (Stanford)

Study in Australia Examines Impact of Non-Invasive Stimulation on Balance of Stroke Survivors

Oct. 15, 2017 - A two-week controlled pilot study in Australia in 10 stroke survivors showed that non-invasive stimulation through a device placed on the tongue improved balance when combined with physical rehabilitation therapy. (Herald Sun)

Clinical Research Abstract Raises Possibility of Mitigating Stimulation Tolerance Through Closed-Loop Paradigm

Oct. 3, 2017 - A scientific abstract by International Neuromodulation Society member Marc Russo, MD presents six-month data on 36 patients who were implanted with a closed-loop spinal cord stimulation system. The system uses evoked compound action potentials to measure the response to stimulus. Through longer term follow-up, the abstract concludes, it may be determined whether this stimulation paradigm helps mitigate the development of stimulation tolerance. (NeuroNews)

Review Analyzes Spinal Cord Stimulation in Refractory Angina

October 2017 - An analysis of nine randomized controlled trials comprising 364 patients with refractory angina concluded that compared to groups that did not receive spinal cord stimulation (SCS), SCS decreased use of nitrate drugs and increased several indicators of health-related quality of life. The analysis found SCS outcomes compared to those of bypass surgery or revascularization. (Translational Perioperative and Pain Medicine)

Researchers Seek to Predict Response to Occipital Nerve Stimulation

Oct. 10, 2017 -  An article summarizes research published in Cephalalgia in which investigators studied response to occipital nerve stimulation in 100 patients who had migraine and/or headache attacks. They found a greater chance for therapy response among patients with short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks, as well as among patients who had responded previously to a greater occipital nerve block. (Clinical Pain Advisor)

After Initial Case, Observations Find No Link From Deep Brain Stimulation to Weight Loss

October 2017 - Clinicians who had published a deep brain stimulation (DBS) case in 2010 of a patient with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) who subsequently lost substantial weight have now observed data on 46 patients who had DBS that targeted the ventral anterior limb of the internal capsule for OCD or depression. The average body-mass index (BMI) of 15 patients who were morbidly obese decreased from 36.8 to 34.6, which was not significant. The average BMI of patients whose weight was normal or overweight increased from 23.8 to 25, which also was not significant. (Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery)

Project Will Use Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation to Explore the Basis of Inner Speech

October 2017 - A project at the University of Manchester will use non-invasive brain stimulation to study relationships between the right superior temporal sulcus and the experience of inner speech (which is described as "an audible speech-like experience without hearing actual sounds"). The principal investigator anticipates potential therapeutic applications. (FindAPhD)

Researcher Shows Effects on Adaptive Decision-Making

Oct. 9, 2017 - A study among 90 test subjects, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed the influence of functional connectivity between the medial frontal cortex and lateral prefrontal cortex on executive function. Study subjects improved their adaptive behavior when they received in-phase, theta-frequency, high-definition transcranial alternating current stimulation. With anti-phase stimulation, the performance temporarily worsened. The author said there may be applications in conditions that are associated with less than, or more than, normal connectivity. (Inverse)

Study Compares Awake and Asleep Deep Brain Stimulation Implantation in Parkinson's Disease

Oct. 6, 2017 - A single-center comparative six-month study compared outcomes in 30 Parkinson's disease patients who received asleep deep brain stimulation with outcomes of 39 patients who previously underwent awake deep brain stimulation (DBS) by the same surgeon. The authors conclude that motor outcomes of asleep DBS were on par or better than awake DBS and that asleep DBS was associated with superior fluency and quality of life. (Neurology)

In Study, Non-Invasive Stimulation Showed Promise for Migraine

Oct. 6, 2017 - A comparative study of 110 migraineurs who received transcutaneous occipital nerve stimulation, or medication, or sham stimulation, found that the treatment groups had a significantly higher 50% responder rate and lower headache intensity. (Medical News Bulletin)

Group in Finland Examines Incidence of Spinal Cord Stimulation Among Back-Surgery Patients

Oct. 5, 2017 - A team of authors from Finland who sought to estimate the incidence and predictive factors concerning spinal cord stimulation (SCS) in the lower-back surgery cohort at their facility surveyed 814 patients who had received non-traumatic back surgery between 2005 and 2008. Of that group, 21 had received SCS by 2015. The mean waiting time to receive SCS was 65 months (26-93 months). They conclude, "In our region, the SCS treatment is used only for very serious pain conditions. Waiting time is too long and it may be the reason why this treatment option is not offered to all candidates." (Journal of Pain Research)

Newspaper Article Describes Woman's Success Relieving Pain Through Burst Spinal Cord Stimulation

Oct. 5, 2017 - An article describes how a chronic pain patient injured in a horseback riding fall found relief through a burst mode of spinal cord stimulation. Her care was delivered by International Neuromodulation Society member Ganesan Baranidharan, MBBS FRCA FCARCSI, at the Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust in the UK. (Yorkshire Post)

Clinical Trial Compares Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation to Anti-Depressant Medication

Oct. 5, 2017 - A single-center, double-blind noninferiority trial in 245 adults with unipolar depression compared transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) plus oral placebo to tDCS alone, sham tDCS plus the selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor escitalopram, or sham tDCS and oral placebo. In this trial tDCS did not show noninferiority compared to the antidepressant medication over a 10-week period, and was associated with more adverse events, such as skin redness or tinnitus. (Clinical Pharmacist)

Experts Publish Standardized Procedure for Sacral Nerve Stimulation

Oct. 4, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Charles Knowles, PhD was among an international multidisciplinary working party of 10 highly experienced practitioners of sacral neuromodulation (sacral nerve stimulation) who convened two meetings, including a live operating one, to prepare a publication about standardization of the implant procedure to optimize outcomes. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Researchers Report Promising Results of Augmentative Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation During Rehabilitation for Treatment-Resistant Hemispatial Neglect

Oct. 4, 2017 - Researchers plan a larger study after seeing that transcranial direct current stimulation augmented rehabilitation of treatment-resistant stroke patients undergoing therapy for hemispatial neglect. (Medical Xpress)

Researchers Investigating Deep Brain Stimulation for Depression Publish an Analysis of Study Results

Oct. 4, 2017 - Data from 90 participants in a six-month double-blind, sham-controlled clinical trial confirmed the safety and feasibility of subcallosal cingulate deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a treatment for treatment-resistant depression. Although a futility analysis found no statistically significant antidepressant efficacy, the study authors provide contextual evidence they say "strongly supports further investigation of DBS of the subcallosal cingulate white matter as a potential therapy for treatment-resistant depression, a highly prevalent and disabling medical condition." (The Lancet Psychiatry)

In Study, Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Linked to Lower Fatigue in Patients With Multiple Sclerosis

Oct. 2, 2017 - A controlled study of transcranial direct current stimulation indicates that treatments reduced fatigue experienced by people with multiple sclerosis. The study had 27 subjects who received up to 20 sessions of stimulation over four weeks, for 20 minutes a day, five days a week. (Medical Xpress)

Authors Review Evidence for "Asleep" Deep Brain Stimulation in Movement Disorder

September 2017 - A review of nine studies of 237 patients who have Parkinson's disease or essential tremor and received "asleep" deep brain stimulation without microelectrode recording or intraoperative test stimulation suggests this approach can be performed safely with good outcomes although the authors say the initial findings should be further validated. (World Neurosurgery)

Clinical Team Devises Responsive Deep Brain Stimulation for an Individual with Medically Refractory Tourette Syndrome

Sept. 29, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Aysegul Gunduz, PhD and colleagues report on designing and implanting a responsive deep brain stimulation system in a patient with medically refractory Tourette syndrome. The stimulating leads were implanted in the centromedian-parafascicular region of the thalamus. After 12 months, the patient's symptoms improved in two scales by 64% and 48%, while the projected mean battery life improved 63.3%. For the device's control signal, the team used a spectral feature in the 5- to 15-Hz band. (Journal of Neurosurgery)

Review Examines Experimental Approach for Axial Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

Sept. 28, 2017 - Pedunculopontine nucleus deep brain stimulation (PPN DBS)  in Parkinson's disease has emerged as an experimental therapy for addressing axial motor deficits of Parkinson's disease that contribute to quality of life and safety issues, such as gait freezing and postural instability. A review by the Movement Disorders Society PPN DBS Working Group, in collaboration with the World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, found that less than 100 cases of this intervention have been published. Due to variable and unpredictable results, the authors recommend a multicenter database to track agreed-upon measures, clinical application, and outcomes. (Movement Disorders)

UK News Article Describes Research Into and Access to Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Depression

Oct. 2, 2017 - An article about vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) for depression cites five-year findings in the American Journal of Psychiatry from a registry that showed adjunctive VNS had enhanced antidepressant effects compared with treatment as usual. The article adds that VNS is difficult to get in the UK since funding can only be arranged if the specialist appeals to a panel that funds individual requests. (The Guardian)

Neuromodulation Practitioners Join Conversation About Opioid Epidemic

Oct. 1, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Rudy Malayil, MD is quoted in an article about pain treatment beyond opioids. The article says officials have written to insurers to ask for greater access to non-opioid pain management alternatives. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin wrote an open letter to two of the largest U.S. health insurers, and a coalition of 37 U.S. attorneys general also wrote to the head of a U.S. health insurance trade association, citing an article that quotes INS President Timothy Deer, MD about long-term cost savings from more advanced, non-opioid, therapies. (Herald Dispatch)

Parkinson's Disease Patient Gives First-Hand Account of His Deep Brain Stimulation in National News Outlet

Oct. 1, 2017 - A Parkinson's disease patient writes about his decade-long satisfaction with using deep brain stimulation to limit motor symptoms of the disease, as well as challenges from battery depletion, and brings up his earlier appeal for major spending in seeking disease cures. (Washington Post)

Study: Multi-Modal Neurostimulation Is Safe, Effective

Sept. 29, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Timothy Deer, MD and colleagues have published the results of a multicenter, randomized, unblinded, crossover study that followed 100 chronic pain patients for one year to assess the safety and efficacy of a spinal cord stimulation device that offers a choice of tonic or burst stimulation modes. Patients received one or the other mode for 12 weeks, and then crossed over to the other mode for another 12 weeks. For the remainder of the study period they continued on the mode of their choice. At one year, 68.2% of patients preferred burst stimulation, 23.9% preferred tonic, and 8% had no preference. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

News Coverage Highlights Patient's Increased Function Following Neurostimulation to Manage Chronic Pain

Sept. 28, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Giancarlo Barolat, MD, is quoted in an article about a patient who received neurostimulation for chronic pelvic pain and regained her ability to participate in daily activities, having been homebound and bedridden earlier when she was taking a range of painkillers to try to cope. (KUSA) 

Study Explores Using Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation for Recovery From Traumatic Brain Injury

Sept. 28, 2017 - A pilot study of low-intensity transcranial electrical stimulation in six patients with mild traumatic brain injury used magnetoencephalography to investigate neuronal changes after the participants received a passive neurofeedback-based treatment program. The authors say the patients' persistent post-concussive symptoms, and abnormal slow-waves, reduced significantly from the pre-treatment baseline. (Medical Xpress)

Analysis Assesses Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation in Essential Tremor

Sept. 28, 2017 - Authors of a systematic review and meta-analysis of non-invasive brain stimulation in essential tremor say the technique yielded positive treatment effects. (PLoS ONE)

Authors Assess Long-Term Benefits of Deep Brain Stimulation in Dystonia

Sept. 28, 2017 - Clinicians in Europe published data on deep brain stimulation to the globus pallidus internus (GPi DBS) for disabling isolated idiopathic, inherited, or acquired dystonia. In their report, 61 patients were followed for a median of about 8 years (from one year to more than 20). The authors conclude that GPi DBS is safe and effective for most patients with dystonia. (Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry)

Article Surveys Respiratory System Restoration After Spine Injury, and Potential Role of Spinal Cord Stimulation

September 2017 - An article discusses electrical neuromodulation of the respiratory system after spinal cord injury and concludes that spinal cord stimulation may have relatively broad potential for augmenting and restoring respiratory function, such as breathing or cough, in spine-injured individuals, beyond the capabilities of phrenic nerve stimulation or mechanical ventilation. (Mayo Clinic Proceedings)

Video Interview Summarizes Stroke Research

Sept. 26, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jesse Dawson, MD, was interviewed during the INS 13th World Congress about a double-blind pilot study of vagus nerve stimulation paired with physical rehabilitation for arm weakness following stroke. (SmartTRAK)

Woman's Deafness is Reversed Through Neurostimulation

Sept. 27, 2017 - A woman in Kentucky received an auditory brainstem implant, first recommended in 2009 when type 2 neurofibromatosis tumors damaged her auditory nerves. With treatment now covered by insurance, she received a cochlear implant on her right ear, followed by the auditory brainstem implant, which addresses the auditory nerve damage affecting her left ear. (Winchester Sun)

Patient Recounts Her Satisfaction With a Sacral Nerve Stimulation Implant

Sept. 25, 2017 - A woman in the UK describes receiving sacral nerve stimulation for fecal incontinance. (Daily Mail)

Study Looks at Longitudinal Costs of Spinal Cord Stimulation

Sept. 20, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society members Nandan Lad, MD, PhD, and Aladine Elsamadicy, MD and colleagues published a retrospective health economics analysis of 5,328 U.S. patients who received spinal cord stimulation for failed back surgery syndrome. The recipients represented 4.34% of the 122,827 patients who were identified with this indication from 2000 to 2012. Their longitudinal analysis showed that although costs climbed the year of implantation, they fell 68% compared to conventional medical management the next year, and an average of 40% annually after that, at 1, 3, 6 and 9 years. (Pain Physician)

Article Says Vagus Nerve Stimulation Helped Patient Gain Minimally Conscious State

Sept. 25, 2017 - A patient in France was brought to a minimally conscious state by use of vagus nerve stimulation after entering a vegetative state following an accident. (New Scientist)

Primer on Opioids Mentions Spinal Cord Stimulation as a Treatment Alternative

Sept. 18, 2017 - An article on "the top five things to know about opioids" mentions spinal cord stimulation as an advanced pain treatment alternative that can provide sustained pain relief. (Mountain Grove News-Journal)

Study: Non-Invasive Stimulation Reduced Pain After Migraines Began

Sept. 18, 2017 - A presentation at the 18th Congress of the International Headache Society on 57 patients who have participated in a randomized, sham-controlled clinical trial for acute migraine suggests that external trigeminal nerve stimulation can reduce pain of the attacks even three or more hours after an attack began. (Medscape)

Non-Invasive Stimulation Augmented Anxiety Disorder Therapy in Study

Sept. 18, 2017 - A placebo-controlled study showed that 20 minutes of transcranial magnetic stimulation prior to a desensitization exercise, using virtual reality, for study subjects who were afraid of heights had an effect that lasted three months. The active stimulation to the frontal lobe was described as accelerating the therapy to help overcome the anxiety. (Deccan Chronicle)

Initial Data Published on Closed-Loop Spinal Cord Stimulation

Sept. 18, 2017 - An Early View article presents data from six months of study of closed-loop spinal cord stimulation for chronic back and/or leg pain. Of 36 patients who received implants, the proportion experiencing more than 50% relief at three and six months was more than 90% and 80% respectively. For more than half of the recipients, pain relief surpassed 80% at three and six months (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Clinicians: Twenty Sessions of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Reduced Youths' Autism Symptoms

Sept. 17, 2017 - Clinicians from Cuba report that in a partial cross-over trial of 24 children (mean age 12), 20 sessions of non-invasive brain stimulation to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex improved autistic symptoms for six months. Children 10 and younger received transcranial direct current stimulation, while children aged 10 years, 11 months and older received repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, which requires more collaboration for targeting. (Behavioral Science)

Article Summarizes Electrical Stimulation Methods to Address Paralysis

Sept. 15, 2017 - The journal Physiology has published an overview of electrical stimulation to improve function after spinal cord injury. (Medical Xpress)

Research Review Explores Publications on the Clinical Use of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

Sept. 14, 2017 - An article reviews nearly 17 years of published research into transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to augment cognitive or physical therapy. The authors comment, "Although tDCS is a safe and easy technique, it is only safe and easy in the hands of trained persons." Still, they conclude that remotely controlled and supervised tDCS for home has promise as a potentially widespread clinical use of noninvasive brain stimulation. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Review Surveys Evidence Regarding Neuromodulation for Trigeminal Neuralgia

Sept. 14, 2017 - Commenting that neuromodulation represents "some of the most exciting new technologies in neurology today," a neurologist reviews several less-invasive and more-invasive forms of neuromodulation that have been explored to relieve trigeminal neuralgia that is not effectively treated with conventional surgery and/or medication. (Headache Currents)

Interview About International Neuromodulation Society 13th World Congress Recaps Progress in the Field

Sept. 7, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Timothy Deer, MD, gave an 8-minute videotaped interview at the start of the INS 13th World Congress about exciting presentations, emerging trends and impacts, and research results and potential market growth that are on the horizon. The interview touched upon growing access based on reimbursement, patient demand for alternatives, the need to avoid or minimize opioid use, and advancing technology. Technology advances include smaller, smarter devices with new waveforms, frequencies, pulse trains and targets, and closed-loop adjustment of stimulation for devices addressing pain or interventions targeting brain centers or bladder function. He also mentioned impressive research permitting paralyzed persons to move or use a cursor. (SmartTRAK)

Abstract Presents 12-Month Results in Post-Market Study of Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation

Sept. 14, 2017 - An article covers an abstract presented at the International Neuromodulation Society 13th World Congress by INS member Sam Eldabe, MBBS, FRCA on a prospective, observational, post-market study of dorsal root ganglion stimulation for chronic intractable pain, PREDICT. The study followed 100 implanted patients for up to 12 months. The data suggest patients with complex regional pain syndrome or peripheral nerve injury respond particularly well, especially in the lower extremities, according to the abstract. (NeuroNews)

Long-term Data Presented About Neuromodulation for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sept. 13, 2017 - Hypoglossal nerve stimulation led to significant improvements in moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea at one and five years, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. (Business Wire)

Meta-Analysis Provides Evidence for Sacral Neuromodulation to Relieve Bladder Pain Syndrome/Interstitial Cystitis

Sept. 8, 2017 - Urology researchers in Guangzhou, China write that a meta-analysis of 17 studies with 583 subjects provides strong evidence for sacral neuromodulation relieving bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis. They believe theirs is the first meta-analysis in this indication, and added that the long-term success rate was found to be 76%, similar to the short-term success rate of 88%. (Scientific Reports)

Article Discusses Bioelectronic Medicine Challenges and Potential

Sept. 8, 2017 - An article about early research into bioelectronic medicine says that it may not be necessary to develop smaller electrodes to target individual nerve fibers to treat inflammatory disease. That's because a low current from a cuff electrode around the vagus nerve should preferentially stimulate low-threshold fibers that link to the spleen. In principle, this stimulation would in turn down-regulate release of inflammatory factors. (The Guardian)

Article Details Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial of Kilohertz Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation

Sept. 5, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Simon Thomson, MBBS, FRCA, FIPP, FFPMRCA, was interviewed about the PROCO (Effects of Pulse Rate On Clinical Outcomes in Kilohertz Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation) randomized controlled trial, whose results he presented at the INS 13th World Congress. The results showed no clinical difference in pain relief using frequencies from 1–10kHz. In the study, targeting was optimized at 10kHz. During randomization, both amplitude and pulse width were optimized at each of four frequencies tested -- 1kHz, 4kHz, 7kHz and 10kHz. In the interview, Dr. Thomson discussed using a minimal electrical neural dose, adding that automation might facilitate targeting and neural dose optimization. (NeuroNews)

Article Calls Neurostimulation a Technology-Based Alternative to Opioids

Aug. 31, 2017 - An article that asks "are we doing all we can to stop the opioid crisis?" calls spinal cord stimulation "an underutilized pain management alternative for patients struggling with chronic pain." (U.S. News)

Study Examined Frequency-Specific Neuromodulation of Local and Distant Connectivity in Memory

Aug. 28, 2017 - In a pre-print, Duke University researchers say that in 15 healthy volunteers, they gathered evidence of network interactions that are associated with successful memory encoding in older adults. The investigation combined transcranial magnetic stimulation to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, fMRI, and diffusion weighted imaging. (BioRxiv)

Clinicians Report on Noninvasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation to Address Pain of Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalalgia

Aug. 28, 2017 - A research letter describes using noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation in the headache disorders paroxysmal hemicranial and hemicranial continua in which medical treatment with indomethacin is not tolerated. (JAMA Neurology)

Article Forecasts Aspects of Future Bioelectronic Medicine Devices

Aug. 28, 2017 - An article says bioelectronic medicine devices to stimulate peripheral nerves for chronic conditions may appear by the mid-2020s and at first may be the size of a pill or pen. The article said the treatments would modulate organ function, such as hormone production or airway constriction. (Guardian)

Magazine Presents the Science of Neural Circuits and Addiction

September 2017 - A cover story about addiction and neural reward circuitry describes, in part, using transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat the disorder. (National Geographic)

Neurosurgeons in China Report Deep Brain Stimulation Reduced Symptoms of Tardive Dystonia

Aug. 23, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Bomin Sun, MD and colleagues reported in Parkinsonism and Related Disorders about long-term followup in 10 patients who received deep brain stimulation for refractory tardive dystonia. The patients' movement and disability scores improved 87% and 84% respectively by six months, and continued, after plateauing. Follow-up lasted as long as 8.75 years. (MD Magazine)

Clinical Trial: Abdominal Pain in Adolescents Reduced Through Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Field Stimulation

Aug. 18, 2017 - A research team reports on a randomized controlled clinical trial in which percutaneous electrical nerve field stimulation was applied to the external ear to relieve pain in 115 adolescents who had abdominal pain from functional gastrointestinal disorders. Patients in the treatment group had greater pain reduction after three weeks, compared to sham. (Gastroenterology & Hematology)

Clinical Trial Participant Helps Advance Research into Functional Electrical Stimulation for Paralysis

Aug. 22, 2017 - An article profiles a spine-injured patient who was the first participant in a clinical trial of a cortical implant that bypasses his injured spine and allows him to move his paralyzed hand and arm. International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, is a medical director of the project. The research team published a paper about their work in Scientific Reports. (Columbus Monthly)

State Hospital Brings Deep Brain Stimulation for Adults to a New Area of South Africa

Aug. 22, 2017 - A man with tardive dystonia became the first adult to receive deep brain stimulation at a state hospital in the Western Cape in South Africa. (Bizcommunity)

Case Report: Wireless Peripheral Nerve Stimulator Reduced Pain of Post-Herpetic Neuralgia

Aug. 18, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Bart Billet, MD, and colleagues report in PAIN Practice on a case of a 78-year-old man with postherpetic neuralgia whose pain was relieved by a wireless peripheral nerve stimulator. (Clinical Pain Advisor)

Article Recounts Progress in Spinal Cord Stimulation

Aug. 18, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society President Timothy Deer, MD, is quoted in an article about spinal cord stimulation (SCS). The article notes drawbacks of longterm opioid treatment, and says that with its technical advancements, SCS is poised to become a mainstay in chronic pain treatment. (Pain Medicine News)

Study of Deep Brain Stimulation in Post-Stroke Pain Showed Some Modulation of Mood

Aug. 16, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD, presented results of a 10-patient prospective study of deep brain stimulation for post-stroke pain at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Stimulation that targeted the affective, emotional aspect of pain led to a change in perception and emotion but disability associated with pain remained unchanged. (Pain Medicine News)

First Enrollee Shows Continued Progress in Clinical Study of Deep Brain Stimulation in Stroke Recovery

Aug. 10, 2017 - An article describes progress made by the first enrollee in a clinical study of deep brain stimulation to augment stroke recovery. International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD, the investigator, will work with the FDA to change the study protocol so the patient can continue to receive stimulation after four months because she has continued to make progress, without a plateau as had initially been anticipated by the original study design. (Time)

Neuromodulation Research Winner to be Honored at Chinese Neuromodulation Society Meeting

Aug. 4, 2017 - The International Neuromodulation Society Chinese chapter will honor the first winner of the Science & PINS Prize for Neuromodulation on Sept. 2 at the 2017 Annual Meeting of Chinese Neuromodulation Society & The 8th Neuromodulation Congress of China in Jinan, Shandong Province, China. The winner of the $25,000 prize, University of Maryland Assistant Professor Meaghan Creed, PhD, submitted an essay for publication in the journal about her work showing a reversal of addictive symptoms in mice exposed to cocaine through deep brain stimulation (DBS) plus a drug to inhibit dopamine D1 receptors. In the mouse model of cocaine addiction, combining neurostimulation and a receptor antagonist showed an effect similar to the reversal seen in mice treated with optogenetics. Ontogenetic tools initially provided insight into how the plasticity of the brain's reward system is altered by exposure to addictive drugs. DBS alone was ineffective in addressing the symptoms in the mice. She explained in her essay that using a precise circuit-based intervention was key: "One acute, 10-min session of optogenetically inspired DBS . . . reversed cocaine-evoked plasticity and abolished drug-adaptive behavior for more than a week after its application." (AAAS)

Study: Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Improved Cognitive Task Scores for Schizophrenic Patients After 24 Hours

Aug. 1, 2017 - A study of 49 people with schizophrenia in the journal Brain explored whether transcranial direct current stimulation might address problems with working memory and executive function that impair daily function for people with the condition. The double-blind, sham-controlled study found significant improvement in working memory 24 hours after stimulation. Twenty-eight subjects also had a functional MRI exam, and the study tracked improvements in an executive function task with changes in activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, task-related brain regions, and more distal nodes. (Psychiatric Times)

Article Presents Neuromodulation Alternatives to Opioids for Managing Chronic Pain

July 31, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Michael Leong, MD, is quoted in a news feature that describes how neurostimulation for chronic pain presents an alternative to reliance on opioid medication. (Technology Review)

Authors Review Mechanisms of Deep Brain Stimulation

July 26, 2017 - A review of clinical and experimental data notes that deep brain stimulation shows immediate effects and effects over several weeks, suggesting large networks are involved, and that direct involvement of axonal fibers rather than grey matter has been seen. The authors say the mode of action, therefore, is not just limited to stimulation of basal ganglia brain centers. They suggest that when deep brain structures are not the primary target, therapeutic terms such as "electrical neuro-network modulation" may be useful. (Nature Reviews)

Data Show Increased Adoption of Sacral Neuromodulation for Overactive Bladder

June 27, 2017 - Case logs from the American Board of Urology show that from 2003 to 2012, the number of sacral neuromodulation procedures for overactive bladder increased from 48 to 2068. By contrast, the number of augmentation cystoplasty procedures remained stable, with 14 to 38 cases reported annually. Proportionally, the augmentation procedure dropped from 25% to less than 1% of cases. (Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery)

Study Reports Five-Year Follow-up Results of Sacral Neuromodulation in Overactive Bladder

July 17, 2017 - A five -year follow-up study in the Journal of Urology concludes that sacral neuromodulation has sustained efficacy and quality-of-life improvements, and an acceptable safety profile. The prospective multi-center study enrolled 340 patients with overactive bladder. In the study, 68 patients received standard drug therapy, and the remainder received a sacral nerve stimulation implant. (Mass Device)

International Neuromodulation Society Member Studies Peripheral Nerve Field Stimulation for Pain Relief

July 17, 2017 - A retrospective study presented by International Neuromodulation Society member Sylvine Cottin, PhD, showed that peripheral nerve field stimulation improved chronic pain by more than 50% in 30 patients who were followed for 24 months. One-third of the patients also received spinal cord stimulation simultaneously. The patients primarily had failed back surgery syndrome or low back pain. (Pain Medicine News)

Medical Center in India Begins Providing Deep Brain Stimulation for Movement Disorders

July 16, 2017 - A Parkinson's disease patient received a deep brain stimulation implant last week at a medical center in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. An article says that previously the state did not have a dedicated, multi-disciplinary program to address movement disorders in a comprehensive way. The new treatment program is expected to integrate complementary medicine and yoga. (The Hans India)

Care-Home Residents in the United Kingdom to Participate in a Clinical Trial of Transcutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation for Urinary Incontinence

July 14, 2017 - A three-year controlled clinical trial of transcutaneous tibial nerve stimulation will be  carried out in the UK in 500 patients living in care homes who have urinary incontinence. The study is being funded by the National Institute for Health Research. (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy)

Report Summarizes Seizure Reduction in Epilepsy Patients who Received Responsive Neurostimulation Systems

June 2017 - Responsive neurostimulation in epilepsy patients was shown to reduce seizures over two to six years after implantation in 126 patients. (Epilepsia)

Six Research Teams Receive Federal Grants for Brain-Computer Research

July 10, 2017 - The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will fund six research teams for four years to develop prototype technology to transmit data between the brain and computers. The work may address blindness, paralysis and speech disorders through such means as light-emitting diodes, sensors linked to systems designed to decode speech, and detecting neural activity with holographic microscopes. Engadget reported that the lead organizations are Brown University, Columbia University, The Seeing and Hearing Foundation, the John B. Pierce Laboratory, Paradromics Inc. and the University of California, Berkeley. (Gizmodo)

Foundation Gives $1 Million for Research into Nerve Stimulation as a Potential Therapy for Diabetes

July 10, 2017 - The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research received a $1 million gift from the Knapp Family Foundation for research into developing a bioelectronic nerve-stimulation system to regulate glucose metabolism in diabetes patients, functioning as a sort of "electronic pancreas" in lieu of having the patients rely on insulin injections. (Innovate Long Island)

Agency Grants $19 Million for Brain-Computer Interface Development

July 10, 2017 - The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) has eight organizations, led by Brown University, up to $19 million over four years to develop a fully implantable wireless brain interface system to record and stimulate neural activity. The award came through DARPA's new Neural System Engineering Design program. (EurekAlert)

International Neuromodulation Society Members Reflect on the Past and Future of Spinal Cord Stimulation

July 5, 2017 - NeuroNews published a feature about the 50th anniversary of spinal cord stimulation therapy. The article includes perspectives from International Neuromodulation Society members Giancarlo Baronet, MD; Christophe Perruchoud, MD; and Simon Thomson, MD. (NeuroNews)

Three Patients Receive an Investigational Closed-Loop Deep Brain Stimulation System for Essential Tremor

June 30, 2017 - Under an investigational device exemption, researchers have implanted a closed-loop deep brain stimulation system in three patients with essential tremor, and say the system provides a 50% savings in battery life. (R&D Magazine)

Article Recaps Brain-Computer Interface Progress

June 19, 2017 - A feature article summarizes the state of brain-computer interface research projects, noting that while devices are far from everyday use, they are beginning to help people who are paralyzed, and include attempts to include sensory input. (Paste Magazine)

Neuromodulation Research Database Registrants Surge After INS Congress

June 2017 - The collective database of primary neuromodulation research data, WIKISTIM, reported the largest monthly increase in registrants -- a one-month increase of more than 7% -- since the online resource was created in 2013. Its editor, International Neuromodulation Society member Jane Shipley, attributes that growth to her presentations made at the INS 13th World Congress. In the monthly newsletter, she acknowledged INS Director-at-Large Konstantin Slavin for mentioning the resource during his presentations as well. With an additional 37 registrants since May, the registered users now number 510. (WIKISTIM)

Deep Brain Stimulation Clinical Trial Addresses Affective Component of Neuropathic Pain

June 14, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD, was mentioned in an article about the first prospective, randomized, controlled trial of DBS for neuropathic pain. The work was published in May 2017 in the Annals of Neurology. Co-authors included fellow INS members Scott Lempke, PhD and Kenneth Baker, PhD. In the nine patients in the cross-over trial, active stimulation did not produce at least a 50% improvement in pain disability compared to sham, but the stimulation to the ventral striatum did improve indices of the affective component of pain, such as depression, anxiety and quality of life. (Cleveland Clinic)

Spinal Cord Stimulation Improved Gait in Patients with Advanced Parkinson's Disease

June 6, 2017 - A pilot study of spinal cord stimulation in advanced Parkinson's disease, reported at the International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders (MDS) 2017, showed the intervention improved freezing of gait in five patients whose gait dysfunction did not respond to levodopa. Up to 25 patients may eventually be included in the study. (Medscape)

INS Announces Six Best Abstracts at the 13th World Congress

May 29, 2017 - The International Neuromodulation Society announced six best abstract awards at its 13th World Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland. The abstracts about pain and movement disorder were presented in a plenary session during the opening day of the congress. (EurekAlert)

Small Study Suggests Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Can Help Relieve Chronic Knee Pain

May 22, 2017 - A double-blind, randomized clinical study of 40 adults aged 50 -70 with osteoarthritis indicated that five daily sessions of transcranial direct Current stimulation lessened their pain severity. (tDCS) (Medscape)

Article Highlights Acceleration of Neuromodulation Progress

May 18, 2017 - An interview with International Neuromodulation Society President Timothy Deer, MD, prior to the INS 13th World Congress, touches upon the accelerating progress made in the field of neuromodulation. (Medtech Insight)

Interview Surveys the Future of Neuromodulation

May 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society President Timothy Deer, MD, is interviewed about the future of neuromodulation in a publication's "Spotlight on neuromodulation". He describes devices becoming smarter so they can evaluate the response of the body and make changes in real time, as well as work in the brain to find new targets to treat diseases and conditions that are not optimally treated by pharmaceutical options. (Neuro Central)

Company Announces Its Neurostimulator's First Use in Ireland

May 9, 2017 - Mainstay Medical International plc announces its first sale and implant of its neurostimulation system to treat disabling chronic low back pain in Ireland. (Business Wire)

Long-Term Evidence Published Regarding Closed-Loop Neurostimulation in Epilepsy

May 3, 2017 - An article summarizes two recently published studies that offer long-term perspective on responsive, closed-loop, neurostimulation for the reduction of epileptic seizures. (Practical Neurology)

Grant Supports Research into Combining Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation with Monitoring of Brain-Network Activation

April 26, 2017 - Aalto University and the University of Eastern Finland  have received a grant of €1M from the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation to produce a new kind of multi-channel transcranial magnetic stimulator that is compatible with fMRI and EEG methods to measure stimulation-induced neural network activation. The intent is to develop approaches to conditions such as Parkinson's disease, chronic pain, and potentially also stroke or depression. (Science Business)

U.S. Agency Announces Research Grants for Brain-Plasticity Studies

April 26, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Defense's Advanced Research Program Agency, DARPA, is funding eight projects at seven U.S. universities to study ways to potentially use peripheral nerve stimulation to facilitate brain plasticity and learning, through the Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT) program. (DARPA)

Study: Transcutaneous Occipital Nerve Stimulation Lowered Migraine Intensity

April 17, 2017 - A randomized controlled clinical trial of transcutaneous occipital nerve stimulation in 110 patients with migraine found that one month of neurostimulation plus treatment with topiramate resulted in reduced headache intensity, regardless of frequency -- which was either 2 Hz, 100 Hz, or 2/100 Hz. The group that received 100 Hz stimulation plus topiramate had significant decreases in headache duration. (Pain)

Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Aided Some Memory Training in Study

April 24, 2017 Researchers investigating the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) report that tDCS to the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in 12 subjects significantly improved performance on a verbal memory-training task and a related task, as well as a reasoning test. The overall research explored combinations of working memory training in groups of 70 volunteers total, with some tDCS administered to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and some to the right. Results appeared in the journal Neuropsychologia. Daily)

Case Series Indicates Sacral Nerve Stimulation Shows Promise for Refractory Constipation in Pediatric Patients

April 24, 2017 - The author of an abstract presented at the 2016 World Congress of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition concluded that sacral nerve stimulation is promising for children who have constipation that is refractory to conventional treatment. The study involved 25 patients with a mean age of 14. Despite a 25% complication rate, all patients said they would recommend the therapy to patients with similar symptoms. (Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News)

Review Summarizes Studies of Non-invasive Brain Stimulation in Spasticity Management

April 19, 2017 - Authors of a literature review about repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation or transcranial direct current stimulation for spasticity management say most studies have been heterogenous. However, they write that published findings indicate "low-frequency rTMS and cathodal-tDCS over the unaffected hemisphere are more effective in reducing spasticity than high-frequency rTMS and anodal-tDCS over the affected hemisphere in chronic post-stroke." (PM & R)

Facing Unusual Spinal Anatomy, Physicians Use Three-Dimensional Printing to Plan a Spinal Cord Stimulation Case

April 20, 2017 - A case report in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface describes using 3D printing to plan spinal cord stimulation for a patient whose distorted spinal anatomy had previously made access to the target location difficult. (

Researchers Predict Electrical Stimulation Aids Memory Most When Recall Wanes

April 20, 2017 - Researchers published results of a study in which they analyzed brain activity during memory tests and then developed and tested a predictive algorithm that indicates memory recall is enhanced when a stimulus is applied at a time it is faltering. The study in Current Biology was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, through the DARPA Restoring Active Memory (RAM) program. The data were obtained during intracranial monitoring of 102 people who were undergoing epilepsy evaluation. (IEEE Spectrum)

Review Summarizes Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Studies that Address Obesity

April 19, 2017 - A review of studies of non-invasive brain stimulation for obesity in the journal Appetite found that short studies indicated stimulating the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex appears to decrease food cravings, but the promising results are preliminary and not conclusive. (Pakistan Observer)

INS Member Discusses Data Showing Patient Satisfaction Over 7.5 Years With Spinal Cord Stimulation

April 18, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Simon Thomson, MD, was interviewed about a single-center case series of 321 patients in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface that suggests the cost-effectiveness of spinal cord stimulation may become increasingly favorable. The interview also covered a comparatively low infection rate, accomplished through meeting the recent infection-control guidelines published by the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee. (NeuroNews)

Clinical Trial Participant with ALS Uses Her Thoughts to Type Via a Brain-Computer Interface

March 29, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jamie Henderson, MD, of Stanford University was interviewed about an ALS patient who is using the BrainGate2 interface to mentally control a cursor and type out her thoughts despite her immobility due to her condition. His university is among the collaborating institutions that work on BrainGate research. (

Analysis Tracks Infection Rates in Spinal Cord Stimulation Implants

April 14, 2017 - In an analysis of two U.S. payor databases, International Neuromodulation Society member David Provenzano, MD, found infection rates for spinal cord stimulation of 3.11% within one year of implant, which is approximately 1% higher than the rate for cardiac pacemaker implants. He called for identifying and evaluating common risk factors in a prospective manner. (Pain Medicine News)

Article Reports Tractography Aided Targeting in Deep Brain Stimulation for Depression

April 12, 2017 - Researchers prospectively planned surgical targeting of deep brain stimulation to the subcallosal cingulate in 11 patients with treatment-resistant depression, using diffusion tractography and 3-D modeling to guide individualized targeting. In Molecular Psychiatry, they report that after 12 months, nine of the patients were responders, with six in remission. (Medical Xpress)

Experiments Explore Impact of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation on Honesty

April 10, 2017 - Researchers found non-invasive brain stimulation increased honesty in experiments involving 300 university students. They report that transcranial direct current stimulation over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex made study subjects less likely to cheat for financial incentive on a die-rolling experiment, compared to controls. The study appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Article Explores Genesis and Possibilities for Brain-Computer Interfaces

April 9, 2017 - Engineers at the University of Washington produced an overview about the state of brain-computer interfaces, and their inherent limitations and possibilities. They claim the brain may adjust to an interface just as people learn to drive a car or use a touchscreen. (The Conversation)

Researchers Publish Findings on Deep Brain Stimulation in Tourette Syndrome

April 7, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Alon Mogilner, MD, PhD was quoted in an article about a study he published with colleagues in the Journal of Neurosurgery. In it, they report on 13 patients with refractory Tourette Syndrome who received deep brain stimulation over the past seven years, with at least six months of follow-up. On average, the patients achieved a 50% reduction in tic severity. The average position of the active contact was the the junction of the posterior ventralis oralis internus and the centromedian-parafascicular nuclei. (Washington Post)

Experts Discuss Spinal Cord Stimulation Advances and Advantages

April 5, 2017 - An article summarizes roundtable discussion during the January North American Neuromodulation Society meeting about three-dimensional targeting and waveform variation in spinal cord stimulation (SCS). International Neuromodulation Society member Simon Thomson, MBBS, sums up comments by noting, "With opioids, you might get a reduction in the pain score, but you don’t get an improved health-related quality of life. This is quite different from SCS, where the health-related quality of life and the pain score are maintained long term.” (Becker Spine Review)

Research Presentation: Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Altered Balance of Gut Bacteria in Weight-Loss Study

April 3, 2017 - An Endocrine Society news release announces that researchers will present findings showing that deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) to the insula and prefrontal cortex for weight loss also altered gut microbiota. In the controlled clinical trial of 14 patients, half received sham stimulation and half received 15 sessions of dTMS over five weeks. The release states that the treatment group lost more than 3% of their total body weight and 4% of their fat. The gut microbiota reportedly showed increases in bacteria associated with anti-inflammatory properties and some improved hormonal parameters. The investigation followed prior studies that indicated an imbalance of gut bacteria altered brain signals for appetite. (New Atlas)

Three-Part Series on Deep Brain Stimulation Provides Targeting Overview

March 29, 2017 - Part II of a three-part presentation covers targeting of the globus pallidus internus (GPi). Part I covered the ventralis intermedius (VIM) and included an overview of the therapy, equipment, and programming. (NEJM Journal Watch)

Newsletter Acknowledges 50th Anniversary of Dorsal Column Stimulation

March 2017 - The monthly newsletter of WIKISTIM, the collaborative database of published, peer-reviewed primary research data, made note of the 50th anniversary of the first-in-man demonstration of "dorsal column" (spinal cord) stimulation. (WIKISTIM)

Columnist Points Out Long-Term Advantages of Neurostimulation Compared to Risks of Opioids

March 2017 - A column notes the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine is repeating its effort to have workers' compensation coverage for spinal cord stimulation denied in California. (Neurotech Reports)

Paralysis Patient Participates in Epidural Spinal Cord Stimulation Clinical Trial

April 3, 2017 - Four years after he was injured, a man paralyzed in a snow mobile accident is participating in a clinical trial of epidural spinal cord stimulation to try to recover the ability to stand or move his lower limbs. (Star Tribune)

An Autism Patient Has Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery in India

April 1, 2017 - A woman from the United States who has epilepsy, symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and autism traveled to India for deep brain stimulation. An article says some of her symptoms has lessened, she resumed speaking for the first time in more than 30 years, and her family hopes that she will be more able to manage herself. (DNA India)

Longitudinal Study Finds Chronic Depression Treatment Improved with Adjunctive Vagus Nerve Stimulation

March 31, 2017 - A five-year observational study of 795 patients with chronic depression, published online in the American Journal of Psychiatry, found that usual care plus adjunctive vagus nerve stimulation resulted in better cumulative response and remission rates that usual care alone. (PR Newswire)

Article Announces the International Neuromodulation Society 13th World Congress

March 30, 2017 - An article that announces the International Neuromodulation Society's 13th World Congress, in Edinburgh May 27 - June 1, 2017, quotes International Neuromodulation Society President Timothy Deer, MD, about recent growth in the field and developments to be presented. (

Tetraplegia Patient Demonstrates Restored Reaching and Grasping by Using a Functional Electrical Stimulation Neuroprosthesis and Brain-Computer Interface

March 28, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jonathan Miller, MD and co-authors report in The Lancet on a patient with tetraplegia who was recruited to the BrainGate2 clinical trial to use a brain-computer-interface with an implanted functional electrical stimulation system as a neuroprosthesis to voluntarily reach and grasp following spinal cord injury, (The Lancet)

Review Examines Studies of Non-invasive Brain Stimulation in Post-Stroke Therapy for Dysphagia

March 28, 2017 - Two researchers review studies about post-stroke rehabilitation for swallowing difficulty and conclude that clinical trials of motor recovery that includes use of non-invasive brain stimulation -- such as transcranial magnetic stimulation or transcranial direct current stimulation -- offer early signs of promise for treatment of dysphagia. (Dysphagia)

Entrepreneur Finances a Brain-Computer Interface Startup

March 28, 2017 - Technology entrepreneur Elon Musk has started a California firm called Neuralink to develop a brain-computer interface. He confirmed reports of the company he is funding and indicated more information will come out in a week. (Newsweek)

Neural Prosthesis Allows Paralyzed Man to Eat Using Robotic Arm

March 28, 2017 - A man paralyzed for eight years has demonstrated an ability to feed himself mashed potatoes by using his thoughts to move his arm, attached to a brain-computer interface, as part of the BrainGate research project. (Reuters)

Article Describes Development of a Custom Neural Prosthesis

March 27, 2017 - An article highlights the journey taken by one man who has received a custom neural prosthetic that allows him some use of his hand, bypassing the spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed seven years ago. (Daily Mail)

Study Suggests Spinal Cord Stimulation Curbs Opioid Use

March 22, 2017 - A study presented at the 2017 annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society analyzed data for more than 5,400 patients between January 2010 and December 2014, finding that 70% of patients who received spinal cord stimulation reported declined or stabilized opioid use. (Pain Medicine News)

Physicians Report Two Cases of Peripheral Nerve Stimulation for Lower Back Pain

March 20, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society members Leonardo Kapural, MD, PhD, John Chae, MD, Richard Rauck, MD, Michael Saulino, MD, Joseph Boggs, PhD and colleagues report in Pain Practice on two patients who received one month of peripheral nerve stimulation for chronic low back pain. They say the use of pain relievers dropped and the patient who had been taking opioids stopped, and the pain relief continued at least four months after therapy began. (Medical Xpress)

Journal Publishes a Long-Term Followup of Eight Patients with Depression who Received Deep Brain Stimulation

March 20, 2017 - Researchers in Germany report that seven of eight patients who received deep brain stimulation to the medial forebrain bundle for severe depression showed lasting improvements up to four years into treatment. The report appeared in the journal Brain Stimulation. (

Updated Intrathecal Drug Delivery Guidelines are Featured

March 16, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Peter Staats, MD, was interviewed for an article about the updated guidelines published in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface by the Polyanalgesic Consensus Conference. The update ranks evidence and lists 32 consensus points. INS member Todd Sitzman, MD was quoted in the article as noting that the guidelines recommend lower medication concentrations and potentially safer daily dosages of many medications. Dr. Staats said he anticipates a resurgence of interest in intrathecal therapy for patients whose conditions are otherwise hard to manage. (Pain Medicine News)

Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Studied in Australia for Mild to Moderate Alzheimer's Disease

March 15, 2017 - An article profiles a patient with early stage Alzheimer's disease who participated in a small placebo-controlled clinical trial of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for cognition, attention, memory and concentration. The treatment consisted of six weeks of treatments with theta-burst stimulation, which can target four sections of the brain in 12 minutes. She said her symptoms have not worsened and in some cases her memory has been helped. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Patient's Tourette Syndrome Symptoms Improve After Deep Brain Stimulation

March 14, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Joohi Jimenez-Shahed, MD, an assistant professor of neurology at Baylor College of Medicine, was interviewed for a television segment about a patient with Tourette Syndrome whose symptoms improved after Dr. Jimenez-Shahed implanted a deep brain stimulation system. The patient is a high school girl's club lacrosse team coach who said she had been drained by trying to control her symptoms and thinking of taking a medical leave before the successful procedure 10 months ago. (Click2Houston)

Authors Report Six Months' Follow-Up of Pain Control Using Tibial Nerve Microstimulator

March 15, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society members Pawel Sokal, PhD; Marek Harat, MD, PhD, and colleagues published a case series of six patients with peripheral neuropathic pain and complex regional pain syndrome who were treated with a wirelessly controlled microstimulator to provide tibial nerve stimulation. The authors report that pain relief was immediate and sustained for six months. They write that intermittent tibial nerve stimulation with such a device is safe and effective as well as minimally invasive. (Dove Press)

Publication Profiles Alzheimer's Patient Who Is Participating in a Deep Brain Stimulation Study

March 15, 2017 - A woman who received deep brain stimulation (DBS) a year ago in a small clinical trial of DBS for mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease is profiled in an ongoing series. (Vancouver Courier)

