A Message from the President
A very Happy New Year to you!
I have a mixed outlook for the field of neuromodulation as we enter 2013. The downside appears to be the increasing controls on health budgets resulting in further attempts to manipulate both supply and demand of neuromodulation therapies. This change is mostly seen in Europe and perhaps USA. With these two important sectors of the world health economy accounting for more than 80% of all neuromodulation implants this is potentially serious.
On the other hand there is room for optimism. Steadily, neuromodulation therapies are being positioned in disease management guidelines, thus becoming part of the establishment’s healthcare paradigm. High quality randomized comparison trials have, with some therapies and indications such as spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for refractory neuropathic pain or sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) for overactive bladder, demonstrated not only clinical effectiveness but cost effectiveness when compared with other “usual care”. This is important as effectively it means a failure to use SCS and SNS in selected cases is poor management of healthcare resources. This message needs to be carried forward. However we must be cautious not to extend this evidence to all new therapies and indications without the evidence. This means more high quality randomized clinical and cost effectiveness trials with multiple comparators of usual care in different healthcare economies. We also need long-term observational data to look for patterns of disease and therapy progression over time.
Over the last two years we have seen significant developments in the field. Our larger industry partners are finessing their products and achieving wider indications with improved safety and efficacy and enhanced implanter and patient experience. New spinal cord targets and waveforms are being introduced into the marketplace led by two new companies, Spinal Modulation and Nevro. There are many new startup companies, some producing product and data for external and minimally invasive neuromodulation. Yet the field marches on and soon we will be offered new closed-loop feedback systems capable of sensing and adjusting output. The future task will be to see how all these new tools can be used logically.
This brings me onto reminding you about some of the new and exciting things your society is trying to do. I do hope you appreciate the look, usefulness and content of the INS website. I now regularly use this site in my clinical practice when educating patients about neuromodulation. Last year you will have seen the development of the INS Expert Panels. These Q&A sessions are moderated by one or more experts in the field and are being linked to coincide with specific outputs from our journal “Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface”. These are accessed via logging into the membership-only part of the website (you need your username and password) and finding the active forum. All discussion is being archived for those of you who may wish to review the discussion at a later date.
In 2013 we are going to re-launch the INS Google group. Dr. G. Baranidharan “Barani” has agreed to breathe new life into this very useful resource. Please remember that you will only be a part of this INS Google group if you sign up, which can be done via the members-only section of the website. It’s best if you have your own Gmail account but can be used with whatever email account you have but with slightly less control. The idea is that those INS members that wish to sign up to the group can receive and transmit email discussion concerning matters pertinent to neuromodulation. My experience of such groups is that they are greatly appreciated by many. However it is only a minority that tends to be active contributors with the majority being content to read. Some may fear an avalanche of emails but in reality this is not a problem and can be managed with daily bundles of deliveries if the Google user prefers.
INS 2013 in Berlin will be a wonderful event. I do hope that you have submitted your abstract in time. The abstract submission date has been extended to 14th February 2013. Please use this link to direct you to the abstract submission process - http://ins-congress.abstractcentral.com/
There are over 100 slots for oral presentation and plenty of poster exhibition space. This is more than in London and reflects our desire to make INS congresses a focal point for colleagues to exchange science. Accepted posters will have been peer-reviewed and will be published in the on-line version of our Journal.
In our efforts to spread the word about neuromodulation beyond our own community we hope that some of you will invite referring colleagues to part of the meeting that may interest them. Relevant content has been concentrated into each day. We have encouraged younger and lower-income colleagues and members to attend through reduced congress rates and have encouraged our industry partners to support trainees in the field at this congress when they can.
The two satellite symposia “Solving Problems at the Neural Interface” and “Innovations in Neuromodulation” are very popular and draw an eclectic group into the congress.
We have asked Dr. Alistair Benbow of the European Brain Council to open the meeting. It was the EBC who have created the concept of the “Year of the Brain” in 2014, 2015 and 2016. With neurological disease becoming the number-one cost factor for the future of healthcare, the INS has supported this initiative believing that there will be a mutual synergy with the INS being associated with EBC/YotB.
