2012 News Briefs - International Neuromodulation Society

 
 

Earlier News:

January - December

Patent Envisions Weight Loss Through Stimulating Heat-Generating Fatty Tissue Activity
Dec. 25, 2012 - A U.S. patent assigned to the Advanced Neuromodulation Systems, Inc. successor St. Judge Medical Inc. involves methods for placing an electrode for stimulating a sympathetic nerve for the purpose of inducing weight loss by targeting stimulation to a splanchnic nerve and/or on the sympathetic chain in the chest cavity, guided by imaging brown adipose tissue, which is metabolized to generate body heat. The disclosure suggests an approach might involve stimulating the medullary raphe OFF cells that activate brown adipose tissue and/or blocking the raphe palladus cells. This can be facilitated by deep brain stimulation with a number of unique electrodes, or a single programmable electrode array. (Equities.com)

Patent Issued for Neuromodulation Targets in Cervical or Cranial Area
Dec. 25, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society members Peter Lando, Tracy Cameron, PhD, and Rohan Hoare are among inventors named in a newly issued U.S. patent. Assigned to Advanced Neuromodulation Systems, Inc. (now St. Jude Medical Inc.), the invention concerns modulating neuronal tissue in the C2/C3 dermatome area, or stimulating cervical nerve roots and/or cranial nerves to potential treat a broad range of pain conditions, motor or other neurological disorders, psychiatric conditions, gastric conditions, chronic immune- or endocrine-related conditions, or improve cardiac function. (Equities.com)

Obesity Therapy Concept Receives U.S. Patent
Dec. 25, 2012 - The U.S. Patent Office issued a patent assigned to Advanced Neuromodulation Systems, Inc. (now St. Jude Medical), that addresses sympathetic nervous system stimulation for obesity or other gastrointestinal diseases such as peptic ulcers, esophageal reflux, gastroparesis, irritable bowel syndrome and type II diabetes, which may require varying degrees of sympathetic nervous system inhibition or stimulation. (Equities.com)

Article Features High-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation Trial for Back Pain

Jan. 2, 2013 - In an interview about the Nevro SENZA high-frequency spinal cord stimulation system, International Neuromodulation Society member Adnan Al-Kaisy, MB ChB FRCA, said back-pain patients accepted into a clinical trial of the system at Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospital in London first participate in a residential program that involves cognitive behavior therapy, relaxation and learning to reduce their pain medication. The article notes that 100 patients have been implanted there with the system to date. (Daily Mail)

Colorado Hospital Gains Access to Deep Brain Stimulation Treatments
Dec. 28, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Claudio Feler, MD, was featured in an interview about treating a patient who has essential tremor at the Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, where he had been recruited in 2011 from the University of Tennessee at Memphis Medical Center. (Post Independent)

Study: Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Reduced Tic Symptoms
Dec. 27, 2012 - A study of 25 Tourette syndrome patients under age 16, led by Nong Xiao of Chongqing Medical University, Yuzhong district, China, and published in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, showed that four weeks of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to the supplemental motor area of the brain led to a six-month reduction in tic symptoms in 68 percent of the subjects. The low-frequency stimulation inhibits cortical excitability. (Psych Central)

Functional MRI Scans Reveal Distributed Effects of Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Patients

Dec. 26, 2012 - A group of researchers centered at the University College London found that during voluntary movements, deep brain stimulation reversed the effective connectivity between regions of the cortex and thalamus, as seen in 10 Parkinson's disease patients receiving stimulation to the subthalmic nucleus during carefully administered fMRI scans. The authors conclude DBS changes interactions between distributed brain regions, and impacts connectivity between the cortex and thalamus by changing their sensitivities to extrinsic afferents. (PLoS ONE)

Company's Device Reaches 100,000th Implant
Dec. 24, 2012 - Cyberonics, Inc. announced the 100,000th patient implant of its vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) system for epilepsy. This is the 15th year of VNS approval for the treatment of epilepsy in the U.S. and 25th anniversary of Cyberonics' founding. (NASDAQ)

Researchers Describe Prototype Closed-loop Simulation Translational Platform
Dec. 18, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society members Maciej Lazarewicz, MD, PhD, and Timothy Denison, PhD, of Medtronic, Inc., report along with co-authors demonstration of a prototype closed-loop deep-brain neurostimulation system in a chronic large animal model. The platform assessed hippocampal biomarkers of stimulation in order to titrate stimulation amplitudes to desired neural network effect. (Frontiers in Neural Circuits)

Pennsylvania Hospital Treats Its First Patient in Trial of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Heart Failure
Dec. 19, 2012 - A patient at Lancaster General Hospital in Pennsylvania was implanted with a vagus nerve stimulation device as part of the multi-center INOVATE-HF clinical trial of BioControl Medical's CardioFit device for heart failure. (Marketwire)

UK Newspaper Features Parkinson's Disease and Deep Brain Stimulation
Dec. 18, 2012 - Calling deep brain stimulation "the delicate operation that can transform lives," three articles describe the procedure, one man's seeking this intervention for his Parkinson's disease, and another who is still coping with mixed success using drug therapy alone. (Nottingham Post)

Brain-machine Interface Allows Control of Robotic Arm
Dec. 16, 2012 - An algorithm that draws on 25 years of basic research into motor control of the arms and wrists underlies development of brain-machine interface that allowed a paralyzed woman to operate a detached robotic hand through two motor cortex implants. (Bloomberg News)

Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression is Reviewed
Dec. 13, 2012 - A review summarizes the state of clinical research into subcallosal cingulate white matter as a target for deep brain stimulation in treatment resistant depression. The discussion includes long-term psychotherapy considerations. (World Neurosurgery)

Authors Describe Protocol for Nonsurgical Vagus Nerve Stimulation Trial in Depression
Dec. 14, 2012 - A researcher in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and China-based colleagues have published a study protocol to explore transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation treatment for depression. In the study at four centers in Beijing, 120 patient volunteers with mild to moderate major depressive disorder will participate in a double-blinded randomized clinical trial in which superficial branches of the vagus nerve on the ear will be stimulated, based on the theory that stimulating these afferent nerves that have afferent vagus nerve distribution should produce effects similar to an implanted stimulation lead without the burden of surgical intervention. Also, the study may allow more understanding of the biological basis of a tradition of acupuncture using points in the ear. (BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine)

Pilot Study Indicates Vagus Nerve Stimulation Combined with Sound Therapy May Improve Tinnitus
Dec. 13, 2012 - Nine Finnish researchers report on a pilot study of 10 individuals that suggests transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation combined with sound therapy improved mood and decreased tinnitus handicap scores. Eight individuals underwent brain scans using magnetoencephalography that show treatment caused a decreased amplitude of response in the auditory cortex. (Acta Oto-laryngologica)

Experts Ponder Concerns and Possible Promise of Deep Brain Stimulation in Addiction
Dec. 10, 2012 - The nucleus accumbens plays an important role in reward circuitry and behavior. Based on observations of patients who received deep brain stimulation to this target, animal studies, and clinical experience with other interventions, a medical ethicist, neurosurgeons, psychiatric faculty members and others have published an overview in which they conclude that modulating a dysfunctional reward network seems potentially promising as one treatment option for alcohol addiction, considering that current therapies help less than half of addicted patients. The authors describe recommendations and considerations for when and how to pursue informed consent. (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences)

Interview: Florida Center Anticipates Starting Investigation of Neurostimulation Treatment in Alzheimer's Disease Next Month
Dec. 13, 2012 - The University of Florida is expected to have its first deep brain stimulation surgery carried out on a clinical trial subject with mild Alzheimer's disease in January, according to an interview with Dr. Kelly Foote. The U.S. trial to investigate deep brain stimulation to the fornix's potential benefits on memory formation involves the University of Pennsylvania, the Banner Health System in Phoenix, and Johns Hopkins University. A total of 40 patients are expected to be enrolled in the prospective, randomized, double-blinded, controlled trial in which randomly selected control subjects will wait to receive stimulation until one year after implantation. (Gainesville Sun)

Editorial in Heart Failure Journal Notes Potential of Vagus Nerve Stimulation
Dec. 11, 2012 - An editorial in the European Journal of Heart Failure cites a "new era of device therapy" and mentions a clinical trial of BioControl Medical's CardioFit vagus nerve stimulation in heart failure. Results published in April 2011 showed 32 patients sustained clinical benefits over 12 months. Nineteen of the patients were followed for up to four years in subsequent research, and followup of up to 24 months was presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2012 in November. (MarketWatch)

Amplitude Changes in Deep Brain Stimulation of Parkinson's Patients Studied
Dec. 11, 2012 - Clinicians examined eight Parkinson's disease patients with bilateral deep brain stimulation systems, and tested the amplitude of stimulation at moderate, low, or off settings. Responses to the dose changes were individual, with some patients showing a threshhold-like response and othera a graded response. (Dove Press)

Magnetic Brain Stimulation for Depression, Stroke Rehabilitation Receives CE Mark
Dec. 10, 2012 - Finnish company Nexstim Oy won CE marking for its magnetic brain stimulation device, Navigated Brain Therapy. The device relies on MRI targeting and is intended for treatment of depression and stroke rehabilitation. (Fierce Medical Devices)

Data Presented on Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation for Chronic Pain
Dec. 8, 2012 - At the 16th Annual NANS Conference, several presentations addressed use of Spinal Modulation's Axium Spinal Cord Stimulator System. Liong Liem, MD, an International Neuromodulation Society member, presented 12-month results in 32 patients at four pain centers in which stimulation to the dorsal root ganglion appeared promising due to minimal unwanted paresthesia and limited postural effects, with less than a 3% revision rate. He also reported that in 14 patients who had ilioinguinal nerve pain due to hernia repair, in an average follow-up of 14 weeks, over 90% of the patients experienced a 50% reduction in pain. At the same conference, International Neuromodulation Society President-Elect Timothy Deer, MD presented international experiences in managing neuropathic groin pain, post-amputation pain and CRPS of the lower extremities. In seven CRPS patients with difficult-to-treat foot pain, the average overall pain relief there was 82.9%, according to International Neuromodulation Society member Jean-Pierre Van Buyten, MD. Spinal Modulation will be initiating a pivotal trial in 2013 in the U.S. (Business Wire)

Company Releases 32-Contact Spinal Cord Stimulation System in Europe and Announces New Products and Indications
Dec. 7, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society President Simon Thomson, MD, performed the first commercial implant of Boston Scientific's spinal cord stimulation (SCS) system that doubles the number of available contacts to 32. Each contact has a dedicated power source. This system, the Precision Spectra, is subject to two new clinical trials. The OPTIONS trial is a prospective, multi-center, single arm study to further characterize the system. The MAP trial is a multi-center study to identify multiple pain areas in SCS-eligible patients with certain diseases. The company announced several other new products and expanded regulatory indications in Europe: Head-only MRI conditional CE Mark approval for the Precision™ Plus SCS System; peripheral nerve stimulation CE Mark approval for the Precision Plus SCS System; Vercise™ Deep Brain Stimulator System CE Mark approval for Parkinson’s disease; and Infinion™ 16 Percutaneous Lead for SCS. (Press Release)

FDA Sets February Date to Review Premarket Approval Application for Epilepsy Neurostimulation System
Dec. 7, 2012 - NeuroPace, Inc. has received a date of Feb. 22, 2013 for an FDA panel to review its application for premarket approval of its RNS System, a cortical neurostimulator and sensor to treat medically refractory epilepsy. (MassDevice)

First U.S. Alzheimer's Patient Enters Deep Brain Stimulation Trial
Dec. 6, 2012 - Johns Hopkins is the first U.S. site to have a patient with mild Alzheimer's disease receive a deep brain stimulation system as part of Functional Neuromodulation's ADvance clinical trial. It has been two years since preparations began, noted Todd Langevin, Functional Neuromodulation president and chief operating officer, a member of the International Neuromodulation Society. The randomized double-blind controlled trial will initially enroll 20 patients aged 55-80 with mild Alzheimer's disease. Participating study centers include the Banner Alzheimer's Institute in Phoenix, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, and the University of Pennsylvania. (MarketWatch)

Overactive Bladder Neuromodulation Therapies Compared
Dec. 6, 2012 - Uroplasty, Inc. released data indicating that under a wide variety of conditions, percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation remained significantly less costly than sacral nerve stimulation over two years of therapy for patients with medically refractory overactive bladder. The company announced an abstract regarding the data is now available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.juro.2012.08.085. (PR Newswire)

Case Report: Sacral Nerve Stimulation Relieves Chronic Pain from Fractured Pelvis
Dec. 5, 2012 - A case report discussed a patient finding pain relief over the course of 3.5 years with sacral nerve stimulation. The treatment was intended for bladder symptoms and was noted to improve longstanding pain stemming from a pelvic fracture 25 years before. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Neuromodulation Market Report Released
Dec. 5, 2012 - Reportlinker.com announced a new analysis of global neurostimulation markets from 2010 - 2018. The report analyses markets for spinal cord stimulation, deep brain stimulation, sacral nerve stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation, and gastric electric stimulation; and profiles 21 companies, including  Boston Scientific Corp., Cyberonics, Inc., Medtronic, Inc., St. Jude Medical, Inc., Synapse Biomedical, Inc., and SPR Therapeutics, LLC. (The Street)

Review Discusses Electrical Stimulation as an Adjuvant Therapy for Medically Refractory Chronic Cardiac Disease
Nov. 30, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society members Ulrich Beese, MD, PhD; Michiel Staal, MD, PhD; and Mike DeJongste, MD, PhD; along with Koen De Decker, MD report the status of electrical neuromodulation as a safe and reversible adjuvant therapy in medically refractory cardiac patients to reduce complaints of angina, enhance exercise capacity, improve quality of life and exert anti-ischemic effects. (Netherlands Heart Journal)

Patent Issues for Method to Treat Obesity Through Sympathetic Nerve Stimulation
Nov. 27, 2012 - The U.S. Patent Office issued a patent Nov. 27, 2012 assigned to Advanced Neuromodulation Systems, Inc. (now part of St. Jude Medical) for treating obesity by electrically stimulating the sympathetic nervous system to induce feelings of satiety and increase energy expenditure. Stimulation would be applied on or near sympathetic nerves such as the sympathetic chain ganglia, the splanchnic nerves (greater, lesser, least), or the peripheral ganglia (e.g., celiac, mesenteric). (Equities.com)


Television Interview Spotlights Functional Electrical Stimulation
Dec. 4, 2012 - In a television interview, P. Hunter Peckham, PhD, of the Cleveland FES Center, describes development of functional electrical implants to help patients with chronic neurological disorders or partial spinal cord injury regain some motor or sensory function. Joining him on the broadcast was Jen French, executive director of Neurotech Network, who is one of about 500 spinal cord injury patients worldwide to a receive functional electrical stimulation implant. In addition to co-founding the education and advocacy organization, she was a silver medalist in sailing at the 2012 Paralympic Games. (Fox News)


Long-Term Data on Deep Brain Stimulation in Refractory Epilepsy Patients Presented
Dec. 3, 2012 - Follow-up with 83 epilepsy patients five years after 110 patients underwent bilateral stimulation of the anterior nuclei of the thalamus shows sustained efficacy and continuous improvement in symptoms of refractory partial onset seizure epilepsy, according to an abstract presented American Epilepsy Society's annual meeting in San Diego. These data were gathered on patients who had participated in the SANTE trial funded by Medtronic, Inc. Reductions of at least 50% in seizure frequency were eventually seen in 69% of 59 patients followed for five years who kept seizure diaries for at least 70 days, and 16% of the patients remained seizure free for periods of at least 6 months. Deep brain stimulation for epilepsy is approved in Canada and Europe, but not the U.S., where an FDA advisory committee recommended approval on a 7-5 vote, based largely on early results from a sham-controlled phase of the trial. (MedPage Today)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation System Early Results in Epilepsy Announced at Annual Meeting
Dec. 3, 2012 - Early results announced at the American Epilepsy Society 2012 meeting in San Diego show that in five refractory epilepsy patients with partial onset seizures, improved outcomes without side effects were observed with at least one year of use of the BioControl Medical FitNeS implantable vagus nerve stimulation system, which is available through the European spin-off CerebralRx and has CE Mark approval. This is the same platform technology used in the company's CardioFit(R) system for treating congestive heart failure. (MarketWatch)

Advantages of Augmenting Stroke Rehabilitation with Neural Stimulation Discussed
Nov. 29, 2012 - Researchers discuss advantages of augmenting stroke rehabilitation with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), or epidural cortical stimulation (ECS) that can enhance neural plasticity.  (Experimental Brain Research)


Results of Amputation-Pain Study to be Presented at Las Vegas Meeting
Dec. 3, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Amol Soin, MD, is slated to present initial results of a pilot study of high-frequency nerve block stimulation for amputation pain at the annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society from Dec. 6 - 9 in Las Vegas. In the study, long-term testing of the patented approach by Neuros Medical, Inc. shows that therapy sessions reduced pain rating from 4 or 5 on a scale of 10 to 0 or 1, according to a company news release. (Neuros Medical, Inc.)

Device Maker of Vagus Nerve Stimulation Systems for Epilepsy is Ranked "Outperform"
Nov. 30, 2012 - Cyberonics, Inc. maintained an "outperform" rating by Zacks Equity Research due to strong continued growth in its vagus nerve stimulation products to treat epilepsy in the U.S. and abroad. The last-reported quarter saw a 17% increase in sales to $63 million compared to the same quarter last year, and an increase in earnings per share of 37.5% to 44 cents. The results surpassed Zacks consensus estimates of $60 million in sales and 39 cents in earnings per share. (Zacks Equity Research)

Upcoming Trial of Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation for Neuropathic Pain is Announced
November 2012 - Recruitment of patients with chronic neuropathic pain for a clinical trial using stimulation to the dorsal toot ganglion was announced by a member of the International Neuromodulation Society, W. Porter McRoberts, MD, who is seeking patients to participate in a study of the stimulator created by the company Spinal Modulation. The recruitment seeks patients with chronic pain the the feet or legs, chronic diabetic peripheral neuropathy, burning leg or foot pain, or failed back surgery syndrome. (International House of Pain)

Intraoperative Recordings Show GPi Stimulation Entrains Local Neuronal Firing
Nov. 26, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ashwin Viswanathan, MD, and colleagues published results showing that in 11 Parkinson's patients who agreed to participate in a study during implantation of a deep brain stimulation (DBS) system, stimulation to a single neuron on the globus pallidus (GPi) apparently disrupts the pathological firing patterns through loosely entrained firing and decreased net neuronal activity. The effects appeared in a voltage-dependent fashion. While most neurons decreased activity during stimulation, some increased or did not change firing rate. Thirty-three of 45 neurons displayed complex patterns of entrainment during stimulation, and burst firing was consistently decreased after stimulation. (Journal of Neurophysiology)


Combined Neural Stimulation Improves Motor Function in Spinal Cord Injury Study Subjects
November 29, 2012 - Researchers report in Current Biology that electrical stimulation of the ulner nerve, combined with transcranial magnetic stimulation to the motor cortex, helped patients with partial spinal cord injury to more ably perform a task using a peg board. Nineteen patients were compared with 14 healthy volunteers in the research project. The authors, from  the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh, believe enhancing synaptic transmission through this stimulation reinforces plasticity of the remaining neural pathways during rehabilitation. (MedPage Today)


Patent Application Concerns Phrenic Nerve Stimulation to Treat Central Sleep Apnea
November 2012 - A patent application assigned to Medtronic, Inc. was cleared for further review on Nov. 22, 2012, that involves addressing central sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea through phrenic nerve stimulation. The system would sense heart rhythm and the cardiac refractory period in order to induce respiration without substantially inducing cardiac contraction. (Equities.com)

Collaboration Intends to Develop Prosthetic Arm Controlled by Thoughts
Nov. 28, 2012 - A project in Sweden, carried out by Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital and Integrum AB, aims to attach a prosthetic arm directly to the remaining bone and use a neural interface at the nerves and muscles to control the action of the prosthesis. In the concept, signals from the interface would be transmitted through the titanium bone implant. (EE Times)


Insurance Coverage for Overactive Bladder Neurostimulation Treatment Expands
Nov. 27, 2012 - More than 4 million insureds in California and Florida now have coverage for posterior tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) for the treatment of overactive bladder, the device company Uroplasty, Inc. announced. In addition, Medicare administrators for 13 states have extended coverage from 1 to 2 years based on recent data showing sustained benefit from continued PTNS therapy. (Market Watch)


Vagus Nerve Stimulation Studied in Rats with Acute Myocardial Infarction
Nov. 26, 2012 -  A team of researchers from the Xi'an Jiaotong University College of Medicine's Department of Pharmacology in China, and the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center and Department of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, report preclinical studies that may help address ischemic heart disease. The most optimal parameter in their study of vagus nerve stimulation in rats with acute myocardial infarction showed reduced heart injury, well-preserved function, and minimal heart rate reduction. The authors note the duration of stimulation influenced its protective effect. (PLoS ONE)

Neuromodulation Talks Posted from Montreux Meeting
Nov. 26, 2012 - A number of international faculty presented earlier in November at the 2nd Joint Annual Meeting and Swiss Society for Interventional Pain Management and the Swiss Neuromodulation Society in Montreux, Switzerland. The talks can now be viewed through videostreaming. (Swiss Neuromodulation Society)


Retinal Implant Representation of Braille Letters is Identifiable to a Blind Study Subject
Nov. 23, 2012 - A patient literate in Braille could identify letters and words using a retinal implant that stimulated six electrodes in various patterns to create the letters directly, according to a published Nov. 21 in the journal Frontiers of Neuroprosthetics http://www.frontiersin.org/Neuroprosthetics/10.3389/fnins.2012.00168/full#B13 by researchers from the company Second Sight, manufacturers of the Argus II retinal implant. The patient viewed each projection for half a second and identified the characters with up to 89% accuracy. (Health U.S. News)

New Zealand Child is Reportedly First to Receive Deep Brain Stimulation for Severe Pain, Spasm, and Movement Illness
Nov. 22, 2012 - In what is believed to be a medical first in New Zealand, a Carterton girl underwent bilateral deep brain stimulation surgery to treat intense painful spasms that developed in May after she was struck by a mystery illness following a sore throat and had reportedly been unable to move as a result. (stuff.co.nz)

International Neuromodulation Society Members Develop Model to Guide Spinal Cord Stimulation Reprogramming Efforts
Nov. 21, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society members Jeffrey Arle, MD, PhD, and Jay Shils, PhD, joined with Kris Carlson of the Neuromodulation Group at the Lahey Clinic in Vermont to develop a visual model of changing electric fields that result from scar formation in spinal cord stimulation, with the goal of predicting the proper stimulation to adjust for that effect rather than relying on trial-and-error reprogramming. (Comsol)

Economics Model Compares Costs and Benefits of Implant or Outpatient Procedure for Overactive Bladder Treatment
Nov. 19, 2012 - Writing in the Journal of Urology, researchers from Technomics Research LLC in Minneapolis simulated the cost of treating overactive bladder for two years with either a sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) implant or outpatient percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS). Using Medicare reimbursement data and effectiveness estimated by a literature review, they concluded that in their model, PTNS had substantially lower cost although both methods are safe, effective neuromodulation therapies for overactive bladder. Of patients who completed an initial trial successfully, PTNS cost $4,867 with 71% of patients remaining on therapy at two years; SNS cost $24,342 with 90% remaining on therapy after two years. (Journal of Urology)


Radomized, Controlled Trial Compares Deep Brain Stimulation Targets in Advanced Parkinson's Disease
Nov. 16, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society members Michiel Staal, MD, PhD; Carel Hoffmann, MD; and 16 co-authors report a randomized controlled trial that compared globus pallidus pars interna (GPi) deep brain stimulation (DBS) and stimulation to the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in 128 patients with advanced Parkinson's disease. No significant difference was seen in up to one year of followup in disability scores or side-effects. However, the STN group showed improvements in the off-drug phase compared with the GPi group. (The Lancet Neurology)


Workers' Compensation Claimant Loses Appeal in Washington State to Have Spinal Cord Stimulation Covered for Treatment of Neuropathic Pain
Nov. 19, 2012 - In Joy v. Department of Labor and Industries,  a two-judge state appellate panel held in September that because the Washington State Health Care Authority's technology assessment committee found in 2010 that studies did not prove spinal cord stimulation is necessary and proper, it cannot be included in the appellant's treatment claim for a job-related injury resulting in neuropathic pain to her neck. The court did not have the discretion to allow its use in her case if the coverage determination for all claimants had already been made. In its published 2010 determination, the technology assessment committee "agreed that, at best, weak evidence exists that SCS may provide temporary improvement of pain in some patients, but there is no evidence of mid or long term pain improvement," and "found inadequate evidence to identify characteristics that either enhance or reduce the efficacy of SCS such as age, sex, workers’ compensation or other disability payments, duration of pain, pain intensity, time since first lumbar surgery, number of prior operations for pain, pain location, laterality of pain, allodynia or hyposthesia at baseline, McGill Pain Questionaire or the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory." (Risk & Insurance)

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Therapy Developer Receives Neurotech Reports' 2012 Best Company Award
Nov. 19, 2012 - ImThera Medical Inc.'s proprietary targeted hypoglossal neurostimulation sleep therapy for obstructive sleep apnea was named winner of the Gold Electrode Award http://bit.ly/Q8YloW for Best New Product at the Neurotech Reports' Neurotech Leaders Forum in October. In a market in which several new devices are competing to treat obstructive sleep apnea with neurostimulation, ImThera’s aura6000 was selected because of its ability to deliver targeted hypoglossal nerve stimulation to achieve optimal muscle stimulation. (Sleep Review)


Enrollment Begins in Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Trial
Nov. 16, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society members Paul Lynch, MD and Tory McJunkin, MD, are enrolling patients with peripheral nerve pain for a clinical trial of the Bioness nerve stimulator. The device uses an external battery pack attached with adhesive. (PR Web)

Neurosurgeons Develop a Benchmark Across Facilities for the Process of Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery
Nov. 13, 2012 - Aviva Abosch, MD, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Minnesota Medical Center have published an international survey that includes 143 centers performing deep brain stimulation surgery (DBS) at various volumes. The authors describe 19 main steps in the procedure and data on the duration of the steps, which they believe could help in comparing efficiencies and identifying workflow obstacles. (Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery)

Authors Summarize Mechanisms of Plasticity Resulting from Neurostimulation to Treat Spinal Cord Injury
November 2012 - Based on increasing understanding of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity with clinical applications in restoring motor function to patients with spinal cord injury, a pair of authors review evidence of several complementary plasticity mechanisms that may underlie these therapeutic effects. (Nature Reviews Neurology)


Authors Discuss Candidacy for Deep Brain Stimulation in Subgroups of Dystonia Patients
Nov. 15, 2012 - In a review of literature on deep brain stimulation for dystonia, a team of authors from the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris analyzed reports that predicted treatment outcome and others that were more variable, highlighting recent results showing that myoclonus and tar dive dystonia share a good risk/benefit ration with primary dystonia when treated with bilateral interna globus pallidum stimulation. They note that poor or variable results have been obtained for secondary dystonia, such as that caused by heredodegenerative and metabolic disorders. (Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry)


First Patient Undergoes Procedure in U.S. Clinical Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation in Alzheimer's Disease
Nov. 14, 2012 - Up to 10 patients will be enrolled in a study led by Douglas Scharre, MD, and Ali Rezai, MD -- a member of the International Neuromodulation Society and president of its North American chapter -- to explore the potential of deep brain stimulation (DBS) to improve cognitive, behavioral, and functional deficits in mild to early-sate Alzheimer's disease. The first patient to receive a DBS implant to address Alzheimer's disease in the United States underwent the procedure on Oct. 24. (HealthNews Digest)

Results Presented After 24 Months of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Study of Heart Failure Patients
Nov. 12, 2012 - A multi-center study in Italy, Germany, The Netherlands and Serbia showed the CardioFit vagus nerve stimulation system by BioControl Medical benefited the 19 patients for up to 24 months, according to results presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2012. (Cardiovascular News International)

Patent Issued to Improve Reliability of Neuromodulation Lead Connection
Nov. 6, 2012 - A U.S. patent issued Nov. 6, 2012 and assigned to Medtronic, Inc. covers an implantable lead with coplanar contract coupling to reduce conductor bending moments where the contact connects to the lead, reducing chances of stress affecting the conductor that can interfere with reliability of the connection. (NewsRx.com)

Patent Issued to Limit Patient-Initiated Neurostimulation
Nov. 6, 2012 - A U.S. patent issued Nov. 6, 2012 and assigned to Cyberonics, Inc. would provide the capability to set a variety of limits or alternative modes, which may include reduced repeat on-demand dosing, on patient-initiated stimulation doses for an implantable neurostimulator, such as a vagus nerve stimulator used to treat epilepsy. (equities.com)


Sacral Neuromodulation Studied in Patients with Simultaneous Fecal and Urinary Incontinence
November 2012 - Fifty-seven patients were followed for at least six months (with a median of 62.8 months) to see the effects of sacral neuromodulation on simultaneous fecal and urinary incontinence. Urinary frequency and urge incontinence improved, but not retention and dysuria, while fecal incontinence also improved. At the end of follow-up, 73% patients were highly satisfied with the technique, but 9% felt their condition had deteriorated. The reoperation rate was 29%, of which 12% were indicated because of a complication. (Diseases of the Colon & Rectum)

Study Examines Usefulness of Motor Cortex Stimulation in Advanced Parkinson's Disease
Oct. 2, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society members Giusy Guzzi, MD, Angelo Lavano, MD, and colleagues report results from a three-year follow-up on 10 patients whose advanced Parkinson's disease was treated with unilateral motor cortex stimulation (MCS) at the University Hospital of Catanzaro, Italy. While less efficacious than deep brain stimulation, they say it might be proposed for patients who are unresponsive or excluded from that surgery. They conclude that employing extradural MCS contralateral to the most-affected side improved all main symptoms of severe advanced Parkinson's disease, especially axial symptoms, gait disturbances, and medical complications of drug therapy, and also reduced drug intake.