Updated Intrathecal Drug Delivery Guidelines are Featured

March 16, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Peter Staats, MD, was interviewed for an article about the updated guidelines published in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface by the Polyanalgesic Consensus Conference. The update ranks evidence and lists 32 consensus points. INS member Todd Sitzman, MD was quoted in the article as noting that the guidelines recommend lower medication concentrations and potentially safer daily dosages of many medications. Dr. Staats said he anticipates a resurgence of interest in intrathecal therapy for patients whose conditions are otherwise hard to manage. (Pain Medicine News)

Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Studied in Australia for Mild to Moderate Alzheimer's Disease

March 15, 2017 - An article profiles a patient with early stage Alzheimer's disease who participated in a small placebo-controlled clinical trial of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for cognition, attention, memory and concentration. The treatment consisted of six weeks of treatments with theta-burst stimulation, which can target four sections of the brain in 12 minutes. She said her symptoms have not worsened and in some cases her memory has been helped. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Patient's Tourette Syndrome Symptoms Improve After Deep Brain Stimulation

March 14, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Joohi Jimenez-Shahed, MD, an assistant professor of neurology at Baylor College of Medicine, was interviewed for a television segment about a patient with Tourette Syndrome whose symptoms improved after Dr. Jimenez-Shahed implanted a deep brain stimulation system. The patient is a high school girl's club lacrosse team coach who said she had been drained by trying to control her symptoms and thinking of taking a medical leave before the successful procedure 10 months ago. (Click2Houston)

Brain Stimulation to Improve Synchronization Aids Working Memory, Investigated as a Potential Therapy Tool

March 14, 2017 - In two experiments, with 10 or 20 healthy volunteers each, a research team determined that applying transcranial alternating current stimulation to induce frontoparietal synchronization enhanced performance on working memory tests, as tracked in brain-activity imaging via functional magnetic resonance stimulation. The researchers say they would like to later apply these methods to patients who have brain injury or epilepsy. The work was published in the journal eLife. (Medical Xpress)

Scientist Exploring Brain Stimulation for Stroke Rehabilitation Receives a Research Award

March 14, 2017 - A researcher studying transcranial brain stimulation as a potential treatment for stroke-induced aphasia has received an early career recognition from the American Academy of Neurology. (

Show Features Investigational Uses of Deep Brain Stimulation

March 13, 2017 - An online radio program about novel uses of deep brain stimulation (DBS) includes a research study by International Neuromodulation Society (INS) member Andre Machaco, MD, PhD, of DBS in stroke recovery, as well as research by INS member Jennifer Sweet, MD, into DBS for chronic pain or memory. (WKSU)

Television Show Profiles Sisters Who Received Deep Brain Stimulation for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

March 12, 2017 - Twin sisters who received deep brain stimulation for obsessive compulsive disorder are featured on a segment of The Doctors. The young women's neurosurgeon, International Neuromodulation Society member David Vansickle, MD, explains the procedure in the program. (Yahoo News)

Patient From Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Study Describes Her Anorexia Symptoms

March 10, 2017 - An article profiles an anorexia patient who says she temporarily responded to a single dose of noninvasive electrical brain stimulation in a pilot trial for a graduate student's doctoral thesis in London. The stimulation targeted the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is associated with impulsivity or self-control. (BBC News)

Group Calls For Comment on Proposed Workers' Compensation Revision

March 10, 2017 - The North American Neuromodulation Society, NANS, issued a news release asking for physician and patient comment on proposed revised rules by the California Division of Workers' Compensation that do not address coverage for neuromodulation for chronic pain. International Neuromodulation Society members Lawrence Poree, MD, PhD, and Nathan Miller, MD, have submitted published comments. (Business Wire)

Case Series: Patients Would Have Wanted Spinal Cord Stimulation as an Earlier Option

Feb. 27, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society members Simon Thomson, MBBS; Dmitry Kruglov, MD, PhD; and Rui Duarte, PhD report data about 321 patients who had spinal cord stimulation trials at a single center from January 2008 until July 2015. Among their findings, they project a mean gain of 6.2 quality of life years. They add that 96.4% of the patients would have wanted SCS as an earlier treatment option. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Deep Brain Stimulation Lowers Woman's Hypertension

Feb. 27, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Nik Patel, MD has published a case in the journal Hypertension of a woman who is said to the the first to receive deep brain stimulation (DBS) to treat her high blood pressure. He had previously published a report of high blood pressure resolving in a patient who received DBS for neuropathic pain. (University of Bristol)

Pilot Study Investigates Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Stroke Recovery

Feb. 27, 2017 - At the International Stroke Conference, International Neuromodulation Society member Jesse Dawson, MD, presented results of a sham-controlled pilot trial of vagus nerve stimulation during rehabilitation for upper limb mobility following stroke. Treatment consisted of six weeks of stimulation. He said that 90 days after treatment ended, scores in the treatment group diverged from those of the sham group, and indicated significant improvement. (MedPage Today)

Survey Authors Conclude that Drug Delivery System Refilling Training Should be Standardized

Feb. 24, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Gail McGlothen, DNP, RN has co-authored a U.S. survey of 65 healthcare professionals who refill intraspinal drug delivery systems. The article, in available online in Early View, concludes the high variability in methods calls for the need for standardized training to minimize risk of human error. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Study Investigates Deep Brain Stimulation for Anorexia Nervosa

Feb. 24, 2017 - A study of 16 patients with anorexia nervosa who had deep brain stimulation to their subcallosal cingulate showed the intervention was safe and might help improve their symptoms, according to data published in The Lancet Psychiatry. (Medical Xpress)

Chronic Pain Patients Simulation Preferences Varied in Neurostimulation Clinical Trial

Feb. 23, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Frank Huygen, MD, PhD and colleagues report in the European Journal of Pain that a multi-center, cross-over trial of five different types of stimulation in 29 patients with complex regional pain syndrome showed 48% preferred the standard frequency of stimulation and 54% preferred a non-standard one. (Neuro News)

Cognitive Training Improved Slightly with Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Home Study of Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Feb. 22, 2017 - A feasibility study of multiple sclerosis patients showed modest improvements from receiving transcranial direct current stimulation during 10 sessions of computer-based cognitive-training at home, while they were remotely monitored through video-conferencing. Compared to 20 patients who only received cognitive training, 25 patients who received simultaneous stimulation improved modestly in performance scores for complex attention tasks and reaction times. The results were published in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. (Mass Device)

Bioelectric Medicine Center Receives $25 Million Donation

Feb. 21, 2017 - The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, which pursues research in bioelectric medicine, received A $25 million donation from philanthropists Leonard and Susan Feinstein, whose donation follows a $25 million donation in 2005 that led to the institute's renaming in their honor. (Innovate LI)

Review Examines Studies of Non-Invasive Stimulation in Stroke

Feb. 21, 2017 - A review about the safety of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in stroke rehabilitation says studies should describe exclusion criteria and induced adverse effects, in order to facilitate examination of factors that may induce side effects. Less than 12% of papers published between 1998 and 2015 reported adverse effects of tDCS in stroke patients. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Column Highlights Research and Industry Developments Presented at Neuromodulation Meeting

February 2017 - A business column summarizes highlights from the 2017 annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society, held in January. (Neurotech Reports)

Researchers Build Computer Model of Motor Circuits to Optimize Deep Brain Stimulation

Feb. 10, 2017 - In a research project at University College Dublin, a team is modeling the brain-to-muscle pathway as a way to develop smarter, closed-loop deep brain stimulation devices for Parkinson's disease. The article says there are some 2 million possible stimulation parameters, and the research is intended to help select optimal ones. (Silicon Republic)

Clinical Trial Will Examine Effect of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Fear and Anxiety

Jan 24, 2017 - The National Institute of Mental Health is recruiting up to 126 healthy volunteers for a clinical trial to explore whether transcranial magnetic stimulation to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex can reduce fear and anxiety. (

Brain-Computer Interface Research Attempts to Help Patients with Locked-In Syndrome Communicate

Feb. 7, 2017 - A researcher at the Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering in Geneva is developing an EEG monitoring system for otherwise uncommunicative patients who have locked-in syndrome to respond to yes-or-no questions. (Extreme Tech)

Visual Prosthesis Research Explores Magnetic Stimulation

Feb. 7, 2017 - A magnetic micro-coil developer, PARC, announced unspecified funding from the National Institutes of Health through the U.S. BRAIN Initiative to develop a visual prosthetic in collaboration with the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the University of Florida. The announcement said the funding is "a multi-year, multi-million dollar award". (Globe Newswire)

Article Highlights Importance of Data Analytics for Devices That Employ Neurosensing

Feb. 7, 2017 - An article says data analytics can help neurosensing applications to improve devices to address a number of conditions, such as helping store limb motion after spinal injury. (Healthcare IT)

Retinal Prosthesis Company Raises Funds

Feb. 6, 2017 - Second Sight Medical announced plans for a rights offering to raise additional funds to further develop its retinal prosthesis and expand the market to better-sighted patients who have retinitis pigmentosa. The company announced a decision by the German Institute for the Hospital Renumeration System last week that allows approved hospitals to negotiate for reimbursement by insurers for treatment of patients with advanced retitinitis pigmentosa. (Mass Device)

Cleveland Starts a Brain Health Initiative

Jan. 27, 2017 - The Cleveland Foundation is awarding $15. million grant to Case Western Reserve University to start a multi-institution Cleveland Brain Health Initiative. An article about the grant mentions a federal grant for stroke research by International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD, chair of the Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute.  (Cleveland Business)

Proof-of-Principle Study Explores Non-invasive Brain Stimulation for Bulimia Patients

Jan. 25, 2017 - A proof-of-principle clinical trial of transcranial direct current stimulation showed effects on bulimia symptoms the day after active stimulation, compared to sham, according to results in 39 patients. The results were reported in PLoS ONE. (Healio)

Study: Most Spinal Cord Stimulation Recipients Do Not Increase Opioid Use

Jan. 24, 2017 - An analysis of medical claims from 5,476 patients who received a spinal cord stimulator showed opioid use declined or stabilized in 70% of them, according to a study sponsored by Abbott and presented at the North American Neuromodulation Society annual meeting. (Pain News Network)

Physician Investigating Potential Benefits of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Head Injury Patients

Jan. 24, 2017 - A physician has started a clinical trial for up to 30 patients who have had a traumatic brain injury or concussion, in order to investigate transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). Daily VNS sessions address cognitive or functional symptoms ascribed to "abnormal electrical currents in the brain," a news article says. (Minnesota Daily)

Peripheral Neurostimulation Studied in Post-Stroke Shoulder Pain

Jan. 21, 2017 - In a poster presentation at the annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society, data on seven patients with post-stroke shoulder pain were presented. The data showed an average 70% reduction in the patients' pain, as rated in a visual analogue scale, following treatment with a peripheral neurostimulator. (National Pain Report)

Company Makes a Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulator Available in Europe

Jan. 18, 2017 - St. Jude Medical, which is now part of Abbott, announced it is releasing a dorsal root ganglion stimulation system in Europe. (Medgadget)

New Prize in Neuromodulation Announced

January 2017 - A Science & PINS Prize for Neuromodulation was established in 2016 to honor contributions to neuromodulation research. Recipients will be honored annually for outstanding research as described in an essay based on research performed in the past three years. The award carries a prize of $25,000 and publication of the essay in Science Online, which is published by the nonprofit American Association for the Advancement of Science. Beijing PINS Medical Equipment Co. Ltd. develops nerve stimulation technologies. (Science)

Study: Transcranial Magnetic Simulation Improved Working Memory in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

Jan. 10, 2017 - A study compared repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to sham in 17 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and 11 health control subjects without MS. The study found that active stimulation to the prefrontal cortex improved connectivity to other parts of the brain, and working memory, in the MS patients, but not in the healthy individuals. (Multiple Sclerosis News Today)

Article About the Difficulty of Rating Chronic Pain Presents Neurostimulation Therapies

Jan. 10, 2017 - An article about "the enduring mystery of pain management" says neuromodulation is a term "you hear everywhere in pain management circles." It mentions neuromodulation therapies such as spinal cord stimulation, dorsal root ganglion stimulation, and transcranial magnetic stimulation. (Mosaic via The Atlantic)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Approach Blocks Unwanted Nerve Conduction

Jan. 5, 2017 - Biomedical engineers at Georgia Tech have designed a pair of vagus nerve stimulation electrodes that block stimulation in an afferent direction and force stimulation to only go in an efferent direction in order to lower inflammatory effects. The blocking electrode uses kilohertz frequency to block unwanted nerve conduction. (Medical Xpress)

First Patient Receives Implant in Clinical Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation for Motor Recovery After Stroke

Jan. 5, 2017 - International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD, is interviewed for a news story about the first stroke patient to be implanted with a deep brain stimulation (DBS) system in his clinical trial of DBS in stroke recovery. The study will investigate if DBS and physical therapy combined help regain motor function. (WOIO)

Review: Non-invasive Neuromodulation is Useful for Migraine Management

January 2017 - A review of non-invasive stimulation in migraine treatment concludes, "Noninvasive neuromodulation is an exciting and useful method that is being increasingly recognised as a valid strategy for migraine management." (touch Neurology)

Small Study Shows Positive Results for Treating Depression in Elderly with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Jan. 3, 2017 - A placebo-controlled study of 52 patients over the age of 60 who have treatment-resistant depression showed that deep transcranial magnetic stimulation led to half the patients achieving full remission, compared to only 16% of the sham-treated patients. (Nasdaq)

Journal Publishes New Consensus on Neuromodulation Therapy

Jan. 2, 2017 - The International Neuromodulation Society journal, Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, has published updated guidelines for neurostimulation implants and intrathecal drug delivery. The six articles appear in Early View, and were authored by the Polyanalgesic Consensus Conference and the Neurostimulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee. These more than 60 international experts were convened by the INS Executive Board to provide guidance for improving safety and efficacy of these therapies that can help reduce opioid use. The authors reviewed publications that appeared in the scientific literature by 2014 to issue the updated guidance. (

Article Describes Advantages of Neuromodulation for Pain Relief

Dec. 30, 2016 -  An article entitled, "Neuromodulation, a weapon in the fight against opioid addiction" quotes International Neuromodulation Society member Konstantin Slavin, MD, following a panel presentation at the AdvaMed 2016 medical conference. Dr. Slavin noted advantages of neuromodulation are that it can be trailed, is adjustable and reversible, and does not destroy tissue. He said as a pain-relief method it can “provide an alternative to opioids and help patients already on opioids as a replacement therapy.” (Addiction Now)

Review Sums Up Potential Benefits of Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Dec. 30, 2016 - Researchers who reviewed mostly open-label research into deep brain stimulation for depression, published between 2010 and 2015, found the long-term response rates were between 40% and 70% and the clinical benefit lasted for months or years. (Medscape)

Clinical Study Explores Focused Ultrasound to Treat Parkinson's Disease

Dec. 24, 2016 - In an article about a clinical study of ablation with focused ultrasound in Parkinson's disease, International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD is quoted as saying it provides "a whole new dimension in the way we can help people. We can perform brain surgery without ever cutting the skin." (Columbus Dispatch)

Article Lists Neuromodulation Clinical Trials for Fibromyalgia

Dec. 20, 2016 - An overview of fibromyalgia treatments mentions clinical trials in repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation. (ProHealth)

Company Plans to Seek FDA Approval for Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation for Alzheimer's Disease

Dec. 20, 2016 - Neuronix Ltd. said a multi-center clinical trial involving 131 patients had "conclusive" results in patients with early-to-middle-stage Alzheimer's disease who received repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in conjunction with computer-based cognitive exercises. The company indicated it intends to pursue FDA approval for the treatment. (Globes)

Children Whose Dystonia is Linked to a Mutation May Be Treated by Deep Brain Stimulation, Scientists Say

Dec. 19, 2016 - Researchers report they have identified a genetic mutation in movement-disorder patients whose condition was hard to diagnose previously. The discovery of this genetic basis for the patients' dystonia, they add, means the patients can be considered for treatment with deep brain stimulation. (The Telegraph)

Iranian University Develops a Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Device

Dec. 18, 2016 - Biomedical engineering researchers at Amirkabir University in Tehran said they have created a transcranial direct current stimulation device they say is ready for commercialization. (Meh News Agency)

Researchers in Sweden Work on Flexible Electrodes Capable of Releasing Neurotransmitters

Dec. 16, 2016 - Researchers at  Karolinska Institutet said they have developed a process to impregnate conducting polymer electrodes with the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which was then released when the electrode was stimulated with an electrical signal. (Health Canal)

Researchers Publish Long-Term Results in Study of Spinal Cord Stimulation in Refractory Angina

Dec. 15, 2016 - A study that followed 100 patients in the U.K. National Refractory Angina Service for 14 years found that spinal cord stimulation resulted in improvement with a satisfaction rate of more than 90%. Noting that the range of complications were within the range reported in the literature, the authors conclude the treatment seems to be safe and effective for refractory angina. (Medscape)

Research Associates Dopamine Deficiency with Brain-Wave and Cognitive Processing Issues

Dec. 15, 2016 - A research team observed that Parkinson's disease patients who performed poorly on a judging several seconds of time also lacked delta-wave brain function, of 1-4 Hertz, in their frontal cortex. The scientists studied mice who lacked dopamine in their prefrontal cortex and found they improved performance in a timing task if their dopamine receptors in this brain area were stimulated at 2 Hertz by pulses of light. The researchers say they believe they were able to demonstrate improved cognitive function from brain stimulation in the mice. They added that stimulation of specific neural networks in the cortex might improve cognitive processes that depend on dopamine. (Medical Xpress)

Spinal Cord Stimulator Helps Paralyzed Patient Regain Use of His Hands

Dec. 13, 2016 - Researchers at UCLA report implanting a 32-electrode spinal cord stimulator in a spine-injury patient, allowing him to regain some usable strength in his hands, five years after the accident that left him a functional quadriplegic. (EurekAlert)

Medical Technology Panel Addresses Opioid Issues and Alternatives

Dec. 12, 2016 - Members of the International Neuromodulation Society spoke at a recent panel where medical technology was discussed as part of a solution for the U.S. opioid epidemic. Panelists discussed a variety of neuromodulation approaches for spinal cord stimulation, and also aspects of intrathecal drug delivery. INS President Timothy Deer, MD, said he calls the recent rapid development of non-opioid approaches to pain a "neuromodulation revolution". INS Director-at-Large Konstantin Slavin, MD, commented that there is not an opioid epidemic where patients receive very different treatment for similar conditions outside the U.S., Canada and Australia. (Pain Medicine News)

Memory-Formation Study Fails to Show Improvements from Stimulating Certain Brain Targets

Dec. 7, 2016 - A study in 49 patients with epilepsy failed to show improvements in forming memories from stimulation of the entorhinal cortex or hippocampus. The subjects were asked to perform eight times as many memory retrievals -- 48 -- as were seven subjects in a 2012 study that suggested a potential memory benefit from stimulation to these brain regions. In the current study, stimulation resulted in reduced accuracy in memory retrieval that ranged from 5 - 20% in all regions stimulated for the tasks. (Medical Xpress)

Developers Eye Potential Future Human Clinical Trials of Light Stimulation to Treat Alzheimer's Disease

Dec. 7, 2016 - MIT researchers reported in Nature that stimulating the brain in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease using LED light at 40 flashes per second restored gamma oscillation, which activated glial cells to clear beta amyloid plaques. The technology is being licensed to the startup Cognito Therapeutics. The Boston Globe reported that the company's lighting system is being prepared for human clinical trials at the San Francisco-based medical device incubator TheraNova LLC. (Financial Times)

Academic Researcher Designs and Tests Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Devices

Dec. 6, 2016 - A researcher in New York has received a combined $4 million in grants for research into non-invasive brain stimulation. His laboratory focuses on design and testing of devices to address neuropsychiatric disorders or brain injury. (City College of New York)

Patients with Fecal Incontinence Receive Implants in a Clinical Trial of a Rechargeable Sacral Neuromodulation Device

Dec. 6, 2016 - Axionics Modulation Technologies, Inc. is undertaking a 12-patient evaluation of its rechargeable sacral neuromodulation system for fecal incontinence, and announced two patients have been implanted with the device in the U.K. (Business Wire)

Article Presents Vagus Nerve Stimulation as an Alternative to Pharmaceuticals

Dec. 5, 2016 - An article talks about existing and emerging uses of vagus nerve stimulation in a number of disorders, with comments by a number of academic researchers. (Wall Street Journal)

Article Presents Sacral Neuromodulation as an Alternative Treatment for Bladder Dysfunction

Dec. 4, 2016 - A publication in Singapore features the use of sacral nerve stimulation as a potential option not many patients know about for either urinary retention or overactive bladder. Patients who have one or the other of those conditions are interviewed in the article, as well as their physician. (Star

Geneticist Studies Brain Stimulation in Preclinical Investigation of Childhood Neurological Disorder

Dec. 4, 2016 - A geneticist who received a $3 million Breakthrough Prize in the fifth year of the Silicon Valley science gala saw significant improvements in learning and memory through the use of deep brain stimulation in mouse models of the rare childhood disorder Rett syndrome. She said the findings may translate to other disorders. (Houston Chronicle)

Weekly Science Show Presents Neuromodulation for Paralysis

Dec. 3, 2016 - A weekly radio program presents research into spinal cord stimulation and brain-computer interfaces in paraplegia. (PRI)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Shows Promise in Small Crohn's Disease Study

Dec. 1, 2016 - A small study of seven patients shows vagus nerve stimulation may address the symptoms of Crohn's disease. Over six months, five of the seven patients achieved endoscopic remission and four experienced clinical remission. (Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News)

Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Apparently Reveals an Additional Memory Capacity

Dec. 1, 2016 - The journal Science published results of a memory study involving transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). In the study, subjects were asked to recall a cue and then given other memory tasks to hold in their short-term memory. With TMS stimulation, neural activity associated with the "forgotten" item spiked. An accompanying news article in the journal describes the observation of latent recall as a second level of working memory, saying that it might be based in synapses or other neural features. (Medical Xpress)

Study Shows No Advantage to Changing Epilepsy Medication Following Vagus Nerve Stimulation Treatment

Nov. 28, 2016 - An 85-person comparative study from 2005 - 2014 showed there was no outcome improvement from changing anti-epileptic drugs after a patient started vagus nerve stimulation therapy. The authors suggest keeping the same medication may allow optimizing stimulation parameters. (Epilepsy Research UK)

Clinical Trials Explore Subperception Spinal Cord Stimulation

Nov. 23, 2016 - A pilot cross-over study published in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, compared three weeks of subperception spinal cord stimulation (SCS) with conventional SCS with parathesia at 10 kHz. An article suggests subperception SCS may be an effective alternative for some pain patients to find relief. The study is being followed by a subsequent multicenter, randomized, controlled, crossover, open-label study of 146 previously implanted patients that will document the efficacy of subperception SCS at up to 1.2 kHz. (Anesthesiology News)

French Research Center Raises Funds to Study Brain-Based Neural-Interface Devices

Nov. 22, 2016 - The French biomedical research center Clinatec has raised €10 million in the past 12 months in a matching-funds campaign with the Edmond J. Safra Foundation. The center is pursuing innovative treatments for cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and motor disorders. They include a brain-computer interface project for patients with quadriplegia; a near-infrared project to potentially provide neuroprotection and slow disease progression through use of an intracranial device delivering therapeutic light; and the Epicool project that aims to develop a cooling system implanted in the brain to block seizures. Also, the center is participating in the Equoloc project that studies potential brain dysfunctions in drug-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder, using imaging, including the center's MEG capability. (Business Wire)

Researchers Plan a Multi-Center Clinical Trial After Showing a Sustained Benefit from Deep Brain Stimulation in Early Parkinson's Disease

Nov. 17, 2016 - A 30-patient randomized study of patients with early Parkinson's disease found that individuals who had deep brain stimulation had better motor scores five years later, compared to those who only had medical treatment. The pilot study was presented in October at the annual meeting of the American Neurological Association. The researchers at Vanderbilt University said they are now pursuing funding for an FDA-approved Phase 3 clinical trial of 280 patients at 18 centers. (Neurology Today)

Study Investigates Non-Invasive Peripheral Nerve Stimulation in Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Nov. 17, 2016 - Compared to sham stimulation, combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder showed improvements in autonomic nervous system electrophysiological measures and in the emotionally-modulated startle response following non-invasive peripheral nerve stimulation, researchers reported in an abstract at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting. (Psychiatry Advisor)

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Investigated in Depression

Nov. 16, 2016 - A researcher described her small pilot study of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on depressed pregnant women who do not want to take antidepressants. At the University of Kansas, another researcher received $70,000 in funding to use brain imaging to compare the effects of tDCS on 40 subjects, half of whom have depression. (PBS)

Researcher Targets Brain Structures with Overlapping Non-Invasive Stimulation

Nov. 15, 2016 - A researcher presented early studies in healthy subjects to use non-invasive brain stimulation to target the hippocampi as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Imaging showed increased localized brain activity as a result of the stimulation. He also plans to target areas involved in depression and addiction. The stimulation involves using overlapping high-frequency stimulation that only exerts a physiological effect where the fields overlap and result in a lower-frequency stimulation. (New Scientist)

Researchers Seek an "Ideal Bioelectronic Interface"

Nov. 15, 2016 - An article described research into printing microelectronics on hydrogels as potential future brain-machine interfaces. (SPIE)

Retrospective Review Analyzes Post-Surgical Complications of Deep Brain Stimulation

Nov. 5, 2016 - A review of 650 cases in which Parkinson's disease patients underwent deep brain stimulation provides data that "can be used as an adjunct for short-term risk stratification" when patients are considered for the therapy, the authors state. (World Neurosurgery)

Researchers Explore a Hydrogel for Optogenetics Applications

Nov. 15, 2016 - Researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School are working on a biocompatible, stretchable material with potential applications in optogenetics, according to an MIT news release. (Medica Magazine)

Investigators Say Spinal Cord Stimulation Improved Gait in Patients with Advanced Parkinson's Disease

Nov. 10, 2016 - An article says that four patients who had advanced Parkinson's disease and had had deep brain stimulation experienced improved gait after spinal cord stimulation. (Movement Disorders)

Reviewers Examine Possible Mechanisms in Deep Brain Stimulation for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Nov. 9, 2016 - In a review, authors interested in the role of deep brain stimulation to the subthalamic nucleus for obsessive compulsive disorder say this target "has a coordinating role in decision-making and action-selection mechanisms" and they believe the treatment helps to normalize the disturbed circuit activity seen in the condition. (European Neuropsychopharmacology)

Column Describes Reimbursement Issues in Pre-Approved, Off-Label Deep Brain Stimulation

Nov. 7, 2016 - A viewpoint article raises the issue of third-party payers, including federal insurance providers, not reimbursing pre-approved off-label use of deep brain stimulation for severe, medication-refractory neurological and psychiatric disorders such as Tourette syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder. (JAMA Neurology)

Brain-Machine Interface Study: Sensorimotor Plasticity Connected to Phantom Limb Pain

Nov. 4, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Koichi Hosomi, MD, PhD; Haruhiko Kishima, MD, PhD; and Youchi Saitoh, MD, PhD and colleagues co-authored an article in Nature Communications, "Induced sensorimotor brain plasticity controls pain in phantom limb patients" The article describes phantom limb pain observed when study subjects used a brain-machine interface to move a robotic hand. When the interface used sensorimotor signals representing the missing limb, the pain increased -- perhaps due to the lack of sensory feedback, the authors commented. (Clinical Pain Advisor)

Patient with Locked-In Syndrome Uses Brain-Machine Interface to Type

Nov. 12, 2016 - Researchers in Utrecht reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that they have demonstrated a brain-computer interface that allowed an ALS patient who has no voluntary movement except for her eyes to use cortical brain signals to slowly spell words using typing software. The interface responds to her imagining she is moving her hand. A member of the team said the implant provides a way to communicate immediate needs. He added that she had been avoiding going outdoors because the eye-tracker she uses to communicate must be re-calibrated in different light conditions. (The Seattle Times)

U.S. Army Veterans to Participate in a Clinical Trial of Non-Invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Pain and Related Symptoms

Nov. 10, 2016 - Researchers in New York plan to undertake a randomized clinical trial of 40 veterans of the 1990 - 1991 Gulf War who have widespread pain and migraines. The study, funded by a $703,200 medical research grant from the U.S. Army, will investigate the use of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation to treat their symptoms. (Newswise)

Article Covers High-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation Clinical Trial Results

Nov. 9, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Leonardo Kapural, MD, PhD, and Kiran Patel, MD, were quoted in an article about a recently published study of high-frequency spinal cord stimulation. (UPI)

Preclinical Study Demonstrates a Neuroprosthetic that Overcomes a Partial Spinal Lesion

Nov. 9, 2016 - An international research team reported in a letter to Nature that they had demonstrated two monkeys the capability of restoring movement to a lower limb through dual electrode interfaces at the brain's motor cortex and the lower spinal cord. With the neuroprosthetic implant, the research subjects regained the ability to walk following a spinal lesion that paralyzed one leg. (Seeker)

Authors Review Deep Brain Stimulation in Psychiatric Conditions

Nov. 8, 2016 - A journal article says relative safety and efficacy of deep brain stimulation has become more widely accepted, adding that investigations into its use in psychiatric disorders "suggest moderate benefit in many cases and remain encouraging." (Psychiatric Annals)

Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Improved Study Participants' Ability to Multi-task

Nov.8, 2016 - A controlled study of 20 Air Force personnel found that transcranial direct current stimulation increased working memory when they undertook a test that required them to multitask. The authors think the stimulation may help with attention and vigilance. (International Business Times)

Scotland Centre for Deep Brain Stimulation is Delayed

Nov. 8, 2016 - The BBC reports that a specialty center to provide deep brain stimulation for movement disorder patients in the north and east of Scotland is delayed and not expected to open until the spring after final equipment and staffing arrangements are made. (BBC News)

Article Profiles Participant in a Clinical Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation for Alzheimer's Disease

Nov. 4, 2016 - A Canadian woman who is participating in a clinical trial of deep brain stimulation in Alzheimer's disease describes her experience in an article that mentions the search for 97 more participants to enter the third phase of the clinical trial. Results of the second phase, published in September, showed a trend toward a benefit in patients above age 65. The clinical trial investigates stimulation of the fornix as a potential intervention for mild Alzheimer's disease. (CBS News)

Study Examines Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Phantom Limb Pain

Nov. 3, 2016 - A randomized controlled clinical study of 54 patients with phantom limb pain following traumatic limb loss from land mine explosions indicated that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation produced better results than sham over the two-week treatment period, but the effects faded by 30 days post-treatment. The study author commented that in other pain disorders, periodic maintenance stimulation treatments have been safe and effective for sustaining benefit. (Pain Medicine News)

Patient Organization to Present Talk on Deep Brain Stimulation

Nov. 2, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member David VanSickle, MD, discussed changing guidelines of when to consider deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease in an article announcing an upcoming presentation organized by the Parkinson's Association of the Rockies. (Steamboat Today)

Laboratory Device May Enable Neurostimulation Implants to Also Administer Chemical Agents

Nov. 2, 2016 - A research team has demonstrated the capability of delivering neurotransmitters at nearly the same rate as neurons. An article says this technology could be coupled with deep brain stimulation to provide chemical treatment in addition to electrical stimulation in conditions such as epilepsy. (IEEE Spectrum)

Single-Center Study Showed One-Year Benefit from Occipital Nerve Stimulation in Chronic Migraine

Oct. 28, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Nagy Mekhail, MD, PhD, and colleagues published a single-center study in Pain Practice showing occipital nerve stimulation (ONS) reduced the frequency, and/or intensity, of chronic migraine. The study included 20 patients who were followed for 12 months. All patients received ONS for the final 40 weeks. In the first 12 weeks, half were randomized to a control group that did not receive active stimulation during that time. (Doctors Lounge)

Journal Publishes Comparative Clinical Study of Spinal Cord Stimulation Frequency Modes

Oct. 28, 2016 - The November issue of Neurosurgery carries two-year results of a multi-center study comparing spinal cord stimulation using either conventional stimulation or high-frequency stimulation. (EurekAlert)

Column Cites Neuromodulation As One Part of the Solution to an Opioid Epidemic

Oct. 27, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Peter Staats, MD, authored a blog about combating the opioid epidemic. He states, "Many times, there are interventional therapies that physicians could and should employ before a patient ever swallows his first pill." He continues to say that neuromodulation options such as spinal cord stimulation have been around for decades and "are proven effective at decreasing pain and opiate use while improving function." (Huffington Post)

Brain-Computer Interface Under Development to Provide Positional Sensing for Hand

Oct. 26, 2016 - Researchers at the University of Washington are studying how to provide cortical stimulation to allow study subjects to sense the position of their hand and its grasp. (Newswire)

Prosthetics Allow Users to Sense and Control the Pressure of Their Grip

Oct. 26, 2016 - Two volunteers who use a prosthetic hand have been able to use a system that includes pressure sensors to detect and control the amount of pressure they exert, helping them to perform tasks. (Medical Xpress)

Review Looks at Role of Sacral Neuromodulation

Oct. 26, 2016 - Sacral neuromodulation continues to have a role in managing overactive bladder patients, authors of a review conclude, despite the rate of adverse events and long-term cost equivalence to botulinum toxin A. They add that the indications are "continuously expanding". (Dove Press)

Article Summarizes Neuromodulation Approaches to Headache Disorders

October 2016 - An opinion piece summarizes recent findings in neuromodulation for headache disorders and possible mechanisms of action. (U.S. Neurology)

Brain-Computer Interface Delivers Sense of Touch Via Robotic Hand

Oct. 13, 2016 - A volunteer who is paralyzed from the chest down was able to identify fingers of a robotic hand through a brain-computer interface when each finger was individually touched. The work was reported in Science Translational Medicine. (DARPA)

News Report Addresses Access to Sacral Neuromodulation in Wales for Fecal Incontinence

Oct. 24, 2016 - A BBC radio program focuses on disparities in access to sacral neuromodulation in Wales, compared to England or Scotland, for fecal incontinence. (BBC Radio)

Preliminary Results Reported of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Crohn's Disease

Oct. 24, 2016 - An article presents preliminary results of vagus nerve stimulation in Crohn's disease. Results in six patients, presented at the United European Gastroenterology Week, showed reduced signs of excessive inflammation in the gut. Full results of the 20-patient study at four centers in Europe are expected next year. The article says a placebo-controlled study is planned. (Daily Mail)

Clinical Study Investigates Phrenic Nerve Stimulation for Central Sleep Apnea in Heart Failure Patients

Oct. 24, 2016 -  In a pilot study, 46 heart failure patients with central sleep apnea showed improvement in sleep parameters and cardiac endpoints after undergoing one year of transvenous phrenic nerve stimulation. The implant regularized breathing by stimulating contraction of the diaphragm, (Heart Health)

New Brain Region Implicated in the Exercise of Self-Control

Oct. 19, 2016 - Brain-stimulation studies reported in Science Advances suggest new possibilities for therapeutic interventions for self-control deficits in disorders like addiction and obesity. A research team showed activity of the temporo-parietal junction allowed study subjects to resist an impulsive choice and make decisions based on their own future needs. The researchers explained they believe that, in addition to the prefrontal cortex, this area is important in the self-control involved in delayed gratification. (Medical Xpress)

Doctors Plan to Publish a Case Involving Deep Brain Stimulation Successfully Treating Status Eplieplicus

Oct. 19, 2016 - Physicians in Taipei are submitting a case report for publication concerning a 17-year-old girl who received a deep brain stimulation (DBS) implant targeting the anterior thalamic nucleus because she had developed status epilepticus. They said to their knowledge, this is the first case of DBS being used to successfully treat the serious and potentially life-threatening condition. (Taipei Times)

Funding Agency Describes the Scope of Its Neuromodulation-Related Funding

Oct. 18, 2016 - The National Institutes of Health announced its third round of grants for the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative. The more than $70 million brings the agency's fiscal 2016 investments to about $150 million. The most recent grants, a spokesman said, involve more projects that are based at least in part on human data. The nine funding categories include neuromodulation and related technologies. For instance, both invasive and non-invasive devices are covered, and new concepts, technologies, and optimization of large-scale recording and modulation, in addition to research for understanding neural circuits. (Healio)

Study Targets Chronic Migraine

Oct. 17, 2016 - Pain Medicine News reports that a sham-controlled clinical trial of 59 patients with chronic migraine, published in Neurology, showed noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation was safe, tolerable, and potentially effective. (Pain Medicine News)

Newer Spinal Cord Stimulation Implants Have Begun in the U.K.

Oct. 17, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Nigel Kellow, MD, was quoted in an article about a back-pain patient who received a newer spinal cord stimulator. The article covered her treatment and the device features. (Daily Mail)

Grant Will Help Fund Deep Brain Stimulation Cross-Over Trial in Parkinson's Disease

Oct. 17, 2016 - The University of Alabama at Birmingham announced a $7.3 million, five-year grant from the U.S. BRAIN Initiative to undertake a cross-over study of deep brain stimulation using directional current for patients with Parkinson's disease. The researchers are also studying cortical activation patterns, through electroencephalography, to see if that could help improve programming. (Newswire)

Optogenetics Project May Explain Processes in Neuroplasticity

Oct. 17, 2016 - Collaborators will use a $1.4 million, three-year grant from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health to examine processes in learning and memory using ontogenetic tools. Specifically, they will analyze protein activity in neurons during synaptic and behavioral plasticity. (Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience)

"Large Scale Recording and Modulation" Among Research Areas to Receive Federal Funding

Oct. 15, 2016 - The National Institutes of Health announced more than $150 million in funding that includes grants for research projects to develop ways to record brain activity, analyze data to diagnose conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, and improve deep brain stimulation for disorders that include stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and obsessive compulsive disorder. The funding represents the third round of grants to support the goals of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. (Pharmabiz)

Grant Will Fund Clinical Study of Deep Brain Stimulation in Stroke Rehabilitation

Oct. 13, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD received nearly $5 million from the National Institutes of Health's BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) to start a clinical trial building upon his preclinical research into deep brain stimulation as a possible therapy to aid motor recovery during rehabilitation following stroke. (Cleveland Business)

Collaborators Receive a Grant to Pursue Closed-Loop Deep Brain Stimulation for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Oct. 13, 2016 - Collaborators at the Baylor College of Medicine, Brown University, and the University of Pittsburgh received a grant from the National Institutes of Health's BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) of $1.5 million annually for five years to develop new deep brain stimulation (DBS) technology to help treat treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder. The collaborators are seeking to create an adaptive stimulation mode that responds to the patient's changing clinical needs. They said they would like to use a closed-loop approach similar to what exists for epilepsy. They proposed a pilot study of 10 subjects. The first five would receive a DBS system that targets the ventral striatum and can both stimulate and record activity. The project also involves training a computer to recognize patient moods as programming is adjusted. (Baylor College of Medicine)

Grants Announced for Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Research

Oct. 13, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Jeffrey Ardell, PhD and Jiande Chen, PhD, were among researchers highlighted in an article about $20 million in funding from the National Institute's of Health that was announced last week. The funding dividing among 27 research teams supports various lines of research into peripheral nerve stimulation therapies. (IEEE Spectrum)

Researchers: Microelectrode Array Allows Man with Tetraplegia to Sense Fingers of Prosthetic Arm

Oct. 13, 2016 - Researchers published in Science Translational Medicine about adding the sense of touch to a prosthetic limb. (Live Science)

Study Compares Treatments for Urinary Urge Incontinence Using Sacral Neuromodulation or Botulinum Toxin

Oct. 5, 2016 - In a comparative study of 350 women with persistent urgency urinary incontinence, onabotulinumtoxinA conferred small improvements compared to sacral neuromodulation (SNM), but also significant adverse effects over the 6-month study period. The number of daily incontinence episodes dropped by 3.9 for the onabotulinumtoxinA group and 3.3 for the SNM group. However, 35% of the patients treated with onabotulinumtoxinA had urinary tract infections vs. 11% of the SNM patients. Also 20% of the onabotulinumtoxinA patients required intermittent self-catherization. (NEJM Journal Watch)

Grant Will Fund Brain-Stimulation Research for Parkinson's Disease

Sept. 27, 2016 - The University of Minnesota is receiving a $9.07 million grant over five years from the National Institute of Health for its research into Parkinson's disease, including deep brain stimulation to the palladium and effects on brain circuitry. (Life Science Daily)

Study Indicates How Stimulation Activates Other Brain Regions

Sept. 26, 2016 - A computational study of eight research subjects' brain activity recorded in diffusion spectrum imaging showed how stimulation of 83 different areas affected activation of other regions and large-scale activity within the brain, providing insight into different potential therapeutic approaches for neurological or psychiatric disorders. (The Science Explorer)

Region Grows an Emphasis in Brain Health, Looks to Future Advancements

Sept. 25, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, and fellow physicians were interviewed for an article about the future of neurological health. The article noted a concentration of specialists in the region who address brain health concerns. (Columbus Dispatch)

Collaborators Pursue New Deep Brain Stimulation Paradigm

Sept. 23, 2016 - A deep brain stimulation paradigm developed through computational modeling has entered preclinical study for potential translation to patient treatment. An article explains that this "coordinated reset" approach involves using the lead's multiple contacts to deliver intermittent, pseudorandomized bursts of brief, low-intensity, spatially distributed pulse trains to purposely desynchronize “pathological” neural oscillations. (Consult QD)

Study Examines Deep Brain Stimulation in Traumatic Brain Injury

Sept. 22, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, was quoted in an article about research into deep brain stimulation as therapy for traumatic brain injury (TBI), which he said causes 80,000 new cases of disability a year. The journal Neurosurgery published an open-label prospective study by Rezai and colleagues of four TBI patients who had problems with behavioral control and emotional self-regulation and were treated with deep brain stimulation to the nucleus accumbens and anterior limb of the internal capsule to modulate the prefrontal cortex. All participants had improved outcomes, the researchers reported, mainly in "behavioral and emotional adjustment, which in turn improved functional independence." (

Article Presents Recent Neuromodulation Therapies for Pain

Sept. 20, 2016 - An overview of advances in pain medicine has sections on developments in neurostimulation an intrathecal drug delivery. (Yahoo! News)

Study: Continuous Sub-threshold Cortical Stimulation Reduced Seizure Rate in Epilepsy Patients

Sept. 19, 2016 - Researchers report in JAMA Neurology that a majority of 13 epilepsy patients who had continuous sub-threshold cortical stimulation had a reduction in seizures of at least 50 percent. The patients were offered this investigational treatment when temporary stimulation during evaluation provided a clinical benefit. None of the patients were suitable for resection surgery. (Newswire)

Brain Stimulation to Aid Investigation into Motor Control and Rehabilitation

Sept. 19, 2016 - A researcher studying motor control to gain knowledge to aid rehabilitation plans to use transcranial magnetic stimulation when subjects are using an exoskeleton. He would like to understand what parts of planned arm movement involve the cortical level of the brain, and which involve the peripheral nervous system. (UC Merced)

Review Examines Epidural Spinal Cord Stimulation in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

Sept. 19, 2016 - A review summarizes current research on epidural spinal cord stimulation in restoring some function to select spinal cord injury patients. The authors conclude further research is warranted, including potentially the "development of dedicated technological hardware and software." (Journal of Neurorestoratology)

Grant Supports Work on Blood-Pressure Neurostimulator

Sept. 19, 2016 - Researchers at the National Institutes of Health received a $440,670 grant for research of a "Closed-Loop Blood Pressure Control by Neural Stimulation for Cardiac Care Environment." Their device would stimulate the sciatic nerve or its branches, using a flexible micro-channel electrode array and implanted catheter-based blood-pressure sensor. (Medical Xpress)

Collaborators Pursue a Predictive Capability for Spinal Cord Stimulator Programming

Sept. 19, 2016 - A predictive algorithm for programming spinal cord stimulation in pain patients was validated retrospectively in 12 patients, and is set to enter a prospective clinical trial of about 30 patients, according to an article that follows up on a presentation at the 2016 Neural Interfaces Conference by International Neuromodulation Society member Warren Grill, PhD. Grill collaborated on the work with INS member Shivanand Lad, MD, PhD and engineers. The article includes comments by INS President Timothy Deer, MD, on the importance of translational research. (Pain Medicine News)

Article Chronicles Essential Tremor Patient's Start of Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy

Sept. 18, 2016 - An article about a woman whose benign essential tremor was treated by deep brain stimulation quotes International Neuromodulation Society member Stuart Goodman, MD, her neurosurgeon. The patient, 68, said she only recently heard about the therapy in an advertisement at a movie theater and did an online search to find someone for a consultation in her area. (Billings Gazette)

Article: A Shorter Delay between Chronic Pain Diagnosis and Spinal Cord Stimulation Treatment May Increase Chances of Lasting Efficacy

Sept. 15, 2016 - Neuro News reports that an article published earlier this year in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface suggests "a shorter delay time from chronic pain diagnosis to spinal cord stimulation implantation may make it more likely to achieve lasting therapeutic efficacy with spinal cord stimulation." (Neuro News)

Patient Describes Treatment with Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation at New Jersey Facility

Sept. 14, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Antonios Mammis, MD, was interviewed in a television segment about a patient who was one of the first in a Newark, New Jersey medical center to receive dorsal root ganglion stimulation for lower limb pain. The patient, a former dancer who had chronic foot pain, commented that he feels like he was able to "just get some kind of life back" after receiving the treatment. (FIOS 1)

Columnist Gives Overview of Depression Treatments, Including Neuromodulation

Sept. 14, 2016 - An article about non-medical treatments for depression mentions several current or investigational neuromodulation approaches; transcranial magnetic stimulation; vagus nerve stimulation, and deep brain stimulation. (Troy Media)

Article Looks Back at Teen-aged Dystonia Patient's First Year After Deep Brain Stimulation

Sept. 12, 2016 - The Denver Post reports on a dystonia patient who received a deep brain stimulation system a year ago at the age of 17. His family says that plus physical therapy have resulted in improved functional abilities. (Denver Post)

Cluster Headache Treatment Guidelines Include Neuromodulation

Sept. 11, 2016 - Two types of neuromodulation were included in new guidelines for cluster headache treatment. Sphenopalatine ganglion stimulation in chronic cluster headache was added to the guidelines of the American Headache Society with a Level B recommendation indicating it is "probably effective," based on a single Class I study in 28 patients. A Level B recommendation was also given to deep brain stimulation in this indication. Neither treatment is available in the U.S., the authors pointed out. The guidelines update 2010 guidelines endorsed by the American Academy of Neurology. (Medpage Today)

Project Aims to Tailor Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment

Sept. 9, 2016 - An article says that prototypes of a deep brain stimulation (DBS) targeting tool are under clinical evaluation, as a four-year project comes to an end that combines pre- and post-operative imaging data (MRI, X-ray), high-resolution electrical recordings of the patient’s brain activity and bio-statistical data about DBS target areas. (CORDIS)

Paper Reports Advantages of New Electrical Stimulation Therapy for Post-Stroke Hand Rehabilitation

Sept. 8, 2016 - A clinical trial of 80 stroke survivors published in Stroke shows that a new form of electrical stimulation therapy can restore some dexterity to a hand that's been paralyzed by stroke. A sensor-laden glove on the patient's good hand sends signals to stimulators attached to the paralyzed hand, prompting muscles there to simulate movements of the functioning hand while the patient imagines using both hands. (UPI)

Study: Episodic Cluster Headache Patients Responded More to Non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation Than to Sham Treatment

Sept. 4, 2016 - A sham-controlled study of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation for the treatment of cluster headache, published in the journal Headache, showed that more patients who had episodic cluster headache responded to stimulation than to sham treatment, but not more patients who have chronic cluster headache. (Headache)

Researchers: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Selectively Affects Other Brain Regions

Sept. 7, 2016 - Researchers published a study they said shows that when transcranial magnetic stimulation is applied to one area of the brain, it selectively alters communication between distant brain regions. They say they believe the effect occurs by changing the timing of local neural operations. (University of Queensland)

