News Briefs from the International Neuromodulation Society

 

Emerging Therapies & Diagnostic Tools News Feed

 

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." (Phys.org)

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. (click2houston.com)

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." (streetinsider.com)

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. (domain-b.com)

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. (paloatloprize.com)

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. (Stuff.co.nz)

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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/local/wp/2014/10/15/argo-hero-tony-mendez-battling-parkinsons/ (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. (Phys.org)

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 http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/6/255/255ra133. (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. (Phys.org)

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 Phys.org. 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. (Phys.org)

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. (Post-Gazette.com)

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. (Express.co.uk)

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. (MyWaboshValley.com)

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. (News-medical.net)

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. (Phys.org)

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. (contactmusic.com)

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. (News-Medical.net)

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. (Cleveland.com)

 

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) http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02011893. (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. (Phys.org)

 

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. http://www.frontiersin.org/behavioral_neuroscience/10.3389/fnbeh.2013.00173/abstract (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, November 21, 2014 03:56 PM
 
powered by MemberClicks