5M€ IMPACT project Aims to Reduce Deep Brain Stimulation-Induced Side Effects
Nov. 12, 2012 - A collaborative European project is aimed to minimize stimulation-induced side effects experienced by some 15-30% of patients who received deep brain stimulation (DBS) treatment. The four-year. 5M€ IMPACT project, sponsored by the European Union's innovation-encouraging Seventh Framework Programme, is led by Sapiens Steering Brain Stimulation B.V. (Netherlands), with Twente Medical Systems International B.V. (Netherlands), ICsense N.V. (Belgium), Linköping University (Sweden), Fraunhofer MEVIS Project Group on Image Registration (Germany), and clinical partners University Hospital Cologne (Germany), ICM: the Brain & Spine Institute (France), and University Hospital Umeå (Sweden). The goal is to create a positioning and programming tool that uses direct feedback and images through combining pre- and post-operative imaging data, high-resolution electrical recordings of the patients' brain activity and bio-statistical data about DBS target areas. (Reuters)

UK Newspaper Covers New Availability of an External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulator for Epilepsy
Nov. 12, 2012 - UK specialists are giving a cautious welcome to an epilepsy patch worn on the forehead while sleeping, the external Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (eTNS) system, by U.S.-based Neurosigma. Powered by a small stimulator worn around the waist, it stimulates major branches of the trigeminal nerve, which lies close to the skin on the forehead and which is thought to connect to parts of the brain involved in epileptic seizures. The device has CE Mark approval for prescription use for epilepsy and serious depression. (The Telegraph)

Company Acquires Vagus Nerve Stimulation Developer to Enhance Heart Failure Portfolio
Nov. 12, 2012 - Milan-based Sorin Group announced acquisition of Neurotech SA, of Belgium, which developed an implantable vagus nerve stimulator that uses a rechargeable battery and records neural activity of the target. Sorin said the acquisition will accelerate the time to market of its neuromodulation therapies to treat heart failure. Neurotech SA was spun out of the Université catholique de Louvain with funding by SOPARTEC, the technology transfer company of Université catholique de Louvain, Vives Louvain Technology Fund SA and SRIW Techno SA (Société Régionale d'Investissement de Wallonie). (Business Wire)


Virginia Medical Center Begins Offering Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery
Nov. 11, 2012 - An article describes how the first Parkinson's disease patient to undergo deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery at the Winchester Medical Center in Virginia is now back to enjoying hunting and fishing in the woods. Several more patients are being evaluated for potential DBS surgery at the medical center. (Cumberland Times-News)

Study Compares Impedance Differences Between Strip and Depth Brain Stimulation Electrodes
Nov. 8, 2012 - Drs. Chengyuan Wu and Ashwini D. Sharan, members of the International Neuromodulation Society, co-authored a research paper with colleagues in which impedance values were measured over three years in seven epilepsy patients to compare differences between depth and strip electrodes, and to examine device stability and implications of long-term electrode implantation. The patients had participated in a pivotal clinical trial of responsive neurostimulation. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Ireland Health Authority Publishes Technical Assessment of Deep Brain Stimulation
Nov. 7, 2012 - The health technology assessment weighing the costs and benefits of establishing a national service in Ireland for deep brain stimulation is now available to download from the Irish health authority. (Health and Information Quality Authority)


Assessment Weighs Costs and Benefits of a Potential Deep Brain Stimulation Program in Ireland
Nov. 8, 2012 - An assessment by the Health Information and Quality Authority shows that the cost of establishing a deep brain stimulation program in Ireland would exceed the cost of sending patients to the UK by around €21,000 per patient over 10 years, although easier access to care would benefit patients if a program were established. (Irish Health)

Benefits of Electrical Stimulation for Treating Gastroparesis Reported
Nov. 8, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jiande Chen, PhD, was interviewed in an article about a study he led that shows that electrical stimulation to acupuncture points improves dyspeptic symptoms in patients who have gastroparesis, a complication of diabetes that causes nausea, vomiting, bloating, and other symptoms. (EndoNurse)


Television Show Explores Laboratory Experiments in Stimulating Spine Injury Rehabilitation
Nov. 8, 2012 - The science production of the Australian TV station ABC shows a laboratory in Lausanne where rats with partial spinal cord injuries receive electrostimulation that stimulates locomotion and can apparently lead to plastic growth below the spinal injury to create new neural connections that allow the brain to have voluntary control. (Catalyst)

Spinal Cord Stimulation for Arthritis is Subject of TV Segment
Nov. 7, 2012 - A television station in Roanoke, VA covers a patient getting a spinal cord stimulator to try to help with arthritis pain. (WSLS 10)


University of Toronto Researchers Publish Article on Deep Brain Stimulation Effects on Memory
November 2012 - Surgeons at the University of Toronto have published a review of mechanisms in which deep brain stimulation (DBS) may impact memory and cognition, along with recent clinical experiences with DBS in Alzheimer's disease and Parkinsonian dementia. (Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences)


Physicians Examine Brain Imaging Correlates of Peripheral Nerve Stimulation
Oct. 31, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Nader Pouratian, MD, and Ausaf A. Bari, MD  present an overview of brain imagine correlates of vagal, occipital, trigeminal and sacral nerve stimulation. "As more patients are implanted with peripheral nerve stimulators," they write, "it will become imperative to perform functional neuroimaging studies with greater power to delineate the regions involved in their therapeutic effect." (Surgical Neurology International)

Case Study Indicates Potential of Sacral Nerve Stimulation to Treat Fecal Incontinence from Acquired Sphincter Defect
Oct. 30, 2012 - In a case report from St. Mark's Hospital and Academic Institute in Harrow, UK, two patients who had undergone coloanal pull-through procedures in infancy were trailed with sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) for fecal incontinence. Both had acquired sphincter defect with partial sacral agenesis. One went on to a permeant implant, indicating SNS may be effective for some incontinent patients with imperforate anus even in the presence of partial sacral agenesis. (Techniques in Coloproctology)


Review Examines 10 Years of Studies of Sacral Nerve Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Constipation
Nov. 2, 2012 - A team of clinicians from St Mark's Hospital and Academic Institute in Harrow, UK reviewed 13 studies from the past 10 years in which sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) was used in cases of constipation resistant to conservative treatment. Although the various studies had different outcome measures and patient populations, in those who proceeded to permanent SNS, up to 87 percent showed an improvement in symptoms at a median follow-up of 28 months. (British Journal of Surgery)

Overview of Focal Neuromodulation for Depression Points to Potential for More Detailed Understanding
Nov. 1, 2012 -  A summary of emerging potential therapies for medically refractory depression, including transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation, magnetic seizure therapy, vagus nerve stimulation, direct cortical stimulation, and deep brain stimulation concludes that "by investigating specific and shared mechanisms of action for these diverse treatments, biological factors predicting differential treatment response may be identified," and that clarifying which patients may benefit from which approaches "may be achieved through head-to-head trials comparing different neuromodulation approaches and through the use of well-constructed registries." (F1000 Prime)

Five-Year Follow-Up Indicates Pallidal Neurostimulation is Effective and Relatively Safe in Ideopathic Dystonia
Nov. 1, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society members Volker Tronnier, MD, Marcus Pinkser, MD, and Jan Vesper, MD, and 20 co-authors published a five-year follow-up of a randomized trial of pallidal deep brain stimulation in 38 patients with primary generalized or segmental dystonia. They conclude pallidal neurostimulation is an effective and relatively safe treatment option for patients with severe idiopathic dystonia and that their long-term observations provide further evidence in favor of it as a first-line treatment for patients with medically intractable, segmental, or generalised dystonia. (The Lancet)

Authors Address Central Mechanisms of Epilepsy Seizure Suppression Through Vagus Nerve Stimulation
Oct. 31, 2012 - Since 1988, more than 50,000 epilepsy patients have received vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) systems. International Neuromodulation Society member Scott Krahl, PhD, and Kevin B. Clark summarize how activation of vagal afferents through electrical stimulation influences seizure-related circuitry within the brain, and conclude the locus coeruleus and dorsal raphe nucleus play prominent roles in mediating seizure suppression induced by VNS. (Surgical Neurology International Stereotatic)

Authors Summarize Studies of One Brain Target for Controlling Tremor Symptoms Through Electrical Stimulation
Oct. 29, 2012 - Three University of Chicago researchers have published a mini-review examining the few available studies that evaluate neurostimulation of the posterior subthalamic area for essential tremor or parkinsonian tremor. They write that this target, including the zona incerta and the prelemniscal radiation, shows promise in tremor suppression and has a mild and transient adverse effect profile. (Translational Neurodegeneration)


University to Assist Tinnitus Clinical Trial in 2013
Oct. 31, 2012 - The Texas Biomedical Device Center at the University of Texas at Dallas has agreed to partner with neuroscience-based medical device company MicroTransponder to conduct one of the first U.S. clinical tests of a novel tinnitus therapeutic approach developed at UT Dallas for tinnitus. The trial will take place in a small cohort of patients beginning in 2013. The approach pairs audible tones with brief pulses of electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve. (University of Texas at Dallas)


Spine Surgeon Discusses Emergence and Benefits of Spinal Cord Stimulation
Oct. 31, 2012 - Spine surgery tailors therapy to the problem, Dr. Alexander Bailey says in a Q&A column, and growing trends consider spinal cord stimulation (SCS) one of those options, which he believes benefit patients "even more than fusion therapy". Technology, technique and awareness of SCS among patients and physicians have all improved, he said. (Becker's Spine Review)

Neurostimulator Invented for Headache Treatment is Voted Among Top 10
Oct. 31, 2012 - Second on the Cleveland Clinic's list of top 10 medical innovations for the year is the sphenopalatine ganglion neurostimulator invented there and developed by Autonomic Technologies Inc. for treatment of cluster and migraine headaches. The device is investigational in the United States and has received CE Mark approval in Europe. Physicians and researchers voted on 250 ideas submitted by colleagues. One selection criterion is the number of people potentially helped by a product or procedure. (Reuters)

Gastric Stimulation Device Permits Online Social Support and Sharing
Oct. 30, 2012 - Intrapace's implantable gastric stimulator includes communication between the device and an online portal where patients may track their food intake and activity levels, and share with approved peers as a motivator for weight loss. The system received CE Mark approval in England, France, Spain, Italy, and Germany in 2011. (Medgadget)


Online Interactive Expert Panel Starts Thursday for INS Members on Choice of Intrathecal Drugs for Pain
Oct. 31, 2012 - The next online, interactive Expert Panel begins tomorrow, Nov. 1, through Nov. 15, 2012, and is accessible to all members of the International Neuromodulation Society. Elliot Krames, MD, past president of INS and emeritus editor-in-chief of the journal Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, will moderate a question-and-answer discussion for practitioners on "Choice of Intrathecal Drugs for Pain". Members may log in at www.neuromodulation.com and enter the Members-Only Section to visit this topic on the Global Discussion Forum. (International Neuromodulation Society)

Australian Clinic Starts Offering Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression
Oct. 31, 2012 - A patient describes receiving repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for medically refractory depression at a new clinic in Melbourne. (The Australian)

San Francisco-Area Doctors Learn About Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
Oct. 30, 2012- A medical director of rehabilitation at a county hospital in San Leandro, Calif. arranged a daylong workshop on transcranial direct current stimulation. An article about the event called the investigational method a "kinder, gentler . . .  form of electric brain stimulation" that "is gaining traction as a promising therapy for brain injuries due to stroke or other traumas, depression, dementia, attention-deficit disorder and other conditions."  (SFGate)

University Uses Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Brain Research
Oct. 30, 2012 - The cognitive Brain Research Unit in Siltavuorenpenger has a new transcranial magnetic stimulation system, the Finnish Nextim NBS4, that is dedicated to research purposes, such as mapping which areas of the brain are responsible for which tasks, such as speech processing. (University of Helsinki)

Neuromodulation Market Predicted to Grow to More Than $7 billion by 2018
Oct. 30, 2012 - The market for neuromodulation devices is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14.4 percent from 2012, reaching $7.07 billion in 2018, according to a report by Transparency Market Research. North America accounted for 65% of the market in 2011, while the Asia-Pacific region represents the fastest growth at a compound annual growth rate of 14%. Contributing to that growth is the aging population, coupled with the increase in chronic diseases, increasing demand for minimally invasive surgeries, and availability of external funding to conduct clinical studies to help come up with new and technologically advanced products. (PR Newswire)


Inhibition of Supplementary Motor Area May Help Reduce Tics
Oct. 29, 2012 - Imitation tics (echophenomena) were three times as likely to appear in healthy subjects who had activity stimulated in the portion of their brain involved in initiating movement, the supplementary motor area (SMA), compared to subjects whose SMA activity was suppressed, according to a study that used different frequencies of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). The researchers at Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf, Germany, are interested in seeing if inhibiting the SMA using rTMS helps reduce tics in Tourette syndrome. (New Scientist)

Animal Study Suggests Spinal Cord Stimulation May Help Reduce Heart Failure Symptoms
Oct. 29, 2012 - The Daily Mail reports on a study in a pig model of heart failure, presented by researchers from the University of Hong Kong at the European Society of Cardiology in Munich, that compared drug treatment with either intermittent or constant spinal cord stimulation. The paper reported that spinal stimulation produced a marked improvement in the strength of the heart, and the amount of blood sent around the body with each beat. (Daily Mail)

Impact of Deep Brain Stimulation on Chorea Discussed
Oct. 29, 2012 - Six studies to date show deep brain stimulation improved the uncontrollable movements of chorea in patients with Huntington's disease, writes post-doctoral fellow Melissa Christiansen, PhD, of Duke University. She references a 2012 review article in the journal Movement Disorders. (HDBuzz)

Remote Programming of Neuromodulation Devices May be Possible Through Telemonitoring
Oct. 23, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society members Ivar Mendez, MD, PhD, and Paula Chiasson, MScOT, join colleagues to report a positive outcome for a feasibility study that compared neuromodulation programming by an in-person or remote expert. A remote presence robot (RP-7, In Touch Health Inc., Santa Barbara, CA) was used for remote programming. The ability of 10 nurses, with no previous experience, to program the devices established proof-of-principle for telepresence and telemonitoring to potentially allow patients real-time access to neuromodulation expertise from the comfort of their home. (Neurosurgery)


Cleveland-Based Firm Receives Most Promising Startup Award
Oct. 29, 2012 - Cleveland-based Neuros Medical, Inc. received Neurotech Reports' 2012 Gold Electrode Award for Most Promising Startup at the Neurotech Leaders Forum in San Francisco  on Oct. 22. Publisher James Cavuoto said the company has a strong, focused market and is executing development of its technology in a sound and effective manner. The company is carrying out a pilot clinical trial to evaluate its patented high-frequency Electrical Nerve Block™ technology for acute treatment of pain in the residual limb of amputees. The company has also identified potential applications in chronic post-surgical pain, chronic migraine, and trigeminal neuralgia. (Neuros Medical)

Newspaper Prints Account of Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery for Parkinson's Disease
Oct. 28, 2012 - A Parkinson's patient at Flinders Medical Centre allowed a reporter to observe his deep brain stimulation surgery, one of about eight such procedures performed annually there. (news.com.au)

Analysis Finds No Impact on Sleep from Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treatment in Medically Refractory Depression
Oct. 26, 2012 - An analysis of a study of 301 patients with treatment-resistant depression, which compared the anti-depressive effects of the Neuronetics Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy System to sham (placebo) treatment, showed no difference in sleep effects between the two groups. The patients who received active treatment did not report changed rates of insomnia or excessive sleeping. (Georgia Health Sciences University)

Supplier Reports Increased Income from Neuromodulation
Oct. 26, 2012 - Greatbatch, Inc.'s neuromodulation and cardiac rhythm management sales increased 13% from the previous year, to $80.3 million, the company reported in a quarterly earnings statement. Overall, third-quarter adjusted earnings of 46 cents per share exceeded the year-ago adjusted earnings of 41 cents per share and were above an analyst consensus estimate of 44 cents per share. The company reported a net loss of $7.6 million, compared to a net gain in the third quarter of 2011 of $7 million. The cause of the loss was reported to come from operational hazards at its Swiss orthopedic facilities.


Low-Profile Neurostimulation Device Earns Patent
Oct. 25, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Carl Wahlstrand and Robert Skime are inventors on a U.S. patent issued Oct. 23, 2012, and assigned to Medtronic, Inc. for a neurostimulation device with a low profile so it may be implanted directly beside a neuralgic region at the back of the neck, for instance, to relieve symptoms of occipital neuralgia. (equities.com)

Electric Hand Operated by Multiple Sensors Featured in Video Interview
Oct. 24, 2012 - A video interview of a man in the United Kingdom who received a prosthetic hand includes a comment from one of the manufacturers at RSLSteeper who explains that the multiple sensors that operate the device allow users to eventually think "'Open and close,' and it will work." (Yahoo/Associated Press)


Non-invasive Approach to Improve Cognitive Function in Alzheimer's Patients Undergoes Trials in the U.S. and Israel
Oct. 24, 2012 - The Israel-based company Neuronix anticipates FDA approval in 2014 for its system that combines transcranial magnetic stimulation and cognitive training for cases of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, according to Reuters. Already approved for use in Europe, Israel and several Asian countries such as Singapore, the treatment involves daily sessions over six weeks of one hour per day, five days per week. The treatment is undergoing trials in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease at the Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Neuronix is also running a trial in Israel for pre-Alzheimer's patients. The company expects to sell half a dozen systems in the second half of 2012 and three dozen in 2013. In Israel, the treatment costs $6,000. (MedCity News)

Article Recounts the State of Parkinson's Disease Treatments
Oct. 24, 2012 - Barbara Changizi, MD, co-director of the Center for Neuromodulation at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, provides an overview of Parkinson's disease treatment, from medications to deep brain stimulation. (New York Daily News)


Non-Invasive Stimulation Method to be Tried in Patients with Parkinson's Disease
Oct. 23, 2012 - Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital's Laboratory of Neuromodulation in Boston, Mass. is starting a study of a novel neurostimulation treatment in Parkinson's disease. The method, non-invasive electronic stimulation (ESStim) combines independently controlled electromagnetic and ultrasonic fields. The combined fields focus and boost neurostimulation currents via tuned electromechanical coupling. In 2011, device maker Highland Instruments, Inc. began evaluating the device in patients with chronic pain from osteoarthritis. (Herald Online)

Italian Team Reports Long-Term Study of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Epilepsy
Oct. 21, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member and past president Mario Meglio, MD and colleagues report findings from studying 53 patients with medically refractory epilepsy who received vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) and were followed for a mean duration of 56 months. They report that 40% of the patients responded to the therapy, and the best candidates seemed to be those whose epilepsy was caused by lesions (particular post-ischemic and tuberous sclerosis), occurred over a short period of time, and who underwent VNS younger than age 18. (Acta Neurochirurgica)


Gastroparesis Study Examines Home-Based Externally Applied Electrical Stimulation
Oct. 22, 2012 - International Medical Society member Jiande Chen, PhD, presented a blind cross-over study at the American College of Gastroenterology annual meeting in which 18 diabetic patients with gastroparesis experienced symptom improvements of 20 - 40 percent with self-applied home-based electrical stimulation to acupressure points on the wrist or leg. Patients were asked to apply stimulation for two hours after each lunch or dinner. An electrogastrogram and electrocardiogram were recorded before and after four weeks of treatment. A trend in increased vagal activity was seen with electrical stimulation. (Medical Xpress)

Stroke Case Sheds Light on Neural Aspects of Addiction
Oct. 22, 2012 - An abstract presented at the Canadian Stroke Congress in Calgary details the case of a man formerly addicted to cocaine who lost his craving following a stroke to his basal ganglia. One way of blocking pathways that are important in addiction could be deep brain stimulation, the article notes. (Ottawa Citizen)

Transcutaneous Vagal Nerve Stimulation Said to Offer Hope for Migraines, Airway Disease
Oct. 17, 2012 - A blog post summarizes non-invasive devices by ElectroCore Medical that act by stimulating the vagus nerve transcutaneously for treating airway diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma) and migraine headaches. (Arab Health blog)

Overview of Optogenetics Technologies Published
Oct. 14, 2012 - A team of researchers from the Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in the Netherlands has published an overview of recent developments in the field of optogenetics technology that are relevant for a better understanding of several neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders and may pave the way for future therapeutic interventions. (Molecular Neurobiology)


Paralympic Athlete Releases Her Biography Next Week at Neurotechnology Conference
Oct. 15, 2012 - Jennifer French, a quadriplegic and competitive sailing athlete who recently medaled at the 2012 Paralympics Games in London , will release her new book, On My Feet Again: My Journey Out of the Wheelchair Using Neurotechnology, October 23, 2012 at the Neurotech Leaders Forum in San Francisco. She uses a functional electrical stimulation (FES) system that was designed and developed at the Cleveland FES Center, a consortium of Case Western Reserve University, Veterans Administration and MetroHealth Medical Center. (Neurotech Reports)


Closed-Loop Stimulation for Epilepsy - Overview for Patients Posted on International Neuromodulation Society Website
October 2012 - The latest web content about neuromodulation by members of the International Neuromodulation Society concerns the emergence of closed-loop stimulation to treat medically refractory epilepsy. The material includes explanations, illustrations and extensive references to research articles. (International Neuromodulation Society)

In a News Column, INS Member Describes a Broad Scope of Neuromodulation Therapies
Oct. 17, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Brian Kopell, MD, explains neuromodulation therapies in a "Daily Checkup" column entitled, "Neuromodulation is offering long-term relief against chronic pain and suffering". (New York Daily News)

New England Journal of Medicine Author Calls Deep Brain Stimulation Now 'Completely Accepted'
Oct. 17, 2012 - University of Florida neurologist Michael Okun says deep brain stimulation (DBS) has moved beyond skepticism from internists and neurologists since the university's McKnight Brain Institute started offering it in 2002, and moved from "crazy to cool to completely accepted." He was interviewed upon publication of a paper in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine describing how DBS is being used to help with Parkinson's disease, and other conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder, Tourette’s syndrome and depression. (Gainesville Sun)

Market Research Report Examines Neuromodulation Devices Forecast through 2018
Oct. 17, 2012 - Transparency Market Research offers a report on the neuromodulation devices market, including global industry size, market share, trends, analysis, and forecasts from 2012 - 2018. The announcement lists major device companies as including Medtronic, St. Jude Medical, Boston Scientific, Cyberonics, IntraPace, Nevro, Johnson & Johnson, Codman, and Integra. (SBWire)


Study: Extradural Motor Cortex Stimulation Provides Moderate Relief of Parkinson's Disease Motor Symptoms
October 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society members Beatrice Cioni, MD: Alfonso Fasano, MD, PhD; Tommaso Turfu, MD; Mario Meglio, MD; and colleagues report in the journal Neurosurgery on nine Parkinson's disease patients who had extradural motor cortex stimulation as an alternate to deep brain stimulation for at least one year. The patients reported moderate improvement of motor symptoms and quality of life. (scienceblog.com)

Paper Reports Migraine Improvements from Occipital Nerve Stimulation
Oct. 17, 2012 - A short article mentions the Genesis occipital nerve stimulation system for migraine, which was shown to reduce the average number of migraines per month from 22 to 16. (New Zealand Herald)

National Television Reports on Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic Pain
Oct. 16, 2012 - In a national television segment on the NBC Nightly News, correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman includes spinal cord stimulation in an overview of methods to reduce chronic back and leg pain from issues such as failed repeat back surgery. (MSNBC)

Individualized Method of Neurostimulation to Control Overactive Bladder Presented in Award-Winning Abstract at European Urology Meeting
Oct. 16, 2012 - A new percutaneous neurostimulation technique for patients with overactive bladder won first prize for best abstract from Richard Wolf at the European Association of Urology 12th Central European Meeting in Dresden, Germany. The abstract describes a pilot study by clinicians in Prague. They studied 14 patients with detrusor hyperactivity and three healthy volunteers. The subjects received 289 neurostimulations of varying intensity, frequency, duration and pulse shape while linked to an oscilloscope. Comparison with a micturition diary allowed optimal parameters to be determined. The device detects fade-out of motor reflexes and uses that signal to deliver the next stimulus pulse. The inventors call the measured, individualized optimal stimulation the "neuroresonance frequency". (Urosource)

Virginia Regional Medical Center Holds Press Conference to Announce Its First Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery for Parkinson's Disease
Oct. 16, 2012 - An article describes the first patient at Winchester Medical Center in Virginia to have deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease. His surgeon said in a hospital press conference, eight days after the device was activated,  that the procedure has been around for some time, and can now be done in non-academic or non-research facilities. (nvdaily.com)

In Laboratory Study, Deep Brain Stimulation Triggers Release of Neurotransmitters in Prefrontal Cortex
Oct. 13, 2012 - In a study in rats, deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the nucleus accumbens resulted in rapid increases in the release of dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline in the prefrontal cortex, substantiating the hypothesis that DBS modulates activity of monoamine neurotransmitters distally to reduce symptoms of treatment-refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder and major depressive disorder. (Journal of Neurochemistry)

Argentine Newspaper Announces Regional Neuromodulation Program
October 2012 - A regional neuromodulation program that involves International Neuromodulation Society members Fabian Piedimonte, MD, and Juan Carlos Andreani, MD, is briefly described in a Spanish-language Argentine newspaper. (El Dia)


Follow-up Study Reviews Safety and Durability of Bladder Incontinence Device
Oct. 15, 2012 - Three of seven patients who were implanted with a tibial nerve stimulation device in 2003 continued to use the Urgent PC product by Uroplasty, Inc. regularly over nine years and sustained improvement in symptoms of overactive bladder, according to results to be presented at the annual meeting of the International Continence Society (ICS) in Beijing. (PR Newswire)


Visceral Pain to be Focus of Global Awareness Initiative
Oct. 15, 2012 - The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) launches an effort endorsed by the International Neuromodulation Society, the Global Year Against Visceral Pain. The most common reason for visits to gastrointestinal clinics, visceral pain also includes chronic chest pain, bladder pain, and pelvic pain. (IASP)

Sacral Nerve Stimulation Techniques Detailed in Journal Article
October 2012 - Great success can be achieved with a systematic and methodical approach to sacral nerve stimulation for lower urinary tract dysfunction, write physicians from the West Virginia University School of Medicine in an article describing their technique for a variety of conditions. (Canadian Journal of Neurology)

Deep Brain Stimulation Patient Describes Relief from His Parkinson's Disease Symptoms
Oct. 15, 2012 - A Parkinson's disease patient describes how receiving deep brain stimulation helps him feel he has regained his life back. (Altoona Mirror)

Israeli Device Company Enters Second Phase of Global Trials of Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Heart Disease
Oct. 14, 2012 BioControl Medical, Inc. has entered a second phase of its multi-center, global clinical trials of the CardioFit vagus nerve stimulation system. The trials in 650 heart failure patients should take about three more years, funded in part by a 2010 investment of $70 million by Medtronic. (Israel 21c)

Closed-Loop Deep Brain Stimulation Anticipated to be Ready for Clinical Trials in One Year
Oct. 12, 2012 - A closed-loop deep brain stimulation system designed to only deliver stimulation when needed to patients with Parkinson's disease or epilepsy should be ready for human clinical trials next year, according to an interview with Medtronic. (Technology Review)

Patent Issued for Powering Medical Implants Passively from an External Source
Oct. 11, 2012 - Medtronic has received a new U.S. patent for a passive method of powering implanted medical devices wirelessly from an external source, including possibly having the source be located in chairs, blankets or clothing. (MassDevice)

China, India Launch New Medical Regulatory Guidelines
Oct. 9, 2012 - China's State Food & Drug Administration released instructions that will require Chinese labels or packaging marks on foreign medical devices as of April 1, 2013. Meanwhile, India's Drug Controller General of India has begun a special effort scrutinizing manufacturing processes for discrepancies, and is considering introducing a bill this winter on drugs, cosmetics and medical devices, due to a growing consensus that a separate governing law is needed for medical devices. (HealthpointCapital)


Grant Allows Wisconsin Academic Researchers to Integrate Optogenetics, Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Oct. 11, 2012 - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee electoral engineering faculty and Medical College of Wisconsin's magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) specialists are teaming up under a one-year, $10,000 grant from the John and Jeanne Byrnes Clinical & Translational Science Institute to create an integrated system that combines functional MRI and optogenetic brain stimulation. The interdisciplinary team plans to use the resulting technology and data for a subsequent federal funding proposal. (Milwaukee Business Journal)


Online Interactive Expert Panel Starts Friday for INS Members on Polyanalgesic Consensus Conference Findings in Current Issue of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface

Oct. 11, 2012 - The next online, interactive Expert Panel forum begins tomorrow, Oct. 12 through Oct. 26, 2012, and is accessible to all members of the International Neuromodulation Society. INS President-elect Timothy Deer, MD, lead author of current articles on the Polyanalgesic Consensus Conference findings in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, will join INS Director-at-Large Eric Buchser and colleagues in a question-and-answer discussion for practitioners on "Evolving Recommendations and Future Considerations Regarding Intrathecal Drug Delivery to Manage Pain". Members may login at www.neuromodulation.com and enter the Members-Only Section to visit this topic on the Global Discussion Forum, http://www.neuromodulation.com/index.php?option=com_ccboard&view=postlist&forum=7&topic=10&Itemid=. (International Neuromodulation Society)


Market Report Predicts the Neuromodulation Market Size May Rival That of Cardiac Devices
October 2012 - A new market report segments the neuromodulation sphere into deep brain stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation, spinal cord stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation and peripheral nerve stimulation. It claims the market from 2012-2018 will benefit from growing demand for non-invasive treatment options and by addressing large patient populations in epilepsy, anxiety disorders, stroke, depression, Parkinson's disease and others. Overall, it predicts the neuromodulation market to become as big as the cardiac devices market. (Transparency Market Research)

Data from Sleep Study of Spinal Cord Stimulation Patient Offers Implications for Potentially Treating Restless Leg Syndrome
October 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Robert Corba, MD, reports in a 2011 poster an observation that a patient whose EEG patterns were being analyzed for sleep apnea. The patient showed a continual pattern disturbance and excessive limb movements, but minimal distribution of sleep cycles that might be attributed to the patient's use of spinal cord stimulation for chronic neuropathic lumbar radiculopathy. He concludes that "a restorative sleep pattern, with an identifiable “interference” and little disruption of REM sleep would make one consider future research for the use of spinal cord stimulation in patients with an underlying diagnosis of restless leg syndrome." (Lehigh Valley Health Network)

Managed Care Article Looks at Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Heart Failure
October 2012 - Since heart failure patients who have decreased activity of the parasympathetic nervous system tend to have a poorer prognosis than patients with decreased activity of the sympathetic nervous system, it is believed increasing parasympathetic nervous system activity may be protective, although current heart failure medications target the sympathetic
nervous system. An analysis by the ECRI Institute examines the pros and cons of vagus nerve stimulation to treat heart disease -- an approach that is currently in Phase III medical trials in the United States, and received CE mark approval in 2008. (ECRI Institute via Managed Care)

Medically Resistant Epilepsy Patients Studied for Factors Regarding Vagus Nerve Stimulation Success
Oct. 4, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Rafael Garcia de Sola, MD, and colleagues report in the journal Seizure on a trial of 43 medication-resistant epileptic patients who received vagus nerve stimulation without a modification of their medication. After 18 months, 62.8% had a reduction in seizure frequency of at least 50%, with predictive factors requiring controlled studies of larger sample sizes. (Seizure)

Small Study Explores Potential for Treating Tourette Syndrome with Deep Brain Stimulation
October 2012 - In a pilot study of deep brain stimulation in five patients with Tourette syndrome, Drs. Michael S. Okun, Kelly D. Foote, and colleagues report observations from bilateral lead implants in the centromedian thalamic region, stimulated with a constant-current device in a acute scheduled fashion (compared to off or continuous after the initial six months). Although no patient met the endpoint of at least 50% improvement, there was a trend for improvement, with the stimulated conditions performing better than the off condition (when blinded after an initial six months of scheduled stimulation in all groups). Motor and vocal tic suppression commonly appeared with ventral (deep) contacts, and programming settings resulting in tic suppression were commonly associated with a subjective feeling of calmness. (Archives of Neurology)

Business Article Features Obesity-Treatment Device
Sept. 13, 2012 - A news feature about the Abiliti device by IntraPace of Mountain View, California, describes its performance among patients in Europe, where it was approved in 2011 to treat obesity through gastric stimulation, its investors, physician perspective, and the intent to conduct more trials in order to seek FDA approval in the United States. (Bloomberg News)


Deep Brain Stimulation Surgeon Explains the Treatment in a Radio Interview
Oct. 9, 2012 - Peter Silburn, MD, PhD, professor of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Queensland in Australia, discusses deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease, which he says now often is considered sooner rather than later, since it can provide profound relief. (ABC Local Conversations)

Australia Radio Show Presents Excerpt from a Biography about Deep Brain Stimulation
Oct. 7, 2012 - The radio program Ockham's Razor presents an excerpt from a book by Sally Hunter, "You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down – From Parkinson’s To A New Life With Deep Brain Stimulation". (abc.net.au)

Neurosurgeon Describes Using Intraoperative CT to Position Deep Brain Stimulation Leads
Jan. 25, 2012 - Kim Burchiel, MD, a member of the editorial board for the International Neuromodulation Society's journal Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, describes a method of performing deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease with the patient under general anesthesia while brain targets are located using an intraoperative CT scanner, Neurologica's CereTom. 


