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Neuromodulation News: July 2014

A Message from the President

Dear INS members,

I am writing this message whilst sitting on Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, UK. Contrary to my own concerns the weather has been brilliant. The Emperor Hadrian built this wall to keep marauding Picts and Scots out. It was the northernmost boundary of the Roman Empire and was eventually abandoned in the 4th Century. Most of the soldiers were from many regions of Europe but all living together under Pax Romana. It is tempting to draw an analogy, but many will lead me into trouble. But here goes: If the INS is a sort of Pax Romana then the INS membership reflects both our multidisciplinary nature and our 47 countries represented. We all want to see neuromodulation as a new discipline flourish. Growing the INS and supporting its mission helps to get neuromodulation noticed. You can then have influence on how each health economy responds to the presence of effective neuromodulation therapies that are available to treat chronic long-term conditions.

In May 2014, the Full Board of the INS (Executive Board, Chapter Presidents and INS Directors-at-Large) met in the conference hotel, the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, where the INS 12th World Congress will take place in Montreal in 2015 (6th to 13th June 2015). The Board was able to see that the hotel and conference facilities are ideal for our needs. The Full Board meeting allows for important votes to be made on policies and develop future strategic directions for the INS to pursue. Our new endorsement policy has been approved and can be found on the INS website. The strategy of having an INS research initiative has been agreed. We are now trying to attract investment. My colleagues and I believe that clever use of independently funded research will benefit our field many times over. Please stay alert to how this project progresses.

The position of INS secretary, currently filled by Dr. Marc Russo, needed an election. The applicants are drawn from the Full Board.  Since 2011 Marc has taken an active role in this position. He has been a great contributor to the work of the society. Marc applied for a second but final term of office. He was unopposed and unanimously elected to serve as secretary of the INS until September 2017.

A Director-at-Large position became available with Professor Jaimie Henderson’s term of office coming to an end. This was voted upon by the membership of the INS. Professor Ali Rezai won that election and was welcomed to the INS Full Board meeting in that capacity.

We heard how further INS chapters are approaching ratification. We think the Nordic INS chapter is leading the field but closely followed by Turkey and Russia. Two important and very active neuromodulation countries, Austria and France, remain without a chapter. We hope this will change in due course.

The field of neuromodulation has a number of special developments that will be reflected in the INS 12th World Congress in Montreal in 2015. There is a growth in non-invasive neuromodulation. This allows neuromodulation therapies and practice to be presented to patients without surgery. In some circumstances it is a little like a prescription but with a device and advice on what to stimulate, how often and for how long. Furthermore the diseases treated are far more diverse and commonplace, such as hypertension, headache, fibromyalgia, and dyspnea, to name a few. This and the presence of cheaper less invasive devices such as posterior tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS), external vagal nerve stimulation (VNS), direct current stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation will help to develop the field for those that will fair better with an implanted device. Having a “pharmacopoeia” of neuromodulation therapies will help drive patient awareness and acceptance.

The second development is the awareness that systemic disease can be treated by targeted electrical stimulation. This supports the statements made above but just exemplifies how our field may expand in the next few years with several large pharmaceutical companies already interested in our meetings.
The third development is the possibility of moving the science of optogenetics from that of a research tool used to understand neurological disease into potential therapies whereby individual neurons can have their function controlled.

We had presentations about development of the field and adaptation of the technologies. The one that struck me most was the slide looking at estimated market penetration of neuromodulation therapies in USA, Europe and globally.  Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for pain is thought to reach only 15% of those that need SCS within the USA. In Europe that reduces still further to only 5%. We need to develop an understanding of why this low uptake might be. The reasons, I believe, are diverse. Our challenge is to do what we can to change this. This involves members making presentations to referrers, taking part in local and national media opportunities, participating in disease care pathway developments, lobbying your health payer and government. The INS is working on materials to help you with these tasks and supports such therapy advocacy attempts.

The INS has a social media presence. So remember to “like” the INS on Facebook and to add to the Twitter feed; the Facebook page now has an “event” tab where you may indicate if you will be attending the 12th World Congress in Montreal in 2015, see pictures of the location, and exchange information about that, while the hashtag for tweets about that event will be #INS2015.

Also, to raise awareness of neuromodulation therapies, an entry has been added to Wikipedia (Neuromodulation_(medicine)) based on a suggestion last year of Professor Jaimie Henderson during his term as Director-at-Large. Anybody may edit such entries, and we encourage you to take a look and elaborate upon the initial article so it aptly reflects the depth and breadth of the field with knowledgeable detail. This is a valuable activity since Wikipedia has been said to be the most-frequented site for health information.

Some of the pain physicians may be heading to the IASP World Congress in Buenos Aries. The INS is supporting an event to be created by the Argentina chapter of the INS in Mendoza after the congress. So think about staying on after the congress so as to visit this wonderful region and to enjoy a South American neuromodulation meeting. More on the website as this develops. See you there!

Dr. Simon Thomson, MBBS, FFPMRCA

President of INS

Executive Board Re-Elects Two Officers

At its meeting in May, the International Neuromodulation Society Board of Directors re-elected INS Secretary Marc Russo, MBBS DA(UK)FANZCA, FFPMFANZCA, and Emeritus Director-at-Large Elliot Krames, MD. Each will begin a new three-year term in September.

Dr. Russo, founder and past president and secretary of the Australia and New Zealand chapter of the INS, has been active as secretary in organizational work to keep the society running, as well as contributing to either vetting or creating new educational content on the INS website, and helping to organize periodic Expert Panels.