The content of the programme has again been designed to satisfy the needs of our membership. There are Pain and Brain contents all day and every day. On top of that there are morning plenary sessions of internationally acclaimed speakers, which should be of some interest to all. Some will be in editorial lecture mode, others as debates and others as interactive panels and presentations. In the afternoon we have three and on Wednesday four breakout sessions. We chose to bring in breakouts on neurocardiovascular (Monday 10th), pelvic organ motility dysfunction (Tuesday 11th), headache, spinal rehabilitation and FES (Wednesday 12th), and GI motility (Thursday 13th).
The size of INS congresses is such that we are still just able to fit into a large conference hotel. This has the great advantage for networking. Many of you value this aspect greatly. As a destination, Berlin is being renewed as a world capital. The city contains many facets of world history that cannot fail to interest. There is an easy feel to the City that allows easy transport and uncrowded venues. There is a strong sense of fun, art and the avant-garde. Sadly the German reputation for efficiency may have let us down, as the new Brandenburg airport may still not be open by June 2013!
I very much look forward to meeting and networking with you all in Berlin.
Dr. Simon Thomson, MBBS, FFPMRCA
President of INS
World Congress Abstract Deadline Extended to Feb. 14, 2013
There is still time to submit abstracts for the 11th World Congress that takes place in Berlin from June 8 - 13! The deadline has been extended from Jan. 14 to Feb. 14, 2013. See congress information at: http://www.neuromodulation.com/ins-congress, and access an abstract form.
With pain and brain sessions each day as well as specially themed sessions daily, the congress addresses the full scope of neuromodulation therapies -- so please feel welcome to submit abstracts on a broad range of topics for sparking stimulating interaction with peers in your field as well as with multidisciplinary colleagues.
We look forward to receiving your submissions!
Preliminary Scientific Program for 11th World Congress is Now Online
Thanks to our congress chair, Dr. Simon Thomson, invited faculty, moderators, and the scientific program committee, the highlights from the upcoming congress are too numerous to name. For the full preliminary scientific program, please visit http://www.neuromodulation.com/10-june-2013. Links to the two pre-conference days and daily tracks are listed beneath the calendar shown there of the opening day's activities.
For a taste of a small sample of the many intriguing talks and presentations, you are also welcome to scan the list below that represents some of the range in scope and expertise of invited speakers.
Saturday June 8 pre-conference:
Advances in Neural Interfacing Lee E. Miller, PhD, Northwestern University
Neural Tissue Regeneration - Zhigang He, Ph.D., B.M., Boston Children's Hospital
Potential of Optical Stimulation - Jaimie Henderson, MD, Stanford University Medical Center
Sunday June 9 pre-conference:
Innovation and Investment - more than 200 leaders in neuromodulation, the investment community, and entrepreneurs
Monday, 10 June
Breakout sessions: State of the Art and Science, Movement Disorder, Neurocardiovascular Disorders
Emerging Brain Targets - Andres Lozano, MD, PhD, University of Toronto
Chemical Brain Neuromodulation: Targeted Brain Drug Delivery - Russell Lonser, MD, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
State of the Art for Future Neuromodulation Trial Design - Richard North, MD, Neuromodulation Foundation, Inc.
Peripheral Nerve Field Stimulation - Giancarlo Barolat, MD, Barolat Neuroscience
Tuesday, 11 June
Breakout sessions: Pain, Psychiatric, Pelvic Organ Disorders
Novel Intraspinal Targets - Robert Levy, MD, PhD, Shands-Jacksonville Neuroscience Institute, University of Florida, and Liong Liem, St. Antonius Hospital
Advances in SCS Technology: Activity Sensors and Feedback Systems - Eric Buchser, EHC-Hôpital de Morges, and University of Lausanne; and David Caraway, MD, PhD, the Center for Pain Relief
Overview of Less-Invasive Neuromodulation for Overactive Bladder and Fecal Incontinence - Stefan de Wachter, MD, PhD, Maastricht University Medical Centre
Neuromodulation for Sexual Dysfunction - Magdy Hassouna, MD, PhD, University of Toronto
Wednesday, 12 June
Breakout sessions: Guidelines; Epilepsy; Rehabilitation, Spinal Cord Injury, and Functional Electrical Stimulation; Headache
Motor Cortex Stimulation: Placebo or Panacea? - Andre Machado, MD, PhD, Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute and Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University; and Robert Levy, MD, PhD, Shands-Jacksonville Neuroscience Institute, University of Florida
Brain Machine Interface - Jaimie Henderson, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine
Thursday, 13 June
Breakout sessions: Cancer Pain, Emerging Brain Neuromodulation Therapies, Gastrointestinal Disorders
Critical Evaluation of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation for Chronic Pain and Other Less Invasive Neuromodulation Therapies - Turo Nurmikko, MD, PhD, University of Liverpool
Difficult Cases in Cancer Pain: Lessons Learned - Allen Burton, MD, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Sensing and Feedback Systems - Kendall Lee, MD, PhD, Mayo Clinic
DBS for Traumatic Brain Injury - Ali Rezai, MD, Ohio State University
DBS for Obesity - Michael Oh, MD, Allegheny General Hospital; Drexel University College of Medicine; and The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University
Neuromodulation for Persistent Vegetative State and Minimally Conscious State - Takamitsu Yamamoto, MD, PhD, Nihon University School of Medicine
Finally, don't miss filling out a copy of the registration form if you still need to sign up to attend and mingle with colleagues there to advance and accentuate your professional career.