Research Indicates Opioid Receptors Involved in Pain Relief from Spinal Cord Stimulation
Oct. 5, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Lisa Johanek, PhD, and colleagues report that a research study in rats indicates that relief of chronic neuropathic pain through spinal cord stimulation (SCS) appears to be mediated in part through opioid receptor mechanisms, with 4-Hz SCS activating μ-opioid receptors while 60-Hz SCS activated δ-opioid receptors. (European Journal of Pain)

Results Published in Multi-Center Study of Peripheral Nerve Stimulation for Relief of Migraine
Oct. 3, 2012 - Writing in the journal Cephalgia, 10 members of the International Neuromodulation Society, with lead author Stephen D. Silberstein, MD, and eight others, describe results of a randomized, multi-center, double-blinded, controlled study of occipital nerve stimulation for the management of chronic migraine. The authors conclude in their abstract that although treatment missed the study endpoint of at least 50% reduction in pain, the nerve stimulation did yield "significant reductions in pain, headache days, and migraine-related disability. Additional controlled studies using endpoints that have recently been identified and accepted as clinically meaningful are warranted in this highly disabled patient population with a large unmet medical need." (Cephalgia)


Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic Critical Limb Ischemia - Overviews for Patients and Physicians Uploaded to International Neuromodulation Society Website
October 2012 - The latest information about emerging indications for neuromodulation, authored by members of the International Neuromodulation Society, concerns peripheral vascular disease and its serious form, chronic critical limb ischemia, with an explanation about the condition and treatment, including references to neurostimulation research articles. (International Neuromodulation Society)

Presentation Shows Improvement in Overactive Bladder Symptoms from Sacral Nerve Stimulation
Oct. 4, 2012 - A presentation at the American Urogynecologic Society's annual meeting provided results that found that 61% of patients who received sacral neuromodulation (SNS) for six months after having failed at least one previous medication for overactive bladder reported improvement, compared to 42% of patients who received standard medical treatment. The prospective study included 147 patients who had overactive bladder symptoms; 70 of the patients received SNS with the Medtronic InterStimR system. Of the patients who had urinary urge incontinence, 71% showing improvement compared to 47% of the patients who received medical management. (Yahoo Finance)

European Union Publishes Proposed Medical Device Regulations
Sept. 27, 2012 - Active implantable devices will be Class III devices under proposed regulations from the European Commission, intended to replace the current Medical Devices Directive, Active Implantable Medical Devices Directive, and the In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices Directive. (Doanwa.com)


Study Shows Benefits of Peripheral Nerve Stimulation in Migraine
Oct. 3, 2012 - St. Jude Medical, Inc. announced results from 15 centers in the U.S. in which 157 study participants who received peripheral nerve stimulation of the occipital nerves experienced six fewer headache days per month after 12 weeks of stimulation. The results were published online by Cephalagia, the journal of the International Headache Society. (Yahoo Finance)

Defense Department Funds Study of Peripheral Nerve Stimulation to Treat Stump Pain
Oct. 3, 2012 - The U.S. Department of Defense has given $2.77 million to Cleveland-area device maker SPR Therapeutics and NDI Medical to test its external pain-relief peripheral nerve stimulation system, Smartpatch, in veterans suffering from post-amputation pain. (Plain Dealer)

California Eliminates Duplicate Inspections of Medical Device and Drug Facilities
Sept. 28, 2012 - With passage of a bill by Assemblyman Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) and Henry Perea, (D-Fresno), California has eliminated duplicate inspections of drug and medical device facilities that are already subject to oversight by the FDA. A similar measure was proposed in Congress, according to Pharmalot. (PR Web)

National Institutes of Health Funds Investigation of Infrared Laser Nerve Stimulation Concept for Prosthesis
Sept. 28, 2012 - The National Institutes of Health Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders has awarded the maker of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, Vixar, a Small Business Innovation Research grant for a miniaturized infrared laser for optically based neuroprosthesis. Lockheed Martin Corp. is a sub-awardee evaluating if the new laser has sufficient power and compactness. Infrared stimulation would offer much better selectivity in cochlear implants, permitting more independent channels without current spreading. (Vixar)

Israeli Exoskeleton Maker Plans a U.S. Headquarters in Massachusetts
Oct. 2, 2012 - Argo Medical Technologies Ltd. announced it will open U.S. headquarters in Marlborough, Mass, as part of its entry into the U.S. market for its exoskeleton that allows paraplegics to walk. The ReWalk device is currently available for use at rehabilitation centers by multiple users, according to news reports. CE Mark approval was received in 2010 for the Israel company's system. (Boston.com)

Hand Prosthesis Maker Creates Version Appropriate for Smaller and Younger Amputees
Oct. 1, 2012 - Touch Bionics of Livingston, Scotland, has announced release of a compact version of its hand prosthesis that includes individual artificial fingers whose action is powered by batteries in a wristband. This version allows the i-Limb Digit to be fitted to smaller persons, as well as young teen-agers or possibly younger people, the company said. (The Scotsman)


Article Predicts Neuromodulation Will Be Better-Known by the End of the Decade
Oct. 1, 2012 - Increasing popular interest and technological development are two of the factors driving neuromodulation market growth, according to a synopsis in an online trade publication. (Neurogadget.com)

News Feature Article Explores Neurostimulator Company's Status and Market Prospects
Oct. 1, 2012 - Cyberonics' vagus nerve stimulators have been implanted in 55,000 U.S. patients with treatment-resistant depression since 1997; business in Europe is growing in double digits, and approval was received in Japan for the treatment of refractory epilepsy two years ago, where about 350,000 potential patients have treatment-resistant epilepsy. The $24,500 device's generator is about 3/4 of the total cost, and must be periodically replaced. Possible future markets may include depression and chronic heart failure. (Investor's Business Daily)

FDA Solicits Opinions on Post-Market Medical Device Surveillance Updates
Sept. 7, 2012 - The FDA is seeking comment (through FDA.gov) on four post-market medical device surveillance proposals, as reported in Healthcare Finance News:

1. Establish a unique device identification system and promote its incorporation into electronic health information.
2. Promote the development of national and international device registries for selected products.         
3. Modernize adverse event reporting and analysis.
4. Develop and use new methods for evidence generation, synthesis and appraisal. (Healthcare Finance News)


FDA Panel Recommends Humanitarian Device Exemption for Retinal Prosthesis
Oct. 1, 2012 - An FDA advisory panel recommended that the Argus II retinal prosthesis system by Second Sight Medical receive a humanitarian device exemption for patients who are severely blind due to the rare condition retinitis pigmentosa. The panel did raise questions about long-term safety, and called for continued study, according to a Mass Device article Sept. 27. (Mass Device)

New Zealand Group Sponsors Fundraiser for Rehabilitation Trainee who Uses Spinal Cord Stimulation
Oct. 1, 2012 - A former veterinary surgeon who uses spinal cord stimulation to control pain and spasms due to a spinal cord injury is the beneficiary of a fundraising effort that will help as she returns to school to learn rehabilitation therapy. (Otago Daily Times)

To see select neuromodulation news by category, as well as news about the INS in particular, please visit the Newsroom. To see archived news briefs dating back to January 2011, visit the News Archive.

CE Mark Approval Announced for Selective Deep Brain Stimulation System
Sept. 28, 2012 - Boston Scientific Corp. announced receiving CE Mark approval for the Vercise deep brain stimulation system for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. The system allows selective stimulation through multiple independent current control. (Yahoo Finance)

Analyst Firm Forecasts a $6.9 Billion Market by 2018, Examines Driving Factors
Sept. 28, 2012 - Global Industry Analysts, Inc. reports the release of its comprehensive global report on neurostimulation markets. The firm identified more than 140 products in the development pipeline, and vagus nerve stimulation seems to be the fastest-growing intervention, at a projected 23%. The market is anticipated to reach $6.9 billion by 2018. (PR Web)

European Union Publishes Regulations and Future Clinical Trial Mechanisms Regarding Medical Devices
Sept. 28, 2012 - The European Commission has published a "scrutiny mechanism" allowing input by authorities before medical devices go to market; also, its new proposals allow for a future, electronic, single clinical trial application for studies conducted in more than one member state. (AdvaMed SmartBrief)

Questionnaire Respondents Report Long-Term Benefits from Deep Brain Stimulation for Essential Tremor
Sept. 27, 2012 - A research team that includes International Neuromodulation Society members Ali Rezai, MD, Milind Deogaonkar, MD, and Andre Machado, MD, PhD, found that of 26 patients treated with deep brain stimulation for a median duration of 41 months, efficacy continued over the long term and contributed to sustained benefits in quality of life. (Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery)

Minneapolis Back-Pain Neuromodulation Therapy Start-Up Secures $20 Million, Will Move to Ireland
Sept. 27, 2012 - Mainstay Medical, which targets chronic non-specific lower back pain, has obtained $20 million in financing and will relocate to Ireland from Minneapolis. Chief Executive Peter Crosby, a member of the International Neuromodulation Society, is quoted as saying the therapy is based on recent science, and that one societal benefit of improved therapy is returning people to work.  (Irish Times)

Sacral Nerve Stimulation for Fecal Incontinence Now Offered by Chicago Hospital System
Sept. 27, 2012 - Loyola University Health System has started offering FDA-approved sacral nerve stimulation for patients who have chronic fecal incontinence and have not had success with conservative treatments, or are not candidates for them.  (News-Medical.net)

Deep Brain Stimulation and Stuttering are Subject of Podcast About Recent Research
Sept. 26, 2012 - In a podcast, a physician who leads a center at the University of California, Irvine for the medical treatment of stuttering, discusses current research on deep brain stimulation and asenapine in stuttering treatment. (StutterTalk)

Researchers Check Gait and Balance Effects of Spinal Cord Stimulation
Sept. 25, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Leon Vonhögen, MD, and colleagues report in the journal Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface that a group of 11 spinal cord stimulation patients did not show changes in normal gait that might explain increased incidence of falls that frequently lead to lead migrations. Four of the group did have an effect on static balance, suggesting more assessment with balance and gait tasks is desirable. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Review Confirms Utility of Spinal Cord Stimulation for Refractory Amputation Pain
Sept. 25, 2012 - Spinal cord stimulation for treatment of amputation pain that is otherwise resistant to treatment merits continued use, conclude a team of authors who reviewed all such cases managed over 20 years in the Neurostimulator Clinic at the Royal London Hospital. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Insurance Group in New England Will Cover Overactive Bladder Neuromodulation Treatment
Sept. 26, 2012 - ConnectiCare of the Emblem Health family of insurers has begun coverage of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) using Uroplasty Inc.'s Urgent PC system for overactive bladder. With the insurance coverage, the therapy is available to 240,000 ConnectiCare members. Also, the California Technology Assessment Forum has concluded that PTNS meets short-term benefit criteria. (PR Newswire)

Calgary Health Institute Seeks Youths with Treatment-Resistant Depression for Study of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Sept. 25, 2012 - The Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute for Child and Maternal Health is recruiting 50 patients between 12 and 21 years old to participate in a study of transcranial magnetic stimulation in treatment-resistant depression. (Calgary Herald)

Company to Present External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation System at London Epileptology Meeting
Sept. 25, 2012 - At the 10th European Congress on Epileptology in London, NeuroSigma, Inc.'s external trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS) system, Monarch eTNS, will be subject to a symposium Sept. 30 on TNS for epilepsy and neuropsychiatric disorders. Among the presenters will be International Neuromodulation Society member Ian Cook, MD, NeuroSigma senior medical advisor and professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. (News-Medical.net)

Psychology Study Using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Suggests Possible Stimulation Target
Sept. 24, 2012 - Research at the University College of London on the optimism bias, using transcranial magnetic stimulation to disrupt the left or right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) in 30 volunteer subjects, implies to the lead author a potential clinical application for boosting optimism in depressed individuals by targeting the right IFG. (The Scientist)

Minnesota Company Receives Additional Financing for Obstructive Sleep Apnea Trial
Sept. 24, 2012 - Apnex Medical of St. Paul, Minn. has raised an additional $10 million to support its randomized clinical trial of its hypoglossal nerve stimulation system to treat obstructive sleep apnea. (MedCity News)

Mumbai Doctors Discuss Dystonia Treatment that Uses Multi-Target Deep Brain Stimulation
Sept. 23, 2012 - An article addresses deep brain stimulation treatment using multiple targets for dystonia in Mumbai. (Hindustan Times)

External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation System to be Offered by the National Health Service
Sept. 22, 2012 - An external trigeminal nerve stimulation device approved for use in Europe for severe epilepsy and major depression is described in an overview of Neurosigma Inc.'s Monarch system. (Daily Mail)

Finnish Collaboration to Track Brain Activity During Deep Brain Stimulation
Sept. 21, 2012 - A collaboration between Aalto University and the University of Helsinki explores creating new electrochemical sensors on electrodes to probe and better understand neurotransmitter activity during deep brain stimulation. (MedicalXpress)

Israel Company Eyes U.S. Clinical Trials Using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Alzheimer's Disease
Sept. 21, 2012 - A therapy being developed for mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease combines memory exercises and focused transcranial magnetic stimulation. Developed by Neuronix of Israel, the NeuroAD system has marketing approval in Europe and Asia, and is set to undergo multi-site U.S. trials to expand upon studies undertaken by a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. (News-Medical.net)

Patent Materials Describe Spinal Cord Stimulation Epidural Needle Invention
Sept. 20, 2012 - An epidural needle for spinal cord stimulation undergoing patent review has been assigned to Greatbatch Ltd. (Equities.com)

CE Mark Approval Announced for Family of Neurostimulators to Treat Intractable Chronic Migraine
Sept. 20, 2012 - St. Jude Medical Inc. has received CE Mark approval for its Eon family of neurostimulators for patients with intractable chronic migraine. The company previously received CE Mark approval for European marketing of the industry's first-approved implanted neurostimulation device for this indication, the Genesis system. The new approvals include the rechargeable Eon mini and Eon systems and EonC (a non-chargeable option). (St. Jude Medical)

Israel Medical Center's Deep Brain Stimulation Service Receives News Coverage
Sept. 20, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Zvi Israel, MBBS BSc, was interviewed about Hadassah Medical Center, where he is senior lecturer of functional neurosurgery, currently testing deep brain stimulation for use in Israel, since it may potentially help patients who have not responded to traditional medicine and therapy. An earlier feature about the Jerusalem hospital's involvement in an international trial of DBS in treatment-resistant depression appeared in Haaretz. (The JC.com)

U.S. Firm Partners with German Company to Fund Trial of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Epilepsy
Sept. 20, 2012 - Cyberonics, Inc. has invested EUR 2 million in cerbomed GmbH, becoming a minority shareholder and financing a current clinical trial in Germany of cerbomed's transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation device, Nemos, for the treatment of epilepsy. Commercially available in Germany and Austria, the system received CE Mark approval for the treatment of epilepsy and depression in 20120, and pain in 2012. Houston-based Cyberonics developed and markets an FDA-approved vagus nerve stimulation system for the treatment of medically refractory epilepsy and treatment-resistant depression. Under the agreement, Cyberonics may invest up to EUR 5.5 million and optionally conduct a Nemos clinical trial in the U.S. (4-traders.com)

FDA Permits Clinical Trial of Externally Powered Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Device for Post-Stroke Shoulder Pain
Sept. 20, 2012 - Cleveland-based SPR Therapeutics has received clearance from the FDA to begin a randomized, controlled clinical trial of a minimally invasive peripheral nerve stimulation system for treating post-stroke shoulder pain. The system, Smartpatch, uses an external battery that snaps onto an adhesive patch to stimulate a lead placed on the deltoid muscle during an office procedure. About 60 patients will be enrolled in the safety and efficacy trial set to begin by the end of the year. (MedCity News)

Company to Show Preclinical Data on Non-Invasive Stimulation for Headache
Sept. 19, 2012 -- ElectroCore Medical announced that preclinical data about suppression of trigeminal nerve pain, related to its non-invasive GammaCore vagus nerve stimulator, will be featured in a poster session at the European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress (EHMTIC) Sept. 20-23 in London. (PR Newswire)

Supplier Eyes Expanding Global Markets for Deep Brain Stimulation Surgical Equipment
Sept. 18, 2012 - Greenville Neuromodulation Services, a subsidiary of FHC, Inc., hosted a tour of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development following a trade mission to Saudia Arabia. The company has offices in Columbia, South Africa and Argentina, and is setting up an office in Brazil. (WKBN 27)

Single Electrode Insertion Can Allow Target Options for Deep Brain Stimulation in Essential Tremor
Sept. 17, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society members Won Seok Chang, MD and Jin Woo Chang, MD, PhD and colleagues at the Yonsei College of Medicine in Seoul report a series of five patients with essential tremor in which they implanted deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrodes that could stimulate both the ventralis intermedius nucleus of thalamus (Vim) and the posterior subthalamic area (PSA). Neither target was statistically superior, but it was possible to choose the best stimulation for each patient based on individual responses. They conclude this approach may be useful to allow options of applying DBS to Vim, PSA, or Vim + PSA. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Spinal Cord Stimulation, Peripheral Nerve Field Stimulation Reported to Reduce Pain in Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Patients
Sept. 17, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society members Claudio Reverberi, MD, Alessandro Dario, MD, and Giancarlo Barolat, MD, report in Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface about eight patients with failed back surgery syndrome through combined spinal cord stimulation with peripheral nerve field stimulation (PNfS). In four of the patients, PNfS was added to provide greater coverage of the lumbar region. The authors say pain was significantly reduced, and quality of life dramatically improved. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

High-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation Treatment Success Recounted in First-Person Account
Sept. 17, 2012 - A patient with failed back surgery syndrome describes how his pain was resolved after trying high-frequency spinal cord stimulation, recommended by his physician, International Neuromodulation Society member Ganesan Baranidharan, MB BS, FRCA, FFPMRCA, PG Dip (anaes). (Mail Online)

High-Profile Parkinson's Patient Describes Improvement Following Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment
Sept. 17, 2012 - Nine months after receiving deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease, the Nashville Predators' former associate hockey coach Brent Peterson describes his symptom improvements. (USA Today)

Study Documents Comparative Efficacy of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Patients with Post-Traumatic Epilepsy
Sept. 14, 2012 - Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) appears particularly promising for patients with post-traumatic-brain-injury epilepsy (PTE) when the condition does not respond to medication or is unsuitable for resection, a team reports after conducting a case-controlled retrospective analysis that found this population of patients had even fewer seizures at 3- and 24-month follow-up than patients with non-PTE. Patients with PTE had 50% fewer seizures at 3 months, and 76% fewer at 24 months, compared to non-PTE patients, who had 46% fewer at 3 months and 57% fewer at 24 months. (Journal of Neurosurgery)

Brain Research Suggests Future Therapeutic Neural Interface Possibilities
Sept. 14, 2012 - The New York Times presents preclinical research that raises the possibility of a future device that might bypass areas of damage in certain brain conditions, providing an alternative connection. (New York Times)

Medical Technology Developer Discusses Market Plans for Epilepsy Device in Europe
Sept. 14, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Leon Ekchian, PhD, was interviewed in a lengthy article about plans of NeuroSigma, Inc. -- of which he is president and CEO -- to market its Monarch external trigeminal nerve stimulation system in the European Union in the fourth quarter of 2012 for the treatment of epilepsy. (News Medical)

Analysis Shows Comparative Medication Cost Savings of Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment for Parkinson's Disease
Sept. 13, 2012 - Parkinson's disease medication use and costs decreased in 161 patients whose records were analyzed following deep brain stimulation surgery. After three years, the decrease was slightly greater for patients in whom the subthalamic nucleus was the stimulation target, compared to those whose target was the globus pallidum. (Movement Disorders)

Case Report: Patient Experiences Reduction in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Tourette's Syndrome Symptoms Following Deep Brain Stimulation
Sept. 13, 2012 - A report from Australia describes a woman treated with deep brain stimulation targeting her nucleus accumbens to improve symptoms of her treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette's syndrome. The bilateral stimulation resulted in immediate improvement in OCD and tic severity. Eight months later, there was a 90% improvement in OCD symptoms (which she had found most disabling, and so were the main therapeutic focus) and a 57% improvement in tic severity. (BMJ Case Reports)

Article Describes Brain-Mapping and Emerging Neuroscience-Based Therapies
Sept. 13, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, is quoted in an article about brain mapping and investigational therapies, such as using neurofeedback to control chronic pain. (Los Angeles Times)

Patent Describes Lead Fixation System
Sept. 13, 2012 - A U.S. patent issued Sept. 12, 2012 and assigned to Medtronic, Inc. describes an implantable lead and fixation system intended to offer a minimally invasive technique for reducing migration. The description states the lead might be implanted within the epidural region, or near a sacral foramen. Wire-like elements with elastic or super-elastic properties would expand outward to form the fixation mechanism. (Equities.com)

New York-Area Neurostimulation Training Opportunities Announced
Sept. 12, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Luis Fandos, MD, co-founder of New York Pain Consultants, announced his practice has been selected by Medtronic, Inc., to provide one-on-one or small-group training in neurostimulation therapies and intrathecal drug delivery, including patient selection, spinal cord stimulation trial screening, spinal cord implant procedures, and pumps trial and implant procedures. (redOrbit.com)

Television Segment Tracks Patient's Success with Deep Brain Stimulation to Treat Chronic Facial Pain
Sept. 11, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jonathan Miller, MD, is featured in a television segment about a patient whose facial pain from anesthesia dolorosa was relieved with deep brain stimulation. (redOrbit.com)

Interactive Video Game Invites Players to Assist Deep Brain Stimulation Implantation
September 2012 - Edheads offers an online interactive video game that introduces the steps taken during deep brain stimulation surgery for Parkinson's disease. The site also offers images of the surgery from the Ohio State University. (surgery-games.org)

Japan Team Finds Short Circuits in Deep Brain Stimulation Patients
Sept. 7, 2012 - After following nearly 80 patients for a year who had received deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery, a clinical research team in Japan determined that 7 (8.9%) had developed short circuits and conclude that short circuits in DBS may be higher than previously thought, especially in cases in which leads are anchored with miniplates. The results stem from their new institutional policy of routinely evaluating impendence at every follow-up visit of DBS patients, regardless of the presence of symptoms. The researchers say short circuits could cause insidious development of neurological symptoms through limited or extended potential fields as well as shortened battery life. (American Journal of Neurological Surgeons)

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Improved Post-Stroke Swallowing in Pilot Study
Sept. 10, 2012 - A pilot study of 16 patients with acute post-stroke dysphagia showed that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the affected area of the motor cortex plus swallowing training improved swallowing. In addition, the study at the Seoul National University College of Medicine also showed increased metabolic activity, revealed in PET scans, in the hemisphere of the brain that was not affected by stroke after motor cortex stimulation, suggesting that tDCS activates a large area of the cortical network involved in swallowing recovery. The study by Nam-Jong Paik, MD, PhD was reported in the July issue of Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience. (ADVANCE for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists)

Brain-Computer Interface Research Profiled
Sept. 5, 2012 - The challenges and promise of brain-computer interfaces for restoring some activity to tetraplegics was profiled in the Brown Daily Herald, including an interview with International Neuromodulation Society member John Donoghue, PhD, who co-leads the BrainGate2 clinical trial and is a professor of neuroscience at Brown University. (Brown Daily Herald)

Study Documents Benefits of Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Medicare Patients with Treatment-Resistant Depression
Sept. 6, 2012 - A retrospective analysis of Medicare claims from 2006-2009 comparing patients with managed depression, treatment-resistant depression, and those receiving vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) treatment indicates that carefully screened patients who have failed other therapies can respond to VNS treatment while costing the system less post-implantation. (Journal of Medical Economics)

Global Implant Market Expected to Grow to $134.3 billion in 2017
Sept. 6, 2012 - A newly issued global bio-implants market forecast from 2012 to 2017 by Marketsandmarkets anticipates Asia will show a higher growth than the U.S. and Europe due to foreign investment and government funding there in a range of technologies, from neurostimulation to cardiovascular, orthopedics, and more. The report predicts the global market will grow from some $94 billion in 2012 to $134.3 billion in 2017. (PR Newswire)

Heart Failure Patients are Sought by Detroit Hospital for Participation in Neurostimulation Clinical Trial
Sept. 6, 2012 - Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit is seeking patients who have been diagnosed with heart failure to join the BioControl Medical's INNOVATE-HF clinical trial of vagus nerve stimulation using the CardioFit system. (CBS Detroit)

Spinal Cord Stimulation for Back Pain is Featured on Local Television
Sept. 6, 2012 - A Tennessee television station features a patient who used spinal cord stimulation to relieve her back pain of 20 years. (WRCB TV)

External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation System Receives CE Mark for Epilepsy, Depression
Sept. 5, 2012 - NeuroSigma, Inc. received CE Certification for its external trigeminal nerve stimulation system, Monarch, for the adjunctive treatment of epilepsy and major depressive disorder in adults and children 9 years old and older. The system is composed on an external pulse generator and disposable electric patches that are placed on the forehead and replaced daily, and can be worn primarily at night during sleep. International Neuromodulation Society member Leon Ekchian, PhD, the company's president and chief executive officer, said approvals are being sought to commence a multi-center trial of the therapy in epilepsy in the U.S. and Europe. (PR Newswire)