Study: Phrenic Nerve Stimulation Improved Central Sleep Apnea

Sept. 1, 2016 - A study of 151 patients with central sleep apnea showed benefits from a transvenous phrenic nerve stimulator, according to a news release about the publication in The Lancet. The device was developed by Respicardia, Mass Device reported. (Mass Device)

Deep Brain Stimulation Improved Function of Patients With Chronic Traumatic Brain Injuries

Aug. 23, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, discusses a clinical trial of deep brain stimulation to the nucleus accumbens in which all four traumatic brain injury patients in the study showed improved cognitive and motor functions, at least six years after their injuries. Three of the four also had improved disability scales. (Medical Design and Outsourcing)

Researchers Report Occipital Nerve Stimulation Aided Migraine Sufferers

Aug. 22, 2016 - In a single-arm study from the U.K., more than 40% of 53 chronic migraine sufferers who received bilateral occipital nerve stimulation implants between 2007 and 2013 showed long-term improvements, with at least 30% fewer headache days. Pain intensity was also reduced. (Clinical Pain Advisor)

Authors Review Deep Brain Stimulation in Tourette Syndrome

September 2016 - A review about deep brain stimulation (DBS) in Tourette syndrome summarizes the outcomes of DBS at different targets, explores possible mechanisms of action, and the potential of adaptive DBS. The authors also address future challenges faced in designing optimized trials. (Brain Sciences)

Review Notes Deep Brain Stimulation Could Offer a Therapy Alternative for Alzheimer's Disease

Aug. 19, 2016 - A review discusses deep brain stimulation as a potential therapeutic strategy that aims to restore brain activity in Alzheimer's disease. It also notes the importance of hippocampal damage in brain diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Pick disease, frontotemporal dementia, Down syndrome and Alzheimer's, disease. The authors also touch upon the limbic formation as a promising neuroanatomical target for cognitive deficit restoration. (Current Alzheimer Research)

Brain Recordings Document the Importance of the Striatum in Parkinson's Disease

Aug. 18, 2016 - A research team recorded activity in the striatum of patients who received deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, or dystonia. They found firing spikes in striatal projection neurons in the patients with Parkinson's disease, underscoring the role of this brain structure in the condition. (Parkinson's News Today)

Researchers Report That Paraplegic Patients Achieved Gains in 12 Months of Multi-Modal Therapy

Aug. 11, 2016 - A research team reports that 12 months of immersive therapy, including virtual-reality sessions and use of a brain-machine interface and exoskeletons, led to half of eight paraplegic patients being upgraded to an incomplete paraplegia definition. All the patients showed improved ability to perceive touch and position. Patients gained some voluntary muscle control, which paralleled reemergence of lower limb imagery at a cortical level. (Scientific Reports)

Case Report: Spinal Cord Stimulation Helped Woman with a Painful Peripheral Vascular Disorder

Aug. 9, 2016 - A case report details how an 80-year-old woman with lower limb pain from the rare peripheral vascular disorder erythromelalgia achieved excellent pain control through spinal cord stimulation, with relief maintained at 18 months post-implant. (Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine)

Column Looks Beyond Opioids in the Management of Chronic Pain

Aug. 12, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Richard Vaglienti, MD, is among physicians whose views were sought for a column about the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's March 2016 guidelines regarding opioids and chronic pain, "Beyond oral opioids — Spinal cord stimulators, targeted drug delivery & the future of pain management." (Becker's Spine Review)

Neurosurgeons Use Neurostimulators to Help Comatose Patients in Poland Regain Consciousness

Aug. 12, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Wojciech Maksymowicz, MD, PhD, and Isao Morita, MD, were featured in an article about implanting spinal cord stimulation systems in the cervical column to help comatose patients regain consciousness. Dr. Maksymowicz performed the procedure on four patients since May in Poland, with oversight from Dr. Morita, who initiated the procedure a number of years ago in Japan. (Sputnik News)

Dutch Researchers to Study Cortical Stimulation for Central Lobe Epilepsy

Aug. 10, 2016 - Researchers in the Netherlands have received €100,000 from the Dutch Epilepsy Fund to study cortical stimulation as treatment of central lobe epilepsy for the next four years. The  researchers say medication works poorly for this type of epilepsy and surgery is not recommended due to the risk of non-reversible paralysis. (UMC Utrecht)

Journal Announces Brain Stimulation Award to Pioneering Researcher

Aug. 10, 2016 - A medical physicist who was among the first to report the clinical demonstration of transcranial magnetic stimulation, in 1985, has received the first International Brain Stimulation Award from the journal Brain Stimulation: Basic, Translational and Clinical Research in Neuromodulation. (PR Newswire)

Study: Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Shows Promise for Treating Phantom Limb Pain

Aug. 10, 2016 - In a placebo-controlled study of 54 amputees with phantom limb pain, a 10-day course of 20-minute sessions with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to the motor cortex contralateral to the amputated leg resulted in pain reduction for up to 15 days after treatment. (

Healthcare Columnist Features Spinal Cord Stimulation

Aug. 10, 2016 - In a question-and-answer column, a health reporter cites comments from an interventional pain physician in answering the question, "Is a spinal cord stimulator for back pain something new, and is it something to try instead of surgery or pain pills?" (The News-Gazette)

Mote-sized Implants Developed for Bioelectronic Medicine Applications

Aug. 3, 2016 - Researchers reported in Neuron they have developed implantable grain-sized, batteryless sensors they call "neural dust" that might be used to control prosthetics, treat disorders such as epilepsy, stimulate the immune system, or tamp down inflammation. The devices are powered and read by ultrasound. (UC Berkeley)

Analysis Finds Deep Brain Stimulation for Early Motor Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease is Cost-Effective

July 21, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Paul Eldridge, MD and Rod Taylor, PhD and colleagues co-authored an analysis of the cost-effectiveness, over a 15-year time frame, of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson's disease with early motor complications. They conclude that DBS is cost-effective compared to existing interventions, and offers additional health benefits at acceptable incremental cost. (PLoS ONE)

Review Finds Some Effect of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Food Craving

July 19, 2016 - A review of 11 studies of noninvasive brain stimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex indicated that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTNS) has a significant, moderate effect on food cravings. Studies that looked at actual food consumption had results that, while inconsistent, did suggest a possible effect on the intake of carbohydrates through treatment with rTMS. By contrast, studies did not show a significant effect of transcranial direct current stimulation on food cravings. (EurekAlert)

Writer Speaks Out About Use of Noninvasive Brain Stimulation for Anxiety and Depression

July 19, 2016 - A guest columnist describes using cranial electrotherapy stimulation to help with his anxiety for the past six years. He supports viewing electrical stimulation of the brain as a good alternative for many people, especially those who have not responded to other therapies. (Scientific American)

Article: Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to Be Available Now in Nigeria

July 19, 2016 - An article describes repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) services coming to Nigeria. The article included comments by physicians who appreciated the chance to add to existing treatment options for mental health conditions and pointed out the technology also has applications for diagnostic purposes and motor recovery following strike, pain and seizure. The article said previously in Africa, rTMS was only available in South Africa and Egypt. The article characterized the extent of unmet need, saying 20 to 40% of patients are resistant to pharmacological antidepressant treatments while another 33% show poor response. (All Africa)

Study: Tau Protein Moves Through Extra-Cellular Space

July 18, 2016 - Researchers working with a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease found that increased neuronal activity enhances the propagation and pathology of the tau protein responsible for the disease. The senior author said the findings suggest that investigative treatments for the disease that increase brain activity should be monitored carefully. (EurkeAlert)

Study: Combined Limb and Brain Stimulation Aided Functional Recovery

July 14, 2016 - Researchers in Helsinki published a proof-of-principle study in which transcranial magnetic stimulation, synchronized to electrical peripheral nerve stimulation, helped two patients with partial spinal cord injuries regain some voluntary muscle control after six months. (UPI)

Review Assesses Evidence for Spinal Cord Stimulation in Chronic Pain

July 14, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Paul Verrills, MD, and co-authors have prepared a review concerning spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for chronic pain. The review in the Journal of Pain Research states, "A number of variables have been identified that can affect SCS efficacy: implanter experience, appropriate patient selection, etiologies of patient pain, existence of comorbidities, including psychiatric illness, smoking status, and delay to SCS implant following pain onset." It concludes that SCS is a safe, effective, and drug-free treatment for many types of chronic pain. (MD Magazine)

Study: Deep Brain Stimulation Parameters for Parkinson's Disease Might be Tuned Via Phasic Bursts

July 14, 2016 - A team of researchers created a computer model that predicts that delivering deep brain stimulation in bursts at select phases of brain oscillation may be most efficient. Their paper, "Phasic Burst Stimulation: A Closed-Loop Approach to Tuning Deep Brain Stimulation Parameters for Parkinson’s Disease," was published in PLoS Computational Biology. (Medical Xpress)

U.K. Hospital Lauded For Its Dedicated Outpatient Neurostimulation Service

July 11, 2016 - Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital's Brancaster Outpatients Unit has been awarded a Centre of Excellence for its high standard of care in a dedicated clinical room used for percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation services for treatment of voiding conditions. (Lynn News)

Heart Failure Company Says Device Had Neuromodulatory Effect and Will Investigate Modifying Its Development

July 11, 2016 - Sunshine Heart announced its device to augment cardiac function will focus on neuromodulation via baroreceptors rather than its originally envisioned approach of counterpulsation to reduce left-ventricle load in heart failure patients. A clinical trial had shown that the counterpulsation device on the ascending aorta was activating baroreceptors, so the observed positive effect had a neuromodulatory basis. The new approach may be more cost-effective to develop, the company said, in describing anticipated upcoming studies, which start with a current physician-led five-patient study of the device looking at sympathetic nerve activity. (Mass Device)

Article Describes a Deep Brain Stimulation Procedure

July 8, 2016 - A reporter observes deep brain stimulation surgery on a Parkinson's disease patient, performed by International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, in Ohio. (Columbus Business First)

Feasibility Study Looks at Using Neurostimulation to Limit Knee-Replacement Pain

June 29, 2016 - The potential of neurostimulation in perioperative pain control was described in a presentation of a five-patient prospective feasibility study of ultrasound-guided percutaneous peripheral nerve stimulation following primary unilateral total knee arthroplasty. (Anesthesiology News)

Review Assesses Emerging Therapies That Use Autonomic Nervous System Stimulation

June 28, 2016 - A review looks at vagus nerve stimulation in heart failure and obesity, and concludes that results may be improved through advanced stimulation delivery, with most findings from animal studies still to be shown in clinical investigations. (Journal of Neural Engineering)

Clinician Anticipates the Start of a Clinical Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation for Stroke Recovery

June 28, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD, is quoted in an article about an upcoming clinical study of deep brain stimulation after ischemic stroke. It is hoped the brain stimulation will augment physical training by increasing neuroplasticity. (Time)

Report: Adding Motor Cortex Stimulation May Deter Tolerance to Spinal Cord Stimulation

May/June 2016 - A case report describes the effect of dual stimulation in a woman with complex regional pain syndrome whose response to spinal cord stimulation decreased. She received an additional motor cortex implant that was connected to the same pulse generator. The two targets were stimulated in cycling mode with independent parameters. The authors say their encouraging results suggest motor cortex stimulation may be an add-on possible rescue therapy in managing this pain condition. (Pain Physician)

Column Highlights Emerging Medical Technologies, Including Neuromodulation

June 26, 2016 - Of six medical technologies a news column calls "worth watching," two involve neuromodulation. One is a collaboration with Battelle involving International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, to use a device to bypass a damaged spinal cord and send brain signals directly to a paralyzed limb to allow a spinal-cord injury patient to regain some use of his hand. Another is SetPoint Medical's work on a small neuromodulation implant to potentially treat inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease. (Wall Street Journal)

University of Toronto Researchers Work on Overactive Bladder Device

June 24, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Magdy Hassouna, MD, PhD, is helping design and conduct clinical trials of peripheral nerve-stimulation technology, developed at the University of Toronto, to potentially treat overactive bladder. The device developers recently received a commercialization grant. (U of T Engineering News)

Article Details Operation of a Neurostimulator to Treat Cluster Headache

June 24, 2016 - An article describes how sphenopalatine ganglion stimulators are being implanted in some cluster headache sufferers at two U.K. centers. (Daily Mail)

Paper Explores Patients' Expectations for Deep Brain Stimulation

June 23, 2016 - A review looks at the experience of 116 patients with advanced Parkinson's disease, and nine spouses, and their expectations before and after initiating treatment with deep brain stimulation. (BMJ Open)

Clinicians Complete a Meta-Analysis Comparing Two Deep Brain Stimulation Targets in Parkinson's Disease

June 22, 2016 - A meta-analysis of 13 studies comprising 1,148 patients with Parkinson's disease compared deep brain stimulation that targeted the subthalamic nucleus or the globus pallidus internus to treat advanced Parkinson's disease. (Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment)

Paper Reviews Evidence of Combined Use of Antipsychotic Medication and Electrical Brain Stimulation in Schizophrenia

June 20, 2016 - A review of treatment for medication-refractory schizophrenia explores the evidence from published literature concerning co-administration of electrical brain stimulation, such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation or transcranial direct current stimulation, with the antipsychotic clozapine. (Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology)

Concerns Raised About U.S. Insurers' Classification of High Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation

June 20, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society (INS) member David Provenzano, MD mentions a randomized controlled clinical trial by INS member Leonardo Kapural, MD, PhD and colleagues in remarks published in an article about letters written by the American Society of Regional Anesthesia (ASRA) to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Pennsylvania regarding classification of  high-frequency spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for chronic pain. In an April 2016 medical policy, the insurers classified this type of SCS, which is approved by the FDA, to be experimental and investigational. The letters say beneficiaries should be provided access to this "evidence-based therapy when deemed medically necessary." ASRA pointed out the importance of patient access to non-drug options for chronic pain in light of the U.S. opioid epidemic. (Cross-posted to INS Industry News feed; source:

Article Describes Pain Relief From Injectable, Wireless Neurostimulator

June 18, 2016 - Coverage of a pilot study of a wireless neurostimulator for pain relief describes how it can be injected into the epidural space, or into "clusters of spinal nerves." (The pilot study concerned dorsal root ganglion stimulation.) (Daily Mail)

Research Suggests Relieving Neuropathic Pain by Lowering a Brain Circuit's Theta Oscillations

June 17, 2016 - An article summarizes research into deep brain stimulation for central pain syndrome and says the authors hypothesize that relief may be obtained through tailoring deep brain stimulation frequencies to suppress theta oscillations in the thalamus and the periventricular gray/periaqueductal gray. Dysrhythmia and alterations of burst firing in the thalamus have been associated with neuropathic pain. During the dysrhythmia, theta oscillations trigger cortical dysfunction, leading to dysfunction of the thalamocortical circuit, which causes neuropathic pain. (Neurology Advisor)

Clinicians Use Proprioceptive Stimulation to Reduce Apnea of Prematurity

June 15, 2016 - Physicians who placed vibratory devices on the hand and foot of premature babies to stimulate limb movement say it encouraged reflexive breathing. They called it a low-cost neuromodulataory way to reduce apnea that is common at less than 34 weeks' gestation. (PLoS ONE)

International Neuromodulation Society Member Gives Video Interview about the Emergence of Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy

June 14, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD, is interviewed about the emergence, and basic concepts, of deep brain stimulation in a science-column video. (Huffington Post)

Case Report: Sacral Nerve Stimulation Aids Patient Despite Her Partial Sacral Nerve Resection

June 13, 2016 - Authors of a case report published in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface describe treating a woman who developed urinary retention after cancer surgery removed part of her sacral nerve. They report the woman's voiding symptoms resolved following implantation of a sacral nerve stimulation system. (Uro Today)

Inventor Award Recognizes Clinical Application of Deep Brain Stimulation for Movement Disorder

June 13, 2016 - French neurosurgeon Alim-Louis Benabid received a 2016 European Inventor Award from the European Patent Office for bringing into clinical practice the application of high-frequency deep brain stimulation help control motor symptoms of movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease. (Quartz)

Researchers in Iran Pursue Development of Deep-Brain-Stimulation Electrodes

June 14, 2016 - Researchers in Iran have been working for two years to develop deep brain stimulation electrodes. In March, they implanted the electrodes in monkeys after tests in mice. The electrodes might eventually be used to treat Parkinson's disease and possibly addiction, according to an interview with one of the researchers. (MEHR News Agency)

Headache Meeting Poster Summarizes Interim Analysis of Neurostimulation Data in Cluster Headache

June 11, 2016 - An interim analysis of registry data concerning a neurostimulation device for cluster headaches was presented in a poster session at the 58th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society. Sphenopalatine ganglion stimulation received CE mark for cluster headache in 2012. A post-market registry study showed that 68% of 85 patients with the device experienced either 50% fewer cluster headache attacks or decreased symptoms in at least half of their attacks, or both. The population also had a 52% reduction in acute medication usage. (PR Newswire)

Review Explores Safety of Sacral Nerve Stimulation During Pregnancy

June 10, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Tariq Al-Shaiji, MD and colleagues reviewed literature related to sacral nerve modulation and related modes of neuromodulation during pregnancy. Based on case reports and studies reported in animals, they conclude there were no significant reports of negative effects on the fetus, mother, or device. They say hypothesized effects have limited its use although women of childbearing age and pregnant women constitute a fair number of sufferers of overactive bladder and nonobstructive urinary retention. They add that expanded data may move the therapy toward being considered safe during pregnancy. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Study Documents Treatment Effects of Hypglossal Nerve Stimulation in Obstructive Sleep Apnea

June 10, 2016 - An abstract from the University of Pennsylvania about hypoglossal nerve stimulation system indicates the device yields similar outcomes in a general clinical population with obstructive sleep apnea as it did in a controlled clinical study prior to its approval in 2014. The neurostimulation treatment received approval for individuals who have moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea and cannot tolerate using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) system. The abstract, being presented at the 30th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC, concerns results from 20 patients who received the implant between January 2015 and March 2016. (Medical Xpress)

Review: Non-invasive Brain Stimulation May Benefit Patients with Deficiencies in Emotional Regulation

June 10, 2016 - A review article summarizes research into the influence of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation or transcranial direct current stimulation on emotional regulation and decision making. (Neuropsychiatric Electrophysiology)

Physicians Describe Relieving Pelvic Neuropathy with Combined Sacral and Pudendal Nerve Stimulation

June 9, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Thierry Vancaillie, MD, a clinical professor and gynecologist in Australia, co-authored a case report about a woman with a complex pelvic neuropathy. Her diagnoses included interstitial cystitis and persistent genital arousal disorder. The symptoms responded to an intervention that combined decompression of the pudendal nerves along with implantation of a sacral and pudendal nerve neuromodulation device. (BMJ Case Reports)

Article Recounts Emergence of Noninvasive Electrical Brain Stimulation Methods for Psychiatric Conditions

June 2, 2016 - An article about the future psychiatric potential of noninvasive brain stimulation for some conditions in some patients describes two emerging electrical-based therapies, external trigeminal nerve stimulation, and transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation. (Psychiatric News)

TV Segment Features Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treatment for Depression

June 1, 2016 - News coverage of transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression calls the therapy "a sort of depression fighting helmet" and features one patient describing how she has benefited from the treatment. (KING5)

Researchers Pursue a Clinical Trial of Noninvasive Brain Stimulation in Depression

June 6, 2016 - The Black Dog Institute in Australia is recruiting patients for a clinical trial of transcranial direct current stimulation in depression. (Newsmaker)

Researcher Reports That the Rate of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy is Lower After Vagus Nerve Stimulation

May 30, 2016 - At the 2nd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology, a researcher from Switzerland presented an analysis of 24 years of data from the U.S. concerning vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) in epilepsy. The results suggest that patients who received VNS had a reduced risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. (Medscape)

Newscast Features Research Interest in Potentially Treating Psychiatric Conditions with Brain Stimulation

May 27, 2016 - A newscast describes interest in using brain stimulation for psychiatric conditions, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. (CNBC)

Researchers Summarize Findings Concerning Brain Stimulation in Huntington's Disease

May 27, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Jan Vesper, MD, PhD, and Lars Wojtecki, MD, and colleagues have published a review about brain stimulation in Huntington's disease that considers cortical excitability and plasticity in the disease and the potential therapeutic role of non-invasive or invasive brain stimulation methods. (Neurodegenerative Disease Management)

Review Presents Genetic Variations that May Contribute to Differing Responses to Brain Stimulation

May 26, 2016 - A review looks into research concerning combinations of genotypes that have been reported to interact with effects of brain stimulation. An expert commentary says that understanding the genetic factors affecting the heterogenous nature of patients' response to brain stimulation might help with selection of treatment candidates. (Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics)

Scientists Model Nerve Stimulation to Examine Safety Criteria

May 25, 2016 - A research paper about computer modeling of electromagnetic nerve stimulation concludes that a combined approach of accounting for realistic anatomies and neuronal dynamics offers value in establishing safety criteria. (Physics in Medicine and Biology)

TV Show Publicizes Montreal Clinical Trial of Non-invasive Neurostimulation for Gait Rehabilitation

May 23, 2016 - A television news show reports on a clinical trial into a non-invasive neurostimulation device that is applied on the tongue and is being investigated to augment physical therapy for gait in patients who have multiple sclerosis or suffered a traumatic brain injury. The news segment features a former U.S. talk show host and military veteran, Montel Williams. He has multiple sclerosis and became involved with the device's commercialization after having been one of its early study subjects. (CTV Montreal)

Article: Vagus Nerve Stimulation Offers Potential Promise in Addressing Obesity

May 21, 2016 - An article published in the United Arab Emirates describes hopes of being able to address obesity through vagus nerve stimulation, calling the concept "tweaking the behaviour of specific organs by remote control." (The National)

Academic Team Will Study Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation and Alzheimer's Disease

May 21, 2016 - The Fremont (Nebraska) Area Alzheimer’s Collaborative presented early stage research funding to Alzheimer's disease researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The researchers plan to use non-invasive brain stimulation to explore the role of the hippocampus in memory and cognitive function. (Fremont Tribune)

Young Girl Resuscitated After Almost Drowning Will Undergo Deep Brain Stimulation

May 20, 2016 - An article published in South Africa tells the story of a 6-year-old who will undergo deep brain stimulation for a movement disorder subsequent to a near-drowning at age 2. (Independent Online)

Optogenetics Studies Move Beyond Retinal Applications to Potentially Address Pain or Other Conditions

May 19, 2016 - A news feature describes the start of a safety trial that is investigating an optogenetic intervention to potentially restore some vision to patients who have retinitis pigmentosa, through inducing retinal ganglion cells to produce light-sensitive proteins. Meanwhile, the article notes that preclinical work has begun to potentially use optogenetics to treat pain, via a light-sensitive patch worn on the skin. Other potential indications being considered for an optogenetic intervention include hearing, function of vocal cords, bladder function, and Parkinson's disease and other brain disorders. (Nature)

Twins Said to Be the First in Colorado to Receive Deep Brain Stimulation for OCD

May 18, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member David VanSickle, MD, PhD, was interviewed in a television newscast about treating what were said to be the first patients in Colorado to receive deep brain stimulation for obsessive compulsive disorder. He said he worked to convince the insurance company to cover the operation for a pair of young adult twin girls who were severely disabled by the condition. The patients said their symptoms have lessened since the treatment. Their story was also featured as a cover article in the Spring 2016 issue of the Littleton Adventist Hospital health magazine. In that article, Dr. VanSickle said the procedure has become "more consistent, faster, much less expensive . . . yet it's highly underutilized as a therapy." (

Study: Spinal Cord Stimulation Helped Tetraplegic Patients Regain Some Use of Their Hands

May 17, 2016 - A publication reports that cervical spinal cord stimulation and motor training in two patients who had been paralyzed for more than 18 months following severe spinal cord injury allowed them to gain the ability to grasp and hold small objects. By the end of the study, the patients retained some improvement even after the stimulator was turned off. (National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering)

Physician Explains Interest in Neurostimulation for Cluster Headache

May 16, 2016 - A local T.V. segment focuses on a cluster headache patient in the Washington, D.C. area whose doctor is thinking of enrolling him in a clinical trial of sphenopalatine ganglion stimulation. (WUSA)

Review Ponders Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Heart Failure

May 13, 2016 - A review of the INOVATE-HF controlled clinical trial of vagus nerve stimulation concludes that despite intriguing improvements in secondary endpoints, the approach "has to go back to the drawing board." The reviewer cite the lack of significant differences in the main endpoint of death or worsening heart failure, and the occurrence of device complications in almost one out of 10 patients. (NEJM Journal Watch)

Paper Calls Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Drug-Resistant Epilepsy a "Viable Alternative"

May 12, 2016 - A retrospective study of 20 patients with drug-resistant epilepsy who received a vagus nerve stimulation implant between 2001 and 2010 at two institutions in Turkey calls the treatment a "viable alternative" for patients who have drug-resistant epilepsy or who either could not have epilepsy surgery or did not benefit from it. (Univadis)

Review Looks at Incidence and Management of Postdural Puncture Headache After Spinal Cord Stimulator Implantation

May 12, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Thomas Simopoulos, MD and colleagues found an incidence of 0.81% of postdural puncture headache following implantation of 745 spinal cord stimulation leads at a large academic medical center from 2002 to 2014. The six cases they reviewed all occurred before imaging via contralateral oblique fluoroscopic view entered the practice in 2011. They conclude that with meticulous aseptic technique, managing the puncture with epidural blood patch is safe and efficacious even in the presence of hardware. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Clinicians Present Data on Neuromodulation Device Outcomes for Bladder Indications

May 10, 2016 - A summary from a presentation at the American Urological Association's annual meeting reported data from a 5-year projection of comparative costs of percutaneous tribal nerve stimulation (PTNS) versus medical management. The data developed in London, U.K. led to a conclusion that PTNS has a greater overall cost, but is more effective than single or dual drug therapy and therefore provides reasonable value in treating overactive bladder. Another summary from the meeting concerned data from a single Cleveland, Ohio institution where 1,033 sacral neuromodulation procedures had an overall infection rate of 1.8%. In addition, the authors found the rate varied by primary indication. Non-obstructive urinary retention had higher rates, although the reason for this unexpected finding was not explored. (Uro Today)

Researchers Pursue Potential Therapies Based on Vagus Nerve Stimulation

May 10, 2016 - An article describes some research in the European Union into advanced vagus nerve stimulation for obesity or inflammation. (Horizon)

Urologists Hear Analysis of Sacral Neuromodulation Study Data

May 9, 2016 - A physician who presented clinical research data about sacral neuromodulation at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association said the findings suggest that physicians should probably move to third-line therapies more quickly, after patients have failed just a few medications. The study of 272 subjects was a retrospective sub-analysis of a 5-year prospective study into the use of tined leads. (Urology Times)

Pilot Study Will Investigate Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation in Certain Pediatric Patients Who Have Sleep Apnea

May 9, 2010 - A pilot clinical trial of hypoglossal nerve stimulation for sleep apnea has started in pediatric patients with Down syndrome who cannot tolerate wearing continuous positive airway pressure masks at night. (Medical Xpress)

Review: Further Investigation of Potential Neuromodulation Therapies is Warranted in Memory-and-Learning Disorders

May 2016 - A review summarizes cortical-subcortical brain circuits that are important in learning and memory disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. The paper discusses mechanisms such as firing patterns, neural plasticity and neurogenesis, and goes over the current potential neurostimulation targets in those circuits, in addition to other possible therapies. (Journal of Neuroscience)

Paper Examines Importance of Total Charge Delivery Over Time in Spinal Cord Stimulation

May 6, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Jonathan Miller, MD, Sam Eldabe, MD, Eric Buchser, MD, Lisa Johanek, PhD, Yun Guan, MD, PhD, and Bengt Linderoth MD, PhD published an article about spinal cord stimulation (SCS) that considers the overall rate of charge delivery, in addition to the the programming parameters of pulse width, amplitude, and frequency. The authors say SCS parameters that deliver different amounts of energy through different duty cycles may exert distinct therapeutic effects, such as little or no sensory perception of the stimulation. They say considering total charge delivery over time is a concept that applies to both conventional. tonic SCS and newer forms such as high frequency and burst stimulation. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Pain Publication Covers International Neuromodulation Society Journal Article

May 6, 2016 - Coverage of an article about spinal cord stimulation and the emotional aspect of pain in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface includes a comment from International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, MD. He said, “Being able to modulate the connections between the brain areas involved in emotions and those linked to sensations may be an important mechanism involved in pain relief linked to spinal cord stimulation.” (National Pain Report)

International Neuromodulation Society Member Investigates Potential New Brain Stimulation Target for Bipolar Disorder

May 5, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jennifer Sweet, MD, is beginning a clinical trial of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in bipolar disorder. In the first phase, in diffusion-weighted imaging of neural connectivity, medication-resistant patients will be compared to patients who respond to medication and to healthy controls. In the second phase, six medication-resistant patients who have abnormal connectivity will be recruited for a randomized, double-blinded pilot study of DBS targeting the rostral dorsal cingulum bundle, which plays a role in cognitive control. (University Hospitals Case Medical Center)

Meta-Analysis Summarizes Studies Comparing Deep Brain Stimulation Targets in Parkinson's Disease

May 4, 2016 - A review analyzes 16 studies that compare deep brain stimulation (DBS) to the subthalamic nucleus (STN) or the globus pallidus internus (GPi) in Parkinson's disease. The results show STN-DBS was more effective in reducing medication usage and GPi-DBS was more effective in resulting in a higher quality-of-life score. (Scientific Reports)

Computer Simulation Suggests Mechanisms Underlying Paresthesia-Free High-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation

May 4, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Jeffrey Arle, MD, PhD, and Jay Shils, PhD, and colleagues have modeled high-frequency stimulation of dorsal column axons. According to their simulation, high-frequency, paresthesia-free stimulation leads to action potential blockade as hypothesized, preferentially occurring in larger diameter fibers, with recruitment of smaller and medium fibers. The effects arise from ion channel gate and virtual anode dynamics. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Ongoing Clinical Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation in Alzheimer's Disease Explained

May 4, 2016 - A clinician involved in a study of deep brain stimulation in Alzheimer's disease was interviewed about the ongoing 10-person study to evaluate electrical stimulation of white matter in the ventral capsule of the frontal lobes, a region important in executive function and decision-making. (Medscape Multispecialty)

Review: Eligibility for Deep Brain Stimulation in Movement Disorders

May 3, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Christopher Honey, MD, DPhil, and colleagues, published a review on currently available guidance about patient eligibility for deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease, tremor, and dystonia. (Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences)

British TV Documentary Shows Tremor Relief from Deep Brain Stimulation

May 3, 2016 - The channel ITV will run a documentary of a man whose tremors were treated with deep brain stimulation. The show is part of the series "What Would Be Your Miracle?" about inspirational medical interventions. (Exeter Express & Echo)

Former Canadian Radio Host Appears in a Documentary about Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease

May 3, 2016 - A former radio announcer with Parkinson's disease is the subject of a documentary about his deep brain stimulation surgery. The film, "The Voice," is debuting at an international documentary film festival in Canada. (CBC News)

Review Evaluates Evidence Base for Burst Stimulation

May 3, 2016 - A review of five published studies of burst spinal cord stimulation (SCS), involving 117 chronic pain patients, evaluates the evidence base and concludes that further study should use a standardized design, a large sample of patients who have not previously had SCS, and entail long-term follow-up. However, the study notes that new mechanisms may be at play in this stimulation mode, according to animal studies, and says, "understanding other potential spinal inhibitory mechanisms may lead to enhanced analgesia during burst stimulation." (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Editorial Considers Tailoring of Deep Brain Stimulation in Depression

May 2, 2016 - Commenting on a recent study into deep brain stimulation (DBS) for treatment-resistant depression, a psychiatrist notes that symptom improvement in the blinded study was not a placebo effect, and dosage adjustment led to better results. He adds that electrode placement may also be reconsidered as the potential intervention evolves, saying, "DBS is most likely to become a viable choice for highly refractory major depression when electrode location is matched to individual pathophysiology as indicated by functional neuroimaging." (NEJM Journal Watch)

Review Recounts History of Deep Brain Stimulation

April 29, 2016 - A review looks at the development of brain neuromodulation techniques and the current state of the art, including new research into stimulation using ultrasound, micro-scale magnetic fields and optogenetics. (Neuroscientist)

Researchers Report Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Led to More Cortical Excitability and Higher Pain Thresholds

May 2, 2016 - Researchers report a more-robust non-invasive brain stimulation method that increases cortical excitability and may help in devising interventions that raise the pain threshold for patients suffering from chronic pain. They used two electrodes on one side of the head and ran a constant low-intensity current between the electrodes for 10 minutes. Compared to previous studies that only used a single site for transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), this method, unihemispheric dual site tDCS, led to more-pronounced and more durable cortical excitation that lasted 24 hours, they report. Further tests showed that participants had an increased pain threshold. (Health Canal)

Researchers Explore Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation in Alzheimer's Disease

April 27, 2016 - A pilot study in the Journal of Alzhemier's Disease explored, in 18 patients with mild, moderate, or severe Alzhemier's disease, a potential alternative brain-stimulation method to restore mental function. The researchers reported that there were temporary improvements in thinking skills and memory after six sessions of exposure to sound pulses at 40-hertz. This gamma wave rhythm has been shown to be a fundamental frequency of a healthy brain. The study builds on 2013 findings showing that vibrations delivered through the index finger stimulated a steady 40-hertz oscillation in the brains, as seen in magnetoencephalography. (The Globe and Mail)

Researcher Explains Obesity Research at Science Festival

April 26, 2016 - A talk at TechfestNW in Oregon presented the rationale for investigating deep brain stimulation of the hypothalamus as a therapeutic intervention in obesity. (Willamette Week)

News Feature Surveys the State of Research Into Minimally Conscious State

April 26, 2016 - An article about minimally conscious states mentions deep brain stimulation that helped to restore more conscious awareness to one patient. (Newsweek)

Authors Recount State of an International Registry of Tourette Syndrome Patients Who Have Received Deep Brain Stimulation

April 25, 2016 - A review details an international registry of patients with Tourette syndrome who received deep brain stimulation. The registry has 157 patients so far, from 10 countries. The review lists 16 studies published since 2007 that have more than four patients who received DBS as an investigational intervention in Tourette syndrome. (Frontiers in Neuroscience)

Review Summarizes Neuromodulation Studies in Heart Failure

April 25, 2016 - A review examines clinical experience with studies of spinal cord stimulation and vagus nerve stimulation in heart failure, as well as baroreceptor activation therapy. The review analyzes challenges of determining proper excitation parameters and/or stimulator duty cycles, among other issues. Despite challenges, the authors say much progress has been made in the past five years and that one day clinicians may use both devices and drugs to restore the proper sympathovagal balance in heart failure. They add that enrollment will begin soon in a large pivotal trial, BeAT-HF (Barostim Therapy for Heart Failure; NCT02627196). In it, 480 heart-failure patients will be randomized to receive optimal medical therapy with or without BAT. Results, however, will not be expected for several years. (Basic to Translational Science)

Study: Varying Stimulation Frequency May Aid Pain Control

April 22, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Julie Pilitsis, MD, PhD and colleagues published results of a pain study involving 19 patients receiving deep brain stimulation. The authors found that low-frequency stimulation modulates thermal and mechanical detection more than high frequency stimulation, as determined through quantitative sensory testing. They postulate that low frequency stimulation may be an option to consider for patients with Parkinson's  disease whose pain is their predominant complaint. (Journal of Neurosurgery)

Modeling Indicates that Adjunctive Neurostimulation in Chronic Cluster Headache Would Improve Outcomes and Lower Treatment Costs

April 22, 2016 - Using data from a prospective, randomized, open-label study of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation, researchers in Germany modeled the cost-effectiveness of this adjunctive treatment for chronic cluster headache compared to the current standard of care alone. Their analysis found that after one year, the combined treatment of vagus nerve stimulation plus standard care was projected to result in greater quality of life and lower healthcare expenditures in a German setting. (The Journal of Headache and Pain)

Article Recaps Researchers' Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Research

May 2016 - A news feature describes military-funded research that examines cognitive effects of non-invasive brain stimulation. The Insight project, begun in 2014 with $12.7 million from the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, combines physical fitness training, nutrition monitoring, and cognitive training sessions that include transcutaneous direct current stimulation in healthy volunteers. The 42-month project tracks adaptive reasoning in novel situations. (Smithsonian)

Cadaver Study Measured External Stimulation Entering the Skull

April 20, 2016 - Unpublished data presented at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society earlier this month in New York City showed very little current entered a cadaver's skull which was fitted with transcutaneous electrodes to deliver alternating current, with most applied current shunted away by the skin. Regarding the findings, one researcher commented that transcutaneous brain stimulation in living subjects is not expected to deliver a stimulus strong enough to trigger neuron firing, but instead to make neurons more likely to fire or form new connections. In addition, he noted that living tissue conducts electricity differently. (Science)

Early-Onset Parkinson's Disease Patient in Scotland Appreciates Neuromodulation Therapy

April 20, 2016 - A retired teacher who belongs to the Glasgow Young Onset Parkinson’s Group discussed being able to receive deep brain stimulation (DBS). The article says that at a cost of around £70,000 to the National Health Service, only 10 to 12 operations are carried out a year. (Daily Record)

Survey Underscores Importance of Realistic Therapy Expectations in Parkinson's Disease Patients

April 20, 2016 - Survey results presented at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology showed that Parkinson's disease patients whose pre-operation expectations were realistic had improved quality-of-life scores after their deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. The article states that "most patients continued to be satisfied with their decision to undergo DBS, would elect to undergo the procedure again if necessary, and would recommend the procedure to others. In addition, most participants reported that they would have preferred to undergo DBS earlier." (Neurology Advisor)

Research Team Unravels Dual Role of Brain Nucleus Neurons

April 20, 2016 - Preclinical experiments untangled a dual role for cholinergic neurons in the pedunculopontine nucleus by following projections to midbrain structures. The work indicates that to address gait issues in movement disorder, brain stimulation might target the axonal projections in the substantia nigra. For reward disorders, on the other hand, stimulation might target projections in the ventral tegmental area. (Medical Xpress)

Paper Compares MRI Capabilities in Guiding Targeting of Deep Brain Stimulation

April 20, 2016 - Co-authors from the University of California, San Francisco compared deep brain stimulation (DBS) lead targeting during one year of operation using magnetic resonance imaging from ether a 3-tesla magnet (23 consecutive leads) or a 1.5-tesla magnet (26 consecutive leads). They concluded that accurate DBS lead targeting can be achieved with systems using either 1.5- or 3-tesla magnets, but a 3-tesla magnet provides better visualization of the target structures. (Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery)

Study: Non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation Reduced Menstrual Migraine Frequency and Intensity

April 19, 2016 - An open-label study of 56 patients presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting showed that non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation reduced the frequency of menstrual migraine by 35%, down to 4.7 episodes per cycle. The migraine episodes were also less intense, resulting in 38% less use of rescue/analgesic medication. Another study at the meeting provided evidence that the non-invasive stimulation is stimulating afferent vagus nerve fibers as expected. (Newswire)

Researchers Analyze Effect of Responsive Neurostimulation in Patients with Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy

April 18, 2016 - An analysis of 106 patients with medically intractable mesial temporal lobe epilepsy who participated in a clinical trial of responsive neurostimulation showed a median seizure reduction of 70%, according to data presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting. (Neurology Advisor)

Review Foresees Potentially Greater Role for Neuromodulation in Treatment-Resistant Depression

April 2016 - A review of electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and deep brain stimulation (DBS) in treatment-resistant depression concludes that as additional knowledge is developed about the best use of the latter two treatments, circumstances may allow TMS and DBS to become mainstream treatments for treatment-resistant depression in the next decade. (Healio Psychiatric Annals)

Researchers Say Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Improved Cognitive Reasoning on a Word-Analogy Test

April 14, 2016 - An article in Cerebral Cortex says research subjects performed better on a novel analogy-finding task after receiving high-definition tDCS-to the frontopolar cortex, an area whose activity was recently shown to predict changes in creative state. (Science Daily)

Journal Features Work of International Neuromodulation Society Members to Reanimate the Limb of a Quadraplegic

April 13, 2016 - The New York Times covered the publication in Nature of research including International Neuromodulation Society members Ali Rezai, MD, and Chad Bouton regarding their collaboration to use a motor-cortex implant and an electrode sleeve to reanimate the hand and arm of a man with quadriplegia. Nature published an associated news article. An article by the BBC includes a video of the young man using the device. Ohio State University issued a news release saying the patient is the first of up to five to participate in the clinical study using this "neural bypass" system, NeuroLife. Bouton was recognized for this work in 2015 as one of five winners of the inaugural INS biennial congress abstract competition. (New York Times)

Study: Deep Brain Stimulation Target Yielded Lasting Symptom Improvement in Parkinson's Patients

April 13, 2016 - Researchers in Mexico City report that unilateral deep brain stimulation to the preleminiscal radiations (Rapri) in patients who have Parkinson's disease in stages II - III induced significant improvement in contralateral symptoms in the extremities over 2 - 4 years of followup. Fourteen of the 19 patients had more than an 80% decrease in symptoms. The other five had symptom decreases of 33 - 79%. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Advocacy Group's Survey in Ireland Shows Limited Access to Deep Brain Stimulation

April 13, 2016 - An article about a survey of 1,000 patients by the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland says that despite Parkinson's disease being on the rise, only 3% of patients have had access to deep brain stimulation. For the treatment, they must travel to England, which is difficult for patients whose condition limits their mobility. (Irish Times)

Man with Autism Recounts His Response as a Non-invasive Brain-Stimulation Subject

April 13, 2016 - In a "Science of Us" column, a writer interviews a man with autism about his experiences as a clinical research subject who had repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in an attempt to mitigate some of his symptoms that interfered with socialization. (New York Magazine)

Authors Foresee Applying Laboratory Findings in Optogenetics to Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy

April 5, 2016 - Authors of a research review posit that optogenetics in animal models can identify neural circuits thought to contribute to behavioral disease, which then might be treated with deep brain stimulation. These possibly novel stimulation targets could be validated in the animal models. Then, the findings might be translated to humans. (Swiss Medical Weekly)

Small Clinical Trial Starts to Potentially Remedy Vision Loss with Optogenetics

March 18, 2016 - A woman in Texas with loss of vision from retinitis pigmentosa is the first participant in a small clinical trial to receive optogenetic therapy. The treatment introduces genes for light-sensing proteins to ganglion cells in her retina. The intent is to allow these cells to signal the presence of light, and thereby restore some ability to perceive light and shadow. Restoring some vision could help patients better perceive and navigate their environment. (MIT Technology Review)

Researcher Looks at Role of Modulation of Neural States in Motor Tasks

March 31, 2016 - In a finding that may help development of prosthetic devices, a researcher in Sweden reported in Current Biology that the signal patterns of sensory neurons associated with muscle spindles changed during learning of a motor task. Earlier, the researcher noted in an interview that insight into these mechanisms can also aid understanding of pathological states, such as spasticity. (Science Magazine)

Physiologist Finds Some Capacity for the Spinal Cord to Adapt After Injury

March 30, 2016 - A news feature covers four decades of research by a physiologist whose neurostimulation studies have led to an understanding that following some spinal cord injuries, the spinal cord can adapt through neurorehabilitation and generate patterns of activity that have allowed some paralyzed research subjects to recover some limited function. (STAT)

Researchers Investigate Stimulation of the Ventral Tegmental Area in Chronic Cluster Headache

March 30, 2016 - British researchers report a prospective study of 21 patients who have medically refractory chronic cluster headache, and were treated with deep brain stimulation to the ventral tegmental area after either failing occipital nerve stimulation or having been denied it through the National Health Service. They report that patients improved significantly in a number of factors. The authors conclude that the study provides Class IV evidence that this intervention in this medically refractory condition decreases headache frequency, severity, and headache load. (Neurology)

Article Describes Interest in Bioelectronics

March 29, 2016 - An article describes the development of bioelectronics or electroceuticals following an observation in 2002 that an agent under investigation to limit swelling after a stroke was affecting the vagus nerve and the reaction of the immune system. The observation led to the concept that the nerve could be manipulated with electrical impulses instead of a pharmaceutical agent. ( via Unknown Country)

Case Report: Pudendal Nerve Stimulation in Pediatric Patent with Caudal Regression

March 28, 2016 - Physicians report on the use of pudendal nerve stimulation in a pediatric patient to treat the patient's refractory bladder/bowel dysfunction. Sacral neuromodulation was not pursued because the patient had a malformed lower spine due to caudal regression. (Urology)

Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Researcher Seeks Enrollees with Parkinson's Disease to Investigate a Potential Depression Therapy

March 28, 2016 - A researcher at the University of British Columbia is recruiting Parkinson's disease patients who have been diagnosed with depression to see if two weeks of daily sessions of transcranial direct current stimulation at home will help relieve symptoms. News coverage of his work highlights cautions that researchers and industry-watchers have voiced about the home use of brain-stimulation devices that are not regulated as medical devices. (Vancouver Sun)

Deep Brain Stimulation Affects Oscillation of Distinct Networks in Parkinson's Disease

March 26, 2016 - Researchers in the United Kingdom published findings showing that motor improvement in Parkinson’s disease patients receiving subthalamic deep brain stimulation correlates to suppressed synchrony of distinct brain networks. The findings were based on simultaneous magnetoencephalography recordings of the subthalamic nucleus and cortex. The authors conclude that further defining the activity of cortico-subcortical loops, and their connection to underlying symptoms, might aid development of patient-specific treatment that tailors the delivery and pattern of brain stimulation. (Brain)

Neurologists Document Infection Rates Following Deep Brain Stimulation Implantation in a Diagnostic MRI Suite

March 25, 2016 - Physicians at the University of California, San Francisco prospectively collected data over 10 years from 164 procedures in which deep brain stimulation leads were implanted under MRI guidance in a sterile setting that lacked the air-handling qualities of operating rooms. They changed their sterile practice after the first 10 patients. Subsequently, the next four instances of postoperative hardware infection (2.6% of 154 patients) all occurred at the site of the implantable pulse generator, which had been implanted in a conventional operating room during a followup visit. In the whole group of patients, there were six infections for an overall rate of 3.6%. (Brain)

Ukraine Patient Received Deep Brain Stimulation System

March 27, 2016 - A boy with epilepsy received a deep brain stimulation (DBS) system in what is described as the first surgery of its type in the Ukraine. (Ukraine Today)

Neuromodulation Center Joins Forces with Brain Science Institute

Summer 2016 - The Asia-Pacific Centre for Neuromodulation officially joined the Queensland Brain Institute in January. The neuromodulation-therapy research center was formed in 2012 as a joint initiative of the University of Queensland and St. Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital. (University of Queensland)

Pilot Study Explores Medication-Free Maintenance Following Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Depression

March 24, 2016 - A prospective pilot study in Brain Stimulation  randomized unmedicated patients with unipolar, nonpsychotic, treatment-resistant major depressive disorder to either observation, or monthly transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) sessions following a six-week acute-treatment phase. The patients in the randomized phase were among 49 responders who were followed for up to 12 months, out of 67 total who underwent the initial acute phase of treatment. Compared to the observation group, the ones who had been randomized to receive monthly treatment were able to go 91 days before intensive therapy needed to be introduced, compared to 77 days in the observation-only group, the article states. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Researchers Investigate Non-invasive Brain Stimulation in Anorexia

March 23, 2016 - An article in PLOS ONE suggests repetitive transcranial stimulation (rTMS) to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex reduced symptoms of anorexia. The researchers saw a statistical trend toward reduced symptoms in the active-stimulation group following one session of rTMS to this area of the brain, which is thought to be involved in some of the self-regulation difficulties associated with anorexia. (Medical Xpress)

Study Examines Role of Brain Structure in Propensity to Make Eye Contact

March 23, 2016 - Researchers in France published findings in which subjects whose superior temporal sulcus was inhibited by transcranial magnetic stimulation gazed less at the eyes of movie actors. The authors say this brain structure is different in some autistic people. They want to explore whether stimulating its activity could serve as a therapy to enhance social interactions by increasing eye contact. (Medical Xpress)