Online Interactive Session for Members Starts Jan. 23 with Dr. Krishna Kumar on Patient Selection for Spinal Cord Stimulation
The next two-week-long, online, moderated question-and-answer session for practitioners will be Wednesday, Jan. 23 – Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, with Krishna Kumar, MD, a clinical professor of neurosurgery at the University of Saskatchewan, School of Medicine, and lead author of a seminal paper examining comparative benefits of spinal cord stimulation.
His paper, “Spinal cord stimulation versus conventional medical management for neuropathic pain: a multicentre randomised controlled trial in patients with failed back surgery syndrome,” published in Pain in 2007 with co-authors Rod Taylor, PhD, and Line Jacques, MD, changed how spinal cord stimulation is viewed in the treatment paradigm and accentuated awareness of the importance of patient selection on outcomes.
Instructions for participating in the online discussion and more about his background are accessible by visiting: http://www.neuromodulation.com/expert-panel-announcement.
We look forward to active participation from members who are exploring techniques and applications, those who have expertise to offer, and to those who have questions or concerns to share.
Mark Your Calendars - Future Expert Panel Session Will Cover Neuromodulation for Visceral Pain
Leonardo Kapural, MD, PhD is scheduled to moderate a future Expert Panel for INS on neuromodulation for visceral pain, an area of particular interest to him, in addition to discogenic low back pain and spinal cord/peripheral nerve stimulation. The session takes place this spring, March 1 - 15, 2013.
A professor of anesthesiology at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and clinical director of the Wake Forest University Health Sciences Center Chronic Pain Center, Carolinas Pain Institute and Center for Clinical Research, Dr. Kapural has published more than 150 journal articles and abstracts and 20 book chapters, and is a frequent speaker at national and international meetings.
New Media Partnership Between INS and Touch Medical Media
Leading up to the World Congress in Berlin, INS is entering into a media partnership with Touch Medical Media, which publishes the European Neurological Review. The agreement calls for the INS logo and link to be displayed in its journal, and for a senior member of the INS to serve on its board - Dr. Robert Levy, editor-in-chief of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, has agreed to serve in this role. The organization will also list the INS logo, contact information, and link on its website, www.touchneurology.com.
As the agreement is implemented, electronic versions of its journal will be conveniently listed on the INS website.
"We are delighted that Dr. Robert Levy has offered to serve on the editorial board of European Neurological Review," commented Managing Director Barney Kent. Touch Medical Media provides independent, cutting-edge peer-reviewed content from world renowned physicians, designed to lead the debate on health and to engage, inform, and support physicians in improving patient outcomes globally.
· www.touchneurology.com provides an international platform for peer-reviewed content from industry-leading journals alongside other carefully selected sources and aims to support physicians, clinicians and leading industry professionals in continuously developing their knowledge, effectiveness and productivity within the field of neurology.
· The company's portfolio of peer-reviewed journals European Neurological Review & US Neurology comprise of concise review articles which are designed to keep busy physicians up-to-date with the latest developments in their field and serve as a key reference resource for the international neurology community.
The Argentinean Neuromodulation Society, SANE, held its second successful scientific meeting with the Brazilian Neuromodulation Society, Reunion Conjunta Brasil Argentina De Neuromodulacion (RECOBRAN II), on August 25th 2012, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Dr. Timothy Deer spoke. Currently, there are 29 members in Argentina.
