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Neuromodulation News: October 2014

A Message from the President

In my last President’s message I ended by telling you about the independent symposium that the Argentinian, Brazilian and Polish chapters of the INS would be having in Mendoza this October, straight after the IASP biennial world congress in Buenos Aries.  (You might have spotted a deliberate mistake – When did Poland become a South American country? It is all about history and friendship). The INS has supported this regional meeting in South America in the hope that a world faculty could support those in South America trying to grow the neuromodulation field. Indeed the board has resolved to do similar INS supported regional meetings in our biennial congress OFF years. In 2016 we hope to offer some support to such a meeting in Asia.

The INS policy has been to grow membership by encouraging the development of INS chapters. I am delighted to welcome the Nordic Neuromodulation Society to the INS family. The chairman of the NNS is Dr. Kaare Meier, with Drs. Anders Wåhlstedt and Kari Sulkko as secretary and treasurer. They had a very successful inaugural meeting in Helsinki, Finland on 5th to 7th September 2014 with over 70 attendees. The next generation of neuromodulation experts is taking up the role of driving the society formation forward. This is made easier by the support of their more established colleagues. Well done to Kaare Meier and colleagues. As I write I am also aware of the impending announcement of the Turkish Neuromodulation Society under the leadership of Drs. Suleyman Ozyalcin and Gul Talu.

One of my targets for the INS was to build membership to over 2000 members (from 850 in 2009) by the time I step down as President at the Montreal meeting in June 2015. I think following new chapter formation and another successful NANS meeting in December this will be achieved.

There are threats to medical education on the horizon. Neuromodulation is a small field so international meetings are genuinely required to ensure that colleagues can learn and exchange scientific information. We have been able to do this with style thanks to the support of our industry partners. There is an increasing political tension that is trying to divorce medical education from commercial sponsorship. There are arguments both ways. However I am clear that a strong INS will be a force for the good of our field in the future. We are a credible and independent voice in this extremely commercial sector of medicine.

The other threat is linked to the success of the innovators within the field.  New innovations may bring new patients into the pond, however many new innovations are refinements upon a basic theme and don’t necessarily expand the pond. The effect of this is that there are more competitor industry partners who may have to reduce their expenditure as income falls as new competitors enter the market; unless they can expand the whole market. This might affect meeting support and expensive clinical effectiveness research for reimbursement. I would like to remind all industry partners that enlarging the pond, not just attracting the fish to your end of it, should be our collective goal.
We have had the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee (NACC) publications in the August edition of the journal. We ran a discussion forum to coincide. The INS has been using the NACC publications to create press releases and articles in medical news journals that go out to our referring specialties worldwide. (See separate article.)

We will be continuing our discussion forum with an SCS in Chronic Critical Limb Ischaemia panel starting 15th October. I would like to introduce German vascular surgeon Dr. Shoaeddin Damirchi and Italian neuromodulation society President Dr. Colini Baldeschi as co-moderators with me through 29th October. Together we created a workshop for vascular surgeons to introduce them to SCS. This was an attempt to deepen the pond. I look forward to some great discussion on the forum. Sadly outside Italy and Germany there is little SCS for CCLI.

Our journal continues to thrive. We have increased our Impact Factor by 50% to 1.785 (from 1.186). Due to the way IF is calculated it takes time for the effects of Pubmed recognition to make a difference. We are hopeful of another big rise this time next year. Despite the fact that we have increased to eight editions per year we have been able to increase our rejection rate (which sounds cruel but is a necessary measure of article quality). With more neuromodulation articles being quoted in other journals the IF is sure to rise.

I would like to encourage members to spark awareness of newly published articles by sharing links to abstracts, for instance, on social media accounts such as Twitter and LinkedIn. That visibility helps to spread the word about neuromodulation to non-members and may help to attract interest both in our society and journal. Information on how to join these sites is available on our members’ services page. Some find this sort of activity easy to take up, others, myself included, are not great with social media. With that in mind, please watch for plans of a small reception at a future meeting where our members who are active this way can be acknowledged and chat with others who might like to learn more about these tools “face to face”!

The INS will be announcing its Research Initiative in early 2015. We will propose a call for research in particular fields of neuromodulation. We will provide enabling grants to support well-constructed own-account research or to support major grant applications to large research-funding bodies.

You should be aware that the call for abstracts for the Montreal meeting is now open. The closing date is scheduled for 12th January 2015.

The INS programme for the 12th World Congress will be announced soon. When we do the meeting registration will open. I would recommend early registration and hotel booking. It turns out that F1 Grand Prix have selected their practice and race day to coincide with our Innovations and Mechanism of Action symposia on the Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June 2015 (we were there first!). Thankfully our event organizer, Vanern Enterprises, has reserved some hotel sleeping rooms but we expect these to go fast.

Incidentally the invited meeting programme looks great. There have been several important randomized controlled trials that will be reported on at the INS meeting. There are whole new neuromodulation concepts to be presented. Our field really is advancing fast. Be sure to join us in Montreal to keep abreast of it.

Best wishes,

Dr. Simon Thomson, MBBS, FFPMRCA

President of INS

INS Issues First Comprehensive Guidelines on the Use of Neurostimulation in Chronic Pain and Ischemic Disease

In the August 2014 issue of the International Neuromodulation Society journal Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, 60 co-authors appointed by the INS board have published the first comprehensive international guidelines about the use of neurostimulation for chronic pain or ischemic disease.

Modeled after the previous INS-initiated effort to formulate guidelines about intrathecal drug delivery through the Polyanalgesic Consensus Conference, the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee is expected to reconvene every two years to keep the guidelines up-to-date.