Laboratory Brain-Stimulation Study Targets Circuits Involved in Feeding and Metabolism

March 23, 2016 - A feeding-and-metabolism study in Nature, Nature  "Bidirectional electromagnetic control of the hypothalamus regulates feeding and metabolism," investigated glucose homeostasis through stimulating the hypothalamus of mice via radio or magnetic waves. In the laboratory animals, the stimulation affected a ferritin fusion protein tethered to a calcium-ion pore. The authors note that "pancreatic hormones function as an effector mechanism of central nervous system circuits controlling blood glucose and behaviour. The method we employ obviates the need for permanent implants and could potentially be applied to study other neural processes or used to regulate other, even dispersed, cell types." (Rockefeller University)

Cluster Headache Patient in Wales Wishes to Try Neurostimulation

March 23, 2016 - A woman in Wales says she has not gotten approval to receive occipital nerve stimulation (ONS) for her cluster headache. Authorities said 2013 guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence does not support ONS on a routine basis. (The Leader)

Call for Congress Proposals Issued

March 2016 - For its 13th World Congress, "Neuromodulation: Technology Changing Lives" May 21 - June 1, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland, the International Neuromodulation Society seeks proposals by May 1 regarding basic science, clinical studies and biomedical engineering presentations about neuromodulation for:

    Brain disorders, including epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, dystonia, traumatic brain injury, stroke, psychiatric disorders, etc.;
    Chronic pain conditions that are underserved;
    Cardiovascular disorders, including heart failure, angina, and peripheral vascular disease;
    Systemic disease;
    Pelvic organ motility disorders; and
    Neurorehabilitation; as well as
    Mechanisms of action of neuromodulation; and
    Non- and less-invasive neurostimulation.
(International Neuromodulation Society)

Mice Studies Indicate Astrocytes Help Mediate Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

March 22, 2016 - Researchers in Japan report in Nature Communications on an apparent mechanism of action of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), seen in mouse studies. Fluorescent tagging indicated tDCS induced large surges of calcium ions in astrocytes, implicating activity of these non-nerve cells in mediation of neuronal responses to the stimulation. They add that there were no obvious changes in the local field potential. They suggest this tDCS mechanism may play a role in lowering symptoms of depression and increasing learning and brain plasticity. In a mouse model of stress-induced depression, tDCS normally reduces depression-like behavior. However, when astrocytic calcium surges were blocked, it did not. The researchers also found tDCS enhanced cortical responses to sensory input, such as light flashes or whisker deflection. (EurekAlert)

Specialists Urge Progress on Deep Brain Stimulation Center in Scotland

March 22, 2016  - Twenty-five specialists have sent an open letter to the health secretary asking her to resolve a funding dispute that has delayed establishment of a deep brain stimulation (DBS) center in Scotland for patients in north and east, who must travel to England for the treatment. (BBC)

News Release Publicizes Study Data About Neurostimulation Reducing the Emotional Aspect of Pain

March 17, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member, Ali Rezai, MD, was quoted in a news release about an article he published with colleagues, including fellow member Louis Vera-Portocarrero, PhD, in the current issue of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. He said, "spinal cord stimulation can reduce the emotional connectivity and processing in certain areas of the brain in those with chronic pain." The researchers examined functional MRI scans of 10 patients who had spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for complex regional pain syndrome or chronic leg pain. The findings suggest SCS reduces negative pain processing through decreasing connectivity of the limbic and somatosensory areas. (EurekAlert)

Brain Stimulation Boosted Recall of a Short-Term Memory in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease

March 16, 2016 - Optogenetic studies in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease showed that stimulation of the hippocampus can elicit recall of an earlier painful stimulus (a box that delivered an electric shock). Normal mice learned to fear the box, but the mice designed to model Alzheimer's disease did not. When the memory-impaired mice received the brain stimulation, however, they did not move about the box, indicating they associated it with the shock. Cycling the simulation on and off as might occur naturally during repeated memory recall allowed the mice to retain and retrieve the memory, and dissection later indicated that repeated stimulation led to more connections between the hippocampus and the entorhinal cortex. (Nature)

Study: Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Enhanced Motor Recovery

March 16, 2016 - A controlled study of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) during stroke rehabilitation in 24 patients showed that the half who received active stimulation in conjunction with nine days of motor rehabilitation performed better at three months' followup than those who did not. The researchers applied anodal stimulation to the brain hemisphere ipsilateral to the lesion. (Medical Xpress)

Military Research Agency Seeks to Use Peripheral Nerve Stimulation to Enhance Cognitive Performance

March 16, 2016 - The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) announced a new peripheral-nerve-stimulation research program, Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT), and will hold a Proposer's Day on April 8, 2016 in Arlington, VA. The research program concerns noninvasive nerve stimulation, and seeks to facilitate learning of cognitive skills "with a goal of reducing the cost and duration of the Defense Department’s extensive training regimen while improving outcomes," the announcement said. Unlike prior research programs, "it will aim not just to restore lost function but to advance capabilities beyond normal levels." (DARPA)

Two-Year Pilot Study Finds Early Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease Lowered Medication Costs

Feb. 26, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Peter Konrad, MD, PhD, Fenna Phibbs, MD, and Joseph Neimat, MD, have published with co-authors a prospective, randomized, single-blind clinical trial testing the impact of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (DBS) in early Parkinson's disease on reduced medication costs. The 30-patient study found that over two years, patients who were randomized to only receive optimum drug treatment had their medication costs increase 72% from baseline. In the same period, the patients who also received DBS had their medication costs drop 16%. The cost savings amounted to $7,150 over two years. (Journal of Parkinson's Disease)

Report Issued on FDA Workshop Concerning Brain-Computer Interfaces

April 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member John Donoghue, PhD, is among authors of a report that has been published following a November 2014 FDA meeting on brain-computer interfaces (BCI)  for patients with paralysis or amputation. The report says FDA plans to develop guidance for premarket submissions for BCI devices. For the purposes of the workshop, BCI devices were defined as neuroprostheses that interface with the central or peripheral nervous system to restore lost motor or sensory capabilities. (Journal of Neural Engineering)

Researcher Explores Minimizing Scar-Tissue Formation With Drug-Eluting Implant

April 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member James FitzGerald, PhD, has published preclinical data regarding suppression of scar tissue formation in peripheral nerve implants. His work involved a microchannel implant on the sciatic nerve of rats made of silicone doped with the inflammation-suppressing steroid dexamethasone. After periods of up to one year, the drug-eluting implants had less surrounding scar tissue compared to controls. Axon growth was initially much stronger in the control versions, but declined as scar tissue formed, whereas axon counts increased in the drug-eluting devices and by one year were significantly higher than controls. (Journal of Neural Engineering)

Computational Model Seeks to Help Guide and Explain Deeper Stimulation from Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

April 2016 - A research team has modeled the brain's white fiber tracts, that connect cortical and subcortical regions and are theorized to potentially propagate action potentials toward deeper brain regions during transcranial magnetic stimulation. Their model, they say, combines electromagnetism and electrophysiology by computing, next to the induced electric fields in the brain, the spatial distribution of the membrane potentials along the fiber tracts and its dynamics over time. By factoring in the location and orientation of the coil, specific results for a patient or a case can be obtained. (Journal of Neural Engineering)

Executive Details His Company's Vision of Bioelectronic Medicine

March 12, 2016 - In an interview, GlaxoSmithKline executive Moncef Slaoui said their bioelectronics initiative seeks wirelessly powered peripheral nerve stimulators that can interface with a single nerve and might one day be implanted laproscoptically in a matter of minutes. The initiative was presented at the SXSW Interactive technology conference in Austin, TX at a session called "Inner Space: Bioelectronics and Medicine's Future". (IEEE Spectrum)

Researchers Explore Use of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Aphasia Therapy

March 10, 2016 - Two speech-language pathologist who teach at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls have begun gathering feasibility data in a pilot clinical study that involves sessions of transcranial direct current stimulation followed by rehabilitation training for post-stroke aphasia. They have been using facilities at the University of Minnesota, and are seeking more trial participants prior to filing a grant proposal for a larger study. (River Falls Journal)

Paper Raises Issue of Guidance for Neuromodulation Implant Patients During Other Surgeries

Feb. 15, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ramsis Ghaly, MD, is first author on a paper that asks, "Do we need to establish guidelines for patients with neuromodulation implantable devices, including spinal cord stimulators undergoing nonspinal surgeries?" The article gives case reports of two patients who have spinal cord stimulator implants and either underwent a hysterectomy or a hip replacement. The implant manufacturers' representatives were contacted pre-surgery. With provisions made to avoid electrical conductance of the device during cautery, the procedures went without complication. (Surgical Neurology International)

Faculty Collaborate on On-Demand Deep Brain Stimulation System

March 8, 2016 - A profile of Daniela Tuninetti, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), reports that she is collaborating with International Neuromodulation Society member Konstantin Slavin, MD, and UIC engineering professor Daniel Graupe in developing an on-demand system for deep brain stimulation. The system is being designed to identify and prevent onset of tremor. Tuninetti was quoted as saying that advantages include longer battery life and decreased side effects, such as speech issues. She added that the technology is envisioned to have broader applications beyond tremor disorders. (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Article Recounts a Patient's Experience with Deep Brain Stimulation for Tremor

March 7, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Paul Eldridge, a neurosurgeon at Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, was quoted in an article about the benefits a woman experienced after receiving deep brain stimulation for her essential tremor. The article stated, " 'On the whole this is an extremely effective and safe surgical procedure,' says Professor Eldridge. 'You can expect it to provide significant relief to 90 per cent of patients.' " (Daily Mail)

Australian Research Institute Eyes Forming a Neural Bioengineering Center

March 7, 2016 - Queensland Brain Institute plans to open a new Centre for Neural Bioengineering next year to investigate ways to deliver deep brain stimulation without invasive surgery to potentially treat conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, obsessive compulsive disorder, epilepsy and anorexia. A new biobank is also planned. One researcher at the institute is carrying out preclinical studies of ultrasound as a potential Alzheimer's disease treatment. (The Courier-Mail)

Case Report: Bipolar Patient Resumed Vagus Nerve Stimulation Following End-of-Battery Life Relapse

March 7, 2016 - A case report about a bipolar patient who remained in stable remission for nine years  after 20 months of vagus nerve stimulation therapy says the patient relapsed after the therapy was not re-initiated for several months after the battery died. Once the device was replaced, the patient regained remission after 17 months. "If the device malfunctions," the authors advise, "urgent surgical replacement is warranted with subsequent rapid titration to previous parameters as tolerated. Several months’ delay may trigger relapse and prove difficult to re-establish remission."  (BMJ Case Reports)

Company Receives FDA Approval for MRI-Safe Stimulation Leads

March 3, 2016 - Medtronic plc announced it has received FDA approval of its spinal cord stimulation leads that are designed for MRI compatibility. The company expects to begin marketing them later this month. (Mass Device)

News Weekly Ponders Cognitive-Enhancement Concerns

March 3, 2016 - An editorial and an Outlook article in Nature raise the issues posed by consumer interest in non-invasive brain stimulation for cognitive enhancement. (Nature)

Opinion Piece Forecasts Path for Further Technological Development of Neuromodulation

March 2, 2016 - Cambridge Associates cites cost savings and quality-of-life enhancements offered by neuromodulation therapy, using as an example data presented at the International Neuromodulation Society's 12th World Congress about reductions in healthcare costs among chronic pain patients who received spinal cord stimulation through a Western Canada health authority. The article calls for pursuing better insight into disease mechanisms and integration of technical capabilities to make smaller, more easily accessible devices to fulfill the promise of neuromodulation therapy. (Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry)

Article Describes Pursuit of Peripheral-Nerve-Stimulating Bioelectronic Therapies

March 2, 2016 - An article says GlaxoSmithKline has established a network of about 50 research collaborations in bioelectronic medicine, and most research is still at a preclinical stage. The article explains that bioelectronic medicine strives to read and correct signals in the peripheral nervous system to treat diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, asthma, hypertension and diabetes. The article adds that the National Institutes of Health has established a $248 million research-investment program, Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC). (Financial Times)

Funding Agency Seeks Applicants to Carry Out Pre-clinical Tests in New Peripheral-Nerve-Stimulation Indications

March 1, 2016 - The National Institutes of Health announced a funding opportunity as part of the Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) program. Investigators are invited to propose conducting pre-clinical tests of existing neuromodulation devices, from SPARC’s industry partners, in support of new market indications. The pre-clinical data that emerge are expected to generate the necessary safety and efficacy evidence to support an Investigational Device Exemption submission for a later pilot clinical study. A required letter of intent is due April 2, 2016 and the application is due May 2, 2016. (NIH)

Study Suggests Brain-Hemisphere Dominance May Influence Stimulation Effects

Feb. 29, 2016 - An abstract presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science suggests that noninvasive brain-stimulation treatments for depression should be tailored to the dominant hemisphere of the patient, as reflected in their handedness. In the research, 25 subjects who do not have depression were randomized to receive transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to either the right or left side of the head. The subjects had a spectrum of hand preference, with four strongly preferring to use their left hand. After five days of tDCS sessions,  tDCS to the left hemisphere -- the typical approach -- resulted in right-handers feeling better and left-handers feeling worse, while the reverse was true for stimulation of the right hemisphere, according to the article. (Science)

Review Surveys Emerging Neurostimulation Options for Upper-Extremity Neuropathic Pain

Feb. 1, 2016 - Clinical Pain Advisor summarized a review in Hand Clinics that surveys emerging neurostimulation options for treatment of upper-extremity neuropathic pain. The journal article was authored by International Neuromodulation Society members Jason Pope, MD; David Provenzano, MD; Porter McRoberts, MD; and Timothy Deer, MD. (Clinical Pain Advisor)

Longer Delay in Start of Spinal Cord Stimulation is Linked to Higher Healthcare Utilization

Feb. 29, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Shivanand P. Lad MD, PhD; Alexander R. Kent; Peter Staats MD; and Ashwini Sharan MD and colleagues analyzed Medicare claims data from 2008- 2013 over 12 months post-implant in 762 chronic pain patients. Looking at time-to-implant, the authors found that for every one-year delay in receiving a spinal cord stimulator, the odds increased that patients would fall into a high medical expenditures group (33%), receive high opioid prescriptions (39%), and have a higher number of office visits and hospitalizations (44% and 55%). (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Researchers Assess White-Matter Modulation During Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease

Feb. 26, 2016 - In 22 Parkinson's disease patients who received bilateral deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus, an analysis suggests that favorable clinical outcomes are associated with the modulation of white matter tracts directed to the superior frontal gyrus and the thalamus. The researchers say their method using probabilistic tractography with diffusion-tensor data may aid deep brain stimulation programming. (Brain)

Article: More Patients Are Being Offered Neuromodulation for Chronic Neuropathic and Ischemic Pain

Feb. 24, 2015 - An article about spinal cord stimulation options says that technological advances, and guidelines of the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee, have opened the door to more patients, with the therapy being considered earlier than as a last resort, prior to long-acting and strong opioid medications, leading to a better success rate. (Herald and Review)

Conference Presentation Analyzes Effects of Obesity, Smoking on Spinal Cord Stimulation Outcomes

Feb. 21, 2016 - In a retrospective analysis of 64 patients who received spinal cord stimulation (SCS) between January 2013 - July 2014, neither obesity nor smoking appeared to affect the efficacy of SCS or the infection rate. However, smokers had a 22.2% rate of lead migration, compared to 2.1% in the non-smokers. The study was presented at the American Academy of Pain Medicine Annual Meeting. International Neuromodulation Society President Timothy Deer, MD, who was not involved in the study, was quoted as commenting that there would need to be more patients in order to see a statistical difference. (Medscape)

Healthcare Chain Now Offers Spinal Cord Stimulation Services in Qatar

Feb. 21, 2016 - A network of 12 pain management clinics in Qatar began offering spinal cord stimulation therapy in August 2015. (The Peninsula)

Researcher: Electrical Brain Stimulation May Aid Therapy for Progressive Aphasia

Feb. 14, 2016 - A researcher is investigating transcranial direct current stimulation as an adjunct to speech therapy in primary progressive aphasia. She presented preliminary results involving 19 patients at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. (Star Tribune)

Article Weighs Cost-Effectiveness of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Feb. 12, 2016 - In a "Wise Buy" column, a writer looks at costs of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for treatment-resistant depression compared to electroconvulsive therapy. The article says an analysis showed that the cost of achieving one quality adjusted life year was $36,000, and anything less than $50,000 is considered cost-effective. (MedPage Today)

Authors Look at the Future of Flexible Electrodes in Neuroscience Applications

Feb. 11, 2016 - A team of co-authors reviews advances in implantable electrodes based upon soft materials, and their applications in neuroprosthetics, neural signal recording, and neuromodulation. (Lab on a Chip)

Researchers Demonstrate an Intravenous Brain-Machine Interface in Sheep, Say the Minimally Invasive Interface May Help Guide an Exoskeleton for Spine-Injury Patients

Feb. 10, 2016 - Australian researchers have published a preclinical demonstration of a minimally invasive, paperclip-sized brain machine interface comprised of an electrode-bearing stent, introduced into a vein to lie alongside the motor cortex. Their paper in Nature Biotechnology describes their experience taking neural recordings for up to six months in sheep. The project, funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, may allow spine-injured patients to control an exoskeleton, or aid mobility of stroke patients. A clinical trial in three patients is planned next year in Victoria, Australia. Goals of the project are described by one team member in a column in The Conversation. (IEEE Spectrum)

External Vagus Nerve Stimulation to Be Tested for Controlling Obesity

Feb. 9, 2016 - An external vagus nerve stimulation system, the NeuroCoach II Stim, will be subject to a placebo-controlled clinical trial for 50 patients in France to potentially help control obesity. The device clips on the ear, and its potential to address obesity was discovered by chance after it was noticed that patients using the stimulation to treat other conditions lost weight. (Daily Mail)

Article Describes Locally Available Pain Interventions

Feb. 8, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society (INS) member Jason Pope, MD, was featured along with INS member Michael Yang, MD, in a newspaper article about the latest pain interventions being available in the Santa Rosa, CA area -- including high frequency spinal cord stimulation. (Press Democrat)

Company Eyes Commercialization of Implantable Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain.

Feb. 8, 2016 - Mainstay Medical International plc announced 2015 preliminary results and a business update. The Dublin-based company said it awaits CE marking and is preparing to commercialize its implantable device for chronic low back pain in Europe, with the first target market located in Germany. Meanwhile, the company received two more U.S. patents, bringing the total number to seven, and is currently preparing for an international prospective randomized sham-controlled blinded clinical trial, to include sites in the U.S. (Business Wire)

Researchers Say Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation May Hold Promise for Helping Treat Depression

Feb. 4, 2016 - Researchers from the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences and Harvard Medical school investigated the effects of transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation in 34 patients with depression, who received either sham or active stimulation for a month. The results, in Biological Psychiatry, showed the active-stimulation group experienced symptom improvement. Neuroimaging before and after indicated increased functional connectivity between the default mode network and precuneus and orbital prefrontal cortex, a network that is known to be altered in depression. The authors conclude that the non-invasive, safe and low cost method shows potential promise as a possible treatment option, if efficacy is sustained. (EurekAlert)

Review Considers Current Development of Spinal Cord Neuromodulation for Heart Disease

Feb. 4, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jeffrey Ardell, PhD has published a review about heart failure and mechanisms of spinal cord neuromodulation for heart disease. The article says safety concerns for bioelectrical treatment of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction have been addressed, but optimization of spinal cord stimulation delivery remains a concern. (Nature Reviews Cardiology)

Article Explains Goal of Using Implant to Stabilize Back and Relieve Chronic Pain

Jan. 31, 2016 - Dublin-based Mainstay Medical has applied for CE Mark approval of a novel investigational neurostimulation device for back pain. The implant induces contractions of the multifidus muscle to stabilize the back. The company would like to offer the device later this year in Europe as an option when treatments such as physiotherapy have failed. An article says the application includes data from a clinical trial involving 45 patients in Belgium, Australia, and England. The coverage mentions International Neuromodulation Society member Sam Eldabe, MBBS, FRCA of Middlesbrough, England, who implanted four enrollees. (Daily Mail)

Neurostimulation for Spine-Injury Patients Receives Research Funding in Minnesota

Jan. 28, 2016 - The state of Minnesota has given a grant to the University of Minnesota and Hennepin County Medical Center to study epidural spinal cord stimulation as a way to potentially restore some function in spine-injured patients. A summary in Becker Spine Review says clinical trials in other states resulted in patients moving paralyzed muscles and that once the stimulator has been implanted for some time, the patients should experience some improved function even when it is inactive. (WCCO)

Study: External Device Improved Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

Jan. 28, 2016 - A proof-of-concept clinical trial of adjunctive treatment with external trigeminal nerve stimulation in 12 patients who have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder showed that eight weeks of nightly stimulation led to significant improvements in symptom severity. The research institution, the University of California, Los Angeles, is seeking military veterans with PTSD for additional clinical research with the modality. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Agency Seeks Proposals for Neural Interface Technology

Jan. 26, 2016 - The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced a Neural Engineering System Design program, and invites proposals for modular, compact hardware that can record from more than 1 million neurons and stimulate more than 100,000 neurons. (TechNewsWorld)

Analysis Compares Healthcare Utilization and Payments for Cancer-Pain Patients Who Receive Intrathecal Drug Delivery or Conventional Medical Management

Jan. 27, 2016 - Healthcare costs of conventional medical management vs. intrathecal drug delivery (IDD) were compared in 73 matched pairs of patients who had cancer-related pain. In the first year after IDD implant, the IDD patients had a consistent trend of lower medical utilization, and total payments were $3,195 mower. The analysis by International Neuromodulation Society member Lisa Stearns, MD and colleagues suggests that despite the high initial cost of IDD, those patients incur lower medical utilization and payments over the first year post-implant. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Media Cover Use of Deep Brain Stimulation for Focal Hand Disorder

Jan. 27, 2016 - A Chinese citizen with focal hand disorder was reported to receive deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery while playing guitar, which he had had to give up due to his condition. His surgeon said this was the seventh known case where DBS was used for this disorder, a condition that was said to not be uncommon among athletes and musicians. The article described DBS therapy, noting that "it is thought that it will remain the main surgical therapy for Parkinson's for the next 30 years." (Daily Mail)

European Researchers Examine Neuroendocrine Changes in Deep Brain Stimulation for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Jan. 26, 2016 - Researchers report that resuming deep brain stimulation (DBS) in patients with treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder led to rapid release of the neuroendocrine factors prolactin and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). The authors say the findings suggest that DBS is capable of inducing rapid psychiatric symptom changes through an alternative or additional underlying mechanism. For instance, seeing the increase in prolactin and TSH leads them to believe the observed acute mood elevation may be due to stimulation of hypothalamic thyrotropin-releasing hormone. They add that one patient who had previously become a DBS non-responder found some relief of his affective symptoms during the day by switching the DBS off at night and resuming it in the morning, thereby recreating a short-term acute stimulation effect. (Nature Translational Psychiatry)

Pharmacy Publication Features Bioelectronic Medicine

January 2016 - An article about bioelectronic medicine defines it as "the use of neurostimulation to modulate disease pathways." For now, the article says, vagus nerve stimulation is receiving the most attention for potentially treating disease conditions. (PharmaTimes)

Researchers Publish Results of Prospective Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Clinical Trial

Jan. 22, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Timothy Deer, MD; Jason Pope, MD; Ramsin Benyamin, MD; Richardo Vallejo, MD, PhD; David Caraway, MD, PhD; Peter Staats, MD; Eric Grigsby, MD; Porter McRoberts, MD; Tory McJunkin, MD; Robert Levy, MD; Leonardo Kapural, MD, PhD; and Nagy Mekhail, MD, PhD and colleagues have published Early View results of a partial crossover trial of a novel peripheral nerve stimulation device. They conclude the implantable device is safe and effective for treating neuropathic pain of peripheral nerve origin. In the safety and efficacy trial, 94 patients were randomized in control and active stimulation groups. The results showed that three months of active stimulation led to a 38% response rate (vs. 10% in the control group); and the mean pain reduction in the treatment group was 27.2% vs. 2.3% in the control group. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Hospital in India Announces Implantation of a Vagus Nerve Stimulation System in a Patient with Heart Failure

Jan. 20, 2016 - A cardiac care hospital in India has implanted a vagus nerve stimulation system in a patient who has heart failure, in an effort to increase tone of the parasympathetic nervous system and improve her symptoms. (Equity Bulls)

Review Evaluates Evidence for Spinal Cord Stimulation

January 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Jay Grider, DO, PhD; Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD; Alexios Carayannopoulos, DO, MPH; Carl Balog, MD; Michael E. Harned, MD; Salim M. Hayek, MD, PhD; Ricardo Vallejo, MD, PhD; and Paul Christo, MD, along with other co-authors, have published a systematic review of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) in spinal pain. They found there was significant evidence -- Level I to II -- of the efficacy of SCS in lower-back failed back surgery syndrome. In addition, they found moderate Level II to III evidence for the efficacy of high frequency stimulation based on one randomized controlled clinical trial. They conclude more studies are needed and said that based on a lack of high quality studies, there was limited evidence for adaptive stimulation and burst stimulation. (Pain Physician)

Observational Study Suggests Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is Effective and Feasible in Neuropathic Pain

January 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society members Giuliano De Carolis, MD; Goffredo Liberatoscioli, MD; Paola Nosella, MD; and Luigi F. Nardi, MD and co-authors published results of a multi-center observational study of percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (PENS) in neuropathic pain. There were 76 patients who had a variety of conditions, such as post-herpetic pain and occipital neuralgia. The authors concluded that the intervention produced significant pain relief and is safe and feasible. (Pain Physician)

Study Shows Headache Reduction from Non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Jan. 19, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Thomas Kinfe and colleagues published data in the Journal of Headache and Pain that showed cervical non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation twice daily reduced the number of headache days per month from 14.7 to 8.9, and the number of monthly migraine attacks from 7.3 to 4.5. (Business Wire)

Analysis Finds Spinal Cord Stimulation Lowers Amputation Rate in Chronic Critical Limb Ischemia

Jan. 18, 2016 - A meta-analysis of 13 studies comprising 595 patients concludes that spinal cord stimulation is better than medical management alone in preventing limb amputation for patients who have chronic critical limb ischemia, particularly in patients with less severe disease. The findings were presented in a poster at the Annual Pain Medicine Meeting of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. (Pain Medicine)

Authors Present an Overview for Pharmacists of Medical and Surgical Treatment for Parkinson's Disease

Jan. 18, 2016 - An article summarizes Parkinson's disease treatment and informs pharmacists they may see a Parkinson's patient more often after deep brain stimulation surgery, as medication dosages are adjusted. (Pharmacy Times)

Non-invasive Stimulation for Fibromyalgia Studied

Jan. 17, 2016 - A Phase II open-label study of high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation in 14 fibromyalgia patients, published in the Journal of Pain, explored dosing regimens for pain reduction. (National Pain Report)

Column Presents Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Options for Depression

Jan. 17, 2016 - An article about transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for depression describes deep TMS as a newer option for treatment-resistant depression. (New York Daily News)

Pair Exhibit a Consumer Device in Development for Vagus Nerve Stimulation through Earbuds

Jan. 15, 2016 - International Neuromodulation Society member Daniel Cartledge, MD, and his brother, a cardiac and thoracic surgeon, have co-developed a vagus nerve stimulation device that was voted a top new digital health device at the Consumer Electronics Show. The product is an earbud device designed to be used with music and improve mood, although the product has no medical claims. The device is expected to enter the market in the next few months. (Palm Beach Post)

Column Asks If More Will Be Done For Patients in a Minimally Conscious State

Jan. 14, 2016 - A newspaper column mentions motor cortex stimulation and describes the ability to distinguish and partially rehabilitate patients who are in a minimally conscious state in which they retain some awareness and ability to respond. The writer asks if society will more fully restore the lives of people who may currently only receive custodial care. (Houston Chronicle)

Company Describes Pursuing a Potentially Therapeutic Brain-Stimulation Headset

Jan. 13, 2016 - A U.K. company founded in 2014, Cerestim, says it has demonstrated a proof-of-concept for an alternating transcranial direct-current stimulation device to be remotely monitored by physicians. The company is initially targeting the product for depression and pending regulatory approval, would expect to market the home-use device in three to five years. An article explains that the headset is intended to identify dysfunctional neural activity and reset that through stimulation via electrodes tailored for each individual. (International Business Times)

Singapore Initiative is Working to Create a Wireless Neurostimulator

Jan. 13, 2016 - An initiative in Singapore is developing a wireless implantable chronic pain management device that is anticipated to be about as small as a grain of rice. The neurostimulator is being developed by the Institute of Microelectronics of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the local biotechnology firm Biospark Technologies. (Today Online)

Patient Enrollment is Complete in Tibial Nerve Stimulation Study

Jan. 11, 2016 - Israel-based BlueWind Medical announced it has completed enrollment of 36 patients with overactive bladder in a clinical trial of its wireless neurostimulation device. The patients in the U.K. and Netherlands will have the device implanted in their lower leg to stimulate the tibial nerve. The company expects to present initial results in February 2016, and is gathering the data to support a CE Mark application. (PR Newswire)

Research Indicates Non-Invasive Stimulation Can Potentially Help Suppress Migraine Onset

Jan. 11, 2016 - In preclinical studies reported in Pain non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) was found as effective as surgically implanted VNS in suppressing, by up to 40%, cortical spreading depression that is associated with pre-migraine aura. (PR Rocket)

Reprogramming Helped Restore Efficacy of Spinal Cord Stimulation

Jan. 8, 2016 - At the combined annual scientific meeting in London of the Neuromodulation Society of the United Kingdom and Ireland and the International Neuromodulation Society (INS) chapters from Germany and Switzerland, INS member Frank Wille, MD presented results gathered between 2010 - 2011 in the Netherlands that showed that reprogramming existing spinal cord stimulation (SCS) devices could restore efficacy in managing back pain. He said that in this high-density mode, the leads were implanted as close as possible to the T9 - T10 target, and the devices were operated at maximum frequency, with the pulse width as broad as possible and amplitude adjusted for continuous stimulation. Rather than have devices explanted, 65% of the patients continued to use their SCS systems one year later. (NeuroNews)

Researchers Report Long-term Data on Deep Brain Stimulation in Dystonia

Jan. 8, 2016 - A group of Korean researchers published long-term data on 36 patients with several types of dystonia that compares outcomes of deep brain stimulation to the globus pallidus interna. Their results suggest a favorable outcome is expected for patients with DYT-1 dystonia and isolated dystonia without a known genetic cause. (PLoS ONE)

Optogenetics Study Examines Role of Hippocampus in Social Memory

Jan. 5, 2016 - Laboratory researchers used optogenetics in mice to excite a part of the hippocampus involved in memory formation and found the stimulation enhanced social memory if applied during memory formation, but not during retrieval. (Molecular Psychiatry)

Post-Market Surveillance: External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation Compliance Rate is Twice That of Medical Management for Chronic Migraine

Jan. 7, 2016 - CEFALY Technology released data about patient compliance among 14,745 migraine patients who acquired the Belgium-based company's trigeminal nerve stimulation device between March 2014 and October 2015. The external device was FDA-approved in March 2014 to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines. Full compliance would entail replacing the electrode every month. Based on recurrent orders of electrodes, the company reported a 72.4% compliance rate, twice that of oral preventive migraine medication. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Review Examines Treatment Gap for Patients with Medication-Resistant Epilepsy

December 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society members Paul Boon, MD and Kensuke Kawai, MD, PhD joined colleagues in co-authoring a review about access to other treatments for patients who have drug-resistant epilepsy, including vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) and deep brain stimulation. They point out that education of patients and government payers in Japan helped raise awareness of the palliative benefits of VNS, which they say moved the technology from an orphan device status in the early 2000s to an approved status in 2010. There is currently an all-patient registry for people in Japan with epilepsy who are receiving VNS therapy, which shows 39% of patients achieved a seizure reduction of 50% or more. However, they add that a treatment gap continues, in which an estimated less than 1% of patients with drug-resistant epilepsy receive VNS treatment, although some two-thirds to three-quarters of patients with drug-resistant epilepsy are generally considered candidates for non-medical interventions. (European Neurological Review)

Company Sets Up Distribution Agreement in Germany for Non-Invasive Treatment for Chronic Headache

Jan. 6, 2016 - The pan-European pharmaceutical company Desitin, a distributor of treatments for Parkinson's disease and epilepsy, entered an agreement Jan. 1 to distribute ElectroCore's non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation device, gammaCore, to neurologists in Germany who treat migraine and cluster headache. (Business Wire)

Medical Society Plans Movement Disorders Registry in India

Jan. 5, 2016 - The Movement Disorders Society of India announced it is planning to create a registry of Parkinson's and movement disorder cases in the interests of optimizing treatment. Besides deep brain stimulation, the society is interested in potential novel treatments and planned a conference on Jan. 8 to discuss those. (Times of India)

Case Reports Detail Considerations for Intrathecal Drug Delivery

Jan. 1, 2016 - Since intrathecal drug delivery systems have been in use for more than two decades, the need to manage patients at the end of the device life is increasingly common, note International Neuromodulation Society members Jason Pope, MD and Timothy Deer, MD in a case report about a patient who experienced a decrease in analgesia and needed a replacement infusion pump. The authors also report about a novel delivery system for ziconotide, in a separate case report on Dec. 30, 2015. (Pain Medicine News)

Authors Examine Growth of Emerging Indications for Deep Brain Stimulation

Jan. 1, 2016 - There was rapid growth in the percentage of deep brain stimulation patients in the U.S. who were treated for indications under a humanitarian device exemption or other emerging indication in the last decade, according to analysis of hospital discharge records. The newer indications were associated with greater costs, so the authors of this study conclude that "additional costs should be anticipated as surgeons gain experience with new patient populations and targets." (Journal of Neurosurgery)

Column Describes Company's Interest in Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Tinnitus and Stroke

Dec. 31, 2015 - Frank McEachern, the CEO of Dallas, TX-based MicroTransponder, Inc. was interviewed about the company's interest in potentially applying vagus nerve stimulation to treat tinnitus or aid stroke rehabilitation. (Med City News)

Local News Outlet Follows Up Patient Whose Surgery Was Televised

Dec. 29, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jonathan Miller, MD was quoted in an article about a Parkinson's disease patient whose deep brain stimulation surgery was televised live in October. The neurosurgeon said many patients expressed feeling more informed and less fearful after seeing what takes place during the procedure. (IndeOnline)

Specialists' Evaluation Appeared to Anticipate Risks in an Essential Tremor Cohort

Dec. 28, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Daniel Martinez-Ramirez, MD and colleagues at the University of Florida in Gainesville published an analysis of deep brain stimulation screening in 44 patients with essential tremor that examined the rate of unintended hospitalization within a year of surgery. In the retrospective analysis, the authors found that surgical concerns raised by seven specialties during the interdisciplinary screening directly related to the degree of unintended hospitalizations. They reason that such evaluation may help anticipate risk of complications, although prospective comparative research would need to confirm the results. (PLoS One)

Authors Present a Case Report of Closed-Loop Spinal Cord Stimulation for Neuropathic Pain

December 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society members Marc Russo, MBBS,DA (UK), FANZCA, FFPMANZCA, Timothy Deer, MD, and Jason Pope, MD co-authored a case report about a spinal cord stimulation patient who could not tolerate changes in stimulation due to positional changes. The patient enrolled in a clinical trial of a closed-loop system and has been satisfied with that pain relief method. The authors say continued research may demonstrate that feedback-loop control of paresthesia can provide a more constant therapeutic effect. (Pain Medicine News)

Burst-Mode Spinal Cord Stimulation Described in Case Report

December 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society members Ganesan Baranidharan, MD, Timothy Deer, MD, and Jason Pope, MD about a man with refractory peripheral neuropathic pain whose replacement pulse generator for his spinal cord stimulator allowed switching to burst stimulation. The man had less pain and more mobility. While he had been used to paresthesia, reprogramming of the new device eliminated unpleasant stimulation effects. The authors conclude "electrical dosing may be the key to further understanding the best methods of delivery of neuromodulation going forward." (Pain Medicine News)

Two Cases Presented of Pain Management in Limbs from Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation

December 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society members Timothy Deer, MD, Ganesan Baranidharan, MD, Jason Pope, MD, and Marc Russo, MBBS,DA (UK), FANZCA, FFPMANZCA present two cases of patients with chronic foot or arm pain. The patients were treated with unilateral stimulation of the dorsal root ganglion (DRG). At 6 - 12 months followup, they reported significant pain reduction. The authors report that DRG stimulation is approved in Europe and Australia and they anticipate a request for FDA approval based on findings from a prospective, randomized clinical trial that compared DRG stimulation to spinal cord stimulation. Meanwhile, they add, "additional studies are planned for DRG of the cervical and thoracic spine and new waveforms and frequencies on the DRG target." (Pain Medicine News)

Publication Profiles the International Neuromodulation Society President

Dec. 23, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society President Timothy Deer, MD, was profiled in the December issue of NeuroNews. He spoke about the importance of research in improving outcomes and function and lowering costs of care. He also spoke about an evolution in technical capabilities so that patients may have more than one option from a single spinal cord stimulation device. (NeuroNews)

Authors Advise Primary Care Doctors When to Refer Patients for Spinal Cord Stimulation

December 2015 - An article advising primary care providers when to refer patients to spinal cord stimulation states that timely referral can have substantial effects on outcomes in appropriate candidates, and mentions indications in which it has been shown to be superior to conservative medical management or reoperation, has demonstrated clinical benefit, and been shown to be cost-effective. The indications cited are failed back surgery syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, limb ischemia, and refractory angina pectoris. The article provides an efficacy table and a suggested treatment algorithm for certain types of back pain. The accompanying commentary summarizes peer-review papers by a number of International Neuromodulation Society members, and mentions authors Krishna Kumar, MD; Sam Eldabe, MD; Richard North, MD; Konstantin Slavin, MD; Rod Turner, PhD; and Nagy Mekhail, MD, PhD. (Pain Medicine News)

Article: Deep Brain Stimulation to the Fornix is Feasible and Was Well-Tolerated in Study Subjects

Dec. 18, 2015 - An article documents the preoperative period in 46 patients with probable early Alzheimer's disease who received deep brain stimulation to the fornix during the 12-month ADvance clinical trial. The authors conclude that it is feasible to target this brain structure without directly injuring it, and the surgery was well-tolerated at 90 days. In 26 patients, there were 64 adverse events, seven serious, but no neurological deficits or deaths were reported. (Journal of Neurosurgery)

Company Plans Clinical Trial in France of Visual Prosthetic Device

Dec. 14, 2015 - Pixium Vision obtained regulatory approval to launch a clinical study in France of an epi-retinal implant designed to restore some vision in patients who have retinitis pigmentosa. This second-generation device has 150 electrodes. The company announced Dec. 21 it applied for CE Mark approval for the system. (Business Wire)

Researcher Explores Potential for Regulating Do-It-Yourself Brain Stimulation

Dec. 18, 2015 -  An MIT PhD student, Anna Wexler, has published two papers this fall in academic journals that have been noted by colleagues to encapsulate recent history and regulatory concerns about the do-it-yourself movement in transcranial direct current stimulation. She suggests that regulators should engage with the community to determine the extent of use and need for new guidelines, since as a practical matter, hobbyists are free to build their own devices. Meanwhile, she said there are "multiple, distinct" pathways in the U.S. where such devices might be regulated. For example, beyond the FDA, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Federal Trade Commission oversee regular consumer products' safety and advertising laws. Her papers appeared in the Journal of Medical Ethics and the Journal of Law and Biosciences (Bioscience Technology)

Funding Announcement Seeks Brain-Science Proposals

Dec. 18, 2015 - The National Institutes of Health is requesting applications for BRAIN Initiative funding to support projects that focus on tool development and mechanistic understanding of non-invasive neuromodulation techniques. An announcement notes that international organizations are welcome to apply. The application deadlines are in February and March 2016. (BRAIN Update)

Study Indicates Non-invasive Optic Nerve Stimulation Can Improve Neuropathic Vision Loss

Dec. 14, 2015 - Data were presented at the North American Neuromodulation Society on a controlled clinical trial of transorbital optic nerve stimulation in patients with optic neuropathy that caused visual field loss. In the study, 45 patients received stimulation and 37 received placebo. The results indicate the stimulation group benefited from a significantly improved visual field compared to the control group, according to an announcement by EBS Technologies GmbH, which has received CE Mark approval to market the therapy in the European Union. (

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Studied for Preventing Blood Flow After Trauma or Surgery

Dec. 10, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jared Huston, MD, PhD was scheduled to present data Doc. 12 at the North American Neuromodulation Society meeting that indicates vagus nerve stimulation is a potentially efficacious and safe way to stop bleeding and prevent hemorrhagic complications following surgery and other invasive procedures. (Blackbird)

Preliminary Results Presented in Phase I Clinical Trial of External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Dec. 10, 2015 - At the North American Neuromodulation Society meeting, NeuroSigma, Inc. presented preliminary findings from a Phase I clinical trial of external trigeminal nerve stimulation in combat veterans who have post traumatic stress disorder. The preliminary results indicate improvements in symptoms and desired changes in brain activity. (

Researchers Study Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Cocaine Addiction

Dec. 3, 2015 - A paper in European Neuropsychopharmacology reports on a small, controlled study of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex as a potential treatment for cocaine addiction. Of the 32 patients in the study, 19 received active treatment for one month, while the other 13 in the control group received usual care. After one month, 69% of the patients in the treatment group had no positive drug tests, compared to 19% of patients in the control group. (Health Day)

Neurosurgeon is Recruiting Study Subjects to Test Spinal Stimulation in Paraplegia

Dec. 3, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Peter Konrad, MD, PhD, is seeking patients with paraplegia for a proof-of-concept study of intraspinal microstimulation as a possible way to restore some complex body movement. (Vanderbilt)

Research Group Receives $2.4 Million to Study High Frequency Stimulation for Pain

Dec. 2, 2015 - The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke awarded a $2.4 million grant to scientists associated with the Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Center for preclinical research into the pain-relieving mechanisms of high frequency spinal cord stimulation. (EurekAlert)

Regional Brain Center Opens in Southwest England

Nov. 27, 2015 - The University of Bristol is pooling expertise with the North Bistrol NHS Trust in the new Bristol Brain Centre that opened on November 25. The facility includes a deep brain stimulation service and health integration team for movement disorders that is designed to fully integrate all aspects of clinical care, translational research and education. (University of Bristol)

Review: Evidence for Neuromodulation in Emerging Indications

Nov. 25, 2015 - A review of clinical trials of neuromodulation in treating pain from coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, headache, and peripheral field stimulation found "compelling evidence . . . that neuromodulation can be of benefit for patients with serious painful conditions that are not currently approved by the FDA." (Pain Practice)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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. (

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Column: Issues Surrounding Access to Neurostimulation Therapies

Oct. 12, 2015 - Despite proven clinical and cost-effectiveness of the most-accepted neurostimulation therapies -- spinal cord stimulation for neuropathic pain, deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease, and sacral nerve stimulation for voiding disorders -- "only a small percentage of those patients in developed health economies that should have access actually have it," according to a column by International Neuromodulation Society Past President Simon Thomson. Among factors that impede access to these therapies, he concludes, "We are not getting the message across to our professional colleagues where they are acting as gatekeepers to patient access. Cross specialty education in an age of super specialisation is more important than ever." (NeuroNews)

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)

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)

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)

Neuroscience Grants Include Funding for Deep Brain Stimulation Research

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

Researchers Explore Brain Network Structure to Explain Cognitive-State Changes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Article Presents Comparative Data on Neuromodulation for Cluster Headache

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

Study Assesses Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation Treatment in Obstructive Sleep Apnea Patients

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

Article Raises Public Awareness of Neuromodulation for Chronic Pain

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

Review: Deep Brain Stimulation Addresses Circuit Disorders

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

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

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

Article Details Proposed Merger Involving U.S. Neuromodulation Company

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

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

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

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

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

Column in New York Times Presents Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Depression

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

Laboratory Research Suggests Nerve Stimulation Could Break Down Fat

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

Brain-Computer Interface Research Highlighted

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

News Coverage Presents Spinal Cord Stimulation as Newly Improved

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

Article Describes Epilepsy Treatment Using Closed-Loop Vagus Nerve Stimulation

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

Autism Studies Explore Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Article Covers the State of Epilepsy Diagnosis and Treatment in Nigeria

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

Federal Grant to Support Research Into Recovery from Brain Injury

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

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

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

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

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

Researchers Record Neuronal Response to Deep Brain Stimulation in Real Time

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

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

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

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

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

Neuromodulation Treatments Presented as Technological Options for Pain Management

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

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

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

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

Tourette Patient Gains More Independence After Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Massachusetts Medical Schools Consider Pain Management Curricula

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

Specialists Advocate Better Access to Epilepsy Interventions

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

Study Explores Protective Effect of Deep Brain Stimulation in Epileptic Rats

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

Bioelectronics Researcher is Trying to Miniaturize a Neural Interface

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

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

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

Teen with Dystonia Receives Deep Brain Stimulation

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

Study Suggests Mechanisms of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

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

Task Force Proposes a Coordinated Registry Network for Medical Devices

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

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

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

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

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

Researchers Propose Using Three-Dimensional Printing to Enclose Neurostimulation Components

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

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

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

Retrospective Study Documents Satisfaction With Spinal Cord Stimulation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hospital Highlights Urologist's Congress Presentations

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

Small Study Indicates a Commercial Device Impaired Working Memory

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

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

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

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

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

Lecture Describes Investigations Into Deep Brain Stimulation in Depression

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

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

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

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

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

Health Technology Assessment Issued About Functional Electrical Stimulation

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

Research Paper Tracks Benefits of Deep Brain Stimulation in Epilepsy

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

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

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

Charity Vows to Continue Seeking Treatment Access

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

Brain-to-Brain Noninvasive Stimulation Studied

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

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

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

Researchers Report Progress with Noninvasive Spinal Stimulation in Paralyzed Subjects

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

Workshop Examines Issues Surrounding Interest in Noninvasive Neuromodulation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Woman Recounts Her Symptom Improvement Following Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation

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

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

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

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

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

Authors Compare Sacral Neuromodulation Implant Procedures

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

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

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

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

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

Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Under Study for Dystonia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Researchers Add Sensory Transmissions to Model of Neurostimulation Mechanism of Action

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hypothesis Proposes a Deep Brain Stimulation Mechanism Stemming from Extracellular Potassium

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

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

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

Patients with Paralysis or Neuromuscular Disease Exercise Using Functional Electrical Stimulation

June 29, 2015 - Rhode Island has its first functional electrical stimulation bicycle, which can help prevent muscle atrophy in people with motor impairment. The bike was donated through a fund-raising drive begun by a spine-injury patient who had used similar equipment during his post-injury rehabilitation in Boston. (Providence Journal)

Review Seeks to Assess Newer Studies of Spinal Cord Stimulation in Cancer-Related Pain

June 29, 2015 - A literature search for controlled trials of spinal cord stimulation in cancer-related pain did not identify new studies that had not already been included in a 2013 systematic review. Four case series that represented 92 patients were previously reported and found decreases in mean pain scores and analgesic use. (Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews)

Neuroscientist Receives $4 Million to Investigate Varying Deep Brain Stimulation Pulse Patterns in Parkinson's Disease

June 25, 2015 -  Duke University Professor of Biomedical Engineering Warren Grill, PhD received a  $4 million Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award, which will support studies for up to seven years. His team is interested in potential benefits of varying deep brain stimulation pulse patterns in patients with Parkinson's disease. (The News & Observer)

Study Reports Effectiveness of Low-field, Synchronized Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Major Depression