Also, in collaboration with SANE, the next Polish Neuromodulation Society Meeting will take place on 14th and 15th June 2013, immediately after (and as a satellite event to) the INS Congress, at the Royal Castle in Warsaw.
Fabián Piedimonte, MD
President, the Argentinean Neuromodulation Society
Australia and New Zealand
Among the most current news of this chapter, the Neuromodulation Society of Australia and New Zealand is organizing its annual meeting for Sunday 17th March 2013, in Canberra, as part of the Australian Pain Society meeting. At the close of 2012, the chapter counted a combined total of 27 current and renewing members.
Paul Verrills, MD
President, Neuromodulation Society of Australia and New Zealand
Building membership was one topic focused on by the Benelux Neuromodulation Society in 2012, in order to sustain growth elicited by its first joint meeting in 2011 with the Nordic and Baltic states. Also in 2012, the chapter added Dr. Maarten Moens, a neurosurgeon at the Free University in Brussels, Belgium, to become the sixth member of its board, following Dr. Johan Vangeneugden, who joined in January 2011 and is a neurosurgeon in Duffel, Belgium.
In particular as part of this effort, the board decided to actively contact functional urologists and surgeons who deal with incontinence and who are excited to extend their experience with other professionals on neuromodulation. Dr. Evert Koldewijn, urologist at the Catharina Hospital Eindhoven, was asked to take this role. He cordially accepted. Moreover, due to the importance of this issue, he was appointed 7th board member of the BNS.
In November, Dr. Robert van Dongen, the BNS secretary, chaired a session on neuromodulation at a two-day pain management meeting held by the Dutch and Belgian anesthesiology societies in the Netherlands; the presenters included Dr. Moens. Meanwhile, the BNS has discussed organizing a meeting with international experts to address disparate findings on benefits of motor cortex stimulation (MCS). Questions to be addressed are whether MCS is still in an experimental state, how much (and which kind of) research has to be performed to show its efficacy of MCS, and different observations of centers in the Netherlands, which have not seen results reported in literature from France.
Soon, the BNS also plans to devote some attention to adding to, and updating, its website, which is integrated into the INS site.
Finally, plans are made to invite colleagues from the Nordic Chapter that is in formation to organize a second joint regional scientific meeting in 2015.
Michiel Staal, MD, PhD
President, Benelux Neuromodulation Society
It is truly a privilege to be president of the Brazilian Chapter of INS and also a big challenge, considering the former pioneering work of Eduardo Barreto and Osvaldo Vilela, past presidents of our society. I am most fortunate to have working with me Dr. Tiago da Silva Freitas (Vice-President) and Dr. Erich Fonoff (Secretary), as we are all engaged in transforming the field of neuromodulation in our country. We'll focus our efforts in identifying and gathering all different professionals in Brazil, in order to transform our society in a true multidisciplinary association.
We are organizing a meeting with representatives from all different medical societies in Brazil, so we can demonstrate the importance of developing neuromodulation with the most solid scientific background.
Alexandre Novicki Francisco, MD
President, Brazilian Neuromodulation Society
This has proven to be another productive year for the Canadian Neuromodulation Society. Since our inception in 2006 we have held annual meetings and have continued to develop national strategies and partnerships in neuromodulation for Canada. We have been members of the INS since 2007.
The 6th Annual CNS meeting was held in June 2012 at the Briars Spa and Resort one hour north of Toronto. Internationally recognized keynote speakers including Dr. Giancarlo Barolat, Dr. David Caraway and Dr. Candy McCabe, presented at the meeting which was very well attended. Highlights of the meeting included talks on ethics in neuromodulation and the psychology of urogenital pain. The Dr. Ronald Tasker Lecture was given by Dr. Milos Popovic on the Brain-machine interface and the Dr. Kris Kumar Lecture was given by Dr. Candy McCabe on Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Topics discussed included new and emerging concepts in the field of neuromodulation, including peripheral field stimulation and complication avoidance in neuromodulation therapies.
From left to right, the CNS board at the Briars: Dr. Andy Parrent, Dr. Michel Prudhomme, Dr. Ian Beauprie, Melissa Sue Anderson, Dr. Kris Kumar, Dr. Bill McDonald, Louise Malysh, Dr. Ivar Mendez and Dr. Magdy Hassouna.