Dr. Krames, a past president of the society and founding editor of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, continues to inspire future directions of the society, for instance, by organizing scientific presentations on the importance of neuromodulatory mechanisms of action – which will form part of the focus of one of the preconferences at the next INS World Congress in June 2015.

The INS leadership congratulates Drs. Russo and Krames on their reelection and thanks them for their tireless support.

12th World Congress Scientific Program Takes Shape

Under the leadership of Dr. Timothy Deer, INS Congress Chairman, the Scientific Program Committee has been hard at work developing the agenda of scientific programs for the International Neuromodulation Society 12th World Congress, which takes place June 6 – 11, 2015 at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The three-day scientific program – preceded by two preconference days about innovation, investment, and mechanisms of action – covers all aspects of this growing field, from management of chronic pain and movement disorder to functional electrical stimulation, neural prostheses, and emerging indications and methods.

The deadline to submit scientific abstracts is January 12, 2015. Please consider what research you might submit, and encourage your colleagues to do so, too. For more information about the 12th World Congress, “Neuromodulation: Medicine Evolving Through Technology,” please visit


Abstract Submissions for 12th World Congress

The International Neuromodulation Society will soon open the process for submission of scientific abstracts for the 12th World Congress in Montreal. The abstract submissions interface will be activated on the INS website, at, in September 2014.

INS members will receive email announcements as a reminder. Additional announcements will be issued through INS social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn). Please be sure to share this opportunity with your colleagues.

The scientific program committee appreciates interest in this multidisciplinary event, and looks forward to a stimulating exchange among delegates next June in Montreal.


Nordic Chapter Forms

Congratulations are due to the International Neuromodulation Society’s new chapter, the Nordic Neuromodulation Society (NNS). The chapter officially formed this year with nearly twice the number of required members; total membership was 41 as of press time for this newsletter.

The chapter organizers are now hard at work completing a program for its first annual meeting, to take place Sept. 5 – 7 in Helsinki, Finland. The meeting will feature talks and plenary discussions on both scientific and clinical topics.

The NNS officers are:
•    Chairman Kaare Meier, MD, PhD, of the Department of Anesthesiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark
•    Secretary Anders Wåhlstedt, MD of the Department of Anesthesiology, Akademiska Sjukhuset, Uppsala, Sweden
•    Treasurer Kari Sulkko, MD of the Department of Neurosurgery, Seinäjoki Central Hospital, Finland.

At present time, members are from Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

Among the anticipated speakers at the NNS first scientific meeting are Prof. Robert M. Levy, MD, PhD, editor-in-chief of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, Bengt Linderoth, MD, PhD from Karolinska Institutet, and Liong Liem, MD, former president of the Benelux Neuromodulation Society. We wish the organizers a successful meeting, and thank them for their active commitment to furthering the field!


Endorsement Policy

At its meeting in May, the International Neuromodulation Society Board of Directors approved a formal policy governing requests for endorsements of statements, surveys, meetings and programs.

The policy provides guidance for anyone seeking endorsement for an activity, and names an Endorsement Committee – comprised of INS President-Elect Timothy Deer, MD; past Director-at-Large Jaimie Henderson, MD; Secretary Marc Russo, MBBS DA(UK)FANZCA, FFPMFANZCA; and President Simon Thomson, MBBS, FFPMRCA – to vet requests for their adherence to the guidelines, including the mission and vision of the INS.

Guidelines for Applications for Endorsement
1.    Requests for endorsement should be submitted through the INS Executive Office at
2.    Requests should contain sufficient information to enable a proper assessment. The application should describe the manner in which the endorsement would be used.
3.    The INS Endorsement Committee will review and vet all applications.
4.    The INS Endorsement Committee may approve or reject the application, or request additional information to enable it to make a decision.
5.    The INS Endorsement Committee will inform the applicant of the decision within twenty working days of the application.  

The full policy may be viewed online at

Share and Discuss Journal Articles on Twitter, Consult With Fellow Members on Google Group

The International Neuromodulation Society is stepping up its social media presence by encouraging interest in articles from Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, and related information, using the social media platform Twitter.

You may find INS on Twitter at @IntlNeuromod. We would like to follow the accounts of members who use Twitter, so please connect with INS there.

The society encourages all authors whose work is accepted to Neuromodulation to consider using their social media networks to share links to their work when it is published online, as one more way to foster awareness and extend knowledge within the neuromodulation community and beyond. Increasingly, Twitter has become an important news-discovery tool, and joins more traditional or specialized services, such as ResearchGate, for sharing or announcing peer-review publication news.

Looking ahead to the INS 12th World Congress, tweets about that event should be identified by the hashtag #INS2015.

At the same time, interest has renewed in the members-only Google group INSForum, with one of the most recent questions for discussion there concerning high-frequency spinal cord stimulation.

Let INS Know If You Have a Clinical Trial

The International Neuromodulation Society lists clinical trials involving neuromodulation that are posted on and the ISRCTN Register.

INS also lists on a separate page those clinical trials that involve our members’ research ( Please let INS Public Education and Website Manager Nancy Garcia know if you are participating in a trial that does not appear on that page, by emailing her at


If you like what you see and want to become involved in the INS…

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Submit an article to Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface

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Table of Contents

President's Message

Two Officers Re-Elected

12th World Congress Scientific Program in Formation

Submit Congress Abstracts Starting in September

Nordic Chapter Forms

Endorsement Policy

Journal Articles Shared on Twitter; Questions for Fellow Members on Google Group

INS Links to Members' Clinical Trials

Calendar of Events

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Last Updated on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 11:17 AM