June 24, 2015 - An investigational device that synchronizes low-field transcranial magnetic stimulation to a patient's alpha brainwave frequency was more effective than sham in achieving a clinical response in patients with major depressive disorder, according to a safety and efficacy study of more than 200 patients that was published in Brain Stimulation. Patients whose active stimulation treatment was both accurate and consistent had a 34.2% response rate, compared to a 8.3% response rate from sham stimulation. (Eurekalert)

Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface Impact Factor Rises Almost One Full Point

June 18, 2015 - The Impact Factor of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface continues to rise, and in 2014 rose from 1.785 to 2.701 -- almost one full point. The journal ranking in the Clinical Neurology category is now 76/192 (up from 122/194) and in the Medicine, Research & Experimental category it is 54/123 (up from 78/124). (Wiley Online Library)

Article Reviews Deep Brain Stimulation for Psychiatric Disease

June 2015 - A review summarizes the current evidence and development of deep brain stimulation for psychiatric disease. (Journal of Neurosurgery)

Neurosurgeons Review Brain-Stimulation Targets for Obesity

June 2015 - The lateral hypothalamic area "remains the primary DBS target for treating obesity because the LHA is the central hub for all circuits involved in the drive to eat," write International Neuromodulation Society members Derrick A. Dupré, MD; Nestor Tomycz, MD, and colleagues in a review of past, present and future deep brain stimulation targets for obesity. (Journal of Neurosurgery)

International Neuromodulation Society Names a Giant of Neuromodulation

June 10, 2015 - The International Neuromodulation Society named its third Giant of Neuromodulation, selecting Clinatec Chairman Alim-Louis Benabid, MD, PhD, for the honor for his development of deep brain stimulation to treat Parkinson's disease and other disorders. (

Best Abstracts Announced at International Neuromodulation Society 12th World Congress

June 10, 2015 - Five abstracts were recognized in the International Neuromoduation Society's first best abstract competition at the12th World Congress in Montreal. The presentations ranged from clinical to basic science, such as a demonstration of a brain computer interface that permitted a man with tetraplegia to control his otherwise unresponsive hand, and a preclinical study that showed deep brain stimulation aided formation of new neural connections during stroke recovery. (

Sustained Symptom Relief Reported in Pediatric Dystonia Patients Receiving Deep Brain Stimulation

June 10, 2015 - Children and adolescents who received deep brain stimulation for generalized dystonia maintained significant symptom relief for up to eight years, according to a study presented by Argentinean Neuromodulation Society President Juan Carlos Andreani, MD at the 12th World Congress of the International Neuromodulation Society. (

Study Shows Chronic Pain Patients' Healthcare Expenditures Decreased After Spinal Cord Stimulation

June 10, 2015 - Mean annual healthcare expenditures increased in each of the three years before spinal cord stimulation treatment, and decreased in each of the three years after, according to a study based on data from the Vancouver Island Health Authority that was presented at the International Neuromodulation Society 12th World Congress. Hospital costs especially contributed to the overall expenditures. (Science Daily)

Researchers Conclude a Fully Powered Study is Feasible of Spinal Cord Stimulation in Refractory Angina Pectoris

June 10, 2015 - The first publicly funded pilot study of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has shown that therapy and trial outcome measures of SCS in refractory chronic angina pectoris were appropriate and feasible. International Neuromodulation Society member Sam Eldabe, MD, and collaborators in the multi-center study will advise NICE that a fully powered nationwide study is feasible under the U.K. definition of refractory chronic angina pectoris. The findings were presented at the International Neuromodulation Society 12th World Congress. (

Neural Targeting Software Improved Pain Relief from Spinal Cord Stimulation

June 10, 2015 - At the International Neuromodulation Society 12th World Congress, new observational data from more than 300 patients show use of 3D neural targeting software provided 1.5 times better overall pain relief and 2 times better low back pain relief than a previous-generation spinal cord stimulation system. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Study Data Indicate Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation Provided Superior Relief for Chronic Lower Limb Pain

June 8, 2015 - Research findings reported at the International Neuromodulation Society 12th World Congress showed that stimulation of the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) provided significant pain relief in 81.2% of patients with chronic lower limb pain from complex regional pain syndrome or peripheral causalgia. The data were obtained in the ACCURATE study of 152 patients at 22 centers in the U.S. The study subjects were randomized to receive either DRG stimulation or traditional spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for three months. In the SCS group, 55.7% of patients achieved significant relief of their chronic lower limb pain, which has been difficult to treat with traditional SCS. (Business Wire)

Presentation Features Potential Nanotechniques for Deep Brain Stimulation

June 8, 2015 - Neurosurgeons and engineers at NASA and the Mayo Clinic have collaborated on development of potential nanotechniques for future deep-brain-stimulation tools. The work was presented at the International Neuromodulation Society 12th World Congress. (Tech Times)

Company Announces Availability of Its Implantable Peripheral Nerve Stimulator

June 8, 2015 - Bioness, Inc. announced the commercial availability of StimRouter, its FDA-approved implantable neuromodulation device to treat chronic, intractable pain of peripheral nerve origin as an adjunct to other therapies, such as medications. (Business Wire)

Collaborators Announce Plans to Develop an Electrical Stimulation Device to Staunch Blood Loss

June 4, 2015 - A collaboration between Battelle and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, the research arm of The North Shore-LIJ Health System, was announced in which Battelle plans to create a “neural tourniquet” device, based on science developed at the Feinstein Institute, to help staunch blood loss through electronic stimulation of neural pathways to the spleen, preparing the body for clotting in response to a wound. (Med Device Online)

Grant Establishes Center to Study Brain Networks for Translational Research in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

June 4, 2015 - A five-year, $10 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health establishes a new center at the University of Rochester to improve understanding of brain networks and their "hubs" that are key in obsessive compulsive disorder. The new Silvio O. Conte Center for Basic and Translational Mental Health Research includes mental health researchers at Harvard University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Puerto Rico, and Brown University. (University of Rochester)

Researchers Publish Their Work to Aid Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery With Brainstem Mapping

June 4, 2015 - Researchers from Duke Medicine published in the journal Human Brain Mapping that they have created a high-resolution 3D map of the human brainstem to serve as a guide for deep brain stimulation, and to visualize complex neuronal connections. (Medical News Today)

University Researchers Look Into Creating Wireless Android App for Essential Tremor Patients to Switch On Neurostimulation

June 4, 2015 - Researchers from the University of Washington are adding Bluetooth communication to the Medtronic Activa PC+S Deep Brain Stimulation system for an Android smartwatch app so that when an essential tremor patient senses a tremor, the patients can initiate stimulation using that handheld device. (University of Washington)

Stakeholders and Specialists Discuss Brain Modulation and Recording Opportunities

June 3, 2015 - A two-day NIH Brain Initiative workshop presented information on opportunities for collaborative partnerships between clinical/academic researchers and corporate manufacturers of devices for human brain modulation and recording. The workshop was organized to accentuate the need for a streamlined path for developing and integrating innovative new technologies. One purpose of the workshop was to describe a proposed NIH framework for facilitating and lowering the cost of new studies using these devices. A second purpose was to discuss regulatory and intellectual property considerations. The organizers are also soliciting recommended approaches for data coordination and access. (NIH)

Canadian Neuromodulation Society Holds Public Event, Invites Media to Briefing

June 1, 2015 - Members of the media were invited to a news briefing by the president of the Canadian Neuromodulation Society, Michel Prud'Homme, MD, PhD, immediately before a free public lecture on neuromodulation therapies, which was a local satellite event the weekend before the start of the International Neuromodulation Society 12th World Congress in Montreal. (

PET Scans Show Non-Invasive Migraine Device Restored Normal Metabolic Activity to Specific Brain Areas

June 1, 2015 - Cefaly Technology announced results of a new PET trial in 28 patients who have at least four migraines per month. The trial showed that the company's transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation  device, which is FDA-approved for use prior to migraine onset, returns normal metabolic activity to the areas in the brain, specifically the orbitofrontal cortex and rostral cingulate. (

Researchers Publish Work on Potential High-Performative Transistors for Bioelectronic Devices

May 26, 2015 - Researchers in France published in Science Advances about potential high-performance transistors for bioelectronic devices, that tune transconductance (to amplify brain signals) through channel thickness rather than electrode surface area. The organic electrochemical transistors use conductive polymers and liquid electrolytes, materials that could form an interface between the brain and conventional silicon electronics. (IEEE Spectrum)

News Feature Describes a Phrenic Nerve Stimulation System Under Development

May 21, 2015 - An article describes a phrenic-pacing development by Lungpacer Medical Inc., saying the innovation will be presented during a preconference of the International Neuromodulation Society 12th World Congress. The device is under development for patients who depend on mechanical ventilation, and is designed to stimulate the diaphragm of critically ill patients to contract in order to aid their recovery. (Vancouver Sun)

Interview Describes the Growth of Neuromodulation Therapy

May 22, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society President-Elect Timothy Deer, MD, in an interview on FindaTopDoc radio, described the development and growth of neuromodulation therapy, noting how innovation is a collaborative effort that is allowing a widening number of patients to benefit. (BlogTalkRadio)

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)

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)

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 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)

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)

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. (

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. (

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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. (

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)

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)

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. (

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)

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)

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)

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)

Study: Spinal Cord Stimulation Decreased Moderate, Predominantly Lower-Limb, Spasticity

Feb. 27, 2015 - In a retrospective case series of 71 patients with spasticity who were followed up from 2 to 7 years, a team at the Burdenko Neurosurgery Institute in Moscow found that spinal cord stimulation (SCS) improved symptoms in all 19 patients whose spasticity was caused by spinal injury. Meanwhile, in a group of 52 patients who had spasticity of the lower limbs or all four limbs due to cerebral palsy, only the patients whose spasticity was confined to the lower limbs showed a significant improvement in symptoms. In a small group of patients (11%), the spasticity improved to the point that no further SCS was needed. The authors conclude that this phenomenon should be investigated further. (Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery)

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)

Article Recounts Amputee's Positive Experience With Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation

Feb. 27, 2015 - An amputee who suffered phantom pain from his missing lower leg for 20 years could not find relief from spinal cord stimulation, but has benefitted from participating in a clinical trial of dorsal root ganglion stimulation, he said, with his pain diminishing from 9 out of 10 to 2 out of 10. (Runcorn and Widnes World)

Weekend Magazine Article Recaps Research Into Auditory Brainstem Implants in Young Children

Feb. 27, 2015 - An article describes a clinical trial that extends auditory brainstem implantation, which has mainly been carried out on adults with auditory nerve tumors, to young children whose auditory nerves are missing or defective, making them ineligible for a cochlea implant. An audiologist involved in the study and her colleague explained that the sounds are presented in a more-scrambled fashion than is experienced with a cochlear implant, requiring time and intensive rehabilitation for the children to learn to interpret and distinguish different characteristics of what they sense through the device. (FT Magazine)

Research Offers Evidence About Side-Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease

Feb. 27, 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society members Dr. Yasukazu Kajita and Dr. Masaru Yamamoto and colleagues report in the Journal of Neurology on characteristics of voice and speech disorders associated with subthalamic nucleus (STN) deep brain stimulation (DBS) in Parkinson’s disease patients. Comparing off- and on-stimulation in 68 patients with DBS and contrasting that with 40 patients who were treated with medical therapy alone showed the STN DBS was associated with abnormal laryngeal muscle contraction, with more widespread voice impairment occurring in women. A related paper in the same issue about the Netherlands Subthalamic and Pallidal Stimulation trial provides Class I evidence that there is no large difference in neuropsychological outcome between globus pallidus pars interna DBS and subthalamic nucleus DBS after 12 months in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease. (European Parkinson's Disease Association)

Experts Present Neuromodulation Interventions in Overactive Bladder

Feb. 26, 2015 - Sacral neuromodulation (SNM) and pudendal nerve stimulation were discussed by panelists addressing refractory overactive bladder. SNM was recommended after botulinum toxin fails to relieve symptoms; reprogramming or a revision may restore efficacy in some patients. An experienced clinician said pudendal nerve stimulation (off-label in the U.S.) was effective in 93.8% of patients who had failed SNM. (Uro Today)

Review Article Considers an Emerging Brain-Stimulation Target in Behavioral Disorders

February 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Michael Kaplitt, MD, PhD co-authored a review of nucleus accumbens, an emerging target of interest for focal modulation with deep brain stimulation or novel biological therapies such as gene therapy or cell transplantation. The article states that this component of the ventral striatum has been "implicated in numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders, including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, obesity, and in drug abuse and addiction." The review appears in the February issue of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, where in a position statement, the Psychiatric Neurosurgery Committee and Board of Directors of the American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery "express their enthusiastic and unwavering commitment to research exploring the neuromodulatory treatment of psychiatric disease." (Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery)

Hospital Anticipates Being First Government Facility in Its State to Offer Deep Brain Stimulation

Feb. 26, 2015 - The Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai will begin offering deep brain stimulation when new equipment is procured in five months, with the services being covered under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme. The government recently supplied the hospital a stereotactic capability, which has already allowed neurosurgeons there to perform brain-tumor biopsies more easily. (New India Express)

Patients in France Begin to Receive Retinal Prosthesis Implants

Feb. 25, 2015 - Second Sight Medical said the first implants of its Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System have taken place in France. Up to 35 patients with retinitis pigmentosa will receive the implants through the government reimbursement program Forfait Innovation. (Mass Device)

Study Confirms Effectiveness of Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation

Feb. 24, 2015 - In a study at the Department of Urology, China Rehabilitation Research Center in  Beijing, 100 patients with neurogenic detrusor overactivity secondary to spinal cord injury underwent a four-week randomized controlled trial that compared percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) with medical treatment with solifenacin succinate. Both treatment groups improved, with no significant difference between them. The author concludes that PTNS is effective, noninvasive, and easily managed by patients. (Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine, and Urogenital Reconstruction)

Researchers Identify Emotion-Sensing Neurons in Deep Brain Stimulation Target

Feb. 23, 2015 - Researchers at Prague's Charles University reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences direct evidence of the emotional role of the subthalamic nucleus (STN). Patients undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS) were shown visual images considered pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. Populations of neurons that were spatially and functionally separate responded either to the emotional valence (positive or negative) or the intensity of the emotional effect. A radio report said 17% of the STN neurons were involved in the response, and that more selective stimulation might improve DBS therapy. (Prague Daily Monitor)

Optogenetics Researcher to Receive $100,000 Prize

February 2015 - The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health selected Karl Deisseroth, MD, PhD., for the 2015 Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences, to recognize his outstanding achievement, as a scientist under age 52, in the development of optogenetics and the brain-imaging tool CLARITY. The award, which began three years ago, will be presented in May in Washington, D.C. and includes a $100,000 honorarium. (Foundation for the National Institutes of Health)

Poster Covers Infection-Control Practices for Spinal Cord Stimulation

February 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society (INS) member David Provenzano, MD presented results of a survey of infection-control practices for spinal cord stimulation procedures at the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine's 13th annual pain medicine meeting in San Francisco in November. A summary of the e-poster now appears in Anesthesiology News. INS was among the societies where the survey had been circulated. (Anesthesiology News)

Article Presents Bioelectric Medicine

Feb. 17, 2015 - A column discusses the prospects of vagus nerve stimulation to treat inflammatory disease; in a related article, targets in the spleen, liver, and pelvic organs are presented as potential future applications of "bioelectric medicine". (Scientific American)

Study: Deep Brain Stimulation More Effective Over Time in Refractory Epilepsy

Feb. 20, 2015 - Five-year results of the SANTE (stimulation of the anterior nucleus of the thalamus in epilepsy) clinical trial showed an increase in efficacy over time of deep brain stimulation to treat adults with refractory epilepsy characterized by partial-onset seizures, according to a paper in Neurology. International Neuromodulation Society members Douglas Labar, MD, Jaimie Henderson, MD, and Ashwini Sharan, MD, were among the co-authors of the multi-center clinical trial report. SANTE (stimulation of the anterior nucleus of the thalamus in epilepsy) showed an increase in efficacy over time. The median rate of seizure reduction was 69%, compared to 41% at 12 months. Patients who seizures reduced in frequency by more than half, was 68% at 5 years, up from 43%. The rate of serious, but reversible, adverse events was 34% with infection at the implant site, at 10%, being the most common. The paper concluded that longterm followup indicated this intervention showed sustained efficacy and safety in a treatment-resistant population. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Montreal Clinical Trial Examines Non-Invasive Neurostimulation in Multiple Sclerosis

Feb. 19, 2015 - Helius Medical Technologies has enrolled the first three subjects in its multiple sclerosis feasibility study of a portable neurostimulation device, PoNS™, to reduce multiple sclerosis symptoms by stimulating the cranial nerves found in the tongue. In the double-blind, sham-controlled study, a total of 14 subjects will receive stimulation combined with physical therapy to improve balance and gait for 14 weeks at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital and Concordia University’s PERFORM Center. (Business Wire)

Neuromodulation to Be Subject of Pain Meeting Preconference in March

February 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society members Timothy Deer, MD, Tim Lamer, MD, Robert Levy, MD, PhD, and Nagy Mekhail, MD, PhD, will present a preconference on neuromodulation prior to the American Academy of Pain Medicine meeting on March 18 in National Harbor, MD. The program will cover future targets and waveforms, clinician views of the best-practice recommendations, and discrepancies between current practices and the consensus recommendations. (American Academy of Pain Medicine)

Company Announces Patent for Neurostimulator-Lead Technology

Feb. 17, 2015 - AdvaStim, Inc. announced it received a U.S. patient for an integrated switching circuit and pulse generator for its neurostimulator lead. The company's technology is intended to provide compact multi-channel switching and electrode programming. (Business Wire)

Show Features Journalist Trying Out Advanced Prosthetic Arm

Feb. 12, 2015 - Science correspondent Miles O'Brien, whose left arm was amputated after an injury last year, tried out a modular prosthetic limb that uses an array of electrodes to sense muscle firing in the stump and move the artificial limb. The limb is under development at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory with funding from the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency. (PBS News Hour)

Article Describes Research Into Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Cluster Headache

Feb. 16, 2015 - An article profiles a participant in a 19-patient study who found relief from cluster headaches through use of electroCore's external vagus nerve stimulator (VNS), gammaCore®. The article also touches upon other emerging uses of VNS therapy, such as appetite suppression to control obesity. (Daily Mail)

Researchers Discuss Pediatric Clinical Trial of Auditory Brainstem Implants

Feb. 14, 2015 - Researchers presented a clinical trial of auditory brainstem implants in pediatric patients at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the safety-and-feasibility study led by the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California has enrolled five of 10 patients aged 2 - 5 years old who are not able to benefit from hearing aids or cochlear implants. After the device is implanted the children receive intensive speech-and-language therapy to learn to use and decipher speech. (

Article Focuses on Thought-Leadership in Neuromodulation

Feb. 9, 2015 - NeuroNews published online an interview with four members of the International Neuromodulation Society board who were selected to speak as thought-leaders on neuromodulation "research priorities, challenges and potential areas for growth": Drs. Timothy Deer, Ali Rezai, Marc Russo, and Konstantin Slavin. (NeuroNews)

First Implants Announced in Clinical Trial of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Heart Failure

Feb. 11, 2015 - Milan-based Sorin Group announced the first successful vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) implants in the first clinical trial under its New Ventures organization that will explore a number of potential VNS therapies. The clinical trial of VNS in heart failure, Vanguard (Vagal Nerve Stimulation Safeguarding Heart Failure Patients), uses the he Equilia(TM) system initially developed by the Israeli startup Enopace Biomedical. (Business Wire)

Hospital in Pakistan Admits Patients for Deep Brain Stimulation

Feb. 10, 2015 - Lahore General Hospital, which has begun offering deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders, announced at least six cases have been admitted to the hospital. A Parkinson's disease patient who was operated on there expressed gratitude for the government bearing the DBS expenses and was quoted as saying the facility is a great blessing for the poor. (The News International)

Analysis Anticipates Growth in Spinal Cord Stimulator Market Penetration

Feb. 10, 2015 - An article in a pain publication says the publication plans to cover spinal cord stimulation (SCS) more and quotes a recent market research study that says less than 10% of the people who might benefit from SCS for chronic pain use it. The report mentions Nevro Corp. as the new player in the market; its Senza SCS system received an "approvable" letter from the FDA. Meanwhile, the market research study by iData Research says Boston Scientific has grown market share and is a leading competitor in SCS for back pain and failed back surgery syndrome, while Medtronic still has the largest client base in SCS, and all three major players, including St. Jude Medical, have run public awareness campaigns. (National Pain Report)

Investigators Say Pilot Study of Spinal Cord Stimulation Showed Promise in Heart Failure Patients

Feb. 6, 2015 - A pilot study of spinal cord stimulation in 17 heart-failure patients from Australia, Hong Kong, and Japan showed that 15 improved their composite score and 11 had improved efficacy parameters after six months, according to the Hong Kong-based investigators. (The Standard)

Company Presents Vagus Nerve Stimulation Results in Stroke Patients and Plans U.S. Clinical Trial

Feb. 4, 2015 - Microtransponder, Inc. plans a 20-person clinical trial in the U.S. of its Vivistim® System for stroke patients who are undergoing rehabilitation to improve upper limb mobility. On Feb. 12, its findings in a 20-person clinical trial in the United Kingdom will be presented at the International Stroke Conference in Nashville. The U.S. trial will take place in Dallas, Houston, and Minneapolis, and enrollment information is available at (PR Web)

Interim Results Show Long-term Benefits of Closed-Loop Neurostimulation in Epilepsy

Feb. 3, 2015 - NeuroPace, Inc. published interim results of its long-term study of its responsive neurostimulation system in adults with medication-resistant epilepsy. The data from 230 adults show that after three years, the median seizure frequency reduced by 60%, and after six years, by 66%. (Business Wire)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Reviewed in Neurology Journal

Jan. 29, 2015 - A review in the European Journal of Neurology compares invasive and non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), saying the non-invasive option "improves the safety and tolerability of VNS making it more accessible and facilitating further investigations across a wide range of uses when compared with surgically implanted VNS." (

Neuromodulation Device in Clinical Trials Targets Ophthalmologic Issue of Dry Eye

Jan. 23, 2015 - A former biomedical engineer with Boston Scientific Corporation has created a small implanted device to stimulate nerves in the lacrimal gland to treat dry eye. After four years of work, the device is now a product-candidate undergoing clinical trials through the new company Occuleve. (Stanford Medicine)

New Release Announces the International Neuromodulation Society 12th World Congress

Jan. 21, 2015 - The International Neuromodulation Society 12th World Congress "Neuromodulation: Medicine Evolving Through Technology" will feature traditional and cutting-edge ways to address chronic disease through interfacing with the body’s nervous system, according to a news announcement. The event takes place June 6-11, 2015 in Montreal, Canada. (Newswise)

Publication Recaps Neuromodulation Appropriateness Guidelines

January 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member Timothy Deer, MD, is quoted in an article about the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee guidelines that appeared in the August 2014 issue of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. (Anesthesiology News)

Infection Survey Results Presented

January 2015 - International Neuromodulation Society member David Provenzano, MD presented an international survey of infection-control practices during spinal cord stimulation implantation and trials. The survey was filled out by 506 respondents. In the presentation in a poster at the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine 13th annual pain medicine meeting, the responses showed best practices and also areas for improvement, such as the responsibility for deep infection up to one year after implant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definition. (Pain Medicine News)

Researchers Investigate Vestibular Stimulation to Address Balance Problems in Parkinson's Disease

January 20, 2015 - Ten patients with Parkinson's disease have undergone a test period of so called "noisy" electric stimulation of their balance organs (stochastic vestibular galvanic stimulation) to smooth out the effects of dopamine shortage and improve their motor skills and balance, after the concept was demonstrated in preclinical studies. The investigation in Sweden was published in the Journal Brain Stimulation. (Medical Express)

Database Expands to Add Deep Brain Stimulation Citations

January 2015 - With volunteer effort, the collaborative neuromodulation literature database WIKISTIM is expanding to include deep brain stimulation citations as well as spinal cord stimulation citations, according to the January issue of the nonprofit organization's newsletter. (WIKISTIM)

The FDA Approves a Neurostimulation Device for Obesity

Jan. 14, 2015 - EnteroMedics, Inc. received FDA approval for its vagus nerve stimulation therapy, VBLOC®, delivered through the Maestro® System. In an announcement, the FDA called it "the first FDA-approved obesity device since 2007," saying the device is approved for adults with a body mass index of 35 to 45 who have not been able to lose weight with a weight loss program and have at least one other obesity-related condition, such as type 2 diabetes. The approval requires a five-year post-market study of safety and effectiveness in 100 patients. (IEEE Spectrum)

External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation to be Studied in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Jan. 5, 2015 - NeuroSigma®, Inc. announced its external trigeminal nerve stimulation will be subject to a Phase II clinical trial of up to 90 children, aged 8-12, who have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. The double-blind controlled trial will be supported by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and collect data on mechanism of action in alignment with the NIMH's Research Domain Criteria that emphasizes behavioral dimensions and neurobiological measures. The clinical trial will be carried out at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, located at the University of California, Los Angeles. (PR Newswire)

International Neuromodulation Society Members Present Difficult Pain Cases

December 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society members Timothy Deer, MD, and Jason Pope, MD, have published two reports in a series of articles about "Managing the Difficult Pain Case". The first concerns controlling pain from a brachial plexus injury with spinal cord stimulation (SCS), allowing the patient to wean off of several medications, including morphine. The second case concerned intrathecal ziconotide that relieved at least 80% of the pain from failed back surgery syndrome in a 63-year-old man who did not find sufficient pain relief from a trial of SCS. The patient next anticipated bilateral total knee replacement and plans to be weaned from all controlled-substance drugs. (Pain Medicine News)

Viewpoint: Deep Brain Stimulation and Biologics May Provide Combinatorial Treatment Strategies

Dec. 17, 2014 - Researchers in San Francisco propose combining cell transplantation and gene therapy with deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease to evaluate the biologic therapy. They list several potential advantages to such a clinical trial design, including the potential to reveal treatment paradigms relevant to other diseases of the brain. (Movement Disorders)

North American Neuromodulation Society Issues Lifetime Achievement Award

Dec. 16, 2014 - The North American Neuromodulation Society presented a Lifetime Achievement award to Prof. Alim Louis Benabid, board chairman of Clinatec - The Edmond J. Safra Biomedical Research Center for his work on developing deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease. (

U.S. Agency Seeks Capabilities to Stimulate Peripheral Nervous System to Treat Disease

Dec. 15, 2014 - A news release says, "DARPA’s Electrical Prescriptions (ElectRx) program is seeking innovative research proposals to help transform neuromodulation therapies from last resort to first choice for a wide range of diseases." The agency has issued a notice of capabilities sought that "would leverage advanced sensing and stimulating technologies to target specific peripheral neural circuits that control organ functions." Both inflammatory disease and mental health disorders are being targeted. (Medical Design Technology)

Dorsal Root Ganglion Studies Presented

Dec. 15, 2014 - Twenty peer-reviewed abstracts were presented at the North American Neuromodulation Society meeting about dorsal root ganglion stimulation using Spinal Modulation's Axium neurostimulator system for chronic pain. The studies in Australia and Europe included chronic post-surgical pain, upper limb neuropathy, and visceral pain. (Business Wire)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinical Trial to Start

Dec. 15, 2014 - Israel's Brainsway said it will carry out a clinical trial of deep transcranial magnetic stimulation with FDA clearance in 166 patients who have post-traumatic stress disorder. (Mass Device)

Brain Stimulation Said to Boost Performance on Anti-Anxiety Training

Dec. 15, 2014 - An article in Biological Psychiatry says transcranial direct current stimulation to a region of the frontal cortex helped subjects perform better at a task designed to retrain unhelpful patterns of attention that are known to maintain high levels of anxiety, in which participants endeavor to direct their attention away from "unhelpful information". (Health Canal)

Article Highlights Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Use in Treatment-Resistant Depression

Dec. 15, 2014 - A news feature on transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression says up to one-third of patients can achieve remission, and about 50 - 60% of patients show some response. (U.S. News & World Report)

Neurosurgery Resident Presents Neuromodulation for Future Health Practitioners

Dec. 12, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Shannon Hann, MD, has authored an article with INS President Simon Thomson, MBBS on a website devoted to future healthcare professionals that introduces neuromodulation as a modality they may see more of in their future. (Student Doctor Network)

Anti-Pain Device Clinical Trial Will Enroll Patients Who Have Axial Low Back Pain Without Prior Back Surgery

Dec. 12, 2014 - Stimwave Technologies Inc. announced a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, Tsunami, to evaluate its miniature, wireless anti-pain neuromodulation device in 45 patients who have chronic, non-specific-origin lower back pain. The study will begin enrollment in 2015 in the U.K., Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium. In addition to pain reduction, secondary endpoints are quality of life, patients' global impression of change and reduction in opioid use. (Mass Device)

Anti-Pain Device Clinical Trial Will Enroll Patients Who Have Axial Low Back Pain Without Prior Back Surgery

Dec. 12, 2014 - Stimwave Technologies Inc. announced a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, Tsunami, to evaluate its miniature, wireless anti-pain neuromodulation device in 45 patients who have chronic, non-specific-origin lower back pain. The study will begin enrollment in 2015 in the U.K., Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium. In addition to pain reduction, secondary endpoints are quality of life, patients' global impression of change and reduction in opioid use. (Mass Device)

Company Presents Several Studies of Spinal Cord Stimulation at North American Neuromodulation Society Meeting

Dec. 12, 2014 - Retrospective data presented at the 18th North American Neuromodulation Society meeting show that stimulation targeting enabled by Boston Scientific Corporation's 32-contact Precision Spectra spinal cord stimulator system and anatomy-driven Illumina 3D™ software contributed to pain reduction that averaged more than 50% in 213 patients at 12 months. Other presentations included describing a 10-kHz spinal cord stimulation trial, ACCELERATE, and a clinical trial evaluating sub-perception multiple independent current control, WHISPER. (PR Newswire)

Scoliosis Patient Reported to Benefit From Spinal Cord Stimulation to Limit Chronic Pain

December 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Sanjay Sastry, MD, and colleagues in Florida report a case of a man with spinal curvature and chronic pain from spine surgery who successfully received a spinal cord stimulator implant to manage his chronic pain symptoms. (Pain Medicine News)

Business Column Describes Bioelectronic Therapies

Dec. 10, 2014 - In a healthcare innovation column the Financial Times mentions the GlaxoSmithKline initiative with SetPoint Medical to modulate the vagus nerve to treat inflammatory disease, and electroCore's research into vagus nerve stimulation therapies. The column also mentions FDA approval of the Inspire Medical Systems "bioelectronic" system to treat obstructive sleep apnea, and EnteroMedic's FDA-approved system to control food intake through vagus nerve stimulation. The column cites revival of a newborn by cardiac electrostimulation in 1928 as the start of the modern era of bioelectronic medicine. (Financial Times)

Membrane Might Add Sense of Touch to Prostheses

Dec. 10, 2014 - Researchers from Seoul National University report in Nature Communications development of stretchable ​silicon nanoribbon electronics for skin prosthesis that might transfer signals to nerves via an ultrathin multi-electrode array. (Business Insider Australia)

Optogenetics Research Suggests New Intervention Target in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

December/January 2014 - Data presented at the American Epilepsy Society’s annual meeting in Seattle indicate optogenetics may be a promising future therapy; researchers at the University of California in Irvine showed that in a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy, activating cells in the lateral cerebellar cortex or vermis with optogenetic lasers shortened seizures and in the case of the vermis, also prolonged seizure-free periods. The results indicate the cerebellum could be a good target for intervention, and reveal a strong influence between brain structures that are not typically thought to interact. (Neurology Now)

Parents of Middle-Schooler with Dystonia Contemplate Future Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy

Dec. 6, 2014 - Relatives of a 12-year-old boy with dystonia describe their experience and how they are considering deep brain stimulation in the future, which is said to improve about 80% of the cases of his type of dystonia, DYTi. (American Epilepsy Society)

Physicians Update Recommendations on Deep Brain Stimulation in Severe Tourette Syndrome

December 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society members Andre Machado, MD, PhD; Alon Mogilner, MD, PhD; Joseph Neimat, MD; Barbara Changizi, MD; Verle Visser-Vandewalle, MD; Michael Pourfar, MD; J. G. Zhang, MD and colleagues have published updated recommendations regarding deep brain stimulation for Tourette syndrome, noting that the therapy can be a promising approach for a subset of medication refractory and severely affected patients. (Movement Disorders)

Ostomy Patient Publicizes Her Pain Relief from a Spinal Cord Stimulator

Dec. 8, 2014 - A woman who suffered neuropathic pain after a portion of her intestinal tract was removed says spinal cord stimulation relives 80-85% of her pain. (Great Falls Tribune)

Authors Examine New Directions of Deep Brain Stimulation

December 2014 - International Medical Society member Jonathan Miller, MD, has co-authored an article about new directions in deep brain stimulation that says, "The intersection of advances in neuromodulation, neurophysiology, neuroimaging, and functional neuroanatomy has created an environment rife with new therapeutic possibilities." (PubMed)

Federal Agency, Patient Groups Team Challenge Developers to Devise Seizure Data Algorithms

Dec. 6, 2014 - The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, American Epilepsy Society and the Epilepsy Foundation sponsored an online competition that drew 504 entrants who used recordings of seizures in both canines and people to try to develop algorithms to detect and predict the events. The winning team forecast abnormal brain activity with 82% accuracy. An article says the sponsors hope that one day the predictive algorithms will help to reduce seizures through being "married with the computing power of handheld devices and be used by epileptics." (Washington Post)

Company Starts Proof-of-Concept Anti-inflammatory Clinical Trial of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Crohn's Disease

Dec. 4, 2014 - In conjunction with the  Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s annual conference in Orlando, SetPoint Medical announced the start of a clinical trial of a bioelectronic medicine therapy for Crohn's Disease. The proof-of-concept study will include patients at five centers in Europe whose condition did not respond to treatment with a tumor necrosis factor antagonist drug. SetPoint's implanted device will be used to stimulate the vagus nerve to produce a systemic anti-inflammatory effect. (Business Wire)

Scientists Demonstrate Potential of Wireless Film to Serve as Retinal Implant

Dec. 3, 2014 - A collaboration between researchers in Israel and the U.K. has developed a light-sensitive film that could some day form the basis of a prosthetic retina. The film combines semiconductor nanorods and carbon nanotubes and has shown a response in neural tissue in preliminary studies. (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Refractory Angina Pectoris Patients Showed Improved Perfusion After Spinal Cord Stimulation

Dec. 2, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society members Pirkka Rautakorpi, MD and Markku Taittonen, MD, PhD, and colleagues from Turku University Hospital in Finland have published a prospective case series that indicated that three weeks of continuous spinal cord stimulation in 18 patients with refractory angina pectoris was able to alleviate myocardial perfusion abnormalities from coronary artery disease. (European Heart Journal Cardiovascular Imaging)

Imaging Studies Suggest Networks at Risk in Alzheimer's Disease and Schizophrenia

Nov. 24, 2014 - Imaging and modeling studies in 484 healthy subjects, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate that a network of grey matter in the brain that develops in late adolescence and is responsible for coordinating "high-order" information from different senses covers the same region of the brain as the areas affected by Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. The finding may help in targeting treatments for the brain disorders. (BBC News)

Study Suggests That Motivation is a Factor in Cognitive Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

Nov. 11, 2014 - Ensuring participants' incentives are high may expand cognitive benefits associated with transcranial direct current stimulation, according to experiments that compared performance, with and without financial incentives, between groups that had either high or low working memory capacity. The subjects with high working memory only showed an increase in oxygenated blood flow when the externally applied stimulation was coupled with a financial incentive, while the subjects with low working memory had improved oxygenated blood flow with and without the added incentive. The authors say that in clinical populations "motivation can be a concern" and so their finding is relevant for translational application of the technology. (Neuroimage)

Pakistan Patient Expresses Appreciation for Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery

Dec. 4, 2014 - A patient who received a deep brain stimulation implant for an unspecified indication in Lahore last month spoke with the news media and expressed appreciation for government support for the surgery which he could not afford to have overseas. He said that the operation bestowed him a new life and he will not have to spend his life dependent on others. (Pakistan Observer)

First Auditory Brainstem Implants Performed on Preschoolers in India with Government Support

Dec. 3, 2014 - Two children in India had auditory brainstem implants with government support, which is usually available for the more-common cochlear implant procedure. The procedures, performed in November, were also written up in The Hindu. The surgery was presented as the first time it was done in Asia with government funding; a representative of a research foundation said the procedure has only been done in Korea, France, Germany, the U.S., Italy, Turkey and India. (The New Indian Express)

Article Highlights Military Research into Performance-Enhancing Technology

Dec. 3, 2014 - The U.S. military is researching brain-stimulation techniques for cognitive enhancement to improve focus or memory, as well as devices such as exoskeletons to permit carrying more weight. (Vox)

Feature Profiles Dystonia Patient Who Received Deep Brain Stimulation

Dec. 2, 2014 - A health care worker in Idaho who has dystonia described how her symptoms lessened after she had a deep brain stimulation implant. (Deseret News)

U.S. Patient Enrollment Complete for Study of Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation for Chronic Pain

Dec. 2, 2014 - Enrollment has been completed for the randomized, controlled pivotal trial of the Axium Neurostimulator System, Spinal Modulation announced. The study co-lead, International Neuromodulation Society member Timothy Deer, MD, commented that results from European studies have been promising. The U.S. study, ACCURATE, has 152 patients at 22 centers who either have pain from nerve injuries (peripheral causalgia) or complex regional pain syndrome. The Axium targets the dorsal root ganglion, unlike traditional spinal cord stimulators. The ACCURATE study is considered the largest study of patients who suffer from peripheral causalgia or complex regional pain syndrome. The design of the ACCURATE study will be presented at the annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society, as well as clinical outcomes from Europe and Australia, where the system is commercially available. (CNN Money)

International Neuromodulation Society Member Comments on Value of Collaborative Database

Dec. 1, 2014 - The free-to-use, searchable, collaborative database of primary neurostimulation research data, WIKISTIM, announced in its monthly newsletter that it received two unexpected donations last month and will present two posters at the December annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society. In addition to previous corporate donations and a new donation of $5,000 from Greatbatch in recognition of the value of the site to its employees, an individual donation came from International Neuromodulation Society member B. Todd Stizman, MD, PhD, who was quoted as remarking that the benefit of the resource "should be obvious to all [spinal cord stimulation] implanters, academic and private practice," adding that more should know about the initiative. Section editors include INS members Tracy Cameron, PhD; Elliot Krames, MD; Bengt Linderoth, MD, PhD; Robert Foreman, MD, PhD; Richard North, MD; and Konstantin Slavin. MD. (A sacral nerve stimulation section editor is to be determined.) (WIKISTIM)

Study Casts Doubt on Impact of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

Nov. 28, 2014 - Pooled results of more than 100 studies of the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation casts doubt on the physiological effects, and cognitive effects are at best small, short-lasting and not replicated across laboratories, according to a news feature. (New Scientist)

Study Suggests New Approach to Reducing Medication-Caused Dyskinesias

Nov. 26, 2014 - Researchers from the Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology of the National Research Council in Catanzaro, Italy, and the IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation in Rome published in the journal Brain that transcranial magnetic stimulation of the lower frontal brain cortex inhibited dyskinesia from levodopa use in Parkinson's disease, suggesting new therapeutic protocols of combined medication and neurostimulation may improve function. (Research Italy)

Deep Brain Stimulation Surgeries for Movement Disorder Show Success in Iran

Nov. 24, 2014 - Iranian neurosurgeons at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences have successfully performed deep brain stimulation surgery on two patients, one with dystonia. They said the patients' movement symptoms were improved 70 percent. The dystonia patient was a 22-year-old woman who had difficulty moving some of her limbs and could not walk on her own. (Mehr News Agency)

Retinal Prosthetic Materials Researcher Thinks Promising Project May Fall Short of Funds

Nov. 23, 2014 - Researchers at Melbourne University are working on Bionic Vision Australia's high-acuity bionic eye that with 256 electrodes is far more sensitive than its 24-electrode early prototype that has been implanted in three patients. Due to lack the funds to do preclinical and clinical testing on the advanced version, they anticipate the project will fall into a "valley of death" prior to commercialization. Federal funding will run out in about six months and without a demonstrable next-generation product, private funding is unlikely, according to an interview with the professor who has led bench-top research on the electrode-dense interface, which is fashioned from artificial diamonds for durability and biocompatibility. (The Age)

European Parliament Member Speaks Up About Dystonia, Deep Brain Stimulation

Nov. 25, 2014 - European Parliament Member Glenis Willmott, chair of its Access to Medicines working group, notes that deep brain stimulation therapy is not widely available across the European Union. "In Romania for example, it is not reimbursed and in Ireland people have to travel abroad for treatment. In some EU countries the number of operations is capped," she writes, adding that when Parliament meets in Strasbourg, France, she will join an awareness event, a "Jump for Dystonia" photo call, on Nov. 25 and 26. (The Parliament Magazine)

Northern India Facility to Provide Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic Pain

Nov. 25, 2014 - A man who suffered a crushed pelvis after being struck by a car several years ago is the first to successfully complete a trial stimulation with spinal cord stimulation at the pain clinic at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh in northern India. The man said that he feels like a normal person again after eight years and is experiencing better sleep at night. (Times of India)

Researcher Does Not Rule Out Therapeutic Potential of Spinal Cord Stimulation in Heart Failure

Nov. 24, 2014 - An investigator in the clinical trial of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) in heart failure DEFEAT-HF said at the American Heart Association annual meeting that although the trial did not meet its primary endpoint of a change in left ventricular end-systolic volume after six months of SCS for 12 hours a day, data on the 60 patients who completed the study and the trial parameters have not conclusively ruled out the hypothesis that SCS may be discovered to help under certain conditions in some patients. (Healio)

Researchers Work on Interface to Provide Feedback to Prosthetic Arm

Nov. 24, 2014 - Researchers at UCSF have created an 8-electrode brain-machine interface in preclinical work on developing proprioceptive feedback from a prosthetic device. The project is funded by the NIH and DARPA's REPAIR (Reorganization and Plasticity to Accelerate Injury Recovery) initiative. (UCSF)

Atlanta-Area Facility Starts Offering Deep Brain Stimulation

Nov. 24, 2014 - Northeast Georgia Medical Center near Atlanta has started offering deep brain stimulation services. An article about the therapy says it offers patients hope for a better life. (Gainesville Times)

Column Explores Brain Implant Technologies

Nov. 21, 2014 - The BBC covers "seven steps to creating a brain implant" in a column about future technology. The steps include choosing an interface, a stimulus code, a biocompatible electrode or optogenetic approach, an implant-friendly energy source, and choosing what functions to restore or augment -- currently for people with severe deficits. (BBC)

Overactive Bladder Treatment Touted in T.V. Interview

Nov. 21, 2014 - A woman whose overactive bladder symptoms were calmed by posterior tibial nerve stimulation says in a local television interview that she wants everyone affected by the condition to know there is hope. (KDKA)

Review Surveys Potential of Deep Brain Stimulation for Traumatic Brain Injury

November 2014 - Physicians at the University of Pittsburgh review deep brain stimulation in traumatic brain injury. (Journal of Neurosurgery)

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Studied in Rehabilitation Research

Nov. 21, 2014 - Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center is one of the places that is conducting a clinical trial exploring the advantages of using transcranial magnetic stimulation in conjunction with stroke rehabilitation. The stimulation is intended to bring activity in the brain's hemispheres into better balance so exercises more productively help the stroke-affected hemisphere to rebuild connections. (Wexner Medical Center)

Man's Auditory Brainstem Implant a Success

Nov. 21, 2014 - A 48-year-old man is the first adult in New Zealand to have an auditory brainstem implant after losing his hearing in 2007 as a side-effect of antibiotics for blood poisoning. (New Zealand Herald)

Researchers Publish Progress Toward a Semiconductor-Based Pulse Generator

Nov. 20, 2014 - Collaborators in Taiwan and Israel have published their work to create a compact pulse generator on a CMOS chip. The 16-channel stimulation generator has five cascaded voltage doublers to boost the core voltage to more than 10 volts. Each channel is meant to be programmable and digitally controllable. They believe it could support already-implanted spinal cord stimulation leads, and are trying to improve performance for a wireless version to use ultrasonic transmitters and receivers. The article says that spinal cord stimulators "provide a low-cost alternative to pharmaceutical pain relief with fewer side effects . . . for a growing number of people." (

Company Has Started Testing Median-Nerve Stimulation for Refractory Hypertension

Nov. 18, 2014 - Valencia Technologies has created an implant to subcutaneously stimulate the median nerve to address hypertension. Their subcutaneous neuromodulation system has been tried in 38 people so far who have drug-resistant high blood pressure. The concept builds off the observation that acupuncture of the median nerve can lower blood pressure in some patients. (MedGadget)

Article Describes Benefits of Interventional Pain Management for Chronic Low Back Pain

Nov. 19, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society members Elias Veizi, MD, PhD and Salim Hayek, MD, PhD published a narrative review in a special issue of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface indicating that "some interventional pain medicine procedures have better risk-benefit and cost-effectiveness ratios than spine surgery." (HCP Live)

Study Presented at Conference Shows Brain-Stimulation Effect on Alertness

Nov. 19, 2014 - Military research that compared transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) vs. caffeine chewing gum and sham stimulation vs. placebo chewing gum and sham stimulation in sleep-deprived volunteers showed tDCS enhanced alertness for up to six hours after the 30-minute session. (The Guardian)

INS Member in Pennsylvania Noted for Role in Neurostimulation Guideline Development

Nov. 18, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Steven Falowski, MD, was cited in a news brief for participating as a co-author of the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee's recently published guidelines. (Warren Hospital)

Company Says Tool Under Development Will Aid Neurostimulation Brain Surgery

Nov. 19, 2014 - A neurosurgical tool in early-stage development combines sensors and three-dimensional, previously acquired patient images to help surgeons avoid blood vessels and potentially to deliver neurostimulation, the developers said. Called "Chimaera," the handheld probe is under development by Cambridge Consultants. (Cambridge News)

Physicians in Calgary Enroll Patients in Depression Clinical Trial

Nov. 18, 2014 - Researchers affiliated with the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine have enrolled four patients in a study of deep brain stimulation in treatment-resistant depression, and are looking for 20 more. (CTV News)

News Coverage Explores Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treatment in Canada

Nov. 18, 2014 - An article about repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for refractory depression in Canada says treatment-resistant depression costs the health-care system about $19,000 per patient per year, while TMS costs about $6,500 per person, and that patients who respond are likely to stay in remission with maintenance treatments. (CTV News)

Collaborators Make Flexible Potential Artificial Retina

Nov. 17, 2014 - A film of carbon nanotubes and semiconductor nanorods might function as a prosthetic retina in age-related macular degeneration, according to collaborating researchers in Israel and the U.K. (Photonics Online)

Visiting Neurosurgeon Will Provide Deep Brain Stimulation in Oman

Nov. 17, 2014 - A neurosurgeon from India will be visiting the Al Hayat International Hospital once a month, offering deep brain stimulation at the Oman facility. Prior to this service, most patients with neurological disorders had to go out of the country to seek treatment and there were not many options for followup. (Muscat Daily)

Dose-Ranging Trial Shows Significant

Nov. 17, 2014 - In a dose-ranging Phase II clinical trial of external trigeminal stimulation in patients with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder, the 43 patients who received active therapy showed significant symptom improvement (41.2%) compared to 10.9% improvement in those who received sham treatment. NeuroSigma Inc., which funded the trial of its stimulation device, plans to present detailed results in 2015 at a scientific meeting, as well as to conduct a multi-center double-blind clinical trial. (PR Newswire)

Review Proposes Deep Brain Stimulation as a New Treatment for Refractory Hypertension