Plans are underway for the 7th annual CNS meeting which will be held in Victoria, British Columbia, in September 2013. Visit us at our website www.neuromodulation.ca for further information, as our plans unfold.
The membership of the CNS continues to grow. We are a multidisciplinary group including physicians (neurosurgeons, anesthetists, neurologists), psychologists, nurses, occupational and physio therapists, technicians and members of industry. Our aim is to have 100 members by 2013.
The national database for pain continues to be a major focus for our society. We are exploring the most efficient way to collect useful data so that there is a comprehensive registry of all patients who receive neuromodulation systems in Canada. Experts in the field of database development presented at our national meeting in June to offer advice on how best to proceed.
The CNS fully supports the designation of Montreal as the site for the next INS meeting in 2015. The CNS will coordinate its Annual Meeting with the INS for 2015 and facilitate local arrangements to ensure a very successful meeting in Montreal.
Ivar Mendez MD, PhD. FRCSC, FACS
President of the Canadian Neuromodulation Society
• The fifth Standing Committee Meeting was successfully held in September 2012, and indicated a good conclusion to the year. The discussion summarized the work of the past year and led to the working plan for 2013. At this meeting new decisions were announced and a vote taken to strengthen and develop the capabilities of CNS.
• The second All Members Meeting transmitted the updates and decisions – primarily, next year’s working plan and election results – of the Standing Committee Meeting, and it flowed smoothly as well.
• The 3rd Congress of Chinese Neuromodulation Society was successfully held at Fragrant Hill Empark Hotel, in September 20-22, 2012, in Beijing, China. This congress provided a solid academic atmosphere and established a platform for sharing professional research. Afterward, we analyzed the activity to develop our advantages and learn from experience.
• The Chinese Neuromodulation Society was established almost two years ago and has reached more than 200 professionals interested in developing their neuromodulation careers. (At the end of 2012, the chapter had 23 dues-paying members.)
• We will hold the 4th Congress of Chinese Neuromodulation Society in November 15-17, 2013, in Guangzhou, China. We have made an early announcement and will follow by publicizing the agenda closer to the time of the meeting.
• The second edition of CNS magazine is in preparation with news regarding development of this emerging field, so please stay tuned.
Dr. Guoming Luan
President, Chinese Neuromodulation Society
As the year 2012 came to a close, in November the DGNM held a joint meeting in Berlin with the NSUKI chapter. Planning for this 8th joint meeting began the previous year when the NSUKI board met with DGNM in Aachen prior to the German chapter’s local congress there. We had a very kindly and friendly sympathetic meeting to prepare the joint event, and I think all of us enjoyed it.
At the Joint Meeting
From left to right: Jon Raphael, president of NSUKI; Francis Luscomb, past president of NSUKI; Peter Toomey, secretary of NSUKI; Vassilios Vadokas, past president of DGNM; Werner Braunsdorf, president of DGNM; Christian Mantsch, secretary of DGNM; Roger Strachan, treasurer of NSUKI (Frank Hertel, vice president of DGNM and Johan Moreau, treasurer, are not shown)
The congress drew from 80 – 120 participants over two days, including some engineers from nanotechnology research centers. There was an industrial exhibition with four major players and also some regional companies. The presentations covered a wide range of neuromodulation topics, listed below.
Main scientific meeting topics in 2012:
• Spinal cord stimulation for pain
• Spinal cord stimulation for spinal stenosis
• Percutaneous flat electrodes
• Pain-detection scoring system
• Transcranial magnetic stimulation for chronic pain
• Bioelectronics as an interface between biological material and electronic components
• Reimbursement for neuromodulation
• Intrathecal therapy in tumor pain
• Intrathecal therapy: electronic- vs. gas-driven pumps
• Intrathecal therapy: what is evidence proven
• Deep brain stimulation and ethics
• Deep brain stimulation and obsessive compulsive disorder
• Deep brain stimulation of reward centers
• Deep brain stimulation and different sites for stimulation in Parkinson disease
• Indirect stimulation for epilepsy
• High-frequency stimulation for pain
• Neurostimulation of sphenopalatine ganglion for cluster headache
• Dorsal root ganglion as a stimulation target for chronic neuropathic pain
• Sacral neuromodulation and incontinence
• Spinal cord stimulation and peripheral occlusive arterial disease – an update
During this congress it was decided to establish a registry for all neuromodulation implants, which should be done in cooperation with the German Society for the Study of Pain (DGSS).