The guidelines should serve as a reference for experienced neuromodulators and those who are learning, or would like to learn, about the field – as well as a resource for potential referrers and training programs. Word of the guidelines has also spread through interviews, such as one in Pain Medicine News by INS President-elect Tim Deer, MD, and another with INS President Simon Thomson, MD, in Medscape; news releases by co-authors’ institutions; citations in MDLinx; and even coverage related to Pain Awareness Month in September in Dr. Thomson’s local newspaper, the Echo of Basildon, UK.

Call For Abstracts Opens for 2015 World Congress – New Abstract Competition Announced

The International Neuromodulation Society has issued its call for abstracts for the 12th World Congress, "Neuromodulation: Medicine Evolving Through Technology," 6 - 11 June 2015 at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal.

The INS Scientific Program Committee will select the strongest work for oral presentation, in addition to traditional poster presentation. Accepted abstracts will be published on the Society’s website and in the online version of the INS journal, Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface.

Abstract categories include:  
•    Basic Science
•    Neuroprosthetics and Neural Engineering
•    Socioeconomics
•    Brain (movement disorders, psychiatric disorders, and cognitive disorders)
•    Spine (pain, spasticity, and movement disorders)
•    Headache
•    Peripheral Nerve
•    Cardiovascular Disorders
•    Gastrointestinal Disorders
•    Genitourinary Disorders
•    Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation
•    Neuroregeneration

In addition, to encourage strong research, the INS has elected to recognize the top five abstracts for their quality, originality and ingenuity in basic or clinical science. The recipients will receive their awards at the 12th World Congress in Montreal during the INS General Assembly of Members on the June 9, 2015. In addition to this honor, the primary author recipients will be refunded their congress registration fees. To qualify for the competition, the primary author must be a current member of the INS and must have registered for the main congress.
To access the abstract submission system, please visit Download the instructions for authors here. The abstract deadline is Jan. 12, 2015.


International Neuromodulation Society Journal Impact Factor up 50%!

The Impact Factor for Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface has climbed from 1.190 in 2012 to 1.785 in 2013 – an increase of 50%.

The sizable increase was achieved thanks to the efforts of our editor-in-chief, Robert Levy, MD, PhD, the associate editors, the editorial board, authors, and readers. The upward trajectory continues a rising trend, since the 2012 Impact Factor of 1.190 was an increase from 1.186 in 2011.


Expert Panel on Neuromodulation and Ischemia Coming Oct. 15 – 29, 2014

Following the highly successful discussion in August about going beyond the Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee findings, which appear in the August 2014 issue of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, the next Expert Panel will focus on neuromodulation and ischemic pain.

Our panelists are:

•    Shoaeddin Damirchi, MD, Chief Vascular Surgeon, Evangelisches Krankenhaus Herne, Director of the Vascular Center Herne / Castrop-Rauxel, Germany
•    INS President Simon Thomson, MBBS, FRCA, FIPP, Consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Management services at Basildon and Thurrock University NHS Trust and Honorary Consultant at Addenbrookes Hospital Cambridge
•    Gianni Colini Baldeschi, MD, Director of the Pain Therapy Department of San Giovanni – Addolorata Hospital in Rome and president of the INS Italian chapter, Capitolo Italiano INS

Dr. Damirchi started using neuromodulation in non-reconstructable critical limb ischemia in 2010 and since then has handled more than 80 cases.

Dr. Thomson has a keen interest in spinal cord stimulation becoming a standard of practice for the management of refractory neuropathic, ischemic and visceral pain.

Dr. Colini Baldeschi co-authored the 2011 article in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, “Spinal Cord Stimulation: Predictive Parameters of Outcome in Patients Suffering From Critical Lower Limb Ischemia. A Preliminary Study.”  

The discussion takes place in the Members Only Area of the INS website.


Regional Scientific Meetings

Congratulations to the Nordic Neuromodulation Society - The Nordic Neuromodulation Society (NNS) held its inaugural meeting in Helsinki, Finland, Sept. 5-7.

The meeting featured talks and plenary discussions on various clinical, scientific and organizational topics and was attended by almost 70 participants from Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

A number of common Nordic initiatives and projects were agreed upon by the NNS members and will be launched in the coming months.

At the 1st NNS General Assembly the delegates re-elected the founding board members: Chairman Kaare Meier, MD, PhD (Denmark); Treasurer Kari Sulkko, MD (Finland); and Anders Wåhlstedt, MD (Sweden). In addition, Audun Stubhaug, MD (Norway) was elected to the board.

Registration opens for the North American Neuromodulation Society 18th annual meeting in Las Vegas, NV, USA from Dec. 10 – 14:

Don’t forget to check the INS Global Events Calendar for announcements of other meetings.

Try the INS Website Keyword Search Function

The International Neuromodulation Society has a content-rich website that changes daily with dynamic rolling news briefs on the home page and sections of information for patients and practitioners. With all that content, a site visitor may be looking for something in particular and not know where to find it. One option is to try the keyword “search” box in the upper right side of the home page, This customized search will return a list of pages on the INS site that contain the keyword search term.

INS 12th World Congress Sets up a Presence on Twitter and Facebook

The International Neuromodulation Society’s 12th World Congress will use the hashtag #INS2015. Inclusion of that hashtag in tweets about the event will allow others who are interested to read about the event to locate those through entering #INS2015 in the search box at

We have set up an “event” page on our Facebook page,, where you can connect with others who are interested in attending, see photos of the location, or have discussions about the event. Please take a look and add a comment if you would like.


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

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Table of Contents

President's Message

NACC's Comprehensive Guidelines

Call for Abstracts

Impact Factor Increases

Expert Panel Coming

Inaugural Nordic Chapter
Meeting, NANS Registration

Keyword Search Function
for INS Website

INS Congress Discussion
Option on Social Media

Calendar of Events

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Last Updated on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 11:15 AM