Nov. 16, 2014 - In patients who had both medication-resistant hypertension and neuropathic pain for which they were receiving deep brain stimulation (DBS), it was noticed that the treatment serpendipitiously lowered blood pressure and improved baroflex sensitivity. Clinicians in Bristol, UK, have prepared a review article that proposes the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray matter as the most promising target for DBS as a new treatment for drug-resistant hypertension. (Current Hypertension Reports)

Team Demonstrates in Lab Animals Gene Expression Via an Optogenetic Implant Wirelessly Controlled by Intentional Mental States

Nov. 11, 2014 - A European research team demonstrated in mice the ability to trigger expression of immune-system mediators in cultured, modified mammalian cells linked to the mice via a semi-permeable membrane. The resulting product was then detected in the animals' blood. The expression was controlled wirelessly by an infrared optogenetic switch that received electroencephalography (EEG) signals reflecting different consciously applied brain states in a human wearing an EEG headset. The researchers say mental states such as concentration or meditation led to differential control of the production of beta-interferon that was induced by the subcutaneous implants in the mice. Stimulation of the cultured cells in the implant produced an intermediary second-messenger compound that induced creation of the anti-infective protein. (Nature Communications)

Funding Opportunity Seeks Applications Regarding Recording and Modulation of the Nervous System

Nov. 5, 2014 - Applications for a funding opportunity at the National Institutes of Health, through the U.S. BRAIN Initiative, will be accepted starting in January 2015. The funding opportunity, "New Technologies and Novel Approaches for Large-Scale Recording and Modulation in the Nervous System" (RFA-NS-15-003), "seeks applications for proof-of-concept testing and development of new technologies and novel approaches for large scale recording and manipulation of neural activity, to enable transformative understanding of dynamic signaling in the nervous system." (NIH)

Article Describes the Forefront of Deep Brain Stimulation in Oregon

Nov. 13, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society Director-at-Large Ali Rezai, MD, Ohio State University Associate Dean of Neuroscience and Director of the Neurological Institute, was interviewed in a news feature about deep brain stimulation (DBS). The article describes Dr. Kim Burchiel of Oregon Health Sciences University convincing the Oregon state medical board in 2013 that proper investigational use of DBS does not violate a state mandate against psychosurgery. Dr. Rezai is quoted as saying he believes in 20 years more than a million people will be walking around with brain implants, similar to the way cardiac pacemakers became better accepted over time. (Portland Tribune)

Book Presents the Stories of Neurotechnology-Implant Recipients

Nov. 12, 2014 - Jennifer French and James Cavuoto, executive director and vice president, respectively, of the nonprofit advocacy organization Neurotech Network, have published a new book profiling 10 individuals who have used a range of neurotechnology devices to address neurological conditions. Cavuoto, who is editor at Neurotech Press, calls the book Bionic Pioneers "one of the few health and medicine titles that pays tribute to the users who literally put life and limb on the line to help develop new neurotech therapies." (send2press)

Epilepsy Patient Describes the Benefits of Her Vagus Nerve Stimulator During Epilepsy Awareness Month

Nov. 12, 2014 - During Epilepsy Awareness Month, vagus nerve stimulation was described in a newscast as often appropriate for medically refractory epilepsy, yet not well-known. An epilepsy patient who has had an implanted vagus nerve stimulator for 10 years described switching to the therapy after having three grand mal seizures per day despite medication. The news coverage took place in Houston, where the device-maker, Cyberonics, is based. Cyberonics Chief Operating Officer Rohan Hoare, PhD, a member of the International Neuromodulation Society, commented that many more patients may be eligible for the device than receive them. (

Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation Clinical Trial to Begin

Nov. 10, 2014 - ImThera Medical, Inc. has received FDA approval for a randomized, controlled, prospective, multi-center clinical trial of its aura6000® System for moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. The device, which is implanted under the tongue, has received CE mark approval in Europe. The trial will take place in Europe and in the U.S. under an investigational device exemption. The company calls the clinical trial THN3 (Targeted Hypoglossal Neurostimulation Study #3). In Texas, the Baylor College of Medicine said its Sinus Center will perform one of the first implants in that region. (Digital Journal)

Developer of Deep Brain Stimulation Receives $3 Million Life Sciences Prize

Nov. 10, 2014 - For his development of deep brain stimulation to control the tremors of Parkinson's disease, Alim-Louis Benabid, MD, PhD, has received a $3 million Breakthrough Prize that is funded by technology entrepreneurs including founders of Google and Facebook. The selection committee for the honor was comprised of the previous year's six winners in the life sciences. Initiated in 2012, the prize provides $3 million for each recipient and also includes awards in fundamental physics and mathematics. Its stated purpose is "to celebrate the best scientific work and also inspire the next generation of scientists." (

Researchers Demonstrate an Optogenetics Probe That Stimulates and Records Activity

Nov. 7, 2014 - In preclinical work, an MIT team demonstrated a flexible polymer optogenetics probe capable of recording neuronal activity and stimulating neurons with light. It consists of a transparent polycarbonate optical core; parallel conductive polyethylene electrodes for recording neuronal electrical activity; and cyclic olefin copolymer acting both as electrical insulation and optical cladding. (MIT News)

Patient from the United Kingdom Travels to India for a Less-Costly Procedure to Receive an Occipital Nerve Stimulator

Nov. 4, 2014 - A 32-year-old man from the UK with occipital neuralgia traveled to India to more affordably receive an occipital nerve stimulation implant to decrease his severe symptoms. He was quoted as saying the procedure cost half the amount it would have cost in the UK, where he said the NHS had declined to cover the cost of the surgery. (Hindustan Times)

U.S. FDA Seeks Comment on Soliciting Patient Input into Medical Device Development

Nov. 4, 2014 - The FDA has opened a docket, Docket No. FDA–2014–N–1698, for 30 days to receive feedback on how to include patient input on medical device development. Public comments are due Dec. 4, 2014. According to the announcement, the "FDA is currently using a variety of tools to help ensure that the patient community is involved in medical product discussions to enhance benefit-risk assessment." (Healthopolis)

Spinal Cord Stimulation Research Presentations Planned

Nov. 3, 2014 - Saying it is "reinforcing the company's commitment to developing innovative and effective therapies in neuromodulation," Boston Scientific Corporation announced it will present 12 months of data about its 32-contact Precision Spectra system and research into high-rate (10kHz) therapy and novel waveforms at the 18th annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society taking place in Las Vegas Dec. 11 - 14, 2014. (Providence Journal)

Pakistan Adds a Deep Brain Stimulation Implant Capability

Nov. 2, 2014 - With a government grant to purchase deep brain stimulation equipment, a physician in Pakistan who was trained in the U.S. and the U.K. has performed the first two deep brain stimulation surgeries in the country, at the Lahore General Hospital. (The Express Tribune)

U.K. Researchers Look at Effects of Noninvasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation on Heart Function

Nov. 1, 2014 - Researchers at the University of Leeds have stimulated the vagus nerve externally through the tragus, a flap at the front of the ear, in 34 healthy volunteers, seeing a couple of positive effects on heart rate for up to 15 minutes after a 15-minute session. Those included about a 20 percent increase in heart-rate variability, and a 50 percent reduction in sympathetic nervous system activity, such as might be desired from drugs such as beta-blockers. (

Preclinical Studies Support Option of Spinal Cord Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease

Oct. 30, 2014 - Researchers working in parkinsonian monkeys show that spinal cord stimulation disrupts a pathological, highly synchronized neuronal activity in the cortico-basel ganglia-thalamic loop, addressing the excessive functional coupling among these structures in a fashion similar to dopamine replacement therapy or deep brain stimulation. The research provides insight into the mechanisms underlying improvements in motor function through spinal cord stimulation in Parkinson's disease, providing support for consideration of this option as a slightly less-invasive treatment than deep brain stimulation. (Neuron)

International Neuromodulation Society Member Initiates U.S. Implantation of Advanced Spinal Cord Stimulation System

Oct. 30, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Julie Pilitsis, MD, PhD, is credited as being the first in the nation to implant the new 32-contact spinal cord stimulator system, CoverEdge, intended to allow flexibility and better control of electrical impulses delivered to the spine through a computer algorithm that allows for multiple complex configurations during programming of the stimulation. (Health Canal)

Sound Therapy for Preschooler Who Received Auditory Brainstem Implant is Compared to a Triathlon

Oct. 30, 2014 - The family of a 3-year-old who had an auditory brainstem implant as the first child in a small U.S.-based clinical study said they hope that at minimum, the device will help him attend to auditory cues concerning safety, such as the honking of a car horn. He is returning for a followup clinic visit in November, after having been videotaped responding to music at an event in the summer. (Montreal Gazette)

Publication Publishes Editorial Urging Quicker Referral to Pain Specialists

2014 - An editorial about wait-times for spinal cord stimulation (SCS) includes a closing tribute to Krishna Kumar, MD, the editorial co-author, a member of the International Neuromodulation Society who died in April at the age of 83. The editorial suggests that if guidelines were adopted that call for wait times of no longer than eight weeks for assessment by a pain specialist, SCS would be considered early as recommended by various pain societies. (Pain Management)

Preclinical Neuromodulation Research Will Compete for a Large, Venture-Backed Funding Award

September, 2014 - An assistant professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine says she uses neuromodulation to try to answer questions about brains and aging in preclinical optogenetics research aimed at studying neural circuits at a systems level. She has submitted this work in competing for a new, privately funded research prize to fund biological investigations about longevity. The award comprises two components that each provide $500,000 in research funding. (

Review: Stimulation of Dorsal Root Ganglion Minimizes Neuropathic Pain through Multiple Means

Oct. 29, 2014 - Upon reviewing the anatomical and physiological literature about the role of the dorsal root ganglion in the development of neuropathic pain, International Neuromodulation Society member Elliot Krames, MD, INS emeritus director-at-large, concludes that in the neuropathic pain state, electrical stimulation of this target has multiple effects that combine to stabilize and decrease hyperexcitability of dorsal-root-ganglion neurons, thereby decreasing the pain state. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Columnist Calls for Long-Term View on Depression Recovery, Even with the Aid of Neurostimulation

Oct. 28, 2014 - A psychiatrist from the Cleveland Clinic observes that even after lifting of chronic depression through brain-stimulation therapy, many patients still need to rebuild their relationships and place in the world, a healing process that apparently cannot be rushed and requires emotional support without expectations of a short-term fix. (Scientific American)

National Institutes of Health Requests Input on New Program about Neuromodulation of Organ Systems

Oct. 28, 2014 - The National Institutes of Health would like to gather information and identify potential participants for a workshop about possible avenues to have interdisciplinary teams of investigators deliver circuit maps of organ systems and concepts for neuromodulation interventions that may require novel electrodes, tailored implant procedures, and stimulation regimes. The workshop's output will help to guide the new NIH cross-cutting research program, Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC). SPARC is anticipated to go into effect in fiscal 2015 through the NIH Common Fund, pursuant to available funds. (National Institutes of Health)

Interview Describes Plans for Brain Stimulation Research Aimed at Boosting Memory

Oct. 27, 2014 - The first human trials in epilepsy patients are expected this month in seven U.S. hospitals of a 256-channel brain stimulator by Medtronic, Inc. that is capable of recording, analyzing and stimulating. The research is part of a four-year Pentagon project to explore creating "prosthetic memory" for brain-damaged or demented patients, Restoring Active Memory. (Washington Post)

Nonprofit Research Center Wins Award

Oct. 25, 2014 - At the Neurotech Leaders Forum in San Francisco, the Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation Center was recognized by the publisher of the Neurotech Business Report newsletter with a Golden Electrode Award for being the most valuable nonprofit in neuromodulation research in 2014. The center was recognized for its translational research in neuroprosthetics, neurorehabilitation, and implanted devices. (Cleveland FES Center)

Cardiologists Weigh Results of Clinical Trials of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Heart Failure

Oct. 15, 2014 - According to a presentation at the annual Congress of the European Society of Cardiology, the ANTHEM-HF study met one primary endpoint by increasing the left ventricle ejection fraction, but the safety issues did not appear to be convincingly delineated. ANTHEM-HF was a prospective, multicenter study evaluating the effects of vagal nerve stimulation on various outcome parameters in 60 patients with advanced heart failure. In addition, the randomized, sham-controlled trial NECTAR-HF showed no objective difference from right-vagus-nerve stimulation after six months. More results of vagus nerve stimulation in heart failure should be seen in one to two years from INOVATE-HF, a study that is currently enrolling and will have approximately 650 patients. (Medscape)

Bioelectronic Innovation Challenge Fund Announced

Sept. 30, 2014 - GSK announced a $5 million Innovation Challenge Fund in bioelectronic medicine, for development of solutions for its previously announced Bioelectronics Innovation Challenge, which carries a $1 million award. Any tools or technologies developed through the fund and the Innovation Challenge's winning entry will be made freely available to the global research community. The application period for ICF funding is open and ends in the end of November. (Fierce Biotech)

Randomized Controlled Prospective Clinical Trial Demonstrates More Suppression of Painful Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy with Spinal Cord Stimulation Than Medication Alone

November 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Robert van Dongen, MD, PhD, has co-authored a two-center randomized controlled trial of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) with best medical treatment, vs. best medical treatment alone, for lower limb pain from painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Of 22 patients trailed for SCS, 17 progressed to permanent implant and a control group of 14 patients received best medical care alone. Treatment success after six months was observed in 59% of the SCS patients and 7% of the patients who had received best medical treatment alone. The researchers also measured pain severity, pain interference with daily life, pain characteristics, health-related quality of life, pain interference with sleep, sleep quality and quantity, mood, and registered medication use at each followup. (Diabetes Care)

In Vitro Study: Slow-acting, Reactive Processes Constrain Neuromodulator Capacity to Suppress Network Synchrony

Oct. 23, 2014 - Researchers in Israel studying the tendency of networked cortical cells to return to synchrony over many hours (beginning at approximately 12 hours) after prolonged exposure to a cholinergic agonist write that the need to suppress synchrony might require periodic withdrawal of cholinergic input, such as what occurs naturally during non-rapid-eye-movement sleep. Their data were obtained using a feedback system and cultured neurons. (BMC Biology)

Physicians Express Concerns About Timely Access to Care

October 2014 - Three pain physicians in Florida write that insurance authorization for spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has changed to require face-to-face psychological screening rather than filling out a questionnaire due to concerns prompted by some "financially motivated physicians" about proper patient selection, care, and referral to permanent implants (that left some patients who experienced good pain relief with SCS trials not receiving permanent systems). They add that although early recognition of the need for SCS will minimize future use of narcotic pain medication, potentially saving money and allowing a return to work more quickly, they fear that wait times for SCS (that average more than 5 years in the U.S.) will grow even longer because of stricter criteria from insurers, long wait times for authorization and a decrease of 70 - 70% in reimbursement. They say that in contrast, the average wait time for SCS is one to two years in European countries that have nationalized health care. (Anesthesiology News)

Abstract: External Vagus Nerve Stimulation Reduced Migraine Duration, Severity

Oct. 23, 2014 - In an abstract from the 4th European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress published in the Journal of Headache and Pain, a preliminary report on 30 patients who had migraine without aura showed that a single application of electroCore’s noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation device, gammaCore, completely resolved 44.8% of migraines within 30 minutes, and lessened an additional 11.4% of patients' attacks by 2 hours.  (BusinessWire)

Patients of Different Pain Durations Showed Similar Success Rates in Small Study That Included a Period of Burst-Mode Spinal Cord Stimulation

Oct. 21, 2014 - A comparison of pain suppression in 49 patients with an average pain duration of 9.6 years who had been undergoing spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for at least 6 months, and tried burst mode for two weeks, suggest that "the duration of pain is not an exclusion criterion for SCS and that similar success rates can be obtained for longstanding pain and pain of more recent onset." (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Study Explores Impact of Frequency in Burst-Mode Spinal Cord Stimulation

Oct. 21, 2014 - A study of burst spinal cord stimulation in 15 patients with failed back surgery syndrome showed no added benefit when the frequency was increased from 500 to 1000 Hz while keeping the total delivery of current to the spinal cord constant (five electrical pulses delivered at 500 Hz with 1000-μsec pulse width 40 times per second, vs. five spikes at 1000 Hz with 500-μsec pulse width 40 times a second.) (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Author Sets Forth Data for Vagus Nerve Stimulation and Responsive Neurostimulation

September/October 2014 - Comparing available data on outcomes of vagus nerve stimulation in medically refractory epilepsy and responsive neurostimulation presents a challenge in defining which patients would preferentially benefit from one or the other treatment, and how to best treat them with the stimulation, according to a commentary entitled, "Responsive Neurostimulation: The Hopes and the Challenges." (Epilepsy Currents)

INS Members Publish Summary of First Comprehensive Neurostimulation Guidelines

October 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society members Jason E. Pope, MD, Stanley Golovac, MD, Simon Thomson, MD and Timothy Deer, MD, have published a special report summarizing the findings of the the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee. (touch Neurology)

Article Examines Progression of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation as a Therapy

Oct. 20, 2014 - A news feature about transcranial magnetic stimulation said it is firmly established as a depression treatment, and research is turning to other uses, from migraines to Parkinson's disease to post-traumatic stress disorder. (

Neurostimulation Device Fabrication Methods Move Toward More Compact Systems

Oct. 20, 2014 - An article on vapor-deposition biocompatible coatings for neurostimulation devices claims neuromodulation therapy is becoming more readily accepted and mentions future energy-harvesting systems that will keep devices going from body heat, vibration, or radiofrequency waves. (MDT Design)

University Researchers Create Transparent Neural-Interface Electrode Array

Oct. 20, 2014 - Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have demonstrated in preclinical work a clear flexible graphene-based, carbon-layered electrode array, transparent to visible light and intended to  stimulate and record evoked response. The device was developed with funding from the Reliable Neural-Interface Technology program at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The researchers' work is published in Nature Communications. (University of Wisconsin-Madison News)

Subject of Real-Life Spy Flim Speaks Out About Treatments for Parkinson's Disease

Oct. 15, 2014 - A retired CIA agent whose subterfuge to arrange for six U.S. diplomats to escape Iran in the 1980 hostage crisis became the basis of the movie Argo revealed he was suffering from the effects of Parkinson's disease during the 2012 promotional tour. In an interview in the Washington Post, he said he turned to deep brain stimulation to help with his motor symptoms, although he still has unpredictable episodes of pain. He disclosed his diagnosis in conjunction with a symposium by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. (Today Health)

TV Segment Features In-Depth Look at Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery at a U.S. Academic Center

October 2014 - In a TV segment, CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, MD presents deep brain stimulation, following physicians into the operating room at the University of Florida and explaining the role of the therapy to help manage effects of some neurological disorders. (CNN)

Materials Scientists Are Developing Dissolvable Medical Implants

Oct. 14, 2014 - University of Illinois researchers in Champaign-Urbana are working with transient electronic sensors patterned on ultra-thin pieces of silicon (with a 20- to 100-nanometer thickness) that can dissolve in a matter of weeks when implanted. They hope to find a way to actively trigger dissolution. (EE Times)

Deep Brain Stimulation Recipient Raises Funds for Parkinson's Disease Causes

Oct. 14, 2014 - The former assistant coach of the Predators, Brent Peterson, said his deep brain stimulation surgery in 2011 for Parkinson's disease was "very tough" but ended up being "really good" since he is not in a wheelchair and can move. With encouragement from Michael J. Fox to take constructive action, he started the Peterson Foundation for Parkinson's to raise money for awareness and education, has raised more than $400,000 since 2007. (Daily News Journal)

Columnist Presents the Option of Deep Brain Stimulation in Refractory Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Oct. 14, 2014 - A columnist who is a clinical psychologist and researcher points out that deep brain stimulation may be an option for severe treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder. (Huffington Post)

Show Looks at Gains in Adapting Spinal Cord Stimulation for Post-Injury Functional Rehabilitation

October 2014 - In the "Next Big Thing," epidural stimulation to restore movement to spine-injured people is presented. The research takes place at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. (CNET)

Regional Award to Acknowledge Public Benefit of Federally Funded Brain-Stimulation Technology

Oct. 13, 2014 - Transfer of technology to the medical device company Brainsway through a license from the National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke is being acknowledged with a regional Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer by the Federal Laboratory Consortium. The award recognizes a potential for substantial impact on public health, and will be presented Nov. 19 at an event for the Mid-Atlantic region of the consortium. The technology is being used to create deep transcranial magnetic stimulation systems, which have been FDA-approved for use in medication-resistant depression. (Nasdaq)

Neurosurgeons Publish Deep Brain Stimulation Guidelines for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Sept. 23, 2014 - The American Society of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons have published a new guideline in Neurosurgery after assessing seven studies deemed high-quality that report research about deep brain stimulation in obsessive compulsive disorder. To date, bilateral stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus and nucleus accombens was shown to improve symptoms by around 36% in clinical trials. However, the authors say different subgroups, such as hoarders, may respond to different targets. (Medical News Today)

Study: An Artificial Arm with the Sense of Touch Has Permitted Recipients to Undertake Complex Tasks

Oct. 13, 2014 - According to a study in Science Translational Medicine two amputees who had under-the-skin wires and nerve electrodes implanted more than a year ago in their prosthetic arms to mimic a sense of touch performed such everyday activities as pulling a stem off a cherry or chopping wood. Healio reported on a news release on the topic from Case Western Reserve. (New York Times)

BRAIN Grant to Support Research into Using Nanoparticles for Neuromodulation

Oct. 10, 2014 - A research proposal by a research associate at Rockefeller University is one of 58 to receive the first grants from one of four federal agencies through the U.S. BRAIN initiative, the NIH announced. The $1.26 million grant over three years will support research into combining nanoparticles with radio waves or magnetic fields to turn neurons on and off. The approach might also be used to better understand the function of groups of cells, and would have the advantage of being able to access hard-to-reach cells or dispersed groups of cells. The molecular genetics researchers involved have termed this approach "radiogenetics". The BRAIN initiative is intended to ultimately create a dynamic brain map of neural circuitry. (Rockefeller University)

Foundation Aims to Expand Study into Stimulation that Restored Some Motion to Paralyzed Patients

Oct. 9, 2014 - The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is hoping to raise $15 million to enable 26 patients with partial spinal cord injuries to participate in research into functional electrical stimulation at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Four initial participants recovered some movement in the lower half of their body and improved cardiovascular and respiratory function. (People)

Report Discusses Current Neurostimulation Practice Updates Recommended by an International Neuromodulation Society-Convened Panel

October 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society President-elect Tim Deer, MD, was interviewed by Pain Medicine News about the issuance of the first comprehensive guidelines on neurostimulation for pain and ischemic disease, which appear in the August 2014 issue of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface following work by the INS-appointed Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee. He said updates to current practice include recommendations about thorough infection control and bleeding measures, as well as recommendations about credentialing. (Pain Medicine News)

Registration Opens for the North American Neuromodulation Society Annual Meeting in December

October 2014 - Registration has opened for the 18th annual scientific meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS). The NANS meeting takes place from Dec. 11-14, 2014 in Las Vegas, NV, USA. (North American Neuromodulation Society)

Television Show Highlights How Veterans Have Benefited from Spinal Cord Stimulation

Oct. 7, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Richard Maughon, MD, was quoted in a newscast about veterans using spinal cord stimulation, saying that worker's compensation studies show the therapy cost breaks even by the third year, and also that when veterans are taken off pain medications, their suicide rate goes down -- although no similar studies have been done in the general population. (WBRC)

Magazine Lauds Improved Spinal Cord Stimulator as a Breakthrough

Oct. 7, 2014 - Popular Mechanics profiles an athletic young woman with complex regional pain syndrome who is a patient ambassador for Boston Scientific Corporation in an article about the advantages of its spinal cord stimulation device with multiple independent current control, which she received last spring to manage pain in her foot and leg, replacing a previous model. The article calls the more precise targeting of nerve fibers an innovative achievement. (Popular Mechanics)

Foundation Funds Research into On-Demand Brain Stimulation to Address Gait Freezing

Oct. 6, 2014 - Research funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation's program to improve or explore neuromodulation for Parkinson's disease will address gait freezing through on-demand stimulation to both the globus pallidus interna and the pedunculopontine nucleus -- which are hypothesized to be the gait "gas pedal" and "brake," respectively. (Michael J. Fox Foundation)

University to Open a Parkinson's Disease Research Center

Oct. 6, 2014 - The University of Michigan received a 5-year, $11.5 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke to become a Morris K. Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson's Disease Research, with a focus on the brain's cholinergic system and its role in gait and balance. As part of the center, the co-director of the university's deep brain stimulation program will lead an education and outreach effort. (

Patient Gets Rare Malaysian Deep Brain Stimulation Implant

Oct. 4, 2014 - Although deep brain stimulation (DBS) is rarely done in Malaysia due to its cost, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre performed its first DBS surgery Sept. 26 on a patient who has had Parkinson's disease since 2004 and had developed side-effects from the medication. The 67-year-old patient received some government funding. The surgeon said DBS is more cost-effective since reliance on medication is generally gradually reduced. He added DBS has a success rate of 80% and is superior to best medical treatment in improving quality of life. (The Star)

Researchers Receive Grant to Develop Electrodes to Sense Brain Neurotransmitters

Oct. 4, 2014 - The Mayo Clinic's Neural Engineering Laboratory received a $2.5 million grant to detect neurotransmitter release in the brain using diamond-coated electrodes and signal processing algorithms. The coated electrodes should provide durability and sensitivity over time. The grant was part of a first wave of investments from the U.S. Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, which totaled $46 million. (Yuma News Now)

Survey Finds Functional Connectivity of Brain-Stimulation Targets

Sept. 29, 2014 - Looking at correlations in spontaneous brain activity shown in a database of MRI images, researchers have shown that deep brain stimulation affects brain circuits in higher brain regions, and the maps of those effects match maps showing effects of non-invasive brain stimulation for 14 different conditions, from Parkinson's disease to dystonia and Tourette syndrome. The authors of this analysis of functional connectivity data believe it will suggest stimulation approaches for more conditions. (Medical Daily)

Researchers Pursue a Variety of Implants to Augment Lost Vision

Sept. 29, 2014 - An article describes different implant locations and powering systems for retinal prostheses under development. (The Scientist)

Brain Scans Find Differences in Inhibitory Neurotransmitters in Patients with Tourette Motor Tics

Sept. 25, 2014 - A tic disorder specialist hopes to test the effect of transcranial direct current stimulation in Tourette syndrome, reasoning that the stimulation may boost GABA that would dampen the propensity for tics. This theory is supported by the recently reported finding in Current Biology that GABA is elevated in the supplementary motor area of brains of teens who have Tourette syndrome, compared to those who don't. (Everyday Health)

Preclinical Work in Neuroprosthetics for Paralysis Demonstrates Real-Time Control of Gait

Sept. 24, 2014 - Researchers who are planning a clinical trial with closed-loop robot-assisted stimulation in paralyzed patients report success in a rat model using a self-adjusting computational system so that electrical pulse width, amplitude and frequency need not be manually adjusted in real time for each individual. The animals showed fluid, precise movement in more than 1,000 steps, including climbing stairs of varying dimensions. This development of closed-loop epidural electrical stimulation to feed electric currents to sensorimotor circuits, appears in the journal Science Translational Medicine (Medical Xpress)

Medical Center in Germany Will Offer Visual Prosthetic System

Sept. 23, 2014 - EBS Technologies' Next Wave device to restore a degree of vision in conditions such as stroke, glaucoma, traumatic brain injury and some other diseases will be available at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. The device consists of an EEG cap and special goggles that provide optical and electrical stimulation, and an EEG amplifier linked to the goggles. The process involves stimulating the retina while energizing the optic nerve to send signals to the brain. (Medgadget)

Small Study Documents Advantages of Electrical Current Steering in Deep Brain Stimulation

Sept. 23, 2014 - A Netherlands-based study of directional current steering in deep brain stimulation in eight patients with Parkinson's disease provided Class IV evidence that steering using the 32-contact electrode was well-tolerated and increased the threshold for side effects, increasing the therapeutic window by up to 1.5 mA. (Neurology)

Physicians Report European Study of Deep Brain Stimulation in Cervical Dystonia

September 2014 - A sham-controlled clinical trial in 62 patients with cervical dystonia who received deep brain stimulation showed that three months of active pallidal neurostimulation reduced symptoms of dystonia more effectively than sham, although 16 patients had serious adverse events, generally related to the device or the implant procedure. The multicenter study, funded by Medtronic, Inc., was reported by 33 co-authors, including members of the INS German chapter Wilheim Eisner, MD; Marcus Pinsker,MD; and Karl Kiening, MD. (The Lancet)

Article Describes Program to Develop Small Devices That Might Modulate Organ Function

Sept. 19, 2014 - An article compares tiny next-generation neuromodulation devices that are envisioned by the ElectRx program, which is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, to a smart pacemaker that would assess conditions and fix vital organs with stimulus patterns tailored to help maintain healthy organ function -- giving a boost to the body's natural processes of monitoring the status of organs and managing how they respond to disease The device might be used to treat inflammatory conditions and others, such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury and even depression. (Mail Online)

Clinical Trial Starts to Investigate Deep Brain Stimulation in Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Sept. 18, 2014 - The first patient has been enrolled in a six-patient clinical trial of deep brain stimulation in a type of dementia called Dementia with Lewy Bodies. Because the cognitive impairments fluctuate in the condition, it is believed the "hard wiring" functioning on days when symptoms are worse could be aided by electrical stimulation to the area that has degenerated in the condition, the nucleus basalis of Meynert. (University College London)

Company to Launch Its Latest Brain-Mapping Device That Uses Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Sept. 18, 2014 - A next-generation device that combines transcranial magnetic stimulation and electromyography for presurgical mapping in neurosurgery will be launched at two meetings in October. The Nexstim NBS 5 will be showcased at the 6th International Symposium on Navigated Brain Stimulation in Neurosurgery, Oct. 10 - 11 in Berlin; and at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons 64th Annual Meeting from Oct. 18 - 22 in Boston. (PR Newswire)

Company Plans to Present Data About Preventive Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Cluster Headache

Sept. 17, 2014 - ElectroCore announced that presentations this weekend at the European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress in Copenhagen will include data from its PREVA study, a randomized, multi-center trial across several European countries, which showed that preventative use of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation can reduce the frequency of cluster headache attacks by 43.4% versus the current standard of care, which resulted in only a 12% reduction. (EIN News)

Spinal Cord Stimulation May Enhance Drug Delivery to Ischemic Tissue

Sept. 15, 2014 - Researchers who theorized an improvement in oxygenated blood supply would facilitate enhanced delivery of the scheduled therapy in patients with recurrent high-grade gliomas report that in seven patients in a preliminary study, spinal cord stimulation during reirradiation and chemotherapy was associated with clinical improvement and longer survival than previously reported in this condition. (Integrative Cancer Therapies)

General-Practitioner Publication Features Guidance About the Role of Neuromodulation

Sept. 15, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society Secretary Marc Russo, MD, and INS member Nick Christelis, MD, write in a publication geared to general practitioners in Australia a perspective on the role of neuromodulation in pain management. Indications for spinal cord stimulation, they say, include spinal cord stimulation include failed back surgery syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, peripheral neuropathic pain, chronic peripheral ischaemic pain and refractory angina pectoris. (Pain Management Today)

Comparative Study Shows Benefit of Combined Sacral Neuromodulation and Drug Therapy

Sept. 15, 2014 - A research team reports in Urology Journal that a three-month study comparing sacral neuromodulation with antimuscarinic medication to medication alone showed greater benefit from the combined therapy in 240 women with idiopathic overactive bladder. (medwire News)

Pilot Study Proposed of Deep Brain Stimulation in Combat Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Sept. 10, 2014 - A U.S.-based research team proposes a Phase I clinical trial of deep brain stimulation to the basolateral amygdala to address post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans, based in part on results in a rat model of the condition. The pilot randomized controlled trial will have a blinded, staggered onset of stimulation. (Trials)

Violinist With Essential Tremor Receives Deep Brain Stimulation

Sept. 11, 2014 - A former violinist with the Lithuania national philharmonic orchestra received a deep brain stimulation implant to treat her essential tremor in Tel Aviv. She played the instrument during surgery to help pinpoint the correct stimulation, and said it was a shame she didn't know about the surgery previously, having had to stop performing years ago. (Jerusalem Post)

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Clinical Trial Comes to Long Island

Sept. 9, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Brian Snyder, MD is participating at his Long Island practice in the multicenter SENSE™ (Subcutaneous and Epidural Neuromodulation System Evaluation) clinical trial of that compares spinal cord stimulation alone, and in combination with peripheral nerve field stimulation, for the treatment of chronic low back and leg pain due to failed back surgery syndrome. (EIN Presswire)

Cancer-Related Neuropathies Affect More Than One-Third of U.S. Cancer Survivors

Sept. 4, 2014 - The Neuropathy Association released an info graphic for Pain Awareness Month that explains the impact of cancer-related neuropathy, which affects more than on-third of the 14 million cancer survivors in the U.S. (The Neuropathy Association)

Newspaper Profiles International Neuromodulation Society President

Sept. 8, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society President Simon Thomson, MBBS, FRCA, FIPP, describes his passion for ensuring access to appropriate neurostimulation treatments in a newspaper profile highlighting his work. He started an NHS pain service more than 20 years ago after being introduced to neurostimulation in the 1980s in Australia. “People with chronic pain are more at risk of depression and social isolation," the article quotes him as saying. “Often, they can feel they are passed from pillar to post, with very little answer to what is actually causing their agony.” (Echo)

Deep Brain Stimulation Pioneers Honored with Lasker Award

September, 2014 - The 2014 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award goes to Alim-Louis Benabid, MD, PhD and Mahlon DeLong, MD, whose research helped to elucidate neural circuits involved in movement disorder and demonstrate brain targets for treating motor disorder through deep brain stimulation, which has been provided to more than 100,000 patients worldwide. (Lasker Foundation)

Psychiatrist Anticipates More Use of Neurostimulation in Psychiatry

Sept. 5, 2014 - Neurostimulation can alter both neurochemicals and aberrant neuronal activity and is likely to become more common in psychiatric treatment, according to a question-and-answer column with a psychiatrist who favors its use the treatment paradigm. He said activity of the brain is as much electrical as it is chemical, and neurostimulation poses the advantage of being somatic and non-systemic. (Psychiatric Times)

Florida Patients Have More Access to Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Sept. 4, 2014 - A Florida psychiatrist who added transcranial magnetic stimulation to his practice describes how it exerts an effect by polarizing areas of the limbic system. His first patient says in an interview that the therapy leaves her feeling clearer and more revitalized, in combination with counseling. She said it had been a last resort since she could not relieve the depression she felt since childhood with medications. (USA Today)

Researchers Visualize Neuronal Effects of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Sept. 4, 2014 - Researchers in Germany have published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences work that shows for the first time, in cats, high-resolution imaging of the fleeting effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation in the cortex. The time-sensitive images were captured by using voltage-sensitive dyes anchored in cell membranes. The dyes fluoresce when neurons are activated or inhibited. (Medical Xpress)

INS President Speaks Out About the Evolution of Pain Management During His Career

Sept. 3, 2014 - In an interview publicized during Pain Awareness Month, International Neuromodulation Society President Simon Thomson, MBBS, FRCA, FIPP, describes the importance of listening to patients and his efforts to continually challenge the concept that chronic pain will always have a physical cause to be repaired through surgery. (Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals)

Los Angeles-Area Medical Center Offers Recently Approved Neurostimulation Device for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sept. 3, 2014 - The first medical center in Los Angeles to offer the Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation system as a neurostimulation option for obstructive sleep apnea is Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC). The device received FDA approval in April. (USC News)

MIT Bioelectronics Group Works on Nanoparticle Transducers and Flexible Polymer Probes for Optical Stimulation and Electrical Sensing

Sept. 3, 2014 - A materials science professor at MIT and her research team members are pursuing creation of flexible polymer probes that have been demonstrated to optically stimulate the spinal cords of mice whose neurons were altered to respond to light, as well as magnetic materials that might be injected into the brain to serve as a transducer for neural stimulation. The work is inspired by recent findings indicating that diseases that were previously not considered to have a neurological basis, such as diabetes, hypertension and infertility, may be treated with neuromodulation by employing bioelectronic medicine. (

Pilot Study Demonstrates Brain-to-Brain Transmission of Coded Information

Sept. 3, 2014 - By encoding letters of words into a binary code represented by a series of motor images, scientists have transmitted two simple four-letter words recorded with non-invasive brain-monitoring -- an electroencephalogram -- in one subject and received through non-invasive brain stimulation -- robot-assisted, image-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) -- in three other subjects. Recipients sat with eyes and ears covered and received TMS stimulation to their visual cortex. The transmissions were perceived as bright lights in their peripheral vision, with the location of the light indicating its binary code (1 or 0). The data were transmitted from the sender's system to the receiving study subjects over a distance of 5,000 miles via the Internet. (CNET)

Dystonia Patient Shows Progress After Deep Brain Stimulation

Sept. 2, 2014 - A 9-year-old boy has made progress since his deep brain stimulation one year ago for generalized dystonia. He can now independently feed himself, drink from a cup, and stand unaided. (CBS-Denver)

 Epilepsy Patient Receives Closed-Loop Vagus Nerve Stimulation Implant

Sept. 2, 2014 - A man in the UK who has had up to 60 epileptic seizures per day between ages 7 months and 40 years became one of the first people in the country to add, as an adjunct to his anti-seizure medication, use of the AspireSR implant, which delivers vagus nerve stimulation to deter a seizure upon sensing a change in heart rate. Since he has seizures even while asleep, the automated sensing and response is helpful to him. (Express)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Improved Function and Reduced Symptoms in Heart Failure Clinical Trial

Sept. 1, 2014 - The Cyberonics, Inc. ANTHEM-HF (Autonomic Neural Regulation Therapy to Enhance Myocardial Function in Heart Failure) open-label trial of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), conducted at multiple centers in 60 patients who had moderate to severe heart failure and impaired heart function, indicate the treatment is safe, improves the heart's ability to pump blood, and reduces symptoms associated with chronic heart failure, according to data presented at the European Society of Cardiology meeting that was concurrently published in the Journal of Cardiac Failure. Stimulation of either the right or left vagus nerve appeared to help patients achieve changes in cardiac function. While the right vagus nerve had been believed to provide more of a baroreceptor impact, the left vagus nerve may be easier to access, and surgeons are used to working on that side for implanting other cardiac devices. Presenters said the left ventricular ejection fraction increased from 32.4% to 37.2% after six months of vagus nerve stimulation system treatment. (MedPage Today)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Clinical Trial Does Not Show Remodeling in Heart Failure, Misses Primary Efficacy Endpoint

Sept. 1, 2014 - Boston Scientific reported at the European Society of Cardiology meeting that the primary efficacy endpoint was not reached in its vagus nerve stimulation clinical trial carried out in 96 New York Heart Association Class II-III patients who had heart failure and an ejection fraction of less than 35%, the NECTAR-HF (NEural Cardiac TherApy foR Heart Failure) trial. After six months of treatment, blinded echocardiography showed no reduction in left ventricular end systolic diameter. Control patients begin to receive active therapy after six months of randomization, with all patients followed through 18 months to assess the safety endpoint. Despite no significant effect on cardiac remodelling or functional capacity, treatment did result in significantly improved symptomatic scores in quality-of-life metrics. (Medlatest)

Authors Review Studies of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Learning, Behavior, Memory, and Motor Control

Sept. 1, 2014 - Psychology researchers at the University of Queensland have reviewed an escalating number of studies utilizing transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to understand cortical substrates of behavior. The authors review its application in cognitive and motor training, its use to understand neuronal activity underlying perception, learning and memory (such as fluctuations in frequency and phase), and suggest how key methodological issues might be addressed. (Cell)

Benefit of Spinal Cord Stimulation in Painful Diabetic Neuropathy Shown in First Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial

Aug. 29, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society members Kaare Meier, MD, PhD, Harold Nijhuis, MD, Wim Duyvendak, MD, Thomas Enggaard, MD, PhD, and colleagues report the first multi center randomized controlled trial of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) in medically refractory painful diabetic neuropathy. Sixty patients with lower-extremity pain were enrolled. After six months, patients receiving SCS plus best medical practice had average visual-analogue-scale pain intensity scores drop from 73 to 31. Patients who did not receive SCS remained at their baseline level of pain intensity, 67, during the six-month followup. (Science Direct)

Consensus On Benefits of Constant Current Over Time in Deep Brain Stimulation

Aug. 29, 2014 - Although epilepsy treatment has already embraced constant-current deep brain stimulation (DBS) devices, there has been little reporting of constant-current DBS devices in movement and neuropsychiatric disorders. The results of a consensus meeting sponsored by the Parkinson Alliance are reported by International Neuromodulation Society member Jay Shils, PhD and colleagues. They determined that since impedance varies considerably between patients and over time and encapsulation can occur, it makes sense that all new devices will likely use constant current even if, given the potential benefits, it will be unlikely that there will be many head-to-head comparator trials. Safety will not be impacted and science supports the use of constant current even if data are lacking. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Small Study Indicates Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Boosts Memory in Healthy Subjects

Aug. 28, 2014 - Enhancing functional connectivity and plasticity in the hippocampus of 16 healthy volunteers through five daily sessions of transcranial magnetic stimulation allowed the study subjects to improve memory-test scores by 30%, according to research at Northwestern University that appears in this week's issue of Science. (BBC News)

After Noninvasive Brain Stimulation, Healthy Volunteers Reduced Appetite and Food Consumption

Aug. 28, 2014 - Eight daily sessions of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in 14 healthy volunteers led to a 14% reduction in caloric intake from a buffet and lower appetite scores, according to research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has launched a clinical trial on the effects of tDCS on weight. (Newsweek)

Brain-Mapping Study Indicates Trade-Offs in Boosting Cognitive Scores

August 2014 - Neuroscientists who conducted brain-mapping at the University College London on areas responsible for numerosity and duration judgments report in the Nov. 15, 2014 issue of NeuroImage that while transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) improved performance in one task, it impaired performance in another. They write, "application of anodal tDCS to the left-PPC and cathodal tDCS to the right-PPC . . . increased accuracy in the numerosity judgement task and impaired accuracy in the duration judgement task, while application of anodal tDCS to the right-PPC and cathodal tDCS to the left-PPC . . . increased accuracy in the duration judgement task and impaired accuracy in the numerosity judgement task." Their findings agree with the theorem that the parietal cortex may be the primary site for common neural processing of magnitudes in the different dimensions of time, space, and quantity. However, rather than support the general consensus that neuron firing-rate is affected globally by electrical stimulation, their findings show the modulation can be selective. (Science Direct)

Defense Agency Starts a Bioelectric Medicine Program

Aug. 27, 2014 - "Like a tiny, intelligent pacemaker" is how a a program manager from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency describes a potential future means of managing a number of challenging medical conditions through precise modulation of the peripheral nervous system. The research program, ElectRx, would develop closed-loop systems that provide stimulus patterns that help maintain healthy organ function. (Medical Design Technology)

Therapy to Undergo Evaluation as Adjunctive Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Aug. 25, 2014 - Up to 74 combat veterans will be recruited for a double-blind study of external trigeminal nerve stimulation as an adjunctive therapy in post-traumatic stress disorder at the University of California, Los Angeles. The study, funded by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command, will use devices provided by the emerging company NeuroSigma, Inc. (Drug Discovery & Development)

Evolving Science of Neuromodulation Described in News Release About First Comprehensive Consensus Guidelines

Aug. 25, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Robert Foreman, MD, described synergies between basic and clinical pain-therapy research in a news release about the publication of neurostimulation guidelines from the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee. (University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center)

Elderly Do Not Have Significantly More Complications From Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease

Aug. 25, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Shivanand P. Lad, MD, PhD and colleagues retrospectively reviewed 1,757 patients who underwent deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease between 2000 and 2009, and in a multivariate analysis, found patients older than 75 years showed a similar 90-day complication risk compared with younger counterparts. (JAMA Neurology)

Metropolitan Newspaper Covers INS Member's Public Presentation on Deep Brain Stimulation

Aug. 24, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Kathryn Holloway, MD responded to questions from the public at a seminar in Richmond, VA about deep brain stimulation, Parkinson's disease, specific symptoms, timing of therapy, research and the presence of other conditions. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Expert Ponders Path Forward for Neuromodulation for Fecal Incontinence

September 2014 - In an article listed as most-read, "Neuromodulation in an Era of Rising Need and Cost: A Time for Multifaceted Consideration," a German surgery professor and expert in coloproctology notes that posterior tibial nerve stimulation offers moderate benefit as a fecal incontinence therapy and might elicit broader acceptance of more-invasive methods such as sacral neuromodulation. He questions how access may evolve, such as who should assess needs and deliver such therapies and what the expense may be. The author calls for "the guidance and support of the relevant professional societies" to approach the issue broadly beyond any particular commercial interest. (Diseases of the Colon and Rectum)

Neuromodulation Appropriateness Details Presented

Aug. 21, 2014 - The Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee's first comprehensive guidance on the use of neurostimulation in chronic pain is reported in the online, multi-disciplinary publication The coverage includes details about complications and their avoidance, as reported in the peer-reviewed findings of the committee in the Aug. 2014 issue of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. (

First Cluster Headache Patient Receives Sphenopalatine Ganglion Neurostimulator

Aug. 18, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society Director-at-Large Ali Rezai, MD, was quoted in a story about the first implant of the Autonomic Technologies, Inc. neurostimulator that is undergoing a clinical trial in the U.S. in cluster headache patients. The device stimulates the sphenopalatine ganglion beneath the cheek in the upper jaw when a patient uses a hand-held controller to elicit stimulation when a cluster headache starts. Dr. Rezai said the main advantage of neurostimulation is that "it's reversible and adjustable, and you're just modulating and blocking the pain signals." (Medical Xpress)

Study Indicates External Vagus Nerve Stimulation May Hold Promise for Helping Treat Heart Failure

Aug. 20, 2014 - Researchers at the University of Leeds have published in Brain Stimulation that transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation may have benefits for heart health through reducing sympathetic nerve activity. They studied externally applied stimulation to the auricular branch of the vagus nerve (distributed to the skin of the ear) in 48 healthy subjects, resulting in increased heart rate variability. They postulate that indication of increased parasympathetic activity may suggest a potential intervention for conditions such as heart failure. (University of Leeds)

Commentary Notes Advantages and Concerns About Occipital Nerve Stimulation for Medication-Resistant Migraine

Aug. 19, 2014 - Occipital nerve stimulation effectively relieves medication-resistant chronic migraine for more than one year, providing good or excellent headache relief, although a high rate of adverse events remains a concern, according to a research highlight about a randomized controlled trial with 157 subjects. (Nature Reviews Neurology)

Deep Brain Stimulation Patient Resumes Classical Music Career

Aug. 17, 2014 - A concert violinist received deep brain stimulation in 2009 for essential tremor at the Mayo Clinic in an operation that included his playing a violin during the procedure with a bow equipped with an accelerometer to check the effectiveness of target stimulation. He returned to play with the Minnesota Orchestra within weeks. (CNET)

Neurology Group Updates Guidelines for Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Epilepsy

Aug. 18, 2014 - The American Academy of Neurology has updated its evidence-based guideline concerning vagus nerve stimulation for the treatment of epilepsy, saying it "may be considered progressively effective in patients over multiple years of exposure," and improvement in mood may be an additional benefit in adults with epilepsy, while overall, it may be considered an adjunctive treatment for children with partial or generalized epilepsy. (Clinical Neurology News)

FDA Calls for Workshop on Brain-Computer Interfaces Aimed to Augment Movement of Patients

Aug. 18, 2014 - In November the FDA will hold a workshop on brain-computer interfaces to discuss scientific, clinical and regulatory considerations of neuroprostheses under development to aid movement of paralyzed patients or amputees. That discussion could influence draft guidance. (The Gray Sheet)

Mice Showed Gains in Post-Stroke Recovery With Optogenetic Stimulation

Aug. 18, 2014 - A Stanford University research team has shown that stimulating the motor cortex in mice using optogenetics allowed the animals to improve their recovery from stroke, even five days afterwards. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors hope to identify which brain circuits might be most amenable to post-stroke intervention in a potential future human clinical trial. (BBC News)