Plans have been laid for the chapter’s 2013 meeting. We decided to give travel support for young scientists performing their first lecture or poster presentation, and identified topic areas to cover at the meeting.
Topics for the chapter’s 2013 scientific congress:
• Neuroimaging of pain
• Spinal stimulation: pathophysiology, fundamentals
• New insights and new treatment modalities
• Occipital stimulation for migraine and cluster headache
• Enhancing cognitive functions and memory by stimulation
• Neuromodulation and malpractice risks
• Spinal modulation with high frequency
• Neuromodulation and chronic visceral pain
• Neuromodulation by peripheral nerve stimulation
• Deep brain stimulation for psychiatric disorders
• Deep brain stimulation for movement disorders
• Deep brain stimulation for central neuropathic pain
• Intrathecal therapies: New drugs, new technology
• New targets, pathophysiology of cerebrospinal fluid dynamics or a dawn of intrathecal therapy
• Neuromodulation and vertigo and tinnitus
• Neuromodulation and neurorehabilitation
• Neuromodulation and new indications
• Neuromodulation for bladder, bowel and sexual dysfunctions
• New technology for spinal cord stimulation
• Neuromodulation workshop for nurses, physicians, assistants, and allied healthcare Professionals and operating room personnel
• External neuromodulation techniques for pain and neurorehabilitation
During our next general assembly the board is to be reelected, and the present board will stay for a second term. Currently the chapter has 74 members and three honorary members.
Werner Braunsdorf, MD
President of DGNM
The Italian chapter has 80 members and held its election in Venice on Nov. 26, 2012, electing the new president and committee members, who take office June 17, 2013 and will serve three years. The incoming board will be:
Gianni Colini Baldeschi, MD, president
Alessandro Dario, MD, vice president
Sergio Mameli, MD, secretary
Giandomenico Babbolin, MD, treasurer
Genny Duse, MD, member
Maria Lucia, MD, member
Claudio Reverberi, MD, member
The incoming board announced the following program for 2013 - 2016:
• Organize cadaver workshops to enhance and validate the skills of implanters
• Formulate guidelines regarding neuromodulation using electrical and pharmacologic stimulation
• Arrange joint conferences, grow attendance at national meetings, and optimize the investment of the sponsors
• Seek out other INS chapters and societies or associations to implement multicenter studies or organize meetings with international faculty
• Encourage members outside the board to organize workshops or joint workshops on specific topics or subjects relevant to neuromodulation in order to share that information with other organizations
• Increase the number of members and try to be the more representative within government health-related institutions
• Reorganize the chapter website for information exchange, such as posting chapter governance information and airing ideas and suggestions with the members of the chapter. Minimize travel for board meetings through web conferencing, to save funds for science activities
• Rotate meetings to different medical centers throughout the country to increase the visibility of those centers
• Reactivate the presence of the auditors with the presence of a fiscal expert
Meanwhile, (as outgoing chapter president) I'm about to organize a masterclass on the financial problems related to the neuromodulation practice to tentatively take place in Milano next early March.
Ivano Dones, MD
President, Italian Neuromodulation Society
We had the Annual Meeting of Japan Neuromodulation Society on May 26, 2012 at Toshi-center Hotel in Tokyo. The meeting president was Prof. Setsuro Ogawa (Anesthesiology, Nihon University). One hundred and thirty participants attended that meeting. The main meeting theme was brain-machine interface. Reports of significant interest at the meeting included those about on-demand control systems for intention tremor and motor weakness. We also designed a hands-on lecture, which was on how to regulate deep brain stimulation (DBS) and spinal cord stimulation (SCS) systems.
We had good news this year. The fee for DBS and SCS patients (about $ 110 for movement disorder, $ 160 for pain) began being covered by Japan’s national health care insurance – the plan that covers everybody in Japan.
Already, the Japanese chapter has 56 members, and we expect INS membership to increase in Japan. For 2013, the next Annual Meeting of the Japan Neuromodulation Society is scheduled to take place on May 18, 2013 at Toshi Center Hotel in Tokyo. Prof. Amami Kato (Neurosurgery, Kinki University) is the meeting president.