Review Summarizes Current Clinical Trials of Neurostimulation for Epilepsy, and Research Reports About Mechanisms
Sept. 4, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society members Chengyuan Wu, MD and Ashwini Sharan, MD have published a review of surgery-based neurostimulation approaches to the treatment of medically refractive epilepsy, evaluating 189 research reports published since 1938 to analyze current understanding of the mechanism of action and outcomes, as well as offering a table of ongoing related clinical trials. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Review Compares Brain Targets in Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease
September 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Nader Pouratian, MD, and co-authors write in a review of deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease that they have been selecting the globus pallidus internus as the surgical target much more frequently than the subthalamic nucleus. They add it is their view that the goal is to improve the patient’s quality of life and not necessarily to reduce medication dosages maximally, and target selection in each case should be based on a patient's individual characteristics. (Dovepress)

Dutch Researchers' Model Indicates Sacral Neuromodulation for Fecal Incontinence is Economical and Effective
Sept. 5, 2012 - Statistical modeling indicates that the use of sacral neuromodulation in fecal incontinence leads to a higher success rate after five years compared to dynamic graciloplasty and artificial bowel sphincter surgery, and costs approximately half as much, using data from the Maastricht University Medical Center, the Netherlands. The results were reported in Colorectal Disease on Sept. 3, 2012. (medwireNews)

Editorial Acknowledges Value of Brain-Mapping Interfaces for Understanding Brain Function
Sept. 4, 2012 - An editorial describes the value of electrocorticography in epilepsy patients who are willing to volunteer to have implanted electrode grids placed on their cortex during neurosurgery. These interfaces allow researchers to map brain function or safely and reversibly temporarily mimic language comprehension impairment, similar to a degenerative condition, semantic dementia. Results were presented at the British Neuropsychological Society's spring conference. (The Observer via Taipei Times)

Case Report Details Use of Robotic Leg Controlled by a Brain-Computer Interface
Sept. 3, 2012 - Researchers have demonstrated the ability to operate a robotic leg in an able-bodied subject who used a noninvasive brain-computer interface and motor imagery. (Technology Review)

Scientific Basis for a Targeted Neurostimulation System to Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Aug. 31, 2012 - Targeted neurostimulation of the proximal hypoglossal nerve in the neck along with selective, cyclic activation of multiple muscle groups involved in maintaining an airway mitigates muscle fatigue and mimics natural motor activity of the tongue, report research collaborators led by Faisal N. Zaidi, PhD, director of research at Imthera Medical, Inc. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Company Says FDA Clearance Obtained for Urinary Incontinence Device
Aug. 30, 2012 - Colorado-based Zynex, Inc. announced FDA 510(k) clearance of its InWave medical device, primarily used for treating female urinary incontinence. The company manufactures and markets diagnostic and electrotherapy devices, and recently opened a European subsidiary. (Reuters)

Pilot Study of Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation in Amputees Supports Feasibility Trial
Aug. 30, 2012 - A pilot study of 10 individuals with transtibial amputation and persistent pain supports a feasibility trial to test using transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation to reduce pain, the authors state. (Pain Practice)

Lasting Effects of Cortical Stimulation Shown in Rat Study
Aug. 29, 2012 - A study by collaborators at the New York State Department of Health and State University of Albany in rats showed that weak electrical stimulation of the sensorimotor cortex led to a lasting increase in the H-reflex and spinal motoneuron GABA receptors, a long-term dimension of cortical-spinal interactions that might raise new therapeutic possibilities, according to the authors.  (Journal of Neurophysiology)

Referral to Specialty Clinic for Fecal Incontinence - Overviews for Patients and Physicians Uploaded to International Neuromodulation Society Website
August 2012 - The latest information about emerging indications for neuromodulation, authored by members of the International Neuromodulation Society, concerns considerations for patients with persistent, severe fecal incontinence -- including sacral nerve stimulation, one of the leading surgical interventions in such cases. (International Neuromodulation Society)

Device Maker Announces Layoffs and Organizational Consolidation in Advance of Device Tax Taking Effect
Aug. 30, 2012 - St. Jude Medical, Inc. announced immediate layoffs of 300 of its approximately 16,000 employes and reorganization that places its neuromodulation and cardiac rhythm management divisions into an implantable electronic systems operating unit. Overall, its four divisions are being realigned into two operating units. The company said the moves are directed to lowering operating costs and analysts speculate the cost savings will equate to the expected medical device tax coming in the U.S. in 2013. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Neuroprosthetics Research is Highlighted in a Magazine that Presents Popular Science
Aug. 30, 2012 - Miguel A. L. Nicolelis, MD, PhD, neurosciences professor at the Duke University School of Medicine, writes in Scientific American about neuroprosthetics and his laboratory's goal to have the first kick of the 2014 World Cup be made by a paralyzed individual wearing a thought-controlled exoskeleton.  (Scientific American via Salon)

Israel Movement Disorders Center Receives Notice for Its Deep Brain Stimulation Service
Aug. 30, 2012 - The Israel News Service describes deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy delivered to a Palestinian resident of Judea and Samaria who had exhausted options after 12 years with early onset Parkinson's disease. The news report said the Movement Disorders Center at Rambam Medical Center where he received his implant in June has become known in other parts of the Middle East since it first began offering this therapy in 2008, and has treated approximately 25 DBS patients up to now. (Arutz Sheva)

New Modes of Thought May Help to Better Understand the Mechanisms of Deep Brain Stimulation, Neurology Professor Says
Aug. 29, 2012 - In "The Epistemology of Deep Brain Stimulation and Neuronal Pathophysiology," University of Alabama at Birmingham Professor of Neurology Erwin Montgomery Jr., MD, discusses examining underlying presumptions in order to try to better understand the mechanisms of deep brain stimulation. (Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience)

Biophysical Models May Help Elucidate Best Designs of Deep Brain Stimulation Closed-Loop Systems, Authors Contend
Aug. 29, 2012 - Closed-loop stimulation systems that take into account biophysical models that simulate electrical and metabolic activity will help validate experimental data recorded in human patients, state a team of authors from Canada and France in a perspective article highlighting benefits of neural mass and neural field models for understanding brain tissue dynamics. (Frontiers in Neuroscience)

Argentinean Paper Highlights Regional Neuromodulation Initiative
Aug. 28, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society members Fabian Piedimonte, MD, and Juan Carlos Andreani, MD, were mentioned as coordinating a new provincial neuromodulation treatment initiative announced by Health Minister Alejandro Collie at the second joint meeting of the Argentinian and Brazilian neuromodulation societies. They are president and vice president, respectively, of the Argentinean INS chapter, Sociedad Argentina de Neuromodulación (SANE). The meeting in Buenos Aires also involved INS President-Elect Tim Deer, MD, and Osvaldo Viela Filho, MD, PhD, president of the Brazilian chapter. (El Sol)

Spinal Cord Stimulation System CE Mark Approval Includes Head-Only Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scans
Aug. 28, 2012 - Boston Scientific Corporation's CE Mark approval of its Precision Plus spinal cord stimulation (SCS) system for peripheral nerve stimulation to treat trunk pain includes approval for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) head-only scans. In an announcement, the company quotes International Neuromodulation Socieity President Simon Thomson, MD:  "As spinal cord stimulation becomes more widespread for control of severe disabling refractory pain, it is great to know that -- should the need arise -- head-only MRI scans can be safely performed in patients with the Precision Plus SCS System." (Bloomberg)

Case Study Report: Combined Spinal Cord, Peripheral Nerve Field Stimulation Achieves Pain Relief
Aug. 28, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Y. Eugene Mironer, MD, and colleague Timothy R. Monroe, MD have published a case report describing a new modality that achieved reduced pain and reliance on opioid pain relief in a patient suffering from bilateral postherniorrhaphy. The authors used spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and peripheral nerve field stimulation ( with the combined abbreviation SPN) to treat the patient's neuropathic inguinal pain, using only one generator and modest electric consumption. They say SPN pain relief may be due to anodal stimulation traveling from the SCS lead along the path of highest conductivity to stimulate the spinal cord and, often, nerve roots. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Neurotech Leaders Forum Set for Oct. 22-23 in San Francisco, California
August 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society Director-at-Large Jamie Henderson, MD, will deliver a keynote address about transitioning neuromodulation technology from the laboratory to clinic during the 2012 Neurotech Leaders Forum, to be held at the San Francisco Airport-based Radisson Hotel from Oct. 22-23. Dr. Henderson, director of stereotactic and functional neurosurgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine, will speak on Monday, Oct. 22. The two-day investment and management conference covers implantable and noninvasive technologies, as well as featuring presentations by early stage companies. (Neurotech Reports)

Research: Deep Brain Stimulation Appears to Control Tremor by Synchronizing Nerve Firing
Aug. 28, 2012 - Nerves in the cerebral cortex fire in response to individual pulses during deep brain stimulation, which suggests that the therapy may synchronize the firing of nerve cells and break abnormal rhythms associated with involuntary movements in Parkinson's disease and essential tremor. Researchers tracked this phenomenon by measuring electrical activity in the brain while suppressing signals from the electrical stimulation itself. (University of Alabama at Birmingham)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Company Investors Anticipated to Seek Profits Following Positive First-Quarter Results
Aug. 28, 2012 - Cyberonics Inc. shares opened trading on Tuesday about 10% up after the company released first-quarter results that beat analyst expectations, then dropped to about 5% up near mid-day. Prices may decline slightly during the week as investors take profits, predicted the information service PropThink. The vagus nerve stimulation device company reported sales growth of 15% and income growth of 35% over the same quarter a year ago. (PropThink via Reuters)

Wireless Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Device Receives FDA Marketing Approval for Back Pain
Aug. 28, 2012 - The CNET blog "Crave" reported on the WiTouch wireless transcutantous electrical nerve stimulation device (TENS), recently cleared by the FDA for marketing for back pain in the U.S. In addition to this over-the-counter version, the device maker Hollywog of Chattanooga, TN, was also cleared to market the WiTouch Pro, a programmable version that can be used on the upper back and is available by prescription. (CNET)

Migraine Sufferer Discusses Her Successful Neurostimulation Treatment on Texas News Show
Aug. 27, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Jack Chapman, M.D., and a patient who received a neurostimulation implant last year to relieve her almost-daily migraines, appeared on the television talk show Great Day Houston to discuss the treatment. (Great Day Houston)

Cardiology Professor Presents Pre-clinical Study Showing Potential Benefits of Continuous Spinal Cord Stimulation in Heart Failure
Aug. 27, 2012 - Research presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Munich this week describes a study of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) in a porcine model of heart failure. The study by Hung-Fat Tse, MD, PhD, William MW Mong Professor in Cardiology at The University of Hong, showed both continuous and intermittent SCS improved heart function compared to medical management alone, with continuous SCS leading to a better profile of biomarkers that indicate severity of heart failure. (MedicalXpress)

Rechargeable Spinal Cord Stimulation System Receives CE Mark Approval for European Use in Peripheral Nerve Stimulation for Intractable Chronic Pain
Aug. 27, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member David Abejón, president of the INS Spanish chapter (Sociedad Española de Neuromodulación), was quoted about the apparent promise of peripheral nerve stimulation in a press release announcing that Boston Scientific Corp. received CE Mark approval for use of its rechargeable spinal cord stimulation device for peripheral nerve stimulation to treat patients with chronic, intractable pain of the trunk. (EIN World News Report)

Vanderbilt University is Participating in Study of Deep Brain Stimulation in Treatment-Resistant Unipolar Depression
Aug. 27, 2012 - Vanderbilt University Medical Center will be recruiting patients with treatment-resistant unipolar depression for the BROADEN clinical trial (BROdmann Area 25 DEep brain Neuromodulation). It is one of several centers participating in the deep brain stimulation (DBS) study. Following the study period, patients will have the option of participating in long-term follow-up study, continuing with DBS care, or discontinuing DBS. (Vanderbilt Medicine)

Obesity Study to Investigate Regulating Brain Reward Centers Through Neurostimulation
Aug. 25, 2012 - Calling the INS' North American Neuromodulation Society chapter president Ali Rezai, MD, a pioneer, The Columbus Dispatch quotes him and INS member Michael Oh, MD, about a recently approved obesity study he will lead at Ohio State University. In it, five patients who have been unable to keep weight off after bariatric surgery will undergo an investigation of deep brain stimulation targeting reward centers involved in driving behavior. (The Columbus Dispatch)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Company Due to Release Quarterly Earnings Report
Aug. 24, 2012 - Cyberonics, Inc., which markets a vagus nerve stimulation system, was reported to be expected to release results for the first quarter of fiscal 2013, with an anticipated earnings per share of 36 cents on revenues of $58 million for the quarter. (Zack's Investment Research)

Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Pain to be Topic of Conference Presentation
Aug. 23, 2012 - Cerbomed GmgH will present its transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation pain-relief therapy at the International Association for the Study of Pain's 14th World Congress on Pain from Aug. 27 - 31 in Milan. The German company's therapy is CE-Mark approved for marketing in Europe, and uses electrical pulses to stimulate the vagus nerve through the skin at the side of the neck. (Press Release)

Complaint Handling and Catheter Processes are Focus of FDA Inquiry
Aug. 22, 2012 - To follow up on monitoring new programs by Medtronic to improve handling complaints, such as those about its SynchroMed II implantable drug pump, the FDA has proposed meeting with the Minneapolis-based company on Sept. 7, according to comments made by the company's chief financial officer in a quarterly earnings call. (Mass Device)

U.K. Patient Receives Implant in Trial of Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Heart Failure
Aug. 22, 2012 - The BBC reported on what is believed to be the first patient implanted with a particular type of vagus nerve stimulator in a clinical trial to determine if the intervention will limit stress exerted on the heart due to heart failure, reduce swelling, and improve quality of life. (BBC News)

Patent Application Calls For Shape-Memory Polymer to Allow Repositioning of Sacral Nerve Stimulation Lead Prior to Anchoring
Aug. 22, 2012 - A patent application assigned to Medtronic describes a sacral nerve stimulation lead fixation system for urinary incontinence that includes at least one shape memory polymer portion that can be activated after the electrode is positioned, allowing anchoring to occur after repositioning, if necessary. (Equities.com)

Rheumatology Publication Covers Presentation by INS Member on Spinal Cord Stimulation
Aug. 21, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Allan L. Brook, MD, presented spinal cord stimulation at the annual meeting of the Society of Neurointerventional Surgery in San Diego, describing its proposed mechanism and benefits for pain relief. (Rheumatology News)

Company Executive Discloses FDA Warning Letter About Processes for Handling Complaints
Aug. 21, 2012 - Medtronic Inc. was reported to have disclosed in a conference call that its neuromodulation device business received an FDA warning letter related mainly to its process for handling complaints. Overall, the company reported quarterly earnings in line with expectations during the same conference call. (Capital)

Literature Review Shows Positive, But Still Preliminary, Evidence for Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation in Overactive Bladder
Aug. 20, 2012 - A review of evidence from 2000 to November 2011 for percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) in overactive bladder yielded for randomized controlled trials and six prospective observational studies, lasting 6-12 weeks. The review indicates PTNS is efficacious, but more high-quality evidence is needed to make any firm conclusions. (Neurology Urodynamics)

Hand-Held Vagus Nerve Stimulation System Described
Aug. 18, 2012 An external, hand-held vagus nerve stimulator that is undergoing clinical trials for migraine and cluster headaches, developed by U.S.-based ElectroCore, is described in a news feature article. A version of the device is also undergoing clinical trial in Canada as an adjunctive treatment for asthmatics with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who are hospitalized for bronchitis. (Daily Mail)

Market Report Places Size of Neurostimulation Market at $16.3 billion in 2011
Aug. 17, 2012 - The "Markets for Electrostimulation Devices" report from notes that the neurostimulation market reached $16.3 billion in 2011 and has a moderate growth projection for the next few years. The report was recently issued by the life sciences research publisher Kalorama Information. (Healthcare Finance News)

Journal Article Compares Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation and Other Treatments for Overactive Bladder
Aug. 15, 2012 - A team of researchers from Tufts University in Boston present a comparison of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation and other treatment methods for overactive bladder. (Current Urology Reports)

Young Woman Who Received Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy for Parkinson's Disease is Featured in National News Television Segment
Aug. 20, 2012 - A television report features a relatively young Parkinson's disease patient and her successful deep brain stimulation surgery. (NBC News)

Research Report Evaluates Implications of Obesity and Addiction Neuroimaging for Deep Brain Stimulation
Aug. 15, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society members Ali Rezai, MD, and John Corrigan, PhD, have published a report along with a Medtronic Fellow in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurery for 2010 - 2011, Alexander Taghva, MD, evaluating the implications of obesity and brain addiction circuitry for deep brain stimulation. Based on multiple lines of independent data that suggest behaviors leading to obesity may be associated with dysfunction of reward circuitry, they propose a neuromodulation strategy geared toward regulating those frontolimibc circuits, either employed alone or in conjunction with therapies targeting hypothalamus-based homeostatic mechanisms. (Neurosurgery)

Neural Code From Retina Could Help Improve Visual Prosthetics, Researchers Say
Aug. 13, 2012 - Researchers at Columbia University in New York City say they have demonstrated an improved concept for retinal prosthetics that might bring capabilities into the realm of normal vision by driving stimulators with the retina's neural code in a mouse model. Combined with high-resolution stimulation, they say, using 9,800 optogenetically stimulated ganglion cell responses could approach normal image representation. (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Patient Exhibits Paresthesia to the Hands and Arms During Spinal Cord Stimulation Trial
Aug. 17, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Richard B. North, M.D. and colleagues report a case that confirms a physiological basis for unusual paresthesia to the hands and arms during a spinal cord stimulation trial targeted to a low thoracic area in a patient with failed back surgery syndrome. (Journal of Neurosurgery)

News Interview: Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery Advances in Australia
Aug. 16, 2012 - Australia may see deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery over the next few years for conditions other than Parkinson's disease, dystonia and Tourette's syndrome, according to a 17-minute audio podcast with Director from the Asia-Pacific Centre for Neuromodulation, Professor Helen Chenery, speaking about the aging population and growth of DBS treatment by Queensland-based specialists. (612 ABC Brisbane)

New Zealand Professor Documents Reduction in Tics for Tourette's Syndrome Patients Who Received Deep Brain Stimulation Implants
Aug. 16, 2012 - Ten out of 11 patients with severe Tourette’s Syndrome have reported improvement after receiving deep brain stimulation surgery, according to University of New South Wales research published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. (University of New South Wales)

Weight-Loss Neurostimulation Device Maker Seeks to Raise Additional Capital
Aug. 15, 2012 - EnteroMedics, a weight-loss neurostimulation device maker, filed regulatory documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to sell up to $75 million in stock, securities and warrants. Through exercising warrants, the device maker may issue more than 1.7 shares of common stock. (MassDevice)

Spinal Cord Stimulation Success is Featured in Los Angeles Television Segment
Aug. 15, 2012 - A Los Angeles television station features a chronic pain patient who found relief from cervical pain radiating to her arms through implantation of a spinal cord stimulation system. (KABC-TV)

Pilot Study of Spinal Cord Stimulation to Relieve Symptoms of Painful Diabetic Polyneuropathy Supports Interest in a Randomized Clinical Trial
Aug. 14, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Robert van Dongen and colleagues report a pilot study of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) in 15 patients with painful diabetic polyneuropathy (PDP) of the lower limbs. This potential second-line chronic pain treatment yielded clinically relevant pain relief in 10 patients by the 12th month. The authors conclude SCS seems efficacious and feasible for intractable PDP, justifying a randomized clinical trial. (British Journal of Anesthesia)

Berlin Hospital: Hypoglossal Stimulation System is Implanted in a Patient with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Aug. 14, 2012 - Implantation of a hypoglossal nerve stimulator for obstructive sleep apnea was reported to have been performed in a patient at the Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin. (Science Daily)

Malta Hospital Begins Offering Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery
Aug. 14, 2012 - Mater Dei Hospital in Malta is offering deep brain stimulation surgery for a number of patients, most of whom have Parkinson's disease, under the auspices of a U.K.-based surgeon from Matla. (Times of Malta)

Battery Issues Lead to Recall of Some Devices
Aug. 12, 2012 - St. Jude Medical Inc. alerted doctors and patients on July 31, 2012 that it is recalling some of its Eon and Eon Mini devices following reports of battery issues. (The Legal Examiner Charlottesville)

Expanded Computational Model of Brain Axons Examines Motor Cortex Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease
Aug. 10, 2012 - A research team in the Netherlands has extended a computational model of motor cortex stimulation (MCS) to consider more features of axons in different depths of grey matter in order to predit which populations of axons are activated during clinically effective MCS for Parkinson's disease. The researchers say their outcome can also be useful in MCS for pain and stroke treatment and acute MCS to target the subthalamic nucleus (STN) or globus pallidus interna (GPi) motor regions during DBS surgery. (Paper can be accessed within 30 days of publication by non-subcribers who register.) (IOPscience)

Closed-loop Stimulation in Rat Model of Epilepsy Reduces Seizures
Aug. 10, 2012 - An international team working out of Hungary and New York reports that seizure-triggered, feedback transcranial electrical stimulation (TES) can dramatically reduce spike-and-wave episodes in a rodent model of generalized epilepsy. (Science)

Spasticity-Treatment Infusion System Receives Green Light from FDA
Aug. 8, 2012 - Codman & Shurtleff, Inc. has received FDA approval to market its Medstream™ implantable infusion pump and catheter system that delivers the anti-spasm drug baclofen directly to the spinal canal to relieve severe spasticity, which is often caused by stroke, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury. Sales of the programmable system will be rolled out in phases throughout the next several months in the United States. (PR Newswire)

Implantation Begins in Clinical Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation to Fornix in Mild Alzheimer's Disease
Aug. 7, 2012 - Functional Neuromodulation Ltd of Toronto has initiated the ADvance Study to assess deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the fornix in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease, using Medtronic Inc.'s DBS system. The randomized double-blind controlled trial will initially enroll 20 patients aged 55-80. Participating centers include Toronto Western Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix, AZ, and the University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, and the first patient has been implanted, the company reports. (Business Wire)

Impact on Language of Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease Suggests a Role in Basal Ganglia Circuitry
Aug. 7, 2012 - A controlled study involving patients who received deep brain stimulation (DBS) treatment for Parkinson's disease suggests that DBS targeting the subthalamic nucleus affects both motor and grammar (but not lexical) functions, and strengthens the view that both depend on basal ganglia circuitry, although the mechanism is not clear. (PLoS ONE)

Neuromodulation Database Developed as an Electronic Registry 
Aug. 6, 2012 - A research team led by International Neuromodulation Society member Kaare Meier of the Danish Pain Research Center and Department of Neurosurgery, Aarhus University Hospital, has published what they believe is a  versatile data collection tool, available on a no-cost basis, that covers core spinal cord stimulation treatment parameters. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface) 

German Researchers Compare Motor Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation Microlesions in Brain Targets for Parkinson's Disease and Dystonia
Aug. 6, 2012 - Researchers at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich studied arm, hand and finger movements before and after deep brain stimulation surgery to better understand the clinical improvement seen from the microlesion effect. Parkinson's patients showed increased movement speed, and dystonia patients showed slower speed. The authors therefore suggest that globus pallidus internum lesions act by inhibiting a system which mainly acts upon muscular tone and limb posture whereas subthalamic stimulation or lesion causes a more unspecific disinhibition of movements. (Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry)

Tel Aviv Hospital Reports Early Experience with Deep Brain Stimulation for Epilepsy 
Aug. 6, 2012 - The Jerusalem Post reports that deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery for intractable epilepsy was performed recently in Tel Aviv by Prof. Itzak Fried, who is head of functional neurosurgery of Sourasky Medical Center. The paper noted that while DBS is used for Parkinson's disease, dystonia and primary tremor, its use for epilepsy is unusual in Israel. (The Jerusalem Post)

Japanese Researchers Report Motor and Pain Improvements from Spinal Cord Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease Patients
August 2012 - Writing that spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is expected to improve both gait and pain in advanced-stage Parkinson's disease patients, researchers from the Department of Neurological Surgery, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Okayama University Hospital report that posture and gait improved at three months and one year after SCS was initiated in 15 Parkinson's disease patients, who had low back and leg pain -- 5 men and 10 women aged 63-79 years. (Neurologia medico-chirurgica)

German Researchers Report Response to Deep Brain Stimulation in a Subset of Patients with Treatment-Resistant Depression
August 2012 - Researchers at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital, Bonn, Germany report that of 11 patients with treatment-resistant depression who received deep brain stimulation to the nucleus accumbens, five responded to this treatment and remained sustained responders without worsening of symptoms until the last follow-up after 4 years. (Neuropsychopharmacology)

Overview Describes Investigation of Vagus Nerve Stimulation to Reduce Severity of Congestive Heart Failure
Aug. 1, 2012 - The investigation of vagus nerve stimulation to reduce hospitalization and death in patients with congestive heart failure is described in a publication aimed at electrophysiology professionals. (EP Lab Digest)

Bio-compatible Coating for Deep Brain Stimulation Electrodes is Investigated in Israel
Aug. 1, 2012 - The Engineer and Science Daily report that Aryeh Taub of Tel Aviv University’s School of Psychological Sciences, along with Prof Matti Mintz, Roni Hogri and Ari Magal of the university’s School of Psychological Sciences and Prof. Yosi Shacham-Diamand of the university’s School of Electrical Engineering, has developed a bioactive coating that "camouflages" electrodes used for deep brain stimulation and actively suppresses the brain’s immune response, according to preclinical results published in the 10.1002/jbm.a.34152 Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. (The Engineer)

Authors Describe Using Five-Column Paddle to Treat Pain of Raynaud's Disease
August 2012 - A published case report describes how an elderly patient with painful Raynaud disease in his neck, arm and hand benefitted, after failure of conservative measures, from spinal cord stimulation using a five-column paddle. (Pain Physician)

U.S. Patent Office Publishes Description of a Method for More Efficient Programming of a Stimulation System
July 31, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Kerry Bradley is among a number of inventors listed on a patent assigned to Boston Scientific that describes an invention to deliver optimum electrode configurations in spinal cord stimulation without requiring exhaustive testing. The patent description points out that a system with 16 electrodes has more than 40 million possible electrode configurations. Current practice, the patent disclosure states, may involve testing and comparing individual parameter sets while gradually increasing amplitude, using intuition and dead-reckoning. The newly patented programming method, the disclosure states, might also be applied to other neuromodulation implant therapies. (U.S. Patent Offce)

Survey Indicates Degree of Potential Market Acceptance for Implantable Tinnitus Treatments
July 31, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member William Rosellini and colleagues report on a survey of tinnitus sufferers that indicates vagus nerve stimulation tone-pairing would be an acceptable strategy for patients with moderate to severe tinnitus. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Novel Brain Stimulation Method Receives Innovation Grant from NIH
July 31, 2012 - Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Highland Instruments, Inc., announced receiving a multi-year Small Business Innovation Research Grant from the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to inestigate its non-invasive neurostimulation method, which combines independently controlled electromagnetic and ultrasonic fields, for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. The lead clinical investigator will be Felipe Fregni, MD, PhD, MPH, who also directs the Laboratory of Neuromodulation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and is assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. The company previously began investigating the technique to treat the central sensitization of osteoarthritis pain. (Business Wire)

Patient Advocacy Group Recognizes Psychiatrist Involved in Development and Application of Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
July 31, 2012 - The International OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) Foundation has awarded its 2012 Outstanding Career Achievement recognition at its 19th annual conference July 28 to a medical school professor of psychiatry, Wayne K. Goodman, MD, chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, whose practice and teaching includes treating patients with deep brain stimulation. (Equities.com)

University of Minnesota Physical Therapy Researchers Seek Rehabilitation Clinical Trial Participants with Childhood Hemaplegia
July 28, 2012 - Calling transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) more cost-effective and portable than previous types of brain stimulation, a patient group is helping recruit young people aged 8 - 17 who have hemiplegia (weakness in one side of the body) to participate in a trial of tDCS in rehabilitation. It is believed that combining tDCS with other therapies could improve hand function more than each therapy separately. The trial is being organized by the University of Minnesota Physical Therapy Department. (Children's Hemiplegia and Stroke Association)

Retrospective Sample Indicates Sacral Neuromodulation Battery Life and Risk Factors for Early Removal
July 27, 2012 - A sample of 5% of Medicate beneficiaries who received a sacral neuromodulation implant during that time showed that very few device batteries were removed prematurely except in the 19 individuals in the sample who had interstitial cystitis -- of those, 11 (57.9%) had the battery removed. (Urology and Urodynamics)

Business Publication Features Growth of Neurmodulation in the Cleveland Area
July 2012 - An article in Crain's Cleveland Business focuses on the growth of neuromodulation businesses in the Cleveland, Ohio area. (BioEnterprise)

Voiding Dysfunction Product Helps Boost Company's Revenue
July 26, 2012 - In Uroplasty Inc.'s first quarter of 2013, sales were up 40%, driven by a 64% increase in the sales of its Urgent PC Neuromodulation System to treat overactive bladder and related symptoms using percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation. (Market Watch)

Health Publication Features Description of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
July 26, 2012 - The procedure for how repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is used in patients who might benefit due to medication-resistant depression is described in a blog post and accompanying video from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. (Harvard Health Blog)

Proof-of-Principle Experiment Shows Monkeys Improved Task Performance with Light Stimulation from Optogenetics
July 26, 2012 - A team centered at the Massachusetts General Hospital extended light-stimulation in the brains of monkeys to an entire network of cells, demonstrating the stimulation improved their ability to perform a simple computer-based task. The researchers used optogenetics to stimulate the arcuate sulcus region of the brain for the proof-of-principle experiment. (New Scientist)