Canadian Firm Works on Sleep Apnea Medical Implant

Aug. 16, 2014 - Canadian-based Ergoresearch Ltd. announced a $590,000 royalty payment to its medical device subsidiary Victhom Laboratory Inc. represents "a strong validation" of a neurostimulation approach to obstructive sleep apnea completed by its partner Otto Bock Healthcare. The technology records and stimulations peripheral nerves, delivering therapy only when necessary. Further royalties may be forthcoming if the device is commercialized. (Sleep Review)

Article Describes Deep Brain Stimulation for Dystonia

Aug. 15, 2014 - An article about deep brain stimulation for dystonia says it has been a gold standard for relieving symptoms for some patients since becoming available about a decade ago. (WWSB)

Article Highlights Neurostimulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee Findings

Aug. 14, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society President Simon Thomson, MD, was interviewed for a news feature about work of the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee that resulted in the first comprehensive peer-reviewed guidance for neurostimulation therapy, which appears in this month's issue of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. The article cites the effectiveness and cost efficiency of the therapy, pointing out that the co-authors are addressing "current gaps related to this treatment modality". (Medscape)

Burglars Take Chronic Pain Patients' Investigational Neurostimulation Controller

Aug. 14, 2014 - A woman who was participating in a clinical device trial has lost the patient controller that allowed her to switch between stimulation parameters for her spinal cord stimulator implant, when the remote control was stolen along with other electronics during a residential burglary. News reports said her controller was only one of three in her country. She said she has endured massive spasms of pain since the burglary two weeks ago, missing sleep and cutting back hours at work. (New Zealand Herald)

Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface Publishes the First Comprehensive Neurostimulation Guidelines

Aug. 12, 2014 - The  Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee, comprised of 60 experts convened by the International Neuromodulation Society (INS), publishes the first comprehensive guidance on the use of neurostimulation for chronic pain and ischemic disease in the August 2014 issue of the official journal of the INS, Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. (Newswise)

Medical Center to Offer Deep Brain Stimulation for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Aug. 11, 2014 - The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center will be offering deep brain stimulation to certain patients who have obsessive compulsive disorder through an FDA Humanitarian Device Exemption, which generally enables patients to seek insurance coverage for the procedure. (

Public Media Program Features Boston-Area Research Into Brain Stimulation and Decision-Making

Aug. 7, 2014 - The Boston public radio station features reporting about research into decision-making and brain stimulation. An application of the research may be to help veterans with traumatic brain injuries who have difficulty weighing cost-benefit decisions, according to one researcher interviewed who is studying stimulation to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. (WBUR)

Children's Hospital Adds Sacral Neuromodulation Capability

Aug. 8, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Steven Teich, MD was interviewed about a new pediatric sacral neuromodulation implant service offered by the Surgical Neuromodulation Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The interview concerned the case of a 16-year-old Northern California girl who had had to use a permanent tube in her abdomen to flush her digestive system with a saline solution in an often-painful and time-consuming process. The news coverage says the device "addresses communication problems between the brain and the nerves that control bowel and bladder function." For an average patient, it may take 6-12 months to have the colon begin functioning more normally. (WFMZ-TV)

Article Sees Bright Future for Electrical Implants

Aug. 7, 2014 - An article about the newly emerging field of electroceuticals mentions a recently approved neurostimulation device for obstructive sleep apnea (as well as other neuomodulation products under development) and predicts, "Within a decade or two, electrical implants could treat a wide range of common conditions." (Newsweek)

Researchers Identify Possible Biomarker for Parkinson's Disease Stimulation Target

July 30, 2014 - Microelectrode recordings may help optimize the location of deep brain stimulation for patients with Parkinson's disease, with the beta-band frequency peaks that are enhanced by the disease being recorded and weighed together to map neuroanatomical variability in patients in an off-medicine state, serving as a biomarker for the location of the subthalamic nucleus sensiorimotor neurons, according to a study of 20 patients over more than two years of follow-up. International Neuromodulation Society member Damianos Sakas, MD, PhD and co-authors validated this hypothesis by showing a statistically significant difference in maximum peaks in 9 patients who responded well to deep brain stimulation versus 11 who did not; saying that the putative biomarker could provide intra- and post-operative support in optimizing stimulation of the therapeutic target. (IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics)

Article Considers the State-of-the-Art in Neuromodulation Methods

July 15, 2014 - An overview of therapeutic neuromodulation describes current and emerging methods of stimulating or inhibiting neurons, and concludes that there is a trend toward multimodal neuromodulation. The authors say electrical neural stimulation "remains the gold standard" in clinical use but "the days of using just electrical stimulation on its own may be numbered." (Frontiers in Neuroengineering)

Sinus-Cavity-Based Stimulation Device is Under Consideration as a Potential Approach to Treating Alzheimer's Disease

Aug. 5, 2014 - Wedge Therapeutics, a privately held medical device development company in St. Paul, Minn., acquired technology for minimally invasive brain stimulation using a sinus cavity device, a sphenoid and olfactory nerve stimulation system (SONS), in 2013. To explore its potential application in treatment for Alzheimer's disease, the company is currently seeking investment and industry partnerships. (Business Wire)

Intrathecal Baclofen's Role in Regulatory Circuits Investigated

August 2014 - International Neuormodulation Society members Damianos Sakas, MD, PhD, and Stylianos Gatzonis, MD, are among the co-authors of an article describing the impact of intrathecal baclofen (ITB) on a neuropeptide, orexin-A, that is implicated in regulation of processes that include arousal and reward. The orexin-A levels in the cerebrospinal fluid went down in nine individuals who received ITB for hypertonia, such as spasticity associated with dystonia. (Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology)

Review Examines Deep Brain Stimulation in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

August 2, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Veerle Visser-Vandewalle, MD, PhD, contributed to a review article about deep brain stimulation (DBS) for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The article reviews 25 studies involving 99 patients and five different DBS targets, noting 200 individuals have received DBS for medically refractory OCD since 1999. The authors conclude that for treatment-refractory OCD, DBS seems relatively safe and promising although no superior target was identified, and more research is needed to personalize treatment of severely affected individuals. (BioMed Central)

Report Describes a Possibly New Stimulation Target for Medically Refractory Headache

July-August 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Chandan Reddy, MD, has co-authored a case report of what may be the first published report of stimulation to the great auricular nerve to treat medically refractory post-traumatic headache. (Pain Physician)

Neuromodulation is Called a Third Treatment Domain for Some Conditions

Spring 2014 - An article about non-invasive electrical stimulation for medically refractory depression or other conditions calls neuromodulation a "third domain" in addition to medicine and psychotherapy for treating difficult psychiatric conditions. (U Magazine)

Article Reviews Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Studies in Addiction

July 28, 2014 - In a review of 19 studies involving repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and addiction to tobacco, alcohol, cocaine or methamphetamine, a group of psychiatric researchers conclude that the currently experimental treatment appears to show promise. (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences)

New Mode of Magnetic Stimulation Studied for Mood Disorders

July 28, 2014 - Low field magnetic stimulation appears to have an immediate effect on mood in study subjects with major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder, according to double-blinded research published in Biological Psychiatry involving 63 volunteers. The stimulation was administered with a portable, tabletop device designed by the study author. (Harvard Gazette)

Column Considers Challenges of Adding a Neuromodulation Device to a Psychiatric Practice

June 2014 - Adding a transcranial magnetic stimulation device to a psychiatric practice calls for skills not introduced during initial medical education, as well as ongoing device support and industry interaction, balancing business considerations with impartial assessment of clinical need, say guest columnists in an editorial in an issue of Psychiatric Annals focused on therapeutic neuromodulation. (Psychiatric Annals)

Woman Seeks Insurance Coverage for Deep Brain Stimulation for Tremor Related to Multiple Sclerosis

July 24, 2014 - A multiple sclerosis patient who was referred to deep brain stimulation for her tremor plans to appeal the decision by her insurance company to not cover costs of the procedure on the basis of not being medically necessary. (WUSA-9)

Child Who Received Auditory Brainstem Implant Now Notices Sounds

July 23, 2014 - A 3-year-old boy born deaf who became the first of 10 pediatric patients in a clinical trial of auditory brainstem implant therapy is now responding to sounds, two months after his surgery. (The Globe and Mail)

Closed-Loop Neurostimulation Device Maker Participates in Memory Research

July 22, 2014 - The maker of the first, and only, FDA-approved closed-loop responsive neurostimulation system, NeuroPace, Inc., announced its partnership with research teams at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Los Angeles that are working with epilepsy patients on the Restoring Active Memory Projects of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. (Digital Journal)

External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation to Be Studied as Adjunctive Therapy in One Type of Childhood Epilepsy

July 22, 2014 - The National Institutes of Health is supporting an open-label trial of external trigeminal nerve stimulation (eTNS) in children aged 8 to 18 as adjunctive therapy for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a challenging form of childhood epilepsy. The study at the Olive View-University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center in Sylmar, CA will involve nightly stimulation using an eTNS device from NeuroSigma, Inc. (Digital Journal)

Neuroprosthetics Researcher to Head Center in Switzerland

July 18, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member John Donoghue, PhD, a neuroscientist at Brown University who works on brain-computer interfaces, will direct the new Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-Engineering in Geneva. Funded with more than $100 million from a foundation started by Hansjörg Wyss, the center will have more than a dozen labs for research such as neuroengineering and regenerative engineering. (Science)

Parkinson's Patient in the UK Describes Benefits of His Deep Brain Stimulation

July 22, 2014 - In a profile of a Parkinson's disease patient who received deep brain stimulation 13 years after his diagnosis, his neurosurgeon said that relatively few Parkinson's disease patients in the United Kingdom are offered deep brain stimulation due to lack of awareness among sufferers and throughout the medical profession. Also, a representative of the charity Parkinson's UK said disagreements about who should pay may have an impact in some areas. (

Early Tests Reported Concerning Steering Technology for Deep Brain Stimulation

July 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society (INS) member Claudio Pollo, MD and colleagues report intraoperative testing of directional deep brain stimulation compared to omnidirectional stimulation in 13 patients with either Parkinson's disease or essential tremor; the first testing of directional stimulation suggested by computed models in humans. They report the therapeutic window was wider in the best direction of stimulation, while the therapeutic current threshold was lower, and call for chronic implantation to further confirm the findings. INS member Alexander Green, FRCS(SN) and Prof. Tipu Aziz published a commentary about this steering technology. (Brain)

Non-invasive Optogenetics Research Advances in Animal Studies

July 17, 2014 - Researchers at MIT are developing a light-sensitive protein in optogenetics research that, in mice, has been shown to suppress neuronal activity non-invasively, with exposure to a light source outside the brain, to a depth of up to 3 millimeters. (AANS Neurosurgeon)

Non-invasive Stimulation Studied to Improve Reasoning, Learning and Memory

July 16, 2014 - The U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity is funding a a three-and-a-half-year, $12.7 million program, "Strengthening Human Adaptive Reasoning and Problem-Solving," SHARP, through a Boston-based contractor, Charles River Analytics. The University of New Mexico (UNM)  and Georgia Tech are partnering to use brain-building games in combination with meditation or mindfulness training and transcranial direct current stimulation to improve memory and problem-solving. Over the months of the training in the study, progress is tracked using fMRI. A researcher at the UNM Psychology Clinical Neuroscience Center said that as the approach is developed, it might become a less-expensive alternative to pharmaceuticals to address mental conditions and try to restore more effective brain function. (Medical Xpress)

Proponent Calls for Cooperation and Collaboration in Brain-Research Efforts

July 14, 2014 - "We need to support and fund every rational strategy that could make headway in our understanding of the brain," says U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah in a column responding to an open letter by scientists critiquing the European Union's effort to simulate the brain, the Human Brain Project. (Huffington Post)

$22.5 Million Brain-Mapping Project Will Investigate Boosting Memory

July 9, 2014 - As part of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency initiative on "Restoring Active Memory" scientists and physicians at the University of Pennsylvania will be seeking biomarkers of memory by mapping brain activity of neurosurgical patients with epilepsy or Parkinson’s disease who participate in carrying out memory games as part of the study. In the four-year, $22.5 million project, patients will be recruited at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and six other centers: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Emory University Hospital, the University of Washington Medical Center, the Mayo Clinic and the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. (Penn News)

Segment Features "Brain Radio" Technology Study

July 8, 2014 - Calling it a "stunning innovation" that is just beginning, a regional television segment features work on recording-and-stimulating brain targets in Parkinson's disease patients, which is being carried out in neuroscience research at Stanford University. The device is referred to as a "brain radio" since it can transmit information about neural activity as well as receive stimulating pulses. (KTVU)

News Feature Surveys Brain Research Providing Insight Into the Functional Basis of Memory

July 9, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ashwini Sharan, MD, was quoted in a story about brain recording in epilepsy patients to try to identify seizure origin -- evaluations that can simultaneously provide information about neural circuitry and memory. (New York Times)

Researchers Rule Out Gastrointestinal Transit Rate to Explain Improvements from Sacral Neuromodulation

July 4, 2014 - Small-intestine transit patterns remained steady in patients with diarrhea-predominant or mixed irritable bowel syndrome after four weeks of sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) during a small crossover trial at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark. The researchers note that SNS helps limit frequency, urge, and time on the toilet and reason those benefits may come from moderating colorectal sensory perception. (Healio)

Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Pilot Study Planned in Treatment-Resistant Anorexia

July 2014 - A Toronto-based center is starting a clinical trial of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in treatment-resistant anorexia nervosa. The pilot study targets the insula, which plays a role in perception, mood, anxiety and feeding. (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)

Epilepsy Brain-Stimulation Study Finds Switch for Consciousness

July 2, 2014 - Researchers at the University of Washington found that stimulating the claustrum when probing the brain of an epileptic woman for the origin of her seizures led to a temporary, reversible loss of consciousness. At the same time her frontal and parietal brain regions increased synchrony of electrical activity. While the results may not be fully generalizable since she had previously had part of her hypothalamus removed, the researchers believe lower-frequency stimulation of this area may help arrest an epileptic seizure or potentially help with recovery from minimally conscious state. (New Scientist)

NIH to Invest in Organ-System Peripheral Neurostimulation Development

July 3, 2014 - The NIH is expected to announce a $248-million, 6-year electroceuticals project, tentatively called Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC), to map nerves and electrical activity of five yet-to-be-decided organ systems -- a task compared to monitoring passing cars to predict which freeway exits they will take -- and then develop disease-treating, recording-and-stimulation electrode interfaces for them. (Nature News & Comment)

Low-Back Pain Clinical Trial Expands to Belgium

June 30, 2014 - The Belgium Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products has granted Mainstay Medical International plc permission to expand its clinical trial there of the ReActiv8 implantable neurostimulation device for low back pain. The clinical trial started in Australia in March 2014. (Wall Street Journal)

Guidelines for Overactive Bladder Treatment List Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation Third

June 30, 2014 - Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) is listed as a third-line therapy for overactive bladder in the recently updated guidelines from the American Urological Association and the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine & Urogenital Reconstruction, Uroplasty, Inc. announced. The company is the only manufacturer of a commercially available PTNS system, Urgent® PC. (MarketWatch)

Comparison Study Finds Burst Stimulation More Effective on Average Than Conventional Stimulation

June 26, 2014 - Burst stimulation was preferable to tonic stimulation in 102 patients who received spinal cord stimulation at a center in Belgium or one in the Netherlands. The patients had been receiving conventional (tonic) spinal cord stimulation and were either responders or had stopped responding to tonic stimulation. Of the group that no longer responded to tonic stimulation, 62.5% responded to burst stimulation, with an average pain suppression of 43%. Most responders to tonic stimulation responded further with burst stimulation, with average pain suppression in that group increasing from 50.6% to 73.6%. (Clinical Journal of Pain)

Pilot-Study Results Presented on Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Chronic Migraine

June 26, 2014 - Two posters at the American Headache Society meeting in California showed that a sham-controlled pilot study of electroCore's non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation therapy for chronic migraine met its safety endpoint and demonstrated a reduction in headache days for patients using the active device. (Digital Journal)

Sacral Neuromodulation Gains Ground with Increased Funding in the Province of Ontario

June 24, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Magdy Hassouna, MD, PhD is mentioned as one of two urologic surgeons in Ontario, Canada who provides sacral neuromodulation. An increase in funding from the Ministry of Health means 120 patients a year can now be treated for symptoms of overactive bladder and other urologic dysfunctions. (Toronto Star)

Early Results Reported on New Neurostimulation Lead for Pain Control in Amputees

June 2014 - In a proof-of-concept trial of a peripheral nerve stimulator intended to be less invasive and more flexible and stretchable for use in amputees, 14 of 16 patients experienced significant pain relief in a two-week trial, according to a presentation by International Neuromodulation Society member Richard Rauck, MD, at the 2013 annual Pain Medicine Meeting of the American Society for Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. (Pain Medicine News)

Review Documents Non-Motor Improvements from Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease

June 26, 2014 - A review of the scientific literature by a physician in Britain documents the effects of deep brain stimulation in improving non-motor symptoms, such as sleep disturbances, in addition to motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease, said to be the second most common neurodegenerative disorder in the United States. (Medical News Today)

Low-Frequency Stimulation of White-Matter Brain Tracts to Be Investigated in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

June 25, 2014 - A clinical trial starting at the George Washington University School of Medicine in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy will explore low-frequency stimulation of a white matter tract, that includes the fornix, to see if it reduces seizures without unduly impacting memory. In a previous study that used this stimulation mode temporarily in patients being monitored prior to surgery, low-frequency stimulation reduced seizures 92% while activating the hippocampus and other areas of the declarative memory circuit. That study was published in the Annals of Neurology in 2013 by Mohamad Z. Koubeissi MD and co-authors who are members of the International Neuromodulation Society: Emine Kahriman MD; Tanvir U. Syed MD, MPH; Jonathan Miller, MD; and Dominique M. Durand, PhD. (Newswise)

Retrospective Study Fine-Tunes Target for Deep Brain Stimulation in Dystonia

June 25, 2014 - A retrospective modeling study of 21 patients with DYT1-type dystonia who responded well to deep brain stimulation indicates the optimal stimulation target was a region of 135.5 cubic millimeters within the globus pallidus -- a "target within a target". (Medical Xpress)

Television Segment Features Overactive Bladder Treatment

June 24, 2014 - A woman who has received seven of her 12 weekly treatments for overactive bladder using posterior tibial nerve stimulation says she already has stopped having to get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. The Terre Haute, Indiana clinic where she receives her treatment has just started offering this service. (

Tinnitus Patients are Sought for Clinical Trial in Detroit

June 24, 2014 - The Henry Ford Health System in Detroit is recruiting patients with tinnitus for a clinical trial that compares sham treatment to vagus nerve stimulation paired with audio therapy. After six weeks, separate active and sham treatment groups will all receive active treatment. The center is one of four worldwide carrying out the study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. (Newswise)

Child Receives Deep Brain Stimulation to Control Her Dystonia

June 23, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member John Honeycutt, MD, was interviewed in a television segment about a 7-year-old girl in California who received deep brain stimulation for dystonia. Her procedure was done while she was asleep, and she has been showing improvements that should continue in the months to come. (ABC30)

UK Woman Awaits Word on Request for NHS to Provide Recommended Sacral Neuromodulation

June 19, 2014 - Due to what a local health authority termed  "gaps and inconsistencies," a Nottinghamshire, UK woman who has applied three times for a sacral neuromodulation implant to help her void her bladder over the last three years is still awaiting a response to her third request to the National Health Service. The 29-year-old woman was recommended for the operation by her consultant, who said it could "transform her life," which now involves catheterizing four or more times a day. (BBC News)

Technology Allows Paralyzed Patient to Move Hand

June 24, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society Director-at-Large Ali Rezai, MD, director of the Ohio State University Neuroscience Program, was interviewed by major news media about the first paralyzed patient to undergo a clinical trial involving technology developed by Battelle research labs to restore motion to a paralyzed hand. The technology enabled the 23-year-old patient to use an implanted microchip sensor and a "sleeve" of electrode stimulators to open and close his hand for the first time since a spine injury from a diving accident four years ago. Dr. Rezai performed the neurosurgery to place the sensor on the patient's motor cortex. The patient is the first of five potential participants in the six-month trial. His participation was described in the Washington Post. (CBS This Morning)

Five-Year Study Shows Significant Benefit of Adjunctive Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Treatment-Resistant Depression

June 23, 2014 - A five-year study of nearly 800 people with treatment-resistant depression showed that in the 494 patients who also had vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) as an adjunct to usual treatment, VNS was safe and resulted in significantly better response and remission rates than usual treatment alone. The data show a 20- to 30-point separation in response and remission between the two groups, according to the observational study presented in Florida at the American Society for Clinical Psychopharmacology Annual Meeting. (Medscape)

News Show Features Deep Brain Stimulation Patient Who Has OCD

June 23, 2014 - A man with obsessive compulsive disorder is featured in a CNN segment about deep brain stimulation that likens his condition to a "neurological hiccup". The segment follows him through post-operative programming. (CNN)

Injured Former Firefighter Becomes an Advocate for Spinal Cord Stimulation

June 22, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society President-Elect Dr. Timothy Deer explains when to consider spinal cord stimulation (SCS) as an option for chronic pain in a news feature about a former triathlete who eventually found relief for chronic pain through SCS after a sustaining injuries in an accident that required multiple surgeries. The former firefighter was able to return to work and stop taking pain medication. (Scoop San Diego)

In a Small Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial, Most Back-Pain Patients Preferred Burst Stimulation

June 19, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Stefan Schu MD, PhD and colleagues report a randomized controlled clinical trial in 20 patients who use spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for failed back surgery syndrome. In random order, for one week, the patients received 500-Hz tonic stimulation, burst stimulation, and placebo stimulation. Sixteen patients (80%) preferred the burst stimulation mode, which overall provided better pain relief and quality of life in the short term of the research study. The authors recommend expanded studies in patients who have not previously received SCS. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Sacral Neuromodulation Offered to Children at Pediatric Hospital

June 17, 2014 - Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio is piloting sacral neuromodulation in children for bladder and bowel control. A 16-year-old girl's case was described in which she had a permanent implant in May. For nine years, she had been unable to attend high school and underwent strictly timed, painful colon flushes that limited her ability to participate in activities. Her doctor said it may take 6 months to 1 year for the colon to begin functioning properly. The center has used the procedure on patients who have a missing or blocked passage for elimination of stool due to congenital imperforate anus. (

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Study in Post-Stroke Pain Indicates Possible Brain Networks Involved

June 17, 2014 - In 14 patients with central post-stroke pain and deficits in thermal perception, five sessions of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation targeted to the motor region for the affected area provided moderate pain relief for up to four weeks post-treatment. The analgesia correlated with improvements in detection of warmth, indicating the treatment mechanism may share circuitry for the processing of noxious and thermal signals, such as the insula and the somatosensory and anterior cingulate cortices. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Health Charity Brings Parkinson's Study of Deep Brain Stimulation to Parliament

June 16, 2014 - Saying "there's still a postcode lottery in the UK when it comes to accessing Parkinson's services," the health charity Parkinson's UK presented a study it funded with the Medical Research Council and the Department for Health on deep brain stimulation to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Research's summer reception. (Parkinson's UK)

Survey Identifies Factors That Influence Conversion to Spinal Cord Stimulation Implants

June 13, 2014 - A national survey of rates of conversion to permanent spinal cord stimulator (SCS) implants after a percutaneous trial found that relatively younger patients, those who had commercial insurance, and patients who had not previously attempted a percutaneous SCS trial were more likely to convert to a permanent implant. Of more than 20,000 percutaneous trials from 2000-2009 surveyed in the U.S., the overall conversion rate was 41.4%, with the highest rate (44.5%) in the North-Central region and the lowest (36.1%) in the Northeast. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Pilot Study Data Reported Regarding Spinal Cord Stimulation for Heart Failure

June 13, 2014 - The era of device therapy to modulate autonomic tone has arrived, and randomized controlled trials should help to discern the extent of the promise, according to a commentary on a report from the Heart Rhythm Society Annual Scientific Sessions regarding 17 heart failure patients who participated in a clinical trial of spinal cord stimulation (SCS). With a mean followup of 18 months, the results of the first-in-man trial of dual-targeted high-thoracic SCS for systolic heart failure demonstrated safety and improved symptoms, functional status, left ventricular function and remodeling. (Healio)

Flexible, Wireless, Sensing-and-Stimulating Electrodes to Be Prototyped in Research Collaboration

June 11, 2014 - Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has received $5.6 million from the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency as part of the agency's Systems-Based Neurotechnology Emerging Therapies (SUBNETS) program. The laboratory previously contributed to development of Second Sight Medical Products's artificial retina, and in the SUBNETS program will work with Medtronic and collaborate with the University of California, San Francisco; UC Berkeley; Cornell University' New York University; PositScience Inc. and Cortera Neurotechnologies. LLNL plans to use thin-film technology and 3D packaging to develop flexible neural interfaces with hundreds of electrodes that operate wirelessly. (

Friends of Trigeminal Neuralgia Patient Seek Funds for Neurostimulation Implant

June 11, 2014 - A woman who seeks an off-label neurostimulation implant to control her chronic face and head pain is the subject of a fund-raising drive to try to raise $72,000 for the procedure. She has had trigeminal neuralgia with attacks almost weekly for five years, possibly related to sinus infections and repeat surgeries. (Missoulian)

Michigan Epilepsy Patients Receive Responsive Neurostimulation Implants

June 11, 2014 - The Grand Rapids, MI-based Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital is one of 10 U.S. centers approved to implant the new NeuroPace Responsive Neurostimulation System. The first two Michigan patients received implants there in May to control symptoms of their epilepsy. (Medical Xpress)

Cluster Headache Therapy Results Released

June 10, 2014 - In the 10-center PREVA clinical trial in Europe, after three to four weeks of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation therapy, 45 patients with cluster headache saw their number of incidents decrease by 46.3%. Another 48 patients who were randomized to receive the best available standard of care had a decrease of 12.5%. The stimulation was delivered using the gammaCore device by New Jersey-based electroCore Medical, LLC. (News-Medical.Net)

Florida Television Station Interviews Patient Who Prefers Neurostimulation to Ongoing Painkiller Use

June 10, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Louis Raso, MD, describes the advantages of a newer spinal cord stimulator system that captures back pain without paresthesia to the legs, in an interview that also features a chronic-pain patient who says he benefited from the device. (WPLG)

Study: Adjusting Pulse Width Can Limit Side Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation

June 10, 2014 - Shorter pulse widths may avoid deep-brain-stimulation-related side effects for Parkinson's disease patients, according to a 15-person clinical study in Europe that was announced at the 18th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders in Stockholm. The Boston Scientific Corporation CUSTOM-DBS study in used its Vercise DBS System, which is undergoing a U.S. clinical trial, INTREPID, for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. (MarketWatch

Pennsylvania Women's Health Center to Offer Sacral Neuromodulation

June 9, 2014 - Following training in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Lebannon and London, an obstetrics and gynecology practitioner who joined the Women’s Health Center at Cole Memorial Hospital in Coudersport, PA offers sacral nerve stimulation for some cases of treatment-resistant urinary or fecal incontinence. (The Bradford Era)

More Spinal Cord Stimulator Patients Could be Accommodated by Newcastle-Area Clinic

June 6, 2014 - The pain management team at the Royal Victoria Infirmary of the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust treats some 600 patients with chronic pain who use spinal cord stimulators, but has room for at least 100 more to be referred by their general practitioner, according to a nurse consultant at the Northeast England facility. (BBC)

Magazine Publishes Experts' Roundtable Discussion of Spinal Cord Stimulation

June 2014 - Pain Medicine News has published roundtable discussion about spinal cord stimulation patient selection, imaging considerations, and advances, which was held by specialists in anesthesiology, neurosurgery, pain medicine and radiology, and moderated by the magazine at the December 2013 annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society. (Pain Medicine News)

Station Features Tinnitus Patient Who Hopes to Join a U.S. Clinical Trial Involving Vagus Nerve Stimulation

June 4, 2014 - A church choir director hopes to participate in a U.S. clinical trial that combines sound therapy with vagus nerve stimulation, having already found some relief in sound therapy alone. (KFSN)

Researchers in Germany Report an Investigative Brain Stimulation Target for Severe, Refractory Tourette Syndrome

June 2, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Veerle Visser-Vandewalle, MD, PhD and co-authors at the University of Cologne Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy report a case series of eight patients with medically intractable, severe Tourette syndrome who were treated with deep brain stimulation in the ventral anterior and ventrolateral motor part of the thalamus to improve motor and emotional stability. Follow-up of up to one year indicated these duel stimulation targets may be a valuable option with a low side-effect profile. (Biological Psychiatry)

Clinicians Demonstrate Benefits of Directional Deep Brain Stimulation

May 30, 2014 - In the first demonstration in humans, neurologists and neurosurgeons in Switzerland and Canada report in the journal Brain that 13 deep brain stimulation patients were involved in an intraoperative double-blind pilot study that showed that when using a smaller, directional electrode for stimulation, 43% less current was required for beneficial stimulation than with omnidirectional stimulation, and the therapeutic window to achieve the stimulation target was 41% wider, although computational modeling indicated the volume of tissue activated was only 4.2 cubic mm in the directional mode, as opposed to 10.5 cubic mm in the omnidirectional mode. (Medical News Today)

Preclinical Study to Enhance Deep Brain Stimulation Identifies Neuronal Role in Stress Response

May 28, 2014 - A study of synaptic modifications in mice, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, might help to refine deep brain stimulation for depression, according to researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. They found that neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex were more excitable in depressed mice, but harder to excite in mice that exhibited resilience to environmental stressors, and plan to look more closely into excitatory or inhibitory factors. (Scientific American)

Future Closed-Loop Brain Stimulation Systems Will Need Low-Power Embedded Microprocessors

May 27, 2014 - An electrical and computer engineering professor who heads Rice University's Realtime Neural Engineering Laboratory and is an assistant professor of neurology at Baylor College of Medicine is working on developing deep brain stimulation that uses real-time computer processing to monitor and respond to changes in the brain. He says energy demands from this more precise approach, which should limit unwanted stimulation beyond the target, is one challenge in realizing the advance. (Medical Xpress)

Pioneer in Using Functional Electrical Stimulation Holds Question-and-Answer Session

May 27, 2014 - Jennifer French, executive director of the Neurotech Network, participated over the weekend in a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session about her use of a functional electrical stimulation system to stand and transfer after incurring a partial spinal cord injury during a 1998 snowboarding accident. (Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry)

Deep Brain Stimulation Viewed As Best of Options by Former Wales Rock Musician

May 27, 2014 - A 64-year-old former rock drummer from Wales, Pete Boot, describes how deep brain stimulation earlier this year has restored much of his mobility and should help slow the impact of the Parkinson's disease he has coped with for the past 20 years. (

Researchers Look to Light-Converting Nanoparticle to Devise Optogenetics Without Fiber Optics

May 23, 2014 - Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have received a three-year. $900,000 grant from the Human Frontiers Science Program for preclinical studies of "wireless" optogenetics in mice and fruit flies. The researchers will use a new nanoparticle that can convert infrared light to blue light, in lieu of needing fiber optics to deliver a light pulse. (R&D Magazine)

Engineers Publish A Way to Power Microstimulators Wirelessly

May 23, 2014 - A Stanford University electrical engineering team has published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences their results showing that a 2mm-long microstimulator deep within tissue can be powered at what is deemed to be safe exposure levels by using a flat, patterned external charger that causes radio waves to propagate in a focused fashion through tissue. The method was demonstrated in a miniaturized cardiac pacemaker in a rabbit. (R&D Magazine)

Data Analysis: Spinal Cord Stimulation is Superior but Underused for Chronic Pain of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

May 20, 2014 - An analysis of 16,455 patients with failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) from 2000 - 2009 showed that in the 395 who received spinal cord stimulation (SCS), they experienced lower complication rates at 90 days than the patients who underwent lumbar reoperation, and the overall cost at two years was lower. International Neuromodulation Society member Shivanand Lad, MD, PhD and co-authors conclude that although previous studies have demonstrated its superior efficacy for FBSS, SCS remains underused and warrants closer consideration for the management of chronic pain in patients with FBSS. (Spine)

Occipital Nerve Stimulation Study Presented at Physician Assistants' Annual Meeting

May 26, 2014 - A poster presented at the American Association of Physician Assistants meeting in Boston described a reduction in the severity and frequency of chronic recurring headaches in a small study of patients receiving occipital nerve stimulation in Indiana. The 17 patients had shown an improvement in symptoms through an occipital nerve block prior to stimulator implantation. The severity of headaches declined in six months from an average of 9 on a 10-point scale to 3.3. (Clinical Advisor)

Portable Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Device Receives Food and Drug Administration Approval

May 23, 2014 - Maryland-based eNeura announced it received FDA approval for its handheld SpringTMS system to relieve pain from migraines preceded by an aura. When users feel a migraine coming on, the mobile magnetic stimulator is held to the back of the head to temporarily depolarize nerve cells in the occipital lobe. Use of the device led to 38% of patients being pain-free within 2 hours of using the device, compared with only 17% of patients in the control group, in double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of more than 200 patients. (Mass Device)

Stroke Rehabilitation Study Using Magnetic Brain Stimulation Expands to More U.S. Centers

May 22, 2014 - Use of externally applied magnetic brain stimulation during occupational therapy for stroke rehabilitation helped 80% of patients regain use of their arm and hand, which was 30% more than possible with standard therapy, according to a pilot study of 30 patients at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. The study, which directs the brain stimulation using navigated GPS-like tracking created by Nexstim Corporation, has been expanded after its initial six months to include 12 more centers in the U.S. (PR Newswire)

Journal Article Analyzes Media Coverage of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

May 22, 2014 - Only 8 out of 218 popular news articles about transcranial direct current stimulation mention its possible adverse effects, or advised caution, according to an analysis by researchers at the Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montreal, which was published in Neuron. The authors make recommendations for a more balanced public discussion and view of the non-invasive stimulation, which has been presented in some news accounts as a potentially affordable, and even homemade, approach to cognitive enhancement. (Medical Xpress)

Experts Note Significance of Data on Spinal Cord Stimulation Wait Times

May 21, 2014 - Appropriate patient selection and referral to evaluation for spine surgery or pain medicine specialists should help to shorten wait times for spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and improve its chance of success, experts commented in an article about a poster at the American Academy of Pain Medicine 2014 annual meeting by Drs. Syed Rizvi and Krisha Kumar of the University of Saskatchewan. The poster about SCS wait times examined 437 patients and reviewed data from 443 patients. International Neuromodulation Society member Tim Deer, MD commented, "This information should encourage insurance companies to seek out centers of excellence and try to obtain access to SCS early in the severe nerve pain patient." (Pain Medicine News)

U.S. Woman Recounts Her Positive Experience with Neurostimulation for Treatment-Resistant Migraine

May 20, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member William Rosenberg and his patient were interviewed about neurostimulation therapy in a segment on Kansas City television. The piece reported that after a long search for an effective chronic migraine therapy, his patient received relief through occipital/peripheral nerve stimulation, which was covered by her insurance despite being off-label in the U.S. (WDAF-TV)

Neurostimulation Technologies Are Described as Showing "the Future is Now"

May 20, 2014 - Cyberonics Inc.'s AspireSR vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) system for epilepsy and Cirtec Medical Systems LLC's shrinking active-implantable devices are among the technologies presented in a column about futuristic advances that are already in implementation. The seventh-generation, wirelessly programmable VNS system with seizure response has CE mark approval and may be presented to the FDA with data from a recently completed clinical study. Meanwhile, Cirtec specializes in compact, hermetically sealed components and has provided contract services for neurostimulators targeting the brain, spinal cord, and vision restoration. (Medical Design)

Infant Said to Be Youngest to Receive Auditory Brainstem Implant in U.S. Clinical Trial

May 19, 2014 - A girl slightly less than 1 year old received an auditory brainstem implant in March as part of a clinical trial in the U.S. to investigate using the technology in young children who are not candidates for cochlear implants and never had the ability to hear. In the U.S. the implants are approved for patients aged 12 and older who have lost function of their auditory nerve due to cancer or an injury. The patient in Boston became the youngest to receive the implant as part of the clinical trial. (WBZ-TV)

Essential Tremor Patient Spreads Awareness About Deep Brain Stimulation

May 17, 2014 - A woman who benefited from deep brain stimulation for her essential tremor now gives talks to second-year medical students at Dartmouth College and to patient-support groups. The therapy allowed her to return to her occupation in hospital nursing. (Union Leader)

Neural Prosthetic System Under Development to Aid Movement After Partial Spinal Cord Injury

May 16, 2014 - The NEUWalk project in Europe has received some 9 million euros for research into an implanted microelectrode array that stimulates nerve roots in the spine to aid locomotion. The neural prosthetic system incorporates sensing microelectrodes and microprocessing. Two patients who have partial spinal cord injury are due to receive a tailored version of the device in the summer prior to a potential larger clinical trial. The preclinical version of the technology will be shown at the Sensor + Test measurement fair in Nürnberg, Germany June 3 - 5. The researchers believe such a system may have an application in Parkinson's disease as well. (

Technology Publication Features Vagus Nerve Stimulation for High Blood Pressure

May 14, 2014 - Saying it may not be until 10 years that an implantable vagus nerve stimulator system for high blood pressure that was demonstrated in preclinical work is ready, an article in Medgadget points out that the approach is inviting since a renal denervation trial of Medtronic's Symplicity system failed to meet a primary efficiency endpoint in its clinical trial. (Medgadget)

Data Presented Comparing Medical Treatment for Depression With Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

May 13, 2014 - A study of 306 patients with major depressive disorder showed that treatment with transcranial magnetic stimulation led to 53% reporting no or mild depression, compared to 38% of people on antidepressants reporting similar outcomes after the same length of treatment, according to a presentation at the 167th American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting. (Time)

Brain Stimulation Study Links Oscillation Frequency With Conscious Awareness

May 11, 2014 - A sleep study with 27 healthy volunteers in Frankfurt, Germany, used transcranial alternating current stimulation (tDACS) during periods of rapid eye movement to induce self-awareness through a lucid dream state that is considered closer to consciousness, in which without awakening, subjects could control the course of their dreams. The authors of the paper in Nature Neuroscience say this is the first time that stimulation (applied between the frontal and temporal regions of the brain at lower gamma frequencies of 25 and 40 Hz) linked, in a causal fashion, synchronous oscillations at that bandwidth to conscious awareness. They believe frontotemporal tACS might help restore dysfunctional brain networks involved in schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder, or help patients overcome post-traumatic nightmares. (Medical Xpress)

Burst-Mode Spinal Cord Stimulation Presented at Singapore Meeting

May 9, 2014 - Burst stimulation in spinal cord stimulation was described as influencing the medial pathway and thus helping take away the salience of pain, during a presentation at the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists annual scientific meeting in Singapore by one of the developers of St. Jude Medical's Prodigy device, which was approved for sale in Europe in April. At the same meeting,  the immediate past dean of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists' Faculty of Pain Medicine said he is trying to set up a registry for neurostimulation devices. (The Age)

Selective Stimulation of Barofibers Described in Preclinical Study of Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Lowering Blood Pressure

May 8, 2014 - Scientists writing in the Journal of Neural Engineering describe proof-of-concept data from five rats for a vagus nerve stimulation cuff device, with 24 electrodes, designed to address hypertension. The prototype device includes detection and signal processing to sense barofibers and selectively stimulate them to lower blood pressure while avoiding unintentional stimulation effects such as bradycardia and bradypnea. The rats' blood pressure was adjusted to 60% and the effect lasted up to five times longer than the stimulation. (Medical Xpress)

Six-Month Followup Data Presented for Spinal Cord Stimulation Programming Software

May 8, 2014 - In 140 patients who have used the Boston Scientific Corporation Precision Spectra(TM) Spinal Cord Stimulator System for six months to control low back pain, data show significant and sustained pain relief, according to results presented at the World Institute of Pain 7th World Congress in Maastricht, The Netherlands. The system includes 3D software to guide programming of stimulation, and the clinician programmer using this software has now been launched for sale in Europe. Patients with low back pain reduced their 10-point-scale pain scores from an average 7.15 to 2. 93, while those with severe low-back pain reduced their average score from an initial baseline of 8.78 to 3.68. (Wall Street Journal)

Auditory Brainstem Implant Procedure Performed on First Pediatric Enrollee in Los Angeles

May 7, 2014 - The first preschooler has received an auditory brainstem implant in a clinical trial of up to 10 young children who do not have intact functioning cochlear nerves and so would not respond to a cochlear implant. The 3-year-old boy from Montreal was operated on in Los Angeles. After confirming his brain was responding to stimulation of the cochlear nucleus on the brainstem, his physicians plan to turn the implant on in June. The procedure has been used on people who lost hearing due to a tumor or accident, and in non-hearing patients, would be expected to help the auditory system function if it is performed while the brain is still completing its development during early childhood. (Los Angeles Times)

Pilot Study of Deep Brain Stimulation in Alzheimer's Disease Shows Progress

May 6, 2014 - A team of researchers centered in Cologne, Germany report in Molecular Psychiatry that after 11 months, four of six patients in a pilot study of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease responded to bilateral deep brain stimulation to the nucleus basalis of Meynert. The Alzheimer's symptoms in these four patients remained stable or improved. The target in the medial forebrain was selected to stimulate release of acetylcholine since Alzheimer's disease is associated with loss of cholinergic neurons in this area that projects to the limbic system, which plays a role in the processing of memories. (WebMD)

Article Explores Popular Interest in Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

May 5, 2014 - Transcranial direct current stimulation is catching the interest of hobbyists interested in pursuing cognitive gains, according to a news feature in Wired magazine. (Wired)

Study: Shorter Longevity for Implantable Pulse Generators Used in Deep Brain Stimulation in Dystonia

May 2014 - Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have evaluated 470 consecutive Soletra implantable pulse generators and found that dystonia patients receiving pallidal deep brain stimulation needed more frequent stimulator adjustments and had a shorter longevity of their implantable pulse generator, compared to patients who received suthalamic and thalamic deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease or essential tremor. (Brain Stimulation)

Enrollment Complete in Clinical Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation in Alzheimer's Disease

May 1, 2014 - Toronto-based Functional Neuromodulation announced it has completed enrollment of 42 patients in a study of deep brain stimulation in mild Alzheimer's disease. The double-blind randomized controlled clinical trial, the ADvance Study, compares stimulation to the fornix with a control group of patients who receive no stimulation for 12 months, after which time the control group patients will also have their stimulators turned on. (NeuroNews)

Dystonia Patient Documents His Treatment Journey to Deep Brain Stimulation

May 1, 2014 - A dystonia patient who received deep brain stimulation to control his symptoms has produced a short film that was submitted to a competition at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting in Philadelphia. (YouTube)

Study Shows Dopamine Drops When Stimulation is Halted in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

April 30, 2014 - Fifteen patients who had stable obsessive compulsive disorder one year after receiving deep brain stimulation were studied with molecular brain imaging in a study in Biological Psychiatry. The imaging tracked fluctuations in the release of dopamine, which decreased after stimulation was turned off. The results suggest that enhancing striatal dopamine signaling may help relieve treatment-resistant symptoms of the disorder. (Medical Xpress)

Man Who Uses Newly Approved Visual Prosthesis Describes Its Benefits

April 30, 2014 - A man who was one of the first commercial users of Second Sight Medical's Argus II "bionic eye" visual prosthesis described how helpful it is to be able to counteract the impairment of his retinitis pigmentosa by now being able to distinguish between light and dark shapes and see contrasts. That change allows him to navigate his world much better, he said. (Mass Device)

Entrepreneurs Plan a Noninvasive Approach to Cognitive Enhancement

April 30, 2014 - Halo Neuroscience plans to use a range of electromagnetic approaches, including electricity, magnetic fields, infrared light, and radio waves, for its external devices to improve cognition. The company was started by Amol Sarva, PhD and includes former NeuroPace Inc. employees Daniel Chao, MD and Brett Wingeler, PhD. The company received a $1.5 million financing round backed by venture capital investor Marc Andreessen. (The Verge)

News Coverage Presents Spinal Cord Stimulation as an Option in Chronic Back Pain

April 30, 2014 - A special report on using spinal cord stimulation for back pain says it has been around since the 1960s but it has taken off in recent years, is covered by medical insurance, and can be an option a physician might consider in cases of chronic pain. A patient who did not receive relief from repeat back surgery is profiled. (Kiii News)

Community Turns Out to Help a Patient Who Plans to Travel to Receive Deep Brain Stimulation

April 29, 2014 - Friends organized a community event to help raise money for a Parkinson's disease patient who plans to have deep brain stimulation surgery out of town, in Kansas City. For a nominal fee, 300 people donned glow-in-the-dark attire to participate in the event, which included a 1.6-mile race followed by a dance and obstacle course. (Hays Daily News)

Authors Propose Ways to Foster Research into Neurological Devices

April 22, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD, and co-authors write in Neurology that "both the structure of clinical trial funding and the current regulation of device research" dissuade "formal and prospective research with novel devices or novel indications". They suggest five remedies, including combining federal grant awards with regulatory approval and providing private insurance for clinical trials. (Neurology)

Pediatric Dystonia Patients Receive Deep Brain Stimulation

April 28, 2014 - A girl who regained mobility after receiving deep brain stimulation for dystonia sat with her mother at a news conference while the doctor described the operation. She was one of six children treated at Phoenix Children's Hospital. (KTAR)

Review: Deep Brain Stimulation Reduces Symptoms of Treatment-Resistant Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

April 25, 2014 - Five randomized controlled trials of active vs. sham deep brain stimulation in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) through April 2013, comprising 44 subjects, indicate that the treatment had a significantly lower mean score in symptoms, representing partial remission of treatment-resistant OCD. However, there were significant adverse effects experienced in one-third of cases (16). (Psychological Medicine)

Interviewers Assess Impact of Patient's Approach to Being Referred to Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease

April 25, 2014 - Researchers interviewed 39 men and eight women who received deep brain stimulation (DBS) implants at the University Hospital of Northern Sweden between 2002 - 2010, and three additional female DBS patients to achieve a more gender-balanced sample. The results suggest that many patients "have to argue and struggle with their clinicians in order to be referred to a DBS-team," the authors write. They also believe that outlook and approach may contribute to a gender-skewed distribution of treatment. (BMC Neurology)

Combined Cochlear Stimulation and Nerve Growth Factor May Enhance Hearing, Animal Study Indicates

April 24, 2014 - Researchers at the University of New South Wales carried out studies in guinea pigs to see whether gene therapy can maintain the health of auditory nerves to enhance the dynamic range of cochlear implant stimulation while permitting a lower stimulus threshold. In deaf guinea pigs, the team used the phenomenon of electrically opening pores in the nerve cells to introduce naked DNA -- without a viral vector -- that codes for production of neurotrophin. As they report in Science Translational Medicine, the nerve growth factor was seen to influence nerve regeneration, so that the auditory nerve naturally grew toward the cochlea, improving the animals' hearing. (Medgadget)

Responsive Neurostimulation Called a "Welcome New Arrival" for Treatment of Medically Refractory Epilepsy

April 22, 2014 - A two-year followup on the capability to use responsive neurostimulation (RNS) to treat refractory epilepsy indicates, two co-authors write, that "long-term RNS treatment is safe, and that efficacy improves with time. . . . RNS is a welcome new arrival in the armamentarium of epilepsy treatments." (Nature Reviews Neurology)

Retrospective Study Looks at Spinal Cord Stimulation Conversion from Percutaneous Trials

April 23, 2014 - Using data from MarketScan, a database that contains longitudinal patient billing data for 170 million patients from 2000 - 2009, a medical student reported at the recent annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons that 41.4% of U.S. patients had opted for a permanent spinal cord implant after a percutaneous trial. Conversion rates were higher in the North-Central and Southern states as opposed to the Northeast and West. (Medscape)

Magazine Notes Shift in Deep Brain Stimulation Acceptance

May 2014 - A news feature about deep brain stimulation highlights a neurologist-neurosurgeon team who have worked since 2002 in Florida, saying the technique is "one of the most exciting treatments in modern medicine" and "it's easy to imagine a future where brain implants may become as common as hip replacements". (Smithsonian)

Preliminary Findings Presented About Spinal Cord Stimulation System Offering Additional Contacts

April 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Salim Hayek, MD, PhD, presented a retrospective study at the December 2013 annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society INS chapter, in which more than 200 patients were trialed with the Boston Scientific Corporation Precision Spectra spinal cord stimulation system. The system allows for up to 32 contacts -- double what was previously available. Prospective and comparative effectiveness research studies have begun, and data from a three-month followup of 32 patients showed a drop in average pain score from 7.05 to 2.96. INS member Tim Deer, MD, was quoted as commenting that the three-month findings are interesting but a cost analysis and prospective data would provide more information. 