We are looking forward to see many friends in Berlin.
Takamitsu Yamamoto MD, PhD
President, Japan Neuromodulation Society
Division of Applied System Neuroscience,
Department of Neurological Surgery,
Nihon University School of Medicine
NANS currently has 921 members, and has received a significant increase in the number of requests from members asking to become more involved with our society. The current NANS newsletter highlighted our Advocacy, Annual Meeting Planning, Scientific Program, Research, Membership, and Website committees, with some of those details briefly touched upon below.
The active Advocacy Committee is guided by David Kloth, MD; Joshua P. Prager, MD MS; and B. Todd Sitzman, MD. The committee works hard to stay in front of issues that can impact neuromodulation specialists, such as patient access to neuromodulation therapies, emerging healthcare policy, and regulation and reimbursement policies. As in previous years, the Advocacy Committee helped coordinate NANS’s participation in the joint Legislative Sessions and Capitol Hill visits that took place in conjunction with the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians Annual Meeting in June in Washington, DC.
Annual Meeting Planning and Scientific Program Committees
The NANS Annual Meeting Planning and Scientific Program Committees, led by Ashwini Sharan, MD; David Caraway, MD; Salim Hayek, MD PhD; Alon Mogilner, MD PhD; Dr. Prager; and Lawrence Poree, MD PhD, put on another outstanding program for the 16th annual meeting in December 2012 in Las Vegas. NANS expanded pre-meeting workshops to include a symposium in neuromodulation for neurologists, as well as a well-received neuromodulation investment, invention, and invigoration forum. More than 1050 medical professionals registered to attend the meeting.
The purpose of the new Research Committee is to initiate, promote, and fund research that supports one of the core components of NANS’s overall mission to advance neuromodulation through research. Members serving on the committee are Dr. Poree; Peter Konrad, MD PhD; Dr. Sharan; and Robert Foreman, PhD FAHA. The committee is focusing on ways to support new and innovative investigators in neuromodulation. This includes startup funds and other avenues of support. The goal is to facilitate the work of interested NANS members, residents, graduate students, fellows, and postdoctoral fellows who wish to pursue neuromodulation-related projects. The Research Committee has also been working to develop guidelines for reviewing research proposals and exploring short- and long-term strategies for establishing a research program for NANS.
Membership and Website Committees
The Membership and Website Committees, led by Dr. Poree and Steven Falowski, MD, respectively, have also been engaging in projects to enhance the benefits offered to members. Among other improvements, we intend to introduce a searchable directory for patients that will allow them to locate neuromodulation practitioners in their areas.
Ali Rezai, MD
President, North American Neuromodulation Society
South East Europe
Progress in 2012 includes the following updates.
• Currently, the South East European Neuromodulation (SEE) Society includes 25 active members.
• Following local chapter elections, Professor Damianos E. Sakas was re-elected as President of the SEE Chapter; Mr. Efstathios Boviatsis Vice President, Mr. Stefanos Korfias General Secretary, Mr. Stergios Gatzonis Treasurer, Mrs. Xanthi Michail Special Secretary and Mr. Emmanouil Anastasiou and Mr. Konstantinos Kouzounias members in the Chapter Administrative Committee.
• December 3rd is a day dedicated to the World Day for Persons with Disability. On this date our chapter arranged a press conference at the Ministry of Health on disabled persons and neuromodulation techniques with an audience consisting of a full spectrum of political, social, religious and editorial representatives. (The slides, in Greek, may be accessed at: News media interviews 1 and 2.)
• The chapter has plans to launch a new website for the SEE Chapter with the address: www.neuromodulation.gr.
• The South East European Neuromodulation Chapter of INS will be happy to participate with speakers, moderators and several abstracts in the 11th World INS Congress that will be held in Berlin in June 2013.
Professor Damianos E. Sakas
President, South East European Neuromodulation Society
The Swiss Neuromodulation Society held for the second consecutive year its annual conference as a joint meeting with the Swiss Society for Interventional Pain Management (SSIPM). The meeting took place on the 9th and 10th November in Montreux Switzerland and was a great success, with more than 100 participants from different backgrounds and specialties. Without going into all the details, Barnaby Jack, ex-hacker and consultant for a famous web security company, talked about the vulnerability of implantable medical devices, such as pumps and neurostimulators.