FDA Allows Clinical Trial Recruitment of Ischemic Stroke Patients
July 26, 2012 - Recruitment in the U.S. can begin for a clinical trial that examines the utility of electrical stimulation of the sphenopalatine ganglion to increase cerebral blood flow in the treatment of ischemic stroke (stroke caused by a blockage to blood flow). The approach aims to expand the treatment window which currently limits how many patients receive timely treatment. The trial was started at 57 medical centers in June 2011 by Israel-based BrainsGate Ltd., and involved 176 patients to date outside the U.S. With FDA permission to recruit clinical trial subjects in the U.S., the company expects to complete the trial on 450 patients in the fourth quarter of 2013. (Globes)

Nevada News Station Highlights an Example of Spinal Cord Stimulation for Back Pain
July 25, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Denis Patterson was interviewed on local television as he demonstrated implanting a trial spinal cord stimulator for a back pain patient. (KTVN)

New Ohio-Based Medical Commercialization Network Will Focus on Neuromodulation and Other Emerging Technologies
July 24, 2012 - In what is described as the creation of the largest medical commercialization network in Ohio, neuromodulation will be one of the first areas of innovation to be targeted for commercialization under a new regional partnership, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported. International Neuromodulation Society member Ali Rezai, president of the INS North American Chapter and director of the Ohio State University's Center for Neuromodulation, was quoted about the new partnership between Ohio State University and the Cleveland Clinic. The development was also reported by MedCity News. (Plain Dealer)

Faculty Member Who Works to Optimize Deep Brain Stimulation to be Honored with Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
July 24, 2012 - An assistant professor of biomedical engineering who devotes her career to improving design and control of deep brain stimulation is among 96 researchers to be honored in a ceremony next week with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Sridevi V. Sarma, a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University's Department of Biomedical Engineering, as also acknowledged for her mentioning of women in science and engineering. (Newswise)

Campus Research Suggests Future Impact of Vagus Nerve Stimulation on Brain Conditions that Involve Processing Time
July 19, 2012 - Vagus nerve stimulation may one day be able to treat conditions in which the timing of brain responses is abnormal, according to a press release from the University of Texas at Dallas that covers current research advances there, and mentions dyslexia and schizophrenia. (University of Texas at Dallas)

Spinal Cord Stimulation Products are Addressed in Reports at Medical Conference
July 18, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Stephen Pyles, MD, commented on an analysis that was awarded Best Poster at the 20th Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Spine Intervention Society, in which information from a database of more than 6,000 patients who were implanted with a Boston Scientific Precision Plus spinal cord stimulation (SCS) system showed that the group of patients who received the company's Clik Anchor system had more than 40 percent fewer revisions due to lead migration. Additionally, results were presented for 25 patients who underwent a SCS trial using the Infinion 16 Lead. Of those, 88 percent experienced significant pain relief and met criteria for a permanent implant. (Market Watch)

Quarterly Earnings Report Reflects Neuromodulation Growth
July 18, 2012 - In its second quarter earnings report, St. Jude Medical, Inc. reported that neuromodulation product sales were up 2 percent compared to the second quarter of 2011, to $106 million, and revenue increased 5 percent after adjusting for foreign currency. (Market Watch)

Company Announces Second Round of Financing
July 18, 2012 - Cleveland-based Neuros Medical announced it has raised $3.5 million in a second round of funding, led by Boston Scientific and Glengary LLC. Also joining in the round were current investors Case Tech Ventures, JumpStart Ventures, NorthCoast Angel Fund, Ohio Tech Angel Fund, Queen City Angel Fund III, Physician Investment Group, as well as new investors RiverVest Venture Partners, LLC, Blue Tree Allied Angels, and ModelVest. The company has begun a pilot clinical trial of a high-frequency Electrical Nerve Block™ technology to treat pain in the residual limb of amputees. (Neuros Medical)

Company Moves into Asia Pacific
July 17, 2012 - Greatbatch, Inc. will establish a research and development center in Singapore focused on active implantable devices. The company is moving from component manufacture to complete medical device systems and an Asia Pacific strategy. The company is developing a spinal cord stimulator, Algostim, to treat chronic pain in the trunk and limbs. (Market Watch)

Review Explores Evidence for Neuromodulation in Treatment-Resistant Depression
July 2012 - A pair of Saudi Arabia authors have published a review of neuomodulation treatment for treatment-resistant depression. Based on papers published from 2000 - 2012, they found that a range of 30 - 93% of patients showed substantial improvement from neuromodulation therapies; two single-case studies of deep brain stimulation were reported to show 100% improvement and some studies reported no improvement from transcranial direct current stimulation. (Dovepress)

Team Reports Safety and Efficacy of Motor Cortex Stimulation over 12 Months in Parkinson's Patients
July 11, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society members Alfonso Fasano, MD, PhD; Tommaso Tufo, MD; Mario Meglio, MD and Beatrice Cioni, MD are among 16 authors who report that a nine-patient study showed safety and efficacy of motor cortex stimulation in Parkinson's disease. After 12 months, stimulation continuously delivered through a four-contact paddle above the dura to the side opposite the most-affected side of the body moderately controlled symptoms, especially axial symptoms, and quality of life. No cognitive or behavioral changes were observed. (Neurosurgery)

United Kingdom Technology Policy Publication Raises Visibility of
Neuromodulation

July 9, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society President Simon Thomson, MD, writes in Public Service Review: UK Science & Technology about the need for improved access to neuromodulation therapies in order to improve quality of life for persons affected by chronic conditions. The article's lead-in calls neuromodulation "a much-overlooked set of treatment
procedures that can revolutionise care for chronic illnesses". The publication circulates to policymakers, researchers, and industry decision-makers in the United Kingdom and Australia. (Public Service Review)

Research Allows Tracking of Neurotransmitter in Real Time During Deep Brain Stimulation in Tremor Patients
July 16, 2012 - Researchers at Mayo Clinic observed changes in real time in the levels of the neurotransmitter adenosine in the brains of tremor patients undergoing deep brain stimulation. Adenosine is suspected of playing a role in reducing tremor. The research is hoped to eventually contribute to creation of a "smart" system that monitors neurotransmitter levels and adjusts stimulation accordingly. International Neuromodulation Society member Kendall Lee, MD, was quoted regarding the research effort. (Medical Xpress)

New Zealand Foundation Confers Grants for Neuromodulation and Related Research
July 16, 2012 - The Neurological Foundation of New Zealand announced grants to fund research into neuromodulation's effects on memory, tinnitus, and the prevalence of Parkinson's disease and related medication consumption. (Otago Daily Times)

Neuromodulation Product Pipeline Volume is Described
July 13, 2012 - Coverage of a market report by GBI Research indicates there are 144 products in the neurostimulation pipeline. Deep brain stimulators are reportedly the largest component, comprising almost 17%, then vagus nerve stimulators, with 21 pipeline products, and spinal cord stimulators have just seven products expected on the horizon. (NeuroNews)

Newspaper Features Spinal Cord Stimulation Explanation
July 12, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Richard N. Siegfried, MD, authored a short newspaper column describing spinal cord stimulation and its uses. (New Jersey Herald)

Stroke Patients Appear to Recover More Fully from Aphasia When Speech Therapy and Noninvasive Brain Stimulation are Coupled
July 2012 - Pairing transcranial direct current stimulation and rehabilitation therapy for stroke patients suffering from aphasia seems to boost effectiveness of speech therapy, according to work at the University College London that has involved 13 patients to date. (Aging Well)

Brain Stimulation Approaches to Treating Tobacco Addiction are Reviewed
July 11, 2012 - A literature review concludes repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation may both represent potentially novel ways to treat tobacco addiction. rTMS, for instance, was shown to decrease consumption of cigarettes. (Brain Stimulation)

Occipital Nerve Stimulation Shown in Trial to Reduce Migraine Symptoms
July 11, 2012 - Results presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Headache Society showed that a 12-week trial of occipital nerve stimulation in 125 migraine patients led to a reduction in pain and frequency of headaches in the treated group. Adverse events occurred in about half the participants, with lead migration accounting for 15% of those, and pain or numbness at the implantable pulse generator or lead site comprising another 22% of adverse events. (Clinical Psychiatry News)

Review Discusses Animal Models for Cognitive and Psychiatric Applications of Deep Brain Stimulation
July 11, 2012 - A review article discusses preclinical research that provides insights into mechanisms of deep brain stimulation with respect to cognitive and psychiatric applications. The review emphasizes the predictive validity of animal models, and their potential use in translational research. News of the publication appeared in My Health News Daily. (Science Translational Medicine)

Heart Failure Trial of Vagus Nerve Stimulation Will Expand with FDA Approval
July 11, 2012 - BioControl Medical announced FDA approval to expand a clinical trial of vagus nerve stimulation in heart failure. An initial phase involved 50 patients at 21 centers worldwide. The expanded INOVATE-HF (INcrease Of VAgal TonE in Heart Failure) trial will include up to 200 patients at 50 U.S. centers. (MarketWatch)

Paper Examines Limitations and Utility of Rat Models for the Study of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
July 10, 2012 - A review of rat models of transcranial magnetic stimulation indicates that although there are limitations when considering parallels to human stimulation, it can be useful to translate brain research when designing clinical protocols. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Pilot Study Indicates Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Tinnitus Does Not Create Adverse Cardiac Effects for Patients Without Pre-existing Heart Ailments
July 8, 2012 - A pilot study of 24 patients with chronic tinnitus indicates that in patients who had no underlying cardiac condition, transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation apparently did not cause arrhythmic effects on heart function. (Frontiers in Neuropsychiatric Imaging and Stimulation)

Study: No Difference in Benefit from Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Children with Partial or Generalized Epilepsy
July 6, 2012 - A retrospective study of 146 pediatric patients treated by a single neurosurgeon with a vagus nerve stimulation system for epilepsy showed that improvements were uniform among the patients whether the condition was partial or generalized epilepsy. This was contrary to the expectation that children with partial epilepsy would benefit at higher rates. (Journal of Neurosurgery)

Trial Investigates Brain Stimulation Target for Tourette's Syndrome
July 6, 2012 - In an open study, 11 patients with severe and medically intractable Tourette's syndrome were implanted with deep brain stimulation systems targeting the aneromedical globus pallidus interna. Overall, there was a 48% reduction in motor tics and 56.5% reduction in phonic tics at follow-up. (The American Journal of Psychiatry)

Pediatric Overactive Bladder Patients Reported to Benefit from Parasacral Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
July 2012 - In a study of 40 children with overactive bladder, researchers in Cairo found that there was significant improvement in symptoms in patients who received 20 minutes of parasacral transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation three times a week for two months, compared to the control group. They conclude this is an effective non-invasive treatment. (World Applied Sciences Journal)

Analysts Initiate Coverage of Medtronic, Estimate a Stock Price 5% Ahead of Market
July 6, 2012 - Trefis Analysts initiated coverage of the medical device company Medtronic, with a stock price estimate of $41, which is about 5% ahead of the current market price for this leading medical device supplier. The analysis firm said neuromodulation accounts for about 11% of the company's stock price. (Trefis)

Brain Stimulation in Mice Shown to Impact Key Factor in Huntington's Symptoms
July 5, 2012 - A study published in the Translational Psychiatry journal reveals the impact of brain stimulation in a mouse model of Huntington's disease. Stimulation reduced output of the stress hormone cortisol from the mice's adrenal glands, indicating the systemic effects of the underlying condition and this potential intervention. (Sky News)

Early Results in Study of Potential Tinnitus Treatment are Presented at Meeting
July 5, 2012 - International Neuromodulation society member Dirk De Ridder, MD, PhD, presented initial results at the Tinnitus Research Initiative conference in Belgium on June 15 that involved 10 patients who were treated with a system that pairs bursts of vagus nerve stimulation with listening to tones. He said the results were positive with many patients experiencing a reduction in severity and perception of tinnitus. (Virtual-Strategy Magazine)

Article Summarizes Development of Epilepsy Treatments, Including Closed-loop Systems
July 5, 2012 - A news feature on new and emerging epilepsy treatments notes that the design of first-generation closed-loop systems to treat epilepsy is just beginning, while theoretical development of second-generation devices is underway. (Huffington Post)

Market Research Firm Estimates that Neurostimulation Market May Double by 2018
July 3, 2012 - The global neurostimulation market, estimated at $2.3 billion in 2011, is expected to almost double by 2018 to $4.4 billion, with a compound annual growth rate of 10%. Market share of the three main manufacturers was reported to be 62% for Medtronic, 15% for St. Jude, and 13% for Boston Scientific. Electrical neurostimulation devices are becoming more common as the world's elderly population increases, Global Data reports. (PHARMABIZ.com)

Pilot Study Indicates Prolonged Benefit of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Post-Stroke Swallowing Therapy
July 3, 2012 - Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), which applies weak electrical currents to the affected area of the brain, can enhance the outcome of swallowing therapy for post-stroke dysphagia, according to a study in the July issue of Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience. In the pilot study of 16 patients, those that received full treatment rather than being in the control arm of the study showed significantly greater improvement at a three-month follow-up.  The study was led at Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea. (HealthCanal)

New Journal Impact Factor
Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface has just received news of its 2011 impact factor, which is 1.186, up from 1.057 in 2010. Among categories in the ISI Web of Knowledge proprietary index that issues the rankings, the journal's 2011 ranking among Clinical Neurology journals is 148/191, and 79/111 in Medicine, Research & Experimental.

Under Proposed Regulatory Revision, Japan May Separate Device Approvals from the Drug Approval Process
July 2, 2012 - A proposed regulatory structure that separates medical devices from drugs is expected to be presented to the Japanese Diet when it reconvenes in January. (Clinica via AdvaMed SmartBrief)

Company Announces Key U.S. Patents in High-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation
June 27, 2012 - Nevro Corp. announced two key patents covering aspects of its high-frequency spinal cord stimulation system to relieve chronic leg and/or back pain, Senza. The company's proprietary high-frequency waveform technology is designed to treat challenging conditions such as low back pain while avoiding the typical side effects that can occur with currently available systems (MarketWatch)

Researchers Will Recruit Memory-Impaired Individuals for Pilot Study of Cognitive Training and Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
June 26, 2012 - The University of Manchester is launching a six-week study of six volunteers to study the effects of cognitive training combined with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. The volunteers being recruited will have either mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, or a memory issue called amnestic mild cognitive impairment. A longer-term study may follow. (University of Manchester)

Microscopic Magnetic Coils Might Be Feasible for Future Deep Brain Stimulation
June 26, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member John Gale, PhD, is among a team of collaborators centered at Massachusetts General Hospital that has published a proof of concept report showing that small magnetic coils might be used to stimulate neural activity in lieu of electrical contacts for deep brain stimulation. The work was published in Nature Communications.  (Science Daily)

Authors Discuss the Potential Importance of Astrocytes in Neuromodulation Treatment of Epilepsy
June 25, 2012 - In a review of astroglial networks and implications for therapeutic neuromodulation for epilepsy, Mark R. Witcher and Thomas L. Eliis of the Wake Forest University's Department of Neuroscience write that they believe many aspects of astrocytes make them a potentially promising target for neuromodulation of epilepsy. (Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience)

Deep Brain Stimulation Reduces Binge Eating in Mice
June 24, 2012 - Animal study results presented at the 94th Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society indicate that deep brain stimulation of the nucleus accumbens might reduce binge eating by modulating neurons that express the type 2 dopamine receptor. (EurekAlert)

Small-Scale Studies Indicate Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Yields Improved Speech Intelligibility for Impaired Patients
June 25, 2012 - High-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation may be a useful tool to treat speech dysfunction in Parkinson's disease, according to an interview with University of Queensland Prof. Bruce Murdoch. He hopes to begin large-scale clinical trials based on results showing an up to 20% improvement for up to 12 months in the speech and tongue movement of Parkinson's patients. He told the New Zealand Herald that stroke patients also have better word recall within a week or two of beginning stimulation. His group published research in October in the European Journal of Neurology. (ABC News Australia)

Israeli Study in Progress to Assess Utility of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Nicotine Addiction
June 24, 2012 - A significant decrease in cigarette consumption was seen in an interim analysis of smokers who had previously been unable to quit smoking and who participated in an Israel-based trial of deep repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation ( deep rTMS). The best results were seen when high-frequency stimulation was combined with a cue that elicited an urge to smoke, the researchers said. Rather than stimulate only the first 1-2 cm of the brain, the new rTMS coil design that was used stimulates down to about 5 cm. (NoCamels - Israeli Innovation News)

Researcher Discusses Applying Computer Simulation Capabilities to Refine Targeting of Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease
June 23, 2012 - A portable tool to visualize precise regions of deep brain stimulation (DBS) could shorten programming time following DBS implantation in Parkinson's disease patients, according to a recorded seminar by Chris Butson, PhD, an associate professor of neurology and neurosurgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. In his talk, he credits a number of research collaborators, including International Neuromodulation Society members Jaimie Henderson, MD, and Brian Kopell, MD. (University of Utah Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute - YouTube)

Montana Television Station Features Epileptic Teen's Experience with Vagus Nerve Stimulation
June 23, 2012 - A Montana teenager discusses switching to vagus nerve stimulation to control her epileptic seizures that were not fully managed with medication.(KRTV.com)

Vision for New Zealand Neuromodulation Unit Highlighted
June 23, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Dirk De Ridder, MD, PhD, discussed in an interview his interest in setting up a neuromodulation unit at Dunedin Hospital when he starts his joint appointment at the University of Otago in New Zealand in February. As a neurosurgeon with an interest in phantom perception, he plans to collaborate with basic and clinical neuroscientists, neurophysiologists, and other specialists related to different research topics, such as psychiatry. (Otago Daily Times)

Florida Conference Features Spinal Cord Stimulation Implantation Training
June 22, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Lora Brown, MD, videocast two live spine procedures in a demonstration that was part of the PAIN 2012 conference in Miami, organized by the West Virginia branch of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians. The procedures included implantation of a spinal cord stimulator using the St. Jude Medical Epiducer lead delivery system. In a second patient, implantation of a system to treat a damaged spinal disc, the Disc-FX System, was demonstrated. (PR Newswire)

Veteran's Administration Role in Parkinson's Disease Research is Featured
June 21, 2012 - A publication that concerns military veterans around the world looked back at consecutive studies regarding deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease. Both studies drew from a base of patients in the U.S. Veteran's Administration (VA) healthcare system. With some 40,000 patients with Parkinson's disease overall, the VA patient base was an important component of a recently published three-year study comparing two deep brain stimulation sites for treating the condition. (Veterans Today)

Israeli Conference Covers Current and Potential Neuromodulation Advances
June 21, 2012 - Deep brain stimulation and potential ways to overcome blindness or limb loss were among a wide-ranging scope of topics at a Presidential Conference on the future of brain science that featured Israeli and foreign researchers on Thursday in Jerusalem. (Jerusalem Post)

Three-year Randomized Trial Comparing Two Deep Brain Stimulation Targets in Parkinson's Disease Shows Stable Benefit in Improving Motor Function
June 20, 2012 - A three-year randomized trial comparing two deep brain stimulation targets in Parkinson's disease shows no difference in motor symptom control between stimulation of the globus pallidus interna (GPi) and subthalamic nucleus (STN). The study, authored by Frances M. Weaver, PhD, and colleagues, including International Neuromodulation Society members Oren Sagher, MD; Kathryn Holloway, MD; and Antonio De Salles MD, PhD, indicated that dementia rating declined more quickly for STN than GPi while other neurocognitive measures showed gradual decline overall. The study involved 159 patients at U.S. Veteran's Administration medical centre and other centers in the U.S. The work was featured in a number of mainstream publications, including U.S. News & World Report. (Neurology)

Self-Administered Neuromodulation Device Expected to Undergo Randomized Clinical Trial for Migraine Care
June 20, 2012 - The University of Kent is expected to begin leading a multi-center randomized controlled clinical trial later this summer exploring treating migraine with an external, self-administered neuromodulation device. The device is from the North Carolina-based startup Scion NeuroStim, which is supporting the trial. (University of Kent)

Review Examines Deep Brain Stimulation Targets in Tourette Syndrome
J
une 14, 2012 - Research authors from the Baylor College of Medicine searched for reports of deep brain stimulation (DBS) and Tourette syndrome since the first report of thalamic DBS for this condition. The authors say an optimal target cannot yet be determined. They report that the literature contains follow-up reports on less than 100 patients and reported targets include thalamic centromedian nucleus and substantia periventricularis, posteroventral globus pallidus internus, ventromedial globus pallidus internus, globus pallidus externus, anterior limb of the internal capsule and nucleus accumbens. (Strereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery)

Spinal Cord Stimulation Patient is Reportedly First to Try Neurostimulation in the Caribbean
June 18, 2012 - A Jamaican woman who had three failed back surgeries after she was crushed by a falling gate became what was reportedly the first recipient of a neurostimulation implant tried in the Caribbean. Her spinal cord stimulation system was paid for the the Health Ministry of Trinidad and Tobago. (The Gleaner)

Surgical Atlas Depicts Sacral Neuromodulation
July 2012 - Sacral neuromodulation, an established treatment for refractory cases of lower urinary tract dysfunction, which is also used in some patients with bowel dysfunction, is described in an illustrated surgical atlas. (BJU International)

Professor Dirk De Ridder is Recruited to Chair New Zealand Academic Neurosurgery Unit
June 16, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Dirk De Ridder, MD, PhD, will lead New Zealand's first academic neurosurgery unit  beginning in February, in a new role as chair of neurosurgery at the University of Otago in New Zealand, where he will also serve as Neurological Foundation neurosurgery professor. He has served as professor of neuromodulation and neurosurgery at Antwerp University in Belgium, and founded a brain research center and tinnitus research initiative in Antwerp. (Southland Times)

Article Recaps Presentation about Deep Brain Stimulation Studies in Treatment-Resistant Depression
June 15, 2012 - The role of specific brain circuits in driving negative mood is described in an article about early studies by Helen Mayberg, MD, exploring deep brain stimulation in patients with treatment-resistant depression. (Psychiatric News)

Review Examines Potential of Deep Brain Stimulation for Autonomic Nervous System Disease
June 12, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Alexander Green, MD, and colleagues provide an overview in Nature Reviews Neurology of the potential for deep brain stimulation to treat diseases of the autonomic nervous system by modulating such functions as blood pressure and respiration.  (Nature Reviews Neurology)

Case Series Reported Regarding Occipital Nerve Stimulation for Chronic Headache from Chiari Malformation
June 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Alon Mogilner, MD, PhD, and colleagues report a retrospective analysis of 22 patients who have Chiari malformation and persistent occipital headaches. Fifteen of the patients had a successful trial for neurostimulation of the occipital nerves. Thirteen of those patients reported continued pain relief at a mean follow-up of about 19 months. However, 40% of patients required additional surgeries for device-related complications. (Neurosurgery)

Medicare Changes to Only Covering Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation for Clinical Trials
June 11, 2012 -- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will no longer cover most uses of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for chronic low back pain, based a on a review prompted by a 2010 report by an American Academy of Neurology panel that found published reports presented conflicting evidence of effectiveness. The agency will cover randomized clinical trials of TENS for three years. (MedPage Today)

Licensing Agreement Targets MRI-Compatible Leads for Vagus Nerve Stimulation System
June 11, 2012 - Cyberonics, Inc. has entered into an exclusive technology license agreement with Imricor Medical Systems, Inc. to develop magnetic resonance imaging-compatible leads for use with its vagus nerve stimulation system. (PR Newswire)

Review: Transcutaneous Spinal Direct Current Stimulation May Have Therapeutic Potential
June 7, 2012 - Researchers in Milan review experimental evidence that transcranial spinal direct current stimulation (tsDCS) influences spinal function. They raise the possibility that by focally modulation spinal excitability, tsDCS could complement drugs and implanted spinal cord stimulation devices to manage pain and other conditions, perhaps aiding in neurorehabilitation and treatment of spasticity. (Frontiers in Neuropsychiatric Imaging and Stimulation)

CE Mark Granted for Vagus Nerve Stimulator to Treat Refractory Epilepsy
June 8, 2012 - Belgium-based Neurotech has received CE mark approval for its vagus nerve stimulation system to treat epilepsy patients who are refractory to anti-epileptic drugs and not eligible for surgery. The company's ADNS-300 uses a cuff electrode to record vagus nerve activity, which can be used to personalize the treatment. (Medical Device Network)

Patient Describes Relief Found in Using Electrical Neurostimulation for Back Pain
June 2012 - A man who only found limited relief for back pain from bone spurs using injections and surgery is profiled about the relief he found through using an implanted electrical stimulation device. (Healing Back Pain)

Neuromodulation Therapies are under Discussion for Assessment in Augmenting Treatment of Prolonged Depression
June 2012 - Physicians concerned with the treatment of depression discuss considering transcranial magnetic stimulation early on in patients who do not respond to pharmaceutical or psychotherapy approaches. The discussion mentions also assessing augmentation trials of vagus nerve stimulation and deep brain stimulation in a revised Antidepressant Treatment Response Questionnaire. (Current Psychiatry Online)

Vagal Nerve Stimulation Device Company Reports Increased Earnings on Par with Estimates
June 6, 2012 - For the quarter that ended April 27, 2012, Cyberonics reported U.S. net sales increased 10% in the period, while international net sales grew 33%, on a constant currency basis. Net income and diluted earnings per share were both up, at $10.7 million and 38 cents per share respectively, compared to last year's $7.4 million and 26 cents diluted earnings per share. The company markets an FDA-approved vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) system for epilepsy and treatment-resistant depression, and said further growth is expected based on global replacement activity of VNS in epilepsy. The company repurchased $50 million in shares for the year, had $97 million in cash at the year's end, and met analysts' earnings estimates for the quarter. (Cyberonics)

Results Published in Study on Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation for Overactive Bladder
June 6, 2012 - In an online ahead-of-print research paper in Neurourology and Urodynamics, 24 months of experience using percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation for overactive bladder in 35 patients is reported. The trial demonstrated initial success after 12 weekly treatments, followed by a tapering off period of 14 weeks. The U.S.-based STEP Study on percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation used Uroplasty, Inc.'s Urgent® PC Neuromodulation System. (PR Newswire)

Dopamine Neuron Connections Mapped in Mouse Brain Research
June 6, 2012 - By fluorescently tagging mouse brain cells, Harvard University researchers imaged a comprehensive list of neural pathways that connect directly to dopamine neurons in two regions of the brain, the ventral tegmental area, known for processing reward, and the substantia nigra, known for motor control. The results, published in the journal Neuron, may have implications for treating Parkinson's disease and addiction. (EurekAlert)

Kuwait Hospital Begins Implanting Neuromodulation System to Treat Obesity or Related Disorders
June 6, 2012 - EnteroMedics announced the first commercial implants of its VBLOC vagal blocking therapy system to treat obesity, metabolic diseases and other gastrointestinal disorders at the Hadi Hospital in Kuwait City, Kuwait. In the United States, the system is only approved for investigational use. (Marketwire)

Company: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Device for Depressive Disorders Receives European Marketing Approval
June 4, 2012 Pennsylvania-based Neuronetics announced it has received CE mark approval for its transcranial magnetic stimulation device, Neurostar, so that it can be marketed in Europe now for treatment of depressive disorders. It has been approved since 2008 in the U.S. to treat major depressive disorders in patients who have not received satisfactory results with antidepressant medication. (MedCity News)

Brain Finding May Enable Future Visual Prosthetic
June 4, 2012 - Collaborators at medical schools in Texas have found an illusion of a flash of light can be created when the brain's tempooparietal junction is active and the occipital lobe is electrically stimulated. The finding is a basic step toward potentially creating a visual prosthetic that bypasses the eye. (Newswise)

Patient Describes Undergoing Study Testing Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Aphasia

June 2, 2012 - Electrical brain stimulation in stroke rehabilitation and other topics are covered in a news feature in the Guardian, which includes descriptions of a woman's participation in a rehabilitation study addressing aphasia caused by stroke. (The Guardian)

Percutaneous Placement of Paddle Leads Investigated in Prospective Study
June 1, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society members David Loge, MD, Olivier De Coster, MD, and Stephanie Washburn, PhD, investigated percutaneous placement of paddle leads in 34 patients at two centers, finding the implantation was safe, taking an average of about nine minutes, and the leads could be advanced by four vertebral segments in more than half the patients. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Research Study Compares Peripheral, Spinal and Combined Stimulation for Treating Persistent Neuropathic Post-Hernia Pain
June 1, 2012 - A team of researchers centered at the Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen, Germany, report comparing peripheral nerve field stimulation (PNFS), spinal cord stimulation (SCS), and a combination to treat persistent neuropathic post-hernia pain in four patients in a double-blinded trial. The combined PNFS and SCS provided the most pain reduction. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Journal Article Presents Clinical Experience with Percutaneous Paddle Leads for Spinal Cord Stimulation
June 1, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society members Stefan Schu, MD and Jan Vesper, MD, PhD, have published a report with colleagues from Dusseldorf that showed that in a prospective trial of 81 patients using a new percutaneous paddle lead to treat pain with spinal cord stimulation, clinical outcomes were good and lead migration was a low 2.5%. (Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface)

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Effect in Motor Learning Studied
June 1, 2012 - In a study reported in the Journal of Neurophysiology, transcranial direct current stimulation was shown to impact motor control task learning in 53 healthy volunteers. The volunteers were asked to walk a split treadmill with different speeds for each foot. Stimulation to the side controlling the fastest leg showed an effect -- coming from an anode, it sped up learning, and from a cathode, it slowed it down. (Science Daily)

Electrochemical Neuroprosthesis Demonstrated in Rats Paralyzed by Partial Spinal Cord Injuries
June 1, 2012 - A Swiss research team has restored paralyzed rats' ability to walk on a treadmill and navigate over and around objects, following rehabilitation using a supportive harness and chemical and electrical spinal nerve stimulation, according to a journal article appearing today in Science magazine. The  scientists say that changes in the rats' brains indicate they developed new circuits from the motor cortex that allowed them to overcome loss of use of their hind legs caused by partial severing of the spinal cord. (Science)

Tibial Nerve Stimulation for Fecal Incontinence is Described for Outpatient Use
June 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Charles Knowles and colleagues describe and demonstrate percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation for fecal incontinence that can be performed in a nurse-led clinic or outpatient or community setting. The authors report an overall early success rate that compares favorably with other forms of neuromodulation, including sacral neuromodulation, and plan to report long-term outcome data, when completed, in more than 100 patients. (Diseases of the Colon & Rectum)

Neuromodulation Center Established at Academic Neurosurgery Department in New York
May 30, 2012 - Neurological surgeon Alon Mogilner, MD, PhD, a member of the International Neuromodulation Society, is quoted in an announcement about the establishment of a multidisciplinary neuromodulation center at the Department of Neurosurgery at New York University Langone Medical Center for the treatment of complex neurological conditions including movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain and psychiatric conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder and severe depression. (Newswise)

Early Results Presented Regarding Trial of External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation as an Adjunct to Pharmacological Treatment for Depression and Post-Traumatic Stress
May 30, 2012 - A six-patient cohort receiving external trigeminal nerve stimulation in addition to pharmacological treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression showed a mean decrease in PTSD of 36% and more than 50% in depression scores, according to research presented by International Neuromodulation Society member Ian Cook, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles and a senior medical advisor to NeuroSigma, Inc.which is sponsoring the study, which is expected to be followed by a larger, double-blind, controlled research trial. The results were presented at the 52nd annual New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit Conference in Arizona.