Profile of a Stanford University Professor Recaps Milestones in Optogenetics and Brain Mapping

April 21, 2014 - A feature in the New York Times describes the development of optogenetics, and profiles one contributor to its development, the Stanford University Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Karl Deisseroth, MD, PhD. The article is one of four news features about brain mapping that the newspaper has published in the past year, and it also mentions brain-mapping work that his team presented at the November 2013 annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego. (New York Times)

Husband and Wife with Chronic Pain Both Benefit from Receiving Spinal Cord Stimulators
April 18, 2014 - A husband and wife in Indiana who are in their 50s both had spinal cord stimulation systems implanted for chronic back pain and can now live more active lives and continue working. Their provider said the effects of neuromodulation are among the most dramatic in his pain practice. (News-Sentinel)

Korean Charity Agrees to Help Finance Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Children with Medically Refractory Epilepsy

April 17, 2014 - A charity group in South Korea agreed to provide support so that children with drug-resistant epilepsy can receive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) to limit their seizures. Up to 25 patients will be supported each year, with priority to families that cannot afford medical care. The commitment will be for up to 2 million won (approximately $2,000 in U.S. dollars) in medical bill coverage per patient. The agreement was formalized in a memorandum of understanding between a medical society, the Korean Child Neurology Society, and a charity group, the Supporters Society for Korea Parents of the Disabled Association. Since April 2013 the charity group has already enabled eight pediatric patients to receive VNS implants. (Korea Times)

News Feature Describes Deep Brain Stimulation to Manage Symptoms of Movement Disorder

April 15, 2014 - In a news feature for Parkinson's disease month, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine neurosurgeon Jeffrey Cozzens, MD, a member of the International Neuromodulation Society, is interviewed about how some 80-90% of patients who meet criteria to receive deep brain stimulation to control tremors notice some improvement, even though the disease itself can still progress. Having performed more than 350 of these surgeries over the years, he remarked that these patients are his happiest and thrilled to "get their lives back". (Devils Lake Journal)

Profile Features Patient Who Received Robotic-Assisted Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery

April 15, 2014 - In a profile of a patient who received robotic-assisted deep brain stimulation surgery for essential tremor, a physician explains that the technology allows patients to be able to move a little and be more comfortable during the surgery, as well as shortening the time it takes to perform. (Florida Times-Union)

Article Centers on Importance of Training in Reducing Implant Risk

April 15, 2014 - A presentation submitted to an upcoming medical meeting by International Neuromodulation Society member Shivanand P. Lad, MD concerns data from 12,300 insurance claims for spinal cord stimulation implants that indicate almost one in 100 cases show some degree of spinal cord or spinal nerve-root damage, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal. INS member and journal Editor-in-Chief Robert M. Levy, MD, PhD was attributed to say that uneven training across medical specialties and a perception that such implants are easy to perform is often at the root of surgical complications. Among other sources, the article also quotes INS member Gilbert Fanciullo, MD, director of pain medicine at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, about the importance for practitioners to be familiar with implantation risks. (Wall Street Journal)

Primary Head Pain Case Series Examines Combined Occipital and Supraorbital Stimulation

April 15, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Shannon Hann, MD, presented a case series at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons 82nd Annual Meeting in which 14 of 20 patients with medically refractory primary headache found pain relief of more than 50% through combined neurostimulation of occipital and supraorbital nerves over a mean followup of 34 months. Patients with facial pain developed allodynia and had to have the systems removed. She said the combined stimulation bears further investigation and on average appears that it may be more effective than occipital stimulation alone. (Medscape)

Urologists Stage Debate Regarding Overactive Bladder Treatment Options

April 14, 2014 - In a urology meeting debate concerning treatment with botulinum toxin or sacral neuromodulation for overactive bladder, sacral neuromodulation advantages mentioned included that it can enhance voiding and defecation, which may also present problems in these patients. (European Association of Urology)

Spinal Cord Stimulation in Four Spinal Cord Injury Patients Enables Voluntary Movement After Complete Paralysis

April 9, 2014 - Spinal cord stimulation allowed four people with paraplegia to move previously paralyzed muscles, according to a news release by the National Institutes of Health, which partially funded the study along with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. The research (also covered in the Wall Street Journal and other publications) was published Tuesday in the journal Brain. "Neuromodulation of the sub-threshold motor state of excitability of the lumbosacral spinal networks was the key to recovery of intentional movement," the authors write. (Los Angeles Times)

U.S. National Radio Broadcast Features Essential Tremor

April 7, 2014 - A woman who had deep brain stimulation for essential tremor 15 years ago was featured in a radio broadcast about the condition. She said she cried when stimulation was first applied and quoted her tremors, which have returned to a small degree but do not interrupt her life anymore. (NPR)

Restrospective Study Indicates Electrode Placement Affects Outcomes of Subthalamic Nucleus Stimulation

April 4, 2014 - Twenty-seven authors of a retrospective analysis of 309 patients who received deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) for Parkinson's disease in France report in Neurology that the STN is the best target to control motor symptoms, postoperative cognitive deficit is mainly related to the surgery itself, and hypomania induced by stimulation in 19 cases appears to stem from both the disease characteristics (younger age, shorter disease duration, higher levodopa responsiveness) and a more ventral location of the electrode in the STN. (News-Medical.Net)

Vanderbilt Research Into Early-Stage Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease Enters Pivotal Clinical Trial

April 3, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society members Peter Konrad, MD, PhD, and Joseph Neimat, MD, of Vanderbilt University are part of a long-term study of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in early-stage Parkinson's disease, which has moved into a large Phase III, multi-center safety and efficacy trial. (Vanderbilt)

Former Radio Host Expresses Gratitude for Access to Deep Brain Stimulation for his Parkinson's Disease

April 2, 2014 - A former resident of the U.S. who stopped hosting a radio show after developing Parkinson's disease describes in a radio interview how he got up out of a wheelchair and strolled down a hall after his deep brain stimulation implant was activated. He said he was grateful that the government in Canada covered the cost of the therapy, voicing concern that it might have been costly for him to try to obtain in the U.S. (CBC Radio)

Pain Physician Helps Chronic Pain Patient Regain Quality of Life in Australia

March 31, 2014 - In anticipation of a public pain day on April 13, 2014 in Hobart, Australia, a patient is featured who eventually found relief after receiving a spinal cord stimulator implant for chronic pain 12 years after a rare abdominal bleeding condition, portal vein thrombosis, at the recommendation of a pain physician. She said the device lowered her pain 80% and within 24 hours wanted to stop her opioid medication. (The Examiner)

Review Details Expanding Uses of Peripheral Nerve Stimulation

May 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Teodor Goroszeniuk, MD and co-author David Pang, FRCA write in a review of peripheral neuromodulation that new technologies for more easily and safely placing electrodes percutaneously should further expand its uses; in addition to intractable headache, uses include neuropathic, visceral, cardiac, abdominal, low back and facial pain. Also under extensive investigation is its use in modulating organ function in treatment of syndromes such as epilepsy, incontinence and obesity with vagal, tibial and gastric stimulation. (Current Pain and Headache Reports)

Study Presented About Heating of Conditionally Safe Spinal Cord Stimulation Leads During MRI Full-Body Scans

April 2, 2014 - Medtronic Inc.'s principal electrical engineer, Heather Orser, PhD, presented a poster at the American Academy of Pain Medicine Annual Meeting in March regarding safety of a new full-body, conditionally MRI-safe spinal cord stimulation lead. Based on animal data and simulations of lead paths in human models -- combined with lead characterization analyses -- the results showed that the design for reduced radiofrequency-induced heating produced temperatures below 43º C for the full range of scenarios during 30 minutes of active scanning. (Healio)

Florida Hospital Uses Robot-Assisted Surgery for Implanting Deep Brain Stimulation Electrodes

March 31, 2014 - The Baptist Health medical center in Jacksonville, Florida has begun using the Mazor Robotics Renaissance Guidance System to perform bilateral deep brain stimulation. A patient who received the procedure for his essential tremor described how the implant helps control his symptoms. (First Coast News)

Researchers Watch Neuroplastic Response of Brain Networks to Cortical Stimulation

March 31, 2014 - Researchers in Japan combined repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and diffusion-weighted MRI to observe plasticity-related changes in brain regions that are affected through neural networks by the stimulation, but are not themselves stimulated. (Medical Xpress)

Girls Promote Epilepsy Awareness and Discuss Vagus Nerve Stimulation

March 28, 2014 - A student who received a vagus nerve stimulator two years ago to help control her epileptic seizures, and her younger sister, participated in an annual worldwide Purple Day campaign to raise awareness by telling of their experiences with the condition. The young woman has gone three months without a seizure and would like to be eligible for a driver's learning permit if she goes six months seizure-free. (Cowichan Valley Citizen)

Study: Disparities in Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease

March 2014 - An examination of  2.4 million discharges for Parkinson's disease from 2002 - 2009, conducted through hierarchical multivariate analysis of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, showed that although 4.7% of all Parkinson's disease discharges were of African American patients, only 0.1% of the Parkinson's disease discharges among African Americans were for deep brain stimulation (DBS), indicating a disparity in access to this care. The study authors say that even though African American patients are more often discharged from urban teaching hospitals with a higher-than-average density of neurologists, the patients received disproportionately fewer DBS procedures than their non-African American counterparts. (JAMA Neurology)

Fibromyalgia Study Links Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to Improved Quality of Life

March 26, 2014 - In a small, double-blind study in France, 38 fibromyalgia patients either received sham stimulation or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to the left primary motor cortex. After 14 stimulation sessions over 10 weeks, the patients were assessed for quality of life. In addition, PET scans were periodically performed throughout the treatment period. The study found that patients receiving active stimulation reported an improved quality of life and also had an increase in metabolism in the right limbic area. The study authors report in Neurology that the study provides Class II evidence for effectiveness of the intervention. (Health Day)

U.S. Patient Describes Her Heart Failure Symptom Improvement with Vagal Nerve Stimulation Device

March 24, 2014 - A woman who is controlling heart failure symptoms with investigational use of a CardioFit (TM) vagal nerve stimulation device by BioControl Medical is interviewed on Florida television. (WJXT - Jacksonville)

Motor Cortex Stimulation Shown to Improve Training in Controlling Robotic Arm through Brain Interface

March 24, 2014 - Collaborators at the University of Tubingen and National Institutes of Health report that training healthy subjects to use a brain-machine to control a robotic arm went better with electrical stimulation to the primary motor cortex than in a control group that did not receive that stimulation. As a follow-up, the procedure will next be tested in stroke patients. (Medical Xpress)

First Patients Begin to Receive New Responsive Neurostimulation System for Epilepsy

March 24, 2014 - Epilepsy specialists and patients discuss use of NeuroPace's RNS System and the advantages of responsive neurostimulation in controlling seizure activity, compared to the previously available option of continual vagus nerve stimulation. (New York Times)


Auditory Brainstem Implants May Slowly Become Less Rare

March 24, 2014 - More investigation in Europe in patients with congenital disease or trauma led to exciting results that spurred expanded interest in the U.S. for auditory brainstem implant which has been performed about 1,000 times worldwide in the last 30 years. Centers experienced in removing acoustic neuromas -- one main reason to seek the intervention -- may offer the technology. The capability is now offered in Northern Ohio at the University Hospital Case Medical Center and at the Cleveland Clinic. The House Clinic in Los Angeles developed and honed the procedure and performed the bulk of implantations in the U.S. (


Burst Spinal Cord Stimulation Technology Receives CE Mark Approval

March 20, 2014 - St. Jude Medical, Inc. announced CE Mark approval and European launch of its spinal cord stimulation (SCS) system, Prodigy™, that offers both tonic and burst stimulation for expanded therapy options. The rechargeable SCS system is subject to a U.S. clinical trial, SUNBURST™ (Success Using Neuromodulation with BURST) (St. Jude Medical)

Implants That Sense Neural Signals are Leading to Understanding of Brain Circuits

March 19, 2014 - Deep brain stimulation systems that can read out neural signals are contributing to studies into patterns that correlate with different symptoms of Parkinson's disease, potentially leading to creation of more tailored, responsive neurostimulation regimes. (Nature)


Retrospective Study Ranks Which Specialists Refer Chronic Pain Patients to Spinal Cord Stimulation the Soonest

March 18, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Krishna Kumar, MD said in an interview about a retrospective study of 532 patients who received spinal cord stimulation (SCS) that while SCS should be considered within the first 12 - 16 weeks of chronic pain (prior to changes occurring within the brain) to improve success rates, referrals varied by specialty, with neurosurgeons on average referring after 2.69 years, and orthopedic surgeons and anesthesiaiologists referring after 4.30 and 4.84 years, respectively. (Medscape)

Woman with Auditory Nerve Damage First in Northeast Ohio to Receive Auditory Brainstem Implant

March 13, 2014 - A woman who lost hearing due to benign tumors received an auditory brainstem implant (ABI) at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. In an announcement, a medical school professor was quoted as saying the effectiveness of ABI is limited. After the device is turned on in 6-8 weeks, she will undergo rehabilitation therapy to maximize the benefit of the additional sense of sound provided by the device. She was the first in Northeast Ohio to receive an ABI. Her surgeons consulted with the Los Angeles-based House Ear Clinic, which has performed the bulk of these surgeries nationally since their development in the 1970s. (Newswise)

Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Helps Man's Chronic Knee Pain

March 13, 2014 - A 42-year-old man who has suffered more than 16 years of knee pain due to accidents and osteoarthritis, considered too young to receive a joint replacement that may last only 20 years, was given a peripheral nerve stimulation implant after a successful trial. This was considered an uncommon application of the fairly common pain intervention. (Chicago Tribune)

Research Funding Announced for Study of Brain Stimulation in Stroke Rehabilitation

March 13, 2014 - The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has given a $1.5 million grant to a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Brain Plasticity Lab to compare gait training with or without brain stimulation in patients who have experienced a stroke. The neuromodulation treatment group will receive transcranial direct current stimulation in advance, and electrical stimulation in combination with motor training of the ankle. The investigator will also use MRI to see if there were any changes in cortical activity associated with the therapy. (


FDA Approves Device For Preventing Migraine Attacks

March 11, 2014 - The FDA announced it has given its first approval to a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation device meant to be used prior to the onset of pain -- the Cefaly headband-like device that stimulates the trigeminal nerve above the eyes. Designed to prevent migraines by being used daily for 20 minutes, the device is available by prescription, and may help patients who cannot tolerate migraine-prevention medication. Approval was based on a clinical study of 67 individuals in Belgium who experienced fewer migraines through its use, as well as a study of 2,313 users in France and Belgium, 53% of whom said they were satisfied and willing to buy the device for continued use. Cefaly is manufactured by STX-Med in Herstal, Belgium. (FDA)

Cardiologist Describes Neurostimulator Undergoing Clinical Trial in Heart Failure

March 11, 2014 - Patients who are not making progress having given current treatment a chance would be potential candidates for heart failure treatment using an implanted neurostimulator to treat the parasympathetic nervous system, a cardiologist says in a question-and-answer section accompanying an article about the first patient in Florida to receive the CardioFit™ nerve stimulator in a U.S. clinical trial of the device, which is approved for marketing in Europe. The device from Biocontrol Medical combines a sensor in the heart and stimulator on the vagus nerve. (Ivanhoe Newswire via WWSB)

High-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation Study Publishes Data from Two-Year Follow-up

March 11, 2014 - Twenty-four months of results were published in the March 2014 issue of Pain Medicine regarding a prospective European clinical study of high-frequency spinal cord stimulation for chronic, refractory low-back and leg pain. In the study of Nevro Corp.'s Senza system, back pain was reduced from an initial 8.4 out of 10.0 to 3.3, and leg pain was reduced from 5.4 out of 10.0 to 2.3. Of 82 patients trialed, 72 went on to permanent implants and 65 were available for a two-year follow-up. In addition to reduced pain, patients reported increased function, better sleep, and decreased opioid use. Adverse events resembled those seen with traditional spinal cord stimulation. Senza is authorized for sale in Europe and Australia, supported by European data published in Pain Medicine and in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface in 2012. In the U.S., the system is undergoing a pivotal randomized controlled clinical trial, with enrollment completed one year ago of 241 patients at 11 pain treatment centers. (PR Newswire)

Patient Recruitment Starts in Australia for Clinical Trial of Novel Back-Pain Stimulator

March 10, 2014 - Australia has cleared Mainstay Medical to begin a clinical trial of an implantable neurostimulation device for chronic low back pain, ReActiv8, which stimulates nerves that contract key muscles that stimulate the lower back. Patient recruitment has begun at three clinical trial sites in Australia. In June 2013, Mainstay presented results at the world congress of the International Neuromodulation Society regarding the company's recently concluded European Feasibility Study. (Medical Device Business Review)

Pain Registry Provides Evidence for Neuromodulation Therapy

March 7, 2014 - The Partnership for Advancement in Neuromodulation has published interim results of its pain registry in early view in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. The data from 579 patients at 40 study sites showed patient-reported pain relief was 58% at three months, 58% at six months, and 57% at 12 months. Slight more than 47% of patients stopped or decreased opioid use, while smoking was shown to significantly attenuate pain relief. (MDLinx)

Retrospective Analysis Indicates Spinal Cord Stimulation Success Increases When Started Within Two Years

March 6, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Krishna Kumar, MD, presented a poster at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine showing that in 443 patients with chronic pain, those who waited less than 2 years for spinal cord stimulation had a 75% success rate, compared to 15% for patients who waited 20 years,  (American Academy of Pain Medicine)

Clinical Trial Starts That Pairs Audio Tones and Vagus Nerve Stimulation to Reduce Tinnitus Symptoms

March 6, 2014 - The National Institutes of Health is starting a study that pairs vagus nerve stimulation and exposure to audio tones to try to reduce symptoms in patients who have moderate to severe tinnitus. The vagus nerve stimulation, provided by a device manufactured by MicroTransponder, Inc., is supposed to help re-wire the brain in response to the audio stimulation that is intended to reduce the perception of ringing in the ears that occurs in tinnitus. The clinical trial at four U.S. centers involves daily 2.5-hour sessions over six weeks. (Health Day)


Physician Describes New Experiences with Auditory Brainstem Implants in Children
March 4, 2014 - An interview, an implanting physician describes the intricacies of new work in the United States with auditory brainstem implants for children who lack the neural structures for a cochlear implant. Three pediatric patients have been implanted so far by Craig Buchman, MD, professor of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, who directs the university's Ear and Hearing Center. (Ivanhoe Newswire via My Suncoast)

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Research Indicates Greater Plasticity in Brains of Insomniacs
March 4, 2014 - A research study comparing the ease of training insomniacs on a motor task to controls suggests that insomniacs may have a more-plastic brain. The study used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to the motor cortex to trigger a thumb movement. Subjects were asked to learn to counter the movement. Although it was hypothesized that insomniacs would be less-rested and do more poorly, they surprisingly did better, suggesting there is an association between this plasticity and "dysregulation of arousal" seen in insomnia. Potentially TMS might be used to treat insomnia, according to the author of the study at Johns Hopkins University. (Live Science)

Texas Medical Center Initiates Study of Emerging Deep Brain Stimulation Target in Treatment-Resistant Depression
March 4, 2014 - A clinical trial is starting at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in which five adults with treatment-resistant major depression will receive deep brain stimulation to the supero-lateral branch of the medial forebrain bundle, part of the brain's reward system between the limbic system and prefrontal cortex, an area that showed promise in a Bonn-based pilot study in seven patients in which preliminary findings were published in June 2013. (Newswise)

Concern About Medicare Distinctions Potentially Curbing Research into Deep Brain Stimulation
March 3, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Andre Machado, MD, PhD, and co-authors point out that a centralization of Medicare reimbursement policies for investigational medical devices, instituted in January 2014, offers two investigational device exemption categories, neither of which balances well reflecting potential therapeutic risks of applying these devices to emerging targets and indications while also being conducive to investment in development of these therapies. (Journal of the American Medical Association)

Deep Brain Stimulation Associated with Neural Stem Cell Proliferation in Parkinson's Disease Patients
March 3, 2014 - A comparative post-mortem tissue examination of the brains of individuals without Parkinson's disease, those with Parkinson's disease who did not receive deep brain stimulation (DBS), and 12 patients who had idiopathic Parkinson's disease and received deep brain stimulation from 0.5 - 6 years before dying of other causes showed that there was a 2-6 fold greater cell proliferation in the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles, an area of neural stem cell growth that lies close to the electrode trajectory, in the brains of the subjects who had DBS. The results suggest DBS may increase cellular plasticity, potentially in areas beyond the electrode location. The effects on Parkinson's disease symptoms and therapy are not clear. (PLoS ONE)

Effects of "Asleep" Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery Comparable Over Time to "Awake" Method for a Common Parkinson's Disease Brain Target
March 3, 2014 - Of 213 patients who received deep brain stimulation surgery targeting the subthalamic nucleus for management of Parkinson's disease symptoms while under general anesthesia, 188 were followed up after one year and 65 after five years. The resulting short-term and long-term motor effects were similar to intervention under local anesthesia, the authors state, and there were no more adverse effects. (Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry)

Researchers Describe Early-Stage Neurostimulation Research in Anorexia Nervosa
March 3, 2014 - The start of a Phase II trial of deep brain stimulation in anorexia nervosa, is described by Toronto-based researchers who have implanted 15 adults with chronic, treatment-resistant, or malignant cases of the eating disorder. Based on experience tracking response in depression to stimulation of the anterior cingulate, the team is focusing on the subcallousal cingulate of the anterior cingulate, noting that mood appears to be involved in the pathogenesis of anorexia nervosa. Another six patients have been enrolled and were awaiting surgery. (Psychiatric Times)

Biological Chemist in Munich Publishes Research Papers on Potential "Light Switches" for Sensory Processing
March 2, 2014 - A biological chemist has developed a light-sensitive compound, DENAQ, that acts on specific ion channels in response to white light, which has allowed it to restore light-sensitivity in the eyes of blind mice. The research on electrophysiological remodeling of mouse retinal ganglion cells was published Feb. 19, 2014 in Neuron; in Angewandte Chemie on Feb. 12, 2014, his research group showed that the painkiller fentanyl, when modified with an azobenzene unit, will bind opioid receptors and change shape when exposed to different frequencies of light, activating or deactivating receptor function. (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Study: Intensity, Not Area, of Spontaneous Neuropathic Pain Linked to Quality of Life

March 1, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Kaare Meir, MD, PhD and colleagues in Denmark studied 26 chronic pain patients who received spinal cord stimulation, measuring both the area of spontaneous neuropathic pain and the pain intensity. The study found a correlation in increased quality of life with decreased pain intensity, but not with decreased area of spontaneous pain. (Clinical Journal of Pain)

External Brain Stimulation Elicited Brief Increase in Awareness in Brain-Injured Patients

Feb. 26, 2014 - Using low-level transcranial direct current stimulation that makes neurons more or less likely to fire, a clinical research team was able to elicit briefly increased levels in awareness in 15 of 55 study subjects who had shown fluctuating awareness ("minimally conscious state") or an ability to be aroused but not aware (vegetative state). In the crossover trial published online in Neurology, patients received 20 minutes of active or sham stimulation to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex one day, and then crossed over to sham or active stimulation, respectively, the next. The responders included 13 brain-injury patients who were in minimally conscious state and 2 who had been classified as being in a vegetative state. (New Scientist)

Chronic Pain Advocacy Organization Re-emerges

Feb. 20, 2014 - The National Pain Foundation has re-emerged as a nonprofit organization, having transferred its assets to the American Pain Foundation in 2010, which disbanded in 2012. The National Pain Foundation announced a goal of creating a "digital footprint" of people in pain, their behaviors, treatments, and needs -- through online communities, surveys and forums. (Pain Medicine News)

Neurostimulation Technique for Chronic Migraine to be Offered at Arizona Facility

Feb. 20, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jonathan Carlson, MD, will be offering a peripheral nerve stimulation technique for chronic migraine in the Phoenix, Arizona area, according to a news release from the Migraine Treatment Centers of America. (Digital Journal)

Presentation Recaps Advantages of Brain Stimulation During Stroke Recovery

Feb. 20, 2014 - Stroke patients who receive brain stimulation and occupational therapy recovered more than twice the arm and hand movement six months after their stroke than those who received occupational therapy alone, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2014. (Clinton Herald)

Authors Give Overview of Neuromodulation Approaches in Cocaine Addiction

March 2014 - Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), deep rTMS, and deep brain stimulation are discussed as possible interventions for cocaine dependence in an article that also suggests potential genetic markers for risk and objective treatment outcome measures. (Addictive Disorders & Their Treatment)

Researchers Look at the Role of Inflammatory Mediators in Response to Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery in Major Depression

Feb. 18, 2014 - Animal research and evaluations of patients who received deep brain stimulation for treatment resistant depression indicate that immediate symptom relief is mediated by local inflammation, suggesting that post-surgical analgesics that are not anti-inflammatory would be preferable, say researchers from the University of Cadiz, Spain. They are trying to discern the molecular effects in case the therapeutic effect can be replicated less invasively. In May 2013, the team published findings in Molecular Psychiatry, "Early responses to deep brain stimulation in depression are modulated by anti-inflammatory drugs". (Medical News Today)

Peripheral Nerve Stimulation for Chronic Headache Reviewed

Feb. 14, 2014 - In a review, the current evidence for peripheral neurostimulation is summarized for treatment of chronic migraine, trigeminal autonomic cephalagias and occipital neuralgia, and other secondary headache disorders. (Headache - The Journal of Head and Face Pain)

Brain-Computer Interface Award Submissions Sought

February 2014 - The International Annual BCI Award submission deadline is July 1, 2014; the award -- $3,000 -- recognizes outstanding, innovative research in brain-computer interfaces and has been supported since 2010 by the Australian BCI equipment supplier g.tec. (g.tec medical engineering GmbH)

<Neuromodulation Research Grant Proposals for Parkinson's Research Due Next Month

February 2014 - Up to two years of funding for neuromodulation research into Parkinson's disease to relieve motor symptoms is offered by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Pre-proposals are due March 19. Ideal proposals involve clinical research or late-stage preclinical research in non-primates. The call for proposals calls deep brain stimulation a viable therapeutic option that provides benefit at low risk in appropriate patients although noting that the varying efficacy and side effects among subjects limits its full potential. (Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research)

Insights About Biomarkers of Depression Expand Future Treatment Options

Feb. 13, 2014 - An overview of new treatments for depression in Current Psychiatry mentions neuromodulation approaches and discusses theories about differences in neuron density; feedback pathways, and the role of stress in inflammatory response and cell turnover. (Medical Xpress)

Crossover Study Shows Benefit of Sacral Neuromodulation in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients Who Respond to a Percutaneous Trial

Feb. 6, 2014 - Surgeons from the Neurogastroenterology Unit at Aarhus University in Denmark report that in a randomized, controlled crossover study of sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), IBS-specific symptoms were significantly reduced during stimulation in the 21 participants, and conclude that SNS improves quality of life for highly selected IBS patients. The study subjects had a minimum baseline IBS symptom score of 40 points, reduced at least 30% during a percutaneous nerve evaluation prior to implantation. At one-year follow-up, the median IBS symptom sore had dropped from 62 to 25. (Annals of Surgery)

Authors Present 15-Year Follow-up on Prevention of Percutaneous Lead Migration

Feb. 11, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Richard North, MD and co-authors report a retrospective series of patients in which percutaneous lead anchors were secured with a small amount of adhesive in 291 patients from 1998 to 2006. When one case of migration was observed involving a short anchor, from 2007 to 2013, in 142 consecutive patients, only a long anchor was used and a fascial incision was added to accommodate its tip, as well as stronger suture material. With a mean follow-up of 2.86 years, no migration was observed in the second set of patients; in the first series, over a mean follow-up of 4.75 years, 1.37% (4) patients experienced lead migration requiring revision. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Health Column Examines Study of Transcranial Stimulation to Improve Math

Feb. 11, 2014 - A column in the Wall Street Journal looks at research at Oxford University into whether noninvasive transcranial electrical stimulation can help improve performance in math. (Wall Street Journal)

Researcher Presents Studies Into Depression and Neuromodulation in Ireland

Feb. 11, 2014 - Biomarkers are needed to screen for patients who would be most likely to respond to deep brain stimulation (DBS) for depression, according to Helen Mayberg, MD, who spoke to the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland. Mayberg said the treatment relieves psychic suffering so patients can be re-trained to engage in life in ways they are unused to, and that their previous therapeutic interventions continue. She said about 200 people have received DBS and about 80% of those in a clinical trial based in Atlanta have a sustained response, and 63% in a clinical trial based in Toronto have a sustained response. She also discussed her collaborations on brain imaging before and after cognitive behavioral therapy, which impacts the frontal cortex primarily, while drugs primarily impact the brain stem and limbic system. (Irish Times)

Heart Failure Patient Undergoes Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Clinical Trial

Feb. 9, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Esmiralda Henderson, MD's first patient where she established a deep brain stimulation (DBS) service at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines -- Iowa's second DBS center -- was videotaped showing how much the stimulation calms his essential tremor symptoms. (Des Moines Register)

Advantages of Early Screening and Implantation Documented for Diaphragm Pacing in Spine-Injury Patients

Feb. 7, 2014 - A retrospective study in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery of 22 spinal cord-injury patients who had received neurostimulation to aid breathing through diaphragm pacing just 40 days after injury found that 72% were able to breathe independently without a respirator after an average of 10 days. All the others had delayed or partial weaning but one who was taken off life-prolonging support after entering long-term acute care. Eight patients completely recovered the ability to breathe and the neurostimulation wires were removed. The study looked at 29 patients, seven of whom not did receive an implant because laparoscopic diaphragm mapping to electronically read diaphragm nerves showed their phrenic nerves were not intact. The Diaphragm Pacing System by Synapse Biomedical, Inc., NeuRx, has FDA humanitarian device approval for spinal cord injury patients and patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It received Health Canada approval in November 2013 for patients with ventilator-dependent spinal injury, and CE Mark approval in 2007 for diaphragm dysfunction. (Medical Express)

News Show Features Man's Success in Quieting Tourette Syndrome Tics through Deep Brain Stimulation

Feb. 5, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Brian Kopell, MD was interviewed regarding a patient whose more extreme tics caused by Tourette syndrome were quieted instantly when his deep brain stimulation system was programmed in September 2013. The patient's tics had included stumbling, punching himself in the head, and uttering profanities. A news report focused on the fact that the patient and his wife can finally go for walks while holding hands. (Good Morning America)

Meta-Analysis Shows Benefits of Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease

Feb. 2, 2014 - An analysis of randomized controlled trials comprising almost 1,200 patients up to April 2013 indicates that deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease "significantly improves patients’ symptoms, functionality and quality of life," a research team writes in The Journal of Neurology. They add that although the number of studies included (6) is small, the relatively large sample size does confirm treatment efficacy. (Journal of Neurology)

Psychiatrist Ponders Investigations Into Deep Brain Stimulation in Addiction, Other Conditions

Dec. 19, 2013 - A psychiatrist who teaches bioethics at Columbia University presents emerging clinical experience involving deep brain stimulation in addiction and other behavioral conditions. (Scientific American)

Researcher: Preclinical Optogenetics Work in Dopamine Circuits Might Influence Other Therapies

Feb. 4, 2014 - A researcher says her optogenetics work in rats might be used to understand and possibly treat other conditions by using  similar viral vectors to infuse therapeutic genes into relevant brain regions. In her research, rats sought alcohol less after low-frequency, prolonged stimulation of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area led to accumulation of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens, which had been thought to play a role in regulating alcohol consumption. Conversely, inducing phasic release of dopamine with brief high-frequency stimulation did not lead to less drinking of alcohol by the rats. (State University of New York at Buffalo)

Recordings Detail Coordination of Brain Centers in Planning and Executing Gait Control

Feb. 3, 2014 - A research team that took extracellular single-unit recordings  in the pedunculopontine nucleus of 10 Parkinson's disease patients during "awake" surgery for implantation of deep brain stimulators writes in Nature Neuroscience that different synchronous networks were activated during initial motor planning and actual motion, suggesting that changes in gait initiation in Parkinson's disease may result from disrupted network activity. (HealthCanal)

News Report: Futility Analysis Leads to Cessation of One Study of Deep Brain Stimulation in Treatment-Resistant Depression

December 2013 - The BROADEN (BROdmann Area 25 DEep brain Neuromodulation) Study has been closed, reportedly after a futility analysis did not support continuing St. Jude Medical's clinical investigation of the intervention in treatment-resistant major depressive disorder, following an FDA-approved expansion in 2011 of up to 20 sites and 231 patients. (Neurotech Business Report) (Neurotech Reports)

Parkinson's Disease Researchers See Promise in Preclinical Neurostimulation Studies

Jan. 30, 2014 - In a student newspaper interview, Duke university researchers say that dorsal column stimulation is less costly and invasive than deep brain stimulation and might be applied at an earlier stage in Parkinson's disease. Their study of long-term effects in a rat model of the disease required innovating electrode designs and surgical procedures to ensure a stable implant. The team plans to translate the neurostimulation findings soon to clinical research in patients who have Parkinson's disease. (Duke Chronicle)

Neurosurgeons Provide Access to Quality Services and Information for Parkinson's Disease Patients

Jan. 29, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Gary Heit, MD, PhD, is credited with helping Kaiser Permanente in Northern California to set up an advanced deep brain stimulation (DBS) service that pinpoints brain targets using diffusion tensor imaging. One recent patient at the Redwood City, Calif.-based medical center, Darcy Blake, described having DBS that helped control her tremors from Parkinson's Disease. She has helped create online information for women with Parkinson's disease that includes an entry about a recent talk on Parkinson's Disease by INS Director-at-Large Jaimie Henderson, MD given to a support group at the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center. (Palo Alto Patch)

Photos Posted of Hospital's Milestone Deep Brain Stimulation Procedure

Jan. 27, 2014 - A business newspaper printed a photo montage from Monday's 500th deep brain stimulation surgery at Allegheny General Hospital involving a patient with cervical dystonia. (Pittsburgh Business Times)

Studies Suggest Astrocytes' Role in Lingering Impact of Deep Brain Stimulation on Brain Circuits

Jan. 24, 2014 - A review summarizes how deep brain stimulation (DBS) may both inhibit neurons and activate axons, while also triggering cellular and molecular changes in other cells, especially astrocytes. Astrocytes apparently contribute to synaptic plasticity through potentiating or mediating long-term effects; in addition, DBS may increase activity in astrocytes of delta-opioid receptor to confer neuroprotection. (CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics)

Authors Advocate Having a Large Health System Explore Benefits of Deep Brain Stimulation in Conditions Such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Fall 2013 - International Neuromodulation Society member Gary Heit, MD, PhD, and co-authors report in The Permanente Journal that preliminary results are promising for deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of severe, medically refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder. The authors say DBS has been established as a safe, reversible, adjustable, efficacious and evidence-based treatment that offers a higher quality of life and efficient use of patients' financial resources. They conclude that The Permanente Medical Group (comprised of physicians of the health maintenance organization Kaiser Permanente) is uniquely situated to define and develop the appropriate scope of this intervention. (The Permanente Journal)

Executive Appointed to Help Guide Commercialization Efforts for External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation Start-Up

Jan. 27, 2014 - NeuroSigma, Inc., a Los Angeles, Calif.-based company commercializing noninvasive trigeminal nerve stimulation for neurologic and neuropsychiatric disorders, has appointed a former marketing executive from Allergan, Inc., Gregory F. Brooks, to be senior vice president and chief commercial officer. NeuroSigma's first product, the Monarch eTNS System, is available by prescription in the European Union and Canada. (Market Watch)

Maker of Devices for Voiding Disorder Names New Executive to Oversee Product Development

Jan. 27, 2014 - Suranjan Roychowdhury, PhD, has been appointed vice president of Research & Development and Clinical Affairs, a new position at Uroplasty, Inc. designed to guide clinical trials for their pipeline of products to treat voiding dysfunctions. As a materials scientist who has held leadership roles at several medical devices companies, he holds 20 issued U.S. patents in cardiology, orthopedics, urology and drug delivery. (Wall Street Journal)

Closed-Loop, Cortical Stimulation Proposed for Parkinson's Disease

Jan. 18, 2014 - Closed-loop cortical stimulation may offer clinical benefit for treating advanced Parkinson's disease, according to authors who review the issue, including the potential of mathematical modeling to contribute to its development. (Clinical Neurophysiology)

Publication Cites Spinal Cord Stimulation's Neuroprotective Effects in an Animal Model of Parkinson's Disease

Jan. 23, 2014 - A study in rats indicates that repeated spinal cord stimulation may have a neuroprotective effect that could slow progression of Parkinson's disease. In the animals, six weeks of twice-weekly treatment led to such improved symptoms of depleted dopamine as better motor skills and a reversal of significant weight loss. The treated rats had better neuron survival and a higher density of dopaminergic innervation in brain regions controlled movement. (Duke University)

Landing Science Conferences Such As the INS 13th World Congress in 2017 is Considered a Coup for an Expanded Convention Center in Edinburgh

Jan. 22, 2014 - The International Neuromodulation Society's World Congress in 2017 is mentioned as one of three science conferences from 2015 - 2017 that are considered coups for the Edinburgh, Scotland International Conference Centre whose expansion opened in May. The state-of-the-art facilities and popular and natural draw of the city were cited by an executive for the British Neuroscience Association. In 2015 its Festival of Neuroscience will coincide with the Edinburgh International Science Festival. The International Congress and Convention Association rates the Edinburgh just behind London as a U.K. conference destination and 33rd worldwide. (Edinburgh News)

Small Piezoelectric Power Supplies are Under Development for Medical Devices

Jan. 21, 2014 - Research in large animals, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that piezoelectric nanoribbons of lead zirconate titanate implanted on the surface of the heart, lungs and diaphragm can generate up to eight volts of electricity under mechanical stress. The prototype device stores the electrical current in a small battery, and the senior author says the device was able to power a few off-the-shelf pacemakers. An industry observer commented that in five years, such an approach to harvesting mechanical energy of the body, for instance, in arm or leg muscles or organs that move, may drive biosensors and biodevices. (Popular Mechanics)

External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation Studies in Epilepsy Presented

Jan. 21, 2014 - Positive results in adjunctive treatment for epilepsy using external trigeminal nerve stimulation were announced last month by NeuroSigma, Inc. at the annual American Epilepsy Society meeting. The presentations concerned 10 patients who had reduction in seizures of 30 - 50% or more after 12 weeks and 8 of whom chose to continue treatment beyond the initial 18 weeks; as well as a Phase II sub-analysis of 26 patients who experienced a mean seizure reduction of 34.4% compared to an increase of 6.6% in the control group. Patients in the sub-analysis group met inclusion criteria of having 4 - 60 seizures per month -- the same criteria as will be used in an upcoming, recently approved pivotal trial. (PR Newswire)

Review Summarizes Published Studies of Tibial Nerve Stimulation in Fecal Incontinence

Jan. 21, 2014 - International Neuromodulation Society member Charles Knowles, MBBChir, PhD and co-authors reviewed 12 published clinical studies of tibial nerve stimulation to control fecal incontinence. In a randomized controlled study and case series reports, percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) resulted in a weekly reduction of at least 50% in occurrences of fecal incontinence in 63-82% of patients; transcutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (TTNS) resulted in similar success in 0-45% of patients. In a randomized controlled trial of PTNS vs. TTNS vs. sham, treatment success was 82% with PTNS, 45% with TTNS, and 13% in sham. (British Journal of Surgery)

Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation for Bladder Symptoms Most Effective When a Sensory Response is Present in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

Jan. 20, 2014 - A study of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation in 83 patients with multiple sclerosis and lower urinary tract symptoms indicated that despite the effects of the disease on neuronal pathways, the most frequently observed perception of bladder condition was a sensory response, with or without a motor response, and this was associated with a more successful therapy outcome than motor response alone. (Multiple Sclerosis Research)

Cardiologist Considers Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation for Sleep Apnea Potentially Helpful for Heart Health

Jan. 15, 2014 - Future studies of hypoglossal nerve stimulation for obstructive sleep apnea should evaluate cardiovascular outcomes, a cardiologist says in a column discussing the promising study published in the New England Journal of Medicine about the therapy. The author writes that obstructive sleep apnea worsens outcomes in heart disease, and treating the sleep disorder may help to prevent heart disease. (Everyday Health)

Health Economy Model Predicts Nerve Stimulation for Refractory Hypertension is Cost-Effective

Jan. 10, 2014 - Compared to optimal medical management, therapeutic electrical stimulation of the carotid baroreceptors in patients who have medication-resistant hypertension is projected to add 2.17 quality-adjusted life years (QALY), according to a health-economic modeling analysis published in the Journal of Hypertension. Its incremental cost-effectiveness ratio is 7,797 euros per QUALY gained in a European payer setting, well below the recognized threshold of 35,000 euros. CVRx Inc. announced the findings concerning its Barostim device. The second-generation Barostim neo is commercially available in Europe and the therapy is also subject to a pivotal clinical trial in the U.S. (Diagnostic and Interventional Cardiology)

Neurology Researchers Develop Mobile Application to Facilitate Quicker Programming of Deep Brain Stimulation Systems

Jan. 16, 2014 - An iPad-based clinical decision support system in preliminary testing reduced the time to program deep brain stimulation systems more than 99% (less than two minutes, rather than four hours). The project at the Medical College of Wisconsin has received a $25,000 grant from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin for a prospective randomized study in Parkinson's disease patients at Froedtert Hospital. (Medical College of Wisconsin)

New Insight Into Opioid Receptor Function May Aid Development of Pain and Mood Interventions

Jan. 14, 2014 - The doorway to treating pain and mood disorders through interfacing with opioid receptors may have widened with discovery of the architecture of a sodium channel that seems common to all three types of opioid receptors. As reported in Nature, the work was achieved by crystalizing the receptors and visualizing their structure through X-ray crystallography. (Medical News Today)

Randomized Prospective Clinical Study Favorably Compares Sacral Neuromodulation to Standard Medical Treatment

Jan. 10, 2014 - Sacral neuromodulation to manage mild symptoms of overactive bladder is superior to standard medical treatment in controlling symptoms and contributing to better quality of life, according to a six-month prospective, randomized, multicenter clinical trial. The study was sponsored by the InterStim® Therapy device maker, Medtronic, Inc. (Neurourology and Urodynamics)

TV Pain Documentary Introduces Spinal Cord Stimulation for Neuropathic Pain

Jan. 10, 2014 - Spinal cord stimulation is described as a non-drug approach to controlling back pain in a Discovery Channel documentary, "Pain Matters." (Newsmax Health)

Article Discusses Activity of Deep Brain Stimulation in Motor Disorder

January 2014 - Recent animal and human evidence strongly suggests that antidromic activation from the subthalamic nucleus desynchronizes motor cortex activity. The implications for the pathogenesis and treatment of Parkinson's disease are discussed. (JAMA Neurology)

Expert Panel on Occipital Nerve Stimulation for Medically Refractory Primary Headache Starts Today for INS Members

Jan. 13, 2014 - The International Neuromodulation Society is hosting an Expert Panel for members on occipital nerve stimulation for medically refractory primary headache, co-moderated from Jan. 13 - 27 by specialists who have published groundbreaking studies about the technique since its inception -- Prof. Peter Goadsby, MD, PhD, director of the Headache Center at the University of California, San Francisco; and Richard L. Weiner, MD, clinical associate professor of neurosurgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Chairman of Neurosurgery at THR Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. (International Neuromodulation Society)

Gene Therapy Dosing Trial in Parkinson's Patients

Jan 10, 2014 - In a dosing trial involving 15 patients with advanced Parkinson's disease, researchers have injected a gene-therapy vector bilaterally into the patients' putamen to produce dopamine there. Patients who received the highest dosages had to reduce their intake of levodopa. In a publication in Lancet, the researchers report that motor scores improved at 6 and 12 months, and the therapeutic, ProSavin, was safe and well-tolerated with mild to moderate side-effects. Kyriacos Mitrophanous, head of research at Oxford BioMedica in England, the company that developed the therapy and funded the study, said he thinks the treatment will eventually outperform deep brain stimulation or levodopa. (Imperial College London)

Small-town Neuromodulation Center Has Big Plans

Jan. 9, 2014 - The Greenville Neuromodulation Center is offering distance learning to clinicians about deep brain stimulation and has opened a facility on the main street of its small hometown north of Pittsburgh, PA to bring together patients, their families, and visiting healthcare professionals, as well as facilities for treatment, diagnosis and recovery, and training and research. In addition, the center has established a teaching relationship with neuroscience students at the local Thiel College. (Keystone Edge)

Study: Neurostimulation Device for Sleep Apnea Reduced Symptoms 70%

Jan. 9, 2014 - An office-based low-magnetic-field stimulation approach to relieving depression, accidentally discovered when bipolar patients were receiving MRIs 12 years ago, has become the first to be selected for a 90-day proof-of-concept trial under the NIH's Rapidly Acting Treatments for Treatment Resistant Depression program, according to the company, Tal Medical of Boston. Tal (Hindi for rhythm) believes the oscillating magnetic field of the MRI was resetting the brain's rhythm while being too low to trigger neuron firing. The company is being incubated by PureTech Ventures of Boston. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Study: Neurostimulation Device for Sleep Apnea Reduced Symptoms 70%
Jan. 8, 2014 - Medtronic, Inc.'s spinout Inspire Medical Systems of Maple Grove, MN reported in the New England Journal of Medicine a prospective study of 126 patients with obstructive sleep apnea in whom symptoms of interrupted breathing at night dropped some 70% within a year of being implanted with a hypoglossal nerve stimulator. The company is scheduled to present the device for FDA review next month. The implant was studied in patients who had trouble accepting or adhering to the current standard treatment, a sleep mask called a continuous positive airway pressure device, or CPAP. (MedPage Today)

Optogenetics Study Pinpoints Activity of a Brain Center in a Rat Model of Alcoholism

Jan. 3, 2014 - A low and prolonged level of dopamine release accomplished through optogenetics stopped rats from bingeing or consuming alcohol, and the cessation continued even after stimulation ended, according to a university press release about experiments reported in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. The stimulation centered on a region that was known to be activated through alcoholic behavior, the ventral tegmental area. Its role had not been clear. The study indicated that tonic, but not phasic, stimulation led to attenuated alcohol consumption by the rats. (State University of New York, Buffalo)

Medicare Recipients are Under-Represented Among Parkinson's Disease Patients Receiving Deep Brain Stimulation

Jan. 3, 2014 - An analysis of more than 665,000 Medicare recipients between 2007-2009 by collaborators at the University of Pennsylvania and Washington University in St. Louis found that patients with Parkinson's disease from lower socioeconomic strata are less likely to receive deep brain stimulation (DBS) for motor symptoms. The study, published in Neurology, states that out-of-pocket costs for DBS are 41% higher than non-DBS care, so low-income seniors may be less willing to pay the approximately $2,200 per year, and referring and treating physicians may be less likely to consider the treatment.(Medical Xpress)


Last Updated on Friday, December 15, 2017 03:49 PM