Another fascinating session by Prof. Grégoire Courtine of Switzerland and Prof. Susan Harkema of the United States discussed the role of epidural electrical stimulation combined with intrathecal drug administration for neurorehabilitation in paraplegic patients. Future trends and latest developments in neuromodulation were also addressed, such as dorsal root ganglion stimulation by Dr. Liong Liem of the Netherlands and high-frequency spinal cord stimulation by Dr. Stefan Schu of Germany. New this year, workshops were offered to train experienced specialists with some neuromodulation and interventional pain management procedures.
The next congress is already scheduled for 15 -16 November 2013, when collaboration with the SSIPM should be extended to the Swiss chapter of the IASP.
The Swiss chapter is currently working with Dr. Kaare Meier from Aarhus University in Denmark on a centralized national database that will be made freely available to neuromodulation centers of Switzerland. This database will allow a close monitoring of implantation procedures but also research projects and quality benchmark.
The website on the Swiss chapter will be launched in February 2013. It will contain useful information and tools for patients and physicians, as well as a section reserved for the latest news from industry.
President, Swiss Neuromodulation Society
United Kingdom and Ireland
Neuromodulation Society of UK and Ireland (NSUKI) update for 2012:
• Joint Polish Neuromodulation and Interventional Pain Medicine Societies and NSUKI meeting in Sopot, Poland 11-13 May 2012. The meeting had been well attended and the attendance of the few NSUKI members had been much appreciated. Meeting was followed by a cadaver demonstration of interventional pain techniques.
• 2012 Joint Meeting with German chapter (DGNM) 23 – 24 November
The meeting was held at the Westin Grand Hotel in Berlin and very well subscribed from both UK and German participants. Over 150 delegates enjoyed an excellent program of lectures, abstracts, and debates. The scientific program was run jointly by both societies and very well received by industry as well as delegates.
• NSUKI’s 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting is planned in Oxford towards end of September. This is hoped to be a joint meeting with the palliative care group as well as nurses in neuromodulation.
• A UK National Device Registry for Neuromodulation is under formation through NSUKI/INS leadership. NSUKI member and INS President Dr. Simon Thomson secured offers of support from industry, which should cover the estimated running costs of the database for the first two years.
A meeting was held in London between all the stakeholders including NSUKI, NICE and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency as well as commissioners, Faculty of Pain Medicine, and National Register of Access Consultants in order to organsise the steering group for the database. This is now well established and will oversee the purpose of the project.
A smaller data field group will be in charge of the day-to-day running of the registry – this will consist of NSUKI officers and members.
The RASCAL study (a multicentre randomised controlled trial of spinal cord stimulation plus usual care vs. usual care alone in the management of refractory angina: A feasibility & pilot study), funded by National Institute of Health Research, is progressing well with the survey of practice completed and the randomized controlled trials part in progress with 14 of 45 patients recruited.
• National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE):
NSUKI is registered as stakeholder for several NICE guidelines. NSUKI sent feedback comments on the NICE Peripheral Arterial Disease guidelines Dr. Peter Toomey, NSUKI secretary, also attended the NICE scoping meeting on the drug management of neuropathic pain.
• Secretary’s report
NSUKI membership remains unchanged at 96 members. In planning future meetings it would useful to try and link in with other groups like the nurses in neuromodulation and national ITB forum groups.
Sam Eldabe, MB ChB, FFPMRCA
President, Neuromodulation Society of the United Kingdom and Ireland.
INS Online Educational Content is Available for Use by INS Chapter Websites
Chapters are welcome to use or adapt web content about neuromodulation created by our members and posted on the INS website. This content is steadily being expanded and updated. Please feel free to contact the INS Public Education and Website Manager Nancy Garcia to coordinate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, INS offers web resources for chapters (member sign-in required). The most recent image of the cover of our journal, our logo, and other icons depicting society resources are gathered there, as well as links to INS resources available to all members, for sharing on chapter sites. INS chapters should be sure their sites carry the five following links, which point website visitors to appropriate INS pages: INS homepage; the journal Neuromodulation; members' login for access to the members-only section, where they can access the online journal, expert panel discussions, and more; the INS World Congress page; and the Expert Panel announcement and instruction page.
A big thank you is due to all members and chapters for their enthusiastic work to spread awareness of neuromodulation and the society's leading role in drawing together different disciplines to advance this field!