Company Expected to Seek FDA Approval to Market Its Device to Treat Depression with Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
May 30, 2012 - Following a multicenter trial http://on.msnbc.com/LGskwE of deep transcranial magnetic stimulation in 233 patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression, Brainsway is expected to seek FDA approval to market its device in the U.S. in June. The initial trial results showed that after five weeks of treatment with the helmet-shaped device, some 30% of patients in the treatment group went into remission and 36.7% of patients showed more than 50% decrease in symptoms. The device delivers magnetic stimulation in a wider area of the brain than the more focused stimulation delivered by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. (IEEE Spectrum)

Study in Healthy Volunteers Demonstrates Responsiveness of Brain to Light Delivered via Ear Canal
May 29, 2012 - Researchers in Finland report in the World Journal of Neuroscience that a functional magnetic resonance imaging study in 51 healthy volunteers confirms the light-responsiveness of the brain through bright light administered through the ear canal. The researchers say that the presence of photosensitive proteins in the brain presents a potential opportunity to use bright light delivered through a headset via the ear canal as a possible way to treat seasonal affective disorder. (PR Newswire)

Journal Presents Ischemic Disorder Research
May 29, 2012 - The International Neuromodulation Society Journal Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface presents the first in a series of online virtual issues focused on specific topics. The current special online issue features seven full-text articles from 2009 - 2011 about neuromodulation in ischemic disorders, of special interest to cardiologists, vascular surgeons, or referring physicians. (Neuromodulation)

Interational Neuromodulation Society Members Among Patent Winners
May 24, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society members, Drs. Stephen Pyles and Rohan Hoare, were mentioned in a list of recent patent awardees for their invention of a method of using spinal cord stimulation to treat gastrointestinal and/or eating disorders or conditions, which was assigned to Advanced Neuromodulation Systems, Inc., Plano, Texas (now the St. Jude Medical, Inc. neuromodulation division, headed by Dr. Hoare). (Orlando Sentinel)  

Laboratory Studies Suggest How Deep Brain Stimulation May Work in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
May 24, 2012 - Experiments in rats suggest that electrical stimulation of brain areas used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder may work by acting on brain circuits involved in dampening fear responses. (Nature)

Review Examines Deep Brain Stimulation in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
May 24, 2012 - Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital reviewed the literature to examine putative effects of deep brain stimulation on obsessive compulsive disorder at the level of neurons and brain circuits. (Frontiers in Neuroscience)

Company Receives Commercialization Loan for Shoulder-Pain Device
May 24, 2012 - The Ohio Department of Development will loan SPR Therapeutics $900,000 to commercialize the company’s neurostimulation pain-relief system, designed to relieve post-stroke shoulder pain through peripheral nerve stimulation. (MedCity News)

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Reduced Fibromyalgia Pain in Pilot Study
Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, International Neuromodulation Society member M. Bret Schneider, MD, announced plans for a controlled study of about 40 fibromyalgia patients using an investigational, four-coil device for transcranial magnetic stimulation. The intended investigation would follow a pilot study that showed sustained pain relief from noninvasive stimulation of the dorsal anterior cingulate, which is theorized to cause long-term potentiation. PET scanning showed reduced metabolic activity to that region following the course of investigational treatment. (Family Practice News)

Neuromodulation Device Company Founder Honored for Professional Achievement by IEEE
May 23, 2012 - The retired founder of the company whose vagus nerve stimulation system achieved FDA approvals for certain forms of epilepsy and depression in 1997 and 2005, respectively, has been honored by receiving the 2012 Professional Career Achievement Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society. Reese S. Terry, Jr., served twice as CEO of Cyberonics, as well as serving as a member of its board, and previously co-developed programmable heart pacemakers. (IEEE)

FDA Gives Clearance for Randomized Controlled Trial of High-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation
May 23, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society (INS) member Leonardo Kapural, M.D., Ph.D, will be principal investigator for a U.S. randomized trial of high-frequency spinal cord stimulation, which is designed to provide chronic pain relief without the tingling, pins-and-needles feeling of parasthesia. Nervo Corp. announced FDA approval of the trial, SENZA-RCT, which will enroll up to 300 patients at 15 centers. An earlier prospective study in Europe, where the device is approved for marketing, showed effectiveness in reducing hard-to-treat back pain, according to results presented at the North American Neuromodulation Society's 2011 annual meeting by Jean-Pierre Van Buyten, M.D., chairman of the Multidisciplinary Pain Center AZ Nikolaas Sint-Niklaas, Belgium, who is also a member of the INS. (BusinessWire)

Patients Receive Deep Brain Stimulation Implants in Depression Study
May 22, 2012 - Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center is one of approximately 20 institutions taking part in a clinical study evaluating deep brain stimulation for treatment-resistant depression. Two patients were implanted there last month in the BROdmann Area 25 DEep brain Neuromodulation study, or BROADEN™, which is enrolling U.S. patients who have unipolar major depressive disorder. (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Chronic Migraine Sufferer is First to Begin German Clinical Trial of Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation
May 22, 2012 - Cerbomed and Headache Center of the Neurological Department at the Grosshadern Hospital in Munich announce enrollment of the first patient in the clinical trial for treating chronic migraine using transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation (t-VNS). The study follows a promising, randomized controlled clinical trial in healthy subjects that showed the stimulation's effect on pain perception and tolerance, said International Neuromodulation Society member Prof. Dr. med. Jens Ellrich, the company's chief medical officer.(Cerbomed)

Laboratory Study Examines Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation Target on Reward Processing

May 22, 2012 - Researchers from the University of Magdeburg, Germany studied the response to laboratory exercises in a volunteer patient who had overcome alcohol addiction since receiving a deep brain stimulation (DBS) implant in 2008. PET scanning and behavioral data showed active stimulation was associated with somewhat slower and less risky choices, implying a more impulsive, riskier and less controlled behavior when neural activity was not modulated by DBS. (PLoS ONE)

Device Maker Reports Revenue Growth in Fourth Quarter
May 22, 2012 - In its fiscal year ended April 27, 2012, Medtronic, Inc. reported overall revenue growth, including neuromodulation revenue of $463 million, up 8% on a constant currency basis. Growth was driven by an increase in new implants in pain stimulation, deep brain stimulation (DBS), and stimulation for urinary and bowel incontinence indications. Growth in pain stimulation was driven by launches of its RestoreSensor(R) spinal cord stimulator with AdaptiveStim(R) technology in the U.S. and Japan. Sales of DBS products were driven by an increased focus on neurologist referrals. (BusinessWire)

Device Component Supplier Will Move Corporate Headquarters to Texas
May 22, 2012 - Medical device supplier Greatbatch Inc. announced it will move its corporate headquarters from outside Buffalo, N.Y. to Frisco, Texas, to be near medical technology firms, academic research centers, and an international airport. The company will maintain offices, manufacturing and research and development operations in western New York. (Dallas News)

Several Studies of Neuromodulation Mentioned in Popular News Article
May 21, 2012 - In an overview article of emerging therapeutic uses for electrical neuromodulation, a popular article features increasing interest in stimulation devices as a safe and effective option for patients who do not respond to other treatments. The article points out the stimulation has few side-effects because it is a localized treatment, and can be used in conjunction with other therapies. The piece mentions a number of recent studies of neuromodulation in patients who have facial pain, cystitis, incontinence or high blood pressure. (Mail Online)

Retrospective Study Tracks Effectiveness of Cervical Spinal Cord Stimulation
May 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Kristin Kieselbach, MD, and Tilman Wolter, MD, report a retrospective study of 18 patients who had permanent cervical spin cord stimulation (SCS)  implants from Nov. 1, 2011 - Oct. 31, 2011. The physicians conclude that cervical spinal cord stimulation appears effective to treat neuropathic upper limb pain, without significantly more frequent complications than SCS for lower limb pain. (Pain Physician Journal)

Overactive Bladder Treatment Guidance from the American Urological Association Includes Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation
May 21, 2012 -  The American Urological Association issued clinical guidance, "Diagnosis and Treatment of Overactive Bladder (Non-Neurogenic) in Adults," which includes percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation as an integral part of the care path for overactive bladder treatment. (PR Newswire)

Study: Transcranial Direct-Current Stimulation Reduces Auditory Hallucinations in Schizophrenic Patients
May 18, 2012 - Research reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry involving 30 patients with schizophrenia who experienced persistent daily auditory verbal hallucinations despite medication showed in a sham stimulation-controlled study that transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) reduced auditory verbal hallucinations by an average of 31%. The effect lasted for up to 3 months, and tDCS also eased some other symptoms of schizophrenia. (Medscape Today)

Sacral Neuromodulation Lead Placement Using Computed Tomography Guidance Described
May 16, 2012 - Physicians from Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine describe using computed tomography in lieu of fluoroscopy to place leads for sacral neuromodulation in a patient with arthritis and narrow S3 foramina. The patient received a tined, quadripolar lead without initial somatorsensory testing. The lead was interrogated to assess placement and superiority of response between two leads. (International Urogynelcology Journal)

Apparent Memory Effect of Entorhinal Deep Brain Stimulation Target for Epilepsy Intrigues Researchers
May 17, 2012 Researchers from the U.S., Japan and Germany wrote to the New England Journal of Medicine to suggest ways to clarify findings, in further research, reported in February in which patients with medically resistant epilepsy were found to have improved spatial learning following electrical stimulation of the entorhinal area of the brain. If elucidated, they said, the finding might serve as a starting point for future neuromodulatory interventions aimed at treating disorders with medial temporal-lobe dysfunction and associated cognitive dysfunction. (New England Journal)

Boy Seeking Vagus Nerve Stimulation Implant in New Zealand is Subject to a Fund Drive
May 15, 2012 - A New Zealand family hopes to become one of the few to have vagus nerve stimulation therapy for their preschool-age son, who suffers from an unknown seizure disorder. Recommended by their neurologist, the treatment is so new to the area, it is only available for private-pay patients, so they have begun a fund drive to raise $40,000 through news coverage and a Facebook page. (Whangarei Leader)

Bioness Inc. to Market Foot Drop System for More Sizes
May 15, 2012 - Bioness Inc. announced 510(k) clearance from the FDA to market a smaller leg cuff for use with its neuromodulation technology designed to treat foot drop, that causes difficulty walking for persons with motor deficits resulting from conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury or cerebral palsy. The new cuff size provides access to the device for patients with smaller calf sizes. (Market Watch)

UK Mother Describes Return to Active Recreation with Relief of Sciatica from Spinal Cord Stimulation
May 14, 2012 - A local newspaper features a 38-year-old mother who found relief from sciatica and went on a walking holiday with friends and her 12-year-old son, after receiving a spinal cord stimulator following an eight-year search for an effective therapy. (Goole-Howden Courier)

Trend Toward Using Electrical Stimulation to Improve Motor Functional Rehabilitation Described
May 2012 - A blog post by Jennifer French, of the NeuroTech Network, describes how combining a variety of technologies into a treatment plan to produce functional outcomes is an emerging theme among rehabilitation professionals. (NeuroTech Zone)

Woman Finds Relief of Neck Pain Through Spinal Cord Stimulation
May 12, 2012 - A Connecticut newspaper features a woman who underwent spinal cord stimulation implantation for neck pain, and the early benefits she is experiencing. (Bristol Press)

Review: Posterior Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation is Effective in Overactive Bladder, with Fewer Side-Effects Than Medication
May 11, 2012 - A systematic review of short-term studies indicates that posterior percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation provides a significant improvement in symptoms of overactive bladder with an effectiveness comparable to medication, but fewer side effects, according to an early view paper published online in the Neurourology and Urodynamics journal. (Neurourology and Urodynamics)

Sleep Apnea Device Company Receives Series C Financing, Completes Patient Enrollment
May 11, 2012 - Inspire Medical Systems, developer of neurostimulation therapies for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, has completed a Series C financing round of $14.5 million. Participating in this round of financing are new investors, Medtronic and TGap Ventures, and existing investors, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, US Venture Partners, Synergy Life Science Partners and GDN Holdings. The company envisions filing a Pre-Market Approval application with the FDA in early 2013, based on a U.S. and European clinical trial, Stimulation Therapy for Apnea Reduction (STAR), for which patient recruitment and device implants have been completed. (MarketWatch)

Knee Replacement Patients Had Reduced Pain in Trial of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
May 10, 2012 - At the annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, psychologist Jeffrey Borckardt, PhD of the Medical University of South Carolina reported that transcranial direct current stimulation of the cortex reduced postoperative pain and opioid use in a randomized trial of total-knee replacement patients. (Internal Medicine News)

Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation Pain-Control Effects Studied
May 9, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Prof. Jens Ellrich and colleagues report research in which transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation 48 healthy volunteers showed an increase of mechanical and pressure pain threshold and a reduction of mechanical pain sensitivity. Each subject participated in two experimental sessions with active t-VNS (stimulation) or sham t-VNS (no stimulation) on different days in a randomized (crossed-over) order. (Brain Stimulation)

Parkinson's Disease Patient Describes Receiving Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy in Rhode Island
May 8, 2012 - A 34-year-old mother of two describes her recent deep brain stimulation therapy for Parkinson's disease. (WBZ NewsRadio)

Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation Tested in Chronic Pelvic Pain
May 8, 2012 - A collaboration between researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Kyunghee University in Yongin, South Korea demonstrated promising pain-relief from transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation in 15 patients with chronic pelvic pain. The technique, respiratory-gated auricular vagal afferent nerve stimulation (RAVANS), stimulates the auricular branch of the vagus nerve in the ear. Since the dorsal medullary vagal system operates in tune with respiration, they proposed that gating the stimulation to exhalation could optimize the analgesic effect, and found this approach was more effective than nonvagal auricular stimulation. (Pain Medicine)

Company Targets Diabetic Neuropathy with Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator
May 8, 2012 - Neurometrix's president and CEO Shai Gozani, MD, is interviewed by a business development site about the company's pre-market approval by the FDA for a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation device to treat painful diabetic neuropathy. (onemedplace)

External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation Trial in Major Depressive Disorder Results Presented
May 8, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Ian Cook, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles and a senior medical advisor to NeuroSigma, Inc. reported at the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting about a Phase Ib trial in 11 patients in which external trigeminal nerve stimulation of medication-resistant major depressive disorder had a 50% reduction in depression after eight weeks of treatment. (PR Newswire)

Alzheimer's Disease Researcher Intends to Continue Studying Deep Brain Stimulation
May 7, 2012 - A study of six people with suspected mild Alzheimer's disease who received deep brain stimulation to the fornix showed more neuronal activity both one month after the implant and a year later, said Gwenn Smith, PhD, who began the research while at the University of Toronto and expects to continue the research in her new role at Johns Hopkins University, where she directs the Dvision of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry at the university's Bayview Medical Center. (Science Daily)

Investment Firm Increases Stake in St. Jude Medical
May 7, 2012 - St. Jude Medical Inc.'s largest investor, Boston-based MFS Investment Management, reported in a regulatory filing it has increased its stake from owning about 8% of the medical device maker's stock to about 10%, a stake worth about $1.03 billion at the recent share price. (Mass Device)

Treatment-Resistant Depression is Subject of Psychiatric Association Talk
May 5, 2012 - In a presentation at the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting, Helen Mayberg, MD, described early-stage research examining deep brain stimulation as an intervention for treatment-resistant depression, citing evidence about the role the subcallosal cingulate may have. (Psychiatric News)

Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation May be an Option for Epilepsy Patient, Physicians Report
May 3, 2012 - Seven patients with medication-resistant epilepsy were treated with transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation for nine months, leading to a reduction in seizure frequency, report physicians from the University Hospital Erlangen, Germany Interdisciplinary Epilepsy Center, University Hospital Giessen and Marburg, Cerbomed GmbH, and Aalborg University, Denmark. (Epilepsia)

Minimally Invasive Approach to Post-Amputation Pain Reported
May 2, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society Member James North, MD, and colleagues from Carolinas Pain Institute; The Center for Clinical Research in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Walter Reed National Military Medical Center; and SPR Therapeutics (subsidiary of NDI Medical) report on using a novel peripheral nerve stimulation approach to control residual limb pain in a patient 33 years after a below-the-knee amputation. A two-week home trial resulted in more than 60% pain reduction using a single percutaneous lead more than 1 cm from the femoral nerve. (Pain Practice)

Series Shows Parkinson's Patient Before, During, and After Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery
May 2, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Parag Patil, a University of Michigan neurosurgeon, is interviewed in a three-part video series that shows a patient, diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, her deep brain stimulation surgery and improvement  in symptoms. (The Doctors)

Study: Brain Hemisphere Activity During Motivation is Reversed in Left-Handers
May 2, 2012 - A study in PLoS ONE by psychologists at The New School for Social Research suggests that brain stimulation to treat anxiety and depression might work best if it stimulates activity of the dominant hemisphere. The study compared brain activity in each hemisphere during rest and surveyed levels of approach motivation. It was based on the observation that people tend to use different hands to perform approach- and avoidance-related actions, which indicates neural circuits for motivation may be functionally related to circuits that control hand actions. (Science Daily)

Deep Brain Stimulation on the Horizon for Essential Tremor Patient
May 1, 2012 - A middle-aged man who has had essential tremor for 30 years looks forward to an upcoming deep brain stimulation implant to reduce the impairment. (The Gazette)

Depression Treatment with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is Described

April 30, 2012 - A patient and doctors describe the experience of using transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat depression. (Montgomery Advertiser)

Preliminary Results Show Promise for Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation for Migraine
April 30, 2012 - A preliminary randomized study of 13 patients, published in the journal Headache, indicates that anodal transcranial direct current stimulation of the primary motor cortex creates a positive, but delayed, response in migraine, compared to the group that received sham treatment. The treated group received 10 20-minute sessions at 2 mA over four weeks. (Science Daily)

News Feature Describes Successful Treatment of Parkinson's Disease Patients with Deep Brain Stimulation
April 29, 2012 - Two Parkinson's disease patients in Oregon describe benefits of their deep brain stimulation. (Mail Tribune)

Researchers Report Potential Benefits of Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Intractable Epilepsy in Children
April 28, 2012 - Researchers from the Netherlands showed in a randomized, active controlled trial of 41 children with intractable epilepsy that vagus nerve stimulation is a safe and well-tolerated adjunctive treatment, offering a possible reduction in seizure severity. (Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology)

Clinical Trial of Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Heart Failure is Set to Start in Liverpool

April 27, 2012 - A patient in Liverpool is scheduled to become the first participant in a multi-center clinical trial examining the effect of vagus nerve stimulation on improving heart function in patients who suffer from congestive heart failure. (BBC)

Regional Medicare Contractor will Cover Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation for Overactive Bladder
April 26, 2012 - Novitas Solutions, the Medicare administrative contractor for approximately 4.6 million Medicare beneficiaries in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia, will cover posterior tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) services provided on or after April 9, 2012, based on a recent comparative effectiveness review entitled "Nonsurgical Treatments for Urinary Incontinence in Adult Women," published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ),  Uroplasty, Inc. announced in a press release. The company provides a minimally invasive PTNS treatment system, Urgent PC, for office-based treatment of overactive bladder and the associated symptoms of urgency, frequency and urge incontinence.(MarketWatch)

Greatbatch, Inc. Sees Sales Growth in First Quarter of 2012
April 26, 2012 - Neurostimulation component supplier Greatbatch, Inc. announced first-quarter 2012 results, including completed acquisition of NeuroNexus Technologies, which creates silicon-based electrodes and interconnects. Overall sales increased 7% to a record $159.1 million, although a lower gross profit, due to increased medical device investment and some production costs, was reflected in GAAP results and adjusted operating income. (MarketWatch)

International Neuromodulation Society Announces Public Education Grants
April 26, 2012 - Grants from Boston Scientific, Medtronic and St. Jude Medical will help the International Neuromodulation Society (INS) develop public education materials for patients, primary care physicians, referrers, journalists, legislators, and other decision-makers. The INS announced its latest grant, $25,000 from Boston Scientific, as well as $25,000 from St. Jude Medical and $100,000 from Medtronic. 

Use of Spinal Cord Stimulation to Treat Refractory Angina Reported in South Korea
April 25, 2012 - A medical team from the Department of anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at Chonnam National University Medical School in Gwangju, Korea have published the first report of spinal cord stimulation for the treatment of refractory angina in South Korea. (Korean Journal of Pain)

Journal: Deep Brain Stimulation Can Improve Gastric Emptying in Parkinson's Disease
April 24, 2012 - A team from Chiba University in Japan report on the effectiveness of subthalamic deep brain stimulation on gastrointestinal dysfunction as a non-motor symptom in Parkinson’s disease. (Brain: A Journal of Neurology)

Sacral Nerve Stimulation in Chronic Pelvic Pain Cases Presented
April 23, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society President-Elect Timothy Deer, MD, and colleagues report a case series of five patients with chronic pelvic pain in whom sacral nerve stimulation was effective in managing symptoms. (Pain Practice)

Analyst Discusses Funding for Obesity Trial
April 20, 2012 - EnteroMedics' recent round of financing should allow it to complete its Recharge trial that examines its vagus nerve stimulation device in control and treatment groups, and probably also continue to a product launch, comments an analyst who follows the company. (MedCity News)

Small Business Receives Grants for Motor Symptom Monitoring and High School Curriculum
April 20, 2012 - Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies, which was spun out of Cleveland Medical Devices, has received a grant of about $3 million from the National Institute on Aging to enhance its technology that monitors Parkinson's disease symptoms at home, Kinesia HomeView. The platform uses a ring-like sensor worn on a finger to measure motor symptoms and transmit data about tremor. With the new funding, the platform will be enhanced to evaluate gait and balance. The company received an additional grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for a wireless physiological monitor and Web-based curriculum to teach neuroscience to high school students. (MedCity News)

Professors Collaborate to Explore Potential Deep Brain Stimulation Feedback and Tuning Instrumentation
April 18, 2012 - Professors at Duke University are working on instrumentation to accurately measure evoked compound action potentials to enhancing tuning of deep brain stimulation and reduce the trial-and-error of programming sessions. (Journal of Neural Engineering)

Researchers Reveal Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Migraine
April 19, 2012 - Researchers from the University of Michigan, Harvard University and the City College of the City University of New York used transcranial direct current stimulation as a preventative migraine therapy on 13 patients with chronic migraine. After 10 sessions, participants reported an average 37 percent decrease in pain intensity. The study, which appears in the journal Headache, showed high current reached structures deep in the brain, and also suggests that repetitive sessions are necessary to revert ingrained changes.(University of Michigan)

Study Finds Cancer-Related Pain is Undertreated
April 19, 2012 - Researchers at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center found a third of cancer patients and survivors have inadequately treated pain. (Houston Chronicle)

Canada to Develop Guidelines for Treatment of Angina Pain
April 19, 2012 - About 500,000 Canadians live with unresolved angina and joint guidelines are being developed to combine cardiology and chronic pain perspectives in the treatment of angina pain, including use of spinal cord stimulation for refractory angina. (Medical Xpress)

Sensor Has Potential to Measure Magnetic Fields of Cognitive Function
April 19, 2012 - The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and German scientists have verified the potential of a mini-sensor developed by NIST that may be useful in magnetoencephalography (MEG), a noninvasive procedure that measures the magnetic fields produced by electrical activity in the brain. MEG is used for basic research on perceptual and cognitive processes in healthy subjects as well as screening of visual perception in newborns and mapping brain activity prior to surgery to remove tumors or treat epilepsy. MEG also might be useful in brain-computer interfaces. (R&D Magazine)

Company Plans to Market a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator for Neuropathic Pain
April 18, 2012 - Massachussetts-based NeuroMetrix, Inc. has filed premarket notification with the FDA for its non-invasive transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator, Sensus, intended to relieve and manage symptoms of chronic intractable pain, such as painful diabetic neuropathy. (MarketWatch)

Functional Electrical Stimulation Using Brain-Computer Interface Reported in Nature
April 18, 2012 - In a report in the journal Nature [http://bit.ly/IX0gJd], a research team reports the demonstration of a brain-computer interface that records activity of motor neurons, predicts activity of muscles used in grasping, and allows the research subjects, two monkeys whose arms were temporarily paralyzed by a nerve block,to voluntarily grasp and release a ball. The researchers at Northwestern University write that the approach differs from most other functional electrical stimulation strategies, that rely on residual muscle control to trigger one or two basic grasps. (Health Canal)

St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation Sales Grow by 12 Percent
April 18, 2012 - In the first quarter of 2012, sales of neuromodulation products at St. Jude Medical, Inc. were $103 million, up 12 percent from the comparable quarter of 2011. (Seeking Alpha)

Movement Disorder Surgical Specialists Present TEDx Talk on Deep Brain Stimulation
April 16, 2012 - Founders of the University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, Dr. Michael S. Okun and Dr. Kelly D. Foote, gave a recent TEDx talk on deep brain stimulation. (National Parkinson Foundation)

Italian Team Reports on Replacement of Vagus Nerve Stimulator in Epileptic Patient 10 Years After Initial Implant
April 13, 2012 - A team of neurologists and neurosurgeons from Bologna, Italy, report the complete removal and replacement of a vagus nerve stimulator in an epileptic patient, 10 years after the initial implant. The electrodes wrapping the vagus nerve were removed with the aid of an operating microscope. Once scaring and fibrotic tissue were peeled away, the nerve showed no gross changes and the replacement stimulator worked as well as in a first implantation. (Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology)

Tripolar Spinal Cord Stimulation Shows Efficacy in Case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
April 11, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Dr. Maunak Rana and Dr. Nebojsa Nick Knezevic report the use of tripolar spinal cord stimulation (SCS) relieved abdominal and thoracic spine pain, regulated bowel habits, and improved quality of life in a case in which all conservative treatments had failed for a patient with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). (Neuromodulation)

Trial of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Stroke Rehabilitation to Begin in Malaysia
April 17, 2012 - A Harvard-trained medical rehabilitation physician is starting a trial of transcranial direct current stimulation in stroke rehabilitation in Malaysia, where she now practices. (New Straits Times)

Brain Simulation Effort Reportedly Short-listed for a £1billion European Union grant
April 17, 2012 - An international effort to simulate the complexity of a human brain down to the level of individual cells and molecules has been short-listed for a £1billion grant from the European Union. Led by Professor Henry Markram, Head of the neural microcircuitry laboratory at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne based in Switzerland, the simulation is intended to provide new insights into neurological diseases such as autism, depression, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's, new ways of testing drugs and understanding the way they work, and to allow the scientists to design prosthetic devices to help people with disabilities. (International Business Times)

Vanderbilt Will Be Among Centers for Clinical Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation in Unipolar Major Depressive Disorder
April 16, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Joseph Neimet, MD, is co-investigator at Vanderbilt University Medical Center for that center's participation in the BROdmann Area 25 DEep brain Neuromodulation study, BROADEN. Sponsored by St. Jude Medical, Inc., the study will take place at approximately 20 U.S. centers. It is the first randomized clinical research study to investigate DBS as an intervention for patients diagnosed with unipolar major depressive disorder (excluding bipolar disorder) who have not improved after multiple treatments. (Newswise)

Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation for Overactive Bladder Favorably Reviewed by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
April 16, 2012 - Uroplasty, Inc. announced that the United States Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality issued a report entitled "Nonsurgical Treatments for Urinary Incontinence in Adult Women: Diagnosis and Comparative Effectiveness" that includes favorable statements on the safety and effectiveness of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation for overactive bladder. Uroplasty's Urgent PC Neuromodulation System is currently the only FDA-cleared product in the U.S. that delivers PTNS. (Market Watch)

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation to Sponsor Sydney-Based Trial of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Bipolar Disorder
April 16, 2012 - The University of New South Wales and the Black Dog Institute expect to begin recruiting participants next month for a study of  transcranial direct current stimulation in bipolar disorder, sponsored by the U.S.-based Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. (Asian Scientist)

Asthma Reported to Respond to Percutaneous Application of Low-Voltage Stimulation

April 16, 2012 - Low-voltage vagus nerve stimulation applied through the skin may be effective to reduce severity of asthma attacks, according to a news feature in the U.K. Daily Mail, citing a report in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine.. (Daily Mail)

Newspaper Features a Women's Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment for Essential Tremor
April 16, 2012 - The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette features a woman who received deep brain stimulation surgery three years ago for essential tremor. Her neurosurgeon comments, "There's less than one-half of 1 percent chance of very serious morbidity or problems, and more than 90 percent of the time we can get good to excellent control of the symptoms [for essential tremor], which is better than medications." (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Participant in Deep Brain Stimulation Clinical Trial for Depression is Featured in CNN Report
April 13, 2012 - A seven-minute segment by CNN features a patient who participated in a clinical trial of deep brain stimulation for medically refractory depression, based out of Emory University. (CNN via YouTube)

West Virginia Hospital Will Enroll First Patients in Study of Peripheral Nerve Stimulation for Chronic Nerve Pain
April 12, 2012 - The Center for Pain Relief at St. Francis Hospital in West Virgina will be the first site to enroll patients in a study that will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a system to directly stimulate the peripheral nerve to relieve chronic neuropathic pain of peripheral origin, the Bioness StimRouter neuromodulation system. At the hospital's Center for Pain Relief, Dr. Tim Deer, president-elect of the International Neuromodulation Society, is the study's medical monitor and principal investigator. The study was also described in the American News Report. http://bit.ly/IO2TbN (State Journal)

Presentations Reported About Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

April 12, 2012 - An online publication recapitulates presentations made at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society annual meeting this week in Chicago on transcranial direct current stimulation, and reports of its effects in memory, language and numeracy skills. (Digital Journal)

Journal Article Assesses Potential Promise of Invasive, Noninvasive Neuromodulation for Tinnitus
April 11, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society members Drs. Sven Vanneste and Dirk De Ridder reviewed noninvasive neuromodulation techniques including transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and cortical neurofeedback, as well as invasive neuromodulation techniques including auditory cortex stimulation, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex stimulation, subcutaneous occipital nerve stimulation, and deep brain stimulation, as potential treatments of tinnitus. (Neuromodulation)

Infrared Laser Light Eyed for Future Cochlear Implant Stimulation
April 11, 2012 - Laser light may be the new stimulus in cochlear implants designed to provide sound signals to the auditory nerve. Rather than using an electrical signal, light offers more targeted stimulation of inner-ear hair cells and range of sound frequencies, Popular Science reports. In vitro lab research on amphibian eggs at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University indicates that infrared laser light heats water in the cell and depolarizes its membrane, opening a channel for sodium and calcium ions — creating a normal action potential to transmit signals. (Popular Science)

Deep Brain Stimulation Device Maker Closes Financing Round
April 10, 2012 - Aleva Neurotherapeutics, a company developing next-generation implants for deep brain stimulation, announced the closing of a Series B financing round totaling 4.0 million in Swiss francs. (Open PR.com)

Spinal Cord Stimulation Therapy Approaches Compared for Patients with Refractory Angina
April 11, 2012 - In a study of 68 patients who participated in a clinical study comparing high stimulation (HS, a minimum of two hours four times daily) and low stimulation (LS, stimulation above the paresthesia threshold for one minute per day) the results obtained at six months suggest that SCS (HS) is not more effective than the control (LS) in patients with refractory angina. The study's nine authors included International Neuromodulation Society members Drs. Richard Boortz-Marx, Edgar Ross, and Michael Turner. (Neuromodulation)

First Patient in the United Kingdom to Use Gait Restoration Implant Announced
April 10 - The first patient from the United Kingdom to use a functional electrical stimulation system to restore gait was announced in a press release from Ottobock. The Duderstadt-based company's ActiGait device uses an implantable electrode to trigger flexion of the foot. (PR Newswire)

Dementia Journal Publishes Review of Cognitive Function Observations Following Deep Brain Stimulation of the Subthalamic Nucleus
April 9, 2012 - In an online publication ahead of print, a pair of researchers from Portugal review published observations that certain aspects of cognitive performance may decline after deep brain stimulation of the subthalmic nucleus for Parkinson's disease, and raise clinical implications for patients, their families and health care professionals. (Frontiers in Dementia)

Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Study Announced for Chronic Peripheral Nerve Pain
April 9, 2012 - Bioness Inc. announced a randomized, double-blinded, partial crossover study of 126 patients at 10 U.S. centers to evaluate the use of direct peripheral nerve stimulation in chronic peripheral nerve pain, using an implanted lead and external pulse transmitter. International Neuromodulation Society President-Elect Tim Deer, MD, will be the medical monitor of the 30-month study.(PR Newswire)

Article Recounts Investigation of Deep Brain Stimulation in Refractory Depression
April 6, 2012 - Psychiatry Online presents an overview of early stage research into deep brain stimulation in bipolar patients, quoting the study author, Dr. Helen Mayberg of Emory University, as saying that the technique has also been performed in 66 patients who have treatment-resistant depression, including six in Spain. DBS received a humanitarian device exception from the FDA in 2009 for use in obsessive-compulsive disorder, the article notes. (PsychiatryOnline)

Nagoya Central Hospital Case Series Shows Spinal Cord Stimulation Reduces Some Central Post-Stroke Pain
April 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Yasukazu Kajita, MD and colleagues report in the Japanese-language journal No Shinkei Geka a retrospective evaluation of the use of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) to control central post-stroke pain (CPSP). Of eight patients treated with SCS using two quad leads, six (75%) experienced greater than 50% pain reduction during test stimulation, and in five of the six patients, the efficacy continued for about 12 months. The authors conclude that SCS may offer benefit in some cases of CPSP. (PubMed)

First Commercially Available Vagal Blocking Systems for Obesity Shipped to Australia
April 5, 2012 - EnteroMedics announced it has shipped its first commercially available MaestroRechargeable System for vagus nerve blocking therapy, VBLOC, designed to control both hunger and the feeling of fullness, to Australia. The company also said it has signed a multiyear distribution agreement to sell the system to countries in the Persian Gulf. (MedCity News)

Johns Hopkins Refining On-Demand Stimulation for Control of Epileptic Seizures
April 5, 2012 - Johns Hopkins announced a research team there has been fine-tuning algorithms that help detect when neurostimulation should be applied to prevent onset of epileptic seizures. So far, the university reported, the results have led to 80 percent fewer false alarms. (MedGadget)

Evidence Reported for Sustained Efficacy of Deep Brain Stimulation in Treatment-Resistant Depression
April 4, 2012 - A study at the University Hospital in Bonn, Germany of 11 patients with treatment-resistant depression showed evidence for sustained efficacy of deep brain stimulation to the nucleus accumbens, according to a published research report in Neuropsychopharmacology. Five of 11 patients responded after 12 months and remained sustained responders until the final four-year follow-up. (Neuropsychopharmacology)

Tissue-Securing System Now Permitted for Intrathecal Catheter Applications, Company Says
April 4, 2012 - Anulex Technologies announced it has received FDA approval to expand indications for its fiXate™ Tissue Band. The product was previously approved for securing Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) lead anchors to fascia or interspinous/supraspinous ligaments in patients with chronic, intractable pain of the trunk and/or limbs. The new indication allows for securing intrathecal pain pump catheters in the same tissue. (Enhanced Online News)

Deep Brain Stimulation Patient to be Profiled on National Television Regarding Clinical Trial of DBS in Medically Resistant Depression
April 4, 2012 - A woman who participated in a deep brain stimulation study for depression at Emory University will be profiled April 15 at 8 p.m. on CNN Presents, according to a published newspaper report. The show will also replay April 21. (NeighborNewspapers.com)

Company Reports that Diabetes, Hypertension, and Weight Loss Improve with Vagal Nerve Block
April 3, 2012 -  Data from a 2.5-year vagal blocking study of 28 diabetic subjects with obesity show statistically significant improvement, including a 22% weight reduction in 19 patients who checked in at 30 months, EndoMetrics announced in a statement. A portion of the data on diabetes, hypertension and weight loss from the company's Enable study will be presented at the 24th Annual Scientific Conference of the Obesity and Surgery Society of Australia and New Zealand April 11-13, 2012, in Darwin Australia. (EndoMetrics)

Cognitive Neuroscientists Discuss Neuromodulation Applications in Stroke Rehabilitation
April 2, 2012 - Papers presented at a meeting of cognitive neuroscientists in Chicago yesterday address shortening rehabilitation time for stroke patients through non-invasive brain stimulation, among other topics, Medical Express reports. (Medical Express)
 
Early-stage Medical Device Company Announces New Vice President for Neurology
April 2, 2012 - NeuroSigma, an early-stage medical device company exploring new systems of trigeminal nerve stimulation for neurological disorders, has appointed its recent senior medical advisor, Christopher M. DeGiorgio, MD, to the new post of vice president, neurology. A professor of neurology at the University of California, Los Angeles, he was first to study TNS in patients with epilepsy, and collaborated with in developing TNS as a potential treatment for depression, PTSD and ADHD, the company said. (PR Newswire)

New England Region's Success in Gaining Reimbursement for Depression Treatment Recounted
March 30, 2012 - A Providence, R.I., newspaper article recounts three years of advocacy for reimbursement since the FDA approved repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for treatment of major depressive disorder in adult patients for whom traditional therapies have failed. In March, New England became the first region in the nation to put into effect a positive Medicare decision for covering this treatment. (PBN.com)

Chronic Pain Advocate and Post-Amputation Spinal Cord Stimulation User Dies of Cancer
March 30, 2012 - Chronic pain advocate Mike Roman died of cancer March 28 at age 45. He became a one-legged racecar driver following a leg amputation, and managed his residual phantom limb pain with spinal cord stimulation. (Stltoday.com)

Paper Reports Brain-Boost from Transcranial Direct Stimulation
March 30, 2012 - Transcranial direct stimulation for 10 minutes helped 40% of healthy volunteers solve a difficult brainteaser, the nine dots problem, according to a published report from the University of Sydney in Neuroscience Letters. (Sciencealert)

Reporter Describes Experiencing Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
March 30, 2012 - The New Scientist Magazine's Sally Adee recounts her first-hand experience trying transcranial direct current stimulation as part of newsgathering for an article, saying the noninvasive stimulation quieted her mind to focus on the task at hand. (The Week)

Investment Analyst Reportedly Reveals a Halt in European Marketing of Deep Brain Stimulation Device
March 29, 2012 - Leerink Swann analyst Rick Wise was reported to have written in a note to investors that St. Jude Medical had temporarily pulled its Brio deep brain stimulation Parkinson's disease treatment off the market due to a fixable issue of body fluids seeping in and interrupting therapy in 11 of 400 devices implanted so far, according to Mass Device. European customers were being advised to opt for the Libra DBS system during the next 60-90 days, according to the published news report. The Brio system received CE Mark approval in Europe in 2009 and Australian approval in 2010. (MassDevice)

Position-Sensing Spinal Cord Implant Story Runs as a Front-Page Feature
March 28, 2012 - A California newspaper ran a front-page story detailing how a back pain patient was able to find relief after many years by receiving a spinal cord stimulation implant that includes position sensors. International Neuromodulation Society member Lee Snook, MD, performed the procedure and was described as one of about 100 physicians in the country who have implanted the new system. (Marysville-Yuba City Appeal Democrat)

Multicenter Study Shows Successful Outcome of Status Epilepticus after Vagus Nerve Stimulation
March 26, 2012 - A retrospective observational study of eight patients with drug-resistant epilepsy who had, prior to vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) implantation,  repeated episodes of status epilepticus (SE) (a life-treatening period of persistent seizure requiring emergency care) showed VNS was safe and effective in reducing seizure frequency and episodes of SE. (European Journal of Neurology)

Insurance Coverage Issue for Head Pain Neurostimulation Therapy Forms Focus of New Orleans Television Report
March 27, 2012 -- A New Orleans television station reports on a woman's hope to win an insurance appeal to receive neurostimulation therapy for her intractable, life-long head pain following a successful trial phase. Her physician, Dr. Erich Richter -- a member of the International Neuromodulation Society -- points out in an interview the long history of peripheral nerve stimulation to treat nerves involved in specific pain syndromes. (WWLTV.com)

With an Approved Neurostimulation System for Overactive Bladder, is Small Company a Valuable Investment?
March 23, 2012 - Minnesota-based Uroplasty has had FDA clearance since 2005 for its system to treat urge incontinence, Urgent PC, which uses percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation. An investment column explores the market being pursued by this small company, and its stock's investment value. (Seeking Alpha)

Sacral Nerve Stimulation Presented as a Minimally Invasive Option for Drug-Resistant Incontinence
March 20, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Angelo Lavano, MD, head of the Neurosurgical Department at the University Magna Graecia in Catanzaro, Italy, and colleagues write in an abstract for the 1st International Congress on Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery that a study of 23 patients who had urinary and/or fecal incontinence indicates sacral nerve stimulation provides long-term benefits for patients with drug-resistant sphinteric troubles, and use of "tined leads" allows wide application with high success rate. (1st International Congress on Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery)

Study Evaluates Best Target for Deep Brain Stimulation in Essential Tremor
March 23, 2012 - A retrospective study of 36 patients shows the best effect on essential tremor symptoms from a deep brain stimulation target in the posterior subthalamic area (PSA), according to a study based at the Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Neurosurgery, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden, by Ulrika Sandvik, MD, PhD and coauthors. (Neurosurgery Report)

Mentioning Optogenetics, Microsoft Co-Founder Donates $300 Million to Brain Science
March 22, 2012 - The Allen Institute for Brain Science will more than double in the next four years, with a $300 million commitment, announced by its founder Paul Allen, a Microsoft co-founder. In a press conference, the institute's chief scientist Christof Koch described an effort to map the mammalian visual cortex and carry out preclinical experiments using optogenetics, which he described as "deep-brain stimulation on steroids". (Xconomy)

First Epilepsy Patient Reported in India to Receive Treatment with Deep Brain Stimulation
March 21, 2012 - Following a conversation at a medical conference with International Neuromodulation Society member Ashwini Sharan, MD, neurosurgeon Alok Gupta, MD, has performed what is being classified as the first deep brain stimulation operation in India to treat epilepsy in a young woman whose seizures resulted from discharges in areas throughout her brain. Post-surgery, her seizures have not recurred in the past six weeks. (Deccan Herald)

UCLA Professor Honored for Contributions to Deep Brain Stimulation Neurosurgery
March 21, 2012 - International Neuromodulation Society member Antonio De Sales, MD, PhD, has received recognition for his contributions to deep brain stimulation surgery and development of frameless stereotactic radiosurgery. Professor of Neurosurgery and Head of the Stereotactic Surgery Division of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of California, Los Angeles, he is a 2012 recipient of the Pioneer in Medicine Award from the Society of Brain Mapping and Therapeutics. (PR Newswire)

Student Writes Engineering Master's Thesis on Robotic Surgical Assistance to Implant Deep Brain Stimulation Leads
March 20, 2012 - California Polytechnic University - San Luis Obispo has published a mechanical engineering master's thesis by Matthew Joseph Phillips that describes software controls for a surgical robotic assistant that would generate curved lead implant orientations to concentrate stimulation and increase battery life, with digital control supported by computation and finite element analysis. (Digital Commons, Cal Poly)

Small Randomized, Double-Blind Study Shows Sacral Nerve Stimulation Effectiveness in Patients with Chronic Constipation
March 20, 2012 - Of 13 patients who completed a clinical trial using sacral nerve stimulation for chronic constipation from evacuatory dysfunction and rectal hyposensitivity, most responded to sacral nerve stimulation and nine successfully went on to use the therapy long-term, according to research published by a team that includes International Neuromodulation Society member Charles Knowles of the Academic Surgical Unit, Centre for Digestive Disease, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London. (Annals of Surgery)

Technology, Including Neurostimulation, Lets Paralysis Patients Take Steps Again
March 19, 2012 - The Saturday Evening Post features patient success stories involving walking after paralysis by using an exoskeleton, or an early stage spinal cord stimulation system. The article also summarizes research into brain-machine interface development. (Saturday Evening Post)

Small Study of Electroshock Therapy Suggests Depressed Patients Have Trouble With External Stimuli Due to Brains on Overdrive
March 19, 2012 - Shock therapy may work by limiting the amount of internal cross-talk between parts of the brain that could make it difficult for depressed individuals to take in and process external information, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study of nine severely depressed patients showed, through functional MRI scans, that electroshock therapy dampens connections between a part of the brain involved in thought and social behavior, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.  (HealthDay)

High School Senior Sweeps Up Awards for Optogenetics Lab Work
March 18, 2012 - The Westport News features high school senior John Solder, who became excited about optogenetics when reading a Nature article in 10th grade and spent the past year working in Yale research labs on preclinical optogenetics testing. Solder's work has won a number of youth science competitions. (Westport News)

Family Practice News Covers Talk on Opioid Use and Patient Safety
March 16, 2012 - Dr. Sean Mackey, chief of the pain management division at Stanford University and a member of the International Neuromodulation Society, said in a psychopharmacology presentation for the Nevada Psychiatric Association that the Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Lab takes a team approach to educating patients about safety to set expectations and control opioid use. He added that treatments include everything from trigger-point injections to spinal cord stimulation. (Family Practice News)

How Mature is the Market for Transcranial Direct-Current Stimulation?
March 16, 2012 - A NeuroTech Zone blog looks at one company's intent to provide $99 mail-order devices for the non-invasive cortical stimulation approach transcranial direct-current stimulation. (NeuroTech Zone)

Medtronic Receives Health Canada Approval for Deep Brain Stimulation to Treat Refractory Epilepsy
March 15, 2012 - Medtronic, Inc. has received a Health Canada license for its deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy for treatment-resistant epilepsy. The approval was based on Medtronic's clinical trial at 17 U.S. centers of 110 patients with medically refractory epilepsy with partial-onset seizures. The prospective, randomized, double-blind study, SANTE (Stimulation of the Anterior Nucleus of the Thalamus in Epilepsy) examined the delivery of controlled electrical pulses to an area of the brain involved in seizures. Medtronic's DBS therapy for refractory epilepsy is also approved in Europe.  (Medtronic)

Medicare May Deny Most Coverage for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
March 14, 2012 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a proposed decision memo advising that reimbursements for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) should be available only for patients participating in randomized trials. In 2010 a research review by a panel of the American Academy of Neurology concluded the treatment was not proven effective for treating chronic low-back pain. Medicare currently covers FDA-approved TENS equipment and supplies when prescribed for chronic intractable pain, and provides reimbursement for physicians and physical therapists to assess patients' suitability for the treatment, which is typically done at home. (MedPage Today)

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Therapy Using Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation Receives European Approval
March 14, 2012 - ImThera Medical Inc. has received European CE Mark approval to market its aura6000 (™) system for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. The system uses a patented method of hypoglossal nerve stimulation. (MarketWatch)

Medtronic Announces First Patient Registered in Prospective European Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation for Refractory Epilepsy
March 14, 2012 - Following approval of deep brain stimulation for refractory epilepsy in Europe in 2010, Medtronic, Inc. is undertaking a prospective study of the impact of stimulation of the anterior nucleus of the thalamus on seizure frequency, type and severity, safety, and impact of the therapy on a patient's quality of life. The first patient, from the Netherlands, has enrolled in the MORE (MedtrOnic Registry for Epilepsy) Registry. The study will involve about 200 prospective patients over two years at more than 30 centers in Europe. (medicalphysicsweb)

Overactive Bladder Treatment Using Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation Deemed Promising
March 13, 2012 - A research team from Duke University reviewed the literature on posterior tibial nerve stimulation for the treatment of overactive bladder in women and concluded that the technique shows promise but additional high-quality data are needed. (The International Urogynecology Journal)

New Observations Aid Detailed Understanding of Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery Effects in Parkinson's
March 12, 2012 - Although recent work has shown that deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease speeds up eye movement in response to visual cues, a study examining that factor before and after surgery, plus before and after stimulation is turned on, shows the response slows just after surgery, and speeds up after stimulation. The result was unexpected and does not track the general motor improvement that is seen after surgery and increases with stimulation. (PLoS ONE)

Review: A Potential Role for Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Traumatic Brain Injury?
March 10, 2012 - A review of four papers from one research group exploring vagus nerve stimulation benefits in a rat model of traumatic brain injury elaborates on potential mechanisms of the benefit and suggests there may be a potential role for the treatment in human traumatic brain injury. (British Journal of Neurosurgery)

Preclinical Studies of Spinal Cord Stimulation in Neuropathic Pain Reviewed
March 8, 2012 - Yun Guan, MD, PhD of the Division of Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, presents an overview of recent preclinical studies of spinal cord stimulation in neuropathic pain that may suggest future directions for development of clinical advances. (Current Pain and Headache Reports)

Axxia Pharmaceuticals Pursues Opiate Implant for Cancer Pain
March 13, 2012 - An implant the size of a button that will deliver the opiate hydromorphone for 30 - 90 days is under development by Axxia Pharmaceuticals. The subcutaneous implant is designed to provide steady dosing in a way that will ensure patient compliance and deter opiate abuse. (MedCity)

Functional Neuromodulation Ltd. Receives Funding for Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation in Alzheimer's
March 13, 2012 - Venture investment firm Foundation Medical Partners provided $3 million in follow-on funding to Toronto-based Functional Neuromodulation, which will support a Phase II clinical trial of deep brain stimulation in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease. The company has now raised a total of $13.4 million from Genesys Capital, Foundation Medical Partners and Medtronic, Inc. (TechFinance.ca)

Depression Treatment with Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
March 9, 2012 - A study of 64 patients with treatment-resistant depression, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, showed a greater improvement of mood after active treatment with transcranial direct current stimulation compared to sham treatment. Attention and working memory also improved. (British Journal of Psychiatry)

Brain Metabolic Activity May Predict Response to Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Treatment-Resistant Depression
March 5, 2012 - It may be possible to predict the response to vagus nerve stimulation for patients with treatment-resistant major depression by measuring glucose metabolism in regions of the cortex using PET scans, according to a study of 15 patients by collaborators at Washington University and St. Louis University. (Journal of Affective Disorders)

Spinal Cord Stimulation May Help Prevent Stroke after Aneurysm Surgery
March 7, 2012 - Spinal cord stimulation may help prevent stroke following surgery for a ruptured aneurysm, according to a prospective study by Dr. Konstantin Slavin, a director-at-large of the International Neuromodulation Society. None of the 12 study subjects who received spinal cord stimulation for two weeks following surgery for a ruptured aneurysm had a stroke within the next year. Generally up to 50 percent of patients experience stroke after a ruptured aneurysm. (Chicago Tribune)

Test May be Useful Indicator of Improved Cognitive Function During Vagus Nerve Stimulation
March 2, 2012 - In a pilot study of seven adults treated with vagus nerve stimulation for epilepsy, a selective but significant improvement in discriminating sensory information was seen by using an assessment known as the Critical Flicker Fusion test. (Journal of Neurotherapy: Investigations in Neuromodulation, Neurofeedback and Applied Neuroscience)

Two-year Update Shows Alzheimer's Patient Still Doing Well with Deep Brain Stimulation
March 7, 2012 - CTV features patient Robert Linton, the 66-year-old Alzheimer's patient whose symptoms improved after a deep brain stimulation implant two years ago. (Five other patients had symptoms either remain the same or worsen.) (CTV)

U.S. Consumer Group Urges Tight Controls on Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulators
March 6, 2012 - The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen is petitioning the FDA to adhere to an agency panel recommendation to require pre-market approvals for cranial electrotherapy stimulation devices, citing the lack of sufficient evidence from well-designed clinical trials demonstrating their efficacy for depression, anxiety, or insomnia. (MassDevice)

Surgical Device by U.S.-Based Checkpoint Receives European Regulatory Approval

March 6, 2012 - A hand-held device that helps doctors locate motor nerves during operations, the Checkpoint Stimulator/Locator, has received CE Mark regulatory clearance for marketing in Europe. (MedCity)

Researchers Use TMS to Track Mirror Neuron Response in Autism Spectrum Disorder
March 6, 2012 - Researchers using transcranial magnetic stimulation found that in research subjects with autism, the response of the motor cortex was blunted when the subjects watched someone make a transitive hand gesture; that is, a gesture whose goal can be interpreted visually. The results suggest that impairment of the mirror neuron system, which allows people to understand the intentions and experiences of other people, contributes to social deficits. (PsychCentral)

Pain Management Discussed in Houston Chronicle News Feature
March 4, 2012 - A multi-modal approach to pain management, which includes neurostimulation, is described in an article about minimizing reliance on powerful orally administered painkillers. The article quotes Dr. Lynn Webster, a member of the International Neuromodulation Society, and pain policy advocate. (Houston Chronicle)

Deep Brain Stimulation Clinical Trial in Refractory Depression Starts Enrollment in New England
March 2, 2012 -  The University of Massachusetts Medical Center has become the latest center to open enrollment in St. Jude Medical's study of deep brain stimulation in medically refractory depression. The New England site joins a half-dozen sites in the study that is anticipated to include 20 centers. Many of the trials are being led by members of the International Neuromodulation Society. (Worcester Telegram & Gazette)

Unit Using Mild Electrical Stimulation Clears FDA for Female Urinary Incontinence
March 2, 2012 - InControl Medical announced the FDA has cleared InTone, a device that combines stimulation similar to transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, exercises, guided biofeedback and a pressure sensor to treat female urinary incontinence under a physician's guidance. (Renal & Urology News)

Case Study Shows Pain Reduction From Spinal Cord Stimulation after Lung Cancer Surgery
March 1, 2012 - Following up on a poster presentation from the 2009 meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society, a chapter of the INS, an Ohio-based clinical team has published a two-year followup case of using spinal cord stimulation to manage post-surgical pain following lung cancer surgery. The patient reported improved quality of life and more than 75% reduction in pain. (Pain Management Nursing)

TMS Study Reveals Visual Cortex Stimulation Affects Perception of Smell
February 29, 2012 - A team of researchers in Montreal and Philadelphia have found that stimulating the visual cortex with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation improved a task requiring discrimination among different odor qualities. Consistent with the fact that people often visualize a perceived source of an odor when attempting to identify it, the results indicate that perceptual tasks are influenced by processing within cortical areas of other sensory systems. (Journal of Neuroscience)

Clinical Study in Overactive Bladder Begins Enrollment
February 29, 2012 - Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island is enrolling women in a study to compare the effect of two therapies for refractory urinary urge incontinence. The ROSETTA Study – Reftractory Overactive Bladder: Sacral NEuromodulation vs. BoTulinum Toxin Assessment -- is part of the national Pelvic Floor Disorders Network. (PR.com)

Bioethics of Brain Stimulation Technologies to be Examined
February 29, 2012 -  The Nuffield Council on Bioethics, an independent body based in the U.K. that advises policy makers and stimulates debate, will examine technologies that can intervene in the brain, from the therapeutic and learning-boosting aspects of brain stimulation to brain-computer interfaces to assist people with severe motor limitations, which might one day also have potential applications in the military arena. News reports were carried by the BBC, Reuters, and other outlets. (BBC)

Functional Brain Imaging Reveals Clues to Effect of Psilocybin
February 29, 2012 - Brain-based effects of psilocybin, a mushroom-derived psychedelic with indigenous and potential therapeutic use, were evaluated in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  Functional brain imaging of 15 healthy volunteers suggest that its subjective effects are caused by decreased activity and connectivity in the brain’s key connector hubs. (Medical Xpress)

Restorative Effects of Vagus Nerve Stimulation Reported in an Experimental Model of Depression
February 27, 2012 - A research team at the Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg, Germany used an animal model of depression to examine the restorative effects of vagal nerve stimulation. With three weeks of stimulation, the olifactory-bulb-excised rats demonstrated active avoidance learning, and the stimulation appeared to halt a decrease in  neurogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus that would normally be associated with this excision. The team reports the restorative effects of VNS in this model might permit comparison with effects of antidepressants. (Brain Stimulation: Basic, Translational, and Clinical Research in Neuromodulation)

Autonomic Technologies Initiates European Study of Novel Neurostimulator for the Treatment of Severe Migraine
February 27, 2012 - Autonomic Technologies, Inc., the developer of a novel miniaturized implantable stimulator for severe headaches, is starting a study in Europe to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the company's investigational neurostimulation system for the treatment of high-frequency, high-disability migraine. The device, inserted through the gum, targets the sphenopalatine ganglion nerve bundle, which has been a target previously for nerve blocks. The multi-center, randomized Pathway M-1 study builds on earlier results with cluster headache -- presented at the North American Neuromodulation Society meeting in December 2011 -- and will enroll 30 patients initially at headache centers in Denmark, Belgium, Spain, France and Germany. (Business Wire)

Patient Describes Experience with Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation for Urge Incontinence
February 27, 2012 - A retiree in the U.K. who suffered from bladder incontinence is profiled in the Daily Mail about her experience with minimally invasive percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation, an alternative to sacral nerve stimulation for the disorder. (Daily Mail Online)
 
Small-Business TENS Suppliers to be Sought by U.S. Veterans Affairs
February 27, 2012 - The Department of Veterans Affairs' National Acquisition Center is seeking to determine if there are adequate small business concerns capable of providing transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation items prior to potentially issuing a request for proposal. (FedBizzOpps.Gov)

Study of t-VNS in Epilepsy Announced
February 24, 2012 - Researchers at cerboMed GmbH will examine the viability of using transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation as a non-invasive treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy in a study of 70 patients, led by Prof. Hajo Hamer. (Epilepsy Research UK)

Researchers Identify Parameters for Deep Brain Stimulation in Rat Model of Dementia
February 24, 2012 - Experimenting with deep brain stimulation in a rat model of dementia, researchers at the Maastricht University Medical Center Department of Neuroscience in the Netherlands identified the fornix as a key region in controlling spatial memory functions, and found that the fornix is not sensitive to the frequency of stimulation, but rather to current levels. (Brain Stimulation: Basic, Translational, and Clinical Research in Neuromodulation)

Pilot Study Indicates Tripolar, 16-contact Lead Provides Coverage in Low Back Pain from Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
February 24, 2012 - A pilot study of 43 stimulation configurations in 11 patients who had chronic intractable low back pain from failed back surgery syndrome indicates that a tripolar, 16-contact spinal cord stimulation lead successfully covered both sides of the back and legs in 9 patients. The study by International Neuromodulation Society member Philippe Rigoard, MD, PhD, and colleagues appears in the March 2012 issue of the journal Neurosurgery. (Neurosurgery)

Sensors Track Patients' State of Pain
February 23, 2012 - Dr. Christophe Perruchoud, president of the Swiss chapter of the International Neuromodulation Society, is participating in a study at the Morges Hospital to correlate objective measurements of patients' activity levels with their degree of pain. Information from sensors worn by the patients creates a sort of visual barcode that tells physicians at a glance how a patient is doing.  (Science Daily)

Urgent Safety Action Notice for CareFusion's NicoletOne Products
February 23, 2012 - In an action affecting 132 devices and 35 software licenses, CareFusion is recalling Nicolet Cortical Stimulator Control Unit, Nicolet C64 Stimulus Switching Unit (SSU) Amplifier and NicoletOne Software with Cortical Stimulator. The products were manufactured from May 2009 - July 2011 for functional brain-mapping of patients with seizure disorders and brain tumors. The software incorrectly indicates stimulation is delivered to a different electrode than the one selected, and a short circuit may develop. (FDA)

Device Company Projects Neuromodulation and Related Sales
February 23, 2012 - Greatbatch Inc. expects combined revenue from neuromodulation and cardiac rhythm management for 2012 to be lower in the first half of 2012 but begin to rebound in the second half of the year. (BusinessWire)

Quality of Life Improved for Migraine Patients Receiving Occipital Nerve Stimulation
February 22, 2012 - Of 157 patients in a prospective, multi-center, double-blind study assessing occipital nerve stimulation in migraine, many had fewer headache days, so their condition lessened from chronic to episodic, according to research published online ahead of print by Neurology Reviews. The study by Dr. Stephen D. Silberstein was presented at the 15th Annual Meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society. Although statistically significant pain reduction of 50% was not noted, nearly 67% of patients in the active group reported improved quality of life, as opposed to 17.2% of patients in the control group, and 83% - 90% would want the procedure again or recommend it, respectively. (Neurology Reviews)

Review Article Finds Sacral Nerve Stimulation Helps Patients With Non-Neurogenic Fecal Incontinence
February 22, 2012 - A retrospective review of 10 reports from 1995 - 2011 indicates that sacral nerve stimulation appears to improve quality of life in patients whose fecal incontinence is caused by an anal sphincter lesion rather than neurogenic reasons. The review in Colorectal Disease was authored by researchers at the Department of Surgical Sciences, Catholic University, Rome. (Colorectal Disease)

Medicare Administrator Determines Benefit of InterStim Fecal Incontinence Device
February 21, 2012 - Palmetto GBA, a BlueCross BlueShield subsidiary that administers Medicare health insurance nationwide for the U.S. government, has determined that InterStim, a FDA approved neuromodulation device to treat fecal incontinence, meets the reasonable and necessary criteria for a Medicare benefit. (Palmetto GBA)

Deep Brain Stimulation Improves Motor Learning in Parkinson's Disease, Study Shows
February 22, 2012 - PET imaging in eight Parkinson's Disease patients showed improved learning of motor sequence tasks with deep brain stimulation, according to research in the Journal of Neuroscience. The patients all had bilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) implants in the New York-based study by Drs. Hideo Mure, Chris C. Tang, Miklos Argyelan, Maria-Felice Ghilardi, Vijay Dhawan, David Eidelberg and Michael G. Kaplitt, a member of the International Neuromodulation Society. Despite consistent improvement in motor ratings during infusion, levodopa did not alter learning performance or network activity. Study results implicate activity of a specific cerebello-premotor cortical network. The authors conclude selective modulation of overactive supplementary motor area–STN projection pathways may underlie the improved learning. (Journal of Neuroscience)

Deep TMS Trial Shows Blood-Brain Barrier Opening in Brain Tumor Patients
February 21, 2012 - Brainsway Ltd. announced that it has received the final results of a clinical trial performed by Advanced Technologies Innovation Distribution SRL (ATID) in Italy to explore the efficacy of high-intensity, deep transcranial magnetic stimulation in the opening of the blood-brain barrier in patients with brain tumors. Compared to sham stimulation, real stimulation induced a temporary but significant degree of opening in 10 of the 12 patients -- 83% -- in and around the tumor zone. (Reuters)

Neuromodulation Sales Increase in Medtronic's Third Quarter
February 21, 2012 - Medtronic's neuromodulation business reported a 4 percent increase to $419 million in the third quarter of a fiscal year ending April 30. The growth was driven by strong InterStim Therapy sales. Also, the company received FDA clearance in the third quarter for the RestoreSensor spinal cord stimulator with the proprietary AdaptiveStim technology. (Becker's Orthopedic, Spine & Pain Management)

News Report Summarizes Aspects of Neuromodulation Therapies for Spinal Issues
February 21, 2012 - The Irish Times featured a clinical trial update by Dr. Declan O'Keeffe, an International Neuromodulation Society member who said an ongoing study of about 80 patients who have a spinal cord stimulation implant for failed back surgery syndrome show that from 75- 90% experienced at least a 50% reduction in pain for back and leg pain, respectively. He presented the Dublin trial results at the fourth annual scientific meeting of the Faculty of Pain Medicine in the College of Anaesthetists of Ireland, Science in the Diagnosis & Treatment of Spinal Pain. The article also mentioned a talk on minimally invasive spine surgery techniques by Dr. Elliot Krames, founder of the INS journal Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. (Irish Times)

Evidence Found for TMS Pruning Neural Connections in Mice
February 18, 2012 - Stimulating the brain of mice with transcranial magnetic stimulation at intensities lower than would make a neuron fire can remove unwanted neural connections, according to research by Jennifer Rodger from the University of Western Australia. (New Scientist)

Device-maker Greatbach Pays $12 million for Neural Interface Developer NeuroNexus
February 17, 2012 - Reuters reports that Greatbach, a leading pulse-generator component maker, acquired NeuroNexus for about $12 million. NeuroNexus develops neural interface devices across a wide range of functions including neuromodulation, sensing, optical stimulation and targeted drug delivery applications. Key NeuroNexus technologies, high-density silicon-based electrodes and interconnects, are more suited to neuroprosthetic rather than neuromodulation therapies, points out NeuroTech Zone, adding that the acquisition "brings us one step closer to a long-awaited clinical trial of probes developed using the semiconductor microfabrication technologies." (NeuroTech Zone, Reuters)

Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation Shows Dose-Response Effect in Obstructive Sleep Apnea

February 15, 2012 - Research from the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center showed marked dose-related increases in airflow from stepped-up stimulation of the hypoglossal nerve, allowing patients to achieve normal or near-normal airflow without awakening. (Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine)

Deep Brain Stimulation Shows Impact on Respiration
February 15, 2012 - In the journal Neurosurgery, a clinical research team centered at the University of Oxford, U. K., reports the impact of deep brain stimulation (DBS) on respiration. Patients who already had a DBS system in place to help manage chronic pain or movement disorder showed improved respiration, as measured by peak expiratory flow, during stimulation of two brain areas important for autonomic nervous system control: the periaqueductal gray matter and the subthalamic nucleus. The findings may provide insight into treating asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The authors were: Drs. Jonathan Hyam, John-Stuart Brittain, David J. Paterson, Robert J. Davies, Tipu Aziz, and Alexander Green, a member of the International Neuromodulation Society. (Newswise)

Large, Multi-Center Study of Neurostimulation In Fecal Incontinence Starts Enrollment
February 15, 2012 - Patient enrollment has begun in a study of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation in fecal incontinence, announced Uroplasty, Inc., whose Urgent® PC neuromodulation system will be used in the CONFIDeNT clinical study. The placebo-controlled study of more than 200 patients at up to 20 centers in the U.K. was initiated by International Neuromodulation Society member Prof. Charles Knowles, PhD, professor of surgical research at the Centre for Digestive Diseases, Blizard Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University, London. (PR Newswire)

Pain Specialists Discuss Benefits of Proposed Intrathecal Pain Management Guidelines
February 15, 2012 - Anesthesiology News reports the 2011 Polyanalgesic Consensus Conference's proposed guidelines that call for managing chronic neuropathic and nociceptive pain with first-line administration of intrathecal opoids and nonopoids, in an interview with pain specialists including Dr. Timothy Deer, the guideline's lead author and president-elect of the International Neuromodulation Society. (Anesthesiology News)

Light-Excited Quantum Dots Shown to Open Channels in Nerve Cells
February 14, 2012 - University of Washington researchers showed in the laboratory that cultured mammalian cells can be evoked by eliciting a dipole moment in an adjacent nanoparticle that is light-sensitive and semiconducting; a so-called quantum dot. The researchers tested both prostrate cancer cells and mice cortical neurons. The quantum dots were excited with incident visible light, which caused a negative charge near the cell and induced an ion channel to open, which precedes nerve firing. They postulate this approach may have advantages over optogenetics for conceivably being engineered to provide light-stimulated neuromodulation therapy. (New Scientist and Biomedical Optics Express via io9)

Neuroimaging Complements Neuromodulation When Determining Neuronal Correlates of
Tinnitus
February 13, 2012 - Measurements of oscillatory brain activity before and after repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) reveal different effects in different patients, explaining a mixed response to the therapy, report a team of researchers based in Germany and Belgium: Drs. Berthold Langguth, Martin Schecklmann, Astrid Lehner, Michael Landgrebe, Timm B. Poeppl, Peter M. Kreuzer, Winfried Schlee, Nathan Weisz, Sven Vanneste, and Dirk De Ridder (Vanneste and De Ridder are members of the International Neuromodulation Society). (Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience)

Training Increases Proper Use of DBS Controller in Elderly
February 13, 2012 - Forty-one patients, with a mean age of approximately 66 years, were studied to determine factors controlling usability of deep brain stimulation controllers in a study reported in BMC Neurology. Half the subjects were shown a video for observational learning before they were given assignments on a model controller. The other half did not see the video. The group that had seen the video demonstrated fewer errors, both immediately after training, and when re-evaluated six months later. (BMC Neurology)

Vasospastic Syndrome Reveals Clues to Mode of Action of Spinal Cord Stimulation
February 5, 2012 - A patient with the vasospastic condition Raynaud's Syndrome, who showed decreased sensitivity to warm, cold, and tactile stimuli, displayed sensory alterations under the influence of spinal cord stimulation (SCS), a research team reports in Pain Practice. The stimulation reduced her sensation of hot, cold and vibration, and increased her sensitivity to touch. The authors write that further investigation may reveal more about the mode of action of SCS. Her reactions were compared to a control group of 80 subjects by the researchers -- Drs. Tino Münster, Nils Tiebel, Christian Maihöfner, and Hendrikus Seyer, who is a member of the International Neuromodulation Society. (Pain Practice)

Long-term, Randomized Controlled Trial of Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation
February 5, 2012 - A research team at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in the Netherlands reports in Pain Practice finding similar effects in patients with chronic pain who were treated either with Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation (TENS) or sham TENS over one year. Of the treated group, 30% were satisfied with the result, while 23% of the untreated group were satisfied. Both of the groups of satisfied patients reported a mean overall improvement of about 63%, which supports the existence of a long-sustained placebo effect. (Pain Practice)

Memory Enhancement and Deep-Brain Stimulation
February 8, 2012 - A research team centered at the University of California, Los Angeles reports in the New England Journal of Medicine finding that deep-brain stimulation of the entorhinal complex, which is a critical link to the hippocampus and neocortex in memory formation, improved spatial learning. The seven research subjects had received electrode implants to identify seizure-onset zones for subsequent epilepsy surgery. In the study, stimulation to the hippocampus showed no learning improvement. Results were compared between trials in which subthreshold levels of stimulation were used in half the learning attempts. Alzheimer's disease implications were reported in a variety of mainstream news media New York Times, ABC News, Wall Street Journal Digital, and more). (New England Journal of Medicine)

Study: Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation Widened Airways in a Majority of Apnea Patients
February 3, 2012 - A feasibility trial of 26 subjects at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, reported in the journal Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery showed increased airway dimensions in a majority of patients, as indicated by fluoroscopy. All subjects demonstrated anterior displacement of the tongue, and 65%, opening of the retropalatal airway, with 92% showing anterior displacement of the hyoid bone.  (PubMed)

TENS Shown to Relieve Postoperative Pain and Nausea Following Gallbladder Surgery
February 2, 2012 - Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) significantly reduced postoperative pain in gallbladder patients compared with the placebo, researchers report in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. TENS also lowered the risk of postoperative nausea and vomiting.  (American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation)

Case Study Indicates Spinal Cord Stimulation Effective for HIV Neuropathy
February 7, 2012 - At the 6th World Congress of the World Institute of Pain, researchers reported that spinal cord stimulation relieved one patient's longstanding HIV-related polyneuropathy, according to a Medscape report. (Becker's Orthopedic, Spine & Pain Management)

St. Jude Fourth-Quarter Report Shows Neuromodulation Growth
February 3, 2012 - St. Jude's quarterly earnings report shows growth of the neuromodulation segment was up 12%. Overall revenues were up although that was offset somewhat by special charges. (Zack's)

Study Indicates How rTMS Corrects Abnormal Brain Connections
February 6, 2012 - Transcranial pulsed magnetic field stimulation (rTMS) facilitates reorganization of abnormal neural circuits and corrects behavioral deficits without disrupting normal connectivity, according to laboratory research at the University of Western Australia that has implications for treatment of neurological disease. The study, published in the journal FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology), provides a better understanding of how rTMS renders benefits in pioneering treatment of conditions such as Parkinson's disease, depression, schizophrenia, epilepsy and stroke. (University of Western Australia)

Boston Scientific Announces CE Mark Approval and European Launch for Rechargeable Spinal Cord Stimulator InfinionTM 16 Percutaneous Lead
February 3, 2012 - At the World Institute of Pain Conference, Boston Scientific announced it has received regulatory approval to begin marketing its Infinion 16 Lead in European CE Mark countries. Already marketed in the U.S., it is designed for use with the company's rechargeable Precision PlusTM Spinal Cord Stimulator System. The first patient implant in Europe using the InfinionTM 16 Lead was performed at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Guldheden, Sweden by  by Kliment Gatzinsky, MD, Ph.D., and David Revesz, MD - both members of the International Neuromodulation Society. (PR Newswire)

Academic Collaborators Visualize Neuromodulated Basis of Appetite Control in Fruit Flies
February 3, 2012 - Dopamine modulates sugar-sensing neurons in the Drosophila brain while sucrose evokes a calcium influx, TANGO-mapping shows in a method that might be extended to other model systems, according to a paper in the journal Cell by a research team led by David J. Anderson at the California Institute of Technology. The paper's summary notes, "Behavior cannot be predicted from a 'connectome' because the brain contains a chemical 'map' of neuromodulation superimposed upon its synaptic connectivity map. Neuromodulation changes how neural circuits process information in different states, such as hunger or arousal." (Cell)

Ireland Debates Providing Its Own Deep Brain Stimulation Service, Appoints an Assessment Panel
January 27, 2012 - Ireland's publicly funded Health Service Executive has asked for a health technology assessment about providing a national Deep Brain Stimulation service. The assessment by the nation's Health Information and Quality Authority will focus on developing a standard for the provision of such a service in Ireland (including staffing, equipment and other resources) and will evaluate the associated costs. It will then compare these with the current arrangements where eligible patients are referred, under the Treatment Abroad Scheme, to centers outside of Ireland for the surgery. (Health Information and Quality Authority)

Hybrid Imaging and Emerging Markets are Growth Areas for Medical Devices
January 27, 2012 - The use of hybrid imaging technologies such as PET/CT and PET/MRI will see growth in the diagnostic imaging industry and will likely be a mainstay in future imaging, according to a report from GBI Research. The report also anticipates that the increasing demand for imaging in emerging markets, including China, India and Brazil, will balance the lower demand in developed countries, particularly the U.S., because of reimbursement cuts. (MolecularImaging.net)

Uroplasty, Inc. Reports 2011 Gains
January 26, 2012 - Uroplasty, Inc. notes in its quarterly report that the Medicare carrier for Florida has released a formal, specific reimbursement policy for posterior tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) that becomes effective February 1. The device maker has the only FDA-cleared PTNS system for office-based treatment of overactive bladder and urge incontinence. Headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota, with subsidiaries in The Netherlands and the United Kingdom, the company reported its net operating losses are down, and global sales increased 53% to $5.3 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2012, compared with $3.5 million in the fiscal third quarter a year ago. Sales in the U.S. grew 78%, with an 89% increase in sales of the Urgent PC Neuromodulation System and a 71% increase in sales of Macroplastique. Outside the U.S., sales rose by 19%. (MarketWatch)

EnteroMedics, Inc. Receives Australian Approval for Vagal Stimulator Targeting Digestive Functions, Reports Ongoing Medical Trial Spending
January 26, 2012 - EnteroMedics Inc., which develops vagal neuroregulation devices to treat obesity, metabolic diseases and other gastrointestinal disorders by affecting the perception of hunger and fullness, announced final approval to commercialize its Maestro System in Australia. For the full year ended December 31, 2011, the company reported a net loss of $26.0 million, or $0.86 per share, and $29.7 million in cash and equivalents. Main operating expenses are for ongoing clinical trials, including the ReCharge Pivotal Trial, due to be unblinded by the end of 2012. In it, 233 patients are being evaluated at 10 sites to test effectiveness and safety of a second-generation Maestro System powered by a rechargeable integrated battery. All patients in the randomized, double-blind, parallel-group study are expected to participate in a weight management counseling program and receive an implanted device, with one-third of patients, in a control group, receiving a non-functional device for the duration of the study. (Newswire)

Brain-Boosting Results From TDCS Raise Considerations about Appropriate Use
January 26, 2012 - Researchers are pondering the ethical aspects of preliminary lab results showing transcranial direct current stimulation, or TDCS, can be used to improve learning. In TDCS, externally applied currents of less than 1 mA make it easier for neurons in these brain regions to fire, which is thought to enhance the making and strengthening of connections involved in learning and memory. (HealthCanal)

New Jersey Medical Center Announces Availability of DBS for Parkinson's Disease and  Essential Tremor
January 25, 2012 - Riverview Medical Center of Red Bank, New Jersey announced it is one of the first hospitals in the area to offer deep brain stimulation  for essential tremors and Parkinson’s disease. Neurosurgeon Peter Zahos, a member of the International Neuromodulation Society, is one of only four physicians performing the procedure in the state, and one of only three physicians in the three-state area who uses frameless technology. (NewsWise)

Retinal Implant Interim Report Shows Vision Improvements
January 23, 2012 - Interim results of a clinical trial of the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System (Second Sight Medical Products), published this month in Ophthalmology, show for patients with outer retinal degeneration, 96% of subjects did significantly better in location of objects, 57% did better in motion discrimination and 23% had improved orientation recognition. The device was approved in 2011 for marketing in Europe. (Ophthalmology)

Randomized Study Shows Position-Adaptive Stimulation is Safe and Effective
January 23, 2012 - A randomized study of 79 patients at 10 U.S. centers demonstrated that automatic position–adaptive stimulation is safe and effective in providing benefits in terms of patient–reported improved pain relief and convenience, compared with using manual programming adjustment alone, according to a report in Pain Physician by International Neuromodulation Society members David M. Schultz, MD, Lynn R. Webster, MD, Peter Kosek, MD, and Urfan Dar, MD, and colleaguesYe Tan, MS, and Mark Sun, PhD. (Pain Physician)

Mysteries of Epilepsy Presented in Voice of America News Feature
January 23, 2012 - Deep brain stimulation and other treatments for epilepsy are explained in a special report by Voice of America geared to English-language learners. (Voice of America)

Rat Study Indicates TENS May Improve Stress-Related IBS Symptoms
January 19, 2012 -  Colonic motility disorders may contribute to symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, which may be influenced by stress. Writing in Digestive Diseases and Sciences, a medical research team at the Medical College of Wisconsin reports that a study in rats indicates Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation may upregulate anti-stressor expression and be useful to treat gastrointestinal symptoms associated with stress.  (Digestive Diseases and Sciences)

Michigan Hospital Announces Participation in Obstructive Sleep Apnea Clinical Trial
January 18, 2012 - Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit issued a news release announcing that it is one of the few U.S. centers for a clinical trial to evaluate safety and efficacy of the Apnex® Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation System in patients who have obstructive sleep apnea, and have not received lasting benefit from other treatments. The trial of the investigational device is taking place in the U.S., Australia and Europe. (Newswise)

Electrical Stimulation Study Suggests Method of Testing for Cervical Spine Disorders
January 17, 2012 - A study published in Spinal Cord of healthy volunteers at the Neuro Lab of Texas Woman's University, School of Physical Therapy showed multisegmental motor responses in the upper extremities after stimulation of cervical spinal vertebrae (C7). The results suggest the response may be caused by stimulating the dorsal roots or motor nuclei, which could be useful in testing patients with cervical spinal disorders. (Spinal Cord)

Development of Spinal Cord Stimulation Reviewed in Journal Article
January 11, 2012 - In the January/February issue of the Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine: A Journal of Translational and Personalized Medicine, Drs. Lawrence J. Epstein and Marco Palmieri review the state of spinal cord stimulation, its history, pathophysiology and efficacy. (Wiley Online Library)

Review Article Addresses Peripheral Aspects of VNS in Epilepsy
January 14, 2012 - In Surgical Neurology International Stereotactic, Dr. Scott E. Krahl, professor of neurosurgery at the University of California, Los Angeles, and deputy associate chief of staff for research at the Veteran's Administration Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, reviews peripheral mechanisms in vagus nerve stimulation as a treatment for epilepsy. (Surgical Neurology International Stereotactic)

Basic Research Suggests Mode of Interrupting Development of Chronic Pain Potentiation
January 12, 2012 - Administering high doses of a fast-acting opiate to rat nerve fibers appears to halt development of chronic pain caused by long-term potentiation, according to research published in Science. A second infusion of the drug, remifentanil, an hour later abolished the long-term potentiation and restored these rats' pain levels to normal. A high dose of remifentanil was also effective in reducing the pain of the rats treated with capsaicin or high-frequency stimulation. Treating the rats with half the dose of remifentanil did not produce the same effect. Co-author Jürgen Sandkühler, a neurophysiologist at the Center for Brain Research of the Medical University of Vienna, suggests that a threshold level of the drug is needed to disrupt the movement of calcium signalling ions between nerves and neutralize the long-term potentiation. (Nature News)

Constant-Current DBS Shows Positive Results in Parkinson's Clinical Trial
January 11, 2012 - The first large, randomized, controlled study of a constant current device for managing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease were published in The Lancet, showing a statistically significant increase in "on" time for Parkinson's patients with stimulation. The 136-patient trial was conducted with St. Jude Medical's neurostimulator devices, Libra and LibraXP, which are approved for managing Parkinson's symptoms in Europe, Latin America and Australia. (Business Wire)

Effectiveness for Sacral Nerve Stimulation for Fecal Incontinence Shown for Patients Over Age 65
January 10, 2012 - Sacral nerve stimulation is an effective treatment for fecal incontinence in patients over 65 years, according to a prospective study of 30 patients with a mean age of 69.3, between 1996 - 2009, which was published in an early online view of the February 2012 issue of Colorectal Disease. (Colorectal Disease)

Children and Adolescents with Drug-Resistant Epilepsy Benefit from Vagus Nerve Stimulation, Study Says

January 6, 2012 - Vagus nerve stimulation therapy is a safe and effective adjunctive treatment for children and adolescents of all ages with drug-resistant epilepsy, based on a study at the Epilepsy Diagnostic and Therapeutic Centre, Foundation of Epileptology, in Warsaw, Poland of 57 individuals with drug-resistant epilepsy by Drs. Beata Majkowska-Zwolińska, P. Zwoliński, M. Roszkowski, and K. Drabik, published online in an early view of the latest edition of the journal Child's Nervous System. (PubMed)

An Overview of the Development and Potential of Neuromodulation and Neurostimulation
January 5, 2012 -  Writing in a perspective piece in Translational Andrology and Urology, Dr. Emil A. Tanagho of the Department of Urology, University of California, San Francisco Medical Center says, "Neurostimulation and neuromodulation are here to stay. They have already proven their effectiveness and their potential benefits. Considerable progress has been made during the last two decades in understanding the basic issues that are related to neurostimulation and its potential application, not only in the urinary tract and the pelvic organs, but also in other organs. Whenever there is an intact motor neuron system that can be isolated, it can be stimulated to drive the function it was intended for." (Translational Andrology and Urology)

New England Comparative Effectiveness Advisory Council Majority Supports TMS in Treatment-Resistant Depression
January 5, 2012 - A regional medical practice and reimbursement advisory board, the New England Comparative Effectiveness Advisory Council (CEPAC), voted 10 to 5 that the evidence was adequate to demonstrate that TMS was as good, or better, than usual care (i.e. general supportive psychotherapy with or without continued use of antidepressant medication).  CEPAC also voted 9 to 6 that the evidence to support the use of TMS was adequate to demonstrate equivalent or superior outcomes to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).  CEPAC then reviewed the budget impact and cost-effectiveness of TMS and the majority voted that, at current Medicare reimbursement rates, the use of TMS represents “reasonable value” when compared to usual care and a “low value” when compared to ECT. (Institute for Clinical and Economic Review)

Noise Stimulation in Parkinson's May Alter Nerve Signaling, Improve Motion, Study Suggests
January 6, 2012 - Exposure to mild noise applied by external electrodes can improve motion by changing nerve signaling in the brain, according to a preclinical study from the Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden being published in the online journal PLoSOne. Since noise stimulation is relatively simple and can be carried out with ordinary skin electrodes, the authors hope that the method can be used as a supplement to existing treatment for Parkinson’s disease. (Health News)

TMS Helps to Distinguish Minimal Consciousness from Vegetative State in Brain-Injured Patients
January 9, 2012 - Collaborating teams led by Drs. Marcello Massimini and Steven Laureys report in the journal Brain this week that using transcranial magnetic stimulation and tracking internal communication between regions of the brain with EEG indicates which brain-injured and non-communicative patients have neuronal activity that indicates re-emergence of consciousness. (HealthCanal)

Study Indicates Neurostimulation is Useful to Improve Swallowing After Stroke
 
January 4, 2012 - Paired associative stimulation (PAS), which combines peripheral stimulation of targeted muscle and cortical stimulation of the targeted muscle's representational area, may aid in the rehabilitation of patients with dysphagia caused by stroke, reports a study published in the January issue of Gastroenterology. (HealthDay via Doctor's Lounge)

Cyberonics Announces FDA Approval of Re-Designed Generator for VNS Therapy
January 4, 2012 - Cyberonics issued a news release saying the FDA approved its re-designed AspireHC (High Capacity) generator for treatment-resistant epilepsy. The generator had been subject to a voluntary product withdrawal in August 2011, after the company learned that stimulation output current delivered to patients by the original units could be less than the output current programmed by a physician. (PR Newswire)

Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation Shown to Improve Airflow in Sleep Apnea Patients
January 3, 2012 - A study from the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center, published in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, suggests hypoglossal nerve stimulation (HGNS) may be an alternative to commonly used continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for obstructive sleep apnea. HGNS produced marked dose-related increases in airflow in obstructive sleep apnea patients, while the effectiveness of CPAP is often limited by poor patient adherence. (National Sleep Foundation)

Brain Electrodes Fix Depression Long Term
January 3, 2012 - News coverage in Nature emphasizes the long-term lack of remission noted in research reported Monday on the results of deep brain stimulation in treatment-resistant unipolar and bipolar depression. (Nature)

Deep brain stimulation shows promising results for unipolar and bipolar depression
January 3, 2012 - An Emory University School of Medicine study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, shows deep brain stimulation is safe and effective for treatment-resistant depression in patients who have either unipolar major depressive disorder or bipolar II disorder. The research with 17 patients builds on work done in Toronto on deep brain stimulation in treatment-resistant major depressive disorder, paving the way for enrolling clinical trial subjects who have either unipolar or bipolar depression. (Lead author Dr. Paul Holtzheimer, and one collaborator, Dr. Helen Mayberg, serve on the editorial board of the INS journal, Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface.) (Edmonton Journal, EurekAlert)

Study May Advance the Possibility that Surgical Brain Implants Might Benefit Mentally Ill Patients
January 2, 2012 - CNN health blog publishes Emory University's clear image of implanted deep brain stimulation leads, and describes the technology licensed by Dr. Helen Mayberg to St. Jude, whose deep brain stimulation devices showed safety and efficacy in a two-year study of 17 patients with treatment-resistant unipolar and bipolar depression published Monday in the Archives of General Psychiatry. (CNN)

Researchers in Texas and Arizona Report Reducing Trigeminal Neuropathic Pain with PNS
January 2012 - Writing in the January 2012 issue of Pain Physician, International Neuromodulation Society members David A. Stidd, MD; Adam Wuollet, MD; Martin E. Weinand, MD; and Emil Annabi, MD; and colleagues Kirk Bowden, DO; Theodore Price PhD; Amol Patwardhan, MD, PhD;  Steve Barker, MD, PhD; and Jeffrey Annabi, MD report a small observational study of three patients who were treated with peripheral nerve stimulation for trigeminal neuropathic pain. There was an overall 87% reduction of pain for these patients, whose conditions had common causes and were refractory to medical management. (Pain Physician)

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Last Updated on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 08:22 PM
 
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